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50,000-Mile Update

675 Views 22 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  1997ThunderbirdLXV6
As I just hit the 50,000-mile mark, I thought it would be nice to reflect on what I have done so far, and how much it cost (approximate amounts to the best of my recollection).

This car has been wonderful to own, makes me feel great driving it, and just feels like it's made for me. Knock on wood, it'll continue to do so. Or make for a decent sale as I am considering returning to my home country of Germany.

  • New TRW upper and lower control arms: $1,200 (parts and labor; don't judge...I know I overpaid, oh well; all others are parts only, plus my own labor)
  • New fuel filter: $12
  • Two oil changes: 2x $40
  • Transmission fluid flush with Valvoline Mercon V: $75
  • New air filter: $12
  • New plugs, wires, and Motorcraft coil pack: $180
  • New belt: $25
  • New Continental Reliant tires: $400
  • Passenger side mirror: $20
  • Front valence panel: $15
  • Door striker bushings: $0
  • Passenger side door weather seal: $10
  • Auto-dimming inside rearview mirror: $16
  • Faux suede trim, incl. adhesive: $70
  • Genuine walnut wood pieces: $40
  • Leather-wrapped door release handles and shift knob: $15
  • Leatherette-wrapped armrest: $15
  • Leather headrests with custom stitching front and rear, tilting in front: $60
  • DRL with Zevo LEDs and relay: $35
  • Zevo LED taillights and LED-friendly flasher: $35
  • Cornering lights: $25
  • Door panel and center console ambient lighting: $10
  • Door courtesy lights plus interior LED bulbs: $40
  • Center console cubby (repositioned 12V outlet): $10
  • Center console armrest support (using pre-97 cupholder plus custom support): $10
  • Silencer removal with custom mesh rodent guard: $0
  • O2 sensor connector reposition (which cleared P0156 code): $0
  • Various interior cleaning/shampooing exercises
:unsure: Did I miss anything?

Comes to a total of $2,410. Considering that this is a budget operation, that's a lot of money; but I realize many people spend way more.
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Could you import it to Germany :)?
Theoretically yes...but I think it would be cost prohibitive.
Is that so, likely in partnership with Jaguar?
I think MN12 development predates Ford's involvement with Jaguar, but they benchmarked against the BMW 6-Series I think.

That said, when you look at the suspension of a Lincoln LS/Jaguar S-Type, it does look quite similar.
That's because the LS and S-Type share the same underpinnings.
I know
I meant similar to the MN12. I think they also have that load-bearing lower ball joint which I always find somewhat scary.
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Wash day pics...

Meanwhile, I finally followed the workshop manual procedure to adjust the trunk lid torsion bars (using the self-made tool). I did manage to move the LH bar from notch 1 to notch 2,'s seriously a suicide mission which is why I won't post any directions here. I'm glad my trunk lid doesn't self-close anymore, but it was pure luck.
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I found it quite easy with the tool from the manual.
Well, mine slipped off as I was pulling. Fortunately that happened a split second after it had reached that notch 2, so everything went ok. But I can't in good conscience recommend that procedure to anyone.

Since you're pulling backwards and slightly upwards, the height of the person doing it may play a role. If you're taller, i.e., you have a more upward pull, it may be safer (?).
I've never had a problem with the trunk lid, even after adding the spoiler to it. I can leave it partially open and it will stay there, maybe it's luck on my part! :unsure:
Oh my, yeah, definitely lucky.

Before I fixed mine, the slightest amount of wind would shut it. Even worse, when driving the front wheels up my ramps, the lid wouldn't stay open at all.
Factory-ish LED brake light: new how-to coming tonight!

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