North American Turbocoupe Organization



Door panel alternatives?
Chas K 88 Offline
Member
#1
I had to take the door panel off my 88 today because the window came loose from its (glued) mounts. Some plastic pieces are so old and brittle that they crumbled as I removed them, the passenger arm rest doesn't want to stay secure and may fly off when you shut the door. One of the clear(ish) plastic light covers broke and fell off years ago and I couldn't find a replacement at the time. They are starting to look crummy, does anyone know of an alternative door panel for these cars? Does a standard T-bird door panel fit, or one from a cougar?
Short of building my own as I know some of you have done, I'd love to hear some suggestions.
Thanks in advance.
Chas K.
88 T-bird, 5 speed, Wiseco pistons, Gillis valve, 255LPH fuel pump, CD, tripminder, RR cam, K&N, 140 MPH speedo conversion (thanks Jeff K).
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PJay1 Offline
Junior Member
#2
I replaced the door on my turbo coupe with the door from a standard thunderbird and put the turbo door panel on it. If I recall correctly (it's been a few years) I had to add a bracket to the standard door shell which you will have to remove. I also had both doors side by side to compare. Short answer: Yes you can put the standard door panel on a turbo coupe door shell.
88 Turbo coupe; roller ranger cam, stock otherwise
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Chas K 88 Offline
Member
#3
Thanks PJay, it's good to know I have that option, I'll start looking at what's out there. Maybe I'll get lucky and someone will be parting out a Bird with tan interior.
Chas K.
88 T-bird, 5 speed, Wiseco pistons, Gillis valve, 255LPH fuel pump, CD, tripminder, RR cam, K&N, 140 MPH speedo conversion (thanks Jeff K).
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boboli Offline
Member
#4
My 88 turbocoupe had a red interior. Looks terrible when faded. On top of that, I really didn't like the turbocoupe extremely long arm rests. I pieced together a gray/ black interior and I replaced the door panels with ones from a v6 premium that were a light grey. This color wasn't available for turbocoupes. But I found the door panel had 2 bonuses to the turbocoupe. It had a shorter arm rest that ended sooner so my leg/ knee wasn't resting on an edge that became uncomfortable. 2, the door panel didn't have a cardboard backing that the retainers fit in and that tend to warp or get destroyed by moisture or removal. The v6 premium panels I used have an all plastic backing that is part of the door panel. Why ford didn't do this with every door panel, we'll never know. But I'm not afraid to remove the panels because I know there's no cardboard.
1988 turbo tbird, 5spd, 140k, all stock except boost control valve.
1986 dodge omni glh turbo, 111k, my money pit.
1989 mustang Lx 5.0 convertible, tropical yellow/ tan interior, 1of only 144 made, 164k, aod, all stock including overheating TFI!
89 Jaguar XJS convertible, LT1 conversion, now fighting the prince of darkness (aka Lucas electronics)
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Chas K 88 Offline
Member
#5
Thanks Boboli, that's good to know. I was cringing the whole time I was removing it and as careful as I was, there were still pieces falling apart. Not so much the cardboard but the arm rest and pull strap trim, maybe I'll luck into the panels you describe.
Huh, Tucson, that's where I bought mine from back in 06, I'd like to get back there some day, it was beautiful.
Chas K.
88 T-bird, 5 speed, Wiseco pistons, Gillis valve, 255LPH fuel pump, CD, tripminder, RR cam, K&N, 140 MPH speedo conversion (thanks Jeff K).
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anasazi4st Offline
Senior Member
#6
There is a place in nearby Mesa, AZ (suburb of Phoenix) that sells the hardware (a metal spring clip) that holds the armrest to the stock door panel. You can either buy by the piece...or a small boxful for around $10. I went for the latter as I figured, I know at some point I’ll need them. Just used 3 for the driver’s armrest. Works great, and they are exactly the same as OEM.

www.spaceagepaint.com
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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