Saturday, November 13, 2010

Panels getting painted

Bumpers, fenders and doors ready for prime and paint.

Edges were starting to rust even though we are in the Pacific NW! These cars had thin metal and were not built to last for the long haul.

Sanded all the body sealer out of all of them and then soaked it with an acid etch primer for good bonding and sealing.

Fenders needed nothing, good all around.

Hatch suffered the worst of the rust. One hit with the blaster and it went right through. Super thin metal is no match for sand blasting. Resorted to hand sanding and wire brushing. Luckily there were no rust through areas in the outer panels.

Doors were in need of paint. When they were factory sprayed they missed a lot of places and many of the seams were never caulked.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Naked with a few holes.

Stripped down to its skivvies and ready for some minor rust repair. These never held up well and even here in the mild NW, rust had started in the tail panel. Not bad but still annoying

Interior out, even the headliner. Had a real hard time getting the sun roof off. And it too had some rust starting as well... common on these apparently.

A few more weeks and then into paint.

Plastic Bits

Found a great local guy here in Seattle that could re-dye all the interior plastic so now it looks new AND is all the same color blue. Not a bad price, had tried Just Dashes in SoCal and they were good but pricey. This was a fast turn and great service!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Shell shock

Took the nose off the car to get to all the insides. Need to paint the A/C and oil cooler flat black along with the fan to make it look clean again.

No surprises other than the fender supports up front were made of tin foil and twisted at the first sign of distress.

There were A LOT of bolts holding the front and back bumpers on. Lots more than in today's cars.

While working on the car in the shop, my friend Maureen had her car rear-ended and towed to the shop.

2002 Mistubishi Lancer ES with not even 50k on it... low miles and clean. Totalled out at $6600 in damage for a $7000 car. Hard to find parts for these even after 8 years, even from the dealer!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

In the body shop for its Spa Day

Took the front fenders off to find about 8 inches of debris packed up inside the inner fender. No rust just LOTS of dirt and compost. Car should be about 50 lbs lighter in the end once it is cleaned.

Spoilers and sill plates came off and they too were packed with dirt, filled to the top actually. Thankfully no rust behind any of the pieces I took off and no broken clips either.

Yes that is dirt. The car is white, and once that gets wiped off, it should be white too.

Nose is off, and you can see the piles of dirt hidden behind all the panels. And this is AFTER I spent an hour pressure washing everything I could get into. No surprises so far.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Gutted the interior

Took the interior apart, yanked the carpet, cleaned it and had new backing pad installed and had floor mats made.

Seats came out and had the rails painted.

All the interior plastic trim is going to be re-dyed to match (many are different color blues as they have faded over the years).

Steering wheel leather needs to be redone.

Engine clean up

Old valve covers were a bit crusty. Bought a new on from the dealer but could not get the set so I had my body shop repaint the two old ones.

Here is how they look back from paint, amazing job and matched to the factory colors.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Back from the shop

Got the car back from the shop to have a few things checked out. A/C was in-op but a simple recharge of R-12 (the good stuff) and it works just fine.

Engine had a bit of a lag and hesitation on warm up. Found out all the factory-set adjustments had been messed with and set screws ground off but once everything was set back to factory specs, it ran great. Much faster than when I bought the car!

Brakes were all new but someone didn't install them right. Rear pad was crooked and only 1/3 was touching so put new pads and rotors on all 4 wheels. Helps if the pad is really hitting the rotor. Car sure stops alot better than it did.

Got nice new Mountain rotors from Japan, hard to come by some of the parts for this car given its age now.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

July 11, Back from the Spa

Car came back from the detailer, about 15 lbs lighter from all the dirt wedged in all the corners.

Broken tail light I found THE last one from the Toyota dealer. They found only one NOS in the US and it was the one I needed.

Cleaned up nice. Needed new plugs and air filter and such. Also needs new drivers door hinges as the door is sagging.

My friend asked me why I bought a Gremlin? Well kinda looks like one but sure doesn't drive like one!

Removed the rear tail light, and revealed 22 years of dust and debris. A little rust was peaking through which I detest! Whole car will be repainted to make sure there is NO rust anywhere.

Passenger door window and mirror didn't work. Took the panel off and found the mirror and window disconnected and the plastic shield wadded up inside the door. Sprayed off about 1.2 lbs of dust and chunks and the window and mirror works great.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

July 6th, car arrived

Bone stock 1988 Corolla FX16 GTS

In for its complete detail inside and out.
Original paint, interior, wheels. Everything is just the way it was in 1988... along with some fading, wear and dirt.

Engine needs a serious cleaning but runs like a top. Leak oil around lots of the seals but goes right up to the redline with no hitch.

No holes in the seats or carpets, all stock and in good shape.

Even the drivers door panel is all there and perfect.

Has the stock radio!

Needs new stickers. No luck at the dealer, looks like I will have to have them made.

Drivers tail light is broken. Got a brand new stock Toyota tail light out of Baltimore. Good luck is one the way.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Day 1

This is where it all started.

Greenwood car show in Seattle, Saturday June 27th, 2010. Brought my 78 Corolla GT and my 79 Corona to the car show and met lots of great people.

Chris, another show participant with his electric truck started talking to me about my Toyotas and mentioned that he and his wife had a Corolla hatchback they were thinking of selling. A Corolla FX16 GTS hatchback to be exact. I was interested, very interested. 2 days later his wife called me, said that they were thinking of selling the car but she was very attached to the car. I assured her that the car was going to be in great hands and that she could follow along on the blog to see how the car was going to be brought back to it original glory.

I went to Whidbey island, drove the car and purchased it.

Here is the story from when I got the car on July 5th.