Progress Thread The Arrogant Bastard ( '01 Gt )

screamin gt

5 Year Member
Apr 9, 2007
394
6
28
central CT
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. :)
BUUUUUUUUTTTTTTT.... Superchargers are sooooooooo much fun!! :)
 
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screamin gt

5 Year Member
Apr 9, 2007
394
6
28
central CT
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.

Between the heads and under the intake there is a big space that could hold a bunch of coolant, would probably overflow at the back of the engine over the tranny I would bet, not having looked at one of these in a long time without intake.
 

screamin gt

5 Year Member
Apr 9, 2007
394
6
28
central CT
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.
I got some from 88rotors on ebay pretty cheap and probably 5 or 6 years ago they are still working well. Think it was like 100 or less. then some caliper paint...
 

Darkwriter77

Resident Ranting Negative Nancy
Jul 1, 2005
252
227
104
Apache Junction, AZ
Between the heads and under the intake there is a big space that could hold a bunch of coolant, would probably overflow at the back of the engine over the tranny I would bet, not having looked at one of these in a long time without intake.

Had that before with an older 4.6 in a '93 Crown Vic. That coolant pipe going under the intake in the valley on the older ones had a tendency to spring a leak whenever one of the hoses under there would let go over time. Newer ones did away with the rubber and made a solid pipe from one end to the other, but it can still leak. Bone-dry underneath there on this car, though. One of the first things I checked.

Okay, sooooooo ... my car is freaking cursed. And/or possessed. On the plus side, after driving it a few days to/from work, it stopped drinking coolant somehow. Only guess I have left is that maybe there were a bunch of air bubbles in the coolant system and it finally burped them all out. :shrug:

On the downside ... freaking Pypes cat-back tailpipe rubbed through the hard line on the passenger-rear on the way home from work the other night. Soooooo, spent a bunch of time today cutting off the damaged bit and flaring/coupling on a new piece. Haven't gotten all the air out of the system yet, apparently - pedal's still spongy - but at least it ain't leaking now. Sheesh. This crap just never seems to end. :(
 

Darkwriter77

Resident Ranting Negative Nancy
Jul 1, 2005
252
227
104
Apache Junction, AZ
Exhaust shop is currently cutting/re-welding the tailpipes to fit them in such a way that they don't suck, as well as welding the stupid flanges of the cats so they'll stop leaking, AND re-doing the hard brake line. I tried splicing in a new section of brake line myself the other day, using a double-flare tool and new nuts with a union. Didn't leak fluid, but it was apparently not sealing well enough and was sucking air, because I absolutely could NOT get the brake system to bleed out properly after that (even bleeding all 4 wheels, farthest from the master cylinder and working to the closest).

After all this crap is done, I think all I've really got left to do are a new A/C compressor and recharge, steering rack, rear-end upgrades (upper/lower arms and battle boxes), and then just cosmetic stuff - rear bumper replacement and a full paintjob, mainly. Leaning towards satin black at this point, but I dunno. Not like I'll be doing it anytime soon. At the rate I'm going, I'll be lucky if I ever get around to the latter project before the end of the summer. :/
 

Darkwriter77

Resident Ranting Negative Nancy
Jul 1, 2005
252
227
104
Apache Junction, AZ
Sooooo, got the passenger-side tailpipe cut/modified/re-welded, cats are welded and leak-free, and the brake system is now 100% leak-free. Not sure if they re-did the double flares I put on the connection or if they just cranked the thing down tighter than I had it because, far as I can tell, it's the same stuff I installed myself - whatever they did, it doesn't suck air anymore. They did run the reservoir down to the point it pulled in some air, though, so when I got it home I had to use a vacuum pump on the two bleeder valves of the master cylinder to get the air out. Now I've got a normal pedal again - yayyyy! - and with that done, I was able to FINALLY swap on some cross-drilled and slotted rotors with carbon-ceramic pads. This thing STOPS now. Brakes aren't grabby, but you sure don't have to push very much at all to get this horsey to go WHOA. :)

Sooooo, yeah ... on to the "little" stuff. A/C compressor, steering rack, rear-end parts, and cosmetic junk. Just glad to FINALLY be driving the Arrogant Bastard around again on my weekends. :D
 

Mattstang04

10 Year Member
Sep 15, 2006
1,149
141
104
St. Louis, MO
Are you replacing the steering rack or rebuilding? There's a company out there that I caters to rebuilding the cobra racks with the good ratio. Not sure the name but those racks are the ones to have. Rear end stuff will be fun whether your changing axle ratio of doing lower control arms and sway bars.
 

