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post #1 of 38 (permalink) Old 03-18-2008, 01:26 AM Thread Starter
 
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Question Help, down in money....

I want the best transmission for my 1990 v6 3.8 L supercharged thunderbird. Does anybody know of such tranmissions, but the only catch is that I only have $400.00 to spend. My friend said one of the transmissions out of a Mustang is the best tranny for my car. Is that true? Please help, Thank You.
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post #2 of 38 (permalink) Old 03-18-2008, 09:52 AM
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DirtDobs,

You need to post this in the Drive Train thread.

Also, contact Darrin. He may be able to help you out on the tranny issue.

The Parts Bin Special is DEAD! It is being parted out.
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post #3 of 38 (permalink) Old 03-18-2008, 09:59 AM
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Automatic or manual?

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post #4 of 38 (permalink) Old 03-18-2008, 01:31 PM
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Actually a trans out of another SC is going to be the strongest one you can get. The trans out of a mustang or 5.0 tbird is slightly weaker than the SC trans.

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post #5 of 38 (permalink) Old 03-19-2008, 12:43 AM Thread Starter
 
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Automatic, This is the first time I ever been on a forum. This is also my very first sports car worth modding and it dosen't help that I don't know much about cars. But yes I am looking for a tranny. I want a really good one that will take abuse. I don't know the name of it but I thought you could help me out there. What would you suggest for a good transmission?
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post #6 of 38 (permalink) Old 03-19-2008, 12:46 AM Thread Starter
 
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Would you happen to know the name of that tranny?
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post #7 of 38 (permalink) Old 03-19-2008, 12:46 AM
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It's an AOD automatic

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post #8 of 38 (permalink) Old 03-19-2008, 02:18 AM Thread Starter
 
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Do you know the numbers though?
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post #9 of 38 (permalink) Old 03-19-2008, 02:59 AM
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Do you know the numbers though?
What numbers are you looking for? The model of the transmission is the AOD. If you are looking for another transmission, that is the model you need to be looking for.

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post #10 of 38 (permalink) Old 03-19-2008, 05:43 AM
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AOD...you want it because it has the A Servo in Overdrive...which is like OMG good.




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post #11 of 38 (permalink) Old 03-19-2008, 10:35 AM
 
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Automatic, This is the first time I ever been on a forum. This is also my very first sports car worth modding and it dosen't help that I don't know much about cars. But yes I am looking for a tranny. I want a really good one that will take abuse. I don't know the name of it but I thought you could help me out there. What would you suggest for a good transmission?

I have to tell you straight up, for a first "sports car", you sure picked a dilly. These cars have always been known for their maintenance intense lifestyles. If you are serious about keeping your SC, I would start putting money aside and keeping it now for the repairs that are going to be coming your way.
You haven't told us alot about your car, so here's a short list, but not an all inclusive list to things that like to go worng with these babies:

Head Gaskets - The head gaskets are notorious for going bad on these cars. If you blow a gasket and continue to drive the car after it overheats, add a set of new heads to the repair because sure as the day is long you'll warp the heads beyond use. Of course many SC owners use the blown headgasket syndrome as an excuse to start modifying and beefing up their SC.

Supercharger Front Hub Seal - Not an expesnive repair, but a nuisance repair.

ABS Brake System - The brake system on these cars give owners fits sometimes. it is better to rip out the master cylinder and booster and repalce it with a setup from a Crown Vic as you eliminate the power booster, accumulator and unnecessary garbage Ford threw in there. Pllus it gives you a bit more room under the hood for wrenching. Every little bit helps there.

Transmission - With the 5 speed trannys, it's chronic for the syncros to go bad which causes hard shifting, especially between 2nd and 3rd gear. There is an upgraded kit that can be purchased when rebuilding the 5 speed trannys that replaces the nylon syncros with brass ones. Definitely worth the upgrade, even if you're not racing the car. As for the AOD's these are stout transmissions but if you plan on any hard driving or racing, it is imperative to have them beefed up with upgraded brass pieces as well. Stall converters and shift kits work well as long as the rest of the transmission is up to the task of the extreme use. To be honest, $400 will not go a long way in the rebuild of one of these trannys if you're looking for hard use durablity. Look to invest at least double that to ensure longevity. And remember, there's no point in doing things twice and blowing even more hard earned money with a second rebuild simply because you cut corners the first time.

