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Thread: New owner from Cleveland

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2019
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    Cleveland, OH
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    46

    New owner from Cleveland

    (subject line edited to reflect successful purchase)

    Hi there.

    Not an owner yet, but definitely close on purchasing a '90 SC. You all may cringe, but I plan to decal it like a Davey Allison car if I make the purchase.

    Just decided to create an account here and do some research on the MN12 platform. I am a Ford guy, but all of my Fords are on the Panther platform (have owned over 10, currently down to 3 in the stable).

    Anyway, if anyone has any tidbits on the 3.8 SC, or things I should definitely check during an inspection, I'd like to hear them. Are they as gimmicky as all my car pals are warning me about?

    Cheers,
    Adam
    Last edited by a_d_a_m; 05-09-2019 at 12:34 AM.

  2. #2
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    Denver Area
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    Last edited by potshotscott; 04-26-2019 at 01:11 PM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2019
    Location
    Cleveland, OH
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    Appreciate it!

    While a lot of that is common sense and applicable to all car inspections, the SC-specific stuff (where to look for rust, the shock sensors, etc.) is gold I'm looking for.

    Thanks for giving me the ammo to make a checklist. The car is 5 hours away and I don't want to chance anything.

  4. #4
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    Tons of good info in the above post, but keep in mind it was written over 10 years ago. Some things have changed with respect to what's available and what to expect. Being from Cleveland myself, I can tell you a couple things to add or perhaps simplify your search.

    First, anything north of TN is hugely suspect for cancerous rust, and even southern cars can have issues. BEWARE. Anything south of Kentucky is hugely suspect for sun damage. Also beware.

    So about rust. Here is the thing, most people are truly not aware of the insidious rust creeping into their cars. As a result I've had many people swear up and down their cars had no rust but the truth is they had advanced rot, not just a bit of rust, ROT. The problem with unibody cars is that you can't just clean up a bit of surface rust or cut out the bad parts. It doesn't work that way. When corrosion starts to show in some spot, it's generally hidden in many other places. A bubble in the lower rocker panel (behind the ground effects) will also mean that the suspension bolts most likely will not come loose without a torch. So not only do you have rust that body shops will simply refuse to touch, but you have a maintenance nightmare. Just avoid anything with rust.

    So how can you tell? Insist on pictures of the underside of the rocker panels and drip rails font to back on both sides of the car. Insist on pictures of the inside edges of bottom of the doors. A general picture from underside of the car will also paint a good picture. Insist on a good clear engine bay shot.

    What you are looking for:

    - Straight drip rails down the length of the car and no swelling of the seams. If the car has been incorrectly jacked these will be smashed and that's just all bad. It also indicates lack of care in the car's maintenance history. Swelling means the car has cancerous rust. Stay away. Any visible rust is also bad news because what you can see is generally just the tip of the iceberg.

    - The doors, usually one side worse than the other, are a bellwether of the car rust exposure. The seams should be 100% clean all the way front to back.

    - The engine bay - bare aluminum parts should not oxidized (white). This is a sign of northern humidity and cold. Look for rust creeping around the seams in the metal around the battery box and the top of the shock towers.

    Do not accept "garage kept" or "all maintenance performed" as any kind of assurance that the car is good. Most unheated garages are terrible for humidity and often literally destroy a car just sitting there innocently. The top will look great but everything underneath will be destroyed. I've seen this over and over. Low mileage is a great thing in general, but you must know something about how the car was kept. Pictures of the underneath will reveal what has been going on over the years.

    That being said, nice worth SC's are definitely available in the $3000-6000 range. If it's cheaper than that it's going to be a headache and will cost you 3x your purchase price by the time you work through all the issues and it will still be a 2nd or 3rd tier car. Find a 1st tier car to start with and enjoy it. These cars really are very reliable and well built. The problem is that 25-30 years and an inadequate maintenance program have often left you with a basket case to figure out.
    Quote Originally Posted by Miller View Post
    Ya thats why i tape mine down. People think its bc i dont have a moonroof seal (which is true) but its really to keep my roof from ripping off .
    Email me here.

  5. #5
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    Dec 2007
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    Salem OR
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    Thanks for the link, one of the reasons I put it there is because SteemIt uses blockchain technology, so it should survive there for a while: https://steemit.com/ford/@ktsteemit/...-buyer-s-guide -
    Last edited by KMT; 04-26-2019 at 07:57 PM. Reason: ...

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by XR7 Dave View Post
    Tons of good info in the above post, but keep in mind it was written over 10 years ago. Some things have changed with respect to what's available and what to expect
    Thanks, Dave...w/your permission, I'll try to add your SC-centric points to the next Super Coupe Buyers' Guide edit.

    Ken
    Last edited by KMT; 04-24-2019 at 05:32 PM.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by a_d_a_m View Post
    Are they as gimmicky as all my car pals are warning me about?
    Adam:

    Ahead of their time, with such features as distributorless ignition, Ford leaned hard on the electrical system, which after so many years can be difficult to work on today when the owner/mech. is new to them. They aren't that difficult once you come to grips with the effects of time, making sure to confirm all of the grounds and connectors/harnesses are clean, reliable and up to spec, speaking of which, it is advised to pick up an EVTM (wiring manual)...eBay is a good source, just be sure to get one specific to your year SC.

    My strongest advice is to resist firing a parts cannon at the car when faced with issues - don't get creative...there are procedures to follow, and a good amount of resources, including found via search here, that can help reduce unnecessary spending and frustration related to tail-chasing. It might be a steep learning curve, but that time will return as a benefit later.

