Introduction and Mark VIII Manual Swap + Progress

Puchrider

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Hello all, this is my first post on the LVC forum.

There has always been something about personal luxury cars that has captivated me. They are able to offer the perfect combination of performance and comfort. In addition, they aren't overly common like their sport/muscle counterparts. Growing up, my father had a 1990 35th Anniversary T-Bird Super-Coupe. I remember it fondly; when I was 18, two years ago, I had a Super-Coupe of my own. It was a 1995 AND a 5-speed. Such a combo is quite sought after and I knew I had to have the first one I drove. My lack of patience when car searching is what caused me to get rid of it only a few months later. It was rusty, had an engine vibration, and had a shot second gear. Although it had these issues, it was a fun high-school car. I learned a valuable lesson regarding being patient and waiting for a car that doesn't have major issue, if any. Recently, my father was considering getting a Mustang (Saleen, Shelby, or Cobra variant). On my way to school and back, I see at least twenty Mustangs. It occurred to me that Mustangs are FAR too common and can be strong "cop-magnets."

Here's a picture of the '95 SC
2013-06-13 16.30.45.jpg

I started to think about what type of car is sporty and not necessarily a cop Magnet. Among the ones I thought of were Monte Carlo, Riviera, and Eldorado. To me, the downfall of these cars (the model years I was considering) is that they were all front-wheel-drive. I had to re-think. It seems GM had failed to make a personal luxury car that appealed to me. I then thought about Ford and what they had to offer. I remember the Lincoln Mark series and determined that the Mark VIII would be an excellent car to get. It is RWD, doesn't attract cops, and has a relatively powerful engine. I then narrowed the search further to only include 1997 and 1998 LSC models. However, Lincoln (Ford) never offered a Mark VIII with a manual transmission. Luckily, thanks to the internet, I was able to find threads regarding the conversion. Because it was possible to swap out the auto in favor of a manual tranny, my father and I decided to get a Mark VIII.



We looked around on Craigslist and my father stumbled upon a yellow Mark VIII. This wasn't just an LSC, but also a Collector's Edition. (Obviously the yellow paint detracts from value for some, and probably, most people). But there was a reason this Lincoln was yellow, it was formally owned by the barefoot water-skier Banana George Blair. We went to look at it; the paint appeared of good quality, but it wasn't applied in the best manner. Evidence of over-spray was obvious and, upon opening the hood, you can see the original color of the car: Cordovan. However, even with these cosmetic issues, the car was straight and had roughly 50k on it. We purchased the car and drove it from Sarasota home to Atlanta that night. While driving it home, I realized why this car appealed to many people online. It was smooth, comfortable, and quite spacious. The Florida/Georgia border was reached within the first few hours; the “Banana Car” was approaching its new home.

Getting gas
20150110_191136.jpg

Banana George with the car
Banana_George_2005_.jpg

Video of George with the car
[video=youtube;3uGgM7ogTeE]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3uGgM7ogTeE[/video]

Converting a car from an auto to a manual tranny is quite an ambitious build. It is one thing to convert a car that was made in both transmission types. However, it is ANOTHER to swap a manual into a car that was NEVER offered in such a configuration. We decided it would be a good idea and a wise investment to acquire a parts-car, solely for the interest of part-redundancy.



We located the perfect car on Craigslist to source parts from. It was a 1997 Toreador Red LSC, it was in good condition with around 80k on it. It even can with nice “octa-star” wheels. Ultimately, this car wasn’t used to acquire parts from. It was simply too nice. The only major problems were: the blend-door, leaking front bags, dirty oil, and a dent in the front passenger side quarter-panel (the majority of which was removed using soapy water and a plunger). This car had no problem driving home, just as the “banana-car” didn’t six days earlier.

20150124_180319.jpg

I drove the red Mark VIII to college for a couple of weeks. The only issue I ever had was a flat-tire. Luckily, I had a bicycle pump and was able to park with the wheel in a position where it wouldn’t leak. In the meantime, while I was driving the red Mark VIII (now known as sausage), my father started to prepare the Banana Car for the manual swap. We found a TR3650 tranny in Macon. We drove down and picked it up. It was out of a 2008 Mustang GT. It came with the Hurst-shifter, a Mustang pedal assembly (brake and clutch), a flywheel, and the clutch and pressure-plate. (The Mustang pedal assembly would take too much work to mount to a Mark VIII we ultimately decided. That same day, we picked up a 1989 Cougar XR7 5-speed parts car. Off of it, we could use the 7-spoked XR7 wheels and the pedal assembly. (We actually had a 5-speed SC/XR7 pedal-assembly arriving in the mail, but an extra set wouldn’t hurt).

