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1983 Mazda RX-7 GS + 1995 Toyota Previa LE S/C + 1995 Toyota Corolla DX + 2022 Honda Insight EX

Oh my. It’s been a couple weeks since my last post. And its been a rough two weeks.

Nothing really new has happened to the RX-7, besides a 140+ mile drive that she handled flawlessly (and got an impressive 23mpg on). I got my new brake hardline and I think we can retrofit a new set of self-adjuster screws to the drums, which is good. Oh, I did have a run in with the mystery “oil flooding” issue, but it seems to have disappeared after I tightened the spark plugs down (they were literally only hand tight, yikes on that one past self).


and she passed 72k miles on the way into work this morning!

I really want to get the clutch master and slave changed out, but unfortunately I’m going to have to wait. The Prius has developed an unidentifiable problem (at least I have not been able to figure it out).

Last weekend the Maintenance light came on in the Prius, signifying that I needed an oil change (which I was overdue anyways). So I did an oil change. After the change, the engine was misfiring a bit at idle and low throttle. I also happened to notice that the oil got overfilled a bit somehow (I measured it out to be below the capacity listed online, but whatever).

Due to the misfire, I decided to check my spark plugs. The first plug came out alright, and I noticed that the ceramic was cracked, probably part of my misfire. The second plug’s ceramic broke and exploded while I was loosening it; I used a combination of a vacuum and air compressor to retrieve as many of the ceramic pieces from the spark plug well as I could before extracting the spark plug. I changed the other two plugs without a hitch, and they came out undamaged. However, when I started the car back up, the engine was shaking and rattling, as if something was pinging around inside a cylinder; it seems like I missed a ceramic piece. The piece did leave the engine and out the exhaust, and based on my research, the engine should not have suffered much, if any, internal damage. After the ceramic piece left the engine, it sounded great and perfectly normal. But then on my shakedown drive, I began to notice a strange noise. I changed oil filters, thinking maybe the Fram filter I put on was junk; and also dropped the oil level back down to just under full in the process. However, even with the oil level corrected and an OEM Toyota/Denso oil filter, the noise persists. To me it sounds like piston slap, but I can’t really tell if it is or not; for all I know it could be a timing issue. Perhaps the timing chain jumped a tooth, or the tensioner broke loose, when the engine rattled and shook with the ceramic piece…

Regardless of what the issue is, I don’t have the knowledge or experience to diagnose or fix it myself. As much as I want to avoid a big repair bill or diagnostic bill, I am going to take the Prius to either the Toyota dealership or a local shop. I may be chasing ghosts, but I’d rather chase a ghost and pay a bit now than wonder why my engine died and have to fork up a lot of cash later.

I’ll include some pictures and videos in a section below if you want to see the old plugs and the well with the broken plug. Videos you can take a listen to the noise yourself. I’ve been avoiding driving it in case this is a big problem, so don’t worry. The RX-7 has been behaving like a good girl since last weekend, so I’m in good hands until the Prius can get diagnosed and/or fixed. Of course, it is January, so I would like to get the Prius roadworthy ASAP in case it decides to snow out of nowhere again.

Thanks, as always, for reading my text walls.

PS: I would say that at this stage, it’s a little too early for 'F’s in the chat, but feel free to do so if you want.

Prius incident



This video was taken the day of the ceramic incident and prior to the new oil filter.
Tap/Rattle
This video was taken after the new oil filter.
https://streamable.com/a98fx

And just so I can end on a positive note, here’s a video of a nice, successful cold start of the RX-7.
1983 Mazda RX-7 GS Cold Start - YouTube

I probably won’t post back until one of two things happen:
-I get an update on the Prius
or
-The rear brakes on the RX-7 get fully serviced and repaired.
or both.

Until next time.

4 Likes

And it is time. For (hopefully not) another text wall.

I took the Prius in to a local shop that is like 3 minutes from my house. They stuck a bore-scope down into the cylinder, and lo and behold, there was still ceramic in there. They attempted to extract the pieces with some adhesive on the end of their bore-scope, but the ceramic pieces were stuck. The shop concluded that they wouldn’t cause any long term damage, and the engine is still running good; just keep on driving it and the pieces may break free. They recommended I add Seafoam to the gas, and I may do the Seafoam spray treatment as well.

And after having driven it for a few days; she’s doing a bit better. It’s still there, but she’s running and sounding a bit better. I put some Seafoam in the gas, and I think that’s part of why it runs better. Probably going to add another can before my next fill up. Once it warms up a bit (so I can actually exist outside without freezing to death), I will see about running that Seafoam spray treatment; will be interesting since the computer likes to turn off the motor and dislikes revving in neutral/park.

My mom had me run her van to the dealership for an oil change. I didn’t do a crazy write up like I did with my dad’s car. I did take a couple photos, and a video of plugging it in…

2018 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid



Video of plugging in the van, lol.
https://streamable.com/c50wz

I am itching to drive the RX-7, desperately. But, they salted all the roads and it’s snowing right now. Now that the Prius is back (again) and running ok, literally no excuse for dragging the rotary onto salt and risking rust.


The Prius is a little…salty.

And…

We hit 99k miles! Raise your glasses, and lets hope the ceramic goes away before we hit 100k.

And, obligatory photo shoot:

Pictures, but it's not a rotary




2 Likes

Update on the RX-7:
Rear brakes are done. For the final time. New wheel cylinder is in on the drivers side. No more rub. New brake soft line and a new brake hard line. The car feels faster and smoother now that the rub is gone, and braking is much improved.

Update on the Prius:
Still rattling. Now you can only hear it when the engine is cold, however, so it is improving. Still want to try Seafoam spray, but the weather has been trash lately.

Braaaaaakes


Replacing the soft line that goes from the body hard line and into the axle hard lines. We also replaced the hard line from that soft line that goes into the wheel cylinder.

New wheel cylinder in.

And, the new drum finally fits.

As is now tradition, some pics:

Raaaaain





https://streamable.com/k7dzd
You can see steam coming off the hood after you do a few hard revs, lmao. No hood insulation, just an aluminum sheet with some bracing for structural rigidity.

5 Likes

Holy shit, it’s not cold outside!
Did Ohio just turn into California? Like, 60F in early February is crazy.
Well, I’m not one to complain. I got both cars washed and took the RX-7 out to stretch her legs a bit. If it really is going to be even warmer tomorrow than it is today, I know what car I’m taking to school, lol.

Ok, lets get a recap of whats gone down since my last post:
Prius - put some miles on it. Still rattling, still really only hear it when the motor is cold. I will see if I have time to try Seafoam Spray while we’ve got good weather, but I’ve been slammed with some time consuming schoolwork, so I probably won’t get a chance.

RX-7 - I finally got off my lazy ass and replaced the clutch cylinders. And my god, the car easily drives 10x better than before. Gear changes are no longer sloppy and chunky, but are smooth and consistent. Starting from a stop is greatly improved, and hill starts are waaaaaaaay easier now that the clutch engages lower on the pedal.

HydraulicWorks


The old hardline refused to break free, so I ended up having to replace it as well.

The old and crusty hydraulics are gone. The old slave seems to have been in good health, but the rubber sleeve was heavily deteriorated.

Closer look at the troublemaker. I stripped it pretty good; I tried using vice grips, a regular 10mm wrench, and one of those special line wrenches but had no luck.

I tried my best to get a picture of the new slave cylinder installed. It didn’t turn out that great.

Top down picture of the new slave installed. Also didn’t turn out that great, lol.

New master installed.

New master hooked into the new hardline.

New hardline hooked into the new softline.

And the trash tier job I did at bending the new hardline.

Complications arose when I was bleeding the clutch. The softline kept leaking out where it connects to the slave. I had to go get some thread sealant to lather on the softline to keep it from leaking.

Rotary Pics

Got some shots after I went to the car wash (for the underspray, I hand washed the Prius).





Paint is still in awful shape, but she still looks pretty good after a fresh wash.

Sunroof removal because its not cold!

Prius Pics




Yikes. That’s one dirty car.

Much better. Though you can now see all the scrapes and scratches, and you can definitely tell that the driver’s door was hit one time.


Oh yea, definitely better.

Oh, in other news: The catalytic converter on the RX-7 finally committed dead. There’s now a nice big exhaust leak at the cat, and there’s a noticeable drone in the interior now. The car is slightly louder because of this, but its definitely faster, lol. Sounds like my work buddy (same guy who helped me with the brakes) knows how to weld, so I’ll be picking up some pipe and a pre-silencer soon. We’ll be cutting the cat out and slapping in some good pipe, and the pre-silencer should keep it at street legal volumes; car will definitely sound 10x better. I do plan on at least getting a good muffler later on as well. I’m still on the fence about getting an exhaust header as I am not planning on making any carburetor or port upgrades any time soon (if at all).

Until next time.

8 Likes

It’s been quite some time, hasn’t it folks. Well, good news is that both cars are still alive and well.

The Prius is still a rattlecan, but is otherwise great. I think the plan is to get the headgasket replaced early, but not anytime soon. Since the mechanic said that there was no risk of long-term damage, I think it’ll be fine. I may still do Seafoam spray since its a 100k mile engine and could use a tune up, but I highly doubt that it will actually help at this stage.

WAIT WHAT!?!?!?! The Prius is over 100 thousand?


Yep.

The RX-7 is still running great. However, the brake master cylinder has developed a leak now; which I now suspect to also be the cause of the pulsation in the pedal. I will also be cleaning up the brake booster and possibly replacing the rubber lines for the front brake calipers at the same time. I also plan on draining the coolant and replacing the hoses sometime later this spring.

Since I want to at least do the brake booster while the master cylinder is off, it won’t be happening quite yet as I lack the funds necessary to get tools and paint; this should be fixed soon after I get a job to supplement my current income, but with the whole corona virus thing my job hunting has ground to a near halt due to the economical side-effects of the outbreak.

In other rotary news, the old sunroof lift/crank mechanism broke. The knob completely separated from the worm gear, rendering the sunroof unable to support itself and not close all the way. Somehow, I managed to find a replacement lift mechanism that is in like-new condition on eBay; however, this replacement is burgundy instead of black. I may paint it later, but since its on the ceiling you don’t really see it unless you look at it.

Sunroof Things



Yikes. I lubricated the worm gears on the new lifter in order to make it smoother, and potentially increase longevity (they are plastic, so…). The swap was pretty easy, and the whole thing works a lot better now.




