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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Okay, I have a stock '90 T-bird (not SC, not LX, just the bog standard bird), with a 3.8 and automatic. It blows. Can't do a burnout, can barely keep up with my friend's Beretta. My car has 201K miles on it, and the transmission is almost ready to puke (OD is already trash). I want to a.) do some transmission work, b.) do something to improve the exhaust, and c.) find as many ways to make it go faster for cheap as I can. Any ideas? First of all, what's everybody's opinion about transmission fixing? I have a lift and the ability to pull the transmission and work on it, but what's the best way to go about repairing it? Just get another one and do a swap? Get one from a junkyard, put shift kits and such on it, and pop it in? How much is that going to cost me? Anybody?
 

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Well....

The First mod everyone usually does is to pull the Air silencer. It takes about 20 minutes to do and the article can be found in the tech articles. Then there's the flipping of the MAF(if equipped). My car is a 90LX and I have a MAP?(IDK what to do with that thing). And some of the Jerry Mods might work. Just poke around with these guys, most of them know what they are talking about.

Aight Then,
Will

One Love Hawaii
 

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well. if you are going to get a new transmission, and have a little bit of money to spend, you might want to think about putting in a 5 spd, i know when my transmission goes (i dunno when its a jasper reman with 50,000 miles on it) in my '90, im going to put in a 5 spd. ive decided never to do a motor swap but build up my 3.8 and eventually get a 91 - 93 5.0 bird and build that up. the 3.8 has possibilites, just need to unlock them. a few good mods would U/D pullies <a href="http://www.rpm-mustangs.com target="_blank">RPM-Mustangs</a> has them for the 94-98 mustangs 3.8 (and 89 - 97 mn12 3.8) for $75 + $5 shipping. Also, you might want to do an electric fan. If you do those two, you should have a noticable gain. You might want to yank your silencer and run cold-air intake (about 8 bucks in parts at homedepot). another thing to consider is exhaust, depending on how shops cost around you, you could get an exhaust system done cheap (i got 2 flowmaster 40 sereis, 2 2.5"X9" chrome tips, custom 2.25" piping, no cats and no resonator for about $330) you have to shop around tho to find a good price. if you are in the metro dteriot area i can tell you where to go for all that stuff. if you do stay automatic, B&M makes a shift kit for the AOD and i havent heard complaints yet (only for the shift kits for the AODE and the 4r70w ive heard complaints about, doesnt apply to you). reaching a little deeper into the pockets is a 8.8 traklok rearend with which gears you perfer: 3.27 more kick than 3.08 open and still get good highway mileage, 3.55 even better for off the line but you will sacrifice some highway economy, 3.73 if you plan on doing a lot of drag racing and not a lot of highway driving, 4.10 pretty much only if you are going to drag race). it all takes money and patience, trust me, im going through this big time right now. im completely rebuilding my car inside and out.

Future Plans

Repairs:
Right-hand Motor Mount - after paint
Control Arms - after paint
Ball Joints - after paint
Driver Side Window Lifter Arm (broke it trying to fix it, lol)
Patch Welding (attenea & trunk key hole removed, need to repair bottom of door thanks to the rust monster)
Repair Dash Hole - when i can figure how to, its gettinig done
Fuel Filter - after paint

Engine/Driveline Mods:
UD Pullies - maybe winter
70mm TB - maybe winter
Cold Air Induction - almost done
Electric Fan - maybe winter
B&M Shift Kit - maybe winter
Split Port Intake - who knows when
SC Headers - who knows when
Port & Polish Intake & SC Headers - who knows when
Chip - when im done with any engine mods i can think of

Exterior Mods:
Moonroof - going in monday
SC Side Skirts - getting soon
Midnight Blue Paint Job - as soon as im done repairing the outside and put on the side skirts, prep, and have the money...
17"x8" Wheels - next spring
Tint Driver and Passenger Windows (back 3 are done)
Rear Window Visor -after paint
Lowering Kit up to maybe 2" - after a lot of things
Install brand new headlights - after i get a mounting panel, hopefully soon

Interior Mods:
Custom Paint - in the middle of
Custom Guages - make new cluster with autometer guages
New Speakers - after paint
SC seats - hopefully getting end of august

Already done:
Tinted Windows (but got ticket for front two and ripped it off)
89-93 SC front bumper
94/95 SC rear bumper
New head unit
Removed silencer
custom exhuast

sorry for the length, but basically the best way to save money is if you have the time, tools, and resources, do everything yourself. im doing 90% of all that on my own. its going to be a while untill its done cause im only 17 and have a very limited income, but it will get done. -greg
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Well, we've got a shop behind the house with a 2-post lift and just about anything else I need to work on the car, so I plan to do it all myself.
 

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here's what to do first...

FIRST: I'd go to advanced and buy this stuff called Sea Foam...dude my car was running like **** and I put this stuff in (says it cleans everything ) I think it does. I dog the crap out of my car everyday (hit 100 once if not more a day) and for a while when I kicked it it would smell like something burning...at lights my antena would shake and crap...let just say this cleared everything up. I would do this just to keep the old engine running.(kinda suck to do all these mods and have the engine let go). Next the air silencer is a must (no actuall gains tho) but it make your car sound like it has something in it. Then The U/D pulleys, you'll gain about 12 hp at the flywheel and 7 rwhp (good mod for the money). The Cold Air intake is another "cheap" mod. As for the exhuast anything is better than the stock!

