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1999 Corolla E110 - Rattles & 20 years of the same exhaust

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Mrs Dustman has a dash cam she wants me to fit to her '99 frog face Corolla. It came with a hard wire kit as opposed to the usual fag lighter lead, so I might as well make a decent* job of it and hide the wiring completely. Trouble is I can't remember how I got the radio pod out when I fitted the DAB unit she now has. I've also got a few dash illumination bulbs to change so I might as well do it all in one hit while it's a sunny afternoon.


A bit of googling comes up with the US spec dash which appears to be different from the European model, or the 2002-on model. I seem to remember spudging out the dash vents to access some bolts/rivets.


Failing that, is there an easier place to get a switched live from (besides the radio) that doesn't involve destroying the car's interior?

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Thanks all for your recommendation. I eventually found a way of getting a switched live from the radio feed, though I suspect it's a temporary job as I had to use some fine* skills with the gas soldering iron. The piggyback fuse adaptor looks like a good idea so I may do this in the near future.


I've thinned out the pics I took during fitting, but someone else may find these useful, especially if hardwiring another accessory or fitting a digital radio aerial.


1) site camera. This one (Apeman) only came with a 3M sticky pad mount so once it's up, it's staying. I mounted it behind the rear view mirror so as not to prove a distraction while Mrs D is on the road.




2) I managed to stuff the hard wire cable up into the headlining and down the a-post trim. Cable zippers are needed to keep everything in place ideally.





3) Wouldn't even know I'd been in there......




4) Now for the vents. The little grilles just popped out, but the bezel needed spudging with a suitable* tool




5) locating the securing bolt was tricky, but using the highly scientific* method of poking around with a finger to locate and find what size it was revealed both the location and "it feels like 10mm" and was duly removed. I think there should be two of these judging by a second screw hole so when I do a better job on this I'll find a replacement.




6) Radio pod out. Bugger, the switched live (red) doesn't have a double bullet. Permanent live (yellow) does. Looking at the fuse holder inline to the kit's wiring was made of finest chinesium, and came apart quite easily. I spliced this end into the car's loom BEFORE the radio multiplug with a solder joint and a bit of heatshrink to insulate. It came with a scotchlock type joiner - no thank you.







7) Radio mounting frame made an ideal* earth point.




8) quick fire up of the ignition and all worked well, no smoke or blown fuses. Mrs D just needs to get her memory card now. Refitting is the reverse of removal.





I took the car on a short 15 minute run and no fuses blew nor smoke pouring out of the dashboard. 6ft 5 man in little Japanese car isn't particularly comfortable though. I'm happy this method worked but I wouldn't recommend splicing into the loom in a tight-ish as a permanent solution, so the piggy back connector will be ordered soon.


Meanwhile Mrs D was texting me and moaning the wipers bang the scuttle when in use. Small adjustment made




It's in all a sweet little car, if a little bland, and it never seems to go wrong. I did think it was pure old-man's poverty spec, but it's a run out edition before they gave them the facelift.





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Watching this with interest as I have a similar device to go in. Going to wait and see how the Megane does at the MOT next month before committing to hard wiring it in.


Ps the dash of the bug eye Corolla and the facelift are different. One of them is the same as the US versions but I cant recall which. I really like these but theyre not actually that cheap, probably because they are so good!

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Been 2 weeks since Mrs D bought some new black round things for the Corolla. With the Saab currently Failing to do anything I've been using this car as well.


We've had Falken Sincera SN832 tyres fitted. We chose wet grip performance over economy and noise because 1) the old tyres were shite and 2) with stepdaughter being a new driver we didn't want her sliding and skidding all over the place.


After 2 weeks and nearly 500 miles we're both so far impressed with the Falkens. We've not had any real wet weather to test them in, but the dry grip is significantly improved to the point there is no squeal when cornering even at low speeds, and even pushing the car hard in the twisty bits there's no drifting or back end trying to break away when lifting off the throttle. Braking distance is noticeably reduced as well.


Road noise is different. There's not a lot of rumble coming through from the surface, but there is a droning from the tread. Not off-putting, but there's a hint of air-raid siren to it (especially at 50mph when it hits B minor). 


Will report back after 2000 miles or so, or when we've had some proper wet weather.


Next in store for this little car is reinstate the dash panel lighting then a full service, including cam belt, ready for winter. Not done a 16 valver before. Better get my nose in the book of lies.

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A few months on and the Falkens are still proving good service after about 3000 miles, the car is quite grippy though we have a leak somewhere on the NSF wheel. It's not cracked so I'm going to get our local tyre place to seal the rim, would have done it today when I had the tracking checked and front wheels balanced - OSF one had gone 35g out of balance, so I think we lost a wheel weight. I've often found stick-on weights come off if the fitter hasn't pressed them on hard enough or cleaned the wheel sufficiently.


