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All Japan day 2013? 
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Joined: Tue Sep 29, 2009 2:22 pm
Posts: 4
Location: Adelaide
Car(s): Piazza - JR120 4ZC1T; Geminis - TX G180W+T, TE G180W, TG 4ZD1+T, TD G161Z, TX Coupe (TBA); R31
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oz_toffa wrote:
Funny thing about that Black Piazza, Dave

my wife and i bought it from the original owners in Gawler in 1997. It had 43,000km on the clock with a letter of identification from Delaer as to its provinance. was owned by a middle aged couple who drove it to shops and church. they had to upgrade to a commodore sedan to allow easier access into the back seat for their 75 year old mother.

we only did about 35,000 in it in 5 years or so and sold it onto a family friend. it stripped the timimg belt while my wife was driving into a service station one day and it would not start. got it towed home and very very fortunate to not have any valves and pistons come together.
replaced the belt and water pump and away she went.

we were also the ones to put the AA plates on it as well. a real pity someone pulled the original engine. most likely a gemini head wanting bolt in performance.

good to see it back on the road


Hi! I'm Eli, that's my black Piazza! Great to hear from a previous owner :D and to have its story. Definitely saved that away for future nostalgia. That's crazy about the timing belt! I'll tell you my part of the tale:

I saw this thing for sale on as a complete car a few years ago, for around $3500-$4000. At that stage, I couldn't afford it, so I had to let it go. It was being sold by Chris (G200-Gem), and was bought by Stoy, a guy who lives in the northern suburbs and has a nice Gemini wagon. He drove it home, it spun a rod bearing on the way, and he pulled the engine out to put in a Gemini (bingo). He then put the car back up for sale minus engine, for around $750. It was looking like it was going to be parted out and crushed - being that there isn't much market for a whole Piazza shell, or many people game or stupid enough to try and re-assemble one that they didn't personally dismantle. I'm a big Isuzu fanboy, and I just couldn't stand to see it die.

So, I bought it. Probably one of my crazier decisions, and if I'd known what I was in for I probably would have just saved up and bought a running one. It took two years of hard work, bleeding forearms, swearing fits and empty bank accounts to get the damn thing running, but somehow, I did. This process also included a road trip to Melbourne to pick up a 4ZC1-T in parts (from "Shorty" on OzGem), which itself resulted in a dead Gemini on the way back, and later, a trip to Balranald to pick up a whole spare parts Piazza (from Eyecon) for reference, and those odds and ends I couldn't find. Incidentally, rather than taking a step sideways on the "Save The Piazzas" front, I've replaced everything mechanical/essential that I removed from the spare parts Piazza, and have taken a deposit on it as a whole car, from someone who wants to fix that one up! The cycle of life...

Anyway, here's the gist of what I've done to the old girl:
- 4ZC1-T sourced from Melbourne, full rebuild, new rings, rod/main/thrust bearings, timing belt and tensioner, oil pump, graphite head gasket
- Custom JE forged pistons, 8:1 Compression Ratio for higher boost (later)
- ARP head studs
- Bored 20thou, block/head cleaned, crank machined, head reconditioned, machine work done by Krieg Engines, assembly by yours truly
- Shimmed LSD, sadly this accomplished precisely nothing, and it still open wheels everywhere :( (not giving up on this just yet)
- Sourced, cleaned up and fitted the somewhat rare factory front lip
- Original Isuzu grille badge, circa Piazza, and "ISUZU" rear garnish sent over from NZ
- Dished velvet "drift" steering wheel, couldn't stand the "Holden" item and this feels a lot nicer, without looking too gaudy
- Koni Red front shocks - will be ordering rears pending springs - max'd standard adjustment for negative camber (estimate -1deg)
- Narva arctic white headlight globes - bluer than I wanted, and not really that much better... I'm considering a white HID kit for more light and a factory(ish) look
- Rust repairs on the rear hatch including window out, weld, bog and paint, as well as treating, bogging and painting rust on the driver's door, doing some welding on the left C pillar inside (ugh, don't get me started) and getting the bonnet resprayed
- A bit of housekeeping (welded up a battery bracket as it didn't have one, replaced the relay for the headlight covers)

Plans from here:
- Lowered springs - ideally I want about 10mm vertical guard gap, I don't like tucking, but it looks like an offroad vehicle!
- Koni rear shocks to match the front
- Establish a functional LSD
- Piggyback fit a Megasquirt fuel+spark ECU unobtrusively, with minimal/no modification of factory loom
- Mild cam to improve response
- Fit my T2 manifold with my GT2860RS "Disco Potato", and my Merc 380cc hosetail type injectors (have the parts, need the time), using fairly factory piping runs and preferably black piping, so the engine bay still looks vaguely original
- Possibly fit the factory rear spoiler
- Fit splits inside standard front speaker cavities, and fit 6x9"s in boxes in the boot area (ie, no interior modification)

Basically, I want around 200rwkw with decent response and decent handling, but retain an overall tasteful package that resembles its original orientation and only includes reversible mods.

