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Old 11-08-2013, 07:29 PM   #1
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5.4 engine swap

Ok well i have a 01 v6 and I'm wanting to turn it into a v8 and i'm just wondering what would be all the things that i would need to buy or do to make it a 5.4. Like for example would i need a wiring harness a new ECU and adjustments needed. What would those adjustments be?
Things like that.
Also what are some other engines that i could use if i wasn't to get a 5.4 engine?
I'm wanting to get at least 300hp out of the engine alone so what could be some other engines i could work with.
Thanks in advance.
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Old 11-08-2013, 07:55 PM   #2
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Pretty much a whole new drivetrain. Bellhousing or trans, maybe a driveshaft, and rear end. Someone please correct me if I'm wrong.
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Old 11-09-2013, 06:24 PM   #3
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4.6L DOHC
There are several different castings available for the DOHC heads. 4.6L & 5.4L heads will physically interchange, but the ports on the 5.4L heads are much bigger than the 4.6L heads. Neither the Cobra or Lincoln intake manifolds will work with this swap. If you were able to get the intake to bolt on, there still is not enough material around the ports to enable port matching to the larger navigator heads. Our single plane 4.6L intakes were designed with enough material to allow for this swap. The Navigator heads ports are too big for a naturally aspirated 4.6L street car but may make for some impressive horsepower on forced induction cars.

These heads can be divided into 2 basic designs pre-1999 twin port heads (also known as the "B" head) and post-1999 tumble port heads (also known as the "C" head). These 2 heads are interchangeable on any of the 4.6L blocks although it is usually not financially feasible to do this swap because it entails swapping intake manifolds as well. Both heads are very good castings with the tumble port heads getting the nod for making more high end horsepower. The heads on the Lincoln are the same castings as are used on the Cobra.

If you are building your DOHC engine for use in a truck or heavy car, you will probably be happier with the twin port heads. These heads with their IMRC plates, create better torque and at a lower RPM than the tumble port heads without severely limiting hi-end horsepower. These heads respond well to a port and polish job. You can also pick up extra horsepower if your engine is a Lincoln, by swapping the intake manifold for an early Mustang Cobra intake.

The tumble port heads have been available since 1999. These heads were never offered on the Lincoln Mark series due to the cancellation of this model in 1998. These heads can be found on the front wheel drive Lincoln Continental. Maybe if you come across a cheap Continental engine it's not such a bad deal after all. Obviously these heads are also available on the Mustang Cobra. The Cobra heads were modified for 2003. They are supposed to flow better on the intake and exhaust than the early castings.
The best heads offered to date have never been installed on a production vehicle. These are available on the FR500 [COLOR=blue !important][COLOR=blue !important]crate [COLOR=blue !important]engine[/COLOR][/COLOR][/COLOR]. The heads on the FR500 are available from [COLOR=blue !important][COLOR=blue !important]FRPP[/COLOR][/COLOR] under part #'s M-6049-T46 and M-6050-T46. These heads are bare, but FRPP does sell a hi-lift (12mm) camshaft kit that includes cams, valves, springs, retainers, and rockers under part # M-6550-T46. The heads sell for about 800.00 each and the cam kit is 1495.00


All of the tumble port heads respond well to a port and polish job. Unless you have money to burn, justifying the additional expense of the FR500 heads may be difficult. The standard heads can be made to provide all the flow necessary for even the highest horsepower applications.

5.4L DOHC
Twin port heads have never been offered for the 5.4L engines. You are limited to the Navigator heads unless you come across a set of Cobra R heads (you might have a better shot at hitting the lottery). Being limited to the Navigator heads is not a bad thing as these heads flow a large amount of air. Port and polish these heads and you will see port flow in excess 325 cfm. There is no horsepower to be gained by trying to run Cobra heads, the Navigator heads with their large ports allows the use of much larger intake runners. Below is an outline of the commonly available DOHC heads.

