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Topic: Oops, I did it again. I bought a new car. (1986 Ford LTD wagon) (Read 899 times) previous topic - next topic

Oops, I did it again. I bought a new car. (1986 Ford LTD wagon)

As if I needed another project, but here we are.

I've been wanting to get rid of the F150 but wanted to replace it with a Fox wagon (which will eventually get a hitch). I've never been much of a truck guy, no matter how hard I've tried.

Found this thing on Marketplace a couple months ago, but wasn't in a place to do anything about it at the time.


After some talks with the owner and working out some logistics on my end, my buddy and I made the 6 hour trip to southern MO to check it out.

It has been sitting under a group of trees since '05-'06, when it was parked for what looks to be a HG issue.

The interior could best be described as "moist", due to a bad door latch striker leaving a minor door gap, and a window slightly cracked.




.

Checklist was-
- Check strut towers/frame
- Check underneath
- Check cowl

Popped the hood. Towers and frame were clean.  Got a jack underneath it. Greeted by perfectly straight pinch welds and a surprisingly rust-free floorpan. Pulled up the front carpets. No evidence of standing water, so the cowl is good. There may be some rust inside in the rear floors, but nothing was evident from below and it seemed solid. It's definitely in nicer shape, body-wise, than the LTS was.

I struck a deal with the owner and we pulled it out of its resting spot and got it ready to travel.


The first stop before a quick bite to eat was a carwash



Still needs more scrubbing, but there is no body damage, no body rust, and only a couple small spots on the hood where the paint has given up.

Right now it is tucked away in a relative's pole-barn until I get it moved to the house. Hopefully that will help dry the interior out a bit. It's not getting touched until after I finish up a couple of house projects that MUST get done before tearing into this.



The plan right now for it, aside from getting the interior sorted, is pretty basic for the time being.

It will get the '11 3.7/6R80 combo I have in the garage. Will stay 4-lug for the short-term, but will get at the very least 11" Fox brakes. Tow hitch. General refresh to get it road-worthy.

More details and pictures when the car is at the house and I'm tearing into it. For now, it's just planning and organizing when I'm not tending to my other needed projects.
Long live the 4-eyes!  - '83 Tbird Turbo

Re: Oops, I did it again. I bought a new car. (1986 Ford LTD wagon)

Reply #1
:like:


That thing would very sweet, I think, with an SN95 rear (to fill out the wells a tad more) and some Mustang Tri Bars.

In short, it's awesome. Good score.

And to those who say "it's a wagon, just what in the blue hell is wrong with ya?!".....it's a wagon thing. You are either in, or you are out.


, I want one. :roxor:
'84 Mustang
'98 Explorer 5.0
'03 Focus, dropped a valve seat. yay. freakin' split port engines...
'06 Explorer EB 4.6

Re: Oops, I did it again. I bought a new car. (1986 Ford LTD wagon)

Reply #2
I’ll admit it….I’m just a lil bit jealous.

Re: Oops, I did it again. I bought a new car. (1986 Ford LTD wagon)

Reply #3
I was pleasantly surprised that it was so solid. I was prepared to just leave it there if it was a rotten mess (or we couldn't come to a deal under my price limit), but it made the long day worth it.

I'm itching to get it here, but it would just be in the way at the moment. It can simmer for a couple months while I tend to other projects and plot and scheme the build.
Long live the 4-eyes!  - '83 Tbird Turbo

Re: Oops, I did it again. I bought a new car. (1986 Ford LTD wagon)

Reply #4
That 3.7 swap should be cool. My brother has a 2012 3.7 Mustang and as much as I bug him for buying a 6 cylinder Mustang I will admit (only because he won't see this) that it works well.

