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Old 08-10-2015, 09:39 PM   #1
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What to look for when buying a fox body

Ok guys my friend is looking to buy a mustang cause he wants to wrench in it make it look good and learn how .
I told him a foxbody would be good considering he has a daily driver and he wouldn't rely on the car to get him places . He is looking at a 1991 lx coupe 5.0 ... Looks to be bone stock ac works with aftermarket wheels .
So any pointers to look for when I am looking under the hood would help very much thanks guys !!!


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Old 08-10-2015, 09:48 PM   #2
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The lower control arm torque boxes were easy torn trough the floor.


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Old 08-10-2015, 10:20 PM   #3
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Where are the torque boxes ? And check the floor for rust ?


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Old 08-10-2015, 11:15 PM   #4
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Any other help would be appreciated thanks !


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Old 08-11-2015, 05:49 AM   #5
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Torque boxes are where the rear lower control arms connect to the car. The dog bone looking bar between the axle and car frame. The stock torque boxes are very weak and any modding those will need beefed up.


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Old 08-11-2015, 08:52 AM   #6
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Oh okay I now know where that is ... Any specifics to look at for the engine? And tranny ?


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Old 08-11-2015, 09:28 AM   #7
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This is a great little site


Buying a Fox body Mustang: What to look for when purchasing a Fox
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Old 08-11-2015, 05:44 PM   #8
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Lol what NOT to look for... they are almost universally ragged out at this point or they are $$$ because they were garage queens.

Look for rust, get the car up on a lift or at least on ramps and crawl around underneath. The torque boxes are something to look for but usually will be fine on a bolt on car. Look for frame warpage, look for any suspect wiring etc... most used car stuff.

If the car is modded, look at the brands they used. If there is a lot of no name/ebay/low quality stuff bolted to it, look elsewhere. Way too many of these cars decked out with the cheapest possible crap and then the owner finally figures out they have a turd and dumps it on a newbie or someone who doesn't know any better.
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Old 08-11-2015, 07:06 PM   #9
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Ok thanks Scotty so basically check torque boxes to see if there warped ? And is bbk and steeda a good brand to you ?


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Old 08-11-2015, 07:26 PM   #10
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Steeda is a good brand. BBK... their mid pipes are ok, that's about it. They're kind of like one step up from the low quality stuff but well below the real good stuff.

And no, check the FRAME for warpage. As in take a tape measure and measure the distance between the wheelcaps on both sides and crawl around under the car and make sure everything is straight. When the torque boxes break they just crack at the spot welds that Ford used to attach them to the frame with... Properly built 79-04 cars will have these seam welded at the very least and usually have inserts called "battle boxes" installed.
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Old 08-11-2015, 09:00 PM   #11
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So if "battle boxes" are installed can that be a bad thing ? Also Scotty on the 5.0 and the t-5 tranny how difficult are they to rebuild ? What's a good sighn in both the motor and transmission to look for to tell if they are needing replacements


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Old 08-11-2015, 10:40 PM   #12
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If they are bolted in, they'll need to be welded in. Its a good thing if they are installed right. The T-5 is easy to rebuild as far as transmissions go... but you can get a fresh one to your door for $750, I'd just do that. They swap in 2-3 hours with a lift.

Motor and trans... check all the normal stuff really. The motors are very durable, the T-5... its weak but it will hold a bolt on 5.0 just fine unless the owner was an idiot and couldn't shift.
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Old 08-12-2015, 01:15 PM   #13
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Ok yeah I know what you meen .. Scotty have you ever had experience with rust on the body if so in the rear near the tail light ? Or any period ? Would it be best just to find a replace ment ?


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Old 08-12-2015, 01:21 PM   #14
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Going to need to be cut out and new sheetmetal welded in/blended/painted. I would try to find one with no rust if you can. Most of those are going to be 4 bangers with low mileage kept in some old person's garage for 25 years and driven 3 times a week to the store, bingo and church lol.


I'd honestly recommend looking for a newer 96-04 4.6L GT. The 96-98 cars especially are dirt cheap and take to mods well especially once you do a 99-04 top end swap.
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Old 08-12-2015, 01:40 PM   #15
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Okay yeah really wanting a fox but trying to find some without rust is hard .... Would it be worth it if I bought it for a good price then went ahead and fixed it up


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Old 08-12-2015, 01:44 PM   #16
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If you are good with bodywork and welding and all that then yeah it could be. If you are going to pay a shop... no, not when if you look hard enough you can find a clean fox even if its a 4 banger.
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Old 08-12-2015, 02:45 PM   #17
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Yeah I work at a shop and have a guy who does body work and fabrication so I'm sure I can get a good price .. The main objective is to get a fox make engine run perfect suspension perfect tranny perfect then paint and then after all is done start getting into the medium scale of performance .. ? Have you ever done that and know what the price is ... And again thanks Scotty for all the help I feel more confident all ready


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Old 08-12-2015, 02:52 PM   #18
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Willing to come to Alabama for a great fox?? GT40, aluminum head '88 GT


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Old 08-12-2015, 08:20 PM   #19
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Check for rust and make sure it's structurally sound. Closely inspect the bottom and look for thing that don't align properly
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Old 08-12-2015, 08:41 PM   #20
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Ok I've been looking and all the 5.0 I've been seeing are rusty or very nice. But modded to much where I can't have any fun to make it my build SO !! How easy is it to buy a 4cly and do a 5.0 swap !!


