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Cars > 007_SuperCoupe’s Garage > Blog > 1992 Ford Thunderbird (Silver Thunder)

 

007_SuperCoupe’s Profile Photo

007_SuperCoupe

M –38
Lincoln, Nebraska
United States

 
 

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The Manifold is starting to take life...

By 007_SuperCoupe

Filed under: 1992 Ford Thunderbird (Silver Thunder)

As the days of the summer are more rapidly being marked off the calendar, the bird is still sitting in the driveway for what is appearing to be a long-term grounding.

I’ve started diligent work on my new intake manifold. I have discovered that not only will it require a much longer supercharger belt, but I will also have to either relocate my coolant temperature sending unit (for the eec) or tap into the manifold and build the boss where it is on the stock manifold. In addition, I discovered that the thermostat housing is somewhat different than stock, so I will also have to modify that as well. It is all possible, but just adds to the complexity of the overall project. It’s already hard enough to weld to the impure aluminum casting, and this just means more welding. And, because of the nature of the casting, additional welding can potentially cause warping or even cracking of the casting. It will be critical on this project to insure that the manifold does not reach excessive temperatures and that it is not cooled too rapidly to prevent warping and cracking. I guess it’s a good thing that I’m not the one doing the welding, but my good friend who has a number of years (I don’t want to divulge how old this person REALLY is…) of aluminum fabrication. I will always defer to “experts” in certain areas…this being one of them. I’m attempting to limit the amount of welding on the manifold as well by designing a three piece manifold. The design is relatively simple. I have a lower manifold that bolts to the heads. On this lower manifold is welded a mounting plate for the upper manifold. The upper manifold will consist of two parts. The upper manifold is basically an open plenum that feeds the lower which will have runners that lengthen the intake runners of the heads. The second part of the upper is simply the top that will bolt onto the plenum and provide for a place to mount the supercharger in its (relative) stock configuration. I will have to rework the intake plenum that bolts to the upper plenum of the intake manifold and the intercooler tube. Based on my design, I may be able to incorporate it into the upper portion of my manifold. At this point, it is too early to say if I can do that or not as I have other steps that need to be completed prior to that design step.

My current effort is to design the upper plenum of the manifold to have enough volume to adequately feed the high flow capability of my heads without “scavenging” from the manifold. Of course, under boost, there’s really not a scavenging effect, but it can have an effect on manifold pressure and supplying enough air to adequately fill the chambers. The volume of the stock manifold is approximately 1 liter. I have not taken accurate measurements, but estimated based on a few measurements I have taken. Given the approximate volume of 1 liter, each cylinder displaces approximately .633 liters of air. Therefore the manifold does not have enough volume to adequately supply enough air to a pair of cylinders filling at the same time. Considering how fast valves open and close is relatively easy to see how a manifold’s volume can end up starving cylinders of air and as a result leave potential horsepower on the table. I estimate that a manifold volume of 1.5 to 2.1 liters of air is sufficient to provide enough air to fill the cylinders without incurring a large pressure change within the manifold. And, of course, that increase in volume (prior to the combustion chamber) will result in lower boost levels at the same engine rpm. And, given the fact that my new heads flow significantly better than stock or even my ported stock valve heads that will further reduce the overall boost pressure. That is good, because then I will be able to further increase boost pressure further increasing overall performance (although that may take the use of a different supercharger).

Ultimately, I believe my manifold design is on track to provide enough airflow to properly supply my custom heads. Obviously flow testing will reveal that assumption for sure. I still have a significant amount of work to complete before my design is ready for flow testing, but that is a significant portion of the R&D process.

Stay tuned…

Spring Modifications have turned into a Summer Mess!

By 007_SuperCoupe

Filed under: 1992 Ford Thunderbird (Silver Thunder)

This will be a short one...

After adding a couple very minor mods to my SC, I discovered that the nice new coil that I purchased maybe 4000 miles ago is bad. I believe the coil was never working properly and ended up allowing for significant detonation in two cylinders. A new coil later, I discovered what the result was. I got maybe .2 mile from my house, yes, two-tenths of a mile, and all of a sudden smoke billowed out from under my hood and out my exhaust. After opening my hood, I discovered that not only did I blow the oil filler cap off, but also the neck that attaches it to the valve cover. Both were still together but no longer on the valve cover. That takes a significant amount of pressure in the crank case. I'm assuming I have a cracked piston thanks to the detonation I presumably had from a bad coil.

So, my modification plans have changed ever so slightly. I already purchased a newer shortblock this last winter and the heads are already being worked over, in a very good way. I'm making plans to replace the stock pedestal mount rocker arm system a mini-shaft system, which, of course, adds to the price of the heads. But in the end, it allows for a much more stable and durable rocker arm system. Oh, and it's capable of up to 8000 rpm, but I doubt I'll take it quite that far...

