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I have a 1997 3.8 NA Thunderbird so far I lve got custom dual exhaust and I got the air intake from super coupe performance. I'm wanting to do a throttle body upgrade. I see BBK has a 56 mm throttle body for the 95-98 3.8 V6 (single port) mustang. I've asked Bill at SC performance and also bbk if it fit the 97 3.8 Thunderbird and they both say it "probably will but not sure about the linkage." Has anyone else with the 3.8 NA tried this? Does anyone the stock throttle body size for the 3.8 NA Thunderbird?
 

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I think that is the same as, or close to, the stock size. I can measure one this evening. I'm not sure you will gain anything from a TB swap. Look into doing the splitport and/or 4.2 swap if you want to see some significant gains.
 
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I just measured a stock 96 3.8 TB at 54mm. You will be very disappointed to spend $250 for that TB and notice no gain. Take that cash and set it aside and read into the splitport swap or maybe even a V8 swap if you're not dedicated to the V6.
 

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The 4.2 engines are ~$500, depending on where you live; there's a bunch of info here and elsewhere about the swap.

You will notice nothing from swapping the TB. Nothing but placebo effect, that is. :)

The Over-all restriction on ALL engines from the factory is the Valves, as controlled by the cams; sucking thru the tiny straw we call an intake. (Except for that noise suppressor thing everyone yanks off immediately, lol.)

The intake sets how it works over RPM, but WOT airflow is NOT limited by anything other than the tuning of the intake and valves/cam combo.

The air coming Into the intake is about the last place you need to upgrade; you'd need to replace the intake at the same time to get any real improvement.


Changing the exhaust to a open set of duals, adding a PI intake, and removing the intake 'noise suppressor' and adding a tune can give 10-25hp. It might not get that.

Adding a set of PI cams to a NPI 4.6l can give another 15-25hp. Or zero, if you don't degree them properly, and they kiss the piston. :)

After you add intake, cams and exhaust, Then you might think about adding the expensive TB; it might help, then.

:)
 

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I hate to be the bearer of Bad News, but...

That's now a hot air intake, and pulls hot air after it runs thru the radiator, where the factory one pulled cold air from under the fenderwell, out and away from the under-hood area. See the hole in the pic where the hole goes thru?

It can be a 100 degree difference in IAT sitting at a redlight.

I hate to say it, but you lost HP with that mod.

Something else worth mentioning, is that K&N filters tend to get oil all over the MAF elements, and cause problems that the paper filters don't.

Cleaning the MAF is dangerous enough to want to do it as little as possible.

Paper filters are cheap enough (RockAuto), I replace them every other oil change, and don't have issues.


On the other hand, I am using a cone-type element in the Black Cougar, Lazarus. It has the 2002 MAF mod, with the 2002 cone filter. Tuning is required for this mod.

BUT, it's covered, and still only draws air thru the hole in the fender. :)
 

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It looks like the red one goes into the fenderwell, but it's hard to tell.

Neither one of those setups is any better than stock for an unmodified engine.

A huge MAF, like the red car has, on a stock car Really tanks performance; it only pulls air thru the middle, so the flow calculations are all off.

Also, Metal tubes absorb heat, and warm up the intake air compared to plastic. Not a big effect, but if you sit in traffic, it's there.

I searched a long time for the inlet tube I'm going to use for my next build, and it's plastic.

But Chrome always looks good, right? :)
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Reckon in time I'll throw on the ol stock intake. Thanks Grog6.
After this car when that days comes. (They last awhile with proper care) Had an 03 Crown Vic for 9 years. Sold it to a guy at work, was gonna buy it back, but... he wrecked it ! ?
I'll look into getting a Mark 8 (if gas prices dont spike lol )
 
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