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  1. #1

    Default 1986 Mercury Capri Project

    A couple of months ago, I finally got myself back into a 4 eye car. I've had a handful of fox cars before, but most were converted to the aero front end (before I bought them.) This is the first Fox I have gotten since moving to Arizona a few years back. I was looking to get back into it when I found this on Craigslist. It was in my price range, so I went to check it out. It was pretty much exactly what I was looking for so I scooped it up.

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    The car is pretty straight and its completely rust free. Its yellow, but its quite sun faded. Some people like yellow, some don't. I like yellow. While the car is very straight, it was very very dirty. Anyone who has lived in Arizona can attest to how dusty it gets around here. Well, this guy left the windows down on the car for who knows how long. Inside of the car was covered in dust. The interior is mostly complete, it was just taken apart and left in the hatch area. There are some parts that are good, and some parts that are not so good. As it seems is the case with most these days, the dash pad is completely shot.

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    The grille is missing in this picture, but it was in the back of the car. The hood release cable was snapped, so the previous owner installed hood pins. The grille was removed because the latch was still in place and it made it easier to open the hood.

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    It is kind of hard to see in these pictures, but the exhaust dumped out the side straight from the mid-pipe. No mufflers, just straight out the side. Held up by coat hangars.

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    Then there is whatever the hell is going on back here. Someone decided to take off the bubble hatch, rear bumper, and rear taillights for the Capri and replace them with later Mustang GT stuff. I have no idea why someone would do this, but they did. The bumper for the GT doesn't match up with the Capri body lines at all, so it just kind of hangs there. This was by far the worst part of the car, which meant that it was going to be the first thing on the car that was changed out.
    Last edited by jgloyer; 04-03-2017 at 11:40 PM.
    1986 Capri 5.0L 5-Speed

  2. #2

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    After looking for a few days, I came to the conclusion that buying a Capri hatch, rear bumper, and taillights wasn't in the cards. They are incredibly hard to find in Arizona, and I don't trust shipping a hatch. When you do find them, they are quite expensive. So in the interim, I was going to put LX Mustang stuff on the rear, just to get it at least looking like the panel belongs on the car.

    So I pulled the rear bumper off the car and found this.

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    What one of the previous owners did was they took the header panel from a Mustang rear and welded it in place. I guess that is what needs to be done in order to run Mustang Tails? Whatever the reason, they didn't cover the bare surface after they welded it in place. So I took a grinder to the rusty parts and to get the welds flat. The rust is just surface rust, so it didn't take much to get it to bare metal. I then just hit it with some primer to cover the metal.

    I went to the local junkyard and found a very clean 85 Mustang vert. It was in a front end collision, but the rear stuff was all in surprisingly great shape. So I pulled the rear bumper cover and taillights. Got them put on the car, and this is what it looked like:

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    Improvement. However, I did notice that there is a gap on the passenger side between the tails and the bumper. I'm not sure what could have caused this, but I cant get it right.

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    1986 Capri 5.0L 5-Speed

  3. #3

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    I HATE the look of spoiler-less hatches on these cars. Since the car came with a spoiler that just wasn't installed, I figured I'd throw it on so I didn't hate looking at it. So it at least was in a spot where it looked complete and not some really weird hybrid (besides the color, of course.)

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    The car had some mechanical problems when I bought it as well. It was leaking oil from pretty much everywhere for some time. The previous owner replaced the valve cover gaskets, but it was still leaking from the rear main seal, oil pan gasket, rear drain plug, and from the oil level sender. The transmission was also leaking fluid from the tailshaft. So after being on jackstands in the garage for a month or so, I finally got all of that changed out. Now its dry under the car finally!

    The car was also making a terrible noise from the smog pump. I don't have to worry about getting emissions done, so I pulled off the smog pump. Since I plan on putting off road exhaust on the car, I also deleted and removed all of the EGR stuff and blocked off the parts on the back of the heads. Worked out the vacuum hoses on the car and after a bit of fiddling with belt sizes, got the car running and driving well.

