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 Post subject: 18RG RA43 Celica
PostPosted: Tue Nov 11, 2014 8:40 am 
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Joined: Sat Dec 17, 2011 5:44 am
Posts: 59
Location: Oxnard Harbor, CA
Hey JNC. I've been meaning to make a thread there, but I have been really dragging my feet about it. In either case, I'll give you guys the abridged version...

In 2011, I was in need of a car some kind of bad. Fresh from being stationed in Mississippi and moving back to California, and with wifey's lease up on her car, the only ride at the time was my Aprilia RSV Mille.

Enter the Old Man, a 1981 Celica ST. He was purchased brand new by my great uncle in late 1981, who subsequently sold the car to my grandfather in 1996ish as a commuter from the family home in Hermosa Beach to Downtown LA, because parking was a pain in his big Dodge Conversion Van.

Anyway, my dad ended up driving the car more than anything (he also put the GT passenger side mirror on it as well), and when the Master Cylinder gave out, coupled with a pretty new 2002 Buick, the Old Man was parked in 2005, only being started once every six months or so.

My aunt (who was executor of my grandparent's trust) signed the car over to me, like I said, in 2011. Obviously the master was replaced, but other than a set of plug wires, I took him over to the smog shop, and the car passed effortlessly! Enough talk, here's some pictures...

Yep, '81 Celica ST. We've seen these before.
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ST Wheel with faux burl instrument cluster, and that seat that has seen better days.
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22R, runs like a champ!
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85 Mile Per Hour Speedometer. Remember that for later...
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So I got the car a few months before I had to leave for a deployment to Spain. Me being me, can't leave anything alone. I had an idea for this car...

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First thing I found after I got back in 2012 was the luggage rack.
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Next came the big speedometer. Anybody in Southern California knows that driving on freeways leaves the stock speedo mostly pinned.
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Same '78 that had the speedo also had the GT wheel, which I almost passed on. I didn't realize the crusty rim on it was nothing more than a cover. The wheel underneath was pristine. A second outing scored the round medallion. For those of you playing at home, the first gens mostly had the round medallion, with the '79-and-later cars having the trapezoidal medallion. The strange thing? Cam's '81 RA45 has a round medallion!
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Did you know that '81 Speedos have a third drum for Oxygen Sensor wear?
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This is the stuff I like doing with this car...
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And them, I FOUND PANASPORTS!!!! Junkyard score, $100.
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I even found a 1/24 version of my car! At this point, the vision of my car is really starting to take shape, and I live for the adage "Fake Parts Break Hearts". Wats are a pipe dream, so are those mirrors...
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Becaus Canyon Kirrer Cerica.
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Here's another shot of this car I really liked. At this point, I had replaced that beat down driver's seat with a nice seat from an '80, I installed 4 KYB shocks, a new radiator, and painted two of the Panasports..
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A few days later, I would be going on my fourth and final deployment to Japan!


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 Post subject: Re: 18RG RA43 Celica
PostPosted: Tue Nov 11, 2014 8:43 am 
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Joined: Sat Dec 17, 2011 5:44 am
Posts: 59
Location: Oxnard Harbor, CA
As I said before, I deployed to Japan.

I was THE small engine mechanic for our battalion, so I had my own little shop, repairing motorized tools Seabees need to finish a project: Gas powered tampers, generators, vibratory rollers, small cement mixers, you name it.

So, this was delivered to my shop by a civilian contractor three weeks after I got in country.
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This made its way from Australia to Okinawa...
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Saturday nights, while my buddies were drinking at the smoke pit, I could usually sucker one of my friends to help me out...
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So there was a local hot rod shop that I took the airbox to for metal work and painting. Tetsuya Taki, is the shop owner. I drop the plenum off to him, and between my limited Japanese, and his broken English, the conversation went like this:

"Do you have the rest of the airbox?"

"-No, I don't. I was planning on adapting something from another car."

"Come with me!"

My buddy and I jump in his Honda Kei, and we zip down some narrow streets until we come to a freshly demolished building.

"THIS WAS STANDING YESTERDAY!!!"

Tetsuya-san kicks around in the rubble, and finds the rest of the aircleaner!!!!

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That's him on the left, and smoking the baloneys on this Twin Turbo Mark II. The front bumper is about ~3 inches from the back bumper of the car in front of it!
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The Purple and Silver Challenger-looking things were regulars on the drift scene in Yomitan, Northern Okinawa, the birth of the Japanese Drift scene.
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Tetsuya had an old Carina RA40 with these mirrors hanging off by just the electrical connectors. He gave these to me. He thought it was pretty funny this gaijin round-eye was so crazy about these rusty old Toyotas. And Asuka is bestgirl.
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This is his handiwork!
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Oh yeah, I picked these up as well.
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I met some extremely fascinating people out here, and part of the fun of finding these old parts was meeting them. I found out a little broken Japanese goes a long way.

