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6G Celicas Forums > 6th Generation Celica > My Project
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Bushmatic
Just put some money down on a red 1997 Celica... I'll be bringing it home on a trailer this weekend, don't even have it yet. But I'll be updating this thread with little things that I do to it. For now, here are the pictures ripped directly from the Craigslist ad:









njccmd2002
Clean celica
cheela
welcome! yeah that looks like a really clean celi.
Bushmatic
Spent a few hours looking at engine swap write-ups and other sources of "inspiration" for this car. Unfortunately, I don't have thousands of dollars to put toward a clip from Japan (I barely even have hundreds), so for now, I'll stick to fixing what I can and investing in some cheap winter wheels from Craigslist. From the brief test drive I did before buying, the car felt very underpowered (it's just the ST), which isn't a huge deal, since I loved the aesthetics of the car so much. Below is a list of small issues that aren't working or otherwise need to be addressed. Please chime in if you have any constructive input about any of them!

Tachometer
Needle doesn't move at all, at any time. After some google-fu, seems like the common point of failure in these tachs is the internal capacitors. I've already ordered a cheap set of 20 new ones from Amazon and plan to solder these in immediately. If that doesn't fix the issue, then I'll have to try something else. Anyone have a link to a write-up for the capacitor fix? Namely, taking the cluster out of the dash and taking it apart? I found a couple youtube videos, but for me, nothing beats a written step-by-step guide with plenty of pictures. There seems to be a link to some "master guide" going around in some online forums, but the link is dead, so I am lost. I probably just need to search a little harder on here.

Sunroof (moonroof?)
The motor whirs when the button is pressed, but nothing happens. It's like the motor isn't connected to the sunroof. The seller said something along the lines of, "maybe the sunroof broke at one point and the previous owner just dropped in a stationary one." Not sure how plausible this is, but how would I even find out if this is or is not the case? Never tore apart a sunroof before. Not the biggest issue to me because I would rarely use it anyway, but I enjoy having every little piece of my car in working condition. Would love to solve this problem without dropping the headliner if at all possible.

Squeaking pulley at startup
When starting the car, and sometimes briefly when driving, there is some loud pulley noise. Owner isn't exactly sure which pulley it is, but his theory is that it is due to water dripping onto the alternator pulley from the hood vent opening (it is an aftermarket carbon fiber hood; you can kind of tell from the photos). The engine runs fine and doesn't leak or stall or anything, but this would be a nice thing to fix before winter. Alternator and belt were recently replaced--can I replace just the alternator pulley? Anybody dealt with this issue successfully?

Drum brakes
I'm listing this as a problem because I hate drum brakes! The rear brakes are drum-style, and I would love to invest in a disc brake conversion. Found a few guides on here, but I don't believe they are exactly what I am looking for--they are more geared towards big brake upgrades, rather than the actual conversion from drum to disc brakes. Any guidance appreciated here.

Peeling paint and various bodywork
The paint is not adhering to the carbon fiber hood very well, and it is peeling pretty bad in spots. I'd like to strip the paint off completely, and just deal with the "ricer" look (and potentially re-paint it in the future) rather than a patchy hood. Have googled around for a good way to strip carbon fiber, and it seems like my best option is fiberglass paint remover, along with some wet sanding and new clearcoat. Also, there is a rust patch forming directly on the third brake light on the hatch lid, right above the Toyota emblem. I will likely take the car to a body shop and pay them to sand it down, fill it, paint it, do whatever.

Stereo system
Haven't listened to the radio yet, but I assume the stock sound system is less than stellar. I have a Boss subwoofer and amplifier in my garage that I may wire into this car, but first I would have to install an aftermarket head unit. I'll poke around the audio subforum and see what kind of options are available. I've seen lots of interior photos where the cassette deck is replaced by a new head unit, so I'm hopeful.

Styling
I think the car looks great as is, but I wouldn't mind picking up some body pieces on the cheap if I can find them. Namely the GT4 spoiler, I love how big and ridiculous it would be, especially on my 100 HP car. Also want some side skirts and a front lip to give some aggressiveness to the car. I've also looked, heavily, into the JDM exterior lights, but these are hella expensive. If I did these, I would probably only do the clear high beams. The JDM projector low beams are simply too expensive for my budget....but I really wouldn't mind finding a used set (hint). JDM taillights seem nicely priced, but the "effect" they would have on the overall appearance of the car would be minimal compared to some other items, so these are low on my list.

Wheels
As you can see, the car comes with some nice aftermarket wheels in mint condition. However, they really are NOT my style. I am willing to trade, if anyone has any they'd be willing to part with. These wheels are 17", and I would ideally replace them with 18's. My tastes lean more toward wheels with wider spokes and a more silver or even white finish. I also like mesh/retro BBS style ones. Basically, I like a cleaner, more OEM-inspired look. I don't mind repros, as long as they look good. At some point, maybe I'll make a new thread in the classifieds, who knows. But our bolt pattern is super common, so I doubt I'll have problems finding a new set.
Box
Welcome! Every time I see a Renaissance Red Celica I get slightly nostalgic.
ClevelandGaint
Welcome, once you get one your bound to get others biggrin.gif
Bushmatic
I just tried to post 3 times but the posts are not showing up. I have the post saved (it's pretty long) so I don't have to retype it each time. Am I getting marked as spam or something? But anyway, thanks everyone! Hope this post goes through
cheela
QUOTE (Bushmatic @ Oct 18, 2016 - 2:31 PM) *
I just tried to post 3 times but the posts are not showing up. I have the post saved (it's pretty long) so I don't have to retype it each time. Am I getting marked as spam or something? But anyway, thanks everyone! Hope this post goes through


new members are required to have their posts got through admin approval for a bit. lots of spam recently and hey this site is free so no worries, just keep posting, as long as its not gucchi purses, it'll show within the day or so.
cheela
as for your other questions:

tachometer: http://www.6gc.net/howto/change_gauge_cluster_light_color
this should give you access to take a look and see what's wrong. I'm not much help there. sorry

sunroof: you're probalby gonna have to take the headliner off. but here's a good how to
http://www.6gc.net/forums/index.php?showtopic=90205&hl=

alternator pulley: it's simple on the 7afe. 3 bolts (pivot bolt, locking bolt and adjusting bolt) all right in front of you then slide the belt off and put the new one on.

