Project Magroo?

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Project Magroo?

Postby Magroo » Thu May 14, 2020 11:03 pm

I need to start a project thread so I can consolidate info instead of posting random topics of crap ive done, will do, and currently working on.

Brief history. I've owned my 1992 Celica Alltrac for 15ish years. Before it came to the North East it spents whole life in Texas. Before this Celica I owned an 88 convertible gt and an 1989 hardtop.

Long history of what I sent to the previous owner a few years back.

Yeah she still gives me plenty of smiles. Just about to hit 190k miles. I got it from you at like 170k.

Hasn't exactly been daily driver material. I think being in the north east didn't exactly help the reliability issues.

TLDR; Car is a pain in the ass but I'm stubborn.

Its definitely been a test of patience and commitment, and quite a few times I was ready to give up.

My wife thinks I'm nuts sticking with this "old car", but we keep our finances separate so I can't complain about the shoes she buys and she can't complain about the boxes of car shit that shows up.

I suppose I'll just go with chronological order the best I can remember.

2005 Oct. Received the car, slightly disappointed at a few things, but whatever. Oil leak from the oil cooler, and suspension knock from passenger side. Other than that was in decent shape and no rust.

2006 fixed suspension knock, was sway bar end links and sway bar bushings. Slowed down the oil leak that was burning off on the exhaust. Probably drove it a lot harder than I should have. First turbo awd car.
Had intermittent starting issues, turned out to be the fuel pump relay was arcing internally. Replaced it and cured static on the radio too. Attempted to do some body work and paint to fix the peeling clear coat. Learned body work and paint best left to professionals with proper tools.

2007 passenger side front control arm. Replaced the koni yellow inserts with kyb strut inserts. One of the konis had seized up and wanted to soften the ride a little because RI = endless pot holes.

2008 drove it without too many issues. Used it as my backup car for snow when my 1989 celica gt couldn't handle it. Although I do remember getting a ride home on a flatbed after a coolant hose let go.

2009 the year shit started to go south. Early in the year I had a bit of a crash in a snow covered parking lot. Was covered in ice under the snow and lost control. Smashed up front bumper and damaged the hood slightly. Needed new passenger side flip up headlight. Bought the last RC/CS front bumper from Toyota in north america to replace it. Later in the same year was messing around in another parking lot covered in snow and didn't notice I was overheating while doing donuts. Yeah stupid shenanigans. Ended up getting some rod knock after that and the car pretty much sat till spring time of 2010.

2010 almost dumped the car for dirt cheap after the rod started knocking. Tried replacing just the rod bearings but it was already too late. Car sat till I made a decision and sourced a JDM low mileage engine with no ecu trans or wiring harness for $600. Brought everything to a mechanic friend since I didn't have the ability to drop the engine and trans in a gravel driveway. Told him "call me when you're done". Unfortunately he took it a little too literal and the car sat for 8 or 9 months. During that time shit started rusting up. Bought a 2007 Subaru impreza since I was addicted to awd in the winter. Non turbo version. Needed something decent on gas and reliable.

2011 finally get car back in early spring with the motor replaced. Ended up replacing all seals and gaskets, timing belt, water pump, new center force clutch, Toyota throw out bearing while we were in there. At this point all the brakes were pretty much rusted solid from sitting for so long. All new calipers and rotors all around, stainless braided brake lines, front passenger wheel bearing. Flex pipe on the exhaust finally let go completely too. Ended up just welding it back together for the time being. Not much else done to the car for this year. Already blew my budget.

2012 winter puts a halt to getting any work done on it. No garage so I wait till spring time. Replaced a CV axle since the boot was torn. Tired of radiator hoses randomly popping so I went all silicone. Mishmoto clone radiator to take care of any overheating problems. Just drove it sparingly since I didn't trust it too much. Came home on a flatbed a couple times.

2013 replaced all struts and springs with BC coilovers. They were starting to seriously rust out from the year of sitting at my friends place. Made an effort to stop any corrosion on the body itself. That's holding up well. Rebuilt the power steering pump.

2014 starting to have weird problems with the car dying. Rechecked the fuel pump relay to see if it had burned up again. Change out injectors from the spare set I had from old motor. New fuel pump. Swap distributors over etc. Nothing was working. Decided to pull the ecu and open it up. Green crustys everywhere. A bunch of capacitors had gotten old and started leaking causing traces on the circuit board to burn up. Had trouble trying to source a used ecu for a decent price. Learned about megasquirt from one of my sisters boyfriends. Checked it out but didn't trust my soldering skills to build one. End up buying a mspnp for an mr2. Install went pretty smooth for the most part, but Murphys law wasn't done with me yet. About 2 months in an injector circuit driver fried and an injector was stuck open, so I sent the unit back for repair. Ended up sending me a new revised unit with a different driver circuit. Everything is good till next year...

