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Old 04-02-2015, 08:36 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default 1987 Hardtop

I just recently purchased a 1987 hardtop with 166K miles. It was basically stock, and I intend to keep it that way, more or less. I'm going to restore it as a college graduation present for my youngest daughter, who's transferring to the University of Hawaii in the fall.

I started a separate thread about swapping seats, and started posting other non-seat related things in there, so I'm going to start this one to keep track. I did get a set of VW Mark I seats installed, which apparently wasn't that difficult for the welder to do. Got new catalytic converter and muffler in 2.25" diameter with new exhaust piping, new KYB gas shocks, new steering dampner, oil cooler, WoLo compact air horn, 215/75-15 General Grabber AT2 tires, new front speakers / Kenwood stereo / new surface mount rear speakers, replaced the interior panels with wood ones, new wood steering wheel, new wood shift knob, new front and rear bumpers, new front bumper end caps, cut out the slots on the vent in front of the windshield and replaced with a removeable aluminum cover (there was a LOT of leaves and debris in there, and I couldn't get to it from the engine compartment, and didn't want to attempt to get at it from the dash side, so I just cut the slots, cleaned it out, then cut an aluminum cover over it), repainted the wiper arms / side mirror bodies / fender flares / pushbar / bumpers / headlight guards / rear turn signal guards / with bedliner coating (gotta love that gallon can of Rustoleum roll-on bedliner coating!), etc.

Things still on my "to do" list are replace the leaf spring bushings front and back, replace the sway bar bushings, replace the engine and trans, limo tint the three rear windows, got all the floor rust repaired, rhino-line the floor, new carpet, new headliner to match the seats, new paint (might go with color-matched bedliner coating on the outside, to give the thin steel some weight, and help quiet things down), maybe a pair of driving lights, roof rack, etc. I'm sure my daughter will like it when it's done, and will be motivated to learn how to drive a stick!

So here's pics of the work in progress...
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1987 Hardtop-samurai_20150329f.jpg   1987 Hardtop-samurai_20150329d.jpg   1987 Hardtop-samurai_20150329g.jpg   1987 Hardtop-samurai_20150329h.jpg   1987 Hardtop-samurai_20150402a.jpg  

1987 Hardtop-samurai_20150402b.jpg   1987 Hardtop-samurai_20150402c.jpg   1987 Hardtop-samurai_20150402d.jpg   1987 Hardtop-samurai_20150402f.jpg  
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Old 04-03-2015, 12:54 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Like i said in another thread I am sure you daughter will love it.
One thing you may consider is replacing the rear speakers you have right now with as set built into the panels above the wheel arches.That will give a more refined look than the exposed.speaker boxes...and save any rear seat passangers from a dinged head.
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Last edited by ebattleon; 04-03-2015 at 12:56 PM.
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Old 04-03-2015, 02:52 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Rear seat is staying out, and I didn't want anyone cutting into the rear panels. I might even get a wild hair and have a 10" sub box mounted on the inside of the rear door, lol...
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Old 04-03-2015, 04:26 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Not to sound like a smart ass but you have wood panels there and not oem panels. Aside from that you have the option of installing speakers on the panels because they are flush AND STILL be able to install a subwoofer box in the future if you choose to. I will post pics of mine to show you how they look.
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Last edited by ammoduc; 04-03-2015 at 04:35 PM.
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Old 04-03-2015, 10:18 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ammoduc View Post
Not to sound like a smart ass but you have wood panels there and not oem panels. Aside from that you have the option of installing speakers on the panels because they are flush AND STILL be able to install a subwoofer box in the future if you choose to. I will post pics of mine to show you how they look.
I forgot to mention the reason for the wood. There's a particular type of wood that's found only in Hawaii, Koa wood I think it's called. I have two Koa wood shift knobs, but haven't gotten the threaded inserts put in them yet. And since my youngest will be going to the University of Hawaii, and bought a Koa wood ring at the Aloha Stadium swap meet, I decided to replace the interior panels with wood, get a wood steering wheel, and wood shift knobs. True, it's not OEM, but it's in keeping with the Hawaii / Koa wood resto theme. Once I get the Koa knobs installed, I'll probably try and stain/clearcoat the wood panels to match them as close as I can. She'll get it when I tell her what I was trying to do.
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Old 04-08-2015, 05:13 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Here are some pics of the Koa wood shift knobs I finally got around to installing, and the basis for doing the wood theme on the inside in the first place. With shipping, the two knobs were around $40, but I had to buy some threaded inserts (M12x1.25, $9 ea), and a 19/32nds drill bit ($15) to seat the inserts inside the knobs. So the total costs for the knobs was about $37 each, kinda pricey, but at least I can tell her it's Hawaiian wood inside her Samurai, and she'll get the significance of that. I decided to use the round one on the transmission and the mushroom-shaped one for the transfer case, to give it more leverage.
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1987 Hardtop-samurai_20150408a.jpg   1987 Hardtop-samurai_20150408b.jpg   1987 Hardtop-samurai_20150408c.jpg   1987 Hardtop-samurai_20150408d.jpg   1987 Hardtop-samurai_20150408e.jpg  

