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Mrs Juular's V8 adventure


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My Mrs had a long standing desire to tick off this particular box, when along came @Gerrymcd with this for sale last year.


It's a '99 model with the option ticked for gold badges all round.  Immense.

There was a massive hole (holes) in the exhaust (exhausts) which to be honest is probably what sold the car to her, as it sounded like a muscle car.

Here's a video of day to day pottering around with both banks open to the air somewhere around the Y pipe.

Aside from that it's been doing a Toyota and being pretty much zero hassle. 

The inevitable "is it a keeper" / MOT test came round, for which I really needed to do a proper* repair* as the noise and fumes were becoming pretty epic / offensive (delete as appropriate).


I played at being mekanik for the day.




This lasted until it rolled back off the tester's ramp with a pass, at which point it all fell off on the motorway home. VERY SUCCESS GOOD JOB.

Mrs J did her own brakes all round.



It snowed a bit.


It provided backup when my C70 melted, got rebuilt, and needed road tested.


So here's the thing - it does sound absolutely glorious, but we live on a quiet street, our neighbours are nice and frankly I'm sure the experience of what sounds like a spitfire taking off past their window is getting a bit old. Plus, if she gets stopped, it's not going to end well.

She's decided it's a keeper - for now - so she sent a number of shite tokens to the US for this:


We (the royal we) are going to fix it up, sort some paint blebs and treat some of the underside.  

An original 2 bank exhaust on a jap car that has been through Scottish winters, WCPGW?

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Man, I sold a decent section of exhaust all the way back to the rear silencers (probably the wrong end) a few months ago, I would have gladly saved you the shipping costs.

With that being said though, wouldn't it be more cost effective to just send the car to the next powerflow branch and have the exhaust custom made there? It can't be that much more expensive. That's at least my plan for the Toyota Corona and had the same done years ago on my Mark VIII.

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16 hours ago, Jim Bell said:

Best of luck with the fitting man. 

Would you mind linking where you got the shiny pipe from?

I think it was this one but can't remember exactly.


It was around £200 delivered.

When I say delivered, when it reached the UK, Herpes took over. It eventually arrived two weeks late roped on top of the delivery driver's Yaris.

The earlier ones with square headlights have a different Y section I've been told.

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15 hours ago, Schaefft said:

Man, I sold a decent section of exhaust all the way back to the rear silencers (probably the wrong end) a few months ago, I would have gladly saved you the shipping costs.

With that being said though, wouldn't it be more cost effective to just send the car to the next powerflow branch and have the exhaust custom made there? It can't be that much more expensive. That's at least my plan for the Toyota Corona and had the same done years ago on my Mark VIII.

I did notice that back at the time but I think it was the wrong section?

One of the problems that will become apparent is that the flanges on the cats have basically crumbled to dust and are going to need a bit of fabrication to save.. I didn't feel like any garage could be arsed with that kind of work and would just order up a pair of cats at £££.

£200 delivered for the Y pipe is cheaper than a lot of ebay scrappies want for a heavily used one! There's very few to none in this country.

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So to quickly bring this up to date, I managed to at least get the bastard off last weekend. 

The nearside O2 sensor took 2 hours to remove. I've never known one to be so welded in place.  The offside came off easier, but I still had to stick a spanner on it and jack it up, using the whole weight of the car to eventually crack it loose.

For the rest of it, the only spanner I used was the angry spanner because who know what the fittings were meant to be. They all identified as blobs of orange. The japanese do make excellent cars but they must pre-salt every single fixing at the factory.

So yeah, 5 hours later:


It doesn't help that the car has no jacking points, so using a small trolley jack means lifting it by the chassis rails with a big pile of stuff on top of the jack to actually reach them.

As you can see the exhaust repair wrap was a bit optimistic.


I left taking the cats off to another day, because the fittings looked absolutely rotten.  I wasn't wrong.  All 3 on the nearside just sheared off as soon as I looked at them.



The other side came off no bother, but both cats themselves are rotten where they join the Y pipe.


So the operation now looks like this:

- Weld new flanges on to both cats.

- Weld nuts onto the manifold -> cat studs and try to remove them.

- Wire brush any orange on the chassis, treat with vactan, and underseal.

- Refit cats -> y pipe -> rear section.

- Hope none of the suspension ever needs replaced as anything to get swapped will be needing cut off.


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3 minutes ago, Jim Bell said:

It sounds like maximum effort to end up with a car that DOESNT sound like a muscle car, but great effort man. Looking forward to seeing it come together. 

It's not very autoshite is it?

I could cut the back boxes off and weld in some straight pipe...


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14 hours ago, Gerrymcd said:


Reduced my life expectancy by a couple of years making this video. Totally worth it though. 

