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Old 05-21-2012, 09:27 AM   #1
wcgman
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Default 97 Autumn Orange restoration

May 21, Day 3.

Last week, we bought a 1997 GT, Autumn Orange with saddle interior from a dealer in Connecticut. It was unseen but in the pictures, it looked like it needed only minor love.

Luckily, my wife had to work on Saturday to catch up (they do mortgage stuff) so when the car arrived on the truck after it's 1850 mile trip on a car hauler, I was very glad she wasnt here. It was overcast and had been raining. Well the car was a complete mess. Not only covered in mud, etc...but road tar and there were scratches on the paint that werent visible in the pictures. I told the truck driver show me the bill of lading for documented damage. As it turns out, there were a couple of scratches and a big rock chip that werent there. We went back and forth a bit until I talked him into taking 100 bucks off the cost in cash.

I had about 3 hours to try to get this pig cleaned up enough so the wife wouldnt **** herself when she saw it. It literally took almost all that time to get it there. Part of the reason is my power washer wouldnt start, so traditional hand wash. I had it looking pretty good and then noticed all the little scratches and stuff that were going to take some buffing to get out and then she got home. We didnt have the title. So no plates, no insurance, etc...But she wants to go for a ride. Well hon, you're driving because if anyone is getting the ticket, it'll be you. So we put the top down and drive around a little bit. We end up at Grease Monkey and there's a guy there I worked with before and whom I trust. I had them do everything...cooling system, transmission, rear diff, oil...

While we're there Im talking to the owner of the Grease Monkey who is really cool. We're all laughing and having a good time chatting when these 2 older black guys and a little kid come strolling by swearing and acting like punks, swearing etc...2 mins later, 3 cop cars coming tearing in, whip out there guns and tell these guys to stay put. They cuff them including the young teen. So here we are, nervous about driving completely illegally and 3 cops blow in. In the middle of this, this guy maybe 16 to 18 who we watched wandering aimlessly through the area comes up to my wife with a pink rose (he's got more too!) and starts reciting poetry to her. I have to admit, it was pretty sweet. I let it run it's course just trying to keep from busting a gut laughing. But then it's like...that takes some real stones to do that or your crazy as a bat in a **** house... He leaves, my wife turns to me and says in front of these 6 guys at the shop "He was f***ing hittin on me harder than you think!" We all just start roaring with laughter. What a weird day. The cops turn the guys loose, they leave, we get home and I start trying to clean the gross interior.

Literally, this interior is just shot. I admit I do hope that whoever had this car is on the forums and sees this post, because you need to get a little smarter about mods you make.

Good things that have been done wth the car. It was repainted. I can work with that. Some areas of the paint need a little TLC, but it's cool. The body work is solid. I could not find a single dent, even tiny anywhere in the sheet metal. Headlights were replaced with some nice aftermarkets which might be HID's. One of them is out, so I need to figure out how to get in there to replace it. Sequentials were installed. They werent working at first, but after we drove it, they were fine. Cool. THat just saved me another 200 bucks.

Bad things. Was the interior on this ever cleaned? Why would you paint some parts of the interior the way you did? Seriously, learn to paint on junk yard parts THEN do the interior of your car if that's your desire. Why in the name of all thats holy would you drill holes in the drivers side door next to the power switches and put LEDs in there? And as if that wasnt good enough, you then break the cup holder and center console to what I assume was wire the 2 LED clusters on the back of the console? PS, your wiring "skills" totally suck.

I ripped out all the "custom" wiring on the interior. Well, I hope for now Im done venting. The wife has given me carte blanche on getting the interior restored, so here's some visuals for your enjoyment. I'll try to keep this updated as the project proceeds.

First are pics of it after I cleaned it. From a distance it looks great. Up closer, the usual road rash stuff and then some weird scratches but I've buffed out the drivers side already so it's looking even better than in these pics.

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Now interior pics and progress....

