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post #1 of 53 Old February 17th, 2013, 07:08 PM Thread Starter
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Carbonizing the Parchment: The Rebuilding.

Warning: I know you all will hate me once I start posting pictures of the poor state my ride is in; I apologize in advance. I am not proud of how I let my ride deteriorate, and I know that I'm probably not worthy to be considered a MM'er any more, but I also know that it takes time to get back into the ideal, and I'm ready to do what I need to do to get it done.

I've wanted to toy around with the car a lot, nearly the whole 8+ years (as of starting this thread) I've owned her; I've hinted at stuff I want to do in a recent poll about the new convertible top's color. It is only recently that I've been able to do something about it [with a decent-paying job and all; and yes, I know, I should have done the basic maintenance stuffs before... but that's the past, and I'd rather learn from it and move on], so I'm starting this build/rebuild thread to chronicle the rebirth of my new edge from current to factory and to legen... wait for it...

Yeaup, you're going to be waiting for a while. I've decided that I'm going to focus first on the outside (convertible top, damaged panels from a long-ago incident, and a few other parts that need replacing/upgrades (mirrors, lights)). The only exception is that I'll be doing the immediate interior (carpet, seats) not too much after when the convertible top installation is completed.

I'm not sure of frequency of updates, but I'm sure I'll log a ton of information here, in the form of links, thoughts, discussions, bitchings, et cetera ad nauseam. If you think I make a bad choice about something, feel free to throw your two cents into the ring. But I expect a good reasoning/reckoning as to why a choice I made was dumb [of course, most of the initial choices I make are going to be dumb, and definitely point those out!].. showing me the err of my ways allows me to tweak my thought processes and improve myself - a two for one deal, since I'll be improving my car as well.

In terms of an overall goal - I'm pretty much dead-set on a sleeper. After that, I don't know, including HP/TQ numbers, ride height, blah blah blah. I figure I'll know what I can do in terms of work by bringing her back to specifications, and getting a couple of tools in the process, and then I can go from there.

How will I track progress? Well, here's the first post... so that's a start. But a better way might be having a little log of all the posts for the future.. right here in the first one. That way, should anyone who doesn't follow, can see what I've discussed with people about and done to my ride, and possibly find an answer or two to their questions. This will be the purpose of the second post in this thread by me will contain some type of listing (format to be determined, but will put up a skeleton post for now) of all the things I've thought/thinking of doing, am planning on doing, am currently doing, and have finished doing. [That's a lot of doing! giggity]

I will warn you: I'm a photography whore, but I'm no where near close to what a real expert would be. Expect pictures, expect video, and maybe one or two of me [I hate being in the pictures, but I sure as hell don't mind takin' 'em. I don't have all the fun gear either, just a simple P&S DC, a smart[er]phone, and a tripod. Might see some posts related to using a webcam I recently acquired (a Logitech C920) as a dashcam, but I'm not so sure about that.

At some point in the near future, I'll start digging around my virtual library and find some pictures of events in the life of my car as her second owner. ['owner' seems too... disconnected... I think I like 'partner' instead - has to be, for the amount of torment she's received and she just won't die - gotta love her ]. You'll see one of the earlier pictures I took (b/w/sepia or whatever, from my first digital camera), you'll see the funny bird-shit covered front, you'll see the pictures of a few days after the day that the car went permanently rear-windowless [until the very near future with the new top..], and more recently, she had a chance to sit in the snow and look purteh.

I'm sorry, but by default, no TL;DR's should be expected [I may elect, and so may you, to use them for a particular post or series of posts, but I don't anticipate many.]

So, what kind of things can you expect me to be doing to my car? I'm not sure, and since I can't predict the future to more than a few days, I don't know. My goals may shift from a sleeper to who knows what. Overall, I know I definitely want to put both my car and technology passions together, into some kind of rolling museum about me [or whatever, don't hate that description... haha]. There's going to be an accessible/interface-able computer (probably running a linux variant) in the beast, to help tame the brawn, and when necessary, unleash it. I plan on digging out wires, making nice and clean connector/ions for making parts maintenance/replacement that much easier, all sorts of fun electrical goodness should find it's way in here. Don't be too surprised to find some source code posts, ^_^.

Updates may be within hours to months. Don't count on anything steady, but feel free to contribute, ask questions of my methodologies, memory dumps/thoughts, whatever fancies your interest, even if a tad bit off-topic. I don't mind.

Heck, like suggestions, comments, questions, subscribers... [uh, crap, this ain't YouTube..], even a troll or two are welcome.

Well, it's a lengthy/wordy start.. maybe I should take some pictures. They're worth a few, right?

Thanks for reading,

- lemon

PS: I've subscribed to this thread.. with instant email notification. So, hopefully any questions will be answered as soon as I can provide them.

Last edited by lemon; February 18th, 2013 at 10:04 PM. Reason: removed request for not posting; added :banned smiley
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post #2 of 53 Old February 18th, 2013, 09:59 PM Thread Starter
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I apologize. I remembered on the way home that I forgot to put the second post up.

