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Snoozin's 1981 Toyota Starlet KP61.

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Things are officially getting out of hand.

Guess I have to do something about using these bits that showed up in my letterbox today....




And so the saving and researching begins... I have a good mate who can help with making all the necessary parts to make a set of coilovers work, planning on using a shorter stroke insert with substantially heavier valving, and a spring rate of around 250lb's.

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  • 3 months later...
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I got it going :D

And I got motivated and started on the diff over the weekend, stripped it back ready to do a few minor mods to slot the U-code 6" center in and associated axles...

Anyway, I shot out tonight and took some pretty photos of it... looks bangin even if I do say so myself :D




















And this, I reckon exemplifies driving an oldschool car. Window down, awesome weather, arm out the window. FTFW.


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  • 2 months later...
  • 4 months later...

I am officially fucking excited.

No pics as yet but...

- front struts are stripped

- VW Golf diesel front strut inserts have arrived (Boge's, stiff valving non-adjustable)

- new gland nuts

- new spring tophats

- 2nd hand threaded rod and spring platforms

- 250lb front springs

I'll get some happy snaps of the bits and the struts prior to machining beginning.

At full droop it's already 70mm lower :twisted:

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A few pics.

Strut tubes going to a mate for machining this weekend, so hopefully he'll have em done in a week or so for me.


Boge shock intended for Mk2 Golf diesel, on the left alongside Monroe insert for stock KP


Spring tophats and platforms, tophats will need machining shorter at the top edge about 10mm


The lot... threaded sections also will need to be parted off shorter.

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So... no pics but an update so I can keep some sort of timeline. All the bits have been dropped off for machining, should see them back in a couple of weeks or so.

May even go in and get some pics of the work in progress.

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  • 1 month later...



Yeah so, they look shit at the mo but everything fits together perfectly! Shocks sit in nicely, they're actually spaced up from the bottoms slightly so I didn't have to go too extreme on the overall strut length, but they're about 75-80mm shorter than a standard KP strut.

Next step will be to get everything welded into place, and blast and paint them up all pretty.

Also scored this, a little bit more pointless eye candy/gay JDM stuff depending on how you look at it.


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  • 3 months later...

Ok, so a few photo's of what I have been up to when time has permitted...

In an effort to drum up some kind of motivation I had a quick mock up of a few of the sets of rims that are littering my shed at present...

13x6 +6 Advan A3A's (165/65 Nankangs on them)


13x6 +15 Bridgestone Stage 4


14x6 +10 SSR Longchamp XR4 (looks nicer than I expected!)


Kind of worked anyway, as far as motivating me went.

Have been cleaning up various front end bits and pieces so that when I finally get the coilovers finished (will be able to assemble them next weekend all going to plan) I can then bolt up a whole swag of recond parts to them, so in effect everything will be brand spankers - with the exception of the brake discs, which I'm pretty much finding impossible to source UNLESS I want to opt for horrendously expensive Toyota Genuine Parts, which there'll be a month wait on ex Japan anyway...

So, a before and after shot of the calipers. Cleaned by hand, then taken back to metal (or close to) with a soft wire brush wheel.


1 x stripped caliper, and a detail shot of the sweet little TOYODA logo cast into the bit that houses the piston (just because I thought it looked cool!)



Finished it all off this afternoon, as well as cleaning up the hubs which will also get a coat of por 15 or something similarly hard wearing - perhaps a heatproof paint in a charcoal/gunmetal grey type colour I'm thinking.


And to finish this post, a few bits and pieces I've bought over the last wee while. First up is an array of TGP bushes, including LCA bushes, swaybar bushes/cushions, RTA bushes... and joining them is a caliper kit so I can refurbish the brakes completely.


Secondly... might have seen these before, but I scored a set of JC Project alloy wheelnuts for a sweet deal on NZHondas some time ago. Maybe rice, but I like the finer details.


And a pic of how the car's been sitting for the past god-knows-how-long. Sharp eyed readers might notice the new addition of stainless beauty rings on the steels... thanks to the old man from the South for his generosity.


It was supposed to have been sold - at the time of writing I have a deposit for it, but I haven't heard back from the little shit who was supposed to be paying it off, and we had an agreement of weekly payments. Such is life.

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  • 2 weeks later...
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  • 4 months later...

Yeah yeah I know not an update but...

