I bought a fox body, now what?

    If you are new to the fox body game, you may be feeling understandably lost. There is so much information, and mis-information out there in the vast seas of the internet. While every single car is different, and has different needs, we will try and frame up the best first steps in getting going with your fox body. 

#1 Fix what is broken: Being that the newest of these cars is 24 years old, there is bound to be something that needs replaced. Could be a window motor, control arm bushing, cracked headlight, bad door lock actuator, etc. Grab a note pad and look over every inch of the car, making notes along the way. Obviously safety items like brakes need to be addressed first. Check your ball joints, tie rods, and wheel bearings closely; make certain the car is safe. Again, every car is different, so if it came to you with a broken T5, you already know your first step. 

#2 Maintenance items: Especially if you don't have any history on the car, start with the basic items. Do an oil change (5 quarts) with a name brand oil and use a Motorcraft FL1A filter. Next up, change the transmission fluid. The T5 holds 5.6 pints of ATF. We like either the Castrol or Valvoline Max Life synthetic ATF in them, with the same fluid being used for an AOD (12.3 quarts). DO NOT USE GEAR OIL. If your car has an AOD, have a competent shop perform a flush on the trans, to get all of the old fluid out. Moving back, change the rear differential fluid using 80W90 gear oil, and four ounces of friction modifier. Inspect the coolant, brake fluid, and power steering as well. Any one of these can be in poor shape, but can also be flushed. When in doubt, change it out. All of these fluid exchanges will help prolong the components they lubricate, giving you some peace of mind. 

#3 Tune up items: Now we are really getting somewhere. Time to get the old girl back in shape, and running tip top. Here is how we do a tune up on a newly acquired fox: spark plugs, spark plug wires, distributor cap, rotor button,  PCV valve (remove and clean the screen underneath it with brake clean), fuel filter, and air filter (or clean the K&N). 

#4 Other adjustments: The next steps go a bit deeper. First thing is to check the timing, just to see where it is at. For staying stock, set it at 10 degrees with the spout connector out, for some extra ponies, bump it to 12-14 degrees, but be prepared to run a higher octane fuel. Next up is the TPS (throttle position sensor). With the engine running, check the voltage using the green wire, and grounding on the engine/body somewhere. Set the voltage as close to .98 as possible for optimum performance, while it can be tough to lock it there exactly, make it a point to stay under one volt. To make the adjustments, loosen the two screws and move the sensor around to change the voltage, it may be necessary to enlarge the holes slightly on the TPS, to get the required voltage reading. 

    With all of the above completed, you will have a strong performing fox body, that is ready for some additional upgrades. Just don't go throwing speed parts at a car in dire need of routine maintenance, you will most certainly regret it. This will also give you a solid foundation for knowing what has been done to the car, should you run into problems down the road. Knowing what is new, helps shorten diagnostic time. 

     For part two, we will get into the first mods for a stock fox body (if there is such a thing). 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

Run nines, GET CASH!

The NMRA Coyote Stock race to the nines is heating up in a big way! Back in March at the Spring Break Shootout, Darin Hendricks set the record with an insane 10.075! With Jacob Lamb and Drew Lyons hot on his tail, both running 10.14 respectively, the burning question now is who will make the very first nine-second pass, with a sealed coyote crate engine? With such tight competition, anyone could make this miracle happen!

To fan the flames, the guys over at UPR and PMAS have stepped up with additional payouts for whoever backs up a record setting pass in the nines, running UPR suspension and PMAS intake. Not only that, but Foxcast Media is throwing in an additional $100, as well as several other brands, and the NMRA has promised the cover of Race Pages Magazine to the magic man! The only question now: Who's it gonna be?

Here's how it works: UPR already pays $300 for a win, and $150 for runner up in Coyote Stock.

For the record pass:

 UPR $100

PMAS $100

Foxcast Media $100

Mod Motor Mustangs $200

Flow Tech Induction $100

NMRA $1 (and the cover of Race Pages Magazine)



Strap in tight, it's gonna get! CR

looking to buy a fox body mustang? Read this first!

    If I had a dollar for every email and message I get from people wanting to buy a fox body Mustang, I would be typing this post from my private island. Not even close to kidding. When I (as the commander in chief of Foxcast Media) can't tell them where a clean coupe is for sale, they seem justifiably bewildered. In all fairness, if anyone should know, it should be me. Truth be told, I really don't know many times. I will get owners letting me know cars are for sale here and there, but they sell fast, and I can't keep up. There are a lot of super nice cars out there for sale, but you're timing has to be perfect, you better have a fistful of Benjamin's, and be ready to travel. 

    The articles and videos on how to buy a fox body Mustang are a dime a dozen, I've read and watched all of them over the years. While they all had their good points, telling me that the ashtray doors tend to fail is leaning toward Captain Obvious. Yes, they tend to rust on the hatch area near the blue oval, and yes of course the driver seat will get the "lean". Noted. Being a bit frustrated with what is out there, I decided it was high time I took the bull by the horns and tackled this subject, Foxcast Media style. 

#1 Have a solid plan: When you go trotting off to buy anything, you have a specific purpose in mind, whether it's toilet paper or a lawnmower. You have to know what you want from the car. If you plan to build an all out race or show car, then you really don't need to worry about much other than the structural integrity of the car (i.e rust). Think about it: if the whole car is going to be gone through, who really cares that the rear main is gushing 5W30 faster than the Hoover dam. Your plan will tell you what matters and what doesn't. Not only that, but shortcomings in the car that don't matter to you, can also be used as negotiating tools to score a deal. Don't go divulging your evil plan until after the money has changed hands. 

