: Mini Test-Drive Review... 1996 Lincoln Town Car Signature Series



Playdrv4me
05-25-09, 12:10 AM
Rick was visiting for Memorial weekend and I thought it would be a great time to take a spin in the Town Car as he and I have discussed the possible changing hands of ownership several times, and especially since I hadn't driven one in ages. So here's a few pics and a quick list of my driving impressions:

http://www.q45.org/cpg/albums/userpics/10001/TC03.jpg

http://www.q45.org/cpg/albums/userpics/10001/TC01.jpg

http://www.q45.org/cpg/albums/userpics/10001/TC02.jpg

http://www.q45.org/cpg/albums/userpics/10001/TC04.jpg

Powertrain - 4 out of 5: Two words come to mind here: Vehicle appropriate, and even Surprising. I must say that this Town Car by no means felt to me at all like a merely 210hp conveyance. Obviously Rick has not made any performance oriented changes to it, but the off the line pickup, passing power and cruising power are JUST RIGHT at all times. I can only surmise that this is due to absolutely SPOT ON gearing by Ford in terms of both the transmission and final drive. At no time did I ever feel a lack of power, or as if the engine was running out of steam. The transmission shifted smoothly and quickly, although there was a slightly perceptible "bump" when O/D would kick in and out. The transmission was also quick to comply when the throttle was mashed behaving like so many Northstars I have driven in the past. A pleasing response that gives up control when passing or needing to quickly get up to speed, even for a little fun (this car WILL spin the tires off the line EASILY).

Ride and Suspension - 3 out of 5: Again, considering the demographic this car was designed for and the 30 year old platform riding underneath it, the "Ride Control" package present on this particular example provides for a supple and soft, yet not altogether uncontrolled ride. While there is some notable on-center drift in the steering (a Ford hallmark), there is minimal overall float and a sense that the car will go where you point it. Steering feel is aided by an on-the-fly steering effort control selector incremented in 3 positions ranging from 1979 Fleetwood to Nissan Maxima. This is no STS however and too much input in any direction can unsettle things rather quickly, especially in wet or icy conditions. If you have a vomit-inducing reaction to the standard Town Car ride, the Ride Control option package is exactly whet the doctor ordered. A worthy option available only on the Signature and Cartier models.

Interior and Amenities - 4.5 out of 5: For what amounts to essentially a 30 year old vehicle deep within, the 1995-1997 TCs were pleasantly equipped and certainly on-par with any Cadillac of the same time-frame. This particular car had a fully digitized (and easy to read) dashboard with a surprisingly useful fuel data center, puddle lamps, automatic climate control, automatic head-lamps, a very good JBL audio system, 3 position seat memories, power heated mirrors with auto-dimming, a full complement of steering wheel controls for the audio system and cruise control, and more seat position adjustments than you could shake a fat-man's ass-crack at. Design-wise, this Town Car is light years ahead of previous models with a sculpted, modern dashboard featuring many soft-touch materials and a nicely contrastig color scheme with elegant wood touches and chrome that is by no means over-done. There are minor gripes; the leather quality could be a tad better and some of materials don't hold up terribly well over-time, but THIS above all is where the Town Car shines and is no wonder, since Town Cars are the vehicle of choice for everything from stretched limousines to executive airport taxis. Specifically of note, the Town Car has a decidedly "heavier" feel to it's interior and exterior construction than other Fords of the same time-frame. My 1996 Continental had a similar heft, but my '95 Taurus SHO was as thick as a Coke can.

Exterior Design and Execution - 5 out of 5: Ford knows when it has a good thing going, and as such has decided not to mess with success here. The Town Car has been through two more revisions since this body style came out, and this is still arguably the best looking of any of the TCs ever produced. The pearlescent white exterior of this car drapes beautifully over some of the most elegantly and appropriately balanced body-work of this time-period. In a world dominated by so many jelly-beans, the 1995-1997 Town Car was one of the last hold-outs unwilling to bend to such demands. The jeweled, clear-lens halogen headlamps provide a dramatic departure from the blase look of the 1990-1994 model, while the full length tail-lamp bar recalls classic Lincoln elegance of the '70s. The Signature and Cartier Ride control option includes a very nice set of 16" Aluminum wheels that provide an appropriate finishing touch to the exterior. Again, not over-wrought, but by no means boring.