    I didn't really care for the turbine wheels on the car, so I started looking for a replacement. I plan on drag racing the car, so I wanted to find a big and littles set up. The goto is, of course, draglites. I was browsing Craigslist one night and found a crazy deal on a set of 4 with tires, so I scooped them up. I personally really like the way the car looks with draglites on the car.

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    1986 Capri 5.0L 5-Speed

  4. #4

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    The car came with these terrible terrible side exit exhaust. It was literally just a tube bent 90* off the back of the mid-pipe that had some chrome tail pipes welded on and exited the side. It looked terrible, sounded terrible, and was, in general, terrible. So I scraped that junk and got a MAC Catback. Since the car didnt have a catback on it, the rubber hangers were missing. That made it kind of a pain to install the catback. I got it on the car, but they aren't in the position I would like. The passenger side kind of angles up, while the driver side points straight out. I personally like how the passenger side looks better, but both sides still need some fiddling. The stock mid pipe and stock exhaust manifolds are still there, but I'm working on replacing them right now. As soon as I get the rest of the exhaust in, I'll fiddle with them some more and get them right.

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    As I said in the OP, the car was DUSTY inside. The car didn't have carpet in it when I bought it, so the floor pans were filthy. So bad that my brother made the comment that "the inside of this car is more rusty than the outside." Well, it isn't rust, it was dust and dirt. Floor pans cleaned up really nicely with a few hours of washing them off. I got that material that the factory puts on top of the pans as clean as I could, but they don't clean up as easily.

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    I have carpet coming in from LMR this week, so I should have that installed this weekend. However, I don't have an old carpet to use as a template for the holes, so I'm going to be very careful getting the cuts right. Crossing my fingers I don't screw it up.

    That's pretty much were I am with the car right now. I just recently picked up a few parts from some guy who was parting out an 83. Got a headliner, new Hatch, door panels (still red, but black ones are a unicorn.) I got the hatch on today, but I didnt get a picture of it. Its the 83 GT style, so it is quite a bit different.
    1986 Capri 5.0L 5-Speed

  5. #5
    Moderator wraithracing's Avatar
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    Congrats on the "new" Capri!

    Although I am not a fan of the bubble back Capri personally, I was able to convert my 84 RS back to one thanks to a saved bubble hatch I had kept from a wrecked Capri many years ago. Unfortunately the bubble hatches are getting very hard to find in good condition and that is one of the reason so many Capri's get converted to the Mustang hatch. Either way your Capri looks great bubble or not!

    The 83-86 Mustang tail lights are also a huge improvement over the Aero Cheese graters IMHO!

    As you stated the rear tail light panel has been replaced with the 83-93 Mustang style. That allows you to use the 83-93 Mustang tail light housings. The early Capri lights will fit, but the bulb locations don't match up and neither do the seals. Most likely your tail light and bumper cover fitment issue is due to the panel being replaced and the installer not getting the panel flat enough on that side after removing the original panel. You can take a hammer and dolly to the flange area where the quarter panel overlaps the tail light panel and tap that are down or in towards the passenger compartment. Work the area a little bit at a time and check your fitment of the tail light and you will be able to get the tail light and the bumper cover pulled up tighter to the quarter panel.

    Keep up the good work and keep the pictures and post coming so we can all enjoy your progress of bring this Capri back from the dead! Best of Luck!
    Last edited by wraithracing; 04-04-2017 at 05:37 AM. Reason: Spelling
    ​Trey

    "I Don't build it hoping for your approval! I built it because it meets mine!"

    "I've spent most of my money on Mustangs, racing, and women... the rest I just wasted."

    Mustangs Past: Too many to remember!
    Current Mustangs:
    1969 Mach 1
    1979 Pace Car now 5.0/5 speed
    1982 GT Awaiting Restoration
    1984 SVO Restoration in Progress
    1986 GT Wrecked by PO, but still want to save!

