93 Mark VIII Progress Thread


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Aug 29, 2008
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I'm always doing something with my 93 lately and was given the idea to put up a progress thread. This way I can keep a record of everything I've done to it in one place and maybe some Mark fans can enjoy also. I don't take much pictures but I will be more motivated now, hopefully...

Bare with me on the multiple posts since I don't know how to split text for each image separately.

Bought that car summer of 2007 from Gman. The day bought...





Got in a wreak in February of 2009. Was fixed a month later with parts from Jamie; was painted with aerosol cans... *face palm* (You live and learn).



The Crash


Painting with the cans...
It's progress to this summer 2013... and 50,000 miles later after I bought it...
Some minor changes I will probably mention later but for the most part nothing much was done since I bought it esthetically except for the crash. A lot of maintenance work and projects that lead to nowhere.




Notice the hood how it is not glossy...

White LED Conversion

I love that color combo, time to find a rear lsc bumper now..maybe add some chrome 10 spokes..looks good otherwise rattle can or not
Start of this summer SATURNS braces, which I had sitting in the trunk for months, finally were installed. Also, the last picture is of the aftermarket horn I installed a couple of days before that since my horns had stopped working a few months ago.








New horns... nice and loud. They were in a set, one is high pitch and one is low pitch. They also required a ground connection which you can see the bolt(one for each) to the right side of the picture and the other is behind the bumper..
After having to deal with the drone producing, headache creating exhaust for nearly 6 years it finally broke one of it's crappy hanger which were directly bolted to where the rear torsion brace is bolted with no rubber in between :shifty: . The flowmaster 40's originals sound great sure but WOW did it drone inside the car. The previous exhaust was basically just for noise and no performance and not very well done (air flow for flowmaster is close to stock while these new mufflers have twice the CFM).

I do stuff on a budget but I like doing it proper. I wanted the car to be as quiet as possible inside and out. Well I didn't get factory quiet that I wanted but the drone was completely gone. To my surprise the dynomax and flowmaster sound identical from outside the car but inside since it doesn't drone, it feels quiet and you can slightly hear the exhaust noise. Now when I say the drone is completely gone... when it shifts into 4th and you're lightly accelerating there is a hum but unfortunately that's how marks are... but this is slightly a little louder. All in all I'm happy with it. No more DRONE!!!! Before and after sound clips to come.

Specs for the new exhaust
2.5" with third CAT delete
Thrush Turbo mufflers

All for $300 with labor.

Old exhaust








New exhaust install













Now my summer project has been to paint my entire car and what lead to the progress thread. When I bought the car back in 2007, it had been recently painted. With my unskilled eye back then (I was 15) I thought ohhh new paint! I now look back and I am amazed how much I've learned since. All those failed projects have taught me a lot though. So now I'm going to practice painting... hoping it isn't as big of a fail as when I painted the car back in 09 after the crash. I have done a lot of different stuff but paint was something I couldn't do right. The paint may look okay in pictures but if you look close up it's just plain broke... yes I just called paint broke. So my logic was I can't possibly make it look any worse than it looks now so let's learn painting!!

These pictures just show some of the problems. You can see in the exhaust pictures posted before how bad the paint was. The paint I did with aerosol cans yes wasn't glossy but it was holding up better and I painted them off the car...

These only show part of the problems. Paint is all over the rubber trim. It's on the rubber gasket of the windshields, trim, door handles... it's chipping/bubbling. I think I can do better than this...












Looks real good!

Wanna buy some Octistars for it?
I actually bought some before I began my project earlier this summer. You can see them next to my car. Brought them in my car from Georgia. This car is my worker/daily driver and is finally receiving some TLC. To the right is a mint 98 that sits under a cover all day.


How it looks with them on but need new tires first.


And I have everything to convert it to an LSC.

Decided my base coat color. I wanted to continue with silver but I wanted something more metallic and less blueish. This was only testing guys. I will not be painting them on the ground and I did cover the bolts with tape. My goal is to have a better paint job in my budget. I don't want to be spending too much. And did I mention I don't have a garage? I will be painting the car outside and any panels I can remove will be painted in my small shed.




What's up with those sway bar bushings on the rear sway bar? The black ones are still hanging on there...
That was when I originally changed them to polyurethane bushings. I didn't know if the bushing would create noise/problems so I didn't cut the old ones off for security if I need to go back. However the stock bar was changed with a 89 thunderbird 1" bar (You can see the thunderbird bar in the LSC rear bumper picture) so that is now gone and it's clean. I will post more of all the projects I've previously done to it once it is done getting painted. Unfortunately I lost the pictures of the anti-sway bar install due to my memory card going corrupt.
It's nice to see my first Mark still going strong and in good hands. Back then, I asked a lot of questions concerning exhaust, and there was a big debate on removing the third cat back then, and I opted for the two in two out cat to replace the third cat to keep the car legal. It turned out on future Marks that it didn't matter. I agree that the exhaust was garbage. I didn't know what a exhaust was supposed to sound like back then, as this was my first Mark. When I went to my Gen 2, I realized the place didn't do good work, and they are out of business. Sorry about that. Keep the pics coming. You've come a long way since we met in Pensacola to make the exchange. I am glad to see that you still have the car and she's been taking care of you. It looks like she took and licking and has kept on ticking.
Got the hood sanded down and removed. The heat shield looks rugged and broken corner lamp chrome trim and faded wiper arms AND a broken grill... a lot of things I will need to replace in the future.

