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 Post subject: 1987 Isuzu Impulse RS Turbo Special Edition - Restoration
PostPosted: Fri Jan 21, 2011 12:56 pm 

Joined: Thu Aug 12, 2010 4:15 pm
Posts: 131
Location: Reno, NV
Hi folks, I figured I would add to the fun. We all like pictures and build threads, and there just isn't enough Isuzu love out there for me to get my fill of commentary and encouragement, so here goes.

A couple months ago, I started working on restoring my 1987 Impulse. The car is in excellent shape already, just needs a major mechanical refresh and some minor cosmetic TLC. Its leaking from every possible point, oil, coolant and diff fluid. All the gaskets and seals need refreshing and the engine bay needs to be cleaned up. I'll post pics of the process in here, my goal is to bring it down to the Japanese Nostalgic Car show this year.

First off, the radiator has been leaking since I took delivery of the car back in August. Here is what it looked like inside. (Do you like crunchy or creamy?)

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Most of the painted surfaces under the hood look something like this, or worse.

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The next few shots are of the motor disassembly. I'm sure most of you on here know what a spaghetti bowl of plumbing these old Japanese cars are full of. Its quite intimidating actually.

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Tube city. Looks like an Aliens hive in there.
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Valve cover cleaned up and ready for paint.

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Mega dirt under the cowl cover....but NO RUST!
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4ZC1-t
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Last night I got the turbo and exhaust manifold off and outta the way.
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And that's where I am at with it. I'll post more as I progress. Thanks for looking.

Bart

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 21, 2011 10:05 pm 

Joined: Sun Apr 20, 2008 12:37 pm
Posts: 539
Location: Sugarhouse, Utah
good to see another isuzu build. 8) Just a suggestion... all those obnoxious little rubber hoses in there... you might want to go ahead and replace them now, while it's all apart, so you don't have to go back into that spaghetti mess later on. anyway, the car looks good. keep it up. :tu:

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jan 22, 2011 12:26 pm 

Joined: Thu Aug 12, 2010 4:15 pm
Posts: 131
Location: Reno, NV
opelboy76 wrote:
good to see another isuzu build. 8) Just a suggestion... all those obnoxious little rubber hoses in there... you might want to go ahead and replace them now, while it's all apart, so you don't have to go back into that spaghetti mess later on. anyway, the car looks good. keep it up. :tu:


Don't worry, I'm pulling the motor and rebuilding the entire thing, hoses and all. :)

Bart

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jan 22, 2011 5:32 pm 
Mild Cam
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Glad to see a build thread for this thing! I agree, the vacuum hose nightmare makes restification of '80s cars a very, very daunting task. Glad to see you're doing it the right way, taking good pictures and replacing all of them!

Keep up the good work and don't give up! Our cars are tough to take care of. They're too new to find reproduction parts, but too old to find factory parts.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jan 22, 2011 6:06 pm 

Joined: Thu Aug 12, 2010 4:15 pm
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Location: Reno, NV
Camshaft wrote:
They're too new to find reproduction parts, but too old to find factory parts.


You hit the nail on the head. Body and interior parts are pretty much completely dried up. The only place to go there is salvage yards.

So far, engine mechanical stuff seems to be available, but limited still. Its no wonder so many of these cars from the 80s ended up in the crusher.

Bart

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jan 23, 2011 9:05 am 
Mild Cam
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Impulsive wrote:
Camshaft wrote:
Its no wonder so many of these cars from the 80s ended up in the crusher.


At some point, '70s, '60s, and even '50s cars were worthless and disposable. But with so many being crushed or falling by the wayside, they became rare, and when people who once owned these machines decided to indulge in their nostalgia, it drove prices up. These cars will be special one day. Better buy them while we can still afford them!

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jan 23, 2011 9:40 am 

Joined: Thu Aug 12, 2010 4:15 pm
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Location: Reno, NV
Here's a little preview for you all of what I am going for under the hood.

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:D Bart

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jan 24, 2011 2:02 pm 
Mild Cam
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Nice! Continues the white theme from the rest of that car. :D Is that powdercoated?

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 24, 2011 2:59 pm 

Joined: Thu Aug 12, 2010 4:15 pm
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Location: Reno, NV
Camshaft wrote:
Nice! Continues the white theme from the rest of that car. :D Is that powdercoated?


Yup! I'm going for a white/red/black (Isuzu colors) under the hood. Its just Duplicolor Engine Enamel. I hope it holds up!!!

Bart

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 26, 2011 1:20 pm 
Mild Cam
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Impulsive wrote:
Camshaft wrote:
Nice! Continues the white theme from the rest of that car. :D Is that powdercoated?


Yup! I'm going for a white/red/black (Isuzu colors) under the hood. Its just Duplicolor Engine Enamel. I hope it holds up!!!

Bart


Just for laughs a few years ago, I sprayed the valve cover on my buddy's Accord while he adjusted the valves. Directly over top of the bubbling clearcoat. With no clear over the top of that, just factory touch-up paint over the raised letters. Every time I visit, it still looks the same as it always has. Duplicolor Engine Enamel is good stuff! :lol:

Your valve cover looks fantastic, though. Much better than your average spray-can job!

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 26, 2011 1:30 pm 

Joined: Thu Aug 12, 2010 4:15 pm
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Location: Reno, NV
Camshaft wrote:
Your valve cover looks fantastic, though. Much better than your average spray-can job!


I'm honestly surprised at how nice it came out as well!! I think the paint is good, but I also attribute it to proper prep. Having it sand blasted first, then I cleaned the surface really good with laquer thinner, and then applied about 3 coats and a little more where it needed it. Seemed to work well. I can't wait to paint the rest of the stuff!!

