View Full Version : My 1991 Celica GT coupe.

Eric Barrera
10-23-2012, 10:12 PM
Well I think it's time for me to make one of these, since it's been about 2 years in total build time. Lets start from the the beginning.

My dad and I first spotted this car right after looking at a 99 Honda Accord. It was going to be my first car, and the accord wasn't really a "looker" for a almost 15 year old. We were driving to autozone, and we saw the red Celica on the street with a for sale sign. I was in love at first sight, the color, the curves, and most of all it was stick. Most of you know, I didn't know jack about this car, I was a Honda Kid, or in essence a Ricer, I must admit. I wanted it to be a Evo killer, a mustang eater. Little did I know the little car had it's true potential in the twisties.

We ended up settling at 1000 bucks for the car. I was all smiles when we got it home... Little did I know I was in for the longest project of my life. First problem, Rack and Pinion gave out, PS fluid everywhere. PITA to fix but, managed. The car didn't give us problems for a year, and then it happened. Remember, my dad DD the car for the first year because I didn't have my license yet, well one morning he called me and said "Hook up the trailer, and drive with your mom here". He was about 8 miles out from home. When I got there, antifreeze everywhere, engine bay drenched in crap. We got it home, and my dad suggested an engine. Here are the pics.

When I got it home.

I didn't ever think of a head rebuild, HG set, and done. I went straight for another engine which was stupid on my part. To top it off, look at this.

That right there is a 3sfe. The seller claimed it was a 5s from a camry, but it wasn't. This right around the time that I found Celicatech. I came here with the wrong questions, and I probably was the biggest noob here ever. Well I got the tranny matted up, but the car never ran with the 3sfe for obvious reasons. Here is the pic with the 3s mounted and the 5s valve cover.

The car sat for a month or two because I didn't have money to fix it.


2 Months fast forward, and I had enough for a guy to do a head job for the car. He had done previous work for our cars and it was decent so I thought I could trust him. When he saw my car he pointed out it was a 3sfe, and asked if I had the 5sfe lying around. HE saw the 5s and said I was better offer getting an entire engine rebuild. I agreed, thinking I would have a good reliable car for a solid 5 years. Well at first everything was good, they dropped the 3s, took the 5s, and came 5 days later with the 5s ready to drop in.

5s mounted

This is when things went bad. The guy didn't come one day, and then the next and then the next. I called him to see whats up. He said he was sorry that he had gotten swamped with other jobs and couldn't get to me till next week. I was cool with it, seeing I had no rush for the car being built. Next week he didn't come, then he started ignoring my calls.
Through all of this, I had started sanding and prepping my car for primer and paint. Here are those pictures.




and the final result


I also did my 6th gen rear arms conversion too, here are the pics. Some of the bolts were so rusted on I had to cut them.










After 2 months, 1600 bucks, and almost a lawsuit, I finally got the Celica running. For about 200 miles. I was driving to the gas station to top off and I felt a very hard hesitation on the engine, like almost a "no fuel" kinda thing. I was super low on gas so I thought it was out. I got to the station, car sounded fine, so I shut it off. I topped off, and when I went to start the car, I kept getting a horrible Grinding noise, the noise you get when a clutch doesn't engage properly. Called my dad, and he pushed me home. When I got it home, it wouldn't crank, or anything. Everyone on the boards told me, drop the pan, and check the bottom end.





Engine was suppose to be tanked, honed, and everything else with new pistons, rings etc... We all knew this engine never ever got to a machine shop. I was pist but then, when I saw this, I lost it.


I assumed it was a piston skirt, but never confirmed wtf it was... I got the point, I got screwed over and I was out almost 2g's. I grew a pair, and dug into the engine.

Keep in mind, I was suppose to get a full, complete rebuild.










As we can all see, those are OEM pistons, which still had OEM rings, and seals. Block never ever made it to a shop, and I think got bottle honed by a damn pepsi can. I sucked it up, cut my loss, and began to disassemble my engine. I labeled everything, and Ziploc'd it in bags. I didn't cut corners, I found a good machine shop, with a good rep, and I got a good deal for a complete build.

Pistons, rings, honing, and everything in between for the block = 400 bucks. Not bad.

The head got tanked, and adjusted for 150 bucks.









This is when I got a lot of goodies too, Gauges, custom short shifter (thanks Bruce) and other things.







This was the day Car Barn Bandit came to help. We couldn't get the damn tranny to mate up! Good effort though, and he motivated me to finish it.


and finally!



I got the car to run, with a bunch of complications. Tranny axle seals went bad, oil pressure gauge leaking, and a grit load of other stuff but I got it the shop where it sat for another 2 months awaiting funds. I was just happy I drove it 1 mile lol.

While awaiting funds, and other things like Graduating, High school, and other Daily life BS, I bought a couple of things. My Girlfriend also bought me a couple of things like the Alltrac hood I always wanted, the the Round Fog Bumper too. (thanks babe) Anyways, here it is.





The System 10 panels came off a friends GTS that he was going to auto cross, I scored the GTS rims on Craigslist for 100 bucks, and I custom made brakets for the 6th gen seats to fit my car. After 2 months, I finally brought her home under her own power. I was litteraly emotional when I shifted from frist to second the very first time. I had accomplished it. My car was running, well, sorta lol.

Then went on all the goodies!


http://i263.photobucket.com/albums/ii146/ecastillo653/Toyota%20celica/396242_2655597104667_1098026252_32355653_131801689 3_n.jpg

And again, something happened. I began to have weird pops, almost like explosions, and on night, it was so bad that I saw fire in the engine bay. I didn't touch or drive the car car till the day CBB came by again. I had to snap some pics of Blackhawk, his car is amazing.



I ended up figuring out my coil was ground out, via one of my old ass hot wires.

After all of that came the exhaust work, and then the paint.

Ebay 4-2-1 header, cat delete, 1 resonator, and a Maganaflow Street series in the back.

http://i263.photobucket.com/albums/ii146/ecastillo653/Toyota%20celica/541607_2916658631042_1098026252_32463619_466318299 _n-1.jpg

Also the neon strut bar install.


As of now, I drive the car to school, and it's a dream. I have to solve the minor issue with the idle, but other then that, I think I have one nice little 5s.

Everyone here knows this car was built with eveyones knowledge. Without this site, this car wouldn't be out and about. I am very grateful to all of you.

I hope you guys enjoy this.

10-25-2012, 07:57 AM
You've come a long way man! It's running well now? I thought you were cruising around in an Accord?

Eric Barrera
10-25-2012, 07:11 PM
Celica is runnin, the idle.issue I still have to resolve

Honda will be sold since I acquired the 6th geb vert