200,000 mile GT build

Akurma

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This is always the issue, even the simplest job has some unforeseen thing that happens no matter how careful you are. That being said, it looks like you are making good progress and getting things knocked off the list. Fingers crossed the frame rail doesn't hurt the wallet too bad.

Fingers crossed! Im expecting somewhere around the two grand area unfortunately. Simply because they dont make patch panels for these yet so it will be a labor intensive job. I might try and find a car around me with a good rear end and cut the sections I need out but even that is proving difficult as everything around here is in similar shape
 

Akurma

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Productive last couple weekends. Finished up some odds and ends on the motor before lowering it in place. Lowered in into the car this weekend without a single hitch, it was easy... too easy. I did have to take the front bumper and crash bar off as my engine hoist didn't have long enough legs to allow me to get the motor far enough into the engine bay, oh well only took 20 minutes.

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Today I noticed that when I was crawling under it tightening the motor mount bolts that I noticed the oil pan is resting completely on the steering rack. Even when I lift the motor up a bit that passenger side is still on it and the driver is of the pan has only about an 1/8" inch of clearance. Definitely not enough.

I am conflicted on what I should do. I installed offset rack bushings and I know they raise the rack a bit. I could swap them out for regular bushings to lower the rack back to the stock position but I dont want to upset the steering geometry with the car being lowered and on coil overs up front. OR I could order some motor mount spacers to raise the engine up a bit. UPR makes them in 1/4" & 3/8". I just don't know if even the 3/8" spacer would raise it up enough.

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07GtS197

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I’d try the easier route first and try new bushings. Moving the rack will be fine. I’ve ran steeda sports on my 02 with no handling issues. My 00 has them too and it’s also fine. What kind of motor mounts do you have? Poly mounts will lower the engine too.
 

weendoggy

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It looks like you have offset bushings in your rack and that is bringing the rack upward (toward the pan). Is your front geometry requiring you to have the rack offset?
 

Akurma

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I’d try the easier route first and try new bushings. Moving the rack will be fine. I’ve ran steeda sports on my 02 with no handling issues. My 00 has them too and it’s also fine. What kind of motor mounts do you have? Poly mounts will lower the engine too.

They are Energy Suspension Poly Mounts. I had no idea that they would lower the engine. I did order a set of regular placement poly rack bushings that'll be here tomorrow. I'll swap them out and see if they help. If not then I'll get spacers.
 

Akurma

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It looks like you have offset bushings in your rack and that is bringing the rack upward (toward the pan). Is your front geometry requiring you to have the rack offset?
Yes I have offset poly bushings installed now. From the research I have done, It is recommended to run offset bushings when you lower the car. See as I have the MM coil over kit up from I figured they would be a good idea
 

weendoggy

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Yes I have offset poly bushings installed now. From the research I have done, It is recommended to run offset bushings when you lower the car. See as I have the MM coil over kit up from I figured they would be a good idea
I have a MM "K" member and a Canton pan with my rack lowered (offset) and I have about 1/2" between the rack and pan. That's using Energy Suspension poly mounts as well. Not sure why you have an issue.
 

07GtS197

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If you do have steering geometry issues I’d suggest adjustable ball joints over offset bushings. I think part of the issue might be quality control.
 

Akurma

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I have a MM "K" member and a Canton pan with my rack lowered (offset) and I have about 1/2" between the rack and pan. That's using Energy Suspension poly mounts as well. Not sure why you have an issue.

I'm running a UPR K member so maybe that's the difference? Out of curiosity, could I just flip the current offset bushings I have installed now? So instead of raising the rack they'll lower it? Or would that cause other issue down the road
 

weendoggy

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I'm running a UPR K member so maybe that's the difference? Out of curiosity, could I just flip the current offset bushings I have installed now? So instead of raising the rack they'll lower it? Or would that cause other issue down the road
I doubt it would cause a problem later. However, you can easily flip your bushings to see if you can clear the pan. If not, well, then you have issues. The biggest hurdle in the rack/tie rod is trying to keep it as parallel as possible to the LCA. It won't hurt to try. You'll have to set the toe again when done.
 

Akurma

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Unfortunately had a big setback today. I have absolutely no idea how or when it exactly started but somehow and sometime between last weekend when I put the engine back in place, to this afternoon the proportion valve/distribution block started leaking. The brakes have been bled for months now without a single issue or leak.

I noticed this while I was crawling under the car to swap out the rack bushings. I could see the shock tower and noticed something was hanging off of it. I took a closer look and then I realized what it was. The paint and seam sealer on the driver side shock tower is peeling away and has already started to rust! It even somehow managed to eat away the bed liner that I put in the wheel well area as well!?!

I checked and none of the brake lines are leaking or show even the slightest hint of being wet/damp. The Master Cylinder is brand new and is bone dry at all connections. the only spot that is a little damp is where the mounting bracket for the actual block is. I guess there is some sort of seal or gasket that goes there and it just happened to pick now to start leaking?


I'm so frustrated.

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lwarrior1016

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Oh man, I am so sorry to see this. That sucks so bad. The rust under there looks like it’s been there a while though. Was this a spot that was replaced or is that old metal?
 

Akurma

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Oh man, I am so sorry to see this. That sucks so bad. The rust under there looks like it’s been there a while though. Was this a spot that was replaced or is that old metal?

