Interesting thread to read through. Love hearing that someone takes care of their beater/classic (I prefer classic) instead of crushin it.
Cheers. Yeah so I’ve been told, apparently it doesn’t count as a beater now because I’m looking after it and going after seemingly minor faults like oil leaks.
It’s a rare old thing, numbers are dropping all the time, and it means something to me, so I’ll try and keep it going and keep it going well if nothing else.
So er, since previous post nothing really has happened but MOT time rolled around. I can live with this on the first go.
There was an advisory for a slightly warped rear disc but so minor it barely showed up on the gauges on the test machine, so all is well.
So, since the MOT the Corolla has been doing it’s usual sorts of things. Daily duties. Sitting in McDonalds drive thru. Getting a strange little hiccup when you accelerated from low revs. That last one was getting a bit annoying but fortunately didn’t take much finding. I had a spare few minutes on a weekend and decided to try and find it as it was getting a bit worse, and found that number 1 plug lead was er, dissolving slightly, for want of a better word. It was depositing a lot of grey, graphitey powder onto the plug and seemed to be coming loose causing arcing, so fortunately that was a nice cheap fix. Can’t really complain that the original HT leads lasted 18 years.
The Manchester Classic Car Show was coming up, a round trip of a few hundred miles, and I’d never really done a long run in the Corolla, so off I went, giving the GT86 a rest from being the long run machine. As expected, absolutely no issues. The day after this I had a few hundred mile round trip the other way up to Scotland to be on the Toyota Enthusiasts Club stand at a classic car show. A rushed cleaning job in the dark on Saturday night and I think it came up alright.
Again, the car performed faultlessly, knocking up just over 1000 miles in a week. As I’ve mentioned previously, the official MPG figure from Toyota for this car was about 40. I like trying to beat these numbers, I almost treat it like the score in a game trying to improve all the time. The Corolla hasn’t got a trip computer so I enter all my fillups into aCar for Android to get my MPG readings. On my normal commute with summer temperatues, I’d been consistently getting 44-47MPG, and over one tank that I posted above I’d managed 48.9. Very close to cracking the magic 50MPG, but I’d never managed it.
Imagine my happy little face then when I entered the last tank into aCar after this thousand mile or so, and it threw this back at me:
This was all just normal driving. No daft hypermiling techniques or anything, not something you can do in the hilly twisty single lane roads of the Scottish Borders. Even Toyota’s lab tests for motorway driving only gave 46.3MPG for the G6, so I’m really pleased with this, especially for an engine with no fancy bits like variable valve timing or anything. Gives me some indication that the engine is still very healthy, and it still pulls like a train (albeit a train with 86hp).
Still ticking the miles on nicely.
So er, despite finding out this was spectacularly clean underneath for it’s age and mileage in this country, I did buy it to use as a daily and another salt filled winter is upon us. I would take a picture of it as it stands currently but no because it is extra thick of the salty badness and I would feel bad.
We had a relatively bad (for here) cold snap the other week. This snow here on the bonnet survived for over 2 days about 150 miles without melting.
Nothing drastic but still, worse/colder earlier than usual for here for the last few years.
I had planned to get rid of the 10 year old Michelin Energys before we got any bad weather and was originally looking at Nokians, but managed to get a super cheap deal on a set of Michelin CrossClimates. These seem to get universally excellent reviews everywhere so I was quite pleased to get them for only £34 a corner, but my plans were scuppered by a delay at the Michelin depot and they were delayed for just over a week. Of course in that week, we had our first measurable November snowfall for years.
Up to this point, I thought the old Michelin energy tyres that were fitted were crap and at their worst in sub zero, wet conditions.
I was wrong.
By this point in the day, the snow had had a chance to melt and the compacted slush had refrozen as solid ice. For some reason these main roads coming into town had no salt on them and I don’t think I’ve ever been as greatful for being in an older, lightish car. Getting this thing stopped and turned with those cacky old tyres in these conditions was pure luck more than anything else. Just round the corner a 2017 A4 quattro was abandoned on a slight incline because it wouldn’t move. The road looked clearer than this but was still sheet ice. I was glad to get back into the sidestreets where the snow was still thick as I had some moderate grip.
Fortunately the next week, Michelin had sorted their delays and I acquired some meatier tyres.
