Drivetrain Hello from a new Fox Body owner in Florida! Looking for advice on Immediate things to address re: steering, radiator, seat

Wareagle32789

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So I picked up a 1991 LX 5.0 5-speed recently and I'm just starting to work on it. It's been off the road for a while and needs some love.

It's pretty stock, showing 51,000 +/- miles (assume 150,000), but she's a little tired and needs some help. Looking for any advice on things to focus on first.

She runs & drives, but the steering is awful & noisy, plus the radiator is leaking and the driver's seat is messed up. PO said the bolt for the driver's seat broke, and he included a new floor pan with the car, so I'm thinking about finding someone to weld the new one in.

Thinking about going with an aluminum radiator with electric fans instead of the current setup. Any advice for what else to do would be appreciated. Don't know anything about these cars, other than having driven my Stepfather's 85 LX back in high school in the 80's.

Thanks!

Tom
 
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90sickfox

I didn't really have an issue with the stink...
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Welcome !!! If there are no sub frame connectors on the car I'd get some put in. You want the ones with the seat support brackets. The bad news is usually when the front of the seat breaks the bolt out it's because the rear floor pan may be cracked or flexing. ( that's the issue the connectors fix ) If the floor pan is cracked it's not all that hard to fix. Sounds worse than it is.

Check the front strut towers at the frame for rust. Get it up on a lift and checked out as soon as possible. Noise in the steering isn't good.
 

General karthief

wonder how much it would cost to ship you a pair
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Something that may help the steering noise, if it is the pump that is making the noise, flush the steering system, get 3 quarts of power steering fluid and a good size bucket, I had the front jacked up so I used a 5gal bucket, run the return line into the bucket making sure it will not pop out, start the car and keep feeding the reservoir ps fluid until the color is good, shut off the car, reattach the line and top off the reservoir.
You could also add some Lucas ps additive too. Sometimes you just have to live with the whine. Sometimes you just got worn out stuff.
 

Wareagle32789

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Apr 3, 2020
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Winter Park, FL
Welcome !!! If there are no sub frame connectors on the car I'd get some put in. You want the ones with the seat support brackets. The bad news is usually when the front of the seat breaks the bolt out it's because the rear floor pan may be cracked or flexing. ( that's the issue the connectors fix ) If the floor pan is cracked it's not all that hard to fix. Sounds worse than it is.

Check the front strut towers at the frame for rust. Get it up on a lift and checked out as soon as possible. Noise in the steering isn't good.
Something that may help the steering noise, if it is the pump that is making the noise, flush the steering system, get 3 quarts of power steering fluid and a good size bucket, I had the front jacked up so I used a 5gal bucket, run the return line into the bucket making sure it will not pop out, start the car and keep feeding the reservoir ps fluid until the color is good, shut off the car, reattach the line and top off the reservoir.
You could also add some Lucas ps additive too. Sometimes you just have to live with the whine. Sometimes you just got worn out stuff.
OK. I actually have another PS pump that I picked up free from Craigslist. Perhaps I should just try installing the new pump and see what happens along with some new fluid.

Any suggestion on where to source the subframe connectors you mentioned? Are these "bolt on" items?
 

90sickfox

I didn't really have an issue with the stink...
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Our LMR discount code is in the vendors forum.


I recommend getting them welded on. Car has to be sitting level with weight o suspension. Body shops are the best place to get these done. They can also check and make sure the body us square before welding them in.
 
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Wareagle32789

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I recommend getting them welded on. Car has to be sitting level with weight o suspension. Body shops are the best place to get these done. They can also check and make sure the body us square before welding them in.
[/QUOTE]
Thanks! I need some body work also. PO f'd up the driver's door and dinged the front fender while rolling the car around. When I got the car, the front fender was in the trunk. I grabbed a set of doors from a '90 LX at a U-pick junkayrd, and am trying to get them put on now so I can put the fender on.
 
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Cheapskate207

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The SVE radiator from LMR seems to be the most popular choice. They sell fans specifically for it, in a package. I think I would opt for a set of ford contour fans though. A PWM controller in conjunction and you'll be good to go. I put a thunderbird fan on my current car controled by a DCC controller. I cant recommend the set up though, the contour fan on my old car worked better and DCC has poor customer service. Regarding steering... my car has a manual rack. It was installed when I bought it and I anticipated removing it but I've grown to like it. No whines, the engine bay is cleaner and easier to work on, and more power. The car is so light that it turns quite easy. Just a thought. If i were you I would try the new PS pump you have since it was free.
 
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Steel1

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Check the rag joint in the steering shaft, it's like a 3" round rubber coupler , I'ts probably worn and causing a loose steering feel.
I would suggest replacing it with a solid steering shaft, you can get them from LMR, Maximum Motorsports etc.
They are a little pricey but worth it in imo, I did mine recently.
 
