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Author Topic: Project Personal - Reed's 1991 Capri  (Read 7805 times)

ReedStemen

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    • '91 Capri
Project Personal - Reed's 1991 Capri
« on: March 21, 2014, 12:11:23 AM »

Hi, my name is Reed. I'm in my early 20's and have owned about 10 cars. My dad and I work on cars for fun and fix up old clunkers. My current daily driver is a silver 1991 Mercury Capri. I'm the third owner and bought it right at 100,000 miles. This was never supposed to be a project car, just a daily for me to get by while working on my 1991 Toyota supra turbo project. As fate would have it, it soon became a project when the auto transmission went into nuclear meltdown mode. I have spent one month and $650 on swapping a 5 speed in my dad's garage, and it has been a great experience. I had been doing other work to the car before this and it has turned into my daily driven project car that I now enjoy more than my supra in terms of "fun factor". I names this car "Project Personal" as I have learned many life lessons from this little car... More so than other sports cars I've rebuilt in the past. The realization set in of how lucky I am to have a dad that cared to show me how to work on cars and is willing to help me. I realized how nice it is to have family and friends whom are willing to loan me their cars when I didn't have a car to drive. I realized how lucky I am to have a girlfriend willing to put up with my shenanigans. Finally, I discovered that a car needs to be build the way the builder wants, as many people will not like and/or criticize the work. This is why I am building this little car up for me and the way I like it. This is Project Personal. I will be uploading pictures of stuff I have done to the car and will be adding as I make more changes.

-Reed
« Last Edit: March 21, 2014, 12:15:46 AM by ReedStemen »
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-Reed

grantduffield

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    • 1991 Capri (automatic)
Re: Project Personal - Reed's 1991 Capri
« Reply #1 on: March 21, 2014, 03:34:17 AM »

Reed -

First things first:  Welcome! 
I suspect folks are going to be very interested in the automatic to 5 speed swap.  I know I am. 
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This is a very complicated case (car), a lot of ins, a lot of outs, a lot of what-have-yous.

Chicken

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Re: Project Personal - Reed's 1991 Capri
« Reply #2 on: March 21, 2014, 11:40:14 AM »

From the lessons you've shared in your post, it sounds to me that you're ahead of many project owners.  Good for you!
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ReedStemen

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Re: Project Personal - Reed's 1991 Capri
« Reply #3 on: March 22, 2014, 01:32:51 AM »

Ok fellow Capri people, here's my little hotrod. Paid $1100 and I put $500 into some new tires on used 15" wheels as soon as I got it in summer 2013. This replaced my Buick century which was having many mechanical issues. Ironically the guy I bought it from had bought a Lexus SC400 off of me... Small world. Downside to car was/is a salvage title from a wreck and rebuild and auto trans, but it's all good.








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-Reed

ReedStemen

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Re: Project Personal - Reed's 1991 Capri
« Reply #4 on: March 22, 2014, 01:52:48 AM »

If my pictures aren't showing up right let me know as I'm not much of a "forum guy" and will probably mess something up. Anywho, I put a couple thousand miles on the car right away. The previous owner had recently replaced the upper engine mount, ignition components, fluids, fuel filter, and a few other bits and pieces. It was running pretty good but I can't drive a stock car... Tweaking (not to be confused with twerking!) is necessary. First up over fall season was this pile of goodies.




Auto trans fluid and filter, auto trans pan gasket, spark plugs, new rotors and pads, cadence audio door speakers, mobile one high mileage full synthetic oil, purolator oil filter, hidden antenna modification, full LED interior modification, and a new headunit.

So this is how round one went: mediocre. Ok, I did a full refresher on the auto trans just to have it go into nuclear meltdown mode a month later. The auto parts store got me the wrong rotors and I had to wait a week for the correct ones to come in. Guess mine are the bigger ones? Also I found out about the poor engineering design of having the rotor on the backside of the hub which requires full disassembly. I decided not to install the muffler and enjoy the song of a strait side pipe. Bad idea. Improved LED interior lighting? Yes please! Until I shorted out a light bar by making a mistake on my wire routing and driving a screw through the wire.

So, not so hot on the first go, but I recovered.

Here we see the brake swap and bleeding in progress.





Cadence compared to factory. One was blown and the other was held in with duct tape. A little TLC got the audio squared away.


« Last Edit: March 24, 2014, 12:55:25 AM by ReedStemen »
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-Reed

Rocketman

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Re: Project Personal - Reed's 1991 Capri
« Reply #5 on: March 22, 2014, 04:45:02 PM »

Fantastic project. Im glad it's giving you more than a mechanical education.
If you're indeed in Ohio I would highly recommend trying to make it to one of the big meets, the MACG is in Illinois this summer or the NECG will be in Eastern PA in late summer/early fall.

