ripping apart the project car... how fun!


New Member
May 14, 2005
Okay, here's what's going on with my $150. 1990 LX 2.3L Hatchback. It's going to be a SBF, carbed with all of the go-fast goodies.

2nd day on the project and here's what I've accomplished so far:

1. EEC computer and harness is GONE
2. Radiator, hoses, ac crap GONE
3. airbag sensors, brakets and lines are GONE
4. rear metal bumper, brackets are gone

Next on the task list, and a few questions:

1. I want to drop the rear with control arms intact... so I can roll it to the trash. I plan on upgrading the rear brakes to disc so I am going to assume that I will need NOTHING from the rear housing... is this correct?

2. DO I NEED THE BRAKE LINES or do I need to bend new ones or find lines from a doner 5.0?

3. I am replacing all front suspension to tubular components, coil-over, etc. I will need to pull the engine, tranny, k-member, struts, and all of that jazz. Do I hoise the engine/tranny and then drop the k-member and other stuff... OR... do I unbolt and DROP everything?

4. Are the 2.3L/auto tranny worth anything? I'm an accomplished EBAYER, so listing wouldn't be an issue, but if it's not worth anything, I won't bother.

5. FUEL TANK: I can install a pickup and trash the fuel pump assembly OR I can install an 8-gallon cell in the wheel well, but I'm not equipped to cut sheet metal.

ALSO: I'm going to need to learn how to weld if I want to install a cage, sub-frame connectors, torque box renforcements, etc. What type of welding is appropraite, TIG, MIG or ??? Any feedback would be great.

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Founding Member
Jan 29, 2000
Kansas City, Kansas
I would suggest holding on to that rear end and stuff until you get the new one in rather than rolling it to the trash. Nothing more frustrasting than trying to hunt down that one weird bolt, fitting or bracket you need to finish your project, especially when you know you threw one out.

You can reuse the brake lines but you will need to relocate the rear one a bit because it occupies the space your passenger side muffler bracket needs. Get yourself a double flaring tool and bend up the ones for the rear end when you do your swap.

I suppose you could do it any way thats easiest for you. If you drop the k-mamber and engine as an assemble, you better have a means of getting the car high enough in the air to roll it out.

Personal experience is that the 2.3 stuff is worth more as scrap metal unless you find somebody that really needs an N/A 2.3 or auto trans. I never have but it wont hurt to list it, you might get lucky.

The thing to keep in mind with a cell in the tire well is that in a hatch har, you will need to build a firewall to completely seal it from the passenger compartment.

For most welding projects a MIG welder is ideal. Its easiest to learn and get quality welds. It only real drawback is if you do alot of welding outside in the wind it doesnt work very good because the shielding gas blows away. It also doesnt like dirty rusted metal. Stick works better for that but there is more of a learning curve.


New Member
Apr 2, 2004
Canton, Il
For the fact of a cage, if you aren't a good welder I would leave it to a professional due to it being a safety feature you are installing.

Also, I think the welds have to be so good to pass tech, maybe??