Top Five Fox Body Mustang Mods
Last Updated: August 6, 2020
Throughout Steeda’s over the thirty-year history of helping Mustang enthusiasts live the Speed Matters lifestyle, we have developed and engineered so many parts to make the Fox Body Mustang what it is known in the community today. To this day, the 1979-1993 Mustang is still one of the most revered in all of pony car history. Due to the lightweight architecture, unique design, and ability to be customizable to any enthusiast needs, whether it is road racing, drag racing, or a great weekend cruiser to carve your favorite canyon road. Unlike any other Mustang generation, the Fox Body was the longest-running of any six generations of the legendary American pony car.
Starting in 1979, the Fox Body was the first ever to receive a complete overhaul after the Mustang II was a total miss among the Mustang faithful. So in the early stages of the Fox Body, Ford knew they had to create something that would invigorate the automotive community with edgy styling, pure American muscle, and a more sophisticated chassis for the hardcore enthusiast. What came was a smaller, more agile, and shorter wheelbase Mustang the likes of which had never been seen before. Throughout the Fox Body generation, Mustang enthusiasts saw various changes, including the original four-eyed fox from 1979-1986, then a complete refresh from 1987-1993, and then capping off with the most potent of them in the 1993 SVT Cobra and SVT Cobra R.
Throughout this article, you will receive a complete breakdown of what we think is the top five mods to get your Fox Body Mustang to new heights of performance, excitement, and overall driving experience within the Fox platform.
When you ask a Mustang enthusiast what is most important in their pony, it is the ability to give you the three most essential characteristics in fast, fun, and freedom. Being engaged with your American icon is very crucial to receiving the overall driving experience that the Mustang is known. The Mustang has always been the best that Ford could equip throughout each Mustang generation from the factory. Two key components aid enthusiast in getting the best driving experience possible, these areas are the following:
High Flow Exhaust: Heading into the Fox Body generation, Ford knew it has been invigorated with the sounds of freedom by high flowing exhaust from legendary powerplants such as the 427 Cobra Jet, Boss 429, and 289 V8 engines. Heading into the Fox Body generation Ford knew they had to reclaim the racing and performance heritage they built within the 1960s with the Ford GT, Shelby GT350, Shelby GT500, and racing pedigree.
Coming into the 1980s, Ford was set on bringing back the Mustang GT with a modern interpretation of the legendary 302 Cubic Inch V8 only this time nameplated as the 5.0. Overtime, enthusiasts came to know the 5.0 as powerful, sophisticated, and readily modifiable. To enhance the overall sound, performance, and driving experience the first choice for enthusiasts would be to add Long-Tube Headers, X-Pipe, and High Flowing Cat-Back Mufflers. It would help enthusiast create an experience unlike any other and this is still being seen in today’s modern S550 Mustang as well.
- Tri-Ax Short Throw Shfiter: Since the Shelby GT350 in 1965, companies like Hurst were the first to aid enthusiasts in getting a more direct connection to their pony. In 1988, in the year, Steeda was conceived to become the leader in Ford and Mustang’s performance. Through innovation and engineering, we were able to develop the first single milled aluminum short-throw shifter for the Fox Body Mustang. Adding a Steeda Tri-Ax to your Fox will offer several improved characteristics, including better transmission response, enhanced driving dynamics, and an overall better connection when going full throttle at the track or your favorite canyon road!
Seat Of The Pants
With the engagement, sound, and the visceral driving experience is taken care of, in the form of High Flowing exhaust and a Tri-Ax Short Throw Shifter. Unlike today's modern 5.0 Coyote engine, the Fox Body 5.0 heavily relies on old fashion push rod muscle to take it to the competition. Without proper gearing and pulleys, this power and torque can't get to the ground efficiently. To give a better example, imagine you're at the starting line of the racetrack. It would help if you got out of the hole as quickly as possible. Proper rear gearing will allow you to transfer all the energy from the drivetrain to the ground.
While on the other hand, pulleys are going to help the engine run more efficiently throughout the RPM band. Some of our pulleys offer much lighter weight and design to add less rotational mass in which the driver has to rotate freeing up horsepower and torque. Together with a significant amount of horsepower, these components will aid enthusiasts in getting off the line better while increasing much-needed acceleration.
Rear Gears: There are various components to your Fox Body Mustangs drivetrain, including the engine, transmission, driveshaft, and back end. These components are what gives the Mustang is legendary performance, sound, and visceral experience. Unfortunately, during the years of the Fox Body, Ford did not implement substantially excellent rear gearing to any of the Mustang models. Luckily thanks to Steeda, we have been able to offer a wide variety of gearing, including 3.73, 3.55, and 4.10 gears ratios. These variations will be applicable for various reasons such as drag ratios, road racing, daily driving, and, most importantly, to give enthusiasts better accelerations.
