1988 Ford Thunderbird Reviews - Page 11 of 16

1988 Ford Thunderbird Turbo Coupe 2.3 turbo from North America

Year of manufacture1988
First year of ownership1996
Most recent year of ownership1999
Engine and transmission 2.3 turbo Manual
Performance marks 10 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 10 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
9.5 / 10
Distance when acquired31000 miles
Most recent distance88000 miles
Previous carFord Mustang

Summary:

I wish I never sold it

Faults:

Nothing ever went wrong with the car. I did a few performance upgrades. I put a Centerforce clutch in it, K&N filter, Air-Research T3-T4 hybrid turbo, and Flowmaster mufflers.

Attracted too many law enforcement official's attention & tickets which led to the eventual sale of the 'bird.

General Comments:

My 'bird was wickedly fast.

I "tested" it at the drag-strip & turned 15.3 @ 91 MPH with the minimal upgrades I mentioned above.

I also drove it to Florida & Pa. - 31 MPG.

Was very comfortable.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 28th October, 2001

1988 Ford Thunderbird Turbo Coupe 2.3 4 cylinder turbo from North America

Year of manufacture1988
First year of ownership2001
Most recent year of ownership2001
Engine and transmission 2.3 4 cylinder turbo Automatic
Performance marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 8 / 10
Comfort marks 10 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 6 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.8 / 10
Distance when acquired146000 miles
Most recent distance156000 miles
Previous carChevrolet Cavalier

Summary:

A car that is well worth the time and money put into it

Faults:

New water pump at 150K miles.

Rebuilt transmission at 145K miles.

A/C blew and was removed before I purchased the car.

Motor in the passenger seat does not work.

Engine fan is hooked to a manual switch under the dashboard.

General Comments:

The car runs very well for being 13 years old.

Turbo is quick for being only a 4 cylinder.

I love my car, the Turbo-bird!!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 9th September, 2001

1988 Ford Thunderbird Turbo Coupe 2.3 turbo from North America

Year of manufacture1988
First year of ownership1988
Most recent year of ownership2001
Engine and transmission 2.3 turbo Manual
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 5 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 2 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
6.0 / 10
Distance when acquired0 miles
Most recent distance223000 miles
Previous carFord Thunderbird

Summary:

A wolf in sheep's clothing

Faults:

Currently on the 3rd transmission, the first one wore out, and the second I broke (popped the clutch in reverse, now the reverse idler gear sits on my desk as a reminder).

Limited slip rear clutches are worn out.

The clutch pack broke at about 40,000 (one of the keepers for the springs broke).

Valve cover gaskets have been replaced multiple times.

The computer has been replaced.

4th water pump, 2nd A/C compressor, 2nd ignition module, 5th timing belt, new heater core, new radiator, 3rd steering rack.

Driver's seat is twisted because the vertical support broke.

I have a few electrical problems (read shorts), primarily in the center console.

Other misc. wear items have been replaced over the years.

The car has left me stranded twice, the first was because the clutch failed, the second was my fault, I over tightened the timing belt.

General Comments:

I have owned this car since day 1 and have changed the oil like clockwork every 2,000 miles, and have performed all non warranty work myself.

For those that say the car is difficult to work on, go spend the $100 or so for the dealer repair books available from Helm Inc. They are better by far than the Chilton's. One use, and they have paid for themselves.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 16th August, 2001

1988 Ford Thunderbird Turbo Coupe 2.3 turbo from North America

Year of manufacture1988
First year of ownership1999
Most recent year of ownership2001
Engine and transmission 2.3 turbo Manual
Performance marks 9 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 10 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 10 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
9.8 / 10
Distance when acquired200000 miles
Most recent distance213000 miles

Summary:

A underestimated car

Faults:

Nothing has gone wrong with the car except the equalizer blew.

Since I bought the car used I have replaced the engine, brakes, and clutch.

When I first got it there was a knocking in the engine, but when disassembling it all it was, was a loose bolt in the oil pan.

Those are the only problems I've run into.

General Comments:

I'm 16 and this is my first car. I bought it for $400 from a neighbor who bought it at an auction for $600 and it was in perfect shape.

When things were replaced the car ran great. It handles great and at high speeds it seems it could go faster. When raced at a track it had a better time than a 5.0 Mustang. I'll keep this car until it dies. Modification will be soon in the future.

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

Review Date: 29th July, 2001

4th Aug 2001, 13:26

Wow turbos are such a fun cars. It is very much possible to get these turbo 4 bangers doing 12.20s with just bolt on parts.

19th Sep 2006, 21:05

This helps me a lot, I'm 15 almost 16 and I have $1400 to buy a car, I've found a 1988 t-bird turbo with 151,000 miles for only $1000, I think I might just buy it.

13th Nov 2006, 12:05

I am 17 going on 18 and I have been into cars ever since I was little my 1988 t-bird turbo cope is good on gas if I keep my foot out of it. I changed the engine with my grandpa we put a 460 c.i. with a aftermarket paxton turbo I love it, it will run in the high 7's. I drive it every day.

Average review marks: 7.5 / 10, based on 60 reviews