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Discussion Starter #81
Alright, so I got the car back today along with all the parts. I drove the chassis home tonight and fixed a squeak that was present since day one of ownership and only made itself more prevalent as I worked out all of the other noises. All of the other parts are home except for the spoiler which is still in the car that I ditched at the painters. I'll be picking that one up in the next hour or so.


I must say, I'm satisfied. That takes quite a bit. There are some flaws, but nothing time won't fix (nibs).

I'm not yet ready to post pictures as I figure no one will check this thread anyhow, but for anyone that does it may net some anticipation. What I can say is that the car looks beautiful, but I do have a crap load of work ahead of me in re-assembly.

Stay tuned, you will not be let down.
 

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Ah, come on! I was really hoping to see pictures! Alright, I'll just be patient then...
 

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Discussion Starter #83
Re-assembly is well under way. Over the last three days:

Rear bumper installed
Spoiler installed
Tail lights installed
Rear wiper painted and installed
Door handles installed
Window trim masked and resprayed/restored
Mirrors installed
Rear "Eagle" and "TSi AWD" emblems painted and installed
Wiper cowel and front wipers installed
CF Hood w/ factory washer squirters, heat shield, front weather stripping, and hood pins installed

I had the strakes installed, but the driver's forward wants to pop off every 24 hours or so. I need to re-consider what I'm using for clips.

I still have the interior to reassemble, a bit of work on the front bumper and the ground effects. I'll dive right into an oil change and down pipe swap since the car will be up on jack stands- only then will I be really finished and start posting pictures.
 

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Make sure your hood pins actually fully release if you went with Aerocatch pins like I did. I got in a hurry last week and didn't notice the passenger didn't fully release, pop the factory latch and went to lift the hood.

:(:mad: Got some That crunching sound will make your heart sink. Then angry with yourself. Luckily it's not to bad, just some spider webbing you can see through the gel coat in the corner where the cutout for the pop up headlights are...still though. :(
 

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Discussion Starter #85
I don't use the factory latch on either car. I am however using the aerocatch style pins, and as a matter of fact, they do not fully release. I have found how to get them to release fully- it's a little extra step, but it's straight forward. If it continues to do this after regular use, I may go out and buy some heavier springs and coil them around the current ones.
 

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Discussion Starter #86
You've waited long enough, and it's been well worth it. The car is completely back together and I'm driving it. I'll interject between picture sets with some of what is going on, but for the most part, the pictures will speak for themselves.

First and foremost, I have not installed the down pipe. We had to modify the cat to accept the Thermal R&D exhaust which had been previously modified to eliminate the infamous Thermal neck-down that would have otherwise accomidated the factory cat. Instead, it has a 3" 3-bolt triangular flange similar to a long tube header. My exhaust guy didn't like the idea of cutting the cat off, so he did some custom work to the post-cat pipework to mate to the modified Thermal. This means that now I have to also have the downpipe fixed with a 3 bolt flange. I haven't decided if I want to attempt this or keep the downpipe for the Spyder project since it's DP has been pretty well hacked up over the years due to the exhaust cutout that I won't be keeping in the same location. Anyhow- that is a developing story, but I won't be attacking the DP until after the 2017 DSM Shootout no matter what I decide.

Alright, now it's time for pictures!
 

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Discussion Starter #87
Bumpers in the booth - the front bumper was a PITA for my guy due to previously being rattle canned before I owned it.



MMMM.... chassis!







As planned, I had the CF hood sprayed...



...sprayed TRANSLUCENT! HELL YEAH! WEEVE!



I also had a hand full of extra door handles sprayed since. These are the one I didn't use.

 

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Discussion Starter #88
Got the chassis home. While it appears semi-assembled, it was mostly zip tied together.




I started at the rear and worked my way forward almost immediately. This was once I had the spoiler and rear end bolted back together.


 

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Discussion Starter #89
The window trim was not in good shape despite going at it with trim paint on the driver's side once before. This time I did a much better job using plasti-dip





 

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Discussion Starter #90
I had pulled the original almost-lime-green badges off with the plan to spray them silver. Here's how they turned out after being attached.






Time to call it a (3rd or more) night(s)

 

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Discussion Starter #91
This picture is a little out of order since I didn't start re-assembling the interior until I finished up the sides. Either way, I was happy to have the rear interior back together and the space back in the garage. I was also happy to hear the subwoofer again. She bangs!

Really, it's quite possibly one of the most potent 10" woofer setups I've heard for being something pretty darn budget.



