1995 Mustang GT DD Rebuild

Discussion in 'Build Ups & Projects' started by Vettn71, Jan 7, 2015.

  1. Vettn71

    Vettn71 Member

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    I have to get everyone caught up on this, as I didn’t take many pictures when I first got this car. I bought this off an eBay advertisement, but not through eBay, as the listing had expired. My family went on a Christmas cruise and my son and I drove it back to Texas from Florida. I probably should have passed on it, but my son kept telling me what a deal it was. The car had been sitting for some years and had 45,xxx showing on the odometer. The car was not as advertised, as it was rust-free, but a lot rougher than he made it out to be. As an example, the top was rough and was obviously the original. The dash on the passenger’s side had actually melted from sitting in the sun. However, throwing caution to the wind I negotiated the price down based on the apparent faults and off we went to Texas. Before we got two miles the speedometer started smoking and failed. Soon after, the taillights quit and I had to jerry-rig wiring to get lights back there. Oh yeah, we got pulled over and fined $250 for not having a “travel tagâ€. The taillight problem turned out to be the headlight switch. We also had to stop and get tires, as I didn’t want to drive to Texas on maypops. Ka-ching, ka-ching!

    Initially things were well, but after a month or so I noticed the dreaded converter “shudderâ€. Changing the transmission fluid did nothing to help, so I changed out the trans to a 4R70W in my garage on jackstands. It was fugly, to say the least. The windshield looked like it has been caught in a sandstorm, so I changed it out. I did some little things, like change out the dash with a new one from the local salvage yard and put on a steering wheel that didn’t look like a roasted pig. New shocks and struts were installed, as the others had seen better days. Ka-ching! For Christmas I got a new top installed. Woot, woot!

    Well, it’s been puking power steering fluid all over my driveway, so I decided I’d fix things in my usual way, replace everything. Bought a new rack, Moog a-arms, power steering pump and hoses from Rock Auto. The a-arms were great! They came with new bushings and ball joints installed for about $15 a side more than just the parts. The steering rack came with tie rod ends. I’m sure they won’t last, but they’re easy to change. The first photo is of the car on jackstands with the new cross-drilled and slotted rotors and ceramic brake pads on it. I’m not going to autocross the car, so the cross-drilling doesn’t bother me. If I were to autocross, I’d just get the slotted rotors.

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    Pulling the rack was pretty easy. Photo 2 shows the old rack. It was surprisingly floppy. It just felt worn, but then the fluid was black, so I’m sure the seals were half gone and just floating around in the fluid. Even though I wasn’t having issues right now, I knew they weren’t long to come. I hate the way Ford uses these super-secret-handshake, decoder ring tools! I had to rent a power steering pulley puller/installer, which I guess is typical, but then the power steering pump is held on by E12 Torx sockets. I’ve never heard of a Torx socket, but now a have a set of four. I’ll probably never use them again. Thanks, Ford.

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    This is the new rack installed

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    No big surprise, but everything was caked with old power steering fluid, making the job very nasty-greasy. Photo 3 shows the new pump and hoses. Luckily I had bought a new low-pressure hose hard line that attaches to the steering rack. Nothing wrong with the old piece, but when I went to the local O’Reily’s they could find the seal I needed. I bought a package of two seals, but I couldn’t see how they would fit like the old seal, which was located on the bottom of the fitting. When I looked at the new hard line, the seal was at the top of the fitting. I just installed the new fitting with the seal already installed. The new high-pressure hose fit perfectly. Putting the new rack on was not so simple. I measured from the center of one tie rod end to the center of the other on the old rack, then set the new tie rod ends to the same distance. That should get me close. It was just a pain to get the new rack in place, connect the rag joint and set the bushing inserts. I installed poly inserts to stiffen the steering a bit.

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  2. Orange 94

    Orange 94 Moderator Staff SN95 Supporter

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    Moved to Build section :)
     
  3. Vettn71

    Vettn71 Member

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    Installing the new Moog a-arms has turned out to be a PIA. Photo 4 shows the safety chain I used around the a-arm to keep the spring from flying out. I’ve never had this happen, but I can imagine it would be ugly. Removal was easy; set the jack under the a-arm, give it a few pumps to remove pressure from the a-arm, Remove brake caliper and rotor, remove the spindle, remove the sway bar bolt and the strut bolts, remove the strut and lower the a-arm. The problem is installing these buggers. Photo 4 shows the Moog a-arm. They fit perfectly, but getting that long stock spring back in is crazy! I’ve done a few suspensions before, but never had one like this. I went to O’Reily’s and rented an internal spring compressor. I can’t get it up inside the spring from the bottom of the a-arm. I tried a number of techniques that I found that others have tried, but they don’t work. I looked at the MM soring tool, but they say it won’t work for stock springs. I’m pretty stuck at this point. I can’t get new springs; I just don’t have the money right now. Any suggestions?

