1985 Thunderbird Turbo Coupe

Discussion in 'The Turbo "Builds" Board' started by Pro-SC, Dec 26, 2022.

By Pro-SC on Dec 26, 2022 at 8:24 PM
  1. Pro-SC

    Feb 8, 2014
    Well I am finally starting a build thread on this car. It has been a long time coming and this car was the reason I joined this site. Had a lot of life got in the way problems while I was getting the parts together for this, mainly having to deal with osteoarthritis in my left hip. I was diagnosed when I was 45 and I had to wait until I was at least 55 before they would do it. Living in chronic pain is brutal and you end up losing friends as you tend to act like a dick sometimes as the pain gets to you some days. But I had the surgery a couple of years ago and it was a total game changer. Now my major issue on being so slow getting this car built is working long hours and being away from home during the week. Well let’s get on with it!

    So I bought this car around 10 years ago from the original owner. Surprisingly the car came from the rust belt of Ontario but was driven out west in its first year. The owner had just completed university and became a chemical engineer. He took a job at Dow chemical here and the car was garage kept and not driven to much.
    He has a triple car garage with his and her beemers and in the middle on a rack was a factory five cobra he just built. The Thunderbird was sitting underneath looking for a new home. I took it for a drive and we made a deal right on the spot. The owner offered the car to his kids but they didn’t want it so I bought it.
    I drove the car for the first summer I had it and it drove great! The 2.3 had a stinger front mount intercooler and had a bit of power but I am a V8 guy and I made a plan to swap in a Windsor.



Discussion in 'The Turbo "Builds" Board' started by Pro-SC, Dec 26, 2022.

    1. Pro-SC
      So I first had Keith Craft performance engines build me a 395 on a Ford Racing B58 sportsman block.
      Windsor mains but 4 bolt and the block has a partial fill. The heads are Brodix 210cc that are cnc machined and flow close to hi ports. H beams, forged crank and pistons. Assembly is neutral balanced. I had them dyno the engine and if I remember correctly it had 485hp and around 520 ft lbs. I will dig out the dyno sheets for it, have them some where. Compression ratio is 9 to 1 and I was pleased with the na power.

      So here is my parts list or what I can remember of it,

      victor efi intake, have to run it as the Holley high ram I bought will not fit because of the valve cover rails are in the way.
      Accufab 90mm
      Holley 120lb injectors
      Holley Dominator ecu
      Coil on plug Holley coils
      All related harnesses
      MSD plug
      Holley digital dash
      Boost control
      CG fab 5.8 race hot side
      Treadstone intercooler
      McLeod rxt twin disc
      Ford racing billet flywheel
      Quick time bell
      G Force G101a trans with long v gate
      MM tubular k
      A bunch more that I can’t remember right now.
      Last edited: Dec 26, 2022
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    2. Pro-SC
      So I started with ripping apart the front suspension, brake booster and clutch cable and quadrant.
      I have a cobra booster for it and the proper master cylinder to run rear discs. So I am really just getting it together and beginning on this build.




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    3. Pro-SC
      I had not done the cobra booster deal before and had heard that you need to elongate a couple of the holes to squeeze it into place. This car had the 2 holes already like that from the factory, bonus! It slid right into place with no trouble at all. This was a a good time to tuck some wires so I did that and also removed the complete brake/ clutch pedal assembly and installed a MM aluminum quadrant and firewall adjuster. This is going to be a redo though as I am going to do a hydraulic clutch so I can get the slipper deal for it. I just decided I will do that when I have the dash out for the cage. This will get me running and street driving at least. I fitted the booster and then took it back out to paint it.






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      Last edited: Dec 26, 2022
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    4. Pro-SC
      Got a few hours to work on this this afternoon and reinstalled the clutch pedal assembly, quadrant and cable. Then installed the column and the related wiring. Glad to have that over with, I really need a tiny girlfriend who is flexible and can work in tight spaces, lol! Dug out a nos master cylinder that came with a kit that ford used to sell to convert rear drums to disc, even an old chrome cover. Can’t remember what fittings I need, I did get some as well as a line lock kit, I will get that all straightened out after I install the front suspension.
      That comes next and should be able to get a full day on it tomorrow so hopefully the progress will move along faster than this under dash bs.



