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1995 mega man calibra thread


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#1 OFFLINE   alcyonecorporation

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Posted 06 January 2018 - 12:23 AM

*
POPULAR

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So yes, I'm a hypocrite. I'm doing a thread I said I'd never do - but I've got a stomach bug and can't sleep. If you want to blame anything, blame that. 

I decided to buy an SVX because I've wanted one for a while. 

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Unfortunately, because of my deeply special finances, I didn't get a good one. It did at least have a full MoT and a new Pirtek power steering hose (which still leaked, but dribbled less than the original). 

When I picked the car up off the previous owner, it had no fuel, the battery was flat and he "couldn't find" the V5. 
He later produced an old blue log book in a different name. As a result, the document serial number wasn't recognised when I went to tax it online, leading to a panicked call to a mate to acquire trade plates. 

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It should not take 4 hours to get from Milton Keynes to Peterborough, but the SVX had other ideas.

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The top hose split, so Jozza cut out the collapsed section and bodged it back on well enough for the car to get home.

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All was sort of well, despite the error code (which the PO assured me would disappear after the battery was fully charged. It didn't). 
Had a couple of contacts at Scooby Clinic so I went and had some routine servicing done. They also replaced the Jozza-tech top hose; we later discovered that an SVX top hose is an Impreza GF8 Turbo bottom hose turned upside down. 

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Here the very fresh* oil was drained. 

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The PO told more porky pies about the gearbox than would fit in all of Melton Mowbray. Here is the ATF coming out; Dexron should not be this colour. Please also note the utterly destroyed exhaust system. 

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Gearbox dipstick with more encrusted hot ATF burned than burned face man. I should have realised then that the transmission cooler, built into the radiator, had gone west. New Dexron was added: like putting lipstick on a pig. 

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I was STUNNED and APPALLED to discover the rocker cover gaskets were leaking. There has never been another Subaru which has done this.

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I think Cthulhu lives in my sump.

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Here is the rear diff, covered in surface corrosion like the rest of the car. Apart from one blebby NSR arch, the rest of the car is sound - but the paint is terrible.

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SERVICE COMPLETE!!!!!! (do you want car wash 20 cr?) The car later returned to Scooby Clinic to replace a crank sensor (which eventually extinguished the check engine light). 

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All seemed to be well, so I used the car occasionally and managed to find someone selling parts off an SVX breaker. The PO had taken random parts off my car to plump up his spares cache. To this day the parts he promised me when I bought the car haven't materialised.

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One of things he'd removed were the external boot struts, which help support the weight of a fibreglass rear deck bolted to the bootlid. Having nearly given myself a hernia using the boot without them, getting them fitted was a blessed relief. They were made by Showa, posh fork manufacturer for sports bikes from here to Kanagawa.  

Other missing parts included the cigarette lighter switch, the ashtray (broken), the rear plastic seat backs and tipper knob and a few other bits and bobs I've mostly replaced, rear seat back and tipper knob aside.

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The tyres were disgusting and the SVX is a heavy car, so I got another set. Here they are sort of fitted into the SVX; the rear bench folds down. 

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I went to Liverpool Cars and Coffee to see Pete-M, and found a tyre bay open on Sunday. They managed to remember that the SVX has handed alloys, but forgot to balance the them properly. The car ended up almost undrivable because of the weight thrown by the rims.

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The wobbly wheels mattered not in the end, as the gearbox failed completely on the eastbound M62 about four hours later. Here it is being recovered back to Cambridgeshire - by the same bloke who recovered Warren's 405 Estate during Harold-fest. On that occasion, he took me and the car through the Mersey Tunnel on the way back to the Wirral and earned a righteous bollocking off the staff.

Gearboxes are an SVX weak point because the Jatco 4EAT is designed to deal with Subaru's sub 100 bhp EA82 four-pot, not a 3.3-litre six which was producing 280 on the dyno. Fuji went with the 4EAT because at the time it had no manual boxes available; it told its engineering team to peg the EG33 back and hope for the best. 

They fail often. All the seals had blown out, shocked by the fluid change - and there was water in the 'box itself. 

Game over? Not quite.
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What we need is more poo brown cars.


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#2 OFFLINE   alcyonecorporation

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Posted 06 January 2018 - 12:42 AM

PRAT TOO

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The car sat for a few months while I contacted a few gearbox specialists. I kept buying parts for it like a doting idiot. Here is being picked up en route to a gearbox rebuild.

