Fox Rusted out strut towers

idareu

Active Member
Jan 6, 2004
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Apopka, FL
I've been out of the Mustang game for 12 years, which has been too long by about 12 years. I came across an 89 LX 5.0 5spd fastback for $5,500. The story is that it was a father/son project that fell by the wayside and has been sitting for many years. I stopped by for another look and was able to take it for a drive. The car runs strong and shifts well but needs a ton of work (interior, paint, etc...) My concern is the amount of rust on the strut towers as I have no experience welding and don't know how big of a job it will be to have this fixed so I'm reaching out to the StangNet members for any input if this could make or break the car.

Passenger Side
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Driver Site
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evintho

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Nov 12, 2003
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It's fixable but then, I've that before. If it's that rotted there......where else is there rust/rot? There's probably a lot you don't see. $5500 is a good price for a Fox body but there's a reason why. I'd save a little more money and look elsewhere.
 

idareu

Active Member
Jan 6, 2004
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Apopka, FL
Thanks to all of you for the input. After I posted this thread, I came back and looked and the pictures and asked myself "If I had a 5.0 in the garage, could I recommend this car to someone?" That answer was a big negative. It's like y'all said, if there is rust there, where else is there rust, and how bad would it be. I was so amped just getting to drive one today that my judgement was a bit clouded. ;)
 

BlakeusMaximus

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I’d pass. I had one like that and sold it to a guy that said he could fix it. I always wonder what happened to that car. Probably my most favorite fox I had.
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Mstng93SSP

You have a nice rear end there Dave.
15 Year Member
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This was one of my favorite cars I had. It was ROTTEN.....door jams, cowl, etc. 93 with a nice black interior. Same deal, sold into a guy who said he was going to fix it. This was 2013. Car has never been registered since then and last I checked is still in my name. :oops:
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BlakeusMaximus

Still got to try a little lube on my speedo head
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Yeah @Mstng93SSP, floor, hinge pillars, shock towers and probably more were all rusting out. I drove that car for quite a few years. Thought I was going to do the repair on that car but came across my current rust free GT and moved on. That coupe was a 1990 from Michigan, I found out later.
 
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Mustang5L5

Put lubricant all over the balls
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I fixed the towers on my car. Only reason I did so was due to the sentimental factor of the car to me. It was a big project that took me pretty much an entire summer to do.

I’d never do it again unless the car was something like a Saleen or 93 Cobra. I would also never buy a car that had repaired frame rails.


Pass side was an easy patch. Drivers side was a bigger job.
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Spend the extra money on a clean car.
 
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limp

wrap a little cheese around it and its a done
Oct 4, 2020
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Had some friends throughout the years who could talk to metal.... they could do a project like that in few days and you could hardly tell it was done..
Hate people like that...LOL... Hate musicians too.... God didn't give me any of that talent........
 
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Bullitt347

I have been doing it wrong this whole time
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If you are going to go through the trouble to fix it, get rid of the strut towers and put a Pinto/Mustang II double "A" arm front suspension in it. Without the strut towers a big block fits with ease.
 

idareu

Active Member
Jan 6, 2004
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Apopka, FL
Thanks all for the replies. I did decide to pass on it. I'll let someone else tackle that job. I can do mechanical, interior, etc... but paint/body isn't something I've learned to do. I have a soft spot for Fox body Mustangs. My first at 16 was an 84 GT, later I had a red 89 coupe, and finally in early 2000's I bought a 1993 Cobra that I unfortunately had to sell in 2010 when I was in-between contracting gigs. It killed me to sell it but had to take care of the family first. Now things are better and I'm on the hunt for a project. I just need find the right one. I suspect y'all will see me around here more often. :D
 
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WindsorPenchant

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Pass side was an easy patch. Drivers side was a bigger job.

I think I'll be doing the drivers side sometime soon now I've got mine stored up to tear down.. The intermediate owner had the pass side patched following an MOT failure on rusted passenger strut tower (only 2-3 years ago) but drivers side looks not too pretty from what you can see of it anyway!

I need a new brake booster to fix a vacuum leak and so I'll get a closer look then and see how everything looks once I can get close and personal.
Slightly there is more room to manoeuvre being only the 2.3 but engine's gotta come out if I'll need to get serious about repairing that.

Hoping that it's just limited to the bad areas I can already inspect with all the hardware in place!
 

idareu

Active Member
Jan 6, 2004
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Apopka, FL
So what are you looking for?
I figure a rust free body?
Good question, So ideally what I'm looking for is this (in order of priority):

* A 1989 - 1993 5spd 5.0 coupe or hatchback (Verts are nice but not sure I'd prefer one over the other 2 body styles).
* I'd like it to have minimal rust, give these cars are 30+ years old, surface rust is expected but I'd shy away from any large holes like I saw this past weekend.
* Ideally it would be in a drive-able condition (running and shifting okay).
* Outside color isn't as important as interior color. I know that may sound weird but I like almost all of the colors except for white/almond (1989 color).
* Now for the interior, I've never been a fan of red interior so Grey or Black would be preferred.
* I expect to have wear and tear inside and have no issues redoing the dash, door-panels, seats, etc...

Price-wise is the harder part, right now I have about $7k to play with. I know that won't get me much in today's market and I'll probably need to get $10k+ in order to get really serious in finding one. While I keep saving, I need to be patient but I'm still looking, Part of the fun of finding a new toy is the hunt, you never know what you can find. I just have to keep my emotions in check while I'm looking. I was so stoked to see one for $5,500 that I wasn't slowing down to think about what I really wanted or what I could be getting into. It's easy to see one for a low price and get amped up but there is a difference between a project and a potential basket-case.
 

Mstng93SSP

You have a nice rear end there Dave.
15 Year Member
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Right now near me is this car. I have seen it in person. It is rust free runs/drives etc. Black interior. $7000 asking on FB Marketplace Honolulu. So, I guess my point is they are out there in the 7k range. Be patient is what I ALWAYS advise.

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idareu

Active Member
Jan 6, 2004
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Apopka, FL
Right now near me is this car. I have seen it in person. It is rust free runs/drives etc. Black interior. $7000 asking on FB Marketplace Honolulu. So, I guess my point is they are out there in the 7k range. Be patient is what I ALWAYS advise.
That's a nice looking ride. I hadn't thought about FB marketplace. I've been looking at Craigslist, Autotrader, Autotrader classic, Ebay, etc... Thanks for the tip! I also need to lookup some Mustang clubs here in Central Florida and start hitting the meet-ups.