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Styles 1982 Toyota Celica XX 2.8GT

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Well I've been on here for quite some time, but haven't gotten around to doing a build thread, so here goes, at last, not that I've been that good at taking pics!

Way back in the mid 90's, when I was a teenager looking for my first car I fell in love with the many Celica XX that cruised the streets of Auckland. I looked, and looked, and looked for ages to try and get one, initially just manual 2.8's then considered autos, 1G's turbos and even the poxy SOHC 2.0, but they all had a killer combination of being relatively expensive, and rusty! As a first time car owner, with a Dad who wasn't in the least bit mechanically minded it was a bit too daunting. So eventually I gave up, and ended up with an ST162 Celica, which served me well. In all honesty it was probably a better and more suitable car at the time in many regards.

Fast forward a good few years, and in 2011 I came into a bit of money and thought to myself that I'd like to get a "toy". So I started considering my options. I was working at Nissan New Zealand at the time, so thought about a Silvia, or 180SX, considered a Skyline etc, but I kept coming back to two cars that I'd always loved, the ST205 Celica GT-Four, and the MA61. I'd sort of kept an eye on MA61's showing up on Trademe over the years, and thought about buying one in the past, but the timing was never really right.

Anyway, I'd found a GT-Four that I liked, and an MA61, so it took a bit of deciding. The GT-Four had fairly high mileage, but looked a little tidier than the MA61. Well, in the end I decided to go for the MA61, and scored her for NZ$5500, after getting a little more carried away with the bidding than I probably should have.

The next problem was that it was at the other end of the country. This was a drawcard for the purchase however, as it was in Alexandra, very appealing for a rust prone car. So I got her shipped up, and went to pick her up. Did I mention I'd bought her sight-unseen? She was a little rougher then I expected. I could see  from the pics online that she'd need a serious cut and polish at least, and figured she may need a repaint. Well, when I had a good look I could see that both sides had had repairs and been repainted at some point, and she was a number of different shades of red. There was also a patch of filler lifting in the RH quarter, which wasn't really mentioned in the ad, but I didn't let that worry me too much, I figured that I'd just bring my plans for a repaint forward.

So here's how she looked when I got her:


More to follow soon, as those who have seen her know, she don't look quite like this any more.

Discuss here if you wish : //oldschool.co.nz/index.php?/topic/44250-styles-1982-toyota-celica-xx-28gt-discussion/

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So, I'd gotten the car, and needed to plot a course for what I wanted to do with it. I had to decide between 3 options. A full, back to original resoration (as you can see in the pics there'd been an attempt to make her look more like a Supra, rather than the XX she is). A fully modified, all out performance car, packing a worked 2JZ (NA), or a kind of middle path, with the car lightly modified, but fully able to be brought back to 100% stock. The middle way was the one I chose....

So I decided to theme my build as a modern interpretation of what I would likely have done to it IF I'd had one back in the mid-late 90's. So I started collecting parts.... here's the shopping list:

Rabid Chimp intake kit, Cusco strut brace, King low springs, KYB gas shocks, Technafit brake and clutch hoses care of George at Raptor Racing, vintage style steering wheel (unknown brand), TRD vintage style gear knob, Rabid Chimp rear suspension brace, Whiteline sway bars front and rear, and that's about it!

Meanwhile I considered what I would do regarding the body. As previously mentioned there were some less than perfect repairs that had been done in the past, but I wasn't quite ready for a full bare-metal restoration, so I decided that I'd get a repaint done, and have the repaired areas tidied up. I eventually (like when my kids have grown up) plan on doing a full strip and rebuild, but I figure what I've done should keep her well enought for the next 20 years, given a little care. I had to decide on what colour to go for, as I wasn't particularly enamoured with the red/black, and I'd always thought they'd looked sharp in white or silver. In the end though I decided that it'd be best to keep the colour standard. So in late 2011 I sent her off to GT Refinishers. It was great to deal with someone who understood the fact that I was fixing up an 80's Japanese car. Other places either just saw it as another job, or just really weren't interested. I'd been feeling a little undermotivated with the car and the build, but after getting it back from paint I was revved up, and really started to appreciate the colour, I don't think I'd have any other colour on her now!



More to come soon!

