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Thread: '89 Toyota MR2 - '74 Celica GT - '86 Mits Mighty Max - '85 Ford Thunderbird

  1. #1



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    '89 Toyota MR2 - '74 Celica GT - '86 Mits Mighty Max - '85 Ford Thunderbird

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    1989 Toyota MR2
    This is a 1989 Toyota MR2 and is the last year of this MK1 styled body. They changed to a more sleeker looking body around late '89, which ended a long range of this defined body style. There was only 2900 made of the one I own, so I own 1/2900th of them all. It is TRD and has the 1600 duel cam 16 valve fuel injected engine. They also came with a nice supercharger in 88-89. Just recently I had to take a long trip to the other side of the state with a round trip of about 700 miles. During the trip I check fuel mileage and averaged an awesome 32 miles to the gallon, using premium fuel.

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    I happened across mine on a Craigslist auto ad and it was selling for $700. It had some damage up front, but it caught my eye and I had to have it. The poor car had gone through some hard times because the front was damaged, there was a steering shimmy, all the trim and items inside the car were falling off and screws were missing everywhere. It was virtually falling apart and no one took the time to use a screwdriver or a wrench to it. It also had this outdated blue interior that was tacky for a white MR2.
    When I got her home, I began the build on it. I replaced all the struts, poly bushings, tie-rod ends, sway bars & support bar supports. New tires, changed oil, plugs and many smaller things. I saw a long road ahead trying to locate so many missing items that this car didn't have. I went to our great local wrecking yards, found and replaced the entire interior from tacky blue to black. This also included carpets and some cool bucket seats. I repaired the damage in the front right of the car, pulled out the bent stuff to factory specs, replaced the damaged bumper and installed a fiberglass front end. None of the lid covers, like the trunk lid, engine cover; front hood storage lid would open with the cable pulls. Front hood latch was completely missing, hence the ugly hood pins, trunk carpets missing, broken windshield... the poor girl was just a mess and begging for repairs. The good things about this car were very good. It is fun, fast, good gas mileage, no dripping or burning oil. These good things just motivated me to bring her back up to her potential.
    I never left a wrecking yard without a full inventory of MR2 parts. Things worked out perfect when locating these parts. I'd come home with a bucket of bolts and a trunk full of extra items that were missing or broken on the car. Replacing so many items on this car made me feel like the car at one time must have been stolen & partially parted out. Then located as is, and returned to the owner, where he did nothing to correct it. It was sad to see such a classic car treated like this.
    I continued to take out the old stuff and in with the new, she was showing signs of recovery. There wasn't a moment the first year that the car wasn't getting an update of some kind. It took a little over a year to get the car comfortable and how I thought it should be. Everything now is working again, nothing is broken or missing and she rides very nice. I must add that sneezing on the freeway, if not paying attention, could cause a rapid lane change. These cars were called a legalized street Go-Kart and they fit the description perfectly.
    Right around the mid fix time, I decided to sell another vehicle I had owned for 37+ years. It was my 2nd car ever after rolling my first car which I purchased from my mother when I was at age 17. I finally decided to pass it on to someone else who would bring it back from the sleep in his own way. Here is the car in its prime... 1974 Toyota Celica GT, the very first 5 speed GT Celica made and shipped to the USA. It was purchased in 1976 for $3,300 from a dealer and sold for $2,900. It will be missed.

    1974 Toyota Celica GT
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    Engine Specs
    *18RC 1990cc I4 SOHC
    *Horsepower 140HP@4800RPM
    *Bore 89
    *Stroke 80
    *Compression ratio 8.7:1
    *Models with this engine: 1974-78 GT (USA)

    Component Listing
    • 78 Corvette Yellow w/Champagne Gold Pearl Clear
    • Kamei Fiberglass molded Front Aero Dynamics Kit
    • Custom Coil-Over Front Struts Springs
    • BFG T/A's 50's-60's
    • Holley/Weber Down-Draft 2 bbl Carburetor w/K&N Filter
    • Mallory Unilite High-Fire Electronic Ignition
    • Mallory Auto Advance Distributor
    • Offenhauser Duel-Port Intake Manifold
    • Extended Length Sprint Car Headers
    • John De Long Sprint Car Full Race Cam
    • Genuine Grant Engraved Signature Steering Wheel
    • Removable Black Matrix Sunroof
    • Carved Teakwood Hand Shifter
    • Rear Window louvers
    • 5 - Speed Manual transmission
    • Complete analog gauge instrument panel
    Had a Carrera Whale Tail for several years,
    but removed it and went back to stock trunk deck

