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Lewis's 87 Bighorn

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Lewis's 87 Bighorn

Postby lewis » Wed Dec 08, 2010 6:29 pm

I’ve been using this forum for quite a while and first up thanks to everybody who has helped me out.

This truck has been in the family since 94 when it was imported with 50ks on it and was my dads upgrade from a Subaru Leone (the one with button height adjustment!) It was too good to get rid of when he upgraded to a 3.1 bighorn so my mum drove it (yes lol) and I have taken over it in the last few years. The 3.1 bighorn was sold with 230ks on the clock and it was pretty shagged (old man upgraded to a 4.7 V8 grand Cherokee with fancy electronic diff locks etc), but the old 2.8 with 340ks on it is still going strong and has too much sentimental value and is also not worth enough to sell :) I decided to mod it into something that was a bit more capable a few months ago as figured it would be a good starting truck and would be cheaper than buying something else, and I would learn along the way.

One thing I learnt from 4wding in both trucks was that the 3.1 bighorn was much more capable just because it had a rear LSD, so that was my first mod. Working on this has been part restoration part upgrade. It was used on the beach and obviously not washed properly. I actually learnt to drive in it there. I have had to deal with rust in the entire roof sills, rear door arches, below the rear number plate, front body crossmember below the radiator, front wheel arch, also in the chassis below the driver’s seat.

I have done everything as cheaply as is possible, but I still aim to make it last. It is not a show truck and never will be. I have never worked on a car to this degree before so I’m learning heaps as I go and asking lots of questions. Before I started I had done work on mountain bikes, motorbikes etc and consider myself reasonably mechanically minded.

I’m moving to Wellington for work in January 2011 so hoping this truck helps keep me busy in a new town. Also aiming to get most of the major mods done by then as I wont have such a array of tools/space/time/friends & neighbours with metal work businesses you get the idea. Plan to join a club and get out as much as possible, also get back on my mountain bike cause I got bored of mountain biking around Auckland and hear there is lots down there.
lewis
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Re: Lewis's 87 Bighorn

Postby lewis » Wed Dec 08, 2010 6:30 pm

Suspension: Ball joint flip/ torsion crank, no sway bar, extended shackles, 1.5” – 2”
Body Lift: 2"
Tyres/Wheels: 15*8 -24 offset, 33*12.5*15 hankook mud tyres, running tubes
Traction Aids: Shimmed up LSD rear (lockers seem too expensive to buy for a truck like this since cant transfer to other trucks unless I buy another of the same). Fitted a breather to the engine bay for this also – the stock breather was actually completely blocked…
Bullbar: currently modifying an alloy winch bar to fit my runva 9500 (dosen’t quite fit at the moment). Also should really modify the mounts to suit the body lift as the headlights are going to be a bit obstructed I think, will also lose some ground clearance/approach angle at the front unfortunately
Spot lights and Lighting: stock
Communications/GPS: not yet
Dual Batteries: no – will only consider if winch kills one battery easily
Last edited by lewis on Thu Dec 09, 2010 5:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
lewis
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Re: Lewis's 87 Bighorn

Postby lewis » Wed Dec 08, 2010 6:32 pm

Engine: 2.8 turbo, 15 psi boost so far using a GFB boost tap, blanked overboost valve, ¼ turn on pump. 340,000km untouched internals and turbo – lets see how long it lasts now haha
Replaced every water hose on it and put in a replacement radiator which looks like it was recored recently. Have dropped the radiator to suit the body lift. Crankcase breather not recirculating to air intake
K&N Apollo air filter (from my VR4), need to make snorkel up to it – have access to some long free off cuts 4” and 2.5” stainless, but think 2.5 is a bit thin for a snorkel so might be a huge 4” monster
Exhaust: stock with 2.5 inch section and coby muffler replacing stock muffler. Note: sounds no louder at all. If I had known this I would have used a straight bit of pipe. I think no muffler will only sound loud if a bigger than stock diameter pipe is used for the majority of the exhaust
Sound system: replaced speakers and headunit, now I actually can make out which song is playing
External: bunnings garden edging flares, removed running boards, bumpers, towbar. Rear tow hitch made out of a cheap tow bar setup I bought, with bolts going right through the chassis. Can put a 4.75T shackle through it for recovery or a large rated bolt connecting the tow ball hitch. Extended seatbelt retention bars for body lift
Last edited by lewis on Wed Dec 22, 2010 6:19 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Lewis's 87 Bighorn