JNC, Meet Kinjo-San.
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Kinjo was an old Rally racer, and now owns a small two-stall concrete block repair shop.
He has these laying around his property.
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Oh yeah, paid about thirty bucks for this from him, and a small bottle of American Whiskey.
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Kameari bearings...
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Mocked up...
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Don't care if center caps are for posers.
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Well, it is an eighties Powell-Peralta, so it's period correct, right!?
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Time to pack it up and send it home!
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 Post subject: Re: 18RG RA43 Celica
PostPosted: Tue Nov 11, 2014 9:14 am 
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Joined: Sat Dec 17, 2011 5:44 am
Posts: 59
Location: Oxnard Harbor, CA
So a week after I bought the engine and had it underneath my workbench in Okinawa, Melinda (wifey) had to drive my Celica to work while her car was in the shop. She didn't check the oil, and it died on her one day coming home. Well, I was going to put a new engine in it anyway...

I limped it from my house to base (about a mile or so) a few times, including to pick up that big box full of engine parts. If you look closely where the passenger seat usually is, you can see it here.

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And this went off to the machine shop!
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These went to the powdercoaters. I had to make two trips.
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And they came back looking like this!
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Retrojdm.com makes these great stickers! Asuka still bestgirl.
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We all know the cam covers are black wrinkle. Mine was a deeeeeep dark blue metallic. This came out more blue than I wanted.
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You can see the original blue here.
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This harkens back to the three spoke ST wheel. Yes, the horn works!
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Get'cha crank polished!
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Yes, that's my living room. Pink Kitty, my deployment mascot supervises.
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Building engine in living room. Note unfazed wife!
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Fender mirrors...
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I did have to pull the RG back apart once because I put the distributor drive gear in the wrong way, but here it is, ready to go.
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And, in we go!
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Here's the Wats and mounted RG, and possibly leaky radiator!
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245 rear tires...
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And, I found these on the Yahoo! Japan Auctions. That means every-pie-in-the-sky part I would never find for this thing has, or will make its way on the car!
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Well, it turns out the "Lucky" airbox isn't the correct one for the car. I managed to find this...
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To mount this, I had to remove the battery bracket...
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I drilled and chiseled. So, all cars regardless of intended market gets primered, then the market-specific parts (rear quarter side marker lights, RHD/LHD, R/RC/RG) get attached, then sent to the final spray. Check out the overspray!
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This is a dark-Instagram filtered grainy photo, but it shows the global marketability of these cars: The Negative cable bolt and core support battery strap bolt are also the mounting points for the air cleaner!
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Here it is, the Best Damn 18RG RA43 Celica In Town!
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 Post subject: Re: 18RG RA43 Celica
PostPosted: Tue Nov 11, 2014 9:48 am 
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Joined: Sat Dec 17, 2011 5:44 am
Posts: 59
Location: Oxnard Harbor, CA
So it wasn't all smooth sailing putting this in. I had my lion's share of issues with it.

First problem was that dizzy drive gear after I got it together.
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Fixed that...
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Vacuum Line routing...
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Then, driving myself batsh*t crazy with cam timing and rough running. Here, the dizzy should not the this advanced (hold down bolt should be 3/4 up the slot).
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The rotor should be where my finger is pointing!
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My cam lobes are tits out, notches are kosher.
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Why was the rotor at the wrong place?
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I'm an idiot. Timing is at 10*, not TDC!

So, at the time, this was WOT...
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Degreed the cams, checked timing, bonked my head in the wall, and the problem?
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My ghetto-fabulous dizzy feet wire extenders were crossed!

New problem...
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Reason...
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Someone might have put that pump jet in sideways... :oops:

Well, got that sorted out. Paid my expired registration, and started working bugs out. Remember, I'm in the People's Republic of California, so I still have to get smogged. At the end of the day though, this is a 1981 Toyota. There isn't a bunch of stuff this thing needs to pass the visual inspection. So, the day came to get it smogged (about a week ago). My labor of love I have been working on since February is up and running. I'm feeling awesome, and people are complimenting me on the car! I ran to the house real fast, and about a block from home (the same place the old 22R's rod exited the block), I hear some tapping, like something is wrapped around a pulley. A second and half (long enough to say "Oh Sh*t") I shut the car off and coasted home. This is the result. Oh yeah, at this point I paid registration for the Historic J show day before yesterday.

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This was the same cylinder that was giving me problem with jetting. I'm thinking the leaned-out setting caused the valve seats to fail, which caused the exhaust valve to lodge itself in the piston (I will also mention the head bolt on the exhaust side was exceptionally burnt-looking), and cause utter chaos. Oh well, I will be starting the "Offerings to the Gods of Speed" artifact shelf now..