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Right, so as some of you will have noticed, I got a set of original wheels, and when I had the car repainted I got Grant to weld up the holes for the mouldings. The drivers side one especially was a bit ripply, and and I didn't really like the look of the moulding just a little above the block of the two-tone. I thought it'd look a bit cleaner without the mouldings. So that was that. Gone. At the same time I also got the holes in the tailgate from the sunshade welded. I got a reproduction rear decal from George at Raptor Racing, and it looks great.

Getting the car repainted gave me the shot in the arm that I needed to get cracking with the rest of the work, but i wanted to enjoy it a bit, so I drove it around some, then got the exhaust done. The last owner has owned it for a good 15 or so years, but most of that time he'd had it stored, and just took it out for short drives. The exhaust system was shot, and I suspect it was from condesation from the type of use it was getting. So I collected some mufflers (Borla) and scored an OBX-R header for cheap, and took it off to Counties Mufflers (on recommendation from Sheepers here) to get all fitted up. Well, the header wasn't going to fit, due to the steering shaft being in the way, which obviously isn't a problem in the USA, where it's made! I only bought it because it was cheap, and knew I was taking a punt, so wasn't too disappointed. I got the exahust guy to make me up a 2.25in system, from the manifold back, with a muffler where the cat was, and a single-in, dual-out muffler at the back. Went and picked it up, and oh my god, it sounded so lush. Absolutely perfect, nice purr at idle, good bark under throttle, but nice and quiet at neutral throttle while cruising! Exactly what I was looking for!

Feeling even more inspired I took her home, put her up on the stands and got to work with the suspension and brakes. That took me a while, but finally got it all done.... Took her for a drive, and it felt good. Took it to work one day, and on the way home had a problem with lack of power.... did a bit of research, and pulled the fuel line into the pump, and yep, the little pre-filter was clogged. Cleaned it out, and she ran great again...... for about 100km..... when it happened again I decided I should pull the tank and get that all cleaned up. I got a POR15 fuel tank re-sealing kit on order... in the meantime my first child was due....... needless to say it was a few months before I got around to that job. What a horrible task, hopefully the last time I ever need to do one of them, next time I'm gonna pay someone else to do it! But, finally, all back together, and no problems since. So, back on the road, and loving it!




There's still a little more progress, and some pics out and about, which I will add later today, or tomorrow or maybe Saturday, depending on how I go for time!

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Okey dokey, so after getting her on the go again it was time to start taking her out a bit. I've been to a couple of Auckland OS meets, and probably the best outing so far has been the two morning meets I made it to at Leadfoot Ranch in January. It was awesome heading down super early in the morning, and still able to be home by lunch time! Here's a pic that Roman took as I was leaving the second one.


I also changed jobs late last year, and naturally I spent a bit of my annual leave payout! Bought these goodies!

Trust header:


And a True Trac diff centre:


No idea when I'm going to get them fitted up, I'll get the header done sooner rather than later, but the diff may be years away, lol!

Anyway, I made it to the Toyota Festival, which was good to check out. And Aftermarket Photography shot about the best pic I have of my car so far!


And a pic I took myself. I need to start shooting it at lower angles, it just looks really flat shot close and high.


But here's a pic I got in the garage that I quite like, despite the bad quality due to low light!


Anyway, later the same day as Toyota Festival I managed to pick up some wheels from Ralph, who's NZ new MA61 (SUPRAC) has been at the Auckland meets a few times.

Yes, they're Rotas, but the budget doesn't run to my SSR MkIII's that I want. Yet. They're 15*8 on the front and 15*9 on the back, all 0p, running 205/50R15's. I'm pretty happy with the fit:



So that's pretty much up to date. She's going back into GT's later this month to get a wee bit of damage I did to the bonnet fixed up (dropped the bonnet on to the PS reservoir cap that was sitting on the strut tower!), and to get some other detail stuff tidied up, cowl painted, wiper arms etc. I've also got some 17*7.5 Rota RB's that I'm getting painted black, just for a different feel, I'll likely use them more for "touring" type driving.

