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Steve Tochi

New 74 Tii owner in the South Bay

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Hey Everyone,

First post on FAQ, I got the 2002 fever and the only prescription is more ........Anyway, I picked up a 74 Tii Polaris yesterday through a rather complicated purchase from the estate of my wife's cousin.  He passed away last year, was 2nd owner CA car since the 1970's, and was his daily driver.  Its very original and tired, leaks oil, painted primer gray and shows surface rust.  But she (Valdez) starts and runs and seems to be very dry underneath except for spare tire well.  My goal is to get the engine and driveline sorted out, and work on interior and cosmetics as budget and time allows.  So was just wondering if anyone who has gone through a restoration might want to come to Redondo Beach, and give me their assessment and advice before I start making any rash decisions, with a cold beer as compensation.

Thanks,

Steve 

[email protected]

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Sup man and welcome to the forum. It's been a great resource for me when I'm stuck and can't figure out exactly what my manual is telling me. I'm in OC (Mission Viejo to me exact) and I've just done some moderate updating of my 72 (non TII). IE motorsports is hosting an open house in sometime in October and it's prolly a good spot for you to meet up with some local folks to ask questions. I'm planning to go depending on my kids soccer schedules and if you wanna roll together hit me up. Here is my info:

 

Alekhine Uy

[email protected]

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Little update on Valdez.  After I got the car home, and deciding it was too much for my skills and would take too much time, I inquired with Le Tran at Garagewerks.  He drove 60 miles to my house to check out the car. After a test drive and listening to the motor, his comments were motor pulls hard and maybe just needs a seal job for all the oil leaks.  He wanted me to drive it for awhile and see how it Valdez ran and performed.

Fast forward to November 11th, I drove the car out to his shop, ran really good for the most part.  After compression and leak down tests with good results, he had the sub-frame and motor dropped by the end of the day.  Once he got into it, he was able to confirm motor was rebuilt at some point, some suspension and driveline upgrades were also done by PO.  But there were lots of other issues besides oil leaks, bent control arm, tranny bearing out, various broken and beat up bushings, mounts and brackets, just typical stuff for a 45 year old car. 

I read somewhere in FAQ that Le doesn't do anything half a$$, so with that in mind, I came up with a budget.  In less than a week and by last Friday, he had finished work, motor back in and car running.  Some of work completed: Seal job, sub frame reinforcement, re-cored radiator, thermostat, hoses,123 distributor & coil, rebuilt steering box, front suspension overhaul, new oil pump, reseal tranny, late shifter, new clutch kit, motor mounts & urethane bushings, and many other nitty things.  Lots of plated bits.  Came in under my budget and he saved me money where possible, I could not be more pleased.  Here are some photos of work last week, he continually updated me each day with progress and photos. I will be picking up the car later this week after some final tuning.

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Edited by Steve Tochi
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Good to hear that your car is getting some TLC. Let’s figure out a time to link up and get some mileage in on the “new to you” car. 

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Hey Jim,

I jokingly told him midstream last week I decided to do a color change to Schwartz.  Well the planets aligned a little bit for us timing wise, as when I arrived, he drove it in straight to the lift, rather than sitting for the customary few weeks so caught him at a good time.  We had this in the plans for over a month, and he had pre-ordered parts knowing what it would we be doing cooling system, ignition, seals, etc.

Once we agreed to what to sort, I told him I'll pick it up next week..he later told me he took that as a personal challenge.  He has hoarded many parts and has bins and bins full of plated and rebuilt parts.  They seemed to work on the car every night until 9-10 pm, as evidenced by the continuous text messages and pics you will get when working with him.  Got lucky as brakes were good, driveline was already rebuilt, and car was really solid and dry.

The big time saver, I decided not to respray the engine bay, which was just way too many hours/dollars. Something I may regret.  He's driving it over next few days and fine tuning, I'm picking it up this Saturday, so 2 weeks to finish.  Makes the costs less painful with the expediency of the work, rather than a long drawn out drain on the bank account. 

I see you have a Buick Rivi, love that body style. My Uncle has a solid Buick 70' GSX Stage 1 in his garage, been trying to buy that car off him for 20 years but he's stubborn and starting to lose his faculties a bit.

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Alekhine,

If I get the car this Saturday, I might go for a inaugural drive and coffee this Sunday with another 02er.  Let me know if you want to drive over to the South Bay and join us.  Only downside is car is in Ontario, sort of hard to find that special friend who will drive me out on a Saturday morning.

Steve

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11 hours ago, Steve Tochi said:

Hey Jim,

 

I see you have a Buick Rivi, love that body style. My Uncle has a solid Buick 70' GSX Stage 1 in his garage, been trying to buy that car off him for 20 years but he's stubborn and starting to lose his faculties a bit.

Umm. No Buicks here. Riviera BLUE 1969 '02.

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