Quick! Fox body common problems? What to look out for?


New Member
Dec 13, 2004
I'm taking a friend to go see an '89 Fox GT. Ad says it has wires, cap/rotor, flowmaster, and some gauges. It has 150k on it.

What are common problems with these cars? What to look out for? What would be something good to talk him down on? How long do the 5.0s last? All the ones I know riding around aren't stock bottom end...

Thanks in advance guys.
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body wise look for rust starting at the rear section, look underneath where the rear bumper mounts to the frame for rust, also look where the gas tank sits for the same. open the hatch/trunk and look under the carpet for rusty floors and where the unibody frame section are welded to the floor of the trunk this is a costly repair. The fox's are known to rust under the wings also and behind the tail lights.check around the windshield mouldings for rust starting to bubble up. look at the floor pans that's an easy enough visual. also look where the lower and upper control arms are mounted for any rips or distortion, another weak area.

open the hood and look at the strut tower area and where the frame seam is along the strut tower they rust there, also look at the fire wall at the upper seam they can go there and where the steering shaft comes through. Look at the hood hinge pockets and battery tray area as well. get a good over all look for any riples in the inner fenders or major panels that are misaligned/huge gaps for pass accidents.

mechanical, i would look for mickey moused wires or hacked stuff.check to make sure the blinkers work and all the lights, most people don't think of this but this problem is common on our cars. If it has a T5(5spd) check for 3rd gear grind this is common other than that these motors are pretty tough. I'm sure I may be missing some of the other common stuff but this will get you going. good luck.
how well the car has faired throughout the years is directly dependant on how well the previous owners have maintained it. Check that car top to bottom, but also get to know the PO a little bit to determine if he's a dickhead or a real car guy.

i have 110k on mine and she isnt running in top condition anymore, but she fires right up everytime and spins to 6k whenever i want it to. The engine is probably the least of your worries. its the crappy body you have to worry about. the brakes suck too. mine are like stepping on a warm turd. i'd fix em, but im just gonna ride em out until i can afford to do 5 lug.
check the torque boxes for tweaking. check the jacking rails. check to see if the factory bumpers covers are on the car. open the gas door to see if the quarter has been replaced. check the floor pans. check the front frame rails to see if they have been straightened out.

look under the dash and in the kick panels at the wiring.
Look for tweaked Torque Boxes,(located where the rear control arms connected to) thats a common weak spot, They will be torn or cracked, its generally a sign the car was Beaten On. Also stand behind the car and check to see if car sits level some withweak rear springs some sag on the left side and some sag toward the right, weak T-5 trans will grind on 3rd, generally means trans will need a rebuild in the near future, sooner if your going to race or beat on it. Another Common issue Is motor tick, Almost 7 out of 10 mustangs I looked at had A motor tick usually its a bad /sticky lifter, or bad pushrod, This is generally because the car was rev'd to 6k/redline often, The cars valves start to float at 5800rpm, and the car stops making power at 5500 rpm any way.