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> JoshuaM's '97 Celica ZR, The Final Chapter - Goodbye
post Oct 7, 2013 - 7:07 PM
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JoshuaM



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QUOTE (sr666 @ Oct 7, 2013 - 4:49 PM) *
That's looking sweet mate nice work, you bought more projectors then realised you didn't need them?
Oh dear LOL


Well I had just started importing them from Japan to sell locally anyway (since it is impossible to get any cool 6GC stuff in Australia - it all gets imported at huge costs), and I bought these for less than I was selling my other ones for, so it isn't an issue tongue.gif


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SOLD :( 1997 ST204 Celica ZR -----> See it here on 6GC!
2013 October Celica of the Month XD
Now: '00 NB8B Mazda MX5 -----> See it here in off topic!
post Apr 24, 2014 - 4:05 AM
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JoshuaM



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Wow, been a long time since an update. I just had my thread open to get some projector install details for RoadRage and thought I might as well check in...

So a fair bit has happened since my last update... I finished a semester of uni, worked like crazy, got a Visa, bought a couple of cars, sold 3 cars, moved to the other side of the globe, holidayed in Canada, been on a couple of ski trips to Lake Tahoe CA, had a big LA road trip down HWY 1, Autocrossed a couple of times (MASSIVE fun!!!) and have been living in San Jose CA for just over 4 months now. Yeah tongue.gif

The BMW

So, where to start? How about with the BMW? I bought an E46 1998 BMW 318i Manual Sedan off somebody from the Celica club near me. I was getting it cheap, so the idea was to just flip it to make a few dollars before I left, and I would get to cruise around in a Beemer in the process.









The interior was fantastic (Except SCORCHING HOT everything after even half a day in the Aussie summer sun. I left my iPod in the arm rest console and when I got back to my car the iPod had gone into emergency temperature shutdown, and the metal back was too hot to even hold!).







And that back seat.... Seriously the most comfortable and luxurious seat I have ever felt. I would happily put one in my living room! I actually didn't mind sitting in the back when I was out on test drives!

It came with LED tail lights, clear front and side indicators and the aftermarket CD. I swapped the wheels for some 16's from a later model 3 series (The old ones had no tread... this was cheaper and a very minor visual improvement too... though definitely not the wheels I would've chosen if I was keeping it), and added fancy number plate frames... purely to make our QLD plates fit! (The car was from NSW).

Had potential to make good money, but when I went to get the car registered it failed the roadworthy inspection because (and I quote) "The driver’s power window makes a funny noise when you use it". I'll let that sink in for you USA crew that can get away with chopping your sedans into pick-ups without anybody batting an eyelid. So the car had to sit on the street outside the seller’s house for a couple of weeks when I did my exams until I could replace the window mechanism. Only a $50 part, but the delay cost me in time I could have the car on the market. Ended up selling it the day I left the country for only a couple of hundred profit.. but I had fun smile.gif

The Visa

I was very busy organizing all of the last minute details for my 5 month international study exchange to San Jose, in California. Unfortunately, due to ridiculous policies from the US government, despite having offices in Brisbane, they made me fly to Sydney to have my Visa papers signed (Note: everybody else going to Europe etc just emailed these forms with a $15 processing fee). This was on top of the $500 odd dollars the visa itself cost. This did, however, give me a chance to meet Rentaspace who kindly let me stay over for a couple of nights when I was in Sydney.

This meant that I was taking photos… so about 90% of my luggage (carry-on only) was camera equipment… and I had lenses and a flash poking out of my jacket pockets too tongue.gif When I got there we also installed the Caldina alloys that I had found for Ryan a few weeks prior.

We planned a big cruise with some of the other Sydney Celicas including TimmyFace’s old car, but we decided to go out and get some shots just with Ryan’s car. There are more photos in his thread, but here are a couple I liked (Ryan's editing!);







Ultimately we got rained out on our main photoshoot, but much to the annoyance to the drivers I made everybody stand in the rain so I could at least get one reasonable shot tongue.gif



As it turned out, the ‘Visa Interview’ was a complete waste of time, but I got the signature and that is what mattered!


