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captainawesome Dork
8/1/22 9:31 a.m.

I finally removed the HVAC box from the dash Sunday morning. It took some fiddling but got it out without too much fuss. Dash bar needed pulled out of the way quite a bit which meant dropping the steering column. The evaporator was covered in small leaves but I see no signs of leakage. Bummed I wasted time on this but at least I can check it off the list.

After reinstalling EVERYTHING, I immediately checked for vacuum leaks and I'm right back where I started. Still leaking. Cue sad trombone.....

I then burped the coolant system and took the car for a spin to cheer me up. No cheering up could be found unfortunately. My mind is still sliding towards selling after getting the a/c fixed. I don't know if it's just a phase but I'm growing tired of working on automotive stuff in general. On top of that I committed the cardinal sin of adding up how much I've spent on this car. It's pretty sobering. In fact I've spent stupid amounts of coin on multiple automotive endeavors the past few years and it's kinda gotten out of hand.

I'm trying to not make a haste decision on the car but it's not looking good. A toy that costs this much and driven so little seems financially irresponsible. If I buy anything cheap to fix up I'm back working on cars because cheap ones need work. That also means more money to buy parts to fix cheap car. It's a quagmire for sure.




docwyte PowerDork
8/1/22 9:51 a.m.

Yeah, when I sold the corrado parts stash that made me add it all up.  Gulp!  I didn't know I had that much invested in the car plus parts, definitely didn't know I had that much in parts.  For the total amount I had invested I would've rather had a different car, that I didn't have to maintain a parts supply for, that was more fun to drive/own and I didn't have to work on.

This weekend I just did an oil change on my wifes car and rear brakes on my daughters.  Like you, I've kind of had it for working on cars and that was just basic maintenance.  Thankfully where I have my fleet now is pretty good as far as working on them, really just maintenance and my wifes DD, daughters DD and my DD should just need oil changes going forward for awhile.  I've got a little work to do on the KTM this offseason and then maybe a large project on the 996 this off season if I'm motivated by then...

I wouldn't sell the car once the AC gets fixed, I'd keep it and enjoy for it for awhile, then make the decision...

golfduke Dork
8/1/22 10:01 a.m.

This really sucks.  I love this car, and AC tail-chasing/troubleshooting is the ABSOLUTE worst on any car.  I hate it.  

Slippery GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
8/2/22 2:18 p.m.

You've put so much effort into this car, and from the thread it looks to me that you really enjoy it. The only problem being the AC. 

I would pay someone to at least diagnose it and go from there. 

Slippery GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
8/2/22 2:20 p.m.

Plus no way I am buying this car from you without working AC cheeky

captainawesome Dork
8/2/22 2:55 p.m.

I've got an autocross this Sunday and then I'll be scheduling some time with a shop to start diagnosing the A/c leak. I'm waiting until after the work is finished before full consideration of selling the car. I definitely have enjoyed the car from the beginning of the project until now.

With that said, I've been doing a fairly in depth audit of my automotive spending over the past five years, and it's gotten out of hand. There are several ways I can go about rectifying the situation. Financially I'm not hurting, but the proceeds from selling it along with the go fast bits can help put my family in a better place. Mainly I need to put needs VS wants VS a more realistic budget together. My oldest is a couple years away from her first vehicle so that's something I have on the horizon. On top of that I really want to start traveling more with the wife and also kiddos. I'd rather inflate the travel budget than continue with automotive hijinks since it benefits the whole family and not just myself.  Realistically I just need to stop finding things to spend money on when it comes to car stuff, but I have a feeling as long as there are cars to "improve" it will be a never-ending journey.

Whew! That's a mouthful.

Slippery GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
8/2/22 2:59 p.m.

In reply to captainawesome :

I can totally understand where you are coming from.

Sonic UberDork
8/2/22 3:33 p.m.
Slippery said:

You've put so much effort into this car, and from the thread it looks to me that you really enjoy it. The only problem being the AC. 

I would pay someone to at least diagnose it and go from there. 

Agree with this.  The money is already spent, and if you cut back futures spending (like building a hot new motor) you can still have a fun car you enjoy and still have more money to spend with the family.  

captainawesome Dork
8/3/22 9:47 a.m.

I'm starting to feel convinced to keep the car and I haven't even gotten the a/c fixed yet!

I think some of the root of the problem is the shear amount of cars I've bought and sold in the last year. TONS of work put into just about all of them including the Audi and Expedition.

Just a quick list:

March of last year the first FRS goes under the knife with the cam bearing issues that popped up. After all that happened I parted the car out and brought back to stock to sell.

While parting out the FRS I bought a widebody turbo Miata with the intentions of being a track/autocross toy. I spent about double what I paid for the car on reliability mods. I didn't replace everything on the car but I did fly to Colorado Springs to pick up a rollbar from a fellow GRM member and drive back with rental 14 hours straight home. Never fell in love with the car. Sold it to fund this new FRS.

