Where’s That Prince Charming Mother F-er At?

I’m sure it’s been over a year since the covers have been pulled and these cars have been driven. It’s not good on them, and it’s not good on me. A lot has happened outside of the car world, and I doubt you really care all that much since this is a car blog, so someone call Prince Charming and lets wake these things up already.

The Camry was on the end so it was first up. I pull it out of it’s parking space… no literally I pull it forward in neutral with my hands. Problem one; some jackass (me) forgot to disconnect the battery on this one after putting it away last time. Okay lets try and charge that while we get the oil change out of the way. Uh-oh here’s problem two. The dipstick tube came with the dipstick when I try to check the oil. Apparently the JB weld that was on the tube wasn’t to hold the tube in but actually to hold it together. Okay, well that’s gonna leak but lets see if we can get it fired up. Vroom. Okay, the battery took enough of a charge to let it start, that’s good. Oh shit, now there’s water pouring out.

Well at least it ran long enough to get it out of the way. I’ll pick up some heater hose and try to figure out what to do with the dip stick later.

Lets move on to the 86. Battery disconnected? Yep! Oil Change complete? Yep! Were looking good. Lets take this one for a drive.

Almost home! …. Shit that’s not good. The alternator isn’t charging right.

After limping the car back to the shop, a quick test showed that the voltage regulator wasn’t doing much regulating. The voltage was skyrocketing at higher RPMs. I tried another regulator from an different MR2 alternator that was laying around, but no luck. A little research on the ol’ interweb showed that the original Camry alternator is actually the same part number as the Corolla GTS. Good thing I still have that buried in a safe place under the stairs, behind the Lexus drivetrain, and spare truck engine and the extra transmissions.

Long story short I climbed across my parts pile to retrieve the Camry’s OG Toyota alternator and it is happily juicing my GTS now.

Speaking of the Camry…

5/8″ -ish heater hoses replaced…… Leaking. I would have sworn that was it. 3/8″-ish throttle body coolant lines replaced….

Still leaking… Where the hell else could it be leaking from? Oh shit…. the coolant bypass tube is leaking.

Okay apparently the same jackass that might have forgotten to disconnect the battery might have also left the Camry with mostly water in the coolant system. I generally start a new engine with mostly water just in case something was forgotten, not working, etc. We may have not gotten back to the Camry’s cooling system since then. The better news that coolant tube was only ever available on the 86-89 Celica GTS and has been discontinued for years.

So how the hell do I have an extra one sitting on top of the engine waiting to be swapped in? An OLD box of parts. A box of parts that I told my dad he could throw away over 10 years ago. My 3rd Toyota (late 90’s I think) was an 87 Celica GTS. I happened to put a JDM engine in it when the original got tired of my abuse. This would have been left over from those days.

Absolutely fantastic! Thanks for hoarding dad! Unfortunately it wasn’t found sitting next to the dipstick tube from that engine, but that will be way easier to address when the exhaust is out of the way to swap the coolant tube!

The FX wake up happened a few days later and was the best of the bunch. Battery is a little weak (yes I disconnected this one) but overall some fresh oil some air in the tires and it’s as ready to go as it was when we parked it.

To paraphrase Jack Nicholson in Mars Attacks!: “We still have 2 out of 3 Toyota’s working for us and that ain’t bad!)

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