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Big Kahuna
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5,671 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey folks,

I am positive my journey in life includes building a FFR Cobra that I can enjoy, along with the rest of my family, which includes a manual driving wife and 19 year old daughter.

I am looking at a 1990 5.0 T-5 that is $750.00. It looks to be perfect for a donor vehicle.

My question is with the 1983(????) rear end the guy says he put in the Mustang.

They guy says everything else is 1990 but the rear end and such.

Is this something I should mess with?

I should add that I am interested in the 3 link suspension if that has an effect on the 1983 read end.

And I have not asked as to where the original 1990 rear end is.

Thanks in advance, and I look forward to a great relationship with you, as well as my FFR Cobra.
 

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Registered
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3,193 Posts
bstuke,

First off, you'll find this board is much different than others. We are all nice to each other and no question is too silly or stupid. This is your dream and no one here is going to put you down for that.

I'm with Serg, get the right rear-end out of a 1987 or newer. Also, you might consider going with a partial donor build. You'll end up with a new car with new parts that will last a lot longer. I used a donor motor initially and it ended up being very, very worn out. It's been an expensive journey ever since. If I had gone with the engine and trans that I wanted originally, I would have saved myself a lot of time, money, and pain. Just a thought and good luck with your build. We're all here to help you.
 

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Senior Member
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2,990 Posts
If everything looks good on the car regardless of the rear end I would take the car. Like Sergio says offer less for it. Keep in mind that the odometer does not have a 100,000 mile indicator so if the odometer says 67,000 it may be 166,000 or 267,000 miles. We can talk differentials later according to your budget. If it is a budget build then I think the differential in the car will be fine for cruising.
 

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Premium Member
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1,169 Posts
I think the 1983 rearend was the old 7.5" not 8.8. I am not even sure it would be a direct bolt on from the 83 to 90 Mustang
 

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Senior Charter Member
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6,800 Posts
If it is an 8.8 differential it should be good.

Look at all the Mustangs and Factory Five cars with high mileage. The rear end is one of the last things to give trouble.

It is possible that you will want to change the center section for a different ratio any way before you are through with the build.

I'd get the car, there are lots of other items on the Mustang the are well worth the price,and if you can get him to come down a little, so much the better.

Remember, there are things you will use and other things you will sell (to other FFCars Forum members and to Mustang owners) which puts you in a good position to re-coup your donor cost. Lots of us wish we could do that.

Regards, Rick.
 

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2010 FFCars Graduate
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3,032 Posts
The 83 rearend is a 7.5 not the stronger 8.8 that came out in 86 or 87.
I'm not sure but it may not work with the three link.
Anyone know if the axle tube is smaller on the 7.5?
Even if it is I would get an 8.8 as it has a lot more parts available for it.
Oh, and welcome to the fun!
 

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Junior Charter Member
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1,524 Posts
First I also want to welcome you here. I can attest from personal experience that no question is too dumb to ask here (ahem), people are always polite.

I've seen a number of 8.8 rear ends advertised for $150 to $300 on the forum classifieds. I would say that if the engine is in reasonable good shape and there isn't too much rust elsewhere you have a good deal.

Todd
 

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consummate slacker
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1,430 Posts
My concern and question would be:
Why would you replace a seemingly indistructable rear end with a weaker version? The price seems decent, but I would go over the car/VIN with a fine tooth comb to be sure there isn't something weird there. My .02
 

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FFCobra Master Craftsman
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8,694 Posts
I think $750 is almost a no brainer as long as the car runs well and shifts well.

Look at the underlying value of the parts that you'll get. The front Lower Control arms (new) are maybe $250, a pedal box is about $100, gas tank is $150 +/-, the wiring harnesses are easily worth $300, front spindles are $200 +/-, an excellent radiator about $100 +/-, not to mention engine and tranny. Even if you had to trade in most of the parts for new pieces at Autozone, the "core" trade values of the parts can be about $400. You can pick up an 8.8 1987 or later rearend in the want ads or Craigs list - or here in the classifieds. Also, you can sell off a lot of the carcass including wheels and tires, doors and fenders if you want.

