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post #91 of 289 (permalink) Old 06-03-2016, 11:18 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by XR7-4.6 View Post
Whoever owned that explorer previously REALLY must have been abusive to kill not one but TWO 4.6s catastrophically!


If I were in your boat(which I somewhat am, although I have a motor, na nana naa nah lol) I'd chose the most expediant solution to keep the car mobile. Once you down it for longterm projects with major missing parts it becomes very easy to prolong and lose interest in it, personally I know quite a few people whose projects went that way. Do the crown Vic motor(if it's truly good) and move the battery to the trunk to get weight off the nose(it ain't 80 lbs difference like the block but it's more than half)
Well I'd be going from Iron block to Iron block, so there's essentially no weight difference right now. If I get the Explorer motor, then I save 80lbs, which is like free horsepower (even though a minor amount).

Pros on the Crown Vic motor is lower mileage, but the cons are it's been out for three months and I can't hear it run. Pros on the explorer motor are I can hear it run, it's only 150K on it, and it's lighter.

EIther way, I have to save up money for the headers/cams because while it's out, I may as well do it. I understand about letting projects fall by the wayside, but I want my car running again, so I'm scrimping and saving to buy stuff asap.

So, all else being equal, and costs being essentially the same since the $50 I'd spend on the CV motor would end up being gas money on the Explorer motor that is 2 hours away, should I go with the one I can listen to, or take a chance on the lower mile motor?

Also, I'm not planning on moving the battery anytime soon either way. I actually use my trunk, and my sub already takes up a large chunk of room that I had to talk myself into sacrificing.

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2003 Explorer WAP block with Modular Head Shop "street ported" heads and Stage 2 PI NA cams, 75mm Accufab throttle body, C&L upper intake plenum, Kooks 1.75" primary/3" collector headers, 2.5" full exhaust with mid mount Magnaflow dual in/out muffler, 24lb/hr injectors, 80mm MAF, Tuning from Don @ www.lasotaracing.com, CAI that feeds from fenderwell. Jmod, 3.73:1 TL in Mark VIII carrier, Mark VIII aluminum LCAs, 93 Mark VIII driveshaft, PBR brakes (soon to be Cobras), 18x9 wheels with 35mm offset, 255/40/ZR18 Tires, Front and Rear strut/shock bracing, GR-2 shocks, Eibach 1.5" springs, 1989 SC front and rear sway bars.
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post #92 of 289 (permalink) Old 06-03-2016, 02:36 PM
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Well if you can hear it run, that would definitely be a motivator, just to be sure it doesn't have the same problem yours has. If it was a roll of the dice I wouldn't shell out more than the cheapest figure you mentioned, that's the main reason I leaned towards closest and cheapest(iron).

I didn't realize you had a sub box, yeah trunk battery with that would tighten things up a bit. Mine will occupy the same space the factory CD changer formerly occupied, so no real loss for me, rest of the system is stock jbl with the small factory sub box.
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post #93 of 289 (permalink) Old 06-03-2016, 05:49 PM
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I would tend to say go with the explorer motor, not so much because of the aluminum block, but because you can hear run. On a 4.6, mileage is almost irrelevant. I've seen 300K+ mile 4.6's torn down and show absolutely no signs of wear, and I've also see sub-100K mile ones with rod knocks and holes in the block due to beating on it, neglect, or running low on oil, so I would say a motor that you can hear it run, check the fluids, and even pull a valve cover off to look for any sludge or shavings or anything, prior to actually buying it and installing it in your car would be the better choice, unless of course the CV motor has extremely low mileage and comes with a warranty. Also, the fact that the motor has been out of the car for 3 months scares me somewhat because at that point there is no way to verify the mileage they are claiming it has.
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post #94 of 289 (permalink) Old 06-03-2016, 08:17 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by XR7-4.6 View Post
Well if you can hear it run, that would definitely be a motivator, just to be sure it doesn't have the same problem yours has. If it was a roll of the dice I wouldn't shell out more than the cheapest figure you mentioned, that's the main reason I leaned towards closest and cheapest(iron).

