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Discussion Starter #1
Hey all,

I've been a member for a while but haven't had anything to speak up about until now....

I sold my '95 cougar some time ago in lieu of a Thunderbird, because Thunderbird. So I'm in the middle of pretty much overhauling this entire '97 'bird and have just about completed the engine, but I'm not sure how I should proceed from here.


The engine is a 4.6 2V NPI Romeo block (overhauled) with PI heads/cams/intake (MHS stockmod heads), 9.8:1 dynamic compression (11+ static), BBK 73mm one-piece throttle body, 24# injectors, BBK fuel rails (because the stock ones came out looking like beef stew inside), full-length headers and exhaust. Probably going to want to delete the EGR since the headers don't have a port, and not sure about deleting cats or not.... The fuel system will of course be totally cleaned before connecting, and a new fuel pump with adequate flow for the bigger injectors will be installed. The overall goal is to make at least 300bhp with this engine... an optimistic goal for sure, but I really just want a cruiser with some pep and a nice rumble.

My question is, what do I need to do to get the engine to run happy in the correct AFR range? Will the stock MAF be enough or will it require a different/bigger model? What can I do to get it tuned this late in the game, 10 years after the world has forgotten about these cars?

I have run a couple of searches on this site, but have not come across any definitive answers pertinent to my situation (and don't remember what I was doing/planning/thinking when I first posted here).

I'm old fashioned, EFI tuning is pretty much rocket science to me. Give me a carb'd setup and I can get it running just right, but all this electro-stuff I'm at a loss with. I can fix it if it breaks, but modifying it is beyond me. Only thing I know about tuning EFI is if you can get a pre-loaded tuner it's plug and play. I'd like to someday be able to get to a point where I can just plug a computer into a car and start laying down settings, but that's a long way from my current knowledge level.
 

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I don't think the stock MAF can support that much power. A good choice would be an 80mm or 90mm MAF from the Lightning pickup truck.

The car will need to be tuned. Even though the MN12 platform and its EEC-V ECM are very old tech now, there are still shops that will work on them. A "piggyback" chip can be used to override the default settings in the factory EEC-V.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks MikeB for the quick reply.

Do you think the engine will at least run with the stock MAF and tune? I have the car on a docking platform I built, sitting almost 3' off the ground (no lift, and I'm NOT going to work in a ditch) and I will need to drive it off once I get the transmission built here in the next couple months.

I have seen an 80mm aftermarket MAF for sale (I think they are even Ford units?) and the 90mm "Lightning" unit as well, so I can definitely get one of those when it comes time to actually drive the car. Any idea what my options are to get the engine tuned up as far as hardware and a source for the tune?
 

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Based on my experience, the car should start and (maybe) idle with the stock tune in it. AFR will be way off under some operating conditions, so drive cautiously! I was able to put about 300 break-in miles on my new build with the stock tune, but was unable to use more than half throttle because the mixture went very lean if I did.

I don’t know a shop to recommend in Texas, but I’m guessing somebody on here does.
 

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You have 24lb injectors on a PI engine; does it still have PI cams?

The EEC isn't tuned for either of those, but with the stock maf it will be rich, so you shouldn't be able to break anything.

Buy a good maf; for 300hp target the 2002 mustang GT maf works well, (and it's also on a bunch of other vehicles,) but the mustang cone filter holder works really well as a cold air intake. You have to cut a tab off the filterholder, rotate the outer part, and cut the 'snout' to fit our fender opening for cold air, but it's a good upgrade.

If you buy a maf much bigger than what you use, airflow wise, your car will run like ****. A blower car needs a 90mm maf, not a stock PI engine.

I'd call around and find someone to dyno tune it; that would be easiest. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #6
MikeB:

Good to know, it'll be a ways off from being street-worthy but I at least expect it to be able to move under its own power sometime this year so I can pack up the platform and actually be able to use my driveway before tackling suspension and brakes.

Grog6:

PI heads (bowl port), PI cams, FRPP cam followers, PI intake, BBK 73mm throttle body, BBK fuel rails, 24 lb injectors, full-length headers and full exhaust. I'm considering whether or not to keep catalytic converters on, and whether or not to delete the EGR. With the pistons I put in it should make a net compression ratio around 9.8:1 running (static around 11.6 i think).

Know any part numbers for the 2002 GT MAF? I don't really expect it to beat 300hp, if by some miracle it does it won't be more than 320 but most likely around 290 I think... a stock 99-04 made 260 with not more than a factory x-pipe, so final result is open for speculation.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks Grog6.

