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Thread: dodint's Automotive Evolution

  1. #731
    I'm gooder. Phil_SS's Avatar
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    Iím just hear to say that Series II Vipers are the sex.

  2. #732
    Dead Brand Ambassador dodint's Avatar
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  3. #733
    Dead Brand Ambassador dodint's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dodint View Post
    The SRT-4 is nice in that the prior owner was into car stereo stuff, not building up a 600hp show/drag car, so it is shockingly unmolested.

    I bought a fun, versatile project and it's going to be a blast fussing with it.


    So, the prior owner was actually a jagoff.

    The SRT-4 unsurprisingly failed PA inspection, in part because of some small items like no windshield washer system. Prior owner cut the line for some reason and never fixed it. It also needed outer tie rod ends as it couldn't be aligned. No big deal. Ordered new tie rod ends and 'while I'm in there' I ordered new control arms just to tighten everything up because the car was really sloppy up front, like, dangerously bad.
    For racing and just general stiffening I ordered a nice set of Hotchkis anti-roll bars to replace the factory front and rear. 29mm/24mm Front/Rear, both hollow. Also ordered the Mopar Stage 1 lowering springs mentioned earlier.

    I removed the old tie-rod ends and control arms, as well as the strut/spring assembly. As I'm in there I realize that there is NO FRONT SWAYBAR. The prior owner snapped off all four swaybar bracket bolts and rather than fix it like an adult he left the bolts in the subframe and threw away the sway bar. Russ has a theory that the guy was drag racing with it and wanted the sway bar off, but there were absolutely no other performance upgrades made so I doubt that is the case.

    Since drilling and tapping the subframe in place is a notoriously huge pain in the ass I went ahead and found a scrap one on eBay that isn't mangled and bought that. So I'm going to finish dropping the subframe and will just replace it with the recycled one. I could try and drill out and tap the existing subframe but in the interest of getting this project done I hit the easy button.

    This is the replacement subframe, I'm going to hit it with a wire brush, POR-15 the exposed metal and then paint the entire unit black before mounting it back up:




    Two of the rear swaybar bracket bolts are also broken off but that's my doing, still working on getting those out. Problem is the bolts go into a captive nut in the frame that is inaccessible at the top so I can't just drill it out and get new hardware as there is no way to get a wrench head on the replacement nut.

    So, the suspension refresh included the following:
    -Outer Tie Rod Ends
    -Control Arms
    -Hotchkis Sway Bars
    -Mopar Stage 1 Lowering Springs
    -K-Frame replacement
    -Lower Motor Mount replacement

    On a more positive note, I did return the tail light housings to the factory version on the left:



    I also upgraded the brake light bulbs to a quality set of LEDs, to get that instant on/off for track use rather than the slower illumination of incandescent bulbs. Not a huge upgrade but a nice improvement.

  4. #734
    Crime Fighter Cam's Avatar
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    I always disliked aftermarket lights. They never work as well as OEM. Sorry to hear of the surprises, but it sounds like you're getting it sorted nicely.

  5. #735
    I'm gooder. Phil_SS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dodint View Post
    Wow! I had no idea they were getting that affordable.

    And that is like right down the street from you. Although maybe you are social distancing in Latrobe.

  6. #736
    Dead Brand Ambassador dodint's Avatar
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    Yeah, LW is very close. They had a Delorean there last year and a bunch of folks kept mistaking it for mine and texting me when people would test drive it.

    I am going to wait until it's safe to go out before looking at it. With Ash's treatment we are pretty well holed up. Red is my least favorite color and its a first year car, but that's a good price and it is in my time zone.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cam View Post
    I always disliked aftermarket lights. They never work as well as OEM. Sorry to hear of the surprises, but it sounds like you're getting it sorted nicely.
    It's not bad, just feel like I have had the car apart for weeks for what should have been something relatively straightforward. The BMW is worst off, it doesn't even have a working motor.
    Last edited by dodint; March 30th, 2020 at 03:34 PM.

  7. #737
    Dead Brand Ambassador dodint's Avatar
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    Shitty modified background photos aside, very excited to have skipped work today to go buy this BMW M6.









    507hp, V10, 6-speed, 68k miles, factory carbon fibre roof, Clean Carfax and AutoCheck, etc.

    Not my first E63, or my first M6, but it is my first E63 M6. I have been actively looking all of this year. 1 of 323 M6 coupes produced with a manual transmission. It is also the only V10 BMW ever made, it's rooted in F1 technology (which has its consequences).
    Got a great deal on it, they didn't know what they had and I caught the listing before it got fully advertised. Turned up at a Subaru dealer in northwest Indiana. Prior owner had a heart attack and decided to sell everything and move to Florida, it wasn't a trade. Car is fully detailed inside and out, looks brand new. Bone stock.

    This is replacing the Z4 (traded) and SRT-4 (for sale, make offer).
    Of the 13 BMWs I have owned most have been Bangle era (2000s) and this car is the top of that mountain. Very happy with myself right now. RRRRRRrrrrrrreeeeeeee.

    This will get DD and track duty. It's HANS device time because this car is well beyond my capabilities. I may never progress enough to catch up to it, if I am honest. This car is One Lap Plan B if Tyler and I do not dig up a Viper in time.

  8. #738
    Crime Fighter Cam's Avatar
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    You change cars like underwear.

  9. #739
    High Plains Luddite George's Avatar
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    More often than some change underwear during quarantine, I'll wager.

    Quite a step up from the Dodge Neon.

  10. #740
    Dead Brand Ambassador dodint's Avatar
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    I just really like to experience things. I enjoyed the 650i from a few years ago so I went back on grabbed the fully optimized version of it. Downside is I don't know what I actually pay for insurance because the policy is always changing and adjusting.

    I updated my original post in the thread and between Ash and I this is our 24th car. (19/5 me/her)

    We are about to enter a few years of unprecedented stability for us. We're selling our city house and moving into the country house. I'll go from 4 garage spaces to 2 (for now) which is a compromise. But we just paved the driveway and added a very large parking pad. Eventually that house will be renovated and it will have a 5 car garage. Ash and I have kind of pledged to not move again for at least 5 years. I plan to use that time to zero out the bit of consumer debt we have and continue improving our retirement outlook.

    Current fleet:

    Daily drivers: MINI Cooper, BMW M6
    Track only: BMW 330Ci, Dodge SRT-4*
    Utility/Tow: Ford E-350

    The SRT-4 is for sale, I'm taking it to Track Night next Wednesday and then putting the stock wheels and brakes back on it and putting it on eBay or Craigslist. At that point we'll just have the 4 cars. DDs in the garage, the 330ci in an enclosed trailer, and the van out in the rain.

    When Ash graduates school next year and gets a job in her field she wants to celebrate by trading the MINI on a Porsche. Either a Cayman or a Macan if her taste doesn't change. Tyler and I are looking at doing One Lap next year, and if that happens we'll pick up a Viper GTS temporarily but I'll only own that for a few months. But other than those two potential changes we should be locked in with this configuration for a while.

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