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Posted (edited)

Greetings gentlemen,

I've always had a thing for station wagons, and now I'm about to buy my first vehicle. I chose 1980 Mitsubishi Lancer A72-V as my first ride. In a series of posts, I hope to document the process of buying a ride and then restoring it. This is the first in what will be a series of posts on the whole process. A few AL members have already done very much that I intend to do. Your feedback is very valuable and always appreciated.

As said before, this is my first purchase. I'm a total newbie for owning vintage cars let alone restoring one. Call me crazy or anything you want for taking a plunge in the deep end of the pool. For a number of different reasons I have selected Mitsubishi Lancer A72-V, and I'm dead set on it. My project plan is as follows.

  1. Buy a car
  2. Mechanical restorations (instrument panel, engine, breaks, steering, a/c)
  3. Body restoration (tinker, paint)
  4. Interior restoration (seats and upholstery)

Now, I'm on the first part of the project. I have tracked down a drivable one and now haggling the price down to my budget. The condition is what is usual to expect from a car of that vintage.

Pros-

  • Fits my budget
  • In a drivable condition
  • Clear documents (ownership, license, emission tests, insurance)
  • Chassis is in good condition

Cons-

  • Blotched paint job. the car was painted twice in two different colors. the latest coating peels off (papadam in local language). This looks ugly. But there is no corrosion under the paint. So I'm giving it a go.
  • some rust spots around the rear windscreen
  • Worn out tyres
  • A/c is not working. Belt is missing, no gas, but the compressor is there.

Here are a few pics of her.

My first worry is the book states color as red. Will this be an issue? (in the final stage I will paint it red. Till then can I use it without any trouble?)

Thank you,

Varotone.

 

 

IMG_20181007_133624.jpg

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IMG_20181007_133703.jpg

IMG_20181007_133736.jpg

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IMG_20181007_133805.jpg

IMG_20181007_133822.jpg

IMG_20181007_134033.jpg

Edited by Davy
Changed Topic title and added search tags
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Posted (edited)

Good to see a thread like this after all the hybrid and permit threads that seem to have taken over the forum.

The car looks to be in rough shape, but hey... I've seen ones in worse condition. The first thing I can see from the photos is that it's a GL which is the highest trim level and comes with a clock on the dashboard and so on. So that's good. The other thing is that this is one of the later models which came with the Mitsubishi "Three Diamond" logo and "MMC" badges on the bonnet and with black bumpers instead of chrome ones. I personally like the chrome bumpers better, but the this one has a higher demand in Sri Lanka because it's the later variant. When people advertise it, they use the term "kalu buffer" to market it as well. :) 

Although the only visible rust you see is under the rear windscreen, once you take apart the car, you will discover plenty more. The A72 is known to rust inside the "gutter" area under the front winscreen. Basically under the two vents below the winscreen. That entire section needs to be cut out to repair it. Mine was corroded and water was leaking into the car when it rained and the passenger side floor board had a massive hole from prolonged water seepage. Lift up the carpet and check. 

Have you looked at other examples as well before selecting this? There are a few good local Facebook groups and I have seen some really good A72 Lancers in them. You might want to PM some of the owners and ask. The ones in good condition are quite expensive. I saw one in Badulla or somewhere recently (a 5 speed sedan SL. Blue colour with gold Watanabe rims) go for 7 lakhs. Car was one of the best I've seen.

Good luck with  your project!

Edited by Davy

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@varotone Glad to see a comprehensive guide to buy and restore a classic. Takes balls to make a decision like that in this day and age and in a country like ours. @Davy's advice is pretty comprehensive. I think you should keep looking instead of jumping the gun. These cars are not exactly sold off like hot cakes as far as I know. Good luck with the project. In there's any way that I can help, will do so gladly. 

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Posted (edited)

Good Stuff.!

