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The Merkur Club of America Forums • Thunderbird i.c. worth it or not?
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Thunderbird i.c. worth it or not?

Posted: Thu Mar 10, 2016 11:36 am
by rab
I'm sure the tbrid top mount i.c. is not that great cause of the obvious place its located in, and it kind of small so is it worth it upgrade to one over not having one at all?
The good thing is I can get one for 20.00 and probably almost bolt right in so not much time will have to be put into it, but if it just heat soaks will it even help?
I don't want to upgrade to a bigger fmic untill I rotate and port my intakes,which wont happening to soon.
I do have a la3 ecu and big vam that I'd like to put on the car also.

Re: Thunderbird i.c. worth it or not?

Posted: Thu Mar 10, 2016 11:56 am
by John Brennan
That all depends on how you feed fresh, cool air to it. By installing one properly, with attention paid to ducting a source of high-pressure, cool air to it, it can work quite well for modest to moderate power gains. Very streetable, lowest volume of all setups, BOV/BPV not required, no need to move any accessories.

Re: Thunderbird i.c. worth it or not?

Posted: Thu Mar 10, 2016 12:27 pm
by In XS 7
John Brennan wrote:By installing one properly, with attention paid to ducting a source of high-pressure, cool air to it.
X2 You will need a source of fresh air directed to that intercooler. Personally, I am not a big fan of the Thunderbird IC, but, that's just my opinion. Good luck on your install if you decide to go that route.
:cheers

Re: Thunderbird i.c. worth it or not?

Posted: Thu Mar 10, 2016 1:30 pm
by Choochoochoo
I'm going to be using one, once I get it installed... I don't really want to chop up the hood so I'm just going to find a small cooling fan to force feed outside air over it. Probably use a bunch of hvac ducting and what not to make it work and keep it as cheap as possible... The fan is going to be the expensive part.. I might even end up getting a heat wrap for the turbo to help reduce the high temps under the intercooler.... But that's farther down the road...

Re: Thunderbird i.c. worth it or not?

Posted: Thu Mar 10, 2016 2:55 pm
by John Brennan
Choochoochoo wrote:I'm going to be using one, once I get it installed... I don't really want to chop up the hood so I'm just going to find a small cooling fan to force feed outside air over it. Probably use a bunch of hvac ducting and what not to make it work and keep it as cheap as possible... The fan is going to be the expensive part.. I might even end up getting a heat wrap for the turbo to help reduce the high temps under the intercooler.... But that's farther down the road...
That's essentially the method Jack Roush used in creating the "Exposure Merkur" back in the day, so again, if done carefully, should work just fine. I would be leery of wraps, though; I have no personal experience, but I have read reports of the extreme retention of heat cracking the metal. Shields, in the form of turbo blankets, sheet metal, or half of an aluminum salad bowl, have also been employed.

Re: Thunderbird i.c. worth it or not?

Posted: Thu Mar 10, 2016 5:21 pm
by xr4outcast
I used one on my car for 7 years. It was a built motor with a T3/T4. I used a Porsche hood scoop and opened it up a little bigger and ducted the sheet metal from the hood to the intercooler. I also used a rubber door seal around the flange to seal the hood to the intercooler. In addition I had an 8" fan mounted to the bottom of the intercooler as well as piped in a Bosh BOV. This system worked great for me for many years. Only reason I'm not running it now is the car was converted to V8.

If interested I have the entire hood/intercooler set up available.

Re: Thunderbird i.c. worth it or not?

Posted: Thu Mar 10, 2016 6:47 pm
by merk23literturbo
I tried lots of IC's, including the top mount. Here's another option for you, save up some money and do it all at once. The rotated upper and ported lower with this IC and a Cosworth grill works great. I don't even use the water cooling, I never see the intake air temps go up more than 20-30 over ambient temps. Check Stinger website for rotated uppers. Pics here:

http://s586.photobucket.com/user/merk23 ... t=2&page=1

Re: Thunderbird i.c. worth it or not?

Posted: Thu Mar 10, 2016 8:08 pm
by thesameguy
It's been a *long* time since I read that article, but man, $8000 to Rapido to make 210hp. Admittedly, 210hp in a street car in the '80s was a lot, but these days 210hp is a few bucks to Home Depot or the junkyard. ;)

Re: Thunderbird i.c. worth it or not?

Posted: Fri Mar 11, 2016 12:54 pm
by merkurdriver