When is enough, enough?

DLB1985

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Is there a cutoff point where it's just not practical to keep putting money into a car? I have a '94 GT. Between myself and the previous owners there's probably as much money in this car as it cost new. It has a fairly hot 302 built specifically to run on nitrous(125 shot). That led to the next owner destroying the stock T5, then a WC T5 and finally ending up with the TKO500 that's in the car now. Now in the 2 months I've owned it I've had to replace the fuel pump, brake pads and rotors and now I've exploded the 8.8 rear. Is this car cursed or what? I pulled the rear to have it rebuilt and all the bushings in the car are shot, the brake hoses, the shocks. The car has all stock suspension that needs to be upgraded but at what point is it just not cost effective? I gave too much for this car at $3500 and I've already put another $1500 in it with the diff rebuild. Not even counting the two tow bills. I mean I do like the car and I enjoy driving it( when it can be driven). 94-95 have always been my favorite Mustangs but at the same time I have a ragged '94 Mustang GT that on it's best day might be worth $4000. When do I cut my losses? I usually don't look at cars as investments but this car still needs a ridiculous amount of money but into it. If it were a '68 Fastback or a Boss car then yes, I could keep throwing money at it and still get return on my investment but this thing. I just don't know about this car anymore.
 
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Mustang5L5

Put lubricant all over the balls
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When it’s no longer fun. After all, what’s the point?

I would still stick at it though…for now. Sounds like you are addressing the weak points and have a nice combo as a starting point. This hobby requires money, time and effort
 
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HemiRick

I'd be looking at jacking under the house
Jun 28, 2020
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So you/someone put a hotrod motor in the car and it works so good its tearing up the stock drivetrain.....what a terrible problem....Fix the rearend and drive it.
 

revhead347

Apparently my ex-husband made that mistake.
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No, you have to pay to play. Any car you start modifying is going to start stacking up bills fast. Are you seriously suggesting that the a modified nitrous engine damaging a 27 year old transmission and axle means the car is cursed? Brake pads and rotors are wear items. Bushings and shocks? Seriously. It's old, stuff wears out. If you buy a 27 year old car, you expect that it needs to have stuff fixed.

Kurt
 
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jozsefsz

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Have you priced new or used cars these days? What you've put into a car -- that sounds like it's a blast to drive when it isn't getting beaten too hard -- is a couple months' payment on anything newer, along with sky-high insurance premiums. My philosophy on cars is that if it isn't rusting away or has become tremendously unsafe (SN95 GT with anti-lock brakes and airbags is arguably as safe as anything they make in 2021), it's always worth it to fix (especially if you DIY). The market value is meaningless unless you're looking to sell for a profit - it's the value to you to have the car or not that counts. Sell it and you wind up missing it in a few months, regret it, and then start all over again. If I get tired of a project, I park it for a while until I get up to feeling like it again. Just not in a field with no air in the tires. And if you find yourself getting towed too often, look into a rider on your insurance policy - I think I pay $2 or $3 a month for towing coverage. It sucks when stuff breaks down, but that's life. With that all said, if you don't care for the work, and find things like rotors or hoses or bushings an expensive pain in the rear instead of an enjoyable weekend hobby, maybe a 25+ year old car isn't right for you. Also if you're looking for ROI, the SN95 and Mustang II are probably the most undervalued so it's likely never going to win the lottery. Though I'll be honest I spend more time fixing expensive crap on my 2000+ cars than I ever have on the SN95, turbo included.
 
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KRUISR

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That led to the next owner destroying the stock T5, then a WC T5 and finally ending up with the TKO500 that's in the car now.
Stock trans was a WC. Then another WC destroyed ... Someone likes to abuse their poor Mustang. Shocked the rear end out lasted two transmissions.

Now in the 2 months I've owned it I've had to replace the fuel pump, brake pads and rotors
These are normal wear items (it is 27 years old).

What you do going forward should depend on how you intend to use the car. Cruise around, wave at the ladies - do some maintenance and enjoy. High RPM clutch dumps to light the tires up, or drag racing on sticky tires - better open up the wallet and rebuild some stuff if you don't want a tow bill.
 

