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Discussion Starter #1
Hello guys, first post on here. I realize there is alot of similarities between the 3.8L Mustang/Mn12 engines and the 4.2L trucks and I have a few questions.

Will a 4.2L crank work in my 97 3.8L block? I assume it will, but the block will need some attention.

Do Supercoupe rods/pistons work fine w/ the crank(4.2)? If so, would it be a feasable way to get some strenght in the rotationg assembly for a 75-100 shot of nitrious?( mroe than likely a wet shot w/ all the proper fuel system requirements) or should I go w/ a set from RPM or a similar vendor?

I'm not really wanting to go to the Splitport swap, I'd like to keep the single port heads/intake. Does anyone made a decient Head/cam/intake "kit" that would work together well, or will I be required to purchase all of this and then ahve them ported/polished?

Now with the aditional Horsepower, I'll need a stronger Tranny and rear end/half shafts, Can a t-5 or similar tranny work? or will it not be long enough to reach the hole in teh trans tunnel? If so, aside from "ghetto rigging it to work" my only other choice is a m5r2 from a supercoupe. Does any other cars use this tranny? I'd like to have a stronger one than what comes w/ the Supercoupe, and was wondering if any of the ford trucks w/ the 5.0 came w/ a m5r2(5.0 and 3.8L uses the same "bolt pattern" correct?) Because unless I'm wrong a 302 would ahve more torque than a 3.8L so it would be stronger?

Has anyone actually swapped the 5 speed in an automatic Tbird of thye 96/97 model years w/ the AODE? What will need to be done to teh computer for the tranny? can the program be juse be removed? or does it matter?

Does 3.8L mustang headers work on tbirds? I'm wirried about the drivers side, the steering column comes pretty close, so if i just put in some U joints and a new piece of rod, could I get away w/ a set of Lt's?

I'm sorry if this has been asked before, but ive looked through some various V6 mustang sites but the tbird and mustang do have some differences, so when i found this site, i was in heven! lol

thanks in advance,

Premium Member
2,976 Posts
a 4.2 crank will fit in the block, but there might be some clearancing needed.

I don't know if the piston's and rods would work.

Strength wise, I would go with forged ross pistons and eagle ibeam rods (if you are gonna go nitrous)

To do a stick swap, your lookin at ALOT of work and ALOT of money and ALOT of time. If your gonna dragrace, stick with an auto. Darrin makes some pretty good ones from what I hear, and Dirtyd0g makes some good torque converters.

We don't have AODE's, we have 4R70W's.

the Mustang headers will work with modifications to the steering shaft as you thought, but you can use tbird headers (stock on 96/7) and have them ported by Thomas.

Yes these questions have been asked before and doing a search will yield you more specific answers. I have given you the basics. To get more info, do a search.

Your Welcome


Moderator, Iowa Chapter Director, Uber Luber, TCCo
8,978 Posts
personally, I'd rather get a camshaft from the people that know. Granted, CompCams has a lot of experience with cam profiles, but they are very new to the Ford v6 market. have all been in the game for years researching and developing the best ways to get performance out of these engines. They know the best cam profiles, what works and what doesnt. These places can buy the untouched core from CompCams and grind their own profiles on it. If you really want a billet cam thats the way I would do it.

From what I've read, no clearancing is needed for the 4.2 crank in the 3.8 block, but I would get it doucle checked anyway.

4.2 pistons are different than the 3.8, and the rods on the 4.2 are the same as the 96+ rods. Since the supercoupe stopped in 95, this means the rods are also different. You could use supercoupe rods, but you would need custom made pistons to fit the 4.2 deck height. I would just get a set of forged i-beams and forged pistons. This way you know it's all good, and you have new stuff in there that can handle what you want them to.

a t-5 swap is possible, but the shifter will need to be moved back somehow, otherwise it'll come through in the middle of your dash. An m5r2 swap would be easiest as it goes right in. The tunnel doesnt really matter, but you will need the appropriate length driveshaft for whichever route you choose. If you go with the m5r2 all you'd need is a driveshaft from a 5spd supercoupe. A t-5 swap would require a custom length driveshaft.

Mustang shorty headers will work on the tbirds with modification to the driver side collector. Heat it up and pound it in to clear the steering shaft. With the steering shaft joint mod you should be able to clear the long tubes, but after spending the money on the steering shaft mod, you could have bought direct fit kooks headers (sold by for the supercoupe).

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