What to look for when buying a used Fox Mustang - Page 6 - Ford Mustang Forum
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Fox Body Issues

Had a Fox body Stang and the most important thing to check when getting one is the area at the front of the passenger side footwell. Ford put a drain on the passenger side to drain out water that accumulates at the front of the floor and a plastic shield underneath to make sure no water can travel up into the car. The problem is when the body gets put together some assemblers caulk the drain hole thus allowing water to stand and rust out the floor. This is a real problem as the transmission mount also welds in the unibody in this area! I had to do a lot of welding!

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oil

i look for oil leaks


1968 mustang GT/CS 1992 mustang gt convertible 1965 thunderbird 1997 thunderbird 2003 expedition 2008 mistang gt
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1989 Mustang

I just bought a supercharged 5.0 and my speedometer doesnt work what can that be from? speed sensor i am guessing?
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If you can check inside the cowl vent where water drains down near the wiper motor rods. Rust in that area will cause rain to leak inside the driver's side compartment
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Both of the fox bodys i bought the drivers side door colums were rusty. the one is so bad im just going to have to scrap it
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One thing that I've found is fox's that were originaly auto's, but the previous owner changed it to a 5spd and now things don't fit right in some places. Rips in the carpet around the shifter and vibration in the shifter. Ask is this was done and check to see if it was done properly or just flung together.

" If you can't find 'em, grind 'em! They ain't made of rubber! "
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Quote:
Originally Posted by midnite82 View Post
The headlight switches on 87-93 seems to overheat and eventually burnout. Keep extras.
I second this comment i have owned two foxes and both had this problem right away lights go on fine then thirty min into the drive the headlights start flashing at ppl lol
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Rust is the biggest problem and twisted chassis from accidents. I replaced most everything else over time...

2011 Candy Apple red Mustang Premium GT, auto, Baer brakes, lowered, SVT Shelby Wheels 19" front and 20" rear with Goodyear F1 tires.
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My suggestions: Don't ever buy ANY car without a car fax. It doesn't cover you 100% but if there are major accidents it will be on there. It will give you back-up information as to how many miles are really on the car and god-forbid if they are trying to sell a salvaged car as a regular car.

Given the age of the vehicles, you're looking for things that will cost you huge money like tired motor or junk body. Expect little things to need attention. However, a bunch of little things adds up quickly when it comes time to restore or upgrade the car so when checking things over, be fair with seller and adjust price to reflect deferred (as in neglected) maintainance.

My checklist is probably geared more for the guy looking for a stock or near-stock car. Once you buy cars with major mods it's a whole new ball-game with buyer diligence as to what headaches to avoid.

1. Check cylinder compression

2. Check all panels for rust. Take a jack and stand with you to check under the car.

3. With car jacked up at each wheel, check for looseness for either bad tie rods or wheel bearings. Not deal killer but gives you leverage on price.

4. Check the stickers on the front fenders to see if they are original or not. Do this before asking about accidents to see if it jives with seller's history of the car.

5. Have radiator hoses been replaced?

6. Open radiator and look at coolant and expansion tank. Not a deal killer but gives a clue as to previous owners maintenance diligence.

7. Is brake fluid clear or dark? If dark, make sure brakes feel firm and car stops as you would expect. If you buy car, flush lines as one of first things you do. Master cyliner and brake booster replacement is $150-200 and that's with you doing work.

8. Check parking brake by putting in drive and see if it holds car.

9. Do all the gauges and lights work? A new OE style headlight/turn-signal module on the steering column for the foxbody's like my 1989 are pricy as in around $200+ so adjust price accordingly. If you find electrical gremlins, beware.

10. Do all window motors and door locks work?

11. Do all gauges work? Are the gauges coming to their correct values and return to zero? A low/high coolant temp could mean bad thermostat, bad sender, or even a bad fan clutch. Adjust price accordingly. I am amazed how many people don't fix these kind of simple issues before selling the car.

12. If they did aftermarket radio did they cut into wiring or use a legit harness connector? (electrical hack jobs are potential deal killers for me)

13. Ask for receipts and part numbers of any non-stock item on the car. When it comes time for repairs it could save you money and aggravation down the road as OE replacements may no longer fit.

14. Put car in gear with brake on and give it a little gas to check for bad motor mounts or slipping transmission.

15. Oh yeah, when car is jacked up look at the rear of the motor to see signs of a leaking rear main seal. Very common on these cars. Not a deal breaker but adjust price accordingly. Car I bought was leaking and made part of the deal.

16. For cars that require emission checks, when is it due and will it pass. Consider making sale contingent on passing inspection and smog check.

At the end of the day, use your head and not your heart. There are enough foxbody Mustang's to pass things over if it doesn't feel right. Internet pictures and the classic "stories" sellers come up with fall apart quickly if the car is not up to snuff in person.

And if the car is straight and tight, be willing to pair fair price as it will probably save you money down the road.

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Mods: AFR165 - Comp XE264-12 cam, WC T5Z, Tmoss Cobra Intake, full bolt-ons, 305 rwhp / 345 rwtq
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I always take a small magnet with me when vehicle shopping. Check areas around wheel wells. magnet won't stick if area has bondo or fiberglass repair.

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I have a sun roof (moon roof) and both sides of the drainage are clogged. So it leaks in the car when it rains. I also would check to see if the shock are still good. Man that makes it for a rough ride. If its a auto check to see if it goes in to overdrive when driving. This could cost a good penny to fix. Listen for the rear end. If it has a roar when driving this also will have to be fixed. If you hear a loud taping sounds from the motor and smoke coming from the tail pips, walk away fast and don't look back.
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If its a T-top or sunroof car ,check for rust under the glass, take the sunroof off and if its a T-top take the glass off and check for bad weather striping. Also the ashtray doors on the aero nose Fox, the spring pops off and the door wont stay shut. Keep in-mind these Mustangs are getting old, they aren't built to last, things brake. thank goodness for the after market and a huge following , we can all keep are rides in new condition. Anything you have to replace on a Fox body , they still make brand new.
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Number 1 is to try to find a rust free body. Since you're going to have to work on it anyway, finding a rust free body saves time when you're "wrenchin." Worth the extra bucks anyday.

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I got a great deal on mine. It was a $1000 had some rust, dents, dings and pealing clear. I'm now preping the body for paint, you know body filler, sanding etc... The interior is pretty good; the trim around the door handles were cracked, I found good ones at the wrecking yard but haven't gotten around to putting them in. The seats are a bit stained so that could use some cleaning. I put in a arm rest I found at the wrecking yard, the car didn't come from the factory with one and I wanted one. However the torque boxes are a bit compromised and the passenger side strut tower is rusted out pretty good. That will all be repaired during a future engine swap when the 2.3 gains 2.7 more liters.

Coupe with a GT kit, u mad? I can roll while I troll.
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I have a '90 Gt with the sun roof and I've noticed that the roof behind the sun roof is very soft and highly subject to dents so you may wanna consider a hard top.


" If you can't find 'em, grind 'em! They ain't made of rubber! "
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