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Discussion Starter #1
I went to adjust my Koni front shocks today, and I found this on the drivers side shock tower:

As you can see, green overspray on the sticker, and just ahead of that, some green paint that doesn't quite match, and see the two spot welds on the stock tower? What does this tell you? Obviously it was repaired...but I wonder what all was replaced and what the reason was...

Here is the passenger side for referance, it's not like that


Passenger door under the panel:


Trunk alignment issues:





As you can see, the trunk is too high on the passenger side, which throws the gaps off on both sides, too big on the passenger side, too small on the driver side.

Also, the trunk popper doesn't always want to work (it helps to push down on the trunk)

I tried adjusting the lower trunk latch, which worked, made the trunk popper work every time, HOWEVER the gaps on the trunklid where HUGE I tried adjusting that on the trunk arms with no luck, and basically where it sits now is as good as I could get it

Also, the trunk latch appears that it was drilled out or ground down to elongate the holes to provide more adjustment.

So, it's like it has been hit in the rear, and put back together, but everything is off by just a slight bit, the passenger door was replaced for some reason, and the drivers side front inner structure was put back together....so, hit from the rear, spun and slammed in the front too?

Could a body shop look at the trunk and the front inner structure around the shock tower and have some idea as to what happened in this car's past life? Could the trunk alignment be fixed to look correct and trunk release be fully functional?
 

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It's really hard to tell from the pictures - is the metal around the spot welded area of the shock tower cracked at all ?? I have seen this happen to some Tbirds - the 93+ have the "tabs" cut out and the Mark 8's recieved additional welding in those tabs. Probably to help prevent seperation at this stress point. Without knowing the history of who did what to the car at what point in time, it's all speculation. How long has it had the "cut" springs ?? They could have possibly bottomed out too many times with the previous owner who did a quick repair
 

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Discussion Starter #4
It's really hard to tell from the pictures - is the metal around the spot welded area of the shock tower cracked at all ?? I have seen this happen to some Tbirds - the 93+ have the "tabs" cut out and the Mark 8's recieved additional welding in those tabs. Probably to help prevent seperation at this stress point. Without knowing the history of who did what to the car at what point in time, it's all speculation. How long has it had the "cut" springs ?? They could have possibly bottomed out too many times with the previous owner who did a quick repair
It doesn't appear cracked, but if you looked at it you would know what to look for more than I would...you mention the marks having additional welding...if mine where fully welded up like the mark, would that stiffen things up?

Judging by the previous owners old posts it's had cut springs for about two years...I assume bottoming out with cut springs could separate the metal in this area? Is that what you are getting at?
 

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I assume bottoming out with cut springs could separate the metal in this area? Is that what you are getting at?
Yes, exactly. I lost the picture I took of the last Tbird I worked on with a HUGE crack all along the area where the pieces are spot welded together.

I fully welded my shock support all along the seam - but I have additional support in other areas also. Adding a little extra welding to the area might help, but not very much. Those couple of additional tack welds on your fender are not doing much if anything.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
So what would serve as a solution to this problem, if welding it all up "doesn't do much" ?? Does having cut springs (say NOT hitting anything) but having cut springs put extra stress on things like this?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
gonna do that then...sure wish previous owner would tell me what happened with this thing instead of playing the "I don't know" game...in looking back at what history on the car that I can find on here, it had 17" chrome bullitt knockoffs on it and around the middle of 2007, they where for sale "two where destroyed in an accident" it said...so how do you tweak the rear sheetmetal, smash the front drivers side and mess the passenger door up enough for replacement?

At least it's all pretty well hidden...I keep thinking I'm gonna pull the carpet and interior trim and find two different cars welded together :uppoint:

I guess disclosing all this info to everybody here means I can't sell it on this website for much if I ever decide to sell, eh :cool: hey, at least I'm honest.
 

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Carfax

If it doesn't have a salvage title then I'd do a Car-Fax report on it. With that amount of repair it seems to me an insurance company, at one time or another, paid to have it repaired. Or, maybe the Car-Fax report will find a salvage title somewhere in the past. It sure as heck would be worth the money to have a total search done.

If things show up in the Car-Fax report that indicate prior major damage, then take the report to the previous owner and demand some sort of reimbursement.
 

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gonna do that then...sure wish previous owner would tell me what happened with this thing instead of playing the "I don't know" game...in looking back at what history on the car that I can find on here, it had 17" chrome bullitt knockoffs on it and around the middle of 2007, they where for sale "two where destroyed in an accident" it said...so how do you tweak the rear sheetmetal, smash the front drivers side and mess the passenger door up enough for replacement?