New belts are squealing again so they'll be adjusted over the weekend. Never known a car to squeal so much at startup or belts to go out of whack so quickly when new.


MoT is in June, and I need to find a knock from the suspension. Everything looked ok when I had a quick glance earlier, nothing too badly perished or wobbly, so that'll be a project when I get my garage in a few weeks.

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Knock from suspension appears to be o/s bottom ball joint.


In other news I've had the leaking rim sealed. Ideally I'm after a second set of wheels for this car for next winter, either steelies or OEM alloys, 14", so I can get the wolfraces that are original to the car refurbed.

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Car is booked in for its MoT tomorrow afternoon at our friendly garage, but unfortunately I've been unable to get the ball joints off due to both illness and the castellated nuts being siezed in place. My neighbour with the angle grinder and extension lead isn't about so the garage will have to do this for me.

No split CV joints thank fuck, drop link rubbers are touch and go, and needs a brake light bulb. I can't find any other problems with the car so hopefully just a bill for fitting the supplied balljoints is all it'll need.

List of jobs I know it needs.

  1. Replace brake light bulb
  2. replace o/s/f wing
  3. regas air con & change pollen filter
  4. investigate ticking - might be the PAS pump
  5. Change water pump & flush out cooling system.
  6. thoroughly clean interior.
  7. save up for respray?

Wife & stepdaughter both love this car because it's so reliable, so I'm going to try my best to another 20 years and 180k miles of motoring out of it.

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Many kinds of Joy!





One advisory, and the rim has been like that for as long as I have been with Mrs D. Garage spent yesterday afternoon and half of today removing the ball joints, even grinding off the top of the castle nut & split pin hole they put up a hell of a fight. Then again I don't think I'd move easily if I'd been installed in the same place for 20 years. Emissions at idle are 0.0% CO and fast idle 0.02% so she's still running really clean. 

On 6/9/2019 at 3:53 PM, dozeydustman said:

List of jobs I know it needs.

  1. Replace brake light bulb ✔︎
  2. replace o/s/f wing
  3. regas air con & change pollen filter
  4. investigate ticking - might be the PAS pump
  5. Change water pump & flush out cooling system.
  6. thoroughly clean interior.
  7. save up for respray?
  8. Unseize track rod ends for purposes of wheel alignment and future replacement.

I can tick No 1 off for a start. 25 or so years ago when I first started reading Practical Classics, Classics Monthly and the like there was outrage with Avengers, Allegros, Mk 2 Escorts and that sort of 70's family car being restored. Maybe I should do a top notch job on this and send in my report just to upset some old giffers.

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Last night after coming home from my father in law's with the wife and stepdaughter, this little car has thrown up an oddity.

With the sidelights on, all the brake lights come on. Pressing the brake pedal makes the brake lights come on and the front sidelights, but not the rear.

Main headlamps on, pressing the brake pedal makes the rear sidelights come on.

I might have a crossed wire somewhere.

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wrong type of bulb been put back in a holder .....  ie a single filament bulb in a twin filament holder , they are not suppost to fit but ....

some one I know did this and caused a  similar   problem ...... 

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I'll give that a check later, what came out was a twin filament, and that's exactly what's gone back in. Could be I have it in the wrong way round or the holder is faulty/knackered as well. Will investigate at some point this week, the car rarely goes out in the dark any way so at the moment it's not a massive issue. Report to come at some point this week no doubt.

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Well, 3 months have passed and no I've not been driving the car with a faulty set of brake lights. Stop/tail bulb had shorted internally.

Mrs and madam have been complaining about a rattle over the last week. Wife thinks the car is going to break down. Hmmmmm


There's a bolt & nut missing from this shroud. Holding the corner means the rattle goes. I'll get a new bolt in the morning.


20 year old exhaust system still going strong! I think it'll need to be replaced soon though. Car is straight as a die and completely grot free underneath though.

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6mm machine screw, nut & a shake proof washer seems to have cured it. Hopefully it'll last.


Couldn't find any brass ones at neither Homebase, Wickes, and local tool station only had brass nuts, so stainless* will do for now. Could have gone to Arundel to a specialist screw, nut & bolt shop but they have a minimum order of 5 of any item, would have been a lot more.

*packet says stainless but I'm doubtful - it was from Homebase

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On 6/9/2019 at 3:53 PM, dozeydustman said:


  1. Replace brake light bulb 
  2. replace o/s/f wing
  3. regas air con & change pollen filter
  4. investigate ticking - might be the PAS pump This has gone away with proper adjustment of fan belts. Again. I think it's the water pump, I have a new one.
  5. Change water pump & flush out cooling system.
  6. thoroughly clean interior.
  7. save up for respray?
  8. Find new interior trim parts that are broken or missing.

I'm actually looking forward to doing a rolling restoration on this car. Going to, over a number of years, acquire suspension, engine, drivetrain parts & spares to do it. This car isn't shite - it's fucking awesome.

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