Basically, I entered the 4 n Rotary Jamboree show a few weekends back on a whim, I turned up to the hall with 5 minutes to spare before they shut the door. This was after a mildly illegal race home in the Honda once I'd confirmed I'd be allowed to enter at such ridiculously short notice, pulling the car out of the shed for the first time in MONTHS, giving it a quick dust, and driving it over to Manfeild. Got there, quickly signed in, gave it a super fast coat of Quik Detailer (thanks Meguiars!) borrowed some tyre shine, chucked on my super-trying-too-hard-JDM-geek numberplates, and brand spanking new JAF badge.... here's a pic snapped of me getting my clean on.


She looked like this (stock wheels have been on it for ages since I switched the Brights onto the Trump). Thanks to Brian (Bananaman on NZHondas) for the photo's.





Car was displayed with oldschool stickers (also hastily applied from my stockpile) proudly showing on both rear side windows, had my straw trilby resting nicely on the dashboard, a crochet rug slung over the parcel tray to hide the speakers (all in the pursuit of originality/grandpa look), and a couple of my Jap market brochures on show displaying some of the more "exciting" promotional shots - namely batshit insane Japanese guys doing impressive jumps and two wheel action on mountain gravel roads - of cars similar to mine. At the conclusion of the day, to my absolute utmost surprise, a result came out of nowhere...


I am absolutely rapt... this was the last thing I expected, and I was only at the prize giving so I could get my car out of there pronto, and get home since I'd been at the track since 8am competing in the Superlap event with the sensible family sedan. However I did manage to get some feedback from a couple of friends who did attend and were minding a club display close to where the KP was (I asked them to keep an eye on it too!) and according to them the car attracted a staggering amount of interest... I'm not trying to be big headed or anything about my car (although I am soooo proud of this loosely termed "acheivement") but I reckon it goes to show that stuff like the 70's/early 80's Japanese cars are becoming classics in their own, once people start stopping and taking the time to appreciate what is really a tidy stock example, especially amongst some high quality modded street and show machines. Can only be a positive for genuine enthusiasts of older Japanese stuff as far as I see.... but then I could well be a smidge biased!

A brief review of the show though... from the limited amount of time I spent there, it was brilliant. The mix of cars was at a rough guesstimate, 75% oldschool... loads of Datsuns, the obligatory Mazdas (in rotary form of course!), a sprinkling of older Toyotas and a few other randoms, including a Model A pickup and a 32 roadster. Seemed to run smoothly, no complaints from me :)

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  • 7 months later...

Silly update/not really an update.

Step one: Mask off centers of wheels.



Step two: Sandblast centers, end result shown below.



I just used a 15cfm compressor, with one of those el cheapo 'stick it in a bucket of sand' style blasters, and medai used was dry beach sand. The masking tape held up to the task awesomely, didn't even touch the lips on all 4 rims.

Should be in paint by the end of the weekend, original red is the order of the day. Also cleaning up all of the bolts, will give the lips a hearty polish and all should be sorted by the weekends end.

Have a full set of 165/65 to go on them.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Tyres and a quick fit up. I'm fairly confident my photography is improving a little bit too.








Fresh. The centers painted up brilliantly, lips tidied up nicely as well. 165/65 Nankang and Firestone - Firestones (on the front) seem to have a narrower bead though.


The money maker - gen-you-wine grandma crafted crochet rug. Will be changing the parcel tray soon enough so the speakers mount below the tray, and the rug has zero lumps showing.


And a shot of the rego sticker I painstakingly rescued from a fresh import. Clearly I take the autheticity thing way too seriously :oops:


Finally, a snap of the office. Needs a good tidy up in there at the moment.


Several good parts have landed in my possession now too, I'll grab some pics shortly. Basically have everything required to complete an entire front end running gear rebuild.

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  • 2 months later...

So, I have been doing a reasonable amount of work to this of late, mostly due to getting it up to scratch for 4 n Rotary Nats which was a couple of weekends ago. The engine bay has been considerably spruced up, I have a new radiator, a new blanking plate where the a/c radiator was, new diff pinion seal, new gearbox output shaft seal, new lower arms, and various other liitle bits have been done, mainly to get it tidier. Interior was given a thorough shampoo and clean and now looks a heap better. Finally got a small rust bubble sorted out too, however it hasn't been properly sorted (or the area that was affected was underestimated) so it will be returning to the panel shop in the next few weeks so it's perfect.

Here's a shot of it just after the show - lots of wax on it :D Awesome shine I think.


More pics to follow - lots of new and reconditioned parts at home, money is almost amassed in order to purchase some T3 adjustable rear arms. Pics to follow shortly, maybe this weekend... motivation has returned en masse!!!

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  • 4 weeks later...

As promised, a post-weekend update... seems I have rediscovered my mojo and for the first time in a very long time I'm cracking ahead with some actual proper work on the car. It's a 'project car' once again.

