A few days after removing the drivetrain from the Celica, I decided to get started on the engine tear down. The first step is to split the engine and transmission, this a pretty easy task with everything out of the car already. I was surprised however to see just how disgusting the transmission was, someone recently had this engine apart and decided to not fix the transmission leaks at that time. The saddest part is that it's just a bad axle seal, what kind of work ethic is that! Anyway, let's move on...
In the image above you'll see the glued on seal proving this was a junkyard engine, although I knew this already just based on the infamous "silver paint job". Next, I put the engine on the stand, and anyone that has worked on a Toyota knows you need to source 5" bolts to mount the engine up. I started the disassembly by carefully removing the engine harness. The last person to touch this car had already broken most of the retention clips, so I tried to take extra caution not to break anything else. That didn't go as planned though, the connectors and wires in this harness were super brittle due to age, heat, and oil soaking.
Next, I decided to remove the manifolds. The exhaust came off pretty easy, and I did notice a lot of soot build-up in the ports(something to keep in mind as improper combustion could be the possible cause of failure). The intake manifold was pretty difficult to remove though, it had sealant applied to essentially every contact surface and had to be pried off. I removed most of the other parts of the engine, finding excessive sealant and stripped bolts everywhere along the way. I even had to pry the water pump off due to the excessive sealant, and of course I dropped it on the floor and broke it....YAY! On a positive note, at least the clutch looks new!
I left the valve cover on to prevent more oil spillage, then turned the engine upside down. This is where I found the nastiest part of the whole project, for whatever reason the oil pan had been removed already. The amount of sealant on the pan was unbelievable, vast amounts of it squeezed inside and out of the flanges. Unacceptable, but somehow none of it was stuck in the oil pick-up. One good thing about this engine is that the rod bearing caps are accessible once the pan is off, so I removed them one at a time and took pictures:
Well thats gone wrong.
It's clear something went wrong and caused #4 rod bearing to fail, I'm still not sure of the cause at this point though. I would suspect oil contamination since all of the bearings have some damage, but that could be collateral damage too. Maybe the engine did have a serious performance issue and detonation caused this, let's keep going and see what else is damaged.
The oil pump was another failure point. I didn't have the correct impact driver to remove to cover, but its definitely damaged based on the sounds it makes and inability to free spin. I know the 2ZZ has issues with the oil pump so this wasn't a surprise to me. There was sealant applied to every single contact surface on this too, including the oil pickup and pump gaskets. Take a look at the below picture of the timing cover to get an idea of what I'm saying...
On a positive note however, the cams and cylinder bores look great! All of the filters and screens must have done their job thankfully, if the rest of the engine was damaged this project would be much more expensive. You can see that the pistons look new and the engine is relatively clean inside, the timing components and oil pump also look like they were recently replaced. My original analysis on this engine was poor workmanship, and I'm going to stand by that based on what I found here. The patterns on these bearings resemble those that fell victim to contamination and subsequent lack of lubrication.
Now I'll be taking the Crankshaft to a machine shop to inspect, I can measure it but I need to see if there are any cracks or distortion. Once I receive a response from them we can plan accordingly for reassembly. I'll also get a new oil pump, full bearing set, gaskets, water pump, lift bolts, lift screen, and fluids. Stay tuned for the next update!
To first understand wheel studs, let's look at the technical details behind them. The ARP studs are made from 8740 chrome moly and are cadmium plated, this results in a maximum tensile strength of 200,000psi. This would be the equivalent of applying 112ftlbs of torque to a regular Toyota passenger car 12mmx1.5 stud. The original Toyota 8T studs torque spec is 76ftlbs, but there is no data on their maximum tensile strength. So without using an oscilloscope and torque gauge to test each stud we can't definitively say witch studs are stronger. I will report that many people have lost a wheel or noticed their OEM studs cracked or broken after track racing. I've never heard one bad report of any ARP hardware, and I believe they are essential for those of us removing and installing wheels often.
