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James92TSi's 3000GT

38085 Views 142 Replies 38 Participants Last post by  noob2gowner

James92TSi's 3000GT - aka "Red"

Red is a '91 3000GT VR-4, which I bought in November 2004. Always garage-kept and dealer maintained by previous owners (a good thing in this case), she is what one might refer to as "a keeper". She is actually one of the first 100 VR-4s to come over to the States, denoted by a gold "Premiere Edition" badge on the glovebox (Pic 1 Pic 2).

Red was bought as a daily driver to back up my DSMs, and performed that task quite admirably until early 2007. She started to have little issues here and there, and the final straw was when the output shaft failed in late June (Pic 1). I started plotting and scheming -- as my original plan was to have Red as my daily car, and my '92 GSX project as my track car. It seemed Red had other ideas.

I eventually arrived at the difficult decision to cut my losses on the GSX project, make Red the track car, and shop for a newer car with warranty to serve as my daily. Shakira (my G35 Sport Coupe) was added to the family in late August, and Red officially moved into the "toy" role.

More pics of Red, including shots on-track, can be found in my Picasa album: http://picasaweb.google.com/James92TSi

Here's the rundown of what's done to her so far:

• Eclipse AVX2494 - touch screen DVD/CD/MP3, 20GB HDD (visible in these: Pic 1 Pic 2)
• PPI 5440 5-channel amplifier (Pic 1)
• Infinity Kappa 60.5cs 6.5" component set (front)
• Infinity Kappa 692.5i 2-way 6x9" coaxials (rear)
• Infinity Kappa Perfect 10 DVC sub (Pic 1)
• Audiobahn 1-farad capacitor
• Optima Yellow battery
• PAC SWI-X steering wheel radio control interface

Under-hood gadgetry
• Matrix cone filter with 3SX MAS mounting bracket
• MSD spark wires (and NGK coppers, of course)
• 3rd revision lash adjusters
• Alamo Y-pipe (Pic 1)
• Emissions/vacuum line reduction (EGR removed and blocked)
• Supercar Engineering oil pan with trap door and kick-out (Pic 1 Pic 2)
• Northbend Technologies Quadco XR output shaft and input spool (Pic 1)
• EK2 poly motor mounts
• Otherwise just your typical stock 2-bolt 6G72 TT, as maintained by an anally retentive person.

(Pic of all parts - note that brakes were not installed yet in pic above)
• 2G VR-4 front brakes - powdercoated red & rebuilt (Pic 1)
• Porterfield R4S pads
• Drilled/Slotted rotors (eye candy from when the car was my daily)
• Goodridge braided SS lines
• ATE Super Blue fluid (or ATE TYP 200... same fluid, yellow color... good for alternating flushes)
• Speed bleeders

Suspension, Wheels, and Tires
• Tein FLEX coilover system
• MB Motorsports Weapon wheels, 18x9 gunmetal finish (+1 in the garage as a full-size spare)
• Falken FK-452 tires, Y-rated 255/35/18

• Chrome front emblem :)
• Snake Eye mod (Pic 1)
• Hella H4 conversion headlamps
• Supermac race shifter
• 99 GSX leather shift knob (the last remaining piece of the Talon)
• Active Aero that actually works (a rarity among first-gen VR-4s)
• Brushed aluminum defrost vents (Pic 1 Pic 2 Pic 3)
• Leatherseats.com reupholstery kit, two-tone with custom logos (Pic 1)
• Tint, yo!

Parts I have that are not on the car yet
• 2G VR-4 rear brakes (same disassemble/powdercoat/rebuild treatment as the fronts)
• Greddy/GT Pro FMIC kit
• TD04L 13T turbos
• DNP precat eliminators (tubular o2 housings)
• Alamo 3" downpipe
• More brushed aluminum interior bits
• A whole lot of body parts (for 2G/99 conversion), including a Cianci Viper hood
• Parts for quad e46 bixenon HID retrofit into 94 Stealth glass headlights
... and probably some other stuff I'm forgetting to mention.

Future plans for the car are
• Repair of damage from off-track incident at September's HPDE event (including installation of Tein FLEX system)
• Replacement of the three factory center gauges with accurate stuff
• Another rework of the braking system, to include better quality rotors, more race-oriented pads (most likely from Carbotech), and ducting for the front rotors
• Installation of the 99 front end, Viper hood, and HID retrofit
• A second set of wheels, most likely 17x9.5 with 275/40/17 Toyo RA1 tires.
• Installation of the remaining 2G body parts and repaint of the car
• Resisting the urge to put all of those other performance parts on the car until my driving improves... a lot. :)

The eventual power goal is 400 to 425 awhp reliably on pump gas, which is well within the capabilities of the parts I've chosen. At that power level, she'll be a complete hoot on the road course... all in due time. Engine management will most likely be AEM EMS.
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I can't deal with this shit anymore.

The body shop put my front-to-rear crossmembers on using the wrong bolts. Not the bolts that I gave them in the plastic baggies that said "hey, these go here" -- but bolts of the wrong thread pitch.

So the threaded holes on the brand new subframe I installed are fucked up... as well as the threaded holes on the small crossmember behind the radiator. Both of those are going to have to be replaced. $600 worth of parts and more downtime. As in... take the steering rack out and dismantle the entire front suspension again.

I'm really considering looking for a clean red 94-95 VR-4 with a blown engine / drivetrain at this point.
WTF! Make them fix it! If you told them to use those bolts and they didn't, then they need to fix it. And have them fix it stat. That's Grade A bologna right there.
Yes it's bullshit.

They will not be touching my car again.

If they want to fix it, they can pay for the parts and pay me to have the work done at a shop of my choice (aka my driveway with me turning the wrenches - the only way anything normally gets done on my cars).