Looks unassuming from the back... (note first timer license plate blurring... figured I should learn it) just a smidge of reverse rake happening. Could there be bags of cement in the boot?


No way! Got mildly carried away/fed up with a distinct lack of progress, so I have taken a large bite from the bullet, and removed the engine as well as all ancilliaries from the engine bay


Ay, bay bay?


Pics for reference, showing exhibit A - mint firewall


Exhibit B - mint passengers side of bay + chassis rail


Exhibit C - drivers side of bay and chassis rail... uh oh. Grot. It's not major, but it appears the brake master cylinder has been leaking all over the place, rust has not properly set in but it's probably just as well I got to this sooner rather than later. It will require a blasting I imagine to get it back to a state where it can be successfully painted/



And just because, a shot of the deliciously filth encrusted crossmember. Watch this space... all brand new gear is finding it's way into here :D


So, the plans. First off, I'm going to be cracking into the paint on the engine bay. Idea is to prep this myself, painter has advised me to scuff it back comprehensively with 180grit and leave the rest to him. Also, the battery tray mounts as seen in the drivers side of the bay will be removed and smoothed, as will the voltage regulator mount which is visible on the passenger side strut tower. Unnecessary holes will be filled and smoothed.

The old engine, and in the background a hydraulic lifter 5K, it's replacement (in the not tooooo distant future we hope!). Plans for this include a complete rebuild, a mild cam grind (can't go wild on the hydro lifter engine) Weber 32/36 and a swap of the 5K dizzy for the 4K-U electronic one - better advance curve should hopefully go a long way to waking up the 'van' motor. Just off to the left are a couple of K50's so one of those will be tidied up and slapped onto the end of the 5K.


I've also just in the last 15 minutes placed an order for these beauties from T3.



Idea here is I will suffer no binding of the stock rubber bushes, once the car is low - and I shoudl also be able to benefit from the more 'direct' feeling afforded by rosejoints as they'll tighten up the back end considerably due to not allowing so much lateral movement of the diff. They'll accompany a fairly typical setup of short shocks + custom springs to get it to a height that matches the front platform setup.


Next addition is this. It's a little bit untidy but for the money I'm not complaining plus it's difficult finding a reasonably period example of a Bride (seat :P) so I snapped this up the moment I saw it. A thorough shampoo and clean should see it come up looking a million bucks, I may possibly re dye the bolsters if necessary however.

Roll on some actual proper mods, and some proper progress... Ideally I would love to have this completed by Labour weekend. Time will tell however, I think I have some work (and expense :?) ahead of me.

Am I stupid? Is this a step backward? Or do my plans quite simply, rule. Talk here viewtopic.php?f=18&t=4207

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  • 4 months later...

Nothing extreme, just a selection of shots from the feature photo shoot. Posted for motivational purposes. And they look kinda sweet.








Will do a progress update on it this weekend too... have been getting slightly into it!

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  • 10 months later...

I still actually own this. So yeah, it's been just over a year since I took it off the road, and some progress has actually happened. In no particular order here are a few shots of it from the panelman.




Turned out the chassis was cracking where the rails kicked up from under the car, into the engine bay. Solution was to weld them, and gusset to strengthen. The seam was also separating along the passengers side, so they have both been tacked back in place to maintain strength.



Voltage regulator bracket - no more. Instead I'll be adapting an internally regulated alternator to the car as a means of tidying things up under the bonnet.



Battery tray... BE GONE! Once again, replaced with bits of steel and weld in pursuit of a tidy engine bay.


This pic puzzles me slightly... I guess it was prior to welding or sandlblasting work, and the cardboard was placed over the screen to prevent welding spatter getting on it or sand scratching it etc? Either way, there was also extensive welding to be done in the scuttle area just beneath the screen. Rust had gotten in under the retardly placed sound deadening that was there, and had spread fairly seriously. No pics of this, but a good chunk of steel in there is new. In addition to the already pictured welded parts, all unnecessary holes in the engine bay have been welded and smoothed. The bay actually has paint on it now - and looks outstanding in the flesh, but I have no shots of it to date.

The bad is, the bonnet is warped due to blasting the underside (to remove rust scale) and I need another one. Further hassle and expense. Gah.

But at least it's sort of coming along. Plan is to shoot down to Palmy shortly and trailer it back to Auckland so I can finally start bolting in all my new pieces for it... it's like a jigsaw puzzle!!!

//oldschool.co.nz/phpbb/viewtopic.php?f=18&t=4207 <--- there's still a discussion thread!!!!!!

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