Progress Thread The Arrogant Bastard ( '01 Gt )

Darkwriter77

Resident Ranting Negative Nancy
Jul 1, 2005
252
227
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Apache Junction, AZ
Story time! Let the epic lengthy posts resume. ;)

Picked up an '01 Mustang GT last month after being 'Stang-less for a little over a year - the '09 Crown Vic was comfy, but a poor substitute. It was hard to find one that didn't have a metric crap-ton of miles already on it and/or hadn't been modified to death by prior owners, but I did manage to score this one with 121k on the clock and in almost completely factory condition, aside from a terribly cobbled-together and rotten cat-back, a stupid aftermarket alarm system, Eibach springs that lower it just a tad (without caster camber plates, grrrrr), and a couple of minor cosmetic mods. A Carfax revealed that I am the EIGHTH owner of this thing - sheesh - but overall, it's in decent shape:

00S0S_3OKBQFqPlbz_1200x900.jpg


It originally started out in Tennessee and then came to Arizona sometime around '08 and was apparently very well cared for by all seven prior owners, so there's no rust to speak of underneath. Bought it from a kid in Scottsdale who was selling it because he'd picked up an '03 or '04 Mach 1 (can't remember which year). At some point, someone tried to kinda give it the Bullitt look by deleting the rear wing, filling the holes, repainting the trunk (you can just barely see the fill spots if you look at just the right angle), and adding a few aluminum pieces inside and out (fuel filler door, pedals, mirror/window/lock buttons, shifter ring). Came with the Mach 460 sound system, but of course the factory head unit was starting to crap out, so the prior owner kid had an aftermarket Kenwood head unit swapped in (he did include the original in the trunk, FWIW) - sounds okay at best, but probably going to need to replace the speakers soon. Prior owner kid included receipts for all the stuff he'd had done for maintenance, so most everything seems to be kept up on for the most part.

As cars in Arizona tend to go, the clear coat is making a departure from all horizontal surfaces as quickly as my hair has been disappearing from the top of my head. Prior owner kid covered it up creatively with flat-black Plastidip by adding a Mach 1 type stripe down the middle from the scoop, as well as stripes over the top of the fenders and "hash marks" coming down the sides - very subtle, can't really see it in pics unless you're at the right angle. Clear coat looks horrible on the rear bumper, which also has a bit of a hole in it from where someone backed into something at some point in history. (This is the only pic I have handy at the moment.)

IMG_20160515_153359.jpg


And lastly, the crappy cat-back had a GIANT hole in one muffler where it had rusted/rotted through internally and then blown out, and the passenger-side mid-pipe was pinched almost flat where the kid had backed out of his driveway and dropped it down too quickly over the curb. That and getting the front end properly set up (again, it's lowered without caster camber plates to properly align it) were my immediate concerns. Sooooooo ... that's where I was about two weeks ago. :)
 
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Darkwriter77

Resident Ranting Negative Nancy
Jul 1, 2005
252
227
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Apache Junction, AZ
Fixing the exhaust was the #1 priority. With a huge hole in the muffler on one side and the mid-pipe of the other pinched, it was in sort shape, not to mention it was hideously cobbled together by some hillbilly welder. It actually went from a THREE-INCH cat-back (looks like a MAC brand setup) and necked down with a TON of welding to what appeared to be the factory tailpipes. Ugh. Sounded like an old pickup truck and the exhaust fumes were killer ... although some old guy at Wally World complimented me on the sound it made. LOL

IMG_20160516_170217.jpg


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I was tempted to go with a Magnaflow cat-back, but I remembered hearing lots of gripes about droning, so I went with what I've had in the past on "teh Notch" ('89 notchback) that I had lots of fond memories of: PYPES. Ordered "The Beast" system, which cost less for the O/R X-pipe and cat-back together than Magnaflow wanted for just the cat-back. Arrived promptly, and as soon as I had a weekend free, I busted out with the Sawzall and had at it:

