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Hiro

Hiro's AE102

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So the preparations for Toyotafest and the 50th Annniversary of the Corolla started a little late (considering the show is next weekend), but I'm not going to have time to get everything done that I'd ideally want to so decided to focus on the small quick wins that don't require too much hassle.

Today was Short Shifter Day, which meant the whole lower dash had to come out (both front sills, glovebox, driver's side under-dash panel, both halves of the centre console, radio surround, storage cube, and the cig-lighter/ashtray/cupholder).  Out with the old stock shifter, in with the new (well, from the old car) DIY short-shifter (pivot-ball moved as per TRD unit with height retained but throw length and angle both reduced, no cut-n-shut dodginess here) along with solid shifter cradle bushes and a couple of M8 washers to space the cradle up (the gear selector ball of the short shifter sits lower so it hits the tunnel unless the cradle is spaced up)

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Before
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Spacers installed
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Finished product (doesn't look shorter I know but that's kinda the point of the design)

Since the dash was out I decided to install my JDM ignition barrel light and footwell lights too, no wiring required as they plug straight in to the same circuit as the dome light (each has a pass-through plug so you piggy-back them all together), although the ignition barrel light ring is a pain to install (you basically have to bend the dash away from the barrel in order to slip the ring in due to the LED housing on one side).  When I get a chance I'll stick the footwell lights up somewhere solid (they're just wedged in place at the moment) but it'll do for now.  By some minor miracle I managed to get everything back together without breaking anything (except a crack in the inside of the dash from bending it out around the ignition) nor did I have any leftover screws (which I believe is actually a first for me).

Whilst all this was happening I was dodging one hell of a thunderstorm, was working in the driveway since the garage was packed with gear from the storage shed but a sudden heavy downpour and clouds that threatened hail made me scramble to clear out enough space to edge the car inside......which meant I had almost no room to open the doors to work in the footwells, so I ended up just reversing back out in to the driveway whenever the rain calmed down.

Over the next few days I'll probably tackle the front speakers and tweeters, as well as maybe the JDM Clean Ace air purifier and Clean Box rubbish bin installs, and if I'm _really_ keen I'll take the front bar off and swap the air-con fans over so I can install the Hella driving-light grille (I've got a spare fan with a chunk cut out of the shroud to clear the back of the driver's side driving light).

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Is it the legit thread on TRD shift knob or one of the knock offs? Any heavier than stock?

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18 hours ago, trentmeyer23 said:

Is it the legit thread on TRD shift knob or one of the knock offs? Any heavier than stock?

Legit, I've had them for years on several cars (this is the second one on the Corolla as the leather starts to wear after a while, one of the old worn ones is on the Camry as a laugh, the badge on the shifter boot is actually from that worn knob as it came unglued).  Can compare the weight to stock if you want, definitely does have some heft to it though

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Since there was a decent chance Charlene Mk2 was going to be the only AE10x in attendance to Toyotafest (turns out she wasn't, but technically the other one that turned up was Charlene Mk1 so I guess it still counts) I decided to cash in some favours with a mate who liked sparky work and get the FXGT fogs finally wired up (after 5+ years of sitting in the front bar all lonely and disconnected, I had finally gotten around to getting a Euro rear fog switch to go under the power mirror controls).  At the same time I finally got around to installing the JDM clock back in to the dash, as well as the old VDO/JL speakers for a bit of a sound upgrade.  And whilst I was on a bit of a roll, in went the ignition-barrel and footwell lights (got to love JDM factory options that plug-and-play into existing ports/wiring on the fuse box, they even time out properly like the dome light does)

Since the fogs would require some wiring work around the front of the car, I also made the decision to re-fit the Hella grille.  What looks to be a simple grille swap is actually not, due to the fact that the driver's side Hell intrudes on the A/C fan, and to remove the A/C fan (I chopped up the one on the old car and kept it to retrofit on to Mk2) requires the removal of the headlights, grille, bumper, bumper support, oil cooler, horn and bonnet catch, all for two screws and two rubber plugs.

