North American Turbocoupe Organization



Just bought a bird!
Smoked_Ham Offline
Junior Member
#1
Hey all, new TC owner here. I just bought an 87 TC, 5 speed, options that I haven't even found yet, 59K on the clock.

Wow, what a car! I'm definately digging the thing, but I swear I get a wiff of anti-freeze every once in a while. I'm not totally sure if it is really anti-freeze or if the previous owner had a thing for skanks with cheap perfume. I've searched the site and I have seen a few posts about heater cores going bad. The thing is that my windows don't fog, I have real good heat, and the coolant level isn't low at all.

The temp gauge did creep up to the n on normal once which made me nervous. All day it has been down between the m and the a.

Should I change the heater core anyhow?

Is it a pain to change?

Is there anything else that it could be?

Should I leave it sit until this weekend when I have the time to do the work?

Any advice would be appreciated.

TIA

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87 TC, 5 Speed.
87 TC, 5 Speed.
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Birdman78758 Offline
Senior Member
#2
Congratulations on your TBird TC purchase. Only 59K miles. Sounds like you've got a young one.

As to the heater core the normal routine is you have to pull the dash(!) but one of the other members recently took his out through the firewall. Just do a search on heater core to find that post. We're all waiting on the final outcome of that job since heater core leaks are not uncommon (I've got one, too and have been putting off R&R).

I'd recommend that you become a member. It'll be the best investment you'll make for your TC.

Don
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Birdman78758 Offline
Senior Member
#3
I went ahead and looked it up. Delos Wood pulled his last month (look for his posts on 9/19 and 9/29 in the General Discussion).

Delos, Can you give an update?
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Smoked_Ham Offline
Junior Member
#4
Thanks for the reply. The only other experience I have with these cars was with a wrecked 88 that I pulled the engine out of for a swap. I have a few mor comments and questions.

I can't believe that this car only has 59,000 on it. But the odometer is working and since it goes to 6 digits I'm thinking it is right.

I've searched and read most of the posts about heater cores but it seems that most have the telltale foggy windows, odor, and wet carpet. I just have odor. The thing is that I brought the instruction book in out of the glove box and damn, the thing smells like whore. I mean it is foul. I'm thinking that this car was owned bya stinky old lady or something... It is truly terrible.

If I took the hoses off, plugged one of the hose outlets, then put air to the core would I be able to tell if it is blown?

Also, the thing has obviously had some repair work done to the front sheetmetal and it is horribly misaligned. The hood is crooked and the front fenders don't line up well.

Large pic here

Do I have to disassemble the whole clip to get it straight?
87 TC, 5 Speed.
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Pete D Offline
Administrator
#5
Welcome to the TC world. Sounds like you got a nice one. I would make sure it's the heater core before you change it. Could be a minor leak under the hood and the smell is getting into the interior. Is it a pain to change - ranks right up there with a root canal without anesthetic. Altenatives are to bypass the hoses to the heater core under the hood. You won't have any heat, but it won't leak.
Don't let it sit, drive it like you stole it, hehehe

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88 TC X 2, 86 SVO, Main TC with K&N, 3"DP to 2.5"duals through Dynamax, Ric valve at 17+ and disconnected KS.
Elite Bodega 16" chrome wheels. Autometer pod w/ A/F and Vac/boost gauges.140 mph Motorsports Speedo New engine: Total Seal rings and TRW pistons, ported and polished head w/ cc'd chambers,1.59"exhausts, SS valves, gutted upper, knife edged lower, A-230 cam, Race Engineering Adj Cam Sprocket, Crowlers, ARP head studs, and rod bolts. Walbro 255 HP pump and Kirban adj FPR, T-3. Centerforce II, KB subs and jack rails.
Pete Dunham


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Jeff K Offline
Administrator
#6
Like Pete said, check for other coolant leak sources berfore blaming the heater core, but from what you describe, I bet your core is in the early stages of failure, like a small pinhole leak. It doesnt take much hot coolant to be able to smell it.... just a few drops will do it. If you turn the A/C to max (recirculate), blower on high, and the temp set to max, and the smell gets worse, your core is going bad. Some radiator sealer might crutch the leak for a week or a year... who knows.

As far as the temp gauge goes, 1) the gauge isnt very accurate in the first place. 2) the electric fans come on only when the coolant hits about 210 deg or so, which is the temp where the gauge is about in the middle of the normal range. Drive the car for a while and then let it idle and when the temp gauge gets about 1/2 way up, the larger pass side fan should come on. If so, the fan is working normally. Many of us add a switch to manually turn on the fan, or add an adjustable thermostat to automatically turn on the fan at a lower temp.

Have fun with your new TC, and dont be a stranger to the board!!

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Jeff Korn

88 Turbo Coupe: Intake and exhaust mods, T3 turbo at 20 psi, forced air intercooler, water injection, bypass valve, Ranger roller cam, subframes, etc., etc.. // 86 Tbird 5.0 (original owner): intake, exhaust, valvetrain mods, 100 HP nitrous, ignition, gears, suspension, etc., etc.... // 91 Escort: Bone stock winter car // 00 Windstar (wifes vehicle)
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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BJL Offline
Moderator
#7
I guess they covered the coolant problems.
for the front clip all you really have to do is have patience and loosen most tof the bolts holfint he fornt clip on, and allign the parts one by one using small pices of would as shims between the door and fenders, and betwen the fenders and hood and iot soudl come out to where you liek it, it take allot fo time and being preciuse these cares have allot of adjustmenst that can be made, and the bump stops for the hood are adjustable and so is the latch for the hood.

hgoep this helps

Brian

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1988 Turbo Coupe 5spd, dark blue

http://crazydriver358.5u.com
Brian Larkin
88TC 330,000 miles
Slightly Modified
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Blade1433 Offline
Senior Member
#8
Pete, are insinuating that I'm not "driving it like I stole it" because my turbo is blown?

I'm on to you...(looks around suspiciously)


James

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Blade

"Drive it like you stole it"

88 bone stock TC with 138k, 5spd, burgundy in color
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Smoked_Ham Offline
Junior Member
#9
I drove it pretty hard tonight, but I want to be more familiar with it before I move up to the "stole it" style. My girlfriends neighbor was harping on me to race his riced out SHO as soon as I pulled in but I put him off until after I do a tune up.

I'm going to tune it up, try to align the front clip, and look it over to see what else needs fixed Sunday. I know I need fog lights as they are totally missing, and the center console latch; doesn't, and the AC doesn't cool. Other than that I am dumbfounded as to why everyone doesn't want one of these cars. Damn, it even dims the highbeams for ya!
87 TC, 5 Speed.
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Pete D Offline
Administrator
#10
See the article "just bought a TC, what should I check" under "Common problems" in the FAQs

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88 TC X 2, 86 SVO, Main TC with K&N, 3"DP to 2.5"duals through Dynamax, Ric valve at 17+ and disconnected KS.
Elite Bodega 16" chrome wheels. Autometer pod w/ A/F and Vac/boost gauges.140 mph Motorsports Speedo New engine: Total Seal rings and TRW pistons, ported and polished head w/ cc'd chambers,1.59"exhausts, SS valves, gutted upper, knife edged lower, A-230 cam, Race Engineering Adj Cam Sprocket, Crowlers, ARP head studs, and rod bolts. Walbro 255 HP pump and Kirban adj FPR, T-3. Centerforce II, KB subs and jack rails.
Pete Dunham


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