Final Tally - 4 out of 5: Overall, I came away from this vehicle with a vastly more enjoyable experience than I had expected. Switches felt good, power was pleasing, and the car did what was asked of it. A competent highway cruiser to which time (nor the 120k miles under its belt) has not been unkind.

dirt_cheap_fleetwood
05-25-09, 12:32 AM
I have always liked these Town Cars. The only reason I have not yet bought one is because I still prefer the DeVilles of the same era. Although the Lincoln is far better in terms of looks (compared to '94-'96 DeVille) and interior ergonomics (climate controls behind the steering wheel suck) the DeVilles have more get up and go, more interior room for both driver and passenger and the ride is more the way I like it, soft and floaty. However, even though it is floaty it handles very well. Not to mention the DeVille is slightly smaller and easier to park.

V-Eight
05-25-09, 12:59 PM
Can't agree with exterior looks, but I love that digital dash.

I~LUV~Caddys8792
05-25-09, 01:12 PM
The 1990 vintage Town Car, when kept up properly, still looks great after almost twenty years.

I still think the 93-96 Fleetwoods are the better looking car, but they lack the clean cut lines of the Town Car and substitute GM's bloated mid '90s full size "Jonah the Whale" look for it. The Town Cars look like what should have come between the hard edged 1992 Brougham and soft, rounded 1993 Fleetwood. But the reason I like the 93-96 Fleetwood more is because it looks like a GM car from the '90s, and it's something I can relate to more, being a child of the '90s. It brings back memories of riding in Grandma's '92 Roadmaster Limited sedan.

I've said it before, but it's like when GM redesigned all the B/D bodies between 1991 and 93, it's like they just took the last generation's interior, pulled the windshield farther forward, and made the interior look more modern, without giving any more space (aside from that tremendously long dashboard), and made the exterior more rounded and aerodynamic, and added the better motors in '94. They didn't put nearly the amount of effort into redesigning their full size RWD cars that Ford did. When those came out in 90 & 92, they had all new exteriors and interiors, stretched wheelbases (?), a whole new FAMILY of engines, new electronically transmissions, a new front suspension design on the TC and just looked and felt SO MUCH better. If Ford ever put the 351 or 5.4 in them, it would make the car so much better IMO.

It's almost like GM just kinda half assed the redesign of the B/D bodies, knowing they were gonna kill them after 5 years, and Ford put all the money and effort into them knowing they would use that platform for a good long while. Besides, GM didn't really market their cars, and Ford did. BTW, did the Crown Victoria and Grand Marquis finally die after 2006?

77CDV
05-25-09, 05:09 PM
It's almost like GM just kinda half assed the redesign of the B/D bodies, knowing they were gonna kill them after 5 years


Bingo! GM's CEO at the time was quoted as saying the redesigned RWD cars were being built over his dead body. GM was totally married to FWD at the time and desparately wanted the old RWD cars to just go away.

I~LUV~Caddys8792
05-25-09, 05:20 PM
Bingo! GM's CEO at the time was quoted as saying the redesigned RWD cars were being built over his dead body. GM was totally married to FWD at the time and desparately wanted the old RWD cars to just go away.


That wouldn't have been that rat-bastard Roger Smith would it? Or was it John Rock?

77CDV
05-26-09, 12:25 AM
Roger Stempel, I believe. Smith had already grabbed his golden parachute and jumped by then. Too bad the thing didn't rip at altitude...:D

Aron9000
05-26-09, 01:35 AM
Bingo! GM's CEO at the time was quoted as saying the redesigned RWD cars were being built over his dead body. GM was totally married to FWD at the time and desparately wanted the old RWD cars to just go away.

Yet its hilarious that almost all the FWD GM cars made back in the early 90's were pretty much throw away disposible cars. Yet the RWD cars have a total cult following with a lot higher % of them still on the road. People still spit and curse at the mention of a Cavilier, LeSabre, Lumina, Olds Achevia, Aurua, etc.

AMGoff
05-26-09, 03:08 AM
...People still spit and curse at the mention of a Cavilier, LeSabre, Lumina, Olds Achevia, Aurua, etc.

