Progress Thread Finally got my first Fox Body - 1988 GT

General karthief

wonder how much it would cost to ship you a pair
Mod Dude
Aug 25, 2016
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Power is addictive, even at 6 psi you will need brake and suspension upgrades and rebuilding and the snowball starts rolling along.
Do a reality check.
Really the Dudestang is the one that would be the turbo candidate. That would be the road I would take. 10psi in that car would be practically a bolt on and a quick tune and be totally streetable.
 
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DudeStang

Nuts fell off while driving
Apr 30, 2017
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Power is addictive, even at 6 psi you will need brake and suspension upgrades and rebuilding and the snowball starts rolling along.
Do a reality check.
Really the Dudestang is the one that would be the turbo candidate. That would be the road I would take. 10psi in that car would be practically a bolt on and a quick tune and be totally streetable.
Fair points about the snowballing upgrades. I have thought about going FI on the Dudestang but 1. I like the idea of streetable, usable power. I’m not interested in making 650-700 horsepower that I will rarely be able to use safely/responsibly and 2. The Fox is my project car, at least for the time being. I am more inclined to have the Fox out of commission for various mods/upgrades for longer periods of time than the Dudestang. But yeah, a reality check is needed every now and then. It’s those deceiving prices on certain mods like that on3 turbo.

I think when I get the Fox to a point where I have most of the priority issues addressed (leaks really) and it seems I can make that my “daily driver” more regularly, I might consider doing something more serious with the dudestang. We’ll see though. I’m also really interested in getting something JDM like a Skyline or EVO. My wife is intrigued by the idea of having a rallycross type fun car (thanks to that EVO III) so that might be the smarter play, and I can still keep both Mustangs. :D
 
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DudeStang

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I got a new gasket and put the thermostat housing back on the Fox yesterday with gasket maker and the new gasket. I hand tightened the bolts, waited an hour, and then tightened them down. I am letting it sit for 24 hours and then going to try and check for leaks later today. I Fingers crossed.

I also got some thread sealant for the plug/screw that goes into the top of the housing. From seeing down through the hole, the thermostat appears to be aligned/straight.

In the meanwhile, in case anyone is interested...I finished editing the second EVO rally car video.
View: https://youtu.be/s-h-mNmut6Y


If you go to around the 15 min mark, there’s some cool details about the car and how unique/rare it is. It’s essentially a right hand drive version of the car that Tommi Makinen and Seppo Harjane drove in the 1996 Swedish Rally, prior to winning some WRC championships. I don’t know a ton about rally racing but the owner, my friend Jorge, was a big fan growing up and it was pretty cool learning from him about the significance of the car and the associated driver/co-driver.
 

DudeStang

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Apr 30, 2017
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OK so I’m stuck again. I’ve got all the new hoses installed and I redid the thermostat housing. The housing appears to be fine as far as the seal goes now....but after I started the car up, I noticed a slow drip/leak coming from the top of the lower radiator hose. This is where I had a leak previously, which is what led me to want to replace the hoses in the first place. I checked the weep hole on the water pump and it looked fine...so I figured maybe I had the hose clamp aligned incorrectly and maybe it wasn’t sealing.

I drained some coolant, took the lower hose off, and reinstalled it. As soon as I added coolant back, it started leaking again...but this time more quickly. It’s dripping like once every 5 seconds and again it seems to be coming from the top side of the lower radiator hose, running down to the “elbow” and then falling into my drip pan.
9C05C14A-46FD-406B-81D2-CAF753B12E30.jpeg 8985C9C7-A68F-4711-8865-109876F1E068.jpeg

Any thoughts on what it could be? Maybe I still just don’t have the hose clamp on the right spot to seal the hose correctly?
 

Rdub6

So while I wait to figure out my rear end issues
Dec 29, 2017
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OK so I’m stuck again. I’ve got all the new hoses installed and I redid the thermostat housing. The housing appears to be fine as far as the seal goes now....but after I started the car up, I noticed a slow drip/leak coming from the top of the lower radiator hose. This is where I had a leak previously, which is what led me to want to replace the hoses in the first place. I checked the weep hole on the water pump and it looked fine...so I figured maybe I had the hose clamp aligned incorrectly and maybe it wasn’t sealing.

