Gray Panda GT-S 16v Hatch Build

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BeanBone
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Gray Panda GT-S 16v Hatch Build

Postby BeanBone » Sun Jul 28, 2013 10:02 am

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After over a decade of lusting after one, I finally pulled the trigger on an 86. I'd been looking for a GTS hatch for a while, and this one showed up on CL here in Houston and after selling a Miata as fast as I could, I picked it up.

It's a bit of a weird one. 300k on the clock, I was told the engine is a JDM bluetop with 50k on it. There's damage on the driver's front, so the hood is all bent, the fender is a replacement, the core support and inner fender are bent, and the front bumper is all sorts of sketchy. It did have an interesting list of mods listed in the ad:

    Original Enkei 92s Black with 2" Polished Lip (with the rustiest lugnuts I've ever seen)
    New Nitto 450s Tires
    Corbeau Low Profile Seat Rails
    Corbeau Black Racing Seats (will be for sale soon)
    TRD JDM Short Throw Shifter :mrgreen:
    New KYB Struts
    Refurbished Brakes, Akibono Ceramic Pad, Brembo Rotors
    Megan 8g/6g Lowering Springs
    Odyssey 925c Lightweight Racing Battery (thrown in the back with a relocation wire that's a foot too long)
    T3 Adjustable Camber Plates
    NGK Iridium 2way Spark Plugs
    NGK Iridium Performance Wires
    Full Aluminum 3' racing radiator (with an electric fan drilled into it)
    Full Interior except cargo cover, carpet, and rear speakers JDM spoiler (complete but beat to ****)
    JDM HKS Full Race 3' Cat Back Exhaust :mrgreen:
    NRG Carbon Fiber Quick Release Steering Wheel Column
    NRG Drift Steering Wheel with Yellow Indicator (sold)
    Cusco JDM Rear Sway Bar

It also came with a lot of spare parts.

Here's the damage:
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It's pretty rough, especially on startup, and the rear end makes a lot of noise (welded diff? **** bearings? both?), but it made it from far south Houston to the Woodlands without issue.

First order of business was to order a Nardi. The NRG wasn't my style, and I've always wanted a Nardi, so I pulled the trigger. I'm happy with the result:
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Here's the ratsnest on the driver's side:
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The intake was... interesting. POS AutoZone hose and pipe, with the MAF just shoved into the tube. That had to go. I know there's some controversy about whether the Injen helps or hurts, but it seemed the most complete solution for me, so I went for it.

Before:
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After:
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Here's a comparison vid: http://statigr.am/p/509540751532249822_238207707

Now, I'm waiting for my new seat to come in, worrying about the oil leak and rear-end noise, and planning suspension. It's expensive and anxiety-inducing, but I'm in love.
Last edited by BeanBone on Fri Jan 31, 2014 7:59 am, edited 2 times in total.
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iggy1evin
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Re: My First 86: Gray Panda GT-S Hatch

Postby iggy1evin » Fri Aug 02, 2013 10:42 pm

I remember seeing this on CL I was planning to get it but there were so many red flags for me. The previous owner said that it had a electric fan installed but not wired up and there was that bent radiator support as well, but anyhow I'm glad you got it though there needs to be more 86 on the road. btw if you need a replacement hood Im getting rid of my trueno hood

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BeanBone
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Re: My First 86: Gray Panda GT-S Hatch

Postby BeanBone » Sat Aug 03, 2013 7:53 am

iggy1evin wrote:I remember seeing this on CL I was planning to get it but there were so many red flags for me. The previous owner said that it had a electric fan installed but not wired up and there was that bent radiator support as well, but anyhow I'm glad you got it though there needs to be more 86 on the road. btw if you need a replacement hood Im getting rid of my trueno hood

Yeah, it has issues for sure and will be a project. That's why I was able to afford It. Based on where the market for GT-Ss seems to be these days, the final price ended up being priced accordingly given the issues.

