Roman's beams 3SGE Toyota Carina

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Sooooo I went down to Taupo on Friday, and me and the old man put some beatdowns on the Carina.



It was pretty spectacularly rainy at some point, on the first and second stint 4-5 cars hit the wall! Madness.


My Dad only got in one run, because it was so rainy he didnt really want to take it out again after that.

It was never quite dry on the day, my fastest laptime on this track is a 1:57 which I did in an SW20 MR2 with a beams motor many years ago.


This time around I managed a 2.03 with some pretty sloppy lines, a damp track and old tires.

So a bit more practice and some better tires I reckon I'll be in the high/mid 1:50s no sweat :)



Just prior to trackday I made a bracket that holds my laptop and GPS unit (tells me laptimes in realtime, soooooo useful) a fire extinguisher and camera tripod.


So the idea is that it all bolts to the normal 4 seat mounts, so when I want to switch back to 'normal' I just unbolt the whole thing and put the passenger seat back in. Easy!


Next on the to-do list is to get my failspec exhaust replaced, with something that flows and sounds better.
Get some better tires, and increase the front camber a tad.
As it's currently deeeestroying the outer edges of my tires, as I needed to have 0 degrees camber to pass cert... Silly rule that one.

Millions of fun was had though! Track day is best day.

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Havent done anything particularly noteworthy with this... apart from drive it!

Have done almost 5,000kms since cert with minimal issues.

I've always been wondering how it would stack up weight wise though.

The benchmark I wanted to match or better was my previous car, an SW20 with beams motor. Which was 1030kg with about 1/3rd tank of gas. Put the carina on the weighbridge today, and it was 1040kg with 1/2 a tank.

I was a little bit surprised that even though it's got so much more weight in the drivetrain (Engine>gearbox>driveshaft>diff) compared to a transverse setup it's comparable weight overall.

It's got MA61 seats at the moment which are quite heavy, and full glass... the glass in the rear hatch is quite heavy, it's why the factory weight of the coupe is actually heavier than the sedan.

The factory 4age version Carina was 1100kg+ I think, if it was fully specd with power steering etc. IRS adds weight too.

Might rig up one of my spare rear hatches with Lexan for trackday stuff, and without passenger seat it would be under a tonne fo' sho'

Until I hop in it, at least haha.

-The to-do list over the next while is:

-New tires, back to 205s instead of 195. maybe semis cant decide.

-Replaced the only-good-for-skids Cusco 2 way LSD with a Torsen and maybe 4.1 ratio instead of 4.3 (Sucks doing 3600rpm at 100kph...)

-Redo the exhaust, because it's pretty shitty and sounds less than great.

-Possibly Version 3 megasquirt, and if so possibly back to ITBs or maybe setup a factory manifold with staged injection.

Picture unrelated:


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Soooo my diff has always had a bad noise under decel, from day one... After I paid money from a reputable Auckland workshop to install the LSD and set it all up many moons ago... Called them up when I got the car running (however many years later lol) but they just said "Yeah nah its sweet, will just be how its setup to be strong"

Since I've had it apart though, I've tried and failed a few times to set the backlash etc since reassembling the head as above.
The reason I havent been able to set it properly is that I've now found that the pinion gear had end float of 1mm or so... When it should have none and a preload on the bearings.


So I take the pinion gear out to inspect it... First thing I find is that the flange nut has been bukakk'd with loctite which has gotten pretty much everywhere inside and out.


Secondly, the crush tube which sets the preload for the pinion gear bearings by tightening/crushing it, had been hammered back out 'straighter' to try and reuse it.

Despite the manual saying several times to never reuse one or back off the flange nut if you've gone too far.


Which is most likely why there's end float, and a noisy diff from day one.

It's scary to think that my utterly amateur workmanship can be better at following basic instructions than someone who's paid to do it professionally.

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Aaaahhhh yep this has all been a kick in the balls haha.


About 5 weeks off the road which isnt too bad I guess.


