David Stribling
March 21, 2014

S197 V-6 Swap

I want to put the 2011 Mustang dash, its 3.7L Duratec V-6 engine, and its 6R80 six-speed automatic transmission in my 1968 Mustang. I have the dash and I am currently saving money to get the engine and trans. I work on a vast amount of electronics and mechanics of all different combinations in my job field, including hydraulics and computer systems. I also have some other crazy ideas, but I am pushing the norm in those thoughts as well. Here is a fellow putting the 3.7L and 6R80 combination in his late-model Fox-era Mustang: www.v6mustang.com/threads/3-7-swap-in-a-fox-body-what-are-your-thoughts-folks.267195/page-2. Could you tell us how we can get this done with any kit out there, or is this going to be a first of its kind type of thing? Money is just a matter of time so I don't care how much it will cost. A full article would be awesome!

James Kelly
Costa Mesa, CA

I know that there are several V-6 conversions happening right now and of course, it's coming down to the engine harness. Nobody makes one right now, and my sources tell me the Ford Racing harness for the 3.7L has been shelved. Because you are using the dash assembly, as well as the engine, my advice would be to gain access to a complete V-6 car. You're going to need the wiring harnesses out of it to make it all work. Aftermarket wiring harnesses are only going to care about running the engine—you need the whole lot for the gauges and more to work. Having the whole car is better than constantly running to the Ford dealer if you are missing a small plug in part—and cheaper too. You need to contact Helm, Inc. (www.helminc.com) and order a wiring diagram for the '11 engine. One other thing to note—because of the myriad of options available in the new cars, you need to make sure you get the specific harnesses for the engine/options you want to run. Because of vehicle theft, the computers are getting smarter, and won't run unless the correct wiring harnesses are installed. A friend of mine who rebuilds wrecks says it is getting much more difficult to just go to the yard and pick up a harness—they are getting option specific.

You'll be doing some major fabrication to get the whole dash in the '68 Mustang. I have done one and seen several SN-95 conversions, but the S197 is wider and you will be cutting it to fit. If you just want a harness to run the engine, nothing is on the market—yet. Telorvek, now owned by Ron Francis Wiring (www.thedetailzone.com) does build custom harnesses for modern engine swaps, and if enough of us inquire about it, they may make a harness that would run the 3.7L V-6 engine with your existing computer. This will be an excellent swap—let's get the industry behind us on this one!

Crazy for Power

I'm restoring a 1968 Mustang fastback and I'm having a dilemma in regards to what to purchase for front and rear suspensions. We're building a 429 bored and stroked to 521ci with Jon Kaase heads, so the car will potentially have 700 plus lb-ft of torque. I recently read online that people have experienced issues with build quality with some companies. What company would you recommend? Bear in mind that the car, when completed, will be for street and show and a little showing off. Thank you for your assistance.

Joseph McCabe
Schenectady, NY

A 700 lb-ft John Kaase engine puts you in Crazyland, and you need to think beyond the bolt-in box. To corral that much power, putting a cage in the car so you don't twist it like a pretzel is probably a good place to start. My recommendations would be to check out Art Morrison (www.artmorrison.com), Chris Alston's Chassisworks (www.cachassisworks.com), or even check with some of your local chassis builders about caging that car. Living in Crazyland requires a lot of attention to detail to keep the car out of the ditches. If you want to put that much power in the car, you want to be able to get as much of it to the pavement as possible. You need to stiffen the chassis and have lots of tire to do that!

With that in mind, I want you to check out Griggs Racing (www.griggsracing.com) and take a look at their setup. If you don't end up buying a complete system from one of the above vendors, the Griggs system will, along with your cage, give you the handling you're looking for. Good luck.

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