drum brakes: yeah they suck. I have an ST as well. still stuck with the drums. u can do a GT conversion fairly easily. just a matter of finding all the parts from a GT to bolt on to yours.

paint: paint looks good. can't really tell from the pics. haven't really looked into paint removal on CF hoods though.

as for aesthetics, that's all up to you. I love the look of OEM/JDM/TRD bits. I do recommend JDM headlights and tails. They really freshen up the look of our cars. and if u like subtle lips, I would look into the SS-III splitters or a TOMs lips like I got.

Bushmatic
Wow, my long post showed up. If an admin sees this, please don't approve my other posts that are almost exactly the same!

But hey thanks for the remarks. Not a lot I can do at this point (picking up the car Friday afternoon), but mental preparation is always nice. Your body kit is probably exactly what I would ideally do with my car, even the rear spoiler. I probably wouldn't do the yellow light tints with a red car, but it looks awesome on yours!
Box
Here's a writeup on drums to discs: http://www.6gc.net/howto/convert_rear_drums_to_discs

As far as pulley noise goes you should be able to isolate it with a really long screwdriver by placing it onto the alternator body then power steering pump etc... with the end of the handle up against your ear.

The moonroof could be a snapped cable which is why the motor seems to work but nothing happens.

The ST is a good daily, I was able to get 36-40 mpg out of mine but I drive like an old man. Really the best thing you can do performance wise outside of an engine swap is to focus on suspension and pair that with some good summer tires and good o.e. replacement performance rotors and pads. Another thing I and many find to help the driving experience is to install a short throw shifter, fairly inexpensive and easy to do.
bryanf
Here is my writeup on the brake conversion:

http://www.6gc.net/forums/index.php?showtopic=96500

I do recommend the complete GT brake setup including fronts, rears, and prop valve. Find the right car in a junkyard and it's not an expensive swap.
Bushmatic
QUOTE (Box @ Oct 18, 2016 - 4:38 PM) *
Here's a writeup on drums to discs: http://www.6gc.net/howto/convert_rear_drums_to_discs

As far as pulley noise goes you should be able to isolate it with a really long screwdriver by placing it onto the alternator body then power steering pump etc... with the end of the handle up against your ear.

The moonroof could be a snapped cable which is why the motor seems to work but nothing happens.

The ST is a good daily, I was able to get 36-40 mpg out of mine but I drive like an old man. Really the best thing you can do performance wise outside of an engine swap is to focus on suspension and pair that with some good summer tires and good o.e. replacement performance rotors and pads. Another thing I and many find to help the driving experience is to install a short throw shifter, fairly inexpensive and easy to do.


Yeah I just found the information section of this site, there's some really good stuff on here! Already buying a set of Euro front splitters from a member who lives in the next city over from me. I'll look into short throw shifters too.

A couple more things I remember about the car:

Center dash bezel/trim
The interior of the car is amazing, almost 100% flawless. It's awesome sitting inside. However, there is one eyesore, and it is a missing chunk from the bottom corner of the dash bezel, right below the climate controls and tape deck. I'll post pictures of this missing chunk when I get the car, but I guess I'll just look into replacing the whole dash trim piece.

No tension in seat belt
Driver's seat belt just hangs loose. Will look into new seat belt tensioners. Is this hard to replace or relatively straightforward? Or should I go DIRECTLY to racing seats with a full 6-point harness? biggrin.gif

No cruise control
I will look into what is required to install this. If it's more trouble than it's worth, I can live without it. I just do a lot of highway driving so it's one of those quality of life things.
Smaay
Sounds like you should have not bought this car. Its loaded with things you dont like
ClevelandGaint
You can go on eBay and purchase a 7th gen celica short throw shifter, cheaper and works.
Box
QUOTE (ClevelandGaint @ Oct 18, 2016 - 6:54 PM) *
You can go on eBay and purchase a 7th gen celica short throw shifter, cheaper and works.

Yup, I ended up with a Megan Racing one for a 7th gen on super clearance sale. A solid aluminum knob in addition would help as well, get some momentum going between shifts.
Bushmatic
QUOTE (Smaay @ Oct 18, 2016 - 6:53 PM) *
Sounds like you should have not bought this car. Its loaded with things you dont like

It just sounds that way because I never typed up a list of things I like about the car--because what would that achieve?? wink.gif I like buying imperfect cars, because then the only direction to go is up. I go crazy if I don't have a car-related project to work on, even if it's something small like looking for a specific part online. And I got the car for pretty cheap, so even if it turns out to be the worst car in the entire world and I hate it, I'll just put it up for sale again. The reason I was in the market for a new car in the first place was because a young woman totaled my previous car while it was parked. My budget for a new vehicle was whatever the insurance company decided to give me, which was.... not a lot. I'm using it as an opportunity to try out something new. Celica reviews are amazing everywhere I looked online, so I'm giving it a shot.


QUOTE (Box @ Oct 18, 2016 - 7:39 PM) *
QUOTE (ClevelandGaint @ Oct 18, 2016 - 6:54 PM) *
You can go on eBay and purchase a 7th gen celica short throw shifter, cheaper and works.

