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Thread: 1976 Ford LTD

  1. #1
    GMN Regular slack's Avatar
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    Question 1976 Ford LTD

    Hey Guys,

    I'm finally getting to look at a barge LTD this Thanksgiving weekend. I managed to find one close enough that's manageable and at a price point I can do.

    It's the Landau version with a 400 engine.

    Any points or spots I should be looking for with these guys when I'm there that could be considered a big red flag? (Ex: places to look for rot that might not seem obvious, known issue with the 400, etc)

    Thanks!

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    Watch out for engine blocks made before 3/2/77 cast at the Cleveland Foundry (MCC). These blocks were known to crack in the lifter bore area. The 400 give reasonable fuel mileage but kind of a low-end torque engine and short on high-end performance. Like most over-square engines (4.00 bore x 4.00 stroke) you'll find them in sleds and pick-ups. I never liked the mid-70's Fords especially those early cat engines. Since the roof is a Landau, watch out for rust pimples under the vinyl and under the roof trim! The doors are huge, heavy, and long....watch out for worn door hinges.

  3. #3
    fomoco panthers !
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    The hood hinges bend and springs are weak. The back part of the hood you may have to push down on to get the hood level.
    The rear bumper assembly is made of different metals. Most that are not from the west are rotten. Look at the bumper support and the bumper shocks. Look for rust in the trunk areas. Look at the gas tank hold down straps.
    Inside plastic trim is very fragile, especially the door arm rests. If you use them to close the door, they will break!
    TFI module on the inner fender. They are so bad that most owners kept spares in the car.
    If you need parts, let me know. Do what I do, stock up when you find them.
    Last edited by Mainemantom; 11-23-2015 at 10:49 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mainemantom View Post
    TFI module on the inner fender. They are so bad that most owners kept spares in the car.
    Do you mean the starter solenoid? When those fail, buy the most expensive solenoid you can find. The cheapest solenoids are absolute junk...
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  5. #5
    fomoco panthers !
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    No it is the square box that has wires with plugs at the ends. Driver side fender well. I guess another name is " ignition control module" I just replaced another one on the '75 a few weeks ago. They quit whenever they feel like it. Motorcraft brands last longer however they all fail. They are color coded at the grommet where the wire come out of the module.

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    Beater gonna beat sly's Avatar
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    Duraspark module that is isn't it?

    TFI it pretty much the one on the dizzy (or remote mounted on the driver fender with the 3 wires to the dizzy for the PIP) in fuel injected vehicles.

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  7. #7
    fomoco panthers !
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    I believe you are correct Sly. Duraspark. I believe that is Ford's name for it. I know Rock auto called it Ignition Control Module

  8. #8
    GMN Regular slack's Avatar
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    Cool

    Great info! Thanks everyone for the input. I'll hopefully be heading down to check it out Saturday or Sunday.

    Quote Originally Posted by P72Crazy View Post
    Watch out for engine blocks made before 3/2/77 cast at the Cleveland Foundry (MCC). These blocks were known to crack in the lifter bore area. The 400 give reasonable fuel mileage but kind of a low-end torque engine and short on high-end performance. Like most over-square engines (4.00 bore x 4.00 stroke) you'll find them in sleds and pick-ups. I never liked the mid-70's Fords especially those early cat engines. Since the roof is a Landau, watch out for rust pimples under the vinyl and under the roof trim! The doors are huge, heavy, and long....watch out for worn door hinges.
    The car I'm checking out is a '76 so the engine in it will be from before the '77 cut over. (Not restored, original car). I'll make sure to look for any cracks. I'm okay with it not being high performance. I'm more of the cruising type anyway. Good to know that it'll get decent gas mileage for it's size and will hopefully have enough torque to get itself out of the way from a stop. Also, because the car is vintage, NY doesn't require the original emissions systems to be intact any more. From what I remember, it's 25 years to not have to pass emissions (my '89 CV currently) and around 27 or 28 years you no longer have to pass the visual "emissions" check to verify things are there. I know my '82 Deville I did an engine/transmission swap in with just a carb and vacuum advance distributor and it had no problems passing safety. (All emissions stuff was out)

    I plan to go over the car with a fine tooth comb when it comes to rust. I was reading that back then they used a more primitive way to attempt to fight corrosion on these things than they did even in the '80s. (Which would explain why I see so many of them pop up with bad frames)

    The car is a 4 door so even though they may be heavy... hopefully the hinges have fared better than if it was a two door.


