Over the next few days I'm going to be doing some research and sticky this thread so any one looking to do the swap can get a good amount of information in one place and also so those lurkers out there that are afraid to ask questions can still get some answers. If anyone else has any good information to add just post it up here. PLEASE KEEP TH BULLSHIT OUT! Any off topic banter will immediately be removed.
To start things off, here is a good introduction write up by 5.0 Mustang and Super Fords.
Longtime readers may recall reading this story before. Swap stories are so popular we decided to rerun several in this issue.However, since we last ran this story, Doug Durham closed his business.The info in the story is still useful, of course.
The obvious question surrounding a V-8 swap into a four-cylinder Mustangis, why would you want to do it? After all, there are plenty of used 5.0Mustangs for sale in the paper and trader mags, so why screw around witha lame four-banger and go to all the effort of performing an engine swap? Well, there are two reasons. The first is obviously price. Lesser Stangs are much cheaper to buy than comparable 5.0s. In fact, whileshopping for a four-cylinder car to use for a big-block swap, we'vefound acceptable ones as cheap as $200! But, after buying a decent 5.0engine and trans, and all the parts required to perform the swap, thecost factor is almost a push. There must be some other attrac- tion,right?
Here's one you might not have thought about--level of abuse. Because they're so much fun to drive hard, 5.0s are driven hard--real hard. And because of that, the torque boxes get torn up, the body flexes and sometimes cracks, and overall, the car just gets beat on. And that's just the chassis. It's really a crap shoot whether or not the engine is mortally wounded. Now think about the typical drivers of four- or six-cylinder Mustangs. They ease away from stoplights, gently slow down for corners, and never, ever do five-grand clutch drops. Essentially,they never do anything to stress the car. They're wimps, by and large,but that means the basic cars are usually sound (assuming they haven't crashed them). And even if they do drive these cars hard, an 88hp 2.3Lis unlikely to hurt the torque boxes or twist anything more sturdy than a cereal box.
Swapping a 5.0 into the space once occupied by a four- or six-cylinder is not a huge deal, but it requires some effort in obtaining all thecorrect parts, especially the little bits you wouldn't normally think of. Once you've found the four- or six-cylinder car, the next chore is to find the engine, the trans, the 8.8 rearend, the 5.0 wiring harness(if going EFI), the MAP sensor, the computer, the vacuum canister, and a dozen other parts.Normally, the easiest way to do this is to buy a complete wrecked 5.0. Concerning the transmission, this story will show a five-speed application; if you want to use an automatic, it's much easier to start with an automatic car so you don't have to deal with swapping the pedals and such. As for the rearend, you don't have to get an 8.8 right away,but be aware that the four- and six-cylinder cars have the weak 7.5,which will not live long behind even a stock 5.0.
Engine: Of course if you’re going to put a V8 in you first have to get one. There are many routes to go from build it yourself to used (scrap yard) motors to crate engines. Just be sure you know what you are getting, check the year of the motor, what type of shape it is in, history, and how many of the peripheral pieces come with it. Many of these little extra items can save headaches in the long run.</P>
Balance: To get the correct flywheel and harmonic damper, the balance of your engine must be known. Basically pre-81 302s have the 'early' imbalance of 28 oz.-in. If the 302 is 82 and later it will be 50 oz.-in. imbalance. WARNING: rotating parts such as the damper, flywheel, and crank cannot be mixed between the two systems without having the entire reciprocating assembly rebalanced.</P>
Fuel Pump: Fuel injected motors or cars have electric fuel pumps. That means if your motor came from an FI car a mechanical type pump (for carb.) will not work unless you change the timing cover or if you have a FI car and using a carb'd motor a new pump will be required that is low pressure (less than 15 psi) along with a regulator.</P>
Oil Pan: Fox chassis cars use rear sump oil pans, so basically there are four options depending on what type of engine you are going with. First, if you are going with anything other that a small block (i.e. 351C, 400M, 460 cid) you must use a conversion kit type pan. Second, for a race type application go with an aftermarket pan that has baffles of some sort. Third, for an engine that has the oil dipstick that goes into the drivers side of the block any fox body 302 oil pan will work, for a 351 use the Ford Racing Performance Parts (FRPP) pan. Last, on a 302 that the dipstick originally entered the engine on the timing cover (front sump), the factory 78-about 81/82 oil pans have the dipstick enter on the drivers side of the pan (see picture) which makes them the hot setup for putting an older 302 into a later model.
