Worth Saving?

former35thowner

Registered User
As my name states, I am the former owner of a 35th anniversary edition SC. I have always regretted letting it get away, but had no choice, as it was awarded to my ex in a divorce settlement way back in 1991.

Ever since, I have had my eye out for another opportunity to own one. I recently came across one on CL, but it has been sitting for quite a while. The license plate on it says it has been off the road since '05.

The current owner says that it ran great 3 or 4 months ago and it is a very straight car, overall, with very, very minimal rust.

The only issue that is noted is that the brake system was in the process of being changed. Apparently, parts for the original ABS system are very difficult to locate.

I have tentatively agreed to purchase the car for $750, contingent on my being able to get it started and being able to hear it run.

Since it has been so long since I have messed with one, I figured I would ask the experts here if they think this one would be worth saving. I see pretty decent ones going for around $5k, so I know that I could easily get upside down restoring one. But, I really like the cars and would love to have another one for weekend drives and local shows.

My main concern is parts availability to get it back into roadworthy condition.
 

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KMT

Registered User
I'd be surprised if it ran 3 or 4 yrs. ago, much less months. Good on you for wanting to hear it run. Engine doesn't look like it's been torn down, but the paint doesn't seem original. I can understand someone not familiar with the car not being able to deal w/the ABS. At the moment, tho, I can still find all the early main ABS parts new/refurb'd. However, at least one of the early engine sensors has fallen off the parts list - also OE shocks. Sitting for 13 years is sure death for all systems....these things hate not being driven.

Smart money says spend more now and do less later, but if you're up for it, there's nothing about it money won't fix ;)

Maybe buy it for a few hundred and have parts for the one you spend $5k on. That one's not an anny, anyhow...

Might be some help deciding here [ https://steemit.com/ford/@ktsteemit/ford-thunderbird-super-coupe-buyer-s-guide ] -

https://tampa.craigslist.org/psc/cto/d/1991-ford-thunderbird-sc/6705513701.html
 
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former35thowner

Registered User
Thanks for the replies.

If I go through with the purchase, I will definitely offer less money.

It is a straight car and I hate to see them go to the boneyards when they are such awesome cars. It is just too bad the parts are so scarce to restore them.
 

former35thowner

Registered User
So, I drove over to look at the car and see if it would, in fact, start up and run. I took some tools, a battery and some fresh fuel with me, as the owner said it was out of gas.

The car seems pretty solid. We managed to get some fuel in it and put the battery in. The engine fired up after five or six attempts. There was no knocking or ticking noises, which is always a good thing.

The power mirrors and door locks work. The passenger window rolls down and up as it should. I can hear the motor for the driver's side window operating, but the window does not move, so I assume it is off the track. There is no musty smell inside of it, so I don't think the sun/moon roof is leaking. The courtesy lights in the door also still work.

The owner says he has had it for about a year but, because of the missing brake components, he only drove it around his yard relying on the e-brake to stop it. He said it feels like it has good power. I tend to believe him after hearing the engine run.

I know that this is only the tip of the iceberg on things that could possibly be wrong with the car, but I am leaning towards trying to save it from being parted out. I figure I can get most of my money back out of it by selling the parts, if it proves to be too far gone.

Anyone want to talk me out of it?
 

Wile E. Coyote

Registered User
I wont be the one to talk you out of it, but I would offer a little less. My SC, which is now my daily after working on it non stop for 4 months, was FULL of rust and didnt run or stop. The car had a lot of electrical issues to boot.

The only things I need to do before its done completely are put a carpet and headliner in, but I bought and fixed this car for $1,200, that even included getting tools and registration. I priced it out on TCCoA. Its probably not a job most of the other guys on here would respect but it kept another MN12 out of the crusher. I support any act of saving these cars. I see too many in junkyards or in crushed piles, which is one of the main reasons I actually saved my SC.

Now, since it runs, I assume it drives, and is solid, Id say its a great car for a project. The suspension will probably need a rebuild, but on a nearly 30 y/o car thats usual. Id say go for it, but Id offer $500 and go from there. I got my car for $200 as a reference.
 

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KMT

Registered User
but the window does not move, so I assume it is off the track

The usual fail is because of the 3 plastic dogs in the motor [ https://www.autozone.com/interior/p...ring=search&isIgnoreVehicle=false&model=power ].

You can buy them for low cost, then remove/disassemble the motor & replace them, but if the center shaft wobbles, you'll be better off with another motor/assembly. If you go that route, note they are specific to each side/door. Lots of discussion/write ups if you DIY, here & TCCOA as I recall.

Issues w/track are normally due to lack of lubrication. Ford has a TSB that says to use a teflon based lube, as they tend to have longer staying power.
 

former35thowner

Registered User
I wont be the one to talk you out of it, but I would offer a little less. My SC, which is now my daily after working on it non stop for 4 months, was FULL of rust and didnt run or stop. The car had a lot of electrical issues to boot.

The only things I need to do before its done completely are put a carpet and headliner in, but I bought and fixed this car for $1,200, that even included getting tools and registration. I priced it out on TCCoA. Its probably not a job most of the other guys on here would respect but it kept another MN12 out of the crusher. I support any act of saving these cars. I see too many in junkyards or in crushed piles, which is one of the main reasons I actually saved my SC.

Now, since it runs, I assume it drives, and is solid, Id say its a great car for a project. The suspension will probably need a rebuild, but on a nearly 30 y/o car thats usual. Id say go for it, but Id offer $500 and go from there. I got my car for $200 as a reference.


