North American Turbocoupe Organization

How well do you know your TC? my story
RC Martin Offline
Posting Freak
I thought I'd make a thread about the story behind my TC, since I've learned quite a bit more about it. Not much makes sense about it all and I would have never imagined that this would be true, but I guess that's true for any old car you buy. There's not much point to all of this I just wanted to share, since I can tell that there are some passionate TC owners around here ;-)

Fall 2005
I buy the car for dirt cheap, a friend had bought it knowing it didn't run and never got around to doing anything with it. The car had billowing thick white exhaust and milky oil, so my friend took it to a shop to get it looked at. When he found out they wanted $1400 to fix the "cracked head" he backed out, so I paid that shop and gave my friend $100 bucks for the title. I didn't know hardly anything about the work they did or the history of the car. Out of the deal I got a mint looking 84 TC with only 57,000 miles, with a freshly "rebuilt head." Who knows, could have been simply a blown HG.

The car ran well and there were no major issues, just little things like a new water pump, A/C relay, alt., etc.
I found some clear indications of questionable work ("mickey mouse ****" as my mechanic called it haha), as in random bolts backing out due to inadequate torque at one point, the harness for the oil level sending unit was cut and is now missing, the TPS harness had been cut and spliced together with tape, etc.

Summer 2009
The car had 77,000 on it and the knock started. We assume it's a rod bearing, pin, or something along those lines so I am easy to opt for a comprehensive rebuild, with the car's questionable history in mind. As it turns out, the motor ate the #1 piston. When the machine shop gets ahold of my block they discover that it had already been bored .020 over and that to save the block from the massive wear in the #1 cyl, they'd have to sleeve #1 and bore the rest to 40 over. On top of that, after looking at the head they find no cracks, no evidence of any repaired cracks or other head work done in the past.

A TC with only 77k on it, and the motor is now being rebuilt for the 2nd time. Add that to all the other crap and it's pretty interesting, huh? I guess on the bright side my TC's body is in great shape and rust-free...

rebuild thread -;t=021852
knock thread -;t=021831
piston thread -;t=022065
Thunderbird Turbo Coupe, Bright Canyon Red TuTone, Desert Tan Interior; 1 of 7 in this combo in 1984 according to Marti.  1 of 13,361 TCs in 84.
   Rebuilt, 3-Angle Valve Job, SYB37 "OE/Small" Slider Cam
   Full 3" Stinger Exhaust to Flowmaster 40, Gnari FMIC/Recirc/BPV, MBC @ 18psi, RF-E6 Manifold, Remote-Mount TFI, PC1 and Flowed 35# Injectors, Inline Walboro 255HP, Kirban AFPR
   Rebuilt Suspension -- KYB & Energy Suspension

junkedturbo Offline
Senior Member
I hear you, my TC with only 98000 miles had a really strange past too, did you ever do a carfax report? I was thinking of doing one my self but have never gotten around to it.

BJL Offline
My story starts with seeing a lady in her early thirties with a gray TC at a food store in 2001.
i had my blue 88 tc at the time.
i gave her a NATO card and went on my way.

fast forward to 2004.

blue TC is totaled and looking for another TC.
my sister spots a gray TC 2 miles from my house for sale i late April. this was the lady i saw at the food store.
end up buying the car for 400 bucks.
has a 89 mustang n/a 2.3 4 cyl and 91 mustang a4ld trans wired into the TC wrong. she \blew up the turbo engine and a4ld and her grandfather put this combo in to keep her going.
drive the car with the dying a4ld till dec. then do a 5 spd swap. also that dec i painted the car.
in july 2005 i swap in the turbo engine from my blue TC. (i bought the engine for my blue tc in 2001 as "rebuild able engine" i had put about 60,000 on this untouched engine. it cost me 100 bucks from jon marshall)
sept 2005 i start hearing a knock of sorts.
baby the car till nov 2007 till i can put my bored and built short block in.
July 2009 put 21,000 miles on the engine.
after dealing with an idle misfire that turned into a low compression on cyl 3.
Aug. 2009 pull off head and find out reason of low compression due to a over-ground valve seat.

geez after reading all this i am passionate about this car.

anybody else have a lengthy story?
i am on TC #5, and
TC #1 silver blue 87 auto,i fixed up and drove three weeks, my inexperience driving totaled it.
TC #2 red 83 5 spd, bought as parts car. too rusted to save. no rear floor boards.
TC #3 AKA "Turbo" 88 blue TC 5 spd. bought dead in a feild. swap in an engine, paint it fix it up.
totaled it in a turn that spun me around hit a pole.
TC #4 AKA "Turbo II" 88 TC auto. story above.
TC #5 AKA "Turbo III" 87 5spd. given to me in a trade of labor. not running, did a few cheap fixes now my daily driver.

wow...... i am obsessed.
its no longer and obsession its a WAY OF LIFE!
Brian J Larkin
88TC 320k miles
T3, FMIC ,3in stinger exhaust, gillis,
255 walbro, afpr, 5spd swap,spec clutch, sn95 5 lug,.
89 Cougar XR7 3.8SC Auto
95 Ranger Splash 3.0 auto

