Got me a project car :D

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Got me a project car :D

Postposted on Fri Nov 25, 2011 1:20 am

I've picked myself up a project car:

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Its a 1997 Ford Fairmont Ghia, its not in the best condition but thats the whole idea of a project car, it has full electrics (except seats and sun roof), factory 6 cd stacker, factory premium audio which basically means a 8" free-air sub, lol, all electric windows and central locking, leather interior, trip computer etc. Its basically a top of the range luxury grandpa car from the 90s, its basically just a Falcon with nicer everything, the Fairlane is the next step up and was the next choice on the list if I didn't go for this.

Its the 4L inline 6, unfortunately 4sp auto, but thats going to change :lol: .

I got it for $2300 from a work mate, it has 245,000km on the clock which isn't bad for its age, runs smooth as silk. Few minor oil leaks, but bullet proof engines, my mates has just under 600,000km on the clock on the original engine.

Basically the plans for it:

- sell the wheels on it and buy a set of factory 15" ones and get some new rubber on them
- new front seats, the factory leather in the front is trashed or maybe a retrim
- wash, polish and wax and a thorough clean of the interior
- replace everything it needs to be roadworthy, no doubt if it goes over the pits, it won't pass on something
- full service, change all fluids and filters, change the ignition leads and spark plugs
- eventually 5sp manual conversion, because I hate auto cars.
- New shocks, springs and bushes, just going to replace with factory equivilents or something even more comfy, don't want any lowering or good handling stuff that'll leave me feeling paint on the road.
- new brake discs and pads

I want to have the car as a comfy cruiser I can drive to work on Fridays or weekends, as my Focus is being lowered and having a stiffer sway bar fitted, the already rough ride on our crap roads is going to get worse, these things are made for our roads and they're like driving a couch, so comfy, so floaty. Also something I can practise my auto electrical work on, as I wouldn't really care if I set it on fire accidentally :lol:.

I take delivery next week, then the fun begins 8)
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Re: Got me a project car :D

Postposted on Fri Nov 25, 2011 3:01 am

Can't see why you would be in a hurry to change back to stock rims, those look pretty good. Granted, the rubber appears to be only around 40% profile, but they're not rubber bands, either.

I do agree with (and practice) the two-car philosophy, though. Exact same reason I keep a '98 Camry around -- my other car is lowered and high strung, while the Camry is the right size and composure for winter driving, carries more stuff or people when I really need it, and is a comfortable highway cruiser that attracts no law-enforcement attention whatsoever.
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Re: Got me a project car :D

Postposted on Fri Nov 25, 2011 5:31 am

ludi wrote:I do agree with (and practice) the two-car philosophy, though. Exact same reason I keep a '98 Camry around -- my other car is lowered and high strung, while the Camry is the right size and composure for winter driving, carries more stuff or people when I really need it, and is a comfortable highway cruiser that attracts no law-enforcement attention whatsoever.


Absolutely, if you're going to have a toy car don't plan on using it every day.
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Re: Got me a project car :D

Postposted on Fri Nov 25, 2011 1:50 pm

AMD Damo wrote:Its a 1997 Ford Fairmont Ghia, its basically just a Falcon with nicer everything, the Fairlane

These models are non standard-USA American models, although I'm willing to bet they are offshoots of similar vehicles made here and changed to suit other country's needs. It looks close to a Taurus to me.

AMD Damo wrote:I got it for $2300 from a work mate, it has 245,000km on the clock which isn't bad for its age, runs smooth as silk.

so 245km = 150,000 miles in american-speak. I just sold a 1998 Ford Escort with around that much miles for $1,200 cash. Why on earth did you pay so much for such a used car?!
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Re: Got me a project car :D

Postposted on Fri Nov 25, 2011 2:26 pm

thegleek wrote:
AMD Damo wrote:I got it for $2300 from a work mate, it has 245,000km on the clock which isn't bad for its age, runs smooth as silk.

so 245km = 150,000 miles in american-speak. I just sold a 1998 Ford Escort with around that much miles for $1,200 cash. Why on earth did you pay so much for such a used car?!


