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  Mustangsandmore Forum Archive
  Ford Thunderbird
  Which 'Bird to "old school" ????

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Author Topic:   Which 'Bird to "old school" ????
boss9
Journeyman

Posts: 70
From: Akron, Ohio
Registered: Mar 2006

posted 03-21-2006 03:29 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for boss9        Reply w/Quote
Thinking about getting an 80's or 90's T-Bird to drop a 351w in. Has anyone done this ? Which year works best ? What problems or issues to overcome ? I'm not interested in EFI or computer controlled stuff. I want this to be "old school" ! Any guidance would be appreciated.
T%hanks, Darrel

Whitson
Gearhead

Posts: 290
From: Western Canada
Registered: Dec 2005

posted 03-21-2006 10:45 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Whitson        Reply w/Quote
I've seen 351W swaps into pretty much every year right up to 95's. If you're not going EFI then it's pretty much wide open. 83 to 86 are the lightest, 87/88 TC's had 8.8's and 4 wheels disc brakes, 89 & up have 4 wheel ind. suspension & 4 wheel discs.

boss9
Journeyman

Posts: 70
From: Akron, Ohio
Registered: Mar 2006

posted 03-21-2006 05:37 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for boss9        Reply w/Quote
Thanks Whitson . I thought about something else since I posted this question. What do you do about the ABS and the airbags ? And then what about the idiot lights ?
Thanks, Darrel

Whitson
Gearhead

Posts: 290
From: Western Canada
Registered: Dec 2005

posted 03-22-2006 10:48 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Whitson        Reply w/Quote
If you hate idiot lights, then look for either a turbo coupe or a super coupe. They have full instumentaion and buckets/floor shift. As a bonus, you'll also get more aggessive suspension, and limited slip 8.8's with good ratios. (3.55 or 3.73)
The ABS is pretty much "stand alone" on these cars but if you don't want it, tear it out, install a 4 wheel disc brake master cylinder & booster, with an adjustable porportioning valve in the line to the rears. I have a list of useable masters if you need it.

trashline
Gearhead

Posts: 2230
From: Levittown, Pa
Registered: Dec 2003

posted 03-22-2006 12:55 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for trashline        Reply w/Quote
87/88 turbo coupes have what they call a PRC suspension system which the shocks are adjustable soft and hard. you can set it up so that the rears are soft and the fronts hard for racing purposes as well.the abs is awasome as well And i dont think it adds much more weight sinc ethe EEC and wires are pretty light. the front rotors can get expensive b/c they have the exciter ring in them unless you get them turned. both the abs and prc system have nothing todo with the main EEC. but once you hit a certain speed or more then 75 %wot then the prc goes to stiff when set in auto. I love my turbo coupe now that everything works on it.

Also it has an 8.8 rear the autos come with 3.73s and the 5 speeds have 3.55s. my car was an auto converted to t5 so I have the 3.73 and this thing pulls at full boost. this car is setup very nice with lots of extras. they even have a set of shocks on the rear to help stop wheel hop fitting slicks might force you to remove them but you can run 255s out back without interferance. check out www.natomessageboard.com they have tons of info on all 83-88 tbird turbo coupes

------------------
88 thunderbird TC 2.3L
Gillis at 18 psi, walbro 255 lph fuel pump, Kirban at 39 psi, 3.73 8.8" rear, rebuilt head, brand new IHI, working on a T3 and FMIC

66 mustang V8 swap baby

68 Fairlane 289 w/ auto
rusting away motor is going in the mustang

Whitson
Gearhead

Posts: 290
From: Western Canada
Registered: Dec 2005

posted 03-22-2006 01:26 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Whitson        Reply w/Quote
I own & love an 88 Turbo Coupe, so that would be my choice also. Even the T5 that comes with them will stand up to V8 power. I ran one behind a modified EFI 5.0 in a Stang for years, never broke it.
That suspension Trashline mentioned is also stand-alone, but the wiring runs bundled with the main computer harness so be carefull when "cutting" stuff you don't need.
And for air bags....the wiring runs with the computer also and they are NOT stand alone. Either disable or buy a pre-bag car.

[This message has been edited by Whitson (edited 03-22-2006).]

boss9
Journeyman

Posts: 70
From: Akron, Ohio
Registered: Mar 2006

posted 03-22-2006 04:25 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for boss9        Reply w/Quote
Thanks for the info guys. I was leaning toward that body anyway. I think it looks more aggressive.
Darrel

393Bird
Gearhead

Posts: 188
From: Clarksville Tn.
Registered: Feb 2004

posted 03-23-2006 06:15 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for 393Bird        Reply w/Quote
The 80s Fox series is the lightest and easier than the late ones, but I love my old school 93 Bird.

It is a FUN car now

------------------
1993 Tbird
393 stroker, 3500 RPM TCS converter, Lentech Strip Terminator

http://members.tccoa.com/392bird/

trashline
Gearhead

Posts: 2230
From: Levittown, Pa
Registered: Dec 2003

posted 03-23-2006 09:48 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for trashline        Reply w/Quote
fox birds weigh in around 3400 lbs. There are two different t5s one designed for the v8s and one for the 4 bangers. The way to tell is the input shaft for the v8 trans is bigger and it can handle more torque in stock form. Of course you can modify any trans for more power, but I would go with a v8 box if i planned to make power over 400 hp. There are guys running the stock inline 4 t5 up to 370hp without problems.

