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prophet513
08-29-2011, 06:38 AM
Okay. So if any of you care to know. I am 19 years old, currently not in school (not sure what I want to do really, most likely get into cars) on my year off, and work part time as a dish washer. I don't make enough to move out on my own and most of my closest friends are BUMS who I couldn't get to move out with me if I tried, and none of them are really into cars like me either...

I got my '90 Celica ST from my grandma about a year and a half ago. It was my first car. When I got it, it had a flat tire, it was a few different colors for whatever reason and it had dents in the passenger side fender from where she'd been in an accident that was just a part of a whole situation that caused her to lose her license - ultimately putting the car in my hands.

Since having the Celica, I always wanted to know how I could make it better or cooler or faster or whatever you want to call it. But for the longest time, I couldn't figure out how. Especially without considering or knowing anything about engine swaps and having an auto 4afe. So I bought an MR2. Stupidly, I paid far too much for the version with the 5sfe and after about 9 months with the MR2 I sold it for a loss of over 2 thousand dollars after simple mods I did and interest and all that. I only even put 3k miles on it in the first place, and it only had 76,000 when I sold it.

Now, I am here, obviously more educated about these cars than I was before. But still in a bit of a financial struggle with new ideas/interests popping up in my head every day.

One of the most unfortunate things is that I know all of these rich kids whose parents let them drive their S4 convertibles around, buy them M3s and own M5s and 300zx twin turbos and get them new VW Golfs on their birthday or a 2009 328i.... I think its BS. If I were given 22 thousand, or even 10 thousand to spend on a car, you better believe it'd tear the sh*t out of a 328i by the time I was done.

Anyway onto my current situation. I've recently had interest in building up my Celica. I know what I want to do now, have made lists and have it all planned out. But the weird respect I have for the car is keeping me from doing any of it. It has 136k miles and runs like new. Never had any mechanical problems other than a fuel pressure issue once. And not to mention I got it from my grandma with Alzheimers who just got put into a nursing home like 3 weeks ago. I like keeping the car for what it is until it actually NEEDS these upgrades. I don't want to waste the good parts that it already has now. But the problem is, it's boring me. However, with my loyalty, I won't sell the car either. That'd seem too disrespectful and I just don't want to.

Now if I could find a much cheaper mk2 MR2 with minor body damage, mix and match color parts or even mechanical problems, I'd buy it. Paint it/fix it myself. And let it sit in my back yard until I could put a BEAMS 3sge in it. But that just doesn't seem like it's going to happen anytime soon. There just aren't that many MR2's around here.

So onto my next issue: Engine size. I must say, I'm not going to get into any v6 swaps with my Celica. I remember a comparison of a v6 MR2 to a stock 5sfe MR2 where the 4 cylinder actually did better. And being front wheel drive, I wouldn't want to really go out of my way for all that in the Celica, just doesn't seem worth it. Now here's the main part. I love Toyota, and Japanese cars in general. Especially 90's, Japanese sports cars. And I hate the fact that all of the spoiled kids tend to drive German cars. So after driving that S4 V8 turbo convertible, being in a friend of mine's M3 (and actually getting pulled over on the highway after a display of rather raw power) and feeling the idle of a Ferrari F430 engine shake the floor of my car from the parking spot next to me, I've looked into what I can do from my stubborn Toyota/Japanese standpoint. I'd LOVE a nice 300zx, and of course, a mk4 Supra, but neither of those are going to work out until I win the lottery. So I finally came to terms with the Lexus SC. Most of my knowledge of these came from my research of NA-T Supra conversions (because I'd hoped on getting a cheap, non turbo import from this Canadian guy).

And through the Lexus SC I feel like I've thought of a way to get some pretty good numbers for very little money. To start, there's a clean, auto SC300 for sale in my city for only 1200 that needs only a head gasket to run. But there's also a 1uz for sale for only 750....w58 transmission.... I'm sure the point is obvious. But the question is, should I drop the plans I had for my Celica and gear my money towards making a much more powerful Lexus SC (that I'm pretty sure would be putting out more power than my friends e36 m3) or should I just continue to work with what I have, even though I'm afraid I may get bored with it If I'm unable to make changes soon? And I'd have no problem with using my Celica for its reliability, and somehow fun driving experiences as a plain old daily driver if I were to lean away from the project.

And just to let you know, it is VERY late, I am VERY tired, and not to be weird, but that was pretty open of me for a car forum.

I am looking forward to seeing what you guys have to say. I respect the people on this forum.

Thanks
Prophet513

Doowstados
08-29-2011, 07:22 AM
I would spend money on fixing the body work on the Celica. Buy some undented fenders, sand it, get a paint job, upgrade the suspension, and get it ready for the day that the engine DOES fail. Then swap it.

You would be keeping the car that your grandmother gave you and paying respect for her by restoring it and taking care of it. Keep up the maintenance on it and SAVE YOUR MONEY. You can use it for things that matter a lot more than your car, especially at your age. If you plan on "getting into cars" at a later date it's going to cost money to go to school. Until you have a decent paying job you have no business spending thousands of dollars building and insuring multiple cars. I'm in the same position you're in; 20 years old, in the middle of college and broke as fuck. I want a 3S-GTE in my car more than anything right now, but I have priorities.

Fix what you have.

Hookecho
08-29-2011, 08:05 AM
For the cost of buying the Lexus and replacing the head gasket you could swap a different motor into the Celica. Then you'll have a fast car with some history behind it.

Facime
08-29-2011, 10:10 AM
For the cost of buying the Lexus and replacing the head gasket you could swap a different motor into the Celica. Then you'll have a fast car with some history behind it.

and he'll still have an old FWD Celica ST thats worth nothing in the long run aside from sentimental value.


