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  1. #1

    Default Will 99-04 3.8L block accept 82-83 Manual fuel pump and distributor ?

    I'm wanting to use a 99-04 Mustang 3.8L block, but carburate it like the 82-83 LTD /Tbird/Mustang.
    I'm wanting everything from the manual fuel pump , dura spark and carb.
    I expect I will need to use the manual fuel pump timing cover.
    Anyone have experience, or knowledge of this ?

  2. #2
    FEP Super Member xctasy's Avatar
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    You can transfer the front cover over. Early 3.8s had no balance shaft provisions.

    The roller cam from the later 3.8s ones is a billet, not a casting. The way its retained differs, and to mate a distributor and fuel pump requires welding in a new eccentric. You need to discuss getting a roller billet cam done to the old Distributor and fuel pump spec, with its retaining good enough to avoid the cam walking on backfire with a distributor.

    Several late 3.8s have a provision for the balance shaft, but not all of them had them. All the front drive cars had a balance shaft, but some later rear drive 3.8s didn't. 3.9s and 4.2s did have balance shafts.





    Quote Originally Posted by Walking-Tall View Post
    Well, nowadays, one hard part is finding pre-'84 3.8L V6 parts to use, namely a Duraspark distributor. Carburetors are fairly plentiful and simple. A two-barrel Autolite, Motorcraft (the original 3.8L Motorcraft carburetors I've seen have a "1.08" (apparently 287cfm) # found at the front driver's side (the # is venturi diameter in inches)), or even a 2300-series Holley 350 or 500 cfm will bolt onto that intake's stud pattern.

    Another issue needing addressed is the use of either a low pressure electric fuel pump or an older style mechanical fuel pump mounted on the passenger side of the engine's timing cover.

    My '86 timing cover has the flat pad and threaded holes for where one was mounted in earlier years, but without the large opening for a mechanical pump's arm to pass through... and the only thing I don't know yet is whether there is an eccentric on the end of the camshaft to operate a mechanical pump. If not, I'll need to get one.

  3. #3

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    So the 3.8 didn't have a bolt on "eccentric" , (fuel pump cam) that triggers the pump ? I would think it was a bolt on piece, like the 302 engine.
    Next, what do you mean by "balance shaft" ? I assume you mean some 3.8 motors were internally balanced, not externally balanced with a counter weight ?
    EDIT: What year did the 3.8 switch to roller cam ?
    Here is the same question posted on foxbirdcougarforum:
    https://www.foxtbirdcougarforums.com...=41447.new#new
    Last edited by mofoco; 09-11-2021 at 12:06 PM.

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    Some 4 cyl engines have an extra counter balance shaft inside the block to reduce engine vibration. I'm too old to follow engine design newer than about 1985, so don't know whether Ford put one in the later 3.8.

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    Ford went to roller lifters in '89 on the 3.8. Some of the 3.8's got balance shafts. Some did not.
    '89 XR-7 5 Speed
    '95 SC 5 Speed
    '91 Crown Vic P72 351W
    '97 Thunderbird
    '85 Ford LTD Squire

  6. #6
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    I heard that early the 3.8 had a weak crankshaft thrust bearing and shouldn't be used with a manual transmission. Can anyone confirm that?

  7. #7
    FEP Super Member xctasy's Avatar
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    Yes, Ford had major issues with reliability of its 5 speed SC 3800 engine. The manual requor ed additional crank strength. Steel cranks were specified eventually

    All V6 engines have only four bearings and crank walk is possible beyond the nominal 5 thou thrust movement Ford specified. Generally a non supercharged 3.8 shouldn't be unsafe with a 5 speed T5 or maybee Mazda M5R gearbox.

    In Australia, the GM 3800s with T5 gearbox weren't mated to a Supercharged or turbo V6. So automatic only is more a SuperCharged engine thing. Crank walk happens more often in a four bearing engine as opposed to a five bearing V8 or seven bearing on line six.

  8. #8
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    The biggest reliability with the 3.8 SC was head gaskets as it was on n/a 3.8's as well. Very early production 3.8 SC engines had cast cranks and they quickly changed to forged. I've personally never seen a cast crank SC engine. They sold quite a few 3.8 SCs with five speed manual transmissions and I have never heard of any issues with crank walk or decreased longevity compared to the automatic versions. Not to mention all of the 3.8 Mustangs with manual transmissions.

    I'm not as familiar with the early CFI 3.8 engines, but if I were building a 3.8 I wouldn't start with one of them anyway.
    '89 XR-7 5 Speed
    '95 SC 5 Speed
    '91 Crown Vic P72 351W
    '97 Thunderbird
    '85 Ford LTD Squire

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by xctasy View Post
    You can transfer the front cover over. Early 3.8s had no balance shaft provisions.

    The roller cam from the later 3.8s ones is a billet, not a casting. The way its retained differs, and to mate a distributor and fuel pump requires welding in a new eccentric. You need to discuss getting a roller billet cam done to the old Distributor and fuel pump spec, with its retaining good enough to avoid the cam walking on backfire with a distributor.
    So I can only transfer the timing cover up till an '88 ? Or, can I transfer it to the 89+ too ?
    Next, I'm sure you are probably familiar with> http://www.moranav6racing.com/catego...l?CategoryID=2
    He has a few carbureted intakes for the 94-04 Mustang 3.8L. He mentions needing a distributor, but says nothing about what needs to be done to mount the distributor on those models. Can you share your thoughts on what would need to be done to mount the distributor ?

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