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Hi, from Uruguay this is my TE27


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On 2/27/2022 at 10:49 PM, parrot said:

I have to say this is absolutely inspiring as i need to do exactly the same thing on mine.  Fantastic ideas.

You just need to start from some place, and do a thing at a time. As Simone Giertz says, split the job in smaller jobs that you have the confidence to tackle, and build your skillset to tackle new jobs

On 2/28/2022 at 5:35 PM, ke70dave said:

yeah well done on these repairs, fantastic stuff. One day id like to do something similar. Bringing a car back to life essentially - very cool. 

Indedd, by the time the car will be done, I don't think that there is a part of the car that wasn't touched in some way or another.


And lets keep up with this, while I was working on the drivers side floor and rocker panel, sometimes you get frustrated with some part, or it gets boring to test fit the same part 10 times, and you want to change what you are doing in order to not burn everything to the ground. So, while the driver side was being made and I got bored I was also working on these parts…

I got the hang on how to make the end of the rocker panel, so I made the passenger side again, and got to weld everything in place. To this day I don’t like how the end cap looks and fit, but it works


If you remember, I had removed the front windshield panel, and under that panel it wasn’t all fine. I had to remove the lower lip that when I removed the panel, I just cutted close to the edge as possible, but now I had to fix that

The worst offenders were the cowl intake vents, so I drill them out and someday I will fix them.

It leaves a nice hole, and some places to fix.

While poking some not so good looking metal, I also found a new hole that was right above the drivers feet... yay more work for me.

Walking around the car, I kept seeing that the spare tire well was very rusted, so I took the grinder and make a brand new hole on the car

But fear not! with the dimensions of the spare tire well, I went to a place that sells sheet metal parts for cars and after a lot of talking with the guy at the counter, I got the last spare tire well for a 94-08 Volkswagen Gol (a very popular car over there), but, lucky me, it was the last replacement panel available in the shop hahaha. 

And to finish this post, a sneak peek of the next work ahead...

As with the last post we are on the end of January 2020

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  • 1 month later...
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Starting february, and starting with a new part of the car, a little grinder love and I got this new hole on the car, on the rear driver side.

Old metal laid on the bench, for measurement and finding new metal

I had some of cuts from the front floors, so I was reusing them

With the old piece out, you take some time to find a new one and then you just swap them, and go from this…

To this…

And before you can realize, you got a whole new floor on the car

Then, since the passenger rear side was in better shape, I didn’t cut the whole floor, and just made some patches, and filled some holes

And given that I had welding gas, I got to finish the steering rack brackets and welded them in place.

By this we are February 9th.

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Thanks Sebastian,

                                i've been hanging out for the next episode in your Rolla journey for weeks !  (as I suspect others on here have also)

Keep up the good work !   You're an inspiration to all of us, that would not be game to tackle something this epic.

I guess once the floor is finished completely, you will be giving it a good coat of that black "mastic" tar like sealant, above & below; to prevent any further rust taking hold, in your good work ?

Cheers Banjo


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On 4/26/2022 at 10:05 AM, Banjo said:

Thanks Sebastian,

i've been hanging out for the next episode in your Rolla journey for weeks !  (as I suspect others on here have also)

Keep up the good work !   You're an inspiration to all of us, that would not be game to tackle something this epic.

I guess once the floor is finished completely, you will be giving it a good coat of that black "mastic" tar like sealant, above & below; to prevent any further rust taking hold, in your good work ?

Cheers Banjo


I forgot about the reminder and nobody comented on it, but I'm back. Yes, you'll see some of that sealant, but mostly paint, and lots of paint in order to try to get everywhere, and get in crevices and tiny places


Off we go, ever since the Jetsons, we’ve all dreamed about the flying car, so I had to make my own flying car

Well actually I just removed the rear differential in order to work more comfortably on the rear underside of the car


Without it you have so much room for activities, and I got the car as high as I could safely do so

Once on the air, I got to cut the rear part of the rocker panel, and reveal all its nasty secrets


Also got around inside the wheel well, to get a better view of all the rust (after this, I decided to remove the rear axle)


Some cleanup and let start to cut some spot welds and pry stuff apart


A little better looking after a lot of wire wheel


And I had to fix a little piece on the side of the passenger floor


If you remember from the last post, I took another piece as a template for the side panel to the same place that had made the rocker panels, and again it was a great job 

Remember to bag and tag everything you remove from the car


And back on working, as with other parts, you take the old rusted part, and with a bit of patience you make a new one in fresh new metal


Now I just need to weld all the seams and done


And then you well the piece in its new place (it is the end of the wheel well) I also made a new reinforcement for that area, but not as nice as the original


Then make and weld the new inner piece.