No offense but this is a Celica forum and you expecting to get an unbiased answer is asking alot here. This is my opinion. Keep the celica just as it is. The ST was never meant to be a "sports car". Its an economy car with a little style, nothing more. I know that will probably offend a few people here, but the simple fact of the matter is unless its an alltrac its not worth putting vast sums of money into.

While the SC isnt a high resale value car exactly either, its worth more than the Celica, especially with mods. Granted its alot heavier, but with more engine options, and a full supra suspension and brake setup can really compete against things like the german sedans you mention. Its not gonna be cheap to build but being RWD, and having options like 2JZGTE and 1UZ (which can be quite sick with ITB's ore even a TT kit), there is far more headroom on what you can build.

Thats all sort of putting the cart before the horse however if you cant even afford to move out on your own. You are far better off investing in your future and saving a few bucks and living at home and driving a perfectly safe and sane stock Celica while you get an education and hopefully a great job so you can afford a few nice toys. Modding your Celica to try to "compete" with the rich kids you know is a waste of your time and effort.

prophet513
08-29-2011, 12:31 PM
and he'll still have an old FWD Celica ST thats worth nothing in the long run aside from sentimental value.


No offense but this is a Celica forum and you expecting to get an unbiased answer is asking alot here. This is my opinion. Keep the celica just as it is. The ST was never meant to be a "sports car". Its an economy car with a little style, nothing more. I know that will probably offend a few people here, but the simple fact of the matter is unless its an alltrac its not worth putting vast sums of money into.

While the SC isnt a high resale value car exactly either, its worth more than the Celica, especially with mods. Granted its alot heavier, but with more engine options, and a full supra suspension and brake setup can really compete against things like the german sedans you mention. Its not gonna be cheap to build but being RWD, and having options like 2JZGTE and 1UZ (which can be quite sick with ITB's ore even a TT kit), there is far more headroom on what you can build.

Thats all sort of putting the cart before the horse however if you cant even afford to move out on your own. You are far better off investing in your future and saving a few bucks and living at home and driving a perfectly safe and sane stock Celica while you get an education and hopefully a great job so you can afford a few nice toys. Modding your Celica to try to "compete" with the rich kids you know is a waste of your time and effort.

Hey I take no offense to this whatsoever. This is the kind of answer I'm looking for. As for the Celica, the fact that it's ST really doesn't mean much to me. I'd pretty much be changing EVERYTHING although as you mentioned it isn't an all trac and it's never going to be the fastest car. The only thing that would be good there is that it's something different.

The SC is heavy, but since I wouldn't be in it for the "luxury" I can definitely do a thing or two about the weight in that car. And as you said the options for serious amounts of power definitely outweigh what I have for my Celica or most likely any other car I can afford.

klapa
08-29-2011, 01:22 PM
I have to go along with much of what Facime says - don't put allot of money in your Celica unless you are truly in love with that car - because you will probably never get your money out of it - especially if it is an ST.

I have an ST and it IS just a "spunky" little car that gets great gas mileage and is ultra-reliable - not "finicky" at all. Mine is a coupe with manual everything, no sunroof, etc.

Even if you swap the engine on an ST that would just be the beginning - you would still need to swap the brakes all around, new exhaust system, etc.

In your position I would fix up that car doing the things that cost little or no money and learn some stuff in the process. Like the body work would be something you could go about slowly with little investment and still have a driver the entire time. Just for reliability sake you might also think about a complete tune-up and checking/replacing the timing belt.

Save your chips - use the time you are at home to get your education and save up some money!

I would digress from what Facime says in one regard - the higher end FWD Celicas (GTS in particular) still fetch pretty good prices around here - especially 7th gens.

I would love to have a Lexus, but those things are really pricey to put parts on.

prophet513
08-29-2011, 01:29 PM
I would spend money on fixing the body work on the Celica. Buy some undented fenders, sand it, get a paint job, upgrade the suspension, and get it ready for the day that the engine DOES fail. Then swap it.

You would be keeping the car that your grandmother gave you and paying respect for her by restoring it and taking care of it. Keep up the maintenance on it and SAVE YOUR MONEY. You can use it for things that matter a lot more than your car, especially at your age. If you plan on "getting into cars" at a later date it's going to cost money to go to school. Until you have a decent paying job you have no business spending thousands of dollars building and insuring multiple cars. I'm in the same position you're in; 20 years old, in the middle of college and broke as fuck. I want a 3S-GTE in my car more than anything right now, but I have priorities.

Fix what you have.

I uploaded pictures of my Celica that I took just for this forum. I fixed the body and got it painted. So other than the autozone hubcaps its a good looking car, considering its age.

Now for the suspension. It'd be pointless without new wheels really, and as I said I don't really need it. The other thing is that by the time I do want to upgrade my suspension it would be good for me to re do a lot of the other parts that come into play like axles etc, and with my car having the potential to go well over 200k miles on this engine, I wouldn't want to wear down the suspension before I need it. Same goes for the new wheels I'd be buying.

prophet513
08-29-2011, 01:39 PM
I have to go along with much of what Facime says - don't put allot of money in your Celica unless you are truly in love with that car - because you will probably never get your money out of it - especially if it is an ST.

I have an ST and it IS just a "spunky" little car that gets great gas mileage and is ultra-reliable - not "finicky" at all. Mine is a coupe with manual everything, no sunroof, etc.

Even if you swap the engine on an ST that would just be the beginning - you would still need to swap the brakes all around, new exhaust system, etc.

