Just Purchased 1987 Mustang GT Convertible, Where do I Start?

PsychoVIK

New Member
Apr 1, 2019
6
0
1
Chicago, IL
Hey Guys, New Member here, I just purchased a 1987 Mustang GT Convertible from a guy in Rockford IL. He was the 4th owner of the vehicle. The body, Chassis, and Interior are excellent condition. There are some "Things" that need to be sorted out however. First, The Odometer no longer works, I researched some topics about this on Google and think it could be the Plastic gear, so as soon as I tow it home (Brakes are shot), I will begin to perform the surgery. The Car has been sitting covered for 7+ months. The top will need to be replaced, as will the brakes- both front & Back. I would like to give it a tune-up since it idles a little rough. What else would you guys suggest I do?

Can anyone Guide me as to what is the best way to approach the Tune up process? I found the website AmericanMuscle.com where they have a lot of parts for the Stang. I was looking at this setup to begin my Tune-Up process. and slowly work on the vehicle in my spare time.

1.) MSD TFI Performance Coil
2.) MSD Replacement Cap & Rotor
3.) Ford Performance High Performance 9mm Spark Plug Wires - BLUE
4.) NGK Iridium IX Spark Plus
5.) BBK Cold Air Intake

Can anyone Shine in and offer any suggestions on the above Parts, is there something I am missing since i'm working under the hood, should I add or change the parts above? it will cost me roughly $400+ for these parts with free shipping.

I'm also looking to update the Exhaust as the right passenger exhaust has a hole in it. I love the sound of the rumbling V8 that the Stangs produce. I wouldn't want to do straight pipes but i'm looking for a nice beefy sounding exhaust that would make me go deaf while the top is up or down. HELP!!!

I will also be updating the factory Radio Head Unit along with the Speakers. So far the Speakers, i'm leading toward the Alpine R Component 6.5" speakers all around and a Pioneer or Kenwood Head unit. I'm also toying with the idea of adding an amp to power theses beauties in the trunk. I'm Open to Suggestions. Money is not too big of a benefactor here, as long as i can get Excellent loud Clear Quality while the top is down and not hear any speakers popping or having to put a a subwoofer in the trunk.

Also Anyone know where I could have the top replaced professionally, I would like the headliner and top replaced somewhere in IL. or how hard would it be for me to remove it and do it myself, i have time, the car will be in my garage and i'm pretty handy working on things as long as i have a little guidance.

By the Way Sorry about the Long Post, I will be using this Vehicle only as a Sunny Weekend Car to cruise to the lake with the wife, i'm not looking to make this a drag racing vehicle. I would like to keep it stock (No superchargers), just want to pep it up a bit.

Thank You guys for your help, Really looking forward to posting pictures of all the work I will be doing on this Beauty!
 

Attachments

  • Sponsors(?)


Mustang5L5

Mod Dude
Feb 18, 2001
31,002
7,360
224
Massachusetts
1.) MSD TFI Performance Coil
2.) MSD Replacement Cap & Rotor
3.) Ford Performance High Performance 9mm Spark Plug Wires - BLUE
4.) NGK Iridium IX Spark Plus
5.) BBK Cold Air Intake

Can anyone Shine in and offer any suggestions on the above Parts, is there something I am missing since i'm working under the hood, should I add or change the parts above? it will cost me roughly $400+ for these parts with free shipping.
Welcome and nice ride.


Some opinions on your parts selections

1.) unless your coil is failing, just stick with the stock OE unit for now. This is a nice to have, but not necessarily a need to have at this point of your refresh
2.) ok
3.) ok
4.) these 5.0's seem to love stock copper Motorcraft plugs and can have issues with iridium/platinum. Stick with the stock plugs
5.) really more for looks than a performance upgrade. Drop in K&N filter with the silencer removed would be a better, cheaper choice. But, your call.

Other things to tackle would be to replace the pcv, check for vac leaks (smoke machine if you can build one would help out a lot), pull the engine codes and address any issues, change fluids and really get the car in a good state of running before proceeding with the mod bug.
 

PsychoVIK

New Member
Apr 1, 2019
6
0
1
Chicago, IL
Welcome and nice ride.


