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t25torx Reader
1/18/14 4:39 p.m.

Welcome to the second episode of Wheeler Dealers USA, your host Mike is going to try and find, fix and flip a neglected newer motor for a dandy profit.

This episode features a newborn classic in a long line of sport coupes, a 2003 Toyota Celica GTS!

After some hard searching and scouring of craigslist a clean looking example showed up, the ad says it's not starting, but I'm sure our old Ed can have it right as rain, and the price is right at only $2500.

The car looked good up close, and after talking with the owner, he mentioned he was able to start it with some starting fluid, Hmm sounds promising. Lets see if we can do the deal.

Huzzah, deal done and for 2000 quid! I think it's a right bargain, lets hope our mechanic thinks so too.

Oh dear, arriving on a trailer, Ed's not going to be thrilled by this. Tune in next time to find out if the mighty Celica will once more carve the corners.

fanfoy HalfDork
1/18/14 4:45 p.m.

I'm watchin.

speedblind HalfDork
1/18/14 5:16 p.m.


Woody GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
1/18/14 5:43 p.m.

Datsun310Guy PowerDork
1/18/14 6:03 p.m.

I'm here watching too!

Appleseed UltimaDork
1/18/14 6:14 p.m.


ScreaminE Reader
1/18/14 6:51 p.m.

I hate you, Ed.

z31maniac UltimaDork
1/18/14 7:04 p.m.

So cool.

I remember riding in a friend of mine years ago, I/H/E + tune, that was a damn entertaining little car.

ShadowSix Dork
1/18/14 7:08 p.m.

Yeah, I'm not unreservedly a fan of the Celica, but the last GTS was a hell of a car.

Billy_Bottle_Caps Dork
1/18/14 7:39 p.m.

I like it

doc_speeder Reader
1/18/14 7:45 p.m.

I've always loved those. Can't wait to see how it turns out!

psteav Dork
1/18/14 9:02 p.m.

If it doesn't have rods hanging out the side of the block, that looks like quite a deal, Ed.

Mitchell UltraDork
1/18/14 9:22 p.m.

Those look so much better without the ribbed bodywork and mega-wing.

dyintorace GRM+ Memberand UberDork
1/18/14 9:51 p.m.

Looking forward to the next installment!!

Nick_Comstock PowerDork
1/18/14 10:08 p.m.

beans Dork
1/18/14 10:14 p.m.

I spy an RSX, too. Wheeler dealer comparo!

Javelin GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
1/18/14 10:24 p.m.


JacktheRiffer New Reader
1/19/14 1:51 a.m.

Watchin as well

carbon HalfDork
1/19/14 12:20 p.m.

2zzge/c60 is a great combo. That is imho the prettiest version of that body style, no "action pack"/ sleeker front bumper is tasteful. An lsd and some breathing mods will really make that a formidable car.

Vigo UberDork
1/19/14 3:32 p.m.

I want that car! Smokin deal..

t25torx HalfDork
1/19/14 5:37 p.m.

Welcome back to Wheeler Dealers, on this episode our trusty mechanic tries to get our little Celica sorted out.

A loaner battery was installed while the original one gets charged up.

Then it was time to tackle that no start issue. An OBDII scanner was hooked up to check for any codes. Nope, nothing here, time to look elsewhere for our issues.

Next up was to check the fuel pump. The rear seat was removed to get better access to the pump and see if it's making all the right noises. Which it was, and a quick check on the plugs revealed that we are indeed getting fuel. This might be more trouble than we thought.. Also the plugs were brand new Iridium affairs installed by the PO, a little oily but still in good nick.

So she appears to be getting fuel, lets move on to the ignition side of things.

With all the coil packs removed we installed the plugs and grounded them per the FSM for spark testing. We also unplugged the injectors to keep them from firing fuel into the cylinders. We had our trusty assistant SWMBO turn the key so I could check for spark. Well this gets even more interesting, good spark on all cylinders. Looking at the coil packs I am seeing some cracking on three of them, so I put some electrical tape over the cracks as a precaution till new ones can be ordered.

Out of all the tools I have, a compression tester isn't one of them, I'll stop by Harbor Freight tomorrow and pick one up on the way home. If the compression is good, it's back to the drawing board and the FSM for more suggestions. I did find a receipt for some previous work done in April of last year, replacing the cam and crankshaft sensors to the tune of $500, I also checked them with my multi-meter and they ohm'ed out within spec.

So while I can't test the compression, I did take off the valve cover to check the timing, and after rotating it by hand it looks like all the marks line up like they should.

After the work today and not getting any closer to a solution I feel a little like this chap that's drawn on the dashboard.

Join us next episode for that compression test and a more thorough testing of the fuel system.

t25torx Reader
1/23/14 7:52 p.m.

Hells bells. Just got through compression testing the motor. Either the tester I borrowed is a dud, or this motor is. Compression readings were as follows. #1 - 45psi, #2 - 60psi, #3 - 55PSI and #4 - 85psi. Now I tested the guage by hooking up my air compressor to it and it read about 10psi under, but still a healthy engine should be at 210 across the board. So I guess the next thing to do is pull the timing cover off and see if it jumped a tooth on the crank. Then if that's a bust I guess it's new head time. So much for this being an easy fix. But fear not, I will get this one back together, my profits might not be as big, but we'll get her done right.

Swank Force One
Swank Force One MegaDork
1/23/14 9:22 p.m.

Did you have the seller "start the car with starting fluid?"

Because I wonder if this car has had the money shift.

carbon HalfDork
1/23/14 9:35 p.m.

If you need a 2zzge, I've got a nice allegedly ultra low mileage one on a stand in my garage. For the right $ that is.

t25torx HalfDork
1/24/14 7:24 a.m.
carbon wrote: If you need a 2zzge, I've got a nice allegedly ultra low mileage one on a stand in my garage. For the right $ that is.

Might have to take you up on that. I forgot to try a wet compression test to narrow it down to rings or head, so I'll do that tonight and hopefully I point out the culprit and work on a game plan for repairs.

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