In the middle of disassembly
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End result 8 hours later (after we discovered and fixed the mixed-up wiring - fogs would come on with high-beams and the Hellas with the lows, the opposite of what they should)
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JL vs Toyota paper cone
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And after a quick wash the next morning, ready to get covered with bugs like every trip I make for a Toymods event (granted it didn't rain this time, which was a first)
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Still got to take some photos of the ignition and footwell lights, but you can only see them when they're dark

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A two-part update, separated by ~3 weeks

Part 1: My recently-installed fog lights decided to quit working just before Christmas (to be fair we don't have fog in summer anyway but I just like using them, even if it's illegal), figured that either the switch had gone bad (it was buzzing instead of switching them off even when they were working) or the globes had blown (could well be the originals from the 90s still in there).  Had some time yesterday to investigate (the benefits of work shutting down over the break, 3-week holiday yay :D even if I had to burn 7 days of annual leave to get it), started with the switch and the relay but they all seemed fine, so figured the globes had gone - jacked up the front of the car to change them (and find out what size they are so I could get some cool yellow fog-breakers), only to find the shared ground wire for them had detached its solder and broken free

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Since it wasn't my solder job (and I have no idea whether I still have a soldering iron or where it might be), I drove over to my mate's house (the one who did the wiring) for a quick patch job.  15 minutes later and they were all fixed, plus I switched switches with him as his never buzzed (figure it's a tiny short in a contact inside).  Then figured we'd swap over my old AE101 Levin seats for his spare AE111 Levin ones as my driver's side one had collapsed significantly and the bolster foam on the right thigh area had worn through to the rebar.  The drive home was soooooo much more comfortable, even if I was sitting a little bit higher than normal and no longer had lumbar adjustment.
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Part 2: My birthday-present-to-myself arrived a little early, and even though it was stinking hot on Saturday (and I ended up with a bull-ant sting to the face because he crawled on to my sweat towel) I couldn't be bothered waiting for cooler weather to arrive.  Now that I've got a USB input on my headunit (and I haven't needed cassettes since 2004) there wasn't much need for the double-din cubbyhole any more, and since I love collecting the JDM options it was a no-brainer

Enter the Toyota Original Accessory Multi-Box and For Your Life Scene spring-loaded drawer (got to love Japlish...)

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Next weekend will hopefully be exhaust-fitting time and maybe a trial-fit of the 275mm SS twinpot brakes now that my ST204 pad carriers have arrived

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Always fantastic to get stuff done..and have the time to do it 

Great job mate..now enjoy!

KAA

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1 hour ago, trentmeyer23 said:

The seats look mint!

The 111 seats don't look quite as sporty as the 101 seats but that's mainly due to the headrest shape and the fact that it's a one-piece base rather than a 3-piece - they're just as good (if not better) in support (although lacking lumbar adjust), and are a tonne lighter to boot

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And for all the cardigan-wearers out there, the ultimate in car-mod minutiae - upgraded windscreen washer jets.

We all know that the 90s jet-type Toyota washers suck - two piddly streams of water concentrated nowhere near where the wiper blade starts, so you're guaranteed a couple of screechy dry sweeps with the blade before they actually start cleaning anything.  Enter the 5th generation Camry to the rescue!  Toyota switched to a resonance-chamber fan spray with these models, and the results are night and day.  Not only that, but they clip straight in with no modification required (there's enough slack in the stock hoses and 90 degree fittings to compensate for the different barb orientation, I've got some 4mm hose offcuts if I ever want to tidy it up)

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Upgrade yours today!

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Leaving a few things aside until I get some time off over Easter, but did a trial fit of my genuine JDM Toyota weathershields the other weekend - still need to get the window frames painted black (and the power folding mirrors too) and some new 3M tape run but the preliminary results look nice and neat.  These are the good ones too that actually have clips that go under the window seal as well as the double-sided tape so much less chance of them flying off at 100 on the freeway.

