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Thread: I bought a $500 fox body...

  1. #1
    Come at me bro! ChillPhatCat's Avatar

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    I bought a $500 fox body...

    Cliffs: I bought a shitty mustang that has almost no rust and it actually runs and moves under its own power.


    So I found this 30 year old heap on Facebook... have been looking for something with a drop top that didn’t suck as bad as a Siebring... well for some reason I have always had a soft spot for these pieces of crap so I went and looked at it. I also missed my ‘00 GT which was the last moderately quick car I owned before kids and a sensible SUV.

    There is zero rust on the body and the chassis, only some surface rust on the crossmembers and replaceable bits. Drivers door was replaced with a piece of crap which has a huge dent because the original door had a huge dent (It came with the original as well which looks better). It has the 2.3L four and a 5 speed manual, and it was advertised as not running. I figured no big loss if it was shot. However the oil and coolant all looked good and it moved freely by hand no problem (no battery to turn it over). The guy said his son told him some switch under the drivers seat was bad. It has 98k believable miles and it supposedly came from Florida (also believable).

    Anyway, I offered him $500 and he said he had a higher offer sight unseen but he’d give me a call if that fell through (was listed at $1k). I got a call a few hours later and he said it’s mine. So the next day I went out with a battery, discovered that a vast majority of the electronics worked and that it cranked no problem. I gave him the money and a couple days later after I got it some tags, I called up my local roadside assistance guy to help me tow my car that wouldn’t start... and said I would need a flatbed. The guy was cool and liked the car. Gave him a $20 tip.

    Turns out the son was right and a $17 fuel pump relay was all it needed to run... and some fresh gas.

    Brakes are shot (calipers rusted tight) and it probably needs an ignition switch. And the top is ripped and the rear window was busted out. So I’ve got $500 worth of parts in my garage now to fix those problems. Clutch and transmission seem good from my very short test drive. It was cheap enough that the wife just laughs at it, so I didn’t get in any trouble there.
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  2. #2
    4 banger vert, whole bunch of meh.

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    Come at me bro! ChillPhatCat's Avatar

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    Yep there’s a lot of meh there. There is only one purpose for the car’s existence, putting down the top and enjoying your surroundings. I was also just looking for something cheap to wrench on. I won’t harp on potential, don’t care right now.

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    The Battery King of South Georgia SIK02SS's Avatar

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    honestly, that's not a bad deal at all

    Coyote swap and dumped flowmasters?

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    Registered Member zo6pilot's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by SIK02SS View Post
    honestly, that's not a bad deal at all

    Coyote swap and dumped flowmasters?
    Nah JY 5.3 and a couple Nagasaki nasti bois...

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by ChillPhatCat View Post
    Yep there’s a lot of meh there. There is only one purpose for the car’s existence, putting down the top and enjoying your surroundings. I was also just looking for something cheap to wrench on. I won’t harp on potential, don’t care right now.
    I just can't stand fox body verts the engine swap is fine

  7. #7
    The Sax of Cars Anewconvert's Avatar

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    Boost or LS swap is the only right answer

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    Registered Member NHRATA01's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by Anewconvert View Post
    Boost or LS swap is the only right answer
    For being the sax of cars you're making a lot of sense here triangle piston lover.

  9. #9
    The Sax of Cars Anewconvert's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by NHRATA01 View Post
    For being the sax of cars you're making a lot of sense here triangle piston lover.
    Broken clock and all

    Another option if you are real cool is a built single rotor with a lot of boost

  10. #10
    Come at me bro! ChillPhatCat's Avatar

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    Forged pistons and rods are in the back of my mind and maybe 20 psi. It’s real cheap to build the 2.3 for decent power. But yeah it will also fit a dozen V8s. It’s a toss up. I fully recognize that not everybody likes these cars. Not offended.

  11. #11
    The Sax of Cars Anewconvert's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by ChillPhatCat View Post
    Forged pistons and rods are in the back of my mind and maybe 20 psi. It’s real cheap to build the 2.3 for decent power. But yeah it will also fit a dozen V8s. It’s a toss up. I fully recognize that not everybody likes these cars. Not offended.
    2.3L is super inexpensive up to 400ish Hpand will take a beating. The head becomes a choke point early on iirc

  12. #12
    Twerkin 4 dat BigMac Roger Z06's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by Anewconvert View Post
    Broken clock and all

    Another option if you are real cool is a built single rotor with a lot of boost
    A single rotor?

