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That sounds like fan fiction to me.
While I doubt it would have made production (because it would have been much closer competition to the Mustang than it already was), there were if I remember correctly a couple of test mules with the DOHC engine (in 98, I would imagine they would be testing the C headed DOHC as it was introduced in the Cobra in 99, so it would have been planning stages in 97/98), along with supercharged versions, etc. It was a nice platform, and using it as a test mule would have gotten the spy photographers away from trying to out the Mustang at the time.

Also, I believe the correct usage would be that Ford used a lot of the MN-12 parts on the FN-10 (Mark VIII), not the other way around. The MN-12 came first after all, and the FN-10 got the more "refined" items such as aluminum driveshafts, differential housings, and lower control arms while we lowly MN-12's got stamped steel/cast iron/ and two piece doom wobblers.

Also, while yes Ford was pissed at how much money the MN-12/FN-10 platforms cost them, even though they have since used it to develop most of their current car lineups (IRS rear suspensions in everything from Explorers/Expeditions up to the 99-04 Cobras and the current gen Mustangs), longer wheelbases, etc. The MN-12 was the first "modern" RWD platform form Ford, and they got quite a bit out of that initial investment if you were to ask me. However, "personal luxury cars" were at that time a dying breed. People weren't buying 2 door cars, RWD was out of fashion, and the big three were still recovering from horrible build quality and customer opinion from the late 70's-80's. The MN-12 platform was and is a great platform, but it came at the tail end of the desire for those kinds of cars. Those of us who have driven them appreciate them, but they weren't as appreciated at the time. It's similar to how hard it is to get a manual transmission anymore. It's so much easier to program an automatic to get you the desired emissions results/shift strategy/fuel economy and everyone can hop in and drive an automatic, so manuals are a dying breed.
 

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I doubt the DOHC would have been an option either, unless part of the would-be SVT package. Forget the Mustang, why would Ford erode piss on Lincoln's turf? Intech was Lincoln's engine, not Ford's. SVT Cobras were marketed separately from Mustangs as a sort of skunkworks division at the time, so the rationale of using that engine in tuned up Cobra form wasn't an erosion of that brand identity since the purposes were so different. But in a Tbird LX? A direct platform mate? I doubt it.

I remember reading that the 98s would have dropped the 3.8 base and the 4.6 SOHC would be the sole engine, and on top of that there'd be a higher performance option for the same engine - I personally suspect amounting merely to true dual exhaust ala Mark VIII LSC(probably sharing parts) and maybe gears, possibly parts bin 3.31s used on the 94-95 SCs. I doubt every word of the Ford fucked us because of the evil mustang nonsense, and how the 98s would have been some ultimate MN12. The MN12 was going to end no matter what, and the mythical 98 by all accounts was yet another slight bi-annual refresh of the same old body, and if what we saw in production 96-97s is any indicator the trend in content was DECREASING.



As for the AWD, the what ifs are definitely a seldom explored aspect. Like if it did make production would it have been part of the SC package only? If not would the 5.0 and later 4.6s ever have been used, or would you have to settle for the standard 3.8? AOD only? How much of a warranty headache will these high cost bespoke parts be? I'm sure these thoughts were running through the heads of executives and product planners alike, all certainly add red ink to long term viability of the system through the platform's life cycle.
 

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While I doubt it would have made production (because it would have been much closer competition to the Mustang than it already was), there were if I remember correctly a couple of test mules with the DOHC engine (in 98, I would imagine they would be testing the C headed DOHC as it was introduced in the Cobra in 99, so it would have been planning stages in 97/98), along with supercharged versions, etc. It was a nice platform, and using it as a test mule would have gotten the spy photographers away from trying to out the Mustang at the time.

Also, I believe the correct usage would be that Ford used a lot of the MN-12 parts on the FN-10 (Mark VIII), not the other way around. The MN-12 came first after all, and the FN-10 got the more "refined" items such as aluminum driveshafts, differential housings, and lower control arms while we lowly MN-12's got stamped steel/cast iron/ and two piece doom wobblers.




Also, while yes Ford was pissed at how much money the MN-12/FN-10 platforms cost them, even though they have since used it to develop most of their current car lineups (IRS rear suspensions in everything from Explorers/Expeditions up to the 99-04 Cobras and the current gen Mustangs), longer wheelbases, etc. The MN-12 was the first "modern" RWD platform form Ford, and they got quite a bit out of that initial investment if you were to ask me. However, "personal luxury cars" were at that time a dying breed. People weren't buying 2 door cars, RWD was out of fashion, and the big three were still recovering from horrible build quality and customer opinion from the late 70's-80's. The MN-12 platform was and is a great platform, but it came at the tail end of the desire for those kinds of cars. Those of us who have driven them appreciate them, but they weren't as appreciated at the time. It's similar to how hard it is to get a manual transmission anymore. It's so much easier to program an automatic to get you the desired emissions results/shift strategy/fuel economy and everyone can hop in and drive an automatic, so manuals are a dying breed.
The 93-97 MN12 platform is really FN10 light. The FN10 was obviously derived off of these but there were a variety of changes in stampings, reinforcement and mounting that came specifically for the Mark VIII that the MN12 now shared to minimize cost.


I am unaware of the test mules you speak of. MN12 Thunderbirds were used as mules during the development of the DEW98 platform for the Lincoln LS/Jaguar S-type, testing everything from suspensions to engine, which, while DOHC, were unrelated to the modular engine.

