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Thread: turbocoupe 5.0 swap

  1. #1
    Black88TC Guest

    Default turbocoupe 5.0 swap

    Just bought a 1988 TC rust free. The motor was blown and I have seen TC's with 5.0's but I can't find the kits to do the swap. Does anyone know what I need or where I can buy the kit to do the swap.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: turbocoupe 5.0 swap

    There's really no kit. Check www.coolcats.net under the Tech/Mod sections and read on 5.0 swap. Turbocoupe50 on this board has done it to his car, so he should be able to provide that information. I will say, though, as with most engine swaps, it's best to find a complete donor car. (i.e. - Wrecked Mustang).

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    Default Re: turbocoupe 5.0 swap

    I think it also depends on what functions of the TC you'd like to keep (ride control, ABS, etc.). It becomes very complicated to keep a lot of things plus add a 5.0. Tom (turbocoupe50) will have all the answers you'll ever need.

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    Default Re: turbocoupe 5.0 swap

    Hey 88tc i've been waiting for a thread like this to share my knowledge with someone,i just did this to my black 87 TC and ran into a few problems that no one could provide answers for even turbocoupe50(no offense to tc50 but he did his swap many years ago and forgot some stuff).
    Let's start with the obvious
    5.0HO engine complete
    Trans, your choice of auto or stick(i did the auto as my car was an auto).
    87-88 5.0l tbird drive shaft, 7.5 or 8.8 rear does not matter either will fit
    Mustang 5.0HO computer.
    Now for the not so obvious.
    87-88 tbird 5.0 fuel lines to the fuel filter.The rear lines from the tank to the filter are the same so you can keep those.
    Dual hump trans cross member out of 5.0 bird or mustang.
    Trans cross member bolts,unique tc dose not have these.
    Motor mounts for 5.0 tbird,must be for a bird,mustang won't work.
    5.0l evap canister for fuel tank vapors,tc ones are different.
    You can use your TC rad as long as it's in good shape.
    If your going to run A/C you'll need the reciever dryer at the firewall and the 2 lines that go from the dryer to the to the conderser in the front,your evap core in the dash and tc condensor out front can be reused.
    Engine harness from the computer from an 87-88 5.0l tbird(the mustang harness is totally different and a nightmare,don't even bother with it,it must be bird or cougar)
    Injector harness on engine(this can be bird or stang,doesn't matter)
    5.0l fan and shroud
    5.0l air box,mounting studs and air inlet tubes.
    Tad and tab sensors from pass rea side of strut tower(these control egr and thermactor air opening/closing)
    Vac balls and lines from inside pass fenderwell under splash shield.
    your baro sensor will work as a map on the 5.0l(sensor #s are the same for 4 or 8 cyl, i checked).
    Reuse the TC vac tree.
    All rad/heater hoses for 5.0l mustang or bird.
    coolant overflow tank for bird or stang
    Ign coil is the same so it can be reused
    Batt mount is also the same
    Mustang or LSC exauste H-PIPE and intermediates(these have to be made to fit,for the rear exaste after the h-pipe it's best to go custom and get one built,there is no direct fit for this,not true duals anyways).
    For the shifter it depends stick or auto,if auto you need a 5.0l bird or cougar floor shifter(impossible to find)I went with a mustang one and i had to modify it severly to fit,used the TC leather handle and bezel though.
    If stick,well i'm not sure as i don't have one.
    5.0l throttle and cruise cables,tc won't work.
    Aod tv pressure cable if going auto.
    Thermactor air pipe from a stang for the h-pipe.
    Fuel pump wiring harness from the computer to the rear form an 87-88 bird or cougar,with relay(TC's don't have these wires as the relays for the fuel pump and fans are in a box on the pass strut tower and you will be removing them).
    5.0l o2 sensors(the sensor wires may need to be extended,mine did)
    Your abs and ride control will stay intact without any mods if you don't touch there harnesses.The eng harness and the abs/ ridecontrol harness run into the firewall together and must be seperated at this point,i cut the rubber groment and some factorry tape and that seperated the harnesses, you can now pull the eng harness out of the dash into the eng bay leaving the abs and ride control intact,forgot to mention there is a gray rectangle connector under the dash/carpet near the firewall pass side that must be disconnected before removal of the eng harness.It is not used for the 5.0l it's just a bunch of computer sense wires for the 4 banger.
    The only loss you'll have is that the riude control will not sense hard accel and braking and automatically switch to firm,(irrelevant really as i like firm ride anyways,and the auto mode acts as soft like in the SC t-bird)
    Wheh that's alot of writing,forgot how much work it was
    Now comes the fun part,the wiring!
    All the wiring from the computer to eng is plug and play
    On the drs side there is 2 connectors that go to the dash,one gray and one black, both 8 pin connectors.
    These control all the gauges a/c,ign switch,etc
    The connectors are the same on the 5.0l bird/cougar harness but some wires are in the right spot and some are in the wrong spot.
    This is preey easy just remove the red pin hold downs in the eng harness connectors and change the pins around to match color code for color code.
    You will be left with 3 poss 4 wires that don't match the connector colors on the eng harness(don't worry about open pins in the connectors coming from the dash,they where for things such as turbo overboost and such)
    The colors of the wires you'll be left with are

    Black-A/C clutch ground(cut the pin off,install an eyelet and ground it tothe wiper ground bolt,without this the A/C clutch won't come on)worked for me.

