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PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2016 1:13 pm 
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Picked up a '80 4x4 Mikado about a month ago, and figured I'd start a build thread now that things are underway. This won't be the fastest build up, but hopefully it won't stall for long periods of time.

The truck was last registered in Nevada 20 years ago, and was brought to Pittsburgh around 8 years ago by the previous owner.

As it sat, under his carport for the last few years.

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Got it into my possession and rolled it off the trailer.

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The engine bay is in pretty sad shape. Carb missing, vacuum lines rotted, coolant had turned into solid corrosion.

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Interior was rough too. Mice has taken over a while ago, and the dash was pretty much non-existent. It came with a set of Blazer buckets, but those were pretty trashed as well.

This is it after some quarantining. Floor pans are mint!

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At this point, I'm just tearing everything out and sorting out what I'll keep, what I need to acquire, and what I can pass on to other Luv owners.

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While it has its fair share of dents and minor surface rust, I don't plan on doing body work to it any time soon. Just a quick hit with the buffer 'ought to bring at least some of the shine back.

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The end goal is to have swap in a LE5 2.4 Ecotec mated to an Asin AR-5 with a Pontiac Solstice bellhousing. Having owned a Cobalt at one point, and still having plenty of friends with them in the area, it just seems like a cheap/fun swap that sill keep me occupied for the time being.

Already have the wheels I'm going to run on it.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2016 1:47 pm 
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Finally someone is doing it. Have seen a lot of ecotec builds but not in a luv

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1980 Mikado, Chevy 4.3 V6. Compcams 270HR, edelbrock intake and carb, vortec heads, s10 NV3500, stock 4.10 rear. The toy
1999 Isuzu Rodeo 4x4, 31" kumho mt's, the wife's daily driver
1993 Lexus SC400 my DD
2005 Honda CRF450R where the real fun is at


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 22, 2016 5:42 am 
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Got the cab lifted off the frame. Going to start de-greasing the engine bay, and get it as well as the underside and inside of the cab ready for paint.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 17, 2016 10:49 pm 
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subscribed for updates!


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 19, 2016 10:32 pm 
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Haven't really worked on the truck much. I came across a guy somewhat local that wanted to straight up trade my 4wd frame for his 2wd. After talking back and forth for over a month, we were finally able to make it happen earlier today. Got the new frame all situated in the old one's place.

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While the frame was out of the garage, I played around with the body and snapped a couple of pictures of what I eventually want this thing to look like.

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 20, 2016 9:30 pm 
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While you have the chassis free i would clean it up and paint it to keep it from rusting up down the line. I took mine down to metal in most places and then painted it with some black john deere impliment paint. Stuff is tough for a rattlecan. looks great still and its been a couple years.

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1980 Mikado, Chevy 4.3 V6. Compcams 270HR, edelbrock intake and carb, vortec heads, s10 NV3500, stock 4.10 rear. The toy
1999 Isuzu Rodeo 4x4, 31" kumho mt's, the wife's daily driver
1993 Lexus SC400 my DD
2005 Honda CRF450R where the real fun is at


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 21, 2016 8:30 am 
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love4theluv wrote:
While you have the chassis free i would clean it up and paint it to keep it from rusting up down the line. I took mine down to metal in most places and then painted it with some black john deere impliment paint. Stuff is tough for a rattlecan. looks great still and its been a couple years.


Definitely cleaning up the frame and all the components. I'll take the front end apart and repaint all that stuff too, as well as the leaf springs. Probably won't be using the stock rear end, so I'll hold off on that.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 23, 2016 8:51 am 
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Actually managed to spend the evening doing just that. Got the entire front suspension dropped in one piece, and ground off all the wiring harness tabs. This thing is cleaning up quite easily.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 24, 2016 1:16 pm 
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Location: Baytown,Texas
Wow , a sano ecotech conversion , cant wait should make a great driver .


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2016 11:05 am 
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Frame is getting there. Going to flip it tonight and paint the top side so I can get the cab set back on and free up some garage space.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 15, 2016 9:11 am 
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Got the front suspension all torn apart, and the passengers side is all in primer. Also ordered a bunch of new parts to rebuild the front end (bushings, end links, tie rods, control arm shafts, ball joints).

And, scored a donor car! Hopefully I can snag it this weekend and evaluate the motor.

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 17, 2016 12:30 am 
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Location: Lobethal, South Australia
i had the wrong ecotech in mind! here in australia they had a v6 ecotech in the commodores, as well as the 4cyl astra/barinas. Seeing a saab just threw me! keep going im keen to see what happens now!

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1967 Isuzu Bellett
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 17, 2016 7:29 am 
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Yeah saab basically took an ecotec and designed their own parts for it they have their own heads and the internals were changed a bit as well.
I was thrown off too i forgot saab even had them.
When do you plan to start mocking the engine up and making mounts

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1980 Mikado, Chevy 4.3 V6. Compcams 270HR, edelbrock intake and carb, vortec heads, s10 NV3500, stock 4.10 rear. The toy
1999 Isuzu Rodeo 4x4, 31" kumho mt's, the wife's daily driver
1993 Lexus SC400 my DD
2005 Honda CRF450R where the real fun is at


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 18, 2016 12:10 pm 
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This is essentially the same block that was in the supercharged Cobalt SS cars. It's amazing how much cheaper they can be had though. For my application, the turbo setup will work better, as the M64 blower on the Cobalt would put the trottle body facing the firewall.

I'm not even going to have a chance to touch the car and tear it apart until after the holidays. Not sure when I'll get a chance to actually mock the motor up.


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 25, 2016 10:48 pm 
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nice score!


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 05, 2017 12:10 pm 
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any updates? what aisin transmission are you using?


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2017 7:39 am 
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lspower wrote:
any updates? what aisin transmission are you using?


I've got a line on a lower mileage AR-5 out of a Solstice. But I'm going to have to find another from a Colorado, and make a hybrid out of the two in order to get the shifter in a more appropriate location.

Got majority of the front suspension sandblasted, painted, and back together. Just need to get the hubs, calipers, and rotors done.

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This is how the Saab sits. Everything has been stripped off the body of the car, and the engine should be coming out this Saturday. Then off to scrap it goes.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2017 7:39 pm 
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ahelm wrote:
lspower wrote:
any updates? what aisin transmission are you using?


I've got a line on a lower mileage AR-5 out of a Solstice. But I'm going to have to find another from a Colorado, and make a hybrid out of the two in order to get the shifter in a more appropriate location.



I was looking at that too. looks like the bell housing can be unbolted and swapped, hopefully that's all it needs.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 13, 2017 6:31 am 
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Officially got the motor out of the car.

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And now it's at my place on a stand. This ought to keep me occupied for a while as I clean it up and figure out what goes/stays.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 13, 2017 8:02 am 
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Good job!!


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