This video (losing the left channel halfway through) actually hurt my ears :D Does sound amazing.

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This is going well*

Removing the manifold studs went at a rate of one every few hours. A properly minging, shit, uncomfortable job.


It was left with penetrating oil on the studs for over a week, then I tried welding nuts on and undoing them.


All that happened was that the studs would shear around 1cm off at a time.

Eventually I got them out by cutting them flush and drilling them, which took absolutely forever with bits of swarf going into my eyes and hair.



Next up I repaired the cats by welding on new flanges.

Lined up as accurately as possible.





With those installed I then lined up the new Y section.


Miles out. The flanges on the new section are nowhere near those on the old one. I'm going to have to get the grinder out and modify the new pipes.

Mrs J has decided in light of this that a backbox delete and possibly a closeable valve for maximum SIKK NOIZZZE is on the cards.


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  • 2 weeks later...

On the exhaust front, the SIKK NOIZE tubes are officially happening, we are just waiting for them to appear from China.  This will hopefully make my job of lining up the front flanges easier as I will be chopping the exhaust and joining the valves in place with sleeves.

In the meantime I decided to crack on and do the timing belt as it hasn't been done since 2005 / 90,000 miles ago. I know you all love a good timing belt change so here goes.

The neat packaging is not intimidating at all.


Being RWD with a large engine bay there's actually lots of room to work. The 1UZ is a very compact engine given that it's a 4.0L lump.

The actual design however, is a different story. It took me quite a while to just get the fan off, as pretty much every fastener is made out of absolutely shite quality steel, plus everything rusts solid in an inexplicable way.  The fan clutch is also designed that you can barely get a spanner on the nuts. Still, I got there in the end with only major bruising.

Check out that throttle body. Woaft.


There's not enough room for an impact gun to take out the crank pulley, but thankfully there's access to the flywheel to jam a big allen key in to stop the engine rotating.


And surprisingly, it loosened by hand without too much trouble.


The belt on this engine is not changed while at TDC, rather you set TDC, then advance to the dot on the timing cover. This is to stop the cams springing back and damaging the valves when the belt comes off.

Firstly, TDC.


And set to the timing position.


This moves the cams to the 'T' marker. (TDC is the straight bar on the casting to the left of it).



Had to buy a puller, as the pulley is seized on. Of course it is.



With the pulley off there's no timing marks for the crank any more. This makes me uneasy, so I made my own with a little dunt, just in case.


To actually get to the belt, some amount of shite has to come off the front of the engine.


Off it comes.  The old belt actually looks pretty good and would probably do another 50k.  Just in case you're playing roulette with your LS, you're probably fine.



Water pump off, surfaces cleaned up, new gasket on.


The kit includes new idler pulleys, so the tensioner has to be removed.  Replacing it is a majorly shit experience as the tension is immense. I burst a large G clamp trying to compress it. I had to use a heavy vice with a long bar to turn the vice handle. When eventually compressed, you have to shove a 'grenade pin' back into the hole to keep it compressed. Here I used a 1.5mm allen key.



New stuff back on.  Even with the grenade pin still in the tensioner, the tension on the belt is huge. The important thing is to keep the slack side of the belt on the left (engine right) so that the tensioner takes up the slop without moving the cams out of time. 


Turned over a few times, all happy. Time to put it back together.

I'll be frank, this is a fairly shit job.  That old adage about being able to maintain a Toyota with a couple of spanners  - it's bullshit.  I've used every single socket in my set plus various other bits and pieces. Every bolt is a different head size and in stupid locations. It's a neat packaging but it's frustrating. Even the wiring is 'just long enough' for things to fit behind so you find yourself squeezing the cam covers back into place, trying to locate them over a dowel while the seals are falling off into the engine and the wiring is so tight you feel you're going to snap it.  It all feels a bit Renault.

But eventually, it's back together.



While the car is in the air and I'm waiting on parts, I carried on with a sort of mini resto / derusting.  The car isn't really that bad for a 90s Toyota, but there are a couple of areas were it could become a concern in the future.





All the rust I could get to was attacked with the wire wheel on the drill, then covered in strong phosphoric acid.

This turns the rust sort of black. 



This is repeated again - brushed then acid applied,  to try and soak a little deeper.   The phosphoric acid creates a layer on top of the rust that should in theory prevent air getting in and stop the reaction from continuing.

That then got primed and painted.





The front, I treated with vactan instead, which will be painted over. I'm curious to see which method works better.


As you can see, all in it's a fairly tidy car.


Just the exhaust to go back on and Mrs J can go back to cruisin' the 'hood, bringing V8 terror to the masses, yo.

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  • juular changed the title to Mrs Juular's V8 adventure : 1UZ cambelt shenanigans and a bit of rust for good measure

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