Roman's beams 3SGE Toyota Carina

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old motor:


new motor.


old wheels:


new wheels:


Old front struts/brakes: AA60 10" non vented

new front struts/brakes: AA63 Celica 10" vented, AE85 steering arms, revolver RCAs, king springs (for now :P) random shortened shocks (for now) I'll most likely fit the SW20 twin pots up front at some stage, if I can be bothered. There's heaps of space under my wheels for grunty brakes, anyway.

Old gearbox: T40 4 speed

new gearbox: Altezza 6 speed

old radiator: leaky POS

new radiator: Altezza rad+twin electric fans+overflow bottle all in one. 8)

Old rear diff: single spinner T series, 3.9 ratio

new rear diff: F series, with cusco 4.3 ratio LSD

Old status of car: Really good and reliable RWD toyota

new status of car: Rusty hunk of metal that isnt capable of moving under its own power.

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Alright well I've been pissing around with this for a while, as it took me all of 3/4 of an hour to pull everything out except for the engine block about 2 or 3 weeks ago, and I havent had a hoist in the meantime.

Managed to pick up a hoist today, so I pulled the motor out, and then started pulling the engine bay loom/engine loom/etc all out of the engine bay, I'll fix up some tiny bits of rust here and there while everything is out, and probably repaint the engine bay at the same time.

I've got some flywheel bolts/a cambelt/etc ordered, so I'll assemble my engine together properly, so it will be good to go when it's back in. 8) (pending me not being lazy, and finishing it of course)




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Aaah well things have been fairly quiet on the Carina front lately.

I've made a few more purchases for bits and pieces of it.

A steering wheel + bosskit.

rear half of altezza exhaust with rear muffler, $1 on trademe (I'll use the muffler at the least... if the rest doesnt fit... who cares, it was only a dollar!)

factory altezza springs, $2 on trademe (Same applies... I might be able to get away using the (presumably stiffer spring rate for heavier car) springs on the front or rear of the carina. And if not... who cares, I'll take em to the scrap dealer and get $5. :lol:

I've also bought a bunch of bits to finish building the engine properly. They've taken forever to turn up, as redtop 3SGE bits always seem to do! I cant remember what I bought though. Cambelt and some other bits, haha.

Pretty much the entire car is stripped out now, underseal has all been chipped off, engine bay is fully stripped, and some work on the rust has begun. I'm not too flash with this, so I've called in some help on that one.

Had to take the whole dash etc out to fix some of the rust, so I figure I might as well switch to a black interior, seeing as how my blue one is awesome in a painful sort of way, but also missing a few pieces which would be impossible to find.

Plan from here is to fix the minor surface rust under the car, etch primer it with a good zinc primer, and then underseal. Sand down the engine bay, fix the minor rust, and then do the same. And then I can go through the rest bit by bit, rust kill and paint etc if necessary, and slowly stick it all back together. I sure do hate painting/sanding/rust work/etc though, it sucks balls!




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Here's the sort of power that the carina should be making when it's up and running. This dyno plot is from my MR2, which is slightly less modified than what the carina engine is going to be, but still the same engine etc. As you can see it runs really rich at high RPMs, if I get a powerfc for the Carina, I dont think that 130+kw ATW will be out of the question. Which should be good for a bit of fun. The low rpm leanness has been fixed now BTW.


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No point in doing things by halves, right?

Been going a little nuts with the paint stripper. 8O

Have rigged up some mounts for the radiator, and ended up having to pull out the whole dash etc to get at some rust that was in an annoying place.


Aaaand then a bit more work done with the wire brush/stripper/sand blaster/etc... Still a fair bit left to go! Sand blaster should be able to sort most of it out though.


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Have been doing a few random things.

This is now officially a sound deadening free zone!


I needed to use parts of both the adjustable and non adjustable steering columns to get something that's going to work with my car.

Has been stripped down, painted, reassembled out of various bits from each.


The crossmember and some various other bits which are off the car were looking a bit crusty, but it's nothing that some sand blasting/rust killer/wirebrush/etch primer/marine grade 2 pack black cant fix.






It's pretty hard/impossible to photo them after they're painted thanks to the colour, but they're a really glossy black now, looks awesome.


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I thought about doing some more work on the car today, but decided that it would be more fun to go spend some money instead.

