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456 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
84 Daily drive resto/1uz project

Hey all,
some of you have 'delt with me' in the past, and the rest of you are in for a whole new world of pain.
Im going to be very long winded with this but i think its important to be up front about who i am, what i have done, and what im currently up to.

Index (i know over kill but what ev)
post #1; your reading it!
post #2; back story on me and past projects
post #3; the base for my project *buying from forum member*
post #4; the plan
post #5; the project begins!

Im a big fan of pictures saying way more than i ever could, so 56k might want to take a walk about on this one.

lastly before we get started; Ive been a member of multiple forums before and almost every one has been full of elitist/know it alls... Im sure there is that sub section around here somewhere but i haven’t run into them yet. I am very pleased to say that every one here who has posted on some of my noobish questions have been great! Im not brining an attitude into this but im going to tell you up front right now. I love fabrication, making my own parts, making my cars as unique and as custom fit to my tastes as possible. Your not always going to like it, and your not always going to be able to keep this to your self... I dont mind if you say you dont like something, and give a reason why, but please don’t clutter up the thread with useless stone throwing "your destroying this car, you should be shot" ect.... Please keep in mind, if you say you don’t like something, i will give you a reason back why I like it... im not arguing with you, or provoking you, i simply feel i have a valid reason as to why i do the things i do *most of the time* and want you to see where im coming from.....
Also, Please if you see me about to make a time consuming error, or buy a part that isnt worth it, let me know; but please if you advise me not to do something, give me a good alternative...

I fully understand that what i am doing with this car, and the money im spending on it is all a waste if i dont enjoy it my self and love it for what it is. I know it is not logical to put $10k+ into a car that will only be worth $5k at best, but if we were logical, none of us would be here :zzzzz:

So friends, that, is that...

lets have some fun!

456 Posts
Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
Me; (the most boring topic in the world, but with lots of neat pics!)
Names Kevin,
Im an inked upper, lower, middle class resident of Warren MI. Born in ’82 I finally got my stuff straight and married my long time girl friend, and bought our first house (with a detached 2 car garage that is MINE ALL MINE!!).
I cut my automotive ‘teeth’ on an ’80 elcamino that my old man left in the back yard to turn to dust *when I was 14*. With the intention of driving it when I turned 16 I started working at a local store for parts money and started to put every thing I had into that car… thus started the painful cycle my automotive life would fallow many many times…
The project was doomed to begin with, although the frame was solid, and by the time I was done with it the engine was rebuilt, along with the entire brake system and most of the suspension, but alas I knew nothing of body work *other than slap bondo on it and hope the rust magically stopps!* and having lived in Michigan all its life, the elky was being held together by paint!
Just before my 16th b-day it was sold, and I bought a v6 automatic cutless supreme brougham that haunted my life for the next 5 years. Big, old, slow, and worst of all would not die no matter what I tried to do to it *within the realm of making its death look like an accident*. I even took a 30mph run at a telephone pole and just ended up with a busted nose, broken grill, and bent bumper! That car taught me a new level of hate for under powered automatic cars, but at the same time a love for front engine rear wheel drive cars with stable rear ends.
From there it was firebird after firebird with a spattering of different winter/reliable additional cars.

*note; that was 3 green firebirds in my past. First was a blue green chameleon ls1 6speed that I bought and truly loved (to this day ive only loved the elcamino and that bird, all others were just cars).The car met its fait at the hands of my friend on I-75 face first into a concrete divider. I tried to re-capture the magic about a year and a half ago with a v6 blue green chameleon and intended to swap the drive train on it. While researching the swap I ran across a ls1 6speed that wasn’t the right color. I eventually sold the ls1 car to pay off the bike in the picture, to sell off to pay off the v6 bird which later died at my hands in a ditch middle of winter *me having given the snow tires to the 18 year old kid who bought the v8 car from me because he intended to drive it year round*.

