Moonlight Racing TA22 Celica (Aus)

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Started doing some tear down today on the intake side. Binned that garbage pipe and will get some trumpets on the way. Carbs have seen better days ! Looks like they've pretty much leaked out from every seal possible. 


Nom nom old rusty fuel and other mysterious substances

How's this for a spark plug? 

Turns out one of the gaskets was missing from this too (the far left one) which would not have helped air leaks. 

I'm amazed this car even ran as well as it did considering the plug, the oil in everything as well as one of the spark leads was missing part of it's insulation. And of course the missing/damaged intake gaskets. 

So I've ordered new plugs, leads, dizzy cap, gasket set for the motor and a box of brake kleen.. that should be a good start. Will also order a couple of carb rebuild kits and work out how to clean the crap off these ones. 

Oh maybe someone can answer this.. the build plate says it should have a T50 but it has a reverse lock out thing where you need to pull up the shifter to go into reverse. I've never seen this on a Toyota box.. any thoughts?

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Interesting discoveries today...

I decided I would remove the "pretty good sound system (previous owner)" and what a mess. Everything twist and taped, I'm surprised any of it worked. Of course they cut stuff with no hesitation so there are now holes where I don't need there to be holes.. 
Why is it every time I buy a Japanese classic there's always terrible wiring hah. So now I'm on the hunt for some uncut kick panel things and also I'll make a new parcel tray shelf. Hopefully that'll be enough to get it back on the road. 

Mint wiring on the fuel pump.. which I presume is not factory. 

Now for one of the interesting finds.. this car used to be caged! When I picked it up and took it for a test drive etc I noticed the front square blocks but never clicked they were for a roll cage, only when I tore out the interior is when I found the rear mounts. And also that explains why the rear seat doesn't fit that well.. and is also cut to suit a cage. I presume they kept the rear interior in when they had the cage which is interesting. 

I never noticed this logo before but pretty stoked to find these are Fujitsubo headers. Originally I wasn't sure if they were OEM or not due to them being very old and looked like they'd been there a while. 

Ahh the fun continues.. now one of the seat rail sliders won't unbolt because the captive nut behind one of the mounts has broken off.. >_< In the next few days I will jack the car up and see if there are any bonuses underneath like extra bracing or some kind of seam welding going on. 



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Been doing a few bits over the weekend. Got the motivation so might as well get stuck in right? 

I had to clean the carbs, couldn't live with myself keeping them as terrible looking as they were. Pro tip if you don't have a fancy way to clean stuff like this is use some bars bugs (or whatever brand) wax/grease remover and some brakekleen. Works super well with a bit of time, a toothbrush and some rags. 

Here's a look at some of the worst bits underneath. Before and after speaks for itself. 

And how about this for a comparison to how they were!! Super stoked with this. I've still got the gasket sets coming in to replace gaskets in these too. 

Also had a sniff underneath to check for anything dodgy and found most of the steering arm bushes are flogged so I'll get some replacement tie rods and ends and will have to look for a new pitman arm too as that bush is also knackered. Good news is the steering box itself seems to be pretty OK.

Found a few leaks underneath including speedo cable thing and of course the rear diff leaking like every toyota ever. Other than this and perhaps the sump gasket it seems like not too much leaking underneath. No rust either aside from a bit of surface so that makes me happy. 

Down either side of the interior where the scuff panels are there is this black paint.. the scuff panels are riveted on which is odd so to see what's under I'd have to drill them out but I wonder if it has something to do with the cage?

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Good and bad tonight.. and a wall of text. Oh I guess that's just the same as normal.. always things to repair or replace after doing something else. "While I'm here" costs alot of money. 

So the good news is the headlight situation wasn't anything, I just had the high beam stalk on hahaha, moron. But at least that was easy. 

That's about where the good ends. 

Found out there is a leak coming from top radiator hose it looks like so I will get another hose. So the next conundrum I have is with the fuel pump. When the stereo was all in there it was no problem. Since I took all the stereo out it doesn't seem to be pumping fuel despite sounding like it's on. They have tapped into the stereo fuse to power it, or give it signal or something but either way it's done in a bit of a dodgy way. It does sound very feeble so what I plan to do is just run a wire straight from the battery and see if it is better then go from there. 

