Progress Thread Finally got my first Fox Body - 1988 GT

DudeStang

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Apr 30, 2017
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I've wanted a fox body for a long time. The first Mustang I ever rode in was a fox body. The first Mustang I ever drove was a fox body. I’ve been a huge fan of these cars since I was a teenager and always wanted to own one. I also wanted a project car that I could tinker with and build up and mod and learn on.

I spent the past few weeks trying to track down a reasonably priced fox body. I negotiated a sale on a 1988 GT but at the last minute the seller decided he wanted to keep the car. I tried to buy a 1990 LX and again the seller decided he was going to keep the car. I tried to buy a 1992 GT and basically told the seller I would pay asking price and then he stopped responding to my emails.

Convinced the universe was conspiring against me, I was about to take a break for a while but came across a couple more options. I checked out this 1988 GT and made an offer a couple of weeks ago. Finally picked the car up last weekend. She definitely needs some work but she runs strong and is a lot of fun to drive. Looks good in the garage next to my 2014 GT.
:)
:)

Be prepared for a :poo: load of threads/questions as I get started working on this thing, lol.

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BlakeusMaximus

Still got to try a little lube on my speedo head
Jul 12, 2017
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Nice ride man. I have a white 88 GT myself. What does the car need? What are your plans for it?
 

DudeStang

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Apr 30, 2017
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Nice ride man. I have a white 88 GT myself. What does the car need? What are your plans for it?
Thanks man. I actually spent some time reading one of your threads the other day about getting your car all painted and fixed up. Your car looks great. It really made me realize how much more money I need for a true, epic project, lol.

Right now, it's got an oil leak but I haven't pinpointed the source. The car is at my house which I'm usually only at on weekends. I should have some time to poke around and get a better sense of what the car needs this weekend. The interior is in really good shape for the car being as old as it is so I will probably leave that mostly as is. The exterior needs some work, probably needs a new rear bumper cover, and also needs some paint touch up on parts of the roof and front bumper. I'm planning to document my work (and learning process) on the car through videos on my youtube channel. I'll probably do a little video next week to highlight all the things that need to be fixed or replaced before I start fixing or replacing them.

The only mods that I can see are a K&N intake (I might put the stock intake on, try to sell that one, and then get something that actually puts the filter outside of the engine bay. It's still speed density and I don't know if I'll go all crazy with the engine since it's pretty fun to drive as is and I also have my 2014 GT which is plenty fun too. I'd like to do some upgrades to the brakes and suspension, get an extra set of wheels and tires, and get some seat time at a road course.

I've done work on my 2014 but not anything super crazy or technically difficult. I think since this is a second car and typically going to be driven on weekends, I will be less scared to try some more challenging work on it, if that makes sense.

The first video is up on my channel (my wife did all the recording and editing). If you don't want to listen to me blab about my love for fox bodies, you can skip forward to the 4:26 mark and see the best feature of the car so far :nice:

 

DSB88GT

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Nov 6, 2016
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I have an 88 GT that is pretty much all stock...love it. My son has '14 GT, so I understand that will satisfy your need for power. The difference between the Fox and S197 is night and day! Anyway, look forward to your posts and following your YouTube channel.
 
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Potomus Pete

Is there a trick , or does my wife just hold it
Mar 7, 2019
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Good car. I wish I had that hood my favorite aftermarket style. Looks like the paint is good . Nobody ever says how much they paid for these good ones.
 
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DudeStang

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Apr 30, 2017
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I have an 88 GT that is pretty much all stock...love it. My son has '14 GT, so I understand that will satisfy your need for power. The difference between the Fox and S197 is night and day! Anyway, look forward to your posts and following your YouTube channel.
Thanks man! That's pretty cool that you and your son also have those two cars. I will definitely be bugging you and Blakeus for suggestions and input on the fox body.

Driving the 2014 is definitely a different experience than the 88 but I have to say, I've been really impressed with the low end or "off the line" feel of the 88. Maybe its seat of the pants, or the fact that the 88 is a lot lighter, or a combination, but it was pretty surprising. My 2014 is a six speed with factory 3.31s and most of my modifications are in the suspension but it's plenty fun even with stock horsepower. :D
 
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DudeStang

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Good car. I wish I had that hood my favorite aftermarket style. Looks like the paint is good . Nobody ever says how much they paid for these good ones.
To be honest, I didn't love the hood at first but its been growing on me.

The paint seems to be OK for the most part but there are some spots I need to get painted over. I'll probably do what I can with a touch up pen at first but eventually the car will need either a full repaint or some sort of professional touch up.

