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Fox Body Fairmont 3V Motor Swap (4.6L Mustang Engine)

Created by Jeff Jimenez
Date Created: 11/27/2013
Last Updated: 2/5/2020

Follow along in this video as we walk you through our Fox Body 4.6L 3V motor swap project! It has some great in-depth walk through details on what it takes to swap one of these Ford Modular Motors into a Fox Body Mustang!

Viewing this install and using the information shared is subject to the terms set forth here - View the LMR Install Instructions Disclaimer.

FOLLOW: mustang , 79 93 mustang , fox body , video , installation , ford racing , project car , 3v fairmont

We’ve said it before, the Fox Body Mustang has proven to become todays 32 Ford. You’ll find today’s hot-rodders installing virtually any engine combination you can imagine into these cars. I’ve seen everything from a Duramax to a Cadillac 500 in a Fox Body Mustang. The options are endless, thanks to the 1979-1993 Mustangs large engine bay, light weight, low price, and availability of parts.

Now, not everyone is hip to Mustang LS1 Engine Swap or Rat motor into their Ford. The Brand-loyal types want to look to their beloved blue oval offerings for solutions on getting the most bang-for-the-buck, while separating themselves from the pushrod 5.0 crowd.

Im here to offer you Mustang blue bloods with a viable option to your venerable 5.0 thats inexpensive (relatively speaking), plentiful, and easy to retrofit. What is it? Its Ford Racing Mustang crate engine – 4.6L 3v and controls package. Ok, now you guys are probably thinking “I thought he said cheap?”….

Fox Body Fairmont 3V Motor Swap (4.6L Mustang Engine) - fox body mustang 3v engine swap fairmont

Well, relatively speaking, FRPPs three-valve 4.6 engines are cheap, when you consider that you’re getting a brand-new assembly, with Ford Racings proven reliability, in a complete package from intake to oil pan. I just recently rebuilt a 306 with aluminum heads and a lot of new and used parts, and I can tell you that it wasn’t “cheap”. It also wasn’t as reliable, didn’t have the road manners and arguably, was not as powerful (well find out later on that).UPDATE: Since this article was written the Mustang 4.6L 3V egnines can be found in salvage yards for dirt cheap prices!

Fords 3-valve is certain to become more and more of a viable swap option as time goes on. They are lightweight (about 420 pounds complete), they make great power (300 in stock form, the hot rod 3-valve is 350), they respond well to modifications, and they’re plentiful. Ford recently released specs on the 2010 Mustang, including its virtually un-changed 4.6. That puts at least a successful 6 model years of the un-changed 3 valve so far. That kind of production will land scores of engines in salvage cars, as well as fuel the aftermarket to create more and better replacement parts. All of this favors the 3V over the prior 2-valve and 4-valve options, both of which were heavier, and endured numerous changes over their 9 years in Mustang.

Fox Body Fairmont 3V Motor Swap (4.6L Mustang Engine) - 4.6L 3v Engine Swap In Fox Body Fairmont

Until recently the proven S197 powerplant wasn’t easily swapped into a fox-body. The complicated drive-by-wire throttle body and stringent engine controls didnt allow the retrofit of the 05-09 Mustangs harnesses into an older car. Also, the return less fuel system didn’t revert back to older cars very easily. There are options out there if you’re using the 99-04 electronics, but it’s still complicated and almost requires an entire donor vehicle.

Well, Ford Racings changed all of that. They now offer a street rod stand-alone engine controls package to retrofit the newer 4.6 Mustang GT engine into older cars. The controls package is super simple and includes everything you need to get the new motor running, with the exception of your fuel system. Included in the kit is the ECM, relay module, and simplified harness with diagnostic port to make easy connections to virtually anything with 12 volts. The kit even includes a Bullitt style cold air kit and the drive by wire accelerator pedal. Best of all, the kit is designed to run in conjunction with a return style fuel system.

We’re performing this swap on a 79 fox to show you just how easy it can be. We are using Ford Racing Hot Rod Crate Engine M6007A463NA, along with the Ford Racing 4.6L 3V engine control pack p/n M6017463V, which is designed for this swap, but could just as easily be used on a salvage yard 4.6. The car will be a street-strip brawler with precious few amenities. The goal will be to show you guys how this can be done, and what type of performance to expect from the swap of the new 4.6 into a light weight platform.

Follow along on this build. I think you’ll be surprised at how easily this can be accomplished. You may just decide to convert that old 4-banger or engine-less roller into a 3V fox of your own. We’ll be the guinea pigs.

Fox Body Fairmont 3V Motor Swap (4.6L Mustang Engine) - 3V Engine Swap In Fox Body Fairmont

Fox Body Fairmont 3V Motor Swap Project

Follow this awesome build in the articles below! If you are thinking about doing a 4.6L 3V engine swap in your Fox Body Mustang, this is a must read!!

Fox Body Fairmont 3V Motor Swap: Engine Installation

Follow along as we get the 4.6L 3V engine installated in our Fox Body Fairmont! We ran into a few issues with headers. Read this article to see our solution! more

Fox Body Fairmont 3V Motor Swap: FRPP Controls Pack & Fuel Install

Check out the install of Ford Racing's harness & controls pack, as well as the fuel system on LMR's Fox Body Fairmont 3V Motor Swap. more

Fox Body Fairmont 3V Motor Swap: Final Touches

We are on the final steps before you crank up our Fox Body Fairmont 3V motor swap project. We had to address the final pieces of the exhaust, brakes and suspension. These are the final steps we had to take before firing up this beast! more

Fox Body Fairmont 3V Motor Swap: Test Drive

Well our Fox Body Fairmont 3V motor swap project is finally done! Watch the video as we take if for a test drive. The Ford Racing Hot Rod Cams make this one amazing sounding and performing Fox Body vehicle! more

Fox Body Fairmont 3V Motor Swap Dyno

Well it is “D-Day” better known as Dyno Day for our Fox Body Fairmont 3V Motor Swap Project! Check out the dyno graphs below. more

About the Video

Fox Body Fairmont w/ Mustang 3V Engine Swap -- Ford Racing M-6017-463V

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Published on 2013-11-22
We took the Fox Body Fairmont out for a little test drive. This thing sounds wicked and launches like crazy. The exhaust setup includes a set of MAC long tube headers, a modified BBK x-pipe, and Jones mufflers coupled with a set of Pipes flow tubes. The 4.6L Mustang 3V engine is being run by the Ford Racing Controls Pack (M-6017-463V).

For a full detailed write up with build specs and hundreds of pics check out our our blog series on this car.

Mustang 4.6L 3V Ford Racing Controls Pack, M6017463V
Thumbnail image of the author of this article, Jeff Jimenez.

About the Author

Jeff has written for LMR for 12+ years and has owned multiple Mustangs and an SVT Lightning. His passion for writing comes from a love of the Mustang community & creating a great customer experience. Read more...