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AWSX1686 (Forum Supporter)
AWSX1686 (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UberDork
5/8/23 11:43 a.m.

One of the last things I needed for Motley Miata was some bumpers/bash bars. 

I got some 1.75" tubing off JEGS because that's the best I could find without buying in bulk. I didn't want to bolt my bender to the floor though since I'll be moving out of this shop eventually, and I haven't bought the hydraulic setup for it yet, so I did this:


Bent some tubes:

Almost on the same plane too!... 


Rear bar in place. I added the bung for a pin on trailer jack in hopes I could lift the car for tire changes with that and a drill. Not quite enough ooomph though. It may just get ground off before paint. 


Front bar in place. 

I had better hopes of this fitting with the bumper contour, but forgot the entire bumper is a curve compared to my bar with two bends. Oh well. I'm not a big fan of the look, but it'll do. Cut the bumper in half so it's just the top part now. I had to tweak my fenders so that the tires stop rubbing with the wheel spacers I have on, I still need to tie the chunk of bumper into the fenders so they stay in place. 


Bash bars were Saturday's project. Yesterday Jacob brought his Miata over for an oil change and some small maintenance before Carlisle next weekend. Had to line up our crappy Miatas for a pic. 

If you want to see just what kind of guy Jacob is and how we always have a good time:



On the house side, the dining room is finally done! We moved the furniture in yesterday. Some stuff is temporary until the last room on the first floor is done, but it's done for now. At some point the dining room floor will likely get redone. Not sure yet about floating floor or maybe tile. Down the road though. I sanded and finished the one section of the floor so it's good enough for now. You can definitely tell, but it's not as noticiable as I anticipated. 

AWSX1686 (Forum Supporter)
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5/16/23 2:00 p.m.

Carlisle IPN / NICO Fest was a great success! 

First event with Motley Miata, and it performed quite well! 

There were a few minor issues, the fenders were still rubbing a bit so I went most of the weekend with no fenders. At one point I heard a new noise and found a fuel line had sprung a leak. Fortunately I heard it  and was able to resolve it before it because a big deal. One of the other drifters there gave me some fuel hose. I think on a few runs it got a bit too hot, but that was after some pretty extended runs. I do want to get a better radiator and likely hood vents at some point. Lastly, the seat was way better than a factory seat, but even adding a bit of padding last minute it was not the most comfortable. 


Overall though, those things above are pretty minor. The extra steering angle from the cut knuckles unlocked a whole new level to my drifting. I was actually drifting most of the weekend, not just spinning out all the time. It felt so good!


Carlisle IPN does a thing called Drift Limbo, not the best meter for drifting skill level, but it's simple. Drift through a set of cones they slowly bring closer together. I got 4th place this year. I was doing pretty well with it until the run that got me out I just screwed it up. Oh well, 4th is still pretty good. 


AWSX1686 (Forum Supporter)
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5/22/23 11:00 a.m.

Hectic weekend... 

Pluming issues at my apartment I had to go fix, made things worse in the process and flooded the other two apartments.... Could've been a lot worse, and the tenants were very understanding, but still frustrating to know that it was my mistake that caused it.

Here's the worst of it:



That didn't stop car shenanigans from happening though. After all the water was sopped up me, Jacob, and Tyler went and picked up 3 80's Mercedes'. Technically Jacob bought them, but it sounds like we'll each split it to have a car each. 

Left to right:

On the back of my truck, is an 87 420SEL. ~87k miles! Paint is sun beaten, but the interior is immaculate! Was told it needed a fuel pump, but the fuel pump actually seems ok. Got it to fire on it's own, but it immediately dies after about 2 seconds. Looks like Tyler wants this one. 

One the back of the van, is the black 82 300d. Runs with a battery, but needs a driveshaft flex disk, or guibo if using BMW terms. It's got some interesting :"mods", but might turn out ok. It does need a windshield as well, and the trunk doesn't open. 

Then parked on the right is an 82 300d, Jacob actually drove it home, pretty much no issues. Tachometer is intermittent at best, and it's low on power because the dude only really ran used motor oil as fuel and didn't really filter it either... The main issue with that car is rust. I think Jacob is going to register it as antique and run it around a while. 



