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Just out of curiosity, everyone that has had to change multiple HG's and heads... What kind of HG's and what happened to your heads?
Sometimes I wonder if we are trying to turn these into hover cars with all the JSB going on /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif
My first H/G was from a gasket supplier that the machine shop I was working at was using on a trial basis. ROC or maybe it was ROK or ROCK gaskets (not the same as rock auto), but they were cheaper than felpro, and you get what you pay for. It blew out the firing rings between 2 and 3, on stock boost, and drew coolant into the cylinder. So I bought an OEM gasket and ARP head studs, and now almost 40k has gone by and 20 lbs is no problem.
used throttle body(idle surge got so bad car would not stay running, tried to back out stripped biss with jb weld and screwdriver, couldn't)
New clutch/Flywheel (PO didn't know much, bought a chinabay 16g, thought it was a stock turbo. I was new to these cars at the time, didn't know any better myself and drove that way on stock clutch, bunt through it)
new turbo (im not running chinabay on my car)Haven't Installed yet
new alternator (PO was trying to solve a boost leak issue..put on a e3 mani, no heat shield)
-6 line to loop 4ws (PO did this but it was flowing like a river because he did not secure the line and it shredded to bits dragging on the ground)
Installed extended rod because I didn't know about the ball shim thing.
Presently needs an exhaust stud because po broke one and left it.
Also needs new brake lines. I tried to patch it and bent it too much out of shape in process so I can't send them to classic tube to clone, going to have to bend my own. Never done it before.
It has moved literally 3 feet this year. Hope to have these issues resolved and car on road soon. Over winter I bought a better turbo and supporting mods that need install as well and then I will need a tune.
The car could use some paint, the po pressed too hard with a buffer/
It's a love hate relationship, so far its been more hate than love...but when I did get to drive her it was awesome...Gets loads of attention from local DSMer's.
I have learned so much, and I continue to learn. The car is a unique part of history as well. The car may not be valued as much, If I were to put a price on my time, effort, and general love for the car, you wouldn't want to pay it, but who would you be to tell me I'm wrong.
Never Give up. Only thing I can say is make sure this is the car you love, that you dream of, that you lust over...because if you are going to be successful with your almost 20 year old car it has to be a labor of love.
The good news is there are alot of helping hands here that are willing to help you, that have already been where you are right now.
I've have had complete strangers help answer my questions or even come to my house and lend a hand. I in turn have done the same...and the cycle continues.