1 2
stanger_mussle
stanger_mussle UberDork
7/10/21 4:56 p.m.

On Wednesday, July 7th, I purchased my coworker's 1991 Suzuki Cappuccino. He bought it when he was stationed in Japan with the Army and then brought it back with him after his tour. He then stashed it at his friends house in Virginia for 1.5 years. A couple of weeks ago, he drove to Virginia from Florida to pick the Cappuccino and his RZR 900 up and bring them back to Florida. Upon bringing both vehicles back, he soon realized that he doesn't have enough room. The RZR got stuffed in the garage and the Cappuccino slept in the driveway, in his wife's spot. His wife wasn't very happy with that arrangement and he came to the conclusion that he probably wouldn't work on the Cappuccino since he has two other vehicles and his RZR to keep him busy.

Upon hearing he finally brought the Cappuccino back to Florida, I enquired about its status. "I guess I'll sell it since I know I won't have time or space to work on it", he told me. Since I got off work early due to TS Elsa, I asked if I could come see it that day.

"Sure, come over about noon. My wife is at work and I'm cooking some steaks on the grill. I'll throw one on for ya."

So I drove over there, ate some great steak, climbed all over the little car, tried to get it started, tried to jump it and finally gave in and bought a battery.

It fired right up with a fresh battery. "It runs and drives" my buddy told me.

"Can I take it up and down the street?", I asked.

" Sure! Just be mindful of the brakes. I think they work" he reminded me.

So I drove it around a bit. It ran pretty good. The clutch worked and the trans shifted well.

I pulled back up to his driveway and turned it off.

"What do you want for it?" I asked.

"Uhhhh, how about $2500?" was the reply.

My checkbook flew out of my pocket and he had a check for $2500 dollhairs before he could finish the sentence.

stanger_mussle
stanger_mussle UberDork
7/10/21 5:05 p.m.

He went back in his garage and retrieved some parts. One of the items he brought out was a Japanese license plate.

"Here, this goes with the car."

Now it came time to figure out how we were going to get this tiny car back to my house. I only live about a mile from him but it requires crossing a 6 lane highway. But there is a traffic light at that intersection. However, there's a ton of traffic right there.

"How about you just drive it over there?" he asked.

"Yeah, that's what I was thinking too", I responded.

The car made it about 2 blocks before it died. It wouldn't accept any throttle input without instantly bogging. I could pump the gas pedal and get it to build revs enough to release the clutch but I would only get 25 feet or so before it would bog again.

My buddy circled back around and we ended up towing it to my house with a tow strap.

Once safely in my driveway, I had to do some vehicular Jenga to get the Ram out of the way, the Forte out of the garage and in the driveway so I could pull the Cappuccino into the garage.

stanger_mussle
stanger_mussle UberDork
7/10/21 5:13 p.m.

Today, I started disassembly and cleaning of the interior.

The interior is filthy, moldy and smells about what you would expect it to.

The seats seemed like they only had one or two bolts holding them in. As I found out, that was technically true but I ended up taking some of the floor with the seats. Oh, right. It's a 30 year old Japanese convertible. There is going to be rust. How much though? I'd have to pull the carpet to find out.

It's pretty nasty. Hey, what's that by the trans tunnel?

Mouse turds! I guess that makes sense since the car was stored under an overhang for 1.5 years.

I vacuumed the carpet before I pulled it out. Japanese coins, assorted hardware, mouse turds, old receipts and rust flakes were my prizes.

stanger_mussle
stanger_mussle UberDork
7/10/21 5:24 p.m.

I cringed as I peeled back the carpet. I could see some small rust spots but nothing terrible. I pulled the carpet out while holding my breath, turned around and dropped it in the garage floor.

As I turned back to the car, I was greeted with this:

 

It's not that bad, right? I was honestly expecting a lot worse. Yeah, the large holes at the back bulkhead and firewall are kind of a bummer. 

At an earlier mission to Walmart, I bought one can of Rustoleum Rust Convertor, wire brushes and sand paper.

This is what the passenger side looked like after some minor rust mitigation:

Tired of getting covered in rust flakes from the wire wheel, I decided to take a break and try and clean one of the seats up.

johndej
johndej Dork
7/10/21 5:27 p.m.

Damn, that's awesome!

