96 to early 98 can be programmed with 1 key, not that you have even one key. Ford changed it to 2 keys later after they figured out that meant valets could easily add a key while in their lot.
You should be able to follow the new master key learn process and have it work, it just a long boring process with the long waits in-between steps and high chance of missing the 5 minute windows for the next step due to nodding off lol.
Not sure if you know this already but the PATS system isn't in the tumbler, it's the weird ring mounted around the tumbler in the column. Once at least one key is programmed you can remove that ring, zip tie a working key to it (you can cut off the "key" part to make it easier), stuff it in the lower dash, and then use any normal non-chipped key to start the vehicle. It also means any idiot with a screwdriver can start it too, as you have completely bypassed the system permanently. This was also the normal method used to bypass the systems in the early days of installing aftermarket remote starts in these vehicles.
There are a couple vids on YouTube that explain how to bypass the controls on the motor as well, so then there is no need for a PATS chipped key at all. It's somewhat involved, digging into control boxes and rerouting the wires as needed but it seems less involved with a higher chance of success than the carb mounted on a throttle body technique.
The last option I would throw out is to find the compatible intake from an earlier non-EFI, non-PATS engine and go that route. Should be able to stay low on the costs to stay within the "regs" of the $500 car. Could also sell off some unneeded parts to offset the costs too, very commonly done.
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