Living in Upstate NY is not a good place for old cars. The salt and winters here basically destroys everything unless you really go out of your way to maintain it.
I had been looking for an AE86 for a long time, and I was disappointed over and over again by rusted hack-jobs or half baked projects.
One day when I was browsing craigslist I saw a typical tagline: "Attn drifters" something something AE86. I thought "great another beaten on drift missle." I couldn't have been more wrong.
The car was pretty far from me, about 5 hours away, but I knew this would be my only chance without flying across the country.
The paint was in desperate need of attention.
You west coast people might think the underside looks horrible, but this is actually very surprising for such an old car in a winter climate. Not bad at all.
The interior was in really good condition, but it was dusty and dirty.
The engine started right up and ran well, but it was also dirty and neglected.
Long story short. I decided to take the plunge, and haul it back to NY from southern PA in early December. Towing a car through mountain roads was a rather interesting experience, but I got it home.
I wish I had taken more pictures, but anyway I had no garage for the car, so it had to sit in my Dad's driveway for the rest of the winter, but even frigid temperatures would not stop me from getting started!
This was my first time doing anything with a car besides maintainence, so I took pictures of basically everything as I disassembled it.
The climate control really needed a new faceplate...
I could not figure out what the foam stuff was in the top right there until I looked at the foam section that was in the back of the hatch and noticed it had a large piece ripped out. Some animal started to build a home behind there! This got me worried about wiring and electronic issues.
You can see part of the foam in the back there has been eaten.
I finally got most of the dash removed. The bags were put over that stuff because I didn't want dirt/dust getting all into the grease on those parts.... a bit strange I know.
All the vents and ductwork were really nasty. I could not wait to clean them up.
Almost everything was stripped and taken back to where I live to be cleaned.
At this point the winter started to get really cold, so I wrapped the car up the best I could with a cover and prepared it for hibernation.
I spent the whole winter disassembling all the HVAC parts and interior parts and cleaning everything with soap and water.
Something was living in there for a short time, and it left a nasty smell that I had to get rid of.
Anyway, fast forward to spring. I finally had garage space for my car, so I had to drive it 50 miles back to where I lived, hoping it would make it.
I put the bare minimum of the interior in just enough to make it driveable. Was it even legal? I'm not really sure, but I didn't care either.
The trip back home reminded me that I had a lot of work left. The brakes were crap, suspension was kind of squeaky, the engine idled too high, but I was excited.
Before getting it inspected and on the road I did a few important things:
- Replaced the calipers/rotors/brakes in all four corners
- Replaced the rusty radiator and put in all new HPS 3-ply hoses
- Get the horn working again (why would someone cut the wires anyway??)
Sure enough it passed inspection! No smog or emissions nonsense here though. It's a safety inspection only.
In the very first picture of this post you can see how bad the paint looks, but after a polish and wax the shine really came back! I was pleasantly surprised.
After getting the interior back in, I started cleaning up the engine and engine bay.
Starting with painting the valve covers.
This is the current state of the engine bay as I clean all the intake parts.
The manifold and T-VIS was pretty nasty. All the vacuum lines looked old as well, so all those were replaced.
I got some more OEM parts that I was missing!
Intake and A/C parts
Finally found some seats! My seats are fine now, but eventually I'll have these ones reupholstered...
Nothing was ignored, not even that rusty charcoal canister.
I sent my injectors back to Mr. Injector to be cleaned and rebuilt.
I heard about them from someone on this forum, but I forgot who. I highly recommend it, they came back looking brand new.
Currently I'm planning on getting the car running again later this month to see how much cleaning the intake system helped.
My to-do list is pretty short right now, but I'm sure there are many things I am forgetting.
- Replace the rusty exhaust system
- Remove and repaint as many underbody parts as possible with something like POR-15 (rear axle, driveshaft, suspensions parts, etc)
- Possibly redo the undercoating? It's starting to flake off, and I don't want chips in the paint
- Install the A/C and get it working
- Put in some new speakers, mine are original and very tired
If you managed to read through this, I'm impressed.
I'll continue doing small updates in the future. Starting is the hard part right?
Comments always welcome.