    Get out of here. 13/20b or Get The Fuck

    Like dude that brew swapped a c5z

    Goat.

  13. #13
    underdog 4 lyfe ill deuce's Avatar

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    you bought the flexiest car ever.

    2.3 ecoboost/auto swap.

  14. #14
    Please go jeffrey Dr WeatherBoner's Avatar

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    teriyaki tornadoes or gtfo

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    Oh no you didn't!!!!!! numbZ's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by ill deuce View Post
    you bought the flexiest car ever.

    2.3 ecoboost/auto swap.
    I had a vert fox and fabbed up SFCs that I welded to the front and rear SF. I also had a cross brace welded to the SFC main tubes that attached to the seat bolts. It eliminated ALL flex.

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    This is a fun, inexpensive car that will provide many smiles.

    I have owned a number of convertibles over the years and there is nothing like cruising with the top down and either watching the sun rise or set. Driving with no place to go, just to go for the drive.

  17. #17
    Registered Member Potent68's Avatar

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    I imagine that chassis is worse than a wet noodle being a convertible, but for that price you can't go wrong!

  18. #18
    The Sax of Cars Anewconvert's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Z06 View Post
    A single rotor?

    Get out of here. 13/20b or Get The Fuck

    Like dude that brew swapped a c5z

    Goat.
    You are only cool if you can make 300hp on a single rotor. True story.

  19. #19
    Come at me bro! ChillPhatCat's Avatar

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    Yeah it’s definitely getting SFC’s any way I go. However there is a full length L-channel steel beam that runs the length of the rocker panels and a couple cross braces to the K-member so Ford did at least make an attempt.

  20. #20
    Registered Member runningmole's Avatar

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    Should be fun to toy with. There's a hideous blue coupe for $1500 near, but no garage & I just shouldn't

  21. #21
    Registered Member AlmostFamous's Avatar

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    If you’re wanting to do a value build, you can’t beat the 5.0L’s out of the explorer/mountaineers with the GT40 heads and intake. You can get a fairly low mileage example for around $500.

  22. #22
    Come at me bro! ChillPhatCat's Avatar

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    We shall see. In addition to an engine I also need to source an 8.8 rear end, the 8.5 inch clutch will have to go and the transmission will need a little beefing up... or a properly built AOD dropped in. If I go V8 it’s going to be carbed, which cuts down tremendously on the amount needed from a donor GT... But of course the turbo will blow out that clutch and rear end equally fast, it just has an advantage that I can actually use the existing block and rewiring is pretty simple.

    But first I’m concentrating at making it right. Tomorrow I’m pulling interior pieces out and assessing the difficulty of the convertible top replacement. I’ve got the new one in the garage, an electric staple gun, about 1200 staples, 2 days of good weather ahead, and a bunch of YouTube videos under my belt.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ChillPhatCat View Post
    Yeah it’s definitely getting SFC’s any way I go. However there is a full length L-channel steel beam that runs the length of the rocker panels and a couple cross braces to the K-member so Ford did at least make an attempt.
    I know the earlier Fox bodied 'verts started as coupes and ASC cut the roof off, maybe 83-87?

    Make sure all the rivets are in place and not loose, usually not an issue on 4 cyl cars.

    Installing convertible tops are usually pretty straight forward. I have done a couple, just take your time.

  24. #24
    Twerkin 4 dat BigMac Roger Z06's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by Anewconvert View Post
    You are only cool if you can make 300hp on a single rotor. True story.

  25. #25
    Come at me bro! ChillPhatCat's Avatar

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    A teaser of the top thatís going on. Took out the rear window frame today. Loosened up a bunch of bolts and some other prep for tomorrow. The interim drivers door is just an embarrassment. Not posting a full pic of that side until I can get the color matching one back on. Pic of the back of my kidsí head too.
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  26. #26
    Registered Member mogs01gt's Avatar

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    460 swap

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    Team Hobbit windham's Avatar

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    I would just go with the easiest swap which is 302. It will feel like a top fuel dragster compared to that anemic 4 cylinder and the aftermarket is huge. Build it early 90s era correct, get the e303 cam, GT40 heads and intake, put a strong rear end with 4.10 gears. You won't break the bank, won't be the fastest on the streets, but it will put a grin on your face.