Some opinions on your parts selections

1.) unless your coil is failing, just stick with the stock OE unit for now. This is a nice to have, but not necessarily a need to have at this point of your refresh
2.) ok
3.) ok
4.) these 5.0's seem to love stock copper Motorcraft plugs and can have issues with iridium/platinum. Stick with the stock plugs
5.) really more for looks than a performance upgrade. Drop in K&N filter with the silencer removed would be a better, cheaper choice. But, your call.

Other things to tackle would be to replace the pcv, check for vac leaks (smoke machine if you can build one would help out a lot), pull the engine codes and address any issues, change fluids and really get the car in a good state of running before proceeding with the mod bug.

Thanks, I'm going to follow your suggestions, hence why i didnt purchase anything at the moment was waiting to see what everyone's experiences were. Thanks Again.
 

BlakeusMaximus

“Blakeusdoneimus”
Jul 12, 2017
1,646
898
153
Nice convertible! I agree with Mike on his suggestions but would probably just stick with a OE replacement cap and rotor. Not sure how much the MSD one is, but you might save some money going to OE style route. I have a BBK Fender well mount CIA for sale if you want one. :p
 
Last edited:

PsychoVIK

New Member
Apr 1, 2019
6
0
1
Chicago, IL
Awesome, Thanks for your Reply, Yeah I'm excited. Counting down the minutes till i leave to go and pick it up. Its about a 2 hour drive from my house, so just waiting for my dad to give me a hand then going to bring her home! Thank you for the offer, i'm going to hold off and do what Mike suggested which is to just get a K&N Filter and figure out how to remove the silencer and i should be good, this way i can spend the extra $$ on the Sound system!
 

Rdub6

Advanced Member
Dec 29, 2017
667
447
73
45
Long Island, NY
Don’t underestimate the PCV valve, and make sure you clean or replace the metal screen under it. I did this and the screen was so plugged up it looked like it had never been removed.
 

PsychoVIK

New Member
Apr 1, 2019
6
0
1
Chicago, IL
Don’t underestimate the PCV valve, and make sure you clean or replace the metal screen under it. I did this and the screen was so plugged up it looked like it had never been removed.
Yeah I'm going to purchase a new PCV Valve as well just because i dont know what was done to it and what wasnt, might as well start now, Summer is right around the corner! Thanks for your input!!!
 

Boostedpimp

10 Year Member
May 8, 2003
836
234
74
NJ
Follow Mike's suggestions they are spot on and once you have her road worthy drive her a little bit then let the mod bug begin with a nice mac catback :)
 

PsychoVIK

New Member
Apr 1, 2019
6
0
1
Chicago, IL
Follow Mike's suggestions they are spot on and once you have her road worthy drive her a little bit then let the mod bug begin with a nice mac catback :)
Thanks Boostedpimp, will Do!!! I just purchased what Mike Suggested. i'm Also looking at the Powerstop Z23 Brake kit.
https://www.americanmuscle.com/power-stop-z23-evolution-sport-brake-rotor-pad-kit-front-8793-50l.html

I'm going to have to replace the calipers i think as well since this girl has been sitting. any suggestions on calipers?
 

Mustang5L5

Mod Dude
Feb 18, 2001
31,002
7,360
224
Massachusetts
Thanks Boostedpimp, will Do!!! I just purchased what Mike Suggested. i'm Also looking at the Powerstop Z23 Brake kit.
https://www.americanmuscle.com/power-stop-z23-evolution-sport-brake-rotor-pad-kit-front-8793-50l.html

I'm going to have to replace the calipers i think as well since this girl has been sitting. any suggestions on calipers?

That kit is fine.

As for the calipers, just go with your favorite parts store reman brand. There's really not much in terms of an upgraded caliper for the stock fox brake setup. Typically dirt cheap.

Of course...if you want to throw some money at it...I could tell you how to put together a pretty nice brake setup for the street :)
 

90sickfox

I didn't really have an issue with the stink...
SN Certified Technician
Mar 2, 2015
4,428
3,759
183
41
The MSD cap is only ( properly ) installed with HEI style wires with 45 degree boots. The cap has holes in the hold down piece that accept the rubber buttons o HEI style wires. I put together my own plug wiring from universal spark plug wire kits. It comes with the crimp tool to crush the metal ends on.

