Aftermarket Performance Parts Upgrades 2002 2003 2004 2005 Thunderbird

tbird

Forum Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Mar 15, 2001
Thunderbird Year
2005
All you need to unleash the power of your Thunderbird are three things!

1- Cold Air Intake 2003-2005 also for 2002
2- Exhaust 2003-2004-2005 ( says 2003 but will fit 2004 & 2005 per this post. 2002 only fits 02 model.
Also recommend replacing ignition coils since these are often bad! They are cheap now, so at the least have a set on hand!
You can do the first two and then the exhaust at a later time if you don't want to do them all at once. The tuner alone will also yield results.

A must have for any Ford Thunderbird owner! Click here to view the SCT Ford Thunderbird Tuner that works on 1996-2014 FORD Cars & Trucks.

Notes: X4 Power Flash Programmer; Pre-Loaded;Not Legal For Use/Sale In CA On Pollution Controlled Vehicle;, 93 Octane HP Increase +14 hp; Torque Increase +17 lbs./ft.~ Backs Up Stock Tune/Supports Custom Tuning~ Axle Ratio/Tire Size~ Holds Up To 10 Custom Tunes; Automatic On/Off/Sleep Mode~ Read And Clears DTC Codes; Built-In Performance Calculator~ High Speed Date Logging And Monitoring; User Adjustable Tuner Options~ Built-In Wifi For Easy Updates; User Adjustable Warning/Alerts~ Spark Modification By RPM/Wide Open Throttle Fuel~ Wide Open Throttle Shift Points/Shift Firmness Control/Cooling Fan~ Speed Limiter/RPM Limiter/Idle Adjustment/Traction Control


K&N 69-3520TP Typhoon Air Intake Kit is also a easy way to improve performance and gas mileage on the 2003-2005 Ford Thunderbird! Pays for itself over time! Click here to view on eBay
69-3520TP.jpg

ford-thunderbird-borla-exhaust.jpg

Ford Thunderbird BORLA Split-Rear Exit Cat-Back System With Single Round Rolled Angle-Cut Tip
Upgrade your Ford Thunderbird’s factor exhaust system to something truly amazing!
HP & Torque: 14 HP/ 18 ft lbs Torque.


Click here for 2003 2004 2005 Ford Thunderbird Cat-Back Borla Exhaust

Click here for 2002 Ford Thunderbird Cat-Back Borla Exhaust
Borla-140080-81.jpg
 
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tbird

Forum Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Mar 15, 2001
Thunderbird Year
2005
The SCT tuners are almost always better than the factory programming and well worth the money and usually pay for themselves IMHO! Same goes for the cold air intake. Just the money you save on air filters makes the cold air intake worth it! The SCT is the best tuner, so spring for it, if you have the cash.
 
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tbird

Forum Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Mar 15, 2001
Thunderbird Year
2005
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Johnvins

Active Member
Joined
Jul 21, 2017
Thunderbird Year
2005
Some of these were already mentioned and some not---

Install a hi-flow Catalytic converter.
Advance the timing a few degrees.
Install a high power ignition coil.
Shorten the gap on spark plugs and get good plugs and new wires.
Use Shell or Sunoco hi-test.
Install a K&N air filter.
This is the cheap way, will get about 30 more HP and 2 - 3 % increase in torque.

More expensive...$500-$1,200…exhaust headers and cherry bomb or Walker straight thru mufflers or a Borla exhaust system. Will get you 10 - 12 HP and 1 - 2 % more torque. Plus a nice sound!

Because of the cars computer and its factory settings, changing the timing, might nictitate reprogramming by an expert. The other changes, probably not.

You could consider a performance chip such as SCT Flash Tuner---about $400, which touts a 28 HP gain.
 
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Joined
Jun 27, 2018
Thunderbird Year
2002
The K&N website says the CAI only fits the 2003,2004,2005 model. Unless someone here knows different, that is probably correct. Your other option is to go with the High Performance Air Filter which is what I use on my Ford Mustang. Link- http://amzn.to/2iVZ8g0
View attachment 1326
I have a CAI on my 2002 and you are right , K&N does not make them. I got this one- https://www.ebay.com/itm/1421171242...d=link&campid=5338236430&toolid=20001&mkevt=1

I also put on the Borla cat back.Sounds nice and a good power increase after adding the 2.
 
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Joined
Jul 8, 2018
Thunderbird Year
2003
I installed all three of these last summer with the exact same brands. I then went on a road trip to most the national parks in Utah and not one day did I have to travel top up! A Trip to remember! The performance of my bird is amazing and what a head turner!
 
