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  1. #1

    Default '84.5 GT convertible resurrection

    Finally getting around to starting a thread. Y'all have probably seen a lot of posts recently on all the little jobs I've needed help with. Thanks to everyone who's chimed in. Always good to get another point of view when stuck in the weeds.

    I bought this car in the fall of '08 from an old friend after he decided it was too much to deal with. He had bought it from another friend of mine and I was with him when he purchased it from a fellow in Houston, TX.

    Story I heard was the car was from the Austin, TX area and was a daily driver until an encounter with some ice on an overpass caused it to spin out and kiss the guard rail on the left-front corner. When I first saw the car (around '06), they had already pulled the drive-train out and decided to sell. Never knew what happened to the original motor/trans, but was told it was worn out.

    Fast forward 2 years and I had my chance at it. Previous guy had the front core support straightened on a frame machine so everything was squared back up again and the hood would close nice. Before, everything was shifted over to the right and the hood wouldn't come close to latching. He painted the black rub strip on the bumper cover to hide some of the accident damage, and started dying the dash/a-pillars black as he didn't like the canyon red interior.

    I had an extra 302 (actually 306) roller motor out of my '86 coupe. Had built a 331 for the '86 and figured I'd find something to put the 306 in one day. Sourced a t-5z trans and started the process. Cleaned up the engine bay/painted and got the engine/trans dropped in.

    Life happened and I put the car in storage up at my dad's farm. Apologies on the first pics. They're from '08


    A good time later it looked like it had earned the status of 'barn find'... at least it had the dust/dirt to prove it. lol

    Been collecting parts since that time. Fast-forward to 2018. Got the engine to fire, but wasn't getting fuel. Had to drop the tank and replace, along with most of the fuel lines. Never did get it to run well enough to drive back home, so had it towed home in the summer of 2019. Been messing with it ever since. Had a few setbacks along the way, including having to pull the front cover due to installing the cam in the wrong position (luckily no damage). As well as dealing with mechanical fuel pumps that put out way too much pressure and push past the needle/seats. Taking a long time to do each thing because i feel the need to clean/paint everything.

    My plans are to keep it fairly stock. All the emissions equipment were long gone when I bought it and is exempt from any testing here in Texas now that it's over 25 yrs old. Exhaust consists of arrow headers along with a gutted cat-pipe & old Flowmasters with dumps. Planning on changing to tail pipes soon as that drone is just too much for me. Only other mods is are GT-40 iron heads with some minor port/polish work, an 87-88 'speed-density' cam & Edelbrock performer 289 intake manifold. Carb is the stock 4180.


    Long road ahead, but it runs well enough that i took it down the road a couple times. Still need to fine-tune carb/timing.

    Last edited by graphicdesigner80; 05-04-2022 at 01:42 PM.
    84.5 GT Convertible Build Thread
    86 LX Coupe

  2. #2


    Latest project was getting the maximum motorsport subframe connectors installed. Interior needed redoing anyway, so I pulled dash/seats/etc and discovered a few issues. some rust in the rear pans and a broken rear seat support... on the passenger side! Driver side is totally solid, surprisingly. Appears someone ran over something and caught the front of the support plate and ripped the spot welds and tweaked the pan. took some massaging and tweaking, but got it back in place.


    I am definitely not a welder, but that connector cross piece sure helps strengthen that area up.

    Need to do some light grinding and primmer/paint and it's on to the next thing.
    Last edited by graphicdesigner80; 05-20-2020 at 01:07 PM.

  3. #3


    Didn't feel like sweating like a dog last night so got the cluster finished up. Bought the gauge overlay decals from lmr and went to town. Also repainted the needles with some fluorescent model paint. Really pops now.


    Threw it in the dash on the workbench just to get a look at the final product:

    Posted in another thread in the interior section, but here's the bezels with the brushed aluminum vinyl. Actually surprised how they turned out.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  4. #4


    Passenger side piece


    Sourced an uncut dash out of an '86 vert. Dyed and slowing going back together


  5. #5


    Spent some time cleaning up the floor pan. Had some rust in the rear pans and a couple spots up front on the driver side.