And I'm going to be hitting the manifold project with a lot more attention as I need to build one capable of supporting the head flow. For you T-bird SC guys, more ino will follow, good or bad. I don't want to spill the beans yet on that project because I don't want to get hopes up for something that may not work. If it works, I'll post up so all can see. Watch SCCoA for more details on that.

So as of now, my 'Bird is officially grounded.

Spring modifications have officially started...

By 007_SuperCoupe

Filed under: 1992 Ford Thunderbird (Silver Thunder)

Spring is in the air and many of us are looking forward to getting our beloved cars back on the road. Well, while all you are driving this spring, I’ll be working on what would likely be your “winter” projects! My projects are progressing nicely, but of course, never fast enough for me!

Right now, my heads are at the machine shop getting completely worked over. They are receiving a full port job, new valve seats for larger 1.940” intake and 1.625” exhaust valves. The valves, themselves, are Ferrea 6000 12* Super Flo valves. To compliment the valves I have some Crane dual springs capable of greater than .600” lift. I will be shortly ordering a bump stick with .590” lift with 218*/224* duration. That will really wake up my little supercharged 3.8 as well as taking advantage of the incredible flow that my heads will offer.

I also have in my possession brand new lights for my Super Coupe. These consist, not of the housings, but the actual bulb configuration. I will be installing a competition limited wiring harness that draws current directly from the battery as opposed to through the multifunction switch (known to fail). This not only allows for higher wattage bulbs, if desired, but also allows both high and low beam to be on at the same time. In addition to the comp ltd wiring harness, I also have two sets of HID conversion kits for installation, one for low beam and another for high beam. The comp ltd wiring harness allows for a transition to high beam so I’m not driving for a very short time with no lights and then slightly lower lighting until the HIDs warm up. The same goes for the converse. The HID conversion should eliminate the extremely poor lighting that the stock lights provide on the Thunderbird platform. And with properly aimed lights, there should not be a problem with oncoming traffic as I have evaluated this on other Thunderbirds with HID lights before I purchased mine. I also purchased the “coolest” possible temperature bulbs which are 6000K bulbs. This should match nicely with my PIAA fog lamps (driving lights) which are a slightly cooler 5300K.

In addition to the above, I have also purchased a slightly used rebuilt 3.8 shortblock from a fellow Super Coupe enthusiast who couldn’t leave stock alone! The block has less than 10k miles on it, which means that it’s already broken in and has made over 350 rwhp. It made that power on a relatively small bump stick which has .491” lift with 210*/220* duration. I will need to purchase a harmonic balancer for it and I’m currently looking at a SFI certified balancer for it.

I’m also reworking the stock intake manifold which is very poor at best. Currently I have to top completely cut out of it and will be consulting my machinist (head porter) to develop a flow strategy that will be much improved over the stock capability. Regardless of head flow capability, the stock manifold restricts flow to roughly 200 cfm on each intake port. We hope to remove the intake manifold as a restriction completely. My plan for the manifold is to raise the floor of the manifold so it is closer to the bottom of the intake runners (but this is still up for discussion) and to also raise the top of the manifold to no lower than the upper opening of the intake runners. What may change my plan is if I decide to install velocity stacks inside the manifold to produce a more even flow distribution and better flow into each cylinder head. In that case, I would likely not raise the floor of the manifold as I could better utilize the volume of the manifold. This is where I will defer to the subject matter expert in flow. Therefore, a lot of my final plan will be determined after I talk with my machinist.

To complement my intake manifold, I also have upgraded to a 75mm throttle body and Magnum Powers inlet plenum. This should increase the flow to my supercharger sufficiently to allow for the increase flow of the manifold and heads. I will still likely lose a few pounds of boost, but will pick up dramatically in performance!

I also have a nice set of aluminum under drive pullies that will be ready to be installed on my new-to-me engine. In addition, I’m also planning on getting a nice 9.5” 3000 stall torque converter to install while I’m performing the engine swap. I also have a Lentech valve body awaiting installation that will allow me to manually shift through each gear as well as electronically eliminating OD as needed. No more shifting into OD on the dyno or as I’m about 300’ short of trapping in the quarter mile!

I have many more, but much smaller modifications in mind while I’m swapping engines. I would very much like to clean up the engine bay which means new paint as well as possibly upgrading various lines including vacuum lines, transmission cooler lines, etc to braded -AN lines with the appropriate fittings. I will also likely swap my rack and pinion since the engine will be out and I’ve already got the new one sitting on my shelf!