4.6L DOHC
There are several different castings available for the DOHC heads. 4.6L & 5.4L heads will physically interchange, but the ports on the 5.4L heads are much bigger than the 4.6L heads. Neither the Cobra or Lincoln intake manifolds will work with this swap. If you were able to get the intake to bolt on, there still is not enough material around the ports to enable port matching to the larger navigator heads. Our single plane 4.6L intakes were designed with enough material to allow for this swap. The Navigator heads ports are too big for a naturally aspirated 4.6L street car but may make for some impressive horsepower on forced induction cars.

These heads can be divided into 2 basic designs pre-1999 twin port heads (also known as the "B" head) and post-1999 tumble port heads (also known as the "C" head). These 2 heads are interchangeable on any of the 4.6L blocks although it is usually not financially feasible to do this swap because it entails swapping intake manifolds as well. Both heads are very good castings with the tumble port heads getting the nod for making more high end horsepower. The heads on the Lincoln are the same castings as are used on the Cobra.

If you are building your DOHC engine for use in a truck or heavy car, you will probably be happier with the twin port heads. These heads with their IMRC plates, create better torque and at a lower RPM than the tumble port heads without severely limiting hi-end horsepower. These heads respond well to a port and polish job. You can also pick up extra horsepower if your engine is a Lincoln, by swapping the intake manifold for an early Mustang Cobra intake.

The tumble port heads have been available since 1999. These heads were never offered on the Lincoln Mark series due to the cancellation of this model in 1998. These heads can be found on the front wheel drive Lincoln Continental. Maybe if you come across a cheap Continental engine it's not such a bad deal after all. Obviously these heads are also available on the Mustang Cobra. The Cobra heads were modified for 2003. They are supposed to flow better on the intake and exhaust than the early castings.
The best heads offered to date have never been installed on a production vehicle. These are available on the FR500 crate engine. The heads on the FR500 are available from FRPP under part #'s M-6049-T46 and M-6050-T46. These heads are bare, but FRPP does sell a hi-lift (12mm) camshaft kit that includes cams, valves, springs, retainers, and rockers under part # M-6550-T46. The heads sell for about 800.00 each and the cam kit is 1495.00


All of the tumble port heads respond well to a port and polish job. Unless you have money to burn, justifying the additional expense of the FR500 heads may be difficult. The standard heads can be made to provide all the flow necessary for even the highest horsepower applications.

Cooling System

The 4.6L, 5.4L & 6.8L cast iron blocks use a cooling system that is different from the one that is used on the aluminum blocks. The aluminum blocks use a bypass hose (this is the hose that runs in front of the engine to the thermostat housing) to keep flow constant through the block to help eliminate hot spots. This is due to aluminum being more susceptible to hot spots than is cast iron. If you are running an aluminum block do not eliminate this hose. The cast iron blocks utilize a conventional cooling system (no bypass hose).

Oil System


The oil pump used on modular engines is what's referred to as a gerotor pump. It contains two internal gears with the middle one being driven by the crank. The clearance between the sides of the gears and the internal sides of the oil pump are critical. These pumps are not as robust as the pumps used on the older push rod Ford's. If any debris gets into the oil pump it will gall the sides of the aluminum housing, creating a situation where the pump will not prime. If you are reusing an oil pump be sure to pull the cover off the pump for a close inspection of the housing for galling. Replacing this pump after installation of the engine is not a fun job.
There have also been failures of the powdered metal gears utilized in these pumps when used in
hi-performance applications. There are billet pump gears being offered by some vendors to address this problem, do a search on Google
There are some things that I think I know about Triton 5.4's:

I was under the impression that Tritons are only SOHC, but in 2004, there was a 3V version (still SOHC, tho). Lincoln came out with the DOHC version of the 5.4 (and 4.6 for Aviators) that was called the InTech. The Navigator DOHC heads were exclusive to that app, but the Aviator DOHC heads were the same casting as 03-04 Cobras and Mach 1's. 95-98 Triton 2V 5.4's made 235HP/330tq. 99-03 5.4's made 260HP/350tq. The 3V Triton made 300HP/365tq. Lightning Tritons made anywhere from 360-380HP , and H/D Tritons made 340HP. 5.4 InTechs made 300HP/355tq. I'm sure all of these factory numbers are conservative!

