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 Post subject: Styles JDM Celica XX 2.8GT
PostPosted: Sun Aug 17, 2014 9:38 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 17, 2014 8:34 pm
Posts: 4
Way back in the mid 90's, when I was a teenager looking for my first car I fell in love with the many Celica XX that cruised the streets of Auckland. I look, and looked, and looked for ages to try and get one, initially just manual 2.8's then considered autos, 1G's turbos and even the poxy SOHC 2.0, but they all had a killer combination of being relatively expensive, and rusty! As a first time car owner, with a Dad who wasn't in the least bit mechanically minded it was a bit too daunting. So eventually I gave up, and ended up with an ST162 Celica, which served me well. In all honesty it was probably a better and more suitable car at the time in many regards.

Fast forward a good few years, and in 2011 I came into a bit of money and thought to myself that I'd like to get a "toy". So I started considering my options. I was working at Nissan New Zealand at the time, so thought about a Silvia, or 180SX, considered a Skyline etc, but I kept coming back to two cars that I'd always loved, the ST205 Celica GT-Four, and the MA61. I'd sort of kept an eye on MA61's showing up on Trademe over the years, and thought about buying one in the past, but the timing was never really right.

Anyway, I'd found a GT-Four that I liked, and an MA61, so it took a bit of deciding. The GT-Four had fairly high mileage, but looked a little tidier than the MA61. Well, in the end I decided to go for the MA61, and scored her for NZ$5500, after getting a little more carried away than I probably should have.

The next problem was that it was at the other end of the country. This was a drawcard for the purchase however, as it was in Alexandra, the driest town in NZ, and the furthest from the sea, very appealing for the rust prone car that we all love. So I got her shipped up, and went to pick her up. Did I mention I'd bought her sight-unseen? She was a little rougher then I expected. I could see from the pics online that she'd need a serious cut and polish at least, and figured she may need a repaint. Well, when I had a good look I could see that both sides had had repairs and been repainted at some point, and she was a number of different shades of red. There was also a patch of filler lifting in the RH quarter, which wasn't really mentioned in the ad, but I really didn't let that worry me too much, I figured that I'd just bring my plans for a repaint forward.

So here's how she looked when I got her:

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More to follow soon!


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 Post subject: Re: Styles JDM Celica XX 2.8GT
PostPosted: Sun Aug 17, 2014 10:14 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 17, 2014 8:34 pm
Posts: 4
Gamble, the lower spoiler is a JDM part, judging by the crazy Jinglish on it! The brand is Aerokraft, it's that really soft neoprene stuff that was really popular for the application in the 80s. It's in great condition for one of these, just a little cracking on the upper part.

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The upper shade didn't belong there, as far as I can tell JDM cars didn't get them, and judging by the fact it was held on by self tapping screws through roughly drilled holes in the tailgate, and no centre support I'd say it definitely didn't belong on my car!

So, I'd gotten the car, and needed to plot a course for what I wanted to do with it. Not long before I'd gotten it I'd come across CelicaSupra.com, and this was a very valuable resource for me. I had to decide between 3 options. A full, back to original resoration (as you can see in the pics there'd been an attempt to make her look more like a Supra, rather than the XX she is). A fully modified, all out performance car, packing a worked 2JZ (NA), or a kind of middle path, with the car lightly modified, but fully able to be brought back to 100% stock. The middle way was the one I chose....

So I decided to theme my build as a modern interpretation of what I would likely have done to it IF I'd had one back in the mid-late 90's. So I started collecting parts.... here's the shopping list:

Chimp intake kit, Cusco strut brace, King low springs, KYB gas shocks, Technafit brake and clutch hoses care of George at Raptor, vintage style steering wheel (unknown brand), TRD vintage style gear knob, Chimp rear suspension brace, Whiteline sway bars front and rear, and that's about it!

Meanwhile I considered what I would do regarding the body. As previously mentioned there were some less than perfect repairs that had been done in the past, but I wasn't quite ready for a full bare-metal restoration, so I decided that I'd get a repaint done, and have the repaired areas tidied up. I eventually (like when my kids have grown up) plan on doing a full strip and rebuild, but I figure what I've done should keep her well enought for the next 20 years, given a little care. I had to decide on what colour to go for, as I wasn't particularly enamoured with the red/black, and I'd always thought they'd looked sharp in white or silver. In the end though I decided that it'd be best to keep the colour standard. So in late 2011 I sent her off to GT Refinishers http://gtrefinishers.co.nz/, a panel/paint shop of some renown in the car scene here in NZ. It was great to deal with someone who understood the fact that I was fixing up an 80's Japanese car. Other places either just saw it as another job, or just really weren't interested. I'd been feeling a little undermotivated with the car and the build, but after getting it back from paint I was revved up!

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More to come soon!