IMG_20160520_121442.jpg


Lemme tell ya', installing this cat-back on ramps was a NIGHTMARE. Ugh. The X-pipe went on without any fitment problems at all, although I did need to buy a new passenger-side manifold flange gasket because the system didn't include one (instructions say to reuse your original, yeah right :rolleyes: ). But getting those tailpipes over the rear axle SUCKED. Wound up having to jack the car up in addition to it being on ramps to get enough clearance to mostly get it fandangled in there, and even then I had to bend the hangers slightly to squeeze them past the upper control arms and then bend them back into position once it was over there. The driver's side lined up in a jiffy once the tailpipe was in place; the passenger side took me no less than TWO HOURS of fartin' around to get it to line up in such a way that it wasn't hanging way down and wasn't rubbing/bumping against anything. In hindsight, I'm kinda wishing I had instead gone with the SLP Loudmouth II system; I had the LM1 on my '96 GT and the install was a dream because the tailpipes were multi-piece deals that went in easy and allowed for all kinds of adjustment, whereas Pypes uses one-piece tails that suck to fit. Anyway, here's the final result:

IMG_20160522_132712.jpg


As expected, it is freaking LOUD, even more so initially because I had to do some turning and adjusting to get those two front clamps on the X-pipe to seal up (HUGE leaks on both sides initially). Already, I'm thinking I need some cats on this thing because it gets pretty raspy on the top-end. It's plenty civil, though, as long as you don't give it anything near half-throttle and keep it below 2k RPM - anything more than that, and it'll likely raise eyebrows of the po-po. :) Minimal drone on the highway, though, and the overall tone is very nice - deep and throaty but smooth.

As a random aside, the "Arrogant Bastard" title is just what my friends and I settled upon at random. A combination of the car's sound with the Beast exhaust and, well, because I like the occasional bottle of Stone Brewing Company goodness. :)

IMG_20160516_190146.jpg
 
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Darkwriter77

Resident Ranting Negative Nancy
Jul 1, 2005
252
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Apache Junction, AZ
Removed the crappy alarm system today, installed the SR Performance firewall adjuster and clutch quadrant today, and programmed my new key fobs (two for ten bucks on Amazon). Caster camber plates FINALLY arrived ... right before sunset. Grrrrrr. Oh well, guess I know what I'll be doing tomorrow morning...
 

Darkwriter77

Resident Ranting Negative Nancy
Jul 1, 2005
252
227
104
Apache Junction, AZ
Ultimate goals?

Just to fix what needs fixin' and be a fun, reliable weekend toy. Not looking to try to set any kind of quarter mile records or anything crazy like that. I kinda gave up on the "I wanna have the fastest thing on the road" juvenile quest a lonnnnnnng time ago when I realized that 1. There will ALWAYS be someone faster and 2. It costs a fortune (and then some) to even try for that. :)

Forgot to mention that, a couple of weeks ago, I already swapped in an SR Performance CAI intake tube (adds nothing for horsepower, I'm sure, but it frees up a little bit of space underhood) and a cheap-o shifter from Amazon ... which will probably be getting replaced ASAP with something else, because the thing is already starting to self-destruct after just a week or two. Stiffer than crap, even with the wimpier springs, and the little aluminum spring seats are tearing themselves up and leaving little aluminum shavings inside the top shifter area - NOT cool. Probably going with either a Steeda Tri-Ax or SR Performance shifter ... because, yes, I am a cheapskate. :p
 

Modular2v

Founding Member
Jun 30, 2002
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Just to fix what needs fixin' and be a fun, reliable weekend toy. Not looking to try to set any kind of quarter mile records or anything crazy like that. I kinda gave up on the "I wanna have the fastest thing on the road" juvenile quest a lonnnnnnng time ago when I realized that 1. There will ALWAYS be someone faster and 2. It costs a fortune (and then some) to even try for that. :)

