North American Turbocoupe Organization



UPDATED BULB LIST for 1987 TURBO COUPE
anasazi4st Offline
Senior Member
#1
I’ve just got done replacing nearly all** my incandescent bulbs in my 1987 Turbo Coupe with LED replacements. There was quite a bit of research involved—the owner’s manual lists ones that aren’t even made any more...or incorrect ones. Even on this site there’s some inaccuracies. (After searching for literally hours through the posts here regarding a bulb list, I found several references to links that now bring up good old Error Code 404–Page Not Found.) So I decided to create a list that can be used as a reliable reference.

I’ve changed very few bulbs that I can recall in the course of my almost-29-year-old ownership (I know, it seems a bit odd to me too). I only bring this up to point out that my list should be very accurate, as there are many OEM bulbs still in place that were never changed or substituted.

In this list I use the term “lamp” to refer to the illuminated item—this is particularly true now with LEDs, as there is no longer a glass enclosure (in nearly all cases) that houses the LED; so, technically the term “bulb” is now obsolete.

You can use the item numbers here to (hopefully) accurately order LEDs that are a direct fit. Or, just stay with the OEM incandescent bulbs.

ASHTRAY LAMP                                                  161 x 1      (Bulb says 161, but 194 will work.)
BACK-UP LAMPS                                               1156 x 2
BRAKE LAMPS                                                   1157 x 4      (1157 is the original round-base bulb.)
CIGARETTE LIGHTER LAMP                                194 x 1      (Bulb says 161, but 194 will work.)
CONSOLE STORAGE COMPARTMENT LAMP      57 x 1
CORNERING LAMPS                                           1156 x 2
COURTESY DOOR (EDGE) LAMPS                       912 x 2
COURTESY UNDER-DASH “FLOOR” LAMPS        95 X 2      (LEDs use 1156. I used ones with a protective covering.)
DOME LAMP                                                           562 x 1*    
FRONT MARKER/PARKING LAMPS                   1157A x 4     (Newer “wedge” design is 3157A.)
HIGH MOUNT STOP LAMPS                                 912 x 2
LICENSE PLATE LAMPS                                       194 X 2
MAP LAMPS                                                         105 x 2
“OPERA” (REAR PILLAR) LAMPS                          89 x 2      (LEDs—use small 1156 lamps. CHECK SIZING.)
REAR SIDE MARKER LAMPS                                904 x 2     (LEDs—use 912 lamps.)
SYSTEM SENTRY LAMPS                                     37 X 8      (I stayed with the incandescents here.)
TAIL LAMPS                                                           194 x 2
TRUNK LAMP                                                         912 x 1
(UNDER) HOOD LAMP                                            89 x 1      (1156 again—with protective covering.)

* (This # might also refer to a different item; LED is correct.)                                                                                                                                                  
** I have converted all to LEDs but the headlamps (so far) and the bulbs inside the System Sentry. (Do they make LEDs that small?)
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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G-Rage Offline
Junior Member
#2
Does the sudden lack in load of the LED's throw a code or "bulb out" issue?
87 Black 5 spd, 47K miles, all original (minimally modified) survivor.
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BJL Offline
Moderator
#3
FYI on some late 88's the 1156 and 1157 (round base) bulbs are actually 3156 and 3157 (square plastic base) bulbs.
suchas front turn and inner marker and brake /turn lamps.
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
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Jeff K Offline
Administrator
#4
My front markers and turn signals on the 88TC are 1157 and my tail lights / brake lights are 3157. Dont remember if my backup lights are 1156 or 3156. I guess Ford used whatever bulb sockets they had laying around at the factory on the day the car was built. My 86 Tbird 5.0 marker / turn / brake / tail lights are all 11xx series bulbs. All converted to LED several years ago in both Tbirds.
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
#5
(12-10-2019, 04:10 PM)Jeff K Wrote: My front markers and turn signals on the 88TC are 1157 and my tail lights / brake lights are 3157.  Dont remember if my backup lights are 1156 or 3156. I guess Ford used whatever bulb sockets they had laying around at the factory on the day the car was built.  My 86 Tbird 5.0 marker / turn / brake / tail lights are all 11xx series bulbs.  All converted to LED several years ago in both Tbirds.
jeff whats youre build date? mine is march of 88. 3157 front and back.. wonder where the change was at, haha.
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
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anasazi4st Offline
Senior Member
#6
(12-09-2019, 02:16 AM)G-Rage Wrote: Does the sudden lack in load of the LED's throw a code or "bulb out" issue?