To haul the Miata around I traded our Santa Fe in for an Expedition. The Miata deal came with a 20ft trailer and I needed something capable.

Around this time I finally put the almost fully restored 14 ft Starcraft Falcon in the water. The outboard needed love and instead of sending it to a shop to work on it, I sold it like a dunce.

July I sell the first FRS, two days later this thread is started with this one.

Miata sells a short minute later. Drag home FRS donor. Sell TSX shell shortly after.

September I notice a stupid cheap aluminum Arkansas Traveler boat. I felt like I needed redemption on the Falcon. I was wrong. Sold this a few months back since it was just another project distraction. Also got the worse case of poison ivy ever retrieving this from the weeds.

September of last year I was cruising through GRM classifieds and saw an 01 Legacy Wagon that I just had to have. I flew out to Clearwater Florida and then drove it 16 hours straight back home. Thought I wanted a wagon. It was exactly as advertised but I was a bit underwhelmed by the car. It just wasn't for me so I sold it. Next owner said the clutch was slipping so I replaced the clutch for him, cause that was the right thing to do.

In October while mulling over what I wanted to do with the wagon I saw an 03 Bugeye WRX in world rally blue. It was a dream car back in the day for me. This one had a seized engine so I bought a known ej20 from a buddy and got it all running again. I actually really liked this car and wish I had kept it. 

It cleaned up really nice too.

Around the same time I got the WRX I bought the crusty 69 Toyota Corona for way too much. Sold it to GRM alumni which I believe then sold it again. Fairly certain it's got a thread around here somewhere.

While selling the Corona I managed to acquire the SVT Fiesta. I drove the Corona to Paducah Kentucky and came back with the Fiesta in tow.

Of course right before the Fiesta was acquired the WRX kept calling back to me. A buddy had a SUPER low mile blobeye 05 with a low mile JDM ej205 already in the bay. It just needed finishing touches mechanically and some paint work. Of course there were setbacks. Cheap ebay clutch was terrible so engine out to replace that. Horrible noise from the rear diff so had to swap that out. I collected a lot of parts to do a/c work but with the FRS project it's been just sitting. Almost sold it a few months ago but decided to finish the car and then decide.

Around this time I got overwhelmed. I had the Fiesta and the WRX blobeye that needed work. The Kpower kit had shipped and I realized there just wasn't any time for the Fiesta. It was then sold to another GRM member, and thankfully cleared out a ton of room again.

Once the k swapped FRS was up and running it didn't require a crazy amount of tinkering, so I messed with the WRX and Arkansas Traveler boat a little in between. Around March the dual mass flywheel on my Audi was making a racket. So out with the trans and a new one installed. Not without drama either but it got finished and was back on the road. Shortly after that it needed a full brake job. Which around the same time the Expedition started leaking coolant by the thermostat neck. Thankfully that was a $15 part and a 30 minute fix.

Then the idea of a more powerful k24 to swap into the FRS came along. I decided to sell a bunch of stuff I didn't really need to fund the project. Focusing on the FRS instead of 5-6 other projects seemed like a good move.

Trailer sold. Boat sold. Extra parts sold.

Selling the blobeye didn't work out as planned as I still have it. Still on the fence, it may be the oldest kiddo's first car. Maybe. I painted the front bumper black with some cheap rattle can. Polished the headlights and am looking into adapter harnesses for the JDM HID lights that came with the car. Need to paint all wheels a matching color but it's been excruciatingly hot. Still waiting on an a/c switch, and once it's installed will go to the shop to charge and deal with. Not going that route again.

So after typing all this up I'm pretty sure I know why I'm burnt out. It's all self inflicted. What's really sad is I know there's a ton of stuff I've done that isn't listed as it's all in this thread for the FRS or just random stuff. Like the 4-5 bicycles I've bought, rehabbed, sold, kept to stare at, you name it. 

Time to pause on buying more projects. Finish what I have. Reevaluate what makes me happy.



docwyte PowerDork
8/3/22 9:53 a.m.

Yeah, that's way more than I've taken on in the last year.  I have 1 motorcycle, a bunch of DD and the 996.  In the last year I did buy and then sell the corrado, but nowhere near what you've been up to...

captainawesome Dork
8/3/22 11:49 a.m.

In reply to docwyte :

In hindsight I might have overdone it?

AWSX1686 (Forum Supporter)
AWSX1686 (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
8/3/22 11:50 a.m.

And I thought I've had a busy year with cars. I might be about the same on cars, but minus the boats... Simplification of projects is good. (Says the one that still has 3 project cars that don't have engines in them at the moment...)

docwyte PowerDork
8/3/22 3:57 p.m.

