RORERI: Acquiring and Preserving a JDM 1992 ST185H-BLMVZ

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Re: RORERI: Acquiring and Preserving a 1992 ST185H-BLMVZ

Postby underscore » Mon Oct 04, 2021 5:20 am

Roreri wrote:Underscore, it may get to the point where I need some advice on how to convert my rears to take inserts. Parts are not getting easier to find...


It's pretty painless, just keep an eye out for a spare set of fronts off any 5th gen. Other Toyotas with front inserts like a 4th gen, Corolla or MR2 *should* work but you'd want to double check the diameter. Once upon a time you could buy tubes with the threaded bit to do this, but I have no clue if they're still out there. Get this style of tube cutter, again double check the size to make sure it's big enough. Some people have used saws and grinders, but I like these because they cut perfectly square: https://www.homedepot.ca/product/husky- ... 1000828574

Disassemble the front struts, and make sure the rears are either blown or drained of fluid by drilling a small hole in it (it can be pressurized, so you want to be sure you're in control of where it's aimed when it comes out). Do a bit of measuring, then use the cutter to chop the top off the old rears and the donor fronts. I erred on the side of slightly too long, thinking I could always shim it up with washers, but it was spot on. Have someone skilled with a welder attach the top of the front strut to the bottom of the rear strut and you're away.

I used a second set of new KYB front inserts, for the rear. Going from memory here but I believe that I had to drill out the hole in the top mount because the original rears have a slightly different style. Hard to explain but you'll see what I mean if you go to put a rear top mount onto a front damper shaft. I've seen other people using inserts from MR2s and Subarus. Apparently some that are made for Subarus have a stud on the bottom to hold it in, so you can skip having to weld the tops on (just drill a hole and pop the nut on). That's my backup, backup plan if someday in the future even the front dampers become discontinued.
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★ 1991 GTFour RC ~ "Rebel Scum" ★
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Re: RORERI: Acquiring and Preserving a 1992 ST185H-BLMVZ

Postby Roreri » Fri Oct 08, 2021 12:38 am

Thank you underscore. I think I can make sense of that. I'll file it away for use when and if it becomes required.

The Lorelei passed through 2000km since delivery today. Been daily driving it for a couple of weeks, now. It's pretty solid, but I'm noticing slight weakness in the mornings, like it's hesitating. Perhaps before it's warmed up completely. Nothing major, but symptomatic of something. I've been feeding it 93 octane. Did a search and there's a couple of things it could be. It's a minor concern for now.

Here's a couple of comparison shots from cars I've parked next to over the past couple of weeks. It's interesting how this year of the Accord coupe and the fifth gen Celica are the same general shape of car.

Celica and Accord.JPG


I was driving along and this Civic looked enough like a seventh gen Celica that I mistook it for one at a glance.

Celica and Civic Type R.JPG


I love the candy red on this Mustang, but it sure looks like it's bloated and corn fed compared to the Celica.

Celica and Red Mustang.JPG
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Re: RORERI: Acquiring and Preserving a 1992 ST185H-BLMVZ

Postby Roreri » Mon Oct 11, 2021 10:45 pm

Things have been pretty pleasant with the Lorelei lately. I took her out to try and find some Ospho, so I can brush it on the under body after wire brushing some of the surface rust. Same old minor hesitation until reaching full operating temperature, but after that, solid performance. No dice on the Ospho--this stuff is hard to find I'm finding out. People list it--WalMart, Ace Hardware--but then it isn't there. I'll have to just order some to be delivered.

I decided rather than come home direct, I'd make a short tour today on the George Washington Memorial Parkway. Right off the bat, what do I see but an old third gen (1987-1991) Prelude on 17-inch wheels. He pulled off too quickly for me to snap a photo or give a wave, but then up behind me came a 7th Gen Celica.

Seventh Gen Celica 11 Oct 2021.JPG


Not an AllTrac, but given that even the youngest Celicas are fifteen years old, I have to give a tip of the hat to these now aging cousins and their pilots. We were going the same direction so we cruised alongside one another for a good fifteen minutes, which was good fun. We were at a stop light, and what should come around the corner but another seventh gen--they're everywhere!