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jrichker

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@Wareagle32789

What is the nature of the seat problem?
Is the seat back broken or is it a problem with the mount where the seat bolts to the floor?
I have a fix for each of those problems that is a lot simpler and cheaper than replacing the floor pan.
 
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Wareagle32789

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@Wareagle32789

What is the nature of the seat problem?
Is the seat back broken or is it a problem with the mount where the seat bolts to the floor?
I have a fix for each of those problems that is a lot simpler and cheaper than replacing the floor pan.
The bolt that holds the seat to the floor in the back is broken, so the seat is loose and sits at a weird angle. The seat back itself seems a little messed up also. I'm new to Fox bodies, so I'm not sure what "normal" is, but mine sure isn't right. Hard to drive the way it is.
 

jrichker

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The bolt that holds the seat to the floor in the back is broken, so the seat is loose and sits at a weird angle. The seat back itself seems a little messed up also. I'm new to Fox bodies, so I'm not sure what "normal" is, but mine sure isn't right. Hard to drive the way it is.
87-93 Mustang front seat repairs

The metal frame inside the seat back has probably cracked. It can be welded in most cases, but any repair that you do means removing the upholstery. The major trick here is the headrests off, and the how to do that changes with model years. The 89-93 have a single steel post.

See headrest removal | Mustang Forums at StangNet for the how to get the headrest off for these year cars.

The upholstery has a zipper that you unzip and then you can slide the upholstery off to repair the seat back frame.

The floor pan mounts for the front of the seats have also been known to crack and cause similar problems.
See Need Help | Mustang Forums at StangNet for the fix for that problem.
 
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Wareagle32789

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87-93 Mustang front seat repairs

The metal frame inside the seat back has probably cracked. It can be welded in most cases, but any repair that you do means removing the upholstery. The major trick here is the headrests off, and the how to do that changes with model years. The 89-93 have a single steel post.

See headrest removal | Mustang Forums at StangNet for the how to get the headrest off for these year cars.

The upholstery has a zipper that you unzip and then you can slide the upholstery off to repair the seat back frame.

The floor pan mounts for the front of the seats have also been known to crack and cause similar problems.
See Need Help | Mustang Forums at StangNet for the fix for that problem.
Great info, thank you! I'm going with subframe reinforcement members with seat supports, which I hope will help with the root cause of the seat slump - I'll report back once I get the seat and carpet out and see what's going on...
 
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Wareagle32789

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Apr 3, 2020
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Winter Park, FL
The SVE radiator from LMR seems to be the most popular choice. They sell fans specifically for it, in a package. I think I would opt for a set of ford contour fans though. A PWM controller in conjunction and you'll be good to go. I put a thunderbird fan on my current car controled by a DCC controller. I cant recommend the set up though, the contour fan on my old car worked better and DCC has poor customer service. Regarding steering... my car has a manual rack. It was installed when I bought it and I anticipated removing it but I've grown to like it. No whines, the engine bay is cleaner and easier to work on, and more power. The car is so light that it turns quite easy. Just a thought. If i were you I would try the new PS pump you have since it was free.
Just ordered the SVE radiatior, subframe connectors, fan controller, tstat & housing from LMR, plus some door parts. Thanks again for the advice - looking to do some social distancing and shade tree mechanic work as soon as the stuff arrives! I appreciate all of the great advice!
 
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Wareagle32789

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Apr 3, 2020
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Winter Park, FL
Our LMR discount code is in the vendors forum.


I recommend getting them welded on. Car has to be sitting level with weight o suspension. Body shops are the best place to get these done. They can also check and make sure the body us square before welding them in.
Parts are on the way!
 
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Blown88GT

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The SVE radiator from LMR seems to be the most popular choice. They sell fans specifically for it, in a package. I think I would opt for a set of ford contour fans though. A PWM controller in conjunction and you'll be good to go. I put a thunderbird fan on my current car controled by a DCC controller. I cant recommend the set up though, the contour fan on my old car worked better and DCC has poor customer service. ...
DCC has great customer service, you just can't be in a rush during the summer season. It's a 1-man company & when he gets busy, he won't reply immediately. I recently changed to the Contour fan which requires a starting/running capacitor, I had it within a few days of ordering.
 

Willybill32

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Jul 16, 2019
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The SVE radiator from LMR seems to be the most popular choice. They sell fans specifically for it, in a package. I think I would opt for a set of ford contour fans though. A PWM controller in conjunction and you'll be good to go. I put a thunderbird fan on my current car controled by a DCC controller. I cant recommend the set up though, the contour fan on my old car worked better and DCC has poor customer service. Regarding steering... my car has a manual rack. It was installed when I bought it and I anticipated removing it but I've grown to like it. No whines, the engine bay is cleaner and easier to work on, and more power. The car is so light that it turns quite easy. Just a thought. If i were you I would try the new PS pump you have since it was free.
Any particular year/model Contour fans? Looking at RockAuto.com, it looks like the dual fans are for the V6? How difficult is it to adapt the Contour fans to the Mustang radiator?