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  1. #1
    FEP Senior Member tcruise's Avatar
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    Default Update on my 1983 Mexican Mustang fastback

    Been away for a long time. Here's an update on my 1983 Mexican Mustang fastback...

    It was t-boned by an old lady back in 2014. It was the other driver's fault, but her insurance company ignored everything their underwriter told me, and drastically undervalued my car, refused to pay to fix it and told the state it was totaled (NOT). So I parked it for a long time. I paid a professional classic car appraiser to appraise it, but they ignored that too. This state is on the side of the insurance companies.

    Most of the damage was to the right fender area, but the leading edge of the door was damaged enough that I decided to replace it.
    It's been sitting since then. I had done a lot of work on it before the collision and taken it to the LeMay Car Show. :-(

    This past summer, I finally got around to working on it myself. Turns out it was not all that bad mechanically. The strut got crushed by the wheel, and the fender and door are crushed. Removed the damaged fender and inner fender, straightened the inner fender/apron (whatever it's called, replaced the crushed strut and installed all new sway bar kit.

    I have a door from a '79 Capri and a Capri fender and inner fender. When I removed the old fender, I could not get one of the nuts off the studs that attach the front edge of the fender to the nose (really goofy setup if you ask me). So had to hacksaw through the stud. Need to figure out how to replace the stud with a bolt some how. Anybody know how to do that?

    The car is still the original paint and interior, but now I will have to re-paint it. It's light marina blue with the light blue interior. The seats need recovering. I was thinking about the darker Marina Blue, but I don't think it will look good on this body style (it's the Capri body with aero hatch). Think I'd rather paint it black and redo the interior in black. I had a black Capri RS with a red interior and loved it.

    Since this is a rare car in the U.S., I'm wondering what you all think about the color change? There is so much plastic in these things that can't be painted, but it's old anyway. Please share your thoughts and opinions on this. Thanks!

    Here's the car right before the collision:
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    Here's the car after the collision:
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    1983 Mexican Mustang 5.0/4-spd
    1982 Capri RS 5.0 H.O.

  2. #2
    Moderator wraithracing's Avatar
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    That sucks about your car getting hit and the way the insurance company dealt with it. I have had similar issues. Unfortunately you pretty much have to be the PITA to them to get them to do what's right and pay to fix the car.

    In regards to changing the interior color, that's your call. My .02 for what it's worth is to keep the original color. All of the plastic/vinyl inside can be resprayed/dyed to look like new. I will be doing the exact same thing for my 82 RS once I get to that point. Honestly the blue interiors are hard to come by these days and really make these cars unique and special IMHO. Refurbishing the interior is not that bad or expensive overall. I will post up mine once I get to that point with my RS. If you need more help or information feel free to send me a PM and we can discuss everything. Best of 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 Ongoing RestoModification
    1984 SVO Awaiting Restoration
    1986 GT Wrecked by PO, but still want to save!

    Current Capris:
    1981 Capri Roller
    1981 Capri Black Magic Roller Basket Case
    1982 Capri RS 5.0/4spd T-top Full Restoration Underway
    1984 Capri RS T-top Roller
    1983-84 Gloy Racing Trans Am/IMSA Body Parts

  3. #3
    FEP Senior Member tcruise's Avatar
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    Default Re: Update on my 1983 Mexican Mustang fastback

    Quote Originally Posted by wraithracing View Post
    In regards to changing the interior color, that's your call. My .02 for what it's worth is to keep the original color. All of the plastic/vinyl inside can be resprayed/dyed to look like new. I will be doing the exact same thing for my 82 RS once I get to that point. Honestly the blue interiors are hard to come by these days and really make these cars unique and special IMHO. Refurbishing the interior is not that bad or expensive overall. I will post up mine once I get to that point with my RS. If you need more help or information feel free to send me a PM and we can discuss everything. Best of Luck!
    Thanks, Trey. Your racecar is awesome. Love those fender flares!

