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. PaulC-turbo5.0
      thats definitely different then the march kit I have. Mine is a solid bracket that looks to be smaller then what you have and it mounts on the bottom, then there is a long rod with heim joints that goes where your bracket currently is and thats how the belt gets tensioned. I know there are pics of it in my thread. Got mine from amazon with part # 146509
      Pro-SC and nxcoupe like this.
    2. Pro-SC
      Thanks for the link, that looks like the one I need.
    3. nxcoupe
      Yes, that is what I run on my sbf as well. The back side of the belt touches the water pump pulley and spins it just fine. It'll look like it won't but it does work.
      Pro-SC likes this.
    4. Pro-SC
      Well I ordered that bracket kit and tried to install it this morning. This one has the proper length bolts and spacers but the bolt that is supposed to go into the head does not line up! Man it was easier using stock brackets but I only want to run an alternator and want it to be simple and strong. So I am going to pop off that water pump this afternoon and confirm that it is reverse rotation. I have to step out for a bit but will confirm that later on. If it is standard rotation then I can use the mid mount alternator bracket but reverse will not work because you need to get the belt over the pump pulley and use a relocated tensioner where the power steering would be about. I wonder if I could just order a standard impeller for the pump? It is an edelbrock pump that I don’t want to give up, hell you can’t even get them these days.




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    5. Pro-SC
      So it looks like I ordered the 5.0 kit, not the one for a 351. So I have to order that one which is not available on Amazon Canada so I will have to get one either from my next summit order or get one on eBay. 3rd time better be a charm, hate wasting money. I am building up a parts inventory for items I won’t be using. Holley high ram, aeromotive a 1000 pump and regulator for blow through, brackets and there must be a bunch more. Will have to start selling off some of that to pay for this other stuff I need,
      nxcoupe and BBR like this.
    6. Pro-SC
      So I jacked the car up higher on the stands and finally got the transmission installed! Man it fits so nice in there, the mount lines up perfect with the crossmember I have just need to adapt it to fit the bolts. Which I need to go buy, need some bolts for the crossmember and a little bit of fab and she is in there. Even the tunnel is not going to need much cutting up maybe just a bit but it lines up where the factory shifter was except to the left a bit. It is tempting to try to make it fit with the console but I am not going to bother. I have a part for the center of the dash that finishes it off like there is no console so at least it won’t look hacked. I almost had forgot that I had this nice aluminum G Force crossmember, nice part for sure. Just need to drill it out to fit the turbo 400 mount that these transmissions use.







    7. silver82GT
      I love that crossmember. I thought my Stiffler's was nice but that one is in a league of its own.:2thumbs:
      Pro-SC likes this.
    8. Pro-SC
      I am just happy that it is going to work! I have a stocker double hump that I thought I could cut up if I needed to, but not necessary.
    9. Pro-SC
      So I picked up some bolts this morning and got that crossmember installed. I thought I was going to make a small adapter bracket to fit the mount but there is not going to be enough room so I am going to open up those holes a bit with a cnc ball mill. Going to try that anyways. I don’t want to try drilling as it is so close and i don’t want to hack that part up. You can see in the pic how close it is and how nice everything lines up. I was thinking of using a router but I don’t have one so I will see what I can do. Opened up the CG fab hot side and bolted it up. I won’t be using the cross over as I am going to make a divided 2-1/4” set up and the CG fab one is for a t4 anyways. At one point in time I was going to run a turbonetics hp76 but changed out to an s480. Nice to finally mount a set of headers the right way, Forward! I just wanted to fit them and see how things look. Next up is either taking out the interior so I can mount the shifter or else take off the front clip so I can cut off the rad support.








    10. Pro-SC
      Had to make some room in my basement for the interior, the woman I live with is a freakin hoarder! The basement is so full of her junk that she will never use. She used to work at a chain store here and she always got killer deals on junk she didn’t ever need! I think I need to start an intervention on her, if it wasn’t for me she would have a hundred cats and a house so full of junk that there would only be a trail wide enough to walk! Oh she is a good one but dam if she is not a collector of nothing good, she gives me a hard time for car parts, at least I eventually bolt them in!
      Enough of the ranting, I had my starter to install, should have done it before the manifolds but there is enough room. Cool little starter, never had one of these before always used Ford stockers as they are good but I want as much clearance as I can get. You can clock it into whatever position you like, hope it works good, thought I would bolt that up before I tackle the interior.
      I took a couple of pics of the area behind the front bumper, lots of room in there which is nice. You can still get one piece front ends for these cars with a 2” extension, would make it perfect to fit twins up there and still have room for a rad and cooler.








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    11. Pro-SC
      I got today off work as they are putting a new pump into the tanker I use, so it’s a garage day!
      Started taking out the interior, was just going to do enough to get to the transmission tunnel but it looks like I need to take out the dash which I didn’t want to do at this time but I might. I am getting a cage installed this fall and I wanted the dash in so the guy can see how I want the bars. I need to change out the auto climate control into the manual one so I can still have heat and the ac stuff needs to go so I might as well.
      I could just cut the carpet but I should do it properly. Anyways took a couple of pics, the tunnel won’t need much if anything done to it. The manual trans plate just unscrews and that might be enough. When I was taking out the passenger seat I found the original shifter and 5 speed turbo knob. Between that and the console, those parts are worth good money, especially the console. There is not many parts left for these cars anymore and consoles used to be in high demand so I can only imagine what it’s like now.
      Oh and that starter came with a dyno sheet!