Doubt anyone read all that, but yeah. That's my Pizza-bus! Also, I call it the Tardis :D



The projects/fleet:
TX sedan G180W turbo, TE sedan G180W NA/ITBs, TG sedan drift car (4ZD1T in the works), TD sedan grandpa-spec, TX coupe grip project (later), ’86 JR120 Piazza 4ZC1T, R31 tow car.

Wed Mar 13, 2013 3:22 am
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Joined: Fri Sep 26, 2008 6:16 am
Posts: 1155
Location: Adelaide north near the hills.
Car(s): Roman Red 1965 Sedan, Mint 67 Sedan Auto, 1967 GT , 1.5x 1967 sedans, 1968 Deluxe Sedan, 1965 Wasp Ute (Resto project)
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great info Eli

you have sure done some work there already and still more to go.
in its original guise, it was one of the most driveable Turbo cars i have ever driven!
factory setup with low turbo bost relatively high compression ratio made it drive away from the lights nicely and plenty of pull after 4K.
drove it up McIntyre rd hill in third gear, 2/3 throttle and continued to increase speed till doing 120 at top of the hill.
and we did get the rear window rust repaired as well. must not have done a very good job then.
interior was very tidy from memory



So many toys and so little time to play!!

Wed Mar 13, 2013 8:20 am
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Joined: Sun Feb 01, 2009 2:51 am
Posts: 1034
Car(s): 1964 GT Isuzu Bellett
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Great story Eli........and yep, read every word. Tis but a small world, Chris.

Hey Dave, great photos. You always have the knack of finding the unusual and perverse at car shows. Btw, that's me hanging out of the boot at the end, the head dismembered by then. Yes, did enjoy the show but suffereing from the intense Humidity at that point, hence the crusty look. Almost forgot i had some stuff to pass on to Claws, so it's probably melted into the boot carpet by now :oops:

I've got some ripper pics from the day also, including working shots of Ross' high tech surveillance device in action. I'll put them up tonight.

Cheerio to the dudes who couldn't make it. Oh, and a surprise visit from AJ, good to see him there.


Thu Mar 14, 2013 3:26 am
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Joined: Sun Feb 01, 2009 2:51 am
Posts: 1034
Car(s): 1964 GT Isuzu Bellett
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Here are some pics. I'll have to put them up as several posts, as it only allows me 6 pics in one post. Anyone got some advice on that?

First post is the small contingent of Belletts, Isuzus. We attracted a bit of attention tho. There's something about Dave's Wasp, so freakin' original. Ross Deluxe likewise, it's got 'tude. And yours truly not lacking horness.

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Thu Mar 14, 2013 11:16 pm
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Joined: Sun Feb 01, 2009 2:51 am
Posts: 1034
Car(s): 1964 GT Isuzu Bellett
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Next is Ross' amazing surveillance device. My new camera can get things in motion real well.

A freind of mine has an MX 5. If he spent a few k on it would look like the one in the pic. If I owned an RX7, it would have to be that one.

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Thu Mar 14, 2013 11:27 pm
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Joined: Sun Feb 01, 2009 2:51 am
Posts: 1034
Car(s): 1964 GT Isuzu Bellett
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And some favourites from All Jap 2013. I did snap about 150 pics, but won't bore anyone with the lot :mrgreen:

The Datto 2000 was cool as and apart from Tom's unusual Bluebird, the old Cedric, and the Belletts, was the only other era classic to be seen in the paddock.

The Gemini fastback is for you, Antus. Nicely prepped, and sporting a nissan twin cam.

The shovel nose Coupe was rare as !! And the 260 zed's were out in full force, this one catching my eye for it's unusual faded racing livery, racing ratter 8-)

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Thu Mar 14, 2013 11:43 pm
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