Yeah it is unfortunately the fresh metal that I recently replaced. Won't know how back it is until i start sanding the paint back
 

ttocs

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The sealer/bed liner seems really thick which can cause problems. Looks like a little rust just got behind it from the holes above it and worked it off.
 

Akurma

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Pulled the motor back out tonight and unbolt the block from the strut tower. Figured out where it started leaking, just don't really know how. If you look closely at the photos below you can see that the top brake line looks to be brownish around the fitting. It leaked just enough to flow down to the bracket that attaches to the strut tower and just saturate the bracket. Thus eating its way through the paint. It must have really saturated that bracket area considering the inside of the wheel well is also bubbling. My only assumption is that maybe when I was lowering the engine in place that I somehow pulled on that line just enough to tweak the position of it and allow it to start leaking? While it is possible, I find this highly unlikely as I was extremely careful not to catch/scratch anything while lowering it in and I had a second pair of eyes watching things. Either way, only thing I know for sure is its just bad luck.. could be worse, could have happened after the car was all finished.

The real shitty part is if you look at the last photo, you can see a steady drip line in the paint down the frame rail and it ends where the K-Member meets the bottom of the rail. You can see rust has already started to form on the very outside edge... Looks like I have to drop the front suspension and take the K-member out all over again.

For peace of mind I ordered a new (low mileage used one since these are discontinued.) proportion valve/block and some brake lines that will be here this weekend if shipping is accurate. In the mean time I have pulled the unit away from the strut tower and wrapped it in a rag. This weekend I will start the sanding process and probably paint. Luckily its down low enough that it shouldn't be noticeable if its a shade off.

On the plus side, I have easy access to the rack bushings!

Onward and upwards I guess

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07GtS197

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Are those factory connections? I can see Teflon tape in there too so you did it right. My guess would be the tolerances of the threads was off just a tiny bit allowing space between the valve and threads for fluid to leak out given enough pressure.
 

Akurma

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Chipping away on this thing. Cleaned up the ruined paint on the strut tower and painted it. It's not perfect but it was the closest color I could find without having to special order an entire gallon, it's down low enough that I dont think you'll be able to see it once the motor is in place. Luckily the rust minimal and just surface rust. I apologies for the photo, had to take them at weird angles due to the tight space.

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Dropped the driver side of the K-Member just enough to peek under and see if any brake fluid made its way there. Sure enough it had, yet shockingly it didn't mess up any of the paint on either the bottom of the rail or the K-member. Cleaned it off the best I could and will bolt it back in place. Then chipped the bed liner away from the inside of the wheel well.

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Akurma

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Another productive weekend! Didn't take as many pictures as I simply just forgot lol

The shims got delivered, along with some tools that I was waiting for. Got the brake lines repaired and tripled checked for leaks. set the motor back in place and was going to throw the trans in as well, but ran out of time. plan to throw the trans in sometime this week. in the mean time i replaced the pivot stud, clutch fork and throw out bearing.

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Also checked out an 85' Foxbody that was down the street. I've always wanted a fox, i mean who hasn't? This one was local enough that I just had to check it out. It's an 85 LX with a 5.0 & a 5 speed, last year of the carbureted 5.0's. Needs a lot of exterior work to get it looking nice, the car wouldn't start as It didn't have any gas but it cranked nicely. The car was surprisingly rust free... well with the exception of strut tower rust on the driver side. I don't think I have it in me to do another strut tower so soon. It's a shame the car was super clean otherwise and I probably would have picked it up if it weren't for that because the rest of the car was mint and honestly cleaner underneath than my 99 GT!

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07GtS197

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It does look like a good project but you dodged a bullet with that one. It looks like more than just the strut tower is rusted out. That would need a lot of body work.
 

Akurma

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Sometimes you just can't win

Had time to install the trans today so I jacked the car up lugged the trans, flywheel and clutch kit under the car and went to work. I replaced the Pilot bearing with the high load ford racing bearing (Part#M-7600-C,) the one with the larger needle bearings. It was cheap and needed to be replaced anyways. Then it was onto the flywheel. Now I've had this motor build in my mind for a long time now and have been accumulating parts over the years. If i saw a good deal or sale on something I wanted I would order it and stash it away. Well that Might have come back to bite me today. The flywheel is a brand new Spec Lightweight aluminum flywheel for 8 bolt cranks (Part#SF84A.) Perfect, I have an 8 bolt Kellogg crank no need to worry.. or so I thought. Went to install the flywheel and finger tighten the all bolts in place before torqueing them. when I realized that two of the eight bolts just wouldn't thread in place and just spin. Then I realize that two of the bolt holes are drilled off center. Confused I walked out and grab my old clutch and flywheel setup and set them on top of each other. The spec unit face down and the old Ford flywheel on top of it so the to bolt areas as sitting flush with each other. I line up to the two smaller threaded holes as alignment guides... and sure enough, two of the bolt holes are off center from the OEM Ford unit. I'm so beyond annoyed with this car and entire project, seems every time I try to get work done, it just fights me every step of the way. Might just have to pour some oil down the cylinders, throw a cover on it and let it sit for a while until I find the motivation to work on it again. Fucking project cars am I right lol?

In the mean time, I have sent an email out to SPEC to see if they'll do anything, fingers crossed

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