In The Morning After Post we learned about some areas of the Celica that aren’t quite up to par with what we need. In this installment, we start to fix them.
The first round of money went to our friends at Rock Auto. Yeah I know Toyota parts come from the Toyota dealer. While I’m a believer in that mentality there are two problems here. First Toyota keeps discontinuing parts for anything that was ever cool, so even if I wanted to buy stuff I can’t. Second this is a 5SFE. An engine I’ve never really liked. I need to make it reliable, but I don’t want to cry about all the money I wasted in a month from now if this 250k econobox engine gets tossed in favor of something more fun.
I did pretty good with my Rock Auto sourced parts and most of the items were made in Japan. I’m sure you can buy crappy parts in Japan just like anywhere in the world but in my experience the odds of that happening are pretty low.
The axles presented the first round of problems. The drivers side was an absolute bitch to remove. It didn’t have the trademark Toyota ribs in it that give you a spot to knock it loose from the retaining clip. It took quite a beating and we lost the dust shield in the process. The whole time I was assuming I was fighting a mangled C clip but it fought the whole way out and when it came out with no C clip it was very apparent that wasn’t the culprit. A quick look showed 2 splines had been damaged prior to installation last time.
To add a little insult to things, the boots I ordered were for OEM spec axles. These auto parts store specials? Not so much. Not only were the original ridges missing, but so was that classic tulip shape that the inside boots were designed for.
I did manage to finish one axle using both outside boots and some lathe time to fix the damage, but the second axle is waiting on a couple more boots to show up.
While I’m waiting on CV boots, I turned my attention to the engine. The valve cover and tune up parts went pretty well, and didn’t yield any surprises. Once done there I moved on to the exhaust leaks. It turns out one is from under the cat (which I didn’t find the gasket for on Rock). The rest will be from that crack in the exhaust manifold. The good news is that I’ve got time to shop for another manifold or weld this one up because I’m waiting on more parts. Yep the oil cooler has quite the oil mess around it, and since the manifold is out of the way we might as well replace those gaskets and the two coolant hoses behind it. I tried to order these from Baxter Toyota locally but so far I haven’t seen a response to my email. Guess I’ll keep looking for for a good parts source.
On the fun side of things some of the upgrades have started showing up as well. I tried to buy a basic new alarm, but instead I only learned that DEI (Viper, Python, Clifford, Avital, etc) has been sold and it’s creating a bit of a shortage of units on the market. Last time my favorite alarm company was sold (Clifford/Avital to DEI) it made a real mess of things, so even if I found one I don’t know that I want another one. Instead I went period correct old school and grabbed this Clifford XL2000 unit that’s probably as old as the Celica itself. SCORE!
The tires were the easy choice. I knew they were going to come from Toyo, and I knew I wanted to try something proper for winter. So the Toyo Celsius were chosen. This did limit my wheel size choice to only 17″ to get the right size tire, but having the proper tire for the conditions should be worth it.
After a lot of debate, and even more searching I ordered a set of wheels from Up Garage in Japan. They aren’t perfect and shipping cost more than the wheels, but I think I’m going to be happy with them.
You’ll have to wait to see them though. I can’t properly debut the new look on jack stands after all.