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78 Gemini Sedan

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  • #31
    Re: 78 Gemini Sedan

    That is too sexy! It looks downright MEAN in that color with those wheels. Classy!
    1980 Toyota Celica
    1984 Porsche 911
    1988 Mazda RX-7
    Ex-JNCs: 1980 Datsun 510, 1979 Mazda RX-7, 1986 Mazda RX-7, 1992 Mazda Miata


    • #32
      Re: 78 Gemini Sedan

      I love this so much... :mrgreen:


      • #33
        Re: 78 Gemini Sedan

        Ok so i suppose this is well overdue for an update. And the update is this car is no longer, in a fit of rage i set it on fire and thats the end of that.

        No not really but i've come close a few times :lol: Its honestly the most frustrating, annoying, anger inducing experience with any object live or inanimate ive ever had. So to recap progress over the last year and a half since the previous update - pretty much none. Ok not quite but it looks that way [refer to frustrations].

        Since getting it back from paint i've had some weird reaction on the rear of the car that caused the paint to crack/split - literally just the clear/base coat, highfill etc underneath was fine. Baffled everyone that looked at it, has been put down to a reaction between base coat and highfill but cant say with certainty. This, along with not being happy with the overall finish [runs still visible] meant it had to go in the paint booth again. Rear was repainted and the whole car re-cleared, just needs a final cut [thos f cking runs are still visible :evil: ] and it should be ok. And by ok i mean perfect quality for 95% of people but for someone as fussy as me it will still annoy me sometimes.

        Before I elaborate on this next bit, allow me to explain some of the "chequered" history this car and I have, and why I'm convinced its cursed and wants to kill me. Ive had this car for about 8, almost 9 years now, just under 4 years of which were daily driven with its various different setups. I bought this as a completely standard, grandma spec car - 85 terrifying HP backed by a 3 speed auto.

        On the way to a mates property one day i pitched it into a corner at 70 annnnnd it decided there was no such thing as understeer and what i really wanted to do was die going backwards [ie massive oversteer]. Random. No warning. Managed to wrestle it straight without leaving the road or spinning out, so thats Nick 1 - Car 0.

        Some [short] time later after installing the DOHC in it and having the car dyno'd, I reversed out of the workshops drive way only to hear a massive clunk and the front right hand side of the car collapsed. Turns out a ball joint decided this was when it wanted to choose to collapse - thankfully this was leaving the driveway and not doing an, erm, "test" run down the street with the new engine. Me 1 - Car 1

        So after about a year of driving it everywhere with the DOHC in it, im driving along on the freeway cruising at 100kmh as you do. Except i start hearing a tapping noise, which eventually peaks into a knocking crescendo that sounds akin to hitting metal with a sledge hammer. At this point ive made the diagnosis that the engine is stuffed so i may aswell keep driving it [was 15km away from home]. Coming down the western Ring Road before the Pascovale Road exit theres a downhill followed by an uphill section, for some reason i decided to dip the clutch in and roll down/up the hill...errrr wrong choice. Clutch went in, engine stalled, releasing the clutch just locked the rear wheels. Had to get across 2 lanes of traffic to hit the emergency lane with a semi trailer bearing down on the back of me at 100kmh and somehow made it across. Engine had lost oil pressure/spun a bearing/siezed. Recovery was a disaster which included a mate tripping over the a frame of the trailer and almost falling into the path of an oncoming truck [If i didnt grab the back of his shirt this would be a different story], tow car struggling and the car breaking a tie down and sliding forward on the trailer. All of this was made worse by the fact that THE DAMN THING STARTED [albiet knocking heavily] a day later in the garage once it had cooled down. Me 1 - Car definetely 2 at this point.

        So then came the turbo setup, and that was all fun and games and lots of sideways. Good times. Except for the time it almost burnt down to the ground because of a popped fuel line. Went over a speed hump, car stalled and wouldn't restart. Thats odd, it was just running. And why is the fuel pump still priming? Oh, maybe because the outlet line on the pump has popped off, and Bosch's finest is now doing its best to empty the contents of the FULL fuel tank into the boot. Fuel being quite thin [and eating rubber/sealants that arent rated to suit] means it leaked straight past the drainage holes in the floor. Did i mention one of which was located directly over the hot exhaust? Fail. Me 1 - Car 3

        In between there you could count the time i was supposed to take my then love interest on a date with it, after reassuring her countless times that id be picking her up in the Gemini despite her poking fun at me saying no chance it wont start. Guess what? IT WOULDNT BLOODY START. Main power wire had inexplicably become disconnected. She found this hilarious when i turned up in my sisters Mazda - me, not so much. You could probably count the paint splitting in here too, or before that during prep work when my dad knocked the door over and destroyed it in the process after id spent an eternity getting it straight. But these are all irrelevant to what happened just after paint.

