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Tomble's 1983 Mitsubishi Starion GSR-X ultimate beginner restoration/fumbling


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Hi! We're still working on this, it's just been a bit slow with life stuff like house painting and work things and laziness.  Also, the frame rail thing is pretty disheartening.  I think I'm on now the right path towards resolving that but there's other stuff to do while I wait and let the funds build.

Ugh I've left this thread too long and now have to sift through some old ass photos.

There's a bunch of things on the go but the biggest is the suspension and drive train.  One of the first goals after the shell is repaired will be to get it back on wheels instead of a trolley so it's a decent place to focus on.  Where to start?  Eh, blasting?  We borrowed a mate's blasting cabinet and went to down with it.

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I'm really happy we splashed on our compressor as it can keep up 100%.  However something about the setup sucks.  We've got 3x water traps (ignore the back-to-front one in the pic, it's proper way around now) yet still will get a decent amount of moisture spraying out of the gun.  This means that things clump up pretty rapidly and lots of gun-bashing is necessary to get it going again... for a couple seconds before it clogs again.  The longer the session, the worse it gets.  The cabinet is also poorly designed in the pick up department and we have to tilt the whole thing every minute or so to get the sand back near the pick up.

But the results are decent.

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Oh I should probably get the bushings out of the control arms before I blast them.  A quick trip to my mate's place who has a press and they're out.  Keep on blasting...

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Wait hang on, one of the arms is bent?  It's OK, said handy mate to the rescue :)

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The saga of Right-side Lower Control Arm is to be continued...

 

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Now, I've got all of these tasty new poly bushings - but I need to re-use all of the steel cores.  That means removing them from the old bushings. They didn't really suit the press, so Handymate and I tried a few things... saws, drills... till I decided to just go home and try the burning method.

My mate thought that it just meant burning all the rubber away, but apparently that's a very common misconception.  Some further research revealed the proper method which is to heat the metal around the rubber, which causes the rubber to literally boil and separate.  At that point you can just poke it out with something that isn't your flesh.  It worked really well!

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However I did it in the wrong order: I should have burned the inner sleeves out first as they would have been easier to push out while the rubber was still being held by the part they're in.  It wasn't a huge deal though, I just decommissioned some kitchen tongs and managed.

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After some acetone and wire wheeling, they came up great!

(If you want to follow in my footsteps, pro tip, give them some paint or oiling or something now because by about a month later they were orange with rust :D. I ended up coming back with the wire wheel again and some CRC black to prevent any further rust) 

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Some mocking up with the new bushings.  Let me dream.

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But... what is this?

Right-side Lower Control Arm-san is not very happy with his new bushings.  The outer bushing was never meant to be pressed out of the arm.  D'oh!

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How will this be resolved?

Will Right-side Lower Control Arm-san get his metal sleeve pressed back in?

Or will he be forever doomed to a bushless existence?

Stay tuned...

 

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  • 4 weeks later...

So now I can actually start reassembling stuff.  Exciting!  

First I have some u-joints to install into the drive shaft.  I might be going a bit OCD on some of this stuff, but one of the old ones was a bit hard to rotate so this was worthwhile at least.

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It's a bit nerve wracking taking a hammer to new/restored parts but it went fairly smoothly.  The only wrinkle was that after fully installing, the joint was stiff and not easy to rotate.  Fortunately this was easy to figure out, some of the uninstalling or installing hammer/visework must have bent the flanges outward imperceptively and a couple swift hammer strikes got it all to behave.

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I also learned how to use a grease gun.

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Driveshaft: check!

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Past Tom got feck all pictures of this but I also reassembled the torque tube.  This was a lot easier; parts wash everything to make sure there's no grit left over, make sure it's all dry, grease everything up just in case, install the new bearing, gussy up the old snap ring and lego it all together in reverse.

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I have no idea how to properly torque this nut down... it might have to happen once everything's back on the car! :)

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I'd like to re-use as much of the old hardware as I can, but it's very often gross and rusty and I don't like the idea of just hitting it with clear coat or something.  For that reason electroplating is a very satisfying idea to me.  Take crusty bolt, clean it up, plate it so it's pretty and like-new and will last another 40 years? Hell yes!

The local electroplaters

  1. are affordable
  2. know what they're doing 
  3. have bulk methods like barrel plating for misc hardware 
  4. are good people

Therefore I spent $toomuch on a plating kit from Australia to do it myself at a relative snails pace with inconsistent results and high time investment.

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Why myself?  I figured it'd be fun, create a greater emotional connection to the job, and the reduced barrier to plating would allow us to do small jobs that wouldn't otherwise be worth taking to the platers.

Why a kit? Reduce the guesswork - I get the right chems, equipment, faffy bits and a nice plating manual.  In hindsight I've no doubt I could have done this MUCH cheaper if I gathered the bits myself, but also in hindsight I'd be faffing a lot more to get worse results.  Additionally the Jane Kits guy is a fantastic bloke who puts a lot of his effort in his product and making sure his buyers get a good result.  Maybe a bit of foreshadowing there...

The kit provides everything except for containers and demineralised water.  The container part is actually kind of tricky to get right.  They need to be large enough to fit the largest parts you expect to plate, but also small enough to fit the quantities of stuff you have.  Sure I bought the 10L kit but if I had to fill 5 rinse baths with 10L of demineralised water or buy 10L of black passivate... and find storage for all the containers... yeah, not feasible.  Here's the containers required for zinc + black passivation:

  1. Acid cleaning bath
  2. Degreaser / parts wash
  3. First wash rinse
  4. Second wash rinse 
  5. The main zinc plating bath
  6. Zinc plating bath rinse
  7. Metex IT chemical dip (preps metal for passivation)
  8. Metex rinse
  9. Black chromate dip
  10. Black chromate rinse
  11. Lacquer dip

All but the first rinse bath should be demineralised water, and all but the black chromate are concentrates that need bulking up with demineralised water.  I'm not buying 100L of demineralised water!  I bought a variety of containers, a few 10L's before I realised the math involved and a bunch of 1.5-2L containers.  They're mostly ok.

Even the main bath container was a bitch to get.  I've got a 10L kit and therefore need something like 11-12L, rectangular, plastic, sealable and transparent.  There are 10L systema containers but they are spot on 10L, no space for parts or head room for the rods (ask me how I know).  I ended up getting a 19L container from the warehouse but it's still not ideal; there's a huge drop from the rods to the bath and the supplied aluminium rods aren't long enough to span it.  I fixed this by threading some bolts into the rods.  I also made some braces for the rods to sit in so they're harder to knock around (it's bad to cross the streams).

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Later on I simply replaced poured off (stored) 1L of the bath and put the remainder in one of the surplus 10L containers I had.  Saves on copper wire and it had the same footprint as the 19L.

The kit comes with an agitator to move the bath water around (good for popping hydrogen bubbles that settle on parts) and I raided a pet store for a thermometer and aquarium heater.  Our garage isn't breaking 10C very often right now so this is a necessary step to get the bath up to temp for hours (25-30C).

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The black chromate and lacquer also require a specific temperature range so I've "borrowed" Girlface's immersion heater...

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Then it's just dangling the zinc anodes in the bath and hooking up the supplied PSU (good deal on that btw).

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The manual is very wordy but thorough.  It recommends "plating out" the mix for a couple of hours with some scrap metal as the bath will have some initial impurities that cause black specks etc on jobs.

So I cleaned up one of the fuel blanking plates I'd restored the fuel tank with, degreased it and dangled it in there for a couple hours.  Wish the bath water was easier to see through.

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Two hours later: a speckled crappily plated part.

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Alright it's time to plate, what could go wrong?

 

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