Yup, I ended up with a Megan Racing one for a 7th gen on super clearance sale. A solid aluminum knob in addition would help as well, get some momentum going between shifts.

I'll hit up ebay and take a look... I think I'll try and get used to the stock one before diving into a short throw shifter. But I really can't do anything meaningful until Friday rolleyes.gif
Csober
Nice to see pictures of it, and was good to meet you yesterday. Should have let me know, I have a short throw shifter i am not using..
Bushmatic
Got her home today, it was a nice drive! It's a really great car, a bit underpowered but no complaints apart from that. The key fob is pretty busted and doesn't work at all, is a new fob only available at a dealer? Also, the key barrel in the driver's door is jammed or something, so I have to unlock the car by putting my key in the passenger door, which is kind of inconvenient. A fob would solve this problem, but if that's too expensive or impossible for some reason, I'll need to fix or replace the driver door handle/lock barrel. Another dealer-only fix or what?

Anyway, here are some relevant pictures I took today. The red paint looks amazing in this light. I included a pic of the dealer options the car came with, never heard of some of them on this forum so I'm not sure how cool or rare they actually are, but nice to know regardless. Interestingly, it came with a burlwood dash, but a PO swapped to a flat silver dash at some point.






Box
You could try using some Liquid Wrench or PB Blaster in the key barrel, could be corroded/rusted inside. After letting it sit for awhile I'd blast it again and try working the key in and out before trying to turn it.

My ST had the mudguards, also had the optional alloy 14" rims and moonroof. It was a '95 though.
Bushmatic
After some fiddling around, the key barrel isn't jammed....my key just doesn't fit in it?? I have some smaller keys that fit into the lock fine, but when I try to use the car key, it's simply too thick to fit in the slot. Kind of a weird issue to have. But otherwise, gonna try to come up with a game plan for the car--what I'm gonna do, when I'm gonna do it, how much it will cost, etc.
Bushmatic
Anyway, moving away from the key thing: Just started planning a sound system overhaul. The front door speakers currently don't work, and I'm limited to cassettes, CDs, and the radio, so I decided this will be the first real mod I do. Already ordered the head unit and the necessary wiring harness. I have a Boss brand subwoofer and amplifier combo collecting dust in my garage that will hopefully be put to good use as well.

For the head unit, I'm going with the Pioneer AVH-180DVD. I didn't buy from this link, it's only around $140-150 when bought elsewhere. Double DIN with iPhone input was my only requirement for my head unit, and this seemed to be one of the cheapest ones out there with the best reviews. I also like the fact that I can play DVDs in it, although I'll probably never use that feature unless I drive down to Florida or something and my girlfriend gets that bored (plus, it's 2016--we can watch Netflix on our phones now).

Here is the wiring harness I ordered. If you aren't aware (I'm sure everyone reading this is, but just for posterity purposes), you need to buy one of these harnesses specific to your car when installing an aftermarket stereo if you don't want to cut or splice any wires.

I'll probably be buying some aftermarket speakers for the front doors at some point, does anyone have any recommendations? In the meantime, how should I go about diagnosing the stock ones that aren't working? It's weird that both front speakers don't work and both back ones do, so I thought there might be a fuse specific to the front speakers. Still haven't opened up the fuse boxes and taken a close look, but I doubt it will be that easy of a fix. The rear speakers have actually impressed me with their sound, a bit lacking on the low end (which my subwoofer/new front speakers will fix), but the rest of the frequency spectrum sounds 100x more clear than I was expecting when I bought the car. If I upgrade these, it will be after everything else is done.
BonzaiCelica
My left front speaker blew out and quite honestly I think it's time for an upgrade. I've asked several times what's the output of stock 4 speaker with tweeters specs but no replies.

I figure anything that's 120 for all 4 speakers n tweeters must be better than my 17 year old system. I'm looking at this head unit that includes Bluetooth and control... Pioneer DEH-X6800BT
Box
You can test the speaker wiring with a voltmeter or multi-meter, or you can test with a speaker that's known to be working. With stereo on and playing preferably a CD/MP3 etc... for stable signal you can test for voltage or plug in a speaker and see if you get sound. Other possibilities being the stereo that's in the car the output for the front channel is dead or someone burnt up the front speaker wiring by trying to draw too much power through them. That or someone had the front speakers on an amp and then when they pulled the amp and speakers they didn't bother redoing the wiring. Really one of those dig and see things.

Really most of your renowned name brands make good speakers, really the best thing is to look through and read reviews on places like Sonic Electronix or Crutchfield to get an idea. Generally Pioneer, Infinity, Alpine, Rockford Fosgate, etc... are good choices.
Bushmatic
QUOTE (Box @ Oct 23, 2016 - 1:43 PM) *
You can test the speaker wiring with a voltmeter or multi-meter, or you can test with a speaker that's known to be working. With stereo on and playing preferably a CD/MP3 etc... for stable signal you can test for voltage or plug in a speaker and see if you get sound. Other possibilities being the stereo that's in the car the output for the front channel is dead or someone burnt up the front speaker wiring by trying to draw too much power through them. That or someone had the front speakers on an amp and then when they pulled the amp and speakers they didn't bother redoing the wiring. Really one of those dig and see things.

Really most of your renowned name brands make good speakers, really the best thing is to look through and read reviews on places like Sonic Electronix or Crutchfield to get an idea. Generally Pioneer, Infinity, Alpine, Rockford Fosgate, etc... are good choices.


Thanks, will try all that out when I get a few hours to tear apart the doors.

