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The Official Cars Discount / Thrift & DIY Questions and Bragging Thread.

Thrift Vader

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Let me introduce myself, i am @Thrift Vader . i have been around cars for many years now. with my obsession being a mere hobby until recently. I sold men's suits for many years. while holding this inside. - I Am A Car Guy. i started my car life as the guy who prepares cars for sale. as a professional detailer. But i Wrenched on my own cars. and many years later.......... i have been not only a professional mechanic. but have wrenched on everything from Rolls Royce's, to Renaults, to Ferrari's and have been a part of a WRC Subaru Rally Race Prep Team.
i have owned Turbo Skylines, Toyota's, Fast Small cars, and now 2 Turbo Subaru's.
I have done Engine Swaps, Transmission swaps, and serviced a variety of cars. while i personally do not know everything? i hope all your questions can be answered here.

if you are looking to buy?
Need help fixing?
selling?
Searching for something to suit your style?

Members on here are ready to help.


Here is my current project.

A 1999 Subaru Impreza STI Version 6. Bought for $800
It is a restoration of sorts. with the body and interior looking original, but the mechanics geared for time attack racing. - as much of a "Sleeper" as a bright Yellow STI can be.

With help from my friends. which includes those here on SF.

So post your rides,your "how to's", your updates, your Questions, and your answers.


-Vader.
 
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Nobleprofessor

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@Thrift Vader I think this is a great idea!

I hope that everyone who looks at this feels free to ask questions or post about anything car / car thrift related. I was anticipating things like

Somebody might have a car problem, like "my car is overheating, what should I do?"

Or, "I'm thinking about trading off my car for a truck/minivan/other car what do you all think about the Nissan Altima?"

Or, Wow, did you see the New Challenger? Its great.

Or, I found this car on craigslist, someone should buy it!

Or, does anyone know how to remove the front rotors on my car?

Or how much should it cost to replace my heater core?

Do I really need snow tires?


Here is my Car Guy Resume:

I have been around cars and the car business my whole life. Its in my blood. I spent a lot of time hanging out with my Uncle who was a small dealer. Then, I was a service manager at an Oldsmobile and Honda dealer for several years until GM quit making Oldsmobile. I know cars. I probably know more about GM cars made from the 70's-2000 than any others. But, my passion and interest for the last 10 years has been Mercedes and BMW. I have owned cars that had over 500,000 miles on them. I have taken a car that was a total loss and sold it for $. I have restored cars to drive and resell and can do most of the work other than paint and total engine replacements. I have owned about 44 cars and about 30 of them were bought to clean up and resell. Ever since I bought my first car to flip when I was 20 years old, I have had car fever. I currently own 3 cars and a truck (I need to pair this down) and I am always on the hunt for the next perfect one. My dream is to go to the Barrett Jackson Auction in Scottsdale and buy about 20 cars!

I don't know if we want to introduce ourselves AND our cars or not. But, here I go anyway:

My daily driver is one of two E38 BMWs. They are a 2000 BMW 740iL with 225,000 miles. I love the car. It just keeps on ticking, looks pretty good and is very comfortable.

I also have a 2001 BMW 740iL Sport with 123,000 miles. It is a gorgeous car in Royal Rot Red and M-Par wheels.

I also occasionally drive my wife's 2006 Cadillac SRX that I hate. She likes it. I tried to drive my car anytime we go anywhere.

AND, I have my old beater pickup. Its a 1992 Ford F-150. The passenger window doesn't roll down, the A/c doesn't work, and I don't have a door key. But, it is super reliable and its always handy to have an old truck.
 

Fueco

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Talk to me about main bearing knocking in the engine... Why isn's this fixable?

I have a 2005 Subaru Forester X, with about 122k miles on it. Local Subaru repair shop says needs new engine to the tune of nearly $5000.

I'm hesitant to replace the engine because the car isn't worth all that much as it is. Will I get another engine's worth of life out of the car if I replace it? I can lease a 2016 model Forester for about $239/month ($2000 due at signing). I'd really hoped that my next car would be a plug-in/solar/hybrid.
 

