Last post by Silver5oh -
Ok guys, thanks for all the info..... I'm leaning towards using the SN95 stuff in the long run, but for now I'm enjoying driving it nearly every day....just being cautious on my braking distance!!!
Last post by Aerocoupe -
Listen to Chuck. Go get the TC rear end, put 94-98 v6 or v8 axles in it (they are the same), your brakes of the 2000 rear end, and call the back 5 lug sway done. Grab the rear brake lines off the TC from the front of the car to the rear calipers as they are run different than an '83 and it makes the install a lot cleaner.
Use the 94 spindles up front, you will need 0.330" of washer stack if you use the Fox spindles. Run the stock SN95 rotors and use '99-'04 calipers as they are dual piston PBR's and are alot better than the single piston 94-98 units. You will need to grind a little off the ears of the 94 spindles but its literally a 1/6" to an 1/8" at most. You can get SS braided lines that will fit your existing hard lines and go straight to the calipers with no adapters or you can run stock rubber lines but you will need an adapter for the right side if memory serves me right.
I would also suggest that you swap the brake booster to a 1993 Cobra Mustang unit (same bolt pattern on the firewall as our cars) and use a 94-98 GT or V6 master cylinder. The 1993 Mustang Cobra master cylinder is really good as its a 1" bore but they are getting really hard to find. I have used the 94-98 units with zero issues and they are 1-1/6" bore.
Gut the stock proportioning side of the stock combination / proportioning valve and install an inline proportioning valve on the rear brake line so you can adjust the bias.
Sounds like a lot but I can vouch for this system as it should have been stock on the Fox cars.
Last post by ISTLCRUZ -
Update….. I received the under hood mat. I have not installed it yet but it does appear to be be well made. It may not look like the original exactly but will be much nicer looking that the deteriorated one . Shipping was quick.👍
Last post by Chuck W -
You'd have to check some part numbers, but I think the '00 rear brakes would work on a "narrow" housing 8.8 if you used the 94-98 5-lug axles in there. The offsets between the housing and axle flanges are the same, so I don't see why not. (Narrow 8.8 housing means any Fox Mustang 8.8, as well as the 87-88 TC's and the 94-98 V8 cars)
There is a build thread on the car, but it is 15 years old on here, and isn't even the start of things. I've had the car since '96 and have been messing it up ever since.
The short version of the suspension is: Front - Stock K-member with altered roll center geometry (control arm locations) - FMS C-Kit springs with about 1/4" of spacers on top. - Koni Reds (Tbird-specific) - Stupid extreme CC plates I made myself -33mm sway bar Rear -A pair of old Kenney Brown LCA's I made up when I was there -A hodge-podge of semi-custom built un-splayed RUCAs with a modified Steeda panhard bar set-up, with lowered pick-up points at the axle -96-98 Mustang Cobra convertible rear springs (I need to change these out as the car needs a bit more roll stiffness in the rear) - Koni Reds (Tbird-specific) - 25mm solid SN-95 rear sway bar.
Brakes are SN-95 Cobra stuff front and rear. 94-95 spindles. TC 8.8 with SN-95 axles.
I was leaning towards the 5-lug stuff as the better upgrade but the TurboCoupe axle would sure be easier LOL
As far as the rear lower control arms, I left the '00 ones attached to the body and only pulled the axle assembly, planning on using the Bird's control arms. The info on the control arm hardware is helpful and I'll be sure to make notes on that when/if I get around actually doing any upgrade.
Seeing pics of your Bird really has me leaning towards using my Cobra wheels I have......what size tires are you running and what springs did you go with? I'm sure theres a build thread on it somewhere on here......?
Last post by Chuck W -
I'd go SN-95 stuff over Fox for brakes, all day, every day. later 2-piston 11" front discs are a nice upgrade.
The only issue to keep an eye out on that '00 rear axle. It's ~1.5" wider overall than the Tbird/Cougar one. If you'll still have enough room for your wheels, then you should be fine using it.