Just put an order in for a full interior LED upgrade, including dash lights, as well as license plate lights and third brake light. Tomorrow I have to head to the Secretary of State office to officially register my car. Might stop by a local mechanic to get a quote on a pulley replacement. The squeal I get on startup and when turning the steering wheel all the way to the left is unbearably loud. I would be able to do this myself, but I want it done now, and I don't have a garage or proper tools or anything while I'm in school...
Bushmatic
Still waiting on a lot of items to ship to continue improving the car, but in the meantime, I discovered that the front door speakers actually do work. It took me sitting in the passenger seat and cleaning the stereo to finally discover the fader knob hidden behind the volume knob. It's just a little tab sticking out that was hidden from my view when sitting in the driver's seat. I turned it back to the 50-50 position and the speakers have sprung into life. I have been looking for the fader since I bought the car, since I figured that would be the easiest solution to the front speaker problem--and it turns out I was right lol. Feel kinda dumb for taking this long to find it, but whatever. They sound pretty good, a lot more bass than the rear speakers. I might just drop my sub in the trunk and stick with the stock speakers for a while.

Also gonna try to clean my AC evaporator core at some point soon using this guide. I normally replace all my air filters when buying a car, but these cars don't have cabin filters so I guess this would be the next best thing.
Box
Or it could be the fader setting. laugh.gif That's about as easy of a fix you could hope for.
Bushmatic
I got my head unit and wiring harness, so I started connecting all the matching wires. I'm waiting to connect the parking brake, ground, and remote turn on wires because I bought this neat little device that will bypass the parking brake. This will allow the settings to be adjusted and for videos to play on the screen while the parking brake is not engaged. Neither of those are urgent needs of mine, but I would just prefer to have full control of the stereo at all times. I might also buy this thing and replace my cigarette lighter with it. It would be really helpful and easy to install, since the head unit has USB and RCA inputs on the back that would hook right up to this. Since the USB input doubles as a charger, I wouldn't have a use for my cigarette lighter anyway, and this solution would look somewhat stock. I'm not sure if the stock socket can be removed from the trim piece, though, which would affect my decision to buy. If it can't be detached and subsequently replaced, I'll buy a different aux/USB input harness and mount it inside the tray beside the cigarette lighter. I'll take a lot of pictures during the installation of all these and make my own write-up, as some of the ones on this site are a bit outdated (missing pictures, old head units, not using any kind of bypass, etc.).
Bushmatic
Got my new stereo head unit installed, and to my surprise, everything worked perfectly on my first try. But I have a couple really minor questions to anyone who has done this installation before:

1. As soon as the car (and stereo) comes on, my antenna goes up, not just when I play the radio. Is this normal, and if not, how do I stop this from happening? Seems kind of pointless to have the antenna constantly extending and retracting if I never listen to the radio.

2. The screen doesn't dim with the factory dimmer knob. It has its own built-in dimmer setting that you have to change on the settings screen. Is this also normal? And not, what's the fix?

If it helps, I installed the micro bypass device. I installed it by just splicing the blue, black, and light green wires into the wires coming from the back of the stereo. I wasn't sure if the blue wire (remote turn-on) had to be spliced in to the connection or if it had to completely replace the factory blue wire, meaning the blue wire from the stock wiring harness would be blanked out. Hopefully this makes sense, I can take pics if necessary. I still need to find someone who owns a DVD so I can toss it in the stereo and see if the micro bypass does its job.
richee3
Both are standard with every head unit I've ever had. I used to have a switch installed in the antenna wire so it would only go up when I wanted it to. As for the dimmer, my current two head units dim when the lights are turned on but every other head unit I've ever had has just stayed on full brightness.
Bushmatic
QUOTE (richee3 @ Nov 7, 2016 - 8:59 AM) *
Both are standard with every head unit I've ever had. I used to have a switch installed in the antenna wire so it would only go up when I wanted it to. As for the dimmer, my current two head units dim when the lights are turned on but every other head unit I've ever had has just stayed on full brightness.


Yeah I figured it out shortly after I posted, this video explains everything: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-bF3uzzaT30

The blue wire is for hooking up anything you want to turn on at the same time as the head unit turns on (mainly used for amplifiers). Since I connected this wire to the car's blue wire, the antenna goes up whenever the head unit is on. I'll probably just roll with this for a while, maybe install a switch like you did at some point.

And the dimmer wire, like you said, is meant to work in conjunction with the headlights, not the dash dimmer knob. But hey, looks like I installed it all correctly. The ebay Microbypass chip works perfectly too.
Bushmatic
Two small questions to anyone reading...

I'm having a lot of trouble removing my third brake light to install an LED bulb in its place. The long socket does not want to come out, even when pulling with a ton of force with pliers. There is a video in this thread showing how to remove it, but it looks like he just reaches in and pulls it out effortlessly. Does anyone know if there's a certain way I have to move it or anything like that? After this, all my LEDs will be installed except the gauge lighting, which I am delaying until I receive the capacitors to fix the tachometer.
EDIT: According to this thread, I bought the LED replacement for 1994-1995 models, which won't work in my car. Looks like this replacement will be put on hold until I decide to buy this bulb or some other bulb with the same base.

Second question: I noticed my glove compartment light doesn't work. I replaced the bulb with an LED, and it still doesn't work (I flipped the LED around a couple times to no avail). I'm guessing the socket doesn't really "go bad", so it must be the sensor that detects when the glove compartment is opened? Has anyone dealt with this issue? Not a big deal whatsoever but like I mentioned earlier in this thread, I'm a fanatic about making every little thing in my car work perfectly.
richee3
I have a spare tach if you need it, but I've got a project so I'd need your old one in return.
Bushmatic
QUOTE (richee3 @ Nov 13, 2016 - 8:48 PM) *
I have a spare tach if you need it, but I've got a project so I'd need your old one in return.


