The Unofficial "Ask a Stupid Question" Thread

Derphound01

Do you want ants? Because that's how you get ants.
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Tennessee
Vehicle Details
Chameleon 1995 Thunderbird LX 4.6
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We've all got those questions where the answers seem so obvious, but you just can't be sure that you're actually right. So in an effort to help each other with these questions, just ask them in here. If you know the answer, quote the question in your response.

Here's my stupid question. What is this black plastic piece between the license plate lights for? I'm wanting to add a backup camera but I don't want to drill through this if it is important.

Trunk.jpg

(originally started at TCCoA on 5/29/23)
 
fred-durst-rollin.gif
 
Why do folks say beer thirty and not beer o'clock? Why wait 'till half past the hour?
 
It's part of what is holding the trunk lock on. You can drill/cut through it.

I wish Michigan had a Ford Racing license plate.

I didn’t think Ford used “Ford Racing” anymore. Seemed like it changed to “Ford Performance” about 10 years ago.
 
Yes, I hid. But we had a hammer, lol. I didn't think so, but asking is better than getting one and realizing my mistake. I'm seriously considering casting one.
The Thunderbird spring rates are listed by year and application
below.



Year

3.8L

3.8L SC

V8

1989

Front: 223-282 lb./in.

Rear: 361-501 lb./in.

Front: 349-403 lb./in.

Rear: 509-637 lb./in.

N/A

1990

Front: 223-282 lb./in.

Rear: 361-501 lb./in.

Front: 349-403 lb./in.

Rear: 509-637 lb./in.

N/A

1991

Front: 223-282 lb./in.

Rear: 361-501 lb./in.

Front: 349-403 lb./in.

Rear: 509-637 lb./in.

Front: 270-330 lb./in.

Rear: 361-501 lb./in.

1992

Front: 223-282 lb./in.

Rear: 361-501 lb./in.

Front: 349-403 lb./in.

Rear: 509-637 lb./in.

Front: 270-330 lb./in.

Rear: 361-501 lb./in.

1993

Front: 223-282 lb./in.

Rear: 361-501 lb./in.

Front: 349-403 lb./in.

Rear: 509-637 lb./in.

Front: 270-330 lb./in.

Rear: 361-501 lb./in.

1994

Front: 223-282 lb./in.

Rear: 361-501 lb./in.

Front: 349-403 lb./in.

Rear: 509-637 lb./in.

Front: 270-330 lb./in.

Rear: 361-501 lb./in.

1995

Front: 223-282 lb./in.

Rear: 361-501 lb./in.

Front: 349-403 lb./in.

Rear: 509-637 lb./in.

Front: 270-330 lb./in.

Rear: 361-501 lb./in.

1996

Front: 223-282 lb./in.

Rear: 361-501 lb./in.

N/A

Front: 270-330 lb./in.

Rear: 361-501 lb./in.

1997

Front: 223-282 lb./in.

Rear: 361-501 lb./in.

N/A

Front: 270-330 lb./in.

Rear: 361-501 lb./in.

LX Sport Option:

Front: 349-403 lb./in.

Rear: 509-637 lb./in.

Definitions:

Progressive Springs
: Also know as rising-rate springs or variable springs are like two springs in one. The first small amount of suspension travel gets the softer rate, which helps filter out potholes, bumps, expansion joints, and ruff road surfaces. After the first inch of compression the spring rate switches to the higher, stiffer rate.

Linear Springs: A linear-rate spring is designed with an amount of resistance in its first inch of compression that doubles with the next inch of suspension compression, triples with the next inch, and so on.

Free length: Free length is the height of the spring uncompressed.

Front and rear stock anti-sway bar information is available. Click
Here

Eibach


Eibach-ProKit springs are of the progressive design and offer chrome silicon heat treated steel that is powder coated for a lifetime of protection. Eibach offers two versions of their ProKit for the 89-97 Thunderbird.

One is designed for the v6 3.8L normally aspirated (part#3522.140) and is designed to lower the car 1.25" with a front spring rate of 286-411 lbs per inch and a rear spring rate of 514-714 lbs per inch. The free length of the springs are 16.375" for the front and 11.625" for the rear.

The other ProKit is designed for the v8 & Super Coupe (part#3524.140) and is designed to lower the car 1.50" with a front spring rate of 286-411 lbs per inch and a rear spring rate of 514-714 lbs per inch. The free length of the springs are 16.125" for the front and 11.4375" for the rear.

Eibach makes their springs in the USA and the average discounted price for the springs are around $225.00 - $250.00 and come with a lifetime warranty against defects in workmanship and materials.


