97 v6 3.8 best upgrades for under $1000 - Forums at Modded Mustangs
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post #1 of 25 Old July 26th, 2013, 02:44 PM Thread Starter
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97 v6 3.8 best upgrades for under $1000

so I just bought a 97 mustang coupe. First mustang ive ever owned, and the first fuel injected car. Just as I finally knew good upgrades and prices for my 69 v8 haha. Anyways, I know there are a lot of threads on this, but I havent really seen much for a specific price. My budget is around $1000, as I have college comming up, but id like to soupe up my new car a little. My goal is to go 0-60 in 6 seconds, though im not sure if that is possible on my budget. Oh, my car is also an automatic and completely stock. Any suggestions?
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post #2 of 25 Old July 26th, 2013, 03:08 PM
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Gears (with a traction lock) and a tune most likely would give you the bang youre looking for.

---------- Post added at 03:08 PM ---------- Previous post was at 02:58 PM ----------

To elaborate, depending on what you want for gas mileage and acceleration youd want to get 3.73 ratio gears or 4.10 ratio gears. The general consensus is 3.73's for Manuals, and 4.10s for Automatics. If you have a mechanic install these then it will likely break your budget though with the tune/tuner.

However you will need your speedometer adjusted which requires a tune. You can go with a Tuner/Tunes for life from American Muscle, but theres also many other tuners available to choose from such as Lasota or Ortiz. Or if youre patient you can sometimes find used tuners for sale, I picked mine up used for $275 and then paid $100 for a tune from Lasota.
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post #3 of 25 Old July 26th, 2013, 04:07 PM Thread Starter
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alright, thanks for the quick reply. thouh im still kinda confused about tuning. is a tuner a computer device
that you plug into your car, or is it a chip? or are chips and tuners the same thing? also, do I have to have a mechanic tune my car, or is it something that I can learn to do?
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post #4 of 25 Old July 26th, 2013, 05:21 PM Thread Starter
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That clears up so many of my questions. so if I changed my gear ratio, then I could just buy a tuner, pay for the programming, and then plug it in?
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post #5 of 25 Old July 26th, 2013, 05:35 PM
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Correct, the process is fairly simple. The tuners have on screen instructions to follow.

You say you have a '69 you upgraded so I imagine you can tackle the gears yourself from the sounds of it. Though If I had a '69 I wouldnt be spending money on a 97 v6 lol
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post #6 of 25 Old July 26th, 2013, 06:11 PM Thread Starter
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sweet, yeah gears shouldnt be too tough. Actually, I hadnt planned on even buying this mustang. I have a 69 impala 4 door that my grandpa gave me. It was my everyday driver, and really ate up the gas. so, with college comming up, I was going to buy an economy car, but I just so happened to see this little mustang for $900, messed up doors and fenders being the only problems. I just couldnt pass it up.
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post #7 of 25 Old July 26th, 2013, 06:15 PM
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LOL Economy car ahahahaha. These things get terrible gas mileage. Most peoples GT's on here get better MPG's than I do sadly. Not bad to be a relative "beater" though I suppose.
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post #8 of 25 Old July 26th, 2013, 06:16 PM
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Just going to pop in and say that changing the gears will NOT help the gas mileage that you seem to be seeking.

Might want to save the thousand dollars for gas

I can't hate, though. The mod bug has bitten me.

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post #9 of 25 Old July 26th, 2013, 06:26 PM Thread Starter
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yea... I know lol I "wanted" good gas mileage. my gf is getting a little civic though. after she told me that... I was hooked on the idea of souping my car up a bit.
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post #10 of 25 Old July 26th, 2013, 07:03 PM
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you will most likely like the getup and go from the gear swap. you dont need a tune for the gear change though, i may be wrong but i have a 95 and i just had to swap out the gear at the end of the speedo cable on the trans.
you could swap in a 99 or so split port, i did and it is amazing the diff between the 95 3.8 and the 99 3.8. you sound like your mechanically inclined, you should be able to find a 99-00 3.8 and swap it in for under 1000 no problem. with my swap engine 300, heads machined 80, tune 100.00 and poor mans rebuild for 100....way under a 1000. to me its the most worth while mod for the 94-98 v6's. you can reuse most/all the sensors from the 98 and just put them in the split port engine. then after you scrap the old block you get a small return on the cost of the swap.