    The factory sound deadening was lifting on the front foot-wells so pulled it up and cleaned everything up, wire brushed, and treated with navel jelly.

    Used a really neat product called POR Patch. Works really well for small holes and pitted areas in the floor. Got everything sealed up then brushed all the flat areas with regular POR 15.

    Was lucky to be able to store the car indoors for the last 10+ years. Glad the rust wasnít any worse than it was. Car is surprisingly solid other than the rusty floor that is so common with open cars. As far as I can tell the car has always been a Texas car

    Touched up all the spots where everything was welded up underneath for the connectors. Need to get the rest of the bottom side of the car cleaned up so the rest can be coated. Was thinking about getting the grey POR 15 to keep the factory look. Might be going too far, but would be good piece of mind just to have it all coated and protected.

    For now, Iíll let the paint cure up then lay some dynamat down and get the rest of the interior back in.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    84.5 GT Convertible Build Thread
    86 LX Coupe

  6. #6


    Dash is almost ready to go back in. Still waiting on the Maximum Motorsports quadrant/cable & pedal box spacer to come in. Have a couple spots to touch up where a couple of minor cracks were overlooked until that new dye made them stand out.

    Decided to keep the Ďpostí radio look and went with an am/fm unit pulled from an Ď85 several years ago. Although the dash is not correct for an Ď84, Iím happy with it. Amp & amp-pull switch still work, so maybe I can hear it a little while cruising down the road.

    I have one of those Ďauxí input adapters that plugs into the antenna wire.

    Used on my old Ď98 GT with decent results. Not sure how well itíll work with an analog head unit. Fingers crossed.

    I do have the digital tape deck that came with the dash. Tested and it does work. Almost decided to go with it until I realized my Ď84 dash harness doesnít have the constant power going to the plug to keep the radio memory. I have the Ď86 dash harness, but canít find where that wire ties in. Probably for the best since Iíd like to keep the amp pull switch functional.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    84.5 GT Convertible Build Thread
    86 LX Coupe

  7. #7


    Our son was born this past Friday, so updates are gonna slow down a bit.

    I did get the dynamat laid in. Pedal assembly is ready to go back in with MM quadrant/adjuster/cable.

    Hopefully can find time to do a little here and there. Iím lucky to have a very understanding wife that encourages my hobbies

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    84.5 GT Convertible Build Thread
    86 LX Coupe

  8. #8


    Rebuilt the pedal box with new bushings & painted everything. Installed new MM box spacer/quadrant/cable. Very happy with the fit and alignment of everything. Quadrant looks to be dead-center with the hole in the firewall. Ran the cable and adjuster per the instructions. Went ahead and threw the carpet in.
    Seems like this car keeps pushing back with every two steps forward I take. Discovered the tail shaft seal on the t-5 is leaking. Driveshaft has noticeable play up/down & side to side. Pulled the shaft and yoke doesn't have any noticeable wear. Just leaves that dang bushing in the trans as the culprit. Priced the special tool to pull it out while in the car and looks like it's almost $200. I'll just drop the gearbox and pull the tail shaft and do it the old fashioned way. While it's out I'm gonna check clutch/throwout bearing/pivot ball. The fork is nearly in the middle of the bell housing opening before it hits the pressure plate. From reading around on here it needs to be further back towards the back of the car to get better full-range. We'll see how it looks.

  9. #9


    Not a whole lot of progress. Did get the hvac box rebuilt including new foam on a couple of the doors. Dash & column are in. Still plugging everything in and routing wiring. Hopefully more progress soon.

    84.5 GT Convertible Build Thread
    86 LX Coupe

  10. #10
    FEP Senior Member burntorange84's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    GT (georgetown), TX


    Love to see the progress, K!

