Old style engine and tranny swap - Ford Mustang Forum
 
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Old 09-08-2015 Thread Starter
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Old style engine and tranny swap

I have a 1996 Mustang with a tired 3.8 and a wimpy 4 speed auto. I'm not a fan of modular V-8's and fuel injection, but I love old school performance. So, I'm looking at converting a 302 (5.0) to a 289 and installing a beefy C4 auto to back it up. I already expect that I will have issues with Hood clearance especially since I plan on using a high rise intake. Now my question is, what problems can I expect to run into? Will I need a new cross member and will I need a custom made driveshaft?

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Old 09-08-2015
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How would you make a 302 smaller? I know that a 302 is basically a bored and stroked 289, so I guess you would just use the shorter connecting rods from a 289? And then it still wouldn't be a 289 anyway.... Maybe just use a 302 and call it good?

It's a huge project, I'm sure it can be done though. IMO, it would be much more worthwhile to go with a 408 Windsor and make some actual power, this project is a lot of work for "just" a 302.

Only thing I'm aware of that might be readily available is a K member for a 94/95 GT; that will allow a 302/351 based engine to essentially drop right in. Trans crossmember for a C4, I'm sure somebody makes one for SN95 chassis but couldn't tell ya who. Custom driveshaft should be anticipated, although once you're at the point where the engine/trans are bolted in you can get some measurements and then see what your options are.

Just curious, but whats with the aversion to mod motors? Scared of OHC engines?



2001 GT Convertible
/1967 Coupe
All the usual bolt-on's /200 I6, C4

And a few Explorers too... 2008 4.0 XLT 4x2, 1996 XLT 5.0 4x2, 2003 Sport Trac XLT 4.0 4x4
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Converting a 302 to a 289? Even if you could, it would be a horrible idea, why give up cubic inches?

86+ 302 roller motor with stock HO cam will happily run a 4bbl carb.

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Old 09-08-2015 Thread Starter
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Lots of interesting questions. Okay, why a set up like this? I love old engines and I would prefer a 66 Gt coupe with a 289. My dad had one a sold it to support my mom and I. So, out love for my dad, I want to build something kind of Retro. Something no one else is doing at the same time. And to tell the truth, the I have a love for old tech like this. It's what I know. Still know how to time them by ear. And the 4.8 doesn't have that feel that I love. I know a modular would be easier, but it's not me. And if I have learned anything in my lifetime, it's all about the love you put into them.
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289 and 351 share the same 28oz balance where the 302 has a 50oz balance.

Just get a 289 and drop it in. Converting a 302 to a 289 is alot of extra work and money for the end result.

As for dropping a carb'd motor in a Foxbody, everyone that can has and the rest of us pinned down by e-testing can't.

If anything, look for an older car if you don't want any tech, I'd rather have the plainest 6cyl automatic 64 1/2-68 than any Foxbody.

1988 Mustang LX coupe will miss you greatly
traded for:
2004 Mazda 6s 5 door Sport w/5spd/3.0/RX8wheels/Kon/Eibach/and then some

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True that. But this one of those moments that my heart is set on this. Motor is all figured out and I plan on building it myself. Done several Chevy small blocks including a 1965 283 and this will be my first Ford. Lot of work, yes. Worth it, you dang skippy..Just need specs to make it work. And Retro is Beauty's them. Might even see about an 8-track player for her. Like I said, it's all about the love of hot rodding.
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Old 09-09-2015
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Imo this is a waist of time and money but I am a big supporter of building your car the way u want it and not what others think is cool. Do u have to smog this car? U know a gt stock most likely will beat u right?
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Old 09-09-2015 Thread Starter
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Actually, I know a few things that has almost been lost to history. I learned engine tech from my dad who was building them in the 70's and a moonshiner from the 50's. So stock gt, huh? And in my opinion, building your own is awesome. You choose the way it goes together and it's not the typical cookie cutter hot rod late model mustang. I'm already incorporating ideas from the two people I mentioned including things that I have learned since 1996. I would love to do the things I am doing to a 60's mustang, but good luck finding one that hasn't already been messed with. Out of frustration, I have already made some phone calls and got the information I needed. I apologize for wasting your time. However, as the project comes together I will be posting pictures so you can see the progress. As for smog it's not an issue where I live, but even if it was Holly and Edelbrock offer smog controlled 4-bbl.
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Old 09-09-2015
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With the C4, you may need to modify the frame where the shifter comes into the cabin. Not sure but something to consider.

