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Old 12-27-2010   #1
kingcars66
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Default 1988 Thunderbird Turbo Coupe "Michelle" (lots of new pics 8/14)

I've been wanting a daily driver for a long time now so I can take the load off of my white Tbird. When dad showed me this '88 Thunderbird Turbo Coupe that popped up on craigslist, I had to go take a look. I wasn't disappointed. It's everything I wanted in a daily driver. No final pics yet since it's dark out, but its in very good shape overall. Only mods done on it are a CD player/amp and boost controller. Everything else is stock, and I plan to keep it that way. It also has the FMS side skirts and spoiler, sunroof, climate control, dual power seats, etc. Fully loaded. And a 5 speed manual, of course.



http://greensboro.craigslist.org/cto/2128852665.html

Turbo Coupes come with a 2.3L turbo 4cyl rated at 190hp stock and a suspension that automatically stiffens during intense driving.
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1988 Thunderbird 5.0L
306ci, forged pistons, 9.5:1 compression, GT40 intake, 65mm TB and EGR, GT40Y aluminum heads, 1.7 roller rockers, T5 swap, 3.27 gears
240rwhp - 300rwtq
Daily Driver - 1988 Thunderbird Turbo Coupe - 99.9% stock

Last edited by kingcars66; 08-14-2012 at 05:23 PM..
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Old 12-28-2010   #2
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Ohh!! Looks lovely from what I see.
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Old 12-28-2010   #3
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Cool, a red interior My parents used to own a first generation Chrysler Voyager, it had this nice red interior as well Now ive seen other voyagers driving around, but none was as nice as ours. We had to sell it because it was too expensive :/

Anyway nice ride, i hope youll enjoy it
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Old 12-28-2010   #4
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I like this, however what's his price on the 91' Super Coupe?
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Old 12-28-2010   #5
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That looks awesome dude. Have fun with it and drive safe I also have the same question above^
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Old 12-28-2010   #6
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He was asking 2k for the super coupe. It's an automatic though and the body styling isn't nearly as nice IMO.

Expect some day time (albeit dirty) pictures tomorrow of the TC. I also failed to mention that it has a new exhaust system with dual flowmasters.
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1988 Thunderbird 5.0L
306ci, forged pistons, 9.5:1 compression, GT40 intake, 65mm TB and EGR, GT40Y aluminum heads, 1.7 roller rockers, T5 swap, 3.27 gears
240rwhp - 300rwtq
Daily Driver - 1988 Thunderbird Turbo Coupe - 99.9% stock
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Old 12-28-2010   #7
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Oh nice. Sell it to me
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Old 12-28-2010   #8
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I LOVE the Turbo coupes. They reek of 80's, in a good way that is. Happy to hear you're planning to keep her stock.
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Old 12-29-2010   #9
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I like turbo'ed 4-bangers. 'Nuff said.
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Old 12-29-2010   #10
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Same here.
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Old 12-29-2010   #11
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Finally got some real pics! This is exactly how I bought the car; haven't even washed her yet!













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1988 Thunderbird 5.0L
306ci, forged pistons, 9.5:1 compression, GT40 intake, 65mm TB and EGR, GT40Y aluminum heads, 1.7 roller rockers, T5 swap, 3.27 gears
240rwhp - 300rwtq
Daily Driver - 1988 Thunderbird Turbo Coupe - 99.9% stock
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Old 12-29-2010   #12
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Rather flashy interior...
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Old 12-29-2010   #13
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Great looking car, Im surprised you still find them in such nice condition.
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Old 12-29-2010   #14
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Yeah it's becoming very rare to find Tbirds of this vintage in good shape, much less the Turbo Coupes. So many TCs have been hacked up, beat into the ground, been victims of V8 swaps, donor cars etc.
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1988 Thunderbird 5.0L
306ci, forged pistons, 9.5:1 compression, GT40 intake, 65mm TB and EGR, GT40Y aluminum heads, 1.7 roller rockers, T5 swap, 3.27 gears
240rwhp - 300rwtq
Daily Driver - 1988 Thunderbird Turbo Coupe - 99.9% stock
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Old 12-31-2010   #15
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Nice, I like that red interior, it's nice.
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Old 01-01-2011   #16
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First bath pics!











