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Old 12-15-2023, 12:52 PM   #251
06gtleg
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Awesome to see someone bringing a bugeye back to life!
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Old 01-07-2024, 11:25 PM   #252
500_19B
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Have not done much in the past month, due to a combination of things (waiting on some parts backorders and the cold weather makes certain jobs hard).

Because of that, I actually spent quite a bit of time on the 944 project, which was completely on hold for the Bugeye, but now with the Subie getting close to done, I am gearing up to get back on the 944, so the two projects are sort of overlapping.

Did finally manage to get some small bits done though.

The last remaining backordered door seal showed up, so I was able to complete the interior trim. The three other doors had been very easy, so I expected the same for this one, but it turns out there was a small amount of interference between the actuating rod for the door latch, and the window at one point when going up. It did not make a lot of noise, but there was a discernable soft click. Took me a while to figure out where it was, and then took me longer to get the rod tweaked slightly so that it (1) actuated the latch smoothly when the door handle was pulled, (2) did not interfere with the window and (3) did not foul the lock actuating rod. Turned out getting the rod just right took a lot of trial and error. At one point, I thought maybe I should just order a replacement, but when I looked, it seemed that the rod came with the complete door handle and was not separately available.



Also hardwired the dash cam to the fuse box behind the dash. Everything seemed so simple, but when all was done, I realized that the coin box that covers the fuse panel does not leave enough space when closed to clear the fuse taps.



I briefly considered using the engine room fuse panel and finding a path through the firewall, but I could find no good options, so I am instead thinking of how I will modify the coin box to make it work, but also not look terrible. More to come on that once I figure something out.

I added in new airbag and tire pressure labels into the door jamb:



Also riveted back on the VIN plate at the base of the B-pillar:



Finally, I replaced the AWD decal at the base of the rear window.

The old one was very tired:



The backing paper comes with marking arrows for alignment:



Replaced decal looks much better:





It is a bit nostalgic for me, because that little decal is something I clearly remember noticing when we took delivery of the car. One of those small things that somehow end up in the permanent memory.

Last edited by 500_19B; 05-06-2024 at 11:48 AM.
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Old 01-16-2024, 10:31 AM   #253
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Very slow progress right now.

We are in the middle of a cold snap which generally slows things down, but I am also in a holding pattern on finishing the alignment, which would then allow me to move the car forward enough to finish off the body assembly (rear bumper and side skirts). The reason for the pause on the alignment is that FactionFab has been amazing and sent me a set of the V2 FL-spec coil-overs. At the same time, they are sending a set of updated front strut bottoms that have improved brake cable mounting. They have sent the struts, and the new bottoms are in-process and as soon as they are finished and checked, they will be sent separately.

The communication and level of customer service from FactionFab has been mind-blowing. In terms of the project schedule, that is the main reason I have not done the alignment yet, as I want to put in the new struts with updated front lower housings all in one go and then align.

So as mentioned previously, I have been using some of the time to get things ramping up on the 944 project.

Still did manage to creep forward on a couple of things.

First was solving the coin box fitment issue after hardwiring the dash cam. No matter where I put the fuse taps (constrained by needing one ACC and one constant, both non-critical circuits), the box would not come close to shutting. On the one hand, I have never used that coin box for anything, and I could have just hacked off the back and be done with it, but on the other hand, I did want to preserve some of the functionality and, more importantly, keep the fuse diagram on the back of the box in play.

I started by just cutting near the edges of the back to make the backside more of a flexible flap. Turned out it was way too stiff to allow the box to stay latched. So, I had to break out the heat gun and warm the back enough so that it could be permanently bent. The challenge was to heat it enough to get the bend, but not so much as to destroy the decal. As it was, the bottom edge of the decal did start to lift, but mostly it is OK. I will laminate some clear film over it at the end.



Next two aluminum triangular plates were fashioned up to fit into the sides where the backside had been formed in.





These have since been bonded in two-part urethane adhesive to make it solid. Will let the urethane cure for a week, and then finish it off cosmetically.

