August 29, 2005 - It's gettin' hot in here!
Not sure wassup with the weather in Socal these days
but man, it's HOT out here! At this rate, I may
have to keep the A/C unit in the Celica.
I am finally the registered owner of the Celica now.
I just received the pink slip for the car about a week
also noticed that it costs 70 bucks to register a car
that's almost 30 years old. Wassup with that???
I think back in the 80's, the registration on my first
Celica was like 15 bucks. Granted, that was like
20 years ago but hey, the car was pretty old back then
too. It's twice as old now. I wonder if car
registration prices are relative to gasoline prices.
If that's the case, we're all in big trouble.
This month I picked up a set of Tokico shocks for the
Celica along with new front stainless steel window trims
and the plastic rear hatch ones. Boy, I think that
stuff was more expensive than the shocks! The
little clip things to hold down the trim ain't cheap
My buddy Ken is in the process of cleaning out his
garage and graciously dropped off a 4.37 limited slip, a
second stock differential, an extra set of 4.37 gears, a
whole boatload of nuts, bolts, studs, and assorted
fasteners for the Celica, a brand new stock exhaust
manifold and heat exchanger, stock piping, a brand new
catalytic, my 22r block and an engine stand, a couple of
electronic ignition distributors, and other
miscellaneous rebuild parts for the engine. My
garage is a total mess now. Unfortunately, the
block was missing the rods so I need to figure out
something here. Since the pistons I have are .020
over, I need to have the block bored and honed again.
That's not a bad thing though since it's been sitting
around for over 15 years. If I have to take the
block in for boring, I might as well have them clean up
the crank and do some rod work also. Hopefully the
cost of the rod work won't exceed the price of a set of
new forged rods.
Taking with the guys from Ali Machining in Signal Hill,
I needed to find out the bore size and clearance needed
for the forged pistons. Hmmm, that's right huh?
One of those little details I forgot about. So I
put in a call to Arias Pistons and we determined that
the pistons I have are over 10 years old.
Unfortunately, that was before they started stamping
serial number inside the pistons to note the metal type
and application for the piston. Arias recommended
that I bring the piston to them so they can check it out
and determine the numbers I need to give the machinist
for the block. Roger at Arias was very helpful and
came back with a bore size requirement of 92.5mm.
Hey, that's easy to remember. I really like the
people at Arias. Kind of a family owned business
that's very warm and always willing to help.
Everyone I talk to there really seem to know their stuff
too. None of the big corporate b/s and clueless
employees that don't know their jobs that you get from
some of the other shops.
Okay, now that I know the block info, I need to score
a set of rods from someplace. I contemplated
getting a set of Eagle forged rods but I really didn't
want to spend the extra money and it's not like I'm
going to be racing the car on the drag strip every
weekend. Heck, I'll be lucky to get the car out on
the road once a month! So, without spending a
whole lot of cash or deal with a lot of hassle, where
can I find a set of rods? A few call to local junk
yards yielded nothing. Last time I went to
Pick-a-Part in Wilmington, I saw a number of 20r and 22r
motors but I really didn't want to go thru the hassle of
pulling the motors.
So I put out a query to some of the guys from TORC
and Mike Bingham from Cabe Toyota tells me he has an old
rusty 20r short block that I could have for nothing.
Hmmm, free is definitely good but I wonder how rusty
this block is. So I drag my friend David(he has a
truck) and we meet Mike at this lot where a bunch of old
cars are stored. Looks more like a junk yard but
hey, parts is parts. Come to find out that the
block has been sitting in the back of a Toyota Stout
which has been sitting outdoors for a number of years.
The short block is complete but boy is it ever rusty.
I can see my friend David thinking, "man, is that a
motor or is it part of the Titanic?" I decide to
take the block and we muscle it out of the Stout and in
the back of David's Tacoma. Boy, I don't remember
these engine being so heavy 20 years ago. The
earth's gravitational pull must be getting stronger or
something over the years.
Reminds me of the Titanic...
We get the block to my house and leave it on the
patio where I keep a bunch of other cars parts.
That's when I noticed there's a pile of other junk parts
that I didn't request from Ken. That dog, he
cleans out his garage and transfers the junk to my
house. Friends have a strange sense of humor...
The following day I attempt to remove the rods from
the block. Using an impact gun, I try to see if
the block still spins. After about 15min of
hammering, the crank starts to move a bit. Cool!
But in order to remove the rods and associated pistons,
I need to get the motor to TDC or BDC. Man, we're
a long way from that position. So I breakout some
WD40, a drill with a wire brush, a really big hammer,
and some leather gloves. I try to clean the layer
of rust on the exposed cylinder walls. I also pull
the main caps off to see teh condition of the crank
journals and bearings. Breaking loose the main
bolts, oils starts to leak out of them. Good sign.
All the areas that are not exposed are well oiled still,
shiny, and free moving. So why in the heck am I
having such a hard time turning the crank? After
about an hour of impact gunning, I get the motor to TDC.
Whew! Time to take a break.
After all that work trying to get the motor to TDC/BDC,
the rods still wouldn't come out. The rust buildup
on the cylinder walls was keeping the pistons from
breaking loose and sliding out of the block. So
using a wire brush wheel and a drill, I cleaned the
cylinder walls and was then able to remove the pistons
and rods from the rusty block.
Next challenge, removing the pressed pins from the
pistons. The official Toyota 20r manual says to
submerse the rod and piston assembly in a tank of hot
water to expand the aluminum piston then carefully press
out the pin. Bump that. I breakout a propane
torch and light that sucker up. With a hammer and
14mm long socket, the pins pop out with little effort.
The fruits of my labor...