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post #1 of 70 (permalink) Old 08-08-2019, 03:26 PM Thread Starter
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I just wanted to put a couple pics up of my 97 Thunderbird to look at if anyone wanted. Its mostly stock right now but i got plans for it, also its my first car and im just getting into the mechanics side so still have much to learn. Anyway here it is.
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post #2 of 70 (permalink) Old 08-08-2019, 06:23 PM
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Car looks good! Get it a good wax and clearcoat and the paint will last longer.

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post #3 of 70 (permalink) Old 08-08-2019, 06:50 PM Thread Starter
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Car looks good! Get it a good wax and clearcoat and the paint will last longer.
Thanks, and yeah i want to get a couple of the chips filled in and get rid of the scratches. Been waiting to do that before i wax it. Probably smarter just to wax it when i can instead of waiting.
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post #4 of 70 (permalink) Old 08-08-2019, 07:43 PM
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Wow, good lookin Bird. Is it the 4.6? What mods do you have planned.
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post #5 of 70 (permalink) Old 08-08-2019, 08:06 PM Thread Starter
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Wow, good lookin Bird. Is it the 4.6? What mods do you have planned.
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Yes it is the 4.6 and just appearance wise i was considering getting the wings west kit for it i think it looks the best on the 97 without going overboard, also i want to add the factory style wing and MAYBE an aftermarket hood. The wheels on it are nice but i want a bit more aggressive stance so hopefully some 17x8s(possibly 17x9 in rear) will get rid of some of that wheel gap then lower it if it doesn't. Etc.
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post #6 of 70 (permalink) Old 08-08-2019, 08:14 PM Thread Starter
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373 gears in the differential maybe trac-lock, better driveshaft, gonna have a guy in town build the transmission for me, think he'll install the tc to, want to do pi intake swap, better intake system(are there cold air intakes made for the bird specifically?), get a chip from scp, and more i dont remember right now haha.
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post #7 of 70 (permalink) Old 08-08-2019, 08:16 PM Thread Starter
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Oh right and of course the exhaust. Got a guy in town gonna build something custom for it. Full exhaust, headers too
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post #8 of 70 (permalink) Old 08-08-2019, 08:38 PM
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You already have a cold air intake; if you want to upgrade it, search out the 2002 GT maf upgrade, before you get a tune.

You need a tune for that upgrade.

Instead of rebuilding your transmission, find a 2002 gran marquis or Crown vit transmission, and have that rebuilt; it already has almost all the upgrade parts you'd want.

I'd search here for the mods you're considering; there's a LOT of info here about all of it.

For one, a PI intake mod will lose midrange rpm power, but extend the rev limit. Few people spend a lot of time over 4500 RPM's, so that may not be a great mod for you.

I have a Cougar modded, and a Tbird that's not, and in most situations, the tbird is more fun.

It runs out of steam on the interstate, but the difference between 120 and 145 isn't all that important on street cars.
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post #9 of 70 (permalink) Old 08-08-2019, 10:36 PM Thread Starter
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You already have a cold air intake; if you want to upgrade it, search out the 2002 GT maf upgrade, before you get a tune.

You need a tune for that upgrade.

Instead of rebuilding your transmission, find a 2002 gran marquis or Crown vit transmission, and have that rebuilt; it already has almost all the upgrade parts you'd want.

I'd search here for the mods you're considering; there's a LOT of info here about all of it.

For one, a PI intake mod will lose midrange rpm power, but extend the rev limit. Few people spend a lot of time over 4500 RPM's, so that may not be a great mod for you.

I have a Cougar modded, and a Tbird that's not, and in most situations, the tbird is more fun.

It runs out of steam on the interstate, but the difference between 120 and 145 isn't all that important on street cars.
Thanks for the transmission info. The car already has a cold air intake??
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post #10 of 70 (permalink) Old 08-09-2019, 07:09 AM
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Almost all cars come with a cold air intake - the intake source is outside air. Switching to an open element cone style filter changes it to a hot air intake. But it looks nice!

A stock engine doesn't need any more air than a panel filter can provide.

Al
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post #11 of 70 (permalink) Old 08-09-2019, 10:44 AM Thread Starter
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Almost all cars come with a cold air intake - the intake source is outside air. Switching to an open element cone style filter changes it to a hot air intake. But it looks nice!

A stock engine doesn't need any more air than a panel filter can provide.