Hopefully the new capacitors will bring mine back to life, but if they don't, I'll take you up on that offer! The only thing is I ordered them a month ago and they still haven't arrived. Messaged the seller today, will try to have an answer for you soon.
Box
The switch plunger for the glove box light is probably gunked up, I forget where it is exactly on the Celica but the glovebox door would have to come in contact with it somehow so it shouldn't be too hard to find.
Bushmatic
Trying to figure out the best way to repair/restore the hatch door on my car. Corrosion is just starting to eat through the bottom area around the latch, and there is a splotch by the third brake light. The rear wiper does not work, and the weather stripping around the window is noticeably faded. I figure the most cost-effective option would be to just take a whole new door from a yard and swap it with mine. However, it doesn't look like there are any Celicas within 100 miles of me. The other option is to take it to a body shop so they can sand/bondo/repaint the problem areas, and then just replace the wiper motor myself. At some point I would also like to remove the spoiler (and later put in the tall GT-Four/SSS-III spoiler if I can find a good deal on one), which would involve more body work. Replacing the entire liftback from a GT model would be so much easier (plus I would just need to buy riser blocks, not the whole spoiler), but idk if I'll be able to get one. Any ideas? Anyone doing a part-out? I'd be fine with one in any color if it's not too expensive, but shipping might kill me either way.... so I'm open to any thoughts on this.

Some new things coming up in the meantime... Will take some pictures once everything arrives and I get them in the car.
-Fixed tach
-Blue LED gauge lighting (already did the full [blue] LED interior upgrade except for these and the climate control lighting)
-Sparco shift knob (won a nice one in an ebay auction for 20 bucks)
-Shift boot (mine is torn and ratty)
-Radio/climate control bezel piece (two corners of mine are chipped off, and one of the vents in mine is busted)
-USB/aux input jack in the plastic pocket by the cigarette lighter
-Phone mount
-12" subwoofer with amplifier (took some measurements in the trunk and tried to order a sub box that would fit the way I want it. Will update with results whenever I get this project done)
-Winter items: new wheels and rubber floor mats
-Got a set of Euro front splitters from Colton (Csober on here), just gotta paint them and bolt them on

Things for a little further in the future when I win the lottery:
-New speakers all around (thanks for the info Bonzai)
-Replacement key fob from dealer
-Suspension upgrade of some kind
-Other random stuff... fixed sunroof, new spoiler, maybe new wheels, side skirts, full 3S-GTE engine swap.... biggrin.gif
CelicaDICE
I have a set of genuine GT4/SS-III raiser blocks. You can check it out here: http://www.6gc.net/forums/index.php?showtopic=97263

If you do not like the price, feel free to make an offer!
Box
ST and GT have the same lift door, what you're wanting is a '94-95 for the two post.
Bushmatic
QUOTE (CelicaDICE @ Nov 18, 2016 - 12:18 PM) *
I have a set of genuine GT4/SS-III raiser blocks. You can check it out here: http://www.6gc.net/forums/index.php?showtopic=97263

If you do not like the price, feel free to make an offer!

Yeah I think you commented in my classifieds thread! These would be awesome but I am not ready to start a project with my spoiler yet, as I have to address the lift door under it first. I'll keep these in mind whenever I'm ready to upgrade to the tall spoiler, which may be a while....

QUOTE (Box @ Nov 18, 2016 - 12:59 PM) *
ST and GT have the same lift door, what you're wanting is a '94-95 for the two post.

You're right, I saw a picture of a 95 GT and assumed the spoiler was associated with the "GT" part, not the "1995" part rolleyes.gif That two-post spoiler looks so much cleaner than the three-post, it's too bad they decided to change it up like that.
cheela
I would just drill the extra hole for the spoiler. it take all of 5 minutes to do. but seeing that you do have rust etc on it, might be a better idea to switch them out. or go carbon fiber hatch! haha

u gettin snow tires for winter too or just wheels?
Bushmatic
QUOTE (cheela @ Nov 18, 2016 - 5:48 PM) *
I would just drill the extra hole for the spoiler. it take all of 5 minutes to do. but seeing that you do have rust etc on it, might be a better idea to switch them out. or go carbon fiber hatch! haha

u gettin snow tires for winter too or just wheels?


I'm picking up a set of old 14" Subaru Legacy wheels with Blizzak snow tires mounted on them. Fitment is almost exact, just need some hubcentric rings and they'll mount up perfectly. And a carbon fiber hatch would actually be awesome, if they weren't in the $700-800 range...
Bushmatic
Small update, Legacy wheels donít fit in the front because the offset is +15 mm relative to the stock offset, so they just barely come in contact with the brake calipers. I didnít think this difference would cause an issue, but I guess I didnít take into account that since the wheels are so small, a small change in offset makes a big difference. This is not an issue in the rear with the drum brakes. Ordered a pair of 10mm spacers to try and fix the problem, and depending on how the lugs fit after the spacers are on, I may need extended wheel studs to match. No problem, as it is currently 53 degrees and sunny here in central Michigan at the end of November, so there is not a dire need for snow tires yet.

Also spent all day Saturday finishing my subwoofer installation, and to my relief it fired right up on my first try with no popping or buzzing noises. The sub and amp have been sitting in my garage for about 2 years after being removed from a car I used to have (my previous car came with a factory option premium sound system with two stock subwoofers, so I didnít feel the need to install my aftermarket one). I hope I never have to do this kind of thing again, as running wires from the head unit/engine bay to the rear of the car was an enormous pain in the ass. Plastic trim pieces and fender liners are probably my least favorite thing to deal with. I might upgrade the subwoofer at some point because it is one of the cheapest ones on the market and of questionable quality, but mine does the job just fine for now. Here are the details of the installation for posterity:

