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Thread: ST185 - Clean Build

  1. #1
    Member Celica_Gt4's Avatar
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    ST185 - Clean Build

    Hi,

    So I have posted this onto the introductions forum but thought I would start a thread of the progress with my ST185. I bought the car about 3 years ago relatively stock only a set of 16x7.5 rims and a turbo timer for about $5,500. I was happy with this. A few months down the track I notice an oil leak ... and it wasnít being nice, so me in all my mechanically minded skills (0) I did an oil filter change... this is where it all starts



    I took off the oil filter and drained the oil only to find some of the grommets were worn down (possibly never changed) and somewhere along the line one of the bolts I just couldnít seem to get back in so I call a mobile mechanic who decided it was a good idea to redrill something (I had no idea what he was talking about at the time but though he knows what he is on about he is a mechanic) and from then on the oil cooler didnít sit right and would leak oil everywhere as bad if not worse than before.... so I cant remember why but I decided to just get a whole new engine (I was too young and stupid)

    As I couldnít find any 3SGTE's from a ST185 or ST205 around my area and after a bit of research I found you could put one from a Caldina ST215 in... Little did I know what was actually required. I got the Engine, gearbox, loom and ecu for about $1200, which I thought, was fairly decent considering in other states the 185 engine was going for about 2000 if I remember correctly. Through online resources I found a guy in the states that changes the wire loom for about $800 so I got that done.

    At the same time that the engine is out I thought I would also get the car a new paint job and also be able to paint inside the engine bay. Now the bodywork wasnít fantastic to begin with there were over a dozen dents all over the body + I wanted the plastic trim from the outside of the doors removed and the rear spoiler removed. I got the car painted Evo X white whit a few bits here and the painted black, this all cost me just under $5k but I have to say I loved how it looked.





    During this time I had also started up a collection of modifications to install into the car
    Tein Coilovers direct from Japan
    Whiteline Strut braces
    Apexi pod filter
    HKS Hi Power Silent Exhaust
    Momo steering wheel
    These had all been sitting around collecting dust (the above stretches out over about 2 yearsÖ Iím lazy)



    As I was over trying to get this thing back together, me not having time to work on it (lazy and also having shift work) I decided to ask my mechanic if he could put the engine in, I didnít need it any hurry so I let him work on it at his own pace and all I asked for was that the engine be connected up and startÖ. Which he did and for a very reasonable price (about $1200) I was so happy with this price.

    From here the exhaust needed to be redone as the turbo and down pipe donít match up with the St185 exhaust, so I decided I would go for a full 3Ē exhaust from the turbo to the HKS cat back system with a high flow cat. Tasty

    At this point the car was moveable but not driveable so I install the strut braces and coilovers and steering wheel, while I start to connect everything up in the engine bay properly. However only buying an engine tends to leave a couple of parts missing like the bypass recirculation valve, aka BOV. So I got a GFB deceptor Pro BOV, I also get a new aluminium radiator and also boot mount the battery. Which brings me to almost the state of the car as of a couple of weeks ago. The top mount intercooler from the 215 doesnít properly fit underneath the bonnet so the bonnet was raised and forced to close. And after a couple of drives, gears 2, 4 and reverse didnít work, this was due to a shifter cable getting stuck as it was broken. So I did the tedious work of pulling out the cable from the 185 and from a spare celica I have (1990 st184) and replacing the cable, what a fun couple of nights that was. All gears are now available





    Currently the car is in the shop getting a FMIC installed along with the pod filter, and a new smaller radiator fan (with the new radiator and engine the old fan didnít fit) after about 3 attempts from this shop apparently it is all done and they are giving it a dyno tune this afternoon and then putting the front bar back on tomorrow morning being ready for me to pick up (hereís hoping for the 3rd time)

    Once I get the car back I already have a few final things that will be done to it, Rims painted black (my current currency will be in the red as of tomorrow so I will do with what I have just not that colour), a new TWM short shifter that I have since purchased and also the final go over the engine bay and neaten it all up for a car wash by Sunday ☺

    New Pics will be put up when I get the car back
    Last edited by Celica_Gt4; 11-06-12 at 02:05 PM.
  2. #2
    Member dehamsta's Avatar
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    Nice. It's good to see a GT4 build on here. Keep the updates coming.
  3. #3
    Member Celica_Gt4's Avatar
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    dehamsta: Thanks it has definitely been quite an adventure thus far... cant wait to see what things happen down the track.