I drained some coolant, took the lower hose off, and reinstalled it. As soon as I added coolant back, it started leaking again...but this time more quickly. It’s dripping like once every 5 seconds and again it seems to be coming from the top side of the lower radiator hose, running down to the “elbow” and then falling into my drip pan.
9C05C14A-46FD-406B-81D2-CAF753B12E30.jpeg 8985C9C7-A68F-4711-8865-109876F1E068.jpeg

Any thoughts on what it could be? Maybe I still just don’t have the hose clamp on the right spot to seal the hose correctly?
Did you clean the surface that the hose slips on to? Maybe a little scotch brite or sandpaper. Could be some corrosion causing it not to seal properly?
 
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DudeStang

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Did you clean the surface that the hose slips on to? Maybe a little scotch brite or sandpaper. Could be some corrosion causing it not to seal properly?
I did not but that seems like a good idea. Will try that when I can take a break from work or later when I’m done working. Thanks!
 

Steel1

Mustang Master
Aug 18, 2017
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Just a couple of other ideas.... are you sure its coming from the hose connection point and not higher up ?
You may have mentioned it but did you replace the water pump, wondering if there could be a hairline crack just above hose outlet ?
 
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DudeStang

Nuts fell off while driving
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Just a couple of other ideas.... are you sure its coming from the hose connection point and not higher up ?
You may have mentioned it but did you replace the water pump, wondering if there could be a hairline crack just above hose outlet ?
I didn’t end up replacing the water pump. It seems like it’s coming from the hose connection point but when I pull it off again, I will try to get a closer look at the hose outlet.
 
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Franomania

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I am in the process of putting together an on3 kit. The logic being there are enough people have proven the kit out and the price point cant be beat. Being able to dial up the boost as your mods allow was my mindset, start on the spring and work up as the car/budget allows. The secondary costs do add up even to just get the car going...gauges, wideband, pod, heat shield/wrap, ECU, various tools/sealants if you dont have, but still comes in close or under a HCI scenario which effectively has a maximum output.
Even 300-320 as a guess at 6lbs on a stock motor is still much more fun to drive.
I think to @General karthief point, boost is addicting and easy to turn up and people end up overdoing it which leads to them always being on the stands. BREW2Ls car is practically going the strip only direction at this point.

Just my thought anyways..
 
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DudeStang

Nuts fell off while driving
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I am in the process of putting together an on3 kit. The logic being there are enough people have proven the kit out and the price point cant be beat. Being able to dial up the boost as your mods allow was my mindset, start on the spring and work up as the car/budget allows. The secondary costs do add up even to just get the car going...gauges, wideband, pod, heat shield/wrap, ECU, various tools/sealants if you dont have, but still comes in close or under a HCI scenario which effectively has a maximum output.
Even 300-320 as a guess at 6lbs on a stock motor is still much more fun to drive.
I think to @General karthief point, boost is addicting and easy to turn up and people end up overdoing it which leads to them always being on the stands. BREW2Ls car is practically going the strip only direction at this point.

Just my thought anyways..
Thanks for weighing in. Are you documenting the process anywhere by chance? A thread or videos? Would love to see/hear how it goes.
 

DudeStang

Nuts fell off while driving
Apr 30, 2017
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OK, so yesterday I drained the coolant again, removed the lower hose, and used a scotchbrite pad thing to clean up the surface on the water pump where the hose goes. I tried to get as close as I could with a light but didn't see any cracks. I put the hose back on, tightened both hose clamps, and added coolant again. I got a drip again immediately from the same area. I had only tightened the hose clamp with a flathead screwdriver so I figured I would try to tighten it with a little socket. I did that and it slowed the drip down considerably, but there was still a slow leak. I was tightening from the top so I couldn't see what the hose looked like at first but I could hear the dripping stop. Then when I got back under the car, I saw that the hose clamp was digging into the hose enough to cut into the rubber a tiny bit. As soon as I loosened it again, it start dripping like crazy. I tried adjusting the placement of the hose clamp a few different times but couldn't find a spot where it wouldn't drip.

Eventually I just got tired and came inside for dinner. Going to mess around with it again tonight or tomorrow. If I can get it to where it's just a really slow leak again, without digging too far into the hose, I might just live with that for a little bit and see if I can drive the car with no problems. Maybe when I get the car off the ground to focus on the leaks, I can revisit.
 