Darkwriter77

Resident Ranting Negative Nancy
Jul 1, 2005
252
227
104
Apache Junction, AZ
Guess I haven't posted in this for awhile ... mostly because I haven't done much with the car in awhile, aside from driving it. :)

Paint's officially FUBAR. Clear coat is coming off all over the place, mostly from the passenger-side upper surfaces. The paint on the roof and hood scoop is fading/bleaching out no matter what (cleaner waxes had no effect - paint's not oxidizing, it's just GONE). Paint on the hood on either side of the scoop is all cracked with a fiberglass-like texture for who-knows-what reason. The Plasti-Dip crap the prior owner kid sprayed on there was finally peeling off, so I went ahead and stripped it off (Goo Gone, lots of blue towels, a plastic spatula, direct sunlight, and a LOT of effort). Lo and behold, the kid had already sanded down parts of the passenger-side fender all the way to the primer and even to bare metal in a couple of spots, presumably to prep for paint before he decided to Plasti-Dip it, and he instead decided to temp-spray it and hide what he'd done. Driver's side fender is scratched/gouged up (clumsy prior mechanic?), but otherwise the paint was good. Paint on the front bumper is cracked in multiple places from people putting their knee up on there while working on it and such, and the front grille was broken in a couple of places. Three or four deep chunks of paint about 1/4" around each came out of the trunk lid where the paint just split and peeled up, so those will need to be sanded smooth, and there's countless random nicks n' scratches from just normal wear everywhere.

Soooooo, after stripping off the Plasti-Dip, I removed the front grille - going to order a Mach 1 delete kit when funds allow, dunno if I'll put in the floating pony or just leave it empty. Rear bumper has a hole in it, again from the prior owner, so it also needs replacement. Decided to delete the fender/trunk badges, since the whole car needs paint anyway, so I plugged the holes with JB Weld putty, sanded it smooth, and just gave it a quick dab of black paint for the time being until I can actually get around to painting the whole car. Rear bumper is crap anyway, so for now I covered up the horrible clear coat/paint on the top edge by masking around along the body line and spraying it with bedliner - if nothing else, it won't get scratched up when getting things in/out of the trunk, and again, the bumper's going away later, anyhow. Aside from the "Mustang" logo on the rear bumper, the outside is now 100% badgeless. From the driver's side, it looks pretty good; passenger side would look better, if not for the messed-up, sanded-down paint on the upper front fender. Thought about re-spraying with Plasti-Dip to hide it again until I have time to paint, but that stuff was a royal pain to remove. Might just use black primer to recreate the stripes, just for now. If I don't have time to finish it this month, then it probably won't get done until next Spring or Summer because it'll likely be too cold for the paint to cure and it'll be raining outside more often.

Also, the top of the third brake light is all chewed up from the sun - bleached and has a rough texture, pretty much normal for that part on these cars, especially in AZ. So, I masked off everything but the damaged top side and sprayed that with bedliner, too - looks like the same texture it had, but at least it's all black now. Might replace it later with an LED aftermarket piece, but for now, it'll do.

Anyway ... couple of pics for now. Looks decent from some angles and from a few yards away, but up close, you can see all of the glaring faults WAY more easily. And yes, there are water spots galore on my front bumper - some stupid sprinkler system at a dental place I was parked at for about an hour. :mad:

20171005_143217_1.jpg


20171005_142252_1.jpg


That's not overspray running from the edge, it's actually from sweat that drooled out from within the rubber gloves I was wearing while I was removing the masking tape. And the badge holes look bad, but that's just because I half-assed it on the paint - just gave it a couple of very quick little squirts to cover the filler.

20171005_142655_1.jpg


You can see how bad the paint is jacked up on the front here. The fender stripes they had on there only hid the clear coat loss for so long before it spread beyond those stripes - now it just looks gross.
 

DSG_Mach

Active Member
Jul 23, 2016
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Will you be repainting the whole car? I had a 2003 GT I bought online... Which I shouldn't have done. The seller never posted pictures of the front end and I didnt think of it. The whole front of the car was in bad shape. Paint was fading and rock chips galore. I paid waaaaay to much for the car at the time but it only had 68,000 miles on it. I took it to McRee Ford and they painted the whole front end for me for $2000 and installed new headlights cause the ones on the car were nasty like really nasty.

I wish I had before and after pictures of it but this is what it looked like after being painted.


12062994_169362023410363_1037700131_n(1).jpg
 
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Darkwriter77

Resident Ranting Negative Nancy
Jul 1, 2005
252
227
104
Apache Junction, AZ
Being that mine is just an ordinary run-of-the-mill '01 GT and not anything special - not a Mach 1, Bullitt, Cobra, or whatever else - then I'm not really looking to put a ton of money (or effort, honestly) into cosmetic stuff. It's mostly just for the sake of making me happy, not for impressing others at car shows or whatever. Ditto for performance; I'm not making this into a track car or trying to make it the fastest thing on the road or anything wild, I just want it to be a nice weekend toy and occasional daily driver (in the cooler months) with a few things improved over stock. I briefly entertained ideas of making it a full Bullitt clone or dumping a ton of money into doing a full heads/cam/intake swap and whatnot on it, but ... nah.

