Picked up a 87 Mustang LX 5.0 5-Speed, lots of work, should be fun!

Posted on the March 16th, 2009 under mustang by John

Well, I finally picked up a 1987 foxbody Mustang last Monday, its a LX Hatch 5.0 5-Speed.  I spent the last 7 months hunting around for something within my budget and somewhat clean.  It seemed that every one of these cars that I went to look at was hit at one point and time.  The one I picked up looked fairly straight and it had a lot money in parts invested it in it.    The paint is in OK shape, eventually I’d love to get the car re-painted, however I do see that being done in the foreseeable future. The interior is actually in pretty good shape, it needs a good cleaning and detail.  I cleaned all the vinyl surfaces with a non-ammonia cleaner then went over it with Meguiar’s Vinyl & Rubber Cleaner/Conditioner.  I gave the car a wash the other day with Meguiars Gold car wash, it probably the first wash its had in months as the car was just sitting outside.  These pics below is the car wet, so it actually looks pretty good.  I’m not sold on the rims, I love the Cobra “R” style, I just wish they were the brushed Aluminum instead.  The tires are near new, and have a ton of tread left, so it looks like these will be on here for quite a while, the rears are 275 Micky Thompson drag radials.

The car has a bunch of goodies already installed, which ultimately made me choose it.   The previous owner chose to go with Autometer cobalt gauges, which actually look pretty nice lit up.  They give off a blueish color when the lights are on.  The picture I took below isn’t great but it shows the gauge setup.  There is a fuel, EGT, and oil pressure gauge installed below the radio.  Then the other picture shows the boost and PLX wideband to monitor the air fuel ratio.

The throw out bearing and clutch are shot on the car, I was able to pickup a TREMEC 3550 for pretty cheap with low miles to replace the T5 that’s in the car.  The T5 is known to be pretty weak, especially in third gear, and its bound to blow if your running 350+ RWHP.  I have a new TOB, Rear Main Seal, and Clutch (MMR 700) ready to go.  I dropped the tranny out yesterday, took me longer then I wanted to due to some rusted and stubborn bolts.   I have to finish up taking out the bell housing, old clutch, and flywheel this week so I can go drop the flywheel off at the machinist to get cut.

The engine supposedly only has about 1500 miles on it since the rebuild, stock block bored .30 over (306) it has TRW pistons, ARP hardware, yada yada.. I just hope it holds up for some summer fun.  I changed the oil the other day, it looks clean, no sign of antifreeze or anything. It sounds clean, no ticks, seems smooth.

Anyways, the plans are to change the tranny/clutch,  rear main seal, etc and get the car on the road for some fun.  I’ll try to baby it as much as I can, I don’t want to have wrench on it all summer long.  Last night after I dropped the tranny it was a little too late to start using the air tools again since the wife was sleeping, I hit the whole car with some paint cleaner to prep it for claying, polish and wax.  The Meg’s step 1 cleaner works pretty well, it brightened up the paint quite a bit where it was dull.  Unfortunately the bumpers are pretty oxidized and I don’t think anything is going to bring back the color in them.

Once the car is up and running I’d love to change the headlights, those one pieces ones look so cheap looking and I am not fan of the clear style anyways. It could use a new headliner and carpet down the road as well.

Besides the gauges I mentioned above, the car has some suspension work done.  Motorsport springs, upper/lower control arms, adjustable strut/shocks. It has a 255 in tank pump and a T-Rex external pump, Aluminum drive shaft, Fluidyne aluminum radiator, MSD box with the Blaster coil, and a bunch of other small things. I’ll give a little more detail on the engine work in another post, once she is up and running again I’d like to get the car re-tuned / dyno’d to make sure everything is OK.

I’ll take some more pics over the next few days, and try to keep a log of what I am doing to the car.

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