View Full Version : Richee3's progress thread.

09-04-2010, 05:28 AM
Hey all, how's it going? I'm Daniel, or richee3. I post quite a bit over on 6gc, but seldom ever post on Celicatech. To be honest.. I think I have one post. I met up with a couple of members from Celicatech recently and they've inspired me to start a thread over here as well. I've been through 3 6gc's and this is my fourth. I'll give a brief history.

Back in '96, a dark gray/blue Celica pulled into my driveway and dropped my older brother off. It was the first Celica I had ever seen, and I liked it. My brother was always telling me of how fast the car was and how much fun it was. (Sometime thereafter, I discovered the Supra and it became my favorite car.) A few short years later, I got my first Celica. It was a 3L2 1996 ST automatic. It was slow, but you could eat off of the carpets. Detailed every week, oil changed every 2,500 miles, garage kept, old lady driven, etc. Plus you can't complain about 35 mpg. I had it 5 months to the day and a deer took care of that car.


Blown airbags, twisted frame, the works. I was only going 45. So 3 long months of searching later, I found a black '98 GT 5 speed that was 3 hours away from me, but my parents and I made the drive and brought it home.


Then I was driving home from work one night and a deer decided to rape the driver's side of this car in the middle of town.


$3,250 in damage, and it would have been more if I had my windows closed. That deer would have busted the window out all over me. While that car was in the shop, I found a '96 ST coupe for sale for $400. The thought of a project crossed my mind, but I was broke so I parted it out for some extra cash.


Got the black car back, many more miles of happy motoring passed, and due to a sudden turn in events, I had to sell my Celica. I picked up a 2002 Lexus IS 300 to replace it, but I quickly became bored with the IS and after only a month, I learned that the gray/blue Celica at the start of this thread was for sale. Keep in mind that it was my brother's friend's mom's car and it was maintained to a T when she owned it. Then she sold it to my brother's friend, her son, and he trashed it. Within a year, the seats were ripped, the paint was faded, and most importantly, the engine was locked up. He was selling it for $250. It's the Celica that got me into Celicas, and it became mine.


So now I own it. Faded paint, nasty ripped seats, smoker's car, super blown engine. Let the progress begin. The general idea is to have SS-III front splitters, TRD skirts and rear splitters, and I'm undecided for the spoiler. Simple 5 spoke rims. Lowered on Eibach Sportline's and KYB GR2's. For the powerplant, I'm back and forth between a 3S-GTE, 3S-GE BEAMS, and a simple replacement 5S-FE just because it's cheap, incredibly reliable, and gets great gas mileage.

First mod was sound insulation, using Frost King- no pictures of that. Second came the battery relocation, to try to help the poor balance of a 6gc. I built the box myself and used 4 gauge wire to run from the engine bay to the trunk. I used a draw catch to keep the lid closed, and strap hinges to make it open and close easily. All works well.


After that came reupholstering the front seats. I got the seat covers for $75 or $175 or something like that after shipping... I don't remember how much. They are from a member on 6gc who makes things like this. Fitment isn't 100% perfect, and I was intending to stay with black seats, but I couldn't argue with the price on these. And although they are a little loose, they are a 300% improvement over the factory seats with gaping holes. These seat covers will be swapped out later on down the road for black covers that fit better.


Found a good deal on some JDM tails, so I picked those up.


Then I pulled the motor with the help of two drunken friends. So basically, I pulled the motor and they watched. This is all the oil that the motor had left in it.


The next day, after the help left...


Then I picked up a DCW gauge pod, just because they're pretty hard to find and I got a good deal on it. I may stay naturally aspirated, which would completely defeat the point of the gauge pod. But I've got it just in case.


And that brings you guys up to date with where I'm at. The car sits in the yard behind my garage while I DD the IS 300.


As of right now, I am looking at buying another 5S-FE and using the car as a FWD beater car to make it through an Illinois winter, simply because I don't want to get the IS 300 out in snow and risk it. Anyone knows of a 5S-FE on the cheap, let me know ;) Also, feel free to head over to 6gc and check out my progress thread (http://www.6gc.net/forums/index.php?showtopic=73135) there. It is likely to see updates more often than this thread, but I'll keep you guys as informed as possible. Thanks for reading :mj:

09-04-2010, 07:23 AM
Definitely keep us updated mang! :)

09-06-2010, 03:33 AM
Definitely keep us updated mang! :)

Will do! And for what it's worth, the total cost of this project so far INCLUDING the cost of the car and title is $830. Who says you can't build a Celica on a budget?

09-06-2010, 04:08 PM
Glad you finally made it over here Daniel. I wouldn't say we tried to inspire you so much as we twisted your arm and said, "post on ctech NAO!" lol . Can't wait to see your progress on this car. Whether it's in the IS or the 6g, hope you come down to the Dragon with us next year :P

09-06-2010, 04:26 PM
Whether it's in the IS or the 6g, hope you come down to the Dragon with us next year :P

Werd. It makes IL-71 look like :piss2:....

09-07-2010, 04:36 AM
Haha I wouldn't say my arm was twisted... I wanted to go to the Dragon last year, but I was without a Celica and I had just spent $5,000 on the IS. I was feeling that expense. It hurt. But for what it's worth, I'm about $500 away from having the motor I want for this car. Let's just say I've got big plans for it and it's going to either be ridiculously easy to swap or else it's going to be a nightmare and I'm sending the car to Tweak. Either way, I hope to have the motor by this time next month and have the car running before Winter.

In other news, I bought a set of genuine TRD splitters for my black car at one point in time, and I just managed to pick up that exact same set and they're on the way for this car. Real Toyota parts FTW... even if I can't put them on until I get new fender protectors and get a set of sideskirts.

09-07-2010, 05:55 AM
wow, lookin good man, keep up the good work

02-21-2011, 04:02 AM
Update: It's been forever since I've done anything to the car. The last time I posted, I was just a few hundred away from buying a motor and getting this car back on the road. The day I received my paycheck that gave me enough money to buy the motor, I was let go at work. That was last September. So I've spent a few months scrambling around from job to job trying to find something that will pay the bills and I had to let the Celica sit. The good news is that while I couldn't afford to do anything to the car, I've officially decided which motor I will be swapping. It's not a motor that was ever available in a Celica, yet swapping it will be easy. It bolts right in. There is some slight wiring work, but it couldn't be any easier. I wish I could tell you all which motor I am going with, but I'm keeping it pretty quiet. 6gc.net has a group mentality that ONLY the 3S-GTE and 3S-GE Redtop can be swapped into a Celica, and everything else is impossible. Both of those swaps are nice, but both are somewhat expensive. My swap will be done start to finish for under $2,000. I can use my S54 transmission and factory exhaust. I'm not going for big power. I'm merely proving that other motors will fit in the car and you don't have to have $5,000 for a motor swap. When my swap is finished, I'll be 10 hp short of a BEAMS Redtop. The biggest perk is that this swap will cost only a few hundred more than a replacement used 5S-FE, yet I'm getting an extra ~50 hp.

The real point of this update is to let everyone know that I have started a new job that pays pretty well and I will be picking this thread up again. Within two months, I should have the motor and if the car isn't running, it will be close. The only progress I've made with this car since last September is that I gave my TRD rear splitters and JDM tails to the girlfriend for Christmas and that I sold the DCW gauge pod to bloodMoney. My plan right now is to get the car running, do the suspension work, get a radio in it, then pay off my IS 300. After the IS is paid off, I'll devote myself to finishing the body work. I'm torn between leaving the car the color that it is now or getting it painted black. The guys on 6gc all vote to leave it this color because apparently it's such a 'rare' color. However, it's not a color that I've ever loved. Any input?

02-21-2011, 06:40 AM
Your car, so I would say go with black. I do like that color though............

So, A series motor? Had to take a guess.

02-21-2011, 07:13 PM
Daniel lives! Thanks for the update. Can't wait to see what you do!

02-21-2011, 11:08 PM
Nope, not an A series. Good guess though. The motor I'm going with will bolt in using the motor mounts I already have, so no need for an A series motor mount.

Yes, I am still alive! I've just been working on the girl's Celica because it already runs and leaving mine alone. I've just added more sound insulation but otherwise I've just taken parts off.

02-22-2011, 12:27 AM
I still can't wait to see this Daniel. I've got some ideas myself, but there's no job to back it up with....

04-23-2011, 01:25 AM
You guys get an update before 6gc.net. The engine will be here next Wednesday. Chris, I'm going to order everything else to finish the swap (clutch, axles, etc.) then buy a pair of doors then I'll be giving you a call.

