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Ke55-S Xx Coupe

Mechanical Sympathy

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  • 2 weeks later...

I know this sounds lazy, when I had mine, I just took the car to a carby shop, labour cost $400 plus parts (10 years ago), they tuned it perfectly, had power right through the rev range, no fowling of plugs, and never touched the carbies again for as long as I had the car.



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After buying several hundred dollars worth of emulsion tubes, venturis and a big box of idle jets, main jets, air correctors - I was certainly tempted to take it to a shop! Though I baulked at the hassle of securing a trailer/tow vehicle/reputable tuner on a weekday.

But that book I bought saved me from spending more. Very insightful. I've read each chapter over three times now.

Even with the benefit of modern dyno and gas analyser testing, the author still advocates plug cuts and road testing for fine tuning and has taught me how.

I figured I've spent the same as getting someone to fix it, but I've learned how to do it along the way. It just obviusly took a lot longer!

I've now got it very responsive to the throttle from idle,  pulling cleanly and easily to ~55 km/h in first haha. Currently set at;

34mm chokes

55F9 idle jets

140 F16 185 main/emulsion/air

That will get me to rego. Plugs are dark brownish but I don't want to lean out the air corrector too much until I can either check plugs/performance on a sustained 100km/h stretch or fit an AFR.

I've sorted the last of the oil and coolant leaks.

This weekend I'll wire up the reverse lights, pay the third party insurance.. could I really be ready to ring for a roadworthy?...

Looking forward to getting out and catching up with you all around town soon!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Took it for a roadie last week, basically its first drive in anger since I've owned the car. 

It soon became apparent that there was a discrepancy between my forward trajectory and the orientation of the steering wheel. I hadn't really noticed in the yard!

This was duly noted by the inspector and tie rod ends were earmarked for fixing. I've purchased a nine piece front end rebuild kit from ebay ($250 delivered) and I'll get it up on my mates hoist this weekend - now that CTP has been paid and I can drive it there.

Redline carburetor soft mounts are shit. You can't do them up tight. Petrol pooled in the manifold and dripped out below the soft mounts, appearing as an oily substance. This was also noted by the inspector so I'm removing the soft mounts and replacing with gaskets that arrived today.

A plug cut reveals richness - hopefully I can lean the idle jet out a bit once it's satisfactorily sealed. Goes good but.

While he was being picky, he noticed that the exhaust just touched on the underbody in front of the diff. I'll have a tinker with that while it's on the hoist.

Getting there! 

Edited by Mechanical Sympathy
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Thanks Wayne, good to know! I wasn't too sure when I was setting them up, but they're gone now. 

Upon inspection it seems that any torque over finger tightness was pinching the rubber ring off the aluminium plate and pushing the ring into the centre. The irony being that the more I tightened them, the worse it got.

I also had a loose hose clamp on the crankcase breather that I fashioned out of the fuel pump block off plate, adding to the roadworthy guy's impression of moisture in that area.

The Celica gearbox ratios might make it feel faster than really it is - pulling easily to ~55 in first and 85-90 in 2nd without wringing its neck feels very un-Corolla-like! Confoundingly the new SAAS tacho I fit in place of the factory clock doesn't seem to be work so I'm not sure how much it has in it.

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Soft mounts are tricky. They have to be tight enough to hold pressure on the rubber O-rings & seal, but loose enough to allow the engine vibrations to be absorbed. Hence the Thackery washers.

The 20mm odd thick rubber ones are great, but the little thin one-piece O-ring types just fall apart after a year or two. If you don't have any there's a chance of the fuel in the bowl becoming a foam at certain revs, but that may never happen.

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