Project Resolution Becomes a Shell

We’ve been VERY busy since our last update. We’ve decided that the best way to fix the body damage in the inner fender was to remove the 5.0 engine from the Mustang. As we dug in we found all sorts of holes drilled in that side of the engine bay from someone using a slide hammer to pull the dents and never filling the holes. This will be a great time to freshen up and paint the bay while we’re “in there”.

Since we made the decision to pull the drivetrain out everyone has been arguing over what we should do when we put an engine back into the car. Some ideas we’ve heard range from mild to wild! We’ve heard supercharging, turbo, refresh and bring back to stock, a new crate engine, even a wild naturally aspirated engine build (big cam, port and polish, lightened and balanced internals, etc). We’re still undecided, but I admit it would be good fun to see what sort of power we could get out of a cheap custom turbo setup on the stock 302 with Eastwood tools (give that TIG 200 a workout!). So we decided to do a compression test on all eight cylinders in case we keep the engine or use it as a base. Surprisingly all cylinders were pretty close and within spec. With the high being 145PSI and the low being 130PSI, this engine has faired better than many other fox body Mustangs out there!

Now with those numbers recorded, Nick and I tore into the bay removing everything that needed to come off to remove the drivetrain. We’re a little behind schedule, so we pulled out the Eastwood Air Tools to get the job done a little faster. We didn’t run into that many rusty or seized bolts, but we were surprised that few we did run into, the Composite Twin Hammer Impact Wrench broke them loose with ease. With the use of the impact wrench and the Eastwood Composite Air Ratchet we have the engine hanging by only a few bolts. We’re hoping later this week to try and pluck the lump out of the bay and drop it on the engine stand.

While Nick and I worked on the engine bay Lisa, Amanda, Kevin, and Randy worked on getting the interior taken apart. This area was as dirty and abused as we expected, but Lisa did find a few surprises when she was removing the drivers seat. It turns out that someone had ripped or destroyed some of the seat mounting locations in the floor and made some pretty unsafe repairs. Under the right rear drivers seat bracket they had stripped out the mounting hole and drove a larger sized bolt into the floor pan at about a 45 degree angle. This was a pain to get out! Then she found that in the front someone had ripped out the front left mounting point of the drivers seat. To repair the area they used some painters tape (yes you read that correctly!) and a piece of aluminum plate they shoved into the hole to drive another incorrect bolt into. We’re still unsure how they got the plate into the hole. but we imagine a BFH was in the mix!

The crew got the interior pretty well stripped, the bumpers, rear quarter windows and sunroof removed so far and the car really is in shambles. Some may think the Mustang is ready for the junkyard but we see a fresh slate to start over and give this car a new lease on life. Next we hope to get the engine out and start to tackle the body damage. Repair panels are just starting to roll in from CJ Pony Parts and we can’t wait to get these quality repair panels installed!

If you have an idea what we should do for our new engine, please drop us a comment and let us know you’re thoughts! Thanks for following, now get out there and build something yourself! -Matt/EW

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  1. And your desire to upgrade the motor is what will blow your 7k budget.

    Keep it N/A!!! Do a stroker if you plan to play with the motor.

    And this my friends is typical of a rebuild/resto.
    “Gee, while I’m in here I should fix and replace this, and this, and this.” hehe

  2. Awesome!! Im puttung a 351W in mine you can find them pretty cheap and most of the parts from the 5 oh can be used on the 351 ie cam/ upper intake you only need the fox swap oil pan the ac bracket and convertible motor mounts!

  3. You guys should considering welding in some Scott Rod Fab panels over the inner fenders and strut towers to cover up all of those holes. I’m currently working on doing this on my car, and using a LOT of Eastwood products in the process. A properly smoothed engine bay makes a world of difference in the appearance of a Foxbody Mustang!

    You should see the progress Southeastern Foxbodies is making on Project Save-A-Fox!

  4. My suggestion for the motor would be to limit it to bolt on upgrades that can be completed by anyone in a garage without out special tools.
    Here is my reasoning, every rebuild out there starts with a “budget” car and “budget build” that loses touch with reality. Pick up a car for a $1000 because that is what you budgeted for now add $6000 in upgrades, repairs and mods…fairly realistic as long as you can do things in stages and slowly “invest” time and money, because let’s get real…if a guy has $7000 just laying around to burn, he probably would start with a nice car that was straight and clean, but if we are truly trying to imitate/simulate the common DIY, who buys a car in need of repair for the sole fact that it is cheaper and he can afford it…it is more realistic that a guy scrapes some money to buy a car, than has to scrape up some more to pay for the first stage of the project and continue that trend until the project is satisfactory.

    Just my $.02, because I happen to have an 89 mustang gt convertible and an 84 Monte SS that are similar projects that I am learning “resto” as my life and “budget scraping” allows.

  5. Right on Josh! I have been collecting parts for years 4 my 79. I wait till people lose interest in their projects and sell their parts off dirt cheap! I got my 351 for 50 bucks bored out 40 over with brand new pistons/rods and crank. I was looking for a 5 oh and struck gold on that deal! Scored some 04 FRPP cobra calipers for 100 bucks on craigs list too. There are many deals out there! Im just happy to see these guys doing the same project i already have going on and using the same products i use! I cant wait to see it when its done! It helps other guys out to see how this kind of work is done step by step during the tear down and rebuild!

  6. you see this all the time, You start out with “X” budget and the goddie book comes, now you are at 14K$. So now your ” I wanna a really nice car to drive” is nearing a garage Queen status that never gets driven state of build. My best advice is …do what YOU want, make it the way YOU want , spend what YOU want .
    I have been restoring cars since the mid 80s and have seen many cars get pushed aside because of lack of funds, then the rust worms attack it, it sits and then the owner trys to sell it and looses 2/3 of the investment . Do the build at your own pace, then so other things after its done, you can always remove nuts and bolts, but trying to re-cap lost money is much harder .

    I have a project on the Eastwood site blog, its an S-10, but all electric, Laugh if you want but all I have to do to increase power is add more voltage, its that simple . No expensive engine build, exhaust,cooling system, crabs, injection,NOX, just volts and a serious amount of AMPS, about 1400 to start

  7. I would either put a small block Chevrolet stroker motor in it or go green with an electric motor out of a forklift.

  8. Love to hear the story from the guy who tore up the seat mounting holes on how/why that occurred.

  9. I am glad to see Eastwood working on a Fox Body. I wish it was a Four-Eye but a Fox Body will work. After all, Ford did use this body style for 15 years! That is longer than any other body style for a Mustang.

  10. I am really interested in how you detail the motor, the AC lines, the shock towers, the zinc dichromate items. We have a lot of people who restore their Mustangs and I want to see how your products can help us. Thanks

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