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post #1 of 45 (permalink) Old 02-18-2005, 11:23 AM Thread Starter
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14 seconds...what does it take?

What does it take to get a 3.8 thunderbird into the 14's? How many here have done this?

Id like to see a naturally aspirated list if there is such a thing.

Some supercharged cars blow.......Others just pick up and move.
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post #2 of 45 (permalink) Old 02-18-2005, 03:38 PM
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14s? i would say heads, cam, intakes, upgraded exhaust, gears or higher stall as far as the big things are concerned.

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post #3 of 45 (permalink) Old 02-18-2005, 04:37 PM
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Mike has got the right idea. Though Im expecting to go to the track and hit 14's before I do the tranny upgrades (which are on the way). If you got big valve heads and an aggressive cam along with ported intake, larger throttle body, and exhaust I think it's possible. My cam and heads are made for turbos so the low end kinda sucks.
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post #4 of 45 (permalink) Old 02-19-2005, 03:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AEDM8
What does it take to get a 3.8 thunderbird into the 14's? How many here have done this?

Id like to see a naturally aspirated list if there is such a thing.
Being towed by a Vortech blown 3.8L? I only know of 1 3.8L 14.9 in the 14's so far, and he ran a 14.9. I went 15.4 with no belt and I think I could squeak 14.9 out if it if I removed the blower and extra wieght.
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post #5 of 45 (permalink) Old 02-19-2005, 03:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rancherlee
I only know of 1 3.8L 14.9 in the 14's so far, and he ran a 14.9.

WHO WAS IT?!

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post #6 of 45 (permalink) Old 02-19-2005, 04:00 PM Thread Starter
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Are these engine really that slow? Damn, that sucks.

So ported heads, intakes, 207/215 cam, redone exhaust, 1.73's, 3000 stall converter and Lentech VB, weight reduction (pretty much anything you dont need), underdrive pullies, tune and 3.27's wouldnt get it done?

Any ballpark ideas where I would be at?

Some supercharged cars blow.......Others just pick up and move.
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post #7 of 45 (permalink) Old 02-19-2005, 04:04 PM
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Originally Posted by AEDM8
Are these engine really that slow? Damn, that sucks.

So ported heads, intakes, 207/215 cam, redone exhaust, 1.73's, 3000 stall converter and Lentech VB, weight reduction (pretty much anything you dont need), underdrive pullies, tune and 3.27's wouldnt get it done?

Any ballpark ideas where I would be at?
sounds like my setup except I have 3.73's, probibly mid-low 15's..... you never go to the track anyhow
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post #8 of 45 (permalink) Old 02-19-2005, 04:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Thomas
WHO WAS IT?!
someone on the old board about 3 years ago. It was a 96', he then sold it and got an SC.
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post #9 of 45 (permalink) Old 02-19-2005, 04:07 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah I know, bench racing at its finest.

Just trying to get an idea of where I would be at IF I ever went. Sad that these cars are so slow. Time to put money into my AED again I think.

Some supercharged cars blow.......Others just pick up and move.
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post #10 of 45 (permalink) Old 02-19-2005, 05:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rancherlee
someone on the old board about 3 years ago. It was a 96', he then sold it and got an SC.
I know there was that one guy with the cougar with the mach1 hood that claimed a 15.2 but I never heard about the 14.9 guy. Well I guess now I have someone to beat.
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post #11 of 45 (permalink) Old 02-19-2005, 08:05 PM
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Originally Posted by AEDM8
Yeah I know, bench racing at its finest.

Just trying to get an idea of where I would be at IF I ever went. Sad that these cars are so slow. Time to put money into my AED again I think.
ya, you better, before I get around to building the 4.2L for my car and cranking the boost WAY up.
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post #12 of 45 (permalink) Old 02-19-2005, 08:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AEDM8
Yeah I know, bench racing at its finest.

Just trying to get an idea of where I would be at IF I ever went. Sad that these cars are so slow. Time to put money into my AED again I think.
But parts are cheap. it didnt take me much to hang with the 5.0's back a few eyars ago.
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post #13 of 45 (permalink) Old 02-19-2005, 10:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AEDM8
Time to put money into my AED again I think.
no!! buy my headers first

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post #14 of 45 (permalink) Old 02-20-2005, 12:39 AM
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What does it take to get a 3.8 thunderbird into the 14's? How many here have done this?

