North American Turbocoupe Organization



Future TC owner with questions
Daytonatunnel Offline
Junior Member
#1
Newby to your site, but not new to forums. I'm looking for some help. I'm going to be in the market for a TC soon, and want to learn about them. I'm a current SVO owner, so the drivetrain isn't new to me. But options, hard to find parts, things to look for with the T-Bird is what I'm looking to learn about.

Differences between manual/auto, options (were they all loaded?), hard to find parts, electronic ride control durability/repair, sound system quality, rust areas, quality of these cars. These are just some of the questions I have.

Any other pros/cons you guys can/would shed light on would be great. THANKS in advance.
Chris

SEVERAL 79 Ford trucks, 97 F-350 PSD Crewcab 4X4, 1967 Fairlane, 1994 21' Daytona (blown BBF, 1050HP), 1986 SVO
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T-BirdX3 Offline
Senior Member
#2
The autos were detuned by forty horsepower to try and help the A4LD survive. The manuals run 15 psi with dual exhaust the auto runs 10 psi with single exhaust. The A4LD is known for being a very weak OD. The autos came with 3:73 gears where the manual came with 3:50.

The 87-88 were the best performing TC due to upgrade in comp, injectors, vam, and having an IC. The 87-88 came with an IHI turbo, but the 83-86 came with a bigger turbo (Garret T3). All of this can be changed though.

They were not all loaded. Some came with auto headlights/dimmers, lighted door locks, key less entry, single/dual power seats, power antenna, equalizer etc.

Rust spots are generally the front strut towers and the bottom of the rear quarters. If you open the trunk and remove the carpeting that covers the spare tire you will want to look in the bottom of the spare tire compartment, for some reason this spot tends to hold water and rusts from the inside out.

Everything Bird specific is hard to find. We virtually have VERY little aftermarket support. Certainly not like the Stangs. The electronic ride was an an extremely good set up, but it has been obsolete for years. Many people have TC's with 150K plus miles and the ride control still works. The switch is repairable the shock/struts are not.

Sound system I am sure was good for '88 but could definitely be updated easily. Crutchfield sells everything to make upgrading it a bolt in procedure, including speaker plug ins.

If you are wanting the 4eyed TC I would look for an 85-86. If you like the aerobird there isn't much difference between the 87 and 88.

Things to look for:
For me personally it would be a low mileage 87-88 manual with all the options except sunroof. I also wouldn't care if it had the equalizer or not. The new decks are going to do better than the factory equalizer/amp could.

P.S. I have an 79 Ford Extended Cab with 9 inches of lift, 460, C6, and 35 BFG's. Awesome trucks!

BTW Welcome to the forum! And Good luck with the purchase of a TC!


I was in a hurry when I typed this, so if I screwed any of it up please correct me! Big Grin
'88 T-Coupe 5 speed/'88 T-Coupe Auto
'87 T-Coupe 5 speed/'87 T-coupe 5 speed(76k orig mile)
..... and there was light!
http://i1224.photobucket.com/albums/ee36...tled-2.jpg
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Pete D Offline
Administrator
#3
Hello and welcome to the board. A lot of your questions have been answered several times and ways.
Good places to start are the FAQS and the Technical Articles - Old pages and New pages, all linked at the top of the page.

Based on original production numbers TC parts should be 13X more plentiful than SVO parts. Just kidding! At least the Konis are re-buildable, not so with the Tokicos. They an be long lived but not repairable.

What you don't find answers for in the links above, you can probably answers in past posts.
Here is a couple posts that will help with site navigation
http://natomessageboard.com/cgi-bin/ulti...9;t=000165

http://natomessageboard.com/ultimatebb.p...9;t=000160

Good luck with the car search!
Pete Dunham


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Tbird1983 Offline
Member
#4
Welcome to the Board, you definatly came to the right place for TC information!!! T-BirdX3 filled you in pretty good I would say. The other things I would look for,

Make sure the interior is in good shape as it is impossible to find new parts for the interior. Most of the exterior and lots of the engine stuff can all be found through the board and parts websites.

