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Topic: 1988 Thunderbird Sport (Read 837 times) previous topic - next topic

1988 Thunderbird Sport

Hi everybody,
I have not been on this forum in quite some time. I just thought I would share my recent purchase with you. It is a 1988 Thunderbird Sport. Car has 46k original miles and was in the possession of the original owner until this past spring. I had been daily driving my 1996 F150 ( 20k original ) with a hci swapped 351w and as much as I love that truck it is expensive to drive with gas so expensive in Canada these days. I was looking for a low mile 87/88 Turbo coupe and almost made a deal on one with only 14k but the seller would not come down enough on price and it must have sold, so I came across this excellent 88 sport 5.0 car. It had been sitting in the owners garage for a long time. He apparently could not get it running and sold it to a salesman from Strange Engineering who got the car running and put it up for sale. I feel I got a decent price on the car paying less than half of what that turbo coupe was being offered at. The car is from the Chicago area but was never winter driven as there is no rust anywhere and the undercarriage is extremely clean. It has a dealer installed body kit the exact one that was used on the Bill Elliot cars. To be honest the car looked kinda goofy with the factory 8 hole 14” wheels, so I ordered these and it made all the difference in the world.



1985 Turbo Coupe
1988 Thunderbird Sport
1996 F150

Re: 1988 Thunderbird Sport

Reply #1
Looks like a nice score!
[SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
1988 T/C body with a 5.0 transplant. Motor has a Vortech V-2 supercharger, Edlebrock Performer RPM II intake, heads, FRPP F-303 cam, Comp Cams roller rockers, Power Pipe, LMAF, full Mac exhaust, lowered, Koni's, 5 lug conversion, Cobra wheels, 13" Cobra brakes, etc.
SOLD September 2020. Will miss this car after 19 years of building/driving/showing it off. Time for a new chapter in my life.
Dynoed 446 horse/409 torque at the wheels.
2003 Tenth Anniversary Cobra Convertible. 1 of 369 Torch Red made.
2021 Chevrolet 3500 dually, crew cab Duramax.

Re: 1988 Thunderbird Sport

Reply #2
Nice car!  Those new wheels are much better.  Did the 88s come with those 14 wheels?
Mike

Re: 1988 Thunderbird Sport

Reply #3
Yes they did and 10” four cylinder brakes! They did come with a 8.8 fox drum brake rear axle with traction lock at least.
So when I got the car home I started going through the car and it ran okay but stunk pig rich and would stall sometimes.
First thing I noticed was the car had 19lb injectors! I then checked the pcm and it was the correct one for the car so I picked up a set of cheap China 14lb units and installed them. I fired up the car and had a big fuel leak. Rear crossover was the culprit, so I got some efi fuel hose and efi clamps and fixed that. I pulled the plugs, man they were so fouled, it was surprising that this car even ran. I also replaced the rotor and cap and changed out the original date coded plug wires. I checked the tps and it was at .56 volts, changed that to .98 and then checked the timing, it was at almost tdc! Set that to 10 degrees and man this engine runs so nice now! The stock exhaust is so quiet and the car runs so smooth that it seems like it is not even running when stopped at a red light. So my plan is to just drive it as is for the summer except I am wanting to change out the front control arms for new fox ones I have and install V8 fox spindles along with power stop rotors, hawk pads and stainless braided brake lines. Not easy finding spindles these days and sellers for the most part seem to think they are gold. I just want to get the front wheels tucked in a bit more, lower the front a bit and upgrade these shoddy brakes.
When I park the car in the fall I have the following to install.

GT40 tubular intake
Accufab 65mm TB
190lph fuel pump
Kirban adjustable fuel pressure regulator with gauge
Ported E7 fresh built heads with gt40 valves
F4te cam ( from my 351w )
Scorpion 1.72 pedestal rockers
BBK shorty headers
Universal 2.5” stainless exhaust kit
Stainless y pipe
3” polished tips
Hoping to do install this summer
Fox front a arms with ball joint
Tokiko d spec struts
Front sway bar bushings and end links
MM castor camber plates
Fox v8 spindles
Power stop rotors
Hawk pads
Russell braided brake lines
Flush brake fluid and bleed
3.35 gears and carbon fiber clutch pak
Future
Lock up stall converter
Aod shift kit
The only parts I don’t have are the converter and shift kit, picking up the spindles this week and waiting still on the rotors.
The gears are getting done soon but the rest will wait for over the winter when it is parked.
The car came with the original window sticker which is cool, have one for my 96 F150 also.
I also have a 85 Turbo coupe that has been a long term project 395w g101a and a borg S480
I am not sure what or if I will need any adapters to fit the Russell brake lines 87/93 fox v8 to the sport.

1985 Turbo Coupe
1988 Thunderbird Sport
1996 F150

Re: 1988 Thunderbird Sport

Reply #4
I did install Koni sport shocks in the rear with shock mount adapters. The rear tires are 255/50zr-17 and there is so much room for a wider tire. Oh I forgot I have che upper and lower rear control arms and global west subframe connectors to install also. Also have an 88 turbo coupe hood all wrapped up in my basp00get. I think it is the same colour too, if I am lucky. If I was good at carbon fiber I would try to make an air box from the nasa scoops to air filter but I don’t think it is possible, but until I check it out won’t know if it is possible, would be cool though,
1985 Turbo Coupe
1988 Thunderbird Sport
1996 F150

Re: 1988 Thunderbird Sport

Reply #5
The mesh wheels make the car for sure.  Sounds like you will have a really slick DD after this winter.

83 351W TKO'd T-Bird on the bottle


93 331 Mustang Coupe - 368 rwhp

Re: 1988 Thunderbird Sport

Reply #6
Car looks nice and clean. Sounds like a good project.
Long live the 4-eyes!  - '83 Tbird Turbo