Fox 1989 LX complete restoration - the long slow project car

BP Builds

Member
Feb 27, 2020
19
9
13
Connecticut
www.youtube.com
Hello everyone, long time reader, first time poster here. As with many of you, I've always loved working on cars, and loved the look of the Foxbody Mustang.

I recently picked up this "semi" clean '89 LX. There is rust in the quarter panels, but the shock towers and floor plan and other usual places are clean. No, its a 2.3. Yes, its a 5 speed. As you probably already know, 5.0 foxbody are getting very high in price, and they are either heavily modded, or beat up like a racecar. 2.3 'stangs are cleaner andmore affordable.

My plans for this are:
-complete revival of the body - welding/ body work/ paint, whatever is needed - looks like it was side swipped at some point in its life.
-Complete interior teardown and restoration
- V8 Swap -I've done engine swaps before, but this would be my first Ford. Leaning towards a EFI 302, but I could be convinced otherwise.
-Rear End Swap - have to do 8.8 rear end anyways for the 5.0, might as well upgrade to SN-95 rear end and brakes.

Right now I'm planning on running the 2.3 T5, I read stories about how they handle the 5.0 no problem, and read stories where they don't. I'll use a low gear in the rear to compensate for the short first gear in the tranny. This is a 3rd car for me, and I'm in no rush to get it finished in any sort of hurried manner, so I apologize if my updates are few and far between. This is a budget build, but that being said, I have no problem waiting and saving for the right parts if they help me reach my goals.
IMG-2249.JPG



Thanks for reading! Oh and some buddies and I are trying the whole youtube thing out, so whenever I have anything worthy of posting i'll show you guys some video.
 
Last edited:
  • Sponsors(?)


eighty5fox

Well-Known Member
Sep 29, 2016
224
234
63
31
mass
Looks like a good starting point. Take your time and it will all work out. I see you are from CT if you want I will give you a 89 block has all internals. Its just in my garage wasting space. Im in Mass but you cant beat the price of free lol
 
  • Like
Reactions: JD08

BP Builds

Member
Feb 27, 2020
19
9
13
Connecticut
www.youtube.com
Looks like a good starting point. Take your time and it will all work out. I see you are from CT if you want I will give you a 89 block has all internals. Its just in my garage wasting space. Im in Mass but you cant beat the price of free lol
Wow thanks! If you’re serious then yes, absolutely. Maybe in a little bit after all this craziness in the word dies down.
 
  • Agree
Reactions: Olivethefet

Gravydog

dripping from every hole
Oct 6, 2019
137
305
73
43
Canton Ohio
That looks like a pretty good starting point, my car has a 2.3 t5 in it right now, I have no idea how long it's been in there, but it seems to be doing fine.
 

eighty5fox

Well-Known Member
Sep 29, 2016
224
234
63
31
mass
Absolutely just want it gone no charge. I agree when this mess is behind us just send me a pm when or if you decide to.
 
  • Like
Reactions: BP Builds

BP Builds

Member
Feb 27, 2020
19
9
13
Connecticut
www.youtube.com
Started some investigating on the body this week. Turns out the paint is NOT original. I'm not sure if this was a full blown rattle can deal, or if the PO got the super budget package from Maaco. I tried to polish the paint to bring back some shine - my goal is to have the paint looking like a new car. But there really wasn't much of a difference. so I bought some 1500 grit (the finest my local auto parts store had) and did some wet sanding. Immediately the water turned pink, indicating to me there was practically no clear coat.

So I'm thinking now I'll order some 5000 grit from the internet, but it that fails, she may need a whole respray (after body work of course). Also, its probably time to order a history report to see how many accidents she's been in. Who do you guys like for Reports? I've had good luck in the past with checkthatvin.com.

Thanks for reading!
 

Attachments

Steel1

Mustang Master
Aug 18, 2017
1,015
446
113
50
Connecticut
Either the water turned pink because you cut through the clear coat , however thin it may be,
or it's a single stage paint, without clear coat. Although from the pics it looks like it has some clear ?
Where in CT ?
I'm in the New Haven area.
 

BP Builds

Member
Feb 27, 2020
19
9
13
Connecticut
www.youtube.com
Either the water turned pink because you cut through the clear coat , however thin it may be,
or it's a single stage paint, without clear coat. Although from the pics it looks like it has some clear ?
Where in CT ?
I'm in the New Haven area.
Yeah, I’m pretty sure its a rustoleum special. Which means lots more body work for me!
Not too far from there, I’m in the New London area.
 

90sickfox

I didn't really have an issue with the stink...
SN Certified Technician
Mar 2, 2015
5,319
4,360
203
42
Maaco single stage turns out just like yours. They also overspray on everything.
 

