Intro of my project: 1988 XT6 manual

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Intro of my project: 1988 XT6 manual

Postby RhodyM20 on Thu Apr 27, 2017 11:58 am

Hey guys. So, I've asked a ton of questions here (and you have all been super helpful) but I haven't shared much info on my project. I'm a longtime vintage BMW guy (I have a 1987 325is and a 1980 gray-market 320 at home) but have always wanted an XT6. So, here it is!

Gary clued me in on a member here who was the original owner of a 1988 XT6. Long-story short, it was a fairly honest-looking car with under 90,000 miles. Cosmetically, it was tired, but had been converted to struts and seemingly had a steep maintenance file. I took a chance - bought it sight unseen - and my brother took delivery in Maryland. I live in Rhode Island and made plans to pick it up later on.

The bad news was, the cosmetics were rougher than expected; the headgasket and oil pump leaks were pretty dramatic; and although the suspension had been converted, the handling was non-existent if not downright scary. Regardless, I drove it home 8 hours to RI without incident.

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The first step was a full engine reseal. I tried to source nearly all OEM components and was largely successful. I found a dealership in New York willing to order parts from Japan and I acquired OEM headgaskets, timing belts, tensioners and more. The Subaru Shop in Tiverton, RI did the reseal. Here are some pics of the engine-out work:

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FYI, I am what some people call a purist. I like OEM accessories and options and will go quite far to get them. I also like to have cars sit a bit lower than stock, but not dramatically so. I acquired a Ground Control coilover suspension with KYB AGX struts in front and GR2s in the rear, along with whatever OEM bushings I could source. This took a good amount of trouble-shooting, but the height is for the most part dialed in. I did not like the way the Impreza RS wheels looked, so those were sold (with brand new tires, ugh) and I have a set of OZ Rally Ruote wheels en route from Japan. How she currently sits:

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At the same time, I had a VLSD installed, a set of Hella Supertones wired up, and a replacement power antenna installed (along with some other fixes). And the headlight misters now spray!

As some of you may have seen, I spotted a set of louvers on a junked XT Turbo in California. After some incredible sleuthing, a friend found the individual who removed them from the salvage yard and got them for me! Very excited to put these on. I was crushed when I realized I missed them. I have a good network of parts hunters and this guy is the best. He moved heaven and earth to find the guy who snagged them, who thankfully wasn't a Subaru guy - just thought they were worth saving.

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I also wanted a set of the original amber fog lights with covers. I found one on USMB. Then I remembered I saw a Loyale with them in a salvage yard in Pennsylvania three years ago. I called the owners and they said the car was still there. It took 3 months but they sent me the other one w/ a good cover and a cracked one as a backup. Very happy to have these as well.

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Also in the works will be an early rear bumper, a trunk with the luggage rack spoiler and a turbo hood when it goes into the body shop. I also sourced a highly original checkerboard interior, as I just love that seat pattern. All of this will be installed in the coming months, hopefully before June. My car does have the OEM radio but the buttons are faded, so I have a minty replacement waiting to go in, too.

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Anyway, that's where things stand. I'll keep this updated as progress is made.

Jeff
1980 320/6; 1987 325is; 1981 'Yota Hiace; Sold: 1988 XT6
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Re: Intro of my project: 1988 XT6 manual

Postby RhodyM20 on Wed May 17, 2017 3:16 pm

The XT6 is at my body shop. Work includes:

-General refresh, pulling out dents, cut / buff paint where possible, repaint where necessary;
-Early rear bumper conversion, including center tail panel garnish;
-Repair / repaint front bumper;
-Installation and paint of RX sideskirts;
-Removal of all pinstriping / stickers;
-Replace driver's side fender - original was smashed in and labor intensive to repair (my two local junkyard XTs have given up many, many parts, including this entirely decent fender);
-Paint / modify Turbo hood to move the latch and clean up rust

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That's all for now.

Jeff
1980 320/6; 1987 325is; 1981 'Yota Hiace; Sold: 1988 XT6
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Re: Intro of my project: 1988 XT6 manual

Postby RhodyM20 on Fri Jun 02, 2017 10:25 am

Work continues. Replacement fender, early rear bumper primed. Hoping they get the new paint parts done next week. Haven't seen the trunk with the rack in a while, hopefully it's still there. Also hoping those two oil spots aren't from me....

