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Street Build bkrathwohl's Galant VR4 #1228/2000

bkrathwohl

Proven Member
348
478
Nov 9, 2008
Mt. Pleasant, Michigan
Alright, so lets rewind to the beginning. It all started here:

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Long story short:
I was DD'ing a built stroked 02 WRX. I had picked up an 05 STi from one of my good friends and decided to turn it into a project. I had wanted to do something not many others have done. I've always wanted an EJ207, as they are supposed to be "smooth as butter" everywhere in the rpm range (which I can now confirm).

I found a good deal for a full swap. A buddy of mine wanted the drivetrain for his project, so we split the cost. Before you know it, this arrived:

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Not to waste any more time on the Subaru aspect ill fast forward.

Out with the old:

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In with the new (and consequently first start):

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Which leads me to here. Final product. Let me tell you she is perfect.

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Twinscroll GT3071R with a billet GTX wheel, ceramic coated, ported. I'm not sure what kind of power it makes as it waas all done with an e-tune but she hits like a truck at 4000 and pulls to 8000.

However... this also brought up a pretty big issue for me. I no longer had a project. I had a DD wrx and a DD STi with way more power, and much more fun to drive than the wrx. I've been into DSMs since my very first car, i've owned like 7 or so in the last 8 years, I dont even know anymore. Obviously thinking of a new project the first thing that came to mind was DSM!

But what kind of DSM did I want? I had 1g's and 2g's and they had their pros and cons. 1g's (to me) just feel solid all around. Not much in the line of luxury though, and lets be honest...the boxy look gets old after a while.

2g's on the other hand, much better looking, but they just feel flimsy. If i went into a snowbank I don't think the front end would be without a scratch, probably without a bumper.

Well if not 1g or 2g then what? A hard to find VR4? Not likely as I live in Michigan. Good luck finding one without rust.

So after pondering and searching for a while I found an old thread on the GVR4 forums. I figured what the hell, ill just pm the guy and see if its still around.... It was. I had to act quick (in my mind, even though this thread had been inactive for months). So I quickly got rid of the wrx and was bringing home a VR4... in mostly one piece.

Who would have thought that the VR4 of my dreams was only a few hours away from my house!
 
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bkrathwohl

Proven Member
348
478
Nov 9, 2008
Mt. Pleasant, Michigan
Here is the original posting for it:

IM TRYING TO keep this car in the community!
I'VE Owned it for 9 years . Stored inside for 8.5 years.
$2100 . needs a motor /tires / intercooler / injectors.
Very 1st picture is curreny day. All the rest are from 2006.Stored inside until 2014.
Located in shelby township mi 48317
Must bring your own trailer.

4Bolt LSD rear end.
SS Braided brake lines
SS Braided clutch Line
Carbon fiber grille & stock grille.
+More i will continue to update the list until someone buys the car.


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bkrathwohl

Proven Member
348
478
Nov 9, 2008
Mt. Pleasant, Michigan
After speaking with the previous owner about this car, and going to look at it myself, I was in love. He was even nice enough to trailer it to my house for gas money!

As it arrived, I knew there was MUCH to be done. I wanted this to be a car I can rely on, so this is where the formulating of the build started. Well, in all honesty it started when I found it and was trying to schedule a time to look at it. It's kind of all a blur, who knows.

On the trailer and ready for the trek up to my house!

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Giddy with excitement, I wanted to tear into it. It was PACKED with misc bits and bobs. He gave me all his DSM parts that he had, which always yields some interesting finds.

The trunk had the headlights, and an evo 8 wire harness. Inside the car there was full interior, and a few random things. A box with BC272's, Aeromotive A1000 AFPR and an Aeromotive fuel filter.

There was a box FULL of gaskets, most of which looked like cheap auto parts stuff. I kept the box but I doubt I will end up using any ofthe gaskets.

A bucket full of miscellaneous motor mounts and other brackets. A set of stock cams, a head he recently purchased with auto cams, and a box full of miscellaneous body pieces.

I'm not really sure his reasoning but he had taken the head off 9 years ago for some reason and didn't cover it or put anything on the block, so it rusted. The head that came with the car wasn't on it, so there would need to be a rebuild in its future. I was okay with this.

