Fox Mustang Purchase Advice

steven102

Member
May 9, 2020
7
1
13
33
montreal
Hey guys, im looking to buy a fox mustang for my summer weekends since i am from Canada. I am 30 years old and the fox always has been my favorite model and this is the year i am getting one. I have been looking at the market for couple of months and here in canada they are not that many availables for sell .......they have usually around 100-120k miles, some after markets mods, and kind of bad paint and interior. They go for about 4-6k. The ones that are clean with low mileage go for 10-15k. I am planning to keep the car for possibly ever of maybe sell it in 5 years from now. My question is, if i do get one with high mileage and repaint the car and do the interior , and fix the body to make it clean again, is it still going to keep a low value because of the high mileage? and what if the paint is original white and i paint it black is it not going to be desirable or will it always have a potential buyer out there as long as the car is clean and well maintained? I plan to drive the car about 3000km a year. My goal is not to resell the car at profit, i just want it to have some type of value just in case because im the king to take care of it and invest to keep it a1. Thanks guys!!
 
  • Sponsors(?)


StangNet created a new car social app called knowmoto! Add your Mustang or post a photo in the knowmoto app and enter for a chance at a $100 gift card from LMR. Click the LMR Logo for more about the knowmoto Mega Thread!

General karthief

wonder how much it would cost to ship you a pair
Mod Dude
Aug 25, 2016
19,934
6,720
193
polk county florida
My 2¢ worth is to buy the cleanest, unmolested one you can find. The less work you have put into it the better off you are money wise.
Too many hack jobs out there that are being flipped with hidden problems so the less previous owners the better.
Cast a wide net and be patient.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 users

jrichker

StangNet's favorite TOOL
SN Certified Technician
Mar 10, 2000
27,426
2,758
234
75
Dublin GA
lowendmac.com
Welcome to Stangnet... :spot:

Not all of us know how to fix everything, but some of us know how to fix some things with excellence!

Places to check out here on Stangnet:
http://www.stangnet.com/mustang-forums/threads/technical-thread-how-to-index.808661/ How to do it tips for some of the most common problems and upgrades for 5.0 Fox body Mustangs.
http://www.stangnet.com/mustang-forums/threads/the-official-progress-threads-thread.761371/ the collection of build/progress threads from Stangnet members. You get to find ideas and clues to what works well and what doesn’t.
http://www.stangnet.com/mustang-forums/resources/ Has tech tips for common problems on Mustangs.

If you are in snow country, put the car you are interested up on a lift and examine the underside VERY carefully for corrosion. The front shock strut towers need close inspection and some strong light to assist in the inspection. Sight from the front of the car to the rear along the sides of the car to make sure that the body lines are straight and match up. Use a magnet to make sure the rocker panels and doors aren't Bondo'ed up excessively.

If you are in California or some other area with strict emissions laws and buy a car, part of \the deal should be that the owner takes the car and has it emissions tested. If it passes, you buy the car and pay for the emissions test cost, if any. If it does not pass, walk away from the deal. For a mechanically inexperienced owner, emissions related problems can be difficult and expensive to fix.

Avoid any car that was originally EFI and has been converted to carb like the plague. That's often a clue to the fact the previous owner had problems and the resulting hack job has MORE problems.

Keep in mind that areas with strict emissions laws may make the go faster goals more difficult to reach. Some parts are OK to replace with aftermarket parts and others aren't. Check carefully before you get out your wallet and buy something you can't use in the area where you live.


If you want to do the fix up & power up thing, make sure that you have some other form of reliable daily driver. That way the stang can sit while your wallet and hands take a rest from the last project that didn't quite get finished on that 3 day weekend. Things always cost more and take longer the first time you do them. Having some other working vehicle makes life easier since it isn't the big crush to get it running for the Monday morning drive to work or class.

Plan on spending some money on tools it you don't already have them. The stang has both metric and American fasteners, so you really need two sets of wrenches. A timing light, digital voltmeter, vacuum gauge, compression tester, fuel pressure test gauge and fuel line coupler tools are some of the test & tuning tools you'll need. Visit the pawn shops; sometimes you can find deals on tools & test equipment if you stick to well known name brands.

A sheltered work area is almost a must, someplace that you can leave the car in pieces without upsetting anyone. Some guys here have changed a transmission in the parking lot of their apartment in a rainstorm, but they will tell you it wasn't fun. Depending on where you live, a warm dry garage is a nice place to do the winter projects that stangs tend to become.

EFI (Electronic Fuel Injection) Computer - every stang after 85 has or had one: don't let it intimidate you. The computer based EFI systems are not hard to fix and most of the time they tell you what's wrong with the engine. Here's a book that will get you started with how the Ford electronic engine control or "computer" works.

Ford Fuel Injection & Electronic Engine Control 1988-1993 by James Probst: ISBN 0-8376-0301-3.

It's about $35-$45 from Borders.com see http://www.amazon.com/ . Select books and then select search. Use the ISBN number (without dashes or spaces) to do a search

Use the ISBN number and your local library can get you a loaner copy for free. Only thing is you are limited to keeping the book for two weeks. It is very good, and I found it to be very helpful.