The car is quite dirty now as well. While I do have a car cover now, it is not waterproof (unfortunately), so any grime that passes through the wet cloth gets stuck to the car. Local weather is getting warmer and warmer, so I’ve actually removed the cover now; and with the rain we’ve been getting lately, she doesn’t look as bad.

I plan on getting a set of new door seals very soon. This will fix the wind noise at high speed and fully seal the interior from the elements. Currently, the door seals are so bad that the car cannot go through an automatic wash without leaking some water. After I install the seals will likely be when I next post on here.

uhhh, lets see…I also fixed the vacuum leak. One of the vacuum rack solenoids was busted (I snapped off a brittle plastic bit when I was replacing some of the vacuum lines), so I plugged up the line on the vacuum rack that goes into the solenoid. I also just ordered some door handle covers for the interior as the original ones have been falling apart since I got the car and I got super tired of it.

This post is running super long, so I’ll keep this short. The exhaust upgrades will happen sometime after I get a job, I’m not sure if it will happen before or after the brake master cylinder. I will be re-upholstering the seats sometime late spring or early summer. I may also look into re-upholstering my door cards (or at least touching them up) as well, since I need to lubricate the manual windows as well.

Ok, enough text walls. I’ll see you in the next one

3 Likes

I know I said my next post would be door seals, but I’ve done a lot of things since the last post and still haven’t ordered seals yet. So here we are.

Prius Things

Still makes noises, still moves. I discovered a water leak in the rear of the car when I had to get to the 12V battery to jump the RX-7.


Here you can see the wet pavement from all the standing water I drained out from the spare tire well.

Jump Starting with a Prius

For those curious, or if you ever find yourself in a situation where you need to jump a car with a Prius, here’s some instructions for you.
(As a side note, RX-7 battery was dead because I accidentally left the lights on all day)
So the Prius Owner’s Manual will tell you that you can jump start the car by hooking up to the positive terminal in the fuse box in the engine bay and some random metal. However, the manual makes no mention of how to use the Prius itself to jump start another car.

You can most definitely use a Prius to jump another car. The key is to get to the regular 12V car battery in the right side of the trunk. The battery is hidden beneath a little panel.


This red plastic cover is preventing access to the positive terminal, which you obviously need. It is held in place by 3 clips, one on top and two on the sides. In order to access one of the clips you may have to move the brake controller next to the battery. If you have to do this, you will have to remove the floor panel and the bin beneath it (very easy, no tools required); this will reveal access to the brake controller as well as the spare tire and jack.

You’ll need a 10mm socket wrench to unbolt the brake controller bracket and slide the whole unit out of the way. Now you should be able to access the clip on the positive terminal cover. Now hook up your cables to the Prius battery and start the Prius. Since the Prius’ hybrid system likes to shut off the motor, this isn’t good since you’ll be discharging the 12V. You can leave it in Park and just hit the gas, it’ll rev up a bit; just hold it there while someone hooks up the cables to the dead car. Let it charge up for a couple minutes, and then start the dead car. Mission complete!
Disconnect the cables, replace the positive terminal cover, (remount the brake controller and reassemble the trunk if you needed to do that), replace the battery cover panel, and then you’re done.

Alright. About that water leak. I wasn’t really able to fully ascertain the cause of the standing water in the spare tire well. I think that I may have tracked it down and resolved it, but it may also have just been the trunk not closed all the way. In the event that it was not the trunk, there is a screw that goes into this green thing with a plastic washer to make some sort of seal. There was water pooling up around it, but not on the other one on the other side. I removed and tightened the screw and washer and it seemed to not be taking on water anymore. Let the car air out for a couple days and put things back together.




Also, a very Toyota certified bruh moment:
The RX-7’s owners manual states that the 12A engine should consume a quart of motor oil between 500 and 1000 miles. The Prius owners manual states that the 1NZ-FXE should consume no more than 1.1 quarts of motor oil per 600 miles. Apparently Toyotas are almost as bad as rotaries on oil consumption, lmfao. note, my particular Prius isn’t actually this bad on oil, this is just Toyota’s threshold

Last Prius update:
I did some spring cleaning and tidied up the glove boxes and center console, throwing away receipts and other trash. I also sorted all of the paperwork my dad left in the car. I have invoices from every single oil change, recall work, and even the invoice from when my dad was rear-ended. I sorted these invoices in chronological order and stored them neatly in the bottom glove box alongside my spare lights and owners manual.


One of the papers in there has the details on the trade-in my dad did when he got this car. His old Hyundai was a 2000 Elantra with 72k miles on it. RIP Elantra, it died early; but early 2000s Hyundais were pretty crappy anyways so almost not even surprising.

Now for the car most of you (probably) actually care about. Rotary Time.
I changed the differential fluid finally.


I had to use a jack to break the fill plug loose. And then I had to get a breaker bar and attach all of my extensions to it to get the drain plug loose. It wasn’t very fun. However, the maintenance is now done (was overdue going by the manual), and acceleration feels a bit better; especially when accelerating mid turn.

Since I don’t really have much else to do during these trying times, besides online school, anime, and video games, I’ve been driving the RX-7 damn near every day. Sometimes twice a day. We’re over 73k miles now, yay! And I noticed that the car was having some troubles when hot starting. Uh oh. Normally you’d have a big brain think and ponder why it won’t start hot; but since its a rotary, you immediately fear that the compression is low. So I got a compression tester and decided to find out for myself.

Well, the compression is exactly to spec. Like, exactly what is listed in both of my repair manuals. So there’s no reason for it to not hot start, right? Well, I had a think, and remembered that the ignition coils are the original ones, from 1982. Now it makes sense.


Get these crusty canisters out of here.

Looking much better.
I got some Flame Thrower canister coils. According to the peeps on Discord, the stock/OG coils are Flame Thrower, so I ended up with stock coils. Not a big deal really, since even if they’re stock, they’re brand new; anything that works is better than the old coils at this point. I also don’t really care about trying to increase power either; could always upgrade the leading coil later on if I really wanted to.
Needless to say, she starts instantly cold and hot now that spark is restored to full strength. And that screech you hear in the compression test video is gone as well. Apparently the screech was related to the coils and not the starter as I had originally thought.

Almost forgot this part. I got new door handle covers. My god, they were needed. I’ll let the photos speak for themselves.

Door Handles






Ah, that’s much better.

Well, that’s all for now folks. Due to lack of job, due to pandemic, I won’t be touching up the brake booster when I do the brake master cylinder. Next on the agenda is door seals and brake master cylinder. I’m not sure which will come first, but my next post will most likely include both (unless something else happens). Since I’m driving so often, I am thinking about finally wiring up front speakers too. Just have to get some speakers. I’m told the factory wires are basically speaker wire behind the proprietary connector, which will massively simplify things. Then I’ll be able to hear music while driving, even more so once the door seals are done.

Some complimentary photos from quarantine driving:

Quarantine Pics










(You can see that the Prius was fogged up from the water leaking in and condensating on the inside)











Thanks for reading!

6 Likes

A global pandemic can’t kill a 12A. I’m back, with a lot of major work done on the RX-7.

The Prius has barely been driven, but it now seems like the ceramic shards can only be heard at idle. The engine sounds perfectly normal at load. That’s all I have on that, moving on.

Alright, this is going to be a long post…Lets make it a bit shorter.

Brake Master Cylinder

I finally got around to swapping the brake master cylinder, which went pretty well. The brakes feel a lot better now, and I’m no longer consuming brake fluid. I have noticed a clanking in the rear brakes, as well as pulsation in the brake pedal; however I believe I know the cause. I will be addressing it shortly, I just can’t justify paying shipping on a singular bolt.



Door and Window Seals



The old seals were, uh, yikes.

Much better.


The old window seals were also pretty yikes.
I ran into a snag on the passenger window seal.



The metal piece the seal clips to almost rusted off. I used some duck tape to attach it as well as I could in the unsecured spots without taking the door panels off.


The new window seals do look pretty nice tho.

I didn’t really take any pictures, but I did wire in front speakers. It’s nice being able to hear music.

Oil Change

Finally hit 3k miles since the last one. Did a nice, quick, routine change. I tossed my leftover Seafoam into the oil about 700 miles before the change, and it seems to have helped the motor run smoother a fair bit. Also ordered a nicer oil filter than the cheapo Fram I got last time.


Something I didn’t realize at first, but read in the owner’s manual; if you punch a hole in the old oil filter when you drain the oil, it drains the oil out of the oil filter so you don’t make a mess when you change filters.

Cooling System Overhaul

Kinda wish I had more pictures, but my hands were really dirty and greasy, so… Might take some more pictures now that I’m done.
I knew I wanted to do a coolant change for a good while. At some point during lockdown, I noticed that my coolant warning buzzer was going off. So I decided to spend $200 and got a lot of good stuff. A full set of OEM hoses, an OEM 180F thermostat, thermostat gasket (ofc), and a new radiator cap. I drained the coolant and then ran a garden hose through the radiator and the heater/engine until it drained out clear. Then I went through the painstaking process of removing all the old hoses and installing the new ones. I also got new hose clamps, the old ones were really low quality and rusted themselves apart.




Then we add coolant and squeeze the hoses to test for leaks. All good? Fire it up and start bleeding the coolant. Topped off the radiator and the overflow reservoir, let the air drain out and add coolant as necessary.

Went smoothly overall. I got the clamps all tight enough on the first try, so there was no mess made. The temperature gauge seems to read lower now, so I definitely improved the cooling system’s performance. I would have liked to change the water pump out, just cause its probably the original one; however, I lack the necessary tools to remove and install a pulley. I would take it to a shop to get the pulley swapped, but with lockdown, that’s not feasible.

That’s going to be it for now. The car has very little work left to do on it at this point, so I have no idea when my next post will be. Next one will probably be exhaust, but that may not be for another month or more. That post may include a new antenna as well, but I’m not sure. Things work, so it’ll probably just let be. Might just post pictures in between if I can get some good shots, we’ll see. To close things out, here’s some assorted doritos:

Assorted Doritos
















3 Likes

hello mr. eastman

i actually have a first gen rx7 myself that was given to me for free on Christmas

problem is that it’s not in very good condition, and i doubt it’s going to be street legal

any tips?

I apologize for such a late reply, I do not often check the forums here.

Whether or not you can legally drive it on the road is likely going to be dependent upon what country or state you live in, assuming that it was not in a bad accident and is structurally sound.

