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Old May 1st, 2013, 10:49 PM   #1
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Project Beautiful Beast work log

So Ive posted a number of what I consider to be rather innovative and unique modifications over the years, but never started a cohesive work log. Ive been working on this current iteration of my probe obsession for a few months now and feel like Im finally at a stage where Im ready to start sharing some of my endeavor. I am currently working on the first of at least two stages for this project. This stage involves increased modification of the suspension, removal of most non-essential weight, wiring of aftermarket fun stuff, new wheels/tires, megasquirt, intake manifold replacement, exhaust work, a small amount of appearance improvement, and some upgraded safety items (really more appearance oriented than safety). I tend to be explanation heavy in my write-ups so feel free to just peruse the pictures.

The start of this project technically began with the exhaust, which has been catalogued here: http://forums.probetalk.com/showthread.php?t=1701307310 and here: http://forums.probetalk.com/showthread.php?t=1701309066

After I finished the initial fabrication aspect of the exhaust, I jumped into working on the front bumper. Id had a Corksport lip for a couple years and had been waiting to install it. I knew I wanted to remove the center bar from the bumper, and also didn't like how far back the bottom of the bumper seemed to extend with the lip installed. (Im aware that description isn't very clear and difficult to comprehend) It just so happened that I had a spare bumper with a break in it and an idea in my head; so I got to work.


Broken stock front


Performed a little cutout action using the natural curve of the bumper. This was one single cut and it came out pretty damn straight and even.


Measured out the placement and secured the lip with 8 screws


Installed on the car... I think I like it!

Little 6 month interruption to get and recover from a kidney transplant... ANYWAYS

I was pretty fed up with working on it in the driveway, so it was time to move the RWD project out, and move this project in. Took a few shots while in the process, and these actually are the only shots I have of the LED's I installed. The Corksport lip has those two little vents that no one ever seems to do anything with, so I figured Id try something out.


Took 2 tries but I found a pair of light bars that fit PERFECTLY


Don't worry about how she looks; she hasn't been washed in months at this point and that dull CF hood is going to be painted.

While working on the car in the garage an overwhelming urge to get new wheels and tires came over me so I ended up with some 245/45/17 Fuzion HRI's on closeout from tire rack for $65 a piece. I then spent a month or two searching for the perfect wheel, and came upon 17x9 +22 STR 606's in gunmetal... quite sexy if I do say so myself.



With all the weight removed from the car the originally low stance was now inches higher than acceptable. With Sprint springs in front and Intrax in the rear I knew I was as low as I could go without coilovers... plus I figured I'd probably have to cut the perches to fit the 17x9's. I know everyone on here has (what I believe to be) an irrational fear of ebay coilovers, but I opted to buy them anyways. I figured for $50, it wont be a huge loss if they don't work out. Went to install them along with escort mounts in the front and they actually RAISED my car .5"! After some searching and deliberating I decided to create my own coilover setup. I used the sleeve and coil hat from the ebay setup and bought 7"H x 2.5"ID 200lb/in coils for the front, and 7"H x 2.5"ID 175lb/in coils in the rear. I originally bought 8 inchers for the rear but it didn't lower quite enough. With my new setup I lowered the car roundly 2" in the front over the Sprint springs, and 1.5" in the rear over the Intrax springs. Best of all the low spring rates allow me to keep using my stock(ish) struts.


Crappy picture I know. Left are the 7"H 200lb/in front coils, middle is the Ebay special 7.25"H 450lb/in (estimated) coil, and right are 8" 150lb/in rear coils.


Front strut fully assembled


As mentioned I tried 8"H 150lb/in coils in the rear but they were a bit too tall. I replaced them with 7"H 175lb/in coils (couldn't find a correctly sized 150lb/in coil) which even though theyre a full inch shorter, only lowered the car about half an inch. Im thinking either the extra stiffness inhibited the full drop, or I may be riding on the bump stops! I guess we'll see when I drive it for the first time!
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Last edited by proboner; May 1st, 2013 at 11:48 PM.
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Old May 1st, 2013, 11:47 PM   #2
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Rear setup with new 7" spring... yeah it may be resting on the bump stop.

As 99% of you probably don't realize, I have the one of the only two CZT manifolds ever made. I had it on my previous project car for about 6 months and LOVED it, so of course Ive had plans to put it on this new project. On the previous setup I was running a stock TB bored out to 67mm which worked just fine, but this time I wanted to do it right. I started by measuring the inlet of the CZT IM at 76mm. I then purchased a 75mm Mustang throttle body to mate to the manifold to have a perfectly smooth transition. Used along with 3" intake tubing the pathway for incoming air will be free and clear.


