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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
To start with a haev a 1994 trep 3.3...
i've recently put about 750.00 - 800.00 in my car on car parts alone... but that was mostly in repairs....

I was a bad girl and let my car sit from August - February without starting it or taking care of it :( That was so not bright and I knew nothing about cars and was irresponsible and i'm paying for it 10 fold now.

In February a mechanic friend of mine drove 200 miles to come look at my car which was parked in my driveway. She and I did the following to the car:

New Battery
New Thermostat..
Changed Oil, Oil filter, Topped off all fluids
2 new tires on front drive axle as the steel belts were showing. on the original 2 front,
4 new rotors
4 new sets of brake pads
1 rear wheel bearing on the driver side
New Gasket for the thermostat housing.

Then after she left, I did the following on my own over the past few weeks:
New thermostat HOUSING (mine cracked after i replaced thermostat, and it turns out that's where coolant had been leaking out of my car for 1 year or more)
New Windshield wipers
started t rying to get the extra paint out of my car paint (The house paint)
Tightened valve cover down
degreased engine to determine if valve covers really are leaking (Yes they are)

And dad and my uncle did this:
New Tie rod bushing, new ball joint, (front passenger), new wheel bearing (Front passenger)

But I have really neglected the car for far too long so I decided to just fix everything that is wrong with the car. So i developed a to do list for my car... Because without a 'to do' list I will forget to do things and then 9 months down the road when my rear tire explodes I'll be upset and say "I had no idea it was bad" when in fact today I know that tire i s not the best and I need to replace it before i go on a long trip.

The list has both repairs and mods, well what i consider to be mods... I have it typed up below in the order that i'm going to do it/have it done but i'd like some opinions from you experienced folks If you see some things that are out of place or are thinking "Why is she replacing her tires before she flushes her brake system?!" then I should know that :) I tried to balance money wise vs. elbow grease wise. Some things like getting dents and things out of the car, I can do mostly on my own. unfortunately none are in a good location to use the dent puller on. Dad can teach me how to do the others and sanding the car down and priming and painting i can do - it won't look real beautiful BUT It will be drivable and will stop the door from rusting off of the car.

Now, without further adieu i give you - the list!
Somewhere in on my list is also an alarm - my brother got me a free alarm and free installation of it doing what he called "horse trading" basically bartering. so i am at the mercy of my brother and his friend for whenever the alarm can be installed.....free is free tho....


1 - Call a dealership and have all of the recalls fixed on the car.
2 - Get new spark plugs & check spark plug wires and all hoses, replace as necessary...
3 - check all wires and the wrappings thereof and replace those wrappings and any lose wires.
4 - Follow troubleshooting checklist for the cruise control of my car and try and fix it myself if it's just a vacuum hose or a worn something or other...otherwise i'll have to take the car to a service center for this in which case it moves to the end.
5 - replace valve cover gasket (Does anyone know if i'll need to buy two different gaskets or if it comes in a set of 2?
6 - Find oil leak if it wasn't just the valve cover leaking - front main seal may be leaking.
7 - degrease/clean engine again and make sure all oil leaks are fixed.
8 - Buy 2 new tires, put them on the front (I have 3 week old tires on the front now) and rotate the front tires backwards so that the newer tires are on the drive axle.
9 - New Corner Head lamp, replace entire thing - i broke this 2 years ago :p
10 - change transmission filter and fluid, I think i can do that at a quick lube place for like 50 bucks - does that sound like a good deal? I am an extreme novice with cars.
11 - brake system/fluid flush - there is debris in my brake fluid and brake fluid is brownish - i'mw orried about my master cylinder but dad says i shouldn't worry.
12 - make my trunk water tight, Does anyone else have trouble with your trunk leaking? if so how did you fix it? My trunk is sealing but i'm not sure where it's leaking at. the trunk is always wet inside. it never fails after it rains.
13 - replace my hood hydraulics and bend the clamp back the way it's supposed to be for the hood, reseat it make it lay flat as right now one side is farther down than the other.
14 - repaint my trim black, I can do this any time but it has to fall down here in the importance of what NEEDS to be done.
15 Bang out dents (and there are about 10 different ones )
16 - sand, prime and paint all rust spots.
17 - do touch up paint job of all locations with lots of primer showing through and any small areas.
18 - - Sound System Receiver - Yeah i would like to be able to play CD's in my car and i only have a tape deck now. there are certain priorities that i have - for instance i would rather have great music in the car than replace a quarter panel for instance.
19 - sound system amplifier...(i like my music loud....
20 - Subs (no clue what kind) and box - brother can help here. put in trunk - this is why the trunk needs to be water tight lol)
21 - replace factory speakers with better speakers
22 - disc changer , (goes in trunk too i think)
23 - replace driver side quarter panel - I am missing a chunk out of it, some people recommended bondo but dad says it won't work well and i'd rather have a nice Q panel.
24 - Tint my windows the darkest they allow by law in TN.
25 - Replace front seats with nice leather.
26 - Repaint entire car but what color? I dunno.

