2000 GT Salvage Build

KJ-00-GT

New Member
Joined
Aug 19, 2021
Messages
70
Reaction score
147
Thought I'd start a build thread on my car, I'll get it to where it is at now. I've already posted a couple of times in other threads but this is to keep it chronological in order, more for me but if anyone else gets any enjoyment from this that is great. I've done this before with a different car in a another forum and it helps me keep perspective on what I was thinking at the time.

I've been primarily a Chevy guy, owned 4 Camaro's and still working on my '69 RS that I've had for 30+ years. Now before I get flaming arrows my way I have always liked Mustangs. Back in the 70's my second car out of High School was a '67 Coupe straight 6 3spd, and then a '70 Mach 1 w/Shaker Scoop( Very fun car) after getting married in 1980 we got a '74 Mach 1. That one soured me on Fords, every week I had to fix something.

About three years ago my wife wanted a convertible Mustang, found a real nice 2002 V6 auto. Fun cruising car for her, this spring we upgraded the suspension some with poly bushed tubular rear control arms and lowering springs. Wow made the car a lot more fun to drive. I decided I wanted 99-04 GT coupe (I'm not big on convertibles), 5spd. Something cheap that I could build for fun as cheap as possible and maybe at some point auto cross or a track day. The end of July 2021 I found 2000 GT 5spd salvage title car that is all stock unmolested, but didn't run because needed fuel pump, bent axle from crash, no brakes. I bought it and the guy towed it to my house.

History of the car is original owner till Oct 2013 when it was crashed and totaled by his insurance company. CoPart got the car Dec. 2013 and sold at auction in Oct. of 2014 to the guy I bought it from. He never did anything with the car other then collect some parts for it to be a father/ son project, I didn't want to buy his parts because I didn't know what was with the car yet. It sat for all this time outside under a tree, had a tarp on for some of the time, he'd start it every once in awhile till the fuel pump quit working at some point just sitting .The paint started flaking off after the tarp wasn't on it and it had crusty dirty tree sap all over it when I looked at it.

Some pics of the car when I looked at it.

IMG_3714.JPG

IMG_3721.JPG

Interior smelled like a mouse hotel

IMG_3726.JPG

After getting it home a quick wash because we were under a watering ban last summer I couldn't do a thorough cleaning or pressure wash.

IMG_3724.JPG
The crashed side.
IMG_3725.JPG

Wife's car.
IMG_3693.JPG
 
Last edited:
OP
OP
KJ-00-GT

KJ-00-GT

New Member
Joined
Aug 19, 2021
Messages
70
Reaction score
147
All progress on the car was done in stages before moving on to the next problem to see if it was worth going further and putting more money into the next repair. First order of businesses was to get it running, I'd only heard it start and run for a few seconds on starting spray when I was looking at it. Confirmed that the pump was indeed bad. Dropped the tank and replaced the fuel pump assembly and when I went to reinstall the tank found out the fuel filler neck was completely rotted out, crumbled in my hand. Thus began the theme for the car, fix one thing to find more wrong. After getting the tank back in added a couple gallons of gas and car started right up and idle great, no funny noises, big relief.

IMG_3748.JPG

Next step was replacing the "Bent" rear driver side axle because the drivers rear brake was scaping, in the end I don't know that it was actually bent( More on that later) brakes were also not really working. So bought new rear calipers/ rotors and upgraded a little.

IMG_3744.JPG

IMG_3752.JPG
 
Last edited:

07GtS197

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 16, 2015
Messages
2,375
Reaction score
801
Location
Naples, Fl
Looks pretty good for a car that’s been sitting for years. It reminds me of my first gt I had in high school. It looked exactly the same interior and exterior and was also a 2000. Hopefully you don’t find too much else wrong with it.
 
OP
OP
KJ-00-GT

KJ-00-GT

New Member
Joined
Aug 19, 2021
Messages
70
Reaction score
147
At this point I had not driven the car yet and had only moved a few feet under its own power. After getting the rear brakes done I took it for a short drive around the block to see if the motor worked under load and the clutch/ transmission worked. They did and the motor felt good.

