Well, it's dead Jim. - Ford Mustang Forums : Corral.net Mustang Forum
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Well, it's dead Jim.

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Posted 01-29-2012 at 12:32 AM by That89GTGuy

Unfortunately, the car is dead. Not sure why it picked now to do it, but it's dead.

So as you might have seen in the previous entry (which yes, I am implying you should read), the inner fender tower and "frame" rail was pretty damned rusty. I took an angle grinder to it, and got some interesting results. Basically, the whole inner fender is just awful rusty swiss cheese. Here is what I was able to find out that might be of interest to someone looking into a Fox at some point:

The K member bolt frame rail clips do not sit totally flush with the inner fender. This is fine and normal. Nothing to worry about.

The strut tower/fender area on the drivers side under the master cylinder is a place where rust LOVES to develop. I assume it is because of dropping brake fluid from sloppy top offs or leaking fittings. Due to this brake fluid, the paint gets worn off, and in the nasty New England road salt/sand, gets eaten away rather quickly. This can cause some pretty extreme damage in a very critical area.

On my car, some previous owner had a metal plate welded to the inside of the fender. I never knew why but we always assumed it was rust. However, I took it to a body shop last year, and the guy thought it was fine. Yeah... right. The metal he had welded the plate to was so thin and weak it's amazing I didn't die at any of the track events I took the car to. After testing spots on the metal of strength just by pushing on them with a screw driver, I've found that most of the metal at the forward corner of the strut tower area, as well as a good chunk of the rest of the inner strut tower was all just rusted through. The metal was either so thin it couldn't resist a light push, or just gave way and crumbled like a water cracker. Horrible...

Because of this, there is not really any metal to weld to in an attempt to fix the area. The whole fender would need to be replaced. Due to the rust on the drivers side flood, the large missing area of the center console, the stress crack, and now this, the car has quite a few serious compromised areas, and just doesn't make a whole lot of sense to try to get functional. If I was just driving it normally, then no problem. However since this is a car I do HPDEs in, I do not want to take chances the front k member will break loose and go it's own way while braking from 120mph on the front straight of Lime Rock.

I've put the car back together enough where one could sit in it and start it up for a bit of a test drive. The car has been sitting for the better part of 4 or so months without being started or anything, yet it fired right up, hit idle after a minute and ran great. Rode it up and down the street... man! The 302 (well, 331 in this case) with an x pipe is just an awesome sounding thing!

I've put in and was approved for a loan on a new car, so I'm going to have to say good bye to this car. And it really sucks, since this thing has been so awesome when it wasn't giving me hell. I've going to miss the sound of that V8 though. You just cannot beat it!

So yeah, nothing really useful in this post, besides if you're looking for a Fox body, be very meticulous, and if it looks a bit rusty, make sure it's just surface stuff, not something more serious. Just put forth the effort before you buy to make sure you're not getting the short end of a very long stick.

Not sure what to post about now... maybe some of the stuff I picked up over the years on this thing... well, that's for later.
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