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Figured I should go back and update the original post with the current car state too

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After 18 months of pottering around with a stock exhaust, I finally got fed up of being bored to sleep and decided to pull the pin and install my old exhaust.  In theory what should be a ~2 hour job by a mechanic with a hoist turned out to be a 2.5 day marathon in my driveway on chassis stands - first I had to drive around the world to find a shop that was open on a Saturday that actually had 2" 2-bolt exhaust flange gaskets (everyone had 2.5" and 1.75"), then the factory bolts were a pain to get undone (not surprising since they're ~18 years old, but at least they haven't been copping salt or snow), then the hangers didn't want to slide off the pins (copious amounts of WD40 required), then the engine pipe didn't want to slide out over the subframe (had to take the front hanger off the subframe), then I had to loosen the alternator to get the last manifold nut out which THEN highlighted the fact that my alternator belt had discovered meiosis.

So that was the first day.  The second day involved wrestling the extractors in to place (at which point I realised I had to fully remove the alternator to have a chance of getting the extractors around the oil filter and air-con lines), which added a few dings to the back of the radiator (I'll probably get a new alloy one at some stage anyway), then slowly piece-by-piece bolting the new exhaust up (with the new gaskets and bolts/nuts/antisieze), then wrestling with the muffler to get it on to the hangers.  Job done, fire it up and take it for a spin around the block to savour the sound.....................of a bloody rattle.


Bugger.

So that was the second day done and dusted.  Yesterday then consisted of jacking the car up on to stands AGAIN, then going about the task of finding the rattle - turns out it was the pipe between the hotdog and the muffler hitting the tunnel heat shield (initially thought it might have been the engine pipe over the subframe) as well as the left rear muffler hanger hitting the muffler heat shield.  Figuring that the only thing that could be affecting it was the engine-pipe hanger (as the bolt holes are slotted) I loosened them and wriggled things around for next-to-no improvement....


Bugger.


Next step was a niggling thought that I'd put the cat in the wrong way (as the flanges aren't parallel/aligned), so I went through the 3 other permutations of spinning and flipping the cat to see if things would line up better.  On the fourth permutation (ie upside-down and back-to-front to how I had initially installed it) it seemed to make everything clear the heatshields, until I noticed that the rear cat flange was hard up against one of the studs holding the cat tunnel heat shield on.....


Bugger.


So out came the hacksaw to shorten that stud down (I don't have an angle-grinder).  After an hour or so of sweating, grunting and swearing (not to mention sore arms) I had knocked off about 10mm from the stud, which then allowed the cat flange to sit high enough for the bloody rear pipe to start hitting the heat shield again....


Bugger.


So THEN I decided that maybe I had been right all along when I put the cat in first time, and things just needed to be wriggled around a bit.  So for the 5th time in as many hours I removed the cat and flipped it back around to the initial guess I had made as to its orientation.  Except this time I also loosened off the bolts on both the front hanger AND the subframe mount nut, then as I installed the cat I slowly did up each bolt/nut evenly all the while making sure to keep the mid- and rear-pipes centred in the tunnel.  And when that was all said and done, I finally had an exhaust that was fully tight and not rubbing on anything.  It would still kiss the heat shield if I kicked the tip of the muffler to each side, but a quick drive down to the post office to pick up a package showed that in day-to-day driving it wouldn't come close (if it crops up in the future I'll probably just rip that heat shield out, or at least bash it a bit more open).

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Something missing?

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Ahh there it is

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Alternator belt discovering cell meiosis

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Sounds like you had a ball! 😂

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18 hours ago, trentmeyer23 said:

Sounds like you had a ball! 😂

Fun on a bun.

 

I was planning to do the rear swaybar at the same time (as that requires dropping the fuel tank and the muffler) but after all that hassle I don't want to disturb the exhaust at all so might just bite the bullet and pay a shop to do it on a hoist....................man I wish I had a hoist.

