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post #1 of 35 (permalink) Old 10-03-2010, 11:03 AM Thread Starter
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Exclamation Brit looking for help on an 86 Bird

Hi guys,

I actually joined this forum a long time back. Think my last login was 2007!!!

I joined because I'm a fan of the MN12 T-Birds. I didn't buy one (got an LS1 z28 instead )

But recently I've found an 86 T-Bird for sale. Now go gentle with me, I'm in England (UK) so these are very rare here, and I don't know much about them.

This ones going to be a project car, as sadly someone has taken the engine and gearbox out (5.0 and a AOD I think).

But I could do with some info on how to find parts for them. The 86 is on a Foxbody platform isn't it?? If so how similar is it to a Mustang? Can I buy most parts for the Mustang and they'll fit?

Also what's the score with upgrading things like shocks/brakes and things?

Cheers guys
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post #2 of 35 (permalink) Old 10-03-2010, 02:25 PM
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Welcome back!

I'm no expert on the Foxbody chassis, but as far as I know you can use quite a few Mustang parts on it. I'm sure there are more knowledgeable people here that will chime in.

Joe

It's not a 97 Sport, it just looks like one!

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post #3 of 35 (permalink) Old 10-03-2010, 04:13 PM
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Move post

Hi

Move this post to Turbo Coupes. Your chassis.

Most of the engine stuff will work from a Pony.
Some of the suspension is slightly different.

My 85 has the Quad shock rear axle. thou it is only a 7.5.
has a 3.45tl rear gear. The 86 V8 car might have a 8.8 rear.?


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post #4 of 35 (permalink) Old 10-03-2010, 04:43 PM
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Welcome back man, the engine and trans should work, but I dont know about the suspension so much. Hopefully there are guys on that know more than me.

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post #5 of 35 (permalink) Old 10-03-2010, 06:01 PM
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Quote:
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Hi

Move this post to Turbo Coupes. Your chassis.
Done!

Joe

It's not a 97 Sport, it just looks like one!

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post #6 of 35 (permalink) Old 10-03-2010, 10:53 PM
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Most mustang stuff fits them, and things that don't quite fit can be adapted.

Foxtbirdcougarforums.com is a great source for those cars.

-Matt
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post #7 of 35 (permalink) Old 10-06-2010, 09:55 AM
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Hi, I like the way British people talk. Now that that is out of the way, the 86 Tbird/Cougar is built on the Fox body platform and most Mustang parts will fit with a few exceptions. If the car was originally a 5.0/AOD car it would have came with a 7.5 rear and either 2.73s or 3.08s.

I agree that you will find most everything you will ever want to know about these cars at http://www.foxtbirdcougarforums.com/ and also check out http://www.coolcats.net/

86 Cougar - 2.3T swap, 8.8 disc rear w/ 3.55s, 3" exhaust, 18 psi, etc

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post #8 of 35 (permalink) Old 10-06-2010, 09:24 PM
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OK, as far as fox mustang parts that you can use
-Engine and all front accessories are interchangable
-Trans (either AOD or T5 if you want to convert it to a 5-speed)
-If converting to a 5-speed, mustang clutch and brake pedals bolt right in
-Exhaust (H-pipe and tips just need to be lengthened a bit for the bird)
-Shocks/Struts are interchangable
-Springs (but get heavier aftermarket ones instead of stock mustang ones)
-Brakes (4-lug only. 5-lug conversion gets complicated, see below)
-Only car that has a bolt-in 8.8 rear diff is the 87/88 Cougar XR7. Even the V8 cougar LS and tbirds of those years only got the 7.5. The rear diff from a 94-04 is the right width as the fox body bird, and is an 8.8 instead of a 7.5, but you will have custom axles made, or convert to 5-lug wheels, but then you have to change your front spindles because the shaft is a different diameter, and then you run into issues because the front control arms for the bird are longer than for a mustang, and the ball joint has a different taper, so you can't use the 4-lug control arms in the 5-lug spindles, and the only control arms that are the right lenght and have the right taper are for the MarkVII, but they don't have a spring perch because they used air ride, so that leaves you either modifying the ball joints, or the spindle, or the control arm.
-If modifying the engine, get an A9P or A9L mustang ECM and the mass-air conversion harness, or you could just cut the MAF connector off any ford in the junkyard and extend the wires yourself, since those conversion harnesses are probably not so readily available to you.