I didn't realize you had a sub box, yeah trunk battery with that would tighten things up a bit. Mine will occupy the same space the factory CD changer formerly occupied, so no real loss for me, rest of the system is stock jbl with the small factory sub box.
Yeah, my sub isn't anything fancy... I'm no audiophile, I just want a little more bass than the 6x8's can provide to "fill" the music up.
I'm running an MB Quart 12" dual voice coil in a sealed box, I think it can handle 480W or so. I have an old cheap amp that was in the car when I bought it, a 100W two channel I'm running bridged and I don't have the sub very loud, just enough to give some "thump" when I turn up a good song.

I got the sub and box for around $70 new from some stereo place in New York off of Ebay. I know I'm making the audio guys skin crawl, but it does what I need.

The main reason I want the explorer motor (other than weight) is the fact I can hear it run. I don't trust a motor that's been sitting God knows where in the sticks of Minnesota for three months.

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post #95 of 289 (permalink) Old 06-03-2016, 08:19 PM Thread Starter
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I would tend to say go with the explorer motor, not so much because of the aluminum block, but because you can hear run. On a 4.6, mileage is almost irrelevant. I've seen 300K+ mile 4.6's torn down and show absolutely no signs of wear, and I've also see sub-100K mile ones with rod knocks and holes in the block due to beating on it, neglect, or running low on oil, so I would say a motor that you can hear it run, check the fluids, and even pull a valve cover off to look for any sludge or shavings or anything, prior to actually buying it and installing it in your car would be the better choice, unless of course the CV motor has extremely low mileage and comes with a warranty. Also, the fact that the motor has been out of the car for 3 months scares me somewhat because at that point there is no way to verify the mileage they are claiming it has.
My plan is to pull the oil pan (since I need to swap it anyway) and check the bearings, pull the valve covers and check them, the heads to replace the head gaskets and check out the bores, etc.

I won't be "rebuilding it" but I will review everything.

97 Thunderbird LX (The GT Bird)
2003 Explorer WAP block with Modular Head Shop "street ported" heads and Stage 2 PI NA cams, 75mm Accufab throttle body, C&L upper intake plenum, Kooks 1.75" primary/3" collector headers, 2.5" full exhaust with mid mount Magnaflow dual in/out muffler, 24lb/hr injectors, 80mm MAF, Tuning from Don @ www.lasotaracing.com, CAI that feeds from fenderwell. Jmod, 3.73:1 TL in Mark VIII carrier, Mark VIII aluminum LCAs, 93 Mark VIII driveshaft, PBR brakes (soon to be Cobras), 18x9 wheels with 35mm offset, 255/40/ZR18 Tires, Front and Rear strut/shock bracing, GR-2 shocks, Eibach 1.5" springs, 1989 SC front and rear sway bars.
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post #96 of 289 (permalink) Old 06-03-2016, 08:27 PM
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... I just want a little more bass than the 6x8's can provide to "fill" the music up....
You got it right; adding a sub, and filtering the low frequencies out of the 6x8's helps a lot on the overall sound.

1x 12" is what I'm using; I'm not trying to make the change jump out of the cars beside me's ashtray.
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post #97 of 289 (permalink) Old 06-03-2016, 08:59 PM
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Yeah, I was the same way. I'm always after something that could pass as stock so once I realized the earlier years came with a sub factory I had to have one. So I ended up with the enclosure, rebuilt it, and have just enough low end to satisfy my desires.
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post #98 of 289 (permalink) Old 06-03-2016, 09:26 PM
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Looking at car-part.com, there are a few 09-11 Crown Vic engines within a few hundred miles of you that have less than 70k and are $700 or less. Personally, I would go for the newest and lowest milage engine I could get my hands on. A few hundred dollars would be worth the piece of mind to me.

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post #99 of 289 (permalink) Old 06-03-2016, 09:32 PM Thread Starter
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So pardon the plumbing tape, it's a temporary means to secure the loose items in the trunk. Sub is attached to the rear shock tower brace and the side carpeting. Have a backup bottle of 50/50 and a quart of oil on the driver side rear.


Can't see the sub itself, but this is the box and the amp, which I attached directly to the box to save space and make the wiring a little simpler. There's also a portable air compressor that Traveler was kind enough to leave in the car tucked in behind the shock brace.


