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  1. #1

    Default Fox Body Blasphemy? Should I?

    Hi. I am David, and new to this site. I retired from being a General Manager of a large Ford Dealership. Having been around Fords for my entire tenure in the Automotive world, I have an affinity to Fords in general. Over the years I have owned some great cars and trucks. I joined FourEyedPride because I was looking for some information. (Found it By The Way!)

    My dilemma is this, during Hot August Nights here in Reno, Nevada, I attended an auction. (I told myself NOT to get a bidders badge) That obviously DIDN'T happen because I asked myself "What If Something Great Is In There"? Well.... then it happened. 5th car of the sale as it was just kicking off, a 1984 Mercury Marquis Station Wagon rolled up on the block. Like I said, the auction had just begun and the Non High Dollar cars get things warmed up. Well, I knew this car was special, so as it was approaching the block, I performed a quick cursory inspection, and I was ANYTHING but disappointed.

    3.8L V6
    Auto
    A/C (Still Blows Ice Cold)
    Beige Paint (Original)
    Wood-grain Vinyl
    Pwr Windows
    Pwr Locks
    Pwr Split Seats
    Remote Fuel Door
    Cornering Lights
    Dual Function Liftgate
    AM/FM Cassette (Still Plays)
    Roof Luggage Rack
    Rear Defroster
    Wire Wheel Covers
    White Wall Tires
    Speed Control
    Tilt Leather Wrapped Steering wheel

    This car came out of a gentleman's Estate out of California, where it was sold new and remained her entire life. According to the children who were representing the car, their father loved this station wagon. It never spent a night out in the elements, and they told me that eating and drinking in the car was "Strictly Forbidden". To say the least, she is AMAZING in her condition. I will include a link to the original "Auction Catalog" so you can see pictures of her. Well.... I was smitten. But I didn't need or want anymore cars, but alas, she flew well below the radar of the buyers that were just getting to the auction. Yup.... I stole her. IMHO anyway.

    Now, with all of THAT having been said, I have owned and always loved the 1984-1985 LTD LX 5.0L cars. (Even Though when they were new, the CFI systems were cantankerous at best)

    So my INITIAL knee Jerk response to myself even before I started bidding was: Make Her V8 in sheep's clothing. Starting out with a Great Car leads to Great Results. (Not having to spend money on appearance, rust, interior etc.... lets me focus on the actual modifications.

    But as I sit here now, I am seriously conflicted. Do I leave her alone? The 3.8L idles and performs flawlessly. I "Want" to drop in a Small Block 427.... and have even considered a 5.0L Coyote. The 427 to Me is more appealing visually due to the fact that I can make her look like a "Factory 5.0L by using all factory engine accessories, etc... But the Coyote is obviously a nice choice as well.

    I would like to hear some opinions on whether or not I should do NOTHING? Or?

    Here is the link for the pics. I promised.

    https://www.motorsportauctiongroup.c...am-Woody-Wagon

    I will take pics when she is back from the shop having her headliner reaffixed to the hard board as there were spots where it was starting to sag a bit.

  2. #2

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    That is a great car! Good for you.
    As far as the blasphemy thing, it's your car, do what you want.
    If it were me i would keep any original parts you remove and try to keep it so that it could be returned to original in case you ever change your mind/sell the car.
    Welcome to FEP!
    79 Zephyr, 4v/4r70w swap planned, with team z front and rear suspension, 8.8 and upgraded brakes and coil overs.

  3. #3
    FEP Senior Member OX1's Avatar
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    No reason you cannot upgrade tastefully. Minimal interior mods.
    No big tach on steering col or aftermarket guages. Get LTD LX tach
    and cop car speedo. Maybe put some tiny (1.5") temp/oil pressure guages way
    down under dash, where they can't be seen.

    Do an aftermarket throttle body injection kit with stock type dual air cleaner.
    Keep it looking as stock (or stock like) as possible in engine compartment, even if you go Windsor.

    Maybe even LTD LX or TRX wheels, with moderate size rubber.
    Underneath on parts you can't see, do whatever you want. Big sway bars, biggest brakes you
    can fit and still keep a period correct wheel. MAYBE a 17" reproduction wheel of some sort.

