Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Landcruising again..

Another awesome 60-series 'cruiser.. one of the 5th generation of the model, from the thoroughly-80's decade of production that was 1980 to 1990.

..This particular car being a 12H-T powered, 1986 HJ61 VX..

..That has undergone what looks like a tasteful cosmetic restoration.
Great light blue and white combination, good chrome, lifted leaf springs, privacy tint..

.. some crystal headlights..

..and what look to be some sort of American Racing wheels wrapped in everlasting white-lettered BFGoodrich All-Terrain's.

It works.

Inside looks to be tidy and original, with the exception of some re-trimmed seats and a small polished Nardi wheel. The torquey, turbo'd, 4litre diesel six's power is dealt with by a four-speed auto.

Much love for this.. I definitely appreciate the lack of bar/steps/etc here..

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

A blue run run..

A worn - but original and complete - 1984 YN60 Toyota 4Runner SR5.
Early production for the first generation of 4Runners, with the 1984/85-only solid front axle. This generation of 4Runner was basically a lightly reworked 4th generation Hilux, and remained in production until 1989.

The SR5 was the upper-spec model (a model spec still used by Toyota today), and being an Australian car, was powered by the anemic 3Y Petrol engine - a 2litre carby 4cylinder that struggled to make 90hp when new.


I saw this for sale recently out the front of a trade-in wholesaler, and almost snapped my neck when i saw it! You just never see these around here, let alone for sale.

..so now its mine. Totally worth it.

The large fibreglass rear section has been removed in these photos. Partly because it is bloody epic with it off, but more-so as I was sussing out some rust issues.

The original Australian-spec SR5 stripes, which look fantastic. Wild decals like these really help make 80's utes/trucks/vans look as cool as they do..

Solid axle with leaf springs at both ends.
Wheels are original chrome-plated 16x6" steel.

All original around here, from the worn paint, Toyota mudflaps, and black grille/bumper/mirrors etc. The US models had the option of a chrome package on the exterior, in which most of these black parts were chrome plated. I'll go down that path if I do decide to go all-out on this..

These are the original plates it got when delivered in October 1984. It has been a local car since brand new, and has been continuously registered for 29years..

 This is the height it sits at with sagged stock leaf springs. I love it - particularly the height of the sills and short front overhang.

The rust around the canopy area is odd, particularly for what is otherwise a very rust-free car. Hopefully not too painful to fix..

Factory rollbar, which also happens to be there to support the rear seatbelts.
Obviously the roof hasn't spent too much time removed, as the rear seats are basically unmarked.

 ..The front seats, not so much. You can see the colour difference between them here.

Its just age, as the car clearly hasn't been abused.
Everything here is just gradually worn out over time..

Great big crack in the dash, but not usual for the model.
All original here, from the 4WD shifter instructions and worn out gear boot, to the 4-speaker Toyota tapedeck.
The pod on the dash includes an altimeter... like an aeroplane.. which is brilliant.

 Original manuals..

I love the two-spoke wheel and grid over the cluster...

While the rust on the roof gutter isn't unusual, its more of that damn canopy rust! The dry paint is the previous owners efforts at tidying the rust areas up. No bog, just pressurepack blown over the top.. and anything nearby...

 Holes in the seats and carpet, but somehow impressively clean.

Rear seats and rollbar again.

..And back to the front.

I really love it overall. Not only as a tidy original car, but its a great colour combination (I love the blue on blue), and would look great restored.
I plan to sort out as minimal as I can to get it road-legal, and then drive it largely as-is; But I can definitely see myself buckling before long, taking it off the road to restore. We'll see...

Thursday, 10 October 2013

SSR EX-C Fin Restoration - Pt.1

1988 SSR EX-C Fins.. and whats left after 25 years of wear-and-tear!
Introduced ~1984, and alongside the EX-C Mesh was produced through to the 90's.
Other models were intoduced under the EX-C name over the years (EX-C Neo, Scope,), but the Fin and Mesh type EX-C's were the original two.

These wheels are original 4x100, 14x6 +40, full reverse, complete and unrestored. Because of the high offset, these are the 'full reverse' style - and as a result technically have the standard 15" face.
..So.. reverse means that the face is mounted in what would be the back of the barrel, then full reverse as its the biggest face that could possibly fit.

