Thunderbird Exhaust Question

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I have a 1995 Ford Thunderbird. It is a v6 and it is non-supercharged. I was thinking about taking it to an exhaust shop and having them put dual pipes from my catalytic converters back. I would have glass packs put on. My question is, is this possible and if it is, do I need an H-pipe to make it sound good. Also, im looking for any other ideas for performance mods I can do to this car, since its only the standard v6, I cant come up with too many ideas and any from you guys would be appreciated.

posted by  maiden_fan

Unless you're going to also do some work in front of the cat, duals out the rear isn't going to make any real difference. I mean let's face it, it's a 3.8l. And unless your purpose is to simply make noise, don't waste your time on glasspacks, install good turbo mufflers.

As for your question on the H-pipe, I can tell you that you need one for better performance. I don't build cars for sound so you'll have to get someone elses opinion on that.

posted by  vwhobo

my main goal is performance but i just want performance that sounds good too. What kind of work would I have to do in front of the cats?

posted by  maiden_fan

How about starting with a 5.0 and going from there? There are performance parts available for the 3.8 but at the end of the day it's still a 3.8. A 5.0 has better parts availability and is cheaper in the long run.

posted by  vwhobo

I don't know about a 5.0 thats a big investment and I don't really have too much money.

posted by  maiden_fan

There's a reason for the old saying "Speed costs money, how fast do you wanna go?". You're asking an engine that's a wheezer to pull around a 3800 lb car. Anything you do is going to cost. Maybe you should consider starting out with a better base car.

posted by  vwhobo

i'd listen to tha Hobo, he's got a very good point, especially in that last line
at 17 i bought a '67 Mustang Coupe with a 6-cyl and an auto for around $1500
i had this elaborate plan to toss a V8, and a T-5 manual in it, after doing research i realized that it would cost me about double the cost of the car to just upgrade everything so it would handle the new power, then after that i still had to buy the V8 and T-5, as well as the conversion kits

it just wasn't cost-effective to do so for me

i'm not trying to discourage you, just trying to get you to sit down and really think about what you want from your car, do you want a 10 second beast? just a little more umph in the seat of your pants? what?
if you figure out what you want, you'll be able to plan out the cost of it, and in the long run you'll be much happier with it

at the least, i'd suggest going and finding a wrecked SC edition, and tossing that engine in there
and if you can, get rid of the tranny if it is an AOD, those things gobble the power like nothing, best thing i'd swap to would be a T-5, or any other 5-spd manual

good luck

posted by  asa67_stang

I had a '93 Thunderbird with a 5 liter in high school. I upgraded to a Borg Warner T-5 from the AOD that it came with. I have lots of advice for you about T-Birds. I love them so much that I got another one recently. I now have a '96 with a 4.6 and it's even better. I spent 3,200 dollars on it and it was in perfect condition. Being that this is the going rate (about) for the last generation T-bird I would suggest that you sell your bird and get one with either the 5liter or the 4.6. You will have tons more fun with it and you will end up only spending about 1,500-2,000 dollars after you sell yours. Doesn't that sound better than spending that much on your V6 bird and getting little performance gain. Email me if you have any more questions, I have lots of T-Bird knowledge. aj5liter@earthlink.net

posted by  aj5liter

You can pickup 302's cheaply from anyhwere. Heck junkyards ALWAYS have 302's laying around in Foxbody Stangs. Easy $300-$500 there.

posted by  thunderbird1100

As you can see from my previous posts in this thread we agree in theory, but... While it may be a fact that junkyards around Atlanta are full of 5.0's, living in a podunk town like I do, I would normally have to drive to Atlanta (or Charlotte, Spartanburg, etc) to get one at all much less at that price. If, and that's a big if, I was able to find one locally it would be more along the lines of $1k for a complete, good engine.

posted by  vwhobo

The V-8 option for the 'Bird in '95 was the 4.6L, so dropping in a 5.0L would be much more difficult than a 4.6L conversion. Ford's 3.8 is often over-looked. Many mustang parts fit the T-birds/Cougars due to the fact they are built off of nearly an identical chassis. A company by the name of JBA makes headers for the 3.8 and it would be a simple task for a muffler shop to convert your factory "Y" pipe to an H-pipe and then dual exhaust. Forget the glasspacks, they WILL sound like crap....like vwhobo said, go with a good turbo muffler(I prefer Dynomax Super Turbo's).

