2.3 Turbo To 5.0 - TCCoA Forums
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post #1 of 32 (permalink) Old 05-25-2005, 07:59 PM Thread Starter
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2.3 Turbo To 5.0

whats needed for that coversion.i can get a 5.0 liter pretty cheap and i would buy an tranny but what do i need.i have a 88 turbo coupe 2.3turbo auto 133k miles
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post #2 of 32 (permalink) Old 05-25-2005, 08:09 PM
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Why would you want to destroy an 88TC by putting a 5.0 in it? You know that 2.3 is the same engine the SVO Mustang had, right? It's very capable of quick ET's and big power. Build what you have, save a future classic.
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post #3 of 32 (permalink) Old 05-25-2005, 08:20 PM Thread Starter
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i had a 89 mustang gt and i am familiar with that engine.i think itll be cheaper in the long run.look at a exhaust for a 2.3 to a 5.0.im looking at my options right now i just bought it
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post #4 of 32 (permalink) Old 05-25-2005, 08:21 PM
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Check out turboford.org

Maybe they can set you straight. The TC really isn't all that painfully complex.
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post #5 of 32 (permalink) Old 05-25-2005, 11:45 PM
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I gotta agree with SanD, keep the Turbo'ed 2.3. Easier to work on than a 5L. Plus, engine work is cheaper. Rings, pistons etc... four holes not 8. The old EEC IV is simple to repair and very reliable (sans VAF). One big exhaust is easier to run than 2. 2.5 L cranks fit with a little clearance. Why put a heavy a$$ 5pointSLOW in when stock for stock the turbo car would eat its' lunch through the lights or in the turns? Plus turbo cars just sound cool... my friend has a 2.3l turbo pinto WAGON. Runs like a bat outta he!!, gets great mileage and with straight exhaust sounds wicked too.

If you must have a 5.0, you would need engine mounts, engine, wiring harness, EEC, trans, driveshaft, re-plumb fuel lines, throttle linkage, ALL NEW exhaust. and possibly the sub frame? In other words, a complete running donor car.

It is your car, but it seems like a bad idea to kill a Turbo Coupe.

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post #6 of 32 (permalink) Old 05-26-2005, 07:24 PM Thread Starter
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I started inspecting the car and the tranny is leaking.
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post #7 of 32 (permalink) Old 05-26-2005, 08:34 PM
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If you wanted a 5.0 bird, why didn't you just buy one with the 5.0 already in it, and just add on TC body parts?

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post #8 of 32 (permalink) Old 05-31-2005, 06:55 AM
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The TC has that computer controled suspension in it like similar to whats in the SC's which make them a popular candidate for V8 swaps, but I'd keep the 2.3L. Better fuel mileage, and theres a ton of parts out there for them. I used to have a catalog that had a whole bunch of stuff in it for 2.3 Fords. It escapes me for now but if I remember I'll be sure and tell you.

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post #9 of 32 (permalink) Old 05-31-2005, 11:09 PM
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Ive always wanted a 5 speed TC. They are great cars. Im going home this weekend and gonna see if the one in my neibors yard (hey, its Kentucky) is for sale and a 5 speed. I hate to see such a great set up go away for a 5.0 swap.

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post #10 of 32 (permalink) Old 06-01-2005, 01:07 AM
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i got an 88 tbird sport, w/ poics, 133k, ill trade ya straight up ... i got a TC hood an TC wheels.... straight stock, w/ a moon roof ... 5.0 alredy ... no known serious issues

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post #11 of 32 (permalink) Old 06-01-2005, 06:57 PM Thread Starter
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What do you mean no known issues.send me some pics.details of the car
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post #12 of 32 (permalink) Old 06-02-2005, 07:22 AM
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Check out Racer Walsh. Keep the 2.3.

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what you need is someone strong to guide you
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post #13 of 32 (permalink) Old 06-02-2005, 01:07 PM
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racer walsh is over priced, they are right up the street from me, and i refuse to shop there ... check out my car domain site, has pics there ... as far as issues, the tranny ****s great, motor runs strong ... susp is a lil loose, but thats to be expected this old of a car

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post #14 of 32 (permalink) Old 06-02-2005, 01:24 PM
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I used to have an 85 TC with a V8 5 speed and SVO suspension (3.73 T/L)!!!!

I LOVED IT!!! (Except it looked like crap)!!!

