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Discussion Starter #1
hello everyone:) i have been looking into getting a new daily driver, tired or driving an escort wagon! i like a bigger car ( note the lincoln) but i like em with some power, so i landed on a thunderbird 4.6. i have done a search on here and i come up with some missing parts of the chain.
the PI stuff is on 96 and newer thunder birds? hints the added TQ on the stock reading? i take it the 96+ is the better model, so what other swaps can be done (keeping in mind its a reliable daily) cams, intake, exhaust? and other bolt ons to really get the t-bird to move. also how bad are 3.73s for the IRS?
 

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Yes, the 96+ are better motor-wise. You just have to watch for the intake cracking issue.

3.73's will not hurt the IRS. I do believe some here are running 4.10's. You will have to recalibrate the speedo though IIRC.

I'd say get a nice trans. built by Darrin, add a dirtyd0g torque converter, slap some 3.73's in it, and have a chip done by Lonnie at Blue Oval Chips. Not sure about what kind of intake mods are out there. I know there is a MAF swap and TB swap. Do a quick search for MAF Upgrade or something along those lines.

Keep in mind that these are heavy cars, so I wouldn't expect a 12 sec. T-Bird out of a bunch of bolt-ons. And also, a lot of the Mustang stuff won't bolt directly on w/o some modifications. Just do some quick read-throughs of some old posts and you should have a good idea of where to start.

Jay
 

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351lincoln said:
hello everyone:)...the PI stuff is on 96 and newer thunder birds? hints the added TQ on the stock reading?...
The PI stuff never came on T-birds or Cougars. They were introduced in 1999 in the Mustang GT and became the standard for the 4.6 in 2001.
The 4.6 was upgraded in 1996. It got new heads and intake which account for the extra torque in the specs. The way that the plenum and other things bolt to the lower intake is the same as the way the PI motors are laid out. This is what makes it easier to do the PI swap on a 96/97.
Look for the aluminum crossover right behind the alternator. If it is aluminum then the intake has been replaced. If it is plastic then it is a good candidate for a PI swap. (Actually, either one is a good candidate for a PI swap but it is more urgent on the plastic intake.)
Good luck on your search and let us know how it turns out!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
im not looking for a 12 second car, i never said i would race it infact. i know a heavy car takes a lil more to get a reaction out of so i knew that some power upgrades would be a nice start to keeping me happy.
i can deal with the transmission stuff my self, and with the help of my father who is a transmission tech for the little tweeks that can be done ( the shop has its own secrets)
to be fun it doesnt have to be super fast, just the standard stomp it and light the tires up, kickit down and feel it push you back some. not like pin you back like my brother 89gt with 3.73, vortech, exahaust. ECT.
just want a nice daily that can hold its own when it comes to daily commute.
 

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351lincoln said:
im not looking for a 12 second car, i never said i would race it infact. i know a heavy car takes a lil more to get a reaction out of so i knew that some power upgrades would be a nice start to keeping me happy.
i can deal with the transmission stuff my self, and with the help of my father who is a transmission tech for the little tweeks that can be done ( the shop has its own secrets)
to be fun it doesnt have to be super fast, just the standard stomp it and light the tires up, kickit down and feel it push you back some. not like pin you back like my brother 89gt with 3.73, vortech, exahaust. ECT.
just want a nice daily that can hold its own when it comes to daily commute.

Well to accomplish that, you will need a better TC and a mustang flex plate. The J-Mod is the best shift kit you can put into a 4R70W. This is what I would do if it was me:

96+ 4.6L TBird
Remove Air Silencer
80mm 02+GT MAF
GT intake tube
PI Cams
PI Intake
2.25" or 2.5" exhaust system
04 Maruader TC
Mustang GT/Lincoln MK VIII Flex plate
J-Mod Transmission
Additional Tranny Cooler
Aluminum Driveshaft
4.10 TL Differential
SCT X-Cal2
 

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351lincoln said:
and thats removing a accumulator spring:confused:

It's much more involved than that. It requires drilling or enlarging holes in the seperator plate in the valve body, plus replacing (or removing) springs, along with replacing the 1-2 and 2-3 pistons. Replacing with Mercon V, a new filter and a trans cooler are also recommended.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Embalmer said:
It's much more involved than that. It requires drilling or enlarging holes in the seperator plate in the valve body, plus replacing (or removing) springs, along with replacing the 1-2 and 2-3 pistons. Replacing with Mercon V, a new filter and a trans cooler are also recommended.
well thats nothing more than a shift kit, i dont understand why its called a j-mod around here. did the same thing to a f4eat, only shift kit i have really done. normaly just rebuild the tranmission...anyhow. well all this should be out of the question, just have to find the spot in the shop when its not hoppin with custom cars.