Tips on getting up and running?
Do a compression test on the engine to gauge its health, you should also give it a Marvel Mystery Oil treatment to free up the apex/side seals beforehand and get things going. Of course, in order to do a compression test, the motor must be at operating temperature; so if it does not start and run then that will have to be addressed first. There are guides on rx7club.com that can give you tips on getting it running, you can also DM me on discord if you would like (DM here for my discord username, or search me on the Automation discord and @ me there; I actually am online on Discord at least 6 hours a day, 7 days a week).

Assuming it runs, compression test is very easy on these cars. While a rotary compression tester is most accurate, they are expensive; regular piston engine testers are accurate enough when employed correctly anyways.
Steps for compression testing:
1 - Warm up engine completely
2 - Remove one spark plug from each rotor and disconnect the fuel pump
3 - Crank the motor to purge fuel from the housings
4 - Insert the compression tester into the open spark plug hole
5 - Crank for peak compression, then hold the valve while cranking for pulses
6 - Change the tester to the second rotor and repeat step 5
7 - Use an online calculator to determine “real” compression numbers
8 - Reinstall spark plugs and reconnect fuel pump

Once your motor runs and you know its condition (as indicated by the compression test), you can go from there. Whether that would be finding a new shell to transfer into or fixing up what you have.

Oh man, its been a looooong time since I posted an update in here.

Well, I have a job now. Yay, parts money! Except not really cause I want to move out next year so I have space for other car stuff (like painting the RX-7 and storing other project cars). But I think I can spare a little out of the first paycheck to get a few things…

Prius has been just fine. Nothing to report.

A Few Prius Pics

One of the old tail lights burnt out. Replaced them with LEDs.


The most boring engine bay ever.



The RX-7’s old coolant needs to go.

Loaded up and ready for transport.

My mom backed into a car in the Lexus. Its not the first time she’s done this either, smh. Wish I still had a picture of the destroyed tail light lens on our old 2009 Sienna.

Scuffed Bumper


The Pacifica Hybrid had a recall for what I think is the AC to DC converter on the charging system. Its apparently dangerous enough that the dealer is keeping it until they have a fix and the car is repaired. We have the option to get a loaner from the dealer in the meantime.

A coworker of mine, who is also a big car guy and who’s been a huge help to me on the RX-7, recently got a very clean Nissan Z32 for his wife. Its in immaculate condition and has literally never seen rain in its entire life. He is the third owner. The Previous owner got the car in circa 2003, and was an engineer. The Previous owner took this naturally aspirated model and supercharged it. Its got a pro-charger (belt driven turbo is big sad), with all custom intake and intercooler tubing. We think it makes about as much power as a stock Twin Turbo Z32 (around 300 or so). The VG30 sounds really nice. I definitely want to get a Z31 in the future, but with my rotary instincts its hard to say if it will keep its VG30…

Z32






Unfortunately I do not have engine bay pics at this time.

Now, onto the real star of the show.
Oh boy, where to begin. I guess we’ll pick up right where we left off?

Alternator Bracket

The stock alternator bracket is a real pain in the ass. It is very hard to get proper belt tension, and I was super duper tired of getting belt slip at high rpm. I ordered a Banzai Racing alternator bracket.


Ew. Looks old, crusty, and kinda crap.

After drilling out the bolt hole for the stock bracket, new bracket is on.

Waaaaay better looking. And its a lot easier to adjust tension. Though a weird quirk with this bracket is that you have to run the belts loose. Like, loose enough that they flop around when you press on them. Took me a little while to figure that out; I was really disappointed at first when my belts kept squealing. But that’s all better now.

Oh yea, and one of the old belts was rekt. Luckily I have a box of spares, lol.

Battery Hold Down

I randomly decided to get an OEM battery hold down bracket. The battery was just chillin. I do think that because the battery was loose, it is part of how the negative terminal jumped off the post back when the first fuel pump died. Well, that certainly won’t happen again now.


Chillin like a badass.

She’s not going anywhere now.

Front License Plate Delete

Ohio’s front license plate requirements went away on July 1st. I took that rusty old bracket off immediately.


It was so rusty that I snapped one of the bolts. Oof. Hopefully they won’t reinstate front plates…

She looks a lot sleeker without that thing. I even noticed a significant jump in mpg. The aerodynamic improvement certainly helped in that department. I average 20.5 combined mpg now, and that’s including hard acceleration and cruising with AC on.

Brake Drum Retaining Screws

I’ve been missing one of the retaining screws since I got the car. People told me I didn’t need them, that the wheels would hold it in place just fine. Yet even after I serviced all the brakes, replaced the master cylinder, and completely flushed the brake fluid to clean, I still had some major pulsation in my brake pedal. Very similar in feel to having really really badly warped brake rotors in the front. But I knew that the front rotors were new (and I didn’t feel like replacing wheel bearings again). I inspected the rear brakes, and they looked assembled correctly. I checked the rubber lines for twisties, and they’re straight as can be. The only thing out of place was the missing retaining screw…
I ended up ordering a full set of retaining screws (2 for each rear wheel). And lo and behold, the pulsation in my brake pedal disappeared. As it turns out, I did need those screws.


The new ones are also higher quality in my opinion. My pedal does still pulsate a little under light braking at high speed, but I chalk that up to uneven wear on the rear drums; the pedal still feels much better and I don’t feel sketched out when using the brakes anymore.

Fixed Antenna Swap

My GS model was originally equipped with a power antenna unit. However, a combination of age and the previous owner’s son’s poorly done stereo “upgrade” I could never get the power unit to function. I also snapped the antenna mast at some point lol. They don’t sell replacement power units anymore, and there’s no guarantee I could get it to work even if they did. Fixed rubber antennas are only $20, so whatever. Installation was really easy, and with an antenna cable extension I was able to hook the antenna back up to the stereo. I finally have radio again!



Its pretty short, and I think it looks kinda cool.
I also upgraded the Wally World special 5.25" rear speakers we put in when we did the radio install. Those cheapo speakers were underpowered for the rear, and with tweeters they weren’t really suited for being in the rear. The new 6.5 JBL speakers are MUCH better. I can actually hear music coming from the rear now, so much so that I had to set some front fade to hear the fronts. Sadly no pictures though.
Oh, and I figured out that when I sanded down the tombstone bezel to fit a single DIN stereo, I just barely got it to fit. At first we could never get it to stay anywhere, but that was because of how short the stock antenna cable is. But now that the antenna cable is longer, I found out that the bezel is tight enough that the stereo can stay in place and not hide inside the dash anymore.

AC Idle Adjustment

Ever since my friend fixed my AC back in September, there has always been an issue with the idle speed when the AC compressor is running. When the compressor kicked on, idle speed would drop in half; which caused me to need to set a high idle speed to compensate. After doing a little research and investigation, my AC solenoid and the AC portion of the vacuum system is indeed fully functional. The cause of the idle drop was that the throttle opener that kicks up idle speed was not adjusted correctly.


While my car’s throttle opener does not adjust the same way as indicated in the manual, it did tell me where the throttle opener was and how it works. Basically, the AC solenoid will pull the throttle opener when the compressor kicks on, which raises the arm as pictured below.

On my car (not sure about other first gens), the throttle opener can be adjusted by turning a screw on the top next to the vacuum line going into it. With a few turns of the screw, my idle now raises when the AC kicks on rather than dropping. With this fix I was then able to lower my idle speed back to 750rpm, and I also fixed my idle mix in the process; the car now hardly misfires at idle (I suspect it was running lean), and seems to have also netted a minor improvement in fuel efficiency.
Also, shout out to Asus. The Zenfone 6’s flip camera is extremely useful. I can position the phone’s screen and camera perfectly to see into tight spaces I would normally never be able to see. There’s so much stuff I’ve done on this car that would have been much more difficult if I had a different phone or camera setup. Above picture of the throttle opener arm would not have been possible with a different phone.

Electrical Gremlin Hunt, Episode 1

Looking at my window sticker, there’s some electrical functions listed that I have never seen in action. One of my closest friend’s little brother is a beginner mechanic (also smarter than me in car things, especially electrics) offered to help me figure out why that stuff doesn’t work (as well as maybe fix some stuff that did work, but doesn’t work anymore). The first time we hung out and troubleshot, we were investigating the mysterious case of the door light and ignition cylinder light. We discovered that they were both on the same circuit, of course. However, we are stumped as to why these lights don’t work. The bulbs are good, the wiring is good. But the door switches, we have no idea how they work; we don’t know if they are functional or broken. We basically got nowhere, lol. We did break my dome light in the troubleshooting process, but it was about dead anyways. Replaced it with a nice LED one, super bright. The dome light doubles as the door light, so with it working we are confused. I am going over to hang out with him again and do some more detective work. Stay tuned for Electrical Gremlin Hunt, Episode 2.


Bright Boye

Exhaust

Don’t get too excited just yet, its still got the stock exhaust. However, I am gearing up for some major upgrades. I discovered where my exhaust leak was and why my exhaust was rattling badly at low speed. Turns out that the midpipe separated from the flange where it connects to the muffler. My buddy did some band-aid tack welds so it stops rattling, but there is still big leaks. We will have to take the midpipe and muffler out to re-weld the flange back to the midpipe. We also need to replace the rear right parking brake cable, which is hidden above the exhaust heat shield over the muffler (my buddy snapped it a while ago and promised to pay for it; we’re finally doing it now since we probably need to take the muffler off anyways).


Ew, stinky boogers.

I’ve been doing a lot of research on how the emissions systems work over the last couple weeks. The best/easiest way to remove the catalytic converter, purely from exhaust work perspective, is to do a header swap. This means that the pre-silencer (fancy rotary word for resonator) will bolt directly into the exhaust in place of the catalytic converter. However, the stock exhaust manifold is hooked up to tons of vacuum lines and other things to help the emissions. When you do a header swap, there’s a lot of stuff you have to account for in order to allow the car to run right afterwards.
So, I’ve figured out all of what I need to get and have started ordering things. Its getting exciting! I ordered a complete LRB Speed 12A block off plate kit. It is meant for race cars, but most of the block off plates in the kit are extremely useful for what I am doing. I will need to block off the Air Control Valve (part of the air pump system. Air pump is finally getting yeeted!), the shutter valves, and the split air pipe (a little bung that goes into the catalytic converter to let exhaust get rerouted back into the intake for emissions). I also bought some high temp RTV to use as gaskets on the block off plates and some metal tape to plug the holes in the air cleaner where there will no longer be vacuum lines. Unfortunately, the block off plate kit will take nearly 3 weeks to arrive as they are made-by-order.
Soon, probably after the block off plate kit ships, I will order the final pieces of the puzzle. I am going to get a Racing Beat 12A header for 81-83 RX-7s, and the 81-83 Racing Beat Pre-Silencer. These will be bolt in upgrades for the stock manifold and catalytic converter. I can expect upwards of 20-25 additional horsepower at the crank, which would likely put me at 90 something at the wheels. Not to mention the catalytic converter heatshield will no longer rattle at high speeds, there won’t be anymore exhaust leaks with the repairs to the midpipe, and the car will sound 100x better. Exhaust leaks on rotaries make them sound awful. There’s also a possibility that the aftermarket header could lower temps, which would be nice but is not guaranteed. I can’t wait to start working on it!

