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PostPosted: March 8, 2018, 5:39 pm 
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Joined: July 18, 2012, 8:14 pm
Posts: 13
Hello,

My name is Alonso and I live in Queens, NY. I purchased this vehicle from the NYPD auction locally and am working on converting it into a mobile tool chest essentially. I started my own business a few years back, a mobile motorcycle repair service, and decided I don't want to keep putting wear and tear on my daily driver a (2006 Subaru Forester). I was thinking about buying a Ford Transit connect or a Chevy astro van when I came across one of these on craigslist. Then while researching I thought to check if any were up for auction from the NYPD and sure enough there were 3. This one was the least damaged one and looked to be the most promising.

The reason I choose to post this log on this website is because 6 years ago I started researching homebuilt vehicles. Specifically, I wanted to build a 3 wheeler. Living in NYC and at the time being a college student I thought it'd be a good way to save money and drive something unique. I live in a semi urban area and don't have a driveway or a garage so nothing came from that. However, I've never encountered such an encouraging and helpful community. I bought Kurt's Kimini book and learned a lot from there. I've been inspired by Wyked's 3 wheeler and Miatav8's commuter trike build as well as Pook's build. But also I've learned plenty from a lot of the OGs on this website. So I hope to post here as a way to show you guys something different and at the same time tap into your wealth of knowledge for any help I may need.

I appreciate your support and also would respectfully leave if asked to do so. :oops:


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Last edited by como1jefe on March 8, 2018, 8:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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PostPosted: March 8, 2018, 7:22 pm 
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Welcome Alonso, glad to have you! Put up a picture of your car and when you get around to it get some advice from MiataV8, send him a PM he owes us an update on life, gardening and his car projects!
:cheers:

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PostPosted: March 9, 2018, 12:20 am 
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Location: Holden, Alberta, Canada
como1jefe wrote:
I appreciate your support and also would respectfully leave if asked to do so.


Welcome to the build site! I'll go out on a limb here and say you're pretty safe posting your build on this great site. Iffin people was asked to leave I'd most likely be 10 steps ahead of you.
Please post pics, if not for me, then for JD. He's getting as old as me and looking at pictures is easier that reading. :cheers:

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PostPosted: March 9, 2018, 1:12 am 
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Joined: July 18, 2012, 8:14 pm
Posts: 13
So the goal here is to do everything as frugally as possible without cutting corners. Hence I felt it appropriate for the Locost Forum

These are the 2 best pictures from the auction listing
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Here is the listing link if anyone is interested. I paid $550 for the thing
https://www.propertyroom.com/l/2008-wes ... /12213119#

The first thing I did once I got it home was to make a mental list of the obvious things I needed.
1. Ignition key.
It didn't come with a key for the ignition and I assumed it was because the whole fleet uses the same key.
I went on the manufacturer's website and through the dealer network found one 30 minutes from me and shot them an email. Turns out I was right and the NYPD most likely kept the key as a spare and I was charged $26 for a new key that's on it's way ground from Canada.

Other alternatives were getting the key impressioned which would cost between $95-$110 according to the only locksmith out of 5 I spoke to who even still provides this service. Or purchase a new ignition from overseas for anywhere between $32-$300 USD. I'm glad I was able to get a key ordered.

2. The doors are not attached.
One is off its hinge and I need to figure out if it's a plate with threaded holes or nuts that go on the inside and the other is missing the striker for the latch. I may have to make one. This one is further down the list of to-do's but it was the first thing I noticed from the pictures and kind of a big deal but I could drive the thing doorless and put a helmet on.

3. Both rear tires are flat.
I borrowed a pair of doughnuts from a friend who has had 3 Kia Spectras 2 of which he's driven until junk and was kind enough to loan them to me. The factory rims are a 4x100 bolt pattern 13" x 4.0b 155/80r13 tires. I plugged one tire that had a screw in it and it inflated with no issues. The other tire however immediately started blowing air out of 2 cuts in the sidewall. I'm no forensics expert but I've seen dozens of tires with sidewall damage and these were definitely made with a sharp blade. I looked up a replacement tire and there are only cheap China brands I've never heard of for $30-$40 plus the $10 fee to have the used tire spot mount them. Or Cooper has a tire that'll cost me $70 and Kuhmo has a tire that I believe was closer to $80 installed. I want to try a pair of 14" rims but right now all I have are 15" steelies that I don't know how I came into possession of. It snowed before I had a chance to try them out and I put the Doughnuts on so I could push the thing around at least. I doubt they'll fit.

