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six shooter
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Discussion Starter #1
The family has been down a car after my mom's Fusion got plowed through by a Pacifica. Dad and I looked at several cars and drove all over looking for either parts cars to get my wagon going, or something cheap but worth keeping. We found a super clean 1987 notchback 2.3L auto. The guy said the transmission was going in it. His family has had the car since about 1992. It hit something once in the front, but the repair was done well. It was painted a few years ago (dark shadow blue, stock color) and then left to sit in the condo garage. He had been doing a lot of work on it, mostly cosmetic. The interior is taken apart quite a bit, but it's all there. I'm going to have to dig up the locks from a parts car I had before (he gave me 5 different keys and the trunk has no lock). I got new tires today at Costco for the stock 14"s. They were cheap enough and it saved me buying wheels.

Mechanically, I don't think the transmission is on its way out, again. I don't think the overdrive is engaging though. I'll mostly be cruising about 5 miles to work and back, so not too worried about that. There was no fluid in the power steering reservoir, and the steering wheel is more of a vague directional approximator. I'll get fluid for it tomorrow (same as the ATF, I believe) and see if it lives. I had to replace the entire rack in my SVO, so I'm no stranger to issues with these things. If this rack is dead, I'll switch over to a manual rack and let the 2.3L focus on pulling the car down the road. I also need to check all the other steering related joints tomorrow. The brakes need to be bled and flushed out (DOT 3 fluid, I believe). I'm also going to do the lower radiator hose and throw some more coolant in it.

Hopefully it'll be a somewhat reliable daily by the end of the week. It's in the best condition out of any of the 5 fox bodies I've had. I have a ton of odd parts collected to get it sorted out.

The best part is the guy said he bought a turbo but wasn't sure if it was the ones that came on these cars (meaning the SVO or TurboCoupe) or if it was any good. I didn't see it when I looked at the car yesterday. When I got the car today he said he put all the rest of the parts inside it. I went digging through them and had completely forgot he said he'd throw in the turbo. Noticed a heavy black garbage bag and when I pulled it out I saw an original SVO turbo, E6 header and elbow. SCORE!!! I don't need it, so I'll probably clean it up, rebuild it and sell it for money to get my SVO rolling again.






Got those with my phone. It's a South Florida barn find... or condo find. I'll be washing it tomorrow and getting better pictures of the rest of it.
 

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Please don't tell me he was planning on boosting the stock N/A bottom end... :facepalm:

How much you want for the turbo and all?
 

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six shooter
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Discussion Starter #3
I doubt it. He wasn't a dumb guy at all. I think he came across it and bought it on impulse, just in case it would work.

I don't have a price on it yet. I want to get it all cleaned up first, and then see which of the three I have is in the worst shape, before I sell any of it. I'll probably post it up here. Trying to be more active since this is the only forum that sends me emails calling me sexy when I'm inactive for long periods of time. ;)
 

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six shooter
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Discussion Starter #4
Did some dinking around today. Got some things to add to the list.

Needs battery cables.
There's a sunstantial leak somewhere. My guess is driver's quarter window.
Little spot of rust in the tank.
Window cranks are nowhere to be found. (No, they're not electric.)
Added power steering fluid and the infamous whine came back. Still lots of play.
Added some coolant.
Sounds like there's an exhaust leak.
Missing the lower radiator hose bracket.
Only two of the air box screws are attached. Inserts fell out of the other two.
Changed the fuel filter, found lots of rust.
Unkinked the fuel filler cup drain hose.
Needs new rubber between the trunk floor and fuel filler neck.
Spare tire wing nut broke.
Missing a fender bolt, and they're different from side to side.
Missing an evaporator box vent cap.
Heater plumbing, and other HVAC stuff, was removed ghetto style. Some other vacuum bits are missing.
Couple other random missing/broken brackets and bolts.
A/C does not work at all.
Electric fan comes on at start up. Gotta do some research on that to see if it's normal, something failed, or they wired it hot.


