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Old 09-11-2003, 04:09 PM   #1 (permalink)
Insane
 
Memnoch's Avatar
 
Location: Land of milk and honey - Wisconsin
Blaspheming all that is holy.

I want to modify the hella out of my 1992 Plymouth Voyager minivan, instead of getting a new car. For now, I'm just planning for general car NEEDS, interior and exterior aesthetics, and the almighty sound system. Engine mods are in the hopefully-not-too-distant-future, but I don't know enough about engines to write anything off the top of my head.

So there’s a metric fuckton of stuff I want to do with my van. I want:

General maintenance. Need new brake rotors and pads. Need new back right tire (it's down to the threads). Need to fix/find out cause of leaking something or other. Need new driver's side windshield wiper. Need oil. Need new fuel injector. Need new right mirror glass. Need to find out whether or not emergency brake actually works. Need general tune up. Need to get the squeaking the brake makes when I let up on it checked out. Need to get clacking checked out. Need to find cause of occasional stalling while in reverse. Need washer fluid for back window. Need CAR WASH!

Aestethics are next. A paint job (midnight blue, crimson or black), first. It's peeling in places, and I will kill something if it starts to rust. I'd like to get the dings on the side fixed. Tint the windows. I think new carpeting for the floor would be quite cool. I definitely want a console for between the two front seats. I desperately need new floor mats. I'd like to fix the broken plastic in the back of the van, as it makes me angry. I need to fix the drop-down drawer underneath the ashtray/drink holders. Some sort of cool steering wheel cover [leather, maybe?]. New gas, brake and emergency brake pedal rubber. High intensity discharge headlights, like the ones on newer luxury cars. I'm thinking about steam cleaning the seats since there are stains on them. However, I may just get new seats, maybe leather. A small TV/DVD/VHS/PS2 system for the back, possibly in the back of the console I want for the front. I really, really want a different spedometer/fuel gauge/engine temp thingy, too. It's dull, for one, and it also has no gauge for RPM in the engine! I only know I'm redlining when the van starts shaking. And of course, here's the really insane part: I want to modify the back seats so that they are facing each other. Not only that, but I want them to run parallel with the windows (as opposed to perpendicular, as they are currently). The short bench will be on the sliding door side, the long bench on the other. Would that not be nothing short of cool as all hell? I'd also, at some point, like to get the seats (front and back) to be all white leather, with white shag carpeting and the rest of the interior jet black. And new wheels - my current ones are worth a decent chunk of money, but I don't like them.

Lastly, a new stereo system. The front two speakers are blown, probably replaced with some Pioneer or THX 800's. The CD player, even though it’s a Pioneer, isn’t that great [limited equalizer options and it doesn’t play mp3s], so I'm looking for something that's decent. I want a 1000 watt amplifier [i.e. – LOUD], for obvious reasons. I'm going to construct a box under each front seat for 1000 watt subwoofers [i.e. – LOUD].


So...now that I know what I want to do, I submit this to you, the forum members, to critique, wail, compliment, and give suggestions. If anyone knows of online stores that sell these particular needs cheaper than most, links would be wonderful. If you have any suggestions to other additions, or why the current schematics might not work, I'm happy to hear you!
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Old 09-11-2003, 06:29 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Location: California
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Old 09-11-2003, 07:03 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Location: Central California
Check this out. 12.65 quarter




http://www.streetracing.org/cars/profiles/paulsmith/



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Old 09-11-2003, 07:37 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Location: Canadeh!
this sounds kickass. now drop an ls6 in it.
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Old 09-11-2003, 08:04 PM   #5 (permalink)
Insane
 
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Location: Land of milk and honey - Wisconsin
Holy. Fucking. Shit.

12.65 quarter? I think I need to change my underwear.

0001 - What's an ls6? I'm not too familiar with car anything, other than sound systems.
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Old 09-11-2003, 08:34 PM   #6 (permalink)
Eh?
 
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Location: Somewhere over the rainbow
i thought it was an ls1?

*Shrugs*

About the minvan though, honestly, no offense...waste of $$$. IMO but it is your car, so pimp dat shit!
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Old 09-11-2003, 08:57 PM   #7 (permalink)
Insane
 
Location: [insert witty play on location field here]
LS1 is the standard issue 346ci 5.7L V8 in 97+ Corvettes (and 98+ F-Bodies).

LS6 is the engine in the Corvette Z06....its based on the LS1.

To Memnoch: You're Insane! But if youre gonna do it...i say get the shag carpeting, paint the outside green, and call it the Mystery Machine! That would be pimp
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Old 09-11-2003, 08:59 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Location: Land of milk and honey - Wisconsin
Hah, thanks guys for your input. I agree, it's a waste of money (mainly because it's so old and has 165K miles on it), but almost everything I'm getting for it can be either put into whatever my next car is, and the stuff that can't can be sold as scrap.
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Old 09-11-2003, 10:33 PM   #9 (permalink)
Junkie
 
Location: San Diego, CA.
Actually, that 12 sec miniva (i believe there are a few others out there as well, i think some faster) isn't too bad of a waste of money. Those turbo dodge engines were available in the caravan stock. Pump the boost, bigger turbo, increase airflow (intake, headers, straight pipe from the turbo back, etc.) and you've got one helluva fast minivan with little money and no internals change. Also realize the engine wont last long, put in some 103octane, maybe even 115 if you homebrew it or find someone who sells it that high, and you've got a cheap fast sleeper to blow the pants off of almost anything youll meet on the street.
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Old 09-12-2003, 01:23 AM   #10 (permalink)
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That's some ambitious plans. Up where I live, everyone does up their vans. It may cost a lot, but you'll have a mad piece of shit when you're finished with it.
 