2015 decide its time to finally fix the air conditioning. Had been collecting random crap off eBay for cheap in case I needed it. HVAC Control panel , ac amplifier circuit board, New drier receiver. Found a brand new denso ac compressor on Walmart.com of all places for $150. Last piece I needed was the high side hose. Got the last one in north america from Toyota dealership. Only place that had it. Mid summer collect all the tools needed, vacuum pump, ester oil, r134 conversion fittings.
So get it all working but now when the ac is off the idle isn't dropping back down, its stuck at like 1400 rpms. Spent months trying to figure out what was going on, mainly because I was working 60+ hours a week and no time to diagnose. Wasn't till almost November that tracked the problem down to the idle air control circuit in the megasquirt unit. Again sent it back for repair out of warranty. Didn't get it back till January of 2016.

2016 get unit back and installed. Everything going well but scared to turn on the ac. Not sure if there is a wiring problem in the car or the mr2 is slightly different. Go through as much as I can still can't find a problem. Hit the ac switch and pop there it goes again. No idle control.
Yeah pretty pissed at this point so start buying all the tools needed for circuit repair. Source the chips directly from China so I have a supply of them for sacrificial diagnoses. Buy an SMD rework station and a good set of magnifier glasses so I can see what I'm doing. Track problem down to the ac fan switch/relay the ecu tells to turn on when the ac button gets pressed. Went through a few chips to find it.

Rest of 2016 is making arrangements to get the car repainted for a reasonable price. Strip it all down cause I don't trust body shop to mask everything properly so I pull all the plastic and badges off myself. Drop car off end of june. Don't get it back till mid august. Owner of the shop had a major heart attack and needed open heart surgery. Only 2 guys trying to get shit done. I suck it up and just wait. In the mean time I get a great deal on some new wheels and tires that are the exact same size as my Subaru. 5x100 205/55/16. Almost perfect fit for the 215/55/15 that no one makes anymore.
Budget completely blown for 2016, but I can finally see an end...
Other things I got done were cam seals I forgot about during the engine swap, rebuilt the exhaust mid pipe with new flex section after buying a welder, driver side wheel bearing replaced and CV axle rebuilt. Rewired alternator charging cable since old one was green and crusty and was causing voltage drop and charging issues.


2017 winter slowing me down again. Found a complete set of celica cloth upholstery for a 1992 gts that was never installed on eBay for $116. Almost a perfect fit with the exception of the headrest rails are slightly wider on the alltrac. The leather was 25 years old and was planning on getting it replaced this summer. $700 for full interior was the quote I had. Yeah I scored big time. Its cloth but honestly I prefer cloth.
Removed the turbo timer. Installed a new car alarm. Replaced all motor mounts. Sourced a used gear shifter after a failed attempt at installing a short shifter in the already hacked up shifter body. Brass shifter bushings. Drained and refilled trans with synthetic gear lube. She doesn't like going in to first gear after driving and coming to a dead stop. I'm suspecting its the shifter fork saddles inside the transmission. That's going to have to wait for now. If I have to drop that engine and transmission again I'm going to rebuild my old engine with all forged internals. That's something to possibly plan for 2018 or 2019.

I know there's more I've done just not sure when I did it, like the rear diff mount, ball joints, tie rod end's, sunroof relay module, rebuilt the dizzy, rebuilt the throttle body, fuel filter, fuel pressure regulator, power antenna. Deleted the MAF, cold start injector, cruise control.
Oh, and I was rear ended INSIDE of a car wash by some idiot teenage girl trying to follow me through for a free car wash. Cracked the center taillight garnish. Ended up tracking her down after she took off before I realized what happened after looking at the CCTV footage.


So anyways to wrap things up, its been an interesting 11 years. If I had more room I'd buy another project car now that this one is close to "done". Let's face it though, your never truly done with a car like this.

I still want more power now that I've worked most of the reliability issues. The ATS CT27 turbo upgrade seems like a good choice. I'm still torn between keep it stock and moderate power goals.

I don't have any good pics on this phone right now. I'll have to send you some later on.

Anyways thanks for your attention. Only another alltrac owner would understand ;)
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Magroo
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Re: Project Magroo?

Postby Magroo » Thu May 14, 2020 11:27 pm

Current setup;

JDM 3SGTE
Wiseco pistons
Stock rods
ARP Studs
Cometic head gasket
BC 264 cams
BC springs
Stock retainers
3sge fuel rail
850cc denso injectors from a 2jz soarer
Side feed intake from 3sge
Modified engine harness from a 1992 celica gt automatic converted for megasquirt use
Megasquirt PNP2 TS9395
AEM EUGO wideband
98 Supra TT fuel pump
BC Coilovers
KO Street Brawler with 46 trim garret
Tial 44mm wastegate


Unfortunately I lost a lot of pictures from a few years ago when I lost my phone. I'll get some new ones up soon
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Re: Project Magroo?