Had he wanted $2500 for it without having to move it to FL I'd have paid that much as it sat in VA.

stanger_mussle
stanger_mussle UberDork
7/10/21 5:34 p.m.

Obviously, water had gotten into the interior before the car came into my possession. The black vinyl seats had brown splotches on them, especially the seat backs and side bolsters.

This is the passenger seat but I assure you that the driver's seat was just as bad, if not worse.

I bought a bottle of Star Brite Mildew Remover and a bottle of Chemical Guys Interior Cleaner and Protectant from Amazon. I then proceeded to scrub the crap out of the driver's seat with the mildew remover and a Magic Eraser. After rinsing the mildew remover off (it has bleach in it), I then used the interior cleaner. I didn't get much grime off after using the mildew remover. Finally, I used 303 Aerospace Protectant to give the vinyl some shine. The result was this:

The mildew remover worked great for removing the funk off the seats and the skin from my fingers. Wear gloves next time dummy.

stanger_mussle
stanger_mussle UberDork
7/10/21 5:37 p.m.
johndej said:

Damn, that's awesome!

Had he wanted $2500 for it without having to move it to FL I'd have paid that much as it sat in VA.

We had been talking about it for a few days after he brought it back. I initially threw a $2000 offer to him but he said he'd have to think about it.

After I bought it, he asked me if I would of paid him $5k for it.

"Nope."

I was hoping to get it for $2500 or less. He's happy. His wife is very happy. And I'm happy.

stanger_mussle
stanger_mussle UberDork
7/10/21 5:43 p.m.

I forgot to mention that while we sat on the side of the road, trying to formulate a plan to tow the car to my house, my buddy casually said:

"My buddy in Virginia that owns the house where the car was stored would start it up every week or so. He thinks the head gasket is blown."

Oh. I guess thats not a huge deal. A new head gasket came with the car.

The little FA6 turbo 3 cylinder is pretty easy to work on. My buddy had already replaced the head gasket once, due to an addiction to boost.

I figure I'll get the car in decent shape before I'll tear into the mechanical part. I've already found some small issues, like torn/loose vacuum lines and the intercooler hoses are rock hard and don't seal at all to the turbo or intake manifold.

All in due time smiley

stanger_mussle
stanger_mussle UberDork
7/10/21 5:55 p.m.

Also, I need help naming this project. All I have come up with so far is a rough Google translation of "mouse turd" to Japanese:

mausu no kuso

 

¯\_(ツ)_/¯
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ PowerDork
7/10/21 6:39 p.m.

The Crappuccino

stanger_mussle
stanger_mussle UberDork
7/10/21 6:42 p.m.
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ said:

The Crappuccino

Damn, how did I not think of that!? It's very fitting.

Gold star for you Chris

¯\_(ツ)_/¯
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ PowerDork
7/10/21 6:46 p.m.

I freaking love these things and have a theory that a well prepped one would dominate MR class Rallycross, congrats on finding a cheap one!

stanger_mussle
stanger_mussle UberDork
7/10/21 6:55 p.m.

In reply to ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ :

Thanks!

I've always been curious about these but I've never seen one up close before.

I knew I was going to buy it as soon as I backed it out of my buddy's driveway. It's like an adult sized go-kart.

It's a tiny, RWD, 5 speed, turbo car that weighs a little under 1600 lbs.

I think they would do well in rallycross too. There isn't much suspension travel but I'm sure there is a way to engineer some more in. 

¯\_(ツ)_/¯
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ PowerDork
7/10/21 7:02 p.m.

In reply to stanger_mussle :

Don't even get me started on the merits of 13" rally tires and small dirt track coilovers.

singleslammer
singleslammer PowerDork
7/10/21 8:28 p.m.

I saw $2500 and thought you stole it, then I saw the condition and gasket issues and think that you paid fair market for it. Really interested in watching this. At some point all these other imported JDM cars will just be weird cars and hopefully I can afford one. The Honda Beat sure looks cool. Ramble over.

This is cool! Keep posting.

ae86andkp61 (Forum Supporter)
ae86andkp61 (Forum Supporter) Dork
7/10/21 11:00 p.m.

