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ae86andkp61 (Forum Supporter)
ae86andkp61 (Forum Supporter) Dork
12/16/21 11:36 p.m.

In reply to GasTungstenArc :

Happy to help. From talking to the importer I've been using, it seems that the average JDM car of a certain age at auction is one that someone deemed no longer worthy of repair/upkeep, and as a result will typically have some issues. Mine certainly falls into this category, and to be fair to the importer, he offered me a chance to negotiate a deal to buy it sight-unseen for a very fair price with the explicit understanding I was assuming all risk of issues. For a bit more, he is happy to ensure safe operating condition (not full restoration) if you want a turn-key experience, and his services are still a bargain in my books:

Sodo Moto Seattle

It sounds like there are time-capsule cars out there, but they are rare. He offered to look for one given the right amount of money and patience on my part. The typical scenario with these beauties is that a cost-be-damned enthusiast passes away, and nobody else in the family cares about cars. I gathered that if I doubled my budget and had a year or so to burn, he could find that pristine example...but where's the fun in that? cheeky


GasTungstenArc New Reader
12/17/21 9:13 a.m.
ae86andkp61 (Forum Supporter) said:

I gathered that if I doubled my budget and had a year or so to burn, he could find that pristine example...but where's the fun in that? cheeky

I'll tell you where: being able to use it.  With a baby in the house and more projects than I have sense, I can't spare the time to rehab a car--and I don't have the money to buy one that needs nothing.  So your thread here is a much-needed bucket of ice water.

With that being said, I am happy to watch your progress.  

ae86andkp61 (Forum Supporter)
ae86andkp61 (Forum Supporter) Dork
12/18/21 12:08 a.m.

In reply to GasTungstenArc :

Touché on the being able to use it! I realized about a decade ago that my enjoyment comes at least as much from building them as driving them, and possibly slightly more in the building side, but then again, I'm a single guy with some time on my hands, a sports car as a daily driver, and several operational motorcycles, so courses for horses. laugh

ae86andkp61 (Forum Supporter)
ae86andkp61 (Forum Supporter) Dork
1/30/22 9:46 p.m.

Long time, no update. I've been busy, just not a lot with the Cappo. Holidays, family visit, winter weather, new job, downsizing and dealing with the possibility I may loose my workspace for vehicle projects, working on non-running motorcycle projects at the workspace, and all that other life stuff!

I got another part in, a stiffer, newer, shinier brace/cover to box in the bottom of the central tunnel. This one is from Sagawa in Japan, is made from Duralumin, and is both thicker and more heavily boxed/bent downward. It increases clearance above for exhaust and should be quite a bit stiffer than stock. Not being pitted, corroded, and ugly is also nice and saves me lots of headaches with blasting/sanding/polishing/clearcoating. Time will tell if the reduced ground clearance will be a concern or not.

So to address the elephant in the room; I may be losing this work space in the nearish future. Landlord has been acting weird and making veiled threats, plus kicked out the guys next door who have also been renting space for similar purposes (car/motorcycle builds, steel fabrication, plus occasional bbqs and shenanigans) for even longer than the 9.5 years I've been there!

We don't need to dwell on my issues, but the reality is that I have a non-rolling car up on jack stands in a month-to-month space, so my to-do list has changed slightly. I'm no longer worrying about the transmission rebuild, or suspension or turbo upgrades for now, and probably will forgo fabricating new fuel lines for now as well, and focus on getting her rolling first, hopefully driving second, and then re-evaluate as my Plan B for buying or renting a new Grosh takes shape.

Here's the updated prioritized to-do list:

Blast front diff mount (currently bare with no bushings)

Blast e-brake cable clips (currently removed and stripped) 

Paint/coat diff mount/clips

Drop temporarily-installed rear subframe 

POR15 rust spots on existing fuel lines?

Install existing fuel/EVAP hardlines under car

Finish installing headlights (currently mocked up)

Re-Install front fender liners 

Install diff onto subframe 

Reinstall subframe/diff

Finish fuel plumbing from subframe to body 

Add gas to tank

Reinstall rear suspension/hubs

Reinstall driveshaft 

Fill transmission with gear oil

Reinstall underbody parts/panels

Reinstall shifter

Reinstall misc. interior panels

Reinstall exhaust 

Finish brake lines install 

Finish rear brake caliper rebuilds

Paint rear calipers

Install brakes

Bleed brakes

Install wheels/tires




ae86andkp61 (Forum Supporter)
ae86andkp61 (Forum Supporter) Dork
2/20/22 3:22 p.m.