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    How did the the top turn out?

  29. #29
    Come at me bro! ChillPhatCat's Avatar

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    The old one is all unbolted. Pulling staples now. Various chores slowing me down.

  30. #30
    Does the ashtray lid work?

  31. #31
    Registered Member AlmostFamous's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by windham View Post
    I would just go with the easiest swap which is 302. It will feel like a top fuel dragster compared to that anemic 4 cylinder and the aftermarket is huge. Build it early 90s era correct, get the e303 cam, GT40 heads and intake, put a strong rear end with 4.10 gears. You won't break the bank, won't be the fastest on the streets, but it will put a grin on your face.
    I agree, that’s the cheapest way to get to 275-300 horsepower to the wheels. Not big numbers in this era of cars but in a 3,000lb car, enough to keep up with most on the road. You’ll be running 12s. With the 5.0L’s out of the Explorers and Mountaineers, they come stock with the GT40 heads and intake, plus they tend to be lower mileage and unbeat/unmolested. When I was toying with getting a four eyed fox roller a couple years ago, I was seeing those 5.0L’s, complete engines, for $400-500 all day long.
    Last edited by AlmostFamous; 05-27-2019 at 10:21 PM.

  32. #32
    Oh no you didn't!!!!!! numbZ's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by ChillPhatCat View Post
    Yeah it’s definitely getting SFC’s any way I go. However there is a full length L-channel steel beam that runs the length of the rocker panels and a couple cross braces to the K-member so Ford did at least make an attempt.
    Ford didn't build those verts. It's a converted notch. The stamped steel L bracket is riveted weak shit.

  33. #33
    Come at me bro! ChillPhatCat's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by nathan View Post
    Does the ashtray lid work?
    It opens but one hinge is busted.

  34. #34
    Come at me bro! ChillPhatCat's Avatar

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    I got the middle of the top connected and a bit of the front, but my kid ended up getting a nasty gash on her leg and we spent a good amount of time in urgent care this afternoon. Next time it doesn’t rain I’ll try to finish it. The biggest sticking point point with replacing the top is pulling all the staples out of the rear mounts that go under the rear lid... They have twice as many staples as the rest of the top and harder to grasp.


    Quote Originally Posted by numbZ View Post
    Ford didn't build those verts. It's a converted notch. The stamped steel L bracket is riveted weak shit.
    Oh well, I didn’t figure it was worth much.

  35. #35
    Team Hobbit windham's Avatar

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    I hope your kid heals quickly.

  36. #36
    Come at me bro! ChillPhatCat's Avatar

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    Thanks. She was a real trooper. They ended up just bandaging so she could avoid stitches... back of the upper leg, not the worst place for a scar. She got bit by a sharp angular bracket holding the net on a trampoline when she got off it in the wrong spot... totally random.
    Last edited by ChillPhatCat; 05-29-2019 at 02:24 AM.

  37. #37
    Team Hobbit windham's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by ChillPhatCat View Post
    Thanks. She was a real trooper. They ended up just bandaging so she could avoid stitches... back of the upper leg, not the worst place for a scar. She got bit by a sharp angular bracket holding the net on a trampoline when she got off it in the wrong spot... totally random.
    Hopefully any scarring will diminish as she ages. When I was a kid I cut the top of my foot from one side to the other in a perfect straight line. It was so deep that the tissue pulled back and bone was exposed. I was told I would always have a scar but by the time I was in college you could barely see anything.

  38. #38
    How'd that get there? MOTRV8D's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by nathan View Post
    Does the ashtray lid work?
    Quote Originally Posted by ChillPhatCat View Post
    It opens but one hinge is busted.
    SELL SELL SELL!

