New, looking for advice on PI swap - TCCoA Forums
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-09-2019, 03:02 PM Thread Starter
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I have a 1997 t bird with a 4.6 Windsor coming up on 91,000 miles. Not looking to get to crazy as far as engine mods go, what i am gonna do most likely is a PI intake swap keeping it n/a. I wanted to get some more knowledge on swapping to the PI heads, how much of an improvement is it compared to just doing the intake manifold and upgrading the air intake system?
Also im in California and im not sure how or if any of the swap will effect me passing smog here so if theres anybody from here that could help me with that?

Last edited by robert_97tbird; 07-09-2019 at 03:08 PM.
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-09-2019, 03:21 PM
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Main thing about PI head swaps is the bump in compression you get. A little bit better power but not really worth the effort. PI intake and PI cams that are properly degreed and with a tune will get you the best bang for buck. And they have aftermarket NPI cams thatll bump up power even more.

Before that though, a better torque converter and 3.73 rear gears will wake up the car more. 3700lbs so they need what help they can get to start moving from a stand still.

Another thing. PI intakes and cams make the most difference above 5000rpm. Youll need a stamped trigger wheel, single piece crank timing gear, and an 11in Torque Converter (so youd need a better TC anyway). Reason why is because the cast wheels can fly apart, the two piece gears walk, and the TC balloons and presses into a bunch of things that shouldnt be pressed into. None of these things are good.


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First: Stacie, 1996 Tbird LX, mild build NPI engine, PI cams and intake, Long tube headers, Jmod.

Second: Ellie, 1989 Tbird SC, r̶e̶s̶t̶o̶r̶i̶n̶g̶ ̶t̶o̶ ̶b̶e̶ ̶n̶e̶w̶ ̶d̶a̶i̶l̶y̶. off the deep end

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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-09-2019, 04:07 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Wile E. Coyote Jr. View Post
Main thing about PI head swaps is the bump in compression you get. A little bit better power but not really worth the effort. PI intake and PI cams that are properly degreed and with a tune will get you the best bang for buck. And they have aftermarket NPI cams thatll bump up power even more.

Before that though, a better torque converter and 3.73 rear gears will wake up the car more. 3700lbs so they need what help they can get to start moving from a stand still.

Another thing. PI intakes and cams make the most difference above 5000rpm. Youll need a stamped trigger wheel, single piece crank timing gear, and an 11in Torque Converter (so youd need a better TC anyway). Reason why is because the cast wheels can fly apart, the two piece gears walk, and the TC balloons and presses into a bunch of things that shouldnt be pressed into. None of these things are good.


Welcome to TCCoA!
Alright good to know thank you. Already was planning to build the drivetrain also like you mentioned with the 3.73 gears, possibly one of the posi system, new driveshaft and torque converter, got a guy in town gonna build the transmission for me. Probably going to get most of these parts from the scp site. I believe most the people on here know the website im referring to.
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-09-2019, 05:54 PM
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Yeah. We know SCP. I’m not a fan of their prices. Let us know what part you’re looking for and we’ll point you to the best source for the best price.

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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-09-2019, 06:01 PM
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-09-2019, 06:14 PM Thread Starter
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Posi? Buy from SCP? You have much to learn
Why the sarcasm about the posi or trac-lock from scp? Because of their prices or is that part not the best option for the 8.8?
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-09-2019, 06:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robert_97tbird View Post
Why the sarcasm about the posi or trac-lock from scp? Because of their prices or is that part not the best option for the 8.8?
The sarcasm because of SCP's pricing and use of Posi (which is a GM term).

Your use of words and consideration of SCP as a vendor (instead of say the vendor of last resort) is why you got scoffed at.

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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-09-2019, 06:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robert_97tbird View Post
Why the sarcasm about the posi or trac-lock from scp? Because of their prices or is that part not the best option for the 8.8?

Dont take sarcasm personally. These guys have been messing with these cars longer than you and I have been alive. In the end they want you to learn, just stick with it.

Dont follow SCP religiously. Bills a cool dude but his prices are up there. $600 for front coil overs with out springs jumps to find. As well as $200 for a 145mph speedo. Best thing from there are the tunes, because David Dalke does them.

Interms of the track loc, Tbscshop.com has them. Got a couple for like $80 shipped but that was years ago, havent looked at what they are now.

Or you could go on American Muscle, and get a 99 cobra rear diff. Think they are $130 new but again havent looked in a while. Youd need a 99 if you want to keep the stock CVs. They are 28 spline vs the latter 31s. And dont try to fit a solid axle carrier in. You wont have a good time.

First: Stacie, 1996 Tbird LX, mild build NPI engine, PI cams and intake, Long tube headers, Jmod.

Second: Ellie, 1989 Tbird SC, r̶e̶s̶t̶o̶r̶i̶n̶g̶ ̶t̶o̶ ̶b̶e̶ ̶n̶e̶w̶ ̶d̶a̶i̶l̶y̶. off the deep end

Third: 1997 Dodge Ram 1500, thirsty daily.

