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Showcase cover image for 97 Stage 2 PI Bird

General Information

Laser Red
Luxury/Lighting group, ABS/traction assist, rear spoiler, Premium sound
This MN12 specimen was purchased by my father from a dealership in Cincinnati in 2004 to be driven as a winter car (ironically) since his other car at the time was a '96 Firebird Trans Am. I began to drive only after acquiring a job to finance my hobbies after graduating from high school a couple years later. After a time sharing the car with him, he gave the car to me after I had invested a considerable sum of money on maintenance and parts - and I have since continued to maintain and upgrade it.

With TCCoA as an enabler, maintenance turned into upgrades until eventually the combination I have now emerged. Only longtube headers and a higher-flow intake manifold remain on the performance mods wishlist. Mods done to the car have revolved around enhancing the experience of driving the car regularly during the warmer/nicer weather of the year, with a secondary focus on drag strip performance. Only recently have I started experimenting with 1/4 mile track passes as a tuning tool. It still gets driven 5000+ miles every summer in both city and highway environments with the same PCM program, tires/wheels, and fuel that gets used at the track.

Link to video with sound clips interior/exterior:

• Weight with full fluids and driver: 3980 lbs
• Late 2021 dyno numbers: 263 RWHP and 266 RWTQ (calibrated Mustang Dyno); DynoJet equivalent: 283 RWHP and 288 RWTQ (approx. 325 BHP and 340 BTQ).
• Late 2015 1/4 mile numbers: 13.957 @ 97.58
• 0-60 in 5.1 sec
• 20.9 all-time MPG (50/50 city/highway)
1997 Ford Thunderbird (Laser Red)


• Bone stock 97 4.6L iron shortblock and npi rotating assembly with 6500 RPM redline
• Stage II ported PI heads with stage III oversized valves, TFS takeout springs (~210 CFM) from Nick McKinney (RIP) at Modular Head Shop
• 10.38:1 static compression
• Bullet Stage 2P cams - banks degreed within .5° (intake .55"; 225° @ .050 - 106° centerline, exhaust .5"; 223° @ .050, 108° LSA)
• Ford PI intake
• Ported and polished stock upper plenum
• Ported and polished Ford Racing 70mm throttle body
• 04 Mustang GT air tube, 80mm MAF and filter box with K&N conical filter
• 30#/hr Bosch type 3 injectors
• 190lph Walbro fuel pump
• Steeda underdrive pulleys
• Cobra closed-vane water pump
• "Crack-pipe" coolant-mod
• Fluidyne custom fit high performance radiator
• 245mm Pro Series 3C (~3400-3600 stall) single disk torque converter from Circle D
• 2004/2007 hybrid J-spec 4R70W from Darrin at BC Automotive
• B&M 70274 (24,000 GVW) trans fluid cooler fed by 3/8" aluminum lines
• '93 Mark VIII one-piece aluminum drive shaft
• Ford Racing 3.73 limited slip differential with tightened clutch pack modifications by Henderson Driveline
• Tuned by me for 93 and 87 octane pump gas with the SCT Pro Racer Package from Don at LaSota Racing
• Custom perforated leather upholstery with Thunderbird logo embroidered on '89 SC fold down seats
• FR500 steering wheel
• Illuminated headlights and cruise switches from Mark VIIIs, SC fog light switch and illuminated mirror switch
• ScanGaugeII data monitoring system
• Auto-dimming rear view mirror with compass
• Customized instrument cluster with Taurus SHO 150 MPH speedometer and 8k tach - indicator/warning lights rewired for factory gauge faces
• Custom ground, anodized billet aluminum Thunderbird logo door sills
• Two-stage E9 Laser Red refinish/repaint with rocker panel repair by Ed's Auto Reconditioning in Columbia Station, OH over the winter of 2011-2012.
• Inner rocker panel corrosion treatment/removal and new rocker panels by Chill's Body Shop in Monroeville, OH in summer of 2020.
• POR-15 underbody corrosion prevention
• Refinished windshield trim moldings
• Kenwood eXcelon KDC-X998 head unit
• Boston Acoustics S-85 two-way tweeters
• JL Audio 8W1V2-4 8" subwoofer in modded 94 SC sub box
• Sound Ordnance M4075 4x 75W RMS amp for tweeters
• JVC KS-AX3002 130W RMS amp for subwoofer
• 35W, 4300k HIDs in G1 projectors
• 55W halogen fog lamps
• MAC long tube headers (primary routing customized by guitar maestro to clear the steering shaft)
• Mandrel bent, 2.5" full dual exhaust with high flow cats, mid-mount Magnaflow X pipe and rear mount Dynomax Super Turbo mufflers from Mandrel Exhaust Systems
• 13" rotors with Bullitt (Cobra) PBR dual piston front calipers
• Braided stainless StopFlex brake hoses
• Monroe Sensa-Trac shocks all around, "quick strut" springs in front
• SC/Sport "J" springs in rear
• Energy Suspension poly rear knuckle bushings
• Energy Suspension poly front differential mounts
• Stock 97 LX sway bars front and rear
• SC L braces
Wheel and Tire
• 17x9" Dante Designs Cobra R replica wheels (5x108mm +36mm)
• Nitto NT555 G2 255/45/17 tires in front
• Nitto NT555 G2 255/50/17 tires in rear
• Custom vinyl Thunderbird center cap logos by ClintD



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