Shade421

Shade's Project Car Adventure

64 posts in this topic

So now that I'm out of the military and working normal 8 hour days feels like being on vacation (and civilian jobs leave way more disposable income.....), I decided I needed a project that wasn't a computer. And what better project than a car? So, behold the project car:

SXIoo4l.jpg

That my friends, is a 2001 Lincoln Town car. The quintessential little old lady mobile.This particular one spent its entire life in Florida until 2 years ago, when it and the little old lady it carried moved in with family here in NH and the car was parked for good....until now. It has 57k miles on it, zero accident history, perfectly kept maintenance schedule from the day it was new, one owner who probably did 12MPH under the speed limit everywhere, and not a single spot of rust anywhere. Not one.

But wait! There's more....because this is a Ford Motor Company luxury car which means that not only is the entire interior old people certified leather, but underneath it is a big Ford power train. Which means beefy 5Spd auto, a solid heavy duty rear axle (I am not turning this in to a circuit racer, so stfu about primitive suspension) and the crown jewel:

J6zXXEi.jpg

That is the gold standard Ford Modular V8, the 4.6L. In these cars it produced a modest 235HP, but with some easy and relatively cheap rebuilding (crank and cams mostly) it can be readily brought up to the same spec as the ones tuned for the Mustang GT's of the same year, or the F-150's, for less top end but more grunt.

So first things first, my plan as of right now, and budget:

I plan to put no more than $10k in to the car over the next 6 months or so

$1800 to buy the car

$1000 max for a full custom road legal exhaust system. Talking headers, high flow cats, and as close to straight pipes as I can swing and still be legal here. It should be way less than a grand even fro a full custom true dual system. For reference, this is about the sound I'm looking for:

$1000 for rims and tires. Now, I am not a gaudy moron; I want functional (for straight lines) wheels. Which means larger and wider than stock rear, and smaller and narrower than stock front. A true drag setup. Rims will be max of 16"; all about the muscle look. Should be easy to accommodate as this is the standard Ford 5x114.3MM bolt pattern; anything with that pattern fits and it's super common here in the states. The tires have to be street legal and work in damp weather. Again, a grand should be more than enough here. 

$3000 for paint. My plan is to de-badge the car and gloss black the whole thing. Sleek but not flashy. $3000 is the high-end rate for a show quality paint job, as in perfect finish, wet sanding, and 5 year warranty. 

Which leaves $3200 minimum to dump in to the engine itself. Rebuild kits with oversized pistons, rings, etc (bored out, essentially) run $600-$1000, whereas supercharger kits start around $3k, so I am looking at keeping this naturally aspirated. I'd rather cam and stroke this thing to shit so it barely idles than drop that kind of money on a supercharger. The transmission and rear end are more than enough to handle another 100-200HP out of the motor, and I'm not looking to make a 10 second drag king, just something to embarrass the odd Subaru.

All in all, I think this will keep me grinning for a few years at least, and it will be the sexiest granny car around.

I am fluent in auto mechanics, but by no means an expert, so if anyone has any questions, suggestions, corrections, concerns, or whatever let me know. I know there had been some interest from @neziho when I posted a status about it. Correction to that: at the time I thought it was a Continental, not a Town Car. However, being a Town Car gives me a lot more room to play with the engine power, as the Continental has an independent rear end which is great for comfort and handling...but explodes a lot easier under big torque. So with the solid axle in the Town Car (the same one that came in the Crown Victoria Interceptors and Mercury Marauders) I don't have to worry about it.

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Looks like you're in for a good time.

I have never seen one of those cars before, they arent down here in NZ.

Tbh, looks kinda ugly IMO. 

But what im wondering most, is that why the fuck does an old granny need a 4.6L V8? 

Also, interesting you're tuning it for straights. I would do it for handling and accelaration myself, but then again, everything down here in NZ is windy country roads with no real long straights - even on motorways and in cities. I guess there is a lot more long ass straights in the US.

