Red 1988 ST165 rebuild and story

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Red 1988 ST165 rebuild and story

Postby Xander_42 » Wed May 20, 2015 2:17 am

Well, I haven't started one of these yet. But I guess this will end up being just two posts.

It was late 2012, and I had wanted an ST165 (or a 185, but I preferred the 165) for a few years when one popped up on craigslist for $700. It had some major issues, but at that price I couldn't pass it up. There were no pictures on the ad. So here is what I saw when I went to the shop of the guy I bought the car from. Sorry about the crappy picture (I had an old Blackberry at the time, and the lighting was bad), but you can see at least some of what is missing, including the engine:

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So I bought the car, and took it to the house I lived in then, which had a crappy basement garage that I could use to work on the car.

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The guy I bought the car from had an engine and trans for it that I could have. But, I discovered that the engine didn't turn over, and once I pulled the head, I discovered that the engine was seized with rust.

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At this point I did the math, and figured that if I got a little lucky it would be about the same cost and lot less of a headache to buy an imported engine and trans. I have to say, having a semi show up at your house feels pretty cool.

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Well, it took some work, but I got the engine in. It was super sketchy, the car was half on gravel, and I had to lift the radiator core support almost all the way to the low ceiling to get enough clearance to get it in.

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Put the body panels I had on it, and it looked sort of like a car for the first time.

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(Flat towed it with my dad's T100, love that truck)

After I got the engine in, I moved to a place that didn't have a garage, so I put it in a storage unit for a while, where the project completely stalled. It turns out that it is hard to motivate yourself when you have no heat, light, power, or space to work on a project car. I don't have any pictures from that period, which is probably a testament to how stalled I was on the project.

But then some friends and me started renting out a four bay shop out in the county, and I got moving again.

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It slowly started coming together, and even started looking kind of good.

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Started thinking about what kind of wheels I might want to get, decided this wasn't it. (My co-worker/shop-mate has these for his 510, they were in the shop, and I wanted to see how it looked).

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Over the next year, I finally got it running and driving, and sometime around January it was ready to go.

https://youtu.be/Yb9eEYFOQqw

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Over the last couple months I worked on getting some of the many little issues dealt with.

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Well, this last Saturday there was a big event where I was going to get to see a bunch of friends that I hadn't seen in a long time, and who are also car nuts. So I drove it there to show it off to them.

Here comes the bad part. On my way home that night I got rear-ended by a drunk driver, and found myself in the hospital for a couple hours. Overall my injuries are amazingly minor given that fact that I got hit while stopped by a Mercedes that was doing 50-60. While I haven't actually seen the car yet, I am pretty confident that it is going to be a total loss.

I will post pictures once I get to the tow yard to get my stuff from the car. At that point I will evaluate if I can repair it, if it is worth getting it to part it out, or if I should just write it off.
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Last edited by Xander_42 on Wed May 20, 2015 2:35 am, edited 4 times in total.
88 ST165, Black - recently acquired, not running yet
88 ST165, Red - destroyed by a drunk driver
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Re: Red 1988 ST165 rebuild and story

Postby Xander_42 » Wed May 20, 2015 7:21 pm

Well, I got up to the wrecking yard. So wreck photos are in.

It almost looks OK from this side.

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Holy crap.

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Took it back to my shop in order to strip it and scrap the shell.

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In a few weeks I am going to start pulling it apart, so if there is anything you need or want from it, let me know. I am hoping to sell the engine and trans all together (I believe I will be able to test and see if it is still functional, it should be, everything appeared to be fine in the engine bay).
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Re: Red 1988 ST165 rebuild and story

Postby underscore » Wed May 20, 2015 7:50 pm

Holy shit that's quite the impact, glad to hear you're mostly ok. Looks like the car did its job to protect you, if you put your hand behind the passenger door that last picture just looks like an Alltrac being towed.
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It's for sale! http://www.alltrac.net/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?f=64&t=52181
Build thread http://www.alltrac.net/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?f=44&t=44216
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Re: Red 1988 ST165 rebuild and story

Postby Redrkt01 » Wed May 20, 2015 8:09 pm

I'm glad you're okay.... I'm also totally saddened that you were bringing this chassis back to what it deserved to be and it was killed. I hope you get another 4th Gen and start the process again. the community needs more owners like you.
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Re: Red 1988 ST165 rebuild and story

Postby entrax » Wed May 20, 2015 8:34 pm

oh wow. i'm glad you are okay. was that mercedes driver texting/driving or drunk? that's quite the impact, it even split the left tail-light in half.

there's some specific bits and pieces that i could use off the chassis...i'll PM you.
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Re: Red 1988 ST165 rebuild and story

Postby Xander_42 » Wed May 20, 2015 8:49 pm

underscore wrote:Holy shit that's quite the impact, glad to hear you're mostly ok. Looks like the car did its job to protect you, if you put your hand behind the passenger door that last picture just looks like an Alltrac being towed.


