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Discussion Starter #1
So, I am still in the market for a Thunderbird (or Cougar). And there are many to choose from in my area. It really only boils down to a choice between a 4.6 and a supercoupe. The supercoupe is more rare but rarity means nothing to me. In my research, it seems that the 4.6 has more overall power potential. The supercoupe, although already forged and supercharged, seems to have more limits on aftermarket as well. The most powerful birds I've seen have not been the supercoupe. I also like the interior of the later models better, and there are plenty of 96 and 97 models around here. I'm leaning more toward the 96/97 4.6. Any thoughts/input on whether or not I'm overlooking something? All are in good shape by the way, so it's a matter of all that I've mentioned above.

Here is an article I found
http://www.musclemustangfastfords.com/tech/mmfp_0707_1990_thunderbird_super_coupe/viewall.html
 

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Well, as for me, i own both. 95 lx and 94 SC. I do know that the aftermarket world for the lx 4.6L is MUCH MORE than the SC. performance parts are cheap and easy to come by. Even the day to day parts that go bad are easier and cheaper to find.

I do love that RAW tq that my SC has. i like how the suspension floats over the road. IF your interested in a SC, i suggest tryin to find a 94/95 SC. You are goin to pay more, but those two years were the best years. You can also get an SC with a 5spd. All LX models were autos
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Latest I can find around here is a 93. But to be honest I've been reading and got some help from a member here and I don't think I'd have too much of a problem converting a 4.6 to a 5 speed. But, I'm still on the fence. I believe the v8 has the same raw tq potential.
 

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Not true on the TQ, example. My lx makes 295TQ to the wheels and i a BUNCH of mods to make my LX run 12s.

With the SC, just from the article you posted, just a few mods, the SC makes over 330TQ to the wheels.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Well, that is true but the problem is when you want to produce over 400 hp. I've been reading a lot over at SCCoA and 300 hp is an achievement and 400 seems to be rare. Again, I'm still on the fence. I really don't know and I'm new to thunderbirds as well so, I may be dead wrong. But, I'm just basing it off the engines at this point. The 89-95 interiors aren't too bad. I just see the 4.6 aftermarket swamping the supercoupe. Plus I've looked around and supersixmotorsports and the like and it seems almost more expensive to build a v6. I have more reading to do I suppose. Thanks for the replies.
 

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Yes, the SC motors seem too top out around the 350hp rank because the little M90 blower runs out of steam. Even with that expense MPX blower.
 

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I have owned SCs, and 4.6 birds, and 5.0 birds, and MarkVIIIs, and for a fun street car, there is nothing like a 5-speed SC. Ultimately, you could go faster with a 4.6, but it won't have anywhere near the torque of the SC, and on the street, torque is what makes a car fun to drive, not horsepower. Also, as far as bang for the buck mods, early in the game the SC definitely wins. A ported 94/95 blower, mp inlet, a better intercooler, bigger injectors, and a tune make a huge difference on an SC for minimal money invested. To get past that point with the SC will require spending a lot of money on an upgraded blower, ported heads, better cam, etc., and at that point, a 4.6 with an SVO blower becomes cheaper to make faster.

Now when it comes down to which one to buy, either is a good choice, but if an SC is not running right or is not well taken care of, simply walk away. The 4.6 is a more durable and forgiving engine, and it is simpler to diagnose and easier to work on. If you can't do all the work on the car yourself, I would strongly advise against an SC. They are specialty cars that are more difficult and more time consuming to work on, and little things like a vacuum leak, or a worn out spark plug, or a dirty MAF sensor can cause weird intermittent drivability issues that are hard to pinpoint, and of you had to pay a mechanic to figure each one out, it would cost a fortune. This is also why I say run away from any SC that was not well maintained. You might get it cheap, but you could easily spend more time trying to fix what is wrong with it than driving the car. If it is well maintained though, an SC can be an extremely fun, reliable, comfortable car. I drive my 90sc every day, and nothing beats the feeling of all that torque.
 

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I've always liked the simplicity of the 5.0 HO MN12's with their mechanical transmissions..lol

I suppose if you've been wrenching on modular MN12's for awhile..It takes some of the complexity out of them..

