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 Post subject: Information for a beginner
PostPosted: Fri Apr 04, 2014 11:12 am 

Joined: Wed Apr 02, 2014 9:18 pm
Posts: 4
Location: Around Detroit, Michigan
So what would be the advice you would give someone who is interested in JDM cars but knows nothing about where to start. Cost to restore cars? Which cars are easily available? What tools are necessary/what tools are nice to have? Any other tips?


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 Post subject: Re: Information for a beginner
PostPosted: Fri Apr 04, 2014 4:41 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 21, 2007 11:47 am
Posts: 406
Location: Pac NW
asearcher wrote:
So what would be the advice you would give someone who is interested in JDM cars but knows nothing about where to start. Cost to restore cars? Which cars are easily available? What tools are necessary/what tools are nice to have? Any other tips?


Doing it for profit, or pleasure???

Profit... good luck friend.... :roll:

Pleasure... what J-Tin do YOU like? Is there something you've always thought was cool?? Z... or Celica... or 1st Gen Accord sedan (always a soft spot in my heart for those... )

Whatever you chose... enjoy it :tu:

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 Post subject: Re: Information for a beginner
PostPosted: Fri Apr 04, 2014 8:30 pm 

Joined: Wed Apr 02, 2014 9:18 pm
Posts: 4
Location: Around Detroit, Michigan
Just pleasure. I know very little in the way of car mechanics, so I doubt it would be worth any amount of money to give up something I would work so hard and learn so much on. I honestly really like the c10 Skylines but after looking around I'm skeptical of how much I could get done on my own.


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 Post subject: Re: Information for a beginner
PostPosted: Sat Apr 05, 2014 11:14 am 

Joined: Mon Feb 15, 2010 5:50 am
Posts: 104
Location: Williston SC
Do you have a dependable daily driver? A place to work and store a project?,a realistic budget and schedule?


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 Post subject: Re: Information for a beginner
PostPosted: Sat Apr 05, 2014 7:59 pm 

Joined: Wed Apr 02, 2014 9:18 pm
Posts: 4
Location: Around Detroit, Michigan
I have a daily driver I hope is dependable, I bought it a few days ago. I have a small work space I could probably make bigger. I have no idea what is reasonable for a budget or timeframe.


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 Post subject: Re: Information for a beginner
PostPosted: Sun Apr 06, 2014 9:16 pm 

Joined: Tue Nov 06, 2012 9:11 pm
Posts: 97
Location: 世田谷区
Start in the build threads on this forum and have a look around. See what kind of cars you like, then look at what people are doing to them here or around the internet. Get a feel for what people do to get them in shape. As far as tools: Metric. Can't say too much about what's available but look around your local craigslist. You're in Detroit so also think about under body rust. If you do not have welding skills to repair rust cancer, that will be the job of a welder or shop. That is money too.

You're questions might be best directed back at yourself. Find a starting point based on what you like or would enjoy. Good luck.


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 Post subject: Re: Information for a beginner
PostPosted: Mon Apr 07, 2014 12:44 am 

Joined: Sun Oct 04, 2009 2:54 pm
Posts: 485
Location: Nagoya, Japan
Sideglide hit the nail on the head!
But that's not going to stop me from throwing my 2 cents (yen) in as well.

I'll break this up into two parts, one the greasy fun, and two the non-greasy fun.

Greasy fun:

Sideglide hit the nail on the head again here. Rust is going to be your number 1 concern. Even imported Hakosukas have been known to have terrible rust demons lurking underneath. Sometimes the rust can be expertly hidden with undercoat, bondo, fiberglass, etc. So, I would recommend taking a magnet wrapped in a cloth and touching it to all the usual rust spots (rockers, fender bottoms, door bottoms, etc.). If the magnet sticks strongly, probably safe, if the magnet doesn't stick at all, run for the hills!

Once you pick a car, then comes the fun of maintenance. If you pick a car that was readily available in the States, such as the 240Z, there are a massive amount of reproduction parts out there. So, if you've got the money, you can buy nearly anything. However, if you go for something a little more exotic, like say a Mitsubishi Colt 1000, then you've got a whole slew of new problems when it comes to sourcing parts. For a lot of the mechanical bits, you can pull parts from various other cars and make those work, but for exterior and interior bits, you may have to source from Japan, and that gets real expensive real quick.

