Fox Body Mustang For Sale

    Oh yeah, you've seen this phrase a million times: "Ford Fox Body Mustang For Sale". You get all excited and think maybe this is the one! The ultra clean survivor car that some little old lady only drove to church. Then you open the ad and the car is near death, or hacked up beyond repair. I know for me personally, that has happened more than a few hundred times. So if you are looking to buy a fox body Mustang, where should you start?

    Bear with me as I do my best to help with this delima. There really is no easy answer to this. This doesn't just pertain to foxes, any older car is going to give you a fit trying to locate the right one. The older they get, the less picky you can be when it comes to colors and options. If you are absolutely dead set on a specific combo, you will need three things: patience, a pile of cash, and the ability to travel as soon as you find the car. If you aren't quite as picky, your search will be a bit easier. 

    Where do you start? The best thing to do is crack open your laptop and check Craigslist nearby. Craigslist is a complete pain in the rear, full of scammers, and full of junk, but you can still sort through and find a solid candidate. Next place I would look is Auto Trader, the cars there seem to be a bit nicer, simply because to get a decent ad, you have to pay for it. I have found some super nice cars there. Message forums still have cars for sale as well, places like the Corral, Stangnet, SVT Performance, etc. I have personally bought three cars off of the forums, but this was ten years ago when they were much more active. Facebook can be a source as well, the problem there is that you really have to dig in and spend hours looking. For sale pages are scattered all over the place, and could drive you to drink. Another option is dealers like Gateway Classic Cars, Performance Autosport, etc. Dealers like these carry high end foxes that will fetch a pretty penny. The best of the best will be found there. 

    For tips on what to look for, check out our other posts, thats a whole other can of worms. Finding the car is just the tip of the iceburg, once you go look at the car, you can decide if its right for you. I can't tell you what to buy, simply because everyone has their own wants and needs for their car. Someone who is building a drag car has different needs than someone just wanting a cruiser. Have your plan in mind before you start looking, and then hit up all of the above mentioned places.  CR

Best "Oh crap" moments with your fox body Mustang!

    Modding a car is just asking for trouble. Now granted thats never stopped any of us from diving head first, wrench in hand, to mod our fox. However, with the fun of the mods, comes those "oh crap" moments where you almost wished you had just left the damn thing stock. We came up with our best five, but we are betting you have some better ones. So without further delay, here they are! 

#5 That moment you are at the track trying to wring out some extra E.T, so you are trying to check the timing on the car but damn if it won't keep moving around. Then you have that "oh crap" moment when you realize the spout connector is still plugged in. 

#4 After all the time and money you sunk into your new Trick Flow cylinder heads, you finally reach the moment when you can fire it up to see how she runs. You turn the key, and she fires right up! Success! But then you realize you have a horrible exhaust leak, and remember those little plugs for the back of the heads that you were to cheap to buy. Oh crap!!!

#3 When you are cruising along in your fox body Mustang which is looking ultra smooth because you yanked the wiper blades off. Then what was supposed to be a sunny day turns into a monsoon! Oh crap, I forgot to throw a wiper arm in the hatch. 

#2 The moment of triumph after you've just installed your first short throw shifter. Oh yeah, we are about to do some power shifting now! After of few miles of banging gears, your shifter handle flops over like a wet noodle. Oh crap I forgot to tighten the shifter bolts down tight!

#1 The mother of all "oh crap" moments. You finally did it! You just installed your 13" Cobra brakes, and new five lug rims. Every part was double checked and she's stopping on a dime now. All is bliss until that moment you have a flat, and realize that your spare is missing that fifth lug hole.......oh yeah.......and it won't clear those fancy brakes either! 

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So there you have it! Some of our sad but true "oh crap" moments for all the world to see! What are some of yours? CR

Throwback: The Ten Minute Tune up


    Mustang owners of recent years are spoiled rotten. Walking in and buying a new Mustang with well over 400 horsepower on tap, out of a base GT, would have seemed like a pipe dream to those of us who grew up in the heyday of the foxbody. Lets face it, 225 HP these days is laughable. Aren't Honda minivans rated higher? Not only that, but a simple plug in of a programmer can net actual power gains, and you never had to set down your latte. I think it would be a fair statement that we've been spoiled with the modern day horsepower wars. Want some perspective? Vortech superchargers ran ads back in the '90s about their base A trim which bumped your fox to 270 horsepower and 344 torque. Yeah, supercharged. Now granted that was 5 psi with a primitive FMU for tuning, but still!

