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Project Blue Collar: Fox Body Mustang Restoration

Created by Jeff Jimenez
Date Created: 2/7/2014
Last Updated: 2/17/2022

Watch us completely restore a 1988 Fox Body Mustang GT! Check out video & tech articles to see how you can do the same thing from your driveway.

Viewing this install and using the information shared is subject to the terms set forth here - View the LMR Install Instructions Disclaimer.

FOLLOW: mustang , 79 93 mustang , video , project car , project blue collar , 5.0resto

I know you have all seen the Craigslist and Forum post about a Fox Body Mustang that reads like this: Fox Body Mustang Cheap -- Won’t Start. These types of projects can often be a nightmare, but sometimes they can be a diamond in the rough. That is what we found in Project Blue Collar. The wiring, interior, and exterior were all in place, just not in the best of conditions. We plan to pull from many of our 5.0Resto parts and completely restore this 1988 Mustang GT.

With the help of 5.0Resto and LMR.com’s complete line of Fox Body Restoration videos and parts, you too can take a “won’t start” or “doesn’t run” Fox Body and turn it into a running “gem”! We intend to show you exactly what it took to completely turn this new Project Car into a running, driving, performing Fox Body Mustang. We will do our best to show you just about every step in the process. There won’t be the “Let's install this part” and tada--- it magically installed itself during the transition.

Project Blue Collar: Fox Body Mustang Restoration  - Fox Body Mustang Restoration Project

We want you to know about and see the issues we faced during this full-on project car. This was very evident in Stage 1. Going into stage 1, we thought we would get away with a simple fuel pump install and filter change. Boy, were we wrong! Future stages include new upholstery, interior upgrades, performance upgrades, five lug conversion, a new set of wheels, and more.

Check out the full build below as we take this Regatta Blue Fox Body Mustang from pushing it around the shop to burning out in our parking lot! We have some BIG plans with this Mustang. So be sure to check back often and follow us on social media to stay up-to-date on our project cars. Comment below on what you would do to this Fox Body Mustang!


Stage 1: Fuel & Ignition System Upgrades

Project Blue Collar: Fox Body Mustang Restoration  - Fox Body Restoration Fuel & Ignition Systems

Before we could do anything with Project Blue Collar, we had to get it moving under its own power! Pushing a Fox Body Mustang around the garage with no power steering fluid and a full tank of couple year old gas was getting tiring. So Stage 1 was going to be strictly a complete fuel system overhaul that included a new fuel pump and fuel filter. As soon as we removed the gas tank from our Fox Body Mustang we quickly discovered Stage 1 of Project Blue Collar would be more than simple fuel pump install.

We found that the fuel tank baffles had broken lose and torn the fuel sock off the pump. The fuel level sending unit was also damaged by the baffles. Because we had complete failure, we turned to 5.0Resto and picked up a new fuel tank, new pump bracket, fuel level sending unit and vapor valve seal. For the pump we turned to BBK and picked up one of their 255 Fuel Pumps. To finish off the install we picked up a 5.0Resto fuel filler neck grommet and filler pipe to trunk floor seal. Lastly we used a Motorcraft fuel filter because we were sure the old one was full of lacquered old fuel.

After the fuel system upgrade was complete Blue Collar fired right up; however, it revealed yet another set back! It had a TFI module failure that led to rough idle and poor performance. This again made us extended Stage 1 out to include a full ignition system upgrade. We turned to the PDI (Performance Distributor) complete 5.0L Performance Ignition Kit to solve our entire ignition system problem. After this installation was complete, Project Blue Collar was roasting tires in no time – evidence can be seen in our Harlem Shake Video!

How To Remove 83-97 Mustang Fuel/Gas Tank

Here at Late Model Restoration, we are passionate about the Mustang hobby and we want to see it grow. We also want to share our vast Mustang knowledge with you. In an effort to help you with your Mustang project car, we have developed a full line of Mustang how to videos and tech articles. In the video above you will f... more

Project Blue Collar: Mustang Fuel System Upgrades

Follow along as we show you how to restore your Fox Body Mustang fuel system. Project Blue Collar's fuel system required a complete restoration. more

83-97 Mustang Fuel Filter Install

When was the last time you replaced your 83-97 Mustang Fuel Filter? Watch our video as we show you how to replace your Mustang fuel filter. Replacing your fuel filter should be part of your regular maintenance schedule. Over time your Mustang fuel filter can become clogged with particles and dirt that can rob your valu... more

Project Blue Collar Mustang Ignition System Upgrades

Watch us upgrade Project Blue Collar's ignition system. We install a Fox Body Mustang distributor, ignition coil, plug wires and new spark plugs. We chose the Performance Distributors ignition kit for this set of performance mods! more

Stage 2: Fox Body Mustang Tuning

With the fuel system and ignition systems completely replaced on our project Fox Body Mustang it was time to make sure we optimized its performance with some “free” tuning! One of the best things about owning a Fox Body Mustang is the fact that you don’t need a tuner or performance chip to improve your performance. Advancing timing and improving idle can be done in your garage for free!

