Project Guide: The 1979-1993 "Fox Body" Ford Mustang and 1979-1986 Mercury Capri


Project Guide: The 1979-1993 "Fox Body" Ford Mustang and 1979-1986 Mercury Capri


1979-1993 Ford Mustangs (and their 1979-1986 Mercury Capri twin) are the most famous of the Ford "Fox Body" platforms and are popular project cars because they share what make all Mustangs fun: they provide affordable, V8 engine power in a small package.

Of course, "affordable" is relative to your budget, and lately Mustang prices are skyrocketing, but there are still decent deals out there. You can build a Fox Body on a modest budget, especially if you have realistic expectations and are willing to do work on the car yourself.

Want to start a Fox Body project, but not sure where to start or what to look for? This guide will help you identify the deals from deal breakers.

The Prospects

Over its fifteen-year life span, the Fox-chassis Mustang meandered through several mechanical and aesthetic changes. For the most part, body parts, interiors, and running gear are interchangeable (though some necessary holes were added, and subtle stamping changes were made). Some like the four-headlight cars, others prefer the "aero" look that debuted in 1987. (That same year also brought a revised interior.) From an aesthetic standpoint, just pick what you like. However, from a mechanical standpoint, you can use the feature matrix below to determine which year model meets your needs. While there were some mid-year changes and caveats for special models (like the SVO, Cobra, and Saleen, for example), the following reflects the bulk of the changes for regular-production V8 models:

Fox Platform Guide options spread

  • The 5.0L V8: While we all think of V8 Fox Mustangs as "five-ohs", that's not necessarily the case. The 302 was removed from the lineup in 1980 in favor of the 4.2L (255 ci) V8, which lasted until 1981. For 1982, the 302 returned as the rebranded "5.0L".
  • Roller Camshaft: The 1985 Mustang V8 was the first to use a roller camshaft (and more importantly, these blocks have roller lifters and the bolt holes for the roller follower alignment dog bone retainer.) These roller lifters are extremely durable and can usually be reused when changing camshafts—even on high mileage engines.
  • Forged Pistons: : The 1987-1992 5.0L V8 engine came with factory forged pistons. While not indestructible, some people prefer them over the hypereutectic alloy used in other engines.
  • Holley 4180 4-barrel Carburetor: Manual transmission models in 1983-1985 used a Holley 4-barrel carburetor on a dual plane intake manifold. To keep the air-fuel ratio near the desired 14.7:1 for maximum catalytic converter efficiency, however, took an endless labyrinth of vacuum lines and solenoids. There was even a control box housed in the kick panel location that would later house the legendary EEC-IV processor.
  • Sequential Multi-Port EFI: While earlier models were offered with a throttle body "central point" fuel injection, 1986 was first year with the Fox Mustang's multi-port EFI and its iconic, "folded over" manifold. The new EEC-IV managed system greatly simplified the under-hood equipment needed to maintain a stoichiometric air-fuel ratio for the catalytic converter.
  • E7TE Cylinder Heads: After arguably the worst-flowing 5.0L cylinder heads were used on 1986 Mustangs, Ford engineers opted for the "E7TE" cylinder heads. The "E7T" stood for "87 Truck," as that as the original application for the cast iron lumps.
  • Driver's Side Air Bag System (SRS): 1989 was the last year Mustangs came without an air bag (and, consequently, the option of a tilt steering column). The air bag system that debuted in 1990 increased safety, however, over time it's common for several of the components in the system wear out, which result in a blinking "Air Bag" light. Common culprits are the steering wheel clock spring or the air bag diagnostic module—replacements for both are currently unavailable.
  • 8.8-Inch Rear Axle (V8 Cars): A significant change for 1986 was the introduction of the venerable 8.8-inch rear end, which replaced the 7.5-inch unit under all previous V8 Fox Mustangs. In fact, derivatives of this differential continue in Mustangs today. The endless options for the Ford 8.8 are only exceeded by the 9-inch rear. If you're hot-rodding a Fox Mustang, you'll want an 8.8 rear back there.
  • T-5 Five-Speed Manual Transmission: The first Mustang to receive the T-5 transmission was in 1983. Upgraded with different internals and gear ratios though its life cycle, the five-speed Borg-Warner (now Tremec) manual transmission was also used in 4-cylinder models—albeit with a lower torque rating and different input shaft.
  • AOD Overdrive Automatic Transmission: Automatic-transmission equipped V8 Mustangs first got the four-speed AOD (Automatic Over Drive) in 1984. While not the greatest transmission in Ford's history, it can be built to handle decent amounts of power. All the Fox-era AODs were conventional, mechanically controlled transmissions with an electronic lockup.
  • True Dual Exhaust: A dual-muffler, dual outlet exhaust debuted in 1985, but 1986 was the first year that the Fox mustang had "true" dual exhaust with an H-pipe balance tube. Earlier models used a three-catalyst Y-pipe and either a single or dual muffler cat-back system. Aside from having four catalytic converters, the 1986-up Fox Mustangs also sported the necessary "double hump" transmission crossmember to accommodate the driver's side tube.
  • Longer Front Wheel Openings: In 1991 Ford enlarged the wheel arches by moving the leading edge 1-1/4" forward to increase wheel and tire clearance. The front fenders and related body parts are shorter to reflect this change. This can be handy when adding a larger tire or modifying the suspension for better handling.
  • 11-Inch Front Disc Brakes (V8 Cars): In 1987, V8 models received 11" front disc brakes and a unique spindle. While the one-inch-larger discs increased braking capacity, braking performance still lagged straight-line capability.
  • T-Tops: 1981-1988 cars were offered with T-tops as an option. T-top cars use the same frameless doors and side mirror trim as convertible models.
  • Bubble-Back: 1983-1986 Capris were fitted with a "bubble-back" hatchback and angled taillights.

