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1988 Ford Mustang LX Terminator Swap
SVT Cobra Powered Fox Body is One Clean Mean Machine
Any Mustang enthusiast can appreciate a nice clean swap. That’s what Jesse Houseman from Red Lion, Pennsylvania, did to his ’88 Fox body that once was in rough shape. On the outside it looks like one super clean, yet unassuming, Mustang, but prop up the hood and you’ll see that this fast Ford is packin’ some serious heat.
The heart of this beast is powered by a 4.6-liter V8 swapped over from a 2004 SVT Cobra. Jesse’s Fox runs just like a stock Cobra, but the older-gen Fox is a little lighter, generates a little more power, and still manages to get about 23 miles per gallon.
This pony started out life as an automatic 4-cylinder and then moved up to a Procharged 377-cubic-inch and five-speed manual combo. After various issues and zero reliability, Jesse decided to go through with the Terminator swap mated to a T56 transmission with a Steeda Tri-ax shifter and couldn’t be happier.
Other performance modifications to this bad boy include an Eaton blower with 15 lbs. of boost, a tune by Dennis at Airflow Development, Flowmaster mufflers and a Bassani mid-pipe with Bassani 2.5-inch tail pipes to accompany that mean V8 rumble.
To beef up the Moser 31-spline solid axle, 3.73 gears were added, as well as Cobra 31-spline traction lock and Ford Racing girdle. Other suspension and chassis work include: Maximum Motorsports Extreme Duty adjustable lower control arms; Ford Racing upper control arms; urethane bushings; Bilstein HD rear shocks; Maximum Motorsports Coilovers; a modified 4.6 K-member; Maximum Motorsports rear springs, and subframe connectors from Kenny Brown.
That’s not all folks! A Glenns sleeper fuel tank was added along with Fiore performance fuel rails, and custom 8AN - 6AN fittings. Next up on the mod list is a 2.4-L Whipple and cam install with a goal to get this car to generate 600 rwhp on pump gas. At the moment it makes 440 horsepower and 475 lb. ft. of torque.
Exterior mods include ’95 Cobra R wheels wrapped with Kuhmo 245/14/17 tires for the front, and Nitto NT555s for the rear for serious hooking. Stopping power is provided by 13-inch brakes (from a 2000 Bullitt) with Ford Racing cross-drilled rotors for the front and rear. All hoses are stainless steel from Maximum Motorsports and it features a modified Cobra Hydroboost. Covering the powerful V8 is a Cervinis 4-inch cowl hood, and a Cobra grille, ’93 Cobra spoiler, and custom “Stang” bumpers have been added with the body painted Performance Red.
A glance into the interior and it is just as immaculate as the exterior. It features a black interior with red accents including leather seats from a ’03 GT, a 6-point roll cage from Maximum Motorsports, UPR Billet accessories, rear seat delete, and an instrument cluster from an SVT ’04 Cobra.
This isn’t Jesse’s first rodeo as he is no stranger to Mustangs, especially Fox bodies. His first car was an ’89 LX Fox body and his current stable consists of this awesome ’88 Termi-swapped LX, a ’92 LX Coupe drag car, and a 1993 LX hatch four-cylinder “beater”.
Jesse would like to thank his understanding wife, Merrie, for his supporting his Mustang “sickness”, as well as Dennis at AFD (Airflow Development) for the tune, Beasley Ford for paint and parts, Brian McKinley and Corey Gettle for lots of random help throughout the years, as well as Jesse’s business, Precision Performance.
We are definitely digging this beast!