An engine swap
lol damn slow cars not bad for an underpowered motor in a big car but still.......but now with my system out its seems a little faster......but then again I took all the stickers off and my silver interior to sell it so the stickers off i for sure lost like 25 horse lmao
I would say alot of work to get 14's tho and some 3.73 and a nice stall converter should help alot but by that time u could of bought an sc and 1/4 the money to do 14's lol.....

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post #15 of 45 (permalink) Old 02-20-2005, 12:00 PM Thread Starter
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But then you would have an SC going 14's, nothing really special there....Id like to see it done NA.

Maybe I should have asked what it takes for these cars to be able to do a burnout. LOL.

Some supercharged cars blow.......Others just pick up and move.
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post #16 of 45 (permalink) Old 02-20-2005, 12:12 PM
 
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Originally Posted by AEDM8
Maybe I should have asked what it takes for these cars to be able to do a burnout.


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post #17 of 45 (permalink) Old 02-20-2005, 12:21 PM
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99 cent bottle of blech does a nice job and an extra set of tires because these were gone fast and i drove around all weekend with them on to have some fun by the time i was close to the wear bars the mighty v6 would spin them without the brakes.......lol

Fun times going to a big car meet here in windsor that they have every saturday with alot of ricers stangs and ta's....then the might sleeper burnout that made no sound but smoke everywhere and it was spinning posi in these pics



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post #18 of 45 (permalink) Old 02-20-2005, 04:50 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rancherlee
ya, you better, before I get around to building the 4.2L for my car and cranking the boost WAY up.
I dont think you'll catch me with nitrous on the car.

Nice pictures BTW....although bleach is cheating. Let see a NA 3.8 do it without any kind of assistance.

Some supercharged cars blow.......Others just pick up and move.
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post #19 of 45 (permalink) Old 02-20-2005, 06:56 PM
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stall converter = massive burnouts. I had NO trouble spining both 255/45r17's all the way through 1st gear after I installed the Converter and before I installed the vortech.
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post #20 of 45 (permalink) Old 02-20-2005, 08:01 PM Thread Starter
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So that Lentech and 3000 stall converter will easily get me to burnout bliss?

Still cant believe that it takes so much to make these fast. Serious question, what is holding this engine back so much?

Some supercharged cars blow.......Others just pick up and move.
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post #21 of 45 (permalink) Old 02-20-2005, 09:23 PM
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Maybe I should have asked what it takes for these cars to be able to do a burnout. LOL.
Splitport heads and intake.



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post #22 of 45 (permalink) Old 02-20-2005, 11:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AEDM8
So that Lentech and 3000 stall converter will easily get me to burnout bliss?

Still cant believe that it takes so much to make these fast. Serious question, what is holding this engine back so much?
low end power. I think it could be possible to break 14's on just drivetrain mods alone. But just modding the engine to hit 14's takes a lot of work, but the parts are cheap, thats kind of the trade off.
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post #23 of 45 (permalink) Old 02-21-2005, 12:05 AM Thread Starter
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Ive always felt that the 3.8 does OK down low but falls flat once you get into higher rpms. Feels like a torquey (sp?) engine...maybe Im wrong.

Again, what is holding this engine back, intake design? Or is it just generally a poor design all around?

Anyone have a bone stock dyno sheet?

Some supercharged cars blow.......Others just pick up and move.
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post #24 of 45 (permalink) Old 02-21-2005, 12:31 AM
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well in stock trim its torquey, with you start porting things it likes to breathe higher. It tends to be a high rpm motor that makes its power up high from what I've seen. With the right cam you could probably make good low end torque though, I guess I was just thinking about my motor at the time I wrote that heh.

I think what holds it back is the intake valve size and exhaust port shape. The split-port heads have a larger intake valve. I think that, more than the split-port design, is where the power comes from. Also, the split-port heads have a much more efficiently designed exhaust port. It's not as large and has a smoother route than the single-port's does.

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post #25 of 45 (permalink) Old 02-21-2005, 02:15 PM
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Originally Posted by AEDM8
Serious question, what is holding this engine back so much?
Physics Heavy mass + smallish engine = slow

I would say that 3000rpm converter is going to be worth at least .5 seconds, mine did more than that.
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post #26 of 45 (permalink) Old 02-22-2005, 12:43 AM
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Originally Posted by AEDM8
Again, what is holding this engine back, intake design? Or is it just generally a poor design all around?
I have the 3.8L and I have a love/hate relationship with it. The engine, in my opinion is poorly designed, and I'll tell you why.

