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 Post subject: Re: Eli's black forged Piazza
PostPosted: Fri Nov 02, 2012 1:07 am 
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Joined: Sun Aug 24, 2008 7:12 pm
Posts: 1938
Location: Windsor Gardens
Car(s): TX G180W+T, TE G180W, TG G180Z, Piazza 4ZC1T +more
Well, all rego'd, this thing is now sharing the daily driving with the Skyline (R31). It's driving quite nicely, and behaving itself with only one issue that comes to mind (the dash flickers sometimes, I'll have to clean up the contacts and re-solder it when I get time). It's reasonable in the hills with just Koni Reds in the front, although the tyres are absolutely rubbish. I should be getting the air con gassed next week, then I'll get the rear window removed so I can fix the hatch rust. While I'm at it, I'll remove the diff and get the LSD shimmed, it feels like an open wheeler at the moment.

Morgan - ha, yeah I have a copy of that. Surprisingly scarce Piazza content, it's mostly about two blokes on a road trip. It's still an alright read though!

Alex.james - I'm very interested to hear of a silver one driving recently, I saw one for sale around Para Hills last year with a smashed window, in appalling condition, and there's a (different) silver one at U Pull It South at the moment! I hope there's others out there, running.

As for the "worst cars" book - love it, they've probably never seen one, let alone driven it. There are a few motoring texts that slam the Piazza, but I'm willing to bet almost none of them have been in one. It's easy to pick on a car that noone's heard of! It hardly needs to be said, but since reasonably few people have/will drive a Piazza, I may as well rebut:
- The seats are great, my ladyfriend even commented on it out of the blue the other day when she sat in there! The driver's seat even has adjustable lateral (side) support, an adjustable lower back pad and the seat base can be tilted! Although some would know this from putting the seats in Geminis. Btw, there's a pair at U Pull It South at the moment (!), fabric's on its last legs but perhaps still worth it!
- The handling really isn't that bad. The Piazza is more of a tourer than a sports car, and the standard suspension is really comfy, fairly balanced but too soft for hard driving (like almost any 80's car). Chuck in some springs and shocks and they're very nice in the hills
- The dash is the opposite of thrown together! It's crazy 80's ideas, some good, some bad, but a world apart from the blandness that followed in the 90's
- The build quality seems fine to me, mine's got a little rust coming through, but no more than expected for something that's been out in the elements for 25+ years!

I also love how that book doesn't seem to be aware that Isuzu had been making cars since the 60s, and that Kadetts (basically Isuzu Geminis) were competitive rally cars...

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 Post subject: Re: Eli's black forged Piazza
PostPosted: Fri Nov 02, 2012 9:49 am 
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Joined: Tue Feb 10, 2009 12:40 pm
Posts: 206
Car(s): LC Torana, TD Gemini SL Sedan, TX Gemini SL Sedan
Book's also wrong because Isuzu did make those JT's after the piazza anyway..doesn't seem like the author did much research but it was good to see the rare car get a mention even if not positive. The silver one I saw definately wasn't in apalling condition so I don't think it was the Para Hills one.


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 Post subject: Re: Eli's black forged Piazza
PostPosted: Fri Nov 02, 2012 1:45 pm 
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Joined: Sun Aug 24, 2008 2:00 pm
Posts: 1134
Car(s): TX SR20DET, TX G200W, Dato 1200 Ute
Yeah, Ive seen that book before. Interesting book, but very wrong about the piazza and isuzu in general. I went looking for info and found this post to back it up. I'll link it here, but im sure you guys dont need to be told!

http://japanesenostalgiccar.com/forum/v ... 2&start=41


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 Post subject: Re: Eli's black forged Piazza
PostPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2012 2:29 am 
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Joined: Sun Aug 24, 2008 7:12 pm
Posts: 1938
Location: Windsor Gardens
Car(s): TX G180W+T, TE G180W, TG G180Z, Piazza 4ZC1T +more
Wow, that's a good read Ant!

Anyway, time for another update. As you guys no doubt remember, rained good and proper here the other day, so I went for a spirited drive in the deserted reaches of the hills. It occurs to me that even the slight lag from the IHI is annoying at times. Besides this, the Piazza was quite nice until a nail (long term resident) became dislodged from the front left tyre. Apparently said driving was all a bit too exciting for it. Turns out I had a spare (yay) and serviceable jack and wheel brace. The spare, however, was all down to steel belts, and had a bulge where the steel belts had broken and the last hope of rubber had egged through. Nevertheless, this got me home, and another retreaded spare (yaaaay) has now taken its place. To do: buy real tyres. Another goal of said hills drive was to take lightning photos, but apparently this isn't as easy as I had assumed, and the result included a few mediocre night shots.

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On Friday, I went to get the air con gassed, before realising the compressor wasn't plugged in, and that I couldn't see anywhere FOR it to plug in. Checked the spares Piazza to no avail, and had to cancel the appointment (sidenote - this is now sorted I think, I checked Lachlan's Piazza and found the right wire, connected to something else on mine... my bad). Instead, I went to Complete Windscreens and had them remove the rear window so I could fix the rust. Turns out the rust really wasn't that bad, not really worth plating. For some reason, most of the bottom section of the hatch had been bogged, even though it was straight, and the paint was super mega thick, to the point that most of the bubbling was just paint dying. I took all of the lower section back to bare metal, and today I finished MIG welding up the rust holes. A few burnt through and became a lot bigger (in hindsight, maybe plating would have been easier here, but there's no telling how big the holes would have grown then anyway). I'm happy with the result, and the windscreen mob are confident that a generic rubber will fit and it'll go back in no dramas.

