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Discussion Starter #41
Browsing for rims and tires (anything for that matter), you never know what you're going to find used, esp. dealing with Craigslist. The sellers pictures looked good, but again, you never know until you see them in person. I decided this find could be worth the two hour drive, and it couldn't have worked out any better.

GSR Blades are in excellent condition. I won't say they are "mint", but are really damn close. The rims alone (to me) are worth every penny I paid for the set, let alone the Toyo Proxes R888 that are mounted on them.

UPS just dropped off my other street tires, which with any luck should last me a good while. Given the climate here, and how frequent I take extended road trips, I didn't want to invest in a low mileage ultra-performance tire for my daily driving.

Tomorrow I'll have the new tires on the blades, swapping over the Toyo's to my current Fat Fives, and having the shop fine-tune my alignment.

I like progress.



 

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Just read through the thread... you got a great young helper there for the project car; & great find on those blades with Toyo's.
keep it up. :thumbs_up:
 

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Aaron:

today was the first time i've ever fully gone through your topic here... one thing I noticed was that you changed out the motor mounts... what kind of p.i.a. is it to get to the rear one? It was suggested to me to get some newer/stiffer ones but I'm not sure about the install of the one on the backside of the engine under the intake manifold..... one factor involved with my car over yours is the space taken up by the Jackson IM and blower on my car.....

but at least if I had an idea of what you went through that will give me something to think about
 

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Discussion Starter #45
Aaron:

today was the first time i've ever fully gone through your topic here... one thing I noticed was that you changed out the motor mounts... what kind of p.i.a. is it to get to the rear one? It was suggested to me to get some newer/stiffer ones but I'm not sure about the install of the one on the backside of the engine under the intake manifold..... one factor involved with my car over yours is the space taken up by the Jackson IM and blower on my car.....

but at least if I had an idea of what you went through that will give me something to think about
It was a total pain, but wasn't impossible. Similar to how you have to jockey the motor on a jack to get the front torque mounts / alternator / ..., you have to do the same to gain some wiggle room "once" you have everything loose.

Now as far as getting them loose... I had enough room from the "top" to get the 3 "upper" bolts off of the mount. Depending on the bolt, there was one or two I could swivel my way from around the stock battery location, a couple more from around the stock brake master cylinder location. From the passenger side, you can get to the couple of bolts holding the "T" bracket in place (going almost horizontally), and I think there was another bolt or two I had to get from underneath the car on the drivers side. There was no easy path to get to any of these. Multiple swivels and an army of extensions were the only way I got to them.

The only "component" I took lose was the intake tube and filter, just to get some room on that side. I think I had both of the drivers side mounts disconnected from the block at the same time, so I could raise the block to get the T-bracket off and out of the way.

There were a couple of good articles I found that showed pictures of the best avenues to attack the required bolts, I'll see if I can find them.

I'm still waiting for the "break-in" period to smooth out. I'm not sure if this is due to me over torquing something, or if the mounts just need to "settle in". I can definitely tell the motor is stiffer, but I can't say what mount did what, as I did all 5 in one shot. As a caveat, I am noticing considerably more interior vibration at idle, which goes away as soon as you start moving.
 

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Discussion Starter #46
Have the tires and rims swapped, and couldn't be happier. Its nice to know a mechanic at a tire shop (quality work, cheap).

I've got the car on stands in the garage, slowly working on getting the transmission off, which should happen later today. I decided while I'm that far in, I might as well replace all of the other weak links, so putting it back together may be another week or so.

All new bushings, inner tie rods, ball joints, camber kits, etc are en route. This is twice now in a span of a couple of months that I had almost the whole front end off, I'm not so eager to do this again.

Also, interesting find last night. As I went to remove the clutch cover, I noticed quite a bit of "sludge" around the oil pan that I haven't seen before. Looking further, I was missing 3-4 of the nuts that hold the oil pan on :eek: . The remaining bolts / nuts, were either "just barely" snug, or loose. 220k miles, previous owner swears the oil pan was never off, I haven't removed it. I'm scratching my head as to why these decided to finally loosen up. Oil pan gasket enroute, with new magnetic plugs for oil and transmission drains.

I'll get some pics up in the next day or two.
 

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Discussion Starter #48
I have a brand new oem stock oil pan if you find out you need one.
I appreciate it; initial glance, I think the pan itself should be ok. Just a matter of getting a new gasket and a few new nuts, and hopefully will be back in business. I'm still perplexed how it worked itself so loose.
 

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Discussion Starter #49
Been a little slow moving on getting everything done, much in part to being married and having a kid that have other priorities. Transmission should be dropped tonight, everything else is out of the way and off. Parts are trickling in, and I'm almost ready to re-coat the wheel wells. Saturday I'll press all the new bushings in, and restart assembly of the car after. Here's a couple of cell phone pics of the before and after cleaning. I'll snag a couple more once the new layer of undercoat is applied.



 

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Doing it right the first time. nice work.
:thumbs_up:
I had a similar find some months ago, missing a few pan bolts as well. It uses minimal torque so maybe they loosened up over time, as the gasket hardens.
Keep it up!
 

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Discussion Starter #52
man o man, that is a LOT of work.. lol
Yes, Yes it is

Doing it right the first time. nice work.
:thumbs_up:
I had a similar find some months ago, missing a few pan bolts as well. It uses minimal torque so maybe they loosened up over time, as the gasket hardens.
Keep it up!
Thank you...

