SN95_#19_DSA

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Hey everyone, looking to get a 1994-1998 Mustang GT in the next few days. Completely new to this so bear with me here.
I have been using a motorcycle daily for the last 4 years and think this would be a great first car. Moved a lot so never got the 'first car' experience when I was 16...
Anyway, looking for manual, can be high miles, red and preferably convertible. Want it to be as stock as possible so I can learn to work on the car and upgrade things over the lifetime of the ownership.
I want to make this a fun semi-daily that I can also go on longer trips with and maybe once in a while even to the drag strip hehe.
Few Q's for all ya experts on here :)
-Could anyone explain the core differences between the 4.6 and 5.0 in the SN95? sure it has more displacement and thus probably a bit more torque etc. but any differences in reliability etc?
- I want the car to be loud and I heard a bit about X-pipes and H-pipes, is there a difference?
- Any Suggestions for first mods? I plan on throwing a short throw shifter in her, cobra front bumper and maybe hood, and cold air intake... any necessities im missing?
- If the car has higher mileage, what are some of the first preventive measures and focus areas to make sure its reliable? I heard bearings are prone to fail? I would do an oil change and flush the fluids, what else?

Thanks for reading this long post, any help is appreciated!
Looking forward to being an active member of the forum!
 

evilcw311

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Asking the differences between a 4.6 and a 5.0 is a tricky question. Pushrod lovers as myself will tell you that the 4.6 is a pain to work on compared to the 5.0 and people who love the mod motors, 4.6 are so much better.

It’s like asking if white paint or black paint is better. It’s all a matter of opinion and preferences. You have to decide what you want and why you want it.


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AStangThang

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I would definitely find a lower mileage car, and half of your concerns are over. I've owned both the 5.0 and the 4.6. To be honest its your own preference really. I've had quite a few GT's over the years, and the only car I kept all these years is my 97 Gt. I wouldn't bother with looking fast until you actually are fast. I would spend my $ on a nice PI 4.6L engine and get rid of the NPI 4.6L, but keep the NPI for a rebuild later on for when you learn how to do that kinda stuff. A shifter will be fine, it will let you setup your shift knobs so your not bending shift forks in the transmission. The x pipe will be louder and make more horsepower in the higher rpm range. I would find a couple different cars and fully check them out, and don't narrow yourself down to one color and one style. The convertibles are the heaviest ones, so your already at a disadvantage. I would pick out around 5 different mustangs, with lower mileage, 5 speeds, and if you truly want a vert, pick out some of them. Make time with the owners to check them out, and if your not mechanically inclined I would take it to a shop somewhere and let a mechanic go over the car to see what you are looking at. A lot of Mustangs get rode hard and put up wet, so watch out for those. I hope this helps.
 
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SN95_#19_DSA

SN95_#19_DSA

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Asking the differences between a 4.6 and a 5.0 is a tricky question. Pushrod lovers as myself will tell you that the 4.6 is a pain to work on compared to the 5.0 and people who love the mod motors, 4.6 are so much better.

It’s like asking if white paint or black paint is better. It’s all a matter of opinion and preferences. You have to decide what you want and why you want it.


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Thank you for your response. What im getting from this is that the 4.6 is the slightly more reliable engine that likes the higher rpms. Im reading that parts are a bit more expensive than the 5.0 though. Think the 4.6 will suit me a bit better. Will look what i can find in the budget that i have. Probably less up to what I want and more up to whats currently on the market. well maintained ones for sale are getting pretty rare down here in Florida.
 
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SN95_#19_DSA

SN95_#19_DSA

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I would definitely find a lower mileage car, and half of your concerns are over. I've owned both the 5.0 and the 4.6. To be honest its your own preference really. I've had quite a few GT's over the years, and the only car I kept all these years is my 97 Gt. I wouldn't bother with looking fast until you actually are fast. I would spend my $ on a nice PI 4.6L engine and get rid of the NPI 4.6L, but keep the NPI for a rebuild later on for when you learn how to do that kinda stuff. A shifter will be fine, it will let you setup your shift knobs so your not bending shift forks in the transmission. The x pipe will be louder and make more horsepower in the higher rpm range. I would find a couple different cars and fully check them out, and don't narrow yourself down to one color and one style. The convertibles are the heaviest ones, so your already at a disadvantage. I would pick out around 5 different mustangs, with lower mileage, 5 speeds, and if you truly want a vert, pick out some of them. Make time with the owners to check them out, and if your not mechanically inclined I would take it to a shop somewhere and let a mechanic go over the car to see what you are looking at. A lot of Mustangs get rode hard and put up wet, so watch out for those. I hope this helps.
thanks for the response! I agree with not looking for fast and specified to one style etc, there aren't too many to choose from in my area either way, might have to take a trip out of state. Humidity here in florida all cars either have rust or flood damage. been looking alot for well maintained lower milage stock GT's a bit further up north. Will definitely get them checked out at a mechanic. With the convertibles while they are heavier I would just love to have that top down with all the roads by the water here. Might eventually create some additional problems though with rear windows leaking etc. Got a lot to look into... Thanks for the help!
 

evilcw311

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Nobody will say that the 4.6 is anymore reliable. The 302, aka 5.0 is one of the most reliable motors ford ever made. That’s why it was so widely used for such a long time. It’s a tried and true work horse.

