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Old 06-03-2014, 09:20 PM   #1
FISHTAIL
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Default Project Sav-A-Fox. Many pics, long post.

Ok guys, I know this is the GT registry, and this car isn't a GT, but i think it's a safe bet that everyone here loves fox's and will appreciate this one. I'm lazy, so I just copy pasted this verbatim from where I posted it on SVTP, so if something seems slightly out of context..that's why.

Because I have a feeling it'll come up, the car was originally wild strawberry in color, but when it was repainted, I went for something a little different. It's now RedFire.

Anyway, onto the post:

Well guys, this post has been a few months in the making, and is going to be a looong one, with lots of pictures.

So, as some of you know (especially the ones that I'm friends with on FB) I bought a fox convertible last summer as a
project car that I intended to flip after completion to fund parts for the GT. But...for multiple reasons, we have decided to keep it.

That's the basic jyst of it, but the interesting part is the project itself, and thus, story time;

As with most trashed project cars, this story starts with craigslist. Originally, the seller was asking 2k for this car, and
in all of the pictures he had posted, there were none of the interior and in all the exterior shots, the car was wet.

I knew these were red flags, but since the seller was so close (15 minutes away) I decided to go have a look anyway. He'd mentioned in the ad that the car had a tap, so I brought my stethoscope with me when I went to check the car out. As the man said, the car DID have a nasty tap, but I was able to determine pretty quickly that the issue was in the top end. When I told him that, he informed me that he'd recently replaced the main bearings, himself, in the driveway, without pulling the motor, because he thought that *might* be where the noise was...and was surprised when that didn't work. uh oh. lol. Even in the rain, i could tell the paint was severely oxidized, and after glancing inside, I immediately decided the car wasn't worth anywhere close to 2k.

He asked if I wanted to make an offer, I told him no, but to contact me later after he'd had a few, or none..knowing damn well that he was going to end up with the latter. After a couple of weeks, he emailed me back and negotiations started. For reasons I won't post publicly, the guy was able to appeal to my softer side and I agreed to give him 800 for the car..which, as I even told him, was still more than the car was worth.

Still, at the time I was hopeful that I could salvage most of it and make a decent profit so I went ahead and bought the car.

And that is where the fun started. The fellow I got this car from was a very, very kind man, but is one of those people that should be barred for life from ever attempting to turn a wrench again. Everything, and I mean EVERYTHING this guy touched on this car, he screwed up.

First, he'd told me that he was "restoring" the interior. If what I got was restored, I'm horrified to think what it looked
like to start with. When i got this thing, the interior was so disgusting i wouldn't even sit in it with clean clothes on.
The carpet had mushrooms growing out of it, the door panels were white, the map pockets were grey, and the door handles were red. The front seats were brown (SN95), and the rear were destroyed original white leather. The center arm rest was gone, the passenger rear interior panel was broken in half (which I didn't notice right away because of how he had it sitting), the radio was half out, and there were pepboys "accessories" screwed into the dash, center console and random **** everywhere. In short, it was an unmitigated disaster. I don't have any pictures of this because it stayed like that for all of a couple hours before I started ripping **** out and throwing in the garbage. I never really intended to document it..just fix it. The paint was so badly oxidized that the car had a white hue to it, the paint was flaking off the wheels, and the top was covered in mildew.
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Old 06-03-2014, 09:21 PM   #2
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I like a challenge I guess.

This post is already getting long in the tooth, so rather than explain how I came to find everything, I'll just list what I found (andcan remember) offhand for everyones amusement;
The passenger rear 1/4 window had broken the torque pins in the motor and was stuck (regulator rusted in place) about 3/4 of the way up. This is how water got in, the mushrooms grew, and how the rear panel was broken in half. The guy couldn't find the screws apparently, so he just broke the panel to remove it. Then when he couldn't figure out what was wrong, he reassembled the window guide upside down and left it like that.

I replaced the torque pins in the motor and was able to work the regulator free..window works great now. 2.95 to fix. And he ruined half the interior because of it.

The mildew on the top I was able to remove with a good scrub and some dawn dish detergent. It's still not perfect, but it's not bad either..although the car could use a black top now. The paint I was able to partially salvage, but was so far gone in places that we ended up just painting the car. Even with a PC, I still burned clean through to primer on the first pass in 2 spots, and in others the clear was pitted so badly that polishing the oxidation out almost made it look worse. After about 12-16 hours of working the oxidation out, I threw in the towel and owned up to having to pay for paint.

