1988 Ford Thunderbird Reviews - Page 5 of 16

1988 Ford Thunderbird 3.8L V6 from North America

Year of manufacture1988
First year of ownership2002
Most recent year of ownership2004
Engine and transmission 3.8L V6 Automatic
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Dealer Service marks 8 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 7 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.0 / 10
Distance when acquired100000 miles
Most recent distance145000 miles

Summary:

Strong, aggressive beautiful Ford

Faults:

Engine valve went bad.

Seats are starting to fade.

Speakers are broken.

General Comments:

This car is very amazing and handles very well.

Beautiful yet aggressive look.

Pretty strong and powerful engine that is very reliable and can get you where you need to be fast.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 2nd May, 2004

1988 Ford Thunderbird Turbo Coupe 2.3L Tubo Intercooler from North America

Year of manufacture1988
First year of ownership2003
Most recent year of ownership2004
Engine and transmission 2.3L Tubo Intercooler Manual
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 10 / 10
Dealer Service marks 10 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 8 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
9.2 / 10
Distance when acquired115000 miles
Most recent distance118000 miles
Previous carFord Taurus

Summary:

Mack Daddy car for a decent price

Faults:

When it was purchased, I was told that the heater core had been removed because it was faulty, and it leaked fluid. It is now bypassed. But who cares since I live in Bakersfield, C.A. where you bake like a cookie in the heat anyways. The A/C works sufficiently for now. Doesn't it just feel better to roll down the windows and style?

Breaks make noise. Spraying break cleaner on disks did away with noise and improved performance. Pads appeared still relatively new in front and back. Evidently, I really did buy it from an old man who barely drove it and kept it primarily garaged.

A bunch of other normal wear and tear little things not worth fixing.

General Comments:

I continue to drive it as if I was the old man before me who owned it only it hope that nothing goes wrong from ragging on it.

The body is still in brand new condition, and it is a very impressive car!

All I can say is it is comfortable, but keeping it forever might be expensive on perfecting every little detail to the point of making it a show car.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 7th April, 2004

1988 Ford Thunderbird Turbo 2.3 OHC turbo from North America

Year of manufacture1988
First year of ownership1998
Most recent year of ownership2005
Engine and transmission 2.3 OHC turbo Manual
Performance marks 9 / 10
Reliability marks 6 / 10
Comfort marks 10 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 8 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.3 / 10
Distance when acquired190000 kilometres
Most recent distance235000 kilometres
Previous carToyota Truck

Summary:

Nice job Ford!

Faults:

Rear brake slider pins were seized. I drove it for a couple of years and didn't even know until I went to change the brake pads. Brake shop told me the pins and brackets were discontinued and would cost $1000. Did some research, went to Ford and ordered the correct part for $25 each. Replaced the pins myself and the car stops WAY better than it did when I bought it. Gotta say, those 4 wheel ABS brakes stop GREAT!

Upped the boost to 18 PSI and began blowing off the turbo to intercooler hose. The stock turbo pressure is 10PSI so I can't really say this was a fault of the car. Got a new hose and it's been fine since.

19000Km the car would suddenly start to buck and stall. Turned out to be a bad TFI module. This is apparently a common fault with the Ford ignition system. Replaced the module with another Ford unit (not aftermarket) and it's been running fine since.

21000Km the ABS brakes quit working. Turned out to be a bad relay driving the pump in the ABS master cylinder. Had to diagnose it myself because the mechanics had no idea. Total cost was $30.

24000Km Relay to the primary electric fan failed causing the car to severely overheat. (pretty common)

Biggest Fault with this car --- Most mechanics don't understand a turbocharged system and don't know how to troubleshoot. Give up finding a service station to diagnose and repair this car. Even three Ford dealers were of no help. (Hint: do NOT start replacing the electronics and computers on this car. Most problems are simple)

Also, had NO luck with aftermarket parts. Use ONLY original factory Ford parts. ESPECIALLY with the ignition systems and sensors.

General Comments:

I really love this car. Car and Driver rated it the car of the year and I have to agree.

The stock sway bars, auto adjusting suspension, spring rates, limited slip rear differential and 4 wheel disk brakes were the best Ford had to offer that year. It makes this a great handling car! Especially when you put on some 50 series V rated tires.

The interior is fantastic! Instrumentation is well laid out and all the controls and buttons are right where I want them.

The 8 way power cloth seats have faded from black to blue, but have held up very well and I can always find that comfortable riding position which isn't always easy in most cars because of my bad back.

The gadgets on this car a great! It has every option I can think of and then some. Like they said, "It's an electronic dream machine"

This is definitely a car for the open road. I wouldn't recommend this engine for the city. The 2.3 Turbo actually had more power than the 5.0 for that year, but I find the bottom end sometimes lagging. Once you're on the open road you can wind it out and the 5.0's just can't keep up. I know, I've raced a couple.

Like I said, I love this car. I've had this car 6 years and I just finished doing a total restoration/rebuild on it. It's a keeper.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 31st March, 2004

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