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5.0L (1979-1995) Mustang Technical discussions on 5.0 Liter Mustangs within. This does not include the 5.0 from the 2011 Mustang GT. That information is in the 2005-1011 section.
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looking to upgrade a stock 1985 mustang gt

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Old 08-07-2014, 06:24 PM   #1
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Default looking to upgrade a stock 1985 mustang gt

I have a 1985 mustang gt hatchback with a 302 stock everything. the only thing ive done so far is put a k&n air filter and put bbk shorty headers with a offroad h pipe dual hump cross member with flowmaster exhaust. Im looking for some more horsepower but with about a 5000$ budget. the car has 116kms on it and has been well taken care of. what would be the most bang for my buck.

ive never owned a mustang before so im new
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Old 08-07-2014, 06:40 PM   #2
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That's a nice sized budget.

Heads, cam, intake, and a good carb is where I'd start. Throw in a 3.73 gear and you'll have a nice running beginning for your first Mustang!

Congrats!
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Old 08-07-2014, 06:52 PM   #3
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any certain brands or sizes you would recommend?
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Old 08-07-2014, 07:09 PM   #4
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Some of the carb guys here on the site would probably know better.

I know back in the day when my friends had carbed foxbodies, a lot of them used Dart heads and Victor Jr. intakes, and Holley 750s, but these cars were making some big HP. (for the time at least)

I'm fuel injected, when I finally do heads and intake I'm going with Trick Flow for both.
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Old 08-07-2014, 08:40 PM   #5
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great thx. do u think putting sub frame braces on would be a good idea. and I was also thinking of an aluminum driveshaft or do u think that's a waist of money?
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Old 08-07-2014, 09:06 PM   #6
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The stock drive shaft is fine. That's always something you can upgrade down the road if you still have the mod bug. With a 5 grand budget you should have a pretty stout running fox when your done. Trick flow offers a top end kit that's makes 360HP for $2800. Throw in a grand worth of exhaust and a few suspension mods along with some decent gears and you'll have a pretty quick car.
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Old 08-07-2014, 11:12 PM   #7
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IIRC, 85 5.0s had a 7.5" rear end. A junkyard 8.8" would be a nice upgrade. Then a budget HCI package and of course, Suspension & Tire upgrades. If you shop around, this can all be done on a budget and you'll end up with a nice cruiser.
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Old 08-08-2014, 07:20 AM   #8
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Welcome to the forum. With that kind of money, you'll be set with a very nice Fox. I'd start be just digging around in this forum with the "search", type in anything you want to know about. It's all been covered before, what works, what doesn't. You'll be reading for days and getting a good education on modding. I personally would start with a set of gears for the rear. Best bang for the buck there is on these cars. Good luck and keep us updated.

Edit: but as Sharad said, swap in an 8.8, don't use the 7.5 that's in there now.
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Old 08-08-2014, 03:48 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mustangsrus View Post
great thx. do u think putting sub frame braces on would be a good idea. and I was also thinking of an aluminum driveshaft or do u think that's a waist of money?
I think the general consensus around here is that sub frame connectors are a good idea no matter what.

I'm putting them on mine, not really because I'm making a lot of HP, but my '87 is a T-Top car, so I imagine it's more susceptible to flex.

As far as the aluminum driveshaft, I don't have one on my '87 yet, but I had one on my '89 GT and it was by far one of the best mods I ever did. It knocked out vibrations that I didn't even realize I had. The car felt like a new car afterwards. I'll be putting one on my '87 but it's fairly low on the priority list right now.
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Old 08-08-2014, 03:48 PM   #10
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IIRC, 85 5.0s had a 7.5" rear end.
Interesting, I didn't know that.
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Old 08-15-2014, 08:59 AM   #11
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Stop. Before you add hp to that car, take care of you suspension first. Hp is USELESS unless you can put it to the ground. 1st take into consideration.... what do I want to do with this car? Drag car? Turn car? Luxury car? Daily driver? Consider that first, then mod accordingly. No matter what, I would first start out with Maximum Motorsports full length subframe connectors (and MM anything for that matter), MM rear lower control arms to protect your torque boxes, and wider rear tires for no matter what application car you want. After that, go with whatever set up you want. The things that Ford screwed up the most on that car was suspension, brakes, crap head lights, and they didn't have a adequate supported subframe. Even for a DD, you should reinforce the subframe because even stock hp can bend and twist it.
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Old 08-16-2014, 12:11 AM   #12
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great thx. do u think putting sub frame braces on would be a good idea. and I was also thinking of an aluminum driveshaft or do u think that's a waist of money?

get on car-part.com and find a ford aerostar driveshaft from an All wheel drive model its alum and a bolt in swap ive seen them for like 20$ on there before
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Old 08-19-2014, 12:08 AM   #13
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When you are carb hunting and already have the cam/heads you are going to use Holley 650 will work great on the street....
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Old 08-23-2014, 03:40 PM   #14
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thx for the info. I plan on keeping this car a daily driver but want it to rip. im getting sub frame braces and plan on putting a roll cage in. was told it gives more strength.
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Old 08-23-2014, 04:05 PM   #15
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unless you plan to use that car for pure race and it is projected to run 11.499 and below you are wasting your money for a CAGE install
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Old 08-26-2014, 02:15 AM   #16
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Interesting, I didn't know that.
The 8.8 wasn't around until 86. But, you can build a 7.5 to handle enough power to have a hell of a good time. Just upgrade the axles, Auburn or Detroit diff and quality gears and it's stronger than a stock 8.8 and lighter. I know a guy who put down almost 500 rwhp on a 7.5.


But put in some torque box reinforcement plates. Totally worth it.
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Old 08-26-2014, 04:32 AM   #17
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unless you plan to use that car for pure race and it is projected to run 11.499 and below you are wasting your money for a CAGE install
Agreed. A roll bar install is usually $1200 or more including the kit they weld in.

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The 8.8 wasn't around until 86. But, you can build a 7.5 to handle enough power to have a hell of a good time. Just upgrade the axles, Auburn or Detroit diff and quality gears and it's stronger than a stock 8.8 and lighter. I know a guy who put down almost 500 rwhp on a 7.5.


But put in some torque box reinforcement plates. Totally worth it.
Torque boxes are fine but I wouldn't waste money on a 7.5 when an 8.8 can be had for a song at the junk yard or Craig's list. The diffs you mentioned are also a hell of allot more expensive the a 8.8 trac loc rebuild kit.
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Old 08-26-2014, 07:33 PM   #18
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Agreed. A roll bar install is usually $1200 or more including the kit they weld in.

Torque boxes are fine but I wouldn't waste money on a 7.5 when an 8.8 can be had for a song at the junk yard or Craig's list. The diffs you mentioned are also a hell of allot more expensive the a 8.8 trac loc rebuild kit.
Nobody mentioned the fact that the brake lines are different between the 7.5 and 8.8 are different and need to be swapped out.
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Old 08-26-2014, 07:37 PM   #19
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Nobody mentioned the fact that the brake lines are different between the 7.5 and 8.8 are different and need to be swapped out.
not totally necessary, I just did a 8.8 swap into an 84 for a guy and we just transfered over the lines and rear brakes right onto the 8.8, worked fine, didn't even crack a line open and he has dual pipe conversion
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Old 08-26-2014, 07:37 PM
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