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Thread: 1981 Toyota Corona Wagon build

  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    Jul 2012
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    11

    1981 Toyota Corona Wagon build

    Aloha,
    Ryan from Kona, Hawaii here with our new to our family 1981 Toyota Corona Wagon.

    So far, I've gutted the filthy tan interior, dyed the carpet & seat belts, repainted the dash and plastic trim, and installed some speakers in stock locations and wired for a 300w MB Quart sub I'll be doing a custom fiberglass enclosure for inside the wagon rear panel.

    I'm in dire need of some direction on what exterior stuff can interchange with this car, as 1. the front grill, lights, bumper are barely hanging on, and 2. the wife isn't fond of the quad headlights and massive bumper and would prefer a swap of some sort. Same with this diner table of a rear bumper. Would love something chrome and tighter to the body, but anything is better than it's current state. Any tips/links would be appreciated! There isn't a lot of donor cars, and no pick-a-part wrecking yards here on the big island of Hawaii, so I'm kind of dependent on Ebay, Rock Auto, Craigslist, you kind folks, or other recommended parts sources.

    I just ordered the cressi calipers, drilled/slotted celica rotors and 2" drop blocks...hopefully all to be installed next week. Also on deck is steaming the tired purple tint off the windows and retinting with 35% all the way around. The motor runs fantastic and doesn't really need any attention, but eventually I can see a Weber going on there.

    Here's some pics of what it was like, what I've done in the last three weeks, and things along the way.






    The jacked up front end that I'm very interested in ditching in favor of a two light or round light setup and more compact bumper. PLEASE let me know if anything would bolt up to this frame that will work.


    Think we'll just get rid of these rigged up mirrors in favor of fender mirrors.


    Gonna remove the tow hitch. Like the front bumper I'm VERY interested in a tighter bumper option, maybe something from JDM, Australian or UK market? Please, please let me know if I have a better option than replacing this rubber bumper.


    She's not pretty, but she runs great. The motor will get some detailing, but no mods for now. A/C will be recharged next week.


    Pretty representative of the condition of the old tan interior plastic. In good shape physically, but badly needed a repaint.


    Stained, tired interior in need of some TLC and vinyl dye.


    Smelled pretty musty.




    Carpet and belts in need of a dye job.


    Blank canvas! Time to get to work!


    Seat belts dyed by soaking fabric in lacquer thinner, then SOAKING the belt with basic satin black spray paint. Seriously soaking it during spraying, not just spraying it on lightly. Went back and spot treated a couple places the black was thin, then masked the buttons and sprayed the plastic.


    After a rub down with some vinegar, most plastics were hit with some satin granite Rustoleum plastic paint. Much better!


    After carpet was RIT dyed a royal blue and reinstalled, the dash came out for repaint.




    My pride and joy here, the refinished dash.


    Finally, the rear interior. The blue RIT dye turned out a little to purple for my liking on the tan carpet. Will probably go black later after exterior mods/repairs are done. Same with rear/front seats. For now it looks and smells a 100 times better than when we got it. MB Quart sub and amp are going in the right rear 1/4 panel in a diy custom fiberglass enclosure, leaving plenty of room for hauling stuff to the beach.

    That's about it for now. I really would like some input on exterior swaps available for the front and rear bumpers, grill, headlights. Any tips?

    Mahalo,
    Ryan

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    Jul 2012
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    Orange County, CA
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    Re: 1981 Toyota Corona Wagon build

    Very clean! :tu:

  3. #3
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    Jun 2011
    Location
    Murray, UT
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    153

    Re: 1981 Toyota Corona Wagon build

    Very nice! Great job on the interior panel restoration.

  4. #4
    Senior Member
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    May 2011
    Location
    Netherlands
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    170

    Re: 1981 Toyota Corona Wagon build

    Wow well done this interior job, from a musty dungion look to a fresh one :tu:

  5. #5
    Senior Member
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    Dec 2009
    Location
    southern PA
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    278

    Re: 1981 Toyota Corona Wagon build

    wow that turned out gorgeous... what did you use on the dash>? like brands of paint and what not?


    i dig the purple hue.... its a pimp wagon :tu:

  6. #6
    Junior Member
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    Jul 2012
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    11

    Re: 1981 Toyota Corona Wagon build

    Thanks guys.
    All surfaces were cleaned with a water/vinegar mix (roughly 70% vinegar, 30% water, but went stronger on vinegar for stubborn sticky messes or oil spots). Then I used the following paints:

    Hard plastics that I wanted lighter gray - Rustoleum Painter's Touch in "Satin Granite" (Home Depot)


    Dash, doors, rubber seat belt dust covers, e-brake boot and other flexible/rubber surfaces I wanted a darker gray - Plasi Kote vinyl color in "Charcoal Gray" (CarQuest auto parts)


    The blue accent paint name I'll update here later, but it was a normal enamel paint. To get it to adhere better, I used a clear Rustoleum Adhesion Promoter spray paint (2 coats), then hit with the blue color (2 coats) and it's held up well so far.

    These choices were more based on limited paint availability on our island, than my first choices of colors. So far though both paints have done well with bumps and knocks during daily use the last two weeks. Pretty impressed with the flexibility and adhesion on both paints.

  7. #7
    Junior Member
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    Jul 2012
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    11

    Re: 1981 Toyota Corona Wagon build

    I was mistaken in my last post. The plastic adhesion promoter was clear Valspar Plastic Primer. Blue accent color was Valspar "Satin Indigo Streamer", whatever an indigo streamer is.

    Made some progress on the subwoofer enclosure template today. Will update with progress pictures this week, and hope to be bumping by Friday!

  8. #8
    Junior Member
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    Dec 2010
    Location
    Virginia
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    Re: 1981 Toyota Corona Wagon build

    Great job on the interior, I was half expecting it to get stripped and just abandoned. I even kind of like how purple the rear carpet looks.

  9. #9
    Member
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    Aug 2010
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    Philippines
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    80

    Re: 1981 Toyota Corona Wagon build

    nice resto and paint for the interior. may i ask, do you still have parts there is hawaii? like the corner lights? we have the same car but mine needs a lot of improvement.

  10. #10
    Junior Member
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    Jul 2012
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    11

    Re: 1981 Toyota Corona Wagon build

    Checked out your build, your wedge is awesome! Hope mine can look that nice some day. You did a very thorough resto on it and I dig the sunroof.

    All the parts on the car in the picture are still on the car here in Hawaii. I haven't seen another one of these cars on my island and really can't source the missing turn signal locally. There is one on Ebay but they're $80 per side, so I'm trying to think of other options.

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