North American Turbocoupe Organization



Converting a 87/87 T/C from automatic to 5 speed
nunnaro Offline
Junior Member
#1
This is perhaps a 2 part question. Has anyone converted a 87/88 T/C from automatic to a 5 speed? I have a donor car so parts shouldn't be a problem. I'm also wondering about the difference in horsepower between the 2 transmissions. Is it a computer change or is it more complex?
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Kuch Offline
Senior Member
#2
Great idea to change over to the 5 speed as the auto in these cars will not take ANY abuse. Since you have the donor car, it should be straight forward. Are they both the same years? You should also swap over the computers from auto to manual. The horsepower differences between the 5 speed cars and the auto was done by the factory to keep the auto trans from falling to pieces as it is very weak. Lots of people have converted theirs over on here, make a checklist, do one section at a time, check it off when you do it. Maybe take pictures of items that you may forget about to help with assembly. The toughest part would probably be the hydraulic clutch reservoir as there is not a lot of room around the brake master cylinder on the 87/88's.
1988 Turbo Coupe, Black/Black, 5 Speed, Moonroof,  T3/T4 50 trim, ported E6, 255LPH, Kirban, 3" DP dual 2.5" w Hooker Maxflows, MGW shifter, K&N, Gillis valve, RR cam, Koni's
1964 Ford Galaxie 500XL, 390 6V, Big Solid cam, Headers,3.89's, 4 Speed, Vast and fast
1960 Ford Starliner, 292 Y Block, 312 4bbl intake, headers, 3 Speed, slow and low
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nunnaro Offline
Junior Member
#3
(12-22-2020, 03:25 PM)Kuch Wrote: Great idea to change over to the 5 speed as the auto in these cars will not take ANY abuse. Since you have the donor car, it should be straight forward. Are they both the same years? You should also swap over the computers from auto to manual. The horsepower differences between the 5 speed cars and the auto was done by the factory to keep the auto trans from falling to pieces as it is very weak. Lots of people have converted theirs over on here, make a checklist, do one section at a time, check it off when you do it. Maybe take pictures of items that you may forget about to help with assembly. The toughest part would probably be the hydraulic clutch reservoir as there is not a lot of room around the brake master cylinder on the 87/88's.

The donor vehicle is an 87 the automatic is an 88. Did you or someone you know actually do one? I thought about the reservoir myself as it is cramped as you point out. The donor car is an original 26000 mile car but sat outside for too long and is starting to rust out in spots. Too much to tackle. I kind of figured the horsepower difference could be solved by the factory via the computer. Do you know of any other changes that would be required? Any help/advise would be appreciated. Thanks for the post. Happy Holidays and God Bless!
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anasazi4st Offline
Senior Member
#4
(12-25-2020, 08:34 PM)nunnaro Wrote:
(12-22-2020, 03:25 PM)Kuch Wrote: Great idea to change over to the 5 speed as the auto in these cars will not take ANY abuse. Since you have the donor car, it should be straight forward. Are they both the same years? You should also swap over the computers from auto to manual. The horsepower differences between the 5 speed cars and the auto was done by the factory to keep the auto trans from falling to pieces as it is very weak. Lots of people have converted theirs over on here, make a checklist, do one section at a time, check it off when you do it. Maybe take pictures of items that you may forget about to help with assembly. The toughest part would probably be the hydraulic clutch reservoir as there is not a lot of room around the brake master cylinder on the 87/88's.

The donor vehicle is an 87 the automatic is an 88. Did you or someone you know actually do one? I thought about the reservoir myself as it is cramped as you point out. The donor car is an original 26000 mile car but sat outside for too long and is starting to rust out in spots. Too much to tackle. I kind of figured the horsepower difference could be solved by the factory via the computer. Do you know of any other changes that would be required? Any help/advise would be appreciated. Thanks for the post. Happy Holidays and God Bless!

Did you read through this? Converting Automatic to 5 speed. While it doesn’t exactly tell you how, there is a list of parts you’ll need, most of which should be fairly obvious.

I’m not sure about swapping ECMs (computers) between cars with different years—someone else here can give an opinion on that. There were some minor changes, but I would think likely not enough to cause any serious issues.
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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nunnaro Offline
Junior Member
#5
(12-26-2020, 01:20 PM)anasazi4st Wrote:
(12-25-2020, 08:34 PM)nunnaro Wrote:
(12-22-2020, 03:25 PM)Kuch Wrote: Great idea to change over to the 5 speed as the auto in these cars will not take ANY abuse. Since you have the donor car, it should be straight forward. Are they both the same years? You should also swap over the computers from auto to manual. The horsepower differences between the 5 speed cars and the auto was done by the factory to keep the auto trans from falling to pieces as it is very weak. Lots of people have converted theirs over on here, make a checklist, do one section at a time, check it off when you do it. Maybe take pictures of items that you may forget about to help with assembly. The toughest part would probably be the hydraulic clutch reservoir as there is not a lot of room around the brake master cylinder on the 87/88's.

The donor vehicle is an 87 the automatic is an 88. Did you or someone you know actually do one? I thought about the reservoir myself as it is cramped as you point out. The donor car is an original 26000 mile car but sat outside for too long and is starting to rust out in spots. Too much to tackle. I kind of figured the horsepower difference could be solved by the factory via the computer. Do you know of any other changes that would be required? Any help/advise would be appreciated. Thanks for the post. Happy Holidays and God Bless!

Did you read through this? Converting Automatic to 5 speed. While it doesn’t exactly tell you how, there is a list of parts you’ll need, most of which should be fairly obvious.

I’m not sure about swapping ECMs (computers) between cars with different years—someone else here can give an opinion on that. There were some minor changes, but I would think likely not enough to cause any serious issues.

Thanks for your post. I had forgotten about the fac's area of the sight.
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Jeff K Offline
Administrator
#6
If you plan on keeping the POS stock boost control solenoid switch to an LA2 or LA3 PCM. If you plan on going to a manual boost controller (Gillis valve, etc) the original PCM (probably an LB2) will be fine.
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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nunnaro Offline
Junior Member
#7
Jeff thanks for the info. I have a question. How do I access the TURBOCOUPE FAQ section for additional questions?
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Kuch Offline
Senior Member
#8
If you scroll down on the "Home" page with all of the different topics, there is a FAQ section
1988 Turbo Coupe, Black/Black, 5 Speed, Moonroof,  T3/T4 50 trim, ported E6, 255LPH, Kirban, 3" DP dual 2.5" w Hooker Maxflows, MGW shifter, K&N, Gillis valve, RR cam, Koni's
1964 Ford Galaxie 500XL, 390 6V, Big Solid cam, Headers,3.89's, 4 Speed, Vast and fast
1960 Ford Starliner, 292 Y Block, 312 4bbl intake, headers, 3 Speed, slow and low
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teal95 Offline
Senior Member
#9
I've done several but always used a cable setup from a Mustang. Pretty straightforward. Computers don't really matter. I've always just looped the wastegate line to bypass the solenoid, which gives about 17 psi.
'83 & '84 GT turbo EEC-Tuner
'85.5 & '86 SVO twEECer
2x '87 & '88 TC QuarterHorse
'93 LX 5.0 notch Moates chips
3x '95 & '96 GT
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