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Thread: My New 1978 Ford LTD

  1. #1
    GMN Regular slack's Avatar
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    Talking My New 1978 Ford LTD

    Well, I finally got one after years of searching!!! My last search fell through for the '76 but a '78 popped up in the same area a week or so ago and I hopped on it.

    It has some surface rust but no rust through anywhere. Thankfully the car was completely rust proofed in '78, and the underside shows it. The car was also kept inside until about 6 years ago which I'm sure also helped. It's actually amazing how much rust can start to form from sitting in someones yard that quickly. The worst part seems to be the chrome on the rear bumper... the frame mounts and bumper supports (which I now know are known to rust out) and inside bracing of the bumper seems completely fine though. I unfortunately don't have any pics of the underside yet... I only took video when I looked at it so I could document and cover more area quickly for reviewing before I purchased it.

    Interior and trunk are in excellent shape. Car was last on the road in 1991 and has 30k original miles on it. It currently starts and drives but I'm planning on tearing down the engine once I get the surface rust at bay... I would actually like to sand everything down and re-rust proof the whole car again but that's not on the immediate to-do list just yet.

    It's actually a relatively low optioned LTD (which I really like). It has crank windows, clock delete, non-landau, and full bench cloth seats. I'm 99% sure the engine is a 351M Sticker on the valve cover says "351W"C" (2X132)" though which is confusing. I'm assuming it has a C6 transmission... I'm not sure if they came with anything else.

    Not much planned for it until the spring. Basically getting it road worthy. Tires, fluids, tune up... (Even the spark plug wires are stamped 1978... )

    Should be a nice little project to work on!

    Pics below from when I went to go check it out. Has the original paper work from when the guy bought the car as well as a replacement exhaust pipe and muffler to replace the one that's one there. The guy who I bought it from already replaced the gas tank, carb, and fuel lines as the original fuel had become jelly from sitting for so long.
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  2. #2
    GMN Regular slack's Avatar
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    Talking More Pics!

    More pics:
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  3. #3
    GMN Regular slack's Avatar
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    Talking Even more pics...

    Even more pics...
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  4. #4
    GMN Regular slack's Avatar
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    Talking So... may pics...

    More
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  5. #5
    GMN Regular slack's Avatar
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    Talking Last set

    Last set.
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  6. #6
    GMN Regular slack's Avatar
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    Oh, one last thing I should mention just in case... those nasty orangey-yellow carpet things in the front seat floor are just there to protect the floor. The carpet is in nice shape underneath it.

  7. #7
    The Brown Blob 87gtVIC's Avatar
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    Cool car. I dig that blue fabric on the seats.
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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

  8. #8
    GMN Founder Grand Marquis GT's Avatar
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    That's a 351W, mang. Cool car!
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  9. #9
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    Nice find. I bet rides like a cloud.
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  10. #10
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    Nice find.
    When I was on the job, I was assigned a 78 LTD PI with that exact interior pattern/color.
    Those clocks are all over ebay and are easy to install, if you get tired of staring at that blank. My dad bought a new 73 Country Sedan that came without a clock, I was in the Ford dealer ordering one up before we had the car a week, I hate blanks in dashes.

  11. #11
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    I like it! Nice score.

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  12. #12
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    I agree that is a wild interior.
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  13. #13
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    I am so glad you got your LTD. Very very nice. The body & interior is excellent. Don't you think the owner could have put blue 70s era shag carpet instead of yellow? It is nice that the car came with all the paperwork. If you have questions, I have the Ford ordering book and the shop manuals.
    Just so you don't get the wrong one, the missing antenna is a three section one, not a one piece. If the rear bumper area is the only major problem, you have it made. At least you can focus on getting those parts instead of everything else as well. The motor is a small block 351. It is interesting that the small block was a cost option for that year. Most of the big Fords had 351/400 smog motor. That color blue buffs out well since it is a non metallic.

  14. #14
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    Nice find. The fact that its a Windsor is a good thing, too.
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    I agree with everyone else, thats a 351 windsor and that is a good thing.
    Unfortunately it's smogged up and will need help to do it's best.
    Now all you need is a police car from those years to get a few parts. including the 140MPH cluster.
    Nice find!!!

  16. #16
    fomoco panthers !
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    One thing I like about your car is the interior condition. The steering wheel, dash, door panels, trim around the windows etc is not cracked and turned to dust. That is an expensive task finding nice pieces. I noticed the one piece antenna. That could mean the stereo was dealer installed (dealers were big on that then) or it has been replaced. Are you going to keep the Landau wheelcovers or go with something else offered that year ?

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by slack View Post
    Oh, one last thing I should mention just in case... those nasty orangey-yellow carpet things in the front seat floor are just there to protect the floor. The carpet is in nice shape underneath it.
    I was just going to ask!
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  18. #18
    GMN Regular slack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 87gtVIC View Post
    Cool car. I dig that blue fabric on the seats.
    Quote Originally Posted by jaywish View Post
    I agree that is a wild interior.
    I love the interior. It's crazy comfortable too.

