North American Turbocoupe Organization



SPARK PLUG GAP
87TurboBird2.3 Offline
Junior Member
#1
Hey, does anyone know what the spark plug gap is supposed to be for a 87 turbo coupe 2.3L?
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Kuch Offline
Senior Member
#2
87, this is right from Stingers tech forum, which I use often for reference.

"In general, too tight of a gap won't really hurt anything but too large of a gap will allow the spark to blow out so it's fine to run .024" for 15psi for example. New spark plugs will need to be gapped as they come out of the box gapped WAY too large. Max gaps for different boost pressures are listed below:"
-.032"-(10-15psi).
-.030"-(16-20psi).
-.028"-(21-25psi).
-.024"-(25+ psi).
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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Daniel T Offline
Member
#3
Yeah, I've used the same chart
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RC Martin Offline
Posting Freak
#4
I’ve had spark blow out immediately after putting in new plugs at the gap on the plaque under the hood. Definitely use Stingers chart.
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
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Mikey97D Offline
Member
#5
Probably worth adding that to the FAQ's section. Andrew!!!
1988 TC, 5 spd, Stinger 3" Exhaust, Schneider Roller Cam, -4° Cam Pulley, Cone Filter, Gilles Boost Control Valve set at 17 psi, Walbro 255 lph, CHE Rear Lower and Upper Control Arms, Braided Brake Lines, Hawk HPS 5.0 Front and HPS (F) Rear, CRES Inserts in front calipers, and '93 Cobra Wheels with General 235/50R17 Tires.   
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87TurboBird2.3 Offline
Junior Member
#6
Thanks guys for the info. So now I have another question since boost determines plug gap. My bird seems to be factory stock (as far as I can tell), but I'm adding a Gillis boost valve and eliminating the BCS because it seems to be faulty. What is the max safe boost pressure I can run? 15 lbs or something different???
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John B Offline
Member
#7
That really depends on a lot of factors like fuel grade, intercooled versus non-intercooled, type and efficiency of intercooler, fuel delivery capabilities, turbo size, etc.

In your 87, the stock IHI turbo is only good for about 18 psi before it becomes inefficient. With the stock intercooler, premium fuel (93), and stock timing, I would say 17-18 psi should be fine. Elevating the fuel pressure would be a good idea (via a Kirban Adjustable FPR) and if you hear any denotation, the boost needs to be lowered.

Also, do you have an automatic or manual? The autos cannot handle much power before they grenade themselves.
88 Turbo Coupe: Front mount intercooler, MGW short throw shifter, full coilover conversion, tubular control arms front and rear, svo front brakes, vacuum assist brake swap, manual steering swap, GT35R turbo with external gate, pimpx ecu, 60lb injectors, 3 core aluminum radiator, Boport 1.5 cam, gutted upper, corbeau fixed back seats, and the list goes on.
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87TurboBird2.3 Offline
Junior Member
#8
(04-06-2021, 04:10 PM)John B Wrote: That really depends on a lot of factors like fuel grade, intercooled versus non-intercooled, type and efficiency of intercooler, fuel delivery capabilities, turbo size, etc.

In your 87, the stock IHI turbo is only good for about 18 psi before it becomes inefficient. With the stock intercooler, premium fuel (93), and stock timing, I would say 17-18 psi should be fine. Elevating the fuel pressure would be a good idea (via a Kirban Adjustable FPR) and if you hear any denotation, the boost needs to be lowered.

Also, do you have an automatic or manual? The autos cannot handle much power before they grenade themselves.
I'm probably just going to run the cheapest grade for now (87 octane), given that the price of gas is skyrocketing again. I'm not going to race this car, just use it as a daily driver. It has the factory intercooler that sits on top of the turbo and mates with the air vents in the hood. The turbo size is the factory IHI. And it has a manual tranny. 

I am just finishing up rebuilding the entire front suspension and now I'm in the process of converting the TEVES II brake unit with a vacuum assist. I should have that done today if everything goes right. And I have a few other things to do, but I haven't checked the timing yet, but will do that this week. So what is the timing supposed to be set at for a stock setup?
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Mikey97D Offline
Member
#9
I believe 10° with the spout unplugged.
1988 TC, 5 spd, Stinger 3" Exhaust, Schneider Roller Cam, -4° Cam Pulley, Cone Filter, Gilles Boost Control Valve set at 17 psi, Walbro 255 lph, CHE Rear Lower and Upper Control Arms, Braided Brake Lines, Hawk HPS 5.0 Front and HPS (F) Rear, CRES Inserts in front calipers, and '93 Cobra Wheels with General 235/50R17 Tires.   
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Kuch Offline
Senior Member
#10
87Bird,
If you're going to run only the cheap gas, then by all means, keep the boost low, maybe 12 max. I'm not positive on the numbers, but I do know that the factory BCS kept the boost low when using the regular fuel setting. Personally, I only run my switch on premium with 93 gas.
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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