Should I buy a MarkVIII? - TCCoA Forums
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post #1 of 64 (permalink) Old 04-16-2008, 01:10 PM Thread Starter
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Should I buy a MarkVIII?

There's a trans shop around the corner from my house that has a 98 Mark VIII for sale. I talked to the guy, and he said they just rebuilt the trans, and it has a leak in the front airbag system so the nose drops to the ground overnight. Also some of the paint on the front bumper is a little messed up. The car is pearl white with grey interior. Body is pretty nice except for the front bumper cover, interior is perfect. 128K miles, they are asking $2800 for it. I'm debating whether I want it or not. What do people think?

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post #2 of 64 (permalink) Old 04-16-2008, 01:16 PM
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YES!!! $2800 for a clean, good running Gen II is a very good deal!! And 128K is nothing for miles!

Check the blend door to see if you have heat/AC. The air ride can get expensive or just swap it to a MN12 suspension.

Just my .02.

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post #3 of 64 (permalink) Old 04-16-2008, 01:36 PM
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mark 8's just have more quality parts then t bird's or cougar's, plain and simple.
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post #4 of 64 (permalink) Old 04-16-2008, 01:42 PM Thread Starter
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With the air ride, could I replace the front bags with springs, but leave the rear as still an air ride? Or is it an all-or-nothing kind of deal?

-91 Cougar LS, coming soon, complete overhaul with a 427" Windsor.
-90 XR7 5-speed black on black w/sunroof, MP2, coated rotors, double intercooler, 15%OD, ported heads, comp stage 1 cam, 85mm TB, 90MM LMAF, 80# injectors, and ported big valve heads
-98 Mark VIII LSC, Procharger P600b, TR3650 swap and 3.73s.
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post #5 of 64 (permalink) Old 04-16-2008, 02:26 PM
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post #6 of 64 (permalink) Old 04-16-2008, 02:30 PM
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That might be a little tough. You could probably fab up something that presurizes the rear bags and then seals them but by the time you do that, you could have probably converted over to the MN12 stuff.

Used air bags aren't "too expensive" on eBay:
http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/97-98...spagenameZWDVW

You could probably scrounge the MN12 stuff over a while and get good prices. The issue with the draining air bag is that it usually ends up ruining the compressor and/or dryer because it makes them constantly work to keep the bag filled.

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Or that!

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post #7 of 64 (permalink) Old 04-16-2008, 02:38 PM
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I looked long and hard at a Mark VIII when I was in the market for a car. I just got scared off from the air ride, its reputation for having electrical gremlins, the headlights and in Michigan, your registration gets taxed as if its a $45,000 car. I would have loved to tune up a Mark VIII to get over 300HP, but again, I wanted something more simple to work on.

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post #8 of 64 (permalink) Old 04-16-2008, 02:38 PM Thread Starter
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Oh, I could hit up a junkyard that I know has 2 SCs, and have MN12 stuff swapped onto it within 24 hours of buying the car. I just would prefer to keep the air ride if I could. Plus the spring perches for the rear are kind of expensive, which means I might take the LCAs for my cougar and put the cast iron ones on the mark if I convert to springs. Or there's always the option of run it like it is until the compressor dies, and then convert to springs. The biggest reason I'm hesitant is that I would have to borrow the money to buy it, and up to date, I have always bought all my cars outright, and I don't like the idea of a car loan. I think I'll see if I can borrow the money from my grandfather or something.

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post #9 of 64 (permalink) Old 04-16-2008, 02:41 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CometGSR View Post
I looked long and hard at a Mark VIII when I was in the market for a car. I just got scared off from the air ride, its reputation for having electrical gremlins, the headlights and in Michigan, your registration gets taxed as if its a $45,000 car. I would have loved to tune up a Mark VIII to get over 300HP, but again, I wanted something more simple to work on.
I'm an ASE master certified auto tech. Air ride and electrical gremlins don't scare me one bit. Plus the cougars and the firebird are the toys to make fast. This would just be a nice daily driver to replace my 285K mile crown vic. The only question is can I justify almost $3000 for something I really don't need, especially when I already have 4 cars.

-91 Cougar LS, coming soon, complete overhaul with a 427" Windsor.
-90 XR7 5-speed black on black w/sunroof, MP2, coated rotors, double intercooler, 15%OD, ported heads, comp stage 1 cam, 85mm TB, 90MM LMAF, 80# injectors, and ported big valve heads
-98 Mark VIII LSC, Procharger P600b, TR3650 swap and 3.73s.
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post #10 of 64 (permalink) Old 04-16-2008, 04:18 PM
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air bag usually leak at the pump, pump them up manually and cap off the lines, they should stay pumped up
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post #11 of 64 (permalink) Old 04-16-2008, 04:33 PM
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Mark VIII air bags usually leak at the bags in the front, and most definitely will need replacing. You can do a front only coil over. Check out www.americanairsuspension.com

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post #12 of 64 (permalink) Old 04-16-2008, 06:33 PM
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Do it.

