1990 Bill Blass Convertible... My 3rd Mark VII

Discussion of STOCK body shell, doors, exterior trim, frame, underbody, and window systems.

Re: 1990 Bill Blass Convertible... My 4th Mark VII

Postby LLFordman » Thu Aug 11, 2011 8:50 pm

Jari, I definitely cannot complain about the $500 price tag even with the condition of the body. The good running drivetrain alone is worth that to me.
I will likely put the 60 spoke alloy wheels up for sale at great price to a good home as they are in very good condition.
Once completed the car will only go out on nice evenings (as I think you are suggesting) for a trip to dinner etc. The top will be down 99% of the time.
Julian
W4VCO

1990 Mark VII Convertible Twilight Blue
1990 Mark VII LSC SE Dark Titanium
1991 Mark VII LSC Titanium Frost
1992 Mark VII LSC Deep Jewel Green
1997 F350 PSD CC SRW Performance White
1998 Mustang Bright Atlantic Blue
2001 Explorer Limited 5.0 Spruce Green


"I have a plan, just not all the money"
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Re: 1990 Bill Blass Convertible... My 4th Mark VII

Postby 2manymarks » Thu Aug 11, 2011 11:41 pm

I see it came from the factory with a rather rare 3.08 TracLoc rear-strange for a BB. Of course you know the front seats are from an LSC, right?
8-)
As of July2017, 11 Mark[*] VII's, 3 licensed for the road:
1989 LSC Midnight/Current Red c/c (9G) mostly stock 99k.
1989 LSC Midnight/Current Red c/c (9G) 124k, stock, needs air suspension & bodywork.
1989 Light Titanium c/c (11) Bill Blass - stock. miles unk
1989 LSC Medium Sandalwood (62) Mass air+ 111k FOR SALE $900.
1986 BB (8T) stock 125k (wife'sDD)
1987 BB (4L) stock (miles unk)
1987 Base Model White (9L) 107k (2.73rear)
1984 Turbo Diesel Base model, Platinum (1Q), 131k+ FOR SALE $1000.
Parts cars: 88 LSC, 89 BB, 90 LSC - TLZ 5spd (complete conversion w/extras 4SALE)
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Re: 1990 Bill Blass Convertible... My 4th Mark VII

Postby LLFordman » Fri Aug 12, 2011 3:13 am

Yes! Strange on both accounts. I expected 3:27 open differential as all of my past experience is with LSC's. My green '92 LSC came factory with a 3:27 TracLoc. My '91 LSC came 3:27 open diff and I later swapped in a complete rear out of an '88 LSC with a Tracloc that I put 3:73's in. My '90 SE had a 3:27 Tracloc from the factory and now has 4:10's in it.

My Black '90 SE has what I would call "early" LSC seats. The same as the ones in the convertible that have the flip forward head rests and the slide out knee bolsters. Are those the right seats for a '90? I'm guessing so as my '91 had the tiny "useless" headrests and no knee bolsters. I believe the Conv seats are original to it as the center of the seats are cloth as called out by the VCL.
Julian
W4VCO

1990 Mark VII Convertible Twilight Blue
1990 Mark VII LSC SE Dark Titanium
1991 Mark VII LSC Titanium Frost
1992 Mark VII LSC Deep Jewel Green
1997 F350 PSD CC SRW Performance White
1998 Mustang Bright Atlantic Blue
2001 Explorer Limited 5.0 Spruce Green


"I have a plan, just not all the money"
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Re: 1990 Bill Blass Convertible... My 4th Mark VII

Postby 2manymarks » Fri Aug 12, 2011 10:22 am

LLFordman wrote:Yes! Strange on both accounts. I expected 3:27 open differential as all of my past experience is with LSC's. My green '92 LSC came factory with a 3:27 TracLoc. My '91 LSC came 3:27 open diff and I later swapped in a complete rear out of an '88 LSC with a Tracloc that I put 3:73's in. My '90 SE had a 3:27 Tracloc from the factory and now has 4:10's in it.