I also have some "nicks" or "dings" in my windshield and I need to find a glass doctor to fill those in but i'm not sure what that will cost.

my shocks need to be looked at somewhere in there as well (I think it's shocks, it's the ones in the back, the big coils and i'm too lazy to grab my haynes manual) the thing that looks like a big bushing is disintigrated - so that's probably #1 really? my dad will be doing the valve cover removal and reinstallation because the thought of removing both the coil pack AND the fuel rail scares me. I'd create a giant dodge intrepid bomb or something. I never was very mechanically inclined growing up.

So maybe replace the shocks before i move the current new tires on the front end of the car to the back end to avoid deteriorating good tires? And to try and preserve the rear suspension? I also need to look over the Driver side suspension in the front, I want to look at bushings and struts in the front. when i go over bumps I bounce for a bit. (like slight hills in the road on the interstate it's like i get a good bounce, bounce bounce in as i'm driving in my seat, does that make sense?) The car needs to be better able to handle rises etc.

i also need to polish the car which i'm working on slowly to get the paint off,

eventually i'd like to get a glow kit but i don't know what color....

Ok that is a GIANT post and i congratulate you if you made it all the way through - now - do you have any suggestions on reordering my decisions? I put most body work after the sound because even if i have a big hole in my quarter panel the car will drive. I want it to look nice but for me, music is more important than a new composite quarter panel especially if i've painted everywhere i can that needs touching up and sanded down and treated all of the rust spots.

so my car will look like ass for a few months - it won't kill me...

*edited to add the list of what's already been done at the top and to make it make more sense!*
 

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hey man, i have a lot of ideas, if you have aol or aim just im me, my screen name is cwert83. thats goes for anyone else interested in talking about necessary mods, performance mods, and cosmetic changes.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks :) I tried to message you this morning but i think you are sleeping like i was doing last night when ya messaged me :) i'll be around this evening and will try ya then , but until then i gotta go to work :)
 

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Are you currently driving this thing??? If so, your motto should be SAFETY FIRST!!!! If thje car can't go, it can't hurt you...if the car can go, but you can't stop, it will hurt you!!
I'd go with the brake flush first....foreign matter in brake fluid is never good. You can either go pay bucks to have a shop do it, or you can get like 10 feet of fish tank tubing (can't remember the diameter you'll need to fit over the bleeder valves), four jars, and a quart (maybe two) of brake fluid..and a friend always helps too. Then do a gravity flush. Put a length of tubing over the bleeder valves, run then down into the jar (put enough new fluid in the jar to cover the the other end of the tubing), then open the bleeder screws and let the old fluid flow out. Make sure you keep adding fresh fluid to the reservoir so it doesn't all run out and you wind up with air in the lines.
Then I'd worry about the suspension/steering system issues you have.

just my opinion, of course!!
 