        And the final saga which has caused me to seriously put it back in the garage and yell at it and cry woe is me? Straight after paint had a tow truck booked in to bring it home, couldnt get my usual truck so had to get someone else. Does the car run he asked me, no i said it does not - explained everything was loose [suspension etc] and it needs to be on the flatbed. Car turns up on three wheels. Yes, three wheels. Apparently he picked the car up from Adams place on three wheels and "someone must have stolen one". I should also explain at this point that the wheels on the car were BORROWED - they are actually off my girlfriends car. After reviewing Adams security cameras, low and behold theres video footage of my car being dragged BEHIND the truck instead of on it, a VERY stupid idea considering the car has a locked diff which wobbled the nuts loose, so as a result exit stage left LHR wheel.

        Considering the speed at which it happened, the damage could've been a lot worse.

        Driver was initially uncooperative then he admitted defeat and all of this pretty much amounted to nothing because i lost the will to live [figuratively speaking] and it was all too hard to deal with at the time. Took it on the chin because i couldnt even get a price from the wheel supplier so basically just got frustrated and rage-quit. And the poor old Mrs was too scared to ask about what we were going to do about her wheels considering id fly off the handle whenever it was mentioned [i was furious, i should point out not at her but the whole ordeal and potentially losing the car rattled me]. Then i get a text message from Adam....does this look familiar he asks me.

        Turns out he finished work early and decided to take the dog for a walk [usually walks him at night], so in day time its easy to see something you might miss at night.

        The amazing bit about all this? The wheel left the car, bounced over the gutter, rolled 10m and bounced over a 3' decorative park fence, rolled a solid 30m before ending up 10m [roughly 30'] in the middle of the lake up against a concrete drain. WITHOUT GETTING A SINGLE SCRATCH!

        So slowly over the last 6 months ive tried to regain a bit of motivation to keep working on the damn thing. Done a little bit of trim work:

        Bit of assembly work

        Still need to assemble a lot more

        Have these that need to go in for eg

        Checking electrical [have big wiring dramas for some reason]

        I did however get it running with the standard engine [needed for re-registration]

        And for the first time in a whole heap of years, it drove out under its own power.

        The BBS RS copies wont be staying, ill be replacing these with something else. Also not staying is the G series SOHC in there, to be replaced by its newer and bigger brother the 2.6L 4ZE1 with a few "goodies".

        [F3ARED] - 1978 TD Holden Gemini Sedan - Isuzu 4ZE1 Turbo power
        Daily - Holden VZ SS 6L Thunder ute


        • #34
          Re: 78 Gemini Sedan

          Glad to see an update! :tu: :mrgreen:

          And glad to see the car hasn't killed you, or you it. :P


          • #35
            Re: 78 Gemini Sedan

            Man this is one of those cars on my wishlist!
            I think it'd be brilliant with the G series SOHC and side draft Solex/Mikunis on it, but then again, the 4ZE1 will make this thing a rocket ship! Despite the woes with the paint, the car looks great and once it's running again it'll be awesome!

            With such a storied history, you can never sell the car. You essentially have the Akuma S30 Z of the Isuzu world, haha.

            1967 LT23 Mitsubishi 360 // 1967 L10A Cosmo Sports // 1971 S30 Fairlady Z // 1973 PR95 Bellett 1800 GT // 1978 PA95 Isuzu 117 Coupe // 1979 SA22C Mazda RX7 // 1988 Z31 300 ZX SS


            • #36
              The car looks fantastic,
              Reminds me of the opel Kadett Mk1


              • #37
                That is one nice Isuzu bro. Good stuff!!


                • #38
                  Thanks guys. And David, yeah it does feel like it has a mind of its own sometimes!

                  So, I've done it again. Almost a year between updates, surely its going now, right? Right?!? Nooooooooooooope! To my defense though a bit has changed since then so yes, I am going to attempt to justify the lack of progress. Soon after my last posting I decided that given the way property prices in Melbourne had spiralled out of control, I should take advantage of this and sell my house. Intention was to sell the house and build a new one. Bit of renovating later and the house sold and did ok. Also in between then and now, bought a block of land and got engaged.

                  So heaps done. Except not all that much on the poor Gemini. And, conversely, not much on new house build [story for another day].

