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
      People on eBay sell used bolts for $40.00 ! LMR has them too except new ones.
      In actuality the k member comes with 2 bolts for the front, they have a different head not a hex bolt but you fit a torx to it for steering rack clearance. You still need the two nuts and 2 rear bolts, plus the shock bolts!
    2. BBR
      I like the full build thread! I do the same and actually mirror it on a couple of other sites so I have a backup in the event one of the forums suddenly disappear.

      I have always wanted a tbird. I was actually looking for one of them or a Mark VII when I bought the 98GT.
      Pro-SC likes this.
    3. Pro-SC
      So today I cleaned and organized. Put away parts for the 88 after pulling out some for the 85 and made a list of some small items I need to move forward. I ordered stainless brake lines for running sn95 brakes on a fox, ordered new front pre bent lines and everything needed to rebuild some PBR calipers that I powder coated years ago. I am just going to run these brakes for now and will update in the future. I also ordered some 351w solid drop mounts. They are supposed to lower the engine by 1.25”, I have some standard height mounts now but want to have both to try if needed. Some parts will be here by the weekend, i want to get that engine in place fairly soon, unfortunately the mounts won’t be here until next week. I want to fit the engine and mount the turbo where I want before I decide to go with power or manual steering. Depends on how much room the turbo leaves me….
    4. silver82GT
      You have gotten lots done already. :2thumbs:It looks great. I feel your pain since I don't have a lift either.
      Pro-SC likes this.
    5. 72gts
      Another build I'm in awe of.

      Always liked these but couldn't afford the leap to one nor an SVO
    6. Pro-SC
      So I put a kit into these 99 GT pbr calipers that I have had forever. I powder coated these over ten years ago, also ceramic coated the brackets. I have 15” front runners for this car so brakes are an issue. I might have to spend big bucks on real brakes in the future but for now these are what I have. The rotors and pads I got on Amazon, I am hoping they don’t crack right away!




      01BlueCrew5.4, nxcoupe and silver82GT like this.
    7. nxcoupe
      I hope your skinnies will clear those calipers.
    8. Pro-SC
      They are supposed to but I am looking at a deep stage ss4 and if I can get a decent enough deal I am going to order them. Here are the front runners.

    9. Pro-SC
      I dug out my front runners out of the basement. They have a lot of clearance for the brakes and are dark stainless. l will get the tires mounted soon and at least this thing will be a roller again!
      I am waiting on my brake lines and drop motor mounts and will set the engine in place fairly soon depending on how busy I am at work.

      oh and for those who are curious the control arms have zero offset so that places the hub centreline .75” closer to the front and the springs are 14” 150lb pieces.


      TTF/Ken, Disney Lincoln, BBR and 2 others like this.
    10. TTF/Ken
      Your build has been featured on our home page. :)
      BBR, silver82GT, Russell and 4 others like this.
    11. Pro-SC
      Well unfortunately I did not get much done on the car this past weekend because I am waiting on small parts. I need adapter fittings for the brakes and rack spacers for the manual rack that I decided to get. Waiting on the steering shaft too! I did hook up some brake lines and gutted the prop valve. I just would like to get this done before I drop the engine in but that’s not mandatory. Next weekend should have a much bigger update. Work seems to be staying pretty busy, wish I could get paid without working! You would think an employer would help out a guy trying to build a car! Lol….


      Russell, BBR and nxcoupe like this.
    12. Pro-SC
      Okay so moving ahead, albeit slowly. I got a flaming river manual rack and a borgeson steering shaft. The problem is that when I bought all these Maximum Motorsport parts, I did not get these steering rack spacers that are needed for a manual rack. I have they spherical bushings but not the spacers. I ordered them but was told it will take a while before I see them. If they don’t show up during the next week I will install the rack after the engine, besides this way I will have the option to lower the rack if need be and will position it so I have pan clearance.