Thank you, I am very fortunate. It sure did. I like to think that after I saved its life, it chose to give its life to save me.

The tow truck driver joked that he was amazed that when he hit the hazard button the hazards (well, only the front ones) actually came on.

Redrkt01 wrote:I'm glad you're okay.... I'm also totally saddened that you were bringing this chassis back to what it deserved to be and it was killed. I hope you get another 4th Gen and start the process again. the community needs more owners like you.


Thanks, me too.

Yup, I told the paramedics (in my pretty messed up state), that I was more upset about losing the car than about being injured. But I will say, once I finally saw the car, that feeling went away, and I was just glad to be alive.

I would like to get another ST165 someday. My next one I will do right. I am going to focus on the 510 for now until I have some capital to build the 165 I want. My current plan for that is to start with something not far from a bare shell (a white one. I love the white ones), and buy an ST205 clip that has the rear suspension. Then build up the 165 shell with as many 205 parts as possible, and use the 205 engine parts to build a badass 5S-GTE, and go from there. Probably a pipe dream, but we'll see.
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88 ST165, Red - destroyed by a drunk driver
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Re: Red 1988 ST165 rebuild and story

Postby Redrkt01 » Wed May 20, 2015 9:00 pm

Nah, not a pipedream if you don't want it to be. Dreams never die as long as you hold on to them.
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Re: Red 1988 ST165 rebuild and story

Postby Xander_42 » Wed May 20, 2015 11:23 pm

entrax wrote:oh wow. i'm glad you are okay. was that mercedes driver texting/driving or drunk? that's quite the impact, it even split the left tail-light in half.

there's some specific bits and pieces that i could use off the chassis...i'll PM you.


They were drunk, and it looks like they had a suspended license from getting DUI(s) in the past.
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Re: Red 1988 ST165 rebuild and story

Postby ChrisD » Thu May 21, 2015 2:06 am

Oh my. Very glad you made it out alive. Cars come and go. There are others, if you'd like to go down that path. Most important is that you are ok.
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Re: Red 1988 ST165 rebuild and story

Postby Awesome-Trac » Thu May 21, 2015 2:35 am

Holy crap this is bad! Hope you have a speedy recover and glad to see your ok! What will happen to the parts that are still good? Buy another 165
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Re: Red 1988 ST165 rebuild and story

Postby zaluss » Thu May 21, 2015 7:21 pm

Holy shit. Glad your ok!

...dibs on the gas tank. Too soon? :shrug:
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Re: Red 1988 ST165 rebuild and story

Postby Xander_42 » Thu May 21, 2015 9:55 pm

zaluss wrote:Holy shit. Glad your ok!

...dibs on the gas tank. Too soon? :shrug:


Umm, do you really want that tank? I mean, it didn't rupture (thankfully), but it's probably not exactly straight.
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Re: Red 1988 ST165 rebuild and story

Postby entrax » Fri May 22, 2015 7:24 pm

Xander_42 wrote:
zaluss wrote:Holy shit. Glad your ok!

...dibs on the gas tank. Too soon? :shrug:


Umm, do you really want that tank? I mean, it didn't rupture (thankfully), but it's probably not exactly straight.


I'd be surprised if it was even in one piece...or even there anymore.

xander is insurance taking care of you/hospital bills? those tend to feel okay for a bit, then the pain shows up much much later on
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Re: Red 1988 ST165 rebuild and story

Postby buffalohunter7321 » Sat May 23, 2015 12:30 pm

Would the engine be for sale? I sent you a PM but never got a reply. I need an 88/89 3sgte real bad. This would save another 88 from being modified. Thanks
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Re: Red 1988 ST165 rebuild and story

Postby zaluss » Sat May 23, 2015 1:37 pm

Xander_42 wrote:
zaluss wrote:Holy shit. Glad your ok!

...dibs on the gas tank. Too soon? :shrug:


Umm, do you really want that tank? I mean, it didn't rupture (thankfully), but it's probably not exactly straight.


Yeah probably not. If it looks mangled then probably not worth it. I didn't realize that you were local too. Let me know if you start parting it out or if you want to save it, I'll be more than happy to help!
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