*one of my daily drivers, circa 1999, did that to make fun of all my friends who had rice-burners*
I ended up landing a couple of choice restoration projects that got squashed under the weight of living at mommy and daddys *them looking at the outrageous amounts of money I was spending with very little coming in*
- 73 charger
- 69 charger
- 65 galaxy 500 fast back
ect…. All a big fail, ending in parting out and selling off
Most notable *that you guys would prolly care about* was my failed attempt at an 83 celica gts with an 87 supra drive train swap (rear pig too). I bought both cars ( barely running/driving 83 celica gts and 87 7mgte supra) from a nice lady down in redford for $500 with the promise that I would make something of them… and I did… and absolute mess…. Sorry Pam…
I quickly became overwhelmed by how much work/money it would be, and ended up scrapping both cars just to be rid of the guilt..
During this time I was helping my friends with their successful restorations/project cars. (good job goes along way apparently)
- 80 triumph tr-7
- 85 3800sc (supercharged v6)
- 73 360 barracuda
- 98 celica gts (4 track conversion)

Well when college rolled around when I decided to get serious and responsible and picked up a 2000 impreza 2.5rs. Good on gas, good during the winter, not painful to drive during the summer.

It wasn’t long before I was hitting my intellectual limits with calc 2 and physics 2. Quickly hitting border line clinical depression I moved back home and started bouncing from job to job. I started spending too much time in bars and in general the gutter..
Im not going to say I cleaned up my act by any means, but after a quick rebuild of the upper end on my Subaru the love for tinkering re-ignited. I found my self in the garage more than the bar, my old good friends coming back spending more time with me under the hood, the bar room buddies getting board out in a cold drafty work shop and going back to their bar stools. By the time I was done the Subaru was sporting a fresh paint job, body kit, lots of home fabricated speaker boxes, roll cage, big brakes, and lots of suspension.

Car was nice for sure, but after a succession of busted curbs, long road trips to see the future wife out of state, and general working mans diss-repair it was going to need a lot of work, and a lot of money paid out quick.
It was soon after I made the decision to put no more work/money into it that I happened across my long term restoration *1963 alpine mkIII* it was given to me by a co-worker who had saved it many years knowing how rare it was. *only known matching number alpine in north America with onyx blue exterior and light blue interior*
when I got her

only notable progress on her so far is;
- Picked up a clean-common series 5 alpine and cut it up for patch metal, and now have a solid roller

- rebuilt all the brake and clutch components
- made a custom dash and freshened up all the gauges

Progress has been slow, with the intent of doing it right, and not getting sick of her… progress is still ongoing and slow.
Back to the Subaru:
Young kid offered me well more than it was worth *which was a heck of a lot more than I had into it*, so the Subaru was history.
Facing a bank full of green, and an impending wedding date I jumped into the “most modifiable for the least amount of money, and still reliable” car I could find for under $1500.

the 93 honda civic hatch back was just the trick.
(picture taken 12/20/2008)

armed with the ricer aggression that has been pent up inside me forever, and the need to play with as much body work as I possibly can I started my attack;
(picture taken 1/19/2009)

after a winter slumber/ collecting parts/ wedding (april 26th 2009)/ buying a new house. I began feeling the withdrawal pains of not working on something that didn’t require a trip to Lowe’s.
So with a week of for vacation I did a complete suspension build up/install and body finishing in a manner that can only be described as rebull fueled hysteria!
(disc brake conversion, strut, spring, bushing, lower control arms, sway bar, camber kit upgrades; powder coating and fabricating every thing my self as I went)

I also focused on body kit customization *most kits don’t fit the hatch to begin with much less one with an integra front end!* but after some work and some pin striping by my friend *only thing on any of my cars I haven’t done my self since 2000* this is how she looked at custom rides to save lives 6/20/2009 where she took first place in ‘import mild modified’ class beating out 3 of the local import tuning shops!

It was at that point that I finally felt that I wasn’t just some kid dinking around in a garage. That people other than me and my small group of friends actually like my work (lord knows you get no positive re-enforcement on forums most the time).
It was also at that show that a kid offered to trade me for a hard-to-find very sought after vtec delsol. After playing tag back and forth we made the swap and 6/23/2009 the car was mine

after playing with the car for a bit, attacking the rust, swapping the front end, shaving the door handles and learning a lot about turbo systems *mostly what not to do* a local suspected car thieve started taking a particular interest in the sol (looking it over too carefully at meet and greets, asking a few too many questions about where I go to school, where abouts I lived ect..) I decided it was time for yet another change…
here is what she looked like when I sold her (for $1100 more invested in all my Honda stuff, and still retaining about $3000 worth of extra parts)… 9/30/2009

