North American Turbocoupe Organization



Replacement instrument bulbs
marko_bohlo Offline
Junior Member
#1
I finally got to drive my 87 for the first time today. I drove it all around and showed off my car to my not-as-enthused friends and family who have been hearing about tit for the longest time. I noticed when I turned the dash lights on some bulbs were out. Is there a reputable source for getting new bulbs? Googling doesn’t seem to help me unless I’m not using the right terms.

There is also an issue with the tape deck where it doesn’t play the cassette but the tape is being fed over the reading head. Not sure the best way to clean that.

https://i.imgur.com/qOg8r9L.jpg This is the crusty girl getting her first fill up in nearly a decade.
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marko_bohlo Offline
Junior Member
#2
I will also say that I am looking for a permanent fix to the headlamps being cloudy. Polishing them only worked for a few weeks and they were back to cloudy.
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Cleven Offline
Junior Member
#3
I forgot the bulb number but I took a bulb out and took it to Walmart and picked up a few. A lot of guys and gals went along with LED I seen.
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anasazi4st Offline
Senior Member
#4
(12-16-2021, 02:23 AM)marko_bohlo Wrote: I finally got to drive my 87 for the first time today. I drove it all around and showed off my car to my not-as-enthused friends and family who have been hearing about tit for the longest time. I noticed when I turned the dash lights on some bulbs were out. Is there a reputable source for getting new bulbs? Googling doesn’t seem to help me unless I’m not using the right terms.

There is also an issue with the tape deck where it doesn’t play the cassette but the tape is being fed over the reading head. Not sure the best way to clean that.

https://i.imgur.com/qOg8r9L.jpg This is the crusty girl getting her first fill up in nearly a decade.

Great to see it out and about after all that time.

Several years ago I replaced all the incandescent lamps on my TC with LEDs. I have a complete list HERE (scroll down a bit for my post). LEDs really are the way to go—they are much brighter, use less power and should not need replacing for years. There are some issues with replacing the taillight lamps and headlamps—it can cause the System Sentry to incorrectly report LOW BEAM OUT or BRAKE LIGHT OUT, due to the lower voltages. Do a search here for LEDs for more information.

As to your other question about the cassette deck: the general consensus is that, while in 1987 the Premium Sound audio system might have been a good option, 34 years later it’s not so much. For one thing, the graphic equalizer had controls that broke and/or quit working…and by now the paper cones in all the speakers have likely dried out and sound bad. In THIS POST (again, scroll down to my entry) there’s more on this subject. I replaced my speakers and head unit with a Boss Audio one in 2018 and was blown away by the difference. Plus, I can play CDs, DVDs, and use Bluetooth to stream from my smartphone, and I have a GPS navigation touch screen.

Finally, the cloudy headlamp lens issue is pretty easily fixed. 3M, for one, makes a product that comes in a small pouch like a Wet-Nap that is used to coat the lens after some prep work. This involves sanding the lens with 2000 grit sandpaper (if I recall correctly) and then applying the coating (I’m certain I am leaving some steps out). THere are a variety of other options. I did my headlamps in 2019 and they’ve stayed clear ever since.
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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marko_bohlo Offline
Junior Member
#5
(12-16-2021, 06:59 AM)Cleven Wrote: I forgot the bulb number but I took a bulb out and took it to Walmart and picked up a few. A lot of guys and gals went along with LED I seen.

I think I’ll go LEDs then for sure. Thanks.
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marko_bohlo Offline
Junior Member
#6
(12-16-2021, 10:03 AM)anasazi4st Wrote:
(12-16-2021, 02:23 AM)marko_bohlo Wrote: I finally got to drive my 87 for the first time today. I drove it all around and showed off my car to my not-as-enthused friends and family who have been hearing about tit for the longest time. I noticed when I turned the dash lights on some bulbs were out. Is there a reputable source for getting new bulbs? Googling doesn’t seem to help me unless I’m not using the right terms.