    Update: I was suppose to get the car back today but unfortunately it has been delayed once again due to the whiteline front strut brace not fitting with the new piping. So now they are doing something to fix the issue, also they sort of forgot about the installation of the radiator fan. Other than that I checked out the car this Avo (unfortunately forgot to get pics) has a nice FMIC and not too large either, but will be better than the stock top mount. They seem to have used about a 3" piping all round and they have put the Apexi filter in this little box I made as a heat shield.



    So I am hoping tomorrow it will be finished ready for some more mods on Friday. Install of short shifter and see if i can paint the rims black... till i get new ones
  4. #4
    Member Celica_Gt4's Avatar
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    So I got my car back today from the shop. I now have a FMIC

    I only just got home so took some photos ... will upload better ones tomorrow ... after i do some more work to the car

    Not too big, not too small, just right


    Turbo has been rotated to face down and 3" piping used


    a very very tight fit


    will have to install the apexi filter in here.. this was just a $40 job to get by with for now

    So sleep for now and then tomorrow the work begins again..
    TWM short shifter
    Try and get the strut brace to fit over the piping
    fix up front bar
    fix up lights
    try to recon the wheels
    and hopefully make the tacho work properly (need to recalibrate)
  5. #5
    Member st162er's Avatar
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    finally a build thread on here! nice progress, and finally im not the only fifth gen on here
    your gt4 looks so at home on the grass
  6. #6
    Member Celica_Gt4's Avatar
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    st162er: Thanks but yer i had another drive on the grass today... to traction ever lol

    So today did a bit more work on the car... Installed the apexi filter, installed a cheap oil catch can, hooked up the recirculation outlet on the BOV and installed the original stut brace.
    The whiteline bar doesnt fit over the new intake pipe and under the bonnet, so until I can fabricate something i will be using the original
    By the time i finished all this it was already too dark to photo but I also installed a Short shifter from TWM


    Starting to get ready for the swap..


    Comparing the two (old on the left new on the right)


    It all installed


    the kit came with spacers to lift it up assembly and shifter base

    Put up more photos after more work tomorrow
  7. #7
    Member Celica_Gt4's Avatar
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    So did a bit more work today and yesterday as well as a long scenic drive to the coast going through Mt Tambourine... definitely some fun there

    So I did some removal of parts and neatened some other parts up

    Dont know if you can really see it but i Heat wrapped the exhaust and intercooler piping where they cross paths.


    I also installed my apexi filter also had to cusom fabricate the adaptor to fit to the intercooler piping


    also installed a cheap oil catch can just to get me by for now


    removed the back seat and seatbelt components (dont intend on ever using the back seat) also installed a sub and amp so i can easily remove with a couple of bolts.


    removed centre console (was more of a hinderance) and place the BOV adjuster and Turbo timer in the spare DIN
  8. #8
    Member st162er's Avatar
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    I like where the build is going.
    hmm i wonder if the 185 strut braces can be used on the 184 too?
  9. #9
    Member Celica_Gt4's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by st162er View Post
    I like where the build is going.
    hmm i wonder if the 185 strut braces can be used on the 184 too?
    Thnx its taking its sweet time and a lot of dosh but i will get there and yes they can be used .... Whiteline list them all together Gen 5 Whiteline Stuff

    That should be the last bit of work on the car for a while I imagine next will be a rear sway bar then possibly new wheels then a big brake kit ... after that then I will do an engine rebuild
  10. #10
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    I do not think you will get the front brace to fit. Nice work though, i have not seen a 215 conversion before. Get the sway bar and look for a front underarm brace from cusco or ace engineering in the states. NOt sure how it will fit though with the conversion though. Dump pipe is running very close to the radiator. Most people that clock their turbo have to run a standard size one to clear everything. Your car must go very quick, good work
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