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Super Moderator
1997 Thunderbird 4.6, 1998 Mark VIII LSC
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You've already got a cold air intake from the factory.
 

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Super Moderator
1997 Thunderbird 4.6, 1998 Mark VIII LSC
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9,525 Posts
Changing the air intake won't help any...

Check the stickies at the top of this forum for ideas.
 

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So you want to change your airbox that takes air from inside the fender and put a conical filter into the hot engine bay and call it a cold air intake? And the intake tube is not your restriction on an 89 base, the stock intake tube can handle it.
 

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How can I get a better one to get more than 140HP
Sell your TBird and buy a car with more HP.

Oh - wait - not what you want?

Removing the current CAI and putting on a HAI mis-labeled a CAI will cut HP. OTOH, if you plumb it to where it IS a CAI, not only do you risk inducing more throttle lag, it turns out that a chassis dyno says you'll gain ... about 2 HP. Oooooohhhhh ....

Of course, if your old filter is dirty enough, putting a new one on can increase your HP by at least 20 to 30 ... but strangely, putting a Wix or other low-differential stock filter in does the same!

My routine list:

1) Suspension.

2) Tires.

3) Suspension.

4) Suspension.

5) Did I mention, fix that 20 year old rubber that makes that car less safe than it could be, and while you're at it, fix the motor mounts and tranny mount?

6) Mercon V in the transmission after a full drain and during a filter swap.

7) New wires (Autolite or Motorcraft), new plugs (see others here - do remember, the 3.8NA uses a distributor for some years - if you have a dizzy, you can use plain platinum plugs, since you won't have that waste spark. If no dizzy, then I'd suggest copper for better life.)

8) All vacuum hoses.

9) Engine cleaning on the inside - Seafoam, Berryman B12 Chemtool, or Techron.

10) NOW we're getting to where we want to look at the motor for goat-juice. Oh, wait, not yet - BRAKES!

11) Brakes. A Mustang PBR upgrade on the front, discs on the back if you're currently drum.

12) NOW - we do the splitport upgrade.

The OTHER choices before we actually beef up the motor? Are to keep you ALIVE. 1,000 HP is scary enough without the car coming apart on you in a turn. Plus, getting the power you HAVE down to the ground makes more sense than wasting MORE power due to slop in the suspension, while you try to wrap the car around a phone pole because it doesn't go the way you point it.

RwP
 

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Can we put RalphP's response on the home page?
No offense intended at the OP, but your car is what it is right now. Do the proper maintenance that is so often neglected and your car will be fun, even with 140hp. After that if you want more power, swap in a 4.2, splitport it, or swap in a 5.0. Just a few options. Just keep in mind you should probably back that up with a better exhaust, upgrade the trans, torque converter, differential, half shafts...
 

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WOT Junkie and avid corn burner
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I know you're taking a lot of flak, OP, but this subject has been beaten around more times than we all care to count. The best set up for you will be your stock air induction system with the air silencer below the air box removed.
 

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Sell your TBird and buy a car with more HP.

Oh - wait - not what you want?

Removing the current CAI and putting on a HAI mis-labeled a CAI will cut HP. OTOH, if you plumb it to where it IS a CAI, not only do you risk inducing more throttle lag, it turns out that a chassis dyno says you'll gain ... about 2 HP. Oooooohhhhh ....

Of course, if your old filter is dirty enough, putting a new one on can increase your HP by at least 20 to 30 ... but strangely, putting a Wix or other low-differential stock filter in does the same!

My routine list:

1) Suspension.

2) Tires.

3) Suspension.

4) Suspension.

5) Did I mention, fix that 20 year old rubber that makes that car less safe than it could be, and while you're at it, fix the motor mounts and tranny mount?

6) Mercon V in the transmission after a full drain and during a filter swap.

7) New wires (Autolite or Motorcraft), new plugs (see others here - do remember, the 3.8NA uses a distributor for some years - if you have a dizzy, you can use plain platinum plugs, since you won't have that waste spark. If no dizzy, then I'd suggest copper for better life.)

8) All vacuum hoses.

9) Engine cleaning on the inside - Seafoam, Berryman B12 Chemtool, or Techron.

10) NOW we're getting to where we want to look at the motor for goat-juice. Oh, wait, not yet - BRAKES!

11) Brakes. A Mustang PBR upgrade on the front, discs on the back if you're currently drum.

12) NOW - we do the splitport upgrade.

The OTHER choices before we actually beef up the motor? Are to keep you ALIVE. 1,000 HP is scary enough without the car coming apart on you in a turn. Plus, getting the power you HAVE down to the ground makes more sense than wasting MORE power due to slop in the suspension, while you try to wrap the car around a phone pole because it doesn't go the way you point it.