                  The aim is to use both my, and my wife-to-bes Geminis in the wedding, which is at the end of November. Not leaving myself much time at this rate am I? lol

                  Where its at as of now. It somewhat drives [ive done two quick trips around the block [ ] but in order to pass roadworthy, everything needs to work properly. At the moment I've got huuuuuuuuuuge electrical issues; non functioning RH circuit of indicators, wipers not working etc. Has me stumped. Still needs the interior assembled and some other bits and pieces. In all honesty, its not that far off reaching that goal. Need to get it there, through rego, and then apart so the fun stuff can go in.

                  Most of the stuff I have done ive either re-done 5 times, wasnt worth taking photos of, or have changed my mind.

                  For instance, the age old wheel saga. Bought another set of wheels; looked for ages, found some, now, changing my mind again.

                  Borbets, 15x7 ET25

                  Not sure wether to keep these, or splash out on a set of Hotwire remakes as per below. Leaning towards the Hotwires atm, given that they sorta fit with the look im going for which, i guess you could say is period-style.

                  I now unfortunately suffer from the same problem that a lot of guys suffer, and i dont mean time and or money [although im very time poor at the moment] - since selling the house I now had to find places to put things. Trying to be productive when the car and all your tools and parts are scattered between three locations is not ideal.

                  Given the saga last time I had to move the car anywhere, i elected to do it myself this time LOL

                  Now, I alluded above to the whole period style thing. Truthfully, my car fits neither here-nor-there in any category or subsection. Its not exactly the style Aussies tend to do these cars in, nor is it really typical of what tends to be on this site [in terms of the whole JDM thing]. Without really thinking about it too much, ive sort of built the thing "in-period" - colour choices, trim choices, parts choices etc are a sort of mix between OEM bits [wether ADM or JDM irrelevant] and, appearance wise at least, aftermarket parts that look from the same era. Which means I've now become detail-obsessed with stupid things. Take, for instance, the stereo.

                  This is the factory AirChief optional radio, the source of much headache.

                  As you can see, its a very particular size/shape and to fit a modern unit in there would require a lot of chop chop. Sadly however, putting anything new in there would be a f cking eyesore and i couldnt live with it. I like my music and despite this not being in any way shape or form a car that I'll probably be winding the sound up on, the ability to listen to music at a relatively decent volume [ie enough to drown out wind noise] would be nice. Which brings me to this little gem [pardon the pun] - The RetroSound Hermosa.

                  Which has all the goodies i need

                  The best bit is though it LOOKS like its meant to be there

                  Only downside is its 4x25w which is just not enough, so I've got two of these 75wx2 compact amps

                  Of course, my semi-OCD is now in full swing. No point having a period-looking radio only to have modern blue 6x9's on the parcel shelf...

                  These are more like it!

                  More to come in hopefully less-than-6 months. If its not done by in trouble!

                  Last edited by F3ared; 05-12-2016, 02:40 AM.
                  [F3ARED] - 1978 TD Holden Gemini Sedan - Isuzu 4ZE1 Turbo power
                  Daily - Holden VZ SS 6L Thunder ute


                  • #39
                    So happy to see an update on this car!
                    I'm right there with you on the whole modern radio in a classic. I usually crack open the original and run an AUX input into the potentiometer. You can control volume through the original radio but if you want to change songs, you have to still use whatever device you have hooked up. The Retrosound option is a pretty sweet choice, I'll have to keep that in mind for future projects!

                    Looking forward to more progress on this!
                    1967 LT23 Mitsubishi 360 // 1967 L10A Cosmo Sports // 1971 S30 Fairlady Z // 1973 PR95 Bellett 1800 GT // 1978 PA95 Isuzu 117 Coupe // 1979 SA22C Mazda RX7 // 1988 Z31 300 ZX SS


                    • #40
                      Originally posted by Nakazoto View Post
                      So happy to see an update on this car!
                      I'm right there with you on the whole modern radio in a classic. I usually crack open the original and run an AUX input into the potentiometer. You can control volume through the original radio but if you want to change songs, you have to still use whatever device you have hooked up. The Retrosound option is a pretty sweet choice, I'll have to keep that in mind for future projects!

                      Looking forward to more progress on this!
                      I will need to pick your brains on this down the track. Bouncing a few ideas around for the next one.

                      Probably going to hit the swear filter a few times with this next post, so apologies in advance.

                      So the march to RWC continued. Few items left to complete, some id been putting off for a while like fitting the exhaust [i fucking HATE slip joints].

                      Decided while i was under there to do the rear sway bar bushes as well. What a prick that was to do - bushes used to be one piece, so youd squeeze the new bush in then drive the bolt sleeve through the middle. Now in two halves, which is easy to fit...except when you push the sleeve through it keeps popping em out. So two big washers and a long bolt got them in. Neck was sore as fuck from sitting on an angle though - either im getting old or i desperately need a hoist.

