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Thread: Mid Output 5.0

  1. #1
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    Default Mid Output 5.0

    Hey all,

    Just thought I'd pick your brains for some advice. I recently bought a low mile/cosmetic wear and tear 20th anniversary model intending on using it's V8 driveline as a donor to my 88 LS V6 which I recently blew the transmission on. I got a great deal on the 20th and have been using it as my daily over the last few days. I've really been enjoying it and am now wondering if should just keep this car as my daily driver and give it a few upgrades with parts I already have stockpiled for my other car. I was wondering if throwing on my pair of refreshed GT40 heads would be a direct swap. I also have an explorer upper/lower, 60mm throttle body, and stock mustang headers that I could use too. Anything I should be aware of when swapping these parts in? The engine is bone stock right now...

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    If you got the h.o. cam and you are tearing into it that far, just throw it in and do a full h.o. conversion.

    The gt40's usually clear, but make sure you check.
    Quote Originally Posted by jcassity
    I honestly dont think you could exceed the cost of a new car buy installing new *stock* parts everywhere in your coug our tbird. Its just plain impossible. You could revamp the entire drivetrain/engine/suspenstion and still come out ahead.
    Hooligans!
    1988 Crown Vic wagon. 120K California car. Wifes grocery getter. (junked)
    1987 Ford Thunderbird LX. 5.0. s.o., sn-95 t-5 and an f-150 clutch. Driven daily and going strong.
    1986 cougar.
    lilsammywasapunkrocker@yahoo.com

  3. #3
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    If you use the Mustang headers, you'll need to ditch the Y-pipe. The flanges are wrong, and the pipes are too small. Additionally, on HO engines, the oxygen sensors are in the top of the H-pipe, not the manifolds, and your stockers won't reach, so you'll need those, too. So basically, headers will cost you a full exhaust and sensors. #worthit.
    1988 Thunderbird 5.0
    GT40P, TFS-1, KB domes, 30#, MAF conversion, Explorer GT40 Upper/Lower, Smog delete, Wide Ratio AOD Mod, Unlocked Speedo, 3G Charging System Upgrade, Hi-Torque Mini Starter, 3.73 LSD, BBK 1 5/8 unequal headers, H-Pipe.

    88 Thunderbird/Cougar EVTM
    (Thanks to Trinom for hosting)

  4. #4
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    Check for clearance but try and use the HO cam/computer/injectors if you're swapping GT40 heads/intake on.
    '88 Thunderbird LX: 306, Edelbrock Performer heads, Comp 266HR cam, Edelbrock Performer RPM intake, Edelbrock 70mm TB, 76mm C&L MAF, 30lb injectors, 2.5" exhaust, AOD with 2800 PI converter, 8.8 with 3.73 gears, 31 spline Traction-Lok, 31 spline Moser axles, 04 Cobra front arms, Maximum Motorsports extreme duty rear arms, subframes.
    '11 Focus, '12 Mustang 3.7, '17 Accord EX-L V6

  5. #5
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    Thanks for the replies!

    Haystack:
    "If you got the h.o. cam and you are tearing into it that far, just throw it in and do a full h.o. conversion."

    I'd like to keep the bottom end of the engine intact for now. I want to keep driving this as my daily and don't want it out of commission for a day. With careful planning I anticipate that swapping the heads/intake won't put me out of commission for over a weekend.

    "The gt40's usually clear, but make sure you check."

    How do I check the clearance?

    TheFoeYouKnow:

    "Additionally, on HO engines, the oxygen sensors are in the top of the H-pipe, not the manifolds, and your stockers won't reach, so you'll need those, too."

    When I go with the full exhaust setup, will I have to splice into my existing wiring harness to get the new o2 sensors to reach their new locations? Also, which model sensors do I need?

    Thanks!

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    Just get Mustang or Mark VII sensors
    There's a couple of reasons why you can't splice or extend an oxygen sensor. They're not expensive, and new ones give a nice improvement to drivability. The HO swap is sort of an all or nothing proposition. Heads, cam, intake, Injectors, EEC. The whole burrito. You can do it in a weekend.
    1988 Thunderbird 5.0
    GT40P, TFS-1, KB domes, 30#, MAF conversion, Explorer GT40 Upper/Lower, Smog delete, Wide Ratio AOD Mod, Unlocked Speedo, 3G Charging System Upgrade, Hi-Torque Mini Starter, 3.73 LSD, BBK 1 5/8 unequal headers, H-Pipe.