-Diff set to one way, preload reduced, clutch friction reduced
-Replaced axle wheel bearings

-Reran the brake hard lines so its easier to get the calipers off

-Fixed the issue of the discs pinching on the axles and not sitting straight
-Fixed the issue with the Pinion gear having end float instead of preload on the bearings

So there was actually a fair amount to do, I guess I'm glad I pulled it out and found these things rather than have them fail somehow later on.

Good news is though... Diff's on it's way back in! I've got the housing mounted on the 4 links loosely at the moment, doing it with axles and everything else off has definitely made the job a lot easier.

Fingers crossed that nothing leaks/breaks/whatever, hopefully the diff now turns the car better, not noisy under decel, and hand brake should work a bit better too.

Cant wait!



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Soooo I got some T1Rs fitted yesterday, now running 205/50/15 all round instead of 195/50/15.

Some may dissaprove of a 205 on a 7" rim but such is life haha.

Car feels so much different! Previously had Bridgestone RE001s on front and Direzzas on the back.

It has soooo much more grip now! Even without traction brackets I can hoof through 1st and 2nd without wheelspin which is great. One unexpected thing though is that turning has become a bit more sluggish and it understeers a lot more.
The front/rear balance has previously been pretty good (if not on the oversteery side) with less grip. Which is why I've never fitted up the rear swaybar.
But now that grip levels have increased it might be time to look into fitting it to get the balance right again.
So I'll get that underway and increase front camber in 1 or 1/2 degree increments till turns nicely again. Might dump some friction modifier oil in the diff as well.

Either way I'm pretty stoked to have some decent grip! Cant wait to drive it again after work today.

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Havent used solidworks in ages, so thought I'd do some nerding.

I've got a spare rear hatch that I've been thinking about putting some lexan or whatever in, and bang it on for trackdays. And then have been wondering if a wing or spoiler or whatever would be useful while I'm at it.


so I drew a 2D model and ran it through the wizard machine thingy at 150kph.

Air pressure:





Air velocity:


The air in the blue areas is only travelling between 0 and 50kph... If you've ever noticed raindrops only slowly crawling up or down your front or rear windscreen, this is why.

A wing doesnt acheive much without airspeed flowing over it...

(I reran the model with and without the lingling spec spoiler as pictured, it essentially made zero difference)


Putting anything on the rear hatch similar to the TRD AE86 wing is likely useless because it's in dead air.
As much as I utterly hate people putting roof wings on everything, because they look awful... It would actually help on a car of this shape.


TL;DR: I should have spent this time in the garage doing something useful instead. Like start/finish remaking the exhaust.


Chase Distributors in Penrose are GCs for exhaust parts by the way!

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So after a weekend of remaking the exhaust, while feeling dead sick the entire time... I remember why I like to muck around with CAD and so on, it's much easier to daydream about things than actually do them haha.


Denham and Dave Sentra were ultimate GCs this weekend with helping me get this sorted, especially when I was suffering brain fade from about 9am each day with the flu.


Thankfully Denham was happy to let me hold the dumb end of the stick while he worked some magic on remaking the exhaust!

BrockLee and a few others helped out too which was all much appreciated.


Now it's all 2.5" with mandrel bends, a resonator in the middle and a straight through muffler at the rear.


I was expecting this to be on the obnoxiously loud side of things, but it's actually pretty sweet.


The car's actually quieter at idle and low load, and sounds a LOT better. (less tinny)

But I'd say it definitely picks the volume up a notch when you put your foot down haha.


The rear muffler is flanged in a way that makes it super easy to swap out for a quieter (triple chamber) type of muffler instead if need be.


I'm suspecting that the above mods may have freed up a bit of top end restriction, as after taking it for a quick drive I am shifting too late from 2nd to 3rd as it seems to zing there a bit quicker now.


Pretty stoked!


I've only got a tradgedy of a cellphone picture to show for the weekends efforts though, as I sold all of my DSLR gear last week to focus on a few other things over this coming summer.


I've paid in for a Hampton Downs Twilight session on the 29th of this month (which is a Wednesday) if anyone's keen, a bunch of OS'ers are going so come along! Starts 4pm onwards.