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Georgia Cat

Active Member
Joined
Apr 11, 2014
Thunderbird Year
2003
I want to install a Borla exhaust on my 2004 bird however the system recommended does not fit according to Amazon and on the Borla web site they say they don't make one. Anyone have an answer to this?
I have a 2003 Tbird and I have a Borla exhaust system. It has a nice throaty sound, not overly loud and it gives the Bird a few more horsepower.
 

donnyonee

Active Member
Joined
Jan 30, 2019
Thunderbird Year
2003
im patiently waiting to receive my throttle body back from maxbore.com, ($125 basic bore ), then knowing the old and new size, ill call a tuner for a 91 oct perf tune for my sct tuner.
I've done the cai, borla, and sct generic tune already.
I should be right around 400 hp, give or take :)

2003 3xblack
just received the throttle body back today
bored, went from 70 to 74 mm
looks good on the kitchen table
feels like at least 25 hp.
maxbore.com
$135 w gasket
 
Joined
Mar 24, 2019
Thunderbird Year
2003
I installed my typhoon cold air intake today and used my sct live wire tuner and got to say the sound from that cold air intake is great love to hear it sucking in that air and a lot better throttle response. However I believe I got the wrong tuner I got the sct live wire which the website site was a match for my 03 bird and had preloaded tunes but I plugged it in and it allows me to see all my numbers and change fuel air mixture and show that I added the cold air intake but it does not have anything preloaded like 93 octane performance upgrade or any of these performance upgrades the paperwork says that for the live wire it does have like one pre loaded tune for the cold air and if you know how to tune with one I can advance spark timing and temp setting stuff like that but if I want those other pre loaded custom tunes I would have to plug the device into my computer go to the website and purchase the custom tunes I want which are 10.00 bucks a piece. Can any one recommend what would be the best custom tune or tunes to purchase for the most performance I’m not savvy enough to start changing gear and axle ratios and spark timing and gear changes I should have got the sct x4
 
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donnyonee

Active Member
Joined
Jan 30, 2019
Thunderbird Year
2003
2003 3xblk 33,000
I did have a tune made for my sct x4, 5 star tuning, but ill be looking for a dyno soon. doesn't have what im looking for.
I just installed the hr sport springs and the kybs, it didn't lower it that much and the ride is fine, same.
I did see how all the boots on the joints are bad so I ordered a bunch. I can do most.
alignment next week then back to the dyno thing
 
Joined
Mar 24, 2019
Thunderbird Year
2003
Some of these were already mentioned and some not---

Install a hi-flow Catalytic converter.
Advance the timing a few degrees.
Install a high power ignition coil.
Shorten the gap on spark plugs and get good plugs and new wires.
Use Shell or Sunoco hi-test.
Install a K&N air filter.
This is the cheap way, will get about 30 more HP and 2 - 3 % increase in torque.

More expensive...$500-$1,200…exhaust headers and cherry bomb or Walker straight thru mufflers or a Borla exhaust system. Will get you 10 - 12 HP and 1 - 2 % more torque. Plus a nice sound!

Because of the cars computer and its factory settings, changing the timing, might nictitate reprogramming by an expert. The other changes, probably not.

You could consider a performance chip such as SCT Flash Tuner---about $400, which touts a 28 HP gain.
I had my custom muffler shop remove the factory resonators which really improved the sound from the borla 140081 system my next step is in ordering the magna flow 52099 set up stainless and it comes with 2 high flow converters and the 3 rd one that is right before the resonator. So in the end I will have magna flow from the manifold and borla from the car back without the resonator from borla which is brand new still and I will most likely sell it. I am keeping all of the stock parts I am upgrading. Right now I have the air intake system factory and the factory radio plus the full factory exhaust all my parts are from my 2003 premium. Right now I am tackling on project a week until I’m done.

Some of these were already mentioned and some not---

Install a hi-flow Catalytic converter.
Advance the timing a few degrees.
Install a high power ignition coil.
Shorten the gap on spark plugs and get good plugs and new wires.
Use Shell or Sunoco hi-test.
Install a K&N air filter.
This is the cheap way, will get about 30 more HP and 2 - 3 % increase in torque.

More expensive...$500-$1,200…exhaust headers and cherry bomb or Walker straight thru mufflers or a Borla exhaust system. Will get you 10 - 12 HP and 1 - 2 % more torque. Plus a nice sound!

Because of the cars computer and its factory settings, changing the timing, might nictitate reprogramming by an expert. The other changes, probably not.

You could consider a performance chip such as SCT Flash Tuner---about $400, which touts a 28 HP gain.
I’m still putting together all of my upgrades I have my appt in like two weeks with the SCT tuner guy with dyno testing. Just wondering I will have done all of the upgrades by the time I take him the car just wondering what to expect the horsepower to the wheels will be. I know ford states 280 but that is 280 rated at the fly wheel not to the ground. I’m hoping that with all the upgrades I would be happy if she put down 280 to 300 to the ground can’t wait to see the numbers. Just wondering if anyone has done these upgrades and had theirs dyno and post the horse power to the ground numbers

Also magnaflow offers the high flow catalytic converters set direct fit for the 11th gen thunderbirds part number is 52099 this is all stainless and you get the three cats the two main cats that come right off the manifold and then down to the third one this is the one you might be able to talk your installer out of putting in lol for a little bit more sound but not much. So I’m in the end I will have cat forward magna flow I will have magnaflow cats straight piped all the way to the resonators had those cut out and then straight piped to the rear to the borla mufflers. It really sounds good and and virtually no restrictions in air flow. So the extra sir the k&N cold air typhoon intake to the rear borla mufflers. This is just a suggestion if you want to add a skittle more sound and keep that great borla tone just a little louder
 
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