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1980 320/6; 1987 325is; 1981 'Yota Hiace; Sold: 1988 XT6
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Re: Intro of my project: 1988 XT6 manual

Postby john in KY on Fri Jun 02, 2017 4:35 pm

Looking good.
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Re: Intro of my project: 1988 XT6 manual

Postby RhodyM20 on Wed Jun 07, 2017 12:50 pm

Wow, I love how the RX sideskirts look. Way more than I thought I would. Body shop also caught some rot underneath those damn plastic trim pieces in front of the rear wheels and replaced it with new metal.

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Replacement fender looks spot on.

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Glad to see no rot back here. Early rear bumper should be on this week.

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1980 320/6; 1987 325is; 1981 'Yota Hiace; Sold: 1988 XT6
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Re: Intro of my project: 1988 XT6 manual

Postby RhodyM20 on Mon Jun 12, 2017 10:13 pm

Score! Original set of XT optional floor mats. Driver's side will get some sewing work but all the rest are in great shape.

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1980 320/6; 1987 325is; 1981 'Yota Hiace; Sold: 1988 XT6
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Re: Intro of my project: 1988 XT6 manual

Postby Bram_R on Tue Jun 13, 2017 7:19 am

You found some nice stuff for your XT.

Really like those louvres, fog lights and floor mats.
Those louvres are awesome to say the least!

gr. Bram
Sorrow Six Star wrote:Bram has what we call an "insane build" don't let that scare you off.

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Re: Intro of my project: 1988 XT6 manual

Postby RhodyM20 on Wed Jun 14, 2017 2:03 pm

Bram_R wrote:You found some nice stuff for your XT.

Really like those louvres, fog lights and floor mats.
Those louvres are awesome to say the least!

gr. Bram


Thanks Bram! I am looking forward to putting them on....they've been locked away in my attic since February!
1980 320/6; 1987 325is; 1981 'Yota Hiace; Sold: 1988 XT6
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Re: Intro of my project: 1988 XT6 manual

Postby RhodyM20 on Thu Jun 22, 2017 11:33 am

So, a few months ago I got wind of a shop that was acquired and still had some old XTs the former owner used as parts runners. I was still looking for the checkerboard seats, so they agreed to send me pictures of the interiors. The pattern was wrong, but I did notice a rare piece sitting on the center console:

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So, after weeks of emailing, they finally agreed to remove it before scrapping the car. I did receive and man, it was more destroyed than I expected. I had my upholstery guy work on it and he did a pretty solid job of recreating the original armrest. I'm still not sure how it mounts (double-sided tape?) so it may not be totally correct in terms of what we came up with, but I think it works for the most part.

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Also, new wheels arrived. The center bore is too small so they need to visit a machine shop, but hopefully I will have these on the car sooner than later. It's been a nightmare finding period wheels that fit the Subaru correctly.

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1980 320/6; 1987 325is; 1981 'Yota Hiace; Sold: 1988 XT6
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Re: Intro of my project: 1988 XT6 manual

Postby grossgary on Thu Jun 22, 2017 2:10 pm

Where did you find the floor mats? I'd like to get one, had info on one a year ago or so and then lost track of them. Grrrr.
Gary
89 XT6, rear LSD
02 OBW VDC H6
06 Tribeca
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Re: Intro of my project: 1988 XT6 manual

Postby RhodyM20 on Thu Jun 22, 2017 2:19 pm

Gary,

I use an app called Row52 - it's basically a way to monitor junkyard inventories (at least the ones that signed up to be "members" of the site), so whenever an XT showed up (there have been four in the past year), I would message one of the parts pullers to look for a variety of items, including OEM floormats.

So, it took me about 9 months of asking but the last XT to show up at a yard in California bore fruit and fortunately, it was a yard with a puller I've worked with before. I actually had the driver's mat repaired when the armrest was made and it looks nice and clean again.

In short: total luck!
1980 320/6; 1987 325is; 1981 'Yota Hiace; Sold: 1988 XT6
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