Fox Bodied Mustangs Highlights

The Fox bodied Mustang was introduced in 1979. The Fox platform was shared with the '78 Fairmont and Zephyr sedans, and later with the Capri, Cougar, Thunderbird, LTD, Marquis, Lincoln Continental, and Mark VII. Front suspension was modified McPherson struts with coil springs. Rear, a four-link suspension with shock absorbers and coil springs. Supposedly, the Fox platform began its long life in '73-74 as a concept for a smaller Mustang. The Mustang II, based on the Pinto chassis was merely a bridge to the new chassis. The Fox platform was first used in the '78 Fairmont and Zephyr sedans due to Ford's need to meet the Japanese competition and improve the economy of its offerings. These models were replaced by the Taurus/Sable FWD models in the mid-'80s. The current Mustang is still based on a modified Fox platform. This will change in '04-05 when the Mustang will be built on the Jag S-Type/Lincoln-Mercury LS. Thus will end the Fox Chassis' quarter of a century's service to FMC.

1979-The new Mustang debuts design based on a short version of the Fox chassis. Available engines were a 2.3 liter inline four in both plain eighty-eight horsepower and turbo-charged one-hundred thirty-one horsepower versions, both an inline six and a V-6 were available at different times and the 302 cid V-8 was still available. Model-year sales 332,025.

1980-A McLaren Mustang is introduced featuring a 175hp turbo boosted four cylinder engine. About 250 built. The 302 cid V-8 engine is "debored" to 255 cid. The inline six cylinder and the non-turbo four cylinder round out the engine options. Model-year sales 241,064 units.

1981-Model-year sales 162,593 cars.

1982-Ford brings Mustang GT package. The 302 V-8 engine is brought back in a high-output (HO) version to power the GT. New model alignments are the L, the GL, the LX, and the GLX in addition to the GT. A limited edition mid-year Mustang convertible is introduced. Model-year sales 130,418.

1983-Mustang gets minor exterior changes in a more rounded nose and restyled taillights. The 302 cid HO V-8 is bumped to 175hp and the inline six is replaced by a new V-6. Turbo GTs are added with a redesigned turbo four cylinder engine. Model-year sales 120,873.

1984-5,000 Shelby White GT-350 Twentieth Anniversary Mustangs are produced. Shelby sues for copyright infringement. The first SVO Mustang rolls out with the improved 175hp turbo four engine. Throttle-body fuel injection (TBI) aspirated 302 V-8 and V-6 join the engine lineup. The Turbo GT is discontinued. Steve Saleen begins limited production of specially modified race-bred Mustangs. Ford cooperates with Mazda to develop its ultimately failed concept for the next generation of Mustang due out late in the eighties. Concept becomes the Probe. Model-year sales 141,480.

1985-Econo "L" models are dropped. Only the LX and GT remain. Mustang's turbo four horsepower is bumped to 205. Nearly one-third of Mustangs sold have V-8 engines. Model-year sales 156,514.

1986-Mustang's most important change this year is adoption of sequential port fuel injection as the sole option for the 302 V-8. Model-year sales 224,410.

1987-Mustang restyled with a revised aero-look body, smoother nose and flush headlights, and a revised instrument panel. The power of the 5.0 liter (302 cid) V-8 got a boost 225hp. The V-6 engine is dropped, the base four gets multiport electronic fuel injection. GTs add a Traction-Lok rear axle. Model-year sales 159,145.

1988-Model-year sales 211,225.

1989-Mustang's GT suspension gets gas-pressurized hydraulic struts, front stabilizer bar, and variable-rate coil springs. Model-year sales 209,769.

1990-Mustang gets a standard driver's-side air bag. Model-year sales 128,189.

1991-Model-year sales 98,737.

1992-Model-year sales 79,280.

1993-Last year. Ford introduces a limited edition high performance Cobra with 245hp, beefed-up suspension, and front and rear disc brakes. Model-year sales 114,228.


MUSTANG ENGINE SPECIFICATIONS

YEAR

DISP.

CODE

CYL

INDUCTION

C/R

HP

1979

140

Y

4

2

9.0

88

 

140

W

4

2

9.0/TURBO

147

 

170

Z

6

2

8.7

109

 

200

T

6

1

8.5

85

 

302

F

8

VV

8.1/CA

134

 

302

F

8

2

8.4

140

1980

140

A

4

2

9.0

88

 

140

A

4

2

9.0

89

 

140

A

4

2

9.0

90

 

140

W

4

2

9.0/TURBO

135

 

200

B

6

1

8.6

91

 

200

B

6

1

8.6

94

 

255

D

8

2

8.8

119

 

255

D

8

2

8.8

119

 

255

T

8

VV

8.8/CA

119

1981

140

A

4

2

9.0

88

 

200

B

6

1

8.6

94

 

