It’ll beat quite a few sports cars too, from what I’ve seen on YouTube… 0-100 in nearly 5 seconds flat!
It’s one stop away now. It’s got a quick nip into the Netherlands and then I’m relatively “across the road” from there if you like.
MPH speedo has arrived today so I’ve now got all the bits I need for it to be ok by the UK regulations. Fortunately it came with some extra bonus features as it brags about on the box:
It’s not a heads up display either so they haven’t done brilliantly with their boxart.
Such Grammar, Much Wow!
Can anyone lend me a massive telescope?
There are some big hills round here, I’m sure I’ll be able to see it.
Got the tax invoice through today for this side - bit higher than I expected and had worked out and not entirely sure why, but it’s tax, of course it’s higher than you expect. However that should be the last bit of paperwork to be done to actually physically have it available to me, more to come once it’s passed an MOT to get it registered but for now I just want to see it.
Hopefully the last position update: Boat has left Netherlands and is on it’s way over to Newcastle.
He’s gonna need to get the hammer down but apparently it’s expected time for landing is 10am. I won’t get it tomorrow (Mr. Tax man has to do his checks) but knowing it’s just up the road and has made it here is very pleasant.
Insert soon memes here
Glad for you that it’s finally nearly there, funnily enough I recently went to check out another JDM Toyota quirkmobile at a local import dealer and what do you know they had a 2008 Blade Master there as well.
Wasn’t JDM Outlet was it? What did you go to look at?
I’m not gonna say anything in case I actually do soon switch out of the Rover like I intend to (element of surprise and all) but if you’re already familiar with them then you also probably know they have quite a few toyota’s on sale right now (altho not like they’re all in my price range)
Yes, found them when the Blade came in - Youtube knows enough to notify me of such things. Particularly enjoyed him demonstrating the smooth power in the crappy road conditions. Intriguing stuff anyway, shall keep an eye out although I’ll be sad to see the Rover go.
Car is now officially in this country, cleared customs, taxes paid and waiting to be collected.
Earliest slot is Thursday but I need to sort out a way of transporting a probably dead, unregistered car the 30 miles to my house now.
Oh, and it wasn’t dead just to clarify the above. Despite having stood since what looks like 2017 from the history, I haven’t yet checked but I want to know what manufacturer of batteries provided one for this thing. It was last started in the first week of November and run properly, then was loaded and yet still apparently fired up to unload and then load onto the truck to get to mine, then fired no messing to get off the transporter.
They don’t really ever do that these things - the Auris certainly only lasts about a month at best, I blame it on the keyless personally.
I had never known what this car was apart from the Japanese name for the Aurus, so I assumed it was just another N/A I4 with stiffened springs.
However, a 3.5L Camry V6 (Camry being the name for… something… in Europe :b) dropped into a car that small catches my attention. Pretty cool
So, as it will be a while before I can drive it, I’ve spent a couple of days mostly cleaning as I don’t think it had been for a long time, and doing bits to prep it for MOT.
Some time was spent playing though, I still find crap like an in car DVD player entertaining. Happily Japan is also Region 2 like us.
Job 1 however is what I knew would be the biggest pain in the arse - UK cars are required to have rear fog lights, something you pretty much only get in Japan on winter spec cars destined for the far north.
The law here says it has to be switched seperately from other lights, only when they’re on, and must have a tell-tale warning light somewhere. Most people will just buy a small foglight marked switch with an orange light in, drill this into the dash somewhere and wire it themselves. On this though I wanted it to work properly, most of the time Toyota’s (unlike a lot of Euro brands) already have the wiring and computer capabilities in place, you just have to connect everything up, so I wanted to go down this road if possible.
The first hurdle was getting the correct light stalk with both front and rear foglight switches on, this was only available in Japan with their stalks being backwards compared to us, so I got stung with mega shipping and customs charges. The second bit was the light unit itself, officially Toyota themselves cut a hole in the bumper and fit a square unit, which isn’t overly pleasant to look at. Fortunately I found a set of combined reflectors/fog lamps that fit in place of the original lower bumper reflector units. The only other missing bit is a relay for it, which I got for about 80p out of an old Celica - that’s the easy bit, right?
So began the thankfully simple task of changing the stalk:
With that done, I set about fitting the light units. Again, thankfully quite straightforward:
Bumper off and sure enough, there’s the wiring sat waiting for me to connect to:
Now, just to fit that relay I mentioned earlier and all would be well. Check the bonnet fusebox: no fog light relays or fuses. Check the passenger compartment relay box… no fog light mentioned. Check passenger fusebox, aha! Oh, no, that’s just a fuse. Cue some rapid googling, only to find this:
While I’m sure they had their reasons, I can’t quite work this out. It’s that red box there, right down inside the back of the centre console. There are 2 sets of 4 relays there that are just used for things like foglights, seperate from everything else. It’s sat down behind the climate controls, so after a hell of a lot of extra unscheduled disassembly, we have this:
See this blue relay here? It’s the one below that that I needed to fit. Small hands help with this.
That said, all happy and back together now and fortunately I quite like electrics.
Also bonus photos of it here. The paint looks great under streetlights:
Interior lights are brilliant, supposed to look like an aeroplane cabin:
I’ll get some decent photos of it once it’s been cleaned up properly and it’s on the road, somewhere nice. MOT is Tuesday morning and still a few jobs to do, but I’ll at least have a (gentle) crack at it on the road then to see how it is.