All-in-all, it is going to be a very busy spring and summer for me. In addition to all the above, I also will have to tune the car which means purchasing the quarter horse and appropriate tuning software that I will have to learn how to use. It looks to be a very busy year for me and my Super Coupe. I’m definitely looking forward to it though as I haven’t completed anything more than regular maintenance for the past 5 years or so!

More upgrades........finally!

By 007_SuperCoupe

Filed under: 1992 Ford Thunderbird (Silver Thunder)

It's been nearly two years since I last blogged here. I'm not sure exactly why, as I visit the site often. I guess I really haven't had anything significant to blog about when it comes to my car. Finally, that has changed!

I'm excited once again, because after a 4-5 year pause, I can finally get back to playing with the Super Coupe. It's funny how life has a tendancy to put your plans on hold sometimes and that's exactly what's happened to me. But on to the fun stuff...

My current plans involve aquiring a new(er) engine than my 105k mile mill. I will be purchasing a fairly recent rebuild engine that has less than 10,000 miles on the odometer and has made as much as 375 rwhp on a friend's Super Coupe. That purchase has been in the works for some time. But more recently, I've purchased a go-fast part for my supercharger. That is a redesigned inlet plenum from Magnum Powers that really opens much of the restriction on the intake side of the supercharger. This part alone should allow for more boost which is a direct translation into more power.

In addition to that, I have also started gathering the parts for my heads. Unfortunately for the Super Coupe world, there are NO aftermarket options for heads. Our option is simple, re-work the custom heads as much as possible. Today I took a big step in that direction. I've got a set of ported heads already on my Super Coupe, however, they retained the stock valves and springs which effectively does little for performance. The stock valve springs means that an aftermarket cam can't be used. No aftermarket cam, I can't take advantage of the increased airflow (even with stock valves) of ported heads. Well, today, I ordered my new large valves for my heads and am also ordering some dual springs. The stock valves are small at best, measuring a mere 1.74" on the intake and 1.46" on the exhaust. Those are being replaced with Ferrea 6000 valves measuring 1.94" on the intake and 1.625" on the exhaust, both of the 12* Super Flo variety. The valve size may still seem small to the V8 crowd, but they are a significant increase over stock and are about the largest that can be safely installed on the 3.8 heads. Both sets of valves will require new seats to be installed. That should really increase the airflow, particularly under boost. The dual springs will allow for more than .600" lift, if desired, but the cam that I'll be running for now is a relatively small .491" lift cam. The big performance gain on the cam is the duration. I will be dropping off the heads at the machine shop tomorrow morning for my machinist to have on hand and work with as he has time. I'm in no rush yet, because I still don't have possession of the engine they will be installed on.

In addition to the heads, I'm also reworking the stock pancake intake manifold. The design is poor in regards to the fact that it presents a significant restriction in the intake system. No matter how "good" the heads flow, they will ultimately be limited by the ability of the manifold. I'm working with my machinist to rework the design to eliminate the manifold as a restriction point.

I am also going to be purchasing a new torque converter. I'm not sure what it will be like driving a relatively high stall converter (compared to the stock 1800 rpm) at 3000 rpm, but I believe it will give me what my performance goals will be for my car.

All-in-all, I'm very excited to finally getting back to the work of modifying my car. It has been a long time coming, and hopefully, I will be able to get it to a point this year that I will make it to our annual Super Coupe Shootout.

Still getting it ready...

By 007_SuperCoupe

Filed under: 1992 Ford Thunderbird (Silver Thunder)

Got just a tad more done this weekend on my SC. I replaced the tensioner spring on my jackshaft tensioner with one that is MUCH stronger to help prevent additional belt slip. I was having some issues when I last had it on the dyno. I also decided to modify another tensioner (same tensioner) to see if my modifications would work.

Basically taking the stock tensioner, cutting it apart about mid-way on the arm and lengthing it by about .670". There were two reason I wanted to do this. First was to try to get a tad more belt wrap on the crank and jackshaft pullies. The other reason was to maybe be able to install a larger pulley onto the tensioner. I've got my eye on an idler pulley from Billet Flow, but in order to even install it on the tensioner, I had to lengthen it. I'm not sure that it will work though because there's not a ton of room down there. I only have about 3/4" or so (not measured, just eyeballed) clearance between the tensioner pulley and the crank pulley. So my goal is to first see if by lengthening the tensioner, it will still fit. Then I'll have to see if I have clearance enough for one of the 2 pullies that Billet Flow offers. The jackshaft pulley I have on there right now measures 75mm in diameter. I would love to be able to install the 100mm diameter pulley that they offer, but that seems unlikely at this point. They also offer a 92mm pulley that may fit the bill just a tad better. I'm not sure though as I first have to see if it will even work with the stock tensioner pulley on there... It's just another custom project that I decided to try on my car. Anything to improve performace (or consistancy in performance) is a plus. Since I had an extra tensioner available, it was an easy thing to try.

