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
      Yea that’s my problem, hopefully with the mount on the bottom of the frame the sway bar won’t be an issue but won’t know until I try.
    2. nxcoupe
      My issue in a nutshell. 20230302_140944.jpg
    3. Pro-SC
      You can see why they use the sn95 style for the coyote swap. This is how I would do it, cut a slot in the middle of the lower frame rail just a bit wider than the nut size. Make two plates drill the holes and weld on the bolts in the proper location. Just have the slots in the frame rail long enough to allow some adjustment. Build the whole assembly including the new plates and raise it all up into place. Adjust as needed and weld the plates to the frame. It will be easy to r and r and also add some strength to the frame area. Or you could just leave those factory ones in place and drill the holes directly into the bottom of them. Fishing the plate into place might be a pia though. I can see why you would want to leave those in place with everything hooked up and your engine installed.
      nxcoupe likes this.
    4. Pro-SC
      Okay, just taking a quick break and thought I would make a quick update.
      So I forgot before but those spacers I had bought for the k member, well you only use two of them on the T bird, just under the frame so I still had two other small ones that are for the back of the k for mustangs but not for birds. So I drilled out a couple of holes and they should work perfect, fingers crossed. So I pulled the engine back out and started on the spot welds on the fox style sway bar ears/mounts. Man I forgot how much I hate drilling out spot welds, lol… got the right side done now going to start on the left. Throw some paint on and that will be done for now until I sort out the sway bar. When I was grinding down the spot welds I started a fire! Stupid rags, wholy crap the garage filled up with smoke so fast, I couldn’t believe it! So I had to open the door to get the smoke out. I am going to have to be more careful, especially once I start welding.




      Last edited: Mar 4, 2023
      Gman and 62CometTurbo like this.
    5. 62CometTurbo
      Looks good! I've done that, ball of spatter got into an oily paper towel. I try to keep the area I'm working in fairly clean but sometimes it gets you.
    6. Pro-SC
      So I got the left side done this afternoon, had to take care of some personal stuff like get my tax worked on, god I hate how much the government takes, it is a joke! Anyways nxcoupe removing the bottom only is doable but a total pia. You can cut the bend around the frame and leave the part on the side. I must have pretty crappy spot weld drills because man did it take a long time to do, way longer than I anticipated. The worst is the bottom having to drill upwards, not hard to tell I haven’t been in the gym in years after doing that this weekend.
      I wanted to get more done but this job really ate up the time, oh well the rest will be easy. I will put the engine back in next weekend and the install the clutch, bell and then start on the transmission. I will have to remove the passenger seat and console and the carpet or at least pull it back enough to make some tunnel mods for the shifter. Once I can slide it into place I will see about the crossmember. Looking forward to having it all bolted in so I can start on the turbo install.



      BBR, Gman and nxcoupe like this.
    7. Pro-SC
      Well wouldn’t you know it, I got up yesterday and felt good and headed out for work. After a couple of hours my left eye really started bothering me. I ended up going to the hospital and had some steel shavings in my left eye! Man that was painful and really hard to see anything with your eye watering up so bad. I was using safety glasses but not the type that seals up your eyes just the normal type with the side covers but the shards must have come up under the glasses and into my eye. Well so far I have had a rag fire, screwed up my back and now my eye! Hopes that’s it for mishaps, I want to enjoy this car!
      My welding class starts on march 18 and lasts for 2 weekends, Saturday and sunday. Looking forward to that. I have a plan for my downpipe and exhaust and this welding class will more than pay for itself just doing that. Once I am half decent at Mig I really want to get into tig too but that will be a while I am sure. I would love to be able to weld aluminum and stainless.
      Oh well with my eye on rehab I will work some more on the car but no more grinding until I get some proper safety glasses!
    8. B E N
      B E N
      You can MIG stainless and aluminum both, you just have to be set up for it. If you can get in on a TIG or even gas welding class it's worth doing (whether you own the welder or not), you will learn a ton about what is going on in a weld pool.

      Metal shavings in the eye is the worst, I really hate overhead anything on a car!
      nxcoupe and Pro-SC like this.
    9. Pro-SC
      Last edited: Mar 7, 2023
      Disney Lincoln likes this.
    10. Pro-SC
      Okay so my eye is getting better but I still have to wear a patch for a couple of days. So I figured I might as well try one eyed painting!
      I sanded down the frame rails and then primed, base and clear coated them. I didn’t fill any holes as I have some Scott Rods flat panels coming and they also cover the frame rails, ordered with no sway bar. Not sure when those will show up but that’s okay. At least the rails have paint on them for protection and it does clean it up. So tomorrow I will straighten out a couple of brake lines and mount them secure with some clips I have and then reinstall the engine.




