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Discussion Starter #1
I recently purchased an '86 GT. I was curious to know if adding an intake would be recommended. I've heard differing opinions from friends. What would your take be?
 

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If youve got plans of upgrading other components (heads,exhaust,etc) in the future,an intake is a good addition.You can get a gt40 intake (like the 93 Cobra Mustang has) from any 95+ Ford Explorer/Mountaineer.They also got gt40/gt40p heads & a 65mm throttle body too,but youve gotta be careful with ptv clearance on the 86 Mustang.The throttle body,alone, wont make any additional power now,but it will once you add other components.It can increase throttle response too.The throttle body has to be modified slightly to work with the Foxbody throttle linkage,but the modifications are easy.The oem throttle body is 58mm & the Explorer throttle body is 65mm.
If you currently run the egr system & you wanna keep it that way,make sure you grab the intake from the 95-97.5(Feb) model,not the 97.5+ model.The 95-97.5 model still has provisions for the egr system (youll have to drill & tap the boss for the act sensor & the rear egr spacer coolant hose),but the 97.5+ intake does not so keep that in mind when choosing the intake.You can get these intakes & throttle bodies at the pull-a-part junkyards or on Ebay.
I havent researched the subject of ptv clearance on the 86 model to give you valid advice on my next point,so make sure you do some online research yourself.
You might be able to get away with running 1.7 rocker arms for a little more lift without changing the cam,since ptv clearance could be an issue with a cam change.The stock cam has got .445" lift on in & ex,so adding 1.7 rockers would bump your lift up to .475", but since duration & all of the other figures wont be changing,vacuum & idle will stay the same.

If you plan to add a cam or start adding a bunch of bolt ons,your best bet would be to add a maf system to your car,so you wont cause a bunch of idle & driveability issues.
 

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It'll help some yes but don't get one that's too "radical" that has an advertised operating range above 6k rpms. The explorer intake or "gt40" is a good choice for a stock headed motor if you can find one at a decent price. It seems like most of the guys selling them on eBay last I looked were wanting around $300 for them which is a little high I think.
Does the 86 have an HO intake like the mass air cars? I had my stock lower ported and I gained 18 hp by doing so. It wasn't real cheap costing around $300 but when it came back it looked brand new.
@wbrockstsr will the speed density cars react the same to an intake swap without tuning as the mass air cars?
http://www.tmossporting.0catch.com



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@ 90lx the camshaft seems to be the main thing that causes idle/driveability issues with the 86 model,because of it having SD.You can add heads,exhaust,etc with the SD ecm,but I believe the only heads(aftermarket)you can run are Trick Flows,due to their valve configuration & the 86 piston design.Other head designs wont work with the 86 piston due to ptv clearance problems.I dont know if the gt40/p head can be used or not on the 86.
The stock 86 intake looks just like the 87-93 intakes,but the throttle body opening on the 87-93=60mm & the 86=58mm

@ 90lx. I also agree that its a little too much for a junkyard intake.It takes no more than a few hours to pull an intake off a Explorer at the junkyard,clean it up a little then drill & tap the boss for the act sensor & egr spacer coolant hose fitting,so $300+ is a lil much.I just went to pull-a-part website & its a little over $50 for the upper/lower + core charge,so where is the other $250 price addition coming from by a seller??Surely they dont think 3 hours of their time is worth an extra $250 do they?? Im aware its not worth selling an item if youre not making a profit,but man.
There are 32 v8 95-04 Explorers at my local pull-a-part,so maybe I should go buy a bunch of them & start a little side business.
 

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How fast do you want to go? What kind of cars do you want to be comparable to performance wise? If you want to be able to outrun anything besides a Camry it's going to take a pretty good chunk of change. Not super expensive but $3k give or take. You're starting with less than 200 horsepower and new v6 sedans are making 300 these days. Bolt-on stuff won't even get you close to closing the gap and some bolt-on stuff won't do anything at all other than make noise and look pretty. If you want to be pseudo competitive you need a better set of cylinder heads.


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It's not a matter of speed. More efficient, maybe? My GT is pretty much stock except it has a newer H-Pipe and older Flowmasters. Reading here and a few other places it seems my $$ may be better spent on heads and headers, first. I don't necessarily want a "race" car, just a good looking, good sounding car.
 

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Oh yeah,one other thing I forgot to mention relates to the lower intake.If for some reason you do decide to buy a gt40 intake,make sure you ask the seller if it has the larger pcv baffle underneath.Some came with a small baffle & some with a large one.You can buy one separately, if the intake has the small one.Its nothing more than a metal plate thats attached to the bottom side,which covers the area below where the pcv sits.It prevents oil from getting into the pcv system, or most of it anyways.The large plate will keep most of the oil out,but the small plate wont.The pictures posted below shows both size plates.

If you really wanna feel a big difference in the car,rear gears is the best place to start.It'll feel like youve added 50hp to the car.Opinions differ,so heres mine.
Auto 3.73 or 4.10
5 speed 3.55 or 3.73

If its a daily driver & the route to work is long,go with the 3.73(auto) 3.55(5 speed)
 

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If sound is all you want then you should be good to go with exhaust mods like the h pipe and flowmaster's.


