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So I actually made my account a few years ago, but never really posted. I figured I'd pop in, say hi, and give a quick background on my two Thunderbirds :) .

I've always been a huge car nut. Grew up with my dad racing at a local circle track, then he sold the race car for a 1966 Chevrolet Chevelle. So of course the bug was already in me by the time I got my first car...







1988 Thunderbird 5.0L. Complete with an embarrassingly restricted 155hp, ridiculous 2.73 rear gears (epic bog-down) and automatic transmission. But I had an image in my head of a really awesome sleeper project. Something that I could drive around and not raise any eyebrows...until the rear tires were roasting from a stop light ;) . And so it began...

Swapped the car over to the 225hp High Output 5.0 that was found in the same year Mustangs. Also ran a true dual exhaust setup.









With this setup and swapping the rear gear to a 3.27 ratio, she ran a very surprising 14.662 @ 95mph in the 1/4 mile. Not bad for having 140,000 miles on the shortblock. But I needed to add some spice to the car; the automatic just wasn't cutting it for me. So I said goodbye to the automatic...





...and hello to a 5 speed manual...







This really added a lot of fun factor to driving the car around. But during all this time, I was doing a lot of research on the build I had been wanting to do for several years. So then I went to pick up the beginnings of the biggest undertaking yet...


(sorry for the large pic size on this one)



Bought a complete stock Mustang 5.0L engine. The plan was to completely tear it down and rebuild it from the ground up, while adding some more "umph" to it. Time for parts...







Got all the machining done...





Then assembly...







Next step was to remove the old engine and clean up the engine bay. No use in having a nice clean engine if the engine bay is grungy!








My Uncle assisting with the prep and paint work

Then it was finally time for the big day!





She ran like a dream. For a few weeks at least. I ended up getting a bad vibration past 3,000rpm. Soon after, she dyno'd at 240rwhp and 300rwtq but unfortunately the vibration had much worse implications than we realized...


I swear they looked silver when I put them in haha :(

But, as any typical car guy would do, I thought of a way to improve it this time around.




Dual speed electric fan control system with 80amp DPDT relays :cool:


Real gauges! The factory ones were horrible to say the least.
 

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Unfortunately I ended up getting screwed over by the machine shop...long story short, they took in my engine parts and proceeded to "work" on them. A year later and nothing had been done. I came by, took my parts back, brought them elsewhere, and got everything done in a timely manner. Then during the weekend right after Thanksgiving 2010...









Videos:

Idling
http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v173/kingcars/Engine Project/?action=view&current=306returned.mp4

Acceleration
http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v173/kingcars/Engine Project/?action=view&current=StellaAcceleration.mp4

Drive-around
http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v173/kingcars/Engine Project/?action=view&current=Stella.mp4

She's been running absolutely perfect ever since. Here's how she sits now:









I love taking the car to car shows because there are never any other Tbirds of the same body style there, and nobody expects such a "grandma's car" to have a beefy V8 and a 5 speed manual. Gets some interesting reactions to say the least.

And that's a VEEEEEEEEEEEERY shortened version of the last 6 years of my car. I didn't even mention the new wheels and 02 Mustang GT front spring swap or any of that haha. Then on Christmas day of 2010, my dad stumbled upon a Craigslist ad for another Thunderbird. I had been looking for a daily driver for quite a while, just waiting for the right deal to come along. I wanted something fun to drive (preferably a 5 speed) but reliable as well. This car seemed to fit the bill perfectly, and also happened to be a sister car to my white one! :cool: After test driving it, I was hooked, so bought it.

It's a 1988 Thunderbird Turbo Coupe. 190hp 2.3L Turbo 4 cylinder engine, 5 speed manual, sunroof, 140mph speedo, etc etc, you all know the drill. Here's how she looked after receiving some much needed cleaning..













It's been a perfect daily driver for me. Definitely fun to drive with the turbo 4cyl and the 5 speed and aside from regular maintenance, nothing has needed to be fixed on the car so far (knock on wood). And the white car can be kept safe and clean finally, only coming out on the weekends.

Anyways, sorry for the epically long post...this is actually an incredibly shortened version of the whole story but feel free to ask questions! Thanks for reading :) :cool:
 

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Im glad you made it over here kingcars, as I said over on XtremeSystems, you're cars are awesome.

Glad to see you made it to TCCoA, hope to see you on both forums! :)

Conner

(RAW-)Raptor22
 

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Yeah hey, I figured you'd show up! :) Thanks for the welcome. Like I said, I had an account here long ago, but never posted haha.
 

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Not to start anything {cuz most of mine suck} but I really like the way someone knows their way around a camera.

Especially; the first ones were excellent photo work.
 

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Welcome (back)! I love the 88 Thunderbirds, I had a maroon 88 with the 5.0 and auto trans. It ran pretty decent but would have run a LOT better with what you did to yours!
 

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That's nice....it's been quite a while since there has been people with nice Fox birds on here...makes me want to get an 87-88 bird ;)
 

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Great story!

You'll have to meet us at Rockingham for our annual Saturday after Thanksgiving meet!
 

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Welcome. Nice set of birds. I always liked the fox bodies.
 

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Wow... Very nice! Ide love 2 own that white fox of yours :p
 

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Very interesting introduction and fantastic cars. I had an 85 TC until I found my SC, fun car and I shoulda kept it.
 
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