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Old 09-10-2010, 10:52   #1 (permalink)
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Question 1990 Thunderbird engine swap

I have a 1990 Thunderbird with a 3.8L. I am wondering if I can take that engine from the 1990 and swap it into a 1996 T-Bird that came with a 4.6L?
The 3.8L has 38000 original miles so I would love to keep it, just want to know it it is an easy swap or will major mods need to be done? I can get the 96 that has a bad motor for pennies. Thanks for any assistance.
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Old 09-10-2010, 12:21   #2 (permalink)
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Re: 1990 Thunderbird engine swap

Major mods. major problems if you ever get it to work. Not recommended. You will even have to modify the front suspension because of the different engine weights. the steering will not be right either.
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Old 09-11-2010, 06:50   #3 (permalink)
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frown Re: 1990 Thunderbird engine swap

Thanks for the advice chipset, I did not realize it would be that much of a Hassle. I have owned 8 T-birds most being 94-96 with the 4.6L motor. I know that both the 3.8 and 4.6 motors were available for many years. Thought it would be a easy swap. On to plan B, Saving up for a fully restored 1955!!
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Old 11-17-2010, 22:25   #4 (permalink)
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Re: 1990 Thunderbird engine swap

Something to think about is are you in an Emissions state? If so the old engine in a new car may not be legal, with this is the 94+ were EEC-V and EDIS ignition. It would mean transferring the ECU and wiring harness and sensors to the newer car. I agree with chipset, not easily done.
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Old 04-15-2011, 11:20   #5 (permalink)
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confused Re: 1990 Thunderbird engine swap

I have a 1990 with a 3.8 as well... not supercharged and red in color. Just dropped 2,200 into the rear suspension. IRS (indipendent rear suspension) is nice to have but man is it costly... 42?.00 and 49?.00 for the knuckles with bearings in the rear? come on ford you can make prices lower than that... LOL Needless to say I plan on keeping this one for a while... just talked to another previous t-bird owner that said theirs would get up and go... mine on the other hand is sluggish on take off but once it's moving it goes decently fast... Is this a transmission issue or rear end issue? also I'm thinging about getting the supercharger for it... would it be worth it to do that and if i go factory SC it's not that big of a hassle to do the change over is it?
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Old 07-20-2011, 19:14   #6 (permalink)
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Re: 1990 Thunderbird engine swap

I have no clue why you would want a 3.8 swapped into it. if you do any engine swap do a mark 8 4.6 or super coupe 3.8. it wouldnt be worth the money you would have to invest into the swap
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