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I want to start racing and I have a 94 thunderbird with bad trans and I do not need it as a driver. Maybe a ten second car nothing way extreme. I have a fresh machined 400 with c-6 that should make 325ish hp, I guess I could use nitrous or maybe a turbo. But most people seem not to like that engine. What would be a reasonable engine swap for reasonable money. 351 w or c or cleavor or 427 small block. I am just searching for ideas because people say don't waste you money on that 400 so what should i not waste my money on. Thanks
 

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The 351w would be the most bang for the buck. Lots of good parts to get you into the 10a.
 

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Well to me 10 seconds is extreme for a car that weighs what your tbird weighs. Perhaps to some people on here it wouldn't be so extreme.

I would go at this in reverse. Determine your race weight and then figure out how much power you need to make it a 10 second drag car. Boost is going to be the easiest way I think unless you have a naturally aspirated mind set.

I looked it up. Curb weight stock is a nudge over 3500 pounds. At that weight you'd need over 500 horse power to get into the high 10's assuming everything was absolutely right including gears, tires that will hook, suspension and engine.

Here is a good online spot to do some easy calculations.
http://www.hotrodpitstop.com/
 

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Buy/build a chassis for it.

Buy/build a big block for it.

Detune it for your 10 sec goal.

When you're comfortable with it, start making it faster.

Stock '97 T-bird is HEAVY. Going to take more than 325 HP to get it into the 12's, especially with a low RPM 400. 400's are good engines but they are torque engines in factory form. 4000 RPM and they're done. They'll need heads, cam, intake, pistons, crank to make any appreciable HP up to 6500. Then a transmission that won't suck 70-some odd HP out of it (C6 is power hungry and HEAVY). One of the reasons the FOX body Mustang was so popular was because they were lightweight, and they didn't need a bunch of HP to make them reasonably fast. The 5.0/302 did very well for that light car. A fox with any decent built 351w is overkill on a street but lots of potential on a strip. The T-bird didn't have the luxury of the light weight. That's one reason the V8 T-birds were horribly slow compared to a V8 Mustang. To make a heavy T-bird really go, it's easier to start with an engine that's got an aftermarket following...351w or 429/460 and go with that. The 400 is, as said, an excellent engine, but without the huge aftermarket following, you are on your own as far as making big power out of one. Besides, you'd have to be crazy to want only 400" out of a big block...and that's what it is, a small block but almost the same dimensions as a 460 and a little less weight, and 5% of the aftermarket following.
 

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A buddy has a 92 super coupe done right up and he had it a chassis dyno and it made 320hp at the wheels, it might be a 14 second car. Go with a small block and C-4 and nitrous. Jon Kaase makes parts for the 400 but you need to win the lottery.
 
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