What's The Market Like?

Fox-chassis Mustangs are seeing the typical market spike many cars see when they near thirty years old. Specialty models (SVO, 1979 Indy Pace Car, 1984 G.T. 350, Saleen, and Cobra, as well as specialty Capris like the RS, Black Magic and Crimson Cat) are selling as collector cars with collector car prices. However, LX 5.0 coupes equipped with 5-speed transmissions are fetching high prices as well.

With that said, there are still reasonable deals out there—if you're willing accept some compromises. The further you stray from a V8 five-speed coupe, the more affordable a Fox Mustang becomes. For example, if a V8 five-speed model is out of your price range, a car with a V8 and an automatic transmission is a good option at a fraction of the price. Automatic-equipped cars are less likely to be abused as much as their three-pedal siblings. Or, if you're planning an engine swap, then what's currently under the hood doesn't matter. Use the money you're saving on the engine and buy a car with the body style you want or the right number of pedals.

Note that T-top cars are enjoying a resurgence in demand, though the cutouts for the removable glass panels weaken the chassis and are prone to leaks. If you're looking for classic, hair-blowing-your-mullet cool, a T-top car should be on your radar. But, if you're more concerned about handling or performance, it is best to start with a coupe or hatchback.

Fox Platform Guide body styles

What To Look For When Shopping

For some, shopping is the fun part. Establish a budget and determine the "must haves" based upon your goals for the project. Be realistic about your skills, budget, and expectations. Looking for a project worthy of preservation or restoration? Finding a car that's as original as you can afford might be the best bet. However, if you're going to build a stripped-out, engine swapped monster, then a car with a blown engine and ratty interior is just fine.

Between those two extremes are the rest of us. Let's assume you're looking for a decent running car that needs a little TLC. Here's some tips:

Where To Look: The days of thumbing through newspaper classified ads are long gone. Now shoppers can let their mouse do the walking and search nationwide for cars online. Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace seem like the best places to find affordable 1979-1993 Foxes.

Fox Body Platform Craigslist listing

Do an Inspection: When buying any used car, a thorough inspection and test drive will reveal a lot. Use your senses: Look, listen, feel, and smell. In general, accept a car with problems in areas you're comfortable fixing. If you're a "body guy," buying a car with body damage but a good drivetrain is reasonable. Conversely, if you're comfortable fixing mechanical problems but aren't good at bodywork, a straight, solid car that's a mechanical basket case is your jam.

Look at the car before buying. When buying a car sight unseen, expect the worst. If it "ran when parked" or "runs and drives," don't expect much more. Photos of a wet car means the paint isn't shiny when dry. "Fresh paint" could mean someone likely fogged it with a quick and dirty paint job to cover something up.

Listen for creaks, squeaks, rattles, and clunks from the suspension and drivetrain. While crude by today's standards, Fox Mustangs were pretty "tight" and quiet for their time. If it's making noise somewhere, there's a reason.

Feel for vibrations. Motor mounts, unbalanced wheels, and rubbing exhaust will manifest as vibrations you can feel when driving. Fortunately, most vibrations are not huge problems—though tracking them down can be frustrating.

