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Thread: kishy's 1988 Town Car

  1. #21
    Member Pvt.Hudson's Avatar
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    Could probably pull out a good amount of the bashed in quarter by tack welding some pins and using a slide hammer to pull it back to shape. Would look a little better then all bashed in.
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  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by kishy View Post
    I threw him an offer of $800, thinking of it as a parts car that could then be resold as a derby car (or even try building a derby car myself). He didn't like $800 but said he'd get back to me. We ended up at $1100, more than I liked for it, but ultimately there's a lot of car here, and I don't think I need to try hard to convince you folks that I can easily get $1100 of value out of it. My friend who owns the machine shop looked at this with me thoroughly and encouraged me to try to fix it. I believe I will be able to source the body section and door needed to fix this car, maybe not to perfection, but enough to be a daily driver. The frame is still where it belongs and the axle isn't bent. The body in the affected area is very complex, but it should be fixable. And if at the end of the day repair isn't feasible, the original plan of raiding it for parts and then smashing it is still an option.

    If this car gets fixed and becomes a daily, I will probably sell my 91 MGM and 84 TC (provided I don't move and have access to enough land to make redundancy not matter). This 88 combines the elements of both of those cars that I like, the reasons that I keep them both, and will do a better job of being both of those cars while only being a single car.
    It sounds like you're trying to figure out the next steps for your fleet as a whole, spurred on by the addition of this '88 Town Car. You're not entirely sure what you can live with and live without, so all options are being considered. I think I speak for everyone here when I say please don't kill this car. The fact you've gotten some quotes from a trusted professional is a positive sign, but I also know from having started body work journeys with Kira and Eva, there are little things that come up. Restoration work of any kind is deceptively complicated; it's not going to be as simple as just hanging a quarter panel and attaching a fresh rear door. Things have to be square and level, creases and body lines need to line up, surfaces prepped correctly before paint, etc. Obviously not needing everything to be absolutely 100% laser straight perfect and such will help both in time and money. But just getting things structurally sound and not dilapidated looking is surprisingly expensive. I'll have $2000+ into Kira's body work by the end of this month, and that's without fixing any floors, and the guy doing it has done a bunch of cars like her before.

    I get that there's part of you that needs an outlet for destruction. Creation, improvement, building, and constructive stuff like that always takes longer. I imagine you feel the pace is glacial at times. It's constant planning, scheduling, changing, fixing, troubleshooting. Perception of progress with a given build varies dramatically, and sometimes it feels like an abusive, one sided relationship. It all makes sense in retrospect now, after reading through the '83 Town Car thread. I was shocked initially- that car was in better shape than a bronze problem child '88 Town Car I plan on taking delivery of before winter. I know that's not saying much, especially if you've seen my pictures on DeviantArt. But at the bare minimum Lana's fenders, rockers, doors, and trunk lid will require thousands more in patch/fab work to get perfect vs your old '83. You had decided long before posting here that it was far too big of a project for you, then and now. I just hope this '88 isn't too steep of a mountain to climb with the collision repairs. There is absolutely nothing wrong at all with tucking this thing away in long term storage as you run numbers and figure out the timeline for repairs, maintenance, etc. I sat on Eva for over 5 years before everything was in place to start her restoration. Always plan on buying more storage than you think you'd need in the worst case scenario. Larger than average undertakings have a funny way of challenging us like that!
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  3. #23
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    Kishy the good news Biden is thinking of opening the North/South border to travel for fully vacineated people.

  4. #24
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    Very cool! I love the 88-89 Town Cars. Ford nailed the durability and quality of them.

    I was just in Ontario and Quebec a couple of weeks ago. Hope to be crossing again soon.
    -Nick M.
    Columbia, SC

    66 Squire, 89 Colony Park, 90 TC, 03 TC, 06 TC, 07 TC (2x)
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  5. #25
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    Obviously, nothing has happened with this car yet. And that's fine.