04-23-2011, 04:22 AM

Just let me know and I'll set a weekend aside to do w3rk :)

04-23-2011, 04:37 AM
If it's a weekend, I'll be there to help too!

04-23-2011, 07:11 AM
Woot! Get 'er done. :)

04-24-2011, 03:16 AM
Thanks guys. It'll have to be a weekend because Sundays are my only day off. I can take Saturdays off but I'd rather not. I've got the kind of boss that likes to fire you if you ask off. I'm off at 5 though, and I would like to have all the wiring done soon. That way, we would only have to put the clutch and tranny on, put the axles on, and drop it in the bay. It'll be a few weeks though, so I can find a good paif of doors. Gotta give cookies to anyone willing to help with a swap.

04-24-2011, 04:38 AM
Like I said, just let me know.

I like cookies :)

04-24-2011, 07:06 AM
Looking good man,keep us updated!!
I like the car color,but if you could paint it black I would go for it!

05-01-2011, 04:38 PM
Update: The motor has arrived.


It's a 3S-GE Gretytop from a Caldina. Essentially the same thing as the Redtop, just 10 hp less and it didn't cost me an arm and a leg. For the life of me, I can't figure out why nobody has swapped one into a Celica yet. It bolts right in, and the swap process is exactly the same as the Redtop swap. The Redtop will cost $2,000 on Ebay for a cheap one in decent condition, and I only paid $1,250. Here's the basic condition the motor is in:

Factory header.

Cut alternator plug... Lame.

Can't check my oil? Denied!

Melted plug- looks like I'll be trying to find a new one. Right after I figure out what this plug is even for.

The throttle body seriously needs to be cleaned.

Slight oil leak- I'm debating whether I want to buy a new gasket or just let it leak. Sourcing parts for the Greytop isn't proving to be easy.


The clutch should be in very soon, and I'm going on a parts ordering binge today. The biggest problems I foresee for this swap are the missing fusebox from my wiring harness. The missing fusebox itself doesn't concern me. I just can't figure out where on the wiring harness that it would even go. Nothing is cut from the harness and there really isn't anywhere for it to go. So I'll need to figure that out, but I'll be getting outside and getting some work done today. I'll be pulling the AWD transaxle off and pulling the flywheel out to get it resurfaced, cleaning the throttle body, and checking the motor out, top to bottom. I'll post again as soon as I have another update.

05-01-2011, 10:20 PM
Looks good buddy :)

Do you have an idea of when you're going to want to get this done?

05-02-2011, 01:37 AM
Small update, but progress nonetheless. The automatic AWD transmission is off the Greytop, awaiting a new clutch which should be here soon. The melted plug, as I thought, is definitely for the igniter. I can just go grab one from a Camry in a junkyard. Easy. The biggest problem right now is a pretty big one. I'm not in over my head yet, but I get the feeling that I'll be pulling some hair out before the end of this swap. The issue is that when I pulled the 5S from the bay, I had to pull a section of the fusebox with it. The Greytop, it seems, has that bit of fusebox on a different wiring harness. So I'm going to have to figure some wiring out in order to make anything work.

Chris, I would love to see it in and started within the next 30 days, but I know that's a zealous goal. I did order all the parts I need today, excluding hoses. Oddly, those are the bits I found to be too expensive. Lol. I'll order those sometime closer to the completion of the swap. I'll have to figure this wiring out then I'll start to get everything else under control. Hopefully I'll be getting the S54 bolted to the Greytop by the end of this week.

05-17-2011, 10:36 PM
Change of plans- got a steal on a Redtop BEAMS and I've decided to drop that in my car instead of the Greytop. However, the Greytop swap will proceed at planned, but in the girlfriend's Celica. We're going to have mr220v make a wiring harness for that. I just picked up a lightweight flywheel for the Redtop, against my will, but I had to have a flywheel anyway. All I have to get now is a disc for the clutch and hoses and this car will be ready to swap.


05-18-2011, 07:48 PM
Nice. Like the motor choice. I have been looking at that for my corolla since the beams also came in a RWD configuration.

05-18-2011, 10:38 PM
I believe the grey top also came in the Rav4 as well... thats my choice for engine swap too hahaha, at least now I know to look forward to the wiring woes haha.

05-26-2011, 04:24 AM
Nice. Like the motor choice. I have been looking at that for my corolla since the beams also came in a RWD configuration.
There's a lot of good information over on the MR2 BEAMS Owners Group. I'd love to get a ride in a BEAMS-swapped Corolla.

I believe the grey top also came in the Rav4 as well... thats my choice for engine swap too hahaha, at least now I know to look forward to the wiring woes haha.
The Greytop came in the Caldina and Rav4, and certain places seem to claim that the Rav4 made 177 hp and the Caldina did 187. However, there is no difference between the two motors, no difference in the ECU, nothing. The Greytop makes 187 regardless of if it came in the Caldina or Rav4. It's mechanically the same engine as the Redtop, but the wiring harness and header are different. The wiring harness for the Greytop has the fusebox on the body harness, not the motor harness. As I posted above, mr220v can handle the harness for you and his price is more than reasonable. The header on the Greytop raises higher than the Redtop, and has a catalytic converter in it where the Redtop doesn't. As far as I know, the Greytop has never been put in a 6th gen Celica, but I think it has found it's way into a few 4th and 5th gens.

A little bitty update for you guys... Two years ago, I parted out a Celica. Rather than dealing with shipping bigger items, I told people that they could have them for free if they came and picked them up. One guy was down on his luck and had just gotten t-boned. He has a 3rd gen 3S-GTE swap so he didn't want to report the hit and run to his insurance company because he knew they'd total the car out. He came and picked up a door from me, and a few days ago, I got a PM from him saying that he has just finished med school and wanted to thank me for the help I gave him when he needed it, so he sent me a GT4 rear strut bar for free.


There's only one small, epic problem with it. Last summer, I relocated the battery to the trunk and built myself a custom box for it.


Yeah, I'd say that box isn't going to open once I install the strut bar.

Today, I picked up the last of my hoses. I just need to order a 3S-GE BEAMS clutch disc, ST185 pressure plate, and get those bolted up to the lightweight flywheel I got in the mail today. I'm looking up wiring diagrams to figure out exactly which pin is pin 17 and 4 on the EA1 plug. The Redtop wiring diagrams seem to have omitted the EA1. I'm bribing Chris and Stacy to help out with the swap, which should hopefully be starting sometime soon. I'll post more as I get more done.

05-26-2011, 10:28 PM
22-ish days and counting down until our next roadtrip. I'm excited.

You need to be at the Dragon next year buddy. It was awesome.

05-31-2011, 03:48 AM
Everything is purchased and on the way... everything minus the intake. That thing is a pain to find, and don't expect to find one priced reasonably. My best bet right now is a $200 Injen intake, and it looks like that's the one I'm going to have to have. I could get a $130 Weapon-R intake and buy a decent air filter though... We'll see. Other than the intake, I'm now counting down the days until swap time. I've got the wiring essentially figured out, I just need to actually get the wiring done. Probably Wednesday. Stacy, it looks like I'll actually need your help with some wiring- a Dakota Digital SGI-8 tach adaptor. I don't have the slightest idea where to begin with that thing.

My goal for this week is the finish my wiring excluding the tach adaptor and get the tranny bolted up to the BEAMS. Once I get everything put together, I will be documenting all the necessary steps to swap a Redtop into a 6th gen Celica. It's an easy swap, but the people who have done it so far find it to be so easy that they don't mention what goes where for the next person to start swapping.

05-31-2011, 04:34 AM
The tach adapter just looks like 4 wires - power, ground, tach input (from the coil) and output (to your tachometer). Shouldn't be an issue. See you in a few weeks.

05-31-2011, 10:38 PM
See, I was already too confused. That's why I don't touch that stuff. I have no idea which wires go where or which wires go to my tach. I totally owe you guys.

Little update, I powdercoated my heat shield for my header yesterday... Not sure I like it. It's too bright. I think I'm going to strip it down and do a darker silver, or maybe a flat black if I can find a high temp flat black powder. Either way, I'll probably get the motor in the car and running before I worry about buying a new color of powder.


06-01-2011, 05:14 AM
Do you have a high temp black that we could powdercoat my heat shield with when we get up there? lol

06-01-2011, 11:20 PM
No, I only have a high-temp silver. I do have a regular wet black that would suffice for your heat shield, but it's pretty glossy.

06-02-2011, 04:09 AM
I guess we'll have to see when I get up there....

06-11-2011, 02:25 AM
One week left!

