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Topics - Haystack

General Fox T-Bird/Cougar Discussion / Our cars are getting old
Tried to order. Power steering line from O'Riley's and was told they are no longer available. They have one in stock 350 mile away and can get it in about 5 business days. Sounds like I am going to have to pull mine off and get one made at evco or maybe Napa if I can find a guy that will still do it. This means putting the car down for a day as I will have to loosen the motor mounts, jack the engine up to make removal easier and actually take the old hose in to get rebuilt.

If an alignment wasn't over $100 I'd just find a mustang without a motor at the parts yard and gut the rack.

I wonder what other parts are no longer avaliable, even when ordered for a mustang for our cars now?
General Fox T-Bird/Cougar Discussion / 84 cougar for a possible project

Looks like it could be a stripper model gs. No passenger mirror. I know this car has some rust from other pics. They were asking $1500 about this time last year. Evenston is about an hour drive from me is all. My 86 would be the perfect parts car. Good doors and most of the interior, plus when it was wrecked and repaired before I got it, it was repaired with almost all 84 parts.

84 front end, seats doors and a few other odds and ends. I might call this guy and see if I can drive down and evaluate rust issues. I know the doors are rusted out. As long as the wheel wells and back window area are good, I might jump on it. I would swap to a 86-88 efi motor with a few gt upgrades, t-5 and maybe more depending. Anyways, I'll see what the guy says when I try him tomorrow.
General Fox T-Bird/Cougar Discussion / decided on a new car
I've decided it's time to start saving up for a new car. The plan is basically to build the car I want while milking my 86 along until the time comes. I will be sticking with a 83-86 body either bird or cat and saving up for all the parts I want. Gonna be manual everything, including steering and brakes with a t-5 and a h.o. maybe with gt-40 heads and intake. With no emissions it makes starting from scratch way easier, so starting out with a 3.8 car wouldn't be a big deal.

Early manual fox mustang brakes and pedal will be the hardest part to find. Then I'll gut a 20:1 power rack and weld the input shaft. This saves me from different style ragjoints or special and expensive adapters for the power shaft. I have the manual doors and seats. I'd prefer the 85-86 dash with a digi layout, even though everyone dogs on the star wars clusterz, I really liked mine.

Right now I have the 302 and t-5 in storage as well as everything for a basic h.o. upgrade, just gotta decide on gt-40 heads and intake. I'll probably do sn-95 springs, I don't want the car really low out back and I want to keep it 4-lug, so I will be using basic gt brakes and calipers. I already have the spindles. I'll be going with a locking rear end. Haven't decided which ratio. I've been researching different 5th gear ratios that could possibly swap with the t-5.

Once I have the other car ready to go, I will gut my 86 and decide if it will be repaired or junked. As much as I like the car, I have never done body work. If it wasn't for the rust I'd keep it no matter what.

That's all I got so far. I want a rust free, or easily fixed car. Don't car about minor body work as long as its not too hammered. I have no problems replacing fenders and doors ect. I'll also be building my own tail lights. It's something I've thought about quite a bit over the years. I'll make a metal cover with round trailer style led's and paint the metal either black or body color and make it so it is still easily replaceable if needed to go back to stock.
Lounge / starting the year off right.
So what's the first thing I did this year? I worked until about 12:35am and started to drive home. There was a local cop half in the lane with his lights on. I drove by slowly and cut into the median a bit to give him plenty of room. I've done construction on main roads and highways for years, and I hate when people get too close.

Immediately after passing him he pulls out right behind me and catches up, right as I'm about to turn into my neighborhood. He said I was moving around in the seat alot and swerving out of my lane. I told him I didn't thing I was swerving and I was adjusting my seat as I had just gotten off work. He watched me pull out of the parking lot and had seen me driving around most of the night, as I am a delivery driver in a small town. He asked why I cut into the double yellow line and insaid because I was trying to give you a bit of extra room.

Handed over my license and registration, can't find my insurance card, which I'm pretty sure is expired anyways. We are required to have insurance, but we are no longer required to carry proof of insurance. He comes back and tells me to get a new insurance card and try to stay in my lane from now on. I said I will and thank you and told him to be safe and have a happy new year as he handed me back my stuff.

Guess I won't give him extra room next time he is parked half in the lane with his lights on. No ticket though, and not a big deal. I understand him pulling me over as it is new years and all.
Body Repair/Metal Work/Painting / quarter panel re-skin
Mindlessly watching YouTube videos I came acrossed this.

