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mazdeuce - Seth
mazdeuce - Seth Mod Squad
11/12/19 5:54 a.m.

The glass on the FJ pops open as well which let's you haul (short trip) things like PVC pipe. 

I know where there are four of these sitting in the UP of Michigan. They appear to be returning to earth. I kind of thought they were about half of the total number of non-crushed ones left as I haven't seen one on the road in about a decade. This should be a fun build. 

95maxrider
95maxrider Reader
11/12/19 5:27 p.m.

Nice pick up!  I'm amazed at how clean everything is.

irish44j
irish44j MegaDork
11/12/19 5:46 p.m.

I forgot to mention, the odometer is showing close to 240,000 miles on this thing. And while I expect this will be a fun little truck, I'm not sure it would really be great to drive 10k miles per year. Didn't even think to look at the mileage, since I'm used to old German cars that all have broken odometers anyhow :)

So, I don't like working with stuff all up in my way. And the engine and all the parts in the back are "in my way" even if they're not, technically. The transmisson is heavy, and I am going to use it eventually, so didn't really want to move it. But the engine and all the other heavy stuff were actually further into the vehicle, and that stuff is mostly gonna be junk, based on its condition. 

So, of course the way I stuck the truck in there, using the hoist is next to impossible at the rear end. But me being me, I decided I could move the transmission out of the way and get the engine out of the back by myself, in a cramped area. So, using a couple stools about the height of the deck to swing the transmission outward onto, I moved the engine bit by bit to the back and then unceremoniously dumped it out the back onto some old tires (these old Star Specs have held like 3 engines now...).\

Doink...

Then wrangled it onto a dolly to get out of the garage (I'm reasonably strong, and this isn't a huge engine, but it's still pretty damn heavy...

Got a better look at why I'm not even gonna bother with this engine. uck.

Pulled out the parts in the bins that I'll probably need regardless of the engine, and the rest got on the garden cart for the trip to the shed out back

Getting the engine on there wasn't exactly easy by myself.....but I'm fairly good at leverage :)

and out to the shed...

 

---------

 

So with all that junk out of the way, I was able to put the rear seat down and see its condition, etc (transmission still fits behind it for now). Will need a good cleaning, but seems to be in decent shape.

A few other things of interest, that Montero owners surely know but are kind of nifty:

A separate reservoir for the rear wiper washer...

And right below that the "hidden" compartment. I guess it's for the jack or whatever, but the online joke is that it's where you carry "all the extra quarts of oil you'll need driving at Montero" lol

Oh, and these fabulously 80s speakers in the back seat area. Funny that they are stock, because they look like something aftermarket (or an afterthought)

---

One other item: while some things for these cost about what they do for other SUV/trucks out there, it is kind of funny seeing the prices for certain items on Rockauto..

Not that I'll buy any of these shocks, probably, but boy are they cheap. Also things like $3 swaybar endlink kits, stuff like that. I have to be careful about rear suspension stuff since Rockauto seemingly doesn't realize the later '89 Raider had coil spring rear setup, not leaf springs. 

 

 

MadScientistMatt
MadScientistMatt PowerDork
11/13/19 7:17 a.m.

Nice find! My uncle had a Dodge Raider once - only one I ever remember seeing.

irish44j
irish44j MegaDork
11/13/19 7:20 p.m.

So this is not a rush project at all, but I got it because I like working on cars, even when I can't afford to before the holidays. So the next month or four will be me doing "mostly-free" stuff like cleaning, painting, etc.  My goal is to do 1-2 hours every day after work and see where I get to, going section-by-section on the car until I get it fairly nice. So for today decided I'd starte on the back. 

First order of business was to take the spare tire off, since I could see the mount for it was rusty behind it. And of course.....yeah, I don't have a key for this lol...

But I do have one of these...

With that off, I removed the tire mount, and then pulled off the hitch assembly and the bumper. The bumper came off surprisingly easy - none of the bolts were rusted or sheared, which was really surprising since rear bumpers on SUVs and trucks tend to get all grimy and rusty. It looks a bit rusty in this pic, but the rear frame members really have almost no rust at all.  Let me note that I'm pretty impressed at how heavy-duty everything is on this rig. Even the low loop next to the hitch is about three times as beefy as the one on my much larger Toyota Sequoia. I bet you could hang this Raider from a crane hook by that loop, easily. In fact, everything about this chassis seems to be heavily overbuilt - far moreso than Toyota SUVs and Jeeps I've owned over the years. Some of the reinforcements and stuff on this vehicle woudl be best described as "military-spec" it seems. 

