Was buying this car a huge mistake???

stussy2870

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Apr 5, 2019
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I realize that i'm new here and that i haven't formed any "forum friendships" yet but i just needed a place to vent...

So about 2 weeks ago i took a very long drive to see a car in another state. I was super excited and at the same time tired of seeing the rotted out SH1T for foxbody's local to me. This one looked great in the pics, sounded pretty damn good too. The previous owner was responsive and answered all of my questions.. I had my finances in order and took the ride..

The good:
-3yr old paint - done "mostly right" -- as in - door panels removed, windshield removed, Headlights/taillights removed.. (Saw a video of it getting painted).. it was an acceptable job.
-NO RUST.. I went top to bottom - looked over all the known bad places - everything is GOOD. Strut Towers are solid as a rock, Rear hatch is perfect, underside of doors have nothing, Floors are clean, pinch welds are mostly straight and not rusted..
-Interior is clean (new headliner and carpet) Retrofitted 2017 Mustang seats in the front too so it adds some modern touches and i actually like it.

The bad:
-I suspect that theres a fuel issue - although its unconfirmed. Car seems like it runs obnoxiously rich.. if i have it idling in my garage, i smell like gas.
-The clutch just went - i've literally had the car for less than 100 miles.. (i test drove it, it was grabbing high in the pedal but i didn't think it was that bad)..I guess it was..
-The motor - its a 351w, with all the 5.0 EFI stuff. It has aluminum head and its makes a crap ton of noise.. I think its the valves/rockers.. preying its not a Rod or multiple Rods... When i first heard it, i thought it was just injector cycling.. But - maybe not..
-The Tach is messed up - it revs up to 3k only.. even when i know im well beyond that..
-The stock temp gauge doesnt work - but an aftermarket one installed by the previous owner does.. I hate it.. i just want the stock gauges..UGH..
-The Speedo bounces at lower speeds 30mph and slower..
-Electrical - I suspect there to be other electrical issues based on some odd behavior by the radio.

There are other odds and ends that to be honest, i was looking forward to "working on".. but with each new discovery i feel more and more defeated.. I know (after reading some of the posts here ) that the guys on this forum would probably laugh at my list of issue and just blow through fixing them but i'm likely less skilled and certainly less knowledgeable so the task seem daunting.. AND Expensive..

sorry for the rant..
 
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Boostedpimp

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The bad:
-I suspect that theres a fuel issue - although its unconfirmed. Car seems like it runs obnoxiously rich.. if i have it idling in my garage, i smell like gas.
If the car runs fine it's not a fuel issue. If the car isn't physically leaking fuel in your garage then it's most likely the fact that the car has a mid pipe installed without cats which is very common with these cars

-The clutch just went - i've literally had the car for less than 100 miles.. (i test drove it, it was grabbing high in the pedal but i didn't think it was that bad)..I guess it was..
Most likely needs to be adjusted properly. Does the clutch not grab much now or what?

-The motor - its a 351w, with all the 5.0 EFI stuff. It has aluminum head and its makes a crap ton of noise.. I think its the valves/rockers.. preying its not a Rod or multiple Rods... When i first heard it, i thought it was just injector cycling.. But - maybe not..
Aftermarket rockers depending on setup and adjustment do tend to be loud but you could easily verify it

-The Tach is messed up - it revs up to 3k only.. even when i know im well beyond that..
Just pickup another tach for your year and swap it in.. there are two for these cars so make sure you get the right one 87-89 all fit each other while 90-93 fit each other.

-The stock temp gauge doesnt work - but an aftermarket one installed by the previous owner does.. I hate it.. i just want the stock gauges..UGH..
Most likely the factory wire and sender is removed and the aftermarket one is in place to run the aftermarket gauge. You can replace the temp sender with a factory one and plug the wire in to have the factory gauge working.

-The Speedo bounces at lower speeds 30mph and slower..
You have to lub the speedo cable to resolve this

-Electrical - I suspect there to be other electrical issues based on some odd behavior by the radio.
Radio, just pull it out you don't need it
 

stussy2870

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Apr 5, 2019
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es the clutch not grab much now or what?
Cable seems to be adjusted out. In other words - under the car - its loose( no tension on the fork) When i depress the clutch pedal the clutch disengages.. When i put it in 1st / 2nd etc.. as soon as i give it a fair amount of gas/power .. it slips and it eventually smells.