Work


Not that anybody really cares… but I picked up my retail job again (The Good Guys) and was working 6 days a week on extended 8:30am-7:10pm trading hours for the Christmas season. This was whilst selling the Beemer, selling thousands of dollars of camera equipment I had lying around that I wasn’t taking with me, selling all of the Celica parts I had imported for trading, and organizing all of the details for 6 months away from home, so I was really busy! Not much time for the Celica.

Just before Uni had finished for the semester though that front tire that had the nail in it gave up the ghost (In the rain too!!!). I went for the puncture repair but it turns out the supposedly 10 month old tires were rotten and cracked around the full circumference of the tire in the tread blocks, so nothing they could do… so I chucked on my Michelins from my GTS rims on the front instead.





Right before Christmas I managed to sell my GTS rims (Pretty sure I made a profit / broke even on the cost I paid for the rims, plus the cost of the part worn Yokohamas I put on the back and the pair of new Michelins I put on the front… and I did 5 months of driving on those too tongue.gif)… so I was stuck with a flat tire again. After loving the first set so much, and now with some pocket money, I bought a new pair of Michelin Pilot Sport 3’s for the front. Much better. tongue.gif


Overseas

I left on the 28th December and had 8 nights in Vancouver, before a week skiing in Whistler. Unfortunately I got sick half way through (I really burned myself out the months leading up to this… my body finally revolted), but I still had fun. I then headed down to San Jose to settle into life at San Jose State University for the semester. I will keep this brief, but I took a couple of trips to Lake Tahoe for skiing, a couple of trips to San Fran (so far… most recent of which I did a Segway tour of Fisherman’s Wharf!), a couple of trips to Santa Cruz and some windy roads nearby, and a big road trip down HWY 1 to LA…. WHAT A DRIVE! Seriously, it is something that everybody needs to put on their to-do list if you ever are going to be in California. I stayed in Santa Barbara, Venice Beach, San Diego and went out to Palm Springs as well before a night in Hollywood on my way home. Back into the study now, because I need to seriously lift my grades in a couple of these classes tongue.gif

The Mustang

So I wanted a car to get around in whilst in America…. and I wanted to get something very American to truly finish off the experience, so I decided to get a V8 Mustang. Also, young driver restrictions in Australia meant that I wasn’t allowed to drive powerful, turbo, supercharged, or 8+ cylinder cars at home… so I wanted to make full use of this opportunity!

After much searching, I picked up a ’99 Mustang GT Manual with 141k miles for $4.7k. Mods were 18” Saleen replica wheels (with 295/35R18 rear tires!!!), lowering springs, exhaust, CAI, CD player and a heavy duty clutch.













And one on the way back from Lake Tahoe one time;



The car was completely ridiculous, but a lot of fun. The build quality was atrocious, the seats were terrible, MPG embarrassing, hydroplaned like CRAZY any time there was any water about, but it was a lot of fun too. The rear tires, despite their size, would still happily light up upon request and leave you fish tailing out of..... well, anywhere tongue.gif I'm not sure if I would own one full-time, but it was certainly a great car to experience.

After 5 weeks and 2,800 miles though it died on me :’( Bottom end engine knock; suspected spun big end bearings. Apparently these engines commonly have the valve stems leak oil like crazy after 130k miles and they are very sensitive to being anything under full oil. The car had only just been serviced when I bought it, but it lost oil on my road trip and I wasn’t paying attention to my detriment.

Car is now sold for $3500. That was an expensive few weeks tongue.gif

Autocross

When in America with a V8… You autocross!!! I went to one SCCA event at Marina, and another at Oakland. The first of these was the same week that I bought the car, so my driving improved massively on the second run (not forgetting that I’m now driving stick on the other side of the car!!!).

VIDEO - Autocross Oakland in my V8 Mustang!





