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Fixing up a 2005 Mustang GT!!

 
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Old 06-21-2019, 09:21 PM
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Thumbs up Fixing up a 2005 Mustang GT!!

This car has lived a somewhat hard life, but looks like it should fix up fairly easily. Although the input shaft bearing has a pretty bad whine when cold...

It's logged a P0022 and says that a P0175 is pending. The battery light is on and the warning center says to check the charging system. So I did, and it's there... It was giving me about 14.1 at an idle. There is also an airbag light on. Seller says that it was in for a recall for them or something? I'm thinking it's a bad/corroded connection somewhere. And the Check Engine Light is on due to the codes.

I guess I'll try to find some decent Motorcraft (only) Variable Cam Timing solenoids at the junk yard, since it's not too uncommon to find fresh parts on some of the vehicles there. Then I'll have to determine if my cam phasers are OK. I need to look and see what's doin' in there to see what's actually needed. I was standing next to the car when the engine was started for the first time in a few months, and thought I heard some chain-slap, but it doesn't seem to be doing that now - at least from the driver's seat. Of course what it really needs is a full $482 timing set... But I'd like to see if I can band-aid it back to its proper functioning state.

The rest is all bodywork, other than the driver's seat needs one seam restitched.















I'm going to get started on the body work first, and trying to fix the electrical problems. Water is getting in the trunk too, so I need to find that breech...
 
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Old 06-22-2019, 05:42 AM
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This could be a fun project but not for the lighthearted or the fella who's cash strapped.
 
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Old 06-22-2019, 05:43 AM
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Personally I'd get all the mechanical issues sorted out first then tackle the body work.

It doesn't look that bad though---lots or little things to take care of but not like any part of the unit body has been damaged.

Will you keep that color or go with something else?
 
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Old 06-22-2019, 10:52 AM
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Originally Posted by tseekins View Post
This could be a fun project but not for the lighthearted or the fella who's cash strapped.
As far as cosmetics go, it's not going to take a whole lot of money to get it looking nice. I just bought a Ford OEM bumper cover off of Ebay for $80 - but with $100 shipping... Other than some Bondo, primer, and paint, I think the bumper is the only expense, besides having a seam restitched on the driver's seat. If I can restore function to the VCT system with junk-yard OEM parts, that will be way cheap too. For paint, I think I'll just get some of those custom spray cans from the paint and body supply place.

Originally Posted by JWA View Post
Personally I'd get all the mechanical issues sorted out first then tackle the body work.

It doesn't look that bad though---lots or little things to take care of but not like any part of the unit body has been damaged.

Will you keep that color or go with something else?
The body work will be cheap, and I won't be driving this car for a while, so I'll probably leave the engine be for a while.
I'll almost certainly keep it silver. Just like my '88 GT, it has a red interior which limits your choices on outside body color to pretty much just black, white, silver, or red....
 
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Old 06-22-2019, 11:55 PM
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And don't think I'm going to Bondo the dents as they are. I will be at least giving them some hammer action, but would like to pick up a stud welder to bring them back to where the Bondo is at a thin minimum - like on the bottom rear of the right rear quarter, where that curved section is kind of folded inward, I want to pull that back into shape, although I guess I may end up pushing it from behind - I hope that rear bumper cover is easy to remove...

It might be a little while before I really dig in on it, as I still owe $300 on it, and the seller is a friend who is letting me pay as I earn the cash, rather than dipping into savings... But I've been working more too. Plus I have a new top for my '88, which I need to put on. The '05 should be a flipper, but I'd almost kick the '88 down the road to its next owner, and just keep the '05 for my hot rod. I'm not driving it, and won't register it or insure it for quite a while. Once I can drive it on the road is probably when the mechanical fun starts.

The S197 makes a Fox Body seem like Fred Flintstone's car... It's like comparing a 1960 Falcon to a 1977 Torino Elite!
 
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Old 06-23-2019, 10:44 AM
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Glad to hear you'll work the metal and resist that urge to do a quickie used car repair. As a former body shop owner I'd refuse most of that type work as it's too difficult having skilled staff switch between high quality and "git 'er done.........."---we catered more to the car aficionado crowd than Joe Sixpack or the insurance repairs.

Keep us up to date on this one---it looks to be a nice side project.
 
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Old 06-30-2019, 11:15 PM
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I paid the car off Thursday, so I should get the title this week. I also ordered and received a used OEM front bumper cover off of fleabay. I wasn't quite ready to buy, but one popped up with no tears and just a slight dent, which a heat gun can fix. The others I'd been looking at were all the same price, $80 + $100 shipping, but had small tears, so I jumped right on that. It came via UPS wrapped in a heavy bed-sheet type cloth, with plastic shrink-wrapped around that. But it hadn't been folded or further damaged, so I guess that's what you get for $100 - probably a little extra-careful handling.


