Author Topic: First post, a few questions regarding 1987 engine bay  (Read 489 times)

Offline CanadianFoxMustang

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First post, a few questions regarding 1987 engine bay
« on: August 13, 2016, 08:54:38 AM »
First, thanks to all of you doing this. It's so hard to find factory fox Mustangs.

I'm slowly getting into restoring my 87 coupe (factory 5.0/5 speed, radio delete, no AC, no option), starting with the engine bay. So I have a few questions since I am having an extremely difficult time researching what a factory 87 looked like. It's amazing how most of these cars have been modified.

1) I saw a few people put in zinc coated fender bolts and hood hinges (the ones on the cowl). But from my experience this is all body color, I think Ford painted the engine bay assembled. So all the fender bolts, hood hinge (even the rubber cup) have overspray?

2) I know the valve covers could either be raw aluminium or painted Ford grey. I think the 87 was painted. Is there a close match to the factory paint. Also I think the oil fill was zinc plated... is it possible to restore this, can it be removed?

3) The stock air-tube I think had some "white dust" over it. I can't think of any method to replicate this. Any ideas?

4) The brackets holding the front clip. I see a bunch of variations on restored foxes. Some paint it silver, others get it a kind of zinc phosphate (oil)? (sorry don't know the term) looks like iron color. My best guess is the zinc phosphate finish with yellow chromate zinc bolts.

5) The BAP sensor bracket on mine I think was the same zinc phosphate finish... but I see some people paint it silver...

6) As far as the engine block, from reading here, it should be just painted grey over the pan and overspray grey over the block. Timing cover and water pump are raw aluminium while the timing cover could have some overspray. Looks like someone sprayed the engine from under it on the assembly line.

7) I've been working hard at restoring the labels on the wire harnesses (injector, main computer harness, O2 sensor, and body). I got them in illustrator and just need to find a way to replicate the factory labels. I think the factory had them printed on a "roll of tape", probably flexography. I'm still researching this as my 87 was missing a few labels, I'll post a separate thread once I get my facts straight but if you have any good quality pics of factory harnesses with labels (even the "made in mexico" ones), please share...

8) I would love to see 100% factory pictures of how these foxes looked underneath. When I cleaned up the underbody, there was still enough paint to sort of match what the factory did but I'd feel more comfortable in seeing how it should look. Also not sure about the diff, I'm assuming Ford never painted those and left it raw save for the diff cover? Or a thin layer of semi-flat black (at least that's how the new ones are made). Also any labels on the diff or markings I should be doing?

Ouuff, sorry for the barrage of questions. My car is going through various stages. I found all the stock parts (intake manifolds, heads, headers, H-pipe, etc...) and have been restoring those parts to keep in storage. For now I want the chassis to be correct. I already removed years and years of oil grime and that nasty yellow rust proofing stuff with a wirewheel and painted the underbody that grey primer (I think zinc primer) and tried to do the correct level of body color overspray. Although I think I have to redo it this winter. I feel like I'm getting addicted to this "making it factory" deal.

Anyway... Thanks for reading this post (if you made it this far). I appreciate any help I can get. Thanks again and cheers.

Offline J_Speegle

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Re: First post, a few questions regarding 1987 engine bay
« Reply #1 on: August 13, 2016, 10:55:42 PM »
First welcome to the site. Hope you find it very useful in your concours related endeavors

87's are not my area of study so will leave those specific questions to those owners. As for reproducing labels and wire labels I may be able to help there. Have done it for small runs (specific car I might be helping with or doing) over the years. Suggest a new thread - likely in the Processes, Products & Techniques  area of the site since the techniques would apply to all years and models

Though not the best picture angle nor the exact same year this thread and picture might support some of you observations

http://www.concoursmustang.com/forum/index.php?topic=6459.0


Much better pictures

http://www.concoursmustang.com/forum/index.php?topic=7176.0



« Last Edit: August 13, 2016, 11:01:53 PM by J_Speegle »
Jeff Speegle

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Offline GT500KR

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Re: First post, a few questions regarding 1987 engine bay
« Reply #2 on: August 14, 2016, 02:34:54 AM »
First, thanks to all of you doing this. It's so hard to find factory fox Mustangs.

I'm slowly getting into restoring my 87 coupe (factory 5.0/5 speed, radio delete, no AC, no option), starting with the engine bay. So I have a few questions since I am having an extremely difficult time researching what a factory 87 looked like. It's amazing how most of these cars have been modified.

1) I saw a few people put in zinc coated fender bolts and hood hinges (the ones on the cowl). But from my experience this is all body color, I think Ford painted the engine bay assembled. So all the fender bolts, hood hinge (even the rubber cup) have overspray?

2) I know the valve covers could either be raw aluminium or painted Ford grey. I think the 87 was painted. Is there a close match to the factory paint. Also I think the oil fill was zinc plated... is it possible to restore this, can it be removed?

3) The stock air-tube I think had some "white dust" over it. I can't think of any method to replicate this. Any ideas?

