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Discussion Starter #1
Hello Community. I have a 96 mustang gt manual trans. I want to replace the engine and want to know what route I should take. Ideally I dont want to spend more than 3000 including labor if possible. I would like the car to get running sooner than later which is why I was thinking taking it to a shop unless you all agree someone with some background in cars could do it. Thoughts please
 

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If you hunt around a little bit, you may be able to find a reasonably low mileage engine from a Crown Victoria, Mercury Marquis, Lincoln Town Car, or other similar cars, ideally from model years 1999-2012.... The later the model, the better, of course.
They typically cost $1000 or less, depending upon the current demand for them in your area.

I think that replacing a engine is completely within the skill level of practicality anyone with a mechanical aptitude, a willingness to learn along the way, a decent collection of hand tools, the ability to acquire larger tools (Engine hoist, jack stands, etc.).

As far as time goes, it really depends... Someone with a little experience, who has replaced a few engines before, with some help from a friend, could probably do the job over a weekend. That is if all of the necessary tools and parts are there, and everything goes smoothly.... It doesn't necessarily always go that way every time though.
If you are pressed for time, like need to start driving the car to work, or something like that, a reliable shop will likely get the car done much faster than a novice.
 

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04-up engine out of a Crown Vic/Grand Marquis/Towncar. Have the shop swap over your accessories and buy a new FRPP intake from Latemodel Restoration. Old plastic intakes have a tendency to warp and leak at this age. The shop will need to drill and tap the sensor boss on the PI intake for the 2nd temp sensor on 96-98 cars, super easy.

The engine is a direct drop in once the Mustang timing cover and accessories are swapped over which they would be doing anyway. No tuning needed or anything. You should also make sure the shop does new plugs and Motorcraft plug wires (you can get them on Rockauto still).

That's literally it. You can pay about $500 for one of those 2V engines, $275 for the intake and then like another $100 for plugs/wires/filters/fluids. That'll leave you over $2k to pay the shop which shouldn't be that much because a Mustang engine is about the simplest damn engine in the world to swap.

www.car-part.com to find a junkyard near you that has engines you need.


I also 100% agree with stray, its super easy to swap engines in these cars. Disconnect wiring, take out the exhaust, pull the driveshaft, remove the hood and then its like 4 bolts/nuts and you pull the motor out of the top with a cherry picker. New engine is just swapping all your Mustang specific parts onto the Vic engine and dropping it right back in and hooking everything up. You can also look up the 4V swap if you are feeling real froggy. Did that to mine and its almost a 100% drop in. Its like 95% for a 99-04 model and damn near 100% for a 96-98 model.
 

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I couldn't remember, and I was too lazy to look. :hide:

Did all of the cars get Power Improved heads in 1999? Or was it just the Mustang?
And all of the spark plug hole threads were changed by 2004, correct?
99 were the Mustangs. 01 for everything else. 04 was the final revision 8 thread plugs. I have 4 thread plugs in my 99 4V and I spin it to 7000+ all the time and 0 issues. Blowouts are from dip****s who don't use anti seize and a torque wrench. Also my 99 engine had 52k on it when I got it and had what looked like original OEM Platinums in it so I was likely the first person to ever change them and I for damn sure did it correctly.

To the OP, there are going to be some very low mileage engines out there, but don't pay like $1200 for one. You can get PI engines with low miles for $600-$800 if you look. I'm talking sub 50k out of a Marquis that some old person had and the family sold off in an estate sale. That is how I got the 4V 52k mile engine I got, it came out of a Continental that was only worth like $4k after all maintenance was done so the family junked it. I still have the video from the yard of the engine running in the original car lol.

Oh... also... try not to get a Vic motor... usually those were cop cars especially the newer ones and cop car engines have a TON of idle time on them=bad. Marquis or Towncar are the better options.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
will I have to do any modifications since I have a manual trans? Also, are there any headers you would recommend I install when dropping in the new engine?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
also when you say replace accessories, which do you mean exactly? Should the timing cover be replaced with the chain?
 

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I had planned on doing the Coyote swap in my 2000 GT, but I finally broke down and got a new a 2014 Saleen. The link below has some good info and different options also. Good luck on this project and let us know what route you go! And by accessories, it is all of the stuff that bolt to the front of the engine, like the Alternator, Air Con, Power Steering, etc, that are different on your Mustang.


Mustang Engine Swap Guide - Take Your Powerplant To The Next Level - 5.0 Mustang & Super Fords Magazine
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks!
I found a town car engine for 500 that im planning to pick up Wednesday. I figured I should swap the exhaust manifold for headers also? Any suggestions?
 

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Towncar engine is the same engine as your car as long as its a 2001 or up.

You swap over your mustang front cover and accessories. Keep your stock manifolds from your Mustang, shorties gain 0 and break/rust. The cast iron stock manifolds are not restrictive and might as well be bomb proof.

Just put the towncar engine and mustang engine on stands next to each other and strip the towncar engine down to a longblock and then make it look like the Mustang engine with the mustang parts. Easy.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I currently have straight h pipe flowmasters on the car. So just order stock exhaust manifolds instead of headers?

---------- Post added at 01:32 PM ---------- Previous post was at 01:32 PM ----------

I currently have straight h pipe flowmasters on the car. So just order stock mustang exhaust manifolds instead of headers?
 

