North American Turbocoupe Organization



88 Turbo Coupe Falls On It's Face in Boost
HotRodn Offline
Junior Member
#1
I recently brought back to life a 88 Thunderbird Turbo Coupe that had sat in my parents garage for 20 years. I drove it for 3 months and one day going down the road I couldn't give the car gas. The RPM got lower and lower and then I became stranded. I towed it home and started it, only for it to sit at idle, but as soon as I gave it gas it would fall on it's face again. I changed the fuel pump and now it will go, but if I hit boost it sputters and dies. I've replaced so much already and really don't know what's going on.

Replaced Parts:
Fuel Pump (Once when I brought her back to life, and again just recently)
Spark Plugs
Spark Plug Wires
Distributor Cap and Rotor
Oil
Transmission Fluid
Rear End Fluid
Fuel
Battery
Brake Fluid
Coolant
Belts
Fuel Pressure Regulator
and the Coil Pack

I'm at a loss. Ideas anyone?
88 Thunderbird - 20 PSI
05 Scion TC - GTK550 14 PSI
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86thunderchicken Offline
Member
#2
Have you tried the TFI/PIP? When those have issues it seems to be out of the blue

Could be a vacuum leak of some kind as well

If it's an automatic maybe the kick down cable came undone?

Did you check the throttle cable and linkage? May have become unhooked and therefore no response from the gas pedal
1986 TC 240,000 miles. Walbro 255. Soon to be under the knife for an 87 5 speed swap

1992 Mustang LX 5.0 no mods just a cracked block as of January 2015...
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HotRodn Offline
Junior Member
#3
I haven't yet, do you think that could be the problem? Here's a video on what it's doing. If I ease on the gas it will go, but if I give it quick throttle it just drives me nutts.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LsgHBkINFy8
88 Thunderbird - 20 PSI
05 Scion TC - GTK550 14 PSI
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Jeff K Offline
Administrator
#4
First thing to do is run a complete code test (KOEO, CM, and KOER codes) and see if anything comes up. Also check fuel pressure under boost to see if it climbs 1:1 with boost presure (i.e., at 15 psi boot, FP should be around 54 psi. Is the vac line between the intake and FPR conneted at both ends and in good shape?

You replaces the COIL PACK???? Has the car been converted to DIS or EDIS? If not you do not have a coil pack.

What brand / type of plugs, plug wires were used?
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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HotRodn Offline
Junior Member
#5
Jeff K Wrote:First thing to do is run a complete code test (KOEO, CM, and KOER codes) and see if anything comes up. Also check fuel pressure under boost to see if it climbs 1:1 with boost presure (i.e., at 15 psi boot, FP should be around 54 psi. Is the vac line between the intake and FPR conneted at both ends and in good shape?

You replaces the COIL PACK???? Has the car been converted to DIS or EDIS? If not you do not have a coil pack.

What brand / type of plugs, plug wires were used?

I can't remember what plugs and wires, but it worked with them for 3 months.

https://www.summitracing.com/parts/msd-5...hunderbird
MSD ignition coil is what I have, I actually didn't replace it yet, do you think it could be the problem?



86thunderchicken Wrote:Have you tried the TFI/PIP? When those have issues it seems to be out of the blue

Could be a vacuum leak of some kind as well

If it's an automatic maybe the kick down cable came undone?

Did you check the throttle cable and linkage? May have become unhooked and therefore no response from the gas pedal

I just replaced the TFI today as when I took it off and had it tested, it failed for low rpms, but when I put the new one on, it still does the same thing. Also when the car dies and I start it back up it begins to have a bouncing idle and will die if I don't start the car full throttle.

Another thing I noticed, when putting the TFI back the distributor turned from the pressure of me tightening the TFI down. I can turn the distributor left and right. It's not just the cap as I can see the TFI module turn with it. Any ideas what this means and if it could be my problem?

I haven't checked the PIP yet.

EDIT: So the dizzy spinning shouldn't happen after looking it up. Anyone know what timing should be set to so I can tighten it back down?


Attached Files Image(s)
   
88 Thunderbird - 20 PSI
05 Scion TC - GTK550 14 PSI
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Jeff K Offline
Administrator
#6
Distributor hold down bolt is loose. 17 mm head, and kind of hard to get to. Set ignition timing to 10 deg BTDC with a timing light and tighten bolt. Be sure the SPOUT connector is disconnected when you et the base timing.
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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HotRodn Offline
Junior Member
#7
Thank you for the help. I got a buddy with a timing light. Since I now have to set timing I am wondering if I should replace the whole distributor while I am in there as I heard it is pretty time consuming to replace the profile ignition pickup. What would your take on it be?
88 Thunderbird - 20 PSI
05 Scion TC - GTK550 14 PSI
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Napoleon Offline
Junior Member
#8

Do you have a front mount IC or the stock top mount?

If factory IC, check the small rubber collar joining the turbo to the intercooler. I had the exact same thing happen and as soon as boost would build the collar would pop off pressure and the car would feel like the ignition was shut off. Driving normal was fine, the second you got boost, done.
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Jeff K Offline
Administrator
#9
If you replace the dist, replace the aux shaft also. If you dont replace both, old aux shaft gear and new dist gear may not "mesh" properly, causing the softer dist gear to get chewed up causing the engine to quit unexpectedly and put ground up gear parts thru the entire engine = not good. Replacing the PIP isnt that hard. Getting the gear off the dist shaft is a bit tricky, but not really that hard to do. Drive out rol pin, remove with gear puller. To install heat gear in oven, put dist in freezer to make it easier to get the gear back on.
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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Shane Wherry Offline
Senior Member
#10
I had a 1987 turbo coupe way back in the mid 90's that did something like that. Turned out there was a SSM from Ford to replace the PCM with an updated one. That is a long shot though.
1988 Thunderbird Sport 351w/5.8L swap, Mustang 4R70W trans swap, Turbo coupe front brakes and rear diff swap with turbo coupe prop valve, Turbo coupe hood, Turbo coupe wheels.
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