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Discussion Starter #1
Please tell me what happened here with these cars...is it because of the EECIV to V change and the coolant crossover failures?? Lord knows this thing will never crack like plastic...

We know we have the redheaded stepchild NPI heads with no valve stem seals left and wont take a cam change. This manifold appears to be a Compressed Natural Gas Intake. I am led to believe that this top end is virtually worthless for a foundation to make power and I am inclined to accept that and have to make some decisions to move forward with our Project car.

We are in good shape with a nice reliable car. Heres the list of done so you get my situation:
New rear springs, shocks, front coilovers.
14 point steering kit, inners and outers, uppers and lowers, all new grease fittings at 45 degrees Front and rear sway bar links
New calipers, rotors, pads all around, drilled and slotted, ceramic
Hi Pressure Steering modification, new stainless line, delete check valve and variable assist and 5' OEM line. Fantastic Mod.
New Rack, flushed and fresh filters, recon cooler.
AC Delete. All of it, even the evaporator in the heater box.
New Heater Core, Radiator, water pump, lines, t-stat. Flushed and cleaned, 160 degrees t stat. Never gets warm.
Condenser repurposed as AT cooler, works great.
Drained and flushed AT 3X, new deep pan with drain, Pickup, Filter, JMOD, all Solenoids to latest, All Accumulators, Shift Springs, per JMOD to 400HP. Valve body microscopically cleaned. 1-2 shift barks the tires at 2/3 throttle, 3-2 skids, 2-1 skids. Awesome mod, great transmission. Crappy Driveshaft, crappier torque converter. Worn out open carrier 3.08.
Four days cold compression tested, every cylinder within 155-160psi range.
Entire Intake system removed, cleaned EGR, PCV, Intake Manifold. Hand ported Intake to gasket, plenum to intake, New DIY CAI with K+N Filtercharger. all new gaskets, injector seals.
Replaced every vacuum hose. Every last one.
Note that EGR tube never connected, Major Vacuum leak at firewall briver side, several small vacuum leaks. This wole up the car.
New Accel Super Coils, 8mm wires, NGK copper plugs.
Positive Crankcase Ventilation plumbing redone, Air Oil Seperator with catch can, additional after catch can air/oil separators. Dual equal length, equal diameter vacuum lines to Intake.
Fuel Filter, Filler tubes, regulator replaced,Lots of Lucas Injector Cleaner, 2 seafoam treatments (spectacular) OIl changed every last 500 for 2500.
Oil filter adapter gasket, sending unit replaced, adapter cleaned.
Dual remote Oil Filters installed with oil cooler provision.
Battery relocated to trunk, all new primary wiring OO welding cable laid in wire tray. Driver battery shutoff switch concealed in console, positive side disconnect.
3000 watt 120V inverter installed, secondary wiring all circuit breaker protected. Capable of running a 1.5HP, 4 gallon air compressor.
DRL, LEDs in cowl vent, additional DOT DRL mid cowl.
LED conversion as available.
A whole bunch of other little stuff too, and most recently we have 17 x 8, 5X114.3 for the front with 245/45ZR17 tires and 18 x 9, 5 x 114.3 for the rear with 275/35ZR18 tires about to get ordered.
We have a Mark VIII single piece driveshaft to be installed and dynamically balanced
We have a 8.8 Carrier with FRPP Trac Lok, missed a chance for a loaded Mark VIII housing with Trac Loc and 3.73 soi we either need a housing or will rebuild ours with 3.73 and a master rebuild kit and Trac Loc carbon rebuild kit and the additives.
We are planning and hoping that the Final Drive, Carrier, Housing, New Driveshaft, DIY bulletproof 4R70W with Trans Brake and force lubed tailshaft, and a 10 inch BC 6500 rpm, 3000+stall Torque Converter all go in the car next Spring or Summer. We see no need for a tune until we have all that done.

So, that leaves us with a stock long block, nearly useless 1995 NPI heads, crappy intake manifold/plenum and log style exhaust manifolds. We can do goodies like TB, Big MAF, Injectors etc when needed, we aint there yet.

We have considered PI Swap and know about the 95 cables, linkages issues. Not super enthused about the PI swap as a partial (intake) or in entirety (heads, intake, cams). My guess is it will be more expensive and more difficult than an engine swap and I still have the linkage issues.

I am stuck on what to do on the top end here...any thoughts for a budget DIY build...what would you do?

And about the exhaust options available....my background tells me shorty headers are no better than the log manifolds, the primary tubes of 24-40 inches do all the scavenging in a header. All I find is JBA, with a shorty and a clippster which I think is also a shorty.

