Filed under: 1992 Ford Thunderbird (Silver Thunder)
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.
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