06-11-2011, 02:54 AM

06-13-2011, 05:37 PM
Less than 5 days and so many last minute changes. Either way, by Sunday, we will have a BEAMS swapped 6th gen.

06-16-2011, 02:26 AM
Quick change of plans, like Stacy said. Rather than swapping the Redtop into my gray car this weekend... You remember that black Celica I posted at the start of this thread?


Yeah, that one. The girlfriend bought that from me last year and we've decided to swap the Redtop into that. The reason being that we could swap the Redtop into my gray car but we wouldn't be able to drive it, so it's a moot point. I have another BEAMS that I'll put in my gray car later, so for now, the black car gets the Redtop. Plus my Lexus made out with a raccoon the other night and has a cracked bumper now, so I'm going to fix that before spending any more money on my Celica. 3 days to go and all I need to do is... Everything, all over again. Tomorrow I'm picking up the cherry picker, pulling the Celica into the garage, and getting started disconnecting all the wires and hoses. Friday, buying all the fluids and finishing up prepping the engine bay for the pull. We'll pull the motor out first thing Saturday morning and hopefully my mid-afternoon, we'll have a Redtop in the engine bay. Saturday evening and Sunday, we'll get it running right and, barring any catastrophes, we'll be wreaking havoc on the countryside, driving around in a BEAMS-powered Celica with an open header.

Stacy, let me know what you and Chris want to drink while you're out here. Jameson, I think you said?? I'm planning on grilling for us Saturday evening and I haven't planned anything else after that.

Shortly after the Lexus bumper is fixed, I'll be pulling the harness from the 5S and sending both my 5S harness and Greytop harness to mr220v, then I should just be able to buy a clutch, flywheel, and carrier bearing bracket and drop the Greytop in my Celica. How often do you get two BEAMS swaps in one thread?

06-16-2011, 02:35 AM
I'll be shipping you those extra tires I have, along with that carrier bracket when I get back up to Michigan.

06-16-2011, 03:42 AM
Wait, what? I'm not sure whose Celica will have more parts from the other guy when you and I are done, Chris. You've got JDM tails, HID's, and maybe that gauge pod from me if you end up going boosted and I'll have a flywheel (which I still owe you for) and a carrier bracket. I've been seriously tempted to dump my gray car lately, sell the BEAMS, and buy a mk3 Supra. Who knows what I'll end up doing.

06-16-2011, 04:48 AM
I told you that I've got those spare tires that are just sitting around that have about 50% life left. I'm not going to do anything with them, so I was just going to give them to you.

Its the same with the carrier bracket. I was like, "who am I going to sell this damn thing to?" I really don't care about getting anything for these parts because of the fact that you have done what you have for me.

BTW: I just got the flywheel off the other motor and I forgot how hard it was to separate the engine and trans from an alltrac. I'll be dropping it off in the morning and I'll pick it up Friday night.

06-17-2011, 02:44 AM
I haven't done that much for you though, I just found some JDM tails for cheap and sold them to you before I even got them, if I recall correctly. Then the HID's had to be sold anyway, and the gauge pod was pretty well useless to me. I really haven't done anything but sell stuff. As for the tires, shipping would cost a fortune and probably wouldn't be worth it. I'll gladly buy the flywheel and carrier bearing bracket from you though.

Update, the Celica was parked in the garage and the swap officially started today. All wiring is disconnected, all hoses but the power steering are pulled, and there's antifreeze all over my garage floor. Picking up the cherry picker and fluids tomorrow after work then I'm going to come back here and attempt to not spill any power steering fluid all over my floor. Chris, I'm going to wait for you and Stacy to get here before I pull the clips from the shift cables. Maybe you guys have an easier way of doing it than I did the first time. Wiring for the BEAMS looks so much simpler than the 5S... Same for hoses due to all the emissions stuff the 5S has.

06-18-2011, 03:24 AM
Tomorrow is the big day!

06-21-2011, 10:16 PM
The Redtop is in! But typical of any swap, we hit a major speedbump... It won't start. It turns over, but won't start. I'm guessing it's a fuel issue. It acts like it isn't getting anything at all. The other problem is that I only have an oil pressure and battery light. No check engine light or anything else. I'm still working out these issues, but here are a few pictures for now.

Last picture of the 5S in the car.

Finally, an empty engine bay.

The 5S out of the car and on the ground, where it belongs.

Resurfaced 3S-GTE OEM flywheel, thanks Chris!

The BEAMS getting ready to go in the car.

Typical of any swap, I had to use Gojo as a body wash.

Finally in!

06-22-2011, 04:44 AM
:) great job man!

06-22-2011, 04:58 AM
No fuel. No spark. Not even a check engine light. I hate to say this, but.... I'm starting to suspect a bad/wrong ECU. I'm using the ECU from my Greytop (tested and confirmed several times on the MR2 BEAMS Owners Group to work flawlessly with the Redtop) but I'm thinking this ECU didn't even work with my Greytop. Every 5S ECU I've ever seen says "5S-FE M/T" or "5S-FE A/T." Every BEAMS/3S-GE ECU I've seen says the same, being labeled appropriately for the engine. However, my ECU just has a part number, not a specific engine label. So either my ECU isn't really the right ECU at all, or else it simply doesn't work. I've talked to a few people and they say that I wouldn't have spark if I don't have any fuel, but my EFI relay and fuse are fine. Wiring is fine. All the signs are pointing at my ECU either not getting power, not working, or simply not being right at all.

06-22-2011, 06:02 AM
Time to bust out the volt meter.

Can you try to hot wire the fuel pump to test their theory that you wont get spark without fuel?

06-25-2011, 04:27 PM
^^ Already did. But it's all good, since I found the source of my problem. As I said in my last post, I found it odd that my ECU wasn't labeled which engine it was supposed to go with and whether it was an auto or manual tranny. I tried to Google the Toyota part number and oddly, my search returned zero results. I didn't even know there was a single search left in the world that wouldn't give a single result. So I went out for dinner and by the time I came back, a guy on 6gc had been more clever than me and dropped the word "Toyota" from his Google search. Turns out I have an ECU from a Subaru WRX STi.

06-25-2011, 07:47 PM
Now that sucks. Is it worth anything? Sell it and find the right one

06-26-2011, 01:24 AM
I haven't looked into selling this ECU yet, but I have considered that. Surely somebody with an '02 STi needs an ECU. I haven't found any solid leads on the right ECU yet, but there are a few people helping me out. Here's the update for the day. I found a B pipe on Ebay this morning. $195 shipped, which is close to what Toyota charges for a brand new one, but this one has the O2 sensor that I'm missing. I'd spend $195 and more at an exhaust shop getting a B pipe fabbed up and buying a new O2 sensor. I filled the tranny up with gear oil and put all 4 wheels back on the ground, then relocated the battery to the trunk. In my gray Celica, I didn't care how it looked but I did this one a little more professionally since it isn't my car. I installed my GT4 rear strut bar and took the OEM front strut bar from my '96 and put them in her car. Since updates are useless without pictures...


I'd love to finish putting the interior back together but I still need to get the right ECU and get it placed, then wire in my Dakota Digital tach converter. It's just a lot easier to do if the interior is apart. But for now, the car is waiting on the B pipe and a new ECU, then I'll hopefully be taking it for a drive.

06-26-2011, 05:14 AM
Fingers crossed buddy :)

06-27-2011, 05:19 PM
That sucks aabout the ECU, but atleast your almost there.

06-27-2011, 05:52 PM
Again, just give me a call and I can walk you through thetach adapter...

07-04-2011, 07:13 PM
The ECU just shipped. Should be here in a few days. I've had a few problems come up with some of the things I've bought- the wrong flywheel shipped to me, the motor that came with the wrong ECU, and then I uploaded $450 to Nengun to buy an ECU from Yahoo Auctions Japan... then they lost my money. I've opened a dispute on Paypal to get the money back. I bought the Greytop back in April so it's too late to start a dispute either on Paypal or Ebay to get the right ECU, and the seller is ignoring me. I might start a dispute anyway. I know it's too late, but maybe it'll get his attention. At any rate, I've got my B pipe on the motor now so once I get the ECU it should hopefully start up.

Stacy, I'm going to wire in the tach adapter after I get the car to start. I'm thinking it goes on the far right plug, but I'm not positive. Needless to say, I'm going to make sure I give myself plenty of wire to fix what mistakes I might make.

After the BEAMS starts, I've generously been given the old 5S to put in my gray car. The Greytop will eventually go in the car, but I'm going to go ahead and drop the 5S in it just because it's free.