I ran the power cable from the battery to a grommet on the right side of the engine bay, down the driverís side of the car. I did it this way for two reasonsóone, because I ran the signal cables down the passenger side and didnít want to cause interference, and two, I didnít have a long enough cable to reach from the battery to the other side of the engine bay and then to the back of the car. Hereís a picture from Bonzaiís build thread that demonstrates where I routed the power cable. Donít pay attention to the black or yellow wire looms, but see where the black wire below them is coming from the engine bay. You have to remove the fender liner and route the wire into one of the other grommets leading behind the dash; blindly pushing the wire from the engine bay doesnít do anything except shove it against your wheel well liner. Itís hard to tell for sure, but from the photo, it looks like he did the exact same thing as me when removing the liner and cut right through the bottom right corner, where a mud flap would be attached. I donít even know what to call them, but there are three plastic clips holding the liner on from behind, and they have screw holes to mount the factory mud flaps to them. These clips were absolutely impossible to get access to, much less remove cleanly, since they are on the inside of the fender liner. I wouldnít have done this if I didnít have the mudflaps, as the liner was clamped back into place when I reattached the flap. I installed the inline fuse under the dash, right under the fuse box. I used this enclosure and it fits perfectly up against the rear seats and under the rear shelf. I went with an amp installation kit from Belva and it contained everything I needed. If itís not obvious, I did this all on a pretty tight budget and it worked out perfectly, at least for my needs. I still need to buy some strong velcro to secure the subwoofer, but for now, it fits nice and snug against the rear seats.

I also received a ton of other stuff I ordered and got it all in the car. The Sparco shift knob, black dash trim/bezel, Japanese style front license plate to cover the ugly bracket, USB/aux input mounted in the pocket by the cigarette lighter (it looks super ghetto the way I rigged it up. Iíll probably get a new pocket/port and redo this step eventually). I still need to do some research on a new shift boot and get mine replaced. Iíd also like a new black trim piece to replace my current one around the shift knob/cigarette lighter area. After that, Iíll take some pictures of my new and improved interior and post them up here.
Bitter
If you only barely need to clear then 5mm spacers or just trimming the little bit off the caliper that interferes would allow you to not need extended studs.
cheela
Fyi. njccmd2002 is giving away a 2 post spoiler for free in the for sale section.
Csober
If you're still looking for a 2 post hatch there is one local to me I can check out for you. It is yellow however.
msk59
Nice updates. Like the details you write. Who makes that hood on your car? I like that style.
Thanks
Bushmatic
Hey, I'm back, after packing up everything, shoving it into my car, and moving across the country to Los Angeles! Things have slowed down and I can provide a nice, tiny, little, extremely long update.

QUOTE (msk59 @ Jan 26, 2017 - 12:49 PM) *
Nice updates. Like the details you write. Who makes that hood on your car? I like that style.
Thanks


Hey thanks! There are absolutely no markings anywhere on the hood, and there is an oval of bare carbon fiber on the front of it where I assume a badge fell off at some point. But from what I gather using evidence on this forum, I think it's the Erebuni "racing style" hood. If you click that link, you'll see two example photos on the sidebar. The photo on the left is exactly like my hood, but the one on the right (pictured on a silver pre-facelift Celica) is definitely different--I believe that one is the Vis hood. Whatever mine is, I think it looks nice. Since the scoop is more squared off, it looks less aggressive than the Vis one and thus looks quite a bit less jarring against the car's smooth bubbly body lines.

---

Anyway, time for an update. More pics coming whenever I remember to take them.

New things I've done...
  • Removed spoiler. Need to fill the holes somehow. I originally wanted to convert to a two-post spoiler, but I decided I like the no-spoiler look a lot more. It's a clean look that isn't done very often. Besides the obvious perks like slight weight reduction and a clearer view out the rear window, it eliminates being haunted by thoughts of spending ludicrous amounts of money on chunks of plastic known as "riser blocks."
  • Replaced third brake light with junkyard one. Mine had some kind of surface oxidation which looked awful. Still have a rust splotch by this brake light. I will address this problem later in this post.
  • Opened up my rear wiper assembly and figured out why mine isn't working: The plastic articulating arm is snapped. That's why I could hear the motor working when I turned the wiper on, but nothing was happening. It's also why the wiper just hangs limp against the window (you can freely move it by hand anywhere. Sometimes I hit a bump in the road and the wiper slides off the window).
  • Got my blue LEDs installed in the dash. You can kind of see them in the photos below.
  • Replaced my fuel door with a junkyard one. A little more marked up than mine was, but I don't really care about that. I just needed one with a working hinge.
  • Got all the ugly silver trim out of my car. Those interior trim stickers are one mod I do not understand. They make the whole car look so much cheaper, and they flake off with age. They also cover a lot of symbols on the stock trim, namely the air vent "open/closed" symbols. Just not a good mod in my opinion. Glad to be done with those.
  • Bolted on my Euro front splitters right before the road trip. They were sitting in my garage since I bought them from Csober last year.
  • When I was still in Michigan, I did a complete rust-proofing of the undercarriage. Sprayed some nasty rubberized coating in all the metal channels, drainage holes, and pinch welds, and went over problem areas of the factory fender liner coating with some new spray-on stuff. Somewhat overkill considering I moved to California soon after, but it can't hurt.
  • Scored some JDM tails for 80 bucks from a local guy. The left one has a couple spots of damage, but they can't be seen with the light installed and the hatch closed. So happy with how they look.


What I plan to do...

