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Thread: 1979 Cressadillac build

  1. #1
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    1979 Cressadillac build

    Hello there everyone. I'm finally making some good progress and figured i would take a moment to share what i'm doing and to provide some hard earned wisdom for some of the various modifications i have made to my 1979 cressida (the cressadillac).

    Firstly i'll share my plans for this car. I'm firm on these plans and only various details about the build process are subject to change. First the powerplant. This will be a 1uzfe powered mx32 with a mk4 na supra w58. I'll take a moment to explain my choices. I'll start with the 1uz. I was a Lexus mechanic for 2 years earlier on in my career as a mechanic. I got a chance to work on and witness the reliability of the 1uz in the early ls400's. In one word, astonishing. I worked on several ls400's that had their entire service history with the lexus dealer that i worked at that had over 450k on them. The scary thing...they drove and felt like normal, nice, new cars. That was shocking. I had never and have never seen another car that pulled that off. And there were several. So from a reliability standpoint the 1uz is a great choice.

    Then when you start looking at the actual design of the engine the reason for that reliability becomes apparent. Its massively over built for its power output. And lastly the power band. The engine in stock form produces 200ft lbs of torque to the wheels by 1500 rpm and doesn't deviate my more than 50ft lbs by redline. That is my kind of engine. Nice flat torque curve. That makes for a car that feels fast and is fun to drive in most situations. I'm not planning on making an absurd amount of power. Lets be honest this car is a recycled Japanese beer can with an engine in it. A big heavy low output i6 to be exact. An i6 that is probably lucky to produce 90whp. So if the car is even remotely fun to drive with 90whp i imagine that around 215whp out of a stock 1uz should be pretty fun. And after the engine is in and running properly there is plenty of room to grow. As long as i stay around the 300whp mark the w58 should be up to the task. That and its much cheaper than the alternative r154.

    So given that i will be more than doubling the power output there are some other things to be addressed. Mainly the chassis. This 2400lb beer can from the 70's leaves a lot to be desired. You know that old adage "they dont make them like they used to". Well that is a good thing in this case. The body is constructed by overlapping several body panels and spot welding them together until you get the complete unibody. Well when you start actually looking at the panel overlap it looks like they weren't terribly precise. One side will have different panel overlap amounts than its opposite etc. Amusing. I pulled the subframe out of the car. I swear it weighs 5lbs. I'll actually weigh it just to show how thin the metal is. This all adds up to a car that needs some help in the chassis rigidity department. Given that its bigger than my ae86, has two extra doors and a much larger and heavier engine and only weighs 200 lbs more. You know something is going on here. So i made the decision to stitch weld the chassis. The whole thing. I have just completed the front tub.







    So before this project i had a 1996 240sx. I didn't stitch weld that car. But i did however completely fill every void with varying thickness of expandable polyurethane foam. There are several ase articles about the process that makes the biggest benefits with the least downsides. Essentially you want the heaviest foam on the bottom of the car. The conventional wisdom is 8lb/sq ft. And in the a, b, c pillars, and the halo around the roof you use 2lb/sq ft. The 8lb/sq ft in the frame rails, rocker panels and fender arches makes a tremendous difference. In a frame rail the ase articles were saying that the increase in rigidity was 300%. That is amazing! Roll cages don't even accomplish that. It was also a quantifiable claim. If you jack the side of the car up from the front most jack point until the rear wheel lifts off the ground before and after the foam you will find that after the rear wheel is several inches higher off the ground. Pretty impressive. The 2lb/sq ft in the a, b, c pillars and roof halo are done for noise. It gets rid of some of the echo chamber effect of old car interiors. And is how the oems now are making quieter and quieter interiors. Its not a great idea to get the 8lb/sq ft in the pillars and roof area for two reasons. Its impossible since its a two part epoxy that needs to be mixed with a paint mixer. And secondly because it adds a bunch of weight to the parts of the car that you don't want to add a bunch of weight too. The top parts. So, onward.

    I wanted to really make improvements to the suspension and brakes. Automotive tech has come a long way since 79. So i decided on t3 coilovers and tokico hts struts for the ae86 front and rear. I also wanted to garner some bigger brakes. So i went to the junkyard and pulled some spindles from an 85 cressida wagon. Thinking that should be good. The brakes are vented...but smaller than the solid rotors the car came with stock. Interesting. So i did some digging. Turns out, Toyota in all their wisdom equipped the heavier and larger mx73 wagon with smaller brakes than its sedan counterpart. Um...ok. So it turns out that the 87,88 mx73 had the biggest brakes for its generation. So i took a chance and got on amazon and ordered some rebuilt calipers and some brembo blanks for an 88 cressida. The bolted right on to the wagon spindles and hubs no problem!!! WOO! So, here is the sizing and thickness breakdown for all the different brakes that i acquired.
    mx32 stock: Diameter: 10 3/8in Thickness: 11.66mm
    mx73 wagon: Diameter: 9 3/4in Thickness: 21.42mm
    88 mx73 sedan: Diameter 10 5/8in Thickness: 22.05mm

