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1997 Base EGP Flip project

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Old 04-11-2017, 08:43 AM   #1
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Default 1997 Base EGP project

So I was surfing the old interwebs(lol Richard Rawlings). I saw a 97 Prelude locally for $500 so I sent an email expecting for it to be some kind of Scam or already Sold. I didn't expect to get a reply but sure enough I got a reply that it was available very quickly. So I figured how can I lose. The car was at a local tow yard, the condition was.. well pretty decent. The car had the classic Honda Surging idle issue and the mechanics didn't know how to fix it. I did see a few scrapes on the side of the car most likely from the tow yard and the car was filled with a bunch of trash and such. The car did start and run so I figured I would pick it up. They even towed it to my home for free. The car is an auto so that's a drawback,

I went ahead and cleaned out the car, tons and tons of trash, the car was definitely not taken care of. Over all it is pretty complete. Idle was an easy fix, cruise control vacuum lines were disconnected.

I went ahead and took it t the car wash and gave it a wet sand and cleaned the engine bay. The battery terminals are crap and it was missing the spark plug cover and valve cover harness cover. The power steering pump has been leaking... forever. I went ahead and replaced the o-ring on the high pressure line and the leak was fixed. I picked up the covers for the engine from the pick your part. The power steering belt was lose with no adjuster. The bolt was stripped so I had to buy an extractor tool. New belts were in the trunk so I replaced all of the belts, unfortunately the alt belt was rubbing on the timing cover so I had to take it apart and add a spacer to the alt for everything to line up, well and clean the years of PS fluid off and out of the alt.

Radio was missing so I installed a old one I had laying around, I needed to replace the plastic inner portion around the radio that was missing, again pick your part. One of the speaker covers was missing along with the armrest top. Again pick your part. I was able to find the Coin tray on Craigslist so I picked that up along with parts for a 5speed swap. I ordered some cheap boss replacement speakers from Amazon for about $40 for all 4 speakers, not too bad.

Registration. So registration cost me about $200 including new plates. First smog attempt was like $70 and I failed idle by 1 point. What a pain. So I picked up some of that Smog pass additive from walmart, threw that in the tank. New Cap/Rotor/Wires/plugs as well as cleaned the IACV and EGR. That kit was about $100 from ebay, I wanted the NGK plugs so the price was a little more. New oil/filter as well. Ran the car until it was empty and took it to smog again. This time it was a solid pass and $30 for the retest.

Rear Sway bar had a broken mount so another pick your part replacement part. The Original hood was sun faded all the way to the primer, the front was bashed in and both rear corners were bent due to not being aligned. I grabbed a Silver hood from pick your part as a replacement. Its apparently impossible to find body parts in EGP.

Front and rear bumper are not stellar, I did aligned the front bumper decently but someone decided it was ok to hit the front of the car in my parking lot and popped out the passenger side of the front bumper. So I went ahead and pulled the front bumper cover and replaced the bobby pins and wire that someone used to attach the bumper with 10mm bolts and rivet nuts. More permanent fix. Blinkers all work now and the car has HID headlights and ballasts. The Fog lights are not wired and there are no bulbs currently. I may move the HIDs down to the fogs and replace the stock bulbs for the headlights.

Paint... I wet sanded/polished and waxed most of the car, the front fenders have definitely spent some time in the sun, the hood was trashed and the front bumper has faded spots as well. The trunk, quarters and doors are perfect. The rear bumper still needs to be polished and waxed. I'm going to need to remove it since It sags on the passenger side, one of the tabs is broken. The rear of the roof has some sun damage, I did what I could as far as wet sanding but its just a bit too damaged to polish out. I may try to clear coat and see how it turns out. I attempted to wet sand the fenders and I could get it pretty close to perfect by removing the clear but I already burned through in a few spots so ill respray. The passenger fender has a few dents so I'm going to pull it and see if I can smooth it out, I may need to replace it. I painted the hood yesterday, I ordered paint off of amazon, ERA Paints G-83P cost me $40 for one base and one clear. The match is extremely good. I had to replace the driver door handle as well and you cant tell its been painted. I used the first can of basecoat on the hood after some through wetsanding with 800 grit. The hood had some rough spots that came smooth with sanding. The first can of paint just barely was enough for the first coat. I ordered 2 more sets of paint for $40 each. I finished the hood with 3 more coats of paint, ended up basically using 2.5 cans of paint to spray it. As far as clear coat I put on 3 coats of clear and my hands were basically worthless at the end of the 3rd coat so I stopped painting, I think that will be good enough. There is a little striping at the moment but I'm hoping after the wet sand we will be good to go. The paint matches perfectly with the fenders where they have been sanded thru the clear but it really makes the sun burned spots stand out. I'm going to go ahead and remove the fenders and respray, I may need to order some more paint. Note... if you want prepainted parts get Black/Red/White car and you can pick up a front clip with rear bumper at an importer for a ..."Decent" price.

