These Are Your Car Projects for 2023

These Are Your Car Projects for 2023

Having listed cars on Facebook Marketplace before, a sale definitely counts as a project.

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Photo: Eric DaSilva

Who doesn’t love a good project car? Even a bad car, in the right situation, can become an excellent project. But now there’s a whole new year around the corner, giving you the chance to plan for next spring’s projects. Yesterday, we asked what you’ve got on the docket, and today we’re looking through your answers. Let’s see what you said.

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Who Doesn’t Like an Egg?

Who Doesn’t Like an Egg?

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Photo: StalePhish

Continue working on my “Angry Egg” Fiat 500 Abarth rally build, which I hope to have done in time to compete in New England Forest Rally in July. About a year and a half in so far. Working on the fire suppression system and roof scoop now. Wheels and suspension should be arriving in the mail soon. Wrap/livery design to do after that.

I am recording mostly timelapse style build videos to post to YouTube, but I’m a couple months backed up on actually editing new videos. Basically racing winter at this point to get as much work done in my garage before my hands freeze off. It’s currently usually mid 40°F inside my garage right now so we’re getting close.

Anger not mandatory, but appreciated. You know what else would be appreciated, I imagine? A space heater. Put that on your holiday wish list.

Submitted by: StalePhish

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Car Man, Ghia

Car Man, Ghia

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Photo: HotSauceIsTheBest

Full new wiring harness, a correct front bumper, Body work and painting silver (or black), wheels and air suspension.

A Ghia on bags sounds absolutely gorgeous. I can’t wait to see the finished project there.

Submitted by: HotSauceIsTheBest

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Oh Yeah, If the Mustang Is So Good, How Come There’s No Mustang Tw— Oh, There Is?

Oh Yeah, If the Mustang Is So Good, How Come There’s No Mustang Tw— Oh, There Is?

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Photo: dave_7 from Lethbridge, Canada, CC BY 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

Finding it a new owner.

I’ve had “ElSuperPinto” for ten years now. That poor old Mustang II has been neglected for more of that than it’s been loved. I’ve got it listed on FB, CL, and a Mustang forum now. It’s been a riot having 300+ horsepower shoved under the hood of a glorified Pinto, but after 20+ years of cars being both my profession and my hobby, I just don’t love the things anymore, and something has got to give. Seeing as I’m too old, dumb, and broke for college and have $100k+ in tools, it’s not going to be the career.

It’s nice to see the Mustang II get some love. For too long, it’s just been the butt of jokes. When will it get the redemption arc it deserves?

Submitted by: Mustang2Matt

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Elle Ess

Elle Ess

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Photo: nakhon100, CC BY 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

LS swap all the things! My 540i is getting a 6.0 this year.

I can already hear Blur playing from the stereo after that swap. Send us some burnout videos when it’s finished.

Submitted by: AngryBob-VA

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Making a Purchase

Making a Purchase

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Photo: Bassetts Honda, CC BY-SA 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

My absolute priority is to find my wife a car - we finally have extra parking, and if she hasn’t acquiesced to driving manual in the past 8 years, it’s never going to happen. Little home projects mean we don’t want to tie up budget on something new, and as my car is reliable, we’ve got fine transit access, and both work from home, it’ll probably be something cheap I’ll put a bit of work into refreshing so it’s reliable enough.

For my car, I’ve got a set of front struts in the garage that’ll get installed when the weather is nicer again (the rears were replaced in the fall after one blew out). Not sure there’s anything else pressing, although cleaning up some of the bits on the underside that are starting to show corrosion would be ideal.

If I somehow find myself with an abundance of time (or my curious but hyperactive preschooler starts showing some focus), I’ve got an old Honda Rebel in the garage that could use a minor refurbishing, but that’s probably a year or two out from happening.

Getting a cheap little runabout, just to head around those few places that public transit doesn’t service, can be freeing. That’s why I got a motorcycle, but I get that some people want a roof.