I get so sick of hearing..If you do "this or that" to your 4.6L MN12 you have to get it tuned!..

You do have to get it tuned.. :tongue:


Power potential wise...

IMO..A 96-97 4.6L MN12 would be your best bet if you're into tuning...
Orrrrr...You don't mind paying someone else whenever you do a mod, and need a new tune..lol

The SuperCoupes are already powerful in stock form..

To see real HP gains in a SuperCoupe..Plan on spending thousands at a time though..lol

Good Luck!



Rayo..
 

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Discussion Starter #9
well I've done many many car mods all on my own including wire work, swaps, replacements, rebuilds, ect. Just not to a thunderbird in particular. So, I'm not too scared to get a specialty car. I just don't want to smack my forehead and say "you could have had a v8" I so appreciate all of this input guys. I'm getting the impression that I can't go wrong with either;)
 

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It boils down to what you want.

A road warrior? A quarter mile queen? Or a daily driver?

Is this your fun car or the "Point A to Point B" car?

Again, you won't go badly wrong with either if it's been well maintained. Shucks, the 5.0HO is also a good motor for a DD IMO (but I'm biased, 5.0 is what Ruby has!)

RwP
 

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The cheaper the better for me. only birds I pass on are the stock 3.8 v6. Unless I can get a SC 3.8 quick for a swap or a decent 4.6.

BTW its weird that these lots are selling the 3.8 non SC's for top dollar. I saw one with 40k on mile going for 8 grand.
 

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If you want a 4.6, get a 96-97 lx. Better transmission and easier to do mods to. With a proper tune, you can make the auto pretty fun on the street. As long as you're not changing cams and heads, you really don't need to tune it every time. When it comes to any MN-12, just make sure you get one that was properly maintained. This is why I'm able to take mine to the track when I feel like it even though it has over 150,000 miles on everything. It's not only my fun car, but it is also my DD. It always has been very reliable, never left me stranded. (Knock on wood)
 

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I bought an 96 LX V8 car while I was waiting to build an SC, I did some stuff to it to make it more reliable and go a bit better down the road, gears in the back, Xcal2 in the PCM. But at the end of the day the 5-speed with the extra grunt the SC provides trumps all!

As far as adding stuff to make an SC go faster, there is quite a bit still available and loads of stuff getting traded around. If I could have bought a relaible 5-speed V8 car back when I was shopping around... but those are not quite as easy to find as factory stock 5-speed SC's...

To each his own but I'm stuck on the Blown 6 manual!
 

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I think comparing the SC to the lx is like comparing apples to oranges. Stick a positive diplacement blower on a 4.6 and you'll have more than enough torque.
 

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I personally love my SC, if you ask me I'd go with the sc regardless of all the time and money I have put in mine. If you have members down by you that hoard parts like I do and know the car well and willing to help, then the sc is a great car. Mine is my daily driver, I drive it like I stole it. I have no regrets getting my SC.
 

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With a SC be prepared to not have parts or waiting on ordered parts, never mind the cooling issues and the MPG. Now yes if you leave a SC stock and well maintained they aren't that bad. Mod ~$2000 for a build AOD which you will need, ~$2000 for big valve train (heads, cam, rockers...)~$1600 for MPX. Get a 94/95 and a lot of issue are taken care of personally I'd avoid 89-91 unless your know what your getting into.

4.6 reliable and good to cut your teeth on.

I have all three sort of 93 5.0 & SC and a 94 GM. Yes the SC is the most fun, followed by the 5.0 and lastly the GM.
 

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I always liked the SC because they weren't as common to see and they already have nice ground effects on them, way better seats and most of the time better interior options. 94-95 have been my favorites to look at, never owned one personally, but nearly anyone can aquire a 4.6, 5.0 is nearly a second rarity anymore and not many of these left around either.

I would probably try for an SC, unless you like the v8 sound and all that, me just hearing it come to life with the turn of the key and being able to hear it open up with a roar at WOT and spinning the tires is reason why owning a v8 feels so uncanny, you might be able to do much of the same with the SC but you'll never have that v8 sound coming out of the pipes with it so that might kill it for me long term not sure on you.

You can go fast in a v6 or anything else but doing it in a v8 it sounds so much better in all rpm ranges.
 
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