Please Note, this is a work in progress!
Well, In response to repeated questions about "How can I make my car faster"....here is the official guide. Some of the modifications are subject to opinion. Also the order in which to perform them is subject to opinion.
Not all modifications can be done to all cars. Also the difficulty level varies significantly from mod to mod. Modifications will be rated in difficulty on a scale from 1-5, Explained Below.
If you have a suggestion for a performance modification, please PM me. I can not guarantee that ill add it, but i appreciate any input!
1=Easiest (Anyone can do it!)
2=Moderate Skill Required
3=Average Mechanically Inclined
4=Advanced Mechanic Abilities and Tools
5=Extreme Skill/Modification/Tools Required
Cold Air Intake (CAI) (Difficulty=1):
Cold air intakes are not currently available for our cars. Many have custom made them themselves. A CAI
is tubing in some form that connects the intake to a fresh source of cold air (outside the engine bay).
Hot Air Intake (HAI) (Difficulty=1):
Hot air intakes are currently made for our cars from several sources such as DRAXAS and EBAY. These are just high flow intakes that draw in warm air from the engine bay. Basically a filter attached to the intake.
Remove Intake Silencer (Difficulty=1):
Removing the intake silencer will free up the intake by removing the "restrictor cone" and it does not cost a cent! This modification could be considered a Warm air intake (WAI). Piping can be added onto the factory air box to create a cold air intake using the stock box for added ease and lower cost!
Forced Induction (Supercharger / Turbocharger / Nitrous) :
Please see "Forced Induction"
Cat Back Exhaust (Difficulty=2-4):
Depending on make and model, there are pre made cat back exhausts that can be bolted on with ease. On others you may need/desire to have a custom exhaust made. This is not something the average person can tackle. A professional muffler shop can tackle this. This type of exhaust goes from the output of the catalytic converter to the back of the car. Please see terms "Muffler" and "Resonator"
Replacing the stock muffler with a different higher flowing muffler is usually done for the different sound. The can also help free up some HP in the tope end. The can also help you loose low end torque. A lot of research is needed to decide what is best for you.
Dual Exhaust (Difficulty=2-4):
Most of our cars come with 1 muffler. A lot of people want a dual exhaust for the sound, look and performance. On the Taurus, none ever came with "True" Duals. The frame was not designed for it and on our engines, there is no proven gain. So when bolting on a dual exhaust from another Taurus, or having one custom made, most have one pipe from the catalytic converters to the rear of the car, then have it split to 2 mufflers.
Resonator Replacement / Removal (Difficulty=2.5):
The resonator is a "pre muffler". It is a long pipe that has a louvered center. It is used to remove the "rasp" from an exhaust and help quiet it. It can be cut and replaced with an aftermarket unit for a different sound, and to help free up the exhaust. Most aftermarket units will make your exhaust "drone".
Catalytic Converter Replacement / Removal (Difficulty=4):
Some like to remove their catalytic converters. These are part of the y-pipe on our cars. In most states this is illegal and will not pass inspection. Its purpose is to remove the unburnt fuel from the exhaust by burning it itself. They are very expensive to replace. Also they are the MOST RESTRICTIVE part of your exhaust. High Flow cats are available to help increase high end HP.
Y-Pipe Replacement (Difficulty=3):
This is rated at a high difficulty due to the nuts being almost impossible to remove without experience and tools (even thoe its only 6 bolts!). Aftermarket high flow y-pipes are not made for all cars. You can have one made at an exhaust shop or modify your existing one. Please see "Catalytic Converters".
Tranny Cooler (Difficulty=2):
Adding an auxiliary transmission cooler is not so much a performance mod as it is a preventative maintenance modification. There are many diffrent sizes, avalible anywhere. Go as large as you can fit and afford.
Shift Kit (Difficulty=4):
A shift kit kelps improve shifting by correcting any previous issues and adjusting slow to diffrent clutches and what not. This is something that must e performed by a transmission specialist. I would not recommend any attempt this themselves. Also it is not cost effective unless your transmission is already out of the car for some other reason.
A Supercharger is a belt driven air pump or "blower" that forces more air into the engine. The more air you can pack into the engine, the more fuel you can burn at the same mixture rate and thus more power. There have been some kits that are semi bolt on for the gen 1/2 taurii, nothing has ever been available for the 3/4 gen taurii. There are products out there that would be a good start, bit not bolt on. Much research must be done, and alot of money must be had. One really needs to understand alot about how engines work. There are several types of superchargers, such as "centrifugal" and "roots".
Identical to "Supercharger" except that a turbo is not belt driven, but rather the exhaust flow is used to turn a turbine, which turns a compressor. These are more efficient that a supercharger, but also much slower to respond to the gas pedal being pressed. More complex and involved than a supercharger.
Nitrous Oxide (Difficulty=2):
Nitrous Oxide, also called "juice" or "NOS" is the easiest and cheapest way to severely increase power of a gasoline engine. Nitrous oxide is not explosive as many think. When injected into an engine for short bursts, it causes the engine to be able to burn more fuel just like other forced induction options. The difference is the ease of installation and cost (cost being about 1/8 the price if not less). There are two types of Systems, "Wet" and "Dry"
A wet kit is more advanced and safer for bigger "shots". It adds fuel as well as nitrous to the intake. A dry kit is more popular and does not add fuel through the kit. The rule of thumb for how much an engine can handle is you can add up to 50% of your engines HP rating. Nitrous is rated by how may HP the shot is estimated to increase performance (ex. 55hp Shot).