    Quote Originally Posted by Mainemantom View Post
    The hood hinges bend and springs are weak. The back part of the hood you may have to push down on to get the hood level.
    The rear bumper assembly is made of different metals. Most that are not from the west are rotten. Look at the bumper support and the bumper shocks. Look for rust in the trunk areas. Look at the gas tank hold down straps.
    Inside plastic trim is very fragile, especially the door arm rests. If you use them to close the door, they will break!
    TFI module on the inner fender. They are so bad that most owners kept spares in the car.
    If you need parts, let me know. Do what I do, stock up when you find them.
    Quote Originally Posted by Mainemantom View Post
    I believe you are correct Sly. Duraspark. I believe that is Ford's name for it. I know Rock auto called it Ignition Control Module
    All really great info to know. I haven't read anything in my research about any of that. I do remember with my old Cadillac, the plastic stuff inside liked to crack if you looked at it wrong. I guess that's to be expected with something that will be 40 years old come next year though.

    The bumper assembly being of different metals I guess explains why you see so many LTDs with sagging bumpers? I always wondered if that was because of rust rot... Hopefully this car doesn't have a rust issue. It would be a big bummer to drive out there to find out it's all rotted out.

    ICM you guys are talking about is this one right? (Not the car I'm looking at, taken from an eBay auction for one with a bad frame. SURPRISE!) My friend's '83 Crown Vic has the same set up as well I believe.
    Click image for larger version. 

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  9. #9
    GMN Regular slack's Avatar
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    Here are some pics the current owner sent me of the car. Not the best of quality but looks promising from what I can see.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails IMG_14681754078963.jpeg   IMG_14741524654200.jpeg   IMG_14750048492010.jpeg  

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    Hopefully it is as promising as the pictures let on.

    My Cars:
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    Cool man good luck
    ~David~

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    Quote Originally Posted by DerekTheGreat View Post
    But, that's just coming from me, this site's biggest pessimist. Best of luck

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    fomoco panthers !
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    From the pictures it looks like it has red interior ? Really beautiful high optioned car. One of the options that was available was the seek/scan radio. If it has that and you choose to change the radio, let me know.
    You might already know this but do not put cheap gas in it ! 91 Octane only. Wish you the best with it.

  13. #13
    GMN Regular slack's Avatar
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    Yes, from what I can tell it has red interior. Rear fender skirts as well! (Well, hopefully they're still on the car.) If it comes with that radio and I ever decide to change it out, I'll let you know.

    No cheap gas in it because the of the 400's detonation problems with lower octane right?

  14. #14
    fomoco panthers !
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    The octane in the gas in the 70s was higher. How octane was determined was different than it is now. Ethanol was not used either.
    My 460 will barely run on anything under 91. With a 95/91 mix it runs great. I can only get 95 at the airport. At 10 mpg it isn't worth the cost.

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    You need to move down here... 93 is our premium.

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    rides: 88 MGM (SOLD), 93 Vic, 2000 Crown Vic, 2003 Expedition
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    ... and it should all work like magic and unicorns and stuff.
    Quote Originally Posted by dmccaig
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mainemantom View Post
    I can only get 95 at the airport.
    Special membership required to buy gas at the airport?
    '79 Continental Town Car
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  17. #17
    fomoco panthers !
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    Last time I bought, I just had to call them first, go to the fuel farm, pay their price. Only some of the hot rodders do it, as it is expensive. You have to catch them when they are not out fueling. PITA. There is a Citco nearby that sells 92 which many high octane buyers use.
    Last edited by Mainemantom; 11-30-2015 at 01:00 AM.

