3.8 Supercharged V6 Engine Transplant


Bird76Mojo

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You live in Seattle, went through the trouble of installing a rubber freeze plug due to a coolant leak, and then you put straight WATER in it during winter?
 


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Classiccarmartin

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You live in Seattle, went through the trouble of installing a rubber freeze plug due to a coolant leak, and then you put straight WATER in it during winter?
Yep. I don’t have any anti-freeze at home at the moment. The forecast for the next few days shows no freezing temperatures and the car will be coming apart again starting on Sunday. The main reason for straight water is that I have to drive the car over to work on a ferry. If I leave a big green puddle on the car deck, BIG fine! 😲 straight water isn’t so much of problem.
But yes, you are correct, just water in Seattle in winter = frozen engine & busted radiator!
 

Bird76Mojo

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Good enough
...and can equal a cracked block. Just thought it was worth mentioning..
 

decipha

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decipha
just go out there and let it run for an hour every 6-8 hrs and you'll be fine
 

19Walt93

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If you don't have time to do it right will you have time to do it over?
I assume you're going to replace the all freeze plugs before you transplant the engine, they cost peanuts and there won't ever be an easier time to do it.
 

Classiccarmartin

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I assume you're going to replace the all freeze plugs before you transplant the engine, they cost peanuts and there won't ever be an easier time to do it.
I certainly will. I'm planning a good freshen up, with new head gaskets, freeze plugs and depending on the condition of the bearings when I remove the oil pan, maybe even a ring and bearing rebuild. If I can make some sensible upgrades to the engine at the same time, I will do.
Plenty of research to be done!
 

Classiccarmartin

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So I was feeling confident last night and decided to take a test drive in the Supercoupe. Filled up the cooling system and ran it up and down the quiet road outside our house. The freeze plug stayed sealed, the suspension is definitely bent and the broken headlamp was completely useless. But boy can that V6 go!
All was still dry this morning so across on the ferry we went and took the back roads for the 8-mile trip to work. Arrived safely and had a cup of tea to celebrate.
Probably the part of this conversion that will challenge me the most is the wiring and electronics. I have both the Chilton manual and an original Ford repair manual, so I knew that the computer lives in a tray under the package shelf. It seemed like the best point to start so I began disconnecting at the back end, fed the harness through the rear seat structure and eventually had the complete tray assembly in the passenger footwell.
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Next I removed the radio, AC controls, instrument cluster and a few more items that will either be used or sold. The car was still able to start and drive at this point, so I moved it to the corner of the yard where the boss is letting me take it apart. A quick goodbye burnout happened before I pulled the battery and ended its days!
Now all I have to do is remove all this lot:
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After lunch, I began unplugging, disconnecting, unbolting and removing everything from the front of the motor. Cooling system, intercooler, ignition, AC, PAS and alternator all came off and when it was time to pack up and go catch my bus, it looked like this:
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With all that stuff taken off, you can actually see the engine!
Unfortunately, a many of the harness connectors have been roughly treated in the past and have broken tabs or housings. Hopefully I can either replace them with new ones or find the same ones on the 3.0 harness currently in my truck. There are also a couple of fairly bad repairs from its past that will need to be put right before my OCD will allow the parts to go into my Ranger.
I took plenty of pictures, labelled all the connectors with tape and put as many bolts back into the threads they came out of. Next up for removal will be the supercharger and intake assembly.
 

19Walt93

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If you don't have time to do it right will you have time to do it over?
It's not OCD, it's meticulous and particular. OCD is what the slobs call it.
 

Classiccarmartin

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It's not OCD, it's meticulous and particular. OCD is what the slobs call it.
That maybe true, but whatever it's called, it takes forever to get anything done! :rolleyes:
 

Classiccarmartin

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The countdown is on to get the Thunderbird stripped and off to the junkyard before next week, so I'll be going into work early this week to make sure I get all the parts I need. This morning I removed the windshield wiper assembly and cowl vent cover to allow better access to all the vacuum lines and small hoses up at the back of the engine bay. I carefully photographed the area and then disconnected and labelled the necessary connections for the supercharger. The throttle cable unclips from the bracket and although the 5 bolts holding the supercharger to the intake needed some careful undoing (A little dissimilar metal corrosion), the unit came away without any real problems. The boss arrived to see how I was doing and then we went inside for our Monday morning meeting. I had my prize for the day!
25523
 

19Walt93

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If you don't have time to do it right will you have time to do it over?
OK, it takes a little longer, did you see my quote? " If you don't have time to do it right will you have time to do it over?" Do it to your satisfaction and don't worry about how long it takes. After 42 years in the service department I can assure you that the customer will forget that you fixed it quick or cut corners to "save them money" but they'll remember that it broke down again. And they'll tell all their friends as well as some people who aren't friends.
 