90% of the damage is to the paint, and yes, it was this way in the Ebay listing:

You can see where it was hit on the bumper portion of the cover, and that it created a high spot there in front of the headlight opening where the paint is cracked:





Also one of my friends in the neighborhood stopped by to check out the '05, and expressed interest when I said that I'd probably rather keep the '05 than the Fox body. He's a MOPAR guy who sold a late model Challenger to buy a new Boss 302 which he still has. But he's got at least five other cars... Nonetheless, I could see the "man, I wonder if I can make room for that car" gears were turning in his head.

So I will probably move the '05 behind the house this week so my licensed and insured rides have easy access to the street, and then I can work on it whenever I want.
 
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Old 07-08-2019, 02:58 AM
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Haven't done anything to the car, other than reset the passenger side power window so that it drops a half an inch when the door is opened and goes back all the way up when the door is closed. The seller reset the driver side, under my direction, when he drove it over here, and restored its function. I would've thought that it would've taken care of the passenger side as well, but no. Resetting them is as simple as putting the window all the way down and keeping the button held down for another two seconds after the window is all the way down. Then you put the window back up and keep the button held up for two seconds after the window is all the way up. And that's it.

So after resetting the passenger side and having both sides working properly, the airbag light seems to have stopped staying on! I love those nearly effortless fixes!
 
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Old 07-11-2019, 04:59 PM
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Check Charging System warning

A few days ago I moved the '05 to the back of my driveway so I could get my other cars out, and I pulled the battery out of it and put it back in my '88 GT.
Today I went out there with a cup of water with baking soda mixed in it, and cleaned the negative battery cable. I also unbolted the battery tray and took it out and cleaned it.
And then I grabbed the battery out of my F150 (it's easier to remove and put back) and put it in the '05, and started it up. Sure enough, after a moment of idling, there was a beep, and then the battery light came on along with a "Check Charging System" warning on the message center. I hadn't expected cleaning the cable to work... But I did see that the battery light was on with the key on, and then went out after starting the engine, which is what it's supposed to do.

I read up on the condition last night, and so I tried a few other things. While it was idling, I wiggled the battery ground on the passenger side shock tower along with the charge wire. I wiggled the charge at both ends, the positive terminal and as close as I could get to the alternator itself, and the battery light went out and the warning message went away!!!

So then I unbolted the ground from the shock tower and sanded the paint away under the terminal, and I sanded the bottom of the terminal too. Then I added some no-ox grease and put it back together. The charge and battery warnings appeared again. This time I wiggled that ground cable and the warnings remained. Then I wiggled the charge cable at the battery terminal, and the warnings remained. But next I wiggled the charge wire near the alternator, and went around and looked, and the warnings were gone!!! I let it idle and the warnings came back, so I tried wiggling it again, and this time I heard the idle come up a little, and when I checked, the warnings were gone. I waited for them to come back and then I did the wiggle at the alternator end one more time with the same results.
I was happy enough with that, and pulled the battery out and went in for the day. I'll need to pull the alternator, and I'm guessing that I'll find that the charging cable is loose. The alt is a little buried on these three-valvers, requiring removing the throttle body, but that's no biggie.

That's nearly it for warning lights!! The airbag light is staying off since I reset the power windows, and once the charge cable issue is corrected, I'm guessing that there won't be any more charging system warnings or battery lights. Of course I will have to address my VCT issues or the CEL will come on once the engine warms up, but I'm taking it pretty easy with this car - I still have to get the title! We'll probably do that on Monday, as it's the seller's birthday today.

This so far is reminding me of the '92 GT I bought back in 2003. I was stoked that there was no Check Engine Light when it ran, but then I checked, and the CEL didn't come on with the key on and engine off. I pulled the cluster, and sure enough some hack had removed the bulb. "Hack" is being generous. The CEL stayed on like I thought it would, so I pulled codes and fixed all but two. There had been codes for the EVR and the TAB/TAD solenoids, along with the codes that come with those codes, but I got it all fixed.
But that damned CEL would come on and stay on and I had a Always Lean codes on both cylinder banks. It took me another few months of checking things out, but I finally narrowed it down to some hack, probably a distracted hack. The dip-crap had left the bolt loose which secures the O2 sensor harness ground to the rear of the driver side cylinder head. Of course the last thing I checked... I tightened that ground bolt and started the engine and I could immediately hear the idle smooth out, as the O2s finally could get their jobs done, and compensate for the full aftermarket exhaust that car had. The computer was stuck in open loop and couldn't learn the exhaust, and as a result made the car run lean and hotter. After this fix, that car never burned another spark plug boot again!
I'm sure someone had changed the computer chasing that problem, as it had an E9Zx 1989 computer with two digit error codes, rather than the three digit code F2 computer which a 1992 should've had. That E9 A9L now lives in my '88 GT, which has been converted to Mass Air - and with all of the extra connections for VSS and Fuel Pump Monitor ETC.