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Spent all of Saturday afternoon and half of Saturday night on my back under the rear end installing my Ultra Racing rear swaybar, and what a pain in the ***** that turned out to be.  Fortunately didn't have to drop the tank, but both straps, filler pipe, breather pipe and the exhaust from the cat back had to come out, and even then it needed some wiggling to get it out past the jack stands on the cross-member and holding up the tank.

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Stock 14mm vs UR 19mm (both solid)

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Fortunately managed to work out how to get my sensor light to stay on permanently, otherwise I would have had to call it quits as soon as it got dark and pick it up in the morning.  Garage is too full of crap to get a car in these days, and chances are the light wouldn't have been much better in there since all underneath would have been in shadow.  As it was I still didn't get everything back in and buttoned up until after 9pm.

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Latest acquisition - AE102 Sprinter 3-dial dash cluster.  Unlike the JDM BZ Touring and FXGT 3-dial clusters, this one has the correct tacho for the 7AFE (8000rpm vs 9000rpm) AND retains the Aus-spec 200km/h speedo (vs 180 for JDM).  Also doesn't have the superfluous dash lights for cat temperature, rear light failure module etc (although since the ADM Sprinters were all pre-facelift, there is no seatbelt warning light fitted).  Still requires a bit of wiring magic but I'll most likely palm that off to someone who likes electrons more than I do in exchange for some beer or something.

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Step 1 of Project Twinpot - test fit of AE101 SS calipers on to ST202/204 pad carriers complete. SS pad carrier shown in centre for reference. This should allow me to bolt on the SS twinpots whilst still retaining the 275mm rotor diameter.  Next step will be a trial fit to the car (hopefully this weekend) to see how much the rotor will need to be spaced or the pad carrier ground down, followed by a clean and paint (and probably a rebuild, no reason not to).

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This post also marks my first test of Flickr as an alternate hosting site to Photobucket.  Here's hoping it lasts...

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Had a go at trial-fitting the ST204 pad carrier brackets today in conjunction with the twinpot calipers, unfortunately I've got the 54mm SS AE101 discs rather than the 55mm SS AE111 discs so I couldn't quite get everything to sit snug, looks like I'll either need to machine the pad carrier a couple of mm on the mounting face or get a spacer for the rotor (which I'd prefer not to do as aftermarket rotors are all 55mm).

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Brand new seal kit and 4x cylinder pistons from Toyota, grand total of $130 +p/h through Amayama

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Showing the 54-to-55mm step on the AE102 hub - disc needs to be 55mm, wheels need to be 54mm.

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ST204 caliper bracket on the stock 255mm disc, the rotor just skims the inner face but there's too much room on the other side, wouldn't want a pad falling out...

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How the 275mm disc sits inside the carrier - since the rotor doesn't want to sit all the way in on the hub (due to the step) it actually lines up almost perfectly in the carrier, however the rotor can rock around a bit and would be dangerous to attach a wheel in this configuration

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No need to trim the factory heat shield, fits perfect

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SS pads fit snug in the ST204 carrier and line up millimetre-perfect with the edge of the disc

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No machining of the pad carrer where it bolts to the hub either (unlike the SS carrier) - perfect fit

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How it looks all assembled - if it wasn't for the mis-matched paint you'd swear it was a factory fitment

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Diameter comparison of the AE102 to SS AE101 discs

Since the 14" spare wheel will no longer fit over the SS caliper (Superstrut models came with 15" wheels as standard) I decided to get a set of what I believe are facelift ZZE122 15x6" steelies.......that also happened to come with Advan A048 R-comp semi-slicks :D  Might just keep those in the back pocket for Toyota Nationals next year...
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Even with the bigger wheels, clearance was pretty tight.  Back side of the caliper was fine, but the clearance between the face of the rim and the front of the caliper is as about as tight as I'd be comfortable with
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And just for laughs I fitted the ST204 pad carrier and an SS pad to the stock AE102 disc.....yeah, these brakes are going to be heaps better :D

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Starting to get quite annoyed chasing ghosts now.

