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Hello Everyone,

I have a 1997 Thunderbird 4.6 with about 75,000 miles and I'm looking to upgrade a few things. Ive done my homework and searched around on this site and many others and I think I have decided what I would like to do for now.

-Dynomax Catback Exhaust [17379] OR Flowmaster Catback Exhaust [17111]
-XCalibrator2 by SCT Flash
-OEM Mustang GT Airbox & MAF from blueovalchips.com [BOC-0044-1]
-180degree Thermostat from blueovalchips.com [BOC-0060]
-Motorcraft Plugs, 1 heat range cooler [AWSF-22C] also from blueovalchips.com

I noticed that the flowmaster exhaust is listed for up to 1996 vehicles. Is there something different about the 1997 where the flowmaster doesn't directly fit? The dynomax is listed for 97s.

Ive seen a few sets of underdrive pulleys as well and how the XCal2 adjusts the idle speed to keep the alternator charging with the underdrives. Would a set of pulleys be worth getting with these modifications? I don't want to lose any of the drivability of this car.

Any comments and suggestions are much appreciated!!!!!!

-Mike
 

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go with the dynomax... jsut a matter of opinion. we have a gt thats got flowmaster 40's, and they are nice at WOT, and idle.. but complete doodoo at a constant hiway speed...

get a tune from lonnie... if you dont know, search.

gt airboxes are relatively easy to find... might want to upgrade to a gt throttle body and plenum... do a complete pi topend swap later on.

180 degree tstat wont help you much, you live in a cold climate already... unless you plan on running it hard, dont waste the money on antifreeze and such.

oem plugs are good, dont do bosch (ever) but you dont need tehm colder, for the same reason as above...

some good gears are a nice place to start, pretty good bang for your buck

a transmission cooler, and jmod will make you giddy also!


and most important, ENJOY!
 

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Honestly I'd recommend getting your own custom exhaust done. The kits aren't that great. The Dynomax system is relatively quite and the Flowmaster system tends to drone a little and rust out over time. But just so you know the Flowmaster system will fit a 97. It's an error on their part.

The underdrive pulleys will probably get you in the range of 5-10 HP. It's a relatively inexpensive way to gain power. But be warned there have been talks of certain brands of UD pulleys that are crap. Do some searching or maybe someone will chime in.
 

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steeda w00t w00t
 

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The exhaust I suggest getting done custom as well. I'm not fond of any of the kits for these cars.
97 is an easy year to put a PI intake and cams on. Put in a 180 t-stat and some 22c plugs and have lonnie tune for all that it'll be a new machine. If you want to go the gt airbox that works as well. Might as well get an 02 maf too. You'll likely get needing some transmission upgrades I highly suggest at the very least a markVIII converter. The smaller converters weigh less stall higher and handle rpms much better. There aren't many places left selling other parts for our cars. Blueovalchips.com and SupercoupePerformance.com are good places to go get ideas of what you want to do. Watch out for the brake and suspension stuff it can sneak up on you.
Alan
 

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Discussion Starter #6
thats cool

wouldn't the computer upgrade be better off with the 180 thermostat and the plugs? I thought the fan speed could be adjusted to be work with that as well.
 

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magnaflow, hooker, or dynomax. have a shop chop the resonator off then weld a single 3" pipe back to a magnaflow crossflow muffler youll like the sound and performance. say no on the rustmasters
 

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wouldn't the computer upgrade be better off with the 180 thermostat and the plugs? I thought the fan speed could be adjusted to be work with that as well.
That's correct. Installing a cooler thermostat and plugs will yield the most benefit when combined with a tune.
 

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IMHO from my own learning -

U/D pulleys are a waste of time/money on a stock motor
Catback is a waste of time with the stock front section
PI intake loses ~20ftlbs of torque below 4200RPM compared to the NPI, I am planning to put a NPI intake back on to see if I prefer it over the PI since I shift at 5K (any higher was slower in my car)

Definate stuff to have:

Good tune
PI cams
Colder plugs
180 tstat
Marauder converter (or better)
 

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Well I still dont have a tune and my car is fast compared to stock .