CZT IM with Mustang 75mm throttle body mounted.


And with the throttle plate open

After I got that all figured out I went to fit the new wheels on the car and realized they hit the calipers! NOOO! This was actually due to the VOA BBK I had installed on the car years before.


VOA BBK... 11.7" front

The design of the kit relocates the caliper about .5" outward from the stock position, causing it to hit the spokes of the wheel. Deciding that I currently wanted the wheels more than the BBK, the kit came off to see how stock brakes would work. As I imagined they fit just fine, so I knew the wheels would be a go. As I continued to mull the brakes over in my mind, it dawned on me to try the 2006 Mazda 6 brake setup. After searching for a little over a week I ended up getting the caliper, bracket, rotor, and pads at all 4 corners for $100 off craigslist! Score!


Rusty but complete! Not a bad deal! Below them is the S2000 front rotor used for the VOA kit. As you can see theyre pretty much the exact same size.

I test fit this setup with the new wheels and the rears fit fine, but the front caliper brackets needed to be put on a diet. They were all pretty rusty, but they cleaned up nicely. I finished painting the rotor hats yesterday, and today or tomorrow will work on cleaning up the calipers/brackets for paint.


Not the best picture but you get the idea. Yeah theres a little overspray on them but that will be sanded/brake padded off.

When I finalized the fact that the wheels would work, I started itching to get the tires mounted and try them on. I had originally wanted to wait until the conclusion of the first stage and save the wheels/tires as the cherry on top, but sometimes you just cant control yourself. I got the tires on today and put them on one side of the car and well... Ill let the pictures speak for themselves. Oh and it looks 100x better in person!


Drivers side from front bumper back. The wheel is slightly turned, which is why there is soooo much tread showing.


Yeah its low. Im pretty sure the front fenders are resting on the tires at this point. Obviously it wont be driveable like this and will surely need to be raised a bit. I wasn't sure about my fender rolling status before, but its pretty obvious now! Fender roll guaranteed!


Sheesh... so low! Once again you can see that the wheel is slightly turned


And we'll just go ahead and tuck you into bed... All in all Im pretty happy right now. It honestly looks better than I thought it would, and seriously, pictures do not do it justice!
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Old May 2nd, 2013, 12:05 AM   #3
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nice collection of parts. Most interesting pic thread in the past month.
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Old May 2nd, 2013, 12:23 AM   #4
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Bless you for putting proper rubber on the wheels.
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Old May 2nd, 2013, 12:49 AM   #5
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Car looks great and I can't believe you only paid $65 a piece for the tires
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Old May 2nd, 2013, 01:01 AM   #6
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Man keep it up! DO you do any body paint work. i want to repaint my front bumper the factory color but want to save money by doing it my self. Is thier proper paint equipment to give it a professional look after the proper prep work. Alos my GFs dad used to be a painter for a living so he could help me
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Old May 2nd, 2013, 05:24 AM   #7
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holy hell this project is awesome! nice work man! I forgot about his car and the exhaust exit out the skirt, keep it up!
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Old May 2nd, 2013, 05:29 AM   #8
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CZT IM lives on. Awesome!!
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Old May 2nd, 2013, 08:57 AM   #9
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Always wondered what an old school BBS type wheel would look like on a pgt... and it looks amazing
Definitely need a roll for the fenders, but that badass with meaty tires sitting flush. I'll be keeping my eye on this thread for sure
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Old May 2nd, 2013, 09:47 AM   #10
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You're gonna need a roll and some cutting my friend.

Off to a good start!
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Old May 2nd, 2013, 11:01 AM   #11
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Hell to the yea!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old May 2nd, 2013, 11:23 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan [Sac] View Post
Bless you for putting proper rubber on the wheels.
But of course! There are a couple reasons I went in the direction I did... mainly more sidewall for a slightly less JARRING ride, and a slightly increased overall tire diameter and width in preparation for more power and an increased top end

Quote:
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Car looks great and I can't believe you only paid $65 a piece for the tires
Yeah no shit! They were actually $60 a piece the day before but I missed out. I was considering buying a few sets and selling them on craigslist for a profit.

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Always wondered what an old school BBS type wheel would look like on a pgt... and it looks amazing
Definitely need a roll for the fenders, but that badass with meaty tires sitting flush. I'll be keeping my eye on this thread for sure
So had I. Id never seen a 2g PGT with true mesh so I was very interested to see what it would look like. Plus I was in love with these particular rims as they don't have a stepped lip. I actually went back to the distributor I bought them from to get them mounted (wheel works wanted $130-150, Americas tire $105, Aspec wheels $61 out the door.) and they informed me that they only make them with the stepped lip now... guess I got in when the getting was good!