Sounds like the 4.6->5.4 swap is a lot like the 5.0->5.8 swap - taller deck heights = different hood and intake (unless you have an adapter), but lots of things bolt up - bellhousing, accessories, etc.

With all of this seeming interchangability, the big question in my mind is what about engine management? Would, say, an 5.4 InTech drop in a 1997 Mustang and you could hook the harness right up? I know that the intakes would have to be changed, but to how? With the adapter mentioned, is the sky the limit? Just adapt the Mustang intake to the 5.4, plug in the wire clips, and you're away? That seems way too easy.

But what about accessories? Just bolt on the brackets from the stang for A/C, P/S, alternator, etc with no problems? Again, seems too easy or it seems a lot more people would be doing it (for the torque).

Also, what about bolt ons mods? Do underdrive pulleys just go right on? CAI? Bigger MAF and injectors?

I understand that hood and shock tower clearance will usually be an issue - just get a cowl hood and use special headers, no?

Clearly, if these answers are as simple as they seem to be right now, then I am going to move on this 97 and this truck Triton out of a 2000 F-150 (260/350) or find me a 96-04ish GT and start looking for either a low mile Navigator engine or an 04 3V. Jeez, that would be AWESOME!!!
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Old 11-09-2013, 06:28 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by samuelsmith View Post
4.6L DOHC
There are several different castings available for the DOHC heads. 4.6L & 5.4L heads will physically interchange, but the ports on the 5.4L heads are much bigger than the 4.6L heads. Neither the Cobra or Lincoln intake manifolds will work with this swap. If you were able to get the intake to bolt on, there still is not enough material around the ports to enable port matching to the larger navigator heads. Our single plane 4.6L intakes were designed with enough material to allow for this swap. The Navigator heads ports are too big for a naturally aspirated 4.6L street car but may make for some impressive horsepower on forced induction cars.

These heads can be divided into 2 basic designs pre-1999 twin port heads (also known as the "B" head) and post-1999 tumble port heads (also known as the "C" head). These 2 heads are interchangeable on any of the 4.6L blocks although it is usually not financially feasible to do this swap because it entails swapping intake manifolds as well. Both heads are very good castings with the tumble port heads getting the nod for making more high end horsepower. The heads on the Lincoln are the same castings as are used on the Cobra.

If you are building your DOHC engine for use in a truck or heavy car, you will probably be happier with the twin port heads. These heads with their IMRC plates, create better torque and at a lower RPM than the tumble port heads without severely limiting hi-end horsepower. These heads respond well to a port and polish job. You can also pick up extra horsepower if your engine is a Lincoln, by swapping the intake manifold for an early Mustang Cobra intake.

The tumble port heads have been available since 1999. These heads were never offered on the Lincoln Mark series due to the cancellation of this model in 1998. These heads can be found on the front wheel drive Lincoln Continental. Maybe if you come across a cheap Continental engine it's not such a bad deal after all. Obviously these heads are also available on the Mustang Cobra. The Cobra heads were modified for 2003. They are supposed to flow better on the intake and exhaust than the early castings.
The best heads offered to date have never been installed on a production vehicle. These are available on the FR500 crate engine. The heads on the FR500 are available from FRPP under part #'s M-6049-T46 and M-6050-T46. These heads are bare, but FRPP does sell a hi-lift (12mm) camshaft kit that includes cams, valves, springs, retainers, and rockers under part # M-6550-T46. The heads sell for about 800.00 each and the cam kit is 1495.00

All of the tumble port heads respond well to a port and polish job. Unless you have money to burn, justifying the additional expense of the FR500 heads may be difficult. The standard heads can be made to provide all the flow necessary for even the highest horsepower applications.

5.4L DOHC
Twin port heads have never been offered for the 5.4L engines. You are limited to the Navigator heads unless you come across a set of Cobra R heads (you might have a better shot at hitting the lottery). Being limited to the Navigator heads is not a bad thing as these heads flow a large amount of air. Port and polish these heads and you will see port flow in excess 325 cfm. There is no horsepower to be gained by trying to run Cobra heads, the Navigator heads with their large ports allows the use of much larger intake runners. Below is an outline of the commonly available DOHC heads.

