Project 73 Celica (TA27) part 3


Posted on October 15 2010

Now that I have taken care of some exterior and engine bay stuff it’s now time to direct some attention inside the car.  The interior on the car was in pretty awesome shape to begin with.  All black, new carpet, no cracks in the dash, and perfect rear seats that looks like they have never even been used.

The front passenger seat was very nice as well but the drivers seat was another story….

Yep, that old Recaro has definitely seen better days.  We have a couple of options here, I was first looking into just getting another factory seat in there.  But first off, black seats are nearly impossible to find in good condition, especially the driver’s side.   And shipping a seat here from Japan would be far from cost effective.  I Also have a set of brown seats from our RA29 that I had thought about recovering in black but this poses a couple of issues as well.  #1, it’s expensive, #2 I’m not going to be happy unless they match perfectly if we go this route which may be a bit difficult especially since the seats have the Celica logo embossed in the rear headrests which I believe is exclusive to the JDM models as the USDM seats I have here do not have them.

The other option is to just have the Recaro recovered as well but in my personal opinion I don’t really feel like that seat fits to well with the classic styling of the TA27.  A bit too modern.  So I decided that if it’s worth replacing, it’s worth upgrading and I started on my hunt for a vintage style bucket seat.  There’s really not too many options here in the states but I ended up finding a perfect solution from a world renown seat manufacturer, Corbeau that just so happens to be right down the street from us in Salt lake.  I feel like this seat fits the car perfectly.

Well, almost perfectly.  It turns out the TA27 has a very odd-shaped floor which has the tendency to place any aftermarket seat way too high and that just won’t do.   I ended up having to notch the front seat mount to get them sitting low enough but the extra work is definitely worth the trouble.

It may be a bit difficult to see in the picture, but it’s the black section up front that had to be notched.  Simple brackets for the rear and then bit of modification to the sliders.

That’s just about right…

The only other thing inside the car that really needed a bit of attention was the steering wheel.  It’s a classic Nardi attached with…

Rusty bolts??!!  Not to mention it’s missing one.  Luckily the nice Stainless steel button-head fasteners I use to attach all the over-fenders and chin spoilers here just so happen to bee the exact thread pitch and diameter.

Score!!  You have to love it when stuff you have laying around works out.   And that pretty much takes care of the interior.

With the interior taken care of I now had to tie up a few loose ends in the engine bay.  First up was the brake master cylinder fluid reservoir cap.   This leaky thing was a big part of the reason the driver’s side of the engine bay looked so bad in the first place.

Ugghhh….  Sorry I had to post up another shot of the old bay but here you can see what brake fluid does to paint of you don’t take care of it……  and no, a zip tie holding the cap on doesn’t help.  As you can see this thing is done.

But finding a replacement at your local parts shop isn’t always as easy as it may seem.  Being that it’s a metric size your choices are few and far between and I wanted an OEM replacement.   So that required a trip down to one of my favorite places ever, the junkyard.  I decided to take the part in with me so I could make sure I got the right replacement but they are very strict about what you take in and out.  So after the full body strip search they performed on me, I could only trace the old one on paper first and hope for the best.  For the most part the yard was full of well…….. uh….   junk, but there are a few diamonds in the rough if you look hard enough.  First up was this poor FC.

And this MA70 Supra…

With a somewhat complete 7M-GTE to swap in that Cressida that’s been sitting in your granny’s garage.

And I still have some love for the often neglected  Starion, or Conquest as it was called here in Dodge, or Plymouth form.  Note the super sketchy welded together rims that they have these things sitting on….  hopefully I don’t have to get underneath any of these anytime soon.

They can look like this with enough with a little TLC you know…

I also like to look outside the box when I’m scoping the junkyard for stuff I might be able to use down the road on the cheap like these flares from an old VW Cabriolet.

They pull right off and would be a great $10 solution for over fenders on something with a bit smaller arches.  All 4 were there and  in decent shape.

I actually retrofitted a front spoiler from a later model 280Z that I found at the junkyard to fit my old AE86 way back in the day for 5 bucks!  Still the burliest front spoiler I’ve ever seen on an 86, Mad Max style for sure.

So anyways, junkyard dreaming aside I ended up finding what I needed from an early 80′s Toyota truck and after my $1  entry fee and $2 for the part I think the trip ended up a success.

You may notice this one had a level sensor on it which the TA27 doesn’t have, no problem though.  A quick snip of the wires and a hacksaw to cut off the unnecessary sensor and we’re in business.

In order to finish up the engine bay there was one more thing I had to do and that was fabricate a a solution for the ridiculous throttle cable bracket that used to be in the car.

Yup, the one that is zip-tied to the strut brace.  Nice huh?  It will be difficult to improve on this fine piece of work  but I’ll try.

First up is finding a suitable place to mount the bracket on the actual motor, not the strut brace which required me to tap one of the unused holes on the Mikuni’s.

Then fabricate a bracket.  I decided to use Stainless steel on this one because it doesn’t work harden or fatigue and eventually break like aluminum or even mild steel would.  Simple but effective, and most importantly not zip tied to the strut brace ;)

Let’s test it out!  Unfortunately the microphone on the trusty old shop camera doesn’t do the Mikuni’s any justice but you get the idea.  These carbs must be heard in person to really get a feel for how cool they really sound.

I also did the usual leak down and compression tests on the motor as well to make sure the 2T-G was in in tip top shape and the tests show the motor is very happy.

That’s always a relief. Compression numbers are even as well…

A few new hoses here and there and the engine bay is now complete.

A little suspension work in part 4 and this thing should be ready to go!

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