Got home after a 46km cruise and garaged it. A couple of hours later decided to back it out of the garage to get in the sunlight and continue to get after an annoying lingering spot of adhesive where the turbo gauge conduit used to be stuck to the front of the dash on the passenger side. I noticed a nickel sized spot of fluid where the front right of the Lorelei had been parked. I got underneath and snapped this shot:

Coolant Leak 11 Oct 2021.JPG


Looks like a minor coolant leak at the drain cock. There's still plenty of coolant left in the radiator. It might be the drain cock valve needs a little tightening down? Might be that it gives a little under pressure. The coolant spattered onto the alternator cooling intake tells me it's happening while in motion--the wind is blowing droplets of coolant onto it. I loosened the valve, expecting coolant to pour out, but nothing. I tightened it back down. Could be the o-ring. Something to keep an eye on.
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Re: RORERI: Acquiring and Preserving a 1992 ST185H-BLMVZ

Postby Roreri » Tue Oct 12, 2021 6:56 pm

Visit to Brother's Garage

Took a drive to visit a local shop a co-worker of mine recommended, as it's a performance-oriented shop that understands JDM platforms and enthusiast needs. When I rolled up there was a rhd Mazda RX-7 sitting out front, so I knew I was in the right place. I got to chatting with one of the owners, and I proposed a simple project to start: The installation of an AutoMeter dual temperature gauge to provide accurate oil and coolant temperatures, and an AEM Air-Fuel Ratio gauge atop an AutoExtrude gauge mount I got a couple of weeks ago, that sits atop the steering column like this:

Proposed Gauges.JPG


It's a little more on the nose than I'd like, but there's limited cockpit space in the Celica. This--while right in front of me and impinging on the gauge cluster a bit--at least doesn't clutter up the dashboard or screw with sight lines on the A-pillar.

The guy there told me that all I need to see this done is to get a oil filter sandwich plate adapter, set up an appointment, and it would be a couple of hour job.

In the end, I'm ambivalent. I mean, shit. I'm not autocrossing or tracking this car. It's just a touring car.

Errata and Stuff I Already Knew

In the course of him poking around looking at The Lorelei I did get some confirmation of what I'd already figured out:

1. The Blitz Twin boost controller I have is fine, if now ancient and rock simple equipment.
2. The Apexi Super Air Flow Converter is deprecated, oldthink equipment that never really worked and which caused problems--best to just let it sit there unused.

Boost Controller and SAFC Small.JPG


3. The AFMs (MAFs) can be hard to find. Best to maybe have one on hand. But, then, by that time, maybe best to consider an engine swap...see below...

Musings on 4th Gen Engine Swap

That aforementioned co-worker of mine who has a Civic GT-R and is jazzed AF to find out he has a fellow car guy at work had also pointed me toward TCS Motorsports. He suggested I ask about engine swaps--the new hotness these days for MR2s is to throw a naturally aspirated 2GR-FE Sienna minivan V6 into it. While a fully modern, naturally aspirated Toyota plant that gives 300hp would be cool and all, that won't work for us. I mean, shit, the extra 45 lbs alone--never mind the space and wiring harness and transmission mating questions. Even with the 3S-GTE, the GT-Four is already nose heavy at 63:37, even without my fat ass sitting forward of centerline. What we have is the 4th Gen 3S-GTE.

TCS Motorsports recommended I not spend a lot of money on the 2Gen 3S-GTE currently in The Lorelei and quoted me $6999 for a Gen4 3S-GTE swap, which they claim will make 315 catless ( :| ) hp at 17psi. The cost includes:

Gen4 3SGTE engine/wiring/ECU
Wiring harness conversion with functional OBDII port
TCS 3" Downpipe
TCS 3" Air intake kit
TCS Gen4/5 fuel line kit
Powder coated valve cover (color of your choice)
New valve cover gaskets
New PCV Valve
New PCV grommet
New Exedy OEM Spec Clutch Kit
New throw out bearing
Resurfaced Flywheel
Conventional Oil change components (oil/filter)
Redline Transmission fluid
Coolant flush and Coolant
Engine bay cleaning and crossmember cleaning

Additional options include:

-$100 manual boost controller installed
-$540 Turbosmart Eboost Electronic Boost Controller Installed
-$225 Walbro fuel pump installed (mandatory on cars with NA fuel pump)
-$140 Powder coat Intake manifold
-$335 Fidanza Aluminum Lightweight Flywheel kit
-$575 Seal Package (includes timing belt, water pump, cam seals, oil pump o ring, front and rear main seals, thermostat and gasket, CV axle seals)
-$1,500 Custom Front mounted intercooler installed with custom brackets and custom intercooler piping w/ clamps and couplers (otherwise we will retain the factory Gen4 top mounted intercooler)

Given that the clutch replacement alone is like 15 shop hours--by the book--that doesn't sound all that bad. But the engine availability is a big variable these days.

In the end this fell into the category of "Nice to Know." I decided that I'll just extract the remaining miles from The Lorelei's existing low-mileage plant and then consider it.

The dripping from the radiator drain cock didn't appear today. Dry as a bone underneath The Lorelei.

