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Discussion Starter #1
first happy holidays to all and thanks for answering my questions :)
i own a 95 t-bird lx.....it has the 4.6 i recently posted about the "check gauges" light coming on.......the engine bay is clean as a whistle but im losing oil out the tailpipe<bad valve seals?> is it a high cost fix from a car shop to replace those?.....will lucas solve the problem temporarily?....also, is a 4.6 worth putting alittle $$ into for some more h.p. or would i be better off upgrading to say...a 351w?.....are there other annoyances about the t-bird i need to know about? thanks in advance :)
ssgt ric martin, u.s.a.f. :confused:...oh...it has 155k on it
 

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Discussion Starter #3
what do you mean?

Dr. FrankenCougie said:
Did you overfill the tailpipe? :)


I'd gather that the valve stem seals are leaking and it might be better to do an Explorer swap...do a search and decide.

-Scott
at the risk of sounding retarded.....do you mean a ford explorer motor? thanks...and lol, yea my wife put waaay too much oil in the tailpipe...lol
 

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As for your other question about doing something to modify the 4.6 or swapping in a 351. That depends on how much knowledge and skill you have, or if you are gonna turn it over to someone else. Putting a 351 in a thunderbird is a huge undertaking, virtually a completely custom modified power and drivetrian, electrical and fuel systems...

On the other hand there is a lot you can to do modify the 4.6 to get more power, you can take it from the 175rwhp or so it is stock to upwards of 500rwhp, stopping off anywhere in between depending on your budget. Same with drivetrain and suspension mods.. lots of options..

Like Scott says, it sounds like your valve stems seals are leaking, which is pretty common on high mileage, or poorly maintained T-birds and Cougers. You can verify the severity of the problem with a compression test and bleed down. There are other reasons oil gets through the combustion chambers into the exhaust, but it doesn't really matter why. Regardless of the reason, the fix is either rebuilding the engine, or replacing the engine.

The Explorer swap is suggested because you kill two or three birds, you solve the need for a new engine, and pick up some hp at the same time, and shave some weight up front as a bonus.

If it turns out that the bottom end of your engine is ok (rings/pistons) and the heads (valve stem seals) are shot, another option is putting PI ('99+) heads and intake on your bottom end and that gives you a bunch more power... but it does it by increasing compression ratio, and if your bottom is shaky, it'll blow it.

There are a lot of options out there.. some guys have even swapped the 5.4L modular in place of the 4.6L.. It ain't easy, but it's easier than trying to do a 351.

I've owned/driven two t-birds since they were showroom new, a '95 and a '96, and yes I would say these cars have some quirks you need to watch for.... the transmissions in stock condition are weak and prone to fail (I've had three rebuilt - the '96's twice and the '95 once).. there are a few other little things that wear out (door hinges, oil pressure sending units, window regulators), and other than that you can expect that, if it has never been replaced, most of the rubber in the suspension is pretty tired, so that means bushings, ball joints, end links; and same with the shocks.. but that's just 'cause the minimum age on these cars is 8 years old, and most are fairly high mileage.

I know that sounds like a lot of stuff and trouble, but you can do it a little at a time and when it's done the cars really come back strong.. they ride like they are brand new again and stay that way for a long time, and there is nothing like the feel of MN12 ride when it is new.

I think highly enough about my '96 to have it completely rebuilt/restored, top to bottom with a supercharged engine added in for good measure.

Hang around here a while, do some searches - "J-mod"; "Explorer swap" for starters, don't be afraid to ask questions and there are lots of guys on this site that can walk you through just about anything that comes up.

Good Luck

-mike
 
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