Fox '88 GT Vert engine swap

cameronc77

New Member
Apr 14, 2019
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Calgary
I'm fairly new to the site and don't want to rub anyone the wrong way by asking about an LS swap but I just want power without going too crazy on cost. I have a '88 GT vert that is 100% original except for lowering springs and some exhaust tips. It has 105,000 km on it being from Canada. I purchased it about a month ago and I'm just enjoying driving it for this summer but have big plans down the road. I want to do some sort of swap and started on the 351W route. Then some buddies told me to ls swap because various reasons. I did some research and a ton of people agree. I have access to the talents of my cousin and his body shop so I only want to do this once. He can find anything. Now I am not saying money is no object but I want to do this right the first time.
My questions are on engine choice and trans. In the end I want approx. 500+ rwhp. That's on engine and whatever it takes power adder except NOS. Don't want to go that route. I look online and for a crate engine that around 450hp is $6000 US ! (8000 CDN). I can get a brand new coyote for 9k Cdn. But hope not to go this route. Rather buy something cheaper in put $$ into it.
So now the questions ! LOL

These questions are ALL Before power adder.... And I know there are many, many other items involved. Basically a whole new car. Just trying to get some sort of direction and plan.

If I buy a $1000 LS1 can I put 4-5k into into it and get 500hp crank? then add power adder later?
Does it have to be LS1? what about LS2, LS3 etc? prices go up but basically same install?
Should I look for a vette motor? could I install it and then basically bolt on power adder later without having to screw with internal engine parts.
Should I get cheap LS1 then change h/c/i etc and whatever? this better than vette engine route?
Am I stuck with crate engine route?
Do i get cheap 6.0L truck engine? 5.3L ?
Do I still go 351W route? would 4-5k get me 500hp crank?

Then trans....
Does my T5 match at all to any of the above engines other than 351W without some sort of aftermarket piece of fabrication?
Can I just keep the T5 and install a Mcleod or something? and change gearing.
Do I just find and engine / trans combo to purchase like from vette or something?
Do I just install a totally diff trans?


that's a lot I know and I do have a Mustang Shop in town and I will sit down and detail a whole itinerary and what I want and how to get there. But It is crazy the information on this site. Any knowledge would be awesome.


Thanks.
 
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General karthief

wonder how much it would cost to ship you a pair
Mod Dude
Aug 25, 2016
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All I will say is unless you are doing a 351 swap I got no answers for ya. I do have a couple questions though,
what makes you think a mustang forum can/will give you advice on a LS swap? We do have one member here that has a LS swapped stang but he's kinda crazy and does have a really nice all ford mustang so we put up with him.
are you really here asking for advice or just to see if you can stir up some reactions?
Oh, one more, have you been to a LS forum and asked this question?
Oh, and one more, why a 88 vert that is as you say 100% original and you are enjoying it now?
The LS engine is a great power making engine and there are a lot LS swapped vehicles out there but my opinion is it belongs in a GM car.
 

Mustang5L5

Mod Dude
Feb 18, 2001
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The LS engine is a great power making engine and there are a lot LS swapped vehicles out there but my opinion is it belongs in a GM car.
Only a matter of time before Ford and GM merge anyway...so it doesn't really matter.


I have no issue with LS swaps. Nice to see something different from time to time.

I'd grab an LQ4 6.0L engine from a chevy 2500 van and toss some LS3 heads on. Unfortunately you'll have to grab more detailed specifics from the GM boards.
 

cameronc77

New Member
Apr 14, 2019
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Calgary
No I definitely do not intend to stir the pot. I didn’t realize there was an LS forum . I will look into it. Like I said, I purchased the car about a month ago and I am enjoying it in stock form but it sucks when a 300 hp minivan blows by you! LOL The 225 HP and just isn’t cutting it. I have tried to contact the guy that has done them on here but no answer as of yet. And I definitely would rather do a 351W swap because I could use my transmission, harness, k-member etc. But the deeper I look into it I am reading that I will have to invest thousands into the 351 to get it to stock horsepower of an LS1. But on the other hand, then I’m spending money on harness, K-member etc. So that is my question, is there a balance somewhere? Can I get a 351 and put some money into it and get 450 RWHP out of it? Just on the engine? I am a fox body guy through and through and if there was a safe and reliable way to achieve 450 to 500 RWHP from the 302 I would. People are saying that’s max limit. I just want horsepower to the ground! Lol. Thanks
 

General karthief

wonder how much it would cost to ship you a pair
Mod Dude
Aug 25, 2016
12,791
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193
polk county florida
Only a matter of time before Ford and GM merge anyway...so it doesn't really matter.


I have no issue with LS swaps. Nice to see something different from time to time.

I'd grab an LQ4 6.0L engine from a chevy 2500 van and toss some LS3 heads on. Unfortunately you'll have to grab more detailed specifics from the GM boards.

Blasphemy! You ungrateful heathen! May you have nightmares of being chased by several prius cars driven by fat ugly woman!
 

Wayne Waldrep

Before I post a pic, do you have one of yours?
15 Year Member
Apr 14, 2003
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Let's settle one obvious item. You will NOT use your stock T-5 transmission on a 500 rwhp car. Maybe once. So don't base your decisions on that. That's about all I have to offer on this one.
 
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cameronc77

New Member
Apr 14, 2019
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Calgary
I totally agree. Just wondering if there’s even a way to connect it to a 5.3? The internals can definitely be changed to handle 500 hp. Or just go with a totally different transformation like a T 56 ?