On the passenger side I have my emergency kit (first aid, flashlight, etc) and a fire extinguisher.


And here is my brand new, just put together last night 2 ton hoist with 2 ton load leveler and my new to me engine stand. Both fold, both are pretty nice from what I can tell. The engine stand I got at a yard sale. They wanted $100 for it, but I showed them I could go to Harbor Freight and get a brand new one for $90. So they asked for $50. I took it home.


And my new to me SCT x3. It is unmarried, I already plugged it into my computer to power it up and make sure. So now I just need my code off my PCM and I can get a tune. Thinking of getting Lasota to do it. Lonnie did the tune on the car now, but it's an add on chip, and he never replied to me about getting it reprogrammed. He did the tune on my last Thunderbird, and my 99 Mustang GT. Never got to use the Tbird tune, as the car was totaled before the PI swap was performed. If y'all have any recommended tuners, I'm listening.

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2003 Explorer WAP block with Modular Head Shop "street ported" heads and Stage 2 PI NA cams, 75mm Accufab throttle body, C&L upper intake plenum, Kooks 1.75" primary/3" collector headers, 2.5" full exhaust with mid mount Magnaflow dual in/out muffler, 24lb/hr injectors, 80mm MAF, Tuning from Don @ www.lasotaracing.com, CAI that feeds from fenderwell. Jmod, 3.73:1 TL in Mark VIII carrier, Mark VIII aluminum LCAs, 93 Mark VIII driveshaft, PBR brakes (soon to be Cobras), 18x9 wheels with 35mm offset, 255/40/ZR18 Tires, Front and Rear strut/shock bracing, GR-2 shocks, Eibach 1.5" springs, 1989 SC front and rear sway bars.
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post #100 of 289 (permalink) Old 06-03-2016, 09:36 PM Thread Starter
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Oh, and if anyone wants them, I have a clean, no rips, grey 97 LX set of front and rear seats. Bases are off of the 91 or 92 SC seats I installed in their place, but I can leave them off so you can put your own bases on.

97 Thunderbird LX (The GT Bird)
2003 Explorer WAP block with Modular Head Shop "street ported" heads and Stage 2 PI NA cams, 75mm Accufab throttle body, C&L upper intake plenum, Kooks 1.75" primary/3" collector headers, 2.5" full exhaust with mid mount Magnaflow dual in/out muffler, 24lb/hr injectors, 80mm MAF, Tuning from Don @ www.lasotaracing.com, CAI that feeds from fenderwell. Jmod, 3.73:1 TL in Mark VIII carrier, Mark VIII aluminum LCAs, 93 Mark VIII driveshaft, PBR brakes (soon to be Cobras), 18x9 wheels with 35mm offset, 255/40/ZR18 Tires, Front and Rear strut/shock bracing, GR-2 shocks, Eibach 1.5" springs, 1989 SC front and rear sway bars.
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post #101 of 289 (permalink) Old 06-03-2016, 09:40 PM
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Don LaSota all the way. Of late Lonnie likes to burn bridges and blame phantom mechanical issues on his tune problems, and I'm not the only one with whom he's done that to here.
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post #102 of 289 (permalink) Old 06-03-2016, 09:44 PM Thread Starter
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Don LaSota all the way. Of late Lonnie likes to burn bridges and blame phantom mechanical issues on his tune problems, and I'm not the only one with whom he's done that to here.
Thanks, that's what I heard. Shame really, the 87 octane tune he did for my 99 GT really woke it up. Took it in to a dealership to see what they'd offer me for it if I were to trade it in and the guy who drove it didn't believe me it didn't have cams or gears. Was a box stock Windsor block 99 4.6 running 0w30 oil, 5 speed, 3.27TL with a cat back exhaust.

I was hoping he was still the man, but I've heard nothing but good about Don LaSota, so he'll get my $100.

