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View Full Version : Kupe - 1991 JDM GT-R 4WS - ongoing, on the cheap - 56k death!



dontsurf
04-10-2012, 06:36 AM
This is my pain in the b-hole, Kupe. Kupe was a legendary Maori warrior who came here from across the sea, fought a sea monster, and kicked all kinds of ass.

So I called it Kupe because it was imported from Japan, the woman who owned it for seven years and fucked it up was a chocolate loving smoking whale, and it's now kicking my ass.

Did I know the woman to make such a judgement? Never met her. But when I got Kupe, the interior was all fucked up. There was a thin layer of brown smeared all over the instruments, the door vinyl and the seats. It smelled like someone had got in and started smoking and then carried on doing that continuously, without getting out of the car or cracking a window, for seven years.

I found out the stuff was chocolate when I got in there with a large bottle of Mothers VLR and it all started coming off. It was everywhere - even behind the faceplate of the shitty no-brand CD player she had installed. So much chocolate - everywhere.

There was a clear film of nicotine over everything, too. The seats were faded and smelled of smoke. When I picked it up at the docks, I got in and honestly thought I'd stepped into a nightclub in a shitty part of the east end of London. And if the burns in the seats, the carpet and the headlining weren't any indicator, then the burn in the plastic of the instruments sure was. Oh, and I found a half smoked, dried out cigarette in the door pocket.

There you go. Dealer could have cleaned it, of course. But when I pulled out the air filter it became apparent that they didn't give a fuck. But I got it on the cheap ($3000 for 131,000km) so I wasn't complaining.

Photos!

Shiny paintwork - lovely after a cut and polish with Meguiars. This is as good as it gets. I live a minute from the beach on an exposed southern peninsula, so it doesn't last long like this, but I have to do it regularly or the Southern Ocean eats my paintwork.

http://i.imgur.com/cN6l9.jpg

You can't see from this angle, and the fence stopped me taking a photo of it, but the original decals - Twin Cam 16 Valve - are still there on the driver's side. I suspect, and you'll see a bit of this later on, that there's been an accident on the passenger side and the decals were never replaced. There's also a primer deep scratch on the front wing - looks like someone's keyed it. Look closely in front of the wheel arch.

http://i.imgur.com/hTscg.jpg

Front - flaws are mostly stone chips, but enough of them to make me uncomfortable. There's a dent in the front driver side light top.

http://i.imgur.com/VTmLZ.jpg

Front driver side indicator damage. There's actually a bit of damage on here - you can see the scrape on the indicator, and you can see the bad repair job on the scrapes on the wing just behind. You can't see how bad the repair job was - colour codes on the paint are wrong. You can see some clearcoat peeling on the valance.

http://i.imgur.com/GYZW7.jpg

Front passenger side. Stone chips clearly visible.

http://i.imgur.com/q51oK.jpg

Side indicator plastic dulled and faded. Same on the other side.

http://i.imgur.com/njjL7.jpg

Butt view, right. JDM light vents visible.

http://i.imgur.com/OhbT0.jpg

Butt view, centre. Note the mismatched tail light units. Passenger side is newer than driver side - added concern that there's been an accident/sideswipe at some point. You can't see the tiny chunk of damage in the bumper. It's there.

http://i.imgur.com/4T5mD.jpg

Butt view, left. Tiny chunk of damage marginally visible.

http://i.imgur.com/faUn2.jpg

Here are the JDM light vents everyone's so keen on, close up. They're very useful. For spiders to live in, mostly, but that is a use.

http://i.imgur.com/ELCzh.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/Md5lM.jpg

Some paint haze underneath the right tail light unit.

http://i.imgur.com/NSZMS.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/IBrs1.jpg

Damaged aerial. Motor still works, just not the aerial.

http://i.imgur.com/YcTRe.jpg

Lengthwise shot. Probably the reason I love 5th gens more than the others. Note missing decals - probably indicator of previous damage.

http://i.imgur.com/UEuV2.jpg

Another suspicious item - a wing mirror that isn't heated like the other one and doesn't match the rest of the car paint.

http://i.imgur.com/JVyHF.jpg

An example of one of numerous paint defects.

http://i.imgur.com/HXNAu.jpg

Inside:

Dingy, crappy interior. Seats clearly need reupholstering, but I'd actually prefer a complete replacement. The foam is probably rank. Funny story: stopped in the Buller Gorge on the South Island to take a leak at a campsite, and when I got back in the driver's seat was covered in sandflies. The accumulated sweat of the previous owner was more attractive than my blood to them. Yummy!

http://i.imgur.com/c5YgB.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/noEbR.jpg

Closeups of the seats. Anyone got a better word than "dingy"?

http://i.imgur.com/2BVXA.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/fDyw7.jpg

Gearstick and gaiter need replacing.

http://i.imgur.com/gkSc8.jpg

Door insert faded.

http://i.imgur.com/Jorrj.jpg

Steering wheel colour cracking and coming off. This was brown with chocolate and nicotine when I bought it. Imagine my disgust when I found out there was grey underneath.

