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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-04-2008, 02:10 AM Thread Starter
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PI Intake Swap Nightmare

Yesterday afternoon i started the famous and well known PI intake swap on my 96 bird. The NPI manifold came off without a hitch and actually quite easy. When fully assembled it looks to be a mess of vac lines and wiring, but when you start disassembling it comes apart easily. I noticed that the manifold bolts were very tight and probably a bit corroded. I figured out that a 3/8 inch impact worked well here. It seems the vibrating hammering action loosened the bolts very easily, same goes with the bolts that hold the bottom of the alternator to the block.

After i got the NPI manifold off i began to switch over the crossover and do a final check for cracks or shipping damage on the PI intake. Now the nightmare begins. I take a closer look at the coolant tube that runs in the engine valley and notice that the coolant tube that i had ordered from my local ford dealership (2001 Mustang GT coolant tube) is not going to work. There was NO possible way that would work, even with cutting and ghetto rigging it would probably still interfere with the PI runners. However, what i haven't figured out is what car the "NEW" coolant tube was meant for. It isn't the same as what was on my bird and sure as hell wouldn't work with the PI intake so i assume it isn't for a GT. Hmm... But i came prepared for this type of situation. A couple days before i had bought 4 feet of 5/8" heater hose. I have heard that using flexible heater hose would work with the PI intake. In short, it doesn't. The flexible heater hose kinks VERY easily at the front of the PI intake manifold. Because of the tight quarters and the overall thickness of the heater hose there just isn't enough room for this type of set up. What i ended up having to do was go to the local auto parts store and pick up some prebent heater hose. I ended up having to make a template out of cardboard and going to auto zone to find something similar. With some luck and some time i was able to find the right S bend heater hose that i needed. I then bought some heater hose connectors and rigged myself exactly the shape i needed.

Installing the intake was just as easy as the disassembly and got the intake on in about an hour. Maybe even a little less. For you newbies out there looking to do this swap make sure you are ready for this. Even with the right coolant tube it still could be a B*tch. The coolant tube bolts are located at the back of the engine and are pretty hard to get to. I ended up having to use a special snap on wrench that has a locking pivoting head to get to those bolts. Also the heater hose BS just doesn't work. You NEED the prebent hose at the front to make that work. But it is really not that difficult to take the manifold off and install the PI.

So far i have not pushed the car to the limit yet for fear of not having a tune and the computer still has to relearn a bit and figure out what's going on. From what i can tell with the PI cams there is a noticeable difference in power. The powerband seems MUCH smoother and is more powerful especially higher in the RPMs. Now all i need is the Xcal and im all ready to go.
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-04-2008, 02:22 AM
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sounds like you forgot to buy the water pump nipple

-Matt
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-04-2008, 02:28 AM
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Yeah, thats what I did, just went with a 90 degree bend and cut the bend off my PI tube. I didnt want to mess with my water pump, and plus i was on a tight budget (unemployed when i did it) and the PI manifold was alot cheaper than a NPI.

I put some copper RTV on the ends of the 90deg rubber tube, and double clamped it at both ends. Almost 8k now and no problems at all.

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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-04-2008, 03:20 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by XR7-4.6 View Post
sounds like you forgot to buy the water pump nipple
Uh no. if you would have read a little closer i stated that the tube itself would not work with the set up. The tube was the wrong part. Had nothing to do with the newer model water pump nipple. The tube that was sent to me wasn't for a bird or a stang.

Gcline: I guess i didn't think about putting RTV on the ends. That would have been a good idea now that i think about it. Haha. I think the hose connectors will hold up though, even without the hose clamps it was VERY VERY VERY hard to pull the hoses apart (the connectors had multiple flares). The only thing that i am worried about is the actual hose itself just because Ford probably made that tube out of metal for a reason. But hell last night i was so fed up with the BS i really didn't care...
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-04-2008, 08:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sCrEaMiN BiRd View Post
...... For you newbies out there looking to do this.......
news flash, this mod was "in" back in 03/04, you were the newb!.......just messin wit'cha man

i did the same exact thing as Gcline because i was running short on time....had the water pump nipple and everything, just not enough time....i just used some prebent heater hose tube with no RTV and it held up very well, and that is how it is still running today.....although this last intake swap, i did apply just a little bit of RTV, even though the last 3-1/2 years (30k+ miles) of the previous setup had no problems what so ever, i knew it wouldnt hurt.....but dont worry, you'll be fine with heater hose there

also, im curious....what tube did they send you?.....can you snap a quick pic of it?
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-04-2008, 05:42 PM Thread Starter
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I have no idea what tube it is for. It's for sure not the same tube that my NPI bird came with and it is far from a PI coolant tube so hell i'm at a loss for words there. Do the 4V's have a similar coolant tube set up? Maybe it is for a cobra or mark?
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-06-2008, 02:32 PM
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I used a tight 90 degree turn.

I wanted to do the complete deal, but after clobbering the water pump for a few weeks, I went with a pre-fabbed tight 90 deg hose that cost ten dollars, but saved time. I cut off the elbow end of the Mustang cross over pipe, but then worked it over to make it round. You will have to check roundness, as the bend in mine went oval shape for a distance. If the hose ever leaks, the alternater will come off to change it out. I also used the pi intake to make a rough template against the head. Then I ground a slight chamfer on the head's intake ports to kind-of sort-of get a match and maybe improved flow.
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-09-2008, 06:26 PM
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how she runin with the PI intake installed?
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-10-2008, 03:17 AM Thread Starter
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It's actually pretty strong for not having an Xcal and 3.27 gears. Lol. The xcal is coming in the mail sometime soon, 3.73's are in my closet, waiting on my trac lock to come in from ford, and i have an intake tube from robertp coming in the mail soon as well. I think with all those things combined it should run pretty strong for a heavy car. Currently i would say it's not too much slower than a PI automatic GT but noticeably slower than a 5 speed GT. I'm hoping that with the tube, tune, 3.73's it will be similar in pull to a 5 speed GT but we shall see...

WHen i was on the phone with Lonnie he actually mentioned that he has a dyno graph of a pi intake swapped town car with one of his 93 octane tunes. Gained something like 50 horses at the rear wheels with the intake, tune, and 80mm MAF. I'd say things look pretty promising with the xcal even though california gas is crap 91....
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-10-2008, 10:46 AM
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your car isn't a sport???

what gears do you have currently??? 3.08??
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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-10-2008, 11:47 PM Thread Starter
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It is a sport but it's a one wheel wonder. According to the axle code on the door jamb it should have 3.27's. hopefully that will all change soon.
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