View Full Version : project: I dont have a name for her yet - ST165

08-19-2010, 08:20 PM
Since Ive decided to keep this one as a personal project and not a "flipper" I think its appropriate that I start a build thread here for this car. In case you missed my introduction thread here (http://www.celicatech.com/forums/showthread.php?t=49244) let me reintroduce the car:

1988 ST165 with 220K miles (yes, thats right, almost to the Moon), White on Blue, pretty much bone stock.

http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash2/hs111.ash2/38876_137706132935446_100000881806029_171517_77139 95_n.jpg

Im hoping that by having a build thread it will force me to better document its progress. I will post some more pics soon but this is a quick rundown of whats been done so far, followed by what I have planned.


replaced a stuck TPS, fixed timing
changed plugs to heat range 6
shimmed the wastegate to around 10lbs
added a knockoff SSQV on a T-hose
installed some Enkie RF-1A wheels with Falken Zeix ZE512's
shortened shifter
straight intake/battery relocation underway

To do list:

find and install ST185 front brakes
install 3" downpipe and build custom mid/rear pipes
powdercoat wheels semi gloss black (or maybe gunmetal)
solve oil leak (pretty sure its the turbo return line)
install lowering springs
smoke lenses
upgrade lighting

stay tuned, more pics to come soon!

08-19-2010, 08:27 PM
planning on doing anything to the engine?

08-19-2010, 09:09 PM
Internally? probably not. I did a compression test on it and its a nice 172-175 across the board. Once I get the oil leak fixed (its not horrible, but its persistent) I plan to switch to synthetic oil and add a nice larger aftermarket oil cooler and perhaps a large remote filter, as I did on my supra.

I will probably upgrade the turbo to either a 20b or at least a 57 trim 26. Im no longer one of those "quest for speed" guys. I like to have a good solid runner that is just above average on the street but is reliable for everyday use.

For me this car will always be a compromise between performance and efficiency/reliability, and between handling and comfort. "Middle of the road" is my motto ;)

08-20-2010, 06:13 AM
So, I still need to get a decent day to go do a little photoshoot, but for now, this will show you want she looks like as of today:


This is the "panda" color change Im considering for the car:
(sorry about my crappy photoshop skills)



I finished off my Intake mod and battery relocate enough to drive it. I still need to take it all back apart and do some clean up in that area, and make a mount to lock the AFM down. I then plan to build a cold air box to partition it off in. I also plan to make a custom remote battery jumper cable location so I can seal off the battery in the hatch semi-permanently in a vented box. That way if I ever need a jump I will have something resembling battery posts under the hood to attach to.

Here is what it looks like right now:

My Supra TT fuel pump showed up late today so I quickly installed that. While doing so I discovered my fuel return line going into the tank was in fact completely clogged. I have no idea how I wasnt running pig rich...maybe the crappy pump? no wonder it was experiencing thermal shut downs. I get the feeling this car might have sat somewhere for a while.

While doing the battery relocate I discovered also that one of my rear speaker was actually full of water! lol. So I drained that, changed out the speaker and will have to see if I can figure out where the leak is/was. The hatch seal looks ok, so Im going to guess and say the rear quarter window?

And finally:
This sweet tubular manifold showed up today on the UPS truck:

The problem is, I didnt order, nor do I want, a tubular manifold! I was expecting a downpipe to delete the cat. I need to get up in there and track down my oil leak so that will have to wait until I have a replacement DP here.

08-20-2010, 09:13 AM
mmmmmm I love white 4th gens. Nice trac, it's good to see it in good hands.

08-20-2010, 09:29 AM
nice. i urge yo to please keep it white. no panda scheme

08-21-2010, 06:07 AM
Well today was alot of work for very little reward. I pulled the fuel injectors out and ran them through my "Super Duper Injector Cleaning Machine"...which consists of an old fuel pump/pressure regulator, some hoses, a coffee can, a salsa jar and some electricals...

Here it is in action on the injectors from my MR2:



I say very little reward because all of the injectors had good flow and spray patterns already, but this gave me peace of mind. Now I know that I shouldnt have any lean cylinders, and I was able to clean and inspect the last of the stock fuel system that I havent already taken apart. Im still kind of amazed this car has 220K miles on it.

I feel like its all ready for 13-15lbs of boost once I get the exhaust system taken care of. My replacement DP was shipped today. I should see it by the middle of next week.