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post #13 of 64 (permalink) Old 04-16-2008, 07:15 PM
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post #14 of 64 (permalink) Old 04-16-2008, 07:17 PM
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You could probably buy it, do a lil TLC to it, sell it for a good deal to someone else and still make a lil money.

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post #15 of 64 (permalink) Old 04-16-2008, 08:08 PM
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I might have a front air shock for a Mark, from my dad's (now gone) '97.

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post #16 of 64 (permalink) Old 04-16-2008, 08:41 PM
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ha you should let me buy it then take my tbird as car #5

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post #17 of 64 (permalink) Old 04-16-2008, 08:51 PM
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correct me if im wrong, but the mark has the 4.6 DOHC right?...and what, mabe 40 hp over my birds 4.6 SOHC?...just curious, a lady co-worker has one and ive been bugging her to let me drive it...hehe.

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post #18 of 64 (permalink) Old 04-16-2008, 09:08 PM
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I had thought about a a Mark VIII LSC that was just a little more than I paid for the '97 Cougar I bought two weeks ago but I couldn't get past the Continental style rear . I wasn't fond of the mono chromatic paint either.
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post #19 of 64 (permalink) Old 04-16-2008, 10:22 PM Thread Starter
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Chris, if I don't get the mark, there is a 92 5.0 cougar that is for sale for $700, so I would probably be going for that. Not that I really need ANOTHER cougar.

Strung, the 4.6DOHC is rated at 280hp, however I don't think the torque is any higher than the SOHC motor. I've driven the older style marks before, and they aren't that impressive in terms of acceleration. My bone stock 94 with 200K miles, a tune, and 5-speed swap was certainly faster than the 93 mark 8 I thought about buying a couple years ago. Maybe the gen 2's are better, I don't know.

I looked at the car today and heard it start up and run. No plates, so I couldn't take it for a test drive, but everything looks solid on the car, including the front end. The AC blend door works. The front bags inflate right up, but then within a couple hours, the nose is back on the ground, so the air ride will have to be taken care of pretty quickly. The paint on the front bumper and grille is a little messed up, but nothing that would bother me too much, and if it did, I could fix it easily enough. Interior is perfect. Trunk is perfect. Has a 6CD changer in the trunk. Looks like the only option its missing is the sunroof. I'm going to talk to my grandfather tomorrow and see how he feels about loaning me a couple grand. If that goes well, it looks like I'll be buying the car.

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post #20 of 64 (permalink) Old 04-16-2008, 10:26 PM
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The base model is rated at 280 for hp and tq, LSC's are 290 for both. I've gone 14.7 in my stock 98 LSC with only removed silencer and wider and stickier street tires (255/40r17 bfg kdw-2). Just for reference. My Tbird was a 3.8 so I can't really compare the two.

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post #21 of 64 (permalink) Old 04-17-2008, 07:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MadMikeyL View Post
I've driven the older style marks before, and they aren't that impressive in terms of acceleration. My bone stock 94 with 200K miles, a tune, and 5-speed swap was certainly faster than the 93 Mark VIII I thought about buying a couple years ago.
I would hope so!!!!! That 5 speed really helps a lot. What was your 94 running in the ΒΌ mile?

As mentioned: 280 hp and 285 torque for the base and 290 hp and 290 torque for the LSC.

The Gen II's are usually a little slower than the Gen I's due to the intake design being a pile. (Or at least that is the general consensus). Gen II's are a solid low 15 second car bone stock than can sometimes dip into the 14's. (my best 14.849 @ 96.95 mph) Traction is a huge issue with the Gen II's: No POSI, 3.08's or 3.27's (If you keep the traction control on and spin the wheels, it retards the timing to keep you from spinning.... which will net you a mid 17 second run.... don't ask how I know!!!)

I think it depends on what you want. Do you want a nice, comfortable, sleek, luxury sport, daily driver; or something that you will be modifying to go racing? For racing I would say go MN12, but for a sweet daily driver, I think a Gen II is a perfect candidate. And it definitely has a lot of potential.

Just my .02.

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post #22 of 64 (permalink) Old 04-17-2008, 08:25 AM Thread Starter
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I don't know what the 5-speed car would run because I never took it to the track. I do know that the 5-speed swap really helped on the street, especially since I used the cobra trans which has a steeper 1st and 2nd gear. It was probably about the same as my 89 5-speed XR7, so I would guess it would have run high 14s/low 15s. As for the lincoln, it will probably get a few mods just because I'm not the type to leave anything stock, but for the most part it will just be a nice daily driver. I have the 393 cougar, the SC XR7, and the 80 firebird formula as the fast cars. Like I said, this car will be to replace my crown vic, so compared to that, I'm sure it would be plenty fast. I sat in the car, and it is definitely nice for a daily driver. A little too much luxury for me, but I could probably get used to it. I figure trak-lok, 3.73s, converter, and a tune, then some well-placed flat black/niteshades, and swap the wheels out for something else, and I'd be happy. First I have to see if I can even get the money for the car though.

