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Thread: Brand new member - looking for advice on an upcoming purchase.

  1. #41
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    Sep 2017
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    Wichita, KS
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    Well, I suppose everyone's dying to know what I found...

    I didn't buy it.

    After finding a set of BF Goodrich Touring T/A tires installed, I knew these hadn't been made in several years, so I checked the date code.....2002 date coded tires. Then, I was told that the car had only been started a few times a year, and driven around the block a few times a year since 2006. Ouch!

    I went over the car with a fine toothed comb, and even put it up on ramps at both ends and got under it.

    As far as real, actual problems went, I found the following:

    EQ power button not staying engaged (here's a surprise, right?)
    Chime Module pretty much mute (another shocker)
    Struts and strut mounts knocking
    Steering rack expiring
    AOD throttle lever bushing recall not done
    Transmission fluid showing a high amount of clutch wear
    Front main seal seeping
    Rear main seal seeping
    Transmission pan seeping
    Original 30 year old Ford fuel filter still installed
    Driver's seat had two rips, one in a spot that would rip further with time
    Cloth covering on sunroof slide panel missing
    Headliner water stained from someone having left the sunroof in the vent position while it rained
    Engine had a slight miss, and was down on power (I figure the fuel filter to be a good bit of the problem)

    These are the high points:

    Tires showed nice, even wear
    Brakes were new
    Catalyst, mid pipe, and muffler all new
    VERY minor paint chips
    All alloy wheels in nice shape, with no clearcoat checking, crazing, clouding or peeling.
    Worst rust I found was on the rear sway bar, the car was very nice underneath
    Carpets were in nice shape, no real wear, only very minor stains
    No evidence of a sunroof leak or water intrusion
    Door hinges were sound, and in good alignment
    Everything worked except the EQ power button, and the chme module, this includes all windows, locks, seats, sunroof, power antenna, frigid air conditioning, you name it.
    Engine oil and dipstick looked very nice
    Recent tune up and ignition module replacement

    But the largest issue I found with this car, and it will keep me from buying ANY automatic Thunderbird or Cougar.....my size 14 double wide foot gets caught under the brake as I press the accelerator.

    Gentlemen, I want to thank you again for helping me with this!

    Tim
    2003 Mercury Grand Marquis LS - For now!

  2. #42
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
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    In 6'5 and I wear size 15, so I know exactly what you mean. I drive with my foot sideways, pivoting at the heel. That way it sits over the brake. Then I can pivot my foot over and hit the tip of the gas pedal.

    Btw, the manual pedals are smaller, but much more cramped. Installing a manual brake pedal would probably be the best fix if you cant drive the way I do.
    Quote Originally Posted by jcassity
    I honestly dont think you could exceed the cost of a new car buy installing new *stock* parts everywhere in your coug our tbird. Its just plain impossible. You could revamp the entire drivetrain/engine/suspenstion and still come out ahead.
    Hooligans!
    1988 Crown Vic wagon. 120K California car. Wifes grocery getter. (junked)
    1987 Ford Thunderbird LX. 5.0. s.o., sn-95 t-5 and an f-150 clutch. Driven daily and going strong.
    1986 cougar.
    lilsammywasapunkrocker@yahoo.com

  3. #43
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    Olathe, Kansas
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    EQ power button not staying engaged (here's a surprise, right?)
    Chime Module pretty much mute (another shocker)
    Struts and strut mounts knocking
    Steering rack expiring Expected
    AOD throttle lever bushing recall not doneSimple and cheap
    Transmission fluid showing a high amount of clutch wearBased off what? Expected dirty fluid
    Front main seal seeping/For sure expected
    Rear main seal seepingDamn sure expected
    Transmission pan seepingSimple fix
    Original 30 year old Ford fuel filter still installedWas it date coded?
    Driver's seat had two rips, one in a spot that would rip further with time
    Cloth covering on sunroof slide panel missing
    Headliner water stained from someone having left the sunroof in the vent position while it rained
    Engine had a slight miss, and was down on power (I figure the fuel filter to be a good bit of the problem)