So that’s where we sit today;
- wife’s car paid off (freeing up a much appreciated $300 a month)
- approximately $3000 seed money for the next project daily driver
- parents forcing me to take the family minivan and giving them $2500 from the sale profits after Im done driving it (when ever im done driving it!)
- stable job 1 mile from home
- and all the front end swaps, and wild body mods worked out of my system…

456 Posts
Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
^^^^WOW! I didnt realize i had that much to say! ^^^^^

So this is what brings me here. The base for my new daily driver/project car. Ever since the failed 7mgte 83 celica project i have always loved the lines on these cars especially the long sleak look to the celica supras front end!!!

A friend and I will be heading out Sunday (10/4/2009) to pick this up from a forum member, and i cant wait... so excited..

1984 supra
over 200K miles
former resident of az
Lots of new work done to her
Runs, drives, bad front main, rough running when warm *got some good leads on fixes so far*, and rear struts are frozen solid *no travel what so ever*.

456 Posts
Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Well here is the plan,
I believe the days of disposable imports, with annoying body kits, and even more annoying front end swaps is be hind me. On this car I want to do something I have been thinking about for about 5 years now. Some people call it the G-machine philosophy. Take a vintage car, swapping in a modern drive train, and put enough suspension, braking, and interior work into it to make it reliable on the street, and fun to drive on a weekend track.
This is my muse for exterior for sure!!

Greg G. your car is every thing that I want mine to look like. The few things I would change are variations on color and possibly ride height/debagging.
What does that men in terms of this car?
Well, ultimately I haven’t thought it thru fully yet but here are the biggies.
- Improved braking (big brake kit from Raptor)
- Improved handling (poly all around, better springs, struts, sways, converting rear sub-frame into single piece solid mounting unit with un-bolt able fore-aft sub frame to unibody connectors, possible 8pt cage for more rigidity )
- Fairly stock functional interior with modern radio
- Fairly stock exterior
- 1zj drive train swap either with stock twin turbo or aftermarket single
- tuck and clean up as many wires, hoses, ect as possible
This ambitious venture obviously will not be done in a year with the given restraints of my fiscal situation. So it will have to be done in multiple phayses.
First priority (other than getting the car into town) is to make it as reliable and presentable for daily driving use, while still collecting parts that wont have to be replaced in a few years when its time to upgrade.
So ,
This is the plan (after she is back in town)
- drop the oil pan, drain the diff, trans, gas tank, and radiator
- replace front main, oil filter, and coolant tep sensor
- put in new timing belt kit
- test and tune till i get the 'runs like crap when hot' issue fixed

- gut the interior, engine bay and most of the underbody
- *on off days at work* machine up some Stainless mounts for the diff, and rear cradle
- powder coat and rebuild brake system (graphite metallic *blue or green tint* exterior color, gun-metal accent colors (calipers vavle cover ect) opinions any one ? (on color choices that is)
- patch any rust i find on the floors; please keep in mind this is a project daily driver for now. The point is set up a car i can love for day to day operations with a grand plan in mind for it one day (1jz twin turbo, big brake kit, street pounding fun possibly get some drift exp!). That being said im going for functionality not show quality so the rust replacement patches will be flat metal that i form my self... for the under body that is, ill make the effort to find real patch metal for the exterior...
- brush semi gloss black por-15 on every interior under body, door jambs and rust prone area i can find!
- brush silver por-15 on all the suspension goodies (cant stand all black... snooze!)
- re-locate battery to the trunk
- tuck all the wires i can
- paint engine bay the color i want my body to be one day *still undecided*
- re-assemble with new bits, and scrubbing the hell out of the old ones.
- fresh fluids all around, noting special except for possibly dot 5.1
- survive thru what’s left of winter by that point!

come next spring, body work gets underway, and a full re-paint.
Then from there repair/ replace/ upgrade as things start falling apart while still collecting parts and funds for the drive train conversion and brake upgrades.

