Home » What Was Your Lowest Point In Car Ownership? Autopian Asks

What Was Your Lowest Point In Car Ownership? Autopian Asks

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The life of a car enthusiast is one often filled with fun, joy, and perhaps freedom. Every once in a while, everything goes wrong and you find yourself in a pit of automotive despair. Autopian? Yes, but also it’s Autopain. This is your automotive rock bottom, a situation so bad that you couldn’t fathom a way for things to get worse. Don’t worry, friend, because we’ve all been there. What was your automotive rock bottom?

What many people consider to be the peak of my Gambler 500 shenanigans was also my automotive rock bottom. Let’s flip those calendars back to 2019 …

Vidframe Min Top
Vidframe Min Bottom

My trusty Smart Fortwo had just completed its third Gambler 500 rally. I also bought one of my first four-wheeled vehicles that wasn’t a Smart, a 2000 Ford Ranger with four-wheel-drive and the mighty 4.0-liter V6. The Ranger was supposed to carry the Gambler torch from the Smart, because off-road endurance rallies are hard on a little city car.

Aa Merc 2

I gave the Ranger a whole theme, too, calling it the “White Claw Rascue.” The idea was that I’d find people in need of White Claw and give them a drink. Look, my alcohol tastes aren’t great. The hood had “Drink White Claw” backward, so when you looked in your mirror and saw me coming it would read correctly.

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That Ranger was a great truck until it wasn’t. After its first and only Gambler 500 run, the automatic transmission’s shifting behavior became bizarre. It would shift gears only when you manually shifted using the column; the transmission was incapable of shifting by itself when the shifter was in drive. The engine also couldn’t idle while in gear. Instead, the engine fluctuated 500 RPM and sometimes stalled. (I later found out the transmission control module’s wires were rubbing on sharp metal, tearing their insulation and causing the TCM to short out.) I couldn’t afford to fix the truck, so I sold it and bought my next project, a Ford Festiva.

Swimmer Merc

I removed the Festiva’s doors, windows, and tailgate before turning it into a discount go-kart. The idea was that the Festiva would be my Gambler 500 car and I’d daily my Smart as usual.

Then the Smart’s alternator seized, tearing up the serpentine belt and stranding the car at home. Sure, I had two other Smarts at the time, but one had windows that were jammed open and the other had a titling issue. That left me with having to fix the original Smart. Unfortunately, every quote I got on alternator replacement was far too expensive for me to afford back then. So, I made one really bad choice: Drive the rally kart. I scrapped the doors, so I couldn’t even put them back on.

I did just that, driving an open-air Ford Festiva through a Chicago winter with a leaky gas tank, a rust hole surrounding the rear axle, and exactly no heat. I drove that car through snowstorms and had to shovel snow out of the interior. To this day, that Festiva was the only car I had to scrape both the inside and the outside of the windshield. I would have ridden a motorcycle on the better days, but at the time I had 6 bikes and none of them ran.

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Daily driving my terrible rally kart build made me a bit of a local celebrity, with even the CEO of the company I worked for saying he was jealous that I drove such cool cars. Nobody knew the misery of my daily commute! Thankfully, the car blew a rusty brake line, blew a rusty fuel line, and killed itself in a pond at an off-road park. I replaced it with my first ever Volkswagen, a 2005 Passat TDI wagon with a horrible boost leak. I had hit automotive rock bottom so hard that another broken car with a 60 mph acceleration time of 43 seconds and a top speed of 67 mph was a spectacular upgrade.

I finally pulled out of my automotive slump when I started collecting dream cars starting in 2020.

What’s your automotive rock bottom? How bad has your car ownership experience gotten?

