Author Topic: Sierra project  (Read 25558 times)

Offline James R

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Sierra project
« on: March 02, 2015, 10:52:20 AM »
Well the stars aligned, the missus approved and we now have a Sierra in the family!
Picking it up this weekend, can't wait  :armsup:

It's a stock 11/88 sj soft top and will be my project for...well honestly quite some time. I'll be keeping the gv for daily and moderate off road, the Sierra will do what sierras do  ;) it will give me time to practice wheeling while I build this up.
I will thank and apologise in advance for all the help and stupid questions I will no doubt rely on and ask along the way. I have a rough idea of what I'll be doing but I'm also open to any ideas - blank canvas - what would you do?





In terms of a name - I'm open as well. I Have a couple in mind, but probably won't settle until it's home and happy.
Jellybean - 1999 SWB Grand Vitara 1.6L
The Project - 1988 and a half SWB SJ50 soft top
The Highlander - 1987 lwb canopy

Offline Tanshi

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Re: Sierra project
« Reply #1 on: March 02, 2015, 11:01:58 AM »
congrats,  welcome to the dark side.

If I was to build a sierra I would:
in this order.
1. armour, (fuel tank guard, sliders or RHS sills, bull bar/ rear bar)
2. decide what tyre size to run and gear it accordingly.  31s will require at least 4.9:1 transfer gears.   
3. chromo axles for the front end.  31s will require these in short order as stockers wont hold up for long.

that will give you a great toy,   the sky is the limit with what you can spend but you don't really need to do so just to enjoy learning to wheel
Hunting for bigger tyres so I can get over myself.

Offline DMAC

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Re: Sierra project
« Reply #2 on: March 02, 2015, 12:43:49 PM »
Roll Bar.
Helmet.
Fire extingisher.

 .applaud. You got a toy!! Not going to ask how you got those points.

First thing I did was check mechanicals. Oils, Fliuds, Brakes, Belts, Plugs, Swivel Hubs, Transfer Bush, Spring Bushes, ect.

Tyres? Are the GV rims interchangeable?
Bigger Tyres = Gears.  Being able to drive slow is the best for 4WDing.
Off Raod only?  Weld the rear diff/Spool.
As Tanshi said protection. Depends on how long you want it to look straight though.

PS. The only stupid question is the one that isn't asked. Unless it's asked on Boostcruzin'

Offline James R

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Re: Sierra project
« Reply #3 on: March 02, 2015, 03:33:57 PM »
The only way to get it approved by the Minister of War and Finance was that it would still be road legal.
It will need a thorough going-over mechanically obviously. The tranny and engine are out, the engine is dismantled after overheating and oil/water trying to mix so a rebuild/replace will be needed. Apart from the unavoidable rust and mouldy soft top, the body is pretty mint so I'll be TRYING to minimise damage.

I'll be adding armour to the front, rear, sides and underneath. The sills will become RHS very easily given the rust therein  rofl I'd seriously like to try the tube flares/guard chop a-la Random Reverse.
30" tyres - maybe 31's and associated gearing/running gear.
Some extra suspension travel.
Usual blingage - UHF, LED

It will be a drawn-out process that will probably never end, I'm in no rush (yet) and will be getting the above works done while it's not registered and already in pieces. I'm hoping that as my driving improves, the Sierra will near completion.
Jellybean - 1999 SWB Grand Vitara 1.6L
The Project - 1988 and a half SWB SJ50 soft top
The Highlander - 1987 lwb canopy

Offline GP

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Re: Sierra project
« Reply #4 on: March 02, 2015, 06:28:47 PM »
Well looking at the number plate.....Give it a manly name... like Jamal ... stands for Handsome 

anyway you pick the name .  I let my daughters pick ours and look what happened!

Offline just cruizin

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Re: Sierra project
« Reply #5 on: March 02, 2015, 11:00:31 PM »
Probably the pick of the Sierra's pending what the transfer is. Handbrake on the transfer or rear wheels? Are the driveshaft bolts 8 or 10mm.

What you have is the change over model between NT and WT with plastic flares. It has nearly the best of both worlds. Same as Casper.

Don't worry it won't be legal, not one modified Sierra I know of is, but it can capable and not attract the wrong attention very easily.
Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

Offline James R

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Re: Sierra project
« Reply #6 on: March 08, 2015, 06:26:26 PM »
Well with a much appreciated hand from Mark, the project is home!


Off came the soft top, then out came the seats (some odd shaped brackets - maybe not originals?) I started to feel sorry for whoever did the soundproofing and carpet. It was a well done job and I just tore it all out  ;DEvil;


Then the plastic sill covers and flares came off. I managed to not save a single plastic clip! But the rhs sills and guard chop will probably make that irrelevant.


