TCCoA Forums banner

1 - 20 of 41 Posts

·
Super Moderator
1997 Thunderbird 4.6, 1998 Mark VIII LSC
Joined
·
9,938 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
As we draw to the close of 2020, I'm curious to know how many of us on the forums still daily drive our MN12s (or FN10s).

The newest MN12 is now 23-1/2 years old, and parts (especially OEM parts) are becoming harder to find. The aftermarket so far is continuing to support our most vital needs with "functional" parts, but even then a number of manufacturers are selling off their stock and new production runs are becoming a thing of the past. Things like high-longevity or a wide selection of suspension parts to suit the preferences of the driver are history, and "one application fits all" parts are starting to become the only choice for those of us still racking up the miles.

My answer: Yes, my daily driver is my Mark VIII. This year it only saw 14k miles, but in years past 20-22k would be typical. The air suspension was progressively completely replaced in the 2-1/2 years since I've had it, but it's otherwise been reliable and trouble-free. Since I got the car the average fuel economy has been 23 MPG, with a mix of about 70/30 city-highway miles - fortunately for work (the majority of my driving), I get 42 cents/mile in travel reimbursement which more than covers that. I drive the wife's 2017 Fusion Energi when it's available or if we go somewhere together because of the vastly reduced fuel costs. Not using any gas to do all the in-town errands is nice!

I can't put my finger on an exact date, but I stopped daily'ing the 97 T-bird in stages, starting in 2011, with the purchase of a dedicated winter-only car (the 94 Cougar). At that point the T-bird was my "no salt or snow" daily driver - from April/Mayish until the middle/end of November. After I sold off the Cougar in spring of 2014 I got a 96 Mark VIII which took over year-round daily driver duties of the T-bird, relegating it to "nice weather" only - which is how it's driven now. Despite that, it still sees a few thousand miles each year.

What about the rest of you? Do you still DD your MN12 or FN10, or have you moved on to something newer?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,438 Posts
Short and sweet, no. Mine is still parked. I hope to have it up and running here by early spring though.

However, once I do have it back up on the road, I still don't plan on having it be my DD. It will be my "don't pick up the kids from school / childcare" driver as well as my weekend "gotta do guy stuff" car.

I do plan on doing Auto-X, circuit racing, and spirited mountain / canyon carving though.
 

·
SuperNewbie
1995 Thunderbird LX 4.6 red
Joined
·
2,969 Posts
My youngest son daily drives my green 97 Bird. And my oldest son daily drove his 95 Tbird until we started the big restoration. Once it is out of paint he intends to daily drive it again. So in the next two weeks he'll be back on the road.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,097 Posts
Yes, 97 T-Bird. Working from home this year, but when I was commuting, I drove it around 75% of the time and the Toyota 25%. Around 4-5k miles per year, but my drive to work is short.

Al
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
7,843 Posts
I pretty much daily drive the 97. My 01 F150 was my main daily for a while, but that has been down for a few months, so the bird picked up the slack. Funny enough, the 90 XR7 has been the bad weather car this year! Usually I would take the truck out in any snow, but the 97 is completely rust-free and I would like it to stay that way, and the XR7 already has rocker rust, so I’d rather see that one get hit with the salt.

As for maintenance, I have spares of most of the obsolete parts, and considering most have been replaced once already, and most last 150k+ miles, I don’t see any reason it can’t continue to be the daily for the next 20 years.
 
  • Like
Reactions: CDsDontBurn

·
Registered
1997 SPORT Laser Red. Restored May of 2020.
Joined
·
170 Posts
Well, I semi-retired last year so I don't do anything on a daily or regular basis. However, with just 85,000 miles, I drive the 97 Thunderbird every time I can.
I also have two motorcycles so she doesn't get driven a whole lot.
 

·
Super Moderator
1994 Cougar XR7 DOHC/5-Speed
Joined
·
18,392 Posts
The only parts I’m somewhat concerned about disappearing to make (three season)DD duty daunting are the front control arm/ball joints. I’ve been thinking about picking up a spare set of those though I doubt I’ll need them since they were all replaced not that long ago. A lot of other discerning stuff has really never been that easy to find (performance front shocks) so it’s not like I’m too threatened by the notion of adaptation of those and other parts. Honestly, I’m more concerned about crashing it than I used to be, where before I was most concerned about rust.

But more or less yes, I was handmedowned my Mom’s 09 Focus a few years ago while she inherited my grandpas Prius V so that’s been the winter car/parts runner. The Cougar I drive all other times and don’t foresee that changing unless something bad happens. Fuel costs is annoying but the tradeoff to drive something not soul sucking is worth it, and every other cost of ownership is peanuts comparatively. As for the age of the car, 90s cars to me are modern cars, only without the bloat and technology I don’t care about or need. Even if it wasn’t a MN12 I wouldn’t hesitate to daily drive a number of 25 year old cars/trucks.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
13,448 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
780 Posts
I stopped dailying the Tbirds in October. The red ones moved from the street to the driveway to avoid getting compacted by the plow trucks. The 96 hasnt moved since July/August.

The red 90 was my daily since March before all that. Before it was my old truck.

The 96 stopped being my daily driver around December of 2018. I was petrified of the new brine mixture Jersey started using at that time so I did a thorough wash, wax, and undercarriage cleaning before I parked it. My Job at the time was right down the road so I rode my bike or walked until I got the truck in late January.

Before that the 96 was my daily since I started driving 3 years prior. And I still only put 3k miles on it.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
532 Posts
Yes. I drive my 97 Mark VIII daily. I commute about 18,000 miles per year. The odometer is about 235,000 right now. This is my second 97 Mark, and I’ve been daily driving them exclusively for the last 10 years. If something happed to it tomorrow, I would be shopping for another one immediately. I honestly have no desire to drive any other car at this point.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,674 Posts
Have not driven the 94 SC since 2017. It should start right up with some fresh gas.

