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Thread: Hey, just got got one...

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
    Posts
    16

    Hey, just got got one...

    Hey all,

    I'm new here of course... I'd like to intro myself though. My name's Jesse, I'm from the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania area. I just got my first Thunderbird Super Coupe, and this is also the first car I've purchased myself.

    My father's an electrician/mechanic in one of the last steel mills in the Pittsburgh area, and my brother is also an experienced mechanic.

    I'm 25, a student, and basically a parts gopher for my father generally but have a base knowledge of cars (very VERY basic though).

    My Thunderbird was not a lot of money, has 156k on it, and a bad spot on the right rear fender... It's red with an aqua/black lined design in the paint. I was told by the previous owner that this design isn't custom or a sticker (it's paint) that came from the factory this way.

    Car has a moon roof, it's a pretty car at first glance and really looked great to me and my brother when we looked at it (My father chose not to go look at it).

    The underneath has a fair bit of rust though, along where the ground effects mount. I was disappointed, as this wasn't visible to us when we looked the car over, and the body was so nice we didn't expect this kind of rust underneath. I'm hoping to get it welded soon, but for now we're riveting steel plates underneath to get it to pass inspection.

    I just wanted to say hello, and that it's likely that I'll pop in to ask questions from time to time. My father wants me to sell it, but I've become intent on keeping it. I put several hours into getting all the various gadgets to work, and to scrape some ugly bubbling tint out of the back window... I figure, I want this car and I want it to be better than what it is... My father just looks at it and says "I don't even know where the spark plugs are" then storms out of the garage.

    I can't blame the old man though, seriously. But I do rely on him for help so I hope he changes his opinion. He did mention to his friends at a recent gun bash that "That son of a ***** flies".

    Heh, he still likes his toys I guess.

    Well anyway you all know about me now, so I hope to find some knowledgeable folks here who are willing to help me out... We do almost all our work ourselves here at my home, so I really am hoping I can find a safe haven here for my worries that I've already had on my "new" car.

    If I can ever get pictures online somehow, I'd take shots and show people what it looks like. It's really an attractive car till you get under those blasted ground effects! If only I could drive it (I'm learning the 5-speed too, on top of all this).

    Thanks for reading about me,

    Jesse

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Murrysville, PA
    Posts
    1,259
    hey! you gonna go to carlisle? im live about half hour away from you. maybe we could check each others cars out sometime. its always nice to know with these rare sc's around here that some actually have enough brains to stop here.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
    Posts
    16
    I'm actually real close to Murrysville. I live out in Leechburg if you know where that is. Used to play hockey at the deck out your way.

    I'm not sure what is at Carlisle (Car show?) that you spoke of, pardon the ignorance, haha... I don't get to many car shows. If I went I'd likely be in mine and would gladly show you it.

    It's nothing flashy though... I've already had to do a bit of work with the fuses and such just trying to get everything working. I didn't get a manual with my car when I bought it (I got it because my old car died on me at the start of semester and this car wasn't real expensive, and it just simply ROCKED to look at... Plus it seemed ok).

    Like I said, I have a bit of work to do underneath... I want my brother to weld it so it's a permanent fix (It's bad under there), but with his job and life in general I'm not sure he'll do it. And I'm not sure paying to have it done is in my budget....

    I wanted to do a lot of aesthetic work to it too... I spent several hours scraping a crappy tint job the last owner did out of the rear window... It was royally crud, and bubbled. Looked horrible and made vision out the rear window nighe on impossible. It's out, but not completely yet... Having some trouble with a few small spots and don't want to tear out the interior back there to get rid of it...

    Eh, I shouldn't have expected anything more really, but the car does have its issues. Plus I am still learning to drive it and get used to a 5 speed... Been all automatics up till now, and a little while driving my dad's old pick-up which had a bad clutch. Hardly an expert with a standard here.

    It's great to see some folks from the area here though and I'd definately like to check your car out too...

    Do any of the rest of you have the rust problem underneath? It seems so odd, like the ground effects trapped moisture and rotted it under there... Wish I had an easy fix to this problem, but oh well.

    I still have to learn how to just do regular maintenance to the thing, and see what parts I can bogart off other Fords that would be useful on the T-Birds... My old car was such a common thing that parts were no issue, but of course that's not the case here.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Lynn,MA
    Posts
    122
    Welcome, nice screen name!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Butler, PA
    Posts
    659
    Welcome!....I'm in Butler, PA. So I'm not far at all. Surprisingly, my car has little rust on it. It has spent it's whole life around here too. Feel free to email me...LZ1276@zoominternet.net

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
    Posts
    16
    Hey, thanks again for all the welcomes, feels like a pretty homey place.

    Nice to see a fair # of folks from the Pittsburgh area too... Will be nice to know of others with the same car so we can share trouble shooting ideas and if we run into possible problems that are common with these cars.

    I love mine already, even if it is on ramps in the garage mocking me.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    Allentown, PA
    Posts
    733
    Welcome, I'm in Allentown.
    Just remember, if you have any questions or problems with your car, this site is a lifesaver.
    You won't find better information or help with your car...anywhere.
    Also, you'll find that everyone here believes that there are no stupid questions, so if you need to know something, just ask.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
    Posts
    16
    Hey man, thanks!

