Photo Gallery #1

Friends Cars!

The Amazing Jikbo!!!


My Car

Where it all began

A Year of Big Changes

Y2K A year of adversity


The Resurrection Begins

More Big Plans

This has to be the last of the parts!

SECTION 3:Phase 1

You Gotta Start Somewhere!

Its Cleaning up nicely!

Slowly things are changing.

Will it ever be done?

Getting worse before it gets better

The Power Plant!!!


The final stages of assembly:

Body and Suspension


SECTION 5:The finished product!

The finished product!

SECTION 6:The Winter beater!!!

My Winter Beater!

SECTION 7:Friends Cars

Friends Cars!

A Year of Big Changes

SECTION 8:A little bit about me.

About me.


Links page

SECTION 10:Tech Articles.

Tech Articles

Clutch Replacement

Roll Bar pics

SECTION 11:Time Slips.

Time Slips

SECTION 12:Models.




































































































































































































































































































































































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So, you want to know about the Fairmont eh?

I'll start from the beginning.

It was early winter in the year of our Lord, 1999. I had already purchased winter tires for my mustang, and was resigned to having to drive it in the snow. It was mainly wet snow and freezing rain, and the dept. of highways was salting the roads like crazy, which in turn was leading to my car developing large amounts of underbody and other rust. I was becoming depressed at the thought.

Lo and behold, I found an ad in a small junk trader paper. 1981 Fairmont, 2.3 Automatic, 450 OBO, 555-1234. It was about 2 hours away on the road. I phoned the guy up from work, and got the description. He said it was tuned up real nice, blah blah blah, basically a whole line of lies to make me buy this car w/no turn signals (the stalk on the column was broken off. I never did fix them the whole time I drove the car.)

He told me it was actually a 1979, and that the price had dropped to 350. I sent him 400 bux in the mail, b/c I was rich, stupid, and didn't know Ed yet so I couldn't call for advice.

I was able to get a ride out to the place a couple of months later with my Dad. I saw the car for the first time, sitting there in all it's Brown glory. I rang the bell, chatted with the former owners for a while, ran downtown for insurance and plates, and fired it up. It settled into a fast idle while I went in the garage to admire the former owners dad's nice harley he was building, and steal some license plate bolts.

Soon, I was on my way. I fueled it up and checked the oil (full, and clean!) and hit the highway. I was dismayed with the difficulty the car had maintaining 70 mph. I was dismayed by the burning smell and screeching noises coming from the heater motor. I was dismayed by how fast the gas guage was dropping (turns out it got about 18 mpg on the highway.)

We stopped in Yorkton on the way home to visit my Uncle. He was impressed with the unit. I had to fill the tank to get home.

As winter continued, I swapped the 10 holes with winter meats onto the fairmont's rear, leaving the mismatched bald 14" tires up front on steel rims. The car took on a great hot rod rake and big and 'lil look. The car also took on a tendency for locking the throttle at WOT. The rear tires got great traction w/the studded coopers, while the fronts got nearly nothing. It was for this reason that I ditched the car on the way home from work one day. I was on the brakes, things were fine, but the throttle was stuck about 1/2 way open... when I released the brakes to turn the car started screaming, I hit the brakes again and it stuffed itself deep down into the ditch. The tractor pulled it out late that night.

Over the course of the winter the choke must have been acting up, so I took it off and bought a manual choke conversion kit. Something went amiss during the install, so I "installed" the choke linkage in the trunk, and left the car w/o a choke. It still started every 40 below morning, as long as I had it hooked to the john deere battery charger on "high" and had a lot of ether on hand. After that, liberal use of the accellerator pump ensured good driveability, until the carb iced open at WOT again. I'll say this much, that 2.3 sure had a tolerance for revvs. I could throw it in neutral, hop out, pop the hood, and close the throttle with the engine singing along at whatever rpm it could reach. Also, I typically shifted the C3 manually, winding the car out as high as it would go. If I was a little sideways when I shifted to 2nd, It would spin the one tire pretty good on gravel. Every corner was taken "rally style," completely sideways, out of shape, turning right to go left and vice versa. The suspension held up well to the abuse, in the fact that It didn't fall apart. It was just very loose, and the dampers at all four corner leaked out all their oil and became "linkages". The front d/s brake line tore as well, but I replaced it with one that was just a bit too short and cracked, from my '86 parts pile. The bleeding screw on the caliper was frozen, so I just ran fluid thru w/the fitting loose, and then said, "good enough" when I finally got some braking back. The rear brakes never worked.

Winter finally ended, as did my co-op battery charger assisting a battery stolen from the compound and ether starts after work every day. The steelies went back on the car, along with a couple more mismatched tires. I eventually got sick of adding air to one of the tires and took it in to get patched. The sidewall was buggered so I got a used one of yet another size to replace it for 10 bux from rubber randy.

