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Joey spud

Subaru MV284 Away for the winter.

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My inner ball joints (drum sticks) have had a bit of play in them for years.


Inner and outter balljoints are sometimes found on ebay so are brake pads but discs are very hard to find and are often incorrectly listed and are the smaller early pick up non vented ones.


Rockauto in the U.S have everything you need and if you try to order parts from the same warehouse (A,B,C) then the postage isn't too bad.


I use an '86 brat as my look up.








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Another thumbs up for rock auto. I sourced all my parts from there. Only rear shoes were wrong as the US brats have smaller back brakes. I managed to source a rear disc set up so that solved that issue. In the process of fitting a new fuel tank in mine and a steering arm for the mot.

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Finally decent weather today so i got outside and played Subaru.
I had previously cleaned the oil and crap from the front cross member and now decided to get the hoist out and swing the gearbox back in.



I then fitted the new driveshafts but left them loose in the hubs so i could raise the box up higher than normal if needed to fit the engine.


I don't have a levelling bar so again used my best b+q blue string.
I got the engines angle of attack a bit wrong but it's only a short arse thing so i was able to tilt the gearbox up enough to make them match .

With the hand brake on and the gearbox in first gear to stop the input shaft turning all it needed was a spanner turning the crank via the front pulley and a bit of vigorous shaking / cussing to get everything mated together without any drama.

I'm well happy with getting the heavy bits dropped back in this afternoon as i had only planned on refitting the gearbox.

The engine crane lives up the far end of the garden and it churns up the lawn big time whenever i drag it up and down to the front of the house so that task is now ticked off.


I do love a bit of simple,well designed Japanese engineering and as i get older my joints are now creaking so i dont have the patience / mojo for doing big jobs on fiddly ill thought out European stuff anymore.


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Obviously the truck used to be beige and it was also given a wax treatment by its first owners (a farm in Pershore Worcs) and this included dousing the inner wings too.


I thought it wouldn't hurt to remove it and tidy the under bonnet  appearance and found the easiest way was to use unleaded and a paint brush.


There was a couple of bits of bare metal that got coated over with the zinc annode primer before being given a covering of synthetic colour matched beige paint that came with the truck.



The air box was looking a bit sorry for itself but it seemed a shame to loose its character so i just lacquered over the scratches and bare metal instead.


I have a spare filter lid and i fancy having a go at painting a white/red Japanese rising sun flag on to it.



Here's the under bonnet spare wheel.

I give you an eighteen year old Vera.

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is it wrong that the first thing that popped into m head when seeing that Tyre brand/name was this?






I think we are of a very different era.


My first thought when i hear or read the word Vera is ''Vinyl Vera''.

An affectionate term from my younger years used to describe an inflatable sex doll.

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Yesterday i got around to plumbing in the last odds and ends.

I have had a realisation that my memory is shot as i had to keep looking back at images on my phone to recall where various brackets fitted and how the simple loom was routed.


I also had to clean the waxy stuff off of the underside of the bonnet too as it was letting the side down some what.

At one point i thought about masking up and painting the beige red but then decided bugger that i like the beigeness.


20190326_132809.mp4 (Some proof she runs and sounds quite sweet).


I went for a very quick spin around the block and the clutch is now nice and light (the old one was heavy and juddered when pulling away when cold) and thanks to the new driveshafts it has lost a lot of its transmission shunt and cv joint chatter.


Less good though is the hesitation to pull cleanly at low revs,it might be because the petrol in the tank is 18 months old and has lost some of its fizz.

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Looking good. Never heard of vera tyres!I love the white weller wheels I used to dream of having those on my cortina in the 90’s even though they’d probably never fit.


Must admit I like Weller's on these too. My mums old C reg GLSE estate had them on with chunky mud and snow's on it. It really looked the part and was bloody surprising what that old thing would tow in low box, it was well and truly tested by my old man. Iirc the wheels had red and blue pinstripes round the edge of the rim too?

Liking the beige too btw, do not paint!

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I guess it's time to look at the rusty bits so i got the truck as high as i could on my collection of axle stands and decided to start with the passenger sill area.




This was a sort of 'soft area' of sill back at its last mot in 2017 you couldn't push through with a thumb but something sharp could have.

Fast forward 18 months and it's now turned really ugly.








Well it's good in some areas and a bit grim in others.

It is going to need some fresh floor and a stiffener panel making up at the front and at the rear the inner sill is ragged and a bit thin so will need chopping out.


I pulled the n/s seat out and lifted the floor covering up and the floor is fine but damp so i think the screen seal is letting water in which has over the years rotted the sill away.


