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Toyota Celica (Hatchbacks / All Years)



  • So after many years of the cargo cover banging and making noise over every bump, I did the unthinkable: I actually looked at it.

    Underneath are two square inlets, one on the left and one on the right. The inlets have metal clips and it looks like there was something secured in there at some point. I wish I knew where my shop manual is, it probably shows a part right there in black and white! In any case, I am guessing that there should be a piece of rubber or such that should be in those inlets to help cushion the shelf.

    To solve this, I used pipe insulation. This is a black, semi-stiff foam used to insulate pipes around the house. Its shape is a cylinder. I cut off a piece the width of the inlets. Cut the circular piece open and straightened it out. I then cut two pieces, one for each inlet and stuffed it in there. Given the foam still has a curve from its memory, I had to force it straight and rest the shelf on it, after disconnecting the two ties to the hatch. If the foam maintains its shape I will reconnect the ties to the hatch. If it does not maintain its shape and keeps curling over, then perhaps I will spec a stiffer foam that is shaped perfectly. In any case, this cost nothing and took five minutes.

    Peterpan is there any real risk that my mechanic may not have replaced the entire lock mechanism? The new one works great, and that is my main concern. You say I would not break anything, well, I break everything, so I leave this stuff to the experts.
  • The feltlike cargo cover swivels on 2 plastic pins that are inserted snugly into 2 plastic holders on the side wall. The holders are removable ans sometimes get lost. Sold for a few bucks in the dealer.

    The rear side of the cover rests on 2 pieces of foam on the side wall.

    If not inserted and secured properly, the cover can make annoying banging noise every time you run over a bump. I hate all those bumping noise.
  • peterpan99peterpan99 Posts: 64
    edited September 2013
    The whole power door lock mechanism is like $250 from the dealer and takes 2 to 3 days to order. If your mechanic fixed your door lock the same day, then he likely only replaced the little motor. Most repair shops know this fix and have motors ready.

    For $80 its 1 hour labor with the motor. It's a fair deal.

    For the $250 high price of the assembly, if you ordered it, he's supposed to show you the broken unit and how it failed, for you to keep, also the packaging of the new unit.
  • peterpan99peterpan99 Posts: 64
    edited September 2013
    I drive my car very aggressively, so after 212K the engine mounts with rubber core are worn out. The engine vibrates a great deal when idled with transmission engaged.

    It's embarrassing every time I carry female passengers. They would feel like their boobs were swinging uncontrollably and ready to fall off ...hehe.

    So ordered both rear and front mounts in Amazon for $45. They claim to be made of high quality chinese rubber. Dealers' would cost about $180 for both.

    I put the car on stands, took the driver-side tire off for access to the rear mount.

    The rear side of the engine rides on a 17 mm cross bolt which goes through the rear mounts rubber core. It was very hard to turn. I used a half-inch ratchet wrench with a 30 inch long half in extension, cheap tool from China, to reach the bolt. I turned very hard, broke the rachet and extensions without being able to turn the bolt at all. repeat the same failure for the whole week. The bros had warned me that the bolt is hard to turn, but I did not expect it to be this hard.

    The cheap steel extension tubes 30-inch long twisted so much under load that the torque was not delivered to the bolt.

    I was desperate. I was gonna bring it into the shop, which quoted $300 labor plus parts. Dealer wanted $675 to replace both mounts.

    Finally borrowed some professional Crafstman's tools, inserted the long extension tube on the bolt, rest the tube level on a hard pivot point like a car jack to keep it straight with the bolt's centerline, use a half-inch Craftsman wrench with a long extension, applied about 100 ft-lbs of torque on the extension. This time the bolt opened smoothly. Damn. This torque is about the same as opening the wheel lug.

    The shops use compressed-air impact wrenches with up to 500- 600 ft-lb torque. So they can open this bolt quickly. With limited hand tools, the home mechanics just have to be more creative.

    The bros can do this kind of job at home. I broke all those cheap steel tools from China without breaking anything in the car. So the car is safe.

    If you have to get under the car, just make sure you raise the car and put the chassis frame on solid and level supports. Put concrete blocks, wood blocks or wheels under the chassis to make sure the car does not move or collapse.

    By the way, I am a software engineer. But I usually come up with solutions for critical problems for the muscle-head mechanics in my neighborhood. So you can do it.

    Good luck.
  • The timing chain cover plate is a large piece at the end of the engine block on passenger side.