So YC2F-12B579-BA, need a 6-pin to 4-pin adapter for it but otherwise plug in and should at least be able to start and move (don't anticipate driving until it's at least somewhat tuned) right?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
dDUBb

There's available adapters for 6-4 pin out there that should do the trick, but I appreciate the offer.
 

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Well, it's running now... just fired it up this evening after a LOT of hard work.

Leaking a little coolant from a couple of the (brand new) freeze plugs and for some reason the turn signals don't work, but it's running and didn't grenade on me.

Huge thanks to you folks that helped me figure out the techno stuff. My house and I now reek of cooked off header paint (Hedman Torque-Stepped 1-1/2 > 1-5/8 w 3" collector) but that is a huge load off my mind.
 

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I have a low mileage Thunderbird with a non PI engine. Where is the best place to purchase PI heads to replace the non PI ones? I'm not looking for a bargain I'm looking for quality. I have the list of parts from the TCCOA web site but no one sells new PI heads. I'm not looking for trick flow because of the increase in hp at the 4-6k rpm. I have the PI intake and coolant cross over tube. I live in Baldwin, N.Y.
 

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Unless you have a 94-95 engine, the best and easiest upgrade to what you have if you don't want high RPM power, is to add a set of PI cams to your existing engine. NPI heads have smaller Combustion chambers, so adding pi heads actually drops compression slightly.

You can replace the valve stem seals at the same time, to fix the 'smoky exhaust' problem all our cars have by now. Even if it's low mileage, they're hard as a rock. :)

You will have to watch piston to valve clearance, as the intake valve chases the piston down as it opens, but it can be done easily.

Timing the cams properly while doing this upgrade is worth ~20hp, more with mandrel bend dual exhaust, and a tune to match.


A nice set of PI heads from MHS with an aftermarket cam blows this out of the water, however.

MikeB knows. :) Look at the cars he's built: This is the new one, I believe. :)

https://forums.tccoa.com/7-engine-4-6l-5-4l/188651-dyno-results-new-build.html

The cash outlay is substantial. But I can't say it's not worth it; even 300hp in one of these is a beast; 500+ is a rocket ride.



Stock PI Cams can be found in any 99 up 4.6l engine, as can the heads. JY upgrades are cheap. :)
But they're not reworked by an expert.

You can get a whole engine for less than $500 these days. :)

It all depends on what you want.


Read XR7-4.6's thread. :) He's swapped almost everything, at this point.
All cars eventually become Build, break, repeat.



A set of 4V heads from a 99 Conti are close to as good as it gets stock; but doing a 4v headswap is 100+ times more difficult than adding pi cams, or a PI headswap.

You end up fabricating a lot for a 4V. :D
 

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Unless you have a 94-95 engine, the best and easiest upgrade to what you have if you don't want high RPM power, is to add a set of PI cams to your existing engine. NPI heads have smaller Combustion chambers, so adding pi heads actually drops compression slightly.
Excuse me? PI heads on an NPI increases compression. The NPI pistons are less dished than PI engine pistons, so putting PI heads/cams on NPI block/pistons gets you around 10.3:1 compression.
You can replace the valve stem seals at the same time, to fix the 'smoky exhaust' problem all our cars have by now. Even if it's low mileage, they're hard as a rock. :)

You will have to watch piston to valve clearance, as the intake valve chases the piston down as it opens, but it can be done easily.

Timing the cams properly while doing this upgrade is worth ~20hp, more with mandrel bend dual exhaust, and a tune to match.


A nice set of PI heads from MHS with an aftermarket cam blows this out of the water, however.

MikeB knows. :) Look at the cars he's built: This is the new one, I believe. :)

https://forums.tccoa.com/7-engine-4-6l-5-4l/188651-dyno-results-new-build.html

The cash outlay is substantial. But I can't say it's not worth it; even 300hp in one of these is a beast; 500+ is a rocket ride.



Stock PI Cams can be found in any 99 up 4.6l engine, as can the heads. JY upgrades are cheap. :)
No. 99-04 Mustangs, 02+ for all other 4.6 except some of the Econolines I believe. Until 02, the ONLY 4.6 with PI heads were the Mustang.
But they're not reworked by an expert.

You can get a whole engine for less than $500 these days. :)

It all depends on what you want.


