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Old 11-21-2018, 02:08 PM
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Checking in and some small updates...

Hello All,

I got the itch a couple of months ago to start driving the CL again. The good news is that it's still around, although it hasn't been driven since maybe February of 2014. I was cleaning out the junk from the floor boards and found a receipt from that time frame, so I think that's roughly the last time it was taken out on the road. The bad news is that it has really deteriorated these last several years.

When I started working on it back in September, the trunk gutter was completely filled with leaves and dirt. The paint was dull and faded and I thought for sure it was ruined. The interior has a terrible smell of mildew. There's probably dozens of dents in the hood, roof and trunk. (The oak tree did that with the help of gravity.) The hood latch was stuck, so unfortunately I had to break the grill in a couple of spots to get it open. That's when I finally got a look at the engine. It's a pretty sad sight and looked as if it were recovered from the bottom the ocean. Everything steel has rusted, the aluminum parts were oxidized and dirt/dust was everywhere. The strangest thing was that there were marble sized rocks all across the valve cover. My best guess is that they were put there by squirrels, but I can't imagine what for?

I didn't take a whole lot of photos. Especially when I first started working on the car. The ones I did take were pretty random. Here's short update on the status of my CL as I try to breathe some new life into it.

This was taken right after the battery was replaced. Prior to that the exterior was washed, clay barred and hit with some rubbing compound.


Both axles were shot so they were replaced first. While the car was up, it was also given an oil change.


The shop I used to take my car to for inspection closed down, so instead of risking it, I replaced the headlights and tail lights with a used set OEM lamps from a local CL being parted out on craigslist. The front turn signals were swapped out with a cheap set of Depo brand parts.

The headlights were in really poor shape, so they needed to be sanded and polished.






Thankfully, the car passed inspection with no problems and was given a new plate.

Next step is to take the car to a shop to have the suspension sorted out. With 303k miles on it, I want to have them replace all of the bushings, ball joints and even the wheel bearings. The ABS hasn't worked in almost 10 years and should also be looked into as well.

While it's in the shop I picked up a set of set of 98-99 2.3CL wheels for $125 to refurbish and swap onto the car. When I picked them up, they were just really dirty. It was hard to tell what type of shape they were in.



The wheel was cleaned with Eagle 1 Mag Wheel Cleaner, which does a great job at removing brake dust. At this point I realized the extent of the curb rash and the condition of the clear coat.


I made the decision to strip them down, sand out the scratches and polish the faces.


I found one of the wheels was bent in 2 places. It was taken to a local wheel repair shop, where they found it was actually 3 places. $133 later it was fixed.


After stripping the wheels, it looks like two of them where original and the other two were already refurbished by one of those OEM wheel resellers. Instead of just being a clear coated aluminum wheel, it looks like they had painted the rough casted areas between the spokes in a metallic silver. I imagine it was done because the sand blasting or some other process was used to strip the wheel and it changed the finish of the aluminum. This was unexpected, so I decided that to make the wheels match, I'd have to mask the faces on all 4 and powder coat them a matching silver. Then clear coat the entire wheel. With all of the sanding supplies, paint stripper, wheel straightening and powder... It would have almost been cheaper to just buy 4 wheels that were already refinished. I see them online for about $100 a piece plus taxes and shipping.

Anyways, that's where I'm at. Looking back the car was a pretty decent daily driver and I'm not sure why it got parked and left the way it did. Hopefully over the coming year it will be restored to its prior state and driven occasionally.

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Old 11-28-2018, 02:01 PM
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Welcome back old timer! The storm has seem to calm over here.
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Old 11-28-2018, 02:37 PM
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Welcome back, nice to see your CL is still going strong. I'm planning to bring mine back out in the spring, it's been sitting for too long
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Old 11-28-2018, 02:56 PM
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Mine is on the road again Made her street legal (took a few weeks and a couple of junkyards lol)
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Old 12-01-2018, 10:11 AM
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Hey! Great to hear you both still have your CL's! BlackAck, I'm sure you still have one of the best kept 1st gens in the north east, if not the entire US. Cocoa, I image your car is pretty nuts at this point. The last I remember, you were increasing displacement from the 3.2 to a 3.5 or 3.7?

I did get the wheels done over Thanksgiving and they turned out halfway decent. Instead of polishing the wheels, I decided to just wet sand with 2500 grit and leave the faces with a duller finish. The silver powder went down well, but there were some problems with orange peel in the clear powder.


​​​​​
I was digging through my garage and found a camber kit and steel braided brake lines that were purchased several years ago. These will be put on in the next few weeks. I also picked up a trunk with OEM wing that I'll have painted, but first I need to replace the alternator and sort out some things with the cooling system.
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Old 12-02-2018, 11:27 AM
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Very nice, pretty car! It seems the trend is "saving" these cars as of late.
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