Brandon's "please Help Me Bring Her Back To Life" Thread

Discussion in 'Fox 5.0 Mustang Tech' started by Bmwz389, Apr 30, 2014.

  1. Hey guys!

    Well, long story short I traded my Integra for a 91 5.0 GT. I presumed it only needed paint and a parking brake cable...but much to my luck it needs a lot more work and this car has been gone through very terribly by the previous owner.

    I started by replacing all the fuses back to their respective amperage fuses, which totaled about 6. Two were blown. I managed to get the radio, cruise control and horn to work again.

    Here are the current problems:

    1. Power mirrors do not work. We tested the switch with a volt meter and from what I believe, the switch has gone bad. Is this common?

    2. The cigarette lighter keeps popping a 20A fuse the moment I plug it in. We tested ground, power and continuity and they are all within range. My buddy says I need a new cig lighter port. Is this common as well?

    3. Power locks (I know this is common), I realized the previous owner went back to manual locks after they more than likely quit working.

    4. Parking brake cable - This is very annoying. I thought i would just need a cable replacement but it appears the primary cable (or what you would call the cable that connects directly to the handle) is broken. The handle has since come unwound from the spring, and looking under the car I feel as if something is missing to connect the two actuating pivots to one line. Does anyone have a picture of what it's supposed to look like under the vehicle? This is what mine looks like....[​IMG]


    5. Clutch cable adjustment - This is also very annoying. I had attempted the lift method per factory procedures and it isnt helping. It's still engaging until about 1-2 inches from dead bottom out on the floor. How do I adjust this mount? It doesn't look factory equipment. It is threaded near the firewall.[​IMG]

    6. My horn sounds like a Kia horn. It may be malfunctioned, but take a look at this screwed up is my wiring? [​IMG]

    7. In one of the images you will see what looks like a ground wire that was ripped or cut. Any idea where this is suppposed to run?[​IMG]

    You will also see that my ground cable for the battery was replaced and it runs to the AC Mounting bracket. Is this okay? [​IMG]

    8. There is (what appears) a ground strap mounting ear on the firewall next to the passenger side hood bracket, my other fox was just like this. Is something missing? [​IMG]

    9. I have a concern about the shifter being a little loose. I checked the bolts that mount the shifter arm to the secondary piece and they are tight, but its still looseish. Is this normal? Here's the video. It's in 1st gear at the time. - Fox Body Factory Shifter Possibly Loose - YouTube

    If anyone could help on ANYTHING, I would GREATLY APPRECIATE IT. She's currently sitting in the air and my garage queen is now getting rained on and making me sad haha.

    Thanks so much guys!!!

    - Brandon
  2. I can maybe help with some. Picture 8 is what grounds your hood.

    If you open them full size you should be able to read it.

    This is what I have for the parking brake. The figures in the last picture are for the Cobra with rear disc. Ignore them.


    This is all I have for the door lock.

    #2 jAEded, Apr 30, 2014
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2014
  3. Fire wall is cracked where the clutch cable mounts. Needs welded.
  4. you can get a new mirror switch at late model resto... along with other fox parts, good products and service, switch

    the only negative thing ive ever heard is the door lock actuators dont appear to be powerful enough, there are some threads on here about alternate door lock solutions.

    the hood ground controls the bulb under the hood i believe, yours looks normal check that one off.

    you need a wiring schematic specific to the 91, folks here can provide that... your grounds look pretty hacked and rigged, focus on that the clutch adjust and brake cable rest is just normal fox aged stuff...
  5. The clutch "quadrant" (under the dash, what the clutch pedal is attached to)--is it white plastic or is it aluminum?? The lift method is only to adjust the factory-type quadrant which has teeth on it. I believe aluminum aftermarket adjusters are almost always adusted at the firewall with a threaded collar that threads "in" or "out" of the firewall. I presume you tried turning the firewall adjuster? I wouldn't be surprised if the clutch cable/adjuster was incorrectly installed, based on how rigged-up the parking brake and some of the wiring is on your car. Unfortunately all it takes is one bad owner to screw up a car real good with one hack repair after another. Not you, I'm talking about the previous owner. Hopefully it's not too bad otherwise.
  6. Cig lighter blows fuse - this same fuse also works the cruse control. Look for a penny or dime to have been dropped into the lighter socket. This is a common and easy to fix problem.