Classiccarmartin

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OK, it takes a little longer, did you see my quote? " If you don't have time to do it right will you have time to do it over?" Do it to your satisfaction and don't worry about how long it takes. After 42 years in the service department I can assure you that the customer will forget that you fixed it quick or cut corners to "save them money" but they'll remember that it broke down again. And they'll tell all their friends as well as some people who aren't friends.
Wise words Walt - thank you for the encouragement.
I’ve been servicing, repairing and restoring classic cars professionally for 11 years now and I’ve always tried to “do it right first time, even if it takes time”.
The end result is always worth it!

Right, off outside to take more bits off the Thunderbird. In the rain. Again. Sigh 😜
 

Classiccarmartin

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More time has been spent on the dismantling the last two mornings, and after a tough day at work, I stayed after everybody else had gone home and put another couple of hours in. Nice to enjoy some afternoon warmth, instead of the usual morning rain!
I'm now very close to getting the engine out. I have everything disconnected from the engine, and only the torque converter bolts and bell housing bolts remain. The engine is still resting on its mounts, but the mount bolts are out.
25553

Once the engine is removed (maybe tomorrow!), I will be able to climb into the bay and have better access to the abundance of electrical connections at the back firewall. I plan to remove almost the entire harness from the car so that I will definitely have everything that I need. I can always pare the harness down to the necessary items later, before it goes into the Ranger.
One major victory this afternoon was the successful removal of the exhaust manifold to downpipe nuts. No studs broken, no threads stripped - thanks PB Blaster!
Then I cut the exhausts off after the catalytic converters and added them to the supercharger, some random metal frames and a colleagues smelly trainers in my growing pile of stuff.
25554

If I can get an assistant tomorrow evening, I can hopefully have the engine out and on a pallet, ready to bring back to the house this weekend.
 
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19Walt93

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If you don't have time to do it right will you have time to do it over?
Don't let the naysayers worry you about 3.8 head gaskets, use good ones and make sure the heads and deck are flat and you'll be fine. The 3.8 in the Taurus and Windstar had problems because Ford rerouted the coolant flow for the front wheel drive applications, we never had problems with Tbirds, Mustangs, LTDs or even the few F100's they put them in. We sold a new 83 LTD with a 3.8 to a cantankerous lady who was driving home from Rutland, Vt when the belt tensioner came apart and the belt fell off, causing it to steer hard and turning the alternator light on-when it was less than 2 weeks old. She immediately drove it to the dealership(over 35 miles) and pulled right up to the showroom door nearest the shop. The radiator cap was bypassing so hard it sounded like a long note blown on a trumpet. Once we got her and the engine cooled down we replaced the belt and tensioner, refilled the coolant, road tested it and sent her on her way. She drove it for about 7 more years, no head gasket failure.
 

Classiccarmartin

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Thursday did indeed turn out to be engine out day!
I removed the starter motor and the torque converter nuts (3 with a socket, the fourth with an air chisel!) and took out the lower 6 engine to transmission bolts in the morning. Then after work I removed the jack stands and put the Thunderbird back on its wheels. A jack was placed under the transmission and the final 4 upper engine to transmission bolts removed. All of them were super tight - definitely over-torqued :rolleyes:
A chain was fitted to the engine and the fork-lift coaxed into life.
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The engine lifted off the crossmember mounts easily enough, and after I disconnected one missed cable guide on the lower RH side, it began to come up and forward. However, the torque converter wasn't separating from the flex plate and came away with the engine. It also pulled the sliding input shaft out of the transmission and as soon as it had come far enough for the transmission front oil seal to let go, we created a big ATF puddle under the car - it looked like an automotive homicide :oops:
Eventually, with some careful lowering, angling and prying, the shaft went back into the transmission and the engine came out.
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Onto a pallet it went and we made merry with the floor-dry. Lots of cleaning up required so that the boss doesn't notice tomorrow morning ;)
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Big thanks to fellow Ranger-fan (and owner) Josh for fork-lift driving, floor-dry dispensing and general willingness to get involved in my engine swap scheme.
Now all I have to remove is an awful lot of wiring and the fuel rails, which require a special release tool. I'm not sure if I should take the fuel pump out of the tank or if I can use/upgrade the standard one in my Ranger. Any advice on this issue would be greatly appreciated.
 


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