I've pretty much got my suspension sorted now, barring camber adjustable plates for the front struts.

Today I went and picked up:

T3 rose jointed adjustable panard rod


KYB hilux shocks for the rear


Polyurethane bushings for the 4 link


Adjustable front struts



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Aaah well I've gotten a few more things sorted.

I've now got a toda flywheel, camcon, and have done a bit more work on the body.

Finally got the engine bay primered, took so fricken long to prep!

2 pack epoxy primer FTW, it came out SO good. This primer is non porous, so it'll be staying like that for a while yet. When I've got everything else ready too, I'll be taking it to a mates spraybooth to have it baked in the oven after being painted in a nice dust free environment.


I've started stripping the rest of the body too, which has taken surprisingly little time. Shouldnt be too much longer till it's ready for some primer as well, mean.



Bare metal paint jobs are FTW, hopefully the paint wont fall off as much as my last car. :?

P.S. I love it how paint stripper burns your skin, it's like KY warming gel for people who are hardcore.

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No update in over a year, and still not going yet. :lol:

Well I finished stripping the shell, got it all primered and yada yada. LSD fitted, big brakes fitted, hand brake cables sorted, wiring done, new coolant lines, new rear water outlet, new gearbox crossmember, lots of fiddly bits like that.

General laziness has also been a contributing factor for why it's taken so long. :lol:

Aaahh well pending some replacement coilpacks turning up tomorrow for my 3 dud ones, :cry: And me not having forgotten to tighten up something important, this sucker should fire up before the weekend!



The devil has been in the detail, sorting out all of the fiddly bits like new brake lines, wiring, coolant lines, blah blah.

Assuming the motor runs well and doesnt blow up, I've just gotta assemble the car all back together, make sure there's no more holes to drill anywhere or whatever, make sure wheels fit nicely under gaurds, make sure everyhing is sweet...

Then pull it all apart again and paint it properly, then put it all together again, then go for wof/reg/cert.

So ETA for completion, TBA :lol:

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Aaaaaand it goes!

Really need to make an exhaust for it though, sounds alright in the vid but like a bag of crap IRL!

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So I've just about finished the exhaust, but I've run out of bends, :evil:


Just wondering though, do most people here go over, or under the diff? I'm thinking with the larger diameter pipe there might not be enough clearance from the top of the diff to the exhaust pipe, and the chassis.

I'm going 'over' but will see how it goes, I guess I can just hack it off at that point and reroute it underneath if it sucks that way.

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Well I havent wanted to update this here until I've had any worthwhile updates, but I've finally got this friggen thing painted, and this makes me happy in the pants region.

Colour's not to everyone's liking but haters gon hate

Duck poo is obviously the most awesome possible colour for a car.

Looks good in person, but then again, so does your mum after 6 beers. 8)





Link to the thread about the sport discus:


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Been making some sweet progress on this, basically it's been sorting out all of the massive amount of parts / spare parts that I've got, and what they're for, finding bits I need, etc etc.


I need to reassemble the doors and put them on, before I can fit the front gaurds, and rest of the front properly.

Most of the interior is back in 8)

This shows the paint colour a lil better perhaps... Looks quite a different shade when in the sun, compared to overcast as above.


Havent found a few bits of trim etc yet but they're bound to be floating around somewhere, I've got at least two of everything hahaha.

Some of the more delicate or impossible to find replacement for parts, wont be going on until very last minute when the car is out of the garage for good. (well.. for now)

So these have been stacked away in my closet where there's no chance of them getting damaged or whatever.


I've only got one good set of the tail lights, and only one front grill.

I've just got broken/damaged tail lights on the car for now while test fitting everything and finding other parts of trim, etc.

Getting the rear screen back into the hatch was a nightmare, took way too long and involved a lot of swearing :evil:8)

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Gettin' there!

Got the doors on but still need to align panel gaps etc properly.

Been covering edges on everything in the blue painters masking tape, as not to scratch or damage anything while assembling.

Been undecided whether to put the window trim etc in as the chrome looking one or the black, I think from this photo black trim is gonna suit the car best.

Really happy with how things are turning out.


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Been busy putting it all back together more and more... still heaps to do, even just to reassemble it!

Took it for another slow trundle up and down the road to make sure everything is/was okay.