    The intent is indeed to pull out the dent and see where we land, in terms of how much needs to be cut. There's the amount we know for sure, and there's the amount we won't know until we've pulled it out. That's some time down the road yet.


    Quote Originally Posted by Hearsesrock427 View Post
    It sounds like you're trying to figure out the next steps for your fleet as a whole, spurred on by the addition of this '88 Town Car. You're not entirely sure what you can live with and live without, so all options are being considered. I think I speak for everyone here when I say please don't kill this car. The fact you've gotten some quotes from a trusted professional is a positive sign, but I also know from having started body work journeys with Kira and Eva, there are little things that come up. Restoration work of any kind is deceptively complicated; it's not going to be as simple as just hanging a quarter panel and attaching a fresh rear door. Things have to be square and level, creases and body lines need to line up, surfaces prepped correctly before paint, etc. Obviously not needing everything to be absolutely 100% laser straight perfect and such will help both in time and money. But just getting things structurally sound and not dilapidated looking is surprisingly expensive. I'll have $2000+ into Kira's body work by the end of this month, and that's without fixing any floors, and the guy doing it has done a bunch of cars like her before.

    I get that there's part of you that needs an outlet for destruction. Creation, improvement, building, and constructive stuff like that always takes longer. I imagine you feel the pace is glacial at times. It's constant planning, scheduling, changing, fixing, troubleshooting. Perception of progress with a given build varies dramatically, and sometimes it feels like an abusive, one sided relationship. It all makes sense in retrospect now, after reading through the '83 Town Car thread. I was shocked initially- that car was in better shape than a bronze problem child '88 Town Car I plan on taking delivery of before winter. I know that's not saying much, especially if you've seen my pictures on DeviantArt. But at the bare minimum Lana's fenders, rockers, doors, and trunk lid will require thousands more in patch/fab work to get perfect vs your old '83. You had decided long before posting here that it was far too big of a project for you, then and now. I just hope this '88 isn't too steep of a mountain to climb with the collision repairs. There is absolutely nothing wrong at all with tucking this thing away in long term storage as you run numbers and figure out the timeline for repairs, maintenance, etc. I sat on Eva for over 5 years before everything was in place to start her restoration. Always plan on buying more storage than you think you'd need in the worst case scenario. Larger than average undertakings have a funny way of challenging us like that!
    You may be reading more from this than there is...or I might be grappling with the thought process still. I guess we'll see.

    The fleet is too large, and I've needed to chop it down for a while. I really like these cars, if that isn't apparent, and I've been feeling out what ones I might want to keep on a more-or-less permanent basis. As I mentioned, this Lincoln can fill the role of two of the others...so if that pans out as intended, 3 cars get reduced down to one, and then they all fit in my driveway again instead of getting friends to store things for me.

    I have not received quotes from anyone, nor am I going to. This car is totalled and no body shop will do the work because no body shop will source the panels. Locally, cars don't get fixed at this age. Doesn't matter how much money you wave at them.

    The asterisk, the fine print, on that: take it to a restoration shop and drop $20k. That will get it repaired. Accordingly, it will be a DIY job, and the result will be imperfect. Everyone involved needs to just deal with that and accept the choice is either part it and smash it, or it's going to be a well-appointed beater. I feel fine with the latter and will only consider the former if it isn't viable to save the car at some point.

    I am not an inherently destructive person, nor am I foaming at the mouth at the thought of smashing another car. The 83 was too far gone to be brought back in Ontario (even if not in effort, administratively it was a no-go). Frame repairs (it had foot-long rust holes in the frame rails) are basically not allowed anymore. Every single metal panel of the car was beyond refurbishment except the hood...and that's not exactly an in-demand item. If you're trying to bring a car back from further gone than that one was, you'd be well advised to stop and re-evaluate. This car, the 88, is more viable to save than the 83 was, a hundred times over. Maybe a thousand.

