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Thread: Back in a fox. 1988 Turbo Coupe. The life journal.

  1. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tbird232ci View Post

    I'm not going with a tubular-K for a long time, if at all really. Maximum Motorsports' tubular does offer geometry benefits, but I'm not aiming to be competitive. I'm just aiming to fix the short-comings of the car.

    As of right now, I have MM's tubular SN95 arms in need of bushings and balljoints. Also have their C/C plates. Also have 94-95 spindles and axles. For short term, I have some cheap shocks/struts/springs I'll use as my car has 225K miles on it and it just needs some love.

    I'll be using 99-04 GT/V6 brakes until I follow through with removing the Teeves system. They're inexpensive and still pretty effective. After that, I'm unsure of where I'll go with brakes. The Cobra stuff is nice, but there are still a lot of other options to explore.

    For certain, I'll be using MM's control arms, torque arm and panhard bar. My goal is to have the money stashed away by the time Black Friday sales start happening. They offer some *okay* sales. I'm hoping to have the TA/PHB for when I take it to the shop to have SFC's and jacking rails welded in and have them do it all in one swoop. After that, I'll determine what spring rates and shocks/struts I want to run.

    It's going to take time since the car does need a lot of work. Every system on the car needs some sort of work. It's a 2.3T so every seal leaks. The 4 banger T5 is notorious for the input shaft being galled up, and mine needs attention. Still has a factory fuel pump. Needs headlight relays. So on and so on.

    As far as power, the 2.3L can safely handle about 400rwhp. I'm not concerned with the strength of parts as much as I am with keeping it cool and the oiling system keeping up. I haven't done much homework to find what it takes to keep a 2.3 happy under sustained load and RPM.
    The front plus the brakes sounds like a solid setup. I'm under the opinion that if you're doing mostly street driving that the stock K-member is probably better anyway. Better brakes are a definite plus, and realistically something I should do as well. But ditch that Teeves system. It was such a royal PITA on my Mark VII. Parts were expensive and hard to find, and it's only going to get worse.

    I'm interested in you experience with the MM panhard bar. I've been considering picking one up. The MM rear control arms made a huge difference but I think the panhard bar would make it even better. I haven't even considered the torque arm, as that's probably beyond what would make the car tossable on the street, but would be great on a road course.

    I would think that an aluminum radiator with two rows of 1" tubes should handle the 2.3T fine. I've got got one of them (a several year old Northern unit) and the car rarely gets over 200-205 even in traffic with the A/C on stun. But with that turbo dumping heat into the system you may need something even better.
    '88 Thunderbird LX: 306, Edelbrock Performer heads, Comp 266HR cam, Edelbrock Performer RPM intake, Edelbrock 70mm TB, 76mm C&L MAF, 30lb injectors, 2.5" exhaust, AOD with 2800 PI converter, 8.8 with 3.73 gears, 31 spline Traction-Lok, 31 spline Moser axles, 04 Cobra front arms, Maximum Motorsports extreme duty rear arms, subframes.
    '11 Focus, '12 Mustang 3.7, '17 Accord EX-L V6

  2. #82
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    Quote Originally Posted by thunderjet302 View Post
    The front plus the brakes sounds like a solid setup. I'm under the opinion that if you're doing mostly street driving that the stock K-member is probably better anyway. Better brakes are a definite plus, and realistically something I should do as well. But ditch that Teeves system. It was such a royal PITA on my Mark VII. Parts were expensive and hard to find, and it's only going to get worse.

    I'm interested in you experience with the MM panhard bar. I've been considering picking one up. The MM rear control arms made a huge difference but I think the panhard bar would make it even better. I haven't even considered the torque arm, as that's probably beyond what would make the car tossable on the street, but would be great on a road course.

    I would think that an aluminum radiator with two rows of 1" tubes should handle the 2.3T fine. I've got got one of them (a several year old Northern unit) and the car rarely gets over 200-205 even in traffic with the A/C on stun. But with that turbo dumping heat into the system you may need something even better.
    The Teeves didn't treat me bad through the years. The only real failures I had were the relays. Kept a spare motorcraft in the glovebox. I just won't be able to keep a good pedal or good bias with anything other than stock brakes. Going with the PBR front's and SN95 rear will shift the bias forward, but I don't intend on it being permanent.

    The torque arm really is another piece of the puzzle. The upper control arms really hurt handling in these cars. You can run the panhard bar, and remove one control arm to help free up the rear end movement. It gets called the PM3L, short for poor mans three link. It's still not as good as a torque arm setup, but it's still far better than keeping the quadrabind.

    In a previous car, I used a big, universal radiator. It filled the entire opening in the radiator support. Was 31" wide I think. Was a dual row with 1" cores. It worked well, but it was a normal street car. Do a few highway pulls or stoplight blasts and it was fine. I never did 20 minutes of WOT to brakes. The 2.3T cars have a factory oil cooler, which uses coolant to heat and cool the oil, but I'm going to delete it, and use a large oil cooler with a thermostat. Hopefully that should be enough to keep it happy.
    It's Gumby's fault.

  3. #83
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    So the torque arm in conjunction with the PHB is awesome on the street...have them both on my Coupe (full MM car).

  4. #84
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tbird232ci View Post
    The Teeves didn't treat me bad through the years. The only real failures I had were the relays. Kept a spare motorcraft in the glovebox. I just won't be able to keep a good pedal or good bias with anything other than stock brakes. Going with the PBR front's and SN95 rear will shift the bias forward, but I don't intend on it being permanent.

    The torque arm really is another piece of the puzzle. The upper control arms really hurt handling in these cars. You can run the panhard bar, and remove one control arm to help free up the rear end movement. It gets called the PM3L, short for poor mans three link. It's still not as good as a torque arm setup, but it's still far better than keeping the quadrabind.

