October 17, 2006 - BOO!!! Happy Halloween!!!
Did I scare you? How about I publish a picture
of my finger from the emergency room then? HAHAHA
Halloween is upon us and I'm thinking my car fits
into the season quite well. Orange and black go
really well with pumpkins. I'm thinking of cutting
this pattern into the sheet metal of my car and get into
the spirit of things. What do you think?
It's obvious I'm not a graphic artist.
Well, the JCCS show has come and gone and the Celica
is still parked in my garage. Had a great time at
the show even though the Celica didn't make it. A
lot of old timer Shoreline folks went to the show and it
was good to see the guys again. Even saw a few of
the original KMA boys from South Bay. I have a
feeling that the JCCS and Toyotafest shows will start
becoming a reunion event for the Socal OG import people.
The show was well attended this year and from what I
hear from the people who run the JCCS show, it pulled in
a crowd of over 5000 attendees. Glad to see people
coming out to appreciate and checkout these great
classic cars. Cause you know, the import scene in
Socal started way before the CRX and 2nd generation
Integra were even on the drawing boards at Honda.
Get the story straight Tunerboy...
I haven't had a whole lot of time to work on the
Celica but I've been able to finish putting the front
together, laying all the knockoff Dynamat, finish some
painting, and fitting the rear bumper and taillights
onto the rear of the car.
I originally was going to use the clear corner
markers on the car but I decided that I wanted to run
the amber ones from back in the day, keeping it true to
the era it came from. One problem though.
These amber cornering lenses don't exist anymore.
A few pairs have popped up on Yahoo Auctions JP but I'm
not about to pay $150+ for a set of used lenses then
have to pay some outrageous shipping to get them from
Japan to the US.
So, I employ a technique from the old days.
Using an airbrush, some candy amber paint, and some
clear, I attempt to spray a set of clear lenses amber.
Although it sounds easy, I wasn't about to paint the
outside of the lenses like the Tunerboys of today.
Besides, the finish isn't all that great and looks fake.
You can totally tell it's been sprayed. Spraying
the inside of the lens creates a few challenges though.
One, the lens has an odd shape and has a lot of
intricate patterns on the inside which can create dark
and light spots. Nothing worse than a lens that
LOOKS painted because the coverage is uneven. Two,
trying to match the original amber color. Too
little paint and your lens is too light. Too much,
and the lens is too dark. Last, making sure the
clearcoat doesn't screw up the whole package.
So I end up painting the lenses in three stages then
after letting it dry overnight, give it a coat of clear.
Sorry, I didn't take pictures of the painting stages but
I do have some pictures of the finished lenses.
The two lenses on the left are the painted ones.
The one on the right is an original Tom's lens.
The Tom's lenses are super hard to find and right now I
only have the left one which was from my original Coupe
Celica from back in the day. I haven't given up
hope though. I know I'll find a set of these one
of these days at the right price. I actually
painted the new lenses slightly darker than the original
Tom's lens. When the light shines thru the lens,
it comes out slightly lighter than the original.
So to compensate, I made it a bit darker.
Yeah yeah I know, clear lenses are the style now.
But hey, I'm trying to keep the car true to the era it
came from. Not cater to some dork Tunerboy with
some clear side markers and neon lights under his
sticker plastered Civic.
Something that took me a lot longer than I thought it
would was laying all the sound insulation inside the
car. Remember that Dynamat kinda stuff? You
know, the same stuff I nearly hacked off my finger
trying to cut last month. Boy, the stuff is really
Kinda reminds me of the lunar lander from the Apollo
I also got my front spoiler back from paint not too
long ago. I was pretty happy with the way it
turned out because if you remember from the last
chapter, it was my first attempt at doing some actual
bodywork. I had to pat myself on the back on this
one. :-) It came out really even despite all
the cutting and hacking I had to do to make it fit.
Something I wasn't expecting was how bad the banana
taillights didn't fit in back. Looking at some old
pictures and the original Celica parts manual from
Japan, I found out that the metal in the back of the car
isn't the same. Duh, I should've realized that
early on when I noticed the center panel was the cover
for the gas tank filler. The RA28 and RA29 has the
filler on the side.
So I drill the extra holes for the taillight assembly
and center piece. Since the metal isn't the same
shape, I had to shim a few of the mounting holes and
bolts. The challenge was making the shims the
right length but also make sure they don't leak water
into the back of the car. It wasn't that tough of
an endeavor but it definitely wasn't something I was
expecting to do. I though all I had to do was
drill the extra holes then pop the suckers in. HA!
Testing the fit.
Before shimming the center piece and taillight
Hmmm... still needs some alignment and why is the
center piece lighter than the taillights???
As you can see, I mounted the rear bumper also.
That part went pretty smooth actually. The hardest
part was trying to hold the bumper with one hand while
trying to mark where to drill the holes with the other.
I ended up using the gaskets as a template for drilling
the holes. Good think I taped off the back of the
car too because I banged the bumper against the car a
few times while trying to fit it and put it on.
I'm going to have to pull the bumper off one more
time so I can paint the holes that I drilled. Last
thing I want is rust to come back again in the back.
That'll give me a chance to mount the red reflectors and
license plate lights in the bumper also.
Otay, that's it for this month. Be safe and