KRUISR

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In 94' I'm pretty sure only the Cobra came with a WC.
The 94 & 95 5.0L V8s had WC trans, just like the Foxes. When the GTs switched to the 4.6 the manual became the T-45. All the SN95 V6's had WC T5's. 94-98 can take a mechanical speedo like Foxes (and older cars).

I actually just did an auto to manual swap with a T5 from a 96 V6. It looked like it had been rebuilt at sometime and even had a 05+ main case top cover.

T5s.jpg 20210613_161222.jpg
Trans on left came out of a 96 with 335k km (just over 200k miles), the one on the right a 95 with 295k km. If you look close at the input shaft retainer you can see there is very little wear. That and the changed cover make me think it has been apart as some point in its life.

I kept the SN input shaft and retainer and used a bellhousing from a 95 5.0L. Only mod I needed was to shorten driveshaft 1" (plus a slight clearancing at shifter opening as all auto to manual swaps need).

IMG_20210705_182526.jpg
 
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jozsefsz

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I'm going to have to disagree with that. An SN is known for being a bit of a beer can.

Kurt

They were quite highly-rated when they came out, certainly compared to the Flex-body, II, and First-Gen. Interestingly the convertibles seem to rank higher with NHTSA than the coupes. My point was primarily that these guys have ABS and airbags, really good for their time, and still comparable to a modern vehicle. Perhaps no lane-departure-assist and other useless crap, but a fundamentally safe vehicle. Not sure about the beer can statement, still the only car I've ever owned where jacking up a front tire brings up the rear with it - without subframe connectors. It's hella solid.



 

revhead347

Apparently my ex-husband made that mistake.
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They were quite highly-rated when they came out, certainly compared to the Flex-body, II, and First-Gen. Interestingly the convertibles seem to rank higher with NHTSA than the coupes. My point was primarily that these guys have ABS and airbags, really good for their time, and still comparable to a modern vehicle. Perhaps no lane-departure-assist and other useless crap, but a fundamentally safe vehicle. Not sure about the beer can statement, still the only car I've ever owned where jacking up a front tire brings up the rear with it - without subframe connectors. It's hella solid.
They were safe cars by mid 90s standards for sure. I mean they are still safe, but the advancements in car safety are staggering. That's all I'm saying. You jack up these new cars, and they don't even flex. I think a good example was when the Hellcat Challenger came out, and Dodge got a lot of flack for putting a 700+hp engine in a car the IIHS gave a marginal safety rating too. The reason it did so poorly is it was the mid 90s E-class Mercedes design. The mid 90s E-class Mercedes was easily one of the safety leaders for the time period. So that slid from Top safety pick to marginal in a little over a decade.