I`m no expert in this particular model, but what I can mainly say about any older car in general is to buy the best example you can find. Unless it is a rare or highly sought after model, finding the best one is always more cost effective and gives less surprises over the long run. I am not talking about buying a pristine example for a premium price, but rather about finding the best car for a set budget or adjusting the budget a little bit for the right car.

Also, IMHO mechanical issues are far easier to sort out over body/chassis/rust/interior issues, especially in a car of this vintage. So i would pay more attention to exterior and interior condition when searching for a car (i.e. original bits and pieces still intact). This is especially true if you are expecting to ‘restore’ things properly. Mechanical (engine/drive-train, etc..) overhauls are easier to do over getting interior and exterior bits up to spec.

 

Edited by MrCat

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Posted (edited)

Another place to give your attention will be the grill below  the windscreen,..

get the car mechanically sound,.. before cosmetic work,..and check the t.belt.and re-core the rad to a3 core unit if te car doesn't have one.

Good luck,..

TT.

Edited by Twin Turbo

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Thanks for all your replies. I have to confess that I never researched about the car before buying. Blame it on my immaturity (I'm 25).

1. The seller keeps saying it is GL. Has the highest "market" when I haggle. According to him the bage upholstery and door panels are also in demand.

2. Clock, spedo, odo, trip are functional.

3. I thought the three-dimond and mmc was some aftermarket addition. Thanks for confirming it's the default.

4. Never knew the buffer was black. I thought some makabas had painted it black. I will regret not having a chrome buffer. I love the chrome trims. (May be I'll swap out the buffer for a chrome one later)

5. There's no rust under the front vent. I'll post a picture of it tomorrow.

6. I never looked at "good examples". Only at bargains. 

7. Sorry, @Sierra Charlie, I've already made something like an impulse purchase. Blame it on my immaturity. Thanks a lot for your offer to help. I'll drop you a PM.

8. @MrCat, my choice is definitely not the best that I can get. That said, I'll learn a lot from this. I plan to use 3d printing and CNC milling to make the bits and pieces as per original specifications. Let's see how this goes.

9. @Twin Turbo, mechanics is my first priority. I think I'll have to start with the steering box. Please elaborate on "re-core the rad to a3 core unit if te car doesn't have one" I'm a noob. Please explain in terms that I can Google. Do you mean to say rebore the engine?

 

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Posted (edited)

Today I started to patch up the obvious rust spots. This is just a quick fix to stop the rust from spreading. Here's how it's going. I'll post a close-up of the front vents tomorrow.

IMG_20181008_115001.jpg

IMG_20181008_115011.jpg

Edited by varotone
Clarity

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I know that this car had side mirrors on the fender by default. Are they chrome or plastic? Mine is plastic as you can see. What did the GL originally have?

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Hi. I haven't read the thread thoroughly so I don't know if you've bought the car above. I'd advise you to save up a bit a go for a better example. Because once you do all the tinkering,painting and upholstery it easily exceed twice the purchase price at least. Most of these cars have been butchered and abused by 'buying and selling' people So unless its REALLY cheap, keep looking and buy a minter. 

I know the appeal of doing a project car from ground up, but don't waste your money.

Anyway good to see another project thread, for tips and tricks on restoring,look up a project thread I did on an old Triumph on these forums, if its still online.

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5 hours ago, varotone said:

I know that this car had side mirrors on the fender by default. Are they chrome or plastic? Mine is plastic as you can see. What did the GL originally have?

Dont think of original equipment decades after the car was made,.. use the mirrors you have or take a ride to Darley road.

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Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, varotone said:

Today I started to patch up the obvious rust spots. This is just a quick fix to stop the rust from spreading. Here's how it's going. I'll post a close-up of the front vents tomorrow.

IMG_20181008_115001.jpg

IMG_20181008_115011.jpg

Both wipers need adjusting,.. badly. they should not rest on the beading. both front and rear beadings look good,.. does the front footwell either side get damb when the car is parked in the rain?

