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Old 10-08-2021, 03:10 PM   #1
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Join Date: Jun 2019
Location: Tampa, FL
Default Project Catfish (aka how to ruin a 244 turbo)

I have been meaning to post a build thread on this but much like the car itself I keep putting it on the backburner. Figuring maybe posting this here will keep me motivated.

I bought this '83 244 GLT almost two years ago. Its had quite the life spending a few months in Sweden via the diplomat sales program before heading to CA, FL, RI, and back to FL again. Photos would lead you to believe this is a fairly clean survivor but seeing it in person tells a different story. Whilst in RI it picked up the usual rot in the butt cheeks. Its been hit really hard at least once, had at least two other moderate impacts, repaired very poorly at least twice, and was the victim of a terrible respray quite some time ago. This is the automotive equivalent of chatting with a sexy toe model online only to find out its an extremely sweaty 46 year old male living in his parent's basement...it will let you down when you meet in person (or maybe not if you are into that sort of thing, not that there is anything wrong with that).

So what started out as a rescue and restoration project really just turned into a weekend car to screw around with and have some fun.

Mechanically its pretty sound. It has around 180k and good even compression. The suspension and brakes have pretty much been all sorted out by prior owners (IPD springs, IPD sway bars, Bilsteins, new brakes, stainless brake lines, etc).

So far the biggest thing I've done is exorcised the kjet demon. The car is presently running Microsquirt with a DSM CAS, LS truck coils, etc. The prior owner had the stock turbo rebuilt so I'm still running that at around 14psi exiting into a KL 3" turbo back exhaust. I've installed a 16" flex-a-lite fan and a stock intercooler from a 740 as well. I've done your typical degenerate TB mods by removing the PS and the AC. I tried to retain the PS but I kept getting Cardone recon duds and got sick of messing with it. AC components were pretty much garbage so I removed everything. I might upgrade to a later 240 AC system at some point down the road, though. Since its not a daily I'm not worried about it for now.

As far as cosmetics so far I've tried to buff out the major wet sanding swirls from a prior owner (still needs work), dyed the bumpers, and I temporarily blacked out the front end chrome with plastidip (ugh yes I know) to see if I am fond of the look. The prior owner had already sprayed the Virgos and I was kind of digging the blacked out look. I'm still up in the air on the front end. I don't like the chrome but I'm not sure I like this flatter black of the plastidip...maybe gloss or satin instead?

What does the future bring? I still need to finalize the tune which will be happening soon with cooler weather rolling in. All the bushings are shot so that is somewhat pressing. I have some BNE sphericals in my hands now and I'm working on sourcing poly for the body sides of the torque and trailing arms. Torque arms will get the Cwazy adjustable TA mod once I get a chance to order the parts.

If all goes well it should have a T5 transmission within the next year or so as well as revisiting my remote oil filter and oil cooler situation. My main goal is to make this mechanically solid and a fun weekend car. Cosmetically I'm just going to try to stop it from getting worse. Given the extent of poorly repaired (and unrepaired) structural damage a full restoration really isn't feasible.

It would also be rude of me not to give a HUGE thanks to all the folks here and on the TB discord for helping me through the last nine months of shenanigans with this car. This is such a great community.

Here are some photos starting with when I first got it, some progress photos, the tool box incident, and some present photos.

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Old 10-08-2021, 04:29 PM   #2
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Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: Granby CT

Needs more low and more chrome
I don't know what I have
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Old 10-08-2021, 04:42 PM   #3
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Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: MA/NH

Needs more K-Jet and rust
1991 244 LH3.1 M46 376k miles
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Old 10-08-2021, 05:14 PM   #4
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Join Date: Oct 2019
Location: Mississauga, ON (Canada)

Needs more carbs and rust
Doing the wrong thing the right way.


Originally Posted by redblockpowered View Post
Will you do $14.99 shipped?
Originally Posted by IansPlatinum View Post
please no more prying things with screwdrivers and bashing things with hammers!
Originally Posted by Cwazywazy View Post
my balls have more wrinkles than my brain

-1967 144S
-1983 245 Diesel (Current Project) - passively for sale (interested in trades!)
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Old 10-09-2021, 11:16 PM   #5
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Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: South Texas

I like the all black everything. And way to ditch the kjet :(

What happened with the toolbox? Left too many drawers open?
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Old 10-10-2021, 06:47 AM   #6
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Join Date: Jun 2019
Location: Tampa, FL

The toolbox is a bit of an unsolved mystery. I was anal retentive about one drawer at a time and keeping it locked as it was on a very slight angle due to the sloping floor. Wind caught the door into my house slamming it shut and moments later I heard/found this. My friend ended up taking it off my hands to fix it and use it as his own. He found the locking mechanism for the top portion no longer engaged. So the running theory is the door slamming might have caused the drawers to open. Or it was ghosts.
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Old 10-10-2021, 05:25 PM   #7
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Location: Dallas,TX

All black works except on the headlight door. You could get these.

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