At this point I am in to the car about $1250 in parts and supplies. Labor costs.... where is the infinity sign on the keyboard. lol

Car runs strong shifts decent.

Remaining problems/projects
-Driver door switches don't work for locks or window on passenger side. Driver door speaker does not work. Reading online indicates that the wires on the door harness tend to break so when I pull off the front fender to paint ill try to do a repair there.
-Front Fender Paint/Dents
-Front bumper cover. Maybe some touch up on the paint.
-Rims... Good tires stock rims. Someone painted then white. Considering Stripping the paint and polishing. I may leave them as is if I get lazy.
-Carpet cleaning.
-Lower car? I don't know if I want to lower it, well I know I want to but drawbacks. The car already scrapes, will lowering hurt resale? I have some Accord lowering springs laying around I may try them.
-Rear bumper needs to be removed and fitted properly, may need the tab repaired. Looks like the rear bumper had been replaced using a white one then painted, the paint is decent so hopefully polishing and waxing will sort it out.

I'm sure I'm missing something, I just figured I would make a post with my project. I'm looking to sell it for at least $2500. Once I have the paint cleared up ill post it on CL for $3500 and see how it does.

Last edited by ISUBIEXI; 09-07-2017 at 12:35 PM.
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Old 04-11-2017, 08:57 AM   #2
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Default Re: 1997 Base EGP Flip project

Backstory on the car.
Car was left abandoned at Magic Mountain(Six Flags)
Tow company towed it and at some point someone showed up and took the plates off the car and left it. Tow company had it for about a year, they legally had the car registered to them, The tow company was going to auction it but for some reason the auction was cancelled and they didn't sell it. The had a key made(Which is expensive with the mobilizer) and had to disable the alarm. I think that's pretty much where they said f-it and put it on CL. The car belonged to someone that lived out in Rosemond, which is in the Antelope Valley. Other than that's is a clean title with no damage. Looks like they had a nice radio in it that was stripped from the car. I did find some infinity Kappa Speakers in the rear that were poorly installed. I pulled them out but they may be ok speakers. The front has infinity's as well but they were paper cone and blown.

I was able to get it registered easily and I have the new title/pink slip. That's the part that always worries me about buying a car without the pink slip.

That's about it, ill post some pictures soon. I did consider swapping in my H23vtec, and all of my aftermarket parts from my accord including Suspension and rims but this is a very complete car that runs well so it has more value as a flip. I have been collecting 5 speed swap parts just in case this trans becomes a problem but for now its has no mechanical issues.
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Old 04-11-2017, 10:03 AM   #3
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Default Re: 1997 Base EGP Flip project

I am not surprised that it is hard to find donor parts in that color, don't see many of them around.

Sounds like a fun project so far, and an easy car to keep and use, or flip when the time is right.

Might be a good idea to go back to normal headlights from the HID, as I assume they are just plug and play units that probably have a horrible glaring beam pattern, not to mention that the look can be a bit "ricer" and not everyones cup of tea if you try to sell it.

Oh, and PICS!
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Old 04-11-2017, 11:12 AM   #4
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Default Re: 1997 Base EGP Flip project

x2 on the headlights. For reselling it's best to keep it stock as you wouldn't get that money that you invest in it for aftermarket parts. You could refresh the stock suspension with new shocks and OEM spring isolators if need be- that's what I did.

You never know, you might end up keeping it for a DD. Good on ya for saving a lude.
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Old 04-11-2017, 12:44 PM   #5
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Default Re: 1997 Base EGP Flip project

Well the hood is done. The clear coat came out awesome but there is a little striping on the hood still. I think the best thing for me to have done is to pull the hood off the car and paint it while hanging. I finally pulled out the buffer have had sitting new for like 6 years and used it. I was cleaning up my mess and I decided to paint the driver fender as well, I'm not going for perfection or anything I just want it to look good from at least 10 ft. Did a quick wet sand with 88 grit and sprayed 3 coats of color blending it half way with the original paint near the door. I did spray a hard line at the door but hopefully it not too noticeable. It looked good after 1 coat but I felt it would be best to do at least 3. Then I put on 4 coats of clear. I don't see any striping this time. I may have had the issue with the hood since I sprayed the first coat then the other coats about a week apart, not exactly textbook. Ill Wetsand/ polish/ wax the fender tomorrow. I did notice the paint definitely looks darker from an angle than the stock paint. It may just need some time to set. I kind of rushed it so its still early. I think another wet sand down the road would smooth it out a bit more but I didn't want to change burning thru the clear. Ill take some pics of the second fender before painting it for comparison.

