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Best Intake Manifold to Swap Onto Split-Port 3.8 For HP, TQ, and Ability To Handle BOOST

Discussion in '1994-2004 V6 Mustang Tech' started by Juls, Aug 14, 2019.

  1. Juls

    Juls New Member

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    How goes it everyone? Currently, I'm planning to go to the local scrapyard and pull some parts for a few cars. I've also had an intake manifold swap in mind for my 99 V6 Stang for a while since I discovered the Windstar Swap and the results it can yield. Since there are practically a section filled with Windstars AND F150s, a question came across my mind:
    Now, I know the 96-98 Windstar Composite Upper Intake Manifold is the most common swap done, and that there were even kits for it that were sold by a site for some time. However, what about the other intakes available? Essentially what I am looking for here is the pros and cons of each split port Essex V6 Intake Manifold, besides the few things I do know about each that I will state next to each option. What flows better? Is one more durable than the other? Maybe one benefits low end torque more than the other options? And so on any so forth. So without further ado, here are the intakes. Lay those facts and opinions on me, just don't attack me for seeming like a braindead for asking the question when I know what is most commonly done, and don't attack each other either (not saying you will, but the internet has some interesting people).
    Options are listed below, labeled pictures will be attached in case you as a reader are not familiar with the specific intake :)
    IN TERMS OF PLANS FOR THE CAR (I know this important so you can give me proper advice), I DO plan on fully building the motor and going with decently high boost in excess of 18PSI. It will see some street use as well as some occasional strip use.

    Option 1: 97-00 Ford F150/Other Truck's Aluminum Upper Intake Manifold
    I know it is able to be ported which can be beneficial, but of course, being metal, there's good 'ol heatsoak. BUT, does that really matter? Let me know. I am also aware that this one is very tall and will likely require a new hood. But what else is good or bad about this one?

    Option 2: 01-04 F150 Composite/Plastic/Nylon Upper Intake Manifold
    Apparently really tall, which is fine for me.

    Option 3: 96-98 Windstar Composite Upper Intake Manifold

    Option 4: 99-03 (and 03?) Windstar Composite Intake Manifold
    -I do know this one will require the matching lower intake also

    Option 5: 03? Windstar Composite Upper Intake Manifold
    -Saw this on ebay. Is it really specific to the 03 Windstar? I know almost nothing about the vans:/

    Option 6: 05-08 F150, Van, etc Composite Upper Intake Manifold
    Don't know a damn thing about this one chief

    Option 7: Keep my stock intake manifold and get it ported, polished, etc, along with the lower.
     

    Attached Files:

  2. Pete fender

    Pete fender Pete Fender

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    The Windstar manifolds are getting old, and that plastic gets brittle over time.
    It's not much more to use the aluminum f-150 4.2 manifold.
    Too much boost can hurt any engine, but the aluminum would seem to be a better choice.
    I have a F-150 manifold from a truck that was broadsided, I might install it this winter, but no boost.
    The do flow better than stock.
    The hardest part is finding a Windstar EGR adapter, as I want to retain the ECR.
     
  3. Juls

    Juls New Member

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    Let me know how that swap goes and what numbers look like after if you ever dyno it
     
  4. mustangmansam

    mustangmansam Active Member

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    I had the F150 intake. You would need a Cobra racing hood because of clearance issues. It is a much easier to convert. It has great low end torque. But it will be more gas because it spits and sputters below 1500 RPMs. I tried it with and without a tune. 1500 rpms is the beginner sweet spot. You do not need a bunch of speciality parts to do the F150 conversion. I recommend the Winstar. It has better horsepower and will fit under the stock hood.
     
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  5. Pete fender

    Pete fender Pete Fender

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    I have done it before. I didn't have hood clearance problems, I made a remote location for the IAC.
    Anytime I make major changes, I go to a friend who flashes the PCM.
    Using convertible engine mounts will lower the engine enough.
    Windstar manifolds are getting older, and the plastic can crack if using boost.
    The Aluminum can be hogged out, if necessary, and they have longer runners, more torque if set up right.
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2019
  6. Juls

    Juls New Member

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    With all that being said, the Aluminum may just be the choice. I definitely do understand the point of plastic/nylon cracking and breaking down over time. The cooler air and reduced weight may be nice, but I'd rather not have to replace it again, and again, and again.
     
  7. Juls

    Juls New Member

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    Luckily, I'm okay with going with a new hood. I had been thinking of doing so for a bit. I never knew that the intake causes a bit of wimpiness at lower RPMs though. Any root causes and solutions? I wonder if the F-150s have that issue in general then.
    I do like the idea of a Windstar swap as well, but I would like to have a more durable manifold that can handle higher boost pressures. I've done some searching around and apparently 18 PSI is the magic level NOT to pass with the Windstar intake.
    Maybe the newer versions of it, or the other composite F-150 intakes can handle more. No idea though, I've only ever seen numbers and builds with pictures and videos of the Windstar intake.
     
  8. Pete fender

    Pete fender Pete Fender

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    Most people that do either manifold swap, don't have the PCM re flashed, cost I guess.
    One of the mechanics at the shop has a really nice re-flashing burner, and the problems you mentioned can be dealt with by a re-tune.
    I'm still using stock 24 pound injectors, and that car is very reliable.
    I'm not going to lie about power, but it is definitely vastly improved, on top of reliability.
    Yo have to redo the fuel trims with the re-flash, but it is well worth it.
     
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  9. Pete fender

    Pete fender Pete Fender

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    Like changing jets in an old Holley 4 bbl.
     
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  10. mustangmansam

    mustangmansam Active Member

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    My vehicle was bolt ons and rocker armso, I have no idea about boost. I do not remember any old 4.2 post about intakes with boost. I could only find 2 years ago with no instructions on how to do the conversion. You will have to relocate a few things like the coil pack. It is a very easy conversion compared to the Windstar. I think because the 4.2s are tq. monsters the longer runers work good at lower RPMs. Just a guess.
    If you do not have a v6 CIA I will mail you my converted 4.2 intake free. Just pm me your name and address.
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2019
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  11. Pete fender

    Pete fender Pete Fender

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    Replace the throttle cable with a shorter one made for an F150.
    Either get the EGR mount from an F150 or Windstar, or delete the EGR.
    Get a tune when you are dome for the fuel trim and EGR delete.
    They are hard to find, Ford does not make them anymore.
    There are two Mustangs I know of with twin turbos, using the F150 manifold.

    One more thing.
    If you already have a CAI, the V6 CAI can be used to route the air filter to the same place, using all the same parts.
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2019
  12. Juls

    Juls New Member

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    Awesome, thank you so much for all the info and input you've given me Pete.
     
  13. Juls

    Juls New Member

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    Yeah, I haven't seen much about using the 4.2 Intake either. Good to know that it could be easier than the Windstar's installation. I know the Windstar requires quite a few modifications and even the removal of the EGR system, which I'd prefer not to do. I do currently have a CAI installed already. Was that what you were offering? The intake piping fabbed to work with a 4.2 intake?
     
  14. Pete fender

    Pete fender Pete Fender

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    I used the v6 CAI I had, but bought a 90 degree elbow, and it worked fine.
     
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  15. Juls

    Juls New Member

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    Good to know. Thank you!