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 Post subject: Re: 1978 323 wagon
PostPosted: Sat Jan 28, 2012 1:33 am 
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Joined: Sun Jan 31, 2010 11:42 am
Posts: 321
Location: Australia
I had some time today to fit the new shocks and springs :D

Got out the struts and clamped up the springs
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All apart
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Old and new. I was a bit worried about them not being captive and having to line them up each time I jack up the car
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Removed the gland nut with a genuine set of Stillsons
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The old shocks were the same brand and part number, just 20 years older. The gold colour is a bit ugly, but you don't see them once it's back together. The old shock out of the right side was a bit leaky, so it was definitely due for replacement..
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Cleaning up the dust covers
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All back together. The new springs ended up just being captive on the struts. I also sprayed up the struts to make them look a bit nicer
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Chucked them back in and went for a drive. This is how they settled out after. They are -30mm springs and so far are a 20mm drop over the saggy 30+ year old ones
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Hellarake
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Front is low enough for now, but to even it out I need 40mm out of the rear. I'll take it back to the suspension guy for a quote on getting the leaves done.
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Most importantly though it's now excellent to drive. It was a huge improvement doing the rear shocks, and it's been an even bigger improvement with the new fronts. Some of my usual test drive has some nice high speed corners and now it feels comfortable at the limit, not rolling around like before, and stable during direction changes. There hasn't seemed to be any loss of ride comfort due to the stiffer springs either.


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 Post subject: Re: 1978 323 wagon
PostPosted: Sat Jan 28, 2012 10:36 pm 
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timmy201 wrote:
Front is low enough for now, but to even it out I need 40mm out of the rear. I'll take it back to the suspension guy for a quote on getting the leaves done.


Are you allowed to use lowering blocks there?

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 Post subject: Re: 1978 323 wagon
PostPosted: Sun Jan 29, 2012 1:36 am 
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Joined: Wed Mar 11, 2009 6:09 pm
Posts: 603
Location: Australia
This is what I like, someone slowly chipping away at their own project.

Not enough green tint in the cans by the looks of it. I had a similar problem when I got more paint mixed, went back to the supplier and they found the little swirler in one of the cans wasnt stirring on the mixer machine. They manually mixed it using scales and turned out spot on. You just never know how those premixed cans are going to turn out, maybe you're better off having them custom mix especially since the paint would have faded a little from new changing the colour a little.

Lowering blocks are legal down in Victoria provided they are metal. The guide lines specifically say that wooden blocks are not acceptable :lol: NSW may be the same I don't know, different standards in each state. Does the car sit a lot lower with the new King springs, looks good not over the top.


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 Post subject: Re: 1978 323 wagon
PostPosted: Sun Jan 29, 2012 5:02 am 
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Joined: Sun Jan 31, 2010 11:42 am
Posts: 321
Location: Australia
datsunfreak wrote:
Are you allowed to use lowering blocks there?

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In NSW it is illegal to fit longer non-standard length u-bolts on leaf springs ie no lowering blocks. They are available on eBay though for pretty cheap, in 1.5 and 2" drop. 1.5" would probably be the go so that its levelled out, I can still carry things in the boot and it doesn't attract the wrong attention. I'd paint them black so it looks less obvious too. The suspension guy has only just come back from holidays last week and he had a huge backlog of work when I talked to him last. He made it quite clear that full suspension design must be maintained and it wasn't going to end up like some extreme lowered death trap.
gypsy wrote:
This is what I like, someone slowly chipping away at their own project.

Not enough green tint in the cans by the looks of it. I had a similar problem when I got more paint mixed, went back to the supplier and they found the little swirler in one of the cans wasnt stirring on the mixer machine. They manually mixed it using scales and turned out spot on. You just never know how those premixed cans are going to turn out, maybe you're better off having them custom mix especially since the paint would have faded a little from new changing the colour a little.