Other comments:
The roof had some poor body work done on it. Didn't see how bad it was when it was dusty, but it's far from perfect. I don't mind too much. It's just my commuter.
Dad said they sell new rear and front bumpers as a package for $600. I'll probably do that since dad jacked up the front backing off the trailer.
Going to search for my spare lock set in storage tomorrow. Gotta figure out if I can get the glove box lock that's in it to work with the other set of keys.
 

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six shooter
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247 Posts
Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Took it for a little drive and found some more things:

Needs a valve cover gasket.
Headlights need aligning.
None of the gauge lights work.
There is no oil pressure needle (guy gave me a spare cluster).
Gotta do something about the steering. It's looser than a Kardashian. Every fox has had this issue, but this one is ridiculous.
The tint is on its last legs, although it doesn't look like the installer did a good job in the first place.


Something else I'm going to look for is a manual passenger mirror. I'll have that painted to match when I get the bumpers and stripe trim done. Thinking about having the wheels color matched too before I straighten out the rim trim and put that back on.
 

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I may have a mirror sitting around. Just get a razor and take the tint out. Heat gun will help cut down on the amount of residual glue stuck to the glass.

What glue is left, soak it with windex or other ammonia based glass cleaner. Glue will soak that up and will scrape right off with that razor blade you had. Steel wool will get any other glue that missed. Be sure not to scrape the defrosters in the back.

My '93s steering wheel wasn't bad at all, but the '90 that replaced it was stupid. A good 1/4 turn at least before ANYTHING.

Not sure how much you're into the 2.3 world but the best valve cover gasket is for the later rangers, get it from Ford.

And hey, at least your gauges work. Better than my '90 can boast :facepalm:
 

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six shooter
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Discussion Starter #7
I was going to let a mobile tint guy handle that. Old neighbors used a guy that did a real good job on their VWs and was cheap. I have to finish stripping the stuff out of the SVO though, so thanks for the tips.

I'm debating a manual rack for the car. There are some issues with the steering on the interior side too. For some reason I never remember to check the rag joint.

Do the 1998-2001 2.5L gaskets work, or just up to 1997 with the 2.3L? I have a spare Turbocoupe valve cover I may put on too...

I'm not sure my gauges work. Fuel is E for bone dry and beyond F for any fuel at all. I'll be sticking to routes with plenty of gas stations until I have a good trip odometer approximation. Temp shows it's on the cool side, which is believable for the Lima. Volts were slightly above the mid point, which isn't abnormal.
 

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six shooter
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Discussion Starter #9
Sweet, thanks. I'll grab one of those later.

Came home and noticed a wet spot in the driveway. I'll have to get under it again to see if it's the passenger side of the steering rack or if it's the transmission. Don't remember how far over I had the car parked. Either way, it's at the top of the fix list.

Stopped by storage and found some stuff: black front seatbelts, manual passenger mirror, some door armrest clips and bolts, center rear view mirror (just needed the screw really), one window crank (won't go on), and I found the trunk lock off my old coupe, still in the deck lid. Didn't see anything else useful, which means the rest is probably in the shed at the house.
 

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You can also get a rubber gasket from Advance Auto, its made by FelPro and is a great gasket.
 

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While I usually like the FelPro gaskets for basically everything, those Ford gaskets are far superior and have a much lower chance of leaking. Is FelPro good stuff? Yes. But the best to use is that one from Ford.
 

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You may be right, but im not willing to pay the ford price. I have never had a problem with the felpro rubber VC gasket leaking. We currently have 4 engines between me my dad and friend that have that gasket and they never leak.
 

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Not gonna argue with you there. My '93 had a FelPro and it did just fine. But for a reusable VC gasket, screw it. I'll go for the Ford one if it's something I like and I have the money.
 

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six shooter
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Discussion Starter #14
Good to know. I didn't end up stopping by Ford today. Spent all day doing the paperwork on the car and hunting for parts that I had. I have to take the lower radiator hose back to AutoZone, so if it covers the cost of the gasket then I'll go with that one.