WE have a design for a nice system, but unless I can get long tubes on the engine, there is not much point in going the extra mile to me.

I am hoping for some ideas to help us, this forum has been great so far. It is a real pleasure and a privelidge to be able to access so much good talent willing to help with ideas and experience.
 

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I'm sure someone will jump in, but IIRC on a 95 a 94-95 Mark headswap is actually easier than a PI, because of the TB location and all.

I'd look for a Mark motor cheap, 93 to 95; it has the TB at the rear like the 95 4.6 does.

IF you have a Propane engine, supposedly the heads have tiny valves, and are not desirable for any other kind of build.
I could be mistaken, but Leland's car had propane heads, and that was one of the downsides, IIRC.

The fuel stuff and cable are the big difference for doing a PI swap, but that's pretty easily swapped out.

A PI 4.6l up to the 3v heads is a pretty straightforward swap.

Someone found that there's a throttle cable that fits a F150 that fits a PI pretty easily.

A 98 mark motor with Mach 1 intake is pretty jammin; and some Continentals have heads with Cobra XR3E cams, but they're rare. :)
(Conti motors or intakes won't fit, just the heads.)

Here's a link to the PI swap article:

https://forums.tccoa.com/7-engine-4-6l-5-4l/94152-pi-explorer-engine-swap-article.html

The important part of putting in a PI engine is these parts:

Q: What extra parts do i need if i have a 94/95 mn12?

A: Basically all top end parts such as 96+ Fuel Rails, 96+ Throttle Cable, 96+ EGR System, 96+ intake tube and pcv lines. You will need all the fuel lines after the fuel filter. To use your cruise control cable you will need to fabricate a small bracket to use the cable on the explorer plenum. I know there might be a couple of more parts or some of them listed here are needed so please add.

You basically need a 96 wrecked donor car.
 

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1. Welcome to the forum.
2. Try to limit your exposure to caffeine before making a first post in a forum.
3. Put the stock, cleaned up manifold back on, unless as stated, you have a 96/97 donor for all the parts, and there are a lot of differences.
4. Good luck with that battery relocation. To me, that comes after you have a car at least in the 11's, with all the potential issues that can/will come down the road.

95's get a bad rap because of the intake manifold/heads. What they do however is:
1. Get the best gas mileage of all MN12's. I got 30 MPG hwy regularly. My 97 gets 23.
2. That intake manifold won't ever crack.
3. The 95's don't run horrible - I ran a 15.78 on a bone stock 200k mile car. I wouldn't be surprised if my 97 doesn't top that, despite having much more low end torque/response.

Al
 

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With 94-95 I suggest a full PI motor. Headswaps are really not worth the hassle and you have to run premium gas all the time from the compression bump(yes yes, there’s a slight power bump with it... slight.) The throttle relocation is such a non-issue I’m not sure why it’s so daunting to people, the cable is easy to change for 96-7 style and if you can’t find one of those the 96-04 Mustang GT one fits too. The fuel rails you can improvise using 96-97 Crown Vic rails flipped around to line up with your stock lines and for the most part the rest of the puzzle is in intake tubes and Vacuum lines and PVC hoses, which can also be improvised using Mustang bits and pieces (the intake tube/MAF/Airbox from a 02 is a good upgrade). Hardest bit to find piecemeal is the EGR tube if you plan to keep it (which I would, personally) since it’s Tbird specific and pretty difficult to get off a doner car a junkyard.

Don’t worry about headers. The logs flow fine and the ends can be easily ported for increased flow. You’re not going to see much scavenging effect with headers and stock cams anyway, there is very little overlap with even PI cams

FWIW, I got 29 MPG at 65mph on my PI swap before. I never saw even close to that with the stock 94/5 engine. It may have been capable of it, but it’s troublesome EGR port design and the propensity for 94-95 engines to burn oil and gunk up the passages seem to hinder the ability most of the time.


The battery cutoff switch in the console isn’t NHRA legal if that’s a concern, it needs to be on the back of the car and able to kill the alternator as well. I can’t think of a reason to use a switch otherwise, I don’t.

4. Good luck with that battery relocation. To me, that comes after you have a car at least in the 11's, with all the potential issues that can/will come down the road.
What issues as opposed to sticking with corroded 25 year old stock cables and the battery subjected to the heat of the engine compartment? I mean I reduced a small bit of trunk space but other than that it’s 50lbs off of the nose. I’m far from 11s and almost never take it to the dragstrip
 

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What issues as opposed to sticking with corroded 25 year old stock cables and the battery subjected to the heat of the engine compartment? I mean I reduced a small bit of trunk space but other than that it’s 50lbs off of the nose. I’m far from 11s and almost never take it to the dragstrip
It seems that so many people that relocate the battery are soon after making a thread "I relocated my battery and now the car (insert major electrical issue here)". Everyone's not an electrical master, and their results tend to prove that.

