Project Pearl

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Re: Project Pearl

Postby DeeCee » Mon Nov 10, 2014 10:18 am

indicators previous had scotch locks on them (can kind of see the kink in the wire. So I unpinned the plugs to fix them up.
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Heat shrink will do
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Alternator seems to have been changed over at some point and they used choc blocks to wire it back to the stock loom - nasty!
I fixed them up with some crimps and heat shink and loom taped it back up.
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This is how it looked mid September. Not a lot of work on the car.
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With the Elephant going to paint soon and the prospect of getting my wide body guards back for moulding, I wanted to move the RC to a space with more room but I had to get it running first to save a bit of time. So at the start of the month, I decided to put some time into getting the RC running. Mostly I was scavenging from my spare parts, but I've had to purchase parts here and there to finish up.

1-Nov-2014
First thing was to mount the CT26R2 aka CT20B. I had purchased a standard manifold to replace the modified manifold which had the divider removed and a wastegate port welded on. Pretty good job too.
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Cleaned up the stud threads
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And Pulled two studs out of the modified manifold using the double nut method to mount the CT20B
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Nick got to work draining the oil and replacing the oil filter. Beer helps haha
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A lovely mess down there
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Nick's daughter Abigail looking on while Daddy does some work :)
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Using a sharp blade, I removed built up rust to get a half decent surface to get a decent seal with the new exhaust manifold gaskets.
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That evening, we test fitted the turbo onto the engine, but found the CT20B water pipes did not line up. Some googling told me that the stock CT26 water pipes had to be used, so I made some enquiries on the local GT Four Owners Club FB page and luckily a local had a broken CT26 he was willing to seperate the pipes from


2-Nov-2014
Sunday morning, I went and got the pipes and had a yarn to Joe, a fellow NZGT4OC member who is putting a gen3 into his st185. Good little project he has on his hand :)

More work on fettling with the turbo and getting the pipes to line up and fit. A lot of time was spent bending the turbo oil feed pipe to the block. There was also an issue with the turbo oil return hose as the owner prior to the person I bought the car off had replaced the silicon pipe with heater pipe - eek!

Nick moved the lights over the engine bay so we could work better at night. Nishant helped a bit as well haha. No more pics on the 2nd or 3rd Nov, too busy working.
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Re: Project Pearl

Postby DeeCee » Mon Nov 10, 2014 10:19 am

4-Nov-2014
I tried pulling the sensors from the old cat converter but the rust was too much. Only way I could get the main O2 sensor out was to mount in a vice and then remove the rusted nuts, but no vice at Nick's place so I just kept going to think about later.
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Nick's dog Van was in the way a lot haha.
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Here is how it looked with the 3" chinese dump pipe mounted to the CT20B - looks more like an engine now :)
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Chucked the radiator in and tried firing it up. Initially had some issues with the engine not turning over. FB msgs to Dan, the previous owner, gleaned that the turbo timer needed to be turned on for the car to start. There was alarm wiring which we were concerned about, but turns out it was just a siren and a bonnet switch left in the engine bay with no brain.
Caught Nick by surprise as he had the volt meter on the battery, and I had turned the turbo timer on and cranked the engine over. Boy did he jump haha. Engine cranked on the first pop with various engine lights coming on, but she turned over!


5-Nov-2014
Here is how she looked after we left her last night.
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6-Nov-2014
3" dump pipe didn't fit properly. Touches a mount on the AC pump
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And had major gap between the exhaust mid pipe. We jacked up the car later and find the exhaust wasn't even on the mid chassis hanger. Remounting the exhaust on the hanger helped move the exhaust forward.
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But I had already taken the turbo off and remounted the stock cat converter. Wasn't worth the hassle in trying to make the aftermarket dump pipe fit, so why bother..
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Water to Air radiator sensor plug wiring had broken with a plug hanging off one wire. I touched it and the other one broke off as well, so I replaced the plug with a new unit I was going to use for Elephant.
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Van the engine dog not doing much engine work.. it's worse when Valley (the other dog) wants to play catch with sticks and balls and keeps bothering us
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7-Nov-2014 - Friday, exhausted from the week, I bothered to take the night off.