In your position I would fix up that car doing the things that cost little or no money and learn some stuff in the process. Like the body work would be something you could go about slowly with little investment and still have a driver the entire time. Just for reliability sake you might also think about a complete tune-up and checking/replacing the timing belt.

Save your chips - use the time you are at home to get your education and save up some money!

I would digress from what Facime says in one regard - the higher end FWD Celicas (GTS in particular) still fetch pretty good prices around here - especially 7th gens.

I would love to have a Lexus, but those things are really pricey to put parts on.


I understand everything you're saying. The only thing is through staying at home and not really pursuing any car oriented dreams, I'm afraid of losing interest in the hobby, which I have done before. I kind of feel like I need to put my money where my mouth is, especially if I could turn it into something to make a living from in the future. One of the major things here is that the SC would be a project car itself that I can learn from. The whole process really. And I wouldn't mind seeing what I can do to paint it myself.

And when it comes to upgrading the ST, trust me I've put a lot of research into it ha. I know a lot of what I need to upgrade on that car when it's time for an engine. And the list I made at one point totaled over 5k. I wouldn't mind putting that much into that car. I do love it. But I don't really have that much on hand, and I'd get no help from my parents whatsoever if I were to just upgrade that one.

Are early 90's Lexus really that expensive too?

tuner4life
08-29-2011, 01:46 PM
Sc's make horrible cars to drive in the winter. So If you are keeping a backup car, then sure, I totally condone getting one, If its your only car, then dont. It still snows in Cincinatti.

A majority of parts aren't that much more than other toyotas, the drawbacks though are less availability.

prophet513
08-29-2011, 02:49 PM
Sc's make horrible cars to drive in the winter. So If you are keeping a backup car, then sure, I totally condone getting one, If its your only car, then dont. It still snows in Cincinatti.

A majority of parts aren't that much more than other toyotas, the drawbacks though are less availability.


This brings up a great point. I would be buying the SC and seriously just keeping it around the house or towing it when it needed work because it would not run in the first place and I'd plan on doing an engine swap anyway. So this car may cost now, but I won't be paying any insurance. And since it wouldn't be on a loan or anything, I would only really NEED liability anyway. So it could come together slowly if I really needed it to.

prophet513
08-30-2011, 03:56 AM
So I called the guy with the SC today with an offer of making payments to him just so that I'm not spending my money all at once. He seemed like he'd be okay with that because the car has been for sale for a while now. The only thing is when he said he'd text me about going to see it, I'm not sure if he said he would today or tomorrow. And he did not text me today. I also helped my girlfriend's brother move today and it was a little motivating to get out of my house. So if the guy texts me then I'll go take a HARD look at it. I'll try to remember all of my questions too. But if he doesn't ever text me, I'm going to let it go and just start saving my money.. The whole idea of a completely built up ST is starting to seem a little questionable. But who knows?.....

MCcelica
08-30-2011, 05:36 AM
Here's my thing. You said you wouldn't be "about luxury" so you could get rid of some of the weight... Whats the point of buying a luxury car if you're going to take all the luxury out of it? It just doesn't make sense.

I would keep what you have and use it to learn stuff. That's what I did with my 6th gen. I just gradually upgraded stuff as things broke. Even with my latest (albeit quite stalled) project. I wanted to paint it a different color. But I couldn't justify it until someone dragged their front bumper down my entire passenger side. I took all the dings out, and it's currently sitting under a few coats of primer until I can get the cash together to get my color on. My 6th gen doesn't have any resale value either. But I want a rare car to be nice. But if I bought a nice car to the tune of Lexus or Infinity...? I'd probably leave it luxury. Which is why I'd rather get an old ass beat to piss truck.

prophet513
08-30-2011, 02:26 PM
Here's my thing. You said you wouldn't be "about luxury" so you could get rid of some of the weight... Whats the point of buying a luxury car if you're going to take all the luxury out of it? It just doesn't make sense.

I would keep what you have and use it to learn stuff. That's what I did with my 6th gen. I just gradually upgraded stuff as things broke. Even with my latest (albeit quite stalled) project. I wanted to paint it a different color. But I couldn't justify it until someone dragged their front bumper down my entire passenger side. I took all the dings out, and it's currently sitting under a few coats of primer until I can get the cash together to get my color on. My 6th gen doesn't have any resale value either. But I want a rare car to be nice. But if I bought a nice car to the tune of Lexus or Infinity...? I'd probably leave it luxury. Which is why I'd rather get an old ass beat to piss truck.

I'm not really out to buy a Lexus for the fact that its a luxury car or that it's a Lexus. More just looking for a cheap shell that was meant for and can easily take a swap of a v8 like the 1uz. I just want a car to be fast for cheap, and this car is what I feel like I can do.

85gtsblackman
08-30-2011, 04:29 PM
fast cheap car = 240sx

prophet513
08-30-2011, 04:42 PM
fast cheap car = 240sx

Don't get me wrong I love 240s. But all of the ones for sale around here are just too expensive. I don't have several thousand to spend on hand and I don't want to get another loan where I also have interest and the need for full coverage.

Plus getting myself as deep into the whole nissan scene would be like starting over again. I feel like this Lexus could be faster than a 240 and still cost less than some of the good looking ones I can buy now.

But correct me if I'm wrong

Murgatroy
08-30-2011, 05:18 PM
I'm not really out to buy a Lexus for the fact that its a luxury car or that it's a Lexus. More just looking for a cheap shell that was meant for and can easily take a swap of a v8 like the 1uz. I just want a car to be fast for cheap, and this car is what I feel like I can do.

Find a Fox Chassis Mustang.