Al
 

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I get that but that’s usually a matter of using too small of a cable and/or using a poor ground point. My setup isn’t electrical master level by a long shot, it’s bare minimum just running the largest cable I could find from the + terminal to the starter, and from there to the junction box, with the ground simply screwed into an existing ground lug on the unibody, and it starts and charges perfectly.

NHRA spec makes it much more complicated. If you’re going through the rigmarole they require I can see where many complications arise and not make it worth the hassle.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Battery Switch

I get that but that’s usually a matter of using too small of a cable and/or using a poor ground point. My setup isn’t electrical master level by a long shot, it’s bare minimum just running the largest cable I could find from the + terminal to the starter, and from there to the junction box, with the ground simply screwed into an existing ground lug on the unibody, and it starts and charges perfectly.

NHRA spec makes it much more complicated. If you’re going through the rigmarole they require I can see where many complications arise and not make it worth the hassle.
I am aware of NHRA requirements on the switch.
I used a two-pole, two-position, semi-enclosed 300A rotary disconnect, 00 Welding lead (big around as a garden hose unstripped, a gillion tiny strands, very heavy insulation)and lugs I modified. It breaks the positive conductor after the battery and 250A Fuse I added, and before the OEM fuse at the Distribution Box, the alternator wire is upgraded to 21 gauge, but we don't lift it. The negative connection is the same gauge, goes directly to the engine ground. I added a 2 gauge ground to the trunk, re-connected the OEM wire 4 gauge to the chassis in front and engine ground, added a 4 gauge wire from the engine to the firewall.
The switch is primarily for isolation, I have an Inverter circuit on another positive wire, but with a DC circuit breaker to that battery as well. It is not a safety device, but it does make it a ***** to jump-start if you don't know it is there...or steal...or borrow for a while. And if it is "off" you cant use the fob either to open the door and open the hood...Truly OFF.
I bolted a frame into the trunk, the battery is well secured in it with appropriate brackets and a plexiglass anti crowbar plate over it.

I knew it would affect the car, I have done it before. I looked at the math. But this battery is sooo far out on the nose, the lever is massive. Move that lever as far as possible in exactly the opposite place in the car...

This was a difficult mod, and expensive. I removed the carpet, trunk liner, all seats, wiper valance, wiper motor assembly. I used garden hose to protect any contact with metal, secured the wire neatly in the wire tray.

The car could never leave before, crippled by traction assist and one wheel peel. It leaves now.
The steering is noticeably lighter and more responsive.
The car seems to push further into a corner, not letting the inside float farther into the turn.
Over the apex and hard on the throttle, power comes in without the one wheel peel, traction assist shuffle
 

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Discussion Starter #8
1995 NPI engine

Thanks for the input, I am on the same page with the 95 top end.

We have gone about as far as we can without aftermarket fitment for camshaft, intake or exhaust components, and the car does run and drive great. We made our own CAI, redesigned the PCV and added Air/Oil separator and filters, upgraded the ignition, (had a cracked coil, replaced both with ACCEl Super coils) ported the intake and plenum and deleted the three mufflers. Its pretty snappy despite the differential issues, and barks both rears on the 1-2 shift. Fixing all those vacuum leaks and getting the oil out of the intake charge really helped the power immensely, but it still feels like it is bottled up. Despite the opinions here, I still think a proper set of headers with good cats would be akin to a power adder for these cars even with no overlap in the cam profiles. That three cat lambda system puts 3 corks in the bottle and the three mufflers after is total overkill. To me the engine feels like it has lots more in it.

The J-Mod, battery relocation, electrical upgrades, steering mods, new cooling system, new brakes, new springs and suspension components, new steering joints, new rack, new alternator, remote dual oil filters, repurposed AC evaporator to AT cooler needed to be done regardless.

We want more power in the car than we have and will be setting it up to have some fun next summer at the drag strip with the new drivetrain components we are stockpiling now. (Trac lok, 3.73, Mark VIII shaft, new converter and AT clutch rebuild with new valve body and trans brake)

We also want to set up the car for Land Speed Racing as there is a big event near us (relatively) in Maine. They allow street cars to run to 135 with OEM belts and seats. Over 135 is 4 point cage, etc, over 150 is 6 point etc and so on.