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sephrana said:

Now, without further adieu i give you - the list!
Somewhere in on my list is also an alarm - my brother got me a free alarm and free installation of it doing what he called "horse trading" basically bartering. so i am at the mercy of my brother and his friend for whenever the alarm can be installed.....free is free tho....


1 - Call a dealership and have all of the recalls fixed on the car.
There aren't very many.

2 - Get new spark plugs & check spark plug wires and all hoses, replace as necessary...
Use a copper plug. Not platinum.

3 - check all wires and the wrappings thereof and replace those wrappings and any lose wires.
The wraping is called wire loom. Most autoparts stores carry it.

4 - Follow troubleshooting checklist for the cruise control of my car and try and fix it myself if it's just a vacuum hose or a worn something or other...otherwise i'll have to take the car to a service center for this in which case it moves to the end.
If it isn't working at all, the problem is probably either the vac lines or the servo motor itself.

5 - replace valve cover gasket (Does anyone know if i'll need to buy two different gaskets or if it comes in a set of 2?
Depends on where you buy them. Some places sell gasket kits that have every gasket you need for the job.

6 - Find oil leak if it wasn't just the valve cover leaking - front main seal may be leaking.
I have heard of a few cases of the valve cover bolts backing out and causing a leak. Might want to try tightening them.
7 - degrease/clean engine again and make sure all oil leaks are fixed.
Only use degreaser in specific areas that are not painted or do not have seals. I suggest only using it on the plenum. Use car wash soap for the rest of the engine. Just make sure you do it when the engine is cold. You don't want anything to warp.
9 - New Corner Head lamp, replace entire thing - i broke this 2 years ago :p
If it's the front corner, then you could buy clear corner replacements. They are pretty cheap. Look on ebay.
10 - change transmission filter and fluid, I think i can do that at a quick lube place for like 50 bucks - does that sound like a good deal? I am an extreme novice with cars.
NO! These transmissions take a special type of fluid. Most places will assume that it needs Dexron. Dexron will shorten the life of the transmission signifficantly. Only use a ATF +3 or +4 based fluid. I suggest getting the flush done at a local chrysler dealership. Ask them to use ATF +4. It's better then the stock fluid (+3).
11 - brake system/fluid flush - there is debris in my brake fluid and brake fluid is brownish - i'mw orried about my master cylinder but dad says i shouldn't worry.
I put valvoline synthetic DOT 3/4 fluid in my car recently. Definatly made a noticable difference.
12 - make my trunk water tight, Does anyone else have trouble with your trunk leaking? if so how did you fix it? My trunk is sealing but i'm not sure where it's leaking at. the trunk is always wet inside. it never fails after it rains.
Make sure that the rubber stops aren't adjusted too high. If they are too high, it won't close enough to seal to the weather striping.
13 - replace my hood hydraulics and bend the clamp back the way it's supposed to be for the hood, reseat it make it lay flat as right now one side is farther down than the other.