Yes, annoyingly. The “Rear Lamp Out” System Sentry light would either a) stay on all the time, b) only come on when I hit the brakes, or c) both—b) then a). I searched through the forum for “Turn signal” and found that others had the same issue...mostly though with converting auto trans to five speed, it had to do with the wiring associated with the clutch safety switch, IIRC.

I am not a person who takes short cuts...I’d rather fix the problem than put a band aid on it, so to speak. But, in this case, I gave up and just removed the “Rear Lamp Out” bulb. Solved!

I did this after replacing ALL the taillight/stoplight/side marker/backup light LEDs with the stock bulbs. Disturbingly, the light remained on, even after restoring everything. That was enough for me.

Curiously, the light would often flash with the turn signals. AND, I have occasional turn signal issues—stay on and won’t flash. I did replace the flasher with an LED compatible one, but the case was rectangular and would not fit properly into the fuse panel. I solved this by removing said case. But then I was not comfortable with the electronic circuitry thusly exposed, so I bought a circular one that fit and is also LED compatible. It worked—briefly. Then, abruptly, it quit, and has stayed that way. So I went back to the first exposed one, which will suddenly stop working (stays “on”), but when you remove and reinstall it, will work again for at least a little while.

I know there is probably a short somewhere, possibly in the fuse panel wiring, but it’s not removable—part of the engine wiring harness—and I’m not about to mess with that, at least right now.

Any suggestions on getting around this (short of hand signals out the window) would be most welcome.
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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anasazi4st Offline
Senior Member
#7
I forgot to add that you’ll also need to replace BOTH the turn signal flasher AND the Hazard (4-way) flasher as well when you update to LEDs.

The turn signal one is straightforward enough—just be sure to get a round unit that is compatible with LEDs. Good luck, though, with the hazard unit.

First I confirmed that the existing hazard flasher would not work with the system. It did nothing, so time to replace it. The problem is locating and then removing It..

Turns out, there is a plastic cover over the hazard relay, making its removal even more difficult—and it is on the other side (Top) of the fuse panel, so not easy to see. There is one easily visible “catch” that you have to release, but its twin is on the other side, I couldn’t see it. I ended up cracking and breaking the other catch, which allowed me to remove it. The new digital relay fits right on top of a type of mini tower where the cover was attached.

And, the hazards now work.
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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BJL Offline
Moderator
#8
my rear light out warning would do a similar thing with the sequential turn signals..
nice feature years ago. outdated and wont work correctly now.

are the rear light bright with the brakes now? thats what i am affriad of, not bright enough. the park and brake would be similar brightness.
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
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andrewjs18 Offline
Administrator
#9
do any of the bulbs require resistors?
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anasazi4st Offline
Senior Member
#10
(12-15-2019, 11:35 PM)andrewjs18 Wrote: do any of the bulbs require resistors?

Mine were straight replacements. I searched Amazon for the OEM part #s, read the reviews and selected the ones that were rated better. Also some common sense is involved with sizes; i.e. the 1156 LEDs are available in a number of different sizes and lengths. I measured the old bulb and got the comparatively-sized LED; this is particularly important for the items like the console, “opera”, dome and map lamps, which fit into enclosures.

There was a time not all that long ago when I would have only trusted LEDs that were from a manufacturer such as Sylvania. The quality of the foreign product was far inferior; now however those items are at least comparable in performance. I would estimate I spent between $50-75 in replacing ALL my lamps (except as noted System Sentry, headlamp and fog lamps); when I first decided to go ahead with this project about a year ago I searched Amazon for the Sylvania LEDs; the project (which at that point only included the IP, front and rear lamps) would have cost me about $150.

So far, no complaints—only that I should have done this sooner.
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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