Fred's 1999 MGM

Posted by: Freddy12189

Fred's 1999 MGM - 06/25/20 06:01 PM

This introduction to my car is long over due. But to be honest when I got the car I did not know if it would last long enough to justify a topic on here.

Story is I got the car august 1 2019 with 110k miles on it. My previous vehicle died and I was having to bum rides to work as I desperately searched craigslist 1000 times a day refreshing every 30 seconds for days in all my spare time. Just as my rides were going to run out I refreshed and this 1999 MGM appeared for 800 dollars. I emailed him in an instant because it was the first car that said it was road worthy for under 1000 dollars which was all the money I had. I was scared because the guy did not mail me back for hours. He said he got about a dozen mails but I was the first one so he granted me to first look at the car.

I went to look at the car and I could see it needed work but was solid and had low miles and ran great. The power steering was messed up he said it needed a pump it was hard to steer. Turned out the pump was fine it just needed the entire front end rebuilt. I paid 800 cash money for the car.

I have always been kind of handy with cars but so far this car is the most ive worked on and I learned many things already doing jobs I never tried before.

So far I did the following work
Starter
Coils
plugs
ball joints
front wheel bearings
alternator
Idler arm
inner and outer tie rods
rear springs
All 4 shocks
all brake pads
All rotors
Front sway bar end links
Down stream O2 sensors

Other stuff is I changed oil twice now, Cleaned MAF sensor, put on crappy cold air intake from ebay because the stock air box was rusted and the clips were broken so it would not seal, Front end alignment, did a rear end oil change with new gasket, Port and polish plenum, 70mm throttle, install 18 inch steel wheels with 1.5 inch spacers and mountaineer hub caps, Im sure im forget something but thats the most of it.

I am also painstakingly wire wheel/ wire brushing the whole frame/underside and painting it with eastwood rust encapsulator platinum then top coating with regular rust encapsulator. I am probably 1/2 done with this. after that I am going to buy the stuff you spray into the frame with a long tube on the can. THIS to me is most important because regardless of how crappy the car looks it is very clean as far as rust. The only rot on the car is the front fenders. I lost too many vehicles to the upstate NY rust and this is the first time I am going on full attack mode to try and save it from the rust death. After I get new fenders on it I am going to try and save up to have it painted maybe.

The guy who owned it before me spray painted most of the chrome black. I just touched it up because it was flaking. Car has a lot of random small dents and scrapes because the guy I bought it from said the first owner was old and couldnt drive good so banged it up a lot.

Future plans are dual exhaust, Jmod, rear gears and a tune.

It has 120k miles on it now.

Last 3 pictures are the oldest ones I have. That was right after I put the new springs on the back and shocks all around. Before that the back was sagging way low but otherwise looks just for it did when I bought the car.













Posted by: BigMerc96

Re: Fred's 1999 MGM - 06/26/20 03:37 PM

Was the car black from the factory or was it repainted at some point? Don't see too many black '98-'02 GMQs. I dig the way the 18s look on it, would look really slick with some chrome trim rings. Not sold on the total black-out though. These things need at least a little chrome trim IMO, again I think trim rings would look good for that reason. The good thing is its easy to swap things around and completely change the look.

Fender rust is just about unavoidable. Its like they designed them to rust. My '98 is originally a southern car and the only real rust on it is the front fenders. It always starts in the center above the wheel, must be a pinch weld or something there that collects moisture.

Lastly, its always good to see anyone willing to preserve these cars. Especially the older ones. Surely this car has been saved from an unfortunate, painful, slow death. Or the derby, where so many neglected but solid and salvageable Panthers have died.

mercury
Posted by: Old_Guy_Stu

Re: Fred's 1999 MGM - 06/26/20 03:44 PM

Originally Posted By BigMerc96

Lastly, its always good to see anyone willing to preserve these cars.


And in a salt state, too. But preservation is a lot easier than putting new floors in.
Posted by: 124neta

Re: Fred's 1999 MGM - 06/26/20 05:34 PM

Originally Posted By BigMerc96
Was the car black from the factory or was it repainted at some point? Don't see too many black '98-'02 GMQs. I dig the way the 18s look on it, would look really slick with some chrome trim rings. Not sold on the total black-out though. These things need at least a little chrome trim IMO, again I think trim rings would look good for that reason. The good thing is its easy to swap things around and completely change the look.


