Project 73 Celica (TA27) part 4


Posted on October 29 2010

Now that I have taken care of some of the interior and exterior issues on the TA27 it’s time for me to get underneath to address a few items that need some attention.  First off, these older style steering designs are always a bit sloppier than than a modern rack and pinion setup but this one in particular was especially sloppy.   After a quick examination it would appear that the right outer, and left inner tie rod ends were the source of the extra slop,  and in serious need of repair.    But where to find replacements……   hmm……

Remember that naked RA29 there next to it’s more appropriately dressed cousin?  If you’ve been following the blog you may remember the rack and pinion conversion I performed on it a while back.   It just so turns out that I kept the old rack and even though its from a left hand drive car the tie rod ends are the same, and all in good shape.  Schweet!!!!

And as much as I hate storing all this old stuff around the shop it just goes to show you never throw anything out unless your POSITIVE you won’t need it again.   Time to bust out the ball joint kit..

I will usually make measurements of where the old units are positioned on the car before I remove anything.  This won’t get the car perfectly aligned when you reinstall the new tie rod ends but it will give you a good reference, and a much better starting point when it comes time to get the wheels straight again.

There’s a few ways to remove ball joints but I find this kit to be pretty effective while usually not damaging the boots like a pickle fork will if done correctly.  This shows the orientation and different tools I used to remove them.

Put an impact gun on there, tighten it down and wait for it…….     wait for it……..     BANG!!!  I always hate that part, and for good reason.  I had this one pictured here below come flying off an S2000 a few years back and wack me right in the mug.  I took 4 stitches in the lip on that one….  I now make sure all my important parts are protected  before I go busting ball joints now :)

While the car was in the air I also took a minute to take care of this abnormally long goofy looking tip that was sticking way too far out of the back of an otherwise decent 50mm piping, mandrel bent exhaust system.    See what I mean?  Careful not to trip over it while walking around the back of the car….

Much better, all flat black for stealth.  Maybe I’ll put another tip on later,  but for now this is a big improvement in my opinion.

With all the new tie rods on the car it’s now time to check the alignment.  I like my alignments like I like my cars….  old school baby!!   In all actuality a string alignment can be just as accurate as a laser alignment if done properly.  I have been doing them on my personal cars for years and I get great tire wear.  If you go out to the track you will still see half million dollar Porsche’s.

That you see up there is basically a more car specific and fancier way of doing this.

I won’t get into the specifics but there’s plenty of info online if you want to take it on yourself.  It all comes down to how much time you put into it and how accurate your measurements are.  With the alignment done it was time for a test drive………   all is well until I pulled it back in the shop an noticed a suspect puddle under the car.

Hmm….  it would seem as if the water pump is in need of a replacement as this was coming out of the weep hole.  Oh, well, that’s why we do thorough inspections here at JDM Legends BEFORE we sell the cars.  That way you get some piece of mind when buying a vehicle through us knowing its good to go.  I just wish I knew about it before we brought it over from Japan so I could have shipped a replacement pump with it.  Anyone have a spare waterpump for a 2T-GEU?  :)   I’ll get one here one way or another as providing replacement parts for our customers is another one of the services we provide for customers who have purchased a vehicle through us.   And until next time,  enjoy this quick little walk around inspection video I do on all the cars to go up on the vehicles for sale page on It’s one thing to say the car starts up, and runs good, and another to actually show it right?

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