Also for some reason the Mikuni gasket kits that I got don't seem to fit my 40PHH despite being 40PHH kits. I know there are different types and I suppose I should've researched it first but now I'm wondering if it will be the same as 44PHH kit. Anyway, I managed to replace the spring on one of the starter discs so it doesn't flex as much now. 

Hopefully once the fuel pump situation is sorted it'll be back working again. Oh, also found out my tail lights are different despite looking externally the same. One has an internal reflector that the other doesn't so I'll need to suss some new ones of those. 

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Hmm so not sure what happened with the fuel pump but it seems to work now.. I think perhaps it was just sitting too high and couldn't pull the gas out properly.. I tested it at a lower height and it worked so I wonder if it will work if I put it back to the place it was or try to find another spot hmm..

Also was playing around and it popped a few times out one of the carbs.. found the idle screw to be wound right out so wound it in a bit and she seems to be idling much nicer.

Annoyingly the spring that I replaced yesterday for the starter disc.. still doesn't seem to be good. When the choke is pulled all the way it makes the hell hissing noise and it's coming from that area. Also the car runs balls when that is happening as air leaks for Africa. I think the way to combat that for now is just not pull the choke so far.

I need to work out what to do with this bunch of stuff.. it looks terrible. Sometime in the past an ignittion system called Piranha was installed.. I guess it works but it just looks really untidy. 

Also thinking maybe the top radiator hose wasn't leaking but I've got silicon ones on the way anyway. I did find that the radiator cap is about as useful as empty air so I'll definitely need another of those. 



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Ahh another good day and bad day, more bad than good today unfortunately. 

Installed new plugs, easy job. These are the old ones which actually don't look tooooo bad aside from heaps of oil and of course the one which is totally wrecked. With new ones in it fired up perfect and quick. 

That's where the good ends. So these leads I got from NGK were listed for 2T-G.. ahh yes you can see my original ones on the car on the left.. and the new ones on the right. Yeah not gonna work. Back to the drawing board on that. 

And found there's probably a leak in the radiator. Replaced the cap as the old one was flogged so it doesn't leak there anymore.. but mystery pools of coolant are appearing. There could still be some kind of leak seeping through the top hose but I think it's coming from somewhere else. Perhaps some kind of crack in the top tank or similar. The radiator has heaps of bent pins so maybe its for the better to replace it anyway. 

Time to buy more parts ! Also I've adjusted the idle and idle screws so they are OK but seems like if it goes under 1000rpm it's not a good idle and usually stalls. Manual recommends 700rpm for warm idle so not sure about that one. 

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So it's been cold in Melbourne, and I'm a bitch so I haven't been in the garage really, no motivation over the winter. And also need to buy a few things and money and excuses.

So anyway before I went back to NZ last a guy from QLD sent me down some of the OEM hooks to hook the back seats properly. Mine were missing/cut off because of it's previous life as a race car so I don't know why they cut them off but they did. Anyway I didn't have any so he cut some out of a wreck he had and sent them down. 

I received them like this.

Then I drilled out the spot welds and left with this. 

Now as I'm also a piece of shit I didn't really get any finished product but I had to drill through the welds on my original mounts because part of them still existed. Then I just put a bolt/nut through. It kind of works, better than it did at least. Problem is the massive square mounts where the cage was mounted preventing the seat from sitting properly anyway.

Ugh, have to do something about this. #justaustralianinstalledsunroofthings

How about those wheel nut seats though.. on the 13" Globes that are on there at the moment. All bad. In fact I'm fairly certain some of the holes aren't even perfectly round anymore. 

While I was waiting for the drill to charge I put on some 15x6.5 +38 wheels that I was going to (maybe still will) use on the my Accord. So much room for activities. Should be able to fit 8.5 under there without much issue. Many people go 8/9 I'm thinking 7.5/8.5, in 14" of course. 

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Honestly I thought it was going to be warmer in Melbourne by now, I'm using this excuse as to why I haven't done much. Also because I was a bit shitty about chinesium alloy radiatior being the wrong one (have refund now from seller at least).

