Operation: DARKSPYRO ST204->AWD

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Operation: DARKSPYRO ST204->AWD

Postby Malek » Sun Sep 22, 2013 2:17 am

Hey there all you AWD guys! I figured I'd post up, show you guys a little something I've been workin on.

I bought a 97 Celica GT years ago and loved the thing. Though, I was getting tired of how relatively slow it was. So, I sold it and bought an 04 STi. Great fun, loads of power, convinced me AWD was the way to go. Went through a full swapped RS and a few other cars/trucks and finally came back to a Celica, DarkSpyro.

I bought this car back in Jan 2013 to do a 3rd gen 3SGTE swap I've always wanted to do for my first Celica. I completed the swap in about a weeks time but still had that AWD thought from the subies I've had. So I decided I needed to go all out. AWD conversion it was.

Picture was taken pre-AWD swap

-3rd gen 3SGTE
-E154F Trans and Rear End from ST205
-Clutchmasters FX350
-PC Berk Downpipe
-GT4 Brakes
-17Gal RCi Fuel Cell
-Optima Red Top

-GT4 Hood
-GT4 Fenders
-GT4 Bumper
-OZ Crono HT 17x8

-3 Gauge A Pillar Pod
-MTX-L Wideband A/F Gauge
-Autometer Phantom Boost Gauge
-Autometer Phantom Oil Pressure Gauge

For the conversion, I wanted to do something with a little more design than just welding in a big box for the front mounts of the subframe spanning the frame rails. And as an engineer, I made use of my mechanics of materials and statics classes and came up with something a little sexier. Photos below are during process.

Driveshaft mounts

Right side

Middle hoop (Plate was welded to the body after picture was taken) Don't mind the awful rusted subframe :roll:

Left side

And spare wheel well delete. I originally was going to put the fuel cell in my trunk and secure it to the floor. However, I'm thinking of dropping it down a few inches and building a cage under it to support the weight. I don't really want it inside the cab..

The rear mounts are just boxes and are being finished up on Monday.

This has been about an 8 month process. A lot of sitting though.
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Re: Operation: DARKSPYRO ST204->AWD

Postby underscore » Sun Sep 22, 2013 2:46 am

Nice work! 8 months seems long but I'd say that's rather fast for an AWD conversion. Two comments/questions:

- I'm with you on the fuel cell outside of the cabin bit, I've never liked that idea and a few posts on here have me convinced that if you can do it outside of the cabin you should.
- Why did you stick with the stock multi-piece driveshaft and go through the trouble of welding in the mounts instead of going with a one piece driftshaft?
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Re: Operation: DARKSPYRO ST204->AWD

Postby Malek » Sun Sep 22, 2013 3:06 am

Thank you! Definitely one of the cooler projects I've done!

As for the driveshaft, I thought about a 1 piece. There are a few great drive shaft shops here in Denver that I've talked to and we discussed harmonics. So, if the transmission output and rear diff input are not exactly in line, there may be vibrations are certain speeds. I did not want to deal with having to set that up perfectly and I'd be afraid that the rear diff would sit too low.

The way it is set up allows the rear diff to be tucked in tight to the body but still have parallelism to the transmission output. This *should* cancel out any vibrations from the driveshaft. That half shaft has a very slight degree rise going towards the rear.
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Re: Operation: DARKSPYRO ST204->AWD

Postby GT4times2 » Tue Sep 24, 2013 12:33 am

Hey Malek,

Glad you joined us on Alltrac.net. I'm loving the project. Plenty of inspiration for my project(s). Keep me posted on those parts and hopefully the fabricator will decide to make the kit. If not, keep me posted on the Floor pan. :)
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Re: Operation: DARKSPYRO ST204->AWD

Postby Malek » Tue Sep 24, 2013 9:22 pm

Hey Frantz! Thanks!

As far as the kit, the fabricator will definitely produce it. We talked about having the front part of rear subframe mounts sent as pieces. The tubes, mounts and plates all separate but ready to weld together. The frame rail mounts will be produced as they are and will be ready to weld to the frame rail. He does not want to try and replicate the driveshaft mounts due to minor body differences. Should be easy enough to make though.

Here's some pics!

Here are the box mounts for the rear. Welded to the frame rails.

And the start to my fuel cell. Plans for this is to drop it about 4 inches into the body, support it from underneath (completely full, it'll weight about 100 pounds) and weld a cover over it so that is not open to the cabin.
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Re: Operation: DARKSPYRO ST204->AWD

Postby Landon » Tue Sep 24, 2013 10:29 pm

This isn't done ever day, definitely subscribed. Nice work man. Looking really good.
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Re: Operation: DARKSPYRO ST204->AWD

Postby warracer » Tue Sep 24, 2013 11:27 pm

wow this conversion takes massive balls, props to you sir! :D
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Re: Operation: DARKSPYRO ST204->AWD

Postby 88st165 » Tue Sep 24, 2013 11:35 pm

Great work so far!
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Re: Operation: DARKSPYRO ST204->AWD

Postby sMARTINside » Tue Sep 24, 2013 11:41 pm

Nice! It's easier to find a clean ST204 than a LHD ST205... Some nice fabrications going on. Keep it up!
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Re: Operation: DARKSPYRO ST204->AWD

Postby killemalltrac » Thu Sep 26, 2013 3:10 pm

Very nice conversion! Let me know if you need any RHD conversion parts, as I have them all. lol
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Re: Operation: DARKSPYRO ST204->AWD

Postby Malek » Thu Sep 26, 2013 3:23 pm

Thanks everyone! It sure is a hell of a process haha definitely want to keep it LHD ^^ I'm in CO..I don't want to attract too much attention haha

Here's a few updates:
-Built and welded in fuel cell supports
-Ran fuel lines
-Extended wires for the fuel pump
-Drained and refilled rear diff fluid
-Filled transmission


I noticed the GT4 hand brake cables are quite a bit too long. Looks like I'll need to swap those out if I want a hand brake haha

Next up is building a cover for the fuel cell!
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Re: Operation: DARKSPYRO ST204->AWD

Postby Overtriped » Thu Sep 26, 2013 4:46 pm

Cool, I've thought about converting my 94 ST to AWD. I'm glad to see someone is doing it! :) good luck.
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Re: Operation: DARKSPYRO ST204->AWD

Postby New Guy » Thu Sep 26, 2013 9:58 pm

As a fabricator, I always knew this swap was not as psychotically impossible as so many would have you believe. However, I neither own a Gen 6 or have the money to go buy one. I'm glad someone else with engineering/fabrication background has decided to do this, and I know at least one person who will buy a conversion kit if they really do go on sale.

Very nice work!
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Re: Operation: DARKSPYRO ST204->AWD

Postby CSAlltrac » Sun Sep 29, 2013 12:59 am

This is an awesome build. The work looks very solid and well planned out. I've only seen one other conversion in person and their method was to take a rear body pan from an actual AWD car and fit it to a front drive chassis. It was very sketchy. Your method is by far the better choice, solid materials to the existing solid mounting points. I look forward to your future posts, keep it up.
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Re: Operation: DARKSPYRO ST204->AWD

Postby phattyduck » Tue Oct 01, 2013 11:28 pm

Its very interesting that the 6GC seems to have exhaust clearance next to the center tunnel even on the FWD version. Maybe Toyota finally wised-up and decided to consolidate parts a bit?

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