    In a previous car, I used a big, universal radiator. It filled the entire opening in the radiator support. Was 31" wide I think. Was a dual row with 1" cores. It worked well, but it was a normal street car. Do a few highway pulls or stoplight blasts and it was fine. I never did 20 minutes of WOT to brakes. The 2.3T cars have a factory oil cooler, which uses coolant to heat and cool the oil, but I'm going to delete it, and use a large oil cooler with a thermostat. Hopefully that should be enough to keep it happy.
    The Teeves was ok on my Mark VII. The pressure switch started leaking but other than that it worked. My big issue with them is component parts are pretty much made of unobtanium now. If you do need something it's $$$. You can get a rebuilt pump but that's about $800. Might as well ditch them for a regular power booster and master, especially with any brake upgrade from stock.

    I know the stock rear sucks, which is why I eventually want to put in the PHB. The torque arm just seems like overkill for what I end up doing. Plus having to have it welded in puts me off a bit, as I have to drive the car to a welder to get parts of the setup installed.

    I'm sure someone has tracked a 2.3T and has a radiator setup that works. The problem is finding it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aerocoupe View Post
    So the torque arm in conjunction with the PHB is awesome on the street...have them both on my Coupe (full MM car).
    Did you drive it sans the Torque arm? I'm more than likely just going to add the PHB to the MM rear lowers I have and call it good.
    '88 Thunderbird LX: 306, Edelbrock Performer heads, Comp 266HR cam, Edelbrock Performer RPM intake, Edelbrock 70mm TB, 76mm C&L MAF, 30lb injectors, 2.5" exhaust, AOD with 2800 PI converter, 8.8 with 3.73 gears, 31 spline Traction-Lok, 31 spline Moser axles, 04 Cobra front arms, Maximum Motorsports extreme duty rear arms, subframes.
    '11 Focus, '12 Mustang 3.7, '17 Accord EX-L V6

  5. #85
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    Sure did and it was like night and day. The only thing welded in for the torque arm is the “crossmember” as everything else is bolt on.

  6. #86
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    So, not a whole lot to report. I've been fairly busy just not being busy. My work schedule makes it hard to have free time on the weekends primarily due to the limited time I get to spend with my girlfriend. During the week, we are practically room mates. I wake her up when I go to sleep, and I *might* see her for an hour before I go to work. We have to try to cram in relationship and responsibilities during the weekend.

    I didn't take many pictures, but I put LED's in the main interior lights. I am very pleased with how they turned out. I have a ton of lights left over, so I'll be stuffing them in anything remotely useful I can find.





    The entire car lights up very nicely at night when you press the keypad, and the cool blue looks very nice with the blue interior.

    The other project I wrapped up was making a cold air intake. I started off with an ebay 5.0 intake manifold. I ended up hacking up one of the tubes, buying a tube with a fitting for the BPV, replacing all of the couplers, and only keeping the fender-well plate and grommet in tact. I intend on changing the tube that enters the fender-well because I really don't like the angle the filter goes in the fender. It really limits the size of the filter I can run. The VAM is a bigger restriction than the filter, so I'm okay with it for now. When I get more stuff going on, I'm going to pull it back out and paint everything black. No bling for me.





    For right now, I need to figure out what I'm going to do for a temporary valve cover breather on the cheap. I have a more extensive plan, so I don't want to spend too much on something I'm going to only use temporarily.

    I also have some parts on the way that will help me a long nicely. I'm not doing much to make it fast yet. My main objective is to get the car ready before I add power. I hated chasing failing and insufficient parts on my previous car. I'll deal with it being slow as long as I can keep it from being unreliable.
    It's Gumby's fault.

  7. #87
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    Refresh my memory but is the stock TC computer capable of supporting a MAF conversion with a tune?
    '88 Thunderbird LX: 306, Edelbrock Performer heads, Comp 266HR cam, Edelbrock Performer RPM intake, Edelbrock 70mm TB, 76mm C&L MAF, 30lb injectors, 2.5" exhaust, AOD with 2800 PI converter, 8.8 with 3.73 gears, 31 spline Traction-Lok, 31 spline Moser axles, 04 Cobra front arms, Maximum Motorsports extreme duty rear arms, subframes.
    '11 Focus, '12 Mustang 3.7, '17 Accord EX-L V6

  8. #88
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    The car looks great, Shawn.

    I turned the intake tube downward in the fender on the '83 (You can kind of see it in the pic HERE. Was able to fit a fairly long filter in there.
    Long live the 4-eyes! - '83 Tbird Turbo

  9. #89
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    VAFs don't care about bends in front of the meter? MAFs get all screwy with bends.
    '88 Thunderbird LX: 306, Edelbrock Performer heads, Comp 266HR cam, Edelbrock Performer RPM intake, Edelbrock 70mm TB, 76mm C&L MAF, 30lb injectors, 2.5" exhaust, AOD with 2800 PI converter, 8.8 with 3.73 gears, 31 spline Traction-Lok, 31 spline Moser axles, 04 Cobra front arms, Maximum Motorsports extreme duty rear arms, subframes.
    '11 Focus, '12 Mustang 3.7, '17 Accord EX-L V6

  10. #90
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    Quote Originally Posted by thunderjet302 View Post
    VAFs don't care about bends in front of the meter? MAFs get all screwy with bends.
    *shrug* I threw the last VAM/MAF away from any of my cars a LONG time ago (SD, running on MS).

    The VAM shouldn't care, as it's metering on volume of air. (Pushing the flapper/vane open).
    Long live the 4-eyes! - '83 Tbird Turbo

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