    I've used vinyl paint to paint vinyl door panels a different color, but what can you use on those hard plastic parts? Will anything stick to them? Some of them are sun rotted too. Of the Mexican Mustangs I've seen that were restored/fixed up, most if not all have been modified a lot. I generally prefer to make modest mods on my cars like nice wheels and lowering. But there were some factory improvements to the Fox Mustang/Capri like air dams and ground effects/cladding that improved the look significantly. It's hard not to want to do some upgrades. Last time around, I managed to restrain myself and repainted the bumper covers and lower body black to achieve a partial effect.

    It would be nice if this car eventually makes its way back to Mexico, into the hands of someone who always wanted one or had one when they were young, and I wonder what they would prefer. I was very impressed with blueandsilver's '81 black-on-black resto.

    The seats and door panels have this cloth that I think was unique to Ford Mexico. Could not find anything like it up here. The factory made replacement seat covers are only available in black or dark blue vinyl. So I figured a switch to black would be the most practical option. I do want to keep the original seats with the rare halo headrests with netting in the middle (which is also blue).

    I will also have to figure out how to modify the '79 Capri door to relocate the door lock button to the top of the door. Not sure if there are any other differences.

    I'd really like to get this car back on the road by Spring and enjoy driving it.

    It has no heater core, and have to remove the heater box (or whatever it's called) to get to it, but that is totally different from the U.S. cars, and I failed to get it out after removing every fastener I could find. Will take another stab at it as soon as I have a space open and can take it out of storage.

    The other oddity that I've struggled with is the clutch cable and bellcrank, which are apparently totally unique to this car (even Ebay Mexico does not have a clutch cable like this one). The cable is intact, but the sheath/housing is worn on the inside (in the middle where the bend is), causing the clutch to stick in the "in" position (have to keep lubing it and flipping it over). I should be able to fabricate a part to interface a U.S. clutch cable to it.

    Have also considered replacing the original rear end with a posi rear end. I had to replace the steering rack with a new one, but luckily, the new ones from Ford Mexico were a perfect match.
    1983 Mexican Mustang 5.0/4-spd
    1982 Capri RS 5.0 H.O.

  4. #4
    FEP Super Member onetrackrider's Avatar
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    I remember this one well. Really stinks you were hit. Me personally would keep it the same color as it's one unique Mustang in the states.
    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)

  5. #5

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    If possible I’d keep it original. For anything you can’t keep original make it match the more common cars so it becomes serviceable again.

    Blow it apart, heat and jack the metal back where it’s supposed to be, and put it back together.

    when it comes to fenders and doors, I’ve save one hell of a lot worse. A Saturday afternoon with a stud welder to pull dents with and a portapower would do a world of good.

    or pop the panels apart so you can work them back straight from the back side then put them back together, etc

    good luck - I hope you can get it fixed without too much trouble!

  6. #6
    Moderator wraithracing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tcruise View Post
    Thanks, Trey. Your racecar is awesome. Love those fender flares!

    I've used vinyl paint to paint vinyl door panels a different color, but what can you use on those hard plastic parts? Will anything stick to them? Some of them are sun rotted too. Of the Mexican Mustangs I've seen that were restored/fixed up, most if not all have been modified a lot. I generally prefer to make modest mods on my cars like nice wheels and lowering. But there were some factory improvements to the Fox Mustang/Capri like air dams and ground effects/cladding that improved the look significantly. It's hard not to want to do some upgrades. Last time around, I managed to restrain myself and repainted the bumper covers and lower body black to achieve a partial effect.

    It would be nice if this car eventually makes its way back to Mexico, into the hands of someone who always wanted one or had one when they were young, and I wonder what they would prefer. I was very impressed with blueandsilver's '81 black-on-black resto.

    The seats and door panels have this cloth that I think was unique to Ford Mexico. Could not find anything like it up here. The factory made replacement seat covers are only available in black or dark blue vinyl. So I figured a switch to black would be the most practical option. I do want to keep the original seats with the rare halo headrests with netting in the middle (which is also blue).