Ummm.... The LeSabre most definitely does not belong in that list. It consistently ranked towards the top of customer satisfaction surveys during its last 20 years or so on the market and they were - and still are held on to religiously. Despite being the best selling full size car in this country for 13 years straight - even today it damn near impossible to find all that many decent, low mileage examples... and when one does, they usually still carry a premium relative to other models of similar age and condition

Playdrv4me
05-26-09, 03:26 AM
Ummm.... The LeSabre most definitely does not belong in that list. It consistently ranked towards the top of customer satisfaction surveys during its last 20 years or so on the market and they were - and still are held on to religiously. Despite being the best selling full size car in this country for 13 years straight - even today it damn near impossible to find all that many decent, low mileage examples... and when one does, they usually still carry a premium relative to other models of similar age and condition

For as much as I detest the N* at times, the Aurora doesn't really belong on that list either. The Aurora was the G-Based Seville minus a tad few amenities but with all the driving enjoyment for 15-20 GRAND LESS and THREE years before you could even buy the Seville.

The Achieva though.... what a piece of shit.

Aron9000
05-26-09, 02:51 PM
Ummm.... The LeSabre most definitely does not belong in that list. It consistently ranked towards the top of customer satisfaction surveys during its last 20 years or so on the market and they were - and still are held on to religiously. Despite being the best selling full size car in this country for 13 years straight - even today it damn near impossible to find all that many decent, low mileage examples... and when one does, they usually still carry a premium relative to other models of similar age and condition

Those are pretty good cars, boring, but good runners. The 1st gen Aurua looked cool, but was pretty unreliable and had the same headgasket isusses as the Northstar.

V-Eight
05-26-09, 07:24 PM
Yet its hilarious that almost all the FWD GM cars made back in the early 90's were pretty much throw away disposible cars. Yet the RWD cars have a total cult following with a lot higher % of them still on the road. People still spit and curse at the mention of a Cavilier, LeSabre, Lumina, Olds Achevia, Aurua, etc.

Mine wasn't disposable, although I wish it were RWD

Night Wolf
05-26-09, 09:13 PM
Yeah, it was a total last minute decision to take the Lincoln on this trip. So last minute, that I was already 8 miles down the interstate in the loaded up Jeep before I turned around.

Why? It was supposed to rain the ENTIRE weekend (ended up only raining the whole way down and today up from my parents, 1/2 the way from Clearwater/Tampa)

I was pondering the idea the night before if I should put the real soft top and full doors on the Jeep, as right now the safari top and soft doors are on it. Nah, I figured it'd be fine... in fact, I'll one up it, right before the trip I decided it would be cool to drop the windjammer (the "rear window" part that goes behind the front seats) and remove the upper portion of the doors, but leave the lowers. My thoughts? The safari top will cover up any place for rain to come in thru the back, and I'll be going fast enough that the rain won't come in thru the upper doors.

Yeah right.

As soon as I got on the interstate, it started raining, a few miles more and it was pouring. Now I was ready to pull off to a gas station and button the Jeep back up, but with it planning on raining the whole time, I didn't want to deal with noisy soft doors and safari top the whole trip (reason for taking the Jeep was to drive topless/doorless most the time)

So I turned around, got home, threw all my stuff in the Lincoln, then got totally soaked as I put the windjammer and upper doors back on. Went inside and changed, then got on my happy, dry, quiet Town Car way.

I actually was glad to take the car on this trip, it's been almost a year since I last took it on an extended highway trip (also to Clearwater). I was reminded of how excellent of a highway car it is. Normally I am aware of where I am and what exit I am at, but on several occasions I just totally forgot where I was... Going down, I didn't even know if I reached Florida yet... then I pass the sign for exit 427... ah... been in Florida for 40 miles already.

I took Friday and Tuesday (today) off. I was supposed to leave early Friday, but didn't leave until the afternoon. Stright shot right to Clearwater where I stayed for 2 nights and had an excellent time, met up with some local friends who were also in Tampa for the weekend. Sunday met up with Ian, then went to my parents place near Gainesville, FL. I came back home today.

Total distance was 1006 miles. On trips I use Trip B for total distance and trip A for miles on fuel tank. 1 tank will get me from my house to the hotel in Clearwater - nice. I reset my average speed before I left, the average as of just pulling in the driveway was 47mph. Dividing the total miles by average speed I get 21.4, which is the number of hours the engine was running, and for the most part, I spent in the car over the last 5 days.