Then I jacked the car back up and double checked everything... all nuts and bolts tight, no loose tools sitting in engine bay, etc etc etc...

Checked that the lights work and everything else, and took it for a bit further afield for a bit of a drive.

Not good news though. :(

Well, just teething problems, but it wasnt much fun to drive.

List of problems found:

-Clutch does not disengage completely fully when pedal fully depressed, might have air in the line. Only noticable when changing at higher rpms though.

-Brakes are a bit soft, will rebleed them but possibly need a larger bore master cylinder to suit the caliper size etc

Understeer understeer understeer!

I think it's because of the rear diff being so tight, it has this nervous and vague sort of understeer going on.

Definitely dont have much confidence in the steering with how it is.

But getting wheel alignment should help a bit, will most likely swap the diff out for something less aggressive to help turn in, if that doesnt help much.

-rear end bouncing around, likely because of soft rear springs and I've doubled up on the rubber spacers that hold the top of the shocks in place, just to set the height. Will machine an aluminium spacer to replace the second rubber spacer currently.

-Muffler knocks around a bit, but easy to fix.

- Currently not running front swaybar, so have to make some up to go around the sump of the engine

- rear springs are really soft, and rear end is sitting a bit too low, looks gay and is probably not at all helping with the understeer situation.

-Engine is bogging and hesitating at low rpm, most likely because the airflow meter is having a tantrum on account of not being in the standard airbox :( That will probably be the trickiest thing to fix out of the above list.

So there's still plenty left to do, even when I've got the whole freaken thing reassembled again.

Not gonna push my luck driving around with no WOF or reg anymore, but it was mission accomplished in terms of finding out what needs fixing from here. Definitely want to get everything to a good standard before wof/cert time, not have a big list of things still to change around.

Have been repairing the bumpers so they're just about ready for a spray of black bumper spray stuff, should look heaps bette rafter that.

Took a pic or two while on my travels :)



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Well I'm taking the car down to Taupo in a months time :D

In the meantime though, one of the most worrying things has been how utterly awful the steering has been. It's been as though you need to turn the wheel about an 8th of a turn before it starts to do anything. And the steering quite heavy, not that I care too much about that, but noticable.

I've never had a wheel alignment done, but none of the steering is different to how I got the car in the first place, so should have been half way alright.

However I took some basic measurements a while back, which showed the there was a bit of toe out, at the front.

So tonight I wound out the adjustor about 10mm on one side, to see if it makes a difference.

Took it up the road and back... OMFG! It turns! :D And about 1/4 of the steering effort.

100% solved the issue of the rediculous horrible lack of turn in, even with just some random guesstimate settings haha.

I actually cant believe it was such a major difference, just by toe settings being previously incorrect! The whole car feels rediculously different to drive. Still a few things I'm not happy with, but things are starting to head in the right direction. :)

I kinda half resigned to the fact that the steering might just be crappy on account of being an old car or something... As it was pretty much always like that, even before. My faith is slowly being restored in my idea of having an older car instead of something more modern, haha.

So once I've finished fixing a few other things, I'll go get a proper alignemnt done.


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Well that was fun :)



Until this happened...


Valve guide dislodged out of the head!

Cheers to Mark aka Xero for snapping some awesome pics :)

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Car was having issues with brake bias being too rearwards, so am going to use a Load proportioning valve from a Toyota Estima as a brake bias adjuster.



These are normally connected to the rear suspension, so that as the static ride height of a van lowers (with more weight) it adjusts the lever which adjusts the rear brake bias.

Safety wise it's better than the wilwood equivilent because it takes a pressure reference from the front brakes, so if you've got no front brake pressure due to failure etc, it will send full braking power to the rear instead of limiting it.

So it just needs a threaded adjustor made up, instead of the lever pivoting it. Factory parts / being cheap / pick a part FTW!

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Well, took a long time being held up trying to get the right shims to get all of the valve clearances within spec!

Markku AKA truenotch AKA emanuele pirro Jnr was kind enough to send me another 16 random ones from another head that he had spare.

So engine all back together! Modified the sump while it was off for better oil surge protection.


Car's just been sitting under blankets for a while, next patch of good weather I'll take the gearbox out, fit it back to the motor then plonk it all back in

Got some spare bits:


And gonna repaint exhaust manifold properly, sans half assed prep work this time



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