Also like T-BirdX3 said, have a good look for rust underneath, looks can be deceiving, they can get pretty rotten underneath. Not something I would want to deal with.
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Daytonatunnel Offline
Junior Member
#5
THANKS for the prompt replies. Ready for more questions Smile

Despite my SVO being a Mustang, there are SEVERAL SVO specific parts that are very hard (and expensive) to come by. I'm going to search for an '87-'88, I prefer the lines of those cars. Since I like that nose better I'll specify, are those body parts hard to come by ?

40HP less ??? Man that is a LOT !!! I was leaning towards the auto, plan on using it as a DD. Can I get that 40HP back ? If yes, how hard is it ? I have a close friend that can make any FORD trany live Wink .

How about fuel economy ? My SVO (3.73) gets 24-26, but I've read postings of 30+ mpg's outta the TC's. I find it hard to believe a heavy car gets better fuel economy, but I know other things come into play. I'm guessing the manual gets better than the slushbox, but how much better ?

Is a manual or auto car more common ? Should one expect to pay more for either ?

T-BirdX3; 9" is a LOT of lift, are you using s Super Duty lift, or custom fabbed ? I have 2-79 shorty 4x4's, 1 lives in the shop and is mint with 6" of lift n 35's, 460 (305hp/405tq on the rollers) 4-speed. The other shorty is my son's, VERY nice and will be painted in the next couple of years, 400 4-speed. Also have 1-79 Supercab 4X4 LB (parts truck), 1-79 F-100 shorty 2wd (future prostreet truck), and I'm building a 79 F-350 Crewcab 4X4 shorty, Tunnel ram m N2O 460, C-6, and plan on running 42's Smile I also have 3 other 2wd LB's for parts.
Chris

SEVERAL 79 Ford trucks, 97 F-350 PSD Crewcab 4X4, 1967 Fairlane, 1994 21' Daytona (blown BBF, 1050HP), 1986 SVO
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lonstar7 Offline
Posting Freak
#6
It's a fact that a 1987-88 TC will get 28 to 32 MPG if it's in proper running condition at 65~70mph highway speeds. Don't know about the earlier 4 eye TC since I've never owned one, but I think the 1987-88s had less aerodynamic drag and maybe a better engine management computer and may do a bit better than the the pre-1987 TCs. I suspect (never owned an auto ether) the manuals get better mileage than the autos in town, don't think there would be much difference in highway cruising.
Lonestar7

1988 Black/Red TC, 5 Speed, 92,400miles (on 4/14/2012). KYB Shocks And Struts, 140MPH Speedo, CHE Rear Control Arms, Otherwise Stock.

2005 Volkswagon Golf GLS 1.9L TDI Turbo Diesel, 5 Speed Manual, InMotion Stage II Chip Tuning

1998 Dodge Ram 2500 4X4, 5.9L Cummings Turbo Diesel, 5 Speed Manual

1988 Firebird Formula 350, 350ci Tuned Port Injection, 700R4 Auto
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T-BirdX3 Offline
Senior Member
#7
Quote:Originally posted by Daytonatunnel:
Despite my SVO being a Mustang, there are SEVERAL SVO specific parts that are very hard (and expensive) to come by. I'm going to search for an '87-'88, I prefer the lines of those cars. Since I like that nose better I'll specify, are those body parts hard to come by ?
The headlights are 87-88 specific so they are hard to come by and when you do find new ones they are around $100-$150 a piece. Couple of us just made our own using acrylic and projectors. The inner front marker lights are Turbo Coupe specific. I also don't think the TC header panel/front bumper is available new anymore. All metal panels I believe will need to be sourced from a donor car.

Quote:Originally posted by Daytonatunnel:
40HP less ??? Man that is a LOT !!! I was leaning towards the auto, plan on using it as a DD. Can I get that 40HP back ? If yes, how hard is it ?
You can do these mods and get your 40HP plus some.
http://www.turbotbird.com/techinfo/Mods/Mods01.htm
The big kicker to the HP was the lower boost and the single exhaust.