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There isn't a tremendous performance gain by using long tube headers, but, by far, the easiest time to install them is during an engine swap.
If you do decide to install a set of headers, I recommend purchasing the highest quality set that you can afford. A cheap set will likely cause nothing but problems. That is no place to be "frugal"!
You will have to decide if the cost is worth any power gains, or exhaust sound that you would like to achieve.
 

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I currently have straight h pipe flowmasters on the car. So just order stock exhaust manifolds instead of headers?

---------- Post added at 01:32 PM ---------- Previous post was at 01:32 PM ----------

I currently have straight h pipe flowmasters on the car. So just order stock mustang exhaust manifolds instead of headers?
Manifolds from your current engine swap over... not sure why you'd order new stock manifolds unless yours are broken... Also un-straight pipe it, at least an OR H or X. Straight piped flows sound like **** TBTH... the loudest cars are so often the slowest...

There isn't a tremendous performance gain by using long tube headers, but, by far, the easiest time to install them is during an engine swap.
If you do decide to install a set of headers, I recommend purchasing the highest quality set that you can afford. A cheap set will likely cause nothing but problems. That is no place to be "frugal"!
You will have to decide if the cost is worth any power gains, or exhaust sound that you would like to achieve.
That said... spending $2k on a set of Kooks stuff plus another $500-$800 on a legit stainless exhaust on what is likely a $3-$5k car is a bit much. If there isn't a lot of road salt or crud a set of BBKs will work or what I'm doing is the Pacesetter armorcoat ones with the Pacesetter mid pipe and a better catback. Will run me about a grand and going to do it when I overhaul the front end next spring. Its not the best but it'll work and it'll fit well. There is 0 road salt here, it barely drops to freezing dead winter at night and that's rare. I swear I want to retire here... beautiful weather, cheap to live, amazing people and legit some of the hottest women you'll ever see. Hell my goddamn veterinarian is hot and the cashier at the supermarket tonight was a solid 8/10. I dunno what is in the water here but damn I'm married lol.

Ok back on topic...

To OP, just get the engine in the car and running well. Worry about mods later. Honestly there isn't much in the way of mods you can do for power besides an actual power adder like a supercharger or nitrous. "Cold air", pullies, whatever don't do ****. Longtubes add probably 15rwtq but mainly worth it for the sound. Suspension is the big thing you should be working on. These cars are pushing 20 years old now, the ENTIRE suspension should be replaced at this point even if its with OEM stuff. The difference in driving around a stock suspension car vs one that has a nice setup is crazy.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Great thanks for the added tips guys. I currently didnt have cats on the car. Just an H pipe hooked to the manifolds. Is there a suspension system you would recommend?
 

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Depends how much you want to spend. Budget? Good set of springs, Koni shocks/struts, MM caster/camber plates, MM lower control arms, new OEM upper control arms, replace upper control arm axle bushings, Steed subframe connectors and a good set of wheels/tires.

More money? Coilovers all around and replace the **** 4 link rear suspension with a 3 link or do an IRS swap with a Full Tilt rebuild.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
04-up engine out of a Crown Vic/Grand Marquis/Towncar. Have the shop swap over your accessories and buy a new FRPP intake from Latemodel Restoration. Old plastic intakes have a tendency to warp and leak at this age. The shop will need to drill and tap the sensor boss on the PI intake for the 2nd temp sensor on 96-98 cars, super easy.
I ordered a $400 engine to arrive at my house tomorrow and I'm going to swap it in with a friend. It is an 04 grand marquis engine with 75k miles. Im assuming I should order spark plugs and wires from that year and model right? I originally had coil packs on the mustang.

As far as swapping accessories, on my list I have oil pan, timing cover, alternator, and power steering pump. Is there anything else needed to swap? Is there any other suggested maintenance on this new engine while its out?

I broke off a few bolts from the old exhaust manifolds because they were so rusted out which is why I wanted to know the best route for replacing them if suggested. Im going to hold on suspension until I actually get the car running. I know I'll be needing brakes too because they are so rusty. Car has been sitting for 4 years in the garage
 

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Plugs yes, that engine should have Coil Packs also. Make sure you take your time on the plugs put a light coat of anti-seize on the threads and Torque to 11-13 lb/ft, these engines are known to spit out improperly installed Plugs which could result in $100 to $800 repair bill. I speak from experience :(
 

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The 04 Town Car engine should be a Coil On Plug (COP) ignition system where every spark plug has it's own individual coil. You can just use the coil pack ignition currently on your engine.
You can have a look at the timing chain tensioners while the timing covers are removed to see if they are worn and need replacing.
Other than that, I can't think of anything else that hasn't already been mentioned in this thread.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
The 04 Town Car engine should be a Coil On Plug (COP) ignition system where every spark plug has it's own individual coil. You can just use the coil pack ignition currently on your engine.
You can have a look at the timing chain tensioners while the timing covers are removed to see if they are worn and need replacing.
Other than that, I can't think of anything else that hasn't already been mentioned in this thread.
So it really doesnt matter what ignition system I use? If coil packs are cheaper and wont affect anything then I might stick to that instead of coil on plugs packs. I think the coil pack system was cheaper from what I was looking at.
 

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Yes. The newer engine will run just fine using the coil packs from your existing engine.
And for the sake of not making it too complicated, I recommend using the coil packs since that is what your car came equipped with originally.

The 04 engines are basically the same as what you have in your car. They just have a little more horsepower, and there are minor differences such as the ignition, intake manifold, and possibly the flywheel.... But as far as the ignition goes, the engine just needs spark, it generally isn't too particular how it gets it.
 
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