Used cars are much cheaper in the US than pretty much everywhere else, except for maybe Japan. Plus, come on, an Escort? Those aren't worth much to begin with. :P
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Re: Got me a project car :D

Postposted on Fri Nov 25, 2011 4:18 pm

Most Australian cars are RWD, the Fairmont is bigger than an Escort and that's probably AUD and not USD. Either way I wouldn't compare it to an Escort. I did have a 95 Escort GT that was fun to drive though. 1.8L twin cam 127hp. They sold a version in Australia that was AWD and turbo charged.
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Re: Got me a project car :D

Postposted on Fri Nov 25, 2011 4:46 pm

TwistedKestrel wrote:
thegleek wrote:
AMD Damo wrote:I got it for $2300 from a work mate, it has 245,000km on the clock which isn't bad for its age, runs smooth as silk.

so 245km = 150,000 miles in american-speak. I just sold a 1998 Ford Escort with around that much miles for $1,200 cash. Why on earth did you pay so much for such a used car?!


Used cars are much cheaper in the US than pretty much everywhere else, except for maybe Japan. Plus, come on, an Escort? Those aren't worth much to begin with. :P


Last I heard they're pretty pricey in the States too. They seem silly cheap here in the UK though... I brought a Skoda Octavia (think VW Passat / Audi A4) for £450 (and it had £45 worth of petrol in the tank :lol: ) and that only had 57,000 miles on it. Google says that's under $630 (allowing for fuel). OK it's only a 2L 4 pot and it doesn't have leather seats but for a hack car it's perfect.
Last edited by cheesyking on Fri Nov 25, 2011 6:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Got me a project car :D

Postposted on Fri Nov 25, 2011 5:47 pm

thegleek wrote:These models are non standard-USA American models, although I'm willing to bet they are offshoots of similar vehicles made here and changed to suit other country's needs. It looks close to a Taurus to me.

Not even close. The Falcon and its upmarket twins have been specific to Australia and New Zealand for most of their multi-decade lives. Full-size, and built on a rear-wheel-drive platform.

Both Ford and GM's Australian subsidiaries have a fair bit of independence from their corporate overlords, and when they share platforms across markets they tend to share Eurospec platforms rather than North American platforms. Once in a while, some sharing from the Australian side does come back into the North American market (such as the recent and short-lived Pontiac GTO, and then the Pontiac G8, both of which were lightly-restyled Holden Commodores).
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Re: Got me a project car :D

Postposted on Fri Nov 25, 2011 6:51 pm

Heh, I've got a 96 Falcon wagon as my secondary runabout car. Personally, I think you've paid too much for that mileage. On the plus side, with those kms the head has probably been already changed - they all crack within 50-100k km ($1200-1500). Other things to watch out for - old Ion 4-speed auto is probably on the way out, dodgy electrics particularly the power relay and windows. Don't throw good money after bad trying to change the transmission or wheels even as a "project". It's a worthless car. The 5-speed Tremec manual (as in my other car - a Falcon RTV ute) is tough but thoroughly horrible to use.
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Re: Got me a project car :D

Postposted on Sat Nov 26, 2011 1:18 am

thegleek wrote:
AMD Damo wrote:Its a 1997 Ford Fairmont Ghia, its basically just a Falcon with nicer everything, the Fairlane

These models are non standard-USA American models, although I'm willing to bet they are offshoots of similar vehicles made here and changed to suit other country's needs. It looks close to a Taurus to me.

AMD Damo wrote:I got it for $2300 from a work mate, it has 245,000km on the clock which isn't bad for its age, runs smooth as silk.

so 245km = 150,000 miles in american-speak. I just sold a 1998 Ford Escort with around that much miles for $1,200 cash. Why on earth did you pay so much for such a used car?!


The Falcon went all Australian in 1972, and still is now in 2011. Before then it was the American Falcon from the 60s with modifications to suit Australian conditions and styling, which Mustang shared platform with?

Also Taurus is front wheel drive, this is rear, Ford USA forced the Taurus on us in the late 90s, and it failed to sell and was canned, it wasn't popular with large car buyers, and they hated the styling, which is why the AU Falcon in the 90s had an issue with sales because it had the same styling. Also Australians have a mentality if its a sedan, it has to be rear wheel drive and have high powered 6 cylinder engines and V8s, if not its rubbish.