Guy knows next to nothing about cars and is replacing a quarter panel. Overall, I find it pretty inspiring. My 86 has some rust. By some, I mean a ton. I've played around in my head with what to do about it. I have never done any body work short of swapping parts and I have never tried to weld. I don't want to just bondo it up so it can slowly get worse and I've been thinking about finding another car and swapping everything over.

But this guy makes it seem like anyone could do it with a little bit of cash and some common sense. The biggest hurdle would be finding rust free parts. The cheapest way to do this would be to buy another car, then I'm right back to just swapping everything over to a new car as being easier. I applaud guys like damiac who just do it, but I'm not sure it would be worth it in the long run.

My car is toast. It was bondo'd up who knows how long ago. It has a 84 front end and bondo on the roof, both rear quarters, and only two bolts holding the bumper in. I know it has had a pretty interesting history and if I stripped it down, I think I'd be in way over my head.

Basically, I am trying to decide if I get another car to drive while I fix this one, or gut mine of the serviceable parts I want to keep and start over. Decisions.
Engine Tech / knocking engine
I have a loud noise at idle. Sounds metallic and high pitched. Think I lost a roller lifter or rocker arm, to me it sounds like a loose rocker arm, not the sewing machine noise lifters make. Car has 325k miles and I've abused it. If this gets worse, it will be the first time in 13 years I will have had a 302 fail me, internally anyways. It's 24°f outside. I've checked the oil and its at an okay level. Gonna wait and see if the noise goes away once it's warmed up.

This car has always had a bit of a miss that i haven't been able to track down. The main reason I'm worried now is because there is a much more substantial miss. Feels like more the one cylinder.
Lounge / pulled out two trucks and a crown vic today
Does noone know how to drive in snow or prepare for it anymore?

I drove my little brother into town to go to work. On the way out, there was a truck that got stuck in a ditch. Slid into it trying to pull out another truck that did the same. Since they were blocking the road and I had my tow rope, I got my tow rope out and started walking up to them. They both laughed at me and refused my help. After sitting for about 20 minutes I backed my car in anyways, told the guy to quit flooring it and straighten this wheels (only one tire in the ditch). This was a newer f-150.

I pulled him out fairly easily. As soon as he got unhooked he just drove off, didn't say anything and left the other guy. Second truck was a 2wd f-350 gas motor and he had two wheels in the ditch. I didn't think I'd get anywhere as the road was icy and I have an open diff. I wasn't gonna tear my car up either. He wanted me to take off and jerk him out hard. Instead, I pulled up the slack and pulled him until he got the rear tire out of the ditch, he then tried to floor it and started digging in again.

I told him to just hold his wheels straight and put it in reverse and not touch the gas and pulled him out pretty easily after. In the mean time, all these big trucks just drove by, didn't even offer to help. Lots of people yelled stuff at us and called us stupid as they drove by, mostly high school kids. We did get him out. He offered me compensation, but I let him go on his way.

Two blocks further down the road I saw one of my brothers co-workers stuck in a unplowed driveway. I stopped, again.... He's driven my brother home from work a few times, so I didn't mind helping.

This was a p71 crown vic with a locking rear axle. He had a buddy in the car flooring it while he tried to rock it. After I convinced them NOT to hook the rope to his trunk latch and hook it to the bumper, I had to pull into the street, blocking traffic to pull him out. One lady in a big jacked up f-350 did stop and offer help right as I got hooked up. I pulled acrossed the street into another drive way. Crown vic guy of course floored it and cranked the wheel, so I was dragging him sideways instead of straight on. This tow was much quicker and easier though as I was on relatively dry pavement and he was stuck high center on about a foot of snow. I'm glad I have the all season 275/60's out back, but even stock sized snow tires or a traction lock would have been most helpful today.

When I ran acrossed the street and unhooked him to let traffic by again, he took off. Didn't even say thanks or wave.

Some people. Learn to drive, or at least pack a small foldable shovel.
Suspension/Steering / lost brakes today
After getting off work I was gonna go see my buddy. Hit the gas station right before the interstate to pick up some cold one, hit the brakes and nothing, I mean nothing. I tried pumping them, then dropped it in 1st (I was going about 45mph) and made the turn off, alittle bit quicker then I would have liked to.

