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2002colossalfailure
2002colossalfailure New Reader
8/14/15 8:29 p.m.

Under the car this week working on some appearance items. I wanted to get the calipers looking the same all the way around so colored them flat black. I don't like the bright colors that are typically done. I've been looking at the new control arm bushings I've got plus the sad state of my front a/s bar bushings I decided two things. 1. I ordered a hardware kit from suspension techniques like I did for the rear. This one was less than half the cost of the rear for some reason, no complaints obviously. 2. I'm going to yank the front control arms and install my bushings. This job looks nightmarish, especially since I'll probably have to pull up the carpet and drill holes in the floor to access two of the mounting bolts. That's a bit out of my comfort zone.

2002colossalfailure
2002colossalfailure New Reader
8/15/15 6:59 p.m.

I spend time at LKQ today but didn't find anything I'd call exciting. I do enjoy poking around that yard though, so it's not wasted time. I borrowed some tools and cut the holes in the floor to access the rear control arm bolt.

As expected, they're pretty rusty so I started soaking them in PB. In the meantime I put some heat on the drive side tie rod locknut and broke that loose. The end itself is still stuck but not for long. PB and heat will get it moving. The goal this week is to get control arms and anti-sway bar off.

2002colossalfailure
2002colossalfailure New Reader
8/17/15 8:08 p.m.

I pulled the front anti-sway bar tonight. It was 90 in the garage and every bolt resisted for all it was worth. As with the rear, the end links were rusted solid and need a lot of cutting and prying to break loose. The pivot bracket bolts were a mixed bag. One came out whole but the other snapped after leading me to believe it would come out too. So I've got to drill it out, bugger.

2002colossalfailure
2002colossalfailure New Reader
8/22/15 6:06 p.m.

It was a mixed week. It took far longer and more tools than I anticipated to force out the broken anti-sway bar bracket bolt. That was the low point. Today was a cause for celebration since all the penetrating oil and heat applied to the control arm bolts this week resulted in easy removal.
I'll finish removing them tomorrow and bring to them to work next week for installation of the new bushings. I'll also re-finish the front anti-sway bar and replace this worn out junk, with this bright and beautiful batch of parts - The only thing missing would be replacement struts but it's not in the budget and the old Koni's seem to be in working order. The goal is to have the wheels back on the car by the weekend for some road testing.

2002colossalfailure
2002colossalfailure New Reader
8/23/15 4:28 p.m.

After all the work on the vertical control arm bolt and thinking I was home free the horizontal (forward) bolt is stuck solid in the bushing sleeve. Even hitting it hard with a 5lb sledge didn't budge it. It looks like I have to heat it up, and trash the bushing, if I'm going to get it out. I really didn't want to have to do that. I did get the left front tie rod end loose so aligning the car will be possible now. I also painted the anti-sway bar. Not everything I wanted to get accomplished, but not a total loss either.

NOHOME
NOHOME UberDork
8/23/15 5:27 p.m.

I read your thread and your battle with rust just to feel better after a day of fighting with the Molvo; living in Ontario I have done battle with the rust demon many a time. While I have no lack of challenges turning a Miata into a Volvo, rust is not one of them.

2002colossalfailure
2002colossalfailure New Reader
8/24/15 8:18 p.m.

I got the front anti-sway bar back on,

but my meager tools and even meager-er skills aren't enough to break the front control arm bolts free so no new bushings this time around. The ones that are in there are still serviceable but I was really hoping to get the new ones in for the challenge.

The plan is to wrap things up with an oil change and brake bleed this week and then think about the exterior.

2002colossalfailure
2002colossalfailure New Reader
8/31/15 7:44 p.m.

The (original) adjustable Koni's aren't so adjustable. When I tried to turn the adjusters, they just snapped off. There isn't a fastener on this car that isn't locked in place with rust.

2002colossalfailure
2002colossalfailure New Reader
9/5/15 6:39 p.m.

Working on the garage this weekend (priming and painting new drywall) but also starting to try and spruce up the exterior of the neon.
I'm no good at painting but given the appearance of the bumper the chances of making it worse are only 50/50 so I'm giving it a shot. My hope is this is the end of the project. I've driven it lately and it's running well. I decided not to buy tires since although they are off budget, you have to have a budget to buy them. There are three different brands of tires on the car and they aren't in bad shape so I'm going to stay with them.

DeadSkunk
DeadSkunk UltraDork
9/6/15 7:56 a.m.

After attending a Detroit Region rallycross yesterday I spent time looking for cars on Craigslist.Guess who's ACR ad I stumbled across? Good luck with the sale.

2002colossalfailure
2002colossalfailure New Reader
9/16/15 7:53 p.m.

I'm trying to work on appearance in the run-up to the event since I'm still on the fence as to whether I go or not. This thing has about 400 paint chips on it so I'm touching them up. At 50 feet it looks OK. Since the garage interior is complete I put up my 2004 British GP Ferrari flag back up and posed the car with it.
If I could afford to put a Ferrari under it, the picture would be more interesting.

2002colossalfailure
2002colossalfailure New Reader
9/18/15 7:03 p.m.

