No announcement yet.

Recently bought 96 Thunderbird LX, advice? 4.6L

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Recently bought 96 Thunderbird LX, advice? 4.6L

    So i just bought a 1996 Thunderbird off a friend of a friend. Lady didnt know much about it other than it needed a brake job. I paid 1200 for the car, it has 151,000 miles. I looked up the vin number and the motor is a Romeo V8 4.6 SOHC EFI. I wanna say its the sports edition considering it has independent suspension. i could be wrong. So Ive done basic tune up work, goal is to get the car mechanically sound before i do anything else. I changed the oil/ air filter. Changed spark plugs and wires. Last night just replaced front brakes, calipers, rotors, and pads. Back ones not in bad shape but will be done in a month or so. Car is running a lot smoother, current issue i have is when i get up to 70 mph it just doesn't want to accelerate past that. It doesn't feel like its the transmission, i want to think its the fuel filter which i have and going to replace. Evidently you need a special Ford tool to take those things off? Tips and advice from owners on known issues with these cars would be GREATLY appreciated. I will upload some pictures soon

  • #2
    Another thing that could cause the problem you are describing is a bad catalytic converter. If the fuel filter doesn't fix it I would look there.

    John Pizzi - Squarebirds Administrator

    Thunderbird Registry #36223 856-779-9695


    • #3
      The tenth generation TBirds were all IRS. Their styling was a little flat and Ford refused to market the IRS platform, so they didn't sell all that well. Nevertheless they were great cars.

      I'm not sure which fuel filet fittings you have. The type with the nylon clip that you push out are easy to remove, but there is another type that has an internal clip that you need a tool like I've pictured.

      Ford really went overboard to make this fitting as difficult as possible to remove, but very easy to install. You may have to grow a third hand to remove it. On my 05 Mustang it is marginally difficult. On my 04 Exploder they took the addition step to tuck the filter in a nearly impossible location.

      You may have to file the "nose" of the correct size end like I've pictured, to get a proper seat on the internal clip, which is completely invisible, and has never been seen by a human. You have to push the tool against the clip with one hand so it expands, holding the tube with a second hand, then while holding that position use a third hand to pull them apart. I've done it twice, my son's done it twice, and we've managed to get it down to about a two hour process after about 20 tries.

      I agree with John I would suspect the cats if that doesn't correct the problem. But before you get a home equity loan for new cats you'd better figure out why they clogged. Usually it's due to too rich a fuel mixture, so change out all the sensors that tell the computer what to do, and clean your intake system and throttle body completely.
      Attached Files


      • #4
        Recently bought 96 Thunderbird LX, advice? 4.6L

        It has been suggested to me by another member that this problem is something that you might have to take to a Ford dealership. They can check the computer sensors and probably tell you in a few minutes what is causing your problem...

        Ray Clark - Squarebirds Administrator
        '59 Tbird "The Yellow Rose Of Texas" aka "Tweety Bird"
        "It's Hip To Be Square"
        Thunderbird Registry #33025 VTCI #11178

        Contact me via Private Message for my email address, or (Cell) 210-875-1411 (Home) 210-674-5781


        • #5
          Thanks for the responses everyone, yeah "quick disconnect" is the complete opposite for these fuel filters. I purchased the tool to remove and after awhile it finally came out. Still has some hesitation issues, just have to apply the gas in a steady motion if merging onto the interstate. Someone mentioned to me at work it could be the throttle position sensor. So if that don't work i will take it into a shop for someone to figure it out. I hope its not the Cats, but wouldn't i get a "dummy light" to come on saying there clogged? I mean i could cut them off but i think that wouldn't be very good in the long run. i know there not cheap but anyone have a idea of a ballpark price to have them installed? Probably make more sense to go with a higher performance exhaust system while im at it?


          • #6
            You might get a engine light to come on. A '96 should be OBDII. Is there a port below the dash, left of the steering wheel? If so get a cheap bluetooth reader off ebay and find out if you have any codes.

            Clean out your throttle body. It's in the intake stream ahead of the intake. Remove the plastic tunnel coming from the air cleaner, and find the butterfly valve. Soot at the pivots causes it to stick. Use carburetor cleaner and a toothbrush to get it clean. Inspect it's operation while a friend blips the throttle in park. These can be removed, disassembled and carefully cleaned. It's more like rebuilding a watch instead of heavy engine components.


            • #7
              Figured it out, it was the MAF Sensor, it was the last thing i tried. Always how it goes when working on cars. It purrs like a kitten now


              • #8
                Originally posted by Yadkin View Post
                ...Clean out your throttle body. It's in the intake stream ahead of the intake...
                That's close enough for me to also include the mass air flow sensor, Steve. Good call.

                I worked in Romeo Engine when your engine was built.
                T-birds and Mustang GT got the cast iron block with two-valve heads.
                Cobra and Mark got aluminum blocks with four-valve heads.

                All these parts are interchangeable. I often wished I put the four-valve heads on a cast iron block (for myself). I think the cast iron is a much heartier block with less twist for daily driving. All heads are made of aluminum.
                My latest project:
                CLICK HERE to see my custom hydraulic roller 390 FE build.

                "We've got to pause and ask ourselves: How much clean air do we need?"
                --Lee Iacocca


                • #9
                  96 Thunderbird LX

                  Logan if at some point you have to do exhaust my brother has same model dual exhaust was out of question due to IRS so he had local shop mandral bend up 3 inch single exhaust runs like scared rabbit