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    These are the old rotors. They were getting thin and were grooved.

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    These are my crappy wheels. Cheap-looking doesn't quite cover it, so I'm looking for new wheels

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    This is my new-to-me dash and seats. The seats were out of a 2001 Mustang. Parts for convertibles are pretty scarce.

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  4. Vettn71

    Vettn71 Member

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    You can see from my dash my instrument panel is apart. I've had continuing problems with the copper strips lifting off the plastic and shorting. I haven't found a good fix. Super Glue doesn't seem to hold
     
  5. Vettn71

    Vettn71 Member

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    Well, after a near-death experience trying to get the stock springs back in I decided to hit my credit card again and ordered Eibach 3530.140 springs. I think that's the only way to get this thing up and running again. At $224 shipped it sounded a lot better than buying another one-time use tool for $300. I've got a tool box full of tools that I'll probably never use again, so it's aggravating, to say the least. As I responded to a different thread, I've got a three-legged dog that can't hunt right now and I need it back on the road. On the way are a set of GT40P heads with pocket-porting and port matching, an E303 cam and a Explorer intake. The heads and cam are from my brother-in-law who runs a auto machine shop with my father-in-law in Georgia (Precision Engine II). They were building a stroker for a guy and he wanted to go with aluminum heads and a spec cam, so I picked these up pretty cheap. The intake sat on eBay for weeks. It was a NOS intake that had a broken nipple and missing a plug, both of which were easily fixed. $139 shipped. Of course, I'm in serious danger of saving so much money that I max out my credit card. I'll update this in a couple weeks when I return from some business travel I have to do.
     
  6. clflorida

    clflorida Member

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    "Thats the goal of being a real man. Having a shed full of tools well only use once. Its the reason we were put on this planet."
     
  7. CC'S95GT

    CC'S95GT Legend

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    All those nit picking things still won't add up to a car payment in the long run
     
  8. Mustanger

    Mustanger Well-Known Member

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    Hey that Yellow Paint new top look pretty darned good! Like something I would like to own! You are doing fantastic just don't get discouraged....pretty soon it will be running fine & all those new parts will last 20 years or more.
     
  9. the5.ohh

    the5.ohh Legend

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    Sounds like a good build so far! I'm about to order those same A arms, might aswell since they come preloaded with the balljoints and new bushings. 45k miles is super low, I got my 95 GT all factory everything with 53k in 2012, up to 58k now
     
  10. Vettn71

    Vettn71 Member

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    Thanks for the encouragement. I did buy the spring tool from Maximum Motor Sports, so the Eibach install should be much easier. I've got so many one-time-use tools it's crazy. It's one of those projects that you can't afford to sell once you're done. Still, if I can get crank 300hp I think it will be a fun little car. I think the 3530s have less than a 1.5" drop, so hopefully I won't need a bump steer kit or camber plates. I'm out of town for a couple weeks, so I'll have a chance to plan things out. I'm looking at a set of Cobra wheels, not the Rs. We'll see.

    Jim
     
  11. Vettn71

    Vettn71 Member

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    Well, after considering the situation I decided to go with Eibach lowering springs. I wanted it a little lower, anyways and this was the time to do it. Got these from Discount Tire Online.

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    I also ordered the Maximum Motorsports spring install tool, which was a real time and aggravation saver. Here’s a shot of it installed. Very simple to use and keeps the spring locked in place.

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    I used the stock spring cushions, as they were in good shape. The idea of wrapping electrical tape around them didn’t seem too wise, as I don’t want to hear noises from my front end.

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    This is a shot of how the spring is held into place by the MM spring install tool. No worries about it shooting out into your face and it’s easy to use.

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    This is how the lower control arm and everything fits once assembled. I need to do the right side, so I don’t have the sway bar links installed.

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    I had to replace my sway bar bushings, as they were all broken up. Again, it’s the best time to do this, since I’m up to my ears in this thing.

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    This is a war wound. The fooking lower control arm bushing bolts wouldn’t break loose, even after being drenched with PB Blaster and waiting for a half hour. I had to lie under the car and kick the breaker bar to break them loose. I did get the both sides done, though, so I’m not too unhappy.

