Progress Thread 2001 Bullitt #265 - Build Thread (LOTS OF PICS)

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Just been enjoying driving her around this summer... until this happened. Stranded! Was out filming some back country driving with the Bullitt and my new GoPro. Pulled over to swap out camera angles and wouldn't start. Starter is done for. Here is where I was stranded for a little bit.


Got her started with a push start and made it all the way home. Went on vacation and now back, with some parts on order. Coming soon:
  • New starter
  • New clutch
  • New flywheel
  • New shifter
Bummer! I'd put in a ACT flywheel and good clutch. I also like the MGW shifter (multiple adjustments). jmo
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When I was younger, reading forums and build threads and sometimes they would go dormant for several months before updates. I now know why that is the case, especially with project cars. Life just gets in the way sometimes, which is did for me. After a long 4+ months, the Bullitt is back on the ground and took her out on the maiden drive Sunday.

How she looked for the past 4 months


All the new parts:
  • Exedy Mach 400 Stage 1 clutch
  • Exedy Lightweight flywheel
  • SVE High Torque starter
  • Steeda Tri-Ax Shifter
  • pilot bearing
  • throwout bearing
  • rear main seal
  • lower shifter boot


After the first drive, everything feels good with a couple of exceptions. The bite on the clutch is still pretty close to the floor. It feels like the clutch cable is pretty stretched. I already have in hand a new adjustable clutch cable, clutch cable firewall adjuster, and an SVE billet aluminum clutch quadrant to install this coming weekend. The shifter is also a little too notchy and difficult to get into first gear. I think I need to do some tiny adjustments on the shifter.

But very happy to have the Bullitt back on the ground and on the road.


The first drive since before Halloween!!!


** and I need to trim the shifter. The Bullitt shifter will not twist fully to the correct orientation of the numbers.
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About to embark on the next big project, and that will be replacing the suspension. Over the last few months I've amassed all the parts that I will need for this project. According to my dad and brother, the only thing that has been replaced on the suspension is the right front shock. Nothing else has ever been replaced. So i've been riding around on a factory suspension with 188K miles on it!!! No wonder she floats and bobs and weaves like a 1972 Grand Marquis.


Parts List:
  • Ford Racing "C" springs
    • I went with these because the Bullitt is low enough for me. Even know I have to be careful entering my own driveway to avoid scraping the exhaust as I come in.
  • Bilstein B6 shocks front, rear and quad.
  • Eibach sway bars, 35mm front and 25mm rear
  • Urethane sway bar end links
  • Maximum Motorsports HD Adjustable lower rear control arms
  • Replacement upper rear control arms
  • Moog inner and outer tie rod ends
  • Front lower ball joints
  • Urethane bushings for front lower control arm, rear lower control arm, front sway bar, steering rack, and spring isolators

Just before pulling into the garage to start the project, had to take the Bullitt to get the bi-annual California Smog Check. She passed! Which also means that she's been CA road legal for two years now.

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Front Suspension

All ready for surgery.


I've also made some good progress on the front suspension. All new inner and outer tie rod ends installed. Steering Rack bushings were replaced with Polyurethane bushings. I've installed the front Bilstein shocks. The front control arms removed, and dropped off to have the new ball joints replaced and new polyurethane bushings installed. Once I get those back, then it will be time to bolt everything back up together.

Check out these ball joints. They could have given way at any moment.

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Front Suspension - Completed

This weekend I finished up the front suspension and the Bullitt is back on all 4 tires. All new tie rods (inner and outer), polyurethane steering rack bushings, polyurethane control arm bushings, new ball joints, Bilstein shocks, Ford Racing "C" Springs with polyurethane spring isolators, and an Eibach sway bar.



Back on the ground and ready for the first test drive. The battery died so I had to charge it overnight. Will be taking the first drive later today after work. Looks like she is sitting a tad higher than she used to, probably due to the new springs that need to settle and the old springs that had settled way too much.


Here's the pile of old parts that came off the car.

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It's been a while since I've updated. Since the suspension work has been done, I've just been enjoying driving her around without worrying that a ball joint might fail, etc. Now that fall has descended and summer travel is over, I'm starting to get back into a few projects. This weekend I tackled this small project.

Fuel Door Refinishing


The fuel door on my Bullitt has some corrosion bubbling up from underneath the finish on the main door, as well as around the lower left mounting hole. The hardware, as you can see, has a lot of corrosion on it as well.


I could have sprung for a NOS one on eBay, but I wanted to try something a bit different. I snagged some brushed aluminum vinyl for about $5 that I would apply to it after removing the corrosion. Here you can see the difference in color between the door and the vinyl. The vinyl is a bit brighter than the door itself. I didn't mind as right now I'm not going for a concours restoration.


I pulled the door off and disassembled it. If you've never disassembled one, the spring and black cap in the middle of the photo are all that hold the door to the outer frame.



I sanded through the finish and removed all of the corrosion. Then a small coat of filler to smooth things out.


I then used my vinyl cutter to cut out BULLITT # 0265 from some left over vinyl that I had to apply to the door. The font I chose is BROADWAY, which is a very close match to the BULLITT badge font.


I laid over the brushed aluminum vinyl to get this very subtle look to the gas door. I also applied the same vinyl to the outer door ring as well.


