New Car: 1986 T-Bird Turbo Coupe


Active LVC Member
Feb 28, 2015
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Hey all, purchased this 1986 Turbo Coupe April 2nd. It's California car with just around 80k on the clock (30k on the Ford Motor-sport speedometer which replaced the stock 85 mph one at about 50k). So far, I've had to replace the fuel-pump (I suppose that is to be expected since it was original).

Very happy with it so far; Seems to be in excellent mechanical condition, main issues are cosmetic (paint fade, fabric fade, and cracked rubber) due to the California sun. In addition, there is a bit of rust below the rear window trim.

So far, I've installed new headlights and ordered a dash-mat (to cover the cracks and keep new ones from forming).

Current plans are to: Replace the window trim pieces with ones which have been stripped of paint, replace the window dew wipes, install a dynomax-ultraflo muffler (the stock one has an exhaust leak), and replace the stock shift-knob with a solid aluminum one (to prevent wear on the stock one).

In addition, when I replace the rear window trim, I will assess the rust-damage. I may seal it with a spray-able rubber sealant to keep it from getting worse (Rust-oleum peel coat).

Hoping to experiment with "dipping" it in different colors when I can create a suitable booth in the garage.

No plans on performance mods, want to keep it stock and reliable.

Thanks for taking the time to read! Dash.jpgFront in Driveway.jpgHeadlight Comparison.jpgRear-Window Rust.jpgShift-knob.jpgSunrise.jpg


Front in Driveway.jpg

Headlight Comparison.jpg

Rear-Window Rust.jpg


Fun car. I bought a new 85 TCoupe. Black/grey leather/5 sp. I painted all the windshield moldings black, otherwise I kept it stock.

Totaled it in 1994.
Cool car. I had an 88 5.0 auto car for awhile, wish i still had it. If it were me id throw some perfomance parts at it. Make it handle and go a little better. Good luck.
I remember when those cars were literally everywhere. Haven't seen one locally on the road in years, if not 10+ years. Even with the heft, they could still scoot. I'd personally upgrade the turbo a more reliable modern variant and add a modern front mount intercooler say 2.5 to 3" thick, as large as you can get one to fit. Ambient temps w/o one or with a lousy one, kill a ton of performance. Turbo impeller blade design has come a long way since then, reducing lag. It wouldn't hurt the "reliability" of the car either. IIRC, they had 3.73's and Ford's Trac-Loc. Be sure to change the diff fluid and use recommended (think they needed a friction modifier). Also, think the T-5 was weaker around that era. At the very least, consider swapping out the factory stamped upper/lower trailing arms with modern boxed units and urethane bushings. HUGE difference in handling, launch, etc. Eliminates wheel hop too, and depending how degraded the old bushings are, they can actually slow the car down, and introduce unreliability with harder handling.
my mom had one new First year and 16's where super new
testing out anti lock breaks ...
loved that Car 2.3L right

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