    1984.5 Mustang GT: org. 5.0, 5spd, 3.27's;
    GT-40's w/93 exhaust; t-bird TC brakes....

  11. #11


    Appreciate it!

    Slow going since the boy came along. Hopefully get interior back in soon. Want to get it back on the ground and driveable before the end of the year... ha!

  12. #12


    Got the harness routed & plugged in. Fired up and appears everything is working. Next on the list is getting the console and other misc interior plastic cleaned up and dyed. Then it's on to the ever-troublesome quarter windows.

    Special shout-out to fgross2006 on his write up on this issue. Very helpful reading before diving in and will go a long way to getting me to where mine will hopefully work. Fingers crossed.

    I've also purchased the 'Mustang Convertible Diagnosis & Service Procedures' manual per the recommendation of several folks on here. Thanks to everyone for all the tips and help along the way.


    This is my first convertible resto, so a lot of new things to deal with vs the more simple closed cars. Luckily the top works fine and is in decent shape.

  13. #13


    I did get the dash buttoned up and everything plugged in and working ó finally. Slow progress these days.


    Went ahead and pulled the driver's side quarter window assembly out. Was not looking forward to this as many have mentioned how big a job it is. Came apart fairly straight forward. Cleaned everything up and used LMR's aluminum bracket kit and bushings. Couldn't find the motorcraft part # on the window bushings, so for now we'll see how long the Daniel Carpenter stuff holds up. Ignore the scratched paint on the quarter window. I didn't want to refinish it just for it to get scratched up during the adjustment process. Same for the original seal. Priorities! ha.



    Put everything back in the car and have yet to begin the adjustment process. The top didn't want to come up. Never had a problem with it before, so now that I have the convertible book it must've figured now was the time to stop building pressure. ha. Now's the time to address all this while the interior is out anyway.

    Dad wanted me to try and fix a few issues on his '57 Thunderbird, so I swapped it out with the '56 F100 that usually sits in this spot. Trying to sort out some issues with the Fordomatic. If y'all have ever messed with these cars, that dang 'X' member underneath sure makes it fun. Been trying to balance what little free time I have between both. Very slow progress, but try to keep trudging forward. Hopefully will get to enjoy both cars sometime next year

    Last edited by graphicdesigner80; 11-05-2020 at 11:39 AM.
    84.5 GT Convertible Build Thread
    86 LX Coupe

  14. #14


    Center console is nearly wrapped up. Everything was re-dyed. Have a cigar lighter & e-brake gasket on order.

    In progress on the driver seat. Painted the frame yesterday. Previously repaired the seat back and welded/painted. Need to get some staples for the knee support and should be ready to cut my teeth on upholstery

    84.5 GT Convertible Build Thread
    86 LX Coupe

  15. #15


    Did manage to get the driver seat bottom cover on. Still working on brackets for seatbelt guides for the driver/passenger backs. Special shout-out to Turbo86 who sold me one very nice guide piece. Still looking for one more, but now have a way to make a pattern for brackets. Happy make a detailed drawing for anyone who wants to do this in the future when finished.





    After some searching, found a rear seat set on eBay out of an '83 vert in very nice shape to replace my rotten frame. Back was actually a little nicer so I used both pieces. Covers went on pretty easily and turned out decent. Maybe I'll get that semi-new car smell after all!


  16. #16


    Finally got around to replacing the tail shaft busing/seal in the t5. After a lot of procrastination I ordered the special remover/installer tool. It worked like a charm.

    It ended up paying for itself quickly. It fits the Fordomatic in the Ď57 thunderbird that has the exact same size bushing. Lucked out

    Interior work continues. Driver seat & rear seat are ready to go in. Passenger side is in progress.

    Completed the driver side quarter window rebuild/adjustment process. Took about 3 hours

    Passenger side is holding me up as the outer trim that the dew wipe attaches to decided to break. Having a hard time sourcing one. Not even sure what itís called... well trim? Anybody have one?