    Way back when, fox body Mustang owners did it 3-4 hp at a time, MM&FF magazine came up with the ten minute tune up, to get a stock fox rolling. These steps were essentially free, and added 12-15 hp depending on the car. Basically it involved yanking the air intake silencer, adding a K&N panel filter, bumping the timing to 13-14 degrees, and a 70 1/2 short belt to bypass the power robbing accessories (a/c, power steering). With some sticky tires, and spirited driving, a foxbody Mustang could touch the elusive 13 second zone. Other tricks included icing the upper intake, jacking the tire pressure in the front tires, and slipping the clutch a bit to avoid tire spin.


    Lets consider the time; handheld tuners weren't invented, and computer dyno tuning was still a few years away. Most of the time it was the old butt-o-meter, or timing lights that told the tale. Truth is, there was quite a bit of power hidden away in the venerable 5.0 HO. With some luck, and beaten to death testing shift points, tire pressures, and timing; your fox body could rock with little to no cash. Again, you must consider the times. When you look at what is possible with today's Mustangs, hell even back to the Terminator days, it tells the tale of how much times have changed. Even the mighty '93 Cobra at 235 hp was no rocket ship from the go.


    If you have never heard of the ten minute tune up, then none of this makes any sense. But for the guys who still have piles of magazines from the early '90s, it brings back memories. I still recall taking my MM&FF mag to the track with me to make sure I did it right. Ice on the upper and all. Back when most foxes were still stock, this is just what you did. Even though you may not have been able to afford a GT40 tubular intake, you could still earn some respect at the local drags. That is where we came from, that is who we are, and turning a wrench was the only way to make power.


    This was the beginning of the slippery slope of building your fox body Mustang. Whip out your magazine and do the freebies, take it to the track and test, then head home thinking about your next mods. The Friday night drags had a way of keeping you totally obsessed. Crunching the numbers from your time slips, and bench racing all night with your friends about how that last pass would have been a 13.90 if the 60ft was better. I remember these days like they were yesterday, wish I could go back and live them again. Chances are if you are reading this, you know exactly what I mean. CR

The Top 5 Things that Set the Fox Body Mustang Apart


    I may get hate mail for this, but I always try and keep it real, so here goes: I don't care much for classic Mustangs! Ok there I said it. Now before you start sticking pins in little Caleb dolls, let me explain. Would I love to own a '70 Boss 302, or a Boss 429. Without a doubt. However, they just don't get me fired up like a clean foxbody Mustang (or even a rough one for that matter). Why? Because they were the muscle car when I was growing up, and at that time they came out as the underdog against all the Chevy junk that was at car shows and local tracks. If I saw another 69' Camaro or a 70' Nova I would have probably puked. They were all the same as far as I was concerned, and I couldn't get excited about any of them. That being said, The whole fox body Mustang thing was very appealing to me as a budding car enthusiast. I quickly caught on to the fact that Mustangs with little 302 engines were stomping the living daylights out of Camaros with a 48 cube deficit. I was an official Ford guy at the age of twelve. So why am I such a hardcore fox body guy? When I was early teens I rode my bike everywhere. As soon as school let out, my buddies and I would ride all over the place. About seven miles from where I lived was a Ford dealer, and I would ride there on my bike to check out the last of the '93 Mustangs sitting on the lot. I would dream sometimes that I could strut up into the showroom and plunk down the cash for one, and be eternally happy. Sadly, reality was not so kind. So why then, whats the what? What makes a fox body Mustang so different from all of the rest of the generation Mustangs?

  1. No retro styling: The 64.5 to '78 all had very similar styling cues that made them recognizable as a Mustang. Skip on to '94 to present, and you have the same thing. The 79-93 Mustang was a complete departure from the appearance that Mustang always had, and yet retained the soul, and heritage much better with its budget price and solid performance for the money.

