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Hi All. I was directed here by someone in a Facebook group.

I recently bought a 93 Davey Allison Thunderbird and was wondering if I could get some general advice so I don't have to go to someone else for everything.

Was a guys daily. Has around 170k miles. Made it a two hour drive back home.

Tune up is obviously first and I've already gotten some pretty good advice, but anything is appreciated
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First obviously, check your suspension. Make sure all the bushings are good, the ball joints are good, steering rack doesnt have play. Shocks arent leaking. Basic stuff.

Second advice is get that rust properly fixed before its too late. As it sits Id say you have 3-5 years before it rusts away if you leave it.
 

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It's not worth fixing the rust. How long do you plan to keep it? Like Wile E. said, you'll get may be 3 years out of it as it sits. You'll be lucky to get 5 years out of it. What's the under carriage look like? Give it a good inspection. See if the exhaust is intact or needs to be replaced. Look for floorpan rot. Pull the carpet out of the trunk and look at the sheet metal under it.

You can sink a fortune into it or you can get it running 'good enough' to be your daily driver. Which engine does it have?
 

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1997 Thunderbird 4.6, 1998 Mark VIII LSC
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The corrosion prevention on the earlier MN12s was vastly inferior to what came towards the end of the production run. Based on what rust you can see there the car may already be too fargone to fix given the value of the vehicle. How do the upper shock mounts in the trunk look? That's usually the tipping point - if they are clean the car can probably be saved.
 
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1994 Cougar XR7 DOHC/5-Speed
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93s are basically identical to 94-97s as far as corrosion resistance is concerned, early constitutes 89-92, 93+ benifitted from many updates the FN10 got.

that said, they’re not THAT much more impervious, that’s really probably too far gone to make it better than beater status. The shock towers are what really make the difference in whether the car is drivable or not.
 

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Take care of changing all the fluids. Check all hoses too.

You made it home after driving 2 hours, so you did good! :)

Joe
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Hi All. I was directed here by someone in a Facebook group.

I recently bought a 93 Davey Allison Thunderbird and was wondering if I could get some general advice so I don't have to go to someone else for everything.

Was a guys daily. Has around 170k miles. Made it a two hour drive back home.

Tune up is obviously first and I've already gotten some pretty good advice, but anything is appreciated View attachment 38491 View attachment 38492
I notice now these are pretty bad pictures. Will update when I can. I'll check the rear. It looks fairly solid underneath, I'll be able to get the wheels off in a day or two. They'll need replaced anyways.
The other rocker is a bit worse and they'll definitely need addressed.

Keeping it running is top priority. Hopefully we only have to put it through one winter.

Thanks for the help and this is the only post I'll make, I'll be sure to read through.
 

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1997 Thunderbird 4.6, 1998 Mark VIII LSC
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One thing that caught me off guard is that the area in front of the rear wheels there, in the rockers (which is where it will always start to rust through first) is also adjacent to the torque boxes that attach the subframe to the unibody. If those rust out and weaken, it's likely game over as far as permanent restoration is concerned.

I am dealing with this exact issue on my 97 now, and unfortunately the body guy I had 9 years ago (when I took the car out of year-round duty and asked to have all rust removed) merely patched over the issues rather than fix them when they were still relatively minor. Now I am past the point of no return and need to transfer lots of unique parts and mods to a new chassis. Not fun!
 

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I looked over the rear suspension? In the trunk and it all looks solid. A lot of components looked newer than factory.
Eventually I'll be able to get it repainted so I'm thinking of getting a shop to possibly patch the rockers, but other than that, it's looking pretty solid. Trying to find someone local to give it a once over and then figure out what I need.
 

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1997 Thunderbird 4.6, 1998 Mark VIII LSC
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Well that's a good sign, hopefully you find a competent shop who's willing to do the restore.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
She rides pretty rough, but I have to buy a new jack. Front end won't clear my ramps so I'll have to take the bumper off to get under it. Brakes need bled and changed. I'll probably change the air filter and then piece together the suspension and tune up.

Should I go for oe plugs and wires and stuff?
Would it hurt to put one of the 48k sets on it?
I'm getting the Haynes manual so hopefully that is as helpful as it seems.
Also what's my part interchange look like? Specifically the cluster plastic, door panel, seats etc.
 

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1997 Thunderbird 4.6, 1998 Mark VIII LSC
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Skip the Haynes manual and get the factory shop manual and EVTM for your year. It will be immensely more helpful.


Motorcraft wires, Autolite or Motorcraft plugs. 93 is kind of a mongrel year, it has some parts that interchange with 93-97 models, and others that interchange 89-93. In general the suspension stuff is the same 89-97 but the spindles were updated in 93. The body and interior from 89-93 is mostly interchangeable, with some variances in exterior trim between the earlier 1st gen and later 1st gen models.
 
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If your ramps are too steep, make an extension out of some 2x10's; I've had to do that for the Tbird.
 

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If your ramps are too steep, make an extension out of some 2x10's; I've had to do that for the Tbird.
Used cardboard to protect the bumper and just sent it. Went better than expected. Some lines will need replaced, but the frame looks good. Just bought the evtm and service manual. This is going to be a painfully slow build, but looking at it makes me smile.
 

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Ruby also is being painfully slow since life dun et me up ... but it's slowly progressing!

Keep after it; when it's done, you'll love the result.

RwP
 

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Wish I had more knowledge/tools/money, but at least I got a running project. But I'm also doing it alone basically.
But it's as old as I am and was born probably ten miles from where I was.

I already love it though.
 

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1997 Thunderbird 4.6, 1998 Mark VIII LSC
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You in/from Lorain? I grew up in Avon Lake and moved to North Ridgeville a couple years ago. Pretty sad to see what happened at the plant. I took my T-bird up there a few years back for a photo shoot and it was already after they tore down the center section of the plant.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Currently by the steel plant.

My grandpa retired from Ford, worked at Avon lake after the one he was at closed.

I'll gladly pay you for any irl help I can get.
 

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1997 Thunderbird 4.6, 1998 Mark VIII LSC
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My T-bird is over at Chill's body shop in Monroeville. I had hoped to be able to completely abate the corrosion but sadly it is too fargone to save. If you are considering something similar they can probably give you a good idea of if it's possible, based on his experiences with mine! I stay in touch with another local guy who posts here occasionally who's over in North Olmsted. He's got a pair of 30th anniversary Cougars...
 
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