Just got in from coating the passenger's side wheel well, now on to cleaning, rinsing, and coating the driver's side. I know its one of those things hardly anyone will see, but makes me feel better that it's "the way it should be". Phone was having a hard time getting a good picture, but I think you'll get the gist of the progress.



 

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Discussion Starter #53
Over the course of the week chipped away at the car, and finally got it on the ground. Covered quite a few pieces and parts during this tear down, and am looking forward to what should be a smoother, stiffer, better handling car.

Replaced in April of this year...
Outer Tie Rod
CV Axles
Bearings & Hubs
Koni Yellow & Ground Control
Clutch Master & Slave Cylinders

Replaced Now...
Adjustable Upper Control Arm
Lower Ball Joint
Inner Tie Rod
Exedy Stage 1 Clutch Kit
Resurfaced Flywheel
Energy Suspension All front bushings (control arms, suspension mounts, sway bar)
Energy Suspension Shifter Bushings (plus MorningZ's fix for the short shifter rattle)
Oil Pan Gasket (plus new nuts & bolts)

While I had everything out, I cleaned, roughed up, and re-coated both front wheel wells, and degreased most of the block and the transmission housing.

Things are looking much better.

So today I finally finished everything up, got it off the jack stands, and took it for a spin around the neighborhood. All feels so much better.

I had a buddy riding with me, and we wanted to go to a school parking lot across the street from the neighborhood (have some good curvy access roads with speed bumps, figured it'd be a good local spot to see how much of a difference the bushings made).

Get to the stop sign to leave the neighborhood... let traffic clear... go to cross the street... and BAM... :eek:... hear a thud (almost felt like shift linkage dropped out), and car goes nowhere. Fortunately we're close enough to the house to where we can push the car back to my garage.

Turns out the friggin passenger side CV axle (Duralast Gold, installed April of this year) snapped / sheared off right behind the wheel hub (see pics below). Bear in mind, I certainly was not driving it hard... trying to follow the book for my 500ish mile break in period. New axle not in stock in town, so waiting for the warranty replacement to get here Tuesday. Scary to think how hard I rode the Dragon with it, and how many times I've gone 300+ miles out of town with it. I'm guessing the extra stress of reinstallation with an impact did a faulty part in?

So while I wait on the new axle, I'm tearing the rear end apart now, as have all new bushings, plus camber / toe kit to install in the rear. More to follow soon...



 

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Discussion Starter #56
New axle is here...

Spent the better part of last night working on installing the bushings for the rear. I cannot say enough how much of a ***** that was. The three bushings in the lower control arm were "not that bad" (helps to have a friend with a 20-ton machine press). However, that large trailing arm bushing... let's just say if I had to do it again, I'd go with the OEM replacement. Trying to burn / scrape out the rubber from the OE shell, and do the same for the rubber off of the center pin was not much fun, at all. Spent quite a few hours with a hack saw, drywall saw, torch, wire brush, wire wheel, and a utility knife getting everything cleaned out.

Done with the complaining... all new Energy Suspension bushings are pressed in and ready for install. I'm also installing adjustable toe and camber kits for the rear.

I've cleaned both wheel wells over the course of this week, so should be spraying on the new coat of undercoating tonight, and intend to get everything else bolted back up tomorrow.

My neighbor works at a local tire shop, where we intend to go Sunday to do a full alignment.

Between the new tires, and everything else, I can't wait to get this car back on the road to see the difference in how it handles. :biggrin:
 

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Nice man, Ive had a set of ES lower control arm bushings for almost a year because I don't have a press/ want to mess with it. Also need the toe/camber kits and alignment. Damn, I need to get on it. Glad your getting all this knocked out, it'll be on rails for dragon 2014
 

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Discussion Starter #58
She lives!!!!

Finally got everything buttoned up yesterday, but again not without a little more parts drama.

So I posted previously how I sheared off the passenger side axle. It took Autozone two days to get me a warranty replacement. My week was pretty busy, so I didn't get a chance to throw it on until the weekend. Turns out, the replacement axle didn't have the retention clip required to lock into the transmission housing :icon_twisted:

Called Autozone, strongly expressed how unhappy I was, and it was going to be Tuesday before another replacement could be in. Called Advance, they had one in stock, so snagged it with a quickness. Then, rolled over to Autozone, and they were actually really cool in giving me a refund on my part. I was starting to get a bad feeling about that axle anyway, seeing how the first one sheared off, missing one of the key components on the new one, and who knows what would've been wrong with try number 3.

I need to bleed out my clutch a bit, and adjust the clutch pedal. Full alignment is in store for this week, then I'll be getting back on the road more frequently.

This is the first time I've really had all 4 wheels on the car, new rims and tires. After a good wash today I'll snap a few more. It is slowly starting to come together.

 

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Discussion Starter #59
Alignment completed this morning... Car went from riding very light, seriously wanting to drift on the road, to driving the way it should be. If I had to guess, I'm about a 1.5-2" drop, now with adjustable front upper control arms, and rear Blackworks adjustable toe and camber kit.

I now need to tweak the Koni adjustments a bit. I think I had it set compensating for worn out bushings, so now its riding a bit bouncy that everything is stiff again.

350ish miles to finish the clutch break-in, and should be back to having fun with it.

 
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