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1979 Foxbody Wheels

hey all, just picked up my first Fox (after wanting one for over a decade and working on others) a 1979 with a 347 Stroker all built up with a T5 conversion, 373 rear, links, sways all the hoopla for a steal. Needs paint, wheels, tires and a windshield. Other than that it’s all there. My question is I know it’s a 4 lug and the fenders are different than later Fox’s, what’s my best option for something that will fit and looks similar to the pony wheels?
 

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Welcome! Love the color of this. Any idea if it's factory color? I had an 81 that looked similar.
If it were mine, I'd see if I could find an original 3- piece rear spoiler. Just something about the charm of the old 4-eye foxes.
As for your wheel situation, that's a hard one. I've been through it all with these older cars and recently decided that 5-lug swapping was the best option. Here's my reasoning: The older foxes 79-86? Can't remember when they changed but the braking system was terrible. The 87-93 v8 cars got slightly larger brakes. Still not "good" braking by any stretch, but not quite as bad. At the very least, I figured it's worth swapping over to the 87-93 v8 spindles and brakes. If you're swapping that stuff, it's not really much harder to step up to 5-lug. That not only gives you brakes that are WAY better, but you have much better wheel options.
If you plan on staying 4-lug, no big deal. It's definitely a lot cheaper. You can find guys selling 4-lug wheels with nearly new tires for next to nothing.
So, it looks like you have pony wheels currently? You're just looking for something nicer or what?
 
Welcome! Love the color of this. Any idea if it's factory color? I had an 81 that looked similar.
If it were mine, I'd see if I could find an original 3- piece rear spoiler. Just something about the charm of the old 4-eye foxes.
As for your wheel situation, that's a hard one. I've been through it all with these older cars and recently decided that 5-lug swapping was the best option. Here's my reasoning: The older foxes 79-86? Can't remember when they changed but the braking system was terrible. The 87-93 v8 cars got slightly larger brakes. Still not "good" braking by any stretch, but not quite as bad. At the very least, I figured it's worth swapping over to the 87-93 v8 spindles and brakes. If you're swapping that stuff, it's not really much harder to step up to 5-lug. That not only gives you brakes that are WAY better, but you have much better wheel options.
If you plan on staying 4-lug, no big deal. It's definitely a lot cheaper. You can find guys selling 4-lug wheels with nearly new tires for next to nothing.
So, it looks like you have pony wheels currently? You're just looking for something nicer or what?
Thanks :) yep it is the facory color for that car, has some spots that could use some touching up but the body is good overall. The rear wheels are Pony style but the fronts are not. They’re the old mutispoke ones that look a bit like the DMC12 wheels, guess the last owner just wanted something a little wider on the rear when he finished up all the engine and drivetrain Work. I hear people say swapping to the 5 lug is really the way to go, but was trying to avoid it for expenditures sake. Might have to go that way if it’s the only real option, especially if breaking is greatly improved. According to the Dino print I got along with all the receipts for the work he did the 347 is putting out around 470 horse. So the ability to stop its ability to go is probably a smart investment I would guess :p are the newer 5 lug wheels going to fit the 79 fenders tho? Heard they’re a bit smaller than the later ones?
 
You can stay 4-lug and use some high performance pads. I believe Hawke makes them for our cars but you may have to upgrade to 87-93 v8 spindles, rotors, and calipers.
As for wheel options for the front, I don't believe you'll have an issue. The problem comes when you run wide/tall tires in the front. My 88gt rubs slightly at full lock with 15x8 wheels and 235/60 tires. I don't think it's even hitting the actual fender. They didn't change the fenders till 90 or 91, iirc.
 
To answer your earlier question; Yes, Pony wheels from 91-93 years will work.
The front fender openings on the 91-93 were stretched to accommodate the larger 16" wheel. But really the only time the any rubbing would occur on any 79-90 with larger wheels would be during full turn.
There are plenty of 89 and earlier Fox's riding around with larger wheels. Just select the proper size tire and / or install steering rack limiters if you are too worried about it.

There are also several way to upgrade to 5 lug. Some retain the front disc / rear drum brakes, others go full discs all the way around.

BroncoJunkie, MerleHaggard, and myself are all currently working on 5 lug swaps.
I'm going full SN95 Cobra 4 wheel discs on mine.
 
To answer your earlier question; Yes, Pony wheels from 91-93 years will work.
The front fender openings on the 91-93 were stretched to accommodate the larger 16" wheel. But really the only time the any rubbing would occur on any 79-90 with larger wheels would be during full turn.
There are plenty of 89 and earlier Fox's riding around with larger wheels. Just select the proper size tire and / or install steering rack limiters if you are too worried about it.

There are also several way to upgrade to 5 lug. Some retain the front disc / rear drum brakes, others go full discs all the way around.

BroncoJunkie, MerleHaggard, and myself are all currently working on 5 lug swaps.
I'm going full SN95 Cobra 4 wheel discs on mine.
4 wheel disk would be the way to go for me I think. Maybe I’ll just save my pennies and go for that along with wheels and tires. What kit are you using on yours?
 
4 wheel disk would be the way to go for me I think. Maybe I’ll just save my pennies and go for that along with wheels and tires. What kit are you using on yours?
I'm piecing together my own using '94-'95 SN95 front Spindles, '94-'98 Cobra discs, calipers, brackets, Fox length 5 lug rear axles with modified SN Cobra axle to caliper bracket brackets, '93 Cobra master cylinder and brake booster, aftermarket proportioning valve, line lock, and brake lines from Maximum Motorsports.
 

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The front fender openings on the 91-93 were stretched to accommodate the larger 16" wheel. But really the only time the any rubbing would occur on any 79-90 with larger wheels would be during full turn.
There are plenty of 89 and earlier Fox's riding around with larger wheels. Just select the proper size tire and / or install steering rack limiters if you are too worried about it.
Reason for bigger wheel openings in 1991


When Ford retooled the front fenders for the 91 model year, it wasn’t because of the 16" wheels and tires because the outside diameter of the tires were within .2" of the 15" wheels and tires they replaced. It was because of customer complaints of tires contacting the front edges of the fenders.

There were several TSB's [8961 also 9091 Tire- Rubs on Front Fender Extension] out to try to instructed technicians on how to bend the fenders out of the way which really didn’t help. http://home.comcast.net/~smithmonte/Auto/Recalls_and_TSBs.htm


Ford's correction just so happened to occur on the 1991 models which increased the opening size from the body side molding (on the front of each fender) to the bottom. Also included were new lower fairings for both LX and GT models as well as new moldings for the front of the fenders.
 
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