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Topic: 4.6l and tranny swap into my '88 T-bird (Read 1369 times) previous topic - next topic

4.6l and tranny swap into my '88 T-bird

Looking at my options here... i have a messed up AOD and kinda want my 4.6 and 4r75e that ive dropped so much cash into to marry and make me a nice little demon child to drive... Would it be possible to do the swap? if so, any suggestions on where to start?

If its not something that is feasible, do yall have suggestions on tranny problem fix, and for more power?  Im new to the platform and have only run the newer stuff... till now.

4.6l and tranny swap into my '88 T-bird

Reply #1
Quote from: Nathan88bird;463916
Looking at my options here... i have a messed up AOD and kinda want my 4.6 and 4r75e that ive dropped so much cash into to marry and make me a nice little demon child to drive... Would it be possible to do the swap? if so, any suggestions on where to start?

If its not something that is feasible, do yall have suggestions on tranny problem fix, and for more power?  Im new to the platform and have only run the newer stuff... till now.

nab a explorer motor and put springs and a cam in and nab a low mile aod from a junkyard and throw a shift kit in it. a 4.6 swap will require a lot more money, make less power and be a giant pain
88 Cougar
88 T-Bird
other cars that don't apply to this forum

4.6l and tranny swap into my '88 T-bird

Reply #2
Only 4.6 swap I remember was over on NATO.  If I remember details correctly, guy had a dying Turbo Coupe so bought a 5-speed, '00-something Stang as it's replacement that needed rear tires... He totaled it on the way to buy tires, so swapped the engine/trans and all the electronics into Bird... There were several pictures, no idea if they are still online but since you have the engine would be worth checking out...

Myself, I'd never swap a 4.6 into anything, but not all of us feel that way...

4.6l and tranny swap into my '88 T-bird

Reply #3
It will fit, its not much different then a 4.6 swap on a fox stang. I wouldn't mind seeing it done. If you already have the block and parts, I say go for it.

First thing though, mustsng motor mounts don't work with the stock k-member. I would probably swap to a tubular unit for more clearance, adjustability and to use stang mounts.

Wiring will have to be taken from either a donor car or wired up using a stand alone aftermarket job.

Everything else should pretty much go right in.
Quote from: jcassity
I honestly dont think you could exceed the cost of a new car buy installing new *stock* parts everywhere in your coug our tbird. Its just plain impossible. You could revamp the entire drivetrain/engine/suspenstion and still come out ahead.
Hooligans! 
1988 Crown Vic wagon. 120K California car. Wifes grocery getter. (junked)
1987 Ford Thunderbird LX. 5.0. s.o., sn-95 t-5 and an f-150 clutch. Driven daily and going strong.
1986 cougar.
lilsammywasapunkrocker@yahoo.com

4.6l and tranny swap into my '88 T-bird

Reply #4
I wouldn't bother unless it's a 32v 4.6

But since you already have the engine/trans.....
'84 and '87 Mustangs
'98 Explorer 5.0
'06 Lexus
'06 Explorer EB 4.6

4.6l and tranny swap into my '88 T-bird

Reply #5
I would suggest that you get a Fox Mustang k-member for a 4.6 motor as that will greatly help with the swap.  Mechanically this is an easy swap but electronically this is not for those that cannot use a DVM or wiring diagrams.  If this is your daily driver then you may want to back up and punt.  It sounds like your 4.6 is making good power if you have dropped some change into it so if it was me I would go for it but I enjoy a challenge.

83 351W TKO'd T-Bird on the bottle


93 331 Mustang coupe that beat your mom's LTD

4.6l and tranny swap into my '88 T-bird

Reply #6
So, would it be worth more my while if i just dropped a t-5 in and beefed up the 302? that would always be an option. there is a local guy selling an HO motor for 400$ i could nab and beef that up perhaps?

4.6l and tranny swap into my '88 T-bird

Reply #7
Quote from: Moonmount;463917
nab a explorer motor and put springs and a cam in and nab a low mile aod from a junkyard and throw a shift kit in it. a 4.6 swap will require a lot more money, make less power and be a giant pain

So, would it be worth more my while if i just dropped a t-5 in and beefed up the 302? that would always be an option. there is a local guy selling an HO motor for 400$ i could nab and beef that up perhaps?

4.6l and tranny swap into my '88 T-bird

Reply #8
Quote from: ThunderbirdSport302;463926
I wouldn't bother unless it's a 32v 4.6

But since you already have the engine/trans.....