BP Builds

Member
Feb 27, 2020
19
9
13
Connecticut
www.youtube.com
I started tearing out the dash and the interior so that I could confirm what i had hoped when i bought her, that the floor pan was good. And it was! See pics below. The only rust is inside the seat mounting cross rails and a little by the rear quarter panels. Not so bad. And Ive been wanted to try out something I read on the internet, where you wash the carpet in a large washing machine and it comes out looking nearly brand new.

Unfortunately, for reasons i don't understand, the insulation under the carpet on both the drivers side and passengers was sopping wet. It didn't smell like coolant or anything, just dirty water. This mustang has been stored in my garage since i bought it in February, and the only thing i can think of is that water got in when i pressure washed her a month ago. But i mean, this was so so wet, and it confuses me. But I'm planning on replacing all the weather strips and seals anyways, so i guess its ok.

Also, i got a part that is critical to this restoration
4D7D224F-D880-48A1-A5AD-7C5EDEF8B49A.jpeg
F13327C4-BBF1-4369-8B07-6F8C37E940C1.jpeg
0920978B-50E0-4C88-9B7F-C72CA27F9E8A.jpeg
1E7BA660-254D-4CC5-B9C5-DE001BC0E2C7.jpeg
 

Mustang5L5

i'm familiar with penetration
Mod Dude
Feb 18, 2001
33,105
9,237
224
Massachusetts
That's not the original radio for a Mustang.

That's a 87-89 Lincoln Mark 7 head unit. Should say E8LF-19B165-AB on the side somewhere
 

90sickfox

I didn't really have an issue with the stink...
SN Certified Technician
Mar 2, 2015
5,319
4,360
203
42
I don't know if you have yet...but check the cowl...under the plastic cover. In my thread I'll be showing how to use screen to cover the area under the vent...and over the air intake horn on the passenger side. That intake horn is the favorite way for vermin to get inside the car.
 

BP Builds

Member
Feb 27, 2020
19
9
13
Connecticut
www.youtube.com
Check your heater core.
Thanks for the suggestion! I don't think its that since it did not at all smell like coolant. However i will probably be removing the heater core at some point anyways to make swapping the wiring easier when i do my 5.0 and to flush the heater core.

That's not the original radio for a Mustang.

That's a 87-89 Lincoln Mark 7 head unit. Should say E8LF-19B165-AB on the side somewhere
Itll still fit though though right? Just have to get the right wiring harness.

I don't know if you have yet...but check the cowl...under the plastic cover. In my thread I'll be showing how to use screen to cover the area under the vent...and over the air intake horn on the passenger side. That intake horn is the favorite way for vermin to get inside the car.
Thanks, ill be watching your thread for sure. That sounds a lot more likely than door seals leaking and the water running down to the foot wells.
 

Mustang5L5

i'm familiar with penetration
Mod Dude
Feb 18, 2001
33,105
9,237
224
Massachusetts
The mark7 lacks the provision on the bottom plate to mount the coin tray. Not exsctky a direct replacement.
 

BP Builds

Member
Feb 27, 2020
19
9
13
Connecticut
www.youtube.com
Project update.
I'm taking off all the trim to prep her for paint. But i'm stuck on what to do with the quarter glass. The molding around mine is torn away. Seems like everyone here uses a high build primer, sands, and paints it like new. Is there another option for me besides replacing the whole window?
 

Attachments

BlakeusMaximus

Still got to try a little lube on my speedo head
Jul 12, 2017
2,006
1,127
163
There’s no way to fix that. Not that hard to replace. There’s 9 bolts and then butyl tape holding them in. Used ones pop up on eBay, kinda pricey.
 