Ohh its not HID headlights just the bulbs and ballasts. I'm pretty sure no one will even notice when buying the car.
The suspension is.. ok. I was thinking of lowering it for looks only. Its got some pretty big wheel gaps and I have the springs sitting in a box already, assuming they fit.

I have 4 cars at the moment and I need to get thing one prepped and online quick. Ill look for a white one later on to play with next time.

My wife took some pics so ill grab them to post and ill take some new ones once I wash the car.
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Old 04-12-2017, 10:09 AM   #6
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Default Re: 1997 Base EGP Flip project

I forgot to add that the windshield has a crack in it. The window place next to pick your part will install a windshield for about $115 so its not bad.
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Old 04-12-2017, 11:48 AM   #7
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Default Re: 1997 Base EGP Flip project

Here are some pics.


Car is Dirty but Driver side is pretty clean, Rear bumper has been wet sanded but not polished or waxed


Trunk lid is very clean. Its been wet sanded with 2000, then rubbing compound then waxed., its dirty now but I need to wash the car once I finish with the painting and waxing and such

Broken tab I still need to take the bumper off and sort that out.

Passenger side had some scrapes from the tow yard, I did hit a few spots with paint and have yet to clear. Honestly you cant really see them.

Passenger fender, I tried to wet sand thru the clear but burned through, this fender needs to come off and be straightened still before painting.

Hood came out ..."ok" but there is some striping. From a distance or straight on its ok.

Interior is decent. Nothing exciting.



Engine bay looks good after a cleaning and adding missing parts.




The bolts holding the grill were originally held on with wire and bobby pins. I used some rivet nuts and 10mm bolts and it looks oem.

Freshly painted fender. Still has some was residue.

Looks a little dull but most of that is the light and some wax. Ill take better pics later.

I only painted the fender about 1/2 way down and faded the paint. I didn't want it to be perfect, I wanted it to look like it wasn't painted.

Last edited by ISUBIEXI; 04-12-2017 at 12:04 PM. Reason: comments/pics
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Old 04-12-2017, 05:43 PM   #8
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Default Re: 1997 Base EGP Flip project

Pulled the Front bumper, Side Skirt and passenger fender to try to bang it out but I cant quite get it smooth. Ill have to find another fender to replace it with. Ill try pick your part tomorrow, they had a 98 there for a few weeks and maybe some of the parts are still available.

About 5 lbs of dirt fell off the side skirt.
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Old 04-13-2017, 03:20 PM   #9
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I lucked out and got a fender today, its blue but I think it may have originally been EGP. What are the odds of that. lol. Its not 100% perfect but for this application its just what I needed. I think I'm going to need to order some additional paint. If I waited until Sat it would have been 40% off but with my luck it would have been gone and I would have had to buy one for 150-200 instead. I also picked up a 5 speed starter, half shaft and driver side CV. I'm not sure if the CV needs to be swapped or not with a Manual conversion but since they were attached I got them as 1 price anyway. I pulled the short shifter from the car as well and the Ebrake Handle. I grabbed a few other odds and ends as well and the price was like $120. Fender was $40. Ohh got the transmission mount for the shifter cables as well. I almost have everything I need for a Manual Swap. Actually..... Crap I should have looked to see if it had pedals... Maybe ill Swing by tomorrow and check. I believe I'm picking up a 5 speed trans tomorrow so once I have that all I need is pedals, clutch, flywheel, master and slave and the hydro line.

Cant believe I forgot about the pedals. Just a note, the 5 speed swap will most likely be for a different car anyway.
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Old 04-13-2017, 04:53 PM   #10
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Default Re: 1997 Base EGP Flip project

Don't worry so much about the paint, the average person that's never painted a car can't even notice the difference.

That car looks to be in pretty good condition for the price. Kinda digging the paint color too- usually it's white, black, red or blue on 5th gens. How does it look underneath?
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Old 04-17-2017, 07:42 AM   #11
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The bottom of the car? The car is on the stock suspension and most likely never lowered so it looks good. Its a California car so no rust but since it was out in the Lancaster area its pretty dirty still. Its all sand and wind out there so things get dirty. When I pulled off the Passenger side skirt I ended up with a nice pile of dirt/sand. But that will end up gone after some normal city/freeway driving and maybe a few trips to the car wash. Yea the car just needed a little TLC.

