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Discussion Starter #1
Starting this thread as a discussion. Any of you mad mod guys ever reach a point and go huh/why?...It does ramble some though...

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I bought the bird as a cheap driver and have enjoyed working on her especially with the help of this board. Just did a cheap budget of what else needs to be done for an ok daily. about 1 or 2k of work. (new seats/replace blown cats/all the borked tidbits including rear bushings.) Then started adding in the cost of instead of just replacing but upgrading. tack on 1-2k on top. (Mark 8 lca's; vogtland springs; air bags (spring perches); SS works exhaust,etc...)

only into the car for <1500 as of yesterday (new tires...) So I have to ask myself. Do I want to spend another 1-4k on an older platform that barely had adequate support in it's heyday... Dad went down that path with his 1983 911sc. Parts are still available but with an extra 0 or two tacked onto the original cost...

If I do go further down the path or repairing her just how far do I want to go? Guitar Maestro level? Thunderchicken? TrunkMonkey? levels? Most of us can agree that GM has reached a level to quote a 90's anime. "OVER 9,000!"
:D

Every time I get in the wife's 2012 mustang I fall in love with the car. The power is ludicrous and addicting. I've done some of the first stage research into swapping in a 5.0/transmission(auto) in a year or two. looking at 4k-5k in parts alone. (I'd do my own work and enjoy the hell out of it.) I've found motor/Transmission/ecu/gas pedal for around 3k from LKQ. (have to watch and pounce if you want to pay that amount.) Being the first to do it (not tebowing thank you very much) also always adds a few grand for things you find out...

add it up? ~10k for granted a great car but .... I dunno. It'd be cool, no doubt about that. I still see at least three birds everyday. (about 1% of the amount of mustangs I see...) I am also apparently the only person that waves at other tbirds.

The car definitely needs more getty up. I love the torque so pondering if a diff swap will satisfy my need for power (not likely). I also just realized that If I have it over two years with doing the max budget, I'd still be ahead 2 or 3k on what I was paying for my old daily per month. (and would not have a payment afterwards.)
 

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To quote another member here, "Thunderbird... Because everyone else drives a Mustang."

Sportscars these days, I really couldn't care less about them. Power, yes, but uniqueness? No. "Oh look, another 500 HP Mustang. Nothing special." If it's faster than my T-bird, so be it. I don't drive my T-bird because it's the fastest thing out there. I drive it because I enjoy driving it.

If you bought the T-bird as a cheapie and ONLY a cheapie, then chances are you won't want to justify spending money on it to bring its performance standards into the 21st century. However, consider for a moment that the difference in price of insurance and the payments on a new car (read Mustang) compared to the fact that the T-bird is already all yours, insurance is cheaper etc. will pay for your mods as time moves on. Yes there is more maintenance to be done on the T-bird than a new car, but you can take care of ALL the weak points and maintenance items on the T-bird for the cost of a few months' car payments on a new car. My point being In the end you'll be ultimately spending more on the S197 than the MN12 - especially when you consider you won't be able to NOT mod the S197.

Do what you want. If you enjoy driving the T-bird, keep it. Otherwise, do someone else a favor and introduce them to the MN12. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Termi;

All true. I bought the tbird as only a cheapy; which is why I am finding it hard to justify the money. But even with the car in horrible condition I enjoy how it drives so I keep finding myself wanting to start getting her back to her glory days or beyond... I really wish the 4.6 was on the level of a ls1. I'd swap the cam/heads for $1500 and be plenty happy with 350-400rwhp... Or even 300rwhp. For the time being. but unless FI that just is not going to happen.
 

