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1991 Mitsubishi Minicab U41V Resto

Discussion in 'Mitsubishi Minicab' started by MiniMitsuFrank, Mar 9, 2019.

  1. Mighty Mitsu posing for the camera


    New mattress that fits snugly in the pack. If this vans a rocking...

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  2. Broken clutch cable... a sad day for Mitsu. bought new oem one through Japanese distributor/dealer

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  3. The ceiling is finally DONE

    -Toungue and groove pine mounting to cross member using rivnuts and 10-24 truss head screws
    -Stained with cherry, gloss polyurethane finish

    *I was able to bend the boards to match the curvatures of the ceiling by kerfing them (shallow, perpendicular cross cuts on the backside of the boards)

    -3” led puck lights (Amazon)

    -19mm led ‘halo’ switches (Amazon)

    -I used a hardboard material from Home Depot and upholstery fabric to make the ceiling corner panels. Basically just had to measure to cut and fit snugly so I didn’t need to use any hardware

    -Last pics is a handle I made for the passenger overhead “oh-sh*t” bar made from some left over plywood. I still need to take a pic of it installed. Finished to match ceiling.

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    punimog likes this.
  4. Another glamour shot...

    Pictures of custom door panels by yours truly...

    -1/4” maple plywood (again with the wood!?...seeing s theme here?)

    -Upholstery from local shop applied with 3m 90 adhesive spray and 1/4” staples on the back excess (is holding up excellently)

    -rear hatch made from hardboard to save wait and keep the hatch struts happy. Installed an extra puck lift and switch as an overhead utility light when the hatch is open

    -The seats are the first and only thing I’ve outsourced so far. They are being done right now and should have them soon

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    punimog likes this.
  5. Rear deck/floor

    Made a rear platform that mouns to the whole floor. It’s carpeted burgundy with pad underneath. I used some screws/rivnuts to secure it, but mainly the 4 tie-down anchor bolts are the main fasteners. Cut from 3/4” finish-grade plywood

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    punimog likes this.
  6. I also finally replaced the battery (JDM battery) and it runs much better (and quieter for some reason??)

    There are about 4-5 more projects that I’ve already completed and will update soon.
  7. I was hoping to post pics of the new + old ball joints, tie rod ends, and control arm bushings but I guess I didn’t any pics before installing, so here’s some pics of the boxes and part numbers:

    Control arm bushing: Febest part # MAB-089

    Ball joint: Borg & Beck part # BBJ5027
    Tie rod end: Febest part # 0421-457

    Also grinded all the rust/paint off the bottom of the seat pans and repainted with high-heat black enamel paint. I’ll use the heat shield in the pic either on the seat pan bottoms or maybe under the floor where the rear access engine hatch is, as this spot seems to get the warmest when running (I’ve already sound and heat insulated the top of the seat pans and my back/butt no longer get hot from engine heat while taking longer trips.

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  8. Here are photos of the front torsion bars. I refinished them and replaced the bushings on each as well.

    Last image shows them re-installed.

    How I refinished bars:

    1) Applied paint stripper and let sit overnight
    2) Scraped most paint off with metal blade and shop towels
    3) Sanded down to bare metal: 120 grit to 320 grit to green scotch right pad
    4)Cleaned with soap and wiped with isopropyl alcohol
    5) Applied 3 light coats of primer to cover
    6) Applied 2 light coats + 1 wet coat of red engine enamel (I know powder coating is preferred here but this should hold up ok)
    7) Applied 2 light coats + 1 wet coat of gloss clear enamel

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  9. Don’t throw out rusty bolts and brackets!

    I’ve saved almost every nasty, rusty bolt, washer, nut and every other worn piece of metal I’ve found so far (thankfully very few considering what it could have been) and it has saved me probably $50-75 in hardware replacements. I didn’t really document any of this but I basically used vinegar and metal wire brush for everything. Here is one before and after pick I have of a refurbished dashboard mounting bracket that had been exposed to something that caused it to rust.

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  10. I didn’t take any pics of me refinishing the rear window bars (those crash bars that protect the rear side windows). Here’s the details:

    Refinished using the same process as the torsion bars (see earlier post for steps) except I used the H84 (I think was the code) paint code to match the exterior paint.

    I also used SEM brand adhesion promoter and burgundy vinyl coating to paint the plastic mounts that secure the bars to the van walls. They were really sun-faded/cracked and look brand new now (sorry I don’t have a close up pic). I also recoated the sun visors in burgundy and plan to do the center console as well. Maybe the dash if I feel ambitious...