Miscellaneous Pics/Updates


One of my friends absolutely destroyed the Astro van’s front left tire. He punctured it on the steering rack, which is precariously barely attached to the car on the left side. They are probably going to scrap the Astro relatively soon, but its got a new tire in the meantime.


Same guy who destroyed the Astro’s tire just bought a Crown Victoria Police Interceptor. Its actually in fairly decent shape. Its got some battlescars from its police days, the previous owners welded the diff and cut off the exhaust after the cats, and its got almost 200k miles. But it runs and drives just fine, and it was cheap. He also finally replaced the nonexistent clutch in his BMW; the Slipmobile is no more.

Press F to pay respects. One of the vacuum advance solenoids on the RX-7 broke off of the vacuum rack. I was already bypassing them, so its not a problem.

I upgraded to LED side marker bulbs and cleaned/repaired the lenses. LED tail lights soon tm. Also thinking about fog lights.

I finally met up with one of the bois on the rotary discord I’m in. He lives only 40 or so minutes away, so we will likely hang out again in the nearish future. His blue RX-8 is quite fast, and sounds amazing. Also shoots some nice flames.


And now for random pics of the RX-7.









Some videos of a walkaround and a 60mph sprint.
https://streamable.com/d90op2
https://streamable.com/59ghc7

Hope y’all enjoyed at least something in this massively long post. Stay tuned for juicy exhaust upgrades and whatever else happens.

2 Likes

Been another long hiatus.

Ironically, the RX-7’s exhaust still isn’t done; however the exhaust leak has been more permanently repaired.

Also, the title has been updated. I bought another car.
I picked up a 1995 Toyota Corolla DX I saw on facebook marketplace. I took a look at it and test drove it, it was good. Bought it for $280, 178k miles. Reason for being sold: clutch failing. Actual problem: needs a new drive axle and motor mounts. Still drives well, and drives straight.


Corolla Gang

The car runs and is in pretty good shape for its mileage. Kind of surprising it even runs though, considering how old the spark plugs are. They are really really bad, waiting on new ones to come in. Also going to be doing oil changes on the motor, transmission, and differential.

Being a DX trim, it has the 1.8L 7A-FE and a 5 speed manual; she’s an oil burning queen, naturally. No oil leaks though, so all blow by and valve seals. It also has power steering, power windows, power locks, AC, and somehow still has a working original tape deck/radio.

The car was disgustingly filthy when I bought it. The interior clearly hadn’t been cleaned in years. I remedied that. The interior looks really nice now, and thanks to some carpet cleaner it doesn’t smell like a weird combination of cigarettes and weed anymore. Not to mention, with cleaned windows you can actually see in all directions.




Can of Seafoam to run through the gas when it eventually gets low on gas. I’ve driven it 200 miles, and its still just under a half tank. Not sure how accurate the fuel gauge is yet, but if its accurate, this thing is godly in range/economy. It is rated for 35 highway, 28 city; so I can probably go almost 400 miles. Pretty insane kit for under $300.

And the car isn’t very rusty either. Does have a pretty nice meme exhaust leak. The flex pipe in the pipe coming off the header and into the catalytic converter is dead; massive leak. Somehow sounds pretty good. Not sure if I will fix yet, but I’ll get to that later.

As you undoubtedly noticed, the car has mismatched tail lights. That’s not the only cosmetic flaw. It was clearly in some kind of front end collision; the left front fender and front bumper are black, the driver’s door has a big dent in it, and the right parking lamp assembly is shattered and broken.

We took a trip to a local scrapyard today, they had a 1993 sedan. I took a tail light assembly off of it, the mismatched one on the right was off of a 96 or 97. I also took an oil filler cap since mine was no longer readable, and I grabbed some floor mats as I only had a front passenger floor mat.



Much improved. Sadly the scrapyard car did not have a parking lamp assembly, and we broke the mirror glass from the mirror on it in an attempt to remove it (my passenger side mirror glass is broken). The scrapyard car does have some very cool wheels. They look like knock off BBS mesh wheels, but are clearly almost guaranteed stock. I intend to return to the scrapyard to grab those wheels as they would make a cool second set. The scrapyard car also has a factory wing, but I am not sure if my car has the wiring for it; and it would need to be paint matched or sprayed black.
Got a new bulb in the driver’s side parking lamp. Looks better on that side now that there is the full amount of intended light.

I kind of bought this car on a whim, I happened to be browsing marketplace and stumbled across it. The price was right, and the previous owner was going to scrap it if it didn’t sell. I saw how nice it was and just had to rescue it from the same fate as the whacky looking 93 I saw today. I’m really starting to fall in love with it, and I will likely keep it for a while yet. I’ve been wanting a car to go auto crossing in, but with the RX-7’s oil leaks and it being something I’d rather not beat on too hard I haven’t really been able to. But I think the Corolla will make a fun little autox car. I will likely autox it stock for a while, but I do want to put some grippier tires on the fake BBS from the scrapyard car to make it a little quicker. Maybe do some suspension and brakes later down the line. There’s a good possibility as well that I may be picking up a single rotor engine early next year that I was considering swapping into it. A naturally aspirated single rotor would only be about as powerful as the stock 7A, but would definitely be fun to keep at high revs on an autox course. Not to mention the weight savings. But I am not sure if I will go through with that swap yet or not; afterall, I’m not guaranteed that motor and I might fall too much in love to yoink the 7A out. However, I was thinking that if I were to rotary swap, I could rebuild the 7A and find a Corolla wagon or an Accord with popups to drop it in to keep it alive in spirit.

To address the exhaust leak, if I rotary swap, then I’m obviously completely rebuilding the exhaust. An ebay race header would include a new pipe for $92. A factory replacement pipe is $80. Obviously, the pipe alone is a bad buy. I could just buy the header and run that until I rotary swap, or I would already have it on there in case I don’t. Would be a cheap and fairly easy project to maybe get some extra horses and better noise from.

There’s always the possibility I get the single rotor, don’t want to put it in the Corolla, and then find another car to swap it into.

Anyways, that’s all a long ways off. For now I’m just going to keep breathing life into it. After I get new spark plugs in, I’ll be taking it in to have the axle and motor mounts replaced to fix the clunking and shuddering on gear change.

Prius Life

Not a whole lot to say here. Its my reliable daily driver.
However, quite big climax to the mystery noise. Turns out the valves were messed up by the ceramic. And I also discovered a lot of metal flake in the oil. A couple of shops confirmed the death sentence, and so I actually ended up getting a 86k mile engine swapped in. Big hit to my house funds, but was worth it to ensure the car won’t poop out; this was before the Corolla as well, so I would’ve been left with just the RX-7.
I’ll need to replace the spark plugs on this new engine soon. I don’t want a repeat of last time…
But yea, other than that, the Prius is just doing its thing and ferrying me around.

Rotary Things

You know, not much has happened since the last time I posted, to be honest.
We finally fixed the handbrake.


Replaced the front cable. The rear left cable broke on us while replacing the front cable. I happened to have a rear right cable on hand, but that cable is too short. We pulled a redneck and made a little adapter plate to get the handbrake functional; I’ll order a new rear left cable eventually, but I haven’t seen any for sale on ebay or rockauto, so who knows when that’ll happen.

I discovered a crack in the RX-7’s dash a few weeks ago. My heart sank. Its not a horrible crack, but its still a crack. I decided to order a dash mat to hide the crack and prevent any more from forming under the unforgiving UV rays of the sun. I also got one for the Prius, and will likely get one for the Corolla as well. I like the aesthetic it adds, and makes the interior feel a little more cozy.

Due to carb issues, I decided to replace the soft fuel lines in the engine bay and add a secondary inline fuel filter; I also went ham on fuel system cleaner. I don’t think the carb was actually rebuilt, and I would like to put off rebuilding it as long as possible.

I also did some painting. Painted the side mirrors, the A pillars, and windshield wipers. The car looks soooo much better with just that. And I haven’t even repainted all of the crappy exterior trim.


What is this?

Oh yea, its a set of Sylvania Halogen fog lights. For the RX-7 of course. They look cool, and they add so much light. Its crazy. I am going to get fog lights for the Prius now because of this, and because the Prius high beams are garbage; it really needs the extra light.


Thanks to said fog lights, power draw at idle is…quite high. So LED tail lights to the rescue. Had to wire in some resistors to get the “STOP LAMP” warning on the dash to go away. However, power draw is considerably less, and I am kinda regretting not going LED tails forever ago because they have so much more light than incandescent bulbs. The factory tail light design just bleeds away so much light.




Power draw with the turn signal on at idle is still pretty high. I am researching/investigating a conversion to a modern 3 pin solid state electronic flasher so that I can slap LED turn signals in without wiring resistors again.

AH, yes, how could I forget.
Electrical Gremlins Part 2: The Conclusion.
IT ALL WORKS!!
The pin for the door switches on the body harness connector separating front to back was corroded horribly. Soldered it outside the connector. Everything works. The door light, the light off reminder, the door buzzer, everything. Its awesome. Only things that still don’t work are the dash dimmer and the cigarette lighter. To be honest, I can’t really be bothered to tear everything apart to investigate, so… whatever. I’ll eventually convert the dash lights to LED anyways, the stock incandescent lights are pretty dim even at max brightness.

Beyond that, the RX-7 has been running well. She treated me nicely while the Prius was away getting a new motor. And now the weather is getting cold and she’ll be getting put to bed for hibernation at the first sign of snow/salt. I now have the Corolla for a winter project/winter fun car.

How about we end on more misc pictures?

