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obsolete

Member Since 09 May 2011
Offline Last Active Today, 05:32 PM
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Topics I've Started

obsolete's Red '88

07 May 2020 - 12:56 PM

This car is already in nice shape, so I am not "bringing it back from the grave" as the the forum section suggests, but I have been doing a bunch of maintenance and have a long to-do list, so I thought it made more sense to start a new thread in the Restoration section to post restoration-type stuff. I am the third forum member to own this car; I already introduced it and told the story of when I bought it in the Showroom section: http://www.starquest...howtopic=157891

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Just for fun, I copied the mod/feature list from the car's 2014 for sale ad and added updates in blue:

The good:
- remanufactured Jasper engine with 44,000 miles on it (50,000 now, I assume this still has balance shafts and jet valves but have not checked)
- Duralast Gold battery (side terminal battery, cables converted to side-terminal, kind of an odd choice but it works)
- BFGoodrich gForce Sport tires (date codes are all 2013 or older, they should be replaced eventually but still seem fine to drive on)
- Has rear window louver painted to body color (gone)
- Tinted rear windows (turning purple and starting to bubble in a few places, I will get it re-done and do the front windows as well someday)
- New kicker speakers
- Wired for subwoofer, currently has 10" JBL with 360-watt amp that I might include (sub and amp are gone, and I removed the wiring as well)
- Black cloth interior (this is in nice shape, but I have pulled it all out, converting to leather with new carpet)
- Sony MP3 CD Player with adapter to keep steering wheel controls (has Bluetooth and works great, but the steering wheel controls do not work)
- Radiator was replaced a few years ago
- A/C still works (yes, it still does!)
- New vacuum advance
- Rebuilt throttle body (cleaned and new gaskets from intake manifold up)
- All new fusible links
- New fuel filter

The bad:
- Crack on driver side of windshield, completely drive-able though (replaced with a new XYG windshield)
- Small crack on driver side of front air dam, should be fixable since it's fiberglass (repaired when the car was painted, body shop did a nice job)
- Paint peeling around front bumper
- Paint overall is not in good condition, a couple dings, etc. (car has been resprayed with single-stage paint in what I believe is the original red. Not the best job, but not bad enough to be worth re-doing. Some orange peel, some dry spray, one or two drips, and you can see sanding scratches in the body filler through the paint in a few spots. Still a good 10-footer and looks great from any farther than that because it's bright shiny red. I'm no body or detailing guy, but someday I may get brave enough to try wet-sanding it)

Upgrades:
- New/upgraded fuel injectors (looks like a Delphi injector kit from LSP, they are mostly okay but idle lean in open loop when the weather is warmer and start to get lean at higher RPM and boost, AFR creeps up into the 12s)
- New Bosch red coil, NGK blue 8mm wires (the car has a stock-looking black coil on it, and the Bosch red coil came in the box of spare parts, not sure why but the black coil works fine)
- Downpipe and B-pipe (still have original exhaust to put back on) (mild steel, looks like TEP)
- ProSport boost gauge in stock location (looks good and works well but gets weirdly dark and hard to read in the sun)
- ProSport fuel pressure, AFR, and coolant temp gauges in center console (fuel pressure seems to read 9-10psi high but the other gauges work well)
- Stedebani short throw shifter (very notchy, really gotta shift like you mean it)
- Aluminum over-valve-cover pipe with Greddy blow-off valve (BOV is a Type RS, sounds great, spring pressure is probably too light but I enjoy the sound too much to change it)
- Aluminum intake pipe with K&N air filter (I think this and the OVCP are from a certain guy named Kelly, better fitment than the TEP OVCP I used to have)
- HKS turbo timer (removed, I don't believe these are necessary with a water-cooled turbo)
- New KYB shocks all around (MR-2 conversion in rear), with new OEM strut mounts (that's why it drives so well!)
- ECU trouble code LED installed to read codes and see when car is warmed up
- EGR removed with block-off plate installed

Floor Plugs MB159920

03 May 2020 - 12:29 PM

Looks like I need some new floor plugs. Domestic parts suppliers say they're discontinued and out of stock, Amayama says they can get them but shipping times from Japan are 60-90 days now due to the pandemic. Does anyone have some stashed away, or maybe ideas for an alternative part that would work?

