1983 gt build

Jul 23, 2018
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#1
Im 15. My dad and i restore a lot of cars together. He has a super custom mercury cougar 1967. A 1970 scj mustang. Also a 1939 pontiac woody. A 2006 f-150 roush. Also he is building a newer foxbody with a twin turbo charged 351. Anyway he has always had this car in his barn. It was hos freibds it broke and it sat in his lawn for year. It has not been inspected since 1998 20 years. It is extremely rotted. Its been in the basement of our barn for 14 years. Ive always wanted to fix it and he finally gave it to me. Im gonna do it this summer. Anyway you can look at the pictures. I need some doors if anyone in MA has some. I also need a 5 speed transmission
 

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Jul 23, 2018
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95BlueStallion

You drunk?
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Feb 22, 2007
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#4
Welcome. You sure have your work cut out for you! If you can restore that, then you have a bright future in car building. If you are not already aware, cut some access holes in the front frame rail where it meets the strut tower and look inside for rot. Based on the what I see, that may be a hidden trouble area on that car, and I had to fix it on my car when the rest of the car looks rust free.
 
Jul 23, 2018
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Welcome. You sure have your work cut out for you! If you can restore that, then you have a bright future in car building. If you are not already aware, cut some access holes in the front frame rail where it meets the strut tower and look inside for rot. Based on the what I see, that may be a hidden trouble area on that car, and I had to fix it on my car when the rest of the car looks rust free.
Ok I will have to do that. my mom has a shortblock 302. Brand new. I think I might do a motor swap so I will look then.
Thanks
Chris
 

95BlueStallion

You drunk?
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Feb 22, 2007
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#6
Yeah, it would be nearly impossible to access with the engine still in the car. Have any of your old projects had as much rust as this GT? It looks pretty daunting to me. Another “hidden” area to look for is the base of the windshield under the fenders. Several have found rot there as well without knowing until taking a fender off to hide engine bay wires.
 

BlakeusMaximus

Mustang Master
Jul 12, 2017
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#7
Looks like you definitely have some work ahead of you. You might want to take a look at that car up on a lift and see what the underside looks like. Check the shock towers, floors, rockers for rust. Look over that whole car really well inside and out and see if its really something you want to get into repairing. Just my .02. Not sure I would get into that man.
 
Feb 18, 2001
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#8
You are definitely going to need to check those strut towers. I'd do this before putting any work into the car. Being from MA also I've seen these cars rot out just from sitting for years.

Drivers side strut tower usually gets it the worse. A little brake fluid seems to accelerate the problem. I see a few areas around the MC and below that look troubling. Depending on how bad it is, the car may be just scrap metal at this point. Hopefully not.

But I commend you for taking on the project at 15. def keep us updated
 
Jul 23, 2018
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I know it is bad. I want a foxbody hatchback. I want to build a race car. I felt bad for this car as it is pretty much dead. I want to see it move under its own power again. None of the other cars have this must rust they are all perfect. This car is going to take a lot of work and love which know one would probably give to it except me. I will defiantly keep you guys updated. Like I said though I can only do one part a week I made a deal with my dad but this summer is going to be this car so I will update probably daily. If I help him with his cars he will give me epoxy primer to paint the car with once I grind and fix the rot. That stuff never rusts.
 
Jul 23, 2018
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Sorry no update for this week. I sandblasted the hood latch parts but did not get them painted. That might happen next week. Also does anyone know how to open a locked door. The drivers door is locked and my dad never got keys. If the electric lock doesn't work what should i do to open it? Thanks!
Chris
 
Feb 18, 2001
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#11
Also does anyone know how to open a locked door. The drivers door is locked and my dad never got keys. If the electric lock doesn't work what should i do to open it? Thanks!
Chris
Sounds like the lock actuator is seized which is physically holding the door lock shut.

You can try slipping a thin screwdriver in from the outside under the door handle and pry up on the door lock pin. It should move easily. If not, the actuator is seized shut and the process becomes a bit more tricky.
 

General karthief

wonder how much it would cost to ship you a pair
Mod Dude
Aug 25, 2016
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#12
If the lock plunger is frozen you could try unscrewing the top on the lock rod on top of the door, grab it with a small vice grip pliers and pull up, you may be able to force the lock rod up enough to open the door, if not the easiest way to open the door would be to pull the drivers seat out so you can take the door panel off and take the door lock actuator off its hanger.
have you tried to jump the actuator?
 

90sickfox

I didn't really have an issue with the stink...
SN Certified Technician
Mar 2, 2015
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#13
There hace been a few I had to grab the lock knob with vice grips. Pulling the panel is a sure fire way to not damage anything unlocking the door.

If the door won't unlock manually you can pop the lock actuator out of its holding bracket. It's just a white plastic bracket. It holds rubber grommets that hold the actuator. Push down on it and it'll come loose....wd40 or PB blaster helps.

On my current car the locks were stuck. I removed both actuators and brackets....now doors unlock and lock manually. I'll salvage some actuators from some Fords out in the JY eventually. Not a big fan of remans.
 
Feb 28, 2003
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#14
This car has a lot of rust in a lot of areas that are more involved fixes. I have never seen an a-pillar rust like that on these cars. With that said, if you already have the right tools, it would be a great car to learn the skills if you are interested in body work. I would suggest not spending too much money. Just learn the repairs and see how it comes out. If it is looking good, maybe then you spend some money. You are going to have a lot of cutting and welding, but I've seen people restore much worse.
 
Jul 23, 2018
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Sorry for delay. I will be taking the seats out tomorrow. I will have better pics of the floors. The hatch trunk floors are mint! I checked the last week. Not sure which way to go. Should I make it a 79 gt or a 87 lx?
Thanks
Chris
 

General karthief

wonder how much it would cost to ship you a pair
Mod Dude
Aug 25, 2016
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#16
It's an 83 gt, why change it?
not that many around, besides it's worth more keeping as it's supposed to be, a 83 gt ain't worth crap disguised as a 87lx
 
Jul 2, 2017
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#17
Agree with the others here. Pull the car apart to a rolling shell and assess how bad it is. If you continue, take the repairs one at a time. Don't get overwhelmed if it needs a ton of work. It looks like the hardest part will be where the pillar meets the roof. I'm doing a '84 right now and it was rotted there too, but replaced the whole roof skin to fix things. Front floor pans are not too bad to do if it needs them and are fairly cheap. If you can cut, weld, and grind, you can bring that car back to life. Oh, keep the original front end on there too. Don't see too many of those any more.
 

Rdub6

Active Member
Dec 29, 2017
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#18
I bought an 86 already disguised as an aero (got a good deal from family). I definitely wish it was back to a four eye! Don’t mess with yours!
 
Jul 23, 2018
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#19
My nose and fenders are junk. I need a new one. The lx is free. I don’t have a lot of money. Maybe I can figure something out. Anyway here is an update
 

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