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Mechanical Sympathy

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Mechanical Sympathy last won the day on March 5 2019

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  1. I did a half-arsed search on eBay and found some half decent tail lights for $40 each. Gave them a wash, spent half a day masking them up and gave them a quick spray with gloss black reconditioning paint. They came up ok! Next best thing to Levin lights anyway.. old new !
  2. It was a long journey! My thread on the Aus-deck forum about my current project is almost as long. I'm joking - I don't think there is a deck building forum.
  3. Yeah I see you can get ~$200 kits of the special primer and chrome, to be applied with an airbrush. Might have to give it a try. They're getting quite dull. And the lenses too.
  4. It's been mostly shed-bound over the summer. Not sure how I ever survived without airconditioning when I was younger! But lately the weather has been just perfect for weekend drives, so I've had it out and washed off the dusty cat prints. People love to chat about old Corollas, so driving it is always a social time. A few little things on the to-do list, but it's a still a good drive. Needs new axle bearings and an oil change. And these tyres are getting a bit hard..
  5. Glad to see this little sedan is finally getting the love. It's a great shell, that came so close to being scrap.
  6. I do tend to agree - I wonder if they'll look dated in several years. But in practice it keeps your eyes up high when fiddling with the audio. I really should get more savvy with the voice commands!
  7. Oh I certainly have niggles with it. Carplay would be better! The satnav with live traffic updates is neat. But the fuel economy tab is a bit hard to decipher. I might have to tweak the settings there. The main issue for me is the lack of integrated music streaming, since Pandora is no longer available and DAB Double J only works in town. So I just bluetooth Spotify or the Triple J app instead. It'd be better on the screen!
  8. It's one of those contemporary, proprietary iPad-looking devices that sits on top of the dash - which I don't mind! It's a grouse device - but I doubt there will be an aftermarket unit available. The North American market struck a Car Play deal with Apple however, which makes Toyota Australia's insistence that the head units in the two markets are different seem disingenuous! I wonder if a wrecked USDM unit would fit? Though I don't want to pull stuff apart yet haha
  9. An interesting issue has arisen. Toyota Australia is suffering through some kind of hack, and so all their servers/email etc. is down. This has been going on for a couple of weeks now. The splash page on the phone app says they "don't believe my data has been compromised" but they're not sure. As a consequence I can no longer access the Toyota Link apps in the car - such as weather, fuel finder. This intrigues me. Akio Toyoda declared that the new Corolla and Crown would be the start of a new wave of connected vehicles produced by Toyota. Toyoda's desire for Toyota to collect and presumably monetise the data my car collects, is the reason why Toyota Australia will not allow Apple Carplay to run on the head unit citing "security issues. Given that Toyota has now lost control of their servers and presumably lost control of *my* data (it's not theirs!), I'm even more annoyed that I can't instead substitute these now crippled apps for Apple Carplay. I want Spotify in-car damnit! I sent off a strongly worded email and did at least receive an apologetic reply. But zero promises. Love this car though. As the engine frees up it's getting punchier and more economical. The iMT can be a little annoying how it flares the revs taking off in first, but omg I love the rev matching downshifts.
  10. Haha this is my blog! Yeah 6 in a H with reverse at the top left and the rev matching is off by default. You have to turn it on each time. I kinda wish it was the other way around because I reckon I'll wear the marking off the button eventually, but it's not configurable. 13:1, direct and port injected, laser etched pistons, 40% thermal efficiency means it uses less fuel than the Echo with more than double the power. I'm really glad to get on while the engine tech is still new. Keeping a car for 10-15 years means I don't want to buy a driveline that's proven tech but about to be superseded otherwise the tech will be 20-30 years old by the time I'm ready to move on.
  11. Niggles, or things I wish were different; Toyota Australia's decision to homologate cars with hybrid and CVT drivetrains over manual transmissions sucks. I would've liked to buy a manual SX or ZR, but it was put to me that I'm in the 1% who do. Oh well, at least the cheapest Corolla is the fastest amiright? But buying the cheapest model (though speccing it up with Satnav/privacy) means no smart key, and there is no illumination on the key hole at night. Meaning I'll fumble with that until I get used to it. And I should've been able to specify the 18" wheels. And the boot is a little small. But that's it!
  12. It is very.. blue. It feels fabulous to drive. Obviously I'm coming off a low base with the KE55 and the Echo, though I've driven enough newer cars to know that an Echo feels better to drive than say, a Ford Ranger. Nontheless corners and bumps that I know would unsettle both those cars are soaked up in silence. Fanging it around corners and roundabouts feels planted and secure at speeds that would have the Echo's tyres howling. The engine is a ripper. It's torquey right from down low - not turbo torquey - but is punchy and really happy to be revved out, which would please any 4AGE/2TG aficionados. A product of the seemingly incompatible long stroke matched with the outrageous 13:1 compression ratio and electronically variable valve timing sees it swing enthusiastically toward the 6800rpm limit with a sporty sounding growl toward the top end iMT 6 speed is a delight. It's light and snickety - you can change with your fingertips while resting your elbow on the centre console. I giggled out loud the first time I downshifted from 4th to 2nd and the revs automatically blipped to ~5000rpm, with an immediacy to the acceleration as I floored it and an accompanying roar . It will be fun on twisty bits. The tech is as excellent as it is extensive. I took a friend for a drive who had just bought a late model 2nd hand C-class Merc and she remarked how it had a lot of the features her car has, and probably others it doesn't. The radar cruise control works even while you change gears and (I believe) can be set to match the speed sign recognition, which already paid for itself by telling me off while I trundled through a patrolled school zone yesterday. The attract sequence on the dash when you fire it up, with swinging needles and colourful lights makes me feel warm and fuzzy. Same with the folding mirrors. Live traffic updates, Digital radio. Heck you can even check out the BOM rain radar on the screen. At night the front and rear LED lights are gorgeous. IMO it's a great time to buy a new car now, with all the tech that's trickled down to even $15k base model cars. I'm delighted with this one.
  13. Oh I was most certainly sweating on it! At least the template and instructions made it idiot proof. I watched a Youtube of a 'Merican fitting one without either template or instructions - just doing it by eye. Figured we couldn't do any worse haha
  14. I think the $55 Chine'e chrome came our just fine. And it may confuse trainspotters who might otherwise realise that the silver bits are reserved for the $9000 more expensive model. It strikes me that some of the exterior differentiators between grades are either no/low cost, or even that I prefer some of the base grade features. I much prefer the Ascent rear bumper over the faux chrome exhaust tips on the ZR for example.
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