    I think you can have the best of both worlds.
    86 Capri, 5.0, 5Spd, A9L QH/BE, 47 lb Inj PMAS 3" MAF, Single T44 Turbo, Front Mount IC, TW170,
    Stock Cam, Explr Intake/TB, 1.7 Rockers, CF dual friction clutch, 3" DP, 2.5" full Exh, 3.27, 11.932 @ 115.78
    84 LTD, 331-10:1, TW170/Exprl Intake, 47 lbs inj/80 mm LMAF, Full Duals, Quarterhorse, Vortech 7PSI, Lentech AOD, 5 lug Mk VII brakes/rear, Eibach Sway bars, Cobra HB (dads ride, but I fix it )

  4. #4

    Default

    VERY nice wagon! As long as the powerplant is Ford, no blasphemy will occur IMO.

    Fox wagons are pimp in my book. Would love to score one in the near future, a Volvo 240 wagon will also suffice.
    Jeremiah

    1986 Mustang GT 5spd
    1998 Explorer Limited 5.0AWD (Wife's Ride)
    1999 Ranger Ex-Cab 3.0 5spd (My Winter Beater)

  5. #5
    FEP Super Member Gemini1999's Avatar
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    I guess it depends on why you bought the car and what you have planned for it. Did you buy the car because it was a flawless survivor and that's what you were looking for, or did you buy the car as a clean platform for modifications? If you swap out the engine, that flawlessly running 3.8 V6 will be homeless, you won't even be able to give it away. Once you swap out the engine, the next thing will be wheels and tires, then a suspension upgrade and so on.

    As you said the car runs flawlessly as it is. Why not enjoy it for awhile and see if you truly appreciate the car, or if you want something more from it. These cars are only all original just once. Once you start modding them, they'll never be the same.
    Bryan

    1983 Mustang GLX Convertible

  6. #6

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Gemini1999 View Post
    As you said the car runs flawlessly as it is. Why not enjoy it for awhile and see if you truly appreciate the car, or if you want something more from it. These cars are only all original just once. Once you start modding them, they'll never be the same.
    Hi Bryan, looks like we are neighbors as I am in Reno. Your logic makes sense, but logic doesn't mean fun! LOL That is the conundrum!

  7. #7
    FEP Senior Member dtmilsap's Avatar
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    Drop the your new 427 in, upgrade drive line and leave exterior and interior alone. By the way Have Fun.

    Sent from my SM-G960U using Tapatalk

  8. #8
    FEP Super Member Gemini1999's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DavidL View Post
    Hi Bryan, looks like we are neighbors as I am in Reno. Your logic makes sense, but logic doesn't mean fun! LOL That is the conundrum!
    I know your dilemma. I currently own an 83 convertible with a 3.8 V6. Like yours, it runs flawlessly. Would I like to have a 5.0 car? Of course, but because of the great demand, 5.0 cars are ridiculously priced. When I bought the 83, it cost me far less than a comparable 5.0 version. I opted for quality and price. I couldn't bear to pull it apart. I've spent more money than the car cost to keep it original.
    Bryan

    1983 Mustang GLX Convertible

  9. #9
    FEP Super Member gr79's Avatar
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    Congrads Id leave it as is until engine give out. Drive it. Show it off.
    A clean reliable low mile rare classic is gold. Worth more the way it is.
    Get a Marti Report for it. Well worth the money.
    Get a less nice car to mod like that. Truthfully, stock all the way is great for car shows.

