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Topics - Masejoer

Lounge / Car insurance for rarely driven vehicles?
I've been sporadically re-adding and removing my Thunderbird from insurance as it hasn't been getting much road time. It's a hassle, but worth saving $20/mo for the couple times a year the car's getting out of the driveway.

Is there any insurance that you guys know about (specifically offered for Washington state) for collector vehicles? Even my plates today are non-expiring collector plates, so the car isn't to be driven like normal drivers. Would just like to find an insurance plan to match up so I don't need to go through the hassle of adding and removing my Thunderdbird every time I want to drive it for any reason on a specific day (and a day in advance...)

My current insurance plan is $1070 for 3 vehicles and 2 drivers, and it gets bumped to $1200 if I have the Tbird on one else except us two will ever drive the four total vehicles, so it's crazy that even liability insurance continues to go up as more vehicles are added, with the same number of drivers (specifically 3 vehicles are mine).
Body/Appearance/Interior / SN95 seats DON'T just "bolt to our tracks"?
I have some 2003 Mustang centennial seats that I am using the frames from. The threaded holes about an inch off from bolting on  - I will need to drill all 4 track holes to get them to fit correctly on the tracks.

I assume this is actually normal? I was just surprised that everyone says the sn95 seats just bolt to our tracks, but that isn't the case with the frames I have.

 Too late to mess with that tonight, but it should only take a handful of minutes this weekend once I find some drill bits.
Electrical Tech / Engine bay connector near coil
I've never known where this goes to - does anyone know? Located coming out of the harness near the ignition coil. It has two of the four wires that go into a larger black connector, which has 4 total pins.

Engine Tech / Troubleshooting persistent misfire
Cross post from, where I've received no ideas from anyone.

This will be a long post so that I can lay out what I can think of in terms of powertrain parts, and what I've tested already. I have made followup replies in this thread with powertrain specifications, and what I've tested.


I recently picked up my decade old project again on "restoration"/re-engineering entire chassis as an updated take on an old fox platform (including CAD/CAM work). This is a 1988 vehicle running mass air, with newer 306 and 4R70W transmission.

Anyway, short disclaimer is that I don't remember exactly how the car ran a decade ago, or even 5 years ago when I drove it to a new house, but I believe I've always had a misfire. This includes iron heads I ran 15 years ago, but memory is extremely fuzzy from that far back, and I knew far less about cars back then. For awhile I also had transmission issues, and spent my time troubleshooting that more than the motor. With a properly working 4R70w in there today, and a 3000 stall Precision Industries converter, all of which runs generally great, I need to sort out some motor drive-ability issues.


The problem:

I have what sounds like a slight misfire (lean misfire?) - the rpms don't hold steady at idle, or when rev'd to 2k.  This is very noticeable after the engine warms up/AFR comes down, but it's also there when cold, or if I force open-loop via tuning software. The engine isn't as smooth as it should be. Years back I was told that I had flames popping out of open down-pipes, but also later out the tail pipes (with cats) when backing out of the garage, with cold engine. Wideband numbers always look good, and don't report lean conditions when I feel/hear the "misfire".

Video/audio of engine in closed loop, with stock-ish tune and me having EV1 19lb injectors, stock MAF installed:

Any ideas of what else I can look at? I need this fixed for my own sanity - a v8 with a stock cam should run smoother than this. I also believe I had the same issue on my previous gt40p heads, different sets of injectors, maf, intake, etc, but it has been way too many years. I'm documenting my troubleshooting steps this time.

Car runs great otherwise - no WOT performance issues from street driving. Closed loop runs clean. 3.55 gears brought me down to 25mpg highway. 3.08 gears returned 30.
Body/Appearance/Interior / Removal of front and rear window trim without damage/bends
I'd like to start jumping on every car I see appear at the local salvage yards.  I want to start pulling th  exterior trim pieces when I can, but don't want to damage parts if I can come better prepared.

If I remember correctly from many years ago, the side trim around the windshield unscrews. I believe there are two screws - one visible near the base that screws into the bottom of the A-pillar, and one on the side near the top of the A-pillar. Correct me if I'm wrong in my memory. I'll look at my car later.