                      While underneath i was reminded why i persisted with the stupid thing in the first place. How good is that boot floor for a gemini! [yes i know i needed to cut down the bolts for the battery tray]

                      Had a bit too much pedal play in the clutch, couldnt work out why...until i noticed there was no pedal stopper, i mustve stolen the bolt for something else Fuck i was a giant hack when i was younger

                      Last few items to do before roadie - fit stainless sill trims and rear parcel shelf. The stainless trims were a bugger - the sills have a plastic clip [if they break off, good luck] while the quarters have a metal clip bolted through the gaurd...which goes rusty and falls off. Which is precisely what happened to mine. So. These became a godsend.

                      Which look like this.

                      So cut them down, glued into sill trim and bolted on. Worked like the real thing. They also came in handy for those damn speaker boxes ive obsessed about for the last 11ty posts. Was wondering how i was going to mount them...

                      Speakers needed something to mount to. Break out the jigsaw and piece of MDF.



                      Hole through for bolt/mount stud, including a bit of speed bore action to make a nice flat area for the washer and nut to sit in nice and tight


                      Rapt with that.

                      Which brings us to judgement day - took the day off work to go register the car, knowing full well that id probably go for a drive for the rest of the afternoon. After much wrangling and headache at Vicroads because the engine number wasnt perfectly legible - geminis are notorious for losing engine numbers because its stamped on the top surface of block so it gets mangled or wiped when someone preps surface for new headgasket or machines block - I finally got rego.

                      Went past the fiances work, took her to lunch. It might seem insignificant to some, but when i met her 7yrs ago I was driving this. Back then it had the injected DOHC in it, many lols were had when her high school mates picked the wrong fight so to speak. Was off the road when we first started hooking up, and then returned with an EFI turbo setup when we went our separate ways. Ever since we've been together, its been off the road so this car has always been a sort of unicorn mythical thing to her. I reckon her grin was bigger than mine all day.

                      Took it to mum and dads after that. Mum cried when she saw it [their Gemini was the same colour].

                      So this is no doubt where youd expect me to tell you everything is ok, and everyone lives happily ever after and all that. The car will make my wedding in 6 weeks time, that all ill be doing is putting the Borbets until next year when i hopefully have a bit more time to start doing the engine conversion.

                      Except for one, small little thing. This isnt a fucking fairy tale. Call it fate, call it a curse, call it whatever you want to call it - it makes no difference to the outcome. Seeing 10yrs of your life, 5 years of blood sweat and tears, thousands of dollars and countless hours spent end in crumpled metal just hours after what started as a really good day is just fucked.

                      Fucking devastated is an understatement. Long story short, the lady in front of me decided that amber means come to a complete halt regardless of how fast you were going at the time. No word of a lie, she was stationary BEFORE the light went red. No amount of pedal modulation could get any significant speed scrubbed off nor could i go around her because i had a car in each lane [literally the only 4 cars on the road at the time]. Smacked the front RH corner into her LHR.

                      Cars fucked. Bonnet and apron might be repairable/salvageable, gaurd is well and truly fucked which is going to cause immense headaches because finding good early gaurds is like scoring a date with Jennifer Hawkins. The issue is the bumper mount took the brunt of the impact - in a way a positive, because it saved the radiator support and front rail/suspension/crossmember. What that does mean however is its transfered the impact right through the inner gaurd

                      And now for the real ugly. [ps yes i know the engine bay is a was due to be detailed this weekend ]

                      Inner gaurd closest to firewall

                      Inner gaurd upper corner - theres a big dent caved in under the gaurd lip thats most bent, and another crease to the first gaurd bolt left of picture

                      Pass side Firewall lip to shock tower centre....

                      Drivers side/side that got hit

                      Kinked A pillar/lower door hinge which is why the door is now crooked

                      Its pretty ugly. Yes the hit was hard. No i wasnt going too fast/too close. Theres just no way i could stop in that distance.

                      Hoping that by pulling from the bumper mount that it could possibly be pulled back and square up. Guess ill just have to wait and see. Everyones quick to tell me to reshell it, but its not an option. This may sound childish but I dont want another Gemini, i want MY Gemini. Ive been through hell and back with this thing and am far, far more sentimentally attached to it than i should be.
                      So. I had a few days of sooking and people humoring me, letting me be grumpy and shit and got on with it. Mrs deals with a panel shop through work and put me onto him to have a chat given the guys i used to use for work i was incapable of doing no longer are in the trade. Had a chat with him and took the car around on monday and he is confident that it will pull back fine so i guess thats some good news. Not getting too excited until it actually pulls out again but heres hoping. Should be going in next weekend

                      [F3ARED] - 1978 TD Holden Gemini Sedan - Isuzu 4ZE1 Turbo power
                      Daily - Holden VZ SS 6L Thunder ute


                      • #41
                        Figured i may as well start finding parts i need, given that the old girls are a fair bit scarcer than the later models. Please excuse the shit photography getting worse, at this point i was still fairly grumpy with the whole ordeal.

