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Thread: 1980 Mitsubishi J53 Project - and it begins

  1. #1

    1980 Mitsubishi J53 Project - and it begins

    Hello all,

    It has been a bit of a ride over the last three months since I returned from Afghanistan. This last week has been the most challenging for me personally as I watch the news, so time to focus on the Jeep and do something positive in this world...

    After arriving home, cleaned the garage and made a spot for the Jeep to get it out of the driveway and weather.

    jeep driveway.jpg

    Removed the side curtains from the top and did a quick inspection - albeit I missed a few and then drove the beast for a few days around town.

    - Brakes grabbed and pulled to the left (discovered the issue below)
    - Master Brake Cylinder: One resevior completely dry
    - Horn doesn't work
    - Replaced horn regulator - still doesn't "honk"
    - Blinkers don't blink, but the emergency blinkers work
    - Replaced all bulbs with LEDs - brighter and compatible with 24v system
    - Ordered the blinker regulator - will see if that fixes it
    - Needs an oil change, trying to figure out an American oil filter replacement option vice the $35 + $35 shipping Japanese option from Mitsubishi
    - Needs a new air filter - same issue trying to figure out an American replacement - parts prices aren't bad, shipping is a killer from Japan
    - Almost no rust on the jeep. As stated previously, it needs the entire exhaust assembly replaced soon
    - Did find rust on the under side of the hood (edges closest to both batteries. Obviously batteries leaked at a previous time and caused the rust issue. I'll have to wire brush these down
    and paint with some rust preventer.
    - I need to either suck up buying backup brake pads from Japan - $250 with shipping or try to find local replacement options. Also need to find a decent reliner service for existing pads.
    - Emergency brake works fine and the good news is that it is a stock CJ3b emergency brake
    - Needs a new top but they are no longer made or available...will be a challenge
    - Overall bits of surface rust across the Jeep (screw/bolt heads) and other areas that just need some TLC and elbow grease.

    Overall, the Jeep runs great and just needs some attention a bit everywhere to what was lacking from the Japanese Army maintenance program.

    More to follow and appreciate any expertise especially regarding the brakes. More pictures to follow.....

    Last edited by livingthepast; 08-19-2021 at 12:08 PM.

  2. #2
    Super Moderator bmorgil's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2018
    Northwestern Ohio
    Brian, first thank you beyond words for the safety you and your brothers provided to me and our country. No 9/11 since. If they try it again we may just hit a little harder next time. I have not forgotten we kicked them out of power faster than they let themselves back in.

    Now that project! It would not surprise me if the brakes fit something more common like a Mitsubishi pickup truck. A sharp old school auto parts store might help. Lots of pictures, you never know what a member might recognize.

    For the filters try the Wix by size, you never know. Their web site is a good place to hunt. Also their tech staff might get you on track to some Wix or NAPA numbers.

    Shoot some pictures, lets see that beauty!
    Last edited by bmorgil; 08-19-2021 at 12:43 PM.

  3. #3
    Senior Member TJones's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Akron, Ohio
    Like bmorgil say's THANK YOU for your service Buddy!!
    He is right on as far as a good, sharp Ole Boy from your local parts house will probably match or cross over what you have for brakes on the ole girl, filters he is correct as well Wix is a really good pick and most of the Napa filters are made by Wix so I'm not real sure if you have a Napa store near you but you can try them.
    If you get on the Wix website there is a area that will cross over just about any filter to a Wix number even if you have the number off the existing, I will see if I can post that area on here for you.
    Last edited by TJones; 08-19-2021 at 02:54 PM.

  4. #4
    Super Moderator gmwillys's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Welcome back to the world. We appreciate that you made it back safe.

    I for one am looking forward to learning more about your Mitsubishi, because we haven't had the opportunity to see what makes them tick. It will be a learning experience for us all. It is still a basic machine, so it won't be too different from ours.

  5. #5
    Senior Member 5JeepsAz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2019
    Seems we are all watching and wondering what we accomplished since 9/11, as one nation. I appreciate your service and sacrifice for the USA. Thank you. My belief? What you did will be knowable in a few generations time. How do we look at Hiroshima, today? Berlin, today? We see our greatest generation through grateful memories of service members who, like you, did good work for the USA decades ago. Give this time. Rome not built in a day. My thoughts as a grateful citizen in honor of your sacrifice. God Bless you brother. Also, the horn needs sorted pronto. Gotta have that meep meep!

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