Anyways, my initial idea is to have a more or less directory-style listing of, at minimum, completed steps. I am not too sure whether or not this method of capturing progress will be the best way, but it will be used for the start. Here is what I had written/typed-out in the first post before deciding to move it to the second post (since the first went a little wordy), filled in with some example/real things I want to do. [Screw it, let's put stuff in!]

Any links that are external have an asterisks after them.

Possibilities:
  • A 'as real-time as possible' computer, for driving just less than mission-critical systems. (no audio/video/whatever). [why do I feel like I'll be in a few months??]

Planned:
  • Get black interior.

In progress:
  • New convertible top, with defrosted glass. Total: $0.00
    Black, as chosen by the people
    Waiting on tax refund.
    IRS says it has approved the refund request, and should be sent to my bank in a couple of days.
  • Interface the OBD-II system to a computer. Total: $71.50
    Purchased an OBD2-USB* tool, which works with Python, a language I can productively code in. - $71.50

Completed:
  • Nothing.

Disclaimer: I like the emoticons here. Thusly, I will use them.

I guess I better get started writing about the new convertible top and the OBD2 thing.
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post #3 of 53 Old February 20th, 2013, 12:13 AM
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post #4 of 53 Old February 20th, 2013, 07:14 AM
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Too many words

Not enough pics

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post #5 of 53 Old February 20th, 2013, 11:32 PM Thread Starter
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I'll get some [sad] pictures this weekend guys.

And pictures will flow like milk and honey in the promised land.
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post #6 of 53 Old February 23rd, 2013, 04:15 PM Thread Starter
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I'm just going to put this replacement carpet installation* link right here.

Getting lunch and pictures
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post #7 of 53 Old February 24th, 2013, 05:16 PM Thread Starter
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Yesterday was shit for pictures.

Today? Fantastic weather. So I took some pictures in a micro-photo-shoot. I also made a video, but the audio sucked, so no uploading of that - it's also deleted from the memory card.

Working on getting the pictures uploaded here. I'll also go through some of my older pictures to upload as well, but I don't know when I'll get to them today.

Pictures shortly! [and you will hate meh...]

---------- Post added at 05:16 PM ---------- Previous post was at 04:44 PM ----------

In the Beginning: The Album

From the passenger rear looking toward the driver front:


From the passenger front looking toward the driver rear:


From the driver front looking toward the passenger rear:


From the driver rear looking toward the passenger front:


The raggedy driver's seat is just like the raggedy top:


At least the passenger, should they choose to accept a ride [I don't offer] has a more pleasant seat:


What once was a part of the whole will never be again, the rear seat:


I actually cleaned this out a couple of days ago, but there's a bit of rust around the outer edge of the spare depression:


The good thing: I can put new carpet and seats in fairly easily.

One of the bad things: That top is going to be expensive to replace.
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post #8 of 53 Old February 25th, 2013, 12:27 AM
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dear god bro .....you weren't kidding


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post #9 of 53 Old February 25th, 2013, 12:37 AM
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yea i would scrap that and buy a new ca way too much work
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post #10 of 53 Old March 3rd, 2013, 09:37 PM Thread Starter
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While I appreciate the idea (and I did spend the next could of hours looking at cars after reading your comment, condor), I think, for now, I'll keep it. Emailed someone about a 2004 Civic... turned out to be a scam -- no worries, I didn't send any monies.

I had the tie-rod ends replaced with my mechanic this weekend (I just don't have the space/tools yet). I had swung by Monday of last week to get an alignment after swinging by a local upholstery shop, Auto Tops and Interiors* and discussing my options about the top over there.

Alignment was off, a little due to the tie-rod ends (not as bad now, but I'm waiting to get new front tires and then a realignment), but she more or less goes in a straight line better.

Convertible top estimate was just under $2100, for probably about 2ish days of work on their part. Bonus for not having an interior - they can get to the actual replacement work faster, since they don't need to burn time on removing the interior. I had expected this, but I was really hoping for a one-day replacement thing. I guess I'll just take a few days off work to get it done, but I need to attend to other things before completing the replacement.

I also got a new toy this weekend (Friday to be exact, is when I picked it up from the post office). I started playing with some source code after work Friday, and today I had a chance to connect it up to the car and did almost nothing (for now).

Made a video, but um, I sound like an idiot, so keep that in mind. I'll be working on organizing my thoughts better, but for your viewing horror:

CarDate 2013.62 - First contact with the car seems positive. - YouTube

For now, that's all folks.
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post #11 of 53 Old March 4th, 2013, 12:01 AM
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that seems high in price for the top? or am i wong, i have a hard top so idk
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post #12 of 53 Old March 4th, 2013, 12:07 AM Thread Starter
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I'm not sure.