While I was "in there" I also cleaned (and tested in my injector rig) a completely clogged cold start injector, and got a nice spray pattern out of it. I then cleaned the TB and replaced the IACV hose. When I went to start it, I thought I screwed something up because it wouldnt idle...until I found the vacuum line on the idle up controller had somehow gotten pulled off.

The extra time that took to find made me too late to pick of beer from the little country store...so I drove 30 miles into town in an untested rig, lol. The things we do for beer on a Friday night.

08-22-2010, 02:12 AM
as promised, some new pics of the car as she sits:








08-22-2010, 02:49 AM
look great. nice to see a clean all trac
I need to give mine a good clean as well. they get dirty so fast parked at construction site :(

09-04-2010, 04:05 AM
I thought I would force myself to update this but again Ive been lazy.

I had a both of the CV boots on the passenger front go bad so yesterday I replaced that axle with a reman'd unit. Since I drained the fluids I went ahead and switched to Redline MTL (MT-90). It didnt improve my crunchy second gear but I didnt really expect it to.

Today I built my Radio Shack Blackbox FCD. (http://www.alltrac.net/mods/fuelcut.htm). I rigged up a way to use my boost gauge and the pressure regulator on my air compressor to dial it in to 15lbs. After that I hooked up my manual boost controller and set about adjusting it. Ive discovered that Im overboosting 1-2 lbs before the wastegate opens and the pressure settles down. That left me only able to adjust up to about 12lbs sustained. Thats fine as that was my goal for high boost setting anyway on this turbo.

I havent noticed any knock at that setting on 93pump, but I have been set at 9 base timing for safety during some of my tuning and fuel system repairs/mods. I think Im going to put that back to factory 10 and put in the BKP7's I bought a while back.

Anyone see any fault in this tuning so far? The car is pulling hard and feels pretty good right now. My only complaint is a partial throttle miss only in the upper gears under heavy load (like 3/4 throttle up hill as she builds boost, she stumbles a little).

The only other thing Ive done recently is cut out the spare tire hold down and pound the tire well flat in prep for my sub enclosure. I will be installing a single 10" and molding that together in fiberglass with a cover for my battery. Gonna need a little more cash before I start that.

09-04-2010, 05:42 PM
Hmm, funny about where you think the source of your oil leak is, because I'm pretty sure my 165 is leaking oil from the feed/return at the turbo. It's getting onto the exhaust and making a bit of smoke which is more smelly and annoying than anything else as it's still fairly minor. Hard to be sure if that's the actual source of the oil with how darn cramped it is in there, and I'm not at all looking forward to getting at that.

I assume you're waiting to get the downpipe in and take care of all that at once? Your car is looking good and makes me feel a bit guilty that the Supra is taking all of my labor time and funds right now while the 165 gets beat on as a daily :smile1:

09-04-2010, 06:06 PM
Well actually, Im a moron and ordered an ST185 DP and discovered it wouldnt work...DUH! So thats on the back burner. I did, however, get in there and remove the cat to gut it and fix my oil leak. It was the feed line in fact.

It looked like someone cross threaded one of the two bolts that join the line in the middle. So they slapped on a bunch of FIPG and a bunch of washers on the crossed bolt...it also looked like they used a piece of Fruit Loops box as the gasket. Grrrrrr

I removed all that crap, retapped the holes, made a proper gasket (I make my own most of the time, but use real material, not cereal boxes, lol), and got it all buttoned up. No more leaking, no more smoking at stop lights.

P.S. T-Spoon I bet we know some of the same people from Houston and now in Seattle if you are in the celica/supra scene. Do you know Alex? had a 6th gen in Houston? Im better known as theWeezL down there.

09-04-2010, 08:58 PM
Alex Ngo? Blue 6g coupe?

09-05-2010, 03:40 AM
yeah thats him.

09-05-2010, 04:02 AM
Heh, funny.. small world. He's my brother in law. That 6gen was mine when I joined the Celica online world and it was named T-spoon, hence my userID. I sold him the 6g when I bought my Supra. That 6g.. sadly.. is now scrap metal and he drives a G35.

09-05-2010, 05:34 AM
I new that car was named T-Spoon and when I saw you here and that you had a supra I thought maybe YOU were Alex, until I saw your picture. I knew he bought a G35, in fact that was the last thing I heard from him. He was one of the guys along with Steven Maaland and Brandon...(foreget his last name, big kid, blew up several supras) that I used to meet up with out on Westheimer or at the Jamba Juice meets. I had my 89 supra known as Lucy (Lucifer) back then.