The best bang for the buck will be gears. They make the most difference in seat of the pants feel. If you have a factory air box keep it. The factory box pulls air from behind the fender just like a cold air intake. Like said above....just put a K & N filter in it.

I also vote to go with el'cheapo autolite copper plugs. Autolite used to make motorcraft plugs ( don't know if they still do )

I use Accel wire kits...8mm. They have always worked well for me. No issues with arching or misfires.

The factory style coil is plenty for a mild car.

You're on the right track. That car looks like a great start.
 

PsychoVIK

New Member
Apr 1, 2019
6
0
1
Chicago, IL
UPDATE:
Thank You All for the Help!!! So I brought the car home last night (Towed) and put it in the Garage. I noticed when i took it for a spin around the block that it shifts pretty hard into all the gears. I'm thinking that I should start with a Transmission Flush since it has been sitting for so long. Then diagnosis it further if it keeps up. I'm hoping not to have to rebuild the tranny on it but only time will tell.
Also, the First time i start the car when cold, it will start for about 3 to 5 seconds, then die. when I start it a second time, it starts and stays on. Any ideas to help me chime in on what it can be?
i'm going to flush everything today.
The power steering fluid is Black/ Dark Brown. i sucked out as much as i could with a turkey Baster about 3 times and kept refilling the reservoir with fresh fluid. Is there an easier way to flush the power steering fluid out?
i want to take it to have the differential flushed and put new oil as well.
So far I love the car, i just hope it didn't turn out to be a costly mistake and i took a hit on a lemon?
Any suggestions are greatly encouraged! thanks as always!!!
 

Mustang5L5

Mod Dude
Feb 18, 2001
31,002
7,360
224
Massachusetts
These cars are pretty easy to repair and pretty rugged when it comes to overdue service. Sounds like you are on the right track though.

For PS fluid, I usually pop the line off the lower PS cooler fitting, and have it drip into an oil pan while I spin the pump by hand. Usually gets all the fluid out. Then I reconnect the line, add more fluid and spin pump by hand to purge it. Then i'll put the belt back on, start engine and top it off. Turn lock to lock, and top off if needed.

Ford PS pumps are typically loud, so don't be surprised if it still whines


As for your starting issue, I would hold off chasing that one down until you've had a chance to do things like plugs, wires, cap and rotor, fuel filter (def do this one), PCV valve and pull codes.

You can pull codes with a paper clip, but this code reader is a cheap investment. I recommend the extension cable at some point down the road

View: https://www.amazon.com/INNOVA-3145-Ford-Digital-Reader/dp/B000EW0KHW


View: https://www.amazon.com/INNOVA-3149-Extension-Cable-Reader/dp/B000EVYH36/ref=pd_bxgy_263_img_2/131-7910148-1863231?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=B000EVYH36&pd_rd_r=6647948a-555c-11e9-bfda-3de5c1f8c63d&pd_rd_w=yu4vK&pd_rd_wg=4yTcm&pf_rd_p=a2006322-0bc0-4db9-a08e-d168c18ce6f0&pf_rd_r=DA58W1YPKC40JCKXRZNQ&psc=1&refRID=DA58W1YPKC40JCKXRZNQ
 
  • Like
Reactions: General karthief

jrichker

StangNet's favorite TOOL
SN Certified Technician
Mar 10, 2000
26,963
2,584
224
73
Dublin GA
Dump the codes: Codes may be present even if the Check Engine Light (CEL) isn't on.

Dumping the computer diagnostic codes on 86-95 Mustangs

Revised 26-July-2011. Added need to make sure the clutch is pressed when dumping codes.

Codes may be present even if the check engine light hasn’t come on, so be sure to check for them.

Here's the way to dump the computer codes with only a jumper wire or paper clip and the check engine light, or test light or voltmeter. I’ve used it for years, and it works great. You watch the flashing test lamp or Check Engine Light and count the flashes.

Post the codes you get and I will post 86-93 model 5.0 Mustang specific code definitions and fixes. I do not have a complete listing for 94-95 model 5.0 Mustangs at this time.