I registered for the event today and with the car as good as I'm going to make it the plan is to put a 100 mile ride on it tomorrow then spend a few more hours cleaning it (especially the engine). I hope to do better than I did in 2002 I'll be driving down and back from Michigan so just making the round trip will be a victory of sorts.

MCarp22
MCarp22 Dork
9/19/15 12:12 a.m.
2002colossalfailure wrote: I'll be driving down and back from Michigan so just making the round trip will be a victory of sorts.

Oh cool, you'll go right past my house. I will seriously give you my Mopar wheels if you stop by, they need to live on a platinum coupe again.

2002colossalfailure
2002colossalfailure New Reader
9/19/15 2:48 p.m.

Did 225 miles meandering around West Michigan today with no problems except I need to adjust the headlights and re-aligned the front end.

2002colossalfailure
2002colossalfailure New Reader
9/20/15 6:31 p.m.

So with my Miata dead and heading for the grave I figure I'd take solace in another Neon. This one had be sitting on CL for a month and with the seller about to leave on vacation I figured his price would be flexible and it was. From his still-agreeable $1800 asking price we settled at $1500 which is $50 more than I paid for the ACR but it has 40k less miles. The car is bone-stock and incredibly was garaged winters so no rust. Who stores a Neon? Anyway, with 130k and a new clutch it doesn't need much except some elbow grease, spray paint (it is faded here and there, especially the wing) and possibly a timing belt since there aren't any records of the last change. It's a 1998 just like my ACR and I'm thinking I might put my accident-prone daughter in it and drive a pair of Neons to the challenge.

VWguyBruce
VWguyBruce Dork
9/20/15 9:59 p.m.

What size tires do you need?

2002colossalfailure
2002colossalfailure New Reader
9/22/15 5:41 a.m.

185/65/14's or 205/45/16's

2002colossalfailure
2002colossalfailure New Reader
9/24/15 6:03 a.m.

Did a very detailed inspection of the timing belt last night and found it is in close to new condition so that's an item I don't have to worry about. I inspected the belt on the R/T as well and it's definitely been in the car for a while. It's not damaged or fraying but will need replacing over the the next 5 or 10 thousand miles. Unfortunately putting those miles on the car won't start quite yet because when I drove it around the block last night to check the adjustment I made to the clutch cable the rear driver's side brake line burst just forward of the rear wheel. It appears to have rusted through. I'm going to have to inspect the ACR closely for the same issue I suppose.

2002colossalfailure
2002colossalfailure New Reader
9/24/15 9:20 p.m.

I re-aligned the front end tonight. The first attempt was not entirely successful but this time I got it much closer. I slapped a couple of GRM and Furrin group (local auto club) stickers I saved from the $2002 Challenge on it plus a pair I got from track night at Gingerman.

I have one more task other than cleaning (solder in a new MAP connector) and I'm going to call this done. I'm planning on running it during an end of season open track day at Gingerman on the 11th. Can't wait.

2002colossalfailure
2002colossalfailure New Reader
9/25/15 9:03 p.m.

Apparently the first thing you have to do to any used Neon you buy is drop the gas tank and effect some sort of repair. The ACR needed a fuel pump assembly and this one blew the left rear brake line forward of the wheel. Luckily it wasn't during the ride home when I was doing 55mph on a busy state road, it went during a cruise around the neighborhood. Here's the offending area. So, the rear is up in the air and connections have received their first dose of PB Blaster. Never done a brake job that was more that rotors and pads so this should be interesting. I'm driving across the state to pick up a set of pre-bent rear lines tomorrow and plan to begin the repair Sunday after apple-picking.

VWguyBruce
VWguyBruce Dork
9/26/15 10:43 p.m.
VWguyBruce wrote: What size tires do you need?

Crap, I would've hooked you up with 15's for the cost of one beer per tire.

2002colossalfailure
2002colossalfailure New Reader
9/27/15 7:35 a.m.

I appreciate the offer.

2002colossalfailure
2002colossalfailure New Reader
9/28/15 8:43 p.m.

The R/T got some attention tonight. I dropped the tank so I can replace the rear brake line. The TSB I downloaded said moving the tank down and back 2" is enough to gain access but I went all the way so I could fix the heat shield which was loose, and clean things up in general (note 2 pound pile of dirt scooped off the top of the tank). The next step is removal of a bunch of air intake parts and the coolant overflow tank which allows the old lines to be wiggled out and the new ones wiggled in.

2002colossalfailure
2002colossalfailure New Reader
10/1/15 8:35 p.m.

Being an untalented hack, the fact this particular project is going along with barely a hitch is nothing less than shocking. Today I finished installing and bleeding the new rear lines. Here's the old stuff ready for the hopper...

and here's the new stuff in place and not leaking...

If I'm able to get all the extraneous parts I took off to do this job back on and the car test-driven by the end of the weekend I'll have even met my planned schedule. Then it's back to the ACR which I've been neglecting.

NOHOME
NOHOME UberDork
10/2/15 5:51 a.m.

Pre-bent brake lines are a blessing are they not?

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