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

Discussion in 'Fine Living, Home, Design & Auto' started by Thrift Vader, Sep 25, 2015.

  1. jcman311

    jcman311 Senior member

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    Big Whisky
    Finally finished my brakes last night. After getting 3/4s of the way done before I had some thumb surgery I finally had some free time. Replaced both rear calipers and flushed/bleed the system. Had to replace the one caliper that I stripped a bolt trying to get it off. Brakes work like a dream now.

    New caliper (and rotor/pads)
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    Stripped out bolt
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    Makes bleeding a whole lot easier.
    [​IMG]
     
    4 people like this.
  2. Thrift Vader

    Thrift Vader Forum Mechanic

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    The upper east side.
  3. Nobleprofessor

    Nobleprofessor Senior member

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    Nice Job @jcman311


    Update on the thrifted STS for my stepdaughter. It still had a misfire even after changing the plugs. Brought it to a shop that I trust and it had two bad coils, so two cylinders were not firing. We ended up replacing the whole side coilpack assembly and it runs SO MUCH better. My stepdaughter drove it today for the first day of school.

    Here's the amazing thrift content -- total investment for the car including cost of trip to go get it (not including the cost of the tires for my truck) was

    $1591.81. That includes purchase price, gas for truck hauling it back, new rear tire, spark plugs, coolant, oil and filter for oil change, and repair of the misfire -- parts and labor!

    I saved us a lot of money by doing the plugs, coolant flush, and lots of work detailing it.

    I still have to do some more detail. The car was filthy. I found a professional carpet extractor that I can rent to clean the carpets for only $21. While I have the carpet extractor, I think I will clean my car and my wife's car, too.
     
    6 people like this.
  4. ridethecliche

    ridethecliche Senior member

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    So as an update to my adventures.

    I sold my bike... and just bought 2000 miata base model with 102k miles for 3800. Low miles for the year, pretty clean car, and it drives super well. Lucky for me the clutch and trans are solid for a car still on the original. It's been great to learn on and I'm getting the hang of things already.

    I think I'm going to do some work on the car myself over the winter with @Thrift Vader 's help. I should probably buy a kit for the water pump and belts ($200) so I can be sure I won't be stranded for something stupid. It's all working so far, but some of the belts are pretty dry. I believe they're all original so it's not really that surprising!
     
    1 person likes this.
  5. Thrift Vader

    Thrift Vader Forum Mechanic

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    @nobleproffessor - pics of the caddy!!!!!
    Before and after you repaired it would be awesome. :slayer:
    you done good sir. Saved a car, and made someone happy. Top points :thumbs-up:


    Glad to help rtc. We'll make a Jedi out of you yet. :cheers:
     
  6. jcman311

    jcman311 Senior member

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    The car I really learned to wrench on was all original when I got it at around 80k miles. I thought that things would last forever and was even warned about things like the water pump etc. I ignored the warnings. Then one hot day on the interstate the coolant pegged hot and I knew the water pump went. A week and a half later I had finally changed out the water pump, timing belt, and a balancer pulley (dont ask). We're here to help if you need. I know I had one guy on a forum that really helped me along the way. Those instruction books (back in the day) sucked.
     
    3 people like this.
  7. whiteslashasian

    whiteslashasian Senior member

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    Yeah I had to replace the harmonic balance (crank pulley) on my car recently at 84-85k miles (I keep forgetting to check the odo) because the old one had a rubber component that deteriorated and was really messing things up. I did it along with the Timing belt, water pump, tensioners, idler pulleys, along with the serpentine belt and those tensioners and pulleys too. I made a post in the cars thread with a pic of the balancer pulley (http://www.styleforum.net/t/17839/cars-we-drive/23950_50#post_8533025).

    I also decided to change the power steering pump because the old one made a fairly loud ticking noise, did the coolant flush, and an oil change while at it.

    Next adventure are rotors and pads all around, brake fluid flush, and differential fluid flush. Will get to it the next Saturday or Sunday I have available. It's not a DD so I'm not in dire need of the change anytime soon.
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2016
    1 person likes this.
  8. jcman311

    jcman311 Senior member

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    I have to say that the powerstop one click brake kits are pretty nice. I just wish I would have noticed that my rear calipers were shot and bought the one click with loaded calipers. And that Motive brake bleeder worked like a dream. I've tried bleeding brakes before by myself and it is such a bitch.
     
