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Thread: Newbie here. - 1981 L200 1st gen Restoration

  1. #1

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    Newbie here. - 1981 L200 1st gen Restoration

    Hi everyone!
    My name is Nacho (shorten for Ignacio) and i'm next to acquire a 1981 mitsubishi L200.


    The story goes like this. I drive a 2007 VW gol, but i have to sell it in order to buy my own house (oportunity has come so bye bye rent). So i was looking to buy a cheaper car to keep a mean of transportation. My dad is a mechanic and i've always been around cars. He bought this truck some time ago to help my uncle (he had to sell his car due to medical issues). The L200 first came with the camshaft broken, he repaired and the truck was ready to use. My uncle now is unable to drive due his condition so the truck is kept in my late grandfather's garage. Last weekend we went to that house, wich is located in a town about 80 km from my home city.
    The truck's body is not in the best shape, but it has all the original paintjob. Seats and door panels are in really good shape and the engine is running wonderfully.
    As it was in my grandfathers town, i've never lay eyes on it until this last weekend. It was love at fist sight. Can't wait to next weekend to see her again, clean her and start to see whats going on.


    Leave you some pics i took... There are not the best but... I'll keep posting as long the project gets in motion...
    It will be a loooong time to leave her like i imagine, cause with all this plans i dont have a lot of extra money to spend but... Let's see what we can do.

    Leave you some pics...

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  2. #2

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    leave you some more pics!

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  3. #3

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    Keep us updated Mechanic, I know i want to see more pictures of this interesting little truck! Welcome to the site, cheers from NorCal

  4. #4

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    Hi and welcome to mightyram. Your L200 has had a tough life but it looks like most of the damage isn't bad. Hopefully you can find some good parts from wrecks. Do you know what engine your L200 has?

  5. #5

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    [QUOTE=geezer101;57601]Hi and welcome to mightyram. Your L200 has had a tough life but it looks like most of the damage isn't bad. Hopefully you can find some good parts from wrecks. Do you know what engine your L200 has?[/QUOT

    Hi guys, and thanks for the warm welcome!
    The engine is a 1.6 L - 4 cylinder 4G32. I have a long term idea to swap it for a 2.0 4G63 T. But that's not gonna happen in a while.
    The truck luckily doesn't have any structural damage as never was involved in any crash whatsoever and the mileage is relatively low (185500 kms aprox since factory release), but the previous owner got the engine broken and since here in my country the aftermarket parts for this truck are pretty impossible to get, this little fellow spend 8 years rotting below a tree waiting to be rescued... And here we are!
    Let's see what we can do, I was searching through ebay and saw that there are some parts available...


    Needing right now:
    The two dual-coloured front bumper turning lights
    The two tail light lenses.
    The two window belt mouldings.


    This grill is impossible so i guess im going to have to fix it.


    The main problem that the truck has is the floors, they are pretty rusted out but nothing impossible to fix.


    I'll keep the updates going as long as the proyect goes forward!

  6. #6

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    There are aftermarket tail light lenses available from Thailand - they are cheap but not the greatest quality (the lenses don't seal very well and they tend to fade but they will make your truck legal to drive. You can still get genuine lenses but they are hard to find and are expensive! I haven't looked for the front lights but I think they should also be available from Thailand. The door glass scraper rubbers are the same as the earlier small Ford and Mazda B series trucks so you can source them used, the added bonus is they use plastic clips instead of the metal ones and are easy to get. Dual round grilles are not easy to find but they do come up from time to time. The biggest problem is how big they are - shipping is not cheap. I was surprised your truck is running the 1.6 engine. The 4G63 will give the truck that extra power it really needs, if you can find a later truck with the 5 speed transmission as well it will be a good improvement. I have been building an L200 as well and ran into similar problems with finding parts (mine has the 4" x 6" headlights like the US models) and I ended up buying a complete wreck to salvage parts from. Keep us posted on your progress

  7. #7

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    Thanks geezer101. Great info! Didn't know about the door glass scraper rubbers!
    Yes, sadly the engine is not the most powerful one but it will do the job for now. You'll be really surprised how damn expensive is here to swap an engine. In chile, for example, a guy were selling a 4g63 with the complete fuel injection sistem, the 4wd 5th gear box and all the original wiring complete for just the equivalent to u$s 1400. Here only a peeled block with no papers whatsoever, only the block (no pistons, no crankshaft, no head cylinder, no gearbox, nothing) u$s 900. And it has no papers so it can be destined only to drag racing or any other non-regulated motorsport, like some rally leagues.
    However i'm keeping my hopes up to get my hands on one of those engines sometimes. But first things first. Now im focused to recovering the truck from his actual state so i can use it to drive it on daily bases.
    Im guessing next weekend i'm going to do some more work on it. Probably washing the engine and start to dissasemble some parts to see whats going on.

