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Flyin Mikey J
Flyin Mikey J Reader
4/13/14 12:32 p.m.

Seeing as I am overly underwhelmed by the Geeyota Corollism, a 1986/88 Turbo Coupe sitting in the yard of a friend's shop has caught my attention.

I've asked a while back about it's running condition: runs great, just not needed at the moment.

Now before I ask if he will sell it and how much, I am asking you GRMers if I should even bother. Are there any issues with the Turbo Coupe I should llok for or is this something that I should avoid like week old sushi?

You guys steered me far clear of a Jaguar, and for good reason. For this I thank you. And I thank you in advance for any Turbo Coupe info that you may share with me.

Streetwiseguy
Streetwiseguy UberDork
4/13/14 12:49 p.m.

Its a fox chassis car with a turbocharged Pinto motor that is well supported by the aftermarket. What could go wrong?

Toyman01
Toyman01 UltimaDork
4/13/14 12:49 p.m.

I can't help much with the Turbo Coupe, but I'm pretty fond of my Super Coupe.

I'm reasonably certain that is a Fox chassis and all the fancy bits for handling will bolt right on.

My vote is get it. I like that body style better than the SC and listening to a turbo whine is always fun, though hard on the gas mileage.

DO IT!.

Toyman01
Toyman01 UltimaDork
4/13/14 12:52 p.m.

Just for encouragement.

fstbandit
fstbandit New Reader
4/13/14 1:31 p.m.

^ agreed , I dont have any advice other than it is one of the best looking T-Birds EVER!

4g63t
4g63t HalfDork
4/13/14 3:05 p.m.

Had two 83s nice I loved it

Flyin Mikey J
Flyin Mikey J Reader
4/13/14 3:34 p.m.

So far so good.

Any ideas of what is fair market value on this, in original unrestored, badly in need of detailing, condition?

Will
Will SuperDork
4/13/14 4:50 p.m.

Question, not a comment: do the T-Birds have the same problems with cracking/rusting torque boxes that the Fox Mustangs do?

The only useful info I can provide is that I believe the front suspension uses control arms that are longer than most Fox Mustangs, but the same as the SVO/SN95. And the rear suspension is a bit different, too, as it uses longer control arms. I hear some Mustang stuff fits back there, but not all of it.

Also, T-Birds rule. Do it, and post pics.

novaderrik
novaderrik PowerDork
4/13/14 5:34 p.m.

think of it as a Fox Mustang family car.

get it if it's a 5 speed, skip it if it's an auto.

regarding the torque boxes: i don't know if they had the same issue as the Mustangs, since most of them got used up and discarded long before that stuff became an issue. people kept and modified the Stangs, they threw away the T Birds..

The_Jed
The_Jed SuperDork
4/13/14 7:06 p.m.

It falls nicely between a Mark VII and a Fox Mustang.

The A-arms are longer than a Fox's and the lower rear control arms are slightly longer as well.

More interior room and 4" more wheelbase than a Fox, 4" less than a Mark VII.

Doo eeet!!!!

Xceler8x
Xceler8x UltraDork
4/13/14 7:43 p.m.

What's the max boost you can run those Birds to? I think the 2.3 4 cylinder can handle some pretty high boost pressures right?

fastasleep
fastasleep Reader
4/13/14 7:48 p.m.

The later the better as far as TC's go. '87 and '88 have LB2 and LB3 ECU's (auto and manual respectively). Granted, the later models have a few more options, and are heavier than the bare-bones '83 models, but the tune and the intercooler helps. The '87 and '88's come with 36 lbs./hour injectors, LBX ECU, Garrett turbo, intercooler (chimney-mount), E6XXXXX manifold, and better intake manifold, and Trac-loc/rear-disc rear differential. Do it. TC's are great cars, have a large aftermarket following, tons of salvage parts, and they respond well to power improvements.....they also ride very nicely.

-Les

Ranger50
Ranger50 PowerDork
4/13/14 8:04 p.m.
fastasleep wrote: The later the better as far as TC's go. '87 and '88 have LB2 and LB3 ECU's (auto and manual respectively). Granted, the later models have a few more options, and are heavier than the bare-bones '83 models, but the tune and the intercooler helps. The '87 and '88's come with 36 lbs./hour injectors, LBX ECU, Garrett turbo, intercooler (chimney-mount), E6XXXXX manifold, and better intake manifold, and Trac-loc/rear-disc rear differential. Do it. TC's are great cars, have a large aftermarket following, tons of salvage parts, and they respond well to power improvements.....they also ride very nicely. -Les

All tc's had 35# injectors besides 83, iirc. 87-88's came with garbage IHI turbos.

Ojala
Ojala HalfDork
4/13/14 8:06 p.m.

Wow, didnt know prices on these things was so low.

$1500 of sleeping on the couch

Woody
Woody MegaDork
4/13/14 8:17 p.m.

I have an uncle who was a megabigshot at Ford and I got a chance to flog an '87 back when it was new. I was just out of high school and it was the fastest car that I had ever driven. Also the first with antilock brakes. I wouldn't mind picking one up just to relive those days.

KyAllroad
KyAllroad New Reader
4/13/14 8:25 p.m.

Sigh. I had a big long post written when my berkleying laptop decided to restart dumping everything I wrote.

I had a blue 1988 Thunder Chicken from 1997-2001 and sold it with 250K miles. The motor still held together fine when the floormat would pin the gas pedal to the floor and the car would bang off the rev limiter until I could get it under control.