Smell for moldy carpet, a leaking heater core, and burning oil from the exhaust. If the interior looks and smells like a crime scene, plan on pulling out the interior to replacing the carpet.

Warning Signs – "Low" Miles: Fox Mustangs' odometers only have five whole digits, meaning once the odometer has rolled over, there's no telling how many miles are on the car without a vehicle history report (such as Carfax). Any Fox Mustang that has less than 100,000 miles should be in very good condition. (That's less than 3,000 miles per year!) A well-used car that shows 50,000 miles on the odometer likely has 150,000 or more. However, don't be afraid of a high-mile car, especially one with an automatic transmission. A high-mileage Fox Mustang is still a reliable project, and the automatic transmission saved the car from a lot of burnouts and hard launches.

Fox Platform Guide low miles

Warning Signs – Many Owners: Fox Mustangs are old enough to have dozens of owners, which isn't necessarily a problem, but bear in mind: these cars weren't always collector's items. An eight-owner 5.0L five-speed Fox Mustang wasn't owned by eight old ladies who drove to church on Sunday. If a car has changed hands a lot, the car may be a "problem child." A checkered past may be a sign that the car has issues those previous owners would rather sell the car than address.

Warning Signs – Noisy Engine: A well-running 5.0L is quiet. Valvetrain, piston slap, or knocks are not normal...they're signs that the engine is tired. These Ford small blocks are very durable, but that doesn’t mean they are indestructible. If the engine is making any noises, don't expect any shortcuts. Plan on a full rebuild. Fortunately for you, parts and options for these engines are plentiful and fit any budget.

Warning Signs – Rust: Look for rust in cars that have spent significant time in states where the roads are salted. Problematic rust spots are the bottoms of the doors and back edges of the hatchback. Also, look for rust on the driver's side strut tower under the master cylinder. A leaky master cylinder drips brake fluid on this area, which dissolves the paint and absorbs moisture...a perfect recipe for panel rot. Rust can be expensive to repair. If you come across a rusty Fox Mustang, keep looking. There are still plenty of fish in the sea.

Warning Signs – Body Damage: When identifying body damage, it helps to inspect at a pristine example first (even if it's out of your price range) to note how a Fox Mustang is "supposed" to look. Just be honest with the seller so you're not wasting their time. Look for fresh paint that was applied to cover something up. Signs of front end body damage and poor repairs will show up as cracks in the engine bay sheet metal—especially the lower radiator support. Identify different color shades, misaligned body panels, and feel for doubled-up panels in the rear wheel arches. If there's any body filler or more than two panels along the pinch welds, someone has slapped a repair panel over damage. A buckled or wavy C-pillar is not necessarily a sign of body damage. Rather, hatchback models were particularly weak in this area so it's common to see some ripples in this area.

Fox Platform Guide body damage

Warning Signs – Missing Body Panel VIN Tags: 1987-1993 Mustangs had tags on the original body panels with the car's VIN. (1979-1986 models did not have these tags.) These labels were applied to:

• front bumper cover (near the hood latch or inside the cover)

• front fenders (inner top edges near the fire wall)

• hood (lower corner near the hinge)

• doors (bottom inside edge)

• rear quarter panels (open the trunk or hatch to find them)

• hatch or trunk lid (back edge)

• rear bumper cover (under or inside)

If any of these tags are missing, then the panel is likely not original. A plain white Ford label with "DOT" indicates a genuine Ford crash replacement panel.

Ford Platform Guide vin markings

Warning Signs – Bypassed Heater Core: Leaking heater cores are a common problem on Fox Mustangs. The core itself is not expensive, but replacing it is time-consuming. The hoses to the heater core pass through the fire wall at the back of the engine near the passenger's side valve cover. If the heater hoses are disconnected and bypassed, the heater core is bad. The plastic dashboard parts in these old cars get brittle and easily break if a ham-fisted mechanic is careless. Budget a weekend and a pack of beer for you and your buddies to replace the heater core.

Fox platform guide bypassed heater core 1

Fox platform guide bypassed heater core 2

Warning Signs – Air Bag Light: The air bag light on 1990-1993 Mustangs will turn off a few seconds after turning the key to the "run" position. If the air bag light stays on or continues to flash long after the key is on, then something's wrong. Air bag system problems are common because parts wear out and new replacement parts aren't available. It's usually the "clock spring" behind the steering or the air bag diagnostic module, both of which are unavailable.