    I will also have to figure out how to modify the '79 Capri door to relocate the door lock button to the top of the door. Not sure if there are any other differences.

    I'd really like to get this car back on the road by Spring and enjoy driving it.

    It has no heater core, and have to remove the heater box (or whatever it's called) to get to it, but that is totally different from the U.S. cars, and I failed to get it out after removing every fastener I could find. Will take another stab at it as soon as I have a space open and can take it out of storage.

    The other oddity that I've struggled with is the clutch cable and bellcrank, which are apparently totally unique to this car (even Ebay Mexico does not have a clutch cable like this one). The cable is intact, but the sheath/housing is worn on the inside (in the middle where the bend is), causing the clutch to stick in the "in" position (have to keep lubing it and flipping it over). I should be able to fabricate a part to interface a U.S. clutch cable to it.

    Have also considered replacing the original rear end with a posi rear end. I had to replace the steering rack with a new one, but luckily, the new ones from Ford Mexico were a perfect match.
    Specific interior paint is used to respray/dye the interior parts. Most of it today is all the same where before there were specific vinyl and specific hard plastic paints. I generally get my interior paint from my local autobody supply house and have them custom mix to match either the original color or a piece of plastic from the car (the backside when molded in color). I prefer to do it this way as it is easier and I get better results using a spray gun rather than rattle cans.

    If your plastic parts are sun damaged, slightly you can use SEM Plastic High Build Primer and SEM spray texture to bring them back to life. If they are too far gone such as in my 82 RS, then better used ones are the way to go. I use Bulldog Adhesion promoter in addition to Plastic parts cleaner to prep everything to make sure the new paint sticks well. The process is several steps, but the results are worth it. Basically clean, degrease, clean, Plastic part/bumper cleaning scrub, clean, Light wipe down with MEK, spray Bulldog, spray color, and DONE! I have had great results and if done right the parts hold up well and over time.

    In regards to interior fabric, the odds are that TMI can make you some new seat covers that are similar in color, but won't be exact. You can have them do custom work with any material you provide or any other materials/colors they offer. I would contact SMS Auto Fabric https://smsautofabrics.com/ they might have the correct material for you, but hard to say with it being the Mexican model.

    In regards to modifications, you know by checking out any of my cars that I too like modified Foxes, so no complaints from me. If you want to modify or change the interior, that is your choice. I just think the different interior colors now are unique and cool since you see SOOOOOO many Foxes that have been converted to either the Gray or Black interiors. Nothing wrong with that, but seeing the old reds, blues, beiges, etc. is cool IMHO.

    In regards to the 79 door latch, just remove it and replace with your original 83 latch assembly and you will be good to go. Drill the hole location in the top of the door if needed and swap all the guts from the original 83 door and you are set.

    If the car is a non A/C car, then you should be able to replace the heater core thru the glove box door. Otherwise you will need to remove the dash or at least loosen it and pull it out of the way to get the entire HVAC box out. I can't remember what year Ford started gluing the boxes together, but I believe the 83 model might be one.

    I am not sure what differences there are in regards to your clutch cable, bellcrank setup. Sounds kind of like the SVO, but I can't visualize it or have never seen it. Post up a picture and we'll see what we can come up with.

    I would assume a 7.5 Trac Lok would swap right in or even an 8.8 Trac Lok would work just fine. Otherwise you may just need the Trac Lok differential for your rear end assembly. I assume what you have now is a 7.5, but again I could be wrong. Good Luck!
    Last edited by wraithracing; 10-27-2018 at 09:08 AM.
    ​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 Ongoing RestoModification
    1984 SVO Awaiting Restoration
    1986 GT Wrecked by PO, but still want to save!

