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That's pretty interesting. Wonder if CA catalogs ECU Id's or some dumb crap like that which would prevent that as a solution..
That's exactly what they do. Calibration ID is cataloged among other things.

Recently became mandatory for smog inspection stations .. now they have cameras that can be remotely accessed at any time during the smog inspection ( more likely recorded every time ). My smog buddy walked me outside his service bay to tell me this - he believes they could be listening at any time. It's getting harder, near impossible to do an illegal smog.
 

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1995 Thunderbird LX Missing 4.6 MIssing Trans Red
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That's exactly what they do. Calibration ID is cataloged among other things.

Recently became mandatory for smog inspection stations .. now they have cameras that can be remotely accessed at any time during the smog inspection ( more likely recorded every time ). My smog buddy walked me outside his service bay to tell me this - he believes they could be listening at any time. It's getting harder, near impossible to do an illegal smog.
Glad I don't live in CA anymore. All my cars pass smog in NV legitimately. That's pretty invasive stuff over there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #544 ·
Or use a 96-97 Mustang GT ECU ;)
Wonder if CA catalogs ECU Id's or some dumb crap like that which would prevent that as a solution..
That's exactly what they do. Calibration ID is cataloged among other things.
Sorry Matt. Can't do that as an option. Well, I could, I guess, if I were to just swap out the transmission every other year just to pass smog.

But then, I'd need to get my AT rebuilt before getting the smog....
 

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1995 Thunderbird LX Missing 4.6 MIssing Trans Red
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Just out of curiousness, because I don't know the current rules there. I haven't live in CA since 98. So I know nothing. You mentioned the referee, does the possibility exist that you build the car and the referee thinks its ok and signs it off at california legal? Is that what you were getting at?
 

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1994 Cougar XR7 DOHC/5-Speed
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Define “calibration ID”? I thought that the problem had to do with the checksum that tells the tester whether the PCM has been flashed or not? A unaltered one shouldn’t throw this flag, right?

My understanding is a ref is still essential, but as long as everything matches up to the powertrain spec it should pass, which would be pretty easy since the only difference between the at bird and Mustang 4.6 is the intake/MAF and two secondary cats instead of the one. That or do the Montana LLC route I hear thrown around car circles these days 😆
 

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Just out of curiousness, because I don't know the current rules there. I haven't live in CA since 98. So I know nothing. You mentioned the referee, does the possibility exist that you build the car and the referee thinks its ok and signs it off at california legal? Is that what you were getting at?
The BAR has published guidelines and procedures for the recertification process. It requires a referee visit who will write up a new certification affixed to the vehicle for the "new testing standards" .. ie; this car is now to be smogged as a 97 Mustang.

In CDs case for the manual trans swap .. a 97 Tbird would need "donor parts" from a 97 or newer GT mustang - since the engines are identical; the only thing it needs is the newer PCM ( has to be a California specific calibration ) and the matching transmission - the T45.

The Calibration ID is accessed through Mode $09 .. newer vehicles are able to assign a number to the Cal ID and VIN programmed into the PCM, etc .. an older car like the 97 Tbird or Mustang would be verified by Checksum that corresponds to a specific calibration.
 

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Discussion Starter · #548 ·

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TR-3650 from s197.
If the gear ratios are identical like Matt says .. but now you're deviating from the "donor car" recipe.

I doubt they'd discern between the two, the ratios are identical as far as any testable measures
That's up to the referee. They might want to check the rear axle ratio also. I can give you a link to the guide .. if you want to interpret the wording yourself. 😉
 

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That's up to the referee. They might want to check the rear axle ratio also. I can give you a link to the guide .. if you want to interpret the wording yourself. 😉
Biggest visual tell is the slightly longer extension housing and the protrusion for the forks on the left side(which is pretty much fully obscured by the trans tunnel). From underneath and surrounded by exhaust they look basically the same, I nearly forgot which was which if not for the bright yellow tag 😆



 

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🤔 Point taken. I'll leave it with this .. good luck with your future project CDs.
It's all good Dan, he's referring to the conversation being in the" what did you do with your thunderbird today" thread before I moved the posts here on my own volition. Obviously CDs hasn't done much with the bird in a while so his build thread could use a bump 😆
 

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Discussion Starter · #556 ·
A classic meme! OMG, this is old! 😍😍😍

good luck with your future project CDs.
Thank you Dan.

I need to do something for sure though. I can't just leave the car laying around doing nothing. The wife is starting to yell at me more about it as well.

It's all good Dan, he's referring to the conversation being in the" what did you do with your thunderbird today" thread before I moved the posts here on my own volition. Obviously CDs hasn't done much with the bird in a while so his build thread could use a bump 😆
Thanks for the bump? Though, maybe the thread should be renamed something else if we're going to be talking about more than just suspension stuffs in my build thread?
 

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Thanks for the bump? Though, maybe the thread should be renamed something else if we're going to be talking about more than just suspension stuffs in my build thread?
I can do that if you want, tell me a title you want and I’ll change it.

Actually I missed your other build thread, https://www.tccoa.com/threads/my-first-mod-pi-intake-and-a-few-more-little-things.150786/unread where this discussion might be more pertinent. I could either move this chain of discussion there or merge the two threads together to make it all one huge build thread? LMK
 

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I snagged a set of the mustang irs koni's on sale. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #559 ·
Step 1 of starting the build process: clean out / organize the garage.



I have more to do still. The stuff in the middle is stuff I need to get rid of. Some of it will be attempted to be sold at a yard / garage sale. Other stuff will be tossed in the trash. I have a toilet (not pictured) and the drywall in the back right corner that will definitely be tossed.



My workbench in the garage. This thing was a hot mess!



Huge difference! I can actually do work on my bench now, lol. The Grainger box. I have to make a whole thread on that thing alone.



I've been letting the garage for over the last year or so. But with my boy asking to help with the T-Bird, it's time I do it. Like some of you said, it's time that will be well spent and will be remembered by him for years to come.

Regarding the legal issues of driving the car, I think I've decided to do it the "hard way" and just swap in the automatic every other year for smog time. Once it's in, the clutch pedal will stay though. The smog tech will just have to ponder why there's a clutch pedal in an automatic car two years from now, lol.

All this said, part of the build process will be to repair / rebuild the 4R70W so I can drive the car to the smog shop. That's an extra cost I'll have to incur to make this happen. The transmission issue really just has a failed front pump seal. Is that something that I can do or should I just take it into the shop to have it taken care of? I guess, so long as there aren't any special or specific tools for the job, I can do it myself if I have a write-up or good YouTube video. But if it's going to have the front pump seal taken care of, how much more work is it to have it completely rebuilt?
 

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If it shifted fine and your just using it for a couple weeks revert couple years... Just replace the seals. A kit is $20 and it should be pretty simple.
 
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