I picked this car up on Monday August 3rd for $1300. It had 159,000 miles on it and is almost rust-free (pretty cool!) Perfect interior, too... much too nice for me. I saw it with a for sale sign in the window and checked it out, decided that it was a nice car and that I would like to own it, but that it would probably be too much for me to afford. But I called the guy anyway... turns out he was leaving for college in two days and had to get rid of it right away! I think I practically stole it.

I bypassed the midmuffler, since they're no longer available aftermarket and the dealer wants exorbitant amounts of money for one. I think I gained a couple of horsepower. I also gutted the cat, and that was immediately noticeable. Better throttle response, more power up high, better fuel economy. Less ozone harming pollutants, too! Just don't tell the EPA (laugh).

(January 1999)I just drove it across the country, out to San Diego and lots of other places (read about this here), and put 9,000 miles on it in three weeks. It behaved well, except for needing some new rear brake pads halfway across the continent. That wasn't the car's fault, though- some moron mechanic replaced ONE side brake pads five months ago... I replaced both of them to make them even. Luckily the calipers weren't frozen! It leaks brake fluid from between the MC and the reservoir, so that was exciting putting lots of fluid in, and also the radiator fan wires came unhooked a few times and I had to make some better connectors- no big deal. So now he has very close to 180K on him. I named him Sam.

(June 1999)The calipers ARE frozen now, and he's off the road for a bit becauase I don't have the money for insurance. I fixed the brake fluid leak. Now I have to get a small crack in the exhaust welded. No biggie.

(November 1999)I fixed the calipers for $7 and some time (I just cleaned up the cylinders and replaced the dust boots and seals), and painted them blue. I also gave him brand-new rear discs and good Pagid pads for good measure, and awhile later, my dad bought me some awesome Kumho ECSTA HP+4 front tires, so he again handles like he should, and I can actually drive him in the rain. Sam is again my daily driver, as Claudia is off the road at the moment due to broken manifold studs. Sam now has no exhaust leaks at all, thanks to Midas Muffler. The most recent Sam adventure (a really neat and heartwarming story) can be read here. He recently turned 190,000 miles old, and has started complaining of loose front end parts, possibly a tie rod end, and maybe a wheel bearing in the rear. I'll have to attend to these soon.

(January 2000) I idiotically slammed it into third gear, somehow forgetting to put the clutch down a couple of days ago, and screwed up the third/fourth gear shaft in the transmission, I assume, since those gears are no longer useable. I can get into third gear if I struggle, but then can't get out again until I stop and put the car in reverse. So, these transmissions aren't completely indestructible after all - imagine that : ) I don't blame it though, that was harsh. (hit self in forehead). I guess it's time to buy a 5KTQ and take the engine, transmission and rear diff from it. Hee hee. Oh, wait. There's that money issue...

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