1996 thunderbird 4.6 seems sluggish

I got my 4.6 thunderbird not to long ago the odometer broke at 284,000 miles so its probably somewhere in the 300,00's it was owned by an old veteran who bought it new a long time ago and sold it to me for 800 bucks. it is immaculate on the interior and exterior. but engine wise it had oil and oil filter changes done but never had spark plugs or spark plug wires done and the oil filter put on was the wrong size. so when I bought it it was running on 5-6 cylinders I replaced the wires and spark plugs, changed the oil and oil filter and it now runs on all 8. It runs super smooth and idles well it has no engine warning light I used my code checker and its not throwing any codes. and gets great gas mileage but when put the hammer down it seems slower than I expected. like it wont even squeal the tires while my friends bone stock automatic v6 1997 ford explorer squeals the tires and feels like it launches harder. what could be the cause of this? Maybe the super long gearing bogs it down? I know that its no sports car but I would think it should be able to beat out a lower horse power heavier ford explorer.
 

biddle

Forum Moderator
Staff member
I got my 4.6 thunderbird not to long ago the odometer broke at 284,000 miles so its probably somewhere in the 300,00's it was owned by an old veteran who bought it new a long time ago and sold it to me for 800 bucks. it is immaculate on the interior and exterior. but engine wise it had oil and oil filter changes done but never had spark plugs or spark plug wires done and the oil filter put on was the wrong size. so when I bought it it was running on 5-6 cylinders I replaced the wires and spark plugs, changed the oil and oil filter and it now runs on all 8. It runs super smooth and idles well it has no engine warning light I used my code checker and its not throwing any codes. and gets great gas mileage but when put the hammer down it seems slower than I expected. like it wont even squeal the tires while my friends bone stock automatic v6 1997 ford explorer squeals the tires and feels like it launches harder. what could be the cause of this? Maybe the super long gearing bogs it down? I know that its no sports car but I would think it should be able to beat out a lower horse power heavier ford explorer.
Thunderbirds were never marketed as a sports car like the Mustang. The 4.6 V8 had less horsepower than a 2012 3.7 Mustang V6 too! I had a new 1996 Mustang 4.6 V8 and it drove and responded NOTHING like the Thunderbird!

Performance factory data and ProfessCars™ estimation: this Ford would accelerate 0-60 mph in 8.2 sec, 0-100 km/h in 8.7 sec, 0-200 km/h in 48 sec and quarter mile time is 16.2 sec.


 
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Thunderbirds were never marketed as a sports car like the Mustang. The 4.6 V8 had less horsepower than a 2012 3.7 Mustang V6 too! I had a new 1996 Mustang 4.6 V8 and it drove and responded NOTHING like the Thunderbird!

Performance factory data and ProfessCars™ estimation: this Ford would accelerate 0-60 mph in 8.2 sec, 0-100 km/h in 8.7 sec, 0-200 km/h in 48 sec and quarter mile time is 16.2 sec.


late reply but the first and second video video his thunderbird accelerates much quicker than mine and also squeal the tires so I think mines not running right or something. I did get a code today and looking it up it seems the catylac converters are plugged so I’m guessing that’s my problem guess it makes sense since the car was running on 5-6cylinders for who knows how long. Also the tranny seems to shift real hard on my car when going full throttle where on these vids it shifts smoothly. But I’m not gonna worry it’s my first car was 800 bucks and the thing has well over 300,000 miles so it’s bound to have some issues.
 
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64ZCODE

Well-Known Member
Yup. I had a '95 Lincoln with a 4.6 and it was right peppy. You could add a K&N air filter and make sure the ignition system is up to snuff. If you want to squeal the tires, try letting some of the air out.
 
I got my 4.6 thunderbird not to long ago the odometer broke at 284,000 miles so its probably somewhere in the 300,00's it was owned by an old veteran who bought it new a long time ago and sold it to me for 800 bucks. it is immaculate on the interior and exterior. but engine wise it had oil and oil filter changes done but never had spark plugs or spark plug wires done and the oil filter put on was the wrong size. so when I bought it it was running on 5-6 cylinders I replaced the wires and spark plugs, changed the oil and oil filter and it now runs on all 8. It runs super smooth and idles well it has no engine warning light I used my code checker and its not throwing any codes. and gets great gas mileage but when put the hammer down it seems slower than I expected. like it wont even squeal the tires while my friends bone stock automatic v6 1997 ford explorer squeals the tires and feels like it launches harder. what could be the cause of this? Maybe the super long gearing bogs it down? I know that its no sports car but I would think it should be able to beat out a lower horse power heavier ford explorer.
I’ve got a 95 4.6. 60K miles. Recently removed all the power sucking California emissions equipment and put real dual exhaust with Magnaflows. Also, went to a K&N air intake. Breaths soooooo much better, sounds great, idles perfect , But, the long gears in The stock automatic with overdrive do make launching off the line a challenge. Acceleration from a roll 40 -6o mph is great however, and your doing Mach 10 before you know it.
 
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