Retrofit 02 Tbirds with 03 cam timing?

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The 03 Tbirds have 28 more horsepower due to variable cam timing.

Does anybody know if this was a logic upgrade in the 03 motor, or is it more substantial.

If it was a logic upgrade, then the 02's could get some of the benefit as well.

I read a while back that this a mechanical movement of the timing chain. The computer, like everything else, probably controls it. To retard or advance the camshafts, they take up the slack in the chain with an idler. The idler gear is then moved back and forth. (the idler is a shaft with a gear on either end, this keeps the chain always tight, but lets them control which side of the cam the chain slack is on). By doing it this way, they can move the timing of the chain a couple of degrees one way or the other. It's pretty hard to explain without a picture. A couple of months ago I had seen a site that explained it with pictures. I think I saw the site from Blue Oval News, not sure. Hope I helped. John

Blue/Blue Prem. w/full accent
1/25 #6333
So back to NM's question... can this (easily) be done to the '02 Bird?

I love the car, but can't find anything that gives a noticable (20-30) yet economical boost to horsepower, e.g. a $200 chip.

First off variable valve timing does not occur by changing tension on the timing chain.

The variable cam gear design allows controlled play (kind of a slip fit) in the cam gear, as there is the driven portion (chain side) and a driving portion connected to the cam. The cam gear has chambers inside that fill with oil. Oil pressure is bled into chambers of the cam by an actuator that opens an oil pressure port to the cam gear. This adjusts the advance or retard of the cam. As the oil fills the chambers, it alters the original orientation between the gear and the cam, causing the cam to either move ahead (advance) or move back (retard) in relation to the driven (chain part) gear. Some designs only control one cam (intake or exhaust) and others control timing on both camshafts. I have not seen details of the Ford system so can not say if one or both cams are controlled in each cylinder head.

As for an upgrade to an '02 engine, no way. Because the system is controlled by oil pressure, you would need cylinder heads, camshafts, cam gears, the actuator and the power train control module (computer). If you want/need 28hp that bad, it would be cheaper to trade up. If money is no object, wait until a totaled '03 is available and swap drivetrains. Another idea, when the new supercharged Lincoln LS debuts in 03, get one of those engines.

2002 TBird Premium, Full Blue int.
1971 442 Vista Cruiser
1967 Ford Country Squire
1962 Oldsmobile Starfire Convertible
1932 Ford Roadster (on drawing board)
There is a Co in Calif that does a complete after market package. 100hp more, brakes, wheels, mufflers, shocks and much more. You get the car to them and $20,000 later you have your double dream car back. Motor Trend wrote a story about it in a recent issue; they thought it was great.
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