93 fox 302 sbf rebuild

Sep 1, 2018
17
4
13
17
Montreal wisconsin
So my last foxbody was a 87 gt. Almost completely original, was forced to sell because of way to much rot. Was going to try and repair it but it was just to far gone. I was able to pick up a 93 drop top lx ( aod ) with about 149k. Cars about 90% rust free from what I see. Small section on passenger floor board that I’d like to repair And a small section by the gas tank latches. Car has headers, a/c delete, 140mph speedo, flowmasters, and x pipe. Also was told it has a impala spoiler, witch is quite different but don’t look terrible. Car runs and drives, just smokes a little bit. Sounds really strong. I managed to sell my gt for 2500$ and I bought this vert for 1600. I have a little over 900$ left over to drop into the Car and I want to rebuild the engine this summer. I’m having trouble finding standard bore pistons. Everything I see is either a 331 or 347 stroker kit. I don’t really have a whole lot to spend so I don’t want to be taking anything into a machine shop. And even if I did, there’s no shops in this area I’d trust with my engine. Everyone seems very “ half assed “. That’s why I’m looking to stay stock bore/stroke. Only thing I was able to find was the federal mogul rebuild kit. Wasn’t able to find any decent reviews on it. I just don’t want to order some cheap rebuild kit for my car, any help would be really appreciated. Below is the kit I was looking at...
Only big “ mods “ I really have planned are heads, cam, intake... definitely a t5 swap

https://www.summitracing.com/parts/fem-mhp173-000/make/ford
 
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95BlueStallion

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Rebuilding without at least honing the cylinder bores will be kinda silly. And you don’t really need new pistons to do a stock rebuild, just new piston rings. Only reason for new pistons would be if you wanted bigger valve reliefs for a more aggressive cam, or because you are boring the cylinders out.
 
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CarMichael Angelo

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If the engine has 149k on it, and " it smokes a little" it needs to be rebuilt. Getting out the ball hone, and throwing in a new set of rings is not the fix. The heads are probably just as suspect in this engines oil consumption as are worn out rings.

And,...although that looks like a really good kit,...There'd be no way in hell I'd buy standard bore stuff and put it in. Regardless of whether or not you want to avoid the machine shop, you'd have to go there to have the Pistons pressed on/off, the bore checked for taper ( which its gonna have) and at the very least have a valve job done on the heads.
 
Sep 1, 2018
17
4
13
17
Montreal wisconsin
If the engine has 149k on it, and " it smokes a little" it needs to be rebuilt.

Reason I’m trying to stay stock bore is because I’m in highschool, I’m on a super tight budget and I’m just trying to get my car sounding good and have it be reliable for Cheap. The car has been a project for a few years. Previous owner was doing all the body work and interior, was told he just drove it around the block every now and then to keep things moving. It was always parked in garage until last October, since then it’s been parked outside with a tarp on it. He hasn’t put any gas in it since then. So im positive I’m gonna have to pull the tank and clean into out.. the bad gas could be the reason it smokes a little right? And my apologies I know I’m going to end up sounding dumb to some of you guys, this is my first car build. I build and race a banshees and I’m More familiar with bikes and quads/ smaller engines. Really love foxbodys and just cars in general but starting to think I made a mistake buying another one. Just dont think I have Enough experience, and I certainly ain’t got the cash to throw away if i mess up. I have a video of the car running but don’t know how to post it. Thanks for the reply’s.
 
Sep 1, 2018
17
4
13
17
Montreal wisconsin
Rebuilding without at least honing the cylinder bores will be kinda silly. And you don’t really need new pistons to do a stock rebuild, just new piston rings. Only reason for new pistons would be if you wanted bigger valve reliefs for a more aggressive cam, or because you are boring the cylinders out.
Oh and the reason for me wanting new pistons isn’t just because I have read a lot of bad reviews about the 93+ hyper pistons. And with them car having 149k id just feel a lot better knowing it has new pistons. I already took into consideration I’d need a hone no doupt about it, I just don’t want to have any serious work done to my block, I don’t really have the extra money. I just want to freshen the car back up. Don’t care if it’s stock, I’ll still enjoy it.
 