  9. Nobleprofessor

    Nobleprofessor Senior member

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    I didn't take very good pictures of the exterior of the car before. I should have. It was filthy, had a shredded tire, and was full of trash and had been sitting for 4-5 months.

    Here are a few pictures of it after a wash, but before a detail:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The interior was truly nasty. The previous owner had dogs and kids and apparently the dogs were allowed to be in the back even when muddy and nasty.

    I noticed a lot of junk around the back seat and decided to go ahead and take out the seat to see what was in there.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    These pictures don't show the level of nastiness because I cleaned up a lot of dirt, crap, and trash before taking the pictures.


    Here are a few pictures of the carpet. This was AFTER I attempted to clean with some spray upholstery cleaner and a scrub brush and some white terry towels.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

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    Looking at these pictures makes it look like I am overstating things. It really was nasty and, of course, this was after everything had been cleaned out and vacuumed out.



    Here are some pictures of the car mid detail.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    I ended up renting a carpet extractor from home depot to clean the interior. AND it was well worth it. I spent about 8 hours last weekend cleaning and then waxing. I need to take after pictures. But, it looks SO MUCH better.
     
    4 people like this.
  10. Thrift Vader

    Thrift Vader Forum Mechanic

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    That is a Fantastic car for $1,500.
    Can't wait to see it cleaned up.
    :lurk:


    Awesome work man. Slayed it. :slayer:
     
    1 person likes this.
  11. Nobleprofessor

    Nobleprofessor Senior member

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    Thanks TV. I will post after pictures later.

    In other news, my older brother just got a 2013 BMW 335i convertible. I helped him negotiate the deal. I am so jealous of it. NICE car!
     
  12. Nobleprofessor

    Nobleprofessor Senior member

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    Because my brother has purchased a new(er) BMW, he may be selling one his collector cars. He has a 1971 Pontiac Grand Prix (which he will NOT sell) and he also has a 1977 Ford Thunderbird Town Landau. It only has 20,000 miles. Once I sell one or two of my cars, I might actually buy it from him. I think it would be cool to have an old collector car to bring to car shows and car clubs.

    The Town Landau was the top of the line and had some options and features that the base Thunderbird did not have. The base Thunderbird had a list price of $5063 and the Town Landau was $7990. There were three engine options on T-Birds. The 302, the 351 and the 400 cu. inch engine. This one has the 400.

    Here are some pictures:

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    [​IMG]

    Real leather seats -- which was a pretty rare option.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    3 people like this.
  13. whiteslashasian

    whiteslashasian Senior member

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    That ol T-Bird is dope. Would be an awesome classic to take to meets and shows. Love the color combo and having the top of the top stands out for sure.

    Nice work on saving that Caddy! Looked like it was abused quite a bit. I always get disheartened when I see how poorly people treat their main modes of transportation. My dad always told me "treat your car well and it will treat you well in return" which is why I take good car of my cars. Regular maintenance, cleaning and detailing, staying on top of interval services, try to give it the best gas I can find, etc.
     
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2016
    2 people like this.
  14. Thrift Vader

    Thrift Vader Forum Mechanic

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    The upper east side.
    +1,000,000. . . . .

    Best oils, best gas,best of everything you can. Without wasting money, to afford mord goodness.

    My wife is fussy about cleaning the house. And asked me why i keep the cars so clean. I said. "Imagine if we took our living room out in to the public????"

    -Now she sometimes cleans her car. :p :bigstar:

    Really, your car is more than transport. It's your personal space. Your image outwardly, and your reliable friend. :blush:
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2016
    1 person likes this.
  15. ridethecliche

    ridethecliche Senior member

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    I'm slightly annoyed. Turns out that I bought the wrong EGR part (valve instead of tube) for the exhaust manifold I bought. Having a hard time finding the tube. Will likely need an extension cable for the o2 sensor as well.

    Kinda on the fence right now to just spend 200 on the 01-05 manifold and parts since that's a gain too, but.. but. buttttt...

    The header I bought might have a small crack as well. Need to show it to an exhaust shop and see how much they might charge to fix the weld.


    Funny you mentioned the forum stuff. I met up with someone today and he taught me to change the oil and spark plugs/wires. Looking forward to doing a few more things when time permits.

