tbird 5.0 swap "the hard way" - TCCoA Forums

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post #1 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-12-2017, 09:55 PM Thread Starter
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Question tbird 5.0 swap "the hard way"

So I am starting with a 1997 tbird 4.6l modular car. The engine and related components and transmission have now been removed. The motor going in is a 1987 mustang 302. I have done the gt40p swap complete gut rebuild except pistons which i just polished up well. the cam is a te style cam. 1.6 in magnum roller rockers shorty headers electric water pump power steering delete ac delete smog delete egr delete o2 sensor delete. efi set up. OHV/HO intake. stock oil pan and pump. using stock fuel pump from tbird (should be ok but any input is good) 99-01 4r70w 3.8l mated tranny/torque converter(correct bellhousing with higher stall converter) with a 50lb balanced flywheel and stock style balancer. thinking my problems will be wiring/computer mainly. looking at 94-95 ecu and harness. this should control efi and engine correctly as well as transmission right? also need help determining how the serpentine will need to be setup and what type of tensioner/adjustable alternator bracket? i have the crossmember and motor mount problem figured out. and the tranny mounts should match because it has the 97 4r70w in it stock. any feed back is welcome except for the nonbelievers and nay sayers. ive buried a couple months and will have probably 2500 or so just in motor alone. doing this on a budget so trying to avoid bauman and scp and all that for its not cost effective only time and energy saving. thanks in advance
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post #2 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-12-2017, 11:05 PM
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Quote:
delete o2 sensor delete. efi set up
I assume you mean REAR 02 sensor delete? Because EFI needs the fronts to properly work.


How invested are you in ignition right now? If you wanted to, rather than using a distributor you could convert the engine to DIS using the cam sensor, bracketry and wires from a 96-01 Explorer and use your stock 4.6 coilpacks and computer to run the whole setup with a custom tune. That kills quite a few birds with one stone - NO new ECM, NO rewiring of the harness going to the ECM(connectors and wiring between EEC IV and V are totally different), Controls the 4R70w, reuse packs, and have much stronger and reliable spark than any aftermarket dizzy setup. That's how I'd do it

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post #3 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-13-2017, 01:02 AM
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Originally Posted by XR7-4.6 View Post
I assume you mean REAR 02 sensor delete? Because EFI needs the fronts to properly work.


How invested are you in ignition right now? If you wanted to, rather than using a distributor you could convert the engine to DIS using the cam sensor, bracketry and wires from a 96-01 Explorer and use your stock 4.6 coilpacks and computer to run the whole setup with a custom tune. That kills quite a few birds with one stone - NO new ECM, NO rewiring of the harness going to the ECM(connectors and wiring between EEC IV and V are totally different), Controls the 4R70w, reuse packs, and have much stronger and reliable spark than any aftermarket dizzy setup. That's how I'd do it
That sounds like a brilliant idea to mesh your re-use of a 5.0 with the problem of 4r70w transmission control.

That sounds like a brilliant idea to mesh your re-use of a 5.0 with the problem of 4r70w transmission control.

In reading the OPs post again, I assume he's looking at a 94-95 MUSTANG (vs a tbird) ECU.
I know from experience that a 94-95 Mustang ECU will work in a 95 tbird chassis with only a few pins going into the ECU which are different.
However, isn't the 94-95 Mustang automatic transmission AODE vs 4r70w?
If an aftermarket standalone transmission controller is required, that's $600 right there.
The Quick 4 Transmission Control System

If the 94-95 mustang ECU cannot control a 4r70w, in your shoes, I'd go to the JY to pull those parts off a scuzzy explorer to save $500 or so.

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post #4 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-13-2017, 05:07 AM
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I wouldn't put an automatic in it at all. I'd find a M5R2 and the appropriate pedals and not worry about using an automatic.

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post #5 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-13-2017, 09:07 AM
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Will this car be subjected to emissions testing? If so, will it have to have a 96-97 ECU for that (VS the 94-95)?