8-Nov-2014
Mat arrived at midday at Nishants with a car load of Celica parts. Boot hatch was for Joe.
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Garage chicken not doing much like engine dog..
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Spent more time putting the engine bay back together and fixing up various wiring and hoses in the engine bay. Had a fun time fitting the turbo drain hose that Mat had got from the wreck in Tauranga, but it saved me $122 for an OEM replacement!
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Re: Project Pearl

Postby DeeCee » Mon Nov 10, 2014 10:20 am

9-Nov-2014
And pearl leaves the garage under her own power for some sunlight and a good wash
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Broken window and lots of adhesive to fix and clean up respectively. Wax and grease remover for the win
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Engine bay together. Still panel work to do, but Mat to the rescue getting me the vertical bonnet support, grill support and even drilling out the spot welds for the radiator support - top man!
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Glass to clean up once the rear seat was removed.
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I shouldn't be able to do this...
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Mastic removed. the lower stuff had glass shards in it, so I threw it out. The top mastic was a bit old, but you can re-use mastic as long as you clean off the grit and re-heat/shape in your hands
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Panels removed for more clean up and glass shard removal. Car has been repainted and has obviously leaked when they cleaned off the priming dust. It is all in the cavities.
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Degreaser and water blaster in the engine bay to clean up all the crap
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Replacement window came off a modified car. Piss poor job taping the window off and it had a heap of orbital sander swirls marks on the black trim. I cleaned off the excess paint as best I could with some wax and grease remover. I may paint it black later, but the window had to go in to get the car water tight and washed.
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Mastic re-applied ready for the window to go in. Sticky horrible job
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We pulled the carpet as the previous owner was a smoker and the interior is horrible to sit in. Nick used degreaser to soak the carpet to start pulling out a lot of stains then water blasted
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fun of cleaning..
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Not your typical use for a clothes line
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Wash me please! Valley the dog, loves the water blaster :)
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GT Four Adovansu "I want to enjoy the powerful and nimble agility behavior."

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Re: Project Pearl

Postby DeeCee » Mon Nov 10, 2014 10:20 am

10-Nov-2014
Carpet was left over night and during the day in a good breeze to dry it out. I vacuumed in the evening and we ended up with a nice soft carpet pile. Some stains still, but it is so so much better now.
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Interior plastics were then wiped down with wax and grease remover and then we used some silicon to return some lustre.
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We cleaned out the floor of the car with wax and grease remover and took out years and years of dirt and all sorts of grime built up over the years.
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We also removed the turbo timer - its a bit old and doesn't work properly, as evident when I pulled the key and the car ran for 5 minutes and I couldn't turn it off haha.

And that is where we are for now. Next steps, continue cleaning the interior and then drive it over to Nishant's garage and prep for moulding the wide wide guards.
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Re: Project Pearl

Postby athousandleaves » Mon Nov 10, 2014 3:45 pm

Great work as per usual Dave.
Real pleasure to read these updates. Good motivator to get me going on my own projects and documenting them as well!
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Re: Project Pearl

Postby DeeCee » Mon Nov 10, 2014 4:23 pm

Thank you for the compliment. Nick and I have been put in some decent hours to get to this stage. Still a lot more to do to get her to something I am happy with, but pretty happy knowing she is going to be a rather decent car once finished :) And it's some really basic things to get the car nice. Full interior clean, fixing minor electrical things, changing the odd hose here and there. Gotta strip the seats to wash the covers = more fun

The next big challenges will be when I weld in the support panel and get the radiators straightened out. Hopefully they don't leak. By that time, I should have a RC bonnet and bumper to replace the damaged ones as I got reproductions made from the Elephant's bonnet and bumper :) Panel beater may scratch his head at the paint mix as it looks like a custom white pearl
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Re: Project Pearl