SARC Struts (Difficulty=3):
This modification is for gen 3 cars. The V8 Shos came with 2 stage electronically controllable struts. Using these and not hooking them up to power will leave them in "Firm" mode, You could also wire them into a switch to go into "soft" mode.
Police Package Struts (Difficulty=3):
In gen 1 and 2 taurii, there was a police package with upgraded suspension. You could put those struts for a slightly more stiff suspension.
Aftermarket Struts (Difficulty=3):
All taurii have aftermarket struts avalible. From cheap after markets to KYB's to Knoi's. Which is right for you will depend on ride quality preferences.
Lowering Springs (Difficulty=3):
Lowering springs will help you car look better (in some peoples opinion). More importantly, the spring will have a higher "spring rate" which make the car much stiffer. Between this and having a lower center of gravity, your car will handle much better. It is always recommend to get aftermarket struts as stock ones will wear out much quicker due to the car being lowered. You may also need to adjust the camber of the wheels, so they don't wear unevenly.
Rear Sway Bar Upgrade / Add-in (difficulty=2-3):
If you car has a stock sway bar, you may be able to upgrade them. All taurii use the same swaybar, only the thickness differs. If you don't have a stock rear sway bar, then you will need to replace the rear struts with ones that have mounting provisions for it (any aftermarket struts will have this provision). By changing one or both sway bars, you can create more "understeer" or "oversteer" or "stiffness". Most stock taurii have a 21mm in front and a 19mm rear (shos are the exception). A good upgrade combo would be a 21mm front, 23mm rear. Also a 24mm front and 26mm rear is a cood combo...aso the stiffest you can get! Remember, the relationship between bar size and stiffness is not linear at all. For example, a 23mm bar over the stock 19mm is 150+% stiffer!
Sway Bar End Links / Bushings (Difficulty=2):
Stock endlinks are weak and the rubber busings are rubber, which allows alot of play as well as they wear over time. You can get harder aftermarket bushings such as TPR (thermal Plastic Rubber) and you can get thicker endlinks such as moog. Any parts store will carry these.
Sub Frame Bushings (Difficulty=2):
Subframe bushings isolate the engine vibrations from the car as well as road vibrations. But they hurt steering turn-in. To help this many have used rear sub frame bushings on the front as they are stiffer rubber. The best option is to use Aluminum Sub Frame Bushings (ASFB's). These alow no play and help steering turn in and suspension stiffness.
Strut Tower Bars (Difficulty=1):
A strut tower bar is a device that connects the two strut towers together to make the car stiffer. This helps steering and helps eliminate body roll. Some cars also need one for the rear. Strut Tower Bars are avalible from www.anondamotorsports.com
Sub Frame Connectors (Difficulty=4):
Sub Frame connectors connect the front and back subframes in your car together. This helps stiffen the body of the car and helps with body roll. These are alos only avalible from www.anondamotorsports.com
Front Brake Upgrade (Difficulty=2-3):
On cars up to 00, with relative ease, you car upgrade from the stock 10.4" rotors to the 11.6" found on the 96-99 SHO's. A;ll that is needed is the rotors, pads, and caliper brackets. The caliper is reused. Gen 1 and 2 may need to replace the knuckle and caliper in addition. This upgrade requires 16" or larger wheels.
One could also purchase a brake upgrade kit and go as large as 13" rotors, requiring a 17" or bigger wheel to clear the rotor.
Rear Disk Brake Conversion (solid rotors) (Difficulty=3):
If you want to upgrade from drum to disk, you can get the disk parts from the same year Taurus you have and swap out the parts. In most cases you will need the backingplate, caliper bracket, caliper, rotors, hubs, pads & e-brake cable. For gen 4's you will need to acquire gen 3 parts.
Rear Disk Brake Upgrade (vented rotors) (Difficulty=3):
For this you will need the same stuff as above, only from a gen 1/2 SHO
any 92 and older stuff). If you already have a gen 3 disk brake hub and e-brake cables then you are ok. If you are converting from drum to the vented, you will need either gen 3 or 1 hubs and ebrake cables.
Slotted / Dimpled Rotors (Difficulty=2):
In my and many others opinions, a waste of money, yet good looking. Read around and see whats right for you.
Brake Pad Upgrade (Difficulty=2):
There are may types of pads out there. There is you standard cheap organic pads. There are better performance orgainc pads (like "greenstuff"). There are ceramic pads (less brake dust created) and there are metallic pads (sound horrible, but best performance, so expect them to eat your rotors fast).
Bias Plugs (Difficulty=2):
On cars with rear Bias plugs (up to 99), you can add bias plugs. These bypass the stock rear load sensing valve, and applies more pressure to the rear brakes for better and flatter stopping. This is ONLY recommended for vehicles with ABS
. If you don't heed this warning, you will have a much better chance of fishtaling in slippery conditions as the rear brakes will have a higher tendancy to lock up. ABS
will help reduce this effect.