I'm not going to jinx anything, but  I haven't heard more specifics regarding the shop space I'm renting, so I'm going to presume that I have a bit more time, and try to finish off the rear suspension, subframe, and under-car hardlines properly.

For the rear I have new adjustable upper control arms, plus lower lateral link and toe control link, so the only stock arm/link I'll be reinstalling is the trailing arm/fore-aft lower link thingie. I ordered some Monster Sport hard rubber bushings because they work best for a dual-duty car in my experience.

I pressed out the somewhat-worn stock rubber bushings and have the arms ready to media blast.

ae86andkp61 (Forum Supporter)
ae86andkp61 (Forum Supporter) Dork
2/26/22 12:07 a.m.

Not much progress to report, sadly. Pretty bummed and frustrated right now. I want to finish refurbishing the rear hubs, and ordered the Suzuki special service parts to do so properly after making no headway with my available sockets, pressing tools, and bits of metal. I got the two parts from different sources, since nobody had both. One was ordered on the 19th of January (from Japan) and the order is still "in work" with no updates as of today. The other order (also from Japan) has a tracking number generated on February 1st, and an update that the "outward office prepared a dispatch" on February 5th...then crickets. 

I'm also tearing my hair out trying to build new fuel hard lines under the car. I bought rolls of stainless tubing from Summit, but they just keep slipping out of all of the flaring tools available to me (including a fancy hydraulic Mastercool) with at most a modest but insufficient change to the shape of the end of the line I'm trying to flare, and at worst a modest change but bent/misshapen end. I'm taking great care to cut perfectly square and completely de-burr, plus also cleaning all the grooves on the clamping portion of the tool and make sure it as square as possible. What am I doing wrong?

Is there someplace closer to the Pacific Northwest than Classic Tube or Inline Tube that can duplicate my old lines if I take the lines to them? I'm not sure I want to try and box and ship 6-7 feet with multiple bends all the way to upstate New York, to wait multiple weeks, and then pay return shipping on another gargantuan box.

ae86andkp61 (Forum Supporter)
ae86andkp61 (Forum Supporter) Dork
2/27/22 12:07 a.m.

I gave up on the stainless, pried open my wallet once again and bought rolls of bulk NiCopp, which allowed me to make some good progress. I got my eye in for flaring and bending on the short bits (which aren't rusty and probably don't need replacement) so I will have completely new parts from the tank all the way to the fuel rail. I'll tackle making replacements for the rusty, long, complex, twisty underfloor-and-up-the-firewall runs tomorrow.

In other good news, part of the special service tools has made it to US Customs in California and should be in my hands this week.

I didn't get photos, but also made some progress on blasting some of the remaining rear suspension parts that are slated for powdercoating before getting new bushings and bearings.

obsolete HalfDork
2/27/22 9:34 a.m.

I, too, am waiting for someone to tell me the secrets to getting good results with stainless tubing. Glad you went with the NiCopp, I really like that stuff. Only thing to watch out for is if you bend the same spot too many times, it will work harden a bit.

How'd you form the beads on the ends? The nearest one looks really nice.

ae86andkp61 (Forum Supporter)
ae86andkp61 (Forum Supporter) Dork
2/27/22 3:44 p.m.

In reply to obsolete :

Thanks! For the bead on the ends I am just starting the beginning of a standard brake flare with a Mastercool/Eastwood hydraulic flaring tool like the one below:

Thanks for the caution on work hardening as well. I'm thinking on the long runs with lots of bends that I'll start in the middle between the two tightest bends closest to each other, and work outward in both directions.

ae86andkp61 (Forum Supporter)
ae86andkp61 (Forum Supporter) Dork
4/24/22 1:16 a.m.

Made a little progress today on the rear hub bearing replacements. Now that I have all my special service tools, I dove into the bearing replacement. I got the inner races off of both rear hubs.


I tried blasting some of my next batch of parts for powdercoat, but was struggling to get the blaster to work well. I'm not sure if the issue was lack of media, or clumping media due to moisture, or perhaps I'm clueless on how to optimize the adjustable parameters of the cabinet, but in any case it wasn't working well. It just wouldn't pick up media reliably...Harbor Freight cabinet converted the gravity-feed with an upgraded gun, foot pedal, and inline pressure regulator and air drier, so not sure which direction to go from here.

