I decided to give an old acquaintance a call. He was a Toyota tech a long time ago in the 80s and 90s, for fifteen years. We geeked out for an hour about the Celica GT-Four I am refurbishing (I needed someone to kvetch about the shop taking their time on a timing belt/water pump/alternator/tire job my car has been in the shop for over a week for) and he gave me some recommendations:
1. When filling transmission fluid, have them fill it, then run the transmission through all the gears, and then top it off. The reason for this is there is a transmission oil cooler—unusual for a manual transmission—and it soaks up some transmission oil.
2. When changing oil, always use Toyota oil filters. The reason is that they have a leakback tube that works better with the engine—if you use some aftermarket filter, the engine will run dry for a bit. Not good. Good thing I have five Toyota oil filters on hand. Also, best to leave it overnight because it’s a bit of a pain to do an oil change hot.
3. He recommended going to a dealer and seeing if I can find an old school Toyota tech. The 3S-GTE was a fairly unique engine among Toyota’s lineup, and they were fiddly in the Celica AllTracs.
4. He said that taking the whole water pump off is not a bad thing. It lets them get in and clean out the tube and everything, which it needed based upon the pictures I saw. It is just taking time is all. I need to calm the f*** down and be patient.
5. OEM brake pads are the way to go. The OEM brake pads come with anti-squeal shims, and these are much better than the standard brake shop remedy for squealing with is a spray on rubberized coating. This tends to hold heat in, which is a bad thing. He also said that going to a dealer would be best for a brake job because they have the machine to resurface rotors and make them true.
6. He agreed that “laying on parts” is a good idea. He agreed that sometimes Toyota decides to discontinue parts in a weird manner that doesn’t make sense.
7. For the starter motor, he said that rather than replace the whole motor, there are some contacts that often need to be replaced. Any Toyota tech will understand this. All of the Denso starter motors were like that.
8. As far as the air conditioning, he recommended changing to R-134A and he did that all the time. Typically, it involved a relatively minor changeout. He did mention an octagonal piece atop the compressor that tended to leak. He thought that the rubber hoses might be worth replacing, but not the hardlines.
9. I mentioned that the previous owner either did an ABS delete or it never had ABS. He said it wasn’t much of a loss—ABS was pretty primitive at that point, and the Celica isn’t very heavy and has four wheel disc brakes.
All in all, this was a great conversation, and I left it feeling not quite so alone in this. I will call a dealer and see whether they have an old school tech that I can talk to about it.
Last edited by Roreri
on Wed Sep 01, 2021 2:09 am, edited 2 times in total.