Progress Thread 1985 Thunderbird Fox Body

StrokedBird

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Jun 19, 2021
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So, I have been tinkering with my '85 TBird that I picked up about 3 months ago. A little back story, it was an original 5.0L Automatic (AOD) car with a 7.5" rear axle with rear drum brakes, tiny front disc brakes, 54,000 miles and never wrecked, other than a few small door dings it's pretty damn straight and the interior is 98% and all original. I purchased it from a guy that had installed a 351W stroked to 410ci with SCAT forged bottom end, all ARP bolts holding it together and FloTek 180cc aluminum heads along with a small roller retro cam and Edelbrock Performer intake that was killing the power. He had also installed a FiTech fuel injection system on it and after a couple of years messing with it he never got it to run as good as he thought it should. I found several things half-assed and cheaply done prior to my tear down. So I put it up on my lift and grabbed some tools. Out came the motor, transmission, rear end, K-Member and all suspension. I had previously purchased an 8.8" 3.73 geared rear axle assembly with rear disc brakes, UPR adjustable upper and lower trailing arms for a Fox Mustang that I planned to build. After cleaning things up a bit and a little touch up paint, I installed those items this past weekend. Today I removed the steering column pedal assembly and brake booster, I reinstalled the extra Brake/Clutch pedal assembly for the manual transmission going back into the car. I have ordered up and still waiting delivery on a QA1 K-Member, lower adjustable A-Arms Koni Adjustable struts, Brembo ATS front calipers, Taurus 43mm rear Calipers and new rotors for all four corners. Here is a few photos of how things are coming along.
 

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02 281 GT

Agreed...My wife has great Boobs
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Nice looking project. I've really been wanting to get my hands on a non-Mustang/Fairmont/Zephyr fox platform car for a future project. There are some obscure cars out there that were on that platform: 1981-82 Granada, 1981-88 Thunderbird/Cougar, etc. I'd really like a Granada.
 

StrokedBird

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I hear ya, finding a 1981 Granada 2 door would be awesome, but you would probably have better luck being struck by a flying saucer.
 

Steel1

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Aug 18, 2017
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Looks like a cool project , good luck with it !
Not sure what your plans are for the engine and I'm sure you already know, but those Flotek heads are
robbing you of some power.
 
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7991LXnSHO

wanna catch the space herp
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I liked highway cruising in my 87 Cougar. The extra two cylinders and displacement would have been more fun.
Good luck getting the bugs out.
 
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StrokedBird

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The FloTek heads are going away and new AFR's are going back on, just not sure yet which ones, probably 195cc runners. The FloTek 180's are a stock OEM style replacement head so you are correct Sir, they are costing me power. I have also bumped the cam profile up a bit, I just don't want too much cam and heads because this thing is going to run pump fuel as a summer driver not a drag race car. I also don't plan on running more than 1-3/4" headers and 3" exhaust on it but may have to back that off to 2-1/2" exhaust to fit properly, another bridge at another time. I am considering running 72cc chamber heads dropping the compression ratio and stuffing a ProCharger in there somewhere.
 
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Bird76Mojo

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Nice looking project. I've really been wanting to get my hands on a non-Mustang/Fairmont/Zephyr fox platform car for a future project. There are some obscure cars out there that were on that platform: 1981-82 Granada, 1981-88 Thunderbird/Cougar, etc. I'd really like a Granada.
There was a mint Ford Durango for sale on Facebook a couple weeks ago if you really want obscure..
 

02 281 GT

Agreed...My wife has great Boobs
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There was a mint Ford Durango for sale on Facebook a couple weeks ago if you really want obscure..
I'm not necessarily after obscure for obscurity's sake. I just actually like the Granada and Cougar of that era. They look like miniature versions of my '90 Grand Marquis.
 
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StrokedBird

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Well here it is October and things are moving along, slowly but still moving, finally got a few items in from back orders. Some things have changed since my original build ideas, none of the UPR stuff is going in the car and instead have been switched over to Maximum Motorsports goodies. The mock up begins with MM Adjustable rear lower control arms, Pan Hard Bar, Torque arm, MM K-Member, Koni Yellow Struts and coil over spring set.

I've also installed a Cobra brake booster, 13" Cobra front brake set to help slow things down a bit when needed and I may upgrade to my new front Brembo 4 piston calipers and my Wilwood rear disc brakes later on. The new MM adjustable strut plates and steering rack bushings should be here in a few days so I can mount the new 15-1 steering rack I have waiting in the wings.

I will also be swapping out the rear axle assembly to an 8.8" 3:90 31 spline Trac Lok LSD axle assembly that I picked up lately and installing a new MM Adjustable rear sway bar assembly just to make things more interesting. Hopefully, in a few more months I will be able to complete the 410W with new AFR 205cc heads and get things back into running condition.

It's been an interesting project to say the least and maybe someday I will be able to enjoy driving it as much as I've enjoyed putting it all together.
 

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  • Hell Yeah!
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