Progress Thread Black Beauty: '85 GT T-Top: Winter Is Coming

LiquidStangs

Well-Known Member
Dec 13, 2015
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Indianapolis metro area
As mentioned in the pics thread, I went to a car show over the weekend an hour away. Another person at the show had an almost identical car to mine: '85 GT, black, gray interior, etc. The main difference is that his had ridiculously low miles and was nearly 100% stock. I spent some time chatting with him and checking things out. "So that's how that part is supposed to look!"

The drive to and from the show had some drama, but only because construction sent me on back roads for the trip back. The car itself mostly ran like a champ.

I say "mostly" because it's developed a thump from the rear when turning left. This was fairly easy to diagnose: one of the parking brake cables. Now that it's nice and tight, it's rubbing against some part of the wheel when the lateral g's push it that direction. I tried loosening the clamp and giving it more slack on that side, which worked for a few days, but it's back to thumping.

But the good news from that car show didn't stop with the drive. One of the guys in our club mentioned he's got experience fixing up carburetors, and when I described my cold idle problems, he surmised it was a sticking choke, and offered to tune the carb to perfection for me. Another guy says he has a spare set of T-tops that don't have faded and spotty tint that he's willing to let go of.

Tomorrow, I drop the car off at the alignment shop. The steering wheel has been off since I got it, and I feel like it's a little squirrelly at times; better to spend the cash and be sure it's right. Plus, actually being able to steer straight will be a luxury!

No repeat of the weird rev hang from before.
 
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LiquidStangs

Well-Known Member
Dec 13, 2015
183
217
63
50
Indianapolis metro area
Wow, has it been a month?

When I got the alignment done, they mentioned the tie rod ends were marginal, so I had the shop do them. The total cost wasn't much more than it would have been buying the parts and doing them myself. They also didn't like the front wheel bearings, but wanted something like an extra $300 to do them; I'm wondering if they thought they would be a typical set of sealed bearings like a modern car would have. I declined that part. When I had the car in the air before, they didn't seem at all loose or iffy, but I'll give them a look-see soon.

Since then, I've been caught up in getting the fleet ready for winter. The Escape is now in good shape with new front brake pads and rotors, and a new flex pipe, as well as some judicious grinding and painting on the underbody to take care of rust. I also sold a car: the Honda Civic I got as a reliable fun driver when the old red '89 was still giving me trouble. I got a cheap car cover off Amazon for the Foxbody, which I'm actually quite happy with.

Other than that, the Foxbody has been pretty drama-free. As the weather has cooled off, the carburetor choke problem has gotten more annoying, but only annoying. Once it warms up, that thing is the sweetest driving car on the road. IMHO, of course. The wife has given up on asking me to run "quick" errands.

A few of you (@droopie85gt and @TOOLOW91 come to mind) were strongly recommending the 3G alternator upgrade. That shipment arrived from LMR a few days ago, along with a new hatch striker and the parking brake seal.