So, have been for MOT. Two things:
Second thing, this thing is an absolute rocket. I realise 280hp is not much and yes, you might get the same feeling in a Golf R or something but it’s weird here because it’s weird. It is seriously comfortable and quiet, when you hoof it it drops a gear and gives you a second to make sure you really really want to do this then drops a gear or two more and just sods off, your like 30-70 times in this thing are insane for what is essentially a 12 year old Corolla in there somewhere. It’s just the comedy value of it.
Ride quality is excellent, there’s obviously lots of soundproofing because road noise in this thing is not there compared to the Auris. Sitting at 2000rpm at 70 on the flat seems to net around 40-ishmpg but I’ll work that out properly when it’s on the road. Radar cruise, quietness, decent stereo, it’ll make a great long distance cruiser for sure.
Underneath is absolutely immaculate as you’d expect from a japanese car too, so will definitelyneed some serious underseal while I have the chance.
I think that because of the reasons you listed, I’d buy one of these before a Golf or a Focus ST/RS. The comfort, and highway cruise ability, and then the smooth jet power you get when it drops a couple gears. And it will never break! I’m a
lot little jealous of your import laws haha.
Congrats on finally getting it, I hope it’s everything you wanted!
So, as it’s now gonna be stood for a bit while I wait for everything to go through to get plates, I decided to get at some of the cosmetic bits, mainly getting off the rest of the dust, as much of the ingrained dirt as I could on a single pass and trying to tackle the yellowed plastic round the front - the lights and the badge, as it was shown in the video Pacific Coast did.
If at all possible, I wanted to avoid sanding as I’m not the best at that sort of thing on bodywork, so on softish plastic I didn’t have much of a hope for myself. Ideally what I’d have had here is a DA polisher or something but peasant tools were all I had, namely Aldi’s finest 14v hammer drill.
Somehow managed a few passes of the lot on one charge, I think it managed OK though.
Had a general clean up round the rest of it too, and managed to get shot of some of the marks on the body while I was going mad with the polish.
It has been a long wait. Staring. The battery died. It was not happy.
However, we are now (albeit a couple of days late) in business.
Welcome to the cloudy, drizzly wonder of England, Mr Blade.
I took it to get some new tyres on today as what it had were a bit grim and cracked - did quite enjoy the vehicle section of the job card.
Ok so, we’re a few hundred miles in now, general first impressions:
Haven’t done a lot of motorway runs yet, but what I have, so quiet. Generally just effortless, rides lovely as well. Engine is sat at 2000rpm so may as well not be there, it’s not dissimilar as a cruiser to my old Prius just with more beef for overtaking.
Handling is not as bad as the “lol so front heavy” commenters would have you believe. You’re aware of the weight for sure, it’s not a hugely chuckable thing but it encourages you to be smooth, and it does stick better than you would expect. It’s mannerisms are strangely similar to the Corolla when not right on the limit, I’ve tried it a few times over my commute route and it reacts in an almost identical manner on the same bits of road.
Torque steer is a thing. If use the beans on even a slightly damp road it just wants to be away. I can’t see the front tyres on this thing lasting very long even when you’re not trying.
Stability control is very unintrusive which surprised me given you can’t turn it off. Not far off the sport mode in the GT86. It’s nice, gets you away quick.
Headlights are a bit naff, but apparently this is down to aged Xenon bulbs, so will be sorted soon.
So far in mostly town driving it’s returning 30mpg, but not done with this tank yet. Seems fairly reasonable.
Stereo is mostly faulty, has a hard drive fault and you can’t replace them, so it gets stuck rebooting. Ordered a Hong Kong special Android 8 unit that was on clearance so that’ll be fun wiring it up I’m sure.
You can cover ground very quickly if you’re smooth with it. It sticks well in the corners and is very safe handling wise, and the way it picks up speed is almost as surprising when you’re not trying as it is when you are, I guess because when you’re not right on it it’s not making a sound or a fuss.
I’m back to work next week so it’ll be going into proper daily use then but all seems great so far.
Right then, can’t leave things along for too long. Mainly those headlights, which were total pap. I knew they were a bit poor but driving this thing back up from Birmingham in the dark was interesting at times when there were not streetlights on a motorway.
Picture doesn’t do these things a lot of justice. When I eventually got the bulbs out the bit inside in the middle had gone solid white and sort of, melted a bit? Not really sure but purple and dim means dead in this case.
Discovered that Osram do Nightbreaker D4S bulbs, so got some of them on the go straight away.
Much more like it! Also these were way easier to change than the halogen bulbs in a standard Auris, work that one out for yourselves, I’m not complaining.
Stereo has also arrived, still waiting on a couple of adapter harnesses to arrive but have an old ATX>ISO stereo power lead I made up years ago, so gave it a test with an old HP power supply:
Actually far better to use than I expected, and really nicely put together. Oh, and did some important testing before it goes in the car - why just listen to the music used in Vice City when you can just play it?
On another note, I’m a couple of thousand miles in now and all still appears to be just fine with it thank god. There’s a bit of a judder on the brakes when they get hot but nothing serious, they work grand. Crossclimate+ tyres are as good as I had expected given my experience of the normal Crossclimates on the Corolla, and it is still lovely on the commute. Average MPG so far is a shade over 30, but that drastically increases when I’m not just sitting in traffic all the time as it usually does.
And for anyone wondering how much space there is under the bonnet, not a lot - take note of where the intake is, the rear bank of plugs obviously sits further back than that and they’re due a change soon…