Steering rack isn't leaking. The transmission appears to be leaking near the front. Also saw some on the pan, but that could just be trickling back. Dad suspects it's the main seal. We're going to go ahead and grab a shift kit for it, as well as filters and anything else we can think of to improve the infamous A4LD transmission... aside from dynamite. All that stuff is cheaper that the remaining parts I'd have to get in order to put the T5 in, and I'm not 100% certain that doesn't need work too. If anyone has suggestions for upgrading the A4LD, I'm all ears.

Couldn't find any of my spare door/trunk/ignition locks or keys. Looked at the price of new stuff and had a good laugh. I took the trunk lock that the guy gave me over to my locksmith. He pinned the lock to my door key and made me a second key. He also discovered that my door key was cut wrong (or poorly) on one side, and he was able to fix that. I had brought over an old deck lid with the lock I was planning to use until I couldn't find the other locks or keys. It turned out to be very helpful as the latch assembly was missing pieces on my car. I lost the auto unlock function, temporarily, but the trunk locks now. I have to do some more aligning of the whole lid, and get the second retainer clip riveted back in.
 

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Yeah. Rip it out and do the T5 swap. Blew up 4 A4LDs. Hate them with a passion. What all do you need to finish the T5 swap? I have some parts.

That or find a C4 (which will require a longer driveshaft if I remember correctly)
 

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Nice car! Im partial to coupes tho. My dd is a 2.3 5spd coupe.
 

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six shooter
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Discussion Starter #17
I saw another red coupe for sale on the way to work today. Didn't catch the price, but I'm glad I've got this one. I hate red.

Got an owner's manual off eBay, which came in today. Got the older manual mirror put on temporarily. The bad power lock solenoids have finally pissed me off, so those are coming out later tonight. I'll have a look at where I think it's leaking when I pull the interior panels to do the seat belts.

Yeah. Rip it out and do the T5 swap. Blew up 4 A4LDs. Hate them with a passion. What all do you need to finish the T5 swap? I have some parts.

That or find a C4 (which will require a longer driveshaft if I remember correctly)
I checked the fluid level today and it was fine. I think the guy over filled it. I'll keep an eye on it. It doesn't seem to be shifting wrong, given the design. Automatics don't shift right to begin with. I don't mind working on it while it's int he car. Gives me time to hunt down the rest of the hydraulic clutch parts for the T5, and I'll have to do all this work on the A4LD when I put it in the wagon anyways.

Unless I can find the rest of the hydraulic clutch parts, all I have is the gear box/tail shaft and a shifter. I'd need the clutch, flywheel, fork, bell housing and any other bearings, as well as the pedals. I'd just need dad to hit up the junkyard with me to grab the stuff so I can haul it back in the truck. There's usually always a few of these 4cyl cars there.
 

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Have you checked the condition of the rag joint?
 

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I have a clutch and flywheel I'll sell ya. Clutch still showed the manufacturers name stamped on the friction surface of the clutch so I took it when I pulled my t5 out of the junkyard.
 

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six shooter
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Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
Have you checked the condition of the rag joint?
I got a quick look at it and didn't see anything wrong. I want to have someone turn the wheel while I check it, but that help won't be available for a couple days.

I have a clutch and flywheel I'll sell ya. Clutch still showed the manufacturers name stamped on the friction surface of the clutch so I took it when I pulled my t5 out of the junkyard.
I'll think about it. By the time I pay to ship it down here, I could probably buy two at the u-pull-it down here. I'm pretty sure I can grab all the parts I need there for under $100. I might even make it easier on myself and pull an entire transmission so I've got something for the "other car".


EDIT: Swung by AutoZone after work and realized I forgot to bring the lower radiator hose with me, so no valve cover gasket yet. They didn't have the right window cranks, and I also failed to measure the battery cable lengths that I need. I didn't see an antenna wire either, but I want to dig up my spare before I get into that anyways. I feel like there was something else too... I've begun a list of parts on my phone to help keep track of this stuff.
Anyways, when I finally made it home I was noticing some smoke on the passenger side (happens on occasion, figured it was oil on the header) and a smell that was sort of sweet and sort of electrical, but not really. Parked it in the dirt and had a look under it. Trans fluid was running down the front/sides of the transmission. It's only done it twice out of 15 or so trips. I don't need to drive it until help is back in town, and probably won't.
 
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