Not trying to rain on your parade, but I wanted to give you a better idea of what these cars are known to have happen to them so you can prepare financially down the road.
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post #12 of 38 (permalink) Old 03-20-2008, 12:26 AM Thread Starter
 
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Thank you so much man. You just helped me alot, that is going to be so helpful for the future and present. Anyways about my car: it is a 1990 v6 3.8L supercharged Thunderbird. It has 90,000 miles on it and its an automatic. I actually bought it 2 weeks ago for $550. I have to replace the head gaskets and maybe heads, I'm in the process of that right now. I also have to replace the transmission,plugs and the button on my shifter. I got this car cause it's rear wheel drive and I love drifting......everywhere. Thats all I know of so far about it. I'm learning slowly as i go. What would you suggest i should get for spark plugs? I was thinkin TR5s.
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post #13 of 38 (permalink) Old 03-20-2008, 01:28 AM
 
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I got this car cause it's rear wheel drive and I love drifting......everywhere.
yea thats why i bought the 93 sc i had.. i loved drifting until i found out the weight distribution of thes cars are leaned mostly towards the front. long story short i made the corner and the ass end got out too far.. ended up wrapping the car around a tree. just a word of warning. your need to add a little weight to the ass. make it grip just a litlle more so u can find that perfect line and hit it every time. its a long proces but ive found that 6-10 12 packs of beer and soda plus a 50lbs. bag of thinset works great for evening the weight out
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post #14 of 38 (permalink) Old 03-20-2008, 01:29 AM
 
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TR5's are fine if you have the money. I actually stick with Motorcraft plugs for my SC's. They may not be the most expensive brand on the market, but they sure do hold up well in my engine. Of course, I don't race mine or drift with it either. I'm a restorer at heart, but I am contemplating modding my red 90 SC a bit to make it a tad more competitve should I ever decide to take it to the strip. nothing radical though...
As for the tranny, you're going to be spending a good chunk of change to get that baby done right. Whatever you do, DON'T skimp on that repair!!! It's worth it to take your car to a reputable tranny repair shop that actually knows about these transmission so they can rebuild it the right way without guessing and putting cheap parts in it for you.
Let me know if you need anymore help. Also, check out the following forum. it's dedicated exclusively to SC's and supercharged XR7's: www.sccoa.com
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post #15 of 38 (permalink) Old 03-21-2008, 12:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 93XR7 View Post
These cars have always been known for their maintenance intense lifestyles.

like to go worng with these babies:

Head Gaskets -

ABS Brake System -

Transmission -
You just described my 94 Cougar...
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post #16 of 38 (permalink) Old 03-22-2008, 12:39 AM Thread Starter
 
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I have torn my engine apart all the way to heads, Is there anything I can do for more horsepower at this point?
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post #17 of 38 (permalink) Old 03-23-2008, 03:31 PM
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Depending on your skill level, you can start with gasket matching on your intakes and exhaust ports. You can smooth and polish the parts you can reach inside the intakes, heads, and exhaust headers.

When you put this engine back together, use the latest FELPRO gaskets.

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post #18 of 38 (permalink) Old 03-24-2008, 08:07 AM Thread Starter
 
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Alright

Yea I'll do that. How much horsepower do you think that will give me? Anything else I can do?



thanks,
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post #19 of 38 (permalink) Old 03-24-2008, 08:39 AM
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I'm not sure. Depending how good a job you do gasket matching and polishing. I have a friend who did it on both a N/A 3.8 and on a 4.6L bird. He noticed the difference, but hasn't dynoed either car. So we don't know the "numbers" difference, just the improved MPG and "Snap" to the accelerator.

One other "cheap" thing would be to put underdrive pulleys on. That is about 5 or so, but you do notice it below WOT.

The Parts Bin Special is DEAD! It is being parted out.
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post #20 of 38 (permalink) Old 03-24-2008, 03:50 PM
 
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A Cold Air Intake with a K&N Filter is also a good, cheap way to increase your performance without breaking the bank. Nothing helps a car gain horsepower like fresh air through a breathable filter.
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post #21 of 38 (permalink) Old 03-27-2008, 11:48 PM Thread Starter
 
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I'm sending my heads in to get shaved, were then gonna polish and port them ourselves. Does anybody know how many pounds I have to torque my heads to? And also what do you guys think about a cam?
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post #22 of 38 (permalink) Old 03-28-2008, 12:11 AM Thread Starter
 
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head bolts?

