17 year old car, Pt 1, Electrical/tune up - IMBOC
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-15-2018, 10:09 PM Thread Starter
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Post 17 year old car, Pt 1, Electrical/tune up

Well that 2001 Bullit is now 17 years old. It's time for a bumper to bumper check-up. We're going to start under the hood. I will tell you why I do things in the following order as I move along.
1 Electrical: If you're electrical system isn't up to scratch, no point checking any further, deal with it.
Battery: (Voltmeter) Check the voltage after the battery has been charged, should be 12.6-13.0 volts at rest. If less charge again re-check, if voltage is under 12.5v, get a new battery, it's not going to get any better.
Start the car, check voltage, should be around 14.0v at fast idle, if less than 13v, you've maybe got a bad diode or your regulator is wonky. To confirm, turn everything electrical on, lights, fan ac, rear window defrost, radio, full load.If voltage is not holding around 13.5v @ 2000 rpm, it's time to get your battery and alternator load tested.
Pop the covers off your fuse boxes, check for corrosion, visual all your wiring. Have the rodents been snacking?
Check wiring in the trunk. Cycle all electrical units: Headlights, T signals, Brake Lts, check gauges, AC output, fans etc. OK lets move on.
Tune-up: If the mechanicals in your engine are worn, there's no point doing a tune-up. First, after 17 years your car deserves a compression test. You will have to remove spark plugs and coils and follow the directions in service manual. If you find oil in the spark plug holes you may need new valve cover gaskets. (a bit of a job) All cylinders should be within 10%. Example highest 100psi, lowest 90 psi. Manual will tell you the normal range. If all is well, good time to change plugs and check all the coils for cracks and put dialectric compound on the boots. Button everything back up. Start er up. OK, next. Check air filter, change if dirty or clean as required if reusable. Check all vacuum hoses, replace if cracked. Check all intake hoses,remove intake snorkel.
Check throttle body, clean if nec. (Do not use corrosive cleaners, check manual) Re-assemble. Start, Check, OK.
Visual check for any oil or fluid leaks and make note for next section.
Next time: Cooling system, fluids, and lube service. "Hey we're just getting started here." (Al Pacino)
Did I miss anything so far? This is internet Socratic method, impress the Prof, by suggesting what I need to include.
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-16-2018, 03:48 AM
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Preventive Maintenance!

When I was a young rookie, pool cruisers were driven 24/7, until something broke. Then the mechanics (parts changers) would change parts. After 1 year, the cruisers were trash (OK, they were just Chevy Citation and Pontiac Phoenix). Keys of the krap cruisers were thrown on the station house roof. Cruisers were gone at 2 years, 60K miles. There was even a recycled cruiser that was front Chevy Citation and rear Pontiac Phoenix. Tracked terrible!

Then new fleet management took over. A new concept-Preventive Maintenance. What a difference! High wear parts were changed before failure. Cruisers were examined by now "technicians" regularly. Hours of shift downtime swapping cruisers were saved. Cruisers were assigned to individuals for accountability.

My personal mechanic/technician is a firm believer/practitioner of Preventative Maintenance! In the decade, never a disabling failure with our vehicles. And he has refused to sign off on BLLTT before a HPDE until servicing a concern. I praise him to all that will listen.

Thus, Preventative Maintenance as our Bullitts age. Do not wait for failure.

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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-16-2018, 10:54 AM Thread Starter
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Failure occurs when you neglect to consider unintended consequences. See how I weaved that in there.
I would add to Bill's post; "Do not wait for failure, it's already waiting for you."
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-16-2018, 11:08 AM
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Still running the stock equipment from 2001 in mine.

1.5 years and a dozen track days later, I need to start replacing things besides the brake pads and brake fluid.
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68k miles. 5.0 shifter, drop in K&N, 17x8 black bullitts, DHG pony in grille


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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-16-2018, 01:03 PM

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For me, because of track work and keep up on maintenance, #1986 is sitting pretty good with 130k miles. I honestly wish it was 230k miles but working from home since 2009 has just kept the miles off her.

In 2017 I did the timing chain. As part of troubleshooting then, I did a compression test. All cylinders were 202-210 and tested a few for 20min-1hr. None dropped more than 2 psi. Reading online, some people say 150 is normal on these, so needless to say I am pretty damn pleased.

On my list is trans rebuild (worn syncros), fix clutch pedal vibration which I suspect is ball & fork, probably rebuild or replace front struts as they are getting to be EOL, pull the rest of the stock Mach460 out & replace all speakers & maybe add new AMP, clean the K&N filter, and some future upgrade consideratoins. I have begun to hate the stock seats, want new ones. Look at cheap brake upgrades, such as using the Focus RS calipers I see online, and one day I do want to put a cage/roll bar with harness. Oh, and wheels/tires


For you, I think you have a good starting list. Basically the idea should be to inspect anything that is a wear item or deteriorates like bushings, hoses, etc. So I would also go through the suspention looking at control arms, brake lines, exhaust hangers, etc. Check shocks / struts for fluid leaks & compression. Also fully flush the brake system. Don't be shy to go through a full bottle Same for power steering as it is also your brakes!
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-16-2018, 04:37 PM Thread Starter
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-16-2018, 09:30 PM Thread Starter
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-17-2018, 12:27 AM Thread Starter
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-17-2018, 10:23 AM Thread Starter
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