At least it's all pretty well hidden...I keep thinking I'm gonna pull the carpet and interior trim and find two different cars welded together :uppoint:

I guess disclosing all this info to everybody here means I can't sell it on this website for much if I ever decide to sell, eh :cool: hey, at least I'm honest.
Is not the previous owner a member here ? :confused:
 

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I've also been searching through the former owners threads and posts I recall finding at least two references to him saying the car had been wrecked. He even admits it is in a for sale thread for the wheels. I kept looking and can't find any pictures of the car while wrecked, only a few before and after, it's more than a coincidence that it has a sc rear bumper and different wheels, the only thing I can find as far as the front end goes is that he switched to a 94/95 front bumper for no apparent reason, the accident that wrecked the wheels and probably the rear quarter panel and door from what I can tell happened somewhere before 5-17-2007 (first for sale of 2 remaining wheels) and by 7-28-2007 he had different wheels and probably the damage fixed for a photo. Than again in his photo on 7-28-2007 he doesn't show any of the right side of the car.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
If it doesn't have a salvage title then I'd do a Car-Fax report on it. With that amount of repair it seems to me an insurance company, at one time or another, paid to have it repaired. Or, maybe the Car-Fax report will find a salvage title somewhere in the past. It sure as heck would be worth the money to have a total search done.

If things show up in the Car-Fax report that indicate prior major damage, then take the report to the previous owner and demand some sort of reimbursement.
I ran a carfax on it before I bought it, it's clean, clean, clean....besides, when you own a body shop, you just fix things yourself, no need to get anybody involved...

I wrecked my focus back in 2002 reported it to insurance, they fixed it, and to this day, that car has a clean carfax and that thing was NEVER right again.

So I put little faith in carfax.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
So here's what I can find...Here's the car all stock regular corners, sport wheels, etc.



stock wheels:










then it had 17" chrome bullitt wheels

I think this pic was taken during this incarnation of the car



then it had 18" Saleen Speedstars, and still had the 96 front bumper:

Saleed Speedstars - can't really tell what bumper it has on front

Same thing, sorta




Speestars with 95 front bumper, no super orange corners yet, no SC side skirts


More with speedstars taken during the sport spring cutting extravaganza



Basically how it is now:




ripped lower valance no longer there...he made some different ones that look much better







And this funny little PVC intake tube with a very, very, very small fake K&N








I wonder if the intake tube actually helped? Seems like it might have actually worked OK with a stock airbox with a K&N panel or maybe a good K&N cone on the MAF with a decent heat shield....
 

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I am sure most of our cars have a history. Sure you got some work ahead of you, but its no worse then other Birds and Cougars I have seen.

Just fix it up as you go. :)
 

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Does having cut springs (say NOT hitting anything) but having cut springs put extra stress on things like this?
Not necessarily, but you are more likely to hit something / bottom out on the shock if you do drive on a rough road or hit a pothole.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I am sure most of our cars have a history. Sure you got some work ahead of you, but its no worse then other Birds and Cougars I have seen.

Just fix it up as you go. :)
OH YEAH....it's not a big deal really, and no it's not that bad...some of the things I've discovered on this one have been a bit mind blowing and I just had to share...at least I sorta know the history...better than some other cars I have had
 

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Discussion Starter #18
The car drives fine, tracks straight, everything is just great with it. A friend of mine told me that it could have been put on a frame machine and when they pulled on the drivers side front they separated the shock tower seam....
 

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Being the previous owner of this car... yes this car has been in an accident. There was an incident where the car was hit in a parking lot. One of the wheels was actually cracked and the other had surface damage on it. Because the wheels were no longer being produced it was impossible to get my hands on a spare wheel, thus a whole new set was purchased. The accident was not my fault and the vehicle was repairable. No frame damage occurred.

As for the red door, it has always been like that ever since i've owned the car. From what I can tell whoever did the repair on the door did it properly. Of course the inner side of the door is red but in all honesty that's basic protocol when installing a used door on a car. Sure i would have liked the door to be all green but when i really got down to think about it i didn't give a crap. There are areas ALL OVER the car that aren't painted green from the factory and there is reason for this, it just doesn't show. There are cars that come from the factory where only the perimeter of the door is painted body color. Hell if i started going nuts painting areas of the car that will never be seen i'd probably be a freakin basket case by now. What likely happened is whoever paid for the repair whether it be insurance, previous owner, etc. did not shell out the extra cash to paint an area that you will never see.