Oh yea I forgot to ask, when I took off my heads my headbolts were super tight and I was wondering if you guys would suggest getting new ones or using the ones I have again? I have a fear that there gonna snap cause it seems like they gotta be on there damn tight. Thanks guys.
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post #23 of 38 (permalink) Old 03-28-2008, 09:11 AM
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DD, DO NOT USE THE OLD HEAD BOLTS! Yes, I am screaming at you. They are Torque to Yield, also called Torque to Failure bolts. They are already stretched. They will fail and blow your engine if used again.

Get some ARP Head Studs. They do come specifically for the 3.8SC, but there are 2.8L Chevy studs that work. Maybe others on the board have the correct part numbers and applications.

But, DON'T REUSE THOSE DAMNED HEAD BOLTS!!!

The Parts Bin Special is DEAD! It is being parted out.
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post #24 of 38 (permalink) Old 03-28-2008, 09:13 AM
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Oh, Where is Bagley?

I do have some misc. 90 Super Coupe parts from a parts car I had for my 90 SC. I even have a block sitting. The heads and intakes were sold off by my brother.

The Parts Bin Special is DEAD! It is being parted out.
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post #25 of 38 (permalink) Old 03-28-2008, 10:17 AM Thread Starter
 
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Minnesota

Bagley is in minnesota. Definitely wont use them again. What parts you got? Hit me back. thx man
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post #26 of 38 (permalink) Old 03-28-2008, 10:41 AM
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what you need to do is join the sccoa ($15yr) they have tons of info. and i also agree with everybody statements, $$$$$ and Don't re-use those head bolts, and you may want to check you supercharger fluid(oil), right side of the snout, 3/8 hex.? 8oz to fill, you can get the fluid from a GM dealer(cheaper 8-9bucks 4oz) part #12345982
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post #27 of 38 (permalink) Old 03-28-2008, 11:23 AM
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What I can think of that is still usable are the Hood (red), Intercooler, IC tubes, AOD (should be overhauled/rebuilt), All the electronic boxes, and master cylinder and brake stuff off the fire wall. I have a A/C compressor that I think works, no guarantee. At my brother's I have the SC and block.

Oh, I also have the door handles cut out of the doors. I may have the door window glass and the quarter windows.

The Parts Bin Special is DEAD! It is being parted out.
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post #28 of 38 (permalink) Old 03-28-2008, 02:02 PM
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Originally Posted by DirtDobs19 View Post
I want the best transmission for my 1990 v6 3.8 L supercharged thunderbird. Does anybody know of such tranmissions, but the only catch is that I only have $400.00 to spend. My friend said one of the transmissions out of a Mustang is the best tranny for my car. Is that true? Please help, Thank You.
Buy a Haynes repair manual at autozone or wherever for about $20...your gonna need it. Sorry but $400 won't get you very far on a transmission unless you buy a used one. Best bet is to find someone parting out a wrecked car...could probably get a good used AOD for around $200.

Check sccoa.com classified forum.

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post #29 of 38 (permalink) Old 03-28-2008, 04:07 PM
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Buy a Haynes repair manual at autozone or wherever for about $20...your gonna need it. Sorry but $400 won't get you very far on a transmission unless you buy a used one. Best bet is to find someone parting out a wrecked car...could probably get a good used AOD for around $200.

Check sccoa.com classified forum.

David
As David said $400 will not get you anything more than the $100-200 crapshoot of buying a used one off Craigslist.

If you want a really strong AOD you have two choices in my opinion.
FInd someone who REALLY knows how to build them and pay them to upgrade it with a Lentech Valve body, kevlar bands, etc.. which will probably run you aruound $1500 or more just for parts. Or you could KNOW you have a bulletproof AOD and buy one from Lentech, Street Terminator AOD

Which if you pay for the rebuild will cost you as much as theirs anyway.

And by someone who REALLY knows how to build an AOD I mean has experience with building them for high performance applications. If you get any yahoo transmission shop they will rebuild it to factory specs and you will still have a transmissions that will fail you under performance conditions. And for Goodness sakes DO NOT use AAMCO or one of those crap nationwide outlets for a rebuild!

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post #30 of 38 (permalink) Old 03-29-2008, 01:37 AM Thread Starter
 
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DD, DO NOT USE THE OLD HEAD BOLTS! Yes, I am screaming at you. They are Torque to Yield, also called Torque to Failure bolts. They are already stretched. They will fail and blow your engine if used again.

Get some ARP Head Studs. They do come specifically for the 3.8SC, but there are 2.8L Chevy studs that work. Maybe others on the board have the correct part numbers and applications.

But, DON'T REUSE THOSE DAMNED HEAD BOLTS!!!
Do you know the cheapest place I can get some ARP head bolts?
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