2002 Auction car issues

Joined
Aug 12, 2022
Thunderbird Year
2002
Picked up a 2002 red hardtop 140+/- miles at a local auction, car's for my daughter. I need some help getting her on the road and safe. Here's where I'll document my ride.

Issues at hand

1. Suspension feels smooth on a flat road but drive down Houston streets and it sounds like the dang car's gonna rattle apart. I have her up on a lift and every ball joints' boot is split. At the moment I'm thinking full suspension repair, Struts, shocks and all ball joints.

2. Engine overheated and the temp fluctuation was pretty radicle. Found a kinked hose. What else should I look into? Fan seems to be running fine but so did the temp for a while.

3. Hardtop tool is missing what's this special tool to remove the hard top from the windshield?

Any help would be appreciated, now on to my search.
 
Last edited by a moderator:
Joined
May 1, 2019
Thunderbird Year
2002
Hi, my 02 had serious rattles at 140k as well, it was a catylic convertor rattling inside but all my suspesion is fine, in New Zealand we have a really tough registration test to go through, l imported my car 3 years ago and it passed the test first time, your wife will end up wanting it for herself.....
 

biddle

Forum Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Mar 9, 2003
Thunderbird Year
2005
Picked up a 2002 red hardtop 140+/- miles at a local auction, car's for my daughter, wife's not happy about this. lol. I need some help getting her on the road and safe. Here's where I'll document my ride.

Issues at hand

1. Suspension feels smooth on a flat road but drive down Houston streets and it sounds like the dang car's gonna rattle apart. I have her up on a lift and every ball joints' boot is split. At the moment I'm thinking full suspension repair, Struts, shocks and all ball joints.

2. Engine over heated and the temp fluctuation was pretty radicle. Found a kinked hose. What else should I look into? Fan seems to be running fine but so did the temp for a while.

3. Hardtop tool is missing what's this special tool to remove the hard top from the windshield?

Any help would be appreciated, now on to my search.
Everything you asked about has been discussed many times. Use the search page to research or click the words in posts above that automatically link to these various topics.
 
Joined
Aug 12, 2022
Thunderbird Year
2002
I having a hard time finding a diagram on my 2002 suspension. This independent front and rear id a little different than my F250,lol. I've found that this may be a Jaguar design and used on their vehicles, Lincoln's and Ford's. What is this suspension type called? Are there parts diagrams in a pdf.? Can you cross-reference between these vehicles? I've turned the interweb upside down with no prevail. A suspension update is in my near future. THX.
 

biddle

Forum Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Mar 9, 2003
Thunderbird Year
2005
Last edited:
Joined
Sep 27, 2021
Thunderbird Year
2002
Picked up a 2002 red hardtop 140+/- miles at a local auction, car's for my daughter. I need some help getting her on the road and safe. Here's where I'll document my ride.

Issues at hand

1. Suspension feels smooth on a flat road but drive down Houston streets and it sounds like the dang car's gonna rattle apart. I have her up on a lift and every ball joints' boot is split. At the moment I'm thinking full suspension repair, Struts, shocks and all ball joints.

2. Engine overheated and the temp fluctuation was pretty radicle. Found a kinked hose. What else should I look into? Fan seems to be running fine but so did the temp for a while.

3. Hardtop tool is missing what's this special tool to remove the hard top from the windshield?

Any help would be appreciated, now on to my search.
I having a hard time finding a diagram on my 2002 suspension. This independent front and rear id a little different than my F250,lol. I've found that this may be a Jaguar design and used on their vehicles, Lincoln's and Ford's. What is this suspension type called? Are there parts diagrams in a pdf.? Can you cross-reference between these vehicles? I've turned the interweb upside down with no prevail. A suspension update is in my near future. THX.
Hey, yes Ford owned Jaguar while the 02-05 Tbirds were being manufactured and the suspension is of Jaguar design. Best of luck. I have an 02 tbird bought it with 26000 miles on it. We have 35000 now and it needs struts ans shocks.
Best of luck,
Allen
 
Last edited by a moderator:
Joined
Sep 27, 2021
Thunderbird Year
2002
Picked up a 2002 red hardtop 140+/- miles at a local auction, car's for my daughter. I need some help getting her on the road and safe. Here's where I'll document my ride.

Issues at hand

1. Suspension feels smooth on a flat road but drive down Houston streets and it sounds like the dang car's gonna rattle apart. I have her up on a lift and every ball joints' boot is split. At the moment I'm thinking full suspension repair, Struts, shocks and all ball joints.

2. Engine overheated and the temp fluctuation was pretty radicle. Found a kinked hose. What else should I look into? Fan seems to be running fine but so did the temp for a while.

3. Hardtop tool is missing what's this special tool to remove the hard top from the windshield?

Any help would be appreciated, now on to my search.
Look for an copy of the shop repair manual in CD form here on the forum that should help.
 
Joined
Aug 12, 2022
Thunderbird Year
2002
Repairs are moving right along and as of 8/20/22 all suspension parts are in, The alternator, hydro pump, fan and Radiator have been removed. I'll start the suspension repairs this week and in the meantime I'd like y'all's thoughts on the options I picked for the cooling system and what I'm planning on doing with the hydraulic pump actuator solenoid. Alternator will go to a local shop to up the output amperage.

Thoughts on an aftermarket system over a somewhat stock system.