There was no exhaust or fmic so I would need to figure out something for that. At the moment i'm thinking a 2g downpipe and a 1g awd catback (that I had new in box from my old DSM days) and maybe a few vband clamps and some extensions. Apparently that combination seems to work with about 8" extra pipe.

As far as the FMIC goes ill probably end up with a 1g vrsf kit, i'm sure itll work with minimal modification.

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You can't really see it from the picture, but that front bumper beam was blowtorched to fit a previous FMIC. I don't really like how it looks so Ill be sourcing a new beam at some point. The body panels are in GREAT shape, with a nice buff I think this will shine up beautifully.

Not sure what the rims are and I honestly didn't care. I had decided I'd be doing a 5 lug conversion, which to my surprise has the same bolt pattern as my STi. So I may be able to find wheels that will clear the STi brembos and 3kgt front calipers and swap them between the cars! One set of winter tires FTW!
 

bkrathwohl

Proven Member
348
478
Nov 9, 2008
Mt. Pleasant, Michigan
I already knew the first thing to do in making this a rust free car. Undercoating.

I had already heard its the worst thing in the world to do, but I didn't care. It needed to be done.

I hadn't really thought of how I wanted to tackle it. Lo and behold I saw something in my Facebook feed. A /DRIVE CLEAN video that was presenting a new product from Wagner. The Wagner MotoCoat. The video seems to have been taken down, but this is the product:

http://www.wagnerspraytech.com/nc/motocoat/

All he did was wash his underbody, scrape off loose rust, then primed it using the smaller MotoCoat sprayer, and finished using an undercoating in the bigger sprayer.

I then looked into the product and it was only $199 for the kit! I was perfectly willing to pay that, but there was 40% off if you buy through Wagner. Obviously I bought the kit and all the accessories available for it and it ended up being like $180 shipped. Not bad!

Then I started researching products to use. I contacted Eastwood and proposed my issue to them. He suggested just using their Rust Encapsulator for the priming (following instructions on the can) and then using their Rubberized Rust Encapsulator for the top coat. This is what I ended up doing.

Here was my Amazon shopping list for the underbody:

Eastwood Rust Converter Aerosol (in case I encountered any really bad rust)
Eastwood PRE Painting Prep Gallon
Eastwood Rust Encapsulator 2 Quarts
Eastwood Rubberized Rust Encapsulator 2 Quarts
Rust-Oleum Lacquer Thinner Quart
Drop Cloth 9x12 3 pack2
Drill Cup Wire Brush
Dust Mask box of 50
Terry Towel 24 Pack
Face Shield
Wagner Motocoat

First thing was to get it airborn and to remove the rear bumper, subframe, and gas tank. Come to find out this car already had a 4 bolt in it, what a nice surprise!

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And KYB AGX's (still going to replace them with new ones)

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Oh yes, motor also came out before going airborn:

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bkrathwohl

Proven Member
348
478
Nov 9, 2008
Mt. Pleasant, Michigan
Cleaning was a pain in the ass. First I started with simple green, then realized that wasn't doing anything.

I bought some kerosene and started using that. It ate through the gunk like no other. It came out looking pretty clean, I washed the kerosene off with water and let it dry before going at it some more with the Eastwood PRE paint prep.

Now time to bust out the Wagner MotoCoat! After talking to my super smart, awesome friend, Kim, I realized that I needed a respirator if I wanted to live any longer working with this stuff. I really should have assumed that anyway but I ended up snagging one from Home Depot for 20 bucks.

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Once the priming layer was dry (i think I have it 24 hours or so, whatever it said on the bottle before doing a topcoat) I applied the top coat, this stuff was crazy sticky. It was everywhere, including in my hair and on my back from sliding around on the ground! The final results speak for themselves though. I ended up using both quarts for just the underbody (from front subframe back basically, excluding wheel wells).

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I ended up unbolting the ABS wire harness from the body (which ill probably remove since I no longer have ABS), unbolting the ebrake cables from the body and taping them up while I painted. I left the brake/fuel lines in place because I really didn't want to deal with that. The MotoCoat ended up getting behind the lines with no issues at all. It was great!

