2001 Mustang GT Roush Body Kit Install - Mustang Metamorphosis Part 1
Project Ice Box Goes Under The Surgeon's Knife For A Makeover.
From the August, 2008 issue of Muscle Mustangs & Fast Fords
By Frank H. Cicerale
There's Nothing like organized...
There's Nothing like organized chaos. Tag along as we start a Mustang metamorphosis with our Project Ice Box.
There comes a time in every person's life when change abounds. Whether puberty hits, the wedding bells toll, or the college tuition bill comes in the mail, human beings face change. By nature we are adaptive, so change is accepted, and often we thrive in the new environment. The same thing can be said about our cars. While the looks, power, and other modifications we make may be one person's cup of tea, those things might be different from your own personal preferences when you pick up the car second or third-hand.
That same theory can be applied to any project car. Oftentimes, we run into cars that have been changed around each time to suit the current owner's vices, or the same car, owned by the same person, sees different variations to its being. The ability to adapt our cars to our whims at any particular time is what keeps the hobby thriving.
A high-profile example is our own '01 Mustang GT, Project Ice Box. Since its inception, the car has been transformed from a stock, 13-second, Two-Valve Mustang GT to a supercharged monster that lays down 621 rwhp thanks to a CHP stroker, a Vortech blower, a set of Patriot heads, a JDM tune, and a pair of Comp Cams bumpsticks. As with any project car, it's a rolling test mule for the aftermarket's latest parts. In simpler terms, project cars, at least most of them, get changed a lot. It doesn't mean the parts that come off are bad; it's more about what's new.
Ice Box was equipped with...
Ice Box was equipped with a Cervini's Stalker kit that, after honorable duty, had to be retired thanks to wonderful (sense the sarcasm) New Jersey roads and more than a few off-track excursions on the road course at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park.
While The passenger side skirt...
While The passenger side skirt and the rear bumper fared well, the front bumper and left side skirt took much of the abuse. After many office discussions, the decision was made to update our '01 Mustang GT with a full-on Roush body kit, complete with side-exit exhaust and rims.
The Left side skirt was beaten...
The Left side skirt was beaten up so badly that it actually exited the vehicle. Instead of trying to repair or replace it, we decided to go in another direction.
During Ice Box's tenure here at MM&FF, the exterior has also been improved upon, namely with the installation of a Cervini's Stalker body kit and a set of aftermarket wheels.
While we weren't in the market to change the looks of our SN-95, the constant pummeling of New Jersey roadways, combined with a few off-track excursions during road-course testing, wreaked havoc on the aftermarket body components. In short, we messed them up bad. Despite the quality of Cervini's pieces, we don't know of any body parts that can stand to be smashed. The front bumper had a huge piece missing-we blame many curbs and a dirt hill-and the left-hand side skirt said sayonara (former editor Campisano will have to explain that one), but at least the awesome-looking hood was intact.
Even the wheels have seen the effects of the salt and grime on the roads, as pitting has abounded. About the only thing that was relatively untouched was the aforementioned heat extractor hood and rear wing. We couldn't let our beloved project car waste away into the land of the unsightly, so thanks to Roush Performance and Motor City Auto Body (Newark, New Jersey), the Project Ice Box makeover began.
Motor City Auto Body in Newark,...
Motor City Auto Body in Newark, New Jersey, was tapped to do the bodywork, and once we dropped off Icebox at the shop, the transformation began with the removal of the front bumper. Don't forget to undo the foglight connections before removing the bumper.
The Front bumper was chewed...
The Front bumper was chewed up, thanks to some off-roading and less-than-stellar road surfaces.
The Stock Grille with the...
The Stock Grille with the aftermarket American flag-themed running Pony will have to be removed from the front bumper and transferred to the Roush piece.
Instead of ordering replacement Stalker body components from Cervini's, we decided to go with a different look-again, not a knock on Cervini's, we just wanted a change. We didn't go all Joan Rivers on the car, but we did decide to pull off the torn-up parts and replace them with a Roush body kit, accompanying wheels, and side-exit exhaust system. We're keeping the Cervini's hood and giving the car color-not through the vinyl graphics the car was graced with beforehand, but with a set of contrasting stripes on the hoodscoops (think vintage Olds 4-4-2).