The top horizontal piece has no screws - it clips into place. Releasing the clips and getting the metal piece removed can be difficult without putting a bend into the aluminum. Does anyone have any tips on the easiest intact removal of this top piece? While I straightened mine out when removed some decade ago, it still has a little bit of a bend from my removal attempt.

Rear (metal trim models 1987/early 1988):
How does the rear trim on these cars get released? Do I just use a plastic pry tool around the outside (preferably from the glass side as to not scratch paint)?

Rear (rubber single piece models late 1988):
Same as above - how does the rubber single-piece molding get removed? Are there clips biting into the rubber, preventing them from being removed? Should they pull out without being torn, or should I expect a rip?  On cars with pliable rubber, do I need to pry up on the outside to see something to push on to release the clips, or just pry up and hope the rubber doesn't split? suggests just lift/yank

Hoping to start testing these removal processes this weekend on this car
Body/Appearance/Interior / New rear window - $2600!
Got a quote from a glass shop about getting a new rear window (includes new rubber molding). $2600!

Anyone find these anywhere else? I know they were on Rockauto when I looked in 2015, but they appear to have also disappeared from there.


This was my quote from the same company in 2015, but held off to see if they could find one with the defroster grid (not that I cared that much, but Rockauto had ones with the grid). They even sent warehouse photos of the non-defroster window and molding back then.

Your Price: $504.63*
Your Vehicle: 1988 Ford Thunderbird
Type of Work: Replace Back Glass (est. duration 2 hours)
*Includes labor & moulding, before taxes and any applicable fees.

Engine Tech / EDIS conversion?
Looking at getting an electronic distribution system going with the Ford EDIS-8 parts. Has anyone looked into this in the past? I've read various pages and discussions on the topic, but it's all inconsistent and not as complete as I'd like.

The benefits are more precise timing control  (I have a Quarterhorse on my EEV-iv), and factory multi-spark ignition (up to 3 pulses per cylinder). Power improvements are minor, but more consistent, and people that have performed the conversion claim idle smooths out greatly, even when coming from a fresher TFI setup.

To start, it sounds like the following is needed:
- EDIS-8 module and wiring harness.
- EDIS mounting brackets or DIY.
- Explorer cam position sensor shaft ( for oil pump, cam sensor itself won't be used).
- 1996 F150 50oz balancer with embedded trigger wheel, or 36-1 trigger wheel adapted to existing balancer. Explorer balancer won't work as the pulley and balancer are one, but pulley is wrong depth. Addon wheel required machine work to remove the extra thickness added by the wheel. Serpentine alignment.
- Custom VR-pickup bracket. Seeing mixed things about the Edelbrock 4251 timing cover with the bosses built in. It's reverse water pump, but looks quite different than factory?
- VR pickup sensor.
- 2 coil packs and wires.
- EEC-IV settings reconfigured via tuner to enable EDIS functionality.
- One additional pin may be needed to wire into the ECU? Sounds like it's 2 existing signals and a new one.
- Some additional wire, solder, heatshrink for existing existing harness modifications. Some wire may need to be shielded.

Would like to start getting parts this week, but don't want to purchase the wrong parts, or purchase parts that I don't necessarily need.
General Fox T-Bird/Cougar Discussion / 3D Printable parts library
Anyone draw up any 3d-printable parts for our cars yet? I'm curious how we could start a library that is easier to navigate than a standard forum thread, and get various members' contributions of some STLs to fill it.  With decent 3dprinters becoming quite cheap and apps like Fusion 360 being free for non-commercial use, I figure this is something that could be a worthwhile endeavor. Even interior pieces, although they won't look factory, could be printed, then painted or vinyl-wrapped to improve the low-quality finish of our cabins. Custom fabbing and making copies is a lot easier by printing in PETG or ABS, and mirroring the product for a driver/passenger set is simply. Maybe even just store everything in a central spot to link to projects uploaded to a site like Thingiverse.

Doing the same for CNC-able or laser cut parts would also be nice. Such services have also gotten quite cheap if you can bring in good g-code to run on machines in makerspaces. 3d-printable models can allow for easy prototyping before taking the plans for final metal pieces to be cut.