Postby lewis » Wed Dec 08, 2010 6:32 pm

Internal: home made leather gear stick boot (due to body lift), also had to cut and weld gear stick and cut 1cm out of the floor. Leather isn’t as good at blocking out engine noise as rubber haha
Boost gauge, water temp gauge – sensor in top hose gives 70 around town and 70-85 open road, exhaust temp gauge (probe in exhaust manifold) – currently 600degrees max ive seen, on long hills in 4th and 5th
Other: Removed all the vacuum valves and hoses related to the quick warm up system, also the headlight washer system as that didn’t work, removed a/c radiator and parts of the a/c system (not the pump yet though as I wish I knew/was able to make it into a tyre pump haha – also since the belts are on it)
If anyone is looking for a pretty heavy duty tow bar for a UBS55 I can sell you my old one, also I have the rear two seats for the boot (6+7) which sit sideways army truck style.
Other future mods – wooden draws/ bed platform for rear, gas tank lift, get the winch mounted, front rated tow point – not seeing a simple way to do this…
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Re: Lewis's 87 Bighorn

Postby lewis » Wed Dec 08, 2010 6:33 pm

Also would like to do a rear quarter chop like guys do on safaris, but my WOF man and VTNZ (guy there was actually very helpful to my amazement) seem to think this is quite a grey area so need to talk to a cert man. I don’t plan on getting a cert unless WOF man tells me I need one.
This truck is definitely a work in progress
I am happy with how it’s progressing, especially after 1200km in the last 5 days taking into account 10% measured speedo error using a TomTom gps, I got 11.5km/L which is what I got before all the mods!
I really need to put that replacement rear brake calliper in so I have a handbrake that works again…
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Re: Lewis's 87 Bighorn

Postby lewis » Wed Dec 08, 2010 6:37 pm

Few pics (missing the first offroading dent from a tree stump under drivers side front headlight)
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Re: Lewis's 87 Bighorn

Postby Paulo » Wed Dec 08, 2010 6:56 pm

Awesome Truck Lewis !!! well done that's all I can say. Good luck with moving to welly
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Re: Lewis's 87 Bighorn

Postby geeves » Thu Dec 09, 2010 2:27 pm

When you have that model you quickly realise how overrated handbrakes are.
Look me up when you get to wgtn
Sanding your knuckles before starting work can help. That way you cant skin them
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Re: Lewis's 87 Bighorn

Postby lewis » Thu Dec 09, 2010 3:13 pm

Ohh yes couldnt agree more.
Will do :)
Cheers
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Re: Lewis's 87 Bighorn

Postby lewis » Thu Dec 09, 2010 5:26 pm

a few more pics (some people will get a laugh out of a few of these haha)
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Re: Lewis's 87 Bighorn

Postby lewis » Thu Dec 09, 2010 5:33 pm

.
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Re: Lewis's 87 Bighorn

Postby turnturn » Thu Dec 09, 2010 6:43 pm

Looks good Lewis. Have always had a bit of a soft spot for that era Bighorn.
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Re: Lewis's 87 Bighorn

Postby muzila » Thu Dec 09, 2010 8:40 pm

What happened to the lakes????
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Re: Lewis's 87 Bighorn

Postby lewis » Thu Dec 09, 2010 8:47 pm

Watch this :(
http://www.3news.co.nz/Kai-Iwis-scenery ... fault.aspx
The trees made that place!
Health and safety gone mad...
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Re: Lewis's 87 Bighorn

Postby geeves » Fri Dec 10, 2010 2:23 pm

It looks rough when they are all knocked over like that but the reality is that pine is one of our most noxious weeds just noone has realised yet. The problem with pine is its seeds disperse a long way on the wind and they grow quickly but also nothing else can grow through ther layer of needles underneath. Where pines have grown in areas of regenerating scrub they smother the hebes ngio and other plants that normaly form the first level of regeneration to native forest. Even rimus totoras and kauri cant grow under pine
In 5 years it will look nice again
Sanding your knuckles before starting work can help. That way you cant skin them
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Re: Lewis's 87 Bighorn

Postby muzila » Fri Dec 10, 2010 3:58 pm

Thats Just eco terriorisum. Any one else did that and they would end up in court.
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Re: Lewis's 87 Bighorn

Postby geeves » Fri Dec 10, 2010 4:55 pm

For knocking down noxious weeds?
Sanding your knuckles before starting work can help. That way you cant skin them
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Re: Lewis's 87 Bighorn

Postby lewis » Wed Dec 22, 2010 6:11 pm

After a LOT of time, finally got the winch and bullbar fitted. Many mods to the bar were required to fit the 9500lb winch (it was too big) and also a mate made me up some brackets to suit the body lift. Have got M12 holes for a rated front tow hook.

Also built a floor - storage - fold out bed platform for the back.
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Re: Lewis's 87 Bighorn

Postby Captcol » Wed Dec 22, 2010 8:05 pm

nice work, I intend to do the same in the back but I will inlude drawers
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Re: Lewis's 87 Bighorn

Postby lewis » Thu Dec 23, 2010 7:16 am

Thanks. Yeah if i had the skill/time i might have :) but then it would be harder to fit the jack, spade, home made wooden recovery tracks i made etc. For security reasons I try to keep most stuff hidden so this lets me put my bags under it on road trips etc
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