Going to try to get a socket today so I can change my O2 sensor...got one that is located high up on the manifold and can only be reached by socket...got to get that special one that allows for the wires.

The tires still need to be mounted and balanced, valve body installed on the transmission, brakes bled, O2 sensor replaced, fuel filter replaced and along with the valve body, a transmission flush. Then I'll have to take it to the mechanic (because I don't want to hassle with this stuff) and get the power steering flushed, a boot replaced on the rack and pinion, a 4-wheel alignment and I think one other little thing that I can't remember right now for the life of me. :)

It's so close to being road worthy! I've got a baseline dyno coming up in May as part of a larger dyno tune, so it's got to be ready by then...and it will be...I can't wait to drive it again!

It's been nice weather the last couple days...

By 007_SuperCoupe

Filed under: 1992 Ford Thunderbird (Silver Thunder)

I had yesterday off and it was such nice weather both yesterday and today, that I decided to go ahead an get some more work done on my car. It's getting very close to driving down the road again.

Yesterday I changed the old oil that had been sitting in there for a couple years now and put in fresh oil and a new filter. I also installed one of two O2 sensors (the one that I didn't need the special socket to remove/install), and then started taking my engine back apart. Yes, you read right...just days after I got it back together after a year and a half, I started taking it back apart. The goal was to retape some of those wire looms that had the factory tape falling off and just plain looking like crap.

Today I finished that up, installed my new brake accumulator (so I can stop!), cleaned my air filter and did a general detail of the engine. It had a couple years of dirt and dust build up on it that I wanted to get off. I also swapped a couple pullies (which was a real pain) and had to fix a section of wiring that has become brittle over the years.

The final result is as you see in the picture. It's back together (although I didn't start it tonight as I want to go ahead and bleed the brakes before I pressurize the accumulator. Attached is also the album so you can see before and after shots of the engine as it was reassembled. Enjoy.

She started today!

By 007_SuperCoupe

Filed under: 1992 Ford Thunderbird (Silver Thunder)

Well, it's been over a year, my treatment for cancer has come and gone and finally I got my car running again today. It's been a long haul to get here, but now it's here.

The DIS heat sink is working 100% as is the new coil. My IC fan wiring harness works great. I can't believe that gas that's a year and a half old is still good either.

Now, I just have to get the tires mounted and balanced and then I can take it for a test drive. I can't wait! I've been way too long without being able to drive it. Now that it runs, I just want to drive it. But I've got to wait just a tad longer. I've got to change the oil, drop the tranny pan and install a new valve body, install new O2 sensors and get those tires mounted and balanced. Then I'm good to go for a while. I've got a couple other little things to do, but nothing right now. I'll be plenty happy to just drive it for this year... More mods will come next year... :D

It's almost ready to start...again...

By 007_SuperCoupe

Filed under: 1992 Ford Thunderbird (Silver Thunder)

I took advantage of the nice weather today and made some significant progress on my SC. I got my IC installed, new wiring harness installed (awesome I might add), replaced the #1 plug that had a broken electrode, installed the supercharger top and upper IC tube, installed my DIS module with a custom heat sink under it for increased cooling, found a couple bolts that I dropped in the engine compartment last fall, fixed a couple wiring issues that I had found while digging... I think that's about it. I know that's a pretty long sentence, but you can deal with it. :)

Now, to get it running, all I have to do is install a new battery. I've got a good one coming tomorrow so I will be able to find out then if it'll start up. I'm a little concerned because it's been sitting for so long. I'm sure the fuel in the tank is not good anymore. I just hope it's good enough to get me the mile up the road to the gas station.

I also need to install my new O2 sensors before I try to start it. And a quick check of other things like oil, coolant, etc needs to be done before I just crank it over. I know I'm low on coolant and am due an oil change. I'll hand crank the engine over to make sure that everything is still moving (if it's not, that's really going to suck!). I'm pretty sure it is because the engine was turning a little when I was tightening up my alternator pulley.

That's about it. Wish me luck. I'm hoping to at least get it started tomorrow...

Well, my to-do list got shorter...and longer...