One of the best examples of what a TC will do was years ago I was a GatorNationals somewhere down south (in FL I think). Anyway, two 80's era T'birds lined up. Both were from the same shop. One had a 351W and the other had a 2.3L Turbo. The TC SPANKED the 351W. (I would have liked to be in that shop Monday morning…)

I’ll agree with everyone else. Build the TC. It is cheaper in the long run and you can get some serious power out of the TC. But you NEED to convert it over to a 5 speed. Which I also did with mine since it came originally with an automatic... ICK!!!

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post #15 of 32 (permalink) Old 06-02-2005, 10:43 PM
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I say put a 5.0 in it, but then I'm a little biased. If you want a strong running automatic its the best choice..

Future classic?? Maybe, but not till about 85-90% have been junked...

1988 Turbo Coupe... 5.0 conversion... AOD... 3.73s
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post #16 of 32 (permalink) Old 06-04-2005, 09:56 AM
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Well I guess I'm in da dog house with you all then. I got rid of my 237k T/C 2.3l and am putting in a DOHC 4.6. But I am keeping it with a 5spd
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post #17 of 32 (permalink) Old 06-04-2005, 04:39 PM
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I have an 87 turbo coupe. I absolutly love that car. But I put it in a ditch and twisted the body on it. Eversince small little things have come up untill eventually the turbo is going out. I wanna keep it but theres too much rust to save the body. It was bitter sweet when I bought my 95. There will always be a place for 2.3 with me.

Dont convert it, the value of these cars is starting to go up.
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post #18 of 32 (permalink) Old 06-07-2005, 10:45 AM
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I want a TC, someone sell me one cheap!!!!!

I can tell the wife its just a 4cyl, and will ahvce good mileage!

A side note, I always wanted a 87/88 TC in high school, and a buddy of mine got a mint marron 88 TC just to piss me off!

He and his dad tweaked on it a bit, not sure what, seems like he said something about a bigger turbo, and 12 pounds of boost??? Either way that thing smoked a guy we went o to school with in a 400 TransAM. There was no denying it either, the guy had talked so much trash to build it up, and lost by a few cars down at Jackson Dragway in South Carolina.

It was great, cept it wasn't MY TC!!!
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post #19 of 32 (permalink) Old 06-07-2005, 07:44 PM
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12 pounds is really a small ammount of boost for these cars. They run factory 15 on premium gas or 18 like mine is on the stock turbo. One of the guys at NATO is running 28 on the stock bottom end with some xylene at the strip. His car is perfectly streetable too.
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post #20 of 32 (permalink) Old 06-08-2005, 10:34 AM
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I'D say leave in the 2300 putting a 5.0 in it is a poor choice i have a turbo coupe and a 5.0 bird and i love the little 2300 much more fun a whole lot faster and handles/drives better if you were closer id take you for a ride and show you how these run when modded!


Plus on the expense thing the 2300 is cheaper to mod all around!
and on the boost thing mine runs 25 psi on 93 octane

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long tubes,2.5 h pipe hi flow cats,mac flowpath mufflers,h.o intake/throttlebody swap,underdrives,short belt, electric fan, etc.............................
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post #21 of 32 (permalink) Old 06-08-2005, 12:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hobohuey
12 pounds is really a small ammount of boost for these cars. They run factory 15 on premium gas or 18 like mine is on the stock turbo. One of the guys at NATO is running 28 on the stock bottom end with some xylene at the strip. His car is perfectly streetable too.

Well its been awhile, but I whatever they did to it, it woudl run!

Seemed awefuly torquie for a 4cyl!!!

I would try to find me one for real, but the wife would kill me!!! Litereally!!!

I'm already plenty of money in my current engine build for the 35th supercoupe, and the 93 I just parted out, is due tot leave tomorrow, if weather permits, and the tow truck guy can drag it on the roll-back OK...

If I brought another car up in the driveway right now, Id prolly have to find myself a new wife!

That said, if anyone has one they want to get rid of cheap, shoot me a PM

There does happen to be a TC up the road that has been sitting for at least 2-3 years, not sure what year it is, but it aint an 87-88, or I would ahve asked them about it already...
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post #22 of 32 (permalink) Old 06-19-2005, 10:24 PM
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Ignore the naysayers.....it's your car....do as you please. They should be thanking you anyway for "destroying" a TC as you'll just make their's worth more (IF and when that day ever comes) I tried sticking it out with the 2.3 and you'll quickly learn it ain't cheap to build a whole lot of real power out of one and it will still have the same issue that made me do the swap.....no low end torque and torque is king on a street car, especially one as heavy as a Thunderbird. I have a lot of respect for the 2.3....it just simply didn't do it for me anymore and I lived with it for a LONG time.

And for the naysayers.....here's a tip.....BLOW IT OUT YOUR A$$.