I was planning to do a couple of track days too… but no engine kinda spoiled that kindasad.gif

It wasn't as bad a handler as I expected (I'm guessing the lowering and wider track helped there), but the live rear axle with open dif REALLY lets the car down on the track. On my 3rd and 4th run in the video I had the inside rear wheel spinning the whole way up the first straight, with the car bouncing off the rev limiter in second, yet we really weren't going that fast at all. It is also quite snappy because of this.


The GT-FOUR (ST185 Alltrac)

I think I have mentioned it here before, but about a year ago I bought a st185 GT-Four Celica in partnership with somebody from the local Celica club, who was going to fix it up (had a blown clutch), and then I was going to drive it for 2 months, sell it and split the profits. A year later, due to various circumstances, the car was still unfinished so I pulled the plug and sold the car to one of my best mates who quickly sought to get it back on the road (He was still jealous of my old GTS rims, so I helped him buy a set to put on it before he even had it out on the road tongue.gif);





MY CELICA

What’s that? You don’t care? You just came here for my 6GC? Fiiiiiiine tongue.gif It’s now been almost 4 months since I’ve seen my Celica :’( I had it put undercover for storage whist I am away, but I ended up loaning it to Richard (the one who bought the 185… but this was before that) for a few weeks when their family car was off the road, and he has had it out a couple of other times for me; either with me paying him to clean / fix bits, or just turning over the engine for me. When he had it the first time he made this video review of the 6th Gen Celica (I had no input into this at all btw – outsiders perspective);

CELICA REVIEW VIDEO - Richard's ST204 Celica Review

Other than that, before I left I had just received a shipment from Japan with some original JDM carpet mats, and a shiny new SSIII front grill to replace my old one that had some flaking paint, and I have also ordered some SSIII Aluminium Door Sills and a couple of other JDM goodies to add to my car as soon as I get back!

Getting a clean, whist waiting for me to come home:



So yeah, that’s about it for now. That is why I haven’t been as active on the forums the last few months. I will be back home in July, after a month of touring the east coast of America following the end of my semester abroad.

I am heading out to a Cali MR2 / Celica meet this Saturday which should be good too smile.gif


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SOLD :( 1997 ST204 Celica ZR -----> See it here on 6GC!
2013 October Celica of the Month XD
Now: '00 NB8B Mazda MX5 -----> See it here in off topic!
post Apr 24, 2014 - 5:49 AM
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Box



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Well someone has been busy. If only you had bought a LS1 Trans Am or Camaro, oh well. tongue.gif


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1996 Pontiac Firebird Formula hardtop 6-speed
post Apr 24, 2014 - 5:58 AM
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njccmd2002



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your pictures are upside down


--------------------
Learned a lot in 10 years...

2grfe Swapped... Never Satisfied .. always something to do

A great civilization is not conquered from without until it has destroyed itself from within.


llamaraxing @ Imgur, Ebay and Instagram
post Apr 24, 2014 - 6:29 AM
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Box



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You're just standing on your head while using the computer again.


--------------------

1996 Pontiac Firebird Formula hardtop 6-speed
post Apr 24, 2014 - 7:26 AM
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SwissFerdi

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Sucks that the Mustang blew, I'm surprised you sold it for so much. My mother had a base V6 silver 2001 vert, the interior had materials that weren't fit for Chinese toys. I drove a newer Boss 302 recently, that was lovely though.

Additionally, I love the 3 series. If I wanted a sedan for fun stuff, auto-x and track business in addition to daily duty, that would absolutely be it. Best steering I've felt in any sedan.


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'97 ST \ Eibach \ KYB \ Kenwood \ Alpine \ Cusco \ OEM+ [sold]
'93 MX-5 LE
'07 Kawasaki Eliminator 125
'08 MX-5 GT
post Apr 24, 2014 - 2:18 PM
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JoshuaM



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QUOTE (Box @ Apr 24, 2014 - 6:49 AM) *
Well someone has been busy. If only you had bought a LS1 Trans Am or Camaro, oh well. tongue.gif


I was looking at those too, but finding a V8 manual version was even harder than the Mustang tongue.gif

QUOTE (njccmd2002 @ Apr 24, 2014 - 6:58 AM) *
your pictures are upside down


I'm with Box on this one... Can't even call the Australia card because half of these were taken in the USA tongue.gif

QUOTE (SwissFerdi @ Apr 24, 2014 - 8:26 AM) *
Sucks that the Mustang blew, I'm surprised you sold it for so much. My mother had a base V6 silver 2001 vert, the interior had materials that weren't fit for Chinese toys. I drove a newer Boss 302 recently, that was lovely though.

