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Will UltraDork
7/17/21 6:26 p.m.

Today I put this in my driveway:

It's a 1998 Mark VIII LSC, which means it has 290 hp instead of the usual 280 and firmer sway bars than the regular Mark VIII. It has 178k miles, but the owner showed me a clean carfax, recent emissions test and $14k worth of receipts (I paid a good bit less than half of that). Since 2018 it's basically been rebuilt from the ground up: new engine, new transmission (with some kind of shift kit) and a new suspension converted from air springs to coils.

I've owned two Supercoupes (still have one) and a 95 T-Bird LX, and my 57 T-Bird has a 4.6 DOHC, so I know this platform pretty well. This probably won't be much of a project. Aside from a new stereo it really doesn't need anything (I admit I wish I hadn't just sold off all my MN12-fitment wheels). I just drove it from Atlanta to Chattanooga. The AC is cold, it's rock solid at 80 mph and it's as comfortable as a Lincoln should be. This seems like a good way to spend a 45 minute (each way) commute.

Will add some new pics and details tomorrow. This is mainly just to introduce the car.


slowbird UltraDork
7/17/21 7:54 p.m.

I want one of these but I can't decide if I like the early headlights or the later headlights. And also I have enough MN12 problems right now. But...someday.

Will UltraDork
7/17/21 11:58 p.m.

I think the 93-96 cars are prettier, but prefer OBDII and COP instead of coil packs. If the 96 had COP, it would be the perfect model, IMO.

That said, this one just kind of fell into my lap. Not as if there were a lot of both styles to choose from.

FatMongo Reader
7/18/21 7:32 a.m.

Those are interesting.

The most interesting thing about those are the aluminum Teksid block - makes these cars desirable in the junkyard. 

Yours looks sweet - the all black treatment is practically begging for a growling exhaust.



Will UltraDork
7/18/21 8:43 a.m.

The LSC option means it comes with factory dual exhaust. Even so, it's pretty quiet. It's also in great shape and right now I'm not looking to replace things that don't need to be replaced. Depending on how long I keep the car, yes, I might get some better sounding mufflers on it.

It's totally normal to wake up early on a Sunday to weigh your new car, right? With a mostly full tank, the "as it sits" weight is 3,806 pounds. That's actually a bit better than I was expecting--wouldn't have surprised me to see it closer to 3,900. In autoX/drag strip mode, with the spare tire/jack and floor mats removed:

It's no Elise, but I can live with that number.


yupididit PowerDork
7/18/21 9:05 a.m.

I always wanted one of these! 

Will UltraDork
7/18/21 12:00 p.m.

My ownership began this morning by removing the front license plate bracket and the Lincoln emblem plate. It was all in poor shape and I think the car looks better with three small holes in the bumper cover than it did with that stuff in place. I also replaced the squeaky wiper blades with new ones and learned how to turn off the traction control because reasons.

More pics: the interior is black leather. The LSC got perforated seat inserts. The interior isn't perfect, but it's very good for a 23 year old car.

This hole on the driver's seat is the worst flaw I've found so far.

The dash is in good shape. So far everything seems to work except the OD on/off button on the shifter. The light works, so that's not the problem. It's not a huge deal, but I'll look into it. The steering wheel is worn, but I bought an FR500 wheel for my SC. Its original wheel is in great shape and will be a direct swap.

We've all seen older American cars with the headliner in tatters, or sagging. This headliner is perfect. And I like that this has the Homelink visor. My cars are all so old that this is what I consider a high-tech option.

The engine is totally stock down to a paper air filter element. As mentioned, this is the Teksid block, which is stronger but a bit heavier than the 99-up aluminum 4.6 blocks. It has B heads, which are OK, but not as good as the later C heads. The cams and intake aren't as good as the Cobra stuff for B heads, but it's not worth changing. For purely aesthetic reasons I prefer the COP ignition to coil packs. I don't think there's a performance advantage either way.

The cupholders work, but the plastic "chrome" on the cupholder/armrest cubby buttons is flaking off. I'll probably look for replacements in a junkyard. 


Will UltraDork
7/18/21 1:58 p.m.

So this will probably be a long and rambling post, but here's what I'm hoping this car will and won't be. If anything I say sounds weird, bear in mind the DD this car is replacing is a 93 MR2. My newest vehicle is a 2000 F150, but it's a Work Series w/crank windows, etc. So this thing feels incredibly modern and luxurious to me.

