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Old 02-25-2009, 19:39   #1 (permalink)
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New TBird owner!

Hey guys i just recently purchased a '88 5.0 Thunderbird . Its got 150k miles and the engine runs like a dream and tranny shifts perfect. Purchased for $500 and given the condition i think it was a steal. Has a handful of minor cosmetic flaws. Even though this is just a temporary DD, I do plan to clean it up to as perfect as I can get and make it a nicer vehicle.

Here is a list of things i plan/need to do to it, any help tips or tricks would be greatly appreciated. FYI, I haven't searched the forum yet so if any of the things i plan to do are already layed out sorry in advance. But anyway on to my list:

Fix the one quarter sized rust spot
Buff ect. the paint to as perfect as can be
New driver side corner marker
Restore head/tail light plastic
Wipers stick up about 6" (new motors?)
Passenger door doesnt always lock even though it appears to be
Windows move slowly (could be that the car has too small battery, or maby motors)
Have to use alot of muscle to get into park and 1st (have no idea on this one)
Gear select bulb (the one under shifter)
Flashes low gas even though its full (dont know on this one either)
New valve cover gasket(s) (very small leak)
New power steering seal (very small leak)
Fix driver seat, something is broke on right side. It leans really bad
Also the steering seems really loose, turns fine and all but loose. (Is this just the nature of the beast/different than what im used too, or is something wrong?)
And i believe thats it for repairs unless i forgot something....

Mods that i would like to do are: Full exhaust, headers, and no cats (will i need o2 simulators for this to work properly?)

Also i thought about keeping it as a project car and droping a big block in it, and get a different car for a beater.

And once again any help/tips/tricks would be greatly appreciated. I plan to get started this weekend.

Thanks for reading, and im sure ill enjoy my stay here!
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Old 02-25-2009, 21:04   #2 (permalink)
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cool Re: New TBird owner!

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Originally Posted by scott989 View Post
Hey guys i just recently purchased a '88 5.0 Thunderbird . Its got 150k miles and the engine runs like a dream and tranny shifts perfect. Purchased for $500 and given the condition i think it was a steal. Has a handful of minor cosmetic flaws. Even though this is just a temporary DD, I do plan to clean it up to as perfect as I can get and make it a nicer vehicle.

Here is a list of things i plan/need to do to it, any help tips or tricks would be greatly appreciated. FYI, I haven't searched the forum yet so if any of the things i plan to do are already layed out sorry in advance. But anyway on to my list:

Fix the one quarter sized rust spot
Buff ect. the paint to as perfect as can be
New driver side corner marker
Restore head/tail light plastic
Wipers stick up about 6" (new motors?)
Passenger door doesnt always lock even though it appears to be
Windows move slowly (could be that the car has too small battery, or maybe motors)
Have to use alot of muscle to get into park and 1st (have no idea on this one)
Gear select bulb (the one under shifter)
Flashes low gas even though its full (dont know on this one either)
New valve cover gasket(s) (very small leak)
New power steering seal (very small leak)
Fix driver seat, something is broke on right side. It leans really bad
Also the steering seems really loose, turns fine and all but loose. (Is this just the nature of the beast/different than what im used too, or is something wrong?)
And i believe thats it for repairs unless i forgot something....

Mods that i would like to do are: Full exhaust, headers, and no cats (will i need o2 simulators for this to work properly?)

Also i thought about keeping it as a project car and droping a big block in it, and get a different car for a beater.

And once again any help/tips/tricks would be greatly appreciated. I plan to get started this weekend.

Thanks for reading, and im sure I'll enjoy my stay here!
Well, you may be in luck. The 1980-88 Thunderbird was a Fox chassis vehicle, just like the Mustangs of the same era. So many of the performance parts for the stang should work on the Bird. The wheelbase may be different between the Mustang and T-Bird, (I'm thinking in terms of trying to use say a Floiwmaster Mustang exhaust system on a T-Bird). You don't need simulators, this is an OBD I vehicle, before downstream O2 sensors were used to monitor the cats. Why go without cats.??? Just find a High flow cat setup for a Stang of the same vintage.
The wipers not parking is most likely the motor. The door not locking but appearing to work is probably a weak lock actuator behind the door panel.
The shifter, column or floor shift??? Check the front end for looseness (Tie rods, ball joints).
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1964 Thunderbird Hardtop- Chantily Beige- 390 FE 4V V8-Uncle's Car
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Old 02-25-2009, 22:55   #3 (permalink)
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Re: New TBird owner!

The shifter is a floor type. And i figured ill go with out cats because of a couple reasons. Thoose reasons being the exhaust note factor, small gain in performance, and i can sell the cats.

Also for the big block swap i would use a carburated engine just becuase i hear the ease of install (or there is not efi 460's i forget which). Also i have found that i need:

Set of motor mounts
Headers, like hooker super comps 2" primary 3.5" collector
oil pan, like canton race pan. or a late model truck rear sump pan.
Starter, have to use a mini starter if you use the canton pan.
Mustang K member , like QA1
mustang lower control arms to keep stock track width.
Set of stock 5.0 mustang springs or coilovers.
mustang trans crossmember so you can use a stang trans mount.
mustang power brake booster or go with manual brakes.
A good aftermarket aluminum radiator with a e-fan that has 3,600+cfm
And found a 3.73 read end (from a 2.4t tbird i think) is recommended

What else would i needed to make this work? Especially in the terms of electronic modifications, and other/recommended parts? Ive just recently started my search on this process so if you have any helpful sites or write ups along with other info please point me in the right direction. Btw my goals would be ~500whp N/A.

Also ive been led to believe a 4r100 tranny would be great for this.

And if im getting a little long winded with my posts sorry lol
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