Project: Ole Girl, 95 GT

gofastbobby

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Hey all lets talk about my mustang, it's a '95 GT, was automatic, now 5spd. The car is well optioned from the factory, ac, cruise, power windows, power locks, foglights, mach460 sound, leather seats etc. But many many miles and poor maintenance have faded or broken anything on this car that once made it nice.

Believe me, this thing is ugly as sin. I picked it up from a friend last year as it turned out to be too much of a project for his family. Honestly, some days when I look at the car, I agree with him. The interior is bad, all the leather seats are torn and need to be replaced. As far as I can tell the car has been hit on all sides. both sides of the car have been repainted at some point. The passenger door was replaced, why I don't know, with a manual window door/lock and then very poorly painted. There are dents on both of the quarter panels, scratches and peeling paint on both bumpers, chips and scratches on the hood and to top it all off the original paint that does remain is very faded.

So. Those of you with sharp eyes will notice this car has the wrong wheels on it. They are '05-later gt wheels, three of them silver in color, one gunmetal. The wheels have the wrong offset, the wrong tires and even one oddball mismatched tire. With this package the car is slower, an inch narrower, and sits an inch higher than stock.

If you are getting the impression by now that some previous owner mistakenly thought he was a mechanic, you are not alone. Let's talk "custom" sidepipe exhaust. Picture dude cutting off the end of the hpipe, clamping on some 2.5" exhaust tube with a 90 degree bend and out the side of the car right before the rear tire. All that custom exhaust work has been hung up with your trusty coat hanger and mechanics wire. Oddly, it sounds pretty good but definitely has to go.

Ok. From here I am just going to say it's been a struggle to get it fixed up and back to working order, as of today the car runs well and drives like a 155,000 mile mustang should. The car really is a completely different ride now, and I am happy with it. However, it is still a heavy and slow automatic transmission SN95.

I want the car to be a driver's car. I want to hop in the partially stripped interior and drive away feeling a balanced car with tuned suspension, appropriate power and a good raw feeling of the road.

It'll never be the prom queen at a car show for two reasons, it would take more effort and money than I possess, and because I don't enjoy a long meaningful embrace with other men.

I will autocross the car, and I will drive it around my hometown of Kalamazoo like a teenager with something to prove. It may occasionally go to the drag strip with me since I am right down the road from the very worthy US131 Motorsports Park. Even though I am close to a few road courses, I doubt it'll see much time on a track.

Ideally I would've liked to start with a cleaner no options GTS car. But I have this one now, so I am going to do my best with it.

I have broken down my future mods into three timeline based categories:

Short term: Lose weight, fix problems. Performance upgrades only as maintenance needs arise.

Not so short term: Add necessary mods to help the car turn, stop and perform better. Also in this time frame I'll add some budget minded suspension mods like subframe connectors, rear control arms, caster/camber plates and front control arm bushings.

Long term: Add power, swap to manual transmission, give the car the attitude it deserves.

So without making a long mustang story longer, I give you Ole Girl.

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Current mods:

3.73 gears. Installed last weekend. A well used and noisy set, but hopefully will last a solid year or so.
2 row all aluminum radiator, via ebay, for improved cooling. Plus the old one leaked.
"custom" side pipe exhaust (not by choice)
AC and Smog pump delete.

Very next mods:

Proper wheels/tires from a 99gt
Strip the excess weight from the trunk
Rear seat delete



So, what do you think? Am I headed in the right direction?
 

ElrodKTPQ_89

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I'd say you're definitely headed in the right direction! Like said before you have your work cut out but at least it seems the car is in the right hands to give it the revival it needs! Also noticed you're from Kalamazoo, I have a sister and brother in law from that area although I think they actually live in Portage now (I think that's right). I've been there once during warm weather and once during cold, I don't think I could live up there through the winter lol!
 

SLOW95GTS

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I love cars like these because its cheap, tlc needed, and has potential. Nice project, can't wait to see it done.
 