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Old 08-12-2015, 08:44 PM   #21
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5.0 will drop right in place of the 4 banger. easy swap I've done it 4 times. the manual transmission can even work with a bushing swap and the 4 banger rear end is a 7.5 instead of a 8.8

need a v8 computer too.
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Old 08-12-2015, 08:54 PM   #22
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Ok what if I had the t5 transmission already can that go right in place ? And how easy it it to make the rear end the 8.8 ? Also how would the suspension be ?


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Old 08-12-2015, 09:07 PM   #23
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What to look for when buying a fox body

The 4cyl t5 will work the fly wheel will need a smaller id bushing because the 4cyl input shaft is smaller on the end. Making the rear 8.8 is a complete rear end swap. The 7.5 and the stock suspension is ok for playing.


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Old 08-12-2015, 09:08 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smsstang View Post
Yeah I work at a shop and have a guy who does body work and fabrication so I'm sure I can get a good price .. The main objective is to get a fox make engine run perfect suspension perfect tranny perfect then paint and then after all is done start getting into the medium scale of performance .. ? Have you ever done that and know what the price is ... And again thanks Scotty for all the help I feel more confident all ready


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If you are talking about doing this with a stock engine with just bolt ons and a stock rebuilt transmission and keeping it mostly factory looking then you'll probably be into it for $10k or so... And that is doing a lot of the work yourself and taking into account you can probably get screaming good deals on any body work and paint at your shop.

If you are talking about turning it into something legitimately fast with a well sorted suspension and a transmission that won't blow up at 300hp you might as well just buy a Coyote because it'll cost the same.
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Old 08-12-2015, 09:11 PM   #25
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Coyote engine is the *****.. I poured soo much money into push rod 5.0's to get the power a coyote is making stock..crazy


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Old 08-12-2015, 09:15 PM   #26
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No I mean just buy a 2011GT straight up for $20k. Building up a Fox to get to the same level as that car is going to cost the same amount of money if not more.

Only reason I did not follow my plan on waiting to buy a S197 based Mustang is because of the ridiculous literally too good to pass up deal on the car in my sig.
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Old 08-12-2015, 09:25 PM   #27
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Gotcha. But I'd love a coyote in my ol fox..


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Old 08-13-2015, 08:01 AM   #28
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Agreed, Coyote swapped foxes are sick but its $$$ to do it and a lot of new guys buy "projects" without first seeing what it will really REALLY cost to get the car how they want it.


-Cost of the car
-$6-$10k for a big power motor build
-$3-$4k for the trans
-$3k for the suspension
-$2-$3k for all the other supporting "bolt ons"
-Misc $$$ plus any labor involved if you are not DIY
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Old 08-13-2015, 01:21 PM   #29
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I see what you are saying Scotty that the money might end up being to much or to close to just buying a new car for more ? But if I was going to do a foxbody 4cly to 5.0 swap then would it be in that range considering I've been finding really good condition 4cly foxbody between 1k-2k ? Doing this more for the experience to learn and make a car nice and running good


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Old 08-13-2015, 02:53 PM   #30
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Fox is still a cool car to rip up the neighborhood.


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Old 08-13-2015, 06:53 PM   #31
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Yeah I'm not looking to put a coyote in it I'm wanting to put the older 5.0 in it .. Basically make it back or close to original and of course paint and shine up with some new wheels then after awhile go for some power ... Although the coyote engine would be bad ...!! In the little fox to go Cruze in 😎


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Old 08-13-2015, 07:56 PM   #32
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Get a clean 4 banger, get yourself to a JY and find a 96-00 Explorer and get the motor out of it, that's a "Cobra" motor for all intents and purposes. Use that for a V8 swap after you drop in a cheap used $100 letter cam or TFS1 cam and do the valvesprings. World Class T-5 to your door for $750 and then find an 8.8 from wherever. A9L computers are easy to get in forum classifieds etc...

Or do what is becoming more and more popular and find a real clean notch fox and a beat to **** 96-98 GT and make a modfox with a PI swap. That is going to be the most "budget" out of all of them as a 96-98 GT donor car will be very cheap, you get all the SN95 stuff to upgrade to (brakes/suspension/spindles etc...) and a stock PI swapped 4.6 is a much better starting point.

That is what I will do if I ever do a fox again anyway. Clean 4 banger notch fox from some old person's garage and a 4.6L donor.
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Old 08-13-2015, 08:08 PM   #33
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So doing a swap with the pi 4.6l v8 is better than finding a 5.0 motor that had been rebuilt or out of an older fox ?


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Old 08-13-2015, 08:18 PM   #34
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I'm just saying that is what I would do. I'd get a 96 or 97 (not 98 due to it being a bastard year) GT and the cleanest 4 banger fox I could and make a modfox. If you have a donor car its pretty much plug and play, just a matter of swapping EVERYTHING from the modular into the fox and doing a PI swap on the motor if it runs or finding a low mileage PI motor out of a Crown Vic at the JY.

There literally so many different ways to go its not even funny. That's whats great about Mustangs. I'm waiting for the heathens to come in and tell you to find a 5.3L Vortec out of a Chevy truck and swap that in. Which lots of ppl do to Foxes with spectacular results.
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Old 08-13-2015, 08:42 PM   #35
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So the 4.6 is a better motor to modd than the original 5.0 ? And everything will drop right in like the engine,tranny,rear end ?


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