    It was tough to let it go, but the person who bought the car said, it was his dream car and was very excited to finally have one. The new owner lives just down the block from me and I'm sure he will bring it by someday when he is finished making his own improvements.
    Well, that’s it. Hope you found this a little interesting to read about. I feel pretty lucky to of owned these vehicles and still owning the MR2, plus my 1986 Mitsubishi/D50 (Mitsy) truck. As you might notice, I keep my vehicles for a long time since I put so much time into them.


    1986 Mitsubishi Mighty Max Pick Up
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    1986 Mitsubishi Mighty Max ("Mitsy") Repair-Renew-Rebuild-Replace Thread Build

    Ownership Time
    Celica-37+yrs.
    Mitsy-28yrs. As of 2015
    MR2-7+yrs. As of 2015
    Thunderbird-2014

    Video: Toyota MR2 & Mitsubishi Mighty Max Pickup
    (all videos on this page can be set to Hi-Def by clicking the flower shape icon on lower right video frame.)



    1985 Ford Thunderbird
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    I recently picked up my first American car, a 9th Gen. 1985 Ford Thunderbird for $500.
    It has a V8 5.0 302 cu in. engine with the AOD Transmission and a 7.5in. rear end.
    Body is very straight and worth restoration with a resale price from $3k in OK cond, to 9k in great cond.
    more below...



    Last edited by BradMph; 11-06-2017 at 08:21 AM. Reason: spelling & wording

  2. #2



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    2 very nice vehicles - the caliber of work shows on both. As you may have noticed, I tend to keep vehicles a while also - Geronimo is an 1980 and I have owned him since new.
    Pennyman1
    The best Dodge that Dodge never made
    Living the D-50 lifestyle since 1980

  3. #3



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    The Toyota Celica was featured on The Castrol Oil Company & CRAGAR Wheels site a few years back too.

    There also was a Multiplayer Online Racing game called NASCAR Heat,
    quite a few years ago and we created custom mods for the public to the online game community.

    The Celica Mod Game Addition and modeling process.
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    http://www.racelinecentral.com/CelicaHeat.html


    This Game Mod was sort of a representation of My Truck and a Camaro Z28 combined into a limo race car.
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    http://www.racelinecentral.com/FireLimo.html


    This last one I made was a Blown Hemi Kenworth Racing Bobtail Truck.
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    http://www.racelinecentral.com/KenworthTrucks.html
    Last edited by BradMph; 03-13-2015 at 05:01 AM.

  4. #4



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    $500
    Well it looks like we are going to buy another vehicle, 1987 Thunderbird w/302 5.0L. The wife's kid needs money pretty badly and he is going to sell his Tbird to us for a very good price.
    It does have a subtle blown head gasket on one side and has let some water into the oil. It is not being driven and sitting in storage. It has very nice rims and new tires. The black sprayed items on the car need to be resprayed because the paint has been washed down to the coating. The mirrors, trim, and these items will be redone. it has a crack in windshield, but it is just a single line crack that can be fixed later.
    One thing that is strange to me is the carb that is in place. It looks to have 2 fuel injectors placed on top of it pointing down the barrels. One for each side - primary/secondary. One other thing I noticed is the wheels are 4 lug!? WTF was Ford thinking to put only 4 lugs on a car with a V8.
    The body is in perfect shape with a teal color but needs to be buffed and should come up perfect. Interior is kind of messing, but nothing a can of shampoo won't fix or new seats from wrecking yard. The car has AC and Auto on the column. It is mainly for the wife and we will probably sell her 94 olds achieva as time goes on.

    Here is an example image of an identical TBird, with almost the same exact rims. The paint on the image car is better of course, but we should be able to bring back the paint to about 80% of what is shown in the image.
    We should be picking the car up tomorrow sometime and pulling it into driveway to repair headgasket asap. Pretty excited about this since I have always liked this model Tbird and it should be a fun car to fix up.

