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Discussion Starter #1
I read all the forums and I read all kinds of stuff about this topic. Unfortunately it's still not clear please help. I searched the forums and I'm still kinda lost.
HOOD
I want to do the 96/97 headlight and hood conversion to my 95 Bird. I have a few questions though. Will I have to bolt the 96/97 hood to my already existing hardware or will I need the 96/97 hardware to bolt the hood up? Also, I know I will have to align the bumper but I've seen people make the gap from the top of the bumper to the new 96/97 hood smaller. Will this make the hood and the fenders sit flush? Is the 96/97 hood heavier or the same weight as my 95 hood?
HEADLIGHTS
I know I have to get the new 96/97 header panel and remove the bumper to get it on my 95 Bird. Are he headlights and corner lights from the 96/97 match up with my 95's bumper and fenders? Can I use my existing lighting hardware to power the new headlight bulbs, they are the same 9007 bulb right? Also, I want the BRIGHTEST SHINING bulb that I can use with my stock lighting hardware. What's the wattage rating that I will new to be looking for? I want the bulbs to shine white.
Are there any people that I don't need to buy 96/97 clear corners and headlights from? The last clear headlights I bought for my 95 Bird, the bulb mounting hole was too big.
Are there any bulbs to use that aren't as yellow are the stock turn signal color? Maybe a light yellow?
Where can I find these parts for reasonable prices?
Headlight bulbs 9007 (BRIGHTEST White using stock wiring)
96/97 Hood
96/97 Header Panel
 

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As for hardware the hinges are the same but the hood release lever and mechanism are not. I would say the hood weigh the same-heavy-definately a two person job. You can reuse your current bulbs but I think you want to run silverstar 9007 bulbs, they are the brightest, pretty much $40 a pair but if you look you can find them on sale. As for the hood and header panel the best spot would be from some one parting out a car (my route with Blacktbird96) or from a salvage yard, I would say the same for lights but if you want new ones you can get after market ones from e-bay but the adjusters suck. To align my bumper I just adjusted the front edge so it lined up with the hood and marked where I needed holes, drilled holes (1/4" I think), then reused the factory snap type fasteners to keep the bumper in place.



Hopefully that inspires you a bit.

-Miller
 

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Discussion Starter #3
That helped alot, been wanting a pic too. Do all the aftermarket adjusters suck? By they suck, you mean it's hard to adjust them or they won't point exactly straight and even. How much did you get your hood and header panel for?
 

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Nightmist_Outlaw said:
That helped alot, been wanting a pic too. Do all the aftermarket adjusters suck? By they suck, you mean it's hard to adjust them or they won't point exactly straight and even. How much did you get your hood and header panel for?
The aftermarket adjusters lack the hex that the factiry ones have. Without this hex I honestly don't know how you would go about adjusting them easily. I really don't know how to describe it, I had no idea what people were talking about untill I went to install them.

-Miller
 

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miller1995 said:
As for hardware the hinges are the same but the hood release lever and mechanism are not.
Are you sure? I know the lever is required but is the release mech requireed too? I got mine from a 96, and compared it to my stock 95, and it appeared to be physically identical....?
 

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JeffTBird93 said:


Are you sure? I know the lever is required but is the release mech requireed too? I got mine from a 96, and compared it to my stock 95, and it appeared to be physically identical....?
So did I, but with the 95 latch only the seconday latch would activate not the primary so the hood stayed in the popped position. Once I swapped to the 96 latch, no problems.

-Miller
 

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Discussion Starter #7
OK so can I have a parts list of what I need? Everything.
 

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Just for the headlight swap...

96/7 hood (not necessary, just makes it look better)
96/7 headlights and corners (and headlight locking rings)
96/7 header panel
96/7 hood latch release lever (and apparently the release...still dunno about that)

Just a note, if you don't have fog lights already on your car, it's a good time to do it, as you'll have to remove the front bumper.
 

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Removing the front bumper entirely is not required, you just have to be careful nto to scratch the paint with the studs that fix the sides of the bumper.

-Miller
 

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Discussion Starter #10
So I don't have to remove the bumper at all in any place? I'm sure it would be easier if I didn't have to. Anyway, how would I go about removing the bumper and the header panel. Anybody got a 96/97 hood or know where I can get one besides yards?
 

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I took the bumper cover off, it wasn't hard at all. Trust me, I'm sure it would be easier to take it off...considering that the header panel is kinda "tucked" into the bumper cover, and it only has 3 push tabs, 8 screws, and 4 bolts...all relatively easy to get to with the exception of the bolts. If you take the bumper off, you'll be less likely to scratch it I'm sure.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
So it unbolts on the top under the "Bird" emblem and then the rest pops off? Is it a b%$#@ to get back on even? BTW i didnt see the hinges for the hood listed. Meaning I won't have to exchange the stock 95 hinges for the 96/97 hinges correct?
 

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Yes, your stock 95 hinges will work with the 96/7 hood. As for the bumper cover....it has the 3 tabs by the emblem, 1 screw behind each corner light, 3 screws in each inner fender, and 2 bolts on each side behind the cover where it bolts to the fender. Oh, then there's some more push tabs underneath. Just starting playing with it, it's all easy to figure out. As for alignment, mine went back on the first time straight without any fighting. This was after I trimmed the header panel a little around the emblem to make it slide back farther on the header panel.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Hey Jeff, can you post a pic of your car with a view of the front end. I wanna see how it looks compared to Miller's.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Nice, that "gap" is so much tighter now. Looks awesome! I think only true Thunderbird owners could tell the difference between the newer hood. Do you happen to know where I could pick a 96/97 hood or header panel for cheap. Like a hood for $50.....
 

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When you put the new header panel in, you'll have to drill 3 new holes for the top push tabs. You can drill those in different places on the header panel to adjust the gap. All I can tell you is check the junkyards. I got my lights and header panel really cheap from a good friend. I'm gonna get the hood from another friend. Just keep looking.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Anybody have any of the conversion parts layin around or can get them for cheap?
 
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