How to Care for Your Ford LTD II
Known by car enthusiasts as the "last of the true mid-sized Fords," the Ford LTD II was an iconic vehicle in the late '70s. With Ford's traditional high level of workmanship and Mustang's sporty spirit combined, those who are passionate about cars consider this a treasure. If you are one of those lucky enough to get your hands on this vehicle, then you better know how to handle it. Here are some tips to get you started.
- Keep the engine well-oiled.
Even if you don't drive it often, you need to make sure that your Ford LTD II has the right engine oil that's maintained properly. Clean oil keeps the engine lubricated, protects the moving parts from damaging each other due to friction, and ensures the engine's proper function. To maintain your car's optimum efficiency and improve the gas mileage, you should change the oil and filter every 5,000 miles or six months, whichever comes first.
- Prolong the battery's life.
The batteries of your Ford LTD II can last long if you care for it properly. At least once a month, remove the clamps and clean away the grease, dirt, and oxidation, which can weaken the battery's charge. You should also keep it insulated with an insulating blanket when you're not using the vehicle. If you can afford it, get a solar charger for the battery, which as its name suggests, refills the battery's charge using solar energy. If you plan to do this, use a monitor alongside it so you don't overcharge the component. Also, if applicable, add distilled water to each cell of the battery until the level is just below the bottom of the cell inspection hole. Do not overfill the water level to prevent leaks, and do not use any other type of water apart from distilled to prevent permanent battery failure. Lastly, if the battery is moving around, it could risk tipping over onto other parts of your engine and cause them to fail. Remember to always keep the battery tray clean and to make sure that it sits correctly.
- Don't forget to take care of the tires.
Remember: the tires are the only point of contact between your Ford LTD II and the road, which is why it's crucial to preserve the quality and performance of these components. Make sure to select the right tires for your car and to regularly maintain them for the sake of your safety and your vehicle's mobility. At least once a month, check the tread depth of your tires and replace them when they are worn to guarantee maximum traction and grip. Some tires are equipped with tread wear indicators located at the base of the main tread grooves. If your tires have this, pay attention to them and replace the tires as soon as the wear is right at the indicator. You should also check the tire pressure once a month and before a long drive to reduce the risk of losing control of your car. By doing this regularly, you can protect your tires from wearing down prematurely.
Ford LTD II: Ford’s Largest Midsize Model
Powerful and spacious, the mid-size Ford LTD II was produced and manufactured by Ford Motor Company for 3 years from 1977 to 1979. It was built based on the Ford Torino—an intermediate and upscale car that was manufactured from 1968 to 1976. Here’s a quick look at the changes and transformations of the LTD II during its short, 3-year run.
Design and production
The Ford LTD II shares the same platform with the downsized Ford Thunderbird. It also replaced the two-door hardtops in Ford’s vehicle lineup—Elite and Torino. At first glance, it’s easy to see that the LTD II was styled like its larger contemporaries—the LTD models—having similar dimensions, a squared off grille, distinct body lines, and a long hood design. LTD IIs were introduced to the market in 1977 and it was initially made available in three body styles—a two door coupe, four-door sedan, and a four-door station wagon. The two-door coupe had a 114-inch wheelbase while the other four-door models were furnished 118 inches long wheelbases. It was also available in three trim levels—S (budget level), base, and Brougham (luxury level) models. Aside from replacing the Ford Elite and Torino, the LTD II model was also developed to keep the tradition of excellent workmanship present in all other LTDs and to keep the sporty spirit of the Ford Mustang alive.
Engine and transmission
All Ford LTD models were powered by the following V8 engines: 302 CID Windsor, 351 CID Modified, 351 CID Windsor, and 400 CID Cleveland. In terms of transmission, it was equipped with either a 3-speed C4 or 3-speed Ford FMX automatic transmission system. Aside from its amazing powertrain, it was also furnished with power steering and brakes and steel-belted radial ply tires.
The station wagon body style shares its platform with the Ford Ranchero; however, it was only available in 1977 and it was already dropped from the LTD II lineup the following year. It was replaced by the station wagon in the new Ford Fairmont’s lineup. Even if the station wagon was dropped from the lineup, the S, base, and Brougham models continued to be produced. In 1978, Broughams were furnished with a full-length side body trim strip, which made it stand out from other LTD IIs.
Sales and reception
On its first year, the LTD II was well-received and sales were considerably high. However, its sales figures immediately dropped in its last two years due to the emergence of downsized intermediate models from competitor brands like General Motors and Chrysler. In 1979, the LTD II was dropped but it was never formally replaced by another model. Ford only downsized its LTD models to have a body similar to the LTD II, and buyers choose this newly downsized car that was equipped with the Panther chassis.