How much power can a 3.8l make?


New Member
I have a 3.8l v6 out of a 1984 fox mustang in my 1993 fox mustang. It has aluminum heads on it as of now. I'm curious as to what I can get out of it power wise and what all I'd need to do? If I can get good numbers out of it I won't bother building a 302 until I'm tired of the v6. Thank you.


Active Member
Anything can make a bunch of power with enough time and money invested into it.

Pre-93 3.8's are even worse than 94-98 3.8s though.

To be honest it would be so much easier and cheaper to throw a 302 with ford explorer heads/Intakes and make 300hp than it would to build a single port 3.8 to make that kind of power.

By the way that exact comment got me banned from the 3.8/4.2 mustang group on facebook. I hope I dont get banned from here for speaking common sense..
I think it would be cool to keep a 3.8 it the car. That’s exactly what I am going to do when I find a Foxbody in good shape locally. I had found a 89 and the deal fell threw. And I agree with what “fasterthanyou” said also it’s just I wanted to do something different this time because I have done the 302’s 351w’s and some big block stuff but I just got interested in the v6 stuff and have been ever since. Like he said it’s really all about what you have to spend and the work that you want to put in to it.


I have found many threads on this but little conclusive, or generally accepted answers. If anyone finds one with a solid answer, please post a link.

It isn't really a 'it can make however much you want' (specially if you want realistic reliability), but at some point something fundamental will break, and that is the limit of the engine. Which is why the question gets asked. If you are going to sink money into an engine, 'what is the limit?'. Then you know if it is worth putting the money in to this engine, or if you should swap it for something that goes further. ....or perhaps decide it makes more sense to spend 1/10th of the money for 80% of the absolute max output.

6 Shooter

Well-Known Member
For what it is worth, am making 621 RWHP on 21 psi of boost. That translates to over 700 crank HP. But, the motor has a Crower built crank, forged pistons, forged rods, billet main caps, and a 1/2" thick crank girdle along with ARP bolts and studs.