Project Lazarus: Pulled from the Ground; Save from the Grave

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Project Lazarus: Pulled from the Ground; Save from the Grave

Postby Tippo » Sun Dec 06, 2020 2:35 pm

Here's the story of how I got the newest member of the family. Buckle up, it's a fairly long read:

Nearly two decades ago driving to college in my 92' Celica GTS, I noticed out of the corner my eye another 5th gen Celica parked at a house. I paid very little attention to what was sitting there, as I was just working my way to school and back. A while later, curiosity got the best of me and I drove by really slowly, noticing it said "Turbo All-Trac" on the back. Although excited to learn what was there, I still never mustered up the courage to stop and knock on the door to ask about the car since it looked like it was in use regularly. The car was fairly local, so I would drive by every so often just to keep tabs on it. I started to become invested in it.

Over the years it was evident the car had stopped moving. I still didn't stop and ask about it since there was never a "for sale" sign on it. This kicked off my obsession for the 5th gen Celica and All-tracs in particular. In the upcoming years, I had purchased a few All-tracs, completely restored one of them in the process (check my project thread). I had since sold them all, since I wasn't in the right place in my life and have since regretting the decision to sell my restored ST185.

A few years ago I noticed the local ST185 actually becoming overgrown in weeds, then bushes. It was shocking because I didn't know why this extremely rare car was left to sit, maybe the owner had no idea what it was? I decided to find out the story last year, I stopped and knocked on the door.

A gentleman in his mid 40s showed up at the window and immediately looked disgusted. Clearly he wasn't happy about me dropping by and probably thought I was a missionary. The first thing I did was point to his Celica and mention it before he could slam the door in my face. His mood lightened after learning I was only there to discuss the ST185 in the ground. He decided to throw his shoes on and go outside to discuss with me the story of his All-trac turbo.

His dad bought it right off a lease at 20k miles in 1993 and drove the daylights out of it for 12 years before leaving it to his son. The gentleman who inherited it and also drove the daylights out of it for the next 6 years before leaving it sit for a more practical 4 door that he could fit his kids in. He never wanted to sell it because of the sentimental value when he thought of his father. It sat for roughly 7 years with the intention of eventually getting back in it and driving it after the kids were grown. At this time he had no intention of selling the car, which was upsetting because of the condition it was in. I thanked him for sharing the story with me. We exchanged cell phone numbers and said our goodbyes.

Like clockwork, I texted him every 2 months asking how he was doing and if he felt like he could let go of the car. I never received a response. This happened for a very long year and a half when he finally texted me back and decided it was time... And I made an offer he couldn't refuse. He accepted and a few weeks later I dropped by with my trailer.

Anyways, here's a timeline of how the car looked before and after pulling it out of the ground with my trailer winch. Although I paid too much for it, this is my keeper car that I had a very long history with. It matches my 92' sw20 mr2 turbo, so she fits right in with the family. I hope to do updates over the next few years and bring her back where she should be.

I have regretted selling my '90 ST185 to this day and will do my absolute best to restore and utilize this diamond in the rough in the future to come.

Here's some pictures of the storyline, enjoy!

Google maps
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The first drive-by
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Last edited by Tippo on Wed Jan 06, 2021 1:12 pm, edited 3 times in total.
1992 SW20 MR2 Turbo 4th Gen 3SGTE Swap. Aquamarine Pearl. Project "Prissy"
1992 ST185 Celica All-Trac Turbo. Teal Metallic. Project "Lazarus"
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Re: Project Lazarus: Pulled from the Ground; Save from the G

Postby Tippo » Sun Dec 06, 2020 2:39 pm

First day I stopped by to ask about it:

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More detail a year and a half later when picking it up:

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On the trailer we go. A buddy of mine and the previous owner discussing ways to do it... it was very much a part of the earth:

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On the trailer, took a bunch of work with the winch... all tires were frozen:
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Off we go:

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When I got it home:

