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> Formerly Abandoned: the resurrection of a 97 GT
post Jul 24, 2020 - 1:22 PM
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YourOldPalElmer

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Hello everyone! Hope you are all doing well. This thread is gonna follow my journey rebuilding a 6th gen that’s been sitting for right around 12 years. So here’s the story. I found the car in January of 2020 on Craigslist. I had been looking for some type of older front wheel drive that I could turn into a stock class autocross toy, and sure enough, this Celica dropped into my lap! It was being sold by a towing company that had a contract with a nearby police department. The car had been impounded in late 2008 and while the owner did show interest in getting his car back he never produced the required documents to pick the car up. He stopped trying around 2012, and the car sat. And sat. And sat. And then I come in. Head down to look at the car, and while there is certainly a leak from somewhere, and some algae of some sort growing in the carpet, the car is surprisingly solid. Not a speck of rust anywhere you’d expect with it being a PA car. So, for 500 bucks, I bring it and an abandoned vehicle title home.







First order of business was getting the interior cleaned up. The best way I could figure to do this was to pull everything out. The carpet and headliner were the worst, with the carpet being glued to the driver seat rails by rust and the headliner cardboard backing having completely warped.



After that, I pulled all of the exterior off to assess some damage to the front suspension. I am going to repaint the car at some point so I figured that just pulling the pieces off now wouldn’t be a bad option. After doing that I removed the brakes and calipers, which I am currently cleaning to paint and rebuild. I have new pads and rotors to go on all around. I pulled the radiator, and am also currently in the process of flushing out the engine side of the cooling system so I can do the timing belt, tensioner, and water pump. I also picked up a set of 16x7 SSR’s that I’m getting refinished 😎. This is sort of a mass information unload from the past few months. Hope you’re all doing well.
post Jul 24, 2020 - 2:53 PM
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OldCecil

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Score man! $500 is a steal. 5 speed, rust free and premium sound to boot. This should be a fun project... if you give up and want to make a couple hundred bucks let me know... I'll come pick it up for $700 laugh.gif
post Jul 24, 2020 - 6:51 PM
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Bitter

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You should pull the rest of the interior plastic panels off and assess the rear strut towers and rear trunk pockets for rust as well, it can hide in those places, also look closely at the front and rear subframes for rust through.


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post Jul 24, 2020 - 8:01 PM
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YourOldPalElmer

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QUOTE (Bitter @ Jul 24, 2020 - 7:51 PM) *
You should pull the rest of the interior plastic panels off and assess the rear strut towers and rear trunk pockets for rust as well, it can hide in those places, also look closely at the front and rear subframes for rust through.


Sorry about the confusion! That was an "in progress" photo. I have everything but the dash out now. Subframes are good. I also dropped the tank and cleaned all of the fuel assemblies, and got a new fuel filter and pump/sock. Still haven't gotten myself to clean the tank yet. Got some Chemtool to help with that.
post Jul 25, 2020 - 8:46 AM
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Bitter

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QUOTE (YourOldPalElmer @ Jul 24, 2020 - 8:01 PM) *
QUOTE (Bitter @ Jul 24, 2020 - 7:51 PM) *
You should pull the rest of the interior plastic panels off and assess the rear strut towers and rear trunk pockets for rust as well, it can hide in those places, also look closely at the front and rear subframes for rust through.


Sorry about the confusion! That was an "in progress" photo. I have everything but the dash out now. Subframes are good. I also dropped the tank and cleaned all of the fuel assemblies, and got a new fuel filter and pump/sock. Still haven't gotten myself to clean the tank yet. Got some Chemtool to help with that.

That's really good news!

At the shop we've used some water based cleaners to great effect to clean tanks, simple green full strength would likely do it pretty well and get most of it stripped out if B12 or other solvent doesn't do the trick for you. What we have is a citrus smelling cleaner that I'm not sure if it's acidic or alkali, but it's super strong at full strength and cuts through greases and oils very well. A mild acid wash might also do the trick, I believe that phosphoric acid would be safe to use in a steel tank as it would convert a surface layer of iron or iron oxide (rust) to iron phosphate. It does however need to be thoroughly rinsed and neutralized with a base solution after use.


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post Jul 27, 2020 - 6:46 AM
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Box



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Welcome!

Nice to see a car that'd otherwise be scrapped being given a second chance at life, especially cool cars like the Celica.


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2001 Miata LS 5-speed

Casey: They say that good things come in pairs.
Lorelei: Vampire fangs also come in pairs.
post Jul 27, 2020 - 8:00 PM
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cheela



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welcome! looks like a nice steal. restoring them is half the fun sometimes. looking forward to the progress!


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*1997 Celica ST - 3SGE Greytop BEAMS
*1977 Celica RA29 - Classic Cruiser
*2005 Matrix AWD - Wifey's car aka Trix the Racoon Killer
post Aug 5, 2020 - 1:53 PM
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jgamelin

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Super coincidence, I picked up this 94 GT July 24th from a coworker for free. Just needed an alternator to get it home and it had leaked some water into the interior from the sunroof drains being clogged. The new carpet comes in tomorrow.

post Aug 5, 2020 - 2:01 PM
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jgamelin

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Needs paint super bad, but I'm not complaining for a free car.




post Aug 5, 2020 - 2:33 PM
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jgamelin

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Luckily mine was only abandoned for 3 years.
post Aug 12, 2020 - 8:45 PM
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YourOldPalElmer

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[quote name='jgamelin' date='Aug 5, 2020 - 2:53 PM' post='1105437']
Super coincidence, I picked up this 94 GT July 24th from a coworker for free. Just needed an alternator to get it home and it had leaked some water into the interior from the sunroof drains being clogged. The new carpet comes in tomorrow.

Mine was in similar fashion. All the tubes are plugged pretty good. Also, one of them is disconnected so that may have lead to an issue I guess.

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