Does your hood happen to be gray?
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Re: My First 86: Gray Panda GT-S Hatch

Postby iggy1evin » Sat Aug 03, 2013 5:22 pm

I know what you mean a GTS in Texas is pretty rare and when they do appear theyre stupid expensive and not in very good condition but sometimes you gotta bite the bullet and payout. so what are you plans for the car? the hood on my car is red but its in pretty good condtions just a few dings and faded paint but its straight and fits perfect.

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BeanBone
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Re: My First 86: Gray Panda GT-S Hatch

Postby BeanBone » Tue Aug 13, 2013 7:21 pm

Couple of updates here. First, I ordered a wide Corbeau FX1, but what actually showed up was a wide model Forza. I decided to keep it and got a decent partial refund.

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In progress (I need to order carpet or chip off the deadening and paint it!):
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Got it all installed, and though it appears the seats that were in there were Forzas, the new one seems to sit much higher up. I'm guessing it will sink a bit as it's used, but for now I fit but a helmet probably wouldn't. Good motivation to loose some weight, I suppose... Also, after looking at mine and talking to some people, looks like I'll need to reinforce the back-door sides of the Corbeau rails.

So, that's the fun part of the update. The bad news is the head gasket is blown. As it ran rough from the start, it's tough to tell if it was blown when I bought it or if it just happened. I noticed the overflow making a lot of noise on shutoff on 8-6 day and sure enough found sweet white smoke at the tailpipe. I bought one of those combustion gas detector kits to make sure, and it was pretty convincing:
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I was going to run a compression test, but it turned yellow right off the bat.

Here's a video of it in action, cool stuff: http://statigr.am/p/518321444219408565_238207707 (how about that loud always-on electric fan?)

Here's how it's running today: http://statigr.am/p/518333151444619765_238207707

So, yeah. Bummer. It was a risk going in, charge it to the game I suppose. I got very lucky with my last two cars, so it's time to pay the piper, I suppose.

I was going to address the motor at some point anyway, but my hand has been played for me. I briefly considered a 20v swap or just throwing on a new head gasket, but I think what I'm going to do is do it right and rebuild the 16v now and go for ITBs next year perhaps. I'm talking to a few people about rebuilding the motor, hopefully I can get something together soon as I'm antsy to get back on the road. The whole motor is FUBAR, the damn distributor isn't even bolted down all the way!

Also, that gasket blew for a reason, so I have to look at the cooling system. The cheapy aluminum rad and fan probably need to be swapped for something better. Koyo, maybe? The coolant looked like milky tea as well, ugh.

Oh well, in general I'm trying to stay positive and keep grinding.

Here she was on 8-6 day before everything turned to ****:
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Re: My First 86: Gray Panda GT-S Hatch

Postby BeanBone » Wed Aug 21, 2013 8:32 am

So, still waiting to rebuild the motor. Also need to work out a gameplan for the cooling system. If I was wasn't so tapped out, I'd love to do a Mishimoto rad...

Part of the reason I'm tapped out is this birthday present to myself that showed up from Thailand yesterday:
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Now, hopefully they work...

Also, when the car finally, you know, moves and stuff I'll be able to capture the event with this here:
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Re: My First 86: Gray Panda GT-S Hatch

Postby BeanBone » Mon Jan 20, 2014 9:33 am

Catching this thread up. This update is from September

Car is still in hibernation in need of engine work. I've mostly been playing with the wagons, but I've still been doing a little poking around looking for parts and adding to my stash:
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Also been keeping busy helping a friend with his FRS. Really love the car, might need to replace my IS daily with one. Here he is working on it with my three projects flanking him:
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Here's everyone together. Toyota life!
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Really looking forward to getting the car back on the road with the motor rebuild and cooling system. Then I can start on the suspension, and the tweaked bodywork, and the rust holes, and the rear end, and... everything else. :shock:
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Re: My First 86: Gray Panda GT-S Hatch

Postby BeanBone » Mon Jan 20, 2014 9:33 am

January

Quick update time.

After months of no activity, things are getting back on track. As we left it, we had a blown head gasket, crap wiring, a free spinning distributor and all sorts of other madness going on.

My builder was kindly able to clear some time and driveway space for me, and she's been under the knife for a few weeks now.