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 Post subject: Re: Styles JDM Celica XX 2.8GT
PostPosted: Sun Aug 17, 2014 10:15 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 17, 2014 8:34 pm
Posts: 4
Right, so as some of you will have noticed, I got a set of original wheels, and when I had the car repainted I got Grant to weld up the holes for the mouldings. The drivers side one especially was a bit ripply, and and I didn't really like the look of the moulding just a little above the block of the two-tone. I thought it'd look a bit cleaner without the mouldings. So that was that. Gone. At the same time I also got the holes in the tailgate from the sunshade welded. I got a reproduction rear decal from George at Raptor, and it looks great.

Getting the car reainted gave me the shot in the arm that I needed to get cracking with the rest of the work, but i wanted to enjoy it a bit, so I drove it around some, then got the exhaust done. The last owner has owned it for a good 15 or so years, but most of that time he'd had it stored, and just took it out for short drives. The exhaust system was shot, and I suspect it was from condesation from the type of use it was getting. So I collected some mufflers (Borla) and scored an OBX-R header for cheap, and took it off to the exhaust shop to get all fitted up. Well, the header wasn't going to fit, due to the steering shaft being in the way, which obviously isn't a problem in the USA, as the shaft is on the other side for you guys! I only bought it because it was cheap, and knew I was taking a punt, so wasn't too disappointed. I got the exahust guy to make me up a 2.25in system, from the manifold back, with a muffler where the cat was, and a single-in, dual-out muffler at the back. Went and picked it up, and oh my god, it sounded so lush. Absolutely perfect, nice purr at idle, good bark under throttle, but nice and quiet at neutral throttle while cruising! Exactly what I was looking for!

Feeling even more inspired I took her home, put her up on the stands and got to work with the suspension and brakes. That took me a while, but finally got it all done.... Took her for a drive, and it felt good. Took it to work one day, and on the way home had a problem with lack of power.... did a bit of reseearch, and pulled the fuel line into the pump, and yep, te little pre-filter was clogged. Cleaned it out, and she ran great again...... for about 100km..... when it happened again I decided I should pull the tank and get that all cleaned up. I got a POR15 fuel tank re-sealing kit on order... in the meantime my first child was due....... needless to say it was a few months before I got around to that job! What a horrible task, hopefully the last time I ever need to do one of them! Next time I'm gonna pay someone else to do it! But, finally, all back together, and no problems since! So, back on the road, and loving it!

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 Post subject: Re: Styles JDM Celica XX 2.8GT
PostPosted: Sun Aug 17, 2014 10:17 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 17, 2014 8:34 pm
Posts: 4
Okey dokey, so after getting her on the go again it was time to start taking her out a bit. Probably the best outing so far has been the two morning meets I made it to at Rod Millen's Leadfoot Ranch in January. It was awesome heading down super early in the morning, and still able to be home by lunch time! Here's a pic a fellow member of a club I'm in took as I was leaving the second one.

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Anyway, I made it to the Toyota Festival, which was good to check out. Aftermarket Photography shot about the best pic I have of my car so far!

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Anyway, later the same day as Toyota Festival I managed to pick up some wheels. Yes, they're Rotas, but the budget doesn't run to my SSR MkIII's that I want. Yet. They're 15*8 on the front and 15*9 on the back, all 0p, running 205/50R15's. I'm pretty happy with the fit:

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So that's pretty much up to date. She's going back into GT's later this month to get a wee bit of damage I did to the bonnet fixed up (dropped the bonnet on to the PS reservoir cap that was sitting on the strut tower!), and to get some other detail stuff tidied up, cowl painted, wiper arms etc. I've also got some 17*7.5 Rota RB's that I'm getting painted black, just for a different feel, I'll likely use them more for "touring" type driving.

Apart from that the future plans are to chuck some tints at it - I know, I know, but I think they will suit the colour scheme, and it'll help to keep the interior good, and remember, it is themed on what I would've done as a teenager in the late 90's. Also got to sort something out for sounds, looking for something modern with bluetooth etc, but I want something that is reasonably subtle, not some silly Pioneer/Sony light-show, and some reasonable speakers to put in the factory locations. Still need to tidy up the engine bay, so I'll whip the rocker covers off and tidy them up, and I'll get the intake pipe HPC'd black when I do the headers. Apart from that it's just drive it as much as I can (which will be less than I'd like, as I've got a bunch of work to do on my house before we can sell), especially for the next 6 months as I've got another baby due early Feb, so I'll probably not be driving much then!


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 Post subject: Re: Styles JDM Celica XX 2.8GT
PostPosted: Thu Sep 04, 2014 5:00 am 
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Joined: Wed Sep 18, 2013 8:02 pm
Posts: 532
Location: Hong Kong
What a beauty!! :shock:
It's great to see one of these - and in particularly a narrow-body - receive so much love and attention.
You've done a stunning job - you're clearly a man of good taste... :tu: :wink:
The way she sits on those two last pics is just about perfect in my opinion. The Rota's look killer on her! I'd stay away from tacky tints though, but that might just be me.

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

Best Regards,
Anders.

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


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