July 17, 2005 - Lockdown...
It's been quite awhile since I last updated the
website. After completing a three month project in
San Diego(where I commuted from North Orange County
everyday) my company now graciously put me on a project
in Westlake Village. I wonder if they're trying to
manage me out or something. Man, this sucks.
But hey, I guess I should be grateful that I'm employed
A lot has happened since April. I was able to
finally lockdown on a Celica. Going thru some of
the formalities of actually acquiring it has been a bit
of a challenge but it's all good. Props to Wes
Tanaka @ Cabe Toyota for all of his help with getting me
the car. Wes also helped me find all the rubber
glass, door, and hatch seals that I'll need to replace
on the car.
A couple of trips to local junk yards yielded two
hatches(with little rust, unlike the sunken Titanic
looking one that's currently on the car) and some front
end parts which I'll need to hack on in order to make
the jdm smiley bumpers fit. Oh, I guess I should
mention that I scored some jdm smiley bumpers from a
RA28 Celica. Boy, I didn't think finding them
would be such a challenge though. I was emailing
and calling people all over the world looking for these
things. I guess that's to be expected when you're
trying to rebuild a car that's almost thirty years old.
The front bumper was in fair shape and came from
Australia. Brian Kono at Kono's Auto Body and
Paint hooked me up with a bumper shop that straightened,
welded up a crack and two holes, and rechromed the
bumper. Really nice work, bumper looks new now.
The 20r head is currently at Rick Kemph Performance
Heads getting ported and polished, s/s oversized valves,
and trick stem work. Hoping to get it back by the
end of July. If you don't know already, Rick was
the original owner of Portflow Design. Rick
recently decided to open his own shop again and is now
located in Signal Hill CA.
The 22r block is currently sitting in a friends
garage waiting for me to pick it up and take it to the
shop for boring and honing. Was able to get a set
of Arias forged 22r pistons from Mike Bingham at Cabe
Toyota. You can always count on the guys at Cabe
for the old school hookups. One of the pistons was
missing a pin but I was able to get replacements
directly from Arias in Gardena CA.
The new pins
are lighter yet was stronger than the original.
Amazing what technology can do in thirty years huh?
Elmer at Arias Pistons was amazed that I was able to
find such relics. He and his co-workers all had to
checkout the old school pistons that I had. We all
had a good laugh. The forged piston is on the
right. The piston on the left is a TRD cast.
The coolest acquisition these past few months
definitely has to be a set of Hayashi Racing Command 500
14x7 4x114 wheels that I won on eBay from a guy in
Japan. I was determined to win the bid cause you
can't find these anywhere. Got the rims for a
pretty good price actually and overall, they were in
pretty good shape. It was the dang shipping from
Japan to the US Westcoast that killed me though. I
guess that's the price to pay if you wanna stay in the
Now I'm just trying to figure out schedules and when
to take what, where, and when. I'm hoping that I
can buildup the motor during the month of August and get
the car into the body shop for painting in September
sometime. Talking with Brian Kono from Kono's Auto
Body and Paint, the car will take at least a month of
effort. Wow! I wonder what my end price tag
is going to be!?!?!
Got some calls from a couple of friends of mine who
want to help put it all together(engine and car).
You see, old race dogs never die, they just find
unfulfilling professional jobs, get married, start
families, hit their late 30's/early 40's then go through
some sort of mid-life crisis and end up spending even
more money on expensive toys trying to relive their
early years of independence and irresponsibility.
Hoping to score a Nitrous kit for the car someplace.
Since I have forged pistons now, heck might as well
squeeze it for all it's worth.
Someone told me that I need to add pictures to my
journal. I should do that sometime...