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490 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hey guys,
Time has finally come and I think my story has to be told. First, it could help some members to avoid mistakes and second I learned all I know on this website, so some of you deserve to be thanked and see the "final" product.

Many... oh Many lol, THANK YOU for everything. You helped me a lot and taught me a lot along the way.

After that, thanks to blindingts for the supported help and all the users I never met that, at some point, helped me : Herman, Boosted, Illusive, 2Way, 2KTRD?, youngxlos and probably others I can't remember.

I was born in 1990 and around 2001-02, everytime we passed by a Celica I was telling my parents that one day I would own one.

In May 2009, I decided it was time. I bought an 2000 GT-S Carbon Blue with around 145k kms on the counter iirc :
Goldline lowering springs
Custom dual exhaust with Dynomax muffler

I bought the S2K antenna before buying the car...
I got rid of the ugly white lines on the tails...
And I removed the TOYOTA sticker on the windshield
Not long enough after, the tuner inside me was born lol!!!

Injen CAI
Polished wheels
Tainted 00-02 tails

In October 2010, I wanted more and as I was browsing through the FS section, BAM! a turbo kit for sale and kinda I made the trip from Montreal to Toronto.
Old kit with GT28RS upgrade and 3" full exhaust

With used parts bought on NC too:
PFC with Datalogit
F1 racing flywheel
Exedy stage 1 clutch and pressure plate
Urethane front and rear engine mounts

With Prosports gauges (wideband, boost, oil pressure)

The result:

The car ran on a map provided by blindingts with some modifications based on logs.
Soon after the car started "knocking" at low rpm. I was referred to Many by people on NC. Before tearing the engine apart, I bought two blocks from Herman thinking there was no way my engine wasn't done. Tearing it down showed otherwise. The engine was fine. The flywheel was loose because we didn't torque the bolts properly.
So anyways, the engine was torn apart and we had two incomplete blocks with low miles. Many built me an engine with the parts.
My cam lobes were worn, probably caused by previous owner who also apparently had the head "shaved" and was giving me 235 PSI of compression:

So Winter 2010:
New OEM camshafts and rockers
New oil pump with CircuitWorks gears
New MWR main and rod bearings
TRD Thermostat
Around 45k kms on the crank, rods, pistons and block
Adjusted valve clearances by Many

Back on the road with CF raised scoop:

Soon after, the Exedy stage1 was too weak, so it was time for an upgrade with a SouthBend TZ disc and pressure plate:

In May 2012, I decided I was tired of not being able to push the damn pedal to the floor and always be careful. As a broke student, these two years allowed me to get some money for a solid tune, so I made the trip to MWR from Montreal to Detroit (1050 kms trip)

The tune didn't go well. Matt told me the "wastegate line pinched but I caught it early"... He was about to tune the car without lift but then "finally managed to get it smooth"... The car made 230whp and 190wtq @ 9 PSI and Matt said the problem was with the exhaust manifold.

One week later, I can FINALLY drive the car like it was meant to be driven for the past two years. I'm cruising around with a friend on a country road and I pushed 3rd gear FOR THE FIRST TIME IN 2 YEARS:

This happened. "Caught it early"...yeah right...

So the car sat for almost a year in my garage:

But from June 2012 to January 2013, I slowly collected parts:
New cast iron manifold compared to the other one
Darton sleeves
Wiseco 10.5:1 pistons
MWR valves, valve springs and Ti retainers
MWR bearings again everywhere
BC BR coilovers with extreme drop kit
Megan strut bars
Eibach sway bars
TRD LSD installed
New 3rd and 4th gear synchros installed

In January 2013 I had the engine sleeved and rebuilt:

I also bought a 2002 GT as a DD. I immediately swapped the wheels lol:

I ran the piping under the engine for a cleaner engine bay:

July 2013, it was Dyno Day again, but at a local shop:

About 20-30 minutes in the tuning process. The car hit lift for like the fourth time since the rebuild:
Here we go again.

That time I didn't mess around for a rebuild. In two days I had the engine out and torn apart. The result was mesmerizing! :gap:


Time for another rebuild (at least the sleeves were still usable):
New Wiseco 8.8:1 oversize 82.5mm pistons
New built head with MWR valves and the springs and retainers I already had
I upgraded my fuel system with 255LPH Walbro pump
A custom top feed fuel rail with vacuum referenced fuel pressure regulator and return line to the tank.

I had the rebuilt engine back in the car in less than a month. BUT IT WOULDN'T START.........
So from July 2013 to October 2013 I was troubleshooting the problem without any solution. In October, the car had to go to storage because CANADA...:

In May 2014, I brought back the car home and decided to bring it to a local shop. After 4 freaking days of diagnosis, he found the problem! My PFC or my crank sensor is very weird and the polarity was reversed. So, inverting the wires solved the problem. SO THE CAR SAT FOR ALL THAT TIME ONLY BECAUSE OF THIS...

During that time, I had time to do this:

In July 2014, it was Dyno Day again!
The car put down a solid 300whp and 278wtq @ 17 PSI (Max Power around 14 PSI)

It is nice to be quick, but you also have to stop:
330mm discs with Celica GT4 calipers!