Read XR7-4.6's thread. :) He's swapped almost everything, at this point.
All cars eventually become Build, break, repeat.



A set of 4V heads from a 99 Conti are close to as good as it gets stock; but doing a 4v headswap is 100+ times more difficult than adding pi cams, or a PI headswap.
03-04 Mach 1 and Cobra heads are better flowing than 99 Connie heads, they're the "final revision" for the 4v/cylinder 4.6 head. The Aviator got these heads as well.
You end up fabricating a lot for a 4V. :D
 

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F150s started using PI heads in 1999. Windsor built PI 4.6s before Romeo, Mustangs used Windsor between 99 and 01 until Romeo changed over.


03-04 4V heads are better but the general concesesius is the improvements over the 99 c heads don’t produce drastically different numbers a dyno with a typical mild NA setup to make them more desirable. Pretty much the same difference flow wise between PI and npi, really, without the combustion chamber difference.
 

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F150s started using PI heads in 1999. Windsor built PI 4.6s before Romeo, Mustangs used Windsor between 99 and 01 until Romeo changed over.


03-04 4V heads are better but the general concesesius is the improvements over the 99 c heads don’t produce drastically different numbers a dyno with a typical mild NA street build.
Thanks for the clarification. I don't know much about "truck" mod motors as far as when they went to PI and such. Got triggered by the "any" 99 up 4.6 as the much more common Panther cars weren't PI till 02.
 

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The book I have for chamber volume has the entries swapped. :)

I swapped a pi whole, so I've never actually seen a pi combustion chamber.

I had to look it up; the reason to keep the NPI heads for a budget build is the midrange; pi heads/intake combos are peaky around 6k rpm, not great for a DD. Great for racing.

NPI heads breathe better in the midrange, where the pi heads are more peaky; even more peaky than the pi intake swap.
(If you've done the PI intake swap, you will notice a lot less midrange untill ~3k rpms. But it doesn't run out of GO at ~4200, either.)
The extra feel over 3500rpms is offset by the amount of time you actually get to use it; my unmodified Tbird is a bit faster than the very modded Cougar redlight to redlight. (Both cars have dual exhaust, but that only really helps with a high flow cam.)
The PI intake has more power over ~4200, but if the cops see you over 4200, it will not be a fun day. :)

The 03-04 4v heads are way more expensive, and rarer; no one wants a conti motor, so they're cheap, conti owners just buy new cars.
And I found a unicorn; my heads had xr3e cams in them. :)

There is a handful of hp available on all this; if you want more than ~20hp, you want an aftermarket cams, and reworked heads.
The cams are the biggest restriction until you hit over 300hp.

Npi stage 2 heads flow better across the board than pi; especially midrange.
If you want a set of racing heads, I'd send your heads to MHS with a pile of money. :)
Buying a set of trickflows is probably cheaper.

There's a thread nick wrote here somewhere. :)

BTW, you won't be able to get a tune that eliminates the rear o2 sensors anymore, so I'd plan on highflow cats.


I bought a book awhile back that a Dyno guy wrote, where he goes thru every combo I've ever heard of, with HP and Torque curves.

You should find a used copy; it makes for great bathroom reading. :)

Building 4.6/5.4l Ford Horsepower on the Dyno:

https://www.amazon.com/Building-5-4l-Ford-Horsepower-Dyno/dp/1613250088/ref=pd_bxgy_14_img_3/133-0517080-8202925?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=1613250088&pd_rd_r=cd75a842-7eae-11e9-9b09-4f16de09a724&pd_rd_w=DmABd&pd_rd_wg=YsGqj&pf_rd_p=a2006322-0bc0-4db9-a08e-d168c18ce6f0&pf_rd_r=7YVJXTXKBVAEJ5XVKCP0&psc=1&refRID=7YVJXTXKBVAEJ5XVKCP0


Thanks for the clarification. I don't know much about "truck" mod motors as far as when they went to PI and such. Got triggered by the "any" 99 up 4.6 as the much more common Panther cars weren't PI till 02.
I've been here a long time, lol.

I personally prefer the Romeo engines, but I wouldn't swap a mustang anything into one of my cars; they're always beaten to death.

Say what you will about truck motors, but they haven't usually been abused too badly, unless the oil isn't changed regularly.