Apart from that the future plans are to chuck some tints at it - I know, I know, but I think they will suit the colour scheme, and it'll help to keep the interior good, and remember, it is themed on what I would've done as a teenager in the late 90's. Also got to sort something out for sounds, looking for something modern with bluetooth etc, but I want something that is reasonably subtle, not some silly Pioneer/Sony light-show, and some reasonable speakers to put in the factory locations. Still need to tidy up the engine bay, so I'll whip the rocker covers off and tidy them up, and I'll get the intake pipe HPC'd black when I do the headers. Apart from that it's just drive it as much as I can (which will be less than I'd like, as I've got a bunch of work to do on my house before we can sell), especially for the next 6 months as I've got another baby due early Feb, so I'll probably not be driving much then!


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  • 1 month later...

So got the car back from Grant last night, and is looking awesome, he really did a great job on all the little stuff I wanted sorted. No pics yet, except the rims I got painted, in situ at the office after I got the boys in the tyre shop to refit the tyres. Some of you might recognise them as belonging to Quintin who had the 3SGE starlet? Of course they were their factory silver/polish then.


Will get some pics of the car in the weekend hopefully, but fully plan to bring her to the next Auckland meet, and keen as to get to Caffeine and Classics this month before more work begins!

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So got some pics yesterday evening. Pretty happy really. Just little detail stuff done, cowl, mouldings, mirrors, wiper arms. And not a sign if the damage I had done to the bonnet!





And my little dude had a great time when I chucked him in the back! New play pen!


So I plan to head to the monthly meet next week, then caffeine and classics at the end of the month. Then after that I'll get started with the stereo. Haven't figured out speakers yet, but I think I've found an option for a head unit from one of our suppliers at work, it's nice and ordinary looking so won't look too out of place, and has Bluetooth and USB etc. Bluetooth audio streaming too possibly.

Also, I want to try to get the spoiler looking a bit better. It's that squishy black rubber, and in pretty good shape, just a tiny perished at the peak of the foil. I've heard of using peanut oil or peanut butter.... Anyone had any experience with that or got any other recommendations?

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  • 2 weeks later...

Got the groomer who does the big jobs getting cars yard-ready for us at work (http://www.valetauckland.co.nz) to give the old girl the once-over. Really happy with the job, not much to see with photos though, so didn't bother, but just got that interior a million times better. Also, his tip on the rubber spoiler was bees-wax, which he applied, and I reckon it's pretty good.

Replaced wiper rubbers, after finding that the USA-spec complete blades don't work (JDM spec no longer available, took a punt on US ones when I was ordering some other stuff), so stole the rails and rubbers out of the US spec ones (the OE rails were gone when someone had replaced the rubbers with after-market in the past), and happy days. By the look of the forecast they'll get a workout on the way to and from Caffeine and Classics tomorrow!

Added one essential mod to car :


And one to tool-box:


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  • 3 weeks later...

Pulled dizzy out to get vacuum advance repaired, going to get the guy to check the other specs too while he's at it. Will be nice to get rid of that vacuum leak. I'm sure I'll find others afterwards, but the pinch test suggests this is the main culprit.

Also took intake pipe off for HPC along with the trust headers. Will reinstall dizzy and intake in time for next monthly meet....

Liked this pic, love the way the lamp oranges out the colour closest to it.


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  • 3 weeks later...

Tiny update, got dizzy back, can recommend Quality Rebuilds, quick turnaround and great to deal with.

Also got my stuff back from HPC..... Stoked as, now just got to score a break on the weather to fit it all back in as the car is on the driveway. Countdown is on though, want to make the monthly meet, caffeine and classics and the Leadfoot cruise. I'm sure I'll find a couple of hours in the next couple of weeks though.

Pic for Fred.


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  • 3 months later...

Been a bit useless with updates.... Hpc'd stuff is on, but I'll have to get some pics of the engine bay....

Made it to the OS Leadfoot trip, which was awesome!


But a bit hot, especially with non-operational AC, so now I have tints!


And also got a car seat, so when new baby comes along I can take my 18 month old out in it!

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  • 7 months later...

So tiny update, new baby came along, haven't been out much, but did make it to Toyota Festival, pics from parade lap below. Getting a bit excited now, only a month or two till the exemption expires, and we get near summer, time to start looking at a bit of servicing and get her wof'd and reg'd!



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  • 1 month later...
  • 2 years later...

Well, it was always going to happen. This model is chronic for rusted hatches.

Wasn’t there a month ago. Now a fresh eruption I noticed this week.....

any reccomendations for repairers? I’m not gonna try tackle this shit myself.

any reccomendations for action to take on the meantime, before repair?



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