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Old 05-25-2007, 09:20 AM   #1
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Opinions..... WARNING: serious thought happening inside

OK, I've got all of this typed out, and after reading it over, I know it's long and convoluted, but just bear with me because I've got a hell of a lot to think about....



I've decided on selling the 83 this summer, but the problem is that I have no idea what I even want - sure an SN95 can be got for pretty cheap, but I'm not a fan of the body style, and while a modular would be cool to pick up, they're everywhere and I couldn't afford to do **** all to it after buying the car........ this brings on the question that that I've VERY lightly been tossing around for the last month or so: should I just put this money into the 83 and do a major overhaul?..... I'm talking crate engine with EFI and Mass Air, blower and body work. I've also considered a little mini-tub to get some bigger rubber under the car, and maybe an 85/86 front clip because everyone can attest to the fact that the 83/84s weren't the most attractive noses (BTW, no, it's not worth converting over to the aero nose because that's more work than people realize, and I'm not going to destroy a 4-eyed car - yes, I'm one of those damn 4-eyed "purists")... hell, I've even thought about swapping out the K-member and throwing a 4.6L between the towers because it'd be something completely different around here and a regular old 2v 4.6L has more potential than a 5.0 (granted it costs more to do up too) - and when you consider that the 83/84s were one of the lightest Stangs ever built (2700-2800 lbs), it could be damn impressive with some good power.

The reason I'm thinking about this is, sure I'm bored of the car (this is why I haven't done **** all with it over the last couple of years despite having a bunch of parts for it in the garage), but I do still love it, it has history within my family, and 4-eyes are getting more and more rare. I also think that with a new lease on life, the 83 could be "new", fun and exciting to me again. Not to mention that paying for a newer car would cost me pretty close to the same as renovating the body, and I've also got all of this **** kicking around for it: 5-bolt swap, Bullitt rims, MM subframes, MM C/C plates, completely rebuilt 8.8, and I've already installed half the suspension crap I have as well as a complete exhaust and some other little odds and ends..... sure it's not a fortune worth of stuff, and with a K-member change, I wouldn't even use the suspension stuff, but it is here and ready to go regardless.

Now, the kicker is that my little single car garage is obviously too small for this kind of project, and while I could have likely taken over half of my parent's garage for the build, they're going to be moving this summer so that'll be out of the question. My only available option would be to hit up my uncle since he'd be all over this with me, has a welder, some bodywork experience, and has already rebuilt 3 or 4 cars with my cousins with great results............ but how keen my aunt would be.... yaaaaaa, I don't know. After all, they already have 9 (yes 9) cars at their place in some state of rebuild or driveability so to break the double-digit count might put her over the top. LOL :beatyou:


Another option I obviously have is to toss the 83, track down another Fox that would give me a cleaner body and solid platform to play with, which would mean less work in that way (maybe not even have an engine), plus would already be setup with EFI for a 5.0L if I stay that route (even though I'd be rewiring it to clean up the engine bay, and replacing the fuel pump for the blower), but would it be worth it in the end?..... I don't know because upgrading to a newer body could cost me just as much as doing most/all of the bodywork (I'd just save on the labour).... plus I really like having the T-tops.



So ya, there's my crazy maniacal thought process as of late. It's long, insane, and would be a **** load of work either way, but obviously this all relies on even having a place to do this kind of project in the first place, so until then the concept can't even get off the ground, but it is something to think about...... plus I have to sell the truck to finance this "little" ditty.
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Old 05-25-2007, 11:00 AM   #2
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Re: Opinions..... WARNING: serious thought happening inside

i say just overhaul your car man, as you stated 4 eyes are becoming a rare oddity. You kno that car inside out already doing an overhaul might be you best choice but as you stated im also a 4 eye purist (even though I dont have a 4 eye ) Figure with an overhaul you switch that front get new paint new wheels and man that car is gonna look totally differ to you and respark that new found fun....but thats just me
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Old 05-25-2007, 05:14 PM   #3
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Re: Opinions..... WARNING: serious thought happening inside

Keep the 83.
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Old 05-29-2007, 01:37 AM   #4
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Re: Opinions..... WARNING: serious thought happening inside

Well I ran the numbers on a 4.6 swap and it's actually cheaper than I thought at first. For not even $5,700 (US) I can get a 99+ engine, tranny, computer and harness as well as K-member and averything I need to mount it in the car (if I need a hood, that'll be extra) - then it's just my own elbow grease that's needed to get it all installed and fired up.