My daily driver is the company work truck .. 2007 Chevy Silverado with utility boxes in the bed loaded with tools, pipe rack, 240k miles, and a gas card. 😂
 

·
Registered
1994 XR7 , 46 most every option. 66.000 miles. rustfree, from washington state.
Joined
·
293 Posts
daily drive ?! sounds like a sin. none of the 3 i have had did. pleasure or a cougar or
mercury show. otherwise -sitting.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
As we draw to the close of 2020, I'm curious to know how many of us on the forums still daily drive our MN12s (or FN10s).

The newest MN12 is now 23-1/2 years old, and parts (especially OEM parts) are becoming harder to find. The aftermarket so far is continuing to support our most vital needs with "functional" parts, but even then a number of manufacturers are selling off their stock and new production runs are becoming a thing of the past. Things like high-longevity or a wide selection of suspension parts to suit the preferences of the driver are history, and "one application fits all" parts are starting to become the only choice for those of us still racking up the miles.

My answer: Yes, my daily driver is my Mark VIII. This year it only saw 14k miles, but in years past 20-22k would be typical. The air suspension was progressively completely replaced in the 2-1/2 years since I've had it, but it's otherwise been reliable and trouble-free. Since I got the car the average fuel economy has been 23 MPG, with a mix of about 70/30 city-highway miles - fortunately for work (the majority of my driving), I get 42 cents/mile in travel reimbursement which more than covers that. I drive the wife's 2017 Fusion Energi when it's available or if we go somewhere together because of the vastly reduced fuel costs. Not using any gas to do all the in-town errands is nice!

I can't put my finger on an exact date, but I stopped daily'ing the 97 T-bird in stages, starting in 2011, with the purchase of a dedicated winter-only car (the 94 Cougar). At that point the T-bird was my "no salt or snow" daily driver - from April/Mayish until the middle/end of November. After I sold off the Cougar in spring of 2014 I got a 96 Mark VIII which took over year-round daily driver duties of the T-bird, relegating it to "nice weather" only - which is how it's driven now. Despite that, it still sees a few thousand miles each year.

What about the rest of you? Do you still DD your MN12 or FN10, or have you moved on to something newer?
Still driving my '97 Mark VIII from April to November although not daily.
Hit 30,000 this year, about 3k per year.
 

·
Administrator
1997 Thunderbird LX
Joined
·
8,498 Posts
Nope! :)

Joe
 
  • Like
Reactions: Trunk Monkey

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
I bought my 94 T-Bird (with 65,000 original miles) in June 2019 as I wanted to update my daily driver car (87 Chrysler Fifth Avenue). Also drive an 2000 GMC Sierra Pickup as a daily driver (especially in the winter). Wanted to start driving the Bird to keep from putting more miles on the Pickup. Have only driven the Bird about 614 miles since I bought it as its cooling system was not maintained by the former owner and was VERY rusty! Had the cooling system flushed, hoses and belts replaced, oil/filter changed, transmission serviced, fuel filter replaced, etc. The transmission started shifting weird a few times and I had to park the car. Time has went by. Found out the radiator is plugged up. Got one but haven't had a chance to get it replaced by my mechanic yet. Now it's winter and I don't drive my Bird during the winter. Have had to drive the Pickup during this whole time.

Truly love driving my T-Bird, but when I bought it, it never occurred to me that parts etc. would be difficult to find. I was so excited buying it that never came to mind! :oops::eek:

I just hope and pray that I can get it all fixed up and not have any big problems come up. The transmission shifting weird sometimes concerns me and am attempting to see what the problem is. The radiator is plugged up and am going to have it replaced this spring. HOPEFULLY that will help the transmission, as it shifted weird when it was about 100 degrees in July.
 

·
Registered
1996 Ford Thunderbird LX v8
Joined
·
1 Posts
Well, my 96 tbird is the car my dad handed down to me with 147k miles on it when I got it. (He bought it new in 97) Its been owned by only him and his brother both of whom took very good care of it. I daily drive it around the city ALL the time and the gas mileage leaves something to be desired (typically 18-23 mpg depends on how heavy my foot is haha). Not to mention I live in Cali where rain and snow are the least of my concerns and a RWD car is feasible year-round. For a 16-year-old now 17 it's a great first car. And I want to keep it for the rest of my days. (of course, buying a newer economical car would be smarter financially in the long run) but I never want to get rid of it.
I don't even have many concerns mechanically either the engine has been running great and the body/frame is immaculate.
New to this forum btw lurked for 2 years but I finally signed up :)
 

·
Administrator
1997 Thunderbird LX
Joined
·
8,498 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
44 Posts
Welcome and good luck with the car! (y)

Joe
Bought my 95 LX off of a car lot in 1998 with 60K miles on it. It's been my daily driver/trip car since.
I started out keeping it completely stock, but when OEM parts started to dry up I went with performance pars. I've wound up with an aluminum drive shaft, stiffer rear sway bar, chassis stiffeners in front, Tokiko Blue shocks, dual piston front brake calipers, rear disc brakes from a 97, full suspension rebuild, a Ford remanufactured engine, a couple of transmission rebuilds, The interior got Super Coup seats, leather seat covers, and a console cover from a 97. The odometer broke in March of 2000 with 137,000 miles so I don't know the total mileage, but it has to be somewhere north of 300,000. It's still my daily driver, and it this stupid COVID thing ever settles down, I'm driving from Central Texas to the Carolina coast to visit my brother.
Do you maintenance and they'll last forever.
 
1 - 20 of 41 Posts
Top