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Special Projects 101: Car Makeover 2010 (The Premise)

project foose

(I wish Chip Foose was working on my project for car makeover – the man does ‘magic’ with his hands. Image source: Autoblog)

Remember I mentioned about doing projects? I have started on some of them – managed to complete one (Project: Garden), started but put on hold (Project: Art and Project: Charity).

Certainly, it would not be the end of things provided there is time and money in future.

There is one project that I wish to start and very well complete – at least to the specifications that I have been toying in mind for the last 3 years. And that project is the upgrade project for my car.

My car has gotten really old over the years (anything nearing 10 years can be considered very old) and the next rightful step would be to lookout for a new car. My 1.3 under-powered, manual geared, no EFi, no ABS, no airbags, rattling sound all over the place, worn-out seats, car have become quite obsolete and it really, really shows when the car is very full with occupants and being driven uphill.

Immediately looking over Paul Tan’s site, several options immediately comes to my mind – perhaps the new Kia Forte or the sleek BMW 3 series or to wait for new Ford Focus or scale down and wait for the new “to be released” Proton Persona (just kidding! Proton may have great cars now but one time experience with them is more than enough to last me another lifetime).

But hard cold cash for a new car is hard to get these days, especially when the Government is talking about taking away the petrol subsidy for a car with 2,000 cc and above. If there is no cash, one can always take a car loan but why bother getting unnecessary debt when the old car can still get you from A to B.

So, the next option would be to ‘restore’ my existing old car back to showroom condition, at least where power and riding are concerned. The car still has the power to outrun any new cars out there, at least to some extent from the starting line. Paint job still spotless in most part on the car and normal “every 8,000 km” maintenance is dirt cheap.

With extra cash saved from another venture and one of the cousins having a car workshop (which relates to “no-cheating” mechanics and less careless finishes), it’s time to execute on the upgrade/repair exercise.

The list of things that my cousin and I went through after his mechanics went through my car over the weekend was (in no particular order to fix/upgrade):-

  • To repair the dent and repaint on my 2 doors (it has been some time since I got this but I have not gotten the time to repair it)
  • To change some parts on my front suspension (most of the rubbers have worn out, not surprisingly)
  • To change the leaking rear shock absorbers
  • To replace some of the interior plastics which has become brittle due to Malaysian heat (duh Proton!)
  • To check and change the cabin light circuits that have been short-circuiting my fuses (discovered by my son when he played with the cabin lights)
  • To change the whole rear axle and replace the drum rear brakes to disc rear brakes (A very big change here but I had enough of faulty hubs and bearings which has been a problem since I first changed the original faulty hub)
  • To change the locked gun for one of my doors (it jams up all the time)
  • To change the small cover on tire rims (one is missing and shops don’t sell just one. So, need to order a set of 4)
  • To change the headlight plastic to highly durable glass (to get back the original “clear” look)
  • To change the worn-out seat covers (thinking of getting the same type that I been using till now – the synthetic seat cover. It lasted me almost 7 years without much problem)
  • To change the CD player to an MP3 player with USB connection (I might be late on this but since I am changing a lot of things on the car, might as well upgrade the in-car entertainment system)

The car is going to feel better after this – performance and safety-wise. A short breather before the car gets really, really old for any upgrades – then it will the right time to change the car.

To continued…

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