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Echo Stellar
Echo Stellar
1 month ago

When I was first married, I gained an amazing wife, and her less-than-amazing 1997 Plymouth Breeze, in light lavender, with an auto and the horrid, base 2.0 4-cylinder. The Breeze failed at everything in life, including crash tests, so I protectively gave her my 1994 Infiniti J30 and took on the Breeze as my car. Chryslers of that era did an extremely weird “ratcheting” noise when they came to a stop, which you could hear both inside and outside of the car. I think this may have had something to do with the power steering, but to this day I’m completely baffled by it. (The minivans did it too. If anyone knows this sound and what mechanically could explain it, I’d love to know!) Bottom line, after my dad backed into the front, the ridiculous color, and the strange noises, it was a bit embarrassing to drive around in. After scraping enough money together for a 2007 Civic EX, we sold it and disclosed to the buyer that it was burning a quart of oil every 500 miles, at 58,000 miles. Five, eight, and three zeros. My wife continues to be the best thing that’s happened to me, and we’ve never owned another Chrysler product.

JJT554
JJT554
1 month ago
Reply to  Echo Stellar

Chivalry at its finest. ????

Spikedlemon
Spikedlemon
1 month ago

Aw. A Ford Festiva. I love those cars.

That car reflects to more of a high-point for me in my early driving history was feeling like every traffic light became a drag-race across the width of the intersection as you shifted through the first three gears. The floppiness of that floor shifter combined with so much free play and long travel that you didn’t know if you were in first or neutral was just good character (and not bad character that leaves you stranded). But then, my own had retained its doors at the time so was let wet/snowy indoors.

I love seeing an old blocky Kia Pride / Ford Festiva / Mazda 121 out in the wild, and still on the road, and I had spied a few when I was in Eastern Europe last year.

Myk El
Myk El
1 month ago

I think it’s when through a definite error on my part, I totaled my 1989 B2200 Mazda pickup. It was Leap Day 2000. I loved that truck.

Geo Metro Mike
Geo Metro Mike
1 month ago

Back when my first metro wore out and there was no money in the wallet. The odo rolled over twice and the speedometer cable finally broke at 86000. The window HAD to stay up while there were strings coming out to open the doors. Bungees kept the hood from flying up into the window again while the exhaust belched and bounced around freely from janky repairs. The steering rack rattled more than the cv axles clacked, and the engine took more oil than gas. It was winter and I convinced myself steel belts sticking out of the tire helped in the snow. It was a hooptie and the following summer life changed so more metros appeared!

Space
Space
1 month ago
Reply to  Geo Metro Mike

Would you say the steel belts worked better in the snow? I’ve got some 18 year old winter tyres sitting around.

Geo Metro Mike
Geo Metro Mike
1 month ago
Reply to  Space

No, I was (am) just an idiot. Cheap too. Saved those tires and glad I did. Years later it came time to scrap one of my metros that had good tires, so I swapped them. I still remember the tow driver laughing as he pulled the car on the flatbed; saying he was going keep the tires and get some more miles out of them.

Space
Space
1 month ago
Reply to  Geo Metro Mike

Good idea. I’ll keep that in mind in the unlikely event I ever scrap mine.

Captain Muppet
Captain Muppet
1 month ago

Long story short: living alone, three cars, all broken, no money, became a pedestrian for six months.

Work was an hour away, through the woods.

Chronometric
Chronometric
1 month ago

1974 Renault 12 in college. Replaced the bottom end bearings in my apartment parking lot. E-brake cable snapped so I carried a big rock to place in front of the wheel. Battery died so I would park on a hill, push it into traffic, and then hope it roll-started before the bottom of the hill.

Got sandwiched in a giant snowstorm. Insurance totaled it and I bought it back for $200 and used the chain and tree method to pull the bumpers back out. Drove for another year. Upon graduation, I sold to a couple of Iranian exchange students. They called 2 days later and I rescued them by fixing a stuck brake caliper on a busy road in downtown Atlanta. Then I moved and changed my phone number.

Thatmiataguy
Thatmiataguy
1 month ago

I was wondering when I’d share the story of my NB Miata. This car gave me both my highest automotive highs and lowest lows.