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    Base Price Original MSRP $12,972
    Low Retail $2,900
    Average Retail $5,375
    High Retail $8,350
    Options: Air Conditioning +10%

    If all else fails, the 302 has a great home in my 86 Mits MM which I have been thinking on doing. Wanted a 318, but you get what falls into your lap and go with it.

  5. #5



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    that is a tbi setup from the 80's on that 302 - detroit's answer to fuel injection on the cheap. Run some good fuel injection cleaner, like BG or redline through it to get the crap out of the fuel. Too bad its not the 3.8 SC with the supercharger.
    Pennyman1
    The best Dodge that Dodge never made
    Living the D-50 lifestyle since 1980

  6. #6



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    Correction on year of T-Bird is a 1985 Elan. The prior owner was just storing the car because of the water in oil when I asked about it and he thought it was a 1987, but was wrong. Also the car was built in Lorain, OH. Ford Plant which no longer exist as a manufacturing facility. The place kind of looks depressing with cracking cement and overgrown vegetation everywhere, Reminds me of the city in the movie.."I am Legend".
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    I located this Roush version of the T-Bird that really catches the eye. I don't really like the scoop on the hood much and I'm going to go with the Turbo Coupe Naca style instead. The color scheme on the Roush is what I am going to aim for, with maybe a darker upper silver that is shown or also maybe a dark Gold upper body with all the chrome trims changed to black.
    I have taken the engine apart already and working all over the car while parts start arriving. New windshield is installed and doing nasty electrical work, plus changing chrome trim to black and parts searching like crazy. So many sellers are just price gouging the hell out stuff, I have to search even harder then I do the truck parts.
    My garage looks like the car exploded in there and room is shrinking fast. Going to wrecking yard today to molest a couple TB's I found with some decent stuff and weather permits.

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    The blue one above looks like the one I have, same color and parts. Mine has chrome different style rims though, with wider tires.

  7. #7

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    I dig it man! Really enjoy vehicles like these that you just don't see everyday

  8. #8



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    The wifey spotted this image and she wants this TBird to be just like the one here. Must have 40 coats of clearcoat on this thing, Oh great.
    Actually I kind of like it too, but I keep hearing this ringing in my head....cha-ching cha-ching. If she wants this paint, she'll have to sell her Olds Achieva to pay for it. Probably.

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  9. #9



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    That lower color looks like the 90's rasberry pearl from dodge shadows or other mopar front drivers, the top looks black - look on ebay at tcp global or autobodydepot for deals on gallons of PPG paint deltron basecoat. Then use some high solids clear, there are several on ebay for 100 to 150 for everything that give a good gloss with good prep.
    Pennyman1
    The best Dodge that Dodge never made
    Living the D-50 lifestyle since 1980

  10. #10



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    Thanks Pennyman, going to check that out. Hope she doesn't want those rims and tires also, lol.

  11. #11



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    Just got to looking at Ford T-Bird production numbers for 1985 and they manufactured 151,852 that year. The production number on our T-Bird is 151,041 only 811 T-Birds were made after ours that year. Wish it was the last one that year.