Awesome; another Cappuccino owner on here! Congrats on the purchase...sounds like a fun project. I'm uncovering rusty spots on mine as I dig into it. It seems Suzuki only used seam sealer and undercoating on the tiniest fraction of the surfaces on these cars, but they are super fun to drive. I'll be following along with interest.

JoeTR6
JoeTR6 Dork
7/11/21 8:07 a.m.

This looks like a fun project.  That rust isn't so bad.  Compared to some old British cars I've seen, it's very clean.  Hopefully the mice didn't do too much damage.  Enjoy.

Dusterbd13-michael (Forum Supporter)
Dusterbd13-michael (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
7/11/21 8:32 a.m.

Thats mopar in ohio showroom levels of rust free!

Good score. Looks like nifty vintage speed parts  too, right?

RossD
RossD MegaDork
7/11/21 9:04 a.m.
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ said:

The Crappuccino

stanger_mussle
stanger_mussle UberDork
7/11/21 6:30 p.m.
singleslammer said:

I saw $2500 and thought you stole it, then I saw the condition and gasket issues and think that you paid fair market for it. Really interested in watching this. At some point all these other imported JDM cars will just be weird cars and hopefully I can afford one. The Honda Beat sure looks cool. Ramble over.

This is cool! Keep posting.

I came to the same conclusion the more I dug into the car. It's not bad... But it's not great either.

I'd love a Honda Beat or an Autozam AZ-1. The AZ-1 is so weird... I mean awesome. Who doesn't love gullwing doors?

stanger_mussle
stanger_mussle UberDork
7/11/21 6:34 p.m.
ae86andkp61 (Forum Supporter) said:

Awesome; another Cappuccino owner on here! Congrats on the purchase...sounds like a fun project. I'm uncovering rusty spots on mine as I dig into it. It seems Suzuki only used seam sealer and undercoating on the tiniest fraction of the surfaces on these cars, but they are super fun to drive. I'll be following along with interest.

It seems like they do rust in all the same locations. The back bulkhead seems weird because I can't tell if there is supposed to be some more sheet metal behind the bulkhead. I haven't had the car in the air yet but I can see the rear control arm mount from inside the car. That seems... Not right.

Since this isn't a well preserved example, I'm not going to be throwing metric tons of money at it. I just want to slow the rust down, cover the holes in the sheet metal and make it a reliable driver. It's never going to be a show car but I still want to enjoy it.

stanger_mussle
stanger_mussle UberDork
7/11/21 6:48 p.m.

So my poorly planned method of dealing with the rusty holes in the body is as follows:

1. Wire brush the crap out of all the rusty spots I can access.

2. Spray a few coats of rust convertor on all the cleaned up rusty spots.

3. Use aluminum faced self adhesive roof patching (aka Quick Roof) to cover the large rust holes. Use a heat gun and roller tool to promote the highest adhesion level.

4. Spray rust-resistant paint over the patches and interior floor pan.

5. Wire brush the crap out of the rusty spots and holes on the outside of the floor pan.

6. Coat the outside (exterior surface) of the floorpan with POR-15 or similar.

7. Use Quick Roof to cover the holes. Use a heat gun and roller tool to ensure it adheres.

8. Spray rust-resistant paint over the exterior patches and floor pan.

9. Cover all painted areas, patches and bare metal with spray on truck bed liner. I want to protect the patches and I think the truck bed liner (not rubberized undercoating) is tough enough to do the job.

10. Profit?

 

Does that sound reasonable or is it a terrible idea? I don't have a welder or skill set to weld in new sheet metal. Remember that this is a $2500 car and not a $25k car. I just want to stop (or slow) the rust and keep water out of the cabin.

chandler
chandler UltimaDork
7/11/21 7:25 p.m.

Surely there is someone local who would patch that for you on the cheap. Not much work at all

Dusterbd13-michael
Dusterbd13-michael MegaDork
7/11/21 7:49 p.m.

Yeah, id offer if i was closer. 

Put metal back in. Its easier and better for what you want. 

johndej
johndej Dork
7/11/21 8:50 p.m.

Long shot but trade school or anything who needs practice? Might need a lift... There should be some way to get a general patch in there with electric metal glue.

1 2
Our Preferred Partners
OJG9pct3tN4wB53nMnObXWj9O4uXVNk4jHYVsePeGhVZd2fVVQFpjxQ1RsXMGllU