North American Turbocoupe Organization



5 to 4 lug conversion
Rudy Offline
Junior Member
#1
Hi All.

I recently purchased a 1985 Thunderbird Turbo Coupe that had a 5 lug conversion done to it at some point in it's life. I completed the easy part today... I purchased an original set of rims on ebay... 

Now for the hard part... Can I just get an original set of Rotors and Axels form AutoZone or some where and Swap? How do I know what rear is in the car? Will the Rotors fit the spinals? Any assistance would be much appreciated. This winter I would like to complete this project. I don't want to start now and be laid up and miss the fall.

Also, it would be great to know the history on this car if anyone can help. I got this car from Country Classic Cars in Illinois. It was registered in Otterville IL since 2013, and before that it was registered in Ohio since new.

   
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spittinfire Offline
Junior Member
#2
I have an 88 that I would like to swap to 5 lug so I might be interested in some of your parts, the rear mainly. The front of yours looks like Fox Body Mustang and I didn't want to use that. I'll have to figure out if the axle width is the same.
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anasazi4st Offline
Senior Member
#3
(08-06-2021, 12:19 AM)My No My Rudy Wrote: Hi All.

I recently purchased a 1985 Thunderbird Turbo Coupe that had a 5 lug conversion done to it at some point in it's life. I completed the easy part today... I purchased an original set of rims on ebay... 

Now for the hard part... Can I just get an original set of Rotors and Axels form AutoZone or some where and Swap? How do I know what rear is in the car? Will the Rotors fit the spinals? Any assistance would be much appreciated. This winter I would like to complete this project. I don't want to start now and be laid up and miss the fall.

Also, it would be great to know the history on this car if anyone can help. I got this car from Country Classic Cars in Illinois. It was registered in Otterville IL since 2013, and before that it was registered in Ohio since new.

There’s more than a few places online that will provide you with a vehicle’s history if you input the VIN.

Unfortunately nearly all of them require some sort of payment for this information; but you will get a sort of a Carfax on its past history. I have gotten this for my TC, which was somewhat helpful in that I already had a pretty good idea what the original owner had done (I have the repair receipts).
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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Rudy Offline
Junior Member
#4
(08-06-2021, 01:24 PM)anasazi4st Wrote:
(08-06-2021, 12:19 AM)My No My Rudy Wrote: Hi All.

I recently purchased a 1985 Thunderbird Turbo Coupe that had a 5 lug conversion done to it at some point in it's life. I completed the easy part today... I purchased an original set of rims on ebay... 

Now for the hard part... Can I just get an original set of Rotors and Axels form AutoZone or some where and Swap? How do I know what rear is in the car? Will the Rotors fit the spinals? Any assistance would be much appreciated. This winter I would like to complete this project. I don't want to start now and be laid up and miss the fall.

Also, it would be great to know the history on this car if anyone can help. I got this car from Country Classic Cars in Illinois. It was registered in Otterville IL since 2013, and before that it was registered in Ohio since new.

There’s more than a few places online that will provide you with a vehicle’s history if you input the VIN.

Unfortunately nearly all of them require some sort of payment for this information; but you will get a sort of a Carfax on its past history. I have gotten this for my TC, which was somewhat helpful in that I already had a pretty good idea what the original owner had done (I have the repair receipts).

I ran an Carfax and an Equifax report and have that info. Guess I was hoping the person that sold the car through the dealer or a friend or relative of the owner would be here and could help me understand how the conversion was done.
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Rudy Offline
Junior Member
#5
Took some time today to see what I was in for... It looks like the old owner just drilled a new pattern in the axels and the drums and used new rotors from I suspect a mustang. I plan to move the lugs to the 4 pattern location and install the correct rotors I was able to pickup today from AutoZone. If all goes well I will be back to original without much work.

   
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anasazi4st Offline
Senior Member
#6
(08-07-2021, 11:53 PM)Rudy Wrote: Took some time today to see what I was in for... It looks like the old owner just drilled a new pattern in the axels and the drums and used new rotors from I suspect a mustang. I plan to move the lugs to the 4 pattern location and install the correct rotors I was able to pickup today from AutoZone. If all goes well I will be back to original without much work.

Admittedly I don’t know a lot about physics and the relative strength of materials, but I would guess that the extra holes drilled did not compromise the durability and tensile quality of the hub?

If so, would it be possible to plug those extra holes with some sort of high heat steel-based putty, like JB Weld or SteelStik (which actually has more desirable qualities, like higher temperature and shear strength), to help strengthen the hub?

Just curious.
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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Rudy Offline
Junior Member
#7
I could mig weld closed the holes or replace the axels now that I know its the original rear, but this car is staying stock and I don't plan on racing. It lasted like this for years, so I'm sure it will last for many more.
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spittinfire Offline
Junior Member
#8
The lack of material around the stud on the right and upper left of the picture is concerning to me. If it were mine, I would look for a good set of used axles or have a set made from Moser or Strange. In my mind the few hundred dollars spent on correct axle flanges would be money well spent.
I would use caution welding those holes shut as it is easier to warp that flange then you might think. They really aren't intended to be welded on.
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anasazi4st Offline
Senior Member
#9
(08-09-2021, 07:26 PM)spittinfire Wrote: The lack of material around the stud on the right and upper left of the picture is concerning to me.

Yes that’s what I was thinking, that two of the holes are so close to the studs.

While Rudy’s points are valid—that it has been like this for years without a problem, etc.—I agree with spittinfire.

Perhaps that’s just me being overly cautious.
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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