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THUNDERBIRD CONVERSION


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Trying to come with a plan on how to convert the Monogram 87 Tbird to an 86 using these two kits. Body wise they would be same in full scale minus the front & rear bumpers and rear quarter window is smaller on the 86.

This is probably beyond my skills we'll see?

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The pro stock body has mostly the right proportions with the exception of the rear wheel openings. I would use the underhood details and firewall from the '87 on the '86 body. Cut a section from the quarters on the '87 and graft them into the '86. Then modify the molding to match. The windshield from the '87 should fit the '86. If not, you can sand away the rivets. You can just fill the indents on the trunk. Not sure what will be needed to be done for the interior as far as the dash, door panels and seats. I always wanted to do this conversion. But, not enough to sacrifice the pro stock kit. 

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There was an article written in one of the modelling magazines back then on this very topic, using the same kits you have.

The author wrote that he had to build an '86 as the interior is the same as the '87. The rest was built just as Plowboy suggested. He also had to source the 10-hole "phone dial wheels", which is made easier today since Revell has issued their '90 Mustang coupe. Results looked accurate and the instructions made it look pretty straight forward. 

I attempted the conversion - twice! But never finished either of them. Got as far as completing the bodywork and got distracted. "SQUIRREL!!"

I'll have to find them in the "closet of doom" and post them here for you to see how far I got.

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Hi Zenon!

I did just that a few years ago (see pix below). I transplanted the 87 chassis/interior AND rear quarter wheel openings on the Monogram 85 TBird pro-stock body. I customized the front end with hidden headlamps, and threw in a 429 Boss with scratchbuilt injection for fun. The bodywork required to blend the lower quarter panels on the Pro Stock body took some time, but it fits. 

Good luck with your project. I did mine because I had an 85 1/1 Turbo coupe back then. Nostalgia...

CT

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First thing I'd do is try the pro stock body for fit with the '87 interior and chassis.  I'd be inclined to use the '87 body and graft in the needed sections from the pro stock body, but that's me.

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2 hours ago, Mark said:

First thing I'd do is try the pro stock body for fit with the '87 interior and chassis.  I'd be inclined to use the '87 body and graft in the needed sections from the pro stock body, but that's me.

The roofs are too different as well as the quarter panels. The only things in common are the doors and front fenders. Then there's the body molding too.

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Not to stink up this project but the 86 vs 87 chassis are two completely different animals. If the goal is a custom 86 Bird no problem. I may be wrong but 83-86 Gird was Fox based while 87-88 Bird was a new IRS platform......is my brain getting mixed up? just a FYI

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1989 was the first year for the IRS. I had an '88 with the 5.0. It was a nice enough car, but nowhere near as nice as the '90 Super Coupe that replaced it. The ride and handling was night and day different between the solid rear axle '88 and the IRS '90.

Edited by stinkybritches
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That old article was in Scale Auto Enthusiast or maybe Car Modeler. The build was by Don Fahrni, who was (still is??) famous for building super detailed drag cars. 

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21 hours ago, Oldcarfan27 said:

There was an article written in one of the modelling magazines back then on this very topic, using the same kits you have.

The author wrote that he had to build an '86 as the interior is the same as the '87. The rest was built just as Plowboy suggested. He also had to source the 10-hole "phone dial wheels", which is made easier today since Revell has issued their '90 Mustang coupe. Results looked accurate and the instructions made it look pretty straight forward. 

I attempted the conversion - twice! But never finished either of them. Got as far as completing the bodywork and got distracted. "SQUIRREL!!"

I'll have to find them in the "closet of doom" and post them here for you to see how far I got.

Please dig out your old attempt at this, would love to see it.

Claude, your T bird looks very cool. I have a real 86 that I would like to replicate.

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13 minutes ago, Zen said:

Please dig out your old attempt at this, would love to see it.

Claude, your T bird looks very cool. I have a real 86 that I would like to replicate.

Hi Zenon!

Thank you. Whatever you attempt, stay away from swapping an 83/86 roof on an 87/88 body. Much easier to just fit the rear wheels opening: the roofs are substantially differents, notably the rear window and pillars. And the trunk lid. 

Good luck!

CT 

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13 hours ago, stinkybritches said:

1989 was the first year for the IRS. I had an '88 with the 5.0. It was a nice enough car, but nowhere near as nice as the '90 Super Coupe that replaced it. The ride and handling was night and day different between the solid rear axle '88 and the IRS '90.

Hi Rob!

That IRS was primo material for putting a real cheap IRS on a 1/1 rod. I did it on a 33 roadster, building custom upper and lower arms (the OEMs are extremely heavy, so). See for yourself...

CT 

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A thought if you are looking for an independent suspension differential. Revell offered a model of the Mercury Cougar, and it had an IRS setup in it. 

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On 11/24/2022 at 1:43 PM, Claude Thibodeau said:

Hi Zenon!

I did just that a few years ago (see pix below). I transplanted the 87 chassis/interior AND rear quarter wheel openings on the Monogram 85 TBird pro-stock body. I customized the front end with hidden headlamps, and threw in a 429 Boss with scratchbuilt injection for fun. The bodywork required to blend the lower quarter panels on the Pro Stock body took some time, but it fits. 

Good luck with your project. I did mine because I had an 85 1/1 Turbo coupe back then. Nostalgia...

CT

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Beautiful work on those quarters, Claude. If there's any color that would put bodywork to the test, you certainly picked it.

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2 hours ago, mk11 said:

Beautiful work on those quarters, Claude. If there's any color that would put bodywork to the test, you certainly picked it.

Hi Mike!

Thank you. Indeed, there is so much sparkle in that Diamond Dust Testor's lacquer, that you are right: the slightest glitch or wave will show. Oh well...

CT

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Here's my two projects. The first one has the primer on it and was started 30 years ago after seeing the article in a model mag from way back when. I think it was written by George Bojacuik. Project stopped because of the lack of Ford 10 hole "phone dial" wheels at the time and I couldn't think of how to make the side trim look correct. I now have 2 sets of the wheels.

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The other was a reboot build. This time with the entire underhood piece including the fender tops and a different take on making the smooth hood.

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Edited by Oldcarfan27
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Interesting........... So, are both attempts based on using the 86 pro stock body with the rear 87-wheel wells/quarters swapped?

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2 hours ago, Zen said:

Interesting........... So, are both attempts based on using the 86 pro stock body with the rear 87-wheel wells/quarters swapped?

Correct. Look closely and you can even see how I did the cuts.

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