I bought it with 130k miles for $5500. Although the passenger window didn’t roll down and it had mismatched tires of different sizes, it seemed mechanically sound and the body was in good condition. Aside from the tires and a new window regulator I didn’t plan on sinking a ton of money into it, but it snowballed into a project car before long.

It soon began leaking coolant, necessitating a water pump replacement. Before long, my catalytic converter started to disintegrate, causing the already loud Magnaflow exhaust installed by a previous owner to become even louder. Pretty soon a pissy Glendale cop game me an exhaust ticket for it and I had to take it to a referee. After replacing the cat, it was still over the legal noise limit which necessitated a quieter cat back exhaust to get it to pass.

Then I had the bright idea of replacing the engine mounts to try and tighten up all the play in the drivetrain from worn out bushings. It would have been just fine had I reinstalled the heater core coolant line properly, but stupid me left it loose enough for the coolant to drain out and then it overheat on me. A new head gasket later and I was back on the road.

At some point the 1.8 started to develop a bit of a misfire. Nothing serious, but I couldn’t trace the source of the problem and new spark plugs and plug wires didn’t help, although the new plug wires DID make my stereo magically get much louder at max volume. I did some digging and read that the insulation can break down on old plug wires and lead to electricity making its way into the block and eventually causing interference with your stereo. Go figure.

After replacing nearly every part in the ignition system and still not fixing the misfire, I decided to go with the nuclear option and bought a programmable ECU. I could now ditch the waste spark system and go for a direct fire spark kit that used Chevy coils off an LS engine. Boy what a difference that made. So much more torque than before and no more misfire.

By this point I was in so deep so I went all out. Rollbar, suspension, bracing, clutch, flywheel, injectors, radiator, intake manifold, etc; nothing was too good for my baby. I would tear through the mountains in it, find something that could be improved, upgrade it, and repeat. Those were the highs. It wouldn’t last. Unbeknownst to me I had screwed myself when installing the new ECU by letting the MAP hose kink where it passed through the firewall. The bad MAP readings resulted in too rich a fuel ratio and slowly burned my formerly new catalytic converter. This led to one of my lowest lows.

All the unburnt fuel slowly melted my cat until it was a solid lump that refused to let any exhaust gasses pass. I found out about this traveling south on the I-5 late at night. I slowly started to lose power and had to apply more and more gas to get it going. Then I hit traffic, came to a stop, and when cars started moving, I couldn’t even get it to move under its own power anymore. I was stuck.

This sucked because I was in the fast lane of a three lane highway with no emergency lane on the left, only one on the right. I knew that there would be 10 miles of frustrated motorists behind me before long and I felt terrible, so I did the only thing I could do: In neutral and with the hazards on, I pushed my Miata across two active lanes of traffic on the I-5. I turned the wheel, waved frantically to the lane of cars to my right, and when someone stopped to let me in, I started pushing. I slowly pushed it into the middle lane, waved frantically again, and then did the same thing until I made it all the way across the freeway and to the emergency lane on the other side.

If that wasn’t unsafe enough, once I was there I got confused in the dark and tried to hop over the concrete barrier on the side of the road thinking I’d be safer on the other side. I darned near killed myself by almost jumping off the edge of a bridge! Yeah, pushing my dead Miata across the freeway and almost jumping to my death immediately after was definitely my automotive low point.

Unfortunately, the story of my Miata has a sad ending. I kept fixing it, but the engine had an appetite for parts and kept giving me trouble. I guess it was tired after 150k+ miles, and adding a bunch of horsepower was making all the old parts wear out even faster. It had been leaking oil from both the front and back of the crankshaft seals for a while and was getting worse. Then it started to run rough on a cold start, before it finally refused to start at all. The problem? Bad compression on three of four cylinders.