The other little thing was refreshing the taillight cosmetics. The passenger side unit was destroyed in the accident, and a replacement was picked up on eBay. It was generally OK but had these deeper scratches on the exposed black area that hand polishing did not fix:



Wet sanded progressively to P5000 and then polished that, and hand polished the rest of both lights, and they now look good.





For anyone curious, here are some pics of the current state of the 944. The engine is getting close to done on the stand, and the engine bay is filling in with the ancillaries. Expect to put the motor in sometime in the spring.








Last edited by 500_19B; 04-29-2024 at 02:25 PM.
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Old 02-12-2024, 01:03 PM   #254
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I hope to receive the new front strut bottoms from FactionFab soon. Once those are in place, the wheel alignment will be done. Concurrently, the car will come down off the stands and I can then put the last bit of bodywork on (I need to drive the car six inches forward to make enough clearance for installing the rear bumper). The side skirts cannot go on until the car is off the stands, but I do not want to take the car off until the coil overs are done.

So, major progress on the old bug has been very slow this past month. Instead, I have been putting most of the available time into the 944 project.

However, there have been a few odds and ends done for the bugeye.

When I had removed the lower dash trim for hardwiring the dash cam, the upper tabs were a little damaged. Although it seemed to clip back into place reasonably well, I decided to get a new lower trim, which has now been swapped in. The only tough part of the job was getting the OBD port and bracket out. Very tight.





However, the new one is in, along with the modified fuse door/coin box and the front interior area is all neat and tidy.



Although I cannot put the rear bumper on yet, I did go ahead and get the various brackets etc. assembled, so it should be a quick job to finally put it on when I get there.



The side trim pieces for the trunk were cleaned up, but they both had some tears. I had some very tough material on hand that I thought could make a strong repair (it is material used for the inflatable life jackets used on airliners). My original thought was to use contact cement to adhere strips of material over the tears, but the contact cement did not adhere well. I then tried urethane seam sealer, which stuck very well. So, I put on a layer of the seam sealer over the damaged area and then added patch strips of the lifejacket material, and then overlaid a second coat of seam sealer.





It certainly looks ghetto on the backside, but the repair appears to be very strong, and it is not visible from the inside. I completed the repair by overlaying the cured seam sealer with woven tarp tape, just to clean it up a little.

The finished project actually looks good, and I think I will use these, and replacement left and right items would be approximately $300.



The last bit of noteworthy progress was the paint finessing on the front bumper. Aside from the bumpers, the rest of the body is done, but with some unusually mild weather, I decided to finally get to work on the front bumper.

The front bumper seemed to have the most dust nibs of any of the parts. Makes me think maybe they had it near the front of the booth and opened up the booth too soon? Anyway, you can see a little bit of it here, under the headlights.



I went through the usual process of nib file, wet sanding (P1500 to P5000) and then cut an polish. I did only the LH half of the bumper so far, but it looks a million times better now.





The rear bumper does not have as much trash in the paint, but as with the front, I will leave the paint correction until the bumper is firmly mounted up.

Last edited by 500_19B; 04-29-2024 at 01:39 PM.
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Old 02-13-2024, 09:58 PM   #255
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awesome work
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Old 02-17-2024, 03:48 PM   #256
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Old 02-22-2024, 07:28 PM   #257
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Looks amazing so far man, I love all the intricate details being fixed/updated!
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Old 02-23-2024, 01:12 AM   #258
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I have to know what you do for work. I aspire to do this level of work some day to my cars but not sure if my career will ever be able to support it to this extent. I've rebuilt my engine and done many cosmetic repairs but the cost of doing this has to be enormous!

How are you managing/organizing this stuff?

Sorry for the off topic question, just can't help but wonder.
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Old 04-24-2024, 04:45 PM   #259
500_19B
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tomacGTi View Post
Subaru Rust Repair - 200hr Hyper lapse - Start To Finish - YouTube

Along the same lines. The both of you are in the same province.

-Randy
Hey Randy, sorry to be replying to this so late... I "took a break" and was concentrated on the other project and have not been here for a while...

That video is really good. That guy is really talented. That level of rust repair is well above my work.

Thank you for sharing!
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Old 04-24-2024, 04:50 PM   #260
500_19B
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shaundizzle View Post
Looks amazing so far man, I love all the intricate details being fixed/updated!
Thank you very much!