Quote:Originally posted by Daytonatunnel:
How about fuel economy ? My SVO (3.73) gets 24-26, but I've read postings of 30+ mpg's outta the TC's. I find it hard to believe a heavy car gets better fuel economy, but I know other things come into play. I'm guessing the manual gets better than the slushbox, but how much better ?
My manual 87 TC used to easily get 32-34 MPG on the highway with me doggin it (I drove this one 2 to 4 years ago). The TC I am driving now I get 24-27 no matter how I drive (IDK why either, maybe it is this new fuel maybe something isn't just right yet?). The auto I would assume would be about the same, but I can't speak from experience.

Quote:Originally posted by Daytonatunnel:
Is a manual or auto car more common ? Should one expect to pay more for either ?
I have like 3 of each so I don't think one is more common than the other. I would be willing to pay more for the 5 speed just so that I wouldn't have to take the time to swap one in. But that is just a matter of opinion.

Quote:Originally posted by Daytonatunnel:
T-BirdX3; 9" is a LOT of lift, are you using s Super Duty lift, or custom fabbed ? I have 2-79 shorty 4x4's, 1 lives in the shop and is mint with 6" of lift n 35's, 460 (305hp/405tq on the rollers) 4-speed. The other shorty is my son's, VERY nice and will be painted in the next couple of years, 400 4-speed. Also have 1-79 Supercab 4X4 LB (parts truck), 1-79 F-100 shorty 2wd (future prostreet truck), and I'm building a 79 F-350 Crewcab 4X4 shorty, Tunnel ram m N2O 460, C-6, and plan on running 42's Smile I also have 3 other 2wd LB's for parts.
It is 9 inches of total lift, 6” suspension and 3”body. Mine started out two wheel drive long bed. We split the frame rails and inserted the inner 4wheel drive subframe from a ½ ton, then put the ¾ ton spindles on the front and it already had the DANA 60 in the rear. SO I actually have a 8 lug 4 wheel drive with coil springs! Big Grin I loved how Ford's coil spring ride rode, and despise leaf spring fronts! Lol The 460 is a stock '70 DOVE 460 so it does fairly well for a stock motor Big Grin . It is still a work in progress.
'88 T-Coupe 5 speed/'88 T-Coupe Auto
'87 T-Coupe 5 speed/'87 T-coupe 5 speed(76k orig mile)
..... and there was light!
http://i1224.photobucket.com/albums/ee36...tled-2.jpg
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Dave8338 Offline
Senior Member
#8
Another area of rust to consider is the rear window moulding, at the lower corners next to the trunk, is known to rust from dirt/crud getting stuck in there and never being seen, so not kept clean. For me, an auto would not even be a thought. The T-5 is a VERY strong trans and the aftermarket support for nearly any piece, is incredible.

Welcome to the fourm and best TC support you're ever going to find.
'86 TC: Granatelli adjustible clutch kit, Energy Suspensions, they own me, New KYB's, NOS heater core in the back seat, Chuck Warren Motor Mounts, Wallbro 255, Kirban FPR, New aluminum dual core. The Goal...all I need is the TIME!!
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86XR7auto Offline
Moderator
#9
84-86 auto get terrible fuel economy. No overdrive.

Travis
86XR7 in pieces...old time [email protected] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kGsz7PdEqTI 88TC stock Red RHSC [email protected]05, 01 Z71=Nice winter ride, 01 CVLX w/HPP wifes ride!
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Daytonatunnel Offline
Junior Member
#10
Well guys thanks a million for the advice. I'll be here plenty now, gots more learnin to do..LOL.

Hopefully I'll have one soon anough. With a little luck, it'll go the same way I got my SVO. Found a real nice rust free mostly original car in Colorado. Wife n I took a few days, purchased one waytickets to CO., flew in and drove it home to Wa state. It was a great trip, just me n the wife with a new toy. We wouldn't hesitate to do that again. If one comes up out state, I'm hoping we can find someone here to go look at in person for us (that's what a guy did for us on the SVO).

T-Birdx3; I also have a '70 DOVE motor (warmed over) in my nice '79, and one on the engine stand awaiting the Crewcab Smile
Chris

SEVERAL 79 Ford trucks, 97 F-350 PSD Crewcab 4X4, 1967 Fairlane, 1994 21' Daytona (blown BBF, 1050HP), 1986 SVO
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