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1985 "Virgin" Mustang GT

New User
Posts: 1
Joined: 07/11
Posted: 07/16/11 10:46 PM

I recently aquired a 1985 GT with a manual transmission.  The original owner passed away in 1996 and it sat somewhere with a cover on it until it was offered to me.  The interior has mold spots all over the carpet and seats.  The battery was taken out prior to storing.  The body is in great shape with only a few door dings. The black paint could be rubbed out to a decent finish, but the moldings are fadded?  I have SO many questions about where to start.  Should I flush out the fuel system before cranking it?  I will cahnge out the oil and filter for sure.  Then, do I keep it original?  Do I make some mods?  I don't know anything about these 5.0's and don't want to ruin an original car if they are becoming rare.  Are they?  This is my first Ford... can you tell?!  I am very capable when it comes to cars, I just really don't know what I have.  WHAT DO YOU THINK???  Jason  

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New User
Posts: 2
Joined: 06/10
Posted: 07/26/11 12:23 PM

The first thing you will need to do is flush out/change ALL the fluids in the car:  engine oil, transmission, differential, power steering and, especially, brake fluid.  Have the brake system thoroughly checked.  Brake fluid is hydroscopic (attracts water) and there may be rust in the wheel cylinders, master cylinder and/or calipers.  Beyond that, a new set of tires will be a "must", regardless of how the tread looks.  15 year old tires are going to be flat-spotted and dangerously weak to drive on.  More than likely, the carb is going to need to be rebuilt as well.  Old gas will congeal on the small moving parts and in the jets and make it run very poorly, if at all.  After that, you should be good to go, assuming that the car is mechanically sound.

While not "a dime a dozen", an 85 GT isn't a really rare car.  It is, however, considered to be a very desireable car.  1985 was the last year of a carb'd V8 Mustang and is actually a pretty darned good performer in stock trim.  With the Holley 4-barrel, it is rated at 215hp and will scoot along quite well.  If it was my car, I would look to install a set of subframe connectors to stiffen the chassis up, upgrade the brakes (85 has a very small braking system, even compared to 86-93 cars) to improve the stopping power and consider swapping out the light duty 7.5-inch rear end for a later 8.8-inch unit with 3.55 or 3.73 gears.  With that, you'll have a fun to drive car that accellerates well, stops well and is comfortable and fun to drive.  

Good luck.  

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