Carpet, Exhaust, and Air Conditioning. What are 3 things that have all been started, but can’t quite be called done yet.
Lets start with the exhaust. I had all the parts, but hadn’t gotten started until the other day. I ran into a bit of a problem with my TIG welding newb-ism. Some of the welds look downright terrible. I was having issues with the base metal wanted to melt long before the filler. After some advice and research, I ended up moving to a combination of fusing and using MIG welding wire as the filler than than the 1/16″ filler rods I had on hand. This eventually got me to produce welds that I will at least admit to making. At this point the exhaust is done, and on the car and actually sounds pretty good. What isn’t done is that I want to at least polish out the rear section and hopefully make some of those welds disappear a bit more.
I did at least come away with a couple of lessons, both in technique and in the need to order a few more accessories to hopefully make things easier with the next project.
While I was working on the exhaust, Jamie started gutting the interior to install the new carpet. Obviously the old carpet was pretty well worn, and stained. Yes we tried to clean it, but it was just too far gone. I placed an order through Rock Auto for the ACC carpet with the mass backing.
Obviously the color change is really noticeable. I would have liked to have matched the factory color, but well they didn’t offer it. The shape looked slightly off, but actually fit pretty well.
Obviously there was some trimming needed and some holes that needed to be cut.
I learned a neat trick that these broach cutters work really well to punch a perfect hole through the carpet. I don’t know if it would work with out the mass backing, but either way, try it on a cut off scrap piece first! If you happen to own a Lift Back Camry don’t ruin all of the scraps though. You will need them to fill in the blank areas left by the ACC kit.
This sewn on add on piece looks like it was added to the sedan carpet to make it cover the seat sides in the lift back. I opted to simply add a scrap here overlapped by the main carpet. If you happen to have an industrial sewing machine handy, you could probably sew this in place like the original, but then again, maybe not. The backing on this carpet was thick enough that it made aligning the seat bolts a bit tough. All and all though this made a huge improvement in the aesthetics of the inside.
While the interior was out, the seats needed a good cleaning and got a light scrubbing and some time with the pressure washer. As you can see above they weren’t bad, but they obviously had some embedded grossness. It seems to have all come out, and I would love to show it to you, but not everything is 100% back together yet.
While the carpet was out it made a perfect opportunity to remove the AC evaporator core with out getting crap all over the new carpet. When we first tried to fill the AC I could hear noise from under the dash. My plan was to take the replace it all approach.
Everything was going really well, until I attempted to put the new core in the box and realized they were pretty different in dimensions.
The box was designed to contour around each of the 4 coils which holds it air tight. Trying to install a new core with 5 coils doesn’t work very well. I would be returning it to Rock Auto, but unfortunately its past the 30 day mark, so I guess I’m screwed.
Since I’m far from knowledgeable on AC systems I started doing to searching and decided that most likely the noise I heard was just the expansion valve. I had a new one of those! I grabbed a spare regulator and a tank of water and gave the core a pressure test just to be on the safe side. No leaks, maybe we’re in the clear! Nope … the tube that connects the expansion valve to the under hood lines left part of itself in the old expansion joint! As luck would have it Mr T … Toyota themselves actually has this part on the shelf! Or so the folks at Lithia tell me. With any luck it’s on it’s way to them soon to be on its way to me and I can finish putting the interior back together.
In the mean time I grabbed the first round of parts from Techno Toy Tuning on Thursday, so I can start trying to build some coilovers while I’m waiting on AC parts.