Why the harsh words? Simple......sick and tired as a long time TC owner of the 2.3 purists telling me and others how not to mod are cars. I don't come off telling the 2.3 guys saying the motor sucks and they should change to a 5.0...never have and never will because it's their car and they should do as they please. I don't have a problem respecting a guy who wants to mod his 2.3 TC and I would expect the same in return if the 2.3 doesn't get my juices flowing and I decide to swap in a V8....funny thing though...it rarely happens from the purist crowd. I get retarded comments like "you destroyed that car"....."why didn't you sell it and mod a Sport instead". I've even had an idiot on Turboford.com say "He should have his head punched in for wrecking that car by putting an 8 in it."

Spare me please. It's my car thank you very much and judging by the reaction of people at cruise nights, car shows and on the web I must be doing something right with my mods because the response has been nothing short of two thumbs way up. These purists make it sound like guys like me make a snap decision to do the swap which is FAR from the case because as anybody knows who's done it, swapping to an EFI 5.0 is FAR from an easy task. I put a hell of a lot of thought into it and weighed the pros and cons before I pulled the trigger on the swap and in the end, I couldn't be happier with how it all turned out. Technically, I like to think I built the car Ford intended in a way except with two more cylinders and a centrifugal instead of a roots blower because for those that aren't aware, the 87-88 TC was supposed to be an SC as the 2.3 Turbo had run it's course in Ford's mind but the 3.8 SC engine's development wasn't complete in time.

And for the record for the purists......in my case the car isn't destroyed when I still have every nut, bolt and all the hardware to put it back to original on the off chance these cars become worth money in the future......and so what if it does? I have zero intentions of ever selling this car. If you love the car so much, who cares if it might be worth money unless you plan on selling it at some time.

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post #23 of 32 (permalink) Old 06-19-2005, 10:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheHawk05
Ignore the naysayers.....it's your car....do as you please. They should be thanking you anyway for "destroying" a TC as you'll just make their's worth more (IF and when that day ever comes) I tried sticking it out with the 2.3 and you'll quickly learn it ain't cheap to build a whole lot of real power out of one and it will still have the same issue that made me do the swap.....no low end torque and torque is king on a street car, especially one as heavy as a Thunderbird. I have a lot of respect for the 2.3....it just simply didn't do it for me anymore and I lived with it for a LONG time.

And for the naysayers.....here's a tip.....BLOW IT OUT YOUR A$$.

Why the harsh words? Simple......sick and tired as a long time TC owner of the 2.3 purists telling me and others how not to mod are cars. I don't come off telling the 2.3 guys saying the motor sucks and they should change to a 5.0...never have and never will because it's their car and they should do as they please. I don't have a problem respecting a guy who wants to mod his 2.3 TC and I would expect the same in return....funny thing though...it rarely happens. I get retarded comments like "you destroyed that car"....."why didn't you sell it and mod a Sport instead"

Spare me please. It's my car thank you very much and judging by the reaction of people at cruise nights, car shows and on the web I must be doing something right with my mods because the response has been nothing short of two thumbs way up.

And for the record for the purists......in my case the car isn't destroyed when I still have every nut, bolt and all the hardware to put it back to original on the off chance these cars become worth money in the future......and so what if it does? I have zero intentions of ever selling this car. If you love the car so much, who cares if it might be worth money unless you plan on selling it at some time.









sounds like 5.0 denial


i agree it is his car do as he pleases but dont just rule out the 2300 from the go
it has great potential and can be done cheaply if you research it out .from what ive read he thinks it will be faster from the get go and it wont.

1987 TURBO COUPE -- 429/c-6 .headers,motorsports cam,ported heads,750 holley,high rise intake,electric waterpump,big shot plate kit,much much more!!!!!!
new numbers coming soon!!!


1988 5.0 BIRD ------ BEATER
long tubes,2.5 h pipe hi flow cats,mac flowpath mufflers,h.o intake/throttlebody swap,underdrives,short belt, electric fan, etc.............................
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post #24 of 32 (permalink) Old 06-20-2005, 02:36 AM
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if you like old school muscle and easy cheap horsepower put a carbd 302 or 351 in that tc

if you like the sound of a turbo and decent fuel economy/power use the 2.3 litre

if you dont mind spending a chunk of cash u can make the 2.3 just as fast as a 302 but the same amount of cash spent on a 302 will be faster

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post #25 of 32 (permalink) Old 06-20-2005, 07:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SLEEPER T-BIRD 87
sounds like 5.0 denial

i agree it is his car do as he pleases but dont just rule out the 2300 from the go
it has great potential and can be done cheaply if you research it out .from what ive read he thinks it will be faster from the get go and it wont.
Doesn't sound like you read the post thouroughly....

