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February 21, 2006

*** Start Shameless Plug ***

Finding old Toyota parts is always a challenge.  Finding new factory parts for old Toyotas is even harder.  Luckily the guys at Cabe Toyota in Long Beach seem to know how to search and locate these old parts which are buried in some old Toyota warehouse someplace waiting to be melted into scrap metal.  If you looking for old school Toyota parts, give them a call at 562 595 7411 and ask for the parts department.


***  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 again.

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.  Interesting.

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 latest acquisitions:

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 in place.

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 actually.

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 sleeka@picknowl.com.au.

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 after!

And last but not least, a nice new factory fitting shift boot.

Well, that's it for this month.  I definitely didn't do much work on the car but I made it up in spending money!!!

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