My mechanic and I (I hired an ASE master certified mechanic to show me the ropes on how to really work on these cars) were trying to reset the timing on the car and We couldnt get the right to the point that it would stay running for more than a few seconds...and so we decided (since the car has 160K and hasnt ran or drove in about 4 months) to go ahead and replace the cap & rotor, starter, solenoid, battery, wires, plugs, and timing chain to see how many problems it actually clears up. I know it may not necessarily all be necessary but I figured it couldnt hurt to be thorough.
At the most (from memory) all you should need for the chain swap is the timing cover gasket, water pump gasket, the chain and gears. Unless you are doing a cam swap i dont believe you need to use a new thrust bearing. when you install a new one, it is supposed to be machined to match the block.
Did the car run fine before or has it always acted like this since you bought it?
I've barely had the car four months and it was non-running when I bought..the P/O had said it hadnt been running for him for about a month....We tried pretty good to get it to run..but It would only stay started for a short period of time. I do like the though of using the Ford Racing parts...but honestly, I restore these cars the best I can and then flip them for money so I try to go with the cheapest albeit most reliable option I can get. Is there a cheaper option?