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Read through the sticky. How much is the pre cat removal? Is it nessasary? Car has sat since 2013 in a garage in Phoenix AZ. It hasn't moved since. It's a 2002 SMG in perfect condition. The tires are gone. I'm having it towed in. This mechanic I'm not 100% on because they put two different treads on the car previously, they couldn't be bothered to find the two sizes with the same tread, but this is the closest mechanic. I topped up fluids and put in new battery. She fired right up. Mileage is 12,360. The price is $8,340 but will be negotiable after repairs at the mechanics. What should I expect? Fuel pump? Hoses, belts, tires (of course)? After the repairs it will need to make the drive back to Washington state. Mostly concerned about this pre cat I didn't know existed.
If you do not remove it and it fails when driving it will pull particles into the cylinders (RI P) there are headers that cost about 400 and the sound difference is worth it alone. remove the O2 sensor and use a screw driver to crush the stuff and clear it with compressed air less money and you don't have to worry anymore
 

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If you are worried about the pre-cats, it's not that bad of a job. I cleaned mine out on my 2000 Spyder (53,00 miles, 2nd owner) just for piece of mind after all that I read. With so few miles, the nuts on the manifold and 3 underneath on the exhaust should loosen easily. Even the oxygen sensors came out without too much trouble.
Not saying you HAVE TO do this, but it is now one less thing to worry about.
BTW, nice looking car and great deal you got!
Ed
 

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Discussion Starter #24
When I get it home I'll remove the pre cats. I already purchased the headers and they should be shipped to my mechanic in Washington by now. The mechanic that has the car now said it was very expensive to even pull the o2 sensor to check that the pre cats are OK. That's wilheim. I thought that sounded really strange. They also almost replaced the wrong struts. Anyway, I contacted Toyota dealership in Scottsdale and they are more than happy to check the pre cats for me before I leave. I'm so relieved I don't live here in phoenix. All the mechanics are iffy.
 

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Checking the precats is a bit of a waste IMO (in all honesty it’s probably not the popular opinion). I say this bc you can’t see all of the precat matrix, and by the time you do see any issue some of the material has already broken away and may or may not have been sucked back into the engine. At that point you either have a problem or got very lucky and don’t....whereas by getting rid of them you are eliminating the potential problem and not affecting the large majority of emissions (precats were placed to function really only until the main cat is warmed up). Personally I think whether or not the car burns oil tells much more than incompletely checking the precats will. Gutting them or getting a completely new header is the only good move IMO so I’m glad you’ve planned for that.

As far as removing the O2 sensors...I think that’s a case of the shop not wanting to do a job that they can’t then also charge you a markup for additional parts & labor...those O2 sensors are incredibly easy to get to.
 
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When I get it home I'll remove the pre cats. I already purchased the headers and they should be shipped to my mechanic in Washington by now. The mechanic that has the car now said it was very expensive to even pull the o2 sensor to check that the pre cats are OK. That's wilheim. I thought that sounded really strange. They also almost replaced the wrong struts. Anyway, I contacted Toyota dealership in Scottsdale and they are more than happy to check the pre cats for me before I leave. I'm so relieved I don't live here in phoenix. All the mechanics are iffy.
Based on what you've said about the mechanic, I'd get my car away from them as quickly as I could since it sounds like they're the type that might break something and then want to charge you to fix it. For them to say it's "very expensive" to pull the O2 sensors is a really big red flag for me. They are super easy to get to and should take all of 15 minutes tops to remove & reinstall and that's including the time to gather your tools. The two upstream one are on the right and left of the heat shield and the downstream one is on the pipe past the cat. The downstream one is the hardest to get to but you don't need to remove that if you're only wanting to look at the pre-cats.
 

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Discussion Starter #27
Based on what you've said about the mechanic, I'd get my car away from them as quickly as I could since it sounds like they're the type that might break something and then want to charge you to fix it. For them to say it's "very expensive" to pull the O2 sensors is a really big red flag for me. They are super easy to get to and should take all of 15 minutes tops to remove & reinstall and that's including the time to gather your tools. The two upstream one are on the right and left of the heat shield and the downstream one is on the pipe past the cat. The downstream one is the hardest to get to but you don't need to remove that if you're only wanting to look at the pre-cats.
I made two fatal mistakes. Under estmating the time it would take my car to be repaired and have new tires. Second, using discount tire over tire rack. The car is in cave creek, I live in Washington state. I was supposed to leave Monday, the car has been at the mechanics since the 3rd. That is rediculous to me, but according to people that live here that is the norm. I'm spoiled as my garage at home is amazing. The hold up now are the new tires. They are only open until 1pm which means I wait another weekend and my leaving is delayed. The mechanics said they are doing cars first come first serve. Well my car has been there since the 3rd, help a girl out. I noticed the place is all caddys and Lambros, so the mr2 is small fry. Hilariously I went to discount tire to pick up the tires, otherwise it was another 7 days before they could ship them to the mechanic that's 2 miles away. No one knew why I was there, where the tires ran off too, and no one helped me load. It was pretty crazy. I'm assuming because I didn't drive a ferarri. This is by far the strangest city I've ever been in. The only good that came of all this is I found this car. However, knowing what I know now, I would have just shipped it back home, Cave creek is hands down the worst city to try to get anything done on a car in a timely manner. I really am annoyed they can't put those tires on a car that's been there since the third, why wait until Tuesday? I feel my inner Karen starting to come out.
 

