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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-18-2003, 01:52 PM Thread Starter
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MAC vs. MN12Performance CAI

I'm thinking of putting a cold air induction kit on my '97 Thunderbird with 4.6L SOHC. Which is better? The MAC kit doesn't seem to be too popular with those wanting to put on a larger MAF. I don't know if I would be doing that (mainly because I don't understand the tech articles ).

Also, compared to a CAI kit, would removing the airbox and installing a cone filter and heatshield in the engine compartment be better?
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-18-2003, 10:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by yinzerpunk
I'm thinking of putting a cold air induction kit on my '97 Thunderbird with 4.6L SOHC. Which is better? The MAC kit doesn't seem to be too popular with those wanting to put on a larger MAF. I don't know if I would be doing that (mainly because I don't understand the tech articles ).

Also, compared to a CAI kit, would removing the airbox and installing a cone filter and heatshield in the engine compartment be better?
the mac cai, the mn12 performance kit and the cone filter w/ heatshield will all net you about the same performance. i chose to go with the cone w/ heatshield cuz it was cheap and i didnt want the filter int he fenderwell cuz i cant afford to accidentally hydrolock my motor. I'd say go for the cone w/heatshield or mn12 performance kit cuz the mac cai is way overpriced although it is the best looking. also with the mac cai, you will not be able to fit a strut tower brace without modifying it if you plan on an stb in the future.

Frank

2007 Dodge Ram 1500
2008 Suzuki GSX-R1000

Previous Rides:
2003 Suzuki GSX-R750
2003 Mustang Cobra 10th Anniversary - 11.2 @ 130
1997 Thunderbird LX 4.6 - 13.7 @ 103
1993 Thunderbird LX 3.8 - Slow
1990 Thunderbird 3.8 - Slower
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-19-2003, 07:38 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for letting me know about the MAC and the shock tower brace! I do plan to get one and I never would've thought there could a problem.

When you say the engine could hydrolock with the filter in the wheel well, I guess the filter can get pretty gross in there. The reason I ask is that I don't want to go through the hassle of getting in there to clean it very often.

Does anyone have any thoughts whether or not a larger MAF is worth it?
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-19-2003, 08:09 AM
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I assume MAF's are worth it if ya have the mods...


I can make you a heatsheild for your K&N if you are interested....

1996 Thunderbird 4.6 -Sold-
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-19-2003, 08:13 AM
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While there are some down sides to the MAC - price and the hard 90* bend just before the MAF, I have not had any problems with water. It's tucked up in the fender pretty well. As a matter of fact, another of the down sides is that it's a pia to clean the filter. The wheel has to come off and you gotta take the plastic wheel well out to get to it. I'm not saying that it couldn't get wet somehow, but I have not had that problem at all .. and it rains a lot here in Florida and we get some deep puddles....

The MAC is a good looking piece and very easy to install, but the heatshield and cone filter is probably a better choice. As a matter of fact I'm pulling my MAC out and replacing it with a filter and box. My MAC will be for sale -- cheap.

96 GoldBird

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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-19-2003, 09:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by 96 GoldBird
While there are some down sides to the MAC - price and the hard 90* bend just before the MAF, I have not had any problems with water. It's tucked up in the fender pretty well. As a matter of fact, another of the down sides is that it's a pia to clean the filter. The wheel has to come off and you gotta take the plastic wheel well out to get to it. I'm not saying that it couldn't get wet somehow, but I have not had that problem at all .. and it rains a lot here in Florida and we get some deep puddles....

The MAC is a good looking piece and very easy to install, but the heatshield and cone filter is probably a better choice. As a matter of fact I'm pulling my MAC out and replacing it with a filter and box. My MAC will be for sale -- cheap.
yea, i'm just to scared to take a chance and put it in the fender cuz i've read a few horro stories on here. also a kid around here with a 96 cobra drove through a huge puddle with his cai and hydrolocked his motor. i guess its just my personal preference. One of my friends actually has the mac intake on his 96 bird, it is a nice set up.

Frank

2007 Dodge Ram 1500
2008 Suzuki GSX-R1000

Previous Rides:
2003 Suzuki GSX-R750
2003 Mustang Cobra 10th Anniversary - 11.2 @ 130
1997 Thunderbird LX 4.6 - 13.7 @ 103
1993 Thunderbird LX 3.8 - Slow
1990 Thunderbird 3.8 - Slower
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-19-2003, 10:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by yinzerpunk
Thanks for letting me know about the MAC and the shock tower brace! I do plan to get one and I never would've thought there could a problem.

When you say the engine could hydrolock with the filter in the wheel well, I guess the filter can get pretty gross in there. The reason I ask is that I don't want to go through the hassle of getting in there to clean it very often.

Does anyone have any thoughts whether or not a larger MAF is worth it?
if you plan on upgrading the maf u will also need a chip. the 02 gt maf seems to be the preferred peice around here. in that case another option would be to get the stock 02 gt maf, intake tube and airbox. the mustang air box is made for a cone filter. thats the route i plan on going when i send my chip in for a reburn.