Distributor and Ignition: If you start with a car that already has the Duraspark II system then you are miles ahead. If not follow the "Ford Duraspark II Ignition System" tech article on this website to hook it up. The basic components needed are the ignition module, any coil, and a distributor. Use the '85 Mustang stick shift distributor with a roller cam, other wise any '74-'84 Ford distributor will work (except FI distributors). Don't go the points route unless you enjoy changing the points every 3,000 miles. One last option for a hi-po street or strip car is the aftermarket parts - MSD, Mallory, or Accel all are good choices.</P>
Wiring Harness: For a carb'd car the only things necessary to have it run are compression, gas, and spark, everything else is extra. Same goes for the wiring harness - all you need is a hot wire to make the ignition work.</P>
Radiator: There were 2 different factory radiators commonly used in garden variety Mustangs. One was smaller, top / bottom tank design used on early 4 cylinder cars, usually mounted using a sheet metal extension to get the radiator closer to the engine. The second was a 2 core cross flow design. The cross flow design will work on a mild 302 if it is in decent shape. Don’t even try the smaller it isn’t big enough. For any type of high performance application get a new 3-core copper or aluminum radiator. Also always run a thermostat - engines will have dramatically less wear and perform better at the correct operating temperature.</P>
Accessories: There are a ton of different ways to go here. Obviously if this comes with the donor engine it is the easiest. Since there are so many different variations these are the guidelines - 1) make sure you spin the water pump and fan the correct direction (V-belts are always clockwise), 2) The 4-cylinder alternator will work on your V8 w/ the correct brackets, 3) 302 & 351 brackets are not interchangeable, 4) If starting from scratch just go to the junkyard and get what you need, 5) Pulleys out of alignment will not only reduce belt life but also cost extra horsepower, 6) clutch fans use less power than standard type fans, 7) both the dowel pin and bolt circle pattern are smaller on the standard rotation water pumps vs. the reverse rotation water pumps.</P>
Bellhousing: This depends on the transmission your are using but the 4 basic ones are the standard transmission bellhousing for a T5, standard transmission for the SROD or Toploader 4-speed, the auto bellhousing for a C4, and the auto bellhousing for the AOD. Other combos are different still such as the Tremec. The best way is to get the bellhousing with the tranny if possible. Remember that for a stick and quarter mile time faster than 12.00 seconds most tracks require a scatter shield or blowproof bellhousing.</P>
Transmission: Once again the options are wide open. For a light duty application the T5 from a 4-cylinder or a SROD are the cheapest overdrive options, just don't plan on using slicks, dumping the clutch, power-shifting, or going faster than 14.0 in the quarter with these. Other options include the AOD, T5, Tremec, C4, and the Toploader.</P>
Special Notes on Using C4 Trannies: I do not know much about automatic transmission but can say that be careful when getting a C4 for a Mustang. Ford changed many things over the years including input spline count, pans, fill tube location, servos, and shifter direction for column or floor mount. Be sure to choose what is best for your application and trial fit everything.</P>
Driveshaft: A V8 will require a shorter driveshaft than all the other factory engine combos. There are basically 3 factory driveshaft lengths available. The longest is the 4-cylinder 4-speed or C4 driveshaft with a 7.5"
if the 4cyl is auto and ur goin to 5spd
the hole in the trans tunnel is to small and needs to be cut out
take the steering wheel out to swap pedal,,makes life happier
notch the holes on pedal mount,and reem out top one
