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The Girl's Ke70


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Well, another couple of trips up and back, maybe its three now... 1200Km each trip. No problems at all anyway.

I fitted a new Ebay fuel sender unit as my modified red light didn't seem to work. or maybe it was too dim..  Anyway, the new red light came on at 1/4 full, so I bent the arm to make empty, 'Empty'.

...and naturally now when it is full it only shows half!  So there is a bit of work to do with those Ebay units to make them work!

Today the light came on about 20km from home, and when I filled the tank it took 40L, so there was more than 10L left when the light came on.

New fuel sender.jpg

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  • 2 months later...
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Well, the new sender unit just doesn't want to show how much fuel is in the tank!

The red light came on just North of Wellington yesterday on the way home-   It was still a long way above 'empty' with the red light on, but I added 12L just in case...


and when I filled it today it goes up this far-


So they're no good!   At least I've got the red light, maybe I'll add that to the old stock sender unit.

It did 686km  running around between the farms and then driving 550km back, all at 6.9L/100km. you can't beat that in an old Corolla having fun..

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  • 7 months later...

OMG! Time flies!   I've made one trip up to the farm in the KE70, and one in the Altezza. Then back home since Easter or so. With 4 cars and three drivers the KE70 stays in the garage with the Altezza in the driveway in front of it, so I drive the Altezza. Naturally, when I go to drive the Corolla.. the battery is flat!    Charge it up and take it downtown, and it suddenly cuts out and dies! The guy behind at the lights helps push it off the road, and of course it fires up without me doing anything. Drive for another Km and it dies again!  Wait a minute and it fires up!

I figure fuel starvation as there are no error codes and so I have re-fit the mixture display, which shows it leaning out as it dies.  I look inside the tank in case the lift pump has dropped off again, but its fine.  I take the fuel rail return line off an run it through the car with some clear hose. It never empties.


I start thinking the main pump may be dying from a bad relay in the COR setup, so put a wire from the battery direct to the pump, tucked away under the air filter...

and that's when I find one of the wires on the pump is not firmly on the terminal at all! I assume it was moving off under some acceleration or other, the motor dies and it falls back into place!

Having put it on firmly and seeing it do two days of running around, I hope that was the problem and the fix.  I've sold the Altezza and its one car each now!

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  • 5 months later...

Well, over 6months later, that was the solution & no further problems.  Rego came around last week & the usual garage I go to has been handed down to one of the sons, and he pinged me for tyres and exhaust leak.  Fair enough, I could have squeezed 6months out of those tyres before the wear strips, but meh..  Worse was, it didn't idle for him so he put a comment on the sheet & needs it to idle in 12months. He was really keen on a dyno garage in Dubbo, but that's a 300km round trip from here and I dunno how many hundreds of dollars on the machine.  He said it would be a thousand dollars well spent..  Nearly killed me!

The difference comes in that he thinks the dyno guy can alter the ECU to make it idle with its race cams, while I understand that you can't alter anything in the ECU. All there is to play with is ignition timing & idle speed, and as I have played with, the waxstat cold idle adjustment. It  idles a lot of the time, but then drops a couple of hundred rpm, then another couple, then dies..  Doesn't worry me, I'm used to it, I heel & toe naturally.  I reckon the jerky over-run is also cam related, there is just a very poor idle vacuum for the MAP to work off.


Any ideas??

Things improved when I put the mixture display back in and hooked it onto the oxy sensor wire. I'd taken it out to calibrate a mate's system and  ...found I never re-connected the oxy sensor to the ECU as I planned on putting the mixture display back on that afternoon, and didn't!  Its better now it doesn't have to run on the ECU map in open loop, and of course when I took it back to the garage he talked about it but didn't try it!

Tyres are meh...  Falkens on the front, Bridgestones on the back, and at least the Bridgestone's soft sidewalls give it that lovely sharp tail-out turn in.  I already know putting them the other way around gives gentle endless understeer. There are just no good 13" compounds made any more.

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Had a very similar intermittent fault with my initial 4AGE conversion in the AE86.  Was fine for a long time, then would intermittently stop.  No start, no start, then eventually restart.  Sometimes the next day.  Turned out a soldered joint at the EFI relay had popped off the junction box so was making intermittent contact.  Very frustrating.

Also had a similar issue with idle.  The fix came after I installed the idle up sensor.  Called the A/C idle up sensor but also increases idle speed with other increased electrical load such as lights etc.  For some years I sat at traffic lights in Melbourne traffic with foot on accelerator.  It did become somewhat tiresome.  That was with 268 degree duration cams where the maximum the ecu could supposedly cope with was 270.  That was according to Wade's who did some development work with Toyota on the bigport.  Initially I had a factory 4AG engine loom spliced into the 4AC charge/lights and dash loom.  Then I installed factory 4AGE AE86 charge/light and dash looms as well.  I have never had issue with over run

Edited by parrot
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Thanks parrot-  Yes, intermittent faults are the absolute worst!   That idle up sensor had me flummoxed when I fitted the motor until I figured out what it was. I ran it for sometime with a dash switch, although that has been re-purposed for an electric fan over-ride since. I do remember even the idle up couldn't keep it running in its determined-to-die spiral sometimes. I might hook it back up just to see...

These are the 270deg cams apparently, it can't pull the skin off rice pudding under 2000rpm. I was intending to swap the head for the rally car's stock setup eventually,  just swapping cams means doing tappet buckets as well and its no longer a 5minute job.  Its interesting you didn't have the jerky over-run, I'll keep searching....

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  • 6 months later...