                        A mate informed me that, despite being in another state, sorry territory, he knew where to find the bits. So this ugly thing and i got acquainted for the next hour.
                        An hour for a quarter removal?! Yes, because some fuckwit in the past decided to spotweld the quarter to the front apron, so i had to cave-man it and break welds/tear sheet metal using a flat head screw driver and a nearby rock. Somewhat ironic given that the last time i ventured out to this particular wrecking yard [its on the other side of town] was when i was 17, and my father spent the next 3 hours cutting a chassis rail and boot floor out of a Gemini for my coupe the EXACT same way. :lol:

                        So remember when i said finding a good, rust free gaurd was like scoring a date with jen hawkins? Anyone got her number?

                        Not all fantastic though, because it looks like a tree branch or something has fallen on it in the past, leaving this cunt of a crease in the gaurd. Probably why no one had taken it.

                        Shallow tapped out easy enough however crease was in the WORST spot for access. Father inlaws neighbour came round for a chat and gave me a hand by holding the gaurd in position for me while i scorched it with the propane bottle and wailed on it with hammer, dolly and chisel [yes chisel]. As good as its going to get i reckon. Need to dress the edge slightly and skim with filler but as good as it will ever get with a hack like me.

                        Bonnet needs to be saved as well. The one on the white car was absolutely fucking rooted; they all rust on the front edge on the inside of the bonnet. Found a NOS one.....1k!!!!! NO FUCKING CHANCE.

                        Pull on edge, push on crease and it leveled out. Can get decent access from behind so should be able to tap the dent up. Little one on the nose of the bonnet however is strictly a fill job - no access, and i dont own a stud welder.

                        Speaking of salvaging as much shit as possible, TX grille [twin nostril type] - no longer easy to find. I fucking HATE the TC type, and not a huge fan of the TD egg crate one either. Again, not easy to find.

                        Busted out the araldyte. Hoping it holds.

                        Thats about it for now.


                        PS - any mods reading this, the new forum software is making things really difficult. Limits on images per post, this whole displaying a build thread on one page, a non co-operative quote/reply system and now having to wait 10sec between posts....gah!
                        [F3ARED] - 1978 TD Holden Gemini Sedan - Isuzu 4ZE1 Turbo power
                        Daily - Holden VZ SS 6L Thunder ute


                        • #42
                          Any updates on this? That crash is a tragedy, at least the chassis wasn't ruined.


                          • #43
                            Updates is it survived i guess. The damage was really bad, had to call in every favour i was owed but it got done. I had very, very little time to get it all together before the wedding.

                            Given we had f ck all time to fix it, im really happy with how it turned out.8 months on and there are things i look at and lament, like the non-genuine quarter panel/gaurd which doesnt quite line up at the front, or the colour match despite being almost perfect in person showing up as different on one side of the car whenever someone trys to take a photo of it. Took it on our honey moon, which was 4 weeks up the east coast of australia and about 2000miles travelled all up. No mechanical issues, but just in case you thought i was joking when i said this car was cursed, this happened at 100kmh.

                            So far ive covered approximately 15000km in it [just under 10000miles] since getting it back on the road, have been using it as a daily driver whilst we begin the search to look for a new car for my wife.

                            It lived outside for a bit while we were looking for a house to buy.

                            There was the accidental car show entry - we had guests from interstate down, mate wanted to check out the All Holden Day. Pulled in, got directed for where to park.....which happened to be on the oval where everyone was displaying their cars. Same thing happened to a friend that drove up with us.

                            After that came the Gemini Nationals, another interstate trip, another 2000km covered in 4 days.

                            Engine is on its last legs at the moment but currently still using it as a daily driver, still covering on average 500km a week.

                            Have begun new engine build, otherwise, thats about it for now. Have a LOT of work to complete by December when my wife is due to give birth to our first child.

                            [F3ARED] - 1978 TD Holden Gemini Sedan - Isuzu 4ZE1 Turbo power
                            Daily - Holden VZ SS 6L Thunder ute


                            • #44
                              Looks nice mate, glad you got it going again.