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New member Birkin (1996


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Well its been 1 year since I took ownership of Grace and I managed to clock up just on 15000km (9320 miles) in that 1 year. Its been a great year and its been a great journey with some great trips away of note were.

 

For those that know NZ

1600km round 3 day trip to the West Coast with the Southern Lotus Register Tranz Alpine trip where we went to Karamea (best driving roads in NZ)

1300km 3 day trip to Wanaka

1500km 3 day trip to Nelson

Several trips to Timaru via the inland scenic route to visit my mum.

 

The rest of the km's have been clocked up as day trips around Canterbury and using the car as a daily driver for work, pleasure & fun, we have regular drives in the evening out for coffee in her and have done plenty of grocery shopping in her too, we drove her right through winter and even though some days were cold with the right gear on it was all ways fun and we were pretty warm too really. We have meet some great people and made some fantastic new friends online and offline. Its been a real blast and im really looking forward to this year.

 

I have been really please with the refurbishment she has gone through to bring the car up to where she is now over the year this is the list of things that was done to her.

 

Tyres

Side exit exhaust

Chrome headlight shells & lamp

Alloy wheel refurbished and painted with new Birkin center caps.

New Gaz adjustable shocks & springs front & rear.

New blue paint job.

New aluminum rear panel

New seats

Change the red Sabelt 4 point seat belts for new black ones.

Doors & hood

New Birkin bonnet badge

Re polished all the aluminum as it was very dirty and oxidized when I got her

New light weight dry cell battery.

 

 

I haven't done anything to the running gear as its all been running very well and as i'm no mechanic I have left them alone except for the daily maintance a car like this needs. She hasn't caused me any issues i'm going to leave it all alone because she seems to run really well, she may not have the torque or HP of a modern Jap motor but i have really been taken by how well the 1600 cross flow goes.

 

Cheers Stephen

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Great post! The thing that gets me about your car is its sheer reliability with no work needing to be done or sorted from the previous owners neglect. I am still working my way around my car fixing mechnical and electrical niggles - no sooner than I finish one than another pops up. This week it is a coolant leak - probably because the garage is down to 19degrees Fahrenheit! No driving for a while

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Awesome! I have recently been lectured by a friend that lived in NZ for a few years that if i were to ever visit someplece on your side of the planet, it should be NZ. beautiful scenery and awesome sailing.. Your fortunate to have such a wonderful car to enjoy there!

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Great post! The thing that gets me about your car is its sheer reliability with no work needing to be done or sorted from the previous owners neglect. I am still working my way around my car fixing mechnical and electrical niggles - no sooner than I finish one than another pops up. This week it is a coolant leak - probably because the garage is down to 19degrees Fahrenheit! No driving for a while

 

 

Croc there have been plenty of niggles to fix but I try to get them done when I find them and as soon as I can so the car is ready to go again, I know there are few electrical gremlins in the car due to shody Birkin wiring but they havent caused me any breakdowns yet and I plan on rewiring the car this winter to make sure there fixed. BUt other than that its been pretty good and also for a Kent motor it doesnt leak oil :)

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  • 4 months later...

Well this is it the car goes in tommorow for the start of the engine upgrade to the Toyota 4AGE motor so its goodby to the Kent motor which has really done well over the 18 months I have owned the car and is still going as strong today just before its gets pulled out tommorow. I plan on updating this thread with pics as we go on with the engine swap.

 

But for now here's a small video I took of the Kent to show people who are keen on buying it when its up for sale in a couple of weeks, its in 720p

 

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I can play the video but no sound(:. A Kent engine is 80% sound and about 20% fury.

 

I doubt anyone else on this Forum has piled up as many miles in the last year as you.

 

Will be interested in your impressions of the power bump.

 

Mike

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Hmmm shame the sound didn't play for you Kitcat but its there as it plays for me.

 

When taking the car to the workshop today I should just roll past 20000kms in 18 months of ownership the last 2 months have been pretty slow on the driving front as the winter in NZ has been a very wet one so far on the weekends and i figure i have lost about 2-3000 kms of driving in those 8 weeks in my Birkin.