Ian said driving the Town Car felt very similar to his Escalade. I can only agree on that. The Escalade really feels like a tall Town Car, in just about everything. Kinda threw me off a bit as I wasn't used to sitting that high in a luxury vehicle and took the speed humps at MacDill AFB a little too fast (sorry!) Overall, I was really impressed with the Escalade, as well as the 6.0 It is a fine vehicle. It actually opened me up to accepting SUV's as a daily driver/luxury vehicle whereas in the past, I only liked SUV's for off-road applications. I asked about the gas mileage, Ian said hes getting 14/15 around town. My initial thought was "man that is rough" then I realized my Jeep only gets 15-17 under the same driving. I'm sure highway mileage is around the same 17-20... which means that fueling an Escalade is the same as a Wrangler. Both run on regular.

As for some pictures.... here is what no uppers and no windjammer does. It's called "wind jammer" for a reason, just like on a convertible car, you get back drafts and there are wind screens, the windjammer does the same thing, but creates a back window as well, to kinda enclose the cab (when used with bikini/safari top and duster cover)

http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e363/InoventionsEast/Jeep/5-26-09/5-25-09001.jpg

Wipers become ineffective when the water is on the INSIDE of the windsheild.....and the rearview mirror.

http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e363/InoventionsEast/Jeep/5-26-09/5-25-09002.jpg

Open-air driving enjoyment! Running the wipers posed another problem - it dumped the water off at the edge of the windsheild, which made it that much easier to blow back around and into the cab/dashboard/me etc...

http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e363/InoventionsEast/Jeep/5-26-09/5-25-09003.jpg

http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e363/InoventionsEast/Jeep/5-26-09/5-25-09004.jpg

Yey for the Jeep's water-resistant interrior. Once I got back home, put the uppers and windjammer back on then transfered everything to the Lincoln, I left the Jeep like that - everything but the drivers seat was wet. It's all dry now tho, I'll go over the dash with Aerospace303 and clean the glass/mirrors to remove the water spots.

http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e363/InoventionsEast/Jeep/5-26-09/5-25-09011.jpg

Ah.... that's a bit dryer. Before I left I checked the logbook, yup, the ~1,000mi. trip won't be a problem on this oil change. Stopped at the gas station filled up and went on my way. Had I known I was taking the car prior, I would have done a couple things to it, mostly clean it up a bit.

http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e363/InoventionsEast/Jeep/5-26-09/5-25-09016.jpg

When I am in Tampa bay area, I listen to my favorite radio station there - 933FLZ (dance/top40) But... for the way down and back I prefer XM (which is usually on BPM) Problem was, it is installed in the BMW.... not a big deal, I found my spare magnetic antenna, and pulled out the receiver and power cord and it was temp installed in the Lincoln.

http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e363/InoventionsEast/Jeep/5-26-09/5-25-09017.jpg

halfway down the rain cleared up..... trying to boost my avg mph a bit...

http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e363/InoventionsEast/Jeep/5-26-09/5-25-09023.jpg

Even with the heavy rain for part of it, I made the 366 mile trip in only 5.5hrs. A full hour shorter then it used to take. There used to be road construction thru most of the portion of I75 in GA, now alot of it is done. I was in the hotel room by 8:30pm.

Those cup holders are quite useful, able to hold many different shapes/sizes of cups/cans.

http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e363/InoventionsEast/Jeep/5-26-09/5-25-09027.jpg

Overall it was an excellent trip. If I had to take the Jeep, knowing it would rain on the trip down and back I would atleast have put the full soft top on and (maybe) full doors. Had the BMW been driveable, I would have taken that, but I really enjoyed taking the Town Car again. That is, afterall the very reason why I first bought this car. Because I was making this very same ~1,000mi middle GA - Clearwater, FL trip....every other weekend (10k miles on the car in 5 months, and it was not the daily driver).

V-Eight
05-26-09, 09:33 PM
Cool pics lol. I had no idea you could separate the doors in a Jeep.

Night Wolf
05-26-09, 10:05 PM
Depends on the doors, from the factory Jeep's could be had with half-doors or full-doors.

These are half doors:

https://id211.chi.us.securedata.net/rampageproducts.com/merchantmanager/images/uploads/100282.jpg

Which can be seperated. The clear plastic window can be unzipped to open, but the whole upper portion just pulls out. They are quite versatile.