Additionally, I love the 3 series. If I wanted a sedan for fun stuff, auto-x and track business in addition to daily duty, that would absolutely be it. Best steering I've felt in any sedan.


Yeah, mine had the leather interior and everything... but it was 'basic' at best. It looks good... and appealed to backyard mechanics tongue.gif But I was happy to get that tongue.gif

Yeah, it handled great, and it was a very comfortable daily. Unfortunately mine was COMPLETELY gutless (87 kW / 116 hp). Really, my biggest complaint though was the throttle lag on it (a mix of the drive by wire not being very responsive and the engine). But even just taking mild corners around town you could feel the chassis balance and RWD nature of the car. A 330i would be fantastic!


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SOLD :( 1997 ST204 Celica ZR -----> See it here on 6GC!
2013 October Celica of the Month XD
Now: '00 NB8B Mazda MX5 -----> See it here in off topic!
post Apr 24, 2014 - 3:10 PM
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Box



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Yeah, finding a manual F-body is like finding a needle in a haystack. Plenty of manual Mustangs around though. If you thought the SN95 interior was atrocious just compare it to the Fox-body or 4th gen F-body. Hey, what matters though is the fact you can light up the rear tires on command.

I've thought about getting an E36 coupe, but then I remember it's a BMW.


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1996 Pontiac Firebird Formula hardtop 6-speed
post Apr 24, 2014 - 8:36 PM
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njccmd2002



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QUOTE (JoshuaM @ Apr 24, 2014 - 2:18 PM) *
I'm with Box on this one... Can't even call the Australia card because half of these were taken in the USA tongue.gif



˙˙ɐᴉlɐɹʇsnɐ uᴉ ɯǝɥʇ ƃuᴉʇsod ǝɹɐ noʎ ʇnq 'uooɯ ǝɥʇ uo uǝʞɐʇ ǝɹǝʍ sɔᴉd ǝsoɥʇ ɟᴉ ǝɹɐɔ ʇuop ᴉ

i changed my proxy settings to australia, and even my computer knows what to do.


--------------------
Learned a lot in 10 years...

2grfe Swapped... Never Satisfied .. always something to do

A great civilization is not conquered from without until it has destroyed itself from within.


llamaraxing @ Imgur, Ebay and Instagram
post Apr 24, 2014 - 9:47 PM
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Box



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It doesn't know how to capitalize or punctuate though. tongue.gif


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1996 Pontiac Firebird Formula hardtop 6-speed
post Apr 24, 2014 - 9:57 PM
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JoshuaM



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QUOTE (njccmd2002 @ Apr 24, 2014 - 9:36 PM) *
QUOTE (JoshuaM @ Apr 24, 2014 - 2:18 PM) *
I'm with Box on this one... Can't even call the Australia card because half of these were taken in the USA tongue.gif



˙˙ɐᴉlɐɹʇsnɐ uᴉ ɯǝɥʇ ƃuᴉʇsod ǝɹɐ noʎ ʇnq 'uooɯ ǝɥʇ uo uǝʞɐʇ ǝɹǝʍ sɔᴉd ǝsoɥʇ ɟᴉ ǝɹɐɔ ʇuop ᴉ

i changed my proxy settings to australia, and even my computer knows what to do.


Nope, very much in the good ole US of A. You can't get rid of me that easy tongue.gif

As it happens I'm just looking at flights outta here now; New York-> Hawaii (3 day stopover) -> Brisbane (via Sydney) at the end of June.


