TE51 Build 1976 Liftback

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Smurfey002
Posts: 19
Joined: Mon Jul 27, 2015 12:03 am

Re: TE51 Build 1976 Liftback

Post by Smurfey002 » Tue Mar 16, 2021 6:21 pm

I'm finally back! After many years hiatus. Lots happened in the meantime, met a girl, got married, quit my job, started a new job, moved, etc. The sunkist liftback is stillllll kicking though and I've finally gotten back into working on it. The past few years included some pretty dark times in my life, but things are turning around (moreso, I'm turning them around for myself:) and I'm back motivated to get this thing going.

I've moved to a house where the Toyota lives in a garage now. But, sadly it's a small garage. Either way, what happened.....

I got the rag joint made and the steering all put back together. I'll upload some pictures when I make my next post. The gearbox and rag joint look great and work perfectly. For all intents and purposes, the front steering and suspension and brakes are complete for now.

When I moved the car to my current house it sat for a while after and then wouldn't start. I put in a new mechanical fuel pump and got it going again. After that, though, it really started overheating. Like, to the point where it won't turn off. I turn the ignition off and then it diesels itself over and over and keeps running (yet another bad part about a mechanical fuel pump) to the point i have to suffocate it via the carb to stop it. I figured it was a bad thermostat so I replaced that. No luck. Then i took a temp gun to the radiator and found it had spots that were up to temp and others that were cold. So i figured that the radiator was clogged. I replaced the radiator and then had a new problem. The car won't start. It was only a few months between radiator and trying to start it, but i had no luck at all. This is where I'm at right now. I wasn't exactly in my right mind or sober when i was working on the car in 2019 and did nothing in 2020, so I don't reallllly remember everything I did back then.

For the big update! I bought a T50! I have the T50, shifter, drive shaft (i'll get a new one if needed though), pedal assembly, center console, clutch lines......uh....i think that's it. After i get this joker back up and running, I want to do a few things to "simplify" it (remove all that smog stuff, go to a dizzy that doesn't have a points, and get rid of the voltage regulator with the saturn alternator swap) then do the T50 swap. I've never done a manual swap, but what better time than when the interior is mostly out.

Speaking of the interior, I also had the dashboard sent off to www.justdashes.com and had it color matched and replaced. I spent an arm and a leg on that dash (i think it was about $1000), but man does it look good. This is going to be the center piece of the interior definitely. I'm waiting to put it in until i have the dash wiring sorted out. I want to get all the electrical done (from radio to dash lights to whatever else) before I button it up. I'm also taking the opportunity to clean out the vents and replace the duct work seals (I haven't started on that part yet, but only the cleaning). I've still not touched the window regulator or much else on the interior. I ripped out the original carpet last week since it was just so disgusting and bought new carpet (black this time, not original color green or tan or whatever it was) from www.stockinteriors.com They were pretty cool about sending free samples so I could match the loom type as best as possible. I'm also waiting on putting the carpet in until I'm done running wires and until I have the seats redone. I also bought a DIY flocking kit for the glovebox. I haven't tried it yet but I'm excited to do that as I've never worked with flock before.

I think that's enough for now. It's not the only project I have going on (I'm trying to prepare my nissan Silvia to sell, get the camaro runnning and my truck need suspension work), BUT! I will do better going forward and am very excited to start this up again and get going.

If anyone has any write up tips on the points-less distributor I'm very open to that. I don't know really anything about electronics or wiring, so that is going to be my biggest hurdle with this car I think.
1976 Toyota Corolla DLX Liftback
1997 JDM Nissan Silvia
1972 Camaro RS

.......I need a bigger garage.

User avatar
Smurfey002
Posts: 19
Joined: Mon Jul 27, 2015 12:03 am

Re: TE51 Build 1976 Liftback

Post by Smurfey002 » Wed Mar 17, 2021 7:42 pm

Grabbed some pictures of the finished steering gearbox and rag joint installed. Looks like surface rust formed on some of the pieces. I saw some on my suspension that I didn't paint and the new brake booster is covered. Maybe I'll remove and paint at a later date.

Also are some dashboard pictures how it looks after the restoration.
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1976 Toyota Corolla DLX Liftback
1997 JDM Nissan Silvia
1972 Camaro RS

.......I need a bigger garage.

User avatar
Smurfey002
Posts: 19
Joined: Mon Jul 27, 2015 12:03 am

Re: TE51 Build 1976 Liftback

Post by Smurfey002 » Wed Mar 17, 2021 7:48 pm

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1976 Toyota Corolla DLX Liftback
1997 JDM Nissan Silvia
1972 Camaro RS

.......I need a bigger garage.

User avatar
Smurfey002
Posts: 19
Joined: Mon Jul 27, 2015 12:03 am

Re: TE51 Build 1976 Liftback

Post by Smurfey002 » Fri Mar 19, 2021 1:00 am

Well I've been working on getting the car started first and foremost. I hooked up the new battery and sprayed some carb cleaner in the carb. I cleaned the points and dizzy cap which were pretty corroded. The car started pretty easily for about 10 or so seconds with carb cleaner but then died. I tried cranking it but just kept getting a loud click. I'd try it maybe 20 times and then get a start which it would start fine. I am just starting to learn electronics but leaned how to check the power and ground to the starter.. they were solid. The trigger wire showed 11.1v when trying to crank, so I assume that's good also. Basically,, everything going TO the starter was in order. After some online help the guys recommended I check the starter solenoid contacts and plunger. I found the plunger copper super thin (see picture next to another used plunger) and the contacts covered in sooty goo and one of them kind of thin. I ordered new contacts and plunger which arrive next week. In the meantime I'll upgrade all the connections to the starter to quick connects (except the main power cable) for easier install and uninstall.

I'm guessing after I get the starter sorted that I'll have to deal with keeping it running as I checked the fuel line going to the carb and it was bone dry even after 10 seconds of running (maybe it takes longer than that to fill lines and filter) and then see if my overheating issue is fixed with the new radiator. If so, then ill begin the electric fuel pump project next. I cannot stand the mechanical pump.
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1976 Toyota Corolla DLX Liftback
1997 JDM Nissan Silvia
1972 Camaro RS

.......I need a bigger garage.

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