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Where I live it's all mostly winding country roads as well, but this is also Murica and we all drag race everywhere. Doesn't matter if it's a mile long straight or 500ft between lights. That's the fun part, you can do it anywhere. And tuning a 4000LB car for handling would be way more expensive than just making it accelerate.

As for the engine, the philosophy isn't going fast, it's just never feeling slow. When you just want to put around town it's perfectly happy doing that, but when you're getting on the interstate and need to get from 30MPh to 70 in a hurry it can do that too. Since fuel is relatively cheap here, luxury cars don't take fuel economy in to consideration at all. Or didn't back then, some do now.

And yes, it is ugly right now. But it won't be...

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Oh nice! I'm not well versed in auto mechanics, but I do love following successful car projects regardless of scale. Had a friend of mine start his first project on a 1991 Ford Festiva with a 6k budget, but end up spending 10k just because of how big of a piece of junk the car was. Though in your case you're probably fine considering how you actually planned your project out and have a set budget.

Just a heads up on drag racing safety requirements: I don't know what the requirements are for your local drag strips in NH, but where my friend went rollbars/rollcage and a 5 point harness were required. I would look up guidelines where you're at and factor that in with your budget if you need to add equipment.

Besides that I'm looking forward to how this goes. 

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Since you mentioned cheap fuel. How much exactly does it cost there in lands of freedom? Also, is there difference between diesel and gasoline?

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8 minutes ago, Medjed said:

Since you mentioned cheap fuel. How much exactly does it cost there in lands of freedom? Also, is there difference between diesel and gasoline?

$2.15/gallon for regular gas, $2.29/gallon for diesel. Diesel used to be cheaper than gas here, like 10 years ago, because this state didn't tax it at all. But they started taxing it a while ago so it's slightly more expensive.

Doing a quick conversion, it comes out to .51 Euro's per liter for regular gas.

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Yea i just looked up European gas prices in dollars, it's $5.80/gallon lol. Gas has never been that expensive anywhere in the US as far as I know.

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4 hours ago, Shade421 said:

So now that I'm out of the military and working normal 8 hour days feels like being on vacation (and civilian jobs leave way more disposable income.....)

That sounds so nice, 11 months left for me and I'll be joining you.

43 minutes ago, Shade421 said:

Yea i just looked up European gas prices in dollars, it's $5.80/gallon lol.

And when you have an 80 liter tank (~21 gallons) in your car it basically wipes my bank account if I fill up off post on the German economy. On-post: about $45-$55; off-post: 90-120 euros.

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1 hour ago, Medjed said:

Since you mentioned cheap fuel. How much exactly does it cost there in lands of freedom? Also, is there difference between diesel and gasoline?

One thing to bear in mind is the quality of American pump fuel/gas...

In the UK our minimum octane is 95 and our 'premium' fuels are 97-102RON, most being in the 99 category (V-Power, Momentum) with BP Ultimate @ 102RON.

Most American pump 'gas' is 80-85RON which makes it difficult to compare power figures but also mileage too! Their fuel is dirt cheap compared to Europe/UK but most EU countries have a higher quality of fuel.

 

I'm very interested in the OP project though... fits in with the 'sleeper' style that I like. I had a ratty looking S13 from the outside with a 390+bhp CA18DET under the bonnet (hood). Had about the same sort of budget spent on it along with stuff I did myself for the cost of time (completely re-making looms and removing unnecessary cabling, weight reduction etc).

I don't know how common E85 is in the states but it's becoming more popular in the UK and Australia for it's significant power gains and rather cheap (comparitively) cost!

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37 minutes ago, It's_Matra said:

n the UK our minimum octane is 95 and our 'premium' fuels are 97-102RON, most being in the 99 category (V-Power, Momentum) with BP Ultimate @ 102RON.

welp, in NZ our minimum is 91, and our premium is mostly 95, occasionally 98.

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1 hour ago, Assassin7 said:

welp, in NZ our minimum is 91, and our premium is mostly 95, occasionally 98.

That's basically the UK 10-15 years ago :dealdog:

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5 hours ago, Assassin7 said:

I have never seen one of those cars before..

