Mustang GT 5.0 - 1989

My engines overheated and I’m afraid I fried my head gasket. The car blows white smoke… I love my 1989 Mustang this is the first problem… and I wonder whether its worthwhile fixing it. The Garage told me it could be $ 2000 to replace the cylinders…

The car is in good shape had it from day one - I would also need new brakes, and the AC is does no longer work. I have 74 K miles on this car. The blue book value is just around $ 2K - wonder whether I should just tow it to the junk yard? Thanks for any comments,

These are popular cars. Put it on craigslist as a parts car or “project car”. Ask $950 and see what happens…

You did not state how the garage came to any conclusions and “replace the cylinders” is either a hokey diagnosis or you have misinterpreted what they said.

A compression test would reveal any head gasket or piston ring problems. If the rings check ok then why not replace the head gaskets IF they are bad?
A head gasket job on these cars is very simple and should not run anywhere near 2 grand.

Something else to consider is that this white smoke may not even be from the head gaskets. It could be that the EGR spacer plate gasket has given up (a common problem anyway) and coolant is being dumped into the engine at the throttle body. This is a very simple and cheap fix if that’s the problem.

If it comes down to a new engine then drop a used one in there. The 5.0s are common and a complete engine installed should also not run anywhere near 2 grand.

This car is somewhat desireable and with only 74k miles is a keeper in my opinion. Do NOT tow it to the junkyard.
If you’re even considering that then tell me where you’re located. I may be interested in it. Hope some of that helps.

thank you very much. I am in Lakeview/Chicago. A few weeks ago, the car overheated, I had it checked and they replaced the sensor. Then it overheated while driving at 70 miles on the highway and I managed to get off but since I was going fast for a while (it was winter) I could hear a ringing noise from the engine. For a while I could not start the engine it might have seized. The it run again and we replace the radiator. It was running just fine until I switched it on the other day and then I noticed the white smoke. I remember seeing some black smoke coming from the passengers side… like it burned something. Then I went back to the garage and he told me I need to replace the cylinders. of course i would want him to look at the car first but i did not want to stink up the hood and drive it before I have a better idea what i want to do.
I took good care of the car for the past 21 years, also have custom moon/sun roof and even with a broken AC I could drive it for a while. I also replaced the alternator about 2 years ago and last year put in a new battery. The clutch has been replace and the exhaust system a few years ago (it was rusty) and I was told I did not drive it often enough. I purchased the car in California. My friend tell me to let go … but I wanted to give this a trial and your comments are very much appreciated.
Thanks, Joe

I would go ahead and find a reliable shop to look at this car. You said you have maintained the car well since new, and if it is not rusted beyond recognition it is certainly worth fixing. If you are sick of the car, this could be your excuse to get rid of it. If this is the case, I am only a couple hours away and will gladly take this car off your hands. I’ve always been interested in having a five speed, five liter Fox body Mustang. Sorry, ok4450, I’m closer : )

Darn it. Chicago is a bit far for me.

I would strongly suggest a compresion test if this has not been done. It’s very easy to do on these cars anyway. That will tell you whether to consider a complete engine; either a rebuild or good used.
A couple of years ago the Ford only salvage here had a complete GT 5.0 engine with low miles for 1100 bucks. These engines can often be found for much less than that with some footwork and if there is no dilly-dallying around, the engine can be changed out in half a day.

The 87 GT 5.0 in my hotrod car was purchased by me for 400 bucks, complete and running.

With only 74k miles on the car this would be a slam dunk for me. I’d fix it in a heartbeat.
Brakes are no big deal and the inoperative A/C is more than likely due to a leaky compressor shaft seal. The shaft seals can be replaced if the compressor turns over freely and was not making any racket before the A/C quit.

Thanks you very much. I am going to the a 2nd quote from a different shop before I junk int.

Thanks again for heads up. I ll visit a few more shops and get their opinion. it sitting in my garage and i do not need the car. I ll keep you informed but i really enjoyed getting your feedback. kind regards,