Clean, survivor cars are pulling big coin these days. Be ready to pay for the honor of owning a mint foxbody Mustang.

#2 If you are going to be picky, be ready to shell out the cash: True story, I was contacted by a "serious" buyer looking for a Reef Blue notch with black interior. Yeah, me too! I had actually been made aware of one in Kentucky that was possibly for sale, and I put him in contact with the owner. The car was mint, and stock other than a five lug conversion and Bullitt wheels. Later that week we spoke again and he had passed on the car because the owner was asking too much. Here's the thing: they aren't making any more of these, and with a car like that, it is a sellers market. Be ready to pay for it. 

#3 Know your limitations:  If you are not very mechanically inclined, don't go buying a car with a big turbo and Dart 363. Even if the ad says the car needs nothing, you WILL be working on it. There are two limiting factors you have to take into account; the first is your ability to work on the car, or ability to pay someone else to work on it. Getting in over your head will not make for an enjoyable ownership experience. 

The trained eye can spot a low mile car. Tight seat bolsters, good leather on the steering wheel, pedals that aren't worn, stock radio, etc.

The trained eye can spot a low mile car. Tight seat bolsters, good leather on the steering wheel, pedals that aren't worn, stock radio, etc.

#4 Hunt, hunt, hunt: The trick to finding the right car is going to take some leg work. Be ready to pound the pavement and the keyboard for that perfect fox body Mustang. Ebay, Craigslist, Forums, Facebook, Autotrader, and others are good places to monitor daily. Car shows and cruises are ideal also, don't be afraid to inquire about a car, you never know if the owner is ready to move on. 

#5 Know what you are looking at: If you have been in the game for a while, then you know what to look for. If you haven't, take someone with you to look at a car. There is no shame in admitting you don't want to lose your hard earned greenbacks because the current owner got over on you. Ask for receipts, test the owner's knowledge, ask for time slips, look at the fluids, etc. If the seller tells you it has a 5k paint job but it looks like they painted over the bugs on the front bumper; run.  Engines are tough, as you can't see if the block was machined and it actually is a 347 stroker, and you have no way to tell if the heads have a thousand dollar port job. The right seller will have pictures, receipts, dyno numbers, time slips, etc. Trust but verify. 

    I will expand on this in future posts, but I hope this offers a solid basis for a good fox body Mustang buying experience. Have a plan for what you want to buy or build, know your limitations, search, and don't get screwed. Happy foxbody hunting! CR

Why bandwagon brands left the fox body mustang, and now want to come back.

    A new movement is fast on the rise, and gaining steam everyday. The movement is the fox body Mustang. Plain and simple, there just isn't anything like it. Look anywhere you want in the automotive sphere and it is pretty obvious. At shows, the races, everywhere: a clean fox body Mustang will draw larger crowds than a new GT350. Just facts, and trust me when I say I have tested that theory more than a few times. Which is not to say I don't enjoy the newer cars, and appreciate them for what they are, but they just aren't a fox. 

“From coyote swaps, to full suspensions, to built transmissions; fox owners aren’t just buying catch cans”

    To prove my point even more, there's the alternative foxbody that is also taking off in a big way. I have seen and wrote about several Fairmonts, LTDs, Thunderbirds, and so on that are getting coyote swaps, and full restorations. The "fox body" is not just the Mustang; it's a generation of several different cars that make up the most popular chassis to date. 

    Ever since FCM posted a few months ago about the top five reasons to buy a fox body now, several large publications have echoed the same points. Sure FCM is a small media company, but the larger organizations see the trend as well. With each passing generation of Mustang, many organizations left their reader base for the newer models. In a world of "right now" information and content, enthusiasts simply do not have to sift through cars they don't care to see, to get what they are looking for. Targeted and socially integrated media is the future, and we at FCM know this. 

Front to rear, top to bottom, fox body Mustang owners shell out big bucks to build their cars.

Front to rear, top to bottom, fox body Mustang owners shell out big bucks to build their cars.

    The aftermarket has done the same. Many brands have totally abandon the 87-93 cars thinking they should focus on newer cars. Big mistake. Let's be real here: some guy with a 2014 GT may buy a programmer and cold air intake, but a fox body Mustang  guy will buy a crate motor and built trans. Tell me again why you don't even carry fox parts? 

    Not only that, but the quality of parts is, for lack of a better word, crap. Companies selling off-brand parts that DO NOT WORK, and just expect us lowly owners to buy them, need a wake up call. We aren't buying your crap any longer. The fox body Mustang owners are grown now, with plenty of cash to spend on quality parts, and will spend it. On any given day I get messages from 3-4 new guys starting coyote swaps, wanting info and parts ideas. That doesn't even touch how many built 363 strokers, and total suspension restorations I see every single day. 

    The writing's on the wall, any brand who cranks out good quality parts for fox body Mustang owners will enjoy very loyal customers. Customers that aren't looking to buy catch cans, and billet oil caps. The messages we receive daily across our social media pages about who makes this, and where can I get this, and who works on foxes is all the proof we need. All those "latest and greatest" brands take note: WE WANT NEW PARTS.

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.


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.