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@celicatoast
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This forum is not as active as it once was, and I don’t know how many people will actually read this thread but I’ve been wanting to do this for a long time and my build may help others searching around for N/A build references for the 2ZZ / CELICA GT-S. This is going to be a long one, so strap into your TAKATA 6 point harness cause it’s going to be a bumpy ride.

A brief history first, I’ve owned three 7th Gen CELICA's within the past 6 years. I always wanted a GT-S 6-Speed but my impatient stubborn 17 year old self bit the bullet and bought a 5-Speed GT. The reader’s ride thread for that car can be found here for those interested, some links may be broken :marky:

http://www.newcelica.org/forums/showthread.php?t=344708



Fast forward 2 Years later I fulfilled my teenage dream of owning a GT-S 6-Speed. Drove 2.5 hours to Hartford CT to check her out then another trip to sign the title and all that other private car buying related stuff. I now had a GT daily plus a GT-S weekend toy. Life was great at the age of 19.



Long story short the GT being my daily for 4 years, and it took a lot of abuse from my rough driving habits at the time, to the gruesome New England winters. Parts were beginning to fail, and I was getting tired of the car along with the dreaded oil consumption issue on the early 1ZZ-FE. Things took a turn for the worst so I thought long and hard. Ended up stripping the car of some parts and had it towed away for cheap cash. RIP, you’ll never be forgotten…..





Back to the GT-S, It became my daily, and I did a lot to it within the years of owning it, but mostly aesthetics such as liquid wrap, wheels, HID’s LED’s TRD body kit with GReddy Gracer Lip, etc. I loved the car, despite having over 240k miles it hit VVTL nicely and when I did a compression test it was 200psi+ across the board.



Kancamagus Highway Cruise up at the White Mountains

When I was done with aesthetics, I was going to begin going to N/A build route. Was going to begin with quality bolt on’s to start. However, the year I was going to start the build I got in a bad car accident coming home from Providence RI at 2am. A reckless driver thought it was ok to drive southbound on the northbound side of Interstate 93. I was a tad sleepy but realized I was about to be hit head on so I panicked and took a sharp turn on the wheel which ended up having me lose control of the car and I smashed my front end on the concrete guardrail in the middle of the interstate. Frame was bent and engine was knocking, and I no longer had the GT or another daily so I had no choice but to hunt for a new daily….. (I walked away from the accident completely unharmed btw)



In come’s Sparky, well before she adopted that name anyway. It was almost like it was meant to be. My cousin texted me a celica that was for sale in my town one week before my accident. Remembering that, what did I do? I called up the kid and went to go check out his Celica immediately. The way his CELICA was modded....... not my taste, regardless I thought it was decent.




I was in need of another daily ASAP and my conscious kept bugging me saying your journey with a Celica GT-S is still not completed, here’s another chance! So I bought the car as it was and I immediately started swapping over parts from my wrecked GT-S.



I respectfully disliked the taste in mods of the original owner so here is a list of parts I swapped:
1) Wings West SideSkirts to Genuine TRD SideSkirts
2) 2000 Bumper with Wings West Lip to 2003 Bumper with C-One Rep Lip
3) Ricer Panda Ebay Tails to 2003 Tails
4) Ebay CAI to OEM Intake System
5) Blacked Out Aftermarket Headlamps to OEM Headlamps with Gunmetal Ribbed Inserts
6) Cheap Hacked Up Exhaust to OEM Midpipe with GReddy Axle Back Exhaust
7) White Sidemarkers to JDM Sidemarkers
8) Lightning Rod Antenna to S2000 stubby Antenna
9) Unidentifiable Coil Sleeves to BC Coilovers with Links
10) Stock GT-S wheels to Focal FF7’s I had laying around.

The only parts I ended up adding was an ARP Front Strut Brace and TRD rear brace which I swapped out from my wrecked GT-S along with some quick release fasteners for the bumper.

Now that parts were swapped, I had to take care of the exterior. I personally don’t have a problem with Super White 040 but I did with the cheaply painted black roof and pillars. So I called up my buddy that works at a liquid wrap shop and brought the car in to be wrapped with HALOFX with TrueGloss finish.






And this was the finished result:



So what ended up happening to my wrecked GT-S? Well since she was stripped down to the bone. I pulled the engine and tranny to keep aside. I have plans on rebuilding the engine and possibly have an LSD installed on the tranny. As far as the shell, no one wanted to take it in it’s condition since it was a shell so I called up a buddy of mine who’s been looking for a project car and had him come scoop it up. He got a free shell to work on and I got the car out of the driveway. Double WIN!




He is currently still working on it. A father and son type of project. His plan is to dump a 1MZ or 2GR in there and make it a drag car. Let’s see how his build goes. He promised I’d be the first to rip her down the track once the build is done. :evil:

Fast forward two months I attend a dyno day and figured it would be a great opportunity to get a baseline before starting my delayed engine build. I don’t have the dyno chart but she dynoded at 159whp and 117lbft torque. This is what a stock GT-S roughly gets to the wheels so not bad right?