Then there are full doors, which have roll-up windows. I have these, they are currently in the shed.

http://z.about.com/d/4wheeldrive/1/0/y/I/1/Jeff_05Wrangler_RR.jpg

Problem with full doors though, you can't easily take them off and store then with the Jeep. Around town I would leave them at home if it was going to be raining, but I like to go on trips, and have taken/plan to take the Jeep on many trips. Unless it is very cold, or raining, I like driving the Jeep with no top or doors.

I tried looking for a pair of factory half-doors, preferably in yellow. They were all ~$500, not yellow and no uppers.

So then I figured I'd see if I can find 2-piece soft doors (by Bestop) used, as new they are ~$450 for the pair. Well, I found a pair in Atlanta, $200 and in nearly new condiiton. I've very happy with them. They are light and easy to remove (far easier to remove the whole door then try to seperate them) and even when together, can lay down flat in the back of the Jeep (with the rear seat removed - as it is with the safari top)

The soft doors also have clear windows that can be unzipped. Obvisouly there is minimal security as they have no locks. But unless a Jeep has a hardtop and full doors, it's really not all that more secure anyway. Only issue is around 70 the upper portion tends to flap on the highway, they would only be on if it was really cold or raining and as such an wasy fix is to move both zippers all the way up to the top and use a small bungee cord around the zipper pull cords and the roll bar, keeps them held in tight :)

I am extremly happy with my soft doors. Most of the time I leave the wind jammer down if I know it is going to rain. Also unless it is going to rain, the doors are usually off and stored in the back of the Jeep. I leave the safari top on so the sun isn't beating down tho, unless I'm doing alot of driving in town or going on a trip, then it all comes off.

These are the 2-piece soft doors, pretty basic, a handle to open on the inside and outside, a grab bar to close on the inside and even have a map pocket on the inside too. All they do for me is provide (mostly) rain/cold protection, they still leak, but it dosen't matter. Being able to enjoy total open air driving on a trip then button it all up in minutes to have an enclosed cab is really nice.

I actually have 2 pairs, the first one I got for $160 and was tan, that I painted black. They were worn a bit more. The 2nd pair I got for $200 and is in like new condition. I am going to sell the first pair when I get around to it. This is the first (painted) pair, along with the full factory soft top (which is currently in the shed) Heh... the full door is still on the passenger side....

http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e363/InoventionsEast/Jeep/misc-1/3-22-09054.jpg

http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e363/InoventionsEast/Jeep/misc-1/3-22-09055.jpg

You can also get tube/safari doors for a Jeep, they don't do much other then provide an arm rest and a sense of security when wheeling.

http://www.bear-industries.com/images/SafariDoor2.jpg

Wow.... well, I guess fokls here are now schooled on Jeep doors....

ryannel2003
05-26-09, 11:29 PM
I enjoy nothing more than taking my STS on a good road trip. It's so damn comfortable and powerful that it makes the whole trip effortless and making me realize why I bought the car to begin with. Every time my friends and I need to go somewhere, it's always "We're taking the Cadillac". I'm sure it's even more comfortable in a Town Car... my aunt's '94 really does bring a new meaning to the rolling mattress.

It's starting to show, because I've put almost 20k miles on the thing in 1 year. :o

V-Eight
05-26-09, 11:45 PM
Hmmmm, thanks for the cool info.

Aron9000
05-27-09, 12:53 AM
So what sort of MPG did the Town Car get on your trip? I like the styling of the boxy ones better than the new ones, especially with those BBS style factory wheels. Does yours have storage in the center armrest, or is still that old school two armrest setup?

Night Wolf
05-27-09, 08:12 AM
So what sort of MPG did the Town Car get on your trip? I like the styling of the boxy ones better than the new ones, especially with those BBS style factory wheels. Does yours have storage in the center armrest, or is still that old school two armrest setup?

Mpg varies a lot based on speed and a/c use. Car gets best mpg at 60- 28. 65 - 26, 70 -24, 75 - 22, 80-85 ~20. Running a/c robs 1-2mpg at any of these speeds.

It is what it is, the fact it is paid off alone means mpg really isn't a consideration.

