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

  1. #11
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    Door window channel runs are no longer made so take that into consideration. You can find the dew wipes, door seals, and trunk seal but not the runs.

  2. #12
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    The biggest thing is strut tower rust, torque box rust, and rocker rust. Anything bad costs $$$$ to fix, especially the strut towers. The strut towers aren't hard to repair but the engine has to come out most of the time to do it correctly.
    '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

  3. #13
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    Gentlemen, thank you for all of the tips!

    I go to look at the car this weekend. Hopefully, it checks out good. If not, the search continues on, because I'm really thinking for what I am trying to accomplish, the Fox Thunderbird or Cougar is really where I want to be. I am also looking at Lincoln Mark VII's, but I think those can be a bit more tempermental, and I typically see those with pretty roasty interiors. I also understand a T5 swap in one of those is a little trickier...something about the hole in the floor not being quite in the right spot?

    Tim
    2003 Mercury Grand Marquis LS - For now!

  4. #14
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    Mark VIIs are fine. I used to own one. The air suspension gets a bad rap but, really, it's stupid easy to fix. Heck replacing all the air springs and compressor is easier and often just as cheap as a coil spring swap. I would keep the air suspension in the Mark VII. Now the Teves II ABS system no. I'd ditch that if I planned on keeping the car. New parts are pretty much made of unobtainium now. Convert it to regular vacuum assist with a booster and master cylinder from a SVO Mustang (same brakes all around) and and adjustable prop valve or SVO Mustang/87-88 Turbo Coupe prop valve and you're good to go.

    Mark VII T5 swap: http://www.lincolnsonline.com/tech/00140.html
    '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

  5. #15
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    Gentlemen, let me ask you another question.....

    How many of you daily drive your cars? I'd likely put upwards of 80 miles A DAY on this car when I drive it to work and back. Pretty reliable for the most part?

    Tim
    2003 Mercury Grand Marquis LS - For now!

  6. #16
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    It should be fine. I could dd mine but I live in the salt belt, so no dice.
    '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. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by thunderjet302 View Post
    It should be fine. I could dd mine but I live in the salt belt, so no dice.
    That's awesome, it really is. My last 80's car required a full and complete build before being deemed "dependable".

    Tim
    2003 Mercury Grand Marquis LS - For now!

  8. #18
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    Welcome to the forum. I had a 87 XR-7 for about 2 years, and i will tell you to run your hands under the inside trunk area below the back window. All fox Birds and Cats are known for collecting gunk in the rear windshield channels and you can get rust in the trunk area. Pull the spare tire out too and feel the trunk matte for wetness or a mildew smell. Keep us posted on your purchase.








    1983 FORD THUNDERBIRD HERITAGE 5.0
    2008 SAAB 9-7X AERO 6.0 (LS2) 1 0f 554 Made
    2011 FORD FLEX SEL Family Hauler

  9. #19
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    I've been daily driving these cars for 14 years. My last one had 350k miles, original engine and tranny. Can't take credit for all of it though, i bought it at 290k miles or so. My current car is a 1986 tbird. I bought it at 131k miles in January and its sitting at 154k miles right now. Have a 200 mile drive planned in it tomorrow.

    For the aod, make sure the tv cable bushing is good, sometimes the radiator trans copper fittings leak, but they are a $5-10 thing at any auto parts store.

    You can daily these cars, i do pizza delivery in mine right now. You will have issues though. It's a 30 year old car and the parts are now starting to get scarce. Most common wear items are still available and there is a ton of parts compatibility between a bunch of other newer cars. You'll want a back up car incase issues come up, but they can be daily driven.

    My car has needed tires, and ignition switch and recently my seat back broke on the drivers chair. But I am really, really hard on my cars. I might do 20 or more deliveries a day, constantly getting in and out of the car, sometimes driving on dirt roads and randomly i drive up to 1000k miles a week freeway in addition to that
    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

  10. #20
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    Welcome to the forum. Check out Kansas City Craigslist 1985 Thunderbird , no rust.

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