Fast forward some more months I took it easy for a while. Not much work went on with the CELICA due to catching up with life, work, and other things. Just attended local meets, shows, and events here and there with an occasional track day up at New England Dragway. For those wondering, I was running 15.8’s cause I’m a horrible launcher.




Ok, time for the good stuff. The performance bug bit me again so it was time to start researching what works, and the best ways to make N/A Power on the GT-S. I already had an idea on mods after being in the community for over 5 years. Considerable research went on the DDPR Intake Manifold and I even got in contact with Dave to have many questions answered. So to start the build, I went with a full I/H/E set up.


A side by side comparison of the OEM Throttle and Intake Manifold

An INJEN or AEM intake wasn’t going to work well with the DDPR based on its location and the amount of room, so I used to eBay CAI that came with the car and sent it over to Dave to modify it and have 2 bungs welded on. These served the purpose on supplying filtered air to the IACV and Crank Case Breather. These vacuum ports are normally on the OEM throttle body housing but since we are using a completely different throttle housing (INFINITY Q45) for the manifold, this was the only way to make up for that. I was told that if you plan to run aftermarket management you don’t need a vacuum port for the Crankcase Breather. You simply put a small filter on the hose that comes from the crank breather port on the valve cover.


Bungs / Ports for IACV and Crank Breather

Next to arrive was the PPE Long Tube Header along with the Test Pipe. I spent the extra dough to have the pipes ceramic coated and polished. I have seen PPE headers and pipes rust and being that I live in New England, I wanted to protect my purchase. To this day when I’m under the car my exhaust system still looks new. The header was so luscious in person I almost didn’t want to install it. :drool:



My I/H/E set up was complete. I purchased the MAGNAFLOW axle back for $350 on AMAZON. Lots of shiny metal. Love it



Lastly went a little extra step and got under-drive pulleys for the alternator and water pump along with the appropriate length belt. Oh, I also deleted the AC. I never used it so figured I’d save on weight and parasitic losses. Also, purchased brass shift bushing to replace the worn out OEM rubber ones.



Now that I had all my parts, it was time to set a weekend aside and slap them all in! Here are some install pics. (It took me more than a weekend though. I actually took a whole week off of work so I could take my time cause I knew shit was going to go bad as it always does.) Even had to do the LIFT BOLT repair which I do not want to get into details about. For one, the shaft was rotated, typical, secondly, putting the shaft back in was a nightmare. The end of the shaft looked nothing like the way it came out but VVTL works fine.
















You can tell the intake shaft end is very banged up



Last part I installed was the intake system and sure enough, the car did not start. WTF did I do wrong? The car would start and immediatley die unless I gave it some gas but even still it was rough. After sending video clips to Dave, we figured out it was a vacuum leak. After toughly checking EVERYTHING, I discovered a gap between the TB and the manifold. One of the 4 fasteners that hold the TB against the manifold wasn’t doing its job. After I took care of that issue and gave her a crank….. WHAM started right up……… until I discovered another problem.



I was having trouble with the idle. This part here was by far my biggest headache to figure out. My idle would not drop below 1800 rpms when the engine was at operating temp which a CEL code for it soon followed. I ended up buying a new IACV gasket but that didn’t help one bit. Almost bought a new IACV too but opted not to. At one point, I ended up using a ¼” ID hose opposed to the required 3/8” ID hose to connect the IACV to the manifold but that only dropped the idle down a few hundred RPMs but still not enough. So as a band aid, I re-installed the 3/8” hose and “pinched it” with a ziptie (LOL) and got the idle down to around 900-1000 rpms. This was good enough until I found a solution.

Took me about a month to figure it out but after doing research online on SUPRA and NISSAN forums, I discovered that the q45 TB had a stop screw (circled in red below) that holds the throttle plate open based on how it’s set. So, the tinkering began. What I did was locate the stop screw adjustment on the TB (8mm locking nut and a small size allen key) and let the car warm up to operating temp. At operating temp the stock IDLE is around 800-700 rpms. So, I made slow adjustments to the stop screw until I got to 750rpms at idle. Locked the screw in place and problem solved……. But of course MURPHY followed me further. :marky:


Note the throttle plate adjustment screw

The next problem that arose was that the ECU threw a code saying the TPS was “out of range”. For those that aren’t familiar with the q45 TB, these have an adjustable TPS on the top. You simply loosen 2 8mm fastener like pieces and rotate the sensor. I originally had it adjusted to read around 3-4 ohms which was the suggestion Dave gave me. This range wasn’t working after adjusting the throttle stop screw so I had to play around with the TPS until I found the sweet spot which was around 5 ohms. ECU was happy with that reading and I have never had problems since.