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Matgate occurred. I decided the car needed JDM mats from an Alcyone SVX, due to their uncanny resemblance to Mission of Burma's 'Vs' album cover.

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The price agreed was fine, the postage wasn't - and the seller had been gouging. A few choice emails were exchanged along with some racist abuse from him to me, and eventually after kicking off eBay refunded the £50 difference in postage from what he'd charged me and what was declared on the postage docket.

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Here are the mats fitted after matgate had concluded. The purple fabric is Alcantara, and what looks like a hi/lo drive selector lever is actually the handbrake.

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The car spent a lot of time at the gearbox place. Everything came out and was rebuilt - apart from the radiator/cooler, which they insisted was fine.

4EAT rebuild kits are still available, but the shift linkage had broken.

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In the end, I had to buy another good working gearbox to get the parts needed.
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What we need is more poo brown cars.


Lukas, shaking his head


#3 ONLINE   Mr_Bo11ox

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Posted 06 January 2018 - 01:09 AM

Wow this is mega. What a fantastic machine!!!! Fair play to you for getting the gearbox done, I imagine that is a hefty investment


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#4 OFFLINE   Honey Badger

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Posted 06 January 2018 - 01:11 AM

Quality car, quality thread.

 

Great looking cars though this one sounds like it's been well abused by its previous owners, your going above and beyond keeping this on the road.

 

Floor mats are epic and migraine inducing in equal measures.



#5 OFFLINE   Heidel_Kakao

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Posted 06 January 2018 - 01:33 AM

Cool stuff, I like how the gear selector indicator is duplicated completely redundantly in the binnacle to save you looking down at the selector.

Does it share parts with other Subaru's?
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1990 Proton Aeroback 1.5 GLS
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1996 Citroen XM 2.0 Turbo VSX auto estate
1996 Citroen XM 2.5TD VSX manual estate

#6 OFFLINE   Bren

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Posted 06 January 2018 - 03:40 AM

It would be easier to purchase a running car in good condition.

But that is not what autoshite is about.
Autoshite is about spending ££££ on a car and then giving it away, while incurring a mental breakdown in the process.

Those mats are fab - the artwork looks like it was designed by somebody schmokeing a three skinner while listening to Van de Graff generator.
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#7 OFFLINE   r.welfare

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Posted 06 January 2018 - 07:21 AM

Compelling text, wonderful pictures. Waiting for more.

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#8 OFFLINE   406V6

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Posted 06 January 2018 - 08:52 AM

From the thread title I thought I was going to read about adventures with a Calibra but this one is rarer and epic. You get a Big Gonads award for taking this on. I'm sure I read elsewhere a while back that these cars were being scrapped because of gearbox problems and replacement parts being unobtainable. At least yours should be going back on the road.


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#9 OFFLINE   Supernaut

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Posted 06 January 2018 - 09:03 AM

Gearboxes are an SVX weak point because the Jatco 4EAT is designed to deal with Subaru's sub 100 bhp EA82 four-pot, not a 3.3-litre six which was producing 280 on the dyno. Fuji went with the 4EAT because at the time it had no manual boxes available; it told its engineering team to peg the EG33 back and hope for the best.


I knew the gearbox on the SVX was a weak point, but was not aware it was so under-specced! That's mental logic* from Subaru there.
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#10 OFFLINE   Talbot

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Posted 06 January 2018 - 09:16 AM

I like how the gear selector indicator is duplicated completely redundantly in the binnacle to save you looking down at the selector.

I dunno... there are many times I have knocked an auto down from D to the next gear when climbing a hill, only to completely forget about it until the end of my journey and realise I've not been in D since the hill.  A selector confirmation (or at least a lamp saying "you're not in D") would be very useful to me.

 

Top motah though.  Really love the idea of a flat6 driven car, and the SVX seems to have the right level of bonkers to be quite appealing.  Such a shame they never did a manual.



#11 OFFLINE   colc

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Posted 06 January 2018 - 09:23 AM

You poor sod......I had an extremely similar experience with a Bitter coupe..............


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#12 ONLINE   fordperv

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Posted 06 January 2018 - 09:52 AM

They are lovely looking cars
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#13 ONLINE   phil_lihp

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Posted 06 January 2018 - 10:03 AM

Lovely cars, these.  Much respect for taking one on, also best floor mats ever.