    There's a guy in CT about 1.5 hrs away that does a lot of wrenching on miatas and runs the local club there. He does charge for some of the work, but it's very reasonable. I might take a trip down there if time permits for him and see if I can book him for an afternoon and get a few things knocked out. I'm not 100% sure I want to tackle the timing belt myself with no help. Then again, there are so many write ups on it and quite a few video tutorials.
     
    1 person likes this.
  16. Nobleprofessor

    Nobleprofessor Senior member

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    Well the Cadillac may or may not end up being a smart move. We ended up getting the misfire fixed. It was bad coils on two cylinders. BUT, we still have cam codes. I replaced one of the cam position sensors because it had a broken wire. I was hoping that would fix it. But, it didn't it. I swapped the new sensor over to the other side and the code stayed on the original side. So, the cam sensor is not the problem. My mechanic thinks that because someone drove it for a long time with two cylinders not firing, it may have caused the timing chain to stretch or to jump a tooth or two. It idles rough, although going down the road its pretty smooth. If it really is the chain, that is BIG TIME $$$. My stepdaughters father is trying to do everything he can to get it fixed. But, I think its best to sell it. We only have $1500 invested and a relatively clean Cadillac with chrome wheels will sell pretty easily in a lot of neighborhoods for $2000-3000.

    My stepdaughter's father has a lot of cheap rental property and one of his tenants got into a bind and wanted to sell her 2006 Chevy Trailblazer. he bought it VERY cheap. I didn't know much about the trailblazers. But, I have done some research on them and they seem to be prettty good vehicles. My mechanic has had three of them. He still has two. One has over 300,000 miles and the other one has over 250,000. He said the 4.2 straight 6 is great. He said the gas mileage is not great, but its got a mid size truck frame and a great transmission. So, I am thinking it would be a perfect vehicle for a 16 year old driver. Its safe, reliable and sits up high -- but not too high.
     
  17. Nobleprofessor

    Nobleprofessor Senior member

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    I found a 2007 Ford Expedition EL (extended length) for sale on craigslist. It has a lot of miles, but is supposedly in excellent shape. I know no one needs a vehicle this big, but I am really considering it. I don't know much about these newer Expeditions. I had a 2001 Expedition and it was great. The only thing I had to do was replace the fuel pump.

    My concern is that the seller (a small dealer) has it priced it very low. Normally, I wouldn't be concerned except that makes me wonder what is wrong with it? What don't I know about these.
     
  18. Thrift Vader

    Thrift Vader Forum Mechanic

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  19. Nobleprofessor

    Nobleprofessor Senior member

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    Why?
     
  20. ridethecliche

    ridethecliche Senior member

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    Had the first issue with the miata. Car stopped running on the highway on the way home with my girlfriend to visit my parents. CEL came on and it felt like the engine misfired a bit before just cutting out. Pulled over to the side of the road and one of the spark plug wires had popped out of the engine (plug was still in) and the coolant reservoir was open and bubbling and leaking. Weird.

    Cooled down for a bit and it started right up. This happened a total of three times on the way home, including once on the on ramp for the fucking George Washington Bridge. Somehow started up again and we nursed the car home.

    OBD codes were for a cam and crank sensor. I asked around on a miata forum and they told me it was likely the cam angle sensor. My mom was kind of freaked out by the whole thing and I don't think my gf would have gotten back in if I'd have fixed it myself so we ended up taking it to a shop because our mechanic wasn't available. He called about 30 mins after we dropped off the car saying that he had some time open up so he was around. Had to pay the first shop half an hour labor for twiddling their thumbs which is bogus, but it is what it is.

    320 bucks and a cam+crank arm sensor later, we made it back totally okay. I think it was the cam sensor since that's a pretty common issue with these cars and it acts up when it overheats and is on its way out. I would have fixed it myself but didn't want to spend time away from my family and my girlfriend was such a trooper on the way down that I didn't want to make her paranoid about it happening again. I'm not sure she would have gotten back in the car if I had been the one to fix it. Also, I'd have wanted to get out for atleast a couple of hours to drive around and make sure everything was working.

    Kinda would have defeated the purpose of driving 5 hrs to spend time with my family. It was only the second time my parents were meeting the gf so...
    I guess ya win some, ya lose some.
     

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