Lowering blocks are legal down in Victoria provided they are metal. The guide lines specifically say that wooden blocks are not acceptable :lol: NSW may be the same I don't know, different standards in each state. Does the car sit a lot lower with the new King springs, looks good not over the top.

Thanks, it's much easier to keep motivated once it's running and doing little bits at a time. Ideally I'll work out all the kinks and have it where I'm happy with the mechanical side of it before I start to do any more bodywork

The guy at the shop said it was most likely due to the fact the custom ones are straight tinter and not the full coat. I was the first one to ask for the colour too, so it took a few weeks for them to find a mix ratio, and I think might not be right. The custom matched ones come up super bright and didn't give as good a finish. The colour of the front now is a premixed totally different yellow - I still like it better though - it's wrong, but less so than the custom ones.

New 323 King springs are the same part number as RX3 ones.. It went from a 3 finger guard/tyre gap down to a 1 finger gap. It's less obvious due to the black wheels and abundance of tyre sidewall. I have a sneaking suspicion it's going to look quite nice on the other rims I have with the lower profile tyres and lower offset.. I'll try take some good before/after photos to show the difference.

It's a got to be a car I can drive to work when I like, pick things up in and have fun driving. I don't mind the paint being scrappy at the moment because I'm not worried about leaving it in car parks or out in the rain.

Just happy to be driving again after 2 weeks waiting for parts :D
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 Post subject: Re: 1978 323 wagon
PostPosted: Tue Jan 31, 2012 3:34 am 
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Joined: Sun Jan 31, 2010 11:42 am
Posts: 321
Location: Australia
So the old control arms looked like this where the roll bar attached
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I got the new arms yesterday and took them over to get the new ball joints put in. Picked them up this afternoon and bolted the steering arm on and put in the bushes.
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The front end is now very solid, the play in the balljoints is gone and so has the worrying creak from the front end. I'm having a car fixing break for the next month to let my knuckles and bank account recover :tu:


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 Post subject: Re: 1978 323 wagon
PostPosted: Sat Feb 25, 2012 5:32 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jan 31, 2010 11:42 am
Posts: 321
Location: Australia
I now had the car ready for going camping :D
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Packed full!
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Had a really nice campsite
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My car is a bit small..
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Looks shiny
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Nice view and lots of sun!
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The car ran really well, had an awesome chilled weekend. I need to get a wheel alignment soon, it seems to have a bit of camber wear on the front after the lowered springs (I was waiting to finish replacing the bits on the front end)


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 Post subject: Re: 1978 323 wagon
PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2012 5:36 am 
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Joined: Sun Jan 31, 2010 11:42 am
Posts: 321
Location: Australia
The head and rocker cover looked like this due to some problem with the exhaust gasket
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I ordered in a new one and got it on yesterday. I pulled off the old one which looked like this
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And the manifold looked like this. It was due to a previous owner taking a hacksaw to the air injection system. It wasn't a problem before, I think because the original gasket was a bit thicker
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I had a spare in the shed which didn't look as nice, but was in better condition where it counts. I cleaned off the old gasket which left me with:
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And round the other side of the engine the intake manifold would occasionally have some green coolant seeping out the top. It looked a bit crusty too
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Old and new gaskets
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I got it all back together and went for a drive and it seems to have fixed both problems. The fuel economy has improved too, down to 7.7L/100km (30.6mpg for you US guys)

Next important thing to do is stop the water leaking onto the front carpet on both sides. I've been driving around with no carpet for a few weeks now, and I'd like a bit less road noise..


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 Post subject: Re: 1978 323 wagon
PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2012 6:46 am 
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Joined: Sun Jan 31, 2010 11:42 am
Posts: 321
Location: Australia
Since the manifold gaskets and the oil change I did the other day it seems to be a bit stronger and smoother. My mate comes for a drive every week or so when we get pizza, he seems to notice the changes more than I do, driving up the steep hills and tearing along the streets ;) he mentioned this afternoon it felt better than last week. I've never driven one in factory tuned condition, so I'm learning from my tweaks, trying to get it running better as I go.