A lot of livery services bought them in black, but yeah its not very common. To be fair, there weren't many Non police vics in black either.

Ditto on the chrome, if it were me, I'd be keeping an eye out for a 03-05 merc front end if I was gonna replace those fenders. But I'm biased. I've always thought of the 98-02's like the ugly middle child of the best aero(95-97) and the best whale(03-05).
Posted by: Freddy12189

Re: Fred's 1999 MGM - 06/26/20 05:43 PM

Originally Posted By BigMerc96
Was the car black from the factory or was it repainted at some point? Don't see too many black '98-'02 GMQs. I dig the way the 18s look on it, would look really slick with some chrome trim rings. Not sold on the total black-out though. These things need at least a little chrome trim IMO, again I think trim rings would look good for that reason. The good thing is its easy to swap things around and completely change the look.

Fender rust is just about unavoidable. Its like they designed them to rust. My '98 is originally a southern car and the only real rust on it is the front fenders. It always starts in the center above the wheel, must be a pinch weld or something there that collects moisture.

Lastly, its always good to see anyone willing to preserve these cars. Especially the older ones. Surely this car has been saved from an unfortunate, painful, slow death. Or the derby, where so many neglected but solid and salvageable Panthers have died.

mercury


I am not sure if it was originally black. Is there a way to tell for sure? If it was repainted then they did a good job because I dont see any signs of it being another color like you can sometimes in the door jams etc.

I agree with the chrome issue. I actually have an NOS grill on its way to me now so I can see what it will look like on the car. The rings on the wheels is a great idea I didnt think of.

About the rust I think the car spending most of its life in Vermont is what saved it. Floor pans and trunk are almost perfect still. Frame had some light scale in spots but nothing that failed the hammer test. My first "nice" vehicle was a 97 explorer that I got from a dealership and took such good care of it and after 10 years up here everything behind the rear end could smash through with a hammer and the rockers were gone all the way to the door seals among other rust issues. That explorer was 110% great mechanically thats why it made me so mad and curse road salt and swore to never buy a "nice" car again. Paying a lot for a car up here is like throwing money away. This car is going to put that rust encapsulator to a real world test.
Posted by: cvertech

Re: Fred's 1999 MGM - 06/27/20 02:43 PM

You would have to check for the exterior paint color code on the driver's door sticker to verify if it was black originally or not. It would be a two letter code also.
Posted by: Freddy12189

Re: Fred's 1999 MGM - 06/27/20 03:23 PM

Here is the inside door sticker



Does it say here?
Posted by: 124neta

Re: Fred's 1999 MGM - 06/27/20 07:48 PM

Originally Posted By Freddy12189


Does it say here?


EXT PNT is the paint. UA appears to be black.

As you said before, Unless its resprayed the same color, its almost always going to be riddled with tell tale signs of original color, even if the jamb/underhood is painted.

Anyone who can afford a color swap that can go undetected isn't driving a panther.
Posted by: cvertech

Re: Fred's 1999 MGM - 06/27/20 07:49 PM

Yes, where it says EXT PNT: UA, in the lower left hand corner. That UA stands for Black for the exterior paint color.
Posted by: a_d_a_m

Re: Fred's 1999 MGM - 06/28/20 07:45 AM

Nice resurrection, Fred.

Black is definitely uncommon for the '98-02 civ cars, but they're definitely out there. I passed on a black 1998 MGM HPP/LS before buying the 2010.
Posted by: BigJon

Re: Fred's 1999 MGM - 06/28/20 06:30 PM

Nice car! Keep up the good work with maintenance. She will last you a long time still.
Posted by: Freddy12189

Re: Fred's 1999 MGM - 07/01/20 06:41 PM

I got the rings for the rims and I think they look great. Thanks for the idea.


