Ford has no parts!



Is it crazy to think that when you buy a Ford car you should expect them to have parts available in a reasonable timeframe? I’ve been waiting over 45 days for a throttle body and Ford told me it was a “personal problem”! They paid for a rental but stopped several weeks ago. Apparently the parts supplier is backlogged… what do you think? Any suggestions or perhaps an influence with Ford to step up and do the right thing?


The dealer can put out a notice on their computer of the needed part and other dealers in the country can sell it to your dealer if they are willing to sell the part to them. There could be different reasons for this. Ford is looking for a different supplier to make the part, there could be a problem with the original design therefore a revision or it could be discontinued.

If they stated this is a “personal problem” then they have a lot to learn about customer service.


The problem with vehicles that are no longer manufactured is that parts availability can be a problem. A big problem. There is hope however because there are a lot of used parts on the market. The last generation used the 3.9 engine and I don’t think it’s any different than the ones in other Ford models of the same timeframe. Depending on the year of your T-Bird and the engine that you have…there are other alternatives than the dealership.


What year Thunderbird; the 95 and earlier or the New Birds?
If it’s the former then I’m surprised they would even attempt to get this item as 10 years is about the maximum time frame for getting an oboselete part.
If it’s the latter then back orders do occur and this happens with every car maker; it’s not a Ford only deal.


Heck, I’ve gotten parts for 20+ yr old vehicles from the dealer before (Ford and Mitsubishi specifically). There’s almost always something sitting in a dusty warehouse somewhere. The important thing at that point is to have a specific part number for them to look up. Usually did require a wait of a week or so… but never 45 days!

I suspect meaneyedcatz is probably right in that there’s something else going on behind the scenes as far as supplies, design or distribution goes.


On intergalactic backorder.


Backordered parts are not a rare thing and backorder means it may be a week, month, 6 months, or never before that part appears. There is no conspiracy or anything else going on and in this case the dealer parts dept. has no control over any of this.

This car is likely a New Bird and has a glitch in the electronic throttle body (drive by wire) and the holdup is likely not on FOMOCO’s part but on the subcontractor who produces them.


What year is this thing? Presumably a very new T-bird since there is some dealer involved providing you a rental? And presumably under warranty or something?

A throttle body is not a common replacement part. What is wrong with it? The fact that it is not a common replacement part probably has something to do with its being back ordered.

This doesn’t mean that the customer service stuff is being done right - esp if it is under warranty.

Of course, its really hard for anyone to say anything about it since you haven’t provided all of the info.


“If they stated this is a “personal problem” then they have a lot to learn about customer service.”

More likely is that the message was supposed to be that this was the result of a personnel problem.
I suspect that either the Ford person mispronounced the word, or that the OP misspelled it.


What YEAR T-bird?? Some of these cars used a low production engine comprised of a lot of “outside supplier” parts…Recently, MANY of these suppliers have filed for bankruptcy. You may have a VERY long wait…


Well, I’m gonna use my amazing psychic powers and hazard a guess:
I’d say it’s a 2003 T-bird. Black.


The sole engine of the Thunderbird was a Jaguar-designed AJ-30 3.9 L DOHC V8, a de-bored variant of the Jaguar AJ-26 4.0 L V8, making 252 horsepower (188 kW) and 267 lb?ft (362 N?m) of torque. The engine was mated to Ford’s 5R55N 5-speed automatic transmission. The AJ-30 V8 was replaced by the AJ-35 in 2003 and later Thunderbirds, bringing with it variable valve timing (VVT) and electronic throttle control (ETC) as well as 280 horsepower (210 kW) and 286 lb?ft (388 N?m) of torque. Complementing the extra power and torque provided by the AJ-35 V8, a manual shift feature for the 5-speed automatic called SelectShift was available as an option in 2003 and later Thunderbirds. With sales dropping off significantly after its first model year, Ford decided to make the 2005 model year the Thunderbird’s last with no scheduled successor.

Good Luck…Why Ford didn’t just use the bullet-proof Mustang / Crown Vic engine?? Too big to fit?


The only other application for that engine (ever) was the Lincoln LS (2003-2006), and there weren’t that many made. No other Fords used it, and the top end (where the throttle body is) was different on the Jags.


Have you contacted an auto recycler (aka junkyard) to see if they can locate a used one?


I’d have a few questions:

  1. WHY are you needing to replace a throttle body? They RARELY break. They generally only ever get dirty and need cleaning. You might break a spring, I suppose, but you can buy those at just about any aftermarket store for $10, MAX.

  2. Why aren’t you going to another dealer? Ordering online? I see a dealer in Sherman, TX listing them online…


PS - I’ve generally never had trouble getting Ford parts, but it does vary dealer to dealer. The worst one took over a month and never got a brake rotor shield in I ordered (old one mangled by a 2"x4"). I went to another and got the part in 2 days. The vast majority of the time that dealer can get me the part same day, if it isn’t already in stock.


I think that you are talking about throttle bodies in general.
This is a specific issue.
There is a known design defect with the 2003 throttle body for the 3.9L engine.


Since very little can go wrong with a throttle body other than worn shaft bushings or some freak wear of the inner TB from the throttle plate, odds are the deal behind this problem is an electronic throttle (drive by wire) acting up and there would be no repair on this one if it has an electrical fault.

A plain old cable has its advantages…


Parts sellers of all kinds have now realized it costs money to keep parts in stock. It not only costs money to pay for the parts to keep in stock, it costs money to pay someone to order them, receive them, and count them each month. In addition, there is lost opportunity cost involved. The capital that was used to pay for the part sitting on the shelf could be used for other capital investments, and could even be earning profit for the company.

As a result, companies realize they can save money by ordering parts as they are needed instead of keeping them in stock…at least on paper. Unfortunately, these savings don’t take into account the angry customer who leaves because he expects the part to be in stock.

This method of managing inventory by not carrying any is referred to “just-in-time inventory management” (JIT). The name is misleading though, since many of the people who stopped carrying inventory don’t get the parts in time for the customer’s needs. Companies like Dell and Honda are doing it right. When they assemble their products, they take the parts right off the truck and install them. When you have to wait a week or two for a part, it isn’t “just in time” at all.

In conclusion, what you are experiencing isn’t unique to Ford at all. All shops and parts suppliers have learned that carrying inventory is often too expensive to justify, and making the customer wait is often more cost effective than losing money as inventory sits on the shelves aging.


It’s the electrical part of the assembly, not the mechanical part. However, it is only sold as one combined assembly.