I love all cars. I have owned nearly any American platform of note. There there three cars that I keep coming back to.

Second Generation Camaros (`70-81,) Fox Chassis Mustangs (well, all Fox Chassis to be honest, `79-95ish depending) and the Celica.





Nothing. And I mean nothing will go as fast, cheaper than a Fox chassis. Nothing.

UtahSleeper
08-30-2011, 05:52 PM
If you are concerned with losing interest I WOULD NOT buy a project car yet. Too easy to leave it at the side of the house, forget it, then sell it when you lose interest.

My first real project car I had to force myself to work on at times. I considered dropping it a few times but that was only cause I had wanted to build it for awhile.

I say do like most of us have done. Do little things to your DD so you can reap the benefits of your work and if you find your self not happy with what your doing, move on. If you find yourself wanting more and bigger, then get the project.

MCcelica
08-30-2011, 06:52 PM
I'm not really out to buy a Lexus for the fact that its a luxury car or that it's a Lexus. More just looking for a cheap shell that was meant for and can easily take a swap of a v8 like the 1uz. I just want a car to be fast for cheap, and this car is what I feel like I can do.

Fast. Cheap. Reliable. Pick two, cause you're not getting all three. If you want it fast and cheap, stuff will break and cost more money. I'm always skeptical about buying a disabled car. You never know how many things went wrong to cause the car to become the way it is. By the time you've fixed all the mechanical issues, you could still have a rust bucket for the same amount, if not more, than it would take to do some minor repairs to the Celica and actually make it fairly nice. Besides. You keep saying all this stuff about how you don't have cash on hand... yet you are adamant about buying another car and swapping it. I don't think you're seeing the dilemma about how it costs money to swap an engine.

prophet513
08-30-2011, 11:00 PM
Fast. Cheap. Reliable. Pick two, cause you're not getting all three. If you want it fast and cheap, stuff will break and cost more money. I'm always skeptical about buying a disabled car. You never know how many things went wrong to cause the car to become the way it is. By the time you've fixed all the mechanical issues, you could still have a rust bucket for the same amount, if not more, than it would take to do some minor repairs to the Celica and actually make it fairly nice. Besides. You keep saying all this stuff about how you don't have cash on hand... yet you are adamant about buying another car and swapping it. I don't think you're seeing the dilemma about how it costs money to swap an engine.


I guess you're right seeing as how I've never swapped an engine before or had anything like that done. But I wonder how hard it can really be?

I mean its not even like doing a full swap, It'd be taking the 2jz version of the car and transforming it into the 1uz version since the car came with both. I could imagine like I've been told here about Celicas that it'd be fairly easy to go from a 4afe to an engine of another family if the chassis came with an option of the two in the first place. But I may be wrong.

I like hearing why I shouldn't because the more reasons I have against buying it the less likely I am to make a mistake. But at the same time, it'd be more about learning from this car too. I'd like to paint it myself and do other small things which would keep my interest in it. And the cost of a 1uz isn't that much either. I mean a thousand dollar project shell is really not that much money. It just seems like it to me since I was set back so much from selling my MR2 and getting a few bs speeding tickets shortly after.

prophet513
08-31-2011, 02:03 AM
And so for the sake of being prepared and willing to try this swap I tried to join clublexus.com but its been like 5 hours and I haven't received my confirmation e-mail but I don't know how to get them to resend it.....

And sorry Murgatroy, I can NOT do a mustang ha. I hate mustang drivers around here... And I'm trying to stick with Japanese and specifically Toyota. But I appreciate the suggestion.

Murgatroy
08-31-2011, 03:08 AM
My first car was an `82 Notchback that I bought my senior year of highschool. Since then I have owned well over two dozen Fox Chassis, from Fairmonts and Zephyrs to Cougars and Thunderchickens. Mustang owners get a bad rap, just like Honda drivers, but in all honesty, there is nothing on the face of this earth that is easier and cheaper to make fast than a Mustang.

I am a bigger fan of the Camaro/Firebird platform though. I have owned every year from `72 to `93 of the Camaro, and other than a Celica or a Mustang it is the only car I wouldn't hesitate to buy as a bare shell and build. As a matter of fact, I would probably choose it over the Mustang or Celica, as I have built them from the ground up.




Cheap, fast and reliable is a domestic world. You have to give up silly notions of fuel injection and fancy ignitions. For a total investment of $5k I can put a Mustang into the ten second territory without any outside of the box thinking. With another couple grand I can make it handle pretty well too.

But it is all different strokes for different folks.

Murgatroy
08-31-2011, 03:08 AM
My first car was an `82 Notchback that I bought my senior year of highschool. Since then I have owned well over two dozen Fox Chassis, from Fairmonts and Zephyrs to Cougars and Thunderchickens. Mustang owners get a bad rap, just like Honda drivers, but in all honesty, there is nothing on the face of this earth that is easier and cheaper to make fast than a Mustang.

I am a bigger fan of the Camaro/Firebird platform though. I have owned every year from `72 to `93 of the Camaro, and other than a Celica or a Mustang it is the only car I wouldn't hesitate to buy as a bare shell and build. As a matter of fact, I would probably choose it over the Mustang or Celica, as I have built them from the ground up.




Cheap, fast and reliable is a domestic world. You have to give up silly notions of fuel injection and fancy ignitions. For a total investment of $5k I can put a Mustang into the ten second territory without any outside of the box thinking. With another couple grand I can make it handle pretty well too.

But it is all different strokes for different folks.

