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1996 Taurus - Red Bull Restoration


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Long story short, a guy I never met before comes up to me to buy his car. His mother died and this was her only car, he needed money. Part of my business is...I buy junk cars, just not on weekends. Well. (sigh) He had the title in hand, it matched the car and I gave him what I had on me. And now I have Taurus #15. A running - driving Vulcan / AX4N. Mechanically, the car has been well cared for, 208,000 on it. The interior color is best described as 'mud on a shower curtain'. I won't have a day off work for another full week so I have a long stretch before anything will be done with it. But here it is:

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Time for an update. Took me over a year of on again off again work, but I finally got the 1996 the way I wanted it.             The list of things done: 2005 Vulcan with 54,000 mil

Finalizing all the electronics. Side tracked from the to-do list for funner stuff.      For some reason, the 5 digit keyless entry code was partially covered with a strip of black tape all the

I think this midnight black dashboard would look good in the '96. Guess we'll find out.

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Just for the record, I did not put those wheels on. That's the way I bought it. There's a few dents and clearcoat peel but overall very nice shape.

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Got it home tonight to check it out.From preferred equipment package 205A: optional equipment is speed control, am/fm cassette, power door locks, cabin air filter, power driver's seat, aluminum wheels, light group and ABS. Original sticker price was $21,160.

It will be a little more work than I thought. Good and bad.

Good.

Cold air and hot heat.

New alternator.

New starter.

New coil pack.

No coolant system rust.

Runs and shifts.

Zero body rust so far. Atlanta car sold from a Alabama dealership (original window sticker in the glove box).

 

Bad.

Cam syncro trigger has disappeared, sensor is caked with metal flakes.

Rear main seal leak.

Catalytic converters removed, straight piped.

Front balljoints need to be replaced.

Column shifter cable needs replaced.

Dash pad is lifting bad.

Transaxle has been well serviced but has blue silicone sealant instead of a gasket. Pan is wet all around with ATF.  

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No clue on what happened. It's fun trying to align a new synchro without a reference. It still isn't prefect. '96 and '97 are different that what I'm use to. Never had one like this before.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Wasted some free time to give red a good scrub today.

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Worked on the dash a little. Replaced the entire shifter mechanism on the steering column and worked a gen4 cluster in. Bunch of little nagging stuff fixed. 

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  • 1 month later...

Got a lot done on the '96. The big job was a total suspension rebuild on the front, everything was replaced. The front brakes are off my '04 which were brand new, the '04 is now a parts car.

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Got a lot done on the '96. The big job was a total suspension rebuild on the front, everything was replaced. The front brakes are off my '04 which were brand new, the '04 is now a parts car.

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I prefer the rims you had on it back in September!

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I prefer the rims you had on it back in September!

These wheels don't have much tread left on the tires. Rather wear on these then a new set before an alignment.

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The back window is the ugliest thing IMO. The Ford emblem on the front looks better relocated anywhere but the factory location.

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My dad sold Ford's in the mid 90's.  I grew up riding in demo Taurus's and Sables.  I still remember the first one of those things he drove home...he wasn't terribly impressed with it either.  But like I said above, they really do drive nice, and that is most of the battle.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Still working on bringing this nearly 20 year old car back. Got the rear doors replaced.

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The way I usually do things is mix and match parts to look kinda "base" with big upgrades. The dark dash with light colored interior has grown on me. The 1999 Sable wood grain has been plastic welded to the '96 panels. I had to have the '99 inside door handles to go with it, just wish they were chrome.

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  • 1 month later...

Feeling the urge to give this car some upgrades. I got a wagon load of parts yesterday so I can make this GL into an LX. All the new wiring will add EATC, remote keyless entry, keypad entry on the door, autolamps and a security system.

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The complete wire harness bumper to bumper, body - dash - engine - drivers door. Fuse boxes- relay boxes - modules - EATC box etc etc...

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Drove the '96 to work yesterday one last time as a GL model.

 

Soon all the body wiring from a late build 1999 Duratec with every option but moonroof, the engine wire harness off a late build 1999 Vulcan, the transaxle from a 54,000 mile 1999 AX4N Vulcan, the computer for a 1999 AX4N Vulcan and the motor I just brought home is a 60,000 mile 2006 Vulcan will be one with this car.

 

How to lift a motor off a trailer without an assistant:

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