#14 OFFLINE   AlabamaShrimp

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Posted 06 January 2018 - 10:08 AM

From the thread title I thought I was going to read about adventures with a Calibra but this one is rarer and epic. You get a Big Gonads award for taking this on. I'm sure I read elsewhere a while back that these cars were being scrapped because of gearbox problems and replacement parts being unobtainable. At least yours should be going back on the road.


This.

Always seems a shame that things get scrapped for small bits that could be made but can take be (if that makes sense) still at least you did manage to get the bits and as someone else said excellent mats!

Stupid question is does it gets very hot inside with only those small bits of windows opening?

#15 OFFLINE   Asimo

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Posted 06 January 2018 - 10:11 AM

Good to read about about this car; just my sort of weird, brave and flawed, massive depreciation hero.

Please tell us about the door windows. Please.

#16 OFFLINE   brownnova

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Posted 06 January 2018 - 10:25 AM

I've always wanted one of these!!! Awesome purchase.

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#17 OFFLINE   Bren

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Posted 06 January 2018 - 11:40 AM

The first time I saw one of these was at an RS day at Donnington Park - on the track with various sierra cosworths. Although it could'nt get past them they could'nt unstick it either.

#18 OFFLINE   alcyonecorporation

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Posted 06 January 2018 - 11:47 AM

This.

Always seems a shame that things get scrapped for small bits that could be made but can take be (if that makes sense) still at least you did manage to get the bits and as someone else said excellent mats!

Stupid question is does it gets very hot inside with only those small bits of windows opening?


Er, it doesn't actually, no. You'd think with such a low nose the ventilation would be terrible (like my Xedos 6, which was almost insufferably hot on a slightly muggy day with a really weak fan assist; later cars with the crapper wheels and rubbish steering wheel had A/C which helped) but the fan is pretty good and the A/C chills your bits.

Daft thing about the small windows is - apart from being crap at drive thrus (but the car's low anyway)the airflow around the car is designed that you can drop the windows at 90 and have fresh air come through the cabin without being buffeted to death. So if it did get too hot (you're right, there's a shit ton of glass) you could have both windows down even the rain without getting battered by spray or cross wind.

Good to read about about this car; just my sort of weird, brave and flawed, massive depreciation hero.

Please tell us about the door windows. Please.


Only the small bit of the window drops. The rest is fixed. Subaru had to come up with a new glass to metal bonding process to make it work.
There are two defroster vents in the doors to demist the separate sections in bad weather. Works really well.
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What we need is more poo brown cars.


Lukas, shaking his head


#19 OFFLINE   alcyonecorporation

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Posted 06 January 2018 - 12:02 PM

PRAT FREE

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Another pic of it on the ramp. The bonnet struts had blown and they're very hard to get hold of. I got another off an SVX owner on eBay. I've found that a lot of people don't tend to list SVX bits because of the hideously low uptake; what I tend to do is wait for SVX bits - any bits - to go up for sale, then ask if they've got anything else. Nine times out of ten I get "yeah, I have got [xyz], just didn't think it was putting up for sale."

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The exhaust had to come off to get at the gearbox; here's the mid-back half. It is horribly knackered, and while you can get random sections and rubbers from Subaru UK, it's easier to get a system made. Hayward and Scott have stainless parts on the shelf but they're too much for my budget. They're bloody beautiful, though, I suspect they'd outlast the car.

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More xxx rated grot for the hardcore afflicted. This was when the car was on the ramps at Scooby Clinic.

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Close up on the 4EAT with the horrible exhaust back on. I couldn't afford to have both done at the same time and had to have the remains of the box (and destroyed rubbers)temporarily welded for the MoT.

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Spare gearbox from a Legacy GT-B. Bit of a bargain at £50; Subaru got the hang of strengthening it after the SVX was discontinued. My car has much of the guts of this box installed now.

The key to keeping the boxes sweet is to keep them cold (with a separate cooler) and keeping an eye on the programmed changes; it's all done via an ECU which makes the box work too hard in the process.

Unfortunately, the box on my car has blown. Again.

I suspect I know what the problem is.
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What we need is more poo brown cars.


Lukas, shaking his head


#20 OFFLINE   alcyonecorporation

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Posted 06 January 2018 - 12:14 PM

PRAT FOR

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Anyway, less GEARBOX FOULNESS, more details. When I have some spare cash, it'll get transported back to the gearbox place along with a new rad and external cooler (which, in all honesty, I wanted on in the first place, but they insisted the rad/cooler was fine).

