Sticky: I6 to V8 conversion

Danielavina93

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Oct 30, 2012
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So Durden I do have an 8 inch rear then correct? And my radiator is a 3 row. And the disks in front drums on back will be more than enough to the new v8 right? And will. Have to change out the drive shaft? Or cut it? I was told I mite have to cut it an inch or two to fit the t5?
 
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Rusty67

15 Year Member
Dec 3, 2002
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I think I should have been more clear. I meant a fox body donor car. He already has v8 suspension as I understand it. You get a fox setup being a roller cam 5.o and a T5 with everything you need. Change the motor mounts and add the adaptor for the zbar linkage or convert to a cable clutch. Change the drive shaft and the trans cross member and away you go. Might need to change the radiator or have the water neck moved. Get an 87-90 for a block with factory forged pistons and a WC T5.
 

Rusty67

15 Year Member
Dec 3, 2002
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Also, if you have an 8" rear don't even bother to change it, it will be fine unless you start puting down well over 300hp. Or if you start really hot roding it and dropping the clutch at 3000 rpm all the time you might break it but as long as you are not going nuts on it all the time it will be fine. Besides, as much as I hate to say it, an 8.8 is a WAY better upgrade then a 9" for ANY 302/5.0 motor.
 
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Danielavina93

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Oct 30, 2012
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That's the rear end obviously. And so the drive shaft will need to be changing? But the 302 isn't going to be mildly modded. At the most ill have headers and gt40 heads. Thinking about what carb I should use. Are there specific throttle linkages for certain carbs or are they all the same? I want to make sure and have all the parts I need for this motor swap so that's why there's a lot of questions. Sorry
 

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Rob Morton

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Dec 12, 2014
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Thanks guys for putting this up! I am giving this a lot of thought at the moment. I'm doing a rolling restoration on my recently imported '66 6cyl and slowly parts collecting for a V8 swap. It would have been many, many years before I could have afforded a usable early V8 fastback car over here in England, (not many for sale anyhow!) and I get to drive this one to work everyday. Suitable secound hand Engines/boxes aren't too bad to find over here but un-narrowed rear axles seem to be! New small parts also seem pretty cheap to import from the states. In time I will be replacing all the parts that will need to be upgraded/swapped out anyway. I hope (maybe naively) to have the car off the road for a short time as possible, and do as many of the upgrades/swap outs in manageable chunks before the big one. The brakes/hubs/uprated suspension/steering/wheels area is one that I plan to do first, but seems to be a very big chunk that is all connected, All help/suggestions welcomed!
 

D Durden

DEEP FAT FRY
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Mar 9, 2000
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So Durden I do have an 8 inch rear then correct? And my radiator is a 3 row. And the disks in front drums on back will be more than enough to the new v8 right? And will. Have to change out the drive shaft? Or cut it? I was told I mite have to cut it an inch or two to fit the t5?

Man, sorry this took so long to get back to you.

The front discs and rear drums aren't bad. ProMotorsports Engineering actually has some drum setups that are pretty amazing (for drums). They supposedly have a "zero fade" system. Dunno . . . but it sounds good.

I'd ditch the radiator for a BeCool unit or something like that. The little '65/'66 radiators are small at best. Get something aluminum and crossflow just to be safe.

I had to modify my driveshaft with the 8", so that may be the case with your setup, too. I did with my 8" BUT I think it also fit my 9" Versey when I went with it.

