Let the Teardown begin- Front End Disassembly

Posted: January 14, 2013 By: MattM

Recently we reintroduced you to our fox body Mustang we’ve named “Project Resolution“. We finally got a chance to start tearing the car down and really see how bad the hidden accident damage was. We all agreed this is one of the more scary parts of working on an older car, you never know what you’ll find when you start digging in. So Nick, Randy, and myself started taking the front end apart on the car.

During the late 80’s-early 90’s a lot of auto manufacturers were starting to make the switch from SAE hardware to Metric. This project is caught in between the conversion and we found that a lot of the hardware had both SAE and Metric heads. We decided to pull out the Eastwood 150 Piece Tool Kit so that we had all of the metric and SAE tools we needed along the way.

Eastwood Metric Mechanics Tool Set

As Nick took the headlights and grille out he found a lot of the bolts were pretty loose and the lights were not sitting square in the radiator support. Once the lights were removed you could see that the mounting points for the lights were bent from the accident and never fixed correctly. We’ll definitely need to address that before we think about reassembling the front end.

1989 Fox Mustang Restoration

SAE Metric Mechanics Tool Set Eastwood

While Nick was working on the front end, I decided to get the passenger fender off so we could see how bad the accident damage to the inner fender really was. I started by removing the wheel with the Eastwood Composite Twin Hammer Impact Wrench so I could get to all of the splash guard bolts. After removing the splash shield I got the bolts going through the front bumper and into the fender, and all of the bolts that ran along the top of the inner fender. Once all of the bolts were out the fender came off with little resistance.

Fox Mustang Restoration

1989 Fox Mustang Restoration

1989 Fox Body Mustang

Mustang Restoration

After the fender was off we could see the accident damage was about as expected. The worst part was that it looks like the bumper mount for the passenger side compressed and was pushed back and the mounting slot was ripped open. It also looks like the previous owner had drilled numerous holes and installed screws to slide hammer the worst damage out. The strings of filler poking through those holes were tell-tale signs. We’re going to have to spend a lot of time working around the passenger inner fender and frame rail to get this part of the car even respectable looking. I went ahead and removed the front bumper so we can really start assessing the damage.

Fox Restoration Mustang

1989 Fox Mustang Restoration

The car is already looking pretty sad, but it’s only going to get worse before it gets better! Stay tuned for the next update, we hope to get the interior pulled, and start prepping the engine for removal next. We’re just getting started!

1989 Fox Body Mustang

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8 thoughts on Let the Teardown begin- Front End Disassembly

  • I have always disliked Fox bodied Mustangs but you have piqued my interest. I do use and abuse all my Eastwood products and to see them in the hands of other rpofessionals at work is nice. Keep up the solid start and hope to see a beutifully finished product in July.

  • I love the project you have chosen for this restoration. It definitely will draw the attention of a lot of mustang guys out there with all of the fox body mustangs these days being in a similar condition as this. It would be great to see you guys team up with a reputable restoration parts company such as Latemodel Restoration which carries a lot of helpful parts for your build. I look forward to seeing the tools and products you use on this mustang as I am currently restoring a 93 ford mustang after years of abuse and neglect.

  • Sure looks like the car was supported only by the jack while removing the passenger fender. If so thats a bad practice and terrible example to others on how to do things IMNSHO.

  • I’m an owner of an 89 GT and about to take my engine bay to the next level since everything is completed on my car. I’m hoping you guys decide to fill in the holes in the engine bay and clean it up with wire tucking and smoothing it out.
    Product details and usuage (no detail too small) is is greatly appreciated. Even the caveats and work arounds you may encounter, because every project has them!

  • Totally Awesome! I have been using Eastwoods products on my 79 Mustang pace car restoration and i swear by them! They have helped me out and saved me countless hours on my project so far! I wish i had a team to help me out! But Im doing it solo! I feel your pain! I used your spot weld cutter and panel splitter to remove the roof skin and replace the rotted out sun roof! I recommend you to all my friends here in Virginia Beach!

  • If y’all want to but performance suspension parts at a great deal. I bought all new and went a different direction with my build… send me an email or find me on my customer profile…. I would be very interested in trading products for my parts. send email I will send pics to show condition. save alot towards the 7grand budget.

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