Found some nasty rust hiding in the roof cross member and b pillars. Might need a solution there...


And sorry Dave, yes the wheels look interchangeable. They are same stud pattern and running 215 tyres, but the Sierra have 215/80/15 and the gv 215/75/15, does that mean the gv tyres are slightly smaller? If you look closely, it has something similar to an internal roll bar!

Greg the handbrake is actually on the rear if that makes a difference?

The deconstruction is great fun - but I have a sinking feeling this the most fun I'll have until it's running. I see lost money, lost skin and nights on the couch in my future  rofl
Jellybean - 1999 SWB Grand Vitara 1.6L
The Project - 1988 and a half SWB SJ50 soft top
The Highlander - 1987 lwb canopy

Offline mrw82

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Re: Sierra project
« Reply #7 on: March 08, 2015, 06:37:17 PM »
I see lost money, lost skin and nights on the couch in my future  rofl

Welcome to the life of a Sierra owner!  rofl
PRADO  a toyota it is, a suzuki it aint.

SNOTBOX   ready for play

TEAM NFI = If you can't make it, break it.

Offline Scrawny

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Re: Sierra project
« Reply #8 on: March 08, 2015, 06:55:48 PM »
Looks like a grab handle tacked on the roll bar at the top? Not a very well designed roll bar though

Offline Tanshi

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Re: Sierra project
« Reply #9 on: March 09, 2015, 09:02:11 AM »
looks like a good start. 

enjoy the build and welcome the nights on the couch,  rofl
Hunting for bigger tyres so I can get over myself.

Offline James R

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Re: Sierra project
« Reply #10 on: March 18, 2015, 04:28:28 PM »
At some stage I'll be doing an RUF. I've been searching it up, but just wondering how others have done it on wt? The front hanger is off-set from the chassis
Jellybean - 1999 SWB Grand Vitara 1.6L
The Project - 1988 and a half SWB SJ50 soft top
The Highlander - 1987 lwb canopy

Offline Tanshi

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Re: Sierra project
« Reply #11 on: March 18, 2015, 04:45:04 PM »
when we do one,  we make an extended shackle mount, that over hangs the front.  saves adding chassis extensions etc.

Hunting for bigger tyres so I can get over myself.

Offline just cruizin

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Re: Sierra project
« Reply #12 on: March 18, 2015, 11:16:08 PM »
Darrens way is the best, the cheat way is just to redrill the back mount.  But you loss the slight wheel base increase.

Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

Offline James R

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Re: Sierra project
« Reply #13 on: April 03, 2015, 04:12:23 PM »
So the old house has it's first coat of paint, which means I get some Sierra time  <ii>
I'm hoping to get the body off this weekend. My plan is to do a thorough tidy up of the body and chassis. Figured since I'm still learning...everything, it will be easier when the time comes to do sills/guard chop/paint etc.

Is there anything I need to be aware/careful of in the body removal process? Just for fun, pretend I'm clueless   ???
Jellybean - 1999 SWB Grand Vitara 1.6L
The Project - 1988 and a half SWB SJ50 soft top
The Highlander - 1987 lwb canopy

Offline James R

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Re: Sierra project
« Reply #14 on: April 04, 2015, 06:28:39 PM »
second coat on the house today so not much time in the shed. Managed to get to here though...


Came to a stop on the tailgate - the only screws I couldn't crack were those on the hinges  :tmsdwn:
Jellybean - 1999 SWB Grand Vitara 1.6L
The Project - 1988 and a half SWB SJ50 soft top
The Highlander - 1987 lwb canopy

Offline mrw82

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Re: Sierra project
« Reply #15 on: April 04, 2015, 08:19:22 PM »
You done well to get all the others off, normally the door hinges give the same trouble. If you haven't got an impact driver, get one. Failing that use a centre punch and hammer, put a dimple near the outer edge of the bolt head (but still on the face of it), now angle the centre punch so that as you hit it with the hammer it will spin the bolt in the direction to undo it. Generally once it's cracked it'll just about undo by hand.
PRADO  a toyota it is, a suzuki it aint.

SNOTBOX   ready for play

TEAM NFI = If you can't make it, break it.