A driveshaft is a must, couldn't tell ya what dimensions.

If you are going this far, buy a Tubular K-member made for a pushrod, it will be the best $400ish you spend on this project. Don't waste time with a 94-95 stock K-member...

One thing I did not see mentioned is the rear end. Your 7.5in right now will probably be ok but it might be worthwile to put an LSD in it. At that point, a used 8.8 from a GT won't be much more.

Sounds like your set on the 302-to-289..bummer but ok. This sounds more like a cruiser project more than anything...all of the guys commenting on this thread are out for speed so we can't really relate to ya there.

Good luck and keep us posted. you have a lot of work to do. Stripping the car is going to be a job in itself.

One other thing...How are you going to handle the cluster/gauges? Power steering? Power brakes? Assuming they will all be manual now...some other things to consider.

Matthew 26:52-54 / Go Pack Go!

1987 Mustang GT Hatchback - 2V Mod Swap In The Works

1997 Lincoln Town Car, PI Intake/Cams, Sofa-On-Wheels, "Fat Tony" we call it

2001 GT Convertible - D1SC / Geared / Cammed / 440wh 400wt - TOTALED 2/2019
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Old 09-10-2015 Thread Starter
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Now this is what's up. This is a combo project. We got to drive this everyday too. So, gas mileage is a must. I want to cruise it and if I want, I'll still be able to do some drag or street races. Now, using tips I got from some people and what was just posted above, the C4 should be no problem with something from B&M and a universal linkage kit. I did find the driveshaft is going to need to be custom. The C4 is shorter then the current transmission and the splines are different. But I found a shop that can do it with no problem and low cost. And since the C4 is shorter, a cross member just has to fit between the frame. I can drill the holes and mount it from there. The current rear end needs to be massaged anyways, so it's coming apart. A posi locker is what I'm thinking. The gauges I can go digital from Summit or Retro fit something else. Now,as it sits, Beauty tips the scale at over 4000 pounds. Using an upgraded suspension she will handle tighter and the loss of all the tech, she will be even better. Her light body makes her perfect for this build and even if I only go for 250 hp, she will hit very high speeds and not use that much gas. But I'm thinking 300 and we get smaller engines for more then that.

it's a matter of finding the right parts to make it all bolt up. And the coolest part is she will be easy to maintain. Not to shabby if you ask me. I got it all thought out I believe. Just got to start getting things together. Thanks for the tips. I so got what I need including people at the Ford dealership in Farmington, Mo.
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Oh, I forgot to mention power brakes run off the brake booster with less in the way I can use the stock one. Power steering only needs a pump so I just need hoses to match. All I need is the right heads and brackets and in some cases a welder and grinder. Fabbing brackets for me is no problem. This is where a build is so easy too.
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Old 09-10-2015
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If fuel economy and highway cruising are considerations then why not use a rebuilt or mildly built AOD? Should bolt right up to a 289/302 block and offer much improved driveability over a C4. My old car has a C4 and while it's definitely a proven transmission if I knew a way to stick an AOD behind my 200 I6 it would be getting done like yesterday.


2001 GT Convertible
/1967 Coupe
All the usual bolt-on's /200 I6, C4

And a few Explorers too... 2008 4.0 XLT 4x2, 1996 XLT 5.0 4x2, 2003 Sport Trac XLT 4.0 4x4
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Old 09-10-2015 Thread Starter
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I found it would cost me less to do my upgrades to the C4 and to be honest I trust the old three speeds more. Once again, you can tell I'm getting old and stubborn. However this is an option in that one case where I might want try something different. But for the moment, I feel a three speed is my best choice for cost, durability, and true enjoyment.
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Old 09-10-2015 Thread Starter
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And there is a way. You just haven't found it yet. Custom is cool.
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Old 09-12-2015
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A stock gt is what 425h.p now? I'm just saying that cars are getting pretty fast now and there just getting faster

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