Around town it gets 18-20, my ~280 miles of mixed driving in Anna maria/ Clearwater/Tampa got me 18.4 avg - running a/c more often then not.

The bbs style wheels are base 15", personally I don't like them on a tc at all (but look great on a BMW). Mine are the 16" slotted wheels that were part of the ride control package.

The seats are 50/50 split and each has its own arm rest, but both of then open for storage/cassette holder/coin holder etc... Both front doors have flip-up arm rest storage, there are 2 cup holders in the dash, then the large soft-open glove box and front seat back map/book/magazine pockets.both front seats have the standard 6-way power, as well as power lumbar and power recline. Drivers seat has 3 memory settings which also is memory for the mirrors.

Night Wolf
05-27-09, 08:25 AM
Yo further answer Chad's question - yes both arms/elbows can comfortably rest on the door/center arm rests while holding the wheel. In this position I hold the wheel between my thumb and palm, which places my left thumb directly over and thus easy to press all the speed control buttons, and my right thumb right over the radio/climate control buttons. Overall a very laid back, comfortable, literally driving in your living room feel.

Jesda
05-27-09, 10:03 AM
I have a feeling Ian will be buying this, and then somewhere along the line I'm going to end up owning it.

Talamant3z
05-27-09, 02:55 PM
I have always liked these Town Cars. The only reason I have not yet bought one is because I still prefer the DeVilles of the same era. Although the Lincoln is far better in terms of looks (compared to '94-'96 DeVille) and interior ergonomics (climate controls behind the steering wheel suck) the DeVilles have more get up and go, more interior room for both driver and passenger and the ride is more the way I like it, soft and floaty. However, even though it is floaty it handles very well. Not to mention the DeVille is slightly smaller and easier to park.

HELL NO! i like the new town car body style but the old one isnt as nice as the 90's deville

orconn
05-27-09, 03:53 PM
I much prefer the appearance of this version of the TC ..... as opposed to the current style. Every time I see one of the latest style TC I think of the the line from "Steel Magnolia's" describing a portly senior lady on the dance floor of daughter's wedding, "Looks like two pigs in a poke fighting to to get out!" Nothing says "portly matron" like the current or recently demised Lincoln Town Car. The current Devilles are not great and in their rush to be generic Mercedes certainly don't grab you, but at least they don't say "Porker" the way the Lincolns do.

gdwriter
05-27-09, 04:03 PM
I much prefer the appearance of this version of the TC ..... as opposed to the current style. Every time I see one of the latest style TC I think of the the line from "Steel Magnolia's" describing a portly senior lady on the dance floor of daughter's wedding, "Looks like two pigs in a poke fighting to to get out!" Nothing says "portly matron" like the current or recently demised Lincoln Town Car. The current Devilles are not great and in their rush to be generic Mercedes certainly don't grab you, but at least they don't say "Porker" the way the Lincolns do.:histeric::histeric::histeric::histeric::hister ic:

I never thought of it before, but what a great analogy. Go ~1:30 into the video for the reference. Olympia Dukakis is a hoot as a Southern lady:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XINbjjF9_O0

Jesda
05-27-09, 06:30 PM
I remember I was drunk and stepped out of my friend's Wrangler. I didn't realize the doors were free-moving and didn't have stoppers, so when I flung it open it slammed right into the side of someone's car. Oops.

I~LUV~Caddys8792
05-27-09, 06:35 PM
Yo further answer Chad's question - yes both arms/elbows can comfortably rest on the door/center arm rests while holding the wheel. Overall a very laid back, comfortable, literally driving in your living room feel.

I miss that about big american cars...that driving position. The Europeans like it "arms out" and it's not as comfortable IMO over the long run. Luckily the Astro has high arm-rests (captains chairs) and the steering wheel is close to the seat, so it's pretty comfortable.

Night Wolf
05-27-09, 07:08 PM
I remember I was drunk and stepped out of my friend's Wrangler. I didn't realize the doors were free-moving and didn't have stoppers, so when I flung it open it slammed right into the side of someone's car. Oops.

I see the problem there.

Tell your friend to remove his doors!

They have limit straps, but the factory ones allow the things to open darn near 90* before they catch. You can buy shorter aftermarket ones, or adjustable ones.... or the poor mans way is to just twist them a few times, like I did to prevent the door from opening up into the mirrors since i moved them to the sides of the windsheild.