Lots and Lots of Projects

I have to apologize for the lack of updates. I’ve been working on a ton of projects for this car, and they’ve sort of branched into more and more projects. I’m documenting them all so I can post some detailed how to’s later, but so far haven’t had time to upload them. So here are just a little bit about the projects that I’ve completed so far:

Shifter Cleanup

I was tired of my shifter being all nasty. I removed the rust and gunk by soaking it in vinegar, sanded it down with 400 grit sandpaper, and coated it with WD40 and gun oil.








Steering Wheel Play

I found that the steering wheel had a large amount of play in it. Forum research revealed this is caused by rubber degrading over the years. The play occurs in a two part segment of the steering column shaft:


The purple section and the smaller part past it are not solidly linked together, and the rubber inside of the purple part is degraded to the point of allowing about a full half-inch of play between the two.

Forum members said that they fixed this by either welding the two together (which causes all road vibrations to be felt in the steering wheel — and may be unsafe in an accident), or by drilling a hole through one side and putting a bolt into it to lock the two together.

I came up with a solution while I was replacing my garbage disposal. I decided to use a garbage disposal to dish washer adapter to simply clamp down on both parts and reduce the play as much as it could.

I cut it down one side to fit it over the steering column shaft (I could not take it out without completely removing the steering wheel and all the dash trim…):



Once the rubber coupler was fitted over the steering column shaft I put some clamps on it and a metal plate for extra rigidity:


It took a ton of the steering wheel play out. After driving around for a few days the rubber settled a bit and I tightened everything up some more. It’s been working well ever since.

Throttle Linkage Spring

I didn’t know that there was a spring to return the throttle plate back to closed until I stumbled upon another AW11 owner’s photos of their throttle body.





I picked up the spring from Lowe’s. It’s size was 9/32″ x 2-1/4″ x .026″ (714mm x 57.15mm x 0.65mm) and came in a two pack.


Vacuum Transmitting Valve (VTV)

There is a VTV that goes on the vacuum line below the throttle body — between the dashpot and the IACV (idle air control valve). It’s purpose is to smooth deacceleration by allowing the throttle plate to slowly close when you let off the throttle pedal.

I ordered an OEM replacement from Toyota (P/N 90925-01014):






The black side goes towards the trunk.


Tire Valve Stem Caps

The previous owner had one green tire valve stem cap on (he swore that he didn’t put nitrogen in the tire, it was just the only cap he had left). It wasn’t a major issue, but I found some nicer looking ones at AutoZone for a few bucks.






I think they look much nicer. Plus I won’t get shit when I try to get air put into them at Discount Tire.


Idle-Up Vacuum Switch Valve (VSV)

The idle-up VSV (located in front of the battery tray, below the air filter) had some exposed wires and wasn’t working as it should. So I purchased a used replacement (P/N 89570-16080) from a guy I regularly buy from on eBay that deals in used MR2 parts.





As you can see, the used part is just as grubby, but it seemed to be working.



Due to time constraints I will not put pictures of these other projects I did (for now anyway), but here are a few other things I’ve done:

  • I managed to stop the rust in the trunk and frunk by spraying on some rust converter spray.
  • I’ve added some rugs in the trunk and frunk so I can put groceries in without worrying about them getting dirty.
  • The entire interior of the car was gutted down to the sound/thermal insulation and given a good cleaning — which got rid of the majority of the old smell it had when I bought it. I found so many random items from the previous owners, and shards of broken glass on the driver’s side.
  • I removed the metal part under the top-most cover of the dashboard (above the instrument panel) — which removed a ton of rattling noise.
  • I removed the retaining spring clip from the sunroof — which got rid of the high pitched squeaking when going over uneven road.
  • I removed the stock subwoofer. It was pretty nasty and had some weird dried white stuff on it.


Future Projects

Currently I’m working on the following list of projects and just about to wrap up with them this week:

  • Replace the rubber grommets in the transmission side’s shifter linkage with roller blade bearings.
    • It’s a trick I found on the AW11 wiki, and makes shifting much smoother and accurate.
  • Relocate the battery to the trunk.
    • My battery tray is rusted out to the point of being useless, and the lines going to the chassis/transmission and the alternator are very badly corroded. Plus I want more room in the engine bay, and I would rather use the frunk for storage than the trunk.
  • Replace the 74 sized light bulbs for the open door indicator, climate control panel, and cigarette lighter with quality LEDs.
    • The current incandescent lights just look ugly in comparison to the other lights I put in already.
  • Replace the cabin light again.
    • This time I’m replacing the festoon bulb with LED strips for better coverage and distribution of light.
  • Clean up as many parts in the engine bay as possible.
    • There is a lot of rust on various parts (especially the EGR system), and I’d like to feel better about bringing my car in for work or when I’m working/looking in the engine bay.
  • Redo the wiring in the engine bay.
    • A lot of it is just nasty and horribly managed. Being a computer nerd that has experience with cable management in computer cases I can’t stand it. Plus I’m not sure all of the sensors are reading like they should.
  • Redo the vacuum lines.
    • There are a lot of old lines that may or may not be working as they should. Fixing all of them will give me peace of mind that all vacuum components are working properly.
  • Redo the fuel injection lines.
    • The mechanic that got fired from Sunland Auto had put in standard “not for use with fuel injection system” type fuel lines like an idiot. They’ve held up so far, but I don’t want to chance them rupturing or passing crud through the fuel lines to the injectors.
  • Replace the fuel filter and Oxygen (o2) sensor.
    • No idea when they were last replaced, and maybe they’ll help with my idle issues.

This has all been a tall order for myself, but I feel happy that I’ve gone from a guy that didn’t know how to check his oil and coolant levels to being able to do all of this on my own. I’m proud of what I’m doing, and I feel that it’ll all pay off in the end. I’m blessed to have a wife that doesn’t want to kill me yet =P




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