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Discussion Starter #1
so ive had my 88 gt for about 5 years, drove it all through high school, and the year after, but once i got my job, i bought my truck, then earlier this year my SVTF. love that little focus btw

anyway, my mustang has been sitting for the last 2 years, since i bought my truck. i did some work on it, got a new shortblock(used, but new) with an e303. using my stock, home ported heads and intake. got a MAF and CAI and converted it to mass air, went through 2 computers and it still doesnt seem to run right. i have a feeling its a problem with the top end, like a cracked head or leaking intake. when its warm it sounds like it loses a cylinder from each bank. but i have had a long series of problems with this damn engine since i got the car.

i really want to keep it, and now since i have a little more money i can spend some time getting it going. its needs some suspension/chassis work too but i cant drive it without a decently running engine.

SO my question. do i keep the 302, go back through it, stroke it, get a new aluminum top end, new exhaust, possible forced induction, ect...or make the swap to a 3v or 4v 4.6, or just say **** it, sell the thing and my SVTfocus and look for a new weekend warrior?? what would you guys do?
 

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I've gone both routes - i converted my first Mustang from a 4cyl to a 5 liter (ahh the things you have time for when you're 18), and just recently, i bought a car completely built that just needs some love on the interior and other certain areas. I've gotta say (and agree with all of the advice I was given years ago when converting my 4-banger) that it's a hell of a lot cheaper, easier, and less time consuming to buy one that's already built that someone just ran out of steam on.

But, if you want a project car, and enjoy the feeling of completion and getting each step done, then keep it. It's all up to your schedule, patience, budget and desire. Go help a buddy wrench on his car for two weekends in a row and see if you like it - if so, maybe you should keep it. But if you feel drained and like you lost two weekends and didn't accomplish much, maybe you should sell it and buy one already built that doesn't need as much love.

A lot of times the emotion or bond that we have with the car makes us do the wrong thing, and it's only in hindsight that we realize it. I speak from experience; trust me.
 

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Before you go spending money on a hci or stroking it, I'd figure out what the problem is. Try running your codes. It could be as simple as cleaning you salt and pepper conecters. Or a bad ground, dirty maff, a blocked fuel injector ect......
 

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Id also recheck your timing , maybe your stock balancer spun and you do t have the correct reading when you timed it
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Ryan, tried pulling codes on the first ecu and it wouldn't connect, put a new one in and didn't get any codes. Did the salt and pepper shakers before, had a new maf when I converted, checked timing a million and a half times, checked for vacuum leaks ect. But I haven't messed with it for a while
 

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4.6L are alot more Complex than 5.0s . I just went from a 4.6 to a 5.0.... way easier. Bud.. Just check you codes.
 
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