4. I hotwired it and it wouldn't start
I purchased new spark plugs as a habit I have whenever I get a new vehicle. I went to attempt to start it as-is and it would crank but it sounded like a lack of spark.(I've begun to be able to hear these things) I went to check the plug wires and discovered that wires 1 and 2 were purposely cut. Cheapest replacement set I could find were OEM for $50 shipped from overseas. I knew the spark plugs and key also fit a first generation Hyundai Accent so I went to Arch Auto Parts and asked to see a set of plug wires. They had the exact same connectors as the 2 wires I still had intact although the wires were an inch or 2 longer. I bought them for $19.73. I came home and changed out all 4 spark plugs and all 4 were stuck in place. I hurt my hand against my ring from how hard I had to pull on the ratchet and the hex part of each plug was rusted
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put anti-seize on the new ones and I was putting in the last new plug(5:56pm) my SO called me to pick her up from work. I finally got home at 10pm, put the dielectric grease on the connectors and hooked them up before putting the airbox back on. I hooked up my jumpstarter and hotwired it again. Started up on the first sound of cranking

The spark plug wires go under the left hand part of the airbox(the black plastic wrapping around the oil fill cap) You can kind of see the 2 cut wires
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5. It didn't come with a battery
According to the parts manual the battery is some kind of maintenance free battery with a positive post like on most cars and a screw in negative like on Motorcycle batteries. Surprise surprise I was only able to locate the part number in the UK and India. I am going to take the measurements to Costco and get a battery for it there. I have a battery out of a car I junked that has worn terminals for a core. When I attempted to start it the first time I hooked up a jump starter and it burned some of the plastic on my negative clamp. After replacing the spark plug wires the second attempt at starting caused no issues. Hopefully I find a battery that fits because as you can see from the airbox picture the battery goes in at a fairly odd angle.

6. The cam locks are missing from 4 of the 6 locations that use one.
The doors each use one in the trailer-type paddle handle latch (2) the fuel door uses one(3) as well as the compartment under the seat(4) so that's the 4 missing. There is still one in the "hood"(5) which covers the front pocket housing the front suspension, hvac system, and brake booster, as well as the trunk(6) still has its cam lock. I ordered a pack of 10 Keyed alike off of Amazon for about $70. I could've ordered 6 from McMaster-Carr for $7.87 each for a total of $47.22 plus shipping but I had a gift card from Amazon for switching my gym membership to bank transfer payment instead of credit card and I had points from my Amazon credit card. I also fear there are going to be dozens of other locks left with the same key if I go the McMaster route. Plus I like having the extra 4 because I plan to replace the current trunk with a tool chest and plan to change that lock to match the rest with the possibility of added separate compartments for a jack and/or small generator.
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7. It needs a paint job
Since I plan to use this for my business and the NYPD were kind enough to take a paintbrush to their decals instead of scraping or steaming them off I need to get this painted. Preferably professionally, although maybe just in a plain cheap black or blue, and then have decals added. My logo large on the hood, smaller on the doors with my company name and number and something cool on the rear engine/cargo compartment.
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This is my business card. The logo is stock from Vista print but I like it a lot and Vista Prints term and conditions don't allow for copyright or trademark claims. So it's all free use.

I welcome any ideas or suggestions. Even ridiculous ones that see impractical. It's great to take insane ideas and scale them down to something practical and ingenious/creative.

Thank you guys for your hospitality. :cheers:


Last edited by como1jefe on March 10, 2018, 1:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: March 9, 2018, 7:52 am 
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We are Slotus!
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Location: Tallahassee, FL (The Center of the Known Universe)
Yo, Alonso!
Welcome to the forum (again?)... That's a cute l'il scooter you got there, should make a nice commuter-in-the-city kind of thing.

On my monitor, your logo looks to be orange. That might be a good hi-visibility color for your vehicle, maybe with some black trim. Kind of a Harley vibe, maybe.

And yeah, like Horchoha/Perry said, we do like pictures. He's Canoodian, has trouble reading English, and likes the visuals. Me, I'm just lazy... :mrgreen:

Keep us posted, and good luck!
:cheers:
JDK

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PostPosted: March 9, 2018, 9:51 am 
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GonzoRacer wrote:
Yo, Alonso!
Welcome to the forum (again?)...
JDK


Pretty much. I've asked an occasional question here and there.

GonzoRacer wrote:
On my monitor, your logo looks to be orange. That might be a good hi-visibility color for your vehicle, maybe with some black trim. Kind of a Harley vibe, maybe.

