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Parrot's Sprinter & Levin Shed


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So school holidays are over, kids are back at school, and life sort of returns to normal.


Finally got around to fixing up my front struts. Did get some SW20 AGX's from the US at a great price. Then ordered some strut spacers from T3. These put the strut insert at the bottom of the strut with the spacing at the top, with a built in gland nut. Then I waited. And waited. Gabe was out of stock so I had to wait for a new batch. Finally, two and a half months later they arrived. But they are a great idea and fit perfect. Was debating whether I could be bothered painting the strut tubes. Was glad I did as they did come up quite well. The result? Captive springs! Front springs are 235mm and 6kg, so am very interested to see how low it is when it goes on the ground. On putting the struts back in and torquing everything up, suddenly feared I hadn't put a split pin in the balljoint. Visions of wheel parting company from suspension. So pulled them out again. Yes split pins were there. Getting so little time to work on the car means I forget what I have and haven't done. Best pickup has been a huge whiteboard I found in a skip which I note things down on.



By null at 2011-02-06



Next got around to uninstalling my brand new rubber brakelines, and installing my shiny stainless Goodridge lines....... Bit sick of getting covered in brake fluid, but they do look the business. Just trying to work out how to retain the front lines as the retainer is a bit different, but think I know how to get around it. Picked these up cheaply on special in the UK, after a debacle with some black diamond lines I had bought from Fensport in the UK a few years back. NEVER buy anything black diamond or Fensport!!




By null at 2011-02-06


What else? Installed the distributor, replaced one of the dizzy cap boots on the TRD leads which had a hole in the top. That isn't easy but it looked shithouse before. Bought these second hand and when they arrived they were in terrible condition. I have actually rebuilt them! Insulator tubes were cracked, replaced contacts on ends of the line etc etc. Not what I would generally recommend, but I did have them and they do look sensational. If they fail, will just put my old magnacor leads back on. Probably better, but boring black! Now to reinstall the reduction drive starter, find some gaskets for the catcon I tossed up replacing with a straight through pipe, and honestly I think things are very close. Soon to put the car on its wheels and tighten up the various bushings.


Picked up some GTV front door cards to match the rears I got a while back so will get them on. Have to have a look at the door mechanism on the drivers door which I replaced with a better one. Outer handle isn't opening the door whereas inner handle does. Will be something simple. Also picked up some new old stock bumper indicator lenses which are very shiny!


The car has been sitting in the shed for nearly nine years so is covered in about one inch of dust, and has aquired a few bumps and scratches, but will get it out so I have something to drive on events with club reg, and move the KE15 in.


With the other cars, continue to locate parts. An LSD CWP for the TE27 build which will go in a shortened RA28 housing. Best of all I got some new old stock tail lights for the KE15. Was watching ebay whilst in the UK in November and spotted two pairs of new tail lights listed in such a way I thought no one would spot them. Just in case, asked the guy if he would do a buy it now, no go. Oh well, hopefully no one will see them. Wrong. They went for rather a lot and I was the underbidder. Damn. What I did next was watch the sellers feedback to find out who bought them, which turned out to be a guy in the US. Sure enough, he listed the second set on US ebay and I got them uncontested. Very happy.

Edited by parrot
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So tonight got the starter motor back in, which is an incredibly easy job with the AE92 0.8kw reduction starters. They are so much smaller and fit easily up past the exhaust.




Shot at 2008-10-05


Last of the stainless brakelines are in. Cat con back in.


Then spent half the night looking for the little tab that keeps the speedo drive in situ. Once I found that, spent another 30 mins looking for some gear oil to lubricate everything and stick it back in.


I actually even had a little doze under the car for a while. I have those high density foam jigsaw mats from Bunnings covering most of the floor around and under the car. Much nicer rolling in and out from under the car, and extremely comfortable!


I think that is now basically it for under the car. Everything is back on and tightened.


In the next couple of days I will put they wheels back on, and lower the four corners onto some wheel ramps and tighten up the various poly suspension bushes. Bleed the brakes and clutch, change the gearbox and diff oil.


I do have one little problem. The car has been in the shed so long, and I have stored so many other parts in the shed, that with all the weight, I think the shed has settled a little which means I can't actually open the doors! Will deal with that eventually.




Shot at 2011-02-10



Yes, it has been in there a while............

Edited by parrot
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  • 2 weeks later...

More progress.


