Pete Epple Technical Editor
December 3, 2010

Since the beginning of hot rodding, engine swaps have been one of the most interesting trends for automotive enthusiasts. If you can think of an engine and vehicle combination, chances are, someone's done it. We've even seen V-10 and diesel-powered Mustangs.

With that, we were looking for a powertrain combination for our '88 LX that's been sitting with fresh paint, but no powerplant. Given the efficiency and power potential of the Three-Valve Mustang GT engine, and the versatility of the lightweight Fox chassis, the MM&FF staff thought it would be the perfect time to show you what it takes to drop a Three-Valve in a Fox. Not only are these engines plentiful, but they make great power with simple mods, with a blower, they can equal that of a GT500. Combined that with a light Fox, and you can build a real screamer.

Among the MM&FF staffers, there is an impressive stable of Mustangs and Ford-powered awesomeness (hey, it's what we do)! Of the many Fox-bodies in the family, our two-tone '88 LX has been patiently waiting for some new drivetrain and suspension components. The Sonic Blue and Satin Silver Cobra clone has been in its roller state for a few years, and it's definitely time to let this Pony stretch its legs.

A few months ago, a discussion arose about how to fill the empty space between the fenders. A few different Windsor options were brought up, including a 460-plus-cubic-inch max-effort NA version, but we kept coming back to the mod motors. Once the decision was made to go with modular power, the engine choice was simple.

Ford Racing Performance Parts (FRPP) has made swapping a 4.6L Three-Valve into just about anything extremely easy. Not only does FRPP sell complete crate engines, it also sells the needed components to get one up and running quickly and easily.

FRPP sent us a 350hp Hot Rod crate engine (PN M-6007-A463NA), priced at $6,300, and the Control Pack (PN M-6017-463V), which includes a pre-calibrated computer, drive-by-wire gas pedal assembly, wiring harness, and an FRPP cold-air intake. The Control Pack is priced around $1,200; the engine and Control Pack are available from Modular Depot (www.modulardepot.com). The basically stock Three-Valve comes with FRPP's Hot Rod cams already installed, but it is 125hp over a stock 5.0 and can easily be modified to make well over 500hp. This should be the perfect powerplant for our lightweight Fox.

Since the car has been dormant for some time, a few of the systems need to be repaired/upgraded. This includes the suspension and brakes-two very important systems. We want to make sure the rest of the components will support the new mod mill, and when Maximum Motorsports caught wind of our plans, it jumped on board, sending us a slew of suspension components to ensure our mod motor bolts right in and gets down the track.

As we move forward, we'll rip out the old brakes and upgrade to better binders. Follow along as we start our newest modular swap.

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