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RA65 Celica - the wedge of cheese

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    RA65 Celica - the wedge of cheese

    I already mentioned this in my Supra thread but since this might turn into a minor project on its own I thought I might as well start a new thread. Through sheer luck I found a mid-80's Celica for sale via a Facebook group, and while it's hard for me to justify buying another car when I have four other Toyotas, one point in favour of this car is it has lots of parts interchangeable with the Supra - including a mint blue interior which is in much better condition than the Supra's interior. So now I can justify it as a parts car for the main project, while also being a bit of cheap fun on the side. Or at least that's what I'm telling myself.



    So this is the best of the A6 Celicas IMO, it's a 1985 RA65 with the best engine (2.4L EFI 22R-E), highest trim spec (including AC and PS), best drivetrain (IRS and the same 7.5" diff as the Supra), and this one is factory manual with a W55 5-speed. I really wanted a coupe because I think they're in "so ugly it's cool" territory, but I've been searching for literally years and found nothing worth buying - it seems they've all been sent to the crusher. The liftbacks are more common but even they seem to be quite rare now, especially one like this in such good condition. But that's also a good thing because it means there are more parts interchangeable with my liftback Supra!

    One thing I was especially interested in was the side body mouldings. This one behind the rear wheelarch is munted on my Supra (the steel backing rusted and warped the whole piece) and it's impossible to find good replacements because they all rust, but as you can see it's in perfect shape on the Celica, so I can swap that right over:



    I'm tickled pink that this car happens to have the same colours as the Supra, they're basically twins:



    Even the interior is the same shade of blue, which is great because the Celica's interior is in really good condition and appears to be entirely unmolested:



    I'm pretty sure I'll be swapping the dashpad and various plastic trim components into the Supra, they're just much nicer than what I have.

    As you can see above the car has a mediocre CD head unit installed, but the previous owner kept the original radio casette setup, which is for sure going in the Supra:



    It even came with a tape in the deck which I think is the perfect anthem for the peak 80s glory that this car represents:



    Under the bonnet we have the trusty old 22R-E:



    It has over 280k on the dial but it still runs great and it's a torquey little nugget which makes it great for putting around the suburbs. It's definitely no rocketship but I do enjoy driving it much more than I expected I would - it's probably mostly nostalgia, the experience is very similar to what my Supra was like when I first bought it, and I loved that thing from day one.

    As for future plans, I haven't committed to anything but I have some ideas. As already mentioned I'll be swapping a lot of parts with the Supra, but I'll still keep it intact so I can drive it aroujnd instead of the Soarer when I feel like keeping it old school. But I also have a stash of parts from my various other projects that will fit on this car or can be made to fit very easily:
    • The Supra seats are vastly superior and are currently sitting in the corner of the shed. I probably won't be putting them back in the Supra for another year or so, so it makes sense to put them in the Celica until then.
    • Ditto the aftermarket steering wheel I have on the Supra at the moment, it even has the Celica dragon on the horn button already!
    • I have a set of Supra 14x7 rims in my pile of old wheels and IMO they look 100x better than the Celica 14x5.5 rims.
    • I have a complete Supra diff with factory LSD that should be a direct swap for the open diff in the Celica, only catch is the ratio is much shorter (3.58:1 vs 4.11:1) which probably isn't a good match for the low revving 22R.
    • I have a pair of front springs from the Supra which will lower the car quite a bit (which it needs IMO), I need to confirm if they're interchangeable with the Celica struts though.
    • The remains of the old 3" exhaust from the Supra might be at least partly usable, but the 22R exhaust is on the opposite side to the 2JZ so it might be more effort than it's worth.
    • The Haltech E6X and loom from the RA23 should be pretty close to a direct fit, as the 22R-E is unsurprisngly very similar to the 18R-GEU. Even the map it has in it will probably work reasonably well if I swap the injectors over, I think?
    • I have a ghetto turbo setup for the 18R-G which I'm never going to use, it features a series IV RX7 turbo which might be a reasonable match for a 2.4L engine? Who knows, but if I can rig up something for close to zero dollars it might be worth a shot.
    I'm aware that much of the above will serve as a distraction from the main project which is why I'm not committed to any of this, but these are ideas I have rolling around in my head and some of it might end up happening at some point in future. Or maybe not, who knows, this whole thing is just a bit of fun.

    Seriously though if anyone spots an SA63 or RA65 coupe for sale please let me know, I want to complete the set!
    Norbie!

