TCCoA Forums banner

1 - 6 of 6 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
As we continue our restoration of the ol' 1996 Thunderbird LX my better half, and I have fallen into a sort of problem... We both love the darn thing.

So... We're considering a second Thunderbird!

That being said, my work commute is long.. Lot's of hills. Southern California gas prices. Depending on work site can be anywhere from 40 to 80 miles a day I travel (hence why I don't drive our 96 daily, and my better half does). So I found a rather low mile (just over 100k) single owner 1990 3.8L V6 T-Bird and was curious as to what others thought of the 3.8L as well as whichever transmission Ford mated to it for daily driving. Car supposedly includes a long list of parts that were replaced over the last year. If anyone in San Diego knows the I-8... I live at the top of the mountain. A real fuel economy killer going from sea level to 3000ft on my return home. That is why I am considering the V6 over a second LX.

I know it's OLD, but age never really worried me as I try my best to maintain my cars properly.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
9,318 Posts
Yeah, it is better... but not as much as you'd think. I had a 94 3.8 Cougar for a few years - highway economy was about the same, maybe 5% better than my 97 4.6 T-bird (27-28 vs 26-27) . City economy was about 10-15% better though; 22-23 MPG vs the 20ish I'd get in the T-bird. The AOD is also pretty notoriously weak... and the 3.8 isn't very good at getting up hills - you'll be downshifting into 3rd a lot.

The other thing about the 1st gen MN12s, those horrible motorized shoulder restraints. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
That’s a shame. Seems like a nicely kept car, but for my commute I have to consider the distance. I guess I could do a second V8, but I’d like to make my commute a little more economical if at all possible
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,867 Posts
Agreed. I would not get a V6 for hill-climbing. The v8, with the cruise on, will maintain very close to the set speed on almost any hill. The V6 will have the flashers on by the top of the hill.

Al
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
7,530 Posts
Swapping to a set of 2.73 gears will bump up the highway fuel mileage significantly at the expense of acceleration. Also with a custom tune you can bump up the ignition timing and EGR flow at cruise for more mileage. All told, you should be able to get close to 30mpg highway out of a v8 bird.
 
1 - 6 of 6 Posts
Top