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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
So back in Novemeber I bought myself a 92 Thunderbird Sport for about 1300 bucks. I'm working now on trying to turn it into an 11 second drag car AND fun to ride street car, and I've already got a roadplan for how I'm gonna get all this done. Issue is, I don't know whether to do it all at once or not.

The build is gonna be as follows:

GT40 Heads and Intake (96 Explorer)
96 Explorer 75mm Throttle Body
JBA Shorty Headers (Autozone says they're a direct fit so I'm hoping I can avoid needing a steering mod)
Compcams Performance Roller Tappet Cam Kit
Performance Rebuild through a local shop
Tuning and Chipping through a local shop

I'm wondering if I could get away with just doing the heads, intake, and throttle body now, or should I wait and do it all at once?
 

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The Parts Guy
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That list isn't going to net E.T.'s anywhere near 11-seconds.

You could swap HCI now if you wanted to.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I figured it wouldn't, but it's a start. Would I need to do the exhaust right away?
 

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Explorer heads and intake and a 75mm TB will net you about a 20hp increase. JBA shorty headers flow no better than stock manifolds. Why you would go back to a flat tappet cam when you already have a roller cam is beyond any comprehension.

As for the bottom end, stock 302 crank, rods, and pistons are plenty strong. The weak link in a 302 build is the stock block, which splits in half around 500rwhp. Also with the short deck height of a 302 block, any stroker kit makes the deck height of the piston shorter, which makes the piston weaker, so unless you are spending the money for forged pistons, a stroker bottom end will actually be weaker than your stock bottom end, so unless you currently have rod knock or blowby issues, leave the bottom end alone, as it is the only thing about your proposed combination that stands a chance of making it into the 11s.

If you want to get there with a 302, you will need some real heads like AFRs, Edelbrocks, Trick Flows, or something along those lines. Also the professional products typhoon manifold actually flows pretty well, so with some port work to clean up the excessive casting flash, that is a cheap manifold that will support the amount of power needed to get into the 11s.

Long-tube headers and full exhaust with either dual 2.5" or single 3" are also going to be a must for your goals. And I can't help but notice that you didn't mention anything about the trans, torque converter, driveshaft, rear gears, rear suspension, wheels, tires, axles, etc.

You could have 500rwhp and if you are trying to put it to the ground through a stock AOD with 3.08 open rear and stock 30 year old suspension, you will be lucky to run 12s.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Explorer heads and intake and a 75mm TB will net you about a 20hp increase. JBA shorty headers flow no better than stock manifolds. Why you would go back to a flat tappet cam when you already have a roller cam is beyond any comprehension. As for the bottom end, stock 302 crank, rods, and pistons are plenty strong. The weak link in a 302 build is the stock block, which splits in half around 500rwhp. Also with the short deck height of a 302 block, any stroker kit makes the deck height of the piston shorter, which makes the piston weaker, so unless you are spending the money for forged pistons, a stroker bottom end will actually be weaker than your stock bottom end, so unless you currently have rod knock or blowby issues, leave the bottom end alone, as it is the only thing about your proposed combination that stands a chance of making it into the 11s. If you want to get there with a 302, you will need some real heads like AFRs, Edelbrocks, Trick Flows, or something along those lines. Also the professional products typhoon manifold actually flows pretty well, so with some port work to clean up the excessive casting flash, that is a cheap manifold that will support the amount of power needed to get into the 11s. Long-tube headers and full exhaust with either dual 2.5" or single 3" are also going to be a must for your goals. And I can't help but notice that you didn't mention anything about the trans, torque converter, driveshaft, rear gears, rear suspension, wheels, tires, axles, etc. You could have 500rwhp and if you are trying to put it to the ground through a stock AOD with 3.08 open rear and stock 30 year old suspension, you will be lucky to run 12s.
Weird, by buddy was suggesting the cam and all that to me. He's the mechanic of the two of us, I figured to check here since most of my build is off here. Do you have any ideas for a better one that would still work?

I just completely redid the front and rear suspension all the way to sway links and shocks this past weekend, she's sitting about half an inch lower now because of it too. I was thinking of building out the AOD as I went, transmissions are expensive.

