Thursday, February 22, 2018

Where'd you find that hunk of junk anyway?

Dragging the ol' Heap back from Copart

Brad Hayosh had been after me for a while to either fix my Jetta, or buy some wrecked something or the other.  Eventually I fell for the trap in a moment of weakness and found a reasonable looking Fiesta ST with "minor" damage.

The Fiesta came via a Copart internet auction from one of the Minnesota facilities.  We used a broker, which was basically a train wreck.  The guy charged us state sales tax and then never got us a title in our name, which is basically tax fraud.  He also tried to keep my Paypal deposit for a membership fee that was in some bullshit fine print.  I got that back via a Paypal dispute since he didn't respond to their query.  Not really impressed.

For Copart's part in the whole mess, they didn't sign the title over properly, so it was rejected multiple times by the county recorder when Andrew attempted to get it transferred.  The handwriting was illegible, and when we called their Minnesota facility, they basically refused to help us since we weren't their customer, and told us to F off.  The big point of contention was that because the signature was illegible, the state didn't know who signed it.  Copart gets power of attorney from the various insurance agencies to sell the cars, so the Copart signs over the title.  Since the name of the manager for that office was online as a contact, we just printed in their name under the signature assuming they were probably an authorized agent.  The state seemed ok with this solution and we got an Iowa salvage title in Andrew's name.  Not a big deal if you're willing to make 3 or 4 trips to try to get the title work done.

Our dad had a friend of theirs pick the car up and drag it over to their lot, and another local friend snagged it on the dolly to bring it back to Iowa.   So that part of the adventure was magic.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Cage Install Prologue

"Clean" Garage

We made the decision to install a Custom Cages kit purchased from Brian Short out at Rocky Mountain Autosports.  I'd had one previous experience with a cage kit and it's a different workflow than fabricating one from scratch, so I knew I wanted to slow down and try to really understand how to be successful with this one.

Because Custom Cages has a process to ensure you aren't modifying the kit or welding it with a coat hanger hooked to a car battery, it ends up being installed and tacked to ensure fitment, then partially removed before finish welding.

I'll try to run through some of that process with photos and hints that I figured out as I made some errors.