  2. No Running Horse on the Exterior: Before the fox body Mustang, and after, every single Mustang sported the running horse on the exterior of the car. There were a few exceptions like the 93' Cobra, and 79-82, but other than that it was simply Ford badging. The tiny emblems on the interior were about it. The defining emblem of the brand was noticeably missing on this generation. Why?

  3. The fox body Mustang took the Mustang brand into uncharted waters with EFI: Beginning in '84 with the auto trans cars, CFI (fuel injection) was introduced to Mustang owners. Later, in '86 Ford had made strides in mixing performance and fuel injection. This was a turning point for the market, and hotrodders were justifiably apprehensive of leaving their beloved carbs. As the 80's came to a close, and the 90's began, the fox body Mustang proved to the world that performance without carbs was possible. At that time, this was groundbreaking.

  4. The longest running generation: True, there were many changes from 79-93, but the basics remained the same. As far as actual structural changes, there were very few. The cars kept selling, and Ford kept pumping them out. Not that they didn't evolve, quite the contrary, but nothing like the change from a 93' to a 94'. Of course one could argue that the fox chassis lived on until '04, and you would be correct. However, major structural enhancements and changes were made that would not compare to the difference of a '86 to '87 model. This could get VERY long, but you get the point.

  5. Ford was trying to kill the Mustang: Without any insider info, I can't say for certain, but it was pretty clear the bean counters had no interest in continuing the brand. Not totally kill, but strip the life from it. remember the '89 Probe? One could argue this is why the fox received so little in the way of upgrades or even an actual 25th anniversary model. Roush performance tried by submitting a turbocharged Windsor for the event, but Ford was having none of that. At that time, the rumors were spreading that the Mustang would emerge as a front drive, four cylinder car. One could argue conclusively that Ford had planned for a long time to put our pony out to pasture.

    In closing, there is also the long standing legacy that can be traced back to the fox body Mustang. Brands like Saleen, Steeda, ASC McLaren, and more were born out of the fox era. The massive aftermarket following that all later generations enjoy, sprung from the fox. I could continue to offer up examples, but I believe the point has been made. Agree or disagree, there simply is not any logical denial that the fox body Mustang has had the largest impact, and richest legacy of all generation Mustangs. Long live those fox body Mustangs!


Are pushrod motors dead?

    I have to be honest and say I did not want to touch this subject. For a few personal reasons, but because the heart of the foxbody is just that, I needed to put it out there. I have to make this as honest and fact filled as possible. In 2011, Ford totally changed the game. The introduction of the coyote was groundbreaking, I still don't think the magnitude of its introduction has been truly realized. 302 cubic inches of fury, that destroy everything within 100 cubes of it, bone stock. A little perspective is the mighty Terminator with its blown 4V makes a tick less in stock form, than does a coyote (breathing naturally). The Terminator was a game changer, in a big way. So with the limelight so far removed from our friends of the 8.2 and 9.5 deck varieties; there is a discussion to be had.


    The venerable 5.0L made a real come back in the 1982 Mustang GT. Through the 80's and 90's it reigned supreme on the streets. With a massive aftermarket backing, and an exploding following, the little pushrod mill still reaches insane power levels in many different forms. From an old ball drive Paxton supercharger, to a Dart based 363 with twins, the little motor that could still motivates foxbody Mustags to ridiculous power levels. So why the alarm? The different Ford mills can live in harmony right? Consider the lifespan of the 302. Dating back 40 years or more, the 5.0L has been seen in every configuration imaginable, and then some.


    In mid '02 Ford changed the game with the Terminator. Going from the limp wristed '01 Cobra, to 390 horsepower Cobras that with a few simple mods laid down big power. The world took notice. The modular performance scene really began to take off, and fox purists knew that kind of power was much more fun when you subtract nearly 800lbs from the equation. As the engines became more available, the swaps began, and Terminator powered foxes sprung from everywhere. Their track numbers told the tale of power to weight ratio being king, swapped foxes are animals. All through the 2Ks, the Terminator engines were the hot ticket, with the 3V engine barely getting a nod from the aftermarket, and by the time '07 came around with the 5.4L GT500s, it had a lock on the performance market. Who really had the coin to buy a brand new GT500 power plant, and who really needed it when a Terminator could run neck and neck with them. Remember that power to weight thing?


