HELP! New fox owner power question

Jul 17, 2020
9
1
13
26
Massachusetts
Hey guys! First post here

This story is a bit of a doozy, my father and I purchased a fox about 4 years ago. Meant to be a father son project that never actually happened. The car sat in their back yard, I purchased a house and my girlfriend and I decided to offer some money for the car. He accepted and we had it dropped off.

the previous owner claimed about 400 whp, which I don’t believe. The brake is seized so I can’t really get a butt dyno idea yet. But I’ve been compiling a list of parts in my brain, and want to hear your guys opinions.

89 original 4cyl auto notch
-84 carbed 5.0 swap “messer performance Engines”
-Holley quick fuel 650 or 750 carb (can’t find any identifying factors
-edelbrock performer Rpm intake mani
-all star carb spacer
-unknown cam*
-iron heads**
-bbk longtubes
-msd dizzy and street fire coil
-tubular k and a arms
-flaming river manual steering rack
-Mad dog coilovers

*mild cam, a little lope at idle. Is there any way to simply check what cam it has? No contact with previous owner
**iron head, don’t know if their ported or what. Called messer performance and he said he doesn’t remember the car (engine was in a different car originally)

does this sound like it could be anywhere near 400? Even 400 crank? And do you guys think this baby was a good deal for $2000?? Paint is :poo:, interior had mice in it so we pulled out the dash, Going ultra light with this one
4E63B1BE-89C3-43C4-9E10-076A8B9C9A7D.jpeg
0F436598-3907-44EA-9262-1E97BF7CDBCD.jpeg
 
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Olivethefet

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Considering you live in Massachusetts if that notch isn't eaten up with rust I'd say you got a good deal at 2k. As for the 400hp... I'm not an engine builder, but from what I've read on this site over the last couple of years and what you listed I dont think it's going to put down 400. Is it an auto or 5 speed?
 
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91TwighlightGT

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Highly doubt anywhere near 400 crank, but obviously anything is going to be conjecture without knowing really anything about the parts installed.

My guess is that the iron heads are probably stock, maybe GT40's. Unknown cam is unknown, so I'll assume an alphabet cam. Intake is fine but not going to be a huge power maker by itself.

My WAG is 275 HP at the crank.

As far as if it is a good buy... it depends. I think it would be better if it was an EFI car, and you should probably look into making that a reality ASAP. The paint is rough, but that isn't the end of the world if you are willing to learn how to do some body work. This Notch has a PARTIAL GT body kit on it. If you can match the right spoiler for the trunk it could look okay, but you are missing the side skirts and the door moldings that would make it match. You have to make the decision on whether to keep the GT body kit, or convert it back to the original LX body. If you are on a budget, I would say keeping the GT kit is the cheaper route at this point because you would have to source all the of LX body parts to put it back together, where as the GT parts are nearly there. GT side skirts are difficult, though, because they can be expensive in nice condition and require you to install the metal retainer strips on the fenders to attach them.

You could go with Cobra side skirts from Cervini's, which attach with double sided tape and some screws, but they aren't all that cheap either. You can buy the door moldings from LMR. While mine went on okay, I found them to be pretty wavy and was not highly impressed with their quality. This was many years ago and things could have changed, but I preferred the OEM moldings that are unfortunately hard to come by in decent shape and require removing the metal strips in order to make them work, which is a bit of effort.

If the body is rust free (please take a HARD look at bottom of the strut towers where it meets the frame rail - this is fixable but should be taken care of ASAP for safety) then it looks like a decent place to start from. Expect to invest some money and time into it, though. These cars are old enough that the nickels and dimes really add up.
 
Jul 17, 2020
9
1
13
26
Massachusetts
Is it an auto or 5 speed?
It’s a 5 speed! No autos here baybayyy, also very clean underneath. We checked it out before buying 4 years ago, and it never drove since we bought it. When we pulled it out here it’s so nice underneath, id say 1.5/10 rust scale


[/QUOTE]
This Notch has a PARTIAL GT body kit on it
I actually ONLY like the gt bumpers, the side skirts make me want to hurl... lol but yea I’d like to source a nice trim kit, and window molding deff, paint around windows stinks but my gf is actually a painter by trade.

my father has multiple foxes and a complete efi engine if I want to switch, this is planned to be a drag car specifically, Not really a street car.

my guess is that its a mild alphabet cam (b303?) sounds rad tho.
 

Mustang5L5

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It's probably more in the 280-325 crank HP range. That's with a few assumptions so don't take that as gospel just yet. SOme engine photos would be helpful, especially of the corners of the heads to see if they are 3-bar or 4-bar GT40/40P heads or an aftermarket iron head.
 

2000xp8

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I'm going to have to disagree with stock hoods sucking, that goes double on a notch. Makes the car look nose heavy without a hatch or wing.

As for the power, there are only a couple sets of iron heads that make any power, so unless you have one of the better sets, I'd guess 250-275rwhp. No point in talking flywheel hp, unless you plan on pulling the engine to test it.

400rwhp takes a 347, custom cam and high end heads on a 302 based engine. Even 300rwhp generally takes a good set of aluminum heads.
 