Would I be able to run that Typhoon Manifold without messing with the steering or no?
 

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If you want streetable out of a 5.0, you will either need to stroke it to 347, or find boost. And then as the guys said above, limited slip and at least 3.73 rears, plus a very built trans. A proper stroker will cost $7k if you plan to keep it fuel injected. I'm looking to do exactly this with a 347. I've got nearly $4k in suspension and chassis bits waiting to go in the car. Haven't touched the motor or trans yet.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
If you want streetable out of a 5.0, you will either need to stroke it to 347, or find boost. And then as the guys said above, limited slip and at least 3.73 rears, plus a very built trans. A proper stroker will cost $7k if you plan to keep it fuel injected. I'm looking to do exactly this with a 347. I've got nearly $4k in suspension and chassis bits waiting to go in the car. Haven't touched the motor or trans yet.
Boost ain't terribly expensive on the turbo end, superchargers require a build out anyway from what I've seen. Would a 4r70w work if I built one out?
 

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Boost ain't terribly expensive on the turbo end, superchargers require a build out anyway from what I've seen. Would a 4r70w work if I built one out?
It should; I certainly hope it will, since that's my plan for my 1991.

You'll have to swap ECUs to run the 4R70W or add a stand alone TCM; I'm using a 94 Mustang GT ECU to control the 5.0HO and the 4R70W both.

RwP
 

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The MAC long-tube headers for a fox-body can be run without modifying the steering shaft. Take a look at MaddMartigan's thread on them, stickied I believe at the top of the 5.0 forums. Personally, I wouldn't run that without solid motor mounts though because we ran it on the lemons car, and under certain conditions the flex in the motor mounts was enough to hit the headers on the steering shaft and lock the steering up, and that was with new mounts, let alone tired old beat ones.

Do I have ideas for a better what? Cam? If so, I have nowhere near enough information to tell you what to get. The cam is the last thing to be chosen for an engine build anyway. Figure out what power level you want to be at, then figure out what heads and intake are going to get you there. After that, you can figure out what rpms you'll have to turn with your given displacement to get that horsepower, and then once you know all that, you can speak to a cam manufacturer and they will spec something that will work properly for you. However you already have a roller cam, so stay with a roller cam.

Rebuilding the suspension with stock-type aftermarket pieces is a good start for having a safe and reliable street car, but that does little to nothing for trying to stick that much power to the ground. Stock bushings deflect and cause wheel-hop. Wheel hop breaks axles and differentials. To run 11s, you need to upgrade and/or modify your control arm bushings, knuckle bushings, and subframe bushings. These cars aren't fox bodies, and with an IRS and an extra 1000lbs over one, those speeds don't come easy, or cheap.

A 4R70 trans is a way better choice than an AOD, but will require either a stand-alone controller or modifying your wiring to use the 94/95 Mustang ECM.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
The MAC long-tube headers for a fox-body can be run without modifying the steering shaft. Take a look at MaddMartigan's thread on them, stickied I believe at the top of the 5.0 forums. Personally, I wouldn't run that without solid motor mounts though because we ran it on the lemons car, and under certain conditions the flex in the motor mounts was enough to hit the headers on the steering shaft and lock the steering up, and that was with new mounts, let alone tired old beat ones.

Do I have ideas for a better what? Cam? If so, I have nowhere near enough information to tell you what to get. The cam is the last thing to be chosen for an engine build anyway. Figure out what power level you want to be at, then figure out what heads and intake are going to get you there. After that, you can figure out what rpms you'll have to turn with your given displacement to get that horsepower, and then once you know all that, you can speak to a cam manufacturer and they will spec something that will work properly for you. However you already have a roller cam, so stay with a roller cam.

Rebuilding the suspension with stock-type aftermarket pieces is a good start for having a safe and reliable street car, but that does little to nothing for trying to stick that much power to the ground. Stock bushings deflect and cause wheel-hop. Wheel hop breaks axles and differentials. To run 11s, you need to upgrade and/or modify your control arm bushings, knuckle bushings, and subframe bushings. These cars aren't fox bodies, and with an IRS and an extra 1000lbs over one, those speeds don't come easy, or cheap.