JDK


In person it's like a vintage orange if that makes any sense. Like there's a little brown mixed in. I'm not very good at it but I'll see if I can get the color scheme mocked up in Photoshop for you guys. I like your idea JD. The higher viz color will stand out and make me recognizable.

I will also be adding more pictures to my previous post and try to keep future post less wordy and use more pictures. I have some camera suction mounts laying around and once I find them I'll set up action cameras to record some of the action for you guys.

Thanks


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PostPosted: March 9, 2018, 11:16 am 
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Welcome. Your Westward makes the third Police trike here on the boards. MiataV8 and myself are the other 2. I have a Cushman meter maid Truckster from the 70's that I am slowly restoring.

Big Congrats to you on getting your trike running so quickly. :cheers: Hopefully, you will be moving along a lot faster than I have been recently. Keep the updates coming.

Did you at least get a title to go with it?

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PostPosted: March 9, 2018, 3:13 pm 
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Location: worcester county, Massachsetts
como1jefe wrote:
Hello,. Specifically, I wanted to build a 3 wheeler.


kewl, so far...

como1jefe wrote:
... drive something unique.


truth...

como1jefe wrote:

I've been inspired by Wyked's 3 wheeler and Miatav8's commuter trike build as well as Pook's build.


...and? ...and? ...AND? Awww, C'MON! Mine's a fricken daily driver! 16,000+ miles since 2014! it's the only one with 4 years of road dirt on it! C'mawwwwwWWWWWNNN!. But, on the upside, I now know exactly what chopped liver feels like, so there's that. ;-)

como1jefe wrote:
I ...would respectfully leave if asked to do so. :oops:


Too late, you've been assimilated, resistance was futile, etc.

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PostPosted: March 10, 2018, 12:59 pm 
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rx7locost wrote:
Keep the updates coming...

Did you at least get a title to go with it?


Indeed I did. It came with a clean NY state title and they even used that key they didn't include to turn it on and record the actual mileage. I made sure the VIN numbers matched before I left. I've heard from colleagues (Other masochists who purchase vehicles from these shady auctions) that they've received the wrong title for an identical vehicle and later had to beg for the other persons contact information in order to trade titles. In NY state they don't do a VIN verification so you could end up insuring, registering, and driving around a car with the wrong VIN number.

Also I will definitely keep up with updates. I have received complaints from friends who want the before after and in between pictures from my projects but I usually have a random picture from when I first get them and then MAYBE a picture once it's completed. Since my grandma was a pretty good cheerleader and a huge fan of my shenanigans, I never felt the need to document anything as my motivation came from making her proud. But since she passed away back in May of '17 I've started so many projects and not finished them. I'm hoping that this build log will hold me responsible to keep you guys updated and keep the work going.

robbovius wrote:
...and? ...and? ...AND? Awww, C'MON! Mine's a fricken daily driver! 16,000+ miles since 2014! it's the only one with 4 years of road dirt on it! C'mawwwwwWWWWWNNN!. But, on the upside, I now know exactly what chopped liver feels like, so there's that. ;-)


LOL I am SOOO sincerely sorry. In all honesty I knew I was forgetting someone but couldn't remember if it was from this forum. I'm mostly certain it was your build log that first brought me onto this forum with your morgan inspired 3-wheeler when I was first researching reverse trikes. I used to read your handle as Rob-vious.


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PostPosted: March 10, 2018, 10:03 pm 
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Okay so a few updates 03/10/2018

The doors are attached to the hinges with threaded plates on the inside. The left side door was not attached because someone decided to undo all the screws on the hinges. The lower hinge was missing most screws but the top hinge had all screws. The plates were inside of the door and I was able to shake them out. The white paint was chipping and there was a little rust so I sanded them down a bit and painted them black. I thought I had a rattle can of rust reformer somewhere but couldn't find it so I used the black Rustoleum paint I use for my backyard steps. These plates are on the inside of the door and have made it 10 years in this condition with whatever this white paint that's chipping was, I figure with a little sanding and rustoleum they should be fine for however longer I have this thing in its current state.
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Getting them into place is tricky due to my arms being normal sized and the doors being narrow. So I brought the door into my kitchen because it is too cold outside.
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I used a wire hanger to pull them from the access panel opening to their locations on the door. As you can see from the photo there is a screw that goes from the door directly through to the plate and then 4 other screws hold the door to the hinge.
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With the plates attached to the door I now need to go to the orange hardware store and buy 2x 5/16"-18 3/4" long socket cap screws to replace the 2 that I took from the other door and 8x flat top 5/16"-18 socket head screws because I've lost some of the ones that were on the hinge and would like to have extras.

