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Thread: The most expensive free car ever

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Posts
    4

    Arrow The most expensive free car ever

    Hi all, I'm a new supercoupe owner. I do seem to acquire Thunderbirds though, this one will be #5 and potentially lead to #6. It's a long story, but about 2 years ago I traded a case of beer for a 1989 5 speed SC that's got around 300k kms on it. It's fairly ratty and had been sitting for about 8 years, but it was essentially free. I'm not sure why I decided I needed it, but being basically free definitely factored into the decision. Before I tried driving it home, I changed the oil and spark plugs, put fresh gas in it, and put some oil in the supercharger. I started out to drive it home, but as it turns out, a 1000 km road trip in a car that's been sitting that long is a bad idea. Flash ahead another year, and I tried renting a uhaul trailer to haul it home, but uhaul messed up the trailer reservation and wanted me to make a 3 hour detour to pick up the trailer in another town. I don't think so, so I borrowed an old flat deck trailer from work that wasn't being used anymore (there's a pattern starting), but that didn't work out either. So third time's the charm, and me not having learned anything yet, I bought the trailer from work and put some decent used tires on it for the next attempt to bring home the SC. That went well enough that I at least got the car home, but I still didn't know what I was going to do with the car, so its been sitting out back of my garage for the past year. I was thinking strip it for parts and build another Locost, but it's not quite rough enough for that. And now that my kids are in booster seats and can buckle themselves up, a 2 door car is almost practical again, so I think I'm going to try to get it back on the road and into decent shape. Here's where there's a bit of a dilemma. The SC has a horrible red interior, which is also in horrible condition, and it desperately needs a paint job. I've found a 1992 non SC, V6 auto parts car for pretty cheap, and it has a grey interior in great shape. Do I swap the interior from the 92 to the SC and repaint it the same silver, or do I swap the SC drive train to the 92 parts car and freshen the rest of it up? From the pictures I've seen, t looks like it needs paint too, but it is a decently nice shade of blue instead of boring silver, so I probably won't be tempted to change the colour. I guess ultimately it will depend on what kind of shape the parts car is in, as I haven't actually looked at it yet, just pictures. And of course it will be another road trip with a trailer, but much shorter this time. Does anyone know how different the wiring between the two will be or any other pitfalls to swapping the SC drive train to a non SC car?

    Thanks in advance for any help.
    Kristian
    Last edited by turbo_bird; 03-13-2017 at 03:54 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    382
    Good afternoon




    Try search.

    http://www.sccoa.com/forums/showthre...ain-into-an-LX


    http://www.sccoa.com/forums/showthre...base-into-a-sc





    Is the car worth restoring to you? SCCoA supply vendors (Super Coupe Performance, Spinning Wheels and the Thunderbird Shop) together with SCCoA members in the forums sections can help you out.



    Good Luck.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Posts
    4
    Thanks, sounds like a pretty involved project either way. The whole interior would have to come out to change the wiring, so I guess it will hinge on which body shell needs the least amount of bodywork. I'm definitely not looking to do a concourse restoration, but I'd like to bring it back to a decently nice daily driver. I should be able to look at the parts car in the next couple weeks, and if it's worth it, drag it home.
    Kristian

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Valparaiso, Indiana
    Posts
    378
    I've swapped a SC into a 3.8 LX body before. It's a tedious process to say the least.

    You will need to swap, wiring, engine, trans, differential, half shafts, most likely rear brakes if the lx is non disc/abs, sway bars, shocks, coils, body kit, tail lights, gauges, consoles, parking brake will need to be converted to a hand brake, and I'm sure I'm forgetting stuff.