The car came with 3 bald tires, down to the cord bald and 1 worn out. My wife's car needed new tires, so replaced hers and put the old ones on my rims her old tires were at least good enough to drive it around. Also painted the crappy looking rims.

Original tire. These were not what came on the car when the guy bought it from CoPart, he bought these from a junkyard just for the rims.
IMG_3732.JPG

Decided to try my hand at fixing the broken up front bumper cover instead of buying new one. What I started with, results later.

IMG_3756.JPG
IMG_3783.JPG

I tried to get the front brakes working but one caliper was very stiff and the other froze up, so new brakes for the front and matching the back. Waiting for parts.

IMG_3772.JPG

While waiting for new front brakes to arrive I went to tackle the issue with the drivers side new rear brake. There was a drag back there making it very hard to rotate the wheel by hand when both are jacked up. The night before I went after trying to release more parking brake cable thinking it was sticking it on and it was, so after freeing up the rusty hand brake inside the center console I improved the cable slack. Still rear wheel sticking, I had noticed with the new rotors and brake pads that the drivers side rub marks even with the very limited moving around of the car it was shiny at the top 1/2 inch of the rotor unlike the passenger side which was even. So taking the brakes back off the driver side I seen the issue, the caliper metal at the top was rubbing on the top inside of the rotor pressing against it. Further investigation confirmed my fear that the caliper bracket adaptor that bolts to the end of the axle tube was bent at a angle from the crash.

The part is discontinued from Ford and looks like no aftermarket replacements except dual caliper mount or Cobra brakes, both expensive. But I did find a pair of originals used on eBay for $80 shipped, so ordered those. Now had to reverse what I did to put the new axle in back in the beginning of this adventure. My wife was not happy and neither am I, hers is the money it keeps costing and me the frustration of it not even drivable yet. The New brakes and flanges showed up on the same day, tackled the flange first. Had to remove the new axel again and drain the diff again. Comparing the new mount plate to the one the car it was bent in at the bottom

Then found out unfortunately the bolt flange for the plate welded to the axel was also bent. Beat the axle flange back to straight as best I could and used a washer as spacer to get the caliper mount plate bolted on straight. No more brake rubbing and can spin the rear wheels by hand when on the jack stands. It may still wear those brake pads a little faster.

New front brakes
IMG_3821.JPG


Now for the next big hurtle. After getting the car home and working on it I begin to realize that the drivers side front frame was not right, the top of the shock tower was pushed in towards the engine, you can see it in the second pic I posted. The front fender was bent also. I made arrangements with a body shop that has done work for me in the past to look at it and determine if it's fixable.

On the way to body shop jail.
IMG_3811.JPG

I was told that the top of the shock tower was pushed in an inch and half plus the drivers side frame rail at the front was up an inch. They had it for about 3 weeks, it was just a side project to try and keep the cost down. They wanted a factory fender to make sure things were lined back up, got it back with a red fender.

IMG_3813.JPG
 
Last edited:
OP
OP
KJ-00-GT

KJ-00-GT

New Member
Joined
Aug 19, 2021
Messages
70
Reaction score
147
The front bumper cover I plastic welded and plastic epoxied back together, used bumper cover bondo on it to smooth out with lots of sanding. Not perfect but way cheaper then a replacement one and turns out his one is a Keystone replacement one so must be from another accident repair.

IMG_3832.JPG

After getting it back from the body shop they were worried about keeping things in place from their pulling. I had bought a strut tower brace for my wife's car so decided to use it on my car instead.
IMG_3814.JPG

After replacing the bent driver side tie rod and getting the frame pulled into alignment I needed to get the front end aligned or at least looked at. Fortunately for me my neighbor across the street is mechanic who has helped my a ton over the years and on this car too. So drove it down to his shop on a Saturday and just needed a tweak to get the toe right. Will do the full alignment this spring after suspension upgrades. While on the rack it was a good time to look fully under the car. The car has no rust other then some surface rust in spots from sitting outside. Also in talking to the body shop they had not checked to see if the whole car was square, so I took a bunch of measurements while under it and looks like I'm ok.