  18. #18
    Full-size Ford/Lincoln addict RyPow's Avatar
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    Nice find! +1 on the plastic door armrest structure, look at the inside rear corner of the switchplate, they like to crack there although it is not as bad on a 4-door as a coupe (shorter assembly). Does it have auto climate control? If so, the vacuum setup can be a bit daunting but not rocket science if you have a vacuum diagram. The system up to '76 was fully automatic including vent selection, it works extremely well if the vacuum lines are in good shape. All accomplished vacuum-electromechanically with no computer

    Apparently a 4-barrel intake and carb really helps the 400. I'm trying to track down a link for the full writeup done by Dan Szwarc over at thelincolnforum.net on his '77 Continental, lots of pictures and info. Also do yourself a favor and throw a MSD box in there instead of the Duraspark. Super easy to do (uses the factory Duraspark distributor and most of the wiring) and really helps idle quality and responsiveness. Fun fact: MSD's original distributor design was actually based on the Ford Duraspark unit.

    You'll really enjoy this car. I love Panthers as much as anyone here, but there's nothing like rolling around in a barge!

    P.S. I'll have to dig up the photo I have of my grandfather's LTD Landau when it was new. His was green with white vinyl roof, '76 or '77.
    RyPow
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    Quote Originally Posted by RyPow View Post
    Nice find! ...Does it have auto climate control? If so, the vacuum setup can be a bit daunting but not rocket science if you have a vacuum diagram. The system up to '76 was fully automatic including vent selection, it works extremely well if the vacuum lines are in good shape. All accomplished vacuum-electromechanically with no computer
    Really? Why'd they move away from this set up? I sometimes find it laughable that while all other Fords got the gadgetry and optional digital/pushbutton controls the boxes were left to rot with the crap introduced in 1979/1980, aside from the stereos & powertrain, which was at least upgraded to EFI, unlike General Motors stuff that still used carburetors up until 1990. Would've been nice if Town Cars could've been ordered with the HO 302 or a hopped up EFI 351. I'm sure if it was offered they'd be out there and now sought after by collectors.
    1985 LTD Crown Victoria - SOLD
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    Full-size Ford/Lincoln addict RyPow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DerekTheGreat View Post
    Really? Why'd they move away from this set up? I sometimes find it laughable that while all other Fords got the gadgetry and optional digital/pushbutton controls the boxes were left to rot with the crap introduced in 1979/1980, aside from the stereos & powertrain, which was at least upgraded to EFI, unlike General Motors stuff that still used carburetors up until 1990.
    Likely to cut costs and warranty repair time. By '78 the system no longer determined the vent position, only the discharge temperature. I belive they lost automatic fan speed control for a while too, until the early '80s (my '85 TC has auto fan spd but my '78 Mark V did not).

    Keep in mind that use of the same technology for years and years can make for a very refined product, cheap parts and ease of servicing (widely known repair techniques). I used to frown on Ford milking the same tech/platforms for long periods of time but it does have its advantages. Take the GM 3.8 V6 ("3800") for example. Introduced in the late '70s and refined to a pinnacle by the late 2000s. Arguably their best engine after the SBC.

    Sent from my SM-G900W8 using Tapatalk
    Last edited by RyPow; 12-01-2015 at 09:47 AM.
    RyPow
    1987 LTD Crown Victoria LX sedan - The "Sand Box" - 73K, towing package
    1987 LTD Crown Victoria LX Tutone Tudor - '96 Explorer 5.0 + 5spd swap in the works
    1985 Lincoln Town Car Cartier - previously owned by "navguy12" from thelincolnforum.net
    2006 Mercury Grand Marquis LS, 115k, daily driver
    1977 Lincoln Continental Town Car, 42k
    2012 F-150 5.0L 4x4, HD payload pkg (towing/hauling)
    2015 Toyota RAV4 XLE AWD (better half's)

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