  10. #10

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    Once you start modding I feel as though you start to lose some of the charm and character of the car. Donít get me wrong I love my modded LTD LX but itís for different reasons now than when I first got behind the wheel. Itís lost some of the things that made me love it in the first place.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    1984 LTD LX, 160k mile Explorer 5.0, Comp XE264HR-14 cam, Alexís Parts springs on stock GT40 3 bar heads, Unported Explorer intake, 1 5/8 shorty headers, off-road H-Pipe, Spintech 9000 mufflers, Holley Terminator X Max, J-Mod 4R70W, Mustang 8.8 w/ 3.73s, Tubular front and rear control arms, front coilovers, Turbocoupe rear coil springs

  11. #11
    FEP Power Member Hemlock's Avatar
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    Welcome to the site! As far as keeping it factory as others have stated you can always change it back as long as you hang onto all the stock parts and don't make any drastic changes to the car. There are certain things you are gonna want to do if you do decide to upgrade to a V8 anyway to make the car more sturdy. You will want some solid subframe connectors, an upgraded 8.8 rear end and better a quality suspension and brakes. If you keep it a 302 format or a 331 or 347 you wouldn't have to make that many changes under the hood either. Stock cars are nice if you want to go to factory car shows but are kind of boring for fun driving. Just keep in mind the more modded the motor is the more temperamental it will be and when your "FAST" car starts acting up, nothing will ruin your day faster. It goes back to the old adage " Be careful what you wish for, you just might get it!" A "mild" build is usually the most reliable build.

    Hope this help out,
    Robert
    Last edited by Hemlock; 09-03-2021 at 07:55 PM.
    1984 RS 347 Capri, To many car parts to list, check out my car build page here for the story on my car and a full parts list/setup!:

    My RS in Action

  12. #12

    Default

    I see no blasphemy here. As long as you make it look relatively "factory" under the hood most people won't know the difference. DO IT.

    BTW, it was nice of the previous owner to put those stupid seat covers on to keep the seats nice for you.
    Brad

    '79 Mercury Zephyr ES 5.0L GT40 EFI, T-5
    '17 Ford Focus ST
    '14 Ford Fusion SE Manual

  13. #13
    FEP Super Member webestang's Avatar
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    Go for it! I look forward to the day I rip out that 2.3 in my 85 notch and drop in a 5.0.

    BTW Those colors on your wagon are to die for..............

    Scotty
    1985 Fox Notch 4-banger Ranger tube header Eastwood Royal Blue
    1988 Fox LX 5.0 AOD Vert BBK 170mph speedo Candy Apple Red
    1999 Mustang Coupe V6 Auto Chrome Yellow -Rebuild Coming Soon.
    1996 Crown Vic LX 4.6 Silver "Gort" Daily Driver

    Past Pony's.....
    68 Coupe Inline-6 3-Speed-Man. Primer
    78 II Hatch 302 3-Speed-Auto Sunroof Black
    81 4-Eye Coupe 4-Banger 4-Speed-Man. White

  14. #14

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    It's your car. Do as you please.
    83 TC "Clone"
    85 Marquis LTS

  15. #15
    Venomous Moderator Hissing Cobra's Avatar
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    Beautiful wagon! If it were mine, I'd skip the Coyote and the 427 and stick a 302 based stroker in it. You won't have to re-engineer the entire car like you'd have to if you installed a Coyote. With a 302 based stroker, you could retain all factory looking components that would normally be on a 302 version of your car and people wouldn't know that you're packing 400 hp at the tires. I believe that on that car, the front K-member for the V-6 is different than it is for a V-8. If so, that would need to be changed out. Installing '87 - '93 front spindles would allow you to install 11" front brakes too. You could keep it stock looking yet still have the power on tap when needed.
    Pete Slaney

    1979 Mustang Cobra

    347/T-5/4.30's
    420 rwhp/380 rwt (New Motor)
    11.49 @ 121.86

    306/T-5/4.30's (Old Motor)
    307 rwhp/278 rwt
    12.38 @ 111.38

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hissing Cobra View Post
    I believe that on that car, the front K-member for the V-6 is different than it is for a V-8.
    You're thinking of the I6 cars. All of the other engines in the Fox line were able to use the same K-member.
    83 TC "Clone"
    85 Marquis LTS

  17. #17
    Venomous Moderator Hissing Cobra's Avatar
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    Good to know. Thanks for the info!
    Pete Slaney

    1979 Mustang Cobra

    347/T-5/4.30's
    420 rwhp/380 rwt (New Motor)
    11.49 @ 121.86

    306/T-5/4.30's (Old Motor)
    307 rwhp/278 rwt
    12.38 @ 111.38

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