Postby underscore » Mon Nov 10, 2014 9:17 pm

You guys move fast, nice work! Sad to hear about the A at the wreckers though, not enough love for these cars it seems.
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Re: Project Pearl

Postby DeeCee » Mon Nov 10, 2014 10:07 pm

Yep - never planned to move this fast on the car, but circumstances demanded it. I have been pretty focused on the rectangle and was just finishing up the exhaust muffler mounts and the crank angle sensor mount when I decided to work on the RC. Effort has been worth it though :)

Interesting short shifter modification in the car. Will take some photos while the centre console is out. Gearbox is really notchy, and I have trouble putting the car into gear. Can't tell if it is clutch fluid, syncros or the shifter modification. Will figure it out later I guess.
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Re: Project Pearl

Postby CSAlltrac » Mon Nov 10, 2014 11:51 pm

Awesome work man. Keep the updates coming.
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Re: Project Pearl

Postby DeeCee » Mon Jun 01, 2015 8:59 am

So I have been using Pearl as a mule for me to do my fibreglass moulding for Elephant and it has taken a very very long time to get done. Move Pearl back to Nick's place about a month ago and left it there not doing much. Decided to weld the radiator support panel on today as it is Queen's birthday long weekend here in NZ.

Bit of a back log on the photos but you all love photos

Nov-14 - Car looks half respectable now that it is clean. Had to roll it out of the garage to move to Nish's where I was doing the fibreglass work
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Drove it for the first time. CT20B goes nicely. And in it's new residence to be a mule for the guards
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Started stripping down the front end so I can mount the guards and cover the body to protect it for FG resin
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The high stop light on the rear spoiler was broken, so removed the spoiler. Bolt that holds it on was rusted and broken off much to my annoyance.
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And here is the broken and replacement stop light
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Time to remove bolt with an angle grinder
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Replaced a broken vacuum valve from a Ceres. Toyot generic part so easy enough to find a replacement at the scrapyard
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Slowly fettling the ground down bolt out of the boot
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Was wondering why the spoiler side parts were not sitting right. Took the plastics off to find the mounts were the wrong way around.. idiots
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And mounted correctly
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GT Four Adovansu "I want to enjoy the powerful and nimble agility behavior."

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Re: Project Pearl

Postby DeeCee » Mon Jun 01, 2015 9:00 am

January 2015 - I got my RC bonnet and bumper moulded, so I thought I'd try them on the RC. Also, my guards finally came back from the panel beater so I thought I'd try them on as well
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It had been a long while since I had seen my handy work, they look pretty good
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And there is definitely some room for larger wheels
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February 2015 - This is Elephant work, but may as well show it off since it is on Pearl. Guards are prepped and then corflute/plastic signboard is hot glued on to some masking tape at the edges of the panel. Car covered up as well
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Then gel coat is applied. I used tooling gel goat which ends up harder.
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Both sides are done at the same time.
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March - 2015 Fibreglass done. Pearl gets out of the garage to see some sunlight
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And here are the main parts of the guard moulds
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Since I was over at the fibreglass place, I took some photos of my moulds
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And now back to my bodgy job haha. The guards are a multi piece mould. More fun stickling plastic to the guards, prepping, applying gel coat and fibreglass
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GT Four Adovansu "I want to enjoy the powerful and nimble agility behavior."