After all, I paid them book labor rates to work on my car, and look where it got me. They can pay me book labor rates to fix their fuck-up.

I'll be talking with them tomorrow.

They fucked up $600 worth of parts with that little error... installing 10mm x 1.5 bolts into 10mm x 1.25 holes. From the looks of the 10 x 1.5 bolts that came out, they were just impacted in... as there are a few threads missing from the nose of each bolt where they were obviously rammed home with an impact.
What a bunch of retards! IIRC 1.5 is coarse thread, so it wouldn't even be hard to tell that they don't belong just by comparing the two threads. Idiots. See, this is why I do all the work myself. Sucks man. I can't imagine how much it would suck to pay all that for someone to do a good job and have them go and screw it up. Get 'em for all they're worth.
They fucked up, have them pay for it and make everything A-OK.
Well that sucks, but don't give up. You have put to much time and money into this car.
Thing is, after having the car in the air today, some things about the body/frame work are suspect as well.

As in... I don't know if they measured a damn thing or not. It kinda looks like they just eyeballed it and welded the new core support / headlight buckets on... which is completely not what I paid them to do. I wanted (and we discussed) measuring the entire car to see what was damaged, and repairing to original spec, THEN installing the front end.

This is what has me thinking about swapping to a 2G VR-4 chassis. Something with no rust and no collisions, and if I'm lucky, it'd be red or black with good electrical.

I just can't take anymore of this bullshit. I am several thousand dollars and a year and a half into fixing this car. It has so many parts on it with 0 miles that it's stupid. I still can't put the car together because of the subframe fuck-up... and even if I could, I am not exactly confident that the frame was actually fixed. I wouldn't know until getting her on the alignment rack.

But thanks for the encouragement guys. This shit is supposed to be fun, right? :tat:
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You need to stay on these assholes. Call them out on their shitty work, and have them rectify the issue, or refund you your money. If all else fails, small claims court!
Done. Going to have to bring the car down there next week so they can inspect their handiwork.

I intend on towing the car in, putting it on the lift for inspection, and towing it back out. I'm not going to be leaving her in their hands.

The shop owner seemed confused about the idea of fixing the situation vs. physically fixing the car. I told him I would have a shop who I trusted do the work... at which point he tried to end the conversation saying "you don't want me to fix the car so there is nothing I can do."

I informed him that there is a difference between fixing the car and fixing the situation. "I want to handle the situation, but the work to fix the car will not be performed at your shop."

We'll see what happens.
I see you all over 3SI and for good reason your 3k is so hot!
Sounds like it's time for a 99' convo :)

3000GT's For Life!!
You read really well.
James that blows. I hate people who halfass shit for money like that.
My car Is still in peices too. I feel your pain.
I just read this thing from beginning to end. This is one sexy VR4. I do hope that you get things straightened out with the frame shop. You have put soo much time and money into this car now it would be a shame to have to get a new shell. Good luck with getting your issue resolved.
Sounds like it's time for a 99' convo :)

3000GT's For Life!!
You read really well.
Lol, agreed. James post some pics up of the crap they did.
All I could really give you pics of would be the impacted-on incorrect thread pitch bolts. I might have the car in the air again this weekend... if so, I'll try and snap some other pics.

Thanks for the support, guys. This situation is beyond frustrating. It's the same feeling over and over again... spend money, find something else wrong. Repeat ad nauseum. I was supposed to be able to put the car together after receiving it from the body shop, and I still can't. And I am out a considerable amount of money for the "work" they performed.
:( Dude thats awful, I've always enjoyed your car. I Really do wish you the best of luck and hope this all turns out in your favor. I can understand your pain in a slightly less expensive way. I lost my license for not paying tickets, nothing serious Im not an asshole on the road I just hated going to court. So I didn't. My own fault. but. I finally had paid all my backed tickets and got the car back on the road. about 4 months to the day I blew my tranny. and now she sits. Again. its such a hassle but when you finally do get behind the wheel again of your beloved none of this will matter. It'll be you and the car and things will be perfect. Hopefully. :) G'luck dude I'm gonna continue following the thread :Thumbs up:
Beautiful car James.. look past the discouragement and you'll have everything resolved. Give us an update whenever you have a chance. Good luck and God Bless.
Car is very clean, hope that situation works out for the better.
It's not much of an update, but the subframe situation appears to be working out as well as I could have hoped.

Instead of towing the car out to the shop and back, the shop owner came to my house on a Saturday to look at the car. He agreed with what I said was done wrong, and I provided him a CAPS printout & shopping cart from Cherry Hill for the replacement subframe parrts.

He ordered replacement parts from a local Mitsu dealer late last week, and those should be delivered this week.

I'll have to tear apart the front susp, steering rack, etc. again to replace the subframe, but such is life. The shop owner originally offered to have his tech fix his mistake, but I declined that since I would rather do the work myself and know it is done right. I'm not pursuing labor costs sinice it is my choice to do the work myself... all I want is the parts and I will move on with my garage tinkering.

Hopefully the frame work was done properly. I'll know more about that when the car goes to alignment. If not, I'm sure the car will at least be driveable if not trackworthy. If not trackworthy, I'll look at swapping to another shell in the future.

I've found I tend to lack motivation on a long project when there is no goal. I'd like to have the car ready to attend the TX09 3S gathering in late October... which gives me roughly 2 months to have it all together so I can put some miles on it before the trip to Austin.

I have a huge list of stuff to do before then.
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It's here in Austin? Damn, I'll have to swing by and check it out.

I'm glad to hear the owner was accommodating. Hopefully now the ball can get rolling...
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