So complete setup:
Engine: kit
Forge BOV
3" complete exhaust with high flow cat
Darton sleeves
Wiseco 82.5mm 8.8:1 pistons
MWR valves, valve springs and Ti retainers
CircuitWorks oil pump gears
MWR main and rod bearings
HBC Manual boost controller
Custom piping from 2" to 3"
ARP Head studs

PowerFC with Datalogit and commander
Netbook for street tuning
Prosports gauges (Wideband A/F ratio, Boost, Oil pressure)

ARP flywheel bolts
OEM flywheel
MWR short shifter
SouthBend TZ clutch
New 3rd-4th gear synchros

630cc injectors
255LPH fuel pump
Custom top feed fuel rail
Fuel pressure regulator
Custom return line

Suspension and handling:
BC BR coilovers extreme drop kit
Eibach sway bars
Megan strut bars
18x8 +35 wheels with 5mm spacers in front
Celica GT4 front brakes conversion

03+ tinted tails
CF raised hood scoop
Polished intake manifold
Polished valve cover
Custom headlights (will go soon, too foggy)
Blinking side markers with blinkers
A nice shift knob I bought on here from a Toyota but I don't remember what car it is...

I think this is it! Now, here it is, as it is right now.

Future plans:
I have a Vizage front lip, WW sides and Tsunami rear waiting for a paint job and that will finish the project. (Maybe :gap: )

Now, what do you think about my 5 years project?!

490 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
I bought the kit from michaud80 on here, who spent some $$ collecting the parts and machining the bracket with some trials and errors... There is no CAD part, it was machined little bits at a time I'm afraid! He had the calipers for the rear but the fitting wasn't done so I didn't get them.

These are Subaru STI discs (drilled 5x100 and 5x114.3 to fit multiple years models, around 05-07 I think)

4,466 Posts
Wow, wow, and just more WOW! Amazing story and what tenacity through all of the adversity.

I can see owners abandoning their car a solid four times throughout the history you told.

Congrats and you must be very, very happy - and proud!

Well done!

490 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Wow, wow, and just more WOW! Amazing story and what tenacity through all of the adversity.

I can see owners abandoning their car a solid four times throughout the history you told.

Congrats and you must be very, very happy - and proud!

Well done!
Thanks!! Heart-warming! :) haha after all I went through, some appreciation is more than welcome!

I thought about giving up more than once... but couldn't convince myself to let go off the car I wanted for so long...

The Original 1zz Fanboy
3,774 Posts
Damn, that is a ton of dedication and work/cash into your Celica, and you ended up with a very nice car.

5,175 Posts
I would have given up halfway haha good you stuck with it til the end. Love it. Haven't seen a simple.clean readers ride in awhile

490 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Amazing stuff...and you got stiffed so many times! And where is the dyno graph?!!!
I had never done anything on a car before installing that CAI in 2009 and now people come to me to take a look at their car when there is a problem and part of that is because I learned a lot with you and the rest is from the NC community!

Thank you again!

The graph is in the F/I forum but here it is :

Call me if you want to know what a 100whp difference feels like in a Celica! :gap:

490 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
Lots of hard work with very nice results! Good job.


Turbo install:

Tranny out (1st time lol):

Engine out for the second time (First time was done by Many!) My first time, took around 15-20 hours:

Engine out for the third time (my 2nd time, less than 8 hours! I was getting better, almost enjoying it! hahaha) :

Back in the days on the Montreal F1 track (2009), beside what ended up to be my DD for the past summer:


As mentioned before, I have a Vizage front, WW sides and Tsunami rear waiting for a paint job but I want to have the body repaired in some places too at the same time so $$$ so it will have to wait a little.

I have a TRD replica rear lip too.
What do you think plastidipping the Vizage lip, WW sides, TRD rear valence would look like? It could be a cheap alternative until next summer!

Bring on the 12's...
6,081 Posts
Nicely told story. And damn, there was me thinking I had bad also have had a rotten glad that you persevered though. I know what it's like bro. But at least it's running the way it should always have done and you're happy - that's the main thing.

It's really helpful having the team behind you isn't it? hell, there should be a all stars team drawn up. lol infact, i might just do that and post in OT....actually no. OT scares me. That's where J Miller lives :ugh:

You need to make some tacho vids for us :chuckles:

373 Posts
I don't think i would ever spend this much money and time on my celica.

Good job man :thumbup:

490 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
So, a stupid f**cker backed in my car in a parking lot...
I was in the car, helpless...

Insurance paid for the repair and the masking tape used by the body shop peeled off my eyelid paint so they resprayed them with a perfect color match! Yeah!

This is what 300 whp does on a FWD car in less than 5000 km, without much spirited driving (Rear for comparison):

And I went to the Bear Moutain MR2 meet and ride with a couple of friends from Montreal!
DAY 1 : They still didn't spot me haha

A total of 94 MR2's attended!

Here is the recap vid, you can spot my car @ 0:59 and 1:42

I was finally able to enjoy all the money invested on my car! The twisties in the mountain were crazy fun! My co-pilot even puked when we got to the parking lot :gap: !

The sway bars, TRD LSD and the BC coilovers made the ride more than enjoyable!
No mechanical problem for a complete 11 000 km summer! FINALLY!
I think I finally have a reliable setup! :D

135 Posts
Nice story, the same happened to me on the cylinder head and 4th cyl

A lot of MR2s, I hate that mine was stolen :(
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