With the ‘Bird quiet and reliable around town now, I took it out for a test at the next level–freeway speeds and distances. At speed, there’s plenty of power, but not a lot of comfort. Besides the howl from the rear end and the normal ash tray rattle, there’s a lot of vibration and none of it feels like a tire out of balance.
I took the Thunderbird out southbound on a weekday afternoon and quickly found myself in a traffic jam. Sitting in traffic, the temp gauge climbed into the high end of the normal range–something I hadn’t seen in a while. I exited, got on northbound and did a longish loop, about 10 miles, that put me back at my house. The car sat in the driveway long enough for heat to soak, then I went on some local errands–multiple short stops, lots of traffic lights.
By the end of the trip, some of my heat soak symptoms returned. While I could sit at idle just fine, the engine hesitated under moderate acceleration and backfired occasionally. I suspected the fuel system, but when I posed the question on a VTCI forum, there was a chorus of voices saying the coil was shot.
Last place I would have looked.
The coil is located close to the fuel pump and has to come off to get to it. Let’s just say that it hasn’t been treated well during the whole fuel system restoration and was a little banged up. I found a vibration resistant replacement on Amazon; ordered it on Thursday, standard shipping. Saturday afternoon a truck pulled up and the driver handed it to me while I was actually standing at my workbench, wondering what to do next.
How sweet is that? I put it in right then. I’ll be driving the car this week, testing it out.