Al
Wow thats cool, you said almost all cars though, how could i check, thanks.
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post #12 of 70 (permalink) Old 08-09-2019, 12:28 PM
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373 gears in the differential maybe trac-lock, better driveshaft, gonna have a guy in town build the transmission for me, think he'll install the tc to, want to do pi intake swap, better intake system(are there cold air intakes made for the bird specifically?), get a chip from scp, and more i dont remember right now haha.
I have a Lincoln Mark-VIII '93 single piece driveshaft available if you're interested. These are a direct bolt on drive shafts for the Cougar / Thunderbird. Short of going full custom driveshaft, these are the best and some of the hardest driveshafts to come by. Send me a PM if you're interested. We are both in California, but several hours apart. I'm in 92220 / 92223 area for reference.

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Oh right and of course the exhaust. Got a guy in town gonna build something custom for it. Full exhaust, headers too
Headers here in California are going to be difficult due to emissions regulations. You might be better off getting your stock ones (or get a set of spares from a junk yard Thunderbird / Cougar) and have them ported. They'll be stock but with better flow due to being ported, no emissions place will be the wiser.

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post #13 of 70 (permalink) Old 08-09-2019, 01:54 PM Thread Starter
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373 gears in the differential maybe trac-lock, better driveshaft, gonna have a guy in town build the transmission for me, think he'll install the tc to, want to do pi intake swap, better intake system(are there cold air intakes made for the bird specifically?), get a chip from scp, and more i dont remember right now haha.
I have a Lincoln Mark-VIII '93 single piece driveshaft available if you're interested. These are a direct bolt on drive shafts for the Cougar / Thunderbird. Short of going full custom driveshaft, these are the best and some of the hardest driveshafts to come by. Send me a PM if you're interested. We are both in California, but several hours apart. I'm in 92220 / 92223 area for reference.

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Oh right and of course the exhaust. Got a guy in town gonna build something custom for it. Full exhaust, headers too
Headers here in California are going to be difficult due to emissions regulations. You might be better off getting your stock ones (or get a set of spares from a junk yard Thunderbird / Cougar) and have them ported. They'll be stock but with better flow due to being ported, no emissions place will be the wiser.
Definitely interested about the driveshaft. I figured id run into the emissions problem here soon enough, what all can we get away with, do you know. Thats partially why im undecided on what i want to do with intake. Also are the headers cast?
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post #14 of 70 (permalink) Old 08-09-2019, 03:16 PM
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Wow thats cool, you said almost all cars though, how could i check, thanks.
If you look at your T-Bird, there should be a plastic tube attached to the underside of the airbox that goes down behind the fender. It pulls in outside air, which is the definition of "cold air". You would have to take out the filter to see the start of the tube, or fender liner to see the whole thing.

Pretty much all cars sold today are that way. In fact, I bet you can't find a newish car that doesn't pull air into the engine from outside the engine compartment.

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post #15 of 70 (permalink) Old 08-09-2019, 04:01 PM Thread Starter
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Good to know. So a better air filter along with an 02 gt maf sensor would be a pretty good setup for street use, how about the throttle body what what be better options for that? Or is the factory one fine. Paired with a tune of course get everything running right. Is that really all cold air intakes are though, a connection to the outside air? Thought there was more to them than that
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post #16 of 70 (permalink) Old 08-09-2019, 04:45 PM
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Definitely interested about the driveshaft. I figured id run into the emissions problem here soon enough, what all can we get away with, do you know. Thats partially why im undecided on what i want to do with intake. Also are the headers cast?
Well, I can tell you I got away with my PI intake and cams. I also have a set of High Flow CATs and mine passed the sniffer test with flying colors last time she was due for testing. If you don't know a guy for testing, it'll definitely be more difficult. Headers on our car are a big no-no here in our state of California, which is why I said you're better off getting a set of OEM headers ported. There's even a few threads here on how ported headers perform better than shorty headers and some mid-length headers. Porting OEM headers is probably also cheaper than new headers, but don't quote me on that.

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post #17 of 70 (permalink) Old 08-09-2019, 04:59 PM
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Good to know. So a better air filter along with an 02 gt maf sensor would be a pretty good setup for street use, how about the throttle body what what be better options for that? Or is the factory one fine. Paired with a tune of course get everything running right. Is that really all cold air intakes are though, a connection to the outside air? Thought there was more to them than that
The mod for the 02 GT maf means changing the airbox to a GT airbox; it has a cone filter, and has to be modded so it pulls air thru the same hole as factory.

A cheap and easy mod to the stock airbox is to remove it, and remove the inlet restrictor that's under the airbox, in the fenderwell.

https://www.tccoa.com/forums/6-gener...-silencer.html

It sucks air thru a hole the size of a quarter, lol.

Don't go to a K&N filter, they get the maf dirty, and result in constant cleaning of the MAF.
Just replace the stock one every oil change, the fram ones are cheap at RA.