That said: I get that time has moved on and that even the lowliest rental car today is an absolute spaceship in terms of technology compared to this car. I can live with that. I'm not a person who needs my car to be a 5G hotspot, but I just programmed my Homelink and I'm happy about that. This is also the first car I've had that tracks stuff like miles/gallons remaining, instant/average economy, etc., so that's kind of fun for me.

Similarly, performance has come a long way since this model launched in 1993. At the time, this was a reasonably quick car. I'd expect low 15s or maybe very high 14s at a drag strip. I have no doubt most semi-recent Camrys, Accords, etc. are faster. But this car still has enough power to make me smile, and to pull out and pass with ease across a dotted yellow line. If I want a fast car, I have my Supercoupe.

I'm hoping for 20-25 mpg average. So far I'm right at 23.0. Goes way down in town, and up a  bit on the freeway. This time of year AC is a must and that probably kills 1-2 mpg.

The trunk is huge. This should be a great car for running errands that I previously would have needed my truck for.

I'm not dying to start changing things on this car. So with all that in mind, here are some things I can/could/might change.

As mentioned above, I could replace the exhaust, but I doubt I will.

I absolutely will be replacing the stereo with something that at least lets me hook up an iPod (yeah, I still use one). Probably just a head unit swap, though speakers are a possibility.

As I said, I sold all my MN12 wheels. I converted my SC to Mustang wheels, so I have nothing that will fit this car. I'll probably get my money's worth out of these tires and then maybe look into wheels when I need new tires. I do have a set of OEM 10th Anniversary Cobra wheels that would look dynamite on this car, but then I'd have to spend money on the Mustang hub swap. That's a bit more expensive on a Mark VIII than a T-Bird because the Mark 8 calipers won't work with Mustang GT brake rotors. But just for laughs, here's a preview of what that might look like.


Speaking of brakes, they're adequate, but Mustang GT and Mustang Cobra front brakes are good upgrades if I ever changed my mind. I have a set of braided stainless lines around somewhere should I ever need them.

The car does sit awfully high. I admit it would look a lot better if I lowered it, and I might. My 95 LX T-Bird is a stalled-out project car, and while I hate to start robbing parts from it, I do have a set of EibachsI could rob from it. But I'd feel bad about basically admitting that car is in endless project car purgatory, so we'll see.

I don't expect this to handle like the MR2 it's replacing. I don't expect it to handle like my SC, for that matter. I have no idea what kind of springs/shocks were used in the coil conversion, and they're not as floaty as I would have thought, but they're certainly not a firm ride. If I decide I want something firmer, I could rob my LX of its Konis. I do also have a set of old, used but maybe good Bilsteins on a shelf somewhere.

The LSC got stiffer sway bars than the standard Mark VIII, but there's still a good bit of body roll. I have no idea what size they actually are, but I could also rob the LX of its 89 SC front sway bar and Addco 1-1/8" rear sway bar. 

The 4.6 DOHC isn't particularly torquey, and this is a heavy car. I could also rob the diff housing from my LX--aluminum case, 3.73 gears and a Tru-Trac diff. I admit the lower gears would make the car more fun, and they didn't hurt mpg too much back when the LX was my daily driver.

I've been something of a fanatic about weight on my SC, but I don't plan to do that on this car. I weighed it just out of curiosity. Since the air springs are long gone, eventually I might remove the onboard compressor just since it won't cost me anything and it's 100% dead weight. Don't know how much dead weight, but probably less than 10 pounds. The car does have an aluminum spare, so that's cool. If I ever did upgrade to Cobra front brakes, I'd probably pick up a 17" Lincoln LS spare (assuming I got redrilled rotors and didn't do a Mustang hub swap at the same time);

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
7/18/21 4:29 p.m.

The Aristocrat Lincoln Mark 8 ran 14.9 in the drags (with the interior removed.) 

We ran it on Ford Taurus rims because they were cheap and yet the same 5x108 as needed for the Lincoln.

For quick mounting of the Mustang wheels, how about adaptors to go from 5x108 to 5x4.5

Will UltraDork
7/18/21 5:52 p.m.

I'm generally not a fan of those bolt circle adapters, and I'd guess they'd probably poke the wheels way too far out past the fenders.

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
7/18/21 5:58 p.m.

In reply to Will :

Not sure on the poke/clearance issues but...

