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1984 Suzuki SJ410 / Samurai - Nickel Plating Things


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Progress! I’ve been in this every evening for a couple of hours. Only one outer arch to go.

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I removed all the bits from the engine bay, clean everything up with the bench grinder wire brush and put everything back together again. This was sprayed, screw rollering, it’s awful and takes a stupid amount of time to get anything acceptable. Never again

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I’ll do the same with the running gear lastly, I have axle rebuild kits coming from India so should arrive when I start.

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Still have a huge amount of things to do though. Engine and gearbox don’t use the existing mounts, so will have to make them. I’m going to start the inner arches and rear corners in the weekend.

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Last outer arch done! I shaped the whole thing with a hammer, some pliers, and a wooden pallet. Was going to start and finish the inner arches this weekend.

Unfortunately ...

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Bottle tipped over and broke the new regulator off again. Will have to attach the new one ‘remotely’ when I get another one, this is just taking the piss. It sticks out too much.

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On 7/5/2020 at 12:08 AM, Spiny Norman said:

Fun wee things these, my mate bought a new one on an F reg which I christened 'Bouncer', not after the dog in Neighbours but because you travelled about a mile vertically for every five you went forwards in it.  Just trying to drive it in a straight line was a challenge and that was a split new one.
Fuck knows what a 35 year old one is like.

A mate of mine also had a new one on an F plate. It was exactly as you said - all over the place even on straight and even roads. I had a go once and it demanded total concentration and constant corrections just to maintain a straight line on tarmac.

I love them though. I had a Jimny soft top on hire in Greece early 2000s and it was great fun.

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Well another regulator bought (these are only £15 on eBay and are good), but this time I’m not taking any chances.

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Also slipped with the drill and ...

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I spent my regulator-less time shaping some metal so I could weld it on. I bought this stuff which is a godsend, and also a vice.

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Everything fits and I just have to cut a bit out and weld a few curves in and the body is done.

I started on the inner arch, but stopped as I was getting a headache from garage stuff.

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  • DavidB changed the title to Suzuki SJ Body Welding Stuff

Probably won’t update this again but welded the rear arches and floor up now.

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tapped the end of the welder and the whole tip broke off. I would have had this done if if were not for these occurring maladies. 😪 Welder is fantastic, but everything is going wrong in a way.

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I'm trying to source bits needed to complete the build for the Suzuki 16v engine but it seems difficult so I’ll stick it on eBay and might put a C20XE in it. I know them in and out and gearboxes are always available and easily adaptable.

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19 minutes ago, DavidB said:

Probably won’t update this again but welded the rear arches and floor up now.

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tapped the end of the welder and the whole tip broke off. I would have had this done if if were not for these occurring maladies. 😪 Welder is fantastic, but everything is going wrong in a way.

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Im trying to source bits needed to complete the build for the Suzuki 16v engine but it seems difficult so I’ll stick it on eBay and going to put a C20XE in it. I know them in and out and gearboxes are always available and easily adaptable.

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Bloody nora! An XE in an SJ? You're mental! 😆

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  • 3 weeks later...

I finished the welding off with a tiny 2” square plate on the drivers floor. I discovered a large plate that I didn’t like was just slapped on over bare corrosion. What!

i cut half of the floor out and removed the plates which were made of 3mm metal and just hammered into place. And probably welded with an arc welder. It was also double skinned underneath to hide bodge. This took ages to cut out and I’m not sure what is going on in the photo.

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I also fixed the seat mounting point, as the fixer welded several 5mm metal construction washers over it.

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On 10/8/2020 at 9:17 PM, DavidB said:

 😪 

Im trying to source bits needed to complete the build for the Suzuki 16v engine but it seems difficult so I’ll stick it on eBay and going to put a C20XE in it. I know them in and out and gearboxes are always available and easily adaptable.

What are you struggling with ?

The engine should only need a clean fuel supply (facet fuel pump to regulator and filter, then to carbs)

Ignition is piece of piss, as Dizzy should be very similar plugs.

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  • 5 months later...

I can’t believe I’ve had this nine months. It sat in the garage for a month, the mot ran out and I decided to ‘prep’ the body, but it’s been tricky and been stressing a bit, so I took the body off. I think the next stage is getting it primered but not sure when that’s going to happen now.