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Old 04-11-2015, 01:49 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Wheels

Got another set of steel wheels from a local Samurai guru, and painted the faces with bedliner coating with about 4 coats. Swapped the tires over, and got the new tires/wheels on the truck. I'm sort of ambivalent about how they look, but they look better than the rusty white wheels that were on there. I may get the white spoked wheels painted black, not sure on that yet.

Also replaced the regular open lug nuts with some black tuner lug nuts, to hide those dirty/rusty looking wheel studs and nuts.
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1987 Hardtop-samurai_20150410a.jpg   1987 Hardtop-samurai_20150410b.jpg   1987 Hardtop-samurai_20150411a.jpg   1987 Hardtop-samurai_20150411b.jpg  
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Old 04-16-2015, 08:40 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Fuel pump

So I'm driving the Sammy to work the other morning, and it keeps losing power, then catches itself, then dies, then catches, etc. I limped back home and took the other car to work, which gave me time to think about what was happening.

Since it would go thru a cycle of off/on power, but not lose electrical (lights and radio worked during the whole cycle), I figured it wasn't electrical in nature. My initial guess was it was fuel related, probably fuel pump, but not sure if it was the one in the tank or the mechanical one at the block. Since the truck has over 160K miles, I'm assuming it still had the stock fuel pumps, so I decided to replace the mechanical fuel pump, assuming it would be cheaper than the in-tank fuel pump.

Online research found an OEM mechanical fuel pump at Advance Auto for $50, so I had them put it on the shelf and I picked it up after work. I read thru the Chilton's manual on where to locate it and how to replace it, and off I went. Couldn't have been any easier to replace: loosen three hose clamps, pull off three hoses, remove two nuts, remove pump and gasket, clean surface, clean/lube fuel pump acutator rod, put on new gasket and pump, install/tighten two nuts, attach hoses, tighten clamps, done. Took me all of about 20 minutes from start to finish.

Kept my fingers crossed as I turned the key, and viola, she fired right up. I let it idle for a few minutes while I put away my tools, then took her out for a test drive. Didn't exhibit ANY of the issues I had before, ran good and strong the whole drive.

So for $50 and less than half an hour of my time, she's running good and strong again. Man, this thing is easy to work on (so far!).
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Old 04-25-2015, 09:03 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Tinted windows

Got the back three windows tinted with 5 percent. Looks better, matches the black wheels and fender flares, and keeps things in the back free from prying eyes!
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1987 Hardtop-samurai_20150425a.jpg   1987 Hardtop-samurai_20150425b.jpg  
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Old 04-25-2015, 09:52 AM   #10 (permalink)
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That looks great, its taking on a cool character but I agree with you about the wheels. I have to preface this by saying that I do not care for bling or chrome in any excess at all. I think replacing the lug nuts with chrome ones would make a huge difference in the overall look of the wheel and the whole vehicle itself. Wheels can make or break the aesthetics of a vehicle. Small details can have a significant impact. I vote RR those, I really don't think you will regret it.

The tint looks great, I wish I could tint mine but it hinders my ability to see around while wheeling in the hills at night, sucks because I think the AC would work an assload better without all the solar heat working against me.
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