TE51 Build 1976 Liftback

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TE51 Build 1976 Liftback

Postby Smurfey002 » Tue Jul 28, 2015 1:18 am

Well, I figure I have to document this somewhere, might as well be here. Hopefully someone is interested.

About 6 months ago my grandfather passed away. He had a 1976 Toyota Corolla Liftback he purchased new in 1976. The rest of my family (less my father) wanted to just send it to the crusher. I couldn't let that happen, so I had the car shipped from Arizona (where it's been its whole life) to South Carolina.

It sat for about 3 months and now I am finally getting around to rebuilding it. This thread will outline that build in as much detail as I can remember and have pictures when possible.

The first few posts will be bringing this thread up to speed as to what I've done in the past few months.

Pictures of how I received the car. In general it ran great (my grandfather was a mechanic), but definitely has its issues. one of the biggest ones you'll see in the pictures is the rust under the battery.

I like the white vinyl top. I think it was a dealer option. I still have the window sticker. I'll post a picture when I get around to it.
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Charm of the 70's
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Uncleaned interior
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Not a lot going on here......
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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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Smurfey002
 
Posts: 15
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Re: TE51 Build 1976 Liftback

Postby Smurfey002 » Tue Jul 28, 2015 1:22 am

Here I was creating a new battery tray and radiator overflow bottle holder. I just used a doner car from the pick a part and fabricated something kind of like stock. The original tray and tie down was rusted beyond belief. It looks as if a battery exploded or something. dunno....
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Note the rust on under where the battery should be :( I'm still not sure what i'm going to do about that.....Sorry I don't have a picture of the actual tray.
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Finished product. Note the strut tower mount conditions. We'll get into this in the next post.

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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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Smurfey002
 
Posts: 15
Joined: Mon Jul 27, 2015 12:03 am

Re: TE51 Build 1976 Liftback

Postby Smurfey002 » Tue Jul 28, 2015 1:24 am

After the car sat for about 4 months, I went to drive it and the brake pedal went to the floor. I spent about 4 hours messing with the brakes to find the master cylinder and booster were both not working for whatever reason. Since both parts are readily available online, I ordered a new one from rockauto and had stainless lines made for the front brakes (the stocks were all kinds of dry rotted) they look nice :). I painted the calipers at this time too. The calipers are two piece and I only painted one....for whatever reason. If I have to take them off again, I'll paint them completely.
New lines and painted calipers installed (driver's side)
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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: 15
Joined: Mon Jul 27, 2015 12:03 am

Re: TE51 Build 1976 Liftback

Postby Smurfey002 » Tue Jul 28, 2015 1:43 am

While doing the brakes and going for a test drive, I quickly noticed the front suspension was totally shot. Going over a speedbump was hell. There was zero travel/dampening on the front. So, after much research and finding parts, I set out on a couple weekends and did the suspension. I know lots of guys go to AE86, custom, or whatever suspension, but that is way down the line for me. I'm no rally driver or autocrosser. Just looking to make the car as drivable as possible with possibly small upgrades here and there (less the engine.....but that's a post for another day).

What was done was new tie rod ends (inner and outter), new pitman arm, new idler arm, new sway bar end links and bushings (energy suspension), new control arm bushings (whiteline), new ball joints, new old stock springs (they were a pita to find), new shocks, new shock mounts (the old ones almost didn't even turn, they were definitely the originals), new stabilizer arm bushings. In addition, I had the sway bar, stabilizer bar/mounts powdercoated. Since I don't own a sand blaster, most of the time was spent cleaning the parts that I didn't get powdercoated.

The main culprit of the blown suspension were the shocks. If I find a way to upload a video of the condition of the shocks, I'll show it. It's quite funny.
Teardown
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The cleaning and painting process
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Getting the old control arm bushings out proved to be not too hard. Getting the new ones in without bending the arm was a pita. The vise ended up doing the job better than my press.
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Reassembly and Installation. Working with clean parts is nice....because then I can do it inside :) Note the new bumpstops and dust boots. I got them from Whiteline but don't fit (ID of the bump stops is too small). Since i don't own a drill press, I cleaned up the old ones real good.
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Finished product
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The first test drive after completion was great. The steering is very light and the ride is good. The next plan is to do the rear suspension. I presume it also has never been touched unless something broke. Initial inspection of the rear shows lots of dry rotted rubber. Thankfully no rust (except for that battery tray....). The car was in AZ its whole life, so this helped immensely.
1976 Toyota Corolla DLX Liftback
1997 JDM Nissan Silvia
1972 Camaro RS

.......I need a bigger garage.
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Smurfey002
 
Posts: 15
Joined: Mon Jul 27, 2015 12:03 am

Re: TE51 Build 1976 Liftback

Postby Smurfey002 » Tue Jul 28, 2015 1:53 am

In parallel to the suspension, the next topic was getting the car water tight. It had a garage life most of its life, so I assume no one ever noticed the massive water leaks in the rear hatch. I don't have any pictures, but I could stick a pencil clean through the seals on the corners of the hatch (window seals). As soon as it gets back on the road, I'll have the windows re-set with new seals, but as a temporary solution I put about half a tube of marine epoxy in the holes and it's stopped 95% of the leaking. Since my other car is in my garage, the Toyota lives outside. I have to dry off the water in the hatch when it rains. Hopefully this will get done soon. If anyone knows where to get either a trunk seal or trunk window seal, I'd greatly appreciate any tips.