Ill end up doing the same process when I remove the fenders and sideskirts, and ill apply it to the wheel wells at that time. That can be done whenever though, this needed to be done while the drivetrain was out!
 
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bkrathwohl

Proven Member
348
478
Nov 9, 2008
Mt. Pleasant, Michigan
I didn't really document the next bit very well, as I hadn't really planned on doing a build thread. After removing the rear subframe from the car I started disassembling it. I wanted it to look brand new again so I brought some of the smaller pieces in to work so I could sandblast and paint them.

At this point I bought the Jay Racing active toe eliminator kit and had someone at work weld them into the trailing arms for me.

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I wasn't really sure what to do for a paint. I would like to get everything powder coated, and I still may in the future. For now though, I just painted things with Duplicolor Self Etching primer and Semi-Gloss Acrylic Enamel. I like that it takes 7 days for it to cure, seems like it will be a bit stronger than other paints. We will see though.

At this point I started ordering all the bushings ill need, and new bolts for everything. That was a costly order from JNZ! I will end up tackling the wheel bearings at work as well, as I know someone with a press who deals with industrial sized bearings, I figure he can assist with some smaller scale ones!

The OEM order also included things for the fuel tank. New hoses and such. Not pictured are also MOOG balljoints for front and rear.

Annnnd the goodies

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The OEM order, so many shiny bolts

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Timken Wheel Bearings for front and rear

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This ended up being the wrong rear bushing kit, but I ended up ordering the right one. New strut boots and bearings as well.

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BoostX Rear Subframe Bushings

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After doing some research on sway bars, I didn't want to tackle this later down the road so I just opted to get an ST 25mm sway bar now. It was a good price on JNZ so I figured what the hell.

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From what i'm reading people just do the rear and forget about the front, it doesn't help that there doesn't really seem to be any manufacturers that make one for the front of a GVR4 anyway so ill just leave that as is and change the bushings.

At this point I also ended up with some stuff for the motor build. I was going to get my rods sent out to be bored out to accept 2g pistons, but I ended up finding some Eagle rods that were made to spec already. And some NPR 2g pistons.

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I tend to buy things new instead of re-using. I probably could have reused the front case that came on the motor, but I found this for a steal on ebay. BNIB for $120.

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I didn't realize the front cases don't come from the factory with oil pump gears so i'll have to get a set of those as well.
 
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bkrathwohl

Proven Member
348
478
Nov 9, 2008
Mt. Pleasant, Michigan
While in the area, I started on the rear diff. I don't really like that most people paint these parts all one color so I ended up painting it more closely to what it looked like while stock.

I had taken the rear diff cover off and soaked it in kerosene. It didn't really get all the muck off of it so I bought some aluminium caliper paint, after a few coats she looked great again.

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Primed with an engine primer (as this will have some heat)

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Painted with some engine paint (same reason, due to heat)

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And assembled and ready for some curing

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Of course, I ended up doing the transfer case with the same stuff since it was off the car. I wanted to keep the steel bits steel and the aluminium bits aluminium, but I wasn't about to mask off half of it and paint this over the next few days, so this I ended up doing all one color.

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It turned out pretty nice, hopefully it holds up.

On the subject of painting, these pieces all turned out great. This Acrylic Enamel looks amazing after dried.

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Here is the rear subframe, and a teaser for what is to come (Bulfab GVR4 3 piece crossmember!)

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And today is the day that wheel bearings get installed!

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Some chipping to the paint after being in a box transported back to work, its not as bad as I originally thought and will touch up nicely. These are heavy pieces and im sure one of them banging on something is going to take a toll.

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Overall though the Enamel held up on flat surfaces really well, it seems to be the edges where its the weakest.

Sadly I didn't snag any pictures while we were getting the bearings installed, I was too excited to be at this stage! Here is the finished product though.

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And as a reward.... man this brings back memories!

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Sadly, the setlist for the game is pretty crap. You will be able to import the previous games and DLC into it soon though, so that will expand its library quite a lot!
 