Popped the hood and checked fluid and the rear resevoir was completely empty, and the front was full to the top. Bought a bottle of fluid and dumped some in the rear and limped it home at 25mph with my flashers on. Glad i decided to stop before getting on the freeway.

I threw a reman unit in when I first bought the car because it had no rear brakes. When I replaced it, the passenger side wheel cylinder was blown, and had obviously been that way for quite some time. Replaced the cylinder and I haven't had an issue until today.

Taking bets on what broke. I was always of the assumption that on a dual resevoir if ya lost one, you would still have the other. I know the front brakes were working earlier in the day, my weekend job is pizza delivery and I was driving around all day on snow and ice, locked the front tires once or twice. Brakes felt normal all night, until I tried to stop for the turn at the gas station.
Electrical Tech / ignition switch
I really need to add relays or something to this ignition switch.

When I bought the car, the guage cluster didn't work and the key was really loose. I've been down that road many times and decided it was the ignition switch and picked one up one my way home, when I bought the car.

When I took off the column cover I found a broken wire, looked like it had been pinched. I put a splice in it and the dash lit up. Since I already had it apart I replaced the ignition switch and forgot about it. Well, today my dash lights, heater and turn signals all went out. I got the car home, ripped it apart and at first everything looked fine.

I pulled the ignition switch plug and found one wire must have not been making good contact and melted the plug, as well as all the insulation on two more wires. I ended up cuting the plug up since it was melted so bad and wouldn't go back in, and gutted the slot for one wire and just plugged it directly to the slot and repaired the other wires and reassembled the switch after a quick check and put it all back together.

When I backed the car out of the garage right after, again both the heater and dash lights died, although the turn signals still functioned. After ripping it back apart, it was actually the ignition switch itself that died. It was shorting out internally, verified with a volt meter. If you jiggled the key a bit, the car would even randomly die.

Luckily I still had the switch the car came with. There is zero play in the switch at all and feels really tight. You'd think a new replacement switch would be in better shape then the original Ford switch. The crappy replacement switch could have burned the car to the ground and only lasted about 30k miles.
Suspension/Steering / 1994-98 stang struts
I know this has been beat to death but...

My struts are shot in my 86. I was looking them up online and orileys lists the same length extended and bottomed out for the 94-98 shocks as the cougar birds. I know new struts are only $40.99 or so, but there is a mess of sn-95's at the local yards and they only charge $12.99 each. I've heard the work fine with slightly lowered suspension or sn95 springs.

I know there might need to be a spacer added or washers, but does anyone know if these will work okay with stock ride height? I have some sn-95 springs I could swap, but I know live in the middle or no where and dirt and unpaved roads are really common, along with big potholes ect. I don't exactly want to run brand new parts and thrash them.

I don't really want to deal with geometry and bump steer issues with dropped ride height, a good alignment costs half what I paid for the car.
T-Bird/Cougar Parts & Cars FOR SALE / 83-84 style console, manual seat tracks a perfect red seat belt covers.
I have a console in nearly perfect shape, easily a 9 out of 10. I pulled it from a 1984 cougar. One corner of the control plate thingy is starting to pull up on one corner not bent, and there is one or two scratches, probably hidden by the seats. Red in color, have a perfect red console lid, or if you'd rather, a nice grey one with one or two cracks on the under side. Ill throw in a good storage tray if you want it.

Has all screws, mounting tabs and brackets intact. With the appropriate trim panels this will fit any year 83-88 car. It is the full length, same style that came factory in my 86. Again, no broken tabs. The control plate only has windows and mirrors, but it is pretty easy to addthe ones for the seats.

Pm me, i will ship immediately. Im going to leave price negotiable, as shipping might be a bit expensive due to size and shipping options. Is the darker red, but you can paint it. Will ship from salt lake city Utah, 84119.

Id prefer money order or a check, ships as soon as check is cashed. No paypal, sorry.

Also, drivers and passenger side manual seat track. These are almost impossible to find drivers side. Drivers side $30 plus the ride, passenger $20 plus the ride. Buy both and ill do it for $40 plus shipping.

Darker red seat belt covers, no damage. Came out of a low mileage car. Matching pair.
General Fox T-Bird/Cougar Discussion / think they would take $500?

I've been looking for either a donor vehicle or a good swap candidate ever since i found a ton of rust and bondo on my 86 was listed for $1500 two days ago. I think with the mini spare, if the car needs other tires i can use that as a negotiating point.

No idea on options, but ad says rust free and 120k miles.