456 Posts
Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
so here is the orders I have placed so far… yeah I know jumping the gun, I don’t even have the car yet, and I don’t even have a clear idea of what im starting with. I just I know come Sunday night im going to want to get started.
*thank you again George at Raptor racing for being cool about my 3 order changes and all the hair brain stuff I bounced off of you! I know your busy but that kind of customer service means a lot to me!*
- Repair manual
- New coolant temp sensor
- New front main seal
- Full carpet kit
- quart of semi gloss Por-15
- pint of silver por-15
- Kyb GR2 struts for all 4 corners
- Dobinson performance lowering springs front and back (1" drop in front 3/4" drop in rear)
- super pro strut rod bushings
- super pro front control arm bushings
- super pro rear control arm bushings
- super pro rear upper shock bushings
- super pro rear lower shock bushings
- techna stainless brake lines
- oil pan gasket
- timing belt kit
- clutch master rebuild kit
- clutch slave rebuild kit
- caliper rebuild kit

Currently working on getting (chatting with venders and sellers):
- passengers rear fender patch panel
- pads, rotors, brake hardware kits (waiting on seeing condition of the ones on there before buying)

I had originally planned on using the seed money to pick up the 1jz engine, trans, ecu, and igniters while I had that big of a chunk to play with. I then came to the realization that the 1jz swap bits are useless without the rest of the parts, and the car ‘although in running driving condition’ is going to need more work to make me feel comfortable driving it daily (last thing my garage needs is another permanent resident). AND I didn’t want to buy just corner auto parts store components just to get it rolling. If im going to buy replacement parts I want to buy quality performance ones. So, i think the money would be better served in intirror, and suspension componets.
I did, however, manage to set aside $1000 for a good head start on the 1jz swap fund from my parts sale profits.

401 Posts
Nice post and plan. I will enjoy seeing how everything works out. I have found these cars to add that special something that untill I got one I didn't know I was missing. Its a lot of hard bloody work and worth every hour and dollar I spend.

Good luck and keep posting.

456 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Nice post and plan. I will enjoy seeing how everything works out. I have found these cars to add that special something that untill I got one I didn't know I was missing. Its a lot of hard bloody work and worth every hour and dollar I spend.

Good luck and keep posting.
hey thank you very much!
Yep i have all the faith in the world in this project simply because this is the first type of car i have seen since the first ls1 firebird that i love. Also fits the criteria of low buy in, has the potential to be a reliable fun to drive transportation, as well as the potential to evolve into a track or get generally one heck of a toy car when i no longer want to put it thru the riggers of day to day operation...

472 Posts
im looking forward to seeing the progress man. good luck. :thumbsup:

4,517 Posts
Dang! Now that was a great introduction post. Good luck getting the car to where you want it... I'm looking forward to seeing the photos as the work progresses.

456 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
hey, thank you all!
i personally think the introduction was too long (first week taking my ADD meds) but i felt that some how "hey im from michigan and have been fabricating and wrenching since i was 14" didnt exactly cut it!

i wanted you guys to see where this new style that im attmpting is comming from.
I cant wait till sunday... i want to get this project started so badly!!

456 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
Not the ghoul again! :zzzzz: j/k, j/k. Glad to see you around again.
hey bud, i was wondering if you were still lurking around! thought of you while i was reading the specs on this car...
sale post said leaking oil seal and lack of power when hot... i was wodering if he had the same issue as you did of no oil !(think it was you?)

839 Posts
Excelent posts! I wish I could have accomplished just one of your past builds. Can't wait to see the progress on the MKII.

456 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
Excelent posts! I wish I could have accomplished just one of your past builds. Can't wait to see the progress on the MKII.
hey thank you very much!

Sooo I ran across an old friend that happens to be selling off a freshly rebuilt 5mge.. Im going to buy the engine either way but then i remembered that i have a garage full of top shelf... er... middle shelf turbo bits from my honda im trying to sell off... basically the thought process went 2+3=5mgte...

trying to gather info on whether it would be feasible to buy a few more components and boost the extra engine? or would it take too many resources away from my 1jz aspirations.... I think it would be a blast to run about 5psi or so just to get me a little more used to day to day turbo operations so im not a complete dunce when I do get the 1jz in…

check out the question thread and lemme know

i have a feeling there is some loop hole that im not seeing (stock 5mge compression is too high for boost, ignition system would require too many upgrades, the smt6 wont play nice with the celica, ect...)
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