While I realise a lot of the other tyre’s downsides were probably due to their age, these things are night and day in comparison. They’re all seasons rather than dedicated winters and are based on Michelin’s summer tyre, rather than a winter tyre that sort of works in summer. We had some snow again shortly after I got these on, and the verdict so far: Absolutely class. Snow grip is as good as any winter tyre I’ve experienced, and ice performance is outstanding as well, you actually feel like you can retain control of the car. Cold wet conditions don’t phase them at all and they stick like glue in the dry, and I’ve had no noticeable change in fuel economy use. I’m by no means Michelin’s biggest fan and think their other tyres I’ve had are pretty poor, but these things absolutely deserve all the praise they get.
Current plans for this atm are to carry on with daily duties. As I’ve mentioned elsewhere I’m considering selling the 2CV and having this “restored” instead, wheels and bodywork etc. This is nearly old enough to get into classic shows now and is more where my interests lie. I might also be eyeing up importing something else to use as a daily. I know I know, it’s just an old Corolla and that but there are less than 200 of these on the road now, at the rate they’re going they will all be gone in 3-4 years time.
Glad to see you are a convert to good A/S tires. You’re doing a great job of keeping the Corolla going, gotta say I would also be unhappy with self-unwinding valve cover bolts if I had that problem also!
Keep it clean, and if you are serious about importing something, let me know if there is anything you want me to keep an eye open for in the states
The Corolla has done some mild protesting at winter use this year. Too much salt and muck everywhere. The first was the bonnet catch sticking open in my work car park doing a simple fluid check but WD40 and judicious use of percussive maintenance fixed that quite quickly.
The worse of the two though was over the last couple of weeks, at a particular point on my commute (where I leave a 70mph dual carriageway into a small village) I have to stop at some traffic lights most days. A couple of times I’d noted a weird smell but it smelled electrical and only appeared there, so didn’t give it much thought. One day it did it again, no thought was given.
Coming back home that day I noticed up a hill that it seemed to not be holding the same speed as usual, only around 2-3mph lower than usual so silly me did not connect the dots and just thought I’d changed up too early or something. At a set of traffic lights shortly after the smell came back extremely strongly, and suddenly I put 2 and 2 together and realised it was the car. Again, this smell was almost electrical, but as it turns out Brembo brake pads don’t smell quite like those I’ve experienced being jammed on before. Bollocks.
Pulled up as soon as I could and the front right brake disc had a funny tint to it, was kicking out more heat than an old AMD FX on a stock cooler and was steaming gently in the damp. By the time I got it home that had progressed to being welded on and the car could hardly be pushed, something that didn’t even improve once it’d cooled.
After enough use of a hammer to make Clarkson proud I managed to get the caliper off and the pads were not happy. This picture is after trying to clean them up a bit and the outer edges had gone a funny white colour.
Slightly annoyed as these aren’t that old, but shit happens. After repeated winding back of the caliper piston and letting it push out, managed to free up the caliper and got a lot of collected up crap out of it. Got it back together in the hope these pads would be OK but there’s a noticeable lack of bite to the brakes now so got some new ones on order, fortunately the disc doesn’t appear to have warped. It still brakes well and straight but I definitely want to get some new ones in, and I’ve got a caliper on order in case it decides to do it again, but it looks in good condition so hopefully it won’t.
The rear arches, particularly on the passenger side, have definitely taken a bit of a beating this winter and really need sorting out very soon, as do the wheels which now look as if they’re corroding on top of corrosion as the silver rattle can job is peeling off totally in places. I’ve now got a deadline for this however as all being well this needs to be somewhere on April 8th looking as close to new as possible, but more details on that as it’s confirmed.
Well the caliper lasted a week and a half and seems to be sticking again, fortunately I’ve caught it before it’s really bad this time and haven’t yet fitted the new pads. It’s done alright for the amount of our salty winters it’s taken.
But hey, every cloud has a silver lining and all that. In this case, extremely, and we all like shiny car bits:
Get this on, get that ancient brake fluid changed and a new set of Brembo’s finest and we should be fighting fit again.
A similar thing happened to my QX two weeks ago. Which initially started as a routine oil change (first one in like five years), and since the car was on a lift one does check the underside as you do. Rear caliper seized. Pads were quite literally gone. Discs were mangled too. Which meant another €150 and another saturday gone. AND NOW the Clutch is starting to slip. Gotta love a 23 year old car with super low mileage, the car is more expensive to buy and everything is junk anyways.
Quick follow up to this, new caliper went on without issue except for the fact the new one had a 7mm bleed nipple as opposed to 8mm. Who does that man? Odd number size fixings are either the devil’s work, or French.
