1 2 3 ... 5
Mad_Ratel
Mad_Ratel Dork
7/14/17 6:34 a.m.

So the story starts out this way, kid meets girl. Girl and her friend tease him endlessly about the clothes he wears. Two years later, kid is too shy to ask girl out. So he hits her with his bookbag everytime he sees her in the hallway. They graduate highschool and sign each other's yearbooks with their AOL SN. (yeah that old...) Kid looks all summer but never see's her on. Eventually gives up on it being the right AIM SN. Goes to college, first day she's online!. Kid messages girl "where did you end up going to school?" Girl Responds with the same school. and the rest involves lots of shenanigans and two kids. It's nearly 15 years since I started dating my girl. 7 since we married. I still love her and her tweaked personality and sense of humor.

What does this have to do with a car? Her dad purchased a 1996 Thunderbird Lx new in 1995. This car was her ride in college. He used to tease us that he could see footprints in the headliner. I know of at least once where I had to wipe the hood down to hide the distinct outline of a female body bent over the hood...

I bought this car from him in 2012 for $100. Fixed it up and drove it for a year or two and then life moved on. I was driving a 2012 mustang GT and the wife had a new edge. So I sold it for $1700. I told the new owner that I'd want first dibs on it if he ever wanted to sell it. well two weeks ago he contacted me and asked if I wanted it back. I've test ridden it. She's in worse condition than when I bought her from my FIL. But I have this strange attraction to the car, so $400 later I'll be picking her up today.

Pictures will come shortly, need to pick a new source and organize them. fing photobucket.

Plans? Mustang hub swap to a better bolt pattern. (Thunderbirds are 5x4.25...) It has ford factory cobra R wheels on it now, but interim owner hit a pothole so hard he's bent two of them at least 1/2 an inch.
Part of the hub swap will involve swapping over to cobra brakes and cobra hubs in teh rear.
I have a few electrical things to sort out, then I'm going to teach myself to paint a car with this one.
The rest will be done as I feel like it or as funds allow for.

RossD
RossD UltimaDork
7/14/17 7:41 a.m.

Sweet! There certainly some love for MN12s here, but it's a Gran Touring love rather than an autocross love, so it's a different love.

Someone else has a fairly recent mn12 build thread too.

Dusterbd13
Dusterbd13 UltimaDork
7/14/17 7:44 a.m.

The car you dated the wife in? And you don't know wht you love it enough to own it again?

Gunchsta
Gunchsta Reader
7/14/17 8:29 a.m.

Love me a good AIM romance. So it sounds like you'll have owned this car twice in the last 5 years for the sum of $500? I think you're doing alright- parts/repair costs aside you're still $1,200 ahead. Plus if you and the lady dated in it that's awesome.

Tom_Spangler
Tom_Spangler UberDork
7/14/17 8:36 a.m.

When I was younger I dismissed those cars as overweight boats. They missed Ford's weight targets that were set in development, and I even heard that some folks lost their jobs over it. Then there was the supercharged version and it's appetite for crankshafts and head gaskets. But I always liked the look of them.

Now, as I get older, I can see the appeal of a big, comfy, good-looking cruiser. It helps a lot that you could get the 5.0 from the factory, as that opens up a lot of mod possibilities, as long as you can fit it under that low hood.

dropstep
dropstep SuperDork
7/14/17 10:41 a.m.

I enjoyed my supercoupe right until the second transmission puked all over the highway. Car was great for cruising long stretches of highway in comfort. Didnt much like to be driven hard.

Agent98
Agent98 New Reader
7/14/17 11:17 a.m.

1994 with the 4.6 was a great car -relaxed cruiser, if you need to go fast many of the Mustang parts bolt on. Underappreciated.

Sky_Render
Sky_Render SuperDork
7/14/17 3:01 p.m.

Cool! Where da pics at?!

Tom_Spangler
Tom_Spangler UberDork
7/14/17 4:08 p.m.
Agent98 wrote: 1994 with the 4.6 was a great car -relaxed cruiser, if you need to go fast many of the Mustang parts bolt on. Underappreciated.

FYI, the 94 would have had the 5.0 SBF. The 4.6 came along in 96.

Will
Will UltraDork
7/14/17 6:24 p.m.
RossD wrote: There certainly some love for MN12s here, but it's a Gran Touring love rather than an autocross love, so it's a different love.

084

0004

DSC_2393

Tom Spangler said: FYI, the 94 would have had the 5.0 SBF. The 4.6 came along in 96.

Nope. The first year for the 4.6 in the T-Bird was 1994.

Agent98
Agent98 New Reader
7/14/17 6:29 p.m.

Sorry 1994 = 4.6

First year of the mod motor. Check engine (dealer: Check WALLET light) light glowed like the Fukishima reactor despite numerous dealer resets (OBDII no doing it your self back then except unhook the battery then it would come back on shortly after), finally I cut out a beer store refrig magnet and wedged it against the dash, that kept the orange death glow from blinding me at night. Still loved the car. not to thread jack here

gumby
gumby New Reader
7/14/17 7:56 p.m.

I will likely never understand why Ford designed this IRS to go positive camber in compression. Every pic I have seen shows it, and running the geometry while prepping the donor 89SC IRS for my truck confirmed it.

Will wrote:
084

I had a 95 Tbird many years ago as well. Great cruising car till some jagoff totaled it out for me...

Mad_Ratel
Mad_Ratel Dork
7/17/17 11:13 a.m.

