29th Jun 2007, 00:58
I have my recently deceased grandfathers '84 Thunderbird elan. I too am having a hard time fixing everything that keeps breaking. it seems like every time I fix one thing 5 more take its place. nothing serious though. but yes, the power vs. gas mileage is incredible. I think it uses its own weight to push it forward. mine also is nearing its 200,000 mile mark. so the engine is gonna need to be replaced soon. other than the little things wrong with it (no A/C, no radio, windshield cracked, struts shot, cooling system leaking, oil leak, doors busted, frame bent, etc. just to name a few) it is a pretty good car. gets me from point a to b quickly and $$$ efficiently.
30th May 2008, 09:28
To the owner of the 82 bird. I had a 1980 with the same body style.
The problem with it dying on you, no matter what speeds you're going; they had a problem with the vacuum lines leaking around the canisters that helped operate the retractable headlights. And also the vac boost for the brakes. These two factors took the extra vac needed to properly operate the carb, and while going down the road the vac would still leak enough, and your engine would bog and die. Even though it still started again, it is an annoyance.
14th Dec 2009, 09:15
My first car was a 1985 Thunderbird Elan with the V8 engine. I loved it. I still have dreams about it nearly 10 years after I gave it to my little brother. I began driving it with 150,000 miles on it; I drove it until it had 250,000. My brother drove it some more and ended up selling it.
I grew up in western Kansas, and the wonderful thing about the Thunderbird is that it did well on sand roads, fields, and sometimes ditches. I held the road well even at speeds up to 120 mph. Like I said, it was my first car.
29th Oct 2011, 15:30
Since 1989, I have also spent a fortune on the 1984 Ford Elan 5.0. It is in beautiful shape, inside and out. 5 water pumps, entire AC system so many times, that when R 12 became the price of gold, no more AC repairs.
Constant repairs the entire life of the car. Even now, I am trying to figure out this fuel injection choke it doesn't have, but it is there, no 12v to the connector, and it connects to the alternator, but where? Not in the books.
Oh, and the wiring, man oh man, how many times.
Now to pass emissions, needs a new tailpipe. My 77 Chevrolet has a better tailpipe, and has 3 times the mileage. Constantly a money pit. Guess I'll band-aid the tailpipe, hope it passes emissions, and hope to find out where that throttle body, fuel injection, electric automatic choke connects, so it will work and stop getting 5 miles to the gallon.
I would buy another Ford, if they bought mine first, for 7 grand. It is at best an emergency car, and unreliable for emergencies, but runs great until it decides to die again.
Love the car. I'll take my 77 Monte Carlo over it any day for reliability.