Thread starter Similar threads Forum Replies Date
Mstng93SSP SOLD Complete dash harness out of a 1989 5.0 mustang Interior Exterior Parts 5
JchamperIII 1989 Aod To T5 Swap Complete. Having Issues Getting Into First. Help Needed! Fox 5.0 Mustang Tech 6
S Electrical wiper problem 1989 LX Fox 5.0 Mustang Tech 10
M Drivetrain Going from T5 to 1996 truck 4r70w 1989 GT Fox 5.0 Mustang Tech 8
C Rebuilding my 1989 mustang GT 1979 - 1995 (Fox, SN95.0, & 2.3L) -General/Talk- 13
C What's it Worth? 1989 LX 5.0 Coupe What is it Worth?!?!? 3
MikeR351w 1989 Mustang Carb conversion, need pics. Fox Engine Swaparoo 0
M Please help 1989 GT Hatchback.I can not find an L.E.D.smoked 3rd taillight. The Welcome Wagon 4
J 1989 lx mustang help 1979 - 1995 (Fox, SN95.0, & 2.3L) -General/Talk- 5
8 General 3g alternator upgrade on 1989 AscMclaren mustang. Special Production 2
1989FoxBro 1989 5.0, Awful squeaking/whining noise because of no PCV System? Fox 5.0 Mustang Tech 12
7 Need 1988-90 lx body parts passenger door and maybe passenger fender ? My paint code is 7n thanks The Welcome Wagon 12
M Brakes Does anyone know specific casting numbers on 1989 GT O.E. Calipers? Fox 5.0 Mustang Tech 11
C For Sale 1989 lx hatch 5000 Fox Body Mustangs For Sale (1979-93) 0
C 1989 mustang GT smoking white Fox 5.0 Mustang Tech 7
S 1989 Foxbody Project - For Sale Fox Body Mustangs For Sale (1979-93) 0
EarnhartBuilt For Sale 193 Original Miles on this RARE Barn Find 1989 Ford Mustang LX 5.0 Convertible Fox Body Mustangs For Sale (1979-93) 1
G For Sale 1989 5.0 mustang turbocharged Fox Body Mustangs For Sale (1979-93) 3
M 1998 explorer 302 into 1989 car.... 1979 - 1995 (Fox, SN95.0, & 2.3L) -General/Talk- 3
M New member - Mike - 1989 GT Convertible The Welcome Wagon 3
Y My new ‘89 LX Conv 5.0 The Welcome Wagon 2
L Engine Constant ticking/clicking noise 1989 Mustsng GT Fox 5.0 Mustang Tech 2
Rusty327 1989 Mustang GT convertible Fox 5.0 Mustang Tech 10
G Interior and Upholstery 1987-1989 Coupe rear seats 1979 - 1995 (Fox, SN95.0, & 2.3L) -General/Talk- 2
M Does anyone know what the hole to the left of the oil pressure sender is for?? 1979 - 1995 (Fox, SN95.0, & 2.3L) -General/Talk- 6
K Brake switch 1989 fox 1979 - 1995 (Fox, SN95.0, & 2.3L) -General/Talk- 2
M Low Fuel Pressure 1989 LX 5.0 Fox 5.0 Mustang Tech 14
C Considering rebuilding my 1989 mustang GT 302 1979 - 1995 (Fox, SN95.0, & 2.3L) -General/Talk- 12
C Fox Will these rims work on my 1989 mustang? 1979 - 1995 (Fox, SN95.0, & 2.3L) -General/Talk- 0
8 1989 347 stroker motor starting issue Fox 5.0 Mustang Tech 7
M 1989 Mustang LX 5.0 engine problem Fox 5.0 Mustang Tech 22
stang89bidges SOLD 1989 Mustang GT 5.0 Black, Hatchback, T5, DFW Texas Fox Body Mustangs For Sale (1979-93) 8
C New member with 1989 Mustang Fox 5.0 Mustang Tech 3
J 1989 wont start after motor swap Fox 5.0 Mustang Tech 79
8 Engine 1989 turbo mustang Fox 5.0 Mustang Tech 5
E Fox 1989 GT wiring 1979 - 1995 (Fox, SN95.0, & 2.3L) -General/Talk- 6
E 1989 stiff clutch Fox 5.0 Mustang Tech 7
S Engine 1989 mustnag efi to holly sniper swap Fox 5.0 Mustang Tech 19
W 1989 CFD special edition random stall? Fox 5.0 Mustang Tech 10
M 1983 engine going into 1989 mustang lx 2.3L (N/A & Turbo) Tech 4
J Engine 1989 Gt vert stock heads valve spring help Fox 5.0 Mustang Tech 1
T 1989 5.0 GT smoke out tail pipe issue. 1979 - 1995 (Fox, SN95.0, & 2.3L) -General/Talk- 5
S Engine 1989 mustang gt wont start when reseting the key switch Fox 5.0 Mustang Tech 11
R 1989 Ford Mustang GT Stock all the way Fox 5.0 Mustang Tech 4
C New to Fox body help needed Fox 5.0 Mustang Tech 5
R Electrical 1989 gt 5.0 pops thru intake on hard accell, hot or cold, runs good if easy on throttle ???\ Fox 5.0 Mustang Tech 2
K Fox 1989-looking for the best camshaft 1979 - 1995 (Fox, SN95.0, & 2.3L) -General/Talk- 1
R Engine 1989 LX - Engine Trouble Noise & Rich - Help Appreciated Fox 5.0 Mustang Tech 8
S Engine 1989 347 stroker Fox 5.0 Mustang Tech 2
R 1989 Ford Mustang GT 1979 - 1995 (Fox, SN95.0, & 2.3L) -General/Talk- 1
Similar threads