Hey everyone, I'm new here, please help a girl out with some advice! Sell or restore?

gtmustangalex

Member
Apr 29, 2020
23
5
13
30
California
I am debating on whether to sell or restore my 2001 GT convertible that has been sitting in front of my house for about 6 years. (It sat 6 years because I had the most fun in this car and always wanted to fix it.)
I bought the car (my first car) from a shady used car dealership in Southern California when I was 18 in 2008. I always loved Mustangs and especially the power of the GT and the look of the 1999-2004s. I ended up taking a couple auto classes in college, was able to put it on the lift, and found out that it appeared to be t-boned on the driver’s side since the “subframe connector bar” (excuse me if that isn’t the right name of the part), was bent in towards the passenger side, like this (>). The stock radio was missing and there were some wires hanging by the pedals but the sound from the off-road Spintech exhaust literally sold me. It ended up costing $19,800 in the year 2008 for a 2001 GT Premium convertible with 50k miles. (Idiot, I know)
Long story short, there is the damage from being t-boned before I purchased the stang, then I was rear ended twice and t-boned once while I had the vehicle (8 years). There is a rip in the vinyl convertible top while I’ve been quoted around 3k for (Some kid stealing my purse).
The car, if I remember correctly had about 110k miles before the engine ran out of oil and blew on me. At that point, when the engine blew, the transmission and differential were leaking quite a bit but everything else was up to par.
6 years is a long time to let a car sit I’m assuming. I would love advice on what kind of cost it would be to get it up and running. The 1999-2004s that I look at are normally in really bad shape. Is 10k or more a reasonable amount to assume to restore/repair this Mustang? I have never dealt with a car sitting this long and would love to know your opinions on what parts I would HAVE to fix to even get it started again. I would also want to paint it eventually!

RECAP:
The engine ran out of oil in 2014
Transmission and differential leaking
Ripped convertible top and headliner
Frame damage from being rear ended and t-boned (Still drove okay, went through tires a little fast)
Paint is faded from the elements

My questions are…
Is it even worth trying to restore/repair?
Should I just sell it and buy another Mustang? (99-04 is my favorite, I know, I know)

Thank you so much guys and gals and I would really appreciate any feedback or opinions! Picture below, plus a pic of me since I can't figure out how to change my profile picture!

1588276343813.png
1588277212212.png
 
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gtmustangalex

Member
Apr 29, 2020
23
5
13
30
California
I am debating on whether to sell or restore my 2001 GT convertible that has been sitting in front of my house for about 6 years. (It sat 6 years because I had the most fun in this car and always wanted to fix it.)
I bought the car (my first car) from a shady used car dealership in Southern California when I was 18 in 2008. I always loved Mustangs and especially the power of the GT and the look of the 1999-2004s. I ended up taking a couple auto classes in college, was able to put it on the lift, and found out that it appeared to be t-boned on the driver’s side since the “subframe connector bar” (excuse me if that isn’t the right name of the part), was bent in towards the passenger side, like this (>). The stock radio was missing and there were some wires hanging by the pedals but the sound from the off-road Spintech exhaust literally sold me. It ended up costing $19,800 in the year 2008 for a 2001 GT Premium convertible with 50k miles. (Idiot, I know)
Long story short, there is the damage from being t-boned before I purchased the stang, then I was rear ended twice and t-boned once while I had the vehicle (8 years). There is a rip in the vinyl convertible top while I’ve been quoted around 3k for (Some kid stealing my purse).
The car, if I remember correctly had about 110k miles before the engine ran out of oil and blew on me. At that point, when the engine blew, the transmission and differential were leaking quite a bit but everything else was up to par.
6 years is a long time to let a car sit I’m assuming. I would love advice on what kind of cost it would be to get it up and running. The 1999-2004s that I look at are normally in really bad shape. Is 10k or more a reasonable amount to assume to restore/repair this Mustang? I have never dealt with a car sitting this long and would love to know your opinions on what parts I would HAVE to fix to even get it started again. I would also want to paint it eventually!