It all started because we were looking online for beaters to enter into street warriors in Hagerstown this summer, but now that these things are home it is debatable whether that will happen. Jacob says his might be too sluggish, and the 420SEL would be a shame to beat up like that. 


Also, please note when driving the 420SEL, add 9PSI to your tires before driving more than 100mph. 

I don't think you need to worry about that when driving a 300d...

AWSX1686 (Forum Supporter)
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5/26/23 9:08 a.m.

Wednesday we spent a little bit of time on the pack of Mercedes'.


Jacob's 300d still seems fine, it'll need a good look over on the lift, but it runs and drive and all that good stuff. It just quite rusty. He's did the paperwork for antique registration and now hes just waiting for the plate. 

The 420SEL we continued diagnosis. We're actually pretty sure the seller was correct and it needs a fuel pump. Apparently these cars have two fuel pumps right next to each other, so I got a pair of them on order. 


Now my 300d runs, but needs a driveshaft flex joint. I got the flex joint so I took it apart to see if I'd need anything else...

Turns out, there's two flex joints. One at the transmission side of the driveshaft, and one at the diff. The one at the transmission was trashed:


The one at the diff was better, but still trashed. 


I will need all new bolts on assembly as they are pretty much all bent.


The front if the driveshaft also took some damage. I am hoping to beat it into good enough shape to work. 


Arguably the worst part though, is that the trans mount flange off the back of the transmission is no more. It's just gone. 

I'm also fairly sure that's the remnants of the shifter wrapped around the output shaft. 

I think I'm going to just rig up my own trans mounts using those two holes at the bottom. 

It is a removable housing, but finding just that piece would be a couple hundred dollars I don't feel like spending on a beater. Used transmission is also an option, but I dunno yet. 


iansane GRM+ Memberand Dork
5/26/23 10:05 a.m.

Damn, someone really drove it until it went boom!

You starting a merc club now? 

AWSX1686 (Forum Supporter)
AWSX1686 (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UberDork
5/26/23 10:43 a.m.

In reply to iansane :

Yeah, it's honestly kinda impressive just how much it destroyed things. Hopefully the trans and diff are good...

I dunno about a club, but it is awfully close now. laugh

AWSX1686 (Forum Supporter)
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6/6/23 10:43 a.m.

My buddy Caleb was in town for the weekend, so what better things to do but tinker on some junk Mercedes'?


Jacob got started on refreshing the brakes on his 82 300d. It needs calipers up front, so he's got them on order now. Rusty parts and not all my tools are at the new house made it a slow job, but he did it. I ordered the Euro adapter for my power bleeder so we can hopefully get that pedal feeling nice. 

I got the driveshaft back into the 84 300d. Two new flex disks, a new carrier bearing, and all new bolts. Since it ate the shift linkage I just have it stuck in drive for now, but it moves under it's own power, and made it's way to the back yard. The transmission is currently resting on a 2x6 since the mounting ear on the trans is broken off... That's all the further it's going for now. Honestly it's probably just going to sit for a while. Big items are that trans mount, either make my own version, or find a new trans, and also it needs a windshield. May be keeping an eye out for a parts car, but I'm more focused on getting the house sorted out at the moment. (Also probably get the Civic truck on the road first too, it should "just" need a fuel pump and wiring cleanup.)


Finally, the 87 420SEL... From our diagnosis we were pretty sure that the seller gave us the correct info that it needed a fuel pump. There are actually dual fuel pumps in series, so I got a pair of cheap ones ordered as well as a fresh fuel filter. It does run now! It has no exhaust at the moment, so it's open headers which sounds lovely. Video: https://photos.app.goo.gl/wkd3YEwr44eDWxVe9

Jacob took it through the yard, but then when we wanted to take it out a bit farther it started stalling out as soon as you got on it. Made it about 3 houses away... Limped it back, it needs further diagnosis. I think there is a line in the back that needs replaced. It was leaking the day before we drive it, but then not that day. Maybe it's sicking air? I dunno. TBD. 

Overall, I'm trilled. They all move under their own power which is points for me, even if they aren't ready for the road. They're all moved to the back yard along with the Miata I bought back from my brother, the civic truck, and my buddy's Chevy that's there for a couple weeks. Handy Andy's junkyard... Man I'm lucky I have an awesome wife. 