I like the idea of my 18 YO on a track with no other cars and nothing to hit. Fast is relative really.

I feel that the 03 up explorer swap is probably the best two-valve solution, there is plenty of information on that swap as well as a PI head swap or any other PI engine swap. These are well documented.

I think anybody that ever owned a 4.6 cougar lusts for a Mark VIII engine, and that also is well documented.

Our issue is cost, and we do not wish to be building rotating assemblies. There are tons of modulars in yards, all of them relatively inexpensive. Ideally, we build a car and change out powerplants as required. Never removing heads, using decent used engines and applying power adders as needed further in the future. (We have some ideas we want to explore there)

So we know not running a production setup is a given. Also given is not building a monster motor. I appreciate the art, I just don't wish to do that with so many modular engines harvestable for small money.

In reality, that disqualifies the two-valves as underpowered in stock form, and the four valves as too complicated and costly in all forms. and frankly other than a Cobra, the four valves make about the same power as the three-valve GT engines.

That leaves the 3 valves, specifically the GT, and I was not aware there was a way to fix the VCT, and use our two-valve PCM to run it. That sounds like a winner to me, the 05-10 GT 300HP NA, all-aluminum engine is easily 75 pounds lighter and 50% more powerful than what we have, and aftermarket fitment is well, Mustang-like.

I like the neutered three-valve GT engine solution and I am really interested to know how it went for folks trying this. It seems at first blush less complicated and less expensive, yet provides the power and fitment we want. Seems like the hard part may be stuffing all the lookup tables into the first generation EEC-V PCM we have.

Does anyone have input for us?
 

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Headers won’t be akin to a power adder, even longtubes even on more powerful modulars with lumpy aftermarket cams and the full ram tuning effect doesn’t offer much more than about 20-30 horsepower. On a basically stock engine you might see 10 at the peak from the reduced restriction, but its a lot of work to make longtubes work in this chassis, and you need to factor in whether they’d be worth the trouble for that modest of a gain.


The 3V’s tall intake manifold won’t fit under the hood of these, and might even interfere with aftermarket cowl induction hoods since the throttle body is so far forward. They aren’t common swaps on these cars, between the need to lockout the cams and convert the throttle by wire to cable, along with the figment issues with the manifold and exhaust, and the notorious spark plug issues, it’s been more practical to stick with a 2V build, a 4V swap, a power adder or even a Coyote now a days. The 3V is only 15% more powerful than a PI 2V.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks so much for the reply, and I did search and find dialogue from 2007 about this on the site. It was too good to possibly be true and not done already of course. 3 valve does not search very well for whatever reason.

I am not a Ford guy, and this car found me. I have not always been this fond of it, but it has grown on me.

The MN12 is difficult to work on, especially the engine bay. It seems as if the engine was made to fit a FWD Lincoln Continental, installed sideways, not this RWD IRS and K member car. Maybe it was, and just ran so well they used them everywhere.

In my car, 10, 20 horsepower is 5 to 10%, a significant number and almost as much as the 14-15% difference between your PI 2 Valve and a Three Valve by percentage.
But without a cam and intake to make it work, it really is meaningless as you point out.

These cars are hard to work on, unloved by the aftermarket, devalued by the NPI Engine and the improvements that followed so quickly.

The 95 has collision issues in the valve train so even NPI cams are out, no intake manifolds, no headers.

I am not doing a PI head swap on a 25 year old shortblock. I estimate 176k, and FoMoCo says the rods are good for 200k so not happening.


We may have to run as is NPI for a year and get the car lined out at low power levels and make the leap next year.

We are making a lot of changes to the drivetrain, and I have giant-sized concerns about critical rotational speeds in this car. We removed the driveshaft to inspect the u-joints and were appalled by the thing. Ford had a real penchant limiting torque in these cars, probably for good reason. 118 mph tires, 107mph speed limited, low rev limits, junk torque converter, junk driveshaft.

We are changing all of that so perhaps going slow is more prudent, and more affordable as well in the long run.

No way we can afford a full-blown trick flow top end 2 valve and a built 11.5 or 12:1 assembly, and we would be afraid to push it hard anyway.

We will keep posting, keep trying to do better, to keep learning and to keep having fun.

Thanks again
 

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There's no way I would swap in a 3v engine; search "3v broken spark plugs" for why. :)

The 2v is shrouded pretty heavily; the 4v is the best breathing engine, but cams are expensive.

For the cash, I'd find a set of Continental C heads and Mach 1 or Cobra manifold, do a 4v headswap, and get it running; then build an aluminum block to go under it.