There is also an issue with the tape deck where it doesn’t play the cassette but the tape is being fed over the reading head. Not sure the best way to clean that.

https://i.imgur.com/qOg8r9L.jpg This is the crusty girl getting her first fill up in nearly a decade.

Great to see it out and about after all that time.

Several years ago I replaced all the incandescent lamps on my TC with LEDs. I have a complete list HERE (scroll down a bit for my post). LEDs really are the way to go—they are much brighter, use less power and should not need replacing for years. There are some issues with replacing the taillight lamps and headlamps—it can cause the System Sentry to incorrectly report LOW BEAM OUT or BRAKE LIGHT OUT, due to the lower voltages. Do a search here for LEDs for more information.

As to your other question about the cassette deck: the general consensus is that, while in 1987 the Premium Sound audio system might have been a good option, 34 years later it’s not so much. For one thing, the graphic equalizer had controls that broke and/or quit working…and by now the paper cones in all the speakers have likely dried out and sound bad. In THIS POST (again, scroll down to my entry) there’s more on this subject. I replaced my speakers and head unit with a Boss Audio one in 2018 and was blown away by the difference. Plus, I can play CDs, DVDs, and use Bluetooth to stream from my smartphone, and I have a GPS navigation touch screen.

Finally, the cloudy headlamp lens issue is pretty easily fixed. 3M, for one, makes a product that comes in a small pouch like a Wet-Nap that is used to coat the lens after some prep work. This involves sanding the lens with 2000 grit sandpaper (if I recall correctly) and then applying the coating (I’m certain I am leaving some steps out). THere are a variety of other options. I did my headlamps in 2019 and they’ve stayed clear ever since.

Wow lots to work with. Thanks so much for your reply. I’ll have some work to do saturday. It’s a shame about the sound system, but it is a bit rough and I do like having the gps in my modern car. I’ll give it thought and see how I feel about it. 

Have you had any issues with the windshield wipers?Mine are currently not working, no clue where to begin on fixing them.
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Jeff K Offline
Administrator
#7
Since these cars have a ton of electronics, you really need the EVTM (Electrical / Vacuum Troubleshooting Manual) for your car. Check Ebay for an EVTM for 87/88 Thunderbird. The 87/88 Tbird EVTM covers all 87/88 Tbirds (2.3 TC, 3.8 V6 and 5.0 V8)

Hopefully you know how to read a circuit diagram and have a good DMM for troubleshooting issues.
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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spittinfire Offline
Member
#8
Don't worry about the response from your friends and family, I got the same thing. My wife hates my car but my kids love it. I know when I first got my car it was running and driving but the older gentlemen I bought it from didn't drive it much at all. After a tune up, filters and changing the fluids the best thing I did for it was just drive it. The more I drove it the better it got. Take it out and just get it good and hot a few times, it really does wonders.

I have to ask, what's up with the wheel chock?
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marko_bohlo Offline
Junior Member
#9
(12-16-2021, 07:21 PM)spittinfire Wrote: Don't worry about the response from your friends and family, I got the same thing.  My wife hates my car but my kids love it.  I know when I first got my car it was running and driving but the older gentlemen I bought it from didn't drive it much at all.  After a tune up, filters and changing the fluids the best thing I did for it was just drive it. The more I drove it the better it got.  Take it out and just get it good and hot a few times, it really does wonders. 

I have to ask, what's up with the wheel chock?

Oh, you mean the after market parking break? 

I kid, I have an appointment next week to use my buddy’s lift to fix the actual parking break. I wasn’t really parking it anywhere but was just driving around and used it to fill up.
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anasazi4st Offline
Senior Member
#10
(12-16-2021, 12:58 PM)marko_bohlo Wrote:
(12-16-2021, 10:03 AM)anasazi4st Wrote:
(12-16-2021, 02:23 AM)marko_bohlo Wrote: I finally got to drive my 87 for the first time today. I drove it all around and showed off my car to my not-as-enthused friends and family who have been hearing about tit for the longest time. I noticed when I turned the dash lights on some bulbs were out. Is there a reputable source for getting new bulbs? Googling doesn’t seem to help me unless I’m not using the right terms.

