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Hello all, I'm kind of new and wanted to test the waters to see if I could get some advice. I have a 95 Bird and want her to be fast. Any suggestions on an EFI 351W or 302, and does anyone know if a Mustang differential would fit my car? I'm sure these questions have been asked before but I cannot find them. Also I would love to see what other people are doing with their Bird or Cougar so please share some pictures. Thanks in advance.
 

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How much money do you have to spend?
 

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Mustang diff will fit if you either get a IRS Cobra, go to a soild axle or if your just talking about just the carrier?

351W you will need an aftermarket hood. With you having a 95 stay with a 4.6 or go to a 5.0 and not a 302.
 

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Depending on your resources both choices may be slow or slower, or at the very best as fast as a stock 4.6. I assume you may be looking for junkyard options based on sourcing the differential from a Mustang, and while there are potent enough 5.0s there, like 96 Explorers, few but the ones that came in 91-93 Thunderbirds are drop-in ready due to motor mounts, belt drives/accessories and intake configurations. In terms of 5.8s in the same junkyard scenario, they're dogs, most choices aren't even roller blocks. If your goal is a buildup they've all got potential, but the playing field between the 5.0 and 4.6 is pretty level these days, with the 5.0's only real advantage being the option to stroke it(naturally aspirated 4.6s don't respond well to that) but at this point we're talking thousands and thousands of dollars in parts and machining labor, at that point if you want fast, get a complete PI 4.6 engine from a junkyard(common as dirt, can be had as cheap as $350) and put the remaining change into a supercharger for it.


Plenty of pictures to be found on the forum in the videos/images section, as well as the gallery and garage sections. Far be it for me to whore my car, but that's a lot less effort on my part :tongue:
 

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First things first, replace worn out suspension parts/bushings/bearings. Then upgrade to a one piece aluminum drive shaft so you don't get the death wobble. Better brakes, the Mustang GT PBR calipers or Cobra calipers/rotors bolt right up to 93+ spindles. You need to redrill the rotors for our bolt pattern, which is MUCH easier and cheaper than swapping the rear hubs. 17" wheels have much better selection of high performance tires.

Having the platform up to snuff before upgrading the motor is VERY important, otherwise you'll go careening into something hard and stationary at high speed.

The 5.0 really isn't that great. It's not a bad motor, and the bored/stroked ones cost as much to build up as a good modular, and you can get a factory stock aluminum modular out of explorers/mountaineers for cheap and build up a powerful motor.
 

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Well I got more responses than expected. My plan is to drive it stock and stock pile parts. Build a monster engine and rear end with either 3.73's or 4.10's. The more money I spend the longer it will take but I'm in no hurry. I have brothers with legitimate sports cars and want to beat them with a sleeper. I would like to get a bare block or short block and build it up from there, I just can't decide which direction to go. As far as the rear end goes I would like posi-lockers as well as the before mentioned gears.
 

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See my signature for suggestions ....
 

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The biggest single improvement will be gears. I ran 3:73s in my Bird for a long time and they were great, but over 93 mph, my driveshaft would send a distinct vibration through the floor.
 

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In my opinion, which is by no means anywhere near even the most novice of experts. Weight removal will be your best gain dollar for dollar. Considering you can nearly do it all yourself, which equals no payment to a shop or friend. Then there is the world of aftermarket parts and modifications which once again will require payment to your desired course of action, but also including but not limited too is the fact that depending how extensive the mod or mods may be, they could require a bit more maintenance and attention one may not suspect. This is just a couple reason's weight removal in my head, would be the first place to start when ones self is struck with the need for speed.

If I personally didn't prefer a semi luxury, no road noise and complete interior and sealed inside cabin, then I would opt to remove all the uber excess material ford so hastily applied dang near everywhere in This car.
 

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Honestly unless you're willing to sit on milk crates, "free" weight removal is really a lose lose scenario. The front seats and dash assembly are the only substantially heavy parts of the interior(probably a bit under 300lbs combined), while the rest of the interior including the rear seat is maybe another 100?(frankly that guesstimate seems high) That and the sound deadener isn't near as heavy as most think it is, we're talking barely 40lbs from firewall to trunkfloor, and takes about 40 hours of work to remove the damn stuff(exaggeration, but only slightly!). Simply put, this is just a heavy platform, the so called uber excess material Ford so hastily applied dang near everywhere in these cars is the SLA front end, independent rear suspension, and midsize(bordering full size by 90s standards) dimensions. You won't find any less uber excess material on a 95 Mustang, it's platform is simply more rudimentary and compact, all else is basically equal.