Submitted by: Maymar

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The Alien Princess in Her Alien Attire

The Alien Princess in Her Alien Attire

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Photo: Greg Gjerdingen from Willmar, USA, CC BY 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

A few years ago, I had to sell my 1970 Buick Wildcat convertible after being unemployed for eight months.

Eight.

Long.

Months....

Fortunately, I found a good job and have been saving up for and new convertible for nearly two years.

My goal is to buy another convertible by July 2023.

No project car this time, I want something turnkey since i no longer have the patience or physical strength in my hands to do any major wrenching.

What a drag it is getting old....

Top of my list is a 1963 Olds Starfire Convertible that is currently in North Florida that the current owner is possibly looking to sell sometime next year. We just started talking around Thanksgiving and i am waiting for him to come up with a price.

The car is very similar to this one.

So, several months negotiating on the price of a car counts as a project, doesn’t it?

Starfire is a hell of a name for a car. I don’t care if DC Comics owns the word now, I want that back on cars. I want it on every car, actually.

Submitted by: Earthbound Misfit I

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Keep the UZ

Keep the UZ

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Photo: IFCAR, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Finally doing an engine replacement on the Tundra. After years of chasing an oil loss and knocking issue that not even Toyota’s service teams can figure out, the 310,000 km motor is getting replaced. The options are A) buy the same 4.7 litre and keep the truck basically stock, or B) LS swap; there is a kit to mate the LS to the Toyota transmission.

Anyway, either way the truck will be back to highway and distance driving condition.

At the same time I’ll replace the rear bumper (someone backed into it a couple of years ago), and replace the rear shocks.

Sure, the LS swap sounds fun and all, but keep the Toyota V8 in there. It’ll never let you down. I mean, the one you have already has, but the next one totally won’t.

Submitted by: JohnnyWasASchoolBoy

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Zoom Zoom

Zoom Zoom

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Photo: IFCAR, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

My car project of 2023 will be to diagnose the damn EVAP code on my MazdaSpeed3.

While this code has had no impact on how well the car runs, it has single handedly taken the car completely off the road. How, you might ask? Well, in order to pass your annual vehicle inspection in the great state of New York, your car must not have any diagnostic trouble codes active. Not a big deal right? Well, as it turns out, you cannot renew your vehicle registration without a recent state inspection.

So... the car went from being driven frequently, to being un-inspected, and very quickly became unregistered. It’s remarkably frustrating because I now have no legal way to drive the car on public roads to diagnose the issue.

I also refuse to pay the thousands of dollars that shops want just to diagnose the problem. Hopefully I’ll have a bit of free time in the spring to teach myself how to diagnose and repair the issue... then try to find a legal path to drive the car until the readiness codes are ready for an inspection. As of right now, the car is nothing but a paperweight. Thanks NY!

You’d think New York would carve out an exception, where vehicles that failed an inspection can still be taken to a shop for repairs. I have no idea if Albany actually thought of that, but it feels like they should’ve.

Submitted by: shanepj13

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See Elle Kay

See Elle Kay

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Photo: OSX, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Reviving this 2003 CLK 500. I have a ton of experience with the M113 5.0 V8, so I feel comfortable buying these and rehabbing them when a friend needs a solid reliable car on the cheap.

I bought this one for $1800 and it needed a new cooling system (damn Valeo radiators leak into the transmission), used transmission, and all fluids. I’m dailying it for now but will likely sell it in the spring for around $4000. It’s a solid car, and pretty fast these days.

Edit: I have no idea how to upload photos here.

I’m sorry, did you say the radiator leaks into the transmission? How is that possible, let alone the result of an actual design that was engineered by human hands?

Submitted by: C453Y

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Fix Some Suspension

Fix Some Suspension

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Photo: Unacceptably Dry Scones

Getting this turd running again.

My ex-wife stole it (don’t ask) and got into a minor fender bender. It now pulls to the right. Control arm? Plus, it hasn’t run in 2 years. I am doing an addition on my new house and need a way to get lumber and drywall and plywood.

Diesel being over $5.00 per gallon hasn’t been a huge motivation.