MiniDave New Reader
4/24/22 7:58 p.m.

That's a slick tool. If you ever need to get one off without the tool, just take your angle grinder with a cut off wheel and score a groove in the race, then hit the groove with a cold chisel, it will pop right in two.

I like that flaring too also....nicop is the best stuff to use for lines anyway, that or the grey/green alloy they sell  in the parts stores, but it's a lot tougher to bend.


timster New Reader
4/25/22 5:42 a.m.

Great thread. I just moved to Okinawa a couple weeks ago (I'm a civilian government employee) and had been searching for Kei trucks/van build threads. Of course this isn't a van or truck, but still good reading about your challenges and problem solving. Looking forward to reading more as time allows you to make progress and posting of future updates.

ae86andkp61 (Forum Supporter)
ae86andkp61 (Forum Supporter) Dork
5/22/22 1:04 a.m.

Not a huge amount of progress to report; got some more parts blasted and ready for POR15 or powdercoat.

There is a potential plot twist on the horizon for this project; I'll update as soon as things are more solidified! wink

ae86andkp61 (Forum Supporter)
ae86andkp61 (Forum Supporter) Dork
5/22/22 1:06 a.m.

In reply to MiniDave :

Thanks for tip! I've used variations on the grind n' chisel in the past, but prefer heat and the proper puller if available...less work and less chance of nicking the hub!

ae86andkp61 (Forum Supporter)
ae86andkp61 (Forum Supporter) Dork
5/23/22 1:04 a.m.

Uh-oh...trouble brewing! Anyone interested in a silver Cappuccino project with a great head-start on the restoration? If so, please PM. wink

ae86andkp61 (Forum Supporter)
ae86andkp61 (Forum Supporter) Dork
5/28/22 12:20 a.m.

This weekend I'm dedicating a day (tomorrow) to working on the car. My local motorsports club is having another triple-header weekend, so I'm skipping tomorrow to work on the Cappo, spectating at the hillclimb Sunday, and doing the trackday in the FR-S Monday.

On the silver Cappo, I'm once again plotting a fairly direct line to having it running, safe, and functional, even if that means forgoing good-as-or-better-than-new restoration standards and resto-mod upgrades. I'm coming to the realization that slowly nibbling away at a long-term project doesn't suit my life right now. Maybe sometime down the road, but now it is a stress I don't need, and an unpredictable and variable expense that has the potential to slowly bleed away all my my fun money. I have no workspace at home (just secure shared parking garage) but I got approval to tackle discreet, specific projects at work off the clock, provided I have a short-term completion date and clean up afterward. Paying monthly for personal shop space, and dealing with shopmates and the insane landlord so I can also have a someday-maybe project is something I'd like to start moving away from. Better to focus on fewer solid runners, and spend the time/money doing events, trips, and the like. I can do things like oil changes, brake jobs, and installing upgrade parts (if I buy any) at work.

I'm going to break out the wire wheel and POR15 for the remaining as-of-yet untreated original rear suspension and subframe parts, refresh some rubber bits on the stock suspension front and rear, and finish off rebuilding the stock brakes and fuel lines. I'll try fresh, correct gear oil in the transmission plus a shifter rebuild and hope that does the trick for the grumpy second gear synchro.

I'll leave the upgrade parts that were on it when I bought, and polish the original headlights. I plan to do some functional rust repair on the worst spots, and then seam-seal, rattle-can, and wet sand as needed. Maybe a little exterior detail work, and then list her for sale. I'll be passing her on in considerably better shape, and the new owner can decide to drive and enjoy, or go nuts on the small remaining restoration details as they see fit (mostly thin/faded paint, making my functional rust repair on the underside and under the carpet invisible if one even cares, and some non-structural surface rust that isn't visible.) 

The coilovers, gold wheels, big brake kit, upgraded turbo/ECU/injectors/manifold/BOV, new tunnel-stiffening plate, transmission rebuild parts, upgraded LHD headlights, and my beloved Starket shift knob will stay with me and go into storage for now.

I'm going to sell the silver Cappo, plus my Aprilia supermoto (awesome, amazing, irreplaceable, cantankerous race bike for the street...I'm sure I will regret it, but it is a serious commitment and I don't use it enough.) PM if either sounds intriguing. I'll have ads up with details when ready, but if you want to get a jump on things, let me know.