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    I ran out of time and won’t be able to finish this probably for a couple weeks, as I’m traveling. I did find a 96 Cobra hood (OEM) for $200. It’s pretty rough and is missing one scoop, but should be fine with a bit of work. It’s just butt ugly. I’ll post up a picture when I get a chance. I also bought a set of 94 Cobra wheels that look to be in really good shape. These are not the Cobra R’s, but the Cobra. Not everyone likes them, but I do. Plus everyone seems to have the Cobra R’s. These will look good and be different. I’ll also get some shots of them up, as well.
     
  12. Vettn71

    Vettn71 Member

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    Got everything together this past weekend. It went reasonably well - I guess. After filling and bleeding the system, I noticed a small leak on the low-pressure line. I planned on putting a new clamp on there, but when I pulled on the hose to get it off the fitting, the whole fitting pulled out of the pump. Someone must have broken off the fitting, and the remanufacturer “repaired” it. That was probably where the leak was from. I took that pump back and got another, making certain the pump and fitting were all one piece.

    I installed the new power steering pump, which by this time I was almost delirious from being tired (had flown in that morning from San Diego and left at 3:30AM). Installing the high-pressure line was a hat trick. Because I had tightened it down with the other pump, a new Teflon seal, which was about 75% of the size of the fitting. The directions said to put it in hot water to stretch it. After boiling it for 5 minutes in the micro-wave - nada. I took a pair of needle nose pliers and stretched it (very carefully) a bit. Then I took a socket that was just bigger than the fitting and forced the seal on. It went on easily. When I put the pulley on the new pump, I installed it BACKWARDS! I had no idea how to remove it from the pump, as the grooves were now on the back side of the pulley. I tried a large gear puller I had, but it started to deform the pulley, so I quit that. I took it to the local Goodyear shop and they used an impact hammer to remove it. I took that pump back and installed it correctly this time. I should know better than to work on this thing when I’m tired. I tend to make mistakes. BTW, anyone have a pulley?

    The next day (Sunday) after church, my youngest son and I bled the air out of the system again, installed the rear springs, set the car on several blocks of wood and tightened all the bushings on the control arms and sway bar. Yesterday (Monday) I took it to Goodyear to have it aligned and they informed me I would have to install camber plates. I had installed the Eibach Pro-Kit springs that were supposed to lower it 1.25”, which should not have required the use of a camber kit. My son’s ‘93 is lowered more and he didn’t need them, but I guess every car is different. I just bit the bullet and let them install them so I could get this thing on the road. This car has been an absolute spanking the whole way.

    This is a photo of how it looks now. Much better now without the black wheels and the stance is much better. Ride quality has not suffered and, of course the car handles and drives much better. Next step is to install a set of GT40P heads, Explorer intake and E303 cam. The heads and intake have been worked by my brother-in-law (Precision Engine Machine II in Sylvania, GA), which involved porting and polishing the heads, port matching everything, new springs and valve seals and resurfacing the valves with a three-angle valve job and clearing up the lower intake runners. Since this is an emissions state (DFW area in Texas) he is machining the ports in the heads for the AIR tubing. The car was just inspected and easily passed emissions testing. After it is 25 years old that requirement drops out, but they still do a visual inspection for all the emissions poop.

    Got everything together this past weekend. It went reasonably well - I guess. After filling and bleeding the system, I noticed a small leak on the low-pressure line. I planned on putting a new clamp on there, but when I pulled on the hose to get it off the fitting, the whole fitting pulled out of the pump. Someone must have broken off the fitting, and the remanufacturer “repaired” it. That was probably where the leak was from. I took that pump back and got another, making certain the pump and fitting were all one piece.

    I installed the new power steering pump, which by this time I was almost delirious from being tired (had flown in that morning from San Diego and left at 3:30AM). Installing the high-pressure line was a hat trick. Because I had tightened it down with the other pump, a new Teflon seal, which was about 75% of the size of the fitting. The directions said to put it in hot water to stretch it. After boiling it for 5 minutes in the micro-wave - nada. I took a pair of needle nose pliers and stretched it (very carefully) a bit. Then I took a socket that was just bigger than the fitting and forced the seal on. It went on easily. When I put the pulley on the new pump, I installed it BACKWARDS! I had no idea how to remove it from the pump, as the grooves were now on the back side of the pulley. I tried a large gear puller I had, but it started to deform the pulley, so I quit that. I took it to the local Goodyear shop and they used an impact hammer to remove it. I took that pump back and installed it correctly this time. I should know better than to work on this thing when I’m tired. I tend to make mistakes. BTW, anyone have a pulley?