I'd like to preface this part of my post with a brief explanation of my vision for the car. I have a very "feng shui" approach to vehicle ownership. "Feng shui" probably isn't the most accurate way to describe it, but whatever. I believe the key to a "nice" modified car is to focus first on the little details, and then focus on how those little details harmonize with the larger surrounding details. One consequence of this mindset is that a LOT of mods I want to do are really small and really cheap. This approach also limits what I can do to the car visually, as every aesthetic mod has to complement every other aesthetic mod. Kind of hard to explain without an example--some people like to make a false wooden floor in their trunk using particle board and linoleum. I think this is can be an amazing mod, but only when done right (this is rare), and done to the right car (also rare). I would love to do this to my car, but I would only think about doing it after I get a shiny new paint job and some great looking wheels. It would be kind of jarring to open the trunk of my car, with the most 90's shade of red paint possible, to find this kind of trunk inside. If you open the trunk of a well-maintained car in a fresh coat of uniquely colored paint, you would almost expect the inside to look just as unique. Probably a weird example, but you get the idea.

My ideal end result boils down to a clean reliable daily driver--stock engine (probably dressed up a bit, cost allowing), MAYBE a turbo in the FAR future, aggressive rally-inspired stance (not slammed, but also not monster truck height), technologically modern interior with pure 90's aesthetics, new exhaust that's only slightly performance-oriented (if at all), and some other details I won't get into here. I'm not going to pretend my car is anything more than a slow ST, but I am going to make it look exactly how I want it to look.


Specific plans:
  • Get that stock German plate off the front of my car and cover the license plate bracket with something else. If I ever register this car in California, the Cali plate would be the obvious solution. But since I don't know how long I'll be living here, that may not happen. If not, I'll probably buy an ebay Japanese replica plate or something. I found some license plates that just say "FARM USE" in huge blocky letters... thought I could throw one of those on there if I was trying to add a bit of irony and personal flair to the car. If I get the paint job I want and the car starts approaching "show car/super clean/illmatic" status, I actually think a FARM USE plate would be an awesome personal touch. Right now the car looks too tired to rock that plate... unsuspecting people would think it's actually a farm vehicle. It needs to be obviously ironic. Some people reading this are probably wondering why I'm talking so much about a license plate--it all comes back down to focusing on the little stuff and how it ties in to the overall look and feel of the car.
  • Take care of rear hatch; it has holes from the spoiler and some rust on the lower inside edge and around the third brake light. The wiper, as mentioned many times before, does not work. At some point I'll go into full bodywork mode and tackle the first two of these things at once. I'm also going to remove the "Celica" badge on the side. I may or may not shave the rear Toyota logo... It'd be a clean look but I'm also not sure an empty gap is any better right there. Slightly leaning toward keeping it. This is all assuming I don't find a new hatch door I can just swap on to my car.
  • As for the wiper, I need a new motor. I attempted to remove mine but didn't have a proper wrench to unscrew the top external part. If I ever find a new hatch door, hopefully its wiper motor works.
  • Paint my wheels. I've been thinking long and hard about how I'm going to address my wheel situation, since I like the fitment of my wheels but I don't like the finish. Most people agree that the red accents are kind of weird. The style is so-so, they're no Enkei RP01's but they also aren't bad by any means. Therefore I decided that I will try plasti-dipping them in gloss white. I'm aware of the stigma surrounding plasti-dip (cheap, ricer kid mod), and I somewhat agree with it. I'm banking on the hope that the white will come out looking factory if I take my time and do the job right. Worst case scenario, I either live with the result or peel it all off and go back to the drawing board. White is a pretty safe color as well.
  • Paint the car! I've decided that if I ever save up enough to get a quality respray, I will do it in military/drab olive green. My decision was mainly inspired by this car, a Saab 9-3 wagon from Sweden. I follow the guy on Instagram and I am blown away by this color every time he posts a picture. I can't even tell if it's a wrap or paint, the way it reflects light looks different in every photo. I'm not a fan of wraps so I would try to achieve this look with paint either way. I realize that this is a color that most people hate--I've heard it compared to all manners of body fluids (I won't elaborate here). Not that I care of course. This shade of green is just so rarely done, and it adds so much aggressiveness. A respray won't happen until the far future, but when it does happen I will also reevaluate my wheel color. White would still definitely look good, but so would a dark graphite or a gold/bronze (similar to the linked photo of the Saab, but less brown). I would also like to paint my front splitters, either body color or a dark glossy graphite color. I might change the LED color of the interior; blue wouldn't match the best with that green. But at the same time, dash lighting doesn't really have to match external paint color, you know? I'll make a decision about this at some point.
  • JDM projectors, clear side markers/turn signals, foglights. I also want to delete the little aftermarket auxiliary lights one of the previous owners installed. I could never get them to work, and even if I could, they look really tacky anyway. At some point I'm going to rip those out. If I find a pair of stock fog lights and they don't come with the stalk or any wiring, I'll try to repurpose my auxiliary light wiring to them.
  • Finish the dash lighting with blue LEDs in the climate control unit and cigarette lighter. I absolutely love this photo of Spree's interior, back when he was selling his LED kits. That's the kind of look I want.
  • Full exterior LED upgrade. Nothing too fancy; I've seen a lot of posts on here about getting creative with the third brake light and breadboards. Pretty neat upgrade, but overkill for the amount of effort it takes vs. the result.
  • Coilovers, just to adjust the stance to my liking. I actually love how the car currently sits, but it could always use a bit less wheel gap. Slamming it to the ground was tempting before, but after seeing Csober's Air Lift kit, coilovers would just never compare. The rear wheels could also use a set of 1" spacers.
  • I'd love a full set of confetti seats, but at their price point, I'd be better off doing some serious performance mods. It would be ridiculous to put Recaros in a 105 bhp car that has never seen a track. All I'm saying is, I wouldn't mind if a set of them fell into my lap one day. Until that miraculously happens, my stock seats are in near mint condition and they do the job just fine. Speaking of which, I should probably ditch my TRD license plate frame...
  • Rear disc brake conversion, along with caliper paint all around. Not sure on color.
  • I really want the JDM center armrest, purely for the different cupholders. Not a fan of the claw method when I have a drink with me.
  • At some point I will potentially install an automotive fire extinguisher somewhere in the car. Kind of just want one on hand.
  • I have a set of Toyota decals coming in the mail soon. I'm going to experiment with putting them on the factory mudflaps, MR2 style. No harm done if they look bad, they literally cost less than 5 bucks. I'm just going for a cheap bit of vintage/rally Toyota goodness.
  • That's pretty much the backbone of my future plans, barring some other minor stuff like sway bar end links, maybe some stickers here and there, maybe an aluminum pedal set, etc.


