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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
1995 4.6 Cougar, low miles
Presently daydreaming
Thought about PI set up, seems lackluster
Present plan boosting to conservative 9 lbs
Before anyone ask, daily driver only looking for 350-400 on the tires.
I want to buy a core motor and transmission and start my build from them so my car will be driven until ready to swap out.
Not sure about upgrading bottom end, but realize PI engine have less compression making a better blower engine.
QUESTION:
What year engine is best, or does it really matter.
QUESTION:
Is this going to be a nightmare to tune, should I just leave it stock.
 

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1. In terms of engines as bases, we typically go for the 02+ explorer 4.6s as they are aluminum and save about 80lb up front. They are also PI.

2. To reach 400whp on a 4.6 2v with 9psi youll need to do some work to the motor. Itll atleast need cams. Ported heads would be fantastic as well. Have to take into account the 20% drivetrain power loss.

3. Keep in mind the engine bays on these cars are VERY tight. Most guys run superchargers due to this. Given the parasitic loss of running a blower, youll make more peak power with a turbo. But going back to the engine bay, youll have to get creative with how to run the hot side and the cold side. Let alone the actual placement of the turbo.

4. Tuning anything thats not stock has its issues. Just have to go to a reputable tuner, but at the same time have the correct supporting mods. Proper size injectors, larger fuel pump(go to is a 255), proper sized intercool/heat exchanger, a MAF thatll allow for the needed air flow, ect.

Easiest route imo:
03 explorer motor
262 cams
Torque tech blower kit
Cobra m112 blower at 12psi
Long tube headers. Whether you modify the long tubes or do the steering shaft mod is your choice.
Other supporting mods.


Then, you have to work on the transmission, drive shaft, and rear end. Because a stock 95 trans wont hold 400hp and the rear end either wont put the power down or will wheel hop like a ***** until it breaks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks, yes I looked at porting heads, are they aluminum on the explorer motor. Like the idea of porting. I also have trickflow 185s on my radar.
Seems Completion Cams 262 is not over doing it with a 2000 converter.

With the explorer motor would probably need to change Pistons to lower compression? Also changing rods to add cubic inches? Worth it.
 

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Thanks, yes I looked at porting heads, are they aluminum on the explorer motor. Like the idea of porting. I also have trickflow 185s on my radar.
Seems Completion Cams 262 is not over doing it with a 2000 converter.

With the explorer motor would probably need to change Pistons to lower compression? Also changing rods to add cubic inches? Worth it.
Connecting rods wont do anything for displacement by themselves. Youd need a full stroker kit, which would bump you to 5.0L.

I like 262s personally because you gain about 30whp up top with them, because they push all the way to 6k instead of falling off at 5300, without losing what little torque these motors have down low.

As Matt said, all 4.6 heads are aluminum. If they were irons, the heads would be over 100lb a piece fully assembled!

The explorer motor in stock form is around mid 9s in terms of compression. Keep in mind the max power for a stock bottom end 4.6, due to ring gap and rods, is generally recognized at 400whp. So if thats your goal, theyll suit it. But youll have to fully rebuild the motor if you plan to go further.

Youll have to match your TC to what your needs are. If itll be purely a strip car, youll want higher than 2k. If itll be a daily, 2k is about perfect. Im personally going with a 3k on my upcoming build.

You WILL need a smaller TC. A 12in convertor will start to balloon over 5k, 11in should suffice to 6k.

Another thing we'll have to keep in mind: this is all very, very expensive. A good converter is roughly $700. Those TFS heads were over $2k last time I heard about them. A stroker kit will be about that price as well. Any forced induction will be a few thousand, and dyno tuning will be in the 4 digit territory as well.

My current budget for my build is $7k. Thats just mechanical, not including tuning or body work.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Good to know stock compression will be mid nines. This means I can leave block standard. Yes I'm concerned about too much power to stock bottom too.. That why I'm looking for min 350 min. 400 tops

My thinking is 9 lbs. Ported heads and 262 cams, soft tune will give me 365 to 385 RHP in South Carolina low country air.
I have looked for cheaper oversized oil pan since engine will be red lining at 6K plus. I heard Lincoln 4 valve had larger pans?
Plus might using Cobra oil pump, more volume.
 

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1997 Thunderbird 4.6, 1998 Mark VIII LSC
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Don't be afraid of more stall. The 11.25" converters are good up to 6500 RPM and stall around 2500 RPM depending on input torque, compared to the factory 12" which stalls around 1700. With some differences in construction the factory 11.25" 4.6L converters (Mustang GT, Marauder, Mark VIII) all stall the same.

With a roots supercharger you don't need to stall crazy high (4200+) like you would with a high-revving N/A build, but you should still start with a 10" 3500 or a 9" 3800. You can get higher or lower stalls for given turbine sizes but you shouldn't vary too much because that can have an adverse effect on the "crawl" at idle. At 350+ WHP you'll probably also need to go with a triple-disc lockup piston. Always lock the converter as soon as possible for maximum torque transmission through the powertrain, which is after the 1-2 shift.

A higher stall converter is very streetable with a competent tune. Locking the converter after the 1-2 in town at low throttle helps keep the RPM (and attention) down.
 

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Ill tell you from personal experience that the high volume oil pumps in 2vs are just an added headache. They add no benefit. All they do is push the oil into the heads that already have drain back problems as they sit.

The marks did have 6 qt pans. They are expensive online if you dont find one yourself. I got mine out of an LKQ for $18, but I had to weld the hole rhey punched to drain the oil, as well as drop the entire k member to get it out. Also the blister that provides the extra qt will make is a PITA to pull/install the motor from up top.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Let me daydream some more, now I know which engine I need to find as a core. Back to lurking
 

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Ill tell you from personal experience that the high volume oil pumps in 2vs are just an added headache. They add no benefit. All they do is push the oil into the heads that already have drain back problems as they sit.

The marks did have 6 qt pans. They are expensive online if you dont find one yourself. I got mine out of an LKQ for $18, but I had to weld the hole rhey punched to drain the oil, as well as drop the entire k member to get it out. Also the blister that provides the extra qt will make is a PITA to pull/install the motor from up top.
Funny how I made myself a badass 7 qt'er from a Mark VIII and then sold it for some unknown reason! LOL Now I have to make another one! But this time around, I may as well go for broke and really get some capacity in there!
 

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Figure out which type of boost/supercharger you want to run. A roots or twin screw will make tons of low end to midrange torque and like the lower compression of a pi (explorer engine)
A centrifugal supercharger will make tons of midrange to topend. A centrifugal would run better on a pi swapped npi shortblock. The extra compression helps the lowend and is going to help throttle response when at low boost. With a good tune 9lbs should be fine at the about 10.5:1 of a pi swap. Especially if it's intercooled.

The big thing I'm learning with these cars is there is a lot of extra cost hidden in getting power to the ground. Transmission, torque converter, differential, driveshaft, all bushings in the irs, wheels and tires are all going to have to be upgraded to put 400hp to the ground. Not to mention needing brakes as well.
 
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