I'll probably be in western PA/ohio area for a Ford Festiva meet on May 24, if you want to come meet and gearhead with us. You'll meet some really neat people with your Capri. I'm hoping to be there in my red XR2 for once, lol

I'm digging the seats.
And yeah, the nonturbo cars sometimes got the bigger rotors, I haven't been able to figure out a pattern for that one yet. Measure first! :D
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1.8L Turbo All Wheel Drive Capri... the "GTXR2"


ReedStemen

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Re: Project Personal - Reed's 1991 Capri
« Reply #6 on: March 22, 2014, 11:06:42 PM »

I'll try to make it to a meet! I'm on the north west side of ohio but I drive to meets, like import alliance in Nashville. Thanks for invite!

Just to add a bit more accent to interior I put black speaker mesh in the door panels rather than the factory grey ones. Adds a bit of contrast. They are held in with bathtub silicone.



Like many other capris, my glove box handle was broke off and it was a pain to open it. Roo sport to the rescue! Metal glove box handle for extra durability. It's great quality and works perfect.






Smoked turn signals.




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-Reed

ReedStemen

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Re: Project Personal - Reed's 1991 Caprip
« Reply #7 on: March 22, 2014, 11:23:24 PM »

So I'm also into car audio... You know, the big impractical obnoxious systems that most people outgrow. I've not outgrown it yet. So I tried two sony xplodes I got for $20 and they weren't good enough. So I got this JBL competition series 12" hooked up on an audiobahn 1800 watt amp. This was an afternoon setup wih undersized wire and charging system, so it never really got anywhere. Also it was extremely impractical with the spare tire out and box fillng trunk.






By this time I had a low quality DUAL headunit got for free as my factory radio did not work. I recently trade the sub and box for a nearly brand new pioneer double din headunit I've been wanting and I have yet to install it. I did relocate the battery to the trunk, installed a C&D gell cell industrial battery ran 0 gauge wire to the front with a 120 amp fuse and 0 gauge ground. Here you see a mockup of a little soundstream t5 10" that will be much more practical in this little trunk.









« Last Edit: March 22, 2014, 11:26:20 PM by ReedStemen »
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-Reed

ReedStemen

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Re: Project Personal - Reed's 1991 Capri
« Reply #8 on: March 22, 2014, 11:31:39 PM »

Four 12" led light strips. Two under dash, two on upper windshield surround behind the sun visors. The stock lighting was terrible and I could see nothing at night. Problem solved! I also wired an additional grounding switch parallel with the door jam switches so I can turn them on from the dash... An option the car was missing from factory. Nice for looking at maps or instructions.


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-Reed

Chicken

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Re: Project Personal - Reed's 1991 Capri
« Reply #9 on: March 23, 2014, 10:17:50 AM »

Good work. Have you seen the optional rear view mirror with map lights built in. I can get you one next time I see one.  The wire that runs to it is a PITA to get the connector out from behind the dash and all the obsticals there.
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ReedStemen

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Re: Project Personal - Reed's 1991 Capri
« Reply #10 on: March 24, 2014, 12:52:37 AM »

Yes I have seen those and have one out of a modern Ford I was going to install, but the LED strips behind the visors are placed in a convenient location so they're not blinding in the line of sight. Thanks though!

So now here's the good part... 5 speed swap! Basically, the auto trans was on its way out. It was not until after I bought the car that I found out how poor of quality the auto transmissions were in these cars. When I did the first round of maintenance I had replaced the transmission filter, fluid and pan seal. I figured this would help the transmission with its minor shifting issues. Unfortunately, the slicker Lucas Oil fluid actually made it slip worse. I finished of the trans by buying a DelSol and towing it home with the Capri. Oops! I was not going to put another one of these slush boxes in, so I started planning my attack at a five speed swap.

For anybody interested in doing a trans swap, here's how to attack it. First, determine whether you want to spend $500-$700 on everything for a N/A transmission swap, or $600-$900 for a turbo XR2 5 speed. Rocketman can explain the differences better than me, but basically the Turbo 5 speed is beefier with a bigger flywheel, tougher clutch, different differential, and mechanical clutch. The N/A version is smaller, thus handles less power and has a hydraulic clutch. My money numbers are based off of the assumption you are in the same positions as myself; no personal connections, no existing parts, purchases from junkyards and buying a brand new clutch and components. Pricing will vary by location (I am in Ohio). I settled on a N/A swap as in my area the turbo transmissions alone were $400 and the N/A's were $200-$300. I am on a tight budget with school and wanted maximum efficiency with small drivetrain components, so this route made the most sense to me. Also, swapping in a cable operated clutch is a bigger pain under the dash than the hydraulic counterpart. Working under the dash is no fun.

Now that you have decided what swap to do, here's what you need: Transmission, manual axles left & right, slave cylinder, 36" hydrolic line with two inverted adapters (available at most speed shops), clutch master cylinder, clutch pedal WITH bushings, metal sleeve, cylinder push rod, safety switches, and the ubber long pedal bolt. You'll also need a flywheel specific for the N/A 5 speed and a resurface job, axle nuts, new clutch, new pressure plate, new flywheel bearing, new throwout bearing, shifter assembly including the shifter, floor mounted bracket, stabilizer bar, shift bar and whatever hardware is needed to bolt everything together, axle output seals, and a rear engine main seal if you want to go about swapping it out while everything is apart.

