New Mark 7 owner from Wisconsin!

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New Mark 7 owner from Wisconsin!

Postby Svtfiend » Sat Jan 13, 2018 1:47 pm

Hey everyone!

My name is Justin, I live in Wisconsin and am a long time Ford enthusiast. I have had many projects over the years, mostly MN12 Tbirds, Foci, a few Mustangs, etc. A few years ago, I sold my long time love and project car, Betty (91 Tbird SC w/95 Cobra engine and 5 speed) to move onto something different. I ended up with a Mazdaspeed 3, that I've modified to a "stage 3 on E85 tune". Its a great car, but I miss my 2 ton V8 luxobarges.

So, last year I started scouring forums and Craigslist for a new project. I knew it had to be a Fox chassis car, the MN12 chassis is a struggle due to lack of aftermarket support. I really wanted a Turbo Coupe, but could not find one in my price range. I managed to find a 91 LSC that has to be one of the only rust free Mark 7s in Wisconsin and gave it a new home after being with the same owner for over 22 years. It was all original(to a fault!!), and had almost no exposure to winters since 1994. The ABS had issues, the tires are old, it had never had a tune up, and had not been driven much in the last few years(despite 149k on the odometer). It did have a new water pump and radiator recently installed, and she was aware that the car needed more work and that she just couldn't justify maintaining it.

I managed to convince the nice lady I would be giving the car a good home, keeping it on the road, and making it better than it ever was(her boyfriend wanted to demo-derby it), and I drove it back home over 1.5 hours for $1900, almost $1000 less than her asking price. Aside from a caliper locking up, I made it the whole way, and fell in love with the car, plotting and scheming the different routes I could take with it.

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I spent the first night, completely detailing every inch of the car, making a list of everything I knew it needed. It is alarmingly clean, with very few cosmetic faults inside or out. I spent the next few weekends replacing all 4 calipers, rotors and sets of pads, full engine tune up, removed smog system and A/C, removed factory exhaust and replaced with off road hpipe and Mac pro dumps, new o2 sensors, bumped the timing, flushed all liquids, etc. The only remaining issue is the ABS, I sourced a used accumulator and flushed the system with a gallon of fluid and it still won't hold a charge. This is the only thing that is keeping it from being road worthy, but I have big plans for next spring.

I found a relatively local guy parting out a Turbo Coupe 5 speed, and after talking to him discovered he was a Fox Tbird enthusiast with a billion extra parts laying around. I test drove the TC and confirmed the 5 speed shifted well, and made a deal. For $400 I got the T5, driveshaft, shifter boot and console piece, v8 block plate, Mustang T5 bellhousing, Fox stang pedal assembly with sensors, the front seats(cloth blue), rear sway bar, and a bunch of other small stuff. Quite a deal. I have the remaining things I need for the trans swap, brake conversion, and new struts all around all in carts on Rockauto and LMR for about $700 total.

I am well aware of the details of this trans, and don't care. It will serve well to be a cheap way for me to get the initial conversion done without breaking the bank. I have read every 5 speed swap thread I could find on this and other forums and am completely ready to attack this.

I'm super excited to rip into the rest of this project. The car is just fantastic, and I can't wait to make it better and enjoy it for many years to come. All said and done, I will have just under $4k into a rust free Fox car, with a 5 speed swap. I think that's pretty awesome. The only thing I will need to address after all this, is either new rubber or converting to Mustang wheels and tires. I will probably do a rack replacement and full suspension rebuild shortly after this is all done.

I realize some of you are purists, but I just am not, I am a modifier. I can't leave anything alone, and the build is the best part of owning any car. Building a car to meet the vision I have for it is the real thrill for me. I look forward to getting to know all of you!
Last edited by Svtfiend on Thu Jan 18, 2018 11:07 pm, edited 3 times in total.
91 Mark 7 LSC-white, TC 5 speed swap, power brakes with SVO master cylinder, 93 Cobra booster, Wilwood combination/proportional valve, slotted rotors, MAC off road Hpipe, MAC Pro dumps, a/c delete, P/S relocation, air pump delete
05 Focus ST -cams, short runner intake, exhaust, slammed, tuned daily driver
09 Mazdaspeed 3 -stage 3 on E85, coilovers, sway bars, summer tires, tiny turbo torque monster
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Re: New Mark 7 owner from Wisconsin!

Postby Brad4d » Sat Jan 13, 2018 3:53 pm

Welcome! Sounds like the old girl is in for a bit of a shock, but I'm sure she'll love it when you're done. I'm some what new to the Mark VII as well, and like the sound of the T5 swap. I've heard of quite a few people upping the Hp on the Tbirds and keeping it in place, so as long as you don't go too nuts with engine upgrades, I bet it'll work fine. Heavy car though, but once the work is done, a stronger T5 from a mustang will be nothing to install after all the retrofitting has already been done. Sticky tires & driving like a teenager will let you know if it's strong enough...lol. Good luck with everything, I hope it's a fun ride for years to come!!
Bradford (Brad) Bailey
1992 LSC Black on black. all stock
Annapolis Valley, Nova Scotia, Canada (No, I don't fish, or play hockey :lol: )
"I'm old enough to know I'm grumpy, just not old enough to know I'm old" (48 yrs.)
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Re: New Mark 7 owner from Wisconsin!

