1996 Ford Thunderbird LX 4.6L from North America


Poetry in motion


Intake manifold (warranty).

Cats & O2 sensors.



General Comments:

Aside from the aforementioned repairs, my '96 T-Bird is still quite the head turner. Received many compliments and offers to sell.

I purchased in 2000, only 4 years old. Hard to believe she will be 20 years old next year! The usual wear & tear repairs and maintenance are what keep this car rock solid!

It is the stunning pearl white with the 4.6L V8 sport package option. Ford deleted the Super Coupe for 1996 and opted for the sport version: SC inspired rims... sun/moonroof... sport suspension, larger calipers and brakes, just to name a few. The car is in near mint condition inside and out, despite driving in the Midwest winters. It's all about upkeep folks... mechanically and cosmetically. Adhere to this, and these cars will never disappoint, just impress and please!

The ONLY drawbacks I have are the seats and poorly designed/placed cupholders. The seats could be more supportive. Previously had a 1988 XR-7... the seats felt as if they wrapped around you. Cupholders on the '96 T-Bird are under the console storage lid. But hey, it is what is right? The design of this car as well as the dependability make these 2 issues minor inconveniences. Still cheaper than car payments and prettier than many of the cookie-cutter vehicles on the road today. Owned GM (Generic Motors Crap) in the past, both did not last near the mileage I have on the T-Bird. To put it simply, GM is garbage, I would never own another one.

I hope one day Ford will resurrect the Thunderbird.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 4th November, 2015

4th Nov 2015, 22:57

All reviews on this site should be written like this: succinct, unbiased, pros and cons, overall picture.

My grandfather had a '97 Thunderbird and I remember when I was 4 (I'll be 22 next week) he brought it home from the dealer, brand new. I remember sitting in his lap and turning the key with him, watching those gauges light up and feeling cuddled by the curved instrument panel.

That generation Thunderbird is what made me go to college for Human Factors and Ergonomics. Even today there are *no* cars I would rather have than a Thunderbird of this vintage.

6th Nov 2015, 17:55

Very nice! I almost bought a '97... so close... gorgeous black with cloth interior. The dealer screwed me on payment terms, so I walked out on that deal without thinking twice. All things happen for a reason, and about a year later I came across the T-Bird I currently own. Knew what I wanted and persistence paid off! A former co-worker knew what I was in search for, and he spotted one and told me about it... went there the same day, drove it... went back the next... SOLD! The rest is what they say... history. Best car I have ever owned. The Cougar was nice though too, but had the wide factory stock tires on it, which led to many white-knuckle drives in the rain and snow.

The Thunderbird... driving it until it can't be driven! Great condition and paid for eons ago. Gotta love that!

7th Nov 2015, 02:02

I always thought in my mind that the Cougar was the better looking of the two. That is until the 8th generation Cougar (1999-2002) was introduced. After that it wasn't a Cougar anymore.

But in all actuality my favorite Ford of all time is in fact a 1971 Thunderbird.

10th Nov 2015, 16:17

Yes, I agree with the Cougar... great car until Ford morphed it into a Honda Civic. Same goes for the "New Millennium" Thunderbirds. In my opinion... disaster! Again, I hope one day Ford decides to bring back the Thunderbird/Cougar. Design it along the lines of the Charger/Challenger. Big and sleek. American muscle.

1996 Ford Thunderbird LX 4.6 from North America


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.

General Comments:

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

23rd Mar 2014, 10:49

"Rear wheel drive V8's are now a part of history"

Uh, no, not when I can walk into any Ford/Chevy/Dodge dealer and buy a brand new one, if I felt like it.