MeAndMyT Offline
Senior Member
Bought my car in summer of 06 for 1,100 at 169k miles! As my first car i fell in love.
In winter of 06 I let my buddy drive my car and he burnt out the clutch! Took me a week in crap weather to fix it in my driveway.
Some idiot in the school parking lot hit me in summer of 07 and my baby suffered front end damage. Did some bondo and fixed to the best of my ability's and did a few mods!
At the end of summer 08 my exhaust rusted apart at the Y pipe. I rigged it back together for a few days. While driving down the expressway cat converter and 2 foot piece of pipe came flying out the bottom of my car! I replaced the exhaust.
Now my baby has 220k miles and still runs awesome! Ran 15.3 last year.
Also replaced TPS, starter, fuel pump and lots of other things.
88 TC 5 spd 22x,xxx miles Ran 15.3 in 1/4.. K&N Cone. Gillis boost controller @ 15. Faze Boost Gauge. A/C belt off. 2 1/2 inch exhaust dumped at axles.

TurboCoupe50 Offline
Posting Freak
Bought mine in the Summer of '97 and drove it till April '98, then stored it till June '99... I'll spare the gory details from July to Nov of '99 pertaining to it's heart transplant...
1988 Turbo Coupe331 AOD

1972 Comet GT

1969 Fairlane Cobra 428CJ 4-Speed

1sicpony Offline
Senior Member
RC, Enjoyed your post or thread, what ever. Hope you have time to read this? I will make it short? Ya, like every thing I do is short. Only thing I am short on is time -- 65 yrs old this month.
Please excuse me for wandering? SEPT meant to me, all my life, that it was my birthday. Now all I remember is 9-11. Please don't forget. We must stick together and fight against this indiscriminate killing of human beings.

Owned my 88TC since new. Less then ten grand on it so I will write years not miles, as I get carried away.
Stopping for a stop sign with 180 miles on it. I got pumped. By a - you know who? - not paying attention. Her ins. co. sent me a check that about covered two months payments. Filled in the scratch with the touch up paint that came with the car. Interesting to add -- The adjuster who came to my house told me, had the bumper been cut through I would have gotten twice as much as he could authorize.

At 3000 miles I decide to grease the front wheel bearings and rotate the tires. Take off the wheel locks, pull the wheels off and I see that the studs the wheel locks were on had stretched threads. Took the rotor to the dealer I had the state inspection done. They told me they did not pull the wheels because they are disk brakes and they could see the thickness of the pads with a mirror. Must have been done at the factory. Take it back to the Ford dealer you bought it from. Needles to say? They could see the hair on my head standing up. They gave me two new studs. I payed for an extra two. Not sure why they still had a smirk on their faces? Got home and realized that the screen I was looking through was the abs brake sensor activator. Poor me. Tell you how I did mine if you tell me how you would do yours?

Around 2 years I replaced the battery. Two years later I replaced the battery. Finlay learned to hook up a float charger to the bat. Now they last 5 years

Around 3 years the trunk light refused to go on unless I shook it. Dose not work now.

Around 10 years the electric antenna stopped going up or down. I just pull it up two sections and the radio works fine.

Around 16 years the AC went. Bought R12 from Mexico. Lasted 2 charges or 2 years more. No more does it work.

Around 19 years the first muffler went. No problem. Found original replacement at NAPA. I purchased both right and left and tail pipes. The muffs even had the heat plate, sink, or what you call it on top. Now I realized why the muffs were over a hundred apiece. I saved the heat shields from the old ones. Cut the SS straps with a grinder.
Now the hard part. Never paid attention? The original muff was welded to the tail pipe. Figured it would come out if I jacked the car up enough. No way. Cut the tail pipe off with a torch close to gas tank. Do not recommend to do, unless you are a skilled person as I am with few brains.

Around 20 years. Replaced tires with good year assurance tires. Better then the original GT's. Will add -- people on this sight recommend them. Expensive yes! Have a good original set of GT't in my cellar. Not for sale. My three cats play in them. haha
bobby mac

88 TC gillis, modified air filter, 9K
06 ViperTruck,NightRunr 190 of 400
13 copperhead dodge ram hemi

Dave8338 Offline
Senior Member
I find this stuff interesting.
Well here is the saga of my TC.
Built in 06/1986 and shipped to the selling dealer on 06/12/1986 as an 86 automatic model with all options BUT leather and the moonroof. Sold to the original owner (order out) on June 16th driven summers only and stored winters until 08/20/1996 when it was sold to the the guy I bought it from. It bounced back and forth between Don (2nd owner) and his son Mark (a GOOD friend) a few times getting the 5-speed swap at some point, until 10/22/03 when Don stored the car. I knew of the car for MANY years but never saw it until May/June of 2005 when I saw it sitting under a cover in Dons' shop. July 2008 I get a call from Mark wondering if I was still interested in the car. I knew there must have been a catch! Turns out that it was driven over the Memorial Day festivities where it was introduced to HAIL!!!!! Sad
We struck up a deal and other than the trans swap...I am the proud owner of a completely stock, un-molested 4-light Fox that now sits next to its' BIG Brother (1979 11-second Mustang Ghia) in the garrage. OH happy me!!!!! Waited a long time to find/get the car and it has been worth the wait.

'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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