Old 09-12-2003, 07:58 PM   #11 (permalink)
Junkie
 
Location: SE USA
Why? Each time you save up enough money for another mod, put it in the bank. Eventually, you'll have enough money to buy a platform that will actually be worth those sorts of modifications.

Not dogging the vehicle, I drive a (blech) minivan too right now, but I just don't see you getting the worth from your money.
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Old 09-12-2003, 08:06 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Chyrsler vs Ody? Nice!
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Old 09-13-2003, 07:00 AM   #13 (permalink)
Dumb all over...a little ugly on the side
 
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Location: In the room where the giant fire puffer works, and the torture never stops.
"So...now that I know what I want to do, I submit this to you, the forum members, to critique, wail, compliment, and give suggestions. If anyone knows of online stores that sell these particular needs cheaper than most, links would be wonderful. If you have any suggestions to other additions, or why the current schematics might not work, I'm happy to hear you!"


Memnoch, for all that you plan/need to do to this vehicle you will be spending 10 times what the vehicle is worth. Not to mention the fact that you could buy a much better and newer vehicle with all the money you are planning on dropping into this one. To me, that makes no sense. Your vehicle right now is worth, maybe, $500, on the open market. Why spend $5k (or more) doing all that to this car?

my advice is to sell it as a work car for whatever you can get out of it. Then take that $$, plus $2-3k more and buy a 95-97 vehicle and THEN start with the mods. You will be doing much less work and be much farther ahead in both the short and long runs.

note: I base these comments on what you say the vehicle needs in the way of mechanical repairs (ie ignoring the aesthetic concerns). just based on those criteria alone, this car is not worth dropping another dime into. why? because I can guarantee that it needs a LOT more than you have mentioned, you just are not aware of it yet:

brake pads and rotors only? probably flex hoses too, maybe calipers and/or master cylinder. rear shoes, hardware, possibly drums and wheel cylinders. steel lines are ALWAYS a hassle on older vehicles. not sure if the parking brake works? chances are it hasnt in years. might as well strip the entire front to rear cable off right now and start from scratch.

one tire? bet it needs 4. alignment too. rear springs are probably shot by now. shocks, front struts are likely well overdue. what about ball joints and tie rod ends?

"leaking something or other"????? I dont even want to speculate on what this is or how much it could cost you.

I could go on and on, but I think you get the point.

best advice I can give you is this: take the thing into a reputable full service repair shop and pay them $25 to do a complete, front to back and top to bottom look see. have them give you a point by point inspection and estimate to fix. from that, subtract all the labor costs (you plan on doing the work yourself, right?) and then subtract about 20% of the remaining total (40% is a standard markup in the biz on parts - but of course, they usually buy parts at a wholesale price, which is about 20% lower than retail. so, wholesale marked up 40% minus 20% is approximately retail price for most parts - give or take a few %). this will give you a ballpark figure on what would cost a decent mechanic just to get the thing running right and safe. now add 20% because you are not a mechanic and are going to make mistakes. depending on your level of expertise (or lack thereof) you might increase that last 20% to 30 or 50%.

still sound like a good idea? remember, I personally dont care whether its a minivan, a Yugo or a corvette. Im just trying to help you make a solid decision financially. and from what you've said, its my best guess that this vehicle isnt worth putting another dime into.

ps. post a pic of the thing if you can, BEFORE you start anything.
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Last edited by Sion; 09-13-2003 at 07:06 AM..
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Old 09-13-2003, 10:02 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Location: Land of milk and honey - Wisconsin
Sion - I greatly appreciate all the advice you've given. You're right about the front to back inspection, that's something I should've done a while ago. However, I think you're under the impression that this van is one that I just bought. It's not - I've been driving it for three years. Three of the tires are new (which is why I just need the one). Struts and shocks got replaced last year. Got wheels aligned a few months ago.

But aside from that, you may be right. The reason I want to mod out this vehicle is because it's my first vehicle, and I love it dearly. Call me dense, and I probably am, but I'd rather drop 5k into it to keep it running another ten years and look absolutely amazing inside and out than just get a new vehicle. I dunno. I love my van, that's why I want to do all this, you know?

I'll try to get some pictures taken of it, inside and out.
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Old 09-13-2003, 11:26 AM   #15 (permalink)
Junkie
 
Location: San Diego, CA.
Its not always about financial decisions. The experience and knowledge you gain from doing restorations or rebuilds or even just general work on your car is worth the exrta money to be able to drive and enjoy your own work when you are done. Plus there is something very nice about knowing that YOU did something. YOU re-apholstered (sp?) it into the sex machine. YOU lowered it into the pimp-mobile. YOU rebuilt the engine into a thing of raw beauty and power. In the end having a car you enjoy, and having other people enjoy looking at it and being able to say "That it mine. *I* built it and did the work on it. I built something i really enjoy" is worth more than the 5k or whatever it would take to start with a different car in better condition or have someone else do the work.
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Old 09-13-2003, 12:01 PM   #16 (permalink)
Junkie
 
Location: SE USA
Well, I can't say all that much given the fact that I'm modding a 30 yr old motorcycle that I bought for $100 (a steal of a price). The difference is that my bike's performance characteristics are very solid (Early Honda SOHC CB750) and I will be satisfied with the final project. If, for some crazy reason, I need to sell it, I can get what I put into easily as the market will pay it. I can also easily part it out for what I paid for the parts (buying them used).

You mention reselling the parts used to upgrade. The problem I have with that is that a lot of car mods are fairly vehicle specific. Unless you manage to find someone with the same basic van, same basic taste, and same willingness to pur money into theirs, you will have a tough time selling the parts.

Still, I understand the emotional side of it, but you will likely get just as attached to another car if you make the smart choice to buy a better platform to start with. It might not be your "first car" but it will be your "first real car".
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