Fox Platform Guide airbag warning light

Warning Signs – Air Conditioning Doesn't Work: Fox Mustangs are at least thirty years old, so it's likely that the air conditioning isn't going to work. The old refrigerant for the air conditioning systems on Foxes is unavailable, so if "the A/C just needs to be refilled," it's not going to be that simple. If the air conditioning stopped working, owners often tossed some of the A/C components, so replacing these parts will add cost. Besides, why did it leak out in the first place? (See also: front end damage.) Retrofit kits to use the current refrigerant are available, so getting the A/C working isn't impossible—it just costs money.

Warning Signs – No Fuel Pump Prime: Today's ethanol-infused fuels eat old fuel systems alive...especially when these Mustangs sit for a while. "Ran when parked" Mustangs will likely need a new fuel pump and possibly a new fuel tank. To check if the fuel pump is working, turn the key to "run," but don't start the engine. The pump should moan for a second. If you don't hear anything and the car won't run, it likely needs a new fuel pump. Fortunately, replacements are available and it's not a difficult job (unless the tank is full of gas).

Warning Signs – Transmission Problems: The Borg Warner T-5 transmission in Fox Mustangs is a very good transmission—if it wasn't abused. A T-5 behind a beefed-up engine isn't going to survive redline clutch dumps with slicks. Power shifting and maladjusted clutches also trash the synchronizers. There's no such thing as a T-5 that "just needs a second gear synchro." If it's crunching, plan on spending at least a grand rebuilding the whole gearbox, because it's going to need it. Note that Reverse on the Fox T-5 isn't synchronized. Automatic transmissions feature the common auto trans warning signs: slipping or clunking when changing gears and shuddering when the torque converter locks up. Pouring in some magic potion only delays the inevitable rebuild.

Fox Platform Guide trans rebuild

Fox Platform Guide trans rebuild

Cure Buyer's Remorse With Basic Fixes

So you paid the seller, dragged your new-to-you Fox home and realize it's leaking oil in your driveway, the car rattles everywhere, and a few things you missed don't work. Don't worry. A few straightforward fixes will address most Fox Mustang issues and transform a car from a leaky rattletrap into a fun driver.

Door Hinge Bushings and Latch Striker: The Fox Mustang chassis is pretty flexible, so as the unibody wobbles around, it wears out the door hinge bushings. Worn bushings not only make the doors rattle and clunk when driving down the road, but the door misalignment also beats up the door latch striker. If the striker's plastic bushing is broken, that's why. This is very common. Replacing the door latch striker won't solve the problem. Check for worn door hinge bushings by pulling up on the door when it's open. If there's any slop, the hinge bushings are worn. Replacement pins and bushings are readily available, and the fix isn't complicated. Use a Dremel and have a helper hold the door while you replace the pins and bushings one at a time.

Fox Platform Guide door striker

Fox Platform Guide door pin

Lying Low Coolant Light: The coolant level sensor on later model Fox Mustangs is notoriously temperamental. Replacement level sensors are available, or you can use two spade connectors and jump the connection. Of course the sensor won't work anymore if you use a jumper, but at least the light isn't always on.

Fox platform guide low coolant light

Fox Platform Guide coolant light jumper

Crooked, Rattling Side Windows: If your window rattles when you close the door or it's crooked when going up and down, the window guide bushings are worn. Use a panel popper to carefully remove the inner door panel and go to work. Replace the window channel weatherstripping while you're at it. If the side windows don't roll up or the power door locks don't operate, this is the time to fix them.

Fox Platform Guide door trim removal

Fox Platform Guide window guide bushings

Stiff, Gritty Clutch Action: The cable clutch on Fox Body cars is also a trouble spot. Decades of use and heavy clutches quickly wear out the clutch linkage components. Basic fixes should at least include a new clutch cable, fork, and replacing the aluminum input shaft bearing retainer with a steel one. The former is simple, but the latter requires removing the transmission. Both are worthwhile and will fix crusty clutch feel.

Fox Platform Guide clutch components

Fox Platform Guide input plate

Oil Leaks: While you have the transmission out fixing your gritty clutch action, keep going and remove the bell housing, clutch, and flywheel to fix that leaky rear main seal. Yes, that's why there is oil on the bottom of the bell housing. Other common oil leak points are the valve covers and oil level sensor that can leak internally. so the only fix is replacing the whole sensor. Do that at the next oil change.