Underhood work was a chore. Given the CF hood, a lot of stuff had to be ported over. I grabbed the stock washer squirters (major pain in the ass to install), underhood heat shield (drilling holes and using all of the stock push fastners), and was even able to attach the front weather strip. The hood pin catches also needed to be fully installed. Sure, it's "under hood" but the amount of work that went into it was huge and deserves a picture.



Glorious shots of the interior that my phone couldn't appreciate given the direct sunlight. I'd cleaned it up a bit more and scrubbed the carpet a bit more.



How about that hidden boost gauge.... The stockness is amazing!
 

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Discussion Starter #92
Since the bumper had to come back off to do a bit of work for the fender liners and such, I pulled the headlights and gave them another full on restoration since they were starting to look a bit hazy.



I even cleaned up the sight glass for the alignment levels. When was the last time you've seen something almost 23 years old look this good?

 

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Discussion Starter #93
All back together- and the driver's side door strake doesn't want to fall off any more either! At this point I had the interior all back together too. It needed a good vacuuming, a wash and to clean the windows, but I would get to that later. I still haven't washed it however since it's been raining.



Back it up a little and take some pictures.







It's still very dirty in this picture since it hasn't been washed since getting out of paint and re-assembled. It hadn't started to rain yet, but here's the hood in the sun.

 

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Discussion Starter #94
I took the car out for a test drive and it's down right amazing. No clicks, pops or rattles from the suspension or anything like that. There is one little noise that I could faintly hear in the interior which I figure I'd address in time, but I wanted to get some miles on the car before heading to the Shootout. The way it handles, brakes, rides- the entire street manner is absolutly phenomenal. I've been in 20k mile cars that are a quarter of it's age and they don't compare.

The final step was to get the windows done. I tried to line something up, but the soonest he could book was too close to our leave date for The Shootout. We wouldn't be able to roll the windows down until after the 8-10 hour drive up to Ohio. Well, I got a text today saying he had a cancelation, and if I could get him the car by 3pm, he could do it. I work until 6 and my workflow usually doesn't allow for me to leave, plus I need to arrange a ride.

Much like the re-assembly, the puzzle pieces did fall into place and I was able to get the tinter the car. My co-worker and I booked it pretty good to not piss my boss off or miss any of my tickets for the day. I won't be able to roll the windows down until the 11th (my birthday) but we leave on the 16th for the Shootout. I had it tinted to ~35%

Glorious, fantastic results of this car being 99.8% completed in under 1 year. If you recall, I bought it quite literally days before the 2016 Shootout and didn't take delivery until I returned.

Looking forward to seeing some of you guys there!




 

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That look freaking amazing. By chance, are you willing to share how much that paint job cost? I'm curious what to expect when I finally have it done.
 

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Discussion Starter #96
Initially, I was quoted $800 by the guy who painted my Spyder. He up and moved to Florida, so I lost that super good deal. We have a Maaco franchise in the area that does a solid job. They quoted $2300 but left a lot on the table with "We won't promise how any of this will turn out." I turned some of the local Facebook pages looking for a painter who could do it as a side job. I figure, if I'm going to spend some money, rather then put 90% of it into a business, I'd like to put 90% of it in the pocket of the guy doing the work. I'd get better quality and attention to detail. We worked out $2K, but he threw in some glaze and a bit of primer on an issue above the passenger's door handle and the spoiler. In the end, it was $2,100 for the job. I think booth rental ran $125, materials were between 800-1k, so the painter put ~$1k in his own pocket, tax free.
 

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You better post up some of those gooder pictures over here. This thing is Looking FLY.
 

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Discussion Starter #98
Well twist my arm why don't you.

But I do admit, I should update, so here we go.

I went to the Shootout, which means a deep cleaning despite the looming 10+ hour drive.



While drying, the sun was setting real nice, so *snap*




We left early the next day. Before I could exit Virginia, a VHP decided he wanted a closer look...



...and to award me with some garage art.



He pulled me for exhaust, but cited me for illegally displayed front plate (I keep it in the windshield since the front bumper is as it were OE with no holes or hacking) and window tint (registered 28%.) I got a lecture that even with these "aftermarket body kits" that I still had to install the front plate. I politely informed him that the exterior was completely factory parts to which he had to walk to the front and take another look, then give me the ol' "regardless...." I haven't quite decided if I want to fight the tickets or not (I like to argue in court) since it's over an hour drive to the court house and I'd most likely have to take this same car. He either forgot or let me off for the exhaust.

Besides the minor infractions and watching the temp gauge like a hawk, the trip went flawlessly. Eventually I grew complacent with the temp gauge hovering where it wanted to and started to enjoy the car once we'd made the first trip to Norwalk. Quite literally, I was glancing at the temp gauge ever 10-15 seconds over the course of 10 hours.