I did snap off a couple of small M8 bolts that hold the mudflap bracket to the frame (one on the side, one on the bottom), not surprisingly, since I couldn't hit them with PB blaster since they go into the frame box. So spent some time drilling them out and re-tapping. This Harbor Freight tap and die set has paid for itself 10 times over in the 7-8 years I've had it. I got a bit nervous thinking I was going to snap off the M8 tap in the thick frame metal, but it made it no problem. 

In this pic, note the hole to the right and how thick the frame metal is. I just did a bunch of frame work on the Sequoia, which is a much larger truck, and just guesstimating but the Raider frame steel thickness has to be almost double that of the Toyota, and also has several reinforced areas that are even thicker. Color me impressed. 

None of the parts look bad, just a small amount of surface rust and general grime

Cleaned them up with some Brillo pads and Dawn and did some painting. For most of the frame-related items I'm using brush-on Rustoleum. This stuff has held up well on the rally car and Sequoia, and I like brush-on since it's nice and thick and tough. 

Then I pulled off the gas tank skidplate, which is in really good condition (what looks like rust here is mostly just dirt/mud/grime, which will come off with Brillo/sandpaper so I expect it'll clean up nicely). not like my Sequoia's skidplate, which is 15 years newer and literally about to rust in half.....While doing so, a handful of small yellow-jacket-looking things fell down and started crawling around (maybe juveniles, IDK, none of them fley anywhere). So, had to take care of that and I think I got a little sting on my hand.  Found a nest up on top of the gas tank that seemed old, so maybe they came from there. Will have to take a look around and make sure no more critters are living in this thing. 

The I did some painting on the rear frame crossmember and all the bumper mounts. I know nobody sees this stuff, and it really wasn't rusty at all, but since I have a lot of time for this project might as well do all the preventative stuff as well.

I also pulled the diamond-plate top panels off the bumper to clean them up (and make painting the bumper easier). The bolts for this were not so friendly, and i snapped about half of them. They're a short-length lag bolt of sorts (self-locking at the top with a square profile and crome head). I'll have to see where I can get my hands on some more of these.

I did take a wire wheel to the plate to see how much it cleaned up. A bit, but not much. Maybe I'll get them re-chromed,  but there's no other chrome on this vehicle, so maybe I'll just paint them up with some bedliner or something. IIDK, we'll see. 

 

 

 

 

Brett_Murphy
Brett_Murphy UltimaDork
11/13/19 9:42 p.m.

Great work so far.

 

irish44j
irish44j MegaDork
11/13/19 10:01 p.m.

Thanks. Gotta start small.

I've been watching a 25-part video series on Youtube that a guy did for a full restoration of his '88 Raider (which, incidentally, is the same paint/interior colors as mine. It's kind of funny, because the way he works reminds me a LOT of the way I work, except he's even more meticulous. And he vaguely even looks like me (me, and Steve Carrell combined, maybe) lol.  In any case, his series is really detailed - it's like a video version of my build threads except I write and he videos and talks (I don't have the patience to do that myself). Anyhow, it's already been really useful in learning more about this vehicle and the ins and outs of it - though his is a 4-cylinder and mine is a V6. Anyhow, it's one of the best video "builds" I've seen in a long time since it's nothing flashy, just detailed covereage of doing seemingly innocuous things like rebuilding the HVAC fan, or putting in new transmission seals. 

Check it out: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lFgfATpqCNg

So, that one (Episode 10) he's doing some transmission and transfer case work and it struck me.....I've been working on cars for 20+ years but have never done anything with an automatic transmission, short of flushing the fluid on the Sequoia. My project cars have always been manuals....the Triumph, e21, e30, Cherokee, Porsche, WRX, etc.  I'm almost embarrassed to say it, but I literally know nothing about slushboxes. I mean nothing. I'm looking at the one in the back of this truck and thinking "so, how does this even work?" I've never even thought about how the slushbox in the Sequoia actually works and it (and the 4Runner) are the only automatics I've ever owned. Like, I know what a torque converter "is" physically, but how it actually works I've never really thought about (oh, and I freaking went to engineering school and somehow never learned this - granted it was marine engineering (boats)).

