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Old 2nd May 2011, 14:24   #1
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Default '95 118 NE Practicality wins over heart and mind

This is a pretty weird story. For the first time, I am having trouble writing the first few lines. Never mind, I will just write what I feel inside me right away.

Having been a ardent fan of the 118 NE's since late 80's, that's my childhood (had never been in a 118 NE nor any family member owned one), my hunt for the NE began only 2001-02. I had a friend at work who owned a NE and approached her dad asking if I could buy it from them. Friend's dad was pissed and literally drove me out. My dream was shattered. I continued to search a lot in Bangalore along with a few friends (all of us know 0 about cars), it just did not happen, only because we did not know what a good car meant.

I then happened to be gifted a 118 NE in 2008 by the same friend's dad who had refused in 2001. This time, with a lot of emotions he gifted it to me, as it was no longer being used and they had no intention of selling it. I was elated and enjoyed the car for at-least 25000 kms. It was a dream run. It has a super duper music system, free flow and headers and all. Its a true sports car in terms of performance. Off late, I have been having too many issues with the body of this car (well known to NE's). It has already been repainted once some 4-5 years ago. This car also has issues with the papers. The ownership is still with my friends family and they are in no mood to get the papers fixed for me. No valid papers, no FC, no endorsement for LPG and a tough time getting insurance done every year.

The bodily issues and the paper issues gave me thought of another 118 NE. The present one is such a darling of a car that I cant even imagine life without it. Heart and mind says keep this car, fix it what ever it takes. Practicality says get another one in decent shape. I was in this confusion for a very long time.

Finally, one day I decided to get another car which is good in terms of body condition, transplant the required and necessary parts from the present NE to the new one. This is where the real thread starts.

A month ago, I managed to find a healthy 118 NE. It is coral blue in color, manufactured in December 95 and registered in Jan 96. I can say that the entire body is in very good shape. Atleast 97% of it. Cracked a deal and got her home. It was a very sparingly used NE and has done only 34k kms. I could identify several small issues when I test drove it. It also has LPG and papers and FC, everything in order. The issues I noticed before picking the car were:

1) Hasn't been used in petrol since long (also got a thought that the petrol tank bottom could have been rusted due to non usage)
2) Couple of bearing noises
3) Not so good steering
4) Felt gearbox had no oil.
5) Rear suspension springs may need change,
6) Carburetor needs a overhaul due to prolonged non usage of petrol
7) Wiper's busted, wiper motor non functional and wiper spray non functional.
8) One of the front brakes used to get locked when braked suddenly.
9) Non functional thermo stat switch.
10) Coolant hoses and fan belt could break off anytime

The car accelerated and drove superbly and smoothly and suspension felt excellent.

After a couple of weeks, in consultation with my friend, we finally arrived at a decision. We call the present NE's end and and make the new NE a re-incarnated one. The present NE is fondly called as EARTHQUAKE. It earned this name in the early 90's as it was one of the few cars that was so sporty with FFE, headers and out of the world music system. Now, I want to make the new NE the next EARTHQUAKE and retire the older one after I transplant a lot of parts. I intend to archive a lot of other parts including the engine.

Last edited by funkykar : 27th May 2011 at 13:56.
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Old 27th May 2011, 14:13   #2
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Default Re: '95 118 NE Practicality wins over heart and mind

The restoration/refurbishment/customization:

I left both the NE's with my mechanic, a garage close to home. I did a lot of homework on what were the things to be done on the car, what to transplant, what to archive, and what kind of scripted the sequence of events.

Priority 1 was to get the car run on petrol. Found that the petrol cap was jammed and was impossible to remove with any mechanism. Got the mechanic remove the tank itself. found that the tank bottom was full of tiny holes due to rust. Idea of repairing the tank scrapped. Went to scrap yard and got a decent tank and quickly replaced it. The new NE comes with a factory fitted electric pump and without much fuss got the car running in petrol. Ran the car using petrol for a day. It was very sluggish, acceleration inconsistent, issues idling and many more. Also, during cold starts the car literally wouldnt move an inch until warmed up for 2-3 minutes. After it slowly starts chugging forward with difficulty, it takes around 2 kms of driving to get her run properly. Went back to the mechanic, got the carburater overhauled. Nothing much changed. Found that the carb was always running rich, the float jet was bad. Replaced it. Replaced venturis, jets and overhauled again. Idling issues are gone, however it is still sluggish for about 2 kms after a cold start. Got pissed off with the entire thing and simply plonked the carb of the other NE. Voila. Every carburation issue solved. After I used it for 2-3 more days, car after reaching a certain temperature stalls. IT starts, but wouldnt move. I had this at the back of my mind that the thermostat valve in the water pump/head is jammed (thanks Ilango, you had helped me with this on my other car a year ago. This knowledge helped.). Quickly got rid of the valve, and also changed all spark plugs, plug wires, ignition coil, rotor, points, water hose pipes, radiator cap, fan belt etc as a pre-emptive measure.