IMG_3837.JPG
IMG_3858.JPG

So the last big hurtle that was left is the title I got with the car was stamped salvage and "Needs Inspection". I went to the DMV, they processed the title and gave me new license plates. The lady told me I'd either get my title or letter in the mail in a few weeks saying still needs inspection. You can guess what I got, the letter. So back when the car was totaled in 2013 it still had a value over $7k and that is why it needed inspection according to the state, no one did anything about the car till I bought it. I made a appointment as soon as could get for December 16th and had to wait a month. Of course no weather issues up till the day before ,we got a small snow storm and it was a 72 mile drive round trip to the inspection station. The car was "Legal" with the new license plates so I drove it in lieu of towing it. Car drove fine, cruise works, has heat, and they passed it, was just a paper work formality more or less at this point.

To get it ready for this first time big drive I had to address another problem. The lower radiator core support bottom was just crumbly rotted.
IMG_3766.JPG

I did not trust it keep things from flexing down low on the frame I just had pulled into shape. After weighing many options decided to go the cheap easy route and welded braces across it and tied into the solid parts of the core support. I can change this if I want to later on.

IMG_3877.JPG
IMG_3880.JPG
 

Attachments

  • IMG_3879.JPG
    IMG_3879.JPG
    243.6 KB · Views: 8
  • IMG_3877.JPG
    IMG_3877.JPG
    165.6 KB · Views: 8
Last edited:
OP
OP
KJ-00-GT

KJ-00-GT

New Member
Joined
Aug 19, 2021
Messages
70
Reaction score
147
I should mention that all along I've also been cleaning the interior and removing all the mouse nest material, crap and seeds that were inside the car, trunk and engine compartment. The car doesn't smell any more! Even found mouse nest material stuffed into the clutch fork cover and into the bellhousing when I was investigating the stiff clutch, They even chewed the wires to the rear O2 sensors, had to replace those.

I'm not trying to restore this back to a perfect car. It will never be a show car but I will take it to shows. My over all goals for the car are the same as for my '69 Camaro, safe and reliable, handle good, look good and lastly more power.

After all this I drove it to work for the first time on the last good day before winter fully set in.

IMG_3854.JPG

Then tucked away for the winter.

IMG_3849.JPG

I have heat out in the shop so have done a few thing this winter. I'm retiring end of February and have been buying things for the car beforehand while I'm still getting a paycheck. I'm finally at the point of having a functioning car and I can start adding the fun stuff that I wanted to do before this turned into much bigger project then I had thought it would be. In the first post I had said I'm trying to do this as cheap as possible, I'm fully aware there are better parts and better ways to do things and unfortunately the unforeseen frame straightening ate up a big chunk of my budget for the car. I have rebuilt the car to be now drivable mostly from buying the parts on Amazon, the performance fun stuff is going to be mostly from eBay and I'm doing the body work and paint myself.

So with that a few fun goodies.

Yes the cheap eBay Maxspeedingrods adjustable coilovers, I've watched all the video's and read lots of forums so I know what I bought. I've prepared them the best I can with the advice from others and hopefully they will work for me, I'm not slamming the car, only doing a 2 inch or less drop.

IMG_3892.JPG

New short shifter and I just got the new seats I ordered but don't have a pic of them. More stuff to come and I'll be adding to this as I go.

IMG_3895.JPG
 
Last edited:
Joined
Apr 3, 2019
Messages
224
Reaction score
199
In your first post, you mentioned that you might want to use the car for autocross at some point. If you ever have any questions about autocross mods, I'm always happy to help. You might also want to check out my YouTube channel. My videos cover all the secrets I've learned about setting these cars up for autocross, driving tips, and autocross-tested performance parts reviews.

 

Snorky

Active Member
Joined
Feb 10, 2022
Messages
435
Reaction score
362
Sick project, hate how they sometimes snowball. Haha either eay it eill be a lot of fun when you get into the next few stages.
 