    Inexpensive and long lasting fix for door lock actuators -

    Stock clutch quadrant is white plastic.
    Some clutch cables are adjustable - take off the cable cover on the bellhousing and look for a threaded adjustment end on the cable assembly.

    Horn - the Mustang has two horns, a high pitch and a low pitch. If you only have one working horn, one of them is missing..

    Clutch adjustment
    Do the clutch adjustment first before considering any other problems. With the stock plastic quadrant and cable, pull up on the clutch pedal until it comes upward toward you. It will make a ratcheting sound as the self adjuster works. To release to tension of the stock quadrant, use a screwdriver to lift the ratchet paw up and out of engagement with the quadrant teeth.

    A binding clutch cable will make the clutch very stiff. If the cable is misrouted or has gotten too close to the exhaust, it will definitely bind. The binding common to adjustable cables is often due to misplacement of the adjusting nuts on the fork end of the cable. This will also cause the cable to wear and fray. Both nuts should be on the back side of the fork so that the domed nut faces the fork and the other nut serves as jam or locknut to the domed nut.

    Clutch pedal adjustment with aftermarket quadrant and cable: I like to have the clutch completely disengaged and still have about 1.5” travel left before the pedal hits the floor. This means that I have only about 1” of free play at the top before the pedal starts to disengage the clutch. Keep in mind that these figures are all approximate. When properly adjusted, there will not be any slack in the clutch cable. You will have 4-15 lbs preload on the clutch cable.

    Loosening the cable adjustment nut (throwout bearing arm moves to the rear of the car) moves the disengagement point towards the floor.

    Tightening the cable adjustment nut (throwout bearing arm moves to the front of the car) moves the disengagement point towards the top of the pedal.

    The quadrant needs to be replaced if you use any type of aftermarket cable or adjuster. My preference is a Ford Racing quadrant, adjustable cable and Steeda firewall adjuster. The adjustable Ford Racing cable is just as good as the stock OEM cable. It allows a greater range of adjustment than a stock cable with a aftermarket quadrant and firewall adjuster. Combined with the Steeda adjuster, it lets you set the initial cable preload and then fine tune the clutch engagement point to your liking without getting under the car.

    Using a stock OEM cable, firewall adjuster and a single hook quadrant may result in not having any free pedal travel before the clutch starts to disengage. I found this out the hard way.

    See Summit Racing - High Performance Car and Truck Parts l 800-230-3030 for the following parts.

    Ford Racing M-7553-B302 - Ford Racing V-8 Mustang Adjustable Clutch Linkage Kits - Overview - Cable and quadrant assembly $90

    The Ford Racing Adjustable cable is available as a separate part:
    Clutch Cable, Adjustable, Ford, Mercury, 5.0L, Kit FMS-M-7553-C302_HE_xl.jpg

    Steeda Autosports 555-7021 - Steeda Autosports Firewall Cable Adjusters - Overview - Steeda firewall adjuster. $40


    Misrouted battery ground cable & missing ground. Someone replaced the OEM ground cable with an aftermarket cable. What you have needs to have the 10 gauge extra wire on the ground cable connected to the same place as the other ground. The other ground is for the computer and is the second most important ground for the electrical system.


    Revised 28-Oct-2012 to add signal ground description & possible problems if it is bad

    Grounds are important to any electrical system, and especially to computer controlled engines. In an automobile, the ground is the return path for power to get back to the alternator and battery.

    1.) The main power ground is from engine block to battery: it is the power ground for the starter & alternator.