    1980-1997 Ford Thunderbird
    When Thunderbird production began in Lorain in 1980, the Beach Boys hit "Fun, Fun, Fun" was a classic tune, and the nameplate itself was well established. For the next two model years, sales of the Thunderbird slumped, just as they did with the Cougar. The "box platform" didn't do well, nor did the idea of four doors and a station wagon. In 1983, both the Thunderbird and the Cougar received extensive redesign under a team directed by Jack Telnack. During this era, Ford introduced the Turbo Coupe designation. This submodel consisted of a 2.3 liter OHC turbocharged 4 cylinder engine, and could also be paired with a stick shift. Buyers could also choose a 3.8L V6 as well as a 5.0L V8. Sales quickly picked up, and stayed very consistant. In 1987, a new, "aero" Thunderbird made a debut. The design was more refined, with a sleek new front and rear, new interior apointments, and 16" snowflake wheels on the Turbo Coupe model. While the freshened up Thunderbird remained on the Fox-chassis, it was flashy enough to catch the eyes of Motor Trend, and was awarded the prestigious "Car of the Year" for 1987. 1987-88 were stellar sales years for Ford Motor Company, with both the Thunderbird and Cougar models far exceeding the sales expectations of corporate. In 1989, a new 'Bird was introduced. The complete redesign entailed over two million dollars invested and the birth of a new platform that would be utilized for the Thunderbird, the Cougar, and the Lincoln Mark VIII. The MN12 cars were considered "world class automobiles". The ride was smooth, the engines quiet, the handling excellent. 1989 would also mark the year of a new submodel, the Super Coupe. This car featured an Eaton supercharged 3.8L V6 engine, was available with manual or automatic transmissions, 16" wheels, a sleek body kit, leather seats, and all the bells and whistles. The big news with the MN12 platform was that all models would receive an independant rear suspension and a new interior based around the "cockpit design". Although only one engine was available for 1989 and 1990 (the 3.8L V6), the cars continued to show high sales. Once again, the Thunderbird was awarded "Motor Trend Car of the Year" in 1989. In 1991, the 5.0L V8 became available in the Thunderbird, and remained an option through the 1993 model year. In 1994, the MN12 saw a minor exterior freshening, and the 4.6L SOHC V8, which replaced the discontinued 5.0. The Super Coupe remained available through 1995, when it was dropped completely, leaving the LX as the lone model. 1996 saw another very minor redesign, with new headlights, a new front and rear fascia, and new "Thunderbird" script emblems on the rear deck. A little know fact is that Ford's "Special Vehicle Team" had an interest in the Thunderbird. In 1996 and 1997, several models were built at Lorain Assembly. These models were to feature the DOHC 4.6L, 17" Cobra R style wheels, larger brakes, as well as various exterior updates. Just prior to the March 17, 1997, announcement that the Thunderbird and Cougar would be discontinued completely, the SVT prototypes were dismantled within the assembly plant. The MN12 cousins sold consistantly throughout their Lorain run, outselling every car in their segment by at least a two-to-one margin. This wasn't enough to save the car. When the last one rolled off the line in September 1997, a sign saying "That's All Folks" adorned the decklid. Today, over eight years later, devoted Thunderbird/Cougar fans still seek out their favorite models, some looking for daily drivers, others looking to preserve history.

  12. #12



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    Started pulling the interior out and when I lifted the back seat out, I found this little surprise.

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    It's the car's Ford assembly line inventory tag. How strange to be left under the back seat for 29 years. I did some graphic cleanup on the tag to preserve the scan since the original is in pretty bad shape. I sealed it in a Poly-Vu so it can be saved.

    http://www.tbirdregistry.com
    Thunderbird Registry#56919
    Lorain, Ohio Assembly Plant Number #151041 / 1985
    VIN: 1FABP46F0FH151041

  13. #13



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    Restoration Build for 1985 Thunderbird, purchased $500.
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    Completed List
    Pull '85 302 Engine, Install 1988 302 V8
    Rebuilt AOD 4 Speed Automatic Transmission
    All New Seals & Hoses
    Ford Racing Roller HO E303 1.6 Cam 1,3,7,2,6,5,4,8
    Ford Racing Hydraulic lifters, Rockers & Push Rods
    Comp Cams Magnum Double Roller Timing Gear Set
    Edelbrock 1406 600cfm 4bbl Carburetor
    Edelbrock 2121K Performer Intake & kit
    Edelbrock Top Flow Air Cleaner
    Carb Throttle Linkage
    MSD Digital 6A Multispark Ignition
    MSD 8282 Blaster ll Coil
    MSD Pro-Billet Full Race Distributor / New Steel Gear / No Vaccum Advance
    Chrome Valve Covers/T-handles
    Chrome Shorty Style Hugger Headers
    K&N crank case breather
    Duel Stainless Pypes Mufflers & Chrome Tips
    BBK Aluminiumized Duel Exhaust "X" Pipe
    Ford Distributor Rubber Cover Protector
    March Performance Serpentine Underdrive Engine Pulley Kit w/Oversized Alt Pulley.
    FelPro Full Gasket Kit w/One piece Blue Oil Pan Metal Inlaid Rubber Gasket
    Lokar TV kick-down cable
    Lokar Throttle cable
    Lokar Throttle, TV, Cruise control carb Bracket
    B&M AOD Shift Improver / Street Set Installation
    Wix Trany Filter
    Wix Fuel Filter
    Ported heads - exhaust and gasket matched head to header
    Trick Flow Double Valve Spring Complete Set
    Remove and Relap Exhaust & Intake Valves, New guide seals
    Repaint engine bay to black
    Holley Fuel Pressure regulator
    Holley Red Fuel Pump
    Replace all 5/16 vinyl fuel lines to 3/8 aluminum / Removed in tank EFI fuel pump & insert pickup pipe in place
    Goody's Fuel Regulator Pressure Gauge
    Turbo Coupe Naca Hood Scoops
    New Aluminum Heater Core
    Remove Fuel Tank, Flush, Paint, Replace Sock Filter, Remove Tank Pump
    Replaced Dash Speedo Display & Repaired the transmission gear indicator.
    Starter & Solenoid
    KYB Shocks
    Column to Console Shifter Upgrade

