Honda Civic / Del Sol (1992 - 2000) EG/EH/EJ/EK/EM1 Discussion

1997 Del Sol Si project, opinions/advice please

 
Old 05-08-2019, 12:23 PM
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Default 1997 Del Sol Si project, opinions/advice please

Hey folks,

My name is Jeff I'm a longtime car modder, I've built an '05 STi, a '04 TSX, a '91 SE-R, and my current daily driver a '15 Fiesta ST, among others. I love cars.

Currently my 2nd car is a '98 Civic LX that I've modded a bit but mostly it's a trip/camping car. I'm about to sell it and have decided on a '97 Del Sol Si as the replacement....I think. Possibly going to purchase next Monday.

I'd love any advice, warnings, opinions, etc. as I gather info for this purchase. I keep my cars for 4-5 years minimum so this will be a long-term car for me. This forum seemed to have the most activity for 6th gen Civics/Del Sols so I joined up.

The car is a '97 Del Sol Si with about 181k. No mods other than wheels. Has recent paint which is decent. A few issues but nothing serious. Price is $3000 which seems fair from my research. 5 speed of course. No crazy plans for this, just want to get it to as original condition as possible and do a budget restoration, get service up to date, make a fun reliable car that will last many years to come.

I settled on this car after driving a CRX, 6th gen Si, and 5th gen Prelude...the Del Sol is unique and rare and seems more special than any of the others on my list.

Thanks in advance...hit me with your knowledge...the more the better. If I buy this car I'll look forward to joining the forum and contributing a lot, as I tend to jump all-in when it comes to my cars.



Thanks!!
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Old 05-09-2019, 02:23 AM
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Default Re: 1997 Del Sol Si project, opinions/advice please

As a Del Sol owner myself, be aware that used replacement parts are more rare than other cars since they didn't make as many cars. It's just as reliable as any other Honda, if you keep up with maintenance on it. $3K is a tad on the high side unless you're buying it from the original owner and the car is immaculate. Just look for rust, damages, leaks, etc. No matter what, you will have to address these issues and it's coming out of your own pocket.
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Old 05-09-2019, 04:50 AM
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Default Re: 1997 Del Sol Si project, opinions/advice please

I owned a '96 Si for many years. Sold it at around 160k miles but it was still a great car because it was cared for.

As old as it is now, it could go either way with its condition based on how it was maintained, if it was stored indoors or outdoors, etc. It could be needing a slew of replacement parts such as bushings and regular wear items if they haven't been done already. I would think $2000-2500 is a more fair price range given the mileage, unless it has been meticulously maintained and needs nothing.

Oh, and the roof will probably leak. But they are great cars overall.
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Old 05-09-2019, 09:12 AM
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Default Re: 1997 Del Sol Si project, opinions/advice please

Originally Posted by NVturbo View Post
As a Del Sol owner myself, be aware that used replacement parts are more rare than other cars since they didn't make as many cars. It's just as reliable as any other Honda, if you keep up with maintenance on it. $3K is a tad on the high side unless you're buying it from the original owner and the car is immaculate. Just look for rust, damages, leaks, etc. No matter what, you will have to address these issues and it's coming out of your own pocket.
Originally Posted by 2x0 View Post
I owned a '96 Si for many years. Sold it at around 160k miles but it was still a great car because it was cared for.

As old as it is now, it could go either way with its condition based on how it was maintained, if it was stored indoors or outdoors, etc. It could be needing a slew of replacement parts such as bushings and regular wear items if they haven't been done already. I would think $2000-2500 is a more fair price range given the mileage, unless it has been meticulously maintained and needs nothing.

Oh, and the roof will probably leak. But they are great cars overall.
Thank you both. I agree the price is a bit high. Won't know the true condition till I see it next week, but if it's in the condition they say it is ("good") then it will be acceptable for me. It will need paint at some point but most late 90s Hondas do. The main thing is overall condition and mechanical integrity.

Price is now down to $2800 through negotiation. I realize that's steep especially for an average condition (not garaged, not babied) '97 Del Sol Si...however the cars are so rare that I'm willing to pay a few hundred more than what it might be worth to get it.