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2003 Explorer WAP block with Modular Head Shop "street ported" heads and Stage 2 PI NA cams, 75mm Accufab throttle body, C&L upper intake plenum, Kooks 1.75" primary/3" collector headers, 2.5" full exhaust with mid mount Magnaflow dual in/out muffler, 24lb/hr injectors, 80mm MAF, Tuning from Don @ www.lasotaracing.com, CAI that feeds from fenderwell. Jmod, 3.73:1 TL in Mark VIII carrier, Mark VIII aluminum LCAs, 93 Mark VIII driveshaft, PBR brakes (soon to be Cobras), 18x9 wheels with 35mm offset, 255/40/ZR18 Tires, Front and Rear strut/shock bracing, GR-2 shocks, Eibach 1.5" springs, 1989 SC front and rear sway bars.
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post #103 of 289 (permalink) Old 06-03-2016, 09:52 PM
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Yeah... seems like around 2006-2007 or so he kind of fell out of favor slowly; by 2009-2010 I was just plain up fed-up with him because he refused to write me a new tune because he thought my car was riddled with mechanical issues. He made his position perfectly clear with "don’t contact me again" at the end of the last email he sent to me.

Strangely enough after LaSota did the re-tune, the driveability problems with the car that Lonnie thought were mechanical issues went away, and a few things I wanted the tune to do - which Lonnie said his was set to do but never worked - started working.

Obviously since 2012 I've done my own tuning, but I started with what LaSota had dialed-in with the tune he did for me mail-order before that. Imagine Lonnie sending you the tune he wrote for your car to start from, you might learn his secrets!
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Gone but not forgotten: 94 Cougar XR7, 93 Mark VIII

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post #104 of 289 (permalink) Old 06-04-2016, 11:01 AM
No, Mr. Lemmywinks, No!!!

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...
Obviously since 2012 I've done my own tuning, but I started with what LaSota had dialed-in with the tune he did for me mail-order before that. Imagine Lonnie sending you the tune he wrote for your car to start from, you might learn his secrets!
I doubt there are many secrets to be had on our cars; where those guys make their money is the custom work for the 1000+hp guys.

Don literally wrote the book on tuning; I have a copy.

The only real difference in their tunes is that guys like him have access to things we do not; but those things don't need to change for most of us.

I haven't ran across anything I couldn't mess up, so far, lol.
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post #105 of 289 (permalink) Old 06-04-2016, 05:36 PM
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I had Lonnie make a tune for me years ago. The car ran a little rough when cold, but ran OK once warmed up, and performed well, and while his customer service was a bit lacking, I let it go thinking I had a good tune, and knowing I was supporting a fellow MN12 owner. Years later when my buddy got a quarterhorse and he and I started messing around with stuff, I decided to see what was actually done in Lonnie's tune. Basically on the factory setup, or a good quality custom tune, there are multiple tables for each parameter to allow for adaptation as things change like outside temp, coolant temp, elevation, etc. What did Lonnie do? He zero'd out EVERY table except for the base one, so the car ran with the same spark and fuel parameters regardless of conditions. Basically he cheated so that the car would run good under ideal conditions, but whenever anything got outside of those conditions, the car could not adapt like the factory setup, so the car would run great at the track or on a dyno, but would have drivability issues in the real world. This is something that you wouldn't know, unless you had the ability to look at the actual tune, but he was basically doing probably 1/10th the work that he should have been, and charging the same as everyone else, and when people complained about drivability, he didn't want to say "well my tune can't adapt like the stock one", so instead, he would blame it on mechanical issues. Now, having seen what is involved in tuning, and having seen what the actual product I received was, I would tell everyone to steer clear of Lonnie.
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post #106 of 289 (permalink) Old 06-13-2016, 10:30 PM Thread Starter
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Well, my clutch pedal assembly finally arrived... So I may have to find a transmission while I'm scouting out parts.

97 Thunderbird LX (The GT Bird)
2003 Explorer WAP block with Modular Head Shop "street ported" heads and Stage 2 PI NA cams, 75mm Accufab throttle body, C&L upper intake plenum, Kooks 1.75" primary/3" collector headers, 2.5" full exhaust with mid mount Magnaflow dual in/out muffler, 24lb/hr injectors, 80mm MAF, Tuning from Don @ www.lasotaracing.com, CAI that feeds from fenderwell. Jmod, 3.73:1 TL in Mark VIII carrier, Mark VIII aluminum LCAs, 93 Mark VIII driveshaft, PBR brakes (soon to be Cobras), 18x9 wheels with 35mm offset, 255/40/ZR18 Tires, Front and Rear strut/shock bracing, GR-2 shocks, Eibach 1.5" springs, 1989 SC front and rear sway bars.
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post #107 of 289 (permalink) Old 06-22-2016, 01:08 PM Thread Starter
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Making progress.
Since this picture has been taken, I've also removed the plastic cowl and the windshield wiper assembly beneath it to gain more access.