    My dad's been having a canniption over the car, since he's my crutch, so I may be asking a LOT of questions, and believe me I may break you guys rule that there's no stupid questions.

    I've been reading as many of the topics I can find that I KNOW have an immediate impact on me and how I'll take care of my car... But honestly I'm not even sure if I should only use premium gas, or what type of oil to use in the car, or what regular maintenance to do to the SuperCharger and whatnot...

    I'm pretty green with taking care of cars. I just drive them... haha.

    I'm gonna get a Chilton Manual for it, and hopefully learn some things from that too though...

    Thanks, and definately expect some dumb questions from me over time, haha.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    Allentown, PA
    Posts
    733
    SC's use premium gas.
    5w30 weight oil.
    (Do a search in the technical section and you'll find lots of discussions on oil)

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Butler, PA
    Posts
    659
    Remember....the only dumb question is the one you didn't ask.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    St. Charles, MO
    Posts
    20,886
    Jesse,

    Congrats on picking such a nice car for your first one, and welcome.

    David
    1991 SC AOD 4.2..2.3 Whipple..........10.910 @ 125.61
    2016 SRT Challenger Hellcat...............707HP/650TQ

    My Garage

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
    Posts
    16
    Thanks T-Bird Driver...

    The manual I got isn't the original, and I don't believe it's an SC manual... I recall it saying to use premium, but I wasn't sure if that was a necessity.

    Being a student makes that tough, but with prices coming down it will ultimately make it average to what I was dealing with not too long ago.

    THanks for the help and congratulations everyone.

    My car came relatively cheap, but as such that rust underneath is my payback I guess... I'm not sure what I'm going to do about it honestly. My student loans may be covering some of the repairs come fall.

    This car will be driven a lot though. It's not going in a garage to sit (not after I get the bottom patched up with sheet metal for summer anyway). It'll be a runner...

    And boy it looks really great, I wish I could snap a couple photos. The body's in GREAT shape. I'm not wild about the color, but when I get that one bad patch on the left rear fender fixed my buddy's gonna paint the car for me if I just buy the paint (he used to do that for a living).

    I really can't wait for that...

    Wish I just had more $ to put into it. This car's become like a child to me in the matter of a month.

    Thanks again everyone, you all are very friendly and I appreciate that since I really am not much of a mechanic. It's appreciated more than you realize.

    Jesse James

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Posts
    13

    Welcome to the world of SC's

    Congrats on picking such a fun car.
    I have a 90 5 spd SC and a whole long list of mods... from the suspension to the engine and trans and elsewhere. I am out in the Pittsburgh area alot and will be back there again on the week of May 18 thru 24th. I always enjoy meeting new SC owners and like to see what a stock SC looks like since that was such a long time ago the way mine was when purchased. We could just check out the cars and I could show you a few things about them if you have questions.

    If you're intersted in getting in contact during the early part of the week above... drop me a return email and we can talk cars. My email is acgjoe@hotmail.com

    Hope to hear from ya!
    Joe Kupiszewski
    PS.. I get a bunch of junk mail so pleas put in the subject heading something about SuperCoupes and I'll know not to delete it.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Lincoln, NE
    Posts
    2,062
    Welcome aboard, Curious George. I have some info on the rust for you. It will turn out that it is not that uncommon, especially in the northern portion of the country. And fixing it won't be as easy as just "welding" it. That portion that is rusted (rocker panels) is where the body attaches to the unibody. Yeah, our cars are unibody. Unfortunately, Ford engineers, being as 'smart' as they are, when they attached the body and unibody saw that area as having a 'gap.' So, being engineers, decided to seal it. They sealed it with FOAM INSULATION, which, of course, does nothing but allow water to condense and sit there to rust. I know this first had as my '89 cannot even be jacked up in the front with the supplied jack. And living in Lincoln, (where the short wheel base (SWB) model is made) I have had it looked at by none other than Doug Kielian. The name won't mean anything to you, but he is probably the best indiviual to send your car to get modified (body work type). He does the SWB conversion. If you spend any time around here, you will undoubtedly see George Davenport's SWB #005. Beautiful car.
    SC's will be worth money in the future, so I plan to get a donor body from the south to fix my rust. Any visible rust you have to multiply by 5 and that is much closer to the actual rust that you have. I'm living with mine right now. I just wanted a SC! Now I'll be looking for one to make into a show quality car (with the performance to go with it).
    Again, welcome aboard and enjoy your new purchase. You will find a vast abundance of information and experience here.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
    Posts
    16
    Ugh...

    Well, the help's appreciated 007.

    Unfortunately, I pulled the lining back in my trunk today, and found some more rust... There's something sticking up through in the right of the trunk (Not sure what it is, like I say I'm not car-literate). It's kind of on a "tower" type thing... There's rust around it some too.

    I'm hoping to maybe take the ground effects off and see how bad the rust maybe is... I'm going to take it to some auto shops around here and see what they also have to say about getting it fixed. If it's not TOO horrible I'd pay to have it repaired, but it may not even be worth it...

    I didn't pay a ton for the car, but it does have high miles... I may be out of the SC club faster than I joined it though, if the car's really bad.

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