1983 Ford Thunderbird Reviews - Page 2 of 2

1983 Ford Thunderbird 3.8L V6 from North America

Model year1983
Year of manufacture1983
First year of ownership2004
Most recent year of ownership2006
Engine and transmission 3.8L V6 Automatic
Performance marks 5 / 10
Reliability marks 7 / 10
Comfort marks 9 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 7 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.0 / 10
Distance when acquired109000 miles
Most recent distance143000 miles
Previous carFord Bronco

Summary:

This car is comfortable to drive around in

Faults:

Windshield wiper motor would not stop wiping. Replaced motor unit.

Engine idle at cold start as set by factory is way too high. Engine does take over 5 minutes to reach operating temp. with a new thermostat too.

Carburetor stalls on acceleration, have to feather throttle to prevent stalling.

Engine kept overheating due to gradual occurences of engine coolant loss. Very slow drip leak at the water pump 'weep hole' was the culprit.

Typical Ford 3.8 V6 bugaboo... leaking valve cover gaskets. Aluminum cylinder heads expand/contract differently than the steel screws holding down the valve covers, so they eventually back out and don't hold the gasket anymore.

Seat belt latch failures. Spring in latch fails over time with use and falls apart. Replaced with wrecking yard units.

Typical Ford headliner cloth de-lamination from its foam pad. Was thumb tack riddled until a wrecking yard replacement was found.

Very wide turning radius forces me to stop and back up a lot. Factory setting of the rack and pinion steering ratio is to blame. Upgraded unit from newer T-bird would solve this.

General Comments:

The interior is in excellent shape. The seats are still very comfortable, all of the electronic controls still function and are in easy reach. Lots of lighting everywhere as well as places to store small stuff or papers.

This car is quiet on the road, and it rides very well on the freeway. There is a factory 2 channel amplifier and 6 speakers built into this car, so the music play is decent for a car over 20 years old.

The 3.8 V6 is OK for grocery getting tasks, but the 5.0 V8 would give this car more vitality!

The body lines are still pleasing to look at and the silver paint has not faded yet either.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 21st May, 2006

4th Mar 2007, 15:37

I also have a 83' it is a pleasant ride. It stalls often, but it runs grate other than that. I have no head liner I tor it out due to sagging. Like I wrote it is a grate car.

1983 Ford Thunderbird Heritage Coupe 3.8L V6 2 Barrel Carburated from North America

Year of manufacture1983
First year of ownership2003
Most recent year of ownership2004
Engine and transmission 3.8L V6 2 Barrel Carburated Automatic
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 7 / 10
Comfort marks 9 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 8 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.0 / 10
Distance when acquired288000 miles
Most recent distance292000 miles
Previous carBuick Century

Summary:

The perfect "will be" classic sports car

Faults:

Front Passenger Seat electronic rear tilt doesn't work.

Stalls at intersections occasionally.

Poor city mileage (11-13 mpg).

General Comments:

This car was a steal at $900.

The engine, having almost 300,000 miles on it, runs excellent for its age.

The outside of the car is BEAUTIFUL. The chrome and paint are in excellent condition with the exception of a few very small chips.

The interior is very comfortable and feels quite sporty. The upholstery is in excellent condition with a classy look.

Overall, I am extremely satisfied and pleased with its performance so far.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 5th February, 2004

5th Feb 2004, 20:12

Sorry, but the only way your T-bird is ever a "will-be classic sports car" is if it is around long enough for your great-grandchildren to be old enough to drive it.

1983 Ford Thunderbird Heritage V8 302 CFI from North America

Year of manufacture1983
First year of ownership1988
Most recent year of ownership2002
Engine and transmission V8 302 CFI Automatic
Performance marks 6 / 10
Reliability marks 8 / 10
Comfort marks 10 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 10 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.5 / 10
Distance when acquired65000 miles
Most recent distance135000 miles
Previous carFord Mustang

Summary:

Ford's only perfection between muscle and luxury!

Faults:

Windshield wipers go down properly about 85% of the time. (Seating against the windsheild vs middle of windshield)

CFI unit rebuilt at 120,000 miles.

Pass. seat motor dead and replaced at 130,000, but seats are in excellent a+ shape after all these years! They are like auto lazy-boy seats!

Headliner sagging at 80,000 miles.

2nd water pump at 135,000 miles. (First owner installed one before selling car).

Ford's well known leaky driver side valve cover problem is present.

Whole digital dash went out in 2001. Took 1 month to completely rewire the dash and sensors.

Gets about 14mpg. Not bad.

General Comments:

I love this car. After owning 3 90-93 mustangs, 2 which are convertibles, I will never go back. The wheelbase is slightly bigger, the car handles way better at highway and city speeds. Only thing I wish is that is came with stick available from the factory. Also, the star wars dash instruments have much to be desired for.

I would recommend this car to anyone looking for sport luxury.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 10th September, 2002

3rd Sep 2005, 21:13

I have a question. My husband and I recently purchased a 1983 Ford Thunder bird. We got it for 450.00 so it is not that bad a car for that price, however, it keeps over heating, the dash lights just blink, and the brakes are slowly going out. Do you know how too fix these things? If so PLEASE let me know how. I like the car and want too fix it up.

1983 Ford Thunderbird 1983 Ford O/D 302 V8 from North America

Year of manufacture1983
First year of ownership1987
Most recent year of ownership2002
Engine and transmission 302 V8 Automatic
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Dealer Service marks 4 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.3 / 10
Distance when acquired63000 miles
Most recent distance190000 miles

Summary:

This is an excellent car for the modest muscle coupe enthusiast

Faults:

Windshield wiper motor or switching mechanism is not working properly.

Sensitive carburetor in damp weather. Stalls at stop lights, o/h doors and intersections. Requires seasonal adjustments.

Heater failed, had to disconnect to prevent fog up.

Front drivers seat has given way.

Persistent rusting at bottom of rear window.

General Comments:

After $6,500 and 15 years of ownership, I have seen cars bought and buried in that time. I'm having a crisis over whether to keep my t-bird through its collector years or move on to a new car. I feel parts of it are dying one at a time. This car has hardly cost me much money other than basic maintanence. It is interesting how the same model can look so much better by just the color and options to make one care for it more. I love to highway drive it, that is the best part. I moved from a small city to a large city and the incidence of deliberate scratches and dings has disheartened me to the point of forgetting about waxing it anymore. It had its day as a mid-size, but now is considered as a large car. One should have 4 seats, too many years and guests and cargo convenience has taught me that. My new dream... perhaps a sport 4 seater convertible, or a new coupe again.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 10th June, 2002

1983 Ford Thunderbird Std 3.8 L V6 from North America

Year of manufacture1983
First year of ownership1991
Most recent year of ownership2000
Engine and transmission 3.8 L V6 Automatic
Performance marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 7 / 10
Comfort marks 6 / 10
Dealer Service marks 9 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 8 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.4 / 10
Distance when acquired95000 miles
Most recent distance129000 miles
Previous carAudi 80

Summary:

A tough old bird

Faults:

Water pump, wiper motor, fresh air blower.

General Comments:

It shakes, rattles, rolls and rusts but keeps on going. I'd hate to go any long distance in it but it's a great commuter car.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 26th July, 2000

Average review marks: 7.4 / 10, based on 7 reviews