Here's a guy who could teach all of us something. Andy Manna bought one Lincoln Mark VIII and two Mustangs, combined the best parts of all three cars, added some used parts he purchased online, and ended up with a Fox-body Mustang with SN95 chassis parts, an amalgamation of the Lincoln's powertrain as his daily driver, and a net cash outlay of about $2,700.
You are right to be skeptical of that figure, of course. That paintjob alone would cost that much for most guys, but notice how we threw in the word "net"? Andy is a voracious online buyer and seller of all sorts of things, not just car parts. Whatever parts left over from the donor cars were either sold or recycled. That way, Andy was able to pay himself back for nearly the entire cost of this build.
It also helps that Andy has an automotive dealer's license, which enables him to buy cars at auctions not open to the public. Dealer auctions will often sell cars not fit for the road: cars that are damaged or won't pass emissions tests anymore. It's up to the dealer to either repair or scrap the car. Andy was able to buy the Mark VIII for $550 and the Mustang for $700, for the sole purpose of dropping the 300hp, 32-valve V8 into the Mustang. Both cars were theft recoveries, and both ran and drove fine. The Mustang was a four-banger, though, so he bought a second, non-running but V8-equipped Fox body Mustang for $300 for the better rear-axle and suspension parts.
He actually drove the Mark VIII for several months before beginning the engine swap. "The more I drove it, the less I wanted to take it apart," Andy says.
He ultimately did go through with his plan, and had the Mark VIII engine and transmission running in the Mustang in just two short months of mostly evenings and weekends. "The wiring was a challenge," Andy says, describing the part of the swap that caused the most head-scratching. The Lincoln's ECM is a multiplexing system, meaning many of the components and modules are connected and in communication with each other. As most of us would do, Andy left out electronic stuff from the Lincoln not needed in the Mustang. Engine tuners can reprogram an ECM to ignore various inputs, but even with that, the engine didn't run right at first. Andy had the foresight to save all the Lincoln components, though, and began plugging them in until the engine ran normally. It turns out he needed the SCIL (steering column, ignition, lighting) module to just be plugged in, even though the Mustang has a manual light switch and the Lincoln's anti-theft features had been programmed out of the ECM.
With that mystery solved, Andy says the car runs great. Even with more than 150,000 miles on it, the engine sends 265 hp to the rear wheels and runs 8.73 at 84 mph on Irwindale's eighth-mile track (approximately 13.8s in the quarter-mile). But he also has a used Kenne Bell supercharger, a spare Mark VIII engine, and plans for a lot more power. Who says nothing good comes from surfing the Web?
Who: Andy Manna
What: 1993 Ford Mustang
Where: Upland, CA
Engine: A '98 Lincoln Mark VIII donated its engine and transmission to Andy's Mustang. The long-block is completely stock, but Andy dropped the intake manifold from a '96 Cobra.
Transmission: It's the stock 4R70W from the Mark VIII.
The Swap: The SN95 platform is very similar to the Fox's chassis, and because SN95 Mustangs came with Modular power after 1996, swapping a Mod motor into a Fox-body Mustang isn't like reinventing the wheel. Andy bought a used K-member from a '98 Cobra and modified it to fit the Fox-body chassis. He also installed a used Hydroboost unit from a '98 Cobra because the Modular engine is so outwardly huge that there's no room for a vacuum-brake booster. He was able to use the '93 Mustang's stock gas tank and fuel lines, needing only to adapt them to the Mark VIII's fuel rail. He did have to make a couple brackets to mount various fluid reservoirs, and he adapted the Mark VIII radiator and electric fan to fit the Fox's core support. The 4R70W transmission is an evolution of Ford's AOD, so it fit the Fox's trans tunnel perfectly. Andy had the Lincoln's aluminum driveshaft shortened to fit and connected it to the V8 donor car's 8.8-inch rear axle, which contains 4.10:1 gears on a newly rebuilt Traction Lok differential. Andy admitted the wiring was a bit of a challenge at first, but not so bad once he got everything sorted out. Kevin Kenley, owner of the Terminator-swapped Fox body we featured in our May '10 issue, helped Andy sort out the wiring. He used the Mark VIII's ECM, combining it with wiring harnesses from both cars. Adam Montague of ST Motorsports in San Bernardino, California, tuned the Mustang on his chassis dyno, coaxing 265 hp at the wheels—pretty good for a stock engine with 160,000 miles. Remember, these things were rated at 305 at the crank.
Smog Police: Andy's dealer plate means this car is exempt from California's bi-annual emissions checks, but we have no reason to believe it wouldn't pass a tailpipe test.
Exhaust: The exhaust manifolds are from a Cobra, as is the H-pipe. Andy says he had to cut and re-weld it to get it to fit. He hung a pair of Dynomax VT mufflers aft of the H-pipe, terminating them with turn-downs.
Interior: Apart from giving it a thorough cleaning, Andy didn't do much to the interior.
Paint/Body: When he bought it, the Mustang's paint was very dull from baking in the sun. A neighbor buffed it out to a pretty good shine just in time for a distracted driver to crash into him. His insurance company was ready to write the car off as a total loss, just going by the VIN (19-year-old, four-cylinder Mustang), but Andy didn't let that happen. He met his agent at the car with a suitcase of receipts detailing every part installed on the car. As a result, his insurance agent increased the agreed value of the car to somewhere between $10,000 and $12,000 (Andy had insured it to $15,000), and consented to have all the damage repaired. In the process, Andy was able to have the entire car repainted. What can we all learn from this? That engine swaps can add lots of value to your car, but be sure to keep all your receipts!