Karl's Track Goblin - 2008 LT

k.rollin

Active Member
#1
I've been following the progression of the Goblin for quite a while, and weighing it against something like a Midlana. In the end, I decided to build a Goblin first, because it seemed like the option more likely to be completed, as they seem to go together quickly and I already have enough other projects competing for my time (gunsmithing, motorcycling, a protracted house remodeling project, etc). All the time spent lurking here led to a few impulsive bids on Copart, and last week, I unexpectedly bought my donor (I didn't expect to win). With all that said, I guess it's time that I start a build thread of my own, now that my donor has been delivered and I've placed my deposit.

My donor is a 2008 LT with 98,564 miles that I purchased from the Copart yard in Graham, WA for $175. After $200 for transport to my place in Arlington, WA and the other buyer fees, I'm into my donor for $520 and change. It was delivered yesterday, and it appears to be in good condition aside from where the previous owner introduced the driver's side B pillar to a tree.

Of course, the battery was dead and the key was stuck in the ignition at the accessory position, so those were the first things to take care of. Dealer service for an ignition switch recall wasn't likely, so I fixed it with zip ties and now I can remove the key with the transaxle in gear (neat party trick). The fix involves looping a zip tie around the white plastic unit in the picture to keep the plunger in the depressed state, for those wondering.

When I went to pull the battery to charge it, I found an unopened box of Ritz crackers in the trunk (in addition to the missing headlight and hubcap); bonus snacks! With a charged battery, the donor starts easily and seems to run and drive well around the yard.

Right now, I intend to use the Goblin on both the street and autocross or road course. I may have done myself a disservice in the latter two applications by choosing an automatic and being stuck with an open differential, but I'm trying to keep this as budget friendly as possible, and the automatic will be nicer when I inevitably decide to commute up and down I-5 anywhere south of Marysville because traffic. Future plans may involve supercharging, but I'd like to get the base experience first and plan modifications accordingly.
 

DanPerryy

Well-Known Member
#2
I did the same thing on my Goblin because I don't have the automatic transmission park switch on my home made shifter.
 

k.rollin

Active Member
#3
I forgot that you had relocated the shifter to the left side of the vehicle and would have to work around the park switch. The fix seems a bit dodgy to me, but shouldn't cause any real issues.
 

k.rollin

Active Member
#4
After months of ignoring the donor in favor of wrenching on a handful of motorcycles and wrapping up other projects, I've finally gotten involved with my build in earnest by stripping the donor. Previously, I had said that it drove well around the yard; taking it out on the road as a different story though. After removing the front bumper cover, it was apparent that the front wheels pointed in different directions. Over the last couple evenings, I've removed all the unnecessary parts that I think I may be able to sell, stripped most of the car, and determined that the driver's side control arm is bent at the ball joint. Not a big deal, as I planned to replace the steel ones that I have with the aluminum ones anyway. Remaining tasks are to remove/strip the dash, remove the wiring harness, and strip the rear of the car, all of which I hope to have done Wednesday night.
 

ctuinstra

Well-Known Member
#5
Every time I read post from guys that picked up cars cheap, I get a terrible sick feeling in my gut! Good for you! Sounds like you are getting on it quick with the stripping. I took a couple of weekends tinkering with it. If I would have push hard, we could have finished it in a weekend. Honestly, I kind of enjoyed being able to tear something apart for once and not give a crap about some of it.
 

k.rollin

Active Member
#6
Watching the various automotive themed reality TV shows of the '00s as a teen and comparing their progress to my own, I always thought that I'd get stuff done quickly by attacking it without a care. Turns out that that hypothesis was wrong in this case, but it was fun to open doors with a pry bar and remove the fender and bumper cover with a reciprocating saw.
 

k.rollin

Active Member
#9
The order has already been placed; tracking on the new control arms and Stage 1 of my kit indicate that it'll all arrive the same day. To say that I'm excited would be an understatement.
 

k.rollin

Active Member
#10
My donor is all stripped and I've got my chassis up on sawhorses in the garage for the time being. The new control arms have been delayed on account of the hurricanes, but I'm in no hurry for them as there is plenty to keep me busy while I wait. I've also acquired a new intake manifold from an LDK engine and a used exhaust manifold from a 2005 Saab 9-3 as they were both $35 or less each and may come in handy if/when I decide to add a turbo.

