TCCoA Forums banner

1 - 4 of 4 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
410 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited by Moderator)
From pickup to driving it home, to getting the thing fixed up with a few repairs, this is a bit free form, so I apologize if it seems rambling.

Pickup: After driving down US301 in DE/MD and getting onto I-97 my excitement started to peak, just spent the better part of that morning at the NJ MVC due to end of month lines. We pulled into the apartment complex, and I laid my eyes upon her, a 1996 T-Bird that is all mine, with clearcoat peeling. First I am impressed with the fact that it isn't as big as I thought the car would be. Somewhat smaller, but that soon went away when i got in, and saw how long the hood is, the exterior dimensions trick you. I started her up, and heard the 4.6L V8 rumble to life, this is my first moment with this car, as I bought this car sight unseen. After putting my plates on we left the apartment complex for the open road. I fill up the tank to see the gauge reading far to the right beyond full, I mutter to myself "Damn, add that to the list of things to fix".

We pull into a mutual friend's house after deciding to try out toll vs free roads in Baltimore, I-895 for me vs taking 395/83 for my friend in a town car. I arrive and while they're doing BS I find out the air filter is broken and that I have a misfire, we think it is the EGR going wrong, I do smell unburnt fuel, but at this point I think it was coming from the town car.

Departing Baltimore for NJ.

Getting the air filter replaced didn't help the misfire, i put that on a list of things to fix "New plugs" is all I'm thinking as we make our way up US1 over to Cowingo dam, friend says that this should put the suspension, which in my opinion is really tight, as well as the really tight steering to the test.

The tires on the car as far as i knew were a few years old, couldn't find the date code. I am getting a giant smile on my face as I put miles on this car, we keep heading north, a CEL for left and right bank lean keeps coming on, so I keep it at lower RPMs and just hope it isn't anything major.

We arrive back in NJ, I wait until Friday, 2 days, to do any more work to the car due to pay day, other than stopping en-route to get an oil change, part of my get a used car thing, new air filter and an oil change.

Getting more work done in New Jersey

Just Tires looked at the tires I had and discovered the date code on them was 2002, I just drove from MD to NJ on tires that were nearly as old as the car itself. After getting Dunlop signature IIs on it, the vehicle felt more sure-footed compared to the 2002 Michelin Rainmaster MX4's that were on it.

The misfire is still there, I contact another friend who works on Crown Vics, "Change the fuel filter and look for vacuum leaks" i take it to a local Quick Lube place, it was voted "One of the Best of Burlington County 2013" and they use Pennzoil, up to this point I had the tires done and the oil done with a Motorcraft filter. Neither discovered the problem that I really had, a rusty fuel filter that may be original and a leaking fuel line, 214 bucks later (that is with fuel filter and line replacement).

I have a car that feels like a brand new car, tons of power and no pinging/misfires. I take it out on the road again, and the car can now throw me into the seat with just how much oomph she has now. Everyone who has worked on this vehicle has said just how tight the suspension is, and at least one shop mechanic has said "Nice T-bird, whose car is it?" That is what makes me happy, when the people in the know get that it is a really really nice car, it keeps the lookieloos away, but the true gear heads will love it.

Do I regret getting this car...Nope, I regret not doing it sooner!

Tires: 450 installed and balanced with tax
Oil Change: 30 bucks, brought my own filter which was 3.97 at Wal-Mart
Fuel Filter & Fuel Line: 214 bucks with tax
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
11,908 Posts
The fuel gauge sitting far to the right beyond full is normal for these cars. No need to fix anything there; it will sit on or above full for about fifty miles and then start to drop. The readings for other increments are accurate.

I also recommend putting fresh Mercon V in the transmission since the fluid that's in there is of unknown age and type. Also look at getting the trans J-mod done with the updated accumulators.

Thanks for taking the time and spending the cash to save a Tbird, and sharing the story with us.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
127 Posts
nice write up. I actually decided to do the same thing and started a blog with all the repair and maintenance work I've been doing. I'm currently in the process of updating the front suspension. Phase 1 so far has been UCA and new struts with vogt 1.5" drop springs. Phase 2 will be all the lower components.
 
1 - 4 of 4 Posts
Top