I think the fact that you are trying to compile an accident scenario where every slightly tweaked panel, blemish, ding, dent, etc. were damaged all at one time is laughable. For god sakes the car is 14 years old. You can't tell me that you expect a car of that age with 170,000+ miles on it has never been in an accident. The fact that i'm a body tech has really no relevancy to the car being repaired without the insurance company knowing. Just because i'm a body tech doesn't mean i can repair a car for free. For example I recently purchased a 2000 Camaro Z28 and repainted the entire vehicle. Total material cost (OUR COST!) was almost $2000. That is wholesale price! Therefore it's clear that being a body tech doesn't mean you can just repair anything for little to no money, not to mention time investment. The scenario for the car being hit on the side, spinning around, smashing the front, etc is pretty ridiculous. You honestly think that a college student/part time body tech can pay to fix all that out of pocket? Not to mention whoever hit me would obviously have to be reported to the insurance. I mean an accident that violent would likely require local police to get involved in order to clear the road. Obviously this would show up on a carfax.

The trunk is easily explainable. A misaligned panel does not always mean the car was damaged at one point. As long as i've had the car it has always been like that. Could it have been damaged in a wreck? Maybe... who really knows. At the same time the trunk could have gotten closed on a backpack, jumper cables, etc. which believe it or not WILL cause a panel to be misaligned. Again through my years of ownership I just looked at it as it's an old car, what do you expect.

The shock tower being cracked is a different issue all in itself. If there is speculation that the car was set up on a frame rack and the welds separated because of that... again that is a laughable situation. We own a frame rack and that is just not possible. It should be obvious when you ask yourself how do you clamp a shock tower and pull enough to where the spot welds separate? Those spot welds help suspend a 4000 pound car you are simply not going to be able to pull that enough to separate it. As to why it's cracked, again it's probably because the car is just old. Has the condition of it being lowered accelerate the cracking? Possibly. But being a body tech I have seen completely stock vehicles with WAY less than 170K on them with cracked strut/shock towers. Depending on the damage incurred usually you would replace the whole apron and shock tower with a new one when cracking occurs. However, something like that can cost in the thousands, EASILY. The other method used IF the cracks are tiny is tacking with a MIG. Welding normally makes the metal brittle AROUND the weld and this is why it can only be used if the cracks are tiny and are just starting. In the case of my EX car, we were able to tack the cracks early enough where they didn't spread.

Just being honest here, and maybe i'm being unintentionally rude here but Earl, the car is 14 years old. It's had multiple owners and it is impossible to know exactly what has happened to the car in all its years of life. The car could have been wrecked a dozen times before I owned it, who knows. Any time you buy a used car that is the risk you take, hell sometimes even "NEW" cars have already been repaired in some way. I kept this in mind when i purchased that thunderbird. It was clean, appeared well taken care of, and had somewhere around 112,XXX miles so I bought it. Again i'm a body tech and i can't tell you how many times we've had to repair a car that is less than 1 year old. With this in mind i knew that in all likelihood the car was probably damaged in some way at some time. It's a bit shrewd but that's just the way it is. My family owns 8 cars now, and ALL of them have had something happen to them, it's just the way it is. You can't keep a car like a piece of jewelry... cars just get damaged and they get damaged often. On this site for example there are a lot of nice cars but i am willing to bet that 99% of them have been in some type of accident or have been repaired one way or another. It comes with the territory when buying a car that is over a decade old.

Again maybe i'm being rude here but it almost seems as if your making a complaint. In my honest opinion you bought an EXTREMELY clean car that was obviously well maintained for a very small amount of money. Everything from the cobra brakes, to FRPP trac lock, PI intake, etc are all done properly with good parts. Just the cost of the brakes, rear end set up, and wheels alone more than total the car out as far as value. When you add on the koni adjustables, PI parts, SCT xcal, Alpine stereo components... you can see what i'm getting at here. Not to mention the car runs like it's brand new. It's a low 14 second car and I still have the slips to prove it. All that for under $3000 and your bringing up the issue of the trunk being misaligned, and the inner door being red that's getting pretty excessive here.

In the end the car is just old, it has seen better days. If your expecting a perfect car with 170K on it your dreaming. Cars of that age are always going to have there whoopty doos here and there it's just the way the cookie crumbles. I mean damn it seems as if you feel i've deceived you. I can't possibly show you every little freakin thing that was wrong with it. When we met to view the Thunderbird I said you could look as long as you want, i let you drive the car, i drove you in it, i smogged it, what else do you want? Seriously. I mean while we're at it why don't I just mention that I nicked the ash tray door one time with a friends purse, or that one time the inside of the rear tires rubbed the wheel house and scraped away the underseal? I think you all can see what i'm getting at here. There's probably things that are wrong with it that nobody will ever know, it's just not humanly possible to point out every little imperfection on the car.
 
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