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Today I acquired a 1996 Mitsubishi Jeep with 2.7L 4DR6 Direct Injection Turbo Diesel, Mitsubishi HD four speed manual transmission, and Dana 30/44 axles. These Jeeps are built to military specification by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, extremely sound machines. The approach angle is 47 degrees paired with a departure angle of 35.5 degrees, completely stock. The little Jeep manages all of these features and is still able to push over 35 MPG.

I do not plan to build this Jeep but rather lightly restore it since it cannot come home with me due to age restrictions. However I can send home the entire drive train... Since it doesn't have power steering its a slight pain in the rump to drive but manageable. Once I verify its running condition a little more I will start to look into adding it on.

The Jeep was introduced to the Japanese market as the Jeep J3 in July 1953 after Willys agreed to allow Mitsubishi to market the car themselves. The name was not in reference to "CJ3", but rather denoted the fact that 53 "J1"s (CJ3-A with 6-volt electrics) were built for the Japanese regional forest office and circa 500 "J2"s (CJ3-A with 12-volt electrics) were built for the National Safety Forces.[9] Mitsubishi was to continue knock-down production of vehicles derived from the CJ-3B design until August 1998, when tighter emissions and safety standards finally made the Jeep obsolete. In total, approximately 200,000 units were built in this 45-year period.[15] Short, medium, and long wheelbases were available, as well as a variety of bodystyles and gasoline as well as diesel engines.[16] In Japan, it was sold at a specific retail chain called Galant Shop.

The original J3 was a basic, doorless and roofless version, still with left hand drive even though the Japanese drive on the left. The first right-hand drive versions didn't appear until nearly eight years later (J3R/J11R). The original J3 and its derivatives were equipped with the 2.2 L (2,199 cc) F-head "Hurricane" (called JH4 by Mitsubishi, for Japanese Hurricane 4-cylinder) inline four-cylinder, originally producing 70 PS (51 kW; 69 hp) at 4,000 rpm.[17] In 1955 a slightly longer wheelbase J10 which could seat six was added, and in 1956 the J11 appeared, a two-door "delivery wagon" with a full metal body. This was considerably longer, at 433 cm (170 in) versus 339 cm (133 in) for the J3.
Local production of the JH4 engine commenced in 1955. A locally developed diesel version (KE31) was introduced for the JC3 in 1958, originally with 56 PS (41 kW) at 3,500 rpm but with 61 PS (45 kW; 60 hp) at 3,600 rpm a couple of years later.[17] Later versions used 4DR5 and 4DR6 (J23 turbo) 2.7 liter overhead valve diesel engines. By 1962, the output of the gasoline JH4 engine had crept up to 76 PS (56 kW; 75 hp). By the time of the introduction of the longer J20 in 1960, a six-seater like the J10 but with a differently configurated (more permanent) front windshield as well as available metal doors, Mitsubishi had also added small diagonal skirts to the leading edge of the Jeep's front fenders. This style was to remain the last change to the sheetmetal up front until the end of Mitsubishi Jeep production in 1998.

Later models include two-litre, short wheelbase soft-top J58 (J54 with a diesel engine), and the J38 gasoline wagon on the longest wheelbase.[18] The last iteration of the Japanese Jeeps was the J55.
Without more ramble its picture time!












 

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Got some progress today but not much, call it more of an experiment.

I tore apart the driver side door handle only to discover its rusted beyond repair as expected (see above picture). The rush is through both sides of the metal and actually peeling off on the inside. Until I can source a replacement I sanded down the exterior and interior best I could followed by a layer of primer and semi gloss black. It looks 100% better but is only a temporary fix.

I also went ahead and and used clear packing tape on all window rips to help prevent water from seeping in (both inside and outside). It appears the windows are only glued in place making replacement a tad bit easier. I may try next weekend and remove one of the windows and cut out a new one as I already have the material. I figure a good fabric glue should be good (maybe super glue).

Both hood stops have been removed for reconditioning, will post up before and after pictures tomorrow. These are sitting overnight in rust killer as they have horrible surface rust. Below the mounting bolts they even left a 1" square rust imprint on the body. The plan is to sand it away tomorrow and paint the square black, which will be hidden by the hood stops.

Both side steps are removed and one has already been reconditioned. All of the rust was sanded away followed by two coats primer and two coats semi gloss black. Actually came out looking very nice!




Tomorrow I will update this post with pictures of the other components and what other progress gets made.

Thinking of buying Rust Reformer for those hard to clean areas, any thoughts on this stuff? I would sand it down to a smooth surface then use this followed by primer and paint.
 

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Planned to spend a good eight or more hours today on the Mitsu Jeep but Okinawa Weather Gods have not permitted. Right now we are facing constant winds and what appears to be a light shower beginning. So much for progress on the restoration efforts... But I have learned some valuable lessons today.

The rust remover I had been using from the previous owner (age unknown) is starting to eat through my fresh coats of paint and primer. I followed the instructions perfectly but I guess the age has corrupted the compound. On my next available day I am going to sand down all of these parts again followed by a new primer and paint.

Before the winds and shower started I did manage to get most of the front frame, steering, and axle conditioned. This time I started with a good standing, rust stopping agent (chemical), and to be followed by flat black later on. No more brush on rust stopper for me as I cannot get any locally and no longer really trust it. Sure, its better to take everything down to bare metal but I have limited time, space, and tools as I live in the Towers. Living on an island surrounded by salt water makes rust a major problem here. From what I have gathered is the chemical rust stopper is not the best but by far better than nothing.

Well here's the before and after pictures of today's minor progress. Later tonight or tomorrow I plan to apply the flat black for a cleaner look.


 

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The front end actually turned black after a few hours oddly enough, I will get another picture tomorrow in the daylight. The Okinawa Weather Gods never let up...

Well here is a two day sub-review of the Black and Decker Matrix System, before the end of this build I shall review its true worthiness.
So far I have only used the sander and am impressed, battery life seems to be around 30 minutes of straight sanding (plus or minus a little) with excellent power up until it completely dies. The BD Matrix has made preparing the metal much faster and the long life battery is a blessing as I don't have access to power outlets in my "parking spot". Tomorrow I will get an idea of the how the drill performs as I have to drill two holes to remount the license plate to the bumper as the original connection broke off. Granted these holes are being drilled through 1/16" steel... If the local BX has them I plan to grab a socket adapter also (for run down NOT torque).
The drill was 69.99, sander 29.99, and battery was 49.99.

This little drill has all of the attachments I am going to need in order to finish this Jeep, just not yet purchased.



















 

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The garage










License plate holder that snapped off. I plan to drill two bolt holes as a permanent fix to this issue.


 

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It has been officially determined that my soft top will not be repaired. Instead a friend of mine (long time hardcore buggy guy) and I have decide to build our own from scratch. What type of roof do you want to see?
Factory styled soft top
Cab only (turning into mini truck)
Steel hard top
 

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Cool Jeep. I vote for a removable cab cover/mini truck top.
 

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Nice Jeep. It's weird (and sucks) that you can't bring it home with you.

I actually saw a 1985 Mitsubishi Jeep on Craigslist last week for sale just a couple hours from my house. The ad said they were importers and had imported hundreds of them in the past.
I can bring one back as long as its 1992 or older...
 

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WOW!!! My dad would have had a cow. Mitsubishi was a maker of some of the engines of the Japanese aircraft used in the South Pacific during WWII and the 3 diamonds were found on the engines of the planes that flew into the ships. Of course that was many years ago and he is gone now, but to have Jeep letting Mitsubishi build a Wrangler would have flipped him out. Hahahaha!!!

Congrats and enjoy!!!!
 
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