I'd go to a junk yard for a trans...I picked one up for $250 and it was a hell of a lot cheaper than getting it rebuilt..ect...ect.

Also if you want faster try to free up some weight. Go into the TCCOA tech articles and read up on some of the things you can do to gain some speed. Losing weight is FREE. :D

Good luck and let me know how you ocme out.
 

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Re: here's what to do first...

Tim Groth said:
FIRST: I'd go to advanced and buy this stuff called Sea Foam...dude my car was running like **** and I put this stuff in (says it cleans everything ) I think it does. I dog the crap out of my car everyday (hit 100 once if not more a day) and for a while when I kicked it it would smell like something burning...at lights my antena would shake and crap...let just say this cleared everything up. I would do this just to keep the old engine running.(kinda suck to do all these mods and have the engine let go). Next the air silencer is a must (no actuall gains tho) but it make your car sound like it has something in it. Then The U/D pulleys, you'll gain about 12 hp at the flywheel and 7 rwhp (good mod for the money). The Cold Air intake is another "cheap" mod. As for the exhuast anything is better than the stock!

I'd go to a junk yard for a trans...I picked one up for $250 and it was a hell of a lot cheaper than getting it rebuilt..ect...ect.

Also if you want faster try to free up some weight. Go into the TCCOA tech articles and read up on some of the things you can do to gain some speed. Losing weight is FREE. :D

Good luck and let me know how you ocme out.
Tell me more about this sea foam. I've heard of the tranny/power steering sea foam....but it's there more then that. How much did ya use??
 

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Th stuff I used was Sea Form engine treatment or tune up stuff... I poured the entire can in when i filled up but I read later on the sea foam website you need to do a 50/50 blend....opps. I put in 1 can to 14 gallons... Anyways. This stuff said it would clean out clogged injectors, lifters,crankcase, sh*t I forget all the things it siad it would do! Anyways I poured it in cus I figured my car has high miles so it deserves something like this, and now everything runs a lot smoother, so I guess it's working.

Heres a link to the Sea Fowm page if you want to read more on it...
http://www.seafoamsales.com/motorTuneUp.htm
 

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I have put on a 3 inch cold air intake into the fender with a kn cone filter, an electric fan, and dual exhaust with no mufflers just a resonator. the exhaust only cost me 80 bucks. all the did was cut it off at the differential, and y it off and put straight pipe to the back. in 2 inch piping. It sounds pretty good, espetially right at about 1700 rpm's you can hear it loudest from inside the car at that time too. the elctric fan gave me a noticeable gain. not much but enough to be worth it. same with the cold air intake it actually gave me a good gain I think, and quicker throttle response also. Soon I will be getting shorty headers which can be put on with minor mods to the collector (They're made for mustangs). And eventually it will all be worthless except for the elec fan and maybe the headers if they fit I think they do because I will be building up either a sc engine or an f-150 4.3 stroker engine with parts provided by supersixmotorsports.com and some custom work. and will also be swapping the 4r70w tranny with a t-5 from a sc while the engines out I might as well. I havn't decided on the engine yet because both can be built pretty well and they both have same engine mounting locations of the 3.8 n/a so that's the main reason I'm doing it, plus I know the v6's better. I'm just more comfortable with them. but yeah, go for those things and you'll like what you get. You could also do good for a high stall torque converter for 3000 rpm's starting off the line instead of the idle rpm's, what it does is it will kick your rpm's into 2800 or so when your hit it so that you start at peak rpm's instead of the loer ones. better low end torque. Good luck with it all. Supersixmotorsports.com has a tech article on swapping to the t-5 might wanna check it out, says it costs about 1200 total without labor. Says everything you need too
-Thomas
 

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Additives are gimmicks.....

I've got a '92 bird, 3.8 with 252K (49K when I bought it 7 years ago) on it. I've never used any additives...just regular trans fluid/fliter changes, tune ups. oil changes, and Mobil Super Unleaded gas. My car doesn't knock, smoke, ping or shift wierd. Most of those "restore" additives are garbage, and a waste of money. Don't kid yourself, if you have a trans that is failing, and a fluid/filter change doesn't take care of the problem, you know it's gotta be something else.....and no additive is gonna save your A** on that. My father is a professional mechanic of 40 years, and he doesn't reccomend any of that additive stuff. Of course I drive my car, I don't beat the snot out of it...which is why it has lasted this long. As for racing people at lights.....that just seems juvenille..it causes accidents, unwanted attention from the police and premature wear on your car..where is the prize in that?
 

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i agree with teebyrd92, additives are not at all necessary in any condition. if you really want to clean anything out, you have to flush it. regular changing of fuilds, oils, filters and using a good brand is the best preventive care you can do to a motor/trans, second to not driving the piss out of it.. lol, i dont think anyone here drives the piss out of their cars... lol. but yea, just take care of your car and it will last, i had to learn the hardway, buts its all working out now... -greg
 
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