For lots of great ideas and tech notes on upgrades and repairs, be sure to check
out http://forums.stangnet.com/showthread.php?t=643651 “Useful Technical Thread Index” sticky at the top of the 5.0 Tech forum.

Things that break often:
T5 5 speed manual transmission (syncros go bad, mostly 3rd gear)
TFI Module (Thin Film Ignition module - mounts on the distributor)
Electric door locks (see the link in my sig for a cheap & easy fix)
O2 sensors(oxygen sensors) They are good for about 60,000 miles and start to go downhill after that.
TPS Sensor (Throttle Position Sensor) causes flaky problems with idle & acceleration.
Fog lights -they overheat the wiring and cause the headlights to flicker. The fix is cheap and simple if you can do electrical stuff.
Harmonic Balancer – they separate between the hub and outer ring. A harmonic balancer puller is a must have to change it. You can rent or borrow a puller from most of the larger auto parts stores.

Things that are very durable: Engine - as long as it hasn't been abused, it will run good for 150,000-200,000 miles without an overhaul
Rear axle - other than an occasional case of worn clutches in the traction lock, they almost never have problems.
Computer - believe it or not, the computers seldom have problems of their own. Most of the problems are with the sensors and the wiring.
Suspension – the front and rear suspension has very few problems if the car hasn’t been wrecked or seen a lot of drag strip runs. The drag strip runs tend to distort and tear the mount points for the rear axle control arms. Revving the engine up to 4000 RPM and dumping the clutch with slicks or drag radials tends to break things.

Things that don’t break often but are hard to fix:
Water pump mount bolts – they corrode and shear off when you try to change the water pump.
Rear oil seal on the engine – lots of parts to remove to get to a $20 seal.
Power steering pump – the pumps are noisy and the pulley requires some special tools to remove and install. If you have the tools, they are easy to do. Again, the larger auto parts stores will rent or loan the tools for the pulley.
Power Steering rack - it is hard to get the toe in set so that you can drive the car to the shop to get it properly aligned.
Starter – the top bolt is hard to get a socket on if you don’t have the right combination of socket, universal joint and extensions.

Everything considered, 5.0 Mustangs are not hard to work on. They just require some patience and thought before you get started.
 
  • Like
  • Informative
Reactions: 4 users

Mstng93SSP

You have a nice rear end there Dave.
15 Year Member
Nov 29, 1999
2,313
2,627
184
Mililani, Hawaii
I wil be brief. Mileage means nothing, unless we are talking a 5k original mile car. What you want more then ANYTHING is no rust!

Chris
 
  • Like
Reactions: 2 users

Gravydog

dripping from every hole
Oct 6, 2019
156
354
73
44
Canton Ohio
In my opinion, 100-120k is low mileage for a car that is close to, or over 30 years old. As the others have said, condition is more important than miles, especially when it comes to rust. My advice, being in the body and paint industry, buy one that is the color you want, even if you have to travel a little bit to get it.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 2 users

deathb4dismount

Crap, didn’t realize my crotch was in that picture
5 Year Member
Oct 6, 2011
1,015
510
154
THE BUCKET
The market for a fox is changing more rapidly than I thought and can vary based on your location. Here in New England, under 5k is usually crap. 6-8500 is where you will find a decent HCI driver. They should have no rust and decent paint, but not without minor problems like maybe some worn bushings, exhaust leak, or a whiney PS pump, nothing crazy. Your low mileage unmodified fox is in the 12500-15000+ area.

You will pay the highest on any of those scales for a Notch, then an LX hatch, GT, and lastly any convertible.

If you are mechanically inclined you might want to consider finding a quality roller or a 4 cylinder and insert your desired engine.
 
  • Agree
Reactions: 1 user

steven102

Member
May 9, 2020
7
1
13
33
montreal
The market for a fox is changing more rapidly than I thought and can vary based on your location. Here in New England, under 5k is usually crap. 6-8500 is where you will find a decent HCI driver. They should have no rust and decent paint, but not without minor problems like maybe some worn bushings, exhaust leak, or a whiney PS pump, nothing crazy. Your low mileage unmodified fox is in the 12500-15000+ area.

You will pay the highest on any of those scales for a Notch, then an LX hatch, GT, and lastly any convertible.

If you are mechanically inclined you might want to consider finding a quality roller or a 4 cylinder and insert your desired engine.
But is it possible that swapping an engine is costly plus i believe there are lots of other work to adjust the car for a v8 and also the vehicule not being a true 5.0 will make it loose value.
 

deathb4dismount

Crap, didn’t realize my crotch was in that picture
5 Year Member
Oct 6, 2011
1,015
510
154
THE BUCKET
But is it possible that swapping an engine is costly plus i believe there are lots of other work to adjust the car for a v8 and also the vehicule not being a true 5.0 will make it loose value.

Yes there is more to a swap than just an engine, but parts are relatively inexpensive and readily available. As far as the "value"? 1. You're not selling so who cares? 2. A properly converted 4 cylinder with a straight body, nice paint and interior is more valuable than a ragged out "original" 5.0 any day.
 