Jul 17, 2020
9
1
13
26
Massachusetts
It's probably more in the 280-325 crank HP range. That's with a few assumptions so don't take that as gospel just yet. SOme engine photos would be helpful, especially of the corners of the heads to see if they are 3-bar or 4-bar GT40/40P heads or an aftermarket iron head.
do any of these pics help? Don’t mind the spaghetti wiring, I’ll be taking care of that ASAP. I come from building motorcycles with custom harnesses, and this being 80% drag car it doesn’t need a whole lot of wiring
 

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Jul 17, 2020
9
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26
Massachusetts
I'm going to have to disagree with stock hoods sucking, that goes double on a notch. Makes the car look nose heavy without a hatch or wing.

As for the power, there are only a couple sets of iron heads that make any power, so unless you have one of the better sets, I'd guess 250-275rwhp. No point in talking flywheel hp, unless you plan on pulling the engine to test it.

400rwhp takes a 347, custom cam and high end heads on a 302 based engine. Even 300rwhp generally takes a good set of aluminum heads.
Yea that’s what I’ve read, 400 na is not simple on a 5.0 with iron heads.
As for body, I love the look of a drag wing, slicks, and a cowl hood, I kinda like the nose heavy look for some weird reason!
 

Mustang5L5

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do any of these pics help? Don’t mind the spaghetti wiring, I’ll be taking care of that ASAP. I come from building motorcycles with custom harnesses, and this being 80% drag car it doesn’t need a whole lot of wiring

They are not GT40/40P heads. They actually look like E7's. I see a number on one corner of the head. In the opposite corner of the head, do you see a T? If so, they are E7 (stock 87+) heads.

If that's the case, you are probably in the 250 +/- 10HP Crank HP range.
 
Jul 17, 2020
9
1
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26
Massachusetts
They are not GT40/40P heads. They actually look like E7's. I see a number on one corner of the head. In the opposite corner of the head, do you see a T? If so, they are E7 (stock 87+) heads.

If that's the case, you are probably in the 250 +/- 10HP Crank HP range.
This is all I could find for markings, 17 for drivers side 15 for passenger. Am I looking at the right corners here?
 

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Mustang5L5

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Yes, right location.

So heads are still unknown. Any desire to pop a valve cover and look for casting marks underneath? Don't go out of your way if that's a hassle to do.
 
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Jul 17, 2020
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Yes, right location.

So heads are still unknown. Any desire to pop a valve cover and look for casting marks underneath? Don't go out of your way if that's a hassle to do.
Strange! Yea I have no problem digging in, I don’t wanna go so far as to take heads off, but valve covers are no problem. I should probably register the simple stuff anyway, and that way I could see Valves, springs and retainers too while I’m in there. Any good way to ID those? I like mystery but I also like having a decent idea of what I’m working with. I’d be surprised if the engine builder called it “built” without atleast porting stock heads, not sure if that’s a typical thing to do on these 302s
 

5.0Droptop

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The cam part number will be etched into the end of it.
 

Mustang5L5

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Strange! Yea I have no problem digging in, I don’t wanna go so far as to take heads off, but valve covers are no problem. I should probably register the simple stuff anyway, and that way I could see Valves, springs and retainers too while I’m in there. Any good way to ID those? I like mystery but I also like having a decent idea of what I’m working with. I’d be surprised if the engine builder called it “built” without atleast porting stock heads, not sure if that’s a typical thing to do on these 302s
Yes, the valve cover removal would give better insight as to what is under there. Stock springs? Aftermarket springs? Roller rockers? and any date codes cast into the heads to try and ID them.
 
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Jul 17, 2020
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The cam part number will be etched into the end of it.
Ya, so I’d have to pull the cam out to see what we got here. The cam isn’t really important to me in a way, I know it’s a mild one. The heads are the mystery. Either way I know it’s no 400whp, looks like I’ll have to spray a 150 shot for 400 whp lmao
 

Mustang5L5

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Ya, so I’d have to pull the cam out to see what we got here. The cam isn’t really important to me in a way, I know it’s a mild one. The heads are the mystery. Either way I know it’s no 400whp, looks like I’ll have to spray a 150 shot for 400 whp lmao
Hit or miss where the cam numbers are. Some are on the end behind the cam gear, some are cast into the body. Some are on the opposite end. SOmetimes the numbers are helpful, other times they are totally useless.

If you went as far to pull the cam, i would expect to find nothing at all. If you do find any numbers that are helpful, i would consider it a bonus.
 
Jul 17, 2020
9
1
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26
Massachusetts
Hit or miss where the cam numbers are. Some are on the end behind the cam gear, some are cast into the body. Some are on the opposite end. SOmetimes the numbers are helpful, other times they are totally useless.

If you went as far to pull the cam, i would expect to find nothing at all. If you do find any numbers that are helpful, i would consider it a bonus.
You’re an absolute G, I’ll pull off the valve cover in the next few days to see what we’re working with, once I get a new gasket for it. Thank you for all the help fellow masshole
 
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2000xp8

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Hard to tell but it looks like you may have rubber gaskets, which means you likely won't need new ones.
Just remember to take it very easy when you bolt them back down, i know from experience how easy the value cover bolts break.
If for some reason they are cork, buy rubber.
 

Boostedpimp

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My money's on stock heads because they sure look like stock E7 boat anchors and if they are stock but the engine was claimed to be 400hp i'd probably weary of the cam being anything aftermarket at all. Of course you won't know unless you pull it to check and at that point you might as well put in nitriouis friendly cam and spray your small kit
 
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