After installing a distributor you need to also check your timing. Setting your timing is key to maximizing your performance and drivability. That is why we created the video below! Watch as we show you how to properly set the timing on a 5.0L V8 Mustang. We were able to advance the timing and free up some extra horsepower in Project Blue Collar.

Project Blue Collar was also experiencing an idle that was sitting a little bit higher than we wanted. Since it had an aftermarket throttle body on it, we suspected that the TPS (throttle position sensor) wasn’t adjusted properly. We created a video to show everyone how to properly adjust your TPS and while doing so we found that our project Fox Body Mustang needed some small adjustments. After the adjustments were complete our idle issues were solved.

Lastly we had a starting issue with Project Blue Collar that we traced back to an ignition switch. This is a common failure on Fox Body Mustangs so we figured we would highlight the installation on video. We also replaced the sunroof weatherstripping so we could park Blue Collar outside when we weren’t working on it. Stay tuned we have plenty more video and updates on the way!!

How To Time Your Mustang Ignition (86-93)

Need help setting the timing on your 86-93 5.0L Mustang? Watch our how to video and read the article for all the information you need to properly set the timing in your Mustang! more

86-04 Mustang TPS Voltage Adjustment Video

Need help installing or adjusting your 86-04 Mustang throttle position sensor? Watch our install video to help you install and properly adjust your Stang's TPS. more

Mustang Starter Ignition Switch Install (79-93)

Fox Body Mustang won't start? Watch our install video to see how to replace your ignition starter switch in your 79-93 Stang. more

How To Install Fox Body Mustang Sunroof Weatherstrip (79-93)

A Fox Mustang with a factory installed sunroof will plague its owner by leaking at least once. This can wreak havoc on the headliner, upholstery, carpet, electrical connections ....... well just about the whole interior! While the carpet, upholstery, and electrical connections can be dried out, once the factory headlin... more

Stage 3: Upholstery & Interior Removal

Stage 3 of Project Blue Collar is our first step toward prepping our Fox Body Mustang for paint! The interior is nasty to say the least. We figured this was the perfect opportunity to remove the seats so we could get them ready for some upholstery work. In true LatemodelResto fashion, we decided to take the opportunity to show you how to remove your seats.

We were slightly torn on what we wanted to use for upholstery – factory replacement or something a little bit more custom. Once we saw the new TMI 03-04 Cobra Upholstery kits for Fox Body Mustangs we made our minds up. Lucky for us, Dean Satterfield from TMI decided to come visit us when the upholstery was delivered. Dean was even kind enough to jump on video to lend a hand with the installation. Watch our full installation video below.

We also took this time to fix a few broken parts such as inner door handles and hatch struts. In the next stage of Project Blue Collar we will be tackling some of the exterior tear down and prep work for paint!

How To Remove Fox Body Mustang Seats

Watch this video to see how to remove your Fox Body Mustang Seats. Perfect for upholstery projects!! more

How To Remove Fox Body Door Panel | 87-93 Mustang

Need to remove the door panel in your Fox Body? Check out our 1987-93 Mustang Door Panel removal article for all the steps you may need. more

79-93 Mustang Hatch Support Struts Install

Follow along as we show you just how easy it is to replace your worn-out hatch support struts. They are a direct factory replacement that features a black finish like your worn-out stock ones. You can pick up your set at the link below!! more

Mustang Inner Door Handle Install

With a not-so-durable plastic construction, the 79-93 Mustang inner door handles are well known for breakage and failure. The trim bezels that go over the inner door handles are even more prone to cracking and breaking and oftentimes are missing altogether. These 50Resto replacement handles are top quality and the best... more

Stage 4: Paint Prep Work

With the major interior components removed, it was time to turn to the exterior and prep it for paint. It was at this point we all got a little bit more excited about the project. The faded and peeling clear coat had been an eyesore since Project Blue Collar rolled into the garage.

The first step was to start removing the paneling, body components, and quarter windows. Since it was going into paint we figured it was time to upgrade the exterior with a 1993 Cobra body kit and replace the worn quarter windows. We also opted to paint this Fox Body with a custom pearl blue paint job.