Not sure if the exhaust is bolted up "normally" or not, but on the driver side there was one nut on the bottom, and the other one appears to be reversed (or broken off... I'll shoot a picture later). Thankfully, Traveler kept the GTBird very clean under his ownership, and I've followed in his footsteps. The exhaust nuts are coming right off (I did spray them with penetrating oil just in case). Let's hope the starter is as easy too.

All fluids drained. Main harness near passenger fender unplugged. Fan is out, alternator is out, water pump pulley is out. Battery is out, I'll pull the battery box too. While the engine is out going to re-route some wires to keep them away from the exhaust.

I did notice on the driver side of the block, there is an unused sensor plug in near the freeze plug between the oil pan and the exhaust manifold. I'll take a picture. No idea what it is, but it has no cables near by.

Also found out the GTBird apparently adopted a pet over the winter. There was a chipmunk nest under the cowl on the driver side. Traps will be laid this winter.

97 Thunderbird LX (The GT Bird)
2003 Explorer WAP block with Modular Head Shop "street ported" heads and Stage 2 PI NA cams, 75mm Accufab throttle body, C&L upper intake plenum, Kooks 1.75" primary/3" collector headers, 2.5" full exhaust with mid mount Magnaflow dual in/out muffler, 24lb/hr injectors, 80mm MAF, Tuning from Don @ www.lasotaracing.com, CAI that feeds from fenderwell. Jmod, 3.73:1 TL in Mark VIII carrier, Mark VIII aluminum LCAs, 93 Mark VIII driveshaft, PBR brakes (soon to be Cobras), 18x9 wheels with 35mm offset, 255/40/ZR18 Tires, Front and Rear strut/shock bracing, GR-2 shocks, Eibach 1.5" springs, 1989 SC front and rear sway bars.
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post #108 of 289 (permalink) Old 06-22-2016, 02:50 PM
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Yes, the one exhaust stud going the other way is normal on the 4.6 birds.

As for the starter, my advice for that is leave the bottom bolt tight until the upper 2 are completely removed. People tend to pull the easy one first and then the weight of the starter fights you removing the upper ones that you can barely reach the whole way. I always use a swivel and a 4" extension on the top 2, break them loose and then remove them the rest of the way with the socket on the extension by hand, and then use a gear wrench on the bottom bolt last. Doing it this way, the starter is a piece of cake.
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post #109 of 289 (permalink) Old 06-22-2016, 02:54 PM Thread Starter
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Yes, the one exhaust stud going the other way is normal on the 4.6 birds.

As for the starter, my advice for that is leave the bottom bolt tight until the upper 2 are completely removed. People tend to pull the easy one first and then the weight of the starter fights you removing the upper ones that you can barely reach the whole way. I always use a swivel and a 4" extension on the top 2, break them loose and then remove them the rest of the way with the socket on the extension by hand, and then use a gear wrench on the bottom bolt last. Doing it this way, the starter is a piece of cake.
Yup, I've done lots of reading and that makes the most sense. Do the "hard" one first. It's my plan to try and unbolt them friday evening.

So far, fan out, engine drained of coolant/oil, alternator off, water pulley off, radiator hoses disconnected, engine harness disconnected, wipers out of the way, other than unbolting the transmission and the exhaust/starter, anything I'm missing before i hook up the hoist and unbolt the motor mounts?

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post #110 of 289 (permalink) Old 06-22-2016, 03:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MadMikeyL View Post
Yes, the one exhaust stud going the other way is normal on the 4.6 birds.