    88 Thunderbird/Cougar EVTM
    (Thanks to Trinom for hosting)

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheFoeYouKnow View Post
    Just get Mustang or Mark VII sensors
    There's a couple of reasons why you can't splice or extend an oxygen sensor. They're not expensive, and new ones give a nice improvement to drivability.
    You can extend the oxygen sensor harness without issue. Extending the wires on the oxygen sensor itself is a no no. The other option is to just buy an oxygen sensor extension harness: https://lmr.com/item/SVE-1676A/Musta...sor-Extensions
    '88 Thunderbird LX: 306, Edelbrock Performer heads, Comp 266HR cam, Edelbrock Performer RPM intake, Edelbrock 70mm TB, 76mm C&L MAF, 30lb injectors, 2.5" exhaust, AOD with 2800 PI converter, 8.8 with 3.73 gears, 31 spline Traction-Lok, 31 spline Moser axles, 04 Cobra front arms, Maximum Motorsports extreme duty rear arms, subframes.
    '11 Focus, '12 Mustang 3.7, '17 Accord EX-L V6

  8. #8
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    So you need to plan this and do some research for a full HO swap. It has been discussed on here several times and the wiring has also been discussed. Use the search function and you will find what you need. This can be done in a long weekend but you have to plan and having an extra set of hands that know how to wrench would be extremely helpful.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheCowboyKiller View Post
    Thanks for the replies!

    Haystack:
    "If you got the h.o. cam and you are tearing into it that far, just throw it in and do a full h.o. conversion."

    I'd like to keep the bottom end of the engine intact for now. I want to keep driving this as my daily and don't want it out of commission for a day. With careful planning I anticipate that swapping the heads/intake won't put me out of commission for over a weekend.

    "The gt40's usually clear, but make sure you check."

    How do I check the clearance?

    TheFoeYouKnow:

    "Additionally, on HO engines, the oxygen sensors are in the top of the H-pipe, not the manifolds, and your stockers won't reach, so you'll need those, too."

    When I go with the full exhaust setup, will I have to splice into my existing wiring harness to get the new o2 sensors to reach their new locations? Also, which model sensors do I need?

    Thanks!
    I assume you are following the coolcats write up.

    It is dead on, but, you really do need to do the cam injectors and computer all in one go. The h.I'm computer can'trun stock injectors (correctly at least) and the two cams have different firibg orders.

    If you swap the whole top end, its easily doable in 8hrs. Leave the upper intake and exhaust.

    You really should do the fuel pump as well, but those can all be done in a few hours afterwords.

    Personally, I'd just wait till I had a free weekend and do the whole h.o. swap so you aren't rushing things and have the ability to hit a parts store if needed.

    The gt40 heads have larger valves. Because of that, they might not clear. H.o. pistons have valve reliefs to get a bit more room, while s.o. pistons are flat tops. Anytime you mess with cams or heads, you need to make sure nothing touches before bolting stuff on.
    Quote Originally Posted by jcassity
    I honestly dont think you could exceed the cost of a new car buy installing new *stock* parts everywhere in your coug our tbird. Its just plain impossible. You could revamp the entire drivetrain/engine/suspenstion and still come out ahead.
    Hooligans!
    1988 Crown Vic wagon. 120K California car. Wifes grocery getter. (junked)
    1987 Ford Thunderbird LX. 5.0. s.o., sn-95 t-5 and an f-150 clutch. Driven daily and going strong.
    1986 cougar.
    lilsammywasapunkrocker@yahoo.com

  10. #10
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    Checking the valve to piston clearance commonly known a claying the motor:

    Get some modeling clay and place some on top of the piston about 1/4 thick, install the cylinder head with a previously compressed head gasket or you can sacrifice a new one, torque the head to spec, install one set of push rods for one cylinder, and install the rockers for that cylinder. Be sure to tighten the rocker but per the rocker design (pedestal or stud mount). Once you have done this rotate the motor by hand over one full revolution (go slow to make sure the piston and valve do not touch) and stop. Uninstall the rockers, pushrods, and head. From here you may or may not see valve indentions in the clay. If you do then you need to measure the thickness of the clay at its thinnest spot. This is your valve to piston clearance. Minimum clearance is generally accepted to be 0.125.

    Searched a bit and found this easy to follow write up at Late Model Restoration.

    https://lmr.com/products/how-to-chec...learance-85-95

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