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Well this 1996 Tbird of mine (v8) is new to me. I have had 2 other bird but they were MUCH OLDER 64 and 65 Converts. I am curious to what the QUARKS of this car are!?!?!?! I had a 94 Caprice for 8 years and got to learn these things about that car. Heater cores go out like clock work every 90k or so (I ran close to 200k miles on it), water pump every 100k, ate the front rotors more then I liked, window regulators going out, passenger side ex mani prone to crack and so forth. Are there these types of givens with this car?
It has been very very very well taken care of. Clean as hell, 82k miles, mechanic (honda dealership) for the last 5 years.
As far as I can tell the only option I do not have is the Traction Control, which reminds me, can these cars be decoded for options?

Any tips or warnings (ha ha) would be great.
 

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well aparently the intake manifolds like to crack at the crossover(real big recall on this) and leak anti freeze....pop open your hood and take a look at your intake manifold....if the front of it (crossover) is aluminum then you are in the clear....if its plastic like the rest of the intake then you have a ticking time bomb.
 

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Oh yea, prev owner replaced that intake at work (I guess honda has slow days, ha ha) as a preventive thing knowing what you said here. I told you this car was taken care of, ha ha ha.
 

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You have the 96 4.6L which is good. There aren't really any problems with the engine aside from the already mentioned intake manifold. Sometimes the crank position sensor connection will fail and the car won't start, but it's usually just a matter of cleaning and/or securing the connector. The transmission can be problematic when the torque converter clutch gets screwed up. It is called TC shudder and it makes the car feel like it's going over railroad tracks when it shifts into 3rd/OD. Doing a j-mod (search) and adding an external trans cooler as well as using Mercon V tranny fluid will help this problem tremendously. The front suspension will definitely need work and will let you know by making all sorts of sounds. Common problem points are the upper ball joints, sway bar end links, and strut rod bushings. Body wise the only major problem is weatherstripping and the door hinge pins wearing out. If you live where it snows then you have other problems with rust. Other than that you have a pretty good car there. One thing you'll love if you do the oil changes yourself is changing the filter.

These cars don't have RPO codes like GM so there aren't really options you can decode. You can check the axle code in the door jamb to see what gears you have (you don't have a trac-lok if you have traction control) and you can tell if you have the sport package with the spring code (JJJJ or something of the sort). The extra features of the car over base are pretty much: 4.6L, 3.27 gears, sport package (wheels, springs, bushings, shocks, sway bar, larger front brakes), 4-wheel disc, ABS (traction control optional), semi-automatic temp controls, autolamps, premium lighting package (visors, underhood lamp), power seat, premium sound (cassette or CD), EVO steering, power antenna, keyless entry, alarm, sunroof.
 

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"quirks"
quarks are the smallest known sub-atomic particles (let me know if my info is outdated... we're always learning more about this stuff)

Ball joints seem to be a weak link on these guys too, I'm about to replace all of mine again.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
You have the 96 4.6L which is good. There aren't really any problems with the engine aside from the already mentioned intake manifold. Sometimes the crank position sensor connection will fail and the car won't start, but it's usually just a matter of cleaning and/or securing the connector. The transmission can be problematic when the torque converter clutch gets screwed up. It is called TC shudder and it makes the car feel like it's going over railroad tracks when it shifts into 3rd/OD. Doing a j-mod (search) and adding an external trans cooler as well as using Mercon V tranny fluid will help this problem tremendously. The front suspension will definitely need work and will let you know by making all sorts of sounds. Common problem points are the upper ball joints, sway bar end links, and strut rod bushings. Body wise the only major problem is weatherstripping and the door hinge pins wearing out. If you live where it snows then you have other problems with rust. Other than that you have a pretty good car there. One thing you'll love if you do the oil changes yourself is changing the filter.

These cars don't have RPO codes like GM so there aren't really options you can decode. You can check the axle code in the door jamb to see what gears you have (you don't have a trac-lok if you have traction control) and you can tell if you have the sport package with the spring code (JJJJ or something of the sort). The extra features of the car over base are pretty much: 4.6L, 3.27 gears, sport package (wheels, springs, bushings, shocks, sway bar, larger front brakes), 4-wheel disc, ABS (traction control optional), semi-automatic temp controls, autolamps, premium lighting package (visors, underhood lamp), power seat, premium sound (cassette or CD), EVO steering, power antenna, keyless entry, alarm, sunroof.
I got that shudder once in a 93 Marguis I owned. I have to assume the trans in that car and my 96 tbird are close to the same. A change of tranny fluid fixed the issue in that car.
As for suspension, I do get a pop in front driver side under some turning conditions.
I also am hearing a metal rattle from rear drivers shock area.
 
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