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. nxcoupe
      What kind of deal did you get on the trans? Where did you find a deal? I ask because my buddy Neil and I both want one.
      Car is looking good. And a stick is usually faster than an auto but it takes more work and skill to get there.
    2. Pro-SC
      It was a while ago when I bought it from Gforce. Sometimes they list them on eBay or at least they did and they would offer them at a discount over regular price. Not sure what they go for now but I got this one for around 3500 or maybe a bit more, hard to remember exactly.
      I also want to try running drag radials with the clutch tamer, but getting the thing running is priority #1.

      I checked the Gforce page on eBay, doesn’t look like they have sold anything on there for a while. Here’s the link. It is Mike from Gforce.
      Last edited: Mar 18, 2023
    3. nxcoupe
      Thank you! I am not ready yet but someday soon I want to get one. I wouldn't use a clutch tamer, I'd get one of the adjustable diaghram clutches they have now. Clutch tamer burns clutches up quickly and is hard to get just right. We fooled with one for 2 years and finally gave up.
    4. Pro-SC
      When I started buying parts for this car, I did not want to go into debt so I slowly accumulated the major items needed. Some of these items were purchased a long time ago. I should dig up what I paid for some of these parts then and what they cost now, the difference is incredibly stupid! Building a fast car is not the same deal as it once was, it seems like the only way to save any money on these builds is to do it all yourself. Hence why I am taking welding classes. Besides I like the satisfaction of doing it yourself when you go out for your first drive and the car blows away what you expected.
      Old 86, BBR, nxcoupe and 1 other person like this.
    5. 62CometTurbo
      That's the truth. It may not be as pretty as the guys that do it every day, but damn if it doesn't give me more pleasure to know when I'm driving it.

      Unless you're Briansshop, then it's better looking than the guys that do it everyday haha.
      Russell and nxcoupe like this.
    6. Pro-SC
      For sure Brian does amazing work on his builds.
      I never have neighbours like him!
      nxcoupe likes this.
    7. Pro-SC
      Had a bit of time today to work on the car. I installed the 3/8” spacers I made and used the 1/4” ones to go underneath the mounting ear on the k member. I figure this way is the toughest possible as it should give extra reinforcement. Have about a 1/4” clearance on the rack so I am done with this. I went to install the clutch fork and throw out bearing only to find out that the fork pivot ball is too short. Would have been nice if quick time supplied a couple of different lengths but no. I ordered an adjustable one and of course it’s another expensive bolt that seems to be impossible to find around here. The one speed shop that should have it is out of stock on back order so I have to wait until Monday for one to arrive from Amazon. I was really wanting to wrap that up but what can you do except start doing other stuff. I started tearing into my g101a and changing out that crappy Chevy input shaft for a 26 spline ford style one. Really cool trans, so easy to work on once you figure it out.











    8. 62CometTurbo
      That transmission looks beefy. Coming along!
      Pro-SC likes this.
    9. silver82GT
      Those are some beefy dog rings in that box. Definitely meant to be driven like you hate it! :2thumbs:
      Pro-SC likes this.
    10. Pro-SC
      So this morning I changed out the winter tires and wheels on both the Challenger and my F150 and I had to do this first as the rack I keep tires on will be blocked with my welding set up. So once I had that done I had to start cleaning and organizing. Some welding stuff came this week along with a new 3G alternator and a really cool starter both from power master along with a DEI starter heat shield and march pulleys and alternator bracket. Oh also the remflex gaskets for the manifolds, so I have a lot to start bolting up. When a lot of stuff comes in a have to organize as this little garage is not freakin big enough! Lol… more pics tomorrow

      nxcoupe and BBR like this.
    11. Briansshop
      That GF4A makes me smile! Looking good.
    12. Pro-SC
      Well I hate to admit it but I had a hell of a time getting that transmission back together properly. When I was taking it apart I tried to take as many pics as I could for reference. Well after these pics were taken I pulled out the plate that goes between the tail shaft and the main body and sure enough most of the guts fell out, hate when that happens, lol… so unfortunately that turned out to be a major setback as I did not get enough good pics and had to figure it out in order to get it back together. There is so many ways you can fit this together but only one correct way. I checked online and only found tear down video of the original g101 not the newer g101a model. This one has a lot of updates that allow it to handle more power including a plate that holds the two clusters together so they don’t try to spread apart and they got rid of a bunch of c clips and use spacers instead. That is fine but you need to know exactly what order they go in. I took this thing apart and tried to reassemble it over a dozen times. It was frustrating as hell as nothing seemed to work right. I did find a schematic but only for the original g101 and that is no help. Well even when crap gets me down I just take a break and try again later. Finally had success, it took me a hell of a long time to figure it out, the old style is easier because the c clips hold the gears in place and it would be much easier to figure out. so I tried to install it after getting the bell back on with the proper pivot bolt. My car needs to be higher up to fit the trans in on the jack but I did manage to get it up and close with the floor jack and stands but I could not wrestle it into place by myself. I am either going to have to raise the car higher or get somebody to give me a hand to get it into place. Everything is all lined up in the clutch as I checked it first with the input shaft to make sure.
      So I started bolting up the alternator and the march bracket kit and something is wrong here. Either the water pump is not correct for these brackets or I am going to have to make some spacers going to have to work that out. The brackets are for 86/93 fox mustang so they should be what I need but it does not line up. Nice looking kit but it does me no good like this. So I was hoping to have got a lot more done but it is what it is… Next weekend I am getting that transmission in if it kills me, everything is so close just need some stuff to go my way for a change!
    13. nxcoupe
      Do you use the 94 up style mustang ti.ing cover or the 86 to 93 style? Warer pumps are different between the 2.
      Can you post pics if the issue you're having with the alt kit?
    14. Pro-SC
      When I get home tonight I will. It is supposed to be fox front dress on this engine but maybe it’s not.
    15. BBR
      Yours has a fuel pump provision = older style.
    16. Pro-SC
      I hear you but it is supposed to have a fox water pump, I was just looking at the Cookie Monster build and I think I see what I did wrong. I am still working but will check it out tonight.
    17. Pro-SC
      What I think has happened is Summit shipped me a different kit even though it comes with instructions showing it is for a sbf. I tried reversing it with the adjustment on top but that doesn’t work and the bracket is made to go the way I have it in the pics. I put the proper spacer on the top water pump bolt and this is how it comes out. No spacers for the bottom which it needs but the alternator is touching the head and as you can see the crank pulley and water pump line up. I think they gave me the wrong kit, the bracket has a different part number on it than what’s on the instructions. They didn’t come in a box just plastic and foam all wrapped up along with my other stuff I ordered. Now the brackets have some scratches were it touches the spacers so I will have to talk to summit and see what they say. Might be just easier to make spacers. I figure that has to be the problem as the crank and water pump pulleys line up.I also put up a pic of the trans all back together, now it’s just under the car.





    18. silver82GT
      New spacers would solve that problem. I would just use washers but your stuff is too pretty for that. :)
    19. Pro-SC
      I will have to get some tubing and get my saw out. Picked up a cut off saw to do my exhaust will try it out.
    20. Pro-SC
      The only problem with making spacers is that how are you supposed to run the belt with a reverse rotation water pump? This kit places the alternator mid mount and I don’t see how you could route the belt? This would be easy with a normal rotation pump. I am going to call summit today. They have one other kit in stock and I will need an ac adapter bracket to run the tensioner in its place.
      Looking at it more I guess I could just run the belt with the ribbed side towards the water pump but I am concerned about throwing belts like that, but it might be a solution.
      Last edited: Apr 12, 2023