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A day in the life of a modder

 
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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 15 Oct 2011, 02:05 pm
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Default A day in the life of a modder

I've had my Cruiser since it was new, and up to now had only made a couple of mods to it - it is an 05 Touring sedan - Cool Vanilla. I had changed the front emblem to the larger 06 and later one. I had added chrome strips to the grille (3 times in 6 years - they don't survive Ozarks winters very well), and I had changed the tail lights to the 06 and later versions when one of my tail lights cracked and was taking on water, and I found that it was cheaper to buy a set of later model tail lights than one for the 05. I also put some of the convertible roll bar emblems on the door - right above the "PT Cruiser" emblems. That was it until recently when my son bought an '03 and the mod bug bit me. I added a step pad to the rear bumper and changed the shift knob from the stock dark grey one to a silver one. (put the grey one in THXLBX's 03, replacing the white one that came on the 03s).

So - I started surfing the net for possible mods and rediscovered this forum - had lurked on it way back when my Cruiser was new. I decided to go "old School" - sorta - and ordered some chrome gee-gaws from Maggie - door spears, antenna bezel, screw covers for interior door handles, "cups" for exterior handles, headlight chrome rings, etc.

Then the biggie - chrome wheels and a grille. I've detailed my grille search in another thread, so I won't repeat it here. On the wheels, none of the local Tire and wheel emporiums wanted to talk with me about chrome wheels for the PT Cruiser. (They all wanted to sell me 20 inch wheels and very low profile tires - not a retro mod item!) I surfed and found Wheel Vintique chrome wheels from several places and ordered them from the place with the best price.

The wheels were backordered, and came in earlier this week. teh grille arrived yesterday along with a set of PTeazer tail lights. So yesterday started out good. After the big brown truck came and left, I went to the local tire shop and picked out some new tires. The wheels had big stickers on the box and on the wheel itself that said "You mount it, you own it", so I asked the guys to make sure the wheels fit before they mounted the tires. It was good that I did. The wheels fit all right, but the tire guy noticed that one of them was crooked - it wasn't real evident when you looked at it, but it wobbled when they put it on the balancing machine (no tires mounted yet) - the other three wheels are fine. So - I called the place where I ordered the wheels - they are having UPS pick up the defective wheel and they told me that they would have Wheel Vintiques drop ship me a replacement wheel directly.

I'm taking lots of "before" pictures and plan to document the entire process - and will post here as it progresses. Right now I have three wheels and four tires stacked in my garage along with a whole bunch of exterior add-ons. ! would already have them on the car, but am waiting for next weekend when the kids are here - my son can help me with any heavy lifting!

Last edited by harrym; 17 Oct 2011 at 03:13 pm.
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Old 15 Oct 2011, 05:54 pm
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Default Re: A day in the life of a modder

Great story. Me, I'm semi-retired from modding (also known as broke).
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Old 15 Oct 2011, 07:19 pm
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Default Re: A day in the life of a modder

Thanks - I know the feeling. There's a couple more things I might do, but I think I will be satisfied with the results when I finish this phase - I hope it turns out good....
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Old 20 Oct 2011, 01:35 pm
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Default Re: A day in the life of a modder

Today - started the mods on my 05 and my son's 03 - doing his first - chrome buttons on door handles - tha twas easy. Got some degreaser and am going to do the door handle cups next.

Question - does it take a special wrench to remove the antenna bezel. I thought I could get it with some angled needle nosed pliers, but no deal - it's on too tight. I don't want the needle noses to slip and scratch the paint! Any advice would be appreciated.
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Old 20 Oct 2011, 03:39 pm
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Default Re: A day in the life of a modder

First thing you do is put masking tape all around the area. The antenna of mine took a 3/8 inch wrench and came off without too much trouble but don't let the base fall down into the hole. Keep hold of it while putting on the new antenna or the chrome replacement surround.

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Old 20 Oct 2011, 07:19 pm
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Default Re: A day in the life of a modder

Quote:
Originally Posted by CREWZIN View Post
First thing you do is put masking tape all around the area. The antenna of mine took a 3/8 inch wrench and came off without too much trouble but don't let the base fall down into the hole. Keep hold of it while putting on the new antenna or the chrome replacement surround.

That's the best way. Years ago at the time, I think I used a Flathead screwdriver in one of the notches and a rubber mallet to get it loose with some light taps. So dangerous but it worked...
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Old 20 Oct 2011, 08:28 pm
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Default Re: A day in the life of a modder

Accomplished today:

On the '03:
Installed chrome door cups and door spears.

On the 05:
Installed chrome door cups, door spears, and door posts.

To do:

03 - antenna bezel

05 - antenna bezel, grille, chrome headlight surrounds

Everything went smoothly except for the antenna bezels - will mask them off and try with a 3/8 open end wrench per your suggestions - thanks.

And the door spears. The spears on the back doors went on quite well. The front door spears, however, were a bear to get on. When we pressed on the front, the rear would try to come up, and vice versa. It was almost like they were on a different curvature from the doors and were high-centering. Finally, we got both ends to go down and hopefully they will not come up. We added some red 3m tape to each one, and that helped.
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Old 20 Oct 2011, 09:07 pm
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Default Re: A day in the life of a modder

Harry,

I have to take back what I told you, except the part about the masking tape around the outside area.

The 3/8 open end is for the antenna mast itself, not the part that is the base.

I'm thinking back a few years but I'm pretty sure I did it the same way StoneWhitePT2 got his off. A small flat head screwdriver into one of the notches and a light tap or two to get the antenna hold down to turn in a counter clockwise direction. As soon as it starts to turn, it can be grabbed by a needlenose or regular screwdriver to turn the rest of the way. You still want to hold on to the center part and the best way to do that is to NOT take off the antenna itself. Hold on to that as you take off the base and the antenna will stop the threaded part from falling down into the hole in the fender.

The masking tape is for in case the screwdriver slips out of the notch.

Sorry, gettin old sucks. Mind starts to go.
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Last edited by CREWZIN; 20 Oct 2011 at 09:10 pm.
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Old 20 Oct 2011, 09:47 pm
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Talking Re: A day in the life of a modder

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chromenut View Post
Great story. Me, I'm semi-retired from modding (also known as broke).
Huh! Mee too.
BUT....if we get back on our medications, we will be back modding soon.
(So many decisions.....mods vs medications.....so little $$)
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Old 20 Oct 2011, 09:52 pm
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Default Re: A day in the life of a modder

Heh it can be fun waiting for them to mount the tires and such. I spent about 6 hours for that to be completed. My problem was the rims required smaller lug nuts than the ones already on the car. So they had to send someone out to get them. Which in itself was not much of a problem actually. But between that happening my PT was not able to be serviced so as time ticked by it became their busy hours. So I spent a good amount of time waiting for them to work on the car again.

It was a stressful day as we had to paint the bumper on the car that night. Im just glad the tires and the rims didn't run into the situation you had heh.
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