CarMichael Angelo

Nobody appreciates me..I'm gonna cut my ear off
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Then if that's the case, start off right and do not waste money on a standard bore rebuild kit. Bad gas doesn't cause the engine to smoke the same color as oil does. Fuel burns black when it's not getting completely burned off. If the smoke is any color other than that, you have oil or water ( anti-freeze) getting burned instead
 
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Sep 1, 2018
17
4
13
17
Montreal wisconsin
Then if that's the case, start off right and do not waste money on a standard bore rebuild kit. Bad gas doesn't cause the engine to smoke the same color as oil does. Fuel burns black when it's not getting completely burned off. If the smoke is any color other than that, you have oil or water ( anti-freeze) getting burned instead

It’s white smoke, not black or blue. I was assuming it could Be sighs of the head gasket going out..? It don’t smoke a lot, just a little. But it’s enough for me to question it. So basically
- been sitting for 4 and a half months roughly
- only gets started maybe once or twice a week by previous owner
- hasn’t been driven to opperating temperatures since it was moved

What I was thinking was head gasket, or just moisture building up in the engine from it being so cold. Bad gas was on my mind but I forgot that it ain’t white smoke that indicates bad gas. Makes me a little nervous now. Really hope it ain’t nothing serious. All I got is 900$ left so if its gonna cost More than that I’m gonna have to sell my banshee and dirtbikes to fund This thing
 

Wayne Waldrep

Before I post a pic, do you have one of yours?
15 Year Member
Apr 14, 2003
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Cuba, AL
It's so hard to relate to a person in high school having the money to build bikes, quads, and cars. I had nothing in high school. I bought my first car for $1250 and that was very expensive to me. It was a 1975 Mustang II. I try to tell myself that my experiences don't necessarily compare to other people. Given that, here are my thoughts (all .02 cents worth). I personally am too picky to buy a pre-assembled kit on anything. Most of these kits do not have what I would pick for at least a few parts. Federal-Mogul is or was a reputable company. I don't have current experience with them but I always considered them in the same group as MOOG parts....good quality.
Next...This is just my opinion and may not be perfect for every situation but "rebuilding an engine" and "no machine shop work" don't go together. Again I understand the circumstances. But if you can't do it right then don't do it. Most of the time you end up with more headaches. A little smoke never hurt anything. I'm sure there are people who will comment that their car never smokes at all but I have yet to see a performance car that doesn't puff a little smoke now and then. My car certainly will smoke a touch if I hammer down on it. I'd say drive it while you are young and plan for down the road. These engines will run quite a long time while not being in perfect condition. You don't sound like you are just throwing money at a project for the fun of it but if you are, then, by all means, rip it apart and have fun. Just do it correctly as well.
 
Sep 1, 2018
17
4
13
17
Montreal wisconsin
It's so hard to relate to a person in high school having the money to build bikes, quads, and cars. I had nothing in high school. I bought my first car for $1250 and that was very expensive to me. It was a 1975 Mustang II. I try to tell myself that my experiences don't necessarily compare to other people. Given that, here are my thoughts (all .02 cents worth). I personally am too picky to buy a pre-assembled kit on anything. Most of these kits do not have what I would pick for at least a few parts. Federal-Mogul is or was a reputable company. I don't have current experience with them but I always considered them in the same group as MOOG parts....good quality.
Next...This is just my opinion and may not be perfect for every situation but "rebuilding an engine" and "no machine shop work" don't go together. Again I understand the circumstances. But if you can't do it right then don't do it. Most of the time you end up with more headaches. A little smoke never hurt anything. I'm sure there are people who will comment that their car never smokes at all but I have yet to see a performance car that doesn't puff a little smoke now and then. My car certainly will smoke a touch if I hammer down on it. I'd say drive it while you are young and plan for down the road. These engines will run quite a long time while not being in perfect condition. You don't sound like you are just throwing money at a project for the fun of it but if you are, then, by all means, rip it apart and have fun. Just do it correctly as well.
Heck, i consider 500$
It's so hard to relate to a person in high school having the money to build bikes, quads, and cars. I had nothing in high school. I bought my first car for $1250 and that was very expensive to me. It was a 1975 Mustang II. I try to tell myself that my experiences don't necessarily compare to other people. Given that, here are my thoughts (all .02 cents worth). I personally am too picky to buy a pre-assembled kit on anything. Most of these kits do not have what I would pick for at least a few parts. Federal-Mogul is or was a reputable company. I don't have current experience with them but I always considered them in the same group as MOOG parts....good quality.
Next...This is just my opinion and may not be perfect for every situation but "rebuilding an engine" and "no machine shop work" don't go together. Again I understand the circumstances. But if you can't do it right then don't do it. Most of the time you end up with more headaches. A little smoke never hurt anything. I'm sure there are people who will comment that their car never smokes at all but I have yet to see a performance car that doesn't puff a little smoke now and then. My car certainly will smoke a touch if I hammer down on it. I'd say drive it while you are young and plan for down the road. These engines will run quite a long time while not being in perfect condition. You don't sound like you are just throwing money at a project for the fun of it but if you are, then, by all means, rip it apart and have fun. Just do it correctly as well.
Yeah highschool sure does suck. I’m very limited to job options, only jobs I can get right now is mc.donalds, Burger King, And Subway. Can’t even work at tractor supply’s because they want you to be 18 so you can drive skid steer. Seems like everyone’s parents just go out and buy there kids brand new cars, I had to work for mine. I don’t see how these other kids just get handed brand new cars. It’s really frustrating. And this is Montreal Wisconsin, there’s nothing when it comes to machine shops. I’m going to have to make a drive to one. That’s another reason I was trying to avoid them. When rebuilding smaller engines I didn’t have to do any honing, boring, or any machine work unless the sleeve was damaged, that’s why I assumed it wasn’t needed for this build. If you were in my situation, what would you do with the car? What would you buy with only a grand.? I guess that’s kinda where I’m at right now. Kinda at a loss what to do with it
 

