looking to buy an 87-88 T/C in the future...questions - TCCoA Forums
 
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-28-2002, 03:52 PM Thread Starter
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looking to buy an 87-88 T/C in the future...questions

ok, i just got rid of my old 86 bird now i have room for a 2nd car. in the next month or so i hope to be buying an 87-88 turbo, it will be very very cheap therefor it will probaly need some work. so i have some questions
1) what likes to break in these cars?
2) is it hard to swap out the turbo (a friend of my friends might be selling his 87 auto that might need a new turbo) and how can i get more boost out of it like in the 5spds
3) how are the trannys ,(5spd and auto)
how hard is it to take apart the engine, in case of a blown head or gasket?
4) what should i look for when looking at one?

thanks!
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-30-2002, 12:21 PM
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Got a site for ya

it may help it may not I know it helped me.
http://www.turbotbird.com

Matt
TCCONE Director

~If speed kills then buy a Honda~
~I'm not addicted to gambling... I'm addicted to sitting in a semi-circle~

83 Thunderbird with a 351 Cleveland
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-01-2002, 12:58 PM
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turbo ford

heres another good 2.3 turbo website

1983 thunderbird 5.0
(commuter car)
1987 thunderbird T/C
(project car)
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-01-2002, 08:16 PM Thread Starter
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thanks guys!! i actually checked those sites out a few days back, they were more than helpful.

thanks
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-12-2002, 10:15 PM
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i have a 88 tc auto
dont buy an auto get a 5 speed
if you want to go fast
auto was 160 hp
5sp was 190 hp
the auto tranny is weak
other than that the 88 is way faster than my 94 v8
hope this helps

94 Lx 4.6, 00 NPI eng, JBA's. 75mm T.B.,C&L plenum,PI intake and cams(not installed), mac cai, lightning maf, sfi race balancer and underdrives,pro kit, cobra shocks and 96 sports front, Tru Dual 21/2 inch, center flowmaster, race 97 4r70w, j mod 02 valve body, dyno tech drive shaft, alum. diff with 3:73 trac lock, 255 f.p., 97 eec and harness, 99 gt brakes, 97 lights, 03 cobra wheels, sniper

93 Sc 5-speed
Ported blower, 85mm T b,scp CAI, 80mm maf, Raised top, ported heads w/ ferra valves, roller rockers, comp stage 3 cam, eagle rods, forged pistons, ported manifolds, arp studs, nos powershot 100hp, short throw shifter, 97 headlight conversion, 95 front bumper, 97 hood modified with ss camaro scoop, 10%, 3:27 trac lock, 255 fuel pump
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-14-2002, 09:48 PM Thread Starter
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thanks for the reply. yea i heard nothing but bad things about the auto's so i might scatch them off my list. but it will be only a 2nd car to me so i can fix everything that is going on my sc (and then a project). i wonder why they didn't put a mustang auto in the t/c's.

thanks
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-21-2002, 08:03 PM
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They DID put a Mustang tranny in the TC- the infamous A4LD, same **** that came in the 4-banger Stangs, an "upgraded" (with an extra gear) version of the C3 (just about the ****tiest tranny Ford ever built). If you're talking about the AOD, it won't bolt up, because of the different bolt pattern.

If you're going to buy an 87-88 TC, for God's sake don't go cheap, because although you say you can fix what's wrong with it now, the actual reality is far different. A wounded TC can really sap your checking account.

As far as what wants to go bad? Anything electronic, except for maybe the computer. All the gadgets like to go out in very expensive-to-fix ways. The ride control shocks are like $150+ APIECE new from Ford, and no aftermarket replacement is available (though you can put regular shocks on). If the ABS ever goes out, just say **** it and disconnect it unless you want to spend a fortune getting it fixed (it's 1st generation ABS, and is completely incompatible with later versions).

Ford turned the boost down on the automatic TCs in a futile attempt to save the ****ty transmission, but even with stock power levels they die often. Turn the boost up, add more power, and they die quicker. You can either swap to a C4 3-speed auto tranny using a Pinto 2.3 bellhousing (found in 2.3 automatic Pintos), or you can swap to a T5 using parts from a 4-cyl Mustang (the V8 tranny has a different input shaft). You can use either the Mustang's cable clutch with the correct pedals, bellhousing, and clutch fork, or you can go hydraulic with the parts from a 5-speed TC.

Things to look for on a TC:
* All electronic gadgets functioning properly (power seats, locks, windows, power antenna if equipped, ABS, ride control, instruments not reading a bunch of wack ****, etc)
* A/C working (compressor CANNOT be rebuilt, new one is big $$$)
* Turbo boosting properly (87 5-speeds get 15psi in 1st 2nd 3rd and 10psi in 4th and 5th, 88 5-speeds get 15psi in all gears. Automatics get 10psi in all gears.) You will have to drive it to register any boost.
* Oil has been changed every 3k miles, and engine allowed to idle and cool off before shutdown. VERY important!
* Engine compartment looks fairly clean, wiring harness not rigged up, oil not covering everything, etc.

Things that YOU know are easy to fix but they dont:
* Bucking at WOT (probably VAM hose is sucking shut)
* No power, some surging, no boost, but turbo can be heard spooling up (loose intercooler hose)
* Transmission slipping (chunk that SOB and put in something else)

Good luck!

Nathan Cline
'88 Thunderbird TurboCoupe
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-15-2003, 01:36 PM
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I heard the Turbos can be unreliable in extreme temperatures like snowy conditions and such, but you all know more than me. is there any truth to that guys? i dont want to lie to the guy I just know my aunts loved to blow or spin bearings.

94 LX V6 "Southern Bird"
-American Flag and Rebel Flag in the rear window
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-20-2003, 01:07 PM Thread Starter
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whoa, gobs and gobs of info!!!! thank you to all you
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-20-2003, 06:37 PM
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My turbo just went out on mine, sob, it's only had 199xxx miles on it.

90 35th anniversary sold
88 turbo coupe 14.1 at 96mph ( almost stock)
93 mustang lx sold
73 pinto station wagon ( mustang replacement), 2.3t will go in there in the future.
86 t-bird just got it
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