altezzaclub

The Golden Hoonicorn-

16 posts in this topic

Well, I thought I'd better catch up with the Golden Hoonicorn.. I haven't written anything on it and I've had several trips up and down to the Woolshed in it.

 

A few years back I was travelling North with my bro and saw a lovely gold XX flatfront auto sitting in the main street of Gulgong. As I was leaving a note on it the lady who owned it appeared so we had a chat. Maybe a year later she phones up and says its for sale now, and she'd like $1500 for it.

 

I sent an email to Steve saying a lady had ph'd me with a really nice XX I'd left a note on, and he sends back the same!! He'd seen it on the way back from the Orange Rally and left a note too, and she'd phoned us both! He'd talked her down to $900 but couldn't pick it up until the weekend, so a mate & I shot up the next day in The Girls KE70 and nabbed it for the $900.

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It has little dents in a lot of panels, some half a dozen small rust holes that has been repaired and undercoated only, and a tree branch fell off a truck she was following and landed on the bonnet.

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It also had new leads, new plugs, new dizzy cap and new fuel pump... and wasn't that keen on starting instantly like the The Girl's Beast does. Someone was chasing a misfire or poor starting before me!

 

After a few months running around the head gasket gave up... no it didn't, it was fine, and someone had changed it recently!

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Actually, the head was cracked, and I grabbed a spare from the Woolshed, gave the face a sand down with a steel block and fittted it! It ran fine, but it was never as quick to start as the Beast.

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It was all still a dead stock auto, but I went over the rust patches and did them properly with fibreglass cloth-

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and an aerosol can of the right colour. It needs a respray as there are tiny spiderwebs of rust under the paint, just like The Beast had when we bought it too, and I have another flatty bonnet to replace the dented one.

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I swapped diffs so the daily, the Girl's Beast, was using the 4.3, and the golden auto had the Celica 4.1.

 

Then came the big job... Steve had his daily, MAO, fitted with a 4AGE smallport, and we had a spare bigport sitting in the Woolshed. Seeing rallying was on hold I figured I'd give this ECU twincam stuff a try and we could use both cars as testbeds for rally ideas. First up was to get both KE70s up to the Woolshed to swap motors around.

 

I was distracted by Steve's MAO not going & rego due. He was chasing a new igniter and I took one up from the wrecker here, but after we had spent an hour or two checking everythng I noticed the motor didn't rock while he was cranking it... no compression.. a minute later, no timing belt!! It had neatly stripped the teeth off the belt at the bottom, and amazingly the 4AGE is not an interference motor! So a new belt and it was away! Seeing rego was due it needed a speedo in the T50, and we found no teeth on the speedo drive either! We grabbed a spare from another box, and I found a third with the cable drive broken. That meant I could combine the two broken ones and hopefully get a working one!

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Then there was a Nana-style KE70 to sort out and rego, that needed a cooling system flush and hoses replaced for rego. Just plug it up to the bore pump and turn it on. We fired the car up w/o a rad & drove it up against the pump for a block flush. Stacks of filthy shit came out! That car is one of a really nice matching pair he has tucked away in the hangar..

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Gramps, the immaculate RT104 Corona had gained the old Celica rally car 18RG. Its own 18RG was hard to start and running poorly so we put a compression gauge over it. Sort of.. 130, 120 120, 0.. ZERO! Steve wouldn't believe it until he held the guage, and that was that! So motor out and swapped for the rally Celica one, and as he dropped the sump off to change them (mid-sump to front-sump Celcia to Corona, blah blah blah..) we found bits of piston ring in the bottom! We still haven't opened it right up to see how bad it is!

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The rally car motor had an electric pump, and Gramps a mechanical. Naturally the rally car 18RG didn't have a cam to drive the pump, so we bought another pump and made a bracket that slid under the engine mount, using yet another old 18R mount for an insulating rubber! So that was another rego done!

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Finally, Steve was back at work and I could get into my motors. Hang on, the next distraction was a hand trolley that needed to be converted into an engine trolley, while retaining its original use more or less. These things make moving motors and gearboxes easy for ol' fellas like me!

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With that ready I could start on the cars-

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First, both steering columns and both dashboards came out, along with both pedalboxes. I'm getting pretty damm good at dashes & pedalboxes now!

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The Golden Hoonicorn lost its aircon system too, and both motors with their gearboxes came out. That gave me a massive pile of bits to sort and clean, and I added an AE71 crossmember & hydraulic pedalbox..

