Not destined to be a razor blade. Saving a GTS hatch

Yuri
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Not destined to be a razor blade. Saving a GTS hatch

Postby Yuri » Fri Feb 15, 2013 3:52 pm

So truth of the matter is I've always wanted an AE86 GTS hatchback. Unfortunately for me, they have long since priced themselves beyond what I can afford. I did at one time have a mint condition '87 SR5 Coupe, but I ended up selling it for a daily.

Then yesterday I was at the junkyard, and noticed in the impound lot a rather familiar looking rear end. The spoiler and body color rear bumper tipped me off to the possibility that it might be my unicorn. I talked to the cashier who said that security would have to walk me back, but they were understaffed that day, and would have to come back the next day.

So after a sleepless night, I arrived at the junkyard when it opened. The security directed me to an employee who would take me back to look at the car, but when we headed back, it wasn't there. It turns out that morning it was put into the yard. :x

I ran down the rows hoping it had not yet been discovered, and 8 rows in, glimpsed a winking flip-up headlight. I ran to it, and looked it over. A real GTS hatch, 1985, in red with the 3 tone red interior. Only 200k miles read on the guage cluster set in a dash that showed just two cracks. Except for the gas tank which was pulled to put it in the junkyard, it was complete.
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I quickly took the crayon that the security guard gave me, and scrawled "HOLD" on the windshield, and viciously guarded it until a forklift could come, pluck it from its grave, and give it a second chance at life.
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I called the head of the junkyard, and set in motion all the paperwork to make it mine. I paid for it, and went over it taking pics, to figure out the parts I would need for its homecoming once the paperwork is ready, and I can rescue it from its private impound lot. I imagine it and the Subaru that share its little spot of safety are glad that their roads haven't ended just yet.
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So now I must start to track down a GTS fuel tank, driver's taillight, and get some wheels and tires ready for it when it comes home.
It's a great feeling to finally have checked another off my list of dream cars (my S30 Z is another), and an even greater feeling to know that I single-handidly saved a GTS hatch from
becoming scrap metal.

I want to have it ready in time for the Japanese classic car show in SoCal, and I plan on leaving the junkyard markings on for the show.

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Deuce Cam
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Re: Not destined to be a razor blade. Saving a GTS hatch

Postby Deuce Cam » Fri Feb 15, 2013 5:18 pm

Nice junkyard find, and thumbs up for saving her.

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Grant
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Re: Not destined to be a razor blade. Saving a GTS hatch

Postby Grant » Fri Feb 15, 2013 5:26 pm

Nice find. Best of luck bringing it back to life. :)

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Re: Not destined to be a razor blade. Saving a GTS hatch

Postby Tora » Fri Feb 15, 2013 7:10 pm

YES. AMAZING FIND. I'm amazed that the previous owner would junk such a clean GTS... Like they didn't get enough notes on the windshield asking to buy it in the last 15 years. How much did you end up paying for it? Junkyards around here have been PAYING $400-500 per car for even the worst piles of junk, and they've been chewing through a lot of cars really quickly.

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Re: Not destined to be a razor blade. Saving a GTS hatch

Postby RLZ » Fri Feb 15, 2013 7:50 pm

Nice, The body looks in good shape! Where is this junkyark at?
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Re: Not destined to be a razor blade. Saving a GTS hatch

Postby LongGrain » Fri Feb 15, 2013 8:52 pm

wow! incredible find!

i wonder why it was there in the first place?

If you need tail lights, the shop working on my car is selling my zenki tails, they are in pretty good shape. I think he'd only sell the pair though.

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Re: Not destined to be a razor blade. Saving a GTS hatch

Postby eightsixgts » Sat Feb 16, 2013 1:46 am

Hey man, figured you were on here... this is BHCfarkas from TCL :)

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Re: Not destined to be a razor blade. Saving a GTS hatch

Postby John H. » Sat Feb 16, 2013 10:29 pm

DAYUM!
You sir, are my hero! :lol:
It is your destiny to bring that thing back to life!

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Re: Not destined to be a razor blade. Saving a GTS hatch

Postby CornerArtist » Sun Feb 17, 2013 4:12 pm

nice work, cant wait to see the progression!

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Re: Not destined to be a razor blade. Saving a GTS hatch

Postby grappletech » Sun Feb 17, 2013 4:13 pm

Great save, cant wait to see where it goes in its future!
87 GTS Coupe Super Duper Clean
87 GTS Coupe Beams 3sge (under construction cuz I'm slow and lazy and broke-FML)
87 SR5 Coupe Shell. (Sold)
86 SR5 Hatch Shell (waiting on a 20v or BEAMS to come cheaply. hell maybe even a 4agze?!)

