February 21, 2006
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*** End Shameless Plug ***
February 6, 2006
Happy New Year! Boy, if I can say junk like
that, it only tells you how long ago I last updated this
page. Looks like I haven't made any changes since
before last Halloween. Unfortunately, that was
probably the last time I actually worked on the Celica.
Fall and Winter are busy times around our house not just
with the normal Holiday and kids school stuff but
basketball season for my kids as well. Weekends
are generally shot from October thru March with
practice, games, and playoffs. Funny thing.
Even though I haven't really worked on the car much, I
still have been able to spend money on the car.
Strange how that works...
I think back in November, I actually dropped the gas
tank out of the car to have it boiled out, cleaned, and
resealed. I drained the gas tank into a large
plastic tub that I use to mix concrete in. The
tank drained fine, but what came out was a bit of a mess
and required some cleanup.
As I stated someplace below, the car had some bad
water leak damage in the back. One of the other
problems was when the car was sitting in the lot rotting
away for years, there was no gas cap in place to keep
the tank closed. So all that rain water found its
way into the gas tank. As I drained the tank, the
gas had this cool rust color to it. Didn't racing
gas use to have that cool red-ish tint??? Too bad
this gas was unleaded econogas though. So after
draining all the gas and filtering through the dirt and
particles, looks like there was about a quart of water
mixed with the gas in the tank. Good think gas and
water don't mix. But too bad water and metal do -
in the form of rust and rot.
I took the gas tank to Madison Radiator in Stanton
CA. They also specialize in repairing and
resealing old gas tanks. Small shop, no fuss,
close to my house, and easy to get to. My kinda
place. Got the renewed tank back in about a week.
Here's what the tank looked like after resealing.
Too bad I forgot to take a picture of before the
repairs. It was in pretty bad shape.
Here's another view.
Can you see inside?
I finally installed the tank back into the car this
past weekend. Funny how things just seem to take a
lot longer to install compared to taking them out.
Since everything was out, I decided to replace all the
fuel lines that goto the tank and also the multiple
lines that connect the tank to some dumb smog device
which sits inside the rear quarter panel. After
cutting all the hoses to size, replacing all the clamps,
cleaning out the fuel spout and door, and reattaching
the mounting straps that hold the tank in place, I
realize that I forgot to install the rubber gasket and
metal frame which hold the hoses to the car and keep the
road dirt from coming inside the car. Swift move.
I easily justified my lack of planning by saying that I
need to clean and refinish the metal frame anyways so I
might as well install it all later and make it all nice
and neat and clean. HA! Isn't it great to be
human? We can rationalize everything...
After installing the tank and filling it up with a
few gallons of gas, and priming the carb a bit, the car
fired right back up. Wow, this car must be part
feline or something. I must have about seven lives
left still. So that probably ends my great
accomplishment for February - Getting the car running
A couple of friends stopped by the other evening to
help me remove the front bushwacker bumper from the
Celica so we could fit the shiny JDM RA28 smiley bumper
onto the car and test the fit. Amazingly enough,
everything went easily and the smiley bumper fit
perfectly with some minor alignment of the mounting
brackets. I also mounted the RA28 metal trim which
wraps around the headlights and grill. Fit like a
charm but I will need to make some new holes to mount
the set screws. Minor detail. Also noticed
that I could actually use the RA29 surrounds if I cut
away the part which wraps around the cornering lamp.
Here's the RA28 metal pieces that go around the
headlights and below the grill.
Too bad I didn't take pictures of the installed
bumper and pieces. Sorry that'll have to wait
until the real installation happens. This was just
a fit test. :-)
Since I didn't do a whole lot of work on the car
during the Holiday months, I decided I might as well
keep spending money on the car. Here's some of my
New RA28 turn signal lenses. These fit in the
front smiley bumper. Hey, can't have a nice shiny
bumper without nice shiny lenses to match!
I also got a pair of these unique front amber side
markers. The only place I've seen these are on
Australian RA28's. These fit right into the
stock North American side marker assembly actually.
You just need longer stainless steel screws to hold them
I have both front and rear RA28 smiley bumpers now,
including all mounting hardware and brackets. The
rear bumper needs to goto the bumper shop to get some
dings hammered out and re-chromed. The front
bumper has already been repaired and re-chromed(the
picture doesn't do it justice, repairs came out really
nice). I've had the front bumper for some time now
I also scored the center tail light section for the
RA28. This piece goes in between the tail lights
in the back. Still trying to figure out what I'm
going to do with the LT 2000 logo in the center. I
think it's kinda goofy actually. Besides, my car
is a GT w/ a 2.4L motor!!!
David Wong at Sleeka Spares in Pooraka South
Australia has been instrumental in helping me find the
rare RA28 parts. Sleeka Spares specializes in old
rear wheel drive Celica parts. David can be
reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I also got some of the engine parts back from
machining. Here are my reworked rods after having
ARP studs installed, replaced pin seats, reworked oil
galleys, and shot peening. Boy, these look a lot
different than when I first yanked them out of that
rusty 20r motor down below.
Had the rocker assembly reworked and modified.
I'm using the later 22r aluminum rockers and had the oil
holes reworked for better oiling. The tubes have
also been reworked to provide better oil flow to the
rocker arms and cam.
Remember that old rusty header that I had(see way
down below)? I had it refinished at Specialized
Coatings in Huntington Beach CA. Checkout the new
aluminized powder coating which never rusts and can take
up to 1200 degrees!
And last but not least, a nice new factory fitting
Well, that's it for this month. I definitely
didn't do much work on the car but I made it up in