I picked up the Manual pedals along with the Master Cyl and Reservoir. I also picked up the M2S4 trans I mentioned above. I thought about grabbing the Hydro Lines but I think just picking up a Braided line would be a better way to go. I guess I have the lines from my accord if I really wanted to do it. I also have the flywheel from my F22 along with Clutch and bolts so technically I have everything needed for the swap if I wanted to do it. I would say the conversion would generally cost $1000 in parts and at least $500 in labor, I definitely am not anywhere near that in cost but I don't think it will add any Value to the resale of the car. Obviously a car guy would want the manual but I think leaving it auto will sell better.

Most likely today ill find some time to start sanding the Fender and maybe ill hit the bad spots on the front bumper as well. I need to get this car up for sale before I become too attached.
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Old 04-17-2017, 10:36 AM   #12
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Default Re: 1997 Base EGP Flip project

Oh nice, no worries about hidden rust then. Can't beat the condition of a Cali car.

The automatic transmissions in 5th gen ludes are problematic from what I've read, being tiptronic and all. At the same time a automatic will appeal to a wider group of people. Usually all you can do in an auto to keep it going is drain, refill, drive and repeat this step three times with Honda ATF. The shift selonoids can also be cleaned. You probably already know this anyway haha.

Yeah there's this allure with preludes. Not sure what it is, but I don't think I'll ever get rid of my 4th gen. Far from perfect but it still gets compliments.
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Old 04-18-2017, 06:02 AM   #13
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yea I loved my 4th gens. I think I may continue to wrench on my Accord for a while but I still have the idea floating on my head to pick up a new shell to toss in all of my good parts, maybe a 4th gen Prelude.
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Old 04-18-2017, 06:44 AM   #14
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Quick update, I got the front bumper painted and cleared yesterday, I sanded down the problem areas and repainted, I pretty much did the same as the driver fender, painted about 1/2 way down and faded it in. I'm just trying to get rid of the sun damage. I cleared the complete bumper. The bumper is maybe a 6 out of 10 as far as condition but with the paint touch up you cant see the flaws unless you are looking for them.

I took some time and sanded the new fender down. Its pretty crazy that the fender was EGP but painted Blue. I always recommend only buying used parts with factory paint, the last thing you want to do it have to repair someone else's half *** repairs. Factory paint is a much better place to paint on top of. But I guess 5th gen preludes are a little rare so I have to work with what I was able to get. There were a few dents that needed some massaging, looks like there was a little damage before it was painted blue, I ended up tapping down the bumps lightly with a hammer and using some filler primer. They should be gone now, there is a slight bend 1/2 way down on the wheel well, which is common but trying to repair that could do more damage than good so I left it. There were a few spots where the blue paint was flaking, not on the visible areas but I sanded them down as well. I finished the fender with some 800 grit so once the paint arrives ill go ahead and spray it. I had to put the original fender back on the car so I could drive it. I went ahead and pulled the bobby pins someone used to secure the fog lights and put in some clips and screws. Ill end up wet sanding the front bumper and fender once everything is done and dried.

Yea I may want to look into cleaning the solenoids, the shifting could be a bit better but I guess that's to be expected. I did notice a few times that if I have the car running and shift back into park it struggles to get out of park. Not the transmission but the interlock on the shifter. If I shut off the car and start it again it works again, I can also pop it out using a key on the release tab. I cant say its a big issue, I generally never put it in park when I'm driving. I'm not sure if its the interlock or the sensor on the pedal, either way not a huge fix. Ill post some pics once the fender is painted. I still need to replace the windshield but I can post it on CL anyway once the fender is done.
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Old 04-18-2017, 12:28 PM   #15
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The other issue that I needed to work on was the Driver side Door electronics. The window works thankfully but pretty much nothing else does. I read that the Door wire harness tends to rip itself apart. I was going to work on it when I took off the driver fender but I ended up skipping that step and painting it still on the car. I was just outside looking at the car thinking about pulling off the door but I think it would be better to wait until the paint comes in and when I install the passenger fender I can pull the driver side to work on the wiring. Hopefully it will be obvious where the issue is. I did need to work on the driver side lock as well, when I painted and replace the driver door handle the lock stopped working. I guess something must not have sat correctly. Ill wait to do that until I'm done with the door... Darn projects stacked on projects.