4.6L DOHC
There are several different castings available for the DOHC heads. 4.6L & 5.4L heads will physically interchange, but the ports on the 5.4L heads are much bigger than the 4.6L heads. Neither the Cobra or Lincoln intake manifolds will work with this swap. If you were able to get the intake to bolt on, there still is not enough material around the ports to enable port matching to the larger navigator heads. Our single plane 4.6L intakes were designed with enough material to allow for this swap. The Navigator heads ports are too big for a naturally aspirated 4.6L street car but may make for some impressive horsepower on forced induction cars.

These heads can be divided into 2 basic designs pre-1999 twin port heads (also known as the "B" head) and post-1999 tumble port heads (also known as the "C" head). These 2 heads are interchangeable on any of the 4.6L blocks although it is usually not financially feasible to do this swap because it entails swapping intake manifolds as well. Both heads are very good castings with the tumble port heads getting the nod for making more high end horsepower. The heads on the Lincoln are the same castings as are used on the Cobra.

If you are building your DOHC engine for use in a truck or heavy car, you will probably be happier with the twin port heads. These heads with their IMRC plates, create better torque and at a lower RPM than the tumble port heads without severely limiting hi-end horsepower. These heads respond well to a port and polish job. You can also pick up extra horsepower if your engine is a Lincoln, by swapping the intake manifold for an early Mustang Cobra intake.

The tumble port heads have been available since 1999. These heads were never offered on the Lincoln Mark series due to the cancellation of this model in 1998. These heads can be found on the front wheel drive Lincoln Continental. Maybe if you come across a cheap Continental engine it's not such a bad deal after all. Obviously these heads are also available on the Mustang Cobra. The Cobra heads were modified for 2003. They are supposed to flow better on the intake and exhaust than the early castings.
The best heads offered to date have never been installed on a production vehicle. These are available on the FR500 crate engine. The heads on the FR500 are available from FRPP under part #'s M-6049-T46 and M-6050-T46. These heads are bare, but FRPP does sell a hi-lift (12mm) camshaft kit that includes cams, valves, springs, retainers, and rockers under part # M-6550-T46. The heads sell for about 800.00 each and the cam kit is 1495.00

All of the tumble port heads respond well to a port and polish job. Unless you have money to burn, justifying the additional expense of the FR500 heads may be difficult. The standard heads can be made to provide all the flow necessary for even the highest horsepower applications.

Cooling System

The 4.6L, 5.4L & 6.8L cast iron blocks use a cooling system that is different from the one that is used on the aluminum blocks. The aluminum blocks use a bypass hose (this is the hose that runs in front of the engine to the thermostat housing) to keep flow constant through the block to help eliminate hot spots. This is due to aluminum being more susceptible to hot spots than is cast iron. If you are running an aluminum block do not eliminate this hose. The cast iron blocks utilize a conventional cooling system (no bypass hose).

Oil System

The oil pump used on modular engines is what's referred to as a gerotor pump. It contains two internal gears with the middle one being driven by the crank. The clearance between the sides of the gears and the internal sides of the oil pump are critical. These pumps are not as robust as the pumps used on the older push rod Ford's. If any debris gets into the oil pump it will gall the sides of the aluminum housing, creating a situation where the pump will not prime. If you are reusing an oil pump be sure to pull the cover off the pump for a close inspection of the housing for galling. Replacing this pump after installation of the engine is not a fun job.
There have also been failures of the powdered metal gears utilized in these pumps when used in
hi-performance applications. There are billet pump gears being offered by some vendors to address this problem, do a search on Google
There are some things that I think I know about Triton 5.4's:

I was under the impression that Tritons are only SOHC, but in 2004, there was a 3V version (still SOHC, tho). Lincoln came out with the DOHC version of the 5.4 (and 4.6 for Aviators) that was called the InTech. The Navigator DOHC heads were exclusive to that app, but the Aviator DOHC heads were the same casting as 03-04 Cobras and Mach 1's. 95-98 Triton 2V 5.4's made 235HP/330tq. 99-03 5.4's made 260HP/350tq. The 3V Triton made 300HP/365tq. Lightning Tritons made anywhere from 360-380HP , and H/D Tritons made 340HP. 5.4 InTechs made 300HP/355tq. I'm sure all of these factory numbers are conservative!