Quote:
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You're gonna need a roll and some cutting my friend.

Off to a good start!
Do tell about this cutting situation?
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Old May 2nd, 2013, 11:53 AM   #13
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Do tell about this cutting situation?
Well... you can't really roll a plastic bumper, and due to the unfortunate shape of the Probe's bumper, you're going to have some rubbing issues on the bumper itself, not just the fender. The fender is the easy part so long as you go slow and take your time with it. The bumper is the harder part to clearance without it looking jank.

I have faith in you, but it's going to need to be done.

I know you said you might raise it up a little, but in order to get away from cutting, you'll need to raise it a bit AND go with substantially higher spring rates.

Either way, like i said, it's a great start! I'm with Dan: meaty tires = best tires.
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Old May 2nd, 2013, 03:17 PM   #14
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That is actually true. I had to do that to the 323, but I covered it nicely with the fender flares. The Probe *can* look good with flares, but you have to do a nice job of incorporating them into the curvy body instead of just bolting them up. No need to mold them in, but they need to 'match' the body so to speak.

You will notice the bumper interference as soon as you put any significant steering input.

Edit - also nice of you to stick with Probes. You know you can afford newer stuff, but you suffer from the same dementia that some of us have
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Old May 2nd, 2013, 04:17 PM   #15
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I really like the way it looks being as slammed as it is, but I think in lieu of going crazy trying to get it to work at that height Ill probably just raise it enough that its not a problem. This stage of the project really just involves getting things into place... kind of a test fit. The second stage is the fit and finish portion where ill be delving into things like you guys are talking about. Plus Id like to get it on the road sooner rather than later to enjoy it for the summer!
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Old May 2nd, 2013, 05:38 PM   #16
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More pics please!!! Holy crap that is NICE. Can i get a side shot?? <3
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Old May 2nd, 2013, 07:30 PM   #17
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does your exhuste come out the side of the car befor the rear wheels
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Old May 3rd, 2013, 07:17 AM   #18
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I really like the way it looks being as slammed as it is, but I think in lieu of going crazy trying to get it to work at that height Ill probably just raise it enough that its not a problem. This stage of the project really just involves getting things into place... kind of a test fit. The second stage is the fit and finish portion where ill be delving into things like you guys are talking about. Plus Id like to get it on the road sooner rather than later to enjoy it for the summer!
Just so you're aware... you're going to have to raise it a LOT for it to not rub on the bumper. Donk status.
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Old May 3rd, 2013, 10:59 AM   #19
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does your exhuste come out the side of the car befor the rear wheels
He lives in Cali so mad respect if this where true. Just add a dummy exhaust tip in the back and your good.
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Old May 3rd, 2013, 04:21 PM   #20
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yes that is correct, side exit exhaust.
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Old July 11th, 2013, 04:34 PM   #21
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Well Ive been busy with finishing up school and having summer fun and being a lazy little bitch, but heres some small progress Ive made.

Mazda 6 calipers and rotors before:


Painted and ready to install:


Installed:


Im going to finish bleeding the brakes today, and tomorrow plan to reinstall the dash, try out the new motorcycle battery to see if it can start the car, and reconnect the heater hoses now that the HVAC is completely out, and see if I can drive her. The wheels still don't completely fit and are rubbing the paint off the calipers, so I'll have to grind down and repaint just the faces to clear.

Ive also since rolled the fenders which worked great on the front but mucked up the rear. Turns out the tight suspension bushings held the lateral bars up too high in the rear and prevented the roller from contacting the fender correctly. As a result it was riding on the inner fender well. Anyways, I suppose that will be addressed later.

Clearance:


The hanging wheel well liner makes it hard to see the real clearance, but you can at least tell that the wheels are no longer hitting the fender lip.
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Old July 11th, 2013, 04:48 PM   #22
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I imagine tire expansion from driving would still rub?
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Old July 11th, 2013, 05:14 PM   #23
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we shall see. I think Ill at least need to trim the tab that attaches the front bumper to the front fender. Im hoping I can get away with just that.
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Old July 11th, 2013, 06:05 PM   #24
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I imagine tire expansion from driving would still rub?
Tires don't grow when you drive.
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Old July 11th, 2013, 07:37 PM   #25
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Some drag slicks do, but not street tires.

However, the suspension is not rigid (everything is a spring). The accumulation of deflections might cause rubbing under unusual conditions (bumps, corners, bumps in corners, etc).
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