Appreciate the response!

I have all new clutch gear coming.. Didnt buy the Bearing Retainer for the end of the trans..... should i?
 

ChillPhatCat

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Apr 22, 2002
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Electrical issues... engine issues... you can fix all that crap. You can't fix a rotted unibody... not without a ton of money or elite welding/metal working skills...
 

Mustang5L5

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Feb 18, 2001
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Electrical issues... engine issues... you can fix all that crap. You can't fix a rotted unibody... not without a ton of money or elite welding/metal working skills...
If the body is solid, you are already off to a good start. Mechanical stuff can be fixed.

Nothing you list is really not unusual for a 30 year old car. It can be fixed, and these car's really are becoming more of a hobby/enthusiast car so that's to be expected.

Pick an issue to tackle first, post some pics of the car, and lets go.
 

deathb4dismount

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Straight body, decent paint, EFI 351. Sounds like a win to me. As long as you didn’t pay a retarded amount for it, I wouldn’t sweat it. Everyone around here woulda, shoulda, coulda, bought a different car, put together a different combo, went turbo instead of supercharged, etc. It’s the nature of this hobby. Tackle one issue at a time and enjoy.
 

Hoopty

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Jan 29, 2019
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As everyone said, all relatively easy fixes, plus you are already on the track of tackling the most difficult (clutch). After that it should be cake.

To put it in perspective I bought a car that has had what I though was an easily fixed radiator support, but found out afterwards front end was tweaked. I kinda took it the way @deathb4dismount said and kept going. With an alignment it drives straight, so outta sight outta mind. It could always be worse.

Good luck with it!
 

c's90GT

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Oct 30, 2018
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Very nice car. I know how you feel about these issues since my car had several of the same. Turn signals didn't work, leaking gas and a new rack/pinion. I know decided to complicate my life a 5 lug swap. Its 80 percent done but getting the time to finish up and bleed then re-bleed the brakes is annoying.

One valuable lesson is, if you are going to buy a tool; get a good one! It's worth your sanity :)
 
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CarMichael Angelo

I don't like your attitude, let me fix that.
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Everything is relative.

That car based on the way it looks is gonna have to have two things going on for you to feel even remotely bad about your purchase.
# 1. As stated previously.
You paid stupid money for a car that was supposed to be a complete turn key deal.
#2. The mechanical noise you're hearing turns out to be more than aftermarket rocker arm noise, and you paid stupid money for a car that was supposed to be a complete turn key deal.
Aside from that, and again as stated already....the body of the car, and the condition of the repaint trump ANY mechanical issue. A monkey can swap out an entire engine....it takes a well trained very experienced human to fix a hagged out body, and repaint the car.

Count yourself fortunate.


Unless you paid stupid money.
 
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Olivethefet

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May 17, 2018
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Dont know what you paid for it but its a sharp looking car! I bought mine over a year ago. It needed a fuel pump. I've changed a ton of stuff on the car since then. Havent had any issues with the fuel pump! Start a thread and ask questions. That's what I did. The guys here know a ton and are happy to help out. Welcome to the forum!
 
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deathb4dismount

Crap, didn’t realize my crotch was in that picture
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It’s already 5 lug swapped too. Can’t say I love the hood or wheels but it looks like a nice car.
 

BlakeusMaximus

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Looks like a nice car. It seems there's always something that has to be done with these cars. That's the one of the things about owning one, but to me that's part of the fun.
 

CarMichael Angelo

I don't like your attitude, let me fix that.
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I think that was a compliment.. ?? but, out of curiosity - what would be considered "stupid money"..
That's a question for the masses here..but I'd think if you paid 10k plus starts the " stupid money for a fox" price tier.
It's a 351 swap. That's a plus.
How much was invested in that 351?
Does it have a SN95 full 5 lug, 4 wheel disc swap?
Plus.
Does it have functioning AC? Plus.

A car like that can't be built for 10k...but it can be bought for it.
 
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stussy2870

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I paid 7500 for it. It’s got summit blueprint aluminum heads and a trick flow stage two cam. It’s also got the Edelbrock performer 2 intake. The short block as I understand it is completely stock .

Five lug swap but not four wheel disc.

AC is there and functioning