I almost decided to rebuild it, but gave up on it when I started to get serious with a girl (now my wife). I decided that there was no longer any room in my life for a car that ate parts, couldn’t pass smog (ECU, headers, etc), didn’t have AC/radio/sound deadening (weight reduction) and would undoubtedly continue to drain my wallet deep into the future. I had dug myself too deep and nearly bankrupted myself trying to turn it into the perfect canyon carver. I sold it to my mechanic for $1000 after having put probably $20k into it over the course of four years.

I both do and don’t miss that car. On the one hand, it was a huge money pit and I’m glad I’m not still trying to fix it anymore. But on the other hand, I learned so much working on it and I’m glad I learned those things back when I was young and foolish and unmarried. Ripping up Angeles Crest Highway at 9/10ths over and over again was probably some of the most fun I ever had.

Captain Muppet
Captain Muppet
1 month ago
Reply to  Thatmiataguy

I still miss my MX5, I put the turbo on, made carbon parts for it, took it to 12th place in a National drift championship, took the gearbox out on gravel, slept in it at race tracks. I was either driving it, fixing it or earning the money to fix it for four years.

Then when everything on it broke all at once and it was worth three times as much in parts as it was as a car I stripped it and sold it. I wish I’d kept it.

Turbotictac
Turbotictac
1 month ago
Reply to  Thatmiataguy

I am in the process of putting the third engine into my Mazdaspeed Miata right now. Bought it with a spun bearing and broke a connecting rod 6k miles after installing a 62k mile engine. Turns out 15 psi was too much torque for the stock rods. My 99 Miata is my favorite car I have ever owned and the only one I know I will never sell. They are great to learn on.

Jason Smith
Jason Smith
1 month ago

When my 2001 F250 decided to blow a spark plug (original, still not due for replacement; WTG Ford) right after our 1999 Forester’s timing belt tensioner failing (there’s a story, I just don’t want to get into it now). I rebuilt the Subi heads and when I was stretching the new head bolts (per procedure), one of them got loose… Of course, this was at a really bad time financially and both vehicles were needed.
TL;DR, had two vehicles, both died, thought I had one almost fixed then it died worse.

Last edited 1 month ago by Jason Smith
Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
1 month ago

Mine was a camping trip to Death Valley with my Dad in an ancient ’83 Toyota Tercel SR5. Dad had recently replaced the blown engine with the cheapest junkyard special he could find. The car was packed to the roof with milk crates filled with even more ancient, even junkier camping gear. Crates were even strapped to the roof. It looked like something out of the Grapes of Wrath. One other thing on the roof? Half the exhaust system. It had fallen off on the way down to pick me up. This was normal so off we went.

We spent a few days driving around Death Valley in the old Tercel, taking advantage of the 4WD to hit the racetrack and a few other out of the way spots. That was all fine if hot and noisy. The real trouble began on our climb home out of Stovepipe Wells. It was a very hot day and like me the engine started drinking coolant something fierce. We had to pull over a few times to let the engine cool. As we approached the summit the sun dipped below the Sierras ahead. It was all downhill from here…till it wasn’t. We filled our jugs with water at the last turnout and coasted as far as we could. Unfortunately we found the overheating was now worse than before. The radiator had burst a seam. We poached an egg in the radiator, dumped in a bunch of pepper, no luck. Cell coverage was not good so once we ran out of water we had to flag down a passing car for help. The nice Belgian couple was happy to drive ahead and call us a tow. As they turned to leave they discovered they had somehow locked themselves out of their rental car with the engine running. Hey, no problem, nothing a convenient, nearby chunk of concrete couldn’t fix. Good thing they had gotten the insurance! So they left and sure enough a few short hours later the welcome sight of flashing yellow lights greeted our weary eyes.

The tow truck driver was great. He pointed out all the local attractions which consisted of the place where the recent remake of Planet Of The Apes had been filmed and the local chemical plant that processed all the stuff scraped off the nearby dry lake bed. If ever there was a stay in school moment that was it.

