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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I've been saving up hundreds of pictures and just now decided to do a readers ride thread. Mainly b/c I've just now been able to save up enough money to actually do some decent things to her.
To start things off, I'm originally from Niceville, FL (in the panhandle 45 minutes from Panama City Beach). I had a friend who had an 02 gts and I had helped him build it along with his dad, dropped a new engine in it, turbo'd it etc. I declined a baseball scholarship to a community college and decided on University of Central Florida (UCF), hence the username. I'm majoring in Aerospace Engineering.

I purchased my 2000 gt in late July of 2011 when I first got to UCF. When I bought it, electric door locks didn't work, passenger window didn't work, cruise control didn't work, airbag system didn't work (didn't know that at the time) and had some other electrical problems. It also had 170k miles roughly but the interior was in pretty good shape, it ran well and best of all it was CHEAP.

I'm going to upload the photos of my progress with descriptions of them and then when I get to how my car is currently, I hope you guys can offer some good ideas as to what else I can do.

Pictures of the car the day I bought it




 

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Discussion Starter #2
First things first.... I transferred my radio, amp, sub, cap etc. to my new celica.





Unfortunately, the door was broken on the stock radio bezel piece and it stayed like that for the first year or so. Single din sony headunit, 15" memphis power reference sub in a custom vented box, powerbass amp, raptor 2 farrad cap.

A couple days later I found a good deal on some rims and tires. They were 215/45/17's with about 50% tread left and some focal rims that had extremely bad curb rash. Grabbed all of them for $150. Also, free of charge from Toyota........... A LIFT KIT!!! :D


 

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Discussion Starter #3
Buffed a good amount of that crap that was on the front bumper and hood out a couple weeks later. Also my first picture of under the hood. It looked great and was really impressive when I first looked at this car. The other celica's I looked at were missing most of the plastics or were really dirty and not well taken care of.





More pictures of the lift kit :D and a picture of the interior

 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
A month or so later the hatch struts went out so I replaced those. I also replaced the map/dome light and trunk light with blue led's. Then added two footwell million color led tubes from led glow.





 

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Discussion Starter #5
I drove her around for about a year like this and she treated me nice. Especially for a 11 year old car. Around this time, I started noticing some problems. I noticed a rough idle, EXTREMELY rough when in reverse (still haven't fixed this problem), RPM's dropping about 300-500 when the A/C button is on as well as cold air only blowing and blowing faster when the gas pedal is pressed (still haven't fixed these problems either). Also very uneven tire wear, bad alignment, struts were gone, studs were stripped, and a bunch of electrical problems.

And of course the big problem......... the engine started stalling. I cleaned the MAF, did the annual fuel treatment, added an oil treatment and it stopped stalling. I decided I needed to fix the problem before I got stranded somewhere. I had a friend back home that just so happened to have a friend in orlando that is a toyota master tech..... THANK GOD!!!!! I found a great deal for an 05 1zz complete engine with 32k for $1200 with a year warranty. We removed the engine, rebuilt, and installed the engine in a record time of about 3 hours. He was a beast and even better than the time it took, it only cost me $300. I've put about 24k on it in the past 2 years or so and it's running stronger than ever.

BEFORE ENGINE REBUILD




AFTER ENGINE REBUILD.... SORRY NONE DURING


 

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Discussion Starter #6
I was able to grab an ledmod gauge cluster for rather cheap, the only problem was it was for a gts and I have a gt. Who cares though, mph were the same and I recalibrated the tach. At this time I also changed the clock with the films to a blue color, I also changed the a/c control lights to blue as well as the cig lighter light. Now, every light in my car is blue.. YAY!!! :)

Little did I know, the shit storm was lurking around the corner




 

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Discussion Starter #7
And now the shit storm hits!! When I installed the new ledmod cluster I found out that the cruise control light, srs/airbag light, and CEL had been disabled on the cluster that my car came with. When I plugged the new cluster in the cruise and srs light were both blinking. I had 2 codes thrown by the cruise light blinking and 7 or 8 from the srs light blinking codes. I went to the dealership and picked the brain of a few of their mechanics and of course... they were wrong. They told me that when there is a problem with the systems they "WILL BLINK THE TROUBLE CODES" even though the manual says if there is a problem the lights will just blink and then you have to connect the diagnostic port on the obd port to get the lights to blink the codes. I told him this but he said that I was wrong. So because the mechanic steered me in the opposite direction, I went through and read the codes out, bought used parts to fix the codes and that didn't work. A few months more of trouble shooting only to find out that I only needed to rewire the diagnostic wire from the airbag and cruise ecu's. MONTHS OF HEADACHES FOR 2 FREAKING WIRES!!! :fawk: :fawk: :bang:

But now I have working cruise control which is good b/c I make the 6 hour drive from Orlando to PCB and another 6 hours back about 10-15 times a year. And I know feel safe in my car which has a working airbag system!!
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Back to the good stuff!!

Window's have been tinted and my silver NewCelica.org decals have been put on, on both rear quarter windows. At this time I also repaired all the curbrash on my rims and then Plastidipped them black, as well as smoking my tail lights and painting the hood scoop and front toyota logo. I lowered the car before this but these are the first pictures. I lowered it on 4 Stagg Struts and 1.7" ebay lowering springs. This setup cost about $300 total or so and the stagg struts carry a 2 year warranty. They actually ride pretty well, the springs in the rear are a little stiff but not terrible. I've had no problems and I've got about 10k on them as of now.