    Although I might get a section of a donor car much sooner (depending on availability), realistically this one is sitting for a number of years before any movement happens on the body work.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rodentkiller View Post
    Kishy the good news Biden is thinking of opening the North/South border to travel for fully vacineated people.
    The US was never really the side I was, nor continue to be worried about. You guys would let me in if I could come up with a compelling case for it.

    The problem is that Canada will not allow me back in without a negative test, and tests for the purpose of crossing the border will be paid out-of-pocket to the tune of $150 and up.

    I am conflicted about this, because:
    -As a citizen it seems to me that I should have an inherent and permanent right to always return to my homeland regardless of my ability to pay, provided I can physically transport myself to a border entry point.
    -I do believe that, if the government requires me to receive a health-related procedure (the test) because of a greater good they are pursuing, they should pay for it.
    -But, as much as I believe the above, I also do not believe that I am entitled to have my international travel for leisure (which does not have a stimulating effect on my own home economy) subsidized by the tax base.
    -If the public health priority is to know that I am entering the country with or without COVID, a test is more useful than knowing that I am vaccinated (which I am).

    That being said, I feel pretty confident that public backlash will cause the testing requirement to be dropped, and vaccination to be sufficient (even though I think from a functional perspective, unvaccinated should be allowed to cross provided they test negative).

    Difficult topic.

    Quote Originally Posted by TecNickal View Post
    Very cool! I love the 88-89 Town Cars. Ford nailed the durability and quality of them.

    I was just in Ontario and Quebec a couple of weeks ago. Hope to be crossing again soon.
    Depending on your priorities, there are a number of years that might be better/the best per your standards...or mine, or whoever, if we consider different aspects like interior appointments, exterior styling cues, gimmicky features...

    I am not fond of the small bumpers on the Town Cars, I think they look stupid. But that's me. I feel like if we take all of that into consideration, 88-89 is the best of the boxes, but you've got to put the old bumpers on it before it looks good. IMHO

    Current drivers: 84 TC | 85 CS
    Panthers, Parked: 83 GM 2dr | 86 GM | 88 TC | 91 GM
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  6. #26
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    The older bumpers > the newer bumpers. For sure, I agree.

    I had to pay for two PCRs recently. $125 US EACH. Real fun. I hope that nonsense stops for you as a Canadian citizen, and for me as an American trying to enter Canada. It certainly will keep a lot of people from visiting that can't float it.

    Wonder what those in Vancouever, GTA and Montreal areas think about the border reopening but requiring PCR tests for each person? That adds up quickly for a family of four crossing into Buffalo for some shopping.
    -Nick M.
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    66 Squire, 89 Colony Park, 90 TC, 03 TC, 06 TC, 07 TC (2x)
    03 BMW 540iT, 07 Toyota Tundra SR5 Dbl Cab/5.7 2WD

  7. #27
    I'm an air-conditioned gypsy gadget73's Avatar
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    I think the fact you're not used to paying unreasonable sums of money for poor medical treatment pretty solidly nails you as not American We're pretty used to paying a lot of money for bullshit. We're also used to paying for insurance, a co-pay, then getting 3 different bills in the mail later that doesn't quite make it clear what is or is not still owed depending on what the insurance felt like paying. Sometimes followed with multiple phone calls to decipher this, argue with the insurance about something they declined that shouldn't have been, etc.

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    I drive a Lincoln. I can't be bothered to shift like the peasants and rabble rousers

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by gadget73 View Post
    I think the fact you're not used to paying unreasonable sums of money for poor medical treatment pretty solidly nails you as not American We're pretty used to paying a lot of money for bullshit. We're also used to paying for insurance, a co-pay, then getting 3 different bills in the mail later that doesn't quite make it clear what is or is not still owed depending on what the insurance felt like paying. Sometimes followed with multiple phone calls to decipher this, argue with the insurance about something they declined that shouldn't have been, etc.


    Yep. All of this. I once argued with someone who said, "You can't put a price on saving lives." I said, "They sure do! Just look at the next invoice you get from a hospital, that'll tell you what your quality of life was valued at."
    1985 LTD Crown Victoria - SOLD
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  9. #29
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    Update, with some current photos.

