My wannabe 5.0 81 - Ford Mustang Forum
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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-13-2015 Thread Starter
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My wannabe 5.0 81

was a nice original sunday driver with 37K up until 3 years ago when. a for lack of better word "slob" bought it and in 2 years got it up to 53k destroyed the interior ripped off the vinyl top and left it outside for 2 years straight

200CID inline 6

4 speed auto

so here i am 13 years old with a soild base for a 81 notchback
What should i do with it...

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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-14-2015
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Well, you have a couple of years to figure it out. Check out the brakes and the drive train. After sitting awhile they could probably use some attention. How is the exterior? I'm guessing it needs more than a coat of wax. How are you going to finance this project? Reliability is important for steady work or going to school.. I do like the coupe body style and this one looks good in the pictures. Is rust a problem where you live? Two things limit you, your wallet and your imagination. What do you see when you look at it?

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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-14-2015 Thread Starter
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rust is quite the issue in my area (its still remarkably soild)
as for the driving she daily drove it for 2 years straight and thats what ruined it. its has new brakes on all fours and had the points,plug wires,plugs, etc. replaced so other then the front end alighnment
(has new tie rods and ball joints) and the fact she drove it with the wheels towing out nearly 1" destroying the front tires its perfectly fine now other then the paint and interior
as for what i see there's 2 ways i would go about it

1: 302 5 speed swap gloss black

2: gloss black leave it stock and sell it
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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-14-2015
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A lot of potential for both a huge money pit, and a ton of fun
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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-14-2015 Thread Starter
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what do you figure its worth as is?
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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-15-2015
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It is only worth what some one is willing to pay for it, when they are standing there with the money in their pocket. I have sold some vehicles that the amount of time I had in them probably figured out to a nickle an hour. If you are doing this for fun and love the work will show. If you are trying to make money that will also show.
Black paint will show everything that is underneath. Just like a perfect black paint job is a thing of beauty. If you do this yourself you will learn a lot. If you pay someone else it will also cost.
A V-8 and a 5 speed is a kick. When you are up past 100 mph standing on the brakes and it's not slowing down fast enough.. That's when things really get scary! All you need to do is 55 on a road when the light turns red and the guy in front of decides to stop. If you are serious do the whole package. I prefer a car that is reliable, goes around corners, pull in and park next to a cop. Hopefully he won't look up from what he's doing. Last year I came off a light and stood on it, wound out 2nd gear. On the right hand side there was a white blur merging onto the highway. I looked over and there was a brand new BMW with the driver looking back at me. He had to pull in behind that old Mustang! All I was doing was enjoying my car.
Some people can flip cars and make money. My guess is the car is worth around $2000 as it sits, Drop a V8 in it maybe 3500. Add brakes and suspension you might be around 5000. Paint is like everything else, how much do you want to spend? Don't let me discourage you, the feeling you get when you put it back together and it runs! That's a good feeling! Sometimes I babble but I hope you get what I'm saying.
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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-20-2015 Thread Starter
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Ready to rip my hair out....

Ok Does anyone know where i can get a new floor shifter assembly for it? theres no way of fixing it and all the automatic foxbody shifters i see are for 1987-92! how hard is it to find a 1979-1982 Automatic shifter?
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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-20-2015
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Ok Does anyone know where i can get a new floor shifter assembly for it? theres no way of fixing it and all the automatic foxbody shifters i see are for 1987-92! how hard is it to find a 1979-1982 Automatic shifter?
That item might be hard to find, but part of restoring or modifying
a car is searching for parts. If you are already pulling your hair
out then maybe you should make it look nice an get rid of it and
look for something else newer, parts are easier to find.
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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-20-2015
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1979-1982 have unique parts and good luck finding them, those years are basically forgotten in terms of aftermarket compared to 83+.

Car is worth $1K if it runs/drives. I want to see pictures of the strut towers and front frame rails as well as torque boxes before I even stand behind a $1K price. Entire driverain is throwaway, anyone converting it to 5.0 wouldh ave to replace everything. Brakes are all throw away, won't stop a V8. All you have is a shell, everything else, except maybe the interior, should be considered throw away.

1988 Mustang LX coupe will miss you greatly
traded for:
2004 Mazda 6s 5 door Sport w/5spd/3.0/RX8wheels/Kon/Eibach/and then some

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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-20-2015 Thread Starter
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Well im not Really that impatient. i just expected the shifter to be easyer to find because... ya know Foxbody. as for rust its a 53k car that has only seen 2 winters there's none

Here it is circa 2013: Pastel Chamois 1981 Ford Mustang Ghia Coupe - MustangAttitude.com Photo Detail
The secound owner beat down on it

on the off chance i really do engine swap it How are the period correct 255 v8s?
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Well im not Really that impatient. i just expected the shifter to be easyer to find because... ya know Foxbody. as for rust its a 53k car that has only seen 2 winters there's none

Here it is circa 2013: Pastel Chamois 1981 Ford Mustang Ghia Coupe - MustangAttitude.com Photo Detail
The secound owner beat down on it

on the off chance i really do engine swap it How are the period correct 255 v8s?
Those engines were garbage, rated at 122 hp . It is bascially a 302 that was
given a smaller bore. That is not to say that it can't be worked.
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post #12 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-23-2015 Thread Starter
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This cant be good...

So today i had to do somethings in the garage. So i fired up the mustang for the first time in atlease 5 weeks today. And... Its Knocking i don't know whats knocking but something is.. it has good oil pressure and i don't believe its a main cap letting lose. Any input i'm stumped i'd drove it about 45 minutes back to the house when i purchased the thing and it didn't do anything weird then.. Maybe a Valve hung up and it bent a Push rod?...

Please give some input.
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Put a large screwdriver to the valve cover, put your ear on the other end. See if you can locate the noise that way. If you want to call a stuck lifter lucky you might be...
You mentioned shifter parts, would the Mustang II parts fit? If you are going to swap an engine the 255 and the 302 are the same externally. I don't know what 302 would be best. When you get into the fuel injected ones you can change manifolds and put a carburetor on it. I know my '87 doesn't have any provision for a mechanical fuel pump. This car is old enough that you can be pretty flexible with the details. Keep thinking and asking questions!
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255 is a complete waste of effort.

86+ roller 302's are the way to go, will take a carb intake no sweat. I would also use a GM HEI distributor if swapping in a 302.

Lots of things are different from later model foxes, trans cross member has different length mounts, your brakes are so small they struggle to stop even the weak 255. You'd need to change spindles and all to get newer brakes to fit.

Open the hood and take pictures of the frame rails and strut towers. I've seen many "mint" non winter driven foxes rust out there.

1988 Mustang LX coupe will miss you greatly
traded for:
2004 Mazda 6s 5 door Sport w/5spd/3.0/RX8wheels/Kon/Eibach/and then some

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Here in Colorado I am locked down by emission standards. I can change things but it takes a lot of work, or more than I want to do. You have a clean slate, why not a 351W? More cubes, easy horsepower. Find a suspension from a 94 or 95 I believe it is. Then you have five lug with some good underpinnings. Transmission is your call, what do you want? This is my .02 but it is your car, do what makes you happy!

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