1986 Ford Mustang Convertible

You can get an 8.8 with an lsd from a ford exploder.

i certainly do NOT want one of those


So it’s from the Pinto?

my mums mum had a Foxbody but it was the i4 coupe 1983, apparently it was terrible.

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I should probably give an update on this.

I’ll write it later, when I have all the pics gathered on imgur.

I’m sure a grandmother knows a lot about how to review cars :laughing:

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Update: Engine almost finished, and new rims!
As usual with any project, you underestimate how much time it takes, and how much money…

My dad got me those rims for $200 with almost brand new tires on them!

Starting shape

Almost buttoned up

I still have to do the valves on the 1969 heads I have, but otherwise the engine is nearly complete!

Reference shot I took of the carb while rebuilding the primaries

That’s a Holley 600cfm 4-bbl with vacuum secondaries. It’ll make my engine just purr. But it had been sitting for over 17 years, so I was sorely in need of a rebuild.


Welcome back from your break! :innocent:

Did you not say there were 1968s?

Before I got them cleaned up, I thought they were, as that’s what my dad seemed to remember, but upon a good de-greasing (and later cleaning by the local machine shop) the stamped part number was much clearer
C90E which C9 means 69.

I also got some screw-in rocker studs put on.

It’s still the same specs we were expecting. 58cc chambers and 1.8" intake valves 1.5" exhaust valves.


Bought this little book at the summer nats just because

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You really need to find one of the big maintenance manuals. Those things are extremely helpful.

I do have a Haynes repair manual for it. As for the 1986 dealership manual, The booth had it, but I couldn’t justify the cost.

I also got myself some valve covers with matching breathers, and matching air cleaner among other stuff at the summer nats. Once I get the valve covers clear coated, I’ll post some pics.

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Update: Heads need to be completely redone. I was checking the valve guides myself at home (wiggle valve in them basically), and without actually measuring them, I could tell they were bad and the exhaust valves were deeply pitted, so I got them back to my machinist.

I was hoping this wouldn’t be the case, but all the valves, valve guides, and seats need to be redone.
So, 16 new valves, valve guides, and hardened seats are going on the heads… For about $550

:stuck_out_tongue: Engine building costs :stuck_out_tongue:

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I really like foxbodies for no apparent reason, but 120hp? really? I mean I know about the “no power” in the 80’s but I never thought it was that bad.

That’s not the worst engine though.

If you got the standard i4, you had only 88ish hp :joy:

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So… Long time no post.

It’s a mock-up and to protect from dust and stuff

But finally some reasonable progress to post about!

The Good:

  • Heads are done and now installed
  • Got new valve springs and caps to match the cam.
  • Cam Specs Here for those interested
  • Everything was painted Ford Blue
  • My camera actually took a good photo
  • Got Smithy’s Mufflers for the Super Retro Sound
  • Got new trans cross-member as well as sub-frame connectors
  • And lots of other little things I’m forgetting right now…

The In-Progress:

  • Have (almost) all the pieces to put the engine all back together
  • Pretty valve covers are pretty (but still need a clear coat)
  • Pretty Rims are still Pretty
  • I had some time to actually do stuff
  • I have a C4 transmission and 8.8 Rear End with a Traction Lock (Ford’s name for their lsd)

The Bad:

  • Rockers are completely worn out, I’m buying new ones now.
  • New Rockers cost money, many money
  • Still need an exhaust system
  • more stuff I can’t think of right now.

So yeah, now that I’ve got some time as schools done (I’ve graduated with an Associates Degree) and I havn’t been scheduled many hours yet (YET) I got some time to finish up the Mustang! …or run out of money trying.

More Pictures


As it currently sits before we get it up on jack stands



Lifter Valley

Spring Shot

The Pushrod Guides and Screw-In Studs

How to Rebuild Your Small Block Ford



An update is coming.

The engine was Dyno’d, but not without problems…


Spooky… this thread has been revived just after Halloween…

Because some news:

Yes that’s my voice, but the hand is my Dad’s. The smoke is the high temp header paint curing.

The engine is in the car and coupled to a C4 trans from 1973-ish from another Mustang. The trans has a new double hump cross member so we can put a true dual exhaust on it. The sub-frame connectors are on, and the engine is mostly wired up now.

The engine was dyno’d a while ago, but my dad forgot where he put the sheets. Basically what happened:

  • Original breather I got was junk (the guy who dyno’d had one sitting around), had to use the old plugs and wires with the good ol’ Dual Spark II or whatever Ford called it, as my distributor did not fit. Also wrong plug wires, so they threw the old ones (from when it was sitting for 15 years) on.
  • Rockers needed slight adjustments, as the alignment with the studs and pushrod guides was slightly off.
  • Air cleaner was junk (it made less than 200hp with it on) so on the dyno they ran a K&N filter
  • Rebuilt carb was not even tested, dyno man threw a Holley Brawler on (we bought it from him)
  • Carb and timing tuned by Dyno Man
  • Best run was 275hp at 5,000rpm with it wavering through 5,500 (maybe the dyno headers, or the spark plug gaps, or the 15+ year old plug wires, or something :man_shrugging: )

I will post the dyno graphs when my Dad finds them.

We still need to finish plumbing up the cooling system (yes the engine was run while dry, but not for very long), and possibly the A/C as well.

We have an lsd 8.8" 4 bolt rear end to throw in it, just need to rebuild it (the clutch pack is already rebuilt), and get some 3.23 gears for it.

And an exhaust system… Planned 2.5" all the way and I already have some Smithy’s Glasspacks for it.

And some misc. gauges and wiring projects.

Future List of Things To Do Includes:

  • Burnouts
  • New Top
  • Replace hydraulic pumps for top
  • Put in new black carpet
  • Improve brakes in some meaningful way
  • Eventually change interior to 2 tone blue
  • And burnouts

Edit: Second video I uploaded, shot before the first one though.

Man seen is my Dad.

I thought this video sounded a bit clearer, but it’s vertical, so I made it unlisted on Youtube.