Doesn't time fly!  This year its been 80km a day down to Blaney and back to work at Josh's, and a couple of trips up to Walcha, all without problems. Its done 50,000km since I took that photo at 188888km, and coming back down the Bylong Valley and Sofala showed me its still a marvellous car to drive!  I played with the late corner oversteer on right-hand corners and under-steer on lefts, and maybe a Watts linkage would be interesting to try. That would get rid of the roll oversteer from the panhard jacking the body up on right-handers, but Toyota were build a budget car and the panhard is adequate.

Still doesn't idle nicely!

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I spent a stack of hours chasing bulb holders to mount on an aluminium sheet and replace the rotted plastic ones in the tail lights.. Then I came across these-


I ordered a set last Sunday, and amazingly they were here Saturday morning. 



I was pretty excited to plug them and replace these ones-


Then I noticed the earth had come apart here, and actually they were just twisted wires with some tape around them and the bulb earths are just the bare wires pushed down the side of the bulb.  Mine are all soldered-.


When I went to put them in I found the earth tag in the middle of the boot didn't exist.


..and of course they didn't fit at all!  The screws are all in the wrong place, although the middle one will do, and they strain to fit at the edges. "Sealing" just doesn't enter into it!


When I plugged them in the left hand indicator was the brake light flashing, the brake light was the reverse light and there wasn't a reverse light..


It was easiest to pull all their wiring and bulbs out and put all the old gear into their plastic cases.  CBF drilling new holes tonight, I'll finish it tomorrow. At least the lights all work as they should-

So, all in all, $55... not too expensive, but the quality is cheap, the assembly work cheaper and its not designed for our cars anyway!!  If they flogged the plastic cases by themselves for $15 it would be a better buy!

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  • 1 year later...

Well, another couple of years of running around..  I was doing the annual polish when I came across a rust hole in the bottom of the rear guard on the nav side..  I'd seen it last Xmas when doing the same & thought 'I must get onto that', and put a bit of tape over it..


Inside I'd painted it with some white enamel just to stop it rusting more, so this time that was all wire brushed, treated with phosphoric acid and then a coat of a high-zinc enamel.1076437570_Xmas...B.thumb.jpg.ed9fd530f9fa40eb7039d7bb8f8e1d83.jpg

Doing that made me paranoid enough to look at every seam very carefully, and any crack in the paint meant the factory sealer was dug out and new seam sealer applied.


Then it as all undercoated and a can of aerosol colour finished it. Down in both side wells and across the back..


Next will be cleaning under the rear guards and re-spraying with some tarry underbody sealer, hopefully to make it last another decade or two.


The boot area is the weakest place on the car, the front never seems to flex as much, but eventually I'll get to look at that end too.  I'm thinking about insuring it with Shannons, I've never had the car insured, just third-party property, but an accident that writes it off (easy to do!) will mean the chances of finding another in this good a condition are slim indeed. There is one superb example of a wagon in a South Australian dealership, it was about $15000, now I see its $18000.

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I have my daughters KE55 hardtop with Shannons and when I said 10k for the policy they didnt even miss a beat and said no worries. She gets the wreck if it is written off and its $35 a month. I don't know of anyone making a claim which is where you really test them as an insurer. Yours would easily be worth 15k in the current market.



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  • 2 months later...
  • 6 months later...

Still trucking along.. The 80km daily run to the workshop and back had a change when I went up to Walcha for a week last month. A quick 1100km and back home for a week where we found time to cut off the inch&1/4 curve of water pipe I'd welded on the muffler as a tail pipe all those years ago, and replaced it with the correctly sized two inch...

It made the car so noisy I can't believe it!!  Especially as I headed for Adelaide at the end of that week, about 1200km of resonance inside a tin can! A week there and off to Melbourne, a few days and off again to Eden on the South Coast, and drove home today.

That's over 3000km with earplugs in, so apart from an oil change and a new exhaust system before Christmas, the car is running fine! I'm sure there are quite a few surprised people around who though 'this old car will get in the way in these hills..' 

Melbourne was funny, no Epass so I was dumped off right in the central city at rush-hour and crawled my way South through the inner city suburbs. Ferraris and Maseratis waiting in the traffic, but everyone was looking at the noisy old KE70 with the big cams.

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Ode to the Traffic Jamb the great equaliser of motor vehicles. I was headed home south from Brisbane one arvo last week in my lolux ute and a wanker in a F40 Ferrari was beside me for 10 kms of stop start traffic now that was a loud pointless tin can. He was going nowhere fast and losing his shit and I was cruisin to my tunes.



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On the school run there was a guy who dropped his kid off in the Lambo.  Problem was you had to drive in and out through a garage area and the stupid car was so wide he would get stuck and hold everyone up as no one could get past going the other way.

The joys of Eastern suburbs private schools.  Thank god that's no more.  Now they drive themselves everywhere.

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  • 3 weeks later...

After that couple of thousand Km with an exhaust that needed earplugs I bought a Redback three-chamber muffler from our local guy for $100. They're a great design, I'd bought one for the car a decade back but ended up putting it all on the gold car when I fitted the 4AGE & sold the gold car with it.

Josh & I put the car on the hoist and cut out the wiggly bit I'd had to stick in for the Maxima catalytic converter and made a cone to 2" pipe instead of Nissan's blank wall. The cat was 3" inside and had a flat wall with a 2" hole in it!  It didn't help that the only suitable bend I found in the Woolshed was 1&3/4"...

With all the pipe now 2" we replaced the angled straight-through muffler with the 3-chamber and put the same tip on it had.

What a difference!  Growly under power but lift off and cruise at 100kph and its quiet! I reckon it breathes better too, the new muffler is a 2&1/4", but maybe that's just the noise....  I should have done it years ago!

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