    As noted in the junkyard thread, I had been invited by an acquaintance in Michigan to come take a bunch of parts he had kept from Town Cars he'd previously owned, free of charge. One thing he had remarked was that he was pretty sure this car has the same interior colour as one of them, and he may have had a driver door card for me (RE: broken armrest on this one).

    Well, finally got out to look at the 88 to verify, and sure enough, it is the same. So, the parts list already acquired looks like:

    • Driver door card: armrest failure. New perfect one has been acquired.
    • Driver rear door card: probably unusable due to collision damage. New perfect one has been acquired.
    • Glovebox: typical "vinyl shrinkage" problem at the top edge. New perfect one has been acquired.
    • Tail lights: one destroyed by collision, the other has a cracked lens. New good ones have been acquired.
    • Rear bumper: failure due to aluminum corrosion. If a big bumper swap comes to fruition, I have a good set of bumpers and fillers to facilitate that.
    • Driver front turn signal: lens is damaged from unknown cause. I'm pretty sure I have an 88-correct one in my garage already.


    Obviously, this is all really unimportant given the high-priority issues with this car, but these are super cool developments from my perspective because it's an uncommon interior colour and the parts I got are really nice.


















    Current drivers: 84 TC | 85 CS
    Panthers, Parked: 83 GM 2dr | 86 GM | 88 TC | 91 GM
    Not Panthers: 85 Ranger | Ranger trailer | 05 Focus
    RIP: 97 CV | 83 TC | 04 Focus | Junkyards

  10. #30
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    I visited this car today, to deliver its new driver rear door and bodyside brightwork. These are being stored inside it until a quarter panel turns up.

    The door and brightwork pieces cost 85 USD and were removed from an 89 at Ryan's Pick-a-Part in Detroit. Junkyard thread reference http://www.grandmarq.net/vb/showthre...l=1#post868100

    Not dealt with today, but also bought, was the rear bumper (the one on this car is almost totally turned into dust now from corrosion). 50ish USD, from the same car at the same yard.

    I've also got the 89-unique headlight bezels for this, which I believe I was not charged for, and came from that same car.

    Health check and tasks of the evening:
    • Oil is a little low, just under the safe range.
    • Coolant was down to about the right height for an intake gasket leak. Added some.
    • Tires: both front were totally flat. Driver front (full size spare) held air for the evening. Passenger front lost all its air in an hour or so. Driver rear took a little air but was otherwise inflated; this tire was ruined by contact with the quarter panel anyway. Passenger rear seems healthyish.
    • Battery was totally dead. Car started, somewhat reluctantly, with a lithium booster pack. Idle quality is OK but not great.
    • Drove it up and down the laneway behind friend's property (that one tire is ruined anyway, no real damage to be done). Car seems well behaved but the shift lever is extremely hard to move. It feels worse than just the parking brake release valve, but it's possible that's all it is if the rubber all turned to goo.
    • 2G Alternator pigtail was DIY-repaired with crimp terminals. Not on fire yet, but I'm sure it will be some day.
    • Burns oil out the exhaust as well as burns oil off hot surfaces at the rear of the engine. Probably has valve seal issues and probably has the usual gasket issues.
    • Discovered the fuel return line seems to have a minor, but definitely present leak in the over-axle area, where the main collision damage is. Not really surprising. Not sure what exactly is causing the leak; it may be that the quick-connect is cracked, because I can't think of what else it would be. Did not inspect closely. Fuel lines aren't a hard thing to fix so I'm not stressing about it.
    • After loading the parts stash into it, returned it to its previous space, but now with a wooden household door under the front tires to reduce the amount of sinking into the ground it can do.
    • Brought battery home to put it on a charger and hopefully prevent it becoming useless, but maybe I've waited too long.












