Hey all! Just picked up a 91 ST185

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Hey all! Just picked up a 91 ST185

Postby Fhawman » Thu Dec 05, 2019 6:14 am

Hey, new to the forum. Picked up a white, totally stock, 91 ST185 that my Mother in law bought new. She drove it to work and back for 20 yrs, then sparsely for 5, and then it sat untouched for 4. Perfect body, no dents, good interior (she had the leather redone not too long before she parked it). Coming up on 200K though, hopefully I can get some life out of the current motor before I have to swap it.

Love toyotas, the wife has had a few celicas over the years and I have a 72 FJ40 and an 07 FJ Cruiser that I have put 250K miles on since new. This will be my first time trying to rejuvenate a turbo'd motor, so I've got a lot to learn....

Sooo, considering its bone stock, once I get it running again and mechanically sound what would be the first things you would recommend I look into for upgrades that don't take it too far from stock but give it some extra performance (biggest bang for the buck)?

It ran fine when parked, I'm going to get a new battery, change the oil, drain the old gas, pull the plugs, oil fog the cylinders, crank a bit by hand and then go for a start....

Ill post again once I get it running.
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91 ST185
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Re: Hey all! Just picked up a 91 ST185

Postby 93celicaconv » Thu Dec 05, 2019 10:40 am

My suggestion to you, given it survived 28 years already as bone stock, keep it that way and don't mod it, at least not immediately. I think once you get the car where you want it, you will be amazed how good bone stock is. Plus it will have greater value in the future if it stays bone stock. Not all mods folks do to these cars bring the kind of benefit/reward they thought they would get. Our family has 2 bone stock (one completely restored) ST185's - they are great just that way.
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Re: Hey all! Just picked up a 91 ST185

Postby RedCelicaTRD » Fri Dec 06, 2019 3:38 am

What part of Las Vegas are you in?
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Re: Hey all! Just picked up a 91 ST185

Postby underscore » Fri Dec 06, 2019 3:41 am

93celicaconv wrote:My suggestion to you, given it survived 28 years already as bone stock, keep it that way and don't mod it, at least not immediately. I think once you get the car where you want it, you will be amazed how good bone stock is. Plus it will have greater value in the future if it stays bone stock. Not all mods folks do to these cars bring the kind of benefit/reward they thought they would get. Our family has 2 bone stock (one completely restored) ST185's - they are great just that way.


Definitely agreed. Myself and countless friends have spent a ton of time and money doing all sorts of mods and 99% of the "performance" ones just make the car worse with little to no noticeable performance increase. Once the basic mechanicals are sorted I'd dig into the more subtle wear items like worn out struts with new stock-spec ones.
★ 1991 GTFour RC ~ "Rebel Scum" ★
Build thread http://www.alltrac.net/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?f=44&t=44216
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Re: Hey all! Just picked up a 91 ST185

Postby Fhawman » Fri Dec 06, 2019 5:35 am

93celicaconv wrote:My suggestion to you, given it survived 28 years already as bone stock, keep it that way and don't mod it, at least not immediately. I think once you get the car where you want it, you will be amazed how good bone stock is. Plus it will have greater value in the future if it stays bone stock. Not all mods folks do to these cars bring the kind of benefit/reward they thought they would get. Our family has 2 bone stock (one completely restored) ST185's - they are great just that way.


I tend to agree, I prefer stock for the most part. I will probably just use the funds to do as much restoration as I can for now. Hoping its still fairly sound and setting for that long didn't do any major damage. Mostly concerned about cylinder corrosion and possible pack rat wiring damage as it is common where it was located in NM.

Paint can be brought back I think, chalky but nothing some elbow grease wont fix. Seats in great condition, console has a crack and steering wheel needs redone. Lots of little cosmetic things, but since the body is dent and rust free its a good start...

Thanks for the reply...
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Re: Hey all! Just picked up a 91 ST185

Postby Fhawman » Fri Dec 06, 2019 5:36 am

RedCelicaTRD wrote:What part of Las Vegas are you in?


NW part of town. I get up in your area on occasion.....
Las Vegas, NV
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Re: Hey all! Just picked up a 91 ST185

Postby RedCelicaTRD » Fri Dec 06, 2019 8:47 pm

I usually am in Las Vegas every other month. I used to live in Henderson (Eastern and Pebble) and my wife and I come down to shop or simply get out of town.

Let me know if there’s any parts you might need. I’m trying to reduce my inventory of random stuff in my garage.
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Re: Hey all! Just picked up a 91 ST185

Postby Fhawman » Fri Dec 06, 2019 8:57 pm

RedCelicaTRD wrote:I usually am in Las Vegas every other month. I used to live in Henderson (Eastern and Pebble) and my wife and I come down to shop or simply get out of town.

Let me know if there’s any parts you might need. I’m trying to reduce my inventory of random stuff in my garage.


Awesome, yeah we will have to get together sometime.

So far the only things missing are a few interior things like the passenger tweeter cover and a few light covers. I discovered today when I took off some of the towels he had over the seats that the tops of the rear seats are sun fried, probably what made him put the towels on. Radio doesnt come on, have to check the fuses to determine if its bad or not.... Intercooler had some oil coating on the inside but I'll deal with that later. Just getting started!