So, here I am right now. The block is fine (it has superficial gouging, but a .010 boring can fix that), and my Kameari bearings are untouched. I'm on the hunt for pistons and a head. Considering all the rare stuff I have gotten my hands on, this car shouldn't be sitting for long. Oh, and if you have 18RG parts, have your people contact my people!

Later!
KFD


Last edited by kfd on Tue Nov 11, 2014 10:22 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: 18RG RA43 Celica
PostPosted: Tue Nov 11, 2014 9:53 am 
JNC Enthusiast
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Joined: Wed Sep 18, 2013 8:02 pm
Posts: 635
Location: Hong Kong
Great write-up! :tu:
And love your RA43.
HeHe... and don't worry - you're not alone. My TE61 wears the same centre caps with pride on her Wats... 8)

_________________
It's not what you drive - it's how you drive it...

Best Regards,
Anders.

JDM '77 Toyota Trueno 1600GT Sprinter (TE61)
+ a handful of classic BMW's from the 60's and 70's.


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 Post subject: Re: 18RG RA43 Celica
PostPosted: Wed Nov 12, 2014 11:15 pm 
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Joined: Sat Feb 05, 2011 5:53 pm
Posts: 373
Location: Bay Area, California
Cool story! Thanks for sharing

Bummer about the ruined cyl head! Hope you find another soon.

I know Performance Options in Oakland has one of these engines laying around. Maybe it's for sale?


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 Post subject: Re: 18RG RA43 Celica
PostPosted: Fri Nov 14, 2014 6:54 pm 
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Joined: Thu Apr 03, 2008 2:38 am
Posts: 61
Location: Moreno Valley, California 92551
I had wondered what had happened. Glad to hear that the block was not seriously doomed. I'll keep an eye out for a replacement cylinder head, and will let you know if anything comes up. I was cheering for you since I had followed this thread for months before at your old location. This a a bigger site and should aid you in finding a replacement.

Wonder if the incorrect shim thickness could have caused the valve locks to disengage on the valve.

Which spark plugs did you use and what was the part nmber, was it the correct plug for that application?

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Last edited by 73gtv on Wed Dec 03, 2014 10:25 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: 18RG RA43 Celica
PostPosted: Sun Nov 16, 2014 11:40 am 
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Joined: Sat Dec 17, 2011 5:44 am
Posts: 59
Location: Oxnard Harbor, CA
I was thinking the shims could have been an issue, but again, I was driving the car just fine for a week. I didn't have any excessive valve noise, but I could hear the chains (again, not really a rattle). Now that I am doing the engine again, I'll replace the lower tensioner.

Something else really fascinating is that this is the stock -GU head, and it had never been apart, but it had SINGLE valve springs...

You guys have a good recommendations for valves that don't cost an arm, leg, and firstborn?


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 Post subject: Re: 18RG RA43 Celica
PostPosted: Wed Dec 03, 2014 10:10 am 
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Joined: Thu Apr 03, 2008 2:38 am
Posts: 61
Location: Moreno Valley, California 92551
kfd wrote:
I was thinking the shims could have been an issue.


Ok, I currently know that they have just sold the last two kits (To Me) but they will get more and update this item for sale. I have just measured these to make sure that they fit the spring retainer, I will update this post with a picture later this morning. Do not lose this part number which can be ordered directly from Hot Cams.

A complete kit for KAWASAKI which also fits the 18RG and 2TG which Includes three 13mm o.d. shims in each size from 1.85mm to 3.20mm in .05mm increments.

eBay item number:191418226615

Hot Cams 13mm Complete Valve Shims Kit - HCSHIM32

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the actual size for the original shim is 13.8mm. The underside shows the actual contact area of the Valve and Valve locks, which is why I made my choice to use these undersized shims.

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Last edited by 73gtv on Sat Dec 06, 2014 10:07 am, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: 18RG RA43 Celica
PostPosted: Fri Dec 05, 2014 1:02 pm 
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Joined: Thu Aug 05, 2010 6:42 pm
Posts: 152
Location: Bronx, New York
Grandpa would be proud!! Very cool fixes (even the breakdowns) i got very.... (Wait for it).... "nostalgic" 8) when i saw the fender mirrors, reminded me of my RA-42! Cant wait to see more!

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1980 Toyota Celica GT
1985 Toyota Celica
1987 Toyota Supra Turbo
1987 Toyota Camry
2005 Toyota Corolla

1992 Mazda 929
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 Post subject: Re: 18RG RA43 Celica
PostPosted: Sun Dec 07, 2014 10:00 pm 
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Joined: Sat Dec 17, 2011 5:44 am
Posts: 59
Location: Oxnard Harbor, CA
Hey 80Celica, if you Google the hash tag #bestdamn18rgra43celicaintown, Instagram and tumblr stuff will pop up!