    Current Capris:
    1982 Capri Roller
    1984 Capri Returned to Bubble Back Glory
    1983-84 Gloy Racing Trans Am/IMSA Body Parts
    1982 Capri RS 5.0 4spd T-tops

  6. #6

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    Thanks for the tip, I'll give that a try!

    The car has a long list of stuff it needs, so I'll keep updating this post as I go along. Well, it kind of has a bunch of stuff it needs. Its all minor stuff to make it feel right to me. It runs and drives right now and I could keep it as is and not skip a beat, but what would be the fun in that?
    1986 Capri 5.0L 5-Speed

  7. #7

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    What a neat Capri.

    i definitely like the Draglites over the turbines. And the tailights and rear bumper are much better now..

    I would bet the car had been in a rear end collision at one time in it's life and that's what lead to the different rear body panel and the parts. That was a home repair. The PO probably couldn't find Capri parts either and got those GT parts for a deal would be my guess.

    This will be a really nice project car.

    Will you eventually be repainting the yellow? Yellow is about my most favorite color for a fox body.

    I agree with what Trey said about tightening up the passenger side gaps.

    Good luck with this one, I'll look forward to updates.

  8. #8
    FEP Power Member
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    Maybe go with some early Capri tail lights? That would eliminate most of the Mustang look at the rear.

    Cool project, keep at it!
    '86 GT - weekend driver
    '86 Capri 5.0
    '83 Mustang GLX 5.0
    '06 Ford F150
    '08 Taurus

  9. #9

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    Cool project. Hate to see all the sins of the previous owners but sounds like you are going to get it back on the right path. Keep us updated on the progress.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Davedacarpainter View Post
    What a neat Capri.

    i definitely like the Draglites over the turbines. And the tailights and rear bumper are much better now..

    I would bet the car had been in a rear end collision at one time in it's life and that's what lead to the different rear body panel and the parts. That was a home repair. The PO probably couldn't find Capri parts either and got those GT parts for a deal would be my guess.

    This will be a really nice project car.

    Will you eventually be repainting the yellow? Yellow is about my most favorite color for a fox body.

    I agree with what Trey said about tightening up the passenger side gaps.

    Good luck with this one, I'll look forward to updates.
    I was originally thinking it was in a rear end collision too, but nothing else indicates that there was a collision. The car is straight as an arrow. It looks perfect underneath. I really just think the guy didn't like Capris.

    Sent from my SM-G920V using Tapatalk
    1986 Capri 5.0L 5-Speed

  11. #11

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    I put the new rear hatch on the car. Much more subtle. It's from an 83 GT





    Looks kind of kind of weird from the rear. It doesn't latch for some reason, but it appears to line up just fine.
    1986 Capri 5.0L 5-Speed

  12. #12
    FEP Super Member JTurbo's Avatar
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    Awesome project, you're making great progress with it.

    I like the yellow exterior, but it clashes with the red interior in my opinion.

    Keep us updated with the progress pics.
    1979 Indy Pace Car Mustang 302 / 5spd
    1982 Mustang GT T-Top 302 / 4spd
    1986 SVO Mustang - 1C

  13. #13
    FEP Super Member onetrackrider's Avatar
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    So glad to see this one picked up by some one who appreciates it..keep up the good work.
    Current rides:
    89 LX 5.0, 5 -spd..the Lemon
    86 RS Capri 5.0 Auto...
    86 LX Colorado SSP 5.0 5-spd (Sadly Sold)
    85.5 SVO, Finally Got Boost
    83 RS Capri 5.0, 5-spd (another sadly sold)

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by JTurbo View Post
    Awesome project, you're making great progress with it.

    I like the yellow exterior, but it clashes with the red interior in my opinion.

    Keep us updated with the progress pics.
    The red interior definitely clashes with...well, everything. I want to go black interior, but looking at the prices of interior pieces has me sticking with red haha.

