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Old 05-30-2016, 06:42 AM   #1
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Supercharged 3.8 L

Hey everyone, I own a 2013 GT but my friend is looking at maybe getting a 2004 3.8L. I was wondering how well these engines hold up to having a supercharger hooked up to them. Are they resilient enough to support that much extra pressure? I believe the one he's looking at has a Vortec on it.
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Old 05-30-2016, 10:19 AM   #2
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Head gaskets are a constant issue on that motor even without a blower. I'd stay far, far, away.
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Old 05-30-2016, 10:35 AM   #3
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I'd think it be cheaper and see better gains if he swapped in a V8. One thing you don't see a lot of (for a good reason) is supercharged 3.8. Sure there is the m90, but that really just puts the power of the single port heads about on part with the split port. They do make an adapter plate to run the cobra m112, though I believe just the adapter comes close to the $1000 mark.

A centrifugal setup or turbo may get the power numbers up around the 300 mark I would assume, but even at that you've got to look at all the other weak points, especially the little 7.5 with no limited slip.

The 3.8 sounds awful too, it would be more ideal in my opinion, if he is set on staying with the 3.8, to do heads, cam, exhaust (definitely long tubes), suspension and gears. Though it's a lot of money, for a smallish gain compared to other options.

I've sunk a lot of money into a 3.8, won't do it again. I actually now regret wasting so much money on a v6 with very little potential. I guess it just depends on the guys budget. A built, blown 3.8 could be something, but I'd assume there would be almost no original parts left in the engine bay when done and would have a pretty hefty build cost. I haven't touched on reliability, because I just don't know what internals will take before they give up on life, I'm guessing you won't see a reliable 400whp 3.8 that would cost less than doing a swap.

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Old 05-30-2016, 10:45 AM   #4
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Quote:
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Head gaskets are a constant issue on that motor even without a blower. I'd stay far, far, away.
Very common, when originally looking at a 99-04 V6 years ago a very high percentage had a line in the ad similar to "runs great, just needs head gasket". Really, "just needs"?! Though by my understanding the issue was made a little better vs the 94-98 heads by Ford increasing the torque specs on the heads slightly on the split ports.

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Old 05-30-2016, 11:20 AM   #5
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Supercharged 3.8 L

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Originally Posted by Mastodon View Post
Hey everyone, I own a 2013 GT but my friend is looking at maybe getting a 2004 3.8L. I was wondering how well these engines hold up to having a supercharger hooked up to them. Are they resilient enough to support that much extra pressure? I believe the one he's looking at has a Vortec on it.

If he wants to go fast get a V8. You can get a nice New Edge GT pretty cheap put an exhaust on them and they sound awesome.


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Old 05-30-2016, 01:32 PM   #6
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If he wants to go fast get a V8. You can get a nice New Edge GT pretty cheap put an exhaust on them and they sound awesome.


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That's what I did. Sold the 03 3.8 and began looking for an 03-04 GT. Found an unmolested one, and it was the best upgrade I made on my 3.8!

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Old 05-31-2016, 01:52 PM   #7
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You can make 3.8s fast but it will cost you. The stock engine might hold an 8 psi pulley. You can go to super six Motorsports and get everything you need to beef the engine up. I mean everything. Heads, cam, intakes, wiseco forged pistons, stroker kit, etc. You can even buy a fully forged and stroked 4.3 V6 from them for $8500 ready to drop in your car. That motor can hold 600+ HP. However, it costs about as much as a coyote/terminator swap.

I'd recommend going turbo if you can find someone who makes a kit or can make a turbo kit yourself. TMA used to make them but his website went offline and he never put it back up so I guess he's done making turbo kits for the 3.8. However, there are numerous people who have used his turbo kits and made 700 HP to the wheels on 17 PSI of boost. I don't even know if you can get 700 HP with a 20 PSI pulley on a supercharger. Maybe it's possible but I haven't seen it done.

You could also order the high compression heads and pistons from super six and make a high compression 3.8/4,3. An 11:1 motor. Then just shoot a ton of nitrous into it. One dude on some v6 forum is running 10.3s in the 1/4 with his V6 on nitrous.

You can make the 3.8's fast, but it will cost you about as much money as it would for a V8 swap. If not more. Unless you're dead set on building a V6 you should just swap a V8 in it.
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Old 06-06-2016, 02:25 AM   #8
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Thank you so much for all your imput. I thought it might be a relatively poor use of his money, since as most of you pointed out, you could just get a V8 for cheaper or wait and get a better setup in something else. I just wasn't sure if it was more resilient or feasible than I originally thought. I appreciate all your imput!

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Old 06-06-2016, 02:26 AM   #9
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His price range is pretty flexible, so I'm sure he can find something that he likes that's worth getting and makes sense.

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Old 07-13-2016, 05:36 PM   #10
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The 3.8L v6 is the strongest of the 3 engine blocks that came in the new edge. The only one stronger is the 2000 cobra R's 5.4 iron block. These blocks have seen 1600hp and they have never been cracked from too much power. Only bad and lean tunes. Now the stock un-opened motor can handle 350rwhp assuming the motor was taken care of. Super six has everything your buddy would need in building one of these. The 3.8 weighs 340lbs. That is with accessories and oil. The coyote weighs 411 without oil or accessories. The 4v4.6 weights mid 400lbs and the iron blocks for the 4.6's weigh more. Im personally going stroker v6 because a coyote swap runs you 15-20g. The 5.4 is too heavy in my opinion and i personally enjoy the sound of mine with flowmaster 440's and a side exit exhaust. My car and keep up with and beat most gt's i find on the road. And all I have is a cai plus exhaust right now. Engine still shifts at 6500 while kept in drive.
For the money you spend you will be in more money spent going v8 because you are going to need to do internals in them as well and fi so same boat along with the fact that you will be paying minimum of 2g more for a v8 car than i will have spent on my v6. Also after 600hp the 2v heads suck. It would be better to go 4v head swap as soon as he buys the gt. There again he will be spending more money.

But it all comes down to personal decision. Not many like the exhaust note of the v6's. Mine somehow sounds like similar to a v8 except more of a exotic low displacement v8 rip sound. I also enjoy the way a built v6 looks with the 90degree elbow intake. My car is also being torn down right now for cornering so the weight is a big deal for me. But if you do a 4.3 stroker with 10:1 compression. Stage 3 p&p heads and intake. Put on the windstar intake, and 94-98 exhaust manifolds (resemble and flow like shorties). He will have 300-320rwhp. And his car will be roughly 200lbs lighter than the others (this number is with the t5)

But hey its his choice.

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