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Re: Not destined to be a razor blade. Saving a GTS hatch

Postby 86 Corolla » Sun Feb 17, 2013 6:15 pm

Nice find. Thanks for saving it from being stripped and crushed. It looks like a manual rack and non-a/c equipped car. A very rare trim if so.

**To those who go to the junkyard looking for ae86 parts, try not to break the surrounding parts when you are getting your desired part. Respect the next picker and more importantly, respect the ae86 :)

-Tony

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Re: Not destined to be a razor blade. Saving a GTS hatch

Postby Yuri » Sun Feb 17, 2013 7:32 pm

So even though the car won't be released from the sold car section for another 3-4 weeks while the paperwork clears, doesn't mean I can't start on it.

My friend Richard sent out feelers for any intel on a GTS gas tank, and within a couple days, we found out about a GTS that had been hit and had the frame messed up that was being parted out in Diamond Bar. Knowing that we would need the cargo capacity, my roommate Joel and I got my Z and 200SX ready and headed out.
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Once we got there, we were greeted by the sight of a rather clean yet destroyed from the left rear late '87 GTS coupe.
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From it we got the following:

GTS fuel tank with pump and assorted plumbing bits. I'll need to fix the hardline, it's crimped from attempting to remove it.
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Two manual outside mirrors.
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Driver's front mudflap and antenna mast to replace my missing pieces.
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And a pair of SR5 style GTS seats to use while I'm getting the proper seats redone.
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Re: Not destined to be a razor blade. Saving a GTS hatch

Postby ga_goosh » Mon Feb 18, 2013 8:49 am

Is that dash uncracked? :shock: wow nice find

oh just saw it has 2 cracks thats still 100 less then my dash has lol
I <3 my AE86

4AG Manual
AE86 FSM

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Re: Not destined to be a razor blade. Saving a GTS hatch

Postby Rogue-AE95 » Mon Feb 18, 2013 2:57 pm

Nice, good on you for saving that hatch! And you're lucky that you could buy that car from the yard. The awful LKQ yards in my area won't do that, although they tend to damage the undercarriage with their forklift.
'88 Corolla All-Trac

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Re: Not destined to be a razor blade. Saving a GTS hatch

Postby ae86@661 » Tue Feb 19, 2013 10:17 pm

Congrats and good job on saving the hatch....i encountered this type of situation twice in the span of about ten yrs first time a complete untouched silver kouki coupe and the second time a blue kouki hatch also untouched and complete, both times i didn't have the $750 to pick up the car haha

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Re: Not destined to be a razor blade. Saving a GTS hatch

Postby Turtle » Wed Feb 20, 2013 10:12 am

congrats on the great find. that's like 1 in 1 million considering how complete it is. a GTS in california gets picked clean as soon as it hits the yard. the only GTS i've ever seen in the yard was already minus all suspension and the gas tank. only ever seen one GTS in the 5+ years i've been going to the yard, and i think that was pure luck. seen lots of SR-5s though.

R

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fiveten
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Re: Not destined to be a razor blade. Saving a GTS hatch

Postby fiveten » Fri Feb 22, 2013 2:42 pm

I'm glad you were able to pick up the tank from Ben. I look forward to reading about the car's progress.

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Re: Not destined to be a razor blade. Saving a GTS hatch

Postby Yuri » Wed Mar 06, 2013 10:42 pm

Hopefully the paperwork is almost done, so I should be able to pick it up soon. In the meantime,
I have managed to track down an intact liftback taillight. It needs to be cleaned up and have the digital camo duct tape removed from the edges.
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I then happened across an '85 SR5 coupe in the junkyard, and was able to grab the fuel tank sending unit, and front signal lenses. Hopefully after I get the fuel line on the GTS tank fixed, I'll have all the parts needed to get the car on the road minus wheels and tires.
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Red
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Re: Not destined to be a razor blade. Saving a GTS hatch

Postby Red » Thu Mar 07, 2013 9:40 am

I applaud you for bringing it back. The gold wheels indicate a VERY early '85, the maroon interior was also only on early cars. I don't recall seeing that kind of red/gray mishmash inside, don't know if that was original.

But I'd expect it was totalled because of "frame" damage. From the front end and r/h side going back to the bend a the "A" pillar, it is obvious the car took an impact and got bent. That can be expensive to fix, most insurers will total a car if there is any substantial frame damage. The roof hasn't buckled, so a good frame shop may be able to pull it out and add some reinforcement, since there's really no chassis or frame in our cars.

