20 Most Recent 1988 Ford Thunderbird Questions & Answers


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Turbocharger problems are some of the most difficult to troubleshoot. The main purpose of the turbocharger is to provide more air to the engine. The more air going into the engine the more fuel that can be burned, which results in an increase in horsepower. There are four main parts of the turbocharger: the wastegate, center rotating assembly, turbine housing and the compressor housing. By understanding how the turbocharger functions, it is possible to uncover the causes of problems.
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    • 1 Check the air filter element as this is a main cause of blue exhaust smoke. This blue smoke occurs when there is not enough air going into the engine. Check all ducts and pipes for obstruction or leaks.
    • 2 Clean the turbocharger. Dirt that has caked onto the compressor wheel or the diffuser vanes can cause all types of problems. If the turbocharger is very dirty or the center housing contains sludge then you should also check the filters. Dirt coming in to the turbocharger is most likely due to broken filters.
    • 3 Check with the engine manual to ensure that the camshaft or pump is working at the correct timing. Adjustments may need to be made as the turbocharger can change over time. If the turbocharger is out of sync, then this will result in a noticeable decrease in engine power. An additional cause of decreased power is a gas leak in the exhaust manifold or the turbine outlet duct. The less gas the less power that is produced.
    • 4 Check the turbine blade and compressor for any damage such as indentations or notches. This type of damage will cause screeching noises, whining noises, rattling and scraping sounds. You will need to replace the turbocharger as well as locate the source of the damage to prevent further damage. There is a chance that the noises are due to other eternal components and not the turbocharger, but a visual inspection is easy to check before moving onto other components.
    • 5 Inspect the actuator if the entire turbocharger is frequently overboosting or underboosting. Make sure that the actuator is not loose and if so tighten it to the specified torque values. If there is visible damage to the actuator and air leak or if the actuator spring has broken a new actuator is needed.

1988 Ford... | Answered on Jan 03, 2018


brake line stoped up or bad rubber line

1988 Ford... | Answered on Oct 28, 2016


Could be the inertia switch or the EEC relay in the engine compartment.

1988 Ford... | Answered on Nov 03, 2015


Very odd behaviour!

Take the battery leads off and clean the terminals with a wire brush. Clean the inside of the other connector with sandpaper. Coat with Vaseline or spray with WD40. Charge battery with a battery charger for 12 hours. If that doesn't fix it, you are looking for a short in the door switch perhaps? Is there a fuse box down by the drivers knees, check for loose or damaged fuses.

Nice old classic car, take care of it.

1988 Ford... | Answered on Sep 29, 2015


have someone put it in gear with foot on brake and increase rpm. watch the motor if it rises more than say 1/2" then repeat with car in reverse. if it raise more the mounts are worn or broke and need replacement. if not sure have it checked at a shop.

1988 Ford... | Answered on Aug 05, 2015


The best way if it is damaged is to take it to a muffler shop. They are pretty reasonable and they have the special tools to do the work and the knowledge. The bolts and nuts get rusted and sometimes break off. if you need to just take a section off then there is a special tool to cut the muffler pipe and then you have to weld on a new section. When the bolts break of it becomes a real job. You may have to take the exhaust off the engine block and do it where you can get to the job. Sorry, but I need more information to give you more directions.

1988 Ford... | Answered on Feb 15, 2015


Go after the catalytic converter/s.

1988 Ford... | Answered on Feb 07, 2015


Check the back of the intake manifold...they are about 2-3" round, and silver in color.

1988 Ford... | Answered on Jan 29, 2015


Its just a speed reminder. You somehow pressed one of those buttons on the cluster and activated it. You'll have to hold a button down to turn off but which one I don't recall.

1988 Ford... | Answered on Dec 14, 2014


Use a can of starter fluid and spray around your vacuum hoses while engine is running (spray very lightly). Since the vacuum comes from the engine your engine will rev up when you get close to the leaking hose. Good luck

1988 Ford... | Answered on Nov 22, 2014


It's normally going to idle faster when cold, but you can change the idle speed down with a screwdriver at the throttle engine speed screw.

1988 Ford... | Answered on Sep 24, 2014


Sounds like your steering column wiring harness has come disconnected. Check the condition of the connector, which will be located between the brake light switch and the instrument cluster, plugging into your steering column. Also, check the ground connection at the steering column (single black wire).

1988 Ford... | Answered on Aug 09, 2014


check floor beside drivers seat and door

1988 Ford... | Answered on Dec 23, 2013


only the dealership can reprogram it but before you do that look under the trunk lid there should be a sticker with a 4 to 6 digit code if still dosent work needs to be reset

1988 Ford... | Answered on Nov 15, 2013

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