Still, can’t complain, I have brakes again. Fairly certain the brake fluid was original, extremely black and silty.
@Awildgermanappears The joys of taking on other peoples problems. You never know how they’ve treat it despite what the book says. If the car is sound though, a worn clutch and seized caliper on a 23 year old car are probably worth doing.
I’m absolutely crippled now though. Did an Ironman Karting thing yesterday morning and then spent today crawling about under the car with temperatures hovering just a shade above 0.
Saving that for future prosperity!!!
Suddenly I am quite pleased I got the tyres I did, and got the brakes sorted at the weekend:
It’s been a good number of years since we’ve had it this bad, about 6-7 inches now and I cannot praise these damn tyres enough, even in the deep stuff they just seem to bite and go. It’s the ice now that’s the bugger.
If you have a problem, if noone else can help, and if you can find them, maybe you can hire cue the music
My mate slid his Volvo off a totally untreated country road in the middle of nowhere this morning owing to him being diverted off all the main routes on his way to work. One of the more interesting wake up calls I’ve had. Fortunately shortly after I arrived a JCB rocked up with a plow on and a fat rope and yanked the Volvo free much easier than we could.
Absolutely dismal conditions, the open fields with massive wind were just blowing the snow across and as you can see from that Dashcam picture, you couldn’t see a sodding thing. Wasn’t much getting along there at all, the little bugger performed admirably. I know I’m probably a bit of an idiot for deliberately going where was that dangerous but hey, he was stuck on his own and couldn’t get through to any recovery service due to them being so mega busy.
Finally got around to doing something I’ve been saying I’d do since I got it. The poor DIY paint job on the wheels by a previous owner was full of bubbles and pitting and was letting corrosion build on top of corrosion.
I thought about changing the colour but decided to stick with silver in the end. Got a bit of metallic fleck put in, they shine brilliantly even in the dark.
And in the dark under LED streetlamps:
Of course this being England it’s absolutely pished it down since I picked them up and we’re forecast snow storms from tonight over the weekend, joy of joys.
It’s been reasonably quiet in the world of the Corolla.
Except the near death bit.
Now that the wheels were done, I wanted some minor bits of repainting doing, the big scuff on the front corner and the very faded mirrors. There was an issue the first couple of times at the bodyshop, but the 3rd time was the charm. On the way back all seemed well til I went to pull into my driveway, and the brake pedal felt a bit like it was travelling further than it was meant to. I realised if I pressed on it a bit it’d go to the floor, and assumed this was incorrect even though there was still a little resistance.
Upon getting out, mass brake fluid flood from under the car. Those last few hard presses when parked up had turned a small leak into a mega one, let this be a lesson people - just because the brake lines on your car look perfect, they may still be the original nearly 20 year old ones and have turned to mush underneath where the clamp to the floor is. I had some excellent luck after this whereby my brake flare tool decided to drop to bits on the first flare. A bit of pain given I only really have time for this sort of thing on weekends, and nowhere that sold them was open.
Fortunately, I managed to get another better one out of that fairly quickly (cheers Amazon Prime), sorted the line and then got it up on a lift so I could replace every damn factory steel line, just to be certain. Brakes are one thing I will never take a chance on.
So yeah, if your MOT tester ever gives you an advisory of slight corrosion on your brake lines, change them. These were visually perfect and there was no clue it was going until it did.
After that daftness I thought all was well, and planned to take the Corolla to a Classic show locally. It polished up nice, it was running well, wheels still look excellent, and then a rogue broomhead decided to viciously attack me at 70mph.
I’d seen it fly off the lorry, it was rolling along flat, had it lined up between the wheels then it decided at the last second to ping up.
I wasn’t best pleased, these aren’t overly common and Toyota wanted £245 for it. I’m hoping I’ve found one off a breaker for much less so we will see. Have some pictures of it shining at the show, complete with battle scars.
I love your little Corolla, it reminds me so much of our 84 Tercel SR5 wagon 4x4. You’re doing a great job of taking care of it and I hope you have luck finding that fog light.
Cheers I’m still really stuck with what to do with it, I love driving it but I don’t want it to dissolve, and 19 of our crappy salty winters are now starting to take their toll in places. I’m doing the best I can with the paint but it’s thinning in places, and the lacquer is doing what reds do and there are tiny specks of where it’s starting. I reckon there’s another year or two in it yet but I’m not sure I want to let it get extremely bad before doing anything.