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Last edited by Tippo on Wed Jan 06, 2021 1:20 pm, edited 2 times in total.
1992 SW20 MR2 Turbo 4th Gen 3SGTE Swap. Aquamarine Pearl. Project "Prissy"
1992 ST185 Celica All-Trac Turbo. Teal Metallic. Project "Lazarus"
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Re: Project Lazarus: Pulled from the Ground; Save from the G

Postby Tippo » Sun Dec 06, 2020 2:56 pm

Consolidating pictures through embedding (above)
Last edited by Tippo on Wed Jan 06, 2021 1:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
1992 SW20 MR2 Turbo 4th Gen 3SGTE Swap. Aquamarine Pearl. Project "Prissy"
1992 ST185 Celica All-Trac Turbo. Teal Metallic. Project "Lazarus"
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Re: Project Lazarus: Pulled from the Ground; Save from the G

Postby abeans » Sun Dec 06, 2020 4:18 pm

Very Nice, subscribed!
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Re: Project Lazarus: Pulled from the Ground; Save from the G

Postby underscore » Mon Dec 07, 2020 2:51 am

That's a heck of a story and a great find.
★ 1991 GTFour RC ~ "Rebel Scum" ★
Build thread http://www.alltrac.net/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?f=44&t=44216
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Re: Project Lazarus: Pulled from the Ground; Save from the G

Postby awd3sgte4me » Mon Dec 07, 2020 3:16 am

How long ago did you sell your 1990?
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Re: Project Lazarus: Pulled from the Ground; Save from the G

Postby Tippo » Mon Dec 07, 2020 9:11 pm

awd3sgte4me wrote:How long ago did you sell your 1990?


I believe about 7 or 8 years ago now.
1992 SW20 MR2 Turbo 4th Gen 3SGTE Swap. Aquamarine Pearl. Project "Prissy"
1992 ST185 Celica All-Trac Turbo. Teal Metallic. Project "Lazarus"
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Re: Project Lazarus: Pulled from the Ground; Save from the G

Postby Tippo » Sun Dec 13, 2020 11:59 pm

Here we go. I'll try to use embedded photos now we'll see if it works... Anyways, brought it to the car was first thing. Definitely cleaned up but there's so much body work to be done. No damaging rust, thankfully but it's not the cleanest thing ever! Wouldn't imagine after sitting for 12 years lol. Anyways, here's some photos of the wash:

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And an Interior shot... not too bad for sitting 12 years in the sun. Gatta love old Toyota quality

Anyone have an extra steering wheel? :)
1992 SW20 MR2 Turbo 4th Gen 3SGTE Swap. Aquamarine Pearl. Project "Prissy"
1992 ST185 Celica All-Trac Turbo. Teal Metallic. Project "Lazarus"
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Re: Project Lazarus: Pulled from the Ground; Save from the G

Postby Tippo » Mon Dec 14, 2020 12:03 am

Sooo I got it started... but off starter fluid.


Judging by the rusted out fuel and brake lines and the really... really really old gas smell in the tank it wasn't going to be pretty. I knew the fuel pump was going to be toast after unfortunately filling the tank (oops). The sending unit was definitely dead, pretty easy to tell. There was no fuel level haha. Anyways, I guess we needed to drop the tank and check out out.
1992 SW20 MR2 Turbo 4th Gen 3SGTE Swap. Aquamarine Pearl. Project "Prissy"
1992 ST185 Celica All-Trac Turbo. Teal Metallic. Project "Lazarus"
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Re: Project Lazarus: Pulled from the Ground. SHE RUNS!

Postby Tippo » Mon Dec 14, 2020 1:13 am

And now for some actual work. After trying to jump +B to FP with no success and then testing the FP / sending unit with a VM, it was pretty easy to determine everything in the tank was toast (as previously confirmed via suspicion by Tecker185). I decided during this unnaturally warm mid-december day in the northeast to pull the tank. Here we go:

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not looking good

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chipmunks living rent free smh

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look at all this room for activities

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pretty clean actually, i'm surprised!