2007 Dodge Ram 1500
2008 Suzuki GSX-R1000

Previous Rides:
2003 Suzuki GSX-R750
2003 Mustang Cobra 10th Anniversary - 11.2 @ 130
1997 Thunderbird LX 4.6 - 13.7 @ 103
1993 Thunderbird LX 3.8 - Slow
1990 Thunderbird 3.8 - Slower
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-19-2003, 10:17 AM Thread Starter
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I was thinking about getting a chip. The Apten seems pretty popular.

How hard is it to put one in?

Where can I get 02 GT MAF, intake tube and airbox? Are they expensive?
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-19-2003, 10:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by yinzerpunk
I was thinking about getting a chip. The Apten seems pretty popular.

How hard is it to put one in?

Where can I get 02 GT MAF, intake tube and airbox? Are they expensive?
a chip is very easy to put in. you can do it in about 15-20 minutes. The computer is right behind the passenger side kick panel. you will also have to up grade your spark plugs and thermostat with the chip. Apten chips are awesome, i have one. Brian is the guy you want to talk to, he is great to deal with. You can get the 02 maf tube and air box at any ford dealer. also check corral.net and ebay for used ones at a good price. if you are a member, i hear dan newman has a good deal on the airbox and maf. not sure what the price is $130 i think? then you will just need to get an intake tube.

Frank

2007 Dodge Ram 1500
2008 Suzuki GSX-R1000

Previous Rides:
2003 Suzuki GSX-R750
2003 Mustang Cobra 10th Anniversary - 11.2 @ 130
1997 Thunderbird LX 4.6 - 13.7 @ 103
1993 Thunderbird LX 3.8 - Slow
1990 Thunderbird 3.8 - Slower
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-22-2003, 10:25 AM Thread Starter
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Who much of an improvement is the GT airbox and MAF over the '97 Tbird's stock box and MAF?
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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-22-2003, 10:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by yinzerpunk
Where can I get 02 GT MAF, intake tube and airbox? Are they expensive?
Call Dan Newman (800) 266-6049. I believe they are under $140 shipped, or real close to that.

Quote:
Originally posted by yinzerpunk
Who much of an improvement is the GT airbox and MAF over the '97 Tbird's stock box and MAF?
The MAF is bigger and the transfer rates are faster than the stock MAF which makes for a pretty big improvement when your car is in stock condition, and even more so it you do future mods, like PnP heads, cams, bigger TB, etc.

In order to do the MAF mod, you also have to get a chip for the EEC, and the chip improves a lot more (gas mileage, trans shifting, etc), and makes it possible to put in a colder t-stat and plugs, which are performance improvers also. You absolutely HAVE to get a chip if you upgrade the MAF.


Quote:
Originally posted by yinzerpunk
I was thinking about getting a chip. The Apten seems pretty popular.
My first chip came from Reinhart Automotive. He's a preferred vendor on this site. There is a link to his web site on our home page. He has the same files available that Brian at Apten has. The files all originate from the same tuner.

96 GoldBird

'96 T-Bird LX 4.6L Alive & well & living in S. Florida

N/A:
Renegade NPI heads/Comp Cams; OEM intake manifold; Bolt-ons
245 rwhp; 13.713 @ 99.35 (Commerce, GA - November 2003)


BLOWN: Renegade NPI heads; Renegade shortblock; Intercooled T-Trim; some other stuff
Pump Gas Numbers - 547 rwhp / 525 ft.lbs; Best Time - 11.388 @ 118.68 (Commerce, GA - November 2007)

Last edited by 96 GoldBird; 12-22-2003 at 10:51 AM.
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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-25-2003, 06:58 PM
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I just a got a sweet deal on a 76mm MAf and a 75mm Throttlebody from a mustang shopt hat will work on my Tbird I currentlyhave underdrives and a low restriction eshaust and underdrives and my hypertech and Tstat. Who do ya reccommend to replace the hypertech with for a computer chip? I assume the MAf will work on my car but without the computer the power improvements won;t be maximized correct? I plan ngetting the C&L intake plenum as well when funds improve. In hope son making my 97 tbird 4.6 fly!
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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-25-2003, 07:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by reckmann
Who do ya reccommend to replace the hypertech with for a computer chip?
Dennis at Reinhart Automotive. He's a preferred vendor on this site and there is a link to his website on our home page.

or

Brian at Apten Performance.

Both of these two guys have access to the best and most recent files for our cars, and customize to suit your mods.