Here she is hitched and ready to roll out.
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As expected, compression was ass.
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The underside of the distributor cap showed signs of the extreme temperatures under the hood.
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What followed was a complete tear down of the motor, which is where we are now. I'll be detailing the state of the engine and rebuild thanks to my builder's near-obsessive level of documentation.

Here it is liberated from the shell.
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The clutch housing was from South Africa and showed some wear.
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The head gasket was a mere shadow of it's former self.
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It is in fact a JDM largeport 3-rib, as expected.

Luckily, the head, cams, block, crank, and pistons are all in pretty good shape and can all be reused.
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Some random parts.
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Rebuild will entail new Exedy clutch/housing, PPC flywheel, all new seals, rings and gaskets, ARP head studs, Cometic head gasket, some casting material removal, timing belt, water pump, oil pump, a little combustion chamber work, new digital gauges, re-flowed injectors, new injector plugs, fixed wiring, heat shields, etc. It's a lot of work to be sure, but the goal now is to get the engine to a reliable state of tune so I can enjoy the car now without worry int he back of my head and to establish a solid basis for future modifications.

So far, so good. Can't wait to get it all back together and on the road. Then I can start budgeting to fix the rear end, and chassis damage, and suspension, and interior issues...
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Re: My First 86: Gray Panda GT-S Hatch

Postby BeanBone » Mon Jan 20, 2014 9:34 am

And now, we're all sped up to current day.

As per usual, it appears I've spoken too soon.

The bores actually have some damage that needs to be addressed, so it looks like the block will be bored out .20. Apparently, finding a set of 20-over ITM pistons requires an act of congress. Luckily, my builder was able to find the last set in the universe.

Also, had to order some Cusco motor mounts and some more T3 goodies last night.

This car is so full of surprises, ha! Crossing my fingers now there are no more surprises and we've made the last parts purchase for this motor rebuild, I'm already at the magical "spent more on parts/upgrades than the purchase price of the car" point, and I've only addressed some interior bits and making the motor run :mrgreen:
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Re: My First 86: Gray Panda GT-S Hatch

Postby marley4us » Mon Jan 20, 2014 7:14 pm

very cool car man
1985 Corolla Hatch widebody w/ SR20det (The Project)
1993 5SGTE stroker widebody MR2 Turbo (drag car)
2002 Miata SE hardtop (daily Driver)
1994 4runner (The truck)

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Re: My First 86: Gray Panda GT-S Hatch

Postby BeanBone » Thu Jan 23, 2014 8:57 am

Progress being made.

Pistons are in, T3 goodies are in, motor mounts should be in this afternoon. Injectors are re-flowed and ready to roll.

Rods are balanced.
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Head is refreshed.
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I think we're over the hill here, everything is coming together and looking exciting. Knocks on wood...
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Re: My First 86: Gray Panda GT-S Hatch

Postby YOTAHOLIC808 » Thu Jan 23, 2014 9:27 am

looking good bro!
@_yotaholic

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Re: My First 86: Gray Panda GT-S Hatch

Postby BeanBone » Wed Jan 29, 2014 8:15 am

Block is back from the machine shop. Hopefully there are no more surprises! :lol:
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Re: Gray Panda GT-S Hatch 16v Build

Postby yoshimitsuspeed » Thu Jan 30, 2014 10:01 am

Nice build. I'm curious why you went for such rare pistons when there are so many great options readily available?
What compression are you running?
Have you decided on cams yet?
It sounds like you have already sourced most of your parts list but if you need anything else hit me up for a quote.

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Re: Gray Panda GT-S Hatch 16v Build

Postby BeanBone » Thu Jan 30, 2014 10:22 am

yoshimitsuspeed wrote:Nice build. I'm curious why you went for such rare pistons when there are so many great options readily available?
What compression are you running?
Have you decided on cams yet?
It sounds like you have already sourced most of your parts list but if you need anything else hit me up for a quote.

Was looking for a good, affordable set of OEM-style 20-over pistons and this was what the builder recommended. Which brand do you like best?