We had the car towed to the limit of Dads free AAA tow coverage and from there had it towed again into China Lake where we had the radiator repaired. Confident we had fixed the problem we got in and headed out of town. As you probably guessed no, the problem was not fixed. The Tercel started overheating again. It was like revisiting the old timey days of steam power, stopping every 15 miles or so to fill up not just the radiator but every pot, every pan, every jug, every bottle we had. Dad was shameless. He’d run right up to a front porch and grab a hose without asking. Fortunately nobody came out with a gun. Maybe those rural folks had enough sense not to engage the crazy.

This went on for most of the day. Eventually we were almost to the point on the map where we could get our final free tow far enough for my very pregnant sister to come rescue us with her own free AAA tow. This was not my idea. I’m cheap but my dad made me look like a Rockefeller. Unfortunately I was also poor, even by graduate student standards so paying for a long range tow or a car rental was out of my budget. At this point I was rolling with the punches.

We called AAA for our final free tow and gave the location where we thought we’d be. The sun was going down and we were frustrated, hangry, filthy and desperate. Dad started driving faster than before. The desert flattened out and before I knew it we were going as fast as that blown, bone dry engine could go. On and on went the heroic Tercel, mile after tortured mile. Somehow by the grace of Dog it didn’t explode. The tow truck called, where the &%¥€¢ were we??? I gave our location as best I could, he was already behind us but Dad wouldn’t stop. No, damnit, we had to make sure it was all free tow from here on home!! So on we went, another mile after another mile with the tow truck racing to catch up.

Eventually we saw the yellow lights in our rear view and we pulled over. That driver was MAD!! I let Dad take the verbal pummeling. Fuck, I had wanted to stop miles back. We loaded the poor car onto the flatbed and headed home. Dad then really surprised me. He apologized to the very angry driver and explained the situation. After a bit the driver calmed down to the point the whole thing became funny to him. Dad and the driver told each other stories and we actually had a decent time. Not bad for a tow that had started as a potential double homicide.

When we got to our range limit the driver dropped us off and a short time later my very pregnant sister came to our rescue with her own free AAA tow. She wasn’t happy about it but she knew this was just how our family rolled. Thanks to her, to all those AAA tow truck drivers and to our friends from Belgium we had finally made it home.

The kicker? That was not my worst family camping trip. Pretty typical actually.

Manuel Verissimo
Manuel Verissimo
1 month ago

My lowest point as a car owner (not an enthusiast yet) was the very first moments of car ownership(s).

My first car, a shitty Peugeot 106 bought in a crappy neighborhood got totalled in a parking lot after 3 weeks of ownership.

A few months later, I flipped my second car, a nice DIESEL Pug 106 on my way to Romania for an internship. Needless to say it ended up in the scrapyard and I in the hospital where the nice doctors only forgot one tiny bit of glass in my head. That happened after 2 weeks of ownership.

Waiting for the bus in Romania’s winter was quite the punishment, so when I got my third car, my current Clio 2, I was real careful driving it. Plus, my mom gave my a saint Christopher trinket to hang in the car to keep it “protected”. I haven’t crashed (much) since but the first months of driving were nerve wracking.

Aardvark775
Aardvark775
1 month ago

My first car: 68 Oldsmobile Cutlass 4-door sedan, 350 V8, automatic. Gray primer paint job with some graffiti to add color, interior was trashed, 150k miles, terrible gas mileage but it generally ran just fine. I had trouble renting an appartement because it looked so bad the landlord didn’t want it in the lot of his building. Some more spray paint and he relented. I drove it until it eventually had some mechanical issues which were insurmountable for a poor 19 year old to deal with. Sold it for a few hundred bucks around 1987 or so to a guy who showed up in a nice low rider and payed cash.

Dieseldub
Dieseldub
1 month ago

I think I’m cursed where it comes to Mk2 VWs.

My first one was OK, but had some dubious repairs by a previous owner. A 1989 GTI 16V.