$2300 isn't much for this make and model, considering its the top of the range model with nearly all the options and in 1997 it was $48,000 new, and apart from the wheels its 100% factory standard, no modifications.

See here for a link of prices on similar cars:

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If anyone else is interested in what these things have in them, there is a good list here:

http://www.redbook.com.au/cars/research ... x=2&eapi=2

Pancake wrote:Heh, I've got a 96 Falcon wagon as my secondary runabout car. Personally, I think you've paid too much for that mileage. On the plus side, with those kms the head has probably been already changed - they all crack within 50-100k km ($1200-1500). Other things to watch out for - old Ion 4-speed auto is probably on the way out, dodgy electrics particularly the power relay and windows. Don't throw good money after bad trying to change the transmission or wheels even as a "project". It's a worthless car. The 5-speed Tremec manual (as in my other car - a Falcon RTV ute) is tough but thoroughly horrible to use.


It hasn't done a head gasket yet, but its probably around the corner, even then its a simple fix, head bolts and head gasket from an AU Falcon fixes the issue, I've got all the tools I'll need to do it as well as I'm a tradie.

The BTR 4sp auto in these things is fairly tough, as long as its been serviced, which it has as I know the owner, they last fairly well, when they're on the way out they tend to smash back to 2nd year at 100km/h or lock themselves in third gear and goes into "limp home mode", even then its going to be converted to the ol' T5 anyways, so if it blows on me the sooner it goes manual :).

Everyone has to have a hobby and mine is cars and computers :D
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Re: Got me a project car :D

Postposted on Sat Nov 26, 2011 3:06 am

Since it's relevant, may as well throw this one into the mix:

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On the left, a 1962 Ford Fairlane; on the right, a 1961 Ford Falcon. These are dealer-original plastic models, roughly 1:24 scale, that used to be given to car owners upon purchase. Either my grandfather or my great grandfather (I forget which) was the original owner of these cars and models. The Fairlane has a fully-detailed engine compartment, and the bottom side of both models is stamped with warranty, performance, and maintenance facts about the vehicles. For example, in the bad old days, you had to lubricate the chassis every 30,000 miles; but on the upshot, the Falcon could return fuel economy up to 30mpg. And the muffler was "fully aluminized".
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Re: Got me a project car :D

Postposted on Sat Nov 26, 2011 3:36 am

Ford Australia in Geelong here has the first Ford Falcon which rolled off the production line in Broadmeadows factory in 1960 still over there, its in the museum thing that they have there:

http://smh.drive.com.au/motor-news/50-y ... -z8mx.html

In that article there you see the first one that rolled off the production line in 1960, next to the FG Falcon, the latest.

I still think the best looking is the 1978 Falcon coupe "Cobra":

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I love its stance, so tough.
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Re: Got me a project car :D

Postposted on Sat Nov 26, 2011 6:15 am

AMD Damo wrote:I still think the best looking is the 1978 Falcon coupe "Cobra":


I love its stance, so tough.


Mmm... One day I'll have an XB project car but mainly because of the Mad Max connection: "You've SEEN it, you've HEARD it... you're STILL asking questions!"
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Re: Got me a project car :D

Postposted on Sat Nov 26, 2011 6:26 pm

AMD Damo wrote:Ford Australia in Geelong here has the first Ford Falcon which rolled off the production line in Broadmeadows factory in 1960 still over there, its in the museum thing that they have there:

http://smh.drive.com.au/motor-news/50-y ... -z8mx.html

In that article there you see the first one that rolled off the production line in 1960, next to the FG Falcon, the latest.

It really kills me that Ford Oz can build an RWD cruiser that looks that good, and the closest Ford USA can come is to share the Fusion platform with Mazda so that Mazda can then build a 6 on it (and even then, it's still FWD).
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Re: Got me a project car :D

Postposted on Tue Nov 29, 2011 4:00 am

I've got the car at home now, it was sold to me with no registration or roadworthy certificate, so I had to use my work's trade plates to legally get it home, was crapping my dacks big time because I didn't have my P plates on me as they're in my Focus which isn't bloody starting at the moment and because I didn't have a front number plate, just the trade plate on the back if a cop seen the car front on it'd look like i had no plates on.

