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V6 (1994-2004) Mustangs Technical discussions on the 3.8L and 3.9L V6 torque monsters
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Old 12-10-2012, 03:27 PM   #21
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you won't ever make 390 n/a
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Old 12-11-2012, 01:45 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by Ironhandx View Post
A 5k 4.2 swap is going to be making a lot more than 215 RWHP. You'll be in the ~290 range.

A 8k stroker gets you 320+ NA. If you put 20k into the car which gets you into the range of the 3.7's total price though, you can have it turbo'd to ~500 RWHP(plus suspension and all sorts of extra goodies that will be better than the new car) and smoke the new GT's. By a fair margin because you're so much lighter

500 is a fairly easily achieved figure btw. You can pick up an entire cobra fuel system, injectors to tank, fairly cheap(less than $500 some cases). Brakes for another $1400. Suspension $1500(or 5k if you're like me and go with a very-built IRS), engine for 7500-8k, MAF etc and used turbo for around another 3k... and you've got ~4-5k left over for various other oddities and labour before you reach your 20k.

The figure on how much lighter is ~4-600 lbs, which is enough to make your 500 horse equivalent to ~600 horse on the GT, which only actually has 420.

The ability to smoke a 2013 GT in a 2003 V6 is almost priceless however.
I concur if you have 5k to spend on a forged everything all out 4.2 stroke assembly, then good for you. Most people I see just take the top end out of a ranger. The super six kit making 290 is not a basic 4.2 swap; it has ported and polished everything, better compression, racing cam, and so on. Going back to my original point, while I can see the fun in doing something like this, I still don't see a good reason to not just build the 3.8 with forged internals and boost/nitrous. The 4.2 by its-self won't make a huge difference without all the mods you could have just done to the 3.8 without the hassles of a swap. Removing the top end is a lot easier and cheaper then completely replacing the engine with a different engine altogether. The extra money saved from the swap could pay for nitrous or go towards boosting your built 3.8. I say a 3.8 smoking GT's is even more satisfying than a 4.2 doing it. Don't get me wrong- I'm not being argumentative, I just think if you're gonna spend that kind of money anyways you may as well spend it on the engine you bought or sell your car and buy one with a better engine.

Last edited by Juan Lopez; 12-11-2012 at 01:50 PM.
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Old 12-11-2012, 01:52 PM   #23
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you won't ever make 390 n/a
340 rwh is the max I have seen on an 01-04 3.8 mustang n/a (it was a pretty straightforward gas-guzzler build). I would bet the 4.2 might could hit 390 with a crapton of investment in the internals and a good tune.
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Old 12-17-2012, 09:40 PM   #24
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I'm just curious as to how you guys figure the 4.6 is junk.....? Don't get all hostel Lol just the first time I've read/heard that before.... Lol because when I see a cop car or a taxi and so forth get the holy **** beat out of them day in day out, all I think is man those cars take a beating! Then get retired at 150k-200k and get driven by taxi company's in small town or the avg. joe for another 100k...... I'm missing where "junk" fits in with all that.... And some of the HP numbers some put up with the 4.6 given the fact that its not a huge displacement engine. I'm confused....
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Old 12-17-2012, 09:49 PM   #25
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Ok soo I may have read that a little wrong BUT to the average person the 4.6 still puts down decent power.... Even A decent charger on it can make it run with 95% of anything you will usually come across out there in the wild... For under $5k...

I know as well it's no super hero lol but sorry, first time I read that I was like WHOA I must be missing something! Carry on!
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Old 12-17-2012, 10:08 PM   #26
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3.8 or 4.2 ford motor with no boost and nitrous - won't ever make 390 rwhp, it won't ever make 320rwhp.

4.6 is alright, in the v8 world its junk though....


YOU need boost or spray to make good power.
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Old 12-18-2012, 10:46 AM   #27
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The reason people say the 4.6 is junk is because, asside from the 4V and 3V motors, they don't respond very well to mods and generally require a large investment to make good power. The other, and much more major problem, is that the internals are crap and can only handle low to mild boost. Example a 99/01 Cobra can only run a maximum of 9 PSI, and even that gets hairy, before the internals are at risk of going. The only 4.6 that doesn't have this problem are the 03/04 Cobras as they have forged internals.

So the 4.6L is decent out the box, but is a real turd when it comes to modding as it really is hampered by the crappy internals.
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Old 12-18-2012, 11:42 AM   #28
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Ok I've got a grasp on it now! Thanks guys!
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Old 12-18-2012, 12:16 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by jthorn9 View Post
The reason people say the 4.6 is junk is because, asside from the 4V and 3V motors, they don't respond very well to mods and generally require a large investment to make good power. The other, and much more major problem, is that the internals are crap and can only handle low to mild boost. Example a 99/01 Cobra can only run a maximum of 9 PSI, and even that gets hairy, before the internals are at risk of going. The only 4.6 that doesn't have this problem are the 03/04 Cobras as they have forged internals.

So the 4.6L is decent out the box, but is a real turd when it comes to modding as it really is hampered by the crappy internals.
Actually, I was talking about them being under-powered, having crappy power-bands, crappy transmissions, and (expected) crappy handling. I can think of plenty of other 8 cylinders I would rather have than a 4.6 mustang.
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Old 12-18-2012, 12:30 PM   #30
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The others on this list are brimming with the expertise to get you through this upgrade. In my opinion, the bigger question is whether you should do the project with this car. A quick look at Kelley Blue Book indicates your care is worth roughly $3,400-$4,800 (You can refine this since you know the car.) Rebuilding your motor or converting the car to another motor can easily cost this much, 1/2 if you are very frugal. Stroking the 3.8 won't get that much extra power so if you want v8 power, you'll need to boost it.--More thousands of dollars!

I suggest selling the car and adding some of the thousands you were going to spend and get something that is all ready to go-a GT for instance. With a car like that you can get the cost of the upgrade back in increased resale value, unlike a 2000 v6 with mods.
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