The wheel alignment today was done to try and sort out the irregular tyre wear. When I first replaced the tie rod ends it had a bit of toe out, which wore the inside of the tyres. I had a go aligning it and it was pretty good, and was steering pretty good. When I replaced the front control arms and springs and shocks the wear came back again. I thought it must have been some extra camber due to the lowered springs.

The result from the shop? A total of a whopping 9.8mm toe out which has been corrected to factory 0.7mm toe in, and the camber was essentially zero (00*27' and 00*14'). It steers better now, doesn't pull slightly to the left anymore, and doesn't squeal the tyres on white lines when cornering. I'm going to swap the front tyres side by side, which might help the castor apparently. The comprehensive suspension check showed no problems or advisories, which I'm quite chuffed with!


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 Post subject: Re: 1978 323 wagon
PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2012 10:21 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jun 08, 2009 9:26 pm
Posts: 787
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Cool, that's a good sign.

If you were really keen, you could always go for adjustable everything suspension and get a really good suspension place to dial it in (ie toe, caster, camber) etc etc, but it's probably just fine the way it is.


very jealous of the camping shots.

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 Post subject: Re: 1978 323 wagon
PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2012 11:38 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jan 31, 2010 11:42 am
Posts: 321
Location: Australia
Yeah, I took my parents car to the same shop 18 months ago for the same service... It had a quote of $2800 to get it back to health!

I have looked at the weld on coilover kits and adjustable tops - if I ever got a rotary I'd consider it - but at the moment it's definitely no racecar, so I'd rather the suspension setup safe and good on the tyres! The back has no adjustment really, being a solid leaf axle.

(that week camping was the only week in the last 8 weeks that hasn't rained :mrgreen: )


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 Post subject: Re: 1978 323 wagon
PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2012 11:51 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 15, 2010 4:37 am
Posts: 180
Location: Ballarat
Hey bloke,
Were those camber readings -ve or +ve (00*27' and 00*14')?
If they're positive, then your wheels are leaning out from the top. :(
With the tiny bit of toe-in you're running, you are going to keep chewing
the outside edges of your tyres out. Also, the positive camber will get worse when
you load up the rear - ie to go camping.

If the readings are negative, then you're ok! :D


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 Post subject: Re: 1978 323 wagon
PostPosted: Thu Mar 08, 2012 12:21 am 
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Joined: Sun Jan 31, 2010 11:42 am
Posts: 321
Location: Australia
The camber is negative, and the tiny amount of toe in is the factory setting, and helps keep the car stable and in a straight line. No toe in makes the car dart about over bumps and when braking.. Good for a street car

Unless you are talking about the combo of positive camber and toe in, which would be a killer..

There is almost no tread on the inside of the front tyres anyway, so a minute amount of wear on the outside isn't going to matter at the moment :D


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 Post subject: Re: 1978 323 wagon
PostPosted: Tue Mar 20, 2012 4:36 am 
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Joined: Sun Jan 31, 2010 11:42 am
Posts: 321
Location: Australia
70's stylin'
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I had a quote for lowering the rear, one extra leaf and a drop of 1.5 inches, which is pretty similar in height to filling the boot up with some crap^. The reset springs are $350 if the springs are taken off the car first, but I'm worried I'll loose some load carrying capacity.. If it can't carry a load it's not much use as a wagon! (and I hit my head on the boot when it's too low)

Other than that I've been racking up the km. Up to 6000km on the engine and it feels better than ever. I fixed up some water leaks and I've got the front carpet back in, and I'm enjoying the relative peace and quiet!


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 Post subject: Re: 1978 323 wagon
PostPosted: Tue Mar 20, 2012 4:43 am 

Joined: Sat Aug 06, 2011 5:11 am
Posts: 106
Location: Adelaide, Australia
Looking good :)


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 Post subject: Re: 1978 323 wagon
PostPosted: Tue Mar 20, 2012 2:31 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jun 08, 2009 9:26 pm
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Location: Melbourne, Australia
leave the wagon up high. OR just get some air shocks.