There is also an issue with the tape deck where it doesn’t play the cassette but the tape is being fed over the reading head. Not sure the best way to clean that.

https://i.imgur.com/qOg8r9L.jpg This is the crusty girl getting her first fill up in nearly a decade.

Great to see it out and about after all that time.

Several years ago I replaced all the incandescent lamps on my TC with LEDs. I have a complete list HERE (scroll down a bit for my post). LEDs really are the way to go—they are much brighter, use less power and should not need replacing for years. There are some issues with replacing the taillight lamps and headlamps—it can cause the System Sentry to incorrectly report LOW BEAM OUT or BRAKE LIGHT OUT, due to the lower voltages. Do a search here for LEDs for more information.

As to your other question about the cassette deck: the general consensus is that, while in 1987 the Premium Sound audio system might have been a good option, 34 years later it’s not so much. For one thing, the graphic equalizer had controls that broke and/or quit working…and by now the paper cones in all the speakers have likely dried out and sound bad. In THIS POST (again, scroll down to my entry) there’s more on this subject. I replaced my speakers and head unit with a Boss Audio one in 2018 and was blown away by the difference. Plus, I can play CDs, DVDs, and use Bluetooth to stream from my smartphone, and I have a GPS navigation touch screen.

Finally, the cloudy headlamp lens issue is pretty easily fixed. 3M, for one, makes a product that comes in a small pouch like a Wet-Nap that is used to coat the lens after some prep work. This involves sanding the lens with 2000 grit sandpaper (if I recall correctly) and then applying the coating (I’m certain I am leaving some steps out). THere are a variety of other options. I did my headlamps in 2019 and they’ve stayed clear ever since.

Wow lots to work with. Thanks so much for your reply. I’ll have some work to do saturday. It’s a shame about the sound system, but it is a bit rough and I do like having the gps in my modern car. I’ll give it thought and see how I feel about it. 

Have you had any issues with the windshield wipers?Mine are currently not working, no clue where to begin on fixing them.

As Jeff said, you should not only have the EVTM, but it’d be a great idea to have the rest of Ford’s shop manuals as well. For every car I’ve owned I’ve bought a shop manual for it. There is just no other way to properly care for your car without it. Originally the Haynes manual for our cars was pretty good but got really watered down when they added the Super Coupes starting in 1989. The Chilton manual is a joke.

There are a total of 5 (6 if you count the Emissions one, which is essential to decode the Error Codes that you’ll pull off the EEC-IV computer). The set should run you about $100 or less—check eBay. There are sellers that offer CDs which contain all the information found in the manual for under $50…I’m old school and much prefer a paper manual to read and refer to. While it is possible to print pages from the CD, that’s just another step I don’t need. I have that CD which I have uploaded to Dropbox for use on my iPad, and over the years I’ve gradually “accumulated” 2 sets of the manuals—one for the garage and one in my home office—for reference.

As for the wipers, there’s a couple options. Of course there is the possibility of a blown fuse. There is also a black box about the size of 2 packs of cigarettes which is the governor. This controls the speed and interval functions. It’s on a crossmember behind the light switch, and is no longer available. There’s also the chance someone here has a spare one.

Hopefully you know how to troubleshoot electronic circuits—if not you’re going to learn pretty fast. The EVTM (Electrical and Vacuum Troubleshooting Manual) as stated is invaluable for this and many other projects. Sadly the circuit schematics aren’t the best, but if you need more help just ask. Many of us have better diagrams for the electrical system.

As you noted in another post, you’re unlikely to see very many—if any—of our cars on the road any more. They stopped showing up in salvage yards about 20 years ago—by then they were already more than 10 years old. I created an eBay search in 2002 to alert me of any listed parts, which has been a help. Still, the sad fact is there are less and less available every day. When you own something like a Turbo Coupe you learn to improvise and sometimes make do with what you can.

Many parts also fit Mustangs from the late 80s, so that is still a huge resource. Not much help with interior or trim/body parts, though.
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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