Maybe ill spend some time working on the Accord.
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Old 04-18-2017, 06:12 PM   #16
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Default Re: 1997 Base EGP Flip project

A Frankenstein 4th gen would be a good project. Start another thread if you decide to. This section can get pretty slow at times.

I recall seeing a '94-'97 diy for door lock issues, were a circuit board inside the door panel was re-soldered to fix a lock issue. Not sure if that's a common issue in 5th gen preludes though. The 4th gen has issues with cracking solder in the main relay, drl module (for Canadian preludes) and the climate control.

Let's see your accord if you don't mind posting it. I used to have a '90 and a '97 accord. Great cars.
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Old 04-18-2017, 06:24 PM   #17
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I think pretty much everything for the Accord is in this thread.
https://honda-tech.com/forums/honda-...hread-3273676/

My wifes 99 Civic is in this thread, not sure if there are any recent pics, maybe ill take a few tomorrow.
https://honda-tech.com/forums/hybrid...tions-3270854/

My 98 Civic is here in my CL ad.
https://losangeles.craigslist.org/sf...094325556.html
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Old 04-19-2017, 02:41 PM   #18
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I almost did the springs today, pulled them out of a box and dropped one on my toe and lost interest. lol. I'm only 50/50 on the idea anyway. I'm guessing ill end up doing them since the car will look 1000% better.
I think ill get my paint tomorrow so ill have enough to work on then.
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Old 04-20-2017, 04:41 PM   #19
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I installed the front Springs today, I also installed some energy bump stops I had laying around and it only lowered the front about an inch. I'm worried that maybe the bump stops are stopping the car from sitting as low as it should. I may pull one side back apart and see if it helps. I just don't know, if that is the case there would almost be 0 movement in the shock which wouldn't make sense. Ill install the rears in the next few days, I think the rears will be at least a 2 inch drop so it should be interesting.

I got my paint in and decided I wouldn't paint due to the wind, so I figured I would just paint the odd areas and back side where the blue was painted. I got into it and just said F-it and painted and cleared the whole thing. I think the driver side Fender will end up being the better side but we will see once its dried and sanded.

The other thing I found out... the car has no cotter pins, every castle nut has bobby pins instead. lol. I replaced them all when i had it apart. One of the front sway bar bushings was only 1/2 way still there so i replaced that.
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Old 04-20-2017, 04:44 PM   #20
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Default Re: 1997 Base EGP Flip project

Fender after trying to bang it out, after some bondo work and a lot of sanding it could have looked ok but i opted t replace it instead since it needed to be painted anyway.



New Fender after painting. I did use some high fill primer on a few spots to smooth it out but again this does not need to be perfect.

The shadows make it look a bit funny but ill take some additional pics once installed and Sanded/Buffed/waxed.
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Old 04-21-2017, 09:24 AM   #21
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Default Re: 1997 Base EGP Flip project

Maybe the bumpstops are from a different application. I remember when I had Koni orange shocks installed with the eibach pro kit springs, the stock bumpstops had to be cut. There was a guide for how much to be cut that eibach sent with the springs.

Hahah never heard of anyone using Bobby pins, that's pretty ghetto.
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Old 04-24-2017, 07:15 AM   #22
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Default Re: 1997 Base EGP Flip project

Well they were rear bump stops. But either way, if I was bottoming out on those that would mean I only have like 3 inches of suspension travel. I went ahead and ordered some new front bump stops but honestly I don't think it will make any difference. The energy bump stops are only like 1/3 the size as the stock ones.
Replacement Fender before painting.
Missing sway bar bushing
Driver side door harness
Driver side harness once removed, there should be 15 wires.
Driver side harness after being repaired.
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Old 04-24-2017, 07:27 AM   #23
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Default Re: 1997 Base EGP Flip project

As the pics above show, I repaired the driver side door harness. Only the power windows still worked. I ended up picking up both driver and passenger side harnesses from pick your part since every single wire was damaged on mine. The new harnesses were.... better. lol. I added some heat wrap to all the wires in hopes that they will last a while. I reattached all of the wires and everything is good to go now.

The new Fender is on I just need to wet sand/buff/wax.
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Old 04-24-2017, 02:49 PM   #24
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Damn.. there's a surprise around every corner. That harness is beyond roached, surprised anything worked in that condition hahah. Looks much better.

Did you get the transmission sorted? How does the ATF look? I see some for sale up here with presumably the original a/t with 200k+ (km's.)
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Old 04-25-2017, 05:37 AM   #25
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Transmission is fine, been driving quite a bit with no issues. Fluid looks good. The more I drive the car the more I want to keep it. lol
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