Then painted it... excuse the mess... it's my "storage" room.


Again I have never done any of this before and this is my first time working with bondo. It's not exactly a clean job I know...

Antenna removed... with a metal plate and then soldered on... yes soldered. It may not be what the pros would want or like but I don't have a welder. It actually held a bunch of force when I pushed on it. I actually used double sided tape that goes on moldings on the metal plate also.


First set of sanding... there are imperfections and I hope to catch them on my next set...


You can see more of that peeling paint and paint on the rubber.


Oh and if anyone is wondering.. I did sand before I applied the bondo.
Applying bondo on the bumpers to fill holes will not work. It will fail so fast and if the bumper even gets tapped in the general area it will crack and most likely fall out.

If you have peeling paint get it off the car as much as possible. Sanding is your friend and your worst enemy right now. Paint peels because it is not prepped properly and the new paint does not have anything to adhere to.

I am sorry to say that the soldering of a steel plate is going to fail so very fast I am surprised it has not already. I know you do not have a welder but if you are going to all the expense to do these things spend a bit extra and get it done right or as close to as you can, as in take it somewhere and have it welded in.
Thanks and I understand where you are coming from. When I bought the bondo quite a while back I actually bought it to fill in the chrome gap to make it look like an lsc... however I decided against that. The one I bought is apparently for bumpers which have flex properties. I know when I was reading back then people said to make sure don't get any bondo/body filler because as soon as you pull off the bumper and it flexes and bends, it will crack off. So I think it should be fine.

The posts I'm doing are actually about a week old work and I have painted the car... but again like I stated in the first post I want to keep a record of everything I'm doing and I finally got the time to sit down and make the progress thread so expect everything to be up in about 3 days. Having said that I did peel and sand off all the chipping paint and I will post pictures of it soon.

Lastly, this is by no means an expensive job... I just got very tired of how crap it looked and couldn't wait any longer. I will be painting the car properly in a paint booth/garage later 100% guaranteed or professionally painted, but I just wanted my hand at it and learn something. If the antenna filling fails I will deal with it and get it welded but I do doubt it will. I will just have to put the antenna back on and wait until I get it painted again.

I have tested the points I filled and they have held up fine so far. Understand guys this is a college kid's summer project and I will be doing the best job I can possibly do and I do thank you for the information because I will certainly remember that and would love any more advice from anyone. I am a DIY person where I do anything like this to construction to electrical, home theater setups so I do take advice where I can get it. However I am a little bit of a perfectionist so don't expect a crap job either... critiques are welcome. :D
Why clear in a can or premixed clear will never work...


Most people would probably encourage that after sand and buffing it would shine but with little research I found clear is quite different than normal paint and isn't just sprayed on from a can.

My old bumper


Proper clear coat test on my already painted bumper... still testing how to paint.


And some molding progress with fishing line.






Extra car cover coming in handy... It's usually on the white Mark in the back...

If anyone is curious to what tape I used to hold the molding. I used 7/8 inch double sided tape on the top and bottom of the molding all the way across.
Sanded the hood and painted again...


Three coats of clear coat... it is not perfectly smooth, hopefully wet sanding in the future will fix that.



Then put on the car after one day.


I would have deffinetly welded that antenna hole..don't foget if you can't afford a welder one can always be rented to do a small job like that..practice on scrap first..same goes for using filler or bondo..find some junk fenders or hood to practice on before you do it on your own car..regardless of whether this is a cheap job or not you will be dissapointed when all of that time you spent prepping and painting something goes to waste when the filler cracks and looks like sh*t. Those upper roof to quarter panel seams will probably have to be redone also..I'd recommend welding that also before using any filler.
Well the car as of today. I still have some detailing left to do like getting paint off the wheel well covers(Was not me, was the old paint) and removing the tape residue. After all that I will start work on the interior. I will take cleaner close ups after I get everything done. It cost me just around $200 for all the paint and then include the stuff I had at home like sand paper/block and tape fishing line I would say it was $250. Then include the time I spent which was right above two weeks not including the time I was trying to find which paint I wanted to use.




Doesn't look half bad for a back yard can job! How many cans of paint/clear you have in it so far?
Was not painted with aerosol cans. I have a compressor with a paint gun I used. In total I have one gallon of paint and one gallon of clear coat. I was going to post all the images but I got lazy. I could sand and buff it for a better mirror like finish but for now it looks 10 fold better than before and I will wait to sand it another time. Some more shots of the paint being done and close ups for a better idea of how the paint looks.
Front bumper


Rear bumper



Shows the difference between the old and new paint. Mind you this is actually the better part of the old paint. It looked a lot worse on some parts of the car. It is also slight less blue and more gray.

Still finishing.
I think it came out pretty damn good for doing it outside! You should be proud! Now get rid of those wheels and put the octis on for the final touch! Great job!

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