These also happen to be in the gaudiest of colour combinations available: white with the polished face, gold fasteners, gold cap, etc. Very loud.

After all these years, the plates (the metal disc with the text, sandwiched under the cap) are covered in paint chips and scratches..

..the clear and then gold plating is wearing off the caps..

..while it is very nearly gone of the bolts around the outer rim.

Light grazing to the edge of the old 14" barrel here..

..and more crazed clear and flaking paint on the face here.

Amazingly the barrel sticker has survived under the tyre all this time. Production date of september 1988..

..while the faces were cast 6 months before; in March 1988.

 Late days for the older style of Speed Star Wheel spec decal seen here.

Cap unscrewed off the collar.
being a high offset wheel; it gets the shorter of the two caps available.. the 'FF' caps. This includes the smaller (as well as obviously shorter) collar seen here.

A somewhat time consuming task - all 80 nuts and bolts removed.

Removing the faces may or may not involve me driving a 1.5m 100x100 length of wood down onto the back of the wheels.. as though I'm genuinely trying to smash them to pieces..

Now.. lets focus on the caps...
The tools for the job.

On the rear of the cap, the two main screws are removed.

Picking tool into the sliding lock slot, and gently pry it up.

Rear cover removed.

Sliding bar lock removed. Its the teeth on the end of this part, that lock into the matching teeth on the inside of the threaded collar pictured above.

Out comes the hair-dryer.
The locking slide was removed to make it easier heat the whole lock up.

So, after holding the hair dryer on the back of the cap for a minute or two...
..the center should simply fall off..

..completely unharmed!

Next up, a drill to separate the cap from the locking mechanism.

The rivets are drilled where they flare over the cap. I don't want to drill these out any more than necessary, as I will leave them there to help in holding the lock in position when re-assembled.

A hole-punch to knock the locking mechanism out.

And separated.
The cap is now ready to go off and get re-plated.

Closeup of the locking mechanism.

..a quick polish, just to make it look a little nicer.

The complete cap assembly.

The complete wheel assembly. Yep, laying this out was worth the effort..!

Okay, now, to give a little more attention to the lock mechanism itself. I love this system.
Back cover, slide, and slide spring already removed.
The rusted cam in the centre turns anticlockwise (looking at it from the back) when the lock is turned. This lets the spring push the slide across, and into the teeth on the collar.

There's probably a better way to remove these, but the small silver disk holds the centre pin over the cam. I pick it up with a small screwdriver, then pull it off with a pair of pliers. It doesn't matter how much you bend this part up - a simple thwack with a hammer makes it ready to pop back on.

Cam removed. You can now see a small ball-bearing sitting on a spring, which helps the lock sit in the 'lock' and 'open' positions - to click into place.

The cam on the back side of the lock mechanism body is what holds the lock centre in place. Once removed, it is free to come out from the front.

The lock centre, exploded. magnets and springs laid out.

Now.. re-keying the lock, and reassembly..
All parts cleaned with WD40/RP7/similar, and ready to go back together.

Try to push the lock centre back into the main body without the magnet (key) behind it, and the magnets will jump onto the main body before the centre gets into place.
..So interestingly, to get the lock back together you will need a key. Not only the original key, but any key.

Put the lock centre on top of a key, put the three springs in place, then the magnets after the springs. Keep flipping the magnets until they all sit flat and pulled towards the centre as in the picture above.

If at this point another key is swapped in place, the magnets will jump away from the centre. When assembled, this drives the magnets out into the slots on the front of the lock body.. preventing the lock from turning.
Its the three small magnets that are the linch-pin of the locking assembly. Turn it hard enough to shear these, and the lock would turn.

Onto the back again.
Spring and ball bearing into place, then cam pushed back onto the centre pin.

Put the flattened cam retainer back on, a 1/4" socket over the top of that, and then tap with a hammer.

Turn the lock to 'close'.
Put the roller and pin back into the slide part, then the slide back into the main lock body, and then the spring pushed into place.

Another shot of the final assembly with the rear cover removed.

Rear cover pushed over the pins, then screws in.

All done, and super smooth to turn! Very nice..

Faces will be powder-coated full white, caps will be chrome with black detailing, black fasteners, and 15x6.5 +32 barrels.
In the style seen here - bottom row, second from the right. Something different.

But this is all yet to be finished..
..so.. for the time being - this is to be continued...