The 5.0 is a more simple platform that is more known for the torque it creates. The 4.6 is a little more complicated and a lil more expensive. The 4.6 does like higher rpms.

They both have their strengths and their weaknesses.


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SN95_#19_DSA

SN95_#19_DSA

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Nobody will say that the 4.6 is anymore reliable. The 302, aka 5.0 is one of the most reliable motors ford ever made. That’s why it was so widely used for such a long time. It’s a tried and true work horse.

The 5.0 is a more simple platform that is more known for the torque it creates. The 4.6 is a little more complicated and a lil more expensive. The 4.6 does like higher rpms.

They both have their strengths and their weaknesses.


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thanks for the info... would you say a 5.0 would be easier to learn on then especially if it has a less complicated set up and cheaper parts? I do plan on upgrading some stuff. Also heard some folks talking about dropping in a 351W as a better platform, is that just regarding building a more powerful platform?
Thanks.
 

evilcw311

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thanks for the info... would you say a 5.0 would be easier to learn on then especially if it has a less complicated set up and cheaper parts? I do plan on upgrading some stuff. Also heard some folks talking about dropping in a 351W as a better platform, is that just regarding building a more powerful platform?
Thanks.

The 5.0 is much easier to learn on. Far fewer pets involved. The reasons people swap to 351w is strength of block, and the larger you can build it. 302 factory blocks won’t handle a whole lot over 500hp before the block has problems. The 351w has been pushed to well over 1,000hp depending on the year and usage. I have a 351w that’s going to the machine shop next month to be worked over as a 418w before it gets a turbo strapped to its big ass.

The 4.6 factory blocks can handle upwards of 500-600 hp if built correctly. But the cost can climb very fast.


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Patientzero

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I would stick to a 5.0 personally, cheaper and easier to work on. The 4.6 are good motors that will go forever if maintained well but without boost don't have much power potential. If a Cobra with a 4v is in your budget that would be a worthwhile alternative to the 5.0. It would also come with little upgrades like bigger brakes and such.

I've personally wanted to build a 408 SBF for awhile now.
 

96blak54

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Both engines are very capable. The older heaps known as pushrod are more versatile, ie carbureted or injected and will fit into just about anything. I remembered a company that made kits to fit a fuel injected 5.0l into a ford focus!!! Thats something a modular engine will not do!! And i personally know of folks that swapped in 5.0l coyotes after being true enthusiasts of pushrods for years only to remind themselves why the liked the pushrod engines....and then swap back to it!!!

But on a different note, the modulars are improved engineered for fuel milage and when forced induced become an extreme animal. Ill also state extracting power from one naturally aspirated is sort of a voodoo science. I really cant claim one platform having more torque than the other, but will mention the known modulars broader torque curve.

On a personal note. I curse and swear when im working on my swapped 5.4l 2valve, cause its HUGE!! But remind myself why i did the swap when i drive it.
 
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Burninriverdiver

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Welcome to the site! You must live in a great area to daily a motorcycle for 4 years!

Both the 4.6 and 5.0 have a loyal following and have proven to be pretty reliable motors. I was a little intimidated when I first started working on my 4.6 but with some good advice here, I realized it's not all that bad.

When I searched for my car I didn't have a motor preference because I didn't know much about either. Price, v8, and manual were my only 3 criteria. If you stay open minded to either and just look for a deal on something that hits most of your requirements you can make enough power to have some fun
 
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SN95_#19_DSA

SN95_#19_DSA

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Welcome to the site! You must live in a great area to daily a motorcycle for 4 years!

Both the 4.6 and 5.0 have a loyal following and have proven to be pretty reliable motors. I was a little intimidated when I first started working on my 4.6 but with some good advice here, I realized it's not all that bad.

When I searched for my car I didn't have a motor preference because I didn't know much about either. Price, v8, and manual were my only 3 criteria. If you stay open minded to either and just look for a deal on something that hits most of your requirements you can make enough power to have some fun
Thanks for the response, guess it is best to stick with those same 3 criteria for now. Im sure they both make a great project in their own respective ways. Will look at a few this weekend and see which one best suites me. Will make an update thread once i make a purchase! Thank you!
 

Silver95bird

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The best question to ask, is what do you want the car to do? A certain hp number? A certain 1/4 mile time? Staying N/a no matter what, or going centrifugal/roots/turbo? Corner Carver?

Most people's problems are created by people just throwing parts at a car and then being disappointed or unsatisfied with the results. Decide what you want, then as each piece gets added youre always marching in a straight line to your goal.
Some things are better on a 5.0. Aftermarket aluminum heads, the big bore, and cheap cams make NA power easier to get by far.
If you're keeping it fairly stock, I like the 4.6. At 100-150k change the timing chain guides (unless you're in there modding anyway), keep it full of oil and coolant and they run damn near forever. I don't find them hard to work on, though cams are definitely more expensive.
 

07GtS197

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Im in tampa... is it stock? i can travel a bit if its worth my time.
Its not 100% stock no. Its the one in my signature if you are on the desktop website. Its been sitting on the back burner for a while but right now I just dont have the time. Pm me if you want more info.
 

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