Quote:
Originally Posted by cproo12 View Post
I have to know what you do for work. I aspire to do this level of work some day to my cars but not sure if my career will ever be able to support it to this extent. I've rebuilt my engine and done many cosmetic repairs but the cost of doing this has to be enormous!

How are you managing/organizing this stuff?

Sorry for the off topic question, just can't help but wonder.
I am an engineer by original training and have always liked hands-on work.

I guess over the years and other projects I just came up with all sorts of ways to organize, plan and track things. It is a lot of effort and time, but no skill...

The cost does add up. This is not a smart way to go generally speaking!
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Old 04-24-2024, 04:59 PM   #261
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Ha. Nice, I am an electrical engineer as well. Only a year out of college so I guess as I climb that ladder I'll be able to afford more things.

Reassuring to hear someone else agree that it's not the most efficient way to spend money, but I think its worth it for something one is truly passionate about like this!

Thanks for the motivation. 04 STi drivetrain swapping my forester this summer.
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Old 04-25-2024, 12:57 PM   #262
500_19B
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cproo12 View Post
...04 STi drivetrain swapping my forester this summer.
I think that will be a very nice and versatile machine. You will also learn a ton doing that!

During the last while, I have been focused on the 944 project while awaiting the new strut bottoms from FactionFab. They have now arrived, and we now have a set of FL spec V2s with strut bottoms that work with the camber bolts the same way the OEM struts do.

Gregan from FactionFab has been great He really takes the product design and execution seriously and was tremendously generous in setting us up with the FL V2s.

The fit and finish are exemplary. Amongst the upgrades on the FL are camber plates for both front and rear:



Although we aren't anticipating aggressive cambers, it is certainly a nice feature. There is rubber isolation built into the mounts, to help ameliorate NVH. The FLs have a greater lowering range, nominally from 1.625" lower to 3.625" lower up front. We are going to stay at the high end of the range, which means we will be 1.625" lower than stock up front, and 1.25" lower in the rear.

The springs were cosmolined, and then the preload and ride height were set (very easy) and, after applying cosmoline to the lower parts, they will go into the car.



Just for interest, here are a couple of shots of the current state of the 944 project:




Last edited by 500_19B; 04-29-2024 at 01:31 PM.
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Old 04-29-2024, 09:33 AM   #263
conorV7STI
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Super clean!
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Old 04-29-2024, 02:39 PM   #264
500_19B
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Swapped out the front struts for the new ones. They fit perfectly and the camber bolts now work as normal.

Ran out of time before the rears could be done.

In the meantime a new Cusco front strut brace was purchased, so that could go on now...



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Old 05-06-2024, 03:55 PM   #265
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Finished swapping out the coilovers. The FL Spec V2 models from FactionFab have camber plates both front and rear. These units are designed to allow quite a bit of lowering, and I expect there will be users out there who will be going with a lot of negative camber, for which the adjustable plates are great. In our case, we are going with pretty much the maximum ride height (which is still over one inch lower than stock).

Initial “pre-alignment” camber was set (basically just to make sure left to right was symmetrical, and the initial camber once on the wheels would not be miles off.



The coilovers have dampening adjustment both front and rear. The struts come with adjuster knobs, and there is a nice, defined detent action in the knobs, so one can turn one side a known number of “clicks” and do the same on the other side.

A really nice feature that FactionFab included on the FL V2s are extenders for the rear dampening knobs, which allow the knobs to be positioned above the rear parcel shelf, so that can be accessed without having to remove the rear seat.

A small hole was added in the lower flange of the parcel shelf (which is hidden):



Here it is with the rear seat cushion in place:

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Old 05-07-2024, 11:14 PM   #266
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That is one hell of a job, well done.
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Old 05-08-2024, 09:13 AM   #267
SUBYS R US
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Nice job. I have had my Bugeye since 2003.
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Old 05-16-2024, 01:34 PM   #268
500_19B
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Thanks!

FINALLY set the car onto the homemade platforms to obtain a level surface for alignment.

They definitely look ghetto, but the car is sitting level now, so accurate alignment should be possible.