My Black '90 SE has what I would call "early" LSC seats. The same as the ones in the convertible that have the flip forward head rests and the slide out knee bolsters. Are those the right seats for a '90? I'm guessing so as my '91 had the tiny "useless" headrests and no knee bolsters. I believe the Conv seats are original to it as the center of the seats are cloth as called out by the VCL.


I've never seen anything but a 3.27 ratio from the factory in an LSC, so anything else would really be a rarity. They could be either open or closed obviosly. I have had Marks with everything from 2.72 to 4.10's and like the 3.73's the best for my kind of driving.

I agree with you about the seats regarding the useless headrests in the 90-92's. I went so far as swapping out a good set from my 90 gray SE for the 89's because of the headrest and reduced bolster size in the later model. 8-)
As of July2017, 11 Mark[*] VII's, 3 licensed for the road:
1989 LSC Midnight/Current Red c/c (9G) mostly stock 99k.
1989 LSC Midnight/Current Red c/c (9G) 124k, stock, needs air suspension & bodywork.
1989 Light Titanium c/c (11) Bill Blass - stock. miles unk
1989 LSC Medium Sandalwood (62) Mass air+ 111k FOR SALE $900.
1986 BB (8T) stock 125k (wife'sDD)
1987 BB (4L) stock (miles unk)
1987 Base Model White (9L) 107k (2.73rear)
1984 Turbo Diesel Base model, Platinum (1Q), 131k+ FOR SALE $1000.
Parts cars: 88 LSC, 89 BB, 90 LSC - TLZ 5spd (complete conversion w/extras 4SALE)
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Re: 1990 Bill Blass Convertible... My 4th Mark VII

Postby LLFordman » Sun Jan 01, 2012 11:38 pm

Finally started working on the vert today. Found the ABS pressure switch to be bad. Once replaced the brake light went out. It still needs an accumulator though. Our local LKQ had a 50% off sale this weekend so I picked up a pair of fenders and LSC style belt moldings. Tonight I started stripping off the moldings, lights and damaged panels. I'll post some pictures tomorrow. Hopefully in the next few months it'll be ready for an evening cruise.
Julian
W4VCO

1990 Mark VII Convertible Twilight Blue
1990 Mark VII LSC SE Dark Titanium
1991 Mark VII LSC Titanium Frost
1992 Mark VII LSC Deep Jewel Green
1997 F350 PSD CC SRW Performance White
1998 Mustang Bright Atlantic Blue
2001 Explorer Limited 5.0 Spruce Green


"I have a plan, just not all the money"
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Re: 1990 Bill Blass Convertible... My 4th Mark VII

Postby oldschool1 » Sun Jan 01, 2012 11:51 pm

Congratulations on the repair!
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Re: 1990 Bill Blass Convertible... My 4th Mark VII

Postby White Lincoln » Mon Jan 02, 2012 1:17 pm

Kinda reminds me of my first car. A 1964 Ford Falcon convertable, black with red interior and a black roof.

You picked up a projecct, that is for sure. Not my kinda project for that kind of a deal and I wish you the best of luck in your endevor.
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Re: 1990 Bill Blass Convertible... My 4th Mark VII

Postby 5151 mm » Mon Jan 02, 2012 2:28 pm

Can't wait to see the photos and the progress on the repair.
The vert truly deserves it.
Johannes
1990 Bill Blass
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Re: 1990 Bill Blass Convertible... My 4th Mark VII

Postby LLFordman » Mon Jan 02, 2012 9:17 pm

Made some more progress on it today in the dis-assembly (discovery) phase.

Image

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Some rats had a good thing going with the insulation that Ford installed above the wheel liners.

At this point you can probably guess that I have ditched the idea of moving all of the ragtop parts into the black 90 SE. Since this car runs and drives it just didn't make sense to go through all of the work of cutting into the SE car.

Soon I need to find a donor car that I can cut the rear floor pans out of to replace the swiss cheese rear floor boards. BTW, I did look under the rest of the body and the only rust is in the floor pans. Once I replace those it will be nice and solid again.

I also need to find a clean pair of doors. I may even cut and replace the section of quarter panel between the doors and rear wheel on both sides as they are smashed in pretty good.