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post #6 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-13-2017, 09:24 AM
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I would go with Matt's suggestion of using the cam sensor for a 5.0 explorer, and modifying your existing wiring harness and a custom tune to run the 5.0 with the 4.6 computer. That really simplifies things quite a bit from the wiring perspective, since all the wiring modifications will be done on the engine harness, without having to change anything on the car itself.

Honestly, the biggest issue I think you will have with this is the headers and the GT40P heads. With the spark plug angle on the P heads, the plug wires will burn up on the MN12 5.0 exhaust manifolds, as well as most headers. There do exist headers specifically to run the P heads on a Mustang, but they will at a minimum hit the steering shaft on your car, and may not even fit in the engine bay at all, since they are designed for a completely different platform. Also using the fox Mustang intake setup will make throttle cable setup difficult. My recommendation at this point would be to sell the P heads and get yourself some used aluminum heads like Trick Flow 170s or AFR 165s or something like that. Also choking this off with a stock intake is going to hurt you. The explorer GT40 intakes can be had pretty cheap, and also get the 94/95 adapter elbow, and it will work with a 5.0MN12 or SC throttle cable.

As for the accessories, I would seriously reconsider deleting the power steering. These are heavy cars, and with anything other than drag skinnies up front, you are going to hate fighting the wheel to maneuver. Also keeping power steering will make the belt routing much easier using either MN12 5.0 front accessories, or 94/95 Mustang 5.0 front accessories, both of which are very similar, and both of which will allow you to delete the smog pump and the AC while keeping the stock tensioner, and just using a shorter belt.

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post #7 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-13-2017, 10:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MadMikeyL View Post

Honestly, the biggest issue I think you will have with this is the headers and the GT40P heads. With the spark plug angle on the P heads, the plug wires will burn up on the MN12 5.0 exhaust manifolds, as well as most headers. There do exist headers specifically to run the P heads on a Mustang, but they will at a minimum hit the steering shaft on your car, and may not even fit in the engine bay at all, since they are designed for a completely different platform. Also using the fox Mustang intake setup will make throttle cable setup difficult. My recommendation at this point would be to sell the P heads and get yourself some used aluminum heads like Trick Flow 170s or AFR 165s or something like that. Also choking this off with a stock intake is going to hurt you. The explorer GT40 intakes can be had pretty cheap, and also get the 94/95 adapter elbow, and it will work with a 5.0MN12 or SC throttle cable.
Mike:
Didn't you use GT40p heads on your lemons car with the flanges cut off a donor manifold as spacers and extra long bolts? Did you end up having to do the steering shaft relocation or rig up something to move the spark plugs as well?
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post #8 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-13-2017, 10:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by S4gunn View Post
That sounds like a brilliant idea to mesh your re-use of a 5.0 with the problem of 4r70w transmission control.

That sounds like a brilliant idea to mesh your re-use of a 5.0 with the problem of 4r70w transmission control.

In reading the OPs post again, I assume he's looking at a 94-95 MUSTANG (vs a tbird) ECU.
I know from experience that a 94-95 Mustang ECU will work in a 95 tbird chassis with only a few pins going into the ECU which are different.
However, isn't the 94-95 Mustang automatic transmission AODE vs 4r70w?
If an aftermarket standalone transmission controller is required, that's $600 right there.
The Quick 4 Transmission Control System

If the 94-95 mustang ECU cannot control a 4r70w, in your shoes, I'd go to the JY to pull those parts off a scuzzy explorer to save $500 or so.

-g
The AODE is essentially a 4R70w with the old AOD ratios, it should control it, athough solenoid impendences may be different, TCC for sure. The 94-95 Mustang ECU and 94-95 3.8l Tbird's use the 60 pin OBD I PCMs, if the OP was starting with a 94/5 3.8 car I'd definitely recommend that route. However the 94-97 4.6s all use the 104 pin OBD II PCM, and there's no getting a 60 pin PCM in there without a ton of rewiring.