The XR7
20150301_174554[1].jpg

The Banana Car is now (mostly) ready for the swap, the only major component we need is the drive-shaft. At this point, the front seats, center console, door panels (to address electrical woes), and hood have been removed. The dash has been loosened, but a few wires need to be disconnected before it can be completely removed. That is the progress as of this point. Updates are to follow, thanks for taking the time to read!

20150228_123354[1].jpg

2013-06-13 16.30.45.jpg


20150110_191136.jpg


Banana_George_2005_.jpg


20150124_180319.jpg


20150228_123354[1].jpg


20150301_174554[1].jpg
 

97 Octane

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Great intro - Welcome to LvC!

You're new to the M8's and suddenly you have two of them? You'll fit in well among us. Nice find on that video. I did see the overspray you talked about on the front spoiler.

So entertaining to read an articulated post like that and hope to see more as your progress moves along. Again, welcome to LvC!
 

Lownslowlsc

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Welcome to lvc Puchrider!

Great intro - Welcome to LvC!

You're new to the M8's and suddenly you have two of them? You'll fit in well among us. Nice find on that video. I did see the overspray you talked about on the front spoiler.

So entertaining to read an articulated post like that and hope to see more as your progress moves along. Again, welcome to LvC!

You pretty much summed it up. :) I look forward to seeing where this thread goes.
 

Puchrider

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Here's an update: dash, carpet, hood, gas-tank, exhaust, and drive-shaft have been removed.

imagejpeg_0[1].jpg

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Powering the pump
Gas_tank[1].jpg

Driveshaft[1].jpg

Removing over-spray on mufflers and tips
imagejpeg_0[2].jpg

Exhaust[1].jpg

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20150307_172704[1].jpg


Gas_tank[1].jpg


Driveshaft[1].jpg


imagejpeg_0[2].jpg


Exhaust[1].jpg
 

olddavid

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I wish I could watch this in person. Good on you and your Dad for going head on into this project. The knowledge you gain will be with you for life. The memories, too.
 

marked8

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Good start. There have been several members here have done the same swap.
Regarding Mustangs, I have found that my Sterling Gray '14 GT gets less attention from the cops, probably due to the color.
 

Puchrider

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I wish I could watch this in person. Good on you and your Dad for going head on into this project. The knowledge you gain will be with you for life. The memories, too.

Thanks! Memories are priceless, and to take on a project is much more rewarding in the long-run
 

Puchrider

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I have found that my Sterling Gray '14 GT gets less attention from the cops, probably due to the color.

That makes sense. The Mustang/cop attraction thing was kind-of a generalization. I guess the point I was getting at is that when someone sees a Mark VIII, they don't typically see it as fast. But, I think that the yellow color of the car may defeat that purpose haha
 

Puchrider

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Just curous, have you considered Plasti-dipping it?

Yes, I've been wanting to try plasti-dip. We are thinking of painting the XR7 rims black and using those. We may plasti-dip the grill and tail-light trim black (or just paint them black). We may also plasti-dip the chrome trim black. We haven't thought about doing the whole car, but it would be fun to try if we have success with it.
 

Lownslowlsc

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Yes, I've been wanting to try plasti-dip. We are thinking of painting the XR7 rims black and using those. We may plasti-dip the grill and tail-light trim black (or just paint them black). We may also plasti-dip the chrome trim black. We haven't thought about doing the whole car, but it would be fun to try if we have success with it.

I was thinking the whole thing, unless you like the yellow.

Something like this..

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2LX3S7Fbtv4

And it would go well with the Cordovan in the jambs/hood/trunk.
 

marked8

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That makes sense. The Mustang/cop attraction thing was kind-of a generalization. I guess the point I was getting at is that when someone sees a Mark VIII, they don't typically see it as fast. But, I think that the yellow color of the car may defeat that purpose haha

On that point, a Virginia state trooper once let me go in my 97 LSC when I was doing 98 in a 60, easy jail time in Virginia. I did not even get a ticket but I used up all of my luck of ever winning the lottery in that one encounter.
 

Puchrider

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We pulled the auto-tranny
20150312_181934.jpg
20150312_180324.jpg

It turns out we will have to use the auto brake pedal (trimmed) because the SC/XR7 won't hook up to the booster
20150312_171010.jpg

20150312_181934.jpg


20150312_180324.jpg


20150312_171010.jpg
 

mark0101

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This is awesome, keep it up. I would be totally against the color but it has some history to it.
 

Lownslowlsc

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All we ask is that you don't make it look anything like this one. :hump:

lincoln3 (Small).jpg
 

Puchrider

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This will need to be moved to the trunk to facilitate the clutch pedal. These wires will be extended
Extend.jpg

Extend.jpg
 

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