Picking a good master cylinder / brake booster is a bear, too. I know a lot of guys are going with big master cylinders and no brake booster and say it works pretty well . . . stiff, but well. I'm considering it.
 

tom68bullit

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Jan 3, 2019
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I bought a Mustang 6 pot 20 years ago, since then i have sourced all the parts (new/second hand) and transformed it into a 289cui v8, 4 speed top loader, and a 9" Locker axle.69/70 front axle with discs and servo, drums on the rear.Bodywork has arches widened to accept 8"x15" Wolferace Ally Wheels on the front and 10"x 15" on the rear.It has been lowered and stiffened suspension.All steering changed, now with Power steering as well.Interior now has 69/70 High backed seats Re- upholstered in Black. Was resprayed 10 years ago, and is now Porche Guardsman's Red.All work carried out by myself (accept the Body work/spraying)
 

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CRAM

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Mar 23, 2020
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First post... Working on a 1970 coupe My son-in-law just bought It. It has all the necessary things a V8 car needs as stated in the previous posts. BUT the VIN #s are for a six Cyl. car. It has been registered for years as a 6 Cyl. Is this a possibility?. The only thing is the car has drums all the way around. Thanks for any thoughts on this.
 

pamam

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Mar 19, 2019
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Has anyone come up with a V6 solution. The weight is much less than the a V8. I don't need a lot of power just smoother ride.
 

D Durden

DEEP FAT FRY
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Okay, there are JUST OPINIONS, okay? I'm not an expert on the "weight of things" per se.

1. Don't laugh, but the original I6 setup, all things considered, could be the way to go. It's got zero electronics, nothing "extra", and an old school I6 will run and run and run. If you REALLY want to dump some weight, find an aluminum head. Granted, it's old school, it's not super powerful, and it's not going to do 30mpg, but the old I6 is a solid daily runner.

2. For a V6, eh, the old 3.8 that Ford used to put in everything is a solid powerplant, and it's got a ton of options. You can go basic plain Jane or SC for plenty of horsepower. It's just a good, solid little 6 that you can probably pick up for a kiss and a promise somewhere.

3. If you want to go light, why 6? What about a 2,3L that has a decent build? Get a little turbo setup or, if you want to go super trick, find some guy with a winning "mini-stock" dirt car, and ask him to build you a 2.3L. LOL! Tell him it doesn't have to meet spec, make vacuum, or anything else. You'll need some rearend gears, but that would be a quirky fun (light) motor. And the guy may build it for cheaps with stuff he has laying around. Who knows?

4. Find a nice "ecoboost" something or other that's been wrecked. You'll need all the copper to go with the aluminum, but if you pull it off, you'll have a SMOOTH fast car that DOES get 30mpg (or better).

I'm betting there are 100 websites with good options, probably MUCH better than mine. I was just kicking it around in my head. The good news is that, heck, let's face it, most of the V6's you can buy in a "normal" car now will run circles around a vintage V8. And if you're looking for a "wrecked" version, you have an advantage because you're not looking for a "wrecked Roush Custom Shelby enhanced IMSA banned only driven once a week to pick up his mail" car. You're looking for a Lincoln MXK with the ecoboost 6 wrecked . . . hopefully rear ended to Hades with the front just fine. The downside is that about 60% of what makes those motors so good is the electronics, and that can be a massive challenge. And, eh, in the long run, after you count the mainframe, sensor array, and cooling units needed to make a good V6 outstanding, an EFI 302 may be lighter . . . and easier.
 

wicked93gs

10 Year Member
Sep 30, 2006
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Nashville TN
Okay, there are JUST OPINIONS, okay? I'm not an expert on the "weight of things" per se.

1. Don't laugh, but the original I6 setup, all things considered, could be the way to go. It's got zero electronics, nothing "extra", and an old school I6 will run and run and run. If you REALLY want to dump some weight, find an aluminum head. Granted, it's old school, it's not super powerful, and it's not going to do 30mpg, but the old I6 is a solid daily runner.

2. For a V6, eh, the old 3.8 that Ford used to put in everything is a solid powerplant, and it's got a ton of options. You can go basic plain Jane or SC for plenty of horsepower. It's just a good, solid little 6 that you can probably pick up for a kiss and a promise somewhere.

3. If you want to go light, why 6? What about a 2,3L that has a decent build? Get a little turbo setup or, if you want to go super trick, find some guy with a winning "mini-stock" dirt car, and ask him to build you a 2.3L. LOL! Tell him it doesn't have to meet spec, make vacuum, or anything else. You'll need some rearend gears, but that would be a quirky fun (light) motor. And the guy may build it for cheaps with stuff he has laying around. Who knows?

