Progress Thread My First Project Car And My First Fox

pierce.corgan

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May 26, 2020
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Well after saving up some money and a couple months of searching, I picked up a 1985 Mustang GT. This thing is DEFINITELY a project car
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The first couple of things I did were to remove the crappy aftermarket fog lights that were mounted to the front, I replaced the hood with the original hood, replaced the one hood strut I had because the other bracket was broken, wash the outside and vacuum out the rats nest, and remove most of the purple tint.

Now for some of the many problems. There are basically no vacuum lines hooked up in the engine bay and a lot of the engine wiring is shot. You may have also noticed that the spark plug wires are definitely not in the correct firing order, however the car started right up when me and my dad went to look at it. This confused us and makes us think that there is a different motor present but we haven't determined that yet. The biggest problem right now is that there is no exhaust on the car so we aren't allowed to start the car because our neighbors would probably call the police. All of the exhaust parts have been ordered so hopefully that will be installed soon. There is also a starter issue, in order to start the car you have to loosen the starter and re-tighten it and it will start perfectly fine but if you shut the car off you have to do it again. The carburetor is.....well its not the factory Holley 4180c. The blower motor wasn't working until we discovered a SECOND rats nest in it, I vacuumed that out and it surprisingly it works fine. There is a small amount of rust on the passenger side strut tower, a large hole under the battery tray, and the passenger side floor pan has more rust than i'm comfortable with. The lower radiator support is mangled and it has an LX front bumper on it...

This is my first project car and my first fox body mustang so any and all help or advice is appreciated. Join me as I undertake Project Musty-Stang.
 
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CarMichael Angelo

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What you need to do is remove the entire interior, and scrub that carpet, and check your floors for rust. if there were rodents living in that car, i’m sure it smells that way. If the carpet isn’t trash, the carpeting can be made to come clean fairly decently with a lot of elbow grease and some good detergent.

( I’d find it kind of geeky sitting on the seats, knowing that they’re were the rodent equivalent of the toilets at the mall.)

What you think is a “ small amount of rust” in the strut tower usually turns out to be a lot more than that., and the extent of the rust in the floor you’re seeing under the car will probably be pretty tragic from above if youre not comfortable with it now, and you haven’t had experience with what is, and isn’t fixable.

* Note.....rust=cancer. They don’t pop rivet new lung over the old one. The fix requires completely cutting the old cancerous junk out first.

Nobody here is gonna be able to look at the plug wires from a pic, and notice that the wires are in the incorrect firing order. So before you go all swappy-swap on the plug wires, determine first what you have. This engine may be a pre 5.0 roller cam engine. it could have a different camshaft in it, i.e. the car may have a 351w f/o firing order, or a non roller firing order. Does this engine have factory roller lifters?
The hood that you replaced...is the red one in the pics, the before or after? And....what’s with the turbo header on the driver side? It’s the only shiny thing on the car. Did you add that?
 
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LX1993

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You have to start somewhere. Safe to say most of us have put way to much time, effort, & money into a car/cars. Good luck!
(Looks like it was originally Regatta Blue, one of my favorite colors).
 

MustangIIMatt

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The carburetor is.....well its not the factory Holley 4180c.
That carburetor is either a Carter or Edelbrock 4-barrel.

The earlier Carter carburetors and the Edelbrock are pretty damned good carburetors, the later Carters have some flaws that can be fixed. Look for a "Made in USA" tag on the driver's side of the carburetor and a 4-digit part number on the base of the carburetor at the front passenger side. If both are there, it should be an Edelbrock. If not, it's probably one of the two Carters (the difference being pre-Federal Mogul ownership, when the quality was good, or after Federal Mogul bought Carter out and shipped the manufacturing off somewhere). Any numbers you can find on it will help you find out for sure which it is. If it's a 500-650cfm carburetor, I'd just keep it unless you've got to pass an emissions test or want to go EFI. They're pretty much the best choice for a street-driven car.

Hemmings has all the Carter reference numbers here:

If the number on yours isn't there, check Edelbrock's website:

Helpful hint: The same rebuild kit fits all of them, just get one that's of good quality, a lot of cheap kits from who knows where have flooded Ebay and Amazon lately.

Here's an article from Hot Rod on how to rebuild and tune one:

If you're more of a video kind of guy:

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p5OMLjjts1c


View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1WNpdy9-zdE
 
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pierce.corgan

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what’s with the turbo header on the driver side? It’s the only shiny thing on the car. Did you add that?
So the previous owners were going to twin turbo the motor, hence the dual turbo headers. I have removed them in order to install the factory headers that I ordered.
the car may have a 351w f/o firing order, or a non roller firing order. Does this engine have factory roller lifters?
I’m not that good at identifying lifters but the most I’ve taken the motor apart is taking off the valve covers, do I have to take more stuff off to tell what kind of lifters? Also when I looked up the firing order for both a HO and Non-HO motor and a 351w the spark plugs wires didn’t match the firing orders of any of them.
 
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pierce.corgan

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The hood that you replaced...is the red one in the pics, the before or after?
No, the red one is the old hood that was on it, it’s a fiberglass hood so it’s nicer quality and won’t rust but in my opinion I think the hoods with a giant bulge are kinda ugly so I put the factory hood back on even though it’s pretty rusty
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I also replaced the passenger side headlight because the old one was filled with water, the high beams are too. I also discovered that the buckets that the headlights sit in are super rusty.
 

pierce.corgan

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May 26, 2020
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The earlier Carter carburetors and the Edelbrock are pretty damned good carburetors, the later Carters have some flaws that can be fixed. Look for a "Made in USA" tag on the driver's side of the carburetor and a 4-digit part number on the base of the carburetor at the front passenger side. If both are there, it should be an Edelbrock. If not, it's probably one of the two Carters
So update on the carburetor, I looked for numbers and tags but there is nothing on the carb. It’s also missing parts, the whole choke is missing.
 

MustangIIMatt

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So update on the carburetor, I looked for numbers and tags but there is nothing on the carb. It’s also missing parts, the whole choke is missing.
In that case, I'd advise tossing that one on Ebay as a "for parts" carburetor and shopping for a new one (or a complete used one if you've messed with carburetors before and aren't adverse to rebuilding one).

Most 302s will be happiest with something in the 500-600cfm range. If it's going to be a street car or street/strip car, I'd advise going with an electric choke. The general thinking is that Edelbrock's carburetors are easier to live with on a daily basis, and Holley is better for all-out performance at the drag strip. There are others out there, but they're the big fish in the pond, with Holley having gobbled up Demon, QFT, and most of the other smaller fish.

You can also go EFI if you want. My main advice there is not to cheap out. The MSD Atomic and other lower-end systems are cheap for a reason.
 

Olivethefet

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Dont be intimidated by the thought of rebuilding a carburetor. It's not like rebuilding an engine or trans. They are fairly simple, in most cases, and as long as you take your time and lay the parts out as you go its an easy job. Watch a few videos online. That should build your confidence level.