RECAP:
The engine ran out of oil in 2014
Transmission and differential leaking
Ripped convertible top and headliner
Frame damage from being rear ended and t-boned (Still drove okay, went through tires a little fast)
Paint is faded from the elements

My questions are…
Is it even worth trying to restore/repair?
Should I just sell it and buy another Mustang? (99-04 is my favorite, I know, I know)

Thank you so much guys and gals and I would really appreciate any feedback or opinions! Picture below, plus a pic of me since I can't figure out how to change my profile picture!

1588276343813.png
1588277212212.png
Forgot to mention, the car has been fixed at a body shop each time I got rear ended so the body is pretty clean (the driver door requires a bit more force to close) and I think that the frame has been pulled two times. Thanks again everyone for any kind of advice!
 

kiddiccarus

The first widely accepted Tranny
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Dec 24, 2003
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www.angelfire.com
SELL SELL SELL

Was in your shoes and had this same question. I went ahead and restored, upgraded, etc. I have a Love/Hate relationship with MY VERT. In the end, My personal feeling is that they are too much hassle for the novelty of being able to sweat your ass off with the top down, get sun burnt, get a ripped top, broken motor so it wont go back up, weather stripping that never seems to seal right, and of course color fade.

If I could go back to the day I chose to restore. I wish I put the for sale sign in it and walked away to buy a coupe. Now I am into the build too deep to get my money back and probably cant find a person who would buy it unless I completed everything and then why in the hell would I sell if it finally made me happy.

If the feeling is overwhelming to sell. Do yourself the favor. Then buy a Coupe and build it out. :D
 

General karthief

wonder how much it would cost to ship you a pair
Mod Dude
Aug 25, 2016
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The profile pics need to be approved by the janitor.
Ultimately the decision is yours, weight the costs of repair verses buying another.
Depending on the condition, previous repairs from hard hits can make things complicated, I would restore but I'm a fool for cars and women, the next one you get could be worse.
 

COramprat

Drone Driver
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Mar 2, 2003
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I would get rid of it and find something else. By the time you source parts and pay for them you can find a decent 99-04 for a good price, even with low miles.
 

gtmustangalex

Member
Apr 29, 2020
23
5
13
30
California
SELL SELL SELL

Was in your shoes and had this same question. I went ahead and restored, upgraded, etc. I have a Love/Hate relationship with MY VERT. In the end, My personal feeling is that they are too much hassle for the novelty of being able to sweat your ass off with the top down, get sun burnt, get a ripped top, broken motor so it wont go back up, weather stripping that never seems to seal right, and of course color fade.

If I could go back to the day I chose to restore. I wish I put the for sale sign in it and walked away to buy a coupe. Now I am into the build too deep to get my money back and probably cant find a person who would buy it unless I completed everything and then why in the hell would I sell if it finally made me happy.

If the feeling is overwhelming to sell. Do yourself the favor. Then buy a Coupe and build it out. :D
Wow, it's all coming back to me... Very cold nights driving home from work with a broken convertible top motor. That is, until I figured out that I could have one foot on the backseat, one foot hitting the UP button and give it all my girl power and wrangle it closed. That got really old and my coworkers looked at me like I was crazy. I guess I'm just really attached to it and I do love having the convertible but it seems like a lot of work to even get it running. Lots to consider. Thank you for the advice!
 

gtmustangalex

Member
Apr 29, 2020
23
5
13
30
California
The profile pics need to be approved by the janitor.
Ultimately the decision is yours, weight the costs of repair verses buying another.
Depending on the condition, previous repairs from hard hits can make things complicated, I would restore but I'm a fool for cars and women, the next one you get could be worse.
Haha, you sound like a cool dude! :p
That's also my concern. Would I just be trading in these issues for another set of issues? When a car sits for that long is there anything that is salvageable? Does anyone know what a 4.6 engine would run me?
Thank you for the advice!!
 

gtmustangalex

Member
Apr 29, 2020
23
5
13
30
California
I would get rid of it and find something else. By the time you source parts and pay for them you can find a decent 99-04 for a good price, even with low miles.
Thank you for the advice! I have been keeping an eye out for a GT to buy but so far in my area there really aren't that many options. The ones that are for sale are either nice and $20k, or just cosmetically destroyed with terrible aftermarket parts. I will keep looking!
 