    Current Capris:
    1981 Capri Roller
    1981 Capri Black Magic Roller Basket Case
    1982 Capri RS 5.0/4spd T-top Full Restoration Underway
    1984 Capri RS T-top Roller
    1983-84 Gloy Racing Trans Am/IMSA Body Parts

  7. #7
    FEP Senior Member tcruise's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by onetrackrider View Post
    I remember this one well. Really stinks you were hit. Me personally would keep it the same color as it's one unique Mustang in the states.
    Thanks for weighing in on the color switch idea.
    1983 Mexican Mustang 5.0/4-spd
    1982 Capri RS 5.0 H.O.

  8. #8
    FEP Senior Member tcruise's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by erratic50 View Post
    If possible I’d keep it original. For anything you can’t keep original make it match the more common cars so it becomes serviceable again.

    Blow it apart, heat and jack the metal back where it’s supposed to be, and put it back together.

    when it comes to fenders and doors, I’ve save one hell of a lot worse. A Saturday afternoon with a stud welder to pull dents with and a portapower would do a world of good.

    or pop the panels apart so you can work them back straight from the back side then put them back together, etc

    good luck - I hope you can get it fixed without too much trouble!
    Another vote for keeping original color. OK, maybe I will.

    On the door: Don't have a torch, just have a MIG welder. I used a stud welder to pull the door dent out enough to get it open, but with the skin on, there's no way I'll be able to get it straight again. If I cut the damaged part of the door skin off, I could probably straighten the inner metal, then weld a patch on. But since I have a whole 'nother door, I figured that would be easier. Maybe not...

    Don't have a porta-power, but a farm jack and a couple pieces of 2x4 did the trick on the inner apron! Maybe I should have tried fixing the fender, though. But it's already gone, and I have a good donor fender.
    1983 Mexican Mustang 5.0/4-spd
    1982 Capri RS 5.0 H.O.

  9. #9
    FEP Senior Member tcruise's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by erratic50 View Post
    If possible I’d keep it original. For anything you can’t keep original make it match the more common cars so it becomes serviceable again.
    Could you give me specific examples of interior parts that are "more common"? Not really sure what's more common on the "GT" models (vs. the "LX").

    One thing I like about black interiors is its a lot easier to find materials like vinyl and cloth in black, and black is pretty much black, whereas there are so many shades of blue, and they don't all work together, lol.
    1983 Mexican Mustang 5.0/4-spd
    1982 Capri RS 5.0 H.O.

  10. #10
    Moderator wraithracing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tcruise View Post
    Could you give me specific examples of interior parts that are "more common"? Not really sure what's more common on the "GT" models (vs. the "LX").

    One thing I like about black interiors is its a lot easier to find materials like vinyl and cloth in black, and black is pretty much black, whereas there are so many shades of blue, and they don't all work together, lol.
    You are going to have a difficult time finding good used blue interior pieces. I can attest to that. There just aren't a ton of them out there to begin with and what's out there has many of the same issues you currently have. So I wish you luck, but be prepared for slim pickings.

    The other issue you may run into in regards to using Mustang interior parts or even US Capri parts may be different materials due to yours being Mexico Production. With that said, the interior quarter panels, door panels, arm rests, carpet, headliner, misc roof trim, dash, dash pad, center console, seat belts, etc. are all interchangeable between the Mustang and Capri and should be the same for yours.

    I have no idea what condition your interior is in or what HAS to be replaced. There are at least 8 blue color options in regards to carpet from ACC, just have to ask for samples to verify which color suits yours. Most likely the standard Academy blue that everyone sells for the 83 model is the most accurate. Headliner material is about the same, although you can always check with a local upholstery shop for additional options if the standard doesn't look right. As I stated before SMS Auto Fabric may have your original style materials if you need seat upholstery and want to stay original. They also offer headliner, carpet, and even the vinyl for door panels. Obviously in regards to door panels they will not have the heat set pattern that your current panels have. I am in the same situation with my RS. My plan is to buy the correct OEM material from SMS and have a local upholstery shop stitch the pattern into the vinyl and then recover new door panel backer boards. This will give me the most accurate original look. TMI does offer some complete door panels for the 83-86 models so that might still be an option although they are not inexpensive.