    That is if you want a true SC. I'm not sure what your goals are, but if it were me, I would just swap interiors.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Posts
    4
    I had a bit of a look at my SC, and I don't know if it's worth swapping an interior into it, the whole car is in pretty rough shape. The body is of bondo and the body kit is pretty much hanging off. The guy I got it from had let his kids beat on it out in a field, and then he was going to use it in a demo derby. I'm starting to think that if the parts car is as solid as it seems, swapping the drivetrain might be easier. Would the SC underhood engine harness connect to the LX body harness and get me running? I would assume I'd need to use the SC ECM too. I wouldn't be worried about swapping any of the ride control stuff over, just the SC gauge cluster so I have the tach and boost gauge. Swapping the diff, halfshafts, brakes, etc. doesn't bother me near as much as the bodywork that would be required to get the SC into even decent shape.
    Kristian

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    San Diego
    Posts
    379
    not that these cars were ever really popular or may ever be collectible but it seems vin# matters the older the car gets. just saying if 30 yrs from now my kids gotta get rid of my crap I'd rather have my kids getting rid of an old SC over a LX. who'd a thought certain old rusty cars would command what they do now. This car is like the SVO that never was. Interior swap definitely easier.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Valparaiso, Indiana
    Posts
    378
    Quote Originally Posted by turbo_bird View Post
    I had a bit of a look at my SC, and I don't know if it's worth swapping an interior into it, the whole car is in pretty rough shape. The body is of bondo and the body kit is pretty much hanging off. The guy I got it from had let his kids beat on it out in a field, and then he was going to use it in a demo derby. I'm starting to think that if the parts car is as solid as it seems, swapping the drivetrain might be easier. Would the SC underhood engine harness connect to the LX body harness and get me running? I would assume I'd need to use the SC ECM too. I wouldn't be worried about swapping any of the ride control stuff over, just the SC gauge cluster so I have the tach and boost gauge. Swapping the diff, halfshafts, brakes, etc. doesn't bother me near as much as the bodywork that would be required to get the SC into even decent shape.
    Kristian
    My body harness wasn't even close to matching in terms of wiring. The SC had quite a few more wires. I ended up pulling the dash and transferring the whole harness. Part of my issue was the SC was a 5 speed and the LX of course was an auto. I'm not saying it can't or shouldn't be done. Its just a long process.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by turbo_bird View Post
    Hi all, I'm a new supercoupe owner. I do seem to acquire Thunderbirds though, this one will be #5 and potentially lead to #6. It's a long story, but about 2 years ago I traded a case of beer for a 1989 5 speed SC that's got around 300k kms on it. It's fairly ratty and had been sitting for about 8 years, but it was essentially free. I'm not sure why I decided I needed it, but being basically free definitely factored into the decision. Before I tried driving it home, I changed the oil and spark plugs, put fresh gas in it, and put some oil in the supercharger. I started out to drive it home, but as it turns out, a 1000 km road trip in a car that's been sitting that long is a bad idea. Flash ahead another year, and I tried renting a uhaul trailer to haul it home, but uhaul messed up the trailer reservation and wanted me to make a 3 hour detour to pick up the trailer in another town. I don't think so, so I borrowed an old flat deck trailer from work that wasn't being used anymore (there's a pattern starting), but that didn't work out either. So third time's the charm, and me not having learned anything yet, I bought the trailer from work and put some decent used tires on it for the next attempt to bring home the SC. That went well enough that I at least got the car home, but I still didn't know what I was going to do with the car, so its been sitting out back of my garage for the past year. I was thinking strip it for parts and build another Locost, but it's not quite rough enough for that. And now that my kids are in booster seats and can buckle themselves up, a 2 door car is almost practical again, so I think I'm going to try to get it back on the road and into decent shape. Here's where there's a bit of a dilemma. The SC has a horrible red interior, which is also in horrible condition, and it desperately needs a paint job. I've found a 1992 non SC, V6 auto parts car for pretty cheap, and it has a grey interior in great shape. Do I swap the interior from the 92 to the SC and repaint it the same silver, or do I swap the SC drive train to the 92 parts car and freshen the rest of it up? From the pictures I've seen, t looks like it needs paint too, but it is a decently nice shade of blue instead of boring silver, so I probably won't be tempted to change the colour. I guess ultimately it will depend on what kind of shape the parts car is in, as I haven't actually looked at it yet, just pictures. And of course it will be another road trip with a trailer, but much shorter this time. Does anyone know how different the wiring between the two will be or any other pitfalls to swapping the SC drive train to a non SC car?

    Thanks in advance for any help.
    Kristian
    tbscshop has been a lifesaver in terms of getting replacement parts that are reasonably priced and the knowledge Ryan provides is very valuable.

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