Doubt in a 87 model

Hello all,

I am a Dutch guy having an unstoppable love for the Ford Fox bodies.

The car that I love most for its looks is by no doubt the '87/'88 Thunderbird Turbo coupe, the one with the closed grille. I want to buy such car, but I figured these models were made during the oil crisis. The one I love most by its looks has a 4 cyl turbo, but the engine I usually adore most is the V8. So I have a few questions in my dillema what to do:

1) is it possible to get more HP out of the 302 V8 from the 87/88 editions? 140bhp from a V8 is very inefficient to me. For instance: the turbo coupe has 195bhp and does that with less mpg
2) If I would swap an engine what is my best approach:
- buying an LX swap the grill and hood for one of a Turbo coupe and swap the 302 for a more efficient Ford V8
- buying a 2.3 turbo and swap that with a V8 (which V8 'slides in' the best?) since the turbo coupe has some SVO parts in it already and seems more ready for the extra power

In short: I want the 87/88 looks (closed grill) and the V8 but also at least more HP that the 2.3 delivers.
 
Hello all,

I am a Dutch guy having an unstoppable love for the Ford Fox bodies.

The car that I love most for its looks is by no doubt the '87/'88 Thunderbird Turbo coupe, the one with the closed grille. I want to buy such car, but I figured these models were made during the oil crisis. The one I love most by its looks has a 4 cyl turbo, but the engine I usually adore most is the V8. So I have a few questions in my dillema what to do:

1) is it possible to get more HP out of the 302 V8 from the 87/88 editions? 140bhp from a V8 is very inefficient to me. For instance: the turbo coupe has 195bhp and does that with less mpg
2) If I would swap an engine what is my best approach:
- buying an LX swap the grill and hood for one of a Turbo coupe and swap the 302 for a more efficient Ford V8
- buying a 2.3 turbo and swap that with a V8 (which V8 'slides in' the best?) since the turbo coupe has some SVO parts in it already and seems more ready for the extra power

In short: I want the 87/88 looks (closed grill) and the V8 but also at least more HP that the 2.3 delivers.
The ninth generation 1988 Thunderbird turbo coupe came with either the 2.3 Liter 4 Cyl, 3.8 Liter Esser V6 or the 5.0 Liter Windsor V8 engine. I would look for one with a bigger engine instead of buying one and then swapping engines and such.
 
This might be a dumb question but seeing that you said your Dutch I am assuming you are not here in the USA, have you driven a 2.3 turbo? The 87/88 added the intercooler and are quicker than you might expect. Obviously there is no replacement for displacement so the v8 wins in that regard. I restored a 86 XR7(the cougar version of the thunderbird) a few years ago and other than swapping in a little larger turbo it was stock and that thing was ridiculously quick. I installed a 87/88 t bird hood as I liked the look also. I didn’t have a intercooler so had some block off plates made to close the intake scoops off. If you like the closed nose look and don’t buy the t/c version but plan to swap the nose remember you’ll also need the lights as they are different and not certain of parts availability in other countries.
 
Thanks for the replies. Regarding to the option to use the 88 V8 model, I think that V8 is highly inefficient: only 140bhp? How much would that cost to tune that to at least 195bhp to meet 4 banger turbo? Plus: I can only chip the turbo to go to 225bhp, how much would that be for the V8? I think it would cost thousands of euros.
 
Thanks for the replies. Regarding to the option to use the 88 V8 model, I think that V8 is highly inefficient: only 140bhp? How much would that cost to tune that to at least 195bhp to meet 4 banger turbo? Plus: I can only chip the turbo to go to 225bhp, how much would that be for the V8? I think it would cost thousands of euros.
Don't have any useful information, other than many years ago I bought a slightly used "87 5-speed Turbo Coupe and it was the best car I've ever owned. At the time my motorhead Dad called it my "Pinto Powered TBird, but it was surprisingly powerful. I lived on the road at the time and put 240K miles on it. Sold it to a friend who stacked on another 100K. Went through a few timing belts and clutches, but other than that the drive train and turbo held up.
 
Hello all,

I am a Dutch guy having an unstoppable love for the Ford Fox bodies.

The car that I love most for its looks is by no doubt the '87/'88 Thunderbird Turbo coupe, the one with the closed grille. I want to buy such car, but I figured these models were made during the oil crisis. The one I love most by its looks has a 4 cyl turbo, but the engine I usually adore most is the V8. So I have a few questions in my dillema what to do:

1) is it possible to get more HP out of the 302 V8 from the 87/88 editions? 140bhp from a V8 is very inefficient to me. For instance: the turbo coupe has 195bhp and does that with less mpg
2) If I would swap an engine what is my best approach:
- buying an LX swap the grill and hood for one of a Turbo coupe and swap the 302 for a more efficient Ford V8
- buying a 2.3 turbo and swap that with a V8 (which V8 'slides in' the best?) since the turbo coupe has some SVO parts in it already and seems more ready for the extra power

In short: I want the 87/88 looks (closed grill) and the V8 but also at least more HP that the 2.3 delivers.
Why not just buy an LX or Sport with the 5.0 and put the Turbo Coupe header panel on? You will have to get the Turbo Coupe front inner parking lights as well. I'd recommend an electric fan for the radiator as well.

As far as mods.....good hp can be made with both...just depends on your budget.

If you get a Turbo Coupe...get the 5 speed...not automatic. The automatic transmission cannot hold any power.

Ron
Ontario, California
626-253-5641
 

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