Forgot to mention that, a couple of weeks ago, I already swapped in an SR Performance CAI intake tube (adds nothing for horsepower, I'm sure, but it frees up a little bit of space underhood) and a cheap-o shifter from Amazon ... which will probably be getting replaced ASAP with something else, because the thing is already starting to self-destruct after just a week or two. Stiffer than crap, even with the wimpier springs, and the little aluminum spring seats are tearing themselves up and leaving little aluminum shavings inside the top shifter area - NOT cool. Probably going with either a Steeda Tri-Ax or SR Performance shifter ... because, yes, I am a cheapskate. :p
My 3650 setup is getting pulled this weekend for a 4R70w, so..... I will have a Steeda Tri-Ax for sale if you're interested? :)
 

Darkwriter77

Resident Ranting Negative Nancy
Jul 1, 2005
252
227
104
Apache Junction, AZ
Mmmmmmayyyyybeeeee... :D PM me.

New caster camber plates, sway bar bushings/end links, and bump stops are in place. Now to go the front end re-aligned and then, I dunno, maybe actually drive it around a bit. Gonna need a set of brakes pretty soon, so of course that translates into "time to upgrade" - I'm probably going with a set of cross-drilled/slotted rotors (front/rear) with a decent set of pads, not going to bother with putting on fancy calipers and such.
 

Darkwriter77

Resident Ranting Negative Nancy
Jul 1, 2005
252
227
104
Apache Junction, AZ
Swapped the factory shifter back in. The crappy Amazon shifter is either getting sold off for next to nothing on Craigslist or is getting tossed in the trash - it's seriously that bad. Stock shifter feels like I'm driving a Mack truck by comparison, but at least the shifts are much easier and smoother than they were with the Amazon shifter, and the shifter handle is aimed closer to me so I don't have to jack the seat forward or lean ahead just to be able to reach the upper gears (1, 3, and 5).

Three problems I have now:

1. The shop (Big O :rolleyes: ) that did the alignment either doesn't have a clue how to align front ends or their equipment is goofed. Consistently pulls to the right, the steering wheel is turned almost to 11 o'clock just to go straight, and the thing still bump-steers pretty badly. Installing an anti-bumpsteer kit obviously would help, but the alignment is still just plain wrong, so I'm going to need to take it to a different shop at some point;
2. Still have at least one big exhaust leak somewhere in the system, because if I'm driving with the windows down, in town or on the highway, the interior has a pretty fair amount of exhaust stank going on. And if I romp on it, the fumes are downright gaggishly thick - strangely fun at first, but loses its novelty really, really quickly. Gonna have to adjust some clamps and tighten some things a bit more, I guess;
3. Apparently when the kid that had it before backed it out of the driveway and smashed the exhaust flat on one side, he must have either bent or at least slightly damaged the driveshaft, as I have a definite driveline vibration right at 65 MPH. Gets worse going up hills or when you have a load on it, and ALMOST disappears if you push in the clutch. Engine isn't missing out, plugs all look good, there's no codes, and as far as I can see visually, the motor mounts appear to be like-new. Soooooo ... might be a good excuse to upgrade to an aluminum driveshaft at some point.
 

Darkwriter77

Resident Ranting Negative Nancy
Jul 1, 2005
252
227
104
Apache Junction, AZ
GOOD: Fixed the driveline vibration by replacing the transmission mount. Being only $13 from Rock Auto, I figured it was worth trying the cheaper part rather than dropping $300+ on a new driveshaft that may or may not have fixed the problem. Runs nice n' smooth on the highway now at 65 MPH.