Sure its a small world, but the toyota fanatic community is even smaller. WE tend to pop up again and again, lol. If you talk to Alex tell him Weez said Hi!

09-05-2010, 07:35 AM
Yeah, I didn't get together with car people all that often down there, partly because most of it happened on the north side and we lived closer to Pearland. I'll tell Alex you found a good car site, sure beats Houstonimports :lmfao:

Anyway, I guess your thread has been derailed enough at this point.. although I suppose you started it so it's ok :hehe:

09-05-2010, 08:14 AM
its ok, there was nothing going on in here anyway. No matter how much i try, I am just not good at documenting what I do day to day.

09-24-2010, 01:32 AM
Since I had enough scraps of leather left over from previous projects I decided to go ahead and re-wrap my steering wheel. I didnt have scraps large enough to do a stock 2 piece so I decided to do a 4 piece design. I also chose to do an aftermarket style cross stitch with blue thread. Here is the result:



Stitching details:

P.S. Im looking for a gray or black Turbo horn button and cruise control switch setup if anyone was one for sale.

09-24-2010, 05:06 AM
Gorgeous work on that steering wheel!!!!

09-24-2010, 06:02 AM
well...ill tell u what u drive that beast to my house ill let u switch the cruise switch for free. Mines black in my spare car. Its the same set up.

09-24-2010, 06:33 AM
187, I dont get to pdx that often but I'll let you knw the next time Im headed up that way and take you up on that!

09-24-2010, 04:45 PM
Wow, great work on the steering wheel!! I've got to assume you've done that before? Mind giving us a little how-to? Or maybe a bit tricky for a first timer?

09-24-2010, 06:19 PM
Ask and you shall recieve!

(actually I posted that yesterday, you just missed it ;) )

09-24-2010, 08:49 PM
where in Oregon do u reside in

09-24-2010, 09:51 PM
Im nearest to Burnt Woods with a Blodgett mailing address. In simpler terms, Im halfway between Corvallis and Newport off hwy20. It takes me about 2 hours to get to PDX.

09-25-2010, 06:53 AM
damn....well if u want it. U have to do the swapping tho...lol

10-13-2010, 03:11 AM
So, I managed to find my missing black CC switch to match my wheel and got that installed. Ive also been slowly working on some other additions. Not really much to say about them really so I'll just let the pictures do the talking.

Manual boost controller set up in center console:

New shifter boot and restitched my momo shift knob to match my wheel.

Installed a drink holder under the head unit.

The "office"

Finally got started on the CAI box. It will eventually be insulated and sealed from the rest of the engine bay.

I managed to buy a twin scoll 2nd gen CT26 from a member here and when that arrives I will be starting to build my exhaust. That will be the last "power adder" I put on the car and after that will begin to focus on suspension and brakes. The plans are for coilovers, ST185 brakes, upgraded sway bars, frame/chassis bracing and cleanup/restoration of the rest of the chassis to rollback back some miles.

10-13-2010, 03:31 AM
Very clean work, I love your attention to detail. Props man..

The injector cleaner gave me a laugh but its actually a good idea. Ever have any issues with electrical sparks? I assume you run gas through the injectors when testing them.

Only issue I see with your tuning methods is A/F monitoring. Do you have a wideband or any accurate way of measuring the air/fuel ratio? I'd be nervous playing around with anything but timing without a wideband.

How is your MBC working? I considered routing mine into the interior but heard there can be issues with running the vacuum lines too long.

Oh yeah, I have a blue hatch privacy cover for a 4th gen sitting in my garage. Not sure if you have yours (their usually gone) or if you want one but if your interested shoot me a PM.

10-13-2010, 04:02 AM
regarding the Injector cleaner I do run a gasoline/seafoam/techron mixture through the injectors of course to clean them. I have the electricals isolated from the rest of the system in a little box. Im not running any power anywhere near the injector when Im switching them out and hooking them up. Then once Im ready to run a cleaning cycle I just have to click a couple switches. Its not fool proof but its reasonable safe I believe.

As for tuning, Im not really "tuning" anything. Im still on the stock ECU so pretty much all Ive done is turn up the boost and provide the support for the increased pressure (straight intake, open exhaust, cooler plug, etc.). I do agree however and I really would like a wideband for monitoring purposes, but just feel I dont quite need to have one for "tuning" at this point.

The MBC seems to work ok but I am actually concerned that its possible its the reason that I have slight overboost in lower gears before the gate catches up. As I said I have a gen2 turbo coming and if I still have the same issue with the new turbo I'll probably try a differnet set up with the controller. I eventually will go EBC, but this is serving the purpose for now.