    An interesting observation I made while looking at the 84 from above when it was on the ferry boat recently: the reason I think the skinny bumpers look so stupid is because the car gets wider in the middle of the passenger cabin. The body is narrowest at the header panel and rear quarter extensions. The bumpers on the 80-84 cars are actually the same width as the passenger area of the car, they just look wider because the body tapers in at both ends.
    Last edited by kishy; 08-08-2022 at 01:33 AM.

    Current drivers: 84 TC | 85 CS
    Panthers, Parked: 83 GM 2dr | 86 GM | 88 TC | 91 GM
    Not Panthers: 85 Ranger | Ranger trailer | 05 Focus
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  11. #31
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    Your friend plans to fix that up but is storing it without a cover? If the paint & top were shot I wouldn't care, but that thing is pretty nice. Advise him to pick up a fitted California Car Cover for it for less than < $300 USD. Or, if he really want to be cheap, just get a tarp and some bricks. But the CCC would end up saving him more than the purchase price over the long run.
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  12. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by DerekTheGreat View Post
    Your friend plans to fix that up but is storing it without a cover? If the paint & top were shot I wouldn't care, but that thing is pretty nice. Advise him to pick up a fitted California Car Cover for it for less than < $300 USD. Or, if he really want to be cheap, just get a tarp and some bricks. But the CCC would end up saving him more than the purchase price over the long run.
    I may have given the wrong impression. My friend is not doing anything with the car, he's just letting me use his yard and enabling and encouraging my bad decisions. This was supposed to be a parts car, but he said he'd store it for me if I'd fix it, and that he'd help me fix it...but that project is entirely directed by me.

    I've given some thought to a car cover and am intending to put one on it, but it needs the new bumper before that can happen, otherwise it'll just slice right through it.

    Current drivers: 84 TC | 85 CS
    Panthers, Parked: 83 GM 2dr | 86 GM | 88 TC | 91 GM
    Not Panthers: 85 Ranger | Ranger trailer | 05 Focus
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  13. #33
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    When it comes to semi or long term outdoor car coverings, or covering anything really, one of the keys to long tarp life is padding the corners or any protrusion.
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  14. #34
    GMN Regular DerekTheGreat's Avatar
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    Yeah, just pad where it goes over the bumper. Get that cover on there ASAP and protect your investment.
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  15. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by kishy View Post
    ...
    So, the parts list already acquired looks like:
    • ...
    • Rear bumper: failure due to aluminum corrosion. If a big bumper swap comes to fruition, I have a good set of bumpers and fillers to facilitate that.
    • ...
    ...
    While I have a set of big bumpers for this car, and I think my preference will be to go that direction, I did find a decent condition skinny bumper in July, noted in the junkyard thread. This bumper has been living in my friend's truck since then, and I've finally been able to reconnect with it.

    Externally, the bumper looks great, but there is some "rust jacking" (except it's all aluminum galvanic corrosion, triggered by steel fasteners) at some points between the inner and outer parts of the bumper. Yesterday, I pulled the two halves apart and studied the condition of things.

    The facebar/outer section is very nice and will go on the 88. Since storage space is not unlimited, this will likely happen some time before the quarter panel repair, so the old one can go as scrap and take up less room.

    Unfortunately, and also unsurprisingly as it's typical, the backbar/inner section is pretty rough. It can be cleaned up to be just fine at the points where it bolts together with the outer section, but it is going to require reinforcement at the points where it attaches to the bumper shocks. This is to be expected with aluminum parts left in contact with steel parts, especially when they get hit with salty road splash, but it's always annoying when it is found.

    New hardware will be used, and for now the bumper is remaining in pieces until it's time to move forward. Stainless U-nuts and bolts will probably be the right long term solution, of course I could also just grease all the hardware contact points on the aluminum.














    For the sake of completeness I will also note that earlier this month, I did source the quarter section of a fairly rust-free junkyard '83 Town Car, also noted in the junkyard thread. That quarter section remains in my trailer at this time, with no work of any type having been done to it. There is no intent at this time to begin the body work in 2022, but it definitely feels more "within reach" to have acquired all the needed pieces.