Next problem were the locks/keys. The driver's door was the only one that locked, the hatch could be opened with almost any key, and I could pull the key out of the ignition while the car was running (see pic). This is the only picture I have of the process. But, basically what I did was get some keys off ebay (mistake #1) and try to get them rekeyed (mistake #2). After some trial and error, rockauto sells some good key sets with all the same type of key. I installed a new ign cylinder, both doors and hatch after getting the exterior locks all rekeyed to the ign key. work like a charm now and the install was relatively simple.

I always knew the window regulators were broken (drivers side doesnt work at all - window up/down is by physically pulling or pushing the window up and down), but when I took the door panels off, I found what I assume to be the remains of plastic bits of the window regulators. Ordered a spare off ebay and will try to rebuild it before attempting the ones in there now.

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Just a shot of the interior. Doorpanel removed for lock install. The seats desperately need to be re-done and the carpet needs to be replaced. The list is long....I thought as a nod to the original seat pattern, sewing some mexican blankets in place of what is there now would be cool.

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At some point, I ordered an original style gas-cap as well

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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: 15
Joined: Mon Jul 27, 2015 12:03 am

Re: TE51 Build 1976 Liftback

Postby Smurfey002 » Tue Jul 28, 2015 2:07 am

Now that this thread is up to date, here's the current piece I'm working on.

After installing the new suspension bits and driving the car for a few weeks, I noticed oil on my drip pan. The car has always had a tranny leak, but i'm not concerned too much about it, as it's a 3sp auto that will eventually get replaced by a T40 or T50.

Turns out the leak was coming from the steering gearbox and leaking all over my shiny new suspension bits. Such things will not be allowed!

I removed the gearbox (rather violently) from the vehicle and began tearing into it. I've read people have the same problem of the lower oil seal leaking also. I guess I agitated it when either taking off the old pitman arm or installing the new one (100 ftlbs is a lot of torque). I ordered 2 different brands of seals to see which fits best. At <$5 each, i don't want to rip this box out again until the engine comes out. The oil coming out of this thing also has to have been original. It reeks.

The culprit
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The teardown
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The original plan was to completely gut the steering box (except the metal bushings - as I don't think they're available anymore) and check all gaps/tolerances, bearings, etc. but I can't seem to get the worm gear "nuts" off. The FSM calls for a SST, but of course those are about as rare as a unicorn. This weekend will call for the blowtorch and monster channel locks. On a side note, the FSM outlines the tolerances and rebuild of the box very well, so hopefully it goes smoothly. Maybe i'll even clean and paint this thing while it's out.

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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: 15
Joined: Mon Jul 27, 2015 12:03 am

Re: TE51 Build 1976 Liftback

Postby ulises_te72 » Wed Jul 29, 2015 1:22 am

Great job with the suspenssion. Clean clean clean :D
i had the same problem with my power steering box leaking, i used lucas stop leak power steering and withing 2 weeks it sealed it.
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Posts: 84
Joined: Tue Oct 01, 2013 11:10 am

Re: TE51 Build 1976 Liftback

Postby Smurfey002 » Wed Jul 29, 2015 2:48 am

thanks for the tip. a little late for me though....it's in pieces all over the house. hah.


On another note, I got the window regulator today. it has a little surface rust and no lube on it. After inspection, I think i'll clean this one up and install it and attempt a rebuild on the stock unit. There are only a few wear parts on it from what I see, so i'm interested in seeing why the current one isn't working.

As a treat, here's the original window sticker I promised to take a picture of. I thought it is pretty cool and maybe not so often seen. If only options were still this cheap. You can't really see from the pictures of the car, but it still has the pinstripes on it. They are a goldish sticker.


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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: 15
Joined: Mon Jul 27, 2015 12:03 am

Re: TE51 Build 1976 Liftback

Postby TE27007 » Sun Aug 09, 2015 5:46 am

great progress bro keep it up.
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Posts: 40
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Location: San Diego

Re: TE51 Build 1976 Liftback

Postby Smurfey002 » Thu Aug 13, 2015 2:03 am

Thanks man. Progress has been slow the last 3 weeks. I got called to Germany on short notice. Hopefully this weekend I'll either do the window reg or steering box.

Btw, anyone ever seen a hatch release pull for a te51? Guy is selling one on ebay but I don't even see a spot for a release switch in my car.....
1976 Toyota Corolla DLX Liftback
1997 JDM Nissan Silvia
1972 Camaro RS

.......I need a bigger garage.
User avatar
Smurfey002
 
Posts: 15
Joined: Mon Jul 27, 2015 12:03 am

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