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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys. My girlfriend has an '02 Accent GS which was a repo'd car before we got a hold of it. The interior is intact but trashed, we've tried cleaning it but it's just dirty. The dash has some stains on it, the gauge faces are cracking and need replaced, the carpet is stained up, etc.

I found a gauge face after a few minutes on Google: Makoto Gauge Face. Does anyone have experience with this site and/or changing them?

She got in a fender bender one day - so we had to replace the hood/LF fender. No probs there, taken care of. The general exterior of the car is what you'd expect from a 12 year old vehicle - clear coat peeling off, needs a paint job, etc. I'm thinking of making some subtle, but needed, changes - possibly lowered suspension, new tires, etc. I don't have tons of money, but do you guys have any recommendations on things that could be done that would make it stand out a bit?

Thanks for all the help.
 

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the gauges are easy enough. just take the interior apart. its easier than it sounds:)

see www.hmaservice.com. free account, login, blah blah blah. all you really need is the drawings.

are you planning on doing the paint job or taking a pass on that? doing painting yourself if you have never done it isn't easy. the painting itself isn't hard, but you have to contend with stripping the panels of the old paint, cleaning, any filling that needs to be done, masking and setting up your paint area (small dust will ruin your new paint), and then on top of that think about how hazardous your paint is. the good stuff is pretty lethal and i wouldn't trust the not so good stuff either.

here's an easy thing to try for the peeling paint. *should* work to help a little, have no tried it myself so find a small area to try this on! use 800 grit (minimum) to sand off the loose clearcoat and smooth out the surface. i'd wet sand it.dry it off and clean with a degreaser. after that, wipe it down with a tack cloth. since its an old car, try the clackity clack can of cheapo clearcoat.

just PLEASE try this on a small spot first! i can't see how bad your clearcoat is through the intarwebz and my approach is usually to strip and refinish entirely.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for replying. Would that gauge face be okay, or is there another place to get them from? Or is there a way to salvage the ones in the vehicle?

I'd not be tackling the painting myself, no no! I don't have a garage or anything yet - plans are coming to build one when I get some excess $$ from income tax - so I'd be going to a local body shop to have them do all the work. There's no rust on the vehicle, and the clear coat isn't terrible but it is peeling in spots.
 

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not sure on taking the cluster apart to get at the gauge faces....im sure it would be possible if you really wanted to play with it. if you're able to, i'd get the cluster out and see how difficult it is. if its not something that can be easily done, maybe another from a scraper?

before i say this, keep in mind that i'm up in ontario, canada. my 2004 accent is rusting out very nicely. i also put a lot of miles on my car. maybe these aren't an issue with your '02, but....
why bother repainting this thing? unless its in excellent shape and low miles it seems like a bit of a waste....save up and get something newer? i'd just toss clearcoat on top after giving it a wipedown if it came to it :p slow it from going further for a while.

by the time most cars get to over 10 years old around here, nobody wants them. they usually have some pretty good rot. mine is undercoating it every year and it still has rot. twice actually, once in the fall and again in the spring just after the snow melts.

and the worst part....the **** oil pans always rot out and start leaking on these things. at least up here they do.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
With her fender bender, she has a primer black hood and LF fender, the rest of the car is a vomit yellow/gray color. It's an ugly looking car at the moment. Even a cheap paint job that would make it all the same color would be fine.

I'm in central Virginia, not a lot of rust on this one. We don't have wicked winters and no sea salt to help along the rot, we generally wash our vehicles each time we drive on salted roads after the snow, though, to help keep our chances of rust low(er).

I can get the cluster out one weekend that I'm off, that wouldn't be an issue.
 

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speaking from experience, there isn't many options for a cheap paint job. the ones that are, you don't want them. i've done quite a bit of painting myself and its very time consuming to do it properly.

but hey its your car and your money :) depends on what you'd call cheap i guess. and not having the rot must be wonderful

out of curiosity, how are the bottom edges of the doors and the rear wheel wells? that's what really goes here. from what i can tell the window seals suck and water gets into the door. there's drains down there, but it doesn't seem to drain out right. at least thats my guess. i'm sure salt buildup doesn't help any.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
The doors looked fine last I checked, I had the door panels off to install some new speakers and everything seemed solid. I haven't really looked at the rear wheel wells up close in a while, so I can get back to you on that. The door/window seals in the car need replaced, they're whistling going down the road, but there isn't any water coming in when it rains or gets washed.
 

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if it was me

As for the gauges, I'd find a cluster in a salvage yard before I attempted taking the old one apart and putting in new gauges. That is assuming you are going for a daily driver versus a trailer queen.

The interior comes out fairly easily for cleaning. I took my '02's seats and rear shelf completely out, cleaned them until I was happy with it and then sprayed on the scotchguard heavily. Shampooed the carpets as best I could, weighing my time against getting out every last spot, and then applied scotchguard liberally. It's the cleanest it's been since in left Korea.

I also replaced the rear speakers with component speakers and made my own covers to replaced the sun-fried plastic ones. Both the covers and speakers were completely cooked (12 years in the sun) and the upgrade was relatively easy with a HUGE improvement in sound.

These cars seem fairly easy to work on. I've replaced the front struts and both CV half-axles, as well as doing the infamous OD bearing repair on the transmission. Right now I'm doing the most needed item, replacing the timing belt. If you don't know the mileage on the belt, or if it is over 60K miles, spend your money here rather than worrying about paint. No sense having an attractive car if you blow the motor in it. Just my opinion. I am also adding fog lights and driving lights to the bumper and sprucing it up some in the process. I'll post threads if I ever get time on these projects.

Mine is white but dull, yet I think a good rub-out and waxing will restore the finish to "good enough."
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Yeah, just a daily. It had the motor replaced when we got it with one that had 10K miles on it and now the ODO is off by ~100K anyway.

We took the seats, door panels and rear deck out when we re-wired her speakers as the factory wiring had been taken to by some rats. It was really simple, didn't think about cleaning it while it was out. We also replaced the speakers and head unit, she's happy with the sound.

We've done tons of maintenance to it already, and they are really easy to work on, which is a plus because I do most of the work (heh). Again, not a show car but something to be proud of. I've got to tint the front windows come spring time, I did the rears but could never get the fronts right. I'm gonna wait for a weekend and take both windows out of the door and do it, let them sit overnight and then re-install. Can't be but so hard.
 
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