Here's a thread for it:




After that (assuming the car holds together) I'll be heading down to the OS Leadfoot event that weekend, then the OS drags in December for a rort down the strip.


Hopefully it wont be too embarassing down the strip, but it could probably do with some traction brackets prior to then to help it get off the line a bit better. I'd be happy if it ran somewhere in the 14s.


Super happy to have the car running again though! It makes me wonder how I kept any motivation while it was off the road for so many years.

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Drag day is coming up so I've been trying to get some sort of baseline idea of how this thing might go.


Using some GPS data from trackday (with the previous exhaust setup though), I've got a good idea of how fast it accellerates in a straight line in the 100-180kph range.

So with some dubious maths, combining this with some 0-100kph testing looks as though this should currently do about a mid 15 at 140kph.


The MR2 had a lot better traction than this car, it could launch from redline no problems! 2 second 60 foot times.

The problem that the car has currently, because there's miserable traction the ideal launch rpm is in a torque hole. (1500rpm or so)


So if I launch above this speed, it wheelspins. If I launch at or below this speed, it bogs. Both options kill time... bugger.

By increasing the amount of traction you are widening the 'launch window' (The rpm range you can launch at, without excessive bogging or wheelspin)


It would be nice to have a 'launch window' from 2500-4500rpm perhaps... Hopefully some traction brackets and low psi in the tires will be enough to get it to hook up nicely off the line. Will hopefully get enough runs in without issue to test out my theory.


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Went to a Twilight session at Hampton Downs this afternoon with a few OSers... A++ would attend the shit out of more of those!

Got an awesome amount of tracktime for only $75, definitely worthwhile.

Unfortunately though the clutch slipping issue came back, but again only after two stints in reasonably quick succession and lots of ruthless gear changes haha. The brakes were fantastic though, new pads worked well.


When the car cooled down again the clutch came back right and it drove home fine.

So I think I'll stick to road driving for the next while, as I CBF pulling the motor out again just quite yet.
The clutch is perfectly fine for the road, just not up to track spec continuous beatdowns.

I got about 5 good laps with no traffic or clutch slipping, managed a 1:26.38 as best lap time.
Pretty happy with that for starters, there will be a few more seconds to chop away at that with some more practice, better lines and a better clutch!

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Just a bit of an update on the aero situation... and why you cant trust just a 2d profile!

I was down in Coromandel this weekend, woke up at 6.30am and the car was completely covered in dew/frost.

So, the interesting thing about this is that the dew clears quicker when it has airflow over it. So the areas that are in dead air will keep dew on them, and vice versa. Ordinarily I'd avoid this situation, because 80s Toyotas are made out of dehydrated rust.

After going for a bit of a drive, I could see that the dew down the centreline of the car it looked to be the same as the simulation.
BUT the air coming from the side of the car wraps around the rear of the hatch too, which left this V shape on the rear hatch because the air must flow around it:


So it may very well turn out that the rear hatch area DOES have useful airspeed over it... Just not directly down the centre of the car.

Clearly more over analyses of a non existent problem is required.

In other news though the clutch was slipping a bit more, which is a bit of a bummer.

The current setup is something like this:


A really nice TODA CNC'd flywheel, with the worlds shittiest clutch and cover plate. Lesson learned!

So I'd been considering what my options are, because it's the same sort of problem as the front brake pads...
It doesnt need higher clamping pressure or whatever, it just needs more resistance to heat.

While looking for some options, a good deal came up on an ORC single plate setup! Same as Truenotch's.

These are a bit strange, because it's in more seperate parts than a standard single plate clutch:



Basically because it's a racing oriented unit, instead of having a cover plate that's a big single hunk of metal that you throw away when it's worn out... The upper friction material ring is seperate to the cover plate. The clutch plate is cut into quarters to stop it from warping and let it dissipate heat better.
Also the clutch fingers are removable, so if any one part craps itself then you just order/replace just those parts.
Overnight parts from Japan, job done haha.

The downside to this setup though, is that because the inner parts are floating they get a bit of a rattle going on when you've got the clutch in... Which is exactly why I picked this up for cheap, previous owner would have either been sick of it or thought there was something wrong. Same way I got my cusco LSD haha. Hopefully it's not tooooo annoying.

