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Discussion Starter · #41 · (Edited)
Welp, strut towers are all done (at least from the outside). Unfortunately, I didn't take any pictures while I was doing the acid treatment, Rust Bullet application, and seam sealing but I do have pictures of the final results. I ended up getting some 3M 08881 undercoating which should be good enough to cover up the sliver Rust Bullet paint (only comes in one color), otherwise I might have considered not undercoating anything. I think it looks pretty good.
Driver's side
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Passenger's side.
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Discussion Starter · #42 · (Edited)
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I will try to grab some pics of it with the wheels on tomorrow. It looks, interesting with lowering springs in the rear and stock springs in the front, and not in the way you would think. I was going to vacuum out all of the blasting grit/sand after this but my shop vac had other plans. I was going to empty it and clean the filter so I could easily collect the grit, and put it back in the blaster but the filter ripped apart. It's a Rigid brand vac so only Home Depot, which is 45 minutes away, sells the filters so I ended up giving the Zx2 and Mazda a quick wash and swapping out the winter tires instead. It feels nice to have Z rated rubber on it again. Then I managed to put together a shopping list long enough to justify driving out to Home Depot to buy the new filter. Hopefully tomorrow I'll have the time to clean up the interior, swap out the front struts and springs, and give it a an alignment. Or maybe I'll mow my lawn, it really needs it. This is one of the busiest weekends I've had in quite some time.
 

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Looks really good. Did your fuel filler pipe have a plastic cover over it like the second generation Escorts?
I took mine off and left it off when I discovered it just seemed to trap wet sand and dirt against the fuel filler pipe.
 

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Discussion Starter · #44 ·
Yes, it has that piece. I put it back on, abrasion from road spray and rocks being thrown would easily remove the paint from the filler pipe. The old pipe actually didn't rust out where that cover is. It was just the mounting flange and, oddly enough, on the top, just behind where the flange is supposed to be. I'll have to get a picture of it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #45 ·
Well, the ZX2 won out over the lawn today. I got everything done, everything in the strut assemblies aside from the lower front spring isolators is brand new.
As promised, this is what it looked like with lowering springs in the rear and stock springs in the front. It actually looks pretty level, maybe slightly lower in the rear but not by much.
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This is after the front springs were changed out. Measuring from the edge of the rim to the fender shows around a 1" drop. In my opinion, this is how it should have looked from the factory. No loss in function either, my stock Mazda 3 is lower than this.
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The most interesting part was the alignment. The rear actually didn't require any adjustment and is now closer to the ideal factory spec than what it was when I did the alignment back on the first page of this thread. The amount of camber actually went down by around 0.3° and the toe stayed the same. Needless to say, I didn't mess with it. As far as the front goes, it improved too although the total toe went from 0.2° to -0.2°. Caster stayed around the same but camber was strange. I set the strut mounts in the same orientation I originally set them to when I first aligned it around 5 years ago, right side at the stock setting (max camber), left side at the opposite (minimum camber). Left side was originally -0.91° and the right was -0.45°, now the left is -0.86 and the right is -0.97. Ideal is -0.4 but it's still within spec and balanced. No camber bolts needed on this car. I probably could have turned the right strut mount 90° to bring the caster and camber down a little but it was 8:45 and I wanted to go home. It's well within spec and doesn't pull, I'm happy.
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Discussion Starter · #47 ·
Well, I cut the grass a few days later... Now, less than a week afterwards, their are three times as many dandelions and it's just as tall as before.:mad: The news keeps saying that there is a "Fire danger due to dry conditions in my area." My grass and plants say otherwise.

I got the stuff for fixing the A/C ordered last week, It came in yesterday and hopefully I'll get it installed and recharged today or tomorrow. Also, despite what H&R says, you need to cut your front bump stops to run these springs. After I got the front installed the car felt really stiff and would squeak if you bounced the front. After looking and doing some measurements it became obvious that the front was just touching the bump-stops while sitting on level ground. The ones I installed were the same length but about 1/3 thicker compaired to the OE ones which didn't help much. I ended up cutting 1" off them both and it rides much better now. Definitely stiffer than stock but not uncomfortable. The Motorcraft struts seem to handle the springs well, the car doesn't feel bouncy and if you bounce the suspension in the driveway it basically stops as soon as you let go.

I also got the rest of the sound system installed. I got the 8 gauge power wire and RCAs ran. I used the factory amp connector under the drivers seat for the remote turn on signal and to power all of the speakers. My tweeter pods also fit great.

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Here is the aforementioned filler pipe from a few posts ago. Somehow, this didn't leak when I smoke checked the EVAP system. The seal for the plastic piece must be farther down.
I also discoved after washing the car that at least one of my trunk leaks was caused by the rubber seal on the plastic piece that goes around the filler neck behind the gas door no longer sealing against the car body. I put a nice bead of RTV on that part and reinstalled it. Hopefully no more leaks.
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Discussion Starter · #48 ·
Got the A/C done today. I probably could have got away without replacing the lower line set, it wasn't nearly as rusty as I though, but I already had a new one so on it went. Hopefully it will be as good as the A/C on my old wagon was, that thing cranked.

I also got the trunk lining cleaned, dried, and re-installed in the car so now it's finally, completely back together now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #49 ·
Today wasn't a good day for the Z. I discovered after filling it up that the tank leaks. I wasn't surprised because my brother told me it would leak sometimes but it passed a smoke machine test and didn't leak the first time I filled it but for some reason it now does.

Also, at some point on my shopping trip some douche nugget decided it would be nice to run into it and take off! I didn't discover the damage until I got home and was unloading the car. :mad: I wish I had seen it before I got home because then I would have went to every place I had parked and asked to see their surveillance tapes. This is the worst parking lot damage I've ever experienced and it figures it would happen the week I started drive this car. Insurance won't cover it either because I don't have collision on this car like I do on the Mazda.
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I used some rubbing compound and managed to make it look probably 75% better but there's still some missing paint. At least it isn't cracked.
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