Jump to content

Celica - 1st love of car


Recommended Posts

Hello all, it has been a very long time since I'm active in this forum.

For those who doesn't know me I used to drive a 2003 Corolla Levin; my first car. A lot of passions were pour onto that car, a car I called Hamster due to its striking resemblance. As time moves on it was time to let go the Hamster because now I am able to grab hold of what is my first love of car.

The Celica.

Back in the days I used to be a gamer, a freak of a gamer that is. And back in the days I spent hours mastering every corner of any shape in a game called Sega Rally. What made play that game is because of the Celica GT-4. The sexy shape, curvy and all really impresses me and I must say if it wasn't because of that car I probably wouldn't be the car enthusiast I am today.

The year was 1999 and the new Celica code ZZT231 was released to the market. This time the shape is even sexier, sharper and lower. Instant love. Even though at that time I knew nothing about car I dream about having one night and day.

As some of you may know Celica was not the car I wish to have when I was selling the Hamster. I was after the fabulous Alfa Romeo 147 GTA. But fate deter the course and the right 2nd hand Celica show up at the right time. Right away I remember this is the car I've been dreaming of since 1999.

So here it is, my Celica:


Edited by DANZZT231
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 50
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

Posted Images

Thanks to members in this forum I get to learn about the engine; 2ZZ-GE. This engines needs no introduction in this forum.

The Celica engine being the earlier version of 2ZZ-GE is known for its lift-bolt failure, and the first thing I did to the car was to change it to the newer one. I am happy to report the original bolts were still in good shape although it shows wear on the bolt. By now the lift bolt enter its third version. While thats being changed I took the liberty to paint the engine cover in Red Hot colour.

Experiences from the Hamster suggested me to buy AEM Cold Air Intake as my very first modification. I found one on Ebay for bargain price so without delay I purchased it off e-bay and bought it right away. I have no doubt about its gain and sure enough it is now more drivable, and my guess is there is newfound tourqe below lift zone and beyond.

This comes to no surprise as the standard air-box do not really have air coming in into its opening as it sits directly behind the bonnet. I have no clue how on earth fresh oxygen enters the air box. I think the Corolla Sportivo airbox is a better airbox than the Celica one.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

The Celica handling is quite charming in its standard tune. Yes there is a lot of body-roll but rest assured the chassis is still in control as you blast through the corner. However I do not find this to be nice at all, especially coming from a car that was equipped with coilover shock absorber.

With the Celica already charming handling I must now look for something that won't upset the chassis. There are many choices from Japan and German made shock absorber, but in the end it comes down to how the car is intended to be driven. This time around I am not going to drop the car 'Ghetto Low' style, and I would still want the comfort.

Having tasted the beauty of Bilstein on Mistsubishi Evolution 8 MR I now find the kind of handling and comfort I wanted. Fortunately Bilstein offer PSS coilover for Celica. It is height adjustable only, and that is perfect for me because I would want the shock and the spring to be perfectly matched by the engineer up there in German. I trust their work.

It was not long until I found an Internet seller www.shox.com from USA and I got it for approximately $1750 landed inc tax and shipping.

I am pleased to see its giant strut at the front shock and solid construction. The spring rate is unknown, but the front spring is linear and the rear is progressive. Both front and rear shock are equipped with helper spring also.

During its first week I lowered the coilover to its lowest recommended height and carry nothing at the boot. This is becasue the rear spring is very soft when I placed my spare tyre and subwoofer the rear drops too much. Nonetheless, with empty boot the rear have about 1.5cm gap while the front have about 3cm gap; this is both front and rear with its lowest setting. Yet the car still leans forward.

The handling in this setting is absolutely amazing. Body roll is kept to minimum, in fact I can't feel any at all. The steering is very responsive and it grips without fail in any bend. Now the limit is raised higher but the tyre lets the coilover down. Best of all, its very comfortable, hell I think its more comfortable than standard. Going over those flat bed speed hump feels like the road is flat - its that good.