I got a Chemical Guys foam cannon. The Lorelei has some paint damage, that's for sure, but I might as well stop making it worse.

Chemical Guys Foam Gun.JPG
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Re: RORERI: Acquiring and Preserving a 1992 ST185H-BLMVZ

Postby MARLON1211 » Thu Oct 14, 2021 1:50 pm

Roreri wrote:Thanks! Hey, another NoVA guy!

That's a lot of travails you've been through. Respect. The first shop I had it in, I took the Big Green Books down and said "Here, these might help." When it was done, the tech was very appreciative.

But yes, absolutely. People get excited. The dealership service writers, assistant service manager, and techs were visibly intrigued by it, and it was getting a lot of attention from people who had brought in their cars, from all accounts. You hope that goodwill and the rarity of the vehicle will carry over into how it gets treated, you know?

I am continuing with my plans. With this next project, the visual transformation of Roreri into a Carlos Sainz tribute will be complete. A preview:

Momo Ghibli 4 NOS.JPG


New Old Stock Box.JPG


Made in 5-92.JPG


I couldn't quite bring myself to pay the $882 that an actual Carlos Sainz MOMO Toyota Olympic III went for just a couple of days ago. This will have to do, and I'm not trying to fool anybody, most of all myself.



Hey Bud Is the MOMOM center steering cover pop off?
SO BE IT
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Re: RORERI: Acquiring and Preserving a JDM 1992 ST185H-BLMVZ

Postby Roreri » Thu Oct 14, 2021 6:59 pm

It is of a sort that ordinarily sits above the surface and could pop out, yes. The previous owner had taken it to a belt sander and ground it down so that it sits within the center hole, surface flush with the center boss.

I have another, which came with it, and which has not been ground down, which I could place in the center. I just haven't done that yet.

MOMO Horn Button.JPG
Last edited by Roreri on Sat Oct 16, 2021 3:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: RORERI: Acquiring and Preserving a JDM 1992 ST185H-BLMVZ

Postby Roreri » Sat Oct 16, 2021 3:14 pm

I took the GT-Four to a local Cars and Coffee today. Got a lot of attention, which I guess I shouldn't have been too surprised at, given the rarity. Two people mentioned the Celicas they drove, loved, and wished they still had. One asked rhetorically why Toyota doesn't make cars like the 90s-era Celicas anymore, and specifically lamented the fact that the 86 is a Subaru and the Supra is a BMW--the Supra even feeling and smelling like a BMW rather than a Toyota.

Roreri at Cars and Coffee 16OCT2021.JPG


I guess I shouldn't have been surprised that the Lorelei won the Sweetest Import--but it was a bit of a surprise! It was a smaller field compared to the American Muscle category, but it was still a really nice tip of the hat, especially considering there were a couple of very nicely set up Skylines, a race track configured Mitsubishi, and a beautiful Super Red Twin Turbo Supra with a very nicely decked out engine looking like it was able to make some serious power.

I got a $100 gift certificate and I also won a raffle prize of some detailing stuff worth maybe $20. So, wash off your AllTracs and start showing them! People are jazzed to see these old road warriors.

The sexy factor might have had something to do with it, too. This was the odometer reading:

69069.JPG


Coincidence? I THINK NOT! LOL

Because The Lorelei brought me some honor today, I decided to get after an unglamorous chore that I've been putting off for some time. I put the back end up on ramps, got under it with some wire brushes and steel wool, and knocked off the surface rust. Then I wiped it all down with a rag soaked in PB Blaster:

Roreri Rear Under Body 16OCT2021.JPG


Maybe not a long term solution, but something for now. I'll get after that exhaust with some paint as soon as I can, too. If I'm going to keep this on the road for the indefinite future, I have to stay on top of all of this. Moving to Colorado will be a big help, but then the rubber will be the vulnerable point.
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Re: RORERI: Acquiring and Preserving a 1992 ST185H-BLMVZ

Postby underscore » Sun Oct 17, 2021 6:14 am

The cost for that swap doesn't sound too bad considering the cost of things these days, but with a little scope creep I wouldn't be surprised if you're at double that quote by the time it's out the door. It sounds like you're getting the kinks worked out nicely and with the level of care you're giving it I imagine you can still get a lot of use out of the existing setup.

Roreri wrote:The guy there told me that all I need to see this done is to get a oil filter sandwich plate adapter, set up an appointment, and it would be a couple of hour job.