Edited by Twin Turbo

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Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, varotone said:

4. Never knew the buffer was black. I thought some makabas had painted it black. I will regret not having a chrome buffer. I love the chrome trims. (May be I'll swap out the buffer for a chrome one later)

9. @Twin Turbo, mechanics is my first priority. I think I'll have to start with the steering box. Please elaborate on "re-core the rad to a3 core unit if te car doesn't have one" I'm a noob. Please explain in terms that I can Google. Do you mean to say rebore the engine?

 

#4. You won't be able to find chrome bumpers. At least not ones in good condition. Your best bet would be to get your current bumpers chrome plated. Tried this option back in 2004 and I was quoted 8000 per bumper from a couple of places.

#9 From the engine bay photo, it looks like the car still has the original copper radiator. Keep it as none of your aftermarket plastic/aluminium radiators will be as good as this one. If there are leaks, repair it. If it uses water, do a flush and fill with coolant. Also, your first priority should be bodywork IMO. 

 

6 hours ago, varotone said:

I know that this car had side mirrors on the fender by default. Are they chrome or plastic? Mine is plastic as you can see. What did the GL originally have?

Came with chrome fender mirrors. You might be able to find a couple of used ones in Panchikawatte salvage yards if you search a bit. Search the Facebook groups as well. I've seen some swap the original fender mirrors to these plastic ones because the originals mirrors have a spring loaded mount under the fender that corrodes over time and causes the mirror to wobble. 

 

7 hours ago, varotone said:

Today I started to patch up the obvious rust spots. This is just a quick fix to stop the rust from spreading. Here's how it's going. I'll post a close-up of the front vents tomorrow.

IMG_20181008_115001.jpg

IMG_20181008_115011.jpg

Is this a temporary measure? I sure hope so because that is definitely not the way to repair rust. The moisture absorbed into the body filler will cause the metal to rust still. You should take the windscreens out, repair the rust and then seal it if you plan to drive the car until the rest of the work is complete. 

Also, be careful when you are working around chrome trims and rubber beadings. You have smeared body filler over the windscreen beading and that stuff will not come off easily. Those beadings must be really hard to find nowadays. Back in 2004, the front beading cost 12,000. The rear one cost 4000 or something and the rear quarterpanel glass beadings cost 8000 each. The worst part is that none of them fit like the originals did.

So try your very best to protect what is already good on the car as this is not your Toyota Corolla 141 for which you can find parts everywhere.

EDIT: I just noticed that this car is still advertised for 2 lakhs in the quick site. Is that ad yours or is it the seller's ad from whom you got it? I still see that Pajero in the background so assuming it's yours? If you bought the car for this price, I'm afraid you could have found an example in much MUCH better condition. I see several other A72 Lancers for sale for around 1.5 and some of them are in better shape. 

Edited by Davy
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10 hours ago, MasterDon said:

Hi. I haven't read the thread thoroughly so I don't know if you've bought the car above. I'd advise you to save up a bit a go for a better example. Because once you do all the tinkering,painting and upholstery it easily exceed twice the purchase price at least. Most of these cars have been butchered and abused by 'buying and selling' people So unless its REALLY cheap, keep looking and buy a minter. 

I know the appeal of doing a project car from ground up, but don't waste your money.

Anyway good to see another project thread, for tips and tricks on restoring,look up a project thread I did on an old Triumph on these forums, if its still online.

I have already bought this. Main reason was the budget. It's really cheap. I'm aware of the cost of the restoration. (I'm not a crazy rich dude who wants to restore a car. But, my budget is to spend about 1.5 x purchase price of the car within the next 2-3 years).

I'm very optimistic about the project. I have a lot to learn. The remaining work and cost may well justify the cost of the project.

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@Twin Turbo

1. Thanks for reminding the wiper blades. I plan on doing this as my first ever repair job on the car.

2. I want to know what originals came with it to restore to factory specks.

@Davy

I'll keep an eye for a bargain for bumpers and mirrors. I plan to buy them bit by bit and put together everything in the end. 