Since this design allows the coverplate to be a hell of a lot lighter than the pressed steel designs, as well as that the flywheel itself is lighter than the TODA one... It could be a few KGs of rotating mass lost. fingers crossed that my idle speed will still be fine.

But I'm looking forward to doing another trackday once this is swapped across and not having to worry about cooking it.

Another heat related problem that I've been having is that I cant get any sort of gasket to hold together for the join between the 4-2 section and 2-1 section of the extractors.

There's no correct gasket available, I've tried a few different things which are all fine for the road but I blow a gasket every trackday which is annoying.
So next thing I might try is either annealed copper or see if I can get thin stainless sheets lasercut or something and make a multilayer steel gasket similar to what holds the manifold on to the head.

Any suggestions on what works/doesnt work appreciated!

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I went to Gaspex in Penrose to get a custom gasket made for the exhaust, awesome service and price!


$27 for a custom made gasket copper lined on both sides that should hold up to some trackday punishment.

Tonight I went for a drive with the exhaust fixed up... 7.7l per 100km on a trip to West Auckland and back, pretty damn happy with that!

My last daily driver could never manage below 10l per 100 so it's pretty awesome to have a weekend car that I dont feel guilty about driving haha.

My clutch turned up today, and it's damn pretty!



If anyone buys an ORC 309D clutch and gets stuck for info:

(309D is the 'up to 300hp' generic clutch that they sell for everything basically)


Standard clutch plate thickness is 4.7mm (Mine is 3.5, so will replace)


and it looks as though the best place for replacement parts is the website


For comparison's sake when I take the other clutch out eventually, approximate comparison of weights:


Clutch cover plate ~2kg

Clutch cover friction plate ~1kg

clutch plate 1kg

flywheel - 5.5kg


total: ~9.5 - 10kg assembled

So not bad considering now the entire clutch assembly is less than the weight of the standard Altezza flywheel by itself.

I had a retard moment tonight though, when I realised it's possible that my clutch fork is being preloaded by the pushrod from the slave cylinder... The slipping issue might be caused by the clutch being ever so slightly depressed, when your foot is off the clutch. D'oh!


So great news if this is the case, as it means I might not actually need to change the clutch just yet.

I can go do some more Hampton twilight testing for slippage before committing to a Taupo trackday where it's a lot more of a waste of a day if something goes wrong.


My existing clutch has only done about 8,000kms since new, so it would be nice to save changing the clutch over after at least getting a bit more life out of it.


Fingers crossed!

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Checked the clutch pushrod - way too long! Trimmed maybe 5 or 10mm off it, before it had a little bit of free movement.


Thought I'd go for a drive, just to be sure... High rpms good, up hills good, high load low rpm up hills good... Clutch slip gone! Awesome!

But of course, owning an old car isnt that straight forward is it :lol:


I get to the furthest part of my journey away from Auckland (Kaiaua) to have the fuel pump crap itself.



Argh! Serves me right for thinking that using a 30+ year old fuel pump would be a good plan.


While diagnosing the issue, I managed to lock myself out of the car. While it was starting to rain :lol:


So I then went on a mission to get back in, managed to open a door, hard wired the fuel pump to 12v and took the fuel return line off - nothing coming out.


Also noticed that the fuel pump sounded fucked as well so wrote off the idea of the filter being the issue.


Ended up getting towed with a rope, all the way back to Howick which was pretty scary at night time in the pouring rain!


On the bright side though I'm stoked not to have to change the clutch over just quite yet.
I am also stoked that the pump didnt fail at the Leadfoot weekend, or at a Hampton trackday! Or at Nats coming up.
I've got a spare MA61 fuel pump somewhere that should get it back up and running, but I get the feeling that fitting something brand new is going to be the best plan from here.


Any suggestions on a fuel pump for 200ish hp that will be an easy fit?


Thinking about finding something factory fitting that's available brand new if possible.


Not interested in future proofing for 500hp or whatever as this car will never have much more power than it currently does.

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