I saved a 4-eye Fox from impending doom [emoji3512]

ElrodKTPQ_89

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Intriguing title? Allow me to explain: I am now the owner of an 86 Hatchback that was well on its way to having a junkyard 4.8 truck engine and 4l60e. But that doesn’t really sum up the story well enough, not at all. To tell it right is gonna take a minute to read through, but this car has a very interesting history that would be a shame to just dismiss with a short introduction and a few pictures. So if you feel like learning the backstory, continue reading. If not then you can pick back up towards the end of this post.

The first time I ever laid eyes on the car was my senior year of high school (2008). I would pass it every morning on my way to school as the owner drove it to a body shop close to where I grew up. It was the first time I had ever really realized what a foxbody mustang even was. I had seen them before but had never really paid much attention to them or had any interest in them. This car changed that completely...it was low, loud and had a slick paint job and nice wheels. Not long after seeing it, I wound up making friends with the owner, and eventually became roommates with him after graduating high school. My buddy Matt, the owner, had bought the car from a guy that lived in my hometown...Matt lived in Winnsboro, LA at the time. The car was originally white and had a bonestock engine with a 200 shot of nitrous and a C4 with a big stall and was mostly drag raced by the original owner. Matt bought it when he was 16, and had his brother paint it DSG and put a set of chrome Cobra R wheels on it and a Cervini’s ram air hood, and also ditched the C4 for a T5. After Matt moved up here, a few issues started coming up with the car and he wound up buying an 89 model donor car and swapped everything over to the 86. Not long after, they kept running into a bunch of electrical issues and decided just to ditch the fuel injection and swap it over to carb. During that process they also bought a set of Pro Comp aluminum heads, Edelbrock performer rpm intake, Demon 750 carb and the absolute nastiest solid lift cam I’ve ever heard in my life (2009-10). The car lived like this for a couple years actually and was even a daily driver for a good portion of that time. Eventually the cam got the better of things and shut that show down (late 2010). Here are a couple pictures of the car at its peak. (It’s all downhill from here)

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Now at this point, with the engine out of commission, Matt was starting to look at some other options. The first option was a 347 shortblock they purchased that they were going to swap the heads and intake onto and choose a different cam. This plan never actually went all the way through, and the 347 is actually in my 94 GT now. Option 2 was a coyote engine swap. Matt wound up trading a truck he had built for a complete coyote engine and pro charger and was making plans of putting it in the car. Somewhere along this part of its history is where things started getting weird. Long story short, Matt lost interest in things and the car wound up in the hands of his brother Jason somehow. Not long after that, the car swapped hands to another friend of ours that was planning on putting a turbo LS into it...this guy never actually got the car after paying for it, and it eventually was back belonging to Jason again. Next, Jason and Matt worked out some deal that landed the coyote in Jason’s hands also. This is where the car saw the most action it would see in a long time (2016). Jason was going all the way in head over heels on the coyote swap. He completely stripped the car inside and out, installed a set of Scott Rod engine bay panels, had the coyote built to handle anything he could have thrown at it, brand new t56 magnum with QuickTime bell housing, full UPR suspension, Nitrous Express kit, the works basically. He had racked up a good 40 grand in parts but never really got started on installing any of it.

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This is where things took a turn for the worst (2017). Jason went through a divorce and in the midst of things wound up selling everything he had bought for the car. The only thing he didn’t get rid of was the car itself. When it came time to move out of his house, he had nowhere to put the car, which wasn’t even a roller anymore, so he winds up GIVING the car back to the ORIGINAL owner. Once back in the hands of the original owner, who already had two other hatchback foxes, the 86 was put up in a storage building he owned and forgotten about for a few months (2018).