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SOLD :( 1997 ST204 Celica ZR -----> See it here on 6GC!
2013 October Celica of the Month XD
Now: '00 NB8B Mazda MX5 -----> See it here in off topic!
post May 4, 2014 - 10:57 PM
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JoshuaM



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Made an exciting purchase last night!!! biggrin.gif


--------------------


SOLD :( 1997 ST204 Celica ZR -----> See it here on 6GC!
2013 October Celica of the Month XD
Now: '00 NB8B Mazda MX5 -----> See it here in off topic!
post May 5, 2014 - 11:51 PM
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Box



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Better engine!? redface.gif


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1996 Pontiac Firebird Formula hardtop 6-speed
post May 6, 2014 - 12:31 AM
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JoshuaM



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QUOTE (Box @ May 5, 2014 - 11:51 PM) *
Better engine!? redface.gif


No... but the next best thing! smile.gif







Tanabe Coilovers if you couldn't tell by now biggrin.gif


--------------------


SOLD :( 1997 ST204 Celica ZR -----> See it here on 6GC!
2013 October Celica of the Month XD
Now: '00 NB8B Mazda MX5 -----> See it here in off topic!
post May 6, 2014 - 3:00 AM
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ILoveMySilly97



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Nice find. Didn't know Tanabe made some for our cars. Lol. How much were they and I'm guessing you found them in Japan?


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post May 6, 2014 - 2:33 PM
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JoshuaM



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QUOTE (ILoveMySilly97 @ May 6, 2014 - 4:00 AM) *
Nice find. Didn't know Tanabe made some for our cars. Lol. How much were they and I'm guessing you found them in Japan?


Yeah. They are a fairly basic coil-over (no adjustable camber tops, and no damper adjustment; though I would have kept it at the level matched to the spring rate anyway), and a bit stiffer than I would have picked for my use (these are 8kg and 6kg - I would rather the more comfortable BC's).

Yeah, from Japan. Used (so there is a chance they will be DOA), but apparently only on the car for under 2 years, and everything looks in good condition on them. I got them cheap. Delivered for well under 1/3 of the price of new basic coil-overs in Aus.

This post has been edited by JoshuaM: May 6, 2014 - 2:34 PM


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SOLD :( 1997 ST204 Celica ZR -----> See it here on 6GC!
2013 October Celica of the Month XD
Now: '00 NB8B Mazda MX5 -----> See it here in off topic!
post May 6, 2014 - 3:07 PM
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Box



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Woo, lower!


--------------------

1996 Pontiac Firebird Formula hardtop 6-speed
post May 6, 2014 - 4:04 PM
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cheela



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oooh. nice score!


--------------------

*1997 Celica ST - My Baby
*1977 Celica RA24 - aka bucket o' rust
*1977 Celica RA29 - classic cruiser
*1996 Celica ST - aka Freelica free fiddy
*2005 Matrix AWD - the wifey's car aka Trix
post Aug 2, 2014 - 10:55 AM
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JoshuaM



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So I've been back in Australia for a month now... so UPDATE TIME!!!







New low deserves new pics! With the help of a friend I installed my tanabe coilovers within 48 hours of getting back in the country! Talk about commitment tongue.gif I was a bit unsure initially because the ride is crazily firm compared to the stock springs, but the benefit of having dampers that worked (mine were shot.... bounced over everything) and the amazing handling in the corners sold me!

I also installed my JDM 'CELICA' embossed aluminium door sills, as well as my ultra-rare JDM Toyota shaggy floor matts (which are MINT!).



(You can see that I still haven't got around to finding another blue LED tongue.gif).

Just last week I also finally wired in my projector sidelights / parking lights.

Got a few major things in the works and a lot of little tidy ups to do to. Pretty set on doing a BEAMS swap now too next year (as soon as my licence allows it).


--------------------


SOLD :( 1997 ST204 Celica ZR -----> See it here on 6GC!
2013 October Celica of the Month XD
Now: '00 NB8B Mazda MX5 -----> See it here in off topic!
post Aug 2, 2014 - 12:49 PM
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Box



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You need a two post spoiler in your life. redface.gif


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1996 Pontiac Firebird Formula hardtop 6-speed

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