Parts have definitely disappeared in recent years - not finding much around for junked Tbirds or Cougars lately, and even new-old-stock parts have become brittle.

Just a thought. I'm having lots of parts failing apart on my car lately, and becoming more concerned for the parts that we can't get from a Mustang. I even recently found half of my firewall "MAP"/BAP sensor fell out of the shell and was dangling on the back of the engine...
Lounge / Forum getting hijacked
This happens with some known Vbulletin exploit. I came here today and received a " - Your Free File Hosting" hijack page. For years on random vbulletin sites, if you see this page and go back in the browser, then re-load the compromised forum, the correct page will load. I was using a Google search to search this forum and clicked on one of the results, then received this page.

Just a heads-up - there's an issue on the forum host that needs to be addressed. I've seen these specific hijack on various sites for many years. It's server-side, not client-side ,so anyone that sees this hijack page shouldn't think their own computer is compromised.

A useful post on the topic:
Engine Tech / Idle motor noise
So I've had this noise for years, but never really dealt with it. I recently found some videos that show the noise, although I believe these are louder than my car (when I try recording with a mic, I mostly get exhaust note).

Before this guy revs the engine, there's what appears to be louder noise in/above one cylinder:
A louder version:
This may also be close:

What is this noise? I've tried pulling one plug wire at a time - no change in sound. It is only there when the car idles down to 700rpms - it goes away with any rpm/throttle increase. Not noticeable at 800rpms (let off throttle, the IAC drops to here before then taking the next step down to min idle). It's not there when cold - only when warmed up (rpms higher when cold).  I had this same noise when I had gt40p heads, roller rockers, and different lifters. It is still there with TW heads, TW rockers, and my current crane hydraulic lifters. Every lifter has the same preload. It has just driven me crazy for years, especially when the car was daily driven many years back.

I'd think it was lifter noise, but I believe I've had three different sets through the years when chasing the source, and two different sets of rocker arms. I even tried adding more preload years ago (closer to .060 on the gt40p heads, and the noise never went away. Oil gushes out of all eight rockers when running, seen years ago by the covers being left off and toweled-off for splatter.

Just curious if anyone knows how I can quiet down what appears to be one cylinder always making this racket. I don't recall this sound ever being different in the 20-30k miles since the motor went from stock to everything rebuilt/aftermarket many years ago. This is the only odd noise the motor has made and many times had made me want to swap the engine for something with less noise up front.

And yes, I checked pushrod length before ordering the correct ones years ago. Not the cause of problems. I'm sure I posted plenty of pictures years ago of this stuff.
Body/Appearance/Interior / "Gaps" with sn95 rear seat
I've seen a little discussed on here about the sn95 rear seat fitment, and I was curious exactly what "gaps" people found with the seats. Are the seats shorter/rear deck gap? Shallower/carpet gap? Just more narrow/side panel gaps?

Looking to get some new front seats that don't have the lean, and I like a local low-mileage sn95 set, but the guy won't split up the front and rear. I could get the rear stock reupholstered to nearly match, but would prefer to make the Mustang ones work if all it requires are some custom interior panels.
Engine Tech / Stock tach swinging
Got a new trans installed - slippage seems to be much better with anywhere between 16% slippage at 4k, 7% at 5k, and 5% at 6k (3k PI 9.5" converter). Now I've moved onto my engine. I've had a slight misfire for what seems like an eternity - I believe I had the same issues with different heads, lifters, pushrods, intake, and rocker arms. The parts that haven't changed have been the shortblock, '89 HO camshaft, and distributor/some sensors. I probably had a slight misfire for the 30k miles I put on the shortblock since the time it was rebuilt.

Here's a video of what's happening at WOT:

On cold start especially, occasionally my tach will twitch, but almost every time I start the car cold, speedo will swing between 20-30mph, until the engine heats up. I'm going to try swapping the distributor/TFI since that has been a constant.

Has anyone ever seen this behavior? In the (uphill) WOT run above, I could feel the engine starting to miss frequently. I'm going to be reviewing the datalogs to get a better idea of what was happening there.