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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well, I have to say, my Celica's journey has made a big venture lately, so I have decided to document the hell out of it with a lot of pictures. There will still be a 3S swap in another year with a conversion to RWD. In the mean time, this is the pictorial diary of my Celica.

OEM. From the get go, she was decent. I put on some bolt ons, and added a few goods that made her more of "mine." I had big plans for her, so I named her "Sophia." Kind of exotic. Some of the plans grew, some died, and some are still just plans. I ordered her to spec and waited 6 months for the order from Japan.


I dressed up the interior a little, nothing much tho.


Flashed up the engine bay...


Even threw on some graphics for a road race one weekend. I liked it for about 5 minutes. Every kid under the age of 10 wanted a ride tho. Ha!




Then one night in Feb 2002, she blew. Dunno how or what happened, but the motor gave way. I was in traffic, doing about 35 mph, and she died. She never started again. Toyota refused to cover it, so I had to find other options. In the meantime, I was designing a body kit and talked to a friend out in PA about doing a 3s swap. With that in mind, I put on a JDM TRD bumper I just recieved to measure for intercooler clearance, and left it there until the swap would be finished.


While I was at it, I figured I may as well do an over haul on the interior too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Then, my friend from PA, Christian Rado, offered me a job on the team. I made the move and spent the rest of 2002 on the road, not getting to spend more than 5 minutes on my own car.


After doing some math and talking with a lot of contacts, I realized that this swap and RWD conversion was going to cost me more than I thought, even with hookups out the wazoo. So, realizing that the drivetrain and custom fabrication of everything metal on the car would cost me over 10k, I decided I would save till I had all the dough to do the swap. But that would be over a year. In the meantime, I knew it had been a year since the car last run and it was time to get her rolling back to stock so I had something fun in the meantime.

What fun is stock tho? I mean, if you're going to drop some dough, why not tune it up a little? So I ordered some toys.


I called Toyota, and ordered a spanking new block. Then I grapped our head from our drag car that never got used and had pro drag racer Kevin McCurdy build the head for me. TRD sent me a nice clutch to put the power to the ground as I started to transfer parts from the old block to the new one.


I slipped in a B&M short shifter for a more solid feel. Normie from OT helped me with this one because, well, there was nothing else to do. After that install, we called it a day and grabbed some beers.


Afterwards, the parts of the body were loaded up in Normie's Ford Escape and shipped to his place to shave the front plate and side marker holes in the TRD bumper, and smooth out the sides and repair a dent to the rear. (Notice Normie trying to hide from the camera in the first pic)

 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Now it was time to get to work. I picked up the Racing Harts from the powder coater. Interior parts were dyed black. All parts from the pillars up were wrapped in black on black Gucci fabric. The interior went back in and then it was time for the wrenching.


Parts were laid out and sorted. Every piece that was off was put threw the parts washer. After they dried, color changes were made to just about everything metal. I wanted the engine bay to attract as little attention as possible, so everything went to a ceramic based flat black. A strong contrast to the old engine with the red valve cover.



After everything was carefully cleaned, lubed and laid out, I used our ALL-DATA system instructions and carefully pieced the engine back together.



Let me tell you. It is a real bitch, doing this stuff by yourself.


Sometimes, you make a mistake. I found that out the hard way when I made two of them. I reused flywheel bolts. Didn't know they weren't reusable. Also, I didn't torque them down enough. The bad part? I found out the hard way.

Time for the engine to come right back out. ****!


I sheared the flywheel bolts clean off. They were all loose enough to unscrew out by hand but two. Two required drilling.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Ahhhhhhhhh. Let's try this again, shall we?



Time for the new rear suspension.


New tires mounted to the rims and ready to slap on.


Interior glossified. Gucci looking clean. Notice, the Gucci is actually really dark. I had to use the flash so you could see the pattern. So unless you know what you are looking at, it's just looks like a classy fabric. Nice and subtle, just the way I like it.




In high traffic areas, I covered the piece in black rubber to prevent scuffs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
And to finish her off, the body was tacked on and a custom APEXi N1 exhaust was mandrel bent to fit.







A set of Brembos are on the way to replace the badly warped rotors.


Ride: 2000 Toyota Celica GT-S

Under the Hood: Hand built 2ZZ-GE; Head built by pro drag racer Kevin McCurdy; Block built by Toyota; painted in carbon black ceramic; self installed engine, components and drivetrain; TRD clutch plate, clutch cover and throw out bearing; Valvoline gear oil, motor oil and clutch/brake fluid (dot 4); INJEN cold air intake; APEXi N1 Turbo anodized blue exhaust mandrel bent cat back; B&M short shifter-- on the way, 50 shot from NX

Stiff Stuff: Cross drilled rotors (F & B); Black Calipers; TRD Sportivo front shocks, swaybars (F & B) and bushings; Tokico rear struts; Eibach Sportline springs; -- on the way, Rear Hypermitive strut bar; Front Rod Millen strut bar; front cusco lower tie bar

Rollers: 17"x7" Racing Hart M5 Monoblocks powder coated gloss black, 215/40ZR17 Bridgestone Potenza S03 Pole Positions

Outside: Paint and body work by Darin out of Trenton, NJ; shaved license plate and parking lams on front JDM TRD Mechanical bumper; painted and smoothed stock side skirts and rear bumper; Hood repainted; Tail lamps redded out; S2000 antenna; front lamp housing painted black inside, tinted outside; all bulbs by Raybrig of Japan; Walmart driving lights;

Inside: Self installed full interior; panels from pilars up wrapped in black on coated in black rubber; Razo Shift knob; White faced guages; VIP alarm and keyless entry; Blue/black carbon/kevlar overlay kit; broadway mirror-- on the way, Black Recaro SRDs and tinted windows.

Comments: My mom is the greatest woman in the world and she helped me out in my toughest of binds. Thanks to my Team members for the help on the suspension nightmares of old. They made good memories, until the first engine blew. LOL. Darin, thanks for your help on the body work. I really appreciate it. Christian Rado, World Racing, Toyota and TRD... thank you, thank you, thank you. My dad, and all my friends, thanks for making fun of my $25000. paperweight, it inspired me to get my ass in gear.
 

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u got an awsome shop to work in man. i wish i had a place like that. all my work was done outside in 30-40 degree weather:ugh:

plus ur car looks damn good. keep it up:thumbup:
 

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simply amazing. i dont think i would have the patience to stick an engine in by myself...

and your shop and car are amazing.. nice work!
 

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:bowdown: It is a beauti, though I'm not really a fan of black wheels (to each his own). Wally Thanks you of course and they look good on there. :thumbup:
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
HilfigerCelica said:
How come you didn't reuse the good parts on the old engine?
I did. The head and block were destroyed. It was pretty bad. It wasn't the misshift that people are used to on this board. It was nasty.


Thanks for the compliments guys :D
 

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first off, how long did the whole process take from the time the motor ceased?

i love the engine bay, definetly unique. the gucci though seems out of place in the celica, but like someone said before (to each his own). other than that i love the jdm look and you might want to consider the back half of the kit cause from then side it looks a little long on the nose.

very nice! :bling:
 
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