OP
OP
KJ-00-GT

KJ-00-GT

New Member
Joined
Aug 19, 2021
Messages
70
Reaction score
147
In your first post, you mentioned that you might want to use the car for autocross at some point. If you ever have any questions about autocross mods, I'm always happy to help. You might also want to check out my YouTube channel. My videos cover all the secrets I've learned about setting these cars up for autocross, driving tips, and autocross-tested performance parts reviews.

Thank you. I found your channel awhile back and have been watching a bunch of them, your latest video last night. Excellent content and enjoy your style of videos.
 
OP
OP
KJ-00-GT

KJ-00-GT

New Member
Joined
Aug 19, 2021
Messages
70
Reaction score
147
So have been doing some more out in the shop while it is still snow and cold outside in Minnesota.

First up the third brake light was sun damaged and looking bad, figured I would have to replace it. So what the heck I'll try to save it by polishing it. First pic is when I had just sanded it a little with 600, it looked about that bad without the sanding.

IMG_3887.JPG

After is way better than I was expecting and may not replace it for now.
IMG_3932.JPG

Should have shown the prepped front coilover instead the just unboxed one, added a bigger dust boot and moved the bumper to the top instead of constantly sliding up and down at the bottom. Everything is thoroughly greased on the top bearing and the top hat along with the spring perch.
IMG_3934.JPG

And tonight's project was white face gauge overlays for the dash. Not to hard after watching a video but hard to install perfect, hopefully drying out the moisture from installation will take a few of the imperfections out. And I managed to put some fine scratches on the speedo face sticker.
IMG_3936.JPG
IMG_3937.JPG

More stuff is on the way and should be here this week.
 
Last edited:

OpalFrostGT

Active Member
Joined
Oct 30, 2021
Messages
276
Reaction score
198
Location
Whitney,TX
So have been doing some more out in the shop while it is still snow and cold outside in Minnesota.

First up the third brake light was sun damaged and looking bad, figured I would have to replace it. So what the heck I'll try to save it by polishing it. First pic is when I had just sanded it a little with 600, it looked about that bad without the sanding.

View attachment 15548

After is way better than I was expecting and may not replace it for now.
View attachment 15549

Should have shown the prepped front coilover instead the just unboxed one, added a bigger dust boot and moved the bumper to the top instead of constantly sliding up and down at the bottom. Everything is thoroughly greased on the top bearing and the top hat along with the spring perch.
View attachment 15550

And tonight's project was white face gauge overlays for the dash. Not to hard after watching a video but hard to install perfect, hopefully drying out the moisture from installation will take a few of the imperfections out. And I managed to put some fine scratches on the speedo face sticker.
View attachment 15551
View attachment 15552

More stuff is on the way and should be here this week.
This is one project that I want to do for our Gt convertible! Looks very nice!
 
OP
OP
KJ-00-GT

KJ-00-GT

New Member
Joined
Aug 19, 2021
Messages
70
Reaction score
147
Of course I couldn't finish the instrument panel pics without this pic. I had already changed the bulbs to LED. I wanted to do some kind of carbon fiber wrap in this area but still figuring out what and how I want to do it.
IMG_3912.JPG
 

07GtS197

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 16, 2015
Messages
2,375
Reaction score
801
Location
Naples, Fl
Looks good. My 02 has them as well but someone didn’t do a great job when installing them as there are imperfections that you can see when it’s lit up. Also mine glow purple around the base of the needles lol.
 

OpalFrostGT

Active Member
Joined
Oct 30, 2021
Messages
276
Reaction score
198
Location
Whitney,TX
KJ-00-GT,
why is the RED THEFT light on? If that is your OBD code light, did you turn it off with an OBDII scan tool? Just curious because I am getting ready to buy an OBDII scan tool.
 

Latest posts

Forum statistics

Threads
76,398
Messages
1,476,547
Members
14,228
Latest member
5.0rnella

Members online

Top