Join Date: Jan 2019
Location: Sedgwick, Kansas
With your car's already very low first gear, going with 3.80s would make it about as handy as 1-Low in a 1960s 4 wheel drive truck. Great for pulling stumps, but not so useful for a more performance oriented vehicle. Also, given its general lack of intestinal fortitude, I'd think about replacing that first! Get a T5 Z maybe. Or drive it till it comes apart on a hard 1-2 shift, and put something better in when it's less convenient.
Once you have a new transmission in, then you could do the rear gears and actually get some use out of 5th.
If you haven't already, do the Shelby drop up front, put on a 1" swaybar, and get some KYB (cheap) or Bilstein (not cheap) shocks. That will absolutely transform your car's handling.
When it comes to engine, saving up for a set of AFR heads or perhaps some TW's will sure bring it to life. Good heads and a mild cam is an awesome recipe for an all-around fun car. Broad-shouldered torque, good economy, fun to drive in town or on the highway, and perfect for anything except high end track use.