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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys, this summer I have been planning to get into the engine of the Thunderbird. I have about 1000-1200 dollars to spend. I am trying to decide whether or not go go with the full PI swap, (which I have been thinking I would do all along), or add a PI intake and aftermarket cams with the stock NPI heads. Since I've heard that most of the gain from the PI swap comes from the cams/intake I was thinking my money may be better spent on aftermarket cams. This is the last summer I'll live at home (I'm 18 and in currently in my 1st of 2 years of tech school) because next summer I will have graduated with my degree, and have to pay my own living expenses ect. So I am thinking whatever I do to the bird, it should get done this summer since I may not be able to do much to her for a few years. Basically I am just wondering if a straight PI swap would be better than PI intake and aftermarket cams (was thinking Crower Stage II's) Thanks. If money was no issue I would get my NPI's ported and polished, add a set of blower cams, an FRPP supercharger, and get rid of my JBA's for a set of Kooks........maybe someday lol.
 

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I vote full PI swap.Try to find a really low mileage motor and go from there.But then again $1200 probley won't be enough,(in most case's)My swap took about $1800 from my pocket.And that was with a great deal from JustinH on the motor and my dealer discount for the extra parts I needed.
 

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if your max is 1200 might just want to go with the PI head swap. If the bottom end is ok then you will actually gain more from the compression increase of bolting the Pi heads to your stock block wich have 11cc pistons vs the Pi shortblocks 17cc. Then you can afford a tune, and maybe a few other goodies or put the left over cash in your pocket!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Looks like its going to be a PI swap for me, thanks for the suggestions guys. I will just be bolting PI heads on my stock engine, my car only has 55k on it and has always been taken well care of (oil changes ect.) so I would hate to take a motor that has that little wear on it. I was thinking I could save a lot of money by going with used PI Heads, but I've been burned in the last 3 used items I've bought and with cylinder heads especially I think I am better off to go with new ones. What are they going for now if i get them from the Ford parts vendor on here? Hopefull I can do the PI swap and then maybe add aftermarket cams, bullit/TFS intake, and kooks in a few years. Again, thanks for the help. BTW, my car has these mods so far: U/D pulleys, MAC intake Plenum, MAC cold air intake, Full 2.5in duals, SCT Chip, J-mod, Trac Lok 3.73 rear end. The car also has 18x8 wheels, ST lowering springs, kyb shocks, STB's front and rear, and front and rear cobra brakes. I know I should be looking into a high stall converter but I plan on doing a 5-speed swap in this car as well. (I will be doing a high stall converter if I end up sticking with the 4R70W though),
 

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I am goint to go against that flow.

If you are limited to that amount then I would get a set of cams, springs and an intake.

I did a bunch of PI cam and intake swaps and netted only about 5hp less out of those swaps than the guys that did the full PI head swaps. Now granted, some of that may have been tuning and if the other cars had been tuned by the same person then it might have been different. I have no data on that though.

What I do know for sure is, for me, the extra work and expense to do the PI swap over just the heads and cams has not been proven to be worth it. I never did it on my NPI car. I just used regular old PI cams and a PI intake and I outran most every PI swap car I ran into at the track.

I wanted to try a PI headswap, but when I did just the cams and intake and saw what that netted I never went further.

But I could be wrong.

Darrin
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Would anybody happen to have any dyno sheets of cars that have the full PI Swap vs. ones with PI cams/intake? I'm having a hard time deciding what do do. I5hp seems pretty insignificant, considering the money I would save by not buying heads. I would probably use the remainder of the money on something else for her. BTW Darrin, could you describe what the change did for you car? Was it quite a bit stronger? Also, I was wondering if the car sounds any different with the PI stuff on, I was thinking the cams might change the sound slightly but I was just wondering. Thanks.
 

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i got a graph somewhere.....tuned & PI cams/intake netted 216 rwhp SAE corrected, 199 rwhp uncorrected @ 105* ambient temp

pi components roughen up the idle a bit....sounds like its got more of a sore throat, as opposed to the more glassy, "clear" rumble you're used to hearing....if that makes any sense
 
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