74stang2togo

Oooh! CT!!!
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Mar 7, 2002
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If you have somewhere to work on it yourself and the tools, (with the exception of the top, farm that out to a professional upholstery or convertible top specialist) I'd say restore.

Here's the thing, you know this car. You adore it, and getting another one wouldn't ever quite be the same.

The parts are cheap enough, hell 2v 4.6 parts are about as cheap as it gets for a Mustang these days, especially on the used market, and there's virtually nothing that isn't available for the car.

Unless there's something you haven't told us and/or haven't discovered (like, say, rust damage to the floorboards from water getting through the convertible top), there's no real reason not to fix it. Salvage yard 4.6s are less than $1000 all day from full-service yards, and can frequently be found for less than $300 from self-service yards. If the transmission is leaking, two of the three possibilities are an easy fix, and the third will be easy while swapping the engine (and all three are cheap from a parts standpoint). The differential is either even easier, or still not a big deal (pinion seal or cover gasket).

I believe @jrichker has a checklist for getting a long-term non-runner revived that'll help as well.

All of that said, if you're not going to be able to DIY most or all of the work beside the convertible top, sell. You could buy a VERY nice example of this generation of Mustang for the cost of parts and labor paid to a professional to fix yours.
 
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03GThoopty

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Jun 14, 2019
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I recently changed my motor, a 4.6 out of a 2011 crown victoria and that was like $500 with 89k miles on it. However labor is the problem in pricing when it comes to changing it out.
 

General karthief

wonder how much it would cost to ship you a pair
Mod Dude
Aug 25, 2016
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It's going to be a tough decision to make.
A little time on a frame machine will confirm the condition of the body, there are advantages to restoring the car, in the end you will know what you have.
The down side is the money spent.
 
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gtmustangalex

Member
Apr 29, 2020
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California
Wow, you guys have the best advice, seriously thank you so much!
I had the car from 02/2008 to 12/2014 and so much happened during that time, I didn't want to write everything out you know? I got hit by other cars at least 5 times, 2 rear endings on the freeway and one time the other car was traveling about 30 mph. It blew out my back window and the car sat in the body shop for 6 months because they kept putting junkyard "black" vinyl tops on it that were literally brown and faded. I wouldn't sign off until the third time when the insurance company finally agreed to a brand spanking new factory vinyl top. 4 days after I brought the car home someone sliced my top and stole my purse. Devastating!! I did my best to make sure the body shops did the best work possible but you can tell that the frame isn't straight. I went through so many sets of tires and was hit really hard a couple times.

I've been looking for a "replacement" and just haven't found anything that was worth getting rid of it for. BUT I don't have tools and I don't have the knowledge to DIY this. I would have to pay someone else to do this for me and by the sounds of your opinions I should look for another one. I can do basic things like oil change, replacing hoses, brakes and lights but nothing like what the project entails. I hate to see her go but I don't think I would be able to handle this project by myself.

I'm on the hunt!
 

gtmustangalex

Member
Apr 29, 2020
23
5
13
30
California
If you have somewhere to work on it yourself and the tools, (with the exception of the top, farm that out to a professional upholstery or convertible top specialist) I'd say restore.

Here's the thing, you know this car. You adore it, and getting another one wouldn't ever quite be the same.

The parts are cheap enough, hell 2v 4.6 parts are about as cheap as it gets for a Mustang these days, especially on the used market, and there's virtually nothing that isn't available for the car.

Unless there's something you haven't told us and/or haven't discovered (like, say, rust damage to the floorboards from water getting through the convertible top), there's no real reason not to fix it. Salvage yard 4.6s are less than $1000 all day from full-service yards, and can frequently be found for less than $300 from self-service yards. If the transmission is leaking, two of the three possibilities are an easy fix, and the third will be easy while swapping the engine (and all three are cheap from a parts standpoint). The differential is either even easier, or still not a big deal (pinion seal or cover gasket).

I believe @jrichker has a checklist for getting a long-term non-runner revived that'll help as well.