Postby Matthew » Sat Jan 13, 2018 5:10 pm

The T5 is a better transmission than people give it credit for. I went 11.90 in a Mustang and never broke one, and I know guys who have gone 11.4 and never broke the transmission. They will not take powershifting for long though.

-Matthew
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Re: New Mark 7 owner from Wisconsin!

Postby Svtfiend » Sat Jan 13, 2018 5:35 pm

I've yet to destroy any manual transmission or clutch in my life. I'm more of a back road corner carver. I don't drag race, don't power shift, don't do crazy hard launches. I think it will last awhile. And if not, I've got the conversion done and all I need to do is change the pilot bearing for a better T5.

The gearing of this trans also does not bug me. My mn12 Tbird had an M5R2 5 speed with 1st and second granny gears with 3.27s out back so I'm used to it. The 2-5 gears in the tc t5 are almost identical. It will be just like old times!


87-88 Turbo coupes T5
3.97 1st,
2.34 2nd,
1.46 3rd,
1.0 4th, and a
.79 5th with a
3.70 reverse

Sc M5R2
1st Gear- 3.75
2nd Gear- 2.32
3rd Gear- 1.43
4th Gear- 1.00
5th Gear- .75
Reverse- 3.26
91 Mark 7 LSC-white, TC 5 speed swap, power brakes with SVO master cylinder, 93 Cobra booster, Wilwood combination/proportional valve, slotted rotors, MAC off road Hpipe, MAC Pro dumps, a/c delete, P/S relocation, air pump delete
05 Focus ST -cams, short runner intake, exhaust, slammed, tuned daily driver
09 Mazdaspeed 3 -stage 3 on E85, coilovers, sway bars, summer tires, tiny turbo torque monster
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Re: New Mark 7 owner from Wisconsin!

Postby Brad4d » Sat Jan 13, 2018 9:42 pm

I'd always heard the T5 was a strong transmission, but that the one put in the Tbirds was a bit weaker than the one used in the Mustang. I honestly don't know, but I bet you two do. LOL Is that true? Regardless, a car using one going into the 11's would say there's certainly nothing weak about it! Matthew, that Notch' of yours went 10.4@143 didn't it? Is that a Lenco, without a clutch?
Bradford (Brad) Bailey
1992 LSC Black on black. all stock
Annapolis Valley, Nova Scotia, Canada (No, I don't fish, or play hockey :lol: )
"I'm old enough to know I'm grumpy, just not old enough to know I'm old" (48 yrs.)
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Re: New Mark 7 owner from Wisconsin!

Postby Matthew » Sun Jan 14, 2018 12:46 pm

Brad4d wrote:I'd always heard the T5 was a strong transmission, but that the one put in the Tbirds was a bit weaker than the one used in the Mustang. I honestly don't know, but I bet you two do. LOL Is that true? Regardless, a car using one going into the 11's would say there's certainly nothing weak about it! Matthew, that Notch' of yours went 10.4@143 didn't it? Is that a Lenco, without a clutch?


The Tecmotion Coupe went 9.44@143 with a Lenco and a McLeod Soft-Lok clutch. I went something like 10.20 with a synchromesh TKO600 and the Soft-Lok which I swapped in after the T5. Once you are in the 11's I do think you are on borrowed time with the T5, which is why I swapped it out. The TKO is very strong and is a natural next step after the T5. Some of the road racers I work with run a G-Force T5 which is a lot stronger but without the added weight of the TKO.

I run a T56 Magnum XL in my Coyote powered 33 Ford and have run it quite a bit on the road course. It is a nice choice from a gearing and versatility standpoint, and is strong, but it is physically large and heavy which made it kind of a pain in the butt to get in a 33 Ford.

The LSC is heavier than the Fox Mustang for sure. The lightest stock Foxes weigh around 3150# or 3200#. A typical Fox hatch with AC and a stereo weighs more like 3425#. My LSC weighed in at 3818# with a full tank of fuel the other day. You can bet that the T5 will not last quite as well with the heavier car, but like I said as long as you don't powershift it, you will need quite a few mods before I think you are really in danger.

BTW, if you want to see some of my cars in action, here are a couple of playlists you might like:
Tecmotion Coupe ('90 Mustang): https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=P ... gNfiSdv_ZS
Tecmotion's 33 Hot Rod: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=P ... z05PFxqAOv

-Matthew
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Re: New Mark 7 owner from Wisconsin!

Postby CDW6212R » Sun Jan 14, 2018 5:21 pm

Welcome Svtfiend, the car sounds like a fun project. Enjoy working on it. I'm glad it was driveable, it's far easier to deal with that then one that needs work just to function.

