North American Turbocoupe Organization

What to look for when purchasing a 1986 Turbo?
Tomcat427 Offline
Junior Member

I am considering purchasing a 1986 Thunderbird Turbo. What should I look for, or pay special attention too?

I was told that the head unit was recently reworked and that the car is running awesome. The car has 162,000 miles on it.

I know that it needs shocks and struts, what is a ballpark figure for them?

I am going to look at the car on Tuesday, if it does not sell before then.

Any suggestions are welcome and appreciated.

trashline Offline
Posting Freak

go there and enter buying plenty of info and welcome

1966 mustang
1988 tbird

found this reading the archives good for a laugh
Originally posted by: fordprefect

Mine sounds like twenty crickets on meth!

[This message has been edited by trashline (edited 08-05-2005).]

06 Cobalt SS
66 mustang 289 C4 handfully modded

Stingers IC install and tbird photos

Pete D Offline
Monroe makes struts and shock that fit I think check with you local auto supplies for figures.

At 162K you would want to pay attention to the clutch and shifting. Also is the rear end making any noise. Check underneath for rust and any leaks.

How old are ALL the hoses and belts. Any sign of radiator leaks

Check the steering for looseness and the front end for clunking.
Either condition will probably require new parts.

Be sure to check all the electrical stuff
Pete Dunham


karnage Offline
I would say wiring and the charging system are usually the problematic areas from 83-86.The combi turn signal/highbeam switch is another item that goes bad.I am looking at a 83 TC for sale and its dirt cheap and surprisingly, its in real good shape except the tranny being stuck in forth gear.It looks to be a lower milage car.I would say if its cheap, jump on it as these cars are getting harder to find.
84 TC with 88 hood LA-3 full 3" exhaust Rods header ported/polished big valve head schneider roller cam RW adj cam gear Kirban gillis at 20 # boost MSD ignition 255 lph Walbro full gauges
17 inch centerlines 944 front mount IC 80mm MAF
65mm tb-rotated intake on the way to 400HP

Tomcat427 Offline
Junior Member
Thanks Guys!

There is a lot of great info on this site.

He is going to school at LTI and has already checked the electrical and charging systems in class. Everything checked out ok. He said there are no signs of mechanical problems. It has 4 good tires and good brakes. The body needs a little work, but he has a friend that will do all of the body work needed to get a new paint job for $150.

He is asking $1000 for the car. I am trying to stay within a $2000 project for right now. This will be a daily driver. I will post more info after I see it in person Tuesday night.

Tomcat427 Offline
Junior Member
Here is a picture of my car. I am finished with it and the TC will be my new project.

ERIC J snowbird Offline
Posting Freak
Nice Mustang. If you sold that I bet you could get a really nice Turbo Coupe. [Image: biggrin.gif]

Eric J
Proud NATO member
88 TC 5spd
01 F250 SD powerstroke(turbo deezill)
05 Buick Terazza(wife's)
'Keep yer touque on,Eh!'
87 Black 5speed, 88 Black 5speed.

Tomcat427 Offline
Junior Member
Thanks Eric,

I think I will keep it for a while. I am really close to the 10's in the 1/4. If I was a better driver the car would have already ran a 10 sec time. Needless to say it is not stock.

[This message has been edited by Tomcat427 (edited 08-06-2005).]

Tomcat427 Offline
Junior Member
Another Picture

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