Keeping stock cams. This is just a simple street build, just want to refresh the motor and make it reliable once more.
Last edited by BeanBone on Fri Jan 31, 2014 7:37 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Gray Panda GT-S Hatch 16v Build

Postby yoshimitsuspeed » Thu Jan 30, 2014 8:03 pm

This is a custom Wiseco I designed for a customer. The design is intended to actually get some squish effect from the dome and sides of the combustion chamber.
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I can also do JE customs, and just got setup to get parts from Hasselgren. They have their own design JE, and Mahle available but I'm still waiting to get specs on them.

Then if you have the big bucks of course there is always Toda.

http://www.todaracingusa.com/catalog/pc ... tegory=178

How much compression are you running?
Cams are a vital part of a build and will really open up your power band. Plus more cam allows you to run more compression safely.
For a street build 11:1 compression and a set of Poncams will give you a significant bump in power while retaining stock ECU, reliability, power band and redline.

Stock 4AGE
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4AGE on the above pistons and poncams, stock ECU with no tuning.

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Same motor with some tuning on the stock ECU.
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http://matrixgarage.com/products/tomei- ... 64-81mm-ex

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Re: Gray Panda GT-S Hatch 16v Build

Postby BeanBone » Fri Jan 31, 2014 7:44 am

Awesome response.

Yeah, the scope and budget for this build precludes using Toda/Tomeis, etc. You have a good price on the cams, but for this stage with the car, I'm just going for a nicely rebuilt and refreshed stock-ish motor with a modest budget and a few small upgrades. Running pretty close to stock compression, I don't think the overbore and head gasket are going to make much difference. Later on, when the rest of the car is sorted, I'll revisit the engine for some upgrades and more power, maybe poncams, maybe ITBs, depends on how much money is left with all my other projects!
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Re: Gray Panda GT-S 16v Hatch Build

Postby BeanBone » Sat Feb 08, 2014 3:12 pm

The builder has the pistons all together:
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As engine reassembly continues, let's inventory some random parts.

New old core support:
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T3 full hatch interior set (door panels, rear panels, trunk panels, taillight panel, hatch trim & spare cover) to replace my toasty, partially stripped interior:
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Digital gauges:
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Assorted bits (T3 handbrake button, T3 radiator shroud, T3 distributor shield, DIN gauge mount, TVIS badge, Twin Cam grill badge, Odyssey battery box & Cusco engine and transmission mounts):
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Re: Gray Panda GT-S 16v Hatch Build

Postby BeanBone » Tue Feb 11, 2014 3:12 pm

Got to see the pistons in the motor and rotating this weekend, assembly should be finished soon. Ordered some no-name 10 inch fans and picked up some silly JDM bling at the post office today that I just couldn't resist:
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Rain visors, whattt?
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Re: Gray Panda GT-S 16v Hatch Build

Postby BeanBone » Tue Mar 11, 2014 9:51 am

Yay, more eBay parts are in.

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10 inch fans and some switchgear.

As for the motor, here's the updates:
    Every single component has been thoroughly cleaned
    Rings chamfered
    New woodruff key
    Bottom end is all together, head/valve covers on
    Timed to factory
    Oil drain back added from head to pan
    Injector connectors replaced

Getting there, can't wait to hear it run.
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Re: Gray Panda GT-S 16v Hatch Build

Postby Streetdriven » Wed Mar 12, 2014 8:17 am

Sweet build i hope i can get mine going soon

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Re: Gray Panda GT-S 16v Hatch Build

Postby BeanBone » Tue Apr 01, 2014 8:04 am

Quick update time.

Turns out my goofy oil pressure warning light sensor fouled the PS pump. So, with that in mind along with the plan always being to switch to manual rack, we did just that.

Here's the AW11 rack (sans u-joint which came in later) complete with totally shagged inner tie-rods:
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T3's bitchin' manual rack parts along with a fuel pressure gauge:
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Here's the rack in the car:
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On the motor front, everything is all together and in the car.

