1986 Ford Mustang LX 3.8 V6 from North America


A very beautiful money pit


Coolant leak in the engine.

Brakes replaced.

Convertible top has holes in it from a hail storm.

Power windows and locks work at random.

Electrical system needs repaired.

Alternator broke.

General Comments:

Very pretty car. Has white interior, red exterior and a black roof. Despite all of the problems, it has been pretty low stress.

Very nice out of the hole, but having only three speeds makes this car terrible for long distance trips.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 23rd May, 2001

12th Aug 2001, 15:09

You should have bought a 5.0 L. Try an engine/transmission swap.

6th Oct 2003, 19:28

This car died. I totaled it over black ice in February 2003. It handles very well in a wreck, as I was traveling over 35 mpg and only received a bump in the cheek off the drivers side window. I hit a wooden pole and the car performed an immediate 360. It spun around so fast that my glasses that I was wearing were thrown off my face into the back seat. I smashed the front in all the way to the cooling fan.

1986 Ford Mustang GT 5.0 from North America


Can you say low 14 teens, 24 mpg, seats four plus your groceries?


Air conditioning went out 1 month after I got the car. This was due to Ford's poor choice in A/C fittings on the A/C condenser (they always leak). I cut these fittings off and changed them to GM style fittings. I haven't had a problem since.

Heater core was shot on this car when I bought it. This is another Mustang problem. Be sure not to buy a cheap heater core replacement or you will have to do the job over in a few years.

Power lock solenoids and ignition switch went out after a few years also.

Try to stay away from automatic Mustangs because they are a lot slower.

General Comments:

This car is fast, durable, practical and economical (for a sports car). The 5.0 liter HO Mustang is the bench mark by which all other American sports cars/hot rods are compared when talking about acceleration.

Police Departments buy 5.0 Mustangs, beat the hell out of them, put 80,000+ miles on it and then sell them. Then 18 year old teenagers buy them at auctions and race them at the drag strip all day. Then they'll drive them home afterwards and go to work in them the next day with no problems.

Compare a 1979-93 Mustang to a 1994 or newer Camaro in these often overlooked areas. These year Mustangs have a real back seat! Two adults can really sit back there! So will a car seat. Also look at how the rear seat folds down. I have fit a 6.0 hp, big wheel Craftsman push mower in the back of my Mustang with plenty of room. Last but not least, these Mustangs are very easy to work on. There is lots of room under the hood of this vehicle. I dare you to try and change the spark plugs in a newer Camaro (Can you say bleeding limbs).

The bottom line - I paid $4,000 for my car in 1991. If I put a new paint job on it, I could probably get my $4,000 back today (not that I want to sell it). It runs a 13.9 in the 1/4 mile (it has a few minor modifications). It gets 24 mpg on the highway at 65mph. All this plus real room for my two kids in back.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 1st April, 2001

25th Jun 2005, 13:21

I would like to know what you have in your motor in order to get 24 MPG? I have a 85GT that has a little bit bigger cam, stock factory headers, and a Holley 4 barrel 650 vac. secondary. And just installed an Offy Port-O-Sonic High Rise with a 750 Vac. secondary! Before installing the last two mods, I was at 10 MPG at 80-85mph. And now I'm getting about 12-12.5 MPG at the same speed. I've tried driving the speed-limit, which is pretty hard behind the wheel of one of these cars, and got a best of 16 MPG. My best ET before the intake swap was 13.38 at the strip.

27th Jul 2005, 10:59

On the MPG issue... The 1986 Mustang has fuel injection instead of a carb which greatly increases the efficiency. I had an 88 and a 90 LX 5.0 and I was getting over 25mpg average with both of them. I still miss driving them and have always thought of getting another one. They are awesome cars.

8th Dec 2005, 00:28

I was wondering how much you have done to get into the high 13s? I have done the basic bolt-ons to my 86 GT, but I haven't had the time to take it to the track to see what it will really do. Also, on the gas mileage issue, I can almost get 30mpg on the highway. This is with the stock 180,000 engine and 5-speed and 2.73:1 rear gears.

6th Mar 2007, 14:43

I had 2 cousins with Turbo Coupe T-Birds and they weren't beating M3's with them. I raced one of them with my Mustang 5.0 and he disappeared pretty quickly in the rearview mirror. The 0-60 times were well into the 7-8 second range. Isn't the M3 around 5 for the 2002 model? Hmmmm... another fish story, go figure.

20th Jul 2012, 17:09

Go slow and stock.

21st Jul 2012, 15:30

I get a kick out of some of these mileage claims. I assume the cars were being towed on a flatbed most of the time. I've owned two 5.0's, and the absolute best mileage either ever got was a 100 mile stretch of dead-level interstate at 55 miles per hour. That was a whopping 20 miles per gallon. In town I averaged between 9 and 14 MPG, and my average overall was never over 15. Our V-6 Explorer never even got 20 MPG.

23rd Jul 2012, 17:36

Oh, I just got it! The "low 14's" refers to the gas mileage!!