    I have a carpet coming in on Friday, and it's black. I'm going to try to start moving to black piece by piece, but it's going to take a long time to get there.
    1986 Capri 5.0L 5-Speed

  15. #15
    FEP Super Member
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    Looking at a couple of your pictures , it appears the car was white before the yellow.
    Any reason the quarters and maybe even the roof are different color of yellow over the doors and front ? .
    clowns to the left of me , Jokers to the right

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by ashley roachclip View Post
    Looking at a couple of your pictures , it appears the car was white before the yellow.
    Any reason the quarters and maybe even the roof are different color of yellow over the doors and front ? .
    Yes the car was originally white. The color in the rear us just faded. The Arizona sun is brutal to cars that are left out in it.
    1986 Capri 5.0L 5-Speed

  17. #17
    Moderator wraithracing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jgloyer View Post
    I put the new rear hatch on the car. Much more subtle. It's from an 83 GT





    Looks kind of kind of weird from the rear. It doesn't latch for some reason, but it appears to line up just fine.
    Most likely you will need to adjust your striker in the hatch area to get the hatch to latch properly. I don't have time to go thru my procedure right now, but it really isn't difficult. Essentially you need a #50 Torx bit to loosen the striker bolt and then adjust it to the proper location so the latch lines up properly.

    Another note in regards to the early Capri tail lights. The tail light socket holes do not line up correctly with the 83-93 rear tail light panel. You can make it work, but it will require modifications. Also finding a good set of early Capri tail lights is getting harder ever day.

    Best of Luck the Capri is coming along nicely.
    ​Trey

    "I Don't build it hoping for your approval! I built it because it meets mine!"

    "I've spent most of my money on Mustangs, racing, and women... the rest I just wasted."

    Mustangs Past: Too many to remember!
    Current Mustangs:
    1969 Mach 1
    1979 Pace Car now 5.0/5 speed
    1982 GT Awaiting Restoration
    1984 SVO Restoration in Progress
    1986 GT Wrecked by PO, but still want to save!

    Current Capris:
    1982 Capri Roller
    1984 Capri Returned to Bubble Back Glory
    1983-84 Gloy Racing Trans Am/IMSA Body Parts
    1982 Capri RS 5.0 4spd T-tops

  18. #18

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    Okay, thanks I'll play with it this weekend.

    And yeah I know the Capri stuff is different which is why it had this Mustang panel put in the rear. It's going to stay Mustang stuff for the foreseeable future because I don't want to undertake the headache of replacing that stuff.

    Sent from my SM-G920V using Tapatalk
    1986 Capri 5.0L 5-Speed

  19. #19

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    About to make the interior 1000x better.
    1986 Capri 5.0L 5-Speed

  20. #20

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    I also got some exhaust hangers in so I can finally get under there and try to adjust the exhaust again to see if I can get it fitting properly again.
    1986 Capri 5.0L 5-Speed

  21. #21

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    All in. Looks really good. Need to work on getting seats, they are sun faded pretty bad.
    1986 Capri 5.0L 5-Speed

  22. #22

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    So I've been reading up (a little on here) about dying/painting the interior pieces. I think I'm going to try it with my rear seat and see how it comes out. Im going to have to replace the front seats so I'm not going to bother with those.

    I have 2 sets of door panels, so I'll try it out on one of them and see if it's passable.

    After getting that carpet in there I just can't stomach the red everywhere.

    Sent from my SM-G920V using Tapatalk
    1986 Capri 5.0L 5-Speed

  23. #23
    Moderator wraithracing's Avatar
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    The biggest issue with painting any cloth material is the material tends to become stiff and scratchy due to the paint on the surface. Brushing the fabric with a brush shortly after painting will help to limit that issue.

    I have done some different items over the years including carpet, seats, etc. Door panels are no issue as they are mostly vinyl with only carpet at the bottom. The seats themselves will be the most challenging, but it should work out pretty well.