Posted by: Lt_Crazy

Re: Fred's 1999 MGM - 07/01/20 06:58 PM

Looks real good!!
Posted by: a_d_a_m

Re: Fred's 1999 MGM - 07/02/20 09:52 AM

Wow, it looks sorta like my '10 P7B with that setup.
Posted by: Freddy12189

Re: Fred's 1999 MGM - 07/04/20 07:02 PM

I am gathering parts to put on when im on vacation next week. Got a dorman trans pan with drain plug and a filter for trans, steel braid brake hoses, LED bulbs for inside and cluster, better rear shocks, parking brake hardware and shoes... Gotta figure out what to do about a radio because it has none and someone cut all the wires so no plug anymore.
Posted by: BigMerc96

Re: Fred's 1999 MGM - 07/04/20 07:44 PM

What brake hoses did you buy? I don't think I've seen any braided lines made for a '98-'02. Its something I would like to do.
Posted by: Freddy12189

Re: Fred's 1999 MGM - 07/04/20 07:51 PM

Originally Posted By BigMerc96
What brake hoses did you buy? I don't think I've seen any braided lines made for a '98-'02. Its something I would like to do.


Someone on the other thread said these ones so I got them. "Edelbrock 657302 -3 AN Straight Brake Hose to 10mm (3/8") Banjo - 13". I hope they are going to fit.
Posted by: BigMerc96

Re: Fred's 1999 MGM - 07/04/20 08:10 PM

If its a M10x1.0 bubble flare fitting for the line connection, it should work. Length seems about right from what I recall. The banjo on these cars is 3/8 or 10mm, so that side seems right. I've been thinking about ordering a set of '04 Mustang GT hoses because those are really close in length and have the correct metric ends, I think they will work since like that universal hose they have the "universal" type banjo fitting that can be rotated whichever way they need too. Then all you need is to make/modify a mounting bracket to attach them to the frame.
Posted by: Freddy12189

Re: Fred's 1999 MGM - 07/21/20 08:27 PM

The brake hoses were put off due to a mixture of the unbearable heat and a leaky gas tank.

I started smelling gas last week and saw the bottom was wet with gas. Not leaving any puddles yet but certainly rusted through the seam.

Today brand new gas tank, straps and sender/fuel pump. Now I have a working fuel gauge !
Posted by: tybalt92

Re: Fred's 1999 MGM - 07/26/20 10:16 PM

Good to know that you have a new gas tank. Your build setup is impressive.
Posted by: CrystalPistol

Re: Fred's 1999 MGM - 11/17/20 07:47 PM

Originally Posted By 124neta
I've always thought of the 98-02's like the ugly middle child of the best aero(95-97) and the best whale(03-05).
... Odd how that is, almost unfathomable even. I have always favored the '98-'02s Them '03 and newer just look like Ford just threw a different grille in the CV, even the Aeros look better head on.
Posted by: a_d_a_m

Re: Fred's 1999 MGM - 11/17/20 07:52 PM

I've always liked the '98-02s, mostly because they retain the cool looking Aero corner lamp shape. Wish they'd have found a way to retain that for the '03+ cars (and yes, I HAVE Photoshopped my Marauder with those just for S/Gs).
Posted by: 124neta

Re: Fred's 1999 MGM - 11/17/20 10:54 PM

Originally Posted By a_d_a_m
I've always liked the '98-02s, mostly because they retain the cool looking Aero corner lamp shape. Wish they'd have found a way to retain that for the '03+ cars (and yes, I HAVE Photoshopped my Marauder with those just for S/Gs).


I wish they would have kept a more aero style tailight pocket as well. Both to further distinguish models, and I just really dislike the 98+ look.

One day I will modify a taillight the same height as the fascia, then extend the quarter and shape it to the missing piece of taillight.

I will admit the way the corner lamps cut upward into the fenders and the skinnier shape of the headlights is attractive.

I could say the good things about HPP spokes they put on 98-02 models.

Unfortunately, 95-97 Aeros do it better.
Posted by: a_d_a_m

Re: Fred's 1999 MGM - 11/18/20 07:48 AM

Originally Posted By 124neta
95-97 Aeros do it better.
The CVN version of "blondes have more fun"?