I'm leaving the tune for last .

Here is a video of my first run after the upgrades w/o the p&p tb/ plenum set .

http://media.putfile.com/drag-racing-da-birds


Edit btw, Porkchop had a 91octane XCAL2 tune and it didnt help .
 

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My first tune had about 5 degrees too much spark advance and shifted the motor too high at 5500RPM (PI intake and cam swap) Once I took out 5 degrees and dropped the 1-2 down to 5K and 2-3 down to 4800 it was much faster. I write my own tune now and found alot of little things here and there to make it better.

IMHO do a datalog of MPH and RPM and look at it over time when doing the run. I found my car hanging above 4800RPM in 2nd gear, it just couldn't keep the acceleration up at the higher RPM and the tune wouldn't let it shift earlier. In my case this was between 75MPH and 85MPH, it took forever to cover this.

Now with the lower shift points I am going to test the NPI intake again and see if the added torque below 4000 is worth the 10HP loss from 4500 to 5000RPM. Looking at the graph from JL's original test there is a 20ftlb gain below 4000 or so with the NPI intake and he was using ported heads and Kooks as well on the test which would make the PI intake show that much better. From my datalogs I spend alot more time below 4200 than I do above and that is about where the NPI and PI split power wise.
 

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you wouldnt need a tune for that intake but unless you want it for looks your asting your cash just remove the air silencer it will give you the same performance as the mac kit
 

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I have been using that kit for about 3 years now, it doesnt really require you get a reprogram to take advantage of it, these cars already have cold air anyways. I mostly bought the mac intake because it looks and sounds better.
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
ok so scratch the exhaust kit, probably better off getting something custom from a shop, ill check around a few places this weekend, scratch the pulleys for now too

so we have:

remove air silencer
custom exhaust from a shop
-XCalibrator2 by SCT Flash
-180degree Thermostat from blueovalchips.com [BOC-0060]
-Motorcraft Plugs, 1 heat range cooler [AWSF-22C] also from blueovalchips.com
-OEM Mustang MAF from blueovalchips.com [BOC-0044]
-macperformance intake setup


and would the following be beneficial to the setup?

-Trick Flow Plenum from Summit [tfs-518b0021]
-Aviator Throttle Body from blueovalchips.com [BOC-0048-1]

doesnt seem like too much work to install the above parts, and nothing is all that expensive except for the $400 xcal2

will probably end up doing more modifications like pi intake and cams/heads in the future if i when i get an apartment with a garage and extra money but theres no way i could go that involved right now.
 

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Cut off the mufflers until you can do the custom exhaust, it will sound tons better. At least I think so. The Air Silencer cut off makes alot of underhood noise as well, you might like it to sound louder for the moment.
 

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Flowmasters FTL. Rusted out on my last Bird and had a lousey drone.
Maganflow sounded great. Sounded just as good on the outside, but you could actually hear the radio in the cabin at interstate speeds.
 

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Cut off the mufflers until you can do the custom exhaust, it will sound tons better. At least I think so. The Air Silencer cut off makes alot of underhood noise as well, you might like it to sound louder for the moment.
I highly highly suggest not doing this. Ya it may sound good at idle and like acceleration but and WOT it sounds like u have a swarm of bees after u. Trust me i know from experience :)
Also with the tuner really think about the small mods u may want to do to it in the future because lonnie can adjust the tune depending on the TQ u may install, if u do the JMOD which i highly reccoment and throw a tranny cooler in there also. Just the little things u may want to get all at once so it can be tuned correctly for the mods.
 

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trickflow plenum is for PI heads. you have non pi F5 heads. all the the mustang throttles and upper plenums are a bolt on item thou
 
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