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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 11-27-01, 06:15 PM
Tony J
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Question 5.4 in a Thunderbird

Hey everybody,

I am wondering if anybody out there knows if the 5.4 will fit in a late model Thunderbird. I know that to put a 5.4 in a Mustang Ford had to really rework the shock towers. The Thunderbird is a bigger car though and I was wondering what kind of challenges this swap would pose. Any input would be appreciated.

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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 12-12-01, 08:48 PM
Crown Victoria P71 Member
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I don't honestly think your returns will be proportional to your labor, research and cash outlay. It would be unique, and can be done, but if your budget is such, you can build a screamin 4.6 DOHC and not have to go through that. Ill ask someone who did it on a towncar, but I know they went through a lot of wiring, exhaust, underhood component relocation etc... There were majot transmission issues too. which is typical of any swap.
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-01-02, 08:26 PM
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Well first off all modular engines share the same piston size 3.550 from the 4.6 to v-10. The main difference between the 4.6 and 5.4 is deck height. But this should still fit under your hood just fine. The mounts are identical. What I don't know is how the intake would look compared to yours, meaning where the throttle body is and such. But from what I have researched one can take the dohc heads from the 4.6 and put them on a 5.4. However I don't know how the timing cover would line up. But with that thought you could locate a 5.4 and take your externals and put them on yours. As for going to a dohc. Most dohc with the exception of the mustang produce the same hp as the sohc. You could easily bump up the horse power on a 4.6 by opening up the intake and opening up the exhaust. This is the easiest and next would be pullies and an after market ignition and wires like msd. One thing to note is that which ever modular engine you use they are only good up to 400hp do to the rods and pistons. But the rest of the block is ideal for racing do to the main cap design. I have been researching 4.6 upgrades but most cost alot of money. Of coarse that would depend on what one considers alot.
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-26-02, 02:36 PM
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Location: NJ
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Yes and it's not worth it...

There are at least three guys running the 5.4L in an MN12 over on the TCCOA. I met one of them at the dyno in NY. The '95 Cougar had a truck 5.4L and a STOCK hood. It made 215 RWHP and 300 RWTQ. Stroker engines at their best make torque, not horsepower. There are some issues with 5.4L engines destroying their reciprocating parts at high engine speeds.

None of them are running belt driven intakes (i.e. Eaton M112) and the engine have a custom welded aluminum intakes. To shove a Lightning engine in a T-Bird would require a 4" cowl. I don't think it would be worth it, with all the additional weight.

Besides the 5.4L isn't all that efficient with the parts available to the general public. The 380 HP supercharged 5.4L Lightning makes only 70 HP/Liter. The 4.6L DOHC Cobra makes 69.5 HP/Liter but without a blower and missing 49 cubic inches.

Just my opinion,

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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 06-19-06, 11:19 AM
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Re: 5.4 in a Thunderbird

5.4's are wider. Believe me , I found out the hard way. I would go with 4.6 DOHC. 5.4's are truck motors. Not the power curve you would want with a car.
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