In January of 2019, a good friend of mine named Trey tells me he’s on the lookout for a project car. So I get him in touch with the current owner of the car, who winds up giving the car to Trey absolutely free. Trey tossed around the idea of a couple different engine swaps before finally going and buying a 4.8 from a wrecked truck, and a rear end from some 99-04 GT. He was also given a k member and a arms from another buddy of mine, which actually turned out to be from an 03-04 Cobra. Trey wound up getting the car rolling again, and that’s as far as things went. A couple weeks ago Trey got a HELLUVA deal on a 91 LX Hatchback, so it was time to let the other car go. This is where I finally make my way back into the story. Trey sold me the car for what he had in the suspension and tires/wheels.

I bought this car for $320 [emoji15]

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We went ahead and moved the car into my new shop the other night.

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Right now it resides under a car cover, where it will probably remain until I’m ready to work on it...after my shop and house are finished. The only thing I’ve done to it was vacuum it out and ripped out this janky cheap ass wiring harness Trey thought would be a good idea to put in it [emoji2359]

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I didn’t need this car by any means, but I couldn’t let it pass me up either. I mean how many times do you get a chance to buy a car that clean for so cheap in one lifetime?!? I do have some future plans for it though. I would like to try and get it as light as possible while still keeping the door panels and carpet and most of the interior, full UPR suspension, and just get it back to a driveable state again. I still have the engine out of my 94, which is in great shape with pretty low miles and a basically brand new clutch as well. As the car sits I could probably get it running and driving again for around $1000 if I wanted to, but for now it’s not hurting anything to just sit and wait. Atleast it’s no longer destined for the dreaded LS swap life. Of course I’ll update this whenever anything new happens with it but don’t expect it to be anything like my other car, I still have to finish it LOL.

To anyone who actually dedicated the time and effort to read thru that saga of mustang history then award yourself with a firm internet handshake from me. I know it was very long-winded, but as I said, you just can’t leave all of that stuff out. Thanks for checking it out and I’d love to hear what any of you guys think about it.
 

Silver95bird

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Hopefully all the body panels and parts came with it. My wife's 86 gt hatch just turned 200000 last week and is still going strong. They're great cars.

There are a few 86 only quirks, but most of those are gone now on your car. At this point it's mainly the dash and guages for you, lol.

BTW I'm jealous of the huge shop. I've got a 25x25ish shop, and it's an ongoing project like everything else.

Sent from my moto z3 using Tapatalk
 

DKblue98GT

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I like the story. It's cool that you have so much history with the car.
 

ElrodKTPQ_89

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Hopefully all the body panels and parts came with it. My wife's 86 gt hatch just turned 200000 last week and is still going strong. They're great cars.

There are a few 86 only quirks, but most of those are gone now on your car. At this point it's mainly the dash and guages for you, lol.

BTW I'm jealous of the huge shop. I've got a 25x25ish shop, and it's an ongoing project like everything else.

Sent from my moto z3 using Tapatalk

Yea all of the body panels are there and in great shape still too. I think the only thing that has any damage was the front bumper around the headlight buckets, but that had been there for a long time. The hood was sold somewhere along the way too unfortunately. And yea as far as things go it’s pretty much a clean slate to start with.

Thanks too about the shop, I have a thread on it if you’d like to see more. I’ve been working in a shop that’s 18x30 for the last 7 years so I’m beyond ready to be moved into a new place with more room.

I like the story. It's cool that you have so much history with the car.

Thanks man. That was the first car I went 160mph+ in lol. It was really a sharp ride back in the day and got a lot of attention.
 

Silver95bird

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86 gt front bumpers are available aftermarket, and the hoods I think are universal on the early cars. I bought an 84 v6 hood and it's the same.

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ElrodKTPQ_89

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86 gt front bumpers are available aftermarket, and the hoods I think are universal on the early cars. I bought an 84 v6 hood and it's the same.

The bumper isn’t bad, I can live with it. As far as the hood is concerned I’ll probably get a small cowl hood for it eventually.
 

RedTwilight

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I enjoyed the story as well!
It's a great looking car. I'll be watching to see what you end up doing to it.