Without getting too specific, I'll just say I got this one for under $6k. The other ones that I tried to buy were in the same price range. There seems to be a surprising amount of decent (but definitely not perfect) fox bodies for $5000-$7000 but they are typically pretty high mileage and need work. For the lower mileage ones that have been garaged and babied or restored, the prices seem to jump to at least $12-13k. Some of those ones, in that range and higher, are unreal. I couldn't believe how good of condition a lot of those cars are. I had to make myself stop looking at them on the car sales apps. :eek:
 
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FortySix&2

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Hard to tell in the video to be sure but props to whoever installed that Alpine CD player. They didn't do the typical screw the bracket into the center console and put holes in it.
 

Blown88GT

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Nov 13, 1999
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Let's see under the hood. Is it still speed density?
'88's are a transition year, MAF's were California, only.
Wheels are 15's, stock tire size (225-60x15) will rub the fender skits at full lock.
I still have the original turbine wheels as spares; they are impossible to clean.

Not too many GT's with the red interior, almost all were gray..
'88 seats are fully articulated with lumbar support.
I think they changed the seats in '90 when the air bag was introduced.
Your steering wheels tilts, air bag ones do not.

BTW, I drive my fast car slow, safe in the knowledge it will go incredibly fast when necessary.
 

BlakeusMaximus

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My 88 has the “Sand” interior. Still the only one "I" have seen, but I know there are more. I do want to run a Marti report on it and see how many others were made like mine.
 
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90sickfox

I didn't really have an issue with the stink...
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Those rain guards " look cheap and stupid "....lol. I'm really just joking. They don't look bad on your fox.

The AC compressor is missing for sure. Looks like the dryer may be over in the passenger side on the firewall. If it isn't getting the parts and fixing it isn't too bad.

That car still has the factory spark plug wire cover on the distributor. Very nice.

If it were me I'd take that car back to stock. With maybe just a little more gear...like a 3.73. It's so rare to see a car that isn't completely hacked up.

The Budweiser shifter is pretty cool. That wouldnt get changed if it were me. Adds character.

I have to admit. I was thinking a real Bud drinkin' older guy owned that car...until I saw the Lil'Wayne CD. When I say older I'm talking like over 55...I'm 42 so....Lil' Wayne is on my playlist.

Very nice score man !!! The next vid needs to be diving into finding all the issues. Close ups of the strut towers and under the hood. Doesn't look like there will be any huge surprises with that one.
 
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95BlueStallion

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I’m sure you are already aware of this, but just be sure you understand the Fox will never be as solid and nice to the touch as your S197. They have to be appreciated for what they are or you’ll be over it in no time. They simply don’t have the build quality that today’s cars have.

I let myself get away from the feeling of stepping back in time when in mine, and got frustrated with it’s quirks. While I do plan to address them, I had to step back and remember what the car is for.
 

BlakeusMaximus

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My son has a 2015 GT with huge Brembo brakes, coil over suspension, full exhaust, intake and a tune. Dynoed at about 430hp I think. Fun to drive, but I still like the raw feeling of my old GT.
 

boostfrk

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I’m sure you are already aware of this, but just be sure you understand the Fox will never be as solid and nice to the touch as your S197. They have to be appreciated for what they are or you’ll be over it in no time. They simply don’t have the build quality that today’s cars have.

I let myself get away from the feeling of stepping back in time when in mine, and got frustrated with it’s quirks. While I do plan to address them, I had to step back and remember what the car is for.
I agree with this entirely. I sold my Fox a little over 3 years ago for that very reason. I bought a 98 Cobra so that I could get into something more comfortable, smoother, quieter, and overall nicer. I've really started to miss my Fox over the past few months, but I have a feeling if I had it back I'd be right back where I was 3 years ago before I sold it.

What I need is a 15+ car garage that I can just keep all sorts of cars in. Drive one for a day, then park it for a month or so. I just need that "fix" every once in awhile.
 
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Mstng93SSP

You have a nice rear end there Dave.
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I had an 03 Mach1 that I bought brand new. I sold it and never missed it one bit. Everyone is different, and I get that but a foxbody even with all of it's shortcomings still draws more attention than an sn or new edge in my opinion.
 
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Steel1

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Nice find, welcome to the rabbit hole..lol
Looks pretty clean, any rust issues that need to be addressed ?
Oddly enough I kinda like the turbines, I would like to see someone produce a
slightly more modern 17" version.
 
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DudeStang

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I don’t have my laptop with me so can only reply by phone at the moment. Thanks for all the comments and enthusiasm. I need to respond and answer some of the specific questions when I can get to my computer.

I’ve run into my first issue - the horn doesn’t work. In order to get my Virginia state safety inspection it seems I have to have a functioning horn. I have what appears to be the factory horn in a box of spare parts I got from the previous owner but I’m not sure it’s got everything I need so I will have to do some reading and see what I can find out.

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Rdub6

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Take a quick look under each front corner of the car to see if there’s a wire hanging. Only one wire goes to each horn. Maybe you’ll be lucky and the wire is there, and it works when connected.
 
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