Kurt
 

DLB1985

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Have you priced new or used cars these days? What you've put into a car -- that sounds like it's a blast to drive when it isn't getting beaten too hard -- is a couple months' payment on anything newer, along with sky-high insurance premiums. My philosophy on cars is that if it isn't rusting away or has become tremendously unsafe (SN95 GT with anti-lock brakes and airbags is arguably as safe as anything they make in 2021), it's always worth it to fix (especially if you DIY). The market value is meaningless unless you're looking to sell for a profit - it's the value to you to have the car or not that counts. Sell it and you wind up missing it in a few months, regret it, and then start all over again. If I get tired of a project, I park it for a while until I get up to feeling like it again. Just not in a field with no air in the tires. And if you find yourself getting towed too often, look into a rider on your insurance policy - I think I pay $2 or $3 a month for towing coverage. It sucks when stuff breaks down, but that's life. With that all said, if you don't care for the work, and find things like rotors or hoses or bushings an expensive pain in the rear instead of an enjoyable weekend hobby, maybe a 25+ year old car isn't right for you. Also if you're looking for ROI, the SN95 and Mustang II are probably the most undervalued so it's likely never going to win the lottery. Though I'll be honest I spend more time fixing expensive crap on my 2000+ cars than I ever have on the SN95, turbo included.
This is actually the newest car I've ever owned and the most I've ever paid for one. Also I never intended this car to be a weekend hobby. At the moment the only other vehicle I own is my trusty '83 F150 that's been on daily driver duty since it was brought into the family in 1993. Tired is a good word to describe the truck these days. I figured, I like '94-95 Mustangs, it has EFI so it should start easy in winter and get descent mileage, it stops on a dime and parts are readily available for it so it should make a fine daily driver. Though in reality I'm still not sold on the EFI and the brakes seem very touchy. Plus these airbags scare the crap out of me. Every bump in the road I'm waiting on one to blow out but this car was designed to log miles and go A to B so I figured it would do. It's just all the money in this thing. I've had toys where I knew I'd never get my money back but I had fun driving and working on them. Who knows how many thousands I've put into my F150 but the sentimental value is there to keep it going and I know I'll never sell it anyway. Maybe I'm just not into this car. I've always wanted one and this is the first Mustang I've ever owned but something's missing. Could be the fact that so much has already been done to the car and most of it is things I wouldn't have done and would really want to change if I keep it. I wish I'd of shopped around and found a nice, mostly original GT and went from there. I've already looked around for the stock wheels that would've come on my '94 and the part that really got me to buy it was that the interior is basically stock down to the original radio. Just a nice solid cruiser would've been my best bet. The cars too heavy to be a drag car without gutting the original interior. It's not setup to really be a practical daily driver anymore. To run AutoX it would new the entire suspension rebuilt and replaced and still need to lose weight. There's no real path to what this car could be. This car had been parked when I bought it. No tag, no insurance just sitting there. I suspect the previous owner also didn't know what to do with or what direction to take.
 

revhead347

Apparently my ex-husband made that mistake.
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This is actually the newest car I've ever owned and the most I've ever paid for one.

Well that definitely brings perspective into my life; that we all come from different paths. My Mustang is by far the oldest car of the 4 we have. That's not bragging, because only my Focus is a particularly brilliant car. I've owned my Mustang for 22 years, and like your truck, I just can't get rid of it. Now I know you have put money into it, but the SN is a really good car. It rides well, it has great visibility, it's comfortable, and it has pedigree. I don't know where you are going with it being too heavy to be a drag car. It is the undisputed best factory drag racing chassis ever made. Guys are running 7s on stock style suspension, with full interior, on small tires. There's never been another car ever made that can do that. There is always the downside of putting money into it, but it is old.

Kurt
 
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nickyb

WAIT,you now have a pair?
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Next time chose your daily driver based on needs not wants.
 
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jozsefsz

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Cars are a bit like girlfriends - if she doesn't make you happy, send her off to someone that'll enjoy her and get yourself what you're looking for. Isn't anything wrong with that. I could see not really liking a car that someone else had modded, again kinda like that girlfriend analogy. :)
 

DLB1985

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After a lot of thinking I decided to get the car mobile again since I do like it. It actually wasn't all that expensive to replace all 3 rear brake hoses, rear shocks and heavy duty U-joints. I ordered aftermarket control arms for the rear and already installed those. Still waiting on new spring insulators since mine were rotten. For the first time in a while I'm actually anxious to get the rear end back and excited to get back behind the wheel. It should ride and handle much better now.
 
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Boostedpimp

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Buys a car from 1994 with power adder and various upgraded performance parts. Knowing a transmission was replaced due to being beaten and complaining about having to replace normal maintenance parts that are possibly 28 years old is great.. I think you should sell it and buy a new electric mustang :)
 

DLB1985

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Asheville, NC
Buys a car from 1994 with power adder and various upgraded performance parts. Knowing a transmission was replaced due to being beaten and complaining about having to replace normal maintenance parts that are possibly 28 years old is great.. I think you should sell it and buy a new electric mustang :)
I should've stuck with my gut instinct. There's a reason why this is the newest car I've ever owned. Because the newer something is the worse it is. Too much plastic and cheap electronics. I'd guess at least 80% of the parts on this car are foreign made. They were never designed to last. It breaks you buy a new one. When Ford switched to EFI the "Built Ford Tough" thing went out the window. Taking an electric Ford Escape and slapping Mustang emblems on it shows how low Ford has sunk in the past 35 years.
 
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