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I don't mean to laugh but the "inner Karen" part got me. A timeline like that just to change tires is absurd to me. If tires are the only thing holding you back & they're already picked up is it possible to just find another place to do the work? From your description the shop sounds like a place that you gotta know a guy that knows a guy to get anything done. Unfortunately a lot of small town places can be like this, even more so if they know you're from out of town & they think you won't be able to just go somewhere else.
 

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Discussion Starter #29
I think I was over charged on the work as well. Rear struts and an oil change, 1800 bucks. That seems spendy.
 

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I made two fatal mistakes. Under estmating the time it would take my car to be repaired and have new tires. Second, using discount tire over tire rack. The car is in cave creek, I live in Washington state. I was supposed to leave Monday, the car has been at the mechanics since the 3rd. That is rediculous to me, but according to people that live here that is the norm. I'm spoiled as my garage at home is amazing. The hold up now are the new tires. They are only open until 1pm which means I wait another weekend and my leaving is delayed. The mechanics said they are doing cars first come first serve. Well my car has been there since the 3rd, help a girl out. I noticed the place is all caddys and Lambros, so the mr2 is small fry. Hilariously I went to discount tire to pick up the tires, otherwise it was another 7 days before they could ship them to the mechanic that's 2 miles away. No one knew why I was there, where the tires ran off too, and no one helped me load. It was pretty crazy. I'm assuming because I didn't drive a ferarri. This is by far the strangest city I've ever been in. The only good that came of all this is I found this car. However, knowing what I know now, I would have just shipped it back home, Cave creek is hands down the worst city to try to get anything done on a car in a timely manner. I really am annoyed they can't put those tires on a car that's been there since the third, why wait until Tuesday? I feel my inner Karen starting to come out.
I agree with you that they should take care of your car first since it's already there but I don't think they care . Well at this point you're only a few days off from getting this done; otherwise, I would pump up the tires on the car so it would make it to another shop and take the new tires somewhere else to have them installed. I'm envisioning the top down with four tires stacked on top of it taking them to be installed 😃 Who says I need a truck. Anyway, It sounds like this is the kind of place that would try to cheat you if they thought they'd get away with it. If they've definitely said they will do it on Tuesday then I would just wait as much as it would irritate me and I'd have to contain my inner "don't make me hurt you". I would definitely call them on Monday and ask what time it's going to be ready or if there are any openings on Monday - just so they don't wait till Tuesday evening to tell you, oh we didn't get to it, maybe we'll get to it in two months. Oh no, Karen is on the loose 😡 Let them finish the job they started and then get on the road home and enjoying the car. Once they get the tires on you can turn the page.
 

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I think I was over charged on the work as well. Rear struts and an oil change, 1800 bucks. That seems spendy.
Yep, way too much but they knew you weren't in a position to do it yourself or they were confused and charged the Ferrari price. You should have been able to get all four done for less than that if you had been able to take it someplace else.
 

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Discussion Starter #32
Dude said he was much to busy Monday, so maybe Tuesday... I have a buddy that is flying down from Seattle to drive one of the cars up. He has to be back to work on Thursday. We are cutting this super close. I might give him my car and drive up alone.
 

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If it's just the tires that you're waiting on find a different shop, its not worth the headache of uncertainty at that point. I'm sure you can find another shop to mount the tires that can do it same day. If the other work isn't completed yet then you're kinda stuck...I would still tell them that if they can't get it done with the parts in hand then I'll pay for the parts and bring the labor somewhere else at that point. I dont ask to see managers, I let them explain why income walked out the door to their managers. If they are the owner/operator all the better, because 1 customer won't change how they've run their business for years.
 