    If you look closely at your interior most likely you will see that there are multiple shades of blue even from the factory. That was just the way they came as different materials colored differently and honestly Quality was not JOB 1 back then. That drives me crazy and the reason I respray all of my hard plastic and even some of the softer plastic parts when restoring/rebuilding an interior. This gives a much better look and everything matches much better. The overall cost is minimal IMHO, generally $150-$250 depending on color and extra work needed due to sun damage etc. Best of 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 Ongoing RestoModification
    1984 SVO Awaiting Restoration
    1986 GT Wrecked by PO, but still want to save!

    Current Capris:
    1981 Capri Roller
    1981 Capri Black Magic Roller Basket Case
    1982 Capri RS 5.0/4spd T-top Full Restoration Underway
    1984 Capri RS T-top Roller
    1983-84 Gloy Racing Trans Am/IMSA Body Parts

  11. #11
    FEP Senior Member tcruise's Avatar
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    Thanks, I know what you mean about different shades of blue. On my car, some of the "blue" isn't even blue (anymore). Here's a photo the driver's door panel after I restored it the best I could re-using original material. The backer panel was totally shot, and there was a gaping speaker hole in the backer and the door. I made a new backer panel, a metal patch for the door, and a "plug" to cover the speaker hole (used the only blue fabric on hand to cover it). Separating the material from the old backer was a huge pain, had to sacrifice the padding.

    Striped cloth at the top: I'm guessing this is a Mexico-only thing. It's very thin material. Note the Mustang Pony (same as Mustang II, so I assume they were left over?), nice touch, IMO.

    Vinyl: Note that the vinyl is a funny "antique patina" look (has a brownish coloration)--is this a "thing" that was also on US cars? Was this embossing pattern used in US? The seats have the same vinyl material and cloth inserts as the door panels.

    Chrome Plastic Trim (2 different types): Do either of these pieces of trim look familiar?

    Carpet and map pocket at the bottom: Does this look familiar? The carpet is faded to more of a purple now. Same for outer edges of the carpeting (the rest is light blue).

    Note the crudely formed backing metal that the door panel is joined to. The worst is at the top/front corner, but there is a distinct bend at the top of the door handle bezel that runs the length of the door. Have you seen this on US cars? I'm guessing they used a die in US/Canada that was not available at the Mexico City factory, so had to form them by hand in Mexico?

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    Last edited by tcruise; 10-29-2018 at 03:04 PM.
    1983 Mexican Mustang 5.0/4-spd
    1982 Capri RS 5.0 H.O.

  12. #12

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    The classic some blue is now grey, some blue is now green problems...... yea -- I'd find the color I believe its supposed to be and respray everything!

  13. #13
    Moderator wraithracing's Avatar
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    The door panel overall style looks the same as the US 83 models to me. Yes your materials appear to be different and unique, but otherwise essentially stock Mustang/Capri.

    I believe the issues you see with the metal top piece of the door panel are now due to the lack of padding under the vinyl as much as anything. They all appear to be what you are describing and the padding helps to soften the lines and any discrepancies.

    The Blue of your interior looks very light to me, but that may be the pictures. It appears very similar to the Wedgewood Blue of my 82 RS which is much lighter than the Academy Blue for the US 83 models. Maybe Ford used the same Wedgewood Blue or a similar color on the Mexico 83 models.

    Obviously the final choice is yours. If you don't want to deal with the blue or you just want to change the color of the interior, then go for it. It's your car and no one will fault you for that. I am sure with some work and careful selection you can refurbish most of what you have which may save you time and money. Just consider that if you do change the entire interior color that includes, seat belts, seat belt sleeves, headliner, dash, dash pad, arm rests, door panels, quarter panels, roof trim, etc. There are A LOT of parts and pieces. Some can be sprayed/dyed and some are easier/better to replace with the new interior color.

