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dragon

dragon's '79 B1600

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Disclaimer: Ripped this from my thread on another site so excuse any irrelevant/random info in these posts

 

I inherited this from my old man who's had it since 1991. Since he's had it its pretty much been a daily driver/work horse, so the bodywork's not exactly straight. Its lived the majority of its life in central otago so i'm hoping there's not too much in the way of hidden rust, i have a feeling its rusted more in the 6 months its been in the driveway.

Plans are simple.

Step 1: strip it and see if its worth resurrecting the shell, there is a bunch of dents that have been filled with bog including one on the roof (this one i suspect will be the most challenging). If all goes ok tidy up the shell/chassis and paint. If not... then plan B

Step 2: rip out the heart and box and replace it with a something more modern with a 5 speed transmission. It has a B2000 engine in it with the 4 speed column change, and basically 1st gear is a waste of time. Staying away from a turbo for now.

Step 3: sort out the interior and brakes (drums all round afaik)

Step 4: Slam + wheels = enjoy

Easy right? there's probably a ton of stuff i missed, and I've only ever worked on Hondas so this will be something new

Only pic i have at the moment as i lost the rest when my phone died

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Progress

Managed to get the guards off.

Sheared 4 bolts in the process and had to attack 3 with an angle grinder :oops:

once that was done i hit some of the known (or potential) problem spots for rust with a wire brush and 3m paint stripping disk (this worked well but didn't last as long as i'd hoped). Overall its not too bad, but i need to get the tray off and strip the rest to get the full picture.

Any way, some pics

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The Roof. This is the one piece i am concerned about getting fixed up, as i have no idea if its going to be an easy fix. Grant any thoughts?

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Cheers

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So today i fired her up (started first pop too*) and she left the garage for the first time in months. Then me and a mate loaded it up and dropped it off to it's temporary home in Upper Hutt

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There should be some faster progress now that someone else is doing the work, hopefully i can gets some pics during.

Cheers

*First pop on the 9th attempt

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couldn't help but troll through Yahoo JP for some unique wheels, Alex won these for me last night, should be here in the next container all things going well

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apart from shoe shopping, the ute has had the rust soda blasted and is being worked on. Just waiting on progress pics

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so i have the opportunity to acquire a 1.6 mx5 manual for bugger all, thinking about using it for a donor car. But am unsure if the 1.6 mazda power plant will provide enough grunt in NA form (verses say an SR20de)

Thoughts?

Also potato photos of the roof and rear windscreen sill, to show there is some progress happening (didn't have time to snap more)

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Progress is happening! should hopefully have it back before the end of the month rust is almost fixed. Just one area that was slightly worse than thought around the passenger foot well chassis mount

Some pics

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Do need to track down a drivers door that's in better condition as the current one, as it will be much cheaper to try and replace rather than resurrect.

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amazingly there has been some more progress! I did manage to track down a spare door and dropped that off a while ago.

Then a couple of weeks ago got an email from the panel beater that the rust work was done!

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And now as of this morning it's tucked up in the garage, now i just need to get off my ass and do stuff

 

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I have also acquired this, as a donor off a friendly chap from Hamilton

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Progress has been pretty slow, mostly due to lack of motivation, but getting back into it now.

Rear brakes have been rebuilt with new cylinders, and i've been slowly stripping and wire brushing the rear to paint

As it sits now:

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Diff out stripped and half painted

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Disks for the front, hopefully the right ones

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not much of an update, was attacking more of the chassis with the wirebrush.

Had to take the driveshaft out so decided to do the cab tunnel as well, not surprisingly more rust discovered:

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one more thing to add to the list.

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Long time between drinks, i've been doing bits and pieces on it, the underside has been stripped back, and coated with paint and underseal. I also manged to finally get some re conditioned calipers (that took over a year in itself), so one side of the front is back together with the disk in place of the drum.

I had a bunch of trouble trying to get a new steering link as the ball joint (which isn't removable) was fucked. I was a dumbass and didn't think when ordering a new one (and pitman arm) from the states that they were of course going to be different for LHD cars. The only other option new was some sketchy option from thailand. Took it to one suspension place to see if they could re-do the ball joint, the guy there wasn't sure and was like maybe they could but it would be $4-500, fuck that. So i went hunting for other options from later models but nothing really worked (pitman arm is different size and has different mounts). Ended up going to Autolign for something else and asking them about it $140 later and a 4 day turnaround it was sorted FML should have just gone there first.

Anyway some picks of the front back together. I had the front back on the ground for the first time in a couple of years just before this shot.

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Instead of doing the passengers side i'm going to get this out so i can clean up all the bay and front subframe. Just need to get a hold of an engine crane (and some helpers beer will be provided if someone can provide either of these things)

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did some stuff. Gearbox is out (and manky as fuck)

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Engine is now ready to be pulled, once this lock down shit is over. I have removed the master cylinders, and any bits connecting to the engine since this photo. I also have tried to remove the column shifter, but the part that is on the end of the shaft (under the brake booster in this pic), just won't move. I'm thinking the application of heat to help it, but i don't have a torch (ant can't get one till the restrictions end). If anyone has any ideas LMK

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So seeing as i couldn't do any more on the engine i decided to attack the interior

Stripped out the dash fascia, cluster and heater/blower

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Cleaned up the 40 odd years of grime. Need to touch up the heater/blower as there is a bit of surface rust and missing paint

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Then seeing as i had nothing but time, attacked the remaining sound deadening with a chisel and used some petrol to clean up what was left

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Not surprisingly, found more rust to add to things needing sorted

 

Managed to get supplies from mitre10 through the week, that included a gas torch so that in combination with some PB blaster, manged to free up the part attached to the shifter column. So got that out yesterday. Empty hole = success

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Did some prepping of the heater/blower parts today sanding/priming no photos because that's boring shit.

But also pulled out the Hilux recaro rails i had to see if they would be a go with the seats i have, they look like they will be simple enough to adapt - obviously mounts will need to be made.

Seating position wasn't bad and i got to make vroom vroom noises while pretending the thing actually drives

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Right before the lockdown hit i was going to take in the wheels to get them a bit of a freshen up, now we're in level 2 i managed to drop them off yesterday.

Told the guy i wasn't in a rush but he was obviously keen to work on something a bit different than the normal "new" factory wheel repair and he spun one (of the better ones) up on the lathe to show me what the finish would be like. I went back today to take a look.

This is where i want to fish for some opinions. I like the silver polished look and red center, but if anyone else have any interesting ideas lmk (ute will be white)

 

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Progress has been slow, we're planning a decent sized reno on the house, but it also means i need the extra lawn ornaments removed. So with the help of a mate we did another thing

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Since this photo, i have acquired an engine stand off trademe, then spent nearly as much on bolts long enough with the right thread to bolt it up.
Gearbox has been removed, and random sump i acquired (also from trademe) has been test fitted to confirm its the right one. Next steps are to get a fwd oilpickup (and figure out where the dipstick will go as it's on the sump on the mx5 one), get the loom out of the MX5 chassis, and source a gasket and cam belt kits to give the engine a freshen up.

 

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