I'd love to see a 3.5 Ecoboost T-Bird...
2015 Mustang GT Premium - 5.0, 6-speed, Guard Green - too much awesome for one car

1988 5.0 Thunderbird :birdsmily: SOLD SEPT 11 2010: TC front clip/hood ♣ Body & paint completed Oct 2007 ♣ 3.55 TC rear end and front brakes ♣ TC interior ♣ CHE rear control arms (adjustable lowers) ♣ 2001 Bullitt springs ♣ Energy suspension poly busings ♣ Kenne Brown subframe connectors ♣ CWE engine mounts ♣ Thundercat sequential turn signals ♣ Explorer overhead console (temp/compass display) ♣ 2.25" off-road dual exhaust ♣ T-5 transmission swap completed Jan 2009 ♣

Re: Oops, I did it again. I bought a new car. (1986 Ford LTD wagon)

Reply #5
That 3.7 swap should be cool. My brother has a 2012 3.7 Mustang and as much as I bug him for buying a 6 cylinder Mustang I will admit (only because he won't see this) that it works well.

I'd love to see a 3.5 Ecoboost T-Bird...

It should move along just fine in a platform that weighs about 3-400# less. It's going to be over twice what this thing had stock...and better mileage.

This will also be a test fit for the engine platform. I too also have an interest in a 3.5 EB in a Fox car.
Long live the 4-eyes!  - '83 Tbird Turbo

Re: Oops, I did it again. I bought a new car. (1986 Ford LTD wagon)

Reply #6
This will be a fun project for you.  Will you be keeping the LTD sedan or will it become a parts donor?
This wagon is begging for a modern interior.  Heated and Cooled seats out of a newer Mustang.........  Forget added weight and just enjoy.........Can you yell I am getting old?  LOL
A 3.5 EB would make an exceptional tow machine out of it.  Well, as much as a unibody can be a tow machine from that era.   And YES, frame connectors STAT!!!

I drove an '80 4dr Fairmont with a progressive 2 barrel 2.3l.  Still stands as the worst car I have driven today.  The frame flex was so bad you could feel it flex between the front and rear axles twisting.

There's some videos online of a guy in NJ with a wagon Fairmont with an independent rear, 351W, and T5 plus 5 lug conversion.  Thing is pretty slick,
1988 Thunderbird TC, 5spd
Stinger 3" single exhaust, Cone Filter, Adjustable Cam Pulley, Schneider roller cam, Walbro 255 lph, AEM Wideband O2
'93 Mustang Cobra replica wheels on 235/50R17

'21 F150 Powerboost
'17 Husqvarna TX300

Re: Oops, I did it again. I bought a new car. (1986 Ford LTD wagon)

Reply #7
That 3.7 swap should be cool. My brother has a 2012 3.7 Mustang and as much as I bug him for buying a 6 cylinder Mustang I will admit (only because he won't see this) that it works well.

I'd love to see a 3.5 Ecoboost T-Bird...
Here you go!  Not mine but on YT.

https://youtu.be/8BSvi9G8oLo
1988 Thunderbird TC, 5spd
Stinger 3" single exhaust, Cone Filter, Adjustable Cam Pulley, Schneider roller cam, Walbro 255 lph, AEM Wideband O2
'93 Mustang Cobra replica wheels on 235/50R17

'21 F150 Powerboost
'17 Husqvarna TX300

Re: Oops, I did it again. I bought a new car. (1986 Ford LTD wagon)

Reply #8
This will be a fun project for you.  Will you be keeping the LTD sedan or will it become a parts donor?
This wagon is begging for a modern interior.  Heated and Cooled seats out of a newer Mustang.........  Forget added weight and just enjoy.........Can you yell I am getting old?  LOL
A 3.5 EB would make an exceptional tow machine out of it.  Well, as much as a unibody can be a tow machine from that era.   And YES, frame connectors STAT!!!

I drove an '80 4dr Fairmont with a progressive 2 barrel 2.3l.  Still stands as the worst car I have driven today.  The frame flex was so bad you could feel it flex between the front and rear axles twisting.

There's some videos online of a guy in NJ with a wagon Fairmont with an independent rear, 351W, and T5 plus 5 lug conversion.  Thing is pretty slick,

The LTS isn't going anywhere. It's 1 of 134 built. It was going to donate it's 5.0/AOD to the wagon, but I opted to drop the 3.7/6R80 in instead. The 5.0 won't remain in the LTS forever, though.