You can tell just by looking, "No, that intake won't clear the hood." :rofl:

Gran Marquis are great parts cars; they usually get totalled by rear end damage. :)

03-04 Mach 1 and Cobra heads are better flowing than 99 Connie heads, they're the "final revision" for the 4v/cylinder 4.6 head. The Aviator got these heads as well.
The heads are slightly better; but you'll never feel the difference unless you buy some serious cams, and even then the real difference on the track is a few hundredths. (same cams, different heads)

The Best Flowing DOHC heads are the 97-98 B heads. A cobra intake and cams really lights them up.
But the IMRCs are a ***** to deal with.
Navi heads will flow more, but IDK what intake is usable without going custom.

You do not want that 03-04 block, however; for an aluminum block, you want a Teksid Mark block.
They have been known to handle 1200HP for more than one season.
 

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The book I have for chamber volume has the entries swapped. :)

I swapped a pi whole, so I've never actually seen a pi combustion chamber.

I had to look it up; the reason to keep the NPI heads for a budget build is the midrange; pi heads/intake combos are peaky around 6k rpm, not great for a DD. Great for racing.

NPI heads breathe better in the midrange, where the pi heads are more peaky; even more peaky than the pi intake swap.
(If you've done the PI intake swap, you will notice a lot less midrange untill ~3k rpms. But it doesn't run out of GO at ~4200, either.)
The extra feel over 3500rpms is offset by the amount of time you actually get to use it; my unmodified Tbird is a bit faster than the very modded Cougar redlight to redlight. (Both cars have dual exhaust, but that only really helps with a high flow cam.)
The PI intake has more power over ~4200, but if the cops see you over 4200, it will not be a fun day. :)

The 03-04 4v heads are way more expensive, and rarer; no one wants a conti motor, so they're cheap, conti owners just buy new cars.
And I found a unicorn; my heads had xr3e cams in them. :)

There is a handful of hp available on all this; if you want more than ~20hp, you want an aftermarket cams, and reworked heads.
The cams are the biggest restriction until you hit over 300hp.

Npi stage 2 heads flow better across the board than pi; especially midrange.
If you want a set of racing heads, I'd send your heads to MHS with a pile of money. :)
Buying a set of trickflows is probably cheaper.

There's a thread nick wrote here somewhere. :)

BTW, you won't be able to get a tune that eliminates the rear o2 sensors anymore, so I'd plan on highflow cats.


I bought a book awhile back that a Dyno guy wrote, where he goes thru every combo I've ever heard of, with HP and Torque curves.

You should find a used copy; it makes for great bathroom reading. :)

Building 4.6/5.4l Ford Horsepower on the Dyno:

https://www.amazon.com/Building-5-4l-Ford-Horsepower-Dyno/dp/1613250088/ref=pd_bxgy_14_img_3/133-0517080-8202925?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=1613250088&pd_rd_r=cd75a842-7eae-11e9-9b09-4f16de09a724&pd_rd_w=DmABd&pd_rd_wg=YsGqj&pf_rd_p=a2006322-0bc0-4db9-a08e-d168c18ce6f0&pf_rd_r=7YVJXTXKBVAEJ5XVKCP0&psc=1&refRID=7YVJXTXKBVAEJ5XVKCP0




I've been here a long time, lol.

I personally prefer the Romeo engines, but I wouldn't swap a mustang anything into one of my cars; they're always beaten to death.

Say what you will about truck motors, but they haven't usually been abused too badly, unless the oil isn't changed regularly.

You can tell just by looking, "No, that intake won't clear the hood." :rofl:

Gran Marquis are great parts cars; they usually get totalled by rear end damage. :)



The heads are slightly better; but you'll never feel the difference unless you buy some serious cams, and even then the real difference on the track is a few hundredths. (same cams, different heads)

The Best Flowing DOHC heads are the 97-98 B heads. A cobra intake and cams really lights them up.
But the IMRCs are a ***** to deal with.
Navi heads will flow more, but IDK what intake is usable without going custom.

You do not want that 03-04 block, however; for an aluminum block, you want a Teksid Mark block.
They have been known to handle 1200HP for more than one season.
My former engine was a PI intake/heads/cams on a NPI block/rotating assembly with stock manifolds, full dual exhaust, and a not great tune. Made 270 at the crank, 226 at the wheels, and was a great daily. Had 3.73's which may have helped, along with a Mark VIII torque converter, but had power all through the band, wasn't "peaky" that I could tell.

New motor is a full PI, with ported heads, MHS cams, Kooks, etc. Should be even better :D
 
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