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Swap Progress Archive


15 December 98 "Made a list last weeks of task remaining, just jotted down what came to mind. Ended up with 23 items. Then I estimated the time for each task. Ended up with over 60 hours work."

"Next I estimated the money required to finish. This was not as bad as feared, though there will be other expenses I'm sure. Ordered the mandrel bends & Dr Gas X -pipe yesterday and a custom Bassani "quiet thunder" muffler last week. Hope to get the IC tubing & exhaust fabed during the Christmas break."

19 October 98 "The motor mounts are made & painted. They bolt on to the crossmember, no cutting or welding required. Used Jim Deberrys trans mount & GM T-5 adapter. The engine compartment is ready for the final installation."

"I ended up completly rebuilding the motor. I intended to only go throught the top end but took it all apart anyway. Got it bored .03 over & balanced. The heads & block were level cut with ARP rod bolts & head studs installed. The heads & all 3 intake manifold sections were ported too. Should run pretty good. The motor is assembled & on the engine stand. Still detailing & painting little pieces.

Finally got a quote from Eric at BAT on the IC I designed. Ended up that my sketch got to Pace ( the manufacturer) at the start of the european vacation season. Took close to 2 months to get a response. I sold the entire IC setup for the 2.3 so I reordered another water loop radiator & water pump also.
The IC for the SC will mount in front of the drivers side strut turret with the inlet & outlet angled torwards the motor. The battery is moved to the rear (mounted in a Moroso battery box) & a custom made aluminum reservoir will mount where the battery is. The water pump will be mounted on the passenger side underneath the headlight. The water will flow from the tank to the pump, through the radiator across the front of the car, then into the bottom of the IC & out the top on the opposite end and back to the tank. Should fit up pretty well.

I am making some progress on the wiring but need the motor installed to go any further. Hope to get it into place in the next week or so.

Still bunches to do, but all is going well with no technical "gotchas" lately. Learned a bunch about putting the GM extension housing on to a Ford T-5. It was not hard, just had to learn the diufferences in the transmissions.

So far the swap has been a blast. I would do it again in a heartbeat. Do miss driving the car though."

17 September 98 "The mods to the oil pan are now complete. There was originally some concern about the clearance of the oil pan to the crossmember. With some cutting and welding, the problem is now solved. From here, the next step is the rebuild and preparation of the engine to make good power."

"Viewing the oil pan pictures below you can see the mods made to the sump at the rear. There was initially a large dip to accomodate clearance to the torque converter bolts. Since the front of the sump had to be trimmed (see the sump front view picture) this mod to the rear of the pan restores some of the lost pan capacity. Examining the pictures you should be able to see the welds where the new panels have been installed."

30 August 98 "The only "gotcha" I have run into so far on the motor swap is what Ford did to the oil pan on the SC motor. Last fall when I was at my junkyard buds I got a base 3.8 from his motor pile, put a 5.0 bell housing on it, & stuck it in a wrecked XR he had. It fit great & this was the start of the 3.8 SC swap."

"I get the SC motor home, put a 5.0 bell housing on it, put it in the car, & it does not fit so good. The difference was that the SC motor has a cast aluminum oil pan that has the sump extends about 2" forward compared to the base 3.8's steel pan & sump. The sump was hitting the cross member. "No problem", I think. I will put a base 3.8 oil pan on & be done with it. WRONG! Not only did Ford change the oil pan on the SC motor, they also changed the oil pan mounting holes in the block & the timing cover. The rear half of the pan mtg holes line up so I was able to fit the base oil pan in place during motor mount fabrication.

The fix is to modify the front of the sump to match the profile of the base 3.8's steel pan. I will do this by cutting the front of the sump away & TIG welding in a formed .125" aluminum sheet. The rear of the SC sump has a large (about 3'' x 2" x the height of the sump) indentation that looks like it is to provide room for access to the torque convertor bolts. I will remove this indentation to gain back the lost oil capacity. When the modified pan is put back on the motor if will be fitted with a windage tray that was used on the 94-95 SC motor.

Hope to accomplish the pan mods this week. Jim Deberry is making progress on the trans mount. When he is done I will install it & make the final alignment changes. After that the motor comes out & gets the top end rebuilt."


30 July 98 "Man, I'm fired up! Got the SC motor & bell housing in the car last night & proped it somewhat in place. I could not believe how easy the motor mounts are going to be to make."

"The SC uses a mount very similar to the XR unit except that it does not have a stud out the bottom. Instead it has two tapped holes that on the SC have a lower mount bracket bolted to them. Take the bracket off & you are left with a liquid filled rubber biscut virtually identical to the XR mount.

With the motor proped in place & the oil pan about 1/2" above the steering column the bottom of the mounts are just a bit above flush with the top of the cross member where the stock mounts bolt and inboard about 3". I see no reason why I cannot use a 1/4" plate (probably aluminum) to cantilever over to pick up the two hole pattern on the bottom of the mounts. I would then drop a bracket straight down & pick up the rack & pinion mount bolt.

The SC upper bracket has a torque limiting tab on it on the drivers side. It will be easy to pick up that tab with a snubber as the SC has.

I have a good concept on the SC motor mounts & hope to have prototypes made by next week. Got the proper 5.0 bell housing before surgery & installed it. The motor is now siting in the correct position. It is moved back about 3" from what the pictures show."

15 July 98 "Got my SC motor home on Saturday. What a neat engine. It has "SC" cast into the block & stamped on the heads. This tells me that it is different from the other 3.8's. Did a quick fit in the engine compartment, them pulled it back out to examine it more."

"The SC has a oil to water oil cooler similar to the XR's. I trashed it along with the 8 feet of heater hose & formed tube that supplied water to it. I will use the Mocal oil cooler that was already installed on my car. As with the 2.3, getting rid of the stock oil cooler greatly simplifies the water loop.

Will change from the stock exhaust manifolds to the base 3.8 type as found in the mid 80's T-birds. The drivers side SC exh manifold points straight down & is scrunched up close to the block. The base 3.8 has a better exit angle & looks like it will flow better.

Been thinking about the exhaust on the SC motor. It has a displacement increase of 1.5L and an increase in single cylinder capacity from 575cc to 633cc. However, since the exhaust pipe sees 3 cilinders vs 4 there is a reduction in the relationship between displacement/exhaust pipe volume (if there is such a phrase!) of 401cc per cilinder bank.

Plan on running two 2 1/2" pipes into a single 3.5" pipe that goes down the center of the car. I will get another custom built Bassani muffler that will havea 3 1/2" inlet with two 2 1/2" outlets & then have two tail pipes going out the back of the car. The reason for the single 3 1/2" pipe is to try to tame the some what blatty sound V6's can have."


6 July 98 "Making progress on the XR/SC wiring. Will not use the SC integrated relay control module, will use the XR relays to control EEC power & AC cutout. Will extract the unneeded XR engine management wires from the EEC connector & install the necessary SC items."

3 July 98 "Been making a engine wiring from/to chart. The engine wiring is very self contained. Only found one wire from the EEC that do not go directly to the engine. It goes to the fuel pump relay.

There is a device called an integrated relay control module that interfaces between the EEC and the ignition swith & other high current devices like the fans & AC clutch.

When I get the motor out I will remove the 2.3 engine wiring back to the computer & its power relays. I will then test all chassis electrical such as lights & stuff. This will baseline the chassis wiring. Then I will rewrap the wiring harness under the hood.

The 3.8 SC engine wiring will be developed as a layover type harness with only the engine wiring included. This will make trouble shooting easier & somewhat modular."





Last updated on 11 September 2001 by Chris Anglin

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