First, don't get me wrong, I love my 88 T-bird and would not trade it for some newer cars.
  • The engine is just under powered and I feel at lot of this is due to the air intake system, there are NA engines half the size with as much HP.
  • The engine was not a new design, but a V8 design that was used as a V6. Why Ford did this I will never know (other manufactures do this as well). A 90* V6 engine will have inherently inferior balance characteristics when compared to a 90* V8 or a 60* V6. The crank will have to have more mass or a balancer shaft will be required to correct the poor design.
  • The cylinder head area has too many coolant passages which cause premature head gasket failures (insufficent surface area). Thanks to above board gasket technology this can be averted, but the poor design is evident. This by itself is not a performance problem, but it limited its potential, and therefore performance related aftermarket parts for a 3.8L are as rare as hen's teeth.

Then again, it's not a Vega - thank your lucky stars.

Last edited by MeanGene; 02-22-2005 at 12:54 AM.
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post #27 of 45 (permalink) Old 02-22-2005, 12:54 AM
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I have the 3.8L and I have a love/hate relationship with it. The engine, in my opinion is poorly designed, and I'll tell you why.

First, don't get me wrong, I love my 88 T-bird and would not trade it for some newer cars.
  • The engine is just under powered and I feel at lot of this is due to the air intake system, there are NA engines half the size with as much HP.
  • The engine was not a new design, but a V8 design that was used as a V6. Why Ford did this I will never know (other manufactures do this as well). A 90* V6 engine will have inherently inferior balance characteristics when compared to a 90* V8 or a 60* V6. The crank will have to have more mass or a balancer shaft will be required to correct the poor design.
  • The cylinder head area has too many coolant passages which cause premature head gasket failures (insufficent surface area). Thanks to above board gasket technology this can be averted, but the poor design is evident.

Then again, it's not a Vega - thank your lucky stars.
What do you mean by "air intake system" as in the intake tube?

the earlier heads did have too many passages, and they were very close to the combustion chamber, but by getting SC heads or 96+ ehads you can pretty much cure that problem. Sad to say Ive already overheated my engine 2 times after my ehad/cam swap. I broke the electric fan coolant temp sensor and I operate it by switch. I accidentaly left it idling for 10 minutes and it got close to the red. And I forgot to to it the second time and did it again. ARP headbolts, SC heads, and SC gaskets seem to hold up incredibly well.

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post #28 of 45 (permalink) Old 02-22-2005, 01:04 AM
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What do you mean by "air intake system" as in the intake tube?

-Thomas
Well, they were able to take the same basic engine and change the intake system, along with minor changes in port and cam design and produce 200 HP. My 88 T-Bird has 140 HP from a 3.8L engine. You have to understand that all manufactures at that time were being hit hard by the EPA and the gas crunch, that needs to be taken into consideration (I love my air pump) . Obviously Ford knew how to extract more power from 3.8L's, unfortunately it was not a priority at the time.

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post #29 of 45 (permalink) Old 02-22-2005, 09:49 AM
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Sad to say Ive already overheated my engine 2 times after my ehad/cam swap. I broke the electric fan coolant temp sensor and I operate it by switch. I accidentaly left it idling for 10 minutes and it got close to the red. And I forgot to to it the second time and did it again. ARP headbolts, SC heads, and SC gaskets seem to hold up incredibly well.

-Thomas
The splitport 3.8L's hold up incredibly well to overheating as well. I blew the electric fan fuse while going down the dragstrip during the summer. By the time I got back to the staging lanes, the coolant was boiling out of the reservoir. I let it cool down, found the problem, and have put over 15,000 miles on it since then. You can't do that with the 3.8L N/A singleport heads and stock head gaskets.

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post #30 of 45 (permalink) Old 02-22-2005, 11:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MeanGene
Well, they were able to take the same basic engine and change the intake system, along with minor changes in port and cam design and produce 200 HP. My 88 T-Bird has 140 HP from a 3.8L engine. You have to understand that all manufactures at that time were being hit hard by the EPA and the gas crunch, that needs to be taken into consideration (I love my air pump) . Obviously Ford knew how to extract more power from 3.8L's, unfortunately it was not a priority at the time.
The split-port has no change in cam specs. The 4.2 does though. And it's 190-193hp depending on the year. But the split-port intake system is a nice one, I thought you meant the intake tube, which wouldnt make much since, hehe. But the split-port heads and intakes dont get their gain just from the split-port design alone, the intake valve is MUCH larger than the single-ports. That, I believe, is where most of the horsepower gain can be attributed to. That and the better designed exhaust ports. Though no doubt, the intakes do give a better power curve, I dont think they're the main gain.
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