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dean1484 UltimaDork
1/31/15 8:26 p.m.

I see these every now and then and I have always wondered if they have any possible use as a performance car.

I was thinking something like

Swap in a 4.6?? What V8 did they come with?
Strip it down to the bare essentials removing as much weight as possible. Add suspension (koni's, Eibach Springs and some bars of some sort) Add safety gear (a bar, seats and belts)

I think they came with hard tops as well but I am not sure of that.

Go have fun

Are these cars related to anything? What platform are they built on?

I know absolutely nothing about them. I know the early ones had over heating issues that I don't think ford ever really ironed out so that would have to be "fixed"

Anyway Just me thinking. I see then every now and then. I never hated them style wise when they first came out. They were just kind of bland style wise. But I think time has made me come to actually like them now.

To me they look like a small 2 seat that came with V8. Almost a modern day Cobra if you will. Had Ford worked a deal with Shelby they could have made a couple minor body changes and marketed them as a modern day cobra. I mean a 4.6l is a 280CID +/- motor. A little messing with the stroke and you would have had even had a 289cid motor in there.

Anyway just me thinking.

The_Jed UberDork
1/31/15 8:28 p.m.

I think they share a platform with the Lincoln LS, which is a Jag of some type.

alfadriver UltimaDork
1/31/15 8:35 p.m.

Knowing more about the original- that it was more about luxury than sport, this last generation was pretty much a repeat of the original.

That being said- it's a 3.9l V8, the Ford version of the Jag 4.0 or the Aston 4.2 V8's. Not a bad engine. Not much on the chassis- but I remember the first time I drove an LS. I was REALLY impressed, until the comparator BMW was driven...

Still, someone made a racer version of the LS, stuffing a 4.6 from a Mustang into it, including the manual trans. And tuned up the chassis a lot. Apparently it handled REALLY well, but suffered from a lot of overheating.

I've thought about getting one a couple of times, but never have driven the last T-Bird.

850Combat New Reader
1/31/15 8:40 p.m.

S Type:


dean1484 UltimaDork
1/31/15 8:42 p.m.
850Combat wrote: S Type: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ford_DEW_platform

Probably pricy but are there Jag bits you can bolt in to help the suspension?

Junkyard_Dog SuperDork
1/31/15 9:05 p.m.

Sounds like a good place to plop a supercharged Jag/Rover engine.

chiodos New Reader
1/31/15 9:15 p.m.

They are pretty heavy if I recall. And all the ones I remember are verts so expect them to be as ridged as an al dente noodle

Will SuperDork
1/31/15 10:08 p.m.

The 2002 version of the 3.9 only made 250 hp; 03-05 versions made 280 thanks to variable valve timing, so if you look for one, know what you're getting.

They weren't available with a manual. The manual that bolt to the V6 in the Lincoln LS also bolts to the 3.9, but Lincoln guys who tried that say it's not strong enough for the V8.

It's very heavy. Shockingly heavy for a 2-seater.

IMO, Ford should have made this car a Lincoln, not a T-Bird. The Mk X concept they built on this platform was gorgeous:

Vigo PowerDork
1/31/15 10:08 p.m.

Ive driven one and it was punchy and quick but the interior was very disappointing.

Also, having worked on the same engine in a lincoln LS, i would probably not enjoy working on the Tbird either.

Having said that, i really want to go check out an XK8 for some reason.

chandlerGTi UltraDork
2/1/15 10:05 a.m.

Was it Michael Anthony and Bonspeed that built a bunch of these with 4.6? I remember reading about it but can't fun it now.

wearymicrobe SuperDork
2/1/15 10:11 a.m.

I love the exterior but the interior is a serious turnoff. I know that a few people have done supercharged versions. Stiffer swaybars, some lowering springs and a blower would be a heck of a car to putter around in. They are portly boogers though.

Lugnut Dork
2/1/15 10:49 a.m.

Yeah, at 3800lbs, I'd go XK8 in a heartbeat over one of these. Except the XK8 convertible doesn't have a removable hardtop.

Then again, I'm actively on the prowl for an XKR coupe now, so there's my bias. :)

Knurled UltimaDork
2/1/15 10:53 a.m.

They have all of the same absurd running costs of the LS and Jag. Everything is really expensive to repair. I used to have a bunch of customers with LSs and they have dwindled down to zero as the cars just got Not Worth It to maintain.

plance1 SuperDork
2/1/15 6:31 p.m.

I've always thought these newer thirds were cool

Vigo PowerDork
2/1/15 7:45 p.m.

I thought they were cool until i worked on a 3.9 and sat in the interior. Im sure some people would be fine with it.

84FSP Reader
2/1/15 8:53 p.m.

For shear rareness I find myself liking them now. I've never driven one but they seem like a good candidate for a 4.6 swap. It's a shame there were no manual options...

dean1484 UltimaDork
2/2/15 8:50 a.m.
Vigo wrote: I thought they were cool until i worked on a 3.9 and sat in the interior. Im sure some people would be fine with it.

Simple but then again it is a 10 year old design. I really don't mind it. In fact looking at some of the newer cars with all there bazillion switches and multiple touch screens I am getting to the point that I like simple MUCH better than many of the modern car interiors. The tack and the speedo look very readable. The gadgets at the outer edges of the dash are probably going to be useless as they will get blocked by the wheel but over all not bad. Also remember that they were I think trying to emulate the dash from an early car. There is only so much you can to.

EDIT: You know that dash actually looks very similar to the one in my 2000 expedition. I Like that truck allot so probably the familiarity of that is what makes me not mind the T bird dash.

dean1484 UltimaDork
2/2/15 8:53 a.m.

For comparison a 2001 Expedition Dash.

yupididit Reader
2/2/15 12:00 p.m.

If you like regularly replacing clock springs, window regulators, ignition coils, degas bottles, control arms, tie rods, sway bars, and valve cover gaskets then go ahead and get one. Oh and that Alpine 6disk cd player always gets stuck and stop working. My grandfather had a 3.9 Lincoln LS and I used to work on it all the time. My hands aren't that big and I felt like I need to cut off a pinky and shave down my knuckles to do any engine work on that thing. Fun and sporty to drive but just didn't compare to 530i or 540i of the same generation.

wearymicrobe SuperDork
2/2/15 12:29 p.m.

Forgot to add these things eat coil packs in ludicrous numbers and at low numbers in the 3.9

spitfirebill PowerDork
2/2/15 1:35 p.m.

It's amazing how often I am thinking about something and it pops here a week to two later as a topic. I was wondering out loud about the cars just a couple of weeks ago. I'm glad this came up. Nothing to see here.

Rupert HalfDork
2/2/15 2:01 p.m.

I just read another thread concerning the Rover (old GM Skylark) motor with a Lotus head. Being aluminum it shouldn't bring the weight issue with it.

Check out the MGB for the Ring thread & see what I mean..

mattmacklind UltimaDork
2/2/15 2:47 p.m.

In the right color these are actually very handsome looking. Almost a touch of Alfa in the profile, or maybe that's just a little too generous. I didn't know about the issues detailed above.

Will SuperDork
2/2/15 3:45 p.m.

Another goofy thing about them is they use the 5x4.25 bolt circle. I have no idea whether it's possible to convert to 5x4.5.

spitfirebill PowerDork
2/2/15 3:52 p.m.

Wouldn't you kind of think they would have used the Mustang platform instead of this piece of crap?

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