    It's right behind the pulleys and main serpentine belt, held onto the block with 14 bolts and 2 nuts.

    Toyota recommends tightening all fasteners on the engine every 100K mile. This timing chain cover can leak oil, especially when the timing chain in cranking at high engine speed. Oil would be slung through the seal and spray out.

    It's difficult to have access to these bolts. You have to remove the serpentine belt. Also need a long and straight box wrench to access the 2 bolts at the top.

    When your engine leaks oil, it's prudent to check for the exact locations of the leaks carefully before fixing, or you may waste a lot of time with the wrong leaks.

    1. Remove all engine plastic covers for access to the engine.
    2. First tighten all bolts on engine: valve cover, timing chain tensioner plate, timing chain cover plate, oil sump, tighten oil filter...
    3. Wipe clean all potential oil leaking joints and surfaces with engine cleaner or solvent.
    4. Blow flour or baby powder on all potential leaking joints.

    5. Run the car for a few days then check all joints to find the exact leaking spots and repair accordingly.

    Chances are after tightening all bolts the leaks would have been fixed, you would find no more leaks and saved yourself a lot of unnecessary repairs.

    Good luck.
  • Peterpan your input is awesome! I have a bad back and reasonable mechanic so I stick to tire rotations and oil changes, and leave the rest to the mechanic. I do solve a lot of little problems at work (IT also) and daily life around the house so we are definitely kindred spirits. But I especially enjoy your great descriptive stories of fixing problems on the Celica.

    Isn't the timing gasket at risk of being burned or mishapen, and requiring replacement? I take it they are very hearty items?
  • Hi Guitarzan,

    Thanks for your kind word. You are definitely kindred spirit.

    I guess I do like this little Celica GTS. It's reliable, high-performance, fun and cheap to drive, and it fits my wants and needs perfectly. I guess I like to drive as fast as I can.

    Via friends, I have access to Corvettes, Benzes, Porches, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Ashton Martin Vanquish etc... But I still think the Toyota GTS is a wonderful car, mostly because it's quick and precise to control in speeding, braking, turning ... more so than other high-performance cars.

    Regarding the timing chain cover plate, it has a rubber gasket. The bros in NEWCELICA.ORG had tried to replace that gasket but they had to remove the engine block to do it properly. Otherwise that gasket will leak again. That would be way too much work. My guess was that the leak could be fixed by tightening the 14 bolts and 2 nuts. It turned out to be correct.

    By 100K miles, I found lots of loose bolts on the engine and transmission. It's worth tightening them all while checking for leaks and worn oil, fluid and coolant hoses etc...

    For a guy with bad back you do a lot with oil change and tire rotation. I do the oil change because I can do it quicker at home that driving the car to the shop and sit around and wait. I also use Toyota filter and synthetic oil so I only have to change oil every 15K or when it looks black and smelled burned.

    But I made a deal with a local tire shop nearby to do tire rotation, balancing and flat repairs for the same price as Costco. They can order and install any new tires I chose and do all services very quickly while I wait. They take good care of my tires for very low cost. Recommended.
  • I Installed an after-market set of front and rear engine mounts in a GTS 2002.

    The car now has more vibration at idle than before with OEM mounts. Apparently the rubber material may be stiffer than factory's.

    Therefore aftermarket engine mounts are not recommended. For $50 more, buy Toyota's engine mount for smooth idling.

    Replacing the rear engine mount involves serious work and risks of damages or injuries. You need to raise the car about 6 inches for access to the fasters from underneath. There are risks of being pinned under the car if it's not supported properly.

    Local shops here only want $90-100 plus part to replace the rear engine mount. I suggest the bros to leave it to the shops with proper equipments and tools to do with minimum risks.
  • The aftermarket seems to work fine after braking in for a few weeks. Only $45 for the set front and rear mounts, a good deal.

    The OEM rear mount has a 2 in rod with a small cylindrical rubber counterweight on top. The new after market has a bump n top. It works fine. The engine idles smoothly. Severe vibration with the worn rear mount was gone. I just dont know how long it last . The OEM set lasted 220K. The front mount is like new. The rear mount was completely torn of rubber damping due to my harshing downshifting.

  • if engine temperature does not go up to 180 deg F, mid range on the gauge, within 10 minutes of driving, then pretty sure the thermostat is stuck open.

