North American Turbocoupe Organization



Newbie (HELP)
Turboscott Offline
Junior Member
#1
Hello guys and gals, my name is Scott and I’m from Bowling Green Ky. I own my own HVAC company and recently a customer gave me a 1987 Ford Thunderbird Turbo coupe. The engine and tranny had just been rebuilt, but not in the car yet. I got it home and installed the engine and tranny. But am having a hell of a time getting it running. I drag race and have been a gear head all my life. I am currently 44 yrs old. But this thang has fought me the whole time. It has set for 7-10yrs. Anyways it will start up but as soon as I let off the start position on the key it dies. I have replaced the IRMC, the ignition switch, new fuel pump, the fuel pump relay, and ignition coil. I read the diagrams on this sight several times and done as it told me. But I’m at witts end. Please help. Prolly something as small as wired wrong?? But man I’ve looked at it so much I’m going cross eyed. Please HELP. Thanks I’m advance.
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Kuch Offline
Senior Member
#2
Hello Scott, welcome to the forum, lot's of great knowledge on here, let's see if we can help you out. you may want to start out by pulling the codes as found on the tech articles section here, https://turbotbird.com/forum-tech-articles?page=2 . Is the car a 5 speed or auto? Was the wiring hacked up at all on the car? Engine bay harness still stock? This will help narrow it down a bit. I am not a wiring issue fan and I dread trouble shooting wiring, but maybe check power to the coil and the TFI on the distributor with the key in both start and run. Disconnect the coil wire so it doesn't actually start, but cranking so you can check power at each item.
1988 Turbo Coupe, Black/Black, 5 Speed, Moonroof,  T3/T4, ported E6, 255LPH, Kirban, Stinger Exhaust, MGW shifter, K&N, Gillis valve, BP1.5, PIMPx, 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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Turboscott Offline
Junior Member
#3
Thanks so much Kuch, it is a 5-speed one owner car, not hacked wiring at all. Car looks 100 percent original. And I will try what you told me, I appreciate your reply buddy, and yes there is all kinds of great info on this site. Love the support. Were you located sir? I will let you know the outcome. I have tried to follow all instructions on here to the T. But I’m not the smartest lol.
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Kuch Offline
Senior Member
#4
One thing with these newer cars is all of the wiring that goes in them. There are many on here that are way smarter than me on these cars as I have gotten great advice on many occasions. I'm located in Central NY, Syracuse area.
1988 Turbo Coupe, Black/Black, 5 Speed, Moonroof,  T3/T4, ported E6, 255LPH, Kirban, Stinger Exhaust, MGW shifter, K&N, Gillis valve, BP1.5, PIMPx, 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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spittinfire Offline
Member
#5
It sounds like you're losing power to something. Did it do the same thing before you replaced the ignition switch? I've had the same thing happen in the past but usually it's in the switch.

I remember one situation where the switch worked correctly in both start and run positions but there was a slight break in continuity when going from start to run. That break was enough that the ECM lost power and would restart itself so the engine would die.

I agree with kuch, I would start by seeing what codes you can pull and hopefully that will point you in a direction.
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Turboscott Offline
Junior Member
#6
So does anyone know exactly what wires go on the starter solenoid? Cause as I said before the motor was out of the car and I may not have the right wires on it. Thanks in advise guys, y’all are by far the best.
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Turboscott Offline
Junior Member
#7
Also is there supposed to be a wire that goes on the I ternminallof solenoid?
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Turboscott Offline
Junior Member
#8
And I can’t get it to pull any codes at all. I checked the ground by the turbo already.
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Jeff K Offline
Administrator
#9
(10-26-2021, 01:53 PM)Turboscott Wrote: And I can’t get it to pull any codes at all. I checked the ground by the turbo already.

Orange wire attached to the turbo inlet is the O2 sensor ground.  That will not stop the PCM from outputting codes. Often failure to output codes or meaningless codes are an indication of an internal failure in the PCM. Often when the PCM fails, the engine cooling fan(s) and fuel pump will run continuously with the key in RUN. 

How are you trying to pull codes? Jumping the pins on the EEC TEST connector and watching the CEL flash out the codes? Does the CEL even work? With key on and engine not running CEL should be on. Is it on?

I have heard of cases of people removing the CEL bulb when selling a car so the prospective owner thinks there is nothing wrong with the car.
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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Turboscott Offline
Junior Member
#10
The only time the CEL comes on is really dim when key is off. That a sign the PCM bad? Man that sucks.anyone have one laying around for sale on here? Thanks for reply Jeff
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