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All cleaned and painted, and I tackled the clutch holes. New cable clutch hole in the Hoonicorn

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and a hydraulic master cyl hole in the Blue Beast.

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Then slowly over the next week parts were cleaned and assembled. The K50 showed a sign of leaking from the front seal, so for about a $100 I sent off to the gearbox shop. While I waited the pedalboxes were fitted and the steering back in place, and both dashes replaced. Holes were cut in both floors, one auto to K50 gearlever and the other K50 to T50.

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The two 4Ks were stripped with the blocks on stands.

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I tipped the Hoonicorn block over and cleaned out the rust and scale inside, getting a handful out of the area around the #4 cyl before going home one evening.

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The Beast's head, complete with carbs and extractors was swapped onto the Hoonicorn's block, which had 10psi more compression across all 4 cyls. The cam went in as well, and the electronic dizzy, even the radiator. The remaining 4K bits were stored in the Woolshed, and all I needed was the box back.

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Somewhere along the way I noticed the passenger-side engine mount rubber was split, and the same on the Beast's, and even the same on MAO's original 4K. So the rotation when dropping the clutch must be a bit much for that rubber. Anyway, I made a metal plate that slipped under the mount and hooked over the top to limit its lift to a couple of mm.

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Then I chased the gearbox. After a lot of excuses they said "its rooted, and we don't want to put it back together" That was a shock as we'd been driving The Girl's Beast around for 5years or so and the box never worried me! Sure it had worn-out synchros but it wasn't noisy at all. Anyway, they said the hardening was worn off the shafts and blah blah blah..

 

So I gave up and grabbed the last one out of our spare KE70s.. That cleaned up OK and I could put the motor and box into the Hoonicorn-

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Finally Hoonicorn things were sorted and it fired up. Runs just like the Beast, very grumpy at idle and pulls well to 5000, and after that it doesn't worry me.

 

The trip back to Orange showed a bad driveline vibration. An annoying slight one had been there ever since the engineer welded the Celica diff flange onto the K50 tailshaft, but it was much worse. It sprayed gearbox oil all over the underside of the car, so much I got worried and bought a bottle of g'box oil after a few hundred Km then stopped to put it in. Of course it didn't have a tube or spout in the bottle, so getting the oil into the box was impossible.

 

Once home I bought a new g'box seal, then found the one we pulled out was almost new! Some careful inspection showed me the driveshaft center bearing was in backwards, and although it looks quite symmetrical its not, and it moves the driveshaft sideways. I dropped it down from the body by the thickness of an extra washer too, and re-aligned the UJs along the shaft. That all got the vibration back to what it used to be like, annoying at 50-60kph and nowhere else, and since then I've put a circlip around it on the front of the rear shaft, and turned that until the vibration has almost vanished.

 

Steve bought a pair of the headlight relay kits off Fleabay and I fitted one to the Hoonicorn. The Beast still has the original relay setup I made, and these factory-made ones are much neater.

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Next job was the faint washing-machine sound out of the Celica diff. We were given a free stove by a workmate of Mrs Altezzaclub, and I took that up to the farm in the N14 Pulsar hatch, along with the Hoonicorn's Celica axles, diff center and a pair of wheel bearings. The stove replaced one considerably more ancient, and the diff man in Walcha fitted new axle bearings and went over the CW/pinion setup. Murphy arrived and said "did you notice the two bearing kits they supplied have different shrink rings inside?" So I drove back with the axles and diff, and my mate Rob fitted the shrink rings last night.

 

Now its back on the road, and I need to go over the ignition timing. This motor seems more susceptible to running up rpm at idle, and its the SUs working against the timing weights. I have the weight springs to play with, the inlet vacuum advance, the ported vac advance and the carbs dashpot oil, all of which affect idle.

 

I also need to get down to Melbourne with it in November to paint my son's house, and finally back up to the Woolshed to do something about the Beast sitting there with a 4AGE & T50 in the engine bay, but no air filter/exhaust/radiator/driveshaft/ECU... plenty to learn about there!!

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Edited by altezzaclub
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It has an ECU, but only a couple of the plugs fit the loom that came with it. I grabbed the needed one from an old Camry and I'll tackle it all later in the summer, when I'll need your technical experience more than anything!!