Hope you didn’t think I didn’t run into any more problems cause I sure did a week after! The ebay CAI I had re-configured by Dave was paired with a AEM filter I had laying around from an INJEN SRI. The filter wasn’t in awesome condition but it’s what I had for now. The day I changed the filter to a K&N, the dreaded P0171 code came up. Things got worse for me after. There’s so many things that could cause this dreaded code so I went back to checking for vacuum leaks and other related issues. Long story short I ended up changing the primary o2 sensor, MAF, spark plugs and the gasket under the valve cover, installed new vacuum hoses, used worm clamps instead of zip ties, new fuel filter sock and gaskets and some more sh*t I can’t remember to no avail in solving the problem! I wanted to give up! I even changed to a brand new AEM Dryflow thinking that the oils from the K&N was gumming up my MAF sensor. That didn’t help either :marky:

During this problem, I ended up buying a new daily a 05 SCION Xb so the CELICA went to sleep during the winter and the project went on hiatus for 2.5 months so I could enjoy the holidays and festivities.



Put away for winter storage

Fast forward to February, I went back to the basics. The history of the CELICA and aftermarket intakes. The CAI was the last thing I thought about because the car ran fine for a little over a month with that ebay intake so I ruled it out. Then I had an epiphany! I went back to reading about the BB Mod.

http://www.newcelica.org/forums/showthread.php?t=127862

Since I tried just about everything to solve this P0171, I thought it was worth a shot to do the BB mod. Fortunately for me a friend of mine who is also a CELICA enthusiasts likes to invent and make stuff. At one point he was making 3D printed BB Mods. He couldn’t make one for me at the time I asked him to because he was away on vacation but due to my luck changing, another local member was actually selling his that he bought from my friend since he was planning on selling his CELICA at the time (he ended up keeping his CELICA BTW). So, I picked it up and installed it



I reset the ECU, and drove the car around and on the highway for about 20 miles and even scanned for codes. Sure enough after that, the P0171 code never returned. Sparky was finally running how she was supposed to and the gains felt great. Well at least the butt dyno thought it was lol Sparky went back to sleep until April sprung.

In the meantime, I made small upgrades such as a lotus spark plug cover, some Decals, and a Greddy Gracer lip (which was back ordered 4 times and took 4.5 months to get to me) and cleaned up my engine bay to look more presentable and all was well. Attended a few meets and shows in late April and May.



Not much work went into Sparky from May-July besides small aesthetics. However, recently I made a unpleasant discovery. I was fixing around in the engine bay until my intake caught my eye..... :whoa:





My 3D printed BB mod was melted / deformed. The worst part is, I don’t know how long it was like this. The car ran perfectly fine for months without any change in power or drivability. I was really itching my head on this one but I wasn’t going to overanalyze it. I didn’t care, because a few weeks before discovering this catastrophe I was researching COBB intakes. I had one sitting in my room waiting to be installed and that’s exactly what I did.



For those running the OEM ECU, this COBB intake works very well on our Celica’s. It’s meant for the older WRX’s. Benefits of this is it has the Fins right before the MAF like the stock air box mimicking the BB Mod plus a velocity stack in the inlet of the intake. It’s part number 712100. The only thing is there are no vacuum ports on the intake. If you are running the OEM intake mani, all you have to do is put a small filter on the CCV valve since there is no vacuum port for it on the intake.

To this point, this is my current set up:



Ok ok ok you are wondering about power numbers, here you go. My recent dyno chart. Please note the guy who did the pulls did not rev the car up to 8350 so I believe there were a few more ponies to be had. Also, the guys running the dyno looked young and inexperienced. They took almost an hour to program / calibrate the dyno software so I don’t even know how accurate these numbers are. On top of that I had to disconnect the battery 2 days before due to having to work on the sound system so not sure if the ECU had relearned a new fuel map.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-wTUsy-21-A

So what’s next? Will be taking the CELICA up to the track to better my launching and shifting skills and get down to 14s. As far as performance goes, going to enjoy the car how it is for now. I most definitely want a Tune, very badly and break the 200whp wall. This will take a while though, for the reason of saving up for a good EMS and allocating a tuner. From what I know, there are no knowable 2zz tuners in New England. Everyone up here tunes Hondas, Miatas, EVOs, and Subarus. So, it’s likely I will have Gustavo over at R9K tuned do a remote tuning session or send the car over to DDPR and have mastermind Dave do the tuning. These are the only guys I trust and they have engraved their reputation in the 2zz community.


IG: @celicatoast (for updates on the build)
IG: @theyotafellowshipoffical (my car club)

Questions and Criticism welcomed, thanks for reading :wave:
 

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ZZT230.5
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Wow, amazing journey. Clean build and good luck with the 200hp goal!
 