DudeStang

Nuts fell off while driving
Apr 30, 2017
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Somehow the lower radiator hose leak managed to fix itself. Last night I wiped down some coolant off the hose and then when I came out to check this morning, there was no sign of dripping or leaking. I still have a slow drip/leak at the bottom of the coolant overflow tank but I can live with that for now.

I refilled the coolant, let the car run for a bit, checked for any other leaks, and didn’t see anything. I checked the oil level, which seemed fine, then went for a drive. Drove for about 30 minutes with no problems. Checked hoses again when I came back and no leaks. Got a video of these shenanigans coming soon.
 
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DudeStang

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Just noticed my nuts fell off while driving status, lol. A humbling start to my week. :rlaugh:

I’m thinking of ordering a new clutch cable kit for the Fox. Both the Steeda and Maximum Motorsports have really good reviews but the Steeda is about $70 cheaper. Anyone have experience with either (or both)? Im wondering if the Steeda is fine for a car that isn’t heavily modded or if this is one of those cases where I should spend a bit more for what is (maybe?) a superior product with MM?

I want to make the clutch a bit lighter since I have cartilage damage in my left knee from many years back.
 

DudeStang

Nuts fell off while driving
Apr 30, 2017
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Finished editing and uploading part 3 (feels ridiculous to write that) of the cooling system stuff:
View: https://youtu.be/DNG8bwep7Pw


I've driven the car twice the last few days and it feels good. I was tempted to buy some tires for the pony wheels yesterday but I am trying to force myself to make time to focus on stuff that I know needs to be addressed or fixed (leaks) while also being tempted to try and snag a rear bumper cover from CJ Pony Parts (not NOS but I think I'd be willing to give one of the aftermarket versions a try).

I'm back in that "I want to drive the car regularly but also want to make progress on it which would inevitably lead to me not driving it much" place. :confused: Also, really hoping this gas shortage nonsense doesn't last too long.
 

DudeStang

Nuts fell off while driving
Apr 30, 2017
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Anyone have any tips or tricks for removing the lowest nut on the passenger side holding the rear bumper cover on?
A1A049EA-C95A-4908-B64B-9C46B86EBD60.jpeg
It seems impossible to get even my smallest ratchet in there and a wrench doesn’t have much wiggle room. Huge pain in the butt. :cautious:
 

BlakeusMaximus

Still got to try a little lube on my speedo head
Jul 12, 2017
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I’ve dealt with that bolt. It’s pain in the ass. Just gotta work at it. I think it took me about 20 minutes to get that outta there. I mentioned it in my thread a few years back.
 
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DudeStang

Nuts fell off while driving
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Managed to get it out about 10 minutes ago. My hand is cramped and useless for a while but I’m happy I finally got it out.
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DudeStang

Nuts fell off while driving
Apr 30, 2017
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New video is up, taking forever to remove the damaged factory bumper cover and checking fitment on the new replacement bumper.

View: https://youtu.be/sJ6T8Sr6JH8


A few other things arrived yesterday

Passenger side rear ground effect replacement:
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MM steering shaft:
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I’m looking forward to having more precise steering on the Fox but I’m a little worried about the installation on this, lol.

I’ve got a few things I want to do on the Dudestang before I get to the steering shaft.
 
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DudeStang

Nuts fell off while driving
Apr 30, 2017
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Dropped off my new rear bumper cover and passenger side ground effect piece for paint a few weeks ago and then took a road trip. Called the shop this week and the guy said the paint was done on the bumper cover but the ground effect piece was taking longer (I guess it wouldn’t take the paint on the first attempt).

In the meanwhile, I went ahead and picked this up.
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Hoping I can pick the bumper up soon and get it back on the car.

I still haven’t made time to put the new steering shaft in yet but am hoping to do that soon, along with an oil change and a few other things.
 
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DudeStang

Nuts fell off while driving
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Picked up the newly painted bumper cover and ground effect piece this morning:
13493B9C-D8FE-40BB-9A28-3D48DE1381A6.jpeg

This apparently launched white paint as the theme of the day…
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Still want to drive one of each of these…

Going to try and get the new bumper cover put on today.