Bart

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jan 28, 2011 7:40 am 
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make sure you clean the absolute crapper out of the inside of the cover, sandblasting sand will kill a fresh motor almost instantly!

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jan 28, 2011 9:43 am 

Joined: Thu Aug 12, 2010 4:15 pm
Posts: 131
Location: Reno, NV
redzone wrote:
make sure you clean the absolute crapper out of the inside of the cover, sandblasting sand will kill a fresh motor almost instantly!

I did, I had it blasted before I cleaned the inside. I only really worry about the baffle, but I blasted some air through it so I think it is good to go. Don't worry, I'm going to be as meticulous as I can be with this rebiuld. When I did the Trooper engine swap, I cut a few corners because I was pressed for time and running out of money, but I regret it now. I mean, everything is ok with the Trooper, just some little stuff that I should have done that I didn't. But all those things will get done with the Impulse.

Bart

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 Post subject: Re: 1987 Isuzu Impulse RS Turbo Special Edition - Restoratio
PostPosted: Tue Apr 26, 2011 1:07 pm 

Joined: Thu Aug 12, 2010 4:15 pm
Posts: 131
Location: Reno, NV
Some updates from the last couple months of work:

Exhaust manifold and turbo removed:

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Tranny out.
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Motor coming out.
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Cleaning the engine bay has started.
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Now I am at the point where I will start having fun. With the motor, I just need to replace all the gaskets and seals and clean it really well. There is nothing wrong with the motor. So, I'm not sure how to go about this yet. I want to take the whole thing to a machine shop and have it hot tanked, but OEM parts for the 4ZC1-T are not so easy to get so I don't want them to mess anything up.

Has anyone ever done a "refresh" like this, as opposed to a rebuild?

Thanks for looking,

Bart

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 Post subject: Re: 1987 Isuzu Impulse RS Turbo Special Edition - Restoratio
PostPosted: Tue Apr 26, 2011 4:51 pm 

Joined: Sun Dec 12, 2010 2:06 pm
Posts: 5
Location: Virginia
It's good to see another Isuzufreak on here. Normally I just browse at all the build up threads, but you have a very beautiful car.


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 Post subject: Re: 1987 Isuzu Impulse RS Turbo Special Edition - Restoratio
PostPosted: Thu Apr 28, 2011 12:22 am 
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I've never done a rebuild or a refresh or a restore or anything. I just buy 'em and use 'em, so I'm not much help there. But it's great to see another Isuzu getting the love it deserves.

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 Post subject: Re: 1987 Isuzu Impulse RS Turbo Special Edition - Restoratio
PostPosted: Thu Apr 28, 2011 8:22 am 

Joined: Thu Aug 12, 2010 4:15 pm
Posts: 131
Location: Reno, NV
TheTank wrote:
It's good to see another Isuzufreak on here. Normally I just browse at all the build up threads, but you have a very beautiful car.

Thanks!! Yes, this car is in ridiculously nice shape for being over 20 years old.

Lincoln Stax wrote:
I've never done a rebuild or a refresh or a restore or anything. I just buy 'em and use 'em, so I'm not much help there. But it's great to see another Isuzu getting the love it deserves.

:) Yeah, I had hoped to drive it for a few years before I needed to do anything major to it, but the previous owner had it stored in his garage for many years and it wasn't driven much. So when I bought it and started driving it, it immediately sprung a pretty nasty coolant leak and that is what got me started with the refresh. I could have just kept driving it, but that is how you blow head gaskets and crack blocks. The car is just way to nice to neglect that way. When I am done, I should be able to get many, many fast miles out of it!

Bart

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 Post subject: Re: 1987 Isuzu Impulse RS Turbo Special Edition - Restoratio
PostPosted: Fri May 20, 2011 9:55 am 

Joined: Thu Mar 31, 2011 2:22 pm
Posts: 4
Location: Phoenix
This is an awesome build thread. My friend is hoping to trade his 81' 280zx for an Impulse located just outside of Phoenix this weekend.

This particular Impulse "allegedly" has a 2.6L swap from a Trooper and is turbo'd as well! I will refer my friend to this thread if he ends up getting it :p

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 Post subject: Re: 1987 Isuzu Impulse RS Turbo Special Edition - Restoratio
PostPosted: Fri May 20, 2011 9:59 am 

Joined: Thu Aug 12, 2010 4:15 pm
Posts: 131
Location: Reno, NV
Count_Chunkula wrote:
This is an awesome build thread. My friend is hoping to trade his 81' 280zx for an Impulse located just outside of Phoenix this weekend.

This particular Impulse "allegedly" has a 2.6L swap from a Trooper and is turbo'd as well! I will refer my friend to this thread if he ends up getting it :p


I bet this is the red 88 on Craigslist, eh? Just saw it this morning.

Yesterday, I order $550 worth of parts...man this car is adding up!

Bart

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 Post subject: Re: 1987 Isuzu Impulse RS Turbo Special Edition - Restoratio
PostPosted: Fri May 20, 2011 10:13 am 

Joined: Thu Mar 31, 2011 2:22 pm
Posts: 4
Location: Phoenix
Impulsive wrote:
I bet this is the red 88 on Craigslist, eh? Just saw it this morning.

Yesterday, I order $550 worth of parts...man this car is adding up!

Bart


Exactly! I've been searching for a nice, restorable Isuzu, never owned one.

Mostly a Toyotahead but this thread has inspired me! Haha

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