    Completed Interior
    Switched column shift to a Mustang HO console shifter
    Wink 5 panel rear view mirror
    Dye Entire interior to Black
    New electrical column engine start switch & New Key starter switch
    New Pioneer stereo in dash w/new quad speakers
    New Cougar 3rd Tail Light
    Dash Cover
    New Windshield
    Replace headliner
    Rebuilt both window regulator motors & door lock motors, lubed mechanism.
    Redo upholstery under back window
    Install 3 gauge pillar
    Install 9 New Gauges & Sensors
    *Sun Tachometer w/rev light Gauge
    *Voltmeter Gauge
    *Engine Temperature Gauge
    *Oil pressure Gauge
    *Trany Pressure Gauge
    *Trany Temp Gauge
    *Vacuum Gauge
    *Goody's Fuel Regulator Pressure Gauge
    *AEM Rich/Lean fuel mixture gauge w/ wideband Bosch exhaust sensor

    ToDo
    New Paint - Car
    Lowering Kit
    Tint Windows
    AC Recharge
    Hood shocks
    Brakes


    ORDERED Shipped/or in Transit

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  14. #14



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    Calculations & Cam card for the Ford Performance Racing Cam - preparing for degree & install in Tbird.
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    I enjoy having a background in Graphic Design. Helps me to imagine what it should look like when completed.
    Especially when it gets dropped off at the paint shop.
    Then I am giving it away to the wifey, but I will have an extra key on this one, lol.
    http://www.latemodelrestoration.com/Ride/Show/3158

  15. #15



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    Washington State
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    1986 Mitsubishi Mighty Max
    Engine

    G63B
    The engine when I first brought it home.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Little update on my Ford Thunderbird build. Block is done, pistons and all are cleaned, timing gear set, race cam, seals are in, Heads are done porting with new springs set, valves are all re-lapped and heads are painted. They should be installed soon with new racing push-rods. The timing cover and water pump are on.

    Updated post:
    Completed heads & pistons - Before/After
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    Now starting to look like an engine again, its nice not to have that caked on grease packing that was on the motor before the build. Hard work when you have to take a wire brush drill to every friggin thing that there is. Thank god for brake cleaner too.
    Click image for larger version. 

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  16. #16



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    Now the engine waits to be installed while the Thunderbird goes through it's work.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Old motor pulled from TBird on march 7th 2015. Tugged at this for a while until I noticed the last bolt still in. pfft! Nice to see a place for the new motor to be installed. Will be removing all the left over smog hosing and cleaning up the engine bay for repainting. All black with a chromed and silver motor should look very nice I hope. I also want to remove column shift to a console shift since the car has a full console. Rare item when a column shift was installed at factory. Right now the car is sitting nose up with jack stands and will be multitasking with engine bay and putting in shift kit on AOD transmission. Things are going smoothly with this car.

    Updated Video: Part 2

  17. #17



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    Ordered the factory build sheet for our 1985 Ford Thunderbird.

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    Document was signed by Elana Ford, granddaughter of long time Ford Motor Company president Henry Ford II and the great-great granddaughter of company founder Henry Ford.
    Strangely they sent the first version of this document by email with the wrong manufacture year. I waited 3 months for this and they tried to send me a digital form email of it? So, I jumped all over them.
    The purchase agreement specified a hard copy version sent postal mail with Elana Ford actual signature. Not a manipulated document with the wrong information. After bitching them out, I received a over nighted letter with the hard copy inside. After further examination of the new document, I have come to the conclusion that this is even wrong. The signature is a copied signature which they print on these factory build sheet information documentation. The entire ordeal just made me feel what a piece of crap the company is by trying to BS me with an incorrect document. I know after I complained, they just changed the date on the date of manufacture and resent the form.
    Oh well, sometimes you have to cut your losses and let it go.