Worst part was cleaning the underside. It was caked in mud and had wayoyl under that. I did it with a wire brush in an angle grinder and it was grim.

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the front was raised and the body ‘slid off’ onto wheel castor things

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ive cleaned up the chassis and painted it in Upol Raptor paint, which is textured and sets really hard.

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The underside, inside and engine bay has also been done with this stuff, it’s amazing.

It has that stipled effect that you see on new car undersides and in the cavitys. I thought four would be enough, but I bought 12 and reckon 8 will cover everything.

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I'm not sure how this can ever rust again

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I have the paint already, it's Audi Nardo Grey direct gloss, which everyone is doing nowadays.

This has been my 'inspiration', this looks something else:

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My next adventures are electro-rust removing and nickel plating, cleaning up running gear and lowering blocks. :)

 

 

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11 hours ago, rickvw72 said:

Looking good, I’m thinking of using raptor on my daihatsu. Would prefer a washable surface over underseal.

I'm not saying that black wayoyl is rubbish as it pretty much kept my chassis and underside from rusting, but the Raptor stuff is 100% worth the money.

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Brilliant work @DavidB. I'm really glad you have stuck with it after doing lots of the hard work early on. 

Did the chassis require much work pre-paint? It looks remarkably solid considering it's approaching four decades old and made from Suzuki steel. I've seen plenty of SJs welded up over the years (including my old Samurai) but don't think I've ever seen one with the body split from the chassis. 

Just one thing really.... please reconsider lowering it!

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I’m only lowering a couple of inches max, it looks adorable in a Choro-Q kind of way.

https://www.picclickimg.com/d/l400/pict/303762969521_/Takara-Tomy-Chibikko-Choro-Q-SUZUKI-SJ.jpg

I have been nickel plating my old bolts and things and anything that became a bit orange over the 40 years (ie everything).

I did this through reverse electrolysis - I’ve tried this years ago on an MGF caliper which did a good job. I used tap water with some salt (for added conduction) and baking soda (to aid in the bubbles I think) and the positive to the anode and negative to the rusty part. I'm not an expert at this, and only following online tutorials. Most of them seem have their own ways of doing it.

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I did this with the 12mm/14mm fine pitch stuff you get on Japanese car, and I didn’t want to use new 13mm nuts/bolts. I had to find some M10 gearbox bolts recently and it was a bit of a mare as none of the junior looking fellas in any of those engineering supplies places could ID the thread by eye, or even guess the length. If I need new bolts and things, I get everything off Nissans/Toyotas in scrapyards, the stuff from motor factors doesn't last long.

I’ll also be doing NLA stuff like door hinges and wheel bolts.

After a few hours in the bath it turns into this disgusting rusty soup

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The anode is on the left here

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I was doing the U bolts. There was surface rust on these but the good thing about this is it pulls rust out of pitting and hard to reach places. The rust has raised off the bolts, and comes straight off, even using a repurposed nailbrush under the tap.

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These chassis bolts were solid with rust - I don’t know what’s going on with the anode here, and I thought I’d mixed + and -, but the rust on the bolts just lifted off with a wire brush. I made a proper mount here with hooks from Wilko, as I was constantly dropping stuff into this murky mess. :D

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Next time I do this, I'll use a clear container as it's good to see the progress - you get bubbles from the negative, and can see a path of rust particles going from one to the other.

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Heres my finished chassis plate things I did

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Here is my nickel plating method - this is the first time I’ve tried it to be honest, I'm just going off online info.
 

I bought the nickel ingots a while ago and here’s what I used - the creation of the nickel solution I used a 12v battery charger - the plating, something with a lower voltage, so one of those switchable adapters.

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I bought a plastic tub, filled it with white vinegar, popped the two nickel blocks in connected to + and - and left it for twelve hours.

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The vinegar turns a greenish hue, which means it’s all nickely. I put this in a Pyrex jug as it was easier to see.

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This needs about another eight hours I reckon before I start the plating bit. :)

 

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  • DavidB changed the title to 1984 Suzuki SJ410 / Samurai - Nickel Plating Things

That looks about right to get a decent finish- you don't want to get it too dark green else is really easy to get too much current through it, and then the nickel will spall off in chunks.