Eibach Springs
17817 Gillette Ave.
Irvine, CA 92714
Tel: (714) 752-6700
fax: (714) 752-6788

Lift Kits, Lowering Springs, Race Springs, Shocks & Sway Bars

H&R


hr-gif.40580



H&R springs are of the progressive design and are made from Bekaert wire from Belgium. The Bekaert wire is used exclusively because in durability testing, the Bekaert wire alloy has a much longer service life than any other wire tested. These materials ensure a defect-free function over the entire service life. H&R offers two versions of their Sport Springs for the 89-97 Thunderbird. One is designed for the V6 3.8L normally aspirated (part#51623) and is designed to lower the car 1.60" in front and 1.40" in the rear with a front spring rate of 310-385 lbs per inch and a rear spring rate of 540-610 lbs per inch. The free length information was not available.

The other Sport Spring is designed for the V8 & Super Coupe (part#51624) and is designed to lower the car 1.50" in front and 1.40" in the rear with a front spring rate of 310-385 lbs per inch and a rear spring rate of 540-610 lbs per inch. The free length of the springs are 16.25" for the front and 12.00" for the rear.

H&R makes their springs in Germany and the average discounted price for the springs are around $225.00 - $250.00 and come with a lifetime warranty against defects in workmanship and materials.



H&R Special Springs, LP

3815 Bakerview
Spur #7
Bellingham, WA 98226
Tel. 888-827-8881
(360) 738-8881
fax: (360)738-8889

Tokico


tokico-gif.40581



Tokico-Sport Lowering Springs are of the linear design and offer cold wound steel that is powder coated for a lifetime of protection. Tokico offers one kit for the 89-97 Thunderbird and it is designed to lower the car 1.25". The front spring rate is 326 lbs per inch and the rear spring rate is 577 lbs per inch with a free length of
15.70" in front and 11.07" in the rear.

Tokico makes their springs in the USA and the average discounted price for the springs are around $225.00 - $250.00 and come with a lifetime warranty against defects in workmanship and materials.



Tokico
1330 Storm Parkway
Torrance, CA 90501

Tel. (310) 534-4934

Suspension Techniques


suspension-jpg.40582



Suspension Techniques-Sport Sport Suspension springs are of the linear design and offer cold wound steel that is powder coated for a lifetime of protection. Suspension Techniques offers one kit for the 89-97 Thunderbird and it is designed to lower the car 1.50". The front spring rate is 432 lbs per inch and the rear spring rate is 631 lbs per inch with a free length of 14.33 in front and 10.89" in the rear.

Suspension Techniques makes their springs in the USA and the average discounted price for the springs are around $220.00 - $250.00 and come with a lifetime warranty to the original purchaser of the product that it will be free of manufacturing defects so long as such purchaser owns the vehicle on which such products were originally installed. The warranty is transferable by the original purchaser for a warranty period of five years from the original purchase date.



Suspension Techniques, Inc.

(A Belltech Company)
2822 East California Avenue
Fresno, California 93721

Phone: (800) 595-7016
California and outside US: (209) 266-9173

Fax: (209) 266-4348

http://www.belltechcorp.com

Jamex


jamex-gif.40583



Jamex-Sport Springs are of the progressive design and offer chrome-silicon heat treated steel that is powder coated for a lifetime of protection.
Jamex offers one kit for the 89-97 Thunderbird and it is designed to lower the car 1.50" - 2.00".
The spring rate is listed as 15% stiffer than the OE V8 sport springs with a free length of 17.00" in front and 11.50" in the rear. Jamex makes their springs in the USA and the average discounted price for the springs are around $125.00 and come with a lifetime warranty against defects in workmanship and materials.



Jamex
4975 C Energy Way
Reno, Nevada 89502

Tel. (702)857-4888
Fax (702) 857-1635

http://www.jamex.com

Vogtland

45009



As of 2021 Vogtland is the last aftermarket manufacturer making lowering springs for the Thunderbird.
Vogtland makes progressive rate spring in two sizes for the MN12 that are available in either a 1" drop or 1.6" drop. They have a gorgeous violet color like no other spring color on the market.

Vogtland North America is well know for it's involvement in NASCAR suspension technology. The quality of these springs are unmatched and highly superior to other springs available. The price tag for a set of MN12 springs is approx. $260.

The springs need to be broken in for a short period of time before they will settle exactly right. They should be set after about a week on the car.


www.vogtland.com

VOGTLAND Autosport


www.vogtland.com
www.vogtland.com

1" Vogtland: 315-412 front/530-650 rear

1.6" Vogtland: 365-400 front/600-713 rear.



Kitty is helping me type so I'm editing, lol.

One thing I noticed with the progressive springs on the tokicos, was that I had to 'set' it into a corner, so that it was stable. The sport springs are better, to me.

Cutting one coil off the front springs, and 5/8 of a coil on the rear gives a good 1"+" drop.
 
I noticed the same thing when test fitting various wheels. It's an odd offset for the wheel size that doesn't mate well with spacers or modern wheels.
 
Here's my stupid question:

Is there any way to remove the 96/97 Thunderbird grille without removing the bumper cover? Somehow from below maybe?