  18. #18

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    1988 Dodge Power Ram 50
    Engine

    G54B
    Bradmph, have you installed the shift kit yet? I have one that I just got in for my C-6. I am assuming they are similar. Let me if there are any pointers you come across doing yours that would be handy. Nice build! Will be awesome when your finished and enjoying all your labor

  19. #19



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    Quote Originally Posted by Dodgehemi7 View Post
    Bradmph, have you installed the shift kit yet? I have one that I just got in for my C-6. I am assuming they are similar. Let me if there are any pointers you come across doing yours that would be handy. Nice build! Will be awesome when your finished and enjoying all your labor
    I have not installed the kit yet, but it seems to be a simple process. All the items needed like the drill bits and stuff are in the kit. I just installed a trany cooler and repaired a small area in the lines that were crimped from something the other person must of ran over with the car. I have been searching on youtube for some videos on the subject and found a couple. They mention about the trany pressure requirements and seem to always talk about the cabled version of the AOD trany. Kickdown and throttle etc. Mine has the rod, which I think is much easier to setup, but I think I have to extend the rod for the edelbrock carb kickdown. It's all pretty new to me also.
    Right now I am in a holding pattern with the engine sitting in the garage all finished and the car is now on the driveway getting the rework. Have the engine bay all painted black and pulling wire and smog vacuum lines out. I hope to start the trany in a few days, the instructions say a few hours to finish, probably take me a day, lol.
    Also the trany holds a shitload of trany fluid. I think it said almost 7 quarts which is expensive, lol. I'll try to post up about the trany Kit as long as I don't mess it up.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    looks so much better then when I started. Finally having room to work around an engine when it gets reinstalled.


    UPDATE:

    Here is a short video as I attempted to install the 302 into the car the other night. It was real late and I was exhausted. I managed to get the picker off the engine, but the engine is not buckled in yet. Today might finish the bolt up, we'll see.


  20. #20

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    Any luck getting that motor and trans mated up?

  21. #21



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    Ya, but I need 2 of me, one on top guiding the motor and one under car matching the converter to the flywheel for bolting together. I have 3-4 bolts in and pulled the 2 together, so looks like I have to spend some time under the car now to line up the flywheel and bolt to the converter and install the starter all at the same time, lol. I am realizing that I am getting to old for this stuff. I use to be able to work at this stuff everyday, now I work one day and don't want to look at it for 3 days.

  22. #22



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    Here is the latest update on my 1985 Thunderbird build.
    Click image for larger version. 

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  23. #23

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    Wow.
    I had no idea.
    Subscribed.
    Is there anything you can't do?! (rhetorical)

  24. #24



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    This was video'd on the end of July 2015 when I fired the engine up.
    There is so much more work to do and seems when I finish one thing,
    3 more things need to be done. It's exhausting.

  25. #25



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    "Winter is Over, Time to Get Things Closer to Completion"
    I have had the motor placed for sometime now and I am moving through all the other things a swap like this involves. I do this in spare time so it can have some gaps in progress. Anyway, I am back on the TBird and we are getting close to another start up. Since the last time started I have rewired all the gauges and additional items I have installed onto a separate wiring system with 2 new fuse panels. I found that the original fuse panel was just becoming ridiculously crowded and look like shit with wires coming and going. It now is clean again and sits next to the 2 new panels.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    This image is the engine installed, but it needs to be updated again since the distributor laying on top there has a new version installed now. I have been working on wiring and interior and that is pretty much finished now except for connecting the main wires, 1 for constant 12v and the other Key On 12v under the hood. Picked up a new battery and it goes in today so those 12v wires should be connected then as well.

    I have changed the column shifter to a console shifter and I am presently under the car doing the requirements to have this update working just like factory. I have the cable almost installed then I have to drop the trany pan to reverse the shifter lever to change from a pull to a push for the new console shift.

    Anyway, here are some blurry cell phone images of interior with new seat covers and dash area. This car came with a light tan interior and is being changed to black with the tan being accent color. I still have some more changes to complete this transformation. I just am getting eager to have it running now and this is the goal now.

    Click image for larger version. 

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