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post #9 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-13-2017, 11:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by S4gunn View Post
Mike:
Didn't you use GT40p heads on your lemons car with the flanges cut off a donor manifold as spacers and extra long bolts? Did you end up having to do the steering shaft relocation or rig up something to move the spark plugs as well?
-g
Yes I did run GT40P's like that, but I had to do a few other things as well to make them work, and the only reason for doing all that was because lemons. I would never go through all that on a street car, when much better aluminum heads can be had for $600-750. In addition to the spacers and longer bolts, I heated up the manifolds with a torch and indented a few areas for clearance. I also had to run wires with a 90 degree end at the plug, and then a metal heat shield around a few of them, and even then I would have to replace several of the end boots after each race. Also the manifolds being spaced out created issues with the steering shaft, and I didn't want to do the steering shaft mod on the race-car, since hitting the wall was a real possibility, and I wanted to keep the collapsible steering shaft, so what had to be done was modify a section of the steering shaft with DD tubing, which was narrower, and then I also moved the steering column outward a bit, which was not a problem since I had no dash in the car, but would be a problem in a street car, and in addition to all that, I had to rigidly mount the engine, since play in the motor mounts would allow the motor to move enough at WOT that it would hit the steering shaft and lock up the steering. So basically, I speak from experience when I say don't try to run P heads in an MN12.
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post #10 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-13-2017, 01:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by XR7-4.6 View Post
The AODE is essentially a 4R70w with the old AOD ratios, it should control it, athough solenoid impendences may be different, TCC for sure. The 94-95 Mustang ECU and 94-95 3.8l Tbird's use the 60 pin OBD I PCMs, if the OP was starting with a 94/5 3.8 car I'd definitely recommend that route. However the 94-97 4.6s all use the 104 pin OBD II PCM, and there's no getting a 60 pin PCM in there without a ton of rewiring.
Ton of good info there.

Ahh, I didn't know that the PCM/ECU connector was different. Your EDIS plan sounds better and better with every post.

Also Mike's explanation about what switching GT40 heads should hopefully give the OP food for thought as well. Considering how much GT40/GT40P heads can be sold for and how cheap decent aluminum heads can be, for a street car I would personally consider the head swap/upgrade as well.

Or zoomies (straight up through the hood). This gets my vote
SCHOENFELD Demolition Derby Headers Small Block Ford P/N 3522 | eBay


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post #11 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-13-2017, 04:51 PM
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Anyone make those for a 4.6?

I'd want to trim them to length myself, tho...

That would be Really Popular on a street car.
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post #12 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-14-2017, 06:02 PM Thread Starter
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so thank you guys for all the info. very helpful. i had bought an msd 2 stage setup but i will definitely be looking into the explorer setup. that sounds like maybe a better spark but i also dont know if i want to pay the price for a custom tune. the rear o2 sensors will be deleted but i was also looking into simulators to replace the fronts. as for the trans i was told by a local shop that 94-95 ecu should run the 4r70w just like the aode. if theyre wrong fine but i need to do more research. im not interested in a standard trans for the fact that i will be upgrading the cam/rockers/etc again once the car is running and will want consistency on the track. the headers i have are special ordered and purpose built. as for fit i may relocate the steering rack but only if necessary. the powersteering situation i have been pondering alot and had decided to reinstall already just the other day. the serpentine belt is causing me stress though because i was told i should run a multibelt set up by some and just a shortened belt by others. thoughts?
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post #13 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-14-2017, 07:09 PM
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You can't eliminate the front o2 sensors. They are required for the engine to run properly. The 94/95 Mustang GT ECU will run the 4r70. You may have to swap some sensors and solenoids for the 94/95 Mustang ones, but it will control it. The problem with running that ECM in a 97 is that you will be doing a lot of re-wiring, because your car is obd2, and the Mustang is OBD1. You would basically have to first rewire your car as a 94/95 3.8 tbird, then modify it from there for the Mustang ECM. A custom tune is not that expensive, probably around $350, and in addition to making your life easier, it will add some performance as well. As for the belt, if you can route it properly with a single shorter belt and the spring loaded tensioner, there is no reason not to.