  39. #39
    :flirt: SwollHottie's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by AlmostFamous View Post
    I agree, that’s the cheapest way to get to 275-300 horsepower to the wheels. Not big numbers in this era of cars but in a 3,000lb car, enough to keep up with most on the road. You’ll be running 12s. With the 5.0L’s out of the Explorers and Mountaineers, they come stock with the GT40 heads and intake, plus they tend to be lower mileage and unbeat/unmolested. When I was toying with getting a four eyed fox roller a couple years ago, I was seeing those 5.0L’s, complete engines, for $400-500 all day long.
    Can't you get a 4.8 lsx for like 500? A 4.8+ cam will murder a basic top end swapped 302.
    Last edited by SwollHottie; 06-02-2019 at 01:29 AM.

  40. #40
    underdog 4 lyfe ill deuce's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by SwollHottie View Post
    Can't you get a 4.8 lsx for like 500? A 4.8+ cam will murder a basic top end swapped 302.
    a full bolt on 4.8 will beat some of them.

  41. #41
    :flirt: SwollHottie's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by ill deuce View Post
    a full bolt on 4.8 will beat some of them.
    Hell, will an 02 ls1 cam fit in a 4.8? Probably a halfway decent upgrade and you can probably find one for free.

    Since that car will already require swapping everything that would be involved with a lsx swap, might as well go lsx and save money. I won't do it to mine, but mine is on the opposite end of the spectrum. Plus I'm a dork and think doing it full 90s style bolt on would be cool. I'll do it someday, I swear

  42. #42
    Team Hobbit windham's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by SwollHottie View Post
    Hell, will an 02 ls1 cam fit in a 4.8? Probably a halfway decent upgrade and you can probably find one for free.

    Since that car will already require swapping everything that would be involved with a lsx swap, might as well go lsx and save money. I won't do it to mine, but mine is on the opposite end of the spectrum. Plus I'm a dork and think doing it full 90s style bolt on would be cool. I'll do it someday, I swear
    If he isn't going to track the car, which it sounds like he won't, no way should he fool with al l the hassle of an LSx conversion. If he wants V8 sound and power the Ford 302 would be such an easier and probably cheaper job.

  43. #43
    Bugzapper gonna zap 5.0THIS's Avatar

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    The ford 302 is such a garbage engine, huge aftermarket or not. Why wouldn’t you do an engine swap.

  44. #44
    Come at me bro! ChillPhatCat's Avatar

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    Not there yet.

    I have the new top 90% of the way on. There’s no guidance on fitting the side curtains because this is a conversion from glass window to plastic window, so I had to tack it onto the tack strip, mostly install and after I got there I realized I need to pull them out and move the tack strip back about an inch... Then it should sit nice and tight. Then I just need to pull the front a little tighter and get the weatherstripping on. Looks way better and is now rainproof at least.
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  45. #45
    Team Hobbit windham's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by 5.0THIS View Post
    The ford 302 is such a garbage engine, huge aftermarket or not. Why wouldn’t you do an engine swap.
    Maybe garbage if you want to autox or be a serious dragstrip warrior. If you just want something fun and low cost the old school 5.0 in a foxbody is a low cost option and they were dependable for a long time if you didn't get crazy. A few simple mods would give him a 12 second car that he can drive in comfort for a long time. I don't know what's garbage about that.

  46. #46
    Team Hobbit windham's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by ChillPhatCat View Post
    Not there yet.

    I have the new top 90% of the way on. There’s no guidance on fitting the side curtains because this is a conversion from glass window to plastic window, so I had to tack it onto the tack strip, mostly install and after I got there I realized I need to pull them out and move the tack strip back about an inch... Then it should sit nice and tight. Then I just need to pull the front a little tighter and get the weatherstripping on. Looks way better and is now rainproof at least.
    I like how you parked it in a spot where the grass hadn't been mowed. It's like foreshadowing of it's coming future.

  47. #47
    Come at me bro! ChillPhatCat's Avatar

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    For reference this is the before.
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  48. #48
    Come at me bro! ChillPhatCat's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by windham View Post
    I like how you parked it in a spot where the grass hadn't been mowed. It's like foreshadowing of it's coming future.
    I mowed there a couple days before but it has been growing up around. That’s actually a gravel driveway that nature is trying to reclaim. I need to get a gravel delivery. I’m actually hoping that the car helps kill some of the vegetation. lol
    Last edited by ChillPhatCat; 06-02-2019 at 04:38 AM.

