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1989 Ford Mustang GT - My Muscle Stang
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Wylie Clough - Dallas, TX - 1989 Ford Mustang GT
The first car I ever bought was an '87 Mustang GT when I first joined the U.S. Army in 1995. Years later, I purchased a '92 Mustang GT when I headed back to college at Tarleton State University in Texas.
While in college, my Stang was totaled when another driver turned in front of me as I was going through a green light. I suffered a broken nose and wrist, as well as lacerations on my legs and a gash on my forehead. My girlfriend at the time, now my wife, drove up shortly after the wreck to find me bleeding profusely from my head. Needless to say, she did not have fond memories of Fox-body Mustangs after that.
Fast forward to 2010. While in the middle of my second tour in Afghanistan, I wanted another Fox-body. I tried to suppress the thought because I knew my wife still had bad memories associated with Mustangs. After I returned home in 2011, I used our '66 Mustang as my daily driver. It was not an ideal car for this or my then-3-year-old daughter. I started shopping around for a reasonable option, and after a few months, I found myself looking at Fox-bodies. To my surprise, my wife was fine with it.
After looking at several ragged-out examples, I found an all-original '89 GT on eBay that was located in Amarillo, Texas. It was clean and the 302 had GT-40X heads, aftermarket roller rockers, BBK headers, 3.55 gears, a rebuilt T5 with a performance clutch, aluminum driveshaft, Trick Flow Specialties camshaft, and an Edelbrock upper and lower intake. Most importantly, it had a Paxton supercharger. The problem—the engine had a bad cylinder. After looking the car over, I still decided to purchase it.
At home, I immediately pulled the engine and built a 306 short-block with forged connecting rods and pistons. The old parts were inspected, and the camshaft and lifters were re-used. The smog pump was removed and the water pump was replaced. The Edelbrock intake had a crack, so I installed a new Trick Flow upper and lower intake.
Since the engine was out, I also installed a QA1 complete tubular front suspension kit. This included a K-member, A-arms, springs/shocks, caster/camber plates, and a strut tower brace. Subframe connectors were also added, as well as QA1 tubular trailing arms and shocks to the rear, a performance aluminum radiator, and an MSD ignition setup. The heads were sent off for resurfacing, and new seals and guides were installed.
I also installed Trick Flow valve covers for a better look, a Hurst short-throw shifter, line-lock, and a Monster tachometer. Tunes are provided thanks to a Kenwood head unit and JL Audio speakers. I had the stock 16-inch Pony wheels wrapped in Falken tires.
After everything was installed, the car cranked out 383 rwhp and 401 lb-ft of torque.
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