AWSX1686 (Forum Supporter)
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6/12/23 11:08 a.m.

50th Annual Father/Son campout last weekend. (Not that I've been there that long)

Hammocks are my preferred camping method anymore.  


AWSX1686 (Forum Supporter)
AWSX1686 (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UberDork
6/12/23 11:51 a.m.
iansane said:

You starting a merc club now? 

Sooooo, uhhhh. I bought another one. 

Saw this sitting on Marketplace for a few weeks now. No engine, but transmission is still there and it has a title. I was interested for the transmission, headlights, and windshield because I know the black diesel needs all of those.

He had it listed for $500, I ended up getting it for $270, but unfortunately this one has a cracked windshield too. Dang. That was a real bummer. Should I go plexiglass? I dunno. 


I did verify that the transmission mount is still in existence on this one. laugh

AWSX1686 (Forum Supporter)
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6/26/23 2:57 p.m.

BUSY weekend this weekend! Not directly car related, but kinda. 

Got all this delivered Friday. 3 tandem axle loads of 57's. 


The bright and early Saturday morning I went into the apartments to fix the ceiling I flooded a few weeks ago. 

Thanks to dad for the recommendation on these PVC tiles. The way they flex made doing a drop ceiling grid with VERY little overhead clearance a breeze. I think it turned out nicely. Started at 7:15, and had everything but the ceiling fan up by 12:45. Not bad!


I then picked up my brother in law and his boss' skid loader. Pulled some decent shrubs for a client and then went to my house to get to work. 


The pavement part of my driveway is nice, but with the size of it and having people over a good bit, we ended up parking on the grass. So I knew from the start that I wanted to gravel the parking area, just now the time has come.

First, dig out a few inches of the topsoil:

(Also note, the pile in the background where it all got dumped. That is key.)


Use said topsoil to make a level spot to move my 10'x30' shed to. My back yard is a deceptive hill. It doesn't look like much, until you walk or measure it. over that 10-12' for the shed, we had to bring the front up 18"...

The shed will face the house/truck, and then I will have 15' behind the shed graveled to park 3 project cars. Gravel for that will come in a few weeks, we are going to let the dirt settle a bit. 


Finally, spread out all the gravel for the parking spots. These 57's are pretty loose, but I wanted water to be able to drain through. When we get more gravel for the shed base I will get some crush-and-run to put on top of these 57's to pack down a bit better. 


Also, I we finally got enough rain that I mowed the back yard for the first time in like 3-4 weeks. It was a nice break, but also nice to have a green yard again. 

AWSX1686 (Forum Supporter)
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7/25/23 11:22 a.m.

Not much to update. Trying to get the last downstairs room and stairway finished at the house, then I can branch out to more car and shop projects. 


I did haul Jacob's free Subaru Crosstrek to Hagerstown Speedway over the weekend for him to run Street Warriors / Tough Trucks. 

He only had it for a week and a half before the event, and no title, so not much seat time. He's hopeful to get some time in it and come back better next year. Still a success, the car still drove onto the trailer after running Saturday and Sunday's events. 

The front bumper didn't last long. We took it off after the first run. 

The front end keeps getting pushed further and further back, we did pull it out once. 

Not as ideal as all the jeep Cherokees that were running, but it was a fun time. 


Nice thing about a car you don't care about is you can not care about scratches... This is how he watched the rest of the event Sunday after he was knocked out of the bracket. 

AWSX1686 (Forum Supporter)
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9/5/23 11:35 a.m.

Not much of a car update again, but at least the house work is mostly wrapping up. I finished the last room that needed patched and painted after we took all the wallpaper off. It's just getting the trim cleaned up and finishing touches now. There's plenty of other house projects that need dealt with, but finishing this room takes a nice burden off since it's main living space. Still need to fix a front porch post, and tweak some plumbing with my well, but besides that, I will be a bit more free to work on garage and car stuff. 

Since pictures make the thread go round, here's a before and after comparison of the stairs. 

AWSX1686 (Forum Supporter)
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9/6/23 8:45 a.m.

