What engine can I fit in my 1985 T bird? - Hot Rod Forum : Hotrodders Bulletin Board
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Old 09-15-2016, 09:25 AM
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What engine can I fit in my 1985 T bird?

I had the opportunity to get a 1985 t bird (turbo) for free.

It has no engine or transmission. Stock engine I've found for 2 grand. However, I think it's redundant to put stock in it.

I'm new to restoring/fixing cars so I need all the help I can get.

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Old 09-15-2016, 10:24 AM
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I'm not really up on Fords, but the 85 T Birds came from the factory with the 302 V8, so certainly any engine in the Windsor family, 302's and 351's, would fit. Or a stroker engine based on one of those engines. I'm sure some of the members that are more knowledgeable on Fords will chime in on this. Here's an example of a 408CI stroker based on a 351 Windsor: 408 Ford Stroker 445 HP 515 Torque Street | Ford Crate Engine, Performance Crate Engines | Tri Star Engines & Transmission
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Old 09-15-2016, 02:21 PM
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Are you interested in carburetor or EFI?

The guys/gals here can put anything into anything, so it's just a matter of what you want... whether you can do the work yourself or have to hire it done... how much work it needs... what your budget is... what your main purpose for the vehicle will be... I like those T-Birds... remind me of the '86 Monte Carlo I used to have...

The Ford 400" engine can be built up cheaply these days thanks to TMI... and since it's basically a 400" Cleveland, it easily makes 400 - 500 HP and big torque...

Do you want manual or auto tranny? Basic or overdrive tranny?

Does the car have a posi rear end? Prolly the nice strong 8.8" rear end. And a performance gear ratio since it was a turbo 4 banger engine...
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Old 09-15-2016, 03:53 PM
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The 302 is a tight fit in the 85 T-bird. To put in a 351W you are going to have to do some cutting and possibly change the front suspension. The Ford electronic transmissions made for the combination are on the weak side for performance so I would recommend a manual transmission if you are going to build power into it. The 302 strokers are a good fit and deliver enough power that you can have some fun with it. The Cleveland powerplants are wider than the Windsor by a couple of inches overall and the 351M and 400 are both wider and taller than the Cleveland.
I would suggest the 302 stroker for ease of fit but if you want to modify it there is nothing with more brute force than a stroked 460 with a blower. You're doing the work and paying for it so the decision is yours.
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Old 09-15-2016, 04:04 PM
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in 1987 models with the 2.3 inter cooled turbo.. the little hair dried motor with a 5 speed up behind it could push the Turbo Coupe to 143MPH. right up to the factory SPEED LIMITER programmed in the computer..

the hairdried automatic versions were limited with a speed limiter to 120.. so the slush box would not grenade..

i don't think the 85 versions were intercooled..


but like others .. anything you can bolt in a mustang as that is a FOX body you can bolt in your 85..

a few things.. i had an 83 5.0CFI.. weld the sway bar frame brackets to the inner frame rail better.. they are only resistance or spot welded in place..

if you don't have the ATE antilock brakes that the later models have.. but actually have a vacuum power brake booster.. you are better off.. the ATE antilock versions with 4 wheel disc brakes stop crazy fast.. but when the master or power booster assemblie fails its crazy expensive usually.. the vacuum booster fits right in to the same mounting points.. don't throw the old hydraulic power booster out. there are other neat uses for it.

i think if you wanted. but the turbo coupe 17 wheels look great.. you could do the aerostar rotor swap to get 5 bolt rotors.. i don't know if one of the rear aerostar axles will work on the TBird rear end.

with the turbo it probably already has a posi 8.8" rear end..
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Old 09-15-2016, 07:46 PM
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I've done some research and have decided on the 302 (thanks for your suggestions).

Great!

Now on to the transmission as I want a 5 speed manual, will any mustang manual fit? I've seen some good 5 spd '05-10 for around $700.
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Old 09-15-2016, 07:50 PM
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With the weight of that car, might want to put a 347" stroker kit into it...

If going hyper 302" or 347", would want a stronger World Class T-5 tranny (~'86 and newer?)... look online for how to tell the difference in them from external clues... so nobody can lie to you...
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Old 09-16-2016, 04:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by uyjg View Post
I've done some research and have decided on the 302 (thanks for your suggestions).

Great!

Now on to the transmission as I want a 5 speed manual, will any mustang manual fit? I've seen some good 5 spd '05-10 for around $700.
You'll want to research this as I'm not totally up on the newer Ford stuff, but I believe those years the bellhousing is built onto the trans case, all one piece, no separate bellhousing....and the block-to-case bolt pattern only fits the Ford Modular Motors like the 4.6L and 5.4L Not the older Windsor series engines.

Good news for you is the Windsor engines drop right in on the stock 2.3 engine crossmember using stock 5.0L motor mounts
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Old 09-16-2016, 05:56 AM
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302 is a good choice. The stock turbo car only had about 150hp so a mildly built 302 will be fun. They are rather light too weighing in about 3100 pounds so no need to go monster unless you just really want too.
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Old 09-20-2016, 07:56 PM
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302 with spray.
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