We ran a set of spacers, very similar in concept to adapters, for The One Lap of America on an Acura TL.  That was over 4,000 miles in one week with lots of track laps thrown in and the adapters were just fine. 

Find a set on Amazon with a favorable return policy. If they're not right for poke/clearance, return for full refund! 

glueguy (Forum Supporter)
glueguy (Forum Supporter) Dork
7/18/21 6:04 p.m.

On the front license plate mounting holes use plastic trim push pins with round button heads. Touch up paint to get them to match and you'll still see them but everyone else won't. 

rodknock Reader
7/18/21 6:35 p.m.

I've always been curious about these. They seem like they would be great at eating up highway miles in style and comfort. 

As far as wheels go, what is the offset on the factory ones? If it's on the higher side, you can get Focus ST and late model Jaguar take offs for pretty cheap in the right bolt pattern. 

gumby Dork
7/18/21 7:17 p.m.

Gorgeous. And yes, those anny wheels would be sharp as brass tacks on there. In your shoes, I'd have major difficulties not doing the hub swap immediately.

-signed, a closet MN12 fan

Will UltraDork
7/19/21 5:40 p.m.

Didn't think I'd have an update tonight, but: because the car was converted from air to coil springs, this message shows up every time you start the car:

You can make it go away with the press of one button, but after some googling I found a way to disable it entirely. The suspension computer is in the passenger side kick panel. I unplugged the gray connector and (carefully, just on the totally unlikely chance someone on the internet was wrong) depinned the dark green wire with the light green stripe. 

Plugged it back in to test, and the message is now gone. I put some heat shrink around the now-exposed pin, and if any future owner wants to undo this change, everything is easily reversible.

dannyp84 New Reader
7/20/21 9:44 a.m.

Jaguar XK coupes are also 5x108 if you wanted to run 18s.. 

Will UltraDork
7/20/21 5:26 p.m.

OEM takeoffs are a possibility, but I've never seen any in 5x108 I've particularly loved. I do go to junkyards from time to time and if I saw something cool I might snap them up.

Day 1 of commuting in the Mark went well in that it passed smog, was comfortable and didn't explode. Not that I expected the opposite of any of those things, but I'm glad it worked out.

Had hoped to get it registered today, but work was crazy. Maybe tomorrow.

RossD MegaDork
7/20/21 5:52 p.m.

Looks great! My current daydream is sticking a new 7.3 liter godzilla in a car just like yours.

Will UltraDork
7/21/21 8:11 p.m.

The Lincoln came with the JBL "Premium" sound system. Behold the finest FoMoCo had to offer in 1998:

Yeah, and the 5-disc changer in the trunk doesn't even work.

So I bought a new JVC head unit. Nothing fancy, but absolute magic by 1998 standards. I bought this stereo because it promised iPod control, and at first I was upset, because I couldn't get it to work through the USB port. Then I discovered my iPod has Bluetooth, and this happened: 

This is officially the most high-tech car I own.

Slippery UberDork
7/21/21 8:56 p.m.

These are 23 years old already!?? Time flies, I remember when they came out. 

I always liked these. The tail lights are amazing. 

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
7/22/21 6:41 a.m.

In reply to Will :

An appropriate song choice.  Something from "the angry chick's of the 90s" collection. 

Will UberDork
7/22/21 7:06 a.m.

Legit not staged for period correctness or anything, but 90s cars and music are both kind of my jam. There's a pretty good chance of Garbage coming up at any given moment when on shuffle.

MadScientistMatt UltimaDork
7/22/21 7:21 a.m.

Those are beautiful cars - I like the later, tall grille version's styling myself compared to the earlier cars. These pulled off neoclassical styling a lot better than most attempts.

yupididit PowerDork
7/22/21 7:25 a.m.

Lincoln LS is also 5x108

Will UberDork
7/22/21 7:45 a.m.
yupididit said:

Lincoln LS is also 5x108

Yes, and some of them came with aluminum 17x5 spares, which are great for MN12s that have 13" front brakes and need a spare that clears, or that want skinny front wheels for drag racing. That said, this car has the aluminum 16" spare, which is even lighter than the LS spare. At one point I had 5-6 of them but sold them all after converting my MN12s to 5x4.5.

If the mod bug gets me and I add Cobra brakes (which I doubt, but never say never) I'll pick up an LS spare for sure. Not for racing, but because I like having a spare for a daily driver.

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