It's kind of silly, actually, And of course I'm about to jump on the internet to just read about "how automatic transmissions work" and what the parts are. Then I see over on the side table, a book I bought for my 11-year-old daughter (though my 6-year old seems more interested in actually reading it). 

So seriously, I just picked up "how cars work" and read the section about automatic transmissions. Which is not very detailed (I bought the book for an 11-year old, so was trying to find one that was very basic), but nonetheless here I am reading it. Just thought that was kind of funny. I've rebuilt engines, swapped engines, rebuilt diffs, done all kinds of suspension work....and I'm reading a beginner's book about slushboxes :)

And that's why I love working on cars, and love doing different types/makes/models of car projects - because it's always a learning experience. 

MadScientistMatt
MadScientistMatt PowerDork
11/14/19 7:28 a.m.
irish44j said:

 

So seriously, I just picked up "how cars work" and read the section about automatic transmissions. Which is not very detailed (I bought the book for an 11-year old, so was trying to find one that was very basic), but nonetheless here I am reading it. Just thought that was kind of funny. I've rebuilt engines, swapped engines, rebuilt diffs, done all kinds of suspension work....and I'm reading a beginner's book about slushboxes :)

I believe automatic transmissions are what inspired the saying "There are wheels within wheels."

irish44j
irish44j MegaDork
11/14/19 8:44 p.m.

Just continuing to paint stuff and clean stuff up. Had to shear off one of the lugs on the right rear wheel because the nut was seized on there, but not really surprised. No pictures, they wouldn't be that exciting :)

Side note: the Factory Service Manual for this car that I downloaded online is really, really good. I mean, it puts the Bentley manual for the e30 shame, and I've always thought the Bentley was the gold standard.

In unrelated news, my *other* build thread here on GRM got a shout-out in the mag this month. So that's pretty neat. I thought about doing this build in that thread, but that one is already really covering 3-4 vehicles and is really, really long, so wanted to do this one on its own so I could start "from scratch" rather than on page 100-whatever...

Maybe someday this thread will make it in there too :)

Image may contain: car and outdoor

Vigo
Vigo MegaDork
11/15/19 10:49 a.m.

Just noticed the thread for this thing.

Mine has leaves and no limited slip. The diff i want, but honestly i have no problems with the ride quality so if yours is better you should be sitting pretty. My last Montero (94) had a suspension seat base swapped onto the driver's side. I'd vaguely like another one for my 87 but im realistically too lazy to scour junkyards over it anymore. 

As far as the engine goes, I would at least consider just putting the same thing back. It will have reasonable performance and the only hard thing about it would be finding enough of a donor to piece it back together without a thousand annoyances of missing bits and bobs. 

If you're going to run a different engine i would also consider staying in the 6g family. Saying 'the sky is the limit' might be a slight overstatement but the 6g family has a version that's on par with any v6 from anybody else in any concurrent time period, right up until the direct injection era which it never crossed into that I know of. There are 8 second naturally aspirated 6g drag cars in Puerto Rico. So, power is not a limitation. In fact, i would actually avoid the DOHC setups unless you just come into one for free because the SOHC 24v's have great headflow anyway and less failure points. 

In fact, if you had the hood room or were willing to cut a hole in the hood I might even suggest using a chrysler 3.0 intake manifold which is flat on the top and just bolting a carburetor directly in the center of it and forget about fuel injection. There is a dodge shadow that has been running on the street with that setup for years and at least one Lemons car did it as well although i don't know if that one was 'sorted'. 

 

 

There's one in a local yard to me that's rusty, but the interior in weirdly good shape.

It's only weird if you've internalized stereotypes about Mitsubishi that definitely did not come from the late 80s. As far as i'm concerned the only thing Mitsubishi gave up to Toyota in this time period was engine longevity. I would put everything else on par including interior quality. My montero's 2.6 (which to be sure is far less reliable than the 3.0!) is still doing ok at 190k. 

 

Vigo
Vigo MegaDork
11/15/19 10:53 a.m.

Pre-mud-tires: 

irish44j
irish44j MegaDork
11/15/19 5:27 p.m.
Vigo said:

Just noticed the thread for this thing.

Mine has leaves and no limited slip. The diff i want, but honestly i have no problems with the ride quality so if yours is better you should be sitting pretty. My last Montero (94) had a suspension seat base swapped onto the driver's side. I'd vaguely like another one for my 87 but im realistically too lazy to scour junkyards over it anymore. 