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Dude said he was much to busy Monday, so maybe Tuesday... I have a buddy that is flying down from Seattle to drive one of the cars up. He has to be back to work on Thursday. We are cutting this super close. I might give him my car and drive up alone.
Have they finished the other work on the car? If so, can the car be driven on the tires that are on it (ie. Is there damage to the tires or are they just old?)? If it can be driven, I'd pay for the completed work and take the tires elsewhere to be mounted & balanced. If they can't guarantee a specific time on Tuesday it will be done then I wouldn't count on them doing it at all. If they let money walk out the door then it's on them. If there aren't chunks of rubber missing I would inflate the tires and drive towards home taking the tires with me to be installed somewhere outside of crazyville on Monday. When I purchased mine it had 12 year old tires that had been garage kept and were fine. They were dry and rode awful but they got me home ok. I put about 500 miles on them before replacing. JMO
 

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Discussion Starter #35
All work has been done. Just waiting on tires. The tires are mismatched, touring on front, sport on back, and there are flat spots so it's a tough ride. But there is a dealer.
 

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Discussion Starter #36
Finally got the car back. Drives way different than anything I've ever driven. Super fun. Hates downshifting, a little lag (I'm a clutch driver) on upshifting but fun little sporty car. The left mirror controls don't work. And sometimes the drivers door doesn't want to open from the inside. I figure if that happens I lower the top and dukes of Hazzard it out. That's all I've found. The tape deck is hilarious. I don't own any tapes or cds. Speakers sound surprisingly good. My buddy has my other car already and is almost home. So I'm on my way too. Can't wait to see what it does on the mountain passes. My mechanic at home is super jelly because he's been looking for this car for his wife. I do not regret this purchase at all.

Any tidbits for smoother shifting on the smt I'm all ears. I read the manual and that helped. Haven't tried the steering controls yet.
 

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Congrats!!...finally lol. The door issue is probably either the 2 metal wires not sitting just right int he interior handle mechanism, or a plastic part of the mechanism is broken. It's not an overly complex issue, and if you wanted to upgrade the radio/speakers it could be done at the same time. Either way I'm sure your experience taking care of these things will be much nicer once you are home.

As far as shifting the SMT was relatively high tech (luxury car option territory)when it was put into these cars. If the SMT fluid was only topped off I would recommend fully changing it. This won't transform it into a PDK transmission, but hopefully it helps prolong it's operating life because it's failure is a headache that can really only be dealt with through self diagnosis.
 

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Haha, I thought the same thing when I saw the tape deck, I of course went to amazon and picked up the best cassette for under $10:

Regarding the SMT... Allow it warm up fully and work with where it shifts the best. Don't put it in first gear until you get to a complete stop. Change the fuid as soon as possible if you haven't already, that always helps hydraulics. It's a rare option.
 

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Finally got the car back. Drives way different than anything I've ever driven. Super fun. Hates downshifting, a little lag (I'm a clutch driver) on upshifting but fun little sporty car. The left mirror controls don't work. And sometimes the drivers door doesn't want to open from the inside. I figure if that happens I lower the top and dukes of Hazzard it out. That's all I've found. The tape deck is hilarious. I don't own any tapes or cds. Speakers sound surprisingly good. My buddy has my other car already and is almost home. So I'm on my way too. Can't wait to see what it does on the mountain passes. My mechanic at home is super jelly because he's been looking for this car for his wife. I do not regret this purchase at all.

Any tidbits for smoother shifting on the smt I'm all ears. I read the manual and that helped. Haven't tried the steering controls yet.
Congrats, glad they got it ready for you today. I would say the mirror issue is loose wiring behind the door panel. The stock 25 watt speakers and ultra modern tape deck were the first things to be replaced on mine so if you do the same you can check out the mirror wiring then.
As far as the SMT, when upshifting try letting your foot off the gas slightly before shifting and it'll shift smoother. You may find using the paddle/toggle up/down buttons result in smoother shifting and a lot better on twisty roads where it's better to have both hands on the wheel. If you ever watch Formula 1 racing you can see how both hands on the wheel give you more control. For downshifting I think the car should do it for you automatically based on speed when you get below certain speeds. If you try to do it yourself, you'll just have to practice and see what RPM range works better for smoother downshifts.
One additional tip is to read the information on the driver's side sunvisor and have a long handle small screwdriver or rod on hand in case you/mechanic/other driver accidentally lock the shift knob and can't get it to go into neutral. You'll have to remove the little plug on the right top of the shifter panel to reset if this happens. Enjoy the drive home.
 

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Discussion Starter #40
In Salt Lake now. Was a breeze to drive. I left late so I got in late. Tried the wheel shift, better, but prefer the floor. Got to thinking of license plates. Thinking FWDLOLZ or FRUNKY. Leaning towards FRUNKY because to my dumb ass that's hilarious. Also, put a license plate frame on the car that says Miata Killer, just for fun. Had a Miata behind me, he was a good sport. I'll change the fluid out in the SMT for sure when I get home. And take apart that door. Is it 6 1/2 or 6 3/4 for front speakers? Parked under the portico because I'm a paranoid ass like that in Salt Lake.
 
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