    5. Russell
      I really like this my first car was an 85 t-bird it had the boring V6 automatic. I feel like thunder birds are under appreciated.

      Have to thought about a clutch tamer? I like mine a lot cheaper than a hydro setup.
    6. Pro-SC
      I had an 83 turbo coupe back in the day and loved it.
      I was planning on the hit master system but was wanting to see how Brian does with his setup. I should be able to control it with the dominator. I was planning on getting a clutch pedal setup from a 87/88 turbo coupe as they are hydraulic but still not 100% decided. I read that the tamer does not control well enough between shifts on high power forced induction cars as it cannot return the clutch to full clamp or slip enough or something like that. There is a thread on YB in the stick subsection of the transmission section where the guy who owns the company talks about it.
    7. Russell
      I really don't understand it all. What I gather is the clutch tamer is a mechanical device so what you get on the launch is the same you get on the shift when using the clutch. An electrical device can be programmed differently with the right control device.

      I'm so far from optimal I am just glad to be on the track. The fast stick shift guys are face plated running into the limiter and grabbing the next gear with out the clutch. Your mileage may very.
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    8. Pro-SC
      Yah that’s the thing too, with this trans you don’t lift or use the clutch to shift, just keep the hammer down and grab gears so maybe the hydraulic setup isn’t needed?
    9. Russell
      Maybe not? I have never had a twin disc. How much pedal effort is required? Is it too much for a cable? Tamer is $199. If it works its cheaper than any hydro set up. My car is still cable so that is why I went with it. I like it.
    10. Pro-SC
      Supposed to be like stock, I have never had one before either. The tamer was my original plan, we will see as I move along what I am going to do. I have to change the input shaft on my trans. They originally shipped it to me with a Chevy input shaft by mistake and sent me the one I need. That and the shifter issue, the trans came with this awesome long V Gate shifter but to make it fit it is going to require cutting up the floor and the shifter is going to be pretty close to the seat. I am considering there Long H pattern shifter that has the offset used in coyote stock. I wonder if they are back ordered like everything else……
    11. Pro-SC
      So this morning I was cleaning the engine compartment from all the oil and undercoating that was put in this car when it was new. The owner had it rust proofed and while I am glad the metal is so nice it sure is a bitch to get off! The best I found was goo gone with a scotchbrite pad, lots of elbow grease too! It’s not perfect but a lot better. I have smooth inner fender aprons and shock tower covers so a lot of that metal will be going but just wanted it cleaned up a bit for now. So I unpacked my k member and sure enough I cannot find the spacers I need. I did order them and I think they showed up after the other parts did as they were out of stock at the time. Do you think I could find them, looked everywhere but no luck. Fortunately Western Motorsports in Calgary had a set and I should get them tomorrow hopefully. So unfortunately no k member install today but will work on other stuff.



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    12. Pro-SC
      Those inner fenders were covered in that sticky oily stuff they use when rust proofing and the frame rails have worse stuff on them. It was nice to see the paint underneath it though.
      B E N and BBR like this.
    13. Pro-SC
      So the spacers showed up from Western Motorsports, they are a good outfit. It’s nice to see something show up when they say it will for a change, I know one of the owners from my powder coating days.
      So wouldn’t you know it, at almost the same time the spacers show up, I found the ones I bought before!
      Oh well have a set for another project I guess…
      So I got to installing the k member and it really is a nice well built piece. I went with Maximum Motorsports as they always have quality parts and I like dealing with them, their tech advice is fantastic. I also plan on driving this car on the street so I went for the slightly heavier MM part because of is well built. I have to admit though there is not a lot of room to snake a big ass exhaust through it! I can always remove that rear brace if I need to. When I was fitting it up I saw a bit of interference on the lower frame rail mount, enough that you could not quite get it moved enough so I had to cut out a small piece where it mounts on the car. It will be fine, I just removed enough so I could slip it into the proper position. Once I had that taken care of those bolt holes in the k member needed to be 1/4” further apart to fit into the frame so I widen the holes and put it into place. Squared it up with a plum bob and she is good to go. I will cover up that metal with some por 15 and it should be good to go. I will get back at it tonight and start bolting up the suspension.
      All in all compared to some of the nightmares I have seen people get into installing some drag k members, this one was prettier decent to install. There are slight differences between the fox Mustang and Thunderbird chassis and I am assuming those bolt holes are one of them and the other is the spacer.