TGJ. what do you mean by GT intake tube? like the stock intake tub? ( CAI came to mind when you said that)

with all these engine mods, what kinda power am i looking at? 300ftlbs? :D :D
 

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The stock GT intake tube is what I referred to. When going to a larger MAF, it is easier to use a GT intake tube with it. This is a direct replacement on a 96 - 97 TBird.
 

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351lincoln said:
well thats nothing more than a shift kit, i dont understand why its called a j-mod around here. did the same thing to a f4eat, only shift kit i have really done. normaly just rebuild the tranmission...anyhow. well all this should be out of the question, just have to find the spot in the shop when its not hoppin with custom cars.

TGJ. what do you mean by GT intake tube? like the stock intake tub? ( CAI came to mind when you said that)

with all these engine mods, what kinda power am i looking at? 300ftlbs? :D :D
The J-mod may be similar to a shift kit, but it is far superior to any of the normal ones from B&M, Transgo, etc. Jerry knows more about these transmissions than anyone.

The GT intake tube is the intake tube from a Mustang GT.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
you all are a good bunch of guys, thanks for all the help.

ok, whats more indeepth about this j-mod than a standard shift kit ( the "shift kits" that are done at the shop my dad works are also one of deals, where is his own secret haha) i want to know what the j-mod is doing more than a normal shift kit, or what more it is improving on.
my parts list is finaly taking shape and making sence.
question, i notice you all say intake and cams, why not PI heads? who makes an exhauste for these cars?
 

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J-Mod

This is a J-mod. If you read all of this you'll realize that Jerry (Hence J-Mod) knows his stuff when it comes to the 4R70W transmission. Not even implying that you or your dad don't, but this will answer a lot of your questions about it.

Just out of curiosity, have you purchased a T-bird, found one but not bought it yet, or just doing the research before looking? There have been quite a few really cars for sale here recently you may want to look at.

And welcome to the Forums :D
 

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Discussion Starter #13
no, i have yet to find "the one" top picks are a 96+ black or dark blue with cloth. so, im on the look out in Indiana.
thanks for the articles and the welcome:D
 

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Well, when you are looking at Birds don't forget that in 96 and 97 there was a Sport model. Better springs, shocks, sway bars, wheels, ect. Most of these mods listed above are relatively easy. Do some searching, these cars are great but not perfect so don't forget the little grimlims that these cars can have? Where you located in Indiana?
 

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Discussion Starter #15
lightevergreenfrost said:
Well, when you are looking at Birds don't forget that in 96 and 97 there was a Sport model. Better springs, shocks, sway bars, wheels, ect. Most of these mods listed above are relatively easy. Do some searching, these cars are great but not perfect so don't forget the little grimlims that these cars can have? Where you located in Indiana?
im an hour under indy. what grimlins are you talking about, they have transmission shutter... what else?
 

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lightevergreenfrost said:
Well you got to look at the ball joints, inside the doors along the bottom there can be rust, and other things that you'd look at when buying a used car.
that seems like a normal look over to me, im thinking real specific t-bird things.
 

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351lincoln said:
im an hour under indy. what grimlins are you talking about, they have transmission shutter... what else?
they have notoriously poor brakes. The front rotors "warp" easily (yea, I know they don't really bend, but they get some vibration in them). The Sports aren't as bad as the standard brakes, but the can still get weak. The fix is really easy however. Just install PBR calipers from a 99 or newer Mustang. (this site has an article on how to do this in the tech section).

The 96 models have most of the nice stuff like extra lighting (under hood, in the doors, etc), slow opening glove box (gas strut), and a locking remote trunk button. Most important the 96's still have the more complete instrument panel.

In 97 Ford put the Taurus gauge cluster in the T-birds, and got cheap with the nice little stuff mentioned above. they did however finally put good cupholders in the T-bird in 97. However all of these components can be moved from one year to the other, so you can have the best of both years if you're willing to do a little work.
 

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I am still working on my 4.6L bird and it has made me happy

2002 PI Explore engine (drops 86 lbs)
03 Marauder torque converter
removed intake silencer

besides that my car is pretty much stock. However, as everyone that has ridden in it says, wow, fast boat!

If I stomp the gas from a stop, it all out rips for a good while, and I even have an open diff. The front end soars up and she gets on it. If I stomp the gas from a 30 mph roll, my tires chirp pretty good and she screams, and WOT on the freeway from about 55-65 MPH roll is amazing how it whips the car, this motor really pulls. But hey I have never had anything else so I cant really compare it to much
 
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