This is basically how it's been sitting for the last while because when I was last playing with the tail lights I found one had some kind of reflector in it so was trying to source some new ones/gave up because money. Also around the same time I was playing with red tint on the tail lights to get rid of the orange. That ended up much darker than I wanted and today I spent about an hour cleaning the red VHT tint shit off the one I tried it on (as pictured above).

As it turned out I'm just an idiot and if I had realised that these could all be separated I could have just taken out the reflector thing, which is what I've done now. Without a doubt one of the lights has been changed in the past though. 

The other reasons I wasn't rushing to put the lights back in is these.. some rust around one of the light holes as well as these pressed in studs a few of them have come out of one side. I decided I didn't see that rust and just put it all back together using what was available. Most of the studs still work ok, good enough. Out of sight, out of mind. 

You can see the before(top), after (bottom) of the VHT red tint on the right tail light. I still want to get rid of the orange but will use Tamiya paint next time. I just couldn't remember which one it was but now I have the part number. It's still a little darker on the right side but shouldn't be enough to cause problems. 

Now off to get the correct radiator so I can run it for any length of time without water falling out!

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For some reason I have a memory of writing this out already but perhaps I just told it to so many people it felt like I wrote it. Apparently I have dementia. 

So the whole radiator thing, see exhibit A:
The actual outlet on the radiator isn't even round.. which could go some way to explaining why the hose wasn't seating properly on it and water was seeping out the side. I ended up bashing it out a bit and making it rounder then jamming the hose on nice and good. Ran it for about 20 minutes and didn't leak water.. maybe it solved that problem. 

Also I noticed this (well probably noticed it ages ago but never REALLY noticed it, you know?). I wonder how I can repurpose this to make it work for EGT sensor, or perhaps O2 sensor? Probably O2 sensor would be better for tuning. Not sure because it has what looks like two bolts holding it in rather than what you'd usually have which is just one threaded thing. I'll have to work on getting it out to see if there is a threaded bit in the middle for a sensor.. looks possible. 

Also bought some wood to make a new parcel shelf but we don't even have power tools to cut it here. Who has a shed without power saw? State of it. It probably got attacked by sharks or something. 

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Moonlight carpentry in the house!

One of the stupid things previous owner did was cut up the top parcel shelf for their hektik speaker setup. With no skill, no safety gear and minimal tools I whipped up a replacement with some ply from Bunnings. The mantra of measure twice cut once was swiftly ignored so as you can see the holes for the seatbelt bolts are.. accomodating. 

Turns out there was a few cut outs which didn't actually need to be there either (see along bottom) but oh well. Now I just need to go to bunnings or somewhere to get some carpet and glue it over the top and it'll be mint(er than it was). 

From the inside

From the outside

Old vs new

Also worked out exactly which bits I need to get the front suspension, all of it. Well not really but will need inner and outer tie rod ends for both sides and pitman arm. Time to get the money out again.

Also x2 I had a magnetic torch in my hand so did a quick bog test and to my surprise it's almost bog free. Just a bit around the arches but way less than I expected.

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Feels good to tick things off the list.

As I have eluded to previously, the steering on this left alot to be desired. Pretty much all of the tie rod end joints were nailed and also the pitman arm needs replacing too as those joints on there are flogged too. My inner and outer replacement tie rod ends turned up but the pitman arm hasn't yet.. it's bloody hard to come by so hopefully it turns up.

Old and new

Bent bolts on the arms.. they were pretty much all bent.


Despite putting them back about same as they were.. yeah she's out quite a bit haha. Alignment was obviously on the cards anyway. 

Be gone!

Ah so I did a boop on the garage late last year and just parked it up since the last update. Been busy and haven't had time to work on it or motivation/money for stuff. I still don't have money but I did have some time today so I tried to pop out as best I could the big dent. 



That was just with me bashing around behind it with hammer/wood and pulling it out by hand. Couldn't be bothered to try take off the whole guard for now, just wanted it a bit straighter so it was better mounting for a new light. Probably end up getting a new fender, no major. Heaps of Celicas in Aus. I was also going to get new clear lights as well so that's not a super major either. As long as it can pass the roadworthy inspection that's all I'm concerned about at this time. 

