Long term car projects

Joined
Jul 14, 2020
Messages
1,144
I posted a couple of these pics in the "unbeat a beater" thread, but realized this is kind of a different thing. It was and always will be a beater. There are missing parts in the interior, always something broken or rattling a bit, etc but the AC works and it's reliable and gets 24mpg on the highway.
I couldn't find pics of when I first got this car (around 2004 when I had a non camera cell phone and no camera). It was tan with brown interior. Swapped a free 350 Olds in, plus the trans and rear from my previous rusted out cutlass and the interior. Finished assembly and paint (rattle can) in 2007. Drove it for close to 10 years before getting a good tax return and doing a quick $800 paint job over the weekend (friend is a body shop manager/painter).
As of today I've put about 120k miles on it since 2007. Same engine and transmission, I upgraded the rear end and most of the suspension has been replaced.
I don't commute to work with it anymore since I have to take my work truck but I still try to put as many miles on this as possible since it's just so cheap to repair and maintain compared to a modern vehicle. ($50 water pump, fuel pump, wheel bearings, alternator rebuilds etc).
Anyone else have a similar story?
 

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AutoMechanic

Site Donor 2022
Joined
Aug 10, 2020
Messages
9,347
Location
Roanoke Virginia
Nice car. I have 2 long term car projects but have 4 out of 8 cars that don’t run lol. I work 50 hours a week so I don’t get a whole lot of time to work on any of my projects anymore because when I come home I have to work on other stuff for people.

I’ve done a little on both of my projects but neither are drivable or run. One doesn’t have keys anymore either because I misplaced them somewhere I suspect at home but I honestly don’t remember haha. I look forward to the day both of them run and can drive. It would help if I had a home garage as well but I don’t so have to wait for weather to allow me to work on them too. And neither of them are perfect and that doesn’t bother me either.
 
Joined
Jun 15, 2003
Messages
38,353
Location
ME
The longest owned car I ever owned, a 95 Saturn SW1. Got it in 2003, dumped it in 2014.

In 2007 or so I decided we hit peak oil and this car would be mine for the long haul, so I did lower control arms and KYB struts on all 4 corners. Did a ring job on the engine. Used black RTV from "Big Lots" to save $2 and it wept oil from the timing cover. Though they all do anyway.

Parted out another saturn, took its cruise control. Subframe from another. Went through a couple drivers seats, was lucky it's a "chick car" so lots of 110 lb drivers before me left the replacement seats like new.

Never touched the AC which always blew cold, nor the clutch. Needed a $100 drum brake backing plate for state inspection one year, now they are unobtainable.

Everything on the car went kablooey at the same time so I dumped it for $500. Saw it in a walmart parking lot a year later. Might still be out there.
 
Joined
May 17, 2009
Messages
18,625
Location
N.H, U.S.A.
Working on a '35 Ford truck all original FORD steel. Not mine. The owner wants Chevy 350 power. I tried to talk him into a
298 or 351C 2V but no. Ford should have Ford. Just test fitted the sbc 350 last month using shorty headers. I wanted to use vette ram's horn iron. Tight fit for the trans. Had to do some plasma cutting and need now to rebuild a tunnel. Probably install it with nut an bolt instead of spot. May Has a open 9" out back. Might get this done mid Summer. I'll take some pics next time I am in the garage. Owner hasn't settled on a paint; it's in yellow zinc chromate primer now and actually doesn't look too bad that way.
 

350Rocket

Thread starter
Joined
Jul 14, 2020
Messages
1,144
After a lifetime of fixing stuff I get no pleasure our of fixing stuff .
That's why I never became an auto tech and got out of automotive completely. It ruins the fun in it. Plus working on modern vehicles sucks compared to old vehicles.
 

350Rocket

Thread starter
Joined
Jul 14, 2020
Messages
1,144
Working on a '35 Ford truck all original FORD steel. Not mine. The owner wants Chevy 350 power. I tried to talk him into a
298 or 351C 2V but no. Ford should have Ford. Just test fitted the sbc 350 last month using shorty headers. I wanted to use vette ram's horn iron. Tight fit for the trans. Had to do some plasma cutting and need now to rebuild a tunnel. Probably install it with nut an bolt instead of spot. May Has a open 9" out back. Might get this done mid Summer. I'll take some pics next time I am in the garage. Owner hasn't settled on a paint; it's in yellow zinc chromate primer now and actually doesn't look too bad that way.
I agree. That's why I swapped the perfectly working factory Chevy 305 for an Oldsmobile v8 in my Oldsmobile. I'd go 351w in that Ford but there is no talking people out of something if they have their mind made up.
 
Joined
May 7, 2020
Messages
490
Location
Ames, IA
These are beautiful cars, but dirt track racing pretty much used them all up. It’s a nice cross between muscle car and comfort. Nice ride!
 
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