Grip Addict's project: it's always the small things


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195-220 degrees F is normal range for coolant from what I've read. I have a dual temp gauge, one of them taking readings from a probe at the coolant return line and the other at the same place the OEM oil temp sensor is located on a T-fitting.

I've observed that my coolant temperature can move around quite a bit, but I have the LEDs set to flash when it exceeds 210 degrees, because it doesn't happen very often (so far I haven't observed the gauge readings during the summer).

Oil temp can move around a bit too.

I'd start worrying if the Lorelei started creeping north of 215 for coolant temp because I haven't seen that yet (the radial LEDs on the outside of my gauge are 5 degrees each). 240 would be too hot for me. I'd pull over and try and figure out what's going on.
Is anyone else getting tired of the heat lately? Working on... anything outside is getting real old with the current weather here in the midwest.

My car's currently sitting in a bit of a holding pattern for now:
Massive concrete job taking place in my backyard right in front of where the car is parked. No driving until it's done curing next week

It's too hot to do much inside my detached garage until we drop below the 90's during the day; that place is a friggin' sauna.

I am waiting for my preferred local dyno shop to fix their dyno; they experienced bearing failure due to lack of maintenance and the rear dyno roller decided to extricate itself from the dyno itself. Due to covid and staffing issues bc they fired the guy running the dyno; it's been down for a while and will still be for at least another month. There's one other awd dyno in the area, but the front office guy working there is the worst human being I've ever met outside of Orlando (sorry FL apologists, you know some people who live there are... challenging... to be around) and I'd rather just wait.

I did swap from the on-ecu map sensor to a dedicated remote one and engine responds to throttle changes soooo much better now. I'm now doing what Toyota did from the factory on the gen3 motor but with a better sensor, so this one's on me. I'm probably going to wire in a bosch donut-style knock sensor between now and the dyno session too, so I'm hoping I can get better readings and a better tune when it's time to finish the fuel/timing map on the dyno. The factory knock sensor doesn't work perfectly with the Haltech Elite; it's almost always sending signal outside the range that the Haltech is programmed to know what to do with. Could be because it's old tech or could be because the factory sensor is busted. :shrug:

Lastly, I need to find a spot to ship this spare motor I have in order to get it built. I found some metal shavings in the oil pan of this motor last time I did an oil change, so it's gotta be only a matter of time before it gives up the ghost. Anyone want a ceramic ct20b with 40k miles?


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I have the feeling I should want that CT20b, but I can't bring myself to do it until I have the issues I'm currently experiencing locked down.

Sorry to rub it in, but it was 67 degrees and overcast here in Colorado Springs today. We're having a hell of a thunderstorm at the moment, but yeah. My cousin in Ohio said it was 90 with humidity making it feel like 105. 4 seasons, all angry af in that state.
update: Finally scheduled dyno time for next week.
While I've been waiting, I:
changed the MAP setup around. I'm no longer using the onboard sensor on the Haltech and instead have a dedicated MAP sensor on the firewall (like oem). I went from like 4 ft of vac line to 9" and the throttle response and tip in is waaaaay better and smoother.
I upgraded the knock sensor. I'm now using a Bosch donut-style sensor and did away with the OEM one. Since the OE sensor is a bolt and the new one is not, some additional hardware was needed to run the new sensor. I ordered 90126-08046 from Toyota and it threads directly into the tapped hole where the OE sensor used to run. Ran some shielded twisted pair wiring, grounded the shielding on only the ECU side, and after some additional splices and crimps, I'm up and running. This sensor is already providing better data than the OE one was as the factory one was always sending noise. I hope this gives the tuner the right information he needs to get the timing map dialed in on the dyno.

At this point... I probably just need to buy a flying lead harness from Haltech and re-terminate everything so it's nice and clean. Maybe when the spare engine goes in and I switch to DBW and distributor-less ignition.
well, I expected more power, but at least it's running and has a safe tune. I'm going to replace the wires and plugs in the hopes that it solves that tq dip at 6k. Otherwise... I'm not sure what could be causing that.


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275 ain’t bad. If I remember correctly 275 is about what TTE was running for WRC. Am I right?

Given the nonsense I been going through, I’d just be happy to have mine running! So kudos. Doing a little work on it today and will do a check ride in a couple of hours.
21 psi on the gtx2860r. St205 motor/cams/manifolds/intercooler. 11.2 afr at max boost here and I think it was 16 degrees timing at this boost level. Full mechanical mods is in the opening post.

I made 280 awhp on my red alltrac with a 2nd gen motor and a gt2860r at 18 psi, so I was expecting a bit more power here with the added boost and increased ve.