All of that said, if you're not going to be able to DIY most or all of the work beside the convertible top, sell. You could buy a VERY nice example of this generation of Mustang for the cost of parts and labor paid to a professional to fix yours.
I really wish I had the knowledge and tools to DIY this car. I've kept it parked on my street in front of my house since 2014 because I always thought I would be able to accomplish this but it's seeming a little bleek. Reading what everyone has to say about the frame damage too...I would love to get one that hasn't been wrecked up. We have like a 10 day lemon law here in California but I didn't find out until after that it was pretty much a lemon.

Now that you mention damaged floorboards, The rip is right over the driver's seat and that would have to be replaced. It has mold from all the rain over the years and the horn and airbags haven't worked since the day I bought it. I'm assuming all the gaskets need to be replaced like you said and its good to hear that parts are relatively cheap. I'm actively looking for a replacement.
Thank you so so much for your reply and advice!
 

gtmustangalex

Member
Apr 29, 2020
23
5
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California
I recently changed my motor, a 4.6 out of a 2011 crown victoria and that was like $500 with 89k miles on it. However labor is the problem in pricing when it comes to changing it out.
I'm nervous about buying a used engine, I've done it for a Camry in the past from a junkyard and got a dud. But good to know that the prices are good! Thank you! I also would have to pay someone to work on the car for me. :/
 

gtmustangalex

Member
Apr 29, 2020
23
5
13
30
California
It's going to be a tough decision to make.
A little time on a frame machine will confirm the condition of the body, there are advantages to restoring the car, in the end you will know what you have.
The down side is the money spent.
I wish the car was in tip top shape when I bought it in 2008 but I was just an 18 year old girl with dreams of a V8. I was NOT smart in making the decision on this car. I never had it checked out by a mechanic. I know for sure the frame got "pulled" twice. (That's what they told me at the body shops when I got it fixed) I think if it wasn't so many things to fix that I can't do myself, the project would be possible. This is a tough one, I'm so attached.
 

stormsedge

Active Member
Jun 17, 2018
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I wish the car was in tip top shape when I bought it in 2008 but I was just an 18 year old girl with dreams of a V8. I was NOT smart in making the decision on this car. I never had it checked out by a mechanic. I know for sure the frame got "pulled" twice. (That's what they told me at the body shops when I got it fixed) I think if it wasn't so many things to fix that I can't do myself, the project would be possible. This is a tough one, I'm so attached.
In your position I would do three things to set up a decision:

A) Have it towed to a good frame shop (or two) and get estimates on getting it straightened out...you may find it is in better shape than you think. Include in the estimate replacement of the subframe connectors with some good aftermarket pieces...they make a real difference in the SN95 convertibles (took the twist, flew and canoeing out of mine).

B) Make a list of everything from grille to taillight that you think needs replacing/repair...include everything you want to upgrade. Get salvage yard/recycler quotes on some low mileage engines. Do not forget cooling system, HVAC, brake system, tires and auto trans (if so equipped), all of which may need service /parts after sitting for years. Take that list and spend a few evenings shopping on the internet (Rock Auto, American Muscle, CJ Pony, and others) to place $$ amounts on everything.

C) Add estimates A and B, then add 20%. Take that figure and compare it to the price of a nice low mileage used car from a reputable dealer/individual. Ask yourself...is this Mustang worth (A+B)20% ? -OR- should I go for something newer that suits my needs and doesn't scream steal/vandalize me?

Happy hunting.
 

Potomus Pete

Is there a trick , or does my wife just hold it
Mar 7, 2019
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Sure you got it when you were eighteen, but have you not been thru enough. That car has quite a history. Add up all the good stories then subtract the bad . Its like a negative sixty five. Plus future problems that Mustangs are notorious for. Many old people buy Mustangs and decide they dont want them for various reasons get one of them if you are bent on one.
 

Monkeybutt2000

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Aug 11, 2019
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Welcome. Get rid of it. First,you have no tools or mechanical knowledge. I don't know what shop rates are in Kommiefornia,but if it's anything like property values I'm sure it's outrageous. Secondly,those cars sell for next to nothing,especially the vert's. I see them on marketplace ALL the time. Thirdly,with as much damage as the car's had over the years,and especially it being a vert' chassis it's compromised IMO. I mean,how many times do you think you can bend something back. Wash your hands of it.
 
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