BAD: The A/C decided to spectacularly crap out on me yesterday on the way to work. Compressor shut off for a minute, then came back on, then went off for two minutes, back on for a few seconds, and then that was it. Shut off the A/C and rolled down the windows going down the highway, and was rewarded with a VERY strong smell of burnt wiring or something electrical. :nonono: When I got to work, I popped the hood, and the stench seemed to be coming from the A/C compressor itself. Sucks because pretty much every single part in the entire A/C system is brand new as of November 2015. Any ideas? Maybe the compressor clutch? (Defective unit?) :shrug:
 

Darkwriter77

Resident Ranting Negative Nancy
Jul 1, 2005
252
227
104
Apache Junction, AZ
Well, that was a short-lived bit of fun. 'Stang's dead in the water now. Friggin' A/C compressor clutch's bearing is completely destroyed. Got so hot that it melted the three little rubber insulators on the outer plate and cooked the compressor coil. Went to try to change out the clutch with the compressor still in place today. Apparently, I'm an idiot or something, or I managed to bugger up a seal in the process, because in trying to get that stupid snap ring out from inside of there (good luck trying to find a friggin' pair of snap ring pliers long enough to reach it :mad: ), I started hearing a hiss of refrigerant escaping from there. Great. Soooooo, I guess the thing's just going to have to sit there and leak out (sorry, Earth, I am single-handedly destroying your ozone layer), and then I'll have to go through the nightmare of removing the compressor, replacing the clutch, and then trying to figure out how the hell to do the whole oil and pump-down thing and all that other crap that I've never done. Either that, or I'm just going to say the hell with it and just remove all of the A/C stuff entirely, because apparently I am NOT allowed to EVER have a Mustang with working air conditioning. :fuss:

Have my new catalytic converters on-hand, just can't do anything with 'em right now. No point, anyways, since I can't very well run the car without the serpentine belt attached. :(
 

COramprat

Drone Driver
Mod Dude
Mar 2, 2003
6,615
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I don't recall having that much trouble replacing the compressor clutch. I've only done two but it was pretty basic. I did a write up on it and posted it here somewhere. Mine had pretty much disintegrated as well but the pulley still turned so I drove it for a while until I got the courage to tackle it.
 

Darkwriter77

Resident Ranting Negative Nancy
Jul 1, 2005
252
227
104
Apache Junction, AZ
The bearing in this clutch is TOTALLY hosed. Even turning it by hand, it sounds like a couple of the ball bearings have either fallen out or disintegrated and it doesn't turn easily - binds up a little bit randomly. The bearing got so hot that it cooked the clutch coil and even baked the three rubber isolators on the outer disc to the point that they got crispy, half-melted, and had started to ooze out. :eek: It went from a slight issue to being this bad in the span of about 100 miles or less, so it wasn't something I could drive on for very long, even without using the A/C. Considering the damage the heat of the bearing failure did to the coil and such, I'm sure it didn't do the compressor any favors, either, so it's probably in need of replacement at this point, anyhow. And, ah ... the fact that I poked a hole in the front seal while trying to remove the snap ring probably doesn't help much, either... :nonono:

Bypassed the compressor and two pulleys for the time being by using this method:

http://www.allfordmustangs.com/forums/4-6l-tech/144830-bye-bye-crappy-c-delete.html

Basically, just removed two idler pulleys, swapped the tensioner pulley for a ribbed idler pulley from a V6 Mustang (plus a washer behind the pulley and a washer between the tensioner and engine block), and ran a 70.5" 6-rib belt. Total cost was right at around $50, which was cheaper than going with an A/C delete kit, only took a few minutes, and didn't require removing/disassembling the A/C system. Still not sure if I wanna completely rip out the A/C or eventually swap out the whole compressor and try the pumping-down and charging process n' crap myself - wouldn't hurt for me to finally learn how this A/C crap works.

Sooooooo, at least it's roadworthy again. Unless, of course, it decides to throw the new belt off or something. Might have a go at installing the Pypes cats tomorrow morning, if I can get my butt outta bed early enough to do it before work. The raspy exhaust tone is really starting to suck. Basically anything above 3,500 RPM starts sounding nasty. Hopefully the cats will get rid of the rasp without muffling the volume or the rest of the tone. I did love the way my cat'ed X-pipe and Violators sounded on "teh Notch," but that was an old pushrod 5.0L and not a 4.6L, so it might be an apples to oranges comparison.
 