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SOMD, do what I wanted to do to my Bird before I fell in love with the GTO, LSX swap that bad boy, you'll have you 350 horses and have a huge aftermarket for engine parts unlike the soon to be forgotten Modular motor. What's a LS1 and 4L80 run these days, 2500 with the harness and computer? Only one person I can think of swapped a 5.3 Iron block in his bird and he shaved some wheight off the nose and bumped up his power. Think of you bird as a gto built by ford ten years earlier, V8, IRS, luxurious interior, approx the same wheight. Do it!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Rob;
Are you a ls1gto member? look me up, I'm on there as well.. (Lounge rat.)
Fate has always ALWAYS stopped me from getting a GTO...

for some reason, I am just hesitant to pervert the heart of this car... lol.
Though the coyote would probably be easier from a fab standpoint. (my research shows that the motor mounts bolt up. 4.6 to 5.0)...
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Also;
a 5.3 can come as an AL block. and are as cheap as 600 bucks.

not sure on an 4l80; I'd prefer a T56, but those are NOT cheap...
 

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I reached that point years ago but the Cougar's still costing me way less to own and mod than getting something else "modern" and I just roll with it. I learned to never tally up the cost of a "master plan" a long time ago, (because it is disheartening) and just get what I can get here and there, be patient, be resourceful, research, research, and research, and gradually put it together as I can. Now my car has well surpassed where I first wanted it, I've never downed it for more than a week or two and I can't say it really hurt me financially at all. Most of the expensive stuff it has can be sold at break even levels or used on another car if I so desired too.

Older platform? Meh. State of mind. Modern platforms have all grown inexplicably to MN12 size and weight and look like blocky ungainly bricks with oversized wheel openings which demand oversized ungainly heavy wheels(IMO). If there were two true desires in a chassis that the MN12 couldn't give me(without going racecar on it) it would be LESS WEIGHT, by like 500lbs, and simpler suspensions with less wear points. Nothing new satisfies those two desires.

My only big concern is in the long term where quality replacement UCA/LCAs might disappear. Everything else is easy enough to make alternative fixes/upgrades to. Luckly, regardless of it's age these are still a competent modern chassis/suspension layout so aftermarket support isn't really that necessary. Truth be told S197s are as well, and though they have TONS of support in that area, the truth is 3/4ths of all the upgrades are totally unnecessary(or even counterproductive)on a mostly street driven one and done mostly for the sake of padding someone's mod list.

But I'd Rather have a 1983 911SC over a current 997 too. I've never been attracted to the newest and bestest.
 

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Yeah I'm on LS1GTO, I don't spend much time on there, the most time I spent on there was last week *****ing Pedders out on their shoddy customer service! Two months and no ball joints....grrr
It took me forever to find the chepest most beat up GTO for a good price, I couldn't see tearing apart and modding the ***** out of low mileage one :D


You said you wanted to go faster, go LSX much much mo powa! Who cares what's under the hood? I'm sure that car would haul with that set up and a nice tall gear! I mean it all really depends on the condition of the body, if its rusted out I say drive that car into the ground!
Sorry if I'm rambling, I think I've had one too many tonight ha!
 

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If you like the car, keep going.

I'm struggling right now with my car. I've got about $7K into it and I have plans for another $3-4K, I don't really want spend much more because I'll only get half my money back when I sell. But dammit I still like the car so I'm going to keep doing some of the mods... I just need to keep it longer for my plan to make sense ;) My first mistake was adding up the receipts :(
 

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Money in it...

Lets look at my SC, original owner spent ~$23k (put ~$5k in maintenance at least into it) sold it to the previous owner for ~$4k (correct me if I'm wrong) that spent ~$5k on mods and I bought it for $4k and to date I've got another $4k at least in it just to keep it on the road (and have more planned).

Personally the only things out there I want are in the $60k+ range M3, 5 series/M5, XJ-R, XK-R. These in my opinion are the only things that can replace the MN-12. The new pony cars have only one thing power; seating sucks, ride is still bad. To be honest a slightly modded MN-12 is keeping up with them for a fraction of the price.

Basically ask yourself want do you want, a throw away car, a project, or a turn key item. MN-12 are the first two and and new car is the third and will be the second.

In regards to the Mustang I can put 4 adults in my SC I wouldn't even want to think of 3 adults in a Mustang.
 