    Speaking of needed pieces, I also harvested the driver side nylon fuel line (from steel line to fuel tank) from that 83. There is a fuel leak on the 88 believed to be that line.

    I noticed on a shelf in my garage that I can't reach at the moment (there's a pile of exhaust pipes in the way), a pair of 85-88 front turn signals that I pulled back in 2014 or thereabouts. So that's taken care of as well.

    I can't actually think of anything else that this needs that isn't on-hand now, besides hood lift supports. It has the aluminum hood so one of my pairs of take-offs from the 84 (steel hood) might be good enough for it. It will need the usual under-hood efforts before it sees the road again re: oil and coolant leaks, but at this point that's just standard stuff when you buy any small block Ford.
    Last edited by kishy; 09-19-2022 at 11:00 AM.

    Current drivers: 84 TC | 85 CS
    Panthers, Parked: 83 GM 2dr | 86 GM | 88 TC | 91 GM
    Not Panthers: 85 Ranger | Ranger trailer | 05 Focus
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  16. #36
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    So, when the local auto parts store is out of stock, do they call you? Cool that you have all these "goodies" for parts swaps.
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  17. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by friskyfrankie View Post
    So, when the local auto parts store is out of stock, do they call you? Cool that you have all these "goodies" for parts swaps.
    LOL. I know that's tongue-in-cheek, but friends who are employees at auto parts stores have actually referred people at their counter to me for Panther stuff.

    Let's be real. It's hoarding. Focused and purposeful hoarding, but still. My garage is a disaster. Getting better though as I'm finally getting some of the items other people want into boxes and out the door.

    My two significant hobbies are computers (hardware-focused, preference towards retro/vintage) and cars (if that wasn't apparent). I have an obscene amount of bits and pieces related to each of these hobbies. It is all legitimately useful stuff that is being kept for a sane and logical purpose with a roadmap for how and when it will be useful, but it greatly exceeds what one person should ever own in terms of material possessions.

    I am not a hoarder in any other sense of the word so I suppose as long as the stuff is attached to the hobbies, it isn't actually a problem.

    I did not own any Lincoln, nor had I previously, at the time I pulled those front turn signals. I can't explain the thought process behind pulling them when I did, but clearly I had some foresight.

    Current drivers: 84 TC | 85 CS
    Panthers, Parked: 83 GM 2dr | 86 GM | 88 TC | 91 GM
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  18. #38
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    I'm still waiting for the tripminder. WagonMan
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  19. #39
    Still Wrenchin'! friskyfrankie's Avatar
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    When the need exist, it is better to have than not have. Many of these parts are difficult to find so I wouldn't be beating myself up if I were you. Now if you can turn the extras into a profit, that's "gravy"! As an aside, yes I was joking (but just barely - it was meant as a good thing).
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  20. #40
    I'm an air-conditioned gypsy gadget73's Avatar
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    I'm in a similar boat, lots of this and that around. I wish I didn't have to keep it around, but when you can't get it elsewhere I don't want to be SOL. If I could just go to the parts store and get what I want, my garage wouldn't have shelves of just random things I've found for a good price here or there and grabbed just in case I need it.

    86 Lincoln Town Car (Galactica).
    5.0 HO, CompCams XE258,Scorpion 1.72 roller rockers, 3.55 K code rear, tow package, BHPerformance ported E7 heads, Tmoss Explorer intake, 65mm throttle body, Hedman 1 5/8" headers, 2.5" dual exhaust, ASP underdrive pulley

    91 Lincoln Mark VII LSC SE, triple black (Timewarp) - poly front bushings, KYB struts and shocks, Holley SystemMax1 lower intake, SilverFox AOD valve body,

    1984 Lincoln Continental TurboDiesel - rolls coal

    Quote Originally Posted by phayzer5 View Post
    I drive a Lincoln. I can't be bothered to shift like the peasants and rabble rousers

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