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Ra65 St Coupe

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Photobucket has stabbed me in the anus.

I just bought some koni yellows for this.  Soon it will have them and some kyb rally shocks in the back since they are better off there than on the shelf.

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Re sealed the top cover since the seals were shot.  Ordered a new pcv and a new grommet for it.  Was pretty thrilled at how nice the engine looked inside.  No sludeg or corroded cam lobes.  Just healthy looking overall.  Im going to get a manual and check the valves at some point.  Running fine though.






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Odd occurence yesterday.

Didnt quite start on the key so i jumped it off the sprinter.

Drove fine all day, started on the key while out and was all fine, however on the drive home from my mates place the charge light was pulsing and the voltage was dropping to around 9 volts at idle on the voltmeter, and would rev up to about 10 volts as you increased rpms.  Unsure whats up with it, maybe jumping it fried something.  I've never had an issue before like this.  Car drove good but I was wondering if it was charging the battery or if it was slowly running it down.

Stereo was turning itself on and off and the dash lights were browning out at the same time.

Went flawlessly until about 10 minutes from home, and its got me baffled.  Might read the efi manual today and see whats up.

Any ideas rollaclub?


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Alternator regulator  playing games?

9v is very low.  Is the alternator  charging?

Or a cell in the battery is starting to bridge internally.

Edited by ke70dave

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Showed 12v on battery this morning but wouldn't turn it over.

7.5 amp charge fuse looked very old and had surface oxidisation so I put in a new one.

Put it on the charger and it declared the battery ok and started to charge.  Just waiting for it to top it up fully and I think it will start fine, but just not charge the battery as it goes.

Belt is on as it should be and the connections electrically are tight.EFI manual wasnt much help with charge issues.

Probably just an alernator issue.  It was a reco one I only put on 2 years and 5000ks ago.

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Dunno exactly what helped but the car started with a full battery, showed no charge light and showed about 13.5 volts as you would expect.  Dunno what was the exact cause, possibly that 33 year old fuse that I changed was causing it to brown out.  I really dont know.  See how it goes but for now it seems fine.

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Cant quite figure this car out.

Seems to be ok most of the time, but I did a short trip to get dinner the other night and it was not willing to start after.  Seems as though running the starter, and the lights and ac is about all it can handle, and a few starts ina  short peiod seems to be a problem for it, so either the 305cca battery was not up to it, or the alternator wasnt charging enough.

I noticed with the ac and fan on, the lights on and the car running it just barely would show 12v if at all.  Im wondering if the alternator can charge enough at low rpm.  It wasnt reaching the regulated 13.8volts it was supposed to unless you took off some electrical load.

To counter this Ive been starting with the basics and eliminating things.

I put in a charged 550cca battery out of the parts Camry thats in the yard.

I changed the negative battery lead from neg terminal to body and sanded where it touches the body.  I also cleaned the holes out.

I removed, cleaned and sanded under the main engine ground cable, and this did give a noticeable extra pep to the starter.

Did the same to the head ground cable also.

Contact cleaned the alternator plug.

Then I threw it on the charger overnight.  I'm going to see how it goes this morning.

I also increased idle rpm slightly as it was lower than the specified figure.  This tipped the charge needle to the high side of 12v when running at idle with full electric load.  Im hoping that tips it over the mark where it needs to be to gain charge.

Wondering if I can just fit a smaller pulley and overdrive the alternator.

I also decided to liberate some hp by removing the clutch fan, but now I need to add a thermofan, and this will be done by using the same m16x1.5 thermofan switch I bought for the other Celica, and installing this into an inline adaptor in the top hose that I just ordered.

Its already got the 16inch fan on the ac condenser but I think I need to be able to turn ac off and not overheat the car.

Hopefully this improves it and it can keep some amps in the battery.

Failing this basic maintenance I will have to get the efi diagnostic guide out and follow it through.

Bah I hope its good now.

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Seems like most of its issue starting has just been a bad battery, and quite possibly was just that combined with a bad ground lead from battery negative to body and a bad ground from body to engine.  I found that the body to engine lead was not very tight at each end, and I have sanded it back and cleaned it and put it back on.  I replaced the battery lead.  Still couldnt get it to start great with either the battery that was in it or the acv30 battery from the auction camry in the yard.  However upon charging the camry battery held only 11 volts and the one from the celica is not putting out the amps for more than one or two starts, and was struggling with the compression of a hot engine.

I have tossed in the battery from the ae86 and it starts like a powerhouse and drives fine, no problems as yet,. I just have to run the ac so the fan works until I get my adaptor and switch in the mail so I can fit the thermofan.

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Its been flawless with the new battery.  I ended up putting the battery from the ae86 in while the sprinter was off the road, and then buying a new one for the ae86.  Its been fine ever since.  I took off the manual viscous fan as they just create so much drag on an engine, having seen the engine masters episode where they tested them back to back, and the thing has a lot more poke without it.  I've been using the AC for the cooling fan when driving, which has been fine, however its cooling off and ac is a less ideal thing to run in winter so now that I have all the bits, Ill be putting its own thermofan on the car and using a Tridon thermoswitch to control it, on at 90 off at 85 C.  Might even do it today.

