Planning Your ’86 Experience

So Garth wrote earlier about how the economy has hit us hard like a bad case of regret from that beer goggled girlie from last Friday night! But hey, unlike that one night we can do something about getting the parts we need and building our dream cars.

Now forgetting the economy and the cruel beeyatch she is for a moment, we can use today’s blog as a guide on how anyone in any situation or age can reach their goal. Speaking of which that’s the first subject!

If you don’t have one, then what are you doing?!? It’s pretty obvious that you need one, but for the less minded… Having a goal helps you work out your budget, your timeline, the style and level you are aiming for with your car.

But having a goal you must be realistic to your current and future situation(s) – it;s no good setting out to build the worlds first 24k white gold Levin coupe if you are only a first year bakery boy. Sorry I’m not going to sugar coat it like you would with your cinnamon rolls!

Working out what you want from the car, the parts you want and then what you want to do with the car. Ie: street/touge, track or show-n-shine etc. This first step is the foundation to the next steps.

Now this is of course another key step in the equation, its kinda like second base. You can’t hit third or a home run without first going through 2nd base. Now you are sitting there going “yer great metaphor Beau but where now?”.

Well best thing to do is arm your sell with a note pad, pen, calculator, phone and the internet. Write down everything that your want and what to do to the car, including paint, engine work, suspension and so on. Now that you know what you want to do (of course some of this stuff may change over time) you can now set out to work out the price you’ll be forking out for your pride and joy.

If you are getting the car painted don’t just contact one place call at least 5 places for quotes (remember panel beaters and paint shops will want to see the car before a quote can be made) and do the same for anything you where you will need the aid someone else’s skills to perform the desired job.

This is the best way to work out your costing and might even give you some leverage if you are a bargain hunter. BUT remember cheap price is not always quality work!

Now that you have worked out the suspension parts you want or the engine components or whatever don’t just choose one item/brand choose at least two and don’t set your heart on one thing! This is one way to have it broken or your budget blown out hugely!

Most parts are made by the same companies and are basically the same thing in another colour and different badge on it. But one thing I can not stress enough is that you don’t cheap it on the dependent parts of the car! Such as suspension, wheels, Drivers seat, and engine parts (these components are key points of the car that keep you safe).

For example, if you cant afford good quality coil overs, spend the money on quality shocks and springs or just save more, this applies for the rest.

Now this is a real big part of the scenario! All of the above is great but without cash all you got is a plan on paper! So look at your options.

Do you make enough money to save up and buy items one at a time and are you that patecient ? Or are you eligible for a personal loan or a credit card? Or you might have some awesome parents or grandparents that will warrant you a loan without interest (best option!) and let me tell you, if you have a plan on paper your oldies are more than likely going to consider it then if you said “HEY MA GIVE ME SOME COIN!” So working this out is a key factor on how you are going to fund this money pit on wheels filled with fun and despair.

Now I spoke about credit cards and personal loans and a lot of people will fear this option, and lets face it, it is a big commitment, its money you need to pay back plus extra (interest). BUT there is a smart and responsible way to use these forms of cash.

Whenever you buy something you should be trying to pay more money on to your Loan or Card. For example if you were originally saving $200 a week to buy your car or whatever, you should use that $200 to pay extra onto these means of credit. So if your regular weekly payment to your Loan is $80.00 paying a extra $200 would bring your weekly payments to $280. It wouldn’t seem like much to begin with but if you keeping doing this every week its going to drastically reduce you loans lifespan and your interest amounts. You can also use this method if you say sold a part off your car, as soon as you get that cash throw it straight on your loan.

Now this can be applied the same to the credit card. Your monthly payment might be something like $60.00 (don’t ever just pay $60.00 pay as much as possible to reduce interest..duh!) Its pretty easy to keep on top of these things as long as your are responsible using some of these methods and exercising a sensible lifestyle, which brings me to my next point.

If you are one of those people that goes out every Friday and Saturday night with your mates but you want to build a awesome weapon? Well it’s nearly impossible to do so unless you are happy with the car being finished when you are 37? so controlling your usual lifestyle is a must. But, it can be easier than it sounds! Try going out once a month instead of once a week, sure your mates will call you a pussy but you gotta do the hard yards if you want to roll around in a machine of the envy of others!

Also if you are like me and buy most of your three meals a day -everyday- so try making this cheaper for yourself. Buy some cereal for breakfast, buy some bread and meat to take to work for lunch and just buy a drink (is Jack Daniels ok? – Garth)  for dinner if your lucky enough to still be eating mums dinner!

You’ll be amazed how much it will save: I’ll show you how much Breakky = $10.00 Lunch = $10.00 Dinner = $20.00 A day that’s $40.00 now over a week 5days x $40 …… You are spending $200.00 a week!!!! Now that’s money that could be going towards the car instead of being wasted on the bowl!

Now those above applications are great ways to fuel your saving account but you are probably saying to yourself but how do I? Its so hard to change my lifestyle!!…

It is and its not. Even though the banks are a bunch of vampires you can still use some of their great services. Getting yourself a high bearing savings account that only has a one way withdrawal feature (withdraw from bank) is the best thing to have full stop! You can also set your primary account to withdraw money from itself and send the funds to your high bearing account each week so you don’t even see it.

Ok, So you’ve got the car and all the parts your little heart desired. BUT where do you start? This is where you get your pen and paper and sit in the honest circle!

You really need to be honest with yourself here so you don’t create more headaches, problems and end up forking out unnecessary cash cause you tried to rebuild your engine with crazy glue cause that’s what you read on a forum! Working out what you can and cant do will save you money without you knowing it.

Sure if you can do it or you want to learn or give it a go then heck go for it! But things like building a 4.5k engine or setting the lash on your new LSD is probably something your should leave to a pro.

But in saying that if you know someone who can do the work for you then use that person, try and use all the resources you can!

BUT there is an all important caveat kids! Remember, if your mate helps you slap in your coilovers, buy him a case of beer or something like that! Kind gestures as he/she has shown you is the best way to keep the friends you want in your life and makes building your car that much more enjoyable too!

Now this can be the most Fun, enjoyable and stressful part of it all. Like I said before always choose a couple different items in that part area. For example if you want Greddy coilovers for your car look at other manufactures and research which is better and the prices and weigh up what is best for YOU! I cant stress enough that you should TRY and read as many reviews on items you are looking at buying, especially coilovers and other suspension components.

Also look at parts here in Australia (or your home country for our overseas readers) for the parts you desire instead of just importing the parts from the rising sun. You may end up saving yourself lots! Another little trick is to buy American! Especially if you are building a engine try and buy USA engine parts.

I hear you say but they are for V8s and they don’t have JDM flavour. Let me tell you something, if you told me you had HKS cams in your car id believe you as I wouldn’t know unless I pulled the cam covers off!, Let me tell you another secret most of the Jap engine components are either made by the Americans or they use the same tooling machines and are made in the same place, and the best thing about American stuff or even Aussie stuff is its normally cheaper and sometimes a lot stronger!

Heck this will get your panties in a knot, Did you know that Chevrolet was who helped Toyota build some of their first engines? Or that the Mustang designer helped designed the Celica? Just remember to look at all options before you lay down the cash and research as much as possible.

Happy Hunting!


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