Parts that definitely will not fit
-No body or interior panels interchange
-Driveshaft is a different length
-K-member is different, as are the motor mounts
-Fuel tank is different
-Fuel level sending unit is different, and within the fox birds they are different depending on whether it is an analog dash or digital, and both of them are nearly impossible to get in the US, so in the UK it would probably be impossible to get a replacement if it goes bad.

That's all I can think of off the top of my head.

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post #9 of 35 (permalink) Old 10-07-2010, 09:54 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the replies guys. Most helpful
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post #10 of 35 (permalink) Old 10-08-2010, 02:53 PM
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The 87/88 Turbo Coupes came equipped with 8.8 limited slip rear ends as well, so that would be a bolt in application for you I think. 83-86 TC's had 7.5 with limited slip.
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post #11 of 35 (permalink) Old 10-08-2010, 05:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PearlBirdSC View Post
The 87/88 Turbo Coupes came equipped with 8.8 limited slip rear ends as well, so that would be a bolt in application for you I think. 83-86 TC's had 7.5 with limited slip.
If it's any help, I just pulled my 8.8 traction lok rear end chunk out of an '88 Thunderbird 5.0L HO car (it was NOT a Turbo Coupe).

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post #12 of 35 (permalink) Old 10-08-2010, 11:45 PM
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The 87/88 Turbocoupe rear end will physically bolt in but some plumbing will need to be done to retain the disc brakes. Auto cars have 3.73s and stick cars have 3.55s.

Some 88 Thunderbirds and Cougar (Sports and Xr7s) did have 8.8s with traction lok diffs with drums , although no fox cougar/tbird came with a HO engine from the factory.

86 Cougar - 2.3T swap, 8.8 disc rear w/ 3.55s, 3" exhaust, 18 psi, etc

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post #13 of 35 (permalink) Old 10-09-2010, 12:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Loaded87IROCZ View Post
The 87/88 Turbocoupe rear end will physically bolt in but some plumbing will need to be done to retain the disc brakes. Auto cars have 3.73s and stick cars have 3.55s.

Some 88 Thunderbirds and Cougar (Sports and Xr7s) did have 8.8s with traction lok diffs with drums , although no fox cougar/tbird came with a HO engine from the factory.
Well, I think this motor came in the car cause it was an old ladys 88 'Bird with only 78,000 miles on it, but you never know - could've been changed. It was a 5.0 HO (said so right on the plenum), we hauled it to the scrap yard for weight because it had an interior fire and was pretty much destroyed. One guy wanted the engine, but he offered me $40 to pull it (I said no thanks...lol). The rear gear in it had a code of M, and when I crawled under it, had a 3.27 TL rear chuck which I pulled out. I'm just telling you what I saw & did day before yesterday. I did notice the rims were the same as the Mustang GT 87-90 4 bolt and it had drum brakes on the rear, also.

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post #14 of 35 (permalink) Old 10-09-2010, 12:14 AM
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The H.O. plate could have been swapped or the original motor could have blown up and the only replacement that could be found was a 5.0 H.O. There was never a 5.0 H.O. in a production fox tbird/cougar.

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post #15 of 35 (permalink) Old 10-09-2010, 12:27 AM
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The H.O. plate could have been swapped or the original motor could have blown up and the only replacement that could be found was a 5.0 H.O. There was never a 5.0 H.O. in a production fox tbird/cougar.
According to allfordmustangs forum, you could order a 5.0 HO in TBirds 91 and up. Check out this thread, posts #6 & #7:
http://www.allfordmustangs.com/forum...ap-advice.html

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post #16 of 35 (permalink) Old 10-09-2010, 12:29 AM
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Duh, but were talking about Fox's (80-88)

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post #17 of 35 (permalink) Old 10-09-2010, 12:30 AM
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Duh, but were talking about Fox's (80-88)
Gotcha.....

I was actually surprised to find a trac-lok in a non super-coupe too, but the door sticker did say axle code M which is a locker and the tag on the rear end said 3.27L, so it's mine rather than recycled metal.....

