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Old 07-25-2009, 10:51 PM
 
Location: Somewhere in Kentucky
3,790 posts, read 8,077,376 times
Reputation: 2424

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Which one would you buy bone stock, restore and modify? I know they make a ton of mod's for the 5.0's, but I am less sure about the Camaro. I need another hobby and this looks like a good challenge.

I wonder how many of these vehicles will be crushed in the new, well thought out clunker program?
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Old 07-26-2009, 12:34 AM
 
Location: Dacula, Ga
86 posts, read 460,141 times
Reputation: 80
Do the Camaro. There's plenty (probably too many) old Foxes on the road that have been fixed up. 3rd Gen F-bodies have been tarnished by careless owners who let them go to $hit.

They can actually be a very quick, and very well handling car with a few mods. Especially if you can pick up a 90 Iroc, or 91-92 Z28.

I build F-bodies/Corvettes for a living, and it's always nice to see a clean 3rd gen that somebody takes pride in. A Fox is just that, another Fox on the road.
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Old 07-26-2009, 12:46 AM
 
Location: Earth
4,235 posts, read 22,090,731 times
Reputation: 2233
I'd probably do a Camaro or a Firebird.

There's a ton of mods for the F bodies too.

Drop a 400 sbc into a 3rd gen F body and watch it fly.
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Old 07-26-2009, 03:07 AM
 
Location: Tampa (by way of Omaha)
14,151 posts, read 20,224,841 times
Reputation: 9640
Mustang, by far.
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Old 07-26-2009, 10:51 AM
 
Location: Dacula, Ga
86 posts, read 460,141 times
Reputation: 80
I've done a few LSX/T-56 conversions into 3rd gens and they were real nice cars. That's an awesome setup for those if you ever want to get rid of the TPI/TBI stuff. You lose about 60 lbs off the nose of the car with that swap too.
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Old 07-26-2009, 02:22 PM
 
1,949 posts, read 4,851,074 times
Reputation: 922
Quote:
Originally Posted by kentuckydad95 View Post
Which one would you buy bone stock, restore and modify? I know they make a ton of mod's for the 5.0's, but I am less sure about the Camaro. I need another hobby and this looks like a good challenge.

I wonder how many of these vehicles will be crushed in the new, well thought out clunker program?
don't blow off the Pontiac Firebird.

i own both.

whatever you decide, i would try to stay north of about 1987 for both. i would particularly look for something, say, '89-ish. earlier than 1989 with the Mustang and you have speed density instead of Mass Airflow metering (doenst respond as well to modifications and IMO has inferior throttle response) and later than 1989 with the Camaro/Firebird, and you've got speed density.

if you buy a 5.0 Mustang from 1986-93 you're getting a 5.0 H.O. (High Output) - Ford's top of the line engine. and a "posi" rear end. with the F-Bodys, on the other hand, there are a lot of lesser models to avoid. in an F-Body, i would seek out 5.7 liter TPI models only: IROC-Z, Trans Am, Trans Am GTA, Formula 350. and nice ones really aren't all that cheap anymore.

stay away from any F-Body with drum brakes in the back. rear drums is code for open differential (no posi) and a low output TBI (non-TPI) motor. the Mustangs on the other hand almost all have rear drums, but you still get the High Output motor and "True Trak" diff. one thing to keep in mind about the Ford though is that those factory brakes are notoriously crappy and have no business on a fast car. and it's a big pain in the ass to upgrade ( i speak from experience ) because 1. the factory wheels are 15 inches in most cases. 2. the wheels and axles are of a 4-lug design, making it suprisingly hard to upgrade brakes and or wheels without converting everything to a 5-lug set-up. one more thing: it is hard to find good (wide) tires for 15 inch wheels nowadays. if you get one of the top of the line F-Bodies that i recommended you get 4 wheel disc brakes and 16 inch wheels, stock. sizes are limited for 16 inch wheels but good tires are readilly available.

The F-Bodies have superior handling: lower stance, wider wheel base. the Mustangs have a shorter, narrower wheel base which can make for "squirlier" handling. while sitting lower gives the F-Bodies better handling and a sportier stance, they are more of a "climb down into" car, which some people find uncomfortable. on the other hand, if youre a big person, i'd still go with the F-Body because the seats dont slide back very far on the Mustang. and everything is just small; the door handles, the side view mirrors; everything. the inside of the Mustangs feel like they were made for a chick.

and speaking of interior - they're both pretty crappy. magazines and stuff talk bad about the F-Body interior, but honestly, it is nicer than the Mustang's interior for a couple reasons: slightly nicer trim, and black rubber and plastic looks nicer than gray rubber and plastic. i never understood why the Mustangs got a pass on their interiors. however, the F-Body interior trim has more removeable pieces and is more breakable, so it's harder to find in good condition. as another poster mentioned, the F-Bodies have a bad habbit of getting dogged the f*** out by nimrod owners.

the Mustangs have a famously better exhaust set-up. true dual instead of the Y-pipe set up on the F-Bodies. and there's this stupid "hump" in front of the passenger seat on the F-Bodies to make room for the cat converter.

both have an extensive aftermarket, especially the Mustang. you have to look harder for the 3rd gen F-Body stuff because they put all the 4th gen stuff out front now. however, a lot of the aftermarket chasis/suspension parts are interchangeable between 3rd and 4th gen.

finally, if i had to choose just one, i would go with the F-Body for this reason: it is a sleeker, sexier looking car. the 5.0s are a boxy, rather mundane looking vehicle. they have the performance (and a great power to weight ratio) but they do not have the profile of a killer car. a nice 3rd gen will turn heads. a nice 5.0 may not necessarilly get a second look...until that exhaust kicks in.