Radio button switches are cool. 

The brass switch plate had some patina and tarnish on it, so I used the orbital to shine it up. It gives a neat look. Might pull it off later on to get it back to a brushed look, haven't decided. 

AWSX1686 (Forum Supporter)
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9/18/23 11:43 a.m.

I did some car stuff!

Last weekend I pulled in the Miata I bought back from my brother and tossed a used clutch in it. It moves under it's own power now! 

It is far from ideal, but at least it's not stuck where it sits anymore. I have antique plates for it, so once I toss some usable tires on it and call insurance I can drive it a bit. Engine smokes a lot, but again, at least it moves now...



Saw this when I came out of the store the other day. 


Then this weekend I was at a wedding, we had some fun with the groom's car while he was still at the reception...


And on the way home I brought back another project with my wife's car... Hopefully it doesn't bite me. 

AWSX1686 (Forum Supporter)
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10/10/23 10:19 a.m.

Been doing some thinking, and I decided to thin the herd a bit. I only have so much time, so I am getting rid of the projects that aren't my "passion". Selling my e46, the civic truck, and an NA Miata. I'd like to use the cash to knock out some stuff around the yard and get a half decent daily. That leaves me with 3 real projects, Motley Miata (drift car), Black Betty (e28, first car, needs full paint job), and the Diesel Mercedes. All things I'd like to keep around, and I'm ok with putting the time into, even if it takes a while. 


GRM Discounts apply. 

E46 Facebook Listing: https://www.facebook.com/marketplace/item/1558922131180687/

Civic Truck Listing: https://www.facebook.com/marketplace/item/137365192795211/


I did get a little bit or time this weekend, and with Jacob's help we swapped the transmission on the Diesel Mercedes. (I need a name for that car...)

If you recall where we left off with that car the transmission mount on the transmission itself was snapped off by a pervious owner's burnout attempt. The temporary solution was to use a strategically placed 2x6 as a transmission rest. I didn't drive it aside from around the yard to park it and then into the garage to fix it, but it did work for that. 

Apparently I don't have any good pictures of the diesel, so I'll have to take some...


Side note, the Civic Truck has been very popular on FB Marketplace, a previous owner, and the original builder found the ad and messaged me. 


AWSX1686 (Forum Supporter)
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10/12/23 3:37 p.m.

Got a bit of time last night to toss on the shift linkage and bring the diesel home. 

I did find a coolant leak on the bypass hose. It's like a 3" long hose. Looks like the coolant routing on these is kinda weird, but that's German engineering I guess. Shouldn't be too bad, just another thing on the list. 

I did look at the motor mounts thinking about tossing them in last night, but it looks like a PO replaced some Allen head bolts with regular hex bolts, and that's not ideal due to clearance, so they may be a pain to do. I can do that from the house though, so I didn't mess with it last night. They are shot though, that engine just rocks back and forth. Need to do a valve adjustment too and see what that helps. Apparently that's a 12k mile / yearly thing, so it's likely LONG overdue. 


(Yes, I know it's sitting too far back on the trailer... Loading it was eventful as it was, and it was a less than 10 minute drive from my shop to home.)

AWSX1686 (Forum Supporter)
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10/18/23 12:39 p.m.

Luna the white e46 is sold!

Still working on selling the civic truck, and I need to get time ti finish peeling the wrap off the one Miata so I can post it too. 

AWSX1686 (Forum Supporter)
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10/30/23 11:00 a.m.

Took the Diesel Mercedes for its first drive yesterday. It's got a long way to go before it can really be driven, but technically it made it. 

Some notes:

-Death wobble at about 55mph. Could be tires, could be worn suspension. 

-"Accessory switch" someone added has a junky wire tap that works sometimes. Need to fix that. 

-Need to make sure alternator is charging.


Here's a video parked next to Jacob's for all the hood stack goodness. 


AWSX1686 (Forum Supporter)
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11/13/23 12:48 p.m.

Added some support to my front porch. Both corner posts are rotting out so I just wanted something to support through winter. I think I'm going to end up redoing the whole porch roof in the end... :/ But at least that pre-winter item is done. Easy task when it came down to it, but took a weight off my shoulders. 


