1997 Mustang GT 4.6 To 5.3 Chevy Vortec


I wanted to switch out my 4.6 & T45 Ford to a 5.3 & T56 Chevy Engine & Trans.

My local yard has the engine for $600 w/ 94k miles on it.

I know il need to purchase the kit for the engine mounts, purchase aftermarket gauges and clutch kit for the T56.

My only concern mainly is the air conditioning… I live in texas so this is desperately needed! How would i go about hooking this up?? Could i use the 4.6 lines and buy some sort of conversion kit for the chevys AC compressor?

My mechanics skills are decent, i’m still learning some as i go along…

What else would i need to do apart from the mounts aswell??

Any issues i could possibly run into along the way?

I believe someone said something about the Kmember

Any help is greatly appreciated!!

the exhaust might have to be changed. also drive shaft length might be different. ecu. i think mustangman would probably answer this the best

Look at the emission sticker under the hood.

It reflects the engine and emissions system that was installed by the manufacturer.

Modifying a vehicle that doesn’t meet the those specifications is called emissions tampering…

This can result in steep fines not only to the owner of the vehicle, but also to the shop that performed those modifications if caught.

Just sayin’


Yeah i plan on grabbing an Harness & ECU from a chevy aswell… I know the driveshaft would probably be a problem, someone was saying a v6 driftshaft might fit with that engine.

I don’t have any cats on my car currently, inspection has never been in issue, i live in Texas but everytime i’ve been to get an inspection i’ve never had an emissions test performed.

That’s because Texas only has safety inspections.


This is not going to be as simple or cheap as you may think. Fords and Chevys, in terms of electronics, are like speaking English and Spanish.

If you just have to have a bigger engine, I’d suggest going with a Ford engine like a 5.0 V8. At least then you’d be speaking American English and British English.

Good luck.

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If you live in Brazoria, Collin, Dallas, Denton, El Paso, Ellis, Fort Bend, Galveston, Harris, Johnson, Kaufman, Montgomery, Parker, Rockwall, Tarrant, Travis, and Williamson counties (where most of the people live) you also have to pass an emissions test.

And I have no interest in helping someone pollute my air.


Not an impossible swap. They’re putting GM ls motors in everything these days. A guy at work is putting a 6.0 in an older K1500 as we speak. I’m friends with a guy who has a 5.3 in an old Dodge D100.

You will run into some issues, I’m sure. Have you checked out Advanced Adapters’ website? I wouldn’t be surprised if they don’t have a conversion kit for the engine, at least. I really don’t know about the AC lines. If nothing else, I’d think you could get some made that are GM on one end, Ford on the other, assuming they don’t already sell such a thing online somewhere. Like you mentioned, if you get the GM harness, it’s doable. The only Ford sensors you’re left with that I can think of off hand might be some ABS or wheel speed sensors, etc.

Good luck with it, maybe someone who knows a little more will chime in.

Might be a lot easier to supercharge or turbo a 4.6 (or 5.4) Ford. I don’t know how power would compare with what you’re planning for the 5.3, though.

Not trying to get you to leave, but I think I’d ask your question in a Mustang LS swap forum.

5.0’s (if you mean 2011 and up) are probably going to run you a lot more money than a 5.3. If you mean the older ones, you’d have less power than the 4.6 (stock). I really don’t think putting a coyote 5.0 in would be easier than an ls.

I vote 6.0 lol. Have toyed with the idea of replacing the 4.8 in my truck with a 6.0. Easy swap (same block, harness, etc), but I’ll probably never do it.

Ok cool, thanks. I live in a city that doesn’t require an emissions test.

I want to do the 6.0 swap but it’s a little out of my budget :confused:

@Mustangman. Could you opine on this thread? Thanks.

5.3s are cheap. You will need wiring harnesses for each car so you can connect rhe Chevy harness to the Ford. The LS ecu will need reprogramming to fix several things, like any security items so it will actually start.

You will need to have a driveshaft made. It isn’t hard or expensive. You will need engine moynt adaptors, teans crossmember adaptors and a way to actuate the clutch. I think the 97 Mustang uses a cable and the Chevy a concenteic hydraulic slave. That is going to a bit tricky. Somewhere, some company must sell that kit.

The AC lines are easy. Any good AC shop can mate the Chevy compressor ends to the Ford lines. Trickier will be packaging all the accessory drives in the engine bay for the AC, alternator and power steering. You will likely need to scour the boneyard for a Camaro drive package because a truck setup won’t fit. Neither will a truck intake manifold likely fit under the hood.

I’d like to see you run dual cat convertors on this to clean the air and keep the ecu happy, too.

There are so many Ford performance parts and engines available, why switch to Chevy?

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Thank you! Yeah the AC was my main worry… I will definitely be putting cats on once i can figure out the exhaust setup. As far as the hood setup i was going to have it cut to fit the intake in… I saw a video on how to do so.

Do you know if i could run a GT45 turbo with this engine?? What would i need to upgrade engine wise as far as internals? thank you again!

This is my 3rd 4.6 i’ve been through and they have been nothing but problems for me… My car has alot of sentimental value to me… I always keep up on maintenance but i always end up burning oil or having some sort of knock within the 140k mile range. First 2 engines threw a rod, the engine i currently have in it is from a 2011 crown vic 4.6… Just started with a top end tick and loss of compression in 2 cylinders.

and i only have 105k miles on it currently… I have mechanical gauges and my oil pressure has always been normal…

Most LS engines will take 7 to 10 psi boost easy as long as they are in good shape. I would start to be concerned once the engine got over 100k miles. Mostly piston cracking.

Thing is, a 5.3 with a good cam and exhaust is good for over 425 hp, about what a stock engine with 7 psi would give you.

Far, far cheaper than any turbo setup is a 6.2 with more cam and exhaust. 550 reliable hp all day long and more if you want it and it bolts right in place of the 5.3.

Seeing as how the 2v 4.6 is one of Fords most reliable engines, what are you doing to break them?

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Yeah i plan on putting a cam in it but wow i didn’t know it would produce that with a cam setup…

Honestly i’m not sure, i knew a few buddies of mine who have the 4.6 and they run great 200k+ miles… I’m not too hard on it, i do race once in awhile (Not very fast atm even with comp cams)… I think this engine was beat on previously since it was pulled from a running police car… but still i’ve had such bad experiences with them. I even had a 95 crown vic that smoked terribly!