#9 Noted with thanks

Paint job is a temporary one. I'll get back to it next month probably.

Can you please PM me the advertisements? I'm quite certain that it is what I bought (lesser price than advertised. Because I haggled down). Please PM me any good specimens to buy. I haven't paid in full yet. May be I'll be able to cancel the transaction.

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Didn’t mean to discourage you in anyway when I said find the best car.

Now that you own it, enjoy the process and have fun. One last thing, try to take things slow and learn as you go.  We all think we`ll do this that and the other as soon as we start working on a car, but most initial thoughts turn out to be quite useless and outdated soon (ask me how I know) :D Good Luck and have fun.!

 

 

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1 hour ago, varotone said:

Can you please PM me the advertisements? I'm quite certain that it is what I bought (lesser price than advertised. Because I haggled down). Please PM me any good specimens to buy. I haven't paid in full yet. May be I'll be able to cancel the transaction.

PM sent.

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2 hours ago, Davy said:

PM sent.

Please PM me also. One of my friend is searching for a car. I advised him to go for a Peugeot 504 and do restoration. But seems guy has read "The Flying Fox" comments and in great fear of Pugs like our fox bro....😃

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Davy was correct about the price. And I'm embarrassed. I'm having second thoughts about the price I paid for this. I can cancel the transaction within another two days at a small loss. So, I'm checking out other ones. I'll buy it if the expected savings in hastle and money is worth switching.

Please let me know if there's a genuinely good car for my budget for my project. If any gentleman is willing to go the extra mile for me and check/recommend one, I'm very grateful for the favor.

As per Davy's suggestion, I had a look at the the one advertised for 1.5k. I ran away soon. Body was a rusted tin can with holes. Seats were drippingIMG_20181009_143110.thumb.jpg.c5898469bd2a8e83e1877912c9fa6e0a.jpg wet from all the holes formed due to rust. Engine was replaced and not updated in the book. The bit with the engine number is broken.(only a part of the number is there). Here are a few pictures.

IMG_20181009_143011.jpg

IMG_20181009_150724.jpg

IMG_20181009_143016.jpg

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That one is definitely not the one I meant when there are cars in better shape for a lower price. When I searched "Lancer Wagon" in the quick site yesterday, there were a couple for around 160,000 (a 12 Sri silver one and a 12 Sri white one) that looked okay in the photos. However, both of them no longer seem to be there. The ones currently on that site for around 2 lakhs are in pretty much the same condition as the one you've purchased by the looks. 

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Oh boy! I've been ripped off. Seriously, I'm considering switching the vehicle at a small loss. Looks like the savings I'll have by cancelling this transaction will heavily out weight the minute loss I'll make by keeping this.

Gentleman, please PM if you know/have a A72-V that will be suitable for my project.

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UPDATE: Project car changed.:yahoo:

I found another one in better shape for a lower price. :sport-smiley-004:Just brought her home. Pics and a detailed post coming up tomorrow.

(Gentleman, please don't comment on the price I paid for it. I know that all of you do it in good spirit to prevent me from being ripped off by a nasty dealer. Still, my heart aches when someone says that I could have bought it for less:speechless-smiley-006:)

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The first mechanical work would be new brake liners. I'm planning on getting them done tomorrow after getting the emissions test and license in order.

Edited by varotone
Typo

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Does anyone have a workshop manual for this model? I would like to buy one preferably. Even an ebook would be very helpful. I Ihavesearched the internet without any success.

Edited by varotone

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Advise you to stick to one thread for your project. Otherwise by the time it's done, there will be 10 different threads. 

Threads merged. Renamed original thread. 

11 hours ago, varotone said:

(Gentleman, please don't comment on the price I paid for it. I know that all of you do it in good spirit to prevent me from being ripped off by a nasty dealer. Still, my heart aches when someone says that I could have bought it for less:speechless-smiley-006:)

Everyone who has responded above including myself advised you with good intentions. At the end of the day, it's your personal choice though. 

Edited by Davy

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