Trying to get it running today, no luck so far. Have spark (will run with starter spray) but no fuel. Starting to step through all the things that could cause that.... That's actually why I logged on now :)
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91 ST185
72 FJ40
07 FJ Cruiser
13 MB GL350
00 Lexus ES300
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Re: Hey all! Just picked up a 91 ST185

Postby 93celicaconv » Sat Dec 07, 2019 12:49 am

Fhawman wrote:Awesome, yeah we will have to get together sometime.

So far the only things missing are a few interior things like the passenger tweeter cover and a few light covers. I discovered today when I took off some of the towels he had over the seats that the tops of the rear seats are sun fried, probably what made him put the towels on. Radio doesnt come on, have to check the fuses to determine if its bad or not.... Intercooler had some oil coating on the inside but I'll deal with that later. Just getting started!

Trying to get it running today, no luck so far. Have spark (will run with starter spray) but no fuel. Starting to step through all the things that could cause that.... That's actually why I logged on now :)


For now fuel, does the fuel pump run? You can jumper the FP terminal in the diagnostic junction box to ground to find out if the pump runs. I would start there.
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Re: Hey all! Just picked up a 91 ST185

Postby Fhawman » Sat Dec 07, 2019 5:12 am

93celicaconv wrote:
Fhawman wrote:Awesome, yeah we will have to get together sometime.

So far the only things missing are a few interior things like the passenger tweeter cover and a few light covers. I discovered today when I took off some of the towels he had over the seats that the tops of the rear seats are sun fried, probably what made him put the towels on. Radio doesnt come on, have to check the fuses to determine if its bad or not.... Intercooler had some oil coating on the inside but I'll deal with that later. Just getting started!

Trying to get it running today, no luck so far. Have spark (will run with starter spray) but no fuel. Starting to step through all the things that could cause that.... That's actually why I logged on now :)


For now fuel, does the fuel pump run? You can jumper the FP terminal in the diagnostic junction box to ground to find out if the pump runs. I would start there.


Thanks, I did that and it seems to have a bad fuel pump. Going to put a new one in tomorrow.
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91 ST185
72 FJ40
07 FJ Cruiser
13 MB GL350
00 Lexus ES300
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Re: Hey all! Just picked up a 91 ST185

Postby 93celicaconv » Sat Dec 07, 2019 2:07 pm

Before you buy a new fuel pump, you really should check the wiring at the pump pump connector at the tank, to ensure you have power and a good circuit in the wiring. No need to replace a fuel pump that isn't the source of your problem before ruling out a wiring problem. You said it was stored for awhile, I think. Never know what a mouse can do while it is in storage.
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Re: Hey all! Just picked up a 91 ST185

Postby Fhawman » Sat Dec 07, 2019 2:48 pm

Very true, I’ll drop the tank first. Thanks.
Las Vegas, NV
91 ST185
72 FJ40
07 FJ Cruiser
13 MB GL350
00 Lexus ES300
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Re: Hey all! Just picked up a 91 ST185

Postby 93celicaconv » Sat Dec 07, 2019 5:09 pm

Fhawman wrote:Very true, I’ll drop the tank first. Thanks.

Drop the tank? Why would you do that? The fuel pump electrical connector (as well as the fuel level sending unit) is located under the carpeting/spare tire in the cargo compartment. This is all why I'm trying to save you some time and likely from breaking delicate parts if you don't have to do that.

When you checked the fuel pump to see if it was running, did you also turn the ignition switch to the ON position (not start)? You need to have this switch in the ON position when connecting terminals FP & +B on the check connector under the hood.
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Re: Hey all! Just picked up a 91 ST185

Postby Fhawman » Sat Dec 07, 2019 11:56 pm

93celicaconv wrote:
Fhawman wrote:Very true, I’ll drop the tank first. Thanks.

Drop the tank? Why would you do that? The fuel pump electrical connector (as well as the fuel level sending unit) is located under the carpeting/spare tire in the cargo compartment. This is all why I'm trying to save you some time and likely from breaking delicate parts if you don't have to do that.

When you checked the fuel pump to see if it was running, did you also turn the ignition switch to the ON position (not start)? You need to have this switch in the ON position when connecting terminals FP & +B on the check connector under the hood.


Ahhh, Thanks! I found that access in the trunk earlier but thought it was just the sending unit access.
Tested back there with jumper on and key on, no power.... Just for kicks I tested the +B on the test port and get no power there also... No more time tonight but ill keep working it tomorrow, seems like maybe a fuse but I checked all the ones the manual said to, IGN, EFI, and the FP Relay....

Good thing the wife had me doing honey doos all morning or I would have had the tank out! :)
Las Vegas, NV
91 ST185
72 FJ40
07 FJ Cruiser
13 MB GL350
00 Lexus ES300
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Posts: 22
Joined: Wed Dec 04, 2019 6:30 pm
Location: Las Vegas, NV

Re: Hey all! Just picked up a 91 ST185

Postby Billythebest » Sun Dec 08, 2019 4:37 am

Is it forsale
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