New member
I've tired to do my own research but I've had no luck or haven't found a for sure answer. On an 1988 town car how would running a turbo set up work? Is the stock computer going to know what to do? It's there a way to tune it?
You mean like this?

Personally, I think a supercharger is a better way to go for a Town Car. Somehow it is more stately.

Either way, your best bet would be to search for what has been done on Mustangs or Crown Victorias of similar vintage to your car. That is where you will find the technical answers you ask as Ford shares many components and technologies across product lines to reduce costs.
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Junior Member
I've tired to do my own research but I've had no luck or haven't found a for sure answer. On an 1988 town car how would running a turbo set up work? Is the stock computer going to know what to do? It's there a way to tune it?
Hi Pelly. No, the "computer" (if you can call it that on a 1988 vehicle ;)) will have little to no ability to adjust for a turbo or any other boosted setup.

Not trying to dissuade you, but the reason you have had no luck with your research is that very few people (try to avoid absolutes ;) ) have done what you want to do. You would be a relative pioneer and would need to find all the parts, fabricate all the equipment, etc, etc, on your own. Or pay someone a lot of money to do it for you.

As CTG stated, you can probably find some information by looking at what owners of 5.0L Mustangs have done.

Good luck with whatever you decide to do.
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Junior Member
Plenty of people do low buck junkyard turbos on stuff and get away with it, long as your aspirations are reasonable it and your skill and understanding of what's going on are reasonable it can be done. I can't remember which but one of fords EFI setups is more amicable to that sort of thing than others, the fox body mustang guys can tell you that whats wheres and hows.

Now to do it right, and make real power, that's another matter.

I'm not a "turbo guy" but, a kit like this would probably give you a head start while allowing you to do a little customization to get it to fit your car.

1979 - 1993 FORD MUSTANG Twin Turbo Kit 750hp Package TT 260 289 302 351 5.0L 5L | eBay

You can use a FMU to increase fuel delivery based on system PSI and just have the computer "fine tune" the AFR.

As you research don't forget you will probably have to upgrade fuel system, transmission, rear end along with the engine. I assume you do not have a fresh motor that has been built specifically for Forced Induction such as a "turbo cam" or lower compression pistons. You'll probably have to target 4 to 6 psi and have the turbo "all in" by 5000 engine rpm.

Brian J. Patterson

Active member
Northern Illinois
Hi, Pelly.

The other posters have covered most of the "highlights." This will all be "money that you'll never get back," so spend it wisely to get the most fun for the dollar.

I would ask whether you just want to run "light to light" or if you actually plan to drive the car fast. If the latter, you will want to tighten the suspension up at least a bit. Driving an understeering softly sprung car at 85 on a western Interstate isn't so bad. Get up to 95 on the "back roads," and you can get into some serious trouble very quickly. You don't necessarily have to convert your Town Car into a grain wagon, but it will have a much firmer ride. It will also have a good chance of still being on the road after you take a curve at speed.

You will also want to check "weight and balance." A car will tend to drive more predictably if the weight is evenly balanced between the front and rear axles. If you're a little "nose-heavy," you can move the battery into the trunk.

In any case, in addition to whatever you do with the engine, that you also pay some attention to the transmission. While the AOD transmission will put up with more than the "advertised stock" 160 hp and 280 ft-lbs of torque, it won't put up with much more without some attention. One may note that the Crown Vic Police Interceptors at the time were placarded from the factory to require the driver to shift out of overdrive down to "regular" drive for any prolonged driving over about 100mph to avoid premature transmission failure.

You would probably be happiest pulling the engine and transmission from a 5.0L Mustang of a similar year to your Town Car and supercharging that. This will give you the improved cylinder heads, camshaft profile, and so on in one quick go. But I guess that it comes down to "how fast do you want to go" and "how fast can you afford to go."

Fitting a manual transmission wouldn't be impossible, but it would be a major undertaking since you would have to "re-do" or "double" the existing brace under the dashboard to provide mounting for both a brake and a clutch pedal. Your shift lever, or at least the portion inside the car, would be closer to a Ford Ranger than a Ford Mustang, but there should be room for it.

Good luck.