A 4R70 trans is a way better choice than an AOD, but will require either a stand-alone controller or modifying your wiring to use the 94/95 Mustang ECM.
I'm a little more comfortable with a controller, cheaper, easier, and less work than a full ECM swap.

I'll check out Edelbrock for heads and the intake later, looks a good bit better for flow and power than just the Explorer parts. What would you suggest for a Throttle Body though, unless the 75mm off the Explorer is fine.
 

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The Explorer throttle body will require more work to make it work on our cars. Our stock intake manifold is shaped like the 94/95 Mustang one. They make and sell an adapter to use an aftermarket intake manifold on a 94/95 Mustang, so if you get one of those, that would be the easiest way, but then you would need a throttle body for a 94/95 Mustang, and you would also need to either swap your linkage over to the new throttle body, or replace your throttle cable. Leaving that adapter out will be cheaper, and let you use the Explorer throttle body, but it will require reworking the intake tube, EGR, IAC and TPS wiring, and throttle linkage and cable, so pick your poison there.
 

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I'm a little more comfortable with a controller, cheaper, easier, and less work than a full ECM swap.

I'll check out Edelbrock for heads and the intake later, looks a good bit better for flow and power than just the Explorer parts. What would you suggest for a Throttle Body though, unless the 75mm off the Explorer is fine.
OTOH, it's basically pull the old ECU, add about six wires, connect the new ECU. Pinout for almost all the pins are identical and they run the same strategy (or can at least!)

It's not a big deal to swap to the 94/95 Mustang GT ECU since it's so pin compatible.

And that means while you're tuning, you can tune the transmission in addition; and the ECU can work between them (i.e., start the shift THEN increase the fuel speed so that the shift matches the fuel increase from stomping on the loud pedal; with a separate TCM, it has to pretty much see the throttle increase and THEN do the transmission.)

And there's less additional wiring than there would be with a stand alone TCM.

RwP
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Found myself a 95GT ECU for 200 and a 4r70w built out for only 1200! As soon as this virus nonsense blows over and work picks up I'll get things underway.
 

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Just make sure that 4R70W is Windsor/Essex pattern, not mod motor.

There is a difference; Windsor/Essex fits your 5.0, mod motor not.

EDIT: You can use the diagram MaddMartigan posted when he went manual in his 93 (IIRC) 5.0 based TBird - attachment in the first post in this thread: 94-95 Mustang GT Manual ECM in 91-93 MN12

Do notice how few wires change. You can also pick up a 2 speed electric fan if you wish.

I'd add a QuarterHorse and either Binary Editor or TunerProRT (ask whoever is working with you to tune the ECU!) so you can tune it.

EDIT 2: Fixed which Mad person I was referring to ... Oops!

RwP
 

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MadMikeyl is from Jersey; I doubt MaddMartigan knows who Joe Piscopo is, lol. ( I could be surprised, lol)

Mikey has an awesome sense of humor, from the Eclipse party. :)
He put up with me, anyway. :D
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Just make sure that 4R70W is Windsor/Essex pattern, not mod motor.

There is a difference; Windsor/Essex fits your 5.0, mod motor not.

EDIT: You can use the diagram MaddMartigan posted when he went manual in his 93 (IIRC) 5.0 based TBird - attachment in the first post in this thread: 94-95 Mustang GT Manual ECM in 91-93 MN12

Do notice how few wires change. You can also pick up a 2 speed electric fan if you wish.

I'd add a QuarterHorse and either Binary Editor or TunerProRT (ask whoever is working with you to tune the ECU!) so you can tune it.

EDIT 2: Fixed which Mad person I was referring to ... Oops!

RwP

Would this one be a Windsor? My boss got one of their Monster 4l60e trannies and said they're one of the best for midrange power.
 

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This guy goes 10’s with 400 hp. Two major factors- extensive weight reduction and a solid axle. Study his build. Good stuff here.
 

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Would this one be a Windsor? My boss got one of their Monster 4l60e trannies and said they're one of the best for midrange power.
Call and ask them. I'd say most likely not; the most common 4R70W configuration is mod motor.

But hey, won't hurt to call and ask!

RwP
 
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