By 007_SuperCoupe

Filed under: 1992 Ford Thunderbird (Silver Thunder)

I'm happy to have made some progress today on my Super Coupe. Not sure if I had blogged about it yet, but I sent the bolts for my alternator off to the chrome shop to make my alternator jump out just a tad more. They came back a couple bolts short. After a search, the bolts were not located. Unfortunately one of the bolts was the main mounting bolt that runs through the accessory bracket, through the alternator back to the accessory bracket where it screws in. No big deal, right? Apart from the fact that it took me some time to locate my spare one (believe it or not I did have one) and that it's not chromed, it wasn't too big of a deal. So today, I finished up installing the alternator, re-installing the coil, plug wires and belts. I wish I had a better place to store my car because there's quite a bit of surface rust on all the pullies now that it has set as long as it has. Now to my "to-do" list...

It got shorter because I got that stuff done. But I also received my M112 this week. So now my list is that much longer. My list now includes:

To drive my SC:
o Replace #1 spark plug
o Replace O2 sensors
o Re-install intercooler
o Re-install supercharger top and upper intercooler tube
o Replace two wire connectors...one failing grounding connector and one for my intercooler fan switch
o Re-install DIS module with custom heat sink
o Purchase and install new battery...Optima type
o Replace brake accumulator
o Mount and balance new tires

Things that I need to get done soon:
o Install Mark VIII spindles and brakes
o Install transmission valve body-flush transmission fluid
o Install the rest of the front suspension, lower control arms, upper control arms, tie rod end links, sway bar end links, rack and pinion...etc

New things added to my list now that I've got the M112:
o Modify M112, inlet plenum, intake plenum, lower intake manifold and fuel rail to make M112 fit
o Purchase 60 lb injectors
o Purchase 75mm throttle body (currently have a 70mm)
o Purchase OD jackshaft pulley
o Purchase intercooler core (going to build a new front mount IC)
o Purchase aluminum tubing for IC piping
o Purchase quick change pulley set for M112
o Purchase battery relocation kit
o Purchase larger radiator (with front mount IC, I'll have room for a much larger one)
o Purchase additional IC fan for use with front mount IC
o Purchase air dam to funnel air into lower bumper cover (flow over IC core)
o Possibly purchase BBK valve covers-for use with front mount IC. Routing of IC pipes will be different, requiring use of n/a 3.8 valve covers
o Purchase cam and valve springs (and hardware) to take advantage of M112
o Install all of the above mentioned items

Then there's always the want to have items on the list:
o Purchase new wheels
o Purchase tires to go on the new wheels
o Plan for a custom paint job as soon as next winter
o Replace exterior trim as part of paint job

So the list got shorter, if only for a moment before it got longer again. I have the opportunity to finally get some nice wheels for the car, but I also have this M112 now too. There's a lot I need to purchase for that as well and could put money towards making it work...or get wheels. I'm torn because I've started the M112 project officially now, but have the opportunity (and permission) to finally purchase some nice wheels for my ride. I may bite the bullet and get the wheels, then work feverishly on the M112. Money is the big set-back at this point. It costs money to go fast. Unfortunately it's getting harder to come by lately....

Man I got to get some TDY for work...

Upgrading the supercharger

By 007_SuperCoupe

Filed under: 1992 Ford Thunderbird (Silver Thunder)

Well, I have finally found a good deal on an Eaton M112 supercharger. This particular model is from a Jaguar. It will require a lot of custom modifications to get it to work, but it's nothing that I'm not ready for.

I have not yet actually sent the money for this, but as soon as I get my tax return (any day now) I will be sending the money out for it. I can only hope that the seller hasn't decided to sell it out from under me. It didn't sound like he would do that, so I'm optomistic that it will be there still when I'm sending the money.

One thing that I'm going to do for sure is to open up the inlet to match the Magnum Powers MPx style opening. This greatly increases the efficiency of the supercharger at higher rpm. It allows the rotors to fill more completely with air which is required if you want to make more power. I know of a couple of these already on Super Coupes out there and they are making impressive numbers. Especially torque numbers...

This project will likely be a long one, not getting finished until sometime next year. I've got a few other things to do as well, like rebuild the shortblock, install a decent cam, get my large valve heads on there, etc. I think I may put this on my current engine while building another for serious power. I just can't see doing a lot of work and then letting it sit for who knows how long until I get my performance engine built.

This has altered my plans for wheels slightly though. Instead of purchasing them now, I'm going to wait until later in the spring or summer before buying those. I just hope I can keep my wife happy enough to let me get this stuff for my car!

Alternator finished.