Sure felt good to get out there and wrench on it tonight. This will with out a doubt be a "labor of love" project. I am certain I will have more in it than what it might be worth but in the end it will be worth it to me.

Stay tuned.
Julian
W4VCO

1990 Mark VII Convertible Twilight Blue
1990 Mark VII LSC SE Dark Titanium
1991 Mark VII LSC Titanium Frost
1992 Mark VII LSC Deep Jewel Green
1997 F350 PSD CC SRW Performance White
1998 Mustang Bright Atlantic Blue
2001 Explorer Limited 5.0 Spruce Green


"I have a plan, just not all the money"
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Re: 1990 Bill Blass Convertible... My 4th Mark VII

Postby LLFordman » Mon Jan 02, 2012 9:27 pm

Also, here are a couple of pictures of my inspiration for this restoration. I have had these photos for a couple years and recently re-discovered them.

Image

Image

Image

Image
Julian
W4VCO

1990 Mark VII Convertible Twilight Blue
1990 Mark VII LSC SE Dark Titanium
1991 Mark VII LSC Titanium Frost
1992 Mark VII LSC Deep Jewel Green
1997 F350 PSD CC SRW Performance White
1998 Mustang Bright Atlantic Blue
2001 Explorer Limited 5.0 Spruce Green


"I have a plan, just not all the money"
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Re: 1990 Bill Blass Convertible... My 4th Mark VII

Postby oldschool1 » Tue Jan 03, 2012 2:30 am

MARKELLANEOUS!

While you're in there, it would be in your best interest to replace the cruise control motor and hoses. I have lost TWO of these and as you can see, getting to them is a bear.

Thanks for the progress pictures!
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Re: 1990 Bill Blass Convertible... My 4th Mark VII

Postby LLFordman » Tue Jan 03, 2012 8:33 am

Good call. The vacuum motor as well? I will pull a vacuum on it and see how it holds. I will definitely replace the hoses.
Julian
W4VCO

1990 Mark VII Convertible Twilight Blue
1990 Mark VII LSC SE Dark Titanium
1991 Mark VII LSC Titanium Frost
1992 Mark VII LSC Deep Jewel Green
1997 F350 PSD CC SRW Performance White
1998 Mustang Bright Atlantic Blue
2001 Explorer Limited 5.0 Spruce Green


"I have a plan, just not all the money"
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Re: 1990 Bill Blass Convertible... My 4th Mark VII

Postby 5151 mm » Tue Jan 03, 2012 10:36 am

Wow. What a lot of work. Good luck.
Johannes
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Re: 1990 Bill Blass Convertible... My 4th Mark VII

Postby oldschool1 » Tue Jan 03, 2012 6:20 pm

The toughest part is the rearward facing bolts. If I ever go into a fender again, these will be the FIRST bolts removed and the FIRST bolts reinstalled.

I don't know if it was the motor or a hose that went but both times, it happened while cruising and there was a distinctive POP.

Julian. Did you "match mark" all of your shims (D1 D2 D3 P1 P2 P3)?
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Re: 1990 Bill Blass Convertible... My 4th Mark VII

Postby White Lincoln » Tue Jan 03, 2012 7:00 pm

LLFordman, you make it look soooo easy. I could really enjoy having a life like that and the room to work around the car. Air tools would be nice too!

Thanks for sharing the pics.
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Re: 1990 Bill Blass Convertible... My 4th Mark VII

Postby LLFordman » Tue Jan 03, 2012 9:42 pm

This is the first project in my newly built shop. The shop and the tools I have outfitted it with certainly make it more enjoyable. This hobby is my rest and relaxation when I have the time to get out there and turn some wrenches. While it may look easy, it is years of experience plus a ton of hard work over the last year building this shop that makes it look easy. I have had my share of working in tight single bay sheds and garages. I have turned wrenches in sub zero temps laying in snow under vehicles in northern junkyards. On the other side I have roasted on concrete driveways turning wrenches in the Florida summer heat. When the plan came together to take my current job and return to Central Florida I had one condition and that was to build an enjoyable place for my hobby. It has been five years to bring it to fruition.
All of this will make this project that much more special. I wish there were more club members nearby to come hang out and enjoy working on our Mark VII's. I welcome anyone to come by and hang out.