Fox Platform Guide rear main seal

Fox Platform Guide Oil Sender

Rear End Issues: If you hear any "whirring" from the rear end or you've got the "one-wheel peel," it's time to crack open the diff cover and replace the limited slip clutches. While you're smelling that old gear oil, pull the axle shafts and check for wear. If there is a dark gray patch with pits or chunks missing, the axles are done. Replace the outer bearings and seals if replacing axles.

Fox Platform Guide axle bearing wear

Floor Pan Cracks: A weak spot for every Fox Mustang is the floor pan—especially between the outer rear seat mount bolt and the rocker panel pinch weld. If it hasn't cracked yet—it's going to crack. The best prevention is a set of subframe connectors. By reinforcing the floor pan, subframe connectors make the car feel stiffer and prevent the pan from cracking further. Companies such as Kenny Brown Performance offer a complete floor pan stiffening system that includes subframe connectors, a "matrix brace" and jacking rails that tie the subframe to the rocker panel for a further increase in rigidity and make jacking up the car a breeze.

Fox Platform Guide floor cracks

Fox Platform Guide subframe connectors


Broken Driver's side Seat Frame and Track: Heavy drivers and flimsy floor pans tax the driver's side seat frame and track. It's not uncommon for the seat frame and/or the track to crack and break. You can either weld it back up (and maybe it'll last), or you can get a seat track from a salvage yard.

Faded and Pitted Rear Quarter Window Molding: 1987-1993 Mustangs sport a flush, glued-in rear quarter window. After decades of sun exposure, the molding breaks down. Fortunately full replacement windows are available.

Fox Platform Guide quarter windows

Typical Interior Woes: 1980s interior materials aren't what they are today. The aftermarket has fixes for a broken map light, a floppy ash tray door, a sun-damaged, cracked and/or ill-fitting dash pad, faded and torn seat upholstery, and saggy door map pockets. All these items are addressed merely by cruising the web for replacements.

Fox Platform Guide bad interior


Now on to the whole reason you bought a Fox Body in the first place: making it faster and hoot to drive! While quick for their time, Fox Mustangs are pretty sluggish by today's standards. Low-end torque is good, but that part is over after 3,500 RPM. While the aftermarket isn't as flooded with Fox Mustang mods as it once was, there are still plenty of ways to make a Fox fun. Here are our picks:

Flowmaster Exhaust: The options are still pretty endless, but admit it: there's nothing more iconic than the sound of a two-chamber Flowmaster system on a Fox Mustang. Flowmaster's American Thunder system lives on in both aluminized steel and 409 stainless offerings for both GT and LX. For longevity, the 409 stainless system gets the nod.

Fox Platform Guide exhaust

Holley Terminator X: If you're building a track-focused vehicle with engine modifications in its future, it's hard to beat the adaptability of the Holley Terminator X. 1986 and later models used Ford EEC-IV engine management that could only be reprogrammed with a chip. Chip tuners are few and far between, and the chip tuning process is tedious. Holley's Terminator X combines today's self-adjusting aftermarket EFI with a new wiring harness to eliminate the need for chip tuning as well as replace that old, crusty engine wiring harness. Earlier carburetor-equipped models can also use a throttle body system from Holley too. A Holley EFI system makes tuning for engine modifications like camshafts and power adders as easy as a few taps on the included handheld. Chips are for dipping, not for tuning!

Fox Platform Guide Terminator X

Heads, Cam, and Intake: The trinity of parts that makes up the backbone recipe of increasing naturally aspirated 5.0L engine performance is a set of aftermarket cylinder heads, a lumpier camshaft, and a better-flowing intake manifold. Proven heads, cam, and intake packages are available from several outfits, or you can mix and match to make your own preferred combination.

Fox Platform Guide heads, cam, intake

Power Adders: We see that evil little grin. Nothing wakes up a lazy 5.0L like a shot of nitrous or some boost from a blower. NOS offers a wide range of nitrous options for 5.0L engines, from dry setups to plates. If throttle in a bottle isn't your thing and you prefer the on-demand action of supercharger, Procharger and Vortech still offer complete kits to satisfy your thirst for boost. And the best part of all: they all easily integrate with Holley's EFI systems.

Fox Platform Guide Power Adders

Clutches: More power means a higher-capacity clutch is needed. Hays offers a wide range of options for V8/manual transmission cars. Our advice: don't overdo it. Nothing ruins a car more than a touchy, chattery racing clutch. Be realistic about your engine's output and buy a clutch that meets that need.

