We love our Mustangs; that's a fact. Some only love the early cars, while for some a Fox body will always have a place in their heart. It doesn't matter if you prefer modified cars or museum quality concours trailered examples, all Mustangs have issues. We sometimes try to ignore the elephant in the room, but we are quickly snapped back into reality when one of the Mustang's common problems smacks us in the back of the cranium.
Any car can have problems, that's a given. However, when you're talking a 45 year old Mustang, it's in a whole other realm of possible issues. It might be common to deal with a squeak and rattle or two on a five year old daily driver, but what if the Mustang in your garage is a 25 year old Fox Mustang? Perhaps you're just getting into the hobby and are looking to fulfill that high school dream of owning a '65 Mustang fastback? Now we're talking a 47 year old filly. Have you ever seen four decade old wiring? Maybe some of you home restorers know what we we're talking about, but generally, the older the car, the more problems you'll be dealing with.
Age isn't the only factor when it comes to Mustangs. How they've been used and where they've been used both play important roles in if these common Mustang problems rear their ugly head and how bad the problem is. Certainly there is an increased chance of rust problems on a Mustang driven every day of its life in Minnesota versus a Mustang driven daily in Arizona or southern California. The same can be said for a Mustang that was used as a daily driver and never modified versus one that racked up its mileage a quarter mile at a time has been modified with a bunch of speed parts.
We polled several people, from industry insiders to long time shop owners and even local club members and asked them what they've found to be the Mustang's biggest problems over the years. Some will be obvious; others not so much. We don't have the room here to go into detail on how to fix all of these issues, but where we can we'll lead you in the right direction for parts or how to solve the problem (or even prevent it if it hasn't happened to your Mustang yet). Lastly, we know there are a whole lot more than 10 problems you can find in a Mustang. You could probably find most of these all on one car for that matter, but we took the answers from those polled to create this top 10 list. Feel free to share your Mustang problems with other readers on our magazine forum at http://forums.mustangmonthly.com/ and if you have a fix for the problem be sure to post that as well!
10: Parts is Parts
As soon as you head down the path of modifying your Mustang, no matter the year or body style you will quickly run into fitment issues with aftermarket parts. We're not always referring to the part fitting on your car here (though that can be an issue); no, we're referring to the fact that most aftermarket companies design their parts around a stock vehicle and short of their own product line, can't account for every aftermarket part ever made to work with their parts. Once you've installed that performance brake kit don't be surprised if the new suspension you install a few months later has interference problems with the brakes. Then once you get the suspension figured out the next shocker is trying to fit the performance exhaust designed around the original suspension and not your new whiz-bang four-link. Buying parts from the same vendor does not guarantee that they will fit. Vendor's catalogs are filled with parts from many sources and they do not have the manpower to test fit every part they sell on every model/combination. It is up to you, the consumer, to do your research and make sure the parts you want fit with what you already have or plan to install, or be willing to start modifying things (and not jump on the Internet and gripe things don't fit). If you want a supercharger on your vintage Mustang you're most likely going to have to live without air conditioning unless you go to a custom bracket from an alternative source or modify the kit to your needs.
A simple disc brake upgrade...
A simple disc brake upgrade is a common purchase for vintage Mustangs, but go big and you need larger wheels. Larger wheels might hit the upper ball joint. See how the snowball starts to get bigger?
As mentioned below, a supercharger...
As mentioned below, a supercharger install usually sits where the A/C compressor lived, so unless you’re willing to give up your A/C (or the ability to upgrade to A/C in the future) you might have to find a different way to mount the supercharger you’ve been dreaming of.