For the steering rack, the best bet is to swap to the 03/04 Cobra rack, Cardone 22-2000 rebuilt model, $212 on Amazon; https://www.amazon.com/Cardone-22-2000- ... ne+22-2000

To install that though, takes a different steering shaft. You didn't state your car model. The 90-92's only need the SN95 steering shaft, that bolts in in place of the two short stock shafts. The stock TRE's work for the Mark VII, Fox Mustangs have to change theirs. The early Mark VII's have to use the hybrid steering shaft from MM, just like Fox Mustangs do. I've got an AGR rack and a stock 2002 steering shaft, in my 91 LSC. I'm thinking about doing the Cobra rack in my 92 SE, and let the AGR rack go with the 91.
Don
1991 Red Special Edition, my 2nd SE, dead paint, DWS 255/45/17's on 95 Cobra wheels, and soon; DVD/Navi/backup camera, OBDII and the 347, before custom paint.
98 Mountaineer with Continental DWS 255/55/18's, big sway bars, custom brakes. Soon to be A4WD with XP8 bumpers and wing.

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Re: New Mark 7 owner from Wisconsin!

Postby Svtfiend » Sun Jan 14, 2018 6:18 pm

Don, I had read up on the Cobra rack, and was going to do exactly that. I have a 91(I edited the original post, and are a signature to make that clear) so it's pretty straight forward. Thanks for the input!

As far as the suspension goes, I was going to start there first until I found the great deal on the 5 speed stuff, so for now I'm going to do KYB shocks and struts, the TC sway bar, MM c/c plates, and go from there. Eventually, I will do CHE arms in the back.

I like cars as low as possible, so I will almost definitely be doing away with the air ride eventually. Anyone ever try aftermarket Mustang lowering springs with the Arnott kit or cutting a coil off the Arnott springs to lower it???

I've looked at pics of the Arnott springs and Mustang springs, they have the same design. But I've never seen them together in person to compare. I think it could work and would like to try. Anyone know where I can buy just the Arnott perches? I looked everywhere. There a used set for sale cheap here right now, but it's kind of low on my priorities since the air ride works and my money is tied up in the trans stuff.
91 Mark 7 LSC-white, TC 5 speed swap, power brakes with SVO master cylinder, 93 Cobra booster, Wilwood combination/proportional valve, slotted rotors, MAC off road Hpipe, MAC Pro dumps, a/c delete, P/S relocation, air pump delete
05 Focus ST -cams, short runner intake, exhaust, slammed, tuned daily driver
09 Mazdaspeed 3 -stage 3 on E85, coilovers, sway bars, summer tires, tiny turbo torque monster
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Re: New Mark 7 owner from Wisconsin!

Postby CDW6212R » Sun Jan 14, 2018 6:40 pm

I'm going to change the suspension to the Mustang stuff later on, it's all supposed to work fine. But the rear LCA's are longer, they are Thunderbird length(for aftermarket parts). I have MM custom LCA's, and may not use them if I find a feasible Cobra IRS.

I should have the coil spring kit soon, I need one to convert prior to gutting my wiring(whole car). Those are the easiest quick path to removing the air suspension, which I'll save the parts to sell off. The 92 I just got has 53k miles, so the used parts are about as good as will turn up. The TEVES brakes I've liked, but the SN95 hydro-boost is a little better, and less to work on by others when needed.
Don
1991 Red Special Edition, my 2nd SE, dead paint, DWS 255/45/17's on 95 Cobra wheels, and soon; DVD/Navi/backup camera, OBDII and the 347, before custom paint.
98 Mountaineer with Continental DWS 255/55/18's, big sway bars, custom brakes. Soon to be A4WD with XP8 bumpers and wing.

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Re: New Mark 7 owner from Wisconsin!

Postby oldschool1 » Wed Jan 17, 2018 5:29 am

Svtfiend wrote:... I managed to find a 91 LSC that has to be one of the only rust free Mark 7s in Wisconsin and gave it a new home after being with the same owner for over 22 years. It was all original(to a fault!!), and had almost no exposure to winters since 1994. ...

Welcome from sunny downtown Primos, PA!
Awesome introduction!
I'm one of those purists but I can appreciate Anything that owners do to keep a Lincoln Mark VII on the road.

You've got questions?
We've got answers.
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Re: New Mark 7 owner from Wisconsin!

Postby CDW6212R » Wed Jan 17, 2018 6:12 pm

Svtfiend wrote:Don, I had read up on the Cobra rack, and was going to do exactly that. I have a 91(I edited the original post, and are a signature to make that clear) so it's pretty straight forward. Thanks for the input!
...


Yeah, order that reman'd rack by Cardone, part # 22-2000, $212 on Amazon at the moment. With a 91 LSC, all you need is any 94-04 Mustang steering shaft. That replaces the OEM two shafts. The 90-92's have two short shafts, one outside the firewall, and one inside leading to the column. You will love the Mustang SN95 racks, they are tighter versus the Fox racks. The Fox racks are almost all wore out now, what you get at parts stores. My 92 has just 53k miles on it, I'll sell that sometime this Spring.
Don
1991 Red Special Edition, my 2nd SE, dead paint, DWS 255/45/17's on 95 Cobra wheels, and soon; DVD/Navi/backup camera, OBDII and the 347, before custom paint.
98 Mountaineer with Continental DWS 255/55/18's, big sway bars, custom brakes. Soon to be A4WD with XP8 bumpers and wing.

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