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View Full Version : Seriously considering buying an ST165 - send halp!



azrael
08-14-2012, 08:23 AM
The story basically goes something like this:

Ryan and Tara convinced me to come to the 2012 Run of the Ogopogo, wherein I met all kinds of Celica owners, mostly with GT4s. Now, don't get me wrong: I've owned all kinds of crazy Celicas in my time, but they were all what you crazy kids call "Classic," which is to say from 1977-1985. (I've owned two 77s, a 79, an 83, an 84, and a large number of 82, 83, 84, and 85 Celica Supras.)

What I've discovered is that my scorn for the 4th-gen Celica onwards is misplaced, because the All-Trac (or GT4) is pretty friggin' sweet. Now, I love the ST205, but with a money-pit MkIII Supra going on right now, they're a little bit out of my price range. The ST185 is an extremely capable, well-balanced car, but I still think they're kind of the ugly middle child of the Celica line. (Sorry, Ian et al.)

What this leaves me with is the ST165. Now, Nils (phrax) was apparently keeping one of these a secret from everyone (and I'm going to keep it that way until I own it, thank you!) but it appears to be in very nice shape with respect to the body, and despite having the stock rims and two flat tires plus some cracking in the sidewalls, it apparently ran when it was parked. (Nils thinks this was about two years ago, and it hasn't been driven since.)

I love the styling of the fourth-gen Celica, but I've never owned one. If I were to buy this car, it would obviously need new tires, but if I go asking questions of the current owner before having Nils go snatch it up for me, what sort of things should I be looking for? I know the 1st-gen 3S-GTE isn't exactly the best motor ever, but is there an achilles heel I should be looking for? Apparently it has a new rad and new valve stem seals, at least before the car was parked. Assuming it still starts and runs, what else should I be concerned about?

I plan to finish the Supra first (which realistically won't take very long because my aspirations are minimal - new turbo, injectors, airflow meter, exhaust, and coilovers) but after that, I'd be very interested in doing a second-gen 3S-GTE swap into the car. Until then, the Celica would be something of a backup to drive if the Supra ever breaks, tucked away for a rainy day when I feel like playing stupid with an all-wheel drive car.

My AE95 Corolla All-Trac wagon was probably the most fun I've ever had with a car, and I would imagine this to be the same idea, but smaller, lighter, and faster.

Am I terribly wrong?

ChrisD
08-14-2012, 06:00 PM
Heck ya it's pretty damn sweet. :cool: OK I'm biased.

OK for my list of watchouts. I'll try to avoid the things that you just have to expect being an older car, for example like worn suspension (almost certainly).

- If anything is the achilles heel it would be rust. Wtih the design of the bodykit, moisture tends to get trapped beneath. So you'd probably expect the fenders below the bodykit to have some rust. You may not see it however, because it is covered up. But that's the big one for me.

Now for some of the more minor things:

- The single entry CT26 is prone to cracking on the exhaust housing and around the wastegate port. I'm sure the Supra version suffers from this too. I've never seen an ST165 turbo *not* cracked.

- Ditto for the exhaust manifold. Cracks galore. A gen2/3 turbo/manifold swap is possible, with a manifold spacer to help clear the oil cooler. You could of course swap the cooler to a different type if you wanted to avoid that as well.

- Stock radiator has plastic end tanks. If it's got a new one, awesome.

- The rad overflow tank was converted to a pressurized unit somewhere along the way on a Service Bulletin. Should have that one if you can.

- If it has leather, the drivers seat is likely worn.

- The heater occasionally has an issue where the solder connections crack, simple fix though.

That's what I've got off the top of my head. In the end, it's still a Toyota and can be great cars when maintained. Like I said before, the ST165 will always be my favourite gen of GT4.

underscore
08-14-2012, 06:17 PM
Stop considering and start buying haha. Basically ditto everything Chris said, and as a side note if anything happens to my RC, everything in it is going into a 165.

MrWOT
08-14-2012, 07:30 PM
1st gen 3SGTE is a great engine, large ports, so make sure TVIS works. Don't worry about the cracking in the turbine housing, won't hurt anything.

Only other thing I'd mention is to expect to be replacing rear dif mount, recommend solid aluminum, will make it handle better under power.

Watch for rust around power roof.

Do eeeeet!

underscore
08-14-2012, 08:05 PM
^ offtopic but there's a GB going on for the solid rear mounts atm

UtahSleeper
08-14-2012, 10:47 PM
Rust..........really, if the car starts with fresh gas and oil and the body is in good shape, then expect to spend some time and money on suspension. Other then that they are great cars, just expect alot of time spent going to replace all of the neglected items over the years. And the biggest pit fall to the 1st gen is it lacks the aftermarket support the 2nd gen has in the alltrac world. But niether had a crap load when compared to a supra.

RedRkt01
08-24-2012, 12:36 AM
ST165 part outs are a common occurrence these days. So if you pick up the car you should have no problem picking up replacement parts when you should have a need. And then there are people like me that hoard parts so all in all, you'll have easy access to whatever you need via the community.

underscore
08-24-2012, 12:58 AM
Rust..........really, if the car starts with fresh gas and oil and the body is in good shape, then expect to spend some time and money on suspension. Other then that they are great cars, just expect alot of time spent going to replace all of the neglected items over the years. And the biggest pit fall to the 1st gen is it lacks the aftermarket support the 2nd gen has in the alltrac world. But niether had a crap load when compared to a supra.

On the flip side a decent bit of stuff from a 185 can be made to fit a 165. Exhausts, driveshafts, coilovers, etc.

azrael
08-28-2012, 01:02 AM
This is all very good to know!

I'm moving to Vancouver on Saturday, so after I'm all settled, I think I'm going to start pursuing this. Apparently it hasn't moved at all, so I'm hoping that this all goes well!

Rick89GTS
08-29-2012, 06:36 AM
ChrisD covered most of the common problem areas. Here's a couple more:
-Rear quarter windows seals will leak water unseen under the interior body panel and short out your driver's side rear speaker. The seals have to be replaced.
-Power steering high pressure hose will leak; everyone here has probably replaced one. It's a pain in the ass, but do-able in a few hours.

schnee
09-20-2012, 08:23 AM
Oil seals leaking - the motor is not easy to work on so these get neglected
Overheating - dirty radiators and pipes
Head gasket - prone to blowing, esp if the radiator etc is rusting inside, boost has been fiddled with etc
Damaged #3 piston - Too many people crank up the boost and it damages #3 piston
Gearbox grinding - faulty synchros are expensive to fix