When it ran right, it was awesome to drive. CIS-E/Bosch KE-Jetronic fuel injection, when sorted, has what I contest is the most direct-responding to your right foot’s input of any fuel system.

It burned oil, might have been due to the Pick-n-Pull sourced cylinder head the previous owner installed–leaky valve stem seals. Then the previous owner after putting that head on had the timing set all wrong, causing the catalytic converter to melt. That would later be manually hollowed out by him as well… And for some reason, the AC was deleted, and it apparently had been working prior to its removal.

I still drove the shit out of it and had a lot of fun despite the oil-burning smells and occasional hesitant response when things with the ignition system and fuel system weren’t perfectly calibrated.

The steering rack had uneven assist and play to it. The ball joints loosened up at one point, causing the steering wheel to veer to one side when accelerating. Tightening the bolts more fixed that…

I bent the rear axle beam. Twice. Driving like a jackass on tires that had less grip than I was used to on my Mk3 Jetta (my first VW). Also bent the right front control arm after hitting unexpected black ice in Michigan, locking up the brakes and straight into a curb attempting a “Michigan left”.

Eventually, that car met its end where, after a lot of hard launches and the occasional burnout, something in the 020 5 speed manual’s differential let go and poked a hole through the bellhousing, dumping a bunch of gear oil onto the clutch and flywheel. Could have been a couple ring gear rivets, or maybe the main pin for two of the spider gears flung out of the diff housing. Never took it apart to find out.

But, it served me well enough for 3 years and provided a lot of smiles.

And that was the Mk2 I had “good luck” with in terms of putting the most miles and years on.

The next Mk2, which I owned at the same time as the above GTI, but for a shorter time (bought after the GTI, sold before I gave up the GTI).

1991 Jetta Ecodiesel. But it wasn’t a diesel any longer. The previous owner swapped in a 16V and made his own engine wiring harness for it, including relays for the radiator fans bolted near the driver side fender–more on those later.

It had Recaro front seats swapped in. Was a sort-of rare Calypso green. Depending on the light, maybe it’s more pale blue/turquoise than green. Could also have been fading. But, the body was a Southern car, very clean, straight and rust-free. And, like the GTI, the previous owner had swapped on a quad round grill and set of head lights.

I got it for only $1500 because the clutch was no longer releasing, and the owner that did all this work was just not in a spot to keep throwing money at it. But, he did have a decent stack of receipts showing several thousand dollars in parts thrown at it.

I took possession of the car, but he gave me some weird promise about getting me the title later. Fine, whatever.

Drove it to ‘the shop’, a shoddy building with no heat or running water that myself and 3 other friends rented for cheap to store our shitboxes and work on them. Being that the clutch wouldn’t release, this involved shutting the car off at traffic lights so I could actually engage first gear, then when the light turned green, I hit the starter. The starter would lurch the entire car forward a couple cranks before the engine would actually run and off we went. Like a less smooth gas-electric hybrid, I suppose.

Got it there, removed the transmission, found that the whole issue was the pushrod that passes through the input shaft to operate the “thrust plate” that clips to the pressure plate had punched a hole in said thrust plate. New clutch kit later and everything was hunky dory… until I find out the hard way driving around town that the radiator fans were wired incorrectly with homefries’ homemade harness.

The fans never came on, the engine overheated and coolant boiled out of the reservoir while stopped at a traffic light. Once I eventually got it back to the shop, it definitely started harder and smoked some, which it didn’t do before. Suspected the head had warped and compromised the head gasket. Decided I wasn’t going to fix it until the title was finally in my hand.

My Mk3 TDI had holes rusted into the floorboard by then (Thanks Michigan). I started thinking maybe swapping the TDI from that car into the ’91 Jetta to make it a diesel again would be pretty great. Especially since that TDI with its couple of upgrades was faster than a stock 1.8 16V anyway. Boat loads of torque in comparison.