    2.) The secondary power ground is between the back of the intake manifold and the driver's side firewall. It is often missing or loose. It supplies ground for the alternator, A/C compressor clutch and other electrical accessories such as the gauges. The clue to a bad ground here is that the temp gauge goes up as you add electrical load such as heater, lights and A/C.

    Any car that has a 3G or high output current alternator needs a 4 gauge ground wire running from the block to the chassis ground where the battery pigtail ground connects. The 3G has a 130 amp capacity, so you wire the power side with 4 gauge wire. It stands to reason that the ground side handles just as much current, so it needs to be 4 gauge too.

    The picture shows the common ground point for the battery , computer, & extra 3G alternator ground wire as described above in paragraph 2. A screwdriver points to the bolt that is the common ground point.

    The battery common ground is a 10 gauge pigtail with the computer ground attached to it.
    Picture courtesy timewarped1972

    Correct negative battery ground cable.

    3.) The computer's main power ground (the one that comes from the battery ground wire) uses pins 40 & 60 for all the things it controls internally: it comes off the ground pigtail on the battery ground wire. Due to its proximity to the battery, it may become corroded by acid fumes from the battery.
    In 86-90 model cars, it is a black cylinder about 2 1/2" long by 1" diameter with a black/lt green wire.
    In 91-95 model cars it is a black cylinder about 2 1/2" long by 1" diameter with a black/white wire.
    You'll find it up next to the starter solenoid where the wire goes into the wiring harness.

    All the grounds listed in items 1,2 & 3 need to bolt to clean, shiny bare metal. A wire brush or some fine sandpaper is the best thing to use to clean the ground connections.

    4.) All the sensors have a common separate signal ground. This includes the TPS, ACT, EGR, BAP, & VSS sensors. This ground is inside the computer and connects pin 46 to pins 40 & 60, which are the main computer grounds. If this internal computer ground gets damaged, you won't be able to dump codes and the car will have idle/stall/ performance problems

    5.) The O2 sensor heaters have their own ground (HEGO ground) coming from the computer. This is different and separate from the O2 sensor ground. It is an orange wire with a ring terminal on it. It is located in the fuel injector wiring harness and comes out under the throttle body. It gets connected to a manifold or bolt on back of the cylinder head.

    6.) The TFI module has 2 grounds: one for the foil shield around the wires and another for the module itself. The TFI module ground terminates inside the computer.

    7.) The computer takes the shield ground for the TFI module and runs it from pin 20 to the chassis near the computer.

    See for help for help troubleshooting voltage drops across connections and components. Be sure to have the maximum load on a circuit when testing voltage drops across connections. As current across a defective or weak connection, increases so does the voltage drop. A circuit or connection may check out good with no load or minimal load, but show up bad under maximum load conditions. .

    Voltage drops should not exceed the following:
    200 mV Wire or cable
    300 mV Switch
    100 mV Ground
    0 mV to <50 mV Sensor Connections
    0.0V bolt together connections


    Extra grounds are like the reserve parachute for a sky diver. If the main one fails, there is always your reserve.

    The best plan is to have all the grounds meet at one central spot and connect together there. That eliminates any voltage drops from grounds connected at different places. A voltage drop between the computer ground and the alternator power ground will effectively reduce the voltage available to the computer by the amount of the drop.[/b]
    #6 jrichker, May 1, 2014
    Last edited: May 1, 2014
  7. Hey guys!

    Sorry it's been a minute since I've been on here! I've been going through the entire vehicle compiling a list of things I need to take care of and knocking them out 1 by 1. I appreciate all your replies so far as this is helping me tremendously with my recovery. Here's an update:

    1. I got a used mirror switch from a junkyard and managed to get back two functions for my pass side mirror. My guess is both mirror motors are bad as well and I'm grabbing a set of used one in town this weekend.

    2. The cigarette lighter socket ended up being bad as we diagnosed. It fell apart as I pulled it out. Check that off the list!