You will find plenty of removal and installation videos below to help you prep your Fox Body Mustang for paint. We also took the time to repair the worn out door hinges while doing this work and decided to go with a 5.0Resto 5 lug conversion kit. Stay tuned because the next time you see blue collar we will be putting it back together after paint.

Project Blue Collar: Paint Prep

Our Fox Body Mustang project has come a long way! Watch as we prep it for a custom paint job. Next time you see Project Blue Collar it will be a head-turner with its new fresh paint! more

How To Install Mustang 5 Lug Conversion (79-93)

Watch our Fox Body Mustang 5-Lug Conversion Kit installation video. This 5-lug swap will give your Mustang more wheel options. more

How To Install Fox Body Mustang Door Hinge Pin Kit (87-93)

Got saggy doors on your Fox Body Mustang? Watch our door hinge repair kit installation video to see how to replace your door hinge pins, bushings & roller! more

How To Install Fox Body Mustang Lower Door Hinge Tension Spring (87-93)

Got a broken lower door hinge spring on your Fox Body Mustang? Watch our install video to see how easy it is to replace yours today! more

How To Install Mustang 93 Cobra Grill Insert (87-93)

Get an aggressive new look on the front of your Fox Body Mustang while improving cooling performance! Watch our installation video! more

How To Install Fox Body Mustang GT Ground Effects Brackets (87-93)

Watch our installation video to see how the 5.0Resto replacement brackets can add some life back into your Stang's exterior! more

Stage 5: Back From Paint

Project Blue Collar is back from paint! This stage in the build has been a mad rush to get our Fox Body Mustang build back together. We had plenty of to-dos and action items to take care of once Blue Collar was back in our garage. The bulk of these revolved around putting the exterior and interior back together.

To get the exterior back together, we turned to the 5.0Resto brand for all of our needs. We installed new 5.0Resto quarter windows, exterior renewal kit, headlights, tail lights (we were excited to see those clear tail lights go away), and weatherstripping. We gave this Fox Body Mustang an aggressive new look with the 93 Cobra conversion kit and SVE Drag Wheels.

Next up, we turned our attention to the interior. We found out that Project Blue Collar was originally and automatic car so we installed a 5.0Resto transmission tunnel hump before we installed the new ACC floor carpet. We also installed new hatch carpet and floor mats from ACC. With the carpet in place we installed our TMI 03-04 Cobra Seats, new 5.0Resto seatbelt kit and pedals. Lastly we finished off the interior with TMI black suede headliner and door panels.

We decided to replace the old rusted exhaust with one of Pypes Pype Bomb Cat-back exhaust systems. This gave our Fox Body an aggressive exhaust tone to match the new looks. The final performance mod was the installation of the SVE 70mm throttle to improve air flow to the engine!

With Blue Collar fully assembled and back on the streets, you will see it grace more videos and maybe even a car show or two. Who knows what is next for Blue Collar? Maybe some track time and more power. Stay tuned to find out!

1993 Fox Body Cobra Conversion Parts

Convert your Fox Body Mustang into a 93 SVT Cobra clone with the help of 5.0Resto styling & performance mods! more

Fox Body Mustang Seat Belt Kits

The 5.0Resto Fox Body Mustang Seat Belt kits include everything you need to replace those worn, stained and ugly seat belts that are found in almost every 79-93 Stang. All too often these seat belts aren’t just an eyesore; they are also a safety concern. As the seat belts in your Fox Body start to age, they stop retrac... more

Installing SVE Drag Wheels on a Fox Body Mustang

Wondering what it will take to install a set of rear drag wheels & drag radial/slicks on your Fox Body Mustang? Watch the video to find out! more

How To Install Fox Body Mustang Quarter Windows (87-93)

Don't let those nasty quarter windows ruin the exterior of your Fox Body Mustang! Watch this video to see how you can bring some life back to your Mustang's exterior. more

How To Install Fox Body Mustang Carpet (79-93)

Is the factory carpet in your Fox Body Mustang NASTY?? Watch our replacement carpet installation video here!! We will show you how to remove and replace your smelly one! more

Fox Body Mustang Hatchback Carpet Installation

Watch our install video as we show you how to replace that worn hatchback carpet in your Fox Body Mustang. more

Mustang Manual Transmission Hump Install

Finish your 5 speed manual conversion in your 79-93 Mustang the right way with a 5.0Resto transmission tunnel hump! more

Fox Body Mustang Throttle Body Install

Follow along in this installation video to see how to easily add some horsepower to your 86-93 Fox Body Mustang with a new throttle body! more

Pypes Pype Bomb Mustang Cat Back Exhaust (79-04)

Give your 79-04 Mustang an aggressive exhaust tone with the Pypes Pype Bomb Cat-back. Check out the video! more


About the Video

Fox Body Mustang Project Blue Collar: Back From Paint!