All window tint has been removed, window vents are also gone, interior has been cleaned, boost gauge has been fixed, and plenty of tune-up parts have been ordered.
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1988 Thunderbird 5.0L
306ci, forged pistons, 9.5:1 compression, GT40 intake, 65mm TB and EGR, GT40Y aluminum heads, 1.7 roller rockers, T5 swap, 3.27 gears
240rwhp - 300rwtq
Daily Driver - 1988 Thunderbird Turbo Coupe - 99.9% stock
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Old 01-02-2011   #17
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Great car, looking beautiful! Could be a rare classic some day if you keep it nice
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Old 01-02-2011   #18
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a 4 pot turbo? damn i never even thought you would be able to get lower than a v6 in a t bird
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Old 01-02-2011   #19
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a 4 pot turbo? damn i never even thought you would be able to get lower than a v6 in a t bird
Ha yeah, it's an oddball piece of machinery, but becoming quite sought after. The turbo 4 was available as early as '86 if I remember correctly. Maybe as early as 83 or 84 but I can't remember off the top of my head. The 1987 Thunderbird Turbo Coupe was Motor Trend's Car of the Year, and slightly improved in '88 (for example, full boost allowed in 3rd and 4th gears hehe). Then in 89, the body styling totally changed and they went to a supercharged V6 (Thunderbird Super Coupe).

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Great car, looking beautiful! Could be a rare classic some day if you keep it nice
Thanks! They're starting to become a rare breed due to people using them for parts. Mustang guys take the 8.8 rear out of these cars for the disc brakes and 3.55 or 3.73 gearing. The turbo 4 and tranny are always promptly plucked for numerous projects. The hood and front fascia are commonly removed and used on other model Tbirds. Etc etc.
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1988 Thunderbird 5.0L
306ci, forged pistons, 9.5:1 compression, GT40 intake, 65mm TB and EGR, GT40Y aluminum heads, 1.7 roller rockers, T5 swap, 3.27 gears
240rwhp - 300rwtq
Daily Driver - 1988 Thunderbird Turbo Coupe - 99.9% stock
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Old 01-02-2011   #20
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I have a friend who would love this thread, he is trying to restore his dream car, a 78 Thunderbird. Anyway, car is looking really nice.
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Old 01-02-2011   #21
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3ni_2nr likes this.
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Old 01-03-2011   #22
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Dang man, pretty car
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Old 01-03-2011   #23
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Sweet car, and it looks pretty well mantained. It's cool to see a Thunderbird powered by a turbo 4-banger, and I thought only SVO Mustangs came with that engine.

What do you mean by FMS side skirts, by the way?
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Old 01-03-2011   #24
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Yeah, the SVO Mustang also came with the turbo 4, but it was dropped from the Mustang line for 87 I believe. That's also when they introduced the intercooler setup, which added a good chunk of horsepower; bumped the stats to 190hp/240ftlbs. As for the side skirts, it's just what I'm saying. It has side skirts, and I think they are a Ford Motorsports set...

Red Tbird with sideskirts:


White Tbird without sideskirts:
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1988 Thunderbird 5.0L
306ci, forged pistons, 9.5:1 compression, GT40 intake, 65mm TB and EGR, GT40Y aluminum heads, 1.7 roller rockers, T5 swap, 3.27 gears
240rwhp - 300rwtq
Daily Driver - 1988 Thunderbird Turbo Coupe - 99.9% stock
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Old 01-07-2011   #25
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I spent some quality time with the Turbo Coupe in the garage yesterday. Put in some (properly gapped!) motorcraft spark plugs, motorcraft OEM plug wires (much nicer than the cheapo set that was on there), new fuel filter, and a new cap and rotor. Definitely cleared up the high rpm hesitation for the most part; she runs even better now. Also have a new timing belt and tensioner that will be installed soon.
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1988 Thunderbird 5.0L
306ci, forged pistons, 9.5:1 compression, GT40 intake, 65mm TB and EGR, GT40Y aluminum heads, 1.7 roller rockers, T5 swap, 3.27 gears
240rwhp - 300rwtq
Daily Driver - 1988 Thunderbird Turbo Coupe - 99.9% stock
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Old 01-08-2011   #26
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So here are some updated pics of the interior and engine bay. Nothing major, but quite a few small details are different now. Notice the floor mats and mich nicer driver's seat belt buckle in the interior pics, and the new plug wires and overall extra cleanliness of the engine bay. Far from where I want it, but progress is being made!





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1988 Thunderbird 5.0L
306ci, forged pistons, 9.5:1 compression, GT40 intake, 65mm TB and EGR, GT40Y aluminum heads, 1.7 roller rockers, T5 swap, 3.27 gears
240rwhp - 300rwtq
Daily Driver - 1988 Thunderbird Turbo Coupe - 99.9% stock
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Old 01-08-2011   #27
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Looks like brand new from the inside.
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Old 01-08-2011   #28
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I was curious about the side skirts because after a quick search I found that FMS means Ford Mazda Sanyo, so I wasn't sure it was that or if it had another meaning.