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Apparently the previous owner didn't know where to get them either:

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My Second Quest, a Red '88

23 April 2020 - 01:57 AM

This is a long story, but I think it's pretty good. You might want to go grab a beverage.

I am back on the forum after a few years away. I joined in 2011 when I had my red '87. Unfortunately, that car suffered the same fate as too many others; engine went bad, got parted out. It deserved better, but that was the most practical choice for my situation in life at the time. I sold enough parts to break even and moved on. I sold the rolling shell to a guy who wanted to do a swap, so who knows, maybe it's still out there somewhere. I started making more money at work, bought a high-mileage C5 Corvette in 2013, and have had a lot of fun with that over the past 7 years. It now has twin turbos, and I've fixed or upgraded just about everything on it. I'm at the point where there isn't much left to do on that car except undo and redo the work I've already done. Some people have projects they just keep iterating on for the rest of their lives, but that doesn't sound satisfying to me right now. I was originally planning to sell the Corvette this spring to fund a cargo van camper conversion for my wife and I, but everything is on hold now due to the pandemic, so I might just hang onto it until next spring. Having two sports cars is fun, even though I can only drive one at a time!

So, about that red '88. Last fall, I started looking for another car. I was specifically looking at '80s cars because I wanted something I could take to the Back to the '80s car show near Minneapolis every summer. I'm not much of a car show guy, mostly because I'm not too into detailing, but that just seems like a fun show, and I wanted to be in the '80s car scene again. I was looking at Mk2 Supras and Starquests when this car showed up last September. I immediately got in touch with Greg23, got some more info and pictures from him, and everything looked and sounded good, so I put down a deposit and bought a one-way plane ticket to Indiana to pick up the car and drive it home to Minnesota at the end of the month.

Greg met me at the airport in Indianapolis with the car, and I got a nice 1-hour test drive back to his home in Lafayette. The car was exactly as he described, and I enjoyed driving it. I paid him the remainder of what I owed, we loaded the car up with as many of his spare parts as would fit inside, and I hit the road, right on schedule to make the 8-hour drive back to Minnesota and be home before bedtime. I stopped at Wendy's for lunch on my way out of Lafayette, and just as I pulled into the parking spot, the clutch went to the floor and stayed there, and the engine stalled. I guess it wouldn't be a Conquest if it didn't strand me the day I bought it! (My '87 ran out of gas on the way home while the gauge still read 1/4 tank--previous owner forgot to mention that.) I was hungry, and I wasn't about to start fixing the car without a meal, so I went inside, got my food, and called Greg.

Signing the paperwork at Greg's house.
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This car looks good, even when it's broken down in a Wendy's parking lot.

Before I bought the car, Greg had mentioned noticing a small leak that wasn't oil; he thought it might be coolant, but he hadn't traced it down. His first suggestion on the phone was to check the clutch fluid to see if that's what had been leaking, so after I finished eating, I went out and checked, and sure enough, the reservoir was empty. The Wendy's was in a larger shopping area, and I found a Pep Boys about half a mile away, so I walked over there and bought a quart bottle of DOT3, figuring I would be checking and topping off the clutch fluid periodically during my trip, just to keep up with the leak until I could get it home to fix it properly. When I got to the car and topped off the reservoir, the pedal wouldn't come back. I went through a couple rounds of filling up the reservoir, pumping the pedal a few times (having to pull it up off the floor each time), then getting out and filling it up again, but it just never seemed to build any pressure at all. Then I noticed the growing puddle under the car. Okay, this is a BIG leak. I figured the rubber hose between the master and slave cylinders had blown. I called Greg again, and true to the promise he had made when I left his house, "Anything happens this side of Chicago, I got you", he showed up in his truck with a jack, jackstands, tools, and a big piece of clean cardboard to slide under the car on, which made this about the most civilized parking lot fix I've ever been a part of.