I'll update if I buy the car. More thoughts are welcome if more of you guys read this. Thanks so much.
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Old 05-09-2019, 09:43 AM
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Default Re: 1997 Del Sol Si project, opinions/advice please

Wife had a Ď97. Bought it with 99,xxx miles and the biggest pain were those roof latches. They kept breaking and made a ton of noise while driving. Other than that it was a great car. Bro in law still uses it to this day.
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Old 05-09-2019, 11:53 AM
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Default Re: 1997 Del Sol Si project, opinions/advice please

Originally Posted by JDMdoode View Post
Wife had a Ď97. Bought it with 99,xxx miles and the biggest pain were those roof latches. They kept breaking and made a ton of noise while driving. Other than that it was a great car. Bro in law still uses it to this day.
They break when you don't push on the tab to unlock them first. Yeah...I found out the hard way with the driver side. LOL
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Old 05-09-2019, 12:05 PM
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Default Re: 1997 Del Sol Si project, opinions/advice please

Originally Posted by NVturbo View Post
They break when you don't push on the tab to unlock them first. Yeah...I found out the hard way with the driver side. LOL
Thanks for the tip.

You're near me (I'm in GA)...are you aware of any Del Sols up for sale in the Charlotte area? I've searched craigslist and etc. and found one actually last week in Charlotte but someone got it a few hours before I could see it. Just curious if you know of any, you are a big poster here so I wondered if you had any connections/inside info.
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Old 05-09-2019, 02:39 PM
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Default Re: 1997 Del Sol Si project, opinions/advice please

FYI if you buy that Forrest Green color Iíll be jelly. Iím a sucker for rare colors.

Also if youíre ever needing parts HMU. I know, shameless plug but might as well
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Old 05-09-2019, 05:41 PM
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Default Re: 1997 Del Sol Si project, opinions/advice please

Originally Posted by JDMdoode View Post
FYI if you buy that Forrest Green color Iíll be jelly. Iím a sucker for rare colors.

Also if youíre ever needing parts HMU. I know, shameless plug but might as well
Cool man...there are several greens around me but I'm a black car guy, gotta have black.

Tell me about your parts store, if I get the one in question nearby I'm gonna be spending some money on a number of things. Most is on eBay but I'd rather support grassroots stuff...is your store on FB or eBay or where?
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Old 05-09-2019, 06:20 PM
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Default Re: 1997 Del Sol Si project, opinions/advice please

Originally Posted by greentrees2 View Post
Cool man...there are several greens around me but I'm a black car guy, gotta have black.

Tell me about your parts store, if I get the one in question nearby I'm gonna be spending some money on a number of things. Most is on eBay but I'd rather support grassroots stuff...is your store on FB or eBay or where?
Not a store, I just grab parts from local salvage yards
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Old 05-09-2019, 08:13 PM
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Default Re: 1997 Del Sol Si project, opinions/advice please

OP, I have a JDM trans top and an Ameripol Bronze top if you are interested.
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Old 05-10-2019, 02:19 AM
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Default Re: 1997 Del Sol Si project, opinions/advice please

Originally Posted by greentrees2 View Post
Thanks for the tip.

You're near me (I'm in GA)...are you aware of any Del Sols up for sale in the Charlotte area? I've searched craigslist and etc. and found one actually last week in Charlotte but someone got it a few hours before I could see it. Just curious if you know of any, you are a big poster here so I wondered if you had any connections/inside info.
Any time.

There are a few around here but I haven't been looking lately. When I was searching for mine, it was actually the 3rd black Del Sol. There were a few others I enquired about but they had salvaged title and damaged or missing interior parts.

First one, the woman gave me contradictory stories about the car and title status. Initially, she claimed the car belonged to her mother-in-law and the title may have been misplaced/missing.. After I test drove the car and talked to her some more, it was her stepmother's and the title was "lost" in a house fire.. Yeah...not sure how you can mix up a mother-in-law and stepmother unless they're the same person. LOL
Second one, the guy was in Rock Hill (SC) and the car was supposed to be at his buddy's apartment complex. My friend and I drove down to check it out and it was a "auto-to-manual" swapped.car with bald tires all around. **** didn't have a license plate on the car so I sat in the passenger seat while he drove the car around the apartment parking lot. Come to find out, the lying bastard lived there at the apartment complex too. ******' whack **** right there.
Third and of course the one I ended up buying...the car was owned by an older lady near uptown Charlotte. Went to check it out and it was in really good condition. She had owned the car for the past 14yrs and the previous (original) owner purchased it from Rock Hill Honda. The car was all stock except for the crappy Pioneer CD player. Door panels were immaculate with no damage, which is rare as hell these days.

If I come across one, I can let you know. I'm assuming your price range is about $3K or so??

Like myself, you will have to weed out the junk to find the one you're wanting.
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Old 05-10-2019, 04:04 AM
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Originally Posted by JDMdoode View Post
Not a store, I just grab parts from local salvage yards
Mmmmmm I get that, smart man, I do the same though I'm new to Del Sols and I've already looked, nothing near me.