Nitro_Alltrac
08-31-2011, 03:13 AM
You are correct about the V8 coming in the SC, but putting one in a I-6 car isn't as simple as just bolting it in. You're going to have to swap out the wiring harnesses and the ECU at a minimum. The driveshaft will probably have to be resized due to the fact that the tailshaft of the new transmission will most likely sit in a different position than the original It will be some work that you may not be taking into account. This might not be as complicated as swapping a 3SGTE into a Celica GT-S, but it won't be super easy.

Likewise, you'll run into the same issue with a 2JZGTTE. You'll need to change the harness and ECU and most likely the transmission. None of this is impossible but doing this as first project is going to be a tall order.

Nitro_Alltrac
08-31-2011, 03:18 AM
Murg is all over it on the Fox chassis as being the quickest way to fast, cheap and reliable. There is TONS of support and part for these cars. Much more, unfortunately for us, than there'll ever be for the Celica. Just a fact of life. While not Japanese, this is an excellent option for the kind of project you're thinking about. Swapping into a Mustang would be easier than doing the SC. This would be a good place to start and then move on to the more complicated ones later.

underscore
08-31-2011, 03:25 AM
Don't forget that on top of the cost of the shell and drivetrain to swap, there's also all the little maintenance stuff that should be done before the engine goes in to be sure it doesn't fail right after you put it in. Then there's the problem that you mentioned about your friends not being into cars, there are a lot of jobs that are so much easier if you've got help, especially with a swap.

I'd say just tidy up the Celica as you go, maybe making minor upgrades to things as they fail (ie suspension). Just save your money and don't rush into going to school, but at the same time don't be afraid to experiment a bit and see what you like, changing programs isn't too big a deal in most places. There's a lot of kids sponsored by mom and dad around here too (I'm even friends with a few) and just remember, people like that are completely useless at life and chances are very little of their "success" will be their own.

underscore
08-31-2011, 03:30 AM
Don't forget that on top of the cost of the shell and drivetrain to swap, there's also all the little maintenance stuff that should be done before the engine goes in to be sure it doesn't fail right after you put it in. Then there's the problem that you mentioned about your friends not being into cars, there are a lot of jobs that are so much easier if you've got help, especially with a swap.

I'd say just tidy up the Celica as you go, maybe making minor upgrades to things as they fail (ie suspension). Just save your money and don't rush into going to school, but at the same time don't be afraid to experiment a bit and see what you like, changing programs isn't too big a deal in most places. There's a lot of kids sponsored by mom and dad around here too (I'm even friends with a few) and just remember, people like that are completely useless at life and chances are very little of their "success" will be their own.

85gtsblackman
08-31-2011, 04:26 AM
Fast. Cheap. Reliable. Pick two, cause you're not getting all three. .

"cough", 22rte'd powered vehichles "cough cough"

Facime
08-31-2011, 04:30 AM
He said fast.

klapa
08-31-2011, 04:45 AM
I dunno man - after Murg was talking about Fairmonts and all - did you have a Turbo Fairmont Murg?

I always remembered those cars were the ones that had the first "voice" - like they would say "Your door is a jar" every time you got out of the car?

Maybe those were the Lee Iaccoca 'mobiles. I always wanted a turbo K-car myself.

MCcelica
08-31-2011, 04:50 AM
He said fast.

Zing!

prophet513
08-31-2011, 05:30 AM
Everything here makes so much sense but the thing is that makes it harder. It puts more options out there.

I'm still going to go check out this Lexus on Saturday. Although I don't have many friends as into cars as I am, a friend of mine's dad works at a shop full of good, nice people (mostly Hispanic, Spanish-speaking, if that matters) who would be willing to let me keep my car there as I work on it and definitely help me as I go. If I decide to get it that is. I'd like to paint it myself, because that is certainly one thing I may be interested in long term, and I don't have a garage or anything at home. I've always liked to custom paint things. I've painted old Nintendo games, controllers, RC cars etc... Anyway, I'd definitely have help through this process and as usual the information is already out there. I've been looking through Clublexus for a while now and I've found most of what I need already.

I'd say if I'm happy with the shell of the car, especially if I can bring a mechanic to look over everything else and to help me remember those important questions I always forget, I feel like I'm leaning towards buying the it.

One of the biggest factors in this is that the price of the engines I want for my Celica are both A. 4 cylinder and B. a little over $1,000 each. Where as there are 1uzfe V8's for sale that are only about $500, and being USDM, I've seen first hand how they can last for miles and miles and miles.

Facime
08-31-2011, 06:06 AM
why are you even talking about a 1UZ as the first option anyway? The first natual option for an SC300 is to NA-T the 2J. The next most logical is to swap to a regular 2JZGTE, and after that converting it to a big single. All of those options are going to have more power for less money than a 1UZ swap. If you want a 1UZ SC just start with a 400.

T-spoon
08-31-2011, 06:19 AM
Likewise, you'll run into the same issue with a 2JZGTTE. You'll need to change the harness and ECU and most likely the transmission. None of this is impossible but doing this as first project is going to be a tall order.

Yeah, this is not an easy swap (so much wiring!).. and the word cheap just has no place getting anywhere near the conversation. Believe me I know :hehe:

But yeah, like Facime says, it's the logical choice for a swap. It's just going to cost a lot and take you a lot of time, money.. probably both.

UtahSleeper
08-31-2011, 07:14 AM
If you only look at the engine, then yes, it's cheaper. There is so much more to it then that though.

tuner4life
08-31-2011, 12:52 PM
If its a sc30, turbo it. There is more power potential there anyways. If you have to have the V8, just buy a sc400. It will be cheaper to get the sc400 then to buy an sc300 and swap it. Plus in general, the sc400s are usually a bit cheaper than the sc300s. Swaping the two engines out is a huge PITA.

