Trying To Figure Out What Motor To Get!


New Member
Sep 11, 2011
Pasadena, MD
So I'm looking to put a new motor into my 1990 lx originally I was going to get a 306 crate motor from latemodelrestoration, and hook my vortech kit up to that. Then yesterday my uncle was telling me about how a lot of people are swapping there motors for Lsx motors for more horsepower and better reliability at a cheaper cost not sure what motor to go with for my car :(
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Of coarse that's a chevy motor, and it is a viable option, but you have to weigh out what's involved.

I hear of folks swapping over to chevy power-plants. From my understanding of the motor design, it is deemed be superior over the early Ford offerings, and that they are cheaper to build upon.

Perhaps someone else will come into this thread that has the know-how to swap one into the Fox.

Personally, I just like the sound of the Ford pushrod engine, in the Fox Mustang. The chevy sound is not the same.
What are your ultimate goals, budget and expectations? Is there currently a problem with your engine? All of these things weigh in heavily to this kind of decision. I know a lot of guys that have gone either way and every way has its own set of expense and work involved. Personally I'm a ford guy through and through
About a month ago I snapped the belt and over heated my motor and bent the push rods the car still drives but barely, ultimately I want a 10 second car that I can drive every day to car shows race all day at the track and then drive home, I really wanna stay ford just because I already have a world class t5 in the car with just over 500 miles on the car I don't want to spend 10000 on a new motor though I was thinking the 306 on late model and the stage 1 vortech kit that I already have I'm just not sure about reliabililty and if it will get me where I want to go with the car
The Ford 5.0 is not expensive to build, and sticking to Ford will make so many things easier in a Ford chassis. If you're sticking to the T5, you're not going to go past the limits of the factory 5.0 block, and things are really cheap, especially with a supercharger in your plans.
I'd even reconsider the 306, with $500 explorer engines plentiful, a rebuilt 306 doesn't serve much purpose, especially since the explorer engines were pretty much built to last forever, come with p heads and explorer gt40 intake. If you want to go with a better top end, sell the heads and intake (which will pay for the entire engine) and get some twisted wedges or afr 165's.

If you want do a shortblock upgrade worth your time or money, get a 347, then you can top it off with a quality top end and make great power.
How much work is involved in the 347 route and how much would it end up costing the only reason I was thinking about the 306 over the explorer motor was because once it was all said and done it was only an extra thousand for the 306 crate motor but I'm defiantly curious about the 347 what is a good website to look at the bottom ends
I think you should let us know your budget.
Your ideas are all over the financial spectrum, a 306 is usually a low budget setup, but you were considering an LS which is very high budget to get in and running in a fox, and now you are worried about the extra cost of a 347 over the 306 (which is less than what it takes get an LS in the car).

If we know how much you are working with, we can point you in the right direction.
An LS.

All over the internet in fox chassis combos.

I'm in the middle of that decision myself. A 5.3 (5300) truck motor w/ an auto trans. Harness, and appropriate ecu/tcu's will cost you around 1500.00 for a decent 100k mile combo. You'll need to convert the intake over to a car style (ls-1/2), and change out the cam, and springs (also LS1/2) or better,.. and you'll have an engine/trans that'll be around 320hp/400tq as a starter. I'd expect at this stage your cost should be around 2k.

Add a turbo, or S/C and you'll need the appropriate fuel delivery,.. and injectors for the anticipated HP,... and you'll have a jy combo capable of with standing 700hp.
You need to have the fab skills for the swap,.... or costs will go through the roof.
You'll have to fab an exhaust as well.

A 347 will net the same N/A HP, as the LS,..and will work with your existing trans, exhaust, electronics,.... but will require heads, induction, and exhaust to support the larger displacement . If you don't have that presently,.. the cost comparison between that and an LS swap is no contest.


Conversely, also have to consider that a trans gender swap is also frowned upon by all the "ford only" show/event functions that take place,.. and most ford only forums (somewhat like this one), so be advised that you'll not get alot of help from most of them for that reason. You can't take the car to a "Mustang Week" for that reason.

Additionally the swap will require pretty extensive skills in several arenas,.. and the selection of available parts that'll bolt up are just not there. So unless you possess those skills,... you may opt for the easier path using the stuff that is supposed to go in the car from the factory.
So bottom line,... you'll have to decide what you are looking for.
I appreciate everyone's input I think I don't know why I was all over the place on what I want (I still am) but as far as my budget goes it doesn't really matter how much the cost the price will determine how long the car stays the way it is like I said it is running pretty bad right now, I don't want an Ls motor I wanna stay ford I'm only 20 but I got a great paying job and all my time is usually dedicated to my car. Since I'm only 20 I'm also unsure of the best motor to go with for the vortech I just want to get into the 10 second range with all the regular functions like power steering, ac etc and like I said a the budget isn't a problem just need to figure out the best route to go down
If you're going to a power adder you need a Dart block, borrowed time with the stocker. If you want an LS1 motor, go buy a chevy to put it in. There's a reason I have 302ci, Cobra intake, GT40p heads, Ecam, frpp 1.6 rr's, frpp 65mm throttle body.
The cost to build a 331 or 347 is not much more than a stock 302 or 306. I'd recommend you partner with a good engine builder, either local or some of those recommended on the boards. They will save you lots of headaches with avoiding mismatched parts. Ed at TFI is a great guy who will get you set up right the first time with the proper cam, heads, etc. I am sure Rick can as well.

I know it has been said many times, but it is worth repeating. It is cheaper to do it right the first time and be done with it.