Be sure to turn off the A/C, and put the transmission in neutral when dumping the codes. On a manual transmission car, be sure to press the clutch to the floor.
Fail to do this and you will generate a code 67 and not be able to dump the Engine Running codes.

Foxbody Diagnostic connector



Foxbody Diagnostic connector close up view




If your car is an 86-88 stang, you'll have to use the test lamp or voltmeter method. There is no functional check engine light on the 86-88's except possibly the Cali Mass Air cars.

583777.gif


The STI has a gray connector shell and a white/red wire. It comes from the same bundle of wires as the self test connector.

89 through 95 cars have a working Check Engine light. Watch it instead of using a test lamp.

583778.gif


The STI has a gray connector shell and a white/red wire. It comes from the same bundle of wires as the self test connector.


WARNING!!! There is a single dark brown connector with a black/orange wire. It is the 12 volt power to the under the hood light. Do not jumper it to the computer test connector. If you do, you will damage the computer.

You should get a code 11 (two single flashes in succession). This says that the computer's internal workings are OK, and that the wiring to put the computer into diagnostic mode is good. No code 11 and you have some wiring problems. This is crucial: the same wire that provides the ground to dump the codes provides signal ground for the TPS, EGR, ACT and Map/Baro sensors. If it fails, you will have poor performance, economy and driveablity problems

Some codes have different answers if the engine is running from the answers that it has when the engine isn't running. It helps a lot to know if you had the engine running when you ran the test.

Dumping the Engine Running codes: The procedure is the same, you start the engine with the test jumper in place. Be sure the A/C is off, and clutch (if present) is pressed to the floor, and the transmission is in neutral. You'll get an 11, then a 4 and the engine will speed up to do the EGR test. After the engine speed decreases back to idle, it will dump the engine running codes.

Trouble codes are either 2 digit or 3 digit, there are no cars that use both 2 digit codes and 3 digit codes.

Your 86-88 5.0 won't have a working Check Engine Light, so you'll need a test light.
See AutoZone Part Number: 25886 , $10




Alternate methods:
For those who are intimidated by all the wires & connections, see Actron® for what a typical hand scanner looks like. Normal retail price is about $30 or so at AutoZone or Wal-Mart.

Reader/dp/B000EW0KHW Equus - Digital Ford Code Reader 3145.
Or for a nicer scanner see www.midwayautosupply.com/Equus-Digital-Ford-Code-It has a 3 digit LCD display so that you don’t have to count flashes or beeps.. Cost is $22-$36.

Order it at Walmart for a better price and free shipping

41P3GQVDSHL._SS270_.jpg
 

James V

Active Member
Feb 26, 2017
333
117
53
25
Connecticut
Dump the codes: Codes may be present even if the Check Engine Light (CEL) isn't on.

Dumping the computer diagnostic codes on 86-95 Mustangs

Revised 26-July-2011. Added need to make sure the clutch is pressed when dumping codes.

Codes may be present even if the check engine light hasn’t come on, so be sure to check for them.

Here's the way to dump the computer codes with only a jumper wire or paper clip and the check engine light, or test light or voltmeter. I’ve used it for years, and it works great. You watch the flashing test lamp or Check Engine Light and count the flashes.

Post the codes you get and I will post 86-93 model 5.0 Mustang specific code definitions and fixes. I do not have a complete listing for 94-95 model 5.0 Mustangs at this time.

Be sure to turn off the A/C, and put the transmission in neutral when dumping the codes. On a manual transmission car, be sure to press the clutch to the floor.
Fail to do this and you will generate a code 67 and not be able to dump the Engine Running codes.

Foxbody Diagnostic connector



Foxbody Diagnostic connector close up view




If your car is an 86-88 stang, you'll have to use the test lamp or voltmeter method. There is no functional check engine light on the 86-88's except possibly the Cali Mass Air cars.

583777.gif


The STI has a gray connector shell and a white/red wire. It comes from the same bundle of wires as the self test connector.

89 through 95 cars have a working Check Engine light. Watch it instead of using a test lamp.

583778.gif


The STI has a gray connector shell and a white/red wire. It comes from the same bundle of wires as the self test connector.