Alas you can't get new sill panels for these but the profile is quite simple to replicate and i have obtained a copy pair but putting one up against the truck it is a piss poor fit and will need a good bit of trimming to make them fit.

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The original engine if the speedo can be believed had done 94k miles and was sounding tired but still pulled well.


It burnt oil,knocked badly from a cold start while waiting for the oil light to go out and it was a bit tappety although the valve clearances were spot on.


Out of curiosity i decided to split the crankcases and have a look at what's what.








I removed the heads a couple of weeks back and there wasn't anything seriously wrong with them bar baggy valve guides.


On these Subaru engines you can disconnect the pistons from the con rods by removing two caps to access the pistons gudgeon pin (when they are set at the bottom of their stroke) then pull the gudgeon pin out allowing the piston to be popped out the cylinder.








To get the back two pistons out you have to remove the flywheel and the engines rear housing to gain access.


I had been using a bit of tight fitting wooden dowel to pull the pins out but piston no4 wasn't going to play ball as it was a bit tight so i had to knock up a little tool that would hook onto the end of the pin and allow me to lever it out.


I do like how simple these engines are,no chain or belt just a helical gear on the back of the crank to drive the camshaft.


I believe these engines were a popular fit in home brewed light aircraft back in the 80's.




All the pistons are really clean with absolutely no scuffing on them but the oil control rings are tight in their lands and don't have much springiness to them.

Maybe thats why the engine consumed so much of its sumps content ?

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The tappets / cam followers are also in a bad way.
Each cam lobe has to work an inlet and exhaust valve so i guess double the work equals double the wear.

There is wear showing on the bearing surfaces and a bit of light scoring on cylinder number ones journal but none of it bad enough to explain the low oil pressure and bottom end knock on start up.

I have had a measure of of various surfaces with my cheap vernier gauge and all is good except for cylinder no 4's cam lobe has lost a couple of mm off its tip.

I was expecting at least a couple of big end bearings worn down to their copper shells so I'm quite disappointed really.


I think the oil consumption was down to stuck oil control rings as i cleaned all the tar and muck from one set and they now spring in and out nicely.
I guess it might have a bit of Toyota dna in it.


Not sure what to do with remains,maybe i could make a poncy glass topped coffee table out of half a crankcase.

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I have been slowly repairing the n/s sill area on the Subaru.

It is far worse than i realised but there's no rush so i can plod along as and when i feel the urge.

I have decided to split the work into two bits (front sill / A post and rear sill / inner tub) to keep me motivated.




A lot of the rot in the front of the sill and base of the A post has been caused by a previous long ignored leaking screen seal,water had run down the door pillar and had no escape route so it pooled there and rotted through the A post,outter sill skin,inner sill flange and the end of the wheel well.




The old grotty bits were cut away and replaced with thicker than standard 1.2mm zintec,the incomplete flange on the end of the outrigger was cut off and replaced too.




As none of it's going to be visible i didn't fuss with dressing any of the welds back.

I used a 7mm bit to drill the holes out for the plug welds (normally i use a diddy little hole punch on a joggler tool) to give them a seriously strong fix.

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Inside the sill and around the repairs i have given it all a couple of coats Zinc annode paint,once it's all finished i can access the sill cavity easily enough from inside the cab to pump in whatever rust prevention product is the flavor of the day.




The pattern sill panel really didn't fit at all well so i settled on retaining its original pressing profile where it met the inner sill and trimmed it to suit where it attatches to the door step.




Again big plug welds in the bottom edge and the top joint was tacked then slowly seam welded before dressing back and coating with the zinc primer.

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I remember when these were everywhere, and almost always Beige, with ifor williams truck cap fitted, with either a sheep or sheep dog in residence... 

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Done a bit more to the Brat.



Zintec is a bit thick so i have used a bit of steel from a Mitsubishi Fto door skin to fashion some flexible wheel arch patches.

It's not ideal but i will do the job nicely.

I had planed to fit the inner (bigger) one first then the outter bit and plug weld the flanges together as it was originally done but it was too much of a faff so i ground some more of the outter arch away and welded the repair panel to its edge instead.


Now i can piece together the inner arch to the outter arch in sections instead of trying to do it with one wobbly bit of steel.

I still need to cut the rot out of the end of the inner sill / inner arch area but its turned a corner now and it wont need too much filler to make good again.


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Work on the little Subaru has sort of ground to a stop as looking for and retraining for a new job got in the way.

I don't have a garage and every winter i get on the good side on my neighbour and bung the truck in her dry garage until March time so today i have given it a good wash down and put some old wheels on.

I really need to get my arse in gear with this as i would like to bring to Shitefest in May.


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