Pics








Posing with my buddy’s E46



Posing with my friend’s MkIII Supra





Some more shots of the fogs and LED tails.











The Corolla meeting the Prius for the first time. The Corolla and the RX-7 haven’t met yet. The Corolla is currently parked where the RX-7 used to be when I first got it.

Getting a look under the hood for the first time.

6 Likes

I’m back.

Prius

I retrofitted fog lights to the Prius. The cheap halogen bulbs that came with the kit weren’t great, so I upgraded them with some Alla Lighting LEDs. I thought about getting yellow LEDs, but ended up getting white ones instead. I also replaced my headlights with new Sylvania bulbs as the cheap bulbs the body shop put in last year already burnt out.



The switch that came with the eBay kit did not fit in the stock switch panel, so I had a jank setup until I found a compatible switch.


New switch fit like a glove, but I installed it upside down. I do fix it later during a second wiring job.

This was when the second cheapo bulb burnt out. The passenger side one burnt out first, but I still had my old original bulb from before the accident when one of the original bulbs burnt out and I replaced them both. When the driver’s bulb burnt out I decided to just replace them both with new ones.

And here we upgrade the fog lights to LEDs.

The LEDs made a world of difference. The fog lights actually provide more light and give me what I was expecting.

The first oil change on the new motor!

Fresh Castrol Edge High Mileage 5W30 + a OEM Toyota Denso oil filter. Ran a can of Seafoam through the old oil, and the new oil is still clean af after a 100 or so miles.
I also went on an LED light buying spree; and updated the reverse lights, courtesy lights, dome lights, and cargo light. I didn’t upgrade the map lights since I never use them, and didn’t bother with the glove box light.




It feels so much more modern now, I love it.

And the last, and most recent thing I’ve done. Bluetooth.
While I was looking for a new fog light switch, I stumbled across a Bluetooth to Aux adapter that fits in the stock switch panel. I figured why not, since my next smartphone probably won’t have a aux port.
Wiring it started out poorly. I decided to wire into the 12v outlets, and the wire I cut first happened to be the hot side of the fuse box, so the module was always on. Obviously no bueno. Ended up unbolting the front seats so I could remove the center console and splice directly into the 12v outlet’s wiring. Now its ignition switched. Beyond the initial hiccup, the wiring itself went well.


Heatshrink time

Right after getting it back together.

And during the following test drive.

The Bluetooth is working great, and with its addition, the Prius feels very modern now. Its running great with the new motor still. Soon I will be replacing the spark plugs and coil packs, this time making sure there’s not a repeat of last time…

Corolla


Bought an owner’s manual on eBay since the car did not have one.

New spark plugs.

New NGK wires and a Bosch (iirc) rotor. The cap was pretty new so I did not replace it. I may reroute the wires as they are done haphazardly as is lol.

New Fuel filter. The fuel that came out of the old one was black. Yikes…

New used passenger mirror assembly ordered from eBay.

New Passenger parking lamp assembly.


Transmission gear oil change. The old oil was pretty grey and probably original. Replaced with Lucas Synthetic 75W90 gear oil.
It took forever to arrive, but I ordered a “16 VALVE EFI” valve cover sticker off of eBay as well. These stickers were exclusive to the 4A-FE on the lower trim cars, but the 7A-FE looks pretty plain and boring without it.


Junkyard trip part 2
Wanted to take the factory wing, but the trunk was closed and we couldn’t get it open. We will return in the future to either crawl in through the back or just pry the sucker open.
However, all was not lost.

Took a nice set of 14x6 4x100 wheels off the car. From what little I can find online, they are Cheviot Mirages; some kind of Australian wheel from the late 80s/early 90s. They seem to be pretty rare, so its pretty neat.

Loading them up to get the tires swapped out. I put new tires on the factory steelies, so I want them switched to the new alloy wheels. The dry rotted tires on the alloys are also too bad to be used.


Fresh back from the tire shop.

New speakers front and back. It’s bumpin now. The tape deck part of the factory radio doesn’t work, and I can’t be asked to take it out to rebuild it; so I got a Bluetooth FM transmitter instead.

LED reverse lights. Tail lights and turn signals soon to follow.


LED cargo light and dome light. I can actually see!

Removed the stickers and gave it it’s first pressure wash. Also used some industrial wheel cleaner on the new wheels, and they are looking damn fine despite the scuffed lip and flaking white paint.

Not sure if I’ve mentioned this yet or not. I did an oil change on it about 1k miles ago, and after about 300 miles the new oil was already quite dark. Going to do the next oil change in 1k miles and give it a Seafoam treatment. Hopefully it shouldn’t get near black after a few hundred miles again.

I don’t really have much else planned for the Corolla, besides fog lights; which will be interesting as there’s no factory mounts. I think you need a special bumper to use OEM style. I’ll figure something out. Not sure about the exhaust yet as the eBay race headers don’t seem to have the right O2 sensor bung. I will eventually get coilovers to stiffen it, but I don’t plan on lowering it much, if at all.

RX-7

After my last post, the RX-7 met the Corolla. And then winter came in full force. I’ve maybe driven it 3 times since then, in-between spurts of snow and after multiple days of rain washed away road salt.

Due to the current economy, its not looking like I’ll be able to afford a house anytime soon. I am quickly outgrowing what little space I have at my parents, so I do desperately need to move out. As much as I hate to do it, I will have to rent a house. If things go according to plan, I should be getting a move-in date within the next month.

Unrelated to my RX-7, but RX-7 related (and related to moving out), I found a convertible FC for sale somewhat nearby. The listing has been up for a little while, claims the car runs, and is at a good price (plus it looks immaculate in the pictures). Its bone stock (except for an aftermarket radio), and even has OEM Bosch fog lights and covers. Assuming the seller hasn’t already sold it and just hasn’t updated the listing, and it does run well enough to drive an hour home, I plan to buy it once I move out. I should also have parking space to also buy a minivan like I’ve been wanting, even if I get the convertible FC, so that should also be happening this year. Aiming for a clean AWD Previa, would prefer supercharged but will take NA if I can’t find an unmolested supercharged one. If I can’t find any good Previas, I’ll look at clean gen 1 Siennas. I can always sell a Sienna later and get a Previa.

And per tradition, misc pics:

Pics








Quick trip an hour north to visit a few boys from the rotary community.



A friend of a friend recently bought a Z31. Naturally we had to gather the 80s wedges and take pictures.



Trying out my fog light covers.


Washing the cars before winter hibernation.


After I installed the fog lights. My friend has also just tinted his BMW’s fog lights yellow.

One of the few times I got to drive the RX-7 over the last few months.




The slightly higher offset of the new wheels give a nicer fitment.



We encountered a friend of a friend’s Corolla IM.

The bois all lined up.


My friend (BMW one) joined LED gang on his daily. LED yellow fog lights, LED amber front signal bulbs, LED brake/turn signals in the rear, and LED reverse lights. I have yet to convince him to get LED dome lights.

3 Likes

owners manual is very familiar. looks like a nice corolla

1 Like

So uh, I wanted that convertible FC, but it may not be happening anymore…
Today just kicked off 2021 in a great way. Last post I mentioned I wanted to get a Previa for a utility vehicle?

Well, today, it happened. For real. Thanks to still not being moved out, one of my cars is forced to be street parked for a while, but right now that’s the least of my worries.

PREVIA TIME BABY

Off hand, a friend of a friend posted a link to a rwd supercharged Previa in discord, my friend has been trying to get rid of his police car and offered to trade; obviously the guy passed up the trade (no one wants a welded diff police car with no AC and bald tires, lol) and I offered to look at it instead.

We woke up early this morning, left at 6 to drive 2 hours north into the heart of Amish country. Saw more than a few horse and buggy. And took the Previa for a test drive. Thing is rust free, somehow, and beyond the garbage aftermarket radio is pretty untouched. Had a new fuel pump and ignition coil done by the owner before previous, old ones apparently still worked and were included. Beyond that, it was maintained well enough by the previous owner, he likes Previas but had no more use for it. Bought it for $1200, pretty good deal imo. Does have 222k miles and needs love, but she made it 2 hours home and scooted around town all day, its also a Toyota. I’m not worried about it. Wish it was an All/Trac, but with it being a cheap, rust free, fully operational sc model; I can accept the trade-off.

Man, I am loving this van and I haven’t even owned it 24 hours yet.

Already detailed it inside and out (for the most part), replaced some busted lights, and found parts on eBay.

Putting in the first tank of gas… reality sets in…


Ran it back on premium. According to some random post on Toyota Nation, the supercharged cars get better mpg on premium; however I might make the next tank regular and see how it compares. If there’s a difference, its probably worth the cost…maybe.

Testing the…OBD2 port? Or not, because it just times out lol. OBD1 failed to communicate for some reason. Does have a check engine light, though prev owner claims its just evap can.

Before:


After:

Basically the whole car turned out that way. She’s very nice.

Ran the floor mats through a floor mat cleaner. They came out really clean in comparison to how they started.
Vacuum it out thoroughly. Looks so much nicer. Will go over it with carpet cleaner sometime.


You will notice the random wires in the back, those are hookups for a trailer. Prev owner used to tow a small trailer with logs and stuff; nice to have, but I have virtually no use for it.

Started snowing. New wiper blades, except the rear wiper has a stupid proprietary connector on it. Bought an adapter on eBay so I can use normal hooks.

3rd brake light bulbs were…mia… replaced one with a spare LED bulb from when I did the speakers on the Corolla (I replaced the 3rd brake light bulb since the whole assembly had to come off to do the rear speakers, and it only took 1 bulb out of a 2 pack). Replaced the other with a white halogen my friend took out of the Neon’s dome light; he got an LED dome light bulb and I needed a second bulb. The assembly is kinda busted up, but it works.

Replaced the license plate lights as I discovered they were burnt out. LEDs of course.


The rear right window is held on by a bungee cord, the original latch/hinge thing broke. Found one on eBay, should hopefully solve that problem. I will take pics and a video before I replace it, its a pretty good laugh.
I also bought a replacement “Previa” emblem as mine is mia. There’s a huge grey area on what trim level my car actually is, but I’ll be optimistic and call it an LE like the prev owner did; I also bought a gold “LE” emblem. Technically I think its a DX because LEs were badged, DX were not; but my car has all the same features and options as a base LE, so what the hell.