Sounds like the 4.6->5.4 swap is a lot like the 5.0->5.8 swap - taller deck heights = different hood and intake (unless you have an adapter), but lots of things bolt up - bellhousing, accessories, etc.

With all of this seeming interchangability, the big question in my mind is what about engine management? Would, say, an 5.4 InTech drop in a 1997 Mustang and you could hook the harness right up? I know that the intakes would have to be changed, but to how? With the adapter mentioned, is the sky the limit? Just adapt the Mustang intake to the 5.4, plug in the wire clips, and you're away? That seems way too easy.

But what about accessories? Just bolt on the brackets from the stang for A/C, P/S, alternator, etc with no problems? Again, seems too easy or it seems a lot more people would be doing it (for the torque).

Also, what about bolt ons mods? Do underdrive pulleys just go right on? CAI? Bigger MAF and injectors?

I understand that hood and shock tower clearance will usually be an issue - just get a cowl hood and use special headers, no?

Clearly, if these answers are as simple as they seem to be right now, then I am going to move on this 97 and this truck Triton out of a 2000 F-150 (260/350) or find me a 96-04ish GT and start looking for either a low mile Navigator engine or an 04 3V. Jeez, that would be AWESOME!!!
He knows his stuff lol
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Old 11-09-2013, 11:46 PM   #5
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He knows his stuff lol
Sorry, I am on medication and I through my personality out the window tonight. LOL My brain does not function properly. I am on Ambien and wide awake.LOL Just real talk.
All your answers are simple and hard. How deep are your pockets? Back in the day a 5.4 conversion cd was available on Ebay.
The factory hood will not work. Throw the K-member out also. A specialty oil pan will be needed. The exhaust can be cut out. Pull the dash out and junk the wiring harness and gage cluster. Scrap the computer. Special headers also.
Yes, everything from engine to rear end needs to come out. No, you can leave a 7.3 rear in the back............... but WHY? Getting gears is like cheating hp.
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Old 11-10-2013, 11:16 AM   #6
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Going from the six to a v8 is an expensive swap.

I say just swap it to a termi set up for 12k cuz swapping to anything else is gonna cost that much as well
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Old 11-10-2013, 11:53 AM   #7
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Going from the six to a v8 is an expensive swap. I say just swap it to a termi set up for 12k cuz swapping to anything else is gonna cost that much as well
Or get an inexpensive 4.6, forge, supercharge for around the same and probably make more power than a termi engine
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Old 11-10-2013, 12:16 PM   #8
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Not trying to jack this thread but how much wpuld just a plan 4.6 swap cost I got a local mechanic who works cheap so all I need to know what would price guess be on parts
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Old 11-10-2013, 01:46 PM   #9
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why bother with going through the hassles and expense of a V8 engine swap if all you want is 300bhp? an easier way to would be to source a 4.2l V6 from a 2002 or later F150. it is a bolt in swap, you just have to change the sensors over to the 3.8V6 sensors. you keep the split port heads, thoug i would swap the F150 upper intake to the windstar upper intake for better hood clearance. you might also have to relocate the IAC, but that is no big deal. or you can keep your mustang upper intake if you like. you can even keep your ECU. then get yourself a proper tuner, and reflash the ECU. that long with a cam swap and headers and dual exhaust should get you very close to you goal of 300bhp. if you want more, supercharger kits are available, and with 6psi boost pressure will push your output closer to 350-400bhp. still want more? the upgrade to forged pistons and rods, and up the boost pressure to 10-15 psi, and you can be pushing near the 500bhp mark. if that doesnt kick you in the back side, then your best bet is to not bother with the wimpy little 5.4 swap, but rather go with a supercharged coyote swap and up the boost pressure to 20psi and push near 800bhp.
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Old 11-10-2013, 10:00 PM   #10
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It's not hard to do man. The only mechanical thing i had done was change the oil. But i don't want to waste money on a mechanic so I'm doing it myself with a cousin that isn't a genius either. There's a 2 part video on youtube that I'm following to do this , and the guy making the video is very good at explaining what to do. I suggest you give it a try. It's way easier than you think.