As long as the AC works and the stereo is good, that's enough of interior upgrades for me. Just wish it wasn't light tan. There's an '83 LTD wagon for sale in FL with a "nice" light blue interior, but that's too far away to deal with, and the rest of the car is kind of rotten. If it was closer, I'd grab it for the interior and s the rest.

I have a spare console for the LTD, so I may swap seats and install the console in it, but I'm not really a fan of all of the new "space car" interiors.

The 3.7 will handle the towing I'll need to do just fine, honestly. I'll probably be building my own hitch, though. I'm also looking at some sort of air helper or just air springs in the back, mainly for load leveling. Not going to bag the entire car. Not really a fan, and the car won't be slammed.


I figured they were out there. I might contact that guy for any more info on the build, though. So far I've only come across a 3.7 swap into a New Edge Mustang.
Long live the 4-eyes!  - '83 Tbird Turbo

Re: Oops, I did it again. I bought a new car. (1986 Ford LTD wagon)

Reply #9
The one thing I dislike about the 3.5EB is that able water pump.

It's what put me in a 5.4 Expedition, rather than a '14 and up V6 unit.
I guess it didn't matter though, as I no longer have the Expy.

'84 Mustang
'98 Explorer 5.0
'03 Focus, dropped a valve seat. yay. freakin' split port engines...
'06 Explorer EB 4.6

Re: Oops, I did it again. I bought a new car. (1986 Ford LTD wagon)

Reply #10
I used to tow a lot when doing the NETRA Enduro series with cars / wagons.
'00 Subaru Outback, for a 4 cylinder auto it tried really hard and actually towed well my open 8x5 utility trailer.  Felt like I was trying to murder it on the highway though.
'06 Pontiac Grand Prix - Towed well considering how light duty the tow hitch was mounted.  Transmission temperatures were threw the roof!
'06 Dodge Magnum RT AWD - It was awesome....I wish I had added bags to the rear coils to help with weight.
'06 Maggy

If you are only around town towing that setup will be fine.  If you are going any long distance I would at a minimum add an additional transmission cooler.

Looking forward to your rebuild on this when you get settled.
1988 Thunderbird TC, 5spd
Stinger 3" single exhaust, Cone Filter, Adjustable Cam Pulley, Schneider roller cam, Walbro 255 lph, AEM Wideband O2
'93 Mustang Cobra replica wheels on 235/50R17

'21 F150 Powerboost
'17 Husqvarna TX300

Re: Oops, I did it again. I bought a new car. (1986 Ford LTD wagon)

Reply #11
Yeah, my main towing will be probably a 5x8 utility trailer, but I may stick a tow dolly behind it occasionally.

I'll have some SFCs under it and will probably just add a trans cooler by default. I have one sitting in the garage that I thought I was going to use on the LTS.

I also have clips for a set of Yakima roof-top load bars, which will be available for install, incase I need to throw something up top that's a bit much for that factory roof rack. We also have a Thule rooftop cargo pod that we use occasionally for trips.
Long live the 4-eyes!  - '83 Tbird Turbo

Re: Oops, I did it again. I bought a new car. (1986 Ford LTD wagon)

Reply #12
I've towed with my wife's '04? Impreza wagon (MT) and my '06 Accord, 4cyl auto. With my 5x8 utility trailer, the gate is where most of the drag comes from. I used wood ramps and ditched the ramps. No issue at 65mph for long distances with either.

Re: Oops, I did it again. I bought a new car. (1986 Ford LTD wagon)

Reply #13
I agree, that ramp acts like a sail even if it is mesh.  I used to fold it in and load on top of it for long distances too.
1988 Thunderbird TC, 5spd
Stinger 3" single exhaust, Cone Filter, Adjustable Cam Pulley, Schneider roller cam, Walbro 255 lph, AEM Wideband O2
'93 Mustang Cobra replica wheels on 235/50R17

'21 F150 Powerboost
'17 Husqvarna TX300

Re: Oops, I did it again. I bought a new car. (1986 Ford LTD wagon)

Reply #14
The car is home now.



Have it tucked away into the work spot so I can get to cleaning it and tearing out the drivetrain.

Long live the 4-eyes!  - '83 Tbird Turbo