By 007_SuperCoupe

Filed under: 1992 Ford Thunderbird (Silver Thunder)

Well this last weekend finally saw my alternator finished. I received my bolts back from the chrome shop. I have to say that the difference is fantastic. I knew the old bolts, even though they were clean, just lacked the luster I was trying to get going in my engine compartment. The chromed bolts add just a touch of refinement that is the start of something much larger. I haven't yet snapped any pictures of the alternator in its finished form, but will when I get home tonight, and I'll post a pic of it then.

Unfortunately, though, it has caused me to look a lot closer at the rest of my engine compartment. There's a lot of work that needs to be done. I'm trying to approach it with the concept of making it really nice, show winning in fact, but I don't want to go overkill. No offense to anyone who has done this, but an engine compartment that is all chrome looses some of its luster. Everything tends to blend together and detail is hard to pick out. The same thing happens with people who color their engine components to match. So I'm approaching it from the perspective of making it really nice, in a conservative way, with accents of color and chrome. People say that the small things make the biggest difference. I guess we'll see about that. I've got a lot of planning on the small stuff. In fact, some of the big stuff, I'm still not too sure what I'm going to do on some of the big stuff, but it will all come together in the end.

I'm looking forward to working toward my end goal of a nice show winning car that can perform at the track as well. So far, I'm very happy with the results, but I've got a long way to go. I have very high expectations...

What to finish up this winter

By 007_SuperCoupe

Filed under: 1992 Ford Thunderbird (Silver Thunder)

Well, I'm making my check list and checking it twice to see what I need to get done before spring so I can enjoy by car to the fullest extent possible. Some things will have to wait until Spring as I have elected to suspend my insurance coverage on it (meaning it's "in storage" for the winter months). So now it has comp only on it just in case the neighbor's tree falls on it. So I'm waiting until March or so to re-activate the insurance on it...so no driving until then. That said, here's my list:

o Install new alternator (currently waiting for chromed bolts)
o Install repaired IC and fan
o Install new O2 sensors
o Replace spark plug on cylinder #4 (there's a story behind it)
o Replace fuel filter
o Install Lentech valve body (Would really like a torque converter too, but we'll see)
o Install Mark VIII spindles and brakes (need to drive it to the shop for this one)
o Reinstall misc engine parts disassembled to replace alternator, spark plug, coil, etc
o Get tires mounted and balanced
o Get 4-wheel alignment (preferrably after Mark VIII spindle install)
o Replace rack and pinion
o Replace the rest of the front suspention besides the rack and spindles
o Install PIAA fog/driving lamps purchased over a year ago

I think that's about it as far as my "To-do" list for the SC. I've got a couple other things like replacing the tensioner springs and installing a better inlet plenum, but I'm not 100% sure I'll get that done. Sure would be nice though! Those two things could add as much as 25 hp at the wheels. That would be significant and could push me within striking distance of 300 at the wheels. That's very impressive considering I still have stock valved heads as well as the stock cam and bottom end. Underdrive pullies will help getting there too...There's always something, isn't there?

Got to tackle some wiring today.

By 007_SuperCoupe

Filed under: 1992 Ford Thunderbird (Silver Thunder)

Well, I decided to put my birthday present to use today (only one day after my birthday) and decided to finish the wiring harness for my intercooler fan. Long story short, it was already in my SC, and working. Then it stopped some time ago. I got sick, the car sat, and this winter I finally was able to get back to it. My accessory belt had worn through a wire. Simple fix. Well, since I had to remove my IC to get my alternator out (issues there too) I decided it would be a good time to re-do the harness with OEM style water tight connectors and just make it look professional. My birthday present was the crimping tool to use these nice connectors. I played with it a little yesterday, but went all out today. Attached is an album of my "in progess" stages. I didn't get really any pictures of what was, but what little I did get you can compare it to what I have now. There's really not a comparison at all. The only thing I have left to do is connect the switch to it. Since it was all hard wired before, that's all in the car right now. I do need 2 more single wire connectors to finish it off the way I want it to be (one for the switch and one for the ground from the fan).

I used Painless Performance's Weatherpack connectors. They offer a variety of connectors ranging from single wire all the way up to a six-wire connector. The crimper tool and pin extraction tool (if you goof up) are available from MSD Ignition. I purchased all of the parts from Speedway Motors since they are right here in Lincoln.

I have to say that I couldn't be happier with the way this turned out. My soldering skill leave much to be desired and since my SC is slowly becoming more show-worthy, I felt it an appropriate time to upgrade the pitiful wiring I attmpted before. The terminals crimp on very easily and are secured plenty strong enough. Now the entire harness snaps together making it much easier to replace parts, remove the IC/fan or simply tracking where the wires are.