As for the fender shims I didn't keep track of there location as I am replacing both fenders and figured they would be different heights for the replacement fenders.

I wonder what the "pop" could have been? A sudden release of vacuum I wouldn't think would make a pop. The only thought I have is that the accelerator pedal dropping back to the released position quickly might make a pop.
Julian
W4VCO

1990 Mark VII Convertible Twilight Blue
1990 Mark VII LSC SE Dark Titanium
1991 Mark VII LSC Titanium Frost
1992 Mark VII LSC Deep Jewel Green
1997 F350 PSD CC SRW Performance White
1998 Mustang Bright Atlantic Blue
2001 Explorer Limited 5.0 Spruce Green


"I have a plan, just not all the money"
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Re: 1990 Bill Blass Convertible... My 4th Mark VII

Postby White Lincoln » Tue Jan 03, 2012 11:43 pm

Um... I just noticed a typo in my last post. I ment to say I wish I had your LIFT, not life... :lol:

So, you taking the air intake box out while you have the fender off? :mrgreen:
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Re: 1990 Bill Blass Convertible... My 4th Mark VII

Postby LLFordman » Wed Jan 04, 2012 9:42 am

:lol: That's too funny!

As for the airbox, I will likely leave it in place as this will be in evening cruiser with quiet exhaust and little if any performance mods. On the far other end of the spectrum is my '91 LSC that has a 8 point cage in it. The motor I have aside for it is a '68 429. A narrowed 9" with 29"x16.5" Mickey's will finish off the pro street stance.
Julian
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1990 Mark VII Convertible Twilight Blue
1990 Mark VII LSC SE Dark Titanium
1991 Mark VII LSC Titanium Frost
1992 Mark VII LSC Deep Jewel Green
1997 F350 PSD CC SRW Performance White
1998 Mustang Bright Atlantic Blue
2001 Explorer Limited 5.0 Spruce Green


"I have a plan, just not all the money"
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Re: 1990 Bill Blass Convertible... My 4th Mark VII

Postby 2manymarks » Wed Jan 04, 2012 11:14 am

oldschool1 wrote:The toughest part is the rearward facing bolts. If I ever go into a fender again, these will be the FIRST bolts removed and the FIRST bolts reinstalled.

I don't know if it was the motor or a hose that went but both times, it happened while cruising and there was a distinctive POP.

Julian. Did you "match mark" all of your shims (D1 D2 D3 P1 P2 P3)?


I lost Cruise Control on two of mine way back and I remember the distinct "pop" also. In one case it was the cable end connection, and I don't remember the other. I remember suggestiong before that the cable and/or the whole units should be saved from cars going to the crusher because the parts were no longer available in the system. Maybe some other models of Ford products work :?: :?:
As of July2017, 11 Mark[*] VII's, 3 licensed for the road:
1989 LSC Midnight/Current Red c/c (9G) mostly stock 99k.
1989 LSC Midnight/Current Red c/c (9G) 124k, stock, needs air suspension & bodywork.
1989 Light Titanium c/c (11) Bill Blass - stock. miles unk
1989 LSC Medium Sandalwood (62) Mass air+ 111k FOR SALE $900.
1986 BB (8T) stock 125k (wife'sDD)
1987 BB (4L) stock (miles unk)
1987 Base Model White (9L) 107k (2.73rear)
1984 Turbo Diesel Base model, Platinum (1Q), 131k+ FOR SALE $1000.
Parts cars: 88 LSC, 89 BB, 90 LSC - TLZ 5spd (complete conversion w/extras 4SALE)
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Re: 1990 Bill Blass Convertible... My 4th Mark VII

Postby 75coug » Wed Jan 04, 2012 4:28 pm

These cars certainly look great as convertibles.
Robert

1990 LSC - white
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Re: 1990 Bill Blass Convertible... My 4th Mark VII

Postby bigmark303 » Wed Jan 04, 2012 5:08 pm

LLFordman wrote:Also, here are a couple of pictures of my inspiration for this restoration. I have had these photos for a couple years and recently re-discovered them.