Doesn't have the Haltec some log functions?

I can imagine that it isn't nice to see that the power is a bit lower than expected.

From memory, my friend over here was very disappointed with his GT28. He swapped it for an GT30 and pushed easily 300+ hp with 1 bar and relatively stock (2e gen CS) engine with ST205 intake cam.

If memory serves me right, my 2e gen engine pushed 282 hp at 1,1 bar with upgraded CT26 (PT), ported head, 264 cams at about 12,5 AFR.
Hi all,
Some long-overdue and some newer updates incoming.

We've had some really unseasonably nice weather lately here in the midwest, and that has meant so much more time to drive the car. It's really been nice. I've put in so many miles that the car decided to complain and ask for a break :)

One of the first mods I performed when buying this car was installing a walbro 255 pump as it still had a factory fuel pump even with the gt3071r turbo. Of course, old rusty parts don't like to loosen easily, so I wrecked the fuel tank straps (expected) and the fuel feed line from the fuel sender (unexpected and very unfortunate). At the time of the install, I looked and could not find another 185 fuel pump hanger, so I repaired the feed line with fuel injection hose and a slew of clamps. Predictably, this worked great until it didn't. Fast forward a few years, and one of the clamps had loosened enough for the line to come undone :(.

Fortunately for me, some other board members had also experienced issues with the fuel pump hanger since my initial repair and someone was smart enough to try the 205 unit. I'm so thankful that people on this forum still share information and things that they learn even though no one has been developing our platform for sometime now.

This is a st205 hanger from gt4play with a walbro 255 pump. The only thing that wasn't bolt-on is I swapped over the noise-canceller on the 12v line from my 185 hanger and crimped the wires together. After rivet, some DR-25, and open barrel splices, the hanger was safely and snugly back inside the tank.

While I was dealing with the pump, I decided it'd be a great time to fix the straps. I bent up a few of these brackets and mig'd them into place with captive nuts, then gave the duo a good cleaning and a few coats of 3m rubberized undercoating. This outta buy me quite a few years on these straps.



Since then, I took delivery of a carbon microsystems CF RC hood, and I have to say that it looks magnificent. The heat mitigating properties of this design are absolutely realized here too; I'm seeing far lower coolant temp and IAT readings. Before with the factory 185 hood, the st205 w2a intercooler would eventually just heatsoak and take foreeeeevvvveeeerrr to cool down to something normalish. Now, it's just not a problem at all. Instead of seeing a 155 hot-start IAT's that take forever to come down, now the number is 120 and it drops very quickly once the car is back on and moving. I DID have to move the hood latch up about 1/4" in order for the hood to actually catch, but I haven't had any issues since. I'll be having it ceramic coated soon so I can get a long life out of it, and I'm also on the hunt for the hood mesh so the local wildlife doesn't try to take up residence inside the engine bay during winter.


^^ one of the few times where the car actually needs a bath. It doesn't get out much...

After speaking with my tuner a bit more about the results, he offered 3 suggestions on how to safely get a bit more power. My only goal is to beat out the 280 awhp I hit with my red car 15ish years ago, so I think this is an achievable target.
1. get rid of the factory trigger system, he was seeing timing drift at high rpm (as much as 5 degrees) and wasn't able to command it as tightly as desired
2. install water injection (do step 1 first)
3. improve VE via cams or bigger turbo (next meaningful step up would be a gtx2867r, but probably a gtx3071r would make more sense for the money spent (and this means more lag, ugh)).

So, I'm going to work on step 1 over the winter as it seems like this should be fixed anyways. I have a bit of wiring ahead of me:

these are 1nz coils and they look like they'll fit under the st205 chargercooler, but it will be tight.

I just need to do some research and see how other people are handling 12v for their coil-on-plug conversions. I wonder if people are running a new circuit or just using the existing power feed that went to the single factory coil or not. We'll see how this goes, it might be all that I need to do.

Oh and lastly, some good news -- I hit 4.54 in my first and only 0-60 mph test. This is with a non-professional driving and doing a quick clutch slip from 5k rpm and a good shift into second. I'm sure a better driver who wouldn't care about abusing the car would get a much lower number in perfect conditions; I could see 4 flat or maybe even high 3's. 4.5 is enough for me though as I'm not using flat shift, dumping the clutch, or using the 2step to provide more than 7psi of boost. I do want to keep the car running as best I can :D


I had coppers once and before that, wasted spark with an Bosch twin coil.

Wasted spark:


Long story short: I did not notice any improvement above the stock Toyota system.

