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Discussion Starter #1
I was at a car lot today (owned by a friend) looking for my wife a Civic and she spotted an 03 Acura CL coupe, price was right, jumped on it. Fantastic car, BUT the other cool part is I do recall a couple weeks back the guy was talking about taking in a rough 88 Samurai ragtop for $500 bucks on trade. He took me to see it in his storage (and a Subaru I was considering at the time). Pretty well used looking vehicle. It had the flares and rocker panels on so I could not get a read on rust damage but betting there is some. I was going to offer him $400 next week for it but he said he would throw it into the Acura deal for an additional $200. Who am I to say no?

It looks stock, supposed to run like crap but have not touched it yet. It's a running Samurai for $200 out the door. I have this extra 16v 1.6 engine/harness/ecu sitting here and have been unable to sell it off, if it's not to rusty it begs to be done, an otherwise bone stock samurai with the 16v. I had to babble about it here since I dont know anyone in this area that enjoys Suzuki vehicles.

I'll get it home this coming week and assess/decide if it should be a project or a quick resale. Getting excited, the anticipation is building. I feel like it might be a wicked toad vehicle.
 

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That will make a good truck, please post progress.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I hope to go get it tomorrow, I'll grab some before photos once I get it over here. The weather has been sucky so I have not picked it up yet. This week for sure.

I'm quite anxious to get it over here where I can assess it and decide what to do with it. Unless its a rust bucket I'll be doing something with it. I'm pretty anxious to see what I have to work with, maybe it will be a reasonably solid body but I'm not counting on it. I expect copious amounts of rust when I remove flares and rockers. This is South Dakota and thats how it is around here.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Ok, its pretty ugly. It sat for almost 6 months and started reluctantly and ran like crap, was barely drivable until it warmed up a little. Still popping and misfiring but I was able to get it home 10 miles. Clearly some fuel management issues at the least.

4x4 works great. Shifts well but trans howl in 3, 4 and 5th gears. Death wobble and a significant oil leak towards the rear of the engine (maybe rear seal, dunno yet) Everything works but has some rust. Still undecided on what to do, it has enough rust that I might resell it but not so much that its a loss. All in all it was fun to drive
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Rust photos. Looks like it would need front quarters and a piece cut and welded into one rear quarter. Not sure what I would do about the rear fender wells, they are not bad. PO tried to foam them up but I have surely seen worse.

I'm not sure if its a keeper or if the rust is to much and it should be resold. Leaning towards resell at this point. I hate rust. For $200 I wont go wrong either way. It was surprisingly fun to drive. Oh man the clutch is nice and light, very much unlike my current Sami.

Any thoughts on rust control? I normally steer clear of rusty projects. I'm thinking it has great potential as a trail rig more than a DD or a toad. Thoughts/opinions?
 

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For the age and the snow, It looks fine. It's your choice wether you want to clean it up and make it fully functional but for the price you payed for it its a wise Investment ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I cant do anything with rust, I'm not setup to weld metal this thin, nor do I posses the skill. Searching is tough on this subject, so much misinformation.

Is there anything that will actually stop rust, something like navel jelly or any other product, I'm not sure how well or if these things work. If I keep it I will replace the front quarters but I would have to repair the rust in one rear quarter and along the seams of the rear wheel wells. I know rust repair has been touched on by lots of folks, and recently we have seen some very detailed and great repair jobs. I'm not really up to this level of project.

If I can grind out and EFFECTIVELY treat the metal before covering it with armor pieces than this may be worth doing. I realize cutting out and welding in new metal is the proper way, but not going to happen here. This would be a solid toad/2nd vehicle more than a show stopper but would still have to be solid. If I'm off base here I dont mind selling it and using the $$ to buy an in-dash nav unit for my LS400. I have an aversion to rust, never bought rusty vehicles for this reason. Is my rust repair idea viable, and if so with what product/procedure? Treated metal covered with fiberglass, I have seen this done but not sure if its lasting, if the metal can be treated to truly stop the rust before covering.

Really interested in what you folks think about what I'm thinking, I would sort of like to keep it, do this and throw in my spare 16v kick engine. If my idea is not realistic then I'm also happy to sell, it would make a fantastic trail rig project for someone.
 
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