    Not to be critical, but a lot of that is to be expected for a 30yr old car. I wish you could have got it, instead of someone else potentially butcher and molesting it into worthless. You could cut that brake pedal surface smaller and fit another pedal cover onto it
    Mike

  4. #44
    Join Date
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    I agree with that. However, it has more problems then my $500 car had. For a $5500 asking price, id expect near perfection. The plus side though, all of thise things are pretty fixable. Body work is expensive as well as rust. It would be a good starting point for a project. I dunno about $5500 good though. Just my $.05.
    Quote Originally Posted by jcassity
    I honestly dont think you could exceed the cost of a new car buy installing new *stock* parts everywhere in your coug our tbird. Its just plain impossible. You could revamp the entire drivetrain/engine/suspenstion and still come out ahead.
    Hooligans!
    1988 Crown Vic wagon. 120K California car. Wifes grocery getter. (junked)
    1987 Ford Thunderbird LX. 5.0. s.o., sn-95 t-5 and an f-150 clutch. Driven daily and going strong.
    1986 cougar.
    lilsammywasapunkrocker@yahoo.com

  5. #45
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Pasadena, MD
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    I have to agree. For the 5,550 asking price, the car needs to be mostly perfect. Even for 4,500, I would expect a little bit better.

    If you're patient, and really do want one of these, you will find a nicer example for less money. I've seen a few that have come up for sale, and then months later come up for sale again for a cheaper price.
    It's Gumby's fault.

  6. #46
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
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    Chicago
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    I'd have to agree. The car had problems, that are easy/cheap to correct, but for $5500 you shouldn't have to correct some of those issues. Now for $3500-4000 it would have been worth it.
    '88 Thunderbird LX: 306, Edelbrock Performer heads, Comp 266HR cam, Edelbrock Performer RPM intake, Edelbrock 70mm TB, 76mm C&L MAF, 30lb injectors, 2.5" exhaust, AOD with 2800 PI converter, 8.8 with 3.73 gears, 31 spline Traction-Lok, 31 spline Moser axles, 04 Cobra front arms, Maximum Motorsports extreme duty rear arms, subframes.
    '11 Focus, '12 Mustang 3.7, '17 Accord EX-L V6

  7. #47
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    Sep 2017
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    Wichita, KS
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    Mike,

    You make good points. But so do the other two posters behind you. Just to clarify a bit:

    The fuel filter - the general dingy appearance coupled with "Motorcraft E7XX-XXXXX-XX" told me all I needed to see. An aftermarket Motorcraft filter normally carries a Motorcraft P/N, not a Ford P/N.
    The transmission clutch material - when I wipe a dipstick on a white cloth, and get a dark black streak....that's too much clutch material floating around. I already know to expect a nice little pile in the pan.
    AOD bushing recall not done - What else did they neglect? This car was supposed to be owned by a VERY meticulous old man.
    Transmission pan seeping - yeah, it's minor. But I also went to FULLY inspect the car.
    Front main seeping - I'm not adverse to turning a wrench, but this is not acceptable to me at this price point.
    Rear main seeping - I'm not pulling an engine or a trans on a car THIS high over market value to fix this.
    Struts and steering rack knocking/expiring - This shows a general lack of maintenance, and that is concerning, once again, for a car that was "meticulously maintained".

    As best I can determine, that car is worth somewhere in the $3700 neighborhood. At almost two grand higher, I expected better maintenance, and less labor intensive issues to sort at that price point, lest we forget some of the other issues I found - like the interior issues. If I had to throw a dart, I'd say, all in, with everything fixed, including the interior you're talking another couple grand. I also wasn't certain it would even make the trip back to Wichita on the tires it was wearing, or the coolant in it.

    Also, I posted all of that just in case someone else runs across this car, hopefully, they find this thread, and can review my inspection to help their buying decision....it is on that basis, I left out NOTHING.

    Tim
    2003 Mercury Grand Marquis LS - For now!

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