Vk304

VK304’s sr20det 88 vanette

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To start with, I purchased this gem which I found on trademe, and brought for a good price, from a guy who had spent a lot of time and dollars building, nice older gentleman from a coastal town, uncertified but still had live plates.

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Because i like weird stuff and it seemed like a lot of effort went into this van, and previous owner was sad to see it go, i decided to tidy it up and fix some issues like leaking valve cover, handbrake ajust, new windscreen.

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Now i wish i had more photos of this time, but any way, i had done a once over and driven it to work a few times so i booked a cert for it, i told them basically i dont know f-all about it but i wanna see if it had a chance at passing lvvta.... let me know what to fix basically.. and they really did.

3 pages of failures ranging from blown out bushings to more serious stuff like the modified engine cover with modified seats, seatbelt anchorages, raised seats to a unacceptable level (i did wonder why my head was touching the roof). following photos will show some of these things..

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Also painted the wheels black because i diddnt like them very much.. diddnt end up looking any better haha, by this stage i had kind of given up on this van and was looking for a donor van that had a better look and maybe later model such as a 2000 + model vanette.

Found a bunch of rust and all the things it failed on was too much to bother with not to mention the effort involved in fixing all the bad work....

Soo i was looking for about 6 months for a 2000 plus vanette/bongo/mazda e2000 for around $1500-2000 with a blown engine or something, aaand just diddnt get much luck i brought one on tradedme but just before i left to go pick it up from quite far away i did a background check, money owing on it ... great so i cancelled that sale, as there was no mention of that on the trademe add... gave the seller a neutral feedback, he gave me my only bad one i've ever had :/ so i kept looking, bidded on a few but no luck.  

Could not believe how hard it was to find a van of that year considering how many i had seen for sale, then i came across the right candidate .

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1988 nissan vanette 1.5 l, column shift manual, in my price range and reg on hold. got it from auckland.

So we went again... at night.. to pick up this van that i had brought on trademe.

apparantly drove fine, just needed couply things for a warrant.

 

 

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I figured well, its probably the exact same chassis and wheelbase with similar engine, year, manual, so i went to pick it up, test drive fine, so we paid the guy and left for home.

It was quite loud and rattly, but got some petrol and went to go uphill, well, it diddnt like going up hill, or on anything other than going down hills.

gutless!  But still drove so drove it until the front light disappeared on the right side...  

A head light had blown and the indicator/park light assembly was flopping around in the wind , at the same time a cop follows me.. well he just passed and i pulled over and took the light off and chucked in the van. got home safe . 

 

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By this time i had removed the sr20det and serena drivetrain from the donor van and i figured out it had quite a few good parts to it.

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Now I had done some research, and turns out the donor van had a h190 diff with coil springs and was quite tough, whereas this new van only had a h165, a lot weaker, so I went to go swap them out ... however the new one was a leaf spring..

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I took them both to work, cut the mounts off both and really just took the 2 leaf brackets and welded them on the bigger ex-coil spring one (with some measuring), swapped out some better parts to the big one, better brake drums, cylinders, a handbrake cable .. painted it and put it in . Diddnt really take much work to do . 

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This left the other van without a diff, but that's fine just dropped it on the wheels to become a lawn ornament

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I looked for something easy to do while I had some time, and figured I'd throw in the silvia fuel pump, removing the old pickup assembly and almost put the modified one in when I noticed a potentially dangerous situation...

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