The lighter color was protected by the drivers side cup panel with power window controls. Thats the color its supposed to be. The rest is just gross...
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Door panel removed but the door plastic weather thing is going to need a little TLC.
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Pretty much all of this is getting gutted. I've already replaced the instrument cluster bezel.
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The seats are getting pulled to be reupholstered.
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The parts pile begins.
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More door panel.
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Seriously...who breaks the cup holder AND the console?
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While I can appreciate the attempt to add mood lighting, this just came off as cheap and terrible.
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I'll post more pics as the project progresses.
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Old 05-21-2012, 11:10 AM   #2
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Looks like you got your hands full. Can't wait to see it completed.
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Old 05-21-2012, 11:47 AM   #3
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You really have your hands full! The "restoration" looks promising....FYI latemodelresoration.com sells front and back leather seat skins and seat foams for these cars. Not sure on the pricing comparatively though...

Also, if you decide to get rid of those stock wheels I'd love to make a deal on them.
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Old 05-21-2012, 08:15 PM   #4
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one of my favorite color combos on sn95!!!! cant wait to see it finished!! how many miles and how much you pay if you dont mind me asking!
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Old 05-21-2012, 09:43 PM   #5
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It has 108k miles and we paid 5k. Shipping it on an open car carrier from Litchfield CT to Denver area was 975 originally. Due to the condition upon arrival, we agreed on taking $100 off.

Late Model Restoration, CJ pony, and various other vendors via eBay have made a bundle on us the last couple of days.

As for the seats, I found a guy who has a good reputation, promises they will look like stock when done and says 1000-1100 depending on the materials cost. So I pulled the seats tonight and they are in the back of the old Explorer to be dropped off tomorrow. Im having them done in leather and I want them to be like new.

On the wheels, I tried to compel the wife to let me try my fan blades from my '06 on there and no dice. She loves the wheels so very doubtful she'll let me part with them Sorry! If that changes, I'll certainly post.

Now for more pics from pulling the seats tonight. Tomorrow is dropping off the seats to the upholstery shop and either pulling the old carpet out or the door skin on the passenger side.

Drivers side seat out. Only one power plug for it! WOOHOO! 15mm deep socket and or wrench if you decide to do yours. 2 nuts in the front 2 bolts in the back. Rock it forward enough to reach the power plug and detach it, then either rock the seat side to side a little to get it off of the alignment studs in the middle of the seat and lift it out. Maybe 60lbs?
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Definitely from a high humidity zone. Applied lithium grease to the rusty threaded shafts for the motor and rails.
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Does anyone know where or have the bezel for the power seat controls? I desperately need one. The one that was on there was missing. Found it in the console storage with the mounting shafts broken off. I'll try to glue, but have serious doubts it will hold
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Passenger seat out. This wont need as much work, but the leather has definitely seen better days.
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I hope you have long legs like me. Otherwise you cant drive! lol
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Last edited by wcgman; 05-21-2012 at 09:47 PM.
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Old 05-22-2012, 06:29 AM   #6
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Props on saving a sn95 man, alot of em are dissapearing.
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Old 05-22-2012, 06:51 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by uberstang1 View Post
Props on saving a sn95 man, alot of em are dissapearing.
Thanks! I really love my '10 and I loved my 06 when I had it, but this body style is my wife's favorite and it's definitely one of mine. Its funny that people seem to have forgotten, but back when these were the hot item, they were outselling Camaros 2:1.

Our first stang was a 97 in this color, so this is a tribute to that car and Im sure will bring us many many years of enjoyment.
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Old 05-22-2012, 09:53 AM   #8
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awesome man! sounds like a decent deal and the fanblades arent going on it then?? i love those wheels!!!
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Old 05-22-2012, 10:04 AM   #9
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Good luck and if you need anything let me know I will see what I can do to help lighten the blow.
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Old 05-22-2012, 09:59 PM   #10
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Quote:
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awesome man! sounds like a decent deal and the fanblades arent going on it then?? i love those wheels!!!
yeah - the fanblades arent going on.
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Old 05-22-2012, 09:59 PM
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1995, 1997, 2000, 46, boss, cluster, controls, drivers, gt, lead, mustang, orange, parts, photos, power, seat, wire

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