The engine, as it turned out, was almost totally sludged up. The tapping was the sound of at least 4 broken rockers. Given the other things this guy did (that I'm about to share), and knowing that he'd replaced some bearings in the bottom end (likely only half of them), I wrote the engine off and grabbed another from CL for 400 bucks.

The driveshaft had 3 of the 4 bolts at least halfway out. All finger tight. The speedo sensor was shoved so far into the trans that the gear got held in place and stripped. Then they put the hold down bracket on upside down and broke the bolt off in the transmission. To prevent a leak, the spedo sensor was held in with a coat hanger.

There were 3, yes 3, sets of foglights on the car. All wired horribly. The drivers door hinge pins were shot, but instead of fixing those he adjusted the window stops so the window would "shut". This caused some issues...

The brakes were all new, but the rears were installed backwards and as a result, the self adjusters stripped themselves out and the car made terrible, terrible sounds when the brakes where hit.

The radio was wired incorrectly and didn't work, the car had "light up flame" pep boys pedals on it, and he also managed to destroy the rear view mirror base because he couldn't figure out how to get it off the button.

The passenger front seat was NOT bolted down tightly, at all, and the left front bolt didn't even catch a thread. The drivers front was worse and even had a broken corner, so it was only actually attached to the floor in 3 places rather than 4. Thank god I didn't drive it home, getting in an accident would have been a guaranteed ejection from the vehicle.

And that's just the stuff that comes to mind right away...there was more..much more. I ended up putting far more time into fixing some of the most ignorant stuff I've ever seen someone try than I barganed for. But, it's fixed..mostly. I still have a few little things left to button up, but for the most part, the car is salvaged.

So, in short, here is what I did:
Replaced the engine
Spent about 12-16 hours or so buffing the paint before giving up and getting the entire car painted (Redfire)
Painted the wheels/trim
Gutted the entire interior. Fixed the wiring, re-dyed all the panels, replaced the two rear panels, installed a light bar, and got "new" seats/carpet.

This entire process took probably around 4 months of working in the evenings.

And with that...I shall present you with pictures!
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Old 06-03-2014, 09:22 PM   #3
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Arrival day after it's first extensive dawn bath:



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Old 06-03-2014, 09:23 PM   #4
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Attempting to clean up the paint:









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Old 06-03-2014, 09:24 PM   #5
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Engine Replacement:


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Old 06-03-2014, 09:25 PM   #6
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What pics I have of the interior when I started:








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Old 06-03-2014, 09:25 PM   #7
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Trashed wheels:



So..as you can see, the car was, well, rough.

I have basically zero pictures of the actual refinishing process, but I have a few of it going back together:







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Old 06-03-2014, 09:26 PM   #8
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How it looked when I dropped it off for paint:






Back from paint:
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Old 06-03-2014, 09:27 PM   #9
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Repainting the wheels:





Sanded the rust out of the tails..the un-finished area is how the whole pipe looked:



How she looks now:



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Old 06-03-2014, 09:27 PM   #10
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At home:


First ride:

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Old 06-04-2014, 03:21 PM   #11
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very nice job,
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Old 06-04-2014, 04:26 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by federal officer
very nice job,
Thanks. That's what I get for buying a car to flip. I put a bunch of work into it, end up liking it, and now instead of more money to spend on the GT, I have a second money pit.

My "wish list" for this car is pretty short though, just fixing the remainder of the little things it needs, a black top (which I might try myself this winter), FLSFC's, strut tower brace, and some lowering springs. That's probably about it. Just want to shore her up and ditch the 4x4 look.

I didn't mention it above, but I was able to re-use most of the interior pieces, minus the two rear panels which the P/O destroyed. The rest I just cleaned, and re-dyed.
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Old 06-05-2014, 12:03 AM   #13
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Nice work
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Old 06-26-2014, 02:34 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shakerhood
Nice work
Thanks man. Still have lots of little things left to do, but overall I'm very pleased with how it came out. My Son LOVES to ride in it to get ice cream. I reserve that privilege as a treat for when he's had a particularly good week.
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Old 06-26-2014, 07:27 PM   #15
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Wow! That car had a tough life. I've never seen sludge build up like that! Is it a high mile car?

Great job!

Got any "upgrades" into the motor? A real 5-liter stick car will always be desirable. You are miles ahead of the guys that picked up clean 4-cylinder cars and converted them to V8.
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