Now, the gearbox had a few issues. It wouldnt slot to gears like it has to. I knew there was no point trying to repair. Simply swapped the gearbox, all is well now. The steering box was not so good. It was too hard and also wouldn't return to default position after a turn is made. The steering box on my other car had lot of play, hence did not swap. Hunted for a steering box in scrapyard and got it changed. Now, the steering is super duper smooth as if I installed a power steering.

There was some noises with front wheel bearings, got new ones. Also, got the brake pads replaced. Swapped the entire wiper system from other car to the new one. Rear suspension had sulked a lot, swapped them.

I also swapped all the tires. The old one had almost new tubeless Michelins on them. Profile was something like 175/70/R13. I used the car for a few days and it has been running pretty well.

Last edited by funkykar : 27th May 2011 at 14:29.
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Old 27th May 2011, 14:23   #3
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Default Re: '95 118 NE Practicality wins over heart and mind

The last bit of work that was done on my car was transplanting the headers and FFE from the old one to the new one. I just love these and cannot live without these. Both cars were holed up at the garage for 10 days without any work being done since the welder was absconding. Finally, after he returned got this work done. Being driving the car since a day with the sweet sound. This is the first sign of the re-incarnation of EarthQuake. I felt so much like I have been driving the old car. My heart felt very content at one side and very sad at the other side since the old one will be out of service .


Things that are still pending:
1) Swapping of the entire music system with the woofer and amp (low priority)
2) Swapping of the seats (Really want the feel of my old car)
3) Swapping of windshield, rear and all door glasses as the old ones are tinted ones from factory.
4) Archive the old engine, brake booster/master cylinder, front suspension, differential.
5) Some minor tinkering and get it a over coat of paint
6) Install a Lancer spoiler and also find a good looking fancy air scoop.

Items 2 and 3 would be completed by end of this Sunday. There on mechanic would work on item 4. Once all are packed, it will be sent to a safe storage place. Item 1 is of low priority now. Once all work is done and I run the car for say 2-3k kms, I will work on this part. Item 5 and 6 would be 4-6 months down the lane.

I will be literally scrapping only the body shell of the old one. Every other part is either used on the new one or being archived.

EDIT: I would post the pics in a couple of days. Sadly, my cars have spent most of the time in the garage since I got it and did not find an opportunity to click good pics.

Last edited by funkykar : 27th May 2011 at 14:25.
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Old 29th May 2011, 01:21   #4
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Default Re: '95 118 NE Practicality wins over heart and mind

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Old 29th May 2011, 01:49   #5
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Excellent thread. You just rekindled my wish to own an 118ne. As a kid I had seen a majestic 118ne for a couple of years and always longed to own one.

A friend of mine had later bought a different 118ne and I actually learnt driving in that car.

What a smooth gear shift it was. In those days it was way ahead of it's times.

Do post the pics.
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Old 29th May 2011, 10:49   #6
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Default Re: '95 118 NE Practicality wins over heart and mind

Today the seats are being swapped at the garage. It should be ready by noon. The seats, coupled with the sweet music of the FFE will actually make me feel like my old car everytime I drive it from now.

Another update is, the old car will not be scrapped. I am gifting the body shell to my mechanic who would use it store tools, oils and whatever he would be using in his day to day work. This also means that the remaining bits on the car could be utilized by me any time. I however am archiving the engine, brake parts and front suspension else where. I am happy that the car would exist and be use for my mechanic rather than getting it torn to pieces and vanish to thin air.

If all goes well, I will post some pictures by end of day. Also, when I really start driving for a while, I will update my driving report

@Deep_Bang: Undoubtedly, NEs have the best of the best and smoothest gearbox. All it misses badly is absence of the 5th gear. Illango would be doing some R&D shortly to check out the feasibility of adding a 5th gear. Its the right time if you would want to pick a NE for another stint.

Last edited by funkykar : 29th May 2011 at 10:54.
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Old 29th May 2011, 17:11   #7
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Default Re: '95 118 NE Practicality wins over heart and mind

Nice to hear about the NEW earthquake! Would love to see it personally soon, as I am also dying to get an 118 sooner. I would like to call & invite you during the test drive, if I find one for myself.