Just my luck, I went past 3 marked cop cars within about 15 minutes, luckily they where all in heavy traffic in the opposite direction, or wanting to come out from side streets so they couldn't turn around to come after me haha.

Anyways, I'm doing the first stage of clean up this Friday afternoon after work, just going to vac out the interior and wipe it all down, I'll show photos of the interior, front seats are torn up so they'll need replacing or re-trimming to pass roadworthy certificate.
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Re: Got me a project car :D

Postposted on Fri Dec 02, 2011 4:35 am

Just a bit of an update, I spent about an hour vacuuming it out, I took some photos of the interior, I ditched the floor mats that where in it, full of chewy.

Anyways I found the previous owners tax return slip, about $3 in coins, two cheweys which where half chewed, a dead cockroach, a werthers original, a wrigleys chewey which had blown up to like 10x its original size still in its packet, an extra chewey, enough maccas chips to fill a large size box, 3 pens and a few bolts and screws.

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You can see how torn up the front seats are, with the retrim, I'm going to go to Aviation Trim and Reupholstery in Tullamarine, they do stuff for my work so I might be able to get a discount, wishful thinking. I'm going to get a quote for a whole seat, if its too expensive, I'll just get the front of it replaced, hopefully they can get the same original material Ford used or something in the same colour.

I was going to clean the interior and armor-all it, but mum took my Fiesta out and unfortunately my cleaning products where in the back of it. A job for tomorrow I guess.

Just a few random pictures of other crap in the car:

Dodgy photo of the instrument cluster:

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6 stacker CD player:

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Factory 8" sub:

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Engine bay 1:

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Engine bay 2:

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Re: Got me a project car :D

Postposted on Sat Dec 03, 2011 5:12 am

Man, what the heck did they do to those seats, I have never seen anything that torn up.
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Re: Got me a project car :D

Postposted on Sat Dec 03, 2011 7:36 pm

Starfalcon wrote:Man, what the heck did they do to those seats, I have never seen anything that torn up.

3-4 years parked outside in the Australian sun will do that to leather. 35c+ summers with a frickin great big hole in the ozone layer does nasty things to organic matter left in the sun, humans, leather seats its all the same. Most cars come with or have options for a sun protection pack which basically gives one year of protection on the leather in the cars.

As for the cost, you can't get much cheaper in Oz, but he will spend another $1500 getting it road worthy.
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Re: Got me a project car :D

Postposted on Sat Dec 03, 2011 8:11 pm

dragmor wrote:
Starfalcon wrote:Man, what the heck did they do to those seats, I have never seen anything that torn up.

3-4 years parked outside in the Australian sun will do that to leather. 35c+ summers with a frickin great big hole in the ozone layer does nasty things to organic matter left in the sun, humans, leather seats its all the same. Most cars come with or have options for a sun protection pack which basically gives one year of protection on the leather in the cars.

As for the cost, you can't get much cheaper in Oz, but he will spend another $1500 getting it road worthy.


Yeah the seats are a bit torn up, car hasn't been garaged a lot of its life as well, so UV damage and the guy is tall and in his 40s, the car is fairly low so a lot of trouble getting into the car, using his hand to push himself down into the seat has damaged the front where your back sits.

I'm in the midst of a quote for new tyres from Tirerack.com, 10 tyres all together, 5 for the old mans car and 5 for the Fairmont, 205/65/15 for the Fairmont, going to ditch the 17" wheels in favor of the factory 15" ones, found a set of Ebay, but they're in NSW, not sure how much freight would be.

Also getting a quote on new springs, shock absorbers, brake pads, upper and lower ball joints, wheel bearings and discs all round.
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Re: Got me a project car :D

Postposted on Sat Dec 10, 2011 4:52 am

A bit of an update, took the seats to the retrimmer in Tullamarine, bad news is that its going to be hard to find the same colour, its going to cost $500 for labor to retrim the seats, which isn't too bad (cost my mate $1600 for front and back on his RX7) but the worst is he can't fit me in until September next year.

So I head out to the local wreckers and rang up Ford, unfortunately, there was only 1000 of these cars to roll out the factory with this colour interior option, so the seats are now as rare as rocking horse crap, but the wreckers are going to look into it for me.