Not too many shops around here that I'm aware of that'll do a replacement. The shop is a good 45 minutes away from home, and I'd probably take off three days of work, stay in a hotel around the shop, check out downtown Raleigh by foot or bus while the car's in the shop, and then drive her home.

Probably could get a better quote from somewhere else, but I've no idea yet. the AT&I shop seems to have garnered a good rep, for when I pulled in, a fellow pulled in a Porsche for work, knew the owner/guy at the desk pretty well, and whatnot - I assume dude that came in worked for a dealership or other automotive shop that outsources the convertible work.

I'm not able to jump on the top yet, so there's still time to look around.
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post #13 of 53 Old March 4th, 2013, 12:48 AM
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TLDR:

I replaced the top on my car myself... If you're looking for a project that one is a dusey, but you can spend ~500$ instead of 2100$....

It IS roughly 10-20 hours worth of work though, so that price is NOT a rip off...

Having done it, I would pay to have it done if I was ever in the situation again...



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post #14 of 53 Old March 4th, 2013, 12:53 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slonison View Post
TLDR:

I replaced the top on my car myself... If you're looking for a project that one is a dusey, but you can spend ~500$ instead of 2100$....

It IS roughly 10-20 hours worth of work though, so that price is NOT a rip off...

Having done it, I would pay to have it done if I was ever in the situation again...
If I had a second vehicle to work with, and of course, a place to store the car outside of possible rain, I'd probably try to tackle it myself.

Since I don't, I can't [at the moment, anyways], thus a shop will do it, this time.

Thanks for letting me know it's not a total rip-off. That's quite good news.
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post #15 of 53 Old March 4th, 2013, 01:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lemon View Post
While I appreciate the idea (and I did spend the next could of hours looking at cars after reading your comment, condor), I think, for now, I'll keep it. Emailed someone about a 2004 Civic... turned out to be a scam -- no worries, I didn't send any monies.

I had the tie-rod ends replaced with my mechanic this weekend (I just don't have the space/tools yet). I had swung by Monday of last week to get an alignment after swinging by a local upholstery shop, Auto Tops and Interiors* and discussing my options about the top over there.

Alignment was off, a little due to the tie-rod ends (not as bad now, but I'm waiting to get new front tires and then a realignment), but she more or less goes in a straight line better.

Convertible top estimate was just under $2100, for probably about 2ish days of work on their part. Bonus for not having an interior - they can get to the actual replacement work faster, since they don't need to burn time on removing the interior. I had expected this, but I was really hoping for a one-day replacement thing. I guess I'll just take a few days off work to get it done, but I need to attend to other things before completing the replacement.

I also got a new toy this weekend (Friday to be exact, is when I picked it up from the post office). I started playing with some source code after work Friday, and today I had a chance to connect it up to the car and did almost nothing (for now).

Made a video, but um, I sound like an idiot, so keep that in mind. I'll be working on organizing my thoughts better, but for your viewing horror:

CarDate 2013.62 - First contact with the car seems positive. - YouTube

For now, that's all folks.
thats ridiculous man $2100 i mean are you replacing the entire assembly like every little bolt and the motor or are you just getting a new canvas put on?
i was qouted on replacing my top (my tops is fine no holes and not to faded but is peeling off from the back window completely) $200-300 for install and another $159 for the canvas from Mustang Replacement Convertible Top - Black (00-04) at AmericanMuscle.com - Free Shipping!

i have heard good reviews about am's top and $159 compared to ford wanting $800 for an oem is a good option especially if your pressed for money.

but i guess i can see about $2000 for everything oem from motor to glass to canvas installed still a little pricey though imo. as far as having it done in 1 day idk most shops require you to leave it at thier shop for 1-2 days so the glue can fully dry
also most upholstry shops do convertible top replacement go to your local ford dealer and ask who they have do there top replacements thats what i did

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post #16 of 53 Old March 4th, 2013, 01:05 AM
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Damn... bout time to take her out and put her down Thats rough.... And $2100 for a top? Yikes I picked up a whole straight GT for less than that 2 days ago... needs a bottom end tho


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post #17 of 53 Old March 4th, 2013, 01:35 AM Thread Starter
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Here's the estimate from last week:

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post #18 of 53 Old March 4th, 2013, 10:57 PM
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Bro.... spend the extra $350.... trust me...

And I've been to several places in NJ that quoted between 1500-2500....
That's what the top goes for. And I'd also go with OEM...

I'd much rather pay $2000 for something that could potentially roof... you wouldn't cheap out on the roof of your house right?



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post #19 of 53 Old March 4th, 2013, 11:14 PM Thread Starter
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Agreed - I don't want a paper mâché roof!

If I recall correctly, the supplier of the roof material is Haartz..

Yeaup - The Haartz Corporation - Twillfast RPC*

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post #20 of 53 Old March 5th, 2013, 05:54 PM
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have you thought about buying a used cobra top and bolting it in shouldn't take you more than a day and its about 700
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