'88 2.3 for a daily driver...opinions?

Discussion in '1979 - 1995 (Fox, SN95.0, & 2.3L) -General/Talk-' started by 85_SS_302_Coupe, Feb 10, 2004.

  1. Well like above, it's an '88 LX, 2.3L 5 speed. New white paint job, tires on ten holes, new alternator, 137k miles and otherwise bone stock. The body is totally flawless, no rust or dents, but that doesnt mean some body work wasnt done before the paint job. I drove it a couple blocks and beat the piss out of it, and when i got it back i noticed a little smoke seeping through the crack of the hood....maybe an oil leak? The clutch felt nice and strong too.

    I've never owned a 2.3 'stang so i'm out to lunch on the specs and details. I've only owned 1 other 4 cylinder in my whole life, and it was an '80 Dodge Challenger with a 2.2, and it flat out screamed for a 4 cylinder. This '88 is slllooooooooow. The difference between half throttle and full throttle is barely noticeable. I got back into my Jeep and felt like i got in my '85. Anyways, let's hear some pros and cons on it. They're asking 1400, which i know is way too much, but they said they'd take 1200. I'm thinking if anything i'll offer them 1k cash....any thoughts?
  2. well the motors are bullet proof, most will last well into the 200K mile range. Its a 5 speed so its unlikely you will have any transmission problems.. BUT... its 88hp, as you probably noticed so stock its a little slow. there are some things you can do to make it a tad faster but N/A it will never be very fast without makeing it undriveable on the street, However a popular swap is a 2.3L turbo engine out of a merkur xr4ti, Thunderbird turbocoupe, or a cougar xr7 turbo. These are the same motors that came in the rare but very good mustang SVO you can make 300hp out of the turbo motors with little effort and the swap isnt all that hard. Just depends on if you want a Daily driver or a project car though..

  3. Thanks for the info. As you can see from my sig, i've got a project, i'd just love to drive mustangs all day long..lol I'm mostly concerned about dependability.
  4. had my fourbanger for 2 years now... paid 1300 for it so 1200 isn't bad but have a look in the engine bay first. Since I've owned the car NOTHING broke on it despite the horrible abuse that only I can dish out. :D Except for pulling door handles off after freezing rain or a misfire after putting cheapo spark plug wires on it and that kinda stuff, but that was on account of my own stupidity. Sometimes I run it out of oil, sometimes I rev it off the scale under acceleration, sometimes I ride around at 260 degrees coolant temp, plenty of offroad incidents, still runs lke a champ.

    Anyways that was a huge contrast with my previous car which was a DODGE and broke down once a week. Damn you Chrysler. That and because it was so pleasant to drive hard and do work on is why I am a Fox Mustang guy for life...

    The 88hp thing is going to severely piss you off though. Unless you plan to upgrade the humble fourbanger, it is just going to increasingly get on your nerves every time you try to get the hell out of everyone's way. For a daily driver I would invest the extra money in an LX 5.0 if I were you...
  5. I knew a guy who owned a 90 Mustang 5 speed 4 cylinder. He bought the car used from a dealer when the car had only 30,000 miles on it. He owned the car for 8 years and he put a total of 368,000 miles on it by the time he traded it in for another vehicle. He never rebuilt the engine or transmission on this car. It still had its original engine and transmission in it with 368,000 miles on the odometer. The guy who owned this car always changed the oil in it every 3,000 miles and he did whatever scheduled maintenance that it needed. The only thing which was happening to this car when he traded it in was that its 4 cylinder engine was burning 1 quart of oil every 1,000 miles. That's it. The 4 cylinder Mustangs are known to last a very long time if you change the oil every 3,000 miles and do the proper wear and tear maintenance on them. This guy's 1990 Mustang 4 cylinder is a good example of this.

    If the car that you are looking at has not been beat to $hit mechanically, I say buy it. Try to get it for $1,000 or lower if you can. If not, look for another one or for an LX or GT V8 Mustang.
  6. Thats what I love to hear! :nice: These cars are flawless, 5.0's or 2.3's..and their rediculouslly easy to work on. I love em'! :hail2:
  7. With a good body and ten holes instead of the hubcap POS wheels. I'd pay $1200 for it. Most are reliable, alot have strange wandering idle/timing problems (around me anyway) but it doesn't make them at all undriveible. Careful you might get hooked.
  8. Hey guys thanks again. That comment about the 5.0 DD, i'm looking for some gas mileage here..lol. My Cherokee only gets 16mpg and it's killin my wallet. I drive 30 miles each way to work, and it's nearly all hiway miles. I'm actually making myself get something slower so that even if i stomp on it i wont run the gas down. My Jeep has some basic bolt on stuff and it pretty quick in it's own right, so i merge like nobodys business..lol, but that only adds to the gas eating.

    My '85 coupe probably gets something like 10mpg, due to the C4/4.10 setup, but i wouldnt drive it to work everyday if gas were free.
  9. The slowness really sucks, but these things are really reliable. I've changed the water pump, alternator, and wiper motor since I've owned mine. Bought it with 72K on it 5 years ago, it now has 152K and climbing. Currently my car has a cracked head (pretty sure it does anyway) and it loses oil like nobody's business. I have to add a couple quarts ever 1500 miles or so, I dunno where it all goes, I think it's a combination of leaking and burning. This car is beat to hell and back and sometimes it doesn't run all that great, and it's slower than ****, but it hasn't left me stranded yet this winter.
  10. Nearly 248,000 miles. I drive mine 80 miles a day @70-75 mph. 29 mpg.I'm about to replace the loose steering rack and some other maintenance stuff. Dead reliable.