  • Like
  • Agree
Reactions: 4 users

TOOLOW91

If you're the village idiot what's that make me?
15 Year Member
Nov 29, 1999
7,622
7,559
234
S.I.NY
But is it possible that swapping an engine is costly plus i believe there are lots of other work to adjust the car for a v8 and also the vehicule not being a true 5.0 will make it loose value.
My buddy sold his coyote swapped mint caylpso green 4 cyl coupe that we built in 2013 for 28k. It doesnt mean much when having a cleaner car means more.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

Cheapskate207

The left one hangs a little lower
Jan 12, 2020
454
344
73
29
Maine
Clean, rust free car is much more inportant that mileage. I would bet most odometers aren't completely accurate anyway.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

revhead347

Apparently my ex-husband made that mistake.
15 Year Member
Jun 14, 2004
8,845
1,485
214
41
Acworth, GA
Buy the car you want, and don't be afraid of the price. A good clean car for more money will save you money.

Kurt
 
  • Like
  • Agree
Reactions: 3 users

Ryuk

I love your drawers
Apr 22, 2017
931
734
103
55
It's orders of magnitude easier to buy a finished car than a project. I have done both. You'll find a million little weekend project on the finished car, whereas you might end up hating the project because it becomes a chore.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 users

Mustang5L5

Put lubricant all over the balls
Mod Dude
Feb 18, 2001
36,193
12,101
224
Massachusetts
Mileage still matters to me though. It doesn't matter if the car is very clean and restored, I just can't see myself buying a car with 200-300K miles or more.

We all know how flimsy these cars are. Floor pans develop fatigue cracks from an heavier person in the seat. I have to imagine that as the miles rack up, those bodies just get more and more flexible, especially without SFC's. Of course, these days mileage verification is VERY difficult to do due to odometers that have been swapped around, easy to tamper with, and local jurisdictions no longer recording mileage after a certain age. So you really don't have a clue if that 50K on the odometer is 150, 250 or 350k miles.

Another thing I look at is if everything in the car works. I'm shocked when I see a high-dollar car sell and it's missing interior trim, or i see the heater core isn't even hooked up. Some people don't care about that sort of stuff, but I do.
 
  • Agree
  • Like
Reactions: 1 users

KRUISR

5 Year Member
Apr 16, 2015
784
294
83
51
Unless there is some documentation saying otherwise, I always add 100K to the odometer.
For our American friends, Canadian cars have an extra digit on the odometer. Ours roll at 1,000,000 km.

Steve102... I started with my car that needed only a small amount of floor pan repair (mainly on rear frame rails). It was disassembled but 95+% complete. I bought it for a project to put back together and build. As mentioned numerous times about, chassis/body integrity is key. It had 243,000 km and had been sitting in a barn for 12 years. I paid $1500 in 2015. Had it build, repaired, painted by June 2017 working on it on every other weekend. Did all the work myself (but that's what I wanted when I was looking for a project) and loved every minute.

Here is what I started with and what it is now.
20150307_104601.jpg 20150222_102003.jpg 20150222_101800.jpg

20190623_183059_HDR.jpg Interior.jpg

Where are you located? Are you looking for something to just jump in and go or are you looking for that finish off and enjoy?
 

steven102

Member
May 9, 2020
7
1
13
33
montreal
For our American friends, Canadian cars have an extra digit on the odometer. Ours roll at 1,000,000 km.

Steve102... I started with my car that needed only a small amount of floor pan repair (mainly on rear frame rails). It was disassembled but 95+% complete. I bought it for a project to put back together and build. As mentioned numerous times about, chassis/body integrity is key. It had 243,000 km and had been sitting in a barn for 12 years. I paid $1500 in 2015. Had it build, repaired, painted by June 2017 working on it on every other weekend. Did all the work myself (but that's what I wanted when I was looking for a project) and loved every minute.

Here is what I started with and what it is now.
20150307_104601.jpg 20150222_102003.jpg 20150222_101800.jpg

20190623_183059_HDR.jpg Interior.jpg

Where are you located? Are you looking for something to just jump in and go or are you looking for that finish off and enjoy?
Im from montreal, quebec. Its a second car so i dont mind if its sitting for some weeks and i understand the car wont be new but at the same time i want to be confident the car is good to drive it safely to enjoy it. Im experienced to complete all type exterior and interior paint. But im not very good in mecanic, i have a very honest cheap one. Your car is amazing! just how i would had want it.
 

Golypon

New Member
May 7, 2020
28
0
1
USA
People love to neglect these cars I feel like. Finding one that is worth your money and the owner isn't just trying to get one off on you is difficult I think. That being said you occasionally find a good deal from time to time. I definitely got screwed, but I'll take the L, patch the car up and enjoy it. At least I don't have to do trans swap. That's probably harder than welding frame rail I'd guess. Rust is crucial, not called Rustang for nothing. These cars have been around for 30 years, a lot can happen in that span of time and these cars prove that. The good thing is that they're pretty easy to work on, and you can probably fix everything on the car yourself with a little bit of time and effort. I'm in no means an expert so take what I say with a grain of salt and buy whatever you feel like you like and is worth your $.