The hood has two adjustable stops as well. One is probably higher then the other. I prefer the method of screwing them both in completely, then backing them both out the exact same number of complete turns.
14 - repaint my trim black, I can do this any time but it has to fall down here in the importance of what NEEDS to be done.
I suggest you just replace it. If you paint it, it won't match well. And it won't have a clear coat, so it won't be as shiny.
15 Bang out dents (and there are about 10 different ones )
How are you going to "bang" them out? I suggest you leave that to a body shop.
18 - - Sound System Receiver - Yeah i would like to be able to play CD's in my car and i only have a tape deck now. there are certain priorities that i have - for instance i would rather have great music in the car than replace a quarter panel for instance.
Get a half decent one. Not something you would find at walmart or the OEM one. Look at thezeb.com. I suggest Clarion or JVC.
19 - sound system amplifier...(i like my music loud....
Only buy an amp if you have good speakers to amplify. Amplify the stock ones, and they will blow.
20 - Subs (no clue what kind) and box - brother can help here. put in trunk - this is why the trunk needs to be water tight lol)
Depends on what you're going for...
21 - replace factory speakers with better speakers
Disconnect the dash speakers. Do not reaplce them. Put 5.25s in the doors. Good ones. Give them the most power. If you are going to replace the rear 6x9s, don't spend as much as you do on the fronts. The fronts are what matter.
22 - disc changer , (goes in trunk too i think)
Make sure your headunit supports a changer. Then buy a changer from the same company with the same bus connection.
23 - replace driver side quarter panel - I am missing a chunk out of it, some people recommended bondo but dad says it won't work well and i'd rather have a nice Q panel.
Replace it. Body shop.
24 - Tint my windows the darkest they allow by law in TN.
Make sure you get a warrenty. Don't tint the rears more then the fronts. That looks like crap.
25 - Replace front seats with nice leather.
Replace all the seats. That way it matches. 2nd gen seats will work with some minor modifications to the rear seats. 300M seats will work too. So will LHS/Concorde seats.
I also have some "nicks" or "dings" in my windshield and I need to find a glass doctor to fill those in but i'm not sure what that will cost.
If it's smaller then a quarter, you can usually use a crack repair kit.
So maybe replace the shocks before i move the current new tires on the front end of the car to the back end to avoid deteriorating good tires? And to try and preserve the rear suspension? I also need to look over the Driver side suspension in the front, I want to look at bushings and struts in the front. when i go over bumps I bounce for a bit. (like slight hills in the road on the interstate it's like i get a good bounce, bounce bounce in as i'm driving in my seat, does that make sense?) The car needs to be better able to handle rises etc.
If you are going to replace struts, I suggest replacing all 4 at once. The KYBs are great struts for the money. See the performance FAQ for more strusts.
i also need to polish the car which i'm working on slowly to get the paint off,
Why are you polishing a paint job you are going to remove? Do you mean sand?
eventually i'd like to get a glow kit but i don't know what color....
Street Glow Gold Series. Brightest underbody kit.


