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Discussion Starter #1
Maybe this question has been asked before but if you guys had the choice to build a moddified Thunderbird and you had a choice of a 95 or 97 and that's it which one would you choose both 4.6's of course?

I have started doing work to my 97 recently after things went far south with the 95 but a part of me still wants that 95 for some reason both have pros and cons naturally, but my question is which one would be the better car in the end to work with?

My problem is I really like them both but only one can be the one so if you were in my shoes which one would you put your hands and money into?
 

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i am partial to 97's obviously. but it does seem, as if the performace mods are easier on the 97, with the 4.6
just my $.02
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Both have good bodys, the 97 has some light rust on the rockers that can be sanded and get chasis saver or por 15 added on and be touched up as it is just starting, the 95 is rust free but needs a respray on the roof and trunk lid because the paint burned off.

The 97 has a factory roof

The 95's is a aftermarket with power but looks like it could be factory on the outside till you get inside and see the buttons.

Both have rare paint colors you don't see on a lot of Thunderbirds

The 97 has discs and factory 3.27 trac lock rear

The 95 is open 3.08 drum

The 97 has less than 60,000 miles and runs and drives great could use a J-mod, gears and supercharger to make it what I want and I'd be fine with it.

The 95 needs a motor and trans and mods and the motor and trans would be all I got to spend on it vs the 97 I can start the mods asap.

The 97 would get a 94-95 bumper cover and guage cluster conversion.

I am torn between the 2 but can only do 1, the possibility is I could do the 97 and just put in a 96-97 motor and trans used into the 95 and sell it or sell it as is for scrap price to someone who wants to use it for their own, or hang onto it till I can latter afford to put the motor and trans into it to make it drive again.

Only one can get the glory and be transformed into something better than stock and be kept the other must go 2 cars can never be completed it is just too much to do so I want one I can have a bit of fun with. My father has me convinced the 97 has a better foundation already there, but I have always been partial to the 94-95.

So with that being said any opinions?
 

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Personally I prefer the 96/97 body style, the 96 gauges, the 97 has a better starting point engine and transmission (I said better, not best) than the 95, but if those are getting replaced, doesn't matter.
 

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No 94-97 Thunderbird EVER left the factory with a trac-lok that I know of with any amount of options (except for the Super Coupes).

I like certain things on the 95 (dash/front end) and other things on the 97 (rear end including tail lights & spoiler)... :zdunno:
 

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No 94-97 Thunderbird EVER left the factory with a trac-lok that I know of with any amount of options (except for the Super Coupes).

I like certain things on the 95 (dash/front end) and other things on the 97 (rear end including tail lights & spoiler)... :zdunno:
My 97 has axle code XE which is the Trac Lok
 

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95 with everything swapped over from the 97.

The rockers rot from the inside out on these. Sanding and coating the outside with POR15 won't do anything. Swapping good parts is way easier and cheaper than proper rust repair.
 

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No 94-97 Thunderbird EVER left the factory with a trac-lok that I know of with any amount of options (except for the Super Coupes).
Only if the vehicle came with traction assist was trac-lok not an option, otherwise it was available as an option.
 

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pendejo
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Swapping good parts is way easier and cheaper than proper rust repair.
I agree 100% I've got some good body shop connections through my wife and we wouldn't buy anything with rust (except maybe the $300 Ranchero) And before anybody points out that I just bought a Chevette, It still has it's original floor and is remarkably rust free, Except for some bubbles in the paint on the hood and roof.

The 97 has a factory roof
Does that mean the 97 has a power moonroof and the 95 doesn't? In my mind that would be another Positive for the 95. I'm 6'3" and find moonroof cars cramped. Also a piece fell out of the moonroof on my Lincoln, and now my headliner has water stains.
 

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Pick the one that is in better shape, unless you are planning on doing PI cams/intake. In that case, go with the 1997. Check the transmission on both to see which is in better shape.
 

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I say the 97. They came with better built transmissions.
 

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'97 with '95 nose. Side cladding deleted with '95 side moldings instead, and '95 instrument cluster.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I think I will stick with the 97 and go with the 95 front end and guage cluster, the 97 does have some better features to it, so that is my decision as of now, I will have the rust repaired I don't care about the money too much I have a guy who has worked with me before and does great work and knows how to keep the price reasonable so I will be seeing him soon to get some ideas and options, I have been working with the car and like the progress so far this winter will be a whole new ballgame in store for the engine and drivetrain, for now I am just concentrating on body and interior, brakes and suspension.

I would like to delete the side moulding in the future but can live with it for a while.

It was a tough decision, but even in the end I still end up with a Thunderbird so still not really a loss if you ask me just hard to choose one over the other but now I can move onto all the fun stuff and begin what I set out to accomplish.
 

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What features does the 97 have that can't be adapted to the 95? Only feature I can think of that's difficult to adapt is moonroof.

If the rust repair is POR15, it's not a repair.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Everything would have been adaptable except the sunroof indeed, the 95 needed a paintjob as well that is a pretty big bill in itself, the engine drive train rear end would have to be swapped, ecm because the one in the 95 has the typical ailments these models are known for, plus the aftermarket power sunroof on then 95 leaks and last time I checked it refused to work, I have no way to find where it came from to get it fixed and the best any aftermarket sunroof installation center can do for me is try to match up a seal but no guarantee it will fix the leaking. The 97 also has tinted windows which are non transferable as well.

I was only going to sand and por 15 for now, I do have a body shop which has worked wonders on cost and done superb quality work for me in the past that I plan to use, and it's a very good chance that it will still run cheaper than a good paint job for the 95, plus dealing with fixing the aftermarket roof. The body on the 95 is the best part, I purchased a 94 some time ago from california that some kid did a 5.0 carbed c4 trans conversion on and my 95 still looked better body wise than it. If I could combine them both somehow great but its a tough deal, I want the sunroof I enjoy it every summer next best thing to a convertible and a must have for me on these MN-12's.

It is a hard deal because to tear apart a decent 97 with 60,000 miles for a donor is just crazy to some, and to throw away a rust free 95 with a real decent body is almost another sin in the MN-12 car world so it threw me into a rock and a hard place, I'd keep both if I could but I can not afford it they would be stock and these cars stock are not that fun, plus I will be going back to work soon which will leave me with very little time, so the 97 is all running and ready to play when the 95 has much to go and still needs paint when the 97 could use some minor body work and can be prolonged for a small while in the meantime so that is where my decision came to be.

If either car had been real real bad it would have been an easy decision and a done deal but when both are decent but need just this or that it deams it hard to pick and choose.
 

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95 because emissions are easier in ny on pre 96 cars lol
 
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