Long story: first I installed the Bosch twin coil. But since there are no plug wires for the 3S that fits, I had to make them my own.
Then, since I have an Autronic SMC, I got myself an Autronic CDI and Yamaha R6 coils. I decided to give that a try and get rid off the igniter and stock setup.
Worked good, but the Autronic cannot handle platium sparkplugs (in fact it can, but lifespan is excessivly shortened with the Autronic CDI), so I used normal copper plugs, but the Yamaha coils are needing plugs with thread at the top, to hold the coppers. Another challenge *sigh*.
And, not to forget, what I found out later on the Autronic forum, some coppers are giving an ECU error now and then. Nothing bad, just the blinking sign in the dash, but I hate that too.

Then, when it was getting cold, it was harder and harder to start the car. So I started tweaking fuel and ignition maps, plugs, etc. But nothing helped.
So, I turned back to the original Toyota ignition system, with distributorcap, leads and platinum plugs. That is rock solid for about 80.000 kms. Bought new stuff and that is sitting in the car without any problems.

BTW, changing back to stock ignition did not solve my cold start problem. That was the reluctor interface. An reluctor interface is used with the Autronic SMC, what is in my car, and this device is changing the trigger signal from a pulse signal to square wave. When cold, this device quit working. Anyway: new device solved that headache.
That's some good information Gert. I'm hoping I won't have that same experience. I'll be moving to hall effect sensors (square wave). Were you still using the factory distributor to do triggering?

I am not looking forward to pulling the gauge cluster out again to do the tach resistor mod. I feel like the cluster is coming out every year now :)


grip-addict":2qnvhnr4 said:
Were you still using the factory distributor to do triggering?
Yes, my old Autronic SMC is using the modified distributor.


Later models Autronic can use the stock trigger setup.

Changing other type off ignition only requires some software changes in the laptop. And, with the 500R CDI it needs to modify the tacho too *sigh*.
Time for the bi-monthly update!
I've put some good miles on the car since the tune. It drives nicely for the most part, still some hesitation in transient throttle conditions, but I'm throwing in the towel on that for now (see end of post for details). It pulls decently well and turbo response is good, but it takes a bit more throttle than I'd expect to get moving. It does has enough grunt to force power-oversteer once the turbo is generating pressure, which is a nice feeling to have in this car. After some recommendations from cms-gtfour like tightening up the rear coilovers, the car definitely behaves more like rwd than a plow-happy 90's Toyota. I'm enjoying it for sure.

I had to shuffle cars around a bit last week, so I thought I'd take a short video as too often we are posting about Celicas that need work and aren't actually running:
<I'm choosing to ignore my poor red 185 that's sitting in the corner, hoping to run again some day>

I've always wanted to send oil to Blackstone for analysis, and I finally did it for the first time this year. Feel free to take a look at the results. The flashpoint for the oil is shockingly low, there is way too much contamination in the oil.

GEN 3-221214_230103_155411.jpg

At least I finally got my answer on my motor's health. I've suspected for quite a long time that it had some issues, but I was always leaning more towards head lift/gasket issues than rings. I changed the oil, strapped down the spare motor from MN, and hauled it over to Nixspeed over the weekend:
The spare motor came with manifolds, fuel rails, throttle body, etc. I think between new gaskets and swapping out the idle bypass valve, I should finally have some good tip-in transient throttle response.
Well that, and Nick is building me a 3s with 9.5:1 compression ratio, forged bottom end, upgraded studs and bearings, gen4 crank trigger assembly, gsc stg1 cams, shimless buckets, and a ctxona. I think that'll help, too. 8)
Family life has taken precedent, I've just been doing little things here and there like getting a door and mirrors repainted, cleaning up the interior, etc. I'll post up some new photos when I get time. The triggering swap is on permanent hold and i'll just swap over to it once I get the new engine back from Nick.
I DO need to put the racerx trigger kit, my ct20b, 3 sets of 540cc injectors, 2x gen 3 fuel rails, gt2860rs, and gt3071r up for sale soon to finish funding the motor. These parts are not doing anyone any good just sitting around.
Engine's done @ Nixspeed, just waiting on the turbo before I take shipment and start the long wiring process.
In the meantime, I did a 92-93 tail conversion and added lightness in the rear. Can you tell what's missing?


Snagged a couple other photos since fall time is the best for driving. I love boost season.
special thanks to for camera work and taking an awesome video (it's on his IG if you care to see it).
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Yep! I think it looks nice and clean with the antenna gone.
Also, our cars over here have a third brake light in the spoiler. That's gone now, too.
This is likely it until my motor finally shows up. Then the great wiring adventure of 2023-24 begins!