They had the rounded top ones but they were $3.70 a pair and they didn't have the flat top countersunk ones at all. I decided to buy 20 hex head bolts, lock washers, and regular washers. For a grand total of $7.92 plus tax I have enough hardware for both doors.

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Then since it is nearby to there I went to Costco for a battery. I have a dead battery out of a previous car I had that's still under limited warranty from when I first bought it. They refunded me 60% of the purchase price so I got back $51. I took my partial refund and put an additional $22 to purchase the $73 battery I plan to put in the trike. The nearest size I could find within fractions of an inch was a Honda Fit battery (BIC# 151R) but Costco doesn't carry that size. The battery out of a 2007 Accord(BIC#51R) is 2 inches longer but still fits and Costco had them in stock.

[Picture of battery in place coming soon]

While I was there I bought a replacement battery for my Subaru. The battery was new when I bought the car ~3 years ago(4/25/15) from the PO but a shop lost the battery hold down a while ago and I realized after 2 different shops looked at the same problem. Both shops had the same answer when I told them they lost my battery tie down "Well we don't have one laying around the shop and we didn't have any reason to remove your battery from the car while we worked on it". Lazy me never got around to replacing it. Since I also need to make a battery strap for the trike, and I bought more than enough material to make a tie down for the Subie, I will be taking measurements and knocking both of those out tomorrow.

[pictures to come]

I was able to attach the door to the hinges by replacing the center screw with the original off the right side door. I loosely bolted the weldment to the door and put 2 of my new screws in place, then I took the center one out, replaced it with a hex bolt and bolted in the other 2. It took some dexterity to use a screw driver to position the tapped holes in the weldment inline with the holes in the hinge. This is all 5 screws replaced with Hex head bolts. I'll probably put a dab of rustoleum on them to protect them until I get the whole thing painted.

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I was thinking I might get it painted in that truck bed liner type stuff since the doors have creases and the whole thing is pretty beat up. I don't want to spend too much time or money on prep work for a paint job that's going to get scratched anyway from using this as a work vehicle. I like JD's idea of painting it the reddish orange on my business card, and have seen the truck bed liner stuff come in different colors. The only issue is getting decals put on. Unless I have them stenciled on, but I'm not sure how the material lends itself to being painted over.

Any thoughts?


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PostPosted: March 12, 2018, 7:47 pm 
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A few developments today,

On the bright side I was messing about when I remembered reading somewhere to remove the T nut above where the license plate light would be in the trunk to remove the entire rear cover. Once I remember where I found that info I will credit the person.

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This made replacing the negative terminal a lot easier. I'm not sure where to get the terminals that have a bolt to hold round connectors but I needed to replace the positive terminal on my forester and the negative terminal on my Go-4.I bought the pair at autozone for $7. It was super easy with the rear cover off and I can better see the storage space and engine compartment on this thing. Plus there's potential for refitting a rear deck. Maybe make this into some kind of Kei truck set up.

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Short clip after I put the battery in and started her up. Sorry for holding my phone the wrong way, I forgot my proper cell phone cinematography

https://www.youtube.com/embed/inzU1Chjtfs

After it warmed up I noticed 2 things.

1) the brake light is on with the parking lever down so the fluid level is probably low. I didn't get a chance to check because after moving it forward 10 feet I noticed

2) a huge puddle of oil in the spot it was parked when I looked in the mirror.

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I backed it up and took a look underneath to see where the oil was coming from. I'm very untrusting and when I checked the oil level I found it a little suspicious that the dip stick had fresh clean oil on it. I figured they were just doing routine maintenance and got through the oil change when someone decided that this one was going to be decommissioned.But something in my gut told me there was something fishy. I checked the dipstick and the oil was right on the Low level dot. I let the trike idle for a minute while I tried to see where the oil was coming from but I could only kind of see it may be coming from where the engine and tranny meet. I had other things to do today and it was
getting overcast so I packed up and called it a day while I came inside and ordered an engine overhaul gasket set.

Later this week I'm going to rinse off the engine, add a quart of oil, and let it idle a bit. I'll lift all three wheels and see where the evidence of a leak is. I mostly do basic things like no start situations and routine repairs/maintenance in my business. I've been doing my own mechanic work for the last 7 years. I only take cars to the mechanic for things that are too much to do curbside. Like valve cover gaskets on a Subaru or swapping out a radiator(spilling coolant is not only horrible pollution but is ticketable). I've never seen an engine hemorrhage oil like that. It was only Idling for maybe 5 minutes and it dumped enough oil for the dipstick to go from F to L.