WARNING!!! There is a single dark brown connector with a black/orange wire. It is the 12 volt power to the under the hood light. Do not jumper it to the computer test connector. If you do, you will damage the computer.

You should get a code 11 (two single flashes in succession). This says that the computer's internal workings are OK, and that the wiring to put the computer into diagnostic mode is good. No code 11 and you have some wiring problems. This is crucial: the same wire that provides the ground to dump the codes provides signal ground for the TPS, EGR, ACT and Map/Baro sensors. If it fails, you will have poor performance, economy and driveablity problems

Some codes have different answers if the engine is running from the answers that it has when the engine isn't running. It helps a lot to know if you had the engine running when you ran the test.

Dumping the Engine Running codes: The procedure is the same, you start the engine with the test jumper in place. Be sure the A/C is off, and clutch (if present) is pressed to the floor, and the transmission is in neutral. You'll get an 11, then a 4 and the engine will speed up to do the EGR test. After the engine speed decreases back to idle, it will dump the engine running codes.

Trouble codes are either 2 digit or 3 digit, there are no cars that use both 2 digit codes and 3 digit codes.

Your 86-88 5.0 won't have a working Check Engine Light, so you'll need a test light.
See AutoZone Part Number: 25886 , $10




Alternate methods:
For those who are intimidated by all the wires & connections, see Actron® for what a typical hand scanner looks like. Normal retail price is about $30 or so at AutoZone or Wal-Mart.

Reader/dp/B000EW0KHW Equus - Digital Ford Code Reader 3145.
Or for a nicer scanner see www.midwayautosupply.com/Equus-Digital-Ford-Code-It has a 3 digit LCD display so that you don’t have to count flashes or beeps.. Cost is $22-$36.

Order it at Walmart for a better price and free shipping

41P3GQVDSHL._SS270_.jpg
So everytime you plug in the code reader you're supposed to get a code 11? And if so, what do you do if you dont get a code 11? I dont think I've seen that on my car and I kept getting a code 22 for the BAP, so now I'm wondering if that explains it.
 

jrichker

StangNet's favorite TOOL
SN Certified Technician
Mar 10, 2000
26,963
2,584
224
73
Dublin GA
MAP/BARO sensor operation and code 22

Revised 24 Oct 2018 add warning about trying to measure the MAP/BARO sensor output with a common multimeter.

On a Speed Density car, the MAP/BARO sensor is connected to the intake manifold and acts to sense the manifold pressure. Lower vacuum inside the intake manifold when combined with more throttle opening measured by the TPS means more airflow through the engine. As airflow increases, fuel flow through the injectors needs to increase to keep the air/fuel ratio where it needs to be. When manifold vacuum increases, the engine is either decelerating or idling, and it needs to reduce the fuel flow through the injectors.

On a Mass Air car, the MAP/BARO sensor vents to open air and actually senses the barometric pressure due to changes in weather and altitude. Its purpose is to set a baseline for the computer to know the barometric pressure. As barometric pressure decreases, it leans out the fuel flow to compensate for less oxygen in the air. When the barometric pressure rises, it increases to add fuel since there is more oxygen in the air. The fuel requirements decrease as altitude increases, since the atmospheric pressure decreases.

Disconnecting the wiring connector from the MAP or BARO sensor will set code 22..

Misconnecting the BARO sensor to vacuum on a Mass Air car will cause the computer to lean out the fuel mixture.

Code 22 or 126 MAP (vacuum) or BARO signal out of range. The MAP or BARO sensor is pretty much the same sensor for both Mass Air & Speed Density cars. The main difference is where it is connected. Mass Air cars vent it to the atmosphere, while Speed Density cars connect it to the intake manifold vacuum. Its purpose is to help set a baseline for the air/fuel mixture by sensing changes in barometric pressure. The MAP or BAP sensor puts out a 5 volt square wave that changes frequency with variations in atmospheric pressure. The base is 154 HZ at 29.92" of mercury - dry sunny day at sea level, about 68-72 degrees. You need an oscilloscope or frequency meter to measure it. There a very few DVM’s with a price tag under $40 that will measure frequency, but there are some out there.

Map sensor wiring:
black/white - ground
orange/white or +5 volts power
white/red signal out.