Now that I've got this under my belt, I've got a couple more wiring projets to complete... :)

New Wheels

By 007_SuperCoupe

Filed under: 1992 Ford Thunderbird (Silver Thunder)

Well, I haven't actually purchased them yet, but I have decided on a new set of wheels for my Super Coupe. Yes, they are the wheels pictured here. I'm planning on getting the 18 x 8.5 for the fronts and 18 x 9.5 for the rear, chromed, of course. They have a very significant (and in my opinion, very nice) lip on the wheel. I have always liked that. The original wheels I wanted to purchase were manufactured by Zenetti and cost $100 per wheel more than these do. And, they are discontinued as well. These are the only other wheels that immediately jumped out at me. So I'm not going to sit on them at all. They are manufactured by Ruff Racing and are the R930 wheel. They are brand new wheels, so they should be around for a few years at least. I don't plan on waiting that long though and will get them next year sometime. Tires will have to wait, just because of the price involved in wheels and tires. The tires cost almost as much as the wheels which puts the overall purchase over $2k when it's all said and done. I just can't wait to get the wheels...even if they sit in my garage for a year!

The electrical saga continues...

By 007_SuperCoupe

Filed under: 1992 Ford Thunderbird (Silver Thunder)

Well, I took advantage of the relatively warm weather today. I took another step closer to getting my SC back on the road. I went out and got it up on jackstands since I hadn't done this yet. I've got 4 new tires for it to put on anyway. I got my intercooler removed and discovered why my fan on it didn't work. Turns out the belt or the power steering pulley wore right through the negative wire and part-way through the positive. Yes, that was probably contributing to my electrical woes. I also took a look at the relay. Looks like I need to re wire the whole mess of them. The wires are all breaking off. I believe this was due to the fact that I pulled the wires very tight in an effort to keep them out of the way of the belt and power steering pulley...apparently that didn't work! LOL! I also got the battery removed as well as finished getting the alternator removed. Now I just need to get it disassembled so that I can get the bolts/screws/nuts chromed.

However, I am now again at a stand still in this project as I have to get the small stuff chromed before I can put it all back together. On a better note, I did locate some better water tight plugs that I can use for any of that engine compartment stuff. The plugs I've been using are fine, but they are not that high of quality or appearance. Problem is justifying the crimping tool to my wife...it costs nearly $50 for a very seldom used tool...

The Alternator is done...almost

By 007_SuperCoupe

Filed under: 1992 Ford Thunderbird (Silver Thunder)

Well, I got my alternator back today. I have to admit that I think it turned out rather nice. The color I picked is not everyone's cup of tea, but at least it's not jump-out-at-you fog visible yellow or anything! Although now that I have it finished, I find myself wanting to do just a tad more to it. So I have decided to have the visible bolts, screws and nuts chromed. I'm not a fan of a completely chromed engine compartment, but do like chrome for accents. So that's what I'm going to do now. Suck because now that winter is setting in, I'm not going to get to drive it. Once I get to drive it again, nearly 18 months will have passed since I last drove it. I guess it's not that big of a deal, because I'm keeping the miles off of it. I sure do miss it though...

Alternator Fix

By 007_SuperCoupe

Filed under: 1992 Ford Thunderbird (Silver Thunder)

Well, I took a significant step towards restoring my SC to working order today. The alternator failed marvelously last year and as I haven't had to drive it, I haven't done anything with it yet. Now as winter is ready to set in, I find myself wanting to get it running again. Go figure! I think it had something to do with my medical situation the last year...

At any rate, I took my spare alternator in to a rebuild shop to see if it was good. Turns out it wasn't (good thing I didn't just throw it on my car!). So a rebuild was in order, not only because it was bad, but also because the alternator for this car is an odd one, so finding a replacement is difficult. I figured that while it was apart, I'd have the case powder coated. This is my first step in making my engine compartment looking much better than stock. I had it powder coated a dark gray color that almost looks like a smoked gray.

I also had to fix the wiring on my harness as the previous alternator had burnt the wire and actually melted it and severed it. I used a negative battery cable (15" long, but cut down obviously) so that I didn't have to try to attach an eyelet onto a 4-gauge cable. I spliced it with an aluminum splicer with two set screws that could splice up to 4-gauge cables. That done, I wrapped it in electrical tape and will put a small wire loom around it for looks.

I should get my alternator back tomorrow so it can then be installed. Not sure if that will happen though as the weather is supposed to turn bad on Wednesday here...Welcome winter.

I need to get a garage!

Cosmetic Modifications

By 007_SuperCoupe

Filed under: 1992 Ford Thunderbird (Silver Thunder)

After I got some of my performance modifications completed, I decided to start upgrading the appearance of my ride.