As far as the engine goes, I would at least consider just putting the same thing back. It will have reasonable performance and the only hard thing about it would be finding enough of a donor to piece it back together without a thousand annoyances of missing bits and bobs. 

If you're going to run a different engine i would also consider staying in the 6g family. Saying 'the sky is the limit' might be a slight overstatement but the 6g family has a version that's on par with any v6 from anybody else in any concurrent time period, right up until the direct injection era which it never crossed into that I know of. There are 8 second naturally aspirated 6g drag cars in Puerto Rico. So, power is not a limitation. In fact, i would actually avoid the DOHC setups unless you just come into one for free because the SOHC 24v's have great headflow anyway and less failure points. 

In fact, if you had the hood room or were willing to cut a hole in the hood I might even suggest using a chrysler 3.0 intake manifold which is flat on the top and just bolting a carburetor directly in the center of it and forget about fuel injection. There is a dodge shadow that has been running on the street with that setup for years and at least one Lemons car did it as well although i don't know if that one was 'sorted'. 

 

I would consider putting the same engine model back in, but this one seems too much of a mess to deal with, and pretty much nothing is good on it....I'm not spending big money just to get mediocrity. If another early Montero pops up with this engine and maybe all rusted out or something and I can get it cheap, I'd probably do that. But Gen 1's almost never pop up around here, and I'm still not entirely clear which of the FWD applications work the best (Caravan, etc) - plus there aren't that many of those out in this area either.. Gen 2's and 3's there are plenty of for cheap and the swap doesn't seem too daunting for the 3.5s, mostly just engine mounts and wiring from what I can tell. 

My main issue so far is this is such a small community, and most of the most useful posts are so old (no working pics, etc). I'm still not entirely clear WHICH engines came in which models/generations. there's such a mess of information out there (not super-organized lists like I'm used to with the BMW community lol). For instance, there are a metric ton of Montero Sports in this area for cheap. Now I know they're not "actually" a Montero, but they do use a 6G family motor - but I haven't been able to figure out exactly whether it will fit my 1G in terms of clearances, sides, bolting to the transmission, etc. 4x4Wire seems to be the best resource, but man that forum is clunky with a lot of dead links and such.....

So at the moment I'm aiming toward what I've seen the best-documeted upgrade swaps of: the engine out of the '94 Montero SR, which is the 3.5 SOHC, I think.....I would love to be able to find a list (and year range) that engine comes in, but it's hard to find organized information out there on these.....

Again though, I won't even think about engine until probably next winter. I want to take my time and do everything else first and then be able to do an engine install and be ready to drive. Also I don't want to be in a rush to buy a donor vehicle, since I don't have space to keep it so whatever I get, I need to be fully up to speed on what I need to pull off of it, so I can just pull the engine (and maybe rear axle?) in a day and haul it to the scrapyard. I don't mind deconstucted cars in my garage, but I highly dislike to have them outside, for the sake of my neighbors. 

As to the latter suggestion, I'll be honest - I'd just as well have fuel injection vs. carbs....I've never had great luck with carbs of any kind for one reason or anohter. And i definitely don't want to cut a hole in the hood. :)

Any additional advice/resources is always welcome though. 

irish44j
irish44j MegaDork
11/15/19 6:23 p.m.

Busy week coming up with other stuff....I have work tomorrow, the last rallycross of the season Saturday, and then driving 500 miles to Canada for work (and for Tall Pines rally after that). So with getting ready for all that stuff still found an hour today to continue some cleaning and painting.

Moving along the right rear frame. I plan to pull suspension components and paint the lower arm, axled, swaybar, etc. But I like to cut projects into small pieces that don't take big chunks of time that I don't have. The downside to all this piecemeal painting is goign through a lot of brushes, so I just have a couple dozen 49-cent harbor frieght/walmart chip brushes sitting around so i can just toss them after short painting sessions and not have to clean them.

Also, if you look on the far right of this photo, you'll see a twin-arm bracket coming off the body that has a big bolt running between the arms through a big opening in another bracket attached to the frame. Nothing is actually being held in place here, nor do the brackets actually attach to or touch each other at all. My only guess is this is some kind of failsafe for if the body mounts rot away or shear off in an accident, and this big bracket basically would prevent the rear of the body from coming more than an inch or two off the frame. An interesting point about this is that to do a body lift (which is super-easy on this truck if I wanted to, but I don't) I'd have to remove this bracket entirely since with a body lift it woudl be making metal-on-metal contact. Anyhow, a good example of engineers thinking of backup plans.... 