 

k.rollin

Active Member
#11
I hadn't been doing much real work on the car since Friday for whatever reason. Daydreaming I guess, since I remember spending a lot of time trying to nail down a color scheme so I could get the cage out to powder coat and picking out seats. Parts have been arriving though, in the form of new control arms and the intake and exhaust manifolds for a possible turbo setup. Tonight, I got tired of not actually making any physical progress, so I waited for my girlfriend and dog to go upstairs for the evening, then sat on the living room floor with a trashcan and pared down the dash harness.
 

k.rollin

Active Member
#12
I scored a pair of seat covers for the Kirkey 47500 seats from Amazon for $53.90 each instead of the typical price of over $200 each. Here's hoping I can get a similar deal on the seats.

 

k.rollin

Active Member
#13
I screwed up with my harness, and I'm really hoping that someone can help me get it fixed. Basically, I wasn't paying attention to what I was doing and cut the 14 pin connector pictured and I need to solder it back together. I've started the process, but some wire colors are duplicated with the wires terminating at different plugs and I don't know which pins correspond which plugs.

There are two green wires, two brown wires, and two twisted pairs of tan and tan with black traces left to be rejoined. One brown wire goes to the red multiplug and the other goes to the second connector pictured, along with both green wires (the green wires are on opposite sides of the connector). One of the twisted pairs also goes to this connector, with the other pair going to the large black and blue plug. Any help would be appreciated.





 

k.rollin

Active Member
#15
One of my neighbors must have gotten tired of seeing the the shell of my donor on jackstands in my driveway because he showed up last night and offered to help me get it to the scrap yard. Seeing as hulk haulers wanted me to pay them $100 to take it away, free from a neighbor seemed like a great idea so we hauled it off today and got $37 for it.
 

k.rollin

Active Member
#17
Plus $75 from selling the radiator and passenger side headlight. :D

I'm going to have to take those funds and buy a heater for the garage though. It is way too cold to try and paint parts.
 

k.rollin

Active Member
#18
Progress has been slower than I'd like, but that's how things go sometimes. The chassis has been at the powder coater's shop for almost three weeks (I told them no rush), and it should be ready for pickup this week. With the car out of the way, I decided to push out all the bikes and build a 20' shelf out of the crate materials, do some wiring to add a few new shop lights, and get the place cleaned up a bit. Also started masking the engine in preparation for paint and broke four exhaust studs, one sub-flush with the head, the other three only broke off the E-Torx head. I still haven't gotten my harness error corrected, but I also haven't had the space available to spread it out again. When the frame comes back, I'll be taking a page from CJ's book and placing a sheet of plywood over the halo as a work table. In the meantime, here's the shelf formerly known as crate.

 

Waterdriver

Well-Known Member
#19
Progress has been slower than I'd like, but that's how things go sometimes. The chassis has been at the powder coater's shop for almost three weeks (I told them no rush), and it should be ready for pickup this week. With the car out of the way, I decided to push out all the bikes and build a 20' shelf out of the crate materials, do some wiring to add a few new shop lights, and get the place cleaned up a bit. Also started masking the engine in preparation for paint and broke four exhaust studs, one sub-flush with the head, the other three only broke off the E-Torx head. I still haven't gotten my harness error corrected, but I also haven't had the space available to spread it out again. When the frame comes back, I'll be taking a page from CJ's book and placing a sheet of plywood over the halo as a work table. In the meantime, here's the shelf formerly known as crate.

A good use for some of that crating material!
That shelving space is always nice have.
 

k.rollin

Active Member
#20
Spent some time in the garage after dinner tonight with the drill, angle grinder, hammer, and cold chisel. Managed to get the seat mounting brackets/rails off of the passenger seat. Driver's seat tomorrow. I figured this might be an easier solution than fabricating fixed mounts that would use the as built mounting locations.