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At least with the 4.6 and your MN12 you have a certain level of ease to your mods. If you go too modern, now you've got lots of tech and silly extras that detract from what makes our cars so much fun (IMHO). I drive a Thunderbird because she's easy to work on, easy on the eyes and easy on my wallet.

She's not cheap, she's just inexpensive. And in my experience, if you can find a car or a women that fits those credentials, you hold onto her for dear life.

Just the opinion of a newbie, though. Take it for what its worth.
 

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Dont Hate me lol. I always put these cars in the same group as vic's and other women/old people cars.In fact got the 1st one cuz of the wife lol. It was a 6cyl that I did a few mod's on.It started to grow on me so I bought another. Got a 4.6 t-bird for $480 , jumped the brake switch to get it out of gear and drive it home.Later found this site and have been off and running with the car.Until the hit-n-run.The car still sits in the side yard complete in the hopes of getting another one.But its had to justify spending $1500 - $2500 for a car that needs its entire suspention replaced and has 150k + miles on it when the odometer broke on it.Even looking for a nice 6cyl car that i can swap everything over to it.Always loved seeing the wtf look on peoples face when the t-bird kept up with there "better" cars lol
In the end it all boils down to 1 thing. How much do you like your car??

ps .. Waiting on a friend to sell his Cougar xr7. Got me some plans to blend that 1 lol
 

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Don't Hate me lol. I always put these cars in the same group as vic's and other women/old people cars.In fact got the 1st one cuz of the wife lol. It was a 6cyl that I did a few mod's on.It started to grow on me so I bought another. Got a 4.6 t-bird for $480 , jumped the brake switch to get it out of gear and drive it home.Later found this site and have been off and running with the car.Until the hit-n-run.The car still sits in the side yard complete in the hopes of getting another one.But its had to justify spending $1500 - $2500 for a car that needs its entire suspention replaced and has 150k + miles on it when the odometer broke on it. Even looking for a nice 6cyl car that i can swap everything over to it. Always loved seeing the wtf look on peoples face when the t-bird kept up with there "better" cars lol In the end it all boils down to 1 thing. How much do you like your car??

ps .. Waiting on a friend to sell his Cougar xr7. Got me some plans to blend that 1 lol
LOL Yea, I love that WTF look. I walked on a 350z once. They guys in it were just ... :eek:
 

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Discussion Starter #19
MULTI QUOTE GO!

I reached that point years ago but the Cougar's still costing me way less to own and mod than getting something else "modern" and I just roll with it. I learned to never tally up the cost of a "master plan" a long time ago, (because it is disheartening) and just get what I can get here and there, be patient, be resourceful, research, research, and research, and gradually put it together as I can. Now my car has well surpassed where I first wanted it, I've never downed it for more than a week or two and I can't say it really hurt me financially at all. Most of the expensive stuff it has can be sold at break even levels or used on another car if I so desired too.

Older platform? Meh. State of mind. Modern platforms have all grown inexplicably to MN12 size and weight and look like blocky ungainly bricks with oversized wheel openings which demand oversized ungainly heavy wheels(IMO). If there were two true desires in a chassis that the MN12 couldn't give me(without going racecar on it) it would be LESS WEIGHT, by like 500lbs, and simpler suspensions with less wear points. Nothing new satisfies those two desires.

My only big concern is in the long term where quality replacement UCA/LCAs might disappear. Everything else is easy enough to make alternative fixes/upgrades to. Luckly, regardless of it's age these are still a competent modern chassis/suspension layout so aftermarket support isn't really that necessary. Truth be told S197s are as well, and though they have TONS of support in that area, the truth is 3/4ths of all the upgrades are totally unnecessary(or even counterproductive)on a mostly street driven one and done mostly for the sake of padding someone's mod list.

But I'd Rather have a 1983 911SC over a current 997 too. I've never been attracted to the newest and bestest.

I have noticed that some parts are getting hard to find. Biggest fear is reaching a point where I love the car but some important part is no longer availible...

