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Thread: My '77 RA29

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2011

    My '77 RA29

    Heya guys, been lurking for quite a while. To give a back story, I have always been a huge fan of older Japanese vehicles, and have owned a few slightly older ones. Done my time with 4 AW11s, an 87 supra turbo, and an early SA22C. For the past few months though, I was wanting to get into something a little less...."projecty" than most of my previous cars, so I set my budget a little higher and started shopping around for a nice classy piece of old J-tin. I was specifically shooting for a 240-280z, Mid 70s corona, corona MK2, RA29, carina, or RA21 (my first choice). About a month ago, I came upon an ad on ye olde craigslist for what seemed to be too good to be true. An all original (save a few minor details) 1977 celica, with only 74k miles on the clock! I met the gentleman who was selling it literally the next day, and came home with it. Despite it not being my first choice, after seeing the thing in person, there was no way I was going to pass it up. I literally had to go through about an hour long interview session with him just to be able to buy the car, and he insisted upon having first bid on it should I ever decide to sell it! He was a really classy guy with a really classy car, and I love the history he shared with me about it. It even came with the original key...
    The vehicle came with 74k miles and some change, Everything works save for the mirror adjusters on the drivers door. Original working 8 track player (So I can rock to statler bros.), original AC system works flawlessly (still with R12? refrigerant), original clutch, alt, etc. All trim is intact and in near mint shape. No rust whatsoever in the spare tire area, which still contains the original spare and accessories. The only things not original on the car aside from basic service items are :
    Seats were recovered in new leather
    Small light installed under back hatch
    Car was repainted, but prior to his ownership (which spanned the past 25 years)
    cushion added to center console

    Plan: Keep all original for as long as I can keep my paws off of it. If any modifications are done, they will be easily reversible, such as wheels, perhaps smiley bumpers to replace the braceface bumpers on the U.S. spec cars.

    Now for the begging for help part. This car does run quite well, but has a few issues, primarily overheating...
    I have replaced the water pump, rad cap, and thermostat recently, but the vehicle is still overheating intermittently. I am partially wondering if the temp sensor could be bad. I may leave work and it begins to overheat, so I turn the heat on full blast, but 3 miles later I watch the temp. drop back off to normal almost immediately and it runs fine for the last mile home. I am at my wits end.
    Second: The car is VERY sluggish. During the course of the coolant system overhaul, I looked down into the carb and noticed that it seems like only one jet is spraying. Bear in mind that I have no experience with carbs, but how easy is it to rebuild them or at least get my second jet spraying again?

    Thank you in advance, and hopefully on to some pics... These aren't that great, but hopefully you will get the idea! Oh, and the older gentleman in one of them would be Mr. Owen, the previous owner.

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Oklahoma City

    Re: My '77 RA29

    Very nice buy, looks exactly like my first Celica! The carbs are not that hard to rebuild. I will say that it might be easier/better in the long run to just look at a weber 32/36. Parts are going to be much easier to come by than that old aisin carb. A weber will also allow you to ditch all the smog stuff and vaccum lines, if your state permits it. New weber kits will run between 200 and 400$ and should take a couple of hours to install.

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Magna, UT

    Re: My '77 RA29

    Could the fan clutch be causing the overheating?

    Have you burped the cooling system?

    Also, just for sanity, maybe do a compression test. Just with overheating and poor performance makes me wonder if a chunk of the HG is dead. Just a thought.

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Los Angeles

    Re: My '77 RA29

    You might want to change the T-stat again, or at least test the new one in a pot of boiling water. I once had 3 bad OEM T-stats in a row.

    It sure sounds like a bad T-stat, I had the exact same symptoms as yours a long time ago (when I had the three bad T-stats).

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Squaw Valley California (around fresno)

    Re: My '77 RA29

    Clean car. The first pic looks like a toy. Hope you get things sorted.

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