    11. Pro-SC
      Today I replaced another brake line that I didn’t like, it had a kink in it and also a joint so I redid that and tidied up the other lines and mounted them with clips. I then dropped the engine back in and with those spacers it sat at the same height as the standard mounts. I was thinking that with a spacer on it will raise it more than a half inch which it did. So I stacked up two grade nine washers and it sits in there nice even with out it tightened up. Still I don’t like the idea of using washers as you will lose strength in the mount with out it sitting flush on the k member. So tomorrow I will pick up some 1/4” steel plate and cut myself out a couple of pieces that will be the same size of the mount. It really doesn’t stick up to high, not bad for a 9.5 block anyways. If I had a Vic jr. converted to efi I bet it would fit under the stock hood.






      Last edited: Mar 9, 2023
      nxcoupe and BBR like this.
    12. BBR
      I just wanted to say I am drooling over this build. Keep up the nice work!
      Pro-SC likes this.
    13. Pro-SC
      Thanks I appreciate it, but I am no fab guy or even very talented as a mechanic but I am gear head who has been screwing with cars for over 40 years. I have always had a love affair with most cars I have had and hope this one turns out the way I want.
      nxcoupe and Russell like this.
    14. Pro-SC
      I had a bit of time to work on the car later this afternoon. I picked up some 1/4” steel and made a couple of spacers and painted them, just waiting on them to dry. So I pulled out my bell, clutch and flywheel and checked everything out. One thing I forgot about is needing some 12 point sockets for the flywheel bolts and also on the clutch. Going to run out and get a set tonight. Here’s a few pics.



    15. Pro-SC
      So I went to install the spacers I made on the rack, it looked good but when I tightened it down the engine would not sit right, it pulls down on the right and touches the rack still! I had some grade nine washers and put on between the pacer and the mount. This allowed me to get the engine down as low as I can and sit level. I am going to have to make some more spacers with 3/8” plate. This will be the engine height and I could just leave those washers in place but I want these mounts to be as strong as possible and my feeling is that with two larger surfaces flush it will provide more clamping force. What you guys say? I took a pic so you can see what I mean.
      I installed the nice block plate that comes with the bell and bolted up the flywheel. Then I started to install the clutch. It is supposed to have dowel pins with it but doesn’t. I tried anyways and man I was really having a hard time getting all bolts started. I rotated it around trying different holes and always a couple that would not start. I then took a closer look at the the holes into the flywheel and sure enough half of them have crap in them so I need to get a metric 8mm tap to chase the threads. This weekend did not seem to go well, I was fighting everything it seemed! I also ordered a clutch fork and throw out bearing and some dowel pins. I thought I would be ready to bolt up the transmission but little things are holding me up. I did take some measurements and it looks like the trans mount is going to be very close if not right on to a fox crossmember so that might not be to bad. The shifter is going to be in about the same location front to rear but over closer to:the drivers side, hopefully not to far over. The next two weekends are my welding classes so not sure how much I will get done over the next couple of weeks but I will work on it when I can.




      62CometTurbo and BBR like this.
    16. BBR
      Trying to space something up on an angle sucks because you only get a percentage of the intended rise. Seems like adding a spacer between the mount and the block might be a good option.
      nxcoupe likes this.
    17. Pro-SC
      That’s what I was thinking also but there is not a lot of meat on the block part of the mounts. I figure that a 3/8” plate will work instead of that washer in between. I then could just use these 1/4” plates on the bottom of the k member engine mount pad. That should give the most strength I assume. The problem with the drop mounts is they get low enough that they are not wide enough installed. They sit on the very bottom with no spacer and a 1/4” gap on the other side. I just don’t think I should run it with just the washer in between the plates. I have never had this issue before but then again I was using poly mounts, come to think of it I have only ever had one other car that had solid mounts, a 401 gremlin.
    18. Pro-SC
      Managed to get a bit of time on the car today, mainly just getting finished what I couldn’t last weekend. Got my metric M8-1.25 tap and chased the threads in the flywheel. That did the trick and got the clutch bolted up and torqued to spec. I hope this clutch works as well as it is built, it really is a nice piece. Same goes for the quick time bell, very nice piece and comes with everything needed minus clutch fork that I am waiting on. The fork and the throw out bearing are supposed to show up tomorrow so I will finish getting that done after my welding class that starts tomorrow, looking forward to that. I also picked up some 3/8” plate and made a couple of more spacers, waiting on paint to dry and then try these ones.





    19. 62CometTurbo
      I missed the part where this was a stick car, nice! That will be a lot of fun. If I hadn't scored my auto for the price I did, I think I would have put a 5 speed in. Making some progress man!
      Pro-SC likes this.
    20. Pro-SC
      I almost went for an auto at first then I came across a deal on these g101a transmissions so I went with that. I have driven a lot more stick cars than auto cars but most are faster with the auto, especially turbo cars. If you have the right torque converter it’s tough to beat. But you can shift this trans without the clutch and I was told by gforce that the trans likes it if you beat on it, no slow easy shifts, you shift it like your trying to kill it! I have killed a lot of T5’s over the years but this one is beefy. I will be taking it apart partially in order to change out the input shaft and I will take a bunch of pics.
      I just got back from my first day of welding class and it’s safe to say that I will not be welding on any pipeline anytime soon! It did go pretty good just welding small samples. I did ask if I can bring in some stuff to weld but I might just wait till later.