Yeah I'm on LS1GTO, I don't spend much time on there, the most time I spent on there was last week *****ing Pedders out on their shoddy customer service! Two months and no ball joints....grrr
It took me forever to find the chepest most beat up GTO for a good price, I couldn't see tearing apart and modding the ***** out of low mileage one :D


You said you wanted to go faster, go LSX much much mo powa! Who cares what's under the hood? I'm sure that car would haul with that set up and a nice tall gear! I mean it all really depends on the condition of the body, if its rusted out I say drive that car into the ground!
Sorry if I'm rambling, I think I've had one too many tonight ha!
My father in law and his whole family are frod guys. Hardcore ford..
The look on his face last night when we were halfway through a bottle of Seagrams was priceless when I mentioned potentially following this path.

If you like the car, keep going.

I'm struggling right now with my car. I've got about $7K into it and I have plans for another $3-4K, I don't really want spend much more because I'll only get half my money back when I sell. But dammit I still like the car so I'm going to keep doing some of the mods... I just need to keep it longer for my plan to make sense ;) My first mistake was adding up the receipts :(
Hard not to add up the reciepts when you are doing most of it at once. lol.

Money in it...

Lets look at my SC, original owner spent ~$23k (put ~$5k in maintenance at least into it) sold it to the previous owner for ~$4k (correct me if I'm wrong) that spent ~$5k on mods and I bought it for $4k and to date I've got another $4k at least in it just to keep it on the road (and have more planned).

Personally the only things out there I want are in the $60k+ range M3, 5 series/M5, XJ-R, XK-R. These in my opinion are the only things that can replace the MN-12. The new pony cars have only one thing power; seating sucks, ride is still bad. To be honest a slightly modded MN-12 is keeping up with them for a fraction of the price.

Basically ask yourself want do you want, a throw away car, a project, or a turn key item. MN-12 are the first two and and new car is the third and will be the second.

In regards to the Mustang I can put 4 adults in my SC I wouldn't even want to think of 3 adults in a Mustang.
I completely agree on the above... Tbird right now has a seat delete in it. I increased the rear space and carpeted the new insert for our dogs. (it's our long distance doggy hauler.)


At least with the 4.6 and your MN12 you have a certain level of ease to your mods. If you go too modern, now you've got lots of tech and silly extras that detract from what makes our cars so much fun (IMHO). I drive a Thunderbird because she's easy to work on, easy on the eyes and easy on my wallet.

She's not cheap, she's just inexpensive. And in my experience, if you can find a car or a women that fits those credentials, you hold onto her for dear life.

Just the opinion of a newbie, though. Take it for what its worth.
not sure how the mods will be easier. Making past 300 rwhp would need at least a supercharger or some major work to the motor... 30-40 rwhp is very easy to attain on the modern cars...

Made some plans on my way home today: (not necessarily in any order but at least in order of importance)

Step 1.
I'll be getting all the rear bushings from energy/prothane next month and the hub bearings. Contemplating ordering some vogtland springs, air bags, and addco rear sway at the same time. This would complete the suspension for me. (front and shocks were all replaced in dec).

Step 2.
PBR brake upgrade. I've bled the brakes several times and I am completely unhappy with the brake performance.

Step 3.
Full exhaust. Cats are definitely dead and my Father in Law (Original owner) says the car feels majorly down on power to him. This will help but I am concerned just what is going on with the motor. I'll probably wait until this fall/next year to decide if I do PI heads/PI explorer/power mods pending what the exhaust does.

Step 4.
Interior. Mustang seats. (needed badly.) new stereo with amp bypass and new speakers. (not sure how in depth I'll go here, amp and coaxials?). headliner needs replacing.

Step 5.
Paint. Pending everything else going well, she needs paint badly. I'll probably sand/prep it myself. this will be around this time next year. I might see how much the gentlemen who did monkey's car wants for a full paint job. No color change. I love the stock color.


Concerns:
the passenger door is creaking like the body is flexing WAY too much. (going over bumps etc...) I am worried that the body is worn out...
I need to replace the water lines that connect to the heater core. I have a very small leak there.
 
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