RwP
I'd put brakes BEFORE suspension. They are easier to upgrade as a starting DIY and if you want to drive fast (even on a track), having a firm suspension will give you (false confidence) that you can go faster whereas properly upgraded brakes might actually save you from dying.

As far as the splitport ugprade is concerned, I am eyeing a 4.2L block but note: 4.2L F150 engines were already splitported.

The only upgrade to the F150 engine block is the 96-98 Windstar upper intake. You won't get any more power but a) it's lighter since it's composite plastic vs aluminum and b) its slightly shorter so you won't have to raise the hood as much.

-g
 

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Super Moderator
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I'd put brakes BEFORE suspension. They are easier to upgrade as a starting DIY and if you want to drive fast (even on a track), having a firm suspension will give you (false confidence) that you can go faster whereas properly upgraded brakes might actually save you from dying.
Actually, due to the tear-down, I'd do both at the same time.

It's just that the PBRs can be seen through the wheels, so a lot of folks will do those ... and wonder why the car goes 25 different directions on every bump due to missing 1/2 the rubber in the bushings (not all in any one bushing, mind you!)

RwP
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Yea I guess I do need to get my motor mounts fixed and new struts and springs. I just thought that buying some kind of cold air intake would give a boost in power. Now I just need to make the car run better. Im still learning and working on cars takes alot of time, money and effort. Hopefully someday I will get this car in good condition.
 

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Super Moderator
1997 Thunderbird 4.6, 1998 Mark VIII LSC
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It took me 2 years to get the T-bird running and driving right. But the experience and knowledge gained along the way was invaluable.

BTW I don't believe PBRs will work on anything with pre-93 spindles.
 

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Super Moderator
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It took me 2 years to get the T-bird running and driving right. But the experience and knowledge gained along the way was invaluable.

BTW I don't believe PBRs will work on anything with pre-93 spindles.
It does require 93+ spindles - again, a reason to do the suspension and the brakes at the same time for the 89-92 chassis.

And why I usually start "Suspension/brakes/suspension" :diablo:

RwP
 

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Yea I guess I do need to get my motor mounts fixed and new struts and springs. I just thought that buying some kind of cold air intake would give a boost in power. Now I just need to make the car run better. Im still learning and working on cars takes alot of time, money and effort. Hopefully someday I will get this car in good condition.
Well, see, you HAVE a cold air intake. Open the hood, open the air box, remove the filter, look into the airbox. Exactly WHERE is that air coming from for the filter?

BIG hint - it ain't the hot engine bay air!

And again, until you can dependably STOP the car and get the power from the motor TO the ground, it doesn't do much good to upgrade the power.

RwP
 

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Yea I guess I do need to get my motor mounts fixed and new struts and springs. I just thought that buying some kind of cold air intake would give a boost in power. Now I just need to make the car run better. Im still learning and working on cars takes alot of time, money and effort. Hopefully someday I will get this car in good condition.
Time.. yes, if you don't want to pay someone else to do this work
Money... it's all a relative thing. Cars aren't as cheap an entertainment per hour as say, sitting on your butt and playing BF3 on the Xbox, but the skills you learn ARE valuable to more than just another 12 yr old.
* Car parts do cost money and premium tbird aftermarket parts (aka trick stuff) is pricey as well BUT new, stock tbird parts (or other bits from the stock bin of other fords which will be an upgrade for you) are CHEAP. That's the beauty of having a mid 90s domestic that a TON of people still have on the road.

* New motorcraft shocks were a piddly $10.77 from rockauto.com
* Even from the local Oreilly, the engine mounts are only $7 and change. They have a $40 one but from what i could tell, there was no difference.
* BREMBO rotors = $20 and change? Deals can be found.
* Mustang GT calipers (the best upgrade for brakes) = <$200 all in.
* Also, as people upgrade their cars here, you can find deals on used aftermarket bits on this forum. I think I paid $50 for some rear eibach springs.

Before i bought my tbird, I had only done straightforward maintenance on cars (oil, coolant, brakes, and stereo wiring). Through buying my tbird I've learned all about wiring, engine coolant flow, transmissions, engine internals, fueling systems, and suspension).

Save your pennies and put the sweat equity into it and you'll have a pretty entertaining car to drive.
 

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Yea thanks man. Right now I need to buy struts and springs, shocks for the back, and a rack and pinion. And that just what I know of for now. Eventually I need to but new seats and carpet.

If I cant get PBRs for front brakes what ones should I get?
 
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