    3. Still debating on if I should order actuators for the doors. It's not necessary but it'd be nice to have all creature comforts working.

    4. Parking brake cable. - Boy was that fun hahaha. We managed to get it in, these I presume are self adjusting as there is no actual cable adjustment I can find. The pass side swivel under the car is not moving, I assume likely the cable is siezed or the swivel is stuck. I'm gonna mess with it some more and check things out. It's not working nearly as well as I presumed but this leads me to give yall an update at the end of this post (Which is what was taking me so long)

    5. Clutch cable - I do see it has a small crack on the firewall and will be repaired once I restore the vehicle. I haven't had a chance to check if it is a factory quadrant but will today. The self adjuster for the clutch pedal still works. I backed out the firewall adjuster all the way and the next day the clutch is no longer spinning the wheels in neutral. Strange, but it seems fixed. What is the best adjustment for the adjuster? I feel as if I turn it to the firewall too much my cable makes noise and I can feel it popping. Does this soley adjust where it engages on the pedal? The pedal is quite firm but still moveable.

    6. Horns are fixed. Grabbed a set of dual horns for the yard here in town.

    7. I removed the factory ground cable and am more than likely relocating the battery to the hatch area. I will start to look into this.

    8. Glad to know the ground is normal for the hood. Always wondered what that was.

    9. I ended up buying an SVE short throw and the shift feels 100% better than the old one. I'm not sure if it was a factory shifter or aftermarket, but I didn't like it at all. This is solved now.

    Now to bring you to the current status! Haha

    1a. Is there a link or source to show all the under hood grounds? I would like to go through these as the voltage meter shows lower than normal on the factory gauge. I know it's not the most reliable, but I know its lower than my last fox.

    2a. I ended up needing to replace almost ALL the brakes. Once it was in the air I noticed rear brakes were not actuating at all. We sourced it to a bad master cylinder. Bench bled and installed. Everything but the wheel cylinders in the rears were replaced. Bled furthest bleeder to closest. The pedal still feels spongy, but I have not test driven it to burnish the brakes and let the self adjusters work. I will give an update. The front pads look low too, but nobody in town has good pads, so now I am looking online. Anyone have any recommendations?

    3a. The speedo cable is very bouncy and I noticed there is a leak from the speed sensor on the trans. I'm picking up one today and installing it and doing a fluid change. I think the fluid may be low and not be allowing the shifter to go into gears easy so i'm hoping this helps. I will post an update tomorrow.

    4a. I found out my radiator is ALSO leaking. Jesus. Everything is wrong with this fox, but I'm not losing determination. I see the potential in this. Is the SVE radiator a nice replacement? I was looking at getting a Fluidyne, but I dont want to spend 400 on a radiator.

    5a. The factory fan is cracking VERY bad, so I'm looking at swapping to electric fan(s). SVE makes a combo kit with radiator for roughly 300 with everything you need. Anyone have any experience with these? I've never ran electric fans so I would hope there is a relay system out there I can buy so I don't have to manually toggle the fans.

    6a. Where are all the interios lights in the hatch? I have zero interior lights working and need to see if they are even still there. i wish I had a buddy with a fox I could compare too, but i don't :(

    These are all the updates so far! Once again thank you so much for helping me through this. It's keeping me from going insane.

    - Brandon

    Also, If you're interested - I have created a Facebook page to post updates and pictures of my body restoration and build. If you wanna check it out just go to and hit the "Like" button. You'll receive updates on your newsfeed.
    #7 Bmwz389, May 10, 2014
    Last edited: May 10, 2014
  8. 6a. Mine just has the one light on the ceiling in front of the factory sunroof, and one light in the hatch area down by where the latch mechanism is. Glad you've made a lot of progress.
  9. great progress!

    5a careful if they are really cracked, i put a factory blade through the shroud once cause i thought that tough plastic as stronger than it is...and yours has aged many years since then...

    6a did you try rolling your dimmer switch to be sure its not in the locked on position?