1985 Ford Mustang LX Convertible 3.8L V6 from North America
Since I bought the car it has been plagued by electrical and performance issues. When I bought it, it was bone stock save for some interior modifications that were done to the dashboard. When I bought the car, the dash lights didn't work and the dashboard was cracked and broken in multiple places at the fault of the previous owner. I replaced the dashboard and after a lot of time struggling I got the dash lights working. Shortly after purchasing the car, the lock actuators stopped working. All of the weatherstripping was dry rotted, but that's a result of general aging, not the car's construction, so I replaced all of that. Things went well for a while until things really started to go downhill about a year ago.
For starters, the CFI fuel injection system is prone to tons of problems. It causes stalling, rough idle, poor gas mileage, and needs to be constantly tweaked and tuned. The emissions tech on these cars will also cause the car to run very poorly when they start to wear down, so it's best to remove them and have the car professionally tuned to function without these components. If you live in an inspection state, you will have to replace these parts which can be pretty expensive. My car was always finicky, sometimes running perfectly, sometimes horribly stalling in traffic or on turns, especially in the rain.
The turn signals randomly stopped blinking and the top stopped going up and down spontaneously. Nearly all of the window motors have stopped working and many of the aftermarket motors I have bought have been dead on arrival.
It also developed a starting problem that spontaneously presents itself at random times. The starter location is terribly positioned right next to the transmission and exhaust pipe, so the starter is very prone to overheating and failing, and also very difficult to access for repair.
These cars are also very prone to spinning out in the rain due to the high torque but low horsepower and weight. They have excessive body roll on turns, although not as bad as some other cars from the time period.
The interior door panels began to warp due to moisture because of the low quality supporting board. The interior panels are made of a very brittle plastic and so the panels in the back seat have cracked in half from just the weight of people getting in and out, and the vinyl has separated from them in many places.
Tires for this car are incredibly expensive and don't last long, and top end motor work is nearly impossible without taking everything apart due to the orientation of accessories and hoses.
The A/C is poor; it does not come out cold if the outside temp is over 90. This car is also prone to random overheating. Not too severe, but randomly running much hotter than it should, enough to make you nervous.
The exhaust system is made of incredibly poor steel like many other cars from the era, and so the exhaust was completely rusted out, even though the rest of the car was rust free. Eventually it just fell off the car.
My car has now developed crankshaft noise and will either need a new engine or to be sold to someone else.
Overall it was decent. It was my first car and I loved it. I had so many ideas of what I was going do to it, but none of that ever happened due to the fact that I constantly had to fix it. There wasn't a moment where something wasn't broken.
When it worked right, it was an effortless fun ride. The steering is so smooth you could steer it with your pinky finger. Putting the top down was also effortless, done with a switch under the dash. The seats were super durable and easy to clean, and my car had a gorgeous blue interior.
Even though it had problems, it never left me completely stranded, save for maybe a dead battery once or twice. All of this being said however, I can't overlook its problems. These cars were not built to last a long time, they were built to save a struggling company during a recession and oil crisis, and it shows. Many corners were cut in the production of these cars. If you get a Foxbody, make sure it's in pristine shape and that it's a V8 with low miles. The 3.8L V6 is incredibly unreliable and irritating, and these cars do not handle wear and age well. If you have mechanic knowledge, a garage to store it in and it's in really good shape, sure. But if you're looking for a driving project, maybe look for something else.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 21st October, 2020