It will be if the sandwich plate is thin enough to still let the oil filter clear so watch out for that. The one I tried to have installed was too thick, long story short, big headache.
★ 1991 GTFour RC ~ "Rebel Scum" ★
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Re: RORERI: Acquiring and Preserving a JDM 1992 ST185H-BLMVZ

Postby Roreri » Sun Oct 17, 2021 9:16 pm

Yeah I thought so too, about the cost of the engine swap. $7000 plus $1115 plus 6% sales tax and it's right around $8600. And I'm guessing you're right about scope creep--they'll get in there and find something I'm sure--"We're not saying you have to do this but if you don't then..." It's just the nature of the beast. I don't want to go at it until and unless I have to.

As for the current motor, things are shaping up pretty nice. I still get some hesitation until reaching full operating temperature, but it works nice after reminding me that it's an old man.

Thank you for the heads up on the sandwich plate. I wondered about that, even going in, but you've reminded me. The sandwich plate I got is the Blox Racing BXGA-00105. Just went out and checked. It's 1.25" thick, which will NOT fit. There's about an inch clearance between the oil filter and the alternator heat shielding.

One Inch Clearance.JPG


I suppose my options are to find a much thinner plate (good luck!) or go with an oil filter relocation kit (a quick search indicated that this is possible, but I need to choose one with stainless steel hoses to handle the very high heat from the downpipe--which one?) or look at some other way to read oil temperatures.
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Re: RORERI: Acquiring and Preserving a JDM 1992 ST185H-BLMVZ

Postby underscore » Mon Oct 18, 2021 3:21 am

The long story with mine was I opted to go to a remote filter, except the 90* elbows for the lines for that didn't clear either. The shop decided, without telling me, that the fix for that was to delete the stock oil cooler and install a regular style one in front of the rad. To be fair it does technically work, but I wanted to keep the stock cooler and would've either skipped the sensors or found shorter elbows. I'm sure they must exist out there somewhere.
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Re: RORERI: Acquiring and Preserving a JDM 1992 ST185H-BLMVZ

Postby alltracman78 » Mon Oct 18, 2021 5:01 pm

Other places to access the oil. The SW20 pan has a level sensor, you might be able to make something work with that access point.
Or the oil pressure port in the head.

Just keep in mind oil temp isn't going to be the same everywhere, just like coolant.

I'd prefer to go the gen III route for relocating the oil filter. More complicated but cleaner and no hoses to leak.
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Re: RORERI: Acquiring and Preserving a JDM 1992 ST185H-BLMVZ

Postby Roreri » Mon Oct 18, 2021 8:29 pm

Hahahagagahah If you're proposing a Gen3 swap then “That’s A way” as we say in the Army! Q: “How much did it cost to install that oil temp gauge?” A: “About $9,000.”

:shock:

I definitely agree that making the layout even more complicated is kinda asking for it.

Optimally, I’d like to know max temps—because that’s what matters—which suggests using the oil pressure port in the head, but then I’m depriving some system of that data.

I definitely don’t want to go drilling holes into the block or some such. Maybe I could see installing an adapter on the oil pan close to where it dumps from the block—that could be close to max temp.

I guess I ought to go delving into the How To forum and see what has been said on the subject and if nothing exists, ask.
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Re: RORERI: Acquiring and Preserving a JDM 1992 ST185H-BLMVZ

Postby underscore » Tue Oct 19, 2021 5:13 pm

You can always use one of these splitters to get the pressure without disabling the factory pressure switch

https://racerxfabrication.com/mr2-celic ... or-adapter

It's be nice if someone could make a combo oil pressure/temperature sender, so you only need to plumb in a single device.
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Re: RORERI: Acquiring and Preserving a JDM 1992 ST185H-BLMVZ

Postby Roreri » Tue Oct 19, 2021 5:25 pm

That’s very useful—thanks for the tip! I could use that for oil temperature instead of oil pressure. Much less intrusive. Now I just need to figure a good solution for coolant temp.

And agreed on the dual temp/pressure gauge. That’d be nice! I guess I made my choice on not doing oil pressure and going with the dual coolant/oil temp gauge. Probably a rookie move as oil pressure is the crucial indicator, if it goes then you want to take immediate action and all…

A couple of comparison shots...

Celica and Classic Mustang.JPG


I'll give it to this classic Mustang. That's a nice sports coupe (pony car).

Celica and Challenger RT.JPG


No doubt which one is the faster--the Challenger RT has pretty amazing launch. But it just feels big in comparison...
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Re: RORERI: Acquiring and Preserving a JDM 1992 ST185H-BLMVZ

Postby grip-addict » Thu Oct 21, 2021 3:28 am

You can indeed tee the oil pressure switch in the head, but you can also just yank it out without feeling bad. It's just an idiot light and I seem to remember some hearsay here in the forum that it only triggers when pressure is really really low.
Now If you wanted to spend some cash and get data, you could install an ems and then set up engine protection functions to operate based in x psi observed... :)
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