The only time it failed to start was when a plug wire had gone bad and the computer shut everything down to protect itself.

Rear brake rotors are expensive as they are so berkelying rare. My E-brake cable was a solid chunk of rust so I didn't use it, just parked it in gear. I always gave it 15 seconds of warming up before driving to circulate oil to the turbo and 30 seconds of idling before shutting it off. The turbo never gave me a bit of problem and the original owner had turned it way up. He said it was about 60 hp up from stock (190 hp) so it was around 250. I say get it. Nice cars

fastasleep
fastasleep Reader
4/13/14 8:28 p.m.
Ranger50 wrote:
fastasleep wrote: The later the better as far as TC's go. '87 and '88 have LB2 and LB3 ECU's (auto and manual respectively). Granted, the later models have a few more options, and are heavier than the bare-bones '83 models, but the tune and the intercooler helps. The '87 and '88's come with 36 lbs./hour injectors, LBX ECU, Garrett turbo, intercooler (chimney-mount), E6XXXXX manifold, and better intake manifold, and Trac-loc/rear-disc rear differential. Do it. TC's are great cars, have a large aftermarket following, tons of salvage parts, and they respond well to power improvements.....they also ride very nicely. -Les
All tc's had 35# injectors besides 83, iirc. 87-88's came with garbage IHI turbos.

Ranger, you are correct. The IHI turbos came on the '87 and '88's....my bad. Trade the IHI for a Garrett and a FMIC and get going. Also, grab an auto and slap in a nice C4. I have a couple of C4-2.3L bellhousings laying around if you need them.

-Les

Woody
Woody MegaDork
4/13/14 8:29 p.m.

I've seen a few early cars with the 87-88 hood scoops. Are the hoods interchangeable or did they just cut some holes in early hood and add the scoops?

jmthunderbirdturbo
jmthunderbirdturbo Reader
4/13/14 9:35 p.m.

ok. i know these cars VERY well. first, yes, the hoods interchange. bolt on and go. second, the IHI does NOT suck. with proper airflow mods and turbine housing porting, you can run 13.0's in a 3800lb TC with the A/C on and the radio on 10. i did it for 4 years in a 4 cyl bracket. with a manual. that same turbo in a 86 stang with almost stock everything motor wise, ran 11.90. no crap.

third, GET IT. ive had about 12 of these, currently own 4, and am looking at buying another next week. i favor the 87-88 version, but my new love is an 86. i like the body of the older 4 eye cars, but the 83-85.5 interior was VERY bland to me. 85.5 and older cars got 32LB injectors. its easy to see, they were green top, the 35's are brown. the auto TCs of 87-88 got LB2 and LB3, the manuals got LA2 and LA3. the La3 is pretty much as good as it got for a manual 2.3T. even the svo and ranger swap guys look for that PCM, as it is the easiest to piggy back and modify.

you can run stock PCM to about 300-330 HP. after that, you start running into big walls. but if 330HP makes you happy, a good cam, some head work, airflow mods, locked timing at about 24*, 20PSI on the IHI, 55LB drop in injectors (low imp.), and youll have one fun little bastard. and that little bastard on regular timing, regular fuel, and 10lbs of boost will net you about 32MPG highway all the way to carlisle PA for the all ford nationals every year. i did that for about 4 years too.

dooo EEEET!!!

-J0N

Ranger50
Ranger50 PowerDork
4/13/14 10:05 p.m.

Only other thing I can add to the conversion is if you get ONE, get at least 3 more for parts purposes. Unless you know of somewhere near T-bird Nirvana, parts for these cars disappeared 10 yrs ago, IME. This is the only reason I don't have one in the driveway.

novaderrik
novaderrik PowerDork
4/13/14 11:04 p.m.
Woody wrote: I have an uncle who was a megabigshot at Ford and I got a chance to flog an '87 back when it was new. I was just out of high school and it was the fastest car that I had ever driven. Also the first with antilock brakes. I wouldn't mind picking one up just to relive those days.

you sure about the antilock brakes?

Ranger50
Ranger50 PowerDork
4/13/14 11:08 p.m.

In reply to novaderrik:

I believe that is only for the tbirds. Never had them on the multitudes of 86's we had during the 90's.

jmthunderbirdturbo
jmthunderbirdturbo Reader
4/14/14 3:22 a.m.

the ABS info is correct. the turbocoupes got the TEVES ABS system in 87 and 88 only. the 5.0 HO sports, 5.0 LX's and 3.8s did not. most anyone spending anytime in a panic stop situation in one, will soon find themsleves searching for a 93 cobra master and booster. the systems, at their peak of operating quality, were awful at best.

www.natomessageboard.com is the place to be for TC owners. turboford.org is a little more wide range, open to all 2.3 and 2.5 powered vehicles. boport forums, and stinger performance are also good resources. also, feel free to call or email me, i can help you anytime.

-J0N

belteshazzar
belteshazzar UberDork
4/14/14 7:35 a.m.

I had an '86 turbocoupe drivetrain in an '89 mustang hatchback. LOVED.

So easy to work on.

Rusted_Busted_Spit
Rusted_Busted_Spit UltraDork
4/14/14 8:36 a.m.

My dad had a 4 light one for many years. It was the first turbo car I drove and I was hooked. The ting rusted back to earth but mechanically it was sound. GEt it and enjoy.

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