are body parts of a 1987 Mustang compatible with a 1981 model?

New Wave

New Member
Jan 13, 2019
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near Buenos Aires, Argentina
#1
Hi, I'm new here!
I recently bought a 1981 Mustang Ghia hatchback. This may sound ridiculous but, although I love it the way it is, I often think about trying to make it look like a 1987 Mustang some day. The last Fox Body models are by far my favorite when it comes to the way they look.
Although it's just hypothetical now I was wondering if it's possible to replace the rear lights and the front bumper (with headlights) and hood of a 1981 Mustang with parts of a late 80's Mustang. Do they fit? Will I need to modify something, maybe drill some spaces to make them fit, or will it be as simple as just replacing the original bumper, hood and lights with the new ones?
I couldn't just buy an 87-93 Mustang since they were never sold in my country. Only the 79-81 Mustangs and 2015+ models are available here. So I guess I'd have to order parts online but I imagine it would be possible somehow.

Thanks in advance for the answers!
 
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billison

I like tinted tail
10 Year Member
Feb 27, 2006
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#2
It’s a common mod. You have to swap both bumpers, all the trim, the hood, and you have to hack up both head light harnesses to get them to work as well as rig up a relay system to make the headlights work as the 87+ lights fill fry the older style switch. Plus youll have to paint it and you will destroy your value.

Much better off trading or selling yours for a 87+.
 

New Wave

New Member
Jan 13, 2019
3
0
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26
near Buenos Aires, Argentina
#3
Thanks! I didn't realize these conversions were so common until after reading your post and then suddenly finding a lot of threads about it in this site. I wasn't expecting that from the headlights, good to know.
Yeah I guess it will indeed ruin the value, but it's a shame that it would be a lot of work as well if I wanted to import another Mustang from abroad. I'm looking at 83 and 85 bumper conversions now out of curiosity since they are also four eyed. The bumper that came with my car is a bit messed up on one side, probably easy to fix but it got me thinking about replacing it with a newer model one. And I always liked the tail lights of the other fox bodies.
 
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billison

I like tinted tail
10 Year Member
Feb 27, 2006
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stl
#4
The hood changed in 82 or 83. But that’s a simpler and much more acceptable mod. I personally really like the 85-86 gt bumpers
 
Feb 18, 2001
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#5
The taillight panel changed in 1983. So for the 79-82 cars to bolt on 83-93 taillights requires a little bit more work