07-06-2011, 04:29 AM
I don't think I know another person with luck as bad as yours. I'm sorry things have derailed with the swap. Hopefully Brigette hasn't murdered you yet.

07-07-2011, 12:47 AM
She's doing a pretty good job of keeping her cool. The ECU is now Stateside, so hopefully late this week or early next week, I'll get this thing started. 3 weeks of downtime on a swap this easy is ridiculous. On a lighter note, I sent Nengun 37,399 Yen and today, thanks to my Paypal dispute, I received 37,399 Yen. Due to the changing exchange rate, I sent $469 and today I got $476. Not a bad deal. Hopefully by next Wednesday I'll have this thing completed and back on the road with a 5S ready to drop in my Celica and I'll be getting the Lexus fixed. Lots of work to do there... $650 for bumper repair, $50 for a lower ball joint and that's if I replace it myself and by some miracle I don't need an alignment when I'm done, $150 for either a new O2 sensor or the O2 delete (probably going for the delete...), the list goes on. For being such a good car, it's got a lot of money that needs to be thrown at it. Then I'm probably putting my Celica on hold until the Lexus is paid off, hopefully in a month or two.

07-14-2011, 01:12 AM
IT LIVES!!!!!!

After 4 weeks of waiting, the ECU is finally here. The car started right up, didn't even have any idle issues. First observations, the battery light stayed on. Bad alternator. Swapped out for my Greytop alt and solved that issue. Power steering pump is whining. Chris said I just need to bleed and refill the system, so I'm working on that tonight. Of course, I took it for a drive. For starters, a BEAMS running an open header is loud as hell! Made the drive a little more interesting though. Good thing I live in the country with only a few neighbors to piss off. The power won't blow your mind, but you get the feeling that this is how a 6th gen should have felt from the factory. It just keeps climbing until you finally start bouncing off the rev limiter. It's not impressive at all until a certain point, when you can feel the VVT kick in. I'm currently wiring in the tach adapter to find out how hard it's pulling, because the butt dyno isn't impressed. It's fun, more fun than a 5S, but not what I had hoped. At any rate, the exhaust isn't finished, no tach hooked up, no AC, so the car is far from finished. I'll be working on that tonight.

07-14-2011, 02:00 AM
Woot!!! I'm glad you are finally making progress!

07-16-2011, 07:21 PM
IT'S DEAD!!!!!!!

Just kidding. It isn't really dead. But if you guys remember, I bought the Redtop as a $900 parts motor to salvage the wiring to use on my Greytop. I never expected it to be a great motor. Then I got it here and saw that it really wasn't in bad shape and I decided to use it anyway. Turns out that I bought a $900 parts motor and got a $900 parts motor. It runs, but not well at all. It either won't idle or won't rev. When it's not running right on one end, it runs great on the other end. The whole time it has been running, I've been smelling burning oil. Before I got it started, I pulled the spark plugs out and the plug on cylinder 3 was covered in oil. So I checked my Greytop, same story. Oil on the plug for cylinder 3. So I dismissed the issue, thinking it was just something about the way the BEAMS was built, that it would just put oil on that plug. I'm now guessing that it isn't just some tiny issue. I got the car to run well enough for the girlfriend to drive a few nights ago. She tested it out, liked it, and when we got home, it wouldn't idle. So I popped the hood and was greeted with black smoke. So it's burning oil for sure and not running right at all. We're now hunting for either a Redtop clip or a 3S-GTE clip, depending on which she decides she wants. The BEAMS ran well enough for her to decide she never wants that 5S back in the car. No more cheap parts motors, we're getting one that we can confirm is good this time. The swap continues!

07-16-2011, 11:33 PM
I'm stoked.

Yet another weekend swap I see in our future... :)

07-16-2011, 11:43 PM
But what about the ticks? :ohnoes:

07-17-2011, 05:31 AM
You mean this tick?


My turn to come up there ;)

07-17-2011, 08:24 PM
Yea, that looks like the one that you're dad pulled off her neck lol

07-18-2011, 03:25 AM
could it be bad compression or anything like that? bad seals maybe?

07-19-2011, 02:55 AM
You mean this tick?


My turn to come up there ;)

I hate you.

07-20-2011, 07:07 AM
I took a picture of that tick before dad killed it. It was pretty intense.

Quick update because I'm too tired to type this all out and explain, but I'm thinking my whole problem lies in the valve cover gasket. I ordered a new one yesterday so I'm going to get that replaced and see what happens.

07-27-2011, 01:04 AM
Baby update... Earlier in the week, I pulled my gray car in the garage to drop the 5S in.


It took about two hours, start to finish. I have no radiator or coolant lines so I haven't tried to start it, but there's no reason why it shouldn't fire right up. Then last night I picked this little gem up...


'94, GT, auto, all options. The tranny is out on it so I picked it up for a good price. I haven't decided which car will come out on top yet, but either the red one or the gray one will be sacrificed to make the other one work. I'm leaning towards the red '94 being used to bring the gray '96 back.

07-27-2011, 04:27 PM
I agree. You've saved the gray one for so long. Sacrifice the new one!

07-28-2011, 06:59 PM
I got the new one home last night. It's a lot cleaner than I remember it being when I bought it Monday night. I hate to scrap a car that clean. However, I'm justifying it by my personal connection with the gray car and the fact that I wouldn't have to do a manual swap and it already has the facelift bumper. I'm going to take a few small things from it to get my gray car started and if that works, the red car is gone. If it's going to take too much effort to sort out my gray car, I'll just swap my manual in the red car and call it done.

07-29-2011, 04:38 AM
Copy/pasted from 6gc because I'm too lazy to type it all out again.

Got the valve cover gasket for the BEAMS in today. It only took ten days to get here... :/


I'd hate to see what their Economy shipping is if 10 days is their Expedited shipping. But the important thing is that it's here. Got some pictures of the new Celica today. It's dirty from the trip home, but you get the idea.


I may have accidentally bought a much better car than I thought here. I charged the battery up and the car starts right up and idles/revs just fine. Everything seems to be in perfect working order, apart from the transmission. I put it in gear and you can hear something kind of clunking around. It registers speed when I put the car in reverse and give it gas, but not in drive. No matter, if I keep the red car, then it'll be getting a manual anyway. In the next day or two, I'll get the new valve cover gasket on the BEAMS and hopefully get that running well then try to get my blue car started. If it takes too much effort, then I'll just go with the red car and I won't feel too bad about it at all. I thought I was getting a good parts car with some pretty good parts but I've really just gotten a good car in general, apart from the transmission.

Not copy/pasted anymore... Whichever car I keep will be getting a BEAMS except with any luck, this one won't be as messed up as my first BEAMS swap. The swap is just so easy and gives a decent amount of added power.

07-29-2011, 01:12 PM
That car is really clean Daniel. I have to admit, I'm kinda jealous.

If you end up not using the red car, I may want to buy the seats from you.... maybe.

07-29-2011, 02:52 PM
Chris, you don't have to buy anything from the red car. The seats would be going to the junkyard with the car so you could have them.

07-29-2011, 03:22 PM
I might be able to live with that price :)

07-29-2011, 09:40 PM
In that case, if you don't need the interior door panels, he could probably use those as well since his are a bit fubar.

07-29-2011, 10:46 PM
If you do scrap it I would love to try and buy the rims off it. My alltrac would look good in those.

That car is suprisingly clean though. Good score.

07-30-2011, 04:17 AM
Stacy, I'm undecided about the door panels. I might be using those for my own car since my passenger side is fubar'd as well. I might not end up using them though. I'm not building the world's cleanest, best-condition Celica. Just something functional and a little fun. UtahSleeper, the rims are all yours. I'll make a note on 6gc when I start the partout that they're called for.

I replaced the valve cover gasket on the BEAMS tonight. I'm kicking myself for not doing it while the motor was out of the car. It wasn't a fun job. I also added some octane booster to the fuel. I don't expect it to do anything for me, but it was cheap. I reset the ECU as well, since maybe the 87 octane was causing some knock and the car pulled timing. I don't know why it isn't idling right but I'm hoping it's something simple like that. The job sucked, but at least I now know that there's no oil sludge in that BEAMS.


Last September, I cashed in on the warranty on the battery in my gray car. I put the battery in the trunk and never looked at it again until a couple of days ago. It was beyond dead, so I cashed in on the warranty again and got another new Neverstart battery. Oddly, that fixed the weird issue I was having with the the headlights and speedometer in my gray car. Now the issue I have is that once again, just like with my BEAMS, I have no CEL when I turn the key on. Strange, because I know for a fact that I'm not using a Subaru ECU this time. It's definitely the ECU that came out of the factory with this 5S, and it's definitely plugged in right. It's not like you can get that part wrong. I'm going to spend my day tomorrow with all three cars and see where I stand at the end of the day. I'm hoping to send the BEAMS home and get my IS 300 back.