Fox Platform Guide  clutch

Transmissions: Options for replacing a broken T-5 or an AOD in a Fox Body are better with the release of Tremec's TKX five-speed gearbox. Holley offers complete installation kits to adapt this new transmission to a small-block Ford and it works perfectly in Fox Mustang. Converting an AOD-equipped Fox Mustang to a manual transmission is a straightforward affair and uses the pedal assembly and clutch linkage from any manual trans Fox body Ford. From an engine management standpoint, it's another great reason to switch to Holley's EFI systems, as it handles an automatic to manual swap without any hardware changes.

Fox Platform Guide transmission

Suspension: Books could be (and have been) written solely about Fox Mustang suspension modifications, so all we'll say here is that drag, road race, autocross, or street—there's a plethora of options and approaches. First steps usually include a set of lowering springs and good struts and shocks. KONI Sport (yellow) dampers paired with your favorite set of lowering springs are always a solid combination for just about any street-stalking Mustang.

Fox Platform Guide  suspension

Brakes: For Mustang-focused brake options, look no further than Baer. From simple four-lug rear disc upgrades to full-on, six-piston binders for heavy track use, Baer's lineup is the most comprehensive for Fox Mustangs than any supplier. Company founder Hal Baer started his company with Fox Mustang brake kits, so when it comes to braking systems, they've "been there and done that."

Fox Platform Guide  brakes

Engine Swaps – Ford Coyote: Planning on an engine swap? Dropping in Ford's modern 5.0L Coyote engine is arguably the most popular lately. Using an aftermarket front crossmember and headers simplifies the swap. Because the engine is so wide, the power brake booster needs to be removed and replaced with a hydro boost unit or a manual brake setup. The hydro boost requires a power steering pump. Since no Coyote vehicle applications used hydraulic power steering, there are aftermarket solutions to mount the pump. The Coyote engine shares the same bell housing pattern as Ford's other "modular" engines, so transmission options are plentiful. Ford offers a control pack to run the Coyote engine, but Holley's EFI systems offer greater flexibility when it comes to modified Coyote engines.

Fox Performance Guide Coyote Swap

Engine Swaps – Ford Modular (2V or 4V): Interests in Mod-motor engine swaps have waned with the availability of the Coyote engine, but they're still a good option for adding modern motivation to a Fox Mustang. The most desirable swap is a 2003-04 Cobra engine (the "Terminator" engine), as this 4.6L, supercharged, 32-valve engine packs a powerful punch in a package that fits in a Fox Mustang's engine bay relatively easily. However, earlier 4.6L, four-cam ("4V") Cobra engines are also popular. Single-overhead-cam engine ("2V") swaps are rare due to the engine producing mediocre power. Truck 5.4 modular engines are usually avoided because their excessive physical size, weight, and ho-hum performance. Controlling a modular motor in a Fox Mustang is best done with an aftermarket EFI system, such as those available from Holley.

Fox Platform Guide Terminator 4.6

Engine Swaps – Ford 7.3L Godzilla: This is the next (literally) big thing for Fox Mustang engine swaps, but this heavy-duty truck engine's proportions are challenging. The biggest issue is the engine's deep oil pan and tall intake manifold. The aftermarket is working feverishly on solutions, and a few are recently available. Right now, this engine swap requires a lot of custom fabrication, but work is ongoing so that soon there will be off-the-shelf Godzilla swap parts to make the swap less painful.

Fox Platform guide Godzilla 7.3

Engine Swaps – GM LS: If you want to increase performance, cut weight, and irritate the purists, an LS swap is the ticket. Ironically, the LS engine is basically a modern small-block Ford…but that won't stop boasts from the Bow-Tie brigade and smack-talking from the Blue Oval faithful. If you're crossing over to the dark side, Holley offers a wide range of LS swap components—from oil pans, engine mounts, and headers. The biggest hurdle with LS swapping a Fox Mustang is driving the accessories—namely, the power steering and air conditioning. Few good bracket options exist for this swap that don't interfere with something. Fortunately, Holley's mid-mount front accessory drive systems offers a tidy, elegant solution by mounting the accessories tight to the engine. The result is an LS swap that has air conditioning and power steering that looks great and doesn't interfere with anything. Holley offers a wide range of EFI systems to control this swap.

Fox Performance Guide Beer Money Mustang

Get To Work!

If you've ever been kicking around the idea of a Fox Body Mustang or Capri project, now is the time to get started. Values on rare, collectible, and desirable models are skyrocketing, but there are still bargains to be found if you're willing to make compromises. These cars are still fun and easy to work on. You're running out of excuses…go get one!

Fox Platform Guide 1980 Cobra


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