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"fender", My Undesirable '75

Benjamin A.R.

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Hey all, My name is Ben. I'm 18 and from Greeley Colorado, the place South Park dubbed: "The exact opposite of Hawaii." I've been a member of the forum for a number of years now, but I've never featured my car before. It's mainly because I usually get on here looking for tips on how things come apart and go together. I am the 5th or 6th owner of "Fender", my 1975 2002 vin 2365254. The car was in Cali originally, then Wyoming, then southern Colorado, and now here with me as of 4 years ago. 


   I was 14 and on craigslist constantly, looking to spend the chunk of change from my first job as a corn pollinator on either a project 2002 or a CJ5 Jeep. I found Fender first, drove to Turkey creek canyon and fell immediately in love. My dad and I took it for a test drive and the deal was sealed. I've spent the last 4 years slowly improving things, nothing too radical yet because it's my daily driver. 

Before: post-41166-0-91925200-1410577243_thumb.j               post-41166-0-84463200-1410577286_thumb.j
As of today: post-41166-0-04392100-1410577340_thumb.j         post-41166-0-37939600-1410577398_thumb.j  
                    post-41166-0-41237800-1410578272_thumb.j         post-41166-0-44226700-1410578293_thumb.j
                    post-41166-0-21374700-1410577787_thumb.j         post-41166-0-04014500-1410577814_thumb.j
                    post-41166-0-25662700-1410577843_thumb.j         post-41166-0-52886100-1410577871_thumb.j
                    post-41166-0-92992000-1410577902_thumb.j         post-41166-0-72296300-1410577998_thumb.j
                    post-41166-0-95017500-1410578044_thumb.j         post-41166-0-87229800-1410578072_thumb.j
                    post-41166-0-84588800-1410578115_thumb.j         post-41166-0-33594200-1410629239_thumb.j 
I've changed a little bit too ha..post-41166-0-55113900-1410577445_thumb.j      
Engine: Stock internally (I believe), 38/38 water choke with open plenum, Mechanical distributor, Crane   xr700 Ignition, Bavarian Auto wire set, NGK plugs, Stahl 1 and 3/8" header, Ansa exhaust, complete           emissions gear delete, Amsoil 20w-50 with zinc.
Drivetrain: Getrag 245 5 speed (overdrive style), just finished that job 2 days ago, Redline MT-85 in that,   215mm clutch kit from Rhinopac, Shortened driveshaft, shift plate from IE, stock diff 3.64 non                       lsd with 80W-90 for hypoid gears in it.
Body: Shaved front end with grilles done my way, Clear signals with Amber bulbs (Courtesy of Denvertii),   '69 rear bumper, vortex mudguards, Alpina style wheels, mostly stock suspension, Bullet mirrors, sunroof.
Interior: NRG wood wheel, Shift knob stained to match, (Wooden center console coming soon also               stained to match), Recaros with BMW stamp, stock in the back. 
  1975 has always been the least desirable year for the 2002. The main reason is because of the emissions crap that had to be put on to meet regulations. People shouldn't be turned off to a '75 just because of that, it's an easy fix if you live in a state with relaxed emissions testing policies. A '75 with a clean body is a better buy than, say, a '76 with rust. I personally like square tail light cars because you can modify them without feeling too bad about it. If I owned a pre-74 I'd probably just upgrade the engine and throw a 5 speed in it and leave it be otherwise. With a square tail light car, there's more freedom in my opinion. I've got big plans for this car in the future that include an m20 swap, machining a 6 speed to fit, handmade flares, stiffer, lower, lighter...you get the idea. Huge project spanning many years, but that's okay because this car will go with me to the grave. I just need a shop, more cash, and another car to drive daily. But for tomorrow, I'm thinking a drive up the Big Thompson canyon will do.  
   I'd like to give a special thanks to: Bryce (Denvertii) (He has been a great resource for parts and info), Kelly Longacre (He taught me to work on engines, weld, and fabricate...I loved Agriculture and FFA, fun stuff), and my dad for being my extra set of hands and for teaching me patience (except for chinese made ratchets, never again...)
   If you're just getting into '02s (I guess I'm still fairly new to this too, but I've learned a lot over the years.) I do have a little bit of advice for you:
-Never be afraid to take something apart because you think you'll hurt it. (Do research on here first, then give it a shot.)
-Use the right tool when you can, but using your head and improvising can be a lot more cost effective than     buying specialized tools. 
-If you get pissed during a project, take a break, punch something that won't break your hand, get a snack,     do some research, and give it another shot after getting on the Beauty Shots thread for some inspiration. 
-There ARE dumb questions, but those are different than beginner's questions. 
-Keep your toolbox in the trunk.
-Learn from everything you do.
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Nice clean look on the sides with all of the moldings removed and the flush directionals.  


Wondering why you kept the rear red reflectors?  Safety or better visibility?


Nice job on the rear bumper too.  Quite an improvement of the stock "park bench" and it works really well with the rest of the look you achieved.  Keep up the great work!


Regards, Maurice.

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Wondering why you kept the rear red reflectors?  Safety or better visibility?


-Exactly, I've been rear ended before and I really want to avoid that ordeal again. I know that I'm not going to hit anything, but I can't speak for some idiot in an econobox behind me...


You got the hood, trunk, and rear bumper to all align correctly


-I've noticed that on a lot of restored cars as well, I suspect that a shop in a hurry is responsible. 

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