Darkwriter77

Resident Ranting Negative Nancy
Jul 1, 2005
252
227
104
Apache Junction, AZ
Haven't updated this in awhile, but...

Ugh. Becoming more and more convinced now that I have a bad head gasket going on with the Arrogant Bastard. :cry:

Keep getting oil in the coolant and losing about 1/2 quart of coolant every 100 miles. Doesn't have any power loss at all, doesn't run hot at all, doesn't smoke at all, and no water in the oil at all. Again, already replaced the oil cooler adapter gasket and have flushed the system twice now. When I remove the reservoir cap after it's been sitting for a few hours, I get a "pssshhhh" sound, which I honestly can't tell is a sign that it's letting pressure OUT (positive pressure) or it's sucking air IN (negative pressure/vacuum), only that it's holding SOME kinda pressure in the system. However, the fact that I recently had to replace a heater core connector ($15 for a stupid little plastic piece :mad: ) and the old radiator cap's gasket had a pooched-out look as if it had given way to excessive pressure is making me think that I'm getting exhaust pressure into the coolant system or something. Recently replaced the water pump and thermostat at the same time I did the oil cooler gasket/oil change, FWIW, and it seemed to me that the water pump (definitely not original) O-ring had been leaking, perhaps also from excessive pressure in the cooling system. Of course, a compression test would probably tell me for sure what's going on, but I haven't had the time to do one ... nor do I have a cylinder compression gauge at the moment.

If it is, in fact, a head gasket that's going out on this, then I honestly dunno if I can justify dealing with it. I absolutely DO NOT have the time to tear the thing down, take the heads to a shop to get machined (and ported/polished, while they're off :D ), and reassemble the thing, because my schedule these days is stupid-busy. And I sure as heck don't want to spend thousands on it to have a shop do it. Soooooo ... dunno. Tempted to just buy another car and either transfer the good parts from this onto it and then sell it for whatever I can get, or trade it in towards another, or park it in the back yard and cover it and ... I dunno. Ugh. :(

Anyway. That all aside, a couple of weeks ago I replaced the springs (Moog front/Moog cargo rear), struts and shocks (KYB GR-2), quads (KYB), spring isolators (Energy Suspension), and tie rod ends (Mevotech Supreme), and got it re-aligned. Good news is it rides WAYYYYYY better, no longer scrapes on everything, still handles good (rear end doesn't want to swing out as easily in turns now), and NO MORE ANNOYING SQUEAKS; bad news is the rear springs are cargo springs (didn't realize until I'd put 'em in), so it's got a jacked-up butt like a stink bug now ... or the old-school 60's muscle car look, if you wanna put a positive spin on it. Still has some slop in the steering, so I'm probably going to need a new rack n' pinion.

Front brakes REALLY need new rotors, since the current ones are getting all warped to heck and the brake pads are some cheap crap the previous owner threw on (were new a year ago and already are almost gone, and they dust up like crazy). If I keep this thing, I'll be installing drilled/slotted rotors in front/rear and some decent non-crappy pads.

Exhaust still sounds good, but the stupid split flange connections that Pypes uses on their mid-pipes results in leaks that I absolutely cannot seal with clamps. Going to have to have a shop weld the cats into place to get rid of the annoying exhaust leak sound.

Anyway. Going to probably run a compression test on the thing this weekend and see if I do, in fact, have a head gasket going out. If it's confirmed, then ... dunno what the next step will be, to fix it or ditch it. If it isn't the head gasket, though ... what the HELL could be causing oil to keep getting into the coolant, and where is the coolant leaking out? :confused:
 

RaggedGT

check back later..
Mod Dude
Jul 20, 2014
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www.stangnet.com
Is your model mustang one with the plastic intake?
usually they crack and leak coolant, maybe yours cracked and is letting oil in? Or maybe just a bad intake gasket?
Does your coolant tank smell like gas?
 

