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Old 04-07-2016, 06:39 PM   #1
23027
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Default The TBird

Still a work in progress, but has come a long way from what it used to be. I have since put in 1998 V6 springs to give it a slight lift, no longer rides like a bag of rocks and has a little travel. Speedbumps aren't as terrifying anymore.. Want to try some 17's on the front with a little more offset and bring the rears in a little more too with a smaller spacer to have some room for meatier tires. A little wheel hop when I give'r so will ditch the upper & lower control arms for some better ones (they look pretty exhausted anyways). Driveshaft needs balancing, and small transmission leak to tend to. Clutch cable and throttle body aren't as smooth as I would like, will be looking into that. There are still directions I would like to head with it but for now will enjoy what I have lacked for the last few years. Lots of work and help from Kyle @ Billy's, he is a good man and does proper work.








The chirp is the edges of the belt rubbing against the chrome pulley groove.


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Old 04-08-2016, 10:33 PM   #2
ford pwr
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Default t-bird

I've always liked this car.
Looks good and nice job.
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Old 04-09-2016, 06:40 AM   #3
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Looks very nice
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Old 04-09-2016, 09:48 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by ford pwr View Post
I've always liked this car.
Looks good and nice job.
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Old 05-02-2016, 10:39 PM   #5
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The Bird was looking fresh today.

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Old 10-27-2017, 12:23 PM   #6
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Some updates since my last post.. She has a proper home now. Very encouraging and enabling to work on her now..

New rear suspension, still saving my pennies for upper and lower control arms (undecided if I want to go $$$$ adjustable or $$ standard) 275's on rears, added quad-shocks, threw away fleabay spacers and got 5/16" ones for rears, balanced driveshaft and wheels, redid my headlinder, fixed sloppy door panel and armrests, fixed driver side glass fell off track and clips, revamped my gauges and converted my stock tach from 4cylinder to V8 (still going to keep the 5" Monster tach), re-soldered gauge cluster printed circuit board so all lights work, LED converted, few other interior touch up and re-do's, still lots more to do. Door pins, interior rear deck carpet, new seats or re-upholster, fix power seats, dash cap, paint brake booster..








Sanded and re-cleared my inners & outers just the other day. Every exterior light on these cars are specific to 87-88 Thunderbirds so I can not just purchase new ones like Mustangs. Obsolete and rare as fuck to find NOS. No one really ever kept these cars in good shape either so finding used is rarely an option. I thought of some of the quick fixes and different kits, but decided to do the thorough sand and clearcoat process. Spent some decent money for very fine sandpapers and got a UV resistant clearcoat. I am very happy with the results. Like anything, if you put the time into something and don't rush it you will end up with decent results. However my lack of attention to where I left the outers to dry left me running back outside to move them out of direct sunlight.... It was too late and I now have some spider webbing on them. That being said they still turned out awesome, so I will revisit them another day to re-sand and clear.

My process was wetsanding, the rough sand down with 600grit, again with 1200, then finish with 2000 grit. I did a circular motion and before moving to a higher count sandpaper I did finishing horizontal (side to side) passes to help with the clear to stick on the lenses. I used a water bottle to keep wetting the sandpaper and lens to clear the debris. I would do about 1/3 of the lens, soak it all down, keep doing to 2/3, soak it all again, finish the surface and soak it all. Then do the horizontal sanding, then soak that. Cloth dry, and move on to a higher count doing the exact same wetting process. When I sprayed I did very light layers of clear at a time, 4 or 5 times total.. To try and prevent running or beading. I just used aerosol can stuff and was careful to keep an appropriate distance from the lens to apply. I let about 10 minutes to dry before throwing another layer on.

Before


After


And the inners


I also discovered how nicely WD-40 works to bring some moisture and shine into my trim pieces. Not a permanent solution, but it's cheap enough and easy to do. Sure adds a lot to the overall appearance.
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Old 10-27-2017, 12:39 PM   #7
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On the test drive..

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Old 10-28-2017, 10:04 PM   #8
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Posi works
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Old 10-29-2017, 12:44 AM   #9
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Keep at it bud, slick looking car and certainly one you don't cross paths with often.
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Old 10-29-2017, 10:02 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Midnite_Auto View Post
Posi works
Heck yeah it does :)

Quote:
Originally Posted by TorqueIsTheJuiceForMe View Post
Keep at it bud, slick looking car and certainly one you don't cross paths with often.
Thanks, the car has a lot of sentimental value to it. I go back and forth about the idea of selling it to fund a nice coupe to get collector plates on it. Regular insurance is just so damn much for something I use the occasional sunny day, and in terms of value my TBird is worth squat compared to a clean original Mustang (not 30k barrett jackson clean, but something decent and local). I really dislike these cars in stock form but I love coupes that way.

That being said.. I love doing something unique. It's a pain in the ass trying to restore because I almost can not buy anything for this car. Nothing exterior or interior. And there were so few of these cars made (only 2 years) so just makes my job that much more difficult to find any decent used parts..

I suppose that's what makes the car unique. The "what is that?" is pretty awesome.. And because my car doesn't hold much dollar value right now, I guess I am stuck with it I don't think I could bring myself to sell it even if I tried to be honest.
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Old 11-03-2017, 10:01 PM   #11
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Default t-bird

It will be like a late 60's cougar or torino compared to a mustang.

Always a cool car to look at when your at a future show and shine and everyone else has the same belly button mustang.
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Old 12-04-2017, 11:37 AM   #12
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Quote:
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It will be like a late 60's cougar or torino compared to a mustang.

Always a cool car to look at when your at a future show and shine and everyone else has the same belly button mustang.
Yeah that was part of the reason I decided to sell the 18" Cobras in favor of restoring and going back to factory. Something more unique, and only came on these cars for the 2 years they were produced. I have a photo of one slightly lowered and the factory rims were actually chrome plated, which I thought looked awesome. That's the direction I'd like to head. The offset is really difficult to get anything else to fit properly unless I decided to go next level rims.
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