86 Convertible Engine Swap Crazy/stupid Idea

Matt Savageau

New Member
Aug 31, 2013
hello, im new to the site but ive been creeping around lately trying to troubleshot some issues with my 83 hatch. ive had an 86 3.8 convertable for a few years now, after having some issues with my ignition(which i now narrowed down to a faulty stator) i stopped driving the car for about three and a half years. in the time that it has sat i have aquired a 300 straight six that i will be tearing down to do some upgrade work to. ive already decided that i will be at some point putting this engine into my convertible. im here to ask if anyone has taken on such a project. ive already figured out that the 300 6 has considerably more girth than the 3.8. i figure that stripped down to the bare essentials the 300 will fit as far as width is concerned but the length/depth of the engine is somewhere between 8 and 10 inches more than the 3.8. i've tossed around the idea of moving the radiator support forward because the car already has minor damage to the support due to a front end collision, so i wont feel to bad cutting it out to move some things around. im sure there are some skeptics reading this who want to tell me im nuts, but ive already heard it. i need some guidance and i would greatly appreciate any that can be given.
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i forgot to mention that this will be stripped down to bare bones when i get the time to start this project. im gonna get out to storage and take some pictures tomorrow as well to give a good visualization of what im working with.

That is a 300I6 in a fox,... so it can be done. (sort of). The engine will fit front to back,.. but will stick outta your hood in one form or another. The biggest obstacle to the swap revolves around where the oil pump is located,........ right in the middle of the engine. You are kind of forced to accommodate it by either sitting the thing up into the wind,... or cutting the k-member, and lowering the rack and center. The latter opens A can of worms bigger than the coffee can velocity stacks dude has here with bumpsteer/steering/suspension geometry.
The previous solution invites poor handling due to a really high center of gravity,.. and excessive engine overhang in front of the wheels.

Trust me dude,.... I'm Stangnets' torch bearer for taking the path less traveled,.... but a 300 in a fox would more than likely make traveling that path scary.

Now, as with all things,.. if you want to do something badly enough,.. there are ways of getting it done. If you lived near me,... and I wasn't sticking a inline six that isn't supposed to be in a fox already,...i'd tell you to come over,..and we'd cut the k-member, lower the rack,.. lower the control arms pivot points commensurately. Then we'd throw that pig in there and hack your hood where it needed to allow whatever is gonna stick out,.. room to stick out.
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Anything that involves cutting the k-member scares the crap outta me. Like Mike said, it opens a whole new can of worms. Unless you REALLY know what you're doing and REALLY know your way around welding, I wouldn't touch it. I guess it would be interesting to run over your own engine when the k-member collapses in half :crazy:. The skeptics are right on this one...
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