I'll try to put the money from those two towards the dark blue/green Cappo, and hopefully be driving with a smile on my face this summer if it all works out! Two cars, three running bikes, and one minor bike project sounds like plenty of variety, and just the right amount to cycle through without becoming a chore to keep them all in circulation to keep batteries, tire pressures, and fuel systems happy. laugh

ae86andkp61 (Forum Supporter)
ae86andkp61 (Forum Supporter) Dork
5/29/22 12:18 a.m.

Made some good progress today, even if not as much as I had hoped. Along with Cappuccino work, I also did some Aprilia motorcycle work, and got the FR-S prepped for the upcoming trackday, so it was a very productive day overall.

I didn't document much with photos, but now that I have more focus, I did a fair bit of cleaning, sorting, and organizing based on my revised target, helping make future work easier because I won't be tripping over unrelated parts that are in the way, or hunting for specific parts I need, but can't remember where I stashed them.

ae86andkp61 (Forum Supporter)
ae86andkp61 (Forum Supporter) Dork
5/29/22 12:52 a.m.

I blasted the last of the rust from the differential mount and the e-brake cable clips, and gave them a POR-15 treatment (more expedient  than powdercoat, with similar or better durability, and close enough of a finish for underside parts.)

I dug out the new poly bushings for the diff mount, and got the loose rust knocked off the driveshaft, which then got paint as well.

Although I'm no longer completing the big brake kit install, I'm still putting brand new Dixcel e-coated rotors on all four corners.

This side mirror trim cap isn't done yet. It started as 3D-printed red plastic, with some ridges and an imperfect surface. I sanded, cleaned, treated with adhesion promoter, two coats of primer, more sanding, and started on color. It might not be fully show-car concours-quality, but it will be a lot better-looking than exposed mirror mounting hardware.

Picked up the immaculate blue/green metallic EA21R today, and had an awesome drive home, despite really rainy weather.

This car is ridiculous fun to drive! I took twisty two-lane backroads for the first 2/3 of the trip, and then hopped on the interstate for the remainder. 155 miles, 50mpg, and it handled an indicated 130kph on the interstate with aplomb. No notable noises or odd behavior. I want to get an alignment for piece of mind. Only one drip through the three-piece hardtop, despite the downpour! I adapted back to the reversed wiper/turn signal stalks faster than I would have guessed, but was surprised that I balked the left-handed 2-3 shift a few times.

It has a magical ability to tackle corners with remarkable speed, even when the road is imperfect. When looking at the skinny tires, and testing the slightly-squishy suspension in a quick side-to-side swerving test, it feels like it might not grip super-well, but it clings to the road in a magical way. I attribute this to the ultra light weight plus great F/R balance and fully-independent compliant suspension. In a way it reminds me a 60's Lotus Elite or Elan, but with 90's styling and a tiny turbo powerplant. The body rolls a fair bit, but it just corners like nobody's business, especially for being on aged 165-series tires! Feedback is great once you come to accept the softness of the suspension.

The aesthetics of the mystery (Suzuki Sport?) rear spoiler and charcoal metallic roof are growing on me. Very 90's. The seller was insistent that this is the correct roof color for all Cappos, including EA11R, and that all the ones with gloss black on the roof have been repainted, but I'd say the jury's still out on that one...

I am super-stoked to finally have the correct factory EA21R six-spoke alloys; the silver car came with EA11R factory seven-spoke wheels, which work fine, but aren't 'correct' so they bugged me.

The engine is flexible and willing. The boost builds progressively, and it will wind out to 9500rpm happily enough, but I'm not sure that it is any faster than just keeping it in the 5000-8000 sweet spot. When driving more sedately, it seems happy cruising at 3000rpm, which gives you options for rolling into it in-gear for moderate acceleration, or downshifting for brisker acceleration. Highway use in top had me cruising easily at 4000-5000, which it feels like it would do all day long.

Shifting action is okay, but certainly didn't bowl me over compared to my two main barometers of the Toyota T-50 and J160...or maybe I just need to practice shifting left handed more. The ratios seem pretty good for the application, with easy starting in first in almost any situation, a moderate jump 1st-2nd, nicely-spaced 2nd-3rd-4th, and a bigger jump to a tall cruising 5th.

