I just purchased a 96 4.6L thunderchicken with 120,000 miles from the original owner and so far I love it, front end made noises going down the road,it was the upper control arms and sway-bar links, cost $215.00 for lifetime replacement parts and I installed them in 3 hours. Ford made a mistake ending the manufacturing of these great cars, people can say whatever bad they want about fords, thank god the average backyard hillbilly can't figure out how to work on them.
I have 97 t-bird. I got it at 48,000. No problems for the first couple years then. At 100,000 the heater core leaked. I replaced it. Had to remove the entire dash. The car is built around the heater core. I replaced this twice. Note to everyone: Don't buy cheap parts.
Now I'm having the same type of odd electrical problems you are having. My car will just not crank. Give it a little time then it cranks. It did this several times. I found a solution..ether. I'd open up the air filter and spray a little down the tube while smeone was cranking it for me. This saved me several times. But now the ether isn't working. From what I'm reading it sounds like the Crank Position sensor. I have to reove the AC Compressor to change out this $25 part. I hope it fixes it else it'll be a PCM.
Bottom line I like the car. I do hate that Ford engineers can't put parts, sensors and parts that are know to fail, in locations that are blocked by major components or without access plates. The way they do things exchanging low dollar parts cost hundreds because of poor design.
I just wanted to say I have a friend who had a 95 'bird, and he had his wiper motor changed at 172,000, and it was only 189.00.
I have a 97 and I know better than to say this out loud; it has 211,000, and other than tune ups and routine tranny filter changes, I have been lucky. Although lately it has a vibration just after the last shift.
Have a great day. Marty in Indiana