Wayne Waldrep

Before I post a pic, do you have one of yours?
15 Year Member
Apr 14, 2003
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You said it runs and drives. That's what I'd do with it. Like I said, plan for future mods when you can actually afford it. If you only have $1k then...OOPS, it's gonna be $1400 unexpectedly. Then what? You aren't in a position to overrun. And amazingly more times than not that happens. Enjoy high school with a cool car...you'll be old before you know it..:) Keep doing what you are doing. Stay on these forums and learn all you can, then learn some more. I'm in no way trying to discourage you. On the contrary, I think you are in a good spot with a Fox body and lots of resources on here to learn from.
 
Sep 1, 2018
17
4
13
17
Montreal wisconsin
You said it runs and drives. That's what I'd do with it. Like I said, plan for future mods when you can actually afford it. If you only have $1k then...OOPS, it's gonna be $1400 unexpectedly. Then what? You aren't in a position to overrun. And amazingly more times than not that happens. Enjoy high school with a cool car...you'll be old before you know it..:) Keep doing what you are doing. Stay on these forums and learn all you can, then learn some more. I'm in no way trying to discourage you. On the contrary, I think you are in a good spot with a Fox body and lots of resources on here to learn from.
Yeah your right, well I’m going to pick it up next Saturday. I asked the previous owner to start it up every day or two until then. As soon as I get it loaded up I’ll post some pictures. Didn’t really want a convertible, especially an automatic one, but it’s 90% rust free and it has mass air flow. 2 main things I was going for. Really think I’m gonna enjoy this car unless it ends up being full of issues. Fingers crossed
 
Sep 1, 2018
17
4
13
17
Montreal wisconsin
Yeah your right, well I’m going to pick it up next Saturday. I asked the previous owner to start it up every day or two until then. As soon as I get it loaded up I’ll post some pictures. Didn’t really want a convertible, especially an automatic one, but it’s 90% rust free and it has mass air flow. 2 main things I was going for. Really think I’m gonna enjoy this car unless it ends up being full of issues. Fingers crossed
I’d like to mention I already bought the car, just couldn’t pick it up because of weather. Owner seems really cool, car was intended for his wife when he bought it in 2014. He’s supposedly 3rd owner. He said car only has the original miles on there never rolled over but I just find that hard to believe. Car was originally red with white top, and white leather interior. He removed the headlights and door panels, windows, top, put primer on it, and then his arm and leg went out at work so he wasn’t able to finish the car. He managed to get his neighbors to help him re install the top and windows then they pulled it outside and through the cover on it in October and there it sat. The panels are inside the car and the lights are in the trunk. Has pony rims, and the front passenger rim is sandblasted white lol. Rest are a grey color with a little flake in them. The white looks pretty cool imo. Car looks like :poo: honestly, but sounded really good. Made my last foxbody sound like a pos. And this one was solid and cheap and that’s quite hard to find in this area.
 

Rdub6

Mustang Master
Dec 29, 2017
898
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Long Island, NY
I’m gonna talk more than I should here, but this is my story..... first car in high school was an 83 6 cylinder firebird I got for 500. Before I could drive it, we had to replace crank bearings. My dad did most of it, but I was right there learning. Drove the hell out of that thing for about a year! Dabbled in the 65-66 era mustangs after that (which were newer to me then than foxbodies are now). Then i got my 86 GT. Loved that thing but always wished I could do more to it, but never had the money. Drove the hell out of that and enjoyed every minute.
I’m older now. We got the house, the SUV, and I can have the the Fox as the “extra”. Nows the time to play, but I still wish I had more money. Lol
My point is...... enjoy that car right now. If it runs and sounds strong, run it. I sold my 86 back then with 145000 and it was still strong. These cars are fun, and at your age, that’s what you should be having, is fun. Don’t put it up on blocks while you could be driving it!! Do things within your budget, learn as you go, and before you know it, you’ll have the time and money to build what you want.
 