First up was a fiberglass hood. At the time my options were limited to a Cervini Mach I hood, an SCP Cobra R hood or an SCP Cowl Induction hood. I prefered the look of the SCP Cobra R with the ram air that was available for the '94-'97 Thunderbirds, but not for the '89-'93 Thunderbirds. I made a few phone calls and although it arrived 2 months past the initial projected delivery date, I received the first production Cobra R hood with ram air for the '89-'93 Thunderbird.

Next upgrade was the bumper...and what a story that is...

First off, when I got the hood, I had a new bumper installed because the bumper that was on the car when I purchased it was in less than good condition with paint rubbed off and torn bottom with no airdam. The new(er) bumper I had on a parts car, so I simply had it repainted and installed. That lasted about 3 months until someone pulled out in front of me and messed that one up. It had too many coats of paint for the body shop to deal with it, so I ended up getting one of the last remaining NOS bumpers in the country. It took 3 weeks to find and another week to be shipped. It was installed and looking great for about 6 months until it got torn off at a curb stop (I was not driving it then!). The I searched to find an early style bumper for the Super Coupe that had the SC embossed on the front. I also purchased a Xenon air dam to make the appearance a little more aggressive (it needed it with the hood) and am installing a motion sensor system in the air dam to warn of approaching items that could damage the bumper. All-in-all the front bumper has cost me about $4500 where as my go-fast parts have only cost me about $3000...Yeah, more money in the front bumper than in making it faster. But I want it to look the part as well as perform.

Heads

By 007_SuperCoupe

Filed under: 1992 Ford Thunderbird (Silver Thunder)

My last major modification was getting ported heads installed on my SC.

Basically what I wanted to do was find out how much I could get out of a ported head, but retaining the stock sized valves and cam. I had them ported by a very reputable porter with better than excellent results. The end result was a gain of about 20 rwhp and 20 rwtq from the heads alone. My SC dyno'd in the neighborhood of 265 rwhp and 350 rwtq. I did discover that I had major belt slip above 4300 rpm limiting my overall gains.

In the future, I will install large valve heads with a custom grind cam to get the absolute most out of my heads. I plan on installing these when I install my Cobra supercharger.

Custom Double Intercooler (DIC)

By 007_SuperCoupe

Filed under: 1992 Ford Thunderbird (Silver Thunder)

Another modification that was required by increasing performance was a better IC to cool my intake temps down. I wanted to keep a stock style set-up so I decided on an IC that fits in the stock location and uses 2 stock IC cores. I didn't actually do the welding, but I do more of the design and I've got a close friend who is a excellent aluminum welder. We installed a custom diffuser in the IC to provide better cooling efficiency and shaped the return end tank to reduce air turbulance. After my IC, we refined the design further to provide for better clearance under a stock hood with taller engine mounts. The fan shroud was a requirement to increase the effectiveness of my IC fan. It has been dyno tested to show is effectiveness. Ambient temp, 76*F 4th dyno pull maximum intake temperatures did not exceed 95*F.

This DIC will be removed when I install the Cobra supercharger on my SC.

Supercharger mods

By 007_SuperCoupe

Filed under: 1992 Ford Thunderbird (Silver Thunder)

The first major modification that I performed was the installation of a Gen II M90 from a '94-'95 Super Coupe. This alone provided for about a 20 rwhp increase due to more efficient gearing and coated rotors. I also rebuilt the supercharger and ported both the inlet and outlet of the supercharger.

On the inlet plenum, I had the EGR port filled in with aluminum epoxy and ported to match my aftermarket throttle body. This provides for a much smoother intake that in turn increases hp.

It now sports a 10% OD pulley keeping boost in line at about 14 psi.

I have lofty plans for my future supercharger upgrade. I plan on custom building a lower intake manifold that I will install an '03-'04 Cobra supercharger onto with the liquid to air intercooler.

Initial journal entry to provide a history of what I've done...

By 007_SuperCoupe

Filed under: 1992 Ford Thunderbird (Silver Thunder)

I purchased this car in 2003 in nearly stock form. The only modifications it had at that time were being lowered and a Trans-Go shift kit in the AOD.

I have since installed all the items listed on my modification page, and some of those parts had to be home made in order to get it to work the way I wanted it to.

All the work that I have done (painting excluded) I have done myself or have had a "helping hand" along the way. I take great pride in saying, "I did that" instead of I paid someone to do that.

Some examples of things I've had a large hand in developing is the double intercooler with fan shroud and (an uninstalled at this time) lower intake manifold.

I'll provide a few journal entries to describe the major modifications that I have to date.
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Cars > 007_SuperCoupe’s Garage > Blog > 1992 Ford Thunderbird (Silver Thunder)

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