And a bit of paint on the inside and it’s done


With all the inner pieces done, remember to paint the back of every inside panel with weld through paint, and it is time to weld everything in place,


Also in between tasks time, I did some other things. Like, remove the paint to see that the roof was fitted with lead, they used to blend the joint between the roof panel and the quarter panel


Also took another shot at the trunk and remove this reinforcement

Only to find more rust than I was expecting

And some new parts, as you might know this is the original dash of the non sport TE27

So I contacted the guys at speedhut.com and have made a new tachometer that fits inside the original hole, and with an orange background, the name of the car “rustyrolla” and the logo of a group of friends

By now we are finishing march of 2020

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Simply Inspirational to all those that tackle long term projects; & for various reasons; never finish them.

That will certainly not happen to this project, as it's now 24 months later, & you are undoubtedly more advanced than these pictures indicate.

Cheers Banjo 

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You may rest assured I am absolutely loving your feed. Please don’t stop. Impatiently waiting on completion of a pool which has meant no access to the garage for months, so I can get on with mine. Today yet another concrete pour and an apparent delay with delivery of the tiles……..  cars looking very forlorn jammed up next to each other

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On 4/28/2022 at 7:40 PM, Banjo said:

Simply Inspirational to all those that tackle long term projects; & for various reasons; never finish them.

That will certainly not happen to this project, as it's now 24 months later, & you are undoubtedly more advanced than these pictures indicate.

Cheers Banjo 

Indeed it was a long term proyect, but ever since I rented the garage, the work took of and it got a lot of momentum and its getting closer and closer to the finish. Thanks a lot for the kind words, and as you say I have a lot of updates to post :D

On 4/29/2022 at 7:13 AM, parrot said:

You may rest assured I am absolutely loving your feed. Please don’t stop. Impatiently waiting on completion of a pool which has meant no access to the garage for months, so I can get on with mine. Today yet another concrete pour and an apparent delay with delivery of the tiles……..  cars looking very forlorn jammed up next to each other

Well at least after a while you'll have a pool and a garage to have fun with hahaha, so the wait it's worthy

Now I have some short posts, but I tried to split the photos into diferent sections of the car while I was fixing them

And we start with the rear end of the passenger side. First of all let's cut all the rotten metal, and we end up with something like this

And then we have to make all this metal from scratch

Little by little, with a hammer and patience each of the parts for this puzzle come to life

The process is simple and the same for every part, take some measurements, find a piece of metal with that size, cut, hammer and bend to shape, and fit and refit and test fit until the shape is right.

When you are happy with the fitment, and also checked with all the other parts in the vicinity, get the metal glue gun, and zapp all the parts together, then a little weld through primer and on to the next piece

Test and check and weld

And with that we have all the corner looking like new

Onto the next part

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Then onwards the driver side, the rocker panel was done, but we needed to continue on the rear

Like before, first cut all the bad metal that we are going to fix

And with a ruler, a grinder, and a hammer you can make anything

I did the internal reinforcement, I didn’t go all out with the shape, but it's close enough.

Making all the little parts behind the corners that nobody will see.

Also little pieces like this in the floor, while I was in the area

And then starting with the welding of the panel that I had bent to shape.

And again, weld everything, and paint everything to make this panel done (but I still need to bend and trim the end)
And we keep going

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And let's keep up with this, and by this, now is time for the trunk that below the bumper reinforcements, it was very bad. So let’s start the grinder

Also the rear panel was rotten and with a lot of holes

After a lot of thought the best idea was to remove the rear panel to get better access, so I took a deep breath and started to remove all the spot welds, after a while it was something like this

El Corolla Camino any one? You can almost Imagine the dropped tailgate 

And with more access, it was much easier to cut and remove the rusted metal. While I was nearby also started to cut the outside

On both sides it was horrible

And the pile of rusted metal to create from scratch was getting bigger and bigger. Also, in the back you can see the reinforcements that were actually in great shape

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  • 8 months later...
7 hours ago, parrot said:

Any updates to inspire us Sebastian?

of course 


With all the rusted metal out of the way, I had to start building new parts, first the parts that are below and behind everything.

Making new parts it becoming a hobby


Then welding them in place, and painting for some protection.

Also this panel had a little dent, so I had to fixit before we keep adding new metal

And after a lot of cursing, it turned out good enough, not perfect, but a little of body filler will take care of the rest

Now with this pieces, and some measurements for the missing metal

We got this new piece

It is looking like a car again

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On 2/17/2023 at 8:55 PM, Banjo said:

Incredible work & perserverance Sebastion !  I've been looking forward for an update from You !


Keep it up, & keep the pictures coming.   You are inspiring others.


Cheers Banjo

Thanks a lot Banjo, more pictures this way

First of all, we are going to settle what was pending, which was to shape the tip of the rear fender.