4. Find a nice "ecoboost" something or other that's been wrecked. You'll need all the copper to go with the aluminum, but if you pull it off, you'll have a SMOOTH fast car that DOES get 30mpg (or better).

I'm betting there are 100 websites with good options, probably MUCH better than mine. I was just kicking it around in my head. The good news is that, heck, let's face it, most of the V6's you can buy in a "normal" car now will run circles around a vintage V8. And if you're looking for a "wrecked" version, you have an advantage because you're not looking for a "wrecked Roush Custom Shelby enhanced IMSA banned only driven once a week to pick up his mail" car. You're looking for a Lincoln MXK with the ecoboost 6 wrecked . . . hopefully rear ended to Hades with the front just fine. The downside is that about 60% of what makes those motors so good is the electronics, and that can be a massive challenge. And, eh, in the long run, after you count the mainframe, sensor array, and cooling units needed to make a good V6 outstanding, an EFI 302 may be lighter . . . and easier.

Durden i right the 3.8l is the simplest v6 solution...and that the I6 is the best solution if you don't need or want a lot of power...I6 engines are the smoothest and most durable engine design out there.

The old iron Lima 2.3L is not great from a weight perspective though....mine, even with a Vovlo aluminum head weighs in at over 400lbs without the transmission. The newer all aluminum Duratec 2.3L is far lighter.

My next vintage mustang build I plan on using an early-90s Jaguar inline 6...they are all aluminum, DOHC, 24v engines, but still have provision for a distributor...meaning that its a matter of making a manifold that will allow some Weber sidedrafts to bolt on and its very close to full modern engine design while being close to vintage correct. Of course, Jaguar doesnt have the best reputation for reliability, but I won't need that on the next build.
 

pamam

New Member
Mar 19, 2019
4
0
1
74
Loomis, CA
Okay, there are JUST OPINIONS, okay? I'm not an expert on the "weight of things" per se.

1. Don't laugh, but the original I6 setup, all things considered, could be the way to go. It's got zero electronics, nothing "extra", and an old school I6 will run and run and run. If you REALLY want to dump some weight, find an aluminum head. Granted, it's old school, it's not super powerful, and it's not going to do 30mpg, but the old I6 is a solid daily runner.

2. For a V6, eh, the old 3.8 that Ford used to put in everything is a solid powerplant, and it's got a ton of options. You can go basic plain Jane or SC for plenty of horsepower. It's just a good, solid little 6 that you can probably pick up for a kiss and a promise somewhere.

3. If you want to go light, why 6? What about a 2,3L that has a decent build? Get a little turbo setup or, if you want to go super trick, find some guy with a winning "mini-stock" dirt car, and ask him to build you a 2.3L. LOL! Tell him it doesn't have to meet spec, make vacuum, or anything else. You'll need some rearend gears, but that would be a quirky fun (light) motor. And the guy may build it for cheaps with stuff he has laying around. Who knows?

4. Find a nice "ecoboost" something or other that's been wrecked. You'll need all the copper to go with the aluminum, but if you pull it off, you'll have a SMOOTH fast car that DOES get 30mpg (or better).

I'm betting there are 100 websites with good options, probably MUCH better than mine. I was just kicking it around in my head. The good news is that, heck, let's face it, most of the V6's you can buy in a "normal" car now will run circles around a vintage V8. And if you're looking for a "wrecked" version, you have an advantage because you're not looking for a "wrecked Roush Custom Shelby enhanced IMSA banned only driven once a week to pick up his mail" car. You're looking for a Lincoln MXK with the ecoboost 6 wrecked . . . hopefully rear ended to Hades with the front just fine. The downside is that about 60% of what makes those motors so good is the electronics, and that can be a massive challenge. And, eh, in the long run, after you count the mainframe, sensor array, and cooling units needed to make a good V6 outstanding, an EFI 302 may be lighter . . . and easier.
 