Night_Wolf
08-31-2011, 01:10 PM
What's wrong with driving the Celica now? Shit when I graduated high school I bought my ST with a wrist pin issue and drove it around. It got me from point A to point B,then my buddy started joking around about doing a 3SGTE swap when the engine blew (he didn't know anything except that it was a high performance Celica engine), so I decided to look into what the possible swaps there were for the AT180's, the logical choices would have been either the 4AGZE or 20V and then there was also the 3SGTE (A lot more difficult to put into the AT180). So I started doing a ton of research over the first two years I had the car, granted I put new struts and lowering springs when the old struts went and did and intake and exhaust on the 4A and thought the car was the shit (Boy idk what I was thinking cause this new 4A I have is Slooooow) but anyways I saved up over the course of a year and a half to fund my swap which I didn't officially know was going to be a 3S swap until I just said fuck it and bought the "Clip" off of ebay and then I bought a 99 V6 Solara trans off ebay as well (combined cost of around 1700-2000). Sure it's a pain in the ass, but I love the car and figured the experience would be great, and I can tell you this when my buddies want stuff wired up, they come to me first cause I decided to wire the damn thing up myself (what a mess that was).

Basically what I'm trying to say is drive the Celica around save some money, all the while trying to decide on the type of car you want. I mean I started with one Celica, now that has a 3S swap and last week I picked up another Celica ST so I can drive that while I paint the swapped one and then I think I'll eventually swap the new one as well. It's all about what YOU want not what other people think.

prophet513
08-31-2011, 01:27 PM
Okay to everyone saying why not turbo the 2jz - I feel like it would cost a lot to turbo and maintain an NA-T based on what I've read a long time ago about doing these conversions to Supras. I know I got an estimate on a turbo kit for a 2jz and it was around $4k. Also I'm not sure how long an engine would last with that kind of power being added to it, especially if the one that's coming with the car already has about 165k on it. And then there's the transmission, I'd need to swap that to support the power anyway if I wanted it to last and I would also want a manual conversion in the first place which would cost me a lot more if I'm doing it without an entire swap.

And to everybody saying why not buy an sc400 - I am only interested in this one because its only going to cost me 1200 and then I can get started working on it the day I buy it. If I buy an sc400 they'd be all out of my price range and they'd be leaving me broke every month just like my MR2 did. And when that happened I didn't have the money I wanted to modify the car the way I wanted to. And I don't know what you guys are talking about really it doesn't seem like it's a really hard swap. All I'd need is the motor mounts from an sc400 and then everything but the ac lines would pretty much hook right up. The biggest part of this would be the manual conversion. But with other plants for the car this can really wait. I don't need it out on the road ASAP.

lamont
08-31-2011, 02:25 PM
Okay to everyone saying why not turbo the 2jz - I feel like it would cost a lot to turbo and maintain an NA-T based on what I've read a long time ago about doing these conversions to Supras. I know I got an estimate on a turbo kit for a 2jz and it was around $4k. Also I'm not sure how long an engine would last with that kind of power being added to it, especially if the one that's coming with the car already has about 165k on it. And then there's the transmission, I'd need to swap that to support the power anyway if I wanted it to last and I would also want a manual conversion in the first place which would cost me a lot more if I'm doing it without an entire swap.

And to everybody saying why not buy an sc400 - I am only interested in this one because its only going to cost me 1200 and then I can get started working on it the day I buy it. If I buy an sc400 they'd be all out of my price range and they'd be leaving me broke every month just like my MR2 did. And when that happened I didn't have the money I wanted to modify the car the way I wanted to. And I don't know what you guys are talking about really it doesn't seem like it's a really hard swap. All I'd need is the motor mounts from an sc400 and then everything but the ac lines would pretty much hook right up. The biggest part of this would be the manual conversion. But with other plants for the car this can really wait. I don't need it out on the road ASAP.

I just read your entire post and I laughed pretty hard at some of your replies. You are asking what others think of your idea, but you are rejecting all the advice that has been sent your way. I understand you don't have tons of cash like your wealthy neighbors and you don't have fastest car on the block, but you’re a kid and you already have the speeding tickets to prove what type of driver you're becoming. I don't want to sound like a dick, but I have seen guys like you posting on this forum and trying to mod their car just to end up wrapping it around a tree or damaging them beyond repair. Not saying you would do this but it is all too common. Your swap will not be cheap regardless of which swap you choose. It will cost you well over your estimates and at the end of the day if you save now, while you have a drivable car and live at home, in a couple years you will have enough money to buy what you want. Project cars are just that and 75% of them never get completed. If it was easy trust me everyone would do it, and every SC300 would have a V8/manual conversion, and every Celica would be an Alltrac. Not saying that it can't be done, but in order to do it you need tools, money, time, money, help, money, knowledge, and money. If you don't have these things first DON'T buy a project car. Again I'm not trying to be a dick; I just want to give you an idea of what you are getting yourself into.

prophet513
08-31-2011, 03:02 PM
I just read your entire post and I laughed pretty hard at some of your replies. You are asking what others think of your idea, but you are rejecting all the advice that has been sent your way. I understand you don't have tons of cash like your wealthy neighbors and you don't have fastest car on the block, but you’re a kid and you already have the speeding tickets to prove what type of driver you're becoming. I don't want to sound like a dick, but I have seen guys like you posting on this forum and trying to mod their car just to end up wrapping it around a tree or damaging them beyond repair. Not saying you would do this but it is all too common. Your swap will not be cheap regardless of which swap you choose. It will cost you well over your estimates and at the end of the day if you save now, while you have a drivable car and live at home, in a couple years you will have enough money to buy what you want. Project cars are just that and 75% of them never get completed. If it was easy trust me everyone would do it, and every SC300 would have a V8/manual conversion, and every Celica would be an Alltrac. Not saying that it can't be done, but in order to do it you need tools, money, time, money, help, money, knowledge, and money. If you don't have these things first DON'T buy a project car. Again I'm not trying to be a dick; I just want to give you an idea of what you are getting yourself into.