So a few months ago I started hearing a bit of a scrape/rumble from the front end when coming to a stop, only happened very occasionally so didn't pay too much attention to it initially.  Then a few weeks ago it started to get much worse, much faster.  Symptoms were a sorta grind/scrape/rub/"whomp" with each rotation, going up or down with wheel speed but only at low speed (<30k).  Would happen going straight, turning corners, coasting in neutral, whatever.  I couldn't replicate any of the noises on stands, although an initial suspect of a front-right wheel bearing (could feel the clunk when rocking the wheel back and forth) turned out to be a shot tie-rod end.  'Shop didn't see or hear anything wrong with bearings or CVs up on the hoist, and since the only way to truly prove a shot wheel bearing is to actually remove the hub which in turn ruins the bearing and means a new one needs to be fitted regardless meant that I decided to try eliminating other options first.  So, in order;

1) Swapped front wheels to rule out cupping.  No difference
2) Saw that one rotor had a rusty/pitted ring around the outer edge (really squeally when I rubbed an old pad against it with the wheel spinning).  Swapped pads around, no change.  Swapped rotors L-R, some of the sound did appear to move with the rotor.  Got new rotors, still no difference (some of the squeal did go though).  No sign of rocks or anything caught up in the dust shields
3) Dropped the gearbox oil to see if there was any evidence of a blown diff bearing.  Oil still semi-translucent and dark honey-coloured.  Nothing suspended in the oil either apart from some gold/bronze sparklies that you'd expect from synchro wear.
4) Replaced both front axles.  Torqued both axle-nuts up to buggery with a rattle-gun (mine is rated to 310Nm so it isn't heaps higher than the recommended amount).  Noise seemed to disappear for about 5 minutes then returned, but not as bad as before.  Considering new axles shouldn't have affected the diff at all but could help hide a wheel bearing (by re-tightening the nut) I still can't rule one or the other out.

So now I'm stuck in an annoying place - do I replace wheel bearings or gearbox first?  Both will probably run to about $400 (got a few options for a cheap second-hand 'box to get me by, labour is essentially the same as a clutch change), and I can _really_ only afford to do one before Christmas.  Knowing my luck I'll choose the wrong one though, and I'll end up throwing close to a grand at the thing in total before things are finally fixed.

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I think I may have had this problem before. Even changed the axles to have it return a few days later. Try cleaning the cv boots with brake cleaner then apply silicone spray to the outside. In my case it was the rubber boots rubbing and flexing against themselves. Give it a try as it's pretty much free to do.

You can easily check if it's the wheel bearings by having it up on stands and spinning the wheels. If you hold the base the suspension spring sits on you can usually feel vibrations from the bearing if it's failing. You could also get a stethoscope or length of hose and listen to the gearbox while it's idling in gear on stands. 

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On 12/9/2017 at 5:39 PM, marks_2_sparks said:

I think I may have had this problem before. Even changed the axles to have it return a few days later. Try cleaning the cv boots with brake cleaner then apply silicone spray to the outside. In my case it was the rubber boots rubbing and flexing against themselves. Give it a try as it's pretty much free to do.

You can easily check if it's the wheel bearings by having it up on stands and spinning the wheels. If you hold the base the suspension spring sits on you can usually feel vibrations from the bearing if it's failing. You could also get a stethoscope or length of hose and listen to the gearbox while it's idling in gear on stands. 

New axles = new CV boots, and the noise returned within a minute or so (basically the end of the street).  I find it highly unlikely that the exact same noise would re-appear after changing the CVs if the issue is with the boots rubbing on themselves (and there is nothing else close enough that the boots could rub on).

There is also no noise at all whilst it is on stands (at least nothing loud enough to be heard over my exhaust at idle) - it definitely needs load before it appears (even jacking up the control arm to get the angles right doesn't do it).  I tried the vibrating spring trick a few weeks ago when I was first trying to diagnose it and couldn't feel any difference.  Don't have a stethoscope to listen to the diff though.

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Yep, it was a wheel bearing...

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