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bkrathwohl

Proven Member
348
478
Nov 9, 2008
Mt. Pleasant, Michigan
Next to tackle, which I had really been putting off because I figured it would be horrible, was the gas tank. It isn't as bad as a lot of them that I see on GVR4's and after just one pass of some PRE paint prep it cleaned up fairly nicely.

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Obviously it wasn't nice enough for me though. Out comes the drill and wire brush attachment! After a few hours it was looking MUCH better!

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Ugh this just reminded me that I need to work on the sending unit. At least that will be able to be sandblasted.

And on to the paint. I used the same stuff that I have been using on all of the control arms. Self etching primer and Arcylic Enamel.

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The bottom of the tank actually looks really good, with some cleaning it will look brand new. The rubberized coating is still in great shape. The heat shield thats tacked onto it is in rough shape, i'm not sure how I am going to get behind it. I haven't done anything with it yet.

And the first snow

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I had thought I bought every bolt for the rear end but apparently missed the side diff bolts and the bolts that hold the mustache bar on. They cleaned up nicely though.

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After burning the bushings off of the rear subframe mount washers I had to get them cleaned up. I missed two of the washers bushings as you can see in the pictures, I scraped them off with a razor blade after this picture was taken though.

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FINALLY the rear end can be assembled.

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And mounted!

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There is one thing i'm unsure about. I watched the video Jafro posted on how to install the rear subframe bushings. He mentions that the burned bushing goes dimple side up on the mustache bar. After assembling it exactly like mentioned there is a pretty big gap between the washer and bushing. I'm not sure if this is right. I've sent a couple PM's to people in hopes they can respond and let me know if I assembled it incorrectly.

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bkrathwohl

Proven Member
348
478
Nov 9, 2008
Mt. Pleasant, Michigan
I had bought some KYB AGX's for the rear. Now that the subframe is back in I think i'm ready to continue that part of the rear. I could use the springs that were on the old KYB AGX's that came off the car, but i'm not sure what they are and they were rusty/flaking off paint.

I decided to just get a set of these:

H&R Sport Lowering Coil Springs
Sport Lowering Coil Springs
1991 Mitsubishi Galant
(AWD, 16-valve)
Part #: 52974

Once these come in I can assemble my new struts/springs in the rear and put on the trailing arms.

Temporarily I will have to use my roommates rims from his summer set up on is STi to mount them (as I currently don't have a spare set of 5x114 rims after going 5 lug).
 

bkrathwohl

Proven Member
348
478
Nov 9, 2008
Mt. Pleasant, Michigan
Picked up a spring compressor from harbor freight today. Was able to get the old suspension disassembled, I will take it in to get sandblasted and cleaned up before my new springs come in next week!
 

bkrathwohl

Proven Member
348
478
Nov 9, 2008
Mt. Pleasant, Michigan
A co-worker got this for me, 10 days!

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Yesterday I brought the rear top hats in to work to get cleaned up. I ended up sandblasting the top hats and the metal cup that goes on top of the dust shield boot. I then primed and painted them.

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Looks like the springs are out for delivery right now. Hopefully tonight I can get the struts and springs assembled and put on the car. Then I can tighten down all of the control arms and sway bar once the weight of the car is on them.
 
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bkrathwohl

Proven Member
348
478
Nov 9, 2008
Mt. Pleasant, Michigan
H&R Lowering springs came in, so I started the assembly of the rear suspension.

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I ended up getting the KYB upper bushings, and the KYB boot/bumpstop kit. The bumpstops that were on the old KYB AGX's that came off the car looked to be stock, and cut quite a bit. The KYB bumpstop is way longer.

After doing some research it looks like a lot of people cut 3/4 to an inch off the back, but some people run it as is. The H&R installation guide that came with the springs didn't list a Galant VR4. Only 3000gt VR4 and FWD Eclipse, and even those didn't say to modify the rears.

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For now I am just going to run it how it is and see how it feels. I may need to take it back apart eventually and revisit the bumpstops. When I do the front I think I am going to spring for the OEM bumpstop and dustboot, if it is still available.

Final product. I can't wait to see how these feel!

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GST with PSI

DSM Wiseman
2,681
1,390
Jul 27, 2005
San Diego, California
I remember seeing this car for sale on the Galant forums. I'm really glad it went to somebody like you, who's willing to restore it back to its former glory. This is a build after my own heart, and I can appreciate the time and effort a project like this takes.