As for the starter, my advice for that is leave the bottom bolt tight until the upper 2 are completely removed. People tend to pull the easy one first and then the weight of the starter fights you removing the upper ones that you can barely reach the whole way. I always use a swivel and a 4" extension on the top 2, break them loose and then remove them the rest of the way with the socket on the extension by hand, and then use a gear wrench on the bottom bolt last. Doing it this way, the starter is a piece of cake.
That's the way I do it too, but just for future frustration, I only leave two in there when I put it back
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post #111 of 289 (permalink) Old 06-22-2016, 03:36 PM
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That's the way I do it too, but just for future frustration, I only leave two in there when I put it back
I think about doing that every time I pull a starter on any 4.6, but my OCD just won't allow me to knowingly leave a bolt out.

-91 Cougar LS, coming soon, complete overhaul with a 427" Windsor.
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-98 Mark VIII LSC, Procharger P600b, TR3650 swap and 3.73s.
-70 Torino GT Fastback project car. Needs EFI and a manual trans, but I'm not sure what motor to go with yet.
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post #112 of 289 (permalink) Old 06-22-2016, 05:43 PM
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I think about doing that every time I pull a starter on any 4.6, but my OCD just won't allow me to knowingly leave a bolt out.
One of my measures of personal success is not having any extra parts at the end I didn't replace with new ones.
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post #113 of 289 (permalink) Old 06-22-2016, 07:52 PM
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Who said I had extra parts? I'm sure I repurposed that bolt somewhere

-Matt
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post #114 of 289 (permalink) Old 06-23-2016, 05:26 AM
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One of my measures of personal success is not having any extra parts at the end I didn't replace with new ones.
If you have extra parts you just did it better than Ford
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post #115 of 289 (permalink) Old 06-23-2016, 05:48 PM
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So far, fan out, engine drained of coolant/oil, alternator off, water pulley off, radiator hoses disconnected, engine harness disconnected, wipers out of the way, other than unbolting the transmission and the exhaust/starter, anything I'm missing before i hook up the hoist and unbolt the motor mounts?
Don't forget the power steering pump pressure line.
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Last edited by Rodeo Joe; 06-24-2016 at 05:47 AM. Reason: Fixed the quote for you! :)
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post #116 of 289 (permalink) Old 06-23-2016, 08:02 PM Thread Starter
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Don't forget the power steering pump pressure line.
Thanks

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post #117 of 289 (permalink) Old 06-24-2016, 07:08 AM
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I didn't see A/C compressor mentioned. On some cars, you can just unbolt it from the engine and leave it in the engine bay to maintain the charge.

Also, what about o2 sensor wires coming from the harness? Found that one the hard way on my Toyota.

Al
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post #118 of 289 (permalink) Old 06-24-2016, 08:38 AM Thread Starter
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I didn't see A/C compressor mentioned. On some cars, you can just unbolt it from the engine and leave it in the engine bay to maintain the charge.

Also, what about o2 sensor wires coming from the harness? Found that one the hard way on my Toyota.

Al
I removed my AC Compressor last year due to being locked up. Have a bypass pulley installed. I will make sure the O2's are unplugged though, thanks!

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post #119 of 289 (permalink) Old 06-24-2016, 09:43 AM
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You may as well just remove the harness completely, it'll just get in the way or get hung up during the swap with all the connectors dangling.

-Matt
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post #120 of 289 (permalink) Old 06-24-2016, 11:51 AM Thread Starter
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You may as well just remove the harness completely, it'll just get in the way or get hung up during the swap with all the connectors dangling.
Which harness?

97 Thunderbird LX (The GT Bird)
2003 Explorer WAP block with Modular Head Shop "street ported" heads and Stage 2 PI NA cams, 75mm Accufab throttle body, C&L upper intake plenum, Kooks 1.75" primary/3" collector headers, 2.5" full exhaust with mid mount Magnaflow dual in/out muffler, 24lb/hr injectors, 80mm MAF, Tuning from Don @ www.lasotaracing.com, CAI that feeds from fenderwell. Jmod, 3.73:1 TL in Mark VIII carrier, Mark VIII aluminum LCAs, 93 Mark VIII driveshaft, PBR brakes (soon to be Cobras), 18x9 wheels with 35mm offset, 255/40/ZR18 Tires, Front and Rear strut/shock bracing, GR-2 shocks, Eibach 1.5" springs, 1989 SC front and rear sway bars.
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