Recommendations for a 1986 GT

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Kyle427

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Apr 23, 2021
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Goleta, USA
Hey guys I'm Kyle, I recently received my dad's old 1986 GT mustang to fix up. I am super excited and eager to expand my knowledge of cars through this project as it's gonna be my first car. I have been saving for this car for pretty much my whole life and hope the outcome of this project is like what I have in mind. I have been browsing parts and thinking of how I want the car to turn out, but I would like some recommendations from more experienced/knowledgeable people on what parts are good, bad, decent, or a suggestion on what I should get. The car has been sitting on my grandpa's property under a bunch of tarps, my grandpa used to sometimes drive it around his property so it wasn't collecting too much dust. That kept it in decent condition and from the outside, it looks good, haven't seen under or anything yet. Today I am going to get the car and move it to my friend's shop to work on it and get the project underway. I ordered the Eibach pro kit suspension and a few other things to get it running better + basic things that need replacing. Let me know what you think, Thanks it means a lot.
 
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Olivethefet

Slap me as well as point and laugh
May 17, 2018
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Enterprise AL
Congratulation on getting the car! My advice would be to hold off on buying anything right now. I would get it to wherever you are taking it and start inspecting it. Honestly the car looks like it is going to need a lot. Not that its a bad car just that it's 37 years old and hasn't ever been restored. Make a list of everything you can find wrong with it. I'm not a four-eye-guy, but I think some of the parts for the 86 are a little harder to come by. Once you have your list start prioritizing what needs to happen first. What are your goals. Get it running good first? Start going through the suspension and brakes? Make it pretty? The worst thing you can do, and the easiest thing to do, is just attack it without a plan. Thats how most of us do it by the way. When you have some direction you can get on here and ask specific questions, and you'll get good feedback. The more specific the question the better. The more it looks like you are actually trying to find information on your own and not just asking questions that have asked 1000 times the better. There is a ton of information already documented on the site if you'll just look for it. The search function is your friend. Dont be afraid to ask stupid questions. We all do.

With all that out of the way. Welcome to the site! and best of luck with getting your dads old car back up and running!

Oh, one more thing. Start a progress thread in the Fox Body area of the site.


This way you have a nice place to document your progress and ask question. Please dont start a new thread every time you have a question. That gets confusing.

Post lots of pictures!
 
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Potomus Pete

Gretchen Whitmer is eating at me
Mar 7, 2019
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Take the gas tank out, and clean it. New filter, and like he said take your time. When I first bought my car I made the mistake of buying a bunch of stuff that was way overboard for what my car needed. I would get the car painted first. Or redo the carpet and seats. Clean up the interior then do the paint. Start a build thread if your serious that way you will have a documented story.
 

Kyle427

Member
Apr 23, 2021
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Goleta, USA
Yeah, I have made a list of what I wanted to do with the car and have only ordered stuff like weather stripping. I got a new water pump in the mail yesterday and belts, hoses, and a couple more small things are coming tomorrow. I was thinking of getting it running good before I do paint and other look modifications since I don't mind it looking bad if it runs well. I also want to clean the car up and fully decide what I'm gonna need to do because that will add more things to the list. Thanks for the pointers, if you have any recommendations on parts that you guys have had or know good things about let me know. I am new to the site so when I start working on the car I'll create the Build or Progress thread.
 

Kyle427

Member
Apr 23, 2021
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Goleta, USA
What do you guys think I should do about the bumpers as far as restoration? Or should I try for some new ones, but it's probably hard to find.
 

Qwk88LX

Member
Dec 1, 2003
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Congrats on your first stang!! I agree with the advice given above, resist the urge to buy the most popular mods, until you plan what you want out of the car.. drag car, road racing, daily driver etc. I would say get the bones of it right, take care of any rust, get it painted.. protect the body & frame. By the time you get that done, I'm sure you'll have a vision of what you want this car to be. Good luck!
 

Kyle427

Member
Apr 23, 2021
26
30
23
Goleta, USA
I dropped the tank today and will clean it tomorrow, maybe even throw on my other water pump. Just to flush out the radiator and other stuff, make sure that the water is clean. Gotta see about new gas lines so I might head over to my local o Rileys or auto zone.
 

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Aug 23, 2020
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Seguin
Like others said, get it running and become familiar with how the car handles and drives. Tune-up (plugs/wires, cap & rotor, new spark plugs, air/fuel filter) and cleaning out the gas tank will probably do wonders for a car that's been sitting for years. Brake system, including fluid, could probably use some love as well. One of the worst mistakes a gear head can do is tear a running car apart and then not have the time, funds or knowledge to put it back together. That being said, I've done it, as have most on this board. One cheap mod and best bang for the buck is a set of quality subframe connectors. That's assuming the rest of the suspension isn't sloppy. You'll be surprised how much they'll stiffen up the body and improve handling, but do the above mentioned things first.
 

Kyle427

Member
Apr 23, 2021
26
30
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Goleta, USA
Yup, that is pretty much my plan. I ordered the Eibach pro suspension kit for it because I know that it is going to need replacing. Check out my other progress thread on the car as I am going to be more active there than here!
 

JNC_14

Member
Apr 1, 2017
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Congrats on the 86! My favourite...but I am biased. The advice given above is excellent IMO. My 86 sat for a long time and when I got around to getting back into running shape again, I tackled one thing at a time each spring for the last several years. First was the gas tank..., it would fall on its face if I tried stomping on it. I tried cleaning but it was way too rusty for repair, so a new tank, pump and filter brought it back to life and a world of difference. Next was the front end. I couldn't drive it in a straight line if I was paid, darted everywhere. So rack, pump, tie rod ends, ball joint and suspension. Last spring was the rear end as it howled and whined from the abuse of my youth. Carrier gears looked like a bear had been chewing on them. Up here it's very difficult to find used parts so between LMR and Rock Auto and the local Napa, I was able to get most everything I needed. Enjoy your new toy, you'll love it!
 

Willybill32

But at least it's tight!
Jul 16, 2019
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Lexington, KY
I have an ‘86 GT too. Mine sat for about 15 years, so first order of business was a new tank and fuel pump…looks like you have that covered, but make sure your old tank isn’t rusty inside. An oil change and filter would be good along with new spark plugs, wires, distributor cap, etc., as all those parts are 37 years old likely. I would suggest replacing all the suspension rubber bushings when you do the Eibach suspension along with new ball joints. Go through the brakes, as you sure want to be able to stop well! Once you have it running and drive it for a while, you’ll find other mechanical and electrical things to fix or replace.

Paint will make you feel better when you drive it, and depending on the condition of the interior, you may want to do some work there. I did notice the exhaust is not correct for an ‘86, but more for an ‘87-‘93 GT with the turn-downs.

I subscribe to a couple of Fox Mustang parts pages on Facebook, and while a lot of ‘86 parts are difficult to find when you want them, you’ll be surprised at how much stuff you can use pops up on those pages.

Good luck!
 
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