I had originally purchased these studs for their length back when I had the JDM Vitz rear disc brake conversion. I had a set of 15x7 RPF1's and the rear caliper did not clear the wheel drum taper, so I used these longer studs and 10mm spacers to make it fit. ARP does not make a kit specifically for the Yaris so I had to do a bit of research to find the right size Knurl, luckily all I needed to do was measure and compare on ARP's website. The Lexus IS300 wheel stud kit was a direct match, they come in packs of 5, so you need to order 4 packs even though the Yaris hubs are 4x100. You can order these HERE.
Installation is relatively simple but you will need a wheel stud installer and open-ended lug-nuts. Once the brakes are removed, the original front studs can be hammered out and the new studs installed from the forward side of the hub. However, the rear hubs will need to be removed due to insufficient clearance of the backplate. During instalation be sure to apply some synthetic grease to the threads, this will ease in installation and protect the stud from any corrosion in the future. You can get the grease HERE, and the installer HERE.
The final piece of this fail-proof upgrade is a proper lug-nut. I've been around cars and racing a long time, and I've seen people use a lot of different lug-nuts. So please listen when I say to avoid the aluminum nuts. Yes they are lighter, but they also expand at a different rate of the stud and strip after several on-off cycles. Remember to apply some grease to the stud, use a steel lug-nut, and torque to spec. I really like the Gorilla forged lug-nuts, they are heavy duty, have a knurled end for easy installation, and are open-ended. You can purchase the forged lugs HERE.
Maintenance is easy, all you need to do is clean the threads, inspect for wear, and apply new grease. I've had this set-up on my car for 3 years now, and I've never had any issues. I rotate the tires after every race and at lunchtime during track events. Hundreds of on-off cycles and 4 different wheel set-ups, you could safely say I've tested them thoroughly.
If you've ever raced a car with an open differential, you know how frustrating it is to run around the course with that inside tire loosing its mind. You focus on the braking zone, execute the set-up, hit the apex, then mash the accelerator and....nothing. Ok well not "nothing", you car is doing the best it can with its original basic hardware. You have to time your inputs perfectly, be conscious of the surface condition, and wait.....for what seems like forever to go full throttle again. Not only is this slower, but it wears down the tires faster from all the wheel-spin. Super lame.
Now what if I told you it doesn't have to be this way, WHAT IF all you had to do was plant your right foot and steer? Let me share with you a genius product from CuscoUSA.
The RS Model has small coil springs between the pressure rings, constantly applying some pressure to the clutches. This results in a lower break away torque and minimal loss of this initail torque over time due to wear. The benefit of a lower(51-65ftlb) initial torque is a gradual and quicker clutch activation, smoother turn-in, an overal stable operation.
Not only is the RS completely rebuildable, they are also fully customizable! You have the regular options of 1-way, 2-way, or 1.5-way....but there is more! You can have custom ramp-up angles, preload springs, clutch discs, and even have them WPC treat the gears inside! Don't feel like you need to make all of these decisions on your own either, the crew at Cusco is more than willing to evaluate your situation and make suggestions. I've always felt super grateful for their amazing motorsports support, and I let them decide on my settings every time. Not once have I received anything less than a perfect product from them. You will have to re-tune your suspension once you switch from an open diff to the LSD.
The difference between an open differential and the this Cusco clutch-type LSD is like night and day. The first time you drive the car after the install you need to do the break-in procedure, then change the fluid. There is a definative difference in how the car turns while accelerating, you will feel the LSD lock and pull the car in the desired direction. If you decide to stab the accelerator with the wheels turned you better be prepared and have both hands on the wheel, in dry conditions the grip is INSANE! However in icy conditions you will still need to be careful, because you now will spin both front tires...and that means zero front grip.
Autocross is the perfect way to test a car, you have many different elements to master and usually not the most ideal surface. You need to accelerate at full blast through the first element, then a slalomn, throw in some turns and another slalomn...you really NEED both front tires to do their job. Iv'e raced this car the longest with an open differential, and it teaches you to give up throttle in places where the front starts stepping out. Its extremely frustrating, but there is a solution. The Cusco unit is best described as magical, since it effectively eliminates all of these traction issues. You no longer have to be gentle with the throttle, just set the arc and keep the throttle down...seriously. This is why we jokingly say "just mash the gas and steer", because now the LSD is HELPING the car turn.
