(approx) a Weekend
Mechanical expertise or professional installation required.
Hey we’re back with stage 2 of AmericanMuscle’s Project Foxbody, as you may remember the idea of this project was to take this GT here and make our very own convertible Cobra Foxbody, something that Ford never offered from the factory. Back in stage 1, this thing was pretty much a total disaster, well as you can see its back from paint, and looks a hell of a lot better, but we still have a hell of a long way to go. Before we get our hands dirty here in stage 2, let’s recap what we knocked out in stage 1. We did a serious overhaul on our drivetrain including a brand new Exedy clutch along with the SR Performance clutch adjuster kit, we then went to work under the hood, giving our 302 a much needed tune up, and replaced our entire cooling system with some help from Mishimoto. Finally we cleaned up our engine bay and added some performance thanks to the SR Performance cold air intake, and the smog pump delete kit. As for the appearance side of things, we addressed some problem areas, like the fender, rear deck lid and headlights, in stage 1 we installed a set of smoked 1 piece headlights, which looked great but with any car build sometimes plans change, so when we got the car back from paint, we decided to swap those 1 piece headlights out in favor of the tried and true 3 piece OE style. Finally and most importantly, we laid out plans to create our very own Foxbody convertible, with the help of our Cobra style body kit and wing, along with that fresh coat of paint. Alright we have a lot to get to in stage 2 so let’s get to it. Alright, so our appearance is certainly on track thanks to our new paint job and Cobra body kit, but we’re still missing a vital part of our cars exterior styling, that would be a new set of wheels and tires, we’re going to go with these black, 17x9 10th anniversary Cobra style wheels, and why not, since they mark the 10th anniversary of the car we’re building. Ok, so obviously these wheels are 5 lug, and they’re not going to fit on our 4 lug Fox, that’s why we’re going to use this 5 lug conversion kit here. This kit is great for a couple of different reasons, the first reason, it’s extremely easy on your wallet, it also includes everything you need to get the job done, including brand new 5 lug 28 spline axle. We’re even going to take this a step further in stage 3, and swap those drums out for disks in the rear, which should not only help the look of those Cobra style wheels but also improve our braking. This third piece Ryan and I are installing should further help achieve the look of our convertible. I’m referring to these 93 Cobra style tail light lenses, granted this is a small part of our Foxbody resto, but they should really flow well with our Cobra style body kit and ultimately help us complete the look. So we just took care of those tail lights and now we’re going to deal with a couple of small eyesores up front here. Ryan’s currently installing some brand new lower windshield molding, since our factory stuff is pretty faded and trashed. We’re also going to install this brand new cowl vent grille, since our GT was missing one when we got it, and it’s really going to tie our GT together. While we’re in this area we’re also going to install brand new wiper arms, and finish it all off with a 14” shorty antenna. So the outside of our Project Foxbody is really starting to come together but we’ve been avoiding the one very big, very ugly elephant in the room, I’m referring to our convertible top or what’s left of it, so we’re going to completely replace this disaster using a brand new OEM quality top, tinted rear glass replacement window, and all the other components necessary to ensure our top on our GT operates just as good, if not better than it did the day our car rolled off the factory floor. Some of those other components I mentioned earlier include a set of brand new top pads, a new boot cover, and all the J-hooks, alignment pins and new cable necessary for install. This is a pretty big job, but when it’s done, all the major exterior parts of our Fox should be looking like new again. The biggest little thing you can do when doing any build such as this is replace all of your moldings and weather stripping. Sure, visually it might not have the same impact as a new set of wheels and tires for instance, but it’s just as important when doing the job correctly. So with that said we’re going to replace all our dried up and cracked factory stuff, with new and fresh rubber and moldings available through the site here. Installing any weather stripping can be a little bit intimidating at first but it’s really not all that bad, in fact most of it either slides or snaps into place, with a few exceptions needing a random rivet or two. In fact I’m working on this belt weather stripping right now, that does need a few rivets, very importantly you want to use a short or stubby rivet, simply because the window operates behind this weather stripping, and you don’t want to interfere with that. Now we’re going to move into the interior which as you can see could definitely use a little bit of love, and we’re going to start with that biggest eyesore, our factory dash, I’m sure a lot of you Fox guys are aware that it’s getting harder and harder to find a factory dash in good condition anymore, so we’re going to do the next best thing and paint ours. We’re going to use SEM’s black interior paint, which should hopefully get our dash looking like new again. A quick little tip here, before you get started painting it would be a great idea to get some fine grit sandpaper, just to scuff the surface up a little bit, and then make sure the area is nice and clean by using alcohol or some other surface cleaner. At that point grab some adhesion promoter or vinyl primer, just to make sure the paint looks its best. On top of our freshly painted dash, which is currently outside drying, we’re also going to replace our carpet. This isn’t the hardest job in the world, but it is a little time consuming, just because you have to remove the seats and some other items. When you do get the old carpet out, don’t throw it away, you’re going to use it as a template to cut the necessary holes in your new carpet, because it doesn’t come pre cut. This carpet, along with that freshly painted dash, should breathe new life into that 20 year old interior. So our freshly painted dash is in, we’ve got our brand new carpet installed, we’ve got our seats bolted back up, things are really starting to come together in here, but we wanted to freshen up a few things, some small areas that have seen a lot of wear over the years, these items include a brand new arm pad for both the doors and the center console, some miscellaneous switches, a new leather shift boot, and knob, and finally this mint condition factory radio that we scored just for our build. Alright, with the exception of our wheels and our top, I know this might not have been the most exciting stage of our build, but the reality is, all the stuff we did here in stage 2, is a necessary step of any proper resto, and our GT is finally looking good again both inside and out. Now we have a solid foundation to work with, I think it’s time to add a little horsepower to the mix, so with that said, we’ll see you in stage 3 of AmericanMuscle’s project Fox body.
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Note: Kit includes top only. Does not include glass, cables, pads or headliner. Replacement window sold separately. We highly recommend shop assistance for installation of convertible tops.
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(approx) a Weekend
Mechanical expertise or professional installation required.
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