    Cold engines dont run smoothly or efficiently with high-performance. Thermo should be replaced. TOYOTA thermos is like $18, highly recommended. Both 1ZZ and 2ZZ are the same with lay out of the Thermo.

    The thermostat is inside a L-shape aluminum hose, hooked up to the black coolant hose about 3-inch DIA, at the front, bottom of the engine block, passenger side, right underneath and behind the alternator. It's held onto the engine block by a trapperzhoidal bracket onto 2 small studs with 2 x 10 mm nuts.

    Contrary to popular belief, you dont have to do the big job removing the alternator and the main serpentine belt to access the thermostat. There is a much quicker and easier way to do it.

    1. Take a trash bag under the thermostat to collect coolant under the engine. When you pull the thermostat out, about half gallon of coolant will spill from engine block.

    2. Use a universal joint adapter with 10 mm socket and ratchet wrench to clear the alternator and remove the 2 x 10 mm nuts.

    3. Grab the black rubber hose with your right hand and the aluminum head with your left hand, squeeze and pull the rubber hose while wiggling the head clear of the alternator and pull it out.

    Believe me it will come out. I have done it many times Sure beats the long hard work of removing the alternator and redoing the serpentine belt. [non-permissible content removed].

    1. Check around the thermo hole for debris, NICK, CRACKS or damages. Clean it up. Dont let coolant leak through cracks.

    2. Put the new thermo and its gasket into the aluminum head with the spring going forward, into the engine block, and the notch and hole on the edge of the thermo near the top position of to recirculate coolant.

    3. Again squeeze and wiggle the thermostat pass the alternator to sit flush on the hole. Check and make sure everything sits flat and fits well before using the universal joint adapter to tighten the 2 x 10 mm nuts. Torque should be around 30 in-lbs. Dont overtorque and strip the threaded studs.

    This procedure is so easy I will use it in the future to drain coolant from the block. Sure beats going under the car. That and opening up the clamp at the bottom of the radiator hose below the cooling fan, will drain may be 90% coolant from the car.

  • QUCIK and EASY WAY to REPLACE 1ZZ and 2ZZ thermostats

  • PFFlyer@EdmundsPFFlyer@Edmunds Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 5,808

    @peterpan99 said: QUCIK and EASY WAY to REPLACE 1ZZ and 2ZZ thermostats

    Thanks for detailing this. Very helpful!


    Moderator - Hatchbacks & Hybrid Vehicles

  • Kumho Ecsta PA31 all-season high performance tire, rated V 500 AAA

    I bought a set of 1 SUMITOMO HTR-Z Ultra High Performance Summer. $360 with life-time balance, rotate, repairs etc..

    Had about 10K miles with about 2/3 tread left. The front tires had some uneven wear. The tire is fun to drive, but is known for poor wet traction.

    I just got in a spin on a rainy freeway off ramp, driving carefully at about 30 MPH. Everything was riding fine, then suddenly the tires lost all traction. The car spinned out, jumped a high curb, dragging the engine bottom on the edge of the curb, hit a wooden post (12 Inch DIA), broke it clear off the concrete base, continue riding on the curb until I was able to steer it off the curb.

    Elec Stability Control would probably prevented that spin.

    The bumper had a long but shallow vertical dent. The hood was bent just a little. If the car did not hit the wooden post, it may have gone over into a 20-feet ravine, which most likely total the car and cause some injuries.

    During the spin, I was trying valiantly to steer the car this way then that way trying to recover the traction with no luck. My quick glances saw no other cars coming from behind so there was no secondary collision. Very lucky I did not get hit from behind.

    It scared me now that I used to drive these tires at 80-90 MPH on freeway even during rain. Lucky they were all straight and wide freeways. Any sharp turns or quick lane changes would likely spin the car.

    I have seen quite a few sports coups spin out even on straight road in light rain. I used to drive fast passed these shaken people in their expensive sports coups and laugh at them...

    So no more Ultra-High Performance Summer tires for me. I was looking into Tirerack and found Kumho Ecsta PA31 rated top over other similar tires. The speed rating is V with tread wear rated 500, which is like 50K miles. I had before Kumho ECSTA with good dry and wet traction, wear long and evenly, but the sidewall is weaker so the turns are mushy. Also the tires were noisy after about 20K miles. But I have to make sure my a$$$ wont get spinned down into a ditch in the rain. So safety first.

    $272 per set plus shipping and mounting, probably about $450 total, not a bad deal.

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