Anyway. Whilst taking out interior panels, I noticed some rust in a fairly unexpected spot: under the left-hand side boot hinge, on the structural horizontal beam between the rear pillars. It was fairly serious, and in the single worst possible spot, ever, in the world, fullstop. Profanities. So today I had a crack at fixing it. This involved putting blankets and sheets in the vicinity, welder in the boot, hatch up, and kneeling backwards on the back seat (with a welding mask on, no less) and trying to spot weld a metal plate onto a car which was apparently made of fireworks. I cannot convey the sheer unpleasantness of this job. My neighbours will attest that an adequate description may entail the frequent use of an especially vulgar profanity commencing with the third letter of the English language. I hope their kids are too young to pick these things up. Sorry kids.

Basically, in work-safe terms, I had no room, couldn't see a thing due to the direction of sunglight, was in a horrendous position, the metal of the Piazza kept exploding in a ridiculous quantity of sparks, and all of said sparks fell down against my leg somehow, which burnt me a bit since I was in shorts (I was only intending to weld the hatch), the weld wouldn't take and it turned out the sheet and blanket were both synthetic, and caught on fire several times right above the back seat (!!!) before I FINALLY got the effing weld to take. It just started playing ball and I was about to call it a day, took my gloves off and then decided it needed an extra squirt of weld up the top for strength. I did so, and it was fine, til I looked down. The blanket was quite significantly on fire, a hole had appeared, and all of this suspended maybe 15cm above the very clean back seat! So I freak out and pat it out with my hands.

This is kinda the first time I've ever seen synthetic fabrics burn. Apparently all of my other rags were cotton. This ended badly. I was in emergency for a few hours... and was going to get sent to a plastics person (ie, skin grafting) but then they decided it'd be okay. Not really how I intended on spending the evening.

But, as I came home from hospital, I checked out the Piazza, a final consolation. The weld is strong (enough), and by some miracle, the seat wasn't burned. Or, if so, not noticeably. I have some pics, but I'll have to delay those for next time.

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 Post subject: Re: Eli's black forged Piazza
PostPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2012 11:38 pm 

Joined: Mon Jul 19, 2010 2:33 am
Posts: 366
Location: Adelaide, Gulfview Heights
Car(s): 1982 TF/TG SL (Daily Project)
I think you need some OH&S training. :P

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 Post subject: Re: Eli's black forged Piazza
PostPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2012 1:22 am 
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Joined: Sun Aug 24, 2008 7:12 pm
Posts: 1938
Location: Windsor Gardens
Car(s): TX G180W+T, TE G180W, TG G180Z, Piazza 4ZC1T +more
Pah, OH&S is for wimps hahaha. Nah, I really needed a welding/fire blanket, and to remove huge amounts of the interior.. but I doubt I could have removed it all and got it back in, in one piece. Oh well, it's done, and I'm sure a hell never doing it again... Stupid car *glare* haha.

I'm now trying to bog and prime one handed, which means pretty slow progress. Can't wait to have this done so I can drive it again. Although the diff needs shimming rather soon!

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 Post subject: Re: Eli's black forged Piazza
PostPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2012 11:50 am 
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Joined: Tue Feb 10, 2009 12:40 pm
Posts: 206
Car(s): LC Torana, TD Gemini SL Sedan, TX Gemini SL Sedan
That's sounds like a shocker - the fire incident. How bad does your hand look now & how long until you can use it properly again? Even though you used your own skin at least you got the fire out so it could have been much worse.


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 Post subject: Re: Eli's black forged Piazza
PostPosted: Sat Nov 17, 2012 10:27 am 
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Car(s): TX SR20DET, TX G200W, Dato 1200 Ute
wow thats dedication! not so good about the fire but glad your gonna be ok, and theres no burns in the car. synthetics=bad, thats why they make you wear a long sleeve non-synthetic top at the track! I bet you dont make that mistake again, though!


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 Post subject: Re: Eli's black forged Piazza
PostPosted: Sat Nov 17, 2012 2:11 pm 
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Joined: Sun Aug 24, 2008 7:12 pm
Posts: 1938
Location: Windsor Gardens
Car(s): TX G180W+T, TE G180W, TG G180Z, Piazza 4ZC1T +more
Thanks guys! The finger's healing fairly well, still all bubbly and very open, so having to keep it covered. I can use it to type now but not much else. Hopefully in a week or two it'll stop holding me back on the car - so frustrating! Weather is good too. And you're dead right Ant - I won't make that mistake again, and can really appreciate the need for at least cotton at the track!

Well, the rust repairs have now been bogged, I have to sand them back and prime/paint, then I can get this (bloody) rear window back in!

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 Post subject: Re: Eli's black forged Piazza
PostPosted: Sun Jun 16, 2013 9:37 pm 

Joined: Sun Nov 28, 2010 3:28 pm
Posts: 19
Car(s): Isuzu Bellett, Nissan Patrol & Subaru Liberty
nice work on getting this one back on the road? looks very familiar to me, a friend used to have a black one with the aa rego plate his wife used to drive, i got to drive it a couple of times and thought it was pretty cool!


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