1987 Ford Thunderbird Turbo Coupe 2.3L turbo from North America


A classic example of doing things right


So far, the only problem has been that the idle sometimes races a bit, but it always settles down.

Other than that the car is very reliable and fun to drive.

General Comments:

I was always a General Motors fan with most of my cars to restore being Camaros or Firebirds. This Thunderbird is a real eye opener, I love it, and will consider Fords, primarily Thunderbirds and Mustangs, where I wouldn't have before.

Just a fun car to drive!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 27th August, 2000

1987 Ford Thunderbird Turbo Coupe 2.3L from North America


Better get one while they are still around


Water pump, one injector, front spindles, replaced exhaust system with stainless steel, heater core.

General Comments:

What has gone wrong on this car is no more than normal wear. It is without a doubt one of the most fun cars that I have ever owned and I have owned quite a few performance Fords. This was one of the most advanced cars ever built and there were bound to be a few quirks. It is a highly tuned automobile and like cars of this type, it needs TLC. If the engine ever goes South, I will be dropping in a 302.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 18th July, 2000

1987 Ford Thunderbird Turbo Coupe 2.3 turbo from North America


Fun but attention needing car


Fuel pump replaced.

Fuel injection problems.

Exhaust problems.

Brake pressure warning switch went bad twice.

Fogged headlight lenses.

Emissions problems.

Graphic equaliser went out.

Auto ride switch went out.

General Comments:

A great car to have fun with, just needs a lot of TLC. My car is my baby and I'll do anything that it takes to keep it going good.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 17th July, 2000

18th May 2001, 20:38

I love my 87 Turbo Coupe, besides replacing a couple of shock actuators and the timing belt, it has been great.

The belt was done for maintenance reasons.

Springs are no longer available from Ford, I would like to find a company that makes a comparable spring that won't lower the factory ride height. If someone could help me find one, that will be a great help and thank you.

1987 Ford Thunderbird Turbo Coupe 2.3 EFI Turbo from North America


When that turbo kicks in... wow!


Three auto-ride chips failed 3 years ago and have been replaced at $130 a pop (Firm ride would remain on at all times).

Fuel injection overhaul required last year at 55,000 miles.

Required transmission overhaul at 50,000 miles.

General Comments:

I love my coupe. I will continue to put whatever into it to keep it running in top condition. I strongly recommend frequent oil changes (every 3000 miles) and a professional tune-up (every 10,000 miles). This car demands special attention and will reward you with high-performance if you take care of it. Pay special attention to the manufacturer's recommendations.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 8th July, 2000

30th Aug 2001, 22:07

Yes.. Maintenance is VERY important, especially when you have a Turbo.. The longest gap for an oil change should be 3000 miles and ALWAYS change the filter. If you ever have a turbo engine rebuilt.. start it on synthetic. Never go to synthetic oil from organic without a re-ring kit.

And never never let the car run with low oil pressure, when you have a turbo. The turbo WILL sieze up.

6th Apr 2006, 15:51

I am the original owner of a 1987 Thunderbird Turbo Coupe with 187000 miles on it. It has been one of the most fun cars I have owned. Other cars have come and gone, but I just could not part with it.

Over time I have modified the intake, and exhaust, but have religiosity maintained the car and now it is fun to take to shows or cruse.

The engine and drive-train (5speed) are solid and the most reliable even to todays standards. Every time the car is not running right a mechanic will tell me I need a turbo, and I always find it is something else much less expensive. The turbo is bullet proof if you follow a few simple rules - Always 3000 or less oil changes, let the car cool down (running) after spirited runs of high boost.

This is a finicky car, I have tried different spark plugs, but always go back to motor craft, others always seem to make it miss. The only unreliable part of the car is the alternator, with replacing the pig tail every time it is disconnected, 65Amp is way to small for all the electronics on this car, I have a 75 amp in now (better) and plan on adding a 150 Amp G3 as found in Cobra Mustangs, you need a small modification, but it will be worth it.

If you plan on buying one do not let high mileage scare you off these are strong runners I would shoot for a 87 or 88 with a 5 speed.

If it looks well cared for and runs good you should be in good shape. At 4500rpm 12-14 psi boost and over 5500rpm look to get it up to 15psi if stock.