Let me know what you have...If I buy the car in question I'll need (to start; probably more...):

OEM wheels
Black spoiler, though I might paint the car so color may not matter
Center console trim around shifter (5spd - of course, only...)
Mud flaps
OEM shift ****
Also looking for a SOHC VTEC engine cover...from what I've read some of the SOHC cars got one with VTEC on it, some didn't....would love the unicorn part...

Holler at me, thanks.


Originally Posted by JRCivic1 View Post
OP, I have a JDM trans top and an Ameripol Bronze top if you are interested.
I PM'd you, please call or text when you're able.

Originally Posted by NVturbo View Post
Any time.

There are a few around here but I haven't been looking lately. When I was searching for mine, it was actually the 3rd black Del Sol. There were a few others I enquired about but they had salvaged title and damaged or missing interior parts.

First one, the woman gave me contradictory stories about the car and title status. Initially, she claimed the car belonged to her mother-in-law and the title may have been misplaced/missing.. After I test drove the car and talked to her some more, it was her stepmother's and the title was "lost" in a house fire.. Yeah...not sure how you can mix up a mother-in-law and stepmother unless they're the same person. LOL
Second one, the guy was in Rock Hill (SC) and the car was supposed to be at his buddy's apartment complex. My friend and I drove down to check it out and it was a "auto-to-manual" swapped.car with bald tires all around. **** didn't have a license plate on the car so I sat in the passenger seat while he drove the car around the apartment parking lot. Come to find out, the lying bastard lived there at the apartment complex too. ******' whack **** right there.
Third and of course the one I ended up buying...the car was owned by an older lady near uptown Charlotte. Went to check it out and it was in really good condition. She had owned the car for the past 14yrs and the previous (original) owner purchased it from Rock Hill Honda. The car was all stock except for the crappy Pioneer CD player. Door panels were immaculate with no damage, which is rare as hell these days.

If I come across one, I can let you know. I'm assuming your price range is about $3K or so??

Like myself, you will have to weed out the junk to find the one you're wanting.
Ha ha great stories. Yeah funny thing I've looked in Rock Hill which is about 2 hours from me, it seems every car there is a dud. Been disappointed so many times.

It's encouraging to hear these stories...I found THE ONE last week outside of Charlotte...$2550, black '97 Si garaged, maintained, timing belt, older guy, car was epic, cold AC, the guy was the real thing, asked $2550 for it. I found the ad within 3 hours of posting and I was the 4th caller, so I missed out. Car was a cream puff for cheap. I was depressed for a few days I'll admit.

I'm in that place now where I'm tired of driving all over the southeast looking...I don't want to lower my standards and buy something I don't really like but at the same time I'm scared I won't ever find it. With craigslist you have to check every hour if you want to find the good ones and it's becoming stressful. Thinking of getting this one for $2800, putting maybe $1-$2k in it to get it to my standards. But heck that's a lot of money for a '97 with 181k. Ergghhhh.

The car in question is on craigslist Wilmington NC btw...

I really appreciate you guys chiming in, if anyone finds or has something for sale I would much prefer to buy one off a user here who gives a crap about their car, and I'll pay what it's worth, so hit me up if you know of anything.

And also guys tell me if I'm rushing this, maybe I need to chill and be patient and wait...just not having much faith that that will do any good as these cars are rare and I want a '96 or '97 black Si.

Thanks again.
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Old 05-10-2019, 05:01 AM
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Default Re: 1997 Del Sol Si project, opinions/advice please

Here are some pics they sent me. You guys talk sense into me. Paint looks good from far but if you look at the last picture you can see (and the seller was honest with me) that it's had a cheap maaco paint job and the paint isn't that great up close...lots of dulling and such.

Also I'm driving 4 hours one way to see this car Monday...luckily I have a car bro who loves road trips so he's taking me for gas and lunch (in his S3...), but if any one of you is near Wilmington NC and could look at it for me this weekend and scope it out I'd buy you a steak and beer....just wishing here...