      DF1BFDA9-A304-4EE3-AA64-25FC4223D55E.jpeg 7FCAE69E-4440-4427-98BA-3C1F7A5A1767.jpeg EF3BBC39-E4D6-407F-88E1-B2A6576E528C.jpeg 9447F10A-350D-46BB-8B89-39E00C1FB9D7.jpeg
    14. Briansshop
      Good to hear you're feeling better and getting at it! Car is CLEAN. Can't wait to hear about your first drive with the G101....LOL! :drive:
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    15. Russell
      Seeing this makes me want to work on my first car 85 V6 auto. But it's no where near as clean. It got bruised up like a lot of first cars. And it's picked up some surface rust in the last 20 years of being parked.

      Back in the day I wanted to do a 5.8 swap. Now days I would consider a LS swap. By the time I get around to it (+/-10 years at this rate). There is a good chance there will be a different flavor of the month swap.

      Looking forward to following along!
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    16. vht
      I really like the T birds, they make a really nice looking car. Glad your feeling better, I know what it's like living with pain, I have psoriatic arthritis and severe fibromyalgia. See, keep us posted.ms like I went from 12 hour 7 days a week working to I'm lucky if I can get 4 hours in, in record time. I've always been a say what you think person but now it seems like people get on my nerves really quick. It takes the fun out of working on your project a lot. your doing a heck of a job so far
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    17. Pro-SC
      Fibromyalgia is a tough deal for sure. I feel for you.
      Thanks for the compliments on the car. I have had a few of these over the years as well as fox stangs and I prefer these cars. Unfortunately Ford in their infinite wisdom, never put a decent small block into these cars.
      They do have a lot of nice design features though, especially the big rear wheel wells. I wanted to drop a 351 into my 83 back in the day, had to be an old fart to make it happen! Lol….
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    18. Pro-SC
      Okay, first I should apologize for showing this part of the build, some guys just want to see the turbo install stuff but I wanted to have a full build thread so I can refer back in the future if need be.
      One thing I wish the included with the an arms would be new bolts. I still had the original k but it was in a real tough spot to get at in the winter without opening the garage door, I have it closed for the winter.
      So on Friday I went out in a bolt hunt. Fricken metric m16x120 mm. Not an easy bolt to find. I could not get that size so I looked at a set of grade 8. 5/8” and the shoulder is so close but it is a tiny bit smaller. So I dug out the old k and broke it down for the bolts! Pia but you need these bolts and the shock ones too. So I did that but we had guests coming over so I had to shut it down. I got a few hours in on it yesterday but had plans. So I got some time in it today but we are going out for dinner so I will get a few more hours on it tomorrow but I really need to clean and organize this garage again. Between having a small garage and no lift you spend more time moving junk around than you do wrenching! I have tomdpsay that I am so jealous of you guys with lifts! I have climbed up from under this car so many times already, I would never have been able to do this before I had my surgery, I am so thankful to not be in that kind of pain anymore.
      So here is some pics to see we’re I am at.








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    19. vht
      Nice, it should be mandatory for the correct bolts to come with parts like that. They probably sell them separate for $10 a piece. Include everything in your build! I like looking at all of it.
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