    GreenPuple-A/C low pressure cut out switch(this one's tricky,the original a/c compressor was on the pass side(5.0drs side) so stranglely enough you will find the car's greenpurple wire in a grey 4 pin connector near the pass headlamp assy.What i did here was cut the greenpurple at the switch and soldered in a new wire and ran it down the pass side to the grey 4 pin,then i stole the connector from my 4 banger harness and inserted the pin and soldered it.
    GreyYellow-o2 sensor heaterwire,i have yet to really connect this wire.It's supposed to go to the greyyellow in the grey rectangular
    connector i spoke of in the begining but any switched 12v source will do(mines connect to the hot in run wiper motor wire.

    RedGreen i think,not necessary

    trans will have extra wiring if you have an auto,as the A4LD was electronic and the Aod is hydraulic,But speed sensor and neautral safety switch plug right in.

    Fuel pump wiring is a different story it must be cut and spliced at the rear color for color and the pinkblack must be looped(this is the only part i'm not 100% on,can't remember how we got mine to work)
    Now if all was done according to plan iot should fire pretty quickly if not check for fuel,that was my first problem.
    If it fires SWEET!
    The next few months will be spent working out the bugs,believe me.
    Once everything is rightthough you'll enjoy it alot more than the 4 banger,even with a setting of 18psi boost like i had.
    The fastest guy on turbocoupe.org is the moderator glenn88tc and even he is only running a 12.5 quarter.
    With all the money he spent (and it's alot) he could be going 11s with a 5.0l and it would be 100 times more reliable, (no blown head gasket etc).
    Don't get me wrong i love ford's and i think the 2.3l turbo is an awsome engine for what it is( a 4 banger on steroids),but the 5.0l is much more reliable and way easier and cheaper to add performance to.
    Anyway's i hope this helps anybody and everybody that wants to do this swap, i took me 3 days of 12 hour days to get it in and running and i'm a liscensed tech,with all the necessary tools+ i had an 88 5.0l doner t-bird that already had all the parts pulled(by me).
    This swap is very time consuming and can have you cursing and swearing, but it's worth the pain.
    There's nothing like mashing the gas and eating every little ricer you come upon.

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    Default Re: turbocoupe 5.0 swap

    Hell of a write up Dominator, but I gotta call you on one thing...
    RedGreen i think,not necessary
    The red/green is the power from the ign sw to the EEC(at least on mine and my diagrams). Also I connected the R/G and Grey/Yel wires in to the TC harness at the fuse links near the battery box...
    Quote Originally Posted by EricCoolCats
    I think it also depends on what functions of the TC you'd like to keep (ride control, ABS, etc.). It becomes very complicated to keep a lot of things plus add a 5.0.
    Actually it's a lot easier to keep the ABS and ride controll than delete them. Connecting a few wires is definatly easier than ripping out the original systems, and replacing with a vaccum booster and matching hard lines.
    Quote Originally Posted by EricCoolCats
    Tom (turbocoupe50) will have all the answers you'll ever need.
    In two words... PARTS CAR !!!! You'll need hard parts like, motor mounts, drive shaft(if the TC is automatic), crossmember, throttle cable, all the engine brackets/accesseries, wiring(see below), and of course the engine and tranny.

    I believe Windsor Fox still markets a wiring harness for this swap(expensive), with instructions which would make it fairly easy. Or you could do as I did and graft in a 5.0 harness from a 5.0 Tbird/Cougar or Mustang(not as easy, but has been used many times in this swap). I don't reccomend these swaps for anyone who is not good with wiring(definatly have to be able to read diagrams), so if you're not good with wiring, or know someone who is it will be a nightmare.

    Is the car Auto or 5spd?? At any rate you'll need a tranny for the 5.0, as the 4 cyl 5 speed is a bit weak and the gears are way too deep for for the 5.0(and the A4LD TC automatic will not bolt to a 5.0, anyway it gives lots of problems behind the 1/2 motor).
    Last edited by TurboCoupe50; 01-13-2005 at 07:51 PM.






    My other rides (that actually do run & drive)

    1969 Fairlane Cobra 428CJ 4-Speed << New 49th Birthday Picture

    1972 Comet GT - 306 C4

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    Default Re: turbocoupe 5.0 swap

    Wow! What a write-up, dominator! That's archive quality.


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    Default Re: turbocoupe 5.0 swap

    Thanks dude.
    After months of searching, emailing tom a few times and my electrical wiz tech buddy at work helping me with the wiring i think it was high time that someone did a complete wrightup on doing this.
    Just to make it easier on the not so experiencd and experienced guys alike out there.
    P.S. This wrightup just goes to show how dyehard a t-bird and cougar fan i am,also my pics are up in the users rides section if anybody wants a peak.

  8. #8
    foxford Guest

    Default Re: turbocoupe 5.0 swap

    One more word of advice, while you've got the motor out, go ahead and swap out k-members from a stang or put in a tubular. You don't have to do this, but it will save you money in the long run as stang motor mounts are much cheaper and better quality, plus there are no other options for bird mounts other than stock, unless you build your own. Stang parts are plentiful and a stock k-member goes for around $100. if you have trouble finding one let me know, I know where at least 50 of em are.

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    Default Re: turbocoupe 5.0 swap

    To much work and not necessary man.
    I've had my ho in 2 different birds now and have had no problems.
    Also i think TC50 is running the stock k-frame as well.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: turbocoupe 5.0 swap

    This is why i liked carbed cars better.

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