      01BlueCrew5.4 and BBR like this.
    12. Wallace
      Is the manual climate control an easy swap? I've got an LSC with the climate control and the head unit is failing.
    13. Pro-SC
      Well it is pretty easy on the TBird as the cars did come with manual control. There is an optional rotary install though that I think I will do. Pretty much just get one out of a Taurus or similar and hook it up. I did think that you needed to change over the heater box too, but maybe not. It has been a while since I looked into this. When I find that out I will post it up. Here is an article from Eric @ cool cats.

      Attached Files:

    14. Wallace
      Thanks for the info. If I ever find a third in the yards here I can see if maybe I could use that or maybe one from a mustang.
    15. Pro-SC
      So I have to say that taking out a fox mustang dash is a lot easier than these cars, sure seemed like the last one I did was easier. I had to take it out in order to change the auto climate control into a manual one and it does not look good for keeping the heater and having the bars run through the dash. S&W and others all sell cages that are through the dash, but I can’t see how you can do it with the heater in the way.
      So pulled the carpet without cutting it up and then removed the factory manual trans tunnel cap that Ford puts on factory five speed cars.
      Sure is a handy piece that is nice to have and not so easy to find these days. Not going to need much work for the shifter which I will get in tonight or tomorrow, do have to watch my Oilers kick some LA butt tonight though.
      Oh and although my alt bracket and ac delete plate won’t be here until next week I did get a new belt tensioner and also a nice pulley for it. Polished it up a bit should be just the ticket.











      Last edited: Apr 29, 2023
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    16. silver82GT
      The ones I have seen that keep the heater have the dashbar bent so it follows the curvature of the lower part of the windshield. It works on a Mustang/Capri, not sure if the Tbird is the same.
    17. Pro-SC
      So been pretty busy at work and with personal stuff that I only have a limited time to do on the weekends. One of these thing has been looking at new places, might be moving this year. Working on this car has my longing for a decent sized garage/shop. Might have found just the place outside of the city. Newer place on a pie shaped lot with a 24’x 28’ garage with 10’ tall ceiling in the back yard. Man that shop would be so nice.

      Anyways I did manage to get some work done on the car this weekend. Finally have the brackets sorted, we’ll almost. I have to space them out a bit because of the Holley 36-1 crank wheel. Threw on the MSD plug, installed the Holley 120’s with a TFS fuel rail. Of course mixing parts never seems to go well and these rails have bolts on the back of them for the mounts and they do not allow you to tighten them up properly, so I picked up some pan head machine screws and used a washer behind to get them secure. I think the angle will be fine, if not I will have to countersink those screws so the rails can sit flush onto the mount. I took off the CG fab hot side and waiting on delivery of the Holley turbo manifolds I ordered. I am going to try a set and see what I think of them. I will be getting into fab work pretty soon, just need to finish up a few odds and ends first.










    18. Pro-SC
      Oh yea, need some bolts too. What’s new, lol…
      I need one that goes from the ac/power steering bracket to the head. 7/16 x 6.5 or 7” long would work, of course lowes doesn’t carry that size.
      I should just get out to a pick n pull and get that bolt, also need the ones for the water pump pulley, ordered those. Also ordered a 75mm Accufab clamp type throttle body.
      B E N likes this.
    19. Pro-SC
      Well I have a bunch of small little jobs to finish up. I don’t like getting too far behind but I also like being able to jump onto other parts of the build while waiting on parts. So I had to mod the mount for the trans. Decided to use the extra spacers that I had for the k member. One thing I am not 100% sure on though is how the turbo 400 mount fits. The top of it has extra material that sticks up past the steel so I did 2 separate spacers. I think it would be stronger if I had one spacer all the way through but then that poly material is sticking up. Have to say I really need a drill press! I almost bought one when I picked up my Mig tank and have seen some decent deals on them lately but I don’t have space for one! So I had to drill out the billet aluminum with my Dewalt drill and man that stuff is sure hard on bits, the plate on the bottom of the crossmember came with the mount. I cut it shorter and drilled it out and have to say I am very pleased with how it turned out. Working on the shifter tonight.




    20. Pro-SC
      My 75max Accufab throttle body showed up yesterday. Ordered a 3/8” throttle cable spacer/ mount instead of the normal spacer but they didn’t ship me an extra gasket. I ordered one from western Motorsports in Calgary along with a V8 throttle cable. I cut open the tunnel a bit with my scroll saw, man that thing is way to fast for floor pan trans tunnel metal! Had to be very careful or you can end up with a much bigger hole than you want! So I picked up a 20 volt jig saw and some metal blades to cut the rest of it. Just need to cut some small pieces but that scroll saw will not come back out until I cut the rad support. I also went to one of the two pick a parts located where I live. Man talk about slim pickings for anything with a sbf efi. They did have a 96 roller 351 engine in a f150 that I should go back and get for a core but the only car I found was a mid 80’s ltd with a 351w in it. Carb engine of course but the ac and power steering setup look close so I robbed the bolt I needed from that. Sure enough it is 1” too long. Wasted half a day doing that for one stupid bolt that is not right! Work is busy, I have to work today, heading out to a gold mine in northern Ontario so no working on the car. Next weekend I should have the rest of the parts I am waiting on so hopefully I can get something done worthwhile. That’s the problem with my job, during the winter my work is slow and I get a fair bit of time off, just basically make enough to pay the bills over the winter. When work gets busy I don’t get much car time which is frustrating as I really enjoy working on it when I am making progress but when you can only get a bit done it sucks. Oh well gotta pay the bills and still have to get some parts, fuel system, rear end and roll cage.
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