When I ripped up the nasty old carpet and discovered the rust on my car, It looked like such a big job that I thought there was no way in hell I'd be able to repair it or pay to have it repaired. But after deciding I was going to tackle it myself, I borrowed a welder from a family member and taught myself to weld. I welded the drivers side and passenger side floor boards. It wasn't hard, just time consuming. And I did it all myself. I thought I did a pretty good job for my first time doing metal work. I absolutely love coming up with solutions to complete my projects. It's the most rewarding feeling when working on the car.
Then came the electrical issues. When I got the car, the only electrical thing that worked was the stereo. I even found an old Jackson Browne tape in the glovebox. Its in the trash now (the stereo, no the J. Browne mix). I found out why non of the rear lights worked after I pulled the back seat out. There was a little petrified mouse laying in a field of seat stuffing that had chewed through the wires running to the back of the car. I figured he either died from electrocution or peacefully in his bed.
Over the past 8 months I've owned the car, my absolute favorite part of my poor man's restoration project has been searching for good deals on unconventional parts that will work for the car. Whether It be on craigslist, ebay, 2002faq, salvage yards or the hardware store. I find great joy in finding unique pieces and ways to fix and restore the car without spending top dollar for OEM parts. I definitely like to look outside the box. And I think in the end, this approach will pay off as I will have a one of a kind 2002 thats both unique and fits my style. Some people might frown upon not using original parts for the car but I believe I'm saving this car from being a pile of trash and I like the Idea of reusing as much as I can.
Some of the good deals I've found are some Recaro style cloth seats for under $100. I think the seats are good candidates for leather and tweed reupholstering. The rails were a bit narrow so I had to widen them with a couple pieces of metal from the hardware store. I used the left over piece to make a gas pedal. Before finding the Recaro knock offs, I spend 3 summer days in an Arizona salvage yard ripping out some E30 sport seats but then found out I'd have to cut the car up to make them fit. It's all good, made $80 on the resale. Also found some corrado steelies on craigslist for under $100. Lastly I found a new old stock AMCO shift knob on ebay for $40. I think its pretty slick looking and way better than the sticky rubber shift knob with continuous twisting action that was previously on there. Thanks for reading and check out some of the pics.