Sunday, July 5, 2009

Mini Red [The Maverick]

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Picked up a 12/1990 Red Maverick as a daily driver/tourer to use so i can take the ute off the road for some long winded repairs, seems pretty good for 4 grand ... they even threw in some dents, scratches and cracks so i feel right at home ;-)

As Bought
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4.2L petrol 5 speed manual
Uniden UHF
Hella spotties
Tinted windows
Hayman Reece
colour coded steel bullbar
colour coded fibreglass flares
apart from that she's stock as a rock.
no dents or scrathes underneath and no rust or cracks in the chassis.
only has one small 20mm long crack on the firewall and none in the inner guards, no sign of cracks in the diff housings which were all problems on my last early model GQ.

FUEL ECONOMY report from the Petrol 4.2 Litre 6 over a few tanks:
usually sit on the speed limit 100 or 110 where applicable.

When i first got it, stock standard everything:
31 x 10.5 x 15 Nankang Super Trippers front and Wide Conquerers rear
-mostly highway 13.8 L/100Km
-bit of city driving and some freeway work 14.13 L/100km
- an hour and a halfs idleing, some offroad low range and a high tide beach run 20.13 L/100km
-some highway and some offroad tracks 15.98 L/100Km

Fitted 2" lift, console, dual batteries,LR tank.

-mostly highway and some city 14.50 L/100Km
-mostly highway 14.48 L/100Km
-mostly highway some dirt road and city 14.51 L/100Km
-highway, dirt road and 4wdriving 16.32 L/100km
-Mountain roads towing a tandem trailer 19.48 L/100km
-Mountain roads towing a tandem trailer 20.78 L/100km

Fitted 33 x 12.5 x 15 Maxxis Bighorns

-half highway and half city 16.03 L/100Km
-mostly highway and some city 15.65 L/100km
-mostly highway,dirt road and some 4wd 16.32 L/100km
-half highway and half city 16.56 L/100Km
-country roads and a small amount of 4WD 14.98 L/100km

Dented rear quarter panel...

paint scratched off by dogs claws...

flare cracked in half and red sticky tape holding it together...

sparing no expense, i've fitted a set of $30.00 fake acrylic seat covers to hide the dodgy seat repair ;-) ...

Apart from replacing the headlights with sealed beams [i hate filling the headlights with water], zip tying the grill in tightly, re fibreglassing the broken flare and a quick spray to hide the bare patches on the dent, i needed to replace the number plates as they were faded peeling and unroadworthy ...
the new plates arrived today and i only ordered them three days ago...

My Parents are up here visiting at the moment and Mum got a sticker for me, must know me well !!

One of the first things i did on the weekend was to tidy up the Hayman Reece towbar and remove the hitch to clean it up and check it could be removed easily etc.

The Nissan loop is only rated for something like 2000Kg and not safe to snatch with so i fitted a Piranha Shackle Receiver Adapter [tow hitch receiver] to make sure i can pull others out safely ;-)

At the front i fitted two Just Straps tow hooks so i can recover from an angle without damaging the strap.
In Competition you have to paint the recovery points red so i painted them before fitting them just in case.
There was already holes punched in the uprights which are one piece back to the chassis so they should be safe enough for snatching.

The bonnet rubber bump stop was missing and the bonnet was jumping up and down a bit so i slipped a couple of 3/4 chair leg rubber tips over the adjusting bolts which fixed that little problem, you can trim them to height if need be.

I've had this Piranha DBM3 dual battery volt gauge for a while intending on fitting it to the Ute but there was a nice spot for it at the bottom of the dash so i siliconed it in place ... now all i need is a dual Battery system !!

The petrol Mav only has a small tray available for the dual battery.
I could modify the air inlet ducting and fit a 4.2 Diesel one but i might see if a 2.8 Diesel one will fit as they both take the larger battery.

The Petrol GQ only takes an 8" aux battery but i found an old aux tray out of a 2.8 diesel GQ ...
just had to move the coil and that ceramic block thing, bend the 6mm metal line out a bit and bend the aircon line a smidge then drill 4 new holes [the 2.8 picks up 2 existing threaded mounts] and it fitted in OK allowing a N70 battery ... so the ute is down a battery now... also stole a winch motor cable off the ute and wired the batteries together then chucked the fridge wiring into the wagon and moved the wagons original battery and plastic liner to the auxillary tray

while the battery was out i cleaned up the corrosion and repainted the original tray with some killrust ... luckily the plastic liner helps minimise rust so i chucked the liner from the ute in place before fitting the new battery out of the ute.

When i get time i might try fitting another alternator to the wagon to run the Aux battery as a completely separate system.

Took the Mav for a run up the beach as a test to see how it goes, while i had no problems with a run down the beach at high tide in soft sand i know i'll have to put some bigger tyres on and rip the side steps off to stop it dragging its guts everywhere we go.

