1988 Ford Thunderbird LX 3.8 gas from North America


I love my Thunderbird


My heater core ruptured at the hose cap weld on the core. This is my first major breakdown with this T-bird. There is a lot to this repair, but it's not impossible. Just time consuming. The dash and instrument panel must be removed. The install was much faster than the tear down. I documented all stages of the repair by photo, because I had a hard time finding references for this fix.

I am back to enjoying my favorite car again.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 26th January, 2011

23rd Aug 2011, 15:38

I have to do the same fix. Just finished with an ABS brake unit. Phil.

15th Nov 2012, 13:40

I also have a 88 Tbird Sport. Nothing wrong with it, very low mileage for her year. She has less than 200,000 km on her.

Good car, lots of power, never had to put it in a shop for anything; just her thermostat needs to be changed, but it's hard to reach her bolts.

But the one thing I am forever wondering, is what are the itty bitty shock at the rear for? The ones that are kind of sideways?

21st Dec 2013, 20:55

When you floor the gas pedal and take off fast with a car, the rear end tries to rotate and that causes wheel hop. The horizontal shocks you see absorb the shock when the rear end tries to rotate to stop the wheel hop. I like Ford's system just fine. It's simple and it works good. The Chevrolet Camaro uses a different system to prevent wheel hop. It uses a structural tube that runs from the rear end parallel to the drive shaft and connects to the transmission. I am sure it works fine too, but I think Ford's system is better because it takes up less space and it is simpler. You may recall seeing cars in the sixties and seventies with ladder bars under them. Ladders bar do the same thing.

1988 Ford Thunderbird Coupe 5.0 from North America


Great reliable car, nice ride, has got power when needed


Replaced leaky valve cover gaskets.

Repaired windows that were falling off tracks.

Replaced fuel pump.

Station numbers stopped working in the radio (radio works fine).

Dash has age cracking.

Trunk springs are broken & won't hold the trunk open.

Replaced alternator.

Replaced heater core.

Replaced plugs & wires.

General Comments:

This has been a great car. The engine runs perfect (5.0). I have gotten speeding tickets & the car can move well when needed.

The car handles well & has a great ride -- not a ride of a small car, yet it's not a huge car in itself.

Seats are very comfortable.

Nice air circulation when both windows are open.

Gas mileage is very good.

I have used this car as a daily driver since the day I bought it -- it's been a great reliable car over the years I have owned it, with the normal wear & tear of parts of a 21 year old car wearing out.

I will drive this car until it rusts out from under me. New cars are not an option as they are too complicated -- made of plastic etc.

The only way I will part with this car is if someone gives me top $$ & they want to restore it to original condition.

Too bad they don't make new ones. I would buy a twin if it was made today -- this car is almost like a bro to me -- it's a fine 21 year old -- maybe I will buy it a 6 pack for its birthday (age 21).

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 18th October, 2009

21st Dec 2013, 21:00

The trunk springs don't break, they just slip out of place. They're a pain in the neck to put back in place. I had the same problem with my 1988 Ford Thunderbird Sport. Once I got the springs back in place, I then secured them so they couldn't slip out of place again.