    I will also recommend Color Bond https://www.colorbondpaint.com/ They offer many OEM color options for changing the interior color or just sprucing one up. I used their product to redo the original leather seats in my wife's 03 Navigator before we sold it. When I was done the seats and leather wrapped steering wheel looked brand new. Pretty good stuff. They even have a Ford Lapis color that might be close to your original blue color.

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    They have several black and grey options if you choose to go that route too. 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 Ongoing RestoModification
    1984 SVO Awaiting Restoration
    1986 GT Wrecked by PO, but still want to save!

    Current Capris:
    1981 Capri Roller
    1981 Capri Black Magic Roller Basket Case
    1982 Capri RS 5.0/4spd T-top Full Restoration Underway
    1984 Capri RS T-top Roller
    1983-84 Gloy Racing Trans Am/IMSA Body Parts

  14. #14
    FEP Senior Member tcruise's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by erratic50 View Post
    The classic some blue is now grey, some blue is now green problems...... yea -- I'd find the color I believe its supposed to be and respray everything!
    Can't argue with that!
    1983 Mexican Mustang 5.0/4-spd
    1982 Capri RS 5.0 H.O.

  15. #15
    FEP Senior Member tcruise's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wraithracing View Post
    The door panel overall style looks the same as the US 83 models to me. Yes your materials appear to be different and unique, but otherwise essentially stock Mustang/Capri.

    I believe the issues you see with the metal top piece of the door panel are now due to the lack of padding under the vinyl as much as anything. They all appear to be what you are describing and the padding helps to soften the lines and any discrepancies.
    That makes sense. The door panel I restored had a white synthetic material for padding that I had to cut away from the vinyl (there was no way to save it). Maybe they used thicker material in the US/Canada? I replaced the padding with some other synthetic "fleece" fabric, which worked well. Unfortunately, in the process of slicing the old padding off, I accidentally sliced through the vinyl a bit in one place. :-\

    Quote Originally Posted by wraithracing View Post
    The Blue of your interior looks very light to me, but that may be the pictures. It appears very similar to the Wedgewood Blue of my 82 RS which is much lighter than the Academy Blue for the US 83 models. Maybe Ford used the same Wedgewood Blue or a similar color on the Mexico 83 models.
    Thanks for the info. I'll look into this.

    Quote Originally Posted by wraithracing View Post
    Obviously the final choice is yours. If you don't want to deal with the blue or you just want to change the color of the interior, then go for it. It's your car and no one will fault you for that. I am sure with some work and careful selection you can refurbish most of what you have which may save you time and money. Just consider that if you do change the entire interior color that includes, seat belts, seat belt sleeves, headliner, dash, dash pad, arm rests, door panels, quarter panels, roof trim, etc. There are A LOT of parts and pieces. Some can be sprayed/dyed and some are easier/better to replace with the new interior color.
    Yes, there are so many parts that would need replacing or refinishing. A lot of the hard plastic parts in this car are OK (the ones that did not get too much sun). Maybe I can just refinish some of them. The larger pieces that form the interior/rear on the fastback would probably break if I tried to remove them (that's what happened when I removed one from my Capri RS to pull out the quarter panel). The less I have to do the better!

    Quote Originally Posted by wraithracing View Post
    I will also recommend Color Bond https://www.colorbondpaint.com/ They offer many OEM color options for changing the interior color or just sprucing one up. I used their product to redo the original leather seats in my wife's 03 Navigator before we sold it. When I was done the seats and leather wrapped steering wheel looked brand new. Pretty good stuff. They even have a Ford Lapis color that might be close to your original blue color.

    They have several black and grey options if you choose to go that route too. Good Luck!
    Thanks for recommending this product. I have bookmarked the website. The video says to prep hard plastic with Adhesion Promoter before top coating with the LVP paint.
    1983 Mexican Mustang 5.0/4-spd
    1982 Capri RS 5.0 H.O.

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