Image

Image

Image

Image


I checked this car out in person. The first convertible I had ever seen up close. It was down in Newport from an estate sale a few months back and I think it ended up at auction. All in my opinion besides being somewhat rare, a convertible top and the cheap looking rear passenger section just didnt seem to fit a Mark VII all that well. The Family wanted $4,000 for it, but after seeing it I wasnt all that interested in owning it for me, and at $4,000 there was no room to buy and flip for a profit.

I wish you much luck in bringing yours back to life.
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Re: 1990 Bill Blass Convertible... My 4th Mark VII

Postby White Lincoln » Wed Jan 04, 2012 6:23 pm

They must have used semi-metalic or cheap brake pads on the front. Look at all the dust on the rim! :lol:
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Re: 1990 Bill Blass Convertible... My 4th Mark VII

Postby LLFordman » Wed Jan 04, 2012 9:18 pm

bigmark303 wrote:
I checked this car out in person. The first convertible I had ever seen up close. It was down in Newport from an estate sale a few months back and I think it ended up at auction. All in my opinion besides being somewhat rare, a convertible top and the cheap looking rear passenger section just didnt seem to fit a Mark VII all that well. The Family wanted $4,000 for it, but after seeing it I wasnt all that interested in owning it for me, and at $4,000 there was no room to buy and flip for a profit.

I wish you much luck in bringing yours back to life.


I must admit when I first picked it up I was a bit skeptical about resurrecting it. For the $500 I gave for it I figured if it couldn't be restored I would get my money out of it in parts. However, after driving it I just couldn't resist taking on the challenge of breathing new life into it.
Since the body is so bad, I decided white would be the best color for the exterior as it hides minor body flaws better than other colors.
The biggest challenge in my mind will be getting the interior right especially the dash.

I think a cracked dash is one of the biggest headaches with restoring a Mark VII (at least a 90-92.)
Julian
W4VCO

1990 Mark VII Convertible Twilight Blue
1990 Mark VII LSC SE Dark Titanium
1991 Mark VII LSC Titanium Frost
1992 Mark VII LSC Deep Jewel Green
1997 F350 PSD CC SRW Performance White
1998 Mustang Bright Atlantic Blue
2001 Explorer Limited 5.0 Spruce Green


"I have a plan, just not all the money"
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Re: 1990 Bill Blass Convertible... My 3rd Mark VII

Postby LLFordman » Thu Aug 02, 2012 8:45 pm

Not much new on this project. I did however, stop by Drop Top Customs in High Springs Florida. There I met Larry Moran who was there back when it was Coach Builders limited and when our Mark VII Convertibles were created. He gave me a full tour of their shop and was able to check out the cool new projects they are working on including a new Dodge Challenger Convertible, Chrysler 300C Convertible and a Chevy Camaro T-Top conversion. All cool stuff for sure.
As we were talking he said he didn't have any parts for my Convertible VII. I did mention that the Coach Builder emblems were missing from my car. He said he might be able to help with that and this is what I ended up with:

Image

Three brand new "Coach Builder Limited" emblems still in the wrapper!!!

These will look real nice on there once the repaint is done. Thanks Larry!

Just a thought, but the third emblem should be on the drivers side of the trunk lid, right?
Julian
W4VCO

1990 Mark VII Convertible Twilight Blue
1990 Mark VII LSC SE Dark Titanium
1991 Mark VII LSC Titanium Frost
1992 Mark VII LSC Deep Jewel Green
1997 F350 PSD CC SRW Performance White
1998 Mustang Bright Atlantic Blue
2001 Explorer Limited 5.0 Spruce Green


"I have a plan, just not all the money"
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Re: 1990 Bill Blass Convertible... My 3rd Mark VII

Postby oldschool1 » Fri Aug 03, 2012 2:20 am

THUD! <OS passes out>

Those things are !@#$ing PRICELESS!
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