    Quote Originally Posted by Grand Marquis GT View Post
    That's a 351W, mang. Cool car!
    Quote Originally Posted by P72Ford View Post
    Nice find. The fact that its a Windsor is a good thing, too.
    Quote Originally Posted by mcninetyone View Post
    I agree with everyone else, thats a 351 windsor and that is a good thing.
    Unfortunately it's smogged up and will need help to do it's best.
    Now all you need is a police car from those years to get a few parts. including the 140MPH cluster.
    Nice find!!!
    Awesome! That's such great news because from what I can gather in researching, there's not much to do to a 351M/400 when in comes to performance... people more or less seem to just deem them boat anchors. This being a 351W, I should be able to get some power out of it huh?

    Quote Originally Posted by CountrySedan View Post
    Nice find.
    When I was on the job, I was assigned a 78 LTD PI with that exact interior pattern/color.
    Those clocks are all over ebay and are easy to install, if you get tired of staring at that blank. My dad bought a new 73 Country Sedan that came without a clock, I was in the Ford dealer ordering one up before we had the car a week, I hate blanks in dashes.
    Nice. I do like the look of both the "digital" and analog clocks these cars came with... I might put one in down the road but hold onto the delete plate so I can always revert it back if I want. I don't think I've ever owned a car yet that didn't have a clock in it.

    Quote Originally Posted by TwoTone_90GS View Post
    I like it! Nice score.
    Thanks!

    Quote Originally Posted by Mainemantom View Post
    I am so glad you got your LTD. Very very nice. The body & interior is excellent. Don't you think the owner could have put blue 70s era shag carpet instead of yellow? It is nice that the car came with all the paperwork. If you have questions, I have the Ford ordering book and the shop manuals.
    Just so you don't get the wrong one, the missing antenna is a three section one, not a one piece. If the rear bumper area is the only major problem, you have it made. At least you can focus on getting those parts instead of everything else as well. The motor is a small block 351. It is interesting that the small block was a cost option for that year. Most of the big Fords had 351/400 smog motor. That color blue buffs out well since it is a non metallic.
    Thanks! Thankfully the yellow shag carpet can be removed and replaced with some nice floor mats.

    One question I do have, when I go to RockAuto and check out parts, they only have one 351 engine listed. (Autozone surprisingly lists the 351M and 351W for this year) I'm going to assume that's the 351M as the 351W was an upgrade at the dealership (though it doesn't say exactly). Should I be using a different year to look up parts for this motor? Or maybe even a different car that came with the 351W stock?

    Unfortunately, the color looks really good in most places but there are places where the paint has chipped and there's some rust forming. I guess I can try to sand down the rust, prime it and see if I can get a body shop to match the paint in those areas? I have a paint gun and stuff that I used for the CV, but not a way to match the fade in the paint so probably bringing it to a shop to do that might be the best option.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mainemantom View Post
    One thing I like about your car is the interior condition. The steering wheel, dash, door panels, trim around the windows etc is not cracked and turned to dust. That is an expensive task finding nice pieces. I noticed the one piece antenna. That could mean the stereo was dealer installed (dealers were big on that then) or it has been replaced. Are you going to keep the Landau wheelcovers or go with something else offered that year ?
    The interior condition is mind blowing how nice it is for what I paid for the car. Probably the most solid interior I own at the moment. Floor pans underneath have zero rust on them as well. The only issue I did see was the passenger side door rest has started to crack by the seat belt side from what I would think is someone using it to pull the door closed. (I know you guys said to look out for that). Currently, it's not really bad at all but has potential if someone was to continue to use it.

    Yes, it has a one piece antennae that was taken off so the guy could cover the car. The radio is a FM/AM radio that I see in the dealer options paperwork, so it could have been added by them. (Cost the original owner an extra $75)

    Are those definitely landau wheel covers? I found a very similarly equipped coup that has the same covers. Looks like it has the same interior, engine, wheel covers, clock delete, radio, bumpers, etc. Could be the the same package?

    http://www.mjcclassiccars.com/1978-Ford-LTD-Coupe.shtml

    Thanks for the all the comments so far guys! I went to the DMV today and successfully got the title transferred over to me as well as registration/plates!

  19. #19
    GMN Regular slack's Avatar
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    One more question, this is a PA car it's whole life until now and they don't require a front license plate. Here in NY, we do. When I inherited my grandmother's '96 Oldsmobile Ciera, it was the same deal as it was from PA it's whole life. That car wasn't really an issue as it's not really a classic. For that car, I just drilled right into the plastic bumper to mount the license plate bracket.

    Is there anything I can do with this car without modifying anything permanently besides zip tying the license plate the grill? That front bumper is far too nice to do anything to.

  20. #20
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    Maybe the front bracket from a LTD CV or MGM would work?

    There's an OE bracket here, but might be a bit pricey: http://www.ebay.com/itm/OEM-Original...5Uq3F0&vxp=mtr

    There's also these "universal" things, but I don't know if they'd work too well: http://www.ebay.com/itm/PIA-FORD-Sil...FV1drf&vxp=mtr

    I think as long as any mounting for a holder is done underneath or behind the bumper, it should prevent it from getting any unsightly visible surface damage.

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