4) The brackets holding the front clip. I see a bunch of variations on restored foxes. Some paint it silver, others get it a kind of zinc phosphate (oil)? (sorry don't know the term) looks like iron color. My best guess is the zinc phosphate finish with yellow chromate zinc bolts.

5) The BAP sensor bracket on mine I think was the same zinc phosphate finish... but I see some people paint it silver...

6) As far as the engine block, from reading here, it should be just painted grey over the pan and overspray grey over the block. Timing cover and water pump are raw aluminium while the timing cover could have some overspray. Looks like someone sprayed the engine from under it on the assembly line.

7) I've been working hard at restoring the labels on the wire harnesses (injector, main computer harness, O2 sensor, and body). I got them in illustrator and just need to find a way to replicate the factory labels. I think the factory had them printed on a "roll of tape", probably flexography. I'm still researching this as my 87 was missing a few labels, I'll post a separate thread once I get my facts straight but if you have any good quality pics of factory harnesses with labels (even the "made in mexico" ones), please share...

8) I would love to see 100% factory pictures of how these foxes looked underneath. When I cleaned up the underbody, there was still enough paint to sort of match what the factory did but I'd feel more comfortable in seeing how it should look. Also not sure about the diff, I'm assuming Ford never painted those and left it raw save for the diff cover? Or a thin layer of semi-flat black (at least that's how the new ones are made). Also any labels on the diff or markings I should be doing?

Ouuff, sorry for the barrage of questions. My car is going through various stages. I found all the stock parts (intake manifolds, heads, headers, H-pipe, etc...) and have been restoring those parts to keep in storage. For now I want the chassis to be correct. I already removed years and years of oil grime and that nasty yellow rust proofing stuff with a wirewheel and painted the underbody that grey primer (I think zinc primer) and tried to do the correct level of body color overspray. Although I think I have to redo it this winter. I feel like I'm getting addicted to this "making it factory" deal.

Anyway... Thanks for reading this post (if you made it this far). I appreciate any help I can get. Thanks again and cheers.

   I can answer a few of your questions.

1) Body color
2) From my experience, aluminum
3) Probably what you are seeing is "mold release" from producing the rubber tube.
4) If you are referring to the radiator support brackets I have seen them painted black, and also galvanized.
5) Not sure, but probably natural. 
6) Corporate grey. Not a lot of coverage.

   Just my observations and recollections. Others may have different views. I have a 9K mile 86 GT at home if that helps. I'll be home in a couple weeks if you would like to know something specific.
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Offline KevinK

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Re: First post, a few questions regarding 1987 engine bay
« Reply #3 on: August 14, 2016, 02:51:12 PM »
Your best bet is to observe some low mileage and restored cars.  From there you can see what's original and what the current refinishing appears to be.  On these newer cars, not everything is fully developed on the restoration processes.  Part of the reason it that original parts can still be found and the other reason is few people are restoring to Concours level.

There were a number of extremely nice cars at the recent Niagra Falls Show.  A couple were a bit over restored but hey displayed the ability to clean up any aging going on.

Just take one part at a time and ask around.  The are not a lot of changes from 86-93 but there are a few that are easily identified. 


1. Bolts, painted
2. Valve covers, besides some painted there is a difference on the edge profile.  I have not found a way to refinish the bare aluminum with the plated oil fill installed. It seems to be crimped in place.
3. Air tube, while the dust may be stock, you will likely be dinged for not cleaning it.  I have that problem on my 03.
4. Clip bracket, should be plated but painted does not look close.
5. BAP bracket, have not looked.  I asked about some other similar brackets and was told it's not phosphate and oil as they has a sparkle to them.
6. Engine block, gray but its hard to say where it ends as Ford was pretty light on the paint.
7. Labels, not much support but I think ECS does some maybe just the older ones.

Offline CanadianFoxMustang

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Re: First post, a few questions regarding 1987 engine bay
« Reply #4 on: August 15, 2016, 09:03:41 AM »
Thanks for all the replies. Much appreciated. I like the idea of checking out car shows, there has got to be some 100% stock engine bays around here.

Offline CanadianFoxMustang

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Re: First post, a few questions regarding 1987 engine bay
« Reply #5 on: August 15, 2016, 09:56:49 AM »
First welcome to the site. Hope you find it very useful in your concours related endeavors

87's are not my area of study so will leave those specific questions to those owners. As for reproducing labels and wire labels I may be able to help there. Have done it for small runs (specific car I might be helping with or doing) over the years. Suggest a new thread - likely in the Processes, Products & Techniques  area of the site since the techniques would apply to all years and models

Though not the best picture angle nor the exact same year this thread and picture might support some of you observations

http://www.concoursmustang.com/forum/index.php?topic=6459.0



Much better pictures

http://www.concoursmustang.com/forum/index.php?topic=7176.0
Thanks for the pics. That helped. Looks like I have the wrong type of hose for the EGR spacer on mine lol.