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50,000-Mile Update

673 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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Ford benchmarked the performance and styling of BMW but the mechanical executions were way different, no BMW 5 or 6 series had a front suspension anything like these, they had L arm lower control arms and MacPherson struts, our cars use SLA with strut rods which frankly is more of an evolution of what Falcons and early Mustangs used for front suspension way back in the 60s. The IRS is different as well since it to is SLA with a lower H arm, rather than trailing arms like the Germans tend to, I don’t know for sure but I’d speculate it’s probably more influenced by the classic Jaguar IRS.

The DEW98 platform may have some MN12 DNA in it, it’s not well documented but given the MN12’s structural similarities it was likely used as the starting point, certain things like the shock towers besr an uncanny resemblance between the platforms. Tbirds were even used as test mules for the suspensions and drivetrains, there’s an old article somewhere titeled “Dewbirds” that goes into it a bit.

That's because the LS and S-Type share the same underpinnings.

And yup, the MN12 had its sights set firmly on the BMW 6 Series. Coilovers and a multilink suspension on an American touring coupe? They didn't get that idea from Detroit in 1989.
They got it from Detroit in 1961 😉

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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:

Mine too, frankly my trunklid was a little too eager to open before I added the sport wing. I thought about pulling the torsion bar to the next notch since it was kind of a fun party trick shooting straight up with a touch of a button but it stays up fine as is.
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