PROS OF THIS CAR
'97 Si black 5-speed, my unicorn
182k is decent mileage, not high not low
$2800 is reasonable I think...I talked her down from $3500...
Car isn't riced out/untastefully modded
Driven by an older lady (her nephew is doing the communicating)
Seems clean and intact from the pictures...seats look perfect which is rare from what I've seen for sale
Has some maintenance records with receipts - clutch, brake master cylinder done recently
Clean title
Supposedly (we will see) the AC works well and the car starts right up and runs nice and smooth with no issues, tires are good, etc....supposedly

CONS OF THIS CAR
Long drive could be for nothing
Needs OEM rims
Needs spoiler though that's really not a con, just a desire of mine
Car has been driven very little in the last 10 years because "I have too many cars and it's too low" - I checked the Carfax, she wasn't lying - she put 10k on it in 10 years
Paint could suck/need work
Will need a timing belt and tune-up as there are no records of these...not a big deal as long as it runs OK
Might need a steering wheel and a few other trim pieces (I am a perfectionist)
Did I mention the long drive? Why the hell am I driving 8 hours to look at a $2800 car? I must be a car enthusiast...YOLO

Bottom line here, once I get it the way I want it (mechanically, interior) I'll have around $4000 in it for a car with sketchy paint but everything else good...another $1200 or so for new paint...so $5k or so for a nice clean sound "restored" snazzy Del Sol Si with 182k...

PICS
Take a look and be honest with me...…..pictures can be very deceiving I have found...







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Old 05-10-2019, 05:26 AM
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Default Re: 1997 Del Sol Si project, opinions/advice please

Other than the paint (which looks terrible) it looks like a super clean car. Appears to be well taken care of. Id def check the underneath bits real well, make sure you don't have to rebuild a suspension when you get it home. But for the most part, Id go for it if everything works as it should.
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Old 05-10-2019, 07:52 AM
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Default Re: 1997 Del Sol Si project, opinions/advice please

I would sell you mine...but I don't think my wife would like the idea since I spent some money getting the car to it's current state. LOL



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Old 05-10-2019, 08:53 AM
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Default Re: 1997 Del Sol Si project, opinions/advice please

Iíll send you a private message w my cell. I know of a Del Sol they put out recently and has a lot of parts youíre after.
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Old 05-10-2019, 11:13 AM
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Originally Posted by JRCivic1 View Post
OP, I have a JDM trans top and an Ameripol Bronze top if you are interested.
JIM - very nice chatting with you today. I will keep these in mind, I hope to talk again, what a fine fellow this Jim is. He gave some great advice - worry less about things you can fix (paint, Civic engine/mech parts) and more about one's you can't or will have difficulty fixing (body panels, interior panels).

Originally Posted by civichxtreme2 View Post
Other than the paint (which looks terrible) it looks like a super clean car. Appears to be well taken care of. Id def check the underneath bits real well, make sure you don't have to rebuild a suspension when you get it home. But for the most part, Id go for it if everything works as it should.
That is encouraging. I keep expecting to find a cream puff but it's not gonna happen.

Originally Posted by NVturbo View Post
I would sell you mine...but I don't think my wife would like the idea since I spent some money getting the car to it's current state. LOL

Beautiful car...looks like many thousands went into that esp. if it's turbo'd. Half the fun for me is the build though, looking forward to a blank slate. But very nice car!
Originally Posted by JDMdoode View Post
Iíll send you a private message w my cell. I know of a Del Sol they put out recently and has a lot of parts youíre after.
Got it, responded, thanks.
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Old 05-10-2019, 12:11 PM
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Default Re: 1997 Del Sol Si project, opinions/advice please

Beautiful car...looks like many thousands went into that esp. if it's turbo'd. Half the fun for me is the build though, looking forward to a blank slate. But very nice car!

Thanks man. Yeah, a lot more than I anticipated. Thank goodness my wife doesn't 'know how much I have spent on it over the span of 2yrs. LOL

It's a home-built turbo setup with Vitara over-bored pistons, Speedfactory rods, Turbonetics turbo, RYFAB manifold/downpipe, etc.....tuned on E85.
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Old 05-10-2019, 01:21 PM
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Originally Posted by greentrees2 View Post
JIM - very nice chatting with you today. I will keep these in mind, I hope to talk again, what a fine fellow this Jim is. He gave some great advice - worry less about things you can fix (paint, Civic engine/mech parts) and more about one's you can't or will have difficulty fixing (body panels, interior panels).



That is encouraging. I keep expecting to find a cream puff but it's not gonna happen.





Got it, responded, thanks.
It is hard to find a cream puff for $3K... I know of a couple REALLY NICE cars that are for sale, but they are $10K+ level cars. It was a pleasure speaking with you too Jeff... I noticed in your list that you will need a rear spoiler if you pull the trigger on the car you are looking at... I have it (in black even) and I have 7 factory wheels (the early fat five spoke style).
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Old 05-10-2019, 04:14 PM
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Originally Posted by JRCivic1 View Post
It is hard to find a cream puff for $3K... I know of a couple REALLY NICE cars that are for sale, but they are $10K+ level cars. It was a pleasure speaking with you too Jeff... I noticed in your list that you will need a rear spoiler if you pull the trigger on the car you are looking at... I have it (in black even) and I have 7 factory wheels (the early fat five spoke style).
Got your PM thanks and the feeling is mutual...nice to meet mature intelligent folks like yourself in the car enthusiast community.