I don't really have any comments on the order, other then to just clean under the hood after you are done with everything under there. Especially the valve cover gaskets.
 

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POOP!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
97silvertrep said:
Are you currently driving this thing??? If so, your motto should be SAFETY FIRST!!!! If thje car can't go, it can't hurt you...if the car can go, but you can't stop, it will hurt you!!
I'd go with the brake flush first....foreign matter in brake fluid is never good. You can either go pay bucks to have a shop do it, or you can get like 10 feet of fish tank tubing (can't remember the diameter you'll need to fit over the bleeder valves), four jars, and a quart (maybe two) of brake fluid..and a friend always helps too. Then do a gravity flush. Put a length of tubing over the bleeder valves, run then down into the jar (put enough new fluid in the jar to cover the the other end of the tubing), then open the bleeder screws and let the old fluid flow out. Make sure you keep adding fresh fluid to the reservoir so it doesn't all run out and you wind up with air in the lines.
Then I'd worry about the suspension/steering system issues you have.

just my opinion, of course!!
Thank you :)

i think we are doing the first few things on the list - me and dad and my uncle. i'm not sure though - we'll have to see :) Thanks so much!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Re: Re: My Car 'to do' list- any suggestions on order? (long)

hypnos said:
with regards to the cruise controlIf it isn't working at all, the problem is probably either the vac lines or the servo motor itself.
Ok :) Basically what it does is as you are driving it just shuts itself off. so all of a sudden your cruise control goes away.
I have heard of a few cases of the valve cover bolts backing out and causing a leak. Might want to try tightening them.
done that. It didn't work ;)
Only use degreaser in specific areas that are not painted or do not have seals. I suggest only using it on the plenum. Use car wash soap for the rest of the engine. Just make sure you do it when the engine is cold. You don't want anything to warp.
Thanks for the info :) Dad will be doing this for me and i really appreciate the info :)
If it's the front corner, then you could buy clear corner replacements. They are pretty cheap. Look on ebay.
The front corner light housing is right. thanks for the info - i'll get the clear corner replacement - you are the best :)!
NO! These transmissions take a special type of fluid. Most places will assume that it needs Dexron. Dexron will shorten the life of the transmission signifficantly. Only use a ATF +3 or +4 based fluid. I suggest getting the flush done at a local chrysler dealership. Ask them to use ATF +4. It's better then the stock fluid (+3).
What about if i just tell them to put +4 in it? That won't work? I had thought about taking it to the dealer but i don't especially want to pay 150.00 to get it done but will if i have to :)
I put valvoline synthetic DOT 3/4 fluid in my car recently. Definatly made a noticable difference.
Thanks for this info :) I can't wait to have all the unfun stuff outta the way and get to the fun stuff :)
I suggest you just replace it. If you paint it, it won't match well. And it won't have a clear coat, so it won't be as shiny.
Thanks for the info.
How are you going to "bang" them out? I suggest you leave that to a body shop.
My main issue here is the cost of this to me - i was thinking about that today wanting to just go to a body shop - it is going to cost amazing amounts of money :( so if i do that then i'm sanding and painting the spots i need first to avoid the rusting.
Sound system receiver - Get a half decent one. Not something you would find at walmart or the OEM one. Look at thezeb.com. I suggest Clarion or JVC.
Thank you so much!!!!! I have been really lucky lately with info :)
Only buy an amp if you have good speakers to amplify. Amplify the stock ones, and they will blow.
gotcha! i don't have any to amplify yet but i will soon :)
Depends on what you're going for...
Disconnect the dash speakers. Do not reaplce them. Put 5.25s in the doors. Good ones. Give them the most power. If you are going to replace the rear 6x9s, don't spend as much as you do on the fronts. The fronts are what matter.
Make sure your headunit supports a changer. Then buy a changer from the same company with the same bus connection.
ooooo excellent!!!!! I have printed this post out - it is the best ever :) My brother never gives me info like this, it's like because i'm a girl I might not want a good sound system - please! :)
If it's smaller then a quarter, you can usually use a crack repair kit.
Where would i get a crack repair kit?
Why are you polishing a paint job you are going to remove? Do you mean sand?
I just mean polish out the house paint that's on my car. and polish all of the car because i'm not going to be able to do the rest of that for a long long while.


So thank you so much for your info :)
 

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Re: Re: Re: My Car 'to do' list- any suggestions on order? (long)

sephrana said:
What about if i just tell them to put +4 in it? That won't work? I had thought about taking it to the dealer but i don't especially want to pay 150.00 to get it done but will if i have to :)
You would have to buy the fluid, and bring it there. Most places do not stock it. It runs about $30 a gallon. You will need almost 3 gallons for a flush, or 1 gallon and a few quarts for a pan drop/filter change. Now you can see why the dealer charges so much.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
gotcha hypnos. Thank you very much :) You guys have been amazing and have given me much insight into my car :) Now i just need to budget the dealer visit in :) Thank you :)!
 

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As was mentioned earlier...Safety First! You want to be around to enjoy completing all the mods you have planned, don't you?

First things first...
1. Brakes. Drain old fluid and replace. If pads and rotors are OK, then move on to #2.
2. Front suspension, steering, and alignment. Sounds like you've already dealt with a tierod issue. Make sure the rest of the system is serviceable. Doesn't have to be lowered to work...save that for a later mod. But, if you have to do the suspension, might as well do it the way you want.
3. 2 new tires. Match the two you just added. Now you've got good rubber (and traction!) on the only four points where your a$$et$ hit the road.
4. Transmission Service: Suck it up and hit the Dealer. Have them drop the pan, install a new tranny filter and flush the fluids. Replace with either the +3 or +4 fluid from MOPAR only! Figure that you'll want to flush the fluids every 30,000 miles or less. Every other time you slush the fluids you should also drop the pan and replace the filter.