It will run at least 50k miles before it breaks the bottom end, and that gives you time to build up a good aluminum setup.

A Mark motor will have B heads, with all the IMRC problems, and that's a hassle; Conti heads have been known to have XR3E cobra cams, but that's rare.

If you can pick up a set of bigger cams off a board cheap, that would rock. I'm still looking.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
So, I looked up the 3 Valve again, apparently somebody had one at MM a while back,
And I looked up the spark plug issue. What is the deal here? how do the plugs break and what happens...I didnt see catastrophics but maybe I did not look far enough. It sounds like peoplebroke the plugs and the threaded parts remained in the head, stuck in the head a while until it got fixed.
That seems avoidable unless they are unreal difficult. Of course, my first experience was bewildering on a 2V, so maybe it is unreal difficult.

Hard like: Like an aluminum Russell -6AN to 16mm SJ adapter into an Iron PS pump, and the stainless 6AN 45 hose end threading on the aluminum with the PS pump Installed and the Sheave in place. I cut a wrench in half, ground the end down and got jiggy under there. I wrecked three adapters over days before I took the pump off and figured out how the fitting actually works. I have a few more adapters just in case.

If plugs are hard like that then yeah, screw it. I would shoot the car. If the three valve is just plain a crappy engine, there are plenty of both 2 and 3s out there cheap and 3s make more power and will flow a power adder, are lighter and newer than NPI 2Vs.

I read the IMRCs are easily deleted, and at least there are some intakes. Mine is a cast Iron Anchor with a cast aluminum Bell tower.
How hard is the VCT to disable? an alumminum traditional OHC cammed SOHC three valve beats the snot outta mine now and later. I do not wish to head swap, we want to use up some as is, available longblock powerplants and do our thing with before manifold induction and exhaust experimenting with power adder ideas and such.

I do not have a problem with a fly by wire throttle setup...it is a 95 and I am bitten anyway.

I would like to make supercar power levels in the MN12, forcing the expedient recycle of junkyard modular longblocks and having fun experimenting, learning and teaching with my son. No shame in cooking an old motor in the name of science I say

I hate my hood and want to replace it, we are after a look anyhow. I have no problem adding a scoop or hole to an induction bulge fiberglass one. probably lose 60 lbs right there too, mine weighs like 80lbs.

I know you guys have seen it all, done it all. I have time for the car at least for a few years.

I know you love your DOHCs and the fabulous Teksid builds and Twisted Wedges. They are awesome and I applaud your work.

I really just want to be able to punish (properly recycle) a few 4.6 liter engines because they fit, and experiment with some ideas we have. Cheap is good and rhymes with "send it"
 

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I wouldn't waste any time with the 3V motor. They are over-complicated and unreliable compared to a 2V, or even a 4V. The 4V motor would be a much easier swap, and offer comparable horsepower. Keep in mind that when you lock the cams of the 3V in place, you are going to lose a good bit of power compared to stock, so the 4V may even make more power than a 3V with locked cams. A PI 2V swap is a decent upgrade as well, and is one of the easiest swaps you can do. But then you say you want to go land speed racing at up to 135mph, and myself and several others here can confirm that a bone stock 4.6 MN12 with nothing but a tune to turn off the speed limiter will easily exceed that number, so unless you are going to put a cage in it and go for the 150+, you don't need power. Instead what you need is a good balanced driveshaft that will hold up to those rpms.
 

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Lazarus with only a PI intake swap has seen 165 on a GPS, downhill.

That's redline in 4th.

Driveshaft, brakes, good shocks, and a long road are required, tho.
 

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Lazarus with only a PI intake swap has seen 165 on a GPS, downhill.

That's redline in 4th.

Driveshaft, brakes, good shocks, and a long road are required, tho.
157 was the highest I ever got. That was in a 90XR7, 4100rpms in 5th. Did you get the horrendous wind noise from the tops of the doors over 150ish? I swear it sounded like a 747 was landing right on top of me!
 

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I couldn't hear the window noise over the loud rushing sound from the moonroof, that popped up suddenly about 120ish. :grin2:

Talk about scary; I thought the roof blew off, lol.

A Lot of air comes thru the climate system going fast.
 

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Don't think I'd take my Cougar over 120ish even with the Z tires, and it being pretty tight; you all crazy lol. I have however verified the speed limiter is disabled with my chip :)... Add to the high speed problems, if I try to roll up the windows at speed they like to bind in the tracks and not go up all the way. Not sure if it's only mine or another mn12 thing
 
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