Pulleys: These components are essential to maintain engine health and deliver consistent horsepower. Adding an upgraded engine pulley will aid in lighting up weight through the pulley system, which will assist in creating more horsepower and torque. It will ensure your Fox Body 5.0 will be reliable throughout punishment and abuse when it matters most. Whether its an idler pulley,crank pulley, and accessory drive pulleys, these all are necessary to keep your engine healthy.
Now that we have accomplished a more significant driving experience and more acceleration, it is time to ensure that we stiffen up the chassis to keep everything together as tightly as possible while still adding strength. One of the greatest things you can do to any performance vehicle is to add depth and rigidity to reduce chassis flex. You're probably wondering what this will? Suppose you have a high horsepower Fox Body Mustang that the factory design did not intend for it to have. It will often twist the chassis from the drivetrain because the energy is being transferred into the body of your pony.
By adding various chassis stiffening components, you will aid what Ford didn't have intended for 1979-1993 Fox Body Mustang model years. In any form of racing, this is a critical area to have in drag racing, road racing, and even if you're just on your favorite back canyon road. Below you will see the following two chassis stiffening components we feel will make significant changes to aid your pony!
- Strut Tower Brace: Since the Mustang began in racing and the world of American automotive performance.The strut tower brace has been a synonymous piece in aiding the legendary pony car to feel more agile, rigid, and add a sense of security when going full throttle at any drag strip or racing at your favorite road course. More notably, tying the strut towers together adds a tremendous amount of strength,especially if your Mustang is set up for the road course so that they equally have the same amount of strain.
Frame Rail Connectors: Like the strut tower brace, subframe connectors allow for tying the chassis's underpinning together where it matters most. Among every facet of racing, the Fox Body needs underbelly chassis bracing due to the connecting points between welds and the unibody construction. Adding this will lessen the risk of chassis flex while adding stability and rigidity at the same time.
With all of these areas accomplished above in driving experience, acceleration, and chassis stiffness, you should now have the ability and confidence to build as much horsepower you can into your Fox Body 5.0. Since our founding in 1988, Steeda has been finding new ways over thirty years to adding enthusiasts to make as much horsepower as possible to accomplish what Ford could not. Any Mustang enthusiast will tell what solves every problem, more strength, and torque. In the world of American muscle, the sound of a rumbling V8, roar from the exhaust, and brute power is something that sometimes can't be explained.
The pushrod 5.0L V8 became an absolute legend from the factory due to its earth rotating torque and instant power. The likes haven't been seen in the early 1970s before the oil embargo, and the gas crisis happened, which made Ford reduce power in the Mustang II, which was a hard era for the community. The most exceptional ability the Fox Body Mustang gave enthusiasts the ability to be utterly upgradeable front eh aftermarket to create more horsepower through various components including:
Cold Air Intakes: Feeding the legendary pushrod V8 will be the system that collects all of the cold air to feed the behemoth of an engine. Cold air intake systems are the best way to feed any Fox Body Mustang engine to create more power throughout the RPM band. In the world of Mustang performance, the saying goes more air, and more fuel equals more horsepower and torque.
Camshaft: In American muscle cars and most especially the Mustang, there is nothing like having a chopping idle, which says nothing but power. Besides the great sounds in which an upgraded camshaft does in a number in creating higher RPM redlines and giving the valvetrain more lift to take in more air to generate more horsepower.
Cylinder Heads: With the camshaft upgraded, you can turn to the next component, which has to go hand in hand. Allowing better valve springs, more CFM, larger valves, and letting more air in you will create more horsepower and torque in the end.
Getting To The Power To The Ground
With all the added horsepower and torque combined to the legendary pushrod 5.0L V8 engine that made the Fox Body so legendary among the automotive and Mustang community. Even if you have a massive amount of horsepower, it will not do any good to an enthusiast if you can't get it to the ground. Luckily, Steeda has been the industry leader to aid Fox Body Mustang enthusiasts to get the most out of their ponies. From the factory during the 1980s and early 1990s, Ford put in the best suspension technology they possibly could. Thanks to our founding in 1988, Steeda developed specifically engineered performance parts in suspension to aid horsepower and toque getting the ground efficiently.
Unlike stock suspension for the Fox Body, our suspension systems for 1979-1993 Mustang are designed with enthusiasts in mind. Having more beefier parts and better bushings will allow transferring horsepower better to the ground through various parts below:
Upper Control Arms: When you're sending a tremendous torque and horsepower to the rear axle, the stock Mustang suspension can only handle so much before the forces of power take they will break. Steeda upper control arms upgrade this problem by controlling the side to side and up and down motions when the suspension is under compression while driving.
Lower Control Arms: Like upper control arms, the lower control arms control the axle from twisting from the horsepower coming from the engine. Simultaneously, we explained early how chassis stiffness helps with the body from flexing to much. Lower control arms aid the axle in not moving or rotating in the wrong way, which won't help power get to the ground. Furthermore, it will improve the overall ride quality and give enthusiasts the confidence that their Fox Body will go full send when needed most.
1979-1993 Mustang Paint Codes & Colors
Top 5 S550 Mustang Modifications
Mustang Short Throw Shifter Pros & Cons