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Elephant: http://www.alltrac.net/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=26687
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Re: Project Pearl

Postby DeeCee » Mon Jun 01, 2015 9:01 am

April 2015 - Car got put back together. I left the battery connected and had to jump start it with my deep cycle sitting in Nish's garage
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This is the panel that was mashed up from the accident. Car sat at Nick's for a good month before I looked at it today
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1-June-2015 - Decided to get it back on the road. First things first, weld in the top radiator support. Had to load up the car with my welding gear and tools and setup at Nick's. While at Nick's he straighten the water to air radiator which had gotten a bit bent in the crash.
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And welded in. The welds are pretty ugly TBH, but the support is in solid so I'm happy. Nick gave the panel a spray with some black caliper paint I had brought overImage
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Re: Project Pearl

Postby st182er » Wed Jun 03, 2015 3:31 am

this is awesome. keep up the great work!!
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Re: Project Pearl

Postby DeeCee » Wed Jun 03, 2015 10:21 am

Thanks, and I try to do stuff as time allows with Pearl. Main focus is the other car and getting that finished up :)
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Re: Project Pearl

Postby DeeCee » Sun Jun 14, 2015 8:54 am

Got some more work done on Pearl this weekend. Nick had started reassembling the front end, mounting in the various radiators and brackets.

I popped over after laying down the PVA on the moulds to tackle the exhaust system which I thought was just cut at the rear after the previous owner removed the tip. Low and behold, the idiots tried to remove the pipe work just after the muffler with a sabre saw, basically leaving the whole rear section an absolute mess to clean up !@#$

Easiest thing to do will be to source a whole rear muffler section as there is too much work to fix it all up grrr. Luckily I know where a whole muffler system is and the owner has kindly said I can take the lot :) Will get some pics of the mess later.

Anyway, back to the front end. Firstly I used some polyurethane to cover the weld holes and a horizontal gap that toyota normally urethanes. Got to get it back to what it was.

Then we looked at the other brackets at the front of the car. There is a vertical support for the horizontal plastic trim that was crumpled in the crash. I had a replacement one from a standard GT Four but the support is different on the RC. The vertical portion allows for mounting the water to air heat exchanger so we decided to take the good horizontal portion and put it on the RC vertical support.

Nick drilled out the spots welds for the brackets and I welded the non crumbled piece back to the RC vertical support. Had to use Nick's saw horse as a temp welding station lol.
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Got a couple of spots on with with the tig and that was that :) Gave it a brush down and painted it black to protect the exposed metal.
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The drivers side guard also had a crumbled bracket and some slight panel work to remedy. Nick got on with bending the vertical lip which was pushed back and I got on with prepping the bracket and guard for welding.

I had previously removed these brackets from some NA guards so I could make moulds for the wide wide body guards for the Elephant. The plan was to fix the crumbled bracket, so as I had my moulds, time to repair the guard.
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Original bracket on the left, replacement on the right.
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Hmm.. a lovely twisted mess
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But this is better
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And a bunch of clamps to hold it all into place while I weld. Of note, while I have a Mig, I use the Tig as I don't have gas for the Mig yet. Panel steel isn't easy to Tig as the steel just burns up any time I put some current in, and in this case, I managed to get some spots down to hold it together.
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And the front end starting to look like a car again.
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Pearl's front end is pretty much fixed up now. I had some fibreglass copies of the RC bonnet and bumper made for Pearl so it can pretty much go all back together.

Things to do:
- install RC bumper support properly (that bolt is somewhere..)
- fix the wiring loom which goes to the alternator
- install headlights, plastic trim, etc
- reinstall various brackets, components, airbox, overflow bottle (need to remove the rad it seems - not much room around that area) around the engine bay which we disassembled to do the repair
- cut various holes into the bonnet and bumper for mounting accessories, trim etc.
- buy some mesh and poly into the various vents/holes
- install some replacement under body panels under the front end
- maybe fix the saggy front and rear engine mounts
- scavenge the exhaust to fix the rear section of the muffler system
- re- install the interior
- fix the drivers seat foam and a leather patch to cover the hole

Not sure if I want to spend money on painting the front end to be perfectly honest. I just want to get rid of the car and push it off. I may paint it if I bother to keep it as a run around, but we'll see.

I'll calculate the total cost thus far and see if it is worth keeping. The notchy gear engagement is a bit annoying, but I'll try some fixes before I remove the short shifter kit and replace it with something smoother.
For a moment I was thinking of breaking the car as the exhaust system issue was looking to cost far too much to repair.
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