Measure the +5 volt supply using the orange/white and black/white wires
Measure the signal using the black/white and white/red wires.

The MAP/BARO sensor is mounted on the firewall behind the upper manifold on 86-93 Mustangs.

The Baro or MAP sensor can only be tested using a real frequency meter. The sensor output is a square wave which cannot be accurately measured with a common multimeter. Run the test key on, engine off.. The noise from the ignition system will likely upset the frequency meter. I used a 10 x oscilloscope probe connected from the frequency meter to the MAP/BAP to reduce the jitter in the meter's readout. And oscilloscope is very useful if you have access to one or know of someone who does. With an oscilloscope, you can see the waveform and amplitude.

If it is defective, your air/fuel ratio will be off and the car’s performance & emissions will suffer

Some basic checks you can make to be sure that the sensor is getting power & ground:
Note that all resistance tests must be done with power off. Measuring resistance with a circuit powered on will give false readings and possibly damage the meter.
Check the resistance between the black/white wire on the MAP/BARO sensor and then the black/white wire on the EGR and the same wire on the TPS. It should be less than 1 ohm. Next check the resistance between the black/white wire and the negative battery cable. It should be less than 1.5 ohm.

The following power on check requires you to turn the ignition switch to the Run position.
Use a DVM to check for 5 volts on the orange/white wire. If it is missing, look for +5 volts at the orange/white wire on the TPS or EGR sensors. Use the black/white wire for the ground for the DVM.

a9x-series-computer-connector-wire-side-view-gif.gif


eec-iv-computer-connector-for-5-0-mustang-gif.gif



Diagrams courtesy of Tmoss & Stang&2birds

Complete computer, actuator & sensor wiring diagram for 88-91 Mass Air Mustangs
88-91_5.0_EEC_Wiring_Diagram.gif


Complete computer, actuator & sensor wiring diagram for 91-93 Mass Air Mustangs
91-93_5.0_EEC_Wiring_Diagram.gif


See the following website for some help from Tmoss (diagram designer) & Stang&2Birds (website host) for help on 88-95 wiring http://www.veryuseful.com/mustang/tech/engine/ Everyone should bookmark this site.

Complete computer, actuator & sensor wiring diagram for 91-93 Mass Air Mustangs
http://www.veryuseful.com/mustang/tech/engine/images/91-93_5.0_EEC_Wiring_Diagram.gif

Complete computer, actuator & sensor wiring diagram for 88-91 Mass Air Mustangs
http://www.veryuseful.com/mustang/tech/engine/images/88-91_5.0_EEC_Wiring_Diagram.gif

Ignition switch wiring
http://www.veryuseful.com/mustang/tech/engine/images/IgnitionSwitchWiring.gif

Fuel, alternator, A/C and ignition wiring
http://www.veryuseful.com/mustang/tech/engine/images/fuel-alt-links-ign-ac.gif

O2 sensor wiring harness
http://www.veryuseful.com/mustang/tech/engine/images/mustangO2Harness.gif

Vacuum diagram 89-93 Mustangs
http://www.veryuseful.com/mustang/tech/engine/images/mustangFoxFordVacuumDiagram.jpg

HVAC vacuum diagram
http://www.veryuseful.com/mustang/tech/engine/images/Mustang_AC_heat_vacuum_controls.gif

TFI module differences & pin out
http://www.veryuseful.com/mustang/tech/engine/images/TFI_5.0_comparison.gif

Fuse box layout
http://www.veryuseful.com/mustang/tech/engine/images/MustangFuseBox.gif

87-92 power window wiring
http://www.veryuseful.com/mustang/tech/engine/images/mustang87-92 PowerWindowWiring.gif

93 power window wiring
http://www.veryuseful.com/mustang/tech/engine/images/mustang93PowerWindows.gif

T5 Cutaway showing T5 internal parts
http://www.veryuseful.com/mustang/tech/engine/images/5_Speed_Cutaway_Illustrated.jpg

Visual comparison of the Ford Fuel Injectors, picture by TMoss:
http://www.veryuseful.com/mustang/tech/engine/images/Ford_Injector_Guide.jpg
 
  • Like
Reactions: James V