I'd buy the car, especially since I spent $3,000 on my 1990 donor!
 

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Senior Charter Member
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1,230 Posts
Welcome to the forum, around here you can ask ANY questions you need to (well almost any).

As far as the donor car, if the engine and trans seem good, then at $750 I would buy it and eat the cost of a new rear end. Donald is right about the fact that this guy told you about the rear end. If it does need a new rear end you can get them rather cheap from junk yards (especially the kind where you pull the parts yourself) or even ebay, this forum is a good place for parts on the forsale section. The hardest part of the build process is to not get on this forum where you will be encouraged to buy MANY MANY fancy parts. The tendency to go over your budget is called "build creep" or "the force" and its irresistible.
 

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FFCobra Master Craftsman
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Oh, BTW - Welcome to the Forum! There is no such thing as a dumb question here. Only dumb answers!
 

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BLUBLUR
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990 Posts
go non-donor.
 

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1,086 Posts
Find a T-Bird Turbo Coupe rear. They already have 3.55 or 3.73 gears. Oh ya, welcome!!
 

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Big Kahuna
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5,671 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Hey Folks,

Thanks for all the great feedback. It is certainly nicer here than the sailing forums I frequent.....

A few pictures of the car:




Comments from the owner:
"I do still have the car. It has the 90 model 5.0 with a t-5. The rear end and all suspenion is 1983 gt. The engine and trans had 110k on it when pulled from a wrecked 90. The project sat for 2 years and I have not heard the engine run since it was pulled 2 years ago. I have turned it thru several times over the 2 years at the crank with a rachet. It would be a good start for your cobra without spending too much money."

His ad also said it was a drag racing project.

My thought is a budget build with general customization. I am not looking for a beast horsepower wise, otherwise my wife and kids won't drive it. Which could be a good thing, right?

Bob
 

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FFCobra Fanatic
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1,918 Posts
Id pass on it. Get a car that someone hasnt messed with so much. You have parts from several different cars here. I also question if this was really a GT or a 4 cylinder conversion someone was trying to pull off. If thats the case the front suspension and alot of other parts may also be wrong. From the photos you are missing the engine wiring harness, the injector harness, coil, distributor, fan, waterneck, air cleaner box, intake top plaque, wiper motor, plug wires, battery cables, alternator, asst engine brackets, heater tubes, smog pump, power steering pump, radiator hoses, fan shroud, etc...

Some of those things you need, others you dont. The entire wiring harness is in question. If it was a 4 cyl car it will be wrong. Id check the title and make sure he has some/all of those other parts listed and make sure the front suspension/brakes are correct. Measure the dia of a rotor.

Either that or the whole car was a 1983 gt and the guy was trying to make it look like a later GT by swapping parts. That would explain the wrong front bumper that is on it too. IF that is the case you likely also have the wrong fuel lines (also missing in photos), fuel tank pickup, wiring, inertia switch, etc etc etc...

That would also explain why all the panels are different colors and that most of the ground effects and the nose are missing. He swapped the wheels, quarter glass, hood, hatch, dash from a newer car.
 

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Banned
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7,701 Posts
I'm with Stang8s on this one. I think this was perhaps an LX trim model without a V8, and someone is trying to make it look like GT. There are lots of GT-fakes out there that began life as a 4-banger. Pass; you'll find plenty of better cars for maybe just a few bucks more.

Welcome aboard!

-Greg
 

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Registered
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3,471 Posts
Like Stang8s said, it appears to be an '83 that the guy was making into a newer GT.
I'd pass on this one.

RR
 

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FFCobra Fanatic
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1,918 Posts
Here is a photo of the donor i used. 1989 with aprox 70k orig miles. Paid $1000, Sold $2200 of parts on ebay! Came with 3:73 gears, C&L mass air, 65mm tb, pony rims.
 
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