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MJ on it's way to a second restoration


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I was looking for a pickup to haul stuff and to get my own self to unsafe but picturesque locations away from paved roads, and my father told me that his sister, to whom he had sold his truck five years prior, wanted to sell it as she had just bought a brand new econobox. The thing had been sitting in her yard for a few weeks after it started to overheat, so I got to her place with a new thermostat, installed it, filled the coolant and drove away 400 $ poorer but with a shiny new toy.

 

The thing is a '89 Pioneer 4.0L 4WD with manual shift (and a bonus Hurst pistol-grip knob too !) and 255000 kms on the clock :

 

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It was originally red on gray, but was repainted deep green and fitted with a home-made rear bumper. The clear coat has started to peel away, so I will probably do a rattlecan paint job in matte black over the old paint and leave it at that, there is no rust to speak of and most of the dings are already puttied anyway.

 

Mechanically everything is sound, except it needs a new distributor and the tail pipe is simply a decoration.

 

The real mess is the interior, the seals dried off around the windshield and the rear window, and water dripped inside for quite a while. The bench smells awful and the carpets are in poor shape. So for the moment, the idea is to get the damn thing running nice and clean, change the windshield (it's so cracked it's a joke...) and seal the rear window, replace the upholstery, bolt in a nice bench and scare the neighbors.

 

Then we'll talk about having it go faster, stronger, higher...

 

Cheers !

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Well I am currently pi**ed out of my mind.

 

I went to swap in the distributor I bought at the junkyard - to clarify in regards to my previous thread, it WAS a Renix (before I smashed it into splinters with a hammer) - fine and dandy, I remove the old one, put the "new" one in, plug the new rotor, cap and wires in the right order, double-check my wires, triple-check my wires, screw in the battery poles, turn the ignition and then Gngngn-POW !! :grrrr:

 

I had noticed the rotating unit didn't seem perfectly right at the place I remembered it to be, but told myself "Bah ! Your mind's playing tricks on you, there's only two ways this can get in there..." :wall: Man you went through life for this long how can you be so STUPID ?!

 

I guess the previous owner fiddled with the assembly. I wonder if his truck was junked because of a blown crank...

 

...

 

OK then now. How much are stroker kits going nowadays ?

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Well I am currently pi**ed out of my mind.

 

I went to swap in the distributor I bought at the junkyard - to clarify in regards to my previous thread, it WAS a Renix (before I smashed it into splinters with a hammer) - fine and dandy, I remove the old one, put the "new" one in, plug the new rotor, cap and wires in the right order, double-check my wires, triple-check my wires, screw in the battery poles, turn the ignition and then Gngngn-POW !! :grrrr:

 

I had noticed the rotating unit didn't seem perfectly right at the place I remembered it to be, but told myself "Bah ! Your mind's playing tricks on you, there's only two ways this can get in there..." :wall: Man you went through life for this long how can you be so STUPID ?!

 

I guess the previous owner fiddled with the assembly. I wonder if his truck was junked because of a blown crank...

 

...

 

OK then now. How much are stroker kits going nowadays ?

 

that is some crappy luck man. good luck fixen it

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Yeah, thanks.

 

Well I found a few 4.0 less than 500 kms away. I'll probably have to borrow my dad's Tundra and take a trip south to fetch one of 'em. Maybe get a HO, too, if it's got the ECU and harness...

 

Or there's that guy selling a complete 3.0 CRD drivetrain from a Grand Cherokee. Wouldn't it be awesome ? (If it weren't for the weight, electronics, size and I'm-not-equipped-to-fab-that-much issues)

 

Oh man... :headpop:

 

 

 

There's a moral to it; take your time and try to order BRAND NEW, at least for critical parts.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Ooooooookay so I came over the initial panic - and lack of time for a proper diagnostic. Just a backfire won't bust a crank you silly duder, you'll need quite a few ones AT LEAST. So armed with a good deal of patience, I wrenched the first piston to TDC, the distributor seems to be sending current to the third cylinder. Now time lacking again I'll adjust that something like this afternoon or next weekend. Then turn the ignition again with good results, I hope.

 

Man, if only the truck was stored in my own town...

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Ooooooookay so I came over the initial panic - and lack of time for a proper diagnostic. Just a backfire won't bust a crank you silly duder, you'll need quite a few ones AT LEAST. So armed with a good deal of patience, I wrenched the first piston to TDC, the distributor seems to be sending current to the third cylinder. Now time lacking again I'll adjust that something like this afternoon or next weekend. Then turn the ignition again with good results, I hope.

 

Man, if only the truck was stored in my own town...

I hope you got it going? I also like the dark green color :thumbsup:

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IT'S ALIIIIIVE !!

 

Runs smoothly, but I'll need new battery poles, broke my + while tightening it. :doh:

Aaand a new battery.