08-01-2011, 03:20 PM
A little update on the BEAMS. I had a friend look at it yesterday just to have a fresh pair of eyes look at the car. When I ease into the throttle, everything works semi-okay. When I floor it in a higher gear, the car bogs down and loses speed. I assumed I either had clogged injectors or a spark issue and I was heavily leaning towards spark. It felt like the car was dumping more fuel into the cylinders than the ignition system could handle. So my friend jumps in the passenger seat and we go for a drive. Within ten seconds, he tells me one of my cylinders isn't firing. I knew I have a slight exhaust leak where I didn't have enough room to get under the car and fit the B pipe to the header as tight as it should be, so I told him thar I thought that sound was the exhaust leak. He said the exhaust leak just accentuates the noise but I'm definitely missing on one cylinder. We get back to his house and start checking the injectors. All good there. So we unplug coil packs. Sure enough, we unplug cylinder 3 and nothing changed. It wasn't firing at all. We pull the spark plug out ant it looked like I just got it out of the box. It's never fired once in that cylinder. So we switched coil packs with cylinder 2 to find out if it was a dead coil, but the misfire stayed on cylinder 3. Today I'm going to replace the spark plug to see if it's just a bad plug and if it's fine, then it looks like I'll have to start looking at my wiring to find out where the problem is.

08-01-2011, 03:41 PM
If it's not one thing, it's another. At least you are making progress, and that also explains a lot.

08-03-2011, 04:10 AM
Tonight, for the first tone, I felt a BEAMS running on all four cylinders. And my god is it good. It runs beautifully. Tomorrow is my last day with the car so I can button some things up then I'm getting the IS 300 back and starting the partout of the red car. Pictures of why it was only running on three cylinders coming tomorrow, as well as all the swap details and wiring.

08-03-2011, 04:05 PM
I was on the phone with Chris when you were texting him. I'm so happy it worked out, though I have to shake my head at what caused the issue.

So what are we swapping next?

08-03-2011, 05:39 PM
I figure I'll put another BEAMS in the gray car after I get it running with the 5S. It'll be a while before I start that though. I've got to figure out why, once again, my ECU isn't getting power. I know everything is plugged in and good to go but it definitely isn't getting power. And I'm not using another Subaru ECU. It'll probably be a while before I get that car back on the road. I might bring it up there and 3S-GTE swap it. Are you going to the next meet? I'm bringing the doors for you guys.

08-03-2011, 08:16 PM
We'll be there, just don't plan it for the weekend of the 3rd or 17th of September. I think we can do anytime in August, or the weekend of the 10th in September.

08-03-2011, 10:24 PM
I'm good literally any time, so you and Chris decide what works best for you guys and we'll plan it for that date.

08-07-2011, 04:07 PM
Yeah, my tach is showing 7,300 rpm. Be jealous.


Needs paint. I'll eventually get around to that.


Forgot to update here, the car was running on 3 cylinders for a while. After much hair-pulling and bewilderment, I figured out why. I found this the day I got the motor but I completely forgot about it.


Had to replace the valve cover gasket as well. This BEAMS is clean. There's no sludge whatsoever.


08-15-2011, 05:08 AM
Well guys.. The time has come. I spend all my time daily driving the IS 300 and working with the BEAMS, and after a year and a half of basically not touching my gray car, I've decided to sell it. $250 takes it, spend more and I'll throw in some of the things it needs to get going again. I plan to stay with Celicas, but just not this one. I love the idea of a project car like that but in practice, I don't have the time or motivation to deal with it, so I'm going to get a Celica that runs and drives. For sale thread here: http://www.celicatech.com/forums/showthread.php?53924-FS-1996-Rolling-Shell-Parts-Car-250

08-21-2011, 04:57 PM
I got some wrench time in with the BEAMS yesterday. I replaced the shady intake with a spendy SARD intake, cleaned the throttle body, Seafoamed it, replaced the 4 gauge wire for the battery relocation with 1/0 gauge wire, and replaced the thermostat. I expected the Seafoam to cause some smoke... Nothing. Guess the motor is pretty clean. The 1/0 gauge wire made a HUGE difference in starting the car. Should've done that a long time ago. The throttle body was dirtier than I thought it was, but it wasn't terrible. The thermostat, on the other hand...


Yeah, I needed a new one. I used the thermostat from a 2003-2006 4Runner V8. You can also use the thermostat from a '98-07 Land Cruiser, '00-06 4.7 liter Tundra, and '01-07 4.7 liter Sequoia for the BEAMS. They're all the same thermostat.

The new SARD intake. I browsed over a post on the BEAMS Owners Group that says the SARD is the only intake proven to make more power than the factory intake with the Redtop. Until I see proof, I'd rather have a factory intake. In the meantime, I've got a good intake on the car.


The BEAMS relies heavily on the MAF and the O2 sensor to determine how it runs. At first I suspected the nipples on the old intake pipe were causing disruptions in the airflow, giving the MAF bad readings which could cause the bogging. Not probable, but possible. I've got the SARD on now and the bogging is still there so last night, I bought a brand new MAF. If that doesn't work, I'll get a new O2 sensor. If that doesn't solve anything either, I'll deem that I've thrown enough money at this BEAMS and start looking at buying a new BEAMS, one that we know runs perfectly.

08-22-2011, 02:06 AM
Love the motor and this car.

Surprised there would be much gain from that intake since it's sucking in a crap load of hot air.

08-22-2011, 03:09 PM
Thanks. There's no gain I can feel from it. It isn't as loud as the last intake and it feels like some low end power is gone. Top end feels better but that's probably just due to the low end loss. The butt dyno isn't very reliable. Like I said, until I see proof, I don't believe the SARD adds much power over the factory intake. I ordered a brand new MAF from Toyota Saturday night. Hopefully that will solve my issues with bogging. As rich as this car is running, that almost has to be why it's bogging down, I just have to figure out why it's running so rich. Videos later.

08-24-2011, 10:48 PM
As promised, here's a video. I had to cross some railroad tracks so I was already rolling, and since it was a brand new clutch, I wasn't shifting too hard. The stock 6th gen Celica uses a 2" exhaust whereas the BEAMS got a 2.25" exhaust, and I kept the stock GT exhaust so I'm holding the car back some there. Not a lot, but I'm holding it back a little. It's worth it to me for the car to be quiet.

Also, excuse the video quality. Trying to get a video with an iPhone while driving isn't easy, nor does it bring great quality. Oh well.


08-25-2011, 05:13 AM
great job on the swap hope to see more progress on the others thanks for keeping us posted on here

10-06-2011, 03:58 AM
Long time no post. Small, pointless update, but I'm browsing Celicatech anyway so I might as well make a post while I'm here. The car still bogs (shocker) but otherwise, it's still running like a champ. Made it through the first oil change with not a drop burned, although the filter was a PITA to change. Don't know who could have hulked that thing on... ahem CHRIS... You forgot I'm a little guy. It may or may not have taken channel locks to get the filter off. On the plus side, I got the girl to get her hands dirty. She sat by while we did surgery to her car, so now I'm teaching her the ins and outs of working on her own car. So now that she knows how to change her oil, next step.... Put on the new goodies I just bought her.


Once we get a hood, it's going straight to the body shop for paint. She's getting the hood and bumper repainted but what she doesn't know, and she doesn't ever get on Celicatech to find out, is that I'll be slipping the body shop some cash to get a little extra work done while the car is there. Metallic black? Yes please.

12-29-2011, 04:04 AM
Little bit of an update here. I've really missed a lot of my updates on Celicatech, since I've been working to get the BEAMS going 100%. I'll just condense all the updates into one.

Projectors are installed on the car, with DDM 4,500k HID's. Gotta say, I don't like the look of projectors but they're very functional. After we got them on, we put white 194's in the sidemarkers.

After that, I took some time to work on the BEAMS. I borrowed a wideband and discovered that although my BEAMS was generally running dead pig rich, the bogging issue I had was caused by a lean AFR (>18:1). Although this didn't bring me any closer to figuring out how to solve the issue, it did at least let me know the cause of my issue. If you're familiar with the BEAMS, you know how finicky the AFM is and how much it loves the OEM intake. So $200 and a bit of time later, I procured a brand new BEAMS airbox lid. This served to lean out my generally rich AFR's but in turn made my bogging worse. Then I got my hands on some VVT articles, which contained some information on testing and troubleshooting VVT-i. Using this information, I discovered that my issue was with the VVT-i controller on the intake camshaft. It wasn't working at all. Knowing that the part is very costly, and being frustrated with chasing down issues with this motor, I bought a new BEAMS. It came with suspension, steering, brakes, subframe, spare OEM intake, etc.