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Well Grace is now at Mcgregor Motorsports for the engine swap, once I arrived Mark started to remove the Kent ready to see if the 4AGE is going to fit in with out too many issues.

 

Kent motor being removed

http://i660.photobucket.com/albums/uu326/Hotdognz/4AGE%20Pics/Mcgregor005.jpg

 

4AGE/T50 combo ready to go im minus the sump which i have been getting repainted due it haveing a crack in one of the welds causing a small oil leak.

 

http://i660.photobucket.com/albums/uu326/Hotdognz/4AGE%20Pics/Mcgregor004.jpg

 

Modified Sump prior to painting

http://i660.photobucket.com/albums/uu326/Hotdognz/4AGE%20Pics/IMG_0075.jpg

Edited by KiwiBirkin
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Arrived home to find a package sent from MightMike on this forum it's from a later model Birkin console (2000 onwards I think) he had taken it out of his car and replaced it with a ali as I was looking for one and Mike offerd it too me at no cost and shipped it too me last week.

 

Im not sure if its going to fit yet but im hoping it will as it means i can relocate the handbrake which is a bit annoying as it is under my elbow.

 

http://i660.photobucket.com/albums/uu326/Hotdognz/Engine%20Swap/BirkinConsole5.jpg

 

http://i660.photobucket.com/albums/uu326/Hotdognz/Engine%20Swap/BirkinConsole4.jpg

 

http://i660.photobucket.com/albums/uu326/Hotdognz/Engine%20Swap/BirkinConsole3.jpg

 

http://i660.photobucket.com/albums/uu326/Hotdognz/Engine%20Swap/BirkinConsole1.jpg

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Productive day today at Mcgregors working on my car, pulled the scuttle off and all of the heater parts so i can take them too work for cleaning then decided we would remove the T9 gearbox too as this would then help us decide which gearbox to run, as me and Mark finally lifted it out of the car Mark exclaimed how bloody heavy the gearbox/bell housing was and there and then a executive decision was made to use the T50 gearbox as we think its maybe 20 kilos lighter than the T9 box and ford bell housing (were going to weight it) this is big weight saving to make so it makes sense to keep it off as we have that choice and it means I wont need to diet anymore :)

 

Next I had to remove the center console which was held in place by about 30 large rivets on each side, the Birkin console is made from fiberglass as a single piece unit and really is quite smart in design and that's why its riveted and sealed down to the floor it took a while to get it extracted from the car but eventually it came out. It was then a matter of cleaning 10 years of road crap and small stones from up around the drive shaft area. I also removed the back panel that is covered in vinyl behind the seats this was a half panel and I have decided to get a new one made but as full panel too the floor.

 

Anyway that's it for now i'm at work posting this so will add pictures up later when i get home.

 

Old T9 removed

http://i660.photobucket.com/albums/uu326/Hotdognz/Engine%20Swap/Birkin_assembly24.jpg

 

http://i660.photobucket.com/albums/uu326/Hotdognz/Engine%20Swap/Birkin_assembly19.jpg

 

http://i660.photobucket.com/albums/uu326/Hotdognz/Engine%20Swap/Birkin_assembly17.jpg

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More pics to go with the post above

 

Scuttle off and now to remove the heater

http://i660.photobucket.com/albums/uu326/Hotdognz/Engine%20Swap/Birkin_assembly9.jpg

 

http://i660.photobucket.com/albums/uu326/Hotdognz/Engine%20Swap/Birkin_assembly13.jpg

 

Tyring the new Birkin consol I got from the US for free but it doesnt fit too well maybe after a couple of mods.

http://i660.photobucket.com/albums/uu326/Hotdognz/Engine%20Swap/Birkin_assembly26.jpg

 

http://i660.photobucket.com/albums/uu326/Hotdognz/Engine%20Swap/Birkin_assembly21.jpg

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Well today was the day for a trail engine fit but first off I decided to take the car out side and give the engine bay and cockpit a good old wash and degrease.