The headlights have shown to be practically useless. So I’ll have to look into fixing that. idk if its just crappy bulbs, the hazy/foggy lenses, or what; but I am going to need to address it soon.
I also see a lot more LED lights in the future. Still need to put more LEDs in the Corolla…

I do want to get a late 80s, or a 90s single din tape deck. The JVC head unit its got is very cheap, falling apart, and I despise the interface greatly. No good deals on 90s tape decks I can see at the moment, might also look for a 90s Toyota OEM tape deck as well. I definitely don’t mind the interface in the Corolla, but I also really like the Kenwood in the RX-7.

Here’s the whacky little service bay. Can’t wait to figure out how to service stuff like spark plugs /s



Luckily she runs like a top, so I shouldn’t need to dig deep quite yet.
I will be doing a engine and differential oil change within a week or so. 6.2 US quarts of oil… for a 2.4L 4 banger… you sure there’s only 4 cylinders under there Toyota? :slight_smile:

After going to the car wash, I am really digging the looks. Could use fog lights, wink, and needs a Previa emblem for sure, but I love the color.






The only real big cosmetic defect I can find, beyond scuffs on the plastic cladding, is this little crunch:

(The random dealer tag thing is something my friend put on until I can get plates tomorrow. The DMV is closed on Sundays)

Managed to convince my parents to let it happen purely because I am actively trying to get moved out by the end of February. Plus, its a van so its perfect for hauling big stuff during the process as well as for the inevitable Ikea trip to fill in the gaps in furniture I won’t have.

All in all, I’m just absolutely excited to own another attainable dream car. The RX-7 and the Previa are really weird dream cars, but I guess I’m just weird lol.

Nothing really to report on the other cars.
I am going to be buying strut bars for the Corolla and the RX-7 after I get settled in following the move. The Corolla is going to be my autox car; the single rotor swap is looking less and less likely to happen. Want to autox on stock suspension first, so I can appreciate the upgrade when I move to a sportier suspension setup later.

RX-7 will also get some more undercladding for aerodynamics (aiming for more mpg on the highway); exhaust will definitely happen after the move as well. Since I’m no longer dead focused on saving up for a downpayment, I can most definitely spare the cash.

Welp, stay tuned for Previa things. Also can’t wait for spring so I can drive the RX-7 again

Previa meets the Corolla

I am the proud owner of two 1995 Toyotas.




The 90s vibes are strong.

1 Like

I have returned once again.

I love the Previa. The supercharger noises are fun and its a pretty comfy ride. This is making me desire a 2nd gen Sienna, we had one growing up and now I miss it; next car? Anyway, a decent amount of stuff has happened.

Prius


Well, as fun as it is to wire the fog lights to a constant hot source, it drains your battery if you forget to turn them off…
Cut and respliced and now they are ignition controlled.



Drive carefully in the winter!
I was a bit overconfident and hit a patch of ice; careened into a ditch and got stuck. Fortunately, a nice fellow pulled me out in his 4x4 F-150.
There wasn’t much damage, nothing that couldn’t be repaired with zip ties anyway. The lower grille did break, which means the fog light grille inserts don’t stay in anymore; which means the fog light aim is constantly too low. I’m probably going to buy a new lower grille soon so I can fix that. The undertray kept coming loose since the bumper got a little bent, had to zip tie it so it would stop dragging on the highway.

The worst damage was actually a crack in the bumper itself. Drilled a couple holes and its no longer a problem though.

I also had to get a new aux chord for the bluetooth module. The one I was using was the aux chord I’ve been using for the last couple years and it was already on its last legs; finally quit on me the other day. Its a pretty painless swap, and put in a higher build quality chord, so it should last a very long time.

RX-7

Fired her up since it’d been quite a while. The battery died very fast, so had to jump it.
I had put a new battery in the Corolla (which turned out not to be necessary), so I used the old battery to jump the RX-7.


Charged up the battery a little. I need to get a battery tender for it.

Hooked her up.

Rotary Resurrection.

I did have to top off the coolant in the radiator, it was concerningly low. It seems that despite my efforts to prevent coolant leaks, I have one anyways. I doubt that its the coolant seals in the engine itself, after the engine is warmed up there is not a hint of smoke in the slightest; and the exhaust fumes smell normal, burnt gas and 2 stroke oil. There is definitely no visible leak at any of the hose connections, they are all new hoses and clamps, and no visible leak at the radiator or thermostat housing. I know there are some coolant passages that go from the engine block into the intake manifold which are fairly known for causing leaks, I suspect that coolant is seeping from between the block and the manifold, dripping onto the exhaust manifold and burning; and when the not running, drips down from the bottom of the oil pan. This can easily be fixed with a new intake manifold gasket, but it will likely start leaking again eventually. The “better” fix is to buy freeze plugs, rtv them, and plug the holes in the engine block. New intake gasket, and no more coolant leaks. I think the intended purpose is that the coolant flows up through the manifold and keeps fuel and whatnot from freezing in the winter. Not like I really drive it in the winter, so it wouldn’t be a big deal. Since a whole bunch of stuff would have to come off just for this, I’ll hold off on it for a while; when I feel like rebuilding the carburetor and removing the mess of vacuum lines (finish the emissions delete) then I’ll go the extra mile and take care of that.

Corolla

I got a new battery since I thought the old one might have been failing. I don’t believe that is true anymore, as the old battery jumped the RX-7 without breaking a sweat. I did have to boost it a little with the Previa, but it had no trouble.
I thought the new battery would fix a headlight dimming problem I’ve had since buying the car, but no dice. Doesn’t hurt to have a new battery, and the old one makes for a great spare; can jump cars, test things, etc.

In other news, I finally put around to installing fog lights.


I swapped them over to LEDs the other day, but the LEDs may not have been a good idea for these housings as it seems like the fog lights have become less effective. Will have to play with the aim, but may put the halogens back in instead (or buy some Hella yellow halogens).

I wired the switch into the ashtray light, so the fog lights can only come on if the running lights are on; and obviously, ignition controlled.

Finally got the wing off the junkyard car. Should be as easy as 3 holes, one wire splice, and its on. But I want to repaint it first.

Dash cover! I didn’t like it at first since its a lighter color than I was expecting it to be, however I noticed it kinda matches the color of the seats and its started to grow on me.

I also replaced the tail lights and turn signals with LEDs, finally. Still need to do the parking light bulbs, but I will probably wait until I take the headlights out for the Chrisfix headlight restore.

Previa

She’s definitely leaking oil, pretty badly. I have a bunch of parts to put on, which should fix the leak and will give a good tune up; but the weather has been so crappy lately that I just have not had an opportunity to get it done.
I forgot to take a video of the rear window flapping around, but it has been fixed. Apparently the rear passenger window does not open like driver’s rear one does. Someone wanted it to in the past, I guess, and unbolted it so it could flap around. I fixed that by bolting it back in.
A friend of a friend, who I suppose is a new friend now, has a lift at his house; so I was able to get the van up in the air and give her a little inspection.
I also changed the diff oil, and got new diff plugs since I stripped one; the diff was pressurized from a clogged vent. We drilled a hole in the vent as a temporary measure. I’ll have to order a new one from Toyota. It helped some, but there is still tons of howling from the rear. I assume it’ll need to be rebuilt at some point, but idk how much that will cost since I probably won’t be able to do it on my own.
The front accessory drive shaft (what Toyota calls SADS) has bad bushings, so I will need to do that eventually; replacing all the belts while I’m at it.
The u-joints seem fine, but I figure I’ll replace them anyway since I have the parts. Just need to call up a shop.
The fuel filter will need to get changed. The old one is crusty and god knows how old.


Apparently the Previa has no cat. Looks like it has a cherry bomb instead, and the downdraft O2 sensor is just kinda chillin.

She’s definitely got a supercharger.

Overall, the Previa is pretty solid underneath. There’s plenty of surface rust, but the floors and frame are solid; despite the mileage she has escaped a lot of the rust that usually plagues Ohio cars. She’s salty right now, but I will be pressure washing the underside (as I will be doing on all my cars) come warm weather.
While it was on the lift, I also did a motor oil change. Fresh Castrol Edge high mileage 5W30, and a bit of Lucas oil stabilizer for added flavor. New Wix oil filter too, obviously.

I bought some JDM Estima headlights from Japan, under the impression it’d be a bolt on swap. However, my lack of researched proved me to be naïve. The JDM Kouki lights I bought, are not directly compatible with the USDM front end. I managed to sell them for the same price I paid, but took a loss overall since shipping domestically is cheaper than shipping internationally. Oh well.
While I had the USDM headlights off, I did the Chrisfix headlight restore on them. They didn’t come out perfectly clear (though I wonder if they were ever clear to begin with), but the results are quite impressive nonetheless. I also replaced the headlights with Sylvania Silverstars, and took a trip to the dying local mall and lined up with a wall to aim the headlights. The passenger side was extremely low, and both were aimed way off to the right for some reason; centered the aim and raised the passenger side, and now I can actually see!
Since the JDM headlights fell through, I looked on eBay for alternatives (for fog lights). I just so happened to find another new in box Sylvania Quartz Halogen fog light kit, just like what I have on the RX-7.


I haven’t had a chance to look at the bumper for a place to mount/drill holes yet, the weather is far too cold. But they should make a nice improvement overall. They might look a little tacky since they are 80s styled and large, but the lighting gains will be worth it; and I suspect it’ll grow on me.

I replaced the reverse lights and tail lights with LEDs, of course. It seems someone swapped out 3 of the tail lights for LEDs in the past, however they were white LED chips, so they looked a lot like halogens. Replaced with red LEDs, they’re brighter. Turn signals are quite bright despite being halogens, and the flasher relay appears to be buried under the dash, so I’m not sure if/when I will change them to LED.

I ordered a bunch of LED bulbs for the interior as well. I found a nice 90s Kenwood CD player/radio, and there’s a few bulbs out in the cluster; the cluster is a few extra screws with the center console apart, so figured I may as well. I also need to figure out why the blower speed slider is loose and finnicky; I can’t turn the blower off and its difficult to control the speed. I think the van has 6 speakers, but the new radio only has 4 outputs; I’m probably just going to wire the door and rear speakers for now, may do some research on amps or other solutions and come back to wire the tweeters later. I also bought an FM transmitter since the new radio does not have aux or a tape deck; I want all my cars to have bluetooth, but I want the radios to be stock or period correct.


I haven’t taken a picture of it yet, so here’s a picture from the eBay listing.