    So with that figured out i got to shortening and welding the spindles for the t3 coilover conversion. I opted for the bearing top hat and camber plates as well as some negative roll center adjusters and 8kg/mm springs for the front. The reason for negative camber roll center adjusters is that the mx73 spindles are designed with more positive camber programmed into them. I was not sure if the camber plates would be enough to overcome the amount of positive camber in the spindles. The only downside is that it increases the front track width by around 2 inches. Which is only a bad thing if my wheels stick out of the fenders due to this. Well see soon!

    So this isn't my first rodeo. I have learned some tricks from the builds i have done. One is that Toyota front lower control arms are flimsy. So you box them in! Install some urethane bushings and some new ball joints and you have some nice front lower control arms.


    Now on to the rear. This is a big unknown as far as i'm concerned. Internet wisdom FAILED me big time here. I was looking around for a while for the proper rear springs to pick up to lower the rear. I kept seeing people with cut springs. And then there are the weird nascar or circle track pigtail springs. With internet wisdom saying 5.5in od. LIES! I bought some 5.5od springs from amazon and they were totally loose on the spring perch. Upset i looked at my ae86 on jack stands sitting next to the mx32 and thought. This is Toyota. They interchange all sorts or nonsense like legos. So i took the rear springs out of the corolla. No luck. Too small on one side. I happened to have an extra set of 6kg/mm ae86 front springs laying around and figured, "screw it". I stuck them on and was shocked. They worked top and bottom. Lowered the car down and wah la!

    These work equips are 15x8 -15.
    So the rear is on ae86 TRD 6kg/mm front springs with tokico hts for the ae86 and a t3 adjustable panhard rod.

    There is one other thing that will need to be addressed with the installation of the 1uz. That is the rear end. The 6.5in drum brake no lsd rear end is not up to the task and i hate drum brakes. So a couple of months ago i picked up a mk1 1980 celica supra. The celica supra has a 7.5in rear end with disk brakes. Score. I was really hoping that all the 4 link brackets, strut mounting points and spring perches were in the same place. Sadly they were not. So i will have to get a cutting torch and relocate them to mx32 locations. But that rear end should prove more than adequate for the 1uz power levels.

    So that's how it stands now. I'll post more as it comes.

  2. #2
    Junior Member
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    Aug 2012
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    Re: 1979 Cressadillac build

    Really nice project
    Want to see more
    I love Cressida. I have one also

  3. #3
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    Feb 2010
    Location
    Geelong, Australia
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    Re: 1979 Cressadillac build

    good luck n00bie.

    :lol:
    just kidding, sounds like you know exactly what you're doing and i'm really interested to see how this project goes.

  4. #4
    Guest

    Re: 1979 Cressadillac build

    That's gonna be a beast sleeper! Gonna keep my motor stock for daily use, I'm looking for those Corolla springs now, thanks for the tip!

  5. #5
    Junior Member
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    Dec 2012
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    Seattle
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    Re: 1979 Cressadillac build

    Thanks for the kind words! Just got completely finished with the stitching of the front end. Also got done with the first coat of por 15 grey for the entire engine bay. I actually really like the color of this stuff. And it dries to a urethane hardness and isnt phased by brake clean. So the engine bay should be super easy to keep clean. As well as hard to chip or damage from doing work in there! I'll post some pics of the finished project when the second coat is dry and everything is done. Then its time to put the suspension back on. I will also be sending my tension rods to Gabriel at t3. He will be making me a beefier and fancier set of his t3 rods special for me! Then i will be welding a bar between the two tension rod brackets. Ala nismo power brace for the s13 and s14 240sx. Just one of many bracing modifications that i will be performing along the way. Well back to the lab.

  6. #6
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    Re: 1979 Cressadillac build

    love it man, keep us updated!

  7. #7
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    oregon
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    Re: 1979 Cressadillac build

    All strangely familiar.... Nice work

  8. #8
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    Jun 2009
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    Lynnwood, Washington
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    Re: 1979 Cressadillac build

    subscribed!

    Thanks for the rear suspension info and am glad didn't jump on the "nascar" spring thing.

    :tu:

  9. #9
    Senior Member
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    COSTA RICA, CENTRAL AMERICA.
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    Re: 1979 Cressadillac build

    subscribed!

    looks good project car!!!! :tu: :tu:

  10. #10
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    Re: 1979 Cressadillac build


    Just an update with a picture of the car with the front suspension on. This is mx73 front spindles with nrca, s and camber plates. I can dial in plenty of negative camber and my 15x8 -12 offset wheels are perfectly flushed out. Im very happy with how this is turning out.

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