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Discussion Starter #1
A few weeks ago I over revved my Fairmont Futura and lost almost any power to go over 20mph. I had AAA tow it home and proceeded to poke around and test things. Compression was all over the board, 130, 140, 120, 110, 170 and 180. New leaks that were never there before and new gray smoke. So the engine is out now and I've come to realize how much I hate all the extra hoses and that I'd rather just put a bigger engine in it.

Specs are standard, 3.3L straight 6, C3 automatic tranny, Vin X engine.

I'm just looking for which engines are compatible with the C3 automatic tranny. I'd like to get a 5.0 or if possible the 2.3 turbo from the Thunderbird.

So if anyone can help me please do!
 

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superpj-
Regarding the transmission: are you sure it's a C3? To the best of my knowledge, I believe you should have a C4. If you have a C3, that would make a bit more expense on any swap to a 5.0, though it would definitely be worth it. You would probably want to get a C4 or AOD to go along with the 5.0 (if you go with AOD, you might be able to find a donor car with a 5.0 and AOD). Going AODE could get rather complicated, so you might not want to go there. If you get a transmission and engine separately, be aware that the transmission you get may or may not have the right bellhousing.
As for the engine, you can install a 5.0 with your stock k-member, but it will take a little extra work because your car started out with a straight six. Because of the extra length, your engine mounts are actually located a bit farther forward that they would be on a straight four or V-8 car and the k-member engine mount flanges extend farther forward to accomodate this. There is one person on this forum (he also posted frequently at the Fairmont area on the old forum at ford-forums.com) who has dropped a 302/5.0 into a Faimont without changing the k-member. His screen name is stymees'mont. If the old forum hasn't died yet, check it out. The short version is that you'll need to trim off the forward portion of the driver's side engine mount flange on the k-member to make clearance for the 302's oil filter and you'll need to use F-150 engine mounts.
Regarding the wiring harness, depending on your budget, you can either modify the stock 5.0 harness or you can spend roughly $500 for a trimmed-down harness from a retail supplier or Ford Racing Performance Parts.
As for the k-member, you can install an aftermarket k-member if you don't want to trim your stock piece. An aftermarket k-member will also shave some weight.
That's all I have time for right now. If it were me and I had the money, I'd definitely go with the 5.0. Right out of the box, you're looking at 225 horsepower in a car that weighs less than 2700 lbs and, or so I've heard, you'll get about 24 mpg overall agerage. Compare that to my wife's '02 Impala at approximately 3500 lbs with 180 horsepower and the same 24 mpg! BTW, she bought the car while I was deployed... I never would have allowed her to buy a Chevy!
-Drew0569
formerly Mustangfan0569
 

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Don't forget to check out the Fairmont area of the forum. Just look under "retired Ford cars" near the bottom of the "forums" page and click on "Fairmont".
 

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good answer drew! you may also want to upgrade to the 8.8 rear end as well even though the 7.5 could probably handle it, you don't want to take any chances. the best thing to do is find a 5.0 fox chassis mustang as a donor car and swap the entire drivetrain. one other thing you may run into is finding the right length driveshaft. good luck and have fun! keep us posted on your progress...
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks Drew and Monty

I'm on a pretty tight budget until my woman gets a job. I'm spending the weekend at pull parts places in Jacksonville, FL(where I live) checking out different fox mustangs. The crapper is with this cash for clunkers thing all the V8's have had the liquid glass for oil run through so I'm about to cry. I'm keeping an eye on craigslist also now.

I did find out that the tranny is for sure the C3 automatic but it might as well get replaced too since I had to drop it to 1 or 2 to get it to start rolling forward on a cold start. The transmission is the column shift so I'm sure I'll get lost when trying to figure out how that works but I'll deal with that later.

I wish this was simple like my dodge pickup. 86 dodge ram 50($400 in 2002) pulled engine, put in engine from Mitsubishi Starion Turbo, worked.

Thanks again guys, I'll keep this post updated as I locate cheap parts!
 
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