This is what the engine looks like - it's a 3.3-litre flat six with 230 bhp. It can make a lot more, but gearbox. It has twin throttle bodies, one per bank. Alcyone SVXs have a different cover with '3300 BOXER' printed on the front; being the hopeless weeaboo I don't resemble, I had to have one.

You can see the new less leaky Pirtek PAS hose the PO made a massive fuss about. It still leaks, albeit at a slower rate. The same person took the central locking out, for reasons I can't even begin to fathom.

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MOAR cabin, with gratuitous mat action. Turns out there's a plain rear transmission tunnel cover which I'll have to blag off someone.

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Dashboard close up. The pwood has faded on its top edge. There are heated seats but only the drivers' seat is electric.
The massive plastic lozenge on the left of the steering column operates the heater; it beeps like a microwave. The other HVAC controls are redolent of a Technics Class A+ amplifier.

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Speaking of Panasonic ICE, here's the head unit. USDM and JDM cars got a double DIN thing, we got a top of the range Panasonic with a CD autochanger. It pulls out completely for that subtle sense of victory over car thieves. I tend to run a Bluetooth to jack receiver through the CD input; the tape deck is bollocksed and so is the autochanger, speakers and aerial.

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Surprisingly, it wasn't that arsed about the snow.

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Here it is gatecrashing a random gathering of 3000GTs. Were I to chase them, I wouldn't see which way they went. Then the gearbox would probably explode.

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Here it is in des unit Fens, with my ex-colleague's crap, the ex-PBK/WW MGF and my Piazza, which has guffed its alternator.
You can also see the world's best beige Peugeot in the background.
  • Spottedlaurel, Heidel_Kakao, outlaw118 and 16 others like this

What we need is more poo brown cars.


Lukas, shaking his head


#21 OFFLINE   wuvvum

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Posted 06 January 2018 - 12:15 PM

Would it not be easier at this stage to just say "fuck it" and do a manual conversion?  Would probably spoil the wafty-GT nature of the car, but might work out cheaper in the long term.


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#22 OFFLINE   alcyonecorporation

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Posted 06 January 2018 - 12:18 PM

I don't want a manual SVX. I fell out with the groupthink on SVX NATION over that.

Plus, the gearbox place have cocked up, so I'm having it sorted under warranty.
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What we need is more poo brown cars.


Lukas, shaking his head


#23 OFFLINE   shumarialto

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Posted 06 January 2018 - 12:26 PM

Nice, i want those mats.


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#24 OFFLINE   alcyonecorporation

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Posted 06 January 2018 - 12:28 PM

There is a car that the mats fit in.

It doesn't work at the moment :(
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What we need is more poo brown cars.


Lukas, shaking his head


#25 OFFLINE   Honey Badger

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Posted 06 January 2018 - 12:28 PM

Good to hear that it's getting sorted under warranty, I take you have strawberry milkshake instead of ATF inside the auto box due to the cooler going tits up.

 

Do the later generation H6 autoboxes from Legacy's and Tribecas fit or are the updated internals strong enough to cope with the power once you add an external cooler?



#26 OFFLINE   Sigmund Fraud

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Posted 06 January 2018 - 12:33 PM

Splendid work, and amazing persistence !



#27 OFFLINE   wuvvum

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Posted 06 January 2018 - 12:38 PM

These cars are well worth persisting with.  I wish I'd persisted with mine, rather than selling it to buy something else like a fickle twat.



#28 OFFLINE   SierraMikeHotel

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Posted 06 January 2018 - 12:40 PM

I have to say, I've never seen or heard of these before but it looks bloody brilliant!  Top work, I am a little envious.


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#29 OFFLINE   shumarialto

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Posted 06 January 2018 - 12:43 PM

There is a car that the mats fit in.

It doesn't work at the moment :(

I love the interior, the wood dash, seats, mats. It looks spot on. Never seen an SVX before. Hope its working soon.



#30 OFFLINE   alcyonecorporation

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Posted 06 January 2018 - 01:22 PM

Good to hear that it's getting sorted under warranty, I take you have strawberry milkshake instead of ATF inside the auto box due to the cooler going tits up.

Do the later generation H6 autoboxes from Legacy's and Tribecas fit or are the updated internals strong enough to cope with the power once you add an external cooler?


Not strawberry milkshake, no.

Clear water. Nowt else.
  • Honey Badger likes this

What we need is more poo brown cars.


Lukas, shaking his head





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