Another problem found on the weekend was my tall passenger had her knee jammed up against the UHF hanging under the dash ... plus the UHF would not transmit and the receiving volume got softer and softer as the day went on making me believe the aerial was a problem...

I dug around the shed until i found the old home made console and the aerial from my old white GQ and with a bit of a scrub up they were installed to fix both problems as the console still had the GME4200 in it same as what was in the Ute when i bought it.

The Radiator overflow bottle was pretty brittle and you could easily poke a hole in it... i didn't have one so i finally had to dig in my pocket for a $30.00 Ebay replacement

So apart from the original purchase price and the number plates i have now spent $60.00 on it.

Mavred passed the 350,000 Km mark on the weekend so it was time to treat the old girl to some fresh oil and grease.

when i removed the oil filter i found it was the wrong one ... the Z145A is a fair bit smaller and is supposed to go on the 3.0 L petrol not the 4.2 L.

just been doing some checking on oil filters, these all have the same thread but different diameters and lengths
model-seal dia-dia-length
z145a-63-82-102=3.0 petrol
z503-70-94-127=one of the 4.2TD filters
z170-70-94-99=4.2 petrol carby GQ
z115-70-94-142=4.2 diesel GQ

so looks like i can use a Z9 on my 4.2TD and my 4.2P.

Took the Mav for a run to spicers Gap and the Condamine Gorge, went great.

I've had my Fathers old roof top tent sitting here since xmas and a heap of old steel out back of the shed so i spent a fair bit of time cleaning the rust off the steel to make it usable. [probably way more time cleaning it than making the frame ... and that includes grinding back my dodgy welds on the frame]

Spent all weekend grinding, wire brushing, cutting, welding, drilling, painting, glueing, screwing, making a frame and mounting the roof top tent on to the trailer...
finally opened it up ... and its stuffed ... holes everywhere!!

The frame slots into the top of the trailer...

The tent base even hinges up ... what will i use them for? stuffed if i know but they were already on there...

Wasn't sure whether to leave it low and cut the skirts off the vertical walls
or mount the tent higher so i made up some extensions for the frame ...
might leave them on for now just in case i have to live in it sometime ;-)

Now i Know what the hinges are for ...
its so you can get to the top of the frame to paint it ...

I dragged the old GQ subtank out from under the junk in the shed and checked it out ...
looks a bit rusty and dented but it still had diesel in it so shouldn't be too bad on the inside.
A bit of grinding and a lick of paint and it came up OK.

When i checked under the Mav i realised that the rear trailing arm bolt would not be able to be removed without taking the sub tank back out as it is quite long and removes into the space where the tank will fit so i thought i would simply turn it round before fitting the tank.

Naturally enough for me ... its not that simple as the side steps are in the way ... soooo .... time for a 3" lift ...
... well not really but removing the steps gives me 3" more clearance so they are staying off ;)

I've fitted the tank itself but found the filler hose has a split in it so it not connected to anything at the moment.

I had intended to just wack it in place and mark the holes to drill then remove it again but it was such a hard job sitting it in place that i drilled the holes and mounted it while it was up there.

The 70 Litre tank hangs about 35 mm below the chassis.

Had a dig through the shed and found a few springs to pick from but only 1 set of original shocks and a single Koni ... thought i had more than that :(

original GU ute shocks are 290-480 front, 380-605 rear
original GU ute springs are 15 x 392-393 front and 19 x 425-435 rear ... done 40,000 kms
original GQ wagon shocks are the same as GU
original GQ wagon springs are 15 x 387-390 front and 15-17 tapered 455-456 ... done 350,000 kms though.

The Koni 2" rear shock is 405-660

The bright yellow [used to be red so they could be Rancho springs] set measure 17 x 385-400 front and 19 x 448-458 rear and i thinks were a comfort set to suit a bullbar, i bought them used for the rancho in cab kit that came with the rancho shocks in the set.

The dull yellow set [kings springs] measure 18 x 385-395 front [KDFR42-HD], and 20 x 460-462 rear [KDRR43-HD]

The other two are Wizard 7" fronts

Looks like the Kings Springs will get the nod :)

will have to check the shocks on the Mav as they are not original rears but have genuine nissans [made by KYB] on the front so i will have to save up for some shocks.

The rear shocks are new Ultima gas shocks and are 405 to 665 so they will work OK with the raised springs but i'll need new front shocks although it drives allright with original shocks on the front.

the bump stops at the front have copped a hammering though and need to be replaced.

The test drive was a bit of a surprise ... the steering is lighter but the ride remained the same even with the extra heavy duty springs !!

