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Mechanical Sympathy

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Everything posted by Mechanical Sympathy

  1. Glad to see this little sedan is finally getting the love. It's a great shell, that came so close to being scrap.
  2. 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!
  3. 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!
  4. 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
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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!
  8. 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.
  9. 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
  10. 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.
  11. With parts loaded into the boot and 11km on the odometer I headed over to a mate's place - because he has a steadier hand than me. Following the comprehensive instructions to mount the spoiler was a breeze, approximately a one-stubbie job. By the time I'd taped each of the dozen hold down points (tape 1st, tape 2nd etc.) the template was taught and flat, then it was just a case of punching each of the five holes with an automatic centre punch and drilling into the Lego plastic hatch with a 9mm bit and a drill bit stop collar for a maximum 10mm depth. I had sourced from China some chrome grill accent pieces for $55. I wasn't sure in the preceding weeks whether I was going to put them on, or not, but they fit and look grouse. I gave Main Roads back my front white/maroon number plate and ordered some white on black plates n the standard number, with a slimline front plate, no diamond.
  12. I paid rego and insurance today - 12 months on the road and clocked up 4000km so far. Which left me thinking I should drive it more often. So I took it for a run to get beer and cat food. It's such a fun little car to drive! Can see where I backed into a rock on a pal's driveway. Bah!
  13. With polite persistence and conviction I was able to convince my Californian friend that there is indeed a template missing from my package, and a replacement is now on the way. Woohoo! Build day. The dealer has told me that once it's assembled a tracking number can be issued.
  14. Well the Blue Meanie is scheduled for production tomorrow, with delivery just over a month later. Happy to report that the spoiler arrived safely in the meantime! However the listing and installation instructions referred to a drilling template that hasn't made the journey. With the tyranny of distance and timezones I haven't quite been able to figure out from the seller whether it was included at his end or even if a template is provided at all - despite having it's own part number PT29A-12195-TL. It would seem that eBay have repackaged the item in the US as part of their "Global Shipping Program" before processing through customs and sending to me, and I suspect that the plastic sheet template was probably considered unnecessary extra packaging and thrown out. But the seller has been very helpful in providing me with the instructions and I think I could probably fashion my own template once I have both the car and spoiler in front of me - next month!
  15. I wonder how this body kit would look with some bronze Rota Grids? Just jokes. This is apparently a 2ZZ RWD converted drfiter.
  16. Well I'm committed to waiting for the blue now, as there's a blue rear spoiler on the way from the US. That's what happens when I combine beer and eBay.
  17. Shame you couldn't make it - hope you've recovered!
  18. I expect you're right about the sanding and buffing the lenses. I think they also need some colour repainted on the inside to bring up the lustre of the Australian lens plastics. I had a go with waving some evaporated acetone over them, after I did it to my Echo headlights. That seemed to reflow the plastic and made a better base for some fine grit and buffing compound, though I haven't gotten that far yet. Indeed I re-read my post and it wasn't clear. I'm more so interested in how to re-chrome the surrounds. I painted them rattle-can chrome, but over a few months it dulled off to grey. I see you can get $200-300 chrome kits that are applied in multiple layers with an airbrush? That might be the way to go..
  19. It's fair to say that I'm coming from a low base with in the Echo Dave, but I was generally impressed. It felt like a nice place to be, even in the Sport, which just seems to lose a couple of silver garnishes on the wheel and dash over the SX, and the push button start. Soft plastics and piano black glossy bits throughout. The big central table seems contemporary (read, I reckon it'll date once tablets go out of vogue. It looks awkward in photos) but hey everyone is doing it. And it seemed well functional with voice recognition for texts/calls/music/directions. And doesn't obstruct the view from the drivers seat. The seats are grouse. SX CVT Ascent Sport manual I'm certainly keen to source a wing and a set of 18s once they come onto the 2nd hand market. (nb USDM yellow indicators - we get clear) part number PT29A1219508 apparently just "glues" onto the standard wing. Toyota Australia really shit me that they don't get onto the desirable accessories. We get useless bonnet stone protectors instead.
  20. Well after 16 years of faithful, faultless motoring in my NCP10 Echo - I got a flat tyre. So I bought a new car! I'd been watching the development and release of the new Corolla and last weekend I put a deposit down on a 'Blue Flame/Eclectic Blue' manual Ascent Sport with the factory option Satnav/privacy glass/Double J radio pack. Evidently nobody buys manual cars anymore, let alone bright blue ones optioned with Double J radio, so at worst it will be on the slow boat from Japan to arrive "before Christmas!" I would love to have bought a 6 speed ZR but the geniuses at Toyota Australia didn't think they'd sell any. It strikes me that Toyota's best cars are often their cheapest anyway. Nonetheless I was fairly impressed with the standard equipment, particularly the rev-matching gearbox, radar cruise control and speed sign reading. And I think Toyota have made a pearler of an engine in the M20A-FKS. The Ascent misses a couple of cool options that the SX gets, such as keyless entry and folding mirrors. But I figured I could add or arrange to get a couple of the other fruits myself, like the fog lights, leather wrapped steering wheel and a couple of silver garnishes. But there's no way I'm buying a CVT, launch gear or not. I've uncovered the part number for the USDM stick-on rear wing, and have hit the dealer up for a set of 18' wheels should someone happen to swap them out for some Rotas. Has anyone else had a drive or a look? The blue probably isn't to everyone's taste, but I've come from 16 years of silver.
  21. I've been getting the old nugget out to Coffee and Cars. It's fun to have a chat with all the people who have had an old Corolla - which is practically everyone. I still seem to struggle keeping the magic green fluid inside! Certainly winter showed the deficiencies in my heater core. The 13" Jovites have been repaired and 3/4 of them are polished. Taking my time. Think I need new rear axle bearings.. They're making themselves known at around a $1.20 on the highway. If anyone has advice on rechroming and buffing the tail-lights and surrounds, I'd love to hear it.
  22. I think I was surprised at just how small some of the cars were that had SR20s stuffed in, and just how big the turbos were. They must be a handful to drive on the street. Cheers! Indeed that's a common "critique". I have some friends in Toowoomba who manufacture split mono leafs and rear sliders for drag racing - they're always bugging me to reset the leaves/add a leaf and drop it on its guts. But mine was one of the few cars that negotiated the driveway out of the event without having to take a considered approach angle, so as not to scrape. So I know I'm being a fuddy-duddy about it, but it's practical and comfortable! I do have a staggered set of 13" wheels in lower offsets that I might get around to fitting soon. The tyres on the 15" "Superlites" are getting old, hard and slippery. I'll keep you all posted haha.
  23. You would have liked this one! A surprising number of SR20DETs stuffed into small street cars.
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