As with any bodywork project, getting the car in and out of paint jail can be an arduous task. Our lives were made a lot easier thanks to Manny Costeira and the crew at Motor City Auto Body. Before the car was left in the knowledgeable hands of the Motor City pros, we decided that not only would we add the stripes to the hood and (obviously) the color to the unfinished Roush components, but we would respray the entire car as well.
After Realizing how nice the...
After Realizing how nice the car will look once the shiny new rims and stellar-looking body components are added, we saw just how cruddy the headlights looked. Expect to see these foggy, scarred-up pieces to be replaced with a new set.
Once The bumper was off, the...
Once The bumper was off, the inner fenderwells were removed.
The Motor City crew moved...
The Motor City crew moved to the rear of the car and took off the rear bumper.
Before we turned a wrench, wielded a spray gun, or installed a body component, we checked out the parts that Roush shipped to us. For starters, the kit can be ordered in two different versions-one coming with the rear wing and the other without. We chose the kit with the rear wing. We got the 411 from Eric King, a customer service representative at Roush Performance, who previously served duty installing the parts in the shop on the cars Roush built for sale. "The body components are made of a urethane material that is similar to the factory body component's hardness," Eric says. "The front fascia is a bit thicker, but for the most part, the Roush components were molded to be a factory-style part."
Our kit came with the front bumper and included a foglight kit, a set of side skirts with exhaust openings, a rear wing and pedestals, and right -and left-side rear valances. "The more parts we offer, the better business will be for us here at Roush," Eric says. "The body kit is very popular, and has always been one of the products we offer that has been in high demand. All of the parts can be ordered separately or, obviously, together as a kit. We have two different kits simply because some people like the Roush wing, while others like the factory GT wing, or they go with the wing-delete option."
Next On the hit list was the...
Next On the hit list was the removal of the right side skirt. Since the left side skirt performed a David Copperfield earlier, we only had to worry about taking off the one side.
You Can see the damage done...
You Can see the damage done to the passenger side skirt. While it was tough to see when it was on the car, off of the vehicle, the damage is clearly evident.
With Only one body component...
With Only one body component left to remove, it was decided to also remove the wheels and tires from Icebox. The tires are nearly new, so we'll transfer the hoops over to the Roush chrome rims we ordered with the body kit.
One thing we couldn't get away with was keeping the exhaust system that was already on Ice Box, as the Roush body kit requires the use of its side-exit exhaust system, which is not part of the body kit. "The kit is only offered to be used with the side-exit exhaust system," Eric states. For those wondering if there will be a kit that doesn't require the side-exit exhaust, you're up a creek without a paddle, as there are no plans to offer a body kit that doesn't require the side-exit system. "The exhaust is more of a styling cue that Jack himself wanted than it is for performance," Eric says. "The system is offered with two types of mufflers depending on the customer's sound choice, and while it will pick up some power over the factory exhaust system, like I said, it was a performance part that was designed more with styling in mind. Also, the exhaust is a 50-state emissions legal system."
Since Ice Box's wheels had seen better days, and, more importantly, we were installing a Roush body kit, it was only natural that we went with a set of 18-inch Roush-emblazoned wheels. The chrome five-spoke wheels are of the '03-'04 design. The '01-'02 wheels had the Roush name in raised letters, while the '03-'04 rims have the name laser-etched into the wheel. The raised-letter wheels have been discontinued, so we received the laser-etched set. Sizing for the rims came in at 18 inches, and we transferred the nearly new Nitto tires from the old rims to the new ones. "Our 18-inch wheels clear just about anything," Eric says. "They clear our 14-inch big brake kit fairly easily. The only thing that may need to be done is the addition of a 3/8-inch or 10mm rack spacer to clear a larger sway bar. If the stock sway bar is still in use, then the factory steering rack spacer will be adequate."
After The struts and bolts...
After The struts and bolts were out of the way, the wing was removed.
The Removal of the rear wing...
The Removal of the rear wing was the only involved process of removing parts from the Mustang. We began by opening the trunk and removing the gas struts from the bottom of the trunk lid. This had to be done to access two of the four bolts that hold the wing on.
We Removed the four bolts...
We Removed the four bolts that held the wing securely to the trunk lid. Make sure that someone is holding the wing on the other side of the lid.
