I seem to remember that the 3.8 v6 has somewhat the same architecher as the 302/351 so maybe the motor mounts are the same pattern onto the block. If you are serious about a v6, I think I would look for one from a turbo thunder bird. I think the big problem with the 3.8 is not enough head bolts so it blows out the head gaskets. Another good but more expensive/complex would be the 4.0 from an 05 or new mustang or early 2000 up ranger/explorer.
Either the 3.8 or 4.2 V6's. Both have the Windsor's bell housing patterns. They've got pretty good heads too, better than the Windsor's got in production. The head gasket problems stem from owners that fail to keep coolant levels up. The early 3.8's have a TBI intake that's easy to swap to a 2 bbl carb. The T/B pattern is the same as the Motorcraft/Holley 2 bbl.
I am going to have to disagree about 3.8 blowing head gaskets due to low coolant levels. (I have a 91 T-bird., it blew under my brother's ownership around 96K. Still running at 158K, but the 3rd-4th band on the tranny is in sad shape.)
They actually had a sub-par gasket with a not so great cooling pattern which mixed together had a problem. The Supercharged T-birds had a different coolant pattern that didn't have this head gasket problem.
Either way, Ford solved the problem by using a better head gasket later in the 90s and made the improved cooling pattern standard. I seem to remember the better gasket being a metallic head gasket or something like that.
(I should also note that when my posts say 76vs8920, you have to take my comment with a grain of salt.)
I've run across a coupel of 3.8's with blown gaskets and both were due to neglected coolant levels. It only takes one time to let it run low before blowing a gasket with an aluminum head/iron block. The expanded graphite gaskets are more forgiving in this instance. I don't know what type gaskets were used on the early ones. I ran into the same problem with aluminum heads on a 302. That was with a Felpro Print-o-seal head gasket. Switched to the graphite gaskets and no more problem.
if you want a V6 i would go with the 3.8 or the 4.2 rear wheel drive blocks. stay away from the front drive engines. also check out these sites for good information and for performance parts for these V6's;
Thanks for the information. It is common in these cars to swap the drivetrain from a 5.0 mustang. I was looking to expand that out to other vehicles. If you choose a good vehicle, you could get fuel injection and overdrive.
Ok, thinking about this some more, I think you are correct in that a low coolant level will cause the blown head gasket as iron block/aluminum head will expand at different rates as they get hotter.
But, my point was more that the head gaskets going around 100K problem was due to other reasons aside from poor upkeep of the car.
I guess, my only other food for thought on this is: are you sure that you weren't seeing low coolant because the head gasket went and was burning off coolant? (Aka, seeing an effect of the problem and calling it the cause?)
Just more going by personal experience and human nature. "Just get in, start it, and drive off". People who check their equipment out frequently are few and far between. I'm guilty of this too, even though I'm a driver by profession. I'll bet the majority of the blown gasket 3.8's were by letting the coolant run low. The gaskets also had some to do with it too I'm also sure, but could have been avoided by coolant level checks.
I had a '95 Windstar with the 3.8 that had a headgasket let go. It was covered by Ford by recall. It let go in my driveway not a minute or so after starting it up to warm up for a brisk fall morning. I know the coolant level was up to snuff. Got it back the next day as the headsd weren't warped so they didn't put rebuilt/resurfaced heads back on it. Drove it for another 92k after that, this was at about 96k when it let go.
Good to know about the 4.2 sharing the bellhousing pattern with a Windsor. My neighbor picked up a '97 F-150 SWB with a running, yet smoking 4.2 and a 5-speed for $300. The 4.9 I-6 has the same bellhousing pattern as well, doesn't it?
The 4.2's 5 speed is a good swap transmission for a V8 Ranger. The shifter location is the same as the Ranger's 5 speed. The V8/straight 6 M5ODR2 has the shifter up on top of the cover, forward of the V6 units.
i think an SC T-bird super coupe would be a great swap into an early mustang, especially with a 5 speed or AOD trans as well. they were supercharged BTW, NOT turbo charged, you're confusing the early 4 cyl turbo coupe with the later one.
personally i wouldn't use one of the late model mustang engines in an early car because there is way too much crap that has to be wired up for it to work; the guage cluster for example would have to be used in the early car to make one work. i'd stick with the 90's t-bird stuff myself.