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The forum is pretty dead now. The ads and crap on here doesn't help either but looks like majority of the guys are on the facebook newcelica group now. Awesome build. Cant wait to see whats next!
 

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How much did you drop on the DDPR Intake manifold? The only place I found where you can buy them is from their website for $1800!!!!!!!!
 

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@celicatoast
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Discussion Starter #5
Wow, amazing journey. Clean build and good luck with the 200hp goal
THANKS! Hopefully next year unless I move forward with buying a house.

How much did you drop on the DDPR Intake manifold? The only place I found where you can buy them is from their website for $1800!!!!!!!!
I forked up the $1800 for it. You'll have to keep a close eye out for used ones that come up for sale here and there. Worth it though, you'll make power all the way to 8350 rpms
 

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Lol funny enough I saw your signature and was gonna message you about how much you made on the dyno. Curious how comes you didn't take it somewhere else. Gains look good tho. Can't wait to see what's to come. Did you go to the track before mods?
 

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@celicatoast
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Discussion Starter #7
Lol funny enough I saw your signature and was gonna message you about how much you made on the dyno. Curious how comes you didn't take it somewhere else. Gains look good tho. Can't wait to see what's to come. Did you go to the track before mods?
I do have intentions to bring her to another dyno, one where I am allowed to do the pulls. This way I can push her all the way to the top:evil:

I have gone to the dragstrip before all these mods. I started drag racing last year so I wasn't very good at it (still working on it lol). Was doing anywhere between High 15's to Mid 16's depending on how the track was prepped. With good launching, 60ft time, and good shifting I should have no problem getting to the 14s.
 

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Klaatu barada nikto
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Nice work, I hope you continue with her. Our cars are pretty rare now on the road, in good clean condition with tasteful mods for sure. Makes the 7th gen look more exotic by comparison. I am always pleased to see another clean 7th gen when driving mine around. :D
 

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Nice work, I hope you continue with her. Our cars are pretty rare now on the road, in good clean condition with tasteful mods for sure. Makes the 7th gen look more exotic by comparison. I am always pleased to see another clean 7th gen when driving mine around. :D
I've only seen 2 celica gt-s's in my time of owning them. Plenty of the GT, but not GT-S, and only one of the GT-S's i saw at manual. Everyone makes fun of my car, i have this one friend with a chevy sonic who always claims he's faster than me
 

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Hall of Fame post! Congrats, too!

I strongly recommend the drive to Sealy, Texas to have Dave and his crew at DD Performance do their magic! I did it from Illinois and it was beyond the right thing to do!

Also, if you look up "air straightener" in your favorite search engine you'll find something you can use instead of the full-on BB Mod. That's what straightened out my idle, etc. on mine with a Cobb SRI - I epoxied it in the opening then slipped the filter back on and it made everything smoother.

Keep us up to date! If I had to do it over again, I'd spring for the best EMS Dave would recommend. Again, congrats! Great post and ride!
 

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@celicatoast
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Discussion Starter #11
Nice work, I hope you continue with her. Our cars are pretty rare now on the road, in good clean condition with tasteful mods for sure. Makes the 7th gen look more exotic by comparison. I am always pleased to see another clean 7th gen when driving mine around.
In my area up here in New England, I am most of the time the only 7th gen Celica at meets or shows (which I don't mind one bit lol). When I see another celica driving down the road I catch up to it, only to find an old lady driving it lol

Hall of Fame post! Congrats, too!

I strongly recommend the drive to Sealy, Texas to have Dave and his crew at DD Performance do their magic! I did it from Illinois and it was beyond the right thing to do!

Also, if you look up "air straightener" in your favorite search engine you'll find something you can use instead of the full-on BB Mod. That's what straightened out my idle, etc. on mine with a Cobb SRI - I epoxied it in the opening then slipped the filter back on and it made everything smoother.

Keep us up to date! If I had to do it over again, I'd spring for the best EMS Dave would recommend. Again, congrats! Great post and ride!
THANKS MAN! Sadly good old Texas is an awfully far Drive from Boston and I'm sure my car will break down along the way haha!

The vanes on the COBB intake work very nicely and I haven't had any problems with it, I did research on those honeycomb straighteners before getting the COBB though, so it was in consideration.
 

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You know Redliner9k can now E-Tune, dyno or street. I will be getting a tune from him soon.
 

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I've only seen 2 celica gt-s's in my time of owning them. Plenty of the GT, but not GT-S, and only one of the GT-S's i saw at manual. Everyone makes fun of my car, i have this one friend with a chevy sonic who always claims he's faster than me

You know that old saying about opinions and assholes? Never be ashamed of something you like, no matter how many others may talk it down, typically that kind of attitude stems from personal insecurity anyway. I constantly get compliments on my Celica, but even if I didn't I wouldn't love her any less.
 
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