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Well, it runs as good as the Beast ever did, I took the inlet vac off the dizzy and left the ported vac on. Later I'll get a second charcoal canister off something newer and hook the carb overflows up to it. Still doesn't leak oil from anywhere, I'm surprised!

 

Melbourne for a couple of weeks on Thursday, 800km odd so a full day of driving. Should be up to it, 38-40deg they reckon..... & I took the aircon out!

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OK, an 1800km run to Melb and back, the only worry was a slip of the clutch a couple of times. Damm thing is only a year or so old..

 

Then off to Walcha on Dec 30th to start on The Girl's Beast and its 4AGE again. I swapped the diffs between them once again, so the 4.3borgie and original tailshaft is in the Hoonicorn. The Beast has the Celica diff and the custom shaft that vibrates, which I had checked in melb by Knox Driveshafts. He said its got run-out on it that he can't eliminate, but it is better than it was. I'll get him to do the next one.

 

Then I pulled the gearbox out and checked the clutch. A smear of oil on the plate, maybe from the g'box front seal, but it shouldn't be slipping.. So I pulled a couple of other clutches out and made a rig to test them. Its just a 2Kg weight hanging on a pole off the drill press arm, and you just move the weight along until it manages to push the pressure plate over its 'cam'.

 

Some big differences-

 

Two PBR 2038 pressure plate from a pair of KE70s read 1035 & 930

 

The new Exedy from the Hoonicorn read 650 ! Actually, the steel fingers in the old PBRs are 2.2mm thick, and the Exedy is only 2.0mm. Progress....

 

So I wiped the clutch plate with petrol and fitted the 1035 pressure plate. Back to Orange and its fine so far!

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The clutch came from Orange Brake and Clutch, and I went back yesterday to have a moan. He said he could send it to Sydney, who would send it to melb to get its clamp pressure tested, and they would say it was within spec. He has a pressure tester at his home but no-one ever uses them, they just import Exedys or whatever & retail them on.

 

Maybe I should've got one off Fleabay!

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Great read as all ways Keith ,it looked that granny speced when i was there i never give it a second glance.

 

Hows the beast going?

 

rob

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The Beast is awaiting me getting back up to the Woolshed, maybe mid-Feb after the grape harvest down here. The Girl has got me tied up some Uni research she is doing for grape yield prediction. I've got the new fuel pmmps for the 4AGE.

 

Coming back, the instrument fuse blew as I got to Tamworth. The spare lasted 5minutes, so it wasn't an instant short. I mucked around casually for day or two, the car drives without it, and found it yesterday. I hadn't hooked up the reversing lights as the auto to manual is a pain, "I'll do that later..." The live feed wire from the gearstick temporally ran forward through the firewall to join wires above the bellhousing, but it wasn't hooked up. So it dangled on the extractors until it melted through and shorted out occasionally..

 

Now I need to replace the wire AND hook the reverse lights up!

 

It ran at 6.9L/100 for about 500Km on the way back.

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Well, the time slips by so fast these days... I've been swapping them over as I go up and down to the farm, the Hoonicorn is at home & the Beast up in the tractor shed at this time. The other day I drove away and noticed...

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So I started pulling it all apart! Fan unit first, then aircon unit out, then dash apart and finally wriggle the heater unit out. Pull that apart and the core has been fixed already in the past & is rotted in one spot. That tube is quite blown too.

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Option A was to fix it- radiator man confirmed it could be done but would blow out somewhere else.

Option B was grab another from the cars at the farm, 5 of which will never need a heater again. Problem is they're probably all 30years old too.

Option C is a new one, they can be bought for $200 odd

Option D is a 300W electric one mounted where the aircon unit was.

 

Option D looked good as they're only $30-$40, but then I read some reviews... "best described as a warmer, not a heater" was the general idea.

 

So I'm going back up this weekend to swap cars over and I'll see how good the cores are up on the farm, and if not I'll buy a new one. I don't know what we'll do when they are no longer made!

 

This will improve the ventilation in the car, as the aircon models have the eye-level vents in the dash blocked off and all incoming air has to go through the aircon radiator. Now I can open up the two dash vents and the main airflow will have the big plastic tube beside the fan at the passenger's feet instead of an aircon unit with a lot of airflow drag.

Edited by altezzaclub
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..and it has a computer!! No fuel injection, but it has a computer...

 

The aircon models have them for adjusting temp I suppose... it sits on the side of the aircon unit.

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