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post #14 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-15-2017, 12:55 PM
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Originally Posted by 97thunderfox View Post
so thank you guys for all the info. very helpful. i had bought an msd 2 stage setup but i will definitely be looking into the explorer setup. that sounds like maybe a better spark but i also dont know if i want to pay the price for a custom tune. the rear o2 sensors will be deleted but i was also looking into simulators to replace the fronts. as for the trans i was told by a local shop that 94-95 ecu should run the 4r70w just like the aode. if theyre wrong fine but i need to do more research. im not interested in a standard trans for the fact that i will be upgrading the cam/rockers/etc again once the car is running and will want consistency on the track. the headers i have are special ordered and purpose built. as for fit i may relocate the steering rack but only if necessary. the powersteering situation i have been pondering alot and had decided to reinstall already just the other day. the serpentine belt is causing me stress though because i was told i should run a multibelt set up by some and just a shortened belt by others. thoughts?
BTW,
If you are hell bent on showing off your beefy arms as you tear down the track, they do make PS bypass pulleys that you can bolt on instead of the PS pump and use the same routing.
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post #15 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-15-2017, 05:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 97thunderfox View Post
so thank you guys for all the info. very helpful. i had bought an msd 2 stage setup but i will definitely be looking into the explorer setup. that sounds like maybe a better spark but i also dont know if i want to pay the price for a custom tune. the rear o2 sensors will be deleted but i was also looking into simulators to replace the fronts. as for the trans i was told by a local shop that 94-95 ecu should run the 4r70w just like the aode. if theyre wrong fine but i need to do more research. im not interested in a standard trans for the fact that i will be upgrading the cam/rockers/etc again once the car is running and will want consistency on the track. the headers i have are special ordered and purpose built. as for fit i may relocate the steering rack but only if necessary. the powersteering situation i have been pondering alot and had decided to reinstall already just the other day. the serpentine belt is causing me stress though because i was told i should run a multibelt set up by some and just a shortened belt by others. thoughts?
You can usually find used UNLOCKED(be sure you ask the seller to verify) handheld SCT tuners in the $100-$200 range, and custom tunes run about $150. I'm not entirely privy to parts cost with these engines but I imagine kitting it out with MSD would be pretty cost competitive, and the side benefit is the coilpack system is it is also more reliable than aftermarket, costing less in the long run.

-Matt
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post #16 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-16-2017, 02:35 PM Thread Starter
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wow you guys keep giving me more to chew on but i really really appreciate it. all of my issues have been adressed with multiple options so now i even have choices. i will be posting again soon once i get some more parts purchased to let you all know whats going into it. i did have one more thing i dont believe i mentioned and i just was wondering. i fabbed a set of brackets to sink the original style mounts for the 5.0 onto to make the mounting siuation work. anything i should be weary of here? thanks again guy be back to post soon
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post #17 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-16-2017, 02:43 PM
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Originally Posted by 97thunderfox View Post
wow you guys keep giving me more to chew on but i really really appreciate it. all of my issues have been adressed with multiple options so now i even have choices. i will be posting again soon once i get some more parts purchased to let you all know whats going into it. i did have one more thing i dont believe i mentioned and i just was wondering. i fabbed a set of brackets to sink the original style mounts for the 5.0 onto to make the mounting siuation work. anything i should be weary of here? thanks again guy be back to post soon
I think you're making it harder than it needs to be. The 91-93 MN12 5.0 mounts will work on your 97. You just need to find a set. I have a set of solid rubber ones if you're interested. The other option is from a guy that goes by Turbo Chuck but I've heard that he quit making them. You find his site here: Turbo Chuck Motor Mounts

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post #18 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-16-2017, 04:31 PM
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Originally Posted by 97thunderfox View Post
wow you guys keep giving me more to chew on but i really really appreciate it. all of my issues have been adressed with multiple options so now i even have choices. i will be posting again soon once i get some more parts purchased to let you all know whats going into it. i did have one more thing i dont believe i mentioned and i just was wondering. i fabbed a set of brackets to sink the original style mounts for the 5.0 onto to make the mounting siuation work. anything i should be weary of here? thanks again guy be back to post soon

Can you describe the mounting brackets you fabricated vs what you are asking about?
- If you meant the METAL brackets that bolt to the engine and the brackets that bolt to your subframe, if you've already built them great. THey are tbird specific so you will need to source them from a 91-93 5.0 tbird or from turbochuck as MM has suggested.
- If you meant that you fabricated some bracket that you will have to weld onto the subframe, that's unnecessary; you can use the stock mounting position.