However I cannot lived without my sound system so I raised the rear to its highest setting; raised by 15mm. That's right, it only allows 15mm range between highest and lowest height. But its highest setting is already 1 inch lower than standard anyway. In this setting the body roll appears again but not as much as standard. Sadly this is the trade I must take to have my subwoofer at the boot.

The photo shown below is the car in its current setting with spare and subwoofer fitted.




Edited by DANZZT231
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Now that the engine sings more melody and the handling is as smooth as butter, time to pay attention to the sound coming out from the muffler.

Its very hard to determine what kind of muffler suited best for 2zz-ge, and I can only think of TRD. But $1000 is not cheap and money is running short. So a quick check of the muffler and I found there is this small resonator sitting behind the muffler tips.

A resonator after the muffler? I don't need that thanks.

So I ask my mechanic to cut that resonator out and replace it with a pipe and a new tip instead. The length of the pipe is made longer than the length of the resonator to allow the muffler tip to be exposed. On standard the tips was behind the bumper and that is not right.

The result is quite nice. More raspy noise, more humming, and of course more screaming noise during lift.

And it still looks like standard too.



Edited by DANZZT231
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for the kind reception guys.

Here are some more photos.

Shot taken in motion looks very cool: Thank you Tangcla

(Notice how my wiper blade was stuck due to the ribbon)

And some old photos of the hamster: I miss ya gal.








Edited by DANZZT231
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 8 months later...

Hello boys,

I recently upgrade few more parts for the Celica.

Set of TRD Swaybars

Cusco Camber plate and Cusco master brake cylinder stopper


Volk Racing GT-N 17x7 +29 wrapped in Bridgestone 215/45/17 <--- too thick, but its 2nd hand so yeah.


The TRD swaybars made huge improvements and with the cusco camber on board I can now dial in more advance wheel alignment. The camber plate don't reduce comfort at all!

Once the tyres are finish, I will then look for a set of Falken FK452 215/40/17. Sporty enough and absolutely brilliant on the wet.

Few more pics:



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Cheers guys :)

I think the styling is done. Maybe TRD wing but I kinda have dilemma because now it looks more slimline and smooth flowing.

Next would be exhaust and drivetrain, but these two can wait for longer period (thank goodness for that).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hey dude, how u been?

Where are you now anyway?

Been busy these days.

I'm in Newcastle this year for work, but could be coming back to Melb as early as December.

A few months ago a mate in Newy and I did an engine conversion for the Starlet. :toast:

Are you going to come to track days now you are 2gg powered?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 months later...

Update 2009:

I bought genuine TRD wing for a price can only be described as a steal. I didn't really want to change the wing as I like how it is subtle with the low spoiler, but the price was too good to be missed. Strange how all my parts were purchased at low low price, it must be fate.

Nonetheless the wing is 2nd hand and it is painted in OEM Toyota black. In the beginning I thought I will paint it white but leave the mid-blade black. But I am not interested in spending money to paint it as I don't view the TRD wing as a real necessity to the aesthetic of the car.

Keen to feel what aerodynamic changes to the car, so I thought let's fit it as it is and see how it look like without painting it white:




Not bad, I think it actually looks interesting.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Join The Club

    Join the Toyota Owners Club and be part of the Community. It's FREE!

  • Latest Postings

    1. 0

      Tray swap

    2. 8

      Best Oil for 2014 Lancruiser GXL 200 series TT V8 Diesel

    3. 4

      Average Fuel consumption display

    4. 5

      Error on my navigation system - Land Cruiser

    5. 3

      2000 Hilux Clutch replacement

    6. 0

      2020 Camy Hybrid EV battery problem.

    7. 0

      Vault Carry

    8. 6

      Steering shudder

    9. 0

      Reverse sensors - how to disable

    10. 1

      Rav4 2001 - Headlights not working

  • Create New...