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 Post subject: 1979 TD Wagon: The Investment (AKA... WTF is wrong with me?)
PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2013 12:15 am 
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Joined: Sun Oct 05, 2008 9:02 pm
Posts: 1567
Location: Mount Barker, Touge Country
Car(s): Many Many Many Geminis
So, history should tell you guys, if a Gem is up for sale locally at a cheap price, you should buy it or else I will :P

Picked it up on Saturday, have since put at least 400km on it with not major issues so far.

In case you might be wondering what the hell possessed me to buy another wagon, I had an acco in my Daily Cefiro a few weeks ago, which left me without wheels. This will keep me out of trouble until I find something to replace that, as I still need to sell it on.

Basic plans, aside from the big one which was get the Crystal Vaults off (Sorry Jake, but I personally couldn't stand them), are to just keep it clean, keep it driving, and hopefully tidy it up before it leaves the family.

So here's the rundown, in case you guys didn't see the FS thread.

1979 TD Wagon
G180Z, 5 speed, DGV, extractors all the usual stuff. Still runs a standard cam though by the looks of things.
2 1/4" exhaust and dump tip
Retrimmed interior with headlining, door trims, carpet, and moulded mattress (Inb4 shaggin wagon comments)
Interior is dynamatted, and has a pretty decent sound system with splits and 6x9s
Seats I'm not sure of, most likely Honda or something similar. Feel pretty nice aside from a broken seat mount on the drivers
King Springs, KYB shocks, Whiteline rear swaybar (pretty sure the front is standard)
Piazza front brakes, VS rears
Rewired loom with TE tacho cluster and hidden engine bay wiring, battery moved just behind driver's seat
Internally regulated alternator conversion
Currently sitting on my old 15" Speedlines with VERY old rubber
Switched from TD IKI square lights to TX front end with H4 lights

Pics (slightly more artsy than usual since I now have an SLR and felt like playing around a bit):

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The basic list of things I'd like to work on, when I get time between the Geminats build (this will be the backup car if that isn't finished in time) and everything else I'm working on at the moment:

New rubber, or at least something better than what is on the Speedlines now.
Basic service, detail and coolant flush
Broken seat mount rewelded to floor
Battery clamped down
Tailgate and drivers door realigned, rear bumper mounts straightened
Handbrake cable reattached
Interior details
Grille sanded and mesh painted
Roof scrubbed up and repainted
Motor appears to have a bit of chain slap, hopefully just a new tensioner and chain. Failing that I have a good strong 161 from the red TE to put in.
Clutch readjusted

Long-ish term I might see about using some cool bits I have lying around that I have no real use for. I have full E1 EFI as well as a JE Camira loom (perfect for Delco conversion), as well as a spare set of twin IDF 40s I've been meaning to put on something... depends on how long I intend to keep this one.

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Performance/Rare Parts FS!: viewtopic.php?f=9&t=3449&p=24785#p24785


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 Post subject: Re: 1979 TD Wagon: The Investment (AKA... WTF is wrong with
PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2013 12:26 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
"TX" wagon - all of the hax!

Nice :)

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Cheap car service/tunes available, can come to you. PM me.
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 Post subject: Re: 1979 TD Wagon: The Investment (AKA... WTF is wrong with
PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2013 4:45 pm 
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Joined: Sun Aug 24, 2008 2:00 pm
Posts: 1134
Car(s): TX SR20DET, TX G200W, Dato 1200 Ute
I like it, and it sounds drivable right now. Score!


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 Post subject: Re: 1979 TD Wagon: The Investment (AKA... WTF is wrong with
PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2013 12:25 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
Jixed it Ant. That's all I'm saying!

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Cheap car service/tunes available, can come to you. PM me.
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 Post subject: Re: 1979 TD Wagon: The Investment (AKA... WTF is wrong with
PostPosted: Sat Mar 02, 2013 9:38 am 
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Joined: Sun Oct 05, 2008 9:02 pm
Posts: 1567
Location: Mount Barker, Touge Country
Car(s): Many Many Many Geminis
^^^ Correct :(

The thing has been chewing through coolant fairly regularly, so I'd been keeping it constantly topped up with water, and assumed either the water pump or the rad was causing it to overheat and pressurize, pushing it all out of the overflow.

However, even with a full rad, I tried driving it down the freeway last weekend, and it got to breaking point. Stopped in Bridgewater, spent about 30mins dumping water on the core to cool it down, and just got it home. Seems like in that moment it blew the head gasket. My luck really isn't all that good is it?

Pulled the motor out the next day, and am still trying to get the spare 161 in there so I can keep it driving. Upon removing the rocker cover I can see it has had some money spent in a few places, but it needs a good freshen up.
At this point, my diagnosis for why it was originally chewing coolant has changing to the double row timing chain it has, wearing through the timing case and the water jacket that runs right past the chain. Normally you pre-wear a slight relief in the case (dodgy) or use thicker timing case gaskets to space it out. However, if the tensioner and guides fail, which I believe they have, the chain will still slap around and wear through the jacket.

I still need to disassemble and confrim, but one things for sure, this thing deserves an overhaul. Before the head gasket went, it showed some real potential. So it'll be getting a full gasket set, a reconditioned head (with some match porting as it appears stock), one of my mild grind cams I have sitting around, detailing, H/D clutch, and most importantly my spare IDF webers which I've been thinking of selling. When it goes back together, probably after 'nats at this rate, it'll be a nice little weapon :D

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Performance/Rare Parts FS!: viewtopic.php?f=9&t=3449&p=24785#p24785


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 Post subject: Re: 1979 TD Wagon: The Investment (AKA... WTF is wrong with
PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2013 4:26 pm 
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Joined: Sun Aug 24, 2008 2:00 pm
Posts: 1134
Car(s): TX SR20DET, TX G200W, Dato 1200 Ute
Or before the nats and drive it over and enter the ringwood park hillclimb which is going ahead?


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 Post subject: Re: 1979 TD Wagon: The Investment (AKA... WTF is wrong with
PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2013 9:12 pm 
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Joined: Sun Oct 05, 2008 9:02 pm
Posts: 1567
Location: Mount Barker, Touge Country
Car(s): Many Many Many Geminis
Not really interested in the hillclimb if I'm honest, and I don't want to risk anything happening to the car making it unable to be driven back.
I also won't be able to commit the time to doing the rebuild in the space of a few weeks, as I'm still trying to sell my crashed Cefiro on and sort out a lot of work-related stuff going on right now. However, it will be next on the list after 'nats, and I might even chuck it in the Coupe to get me some laps and to set it up properly, as well as giving me the time to nut out the issues with the twincam.

I did pull the head off yesterday and can confirm the head gasket did indeed fail. However the oil and water have been mixing, while the gasket was only blown at a water jacket at no.1
Pretty confident the failure that started all this was the timing case being worn through, however I haven't gotten that far yet. I've also found a few more interesting bits; it had a shim plate under the head gasket which is a little unusual, and it's been bored out with 0.50 oversized flat tops. The head is also in quite good condition, small port with 42mm inlet valves, double valve springs, and no egr.

Also finished dropping in the spare motor, and got it kicking over after replacing the top hat on the weber (press fit fuel hose fittings coming loose and spewing petrol everywhere). Should hopefully be back to running by the weekend, and will be able to see if it will be ready to make the trip over or not...

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