I checked the brakes last week. The front brakes are great, lots of pad. However, the shoes in the rear drums have all kinds of different wear. One of the shoes is almost down to bare metal. So the rear brakes will need to get done soon. Having fiddled with the RX-7’s rear brakes countless times, and just having replaced the shoes and hardware in my friend’s Dodge Neon, I expect doing the drums here will go fairly smoothly.

And last but not least, another dash cover!


I wanted dash covers in all my cars after how much I liked the Prius and RX-7 ones. I also was not a fan of the massive sea of beige dash in the Previa. That dashboard is incredibly large. This is the same color as the one I put in the Corolla, which I think works great here. Its darker than the beige, so its easier on my eyes. It also covers some weird sharpie or tape marks left on the fuse box lid.

I think that’s all for now…
Fingers crossed, its supposed to be somewhat better weather this weekend; which if it is, I’ll be doing the work on the Previa that should, hopefully, fix the oil leak.
Going to break tradition a little bit and not have miscellaneous pictures this time. I can’t be bothered to upload them all off my phone right now. There’ll be a huge dump of pictures next time.

4 Likes

Day 22 of still not having a move-in date…
Things should hopefully begin progressing as spring begins.

Prius

I got a new lower grille and put it in. Looks better with the fog light bezels/grilles installed. No pictures at this time. To be honest, have barely driven it in like a month lol.
New spark plugs and coil packs soon tm. This time with no complimentary crunched valves…

RX-7

Winter is finally over. Salt is gone. And the rotary is out of hibernation…


First new part of the season.

A brand new dome light cover! One that doesn’t fall off…

I found the source of the coolant leak. The 36 year old water pump and associated gaskets.
Well, easy fix so I can sleep soundly at night. New water pump is on the way, and ordered a water pump housing gasket from Mazda.


On a whim I decided to take apart the center console to put some LEDs in and secure a couple of things to fix the lighting issues I’ve had since buying the car. While I was in there, I decided to fix the cigarette lighter socket. Got it all wired up to the factory wiring (with a new ground), only to not realize it didn’t turn off with ignition. Accidentally burned myself on the cigarette lighter element… Not fun. I don’t know if the socket is supposed to always have power or not, but I did not want it to have power.
I found an unused 12v source and wired it up. Works like a dream.


The LEDs look so nice.

Oh hey, would you look at that. The ashtray/socket bezel light decided to start working! I couldn’t replace it with an LED since I have no idea what kind of bulb it is. Its a really small twist socket, a lot like 1156/1157 bulbs but sized like a 168 bulb. I want to rewire the speakers and attempt to make the factory speaker amp work with the aftermarket radio, so I’ll try and find out what kind of bulb that is so I can replace it while I’m there.
LED turn signals and LED gauge cluster soon tm.

Corolla

I have decided to paint the spoiler in the same color as the rest of the car. The brake light that was in the spoiler, completely broken. eBay to the rescue, and I found one almost identical. Soon tm painting it, and then I can figure out how to mount the brake light.



Yuck. That intake manifold is filthy.

No wonder the EGR didn’t work!
The EGR passage was almost completely clogged. Now, this wasn’t the only reason the EGR wasn’t working; the modulator/solenoid actuator valve was completely broken. It would not hold vacuum at all.


Oh yea, way better.
The check engine light is gone! Yay!

According to the forums, the temp gauge is supposed to get up to and stay at the halfway mark. Mine only gets above a 1/4 when idling for 5-10 minutes. Need to do a coolant flush anyways, so thermostat time.


Before


After

Damn, LED gauge clusters look so nice.

I have LEDs on the way for the center console. The climate control light is too dim, and the hazard/rear defrost buttons don’t light up at all! The a/c button doesn’t either, and I will order LEDs for it soon tm.

Previa

Whew, there’s a lot that’s gone down.


The rheostat was glued so it didn’t move, and then it was poorly bypassed. I bypassed it better.


LED gauge cluster time!


Whoa, I can see all the climate control functions!


Hey, the brake indicator works!
Oil pressure and airbag lights don’t work at all. I had to switch the battery light back to halogen since it would stay lit after the engine was started.

Nuclear turn signals.


What. The. Fuck.
Why would you ever even consider wiring a radio like this…

The Kenwood hath been installed.

Mission Reseal: Part 1 - Valve cover gasket.


Yea, she was definitely leaking from the valve cover. Whoever last changed it used a phillips screw… WHY???

Here’s what it looks like with the access panel off, for those curious. It actually wasn’t that hard to get to.


Spark plugs were very old, but looked great.

The cams look very clean. This motor is very healthy internally.

Cleaning the cover a bit and putting in the new spark plug tube seals.

Valve cover reinstalled and torqued to spec, and torqued in the correct pattern.

New iridium NGK plugs and NGK spark plug wires.

Mission Reseal: Part 2 - Distributor o-ring


“Is that the gasket?”
o-ring breaks into pieces when prying it with a pick
“OH MY GOD”

New o-ring seated on the distributor.

Time for a new cap and rotor.
Yet another oil leak quelled. The slant 4 is happier than ever.


Well, time to fix the EGR on a 90s Toyota: electric boogaloo.

Both the EGR and the EGR modulator hold vacuum. Whew. Those suckers are cashy for these things. While they function exactly the same as any other Toyota EGR system of the time, they are oddly shaped and the EGR is very special so they cost a lot to replace.
New gaskets inbound. Time to break out the B12 again and clean the EGR passage.

I had the van taken to the shop for an a/c charge (it works!) and new u-joints. She’s going back next week to have the rear end looked at, there’s a bad bearing back there somewhere.
I also replaced the rear brakes. It was much needed, one of the wheel cylinders literally fell apart as I was removing it! The brakes feel so much better.
The a/c apparently has some sketchy repairs on it, so only time will tell if it leaks. Fingers crossed it doesn’t. It will be a very large bill if it does.

I will get the O2 sensor code fixed at some point. The exhaust is very poorly done and it sounds horrible. I’ll be putting some kind of catalytic converter in to appease the O2 sensor, but overall I have no plan at this point. The exhaust is the least of my concern right now.


Hehehe, junkyard wheels part 2. Lexus LS400 sawblades. I ordered a set of Camry center caps on eBay that should hopefully fit. And I need to get new tires, then they can go on the van!
Here’s a teaser:

How about some pictures?

Pics


Previa spaceship dash be looking fine.


Post-hibernation debut.



Two Previas in one place!


Is that a Supra?!?
My friend’s n/a Mk3.


Cool spring afternoon.




Don’t panic. The generations all in a row. The rotary scene in town isn’t dead!

4 Likes

That’s a lot of work to do for just four cars, but I know it’s worth it because winter has ended and the time will soon come when you can drive them again.

1 Like

Back again with another update.
Of course, I’m still not moved.
But I’ve got lots of stuff going on with the cars!

Prius

Ordered some Ruthenium spark plugs. Decided to skip ignition coils for now.
Will probably do a transaxle fluid change soon, I’m fairly certain I’m coming up on the interval.

I got some eBay rain guards. They fit decent and look nice.

RX-7

I took the gauge cluster out for LED lights.
Accidentally burnt a trace while testing LEDs, soldered a bridge to fix it.



The LEDs look great

I finally ordered the exhaust! 3 weeks ago. Still no tracking number. Emailed them a second time today, hopefully they give me an update this time. First time I emailed, 2 weeks ago, they said it was ready to ship and would ship within a few days; never got a tracking number and still don’t have an exhaust sitting in my garage.


New water pump. The gasket was leaking on the old one. Guarantee it was the original one too.

RIP RX-7


About a week and a half ago I decided it would be a great idea to drive the RX-7 to work. Weather was going to be nice. It started acting up as I got close to work, and as I went to leave it completely broke down in the parking lot. Could have been worse I guess.

In short, something is wrong with the clutch. Don’t worry, the rotary lives on. It won’t go into gear while the engine is running, its as if the clutch isn’t moving or isn’t moving enough. I am going to try bleeding it, and have a new slave cylinder in the mail just in case; hopefully that will get it home. If not I’ll eventually have to get it towed so I can fix it. Whether I can limp it home, or not, I will be replacing the clutch. I bet its the original clutch, and its at 80k miles now; its made throwout bearing whirring since I bought it.

Corolla

Big news for the ole Corolla!

I replaced the timing belt! And some seals so its not leaking oil anymore!
Whew it was a bit of a trip though.

The big story goes that I had to remove the crank timing sprocket in order to replace the crank seal, and the sprocket was a little stuck. I managed to get it off, get the seal replaced, and the rest of the timing belt and water pump job went very smoothly.

However, when I went to start it, it ran like crap. Sounded like the timing was way off. Was very confused since I triple checked the timing.
Sure enough, when I took the valve cover back off it was perfectly in time. Took the crank pulley and lower timing cover back off, and lo and behold the sprocket was now magically missing a tooth. The sprocket has a second set of teeth for the crank position sensor, one of these was broken.

I ordered a new sprocket from Toyota. Website said it would be available within 24-48 hours. Got no update on the order on Saturday (I ordered it Friday evening). Nothing on Monday either, hmmmmm. I call the dealership, where they need to confirm the order (what?). It gets confirmed and processed, “I’ll have it ready for you wednesday morning.” I call wednesday afternoon, “oh yea sorry, been meaning to call you here. That part is actually on backorder and can’t ship from the warehouse.” Ok…
Finally get the part on Friday. An entire week later. Never ordering from that dealership again.

Get the new sprocket on in…5 minutes. Runs great.
Only for the alternator to start dying on the test drive. Pretty sure the alternator was already on its way, but we spilled washer fluid on it and pretty sure that nailed the coffin shut.

Here’s some pictures:


sheeeeeeeeeeeeeeesh, these cams are cleaner than the Previa’s!

Old timing belt was cracking a little.


New crank seal. The biggest source of leak was the crank. The cam seal was fine, but I replaced it anyway. Valve cover may have been leaking but it was hard to tell.


Here was the little bastard that ruined my week two weeks in a row.



On the ground and out of my friend’s garage under her own power!


Sticker included with the Gates timing belt kit.


New water pump and stubby hose.


Positive terminal cover from a junkyard car.


Mint washer fluid tank, also from a junkyard car. Spilled some of the fluid in an attempt to drain/remove the old one; straight onto the alternator.

The alternator whines while accelerating in low gear now. Pretty sure my belt tensions are off as well.
New alternator is on the way.

I also was going to bleed the clutch, and the bleeder snapped off on the clutch slave cylinder. So I ordered one of those as well.