 

http://i660.photobucket.com/albums/uu326/Hotdognz/Engine%20Swap/BirkinRebuild7.jpg

 

http://i660.photobucket.com/albums/uu326/Hotdognz/Engine%20Swap/BirkinRebuild4.jpg

 

http://i660.photobucket.com/albums/uu326/Hotdognz/Engine%20Swap/BirkinRebuild3.jpg

 

I also removed the rear guards before Mark & I started to get the engine in place for the trial fit, after a short while we had the engine in the engine bay and supprisingly it went in with little fuss and fitted in pretty well. The gear lever didnt fit as far back as we had hopped and so I have decided to re use the old center console as this gives me more room under it for a remote gear shft extension which im now going to have to use we also decided to rip out the fuel lines and re run them as they got in the way of the T50 box. I have also decided not to use ram tubes and a piper cross airfilter and will instead use socks on the snails attched to the throttle bodies I will thn fill in the bonnet hole that the webers stuck through with ali mesh to tidy it up, also the exhuast headers i got with the engine wont fit as we have had to move the engine off to the RH side a small bit so that side of the engine doesnt have as much room so im going to have to cobble up a new exhuast now but that part should be pretty straight forward.

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http://i660.photobucket.com/albums/uu326/Hotdognz/Engine%20Swap/Engine_install2.jpg

 

http://i660.photobucket.com/albums/uu326/Hotdognz/Engine%20Swap/Engine_install7.jpg

 

http://i660.photobucket.com/albums/uu326/Hotdognz/Engine%20Swap/Engine_install5.jpg

 

http://i660.photobucket.com/albums/uu326/Hotdognz/Engine%20Swap/Engine_install7.jpg

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http://i660.photobucket.com/albums/uu326/Hotdognz/Engine%20Swap/Engine_install6.jpg

 

http://i660.photobucket.com/albums/uu326/Hotdognz/Engine%20Swap/Engine_install11.jpg

 

http://i660.photobucket.com/albums/uu326/Hotdognz/Engine%20Swap/Engine_install1-1.jpg

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Clearance under the car is much better than with my Kent so far

http://i660.photobucket.com/albums/uu326/Hotdognz/Engine%20Swap/BirkinRebuild1.jpg

 

Clearance under the bonnet

http://i660.photobucket.com/albums/uu326/Hotdognz/Engine%20Swap/Engine_install9.jpg

 

Black top throttle bodies and there position to my exsisting bonnet cutout

http://i660.photobucket.com/albums/uu326/Hotdognz/Engine%20Swap/BirkinRebuild8.jpg

 

When I left Mark was busy fabricating the engine mounts and new gearbox mount. Tommorow I should be able to start on sorting the exhuast out.

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I have also decided not to use ram tubes and a piper cross airfilter and will instead use socks on the snails attched to the throttle bodies I will thn fill in the bonnet hole that the webers stuck through with ali mesh to tidy it up.

 

Just curious - why did you decide against this? You'll be picking up hot air instead of fresh stuff.

 

I also highly reccomend an oil cooler for 20V 4ag's- and not the factory one from toyota.

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Martin im adding drive shaft hoops while the cars apart as its a requirment for me to get a new VIN plate (car cert)with my new engine.

 

Dingo plenty of Birkins in Australia use the snails with socks on and all are reporting no promblems with induction there snails are whats in side the 4 AGE blacktop induction box and are the right length, if it doesnt work that well I will then try short ram tubes (50mm) with a shallow pipercross airfilter on as the reason for not using the long ram tubes 110mm with the large pipercross filter was it didnt fill up the exit hole in my bonnet where the webers where and looked really ugly, but if it has to happen due to preformance issues i will sort some thing out.

 

http://i660.photobucket.com/albums/uu326/Hotdognz/bits%20and%20pieces/3381317373_b75294cbc6.jpg

 

As I will only use my car on a track about 2 times a year and get about 30 laps on both those days im not bothering with a oil cooler and have been told by plenty of guys with the 4AGE in there cars not to bother unless it becomes a seriuos track day car.

Edited by KiwiBirkin
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