I'm heading out to the auto stores tomorrow to buy oil and get a quote on suspension components and brakes.
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Re: Got me a project car :D

Postposted on Mon Dec 19, 2011 2:04 am

Some new floor mats:

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Also look what I found:

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$150 for both, though they don't have the seat belt thingoes on them, so I have to buy a pair of those to fit to them. They're in a lot better condition than my old ones.

I also have a full set of discs and QFM HPX pads come in for me today.

NEXT:

Springs, Shocks and Bushes.
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Re: Got me a project car :D

Postposted on Thu Dec 22, 2011 4:59 pm

Oy...were they still in the vehicle when you found them? :o

On a different tangent and because you are a gearhead in the land of OZ, do you have any experience with Renagate? Are any of their outlet local to you? What is local down under...about 200km?
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Re: Got me a project car :D

Postposted on Sat Dec 24, 2011 7:12 am

BiffStroganoffsky wrote:Oy...were they still in the vehicle when you found them? :o

On a different tangent and because you are a gearhead in the land of OZ, do you have any experience with Renagate? Are any of their outlet local to you? What is local down under...about 200km?


LOL, nah they had been removed for me, the guy who sold them had got himself married and moved out of home and then left a crapload of Ford parts at his parents house which he is trying to get rid of.

I've never actually heard of Renagate before, not a big chain or name down here. Mt Waverly is on the other side of Melbourne, south/eastern suburbs. But interesting concept there, didn't know that existed for the top loader, some of the guys with 70s/80s manual falcons would like that.

I consider local to be within the same shire as me, so within the Macedon Ranges, I guess that could be up to 40km away from my house. I live out in Country Victoria, near Mt Macedon.

I got the seats from Bendigo, which where about 100km away, easy trip down and back there though, 110km/h all the way just about.

Suspension components will be coming after Christmas when all the stores re-open, I've got about 2 weeks off work at the moment, so I'm going to be doing some running about.
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Re: Got me a project car :D

Postposted on Tue Dec 27, 2011 11:32 am

I am thinking about it for my '67 Mustang restore but need to know if I would have to modify the transmission tunnel to accept it. Also, I would like more feedback on the outfit before I do a wire transfer. He doesn't provide much in the way of references and dimensions.
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Re: Got me a project car :D

Postposted on Wed Dec 28, 2011 3:04 am

BiffStroganoffsky wrote:I am thinking about it for my '67 Mustang restore but need to know if I would have to modify the transmission tunnel to accept it. Also, I would like more feedback on the outfit before I do a wire transfer. He doesn't provide much in the way of references and dimensions.


Interesting, I'mm PM you some details.

Anyhoo:

We've oficially made some progress on the car!

Today I replaced the speakers in the doors, and the ones in the parcel shelf.

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Ooooh green!

The front speaker mounting holes didn't line up, so I just drilled new ones and used the factory self tappers. If anyone wants to know what they are, they're ETORX E6 self tappers, lucky I had a set of those ETORX sockets lying around.

As you can see the factory ones are freakin' rooted.

I also ordered my shocks and springs, $629 delivered for front/rear shocks and springs.
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Re: Got me a project car :D

Postposted on Sat Apr 14, 2012 12:41 am

how this going so far
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Postposted on Mon Dec 10, 2012 6:27 am

Quite a few updates:

Replaced the power window switches, as the old ones were sticking down, tried to pull them apart and clean them, and I lost a little spring... So I had to buy new ones lol.

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I got a service kit and at the time changed the leads, which took 2 hours because the distributor is under the inlet manifold, which is too high to reach from under the car, and you can't get your hand to the top of it from up top because of the inlet manifold, what a bastard.

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I also found all of this:

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There was oil all over the underneath of the engine, the alternator is caked full of oil, the aircon hoses have oil dripping off them near the steering rack, at the very far front of the car is full of oil, this has more oil leaks than the Costa Concordia.

Plus its low on oil, I pulled out the dipstick, the oil is half way under the add oil part and the oil pressure guage was sitting on 1 bar above the top of the red.

