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Thread: 88 XR-7 Project "Save this ol car"

  1. #1
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    Default 88 XR-7 Project "Save this ol car"

    Right from the start of the Fox bodies I have always liked them.

    My father worked for Ford where the Fairmonts were assembled for a few years.

    I have owned 3, 1980 Thunderbirds, one a Silver Anniversary model that was too rough to save.

    My first new car was an 87 Thunderbird LX Sport.

    Unfortunately I missed as red light six months later.

    As the original owner of an 88 XR-7, that I still have, I share you love of these cars.
    Past photos 20858.jpg

    I spotted the Red one for sale in 2017 but I was too busy to even go see it.

    It had some equipment on it, Like a Tremec TKO 5 speed and the top of the line MSD ignition system.

    It disappeared on-line so I forgot about it.

    About 8 months later, it appeared on-line again, minus the 5-speed and the ignition.

    The seller, now just wanted to part it out and was not interested in selling it whole.

    I offered him a fair price it Red/Red was on it's way.
    001a.jpg

    I have been hunting and gathering a few parts that I needed and even found a whole Blue/Blue Cougar parts cat that had stuff on it that I never thought I needed.

    The motor I am using has been in the corner of my shop since 2012.

  2. #2
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    010a.jpg001a.jpg

    I tried to sell this years ago but the guy showed up and paid for the motor and transmission but only wanted the transmission.

    It was a column shift AOD so I didn't want it.

    I drove the car that the engine came from, for 2 hours (home) and I know that the engine was tweaked a bit so I didn't mind keeping it.

    I decided to keep the racing exhaust, and put Shortys on.

    Today, I got the motor in !!!

  3. #3
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    Good deal, seems we both are putting one back together.
    One 88

  4. #4
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    My original plan was to go 100 % stock but the budget always gets in the way.

    The 5 speed is preferred by most but there is a demand for automatics in a daily driver.

    If the next owner of this car wants a 5.0 H.O./5 Speed, I will gladly buy the powerplant back !

    The interior is like new on this car.

    The doors are not rusted but damaged from a bad trailer ride in the past.

    Easier to replace them then try to fix.

    Just happen to have a couple of them laying around.

    Underbody and shock towers are like new but are covered in an oil/wax coating that is impossible to remove so I will just spray more protectant in the bare areas.

    I said in the past that my plan was for the original stereo to be put in but in today's world, it will just get chucked away.

    The power locks even still work !

  5. #5
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    So are you keeping the red Cougar or selling it?
    '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

  6. #6
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    My wife says I can't have two.

    My Black 1988 XR-7 is the only car I would never sell.

    The Red XR-7 will be for sale at one point.

    I would like to have it running with everything working first before I put it up for sale.

    Like I said, something is different with this motor.

    002a.jpg

    It was in an 87 Anniversary that was rotted right out.

    I bought it from the estate of a mechanic and drove it two hours to my place.

    There is about 75,000 miles on the motor.

    That's why I kept it.

    The motor was headed for my black 88 but I decided my original engine will probably out last me !

    Right now, this is a lot of fun and a neat challenge.

  7. #7
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    So the assembly continues.

    The shorty headers are an exact match but rub slightly on the steering shaft.

    Quick fix.

    The ECM was bypassed and fortunately marked by the previous owner. Thanks buddy !

    003a.jpg

    I have that mutant Taurus/Sable 3.8 modified ECM somewhere It was in the 87 that the engine came from.

    But for now I used the one that I knew worked.

    I have to keep stealing parts of the parts car that I was never supposed to need.

    003a.jpg

    a million little things keep coming up.

    The support brace under the engine cradle has been changed and set up for a different oil pan.

    It's in the way of the current pan.

    Ol' Blue to the rescue again !

    Head lights, Grill panel, front bumper cover just to name a few parts I'm going to use.

    The Blue door panels have already headed south. The rest of the blue interior will saved.

    Dash is like new.

    The mint rear view mirror is already on my Black XR-7

  8. #8
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    Finished wiring up the project XR-7 and guess what,

    It started !

    The motor last ran in 2012, before I pulled it out of it's rust trap.

    The pollution pump seized so I pulled the belt and ran it for a very short time.

    My Frankenstein is alive !

    007a.jpg

    The 2 inch racing exhaust sounds awesome !

    003a.jpg

    The wiring was all hacked up to convert it to a carburetor so I had to rebuild it with a donor harness and computer.

    I know we have some pretty good mechanics here,

    But I'm not one of them.

    I'm just persistent.

  9. #9
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    Is the inside clean? My car was a stinking pile of crap after sitting for so long. Looks good, I would love to be at this stage of assembly right now.

    There me is a company on ebay that rebuilds computers down in Florida. I have read good things about them and am sending my a9l down there.
    One 88

  10. #10
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    Don't worry Claude, your build will be worth it.

    This one sat in a heated, attached garage from 1995 until 2017

    One small crack in the dash but otherwise, perfect interior.

    The blue parts car's interior has that "rodent lived in smell" but the dash is perfect so its coming out.

    I don't need a blue console but it's going to be saved as well.

    I'm hoping to see pictures of the blue door panels I sent to North Carolina, installed. (hint, hint).

    The computer that came with the motor is stamped (Taurus/Sable 3.8) it's in a box somewhere.

    I have yet to find any write-ups on using this type of ECM on a Cougar/Thunderbird.

    Has anyone else ?

    All I can say is, darn that engine and computer worked well together in The two hours I drove it back home.

    Definitely, not your 155hp set up.

    I would love to go back in time and ask the late mechanic, what the **** he did to this thing ?

    It's really too bad that 87 Anniversary couldn't be saved, just too much rot.

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