Just my advice though.
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Old 11-10-2013, 10:01 PM   #11
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Video link?
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Old 11-10-2013, 10:15 PM   #12
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Thanks man, this helped a lot.
It made me realize it's harder to do than i thought it would be. I've seen the conversions done before but never really went into detail about the swap until now. I was told to just get the regular 4.6 and work from there, i would be out on the road to start having fun faster. Which I'm strongly considering at this point. Do you if i could be able to keep my ECU and harness from my v6 onto the 4.6? A friend of mine that has done swaps said that i could. I just want a good second opinion on this.
And thanks again for all the info, i understood this a lot better now.

---------- Post added at 10:11 PM ---------- Previous post was at 10:09 PM ----------

Heck yeah he does. I think i just made up my mind based on that.

---------- Post added at 10:15 PM ---------- Previous post was at 10:11 PM ----------

Ok... if i can do that much with a 4.2 v6, what could i do with a 4.6 v8? I would really appreciate that much horsepower from a v6 but i just love the sound of a v8. And it can't be faked by v6. It sure would soumd nice but not the same.
Thanks for advice though, i will keep this for a future project.
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Old 11-10-2013, 10:21 PM   #13
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Try this and tell me if it works...

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Old 11-10-2013, 10:29 PM   #14
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I wouldn't let me post it. Type in "how to remove the engine on a 1996-2004 mustang gt part 1"
The video should be about 30 minutes long.
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Old 11-10-2013, 10:35 PM   #15
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The parts would be about $1,000 for a used engine with a 30 day warranty and $800 transmission with 30 day warranty.
That's here in good ol' Texas lol it depends where you live.
Or you could buy donor car? It depends on you.
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Old 11-10-2013, 10:49 PM   #16
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Would be nice to have a engine like that
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Old 11-11-2013, 05:00 AM   #17
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A 4.6? It's not hard go get man just saving up and have your mind set. The only hard thing about it is sticking with the plan and following theough with it.
For example... i was planning on buying an early 2000's gt but my friemd convinced me to get a v6 and do it custom to save money. I saved up $1,300 for the v6 and now is time to save up for parts and mods. It's hard since I'm young but it's my dream car so i have to work hard for it.
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Old 11-11-2013, 07:20 AM   #18
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Can you be a bit more specific?
Thanks for advice.
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Old 11-12-2013, 04:19 PM   #19
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You could carb the 5.4 or 4.6, I think heads are interchangeable.
A 351w is another option if you want a lot of displacement the 351 can be stroked to 408 or 427 with some block modifications.
After market Windsor blocks can usually hold 1000+ HP while original 351s limits are around 650hp I think
Pushrod engines are also cheaper to build, its about $1000 for a complete roller can kit(cam, timing chain, lifters etc...). Its about a $1000 just for the cams for a dohc.
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Old 11-12-2013, 06:28 PM   #20
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All i'm really wanting to do is to get an engine and just drop it in with a new transmission so that i can be out on the road a lot quicker besides that i'm not that good on the mechanic side of thing so i don't want to mess anything up and i can't spend too much since i'm going to get her painted too.
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Old 11-13-2013, 01:40 AM   #21
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Join Date: Jan 2012
Region: California
Posts: 835
don't go 4.6 unless it's pumped up, if you spend all that money on a regular old 4.6 out of a vic or tbird, you'r going to still get beat by stock NE 4.6 gt's.
Either go with the 5.4 or another engine that can make power.
I don't know a lot about the 4.6's I know a little bit more about the 5.4's but not a lot.
I did have a 4.6 in a wrecked GT that I was using for parts. I sold it with the engine though(I took the rear end,CAI and exhaust).
The windsor family of engines, has a lot of aftermarket support, all you would need is the 94-95 GT mounts, k-member and transmission. Then you decide if you want EFI or Carb.
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