Burninriverdiver

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Looks like u have a good plan, I can relate to some of your issues. Once most of your problems are fixed, working on it will be a lot more fun
 

the5.ohh

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Sounds good so far. I had a set of 4.10s put in my 95 GT auto, huge kick in the ass. Actually had to adapt to the car a bit more lol. My buddy and I just installed a set of J&M Street Rear lower control arms last week, pain in the ass, but well worth it. Rear feels a decent amount more solid and feels like its together, not sloppy and all over the place like it was with the stock ones. Definitely recommend those. New swaybar endlinks and poly bushings for the front swaybar is a good upgrade, $23 off latemodelrestoration, with the endlinks and bushings. I also plan on swapping a stick into mine, the aode sucks LOL.
 

gofastbobby

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Thank you all for the replies and encouragement. Part of the maintenance was replacing bushings and end links on the sway bar. It made a huge difference. Tonight I swapped the wheels and WOW that made a great improvement too. I am sure the tire pressures were off, but having that extra width and being lower to the ground really helped. However, I noticed with the new wheels, I have more understeer than ever before. I'll get the pressures set right later and try it again. Plus with all the weight reduction happening in the car right now, I don't want to begin fiddling with the suspension yet.

Tonight I swapped the wheels as mentioned added 1/4" wheel spacers, stripped most of the trunk and pulled out the rear seat. The car is in desperate need of a cleaning, plus the parts store didn't have short lugnuts needed install the wheel center caps, so not many pics. Although I do have a pic of the parts pulled.


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Over the weekend I have to get 20 years of dirt, dog hair, and french fries out of the back of the car and the rest of it cleaned up. I am going to pull the rear inside panels and remove the rear seat belts, plus the wiring that's no longer needed in the back of the car. Once I get that I'll get to work on the rear seat delete. Lucky for me I ran in to some free aluminum sheeting recently, so I'll be making this one.

From there, I am going to work my way forward, pull the unneeded junk off the doors, add new door pin bushings and remove the radio from the car since all the speakers will be gone.

According to the weight reduction list thread, I have pulled about 175lbs from the car now. I'd like to see another hundred go away in the near future.
 

gofastbobby

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I forgot to mention, a 96 explorer 5.0 engine followed me home from work a couple nights ago. I found a helluva deal locally and snatched it up. I figure the heads and intake could be a good swap for Ole Girl.
 

gofastbobby

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Bit of an update. Over the summer I snagged some manual window regulators from a junkyard and matching door panels. Some bullets and dumps have been added to the exhaust. It sounds and looks infinitely better now.

Sometime this week the manual transmission swap should show up to my doorstep and subframe connectors should be here soon too.

Over the next few weekends I am going to pickup a hammers and wrench and thrash on the ole girl pretty hard. By springtime, I'll be jamming gears and burning rubber.

Pics coming soon.
 

mcglsr2

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I must say, I have enjoyed reading this thread so far. Looking forward to the pics! Your build intentions sound very similar to mine, and the shape of the starting car sounds about the same too :) I wish you luck!
 

gofastbobby

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Well guys, weather in Michigan can surprise, and that it has. We got about six inches of snow here this weekend and have maybe another foot on the way tomorrow. This is what it looked like as I loaded her on the dolly tonight.

I use my dad's garage, which is 80 miles east, for big projects like this. He has all the fun toys in it and is alway a huge help. As soon as the weather clears, I'm going to make a run for it.

7CF33207-E78C-41AA-8FB5-98CD88E99781_zps7y4svt04.jpg
 

gofastbobby

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Just fired it for the first time with the trans swap. Everything looks good so far. I have to get the console reinstalled, set the stops on the shifter, get the computer back in it's damned hole and wrap up the exhaust. Pics/video to come.

I ended up ordering an off road x-pipe since the factory hpipe was down. I have some bullet mufflers to follow the xpipe that are going to dump in front of the axle. Should sound pretty ok.

next item up,

1. install subframe connectors

2. remove power seat adjuster on drivers side, bolt seat to the floor.

3. put it away for the winter
 

gofastbobby

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Got the inside works done for the most part. Now I just need to finish the seat nonsense and the subframe connectors. The car, for the most part runs and shifts great. I have to set the adjuster on the clutch and stops on the shifter is all that's left from this project. That and I have a bit of a vacuum leak thats affecting the brakes. Figure it's something to do with the pedal swap.

D6936402-30EC-45D8-BCA2-1DA3F88B4ED5_zpslvsxosyw.jpg
 

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