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General karthief

wonder how much it would cost to ship you a pair
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Here is my advice and some insight, the 'smoke ' you are seeing is likely moisture that will burn off after driving for awhile, sounds like you have some work to do before you can start to enjoy it, I'm not a fan for starting up a car unless I'm going to take it for a drive, that gets all the fluids up to temp and dissipate all the moisture in the drive train, use the money you have to buy specific tools needed to these cars like an assembly manual and a code reader, compression gauge, stuff like that, the compression gauge will give you an idea of what condition the engine is in, sounds like you have a good start on a gread driving experience and if you stick with us we will help you avoid the pitfalls that come with owning one of these cars.
Just my two cents worth, don't expect any change back.
Keep us posted on your plans in a thread dedicated to your car. Oh btw, post up some pics too!
 
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nickyb

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Apr 3, 2009
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Wow to have a 5.0 in highschool.I got my older bros 1974 caddy sedan deville.See he knew better, I worked at a Texaco sevice station all threw h.s.,saved all my money to get a car.On my 17 th bday he gave my the keys to his caddy.The insurance for 17 year old male was almost every cent I had.Within two months I blew a rad hose an filled with ice cold water and cracked the head.December I'm outside changing heads,it's snowing I did it all myself and it ran great.Got laid in the backseat , it was huge back there.One hell of a great car and time of my life.O.p. just enjoy your youth ,do crazy sh*t and be proud.
 
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GalacticPonage

Active Member
Jun 21, 2016
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If it were my car I wouldn’t waste the time and effort rebuilding the stock short block. There’s a lot of specialty tools engine builders use to make it right and they have a clean place to assemble it all. I’d suggest getting a low mile explorer motor from a junkyard for $300-400 that already has a gt40 heads and intake, swap the cam/valvesprings and transfer your accessory drive over. You can sell your old longblock to recoup some cost as well
 
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GalacticPonage

Active Member
Jun 21, 2016
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Oh and the reason for me wanting new pistons isn’t just because I have read a lot of bad reviews about the 93+ hyper pistons. And with them car having 149k id just feel a lot better knowing it has new pistons. I already took into consideration I’d need a hone no doupt about it, I just don’t want to have any serious work done to my block, I don’t really have the extra money. I just want to freshen the car back up. Don’t care if it’s stock, I’ll still enjoy it.
I wouldn’t worry about the hyper pistons. I’m running a stock short block explorer motor with an On3 turbo and it’s survived me tuning it. Heck, look at all the LS guys running sbe truck motors to 700 horse
 
Sep 1, 2018
17
4
13
17
Montreal wisconsin
I haven’t been on here in a while, but I just wanted to say for thanks to all the replies! Was nice to here some stories about others growing up with foxbodys. Thanks for the advice to, last weekend I was able to get some friends together and we ended up putting some of the interior together, changed oil, cleaned the filter and added some of the molding on and the car runs great! It’s pretty damn loud to. Jacked it up to get a better view of underneath and it’s pretty clean, noticed a 2 small spots that might need attention towards the back seat but that’s it. Frame rails and strut towers seem to be solid as well, some surface rust and paint peeling but should sand out. I ended up using the last of my money to restore my 99 kx250. Waiting on my new high compression head from phathead racing and it will be up for sale for 2500. Nice little chunk of cash to order some new parts. Thinking of ordering parts for the chassis first. So far I’m thinking
subframe connectors, new x brace, strut tower brace, torque box reinforcements, and a cage. Is there anything else you guys would recommend? It is a convertible so I do want to do all the bracing I can. When I went to pick up the car the previous owner showed me a photo of when he got the car in 2005 and it was bright red, white top, white pony rims, and a spoiler. And it does have white leather interior with a grey dash and grey and black interior. Any chance it could be a summertime edition? I thought 92 - mid 92 were when they were made. But I have read a little about the “ 93 “. Not sure
 

GalacticPonage

Active Member
Jun 21, 2016
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New Jersey
You’re smart for starting with the chassis first but if you only have so much money to put into it I’d fix the rust and do some bolt ons. GT40 Heads and an intake runs about the same as subframe connectors and a cage
 
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Wayne Waldrep

Before I post a pic, do you have one of yours?
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If it's a vibrant red feature vert then it's a '92. I sold mine. There is a vin tag on the core support that has the word "Feature" stamped on it. You can see it between the back of the headlights and the radiator..drivers side. I could read mine without taking the bumper cover off.. Also should decode the vin on one of the Feature Convertible websites. Google that since I don't remember the site.
You'll hate the roll bar or cage. Really uglies up the car in my opinion. Do the Maximum Motorsports full length subs with seat braces. Put any other kind on and you'll be banned from Stangnet for life...lol. Seriously, there's not even a need to look at any others. But have someone that knows what they are doing weld them on. Full weight on the tires.