The last picture shows the distance between the front bumper and ground with the lowering springs. Wheel gap is about 1.5"








 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
Short break from my car during winter break.... time to gawk over my brothers new car.








My friend and her new dog!!

 

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Discussion Starter #10
Added a Passive Keyless Entry system (PKE) which uses an antenna and receiver (much like a normal keyless entry) to sense when the key is within range and then automatically unlocks the doors. Similarly when the remote is out of range, it automatically locks the doors. A lot of the newer cars have these types of systems and it only cost me $65 and took an hour to install. Did the amp integration harness mod and installed a new amp as well as a low profile 2 12" sub box that fits inbetween the back of the rear seats and the rear strut towers. I also purchased and installed a gts steering wheel and a pair of eudm headlights with the motorized leveling ability. Just before all of this I installed an s2k antenna and found out that there is A HUGE leak in my trunk and I'm taking on about a half a gallon of water if it rains for 8 hours or so. I originally thought it was the sunroof drain but it wasn't it was the antenna assembly, so 2 weeks after buying the s2k, I did a antenna delete and now no water in my trunk. It rained so bad one time that it filled up the whole compartment between the trunk and rear right fender, overflowed into the spare tire compartment and filled that 3/4 of the way up too.



 

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Discussion Starter #11
More to come in the next few days!

I'd love to hear opinions, feedback (positive or negative), any cool mods that I'm missing etc.
 

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You did some great work getting that car back into shape. Looks good, like the tints and new headlights, black on silver is great. Rims are not my style, but they do look better in back .

Your brothers car is a beast.
 

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I think if it was me I would rather have the stock wheels, red out tails, and change the interior lights to more of a white color.

LOL LIFT KIT?.....
 

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You've done a great job on a budget! Congratulations.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I'm in the same boat as you guys. I don't like the rims at all but I had bought it with steelies (sp?) all the way around. They were 15's I think and didn't have the plastic rim covers so they were pretty much not going to cut it. Plus they were bald, so replacing just the tires with used ones would have cost me about $90 anyway. I essentially got 4 rims for about $60 so it was a quick fix.

I think if it was me I would rather have the stock wheels, red out tails, and change the interior lights to more of a white color.
It's funny that you mention that because I picked up some 03+ tails about a week ago. I also tried a hyper white led for the interior and I'm going to switch back to that one for the dome light but the hyper whites look weird for the a/c controls and such.
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
Around the same time all these problems were arising I did some research into who I bought the car from. I had her name from the title
and had felt like either she or whoever she may have bought the car from had disabled the cluster lights on purpose and hid numerous other
problems. I found out she was on a non-immigrant visa from Russia, meaning she was just a visitor to the US. Went down to the local bureau
and was able to get what she put down as where she worked. GUESS WHAT?!?!? She worked at a used car dealership. I had a friend who is
studying web design and all that stuff and he was able to access archives of their webpage with an ad that appeared to be of the same car I
had purchased. I then went up to the dmv and was able to obtain title transfer records of my car and found out that the dealership had
purchased the car at an auction and transferred the title (as a gift) to this women that worked for them the day before I purchased it.

Looks super sketchy to me and since I'm a UCF student, I have free access to any and all of UCF's attorney's. I went in for a consultation
and the attorney told me that it is illegal for a dealership to knowingly SELL a car to someone with non working airbags, that's why they
gifted it to their employee. Then she sold it to me but I can't prove that she herself knew that the airbags didn't work so I'm fresh out of luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
As stated above, I came across a killer deal from a junkyard in Tampa. I found a pair of 03+ tails in virtually brand new condition for $75 shipped for the pair. Also, I have pictures of the antenna delete. I'm sure people have done this before but I took the s2k off, unscrewed the base, took the gaskets off and then dropped the antenna assembly about 3 inches or so and left it there instead of removing the whole assembly. Reception isn't all that bad. I also painted the interior pieces black and added a new touchscreen radio.



 

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Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
At this time I wanted to get rid of my front bumper and upgrade to an 03+ with a c-one lip that bumper would have cost me about $320 plus paint including the lip. I was on my way to toyota to order the front bumper and made a wrong turn which was a blessing in disguise. The wrong turn led me past 2 JDM auto shops. Stopped by them and found an authentic veilside kit in what I think is 1e7 (might be 1d0) from a JDM celica it had a good bit of damage. 2 holes in the front bumper for a license plate, an 8-10" full crack in the rear bumper but for $180 I thought it was worth a shot. It also came with a pair of JDM sidemarkers.



 

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Discussion Starter #19
After a good bit of fiberglass and bondo, the bumpers were ready for paint. Paint didn't turn out that well. It was an extremely quick job. I had to make 2 trips to take the full kit in my car since I didn't have access to my truck at the time. So I started the glass and bondo work around 3pm. I sanded, washed and prepped a quarter of the rear bumper and 2 small portions of the front bumper, primed, painted, cleared, removed the stock front and rear bumpers and then installed the new freshly painted kit by 9:30pm that night.







 

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Discussion Starter #20
The color doesn't look that far off like it does in these pictures above or below.

The car as it sits today!!



 
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