It even came with an LSD transmission. Score!


The Ebay ad for this motor looked fantastic. Very detailed pictures, the works. Of course, those ads are never to be believed, and when I got the motor, I was a little skeptical. Keep in mind that the Redtop in the car that was giving me issues cost me $900, and I just paid $2,300 for the new engine. So you understand that the new engine must be pretty shady for me to be skeptical of it as soon as I see it. The suspension is all aftermarket- clearly the previous owner wasn't afraid of abusing his car through the corners. Extra generic stereo wire grounds- who knows what kind of abuse the alternator has seen? Wiring looked shady. Old and brittle. Intact, but old. So I plug the new ECU (m/t ECU to replace the a/t ECU I was using) up and drive the car one more day, and it was a world of difference. It now seems that not only did I have a faulty VVT controller, but the ECU might be junk as well. The car ran absolutely fantastic that day. Nonetheless, I had just spent a large chunk of change and decided the new motor was going in the car. This was two weeks ago. I got the motor in the car and got it started, and was greeted with a cloud of black smoke. No problem, I thought, since the motor had clearly sat for a while. Just junk in the valve seals, it'll burn off. It seemed as though the motor had a lightweight flywheel in it as well. The clutch absolutely sucked. Again, skipping details, but remember that cloud of black smoke I just mentioned? This is my garage door a full 3 feet behind the car a couple of days after I got the motor started:


The smoke only got worse, and the car actually got to a point where it refused to idle. I could start it and it would rev to 4k, then drop back down to idle and die. And it left that on my garage door. So the motor developed a huge vac leak somewhere and was blowing oil back into the intake. The car had maybe 5 minutes of running time total, realistically about 2.5 or 3 minutes. But clearly it had more issues than I cared to fix, so I drained the fluids and pulled the motor back out. When I drained the oil out, it was the blackest I've ever seen any oil. After 3 minutes of being in the car while it was running. At any rate, I didn't care anymore. I stripped the new motor of the things I wanted (VVT controller, LSD transmission, exhaust heat shield, cleaner intake manifold, etc.) and dropped the old motor back in.


As the car stands right now, I have an exhaust leak (can't match the B pipe up to the header- the exhaust shop welded it 1/2" too far forward and I can't get it back in position) but otherwise the car is running like a champ. No bogging at all. It feels a little down on power, but getting the exhaust hooked up properly will take care of that. It felt like this before I had the exhaust hooked up the first time. The only plans for the car right now are to pick up a GT4 hood and finish the front end conversion, then get the car painted black metallic. None of that will happen any time soon, since the girlfriend and I are moving next month. Once we get settled in over there, a month or two, we'll pick this project back up. In the meantime, I've been neglecting my IS 300. It's in desperate need of new headlights, a new foglight, HID ballast, and REALLY needs new tires.

But even before that happens, I'll be buying a 2000 Celica GT-S from a friend. He hit a deer a while back. Did minor damage, just put a hole in the bumper, bent the hood a little, but more importantly, ripped the underbody plastics off of the car, exposing his air filter for his CAI. He just kept driving the car and hit a puddle of water one night, splashed it everywhere. The car sputtered and died, but he got it started again after a few minutes. Drove it to McDonald's, got his cherished McChicken, and got back out to the car and it wouldn't start again. I've checked the car out. The oil is a little low and black as coal, but there's not a drop of water in it. Everything works when he turns the key on, but the starter makes one loud click and that's it. He thinks it's hydrolocked, so he's selling me the car for $750. I think otherwise. I've done a little research and the weak point on the 2ZZ is the rods. If he sucked water into the motor, he'd have a bent rod and would have noticed when he drove the car to McDonald's. So I'm picking his car up, rebuilding the starter, and seeing where I stand after that. Wish me luck on that project...

12-30-2011, 02:20 AM
I totally forgot about this thread. Like I said, I'm really glad you gave us the chance to come and help out a bit :)

06-23-2012, 11:02 PM
I suppose I could update this thread once in a while. Since my last post, I pulled the BEAMS with the fried rings, put the LSD tranny on my good BEAMS, left the new ECU, and haven't had any issues since. 21k miles since the swap and we couldn't be happier. We haven't run into any issues that haven't been my own fault, simply trying to rush through things and overlooking the small things. I've taken the car halfway across the country and flirted with 35 mpg, and I feel like it can still do better. Just to hit the highlights of the last few months, I put an ST205 front end and spoiler on the car, TRD skirts, SS-III seats, TRD coilovers, and in the next few days I'll be installing Racing Beat end links, Energy Suspension rear sway bar bushings, and poly front control arm bushings. My crappy Nikon point and shoot takes awesome cell phone quality pictures, but here are just a few shots of the now two-tone car.


06-24-2012, 12:53 AM
Love the car!! Looks great with the new front.

06-24-2012, 08:36 PM
Love the car!! Looks great with the new front.
Thanks! As soon as these tires are worn out, we'll be swapping to a set of 17's. Unfortunately, these tires are lasting an incredibly long time. They have over 20k on them now and look like they still have 75% tread life. I'm not so much a fan of the ST205 wing, but it's the wifey's car and she loves it so it's staying, I suppose. After a few more minor mods, the car is going to the body shop to either be painted a nice metallic white (likely from a Lexus) or Sunburst Pearl, 3K6. She can't make her mind up. Either way, that bill will hurt my wallet :(

06-24-2012, 10:15 PM
Goood work!

06-25-2012, 05:23 AM
^^ Thanks!

Tonight I put Racing Beat end links and Energy Suspension rear sway bar bushings on the car.


The old stuff wasn't terrible. I just replaced the end links a couple of years ago with AutoZone stuff. Not the best stuff money could buy, but they were still in decent shape. The sway bar bushings weren't great but weren't shot. After we lowered the car, we got some telltale knocking telling us that it was time for new parts. Here's the new stuff next to the old:


And one installed, just because I was camera happy.


The verdict: The ride quality is ever so slightly improved and most of the knocking is gone. We also raised the rear coils half an inch or so. Just enough that the rear tires are no longer tucked. As for handling... Meh. Can't really tell much of a difference. Once I get some new front suspension bits, then it's time for paint. :)

06-25-2012, 06:12 PM
beautiful car! I want a BEAMS swap one day. One day...

06-25-2012, 11:28 PM
Its not actually that bad.... The worst thing is dropping the coin to get all the parts.

09-21-2012, 10:37 PM
This thread deserves an update. The TRD coilovers were noisy as fuuuuu so I checked, rechecked, and checked one more time. Finally, the left rear strut blew, so I pulled them off and put the stock suspension back on. But before that, I put the poly lower control arm bushings in, and that turned out to be a nightmare. A nut broke off inside my subframe, so I had to torch a hole in the subframe. Fun stuff. Then the BEAMS oil pan was in the way so the subframe had to be lowered.


Ended up having to torch the end links and ball joints out, so I overpayed for Moog ball joints ($120 for the pair) just to get them right away, and held off on the end links until last week. Ended up with Twos R Us ST185 end links.


I also got a pile of parts in: F1 lightweight flywheel, yet to be installed, as well as a 2.5" Magnaflow high flow cat, Vibrant Performance ultra quiet resonator, and Vibrant Performance Street Power flat black muffler.


It's a little louder than I would like it to be so we will likely add a second resonator. Sounds good though. It really opened the motor up compared to the stock 2" exhaust I had before. First gear didn't change so much but fifth gear feels like a totally different car. The flywheel isn't in yet. It's not profoundly important and I'm not going to take the trans off until I have to.

A few weeks back, the wifey and I started shopping around for new wheels and tires. Got a killer deal on a set of 17" ADR Visions with like-new Michelin Pilot Sport AS's, 10 mm spacers, a TRD front strut bar, new black carpet to match the SS-III seats, and a few other bits and pieces.


I think that's all for right now. Debating on what to do with the TRD coilovers. I'll most likely just get a set of Eibach Sportlines and KYB struts, though I might end up on Megan or BC coilovers.

09-21-2012, 10:42 PM

09-24-2012, 12:33 AM
^^ understatement of the year.

I love that car.

09-26-2012, 10:03 PM
^^ understatement of the year.