As such, I'm planning to paint the thing in satin black. It'll help hide some of the flaws that I won't be able to sand/smooth over, and if nothing else, perhaps it'll make a decent primer coat for a better paint job later.

As an aside, I've noticed over the past couple of months it occasionally does the exact same "POP!" sound from somewhere in the rear that my '89 notch used to make. It's never consistent, but it tends to happen either when accelerating hard from a stop/slow roll or sometimes when going over bumps in a corner. Sounds like something popping into or out of place. I've looked the whole rear end over pretty closely a lot of times, especially when I had stuff apart to swap the rear springs and shocks, but I didn't see any damage to the frame or anything like that where the control arms connect. Perhaps a connecting bolt/nut for something has worked its way loose and some part of the rear end occasionally shifts one way or the other, I dunno. :shrug:
 

Darkwriter77

Resident Ranting Negative Nancy
Jul 1, 2005
252
227
104
Apache Junction, AZ
Bushings are fine, at least visually. Nothing cracked or anything that I can see. I would like to throw some aftermarket control arms on there at some point anyway, so I guess I'll see if doing so changes anything.

Got the new bumper and other bits, so I've been working on prepping the body for paint lately. The more I work on trying to sand things smooth and fill/glaze rough bits and such, the more I realize just how totally screwed this car's body is. Finding lots of filler under the parts on the front corners where the paint cracked from someone leaning a knee or whatever on it. The paint on the trunk started to chip off and so I started picking at it last week ... and found that it has lost so much of its adhesion that literally half of the paint came right off in fat little chips without much effort at all. And the hood, which already had that weird frost-like cracking business going on, now has a split running front-to-back through the paint slightly to the right (passenger side) from the center. Ugh. :(

Really not having any faith at this point that I'm going to be able to come out of this with anything even halfway resembling a decent paintjob, or at least not without spending an absurd amount of money on it ... which it's not worth, honestly. (It's not a Mach 1, Bullitt, or Cobra, just an ordinary '01 GT with average mileage.) I'm going to give it a go on the paint anyway and see how it comes out, but if it looks God-awful halfway through or at the end ... screw it. I'm just going to bedliner the beast and be done with it.
 

Darkwriter77

Resident Ranting Negative Nancy
Jul 1, 2005
252
227
104
Apache Junction, AZ
A full wrap for a car costs a couple THOUSAND dollars (unless you do it yourself, and I know I would totally screw that up). Sooooo ... nope. Not going to sink that much money into cosmetic stuff. I'm already a couple hundred into this as it is, what with the new bumper, Mach 1 grille delete, and new wiper cowl. I've never been one for spending more on the show than I spend on the go. I'd rather have a car that looks "meh" at best but runs great than have a super-shiny car that runs like crap. (That said, I still need to fix the A/C and replace the steer rack, but still... :p )
 
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Darkwriter77

Resident Ranting Negative Nancy
Jul 1, 2005
252
227
104
Apache Junction, AZ
Been awhile since I've updated. Soooooo, things that have been done since last update:

1. Bedliner paintjob done - may or may not do an additional coat, just to make it look a little more even in a couple of spots, but overall the first 3 coats have been holding up quite well through winter. Used Rustoleum Professional Grade bedliner and it came out smoother than expected, too - not as chunky-textured as Herculiner - so it sorta has the satin/matte look I was wanting anyhow;
2. New steering rack, polyurethane bushings, and lower ball joints - HUGE improvement, no longer wanders all over the road, doesn't follow grooves, and doesn't pull to one side or the other under braking;
4. Fresh rubber front/rear (not pictured) - went with Sumitomo's mainly for cost, but they look pretty nifty, they're super grippy (so far), they ride smooth n' quiet, and they weren't absurdly expensive;
5. New rear axle bearings - made the annoying groaning sound go away for a week or so, but probably just due to having fresh gear fluid again. Pretty sure the carrier bearings are toast, so it needs a full differential rebuild ... which, of course, means it's time for 3.73's. :D

I would post pics, but the ones on my phone got zapped, and I haven't had a chance to wash the thing since it's been raining the past 2 or 3 days, so it's a muddy mess at the moment.

Things left to do:

1. Redo the A/C one last time (parts on the way) - if I can't get the air working this time, screw it, it just wasn't meant to be;
2. Window tint
3. Rear end rebuild/gear install - not going to tackle this myself, I don't know squat about pinion angles and whatnot;
4. Eventually cut down the rear springs by one coil to lose the "stink bug" stance ... probably about the same time I install rear control arms and torque box reinforcements.
 
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