Fox Pre '87 Vs Post '87


New Member
Aug 3, 2013
I'm still in the business of looking for a first car, noticed the 4 eyes were cheaper, and ususally not as modified as the post '87s. I know the major differences were a slight redesign in and out, and a switch from carbed to efi. What kind of difference in fuel economy and performance am i looking at here? Is it a large difference? Any stats and personal experience you have would be great.
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There are many differences... off the top of my head...

The 87-93 cars were rated at 225 hp stock, the earlier cars were less by 20-50 hp depending on the year. 80-81 models came with a downsized engine and are generally great to avoid.

The tail light panel changed at some point in the early 80's.

Prior to 1986 all Mustangs were equipped with the 7.5 inch axle. The 8.8 Axle became standard on the V8 cars in 1986. It is a significant improvement in durability.

The K-member is narrower on the 79-86 model cars (it is the same as the 87-93 2.3l cars however)

Front Brakes, although still puny, got a size increase in 1987.

The interior was completely redesigned and became far more modern.

Ultimately, due to backward compatibility and the SN95 parts being superior and swappable to virtually any Fox Mustang, you should really pick the car you want based on the style that you like. If you like the 4 eye cars, they can be built to be just as good as an 87-93 car in terms of performance.

Oh, as for fuel economy... they all suck.
86 gt's were fuel injected also and I agree with the prev post. Pick a good example of whatever model year you like and enjoy the hobby. Whichever you pick most likely won't stay in stock condition anyways lol. If it is a low mileage original try to keep it that way IMO.
The early cars are lighter than the later cars. This is an important feature to a guy whom wants a light drag car. Earlier cars were more manual door locks, manual windows, etcetera. As the years wore on, so did things that added weight; door bars, reinforced driver's seat floor pans, premium stereo with amp, etcetera.... Restoration parts for the earlier year cars didn't really become popular for quite some time. You could get anything you need for a '87 on up car; but pre-87 had limitations. Nowadays? It becomes far less important since the aftermarket has really stepped it up for the '79 to '86 cars IMHO...
Oh :poo:, do pre '87s have airbags? My mom said it has to have airbags, it would take some serious persuasion and good grades for her to let me get a car without airbags.
1990 was the first year for air bags. The fuel injected engines definitely get better gas mileage and make more power factory, with the 89 up the best (factory mass air). The transmission got stronger in 85, the block in 85, the rear axle in 86, and the brakes got bigger in 87.
personally i prefer the pre 87 stangs, but they are all good imo. i would love to find a 79-83(?) with an inline six and four speed manual trans. one thing though, NO convertibles!
What is it Vert haters? Guess since you need a hard top for your avatar LOL

Mustangs would not be around if it weren't for the awesomeness of the Convertible....
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you can tell the difference in the steering wheel horn section pre 90 had a 4 inch circular middle and tilt steering, 90 up had a large rectangle center, some folks switched out the airbag for the pre 90 tilt column so look for it too.

90 and up


89 and earlier

just saw Mikes post below I agree you may want a newer mid 90's model different body but should be allot safer, mechanically original and still have allot of the same "parts" only upgraded due to better materials design etc,
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Those airbags are also VERY powerful. Have a friend who gets them and can't resell them so he pops them.

Those old Ford square airbags are some of the most powerful around. Really wouldn't want to be hit with one.

If safety is a issue, and this is your first car, i really wouldn't recommend a Fox Mustang.
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