Anyway, things are looking good there. The red interior is lovely, much better than what most cars have these days.
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Old 01-08-2011   #29
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I'm just used to posting on Ford forums where FMS is just short for Ford Motorsport haha, sorry about that; just habit. I like the interior as well; just gotta clean and replace a few small things. It's my DD, though, so I can't be as nit-picky with this as I am with Project Sleeper.
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1988 Thunderbird 5.0L
306ci, forged pistons, 9.5:1 compression, GT40 intake, 65mm TB and EGR, GT40Y aluminum heads, 1.7 roller rockers, T5 swap, 3.27 gears
240rwhp - 300rwtq
Daily Driver - 1988 Thunderbird Turbo Coupe - 99.9% stock
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Old 01-10-2011   #30
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Saw this little gem on ebay and had to grab it







The test car is even the same exterior and interior color as mine. And I looooooooove the old ads in here. Inside the front cover is an ad for the "All new" Mustang GT 5.0 with 225hp and 300ftlbs. There's even a gun store ad showing semi auto SMGs
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1988 Thunderbird 5.0L
306ci, forged pistons, 9.5:1 compression, GT40 intake, 65mm TB and EGR, GT40Y aluminum heads, 1.7 roller rockers, T5 swap, 3.27 gears
240rwhp - 300rwtq
Daily Driver - 1988 Thunderbird Turbo Coupe - 99.9% stock
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Old 01-11-2011   #31
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There's even a gun store ad showing semi auto SMGs
LolUSA.
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Old 01-11-2011   #32
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Lol... Are you sure the test car is not your T-bird?
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Old 01-11-2011   #33
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Quote:
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Lol... Are you sure the test car is not your T-bird?
Haha well aside from my car being an '88 model, the only differences I can spot would be how the test car doesn't have keyless entry or the side courtesy lamps that are in the molding in front of the front wheels. Other than that, the cars are identical. Oh and, for '88 they allowed full boost in all gears. In '87, the boost was limited in 3rd and 4th.
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1988 Thunderbird 5.0L
306ci, forged pistons, 9.5:1 compression, GT40 intake, 65mm TB and EGR, GT40Y aluminum heads, 1.7 roller rockers, T5 swap, 3.27 gears
240rwhp - 300rwtq
Daily Driver - 1988 Thunderbird Turbo Coupe - 99.9% stock
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Old 01-12-2011   #34
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You should scan those tests and upload them somewhere. There are dozens of sites and forums collecting those articles.
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Old 01-12-2011   #35
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I want to see some 0-60 tests!
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Old 01-12-2011   #36
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I want to see some 0-60 tests!
I second you.
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Old 01-12-2011   #37
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I want to see some 0-60 tests!
Thirded.
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Old 01-12-2011   #38
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I'll have some incar videos once I get a few issues straightened out. Right now I'm trying to track down the cause of a hesitation issue; it was cleared up somewhat when I replaced the plugs and stuff last week, but I still need to replace the fuel pressure regulator and a few other things. I expect 0-60 times to be around 7.5ish. She doesn't have the power of Project Sleeper (aka Stella) whose 0-60 is in the 5s haha.
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1988 Thunderbird 5.0L
306ci, forged pistons, 9.5:1 compression, GT40 intake, 65mm TB and EGR, GT40Y aluminum heads, 1.7 roller rockers, T5 swap, 3.27 gears
240rwhp - 300rwtq
Daily Driver - 1988 Thunderbird Turbo Coupe - 99.9% stock
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Old 01-19-2011   #39
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I demand to know how that suspension works....because I'm too lazy to Google it
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Old 02-26-2011   #40
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Took an overview/ride along video of Michelle for you guys. No full out WOT runs due to a high rpm hesitation, but turn the volume up a bit and enjoy the whistle of that turbo . Hope you all like it! Look in my other thread for an overview/ride along with the other car.

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1988 Thunderbird 5.0L
306ci, forged pistons, 9.5:1 compression, GT40 intake, 65mm TB and EGR, GT40Y aluminum heads, 1.7 roller rockers, T5 swap, 3.27 gears
240rwhp - 300rwtq
Daily Driver - 1988 Thunderbird Turbo Coupe - 99.9% stock
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