      So with the parts I have on hand I installed stainless steel brake lines and a 93 Cobra MC. The other one I have will work as it is also a 1” bore but it has odd ball size fittings and I am having enough issues with getting these stupid small fittings. I have an Alstar prop valve and line lock to add to the mix. The prop valve came with the fittings needed the line lock did not! I needed 1/8”npt to 3/8”x 24, why would they supply it with one but not the other? Who fricken knows, these little things get on my nerves when you can’t get these fittings on a Sunday local…
      Oh well I got those coming and some other small fittings I need. So I cleaned up the factory prop valve that I had gutted and looking at everything on the holy shock towers ( lol) I had to do something. At this stage working on this car I have no desire to get into body work as it is cold out and doing it inside would be nuts right now. I have a set of Scott Rods fox shock tower covers. They are supposed to be welded onto the towers to cover over the holes and then body filler it up. First issue is, I don’t know how to weld. I do have a Lincoln 140 Mig pac that I bought years ago but have not used it yet. I am taking a 2 week auto body welding course at our local trade school but that isn’t until late march. So I picked up some paint, 1985 thunderbird 1Z medium charcoal metallic and painted the plates and riveted them onto the towers.
      I did mark up one getting a little to rowdy with my rivet gun, but all in all I like it, sure is a lot better than the holes at least. Just going to finish up a few more items in the engine compartment then I will drop in my engine.
      Sure has been difficult finding time to work on the car. My work usually is pretty slow this time of year but I have been working pretty steady.
      I have to go halfway across the country this week, oh well gotta pay the bills.





    13. Pro-SC
      So unfortunately I was unable to work on the car the past two weekends as I hurt my back and man it was almost impossible to do anything. I saw a chiropractor and even had acupuncture! Between that and my trusty doctor hoes ems I am much better! I hate when I put my back out like that, hard to do anything even sleep.
      So I painted the other strut tower covers, still have to rivet them on, going to do that this afternoon. I spent more time making brake lines and finding the proper adapter fittings than I had wanted. Well finally got it done and I am happy with how the line lock and adjustable prop valve fit onto the tower. I am trying to keep everything away from the left front as that’s where the turbo is being mounted. Here is a couple of pics for now, will post some more this afternoon.
      Won’t be long now before I install the engine and trans. My welding classes start in a month or so and once they are done I am going to take a week off work and work on the turbo install.



      Disney Lincoln, nxcoupe and BBR like this.
    14. nxcoupe
      Looks really nice!
      Pro-SC likes this.
    15. Pro-SC
      I just need to get some mounting clips and straighten those old lines out a bit. I went to rivet on the other pieces I had painted. Unfortunately one had a run in the clear that I did not see before. It wasn’t that bad and most people would have never noticed it but I wet sanded it out and re cleared it. So I also am short on those dam rivets, I shouldn’t have used so many on the left front tower, who knows what I was thinking….
      So I ordered some more and will finish that up next weekend and hopefully test fit the engine. I have to reinstall the victor efi lower onto the engine as the Holley high ram I have will not clear the valve cover rails, even the edelbrock won’t sit down directly you have to slide it in from the front then lower it down. I never even considered that would be an issue when I bought the heads.


      62CometTurbo, nxcoupe and BBR like this.
    16. nxcoupe
      That is an oversight by the head manufacturer. Especially on a windsor. I prefer TFS or Vic Jr heads, myself. Always wondered about these heads but guess I'll pass on them. Hope they end up being worth the hassle for you.
    17. Pro-SC
      Well once the lower is mounted there should be no other issues.
      When I had this engine built these heads looked like a decent option.

      Flow Chart cfm @ 28" H20

      Part Number Valve Size

      BP LH F 17 195

      (CNC Ported) 2.020 Intake 154 219 260 287 294 296 300
      1.600 Exhaust 119 169 200 209 213 214 214
      BP LH F 17 210
      (CNC Ported) 2.080 Intake 151 223 269 300 319 322 323
      1.600 Exhaust 113 166 200 217 222 222 222
    18. Pro-SC
      I copied and pasted that from Brodix’s website but it did not come out right.
    19. B E N
      B E N
      Hit print screen with the Brodix site up, and ctrl+v on TTF, it will show up as a screenshot.
      nxcoupe likes this.
    20. Pro-SC
      I am using an iPad while I am in the road, not sure how to do that in iOS. Anyways those aren’t the Keith Craft cnc version, I am pretty sure those numbers are a bit higher but unfortunately they closed their doors last year so I can’t get them off there site.