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 Post subject: Re: 1978 323 wagon
PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2012 3:36 am 
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Posts: 321
Location: Australia
Chuxa wrote:
Looking good :)

Thanks!

ewokracing wrote:
leave the wagon up high. OR just get some air shocks.

I was thinking about just this the other day. There is the Hillman by Seth on retrorides http://retrorides.proboards.com/index.c ... 503&page=1 which you might have seen which has them so he can be slammed and still carry stuff/tow a trailer.

I finally did a job I'd been meaning to do for ages... First up I got some offcut pieces of guttering...
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Gave it a bit of a bash to flatten one side and drilled some holes and bolted it on...
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I think it turned out alright. I need to trim the bracket back a bit next and trim the sides of the lip a bit better. Not bad for $5 though...
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I went for a bit of a drive, no squeaks or rattles.
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Vertigo?
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So dirty
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Scrapes the grass a little :D
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 Post subject: Re: 1978 323 wagon
PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2012 3:59 am 
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Posts: 321
Location: Australia
Enter... The BIG BEAVER! Circa 1980. Just need an air hose and it's as good as mine!
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The roof has started to get bubbles under the paint from scratches and general life living outside near the beach so I'm going to give it a go respraying the top. I've sanded back most of the spots to give them a dose of rust treatment/magic potion.
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I had the fun job of scraping the underseal off over the long weekend. It wasn't too bad actually, the worst bit was under the front passenger carpet next to the exhaust pipe where it had gone soft. The rest chipped off pretty easy. I found a few spots were water had been sitting and surface rust had come up, so it was good to clean it all up. I got out 2-3kg as well!
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I've started to rattle can the floor with chassis black, which always seems to give a good finish. It is all covered by the carpet/will hide missing carpet, so you shouldn't notice anyway...


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 Post subject: Re: 1978 323 wagon
PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2012 4:47 am 
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Posts: 321
Location: Australia
I went looking for an air hose yesterday. The airline fitting on both the gun and compressor are a smaller size than the standard ones. The first shop had never seen this size before, but could sell a new fitting for each end and a normal size hose, which would be about $60.. The second shop just so happened to have a replacement hose kit for the following product, which fits my compressor for just $25 (The same as the red hose here - a size smaller than the standard black)
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I connected up the new hose and she is all sweet. I didn't really know how it was supposed to work at first...
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It was spraying air out even though I had the trigger closed. I worked out it was supposed to do that, which is how the paint gets finely dispersed. The air comes out the tiny holes and the paint comes out through the middle
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Here are some progress photos on the floor. During stripping and before paint..
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Halfway through
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Getting there!
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New favorite tool.. Got it free last week! It rips through the paint
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I started to spray fill the roof
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And had some time while the paint was drying to fit a mirror
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Should clean these sometime
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Looks better, still not amazing. There is a car show I want to go to on the weekend, so the roof will get a temporary coat of yellow to see it through while I investigate paint for the spray gun
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The pair of rims I dropped off for repair should be done tomorrow too..


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 Post subject: Re: 1978 323 wagon
PostPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2012 6:12 am 
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Posts: 321
Location: Australia
Got my rims back. This is the worst one before, it looked alot worse than this in person too
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And after. It cost twice as much to get them painted as well, so I'll do it myself later. (Paint got a bit melted from the TIG I'm guessing)
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I fitted the mirrors while the roof was getting yellowed. Also put the interior back in and cleaned it up as I went.
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Fender mirrors were quite useless on the quick blast around town. I think they need cleaning or adjusting or maybe a better quality mirror.


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 Post subject: Re: 1978 323 wagon
PostPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2012 9:39 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jun 08, 2009 9:26 pm
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Location: Melbourne, Australia
yeah I've often wondered about how actually *useful* fender mirrors are...!

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