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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Purchased this bad boy today, stoked.

1985 SD33t with a casual 580,000km. Engine was rebuilt about 70,000km ago. Bit of rust in the roof, but not too bad everywhere else.

She is going to be a slow rebuild project, can't wait to get started. Will do updates as I go and post some more pics when I pick her up tomorrow.


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Rust is just natural weight reduction.
1986 SD33T SWB
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Glad to see it'll become a project rather than a parts car. Looked pretty decent aside from the roof.
The roof did look pretty bad though in the pics I saw of it for sale. Hopefully someone near you is wrecking and MQ/GQ with a decent roof if you need to cut some patch panels.

Aside from that, nice pick up, don't see too many of them around anynore.
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yeh the roof certainly isn't great, and the doors too but at least I can swap those for some clean GQ ones. Roof I'm not sure which way I'll go yet, guess I'll make that call when I strip it back.

I couldn't resist getting her, my parents had one when I was about 8 years old and I have lots of great memories running around in the the third row.

Already found a few dodgy things that have been done to her and even though the engine has been reconditioned at one stage, I've decided I'm going to strip that down and give her a new lease on life too.

Now to find the time...
 

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Rust is just natural weight reduction.
1986 SD33T SWB
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Yeh the roof certainly isn't great, and the doors too but at least I can swap those for some clean GQ ones. Roof I'm not sure which way I'll go yet, guess I'll make that call when I strip it back.

I couldn't resist getting her, my parents had one when I was about 8 years old and I have lots of great memories running around in the the third row.

Already found a few dodgy things that have been done to her and even though the engine has been reconditioned at one stage, I've decided I'm going to strip that down and give her a new lease on life too.

Now to find the time...
Roof usually rusts from the inside out, but if its had paint issues or a roof rack on it or whatever it may have rusted from the outside in which is the lesser of two evils.

If you do tear into the engine, use only Nissan gaskets where possible. If you have the means, checking for excessive blow by, excessive oil + water leakage/consumption, cylinder compression and pulling the sump off to check condition of bottom end bearings is enough to check if it warrants a rebuild or not. But if its running alright, I'd leave it for now.
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Well today I got the grinder out to clear some bog and check the roof rust to make sure it's repairable, I have already decided if I cant fix the roof I would likely try to find another body for 6months and if I didn't have any luck I would wreck her, something I really want to avoid.

So far the passenger side looks salvageable, the out shell and middle section have some bad spots, but most I can cut out and weld in new sections. As is typical, it has rusted at the spot welds and joins. Luckily the inner shell has nothing more than a couple spots of surface rust. Fingers crossed the other side is similar, but it does look a tad worse from the outside.

So far I will need to replace both front outer guards, and probably doors too as they are rusted badly at the hinges. I know that GQ front doors fit, does anyone know if the guards and rear doors fit from a GQ?

Chassis looks great, hardly any rust besides some minor surface stuff. She has had a pretty bad oil leak from the oil filter housing which coated pretty much the entire underbody. Degreased all that and still happy with how she looks underneath.

Also found the glow plug timer is no longer there and the relay is cactus (plus a **** load of other dodgy wiring), for a temporary measure I chucked in an isolator between the + and - for the glow plug connection so I can flick it on for 30seconds if I have to move her.
Grille Plant Vehicle registration plate Vehicle Automotive lighting

Grille Hood Automotive tire Automotive lighting Motor vehicle

Motor vehicle Steering part Vehicle Steering wheel Wheel

Motor vehicle Hood Automotive tire Vehicle Automotive exterior

Motor vehicle Car seat cover Vehicle Car seat Automotive exterior

Gauge Speedometer Odometer Measuring instrument Auto part
 

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Rust is just natural weight reduction.
1986 SD33T SWB
Joined
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11,417 Posts
Well today I got the grinder out to clear some bog and check the roof rust to make sure it's repairable, I have already decided if I cant fix the roof I would likely try to find another body for 6months and if I didn't have any luck I would wreck her, something I really want to avoid.

So far the passenger side looks salvageable, the out shell and middle section have some bad spots, but most I can cut out and weld in new sections. As is typical, it has rusted at the spot welds and joins. Luckily the inner shell has nothing more than a couple spots of surface rust. Fingers crossed the other side is similar, but it does look a tad worse from the outside.

So far I will need to replace both front outer guards, and probably doors too as they are rusted badly at the hinges. I know that GQ front doors fit, does anyone know if the guards and rear doors fit from a GQ?

Chassis looks great, hardly any rust besides some minor surface stuff. She has had a pretty bad oil leak from the oil filter housing which coated pretty much the entire underbody. Degreased all that and still happy with how she looks underneath.

Also found the glow plug timer is no longer there and the relay is cactus (plus a **** load of other dodgy wiring), for a temporary measure I chucked in an isolator between the + and - for the glow plug connection so I can flick it on for 30seconds if I have to move her.
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GQ roof is the same as MQ/MK, so if you wanted to welding in patch panels is going to be too much work, a gutter or full roof replacement would work with easier to find parts.

GQ front doors are bolt on, could even use the 1/4 vent frame if you were so inclined as the mounts are still there in GQ doors.. Rear doors will bolt on, but the panel fitment needs work from memory. I think @Johan Safari did it?
GQ leafy guards are identical to MQ/MK. GQ coil guards will bolt on, but they are not a good match to MQ/MK body. Need to change front grille, wiring to indicator/parker lights and they look mismatched.

Given the bodies are terrible, the MQ/MK chassis is usually pretty good for rust, at least here in Australia. If its done some beach work a blast from a hose/pressure washer and penetrol/cavity wax/whatever sealant that dries hard will help ensure future longevity.
 
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I have GQ rear doors, but the arch over the rear wheel is way different leaving a gap in the bottom back corner... Well, I cut that missing corner piece off the old MQ door and tac it to the same place on the GQ door. You have to look close to spot it, only since it was kind of a rushed job. If you take your time, you can hide it. Just make sure you rust protect the new welded in piece before you paint. Take your time bud welding the new piece.... Any heat will distort the outer door skin.
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I have GQ rear doors, but the arch over the rear wheel is way different leaving a gap in the bottom back corner... Well, I cut that missing corner piece off the old MQ door and tac it to the same place on the GQ door. You have to look close to spot it, only since it was kind of a rushed job. If you take your time, you can hide it. Just make sure you rust protect the new welded in piece before you paint. Take your time bud welding the new piece.... Any heat will distort the outer door skin.
Thanks, that will help a lot. Been digging into her lately to find all the rust and the rear doors are caput too just like the fronts, so GQ doors will be the go
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
Getting some shape into the new gutters.. slow progress but I'm confident all the rust from the roof is gone, was luckily able to save the rear gutter. Big test will be when I put the skin back on, hopefully this week


Hood Vehicle Wood Motor vehicle Automotive exterior
 

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Rust is just natural weight reduction.
1986 SD33T SWB
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11,417 Posts
Nice work mate, making some good progress on it.
 
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