And here it is installed with some refreshed hardware. It is hard to see in the direct overhead light. It's subtle and unique.
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The Shaker GT Returns Home


I am going to be starting the bodywork soon, and there are some pieces that I need for the Bullitt. It's missing one of the Bullitt side scoop delete panels, and I want to do a smoothed 03/04 Cobra rear bumper and a 03/04 Cobra front bumper. I knew of a source for a smoothed OEM Cobra rear bumper as well as OEM Bullitt side panels, my former 2001 GT convertible. I called up my friend who still owned it, and she was ready to sell. We went to New Mexico over the Christmas break and towed it back to San Diego. Now both of the 2001 Mustangs that we owned in the mid-2000s are back together, at least for a little while.


When I first bought the Mineral Gray 2001 GT 5-speed (and why my username on this board is MineralMan), it was bone stock. I loved the look of the Mach 1, but they didn't make a Mach 1 convertible. But that was my visual goal. Mods that I did to the car:
  • OEM Mach 1 hood
  • OEM Mach 1 Shaker scoop adapted to the SOHC engine
  • OEM Mach 1 chin spoiler
  • 18" Mach 1 replica wheels
  • Mach 1 style side stripes
  • smoothed OEM 03/04 Cobra rear bumper
  • OEM Bullitt scoop deletes
  • OEM Bullitt instrument cluster
  • Borla Stinger exhaust
  • H&R SS lowering springs

The Bullitt scoop deletes and rear bumper are destined for the Bullitt. I will also be removing the Bullitt instrument cluster, replacing the convertible top (has a gash from when someone broke into the car) and refinishing the wheels. I will probably remove the Shaker hood & scoop and keep those around, not sure if I will sell those separately or add them to the Bullitt as well. Eventually the 'vert will be sold again after returning it mostly to stock.


Here's a picture of them together about 18 years ago, the day I bought the 2001 GT convertible.
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Its been a few months, time to update on some work done to both the GT and the Bullitt.

Convertible Top Replaced

After bringing the GT convertible home, first thing was to replace the convertible top so that I could actually be parked outside. With all the rain that we have had in San Diego these past couple of months, it was critical getting this done quickly. I replaced the top myself with a Kee Convertible top kit from LMR. More details on that here:





Now that the top is replaced, its actually been fun driving her around. I forgot how much I missed having a convertible. I may be rethinking selling her off... ?

Rear Bumper Swap

When I previously owned the GT, I swapped the stock rear bumper for a smoothed 03/04 Cobra rear bumper. I love the look of this bumper, and it is something I wanted for the Bullitt. So took an afternoon and swapped out the rear bumpers. Each car also had the tips of the Borla exhaust polished up. On the GT I replaced the rear bumper with one that I picked up in the junkyard that was the same Mineral Gray color as the GT.



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Bullitt Side Scoop Delete

Another part that I put on the GT when I owned it was a set of Bullitt side scoop delete panels. When I bought back the Bullitt, the one on the right was missing. I popped these off of the GT, and replaced them with GT side scoops in Mineral Gray (from the same GT that donated it's rear bumper).




Instrument Cluster

Another mod moved over from the GT to the Bullitt was a set of matte aluminum trim rings for the Bullitt Instrument Cluster. I bought a set of trim rings a couple years ago that were chrome, and they were awful. They really looked like crappy shiny plastic. These are also plastic, but they are a much better quality.


I removed the Bullitt cluster from the GT and replaced it with a standard GT cluster (also from the same donor junkyard GT).


Driver's Power Window Motor & Switch Panel

No pics of this, but the driver's side power window motor finally gave out. It had been intermittent in working, but finally stopped. Replaced that.

I also replaced the switch panels in the door panels. Like almost every Mustang of this generation, the clips were broken on it. The replacement part I got on eBay was listed as Dark Charcoal, but the color is slightly off. Not enough for me to worry, but I did end up replacing both switch panels (driver and passenger side).


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Wheels & Tires

The wheels on the GT were AFS 18x9" Mach 1 replica wheels. They are no longer being produced. They are in need of refinishing, which I will do as a side project later. The tires on the GT are OLD!!! Like 2008 date code old. I wasn't comfortable driving the car on such old tires, so it needed new ones. The GT also had wheel locks installed, but I had no key for them. I needed to have the keys removed by a tire shop. Since I wanted 18" Bullitts for the Bullitt, I did the following:
  • ordered 18" Bullitts + new tires
  • install on GT, have wheel locks removed, and have the 18" Mach 1s unmounted from tires for refinishing
  • drive home, swap 17" from Bullitt onto GT, 18" onto Bullitt


It does look good with these 18" Bullitts, but these weren't destined for this car.



Adjustable Rear Lower Control Arms

When I did the suspension refresh, I installed Maximum Motorsports adjustable rear lower control arms. I let the sprints settle a month or so, and realized that the rear definitely rode too high. The 18" wheels really accentuated the issue. So this past weekend I took the time to crawl under and adjust both sides down by ~1". She is sitting more level now, but now with the 18"s on I'm thinking I might swap out the Ford Racing "C" springs for something that will have it ride a little lower. And maybe a 1" spacer on the back to push those wheels out to the edge.


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