Postby Magroo » Fri May 15, 2020 12:56 am

So what started as a simple fuel pump replacement got a little out of control. I noticed the rust at the back of the car was starting to get bad. No actual rot yet.

I completely stripped the fuel tank and derusted and painted it. Using an angle grinder and various wire wheels seems the best method. The paint I'm using is rustoleum rust reformer as a primer, and rustoleum acrylic enamel as a top coat.

Installed all new oem gaskets and screws. I had to weld up some pinholes in my filler neck.

I forgot to take before pictures but most of the rust was under the tank straps and around the filler neck base. I thought it best to take care of it now.
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Re: Project Magroo?

Postby Magroo » Fri May 15, 2020 1:01 am

This is what I was left with after pulling the tank. I knew it all had to come out now if I wanted to save the car.
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Re: Project Magroo?

Postby Magroo » Fri May 15, 2020 1:06 am

This is after some elbow grease.
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Re: Project Magroo?

Postby Magroo » Fri May 15, 2020 1:15 am

More work to do. Its a hell of a lot of manual labor but the results are so satisfying
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Re: Project Magroo?

Postby Magroo » Fri May 15, 2020 1:20 am

I keep forgetting to take more pics of the painted stuff. So far all of the control arms are done, 1 hub,1 brake backing plate, 3 braces and the diff cushion. I did have some casualties. One of the bolts was frozen in a bushing and I had to cut it out.

Dont worry all the bearings and hub seals are getting replaced so I wasn't worried about overspray or eating up some rubber.
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Last edited by Magroo on Sat May 16, 2020 8:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Project Magroo?

Postby alltrac801 » Fri May 15, 2020 3:36 pm

This is awesome! Keep up the great work. We could just swap cars if you want.... that way you'll have a new project :D
1991 Toyota Celica All-Trac (239,000 miles)
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Re: Project Magroo?

Postby Magroo » Sat May 16, 2020 8:11 pm

More progress made. Primed and painted main subframe. Cleaned up all the old bolts and gave them an oil bath since I dont have a way of nickle or zinc plating them. Will have to do. I'll just be liberal with the fluid film after I get everything back together.
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Re: Project Magroo?

Postby Magroo » Sat May 16, 2020 8:20 pm

Also started to tackle the rear diff. I'm running out of wire wheels so a trip to harbor freight is in my near future.

It looks really bad but its cleaning up nicely.
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Re: Project Magroo?

Postby Magroo » Mon May 18, 2020 7:32 pm

Diff cleaned up pretty good. Finished priming and painting it. Need to replace the pinion seal and the axle seals. Have to take the diff cover off to take out the axle stubs held in by C clips. I'm going to paint the diff cover separate since I need to prime it with self etching primer because it's aluminum.
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Re: Project Magroo?

Postby Magroo » Wed May 20, 2020 6:36 pm

Finished off the yoke/diff carrier yesterday. This thing was ugly and dirty but turned out pretty good.

In case anyone is wondering I'm not replacing my subframe and diff carrier bushings at this time because I really dont feel like waiting until mid june to get the car back together. Only place I can find replacement bushings are Poland, the UK, and Australia. Mine are still in acceptable condition as it is. This all started as a fuel pump replacement and was a spur of the moment thing to tear everything apart.
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Re: Project Magroo?

Postby Magroo » Wed May 20, 2020 6:46 pm

Finished getting diff back together today. Decided thst I liked the brushed aluminum look better than painting it. I threw a coat of clear on it to stop it from tarnishing. Still waiting on a new pinion seal, but the 2 axle stub seals are done.

Also started getting the knuckle ready to put back together. Cleaned up all the overspray and replaced the axle seals. Replaced the one bushing I had to cut the bolt because it was frozen inside.

If anyone was wondering it's the same seal for inner and outer. I'm going to reuse the wheel bearing just because it was fine when I pulled it apart. Both races are still smooth with no marks and all the bearings are in good shape. Just going to repack it and call it a day.

I messed up and didnt have the bolts and hardware ready to reassemble today. Forgot to soak it in the evaporust. This stuff actually works really good.
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Re: Project Magroo?

Postby underscore » Wed May 20, 2020 7:45 pm

That's an amazing transformation on those parts.
★ 1991 GTFour RC ~ "Rebel Scum" ★
Build thread http://www.alltrac.net/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?f=44&t=44216
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Re: Project Magroo?

Postby Magroo » Wed May 20, 2020 8:00 pm

Thanks, its been a lot of work. I'm going to pull the prop shaft and inspect the carrier bearings and see how they are in the next few days. I have a plan that might work if I need new ones. Febest makes a carrier bearing for the st215 that's like $25. It's damn close except the angle on one mount. I might be able to cut it off and reweld it at the proper angle. For 25 bucks it might be worth a try. TCB-019 is the part number.

I also ordered a whiteline sway bar, so I need to wait for that before I start to put things back together. I still have a weeks worth of work doing the underside and taking care of the rest of the corrosion.
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