While we did have fully working A/C, my girlfriend opted to keep the windows down the entire trip. This helped with some of the Thermal R&D drone (she doesn't care for it), but added heat and sun. Paired with the not-quite-factory suspension, it wore us out. Despite the windows being down on the highway, the audio still sounded AMAZING and is one of my favorite things about this car.


We arrived in Ohio on Wednesday, then passed by Norwalk onto to Michigan where we stay with family for the trip. This adds about 1.5 hours of driving each way to get to Norwalk, including some pretty shit roads in the Toledo area. God, I'm glad I moved out of there! Thursday was spent with family as we hopped on a bus to Detroit for some touring and gambling at one of the casinos. Thursday evening was of course another clean up day once we got back.

Off to the show in Wakeman-

Driving in, I felt like I got a good bit of attention. Lots of fingers pointed, heads turned, thumbs ups and "Nice!" I slowed down when I saw someone with a camera trying to take a picture...



...Marybeth Kiczenski had spotted me.

We parked the car and within 15 minutes, pictures are showing up on the face page. Billy Johnson Jr. grabs a few and is looking for me, but we never did meet up.





As it were, I had parked 1 car over from Marybeth. Later I'd find that she'd taken some more pictures and really liked the car.





I ran in auto cross. Marybeth on point with another shot:



The car didn't break any records or even get close to the top of the 14 car field, but it was consistent and I improved pass-after-pass. Given this was my first autocross in over 10 years, and the first time I'd ever really pushed the car, I was happy with it. Unfortunately, the lack of foot-brake boost really kills some of the low end power, but that only suggests I have some more tinker time ahead of me.

I didn't bother to clean anything up until returning home to Virginia. We returned on Sunday but parked well in the back, so it wasn't really anything more then commuting at that point.

On Monday, during the solar eclipse Stephanie and I went to a local (in Toledo) part to do some wandering and check out some historic stuff. We didn't care much for the eclipse hype, but the draw down of the temperature was a nice break in the heat from the weekend, and we were bound to take advantage of it. Wander-wander-wander and it was hot again and time for a quick chilli dog and a smoothie, then onto the next stop:

If you know this building, then you are an OG. While I wasn't closely tied to "them" I did some meandering-work when I was fresh out of high school looking for something to put a little money in my pocket. This shop was my first exposure to DSMs. Little did I know that it would take several years for me give up on Mustangs and try something a bit more addicting.

This was back in 2002 when the DSM scene was HUGE, The fast and the furious (1) was in theaters, hard parking was fun, pushing the envelope of stock part combos was what made you the fastest, the SAFC was the go to tuning device, no one really knew what a dyno was, I laid my eyes on my first 2GB Talon Spyder and loved it. Those times were simple and I was pretty oblivious to what my employeer would eventually be labeled as or what was actually happening in the shop since I was mostly fetching coffee and driving the shop truck around collecting parts.





This shop is where I could argue it all started for me.

Anyhow, we dove back in for the long trip back to VA on Tuesday. After some traffic issues, we arrived home later then expected, but the car performed flawlessly. I felt like a ship wrecked sailor touching his feet on dry ground for the first time.

I- nay
We- nay
We and the car had made it with absolute success. I hadn't had to pop the hood for any issues besides giving a cautionary check of fluids and making a very small adjustment to the BISS screw. The car did fantastic and was rock solid reliable despite my initial concerns. It was a fairly big risk to take this car given that it had only been driven about 150 miles since I'd bought it the year prior, and a total of maybe 300 since it was parked in 2007. We stacked another ~1,500 miles on the odo by the end of the weekend and not once had a hick up.

Home...

 

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Discussion Starter #99
Xavier mentioned "good pictures."

We arrived home on Tuesday, but I'd taken Wed-Wed off to allow for a day to decompress, get unpacked and clean up the car. It was mostly depressing since The Shootout would be another year away and I'd no longer had a project to be absolutly focused on as I did the year prior. Rather then being responsible, I decided in the afternoon to clean the car up and take some pictures with my good camera rather then my standard iPhone stuff.

Well, pictures were taken, editing was done and I have a batch to unload in here, but I must re-size them first otherwise I'll destroy your phones. Stay tuned and when the forum dies off a little bit, I'll give you exactly what you are looking for... pure, unadulterated, DSM porn.
 

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Discussion Starter #100
Flipping through my phone I found that an email hadn't been sent which included some pictures of post paint assembly / pre-shootout. I'd taken them to give a good idea of the hood.

This time, the carbon fiber doesn't pop nearly as much as the Spyders, but it's pretty obvious in the sunlight that something is different. While the Spyder shows its hood from about 10 feet, this car shows at about 5 feet.





 
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