Steam, Come Ups, & A Black Eye

While I was removing the defunct alarm and LED’s in the last round, I attempted a stereo upgrade. I failed. Usually if a Toyota has an upgraded factory audio system you can find the normal stereo plugs at the input of the amp. That wasn’t the case here. Using or bypassing the factory amp takes a special harness.

I called around locally to see if anyone had the harness I needed and just as I expected nobody did. I don’t blame them it’s probably not a hot seller. While I was ordering it an Alpine CDE-172BT jumped in the cart with it. It’s not old school cool like the early 2000’s Alpine I was going to steal from Whitey to put in the Celica, but it looks and sounds okay. I was able to change the display color to green to match the car and the original Alpine look a little better. Best of all I didn’t have to hack up my other Alpine’s harness taking off the standard Toyota plug again.

When I put things back together after the first round of repairs we filled the cooling system with water. As we know from the recent issues with the Camry leaving it this way is bad in any climate. In Nebraska at winter time it can be really bad really quick. One cold night can have things bursting with ice. So this time I was smart enough to remember to swap the water for antifreeze. Then came the problems. As I was topping off the radiator and working the bubbles out I was squeezing the upper radiator hose as we all do. Then the hose fell off. Yes it just fell off and I had to start bleeding all over again. This radiator had no hose barb of any kind and the upper radiator hose is one of those cheap cut to fit hoses that looks like it was cut by letting Barney Rubbles Dinosaur powered trimming tool munch on it. Add to that the lame worm drive clamps that never work right and I had a new radiator and upper hose on order the next day.

Which turns out was perfect timing as we split the radiator wide open at the upper tank on the way in to work that day. This might be a sign that this engine has more issues than just cheap parts installed by a previous owner. We will see shortly as the radiator should arrive mid week.

While we were waiting on parts we made an 8AM stop at the U Pull It in Lincoln Nebraska to see what this 95 Celica might have to offer us. We lucked out and scored a new drivers side seat belt. (The current one isn’t able to pull out all the way and is fraying badly on one side), Both front strut casings (now we can start planning some suspension upgrades), and a very dirty under cover. Crawling around in the dirt and frost isn’t my favorite way to start my day but these are all things that needed to be crossed off my list. Score!

To add to the Celica’s streak of bad luck someone backed into it in the parking lot. Now if this was one of the other cars that was in better shape I would post the dash cam video that the camera recorded after impact and be filling a police report on a hit and run. I’m a little torn on this one though. Most of the scuffs buffed right off by hand and a couple more paint chips isn’t going to make or brake the look of this one in the shape it’s currently in. It’s still pretty low that she got out to look (it’s on camera) but didn’t actually leave a note. What would you do?

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