With all of our questions answered and with parts in hand, we drove Ice Box to Motor City to let the transformation begin. Disassembly began with the removal of the front bumper and front inner fenderwells. The rear bumper was removed next, followed by the lone remaining side skirt and the rear wing. In addition, the wheels were taken off to facilitate removing the tires and transferring them to the new Roush rims.
With the old parts off of the car, the crew at Motor City set about fitting the new front bumper and side skirts. "You want the new parts to fit like factory parts," says Motor City's proprietor Manny Costeira. "You don't want a fitment problem after the parts have been sanded, primed, and painted. If there's a fitment problem, you're going to have to press on the parts, and that will cause the clear to crack."
Thanks To the exhaust opening,...
Thanks To the exhaust opening, the side skirts are side specific.
With All of the old components...
With All of the old components off of the car, it came time to test fit the new components. We started by test fitting the wing and making a note of where the pedestal mounts would end up on the trunk lid.
Both Of the side skirts were...
Both Of the side skirts were fitted to check clearances on the front and rear wheel openings. The doors were also opened and closed to check for any hang-ups there as well.
Since We're installing the...
Since We're installing the Roush body kit, we have to add the Roush side-exit exhaust system as well. The exhaust exits through a set of cast tips right before the rear tire.
The Rear valances seen here...
The Rear valances seen here install on the bottom of the stock bumper. We ran into a problem with Icebox when it came to this department, though. When the Cervini's rear bumper was installed some time ago, the stock rear bumper was tossed aside and lost. The crew at Motor City was able to source a rear bumper for us, however.
The Front bumper sports a...
The Front bumper sports a racy look. All of the Roush components are made of a urethane material, and are billed to be the same hardness, and carry the same durability, as a factory part. Hopefully, we won't test the durability of the Roush parts by taking any off-course excursions.
We Couldn't install a Roush...
We Couldn't install a Roush body kit and not run Roush wheels. Thanks to salt and other things taking their toll on the finish of Icebox's shoes, we nabbed a set of chrome, Roush-etched 18-inch rims. Stay tuned as we put all of the components on and recoat Ice Box's flanks with vibrant white paint.
The only possible hang-ups revolved around the rear wing and the rear valances. The rear wing requires some work mounting it to the stock trunk lid in place of the Stalker wing. The bigger problem surrounds the rear bumper, or the lack thereof, for that matter. The rear valances install on the bottom of the factory bumper, which has long since disappeared from Ice Box. Luckily, we were able to source a rear bumper.
Once the new body components were fitted, they were sanded and primed to take out any blemishes and problems on the surface. By the time our deadline hit, Ice Box was ready to roll into the paint booth. The plans call for a respray of the entire car in a vibrant white, with the tops of the hoodscoops being shot in a graphite grey. Throw in the new body components and shiny new rims, and Ice Box will look quite stately.
Check back next month as we close the deal on our beloved Mustang's metamorphosis. We'll detail the application of the paint and everything that goes into making the car one slick-looking piece of machinery.
A New Set Of Bolt-OnsWhile The ultimate price of any sort of bodywork lies in the amount of labor put in and the condition of the car when you drop it off, the least we can do is give you the 411 on the cost of the parts from Roush. Included with the following list is everything needed to transform Project Ice Box to Roush status.
|PART ||PRICE |
|Roush body kit |
(front fascia kit, left/right side skirts,
skirts, left/right rear valance,
wing with pedestals and
all mounting hardware)
|Roush chrome 18-inch rims |
18x9 PN SM03-22232-SAC
18x10 PN SM03-22243-SAC
|Roush side-exit exhaust |
Last But not least, the front...
Last But not least, the front bumper was test fitted. Once the bumper is in place for the final time, the supplied foglight kit will allow us to wire up and keep the lights working.
One Other change we're planning...
One Other change we're planning to make is the closure of the vents on the hood. Water and other junk made their way through the opening and wreaked havoc on the underhood appearance of our Vortech-blown Two-Valve. Motor City envisions fabricating an acrylic plate that will be put behind the vent to close things off.
The Only part to remain on...
The Only part to remain on Ice Box is the heat-extractor hood. While it's stark white now, we plan on adding some color to the car in the form of graphite grey hood stripes that run from the top of the scoop down to the tip of the spear,`a la the Olds 4-4-2.