Quote:
I assume the MAf will work on my car but without the computer the power improvements won;t be maximized correct?
Who makes the MAF. I am not familiar with a 76mm MAF for our cars, it may not work on our cars, and 76mm is not really that much bigger than stock large. But the biggest reason for swapping the MAF is for improved transfer rates and by far the MAF's that work best on our cars and the ones that the tuners prefer to work with are the '02 GT MAF (85mm) or the Lightning MAFs (80mm or 90mm). While they are not OEM for our cars, they are OEM on the Mustangs and Lightnings and interface best with our EEC and injectors. Most tuners, at least the best ones, will tell you to shy away from the aftermarket MAFs for our cars, they make it difficult to tune.

You absolutely CANNOT swap in a MAF, either the 76mm or either of the two I mentioned without a chip. Your Hypertech is programmed to read the values as they are sent from the stock MAF. The electronics and transfer rates are different in other MAFs and the Hypertech will mis-read them.

For N/A application, I would recommend you get the '02 GT MAF. Dan Newman sells them for about $130, complete with the GT airbox. Reinhart's and Apten chips are readily available for that MAF. Their standard program is also set for colder spark plugs (22c or 12c) and a 180* thermostat. Very common, inexpensive and effective mods for our cars.

By the way, in order to utilize that 75mm TB you will have to port the upper plenum. The stock upper plenum intake port is only about 70mm. I had mine ported and polishe by a machinist and it cost me about $100. Lotsa guys go after it themselves with a dremmel tool and it works fine.

96 GoldBird

'96 T-Bird LX 4.6L Alive & well & living in S. Florida

N/A:
Renegade NPI heads/Comp Cams; OEM intake manifold; Bolt-ons
245 rwhp; 13.713 @ 99.35 (Commerce, GA - November 2003)


BLOWN: Renegade NPI heads; Renegade shortblock; Intercooled T-Trim; some other stuff
Pump Gas Numbers - 547 rwhp / 525 ft.lbs; Best Time - 11.388 @ 118.68 (Commerce, GA - November 2007)
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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-26-2003, 12:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by 96 GoldBird
You absolutely HAVE to get a chip if you upgrade the MAF.
You can get a C&L (aka Vortec) MAF and use your stock electronics without having to get a chip. It gives a good seat of the pants feel but some say that the performance gain is minimal. I used one for several years and was happy with it. It is good for someone who does not have a lot of money.

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post #15 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-26-2003, 01:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by J.Miller
You can get a C&L (aka Vortec) MAF
Do you know the size of that MAF? Perhaps that is the one he has the opportunity to get from the mustang shop he was talking about... if so, then I'm wrong, he can put that one in without a chip, although I suspect a chip might improve it's performance. Is it possible that the reasons the Vortec MAF gets a bad rap from others re: performance is because they don't reflash or get a chip that would assist in getting more from the MAF??? They rely on the stock tune??? just a thought, not a flame...

96 GoldBird

'96 T-Bird LX 4.6L Alive & well & living in S. Florida

N/A:
Renegade NPI heads/Comp Cams; OEM intake manifold; Bolt-ons
245 rwhp; 13.713 @ 99.35 (Commerce, GA - November 2003)


BLOWN: Renegade NPI heads; Renegade shortblock; Intercooled T-Trim; some other stuff
Pump Gas Numbers - 547 rwhp / 525 ft.lbs; Best Time - 11.388 @ 118.68 (Commerce, GA - November 2007)
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post #16 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-26-2003, 05:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by 96 GoldBird


Do you know the size of that MAF? Perhaps that is the one he has the opportunity to get from the mustang shop he was talking about... if so, then I'm wrong, he can put that one in without a chip, although I suspect a chip might improve it's performance. Is it possible that the reasons the Vortec MAF gets a bad rap from others re: performance is because they don't reflash or get a chip that would assist in getting more from the MAF??? They rely on the stock tune??? just a thought, not a flame...
It is Vortec/ C&L p/n CL1257919 (8A101-021), 73mm, 19 Lb injectors, Uses stock electronics, 746.3 Meter/ CFM @ 28.38 in/ H2O, for larger Injector replace sampling tube.

**EDIT: If you get it make sure it is calibrated for a T-Bird.

I had the above MAF on my 95 Cat when it was a puny 4.6L. Before I added it, JayBird's 5.0 was faster. Afterwards my 4.6L was faster. I ended up selling it to him to install into his 5.0L after I purchased the Lightning MAF. Since the 5.0L came with an even smaller MAF this was a bigger boost for his car. Well, ah, er, until he blew it up.

A chip should improve performance. A good MAF and a chip will be even better as long as you can flow more air into the motor. In layman's terms you need a bigger MAF only if you have other mods that allow you to use the flow range.

My guess that this MAF gets a bad rap based on fact and competition. The facts is that it uses the stock EEC and tricks the motor into thinking is flowing more air. It is good for minor moded cars but can be a problem for a real performance application since it is limited in flow. The chip guys do not like it partly because it tricks the EEC and they think that if everyone got one, they would not want chips. I beg to differ because once you start hot roding it is hard to stop!

I am a case in point!

J.Miller
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Last edited by J.Miller; 12-26-2003 at 05:31 PM.
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