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this was not so clean, man these were not fun to get out

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oof this aint ganna be easy to find

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these were even harder to get out lol

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Anyways, after draining all the gas and doing my best to clean the tank, it was surprisingly decent inside. Although there was a good amount of really, really, reallyreallyreallyreally old gas caked in the bottom it wasn't as bad as i thought it would be. Anyways, might as well upgrade the FP with a Supra one however if anybody has any ideas to further clean out the fuel tank without damaging it, would be awesome. Also, if anybody has a fuel pump assembly and sending unit that would be greeeeat.
Last edited by Tippo on Sun Mar 21, 2021 12:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
1992 SW20 MR2 Turbo 4th Gen 3SGTE Swap. Aquamarine Pearl. Project "Prissy"
1992 ST185 Celica All-Trac Turbo. Teal Metallic. Project "Lazarus"
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Re: Project Lazarus: Pulled from the Ground; Save from the G

Postby abeans » Mon Dec 14, 2020 2:03 am

Photos dont work.
1990 St185 Celica
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Re: Project Lazarus: Pulled from the Ground; Save from the G

Postby Tippo » Mon Dec 14, 2020 2:47 am

lol oops, how about now?

If anyone happens to have an extra fuel pump hanger and sending unit, keep me posted. Might as well toss in a Supra TT fuel pump.
1992 SW20 MR2 Turbo 4th Gen 3SGTE Swap. Aquamarine Pearl. Project "Prissy"
1992 ST185 Celica All-Trac Turbo. Teal Metallic. Project "Lazarus"
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Re: Project Lazarus: Pulled from the Ground; Save from the G

Postby abeans » Mon Dec 14, 2020 2:58 am

Works now. Chassis doesn't look too rotted out yet...? - I left both mine in parts car, too rotted. You can get new units from overseas.

https://gt4-play.co.uk/shop/
1990 St185 Celica
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Re: Project Lazarus: Pulled from the Ground; Save from the G

Postby simple » Mon Dec 14, 2020 3:30 am

My fuel pump sender was worse than that. Soaked it in rust remover for a week with some pipe cleaning and it is pretty much restored. Stupid rubber bumper below fuel pump is like $30 from toyota. Each gasket is about $10

Oh and I spent $350 to have the fuel tank flushed and restored. Doing it myself would have been anything but environmentaly friendly. Old gas and rust is some nasty stuff.
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Re: Project Lazarus: Pulled from the Ground; Save from the G

Postby Tippo » Mon Dec 14, 2020 3:20 pm

abeans wrote:Works now. Chassis doesn't look too rotted out yet...? - I left both mine in parts car, too rotted. You can get new units from overseas.

https://gt4-play.co.uk/shop/


Tecker told me the same thing, I have the filler neck, hanger and vent tube in my cart... but am waiting to see what soaking does. The snow isn't going to let up for a few months now, so I have some time!


simple wrote:My fuel pump sender was worse than that. Soaked it in rust remover for a week with some pipe cleaning and it is pretty much restored. Stupid rubber bumper below fuel pump is like $30 from toyota. Each gasket is about $10

Oh and I spent $350 to have the fuel tank flushed and restored. Doing it myself would have been anything but environmentally friendly. Old gas and rust is some nasty stuff.


Good to know, I do have everything soaking now as well. As for the tank, that's quite expensive but it makes sense. The outside of my tank is in surprisingly good condition. The inside has A LOT of residue but very little rust. Thankfully it had some really old gas in it that hadn't completely turned. I cleaned some of it out but I plan on using acetone. Any objections to that?
1992 SW20 MR2 Turbo 4th Gen 3SGTE Swap. Aquamarine Pearl. Project "Prissy"
1992 ST185 Celica All-Trac Turbo. Teal Metallic. Project "Lazarus"
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