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jdogg New Reader
9/24/19 7:05 p.m.

AKA "Sweet 2005 mod list bro"

Year or so back I bought a white 93 PGT and started working on it.

This car got saved from a junkyard, the owner bought it from another guy who let it sit for 10 years, and he realized he was in over his head on the issues with the car so I scooped it up for a cool stack and drove it home, only overheated twice and ran from the cops once

What was supposed to be a simple two day job turned into a two week triage and resurrection. It needed SO MUCH WORK I almost named it Karen. I did the timing belt, water pump, cleared ALL 9 CEL codes holy crap. It got a new alternator, AC compressor, pretty much anything you would do on a car that was never replaced after 150k miles. I had to rewire the audio and fix all of the issues with the previous owners trying to half-ass stuff. All the speakers were blown so I spent the money for an Alpine system. It was supposed to stay relatively stock and end up a restoration project, but then I was like screw that I wanna go fast, after doing the Dragon for the first time so without further ado, I present to you the PANDA EXPRESS, the day I bought it. It looks a lot nicer in pictures than it actually is. The reality is I have seen examples in the junkyard that looked better.

OPEN HEADERS FTW, the whole exhaust was swiss cheese. I could almost stick my hand through th\e muffler lol

jdogg New Reader
9/24/19 7:10 p.m.

Timing belt and water pump

AFTERMATH. Also did the AC compressor, lines, wiring, alternator, coolant flush, tons of leaking lines and a whole bunch of small stuff under the hood.

Dad and I cleaning the dirt off, this is the last white car I ever own

Some decent /p/hotos cleaned up. Nikon Df ftw

This was actually a little later after a lot more work but I included it here in the /p/ section

IT BEGINS. Greddy SP2 exhaust and Hotshot headers, ported KLG4 manifold from a 2000 626

jdogg New Reader
9/24/19 7:14 p.m.

My friend, we call him Squid, always working on everyone else's cars. He legit threw this whole thing like 20 feet after we wrestled it out from under the car.

PRETTYYYYYYY. The valve cover gaskets were dumping more oil than the Deepwater Horizon so I bought the Fel-pro kit, and while I had the manifold off, hey, we should paint the VC, and while we have all this off, that rear header will be really easy to get to, let's do the header install

Major junkyard score! While cruising the JY for a 626 rear swaybar, I came across a Mazda 6 with slotted front rotors and newer calipers. 90 dollars for everything. Bolted right up. This is a little later after SS lines and EBC Yellowstuff pads. This made a night and day difference, the old stock brakes were shot up like the Soviets trying to cross the Volga in Stalingrad in 1942. Mazda 6 rotors are considerably larger than the old Probe rotors which are designed to fit in a 14" donut wheel on the 4-cyl base model, which I also own one of.

For a very short time it had the MAF swap using parts from an OBD2 Millenia sedan.

After all of this work was done, I drove it to Tennessee the next day for vacation and did this, and that experience pretty much solidified the extent to which this project would reach, no longer would it be just a good daily driver with some balls

So much that I bought another Probe, and yes it's a manual Vulcan which is unobtanium in the Probe world, this is going to be another project for much later on in the future, as I found it had other issues secretly hidden from me that revealed themselves in a torrential Missouri downpour, yay. Rust is a weight reduction, right?

Dusterbd13-michael MegaDork
9/24/19 7:14 p.m.

Im game! Love the 90s sport compact restoration threads lately. 

jdogg New Reader
9/24/19 7:22 p.m.

In reply to Dusterbd13-michael :

This one is part restoration, part go-fast. I'm stripping the rear interior out, but it also has brand new door panels which took me a good minute to track down as the 93 panels were a 2-year thing and 95 and up are different.


jdogg New Reader
9/24/19 7:23 p.m.

Squid doing the battery relocation wiring

Now the real fun begins. It also has an Innovate LC-2, which Squid helped weld up the bung for on the collector. Also, Chinese collectors are junk, we could barely stick our fingers through the flexpipe but that will change in the future.

TUNING IS NOT A CRIME. Also peep the wooden shift knob a la Porsche Carerra GT, Squid makes them.

I actually bought an old IBM T30 Pentium 4 to tune it with, because serial ports, period correct and also most importantly, the T30 is an industrial laptop made for stupid temperatures and all the cooling inside is beefed up so it can handle track days. And Thinkpads are cool.

OBJECTS IN MIRROR ARE LOSING (or waiting in the turn lane)

Have wanted one of these forever, the diameter is a little smaller than I expected but it will make ingress and egress easy later on when I cage it and put racing seats in

This is for later, actually in a couple weeks, thanks Summit

No project is complete without NAWWWSS and a Timmy Turbo plush doll

Exile hooked me up with a spark plug wire cover

jdogg New Reader
9/24/19 7:27 p.m.

Now a bunch of people are wondering, "why is it called the Panda Express?"

This is why. Also, truck driving FTW. I got a load up to Massachusetts to pick these up.

These don't fit by the way, yet but I'm going to try to make them work.

This is a carbon fiber hatch, one of 15 made for this car. Who does custom Lexan windows?

Now the fun part, getting it home. I rode around for a full week like this, during CVSA Inspection week, which is basically screw a trucker week where the DOT comes out of the woodwork and busts our balls over dumb stuff to capitalize on fines, most truckers call it the Revenue Roundup. Every day I went across the scales like this if a DOT had seen this I would have been done for sure. To sleep at night I had to move it forward in the cab and wrap the back of my leg around the edge of the hood, it's only stupid if it doesn't work.

