PI Intake PI Cams and A Few Other Things

Discussion in 'Petrol Heads Forum' started by CDsDontBurn, Jan 17, 2015.

  1. CDsDontBurn

    CDsDontBurn AMD & Petrol Heads Mod

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    This is for my 1997 Ford Thunderbird. My car has been down since end of August 2014. The CEL popped up on my way home on the last day I drove her. Scanned the code and it was for cyl# 4 misfire. Coolant is in the spark plug chamber like in the pictures from earlier. I never properly took care of the problem when I changed out the spark plugs when I first started this thread. Part of that reason was because I didn't have a garage at the time. I just sprayed out all the oil and coolant in the spark plug chambers put in the new plugs, and left it at that when I put it all back together.

    Flash forward to August 2014 and the events described above occurred. Right now, my Thunderbird's top end is taken apart. I'm replacing various parts including gaskets. While I'm replacing parts, I'm also replacing the upper intake manifold from a Mustang GT (PI Intake) as well as the cams from a Mustang GT (PI Cams). I haven't had the time to really work on the car so it's been sitting there doing a whole lot of nothing and collecting dirt. Thankfully she's in the garage so she's not getting weather beaten.

    One thing - apart from the lack of time - that has held me back from proceeding further is a lack of a couple special tools that I need such as the Ford timing chain holder and a swivel socket. I just purchased the swivel socket today so I can at the very minimum replace the valve cover gaskets sometime in the near future. The other big issue to address though is the leaking brake fluid. There's a spring loaded valve that is part of the brake fluid lines for the rear brakes. One (or both) have failed and began leaking just a couple days before she was garaged for this project. So after I do all the engine work and remove the dash in order to replace the blend door actuator, I'm going to have to repair this leaking brake fluid issue. Afterwards though, she'll be good to go! The next big project on her will be the suspension. I hope to buy components one paycheck at a time until I have everything I need to get it all done at once. The most expensive parts though will be the lowering springs and shocks as the cost of these is $500. I anticipate spending another $500 - $700 on all the remaining bushings, end links, UCAs / LCAs, etc. plus the cost of labor as suspension is something I'm not too familiar with nor do I have the tools to do the job properly in the areas that I am familiar with.

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  2. Liqourice

    Liqourice Well-Known Member

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    For how long have you been driving around with a broken gasket? I would flatten the tops if I were you, you will most likely have a leak pretty soon again otherwise.
     
  3. Tyrsonswood

    Tyrsonswood HH's curmudgeon

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    Mustang cams in the T-bird engine is a known mod? You don't want the valves hitting the pistons you know... Makes an awful noise. Seriously though, if it's been done before, cool, but if it's one of those "well the parts fit" mods and it's not known that a higher lift cam with everything else remaining the same and nobody has ever checked out valve clearance with the T-bird pistons there could be a major problem. Just from experience (not with Ford, but GM and Dodge/Plymouth) the various similar engines may have domed pistons while others have flat-top or valve relieved. Make sure this is all checked out before you get over your head.

    I'd hate to see you put all the time and money into this just to break your motor as soon as it warms up, if not on initial cranking. I've seen it happen to guys that knew a lot about motors, but obviously "not enough"...
     
  4. Calliers

    Calliers Administrator/Editor Staff Member

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    I have no idea what is going on right now.
     
  5. Tyrsonswood

    Tyrsonswood HH's curmudgeon

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    You need to learn how to rebuild engines...
     
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  6. Calliers

    Calliers Administrator/Editor Staff Member

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    Alas, that may never be something that I learn.
     
  7. Tyrsonswood

    Tyrsonswood HH's curmudgeon

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    Well, it's not like it's rocket science.



    More like automotive engineering.
     
  8. CDsDontBurn

    CDsDontBurn AMD & Petrol Heads Mod

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    The gasket had been broken for some time apparently. I first found out about the issue when I changed the spark plugs on the car back in spring 2013, but at the time I didn't know what was the cause of the problem. After joining the T-Bird forums, I learned of the issue and how to fix it. However, I decided to put in some upgrades along the way, because, well....why not? Everything is already taken out and parts just need to be swapped over. :)

    On the 4.6L Ford Engines, the upper intake manifold has coolant passing through it. That said, the gaskets tend to wear down over time and they leak coolant into the spark plug chambers. It seems to be a fairly common problem with this engine.

    What you are thinking is known as a blown head gasket where the gasket between the top of the engine block and the bottom of the head has failed. If that was the case with me, I would agree. After the head is removed, the bottom of the head would need to be resurfaced in order for it make a proper seal again.