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post #18 of 35 (permalink) Old 10-09-2010, 12:32 AM
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You could get a HO 5.0 from 91-93 in the Cougars and Thunderbirds, but those are MN12 cars, not Fox body.

86 Cougar - 2.3T swap, 8.8 disc rear w/ 3.55s, 3" exhaust, 18 psi, etc

85 Cougar - 5.0, stock daily driver

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post #19 of 35 (permalink) Old 10-14-2010, 11:00 AM
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You could get a HO 5.0 from 91-93 in the Cougars and Thunderbirds, but those are MN12 cars, not Fox body.
Should bolt right in

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post #20 of 35 (permalink) Old 10-14-2010, 11:41 AM
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Not exactly. The motor will bolt in, but there are many differences such as the accessory drive, wiring, distributor, intake manifold, EGR setup, etc that make it more difficult to swap an MN12 motor into a fox body. It definitely can be done, but having a fox body car as a donor makes it a lot easier.

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post #21 of 35 (permalink) Old 10-25-2010, 05:46 AM Thread Starter
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Quick update.

I picked the car up on Sat. She's looking a little rough around the edges at the mo but all in all I'm quite pleased considering the price of £200 which is something like $315 in your money. That is cheap for a car in the UK, as for scrap metal alone a car this size is probably worth £125.

Also a very rare car in the UK. I don't actually recall seeing another Foxbody T-Bird this side of the water ever. So I'm pleased to have rescued this one!

Good bits:

-It seems pretty solid throughout
-Interior is very tidy if a little grubby. Only steering wheel rim is worn
-Seems pretty complete minus engine/gearbox



Not so good bits:

-Missing engine/gearbox (but I knew this anyhow )
-Some rust on the trunk lid, but I don't think it's too bad and it's out of sight when shut
-Some rust above/behind the drivers door rubber at the top. Need to investigate further and tidy up
-Passenger door doesn't open. Think I need pop the trim off and see why.









First plans are to source an engine and gearbox and get her running. Then to tidy her up a bit. Not looking at anything too extreme, maybe lower her and some nice alloys (not really a fan of the ones on there). And then a few personal touches.

Let the engine hunt begin.........
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post #22 of 35 (permalink) Old 10-26-2010, 02:49 AM
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I hope you find the 5 liters of power it needs(or 3.8) yeah I'd say its rare to you over there, they are not exactly common over here either since most are gone at this point. Get er running mate. Good luck with the project its a fox platform which is lots of fun mixing and matching mustang parts with. I was thinking about a turbo coupe at the time I bought my 94 but peeps wanted waaaaay to much for them in 2004. Can't beat this platform its tough and tested.

PS dont her rust out.

Spinning pies like wheels.

DD driving my 20 year old project

Now with new ball joints...again
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post #23 of 35 (permalink) Old 11-07-2010, 09:03 AM
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Make sure

I don't want to be throwing ants on anyone's picnic but, I have played around with a few of these foxes (still have one) and you really need to make sure it was a turbo coupe before snatching an engine and trying to put it in. If this was a turbo coupe then it was a 4 banger and a 6 or 8 wont work. The sub frame is different as well as the suspension. Now if it was a plain ol' fox bird then most stang parts will work, but not stang headers on the 5.0 in the bird. It fits in but it ends up that the schock tower on the passenger side is too close and you end up with open headers on that side. I did an upgrade from a 6 to an 8 on a fox a few years back and that was pretty strait forward, but when I tryed to put a 5.0 in one of my turbo coupes, it became quite a nightmare with all the swap outs. Make sure you know what you're working with. I hope this helps.

Is it just me or do high school kids get dumber and dumber every year?

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Map Quest really needs to start their directions on # 5.
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post #24 of 35 (permalink) Old 11-07-2010, 10:32 AM
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I don't want to be throwing ants on anyone's picnic but, I have played around with a few of these foxes (still have one) and you really need to make sure it was a turbo coupe before snatching an engine and trying to put it in. If this was a turbo coupe then it was a 4 banger and a 6 or 8 wont work. The sub frame is different as well as the suspension. Now if it was a plain ol' fox bird then most stang parts will work, but not stang headers on the 5.0 in the bird. It fits in but it ends up that the schock tower on the passenger side is too close and you end up with open headers on that side. I did an upgrade from a 6 to an 8 on a fox a few years back and that was pretty strait forward, but when I tryed to put a 5.0 in one of my turbo coupes, it became quite a nightmare with all the swap outs. Make sure you know what you're working with. I hope this helps.
He knows the car is not a TC. He said in the first post that it was a 5.0/AOD car. Even if it was a TC, there are countless people who have successfully completed the V8 swap. I went the other way and put a 2.3T into a V8 car. No issues, bolted right in. There is no difference in subframes. I just measured both of my fox cars (86 Cougar, 87 TC) and they both measured at 34" at the top of the strut towers(not at the struts themselves.)

