Rear wheel drive V8's are now a part of history
Intake manifold, head gasket, upper and lower control arm and ball joints, coil packs, spark plug wires.
The 96 Thunderbird has an elderly driver reputation. Not a lot of young people drive Thunderbirds because of the automatic transmission. That's why they are so underestimated. With the automatic transmission in low gear and the overdrive on, it is a beast for a stock 4.6L. Many can argue that there may be more horse power than 205-215.
I bought my 'bird from a used car lot and it had problems. The second day I drove my 'bird, the thermostat blew, which caused it to overheat. The intake manifold, bonded with JB Weld, was leaking coolant directly into the 8th cylinder, causing a misfire. The auto repair wanted $800+ to fix it. Thinking that it wasn't worth fixing, I didn't get it fixed until it was too late. Every other day I remove the spark plug and clean the coolant off; it ran fine. Then the heater core hose broke and caused the motor to overheat again. Finally, I replaced the intake, however I rode my 'bird till the wheels fell off. The catalytic converters were clogged with coolant. She was dead!
I was going to junk my 'bird after only 6 months of driving her and lease a new car, until I was persuaded otherwise by a mechanic, because the body and interior were like new, and the heater and A/C still worked properly.
So I decided to do an engine swap. But there was still one costly problem. My catalytic converters were clogged. My mechanic managed to clear two of three cats, but the 3rd was impossible. However, there are always alternatives for everything. At first my mechanic wanted to cut the cats off, which would have been too loud. The second option was to drill 1/2 inch holes into the pipe; I went with the second option. This is why the 4.6 is bulletproof. I ran that car for 3 months with two holes in the pipes, and she never ran hot. I eventually put new cats on and she ran like a new car. She is now appreciated and respected. My 'bird made my heart skip a beat a few times underestimating its power. This car is a classic, and when she dies again I will resurrect it.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 1st March, 2014