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Thread: few questions to lean me toward or away

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
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    few questions to lean me toward or away

    OK I am dead set on getting a thunderbird super coupe. Right now the only one I have found close to me is an automatic 1990 two owner car with documentation, 137k miles. It needs break line and its leaking power steering fluid. Owner also says ABS light it on. Guy wants 800 for it. It is in good condition and engine bay is clean in the pics. Is it worth it or should I keep looking?
    Last edited by Dev893; 07-16-2015 at 01:01 AM.

  2. #2
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    Jun 2015
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    What to look for when buying

    My first suggestion would be to do a search on this forum for "What to look for" threads. You will get a listing of posts that tell you exactly what to be concerned about when buying a SC. There are specific areas such as head gaskets, ABS brakes, rocker rust, sagging doors, suspension issues, etc. The list goes on.

    I'm very new to the SC lifestyle so take my comments with a grain of salt. I did do a lot of research here on this forum and elsewhere before buying my 89 SC two months ago. With that many miles, my concern would be head gaskets. If they were never changed, they could blow anytime. You should budget to replace them right away. Also, the ABS light is a concern. The ABS brake systems on these cars are expensive to repair back to factory spec. Or you could spend much less and replace it with a non-ABS system (ABS delete) if the repairs get deep into the ABS system. Do some searches here about 'ABS' and read up on the issues.

    Are you mechanically inclined? Worked on cars all your life? Then a fixer upper may be the way to go. If your budget allows it might be beneficial to look for a nicer car that has had some of these major systems addressed by the previous owner so you only have to worry about the little (read less expensive) things that need repaired.

    Anyway, that's my $0.02

  3. #3
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    Dec 2007
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    Salem, OR
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    6,295
    The SC Buyer's Guide might help decide.

  4. #4
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    Jun 2002
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    SCCoA Member#1257
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dev893 View Post
    OK I am dead set on getting a thunderbird super coupe. Right now the only one I have found close to me is an automatic 1990 two owner car with documentation, 137k miles. It needs break line and its leaking power steering fluid. Owner also says ABS light it on. Guy wants 800 for it. It is in good condition and engine bay is clean in the pics. Is it worth it or should I keep looking?
    Two big questions

    1- looking for a daily? or do you have another car you can rely on?
    2- do you have the patience/expertise/resources for the repairs?

    Granted it all boils down to nuts & bolts, but the ABS system in the early SC's is very particular and expensive to repair. We all like these cars and will tell you to get one in a heartbeat...but don't want you to be stuck and regretting the purchase...or worse, end up sending a perfectly good SC to the crusher. Tons of us have dealt with the ABS issues on these early cars. It just comes with the territory.
    Current: 1993 SC 5.0L Auto Red, 1994 SC 5-speed Teal, 1995 SC 5-speed Chameleon Blue
    Old: 89 SC auto Twilight Blue, 89 SC stick Titanium, 90 35th stick, 92 Sport 5.0L stick, 94 SC stick Black, 1994 SC Auto Teal
    Also: 1992 Feature Mustang Convertible 5-speed Vibrant Red, 1991 BMW 850i 6-speed Red, 1994 BMW 850CSi 6-speed Red

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  5. #5
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    Jul 2015
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    I'm not an expert in car repair but I have more knowledge then average Joe, I also have my uncle down the road that's been working on cars his whole life. The car will be a daily after I fix a few things. Owner says one of the brake lines is leaking could that cause the abs light? Is there any way to track down the cause with out replacing one piece at a time? Also I found another 1990 in LA for 900 but its running rich so won't pass smog which could end up being more pricey of a fix than this car also no where as clean
    Last edited by Dev893; 07-17-2015 at 11:49 AM.

  6. #6
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    Jul 2015
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    17
    Also head gasket hasn't been changed yet but ibdo plan on having the head ported and polished anyways so I will change it then and use arp head studs

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Herrin Illinois
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    3,385
    Quote Originally Posted by Dev893 View Post
    I'm not an expert in car repair but I have more knowledge then average Joe, I also have my uncle down the road that's been working on cars his whole life. The car will be a daily after I fix a few things. Owner says one of the brake lines is leaking could that cause the abs light? Is there any way to track down the cause with out replacing one piece at a time? Also I found another 1990 in LA for 900 but its running rich so won't pass smog which could end up being more pricey of a fix than this car also no where as clean
    Most master mechanics that have worked on cars there entire life can't figure a teves brake system out lol. Basic mechanical knowledge won't do it on these cars. I know this sounds discouraging but unless you are willing to use the experience if the members of this site and have a pretty good mechanical background owning a super coupe can and will be very discouraging. I myself would never daily drive a super coupe of any year but there are alot of guys that do it.
    Last edited by davec73; 07-17-2015 at 01:10 PM.
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  8. #8
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    Jul 2015
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    Quote Originally Posted by davec73 View Post
    Most master mechanics that have worked on cars there entire life can't figure a teves brake system out lol. Basic mechanical knowledge won't do it on these cars. I know this sounds discouraging but unless you are willing to use the experience if the members of this site and have a pretty good mechanical background owning a super coupe can and will be very discouraging. I myself would never daily drive a super coupe of any year but there are alot of guys that do it.
    I'm actually buying a 1988 Ford ranger GT today so the truck will be my daily once the trans is fixed (stupid A4LD)

  9. #9
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    Nov 2012
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    wisconsin
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    800$ ???????????? if its body and frame and rockers are rust free id pull the trigger asap so long as the engine is also solid with no ticks,knocks or smoke..the trans? who cares...and aod can be had for veryvery cheap and if you had to replace it,2 years ago I got a mustang aod( forgot year but had the better internals) and a 2800 stall converter for it,got it all for 300 bucks only and it was such an easy install. I did it by my self with minimal tools.
    I also agree that most mechanic suck at working on these car unless they are familiar with them. best bet is if you have halfwits of mechanic experience just take ur time to look at how things work TAKE UR TIME and it will be easy to figure out. also with our community here, someone will be able to provide you with any info on anything you need. these guys have been the best resource ive ever acquired when it comes to my thunderbirds and cougars. tccoa.com has some decent info too buuuut the community is far less lax over there.

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