    It's a "true and tried" mod over on the T-Bird forums I'm on. The only thing I have to really worry about is the timing. I'll have to get my dad or somebody to help me out on that part of it. I *might* be able to do it myself as it seems to be fairly straight forward to do, but that is a part of this mod that I'm nervous about. As far as parts go though, they're just plug and play. Take the old ones out, put the new ones on.

    Like I said, this engine is the same engine used in the 4.6L Mustang GT. The '96 / '97 T-Bird specifically uses '99 - '04 Mustang GT parts as direct plug and play. The '94 / '95 T-Bird can use the '99 - '04 Mustang GT parts, but they often take a little bit of manipulation in order to get them to work right.
     
  9. Tyrsonswood

    Tyrsonswood HH's curmudgeon

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    If it's tried and true, just pay attention to the details. As I said earlier bolt on doesn't mean it will work... even within the same engine family and even model and year there were differences that could grenade your engine if not noted. Have fun and keep the shiny side up.
     
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  10. CDsDontBurn

    CDsDontBurn AMD & Petrol Heads Mod

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    Yesterday I was able to make some progress on my swap. I removed the radiator fan, PS fluid reservoir, driver side coil pack, the plate that all that bolts onto, and managed to move the wiring hardness out of the way. I know that some of these are not necessary to do at all by any means, but for the purposes of having extra working space, I did them. I was finally able to remove the driver side valve cover, and all the bolts are gone from the passenger's side valve cover. Although, I was unable to remove the valve cover because of the fuel vapor hard line that's attached to the shock tower. The fuel vapor hard line is in the way, and despite having been told to be patient with it and to rock it back and forth, side to side will do the trick, I was unsuccessful at doing so even after an hour or so of playing with it. I then decided to attempt to remove the fuel vapor hard line as I saw it's only held in by two clips, one at the shock tower and one below the air filter box. The shock tower one was easy to remove, but the one by the air filter box is hard to get to. It will require either smaller hands or some sort of awkward position that will cramp up my hands. I did attempt to use various length flat head screw drivers, but that still proved futile.

    As for continuing with the cams swap part of this project, I have decided to do so by removing the front engine cover. I decided this mainly because I find it better to replace wear components such as gaskets, chain guides, and having the ability to inspect other components for potential wear as has been recommended, and replace them as needed. Now, I will need to do some research on timing as all I know is to put cyl1 at TDC for proper timing to occur. I know that I'll need to rent a pulley puller for the harmonic balancer as well. Other than that, I'm completely green to this part of the process as I was when I was contemplating just the PI intake swap before all this started.

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    My progress as of yesterday.

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    I'm paying attention to the details. I have already purchased some of the parts that require the modifications to be made. It's just the timing part of this that I need to do some more research on like I said.
     
  11. CDsDontBurn

    CDsDontBurn AMD & Petrol Heads Mod

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    A little more progress on her the last few days since my last update. I removed the front cover, the timing chains, cams, and have installed the new water pump nipple, cams, and oil filter adapter gasket. I'm waiting on new cam bolts to come in for me to install the cam sprockets back on and then get the chains installed. I didn't expect the cam bolts to be different, otherwise I would have ordered them along with the timing chain components when I got those a few weeks back. Before I can put her back together though, I need to finish cleaning her up. It won't take too long though since I only have the front engine cover and valve covers to clean before putting her together. She'll be looking brand new again when I get her put back together! I'm excited for this :)

    I did come across an issue of me breaking my radiator, which means I now have to purchase a new radiator. I'm not sure when this happened since I've been working on this for a while already, so all I know is that it's happened.

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  12. Tyrsonswood

    Tyrsonswood HH's curmudgeon

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    You leaned on it...
     
  13. CDsDontBurn

    CDsDontBurn AMD & Petrol Heads Mod

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    Meh. I got a new all aluminum radiator on the way. Should be here no later than Thursday.
     
  14. CDsDontBurn

    CDsDontBurn AMD & Petrol Heads Mod

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    Several updates in the last few months on this. Parts are beginning to get installed. Most of the front end is put back together, cleaning of components is under way, painting of components is also under way. I'm near the point where I will need to disassemble my dash to get to the heater core as well as my blend door actuator so that I can have heat working and not have that gawd awful ticking noise that I remember. I've removed the air silencer box so that I can gain an extra 1-2 HP. It's a negligible gain, I know, but it's free! By the time I'm done, the PI Intake and PI cams mod will have increased my net HP to the wheels about 20HP (over stock) alone. If I had the cash, I would have added a larger throttle body (75mm vs stock 55mm) as that would have been another easy bolt on mod.