Fourth: 1990 Tbird SC, GT40 5.0 mated to m5r2, BBK long tubes, motor out the hood, drift car.
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-09-2019, 07:48 PM Thread Starter
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Didn't take it personally just was clarifying why. Im here to try and get some of your knowledge so hopefully i dont make so many mistakes. I am new to this im only 19 and this is my first car. I know the basics but got a lot to learn.
Im getting ready to dive into the brake job, sorry to get off topic from the motor but any idea where i can get a master cylinder reservoir/ reservoir seal kit
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-09-2019, 08:54 PM
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Rockauto is a good starting point, their prices are usually pretty good. Search for the the discount code thread for a 5% coupon as well.

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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-09-2019, 09:02 PM
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First off...

Are you sure you have a 4.6 Windsor? If so, was the engine swapped at some point? MN-12's were all Romeo's from the factory unless I've been lied to my entire life.

Secondly...

For the best bang for your buck, I'd go to the driveline first. 3.73's, one piece aluminum drivehsaft, a traclock, and a better torque converter will wake the car up much more than anything else you do, and not screw up your smog test. You need the driveshaft due to the death wobble the factory two piece unit gets. If you can find one, a 1993 (1993 ONLY) Mark VIII driveshaft is a direct fit, but a custom piece is worthwhile as well. Jmod the trans while you're at it.

Brakes are next. You can get a set of 99-04 Mustang GT calipers and they pretty much bolt on. You need to clearance the spindle slightly so that they don't wear unevenly as the pads start to get used up, but that's easy.

A tune from David Dalke or from Don Lasota at www.lasotaracing.com will also wake the car up, and remove the speed governor built into the factory tune from the wobblematic 2 piece driveshaft.

All of that gives you a great base to build from. You can then start doing the PI swap, or swap in a later model PI motor from a 2002-2005 Explorer/Mountaineer since they're all aluminum, more power potential, and save 80lbs and more or less are a direct drop in. Factory computer plugs right in and you can get your tune tweaked.
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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 #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-10-2019, 08:25 AM
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Great advice Woodman. As a side note, you'll need to change the speedo gear and tune to switch to 3.73's. I'm pretty sure you want the purple speedo gear to go with 3.73's - the gear is cheap - like less than $10.

There's additional information in this long lost corner of the club website:

Home page: https://www.tccoa.com/articles

https://www.tccoa.com/articles/gears/speedo.html

https://www.tccoa.com/articles/gears/gears.html
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Mods? Yea, I got mods ...
Air silencer delete, warp drive, dilithium crystals, flux capacitor, Slingshot Rubber band power adder, Moonshine & Gas, Leaf Blower Supercharger, Hamster Wheel & Hamster, Energizer Bunny generating 1.21 gigawatts, Mr. Fusion® Home Energy Reactor, hover conversion and a sextant celestial navigation system (The original GPS)
Best 1/4: 1,320 nanoseconds @ 670,616,629.2 miles per hour

"There isn't that much difference anymore between spacecraft, aircraft and modern automobiles..." - Keith Henry, NASA's Langley Research Center
See a list of my real mods and pictures of my car HERE. The true performance of my car was made possible by the Carolinas Crew Chief, RobertP at Rob's Tire & Auto

Last edited by Trunk Monkey; 07-10-2019 at 08:32 AM.
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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-10-2019, 09:43 AM
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Man,these guys are a tough crowd!! Your best option is to ditch the bird for a Prius. But if you insist on keeping it...……….. What they said
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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-10-2019, 01:43 PM
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Man,these guys are a tough crowd!! Your best option is to ditch the bird for a Prius. But if you insist on keeping it...……….. What they said
Don't hate on priuses. They are the finest >47MPG appliance you can drive for <$30K. Its silly how little I've had to do to mine over 100K mi of ownership. (most) every car has its place or purpose and IMO both tbirds and appliances have their place (except maybe a Murano convertible. that abomination has no point).


And if you want aggravation though, visit a prius forum. I went on there recently to find out the easiest place to tap for constant/ignition-on pwr for a dashcam to run in parking mode and the amount of braindead responses I got was stunning.

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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-10-2019, 02:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by S4gunn View Post
Don't hate on priuses. They are the finest >47MPG appliance you can drive for <$30K. Its silly how little I've had to do to mine over 100K mi of ownership. (most) every car has its place or purpose and IMO both tbirds and appliances have their place (except maybe a Murano convertible. that abomination has no point).


And if you want aggravation though, visit a prius forum. I went on there recently to find out the easiest place to tap for constant/ignition-on pwr for a dashcam to run in parking mode and the amount of braindead responses I got was stunning.

-g
My Mom’s Prius V(formerly my grandfathers, she inherited) eats starting batteries for breakfast and averages high 30s. It’s cheaper to run than pure gas, but this is the driving experience:

Press start button - vroom - vibrate harshly - clonk out to EV mode - engage dainty shifter to R - beep beep beep(inside the cabin???) - engage dainty shifter to D - drive away - whirvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvv(you know the sound) - gas mode again - vroom - vibrate harshly - clonk out to EV again - whirrvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvv - clank?!? - crunch?!? - whirrvvvvvvvvvv - enter highway ramp, foot to the floor - gas mode - vrOOM, eeeerrroooghhhhhhh - look at stupid centrally placed digital speedo 25, 30, 33, 35, 37, 38, 3989898989... 40 - tilt mirror away from line of irate drivers behind you - clomp/rattle/squeek over highway joints for 10 miles - exit - clonk out to EV mode - whirvvvvvvvvvvv - arrive at destination - press off button because the park button is pointless - walk away -hope it gets run into while away
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