None of this will net you much E/T either. No offense to _95badbird but as I recall his car was barely breaking 13s after extreme(sub 3000lb) weight removal, a 351 under the hood and slicks on the back. Quite a bit faster than stock for sure, and certainly a fun build to watch, but a well setup full weight PI swapped Tbird with gears and a converter can do that. Less weight has undeniable benefits but even the late great Colin Chapman gave the Esprit a nice interior, the key is starting small and light to begin with. You'd be better off use the extra weight and gravity to your advantage, picking your races against lighter cars on downhill roads :tongue:
 

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What kind of " legitimate sports cars" are you trying to out run? Find out what those cars run in the quarter mile, then you will have a target for what you will have to do to your car. Then you can make a plan to achieve the speed that you want.

When it comes to weight removal, the drag racer rule of thumb is you gain .1 seconds in the quarter for every 100 pounds you remove from the car. So if you removed 300 pounds, your car would be about 3 tenths of a second quicker. This basic math also works for horse power- you will gain about a tenth of a second for every 10 hp you gain. These are just basic estimates, but they give you an idea for planning modifications to achieve a goal speed.

My stock 95 Thunderbird ran in the 16.4/16.2 second range. Then I added Kooks headers, a full catless exhaust with 2 1/2" pipes merging to 3" and back to 2 1/2" with mufflers, a cone air filter, a shift kit, a traction lock with 3:73 gears, and a good dyno tune and I was able to get a best of 14.72 in the quarter mile.

This was a fair time for a Thunderbird, but still pretty slow compared to other cars that are on the street today. You will need to make a plan and be realistic for the results that you want out of your car.
 

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What kind of " legitimate sports cars" are you trying to out run? Find out what those cars run in the quarter mile, then you will have a target for what you will have to do to your car. Then you can make a plan to achieve the speed that you want.

When it comes to weight removal, the drag racer rule of thumb is you gain .1 seconds in the quarter for every 100 pounds you remove from the car. So if you removed 300 pounds, your car would be about 3 tenths of a second quicker. This basic math also works for horse power- you will gain about a tenth of a second for every 10 hp you gain. These are just basic estimates, but they give you an idea for planning modifications to achieve a goal speed.

My stock 95 Thunderbird ran in the 16.4/16.2 second range. Then I added Kooks headers, a full catless exhaust with 2 1/2" pipes merging to 3" and back to 2 1/2" with mufflers, a cone air filter, a shift kit, a traction lock with 3:73 gears, and a good dyno tune and I was able to get a best of 14.72 in the quarter mile.

This was a fair time for a Thunderbird, but still pretty slow compared to other cars that are on the street today. You will need to make a plan and be realistic for the results that you want out of your car.
If all you want to do is break into the 14s, a 2012 Toyota Camry V6 will do the quarter mile in 14.2sec @ 100.6 mph
https://goo.gl/upCoIz
2012 Toyota Camry First Test - Motor Trend

It's the march of technology.
 

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March of blandness too.

...
In the 70's/80's we called them "Japanese Shitboxes".

Square edges, and cracker box sized. :)


They just came back like a bad Godzilla movie, lol.
 

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I wonder how fast a tbird could go without disintegrating?

I saw this Mythbusters last night with a rocket sled and a cubic shitload of rockets... I think they hit 500mph, lol.

:grin2:
 

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Top speed is on the other end of the spectrum... any idea how the aero of our cars compares to modern blandness mobiles? Or to the yet to be determined "legitimate sports cars"?
 

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Top speed is on the other end of the spectrum... any idea how the aero of our cars compares to modern blandness mobiles? Or to the yet to be determined "legitimate sports cars"?
I'm betting he wants to outrun a Mustang and Camero (yes, that's how i dun spelt it).

Vs a mustang, you just need to learn how to modulate your right foot when accelerating

Vs a Camaro ZL1 (650HP from the factory for $61k), good luck.
I don't really like this car considering how far Chevy pushed the bar with this car, i'm curious how much more impressive the 2018 Corvette ZR1 will stack up. sigh. Just in time for my "midlife crisis" :)

-g
 

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I'm betting he wants to outrun a Mustang and Camero (yes, that's how i dun spelt it).

Vs a Mustang, you just need to learn how to modulate your right foot when accelerating

Vs a Camaro ZL1 (650HP from the factory for $61k), good luck.
I don't really like this car considering how far Chevy pushed the bar with this car, I'm curious how much more impressive the 2018 Corvette ZR1 will stack up. sigh. Just in time for my "midlife crisis" :)

-g
Yea, you're probably right .... or any other car that wants to race for that matter .... there might even be a specific car that he has his eye on beating.

Wow. Great video. The one that took out the new White F150 happened very near me. I recognize the video from when it was originally posted.

Couple of thoughts ...
  • You're going to need a lot of money. I've always said your car can be as fast as your pockets are deep. Most clearly shown by the $61k price tag on the ZL1 above for example.
  • Having a fast car means nothing if you don't know how to drive it. Also, clearly shown in the video.
  • Having a powerful car means nothing if you can't safely put that power to the ground with good road conditions, good tires and a solid suspension.
 
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