3.8 -> 4.6l swap '94 Thunderbird LX
About 6 months ago I purchased a 1994 Thunderbird LX with a 4.6l, 80k miles for about $300.(American dollars.. yes.) after investing a little time and less money into the transmission it is mechanically a dream. It did burn very little oil originally (only at high RPMs really) but haven't noticed it at all after switching away from synthetic which they originally used.
Unfortunately the passenger side had suffered a sizeable collision, enough to consider the car totalled by the previous owner's insurance company. The damage covers a lot of area behind the door, has some creases so It will need replaced. The front end is suffering from bad ball joints, bushings and sway arm links. (replaced the front passenger side lower control arm, bushings and sway links after they failed completely) and the rear body mount brackets are rusted through. Everything except the body work would be a pretty simple, and fairly cheap fix, but im sure cutting out a section of the rear quarter, and reinstalling is both out of my expertise, and budget as it would cost well more than the car is worth.
a friend informed me of another 94 bird absolutely identical to mine, with immaculate interior and perfect body. but with a blown v-6, which the owner is willing to get rid of for about $100.
Since Im trying to do this on a budget Im curious how much a 3.8 to 4.6 swap on the other car using my bird as a donor would possibly cost.. I really don't feel like switching the PCM, harness, mounts etc. myself, and would much rather just save the headache and get it done somewhat quickly at a shop.
I've heard the transmission from the v6 should bolt up fine, is this true? will I suffer any loss in performance? I was hoping to do more with the drivetrain later this year (rear end, trans, chip, etc.)
How much front end work will I need to do really? My car needs struts, and front end work as it is. Can I get away with perhaps just swapping the coil springs and adjusting the steering accordingly? perhaps even swap the new control arm and links and and purchase the same for the other side on the new car as well.
Ive not really examined the other car too in depth, as its winter and we have about 6 inches of snow everywhere, so Im wondering also will I "have" to switch exhaust? Im wanting to wait until its a bit warmer to completely redo the exhaust and see no point in bolting on something Im just going to take off again in a couple months.
Any help would be appreciated, My old bird looks rough, but she runs like she just rolled off of line. too much soul in it to just let it run around looking jankety and busted