Before you go, install a small Hayden auxilliary oil cooler. These run $30 max, and mount in front of the radiator. The tubes connect to your radiator and tranny. The aux cooler lowers the temp of your tranny fluid and significantly extends the life of your tranny!

Time for some fun! Assuming that you've fixed the trunk leak, install an amp and pump up the volume on your new front speakers, mounted in the doors. Subs can wait, but the amp, speakers, and head unit are your reward for making it this far...

Have fun!

Cheddar
 

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Hmmmm...let's be gentlemen here....and has anybody see my ball of string???
 

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Any updates Seph on what you've got done so far???
 

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How many miles are on this car?
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Car has 161,000 miles on it.

There will be no bikini shots :p 97silvertrep - thanks ;)

haven't gotten anything done yet. I'm a novice at working on my own car (Though I did buy my own cheapo mechanics tool kit!!! so now i have my own tools!) So there is a limit to what I can do. I have to plan to do stuff on the weekend and since I have only my car things like wheels which yes, i could put on - I need to take the car somewhere to have put on that or go camp out at mom and dad's so that dad can take my wheels and have new tires mounted on the wheels. Unless I buy new rims and I don't make that much money! :) For a brakeline flush, I will need a second person and some jack stands that I don't have. It's that or I guess I could go to a quickie lube shop but honestly? I don't trust those people! Some of them are great people but i have my doubts. I'm going to call the dealership and have the recalls fixed at the same time as they replace the transmission fluid.

I may stop at a local place called Friendly's tires here as I get a discount from work so I can get nicer tires for cheaper price than at say.... firestone. ;)

I'll check my pricing on shocks and see how much cashola ima have to fork out so maybe I can do the tires, brake flush, and shocks all at once. The suspension in the front is great now, I do want to check the ball joint though. I need to find a friend to sucker into helping me work on the car who knows more than I do otherwise it's like the blind leading the blind. I do have the haynes manual it is tremendously helpful as are you all :) I think i'll do the th ings I can do on my own - such as adjust the hood and the trunk.

I'm about to drive a good 150 miles today on the car. First i'm driving half that distance to mom and dad's house and going to try and work on the trunk and hood bolts and anything I can do without spending money, then i'm going to check with friendly's tomorrow while I work (I work about 50 feet from friendly's front door lol) and see if they can put my tires on for me, what they'll charge me. If they want to charge me too much...- i'll see what they will charge me to put tires on my wheels and balance them, then I will personally park in front of fthere tomorrow morning, take the tires off of my car, roll them into friendlys, have them put the tires on, inflate them, balance them, then i will put them back on my car. I'd rather not have to do that though as I don't own my own jack stands and i'd have to steal my dad's LOL Hmm steal dads - that's not a bad idea.

I think i'm going to see if my dad will help me flush my brakes, ie him sit in the car (he has a bad knee) and be my brake pedal man and let me go around to the four wheels and drain everything. He is against me doing it though and I don't want to pay labor for something i'm confident I can do.

Ok thanks for listening to me ramble.

so first on my agenda is fixing things i can do without money, then it's tires and brakes and shocks/struts. I need dad to look at my struts and tell me if they are bad. I think my uncle told me i needed new. ...

The thing that frustrates me the most being a woman who is trying to learn more about how to work on her car is.... I take my car to dad's house wanting to use his tools and try and learn how to do these things, and I ask him if I can bring the car and he and I work on X problem my car is having. he says "Sure - bring it on home." then i get home and my uncle is there and they shut me out. They don't say "Now carol I want you to look down here and do you see that long bar? that's called a tie-rod. see that grease boot there? The rubber thing? That's called a bushing. See how decrepit that is? It needed to be changed a long time ago. You really want it to look like this one over here, look on the driver side with me."

that is what i'd prefer. If i was a boy - they would do that.

ok i'm through ranting. :p
 
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