Offline James R

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Re: Sierra project
« Reply #16 on: April 05, 2015, 07:35:57 AM »
I think I might have been lucky that is was repainted at some stage (was originally grey/silver). They must have cracked the factory tightness cos the other came off pretty easily with just a screw driver. Burnt my drill out fencing last weekend so it's all by hand now.
Got my first "are you coming inside?"   1punch 
Jellybean - 1999 SWB Grand Vitara 1.6L
The Project - 1988 and a half SWB SJ50 soft top
The Highlander - 1987 lwb canopy

Offline DMAC

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Re: Sierra project
« Reply #17 on: April 19, 2015, 07:39:17 PM »
 <ii>
Now you'll have to wait for your first. "Haven't you got something to do in the shed".  :armsup:

Offline James R

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Re: Sierra project
« Reply #18 on: April 19, 2015, 07:41:46 PM »
<ii>
Now you'll have to wait for your first. "Haven't you got something to do in the shed".  :armsup:


As much as I look forward to it, I think that day is a loooong way off  >:(
Still lots to do around the property.
Jellybean - 1999 SWB Grand Vitara 1.6L
The Project - 1988 and a half SWB SJ50 soft top
The Highlander - 1987 lwb canopy

Offline James R

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Re: Sierra project
« Reply #19 on: May 02, 2015, 06:36:18 PM »
Not nearly enough done today. Had to spend most of the day cleaning up after the rain.
Buuuut, made a start on new swivel/bearings. Came to a stop without the bearing brace or a 50mm socket.

So decided to try pulling the front clip off until I can go shopping. Easy as until the lack of an impact driver again made me come to stop. (Another tool to buy tomorrow). I figured I'm planning on a guard chop anyway, so out came the grinder and off came the front clip 


I swear I'm going to replace every Philips head bolt/screw I can! Tossing up between traditional hex bolt or recessed hex/Allen key type head. Any suggestions?
Jellybean - 1999 SWB Grand Vitara 1.6L
The Project - 1988 and a half SWB SJ50 soft top
The Highlander - 1987 lwb canopy

Offline suz_rolly

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Re: Sierra project
« Reply #20 on: May 02, 2015, 11:53:13 PM »
Another way to solve the hex head problem is to run a cut off blade through the head vertically then use a large flat screwdriver and some vice grips especially if you are going to replace them anyway

I use alen head stainless bolts with a antisieze on them never a trouble again :armsup:

Offline DMAC

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Re: Sierra project
« Reply #21 on: May 04, 2015, 06:49:33 AM »
.....................
I use alen head stainless bolts with a antisieze on them never a trouble again :armsup:

Only way to go.  ;)

Offline Tanshi

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Re: Sierra project
« Reply #22 on: May 04, 2015, 08:40:02 AM »
I use allen key cap heads, 
Hunting for bigger tyres so I can get over myself.

Offline GP

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Re: Sierra project
« Reply #23 on: May 04, 2015, 07:40:39 PM »
Brisbane Fasteners at Brendale have them AND they are open Saturday mornings cheers

Offline James R

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Re: Sierra project
« Reply #24 on: May 05, 2015, 07:37:21 AM »
A bit far for me I'm afraid. But I can get wholesale prices through work  :armsup: I'm looking at replacing as many as I can over the process.
Jellybean - 1999 SWB Grand Vitara 1.6L
The Project - 1988 and a half SWB SJ50 soft top
The Highlander - 1987 lwb canopy

Offline just cruizin

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Re: Sierra project
« Reply #25 on: May 05, 2015, 12:34:16 PM »
Buy them by the box and ask for a good discount. I buy lots of bolts and get a 93% discount
Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

Offline James R

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Re: Sierra project
« Reply #26 on: October 15, 2015, 09:01:54 PM »
Things have been a bit slow for the project for far too long.
I did pick up some 4.9 reduction gears though  :armsup:
Hopefully get some time this weekend...
Jellybean - 1999 SWB Grand Vitara 1.6L
The Project - 1988 and a half SWB SJ50 soft top
The Highlander - 1987 lwb canopy

Offline James R

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Re: Sierra project
« Reply #27 on: November 03, 2015, 03:07:32 PM »
After being impressed that the new horse shelter we built over the weekend hasn't yet fallen over  :shocked: I was motivated to get the wheels back on the project so I can at least roll it back and forth making broom broom noises.

Then, about to attached the calipers (front only, still drums on the rear) and noticed that the piston rubber boots have perished and one has completely vanished. Is it worth getting a rebuild kit or just try for replacement calipers?
Jellybean - 1999 SWB Grand Vitara 1.6L
The Project - 1988 and a half SWB SJ50 soft top
The Highlander - 1987 lwb canopy

Offline Bruce

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Re: Sierra project
« Reply #28 on: November 03, 2015, 03:27:44 PM »
Replacement Callipers are as far as I know hard to get. Just get rebuilt kit from Greg at 4wd Products.
Bruce.
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Offline Scrawny

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Re: Sierra project
« Reply #29 on: November 03, 2015, 05:25:13 PM »
Make sure you get new pistons too, worth replacing while you've got them apart