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Thread: 1981 celica, help

  1. #1
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    1981 celica, help

    Hi all im picking up a 1981 celica lift back, should be in the garage by the 1st of the year. I have searched the net looking for good info on the car and it doesnít seem to popular. For the most part the car looks clean. Paint is faded, very small rust spot but other than that no body damage. It is missing a tail light cover and thatís my first question, what year tail lights fit? Can I put supra taillights? as there seems to be a lot of them in the junk yard but no plain celicas.

    What is the differences between the lift back and the supra? And what will swap over with little to no mods?

    This car is also an automatic. Where these trans any good? I have never had good luck with automatics. I would like to make it a stick some day. I have some 4 speeds out of 85-87 pickupís that had 22rís would they work in the car? Are there other models years I could get the clutch master and pedals from?

    Anyhow I know nothing about this car and would like as much info as I can get. Also if you have one thatís fixed up I would love to see it.

    Thanks Bob

  2. #2
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    Re: 1981 celica, help

    Quote Originally Posted by bob380sx
    Hi all im picking up a 1981 celica lift back, should be in the garage by the 1st of the year. I have searched the net looking for good info on the car and it doesnít seem to popular. For the most part the car looks clean. Paint is faded, very small rust spot but other than that no body damage. It is missing a tail light cover and thatís my first question, what year tail lights fit? Can I put supra taillights? as there seems to be a lot of them in the junk yard but no plain celicas.

    What is the differences between the lift back and the supra? And what will swap over with little to no mods?

    This car is also an automatic. Where these trans any good? I have never had good luck with automatics. I would like to make it a stick some day. I have some 4 speeds out of 85-87 pickupís that had 22rís would they work in the car? Are there other models years I could get the clutch master and pedals from?

    Anyhow I know nothing about this car and would like as much info as I can get. Also if you have one thatís fixed up I would love to see it.

    Thanks Bob
    To many questions but here we go,
    First visit here for your hard to find parts need! http://toyotacenterparts.com/
    Auto tranys are just bulletproof so dont be worry about them but performance wise the 5 speed is way better,
    Diference betwine the liftback and supra is of course the inline 6 engine and the bigger LSD rear end and some cosmetics here and there,
    Yes the w58 from newer models fits just fine in the car,
    Any clutch pedal set up from any Celica from 1978 tru 1981 will work on yours,
    Any suspension upgrade from corollas will easilly be swaped in this car with some tweaks here and there,

  3. #3
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    toyota1515 thanks for the reply. the link looks like it will be useful for my corolla too.

    i think the supra tail lights would fit just what confirmation.

  4. #4
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    Yeah also if your getting fenders or hood. The supra is longer than the celica. So fenders and hood is not interchangeable. I hear yeah also i just finally found my fenders and clutch pedal for my celica gta. But wish i caould give ya some more info on the taillights. Id imagine they are the same just diffrent design. GL

  5. #5
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    Not sure if they would bolt up.. but the Supra taillights are roundish, while the Celica's are flatter. Good luck. :wink: :tu:

  6. #6
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    well i got the car home. the guy that sold it to me told me that he was driving home and it stuck full throttle. i was hoping for a easy carb fix and be on the road. so i put the carb back together and got the butterfly to stop sticking filled the bowl and put some fule in the tank. it fired right up then died after running the bowl dry. i played with it for some time filling up the bowl to run it and then loud deep knocks came from the motor :cry:

    so I'm going to pull the motor this weekend. i have ben holding onto a 20r head for a long time and I'm finally going to use it. rebuild short block have the 20r head cleaned. then look at a good street cam, Weber, and header.

    the tank looks rusty so its going to need work and hopefully its just a clogged fuel filter. if not maybe the pump is bad.

  7. #7
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    To answer your question about the tail lights- I tried to do this swap on my 80 when I was in high school with no luck.The celica rear tail light panel is different than the supra. You could see if the 80 is different than the 81 but I doubt it. Also in reference to your carb- make sure your choke is working probably or else the the butterfly will not act properly and your car will not run well. Maybe check the gas tank as well so you can clean it if need be and get fresh fuel in there.

  8. #8
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    bummer about the tail lights.

    little update. as i mentioned in a different post the 20r head was just a 22r head with a 20r sticker on the valve cover. when i go the car it had 2 flats and i used my corolla wheels to get it home. i putt the 2 stock wheels with flat tires on the side of the house and well they got ganked. i found 2 more in the pick and pull. the motor is ready for the machine shop just waiting on new rod bolts. should have the block rods crank and head to them soon. got a (cheater cam) some stock class roundy round cam. The specs are 220í duration @ .050 .410 lift. Rpm range 1500-4800. got some O/S valves. i found a hooker header for a 22r but its for a truck. its very close to fitting and for free plus small modding I'm going to use it. plan on doing some mild port matching. going to use the stock intake and car for now. lots and lots of cleaning during the next weeks. so the new motor has a nice clean home to live in.

  9. #9
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    Hi,Bob..i got brand new in box tail lights for 2nd Gen Celica liftback..not sure its for what year...lmk if you interested.


  10. #10
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    hi bullitt they are the early type you have there for the round head light ra40 series

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