Now we are going to see if we finish the trunk, to make my work easier, again I ordered a piece to be folded with more or less the profile of the upper edge of the panel.

After a bit of cutting and adjusting to make the curve, I welded it to the main panel and the piece was rigid again.

Now with that firmer panel, I proceeded to work inside the trunk (remember to rotate from work to work so as not to hate any more than the other) and start making a very simple piece.

Always using the holes as a reference for the new piece that had to be made, each piece is more or less complicated.

In this case, the floor had a rib, and I wanted to keep it to give it continuity. So to the shaping block, I welded a plate as a mold, and with the hammer and patience I hammered that mold to the piece that I was assembling.

The piece on the other side also had that strengthening rib, also some curves, it was all a matter of replicating all the turns.

As always, to replicate the pieces, you always have to remove and put the piece in the car a thousand times, verifying that the entire shape more or less matches.

And after we have the shape in place, it gets welded and it looks like nothing happened. Luckily I remembered to test the rear panel and check that it is in line with it.

On the other side, while trying to make the piece fit the right place, in one of the tests I realized that when hammering the material went where I didn't wanted and the piece no longer matches the width in some parts, but since the piece was 90% ready, so well... I wil welded and fixed it later.

Luckily with the mig, metal is easily added, and these types of gaps are easy to fill, it's more work afterwards to grind it, but with patience and paint, it's relatively neat.

As you can see, I was also working on the bottom of the trunk that I found some holes and on the side panels.

Here we have a small repair in the curve of the panel, and it is already marked for the cut of the next piece.

As always, it is a matter of cutting the problem into smaller parts and solving them one by one.

Here on the other side, also repairing small and not so small rust problems.

In this case I had to bring the tail lights to validate that they were fitting in place and that the whole piece was correct.

While we were at it, I took a photo with the whole panel in place. Things are changing, but as you remember, the panel has several holes.

So it was a matter of cutting, and then making all the necessary pieces, as we are used to..

To then place them all in place one by one.

And the rear panel is taking shape

Very crazy to think that everything that is painted is because it had a repair hahaha

With the back panel soon, I started with the repair of the edge that also had rust (incredible I know), in addition to the ugliest parts, I took advantage of and some small holes, I enlarged them and filled them to cure the problem

As always, repairing and checking that the panels that make up the piece, in the order that they make it up.

And to take advantage that I removed the rear panel, it was the ideal time to convert the VW Gol spare tire well into the Corolla well, so I roughly cut the piece and began to shape it with love and blows, but luckily the size was very similar. and the piece had extra material to work with.

A matter of welding and grinding until we are happy, then some paint and it is ready. A minor detail, I rescued the central screw from the original panel, and weld it to this hahaha.

Many years later once again it had a spare tire in the spare tire well like the first day.

We're already winding this up, so a new level unlocked of hiding ugly welds with body sealer, almost seems like a half good job

Trying the trunk lid before calling it quits, and luckily everything clicks into place.

So it was a matter of starting to weld, and taking out the cleco pins one by one and welding as we control the heat on the panel.

This process took April and May 2020

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Hi Sebastian,

                      Thanks for all your wonderful progress pictures.  In English, I think we refer to what you are doing as "a labour of love".


You've taken something, unloved, battered & bruised; & doomed to the dump, & are slowly bringing her/him/it, back to life.


My "hat goes off to you", particularly, as you first had to teach yourself to weld, before commencing this project.


Just inspiring !


Cheers  Banjo




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  • 2 months later...

Sorry I had forgot about this

Thanks a lot Banjo for the kinds words, as you said it was a labor of love, and of need, because noboy wanted to fix this car hahaha.


Lets start tying some loose ends

One of the issues that had been left behind was finishing the steering column

So clearly, I started with the easy part of cleaning and painting everything.

I don't have pictures, but what I did was take the upper part of the steering column from the Corolla, the lower part of the steering column from the Starlet, and started cutting to see what I was working with, unbelievably it was much easier than I thought, since the internal axle is the same in both cases, so it was a matter of joining both pipes.

To match them, I had to open the lower tube of the Starlet a little bigger, and thus place a bearing between the tube and the steering axle that centers everything in the lower part. Then have a bushing turned that centers the lower pipe on the upper pipe and that's it. Unfortunately there are no photos of all this.

And that was it, I just had to fit the bottom bracket of the Starlet to the firewall, with the original part of the Corolla.

Since I was painting, I got excited and painted several things that were laying around. 52327552348_d22c33f120_c.jpg 

Since I was motivated it was the turn of the rear leaf springs.

I got the habit of cleaning parts by leaving them submerged in anti-rust acid.

They easily come out like new, there is no need to spend work and after washing them they are ready to paint

And remember I was painting everything.

With all this, we are between May 2020

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