Check out our YouTube channel for even more tech tips, installation videos, how-tos, and more. The best place to go for anything Mustang related!

Published on 2014-04-09
Project Blue Collar, our Fox Body Mustang Build, is back from paint! We had a lot to accomplish once the Stang came back from the paint shop. We started by installing new 5.0Resto exterior trim parts, new quarter windows, headlights and replaced those ugly clear tail lights!

Once that was done we installed a set of SVE Drag Wheels on Project Blue Collar. I would expect to see some drag times in the future. To finish off the performance mods we installed a SVE 70mm throttle body and Pypes Pype Bomb Catback Exhaust.

The last part of this project was re-installing the interior components and replacing all of the broken and worn out pieces (there were a lot!). We installed the TMI 2003 Cobra Seat Upholstery kit, black suede headliner, sunvisors and door panels. We finished off the interior with new ACC carpets and floor mats.

Click the link above to see this project take off from start to finish! There are tons of installation videos to help you with your Project Fox Body Mustang!

LatemodelRestoration.com 50Resto SVE
Transcript
We've finally reached the end of the road with Project Blue Collar. And she has come a long way. If you remember, whenever we got her, she wouldn't even run. Not to mention the paint looking terrible, along with the interior, the wheels-- pretty much everything about the car, including the exhaust.

We went ahead and sent her off to the paint shop to have a brand new coat of paint laid down. Whenever we got it back, we went ahead and finished off the look with one of our rear drum fox style 5-lug conversion kits and some of our SVE drag wheels.

The car already had '93 Cobra rear bumper cover when we got it. So we went ahead and finished off that '93 Cobra look with all the replacement ground effects in the rear wing. The car got a new set of 5.0Resto headlights and taillights. To finish off the exterior trim, we used one of our exterior renewal kits and a set of our new hatch quarter windows. Anything that wasn't replaced got repainted with some of our 5.0Resto exterior trim paint.

Underneath, the car got a brand new pipes cat back, a set of our SVE rear control arms, SVE springs, new 5.0Resto front control arms, and a 5.0Resto power rack and pinion kit.

Because the car wasn't running, we did have to go through the fuel system, replacing the fuel tank, the fuel pump, level sending unit. And we flushed the lines and the injectors. The ignition system needed some love, too, so we put on one of our PDI ignition kits, consisting of a new distributor and TFI module, coil, and plug wires. We even put in some new spark plugs.

Other than that, we really didn't have to do much because the car already had a 130 amp alternator, long tube headers, heads cam and intake, cold air, mass air. But we did put one of our a SVE 70 millimeter throttle bodies on it.

And finally, we get to the interior. We pretty much gutted the interior, save for the dash, because there wasn't much going to go back in. Once we reassembled the exterior of the car, the interior quarter trim panels were given a thorough scrubbing, rubbed down with some protectant, and stuck back into place.

A new hatch and floor carpet from ACC was dropped in, along with a new set of ACC floor mats. And our friends over at TMI helped us out with the seats, setting us up with their 03-04 Cobra-style fox seat upholstery with new foam. And let me tell you, this is most comfortable fox seat I've ever sat in.

To match those awesome new seats, we put in a set of TMI's fully assembled door panels with suede inserts. We even put in a matching suede headliner and sun visors. All the miscellaneous and broken pieces were replaced, as well. Even got a new set of 5.0Resto seat belts. You see the new console top panel, console armrest pad, shifter, shifter boot and bezel, even a nice Ford racing shift knob.

All in all, this car's come a long way, and we're really excited to be able to drive it around.

Every part used in this build is available from our website latemodelrestoration.com. Be sure to also subscribe to our YouTube channel for all the latest and greatest videos. And while you're there, you can see all the videos featuring this project, Blue Collar.

Project Blue Collar: Fox Body Mustang Restoration Tech Info

Ford Mustang - 1979 (79) - 1980 (80) - 1981 (81) - 1982 (82) - 1983 (83) - 1984 (84) - 1985 (85) - 1986 (86) - 1987 (87) - 1988 (88) - 1989 (89) - 1990 (90) - 1991 (91) - 1992 (92) - 1993 (93)