I love that car.
All possible thanks in very very large part to a Japexican Ninjaneer. :)

06-18-2013, 07:55 PM
Long time no update. This update is a long time in the making and isn't quite finished yet, but you guys get a teaser that the guys over on 6gc.net won't be getting...


06-18-2013, 08:36 PM
Damn girl!!!!!

Oh look, Brigette is in the picture too....

06-19-2013, 04:10 AM
Get it son!

07-02-2013, 06:46 AM
One more:


Antenna hole is shaved, front sidemarkers will be shaved. All rust spots repaired, door dings filled in, etc. It's been at the body shop nearly three months now, I can't wait to get it back.

07-02-2013, 05:07 PM
Soon buddy. Then you'll need a garage ;)

07-03-2013, 09:49 AM
Chris, I can't wait to get this car back up there for you to drive again. You wouldn't believe how much better this car feels with the new exhaust.

07-14-2013, 01:56 AM
I suppose I should give the updates leading up to the paint job. Back in March I removed the ADR Vision rims I had in favor of a set of 17x7 rims from a Toyota Caldina. Weight wise, they are about the same but the weight must be more centered in the hub because the car turns these much easier.


I've had an F1 Racing lightweight flywheel kicking around that I kept putting off installing.


Clutch disc didn't have as much life left in it as I had hoped.

Found a nail in one of my tires as I went to put it back on. :( Had it repaired then the patch didn't hold. Brigette drove on that flat tire for 20 miles on rims I had wanted for a couple of years, which can't be easily replaced. I was pretty upset. So one new Falken tire later, turns out the rim miraculously survived without any damage.

Ready to take the test drive.

The flywheel didn't make an immediately huge difference. After driving around a while longer, I found that my exhaust was actually quieter. That's a huge plus for me. Just cruising around, there isn't much difference. It's when I go WOT that I feel the difference. In any single gear, I can't notice that anything has changed but I've noticed that the car hits top speed a little faster. First and second gears do rev quicker but not so much quicker that the car is totally transformed. It freed up a few hp and that's always a good thing.

By the way, it needs to be said that I dropped that transmission while recovering from a broken arm. As far as my list of sensible life moments goes, that was not one of them.

While the Celica has been at the body shop, I've picked up some goodies. We had the antenna deleted so we picked up a Metra 44-UA200 window mounted antenna, black "GT-Four" decals for the riser blocks, JDM door sills, and LED strips for the footwells.


Last picture until its finished...


Also, I have pictures of converting the JDM projectors for left hand drive use, if anyone here is interested in seeing them.

07-26-2013, 02:10 AM
After three and a half months in the body shop, it's finally finished. :)


I'm very satisfied with the paint. It's a much better paint job than the factory paint job, much less orange peel. I'm not saying it's show car quality, but it's more than good enough for me. However, nothing good comes without a downside... I now have a short somewhere in the wiring for my tail lights/sidemarkers. I haven't tracked it down yet but it pops the fuse immediately, so something is clearly wrong. I know my rims aren't exactly Volks or Advans but I do like them quite a lot, they aren't exactly common, and one of the rims now has some deep scratches in the finish. The window in the driver door now has some scratches in the tint. While none of this is really a big deal, it's enough to piss me off. I feel like I should be able to drop my car off at a reputable body shop and get it back without having to worry about things like this. Anyway, better pictures to come later.

07-27-2013, 05:03 AM
Looks really good. Love the gtfour body in white.

07-30-2013, 04:34 PM

07-30-2013, 06:22 PM
Looks great man, good job.

08-01-2013, 02:27 AM
Holy color change batman looks good! You leave the engine bay black?

08-01-2013, 02:30 AM
I love the wheels this car is amazing.

08-01-2013, 07:00 PM
I like it a lot.

I have a weakness for white cars.

08-02-2013, 12:45 AM
Thanks guys! Next up is lowering it (again) and yanking the BEAMS in lieu of a 3S-GTE. :) One of these days I'll have to get it down to the Dragon.

08-02-2013, 01:36 AM
That makes me sad and happy at same time....ive had a secret crush for a beams for years. Good luck man

08-02-2013, 03:31 AM
If I were to swapp a fwd again it would be a 2grfe + LSD trans. Damn near 300whp, camry reliability, and pretty good gas mileage.

08-04-2013, 04:41 AM
You leave the engine bay black?

That makes me sad and happy at same time....ive had a secret crush for a beams for years. Good luck man
Yeah, we left the engine bay black. We had the door jambs and hatch resprayed but didn't bother with the engine bay. Still need to clean it up after all the dust from the body shop... The BEAMS is a lot of fun. I'm not pulling it out because I dislike it. I'd just rather have my power lower down in the rev range, so a 3S-GTE suits my driving style better. I very seldom ever rev above 4,000 RPM, so I'm probably the worst BEAMS owner in the history of the world.

If I were to swapp a fwd again it would be a 2grfe + LSD trans. Damn near 300whp, camry reliability, and pretty good gas mileage.

I love the wheels this car is amazing.
We found out after we got it home that the body shop scratched one of the wheels pretty badly... I'm pissed about that. Toyota put plenty of these rims on the Caldinas but only imported 2,700 sets to the US on the Matrix M Theory so they're not easy to find here. It won't be cheap to have refinished, and I seriously doubt that I'll be able to find a replacement rim any time soon. The damage is only cosmetic but it still irks me... I'd love to do a 2GR swap but that kind of money is hard to come by. I'd consider it if it had been in a 6th gen a couple of times but I'm no pioneer so I'll let some other guys try it out first. I imagine that the 2GR puts down a lot more torque a lot quicker than the front wheels can handle.

08-04-2013, 04:58 AM
Damn she looks good, and those rims fit nicely. Excellent work.

02-08-2014, 02:02 AM
A bit of an update worth posting. The car is lowered again on Eibach Sportlines, no real pictures to show but it doesn't look drastically different. Picked up a set of Lexus ES300 door strikers to replace the boring gray Celica strikers.


Then I picked up two new steering wheels to try a project0 the first is a 7th gen Celica steering wheel with the E shift buttons, the second is an IS300 steering wheel with E shift buttons and a Rav4 airbag, and the clocksprings to go with both.


Then I picked up a PAC SWI-RC audio interface, basically it keeps the OEM steering wheel audio controls working with an aftermarket radio. Since I have no original steering wheel controls, the E-shift buttons on either steering wheel will work. ;) I started off last night by prepping everything for the PAC audio interface. I was intending to use the 7gc steering wheel, but that plan changed mid-swap today. I have a clockspring for both wheels. The 7gc wheel uses smaller plugs than a 6gc, so you can't use the 7gc clockspring on a 6gc. Due to using the e-shift buttons as audio controls, I almost have to use the appropriate clockspring to match the steering wheel. As luck would have it, the IS 300 clockspring is plug and play with a Celica. So the IS steering wheel and clockspring have been significantly cheaper than a 7gc wheel, plug and play in a 6gc, and no stupid perforated leather- so far that's three strikes against the 7gc wheel. No offense to anyone who does like the perforated leather, but I personally don't think it belongs on a steering wheel. There's nothing wrong with it but I don't have any other perforated leather anywhere else in the car so it doesn't match anything at all.

So, progress.


And more progress!


Terrible picture quality and even worse video quality, but just a little bit of proof that the e-shift buttons now function as audio controls. However, I ran into a huge catch. I'm working out the cruise control functions. I was able to get it to turn on properly by relocating a ground in the steering wheel. No further function though, I need to give the steering wheel swap guide another read to get that to work but it was low priority today. The bigger problem I ran into is the E-shift buttons only working with the key turned on accessory. They'll turn the volume up and down flawlessly all day with the key turned on accessory but when I turn the key to the on position, the PAC interface stops receiving a signal from the buttons. It has an LED that illuminates when I push a button, and it isn't acknowledging receiving a signal from the buttons at all. I tried bypassing the clockspring and ran a signal directly to the interface, but I had the same result. I'm left wondering if it's an issue with how the buttons originally worked in the IS 300 or an issue with the PAC interface and the resistor they had me solder in and not being the right resistance after the key is turned on. I'll have to go buy a multimeter tomorrow and see what I can figure out. I'm assuming it's an issue with the original function of the buttons and how they are being used now.

I'm sure it's something simple that the guys that are good with wiring could figure out almost immediately but I'm not one of those guys, so I'll do my best to figure it out.

