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Other Rides and Projects Working on another year GMC? Maybe a Chevy, Dodge, F*rd, or even refinishing cabinets? Share your progress or start a build thread and let members follow along!

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Old February 16th, 2021, 03:52 AM
LordNatedawg LordNatedawg is offline
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Default Nate's Micellaneous Vehicle Thread

I've got a fairly busy life. Often times I can only set aside a few hours each month to work on my '66. Sometimes that time gets eaten up by other projects; my family loves using my mechanical skills to save some money. This thread will show you what I'm wrenching on when I'm not working on Papa Smurf.

The first vehicle I'm showing you is a 1998 Ford Mustang. It has the V6 engine and a manual transmission. We bought it from a family friend. He started a family and no longer had a use for it. It sat without running since at least 2016. I started working on it in early 2020.



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The first thing I did was check all the fluids My main concern was the condition of the oil. To my surprise, it was full and looked fairly clean. Next, I pulled all of the spark plugs and gave each cylinder a shot of lubricant. IIRC, I used a lubricant that is meant to protect marine engines during long-term storage. My goal was to make sure that the cylinders weren't bone dry when I try to start it. While I had the spark plugs out, I made sure they were all in good shape. It looked liked they all had been recently replaced. I also took the time to replace the spark plug wires. I had torn a few during the removal process.

Next, I siphoned as much old gas out as I could, and then poured in a few gallons of fresh gas. 4 year old gas looks similar to cheap beer. Smells terrible. I certainly didn't want it gumming up my fuel system.

At this point, I was ready to try and start it. I disconnected the fuel pump, cranked the engine and got it started on starter fluid first. My goal was to try and "prime" the oil pump. My starter fluid also claims to lubricate cylinders. After this was done, I reconnected the fuel pump and tried to prime the fuel system. The fuel pump refused to kick on. Unfortunately, Mustangs in this year range seem to have an issue with dead fuel pumps.

I immediately got to work on replacing the pump. I left the 4-5 gallons of gas in the tank when I dropped it. I replaced the fuel pump and the filler neck grommet while I had the gas tank down. After that was done, I reassembled everything, verified that I now had fuel pressure at the Schrader valve, and the cranked the engine. It roared to life and soon I was smelling a mixture of old gas, burning cobwebs, and burning leaves.



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Now that it was running I could focus on other parts of the car. The oil was changed, and the coolant, brakes, and power steering were flushed. The differential and transmission fluid were left alone because they looked brand new. As you can tell by the photo below, the coolant was....a little dirty.



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That's where I'm at with this project. It needs new tires, it sprung a leak at the power steering pump, and rust has deformed the disc brakes pretty bad. It also might have a bad throwout or pilot bearing. Releasing the clutch while the vehicle is in neutral causes a short but loud squeal emanating from the transmission. This vehicle will sit for a while because the soon-to-be driver doesn't have his license yet.
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Old February 18th, 2021, 04:35 AM
LordNatedawg LordNatedawg is offline
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Default Re: Nate's Micellaneous Vehicle Thread

Another vehicle I worked on was a 2003 Saturn Ion. It belonged to one of my older siblings. They sold it to a newly licensed younger sibling, but it had a few problems. Of course, those problems quickly became mine to solve. It needed a new alternator. The master cylinder was leaking brake fluid, and the brake fluid was filling up the brake booster. The leak was very slow so the vehicle could still be driven, but obviously it was not an ideal, or safe, situation.


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The alternator was easy. I got one from the junkyard for cheap, threw it in and called it a day. It still works, over half a year later. The master cylinder/brake booster was not easy. As you can see by the below photo the brake booster bolts are hard to access. 3 of them can be reached with a u-joint and some extensions. The 4th bolt required a crow foot and a lot of patience.



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Once those are loose, it's time to go into the engine bay and pull it all out as one assembly. But first, you have to remove the ECM and the fuse box. I also pulled out the coolant reservoir because I wanted to clean out some of the dirt.



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After that, install the booster, bench bleed and install the master, then play the game of "where does this ground strap go?" as I reassembled the engine bay. Once that's done, I bled the brakes at all 4 wheels and had no brake pedal. Replaced the wheel cylinders, thinking that they might be bad, and still had no pedal. Eventually I realized that my master cylinder was bad despite being new. Got it replaced and everything worked great. The last thing I did was restored the headlights. This vehicle was going to my younger sibling. I obviously want it to be safe for them. The TurtleWax headlight kits are super cheap and work amazingly.



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And that's where I finished. The Saturn has a little over 200k miles on it, but it has been a reliable vehicle for its current owner. If nothing else, it makes an amazing first car. Fuel efficient and reliable. What more can you ask for?
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