Roaring Through Time- The Legacy of the 1978 Ford Mustang

Maintenance And Repairs

The annual cost of maintaining and repairing a 1978 Ford Mustang can vary based on several factors. These include the overall condition of the car, its ownership history, mileage, and specific parts that may need replacing at any given time. According to YourMechanic, the second-generation Mustang (to which the 1978 model belongs) typically requires an annual maintenance and repair cost ranging from $95 to $2,162. It’s not surprising to see the potentially high maintenance cost, as the ’78 Mustang is known to be one of the classic cars with relatively higher maintenance and repair costs.

Most Common Ford Mustang Problems Reported

  • Rust in the body panels and undercarriage
  • Front suspension problems (control arms, bushings, ball joints)
  • Engine problems (oil leaks, overheating)
  • Hard shifting, slipping, or jerking transmission

Given its age, it is not surprising to find many reported problems with the 1978 Ford Mustang. Transmission issues, including hard shifting, slipping, and jerking, are among the major problems reported by owners on platforms like Reddit and Mustang forums. In addition, some ’78 Mustangs are prone to engine problems, like oil leaks and overheating.

Owners of the ’78 Mustang on these platforms have also reported a tendency for rust to develop in specific areas, such as the body panels and undercarriage.

Repairs And Pricing Info

Repair Average Pricing
Door mirror replacement $531.47
Control arm assembly $919.22
Brake caliper $383.20
CV axle replacement $524.46
Wheel bearings replacement $692.85
Windshield wiper motor replacement $229

(Prices courtesy of YourMechanic)

According to estimates provided by YourMechanic, the Ford Mustang II has an average maintenance cost of $287. Control arm replacement is one of the most expensive repairs, with an estimated cost ranging between $1,119.04 and $1,682.47. Similarly, replacing the Mustang II brake rotors can cost around $1,061.42 to $1,603.93.

In contrast, one of the more affordable maintenance procedures for the Mustang 2 is oil change, which typically costs around $116 ($45 for parts and $71 for labor). Keep in mind that YourMechanic recommends using synthetic oil for this vehicle due to its superior flow characteristics and lubricating properties, which reduce friction and ensure better protection for older engine components.

Recalls And Safety Investigations

Date NHTSA ID Number Description
Aug 27th 2007 07E064000 Fuel pump leaks
March 1st 1983 83V025000 Fan blades might break due to vibration while the car is running
Dec 2nd 1981 81V003000 Cooling fans develop cracks while the car is running. Fan blades can unexpectedly detach without any prior warning
March 8th 1978 78V047000 Automatic locking rear seat belt retractors may fail to lock when the locking pawl binds against the retracting housing
Nov 15th 1977 77V196000 The dust tube portion of the accelerator cable assembly may bind due to improper crimping of the accelerator cable assembly during manufacturing

According to NHTSA data, there have been five recalls for the 1978 Ford Mustang. The most recent recall, issued in 2007, addresses fuel pump leaks that could pose a fire hazard. This particular recall impacted 34,000 vehicles, and specifically applies to ’78 Mustang models equipped with aftermarket fuel pump brands such as Carter, NAPA, Accuflow, Tru Flow, Parts Master, and Parts Depot.

The most widespread 1978 Ford Mustang recall involves broken fan blades, with a total of 83,000 vehicles being affected. Closely behind is the recall for cracked cooling fans, affecting 81,807 Mustang models. At the other end of the spectrum, the recall for accelerator cable assembly has the fewest number of affected vehicles, with only 154 cars requiring attention. The recall concerning automatic locking rear seat belt retractors, for its part, affects around 1,956 vehicles.

Reliability, Running Costs, And Expected Mileage

Reliability data for the 1978 Ford Mustang is scarcely available, likely due to the lack of enthusiastic support for the model, in comparison to more popular muscle cars of the era. However, we can gain insight into the reliability of the 1978 model by looking at the reliability data of other 2nd-gen Mustang models like the 1977 and 1974 Mustangs. This data is based on owners’ feedback on Carsurvey.

Ford Mustang Reliability Rating: 8.5/10

Based on reviews from two Mustang owners on Carsurvey, the 1977 and 1974 Ford Mustang models received an average reliability score of 8.5 out of 10.

Owner Review Date Model Year Review Site Score
Jan 21st 2010 1977 Carsurvey 9/10
July 7th 2005 1974 Carsurvey 8/10

Based on the reliability scores of other 2nd-gen Mustang models such as the 1977 and 1974 Ford Mustang, it can be inferred that the 1978 Ford Mustang would also have great reliability. This assumption is supported by reviews from owners on the Ford Mustang Forum, where one commenter noted, “…they were really [well-built] cars. Very strong solid chassis and good quality materials inside as well.”

Running Costs

Due to the lack of available information on running costs for the 1978 Ford Mustang, it can be challenging to provide precise details. Older vehicles like the 1978 Ford Mustang typically do not feature on contemporary review sites, making it difficult to determine its specific running costs. However, considering the car was designed with fuel efficiency in mind, it can be reasonably assumed that the running costs would be around average or reasonable for a vehicle of its age.

As for insurance rates, Carsurer says the average monthly insurance rate for a 1978 Ford Mustang is $86. This figure is $36.36 higher than the average insurance rate for muscle cars, which Car Insurance Comparison estimates to be around $49.66 per month.

Pricing And Values

Valuation Highlights

Model Mustang II Base Mustang II King Cobra Mustang II Cobra II 5.0-Liter V8 Mustang II Ghia 2.8-liter V6
#1 Concours Condition $19,100 $37,500 $31,700 $17,600
#2 Excellent Condition $17,500 $30,400 $26,300 $13,500
#3 Good Condition $12,100 $20,500 $17,100 $10,200
#4 Fair Condition $6,600 $10,400 $9,400 $5,900

(Prices courtesy of Hagerty)

According to Hagerty, the estimated price for a base 1978 Ford Mustang in good condition is $12,100. If the car is in concours condition, it is estimated to be around $19,100, while models in excellent and fair conditions cost roughly $17,500 and $6,600, respectively. Similarly, shows that the average price for a 1978 Mustang falls within this range, with listings averaging at $17,763. Based on the same data from, the 1978 Ford Mustang has been sold for as low as $3,600 and as high as $36,300.

Performance-orientated models, such as the King Cobra II, command the strongest prices. According to Hagerty, an example in good condition will fetch roughly the same price as a concours base model, whereas a King Cobra II in concours condition will not be much less than $40,000. What’s more, only 4,313 1978 King Cobras were made, and this scarcity will naturally lead to higher prices, as collectors scour the market for the best remaining examples.

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