But alas, it was never to be. After harassing the previous owner for months to get the title, kept on getting excuses about having to go back to his home state of Tennessee to get that sorted, and was too busy with work in Michigan to get back for the moment.

He did eventually get it done, but called me to say that now he does have the title, he kind of misses the car and wants it back. At that point I was just sort of over it. It had been sitting parked, taunting me. My refusal to work on it any further until I actually had the legal piece of paper saying that I owned it. So, I told him I fixed his stupid Chinese door handles and the clutch, but then the head gasket popped, so you know what? Come up with the same money I paid you for it, you can have it back. Seemed fair. It was kind of his baby after all.

So, we do the deal, and he reclaims the car.

A couple years later, after I had moved to the West Coast, I recognize the car on Facebook, in a different owner’s hands in Michigan. I struck up a conversation with the guy, let him know we used to call it the “Freakodiesel,” which he then immediately adopts the nickname himself. Awhile later, he’s going through some of the receipts of the car, finds a bill from a machine shop to fixing the cylinder head, the previous owner wrote a note “Thanks to asshole <my name>”

It kind of set me off, I told the current owner the story about how it wasn’t my fault at all, it was thanks to the questionable wiring job he did. My friends and I fixed the fan wiring after the head was toasted… Wasn’t me!

The then current owner has all sorts of fun with it at autocross and even racing on frozen lakes in Michigan winters. It lived its best life for a short couple years… then the janky wiring apparently caused the car to catch fire and burn to the ground on the poor guy.

Maybe I dodged a bullet. There’s certainly a part of me that viewed that car as “the one that got away” for a long time, because Mk2s in a neat color like that still in good shape don’t come up too often. And I still wanted to do a Mk2 with a TDI swap with a couple upgrades.

I found a different blue Mk2 1991 Jetta a few years back. A bit rougher, OK, maybe a lot rougher, but cheap. Told the owner I had no interest in the original 1.6 diesel engine or transmission, so if he wanted those, he could pull them and I’ll buy the shell for even less money.

COVID happens, the lease at my shop runs out and there was no way I was going to renew with my shop mates with the massive increase the new building owner was asking. The guy I was sub-leasing from was already mentally checked out and was ready to hang it up anyway.

I ended up having to scrap the body because I just couldn’t find the time to swap it and make it usable.

Is what it is.

I fell into a 2001 Golf TDI for cheap from a customer and decided the more modern conveniences and hackability made for a more usable vehicle anyway.

Maybe some day when I have a lot more space and time, I’ll revisit a Mk2 swap again, but Mk2 Jettas in particular keep being the ones that got away. They sort of hold a special place as my dad owned one brand new in 1991. Put more than 250,000 miles on it in only about 5 years. Felt it would be neat to get one and put a more modern, higher performance VW diesel in it for fun.

Naterator
Naterator
1 month ago

I had a mint 2001 Jeep XJ that I let my ex gf borrow because her piece of crap Cobalt was in the shop for the millionth time. She rear ended someone while driving the XJ. Nobody was hurt, but I also had a 2wd cherry red Toyota pickup truck that broke the timing chain on my way to the accident.

Drive By Commenter
Drive By Commenter
1 month ago

My old 1999 Buick LeSabre was afflicted with tin worm. Somehow there was a rust bubble in the passenger rear wheel well that disintegrated while on a very rainy 12 hour road trip. There was a lake in the passenger rear footwell. My then-fiance (happily married now) had the brilliant idea of jamming something into the hole and stopping at a car wash to vacuum out the water. This worked to get us through. I then commandeered a friend’s garage, bought a half-decent drill, riveter, sheet metal and undercoating. And beer. Then proceeded to do a beater-worthy fix that held up for years. That same car also rusted the fuel sender some time later. Back to drop the tank to replace it. And the various rubber hoses. Those were hurried repairs because I needed the car working and immediately. Not fun at all.

Freelivin1327
Freelivin1327
1 month ago

Chevy Citation…nuf said

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