Also, interesting you're tuning it for straights. I would do it for handling and accelaration myself, but then again, everything down here in NZ is windy country roads with no real long straights - even on motorways and in cities. I guess there is a lot more long ass straights in the US.

They are huge cars.. I mean HUGE!!.

 

Modding it for handling would be the equivalent of fitting coilovers to the Titanic..

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9 minutes ago, zbran said:

They are huge cars.. I mean HUGE!!.

 

Modding it for handling would be the equivalent of fitting coilovers to the Titanic..

americans and their retardedly large cars. lol.

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'Murca. Where a 'quintissential little-old-lady-car' has a 4.6l V8.

 

 

Petrol is currently £1.12 a litre, so about 1.3 euros. Or about $5.62 per US Gallon.

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9 minutes ago, Assassin7 said:

americans and their retardedly large cars. lol.

They are only large when you take them out of America the "fit in" over there. Put the on the little skinny and roads over here and it's like WTF lol

 

#discreet :minglee:

 

 

img_0579.jpg

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Not only retardedly large, but with the suspension from a horse & cart ;)

 

"If leaf-springs were good enough for my great-grandpappy, they're good enough for you."

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5 hours ago, Assassin7 said:

Looks like you're in for a good time.

I have never seen one of those cars before, they arent down here in NZ.

Tbh, looks kinda ugly IMO. 

But what im wondering most, is that why the fuck does an old granny need a 4.6L V8? 

Also, interesting you're tuning it for straights. I would do it for handling and accelaration myself, but then again, everything down here in NZ is windy country roads with no real long straights - even on motorways and in cities. I guess there is a lot more long ass straights in the US.

There are plenty out there, but traffic volumes in the city and single laning in the country mean you dont often get the opportunity to just plant foot.

I used to work the odd early morning shift. Murder on the fuel consumption, without other cars for reference you tend to let the speedo climb a bit before you notice how fast youre going.

2 minutes ago, zbran said:

They are only large when you take them out of America the "fit in" over there. Put the on the little skinny and roads over here and it's like WTF lol

Nah, theyre just retardedly large. Steer like a boat, and sway about as much. No good for anything but long haul driving on wide straight roads. 

 

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Neat. I'm a total ignoramus when it comes to mechanical stuff but your project sounds fun :-)

5 minutes ago, karl0ssus1 said:

Nah, theyre just retardedly large. Steer like a boat, and sway about as much. No good for anything but long haul driving on wide straight roads. 

Sounds like the perfect car for driving through the Karoo :-)

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If you are going to wring any power out of it, you are going to most likely advance the timing, which means you are not going to be running 85 octane. I'm not sure how much power you are talking about, but if you can't get it to the ground, it won't matter, thus some suspension work should be done I think, even if you just go to a better shock/strut combo or some mildly stiffer springs (for the love of GOD, don't cut spring to lower the car!) since it is a fat pig...

I had a mildly modded mustang, with the modular 4.6 back in the day, and there are some cheap bolt ons that can help for sure, things like underdrive pulleys...but be warned, those tend to eat batteries while sitting in bumper to bumper traffic. If you're going to tear the motor apart and have a good free flowing exhaust, I would strongly consider getting the heads ported and polished...take a bigger advantage of the free flowing exhaust. You will probably need a bigger throttle body as well, you way want to consider a chip as well for the computer.

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3 hours ago, Shade421 said:

$2.15/gallon for regular gas, $2.29/gallon for diesel. Diesel used to be cheaper than gas here, like 10 years ago, because this state didn't tax it at all. But they started taxing it a while ago so it's slightly more expensive.

Doing a quick conversion, it comes out to .51 Euro's per liter for regular gas.

Hmmmm, lessee.

1 gallon = 3.78l

$ to Rand is currently 1$ == R14.55 (FML)

1l of fuel (Unleaded, 95) costs about R11.45

So 3.78l == R43.28

$2.15 == R31.29

DAMN!

That is fucking cheap :-(
 

With regards to fuel types, most pumps here sell one of three types:

  • Unleaded 95
  • LRP 93
  • Diesel

I don't think I've ever seen "Premium" fuel for sale here :-)

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