Noob to 5.0 mustangs...... buying one..... best mods? what to look for?

Discussion in '1979 - 1995 (Fox, SN95.0, & 2.3L) -General/Talk-' started by Cutter1024, Apr 23, 2010.

  1. 1st off... Hello everyone. I am 28 years old, and right now I drive a 91 MR2 turbo that has a built motor, and upgraded turbo pushing about 330 flywheel horsepower. I am a big MR2 fan, and owned 3. My last one did 345rwhp. Im just tired of the import scene, and always wanted a 5.0 mustang. I am selling my MR2, and paying a few bills and looking to get something between an 85-93 5.0 either a GT or an LX. HAS to be 5 speed.

    I have not owned slow cars, and having 340rwhp in a 2500lb car feels pretty good (my MR2's). Im looking at getting something with the $4k cash I will have. Mods or not, I just want a good base to start with, and some minor mods will be a bonus. Now.... what type of car should i be looking for? Are certain years better then others? I MAY juice it, or supercharge it down the road.... but right now... no. I wont have the money for that.

    2nd. What are the best mods for the model 5.0 I would be looking for? I dont want to be dissapointed, and get beat by crappy civics. I know alot of guys in imports target 5.0 mustangs when they see them... I know I did, and beat them with my MR2 9 out of 10 times. I dont want that....... I would be happy with a 12 second street car, then a little juice just incase I want to go faster, or run a better 1/4.

    In other words..... What should i get with my $4k? If its stock, what should my 1st mods be bang for the buck? What type of numbers would i be looking at horsepower and 1/4 mile time. My goal is 12's right off the bat with the stock 302. Then I hear good things about stroking it, 347. That would probably be my next step. But you guys are the pros, so will let you comment. Thanks for your time, and wish me luck on my search...
  2. Well welcome to the 5.0 world!!!! The 5.0 has 1 thing your mr2 never had, Torque!!!! If you plan on going fast you need an 89-93. These cars are mass air equipped and the older speed density cars do not respond well to cam, head or intake mods. If you come across a steal of a deal and its an 88, you can always do a mass air conversion. But just for the ease get an 89 and up. Best single mod you can do is gears. A buddy of mine had a 90 lx AOD and just minor bolt ons ran 14.9s with just gears he ran 13.7s. Over a full second with just gears. I gained .7 with just gears. Since your getting a 5 speed i recommend 3.73s for the best all around gear. 4k you can do a lot. Heads about 1k new. Intake 500 new, gears about 200 if you install your self. Theres your 12 second car!!!!!
  3. 89-92 (93 didnt have forged pistons)
    Lx Coupe w/ 5 speed is the lightest and fastest body style.
  4. Look for items such as rust or if the car has been beaten to death. I assume in ohio they use a fair amount of salt on the roads so check areas such as spare tire well, sunroof area if applicable and underside of car. Check torque boxes in the rear to see if there still in good shape, they should be as long as the car hasn't been beatin on too bad. Two words, subframe connectors (body flexes like a mofo) are a must along with the gears. As long as body is mainly (hopefully all the way rust free) everything else can be fixed fairly cheap and easily with these cars. Welcome and good civic hunting.
  5. Quick Breakdown:

    '85: last carbuerated Mustang. factory rated 210 HP, 7.5 rear end
    '86: first multi-port fuel injection, 8.8 rear end, first year true dual exhaust, factory rated 200 HP--one-year only shrouded chamber heads (most restrictive of the later 5.0 HO heads)

    '87-'88 ('88 non CA) E7TE head equipped with speed density (no MAF sensor, hottest cam grind of the '87-'93s). Will take mods to a degree, but major upgrades like a cam/big heads will require MAF conversion (about $400). In my experience, these are the fastest (other than an a '93 Cobra) fox cars stock and my favorites-I have had two '87s, a hatch (my current) and a notch or coupe.

    '89-'92 Mass Air Sensor (MAF) controlled, forged pistons (like all the earlier 5.0 HOs)

    '93: MAF controlled, powder coated hypereutectic piston, downgraded (on paper) to 205 HP.

    It is noted that though the '87-'92 5.0 was rated the same, systematic detuning (emissions) and cam profile changes downgraded the performance somewhat as they years progressed. This can of course all be remedied in the aftermarket.

    Like said above, the notchback/coupe is the lightest (roughly 75 pounds lighter than an LX hatch) and the stiffest of the fox-bodied Mustangs.
  6. Buy an 89-92 coupe.

    How much you want to spend?
  7. I will have about $4k cash to get something. I live in PA, and there are deals that pop up every now and then. I might see something in good shape, and already has basic mods mentioned above for my spending price. How much heavier are the GT's then the LX's?

    I dont do much highway driving so was thinking of going with 4.10 gears? Or is that a bad idea?

    When I find someone im interested in, I will post up the add so you guys can check it out.
  8. Search around, people are trying to get rid of toys to pay for bills. There are some deals to be had, might come across a fox with heads and a cam. Or built motor or supercharger. You never know until you look. I don't know how bad your area as been affected by the ecomony but might has taken a hit, therefore there are greater deals.

    Good luck! Post up if you find anything!:nice:
  9. Thats a good idea.
  10. Yes....subframe connectors are a must good call
  11. 4.10s and a 5 speed are to much IMO..... Ive had it before on my car, but its all personal preferance seems like all your doing is shifting, lol
  12. I didnt sell my car yet... but here is a car I would have checked out if I had the money. 1987 mustang lx t top great condition

    I would have offerd like $2500 cash and see if he would have taken it. Thats $1500 extra for mods. Or even if i got it for his asking price, I can put $1k into it.

    What do you think that car runs the way it is 1/4? What if I had $1k to put into it, what would my next mods be?

    If my car sells, i will look at it.
  13. That car looks pieced together, if you look at it look really close.

    has 86 interior
    carb on a EFI ( I hate this more than about anything)
    mod list that would be very hard to ensure without a full teardown.
  14. Though I know there are fans of T-Tops, I'd stay away from them--the hatches flex enough with a solid roof.

    I agree with Grover--that car is piecemeal. Who knows what you're getting with that one.