    And as I point out in the SCBG, it is not a primer on used car buying in general, so be sure to apply common sense with any purchase.

    Good luck and don't be a stranger here!

    Ken
    Last edited by KMT; 04-24-2019 at 05:35 PM.

  8. #8
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    May 2012
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    Denver Area
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    XR7 Dave's additional comments are really good advice. I see cars on here for sale and see that aluminum surface corrosion that was spoken about. As for the improper jacking - I have a smush mark on my passenger side from improper jacking. I've considered slide hammering it out but so far the car seems whole. This car was a Nevada car and is now a Denver car that doesn't go out in snow/heavy rain. If you guys were me would you tack weld/slide hammer this back out?

  9. #9
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    Apr 2019
    Location
    Cleveland, OH
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    Thank you all for the input. I've been a member on several automotive forums over the years, but this is some of the more detailed advice I've ever seen shared with a n00b. You guys are good.

    I've been in regular contact with the seller for a week now, and he's been rather communicative, even going so far as to offer a FaceTime session so we can discuss the car and I can be shown issues in real time. The undercarriage pictures check out, no concerning rust, suspension looks damn nice if not a little old, and the video of the car running shows me that this car is as described, at the very least. The clear may have some issues and there's some peeling on the driver's door trim as mentioned as a common issue. I can deal with that.

    I plan to call him tomorrow to talk serious turkey about the car. Maybe pick it up next week if we can land on a price.




    Hey, do I have to answer "how many cylinders a SC engine has" question every time I post? Or is this a new person thing?


    Quote Originally Posted by XR7 Dave View Post
    Being from Cleveland myself
    :looks at your location:
    :realizes we're in the same county:
    I'm pretty sure I've driven past your house several times in my travels. There's definitely a house in the '057 that's got an MN12 out front at any given time. I'm over in the '077 and drive a black Marauder with a vanity tag of BUFORD T if you ever see it out.
    Last edited by a_d_a_m; 04-25-2019 at 01:44 AM.

  10. #10
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    Apr 2019
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    Cleveland, OH
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    Here are a few undercarriage pictures. Maybe I'm being too forgiving about this car, but it looks pretty good from what I can see.........?










    This is where I start to wonder, though:





    Video of it running: https://i.imgur.com/QzQXHAs.mp4



    Let's assume you could get this for between $1500 and $2000. Would you?

  11. #11
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    Madison, Ohio
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    That's decent for the price. If you want to wrap it with a Davey Allison motif, then the paint wouldn't bother me. Otherwise paint jobs are expensive. It's clearly a nice $1500-2000 car vs. a pristine $5000 car. You'll be spending some money on it somewhere, but the car does appear solid which is a big deal for around here. How's the interior (cracked dash, torn seats, faded/dirty/worn carpet, headliner? Those things aren't easy to replace and some are about impossible to find.

    There are a couple nice SC's in the area here owned I think by older people. If you've driven by my place there are always more than one MN12 in the driveway, more like 3-5. lol
    Quote Originally Posted by Miller View Post
    Ya thats why i tape mine down. People think its bc i dont have a moonroof seal (which is true) but its really to keep my roof from ripping off .
    Email me here.

  12. #12
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    I would also say though, after re-reading your other posts, that some things to consider - the underside pictures show the front portion of the rocker panels from the doors forward and you are more interested in pictures from the doors back to the wheels. That is not shown at all. Also the undersides of the doors.

    The car does show signs of northern exposure, those white lines along the edges of certain parts. They do make me a bit nervous. That particular car has been factory undercoated which isn't a bonus because it tends to hide things and is horrible to clean up if you do want to do anything underneath. I'd rather see clean paint under the car.

    Another thing, it's a 92 which means it has the old fully electronic brake system. 93's are split conventional ABS and much more reliable at this stage of the game. The old master cylinder is hard to service and accumulator is guaranteed to be shot. Both must be properly functional for the car to be driven reliably/safely.
    Quote Originally Posted by Miller View Post
    Ya thats why i tape mine down. People think its bc i dont have a moonroof seal (which is true) but its really to keep my roof from ripping off .
    Email me here.

  13. #13
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    Apr 2002
    Location
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    Quote Originally Posted by KMT View Post
    Thanks, Dave...w/your permission, I'll try to add your SC-centric points to the next Super Coupe Buyers' Guide edit.

    Ken
    Ken, feel free to edit or condense my comments or use them in whatever manner seems suitable to you. I tend to ramble and I don't want to make your guide unnecessarily long or complex. The same applies to anything else I post. Thanks for asking!
    Quote Originally Posted by Miller View Post
    Ya thats why i tape mine down. People think its bc i dont have a moonroof seal (which is true) but its really to keep my roof from ripping off .
    Email me here.

  14. #14
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    Apr 2019
    Location
    Cleveland, OH
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    46
    Points all well taken, and I am going to proceed with caution, but everything Iíve seen indicates an honest car. Iíll ask to see those back rockers.

    Interior is pretty mint.

    Seller indicates itís a Ď90, not a Ď92.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by a_d_a_m View Post
    I’ll ask to see those back rockers.
    As I noted in the guide, the moonroof (does that car have one?) drains into the front wheels and rear rockers. Ford used a closed cell foam inside the rocker cavities, and there can be a risk of water being retained which can lead to a higher rust risk in those areas.

    This thread shows pure rocker hell:
    http://www.sccoa.com/forums/showthre...highlight=rust

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