The initial camber on the rear wheels is already close. It is 1.1 degrees negative on the driver side, and 1.2 on the passenger. Target is 1.3, so not far to go.

The front is not as close. It is negative 1.8 on both sides, and the target is 1.2.

On the weekend hopefully we will be able to set up the strings for toe adjustment and hopefully get the first alignment done. After it has been driven a bit, everything will be re-checked and adjusted as needed.

Can now finish the rear bumper and side sills (the jack stands were in the way for the sills, and I needed to move the car forward a few inches to have room for the bumper).

Ride height looks OK, we will make accurate left to right comparison measurements on the weekend as well, and see if anything should be adjusted there, but I think it is good already.

Car is sitting lower than stock, but not slammed. I took a picture of the front wheel, but I was not paying attention to the angle of the camera, and the negative camber of the front wheel makes the tire-to-fender gap look larger than it does viewing straight from the side. If i place my fingers on the top of front tire, there is just a small amount of clearance between the fender lip and my fingers (approximately 5 mm).



The car has been sitting high up on jack stands so long, that I have become so used to it, that now it feels ridiculously low, even though is STILL on the platforms! Funny how used one gets to perspectives.

Now it feels like I am truly looking down on the engine, and took a picture from this "new" angle:

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Old 05-21-2024, 04:47 PM   #269
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Small update:

I measured the wheel arch heights from the center of the axle. For the rear, I had 348 mm, which is a drop of 29 mm from the factory service manual specified value. On the front, the number is virtually the same (349 mm, both sides), but is a drop of 47 mm from the factory spec. This nearly matches the number on the Factionfab instructions for maximum height, but those same instructions quote a slightly different stock height (15.125", or 384 mm) - but I think the number there may actually be the wagon number.

After reading countless threads and reviews, I have come to the conclusion that a little less drop (not more than 1.5" or 38 mm up front) may be a better compromise to avoid bump steer, as at around 2", the control arms are close to flat (normally they are pointing down a little towards the outside). The other FactionFab offerings (F-Spec and FR-Spec) do have higher max ride heights, as the FL-Spec is definitely made to cater to the portion of the market looking for significant ride height reductions. Given the condition of our roads (which get routinely heaved by the winter frost), I have elected to get a pair of Primitive Racing front strut spacers (1/2" version) which will allow a front drop of around 35 mm, which is just about ideal for our use case.

https://get-primitive.com/product/li...-front-struts/

Of course this will delay finishing everything, but at this point I'd rather wait and end up with the ride height that I want.

Added a steel block to the camber gauge as the digital level is magnetized and it works very well now, giving steady and consistent readings.



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Old 05-29-2024, 12:03 PM   #270
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The front strut spacers are on their way via FedEx, should finally arrive today.

Not much progress in the meantime, but I was able to move the car forward to provide more clearance at the garage door, allowing the bumper cover and tail lights to go on.

Put new bulbs in and also got new gaskets:



Everything fit on nicely with no bad gaps or fitment issues emanating from the rear quarter repair:



With the tail light turn signals finally connected, we were able to assess the flashing frequency of the turn signals (with the addition of the JDM fender flashers). Happily, it seems very normal.
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Old 06-03-2024, 03:03 PM   #271
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interesting. none of my subies have those tail light gaskets lol. maybe I should buy them though I have not had any water leaking issues into the bottom of the quarter panels

question: for your dashcam wiring, why not just splice it into the radio wiring harness? that way, it is still fused, still has access directly to the battery, and requires no modification of the OEM harness?

for clarification- I am talking about buying one of these, interim from the radio to the bulkhead harness, and splicing into it:

https://i.imgur.com/uKR06RV.jpeg
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Old 06-03-2024, 06:36 PM   #272
500_19B
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I can tell quickly that you are much better with auto electrics than I am. Never thought of wiring into the radio... would have been able to leave the coin box alone... Ah well!

Did not have much time this weekend, but we did receive the Primitive Racing strut spacers and got those in.

Needed to press out the studs on the top hats first. Used a socket and C-clamp as I had returned the bench shop press I had used for the wheel bearings some time ago. It worked fine, but those studs are in firm and I actually ended up using a larger C-clamp to do the rest.