The grip on a racetrack is a bit easier to manage, with an open differential you can expect to start spinning that inside wheel when trying to drive off the corners. The only thing to do is just make sure you have a good line and be patient, momentum and precision are the game plan. Once you have the Cusco LSD things change a LOT, you still need to set the arc in the turn but this time you get on the throttle right after braking. You no longer need to worry about the front losing grip and sliding, that doesnt exist anymore. Now you can hold the gas down and it actully keeps pulling the front of the car in the desired direction. The game has now changed to " whats the fastest I can enter the turn and not fly off?", because now you wont have to give up speed anywhere else but the entry!
There are many things you can do to a vehicle to make it faster; more power, weight reduction, fine-tuning the suspension....but all of these upgrades will still leave you with a incomplete build. A ton of power doesnt help much if youre spinning a tire the whole time. This is why I am such a gearhead, I've learned how much of a difference gear ratios and a winning LSD make. If you want to know my opinion on what makes the biggest improvement in a race car; hands-down it's having a Cusco LSD. Check out the comparison video below!
You guys may know by now that I performed a C60 swap into my 2zrVios last December, and have done a bunch of highway and autocross testing for the past 5 months. On the street the 6 speed was awesome, the only time it ever had traction issues was in the rain. Autocrossing with this gearbox was quite frustrating though, the 4.5 final drive and short ratios resulted in a ton of wheelspin. We knew we needed an LSD badly, so I contacted my friend Kenji at CuscoUSA and placed an order. Once the LSD arrived, we did an unboxing video HERE and pulled the gearbox from the Yaris to start the install.
During the disassembly process (VIDEO) is when we do a majority of the inspection and take measurements, this way we know what parts need to be ordered while the gearbox is completely torn down. I created a thorough blueprint booklet with images where you can log all of your measurements and gearbox details. If you want a copy just send me a message. Once you place the order for bearings and synchronizers, now is the perfect time to send parts to be WPC treated as well.
Now that you're waiting on parts, take this opportunity to strip the case down completely and clean it. You want to de-grease it and clean all of the tiny areas where metal debris and tarnish may accumulate. Once the case is completely clean of oils, you can scrape off the old sealant and chase the case bolts/threads with an 8mmx1.25 tap and die. This is to clean the threads providing consistent fastener torque. Next, I blow all of the debris out of the case with shop air then cover it to prevent dirt intrusion before assembly. Check out the video HERE
If you remember 2 years ago when I shared my C50 build, then the Cusco Type-RS LSD will sound familiar. Again I did a ton of research on every type and brand of LSD to make sure the right decision is made. The TRD helical LSD and the Quaife are nearly identical in design, and I passed on these after many reports of wheelspin and an "unloading" in race applications. So it came down to KAZZ and Cusco, and with how awesome the unit in the C50 did I went for the RS again. This time, however, Cusco and I agreed to increase the ramp to 45 degrees and try the 1.5 way. ALL THE GRIP!
The AR-Differential Install Kit
Since I've built several of these boxes now, I figured it would be easier for everyone else if I put together a kit including the bearings, seals, and instructions. This way you guys won't need to go to the dealership and point out the parts you need on a diagram(and likely the counter guys make a mistake), you'll have the correct Toyota part numbers! (VIDEO) Once you transfer the ring gear and speedometer drive, install new bearings, put the assembly in the case, torque the bolts, and check preload (VIDEO). Then if your preload measurement is out of specifications, this kit will have the numbers for the shims as well! Easy Peasy. I also recommend investing in one of these high-quality magnetic plugs from Mishimoto, I didn't want to risk buying a cheap part and have my gearbox destroyed if it detaches. Make sure to put the plug in the FILL port only, since there is not enough differential clearance at the drain port. The link is to this part is HERE.