Hood mounted

Rear EBC 98+ 626 BBK, EBC Yellowstuff pads

Squid wrestling with the brake line, we never got the old one off, any ideas outside of cutting it and putting a new one in?

That's where we are for now, in two weeks it gets a power steering cooler, external oil cooler, some suspension stuff, and possibly a set of Enkei RPF1s

We can talk all day about what it WILL get later on, but whatever I decide to do, it will be very fast and it will have a completely fully built-to-the-moon engine and transmission. Right now I'm just focusing on all the supporting mods while I figure out how I want to go fast. I also have a set of race grind 218/363 cams being made and I have a Ferrea valve spring set for it, no matter what happens with the engine Im sure how I will do the top end so I'm going to do that part first as the parts are very rare and hard to come by. Will be regularly updated.

slowbird HalfDork
9/24/19 7:33 p.m.

Oh snap, another Probe! HOLY E36 M3 a manual Vulcan Probe too! This is awesome laugh

Do you have plans for the suspension yet? I need to get a low-profile jack so I can take a wheel off and find out what mine is. I'm betting on cut springs.

Edit: oh man carbon fiber stuff too! Way cool! And that Mazda 6 brake swap is awesome, I should look into that.

Nitroracer UltraDork
9/24/19 7:34 p.m.

I had many miles of fun in my 96' Probe GT.  Listening to that V6 wail at 7,000rpm never seemed to get old.

jdogg New Reader
9/24/19 8:06 p.m.

Suspension ive definitely decided on some flavor of Fortune Auto, whether it be the 500 or 510 series I don't know yet but I'm not putting eBay coilovers on it. I've got a 626 swaybar and some small stuff done already but by the end of the year it should be some sort of competition class coilover setup, I will definitely not be allowed in the 2000 dollar class lol

Yup its a real Vulcan 255k it also has blown shocks right now it looks like a Dr. Dre video going down the road, that's another project soon, getting a set of Koni adjustables rebuilt and revalved for it

jdogg New Reader
9/24/19 8:26 p.m.

On the Mazda 6 brakes I believe they have to be 03-05 for them to bolt up to Probe spindles fyi

Spoolpigeon PowerDork
9/25/19 8:50 a.m.

You bastard! I was trying to get that CF hood and hatch, but you beat me to it! Lol


Car looks great!

jdogg New Reader
9/25/19 11:43 a.m.


I'm going to attempt the hatch install when I get home

infinitenexus Reader
9/25/19 1:53 p.m.

I love 2nd gen Probes!  My second car ever was a 1993.  I learned to autocross in that car.  Excellent handling and brakes.  Mine was a base model so not a ton of power but I swapped over some FS-ZE parts and that helped.  I would love to find a 2nd gen GT and do a challenge build with it.  Those GTs were a blast.

mfennell Reader
9/25/19 2:05 p.m.

The only new car I ever purchased was a '94 Probe GT.  Like infinitenexus, I started autocrossing in it.  I had road raced motorcycles semi-seriously in college and just after, then swore it off as too expensive and too die-ish.  In cars, the PGT was my gateway drug to an E36 M3, the track, then a Spec RX7. 

Which is where it stopped and I just bought a nice street car.  :) . Well, actually I guess i bought a kart but then I *really* stopped with the motorsports nonsense.  

wae SuperDork
9/25/19 2:15 p.m.
jdogg said:
OPEN HEADERS FTW, the whole exhaust was swiss cheese. I could almost stick my hand through th\e muffler lol

Damn, dude!  How big are your hands?  I think I could stick my HEAD through that muffler!

FunkyCricket Reader
9/25/19 3:17 p.m.

We had a 5 speed 4 cyl um.. 92 probe in blue. That thing was peppy, but damn could it corner. The g force fuel pump cut off reset pull in the hatch area was left out of the little cover. I was tripping it all the time in high school (it was my mom's car). I really dig those cars. Cool build.



RossD MegaDork
9/25/19 3:24 p.m.

So are you putting a SHO 3.2 in there?

MadScientistMatt PowerDork
9/25/19 3:37 p.m.

Nice to see somebody restoring a 2nd gen Probe! Not many of those left, and they're fun cars.

jdogg New Reader
9/26/19 6:44 p.m.

It's getting a built KLZE hybrid setup I already have a set of 280 degree cams and Ferrea springs, and apparently Boundary pumps makes an oil pump that addresses the cavitating issue above 8000rpm so Im going to get one of those too

kevinatfms GRM+ Memberand Reader
9/30/19 10:24 a.m.
RossD said:

So are you putting a SHO 3.2 in there?

Id kill to see a 2.0L Ecoboost installed. That would be an amazing car with an LSD.

I used to despise the Probe/Contour V6 models for so many various reasons while working on them. Those damn shifter cables used to skin knuckles daily.

jdogg New Reader
10/6/19 9:24 a.m.

Probe uses shifter rods.

Bought a set of RPF1s and Firehawk Indy 500 tires

jdogg New Reader
10/6/19 5:41 p.m.

I haven't put the new tires on yet but I'm surprised the 255s clear stock towers, it hooks nice now out of the hole in 1st. The back needs a 10mm spacer for it to be flush, it will look better lowered on the coils

slowbird HalfDork
10/6/19 6:39 p.m.

Those wheels look really good on there, nice choice.

jdogg New Reader
10/6/19 7:47 p.m.

I was torn between the Advan RGIII, Ray's Gram Lite and the RPF1 and the RPF1 looked the best and costs half as much as the other two while being almost the same weight.

The saying, about the Enkei RPF1, RPF1s don't look good on everything but they make everything look good

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