Last edited by Linson; 07-26-2009 at 02:31 PM..
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Old 07-26-2009, 02:34 PM
 
Location: Vancouver, B.C., Canada
11,019 posts, read 24,390,291 times
Reputation: 5365
the only downside to the 350 tpi Iroc-Z's and trans-am's is they only come in auto if you want stick they are only 305's.
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Old 07-26-2009, 04:52 PM
 
1,949 posts, read 4,851,074 times
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^ that is true.

another minor draw-back to the Firebirds is that while even sleeker than the Camaros, the pop-up headlights = one more motorized part that can go bad.
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Old 07-26-2009, 06:48 PM
 
Location: Tampa (by way of Omaha)
14,151 posts, read 20,224,841 times
Reputation: 9640
Quote:
Originally Posted by Linson View Post
don't blow off the Pontiac Firebird.

i own both.

whatever you decide, i would try to stay north of about 1987 for both. i would particularly look for something, say, '89-ish. earlier than 1989 with the Mustang and you have speed density instead of Mass Airflow metering (doenst respond as well to modifications and IMO has inferior throttle response) and later than 1989 with the Camaro/Firebird, and you've got speed density.

if you buy a 5.0 Mustang from 1986-93 you're getting a 5.0 H.O. (High Output) - Ford's top of the line engine. and a "posi" rear end. with the F-Bodys, on the other hand, there are a lot of lesser models to avoid. in an F-Body, i would seek out 5.7 liter TPI models only: IROC-Z, Trans Am, Trans Am GTA, Formula 350. and nice ones really aren't all that cheap anymore.

stay away from any F-Body with drum brakes in the back. rear drums is code for open differential (no posi) and a low output TBI (non-TPI) motor. the Mustangs on the other hand almost all have rear drums, but you still get the High Output motor and "True Trak" diff. one thing to keep in mind about the Ford though is that those factory brakes are notoriously crappy and have no business on a fast car. and it's a big pain in the ass to upgrade ( i speak from experience ) because 1. the factory wheels are 15 inches in most cases. 2. the wheels and axles are of a 4-lug design, making it suprisingly hard to upgrade brakes and or wheels without converting everything to a 5-lug set-up. one more thing: it is hard to find good (wide) tires for 15 inch wheels nowadays. if you get one of the top of the line F-Bodies that i recommended you get 4 wheel disc brakes and 16 inch wheels, stock. sizes are limited for 16 inch wheels but good tires are readilly available.

The F-Bodies have superior handling: lower stance, wider wheel base. the Mustangs have a shorter, narrower wheel base which can make for "squirlier" handling. while sitting lower gives the F-Bodies better handling and a sportier stance, they are more of a "climb down into" car, which some people find uncomfortable. on the other hand, if youre a big person, i'd still go with the F-Body because the seats dont slide back very far on the Mustang. and everything is just small; the door handles, the side view mirrors; everything. the inside of the Mustangs feel like they were made for a chick.

and speaking of interior - they're both pretty crappy. magazines and stuff talk bad about the F-Body interior, but honestly, it is nicer than the Mustang's interior for a couple reasons: slightly nicer trim, and black rubber and plastic looks nicer than gray rubber and plastic. i never understood why the Mustangs got a pass on their interiors. however, the F-Body interior trim has more removeable pieces and is more breakable, so it's harder to find in good condition. as another poster mentioned, the F-Bodies have a bad habbit of getting dogged the f*** out by nimrod owners.

the Mustangs have a famously better exhaust set-up. true dual instead of the Y-pipe set up on the F-Bodies. and there's this stupid "hump" in front of the passenger seat on the F-Bodies to make room for the cat converter.

both have an extensive aftermarket, especially the Mustang. you have to look harder for the 3rd gen F-Body stuff because they put all the 4th gen stuff out front now. however, a lot of the aftermarket chasis/suspension parts are interchangeable between 3rd and 4th gen.

finally, if i had to choose just one, i would go with the F-Body for this reason: it is a sleeker, sexier looking car. the 5.0s are a boxy, rather mundane looking vehicle. they have the performance (and a great power to weight ratio) but they do not have the profile of a killer car. a nice 3rd gen will turn heads. a nice 5.0 may not necessarilly get a second look...until that exhaust kicks in.
This was a pretty good post, but there are a few points I wanted to correct and a couple to add.

- The Mustangs have 8.8 inch rear ends, which are very stout.The F-bodies 7.5 inch rear end is very weak by comparison.

- Upgrading the brakes on a Fox Body Mustang is really not the big of a deal. Several vendors sells complete kits to upgrade to the 1994-1998 5 lug disc brakes and the cost is not that high.

- You can still get good 15 inch tires. Weld Draglites which are 15's and very popular with fox body owners.
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Old 07-26-2009, 07:16 PM
 
Location: Floribama
16,614 posts, read 34,259,904 times
Reputation: 15900
I have an '87 GTA so naturally I'm biased. Mine has the stock 350 TPI, but I know plenty of people do the 383 stroker conversion. I don't race mine, I just cruise around town in it so I'm keepin it all original. I'd post a pic but it's being repainted at the moment. Oh yeah, that wrap around spoiler on the T/A and Formula is rubber and it's crap, nearly every car out there needs it to be replaced. The fiberglass replacement runs $400, that was a hard pill to swallow.

After having three F-bodys and getting used to the shape, the fox body Mustangs seem really square and tall when I sit in them, hard to get used to.
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