    Wesco paint and body supply is awesome if you have one nearby. I had the paint code already, but they looked it up, verified it was correct, then for $20 they made me a rattle can of it in about 5 mins! The color matches perfectly and I’ll be using it to paint my aftermarket fender flares that I’m currently prepping for paint. I’ll have another post on those when done.

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  11. Couple of shots of the van as of 2 weeks ago... still have more posts to put up of work completed

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  12. Mitsubishi suspension (front springs)!

    Found a set of Eibach that fit the van. The ends have to be cut, but once they are they seat nicely in the collars when installed. The nice thing about these is you don’t have to remove the strut completely, just push down on it until it clears the fender. My brake line had plenty of slack but not sure about other kei brands.

    Here is the spring information:

    Eibach “reds” racing spring
    12” length
    2.5” diameter
    275 lb spring rate
    $70 on summit (any other sites)

    I cut each spring end exactly where the flat spot ended on the last coil in order to have maximum end-to-end length of full diameter coil. The van sits about 2” higher than it did before and drives, runs, corners, and absorbs bumps like a regular car. Super happy with the results. The transmission forks seems to shift more smoothly now too? Maybe the engine/transmission was at angle that put strain on it somehow?? I have no idea, but before it was difficult to shift into reverse after being parked. You had to shift it into 1st before going into reverse to prevent grinding the gear. I think I’ll cut a half-coil off these springs to drop the front end down. I could run a 12” spring cut down to 10.5” at 250 lbs and still not rub ( the tires never rubber on the body or doors with the shot oem springs, just the fenders I put on) but they would rub my fenders due to where I mounted them.

    The oem fronts were really worn, especially the driver side which sagged an extra 3/4” when empty. I think these springs would be perfect for a 4x4 model and a 1-2” lift kit as well (plus they look cool being red)

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    punimog likes this.
  13. punimog

    punimog New Member

    This is looking so good man! Keep the pics coming. I'm hoping to spot you out and about in the PNW someday.
  14. Thanks brother! I’m about to post more right now. I’ll be at the Return to Renton car show on July 7th and hoping I see some other kei cars. Not sure if your in the area but I’ll be at the show if you happen to be around.

    punimog likes this.
  15. I ended up cutting the front springs down to 11”. So now I’m running 11” x 2.5” inside dia. x 275 lbs and the ride is great. The body roll during sweeping turns is unreal compared to what it was. It also doesn’t feel like it wants to plow through turns if you’re coming in a little hot.

    Here’s a pic of the new ride height with 11” coils

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  16. Fender flares are coming! In the middle of painting right now but here’s the progress photos so far.

    I decided to go with the stock “ascot silver” instead of black. The van looks really good with the black but I’m hoping this gives it cleaner, less “cheap bolt on fenders” look. This makes me laugh at myself because it has so many dents and paint imperfections it’s kind of a ridiculous thing to be concerned about. I did get some black cup washers and black trim for them so I think it will still look pretty cool.

    Will post the after photos of them installed in the next couple of days. Stay tuned.

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    punimog likes this.
  17. Fender flares are done. Not sure if I mentioned in an earlier post but as you can see I used trim lock and cup washers with Allen head bolts to mount them.

    I also just got back my upholstery for the front buckets and rear bench seat. I still have to install the front bucket upholstery so I’ll post photos of that when they’re done.

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    punimog likes this.
  18. The upholstery is done and looks freaking awesome! (In my opinion)

    Shout out to Mike at ABC-stitch/fisher’s upholstery in Renton for making the upholstery and giving me a crash course on how to install them.

    Last 2 items to get done this weekend is wrapping the rear speaker panel edges in upholstery fabric & fixing the front dome light cover so it stay on. After that, I might replace the stock wheel (has several cigarette burn marks so not opposed to getting rid of it) with a wood grain grant or nordi gt wheel. Maybe get a matching wood grain shifter knob too... we’ll see though as I’m thinking about selling the van for a Mitsubishi Delica or Toyota Hiace as I’d like to have this style of van but bigger (I’m 6’ 3”). It’s hard to actually consider selling the mighty Mitsu already but I would love to do the same kind of restoration to something bigger and more suited for freeways/long distance trips.
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    punimog likes this.
  19. punimog

    punimog New Member

    Damn! I live in Renton and knew people at the show. Wish I would have checked the forum earlier. It's looking tops, man!

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