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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
This is a post that was made on the old “Birdcats.com” website pre-TCCoA. It was made by the now famous “Jerry” who was an engineer for the MN-12. I thought I’d resurrect it so all the newbies can see what they are missing. This is a direct quote from “the man” back in 2000 regarding the never-to-be 1998 Thunderbird.

The ’98 Bird was not cancelled until May or June of 1997. We were all done with the development of the car and even built the first wave of prototypes at Lorain Assembly Plant.

Here’s what we missed out on.

They dropped the 3.8L from the car completely. There were two 4.6L engine options available for the car. The base one was a little more anemic than what the 96-97 car was. It was a single exhaust, normal taillights and directionals (you’ll understand in a minute), pretty much the same 4.6L that was there in ’97. Remember, this was the base car.

The Sport car was this. The engine was a modified 4.6L. It had different cams, different exhaust manifolds, a conical air cleaner and 80mm air meter. It was basically the Mustang induction system and exhaust manifolds. But it had different cams and a true dual exhaust. The engine made 230 hp (fudged higher by typical Ford standards). It came with the 11” converter and aluminum driveshaft and 3.55 rear end. It had H rated tires and was speed limited to 120 mph. The rear fascia had cut outs in the bumper for the chrome tipped dual exhaust pipes. The front fascia had foglights similar to the old S/C. The directionals on the rear were sequential like the old Cougars of the 1960’s. It had the same spoiler the 97’s came with. It was monochromatic paint scheme to the color of the car. Also had 11.5” front rotors and aluminum dual piston front calipers. The interior was similar to the 94-95 SC, but it had better cupholders than the ‘97’s had.

Unfortunately, someone decided that they needed the 4.6L engines for trucks rather than make T-Birds and it never saw production. Thanks to some bean counters, the greatest MN-12 was never produced. I don’t remember what the performance numbers were on the car, but it was slightly slower than the auto GT’s in 1998 (not that we ever raced them).

***EDIT - Someone out there (A-Train?) has a pic of the '98 undergoing testing where you can see the front fascia and wheels. Hopefully someone can find and post that pic. ***
 

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I shed a tear, a giant, angry, fiery stick holding, ready to kill anything around it tear. That horrifies me, imagine What the Bird and Cougar could have been. And SEQUENTIALS TURN SIGNALS, AGGGHHHHH, someone should find out how they made them.
 

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Think of it this way. If that car had been produced, then we wouldn't have those wonderful "Which year should I buy?" posts all the time. :)
 

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I've got that on my computer, and it has a really fuzzy, IMO photoshop looking pic of the supposed 98 bird. It's too bad it never saw production...and the SVT!! Ohhhhh man. Well, That beast ended up being made and called the 2003 mustang cobra, so oh well, not all is lost I guess.


Earl
 

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Yes they put the bird to rest................but look what they resurected it as.Now wasn't that sweet of them:rolleyes:
 

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factory true duals? Imagine that. People wouldn't be going to get custom true duals they would be junkyard hunting! And even if they did get custom true duals, sll the shops in america wouldn't be saying "I've never seen that done I don't know if I can do it." PSH!
-Thomas
 

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hmm, I dunno. I think I like the '96/'97 front better. but those wheels are nice, and I think I could have overlooked any distaste I might have for the front bumper inlight of all the rest of the goodies..... too bad
 

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Discussion Starter #12
92CougLS said:
I wonder if those 5 spokers are 5 by 4.25, or 5 by 4.5?
Those wheels were available on the Taurus in 1998 or 1999. I've seen them, so they are the 4.25 pattern 16" wheels, needed to clear the 11.5" dual piston rotor/caliper combo.
 

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What kills me is the fact that with the death of the mn12 there has been no decent replacement developed by anybody. Everybody but those that have experianced the mn12 think that the mustang is the end all be all of the ford line. :rolleyes: I'm sorry but there ugly and any decent idea that the mustang has was used on the mn12 first.

Think about it. While the mn12s were not the first to get the 4.6 it was the first sports cars to get them. Twin piston brakes? Well aperently we were going to get them a whole year earlier. Don't forget that SVT got there hands on one and were going to supercharge it a full FIVE years before the cobra. And the best part of all IRS. We got this with the indriduction on the mn12 and avalible to all. What do you have to buy to get it on a mustang? A $35k+ cobra.

All I can say is that the mn12 engineers were really on the ball and that the guys who "engineer" the mustang just ripped those guys off. I mean really what advances have we seen in the mustang since they have killed off the mn12's? The mustang is a parts car and will always be. Hell even there new chassies are supposed to be the same ones used on the new t-birds which in it's self was ripped off from another car.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
JustinH said:
excellent repost embalmer. Good to see that one again.

BTW- single exhaust rules.

JH
I remember when I read that on the old Birdcats site, I had to print it out. I just did the valve body mod last week and came across that post in my papers I printed out which includes the tranny article. I figured the bulk of people on this website probably never heard of Birdcats.com. Remember the old days when posters at that website included EECDOC, Jerry W., Dan U., Kris Danner, etc? Lots of good info from those guys back then.

 

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That would be the SVT Thunderbird. Had a supercharged 4.6. :( Another bird that never made production.
-Thomas

EDIT: Oh yeah and don't forget the 89-95 door handles :D
 

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8ate8 said:
looks like a 96/97 with 94/95 hood and headlights. and that oh-so-sweet SC style incorporated fog lights into the 96/97 bumper :)
the 98 car was black, with the 16inch Taurus rims and a ZX2 lookin front grill opening

joseph
 
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