1997 3.8 Mustang Questions! - Mustang Evolution

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Old 10-06-2013, 09:49 PM   #1
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1997 3.8 Mustang Questions!

Hey there, first time poster here. Found the site and the info I saw lead me to believe this was the place to come for some good advice on this kind of stuff. So, got a few questions I'd like to ask, and if there is already a thread that answers this, please let me know and I will gladly look over those first.

Now, to get started. I bought a 1997 Mustang with a 3.8 and 5-Speed transmission back in about '04-'05. Ran good, clean interior, pristine motor. Great car for what little I paid for it. Drove it for a year or so until my father had a wreck in his car and needed one. I had another vehicle and since he drove farther than I did and the car got better gas mileage,I let him drive it. Now where the issue starts. He was driving it for a while (Couple of years since I had sold the car to him)when the head gasket blew out on him. When I had heard about it, he had already stored the car and had 'plans' to work on it and get it fixed. This was about 4 years ago. So, you can imagine how bad it is since it has sat for that many years now without getting fixed. My main question is, Would this Motor be worth fixing? As far as I can tell from what little I have removed and checked on it, there doesn't seem to be any rust in the cylinders. But I haven't did much but a quick unbolt and clean to check on it then bolt back down.

I see all kinds of folks on here saying to upgrade to a 4.2. I would love to do this as long as there isn't a a huge loss in fuel efficiency. So, what I really need to know is, if I am lucky enough that this motor isn't completely screwed (Which I know that I have a better chance of becoming the pope), how hard is the upgrade? What kind of power jump would I get from this swap? If this Motor block is compromised to the point I can't use it, where can I get a replacement for cheap and yet still get a quality motor?

I know there is a lot of info here, but I loved this car and since I have a chance to get it running again I want to do it. So, anyone out there that can help me out?
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Old 10-07-2013, 02:13 AM   #2
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Well doing the swap to a 4.2 is worth it but the mpg isn't too much of a change. The power is going to be a big difference 40 more hp at least. They are cars are worth to fix they tend to be cheap and easy to fix. Make great dd maybe not the great on mpg but always will get you to work with style
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