I've got an '86 T-top hatch sitting at home myself.
They look especially good with a 2 1/2" to 4" cowl hood.

Any '83-'86 hood will fit. The earlier '79-'82 models the hood went straight across. While the '83-'86 had a small lip similar to what was on the '87-'93 "aero" nose.
 

ttocs

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there is a strange part of me that would love to fix up a nice old t-top fox. I say strange because I know then I would have to grow my mullet back, find my old GNR tapes and roll a pack of smokes in my sleeve but I am down for that.....
 

Silver95bird

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there is a strange part of me that would love to fix up a nice old t-top fox. I say strange because I know then I would have to grow my mullet back, find my old GNR tapes and roll a pack of smokes in my sleeve but I am down for that.....
You sure you didn't confuse it with your dark blue/red/teal 3rd Gen Camaro IROC?

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ElrodKTPQ_89

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Bored at work today so I’ll give this a little update. I’ve just been hoarding parts over the past year but still waiting to get a start on the car. I should be moving into my shop/house by the summer so hopefully things will pick up after I’m settled in.

I picked up a set of cobra front brakes last summer. When Black Friday rolled around I decided to go ahead and buy all of my rear suspension components and went with a complete UPR rear suspension kit that included adjustable upper and lower LCA’s, ARB, axle brace and strange 10-way adjustable shocks.

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You may notice the struts in the picture. When I opened the package I found that I received Strange front struts instead of shocks. I called UPR and they told me not to worry about it, so I went ahead then and got a set of shocks on the way for regular price. So basically just got struts for the price of shocks.

A few weeks ago I went to the junkyard and pulled a set of 94-95 spindles. Got them disassembled the other day and waiting to have them powder coated. I bought a set of camber plates from MM during their weekend sales, and am waiting to purchase the rest of the front suspension. I plan to run a UPR k member with tie-down hoops, UPR A arms, bumpsteer kit and steering shaft from MM, Flaming River manual rack, and still undecided on what springs to run for coilovers up front.

Engine plans haven’t changed much. I still have the stock engine that came from my black car just sitting on a crate in my shop. I would like to do a h/c/i on it for now and plan ahead for boost later on.


Oh yea! Also bought an 8.8 from @white95 back in September. It’s currently under the car to save space in my shop, but will be coming back out for some upgrades and freshening up when I start the rest of the suspension build.

I have my eyes on a 2-post lift that a friend of mine is selling, just waiting on him to give me the call to come pick it up. Soon as I can get a lift put up then the car will go on it and I can get to work.
 

50HSN95

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Cool! UPR is good stuff. I have to laugh as there are some other Mustang forums out there that bash the hell out of UPR, but they are on drag cars that are faster then all get out! I was looking at their street ARB until I found Baseline Suspension. I used the Strange coil over kit(s) on my Strange struts, they fit like a glove. I used QA1 springs but there is a zillion options out there.

That looks like a fun project!
 

joe65

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yeah interesting discussion because i want to move to a new k member when i get to the engine replacement mode and i'd like MM just because i know i trust their quality but then i see QA1 and UPR are so much more affordable and i'm not building a track car so, I just would really like the access so i can go with long tubes or a turbo.
 

50HSN95

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It’s when we start taking corners faster that UPR goes to shit!
Haha, fair enough!

I look at that stuff like "you had one job" and it really does, go in a straight line, that's pretty much it. Guess I did not think of people putting the stuff on, throwing it in a corner and then being Pikachu shocked when the drag racing parts fail in the corners on the street.
 

ElrodKTPQ_89

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This car will be drag raced and street driven sometimes. I debated going with MM again but decided to keep on with cutting weight where I could. Like it was said above, UPR is on some of the fastest cars on the track, and from what little I’ve dealt with them so far they stand by their word and their products. My 94 has full MM suspension so I’ll have the best of both worlds I suppose...and be able to compare the two for myself vs just reading others opinions/experiences with them.
 

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