pamam

New Member
Mar 19, 2019
4
0
1
74
Loomis, CA
Thanks for the reply. I came to America in 63 and a few years later I did by a 66Mustang and it got 25 miles to the gallon at that time; of course it did not have any smog like now even, just a re-breather tube from the valve cover to the carburator cover. I would want a V6 it anything for my 66 I6 mustang
 

wicked93gs

10 Year Member
Sep 30, 2006
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Nashville TN
I am partial to a v6 myself if its worth the swap(hence the 3.7L v6 I have in mine)...but aside from the 3.8L(or possibly the old Capri 2.8L) I don't think you have many options that are easy(my 3.7L was incredibly difficult and I don't think you can call the end result worth the effort from an objective standpoint, but I knew that going in).

There are of course a variety of other v6s available from other manufacturers, and later SOHC and DOHC v6s like mine...but the farther off base you go, the more difficult things become....my 3.7L is the same physical size(width and height) as a 351w, but because of the block casting where it meets the oil pan must sit slightly higher than a 351w....this necessitates cutting the transmission tunnel so it clears the transmission(would have been needed even if I chose a t5 transmission which is significantly smaller than my MT82)...this is the type of fitment issue you start dealing with.

That being said....if I were looking to put in a DOHC v6 that would fit much easier than my 3.7L...I would look at the Duratec 3.0L. It will fit between the shock towers, and its significantly shorter in height than the 3.7L, allowing a lower mounting...it has also been adapted to the small T5 manual transmission already by others. The Jaguar AJ30 version of the Duratec 30 makes 250HP...and if I remember correctly, the Ford Fusion version makes almost as much. I suspect if someone wanted to, they could swap in a Duratec 3.0L with no cutting at all. Of course you would still be looking at a custom oil pan, custom headers, and a way to run the modern electronics....but thats how it goes when it comes to custom engine swaps.
 

D Durden

DEEP FAT FRY
Founding Member
Mar 9, 2000
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If we're just talking "light" and smooth, what about a 302, aluminum heads, and a really nice, programmable aftermarket EFI? Put a REALLY conservative, efficient cam in it, a nice TKO transmission, and some 3:1 rear end gears? Add an aluminum driveshaft and some intelligent but efficient exhaust, and THAT ride could be really smooth.

If you want to step outside the box a little more than that, find yourself an 85 velocity flow FI setup. Lisa and I had an 85 GT with that velocity flow setup, and while it wasn't great for top power, that little sucker got 24 mpg on the highway without a blink. And that car had over 100k and was untouched under the hood. I would have liked to have had time and money to rebuild it to see if I could get near 30mpg. And it ran smooth. Eh, it's a thought.

The nice thing about going with a "normal" setup is that everyone makes the parts, and there's not that much modification needed. The other nice thing is that IF you ever want to make power, your car is already setup for a V8, albeit a heritage V8.
 

wicked93gs

10 Year Member
Sep 30, 2006
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Nashville TN
^^ I agree with sticking with something easy to find parts for if possible...I have lost track of the number of one-off parts I have fabricated for my swap....if one of those breaks, I have to make a new one because I sure can't buy them anywhere.

I disagree with a SBF ever being light or smooth though...even with aluminum heads they tip the scales at 420lbs or so...unless of course you buy a $5000 aluminum block...but even that won't get you very much under 400lbs...as for being smooth....well, there is no v8 on the planet that could be considered "smooth" in comparison to a 6 cylinder of whatever configuration. 6 cylinders will always be the smoothest engines when it comes to conventional piston engines.

If you wanted something REALLY unique and super smooth, you could go for a Duke rotary engine:

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3 "cylinders"(or rather 3 combustion chambers) and 5 pistons in a very compact package and so smooth at 6000RPM it doesn't disturb a glass of water sitting on top of it. Australian company makes them, but I would love to get my hands on one...reminds me of a revolver...probably where they got the inspiration.