North American Turbocoupe Organization



1988 T-Bird turbocoup engine rebuild questions
TnScott Offline
Junior Member
#1
hello,

I'm new to the forum and hope im not putting this in the wrong place. (I apologize if so)

Im going to Tuesday to pick up a 1988 T-Bird turbo coupe 5 speed that I recently purchased. Ive never had ANY dealings with a Turbo car. I gave $800 for car. The Body is straight with a little surface rust but nothing major. The car is missing the Turbo. I had thought about doing a 5.0 swap, but then considered just sticking with the 2.3. Im not really looking to be a racer just a nice cruiser with some kick. I don't mind performance mods, I just don't want to sacrifice dependability.  Car has 140,000 and something was wrong with the Turbo and was parked. Its been sitting for over 4 yrs.

I guess I just need to know where to find a turbo  and maybe a route to follow to make it a nice fast yet dependable cruiser? Ill post some pics after I get it.

Thanks in advance
Scott
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brokenbirdy Offline
Junior Member
#2
(04-25-2020, 11:18 PM)TnScott Wrote: hello,

I'm new to the forum and hope im not putting this in the wrong place. (I apologize if so)

Im going to Tuesday to pick up a 1988 T-Bird turbo coupe 5 speed that I recently purchased. Ive never had ANY dealings with a Turbo car. I gave $800 for car. The Body is straight with a little surface rust but nothing major. The car is missing the Turbo. I had thought about doing a 5.0 swap, but then considered just sticking with the 2.3. Im not really looking to be a racer just a nice cruiser with some kick. I don't mind performance mods, I just don't want to sacrifice dependability.  Car has 140,000 and something was wrong with the Turbo and was parked. Its been sitting for over 4 yrs.

I guess I just need to know where to find a turbo  and maybe a route to follow to make it a nice fast yet dependable cruiser? Ill post some pics after I get it.

Thanks in advance
Scott
I just recently installed a new motor/trans in my 88 and I went with this turbo. https://www.ebay.com/itm/T3-T4-T04E-V-BA...Swr05d1kko. I also installed a manual boost controller. https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=how...ORM=VDQVAP
88 Turbo Bird 5 speed, Intake and exhaust mods, T3/T4 hybrid turbo at 20 psi, Cold air cone filter, manual boost controller, subframes. Still being refreshed.
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TnScott Offline
Junior Member
#3
brokenbirdy Wrote:
TnScott Wrote:hello,

I'm new to the forum and hope im not putting this in the wrong place. (I apologize if so)

Im going to Tuesday to pick up a 1988 T-Bird turbo coupe 5 speed that I recently purchased. Ive never had ANY dealings with a Turbo car. I gave $800 for car. The Body is straight with a little surface rust but nothing major. The car is missing the Turbo. I had thought about doing a 5.0 swap, but then considered just sticking with the 2.3. Im not really looking to be a racer just a nice cruiser with some kick. I don't mind performance mods, I just don't want to sacrifice dependability.  Car has 140,000 and something was wrong with the Turbo and was parked. Its been sitting for over 4 yrs.

I guess I just need to know where to find a turbo  and maybe a route to follow to make it a nice fast yet dependable cruiser? Ill post some pics after I get it.

Thanks in advance
Scott
I just recently installed a new motor/trans in my 88 and I went with this turbo. https://www.ebay.com/itm/T3-T4-T04E-V-BA...Swr05d1kko. I also installed a manual boost controller. https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=how...ORM=VDQVAP
Reply

TnScott Offline
Junior Member
#4
Thanks So much I appreciate you replying. Have you got to run it any?

Thanks Scott
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anasazi4st Offline
Senior Member
#5
(04-26-2020, 06:51 AM)TnScott Wrote: Thanks So much I appreciate you replying. Have you got to run it any?

Thanks Scott

Welcome, Scott, to our Forum! There’s much information available here, either by posting a question “live” or searching through past posts.

There has been much written about the differences between Warner IHI and Garrett T3 turbochargers. The IHI was standard on most, if not all, 1987-88 Turbo Coupes. VERY generally speaking, the IHI spools up a bit faster but also tops out lower; the T3 takes a second longer to hit full boost but has a higher top end.

Minor modifications will likely be required if you have one and wish to convert to the other. Use the Search feature here for more information.

Myself, I like to keep my TC as stock as I can. I still have all the original features, like the ABS and the PRC (Programmed Ride Control). Many here have modified either or both to a more modern/less troublesome system (i.e. standard brake booster instead of the ABS, and regular shocks instead of the PRC ones). I have modified the audio system to something much more modern and upgraded to a Gillis boost control valve for better boost control.
Another proud dues-paying member.

1987 Turbo Coupe w/T5OD, 8.8 axle, grey smoke; most options. Got it in 1991 with 41K miles: 3 turbos, 2 heater cores, 1 T5OD full rebuild, 5 clutches, 1 head gasket, 2 Teves II ABS units, etc. later....
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brokenbirdy Offline
Junior Member
#6
(04-26-2020, 06:51 AM)TnScott Wrote: Thanks So much I appreciate you replying. Have you got to run it any?

Thanks Scott
Yes, I have driven it around the neighborhood back roads a bit, got on it in second and boy did she come alive.
88 Turbo Bird 5 speed, Intake and exhaust mods, T3/T4 hybrid turbo at 20 psi, Cold air cone filter, manual boost controller, subframes. Still being refreshed.
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TnScott Offline
Junior Member
#7
brokenbirdy Wrote:
TnScott Wrote:Thanks So much I appreciate you replying. Have you got to run it any?

Thanks Scott
Yes, I have driven it around the neighborhood back roads a bit, got on it in second and boy did she come alive.
Cool, I may have to try one.
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Jeff K Offline
Administrator
#8
A quality turbo will not sell for $125. No matter how pretty it looks, the poorly made stuff from China will not last. A good quality new or correctly re-manufactured turbo will cost 4x that absolute minimum. Back 2001, I paid $650 for a high quality T3 turbo, and do not regret it. Over 100K miles on it boosting up to 24 psi, and it still performs like the day I installed it. I wish you luck with your $125 turbo, but dont be surprised if it performs poorly, leaks oil into the intake and/or exhaust, and completely fails in under 10K miles.
Jeff Korn

88 Turbo Coupe: Intake and exhaust mods, T3 turbo at 24 psi, forced air IC, water injection, BPV, Ranger cam, subframes, etc., etc.
86 Tbird 5.0 (original owner): intake, exhaust, valvetrain mods, 100 HP N2O, ignition, gears, suspension, etc., etc.
05 Taurus SEL Duratec daily driver
04 Taurus Duratec (wifes car)
02 Pontiac Grand Prix GT
95 Taurus GL Vulcan winter beater
67 Honda 450 Super Sport - completely customized
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Entropy1988 Offline
Junior Member
#9
I agree, stay away from the junk from China. You'll end up doing the job twice since it will most likely fail in a short time.
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