Well, that’s it.

As of this past Sunday, Sunshine, my 1987 Shelby GLHS has been sold. It’s bittersweet to see it go, but it’s really for the best. Not only did the car need more work than I was initially led to believe, but more importantly, I essentially lost my space to work on it due to my homeowner’s association forbidding me from working on it. Unable to find a space for it, I really didn’t have any other choice but to sell it.

Having it gone not only frees up physical space in my garage and basement, but also gives me psychological “space”, for lack of a better term. It was depressing squeezing between the car and my motorcycle every day, knowing I couldn’t work on it. Plus, the lack of space in my basement due to Sunshine’s parts being in the way meant my Buell Cyclone project, Spooky, was at a deadlock. With Sunshine gone, my mind turns back to Spooky, and I’m looking forward to digging back into that project again. I can’t wait to get it on the road.

So stay tuned, and expect more updates from me in the future!

My 87 Shelby GLHS is for sale

Right now I have one person who is interested in it, but if that doesn’t work out, it’s going up for sale for real. I’m willing to let it go for $1000. Bring a trailer: the motor is out. All of the parts are neatly organized in bins, and the motor is strapped to a moving dolly for convenience. Check out all the photos of it on my Flickr:


New car

Well, new to me at least. This past week I took delivery of a black 2003 Mazda Protege5 5-speed to replace my poor Focus. My original plan was to have my Shelby replace my Focus, but it’s taking me much longer to get it on the road than anticipated, because it needs a lot more work than I initially thought, and I’m the only person working on it. Unfortunately I couldn’t soldier on with my Focus any longer and really needed a decent, reliable car to replace it immediately.

It’s sad to see my Focus go; it’s been my eager and willing driver and autocross whip for almost 13 years (I only raced it the first three years I had it, though). It’s definitely one of my favorite cars that I’ve owned over the years, and I would recommend one to someone looking for an inexpensive, sporty and rather stylish car. I’ve donated my Focus to the Humane Society of the United States, and they’ll be picking it up from my home next week.

The Mazda doesn’t have a name yet, and I have no plans on modifying it, aside from possibly replacing stock parts with more performance-oriented parts as they wear out (struts, springs, exhaust, etc.), like I did with my Focus. Once the Shelby is on the road, I’ll decide whether I want to keep the Mazda as my winter beater or sell it. It did come with winter tires and wheels, so that’s a plus. I’ll post pictures of it once I have summer tires and wheels on it.

Did Work

wiring harness removed

Last night I finally liberated Sunshine’s wiring harness. In order to get it out, I had to take out a lot of the dash and pretty much all of the heating system. It was definitely more work than I had anticipated, but at least now I can properly clean and repair it. While I’m doing that, I will also clean out the engine compartment, make a few minor repairs in there, get rid of some small areas of surface rust and finally repaint it before the new motor gets put in.



*Gratuitous picture of yourself in an engine compartment

Did Work

the old motor

The old motor is out of Sushine! With my dad’s help, last night we got it out. It was a bit tricky with the crank pulley and the water pump still on (I knew I should have pulled those), but we managed.

The easy part of the project is over. The priorities now are to get the wiring harness out of the car, clean, repair it and reinstall it, clean, repair and paint the engine compartment, and get the car ready to receive the new motor.

Did Work

I’m still working on clearing out Sunshine’s engine compartment, and it’s coming along pretty well. I’m removing the wiring harness so I can make repairs to it and clean it. It really needs it, since some of the connectors are messed up or broken and previous owners did some pretty awful repairs to it. I’m surprised the car ran as well as it did…or even at all, to be honest.

The harness is all freed up from the engine compartment except for where it goes through the firewall on the passenger side. I wasn’t sure what I should do there until I asked the guys on the turbo-mopar forum. Apparently the connector is inside the car, so all I have to do is get in there, remove the kick panel and disconnect it. Too bad I didn’t know that before I stopped for the day. Oh well. I got a lot done anyway.

Sorry, no progress photos this time. I don’t really have anything exciting to show right now.

Did Work

Last night I pulled the fan, radiator and intercooler, alternator and power steering pump, then stopped for the night because my back was killing me from being hunched over for so long. Anyway, there’s not much left that I need to do in order to get the motor out:

It looks like more of a mess than it really is, trust me. Although, speaking of messes, I did drench myself in antifreeze after accidentally bumping into the bin full of it with my creeper. That was fun.

Also, out of curiosity I checked the S/N on the block. Unsurprisingly, it’s not even close to the car’s VIN:

It’s also been painted heavily with brush, like some other things on this car.

Coming soon to a GLHS near me

That’s a remanufactured Turbo II 2.2 longblock, complete with a ported head. I’ll post the rest of my motor buildup once I have it 100% sorted out. I’m almost there.

Did Work

Last night I cleaned the carbon from the tops of the pistons, using aerosol Sea Foam, a scotchbrite pad and a rag, so I could examine the pistons. They came out pretty clean, but piston #1 has a small ding on it (hard to see in this photo…sorry I forgot to take a picture of it after I cleaned it):

…and piston #3 is damaged as well:

Piston #3 also had the heaviest coating of carbon on it. I wouldn’t have seen the damage (except for the obvious part by the “C”) if I hadn’t removed the carbon. So, what started out as a simple turbo rebuild has turned into something much bigger (and much more expensive). =(