 

On a side note, a squirrel ate through my vacuums and underhood sound deadening material in the Volvo. :wall:

id like to see pics of the volvo if youve got any handy

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IT'S ALIIIIIVE !!

 

Runs smoothly, but I'll need new battery poles, broke my + while tightening it. :doh:

Aaand a new battery.

 

On a side note, a squirrel ate through my vacuums and underhood sound deadening material in the Volvo. :wall:

id like to see pics of the volvo if youve got any handy

 

Got these from last spring's pre-road tune-up :

 

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Found a bad hole in the floor, and a few surprising things I really don't want to get into, indicating severe structural weaknesses (possibly an accident or just accumulated rust at the worse possible spots), so I'm on the market for a new body for the engine build (currently a 2.3L turbo intercooler with electronic boost control, Ford Turbo-coupe injectors, ghetto ECU tweaks and a hotter camshaft - I want to swap in a 16 valve head, have the block sleeved +,060" bore and add in a balanced 2.8L stroker kit, making it a 3.0L 4-banger with a bigger turbo and Corvette C5 rear-mounted-tranny drivetrain, got half of the parts handy right now so I'm not backing up on the madness).

 

I know I swapped uglier wheels on it, I felt cheap and didn't want to buy new tires so got the ones from the parts car.

 

/hijack ;)

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  • 2 weeks later...

Went on to my dad's place to help on his farming project (since he's bought a Kubota, he's gone nuts), so between hauling soil and glass windows and whatnot, I got some job done on the truck. It is now working,

 

So here's the guilty distributor, tweaked and cleaned;

 

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Since the truck stalled as soon as a light went on (like, the brake light) or whatever, I got some battery poles to handle the short-circuit;

 

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... and got funky with the headliner;

 

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... which half disintegrated, so I'll leave it that way for now, and call it a redneck day - yes, it was firetruck red from the dealer;

 

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Shamelessly showing off the Hurst gun-handle shifter knob;

 

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(I love that shiny piece of junk :brows: )

 

There's a leak here, we'll get to it next weekend and go full throttle on a fresh re-sealing, what is a good glue for glass on metal ? Epoxy ?;

 

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Next thing, the top rack is a pain in the a** when it comes to loading the bed, you either need to bend over and twist a nerve in your back or to turn into a midget. So I just drilled a new position there, so It won't interfere, but it will be there if need be, only needing a pair of 13mm keys;

 

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... and a little test ride;

 

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Next weekend, I will remove the bed and start repairing the frame all the while re-learning to weld. Hope it's like bicycle...

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  • 3 weeks later...

Short and unremarkable update;

 

Took a little longer before I had time to work on removing the bed and fuel tank. Had to attend funerals last weekend, and anyway, it was freezing, snowing and well, all Hell broke loose...

 

So the semester being done with I have some free time, so I made the 60 kms trip to the 'manche, removed the tank, which is nice and shiny but leaks at the sender unit, and attempted to remove the bed, which has a few deeply rusted nuts. I soaked them in penetrating oil so it should be ready to be taken off for Thursday when we start welding the frame. It badly needs it.

 

Should be ready in time for the week-end. I'm thrilled.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Well, got things going ! But things are ugly.

 

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Top of the frame didn't exist anymore on the left side, so we had to make one.

 

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I think we did a nice job. I'm afraid I can't do much more with the metal that remains. It was terrible trying to get a nice spark, the rod kept sticking to the rust or punching holes through the frame.

 

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To be continued, I still have the right side to do.

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Another quick update, welded the other side, quite similar to the left side, now I need to reinforce under the cab itself.

 

Nothing new under the sun so I didn't take pictures, but it's fun to feel like it's going somewhere. Even if it's like building a new frame from scratch...

 

I intend to change the whole brake lines to steel-braided, heavy-duty rubber. Should be less of a pain to maintain. And the shocks, while there's no bed... should be a breeze to change !

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  • 2 weeks later...

Alright, this is taking shape, we are done with the welding, now getting into rebuilding. Anyway, now for the visual aids...

 

New bed brackets, overkill should be solid enough;

 

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Ghetto e-brake support;

 

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Slots for the fuel tank supports;

 

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... and a brake line for dessert;

 

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Let's call it a day...

 

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Bolts were welded to the bed to replace the ones that broke off when we removed it. I also built some interesting stuff for the exhaust. I planned a temporary side exit just in front of the passenger side tire, but it's the cat/muffler assembly that got quite thrilling. Since I forgot to buy pipe sleeves to tie them both together, we had to make do with tubular support posts that were holding the floor of the house before the basement's makeover. :rotf: I buffed off about 0,25" of diameter for a comfortable fit and added a 10" length to fit with an eventual, original-length tail pipe. Anyway, this thing will survive an apocalypse or two... and will definitely sound interesting...

 

I will post pics next week to make it understandable. Forgot to take any at the moment.

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