I think these were probably more profitable for Ford than some cars currently on sale today, even with global platforms to swell volume. Circa 89, when Ford were raking in huge profits from the circa 1978 and 1979 Fox and Panther based platforms, and also reducing development with joint ventures through Mazda with the second gen Escort the MN12 was probably a bit of a shock for what was low volume, by the historical standard of the PLC segment. Of course Tbird/Cougar annual sales combined were still nothing to scoff at, they just weren't as profitable as the 88s
 

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So this is interesting...
I was doing a new wireless router at a local towing/auto shop and I was showing off my new motor pics.
The guy that runs the place said, "Ever hear of an all wheel drive one of those?"
I've heard of a couple.
"Want one?"
I'd love to see one, know a few folks who may want it.

So, no idea how he came by it, if it's genuine or retrofitted, or what, but he's going to get me some pics, which I will immediately post. Says that they ended up with it after someone wouldn't pay for the tow.
 

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Buy it, We'll make parts to make it work. :)

Regardless of Who it Belonged to, the wrecker place owns it now, and the state is obligated to award a title, as long as it passes inspection.

Otherwise, no one would impound cars for the State...

But, I'm with Matt, it's probably BS.

As far as the V8 SVO, it's in one of the books/articles I've read; that doesn't make it true tho.
I'll find a quote, so I can blame someone else, lol.
 

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He's full of ****.
To say I am skeptical is an understatement. But he volunteered it, and as soon as I get pics, I'll share. If I get to see it in person, you'll be the next to know.
 

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Bet it's this :tongue:

Associated press reports a Duluth man was arrested for strangling a tow truck business owner. He was heard crying out, "He said it was an AWD Thunderbird! I had my hopes up!"
 

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I'm more inclined to believe what Dan was saying, that if a 98 MN12 was ever built..
It would have had the 4.6L DOHC engine as an option..
Basically just a Mark VIII engine..


Rayo..
Sorry I should have made that a little more clear.

More along the lines of what Matt said .. the V6 was dropped completely and there were two 4.6 SOHC NA engines available. The standard output, and a higher output with larger MAF and exhaust manifolds if I remember correctly. The 1998 also had better Cup holders than the 1997 which I would have loved to seen. This information came from a certain Ford engineer who shall not be named, but if anybody is willing to spend the time I am sure it is still posted in the TCCOA forum archives. I had saved a lot of this information on my PC but I seem to have lost it over time.

The SVT Tbird was developed in 1995 and was supposed to have been available in 1997 as a 5 speed with the 4.6L DOHC NA engine with 3.55 gears and the 17" Cobra R replicas that ended up making their way to the FRPP catalog instead. I have done quite a bit of research on this subject as well and talked to a few people directly involved in the project. For the most part the test mules were just stock vehicles outfitted with the above parts, and aftermarket lowering springs.
 

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This information came from a certain Ford engineer who shall not be named, but if anybody is willing to spend the time I am sure it is still posted in the TCCOA forum archives.
Look up a few posts. Post #69 to be exact.
 

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I'm sure this will come as no surprise to any of you, but it was NOT an AWD car.

It's a plain ol 96 that I might buy because it's the same color as my 97 and he wants $300 for it. I have to see if I can sell enough off of it to make it worthwhile. Has 16" sport wheels on it, appears to be lowered, we'll see when I can look at it closer.

Apparently the tow truck driver who brought it in mistook the tie rods for front axles. Hope he's not a mechanic!
 

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Hopefully the tow truck driver brought it in on a flatbed because............all wheel drive, lol!

Al
 

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Hopefully the tow truck driver brought it in on a flatbed because............all wheel drive, lol!

Al
You always want to flatbed these cars, unless the tranny is already wasted. :)

You can't really tow them from the rear without damaging the nose...
 

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I got away with a rear wheel on dolly tow with no damage to the nose. Never again though. Sway at 43 mph. Long 150 miles :). Ever want to part with one of those HP PS's let me know.

Back on topic :). AWD would be cool but fixing same would make these cars insane to keep on the road now. Thanks to all that have posted!!
Creighton
 

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I'm sure this will come as no surprise to any of you, but it was NOT an AWD car.

It's a plain ol 96 that I might buy because it's the same color as my 97 and he wants $300 for it. I have to see if I can sell enough off of it to make it worthwhile. Has 16" sport wheels on it, appears to be lowered, we'll see when I can look at it closer.

Apparently the tow truck driver who brought it in mistook the tie rods for front axles. Hope he's not a mechanic!
Probably more like "Cougars are FWD, hey, this has a rear diff, must be AWD!"

RwP
 

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Probably more like "Cougars are FWD, hey, this has a rear diff, must be AWD!"

RwP
LOL
The manager (my contact through the whole thing) was telling me the story. His truck driver came in after taking this car in on trade. Said the driver comes up all excited, "Dude, this is awd!" No it isn't says the manager, they're RWD. "But it's got driveshafts up front!" Manager didn't actually look at it till I showed interest. I need to look at it though, it's same color as mine, and the hood is in good shape, so I may buy it for the $300 he's asking just to get the hood and sell off other parts if it's got enough to make it worthwhile.
 

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That's great, but what's the explanation why they thought it was AWD back in 2008 when this thread started?

Al
 
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