It's really sweet that Max Motorsports makes a 4.6 conversion K-member for the Foxes. It comes with tubular A-arms, coilover setup (minus struts), and a bunch of other goodies, which makes the job a little easier to swallow.
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Old 05-29-2007, 08:37 AM   #5
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Re: Opinions..... WARNING: serious thought happening inside

The only 4.6L I would ever consider replacing a 5.0L with would be a 4 valve DOHC cobra motor...
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Old 05-29-2007, 05:46 PM   #6
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Re: Opinions..... WARNING: serious thought happening inside

I'd say stick with pushrod. Sure you have the modular capability, but for about the same price, you could find a 94 Bronco/F150 351W roller motor, get a CHP bore/stroke kit for around 1400, find a good set of AFR 205heads for 1800 ish, find an intake, and you have still spent way less than 5700 bucks. Plus, the modulars are actually heavier then a 408 with aluminum heads. I used to be a fan of the modular, but the pushrods are just so much easier to work on. Plus you could find a harness and computer out of an EFI mass air 5.0 and use that to start the car up and get it tuned with an Anderson Motorsports PMS. Or you could go with a AEM EMS tuner as well.

I'd stay with the 83 and stay pushrod.
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Old 06-01-2007, 09:37 PM   #7
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Re: Opinions..... WARNING: serious thought happening inside

i'd go with a pushrod, and a very trustable machinist... and for the love of god read a few books on engine assembly and performance engine blueprinting if you haven't already.
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Old 06-04-2007, 11:06 AM   #8
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Re: Opinions..... WARNING: serious thought happening inside

Ya, I'm leaning away from the 4.6 swap after doing a little reading and more importantly, after doing some pricing....... unless I find a Cobra motor, like some of you have mentioned.

With the Canadian dollar being just a 5 or 6 cents short of pulling even with the US dollar right now, picking up something from DSS, Coast High, or where ever and also getting my hands on TKO tranny is making a lot of sense. Maybe by the time my friggin truck gets sold, the exchange will be even better.... who knows.

As for the car itself, I'm still not sure what I want to do. I've come to the conclusion that the ideal situation would be finding an 89-93 5.0L LX that's in good shape and has had the power plant pulled - that way I could get it for cheap and go to town from there, but we'll see what happens.
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Old 06-04-2007, 11:08 AM   #9
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Re: Opinions..... WARNING: serious thought happening inside

If you do in fact decide to sell...let me know how much for....I might could be able to swing it later this summer.
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Old 06-04-2007, 06:29 PM   #10
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Re: Opinions..... WARNING: serious thought happening inside

I would keep it.
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Old 06-05-2007, 09:31 AM   #11
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Re: Opinions..... WARNING: serious thought happening inside

Well the only way I'll be able to justify keeping it is if I can get a place to work on it.

The driver's side door has to be completely replaced because the inside-bottom is completely rusted away (thankfully it's all hidden inside when the door is closed and doesn't look bad from the outside, but the door definitely has to go). There's also some bubbles starting to form under the paint around a couple of the fenders, all of the T-top weather stripping has be replaced, the dash is cracked (as most 79-86 dash pads are) and there's a few other odds and ends....... so ya, there's some work to be done on the old girl - more than can be done in my little single car garage anyway.

.... but then again, even though the 83/84s weren't the prettiest of the 5.0L Fox hatchbacks, they were the lightest, so with something new under the hood the power to weight would be great.
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Old 06-05-2007, 05:06 PM   #12
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Re: Opinions..... WARNING: serious thought happening inside

Find a cheap storage building to rent.
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Old 06-06-2007, 09:25 PM   #13
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Re: Opinions..... WARNING: serious thought happening inside

Look for a 87-93 notch 4 cyl car that has a decent body and a hurt motor. It won't matter if you're going to replace everything anyway. Just check at junkyards and salvage yards for stuff like rearends and motors.

I know you can pick up a 302 or 351w block anywhere for nothing. There should be some up there since they are made in Canada. LOL!!!
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