I was going to take out the corner indicator but then seems like you have to take out the surround for the headlights and then maybe that grey panel that goes under them so I'm thinking I'll probably take all those out at some point and paint them black. 

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So I had a bit of time internalising a difficult situation in my head lately about this car lately. I am moving house soon and initially wasn't sure I could keep the car due to space etc.. so was trying to sell it. Then after about 4 people came to look I got sick of dealing with people so decided I can make it work not selling it. Sure enough, friend of a friend is also looking for a place so boom bam we're going to check houses instead of apartments; thats means garage space. That means I keep Celica, success.

But also means I don't have any money to spend on it because moving house and broke etc. Buut I did get to replace the side lights, one of which I smashed while reversing into the garage. I did replace both sides, not just the one.


So yeah that's that.. on the big jobs. Gotta eyelign it before I drive it to new place though, she's a fair bit wonky.

Yeah I'll look into a new guard sometime later.

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Haven't done much to the car since moving house, I've just been getting on top of everything with budget and such. I had a new washer bottle arrive though as my old one was cracked and ruined. Fairly simple job, just pull off the old stuff and put new one in. Except that one of the washer nozzles broke.. of course. 

Anyway when the little grilles were off I had a poke around under for rust and such, apart from cracking paint and some dirt it's really solid. 

Old and new lines

I have my doubts about how long this will last but it's how it is out of the factory so.. we'll see.

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I really have to stop starting these posts with "haven't done much lately"..  damnit. In Melbourne the weather is currently nicely between ice frost and thermo nuclear and I seem to have had a sudden surge in enthusiasm for the car. I've tested that washer bottle that was installed a few months ago so that works and I think I've got a few leads on the washer nozzle that I need too. Amazing that someone hasn't made a reproduction one considering you can pretty much get reproduction everything else. I also forgot I had a box of Celica spares so fitted up the sun visors, thrilling I know but it is a requirement for roadworthy. This leads into another reason why I'm being more enthusiastic. A friend of my flatmate I met a couple of weeks ago runs a shop with his dad and they do roadworthy testing, score! They'll also be able to fix all my shit stuff and make it good again. 

So aside from that I bought some tools and started playing around with wheels. These cars can swallow up quite a wide wheel; even in front! These ones are just 14x6.5 +6 (from memory) for both. They're obviously not final or anything just wanted to have a look see what kind of space we're working with. I definitely like the Mark III's on there. Maybe go for a mark 3 all round or mark 2 mark 3 pairs.. no idea; a wee while before I need to worry about that. 

Another thing I've always disliked are these shitty mirrors. They're obviously not the OEM ones and they look terrible as well as being flimsy. Unfortunately they have this bracket which the two bolts appear to be spinning by themselves.. I'll get some other mirrors then try again to remove it. I think due to the age (pre 1975) it's legal to have no side mirrors but it sure makes driving more difficult.

Sharn thread 


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Early Xmas! Picked up this rear wing and also a front under spoiler. Rear wing is minty as you can see, front chin spoiler will need a bit of modding to get it to fit nice but should be all good. Won't bother to fit it properly or paint match it or anything for a while though. 

Have also toyed with the idea of flares but I don't think I'll need them. You can fit pretty solid width underneath the factory metal.

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Had a nice warm day today so got into the garage to have a fiddle. My goal today was to see how much of a pain in the ass it would be to fit this front chin spoiler. Turns out probably not terrible. Have had worse fitting parts. The most annoying part was actually pulling off that bottom chin part. I'd also had some parts arrive from Thailand which included new OEM front winker lights so mocked them up as well. 

Winkers mocked up but not wired in. Some cars I've seen have clear lights here and some orange.. I just went with orange to match the rest. Not sure which is correct?

Front chin spoiler just roughly cable tied. Will need tweaking and a bit of bending on the fenders. Couple of tabs are no good on this as well so will need to cut them off.

Apparently the car doesn't have lock stops. Seems like it's worse than I thought.

Side note, somehow making a bad face bonnet would be awesome. Side note 2, all of my headlamps are different brands.

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