    Then, 2011. The dark days of Ford performance that reigned from 05-10 had come to an abrupt halt. For the first time since the muscle car days, you could buy a Mustang GT rated at over 400 horsepower. Not even the Mighty '00 Cobra R could stake that claim. To add insult to injury, the 6 cyl car of the year rocked the same rated power as a '96 Cobra. The game had changed. One could argue that the Muscle car wars of the 60's had nothing on today's power wars, I would tend to agree. Back to the coyote. Making in the 380-390 range to the tire, from the factory, it wasn't going to go unnoticed. Logical gear head thinking is: "what will it do with boost"? Ah yes, boost! Easily 600 to the tire without breaking a sweat, and 900-1K in capable hands, with some boost. That is just reality, and this engine is five years old. Let me say that again, FIVE YEARS OLD! Sealed from Ford these motors will propel a fox into the nines, with added weight to meet class specs. Need anymore perspective?

    Let me be clear, I love my pushrod motors, and will always own one. They are extremely capable of winning races, and being ultra reliable. They have been proven for decades, and I can build one with my eyes closed. They still terrorize LS fanboys at a large displacement deficit, and win races every weekend. What about in another five years? The coyote prices are dropping like a hookers pants, and they are popping up everywhere. Time will tell, and I'm interested to see what the future holds. Either way, I am glad Ford finally stepped up with a mill that hands the GM boys their ass, and laughs at the Dodge boys like a jet ski racing a pontoon.


Five free things you can do to your fox body mustang right now!

    The struggle is real for fox body Mustang guys on a budget. Lets face it, parts aren't cheap. So when things are tight and you want to make your fox better, what's a guy to do?

#1 Grab a magic eraser from the kitchen and hit all those spots on your interior plastics. These things work great on all plastics and vinyl, they really dig in and clean well. Don't scrub too hard on darker colors, just enough pressure to get the soiled areas clean. Keep a small bucket of water and a microfiber towel nearby to rinse the sponge, and dry the areas you just cleaned.


#2 Raise the car up on jack stands and clean the insides of the wheels. Especially if you have thin spoke wheels. Keeping the barrels of the wheels clean not only adds a level of detail to your fox, but helps prevent corrosion as well. Use a mild cleaner like Simple Green to get all of the grime off of the wheels. DO NOT USE HARSH CHEMICALS, especially if your wheels are polished or chrome, keep it mild.


#3 While you have the wheels off, you can do number three! Take a scrub brush, hose, and mild cleaner to those inner fender liners. Get all the rubber, mud, sand, dust, etc out of those wheel wells. You can also grab some bug & tar remover and clean up the painted areas of the wheel openings. Once everything is all clean and dry, hit the area with some WD40 for a nice shine (avoid the painted areas and brakes).


#4 Make sure your throttle body is going full open when you press the gas. This one requires a friend to sit in the car and press the gas pedal, doing it with your hand, at the throttle body does not represent what happens when the pedal is depressed. Yank the intake tube and make sure the throttle blade is 100% open. If not, grab a screwdriver and adjust the linkage until it is.


#5 Hit all of your electrical connections with some terminal cleaner. Get as many connections as you can, and be careful not to break the clips off. Contact cleaner is fast evaporating like brake clean, and will clean all of the brass and aluminum contacts really well. So many times I have chased gremlins from dirty, loose, or weak wiring connections. While you are doing it, you may come across a connection that wasn't tight, or had damaged wires. Trust me, your fox body Mustang will love you for it!


    So there you have it! No excuses anymore, get out there and give that fox body Mustang some love!


What defines a "survivor" fox body Mustang?

    This is one question I get a lot, I also see the term used out of context ALL the time. To be clear, this is MY definition. Everyone has their own opinions on how you can classify a car as a "survivor". Webster's definition is pretty simple: "To remain alive". When I consider the term as it relates to a fox body Mustang, I think of a near stock car, with original paint, and original interior. A car that has survived the years without a resto, without being hacked up by multiple owners of questionable intelligence, and most of the original bits are still in place. The car does not have to be 100% stock to qualify either, which makes this term even harder to define. If I go look at a fox body Mustang that has original paint, original interior, good miles, and has a Trick Flow top end on the engine; I call it a survivor.