I understand what you're saying ha I've kind of noticed that whole reply thing myself. But it seems like the Lexus owners are in full support, and telling me it won't be hard. But I don't know. Something about my Celica isn't really doing it for me. I feel like I need something to keep my interest in cars going. When I have ideas like these they always die down before I can get them going anywhere and it's happened several times with different subjects in general throughout my life. And something like this would help. I may be wrong. I may be in way over my head. But I know this would be a fun goal to achieve. Who knows though... I may not bother with it now. The one part that seems like it may kill me would be the manual conversion. I think it may cost a little more than I expected it to be. But I could always stick with the 2jz and that manual conversion would be way easier. Then again however I'm not going to trust the engine of that car.

And my speeding tickets are really not like that. The first one was in my a 41 in a 25 and that street is a few hundred yards downhill with no stopping and not much traffic. Its PAINFUL to drive 25 down that thing and almost NOBODY does it, you really don't even notice when you're 10 mph over the limit right there.

The second time was one night when I was sitting at a light with my window down minding my own business when a ford focus full of weirdos pulled up next to me and all just started staring at me.I was a little mad to begin with so when the light turned green we drove side by side for literally less than 5 seconds until I just decided to pass them. That one was supposedly 43 in a 25, but I really should have asked the cop to see his radar.. I don't fly down every street or drive dangerously in bad conditions or anything. I've never wrecked a car or even come close, especially when driving with a little purpose. And I drove my MR2 like a mad man before but only at night on the highway usually.

Doowstados
08-31-2011, 07:34 PM
I understand what you're saying ha I've kind of noticed that whole reply thing myself. But it seems like the Lexus owners are in full support, and telling me it won't be hard. But I don't know. Something about my Celica isn't really doing it for me. I feel like I need something to keep my interest in cars going. When I have ideas like these they always die down before I can get them going anywhere and it's happened several times with different subjects in general throughout my life. And something like this would help. I may be wrong. I may be in way over my head. But I know this would be a fun goal to achieve. Who knows though... I may not bother with it now. The one part that seems like it may kill me would be the manual conversion. I think it may cost a little more than I expected it to be. But I could always stick with the 2jz and that manual conversion would be way easier. Then again however I'm not going to trust the engine of that car.

And my speeding tickets are really not like that. The first one was in my a 41 in a 25 and that street is a few hundred yards downhill with no stopping and not much traffic. Its PAINFUL to drive 25 down that thing and almost NOBODY does it, you really don't even notice when you're 10 mph over the limit right there.

The second time was one night when I was sitting at a light with my window down minding my own business when a ford focus full of weirdos pulled up next to me and all just started staring at me.I was a little mad to begin with so when the light turned green we drove side by side for literally less than 5 seconds until I just decided to pass them. That one was supposedly 43 in a 25, but I really should have asked the cop to see his radar.. I don't fly down every street or drive dangerously in bad conditions or anything. I've never wrecked a car or even come close, especially when driving with a little purpose. And I drove my MR2 like a mad man before but only at night on the highway usually.

I think we should all just give up.

Facime
08-31-2011, 07:42 PM
I would point out all the flaws in the logic here, and I would have a few parting words of wisdom that made lots of good sense and could send you on the right path at this stage in your life...but you wouldnt listen. You are just like every teenager I ve ever known (including me when I was one). So all I have left to say here is, good luck.

tuner4life
08-31-2011, 08:35 PM
All I was saying is that you will have thousands less into a sc400 with a manual swap, than a sc300 with a 1uzfe and a manual. Literally thousands less and alot less hassle and labor. Yes, the engine will swap out fairly easily, but that is where the "easy" stops. You still have a wiring nightmare on your hands, plus all the accessories, hoses, miscelaneous piddly shit, etc... And to do the swap correctly you will basically have to buy a sc400 (or at least the front half of one) anyways. It seems like you want this car just because it is cheap and you want to start working on it right away. Believe me, Give it a year or so when you are low on funding and motivation, and your "project" (which is still not on the road) slowly coasts to a standstill, you will be kicking yourself for going the route you did. (ask me how I know)

I have owned 33 or so cars, several of the earlier ones were "forever projects". In general what I've found is this. You are going to spend a set amount on a car nomatter how you do it. You are either going to spend it a little bit at a time, and eventually, over several years, it might get done. But you are going to end up spending much more than if you had just waited and saved up and bought a better platform to start from. OR, you wait a little while, (doesnt have to be very long even), save a little money up, and get a better car to start your project with.

Not trying to be a dick, or tell you how to spend your money, just trying to lend some personal experience and friendly advice before you are balls deep in something you and your wallet can't handle.

Facime
08-31-2011, 10:22 PM
one thing I will say: If you are buying a project car because you think you need one to keep your interest in the hobby, you are doomed to fail. That kind of logic is like getting married (to a woman) because you think you might be gay.

prophet513
09-01-2011, 04:25 AM
Okay I'm just confused by all the different things I'm getting from both sides about the difficulty of the swap and stuff. But I will say partly from all of the warnings AGAINST buying the SC and partly from discovering the dark side of the cost for the MANUAL SWAP: I am not going to go through with it. I'm going to stick with my Celica, which of course long term I have a few things to decide on which I will need help with, and I trust you guys.