255

D

8

2

8.2

120

1982

140

A

4

2

9.0

88

 

200

B

6

1

8.6

94

 

255

D

8

2

8.2

120

 

302

F

8

2

8.3

157

1983

140

A

4

2

9.0

88

 

140

D

4

EFI

8.0/TURBO

142

 

232

3

6

2

8.7

112

 

302

F

8

4/EFI

8.4

175

1984-1985

140

A

4

2

9.0

88

 

140

W

4

EFI

8.0/TURBO

145

 

140

T

4

EFI

8.0/T/SVO

175

 

232

3

6

CFI/EFI

8.7

120

 

302

F

8

CFI

8.4

140

 

302

M

8

4/HO

8.3

205

 

140

A

4

1

9.0

88

 

140

W

4

EFI

8.0/TURBO

155

 

140

T

4

EFI

8.0/T/SVO

200

 

232

3

6

TBI

8.7

120

 

302

M

8

MFI

9.2/HO

200

1987

140

A

4

MFI

9.5

88

 

302

M

8

MFI

9.2/HO

225

1988

140

A

4

EFI

9.5

88

 

140

S

4

TBI

9.5

88

 

302

E

8

MFI

8.3/HO

225

1989

140

A

4

EFI

9.5

88

 

302

F

8

EFI

9.2/HO

225

1990

140

A

4

EFI

9.5

88

 

302

E

8

EFI

9.0/HO

220

1991

140

M

4

EFI

9.5

105

 

302

E

8

EFI

8,3/HO

220

1992

140

M

4

EFI

9.5

105

 

302

E

8

EFI

9.0/HO

225

1993

140

M

4

EFI

9.5

105

 

302

E

8

SEFI

9.0

205

 

302

D

8

SEFI

9.0/HO/COBRA

235

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some Mustang suspension facts.

Mustang II: '74-78 Rear axles. The Mustang II rear end is going to be either a 6.75"" integral carrier rear or an 8" rear with a separate "pumpkin" (gear carrier). It will have 3" axle tubes and is 57" from flange to flange. The pinion is centered. The track was 55.6" with 13X5" wheels w/.62 offset on standard BR78-13 tires.

The integral rear is usually found under the 4cyl cars. The 8" is sometimes found in the V6 and always in the V8 models. There are a large variety of aftermarket gears available for the 8", but not the integral rear. The integral rear is not the same design as the later 7.5" rear found under the later Mustang and Ranger.

The drum brakes are 9" in diameter and has a 4 x 4.25" wheel bolt pattern with 1/2"x20 studs. Axle ratios will range from 2.73 to 3.40 and can be with or without traction loc.

The Fox bodied Mustang was introduced in 1979. The Fox platform was shared with the '78 Fairmont and Zephyr sedans, and later with the Capri, Cougar, Thunderbird, LTD, Marquis, Lincoln Continental, and Mark VII. Front suspension was McPherson struts with coil springs. Rear, a four-link suspension with shock absorbers and coil springs. It came with either a 7.5 Dana rear axle used in the sedans and in later years the Ford 8.8" unit

Three suspension packages were available for 1979 ranging from a soft ride to a stiff competition handler. Four engine choices were available-2.3L OHC four, 2.3L OHC Turbo, 2.8L Cologne V-6, and the 5.0L (302ci) V-8. Three transmissions were available depending upon engine selection. Transmission depended on the engine option Ford Cortina 4spd with the V-6, BW the V-8 & Turbo or C4 automatic. Axle ratios ranged from 2.47:1 to 3.45:1 depending on engine and transmission selection.

Some Fox Mustangs were equipped with Michelin TRX metric radials which required a metric spec wheel.

1980-'81 non-Mustang Fox bodies.

The stock rear axle in most 6 cylinder Fox bodies is the 7.5". The 4 cylinder cars and some sixes had the 6.5.

Rear end ratios (stock and after market)

8.8"- 3.27, 3.55, 3.73, 4.10, 4.30 & 4.56

7.5"- 3.27, 3.73, 3.45 & 4.10

 

Some issues involving the Fox body suspension are:

The front suspension geometry yields only about 2 degrees of caster. The front suspension has a very low roll, which combined with the high rear roll center gives you a very steeply inclined roll axis. The angle at which the front A-arms are mounted promotes brake dive. The stock suspension has too much bumpsteer. The steering rack is not positioned correctly, and does not provide enough Ackerman, causing the outer edge of the outside tire to drag through the turn.

No copy or intellectual property right is claimed by the author to the images used on this page. Some of the thousands of Fox links:

http://www.mustangii.org/decoder/axle/

http://shrapnel.gankish.net/81fairmont/88rear.html

http://mjbobbitt.home.attbi.com/mustang/4lug.html

http://www.mustangii.net/index.asp

http://members.tripod.com/lyc_42/foxbody/foxbody.htm

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