Important Tips: Buy an Exedy complete clutch kit as this is a great quality kit and includes the clutch, pressure plate, throwout bearing, and flywheel bearing. For the clutch pedal, don't buy just a pedal off of ebay as most don't come with the little bits and pieces needed to use it. Find a junk car and rip out everything from the pedal box that is associated with the clutch pedal. if you can, get the ubber long pedal bolt out that holds the clutch pedal and brake, otherwise you'll be paying $20 for a specialty bolt from fastenal or finding a hardened 3/8" bolt from the hardware store. This is no easy task, trust me. it's a weird bolt. For the hydrolic clutch line dont screw around with trying to get the factory hard/soft line thing to work. Buy a 36" premade braided stainless steel soft line and have the shop order the specialty adapters to bolt it onto the master cylinder and slave cylinder. Make their life easy and take yours in for them to see. Also, your pedal box is ready for the clutch pedal, and the firewall is ready for the master cylinder... just unbolt the block off plate. No modifications necessary. Another tip, have someone help you. Most of this work is "awkward" and is much easier with an extra set of hands. When you're working with hardware on this car, alot of threads are fine thread... 1 pitch, not 1.25. This includes the nut that holds the shifter stabilizer bar to the rear of the transmission. You can reuse the flex plate bolts on the flywheel as they are the correct length. Remove the starter from the bottom of the car... it's much easier. label bolts and organize parts so everything is easy to put back together. When slipping the transmission onto the engine, have someone kick/push from the wheel well area while someone else hangs over the fender and juggles & twists the trans to get it to slide on. This was the most effective method for us.


Sitting patiently to be resurrected.



The horsepower robbing slushbox is out.



Flex plate removed, ready for a flywheel.



This hideous eyesore will soon be gone.




One final thought on this project... don't be intimidated by it as this job is fairly strait forward as long as you have the tools, time, and a location. This took me four weekends to complete working partial saturdays and full sundays. I had around $650 in this, but many of my parts were new and I had very poor parts availability in my area which drives up cost. The biggest challenge is finding the parts. You WILL be traveling for hours and have a decent amount of money in gas. That is, unless you find a complete donor car, which those are becoming more rare with every year.

Goodnight all, I'll be back with more pics and info in the coming days.

-Reed
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-Reed

ReedStemen

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Re: Project Personal - Reed's 1991 Capri
« Reply #11 on: March 27, 2014, 10:55:06 AM »

New front engine mount and transmission output seals. Mount is to a 323, a little different... you'll see why later.



N/A flywheel, resurfaced by Kalvinator Engine in Wapakoneta Ohio. http://www.kalvinatorengines.com/



Different length axles for manual trans. 88 Mercury tracer axle will work for right side. Had to drive four hours round trip for these bad boys but they were right price and joints were fresh.



#racecarstatus



Stripped and ready.



Manual plate painted and bolted in.



Brand new Master Cylinder, pretty sure I got it from Dorman. Firewall already has provisions to bolt it in, nothing custom.



Baby clutch ftw.



More to come.
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-Reed

Chicken

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Re: Project Personal - Reed's 1991 Capri
« Reply #12 on: March 28, 2014, 02:32:10 PM »

You're gettin lots done and done right.  How are your leather seats?
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ReedStemen

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Re: Project Personal - Reed's 1991 Capri
« Reply #13 on: March 29, 2014, 12:40:09 AM »

The seats are super comfy and add some much needed support and low fitment to the car. I have not worked on repairing the leather on the driver seat yet, but it's in the near future.

Sourced the shifter lever components from a '94 for $120. more than what I wanted to pay but I had already spent a couple hours and $70 in gas looking for one so I just dealt with it and spent the cash. Soaked in PB blaster, cleaned it up a bit and got it working smooth.



Manual trans in.



Here's some side work. Cleaning and painting bits and pieces. Also replacing none structural hardware with all stainless.






This valve cover is not racecar status.



That's better! Even treated it to some new grommets and seal.

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-Reed

ReedStemen

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Re: Project Personal - Reed's 1991 Capri
« Reply #14 on: March 29, 2014, 12:54:23 AM »

Shifter in.



Got that third pedal hanging, huge thanks to my dad for his help with this one. I did not hook up any safety switches, I'll just remember to put it in neutral before turning it over to save hours of wiring and hanging under the dash. Found some OEM replacement covers for the pedals.



36" Allstar Performance Braided clutch line installed with special adapters.



So the airfilter was shot. Rather than replacing with a factory style filter, I removed the entire airbox. The compartment looks cleaner, the Spectre filter has a lifetime guarantee and is washable, and I can actually hear the growl of the little 4-banger. Maybe a bit more power too?



Custom intake bracket made of an old exhaust bracket and modified to tuck my ignition coil nice and neat.




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-Reed
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