Some quick and dirty iPhone photos from the other day...





Box
Well the right way to take care of the spoiler holes would be to weld in some metal and then repaint it. Or you can find some vinyl that matches the paint close enough and use a circle cutter to make some nice patches to cover the holes, looks a lot better than rubber grommets and seals better too. As far as painting the car and rims goes you might consider Plasti-Dip, yeah I know I hated it too when it first was being done but it's come A LONG way since then. Now when you do it right it can look just like paint and for a fraction of the cost, plus if you change your mind it's easy to undo. Might consider doing Pearlizer or Silver Metalizer over a white basecoat for the rims. Here's one showing Silver Metalizer over white: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mkfOLk8FvqA and one with Pearlizer over white: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JLwSmksXGQM
Bushmatic
Might as well post a quick update... Nothing particularly major to report apart from a new Magnaflow muffler. This video is the closest sounding one I could find on youtube, even though it's a different product. The 7A is weak but it can make a mean sound smile.gif Just had it professionally installed last week along with new brake pads and rotors in the front.

A bunch of smaller things I've done/have planned, in no particular order:

A few months back I slapped some basic white TRD decals onto the stock mudguards as an experiment. I noticed that a lot of older cars, especially Japanese ones, have decals on the stock mudguards. One example here. I always thought it was the perfect small detail to give a car more of a "retro" kind of look. I'm very pleased with how this turned out, you can see for yourself in some of the pics below. Easiest "mod" ever!

I got a set of clear front turn signals and sidemarkers which I equipped with LEDs. Also swapped in LEDs for the third brake light and rear turn signals (all of these lights use 1156 bulbs. In the pre-facelift years, the third brake light uses a 194 bulb, which is smaller). Popped in a flasher relay so they actually work. I didn't do the four tail lights because I feel like 1157 LEDs (dual filament--used in front turns and taillights because they need two levels of brightness for normal function) don't have enough of a difference between the "low" and "high" brightness levels. Every video I've seen comparing standard filament brake lights to LED brake lights shows a quicker response time in the LEDs (a good thing) at the cost of a clear distinction between "braking" and "not braking" (a potentially VERY bad thing). This is due to the LED being SO BRIGHT to begin with, that when the brakes are applied, it's hard to notice it getting even brighter. Here's an example I just randomly found on youtube. The guy in the video has the same complaint as me, even though it's kind of hard to tell for yourself. That's why I only put an LED in the third brake light, where there is a much clearer distinction between "braking" and "not braking" (on and off, respectively--hard to misinterpret by someone driving behind me). It's safe to say that I get the best of both worlds doing my rear lights this way. Instant on/off time in the third brake light, clear braking designation in the taillights.

I have a European license plate surround and a hood spoiler I still need to install. Just need to devote a few hours to drilling some holes. I never even considered that the Euro plate surround would have different license plate hole locations than the USDM one until I had it completely bolted in.

Still waiting on a few shipments of small parts, including almost everything needed to install factory cruise control. I may have mentioned before that the car has a pair of ebay foglights installed deep in the air dam. I could never get these to work until a couple weeks ago when I traced the wiring up into my dash and found the fuse, which was blown. Then, after some quick testing, I found out that one of the bulbs is burnt out. So I ordered a new pair of yellow H3 bulbs from Hella, gold headlight film, and a new box of the fuses (the previous owner used a weird kind of fuse that I've never seen before). After it all arrives I should have a nice set of working yellow foglights. The switch will be semi-OEM looking, placed in the "second choice" location described in this thread.

I've decided that when I source a new hatch door, I'm going to get this ducktail spoiler. It would be the finishing touch to the wingless look. My current hatch is getting eaten by rust from the inside out, so I'm going to wait before I do anything major like a new spoiler. As to why I've decided against a two-post spoiler; it was a toss-up until my girlfriend saw a picture of a GT-Four and literally the first thing she said was, "why did they put such a dumb spoiler on that?" So that was the tie breaker rolleyes.gif

Over the past few months I've noticed my brake pedal sinking into the floor as I keep it pressed down paired with a loss of braking power. I have to pump the brakes or use the e-brake every time I'm stopped on a hill. When I had my pads and rotors replaced they also bled the brakes, and the problem has persisted. So it isn't air in the brake lines. I think a new master cylinder is in my future. Speaking of brakes, I hate that they put drum brakes on these models. My old Volkswagen from 1967 had drum brakes, it's an ancient technology!

I want to do one of those false wood floors in the trunk. If you don't know what I'm talking about, here's one example. It's one of the few tricks from the VW scene that I actually really really like. Needless to say, it's a bold design decision, so I would make sure to do it well and make it easily removable.

Still have plenty of stuff planned for when I have more money! Brake master cylinder (obviously), coilovers or lowering springs (along with new top mounts, bearings, etc.), full respray (in my previous post I said I wanted to respray in a Saab factory green color. Now I'm leaning toward just doing it in my factory color, renaissance red), treat the rust in the driver's door handle area, new speakers, blue climate control LEDs, various bits for the engine, other stuff I'm forgetting.

And now for a random dump of cell phone pics, including one from the early stages of today's eclipse! Featuring a dirty car that looks somewhat clean from a distance:









Bonus: I have a mystery item on the way from Japan... All you get now is a sneak peek!
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