Don't use a fram oil filter, tho. Just the air filter. Use a Motorcraft oil filter.
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post #18 of 70 (permalink) Old 08-09-2019, 08:25 PM Thread Starter
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Good to know. So a better air filter along with an 02 gt maf sensor would be a pretty good setup for street use, how about the throttle body what what be better options for that? Or is the factory one fine. Paired with a tune of course get everything running right. Is that really all cold air intakes are though, a connection to the outside air? Thought there was more to them than that
The mod for the 02 GT maf means changing the airbox to a GT airbox; it has a cone filter, and has to be modded so it pulls air thru the same hole as factory.

A cheap and easy mod to the stock airbox is to remove it, and remove the inlet restrictor that's under the airbox, in the fenderwell.

https://www.tccoa.com/forums/6-gener...-silencer.html

It sucks air thru a hole the size of a quarter, lol.

Don't go to a K&N filter, they get the maf dirty, and result in constant cleaning of the MAF.
Just replace the stock one every oil change, the fram ones are cheap at RA.

Don't use a fram oil filter, tho. Just the air filter. Use a Motorcraft oil filter.
So this silencer just pops out? Because its a 97 i shouldn't have to remove the fender right, also it will still pull air from the outside? Ill probably look at it tomorrow but asking for reference.
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post #19 of 70 (permalink) Old 08-09-2019, 08:38 PM Thread Starter
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Also Grog6 earlier you said something about going 145, how attainable is it to hit those speeds with these cars? Im sure you had to put some good money in it for that. I dont plan on driving those speeds, but it is kinda a personal goal of mine to outrun my buddy in his new Camaro 😄, which i know tops out at 141. What kind of numbers have you guys hit without the speed limiter, and getting a better driveshaft on there?
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post #20 of 70 (permalink) Old 08-09-2019, 09:29 PM
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So this silencer just pops out? Because its a 97 i shouldn't have to remove the fender right, also it will still pull air from the outside? Ill probably look at it tomorrow but asking for reference.
The silencer doesn't pop out. You have to get to it through the fender still. You have to remove the intake tube from the MAF forward in the engine compartment. Once removed, you'll see three bolts attaching the resonator box to the body of the car. Remove those bolts. Once they've been removed, the resonator is loose and can be pulled through the fender.

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Also Grog6 earlier you said something about going 145, how attainable is it to hit those speeds with these cars? Im sure you had to put some good money in it for that. I dont plan on driving those speeds, but it is kinda a personal goal of mine to outrun my buddy in his new Camaro 😄, which i know tops out at 141. What kind of numbers have you guys hit without the speed limiter, and getting a better driveshaft on there?
In all my years here on TCCOA, I don't think I've ever seen anyone hit 145, but plenty of people have claimed going over 120. And yes, lots of money is required to make this happen. Certainly less money than buying a new car though....

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post #21 of 70 (permalink) Old 08-09-2019, 09:39 PM
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The silencer doesn't pop out. You have to get to it through the fender still. You have to remove the intake tube from the MAF forward in the engine compartment. Once removed, you'll see three bolts attaching the resonator box to the body of the car. Remove those bolts. Once they've been removed, the resonator is loose and can be pulled through the fender.
I posted a link above that explains exactly how to remove it.

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Black '96 Cougar XR-7 (Lazarus) 210k mi PI Intake, '02 4R70W, Jmod, PST DS, GrogTune, Konis, Mark LCA+Poly, racecougar Custom Engine Chain, and JL and racecougar Bracing.
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post #22 of 70 (permalink) Old 08-09-2019, 09:40 PM
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Whoops! Totally skipped right over it!!!

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post #23 of 70 (permalink) Old 08-09-2019, 10:16 PM Thread Starter
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Alright thanks for the info guys, on a different subject has there been any "smoked" style headlights available for the bird that aren't just the covers? I haven't seen or heard anything about them.
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post #24 of 70 (permalink) Old 08-09-2019, 11:01 PM
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You have to do it custom, separating the lenses from the housings, masking the reflectors and painting the bottom and sides of the housing and portions of the clear lens black to achieve the effect. I used to have them on my Cougar.

The corner lenses are impossible to separate cleanly via the oven or freezing methods that usually work on the headlight portions, you need a dremel type tool to cut away the housing’s outer lip around the lens so you can slip something thin and sharp through to cut through the glue.
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post #25 of 70 (permalink) Old 08-09-2019, 11:14 PM Thread Starter
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You have to do it custom, separating the lenses from the housings, masking the reflectors and painting the bottom and sides of the housing and portions of the clear lens black to achieve the effect. I used to have them on my Cougar.