Hydraulics all bled and I now have a brake pedal and clutch. Pretty pleased as the entire braking and clutch hydraulic system has now been rebuilt, including brake and clutch masters and all 4 calipers. Because I used the Jap booster, I had to use the Jap master as the bolt pattern is different. I think I posted earlier about this. First time I have rebuilt a master cylinder or caliper so in the back of my mind I had this small doubt..... But all seems OK, with no leaks. After my earlier dramas with stainless brakelines, I was pretty nervous that the lines wouldn't seal, but all good. Why the hell I didn't buy Goodridge lines in the first place I will never know. As above, NEVER buy anything black diamond or from Fensport!! Handbrake adjusted up nicely, 3 clicks.


At long last the car is on its wheels as of tonight. Am very pleased with the ride height, though I expect it may settle fractionally lower. 6kg fronts are very firm on the old push test! Now I can get on to tightening up the various suspension bushings. I wound in some toe in expecting to get the usual toe out when dropping it, but with the short stroke inserts, there was little change in height when in the air compared to on the ground. Anyway, I will tighten everything up now, then recheck everything once it comes out of the shed and moves about a bit. Will likely need to whip the panhard rod off and adjust it a bit, but again will wait and see where things settle at first.




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Yeah right! I think I did mention that I would put a drift sticker on my car if Harv didn't win car of the year.......


I changed the plates when I bought it from the old greens to the blues, but that lapsed about 8 years ago.


I shall put it on club plates as it will probably get out for less than 25 days a year I reckon. Should be hella fun though.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Spent the last week or so resurrecting my drivers side door trim. Picked up some GTV door trims from Japan cheap. When they got here, the passenger side trim was in really good nick other than some tenacious white marks that looked like paint fingermarks..... But with a serious attack of spray and wipe, plus a little white spirit in places, it came up really well.


Unfortunately the drivers side board was very poor, and the vinyl had a few splits here and there, not too bad but still. Decided to cannibalise my ADM door trim which seemed an obvious thing to do. Can't make it simply out of MDF or whatever as there is some shaped pressed into it.


BUT, the actual height of the board is about 2cm taller although otherwise the same profile. So cut a strip of MDF and reinforced it with another strip. This reinforcement strip then had to be planed down to provide clearance inside the door. The actual vinyl at the bottom of the door is the same colour and pattern as the ADM doorcard, so i cut pieces out and used these to reinforce the splits and holes. The foam was badly deteriorated so out to Clark Rubber for some thin foam. That's a trap, as there are always various bits of rubber you discover that you can't do without....


Some spray adhesive and it was ready to go back together. The vinyl is held on with staples, but unfortunately they are very short pronged staples. Out to Bunnings to by a staple gun, but the shortest staples they had were 6mm long which went all the way through the board. Out again and tried my luck at the newsagent. Bingo! 4mm staples, $15 a box. Oh well, if I resurrect 100 more door trims, I will still have enough staples. The trim has now come up really well.


Otherwise, have opened the factory sunroof by winding it open with a screw driver to replace the plastic locating lug that retains the wind deflector. That snapped long ago, and multiple attempts to fix it by glueing were a complete waste of time. Then I noticed that SV11 Camry's often have factory sunroofs with the same wind deflector design. The deflector is too long, but the retaining arms are almost the same (fractionally shorter on the end). Punched out the pin in the retainer lug with a mini punch, swapped it over. Fixed! Now I need to install the inner roof panel I had been looking for for years after throwing the old warped one out. May need to take out the sunroof but will see how I go.


Also looking at completing refurbishment of my power mirrors. I have two pair. One is the earlier design via the USA, but the RH mirror had the "objects in the mirror look closer than they are' stencilled into it. So smashed the glass trying to remove it to replace with the ADM glass. Oh well. I notice the mirror has a convex curvature in it. I have a replacement factory glass, but only for the left hand side. The other mirrors are the swoopier later design. These have a different wiring plug so will have to work out which wire is which and rewire them. Have cleaned them up with some bumper filler and now need to spray them up. As is common, they had a degree of aluminium corrosion along the bottom, but this sanded off nicely.


As I am not putting the radio back in, I have a double DIN box from an AE92, but depending on what this is like, I may instead put some extra gauges there instead at a later date.


Now starting to think tyres, as the Y352's on there aren't round anymore. Not sure that there is much in the way of a sticky 14 inch tyre in the 185 - 195 size. Would be keen on some Advan's but not available any more?



Edit: perhaps most importantly, I have sorted out my garage doors and can now open them, so I will actually be able to get the car out! And the KE15 in.

Edited by parrot
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