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post #11 of 25 Old July 26th, 2013, 07:23 PM
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this is the main reason the swap (to me) is a great idea

Year Engine/
Cubic Inch Fuel System Horsepower @ RPM Torque @ RPM
(ft. lbs) Bore x Stroke (in) Com
pression Ratio Oil Pressure
[email protected]

1999 3.8 / 232 EFI [email protected] [email protected] 3.81x3.39 9.36:1 [email protected]
1998 3.8 / 232 SFI [email protected] [email protected] 3.81x3.39 9.0:1 [email protected]


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post #12 of 25 Old July 26th, 2013, 07:26 PM
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What others have said,

4.10s
T-lok
Exhaust as in catless midpipe and catback (longtube headers would be good as well but dont waste money on shorties)

Good luck with the car.

Also if its an auto maybe look into some sort of stall converter and some sticky tires to get the 0-60 times your wanting

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post #13 of 25 Old July 26th, 2013, 11:07 PM
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Split port and windstar. Make your own kit. If you get lucky on parts, you might be 700 in. Gaskets, bolts and all. Take the rest and get a tuner. Try to even get some long tubes and exhaust. So for 1500 you can put on around 50 more horses. That will give you a smile.


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post #14 of 25 Old July 27th, 2013, 07:10 AM
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Good suggestions here, I was seriously considering going split port as well. Then the M90 bug bit me... If you shop around patiently, you could do a conservative M90/SC engine swap and spend less than $1000 with the tune/r, and be around 220hp/300+tq. Of course then you'd have to start doing other supporting mods to handle the power, and that could easily put you over budget.

---------- Post added at 06:10 AM ---------- Previous post was at 06:06 AM ----------

I almost forgot, being an auto you will probably want to look into doing JMod. That combined with gears and tune, or hell, all by itself=

https://www.moddedmustangs.com/forums...-v6-4r70w.html

All in all, it can be done for right at $100, and in a couple hours doing it yourself.

M90 setup done, and slightly running lol. Working on self tuning now

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post #15 of 25 Old July 27th, 2013, 08:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 97veesicks View Post
Good suggestions here, I was seriously considering going split port as well. Then the M90 bug bit me... If you shop around patiently, you could do a conservative M90/SC engine swap and spend less than $1000 with the tune/r, and be around 220hp/300+tq. Of course then you'd have to start doing other supporting mods to handle the power, and that could easily put you over budget.

---------- Post added at 06:10 AM ---------- Previous post was at 06:06 AM ----------

I almost forgot, being an auto you will probably want to look into doing JMod. That combined with gears and tune, or hell, all by itself=

https://www.moddedmustangs.com/forums...-v6-4r70w.html

All in all, it can be done for right at $100, and in a couple hours doing it yourself.
The 1997 transmission is wide ratio and the valve body is a little different then the 1999-2004 newedges. tccoa forums will cover this transmission.

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post #16 of 25 Old July 27th, 2013, 08:46 AM
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Swap in a thunderbird sc motor.....when I was 17 me and my dad swapped in an 89 tbird supercoupe motor in my 97 v6...pretty straight forward swap....extend a few plugs and get a tune from vmp tuning. Its pretty fun to play in too lol.....I picked up an entire SC car running for 400. Used the motor and fuel pump out of it and sent the rest to the crusher and got 250 back out of it. Only had about 600 or ao in it....and you also get the supercharger whine...so awesome lol

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post #17 of 25 Old July 27th, 2013, 09:21 AM
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The 1997 transmission is wide ratio and the valve body is a little different then the 1999-2004 newedges. tccoa forums will cover this transmission.

TCCoA Tech Articles
I should have specified, that link I posted is Mike's write up for an '04. However, if you read through the first couple paragraphs he does reference the tccoa article as well as a couple others. I posted that link because it has a ton of good info, and it's the link I referenced several times doing my JMod.

M90 setup done, and slightly running lol. Working on self tuning now

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I've got Rembrandt as my right hand, and Solo as my pilot.
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post #18 of 25 Old July 27th, 2013, 09:49 AM
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post #19 of 25 Old July 27th, 2013, 11:21 AM Thread Starter
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Tons of great ideas, thanks everyone. I really like the idea if doing a split port swap. Im actually going to a couple u-pick it to get some body pannels, so I think ill look to see if they have a good split port engine I can get. Then ill just work on rebuilding it as I have time and money, andswap when my current engine is in need of a rebuild.

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post #20 of 25 Old July 28th, 2013, 12:36 PM Thread Starter
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Hey, sorry about adding to the thread again, but I found a 2001 v8, from a gt, with 120k miles on it. The guy wants $300 for it, and it runs. Would this work to put in my 97?

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Last edited by revanence; July 28th, 2013 at 01:38 PM.
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