The puddle.
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After lifting the car, we both looked underneath and neither of us could find anything obviously wrong. The rubber hose looked dry, and there was a little drop of fluid on the slave cylinder, but that was it. I got up and filled the reservoir again, then pressed the pedal while Greg was looking under the car. Clutch fluid shot out of the slave cylinder like a squirt gun! Okay, so the seal was completely blown; I was going to need a slave cylinder. We called every parts store in town, and all of them could order it and have it there tomorrow, but we needed it today. There was only one way to make that happen: drive an hour back down to Indianapolis to the AutoZone distribution center, where we would have the privilege of paying $15.99 for the one they had in stock. So, that's exactly what we did. Greg and I talked cars the whole trip; he told me stories about the international auto tours he had done though the Smithsonian, and we had no trouble passing the time.

As anyone who's ever replaced one knows, the slave cylinder on a Starquest is about the easiest job in the world. One banjo fitting, two bolts, clutch bled, done in 20 minutes. By the time we finished, though, the sun was starting to set, and I wasn't about to start my 500 mile drive. I booked myself a room at the Super 8, which Greg graciously offered to pay for, and he threw in enough to cover a much nicer dinner than Wendy's. Luckily, a co-worker (and fellow car guy) and his wife were coming into town to visit their daughter at Purdue. He was already bringing a toolbox for me (not so easy to carry onto a plane) and our original plan was to meet up mid-afternoon somewhere on the road, but since it was now evening, they were in town, and I was still here, they invited me out for dinner, which was a nice way to relax at the end of the day.

The trip home was fairly uneventful; it rained, but the tires are good and the wipers work great. No I-Pass, so I had to stop at all the toll booths and pay with cash. I stopped in Madison, WI to meet a friend from high school for lunch, and when I pulled into the parking lot at the restaurant he'd chosen, the car was steaming from under the hood. I checked the aftermarket temperature gauge: 230F. Okay, so the radiator fans don't work. It's fine as long as the car is moving fast enough to get airflow, but I had gotten stuck in traffic for a while. The head and gasket can only endure so many excursions above 220F, but so far there seems to have been no damage from this one.

At a gas station somewhere in Northern Indiana...or maybe eastern Illinois.
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And, back home in my driveway.

Thanks again to Greg for what I still consider to be a great deal on a great car, all the help getting it fixed so I could get out of town, driving me to Indianapolis and back and paying for the slave cylinder, my hotel, and dinner. I have a lot more updates and pictures to post, but it's late, and I've mortgaged enough sleep for one night. Hope you had fun reading the story. I am happy to be back in a Conquest!

Gluing broken wiper cowl back together

16 April 2020 - 11:05 AM

I know, I know, it's an exercise in futility to glue these brittle old cowl pieces back together, and they will probably just break again...

But for people who have done it, what kind of glue did you use? I have a few kinds of epoxy on hand, and have had good luck with the baking soda and super glue technique on various other plastic pieces.

Does anyone know what they are actually made of? I'm guessing ABS?

Gas cap holder...ya gotta get one of these!

10 April 2020 - 12:21 AM

All right, this is such a simple thing, it barely counts as a mod, but I couldn't find a better place to put it. I have no association with this company, and I'm sure this isn't the only solution out there, but dang, look at that:

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It's this $6.50 gas cap holder off eBay: https://www.ebay.com/itm/283777573538. That's the only place I could find it. The packaging says "Exclusively manufactured by Alpine Diversified, Kalispell Montana for Panoramic Products, P.O. Box 1064 Kalispell, MT 59901. None of that turns up any hits on Google; my guess is that these companies are long gone, and this eBay seller is liquidating old stock.

It would be about the easiest thing in the world for anybody with a 3D printer to make, just a hollow rectangle with a semicircle cut out of it. It works very well though, and the door still closes no problem. Only thing that remains to be seen is how long the mounting adhesive holds up in the presence of fuel vapors. For the price, I'm willing to take my chances, and I'm grateful to finally have somewhere to put the gas cap!