The H.P.A.S. being removed from the pump and hooked back to the electrical plug and placed in a secure area, hopefully on top of the engine compartment.

New stock radiator, can not find a Motorcraft so will go with an aftermarket

Aftermarket Derale high output dual fan and shroud

Aftermarket fan control with radiator probe.

This will be a South Texas car and it's hot so I'm leaning towards a duel fan system with a separate control from the car. One fan will run when the car is on and the second will run when the temperature increases.
 
Joined
Aug 1, 2022
Thunderbird Year
2004
Repairs are moving right along and as of 8/20/22 all suspension parts are in, The alternator, hydro pump, fan and Radiator have been removed. I'll start the suspension repairs this week and in the meantime I'd like y'all's thoughts on the options I picked for the cooling system and what I'm planning on doing with the hydraulic pump actuator solenoid. Alternator will go to a local shop to up the output amperage.

Thoughts on an aftermarket system over a somewhat stock system.

The H.P.A.S. being removed from the pump and hooked back to the electrical plug and placed in a secure area, hopefully on top of the engine compartment.

New stock radiator, can not find a Motorcraft so will go with an aftermarket

Aftermarket Derale high output dual fan and shroud

Aftermarket fan control with radiator probe.

This will be a South Texas car and it's hot so I'm leaning towards a duel fan system with a separate control from the car. One fan will run when the car is on and the second will run when the temperature increases.

A bad thermostat was causing my intermittent overheating issues on my T-Bird. Once I replaced that (and the Coolant Control Valve that had a mechanical leak), she's been running great even in the Texas heat.

Your 2002 has a slightly different cooling system than the rest of the Retro years with the hydraulic fan, and there's definitely topics here about replacing it with the later model electric version. You really should NOT need a dual fan system even in south texas, the stock cooling system with single fan on mine has been fine it's entire life, even in 100+ degree heat in the desert, and running 10+ hours on road trips. This car does a good job regulating the heat- you should still hear (and feel in the hoses) the water pump circulating fluid through the engine even after you turn it off when it's hot. It'll run until it's cool enough to turn off- not sure the time there, I'll have to try to remember to time it. I hope you have someone very knowledgeable on this engine either helping or doing the work if you want to change so many things from stock.


My next projects are the fuel filter, bleeding the brakes, and a shock/strut replacement. Ride isn't rough yet like you describe, but I'm sure the suspension system needs a bit of TLC after 18 years and 50K miles! I'll try to remember to take pictures this time as I'm doing the work.
 
Joined
Aug 12, 2022
Thunderbird Year
2002
A bad thermostat was causing my intermittent overheating issues on my T-Bird. Once I replaced that (and the Coolant Control Valve that had a mechanical leak), she's been running great even in the Texas heat.

Your 2002 has a slightly different cooling system than the rest of the Retro years with the hydraulic fan, and there's definitely topics here about replacing it with the later model electric version. You really should NOT need a dual fan system even in south texas, the stock cooling system with single fan on mine has been fine it's entire life, even in 100+ degree heat in the desert, and running 10+ hours on road trips. This car does a good job regulating the heat- you should still hear (and feel in the hoses) the water pump circulating fluid through the engine even after you turn it off when it's hot. It'll run until it's cool enough to turn off- not sure the time there, I'll have to try to remember to time it. I hope you have someone very knowledgeable on this engine either helping or doing the work if you want to change so many things from stock.


My next projects are the fuel filter, bleeding the brakes, and a shock/strut replacement. Ride isn't rough yet like you describe, but I'm sure the suspension system needs a bit of TLC after 18 years and 50K miles! I'll try to remember to take pictures this time as I'm doing the work.
Raw,
What year is your car?
Is the fan controlled and running on high or on a variable speed control?

I was counting on some knowledge from this group... LOL. No I have several mechanics and Hot Rod Wrenchers involved in this project and it'll be my skilled hands that are touching this 20 year old girl.

I got a ton of pics as well, once complete I'll resize the meat and potatoes and post them up here.
 
Joined
Aug 1, 2022
Thunderbird Year
2004
Raw,
What year is your car?
Is the fan controlled and running on high or on a variable speed control?
I got a ton of pics as well, once complete I'll resize the meat and potatoes and post them up here.

As answered by the moderator, I have a 2004. Most of the time, I don't even hear the fan operating, only rarely will it go into a high-speed mode. Of course, mine is operated by the "magic" in the electronic control system.

Re: your second part, I was definitely too busy cursing the engineers who designed such a tight fitting engine compartment, trying not to bleed all over my car/engine, and/or wiping sweat out of my eyes from the heat during my repair work that I definitely did not take pictures in process! Hoping the shock replacement on the suspension system goes a LOT easier! :)
 
Joined
Aug 12, 2022
Thunderbird Year
2002
As answered by the moderator, I have a 2004. Most of the time, I don't even hear the fan operating, only rarely will it go into a high-speed mode. Of course, mine is operated by the "magic" in the electronic control system.

Re: your second part, I was definitely too busy cursing the engineers who designed such a tight fitting engine compartment, trying not to bleed all over my car/engine, and/or wiping sweat out of my eyes from the heat during my repair work that I definitely did not take pictures in process! Hoping the shock replacement on the suspension system goes a LOT easier! :)
Yes I found the year model right after I posted the question. All suspension parts are in and I'll be working on that portion this week. I'm not sure what's worse, sweat in the eyes or sweat dripping onto my glasses. lol.
 
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