Thrift Vader

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2005 Forester? the quick answer is to swap the engine block. if it s an EJ20 DOHC? you should be able to just swap the lower half. re-using your manifolds and transmission/clutch/auto,etc.
you can source an engine from a JDM Forester, or a GDB Impreza for 2k. you can be ambitious and learn to do it yourself, or pay a Mechanic to do the swap.
(this is the recommended route)

Long answer? rebuild. buy the parts, learn the specs, and take your time to do it right. not impossible at all. just research.

i can't tell you without assessing your engine in person. but if fit runs sweet. and makes noises? a rebuild is prolly cheaper. pull it out, tear it down, replace the bearings, rings, valve seals/springs, timing belt,gaskets. and put it back together using readily available torque specs. of course following a more detailed walk through. this is the over simplified version.
here is a vid to watch so you can get familiar with it.
just be sure to research more and compare notes with other sources.

under 1k in parts. tools and access may vary.
 
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Nobleprofessor

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Talk to me about main bearing knocking in the engine... Why isn's this fixable?

I have a 2005 Subaru Forester X, with about 122k miles on it. Local Subaru repair shop says needs new engine to the tune of nearly $5000.

I'm hesitant to replace the engine because the car isn't worth all that much as it is. Will I get another engine's worth of life out of the car if I replace it? I can lease a 2016 model Forester for about $239/month ($2000 due at signing). I'd really hoped that my next car would be a plug-in/solar/hybrid.
I saw vader's answer and he knows alot about the actual rebuilding. So, he is a great resource if you go that way. But, if it were me, I would try to find a used engine with low miles and have somebody swap them out. I think you can do that for a lot less than $5000.
 

Thrift Vader

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I saw vader's answer and he knows alot about the actual rebuilding. So, he is a great resource if you go that way. But, if it were me, I would try to find a used engine with low miles and have somebody swap them out. I think you can do that for a lot less than $5000.
Agreed, much cheaper than 5k. probably closer to 3k. depending on your engine. the code will be on the metal plaque in your engine compartment and start with EJ....
once we know that? we can help more.
 
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Fueco

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Agreed, much cheaper than 5k. probably closer to 3k. depending on your engine. the code will be on the metal plaque in your engine compartment and start with EJ....
once we know that? we can help more.

It's an EJ25.
 

Thrift Vader

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It's an EJ25.
SOHC or DOHC? it can be the difference between an easy swap, and harder options. pm me for more in depth details. i will reply in the morning.

My daily is a 2005 Volvo S40, and project is a 1994 Volvo 850 (purchased for $400). The project needs a new slave cylinder and clutch. Hoping to pull that off with a Haynes manual and DIY determination.
get it mayne! post your adventure in here.
 

dukedishin

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Is this where I get someone to hunt down a deal on a Highlander for me?
 

dukedishin

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Half joking. Going to need to do this in the next 9 months or so, but looking to get the best Highlander I can get for about $15k.

Will also consider a Pilot.
 
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Ds13

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I will be buying a new car in the spring and really have no idea what to get. Suggestions would be very appreciated

Some things I'd like it to have

- around $20k (can be adjusted a little depending on what I can get)
- Very luxurious, I would like to to be a great ride (not the brand but the options, I'd prefer a fully loaded Kia vs. a base BMW)
- reliability is a big +
- Fair insurance rates, I realize that a young guy's insurance is gonna be high no matter what
- Sporty would nice but not completely essential
- Sedan preferred as I often have more than 2 people in my car

I like tinkering with cars but since I live in the city I won't have much room for it nowadays and I don't have time for it anyways.

Pretty much anything would be an upgrade since I've been driving an '05 Chevy Malibu since high school and she's getting close to the end I believe

Thanks fellas

Edit: to add more details
 
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Nobleprofessor

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Half joking. Going to need to do this in the next 9 months or so, but looking to get the best Highlander I can get for about $15k.

Will also consider a Pilot.
My father had a Pilot and loved it. He now has a Highlander and likes it even more. His Pilot was the older version and I think they have improved. Both are great choices.

Have you talked to a dealer? If you tell them what you are looking for and how much you want to spend, they will usually take the time to search other dealers or Auctions to find one.

I have a friend who is a small dealer and he sells a lot of cars all over the Country. Tell me what you want and how much and he can search. But, you have to be ready to act fast.
 

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