    Believe me when I say you can split hairs on this discussion all day long. Sure a car can be repainted and be a survivor. It can have a restored interior and be a survivor, but not both. Without getting too deep here, I've settled on the overall picture as being the rule. My old Reef Blue '93 LX hatch was a true survivor. I got the car from the original owner, and while it had 155k miles on the clock, it was in amazing shape. This car was completely stock, down to the mufflers. The paint was faded on the front bumper cover, it had a few dings in the doors, and the carpet was soiled, but it was a survivor in every sense of the word.

    How about I throw you a curveball? You can take a survivor, restore it, and lose survivor status. Now the car is restored, not a survivor! My brain is beginning to melt here. As I said before, its the overall condition of the car, not necessarily just one thing, or even two. How about a few more examples?


    I wanted to tackle this subject as the term gets brought up often. Putting it into a clear context is very difficult, as every car is different. However, I can walk up on a car and tell you in about ten seconds if it meets survivor status. Every fox body Mustang has it's own persona and history. I've even called some: "Rough survivors". The main point here is that I will take an honest survivor over a half assed restored car any day of the week. I see so many cars being called: "Restored" by their owners, and I just shake my head. Give me a faded OEM paint and interior any day of the week.


The Top 5 reasons to buy a fox body mustang NOW!


    I've been meaning to write this out for a while, and finally got around to putting finger to keys. I mainly decided to write this from the perception I've seen that many fox body Mustang fans still have:

-They are everywhere

-They aren't worth more than 10k

-The only reason guys buy them is because they are cheap

Yup, many guys still think it's the late nineties. The above points were true even ten years ago, but this is 2016. So here's the reality:

#1 The newest fox body Mustang is now 23 years old, going on 24

    Thats right, nearly 24 years old. Just by sheer age, the foxbody Mustang is getting more and more scarce. All of the cars that were totaled, all the cars that are now strictly race cars, the rust buckets, all the ones parted out and rotting away, etc. Figure at least 1/4 of the cars succumbed to one of the above fates.

#2 Foxes are being exported daily

This is a fairly new phenomenon that I've come to realize. Many countries like Kuwait, Venezuela, UAE, and so on have a huge fox body Mustang fanbase. Especially the owners in the UAE that have plenty of cash to throw at a clean, low mile foxbody Mustang. I get messages everyday from people from those areas asking if I know of any cars for sale. They spend the bucks, and are buying super low mile foxes by the dozen.

#3 The value is going up due to reason #1 and reason #2

Supply and demand is econ 101. You simply can't argue with it. The less there is of something, the more valuable it is. Sure, there are a good bit of shitbox foxes out there, I am not referring to those cars. I am talking honest foxes, survivors, unmolested examples. Be ready to spend 8-10k for a fairly stock, fairly clean LX hatch or GT. Notchback? Plan on 10-12k depending on colors and condition. Add in black interior, rare colors like Reef Blue or Bimini Blue, and the price continues to climb.

#4 Older guys are leaving their GT500s, and coming back to a foxbody Mustang

The generation of Mustang guys that cut their teeth on a fox in 80's and 90's are abandoning their newer cars for the simplicity of a fox body Mustang. They are also becoming more nostalgic about their younger hot rod days, when they ran 13s in their new '87 notch. I get the messages every single day, from guys who can certainly afford whatever car they want, but are looking to get back into a clean fox. Simplicity is a wonderful thing these days, and many guys get tired of all the extra garbage on new cars that they simply don't want.

#5 The aftermarket is hotter than it's ever been

    As new models continue to roll out, many aftermarket manufacturers move on to the latest and greatest. That isn't true for the fox body Mustang. Almost daily I see killer new performance and resto parts come out for the 79-93 Mustangs. This is very appealing to someone looking to totally restore, or restomod a foxbody. Many cars from the same era have little to no parts out there, especially for restoration.

    So there you have it. The winds of change are blowing, and I predict the cars will continue to get harder to find in nice examples, and quite a bit more expensive. Get yours while the gettin' is good.