So maybe tomorrow I'll go out there and try pulling that alternator out of there and see what's up with it... I know the car has had at least one engine change, and I'd think that they would leave the charge cable with the engine since you have to dig out the alternator to get to it, but I suppose the cable could've been cut in the donor car, requiring them to use the one in my car - requiring them to dig out the alternator to secure the cable - I could see someone saying "F" it and trying to shortcut that step. I suspect that a phone rang and distracted whoever was tightening that O2 harness ground bolt on my old '92...
 
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Old 07-12-2019, 05:41 AM
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Sometimes a single cable or wire issue stops us in our tracks---hoping you get all this sorted out.
 
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Old 07-12-2019, 04:44 PM
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Originally Posted by JWA View Post
Sometimes a single cable or wire issue stops us in our tracks---hoping you get all this sorted out.
I'm confident I will.

And my advice to anyone restoring a car is to get every accessory working before taking the car apart, that way you know that if something doesn't work after the car goes back together, that the cause of the fault stems from your resto work. That said, I'm not going to take this car apart much.

Today I went out there and removed the air inlet tube, the throttle body, and then the alternator.

You can see how the alternator is buried:


To remove the throttle body, I simply disconnected the TPS, and left the throttle 'linkage' wiring connected, and laid it carefully off to the side. I was surprised at how clean it is in there when I flipped it over: (clean inside not shown)


I left the bracket attached when I removed the alternator, and also left the christmas tree fastener for the harness in the bracket. Still I was able to lay it over to the side:



Then the first thing I checked was that charge wire, but it was tightly fastened by the nut. I went ahead and took it off, and then squeezed the tab on the connector for the voltage regulator and pulled it off. It came off really easily...

So I pulled the little yellow terminal retainer thing out of the inside of the connector, and gave the female terminals a slight squeeze with some needle-nose pliers.



I popped the terminal retainer back in and stupidly applied some di-electric grease to the terminals as best as I could - I should've done that while the terminal retainer was out...
Next I applied di-electric grease to the three male terminals in the alternator/voltage regulator.

Then I applied some no-ox grease to the charge cable terminal and tightened it down with the nut and pushed the rubber cover into place. Next I went to plug in the voltage regulator connector - but it wouldn't go because the charge cable was in the way, duh...

So I removed the charge cable and pushed the three-wire connector into place. Then I thought about how it had come off so easily, and gave it another strong push, and was rewarded with the clicking sound of the connector locking into place. Hail yeah! I tried squeezing the connector and pulling it off and it wasn't coming easily, so I gave it another good push and heard it lock in, and then I reassembled everything without any further BS.

I threw a battery in it, determined to not set off the alarm, (another fail) and started it up. I let it run for several minutes and the battery light stayed off and the warning center didn't say a darned thing about checking the charging system!

Zero warning lights in the dash!!::

I probed the battery terminals with my DVOM and it was putting out 14.2 volts.

Proud of myself? You betcha!

I was hoping it would fix or at least affect my wonky voltage gauge, but no dice. This car also needs a set of stepper motors for the gauges... And I didn't let it run long enough to warm up and start throwing the VCT solenoid codes, which would illuminate the Check Engine Light.

I've said it before and I'll say it again: The worst problems you'll find on old cars are from others working on it before you! And this is a strong case for that. I guess some tech thought that plug connector was on there? It would sure seem that it wasn't. More ominously, I wonder if that was done purposely, in the hopes that the car would come back and end up being acquired by the shop...

It reminds me of another thing I found on that old '92 GT: The T5 transmission was full of gear oil! They take ATF/Dexron! That seller didn't work on it either, and I found a receipt from the shop who had the transmission out - and I actually called them and informed them of what I'd found. The guy asked in an annoyed tone if I wanted to bring it down, but I said no, and that I'd already changed the fluid. I still have that transmission, and it does need some synchros...

So now I'm not sure what my next move will be on this car, maybe the VCT stuff... Might try cleaning the VCT solenoids and see if that buys some more life out of them.
 

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