Yeah I saw a few in the $10k range, I'm more in the market for something $3k and then add a couple thousand as the months roll on, DIY. My Fiesta is my "no expense spared" car, and we're about to buy something new for my wife so my beater budget is pretty small.

Tried to text you earlier but it shot back at me...so I'll ask here, and you can text me at the same number you called if you want to reply that way - how much for the spoiler and a set of 4 wheels shipped to me in Evans GA? And what sort of wheels are they, is the type you have the ones with the space in each of the 5 spokes, or are they the newer ones I've seen that have 5 spokes without spaces. Kinda wanted the ones made for the '97 but I'm interested in what you have. Please let me know.

Also- those spoilers are wired for power/brake light, right? I've installed and wired them on a few cars previously, I'm just curious if it's got a 3rd brake light (well 4th I suppose it would really be...)?
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Old 05-10-2019, 08:53 PM
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Originally Posted by greentrees2 View Post

Tried to text you earlier but it shot back at me...so I'll ask here, and you can text me at the same number you called if you want to reply that way - how much for the spoiler and a set of 4 wheels shipped to me in Evans GA? And what sort of wheels are they, is the type you have the ones with the space in each of the 5 spokes, or are they the newer ones I've seen that have 5 spokes without spaces. Kinda wanted the ones made for the '97 but I'm interested in what you have. Please let me know.

Also- those spoilers are wired for power/brake light, right? I've installed and wired them on a few cars previously, I'm just curious if it's got a 3rd brake light (well 4th I suppose it would really be...)?
Some bone-head chopped through a fiber optic cable and took out about 10K people's Internet and phone service... including the business district in my area... for most of the day.

The wheels are definitely not the originals for a '97 Del Sol... they are the "fat five spoke" wheels found on the '93-95 Del Sols. The wheels have tires mounted on them... probably expensive to ship. The wing is an original in factory black... and they do not have a slim/3rd brake light in them because that high mount light is, as you stated, found in the rear upper trim panel. Aftermarket ones will have the additional light.
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Old 05-11-2019, 02:13 AM
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Originally Posted by JRCivic1 View Post
Some bone-head chopped through a fiber optic cable and took out about 10K people's Internet and phone service... including the business district in my area... for most of the day.

The wheels are definitely not the originals for a '97 Del Sol... they are the "fat five spoke" wheels found on the '93-95 Del Sols. The wheels have tires mounted on them... probably expensive to ship. The wing is an original in factory black... and they do not have a slim/3rd brake light in them because that high mount light is, as you stated, found in the rear upper trim panel. Aftermarket ones will have the additional light.
Bummer to hear.

...when tech allows would you text me a price to ship the spoiler my way, along with some good pics? Assuming the condition is good?
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Old 05-13-2019, 01:26 PM
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Hey fellas, update.

Drive a good ways today to see the "great running" car that was "very clean" and "well maintained"...

As I approached it I noticed the front windshield was caulked on, it looked like a 7 year old had done it, and when I say CAULKED I mean CAULKED like with real caulk. It only went downhill from there.....it had obviously been leaking, the back trim around the targa seal was caulked as well, the interior looked like it had water damage and hadn't been cleaned in about 8 years. Many more issues but I knew in 2 seconds this wasn't the car.

Pretty bummed, I've had this happen before but for some reason still hoped for a good one, I think I've lost faith in humanity.

Anyhow thanks for listening...drove home and got some BBQ, tomorrow is a new day. Gonna put this search to rest, been looking for a needle in a haystack and it's just not happening.

If any of you know of a car in the southeast that's for sale and worthy, please email me at jeffreymiller5atyahoodotcom. My PM box only allows 5 messages since I'm a newbie so it will fill up quick, so e-mail is best.

Thanks again for those who've been very kind and helpful in the last week.

Jeff
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Old 05-13-2019, 05:59 PM
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Default Re: 1997 Del Sol Si project, opinions/advice please

Don't sweat it. It is disappointing when idiots can't be truthful about their cars, yet they expect you to be okay with it. F that. Just keep looking and you will find the right one. If I see any, I will send you the info.
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