And just so a lot of you know the painfulness of the swapping issues would not go to my headache ha as mostly mechanics will be doing the work. I just have to provide the parts and knowledge I obtained.

But I am left with this question. After all of you say this stuff about project cars. You make them ALL seem like a terrible idea.

Say I wanted to build up a 240sx, or an Eclipse, or a Supra, or a 325i or an old GTI... How would you recommend taking these things on? It seems like project cars are a bad idea. Unless it has 1 minor known issue maybe or none at all?

I'm just confused on how you'd go about doing so regularly ha

Facime
09-01-2011, 04:42 AM
The point we are making is that if you are up in the air about a project car at 18 or 19 because you dont have any money and are questioning your own resolve to even stick with the hobby of cars at all...then the answer is its a bad idea.


Im in my late 40's and I didnt have the skill or the money, much less the patience to think about auto restoration and modification as a hobby (or a career) until pretty recently in my life. Once you've done a first one (which alot of guys here have already, and why you should be listening to them!) you will understand how much money it takes. And the less experienced you are the more money it takes...to make mistakes, to break stuff, to have to pay specialty shops for the stuff you cant do because you cant afford the tools to do those things, to afford the basic toold required to even do modifications (cutting, grinding, welding, wrenching, pullers, jacks, jackstands, hoists, worklights, airtools, measiring devices, electical testing and repair equipment, etc.)...it never ends.

Start small, start easy. Build your experience, build your confidence and build your financial backing as you go.

Here is an idea. Buy the SC cash. Set a reasonable budget that you think will get everything you need to ONLY repair it and put it back on the road. Take it apart and fix the headgasket without any modifications or swap plans at all. If you can manage that without getting bored, or loosing interest, or losing your ass on the job, or running yourself into a financial hole...you will know what you are capable of at the end of it. If you cant do a headgasket and get the car running in stock config, you dont belong doing anything more to it.

If you could do that, you could save for a swap while you drive the car and see if you even like it. It would be faster than the Celica, and you could sell the motor to help fund a swap.



find fault in that logic.

prophet513
09-01-2011, 04:49 AM
Thats completely logical.

I'm not even going to buy the SC though I don't think... I don't want the insurance on my back every month and I know my Celica could use a few little things. And honestly a lot of it isn't about the mechanical know how for me. It'd be the mind behind the set up of the car. Like picking the things and knowing all of what the car needs just not how to put it together. I would love to try painting a car. But other than some body work or rust work or brakes maybe there aren't many major mechanical things I'm ready for. Call it stupid logic but thats just how I saw it and thats just where I stand now when it comes to my ability. And of course as they all went along with the work I'd be right there with them seeing how its done and offering to help turn a wrench but I wasn't in it for the work of the swap and all, just the build itself.

UtahSleeper
09-06-2011, 06:28 PM
If you are more into body work and want to learn that, I would buy a book and start learning now. Use the celi as a test bed and get into it with what you have.

Most people's first "project" was thier daily driver. I made that mistake a few times, but learned alot and learned real quick what I could do in a short amount of time before going to work, or doing over a weekend.

Or you could find a car you like that runs ok and has a rough body.

prophet513
09-06-2011, 11:30 PM
Or you could find a car you like that runs ok and has a rough body.

I was thinking about an older civic for that maybe.

Just quit my job though, kinda screwed for a few weeks but I guess no biggie.
And yeah, I regret having my car painted soooo much. I wish I would've painted it myself and saved like $1,100, as well as gaining the experience.

Other than that do you recommend any books? Or know of any kind of places where you can learn this stuff? Or anything like that at all even... Car body work and especially paint seems to be my interest but if possible I'd be leaning towards the whole subject in the form of upgrades rather than repairs. Make sense?

Doowstados
09-07-2011, 07:25 PM
I was thinking about an older civic for that maybe.

Just quit my job though, kinda screwed for a few weeks but I guess no biggie.
And yeah, I regret having my car painted soooo much. I wish I would've painted it myself and saved like $1,100, as well as gaining the experience.

Other than that do you recommend any books? Or know of any kind of places where you can learn this stuff? Or anything like that at all even... Car body work and especially paint seems to be my interest but if possible I'd be leaning towards the whole subject in the form of upgrades rather than repairs. Make sense?

Upgrades and repairs go hand in hand. The more you push into your car (and out of it) the more reliability you lose and the more repairs are necessary as your car fails to take the strain of the upgraded components. You can't have one without the other.

If you really want to learn, take some classes at a local community college and find an apprenticeship at a body shop. Just keep reading forums for information, books are only as good as they are new unless you are working on outdated cars.

And good luck finding a job within a "few weeks." I don't know where you live but out here in SD it's a tough world right now.

prophet513
09-07-2011, 11:48 PM
Upgrades and repairs go hand in hand. The more you push into your car (and out of it) the more reliability you lose and the more repairs are necessary as your car fails to take the strain of the upgraded components. You can't have one without the other.

If you really want to learn, take some classes at a local community college and find an apprenticeship at a body shop. Just keep reading forums for information, books are only as good as they are new unless you are working on outdated cars.

And good luck finding a job within a "few weeks." I don't know where you live but out here in SD it's a tough world right now.

I meant more bodily upgrades or paint jobs like to "update" the look if you know what I mean.. Not necessarily how to turbo a car or anything, although that would be nice.

And amazingly I did get a job and start it today at a local BMW dealership. Yay me

allTRACway
09-07-2011, 11:54 PM
wishwash

prophet513
09-08-2011, 12:23 AM
wishwashing cars?

yes indeed