move speedo cable over and run clutch cable thru
suggest if u do it locate battery somehwere else
u might want to swap out for a nice k-member,but the stock 4cyl one works
also make sure when u put starter wire to starter the little tabs sticking off of that dont ground to the starter,cause it took me a week to figure it out,,i just bent mine off,ill add more aswell if i remember more
i found when i asked jegs,summit other owners they ALL recommended the 1900 dollar aeromotive kit witch is nice but i couldnt afford that,,,so off the search went,,i couldnt find anything stock related,so i decided to craft my own,maby not the best but if ur lookin for a 700 dollar fuel system this is it
1.grannatelli tank insert-0467GMTI7998 $ 100
2.Billit fuel filter,,,probly overkill,0555150070 $ 60
3.255lph walbro pump 0555159001 $ 130
4.pump fittings to 8AN,need 2,0555159008 $12
5.coupler reducer 10AN-8AN 0799640560 $16
(u will aslo need 8ANfemale-8ANmale) $10
6.efi adapter to stock rail 6AN return rus-640870 $15
7.efi adapter 8AN feed rus-640883 $20
8.hose end 6AN u will need 2 rus-610020 $12
9.hose end 8AN u will need 6 rus-610030 $60
10.proflex hose 20ft 8AN rus-632140 $105
11.proflex hose 20ft 6AN rus-632090 $87
ull notice that i steped down to 8AN,,,i figure if i made the jump to 10AN id duel pump and get different rails,,,,this is for stock rails,this is exactly what i have in my stang,its an affordable fuel system,,,MAKE SURE U GET 20FT or more because my 8AN line made it there with about a foot to spare,
also dont cheap out on a radiator,,,i first had a carbed v8 auto and had a crap radator before i knew it the thing overheated and poped the headgasket,,buy a good one and run electric fans,,,clutch fans suck,,mine never worked,so if u can buy a 3 core,if u have a stock v8 radiator for a manuel,ull be ok but atleast get the fans.
If your doing a Factory Style Serpentine Belt Set Up and the car is
an 87 to 93 style,you will need to locate and change the Headlamp/Signal/Marker
Lamp wire harness from a V8 car.The Wire Harness that connects to the
Alternator is located on opposite side,the 2.3 cars are on the Left Side and the
5.0 are on the Right.You could lengthen the Alt.Connector if you have to but
replacing the Harness gives you a cleaner look.Two other items,you need to
replace the Tach with a V8 unit,the rest of the instrumentation is the same.
Finally if your going Mass Air with an A9L Computer you can install a light
bulb in the dash for the "Check Engine",their is place in the cluster already
and is wired,this applies only to the 87/88 models,anything 89 n newer has
im currently doing a 5.0 swap. i have a 88 gt doner car and a 93 4cyl . can i make the 88 MAF ? and what does EFI mean? i dont know much about motors im learning as i go with this car so im sorry if i ask alot of questions. thanks
Don't be afraid to ask...it's better to ask first then to wing it and break something!(ask me how I know lol) Yes you can run a MAF set up with that 88 5.0, you need a different computer, different harness, and a MAF. EFI means Electronic Fuel Injection, meaning that the motor has a throttle body that only regulates the amount of air that's going in, and injectors in the intake manifold are where the fuel comes from. This whole process is run by your car's computer and is much different then the old school carb set up where the air is mixed with the fuels right in the carb and delivered to the cylinders via the intake manifold.
im pretty sure u can upgrade the harness with the pig tale,,mine is an 86 lx speed density harness and i converted it so u may want to look into that,,its 4 wires and about 2 hours of your time.then u just need computer and mass air,im gonna put up pics and more info about my car soon,,,for your brake system,,,,,the brake boosters are the same for the 4cyl and v8 hatchbacks,but different for the convertable and gt's,,,,on that note,make sure u check if not replace it while your motor is out as it is a very tight fit.