As far as mounts are concerned, there are a few options.
1) MaddMartigan is offring you a pair of rubber ones. They can still be bought as well.
2) I use a stiffer setup made with a grade 8 bolt through the two plates and three hockey pucks on each side. This makes the engine sit slightly higher than stock. You can go with 2 pucks/side and be slightly lower than stock as well (depending on your needs).
3) For the stiffest (and by far the harshest in terms of NVH) option, you can just cut some tubing and use that instead of the hockey pucks for the mounts. There's a dirt track guy that went this route but IMO, that's not worth it.

Here's my old DIY when I first swapped a 5.0 into my 95 tbird 3.8L chassis. You may find it useful for all the little things I found I needed to change.
http://www.tccoa.com/forums/8-engine...s-learned.html

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post #19 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-16-2017, 10:25 PM Thread Starter
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Hey thanks for the link lots of great info. I actually decided to try to buy the mounts from MaddMartigan. The info on the flywheel from your notes helped immediately because i was unsure what issues i would so now thanks to you i wont have to wonder haha
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post #20 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-17-2017, 08:07 AM
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Hey thanks for the link lots of great info. I actually decided to try to buy the mounts from MaddMartigan. The info on the flywheel from your notes helped immediately because i was unsure what issues i would so now thanks to you i wont have to wonder haha
If you're interested in the mounts just drop me a PM and we can work it out. When I talk about selling the mounts, I'm talking about not just the mount but the top plate and and the bottom bracket. There are no aftermarket options for those parts other than Turbo Chuck if he still makes them and they are pretty much made out of unobtanium. In fact, in order to do what S4Gunn is talking about doing with hockey pucks or whatever, you would need the top plate and bottom bracket which are the hard parts to find.

Again, just drop me a PM and we'll figure it out.

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-Low Tension Oil Rings, Zero Gap Seconds
-10.5:1 Compression Ratio
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Mac 1 5/8 long tube headers
FRPP 42# injectors
3.73 gears
Custom aluminum driveshaft
Built Darrin/dirtyd0g AOD with wide ratio gearset
dirtyd0g 9.5" Custom Torque Converter
Quarterhorse ECM from Moates
Zeitronix ZT-2 WB O2
No times under new system.......yet.
OMGHI2U

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post #21 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-17-2017, 01:12 PM
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Will this car be subjected to emissions testing? If so, will it have to have a 96-97 ECU for that (VS the 94-95)?

Al
I'll quote myself since no one addressed it so far. Just curious.

Al

97 T-Bird LX 4.6 - 68k miles
94 Supra TT Auto - street/strip car
04 Crown Vic Police Interceptor - Brenda's car
Previous cars:
95 T-Bird LX 4.6 - fully optioned, owned 15 years
96 Cougar XR-7 4.6- Brenda's car, owned 11 years
88 T-Bird 3.8 - first T-Bird, owned 5 years
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post #22 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-17-2017, 01:44 PM
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That would definitely be an issue, since most states use plugging into the DLC and seeing if there are any OBD-II fault codes as the sole pass/fail condition. Obviously the 94/5 Mustang has no support for that.

-Matt
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post #23 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-18-2017, 06:22 PM Thread Starter
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I'll quote myself since no one addressed it so far. Just curious.

Al
sorry t6rocket i missed your post. no it will not. no need for safety or emissions.
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post #24 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-12-2017, 08:36 AM
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Any progress made on this build?







Rayo..

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1991 Ford Thunderbird Sport

"If you don't know where you're going..Any road will take you there."George Harrison
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302 swap , foxbody , serpentine , thunderbird , wiring

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