I thought it would be a lot harsher but it appears that the springs don't have a lot to do with the ride quality so some new Koni's should make it ride very nice indeed.

The lift is very noticable from the old sagged springs and although its not on level ground or has an even load in it the lift is.
Front left 60mm
Front right 70mm
Rear left 75mm
Rear right 90mm
before and after...

just checking to see what it would look like with red wheels.

Good news !! ... i found the set of 4 Koni shocks i thought i had so i fitted them this morning and now have my perfect touring suspension set up.

The old Ultima rear shocks had spacers fitted to clear the Bump stop landing plates so i've left them in place... also fitted a front brake line spacer for extra brake line clearance.

Took the Mav for a run down to Byron bay...

I couldn't help myself and stole the mags off the Ute to put on the wagon but will have to change the tyres to 33 x 12.5 x 15.

the spare fits on the mount OK but with a brand new tyre on it i suspect it will just touch the rear tail light when the door is opened wide...

When i fitted the wheel to the rear and drove the front up on a car ramp the tyre hit the flare ...

So it was out with the grinder and i removed a bit off each rear section of the flares ...

Had to cut the front flares as well but i may also have to move the front diff forward to clear the mudflaps on cornering when the suspension is pushed up.

After driving the Mavrick at night with those Hella 160's on it convinced me that i needed to pinch the Vision X's off the ute.

Thought i would quickly fit them up but you should know my luck by now ...

Firstly they wouldn't fit between the top of the bar and the front of the car to get them down to the mounts ... found a way to get them in though ... then they hit the grill so i had to drill new holes to mount them.

i decided to run new wiring so i can take the lights off and leave the Hella's on when i know i'll be leaving the car parked somewhere sus.

i had a Vision X wiring loom but after fitting it i found the plugs are different so i had to cut the wires and solder in two different plugs
[and left the new style ones on there as well just in case i fit new lights at some stage]

Then the relay wouldn't work so i had to replace it after checking over all my work again to make sure i had the right polarity etc.

Finally they are on and working and i'm now so late leaving i'll probably need them tonight !!

Fitted the mags and 33 x 12.5 x 15 Maxxix Bighorns to the Mav today...

fitted in a shelving unit to replace the centre seats.
the top bits are removable and the unit allows room to strap a couple of jerry cans between it and the front seats.

Put the first couple of dents in it on the weekend.
playing at Levuka we drove down a double drop off over tree roots then back up again ... did these going down as it dropped off the edge of the tree roots.

Continueing with the cheap theme i decided to fit a dual battery system and picked up a 200 amp solenoid and a cable from supercheap then screwed them onto the firewall after moving the fuse holder i had previously fitted.

I fitted a switch so i could isolate the control wire for the solenoid

I wired the control from the blue wire at the wiper motor which switches off when starting or with the key out but switches on while running or on accessories.

It does the job but i have a couple of problems.
1: It stays on when the key is on accessories [i can switch it off with the switch though]
2: There is a difference of 0.6V while charging which must be due to the solenoid contacts as the wires are certainly big enough.
I will get around to changing the solenoid to a Ingram brand which has silver contacts and has worked well on my GU
3: The charging system would not be as good as a proper dual battery system but the batteries seem to equalise pretty well due to the large cables and i have had no problem using this system for the last ten years or so on my GU.

It cost me $25.00 for the solenoid and $7.00 for the cable and works so i can't complain.

I should use the oil pressure switch as the trigger wire for the solenoid then it will only be active whilst the motor is running... must get around to changing it one day.

A mate gave me a couple of bits [thanks Allan] to repair a couple of things on Mini Red ...

The Transfer case selector had rusted out and broken the rose joint down the bottom of the lever a month or so ago ...
had to cut the old one off with the grinder so it took a few hours but i don't have to reach under it to get 4WD low now :)

Also tested and found the fuel sender was faulty so chucked another sender in ... WOOHOO, i now have a working fuel gauge :)

I have had to use Mini Red for my new job for a few weeks until the new work van is bought and fitted out so i needed some roofracks ...
problem was i had no money at all but luckily had an old set of racks under the house.

When i dragged them out they were way too high as the mounts were 250 high so i cut a section out of the middle and moved the top bit down and welded it into the the inside of the bottom bit.
Also drilled some holes in the mount to use with locks, ocky straps or ratchet straps.

Mounted them up and they worked out well and cost nothing but time :)

I was given a small roof basket [Thanks Jo and Ron ] so now that i dont have to use MiniRed for work i fitted the basket and moved the racks to the rear to make it easy to load some firewood.
also fitted a bit of sailtrack so i can fit a small awning to the rear.
came in handy for a frosty weekend

Swapped the Heavy duty racks for a set of Rhino Racks and cut them shorter so they don't stick out so far and catch on trees and things then refitted the cage back on.

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