The spacers are simply held on with the supplied 10.9 hardware:





Once in place, they are pretty unobtrusive and the bolts were sized long enough for no issues with the strut brace.



The front and rear drop are now almost the same (34 mm front and 29 mm rear) and I think it is much better for our needs.



Got the initial camber dialed in for all four wheels, but did not get to the toe adjustment which is the next job.
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Old 06-07-2024, 03:35 PM   #273
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Finally finished the wheel alignment. Well, at least the first round of wheel alignment, as we will have to check it after a bit of bedding in mileage to see what may have settled.

After getting the camber set the next step was to set the toe (and the re-check camber). For the toe, the string method was used. Basically, one needs to have a parallelogram (i.e., opposite sides equal length) around the car and at the height of the axle centers. Plastic conduit with holes for the string at identical distances were used for the front and rear and sat on jack stands. For the sides, two lengths of fishing line with lead weight sinkers attached to demarcate the length were employed.



Next it was a matter of iteratively "tweaking" the conduits left and right until the distance from the front wheel axle end to the line was same on both sides and the same on both sides at the rear. This took a long time of going back and forth, measuring and re-measuring until finally there. At this point, assuming the apparatus was a true parallelogram, the fishing lines were parallel to the car's centerline.

Now, the toe could be determined by measuring from the wheel rim to the fishing line.

When actually doing the measurement, I made sure the ruler was almost touching the line, as even being a half inch away made is possible to get a slightly wrong reading due to parallax.



Adjusting the toe was easy, the harder part was measuring. The front was set to zero tow, which is the factory spec. On the rear, the factory spec is -1 mm toe, but we went with zero as well, which seems to be a fairly common tweak. Originally I had thought to split the difference and go with -0.5 mm toe, but I then realized that 0.5 mm is (of course) determined across the full wheel diameter, but using the string method, that would only mean a measured difference of 0.17 mm per side (total 0.34 mm) across the 17" wheel, which is too small to reliably read, so I just decided to go for zero which then is just a matter of getting the measurements at the front and rear of the wheel rim as close to equal as possible.

Happy with the result, can now proceed to finishing up the last few items.
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Old 06-10-2024, 01:04 PM   #274
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Now that the wheel alignment is done all the torques etc. at all four corners needs to be double checked. Over the weekend there was only enough time to do the fronts. At the same time put the side skirts on with new seal strips and clips, as well as the front mudguards.







It was good to get the final body parts back on the car. I was slightly unsure of the passenger side skirt, as the rear holes for the upper and lower clips were on the new quarter panel and needed to be aligned and spaced with the rest of the holes on the body. There is quite a bit of play designed into the system, so it should never have been any sort of issue, but it was one thing I had not checked before paint, so I was just a wee bit on guard that I may encounter some unforeseen fitment issue, but thankfully it is all fine.

The car looks much better with the side skirts.
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Old 06-24-2024, 01:38 PM   #275
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I somehow have found myself knee-deep in another rust repair project. This time it is for my brother-in-law's Buick Regal (1998). This car is being transferred from one family member to the brother-in-law and must therefore pass a government safety inspection. At first, I was going to help out by doing all the normal maintenance items on the car. It has low mileage and had been sitting in a garage for 10 years and believed to be in great condition. However, I could see some signs of rust issues and after removing the acres of plastic cladding that envelop the lower body, found that there was very serious rot, with multiple layers of sheet metal completely gone in some areas.

The past couple of weekends have mostly been working on that repair. It is for sure the largest rust repair task I have every done, and am about 1/3 done. A lot of the repair pieces seem to be no longer available so I am "hand-fabricating" everything.

In between, a little time has been spent on the Subie, and it is almost done now. The trunk room and rear view mirrors were done, the license plates put back on and all the final checks etc., were completed on the rear. The car was taken off of the blocks and set back onto the ground for the first time since the teardown began.

Got some pictures of how it looks, next weekend I hope to roll it out for the first time and will get some better pictures.

This is what still is left to do:
  1. Some minor finessing on the rear bumper paint
  2. PPF film installation
  3. Bed in alignment and re-check and adjust as necessary
  4. Charge A/C
  5. Verify braking/ABS is fully bled









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