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheHawk05
**** Simple......sick and tired as a long time TC owner of the 2.3 purists telling me and others how not to mod are cars.****
After three years of TC ownership, I also did the 2.3 to 5.0 swap. Car is way more fun, and the only way to go if you want automatic with O/D(You couldn't give me a C4). Yea the 5 speed turbo 2.3 is nice, but after 30+ years of std transmissions I wanted a automatic Hot Rod(actually never thought I'd say that).

To sum it up.... The 2.3 is a great LITTLE engine, but NA or boosted, its still only half a motor....


1988 Turbo Coupe... 5.0 conversion... AOD... 3.73s
[email protected] W/90hp shot.. [email protected]

1988 Turbo Coupe... White, 5.0 with Trick Flow heads
1988 Turbo Coupe... Bright Red
1993 F150 Lightning... Black.. #249 of 5276
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post #26 of 32 (permalink) Old 06-20-2005, 09:55 PM
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I agree that it is your car do what you want. I personally think too many people give up on the 2.3 and think a 5.0 is an easy way out. I've seen too many 5.0 swaps with power adders that are just plain slow for what they are.

Turbocoupe50 and The Hawk05 definitely make the power with their power adders.

I'm still considering a 351 swap with a T88 turbo.

88TC mods: SDS Digital Fuel Injection,
ported & polished big valve head(1.89/1.59), .500 lift roller cam,
custom upper and ported lower intakes, 60-1 stage III .63 turbo,
powerstroke intercooler, 60mm throttle body, 75pph injectors,
Walboro 255HP pump, Kirban adj. fuel reg., ATR header,
3" exhaust with Dynomax Ultraflow muffler, MSD 6al, MSD coil,
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Star stage III clutch, Greddy Profec B boost controller,
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post #27 of 32 (permalink) Old 06-26-2005, 07:40 PM Thread Starter
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WELL i fixed the tranny on it 1600 bucks later(fully rebuilt) im going to check my compression tomorow to see if i can raise the boost on it.it says im running 6lbs of boost(the boost guage)right now it runs like my 97 lesabre.
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post #28 of 32 (permalink) Old 06-26-2005, 10:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by turborican
WELL i fixed the tranny on it 1600 bucks later(fully rebuilt) im going to check my compression tomorow to see if i can raise the boost on it.it says im running 6lbs of boost(the boost guage)right now it runs like my 97 lesabre.










sounds like you either have a boost leak or a faulty waste gate actuator
factory boost level should be 10-15 psi ive seen them vary alot between cars
also check for a plugged exhaust system.air filter, etc

1987 TURBO COUPE -- 429/c-6 .headers,motorsports cam,ported heads,750 holley,high rise intake,electric waterpump,big shot plate kit,much much more!!!!!!
new numbers coming soon!!!


1988 5.0 BIRD ------ BEATER
long tubes,2.5 h pipe hi flow cats,mac flowpath mufflers,h.o intake/throttlebody swap,underdrives,short belt, electric fan, etc.............................
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post #29 of 32 (permalink) Old 06-26-2005, 10:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SLEEPER T-BIRD 87
sounds like you either have a boost leak or a faulty waste gate actuator
factory boost level should be 10-15 psi ive seen them vary alot between cars
also check for a plugged exhaust system.air filter, etc
He has an automatic so the boost is limited. You need to bypass the boost control selonoid and get a Gillis valve to raise the boost. Should be safe with 14-15psi. You should double check your fuel pressure under boost to make sure.

Check out turbotbird.com and look in the FAQ's more info on modding the TC.

88TC mods: SDS Digital Fuel Injection,
ported & polished big valve head(1.89/1.59), .500 lift roller cam,
custom upper and ported lower intakes, 60-1 stage III .63 turbo,
powerstroke intercooler, 60mm throttle body, 75pph injectors,
Walboro 255HP pump, Kirban adj. fuel reg., ATR header,
3" exhaust with Dynomax Ultraflow muffler, MSD 6al, MSD coil,
MSD Launch Control, MSD 8.5mm wires, K&N filter,
Star stage III clutch, Greddy Profec B boost controller,
Weld Draglites with M/T ET Street 26x11.5/15
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post #30 of 32 (permalink) Old 06-28-2005, 07:19 PM Thread Starter
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WELL i got my compression check aok.he said i have a manifold leak somewhere.he said its alot of labor.(he said wait until i put some headers)i would think it would be easy?
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