Darkwriter77

Resident Ranting Negative Nancy
Jul 1, 2005
252
227
104
Apache Junction, AZ
Haven't sniffed the coolant tank recently, but there's definitely oil in there. I'll have to pop the cap and give it a whiff - never thought about the fuel/exhaust smell possibility, but it makes sense.

Far as I know, all of the '96+ Mustangs got a plastic intake manifold, however they didn't all originally come with the updated/upgraded version that had the aluminum crossover until at least '99 (mine's a 2001, and it has the aluminum crossover). There's no oil flowing through the intake manifold, though, so I can't imagine the oil getting into the coolant through that; if it was just losing coolant and blowing it out the exhaust, though, then the intake might be a suspect. Supposedly, this car had its engine replaced somewhere around 100k or so with a 72k-mile engine because a previous owner DID have a cracked intake manifold and just ran it until it overheated and destroyed the motor entirely.

Won't know for sure about the heads until I run a compression test, I guess.
 

Darkwriter77

Resident Ranting Negative Nancy
Jul 1, 2005
252
227
104
Apache Junction, AZ
Okay, just checked a few things this morning. No fuel/exhaust smell in the coolant when it's cold, nor while it's running. Also isn't burping out any bubbles while idling or if I jazz the throttle a few times with the cap off, so it doesn't APPEAR to be producing positive pressure. So, I'm guessing the "pssshhhh" noise when I pop the reservoir cap must be negative pressure. And with not external leaks, no smelly heater core, and no coolant smell or white smoke/steam out of the exhaust ... still no idea where the heck my coolant is going. :shrug:

Going to pick up a compression tester gauge tomorrow and give that a go next.
 

Darkwriter77

Resident Ranting Negative Nancy
Jul 1, 2005
252
227
104
Apache Junction, AZ
Went to Analzone ... er, Autozone ... and bought their $29 compression tester, which had a 14mm threaded extension/adapter that it specifically listed as being for deep plug well applications. The compression tester from Harbor Fright ... er, Freight ... had shorter threads on the adapters that wouldn't quite reach the threads in the cylinder head. The Toiletzone tool worked like a charm. Compression is between 170-175 psi on all 8 cylinders. Seems really high (I thought it should be 145-160 psi?), but consistent on all 8, sooooooo ... that rules out a head gasket, yes? :shrug:

Still wish I knew where the hell the coolant's going, but at least I figure it's safe to drive as long as I keep the coolant topped off. Thinking that perhaps the oil I'm seeing in the reservoir might just be residual and trapped up there in the baffles of the reservoir. No easy way to clean that sucker out, believe me, I've previously tried taking it out, filling it with Purple Power, shaking it, and hosing it out several times, but I can still see the gunk trapped in there. Soooooo, all I can figure is that it's leftover oil/crud from when one of the previous owners smoked the original motor (supposedly had a cracked intake and ran it hot until it totally pooped) and/or the oil cooler adapter gasket was leaking oil into the coolant and it's just leftovers from that. But again, NO idea where the heck the coolant is going. :confused:
 

Thatsweetstang

Active Member
Nov 4, 2013
224
24
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Ca
My guess would be the intake coolant cross over is leaking coolant into the intake and down into the cylinders. I've had a small leak coming from coolant tank on the bottom hose that meets the lower radiator hose, the tube off the coolant tank was cracked. If you smell coolant from the air vents with the heater on or if you try and defrost your front windshield and you front window fogs up it'll be the heater core.
 

Mattstang04

10 Year Member
Sep 15, 2006
1,149
141
104
St. Louis, MO
More often than not it will end up being the intake. Try to see into the valley of the engine beneath the intake. There's a small gap at the front of the intake where you can just barely fit your face and a small flashlight to really look down between the heads. That's where I found my leak on my old gt. Like in the middle of the engine underneath the intake. Watery coolant can really travel in weird ways when the car is moving. Some of the breaks in these plastic intakes can be so slight that it only spurts out minutia amounts. Hairline cracks that aren't so easy to distinguish.