Here's the sweet new oil drain-back in place:
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New flywheel and bolts:
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And with the new clutch kit:
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Fancy new intake gaskets:
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Fuel setup with new connectors, refreshed injectors, etc.:
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Here's the motor and trans before they went in:
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So, what remains now is fixing the wiring the previous owners absolutely FUBAR'd, shrouding and mounting the new 10 inch fans, mounting and wiring my overkill digi-gauges and warning lights, breaking it in, then figuring out what is the next most critical area of concern once the engine is sorted. Getting close!
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Re: Gray Panda GT-S 16v Hatch Build

Postby sekang0 » Wed Apr 02, 2014 1:12 am

I'm liking that head-to-pan oil drain!
'85 GT-S project since 2010
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Re: Gray Panda GT-S 16v Hatch Build

Postby Fishy Warren » Wed Apr 02, 2014 6:23 pm

How did you get your seat to fit? I ordered an FX1 wide and couldn't shut the door or mount it to the floor due to it hitting the tranny tunnel .

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BeanBone
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Re: Gray Panda GT-S 16v Hatch Build

Postby BeanBone » Wed Apr 02, 2014 6:26 pm

Fishy Warren wrote:How did you get your seat to fit? I ordered an FX1 wide and couldn't shut the door or mount it to the floor due to it hitting the tranny tunnel .

The previous owner already had the rails mounted, and my wide Forza bolted right up no issue. Maybe he'd already done some adjusting. I'd take some pics but it's still at the builder's.
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Re: Gray Panda GT-S 16v Hatch Build

Postby Fishy Warren » Thu Apr 03, 2014 11:46 pm

Right on. I'm sure we will be meeting in person one of these days.

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Re: Gray Panda GT-S 16v Hatch Build

Postby BeanBone » Wed Apr 09, 2014 8:09 pm

So, the wiring was bad:
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Now it's good:
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The battery relocation cable was just coiled up and run through the firewall (see the ratsnest in the before pics above), now it's routed properly:
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The ignition coil was laid down (see the ratsnest in the before pics above), not it's upright on a sweet mount:
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Re: Gray Panda GT-S 16v Hatch Build

Postby BeanBone » Thu Apr 17, 2014 10:04 am

Mad Max style!
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Sweet new fan shroud the builder fabbed for the eBay rad and eBay fans:
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Interior coming together with warning lights, gauges, cutoff, etc.:
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Everything's coming together, just some wiring and break-in left... hopefully!

If anyone has some lower radiator mounts/bushings/grommets/supports/insulators/whatever-they're-calleds, hit me up.
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Re: Gray Panda GT-S 16v Hatch Build

Postby BeanBone » Sat May 10, 2014 9:28 pm

So, the good news is the car is home, it's running, and it's even inspected. Motor feels great, especially over 4k.

Here she is passing inspection.
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Engine has been broken in, rings seated, and 200 mile oil change has been preformed. The fans have been wired up with a switch and relays, the gauges and warning lights are wired up, along with the battery cutoff.

Here you can see the fan switch (silver toggle), battery cutoff, warning lights, and gauges:
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There's also a mini fuse box for all this hidden in the ash tray.

The booty HVAC panel was well past it, so we sourced a new one along with replacement knobs. The stupid brass Autometer adapter for the oil pressure sender failed under the weight of the big Autometer sender, so it had to be moved to the oil pump. The alternator was bad, so that was replaced with a re-manufactured item:
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The taillights were full of water, which explains why the brake fuse was blown, which explains why the brake lights weren't working. Love when it's this simple to diagnose a problem.
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The not-so-good news is the heater core was cracked, so it's been looped for now. Also, there's a fault or loose wire on that funky fuse box you can see above that requires you to give it a firm tap before the car will start (WTF?). Plus, the fuel damper has sprung a leak, the clutch slave cylinder is worn, and the fuel filter needs to be moved back towards the firewall (previous owner must have yanked the hardlines). Luckily, none of those are major showstoppers and hopefully these creases are ironed out soon.

Chillin' with the Cressida:
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Last edited by BeanBone on Sun May 11, 2014 8:57 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Gray Panda GT-S 16v Hatch Build

Postby Jvill008 » Sun May 11, 2014 8:49 am

Nice build my friend. Hope to get mine going sooner than later.

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