The corner lenses are impossible to separate cleanly via the oven or freezing methods that usually work on the headlight portions, you need a dremel type tool to cut away the housing’s outer lip around the lens so you can slip something thin and sharp through to cut through the glue.
Sounds like a lot but damn that looks good. Did it effect how bright your light were much?
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post #26 of 70 (permalink) Old 08-10-2019, 08:36 AM
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Back to your exhaust plans....you may want to check out "mandrel exhaust systems." I bought a TRUE dual exhaust system from them that really worked great. It came with low restriction cats and a crossover pipe. No mufflers come with the kit, so I installed straight thru Magnaflows. This really made my Bird breathe, especially at high speed.
Nix the cool air intake. The filter cone is usually in the engine compartment. …..Lets see, it get up to 200 or more degrees in there. So all your really doing is sucking in a bunch of super hot air. I'm running the stock intake with a K & N filter. I must say I did notice a very slight improvement with the K&N. They just make better cense to me.
Another suggestion. You mention handling. Take a good look under that hood of yours. Lots of stuff under there, including that big heavy V8. Want to lighten things up a bit ? Relocate your battery to the trunk. I did. Its actually very easy to do. I have a post on here about it....someplace.
Sounds to me that your gonna have one really trick TBird when you done. I think that's really cool !
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post #27 of 70 (permalink) Old 08-10-2019, 09:41 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by highway pirate View Post
Back to your exhaust plans....you may want to check out "mandrel exhaust systems." I bought a TRUE dual exhaust system from them that really worked great. It came with low restriction cats and a crossover pipe. No mufflers come with the kit, so I installed straight thru Magnaflows. This really made my Bird breathe, especially at high speed.
Nix the cool air intake. The filter cone is usually in the engine compartment. …..Lets see, it get up to 200 or more degrees in there. So all your really doing is sucking in a bunch of super hot air. I'm running the stock intake with a K & N filter. I must say I did notice a very slight improvement with the K&N. They just make better cense to me.
Another suggestion. You mention handling. Take a good look under that hood of yours. Lots of stuff under there, including that big heavy V8. Want to lighten things up a bit ? Relocate your battery to the trunk. I did. Its actually very easy to do. I have a post on here about it....someplace.
Sounds to me that your gonna have one really trick TBird when you done. I think that's really cool !
Ill check out the mandrel exhaust not sure if that would pass smog in California though. How much did the system end up costing all together if you dont mind me asking. Also does the tbird have 3 cats? Or am i looking at something else.
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post #28 of 70 (permalink) Old 08-11-2019, 12:18 AM
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Originally Posted by robert_97tbird View Post
Ill check out the mandrel exhaust not sure if that would pass smog in California though. How much did the system end up costing all together if you dont mind me asking. Also does the tbird have 3 cats? Or am i looking at something else.
So long as you use CA legal CATs, it'll pass smog. Plenty of modified exhausts here in CA that have not impact on pass / fail of smog tests.

Long story short, keep the EGR system, use CA legal headers, keep the CATs (must be CA approved), and the car ought to pass no problem.

'97 Bird, "Pearl": L/R 2.5in Magnaflow Hi-Flow CATs | PI Intake & PI Cams | Suspension Rebuild

'13 Taurus, "The Bull": 3.5L Goodness

'00 2dr v6 Accord, "Dirty Girl": Magnaflow Hi-Flow CAT | Greddy SP2 CAT-Back | Eibach ProKit springs | Eibach F/R Sway Bars | KYB-GR2 struts
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post #29 of 70 (permalink) Old 08-11-2019, 05:17 AM Thread Starter
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Nearly bolt on supercharger options? Intended for street use so something i can keep my ac with and also not have to worry about it getting to hot. What all should be done to go along with it. This will be one of the last things i do, gotta get the car in shape to handle a sc, if i do it. Sounded like the allen or aed are good options for not having to do as many adaptations to the kit
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post #30 of 70 (permalink) Old 08-11-2019, 10:18 AM
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The AED is definitely an option that will work and still be CA legal. There's a guy in the Fresno area selling a kit. Not sure if he's already sold it though. I haven't seen him post in quite some time.

Then, I have this. Not sure if this info is still relevant or not, but these are a list of supercharger kits that are CA legal. You'd probably have to go through all the CA paperwork process, then get it checked out by a state referee and whatnot before you get a "seal of approval".

As for me, I think it'd be easier to have two engines for the car. The "go-fast" engine, and the "sniffer test" engine. The "sniffer test" engine would also double up as the "fix it ticket" engine, lol. Sure, it'd be more work, but getting around the system is easier than working with the system, IMO.
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'97 Bird, "Pearl": L/R 2.5in Magnaflow Hi-Flow CATs | PI Intake & PI Cams | Suspension Rebuild

'13 Taurus, "The Bull": 3.5L Goodness

'00 2dr v6 Accord, "Dirty Girl": Magnaflow Hi-Flow CAT | Greddy SP2 CAT-Back | Eibach ProKit springs | Eibach F/R Sway Bars | KYB-GR2 struts
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