    The next day (Sunday) after church, my youngest son and I bled the air out of the system again, installed the rear springs, set the car on several blocks of wood and tightened all the bushings on the control arms and sway bar. Yesterday (Monday) I took it to Goodyear to have it aligned and they informed me I would have to install camber plates. I had installed the Eibach Pro-Kit springs that were supposed to lower it 1.25”, which should not have required the use of a camber kit. My son’s ‘93 is lowered more and he didn’t need them, but I guess every car is different. I just bit the bullet and let them install them so I could get this thing on the road. This car has been an absolute spanking the whole way.

    [​IMG]
     
  13. Vettn71

    Vettn71 Member

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    Here's what the Cobra hood looks like. I was able to find a scoop to replace the missing one. They are pricey little devils. The 94-95 Cobra wheels are specific to those years, as the indents are gray, instead of black. My son wanted me to get the Cobra R wheels, but it seems every Mustang has these, so I wanted something a little different.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  14. Firefighter181

    Firefighter181 Active Member

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    Very nice! I personally like the wheel choice, that to me is one of the best looking wheels on the SN95's IMHO.

    I would like to someday switch to a cloth interior in my convertible. Leather makes me feel like I am in a sauna in the summer.
     
  15. Burninriverdiver

    Burninriverdiver Well-Known Member

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    Nice work so far, I'm a fan of those style cobra wheels! These cars can be a pain to work on with their age, but worth it in the end. Keep up the good work
     
  16. DavidBoren

    DavidBoren Active Member

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    Hey man, the hard work and long nights are what make these things worth it. You are making good progress, keep it up.

    The tire place you went to is wrong about the C/C plates. You can redrill the factory plates. Tyler has sportlines without iso's, and he didn't need aftermarket camber plates. That's lower than the pro-kit. But, like you said, every car is different.

    Before you paint that hood, you should stick a GT500 heat extraction vent in it like Alex and Dimitry have done.
     
  17. admiral

    admiral New Member

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    I had the same problem with the printed circuit board strips. I finally bit the bullet and bought a complete used unit and with the two units I now have a good functional unit. Even the speedometer and trip now meter work. It did provide me with several extra pieces but may need them later.
     
  18. KillNThrill24

    KillNThrill24 Legend

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    Awesome build going on here man. It's a shame that you got stuck with a lemon, but at least you're making the best of it. Keep up the good progress. And I know from experience, replacing a vert top sucks bad.
     
  19. Vettn71

    Vettn71 Member

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    I decided to upgrade the brakes on the Mustang this weekend. I went with a set of PBR calipers, ceramic pads and stainless steel brake hoses. At this time I’m leaving the rear brakes as they are. I did a Google search for “PBR Brake Upgrade” and found a number of helpful links. This was one of the best http://www.allfordmustangs.com/Detailed/2009.shtml. I used an angle grinder to shave the caliper mounting brackets as shown in the link. I test fitted them a couple times to make sure the fit was correct, then bolted them up. I installed the new brake lines on the caliper, then disconnected the old line and caliper from the hard line on the car. This reduced the loss of fluid to a minimum. I placed a copper washer on each die of the new banjo bolts that came with the stainless steel lines, tightened everything up and bled the air out of the system.

    I know a lot of people would say I should have gone with Cobra brakes or even upgrade to an aftermarket brake, but this is a daily driver that won’t see track time. If it did, I’d spend the money for the Cobra set up and get the 13” rotors. Below is a couple shots of the new brake setup. They work very well and definitely improved the braking of the car. The next photo is a comparison of the old calipers versus the new ones.

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    I also finally got rid of the EGR CEL that this car has had since I've owned it. I removed the right fender liner and replaced the EGR solenoid, then replaced the two lines to the EGR from the connector to the EGR valve. I'm fairly certain the issue was the two lines, as they literally fell apart taking them out. It's hard to say if they were broken before I removed them or broke during removal. Replacing the EGR solenoid was just insurance. With it being 20 years old, I didn't want to have another CEL. Next on the agenda will be a set of 3.55 gears. I bought a set of FRPP gears (the US-made ones, not theCHinese) and a FRPP install kit that has the nearings, shims and seals. I won't do this myself, as a local shop will do it for $250. It's worth that not to roll around on the garage floor for two days screwing with it.
     
  20. DKblue98GT

    DKblue98GT Well-Known Member

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    You are off to a good start. I like the color combo and I really like the Cobra hood and wheels.