    #2
    Theres a non-liftback coupe near me. Looks pretty mint too.
    "If you can make black marks on a straight from the time you turn out of a corner until the braking point of the next turn, then you have enough horsepower." - Mark Donahue Penske Porsche 917

    "In Japan we no give fark for Subaru" - Trust Japan Technical Director
    (TM - AVENGE)

    "You can never have enough power. I remember when we had Group B cars... THEN we had enough power!"
    Juha Kankkunen - Rally of Argentina '02

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      #3
      You, Sir, deserve some sort of PF award, for not only having the most build threads, but the best build threads.

      Subscribed

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        #4
        The modifications started literally on day one. I dragged the old Supra rims out of storage and cleaned them up a bit with the pressure washer, this is how they look:



        Huge improvement straight away IMO even if they're not in great condition. The mismatched 20 year old tyres aren't helping either.

        Fitment on the rear is good with 225/60 tyres:



        The front is a little close for comfort though, so I'm putting 205/60 on the fronts. New tyres are being ordered today and will hopefully be fitted next week. I also need to track down two centre caps for the wheels, I could only find two out of four in my stash. A proper clean up of the rims would probably be a good idea, some of them look pretty rubbish up close, but the originals weren't much chop either.

        It badly needs lowering IMO, so I think I'll tackle that next. Actually maintenance first (I've ordered new fluids, filters, spark plugs etc) then lowering.
        Norbie!

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by Mr Ree View Post
          You, Sir, deserve some sort of PF award, for not only having the most build threads, but the best build threads.
          Well, look, I don't disagree.
          Norbie!

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            #6
            Originally posted by Norbie View Post

            Well, look, I don't disagree.
            There is absolutely nothing wrong with being the President of your own fan club...especially when you own as many Toyota's as you do

            P.S Love the KISS tape....they were my heroes when I was a young whipper snapper...and I had plenty of their releases on Vinyl back before I knew its true worth.

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              #7
              Turboing a 22re with almost 300k kms is a wise course of action.

              Tbh I prefer the celica wheels on the celica, putting the supra ones on makes me think it should have the supra flares....

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                #8
                Originally posted by kedderz View Post
                Turboing a 22re with almost 300k kms is a wise course of action.
                Yes I know. If I go ahead with this I'll be keeping the boost very low, and if the engine pops there won't be many fucks given. There are lots of engine swap options...
                Norbie!

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                  #9
                  Originally posted by kedderz View Post
                  Turboing a 22re with almost 300k kms is a wise course of action.


                  My friend had one of these but it was auto and in really good nick. Honestly, he could barely give it away, despite the low kms and condition. I think he ended up getting basically the cost of rego back. Sad because I think you could make one really cool.

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                    #10
                    Digging through my hoard of parts I found some suspension bits left over from the Supra. Here's the old Kings super lows:



                    I don't know yet if these will fit in the Celica - there are different part numbers listed by Kings but that might just mean different rates. If they physically fit in the struts I'm going to shove 'em in there and see what happens!

                    Also I forgot I kept these, the old swaybars from the Supra which were replaced by adjustable ones:



                    I'm fairly certain the rear one will fit in the Celica since they have a near identical rear end, but then again it might be the exact same part so I'll have to measure them both to see if the Supra one is actually an upgrade. The front swaybar is less likely to fit but it's worth investigating anyway. I need to get this old thing up on the hoist soon!

                    Meanwhile tyres have been ordered, I went with Nankangs which was the only brand I recognised from the short list of manufacturers that still make tyres in these sizes. 205/60 on the front and 225/60 on the back. They should be in on Monday.
                    Norbie!

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                      #11
                      this reminds me of being 18 and scouring wreckers for cheap upgrades for your pov pack model. carry on good sir.
                      I'M NOT A HOOKER BUT 20 BUCKS IS 20 BUCKS...

                      I am junkie for swedish high quality shitboxes. my latest fix is this...

                      robslothyoung - follow me on insta.

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                        #12
                        I just googled RA65 coupe, they look ugly. No wonder there is not many if any around.

                        I'd rather the hatch

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                          #13
                          Interestingly the coupe sold better in the US, which maybe says something about American taste. You're right they didn't sell many here.

                          I mainly wanted one because I already had a hatch! Now I have two.
                          Norbie!

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                            #14
                            the coupes are the right kind of ugly, i like em
                            Originally posted by Walt Kowalski
                            And I’ve explained many times this is not just another four year election.

                            The outcome will determine civilisation as we know it.

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                              #15
                              This needs a turbo K24 or equally silly conversion
                              1988 AW11 9A-GTE - project #1 | 1984 MA61 1JZ-GTE - project #2

                              Originally posted by Walt Kowalski talking like a crazed hobo
                              The major arrests will start from 1st January 2019

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