    Over time, I'm sure I'll be able to add more mods to the car, but the next area I will begin focusing on will be the brakes and suspension, then I will move on to the transmission before going back to the engine. Why? Because what's the point of having tons of power if the rest of the car can't handle the power, that's why! :D

    PI Intake Manifold (before)

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    PI Intake Manifold (after)

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    Radiator (old)

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    Radiator (new)

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    Mock install of new PI Cams

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    New Timing Chain and Chain Guides installed

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    Front Engine Cover Gaskets (new)

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    Front Engine Cover Installed

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  15. CDsDontBurn

    CDsDontBurn AMD & Petrol Heads Mod

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    Last week though, while I had progress on a project at home, it set me back a few hours on this project. The new roof project finally got done at my house, but the roofers were unaware of what I had going on in the garage. As a result of this, all of the roofing sand granules fell down and into all the nooks and crannies of everything inside my garage. My work bench, tools, and of course my car were covered in dirt and debris. While I'm thankful that I did cover the critical engine components, there was a tiny hole on the passenger side head that allowed for a very small amount of debris to still get in. I managed to clean that up as well, but I'm just hoping that I did not miss any of it. Otherwise, all my hard work and time I've put into this will all be for naught.

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    Debris that made into the passenger side head

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    Another angle

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    What six hours of cleaning makes a workbench look like

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    Driver side cams

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    Most front end hardware reinstalled

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    I know I still have some minor cleaning to do to give my engine and its components a good shine, but, she's still much better looking now than what she was when I first parked her.
     
  16. CDsDontBurn

    CDsDontBurn AMD & Petrol Heads Mod

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    I did what you suggested and I'm not sure if it worked. I won't know if it's worked until I get it all put together. I just need to put the injectors together and that part of this project can be on its way. That being said, I did some work on cleaning up the plenum and transferring hardware over from my NPI intake to my PI intake.

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    I still need to clean the throttle body in the same fashion I did the plenum, clean the fuel rails, setup my new pintles on the the injectors, install the injectors to the fuel rail, and install the fuel rail to the intake manifold, cut the little "guide" tab things on the new intake manifold gaskets, and add RTV to the two points on the coolant passages of the gasket/head all before I put it all back on the engine. Of course, I could get the gaskets setup and install the intake manifold to the engine first before I install any of the other bits I just mentioned, but I figure it'll probably be best to do it this way.

    Once all that is done, I'm going to begin work on tearing down my dashboard to get the blend door actuator and heater core replaced. That part is going to be fun. I just hope I don't have very much broken plastic along the way because that'll make the entire process take a whole 'nother year to do before I can get her back on the road [​IMG]
     
  17. CDsDontBurn

    CDsDontBurn AMD & Petrol Heads Mod

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    Well, I had the engine back together earlier in the week and nearly ready to fire up. During final preparations, I was adding coolant and she started leaking coolant!! I placed a pan under her where she was leaking to catch the coolant, inspected the engine for possible areas where coolant was escaping from, and snapped a few pictures. Afterwards, I began taking her apart to begin troubleshooting. From what I can tell, I either have bad gaskets or I didn't torque my bolts down to spec. There is also the possibility that the intake manifold is defective (warped), but seeing that its from both sides and not just the one side, I don't see how it can be warped so badly like this.

    Engine put back together, prior to coolant fill.

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    Coolant escaping, passenger side.

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    Coolant marks on intake manifold

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    Intake manifold pulled off engine

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    I redid the RTV where it was supposed to go

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    Where most of the coolant escaped from. The part that baffles me about this though, is that when this mod is done, coolant doesn't escape from here, it escapes from the areas that the RTV is applied to

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  18. Tyrsonswood

    Tyrsonswood HH's curmudgeon

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    Intake height doesn't match the heads.... Do you know if the engine the intake came from had modified heads? As in "shaved" heads. Or vice/verse, are these heads shaved?
     
  19. CDsDontBurn

    CDsDontBurn AMD & Petrol Heads Mod

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    The heads on this car are original to the car and never before been modified. The intake I purchased as far as I know is not modified.
     
  20. Tyrsonswood

    Tyrsonswood HH's curmudgeon

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    I ask because when I was doing this kind of stuff we would run into this kind of problem because the angles of the mating surfaces were off. Maybe the intake, being of a "slightly" different engine has the same issue even if not modified. Warpage is also a possibility, as you said, but that usually wouldn't effect both sides.

    Difficult to check and measure at home... It's usually something an engine builder/machine shop has to figure out. Anything on your car forum about this?
     

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