Take a good look at the motor mounts to see if the engine shifted, because that kind of impact also goes into the while drivetrain. Camshaft, bearings, transmission internals, and rear end are ALL also suspect until proven otherwise. And of course may need realignment, not just the wheels.

Then depending on your state rules, clearing a salvage title to put the car back on the road can be a good trick too.
-- Original owner, 1985 GT-S

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Re: Not destined to be a razor blade. Saving a GTS hatch

Postby Yuri » Thu Mar 07, 2013 12:45 pm

I don't see where you're saying it took frame damage. When I inspected the car, everything looked straight, and there was no apparent frame damage. Both doors and hatch opened and closed without any interference. The front bumper is hanging at the corner due to negligence with the forklift in the yard, but the structure of the car itself is straight, otherwise I wouldn't have purchased it. In California, a lot of cars are junked due to failing emissions, and I'm guessing that's what took this one off the road. I've discovered through experience that fuel injected cars are generally easier to get back up to spec than carbureted ones, so I have a decent amount of confidence that I can get this one going.

As for the interior, the pics don't show it well, but the lower color isn't gray, but a dark maroon.

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Red
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Re: Not destined to be a razor blade. Saving a GTS hatch

Postby Red » Thu Mar 07, 2013 12:50 pm

Looking at the right side, alignmen of front end, fender, door, it looks like frame damage to me. Of course, that's just a guess and you'd need to put it on a jig to make sure. These cars are flimsy even at best, and if you jack one up by the jacking point under the door, you can watch the front door's forward edge shift in and out of alignment. The front end also "hogs" as they age, which can make wheel alignment difficult. That's all just normal for a lightweight car and something we live with.

Maybe the damage is just cosmetic, maybe it is just from a fork lift. That would be great! Just saying, check the body alignment and the motor mounts before you start on all the expensive bits.
-- Original owner, 1985 GT-S

Yuri
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Re: Not destined to be a razor blade. Saving a GTS hatch

Postby Yuri » Wed Mar 13, 2013 3:43 pm

Just got off the phone with the manager of the junkyard (a very nice women who has been very helpful in this matter.) It's been confirmed crushed. The guy who crushed it took it intact from the holding section that is only used for cars being sold or saved, without authorization from any of his supervisors. He's been suspended.
I have to go back to today and get my money back.
Now I have to figure out what I want do, since I have already sold my 200SX to pay for the build, and have a garage full of AE86 parts I can't use.

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Re: Not destined to be a razor blade. Saving a GTS hatch

Postby fiveten » Wed Mar 13, 2013 3:59 pm

oh....I'm so sorry to hear that. =(

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Red
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Re: Not destined to be a razor blade. Saving a GTS hatch

Postby Red » Wed Mar 13, 2013 4:07 pm

Yuri, am I understanding that you PAID for a car, and then someone went and took it and crushed it?

Might be worth stopping at a legal clinc, if you paid for it, it was your car. If you already sold the other car, now you've suffered damages, the loss of the other car, not just the loss of the potential new-to-you car.

In some states, that junkyard would be responsible for REPLACING the car they wrongfully crushed. You can be sure they'll be fast to apologize and give you your money back, because they just might be responsible for a whole lot more.

If you can, take 48 hours. Find someone local who knows the law, and give them all the facts. Then figure out whether a refund is fair, or not.

"Make haste slowly."
-- Original owner, 1985 GT-S

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Re: Not destined to be a razor blade. Saving a GTS hatch

Postby ae86@661 » Thu Mar 14, 2013 8:11 am

WTF...sorry to hear that, is there another way they can get you another rolla?

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Red
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Re: Not destined to be a razor blade. Saving a GTS hatch

Postby Red » Thu Mar 14, 2013 8:49 am

Unsupervised people with fork lifts, almost as bad a concept as morons with bulldozers. This is why you can't just rent a big Caterpillar at the local 7-11.

If I were a cynic I would say the story was BS, that someone offered them more money and "gee we crushed it" was a great way to undo the first sale with no one the wiser. After all, who is going to ID a metal block and say it used to be anything?

Of course, if the VIN came up on a title search a year from now, that would be real curious, wouldn't it?

That fork lift guy could probably do a good guest spot on the Letterman show. "Hey Dave, what are we going to pick up tonight?!"<G>
-- Original owner, 1985 GT-S

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