Engine bay pic

Two nuts from the motor mount were missing, which have been replaced but need to be tightened down. One of the bolts for the power steering bracket are also missing, I need to find a replacement.

I have a distributor o-ring for the Corolla as well. Should take like 15 minutes to do, just haven’t really bothered yet since it doesn’t seem to be leaking anymore. I have all but confirmed that its not burning a lick of oil, at all. Seems the oil smell may just be residual oil from filling or leaking that is heating up on the exterior of the block.

Previa


FOG LIGHT GANG!


They are crooked and need to be remounted or something. Haven’t had time to bother.

Nothing else has happened with the van. Its still leaking oil pretty bad. I’m pretty sure the front crank seal is bad, maybe even the rear one too. Possibly the oil pump cover. I may need to remove the valve cover again, as I did not add RTV in some places; the Toyota service manual mentions this and I did not do it, so it may be seeping still. I think the oil return pipe is also leaking (Previa specific thing).

I have EGR gaskets, just need to remove the EGR and EGR pipe for cleaning. Should hopefully turn my 17mpg into 22-24mpg.

Turns out the accessory drive shaft (front driveshaft purely for the accessory belt drive, Previa specific nonsense once again) may be the source of my bad bearing noises. The rear differential might still be good, even though I was almost completely certain the noises were coming from the rear.
The parts to repair this are quite expensive, and the work will be difficult. I will be changing the supercharger oil and all the drive belts at the same time.

I have a new oil pressure switch to install. The light on the dash has never worked, and I’m hoping that this will fix it.

The a/c is completely screwed. Its already stopped working. I’ll need to inspect it myself, maybe its just o-rings in the lines that are bad. But it of course could be a bad metal or rubber line, maybe even a more critical component.

I haven’t driven it that much since I’ve been stressing out over the Corolla’s timing sprocket and the RX-7’s clutch. Once I get the RX-7 back on the road I think I will start doubling down on the Previa again. The Corolla is basically all set once I get the new parts on, and I also wanted to bleed the brakes.

Extras

I thought about selling the Corolla so I could buy a Subaru Brat that came up for sale. But the Brat seller never messaged me back and it sold a day later, so that ship sailed. I will be holding onto the Corolla for now.



The 1995 driveway no one dreams of, yet exudes a powerful aura anyway.


“Napa, not a sponsor” - South Main Auto Youtube channel.
The Corolla’s old timing belt. I’m actually fairly certain the timing was off before, but didn’t think twice and didn’t take pictures.

4 Likes

Whooooooo, progress. Little by little.

Prius

Prius spark plugs done.
My new magnetic spark plug sockets made a world of difference.

I checked the manual and the Toyota service intervals, there is no mention of a transaxle fluid change. So I won’t stress over it, but I think I will probably do one anyways just for fun.

My friend who likes to do a/c stuff topped off the A/C in all my cars, and the Prius is a lot more comfy on hot days now.

Corolla


Clutch slave cylinder replaced and bled.
The clutch feels a little better.

The brakes have also been completely flushed, and the front caliper bleeder screws were replaced.


New supercharger.

Doesn’t whine much anymore, but I did spray on some belt condition stuff so it does whine just a tad bit.
The new alternator also solved my voltage issues. The headlights no longer dim at idle.


Distributor o-ring replacement.


VOLUME KNOB! FINALLY!
I yoinked the entire headunit out of a 94 Camry.

Probably going to use it as a way to figure out how easy/hard it is to rebuild the tape deck to restore full functionality to my og unit.

Going to be ordering a fuel pump and fuel pump strainer. That should hopefully fix my stalling issue while making hard corners; can’t autocross without fuel in the corners.
Also going to order a cap and rotor from Toyota, the cheap ones I have don’t perform all that well.

A/C was topped off and works a bit better than before. Seems like it may have a slow leak. Trying some a/c stop leak, so we shall see.

Previa

No major updates, but I have parked up the Corolla for a bit and been driving the van some.

A/C topped off and functional for the moment. We think we may have discovered the source of the leak.

I rode in the back while my friend drove on the highway. I am confident at least one of the rear wheel bearings is bad. Its possible the differential is whining a little, but its hard to tell until I know the wheel bearings are solid.

Have not gotten to ordering the equipment driveshaft parts or doing the EGR and oil pressure switch.

Fun information for the future: I can get a replacement catalytic converter unit that will essentially completely fix my exhaust. It includes hanger arms, the flex pipe, and has O2 bungs with studs. I will probably also order a new muffler so I can appropriately secure it on the hangers like its supposed to. Might push exhaust up on the priority list if its going to be this simple. The van is VERY loud under acceleration right now, so I think it needs to happen.

RX-7



It’s both sad and exciting at the same time.

Now this is just relieving.
She’s finally home.

I have a shopping list started, just need to complete it and make the order.
So far I’m looking at an oil pan gasket, rear main seal, clutch kit, and a flywheel stop + large impact gun and the socket needed for the flywheel. I might get a special pilot bearing remover, but I haven’t decided yet.

The plan is to pull the engine, as its supposedly easier without a lift. I’m fairly certain the oil pan is leaking anyways, and that is an engine out job in of itself. Going to try and kill two birds with one stone like I did with the Corolla. Fix what’s necessary, and try and knock out oil leaks along the way.
Going to wiggle the input shaft and may change the trans fluid again, just in case its the trans; but at 80k miles its highly unlikely. I don’t abuse the transmission, so it should just be a clutch issue.

Now that the car is home, I can look over it any time so I can think about other parts to do. And it runs like a top still, so I can run it and look around for oil leaks.


She’s happy to be back.

1 Like

It is absolutely unbelievable how bad I am at posting somewhat regularly on here…

A LOT has happened.

Firstly, you may have noticed, but the title of this thread has changed. Again.

I sold the Prius and have purchased a brand new 2022 Honda Insight.
While I loved the Prius and it was in really good condition, I lost the passion for it. It seemed like no matter what, I wanted to drive my project cars to work and around town; my “daily driver” was just kinda…there.
One way to put it, in the last year, I’ve put more miles on the RX-7 and Corolla than I have on the Prius. Have to remember I’m driving at least 50 miles a day.

Insight

The upgrade to the Insight was fantastic. Loving the car a lot.
I’m averaging 53-55 mpg, and despite the 1860 miles on the odometer, it is only on its 4th or 5th tank of gas.

To be honest, I wanted to get a 2022 Corolla Hybrid. However, none exist within 100 miles and all were at least a 3 week wait.
I test drove the Insight since the local Honda dealership had one, and I ended up liking it more than I thought. It has a more…enclosed (?) feeling, thus feeling a little comfy; the Corolla Hybrid (going off having test driven a 2019 and driven 2021 non-hybrids) is more open and basic feeling. The other thing is, the Insight has more standard equipment.
Oh yea, I also could actually get an Insight.


When I test drove the car, it had 14 miles on it. When I concluded the test drive, it had 19 miles on it. When I came back 2 days later, it only gained 1 mile during its time getting pre-delivery inspected while I was doing the paperwork.
Gotta love it.


Oh yea. You know it. Dash mat time.

Don’t have pics on hand, but I also found an OEM all-weather trunk tray on eBay.
Soon enough I will order and install a fog light kit. Only the Touring trims come with them stock, and the Touring trim is a horrible value ($5k more for less mpg and mediocre pleather interior); not mentioning that a kit from Honda costs $500. I’ll take my chances with a $90 eBay kit, thanks.

Previa

I had the rear differential rebuilt. My god. Took long enough to find a place that would do it.
Its so much nicer now that you aren’t deafened by screaming bearings.

However, you’re still deafened by the absolutely abysmal exhaust. And you boil alive due to the lack of a/c. Oh yea, the brakes do not inspire confidence.

On the plus side, I can get exhaust parts easily on Rockauto. I believe I know where the a/c is leaking from, and I should be able to get parts from Toyota.
The rear brakes I already replaced (took it from being sketchy to drive to good enough). Front brakes, the people that did the diff say it NEEDS them done ASAP. Looking at the pads, completely false. However, the calipers and brackets are really crusty. It is in my best interests to replace the front brakes before something breaks (hahaha) and bad things happen. aka, go through hell to prevent a completely different kind of hell.

Corolla

The Corolla is doing Corolla things.

I’m 99% sure there’s a fuel system issue. At least the fuel pump, possibly injectors. But the car still refuses to break down.

Suspension continues to get worse. Clutch is starting to feel sus, but its possible I’m overthinking the fuel issues.
Also still consumes oil. Valve stem seals time.

RX-7

The main event.
Many things have happened since my last post…

Engine has come out.

The problem with the clutch?
The pilot bearing committed suicide.

Alright, now comes the text wall detailing everything done to the engine:
-clean and degrease engine long block
-accent painting to the short block
-finish emissions delete (cat removal and 80s primitive EGR delete)
-all new vacuum lines (custom runs due to vac rack delete)
-New intake manifold gasket
-intake coolant passage block-off
-new exhaust gasket
-performance exhaust header
-new oil pan gasket
-new oil pickup tube gasket
-new rear main seal
-resurface flywheel
-new transmission mount
-paint exhaust heat shield
-paint engine under/skid tray
-new oil filter pedestal o-rings
-new oil cooler o-rings
-mishimoto oil filter sandwich plate (to allow installation of oil temp gauge)
-resonator to replace catalytic converter
-new OMP line clips
-new pilot bearing
-new clutch
-new clutch pressure plate
-new throwout bearing

New exhaust, finally showed up 5 months late.

And, the engine has been reinstalled.


Good news!
The clutch works! And the engine starts and runs!
Bad news.
The engine runs very poorly.
I suspect its just the spark plugs, but its still a jab in the side after a long day of getting it back together.
I poured a little oil down the carb (so the apex seals aren’t dry when it cranked over for the first time in a while), and my theory is that fouled the plugs up real quick.
Times like this is why you keep old parts if they work fine when replaced, such as spark plugs. I’ve got 3 sets of plugs that worked when pulled that I can try for troubleshooting, especially if I jump the gun and order some.
The engine did fire up immediately, and it tries very hard to run; but it just stalls out if you aren’t running choke or giving it throttle. I have run into a situation where it ran very similar to this before, and it was solved by replacing the spark plugs; I have hope its an easy fix!

Stay tuned…

I should definitely try to be more active, but knowing me its probably not gonna happen lol.
Thanks for reading!

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