02-18-2014, 03:54 AM
Aaaaaaand finished!

http://i228.photobucket.com/albums/ee257/richee3/Car%20Pics/th_DSCN1396_zpsba911d84.jpg (http://i228.photobucket.com/albums/ee257/richee3/Car%20Pics/DSCN1396_zpsba911d84.mp4)

02-18-2014, 04:14 AM
You have horrible taste in music. :P

Good job buddy!

10-01-2014, 01:10 AM
Nothing new worth posting, but between Chris and Norberto, I'm inspired to be more active here. Plus now that I'm a mod on 6gc and I'm forced to read all of the annoying noob posts that I could ignore before, it'd be nice to talk to some adults every now and then.

Nothing really new going on with the Celica. The front subframe is shot but I have a replacement waiting to be installed. It lets the passenger side control arm wiggle around, so driving the Celica isn't nearly as much fun as it used to be. I put some Hawk HPS brake pads on the front, but I gotta say I'm not impressed. The cheapo, generic, OE-replacement brake pads I had before were just as capable under heavy braking, but had much better initial bite and no dust whatsoever. But meh, they are paid for and are installed. I've made my mind up to go for a 4th gen 3S-GTE when I cross that bridge, along with a Wilwood big brake kit, all new stainless brake lines, new OEM steel brake lines under the car, and probably do some preventative maintenance while I have everything apart. Pics just for kicks and giggles.

http://i228.photobucket.com/albums/ee257/richee3/Car%20Pics/file_zpsd7690591.jpg (http://s228.photobucket.com/user/richee3/media/Car%20Pics/file_zpsd7690591.jpg.html)
http://i228.photobucket.com/albums/ee257/richee3/Car%20Pics/file_zpsc57cdd01.jpg (http://s228.photobucket.com/user/richee3/media/Car%20Pics/file_zpsc57cdd01.jpg.html)
http://i228.photobucket.com/albums/ee257/richee3/Car%20Pics/file_zps56e01411.jpg (http://s228.photobucket.com/user/richee3/media/Car%20Pics/file_zps56e01411.jpg.html)
http://i228.photobucket.com/albums/ee257/richee3/Car%20Pics/file_zps52d50519.jpg (http://s228.photobucket.com/user/richee3/media/Car%20Pics/file_zps52d50519.jpg.html)
http://i228.photobucket.com/albums/ee257/richee3/Car%20Pics/file_zps1d3e4f9d.jpg (http://s228.photobucket.com/user/richee3/media/Car%20Pics/file_zps1d3e4f9d.jpg.html)

Now for something a little different. Picked this bad boy up last month.

http://i228.photobucket.com/albums/ee257/richee3/Car%20Pics/1997%20TT%20Supra/file_zps44b04ce4.jpg (http://s228.photobucket.com/user/richee3/media/Car%20Pics/1997%20TT%20Supra/file_zps44b04ce4.jpg.html)
http://i228.photobucket.com/albums/ee257/richee3/Car%20Pics/1997%20TT%20Supra/file_zps4684d60e.jpg (http://s228.photobucket.com/user/richee3/media/Car%20Pics/1997%20TT%20Supra/file_zps4684d60e.jpg.html)
http://i228.photobucket.com/albums/ee257/richee3/Car%20Pics/1997%20TT%20Supra/file_zpsfd6529e7.jpg (http://s228.photobucket.com/user/richee3/media/Car%20Pics/1997%20TT%20Supra/file_zpsfd6529e7.jpg.html)
http://i228.photobucket.com/albums/ee257/richee3/Car%20Pics/1997%20TT%20Supra/file_zps7d5f4891.jpg (http://s228.photobucket.com/user/richee3/media/Car%20Pics/1997%20TT%20Supra/file_zps7d5f4891.jpg.html)
http://i228.photobucket.com/albums/ee257/richee3/Car%20Pics/1997%20TT%20Supra/file_zps3845732d.jpg (http://s228.photobucket.com/user/richee3/media/Car%20Pics/1997%20TT%20Supra/file_zps3845732d.jpg.html)
http://i228.photobucket.com/albums/ee257/richee3/Car%20Pics/1997%20TT%20Supra/file_zpsea581cf0.jpg (http://s228.photobucket.com/user/richee3/media/Car%20Pics/1997%20TT%20Supra/file_zpsea581cf0.jpg.html)

It's a 1997 TT 6 speed, targa top, Deep Jewel Green. Bone stock, 76,000 miles on it when we bought it but it's closer to 80,000 right now. Brought it home from Boston and pretty quickly yanked the 4 post steering wheel in favor of a three post wheel from a 7th gen Celica. I picked one up last year that has the e-shift buttons with the original intentions to use them for volume controls like I did in the Celica, but I've decided to have a more simple steering wheel now so we are going to yank this wheel out and swap an IS300 steering wheel and Rav4 airbag in. Same setup as the Celica but without the e-shift buttons.

http://i228.photobucket.com/albums/ee257/richee3/Car%20Pics/1997%20TT%20Supra/file_zps1c08db75.jpg (http://s228.photobucket.com/user/richee3/media/Car%20Pics/1997%20TT%20Supra/file_zps1c08db75.jpg.html)
http://i228.photobucket.com/albums/ee257/richee3/Car%20Pics/1997%20TT%20Supra/file_zpsc24601d7.jpg (http://s228.photobucket.com/user/richee3/media/Car%20Pics/1997%20TT%20Supra/file_zpsc24601d7.jpg.html)
http://i228.photobucket.com/albums/ee257/richee3/Car%20Pics/1997%20TT%20Supra/file_zps86b46ac1.jpg (http://s228.photobucket.com/user/richee3/media/Car%20Pics/1997%20TT%20Supra/file_zps86b46ac1.jpg.html)

Shortly after that, we ditched the poop green gauge bulbs and went with white LED's. Same thing for the license plate, but I'll skip pictures of that.

http://i228.photobucket.com/albums/ee257/richee3/Car%20Pics/1997%20TT%20Supra/24D3271B-0271-41FF-8D84-41622D0FDE3C_zpsedeex649.jpg (http://s228.photobucket.com/user/richee3/media/Car%20Pics/1997%20TT%20Supra/24D3271B-0271-41FF-8D84-41622D0FDE3C_zpsedeex649.jpg.html)
http://i228.photobucket.com/albums/ee257/richee3/Car%20Pics/1997%20TT%20Supra/B791A4EA-5491-4F4F-9CCB-BF5DEF814A6A_zpsfuqhgtlp.jpg (http://s228.photobucket.com/user/richee3/media/Car%20Pics/1997%20TT%20Supra/B791A4EA-5491-4F4F-9CCB-BF5DEF814A6A_zpsfuqhgtlp.jpg.html)

And then I bought a model Supra and painted it green, because f*** yeah.

http://i228.photobucket.com/albums/ee257/richee3/Car%20Pics/1997%20TT%20Supra/D280078C-A986-4466-8948-2E86EBEEFAFB_zpsmiliptfw.jpg (http://s228.photobucket.com/user/richee3/media/Car%20Pics/1997%20TT%20Supra/D280078C-A986-4466-8948-2E86EBEEFAFB_zpsmiliptfw.jpg.html)
http://i228.photobucket.com/albums/ee257/richee3/Car%20Pics/1997%20TT%20Supra/7AB9E993-DB3F-4AE1-8A34-DCFC03136285_zpskzqqfi1e.jpg (http://s228.photobucket.com/user/richee3/media/Car%20Pics/1997%20TT%20Supra/7AB9E993-DB3F-4AE1-8A34-DCFC03136285_zpskzqqfi1e.jpg.html)

Anyway, that's it for now. Progress will be slow for both cars for a while, so no updates here. Just driving them around and enjoying them.

10-01-2014, 01:49 AM
Glad to see more 6gen action happening.

Love the Supra you lucky dog!

10-01-2014, 09:20 AM
The model pic with the car cracked me up. Hope to see more progress as time allows.

10-01-2014, 05:02 PM
Now you just need a shoot with both cars and both models!

10-02-2014, 02:31 AM
Glad to see more 6gen action happening.

Love the Supra you lucky dog!
One of these days I'll actually finish the Celica up. Not this year like I had planned though. :( And thanks, I love it too! It's slow but it's a lot of fun.

The model pic with the car cracked me up. Hope to
see more progress as time allows.
The model Supra is 1/24 scale, so not anywhere near as small as it looks in pictures. But the picture of the model Supra in front of the real car turned out to be pretty funny, so I can't resist posting it. :laugh:

Now you just need a shoot with both cars and both models!
Much agreed. It'll happen sometime soon, before it gets cold. Just gotta find the time to do it.

10-02-2014, 07:18 PM
I absolutely love the drivers position in the Supra, almost looks like a cockpit. Nice buy!