Great work, and I'm looking forward to more updates.
 

bkrathwohl

Proven Member
348
478
Nov 9, 2008
Mt. Pleasant, Michigan
Thanks guys, i've always wanted a VR4 and there is no better time to bring it back to better than new condition.

Sadly i'm much further away from a running car than I want to be, but I don't want to cut any corners here. Everything is going to be looked over and most likely replaced, and that obviously takes time and money. So stay tuned!

Hopefully I can get the trailing arms and rear suspension on this week, mount these spare STi wheels and turn it around to start on the front!
 

bkrathwohl

Proven Member
348
478
Nov 9, 2008
Mt. Pleasant, Michigan
Does anybody have any experience with lowering springs and the KYB bumpstop/boots? I can't even find the Eibach installation instructions to see if they require trimming of bumpstops.
 

bkrathwohl

Proven Member
348
478
Nov 9, 2008
Mt. Pleasant, Michigan
Well, my work graciously gave me a Christmas bonus yesterday. After doing some looking around I think I know what I'm going to get. More details coming Saturday!
 

iceman510

Proven Member
124
2
Apr 15, 2013
Howell, Michigan
I am glad I found this thread. I was tempted to buy this car to save it, but having two already, and 5 other cars, couldn't do it. Glad it went to capable hands.
 

bkrathwohl

Proven Member
348
478
Nov 9, 2008
Mt. Pleasant, Michigan
Thanks man! It means a lot.

So I found this.

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A member on here had this listed a while back. I was just searching for shortblocks and ran across it. The price was amazing so I figured I would see if it was available...and it was. I drove down to Ohio to pick it up today.

It was supposed to be just a shortblock for $500, but he didn't want to separate the head from the block so I picked it all up for $1200. I'm excited!

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1g Bully Performance Cylinder Head
Race port and polish
1mm over intake and exhaust valves
Bowls have been opened up
Bronze valve guides
5 angle valve job
Brian Crower springs/retainers


6 Bolt Shortblock
Bored .020 over
Crank is .010 under
Ross 8.5:1 pistons
Eagle rods
Balance shaft eliminator kit
ARP headstuds

There's still a ton of body prep I need to do, but once all that is done I am going to just drop this in and use it!
 
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bkrathwohl

Proven Member
348
478
Nov 9, 2008
Mt. Pleasant, Michigan
I worked on the VR4 a bit more last night. I was able to get the trailing arms on and rear suspension on.

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I was a little excited to get wheels back on it so I went and bought some cheap rotors from the parts store. I tried mounting the spare wheels I had from an STi but they were way too big. I will need to see if I can borrow some dsm wheels so I can at least turn it around and start on the front.

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My dad stopped by and gave me an early Christmas present as well! I was able to get the ball joints filled up and tightened the nuts. I will need to tighten the lower ones more when I can put the car on the ground.

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I also didn't get the dust shields on the trailing arm during the wheel bearing install. I am just going to modify the dust shields to make this work. Cutting part of the dust shield so I can slide it around the hub, I don't think that will cause any issues.

In other news I've started my list for items ill need to buy before I can drop this longblock in. Basically new seals and bolts for the front case and timing components. Luckily most of the things JNZ already has in a kit.

JNZ Oil Filter Housing Gasket MD149370
JNZ 6bolt Front Case Bolt Kit
JNZ 6bolt Front Case Gasket
JNZ Water Pump Bolt Kit
JNZ Oil Pan Bolt Kit
OEM Timing Tensioner MD164533
Gates Timing Kit TCK167
Gates Water Pump 42163
JNZ Rear Main Seal Housing Bolt Kit
JNZ Rear Main Seal
JNZ Rear Main Seal Gasket
JNZ Rear Main Seal Oil Separator
JNZ Front Main Crank Seal
JNZ Aluminium Half Moon Seal
JNZ AC Delete Spacer
Timing Belt Tensioner Bolts MD129350
Timing Idler Pulley Nut MD095237
Timing Tensioner Pulley Bolt MD129354
Oil Filter Housing Bolts
 
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