Muscle Mustangs & Fast Fords
How To Buy Your First Ford Mustang
Deal or No Deal?
The Fox chassis served the Mustang community well. They have many benefits and today they are affordable and can be restored or built full tilt thanks to a supportive aftermarket. They are also easy to work on and you can do a lot with the design.
Fox-bodies can be found on both ends of the price spectrum. You can buy a fixer-upper for $500 or a $15,000 pristine Pony. Budget is everything, and online resources such as Mustang forums, Kelly Blue Book, eBay, or Craigslist.com, are all great sites to hone in on what Fox-bodies are going for and in what condition.
The biggest problem with Fox-bodies is mileage, age, and wear and tear. Since they are old cars now, you can expect to replace common service items like ball-joints, control arm bushings, brakes, seals, and anything else that see's stress when driving.
According to Tedd Siegel, owner of Total Mustang Supply (in Coconut Creek, Florida), a performance shop specializing in Mustangs, a major thing to check before buying a Fox-body is the electrical system. "Due to the age, wiring harnesses become worn or brittle, and inline fuses can blow. Tracing the electrical system for draws can become very time consuming and expensive if a shop is needed to fix it," explained Siegel.
The condition of the body is another major factor. Check for rust, especially if buying a northern car. Areas prone to rust are the hatch, quarter-panels, and lower portions of the doors. Also inspect torque boxes (the area where the lower control arms attach to the body), as well as the floor, because they prone to cracking, especially in cars that have seen track duty.
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Fixing these issues requires either welding, or use of battle boxes. Fortunately, they are common repairs that can be handled by most performance shops. Other problem areas can be found in the driver's seat, as they can become warped and twisted, the ash tray door always breaks in the console, and weatherstripping can be ripped and torn. Again, these are all easy fixes that can be fun to do and will teach you how to make simple repairs.
If you are looking for a Stang on a limited budget, a Fox-body may be the perfect option. Restoring it to its former glory can be a fun task, and very rewarding. Aftermarket companies such as Latemodel Restoration, National Parts Depot, and Summit Racing Equipment (along with many others) makes it easy for you to find virtually any replacement or performance part you need. The ease of modifying a Fox is a great way to learn the basics of car maintenance and performance. For those who don't want to use a computer to dial in performance, the Fox Mustang affords you the ability to twist the distributor and easily slide in a cam.