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-90 XR7 5-speed black on black w/sunroof, MP2, coated rotors, double intercooler, 15%OD, ported heads, comp stage 1 cam, 85mm TB, 90MM LMAF, 80# injectors, and ported big valve heads
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post #23 of 64 (permalink) Old 04-17-2008, 11:46 AM
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Don't let the gimikey suspension keep you from buying that Mark.

There are plenty of options to fix and keep the air suspension running, and a never fail option of throwing steel springs in.

My 94 has a spring conversion, I love the car - and never have to monkey with the air system.

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post #24 of 64 (permalink) Old 04-17-2008, 12:18 PM Thread Starter
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I just got back from my lunch break, which I used to talk to my grandfather. He loaned me $2000, so now I just need to come up with another $800, which should be easy enough, so I will definitely be buying this car. I'll take a look at the air ride, see where it is leaking, and if it will be expensive to fix I'll just unplug the compressor and throw some SC shocks and springs in it. At least that way, I could always put the air ride back if I ever wanted to.

-91 Cougar LS, coming soon, complete overhaul with a 427" Windsor.
-90 XR7 5-speed black on black w/sunroof, MP2, coated rotors, double intercooler, 15%OD, ported heads, comp stage 1 cam, 85mm TB, 90MM LMAF, 80# injectors, and ported big valve heads
-98 Mark VIII LSC, Procharger P600b, TR3650 swap and 3.73s.
-90 SC Automatic rustbucket winter beater
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post #25 of 64 (permalink) Old 04-17-2008, 12:40 PM
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Quote:
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mark 8's just have more quality parts then t bird's or cougar's, plain and simple.
that has to the most stupid comment i have seen on this forum in a long time. as a ford parts guy, its the same damn car, the 3 cars share alot of same parts , including subframes and suspension hardware. there is no quailty difference in the 3 cars .

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post #26 of 64 (permalink) Old 04-17-2008, 12:59 PM
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that has to the most stupid comment i have seen on this forum in a long time. as a ford parts guy, its the same damn car, the 3 cars share alot of same parts , including subframes and suspension hardware. there is no quailty difference in the 3 cars .
I thought the same thing. I was just a good boy this time and didn't comment.
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post #27 of 64 (permalink) Old 04-17-2008, 02:24 PM
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I just got back from my lunch break, which I used to talk to my grandfather. He loaned me $2000, so now I just need to come up with another $800, which should be easy enough, so I will definitely be buying this car. I'll take a look at the air ride, see where it is leaking, and if it will be expensive to fix I'll just unplug the compressor and throw some SC shocks and springs in it. At least that way, I could always put the air ride back if I ever wanted to.
Did you check the blend door? Price for the repair is only something like $50.... if you do it yourself.

My Dad just paid $1300 to have a dealership do his... again!!

It is quite the PITA... Mine has gone bad, again!! !!!

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post #28 of 64 (permalink) Old 04-17-2008, 02:42 PM
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This thread is worthless with out pictures.

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post #29 of 64 (permalink) Old 04-17-2008, 02:42 PM Thread Starter
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I did check the blend door, and it is working properly right now. I'm no stranger to pulling dashboards out though, so if it ever does go bad, its just a saturday to fix it. And no stealership will ever see any of my cars for any reason. Also, I was looking at some pics of other 97/98s, and it looks like this one might be an LSC too! I know it has the body-colored grille, and from what I was seeing it looks like the non-LSCs had the chrome grille. Am I right on that one? Also what are the other visual differences between the regular mark and the LSC?

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-90 XR7 5-speed black on black w/sunroof, MP2, coated rotors, double intercooler, 15%OD, ported heads, comp stage 1 cam, 85mm TB, 90MM LMAF, 80# injectors, and ported big valve heads
-98 Mark VIII LSC, Procharger P600b, TR3650 swap and 3.73s.
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post #30 of 64 (permalink) Old 04-17-2008, 02:43 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
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This thread is worthless with out pictures.
I'll try to get some pics tonight.

-91 Cougar LS, coming soon, complete overhaul with a 427" Windsor.
-90 XR7 5-speed black on black w/sunroof, MP2, coated rotors, double intercooler, 15%OD, ported heads, comp stage 1 cam, 85mm TB, 90MM LMAF, 80# injectors, and ported big valve heads
-98 Mark VIII LSC, Procharger P600b, TR3650 swap and 3.73s.
-90 SC Automatic rustbucket winter beater
-97 Tbird Sport 4.6 Nice weather daily driver
-"Your buddy Mike is INSANE!" -ClintD's dad
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