I have pics, just super buried at work. Also need to decide on a image hosting solution.

Started getting a new price list together for the car for all the brakes etc. That E36 M3 adds up fast. Contemplating going to a JY and grabbing used for now. (I'd like to try make GRM budget requirements...)

I had a line on a pulled out cobra IRS for 200, but let it go when I found out the frame did not bolt up, when I realized how foolish I was it was too late. (The dif would have had some sort of loc in it, hubs are 190 each that I need for the thunderbird to be converted to mustang brakes. etc...)

Will
Will UltraDork
7/17/17 5:31 p.m.
Mad_Ratel wrote: I have pics, just super buried at work. Also need to decide on a image hosting solution. Started getting a new price list together for the car for all the brakes etc. That E36 M3 adds up fast. Contemplating going to a JY and grabbing used for now. (I'd like to try make GRM budget requirements...) I had a line on a pulled out cobra IRS for 200, but let it go when I found out the frame did not bolt up, when I realized how foolish I was it was too late. (The dif would have had some sort of loc in it, hubs are 190 each that I need for the thunderbird to be converted to mustang brakes. etc...)

Watch out on the Cobra diffs. 99 & 01 are 28 spline like the T-Bird; 03 & 04 are 31 spline.

The Cobra case is dimensionally identical to the T-Bird, but the rear cover & mount are not.

Dusterbd13
Dusterbd13 UltimaDork
7/17/17 6:05 p.m.

So, since I'm not all that bright, can you explain why the need to upgrade the brakes and bolt pattern? Gears i understand, but the t-bird my buddy had in high school took some tremendous abuse without fade....

Tom_Spangler
Tom_Spangler UberDork
7/17/17 6:07 p.m.
Agent98 wrote: Sorry 1994 = 4.6

So it was. I thought the T-bird changed the same year as the Mustang, but I guess not.

Graystang
Graystang New Reader
7/17/17 7:13 p.m.

Have to say iam rather fond of the later versions of the T birds...95-98..cant remember the years ..we had a few early 90s versions with the 3.8s

Mad_Ratel
Mad_Ratel Dork
7/17/17 7:20 p.m.
Dusterbd13 wrote: So, since I'm not all that bright, can you explain why the need to upgrade the brakes and bolt pattern? Gears i understand, but the t-bird my buddy had in high school took some tremendous abuse without fade....

the stock brakes are barely adequate for the weight. outweighs the mustang by 200 lbs and is 1" smaller in diameter. If your buddy had a 1997 that had upgraded and larger discs that would explain.

My wife used to have nightmares of hitting the brakes and running through a red light.

Mad_Ratel
Mad_Ratel Dork
7/17/17 7:44 p.m.

Lets try imgur.

Picking up the thunderbird.

View post on imgur.com

View post on imgur.com
View post on imgur.com

one nice crack. (of two.)

View post on imgur.com
Mad_Ratel
Mad_Ratel Dork
7/17/17 7:45 p.m.

ok, so first try did not work.

Will
Will UltraDork
7/17/17 7:46 p.m.

The most common reason for swapping the hubs is parts availability.

There aren't many good wheels in 5x4.25 out there, and even fewer of them wider than 7". Swapping to Mustang hubs gives you a virtually unlimited choice of wheels.

Brake pad availability for MN12s sucks. Swap over to Mustang calipers and you have tons of good choices.

And I agree with the OP: the stock brakes are pretty bad.

In front, the swap is as easy as replacing the wheel bearing/hub and rotor. Those are service items, so sooner or later you're going to need to replace them anyway.

The back is a little harder, but not actually hard. Press old hubs out, press Cobra hubs in. Redrill stock rotors or add Cobra rotors and use a relocation bracket to move the calipers out a bit.

Mad_Ratel
Mad_Ratel Dork
7/17/17 7:47 p.m.

Mad_Ratel
Mad_Ratel Dork
7/22/17 9:06 p.m.

So while I'm waiting on money/figuring out what I'd like to do I figured I'd look into the lack of power brakes. She's got brakes but only at the bottom of the pedal and they are super weak.

Hmm, prior owner told me he'd had a vaccuum leak. What is this at the back of the motor?

Hmm, brass fittings into plastic lines. Seems legit. Guess I'll give it a tug.

yup, all that work and he slid one line over the other, creating a vaccuum leak. Now to test if this is the only leak and if I have power brakes now.

A little clamping action, and yup, i have power brakes, but the booster is definitely leaking down as the pedal has more firmness then slowly I lose the firmness... I'll replace this whole brass fitting bs shorting and see if that resolves it or I might still need a brake booster...

jakebrewer
jakebrewer New Reader
7/24/17 1:42 p.m.

Had a 97 bird, followed up by a 98 M8 LSC, those "2" platforms will always have a small special place for me,.

pres589
pres589 PowerDork
7/24/17 2:36 p.m.

If that platform is anything like the SN95, and probably the Fox before it, that vac line is for the diverter door in the HVAC. And it's made out of something that likes to crack after about 15 or more years. People then throw different junction blocks in to try and get the broken tube back together.

Discovered this about 30 minutes before going to sell my SN95 Mustang where people were expecting cold A/C. Which it had! But only out the defrost until I figured that mess out.

1 2 3 ... 5
Our Preferred Partners
U786XcjBiPKudl1eCnioHLVCx9Pc7yuvYujtJGEbLgNCZ3gMDrUzebxZ0eE9JakB