I'm hoping it's that side of the oil pan because it would be easier than some sort of main seal on the engine side or having to remove the engine and transmission to separate them. and replace the gasket I'm sure is in between the 2.


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PostPosted: May 10, 2018, 6:15 pm 
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A few updates in this post so bear with me.

March 16th I cleaned off the engine and looked underneath as the oil leaked. I learned that my oil leak was indeed coming from the location of the rear main seal.

Not having an engine hoist, not having space to store an engine hoist, and fearing that if I used one and left it outside for some time with an engine attached to it I would lose both, I decided to build a gantry crane that mounts where the original side rails were.

Removed the things in my way.
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Took some measurements and just kind of free hand built this from mental images
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I used a crank operated 1/4 ton chain hoist. It's normally $50 but it was on sale for $30 at Harbor Freight. I used a ratchet strap's strap to wrap around the engine.
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It worked very well and I was able to pull the engine with ease
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This is where my rear main seal sat. Completely off of the crankshaft just floating up near the flex plate.
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I worked for about 4-10 hours a day but it took 2 days to build the lift, 3 days to pull the engine out and 2 days to get it back in. Because of rain, loss of sunlight, and work this took a total of 3 weeks. And I installed my torque converter incorrectly so it took another 2 days but really a week to remedy that.

Last week I tried to start it and the solenoid gave a nice loud click but wouldn't turn. I tried this many times, I tapped the starter, I turned the key on and off several times in a row, but at most I got a week crank for about a second. I refused to accept that the starter wasn't working because before doing the work the car would start without cranking. As soon as I turned the key the engine would immediately start running. However after much finagling and testing I decided to have it rebuilt. It cost me $70 and was done in an hour. I have yet to install it as I just picked it up today 5/10 the day after having all 4 wisdom teeth extracted and was told to avoid strenuous activity including mechanic work. However, I did test it and it's turning strong. The guy at the shop told me the inside of the motor wasn't meshing up. I'm not sure what he meant, he had a thick caribbean accent and my jaw was too store to get him to explain/clarify.

Maybe tomorrow or the day after I'll put it in and start her up. I still need to bleed the coolant, make sure my oil level is good, and replace one of my tires.


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PostPosted: May 10, 2018, 8:46 pm 
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Keep up the good work! Thanks for letting us follow along. :cheers:

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PostPosted: May 12, 2018, 5:48 am 
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I guess you've seen these videos about the rear main "issue" on the hyundai models (2001and newer?): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mCn2M-voxfc

I think the cause is crankcase pressure build up due to poor ventilation and blowby. I don't know any engine design that requires a retainer to keep the rear main from being blown out. With a clear pcv valve and open breather (not epa approved) there should be no way an engine with decent ring seal could build up enough pressure to blow it out.

As you probably know, the car the 2001ish and up are based on a car that was never offered here so parts are tough to get. I've had some issues with my festiva based P35 go4 with ecm fuel enrichment that I decided to switch to a festy carb intake and a new aisan progressive two barrel for a 75 tercel. It cost me about a third of what a megasquirt diy would cost and I don't care to spend my time tweaking with a laptop. Also my fuel tank is steel where yours is aluminum. I tried coating it but with the ethanol fuel, it didn't last so I've ordered an aluminum 8 gallon cell to go in the rear trunk, freeing up the space under the seat for storage.

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PostPosted: May 12, 2018, 6:02 am 
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horizenjob wrote:
Welcome Alonso, glad to have you! Put up a picture of your car and when you get around to it get some advice from MiataV8, send him a PM he owes us an update on life, gardening and his car projects!
:cheers:


I installed a 2002 chevy cobalt 5 speed on the 4.3lv6 fiero and design tools to make drivetrain removal easier for fieros, with no hoist required. I had to design shift linkage as well and used marine steering cables for shift cables that worked well and were cheap at $40 each for top quality cables (shortest length available is why they were cheap).

I've also been restoring a dj5 postal jeep, an 86 dodge d100, and a bronco 2. Other projects are waiting patiently but I just work on whatever I feel like working on unless it is a daily driver.

I added a small collection of japanese persimmon trees. The pecans and granny smith apples are finally starting to produce. I planted all those fig trees to find that Petit Negri is my favorite, so I've been propagating that one from cuttings to make more. Also growing gojis from seed.

Still working full time but would love to retire while I can still function.

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