Id love to drop a 32v 4.6 or even a coyote in it but my budget is a little too tight for that right now :/

4.6l and tranny swap into my '88 T-bird

Reply #9
Quote from: Aerocoupe;463930
I would suggest that you get a Fox Mustang k-member for a 4.6 motor as that will greatly help with the swap.  Mechanically this is an easy swap but electronically this is not for those that cannot use a DVM or wiring diagrams.  If this is your daily driver then you may want to back up and punt.  It sounds like your 4.6 is making good power if you have dropped some change into it so if it was me I would go for it but I enjoy a challenge.

I have a pal that works with wiring i think could handle it. Also, i have been dropping in parts from LMR so ive already taken care of the K-member!

4.6l and tranny swap into my '88 T-bird

Reply #10
Quote from: Haystack;463921
It will fit, its not much different then a 4.6 swap on a fox stang. I wouldn't mind seeing it done. If you already have the block and parts, I say go for it.

First thing though, mustsng motor mounts don't work with the stock k-member. I would probably swap to a tubular unit for more clearance, adjustability and to use stang mounts.

Wiring will have to be taken from either a donor car or wired up using a stand alone aftermarket job.

Everything else should pretty much go right in.

Ive dropped an adjustable k-member in from lmr, so thats taken care of. Also, the 4.6 and trans will be coming out of my '08 p71, the rear axle busted and figured i could just use that beast for the donor. I have the wiring and everything. Also, both the engine and trans have been rebuilt with better internals and last i checked it was pushing 301hp at the wheels( i plan on getting those numbers up) :hick:

4.6l and tranny swap into my '88 T-bird

Reply #11
Quote from: Nathan88bird;463932
So, would it be worth more my while if i just dropped a t-5 in and beefed up the 302? that would always be an option. there is a local guy selling an HO motor for 400$ i could nab and beef that up perhaps?

Honestly, it would be much easier.

Which motor and wiring is the car setup for now? If its already a 302/aod car, then its a bolt in swap with very few changes to drop in or covert to a h.o. motor.

Check out coolcats.net and do some reading.
Quote from: jcassity
I honestly dont think you could exceed the cost of a new car buy installing new *stock* parts everywhere in your coug our tbird. Its just plain impossible. You could revamp the entire drivetrain/engine/suspenstion and still come out ahead.
Hooligans! 
1988 Crown Vic wagon. 120K California car. Wifes grocery getter. (junked)
1987 Ford Thunderbird LX. 5.0. s.o., sn-95 t-5 and an f-150 clutch. Driven daily and going strong.
1986 cougar.
lilsammywasapunkrocker@yahoo.com

4.6l and tranny swap into my '88 T-bird

Reply #12
It’s not on the road but the motor swap is pretty much done.

http://www.foxtbirdcougarforums.com/showthread.php?33763-My-85-TBird

4.6 k member spaced 5/8” down under main rails 1/8” under lower mount. Modded rad support to fit 4.6 coolers. I modded the trans cross member mounts but I believe you can purchase a custom cross member. Custom drive shaft. Computer sent in to eliminate PATS and set up for a return type fuel system. Lots of things to consider, hood clearance, exhaust clearance, custom ac lines etc.

4.6l and tranny swap into my '88 T-bird

Reply #13
Quote from: bodyman;463938
It’s not on the road but the motor swap is pretty much done.

http://www.foxtbirdcougarforums.com/showthread.php?33763-My-85-TBird

4.6 k member spaced 5/8” down under main rails 1/8” under lower mount. Modded rad support to fit 4.6 coolers. I modded the trans cross member mounts but I believe you can purchase a custom cross member. Custom drive shaft. Computer sent in to eliminate PATS and set up for a return type fuel system. Lots of things to consider, hood clearance, exhaust clearance, custom ac lines etc.

What a great project bodyman! I would love to see it finished! Also, I have the mechanical ability to do it so I'm not too worried �� I can't wait to read your entire write up

4.6l and tranny swap into my '88 T-bird

Reply #14
Found it on NATO under modular swap

http://natomessageboard.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=247500&Searchpage=1&Main=34488&Words=%2Bmodular+%2Bswap&Search=true#Post247500
1988 Thunderbird Sport. No engine, no trans, turbocoupe disk diff with 3:27 gears, 31 spline axles and Cobra clutch packs, Turbocoupe front brakes.

Bought this car back as an old project car.

:burnout: