Red SLX Evaluation Continues, del Sol Cleanup, & Visit from Jason

Odometer (ILX):  214,899

Did you get your Tetanus shot this year?  Because we are about to dive into the rusty SLX and do some preliminary cleanup and evaluation.  First item of business was getting the oil changed at the Honda dealership near the house.  My service advisor, Richard, advised me over the phone that the undercarriage looked “rustier than the Titanic.”

That was not a very good sign.  But his technician was able to get my new front brake pads and rotors installed without too many challenges, which took care of the “metal on metal” grinding that I observed in the first video.  One small step forward, I guess.

I did also successfully get the vehicle registered and I’m happy to report that it seems to run and drive well despite the obvious cosmetic issues.  Even the air conditioning works well.  I went over the paint with a one-step Zaino by hand but I hesitate to get too aggressive with anything beyond that since the clear coat is so thin.  Turned out okay, right?

The question at hand is where and how to prioritize any upcoming work.  This vehicle falls at the very bottom of the list in terms of “needing” to get things done.  And when I do get to that point, I think safety & mechanical concerns rank way above getting new leather seats.  For example, one of the tires is from 2006.  I don’t trust a 13 year old tire in 120 degrees in Phoenix summer at any speed.  So there’s that.

The car that doesn’t need a lot of work is the del Sol.  I did a light engine detail and it came out looking showroom fresh.  I also installed the replica floormats that I had picked up on Ebay a few weeks ago.  They look nice for the price!  A timing belt replacement is scheduled since the existing unit is from 2011.  Hon-Man to the rescue.

It’s been a fun little adventure getting started with these projects, and I had company from a couple of friends this weekend to get a glimpse at what’s going on in my garage.  Jason of Pawela’s Garage stopped by for a couple of nights in his 1998 Ford SVT Contour 5-speed in brilliant Toreador Red.  The car was awesome to drive!  The look on my face when we took it to breakfast shows just how much I was enjoying it.

Then later in the weekend, my friend Ken brought his Suzuka Blue Honda S2000 over for a quick lunch run.  It is such a night & day driving experience from the del Sol.  Super tight and fun.  That color is amazing, too.

Here’s the next video installment, if you dare!

And a short video highlighting some of the adventures with Jason.

Door sill cleanup

The passenger fog lamp lens doesn’t even have a housing behind it

That new awning is coming in handy

Quick touch-up on wiper arms

What in the world are they using on their roads in Illinois? OMG.

Initial pics post-cleanup

Taking care of that rear wiper arm and installing a new blade

Proud member of the Hagerty Driver’s Club and got a greeting card in the mail

Birthday outing for a friend

SLX + SLX pics

Heading to breakfast with Jason on Saturday morning

Swapping keys for a bit

A friend made this meme and I had to share it.

That paint looks absolutely wet!

A local friend gave me a Motor Trend 1994 Import Car of the Year award!  I don’t even know how rare this thing is (maybe 1 of 1?) but it was for the Honda Accord.

Jason working on SLX projects

Squeezing 2 (small) cars into the west garage

More to come!

16 Responses to “Red SLX Evaluation Continues, del Sol Cleanup, & Visit from Jason”

  1. So fun to catch up on your last few posts! Let’s see here…

    Red SLX looks like it’s going to be quite the project, and I agree with you on safety over anything else as a priority. That rust is something, although a lot of it looks like surface rust that hasn’t penetrated far. Good news is the Arizona climate will not really allow it to get worse. Some time with a wire wheel and POR-15 would help convert the rust back to metal in places.

    LOVE the Del Sol! The color is fantastic, it looks almost new, and the floor mats are a fun little touch.

    Jason’s Contour is an oddball little car that I’ve always admired. Never driven one but they look great and are apparently good to drive. Your face in the one pic says it all! Ironically enough, I parked next to a silver Mystique 24V today at my client site, and it looked about as clean as Jason’s.

    Excited to see what all is to come!

    • Stay tuned! I kind of like that the new SLX is such a dog. Will make the cleanup effort that much more rewarding – even if it’s still a POS when I show up to the next Radwood show 😉

  2. Wow, Tyson. Kudos for all the hard work on making that SLX presentable again. That undercarriage is something else, though. I’m guessing that it was driven during the winter and then not washed off with any regularity. I live in the rust belt, and during the winter, I take it to a mechanical car wash to get the undercarriage cleaned at least 1x every two weeks. In all honesty, as much as I appreciate the completeness of your Acura collection, I’d be concerned about being in an accident with it until I had the frame completely checked (when you took it to Acura, did they feel it was still road-worthy?).

    The del Sol looks terrific! The engine bay looks really nice. Beside the timing belt/water pump service, any other plans for it? And Jason’s Ford Contour… wow. It’s been fun to follow the transformation of that car on his blog, and it looks terrific.

    • Totally agree with your comments on the frame and its roadworthiness. The folks at Honda did not comment on anything to the effect that it was a safety hazard. The SLX may see a whopping 1,000 or so miles per year. It’s more just an artifact for the collection anyway. A conversation piece. We’ll see if Hon-Man says the DS needs anything besides the TB/WP.

  3. The difference that you’ve made to the physical appearance already makes the SLX look 100x better! If only owners of every vehicle kept up with regular cleaning and replacing interior and exterior trim pieces when they broke or went missing, it would make ownership of older cars so much easier. I think Jake is right, get it up on some jack stands and hit the underside with a wire wheel. Once it’s done, get some rust-kill paint and apply it before sealing the underside with some under-body sealant. I did the same with the Fairmont about a year ago as it was just starting to show very minor signs of surface rust, so attacked it before it got out of control. Looking forward to the continued updates =)

    • Definitely. More to come for sure. I’m having fun with the project. Thanks for the feedback Adam, and I hope you have a great weekend my friend!

  4. Just from fighting one mud guard, I can only imagine what other challenges await with this new project. But, this will be so rewarding. I’m already blown away by how much you’ve accomplished already. Radwood worthy for sure. Great visit as always. Until next time!

  5. Chris Miller Says:

    My wife caught me opening this blog in the kitchen. Her response? “Only 104?” I told her it’ll be 120 soon enough. The SVT Contour caught my eye, as I only seek rare cars. That meme though 😂😂

    • Haha the meme is pretty good. I admit I got a kick out of it. Def not looking forward to 120 degree temps though. At least it’s overcast and cool out here (“June gloom”) in LA this morning.

  6. I guess the theme this week is radiant red rides! What kind of wax does Jason use on his Contour? I want to go buy some right now. Haha. The SLX is looking good! To answer your question, Illinois puts about a million tons of salt on its roads each year. Sad!

    • I’ll have to ask Jason about his detailing regimen – I know he and I have discussed it prior, but I forgot. I know he recently did a blog post or two on his restoration of that Contour on his page at pawelasgarage.com. Anyway, typing this to you from the parking lot of American Honda in Torrance, CA as we set up for a car show! I’m still bummed we lost you to the Germans, LOL.

      • Cool — I’ll head over to Jason’s page pronto. And I can be lured back to Japan btw! Haha. Let’s see what Honda Motor Co. is doing when it’s time to replace the Audi. Tesla Model 3 killer perhaps? 😀

        Have a great time at the show! Looking forward to reading about it when you’re back from CA!

  7. I love that meme – very funny. I’ve been to auto museums with less cars than yourself 😀
    That SLX is looking great on the topsides – those undersides though… lol! Have fun 😀

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