That's a great looking car. I hope to get mine back into that condition over the next few months. You say yours did not run or stop when you bought it; can you tell me what you did for the brakes? The person the current owner got this one from had removed the master cylinder and booster and was in the process of replacing the system with a hydroboost system. There is a new master cylinder in the car but the pedal and everything else needs to be put back in.

I am thinking that will be the first thing that I need to tackle before getting too deep in it financially.


Thanks for the input.
 

former35thowner

Registered User
The usual fail is because of the 3 plastic dogs in the motor [ https://www.autozone.com/interior/p...ring=search&isIgnoreVehicle=false&model=power ].

You can buy them for low cost, then remove/disassemble the motor & replace them, but if the center shaft wobbles, you'll be better off with another motor/assembly. If you go that route, note they are specific to each side/door. Lots of discussion/write ups if you DIY, here & TCCOA as I recall.

Issues w/track are normally due to lack of lubrication. Ford has a TSB that says to use a teflon based lube, as they tend to have longer staying power.

That does make sense. Thanks for the input. I am sure I will be seeking a great deal of advice from everyone on this site in the weeks to come.
 

Wile E. Coyote

Registered User
That's a great looking car. I hope to get mine back into that condition over the next few months. You say yours did not run or stop when you bought it; can you tell me what you did for the brakes? The person the current owner got this one from had removed the master cylinder and booster and was in the process of replacing the system with a hydroboost system. There is a new master cylinder in the car but the pedal and everything else needs to be put back in.

I am thinking that will be the first thing that I need to tackle before getting too deep in it financially.


Thanks for the input.


I fixed the stock system, I just had to get a new accumulator and replace the rear going line. I know a few people who converted to normal vacuum brakes using parts from other cars, I forget exactly what though. I do know of a company that makes hydo-boost kits.
http://www.powerbrakeservice.net/new-1989-1992-ford-t-bird-hydroboost-brake-booster.html.
For me it was cheaper just to fix the stock system. I would guess that as long as all the pieces are with the car, it should go together. In the end, you can make anything fit with enough time and ambition.


Also, you dont need to get the new plastic pieces. My passenger window did the same thing on my SC and I replaced them with three 7/16 nuts.
 
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KMT

Registered User
My passenger window did the same thing on my SC and I replaced them with...

Those plastic pieces (might cost less than metal these days) are a safety feature (they distort and act like a clutch to stop the window under load) to keep from breaking fingers/necks. A must if kids are anywhere near these cars since the switch sits where a small foot can hit it while trying to climb out..what you do w/your car is your business, but please don't recommend that others use metal anything as a replacement, thanks.

Ken
 
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Wile E. Coyote

Registered User
Those plastic pieces (might cost less than metal these days) are a safety feature (they distort and act like a clutch to stop the window under load) to keep from breaking fingers/necks. A must if kids are anywhere near these cars since the switch sits where a small foot can hit it while trying to climb out..what you do w/your car is your business, but please don't recommend that others use metal anything as a replacement, thanks.

Ken


Given that Im 19 and dont plan on having kids anytime soon if at all, not worried about it. And since my driver window still has the stock plastic pieces and still had enough strength to break itself Im not gonna buy into that anyway.
 

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5SpeedRed93

Registered User
YES Worth Saving!

Glad to see you got another SC. I am very glad I eventually got myself another SC eventually after selling my 91' about 10 yrs ago. I really wanted a 5 spd and a sunroof so I let it go after the trans and head gaskets started giving me problems. Fast forward to last March... I bought a 93' SC with a 5 spd. and sunroof and have put ENDLESS effort and lots of $$$ to get this recent SC to looking and driving mint... worth the effort! I have been in the auto retail industry for about 15 yrs and have naturally driven many many cars. Being a "car guy/gear head" I have Particularly focused on driving as many fast and exotic cars as I can at work, and obviously so many are faster then the SC... but do not drive as like 1. I still think these cars are impressive for what they are and alot of fun to drive, thats why I needed to get another SC also.
We really need to try and keep the cars alive. I have a notification on my phone for the surrounding 6 wrecking yards around my home that tell me when a Thunderbird gets to there wrecking yard. I see about 1 SC every 2 to 3 months ending up at there and its just sad. These cars are not common like a Mustang.
Glad to see you got another former35thowner!!!
Bill
 

Rick_Leuce

Registered User
Disclaimer: Don’t base your decision on what I say (Im not a mechanic and I make mistakes)

Your car (based on the limited info provided) sounds promising. My parents give me a lot of grief for saving a car that literally had everything wrong with it (and I sometimes wished I didnt save it) but I feel a little proud now that I saved a car that is becomming increasingly rare. I havent seen a running SC in over a year (other than mine) and I feel like there cant be too many left to just throw out. The super-biased part of me is hoping you save that car. However, if that car turns out to be a money pit, buying another SC and parting that one out is probably the smartest thing to do (it’s what my parents told me $4,000 ago).

Long live the SuperCoupes! :)
 

Yaz2112

Registered User
NEW owner from VA

Need help with this wire . Extends from the right of the break boosters to the battery . Wire have markings AF on one side and AE and accele and have a fuse in it . Where dose that wire supposed to go ?
 

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KMT

Registered User
That AE fuse holder & red wire is not stock - purely aftermarket, could be/have been for an alarm, car stereo/amplfier. Keep digging...

The wiring on the hood above the gas lift strut is for an underhood light. The light is part of an assembly that includes a mercury switch that turns the light on when the hood reaches a certain angle.

Is there a bulb in the switch/socket? The green wire is one of two that leads to that light....harness looks butchered/missing.
 
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