Comfort for me at 6'2" on a 3-hour drive wasn't torture, but wasn't great. I think removing the dead pedal will help. I was surprised that the stock steering wheel and inner door pull weren't too obtrusive (both have been modified on the silver car for more room.) Getting in and out gracefully with the top up will take some practice, and/or more yoga, and/or a time machine. laugh

Very happy to have a really nice running one that seems to need nothing. Now I need to double down on getting the silver one running and driving and find it a new home. It is very rare car Stateside, and given that it is already here and titled, I like to think that there are plenty of folks who will he interested as a running/driving/partially-resto-modded driver that could be a project if one chose.  I plan to maintain this thread on both cars for the immediate future, and then shift focus to the new car as I move on.

Here's the new one tucked into the warehouse at work, along with some esteemed company!

Aaron_King PowerDork
6/6/22 10:24 a.m.

Man I really want one of these but seeing the state of the silver one scares me a bit. 

fidelity101 UberDork
6/6/22 11:42 a.m.

that is such a bizarre shop, you have everything - even rally tires! Nice job on the car too!

akylekoz UltraDork
6/8/22 11:43 a.m.

Stop with the teasing, send me the silver one.

I can't buy it but, how much are you asking for it?

ae86andkp61 (Forum Supporter)
ae86andkp61 (Forum Supporter) Dork
6/11/22 1:11 a.m.

In reply to fidelity101 :

Thanks for the props. To be clear, photos are from a couple different locations. Most pictures in the thread are at my rental shared shop space where several friends and I work on projects, mostly RWD and coupes on the smaller end of the spectrum (Currently AE86/early 70's Toyota Mk2 coupe/huge-power turbo 80's Volvo 242/60's Ford Falcon/Baja Bug/Volvo 122/Honda N600 with D-series in the back seat powering the rear wheels/Mk1 Rabbit with VR6 in the back seat powering the rear wheels/motorcycles/go-karts/plus EVs like a modified Spark, and formerly an S10 electric, plus the infamous AWD Hybrid $2000 Challenge Fiero/a real GRM kinda place, and one of the guys has rally tires) The most recent pics include some at the classic car dealer where I bought the green Cappuccino...with '55 T-bird and Corvette in the background. The most recent photo is at my work, which is German-centric Porsche/G-Wagen/Sprinter 4x4/Haflinger/Pinzgauer/anything-remotely-Dakar-central. While each spot is awesome and amazing alone, if they were all in the same location, my head might explode! And...upon further reflection, my life is privileged and amazing!

ae86andkp61 (Forum Supporter)
ae86andkp61 (Forum Supporter) Dork
6/11/22 1:19 a.m.

In reply to akylekoz :

I'll post a FS thread when ready. On the meantime, I'm open to offers if anyone wants to negotiate on it as it sits. The plan is to finish brake and fuel system refurbishment, bolt everything back together along with a tidy interior, and sell her as a driver and/or partially complete resto-mod project. Depending on exactly how far I get, I'll likely be asking somewhere in the ballpark of $8500 OBO. Also open to negotiating a different price with the extra of some rust repair completed for a buyer interested in that option and a later-summer delivery date.

ae86andkp61 (Forum Supporter)
ae86andkp61 (Forum Supporter) Dork
6/19/22 10:47 p.m.

I've made some progress on the silver car lately, and suffered a minor setback.

Sanded and painted 3D-printed mirror cap installed. Not going to fool a concours judge, but looks better than exposed mirror hardware, or a total color mismatch, and shouldn't be noticeable with some distance or when the car is moving.

E-brake cable clips with two coats of POR15 cured and ready to reinstall.

Differential mount POR15'd and with urethane bushings pressed in, ready for install.

Right front reman brake caliper installed; thanks, Rock Auto!

Left front reman brake caliper was wrong (obviously for a non-vented rotor, and therefore won't fit, even though the caliper itself is correct.) No thanks to Rock Auto! sad I could have swapped brackets with the crusty one I have, sent whatever was left over back for core exchange, and kicked the can down the road, but I'm not that kind of guy. Also berkeley whoever else likely did just that and put me in this situation! I arranged a return through Rock Auto, and they are refunding me for the part, but because the description of what I bought on the webpage and what I intended to buy match, I have to eat half the shipping, regardless of what was actually in the box.


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