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If you get new cylinder heads I'd opt for a better intake than the explorer/gt40.


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Oh yeah,one other thing I forgot to mention relates to the lower intake.If for some reason you do decide to buy a gt40 intake,make sure you ask the seller if it has the larger pcv baffle underneath.Some came with a small baffle & some with a large one.You can buy one separately, if the intake has the small one.Its nothing more than a metal plate thats attached to the bottom side,which covers the area below where the pcv sits.It prevents oil from getting into the pcv system, or most of it anyways.The large plate will keep most of the oil out,but the small plate wont.The pictures posted below shows both size plates.



If you really wanna feel a big difference in the car,rear gears is the best place to start.It'll feel like youve added 50hp to the car.Opinions differ,so heres mine.

Auto 3.73 or 4.10

5 speed 3.55 or 3.73



If its a daily driver & the route to work is long,go with the 3.73(auto) 3.55(5 speed)

I did gears because they were highly recommended on the forums. I went with 3.73's and at the time I was only making 205 rwhp. With the new gears it was still the slowest thing around, I was just shifting sooner. I'm not sure if it was a good $500 or whatever it was spent. The gears were less than $200 but the labor was like $300-$500, it's been about 6 years so I don't remember exactly.

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It's not a matter of speed. More efficient, maybe? My GT is pretty much stock except it has a newer H-Pipe and older Flowmasters. Reading here and a few other places it seems my $$ may be better spent on heads and headers, first. I don't necessarily want a "race" car, just a good looking, good sounding car.
If you are looking for a good sounding car this is one way to go
about it. First get rid of the stock factory headers. If you live in a state
where you are exempt from emissions testing you can either keep the
catted h pipe or dump it for an off road piece. Since you have a
flowmaster cat back and it is in good shape it will probably give you
the sound you want. Next I would get an E303 cam or something
similar that is good on the street. This will give you the lopey kind
of idle that turns heads. of course you will gain some power in the
process and it will sound pretty good. If you have speed density
you will have to settle with the stock idle sound and forget the cam.
 

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If you wanna make a change in sound quality & replace the Flowmasters,the link at the bottom will help quite a bit.Alot of guys complain about Flowmasters,saying they cause drone, but Ive been running 2 chambers for years now & Im satisfied.The link details hp/tq increases,sound quality & interior/exterior decibel level for 15 different types of mufflers.
The hpipe gives the car a low,rumbling sound & a xpipe will give it a higher pitched,raspy sound(Nascar like sound)
If you run either without cats,it'll be quite a bit louder vs with cats.
The exhaust manifolds are probably the biggest choke point in the exhaust system with the small tube diameter & pinched sections.I would replace them with some shorty headers.Dont buy the equal length shortys either,get the unequal length.Longtubes will give you a little more power,but they can be slightly harder to install,due to clearance issues.The hpipe would also have to be replaced with a matching shorter pipe assembly, if you added longtubes and if the car is lowered,ground clearance could become an issue over speed bumps,etc.1 5/8" shortys are good.


Ford Mustang Muffler Comparison Test - 5.0 Mustang & Super Fords Magazine
 

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If you are looking for a good sounding car this is one way to go
about it. First get rid of the stock factory headers. If you live in a state
where you are exempt from emissions testing you can either keep the
catted h pipe or dump it for an off road piece. Since you have a
flowmaster cat back and it is in good shape it will probably give you
the sound you want. Next I would get an E303 cam or something
similar that is good on the street. This will give you the lopey kind
of idle that turns heads. of course you will gain some power in the
process and it will sound pretty good. If you have speed density
you will have to settle with the stock idle sound and forget the cam.

Yeah a cam will make your car sound pretty fast. When I had my motor rebuilt and it made 205 rwhp they put a cam in that's similar to the e303. I don't know how much power the cam added but not much I suppose. Along with that cam came crap drivability when I had 2.73 gears. I had to kinda ride the clutch and keep the rpms at or above 2k or so so it wouldn't buck and chug or try to stall. When I switched to 3.73's it helped that issue but it was still slow. When I mean slow it ran like a 10 or 11 second 1/8 mile with 3.73's.
But it sounded nice.
 

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All of the above info is right on time and accurate. However, IMO, if you want to have a quick street car and even be remotely competitive then you'll need a LOT more than a few bolt-ons. Been down that road before and it's not cheap. Road race? Drag race? Dependable street car? You can't have it all. Decide what you want out of the car and go from there. First option is change the engine. N/A Pushrod engine? Go with a 347, good HCI setup, minimum of 3:55's, and a name brand upper & lower control arm set-up. Forced induction? Same as above with lower compression to handle the boost. Coyote swap is all the rage and for good reason but EXTREMELY expensive. Or, put a 125 shot on what you have. I'm not a fan of the juice but it IS the cheapest way to achieve more horsepower. Several cons with nitrous but if you want cheap HP then that's the way to go. IMO, of course.
 
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