North American Turbocoupe Organization



88 TC Restoration
88chickentc Offline
Junior Member
#1
I've been meaning to start a thread to document the work I'll be doing on my 88 Turbocoupe.  I bought the car in 1994 and used it as a daily driver until 2008.  She has about $173k on her right now.  Even though I was pretty diligent about underbody washes the whole time I ran her, she has some pretty substantial rust on the RF and LR frame rails.  Seeing as those are the critical repairs needed, that's where I'm starting.  

First step was to get plenty of measurements.  Check the distances between frame reference points and compare them to the shop manual measurements.  If discrepancies, document them.  Mine were dead on.  I also took measurements from various points on the frame rail to the floor and recorded them.  It's important not to move the car until all welding is complete so your references are valid.  I also braced the fender apron the to opposite frame reil to minimize shiftin.  


I found replacement frame rails for Fox Mustangs on LMR.com.  LMR RF Frame Rail  They are made by a company called Fox Rails.  I have compared them to my rail, and they are very close dimensionally.  I think the new one was 1/8" shorter, but almost all the holes were dead-on for a TBird.  I recall having to move one hole (which required plugging an existing hole).  The kit is 12 and 14 guage metal--same as factory.  

I have cut out the old rail with spot-weld cutters on a drill motor.  The Blair cutter was very good through Amazon, but the HF cutters worked better in some spots.  Here are a few pics to show you what's going on.  

I don't think it'll be warm enough to work in my shop til 2/19/2021, but I'll try to post an update if I make some progress.


Attached Files Image(s)
           
1931 Deluxe Coupe
1949 Club Coupe
1952 F-1
1971 Torino GT Convertible
1988 Thunderbird Turbocoupe
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anasazi4st Offline
Senior Member
#2
(02-12-2021, 11:32 PM)88chickentc Wrote: I've been meaning to start a thread to document the work I'll be doing on my 88 Turbocoupe.  I bought the car in 1994 and used it as a daily driver until 2008.  She has about $173k on her right now.  Even though I was pretty diligent about underbody washes the whole time I ran her, she has some pretty substantial rust on the RF and LR frame rails.  Seeing as those are the critical repairs needed, that's where I'm starting.  

First step was to get plenty of measurements.  Check the distances between frame reference points and compare them to the shop manual measurements.  If discrepancies, document them.  Mine were dead on.  I also took measurements from various points on the frame rail to the floor and recorded them.  It's important not to move the car until all welding is complete so your references are valid.  I also braced the fender apron the to opposite frame reil to minimize shiftin.  


I found replacement frame rails for Fox Mustangs on LMR.com.  LMR RF Frame Rail  They are made by a company called Fox Rails.  I have compared them to my rail, and they are very close dimensionally.  I think the new one was 1/8" shorter, but almost all the holes were dead-on for a TBird.  I recall having to move one hole (which required plugging an existing hole).  The kit is 12 and 14 guage metal--same as factory.  

I have cut out the old rail with spot-weld cutters on a drill motor.  The Blair cutter was very good through Amazon, but the HF cutters worked better in some spots.  Here are a few pics to show you what's going on.  

I don't think it'll be warm enough to work in my shop til 2/19/2021, but I'll try to post an update if I make some progress.

First off, let me commend you on your task at hand. I grew up in Western PA so I know all too well the damage those winters exact on vehicles there. Many would just pass on this project and let the car join the others in the boneyard. My feeling—shared by many here, no doubt you as well—is that each of us individually have a duty to save as many Turbo Coupes from the crusher as we can.

It’s not going to be an easy job, but you seem to be prepared for its challenges. I notice in your signature that you also own—amongst others—a 1931 Deluxe Coupe and a 1949 Club Coupe. Bravo and kudos to you.
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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