I'd like a sort of "negative" look, i.e., silver grille with black Thunderbird emblem.
No. You have to be able to get behind the bumper to remove the screws that hold the grill in place.
 
How does one make an Unofficial thread about asking stupid questions official?
Good question. I named it that since I wasn't a mod or admin. Had one on VWvortex for our old Jetta that I named the same thing too.
 
Good question. I named it that since I wasn't a mod or admin. Had one on VWvortex for our old Jetta that I named the same thing too.
Don't worry, I'm just being dumb trying to be funny. FIgured it was a good stupid question.
 
Why do folks say beer thirty and not beer o'clock? Why wait 'till half past the hour?

My view is that makes it sound like you're late, meaning you need to hurry up and get to drinking so you can catch up to everyone else who started promptly at beer o'clock. At least that's how I've always approached it, oh shit, where's my beer, where's my beer?!? Adds incentive.
 
New question:

What makes the seat back inertia switch fail? Is it just dirt in there?

In my case, both seat backs cannot be folded forward without using the override lever. I'd really like them to work as designed.

The Ford workshop manual says that these must be replaced if faulty. No attempt should be made to fix them, and they should not be lubricated.
 
New question:

What makes the seat back inertia switch fail? Is it just dirt in there?

In my case, both seat backs cannot be folded forward without using the override lever. I'd really like them to work as designed.

The Ford workshop manual says that these must be replaced if faulty. No attempt should be made to fix them, and they should not be lubricated.
The problem is that they rust up. to fix it, you have to completely disassemble the assembly, clean, and lubricate it. People typically hit it with wd40 when it acts up, which washes the rest of the lube out, and it rusts solid. Buying a new seat back is way easier. The door latch/lock suffers from the same problem. Those kind of parts can be lubed by removing them from the car and soak it in a mix of grease and paint thinner or gasolene. let it sit for a week to let the stuff drain/solvent evaporate so it won't smell.
 
Legit Stupid question;
Is there another FOMOCO model water pump for my stock 94 3.8 LX with the same foot print?
I posted some pictures of my water pump, and it kind of stunk. Heating torch to get the stupid thing out with all bolts removed. That double headed POS pipe is not the answer.

This is the picture of the outline
1698090816011.png

Thanks again
 

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I'd love to have a power antenna (mostly for nostalgic reasons). My car has the base radio. I understand I'd need a "power antenna module".

Question: is it safe to assume that my car is  not pre-wired for this module? It would be connector C2021.
 
I'd love to have a power antenna (mostly for nostalgic reasons). My car has the base radio. I understand I'd need a "power antenna module".

Question: is it safe to assume that my car is  not pre-wired for this module? It would be connector C2021.


The stereo wiring in the dash is actually a separate harness from the dash harness, it’s just run right along it and connects with an inline connector. Not too hard to swap it. It may well be prewired in the harness though with the connectors for the module and mast taped away. Drop the glove box and have a look, might be able to spot the red and green wires to the mast motor in the door jam area where the grommet is too
 
The stereo wiring in the dash is actually a separate harness from the dash harness, it’s just run right along it and connects with an inline connector. Not too hard to swap it. It may well be prewired in the harness though with the connectors for the module and mast taped away. Drop the glove box and have a look, might be able to spot the red and green wires to the mast motor in the door jam area where the grommet is too
In my experience the antenna wiring has a couple tape holds along the harness, but I get the feeling that it was added at the end of the harness building process. I agree with Matt, it wouldn't be a bid deal to swap in the power antenna harness.
 
In my experience the antenna wiring has a couple tape holds along the harness, but I get the feeling that it was added at the end of the harness building process. I agree with Matt, it wouldn't be a bid deal to swap in the power antenna harness.

That would be a good, simple tutorial video to shoot.
 
That would be a good, simple tutorial video to shoot.
You are correct. Might have to give that a go. I actually have some footage of that I haven't do anything with yet
 
Drop the glove box and have a look, might be able to spot the red and green

Not really sure where I'm looking.

Meanwhile, I discovered something else. I think there's glovebox damping in my future.

VideoCapture_20231025-165258.jpg

In fact, I'm planning to fully cover the glovebox door in faux suede. The release will be electromagnetic with a button on the center console.
 
It's funny that while there's interest in adding a power antenna, I'm thinking of ways to get rid of mine. I don't listen to terrestrial radio, but since I don't want to leave a broken power mast alone, my choices for replacing my second broken power mast feed in 24 years are:
  1. Replace with another power mast, which I have an extra NOS OEM one on hand from the last time I replaced it due to a shipping error
  2. Replace with a fixed stubby antenna
  3. Shave and paint fender, use glass mountable antenna or place rubber marine antenna under the dash
I mean, I'm obviously going with the third option. It's a matter of whether I also do the first before I'm ready to have the front fender painted, because I currently have the mast positioned to perfectly show 3/4 full segments and not look stupid despite having a broken feed.
 

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