I had a few Starions about 10 years ago, when i was much younger and stupider... I wrecked them basically. They all still ran when I sold them, but I certainly didn't do them any favours. I attended a 'Japanese Nostalgic Car' meeting recently here in Christchurch, New Zealand, and there was a good lineup of Starions... I got the hankering once again, and just had to have one. A week later, after checking out everything in the country that was for sale I pulled the trigger on a Black 1982 GSRIII Jap import.
We got both New Zealand New (locally delivered) and Japanese Import Starions here, with the imports being far more common. The NZ New models were european export spec, typically having the larger TC06 turbo, leather interior, LSD's and an intercooler. After 85, they were all 5 stud too. We only ever got the narrowbody versions too, no widebody goodness for us, save a very very few private imports knocking around. Also important to note is that all starion sold here were 2.0l, we never got the g54b either, just a g63b for us.
So back to my car. The guy that optioned it originally in Japan has my utmost gratitude, as its fitted with a factory 3.909 small housing LSD. That's pretty damn rare for a jap import, and immediately made the car worth more than I paid for it (I didnt know at the time of purchase). Also, being GSRIII spec, it has the digital dash (I hated these 10 years ago when I had one, I love them now), and the Velnas trip computer system.
Soooo, It's time for pics, right?
First night in the garage was spent on axle stands, due to the need to aquire some wheels that didnt make me want to scratch my eyeballs out. A friend had some that came on an old 280z he bought for parts, cue swapsies.
Someone, at some stage, has put a few later model goodies on it, like the later front bar, and non-intercooled air-dam. That air-dam is actually a bit of a mystery, I've never seen one outside of the US, so I'm assuming it must have come from over there. Its also been treated to conquest badging and conquest tail-lights.
The interior was a big selling point, as its very tidy and quite original. The stereo and boost gauge were the first things removed. Unfortunately the boost gauge was glued to the dash, and has left a nasty mark behind... I'll find another dash one day (when i find a complete black interior also ).
The next couple of weeks were spent doing a myriad of little clean-up jobs to get it nice and reliable. I fixed a whole heap of really dodgy wiring. Took out the aftermarket headlight relay system, put it all back to factory, and it all worked flawlessly, score .
The conquest tails it came with were quite stuffed. I've aquired another set from MotoCam360, and am im the middle of refurbing and tinting them. In the meantime I bough and refurb'd a set of early jap starion tails. I understand they're hard to find over there, but over here they're actually the most common. I've got another couple of sets I'm going to fix up and have a go at selling I think.
Once the car was up and running, I brimmed the tank for the first time (EXPENSIVE!) and was puzzled to see the fuel gauge not even quiver... Hmmmmm Most disappointing, cue investigation.
this was the culprit. It hadn't had a full tank for such a long time the sender had corroded, hah. I gave it a good clean up and got it working again. For s**** and giggles, I actually priced up a whole new sender from Mitsubishi, and its was only $160NZ (around $120USD), ex japan. Not to bad I didn't think.
Now I had the beasty gassed up, I couldn't stop driving it. It had a wee miss though, around 2500-3000 rpm, only under cruise. I figured it was probably something to do with the emissions system, so I took the plunge and ripped the whole ECI unit to bits. A very very very long time ago I wrote this: http://prozac.orconh...de/rebuild.html , and it turned out to still be online, score! I decided to see how full of s*** I was, and went and got all the o-rings listed without double checking, and too my surprise, everything fit, hah!
All rebuilt, with all the emmissions guff removed. This gets you down to two vacuum lines only, one for the vac-advance on the distributor, and one for the MAP sensor. Once this was done, the car ran a heap better, smoother all round, the miss was gone, and its was even better on gas! Return to idle was much faster, and the idle itself rock solid. This is when the car became my daily, any excuse and I'm off driving it .
The suspension was now proving to be a bit tired and clunky. It is some 30 years old, so I cant really complain. I priced up OEM replacement stuff, and it was more expensive the after-market adjustable stuff... So I bet you can guess which way I went
Whilst I had the front end apart, it became apparent that every single ball-joint under there was knackered... This meant waiting a few days for parts to arrive, but I did both lower ball-joints, all the tie-rod ends, and had the drag link rebuilt. The steering setup on these cars really bothers me, and I'll be changing it down the line, but for now, I may as well at least make it safe (if still vague and unresponsive).
Ever get feeling that you just shouldnt have picked that scab? Well, in for a penny, in for a pound. Poking around under the front I also noticed that the radiator had seen much better days. A quick measure up showed and S13 radiator from and SR20 powered model to be a good replacement size. A couple of tabs welded on, and a new lower support made, and it fits like a glove. I've since learned that this is a pretty common swap, but when I did the measurements myself, I couldn't believe I'd found something that fit so well!
Edited by ZacMan, 26 July 2012 - 12:52 AM.