------------------
88 thunderbird TC 2.3L
Gillis at 18 psi, walbro 255 lph fuel pump, Kirban at 39 psi, 3.73 8.8" rear, rebuilt head, brand new IHI, working on a T3 and FMIC

66 mustang V8 swap baby

68 Fairlane 289 w/ auto
rusting away motor is going in the mustang

Whitson
Gearhead

Posts: 290
From: Western Canada
Registered: Dec 2005

posted 03-24-2006 10:20 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Whitson        Reply w/Quote
393Bird, that is one sweeeeeeeet looking machine!

boss9
Journeyman

Posts: 70
From: Akron, Ohio
Registered: Mar 2006

posted 03-25-2006 05:53 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for boss9        Reply w/Quote
That is a sweet ride !!! Saw an 87/88 Turbo growing next to a barn yesterday. I'm going today to ask about it. Hopefully it's not one of those "I'm gonna restore that one of these days" type owner.

393Bird
Gearhead

Posts: 188
From: Clarksville Tn.
Registered: Feb 2004

posted 03-25-2006 08:10 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for 393Bird        Reply w/Quote
Thanks guys. I have really enjoyed the project. I bought the car new as the family car, and decided to turn it into a weekend play car 3 years ago. I am Retired now, so have lots of time to work on it when I pick up enough cans to pay for more parts.

------------------
1993 Tbird
393 stroker, 3500 RPM TCS converter, Lentech Strip Terminator

http://members.tccoa.com/392bird/

bfxcomet
Gearhead

Posts: 706
From: Port Alberni, B.C. , Canada
Registered: Mar 2001

posted 03-28-2006 10:29 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for bfxcomet        Reply w/Quote
I put a 289 in 84 t-bird, it was a direct bolt in. The car was a V6 auto. I bought a set of motor mounts and oil pan from a 5.0 car and bolted up my C4 then dropped it in. The great thing about a fox chassis t-birds is that they are the same as a mustang. Later I bought a 8.8 from a stang and a set of 3.73 gears from an Explorer. I lightened my bird and it weighs in at 3100lbs with me and a full tank of gas. I used headers from a 67 fairlane they took a little work but fit. The best part is I got the car for free as it was sitting in a guys driveway for over a year and he wanted it gone. My car is a low buck ride but a ton of fun when I nail the gas.
Roger

------------------
65 comet project
84 T-bird 289/C4 13.67/101mph street/strip
www.avdra.bc.ca
Made in CANADA built for speed
#1145

Fordwiser
Gearhead

Posts: 535
From: Metamora, Illinois
Registered: Dec 2000

posted 03-29-2006 01:09 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Fordwiser        Reply w/Quote
http://mustangsandmore.50megs.com/MembersPics/Fordwiser.html
Surprizes the hell out of people! Friend says it looks like granys car!

Roger

boss9
Journeyman

Posts: 70
From: Akron, Ohio
Registered: Mar 2006

posted 03-29-2006 02:00 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for boss9        Reply w/Quote
You know there's an 80 Cougar on evil-bay right now, same color with an 8cyl. Definitly has the sleeper look !! I like it.

boss9
Journeyman

Posts: 70
From: Akron, Ohio
Registered: Mar 2006

posted 03-30-2006 04:46 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for boss9        Reply w/Quote
Thought of something else. My brother tells me that if I put my C4 in any of the 80's / 90's TBirds or Cougars that the dash instrumentation won't work ( speedometer, mileage ) because it runs off of a magnet and the C4 uses a cable/gear. Is this true ? Also, will any other changes be needed to use the C4 ? (driveshaft, bellhousing etc.) I was really hoping to use a modern body with 60's type drivetrain (carb & points, headers & 40 series Fowmasters)
Thanks, Darrel

Whitson
Gearhead

Posts: 290
From: Western Canada
Registered: Dec 2005

posted 03-31-2006 10:09 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Whitson        Reply w/Quote
Not true. The electronic speedo drive unit will slip right into a C4/C6 just like a speedo cable did.

boss9
Journeyman

Posts: 70
From: Akron, Ohio
Registered: Mar 2006

posted 03-31-2006 12:14 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for boss9        Reply w/Quote
Thanks Whitson,
The more I research, the better this swap is sounding !!!
Darrel

boss9
Journeyman

Posts: 70
From: Akron, Ohio
Registered: Mar 2006

posted 03-31-2006 04:08 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for boss9        Reply w/Quote
Does anyone know of a tech article on swapping engines in these cars ??? Also curious as to why the steering has to be changed when using the 351w based block. Is it an absolute necessity ?

bfxcomet
Gearhead

Posts: 706
From: Port Alberni, B.C. , Canada
Registered: Mar 2001

posted 04-04-2006 01:52 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for bfxcomet        Reply w/Quote
I plugged the stock 84 speedo cable imto my 67 C4. The original tranny was a C5 which is just like a C4.
Roger

------------------
65 comet project
84 T-bird 289/C4 13.67/101mph street/strip
www.avdra.bc.ca
Made in CANADA built for speed
#1145

bfxcomet
Gearhead

Posts: 706
From: Port Alberni, B.C. , Canada
Registered: Mar 2001

posted 04-04-2006 01:54 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for bfxcomet        Reply w/Quote
Also I never heard of anyone having to change the steering. I changed my to manual and manual brakes.
Roger

------------------
65 comet project
84 T-bird 289/C4 13.67/101mph street/strip
www.avdra.bc.ca
Made in CANADA built for speed
#1145

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