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Mechanical Sympathy

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Everything posted by Mechanical Sympathy

  1. He definitely went full '80s with his! The stone-flectors, rear louvre, windscreen banner, spotlights, jelly beans etc. are all great period-correct accessories that I would've wanted back then.
  2. Ahh thanks Pete! I should have a read back through myself. Funny to think I've had it that long now. And that it's still holding together. Almost long enough to forget how hard it was, and maybe start another! It does seem they didn't get the K50 over there Simon, as this was a '78 model - so not so "early" 5 speed.
  3. On the weekend I met a very passionate Corolla owner named Steve. He was passing through town and stopped by to show me his left hand drive KE35, a recent import from Spain. Steve also owns a mirror-matching RHD KE55, a KE50 and has a KE35 convertible in the works - all painted in Bright Brown. Interestingly it's fitted with a cable operate T50 mated to the 3K. The clutch cable on the right hand side is actuated by a cross-bar from the left hand side clutch lever.
  4. No doubt it could look even better if I stanced it out, filled those guards and dropped it on it's guts. It would probably garner heaps more likes on The Instagramme! But I don't think I'd enjoy driving it as much. And I'd probably have to cut the guards inside the flares too.. I did go to the All Jap show that year! With Littleredspirit Matt and his AE86. While I still have enthusiasm for fixing all the little niggles, I decided to have a crack at tuning the DCOEs on the weekend. Originally I had a decent amount of trouble getting my head around how Webers work. So once I had a tune that worked I pretty much left it and it's been that way for four years or so. But it wasn't ideal. The idle was a bit weak and erratic - occasionally popping, occasionally dropping revs, and it'd fluff and gasp a bit at 1/3 throttle - so I'd just push through that hesitation and floor it. I dug around and found my "Weber Carburettors Tuning Tips and Techniques" book by John Passini and set about re-reading it. Gosh it's dry reading! But very informative, even humorous at times! Maybe I never really set the idle mixtures properly. or they crept over time. But anyway resetting them at 1.5 turns out and fiddling with the linkage resulted in a solid smooth purring idle that inspires confidence in traffic. And the sound gives me a warm fuzzy feeling. Next I read the section on emulsion tubes and compared my F11 tubes with the F16 tubes that I'd fitted as a Facebook recommendation. I wish I'd taken a photo to show you all the difference. The extra holes in the top and bottom of the F11 looked to be more progressive than the all-or-nothing holes in the mid section of the F16 emulsion tubes so I swapped them over. Lo and behold - that's what they're like to drive. Far more progressive and civilised at part throttle. More like how I imagine a 2TG would've been off the showroom floor. And no more popping and carry on at deceleration. The tune now sits at; 33mm chokes 135 main /F11 emulsion /180 air correctors I'll see how that goes for a while and keep an eye on the plugs. Very happy!
  5. What a shame! I saw those extra layers when I had mine apart, and actually treated and epoxied one little patch in there, hoping to at least give it some longevity. Fortunately mine seemed to have at least some factory primer/base coat in those areas and weren't too bad. It hasn't been parked outside overnight or in the rain for 7 years now because ponding water in the rear window corners would keep me up at night 😄
  6. The wheels were a bargain buy. I got them from a fellow forum member for $150, back when the forums were still abuzz. They came up good with a polish and paint. I certainly keep in dry in the shed to keep those rear window quarters clean. Ironically you'd probably have a crack at repairing that rust now, if you still had it. The poor old KE55 is underrated I reckon!
  7. I finally got around to fitting the 13' Jovites. My neighbour is managing a new tyre store so he sourced some cost-plus 205/60/13 Nangkangs, fitted them and passed them back over the fence. It's fair to say that the lighter wheels have transformed my enjoyment of the car! Steering turn-in is vastly improved, along with handling and dampening. No more crashing and shimmying over bumps. In hindsight those 15' Superlites were far too heavy for this car. Now it's a lot more fun to drive. Also installed a factory radio where there was once a hole, hooked up the tach and replaced the dash globes - just a few niggles that had been on my mind!
  8. Looks like a survivor Steve! A set of OEM alloy wheels would jazz it up I reckon, whether from a later model Corolla or maybe even Echo wheels.
  9. The 17x7 +50 are indeed 2mm further in than the 16x7 +48 that were on it. It does appear more though doesn't it? They certainly appear further in than the ZR 18" wheels, which fill the wheel well. Spacers have been mentioned, but I dunno - I'm in two minds. I've never really been a fan of spacers! But it would definitely help visually on the rear at least.
  10. Looks like a great project so far Carlos. Oh I remember when I had the chance to buy one of Lou's lovely KE17s for a few thousand dollars in the early noughties.. I wish I had!
  11. It really pops in the sunlight! Digital photos seem to lose the sparkle of the cyan metallic flakes
  12. I was growing tired of the plain 16x7 wheels, while wanting to keep an OEM look. I feel the OEM 18' wheels are just too big and low profile for driving I do so, I purchased these 17x7" 86 GTS wheels from a fellow on a Fakebook page - turns out he's a tech at my local Toyota dealer - and buried them in the shed for a few months. Then the next door neighbour landed a new job opening a new Yokohama tyre store. Of course he convinced me that I "needed" new tyres! So with 27,000km on them and still plenty of tread left, I swapped the 16x7" wheels for the 17x7" 86 wheels, with some lovely cost-plus Yokohama Bluearth GT tyres. Not super sticky, but so much better than the Bridestone Ecopia tyres they replaced. And well suited to the fortnightly parental Brisbane-Toowoomba-Brisbane-Toowoomba-Brisbane driving duties that this car is used for 95% of the time. They're not the most aggressive looking upgrade, but I figure it's a nice performance/comfort compromise. And still looks like it could be a dealer fitted option. Though I had to grind down the inside of the front caps by 1mm to get them to fit snugly over the hub. Love this car!
  13. 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 !
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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..
  17. Glad to see this little sedan is finally getting the love. It's a great shell, that came so close to being scrap.
  18. 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!
  19. 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!
  20. 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
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. 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!
  24. 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.
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