Things were uneventful until the car began to leak water from the water pump. My first indication of a problem was the engine starting to sieze up 5 minutes from town. I started to add water every morning, but soon I just couldn't make it in before the car quit running. I was stopping by sloughs on the way to town and getting my shoes all muddy filling the rad. I began to carry water in gallon milk jugs behind the seat. Finally one day I had to coast the last 1/2 mile into town, and I made it too, steering and stopping in my parking spot with only a little difficulty. 20 bux later a junkyard unit replaced it. the j/y unit began to leak as well. Maybe it was the lack of lubrication from the straight water I ran in the car? The second one began to leak, and the rad blew out at the top when I was ripping up and down the road injecting oil/varsol/water/etc into the carb w/the WW pump. I didn't realize the car was overheating until the low oil pressure light came on. It seemed my stolen 15w40 in the crankcase had cooked into some low vis crap. I dropped the oil, plunked in more of the same, and it fired right up again. I took the rad to a friend to braze up. I never did replace the second water pump.

The fairmont resumed its faithful reliable service, and even seemed to be burning less oil now that it ran cool. Until one day when I was pulling out of the parking lot at work, and bang, it shut off. Wouldn't start. I borrowed an ignition module from a local shop before realizing my timing belt had broken. Me and a co worker pushed the car to the shop. I paid 20 bux for a timing belt and went home for my tools. That night I had the car running in the parking lot, after a lot of pissing around with cam and ignition timing. Later I discovered I had the cam retarded one cog, leading to very poor low end performance. I would pull out from a stop sign to turn left, and cars would have to slow down b/c I had overestimated the Fairmonts ability to clear two lanes in less than 30 seconds. Once I got it timed right it screamed like a banshee again. Strange that my co workers would only ask me for a ride home once, and then never ask again, or accept my offers for a ride home, no matter how hard it was raining, or how cold it was... Maybe it was how I would shift from 1st to 2nd at 7 grand, talking about how that whine was a turbocharger.

Finally I quit my job in town, and the fairmont was parked behind the shed in the yard, out of sight. The next summer after school, I began my most ambitious project yet. Out came the angle grinder, and the exhaust was chopped off. I unbolted the manifold and was delighted to find round ports. A little time with a die grinder, and 1" round steel pipe nipples fit tightly into the holes. I used a union, and deformed four of them in, threaded on four 90" elbows, and then threaded on four pipes, pointing straight upwards. An air cleaner was no longer an option, as it didn't fit. I routed the spark plug wires with electrical tape over the heater hose, to keep them from burning. What a joy it was to fire the car up. After my fear of an explosion or the pipes loosening subsided, I took the car for a rip up and down the road. Never did you hear such a cacophony. When I would let off the gas at twighlight, and manually shift down, the pipes would shoot flames until I rolled to a stop. Eventually though my pass side motor mount broke, leading to bad vibes from the oil pan sitting on the x member. I tried welding it a couple of times, but became frustrated when the welds kept breaking. It's hard to weld to a cast iron block. I ended up chaining the engine to the pass side strut tower, with great results.


Then disaster struck. I was revving the piss out of the car, pouring water down the carb w/an ice cream pail to make a lot of steam. The interference fit between the pipe nipples and the head didn't like that, and a couple of the pipes came loose. I didn't have the time to get more nipples, and didn't weld it all up, so the car was parked behind the shed once more.


The next spring when I went to fire it up, it wouldn't start. The eventual diagnosis was a bad starter. I removed the radiator, hoping I could fabricate a crank to start it with, but got frustrated and ended up hooking it up to our minneapolis moline, and towing it out to the barnyard instead, where it can be seen sitting today.

Eventually I hope to put a starter on it. Sooner than that I hope to fill the engine up w/diesel, as it sat all winter/spring with open swamp headers and carb. Hopefully it's not siezed or will become unsiezed. The spark plugs are out, I need some of those too as I shattered some while attempting to re insert the pipe nipples.


When I do get it running, I plan on finding a video camera to tape the mayhem, welding the diff up, and blowing up the engine in spectacular fashion while doing huge burnouts in a pool of tranny fluid, jumping piles of dirt (I tried to jump a pile of sand, but instead I rammed it and came to a sudden stop, breaking the steering wheel. A lot of sand ended up inside the engine bay and in the engine, since i have no oil cap since it fell out on the road) and driving the crap out of the car out in the summerfallow field. I'm going to rig up a manifold for the swamp headers, one "injector" into each, into which I can inject propane. I will set up a venturi so I can draw up oil/water/varsol/insecticide/etc into the propane stream and into the headers. Should be fun.


















Let me know if you have any questions. I hope you enjoyed reading about the fairmont as much as I enjoyed driving it.


Story by:

James (Stalker) G 

AKA eighty6gt