    Keeping you posted!
    Thanks again!

  8. #8

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    I first learned about engines with the 4G32. They were in the early front wheel drive Mitsubishi R series Colt made from 79-89 and Galants and Lancers made through the 1970's. You can make them run very smooth by getting rid of the anti pollution stuff and port matching the heads to the inlet manifolds. A tip for cleaning an engine bay - use non caustic oven cleaner. It is cleaner to work with than spray on degreaser and it works a lot better. Spray it on, work it with a paint brush and hose it off. It would take a few cans of degreaser to get a really dirty engine clean but one can of oven cleaner will do the job and not leave a mess all over your driveway.

  9. #9

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    looks pretty good for an old truck over there, They get used like they should on the caminos de tierra

    what area are you from?


    we can get the front lenses fairly cheaply here in NZ but i think they are just the thai reproductions. i saw a used twin light grill for sale the other day but was over $100

  10. #10

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    Hi tortron!
    I'm from Rosario, a city located in Santa Fe province, Argentina.
    I'm just about to lose mi hopes on getting genuine tail lights, y saw some complete aftermarkets lights for sale and, also, only the lenses... I don't know which option to choose, if just buying the lenses or the complete tail light. Both are from thailand. What do you think?
    Also i'm looking for this model's front bumper turn lights. They are dual-coloured (orange-white) orange for turn light signal and white for position lights.
    The only ones that i could find on ebay was from a guy from Australia but he wouldn't ship them to Argentina. So i'm stuck with these too.
    If you have any suggestions i'll be very grateful.

    Thanks

  11. #11

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    Welcome will be interesting seeing how this comes out!

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by tortron View Post
    looks pretty good for an old truck over there, They get used like they should on the caminos de tierra

    what area are you from?


    we can get the front lenses fairly cheaply here in NZ but i think they are just the thai reproductions. i saw a used twin light grill for sale the other day but was over $100
    Hi tortron!
    I'm from Rosario, a city located in Santa Fe province, Argentina.
    I'm just about to lose mi hopes on getting genuine tail lights, y saw some complete aftermarkets lights for sale and, also, only the lenses... I don't know which option to choose, if just buying the lenses or the complete tail light. Both are from thailand. What do you think?
    Also i'm looking for this model's front bumper turn lights. They are dual-coloured (orange-white) orange for turn light signal and white for position lights.
    The only ones that i could find on ebay was from a guy from Australia but he wouldn't ship them to Argentina. So i'm stuck with these too.
    If you have any suggestions i'll be very grateful.


    Thanks

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Law Dog View Post
    Welcome will be interesting seeing how this comes out!
    Thank you!

  14. #14

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    In the midtime, if you allow me, i'd like to show you guys my previous Project.
    He was a '96 VW Gol that i've restored from scratch. I sold HIM in last december buy he was 11 years with me.
    Since this is a Mitsubishi / Dodge, etc. fórum, i'm only going to post two pics to show you only the before / after.
    If the moderators consider this post to be out of place, please be free to delete it.

    Thanks!

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  15. #15

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    i recently got a pair of replacement 2nd gen housings and lenses.
    my advice is to keep the original housings if possible, the new ones are ever so slightly incorrect and dont fit nicely on the body, they are also thinner plastic. The wiring plug was all wrong so i had to depin it and put the wires back in the correct positions, the earth wires for the bulbs were simply tucked into where the bulbs go (the original is soldered onto the bulb housing) and none of the connectors are sealed (the originals are sealed on the backs of the bulbs), Also there was no gasket included for between the lens and housing so water would get inside easily.

    All that can be improved with a little work however.
    The lenses are about 1/3 the thickness of the original ones. i have had them on the truck for nearly 6 months and they seem ok otherwise.

    I have seen those front lenses for sale over here, if i see them again i will ask about them for you

  16. #16

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    THAT is one serious restoration project. It probably would've ended up in a scrap yard anywhere else. You definitely have the skills to fix the L200 if you can restore a Golf that badly beat up...

  17. #17

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    Ok Tortron I'll follow your advice by keeping the genuine housings! Thanks for all the info!

    Thank you very much for your words geezer. Cars are my passion and for me it's like a hobbie, so i try to take my time in every detail. The car that i showed wasn't a VW Golf, it was a VW gol (without the final F). It is a car designed and manufactured in Brazil, and it was only sold in latin america and mexico. Is a very popular model down this areas. They are just about to release the 8th generation. The white that i restored is a 2nd gen. I'm now driving a 4th gen. I invite you to google it and aldo see what it can do in drag races. Search "velopark" or "hot campinhas" on you tube and you'll see!
    Cheers!

  18. #18

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    It looks similar to an earlier generation SEAT Ibiza. To bring any car back from the dead is no meat feat. Bravo We do have a section for members with other cars here on the forum so feel free to add anything to it with your own thread.

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