  49. #49
    Bugzapper gonna zap 5.0THIS's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by windham View Post
    Maybe garbage if you want to autox or be a serious dragstrip warrior. If you just want something fun and low cost the old school 5.0 in a foxbody is a low cost option and they were dependable for a long time if you didn't get crazy. A few simple mods would give him a 12 second car that he can drive in comfort for a long time. I don't know what's garbage about that.
    Compared to a junkyard lsx it’s an old shitty design that doesn’t do anything as well. No reason to ever start with a stock one nowadays and do anything with it unless you just want a stock 200hp old school V8.

  50. #50
    Team Hobbit windham's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by 5.0THIS View Post
    Compared to a junkyard lsx it’s an old shitty design that doesn’t do anything as well. No reason to ever start with a stock one nowadays and do anything with it unless you just want a stock 200hp old school V8.
    You are acting like it's just as cheap and easy to drop in the GM LS engine vs. putting in a V8 that was designed for the car.

  51. #51
    Come at me bro! ChillPhatCat's Avatar

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    Currently it’s just going to stay as a 90 hp snarling breast. I am very partial to the sound of a Ford V8 however... maybe it needs a 4.6?

  52. #52
    :flirt: SwollHottie's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by windham View Post
    You are acting like it's just as cheap and easy to drop in the GM LS engine vs. putting in a V8 that was designed for the car.
    It's currently a 4 banger, not a v8. Either a sbf or a lsx will require a swap kit. It's not much difference in work due to that. Your point would only be valid if it was already a v8 car, and it isn't.

    A lsx fits in pretty much anything without issue. They're physically small. That's why they end up swapped into everything instead of hemis and coyotes (both of which are also littering up junkyards due to wrecked trucks).

    Since he already has to acquire a new engine and a swap kit, might as well start with a much superior engine. Even for just a basic driver, a cheapass 4.8 lsx is going to outperform a top end swapped 5.0 sbf, by a large margin, while having a much stronger block... And is going to cost less than just the parts you'd need for a 302 you already owned.

  53. #53
    How'd that get there? MOTRV8D's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by ChillPhatCat View Post
    Currently itís just going to stay as a 90 hp snarling breast. I am very partial to the sound of a Ford V8 however... maybe it needs a 4.6?
    Donít forget the 122 ft lbs of massive torque. You could use it to pull tree stumps.

  54. #54
    :flirt: SwollHottie's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by ChillPhatCat View Post
    Currently it’s just going to stay as a 90 hp snarling breast. I am very partial to the sound of a Ford V8 however... maybe it needs a 4.6?
    A 4.6 is physically huge. If you're going to deal with that, don't be a dipshit and just start with a coyote. One from a wrecked f150 can't be that expensive.
    Last edited by SwollHottie; 06-02-2019 at 09:42 PM.

  55. #55
    Registered Member runningmole's Avatar

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    3V

  56. #56
    #ItsMikeD Lucius Clay's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by SwollHottie View Post
    A 4.6 is physically huge. If you're going to deal with that, don't be a dipshit and just start with a coyote. One from a wrecked f150 can't be that expensive.


    It would be about the same cost.

    Or go junkyard 5.3

  57. #57
    Whataburger > * Dr Griswold's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by runningmole View Post
    3V
    Nothing but the finest

  58. #58
    Come at me bro! ChillPhatCat's Avatar

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    Not actually considering a modular motor. It’s pretty much drop in a Windsor block or slap a turbo on the 2.3 and all that goes with it, or drop in a turbo 2.3 from an SC. Sub 3000 lbs (2700-2800 right now theoretically), 300 hp and gears and this thing will provide a good kick in the pants. But I don’t ultimately need this thing burning up the drag strip... mostly looking for something fun to drive and take the wife out in when we can con people into watching the children.

  59. #59
    Bugzapper gonna zap 5.0THIS's Avatar

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    A cammed 5.3 junkyard motor with a carb manifold and distributor would still probably be the cheapest and most effective swap.

  60. #60
    Registered Member mogs01gt's Avatar

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    460!! port the heads, cam and some nitrous. 10 second car, well until the rear end blows out

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