Lena’s L200

Hi all, I got my hands on a red 1991 Mira L200 in November last year and it’s been my project baby since.

The previous owner had the interior in perfect condition, what was left of it at least. The seats were deep cleaned and gorgeous, the plastics sparkly clean, the roof liner… missing? A fair few of the plastics were just gone.

The engine was another story. With a v-belt as frayed as my shoelaces and valve cover gasket leak going basically the whole way around, it didn’t look good.

Still, I wanted it. I knew that I could (probably) fix it and I was ready to try.

On my drive home, things took a turn for the worst. I lost third gear completely and that made my drive through the Adelaide Hills quite interesting… second gear for the uphills and fourth for flats and downs? Not a good experience.

I managed to get it home and popped it into reverse to park it up and got my second interesting experience. It was firmly stuck in reverse. Absolutely zero play. That was a miserable experience.

The previous owner had it on lowering springs which I opted not to have, didn’t want it defected so early on.

So I got to work, new fluids, new vaccuum lines, repairing 1000 rattling bits and bobs, new filters, etc.


When I got mine home some 15yr ago or more, having driven over 100km from the Sunshine Coast back to Mt Tamborine, I went upstairs for a quick coffee and a hair dryer (had factory pink and green decals/stripes I was desperate to remove) and when I came back down oil was running out of the bellhousing. Not a trail of oil coming into the garage just the growing puddle. I had been assured that they had done the clutch recently. Well they must have done the rear main seal also. I had been put in crooked and the flywheel had rubbed a hole into it. And there in was the oil leak. For those that know about the Gormsby car they probably didn’t know that I nearly bought a Kawasaki ZX750RR instead. Funny enough the Mira of mine had been the only car within a family of motorcyle owners (mostly Hayabusa owners and this was their parts run around car). I’d never intended to mod it - but since I had the flywheel out and I have an engine lathe - light weight flywheel went back in, then 2 deg neg camber and so on. Lots of hills here and my street has a 20% incline (first drive up was 1st gear and engine maxed out).

All the best with the repairs.

Feels like the whole car had to be fixed in one way or another.

By this point, I’ve replaced a bunch of broken things, fixed some seriously frayed wiring from around the car, replaced half the bulbs, installed a radio and got a new TR-XX cluster in because I can’t force myself to drive a manual without a tacho. Just feels so much nicer.

The white steelie on my front right was suspiciously black quite often, even though I’d clean it almost weekly. Well turns out my brake pads were worn incredibly badly and almost looked rusty. The disc had huge gouges through it and had the rustiest edges. Out with the old, in with the new.

With the car regaining its strength, something had to go wrong to make me spend more money on it. The steering has gone bonkers with vibrating which I can’t diagnose for the life of me so it’s off to a real mechanic to be looked at.

For now, I’m keeping my eyes open for some new wheels (4x110 PCD being obscure and those wheels that do pop up being incredibly expensive), coilovers or new shocks, a better swaybar and a rear swaybar. The body roll is ridiculous!

Finally, I’ve made sure the sheer power doesn’t make the car take off by adding some proper aero.

Sounds like you’re a little more prepared to deal with issues than I am. Not even close to affording a lathe or even knowing how to do such a thing.

I’m a fashion design student at university as of right now so I’m keen to girly up my little toaster, but that can’t happen until the toaster stops trying to die on me.

You can fit 4x108 wheels using floating wheel nuts,
I used them a few times when fitting 4x100 to 4x98 and vice versa.

Oh that’s pretty cool, I’d never heard of these before. There do appear to be a number of cool 4x108 wheels on the market near me, much better than the pitiful selection of 4x110!

I’ll be sure to pick up some of these when I get around to buying new wheels. Thank you.

They are used by ford, peugeot, citroen, and old audi 80, but with different center bores :+1:

So what’s the plan right now? Good question!

There’s a lot I want to do my juicebox of a car, and very slow income to fund it. For one, it needs a full makeover inside and out.

For the interior, I intend to put in a custom roof liner, paint all of my interior plastics black, replace my front seats with buckets, new steering wheel which isn’t as grimey, and overall just spruce it all up.

I’d love to custom upholster all of my seats! Combining my passion for fashion and cars into one seems like the right thing for me. So if I get any good at it and anyone else in Australia needs custom upholstery, I’ll be the girl for the job.

For the exterior, I’m keen to have it repainted. The red isn’t exactly my favourite colour and it’s just in really bad condition. Repainting is a lifetime away yet however… very expensive.

I intend to get new wheels, a nicer front bumber, restore all my headlights (super murky), remove all of the dents, and I want it to be lower so coilovers most likely.

For the engine, I’m open to suggestions! I can get the necessary parts to turbocharge my Ef/El, I can see about sourcing an Ej or even a K3, or my final option (and one I’m keen on) is swapping to a motorcycle engine. In any case, something needs to change as it’s waaaay too slow as of right now.