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I have an all stock 1997 Thunderbird with only 78,000 miles on it. Its fun and all for my first car but it can be better. Im seeing online that the intake manifold can be upgraded and it seems easy. Am I able to just buy a mustang intake manifold and put it on?? or am i missing important information? ive tried looking for other threads to help but there is A LOT of information on this forum so if someone can put a link to that discussion from the past id appreciate it.
 

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First off, welcome!

The intake manifold can be upgraded. First I think you want to check to see if it has the aluminum crossover because the all plastic manifolds usually end up leaking and cracking. PI intakes can be done also, do a search. And the intake doesn't have to come from a Mustang. :)

Joe
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the information it’s appreciated. In specific ive just been looking at PI intakes from an older 4.6 mustang so thats why i said that, but my main concern is my car is completely stock and it seems the PI intake goes noticeably deeper into the engine aaanndd that seems like it would be a problem. If its not a problem and i can just get a PI intake to put on then...im 100% going to I just need to know it works without major modifications. Im fresh out of highschool and jobless cause this covid-19 but still wanna spend money on my Bird haha.
 

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Unless you have a leak, I would spend the money on something else. From what people say, the PI intake gives you less low end torque, but a little more overall HP, so off the hit the car might not feel as fast.

A j-mod to the transmission will allow you to chirp 2nd gear, but would have to have a mechanic install it. Fresh fluid in the trans is a bonus with that mod.

A pair of Dynomax Super Turbo mufflers would give the car a little more growl and a few HP.

Or you could just save the money for little things like if it needs spark plugs or little odds and ends. If the car is new to you, it is likely to need something. No one ever sells a car that needs nothing.

Al
 

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The manifold alone isn’t really worth doing unless you use PI cams too. I never experienced the supposed loss in low end torque (but mine is a 94 originally with the aluminum intake) but where the PI manifold benefits is in the 5-6000 RPM range where the heads still run out of breath with npi cams. But I do recommend both if you can do it. They’re the cheapest and most measurable upgrades you can do to the engine by far, pulleys, plenum/Throttle CAI kits, coil packs, and every other “bolt on” doesn’t do squat,

I highly recommend the J-Mod, not just for fun and performance but for longevity, and add an external trans cooler.

Exhaust, just cut the mufflers off for straight pipes if you want noise. It sounds better like that than mufflers with the restrictive stock pipe layout.
 
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