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The Wombat: Steering Issues

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We’re back with more on The Wombat; our 1984 Mercedes-Benz HEMI wagon project car. This time it’s an update on what we have looming in front of us. This means we’re looking at steering issues, wiring, the driveshaft, cooling, and anything else that will pop up.

It’s a long list, but Mark from Scared Shiftless is confident that we’re moving ahead nicely. I may be bringing in a surprise steering expert in the near future though, so stay tuned for that!

I Got A New Toy – OBD II Edition

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Driving the Civic the other day, my check engine light decided to supply me with some illumination. What I couldn’t be brought up to speed about, however, was why the check engine light came on. I had guesses, but without a code reader I had no real clue, especially since the car wasn’t doing anything terrible at the moment.

Most code readers run a few hundred dollars. I don’t want to spend those monies on a code reader. Instead, I found this Actron PocketScan Plus which retails for well under a single copy of Franklin’s Face.

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Project Civic Si(gh): It’s time we parted ways…

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What was once fun, is no longer so. When you lose interest in a project vehicle, it’s best to either take some time apart from it or get straight to the point and sell it. I’m at that point, and I’ve listed the car for sale. I have a few interested parties ringing me up (including our friend Rick who worked on the car), and there’s even a buyer coming to look at the car today.

Is my price crazy? Sound off below.

What’s next? Well, I’ve been scouring Craiglist for something to hold my attention until my wagon is done. I find myself being drawn to old pickup trucks, and I think I may head in that direction. I keep eyeballing this truck in particular as I wouldn’t need to change too much to get it to where I’d want it… at least at first.

So… am I right to sell the Civic now? Am I wise to test my luck on an old truck? Is there something else I should be looking to acquire? Let me know below.

The Wombat: Mount Up!

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It’s finally time for an update on the Hooniverse project wagon. Our 1984 Mercedes-Benz 300TD is up on the lift so we can get a look at her undercarriage.

The Wombat has the engine and transmission in place. The floor is back in around the transmission tunnel, and we’re inching closer to the time when we can fire this thing up.

Once we do turn it over, do you think that rear end will hold up? Sound off below.

Also, the word Mark was looking for is “template”…

[Thanks, as always, to the team at Scared Shiftless for hammering away on our beloved beast. Check out a bunch of the shops work on YouTube]

Mid-Engined GTI Project Car Is Ambitious Nightmare

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The MkII Volkswagen GTI is a plucky little hot hatch. It’s a fun compact with great front-wheel-drive driving dynamics and an enjoyable 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine. For some, however, that isn’t enough for serious fun. Take this project GTI we found on eBay.

The engine up front is gone. The rear seats are also gone, because that’s where the new engine sits. It’s a four-liter V8 plucked from under the hood of a Lexus GS400, and it’s sitting in the middle of this GTI. The gearbox is 915 Transmission, which is the kind used in examples of the Porsche 911 built between the early 1970s and mid 1980s.

So… do you think you have what it takes to finish this Lexus-engined, Porsche-transmission-having, mid-engine 1986 Volkswagen GTI?

[Source: eBay Motors]

1991 Subaru Justy Project Car: Practical Unicorn

Alan Cesar October 31, 2014 Project Cars

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I had been dissatisfied with my daily driver WRX for quite some time, both in terms of economy and performance. The cargo capacity is fantastic, but fuel consumption is poor and, well, if I wanted a heavy, 200-some-horsepower car that understeers, I could buy a supercharged Pontiac. Being a Ford Escort connoisseur, I had it in mind that I’d inevitably end up in another Escort wagon, its successor Ford Focus ZTW, or distant cousin Mazda Protege5. That was when a friend asked, “Small and compact. AWD or FWD. Hatchback would be a plus. Fun to drive. Must be an automatic. Used, $10k or less. Go!”

Craigslist did not disappoint.

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The Hooniverse Dream Car Garage: Project Two-Tone Toyota UZJ60

Bradley Brownell October 30, 2014 Project Cars

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How far can you go with your lust for a car before it becomes an obsession? I don’t know why the sudden change, but I have for the last two years or so grown to adore these ‘J60 generation’ Toyota Land Cruisers of the 1980s, most specifically the pre-facelift version, and even more specifically, trucks with two-tone paint jobs. There is just something about that boxed shape that has attracted my attention, and the legendary reliability surely did nothing to tarnish it’s reputation. It could have something to do with my recent move to the land of deserts and mountains. Growing up in the midwest, I had no desire for anything that was capable off road, and certainly no need for one. Now that I’m out west, however, I constantly find myself drifting into daydreams of driving the various trails around the Reno/Tahoe area. What better way to go off road than to do it in style?

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The Hooniverse Dream Car Garage: Project Kapra Streke, A Quasi-Vintage Street/Track Machine With A Twist

Bradley Brownell October 17, 2014 Project Cars
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Chris Runge’s Frankfurt Flyer serves as major inspiration for this project.

I don’t quite know why, but this idea has been rolling around in my head for about two years now, I guess it’s time to get it out to the world. I want to build a quasi-street/trackday speedster to give a vintage racer sort of feel. I have a strange pull to the ‘cars of yesteryear’, specifically the 1-off racing specials built by So-Cal speed shops on a wing, a prayer, parts laying around, and practically zero budget. This idea was inspired a while ago when I was at the Monterey historics looking at some small, lightweight, sport runabouts. The swoopy fenders of Maser Birdcages, Lister Jaguars, and Porsche spyders provided the visual stimuli, but I was drawn to the simplicity of the Denzel 1500s, and was reminded of Chris Runge’s Frankfurt Flyer (as well as the original Glockler Porsches).

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Under the Hood: Valvoline explores the world of DIY mechanics
and starts off with our own Tim Odell

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Here in the Hooniverse, we love dirty hands, tools that are actually used, and project vehicles that are both a point of pride and a point of frustration. Yes, even I like getting my hands occasionally dirty… but it’s best when I have adult supervision. If you’ve been hanging around here for awhile, you know that the main man behind our own set of wrenches is Mr. Mad Science, AKA Tim Odell.

The folks at Valvoline have been paying attention, because they recently sent a small film crew over to Tim’s house to capture a quick glimpse into his world. This is the first part of a new series called Under the Hood: The Spirit of DIY. So come along as we take a look at Tim’s cars, his young kids, and what he does that gets his hands so damn dirty.

[Disclaimer: Valvoline gave Tim a few bucks to be a part of this series. He has already spent that money on beer.]

The Hooniverse Dream Car Build Garage: Project Porsche Vierundzwanzig GT

Bradley Brownell September 24, 2014 Project Cars

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Those who know me, or anyone who has ever read anything I’ve written, already know that I’m an absolute Porscheholic, and love pretty much everything that has ever come out of Zuffenhausen. I might even be accused of being a ” Porsche apologist” for some of their less popular models, like the 924. As such, I’ve always wanted to build the worlds greatest 924 and prove to “the haters” just how wrong they are. Is there any reason that a 924 shouldn’t have a 400 horsepower turbocharged 3.2 liter inline four cylinder engine? Speak now, or forever hold your peace.

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