86 Cougar - 2.3T swap, 8.8 disc rear w/ 3.55s, 3" exhaust, 18 psi, etc

85 Cougar - 5.0, stock daily driver

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post #25 of 35 (permalink) Old 11-07-2010, 10:57 AM
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Well you had better luck that I did. Kevin and I couldn't get it to line up right on that 88 TC till he got a 5.0 sub frame. We through that in and the engine fell in.

Is it just me or do high school kids get dumber and dumber every year?

There is great need for a sarcasm font.

Map Quest really needs to start their directions on # 5.
I'm pretty sure I know how to get out of my neighborhood.

I wish Google Maps had an "Avoid Ghetto" routing option.
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post #26 of 35 (permalink) Old 01-01-2011, 07:07 AM
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Beautiful Bird there. Just a few FYI's. The trim is missing on the sides. These cars usualy carry the bumper trim, black/chrome/black, all the way around. Some of the folks ive talked to have blacked out the chrome or in my case on the 87/88 red trim. If you want to change the interior, or put a 5spd in it then the turbo coupe interior is the way to go. It is very beautiful in my opinion and the seats sit great! Also as far as i know there isnt a bit of diffrence in the k member between the TC and v6/v8.

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post #27 of 35 (permalink) Old 01-18-2011, 01:45 PM
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Just a note on motor mounts. The 86-88 Thunderbirds used a different mount from the Mustangs (and 83-85 Thunderbirds). They are similar to those used in the 89-92 Tbirds, as in very similar. You could easily make 89-92 mounts work if you had to.

The 86 is an oddball year. It kept the early front suspension/brakes, but used the later style motor mounts that the 87+ cars used. The K-member is identical for all engines, 2.3 I4, 3.8 V6 and 5.0 V8. And really, it's just the portion of the motor mount that attaches to the engine that's different between the engines. The lower bracket and the isolator are the same.

Bird of Pray, your buddy must've tried to use Mustang motor mounts on that 88TC swap. No joy there, as I just mentioned above.

I know motor mounts for these cars, so I could help point you in the right direction in that respect.

'83 Tbird TC Clone
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post #28 of 35 (permalink) Old 02-11-2011, 10:58 PM
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Updates?

Oh...and how is the k-member different on the fox mustang and fox t-cars?

SWS

Soon to have some MHS parts, cams, 'luminum block, lower compression, ported heads, autorotor, and need to make long tubes. I have almost all the stuff and need some #42-50s a bypass valve, and maybe a few other things.
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post #29 of 35 (permalink) Old 02-14-2011, 11:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seawalkersee View Post

Oh...and how is the k-member different on the fox mustang and fox t-cars?
See his pic above, and see below.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chuck W View Post
The 86 is an oddball year. It kept the early front suspension/brakes, but used the later style motor mounts that the 87+ cars used. The K-member is identical for all engines, 2.3 I4, 3.8 V6 and 5.0 V8. And really, it's just the portion of the motor mount that attaches to the engine that's different between the engines. The lower bracket and the isolator are the same.
The 86 Tbirds used the 83-85 suspension/brakes(which were the same as the Fox Mustang), and the 87-88 motor mounts.

'83 Tbird TC Clone
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post #30 of 35 (permalink) Old 02-15-2011, 09:13 AM
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The above pic does not help me. I only have MN12 cars now and have not owned a Fox mustang for over a decade. I just wondered if I will be able to get a tubluar K member for my 3.8.

SWS

Soon to have some MHS parts, cams, 'luminum block, lower compression, ported heads, autorotor, and need to make long tubes. I have almost all the stuff and need some #42-50s a bypass valve, and maybe a few other things.
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