Get the cleaning bucket ready again- you want to do a reverse electrolysis, rinse then immediately into the nickel (under 30 seconds else the rust starts to form at a microscopic level and impedes the nickel's adherence).

People say you don't need to agitate the pieces being plated due to the gas bubbles that form on the surface of the piece but I found I got the best results by gently swishing the parts around and changing the direction they face to get the best coverage (The electricity takes the easiest route so the face closest to the anode will get all the nickel).

Good luck, just remember it takes a lot more than you think and remember to wax it afterwards else it'll rust through, nickel is slightly porous, and a fine coating of oil or polishing wax will fill the pores up and keep the finish.

 

Phil

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Have you had a go of it - and am I right in saying I need lower voltage for the plating process? I'm going to clean in caustic soda prior to plating. I don't want to use acids/alkali's, but it's OK if you're really careful, and sodium hydroxide is the absolute limit of what I would use, I don't even want to use that tbh.

It takes about 30+ seconds to do that bit I've read, but bubbles forming on the anode is the main problem. :) There's a good video on YT of someone doing a piece of brass on a sewing machine.

 

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Also, take care with the clips, I see you have the steel of the clip in the nickel acetate- that'll poison it pretty quickly if you leave it.

Easiest source of 99% nickel for doing this that I found was welding rods for cast iron- break the flux off and they're nice and long to dip in and easy to clip to.

 

Edit: yes. I did this to re-coat some rusty screws and parts. Nickel is quite forgiving, certainly easier than doing copper plating then nickel on top (the guy with the lab coat days because of Chemistry, iron bonds to copper very well, and nickel to copper very well. Nickel to iron is ok but can yield mediocre results if the iron isn't chemically clean before you begin because the iron is really happy to bond with the oxygen in the air).

3 - 5 volts at about 150mA is about the limit before you get it going on "too fast"- it doesn't stick well and makes crunchy sheets if you do it too fast with too many volts. I used an old computer power supply (nice range of voltages available, 3.3, 5, 12) and regulated it with resistors after a bit of experimentation plating things like my pliers and screwdrivers...

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I removed the clip out when I started it ;)

I used 'drain cleaner' (Sodium Hydroxide or lye), and it's doing a pretty good job of removing any further rust and paint from my bolts.

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I know it’s not acid, but I don’t want anyone sticking their hand in it.

The red bottle was more effective I think.

https://www.practicalmachinist.com/vb/gunsmithing/sodium-hydroxide-caustic-soda-lye-useful-stuff-158041/

 

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Get yourself some steel angle and make a trolley for the welder and bottle; it's much safer and more convenient than dragging a bottle around.

  

8 hours ago, DavidB said:

I’m only lowering a couple of inches max, it looks adorable in a Choro-Q kind of way.

https://www.picclickimg.com/d/l400/pict/303762969521_/Takara-Tomy-Chibikko-Choro-Q-SUZUKI-SJ.jpg

I have been nickel plating my old bolts and things and anything that became a bit orange over the 40 years (ie everything).

I did this through reverse electrolysis - I’ve tried this years ago on an MGF caliper which did a good job. I used tap water with some salt (for added conduction) and baking soda (to aid in the bubbles I think) and the positive to the anode and negative to the rusty part. I'm not an expert at this, and only following online tutorials. Most of them seem have their own ways of doing it.

You only need one additive to make water conductive; it can be pretty much anything soluble in water although I wouldn't want table salt anywhere near work I was doing and toxic stuff is obvs bad for tipping down the drain; washing soda is what I use for electrocleaning because it's cheap and doesn't promote rust. Baking soda will work but it's pricey and has often gunk added it. It doesn't need much to get the water conductive either, a tablespoon or so per gallon is plenty.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 30/04/2021 at 13:53, Asimo said:

What luxury to be doing brake pipes from above. And indoors!

You wouldn't believe how nice it is not lying on my back doing this, separate chassis’ are great.

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On 19/09/2020 at 18:08, DavidB said:

The sticker under the bonnet says it’s an SJ40V, and not SJ410V - I wonder what this means?

The SJ40 Jimny 1000 was introduced for 1982 to replace the LJ80 range. The Jimny 1000, sold as the Suzuki SJ410 in most export markets

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