With it being reasonably warm today (50*) it was a good chance to take some larger stuff outside to the hose and scrub it with some rough schotchbrite/brillo pads doused in Dawn to get any grease off. So I did the gas tank skidplate and one of the transmission crossmembers. Once cleaned up, they look even better than I thought, with just a bit of surface rust and absolutely nothing needing repair or mitigation. I'll just paint these again and call it a day at some point. Seriously, they look amazing for a 1989 Japanese truck that lived next to a beach. 

The gas tank skid does remind me: This truck didn't come with either of the front skidplates. I almost wonder if they're sititng in the PO's back yard or something and he just forgot. I may ask, though he's not close and they're too big to easily ship, so IDK if I'd bother going to get them. More likely I'll build something myself. Something like the Dakar-tribute Montero I posted at the top of this thread. That's a long way away though. 

I also took the rear bumper and scrubbed the inside/backside of it, which was in pretty good shape as well other than some rusty areas on the metal backing of the rubber corner over-riders. Then brushed on a good thick layer of paint (while managing to knock over my quart can and spilling half of it, thankfully on the cardboard I was using and not on my driveway!). Again, surprised at the lack of rust inside the rear bumper, but let's keep it that way!

It's not actually fully installed, just soft-bolted up to get it off the floor and out of the way. Note the rusty old bolts on the hitch. I ordered some black-coated flanged ones from McMaster that arrived today, but I need to be more careful. I eyeballed it and thought these were M12 x 1.75 coarse (since that's a pretty typical size), but it turns out they're actually M12 x 2.0 - which is mildly annoying since that size isn't useful much of anyplace else in automotive life, it seems.....

I also got a box of M8 x 20mm bolts and M8 washers and lock washers. Seems like a ton of stuff on this truck uses that size, so for the most part I'll just plan to replace any and all of them that are even remotely rusty on the threads, and use a generous amount of anti-seize. 

Anyhow, looks a bit better. I didn't do the outside of the bumper as I want to spend some good time sanding and prepping it and use a spray-application rather than brush on, so the outside looks good. The corner overriders are pretty much the one thing on this truck that are in pretty mediocre condition (well, besides the engine), with several cracks and just generally pretty beat up. So I'll keep an eye open for some better ones, or thing about a way to make these better at some point.

mr2s2000elise
mr2s2000elise Dork
11/15/19 6:32 p.m.

Looks excellent ! 

thatsnowinnebago
thatsnowinnebago UltraDork
11/15/19 6:59 p.m.

Be careful with that 3.5 from the SRs. It like to kill itself by ingesting the butterfly valves from the intake manifold. The fix is to just buy the updated part from Mitsubishi. They upgraded the bushing that the butterfly valve shaft rides on, which solves the problem forever. My 94 died that way. After I bought the manifold and before I installed it crying

thatsnowinnebago
thatsnowinnebago UltraDork
11/15/19 7:04 p.m.

Also, here's a cool idea (if I do say so myself) for a gas can holder: 

I made a plate the goes in between the wheel and the tire carrier that has 4 standoffs that bolt to a plate that's welded to the actual gas can holder. 

irish44j
irish44j MegaDork
11/15/19 7:07 p.m.

^^thanks, will stash that knowledge away for the future. If you follow this thread and see me pick up that engine, remind me again :)

Vigo
Vigo MegaDork
11/15/19 9:25 p.m.

The 94 3.0 I had was owned by grm'er m4ff3w before me. He swapped in a chrysler fwd engine that i supplied. The Chrysler fwd stuff stayed so close to the same throughout it's entire ~13 year run that I honestly don't think any of it matters.  But yeah, a 3.5 sohc is probably the most common and practical in-family swap. 

irish44j
irish44j MegaDork
11/15/19 9:38 p.m.

I'm also seeing a ton of cheap Montero Sports around here. I know it's a "different" vehicle in many ways, but any idea if the engine is a direct swap? Mostly concerned with the oil pain (or if my oil pan will swap over to that block). I think those are the 3.0 SOHC 24v, vice 12v, correct? At least the early ones and lower models (I know some higher models got the 3.5)

irish44j
irish44j MegaDork
11/25/19 6:03 p.m.