I degreased the engine bay, and under the car, I come out black and my hair covered in oil, but it all cleaned up nicely, none of it has leaked since, so I guess it was close to 20 years of road grime and a severe power steering line leak.

I replaced the headlight assemblies:

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Tail light assemblies too:

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The engine bay and cross members are squeaky clean, changed the oil and filter with 5.5L of Nulon 15W-40 and a genuine motorcraft filter, the other oil come out pitch black.

I also changed the headlight and tail light assemblies, unfortunately the new aftermarket headlight assemblies don't fit as well as the factory Ford ones, the indicators are the original Ford ones and they don't fit too well anymore, you can only notice it up close or if you look at the bonnet, but I don't really care.

I changed all the globes except the reverse lights, forgot to buy them. I also need new side repeaters, as the lens on the passenger side one is smashed off.

I also put the new seats in, with the EF grey seatbelt buckles and I put in the floor mats, a monumental fail on colour but to me it doesn't look too bad LOL, beats the chewy infested ones that it came with.

Ass up in the air, ready for me to crawl under it:

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The old fuel filter:

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Undoing the old filter, two flare nut spanners, a 19mm and a 14mm:

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No filter in place:

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Old and new next to each other:

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Ooh shiney Motorcraft one!

I put the new one in, but it started to leak:

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After asking on the Ford Forums, I undid that end of the filter, pushed the line in more and did it up again, and made sure it was a bit tighter, no more leak

My exhaust mounts are rooted:

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Same with my muffler:

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I picked up some more service items:

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- 2 5L bottles of Nulon coolant (not pre-mix), I think I need 5.6L of coolant and like 10L of water or something for a full flush to be correct mix, thats what the book says.

- 1 4L container of Nulon ATF, says it works for ford 4sp auto (couldn't find Castrol TQ95)

- 1 4L container of Nulon 80W-140 LSD oil

- 1 5L container of degreaser (again to degrease the engine bay right before RWC)

- 1 trans service kit

- 2 1L bottles of Valvoline Formula F power steering fluid

- 2 radiator flush additive bottles

- 1 1L hand pump to make oil defy gravity to get to the diff and trans filler points.

Also replaced the exhaust:

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I also serviced the trans:

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With a new filter and oil:

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In the mean time I also replaced every single cooling system hose, and the heater tap with a new plastic type one:

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I also rewired the earth side of the battery:

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New earths installed:

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New main earth:

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I took apart the high pressure side of the power steering pump, replaced the O-rings on this valve:

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Also replaced the high pressure line which was leaking badly:

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The factory shocks and springs on the rear:

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Have been replaced:

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The alternator was screwed from the power steering leak, leaks right into the alternator and eats the copper from the slip rings inside the alternator, it was only putting out 11.3V:

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old and new:

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I also changed the wheels to the factory 15" the car rolled out of the factory with:

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I've done everything up until this point, now I've taken the car to my mechanic for the final touches, and the stuff I'm not confident in touching, which is brake pads, brake rotors and wheel bearings, he also needs to do a road worthy check on my car so I can register it :)
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AMD Damo
Gerbil Jedi
 
Posts: 1657
Joined: Wed Jun 07, 2006 3:35 am
Location: Australia, the backwater of all things Technology!

Re: Got me a project car :D

Postposted on Mon Dec 10, 2012 7:37 am

The floor mats look fine, they match the lighter colored lower half of the dash.

Also, the engine compartment is cleaner than the wheel wells :D I imagine once you've got it back from your mechanic a nice spiffing up of the exterior is in order.
MadManOriginal
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Posts: 1413
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Re: Got me a project car :D

Postposted on Mon Dec 10, 2012 12:15 pm

How To Build a New Car By Starting With An Old Car, Part XIV in our continuing series...

That's good work, but, wow. I ended up doing about the same amount of stuff on the 2gb Eclipse, and I was really beginning to hate that car by the time I decided to sell it.
He who laughs last, laughs first next time.
ludi
Gerbil Elder
 
Posts: 5431
Joined: Fri Jun 21, 2002 10:47 pm
Location: Sunny Colorado front range

Re: Got me a project car :D

Postposted on Mon Dec 10, 2012 5:58 pm

If that tranny is even close to a 4R70W it needs Mercon V. A full flush will be 12 liters.
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