73GTV, I was planning on shooting you an email! I wonder if Yammy valve shims will fit, considering the Seca II and XS650 share the head design and valve architecture the the 18RG and 4MG...

I'll post up pictures tomorrow, but I got a head coming this week from Matchan420, who's in Vegas. I got a matching piston coming from Japan, and I think the small nicks in the cylinder wall can be honed out. I started my month of leave last Thursday, and I am trading my automatic tranny for a w58. The car is down, but not out!!


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 Post subject: Re: 18RG RA43 Celica
PostPosted: Mon Dec 08, 2014 6:09 pm 
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Joined: Thu Apr 03, 2008 2:38 am
Posts: 61
Location: Moreno Valley, California 92551
Goodson
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KM
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Here are your other options for the correct sized shims.

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 Post subject: Re: 18RG RA43 Celica
PostPosted: Wed Dec 10, 2014 8:30 pm 
JNC Fanatic

Joined: Fri Dec 14, 2007 11:26 pm
Posts: 1142
Location: Detroit
I dig the hell out of your Celica. Very nice, love the story. 8)

I have no idea what the hell an asuka is. :oops:

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 Post subject: Re: 18RG RA43 Celica
PostPosted: Wed Dec 10, 2014 8:33 pm 
JNC Fanatic

Joined: Fri Dec 14, 2007 11:26 pm
Posts: 1142
Location: Detroit
Also, the "purple and silver challenger looking things" image isn't showing, and I am curious.

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Camshaft wrote:
It scares the bejesus out of me that someone, somewhere ordered the Lusitania with front drum brakes.


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 Post subject: Re: 18RG RA43 Celica
PostPosted: Thu Dec 11, 2014 7:37 am 

Joined: Sun Dec 07, 2014 8:58 am
Posts: 2
So awesome, great build man! Seeing all those cool parts makes me wish I never got out of the Marines so I could of gone to Oki ha.


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 Post subject: Re: 18RG RA43 Celica
PostPosted: Thu Dec 11, 2014 12:44 pm 
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Joined: Sat Dec 17, 2011 5:44 am
Posts: 59
Location: Oxnard Harbor, CA
Stationwagonguy wrote:
Also, the "purple and silver challenger looking things" image isn't showing, and I am curious.


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Stationwagonguy wrote:
I have no idea what the hell an asuka is. :oops:


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Asuka is a character from the anime series Neon Genesis Evangelion. When I was out in Oki last year, the theatrical release of Evangelion 3.33 had just occured, so there was Eva-branded stuff EVERYWHERE!

Andrew, thanks for the links! I will get my head this coming weekend, and the pistons should be shortly after. I'll let you know about the shims, thanks for info, you are a great source of information!!!


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 Post subject: Re: 18RG RA43 Celica
PostPosted: Thu Dec 11, 2014 9:01 pm 
JNC Fanatic

Joined: Fri Dec 14, 2007 11:26 pm
Posts: 1142
Location: Detroit
Ah. The silver and purple cars are both C110 Skylines, better known as Ken & Mary Skylines, or Kenmeri/Kenmary/something similar, and the sedans are often called Yonmeris. The nickname comes from a famous ad campaign with a young couple, Ken & Mary, touring the Japanese countryside in the car.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nissan_Skyline#C110

Thanks for the clarification of Asuka. Do they call her best girl in the show or?

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Camshaft wrote:
It scares the bejesus out of me that someone, somewhere ordered the Lusitania with front drum brakes.


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 Post subject: Re: 18RG RA43 Celica
PostPosted: Fri Dec 12, 2014 1:18 pm 
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Joined: Sat Dec 17, 2011 5:44 am
Posts: 59
Location: Oxnard Harbor, CA
Haha, you guys missed my facetious humor! If you check a thread entitled "The Misadventures of the Old School JDM hunter", I came across a forlorn Yonmeri in Okinawa as well. As far as the " Best Girl" comment, I see the "bestgirl" term usually from Evangelion fans comparing her to the other female characters in the series.


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 Post subject: Re: 18RG RA43 Celica
PostPosted: Fri Dec 12, 2014 1:33 pm 
JNC Fanatic

Joined: Fri Dec 14, 2007 11:26 pm
Posts: 1142
Location: Detroit
sarcasm
_______

My head. :oops: :lol:

Thanks for the clarification though. A friend (who I haven't seen in years, I lead him to buy a 510 out of an impound lot I wanted but recognized I didn't have the money to repair and he did) was fold of that show, but I only remember the name and my imagining it must have been about a lion evangelist. :lol:

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Camshaft wrote:
It scares the bejesus out of me that someone, somewhere ordered the Lusitania with front drum brakes.


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