    84.5 GT Convertible Build Thread
    86 LX Coupe

  17. #17



    A lot of work has been happening. Not a lot of time to post things. Sneak peak of the first panel back in. Interior should be in by the weekend.

  18. #18


    Getting there. Back seat & quarter panels wrapped up. Finally have rear speakers. We'll see how well I can hear while cruising. Poked a bunch of holes in the carpet in front of them to help... not sure how effective that'll be. Fronts going in soon. Halo's dyed and looking decent.


  19. #19


    All seats are in! Window motors & door panels should wrap it up for the most part.

    Next is getting the exhaust buttoned up. Having a hard time getting the H-pipe to line up. A little tweaking and should go back together ó hopefully.

    84.5 GT Convertible Build Thread
    86 LX Coupe

  20. #20


    Exhaust is back on. Still need tail pipes, but can run it this way for a while. Passenger door panel is back on. Spent a while polishing bezels and fixing a few issues where the glue wasnít holding well on the lower carpet section of the panel. Happy with the results. Now I need to get the car turned around so I can get the driver door off & replace hinge pins before that panel goes back on.

    Hit the right fender with some polishing compound & buffer before putting back on the car. Surprised how well it shined up. Hopefully the rest of the car will as well. Make a good 15 footer

    84.5 GT Convertible Build Thread
    86 LX Coupe

  21. #21


    Not a whole lot of progress lately. Did get the car turned around and the left fender/door pulled. New hinge pins installed and the door is back on. I did hit it with 2k paper and cut/buffed. Rub strip was curling up so I finally pulled and removed metal backing. Door piece is being a pain so trying to re-stretch. Now I have to do the rest of the car.

    I did pick up some really nice TRX repops from 5.0 bird on here. Ready to get those put on.

    In the meantime the rear end is making noise so time to investigate and see if axle bearings will remedy. If not, I have an 8.8 in the corner that will be replacing it. If that happens that'll be everything replaced on the car under my watch.
    Last edited by graphicdesigner80; 10-08-2021 at 01:42 PM.

  22. #22

    Default '84.5 GT convertible resurrection

    In the past 4 months the 7.5 rear was replaced with an 8.8 Iíd pulled from a Ď90 LX many years ago. Unfortunately it has a 2.73 gear, but will live with it for now. Freshened up with new axle bearings/seals and a new pinion seal/speedy sleeve. Cleaning/painting everything takes the longest.

    7.5 coming out

    8.8 after 12 years sitting in the shed

    After a lot of cleaning & POR 15

    A few touch ups still needed. All bolted in with new shocks, upper axle bushings, coil spring isolators.

    Added the correct brake hardline/bracket for dual exhaust. Also added the pinion snubber later.

    Since the brakes are open Iím going ahead with the Ď87+ larger fronts.

    Still have serviceable ford calipers & rotors.

    While Iím at it; am going ahead with new A-arm bushings, low-friction ball joints, struts & tie rod ends. A lot of cleaning/painting of course. End is in sight! More coming soon.
    Last edited by graphicdesigner80; 01-31-2022 at 03:52 PM.
    84.5 GT Convertible Build Thread
    86 LX Coupe

  23. #23


    More cleaning/painting. Rack was very loose and leaking. Fingers crossed that the rebuilt one holds up. Hopefully at the end of disassembly & more reassembly from here on out. **knock on wood**

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    84.5 GT Convertible Build Thread
    86 LX Coupe

  24. #24


    Front end is back together. Need to align and drive the car to settle it out before torquing everything.

    84.5 GT Convertible Build Thread
    86 LX Coupe

  25. #25


    Itís alive. Drove around and settled suspension then torqued everything and did the trusty backyard alignment. Car tracks straight & steering wheel is straight too. Iíll call that a win.

    Went ahead and swapped the sportier 3-spoke steering wheel since the cruise control is not hooked up anyway. A lot of cosmetic things to address now, but the thing actually runs & drives now

    84.5 GT Convertible Build Thread
    86 LX Coupe

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