Keep updating please..
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Old 29th May 2011, 18:00   #8
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Default Re: '95 118 NE Practicality wins over heart and mind

Dear Karthik:

Nice to see your NE thread at last. I am yet to come accross a person who loves NEs more that you.

You have done a lot to the NE community. Hope you continue witht he same.

WAITING for pics of BLUEy buddy.
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Old 29th May 2011, 18:38   #9
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Default Re: '95 118 NE Practicality wins over heart and mind

Guess I wouldn't be able to post pictures even today. The swapping of seats is taking more time that I expected. With classic cars, I am sure this is expected and by experience I am waiting it out patiently. I would be getting the car only at 19:30 HRS today and is not a good idea to take pics at that time. May be next couple of days, I will take some pics and post here. I promise.

Next in line is the swapping of all the door glasses, windshield and rear glass. I expect to happen sometime this week. If seat work hadn't taken so long, glass work would have got over by now.

@Earthed: Thanks a lot! The 118 NE is a virus in me with no cure.

@Tantragna: I wish you all the best. If time is suitable (whenever you find a good NE), I would be first one to check it out along with you.

Last edited by funkykar : 29th May 2011 at 18:40.
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Old 29th May 2011, 22:54   #10
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Default Re: '95 118 NE Practicality wins over heart and mind

Dear Karthik - all this reminds me of good old MGQ8174 all over again. Please post the pictures.

Best regards,

Behram Dhabhar
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Old 30th May 2011, 08:06   #11
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Default Re: '95 118 NE Practicality wins over heart and mind

Sounds like a wonderful story. I have such similar emotions and sentiments about the old suzuki 800.
Please keep us updated with photos! Definitely want to see photos of this.
Also it'd be wonderful to see your car being used by the mechanic to store parts! It's like turning an old car into different furniture and lamps around the house! The spirit of the car will be there forever hehe!
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Old 30th May 2011, 09:05   #12
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Default Re: '95 118 NE Practicality wins over heart and mind

Quote:
Originally Posted by funkykar View Post
Another update is, the old car will not be scrapped. I am gifting the body shell to my mechanic who would use it store tools, oils and whatever he would be using in his day to day work.
Nice thread dude. While you gift the body shell to your mechanic, do remember to cut and retain that part of the firewall containing the chassis number. Else you are at a risk of those numbers or the cab being used by someone else.
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Old 30th May 2011, 15:20   #13
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Default Re: '95 118 NE Practicality wins over heart and mind

Long awaited EQ Ownership Thread Karthik. All excited to see the pics and more updates on the thread. I would like to appreciate your patience in giving a new life to EarthQuake.
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Old 30th May 2011, 18:27   #14
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Hey Karthik,

Nice thread and all the best for recreating a new EarthQuake!! Please do post pictures of the car. With certain spares being difficult to procure, it is a good idea to use / archive parts from the old car.

Regards and Keep Revving,

Rahul Waghmare.
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Old 2nd June 2011, 15:47   #15
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Default Re: '95 118 NE Practicality wins over heart and mind

I apologize again. I am just unable to click proper pics of the new car. Either the car is in garage or unclean due to recent rain. Here is what I got (bad quality since taken from my mobile)

White one: The retired EarthQuake.
Blue one: The new EarthQuake.

Things pending as of now:
1) Swapping of all the glasses
2) Swapping of music system

By the way, I seem to have some issues with the speedometer. I am unsure how to tacke with this. Here are the symptoms:
1) Some times meter light doesn't come on at all, at this point the H/L works fine. After a while it starts working by itself.
2) Sometimes the fuel gauge shows as full/empty even though its not full or empty respectively. Temp gauge would be working properly at this time.
3) Same like above happens with temperature gauge. The fuel gauge would be working properly at this time.
4) Some times both temp and fuel gauge show full or empty.


Is it issue with the meter or the wiring needs to be checked?

@Ilango: I dont need to take the chassis plate from there. Just the shell will remain with mechanic and wouldnt be of any use. Its also an understanding between me and him that what ever small parts remains can be salvaged by me in future. Moreover, he is a very trusted mechanic and I would be going there for many yrs to come by
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'95 118 NE Practicality wins over heart and mind-img_20110501_110756.jpg  

'95 118 NE Practicality wins over heart and mind-img_20110501_110859.jpg  


Last edited by funkykar : 2nd June 2011 at 15:49.
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