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'91 Celica GT Vert

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I had this '92 Celica ST for many years. I loved it, but I hated the auto transmission. So I always said I might try to get a GT 5-speed the next time around.



Well....due to a severe oil leak, the little 1.6 in my ST popped a month or so ago. Knowing that I had a lot of good suspension and brake parts in it, I looked for a cheap Celica fixer-upper to replace this one. And sure enough, a '91 GT 5-speed, Convertible (a lot of bullet points in both the "pro" and "con" lists there....) was on craigslist.


Guy bought it just last spring, and drifted off the road (I suspect into a median/curb) and absolutely destroyed everything in the driver's front wheel well. He brought it to a "mechanic" who must have quoted him several thousand dollars to repair, so the guy signed it over to the "mechanic" who then listed it for sale. Long story short, I never actually talked to the guy who owned it, and the "mechanic" didn't know much about the car other than the damage to the front corner.


So, I rented a tow dolly, and hitched up the minivan:




I actually ordered a junkyard control arm from ebay, and some poly bushings for it, before I even picked up the car. So, I had a bunch of good-condition parts from the '92, as well as a bunch of new parts from work (AutoZone. inner and outer tie rod, rack boot, ball joint, cv axle).


Old v New control arms:



Less than 24 hours after picking up that busted up car:



And....most of my collection of japanese 2-doors (Would have been better if the Brat could have made an appearance)





Those pictures were taken a few weeks ago. Since then, I've swapped over the rear suspension/brakes (GR2s, coilover sleeves, stiffer springs, disc brakes, poly bushings, 15mm spacers so I can run Subaru wheels), gotten an alignment, and put those big Blizzak Revo1s on it. It drives fantastic, still has a few issues, but nothing I can't deal with. I've got about $1500 invested into this chassis (not counting the parts off the old car....), so I'm pretty happy with it. 155k miles, almost no rust (I suspect it was someones summer/weekend toy for much of it's life). The top will probably need replacing in the next couple years, but it's not too bad. Doesn't leak, and we've had many days hovering around zero degrees Fahrenheit, and it didn't seem much colder than the hardtop...

Edited by Numbchux
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  • 1 month later...



It has a parking brake again! About a 1" spacer at the adjustment, and I was able to use the cables designed for drums with the discs.


LEDs in the dome lights



I used these. Good quality, competitive prices, and they sponsor a friend's Rally car




The Blizzaks are like 7 years old, and while they still have decent tread, they're wearing, some more then others (thanks to that blown rear suspension bushing on my last Celica). So I picked up some virtually new Nokian Hakka Qs in 205/50r16, mounted them on some '03 Outback wheels....


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  • 4 weeks later...

I don't think I posted it, but the crash that got me the car so cheap also damaged the diff. Weirdly, the only symptom was an uncontrollable gear oil leak due to the excessive play in the output shaft. No vibrations or noises at all. But, it chewed up the seal there, and had gotten to the point where it would leak out all but about a quart of it's gear oil in a matter of minutes. I'd put a quart or so in it before driving home from work twice a week, just in hopes to keep the bearings happy until I could replace the transmission.


2 weeks ago, I got an S51 trans out of a '99 4-cyl Camry (virtually identical to the Celica's S53, mostly just different gearing). This week I bought a new clutch and output shaft seals from AutoZone, and this weekend....I got to work.








Boy do I hate doing major work on transverse cars. But, I got it done, and when I did, I put the Rotas on there, washed it, and went for a drive


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