In reply to captainawesome :

Way more than I have band width for, which is one of the reasons I sold the corrado.  Between just regular maintenance on the 3 DD's, and the motorcycle, it's all I can manage to work on the 996 too...

captainawesome Dork
8/11/22 9:10 a.m.

I don't want to jinx it, but I think the a/c is fixed.

Yesterday I dropped it by the shop to see what they could find. Apparently it held a vacuum without issue so they re-charged the system. The tech I've been dealing with took it for a spin and ran it for a while to leak check. So far the system is blowing cold like it should and no signs of dye. I really hope this is it, but will know in a few days if there's any leaks that exist.

This weekend I'm going to go over the suspension height adjustments I made a few weeks ago. I raised the car but pretty sure the rear passenger is a bit higher than the other corners. Also I need to check toe and camber with the amount I've raised it. I really don't want to tinker on the car right now, mainly just give it a wash but I don't want to destroy what's left of my tires and add in more cost. I'm just glad to have it on the road again.

Slippery GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
8/11/22 12:04 p.m.

Great news!

CAinCA GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
8/11/22 1:57 p.m.

Holy crap! I think you might have had more project cars/boats in the last year than vehicles I've owned in my entire lifetime. I've had many different hobbies over the years but I've tried to limit myself to 1-2 projects at a time. I've had multiple friends that jumped into a hobby and started 5-6 projects at a time. Eventually they all burned out or had major marital issues. 


No matter what the hobby is you need to ask yourself a question. Do you own the projects or do they own you? 

captainawesome Dork
8/11/22 2:57 p.m.

In reply to CAinCA :

I definitely got carried away. I need to ask myself before taking on the next project what it's intended purpose would be, and if that purpose makes any sense with my available time and resources. If I do anything automotive related soon it will be a simple overlander/trail rig, but right now I'm not going to go down that road. I'm taking a break for the next few months to gain back some enthusiasm as I've run the well dry.

captainawesome Dork
8/11/22 9:01 p.m.

I put quite a few miles on the car today. Still getting cold air and no signs of leaks under the hood this evening.

Life is good.

captainawesome Dork
8/12/22 8:23 a.m.

So she's back on the commute train. Talked some stuff over with the wife and got a good game plan together.

We are looking to sell off the Expedition in the next week or so since it's a gas hog and it's purpose is no longer to tow a turbo Miata around. At some point I will be looking for a Sequoia but for now I'll hold off. The wife will drive the A3 daily. The blobeye WRX is going to a buddy's shop to get the CEL sorted. It needs troubleshooting, and he's the guy I know can sort it out fast. Once it's back in my possession I'll be hooking up the last of the A/c stuff on it, and then sending it to the shop to get charged up. It still needs a radio. Also at some point some pads and tires. I think it will be my main daily with the FRS peppered in there from time to time. The FRS is going to stay for sure. Getting excited again about building the other block up but waiting a few months before I start getting serious again. For now I'm just going to enjoy it as is.


Slippery GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
8/12/22 9:04 a.m.


captainawesome Dork
8/13/22 10:10 p.m.

My plan for today was to take the WRX to my buddy's shop for diagnostics. Simple. Just drive it there and leave it.

Well that didn't work out. About a mile away from my house the CEL pops on and I coast safely to a side road. P1230 popped up which is listed as the fuel pump controller. I can't hear the fuel pump whine at all. The relay is clicking. After the wife drove me back to the garage I loaded up tools and headed back to check voltage at the pump. It's got 12v so I pulled the pump assembly to find a disgusting mess. The strainer wasn't attached to the pump anymore, so it was just sucking in all the trash in the tank. Pretty sure that's what killed the pump. I found the rest of the strainer in the tank.

By now it's hovering in the upper 90s so I took the assembly back to the house to see what I could do to fix the situation. Luckily the car came with a Dw300 fuel pump which took FOREVER for me to find. Parts stores locally had nothing in stock so I woulda been screwed otherwise. My buddy said to ditch the in tank filter above the pump so I ran a new soft line with clamps. Parts stores also failed to have the proper strainer but I found one close enough that worked just fine.

Drove the pump back to the car and BLAMMO! We are back in business. Finally dropped the car off, and hopefully I'll have some good news tomorrow that the P0340 code has been eradicated.

Parker with too many Projects
Parker with too many Projects Dork
8/15/22 10:12 a.m.

HOWWWW does a modern fuel tank have that much corrosion inside of it?

captainawesome Dork
8/15/22 10:26 a.m.

In reply to Parker with too many Projects :

SUPER low miles. Only 50k miles on the chassis so I assume from sitting so much with a tank full of old fuel? I'm afraid I'll have to pull the tank at some point and clean it out or just buy a new one.

84FSP UberDork
8/15/22 12:50 p.m.

I was wondering the same thing - it appeared to have been brought up from Davie Jones Locker.

JBinMD New Reader
8/15/22 2:02 p.m.

Is this what the previous owner looked like when he handed you the keys?  

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