I was actually looking at these wagons on Marketplace not too long ago. There’s something tempting about an unkillable old diesel wagon.

Submitted by: Unacceptably Dry Scones

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Getting a Rex

Getting a Rex

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Photo: Jeremy from Sydney, Australia, CC BY 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

I’m finally ready to get back to the track, well at least to a parking lot for Autocross events (and hopefully time trails later on). I have been researching the various competition groups to find the right car that I can take from fairly stock to a full track car and the WRX Sti is ultimately the right one for me. I have many years of experience wrenching and tracking Subarus and seeing that STis seem to do well in many competition groups, it should also help me be very competitive.

And now comes the fun part - shopping for one! I have a general thirst for getting some serious wrenching time in the new year so I actually prefer a lower-cost car that needs more work, at least from a mechanical perspective. The most important thing is that I don’t want a car that has been modded in any way since rebuilding and refurbishing a stock car is much easier than correcting years of abuse and neglect from cheap mods.

The pig-nosed GD and plain looking GV are my top choices due to their low weight and my high familiarity with Subies from that era.

Unfortunately, GD-chassis STis have been skyrocketing in price recently. Also, fun fact, the “STI” changeover didn’t happen until 2015. Before that, the “i” was lowercase.

Submitted by: oddseth

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Keep It Shiny

Keep It Shiny

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Photo: David HuntThis version - rotated by 2.5 degrees - uploaded by Charles01, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Keeping up with “non-surgical cosmetic procedures” to keep the Focus going at least another year and not looking worn, despite it’s already built-in ugly. (This is now the 3rd year I’ve said that). 1) replace the roof trim strips, which are oxidized, with some Autozone “carbon fiber” trim. 2) rattle-can the wheels, which will be a pain since I have no garage thus I’ll need to do them 1 at a time on my balcony 3) the pleater seats need a good clean & condition, but are holding up 4) carpet needs a good steam or shampoo, lastly 5) closely monitor the small trans fluid leak that has recently appeared.

Sometimes, just keeping up with maintenance and appearances takes all your allotted project time. Try Plasti-Dip on the wheels before you go full rattlecan, just to see if you can get the right finish without hurting what’s underneath.

Submitted by: spookiness

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Track Down Parts

Track Down Parts

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Photo: Dinkun Chen, CC BY-SA 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

I have a Japanese import 1993 Mitsu Pajero. It needs just a few few things to get it all shined up and ready for sale. My goal is to not lose my ass on this one, and get enough money from this to make a good down payment on something a bit newer and more left hand drive-ish for my wife.

Still need to source a new cluster, do something about the sunroof (i’ve heard this is a nightmare to fix), find a new armrest pad, new rear wiper arm...and if all goes my way find some 3rd row seats.

so yeah, best of luck right

Finding parts for thirty-year-old cars can be hard enough when you’re looking at USDM models. A Pajero? Godspeed, my friend.

Submitted by: the_AUGHT

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Maintain the Mustang

Maintain the Mustang

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Photo: Sunstarfire, CC BY-SA 3.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

I need to find somewhere to park both of mine so I can justify getting the nice one repainted. I have a single-car garage in Chicago that I use for either my Mustang or my beater 4Runner, while the other just sits in an unused space at my sisters place in the suburbs, and I swap depending on season. If I can find somewhere nearby to park the other, the Mustang will graduate to permanent garage-queen status, and get repainted after getting crushed by construction sites for almost 5 years.

You didn’t give any details on the Mustang, so I assume it’s a Mystichrome New Edge model. This is the ideal Mustang, and I assume you to be a person of taste.

Submitted by: Mosko

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Garage Repair

Garage Repair

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Photo: Alexander Roumega, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

After full-time RV living for more than a year and a half, I’m looking forward to just being ABLE to have a project car...once I renovate/upgrade the garage.

Garage repair is a project in and of itself. I’m imagining your existing setup looks exactly like this — tucked away in the trees, covered in Cyrillic graffiti.

Submitted by: Fluffy6079

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