Quote Originally Posted by 86frankenstang View Post
what kinda of work and money would a MPFI swap run us? starting to entertain that thought

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I saw you asked the same question in another thread. You have two options if you want to stick with the 3.8, but go to a more updated design. The first is the '88-'98 MPFI. The early years had a distributor. The later years ('94+?) were DIS. Some of the early MPFI cars were speed density. After a couple of years all switched over to MAF. I always though the MAF cars ran a little better, but the speed density cars weren't bad. The second is the split port 3.8 used in the Windstar ('96-'03) and then the Mustang ('99-'04). The split port engines put out around 200hp as I recall. I have no experience with the split port engines, but I've heard they run pretty well.

In either case it would honestly probably be easiest just to swap a complete engine of your choice. There is very little love for the lowly Ford 3.8 so you can probably find a good complete engine with controls and wiring harness for not a lot of money. Your best (and most likely these days anyway) bet would be to find one from a Mustang.

It would be a fair amount of work as you will likely have to plumb fuel lines to meet the new fuel rail and obviously wiring for the new ignition and fuel controls. You will have other things to figure out as well like power steering and A/C lines. It's all completely doable, but probably not a weekend job. The good news is the late model Mustang engine bay should be relatively close to yours so you may be able to use later model parts and get in the ballpark if not a direct fit.

Just don't expect some super high performance engine if you stick with a stock N/A setup. A lot of people badmouth the 3.8, but when you take it for what it is it can be very reliable, return decent performance, and can deliver pretty impressive economy.

The biggest issue with most 3.8's is the head gasket monster. If they are properly serviced with high quality (I've always used Fel-Pro and never had any issues) gaskets then it shouldn't be a problem for you.

I've owned several 3.8 MPFI powered Fords over the last 20+ years both supercharged and N/A. I've done head gaskets a couple of times. I honestly can't think of anything else that breaks on these, especially the N/A engines. They just run and run. No temperamental early EFI to mess with and what is there is pretty bullet-proof and easy to diagnose if something does go awry.