Swapping a 88 GT engine into a 95 GT...?


New Member
Sep 21, 2004
Raleigh, NC
I'm considering swapping my 88 GT's engine <real strong running> into my 95 GT <230,000 miles on original engine, so I expect it to blow up sometime soon, if I run it on track as is> Is this a straightfoward drop in? Or would there be a computer swap toom or anything else...

What am I looking at having to do?

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Its pretty straight forward. The only two things that I can think off the top of my head that are different are the intake and distribitor. You will need to use the 95 parts instead of the 88 parts. The 95 dizzy does not have a TFI mounted to it, and the 95 intake doesn't have the ACT in it, they are both mounted elsewhere.

The accesories might be an issue to.....If you decided to use the 88's then great just drop it all in....If you decide to use the 95's then you have to swap the water pump, balancer, (timing cover?) over on top of the 95's brackets and accesories. All the sn95 stuff has the belt routed closer to the engine so thats the problem there.
You might want to atleast keep the alternator from the 95...its 130amps compared to the ~80 amp 88 one. I think you can mod the brackets to make it fit. Just search for a 3g alternator conversion.
I would swith the accessories and bracketry over on each motor. I don't have an 88 and 95 right in front of me, but you may run into trouble trying to hook up the PS pump and AC pump. What I am saying is that the hose locations may not be in the same location on each car or you may incounter a thread pattern problem. Just something to look into first.
As for the Alternator, use the 95 Alt, it will fit the 88 bracket, if you notch it a little.


Oh also. Not sure if your 88 has mass air (Cali car or converted) but if it does I have heard that you can swap the computer from the fox into the SN95 cars. Haven't done this myself, so I am not intirely sure about this but it may be something to check out. I have heard that the computers for the 94-95 5.0 has a mild tune to it, compaired to the fox cars.
the SN puters have horrible fuel and timing curves. however, it is quite involved to swap all the associated wiring and puters to make it work. one can achieve better results with a hand held tuner (the SN puter is a much better processor than the fox III puter).
86T-Top said:
Learn something new everyday, I just thought you could swap out computers. Makes sense that you can though.

yeah Mario, it can get quite involved (completely different puters and harnesses - not like a fox III to fox III swap). some of the SN guys have converted to A9L's with kits, etc and often it would have been easier to use a handheld anyway (or they end up getting a handheld to use with the A9L anyhow).

the SN puter is great in and of itself - it is just the programming that is lame. And there are some provisions that the SN's have that foxes dont. I would rather learn how to use a tuner. :( (I have been lookin into them of late).
Pretty much just strip it down to the long block and go from there.

BTW, the intake won't fit because the SN95 cars use the T-Bird type intake which has shorter and smaller runners to clear the hood. This also is the reason the SN95 engines were rated at 215 hp and 285 torque.
As mentioned, beyond intake clearance, you may also have accessory clearance and fitment issues as the 95's accessory package (like the T'bird/Cougar/Explorer/Mountaineer) sits about 1.5" closer to the block - which means the 88 stuff may crowd/not fit w/regard to radiator location. Not to mention various hose fitments.

If you have to pass emissions - the swap will likely be a problem for you or the 'next' owner. And of course the wiring harness/computer are quite different between the cars - especially a Speed Density set up compared to an OBDII-ready (but not activated) 94/5 mass-air ecu.

If you're just trying to freshen up the motor - simply swap out the short block and heads from the 88 - take everything else off the 95 motor and swap it onto the block/heads from the 88 - including the front cover/water pump and accessories.