...and yeah I'll PM you about the privacy shade

10-23-2010, 12:03 AM
Well so I finally got the 2nd gen turbo swapped over into her. Power is nice and smooth but ive yet to turn the boost up past 10. I still need to do a little work on the exhaust as its hitting near the resonator and making some noise.

Anyway, after I had her back together and fully tested I went and made a little video to show her off. Enjoy!


10-23-2010, 04:04 AM
Have you named her yet :P This thread reminds me of a kid i went to school with named "Noname Garcia"... No bullshit, that was his legal name.

10-23-2010, 04:08 AM
yeah, sorry, her name is Lily now.

11-09-2010, 05:51 AM
OK so I finally got a chance to finish my CAI and battery area reconfigure. I still need to make my underhood battery post setup. Im trying to decide what kind of material to use.

I lengthened my intake tube and because of that I ended up making a new block off panel. Here is a before and after of that corner under the hood:



I then finished off the edge with some split hose:

The weather has sucked here this week but I also managed to nightshade my lenses. I plan to install multi-LED bulbs to compensate for the tint. They actually look darker in the pictures than they really are.




Once I'm fully happy with the location of everything I going to do a little touch up painting in this area as well. The battery of course ate the pain under the old tray. I'll convert the rust and sand it all out smooth before matching the paint.

The next phase is to continue the White/Black theme and start converting the interior to black. Then I plan to tint the windows and finally have the wheels powdercoated black.

On the wheels I've always liked just a touch of "bling" on my cars so Im seriously considering doing my wheels in a "mirror black" like this:


Once I switch to studs for winter I can start prepping the wheels for coating. My powdercoater will do a set of 4 wheels for $150

11-24-2010, 02:53 AM
no real reason other than to show off:

http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc4/hs1126.snc4/148871_164347920271267_100000881806029_288748_5001 394_n.jpg

http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc4/hs1231.snc4/156360_164347896937936_100000881806029_288747_2864 02_n.jpg

http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc4/hs1124.snc4/148654_164347843604608_100000881806029_288746_2172 257_n.jpg

Can anyone say December COTM? ;)

11-24-2010, 03:47 AM
Nice pics!! Love winter pics with tracs................where their meant to be used lol.

12-05-2010, 12:55 AM


12-05-2010, 06:48 AM
^ Why you sellin' it already?

12-05-2010, 06:33 PM
want to get an ST185 ;)

12-06-2010, 05:40 PM
Love those winter pics. 185 is overrated, keep the 165 alive! (ok maybe I'm saying that b/c I dont have one :P )

12-06-2010, 08:36 PM
I hear ya Chris but at my age and with as many cars as Ive owned I find it hard to get too attached to anything (or anyone for that matter) for very long. Im on a constant search for "the perfect car" (within my limited budget), and part of that process requires I give up cars that I love to try a new one on. This sometimes backfires and Ive kept cars for as little as a couple weeks before it went back up for sale.

Obviously you can tell Im not ALL that hot to sell the car or the price would be more realistic. I was kinda just feeling out the market around here and seeing what kind of interest I could generate. I suspect the real selling price of the car is closer to $3500 but Ive asked WAY too much for a car before and still sold it soooooo....

In all honesty, the car isnt really ready for sale and Im not ready to sell it. I will probably drive this all winter and continue to improve the car until I either run out of money or my lease is up on the shop. I have loved living out here in the country but I dont think I want to live here another winter.

12-07-2010, 01:12 AM
Very nice pics!!

01-14-2011, 03:31 AM
Well, the time came and the right buyer was found. Lily has a new owner. I wouldnt say I was heartbroken. We've been growing apart all winter, but...the shop is so empty without her.

01-14-2011, 03:44 AM
What bulbs did you use in your Corners that they were so bright thru the tinting?

Can you link them to me?

01-14-2011, 03:46 AM

On to bigger and better things I suppose eh?

01-14-2011, 04:11 AM
bigger? better? hard to say...different is all I can say right now. I missed a deal on a 91MR2 and a 89 Cressida for cheap locally. Ive also been looking at Lexus LS400's and SC400's
Im even looking at classic american as well. There is a 72 Buick Riviera (last of the boatbacks) thats tempting...

Im never too far from a Celica though. I would love to find a dirt cheap 5G or 6G for a non-dd backup.

01-14-2011, 05:28 AM
The metaphorical bigger and better of course. ;) Sounds like you are entertaining quite the spectrum, good luck with your next choice!