If you add a cold air intake, underdrive pulleys, a 2200-2800rpm high-stall torque convertor with 4.11 gears and a posi, that little v-6 will giddy-up. There are quite few Tbird SC websites that also carry parts for the standard 3.8L...if you want info on them, feel free to shoot me a private message and I'll get that information from you. I could probably locate damn near anything you need for that.

A 4.6 or 5.0 conversion would be quite costly...the 4.6 is still a relatively new motor and the 5.0 would require a different K-member and the proper transmission...both conversions would require a complete wire harness replacement which is a big pain in the balls....I've done it before.

posted by  Sick88Tbird

Um, HOBO, where do you live?

posted by  DodgeRida67

In a little old house... Less than 250 miles from you. Look for it the next time you're driving around. My wife's new blue 1500, Hemi, quad cab is parked out front.

posted by  vwhobo

Ok. Jackson, Georgia as in the city of Jackson in Butts county, which is beside Henry. Not Jackson county, IF that was what you were thinking. :hi:


Ram 1500 with a Hemi?!?! :drool: :drool: :drool:

posted by  DodgeRida67

1. I know, between Atlanta and Macon.

2. Yep, I took her out to dinner thursday and she saw it in front of the local dealer, we stopped and looked and she fell in love with it. Friday afternoon I went and got it, cheap.

posted by  vwhobo

That's why I love trucks right now, you can get them for nothing... $6k-$8k off msrp is common grounds.

posted by  thunderbird1100

No, not 6 or 8k below list. I mean really cheap. I had just finished putting a clutch in one of my rollbacks when I stopped in. Dirty, smelly, looking like a real turd. Told them I'd write them a check if the price was right. They threw a number at me and I countered with a mega-lowball price. They looked at me and figured I'm full of sh*t so they said yes. You should have seen the looks on their faces when I pulled out my checkbook and said do the paperwork.

I shouldn't gloat, I probably cost a saleman and a sales manager their jobs. At least their commisions. Oh well. :laughing:

posted by  vwhobo

Awww, now his children won't be able to eat. Those are always great deals. My father practicly stole his 525i from a BMW dealer, the guy would'nt even shake his hand at the end of the deal.

posted by  DSMer

There is no way that putting that much money and work into that little V6 will give him the same power as if he were to sell that car in favor of a 4.6 model. The best thing to do is to get the V8 model and slowly modify it. However, what ever you do, do not convert the tranny to stick without talking to me about it. I have been through it and it was a pain in the rear. You seem to be getting a lot of costly advice. I have owned 2 T-birds, a '94 stang, a '68 stang, and even a Merkur (German Ford). I also own a '69 Firebird. I'm telling you sell it and buy the V8 model. You will save tons of money and headaches. aj5liter@earthlink.net

posted by  aj5liter

Ok....the 4.6 T-bird is a slouch too. It'll cost well over a grand to get a 4.6 t-bird to run 15.5's. His concern is one of exhaust, not raw-swallow-your-fillings performance. I simply gave him a few pointers in case he wanted a little more from his car. I have seen the 3.8's producing up to 320rwhp naturally aspirated. With the right budget minded mods, his 3.8 can easily be as fast as a 4.6 t-bird, if not faster. In fact, 4.10's, a higher stall converter with an exhaust and cold air intake would probably get him deep into the 15's without having to ditch his current ride.

"That kind of money", is cheaper than buying a 4.6 equipped 'bird and then modding it...and it would be faster. If he used the above-mentioned mods, as well as a Lentech transbrake equipped AODE valve-body with a pair of slicks, he would easily run 14's.

Let's approach this rationally, by comparison. A '96 mustang with an auto trans and 3.27 gears+posi(all stock) will run on the high side of 15.50's. A t-bird with the same engine, auto trans, 2.73 open rear and about 400lbs more weight will run (if lucky) about 16.30-16.60, maybe more, depending on driver and altitude.

A bigger engine doesn't always equal a faster car.

posted by  Sick88Tbird

just bought a 95 4.6L with 90K miles on it in amazing condition for 2900 bucks out the door, and thats from a dealer. i dont know what the prices are like in your area but usually chicago dealers suck compared to most southern states ive visited. dont know if this helps but seemed like it fit the conversation. also im looking for any advice for future performance mods if anyone can lend me some info feel free to email me at thatguy_247@yahoo.com

dan

posted by  thatguy_247

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