There have been many instances where C60's have suffered a broken 3rd gear under drag racing conditions. I'm not the type that enjoys this straight line racing, but in the Pro-Solo environment we do have a drag-style start. I measured all of the gears and sent out the 3rd and 4th gearsets based on their tooth width being the lowest. I also decided to have the output shaft treated due to rare instances of tooth breakage. If you want to learn more about WPC treatment and see the friction test video check out my write-up here: leave nothing to chance.
Now it's time to put it all back together, make sure you pay close attention to the install direction of every single part. Gears, Synchros, shift hubs, and even clips must be installed in a specific orientation. One mistake during the assembly process and you could be missing a shift or even have an immediate failure. Pre-lubricate all of the parts and take your time, feel free to use my videos of the assembly process here:
Input Shaft Assembly
Output Shaft Assembly
Final Transmission Assembly
Fluid And The Break-in Procedure
Once you have the transmission back in the car, special attention needs to be given to the fluid you use. All clutch-type LSD's require a unique formula of friction modifiers in the fluid to prevent disc sticking and chatter. I know you can take the risk and use whatever fluid you want and add a modifier to it, but that's outside of my comfort zone. I always just pay more for the recommended Cusco Mission Oil. If you installed a Quaife or Torsion differential then no special fluid is required, since these differentials only contain gears. Once the gearbox is full of the correct oil, it's time to perform the break-in procedure. Break-in for clutch-type differentials is a process similar to breaking in your clutch or bedding brakes. You want to slip the friction surfaces in a manner that results in a surface conformity of the discs, while also maintaining optimum temperature. After the process you replace the fluid and carry on, as usual, you can watch my video on the whole process below.
I was scrolling through the "poor" section of Craigslist autos one day helping a friend look for a cheap car, in the $1000 or less ads. Most of the cars in this range either don't run, don't drive, or have been crashed. This is the perfect place for someone like me to find a ride since I've become proficient at sourcing cheap parts and performing the required repairs. I've bought and fixed many cars by now in this manner, but usually regular sedans and small SUV's. When I saw the ad for this Celica I knew right away I had to save this one too. It had a blown engine and something wrong with 2nd gear, serious issues but nothing I can't handle. I e-mailed the owner and we agreed on a price, so I called my buddy Rubin at JDTE Towing and we made the hour long drive to pick up the car.
We arrived at the owner's gated community around 9am to pick up the car, after getting buzzed in we spotted the car right away. Dan(the owner) met us on the driveway and we introduced ourselves, after a brief talk I asked to look at the car. They brought out the only key and unlocked the door, I popped the hood and looked around inside noticing several trim pieces missing. It was obvious this car had been dead for a while, there were plenty of spiderwebs and a good amount of dirt inside and out. I finally go check out the engine and notice right away that someone had tried to fix this car, several broken plastic parts, oil residue everywhere, and things out of place. We were able to find some of the interior parts in the garage and then decided to settle the purchase.
Dan and Andrew were really honest and pleasant to do business with, that's always refreshing given the atmosphere of Craigslist. Turns out that Dan is an author and actually signed one of his books for us, its always cool meeting creative people. We made the hour long drive back to SD and dropped the car off at the shop, I paid Rubin and we went home. I didn't look the car over again until the following Monday.
The first thing I did was buy a composition book to log every issue I find along the way. I looked over the interior and exterior and wrote down everything missing or broken, later that night I looked up the prices on all of these repairs. Next, I decided to verify the issues with the drivetrain, I put the battery booster on and started the engine for the first time. Right away everyone in the shop knew for sure this engine had rod-knock, and sadly it hadn't just started. This knock was pretty bad and the engine struggled to idle, soon stalling out. So I fired it back up and checked the clutch and gearbox, it has reverse and first and moves fine in those gears. Second gear, however, is completely gone. No matter how hard I hold the shifter in position, once the clutch is released it just grinds and grinds.
Now that I'm fully aware of all issues and know exactly what I need to fix, I removed the drivetrain. I've never owned a Celica before, so all of this is a learning experience for me even though its similar to my Yaris. I will continue to provide updates as we progress on this car, stay tuned for the results of the engine and transmission dissasembly.
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