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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 huh?

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 game.

What's next:

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...

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