Alrighty! Some updates...
The car shutting off was definitely the alarm system. Clifford system from when the car was bought. I tried to contact them and they told me to take it to a professional.
Got down there with some wire cutters and the wiring diagram. Just started pulling shit out. TONS of sensors on this thing. Range extender, window tampering microphone, every door, trunk, hood, all that crap. Honestly, it would have been great to keep, but... it tried to kill me. One by one I ripped them all out, reconnected the ignition and the starter cables and it started right up. I weighed all the wires and everything... 4 pounds of alarm system in the car. Insane. Eventually I'll wire up some kind of kill switch and do it right so I don't die.
I did the wheel bearing this week. Lifted the car, pulled off the whole knuckle, took it to a machine shop and got the bearings pressed out and the new ones in.
Got a little surprise: Took off the rotor and got a look at the ABS tone ring:
Now I kind of get why I was having ABS issues. I poked at it and one of the hex bolts fell out. Oops! Sensor was bent at a 45 degree angle presumably from being whacked repeatedly for months. I'm going to disable ABS for the time being. No snow where we are so I should be cool.
Bonus pic! Just to make you all jealous, my original 1999 (MY 2000) lateral link bolt, completely rust free! Took me all of 1 minute to remove, most of which was just positioning the wrench on the other end. Oh, California, how I love you.
Brought in the knuckles. I watched him press them in and out, one of the hex bolts snapped and I had to pick up another from Pick n Pull. Almost got the ABS sensor off but I accidentally used the wrong wrench and stripped the bolt.
Pic of the new hubs and wheel bearings in the knuckles (before I got the hex bolt):
Second bonus pic (2 pics I guess): The shop I went to had a project AE86 Corolla with a Honda s2000 engine in it
makes like 250 N/A!! Maybe I should buy a honda.... but nah
New bearings on the car feels incredible. Havent felt any issues with the thumping I was having on left turns, the noise is completely gone... it's like a new car!!
Three hours after fixing that, I dropped the car off at the shop for clutch, headgaskets, and timing belt. I'll have it back Tuesday. THAT will feel like a brand new car... I'm beyond excited!
I'll post some pics when I get it back. Anyway, here are a couple other bonus pics of her next to some friends I found in the wild..
And in my school's parking lot:
Last thing! The girl I sold my wagon to told me her shifter was feeling loose. I told her to swing by, and I checked it out...
Nut came off the top and the bolt was just hanging out the bottom. Didn't even make it through the top. Could totally have fallen out... this was my fault. First thing I ever did on a car was fix the shifter slop on this, and I didn't know what threadlocker was at the time. Put some on this time... could have been bad. You could move the shifter in circles!