http://i.imgur.com/Kntxq.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/v0Uco.jpg

Centre console. Note two different seat belt clip receivers. She really just threw any old shit into this, didn't she? And I don't know where the white paint came from. Just... :worried:

http://i.imgur.com/QBaM4.jpg

Instrument panel. See the melted spot in the clear plastic below the rev counter? That's a cigarette burn.

http://i.imgur.com/8KtKC.jpg

Dashboard coming away from the vents on the passenger side.

http://i.imgur.com/Iw5y8.jpg

Rear of the driver's seat and closeups of damage.

http://i.imgur.com/gKD9b.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/ap3Zn.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/idQhU.jpg

Rear passenger seat and closeups of damage.

http://i.imgur.com/9AGhK.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/oM5St.jpg

Vinyl damage, passenger side door.

http://i.imgur.com/32P6v.jpg

Interior rear seat panel cracked, passenger side.

http://i.imgur.com/lCifT.jpg

Discolouration spots, interior rear seat panel.

http://i.imgur.com/mVXS8.jpg

Seatbelt driver side - looking tattered and battered. Passenger side is almost perfect. Interesting to note that the stuff on the passenger side is either in great condition or seized up - the lock on that side is seized up, but the seat belt is in great condition. Makes me think that only the one careful lady owner used this car.

http://i.imgur.com/EN984.jpg

This same thing is happening on both sides - pod covers are peeling away. Easily slotted into place and they don't come out of their own accord, but something I'd want to fix if I ever have the inclination.

http://i.imgur.com/90TgY.jpg

Burns in the headlining.

http://i.imgur.com/ftyrQ.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/psG2w.jpg

And finally... carpets... driver side and passenger side front. Stains could be anything. Spent a good deal of time trying to get them out. Managed to get out a strange red stain from the back.

http://i.imgur.com/oK3iL.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/7tff0.jpg

Anyway, that's Kupe. Stuff I've done include general servicing and a new Pioneer head unit. I ripped out the System 10 amp.

I figure the priority is mechanical soundness and safety, followed by external spots that risk rusting, followed by the shitty interior, followed by making it look good - although dependent on parts availability, I have no problem buying new tail light units or indicators. It's going to be bigger than I care to do, but I think it'll be worth it because the motor will probably last a lot longer than I'll last in NZ. :)

METDeath
04-10-2012, 12:31 PM
I have good news!

The rubber surrounds peeling up on the head rests is an EASY fix (as long as it's intact)!

Just pop that little metal "ring" that is affixed to the seat back out, it should be held in with a total of three clips. Then slip the rubber back over the clip, and re-install the clip.

If your headrest backings aren't staying in place, this would be a good time to take off the head rests and check for loose screws. Looking at your pictures that's not a problem for you though.

Siyx
04-10-2012, 05:58 PM
At least you still got the rare drivers side HVAC knob, thats about the only thing my car is missing. You still got the flare in the passengers compartment?

dontsurf
04-10-2012, 09:14 PM
I have good news!

The rubber surrounds peeling up on the head rests is an EASY fix (as long as it's intact)!

Just pop that little metal "ring" that is affixed to the seat back out, it should be held in with a total of three clips. Then slip the rubber back over the clip, and re-install the clip.

If your headrest backings aren't staying in place, this would be a good time to take off the head rests and check for loose screws. Looking at your pictures that's not a problem for you though.

That is good news... better news that the new wheel bearing and flange it needs, anyway. I wasn't bothered so much about it because the headrests stay down, but that'll get fixed this weekend.


At least you still got the rare drivers side HVAC knob, thats about the only thing my car is missing. You still got the flare in the passengers compartment?

Yeah, it's all intact on the face of it. AC needs regassing, and there's some issues with air leakage, but all the buttons are there.

dontsurf
04-13-2012, 03:27 AM
The new FR bearing and flange has been fitted. This is what came off it:

http://i.imgur.com/1iwfAh.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/BwbEOh.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/nNLgrh.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/XTjUwh.jpg

Looks dangerous. And it was. The first guy I took it into didn't seem to convince me about what he was doing, and when I got the car back it actually seemed a lot worse - more noise and starting at an earlier point in the steering. I only drove it home, and was only going to drive it to the mechanic.

The guy who actually fixed it said it looks like it was worn, and then when the first guy was refitting the thing - after I told the first guy not to touch it until he'd talked to me about it - he's sheared off more metal when either removing it or fitting it.

$600 job, but I'm happy with it.

dontsurf
06-26-2012, 10:17 PM
New tyres. Rear discs machined and replaced; fluid changed.

Power steering fluid changed and new clutch.

New problem: steering is much better but making a grinding noise at full lock to the right.

Oil leak from top front cam pulley. AC belt changed.

Needs new gas struts on the trunk. Might see about those this weekend.

underscore
06-26-2012, 11:09 PM
Dear god that poor car. Probably best to remove that interior and then light it on fire, then replace everything.