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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I have a question, I called a few performance shops out here in California and they told me the 4.6 2v is not a good engine to invest into. However that makes no sense as half my street has modified SN95 mustangs with the same engine. I want to make my 1997 4.6 Bird have a bit of more pep in its step a I feel it has the potential to be much faster. My goal is to hit at least 300HP or more and my current mods are a Dyna max race muffler and a short ram intake. The things I’ve considered are the following
1. Get a newer car and forget about it
2. Do the best I can with my current engine and see the possibility
3. Do an engine swap( however I do now know how or where to get engines nor do I know shops that would do it for me as I have 0% To be fiddling with that)
What do you guys think?
 

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1997 Thunderbird 4.6, 1998 Mark VIII LSC
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The 2v has plenty of potential, but it depends what your goals are. It does have a reputation but it also needs someone who knows what they're doing with it - if so there's plenty of power to be found. 300 HP is easy and not terribly expensive with the TFS heads having been a thing for like 10 years now, along of course with all the supporting bits and pieces.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited by Moderator)
If you want work done by a performance shop go with #1.

All modded cars are a poor investment, you want to hot rod the only way to do it cost effectively is yourself.
Ahh I see I see, I’d say the only thing I’d have them do possibly is install Forced indcuction at the most, for the TB,gears, tranny, etc that’s all basic stuff you can go to a shop for or at home

The 2v has plenty of potential, but it depends what your goals are. It does have a reputation but it also needs someone who knows what they're doing with it - if so there's plenty of power to be found. 300 HP is easy and not terribly expensive with the TFS heads having been a thing for like 10 years now, along of course with all the supporting bits and pieces.
Thank Goodness, makes me feel much better about doing as a semi project daily until I build a good foundation (been my car since high school back in 2019) it’s a great car and I’d love to see what can be done to it, and if I can get to 300HP then that’s my mission haha.
 

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300hp is easy; add a cam, true duals, pi intake swap,and a Good tune and you're there.
300hp cheap is another matter, lol.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
300hp is easy; add a cam, true duals, pi intake swap,and a Good tune and you're there.
300hp cheap is another matter, lol.
😂😂 yeah I did some research and that stuff starts around 1100 bucks haha, but our cars a pretty rare now In good condition it’s worth it honestly. So how would I get the PI parts needed? eBay?
 

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here in California
As a fellow Californian, good luck.

Your best bet will be to get a PI top end, gears, and J-mod in order to still pass emissions without any hassle.

If you want the hassle of being able to pass emissions with a high HP engine, then be ready for:

1. Having a "stock engine" on standby to swap in every two years.
2. Knowing a smog guy and paying $300+
3. Swapping out just the top end back to stock
4. Just get a PI top end swap
5. Go through the entire referee process to have a 4v or Coyote engine swap approved and not have to worry about options 1-3 again.

Me personally, I'm going to start with a complete PI top end and eventually move over to the "have a stock engine on standby" option.
 

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1994 Cougar XR7 DOHC/5-Speed
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There’s no way in hell a smog tech is going to be able to spot TFS heads, just keep the engine dress “stealthy” stock valve covers etc and I imagine you’ll be fine as long as you stick to the same engine architecture.
 

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Easiest Cali "legal" build I can think of is:
TFS heads
Typhoon intake painted matte black.
Comp 268 cams: I like 262s personally. But thesell take advantage of the higher compression and better flowing heads. But they are still small enough where the lope wont be noticable with a quiet set of mufflers.
Youll have to keep the manifolds. I doubt Kooks are CAFE approved and modifying a set of longtubes to fit throws their approval out the window. Plus also manifolds will help the lope be less noticable.
Will have to keep every emission system. Here in jersey youre allowed 2 systems to be deleted/un accounted. Cali has a strict ZERO policy.
 

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I'm in the same boat as you. Gone from supercharging, then PI swap..

Now I have come to my senses

MUFFLERS.

It will sound bad. But won't be. I'll be done with it
Maybe brake upgrade
 

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1995 Thunderbird LX 4.6 red
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There’s no way in hell a smog tech is going to be able to spot TFS heads, just keep the engine dress “stealthy” stock valve covers etc and I imagine you’ll be fine as long as you stick to the same engine architecture.
While I am not in California. Our TFS heads with TFS cams are actually rather mellow sounding. So I agree with you. I think most folks wouldn't notice them. My sons car passed a tailpipe smog with the heads, cams and Kooks headers on the stock computer.
 

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1) Its likely that most of the people on your block have "modded SN95s with the same engine" because they do the work themselves or are NOT going to performance shops and paying full retail for the labor.

2) I also agree that things like a cam, maybe the heads can be swapped out; and if some cop pops the hood and sees aftermarket headers (even if you managed to find some ones that have a CARB exemption #), his "antennae will be up" and will give the rest of your engine additional scrutiny. I suspect the cold air intake if it replaced the stock box would cause similar additional scrutiny.

3) I seriously doubt a 4.6L can be had for $300 in California.... except maybe at a junkyard on a holiday discount weekend.
 

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1) Its likely that most of the people on your block have "modded SN95s with the same engine" because they do the work themselves or are NOT going to performance shops and paying full retail for the labor.

2) I also agree that things like a cam, maybe the heads can be swapped out; and if some cop pops the hood and sees aftermarket headers (even if you managed to find some ones that have a CARB exemption #), his "antennae will be up" and will give the rest of your engine additional scrutiny. I suspect the cold air intake if it replaced the stock box would cause similar additional scrutiny.

3) I seriously doubt a 4.6L can be had for $300 in California.... except maybe at a junkyard on a holiday discount weekend.
LKQ has the same prices they do here. Shouldn’t be hard to find a PI 4.6 at one



Engine Assembly, Gas (no accessories)

Price: $244.99
Core: $65.00

Totally agree with you on 1 and 2, I think if you have to upgrade the induction system with a cone filter, use a stock 02-04 GT setup including the intake tube and MAF(you need a tune for the transfer function, but you need a tune for PI heads anyway). It’s an upgrade, it looks better but to anyone not intimately familiar with these cars it looks stock - because it basically is.
 
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