Auctions are dangerous. I couldn't pass up the old police light. 

Looks like it is sold along with the Miata that was Christopher's. Should have that finalized this week to a friend, then it's just the civic truck still for sale. 


Also got a blinky light at the auction, I think it looks fitting on the Mercedes Diesel for some reason. I'll probably put it on the truck though because it's quite obnoxious and if I need some caution lights when loading up that'll do the trick. Not bad for $6. 


The Miata that was Christopher's pretty rough on the outside, but man the interior is still nice. Gave it a quick vacuum before the sale, looks pretty good!


I also started moving over items from the old garage. Lots still to move, and lots to figure out how it'll all fit in at the new house, but it's started... No pictures, so I'll have to update more later on that one. 

AWSX1686 (Forum Supporter)
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11/13/23 12:50 p.m.

Oh, and HF announced this at SEMA, supposed to come out in February. Just in time for my birthday.... 

AWSX1686 (Forum Supporter)
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11/20/23 11:06 a.m.

Got a bit more moved out of the old garage yesterday... Man there's still a lot to go. 

Definitely going to sort through my metal scraps. Hate to get rid of useful stuff, but if I haven't used it in 5 years... Probably best to scrap it. 


Put headlights in the Mercedes Diesel, a bit janky because the PO's hood pins don't allow for the headlights to properly mount, but they work. The alternator on the other hand, does not. Haven't dug into that yet, just enough to see that I'm not getting a good charging voltage when running. 

I did swap some slightly less junk tires onto it though, and the death wobble seems to be gone. Still need a tie rod end and an wheel bearing up front I think, but all in good time. The ~20 minutes I drove it on Saturday it actually drove quite well. 

AWSX1686 (Forum Supporter)
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12/4/23 11:45 a.m.

Had a scare with the NB last week. Forgot it just had straight water in it and it got cold... Long story short, it cracked this housing off that's on the back of the head. I stole one from a spare engine that needs rebuilt, and otherwise it seems ok now. Fingers crossed. 


Did a side project with electricity. Needs a bit more poly, but I like it so far. 

AWSX1686 (Forum Supporter)
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12/11/23 9:41 a.m.

I recently got my e28 registration changed to antique, so she's legal again. (Hadn't changed the plate yet in this pic.)

Her paint is getting really rough, but I pulled her out and washed her off and when wet, she still looks pretty good. Drive her around locally this weekend which was nice. Good memories in my first car. 

It does have a decent vibration around 60mph, so I should probably check that out before driving it too much more. Also the transmission does still act weird sometimes, which is arguably the main reason I haven't driven it in a few years. It's weird, just randomly it'll slip and just free rev, but if I flip it to sport mode so it downshifts, it catches that gear and is fine. 


First "real" snow of the season overnight made for a pretty drive to work this morning, even if it's all melted now. 

AWSX1686 (Forum Supporter)
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5/7/24 8:37 a.m.

Not much to update on the car front. The civic truck is gone, and instead I have a caged Miata for sale now.

I'll be at Carlisle IPN this weekend drifting Motley Miata, if you're up there stop by and say hello!

AWSX1686 (Forum Supporter)
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5/13/24 9:53 a.m.

Carlisle was a blast as usual. Friday it rained most of the day. Made it a bit bleh, but when using a stock power Miata for drifting, it felt like I actually had some power. :) Also kept tire wear to a minimum for that day. No wipers on Motley Miata currently, so my passengers would wipe by hand with a loose wiper blade. šŸ¤£ Saturday was dry until the last hour. 5th place in Drift Limbo again. Lots of laps on towards the end as people either started packing up from the rain, or had broken cars. At one point I was out for probably 15 laps straight since no one else was in line. Hopped in with a few people at various times, not quite full on tandem drifting, but getting closer. Chasing is fun. At one point AJ was chasing me in his 1JZ foxbody, that was a blast. The pressure is on when you know someone good is gonna be right on your door. Quite fun!

Motley Miata on top, Layne's Miata on the bottom. Even with an open diff he's pretty hooked on drifting now. Jacob brought his Miata up too, but didn't run it since it's bringing a ton of oil right now. Our paddock area was the jacky Miata hub. šŸ¤£

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