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Car still fine with new battery, even being driven just once a week.

I have also fitted the new thermo fan to it.  I used the tridon sensor that was always closed circuit, not open, which made it a little more complex.  It just meant I had to use an alternating output relay to flip its function.  This unfortunately meant that I needed a switched ignition power source so the fan didn't run when the car was off, as it would have run anytime the battery was connected and the temp was high enough even with key off without it.  I found one of the unused idle up valves on the top cover has a full time ignition feed so I plugged onto that and ran it to relay with a fresh feed of power from the battery and it all worked nicely.  The fan could be a little bigger, its only just efficient enough, but I can always switch the ac fan on for a bit to blast it.

Has more power without the clutch fan, noticeably so, it gets off the line much nicer, and will hopefully be more efficient when I get the chance to check economy.

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I know you all enjoy a good love story, especially when it comes to an RA65.  I bought her back, my mate was ready to upgrade so now I own her again. Since I owned her he's done about 30,000ks, its about 142,000 now.  It needs a general tidy up.  I'm looking at doing the timing chain, waterpump, shocks, some bushings, greasing the rack, and detailing it.  Needs a few small touch ups, maybe one or two small rust repairs.  Nothing serious.  Just going to do the work, then drive it around and try sell it I guess.  Jst wanted to get my hands back on it and tidy it up.  oh and the AC has stopped working so will also fix that up ASAP.  We've already done front brakes and bearings, and the alternator with Medicine mans help while my mate owned it.

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Ok, there has been much done on this.  Been scratching out, rust converting and smoothing out crows feet in the paint.

Have removed the power antenna and bought and aftermarket replacement.

Have removed rear shocks and purchased a pair of monroe GT Gas shocks for it.  Just standard ra65 shocks.

Have the rear bumper removed, and Ive been straightening the shell with the heat gun, twisting the corner of the reo straight, and fixing rust in it. 


Theres a seperate part that mounts the number plate lights inside the skin, it was super rusted out for some reason, and the threaded posts that let you bolt on the skin, well 2 were so rusted they snapped.  I drilled them out, replaced them with m6 allen head bolts and ground down a couple nuts to create the stepped mounting they needed and to let me attach them properly.  The rusted out part that mounts the lights was then ground off the strip with the threads, and replaced with a piece of zincanneal that I had folded up by levs fabrications here in town.  Instead of welding to the surface rusty metal strip that it attaches to, I used a thick gooey epoxy, to seal over any rust in the union between the pieces, stopping cavities that may increase rust problems. 



They also replaced for me the metal piece that secures the skin all the way accross under the bumper.  Mine had been torn away and stretched and was rusty from damage to the bumper anyhow.  I never intended to get into the bumper, but I always noticed some suspiciously flaky paint on this lower corner, and in the three years my mate had the car it had started lifting, so when I sanded it back found an old repair, had to remove the bumper to fix the paint there so I just decided to go for it and make it nicer.  I redid the blackouts on the bottom with a Upol power can, pretty amazing quality rattle cans those Upol ones.


Ive got the arch trims out on the right side, theres no rust in there.  Cleaned all underneath it.  Pockets are perfect, I repaired one bit of rust under a sill trim, had to just plate over the outer layer and reproduce the square hole for the body clip.  Its all filled over painted and has the blackouts redone too.




I had the rear screen removed, and repaired the rust that started to come back in the lower right corner.  Did a much more thorough job getting any pinholes to be filled with weld, and did great prep with PPG etch primer, filler, sealer and topcoat now.  Been buying matched cans from signature refinishing supplies that work great.


Have a fairly good sized rust patch just isolated under the drivers door, in the shut of the door itself.  Just a fairly simple shaped area that needs to be replated.  Bit of a bitch cause I need to remove the door to do it.

So the to do list as it stands now is as follows:

- Reassemble rear bumper and install.

- Repaint roof and bonnet to finish the crows feet repair.

- Install the power antenna for the radio.

- Install the condenser and new AC o-rings, which I have a couple assortments of thanks to an ebay miss-click.

- Put the grill back in.

-  Change the wheel cylinder on right rear as its leaking, have the part here.

- Brake fluid flush and replace.

- ATF service and trans filter.

Stuff Ive done so far:

Waterpump, oil, filter, visual timing chain inspection, new front crank seal, resealed top cover and half moon plugs, replaced all vac lines and deleted the EGR, air pump and emissions crap once and for all, including the metal vac lines array.  Resealed and painted the boot seal area.  Rust repairs under the rear screen and repainted.  Rust repaired the sill.  Repaired old crash damage at back bumper.  Replaced the top radiator hose.  Flushed radiator, new cap as the old one didn't hold pressure, washed out the rad overflow.







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