Also, depending on how old of a car you go for, I would recommend doing some reading on carburetors. The number of people who can effectively rebuild and tune a carb is rapidly dropping and you may find yourself in a situation where the only person who will tune your Mikuni side drafts is you. Also, I find tuning carbs to be hugely entertaining and fun, so it's worth learning anyways!

Non-greasy fun:

For a lot of people, myself included, this can be just as fun as actually owning the car. There are mountains and mountains of old literature on these classics out there, and hunting it down to learn about the various grades of certain cars is a lot of fun! Most people have never heard of a Mitsubishi 360, but while I was building mine, I learned so much about, not only the car itself, but also the history of Kei cars. I even went so far as hand translating JAMA's page on the history of the Kei regulations (http://www.jama.or.jp/lib/jamagazine/200902/01.html).

There is so much wonderful information out there, but unfortunately a lot of it is sealed away in Japanese literature. However, I feel that adds to the mystery of it all. It becomes truly like a treasure hunt searching for some piece of information no one has ever heard of in English.

So, I will echo what others have said on here. Ask yourself, what drew you to Japanese classics in the first place. If it was a specific car, start reading, researching, looking at parts and pictures, reading build threads or even throwing out a bombardment of questions to the community. It won't be long before you have your heart set on specific model (or a specific grade within that model line-up) and then the hunt is on to find that one car!

For example, you said you like the C10 Skylines. Well, you might be surprised how many different variations of the old Hakosuka there are. The 1500 and 1800 cc version have a Prince G series engine stuffed under a "short nose". The 2000 cc L20 series versions have a much longer nose, but the engine shares a lot of parts with the L24 that came in the 240Zs sold in the states, so parts sourcing is much easier. Of course, if you have real deep pockets (like 100 grand deep), you could go for a genuine Hakosuka 2000 GTR with the legendary S20 engine. To make all your decisions even more difficult, every version of the Skyline came in two door and four door variants. Everyone I talk to is in love with the long nose two door versions, but I would kill for a short nose four door with surfline fenders intact!

Man, that's an awesome car:

Image

If you have any questions about anything in specific or want further elaboration on something, feel free to ask! I hope some of this helps point you in the right direction, although when it comes to classic cars, nearly any direction is the right direction!

Cheers,
David

_________________
1967 LT23 Mitsubishi 360 // 1967 L10A Cosmo Sports // 1971 S30 Fairlady Z // 1973 PR95 Bellett 1800 GT // 1973 Honda Life // 1988 Z31 300 ZX SS // 1996 EK11 March 1.3 // 1997 AC15 Dream 50
My Homepage: http://sites.google.com/site/nakazoto/home


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 Post subject: Re: Information for a beginner
PostPosted: Mon Apr 07, 2014 2:30 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jul 15, 2013 7:11 am
Posts: 63
The only contribution I can give is since your new to mechanics, by one (JNC) that works/runs, so if you fumble something up you can just back track. Also take your time and buy something that you want/yearned for, I always wanted a wagon corona and was getting very impatient in looking so I pulled the trigger on a 1981 toyota corona sedan. Low and behold the wagons (for sale) suddenly appear out of no where and now I'm stuck with my corona (although I love that b*tch with every fiber of my being, hehe). Just today I found a 1981 toyota corona wagon, same year model as mine yet in wagon form!.

Also agree with Nakazoto in learning how to fix carbs. If you plan on sticking with the original engine find someone that can teach you how to fix carbs and absorb their knowledge like a sponge.

And of course, have fun!.

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Last edited by Gene on Fri Apr 11, 2014 10:51 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Information for a beginner
PostPosted: Mon Apr 07, 2014 4:30 pm 

Joined: Fri Sep 25, 2009 6:17 pm
Posts: 146
Location: Los Angeles
Sideglide wrote:
As far as tools: Metric.


Just to expand on this (and this is for anyone else who might not know): do yourself a favor and get a set of JIS screwdrivers. Phillips screws on JNCs are typcially JIS spec. You can tell because there is usually a little dimple next to the cross-slot.

http://www.vesseltools.com/hand-tools/s ... ducts.html

I have messed up a lot of phillips screws on my car and just assumed it was due to cheap metal, overtorqued screws, rust, or just my bad technique. I recently found out that I did not have to sacrifice all those screws. Standard Phillips screwdrivers don't fit correctly in JIS spec Phillips screws and tend to "cam out" easily and strip the notch.

However, they are a little pricey.


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