    I highly recommend Color Bond interior paints. https://www.colorbondpaint.com/

    I used their paint to revive the interior in my wife's 03 Lincoln Navigator a couple of years ago. The color match was perfect and the paint dries extremely quickly and didn't rub off. Now admittedly her's was a leather interior, but I was still surprised how well it stuck. Only on the areas of the leather that were worn and cracked could you even slightly tell that I had done something. Three kids had stained the rear seats pretty badly over the years, but weren't worn thru. After painting with the Color Bond the seats looked brand new. I even did her leather wrapped steering wheel that the original color had worn off of, and when redone it looked perfect and you couldn't tell at all what I had done.

    I have also used their stuff on a couple of Mustangs. They don't offer the "correct" matches for most of our Foxes, but they do have several Black options. You can buy directly or even thru Summit Racing I believe. I bought 6 cans to do my wife's Navigator and with 3 rows of seats and the steering wheel I only used a little over 3 cans. It probably would have taken more to do an actual color change, but the coverage was very good. The black coverage I have gotten on the Mustangs has been great! Good Luck!
    ​Trey

    "I Don't build it hoping for your approval! I built it because it meets mine!"

    "I've spent most of my money on Mustangs, racing, and women... the rest I just wasted."

    Mustangs Past: Too many to remember!
    Current Mustangs:
    1969 Mach 1
    1979 Pace Car now 5.0/5 speed
    1982 GT Awaiting Restoration
    1984 SVO Restoration in Progress
    1986 GT Wrecked by PO, but still want to save!

    Current Capris:
    1982 Capri Roller
    1984 Capri Returned to Bubble Back Glory
    1983-84 Gloy Racing Trans Am/IMSA Body Parts
    1982 Capri RS 5.0 4spd T-tops

  24. #24
    FEP Power Member magnum517's Avatar
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    Cool project! Glad to see someone is saving it. Looks much better with all the changes you have made. Look forward to seeing more progress.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    --86 GT vert.306,Powerdyne blown 7 psi, E303, ported E7s,MAF conv, BBK shorties n OR H, 3" Mac Pro Dumps, WC T5, 5 lug'd, 17" Bullitts, 3" cowlhood, SN95 Gt front brakes, 4.11s.
    --Bill

  25. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by wraithracing View Post
    The biggest issue with painting any cloth material is the material tends to become stiff and scratchy due to the paint on the surface. Brushing the fabric with a brush shortly after painting will help to limit that issue.

    I have done some different items over the years including carpet, seats, etc. Door panels are no issue as they are mostly vinyl with only carpet at the bottom. The seats themselves will be the most challenging, but it should work out pretty well.

    I highly recommend Color Bond interior paints. https://www.colorbondpaint.com/

    I used their paint to revive the interior in my wife's 03 Lincoln Navigator a couple of years ago. The color match was perfect and the paint dries extremely quickly and didn't rub off. Now admittedly her's was a leather interior, but I was still surprised how well it stuck. Only on the areas of the leather that were worn and cracked could you even slightly tell that I had done something. Three kids had stained the rear seats pretty badly over the years, but weren't worn thru. After painting with the Color Bond the seats looked brand new. I even did her leather wrapped steering wheel that the original color had worn off of, and when redone it looked perfect and you couldn't tell at all what I had done.

    I have also used their stuff on a couple of Mustangs. They don't offer the "correct" matches for most of our Foxes, but they do have several Black options. You can buy directly or even thru Summit Racing I believe. I bought 6 cans to do my wife's Navigator and with 3 rows of seats and the steering wheel I only used a little over 3 cans. It probably would have taken more to do an actual color change, but the coverage was very good. The black coverage I have gotten on the Mustangs has been great! Good Luck!
    Thanks for the info again! I just got some duplicolor fabric and vinyl paint that I'm going to try out. It doesn't hurt to try and see what it looks like can always replace the covers later.
    1986 Capri 5.0L 5-Speed

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