99-04 Mustangs also used 14mm hardware on the RLCAs, vs the 12mm on the Fox stuff. I know you can fit a 1/2" (12.7mm) bolt through the stock Tbird bushing sleeves by grinding down the little nubs inside the sleeve. Not sure if there is enough to fit a 14mm one through. You can't swap RLCAs, as the Tbird ones are longer.
Last post by Silver5oh -
Ok, I've recently acquired a very nice, original 83 Thunderbird Heritage 5.0 car with 67,000 miles. I've forgotten how bad stock brakes are as my Capri has 4-wheels disks. I'm debating on upgrading to 4-wheel disks but have a couple options I'm kicking around.....
Option 1- I was given a mostly stripped 2000 Mustang V6 car that I've pulled the complete rear axle and spindles from (also have a pair of 94 front spindles that I'm told are the better ones to use to keep geometry correct). The V6 cars as we know have the 7.5 which is fine as I'm more concerned with it stopping safely than making enough power to hurt that axle. The axle has all new rotors, calipers and pads and seems to be in working order and has 3:27 gears (open diff). If I go this route, I have the option of running a set of 16" Lincoln LSC wheels that I have a new set of tires for......or......I also have a set of 17" '96 Cobra wheels that I'd have to buy new rubber for.
Onto option 2.....
I've recently been told about an 87/88 TurboCoupe with no drivetrain that the guy wants to get rid of quickly and cheap. The 8.8 T-Lok disk axle would be a nice upgrade but a little overkill for for a daily driver type car and I could keep my American Racing 5-star wheels I'm currently running (16").
I'm thinking despite halving most of the parts on hand to do the 5-lug upgrade, I may travel to get the 87/88 Bird and swap the 8.8 under it and possibly even upgrade the front spindles to the 87+ Mustang/TC sized rotors also.
Guess I'm just looking for opinions and insight here. I know all the other issues with master cylinders etc but thats not really a problem as it'll all be replaced when the upgrade happens anyways.
Last post by EricCoolCats -
There is a trim code on your door tag (two letters). It should be something like HB. The B is Regatta Blue (H would be the seat trim/style).
Are you talking about the arm rest on the door panel? I have had limited success in painting them. The harder vinyl surfaces have a tendency to keep the paint sticky*. However, can they be color matched? Sure.
I have always used paint from the auto paint shops, mixed and ready to spray in a spray gun. Usually I go with PPG as it's more readily available in my area, but DuPont is just fine also. Getting paint made this way is the best way to guarantee that the paint will match. It dries quickly, stays pliable, and bites into the surface well. Just FYI, a lot of auto paint shops can mix up the paint and put it into a spray can for you. That's the best of all worlds if you can do it.
Going with aftermarket spray cans, I can tell you that the Regatta Blue from LMR does not match the factory shade at all. Do not waste your time and money on that. I am unsure if SEM has a pre-made blue that matches Regatta Blue. I believe DupliColor has an interior paint line and you might find something close there.
Your finished product is only going to be as good as your prep work. The armrest will have to be removed, lightly sanded to get any big imperfections out of the old paint (don't sand all the grain out though!), and then wiped down with wax/grease remover. You probably should consider spraying adhesion promoter on first, as that puts a layer between the surface and the paint and will greatly help in making sure the paint does not remain forever sticky. Then you can spray away...all of these paints will cover the old color, no need for a primer, and you will end up only needing 2-3 coats. Recommend at least a 24-hour drying period before putting back in the car.
Over time the paint may scratch a little and that's kind of normal with use. Easy enough to spray a touch-up.
* I have your door panels and the map pockets are a constant source of pain and misery for me, as every single one that I've tried to paint has stayed tacky, even following the correct prep guidelines outlined above. I'm told it's the release compound imbedded in the vinyl since new that is the problem. No way to get around that except find another panel and hope for the best. I might give up and get it vinyl wrapped. Just FYI.
Last post by ISTLCRUZ -
Ok guys 2 questions….. 1- What is the exact color of my 85 Anniversary Tbird interior? Is it Lite Regatta blue ? 2- How do I go about re-painting the drivers side arm rest. The previous owner touched it up with a darker blue and I would like to get a closer match. What type of prep work etc is involved and is SEM paint the way to go?