I was away all week in Canada for work and for a Rally (see my other thread if you want to read about that...), so no progress here. In Ottawa, I was standing at an intersection and glanced up and for a sec I thought it was a black Raider driving by. But then I realized it was a V8 Defender 90 lol.....man, talk about a pretty similar shape at a glance. Bet I could fool a lot of non-car-people with some rebadging haha...

irish44j
irish44j MegaDork
11/25/19 8:43 p.m.

Also, minor point: I ordered some nice black-finish bolts to replace the rusty ones attaching the hitch to the rear frame. They bolts are 12mm coarse thread, so I ordered M12 x 1.75, which is the coarsest M12 thread available. They don't fit. The thread is still to fine, of all things. 

After much more careful re-measuring of the thread, finally figured out that they're not metric at all, which is pretty strange since this is a Japanese-built truck full of metric stuff. Nope, they're the equivalent of M12 x 2.0 (which doesn't exist in any realistic sense) --> which comes out to a 1/2" x 13 SAE bolt. Which is exactly what fits. Strange since the nuts are captive/welded so they are presumably OEM (it would be extremely hard to replace them). Anyhow, thought that was strange. 

boodaroo
boodaroo
11/28/19 12:18 p.m.

So I just stumbled upon a gen 1 in a barn while hunting in GA.  1989 2 door montero with V6  104 original miles and bone stock, no rust. It cranked right up and drove up on the trailer. So my idea of a project was washing it up, cranked the torsion bars up and slapped a set of 34 10.50 swampers on it. I took it yesterday to a some local jeep rock climbing trails just to test it out. It did amazing considering it is so close to stock.

 

Irish44, I admire your patience and how you can take apart, assessing/ painting things as you go. 

 

As you stated, not much info out there on these. Anyone know what rearend is in these and if you can buy lockers or spools for them? Mine doesn't have LSD and that would be the mod that sets this thing up.

Vigo
Vigo MegaDork
11/28/19 1:46 p.m.

That SAE bolt thing is extremely odd. 

I stuck with 32s on mine at stock height. It will easily take 34s with minor changes as mentioned but i decided not to go there until i upped the power from the 2.6. As is it will break every speed limit in almost every country in the world, but I'm concerned about how it 'feels' to do ~70mph down the road. Currently 'ok' but not much margin to get worse before it becomes annoying. I have 235/85/16 now and will step up to 285/75/16 when I have a little more power. Consider this whole paragraph a sales pitch for the v6. cheeky

15s would be easier (and i even have some black 15x8 steelies sitting around from the last Montero) but I found these sweet looking 16x7.5s and now i won't give them up for anything!!

irish44j
irish44j MegaDork
11/29/19 7:46 p.m.
boodaroo said:

So I just stumbled upon a gen 1 in a barn while hunting in GA.  1989 2 door montero with V6  104 original miles and bone stock, no rust. It cranked right up and drove up on the trailer. So my idea of a project was washing it up, cranked the torsion bars up and slapped a set of 34 10.50 swampers on it. I took it yesterday to a some local jeep rock climbing trails just to test it out. It did amazing considering it is so close to stock.

 

Irish44, I admire your patience and how you can take apart, assessing/ painting things as you go. 

 

As you stated, not much info out there on these. Anyone know what rearend is in these and if you can buy lockers or spools for them? Mine doesn't have LSD and that would be the mod that sets this thing up.

 

lol, the way you worded it makes you sound like you just stole it from someone's barn ;)

Rear end: The Gen2 Montero rear end (with air locker and disc brakes) is supposedly pretty much a direct swap, other than it having a slightly wider track. I'm not an expert obviously, but I've read that many times on the forums, so may want to look into it.

I'm not patient at all. I just don't have an engine or much money to spend on this at the moment, so I'm forced to go slowly ;)

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
11/30/19 7:54 a.m.

In reply to irish44j :

Re: SAE bolts

Could it be that the bumpers were installed at the port of entry?  Some odd things happen with imported vehicles to meet US regs.  Could have been possible that the vehicles arrived as "unfinished" kits so that final assembly could happen in the US.  

Example: of the Ford Transit Connects that entered the US were coming in with back seats and then at the port of entry, a contractor company unbolted and removed all the seats.  This was somehow related to avoiding The Chicken Tax.  Most interesting is that all the seats were scrapped. Seems to me these non-used seats should have been sent back to the factory to be reinstalled in another round of imports but that probably makes the shipping of them either cost prohibitive or from the country of assembly (Turkey) there may have been some importing of them that was forbidden.  

Cite a source and backup verification on Ford Transit Connect

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