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Thread: top of the line v8 whitegood hits a milestone.

  1. #1
    Member Joy's Avatar
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    top of the line v8 whitegood hits a milestone.

    Hello all,

    I've been here for a short while but I think it's time I share a car close to my heart with the community. It's a car that's pretty much unknown and for the most part, mistaken as a Camry but it's far from it, especially when you consider the engineering that goes into a car like this as well as what it stands for.

    ** If you hate going back in time, long reads or are on 56K, come back later/close your browser now **

    For those still with me, close your eyes and warp back in time to 1989. Australia was riding high coming into the end of the 80's with Bob Hawke as PM, young talent time on the TV and people were driving Commodore (VL) and if you were really well off you may have had a Mercedes E Class (W124) or a sporty BMW 5 Series (E28). Well, while those cars are all great cars, Japan offered their own saloon which for the most part was JDM only.

    So I present to you, my Toyota Crown.


    ^ Side view


    ^ Rear view


    ^ Front view


    ^ Interior front


    ^ Interior back


    ^ Cockpit

    You may ask, okay so what makes your car so great or different compared to others? Why so unique? What's the big deal here? Well it's because this symbolised everything good about Japanese engineering (features and quality) and the 80s. See in the 80s things were brash and over the top, indulgent perhaps. Since the economic crash in Japan (1992) the country hasn't really recovered, and it's perhaps true we will never see these days again (so many great cars came out of the 80s, especially when compared to now). The car was extremely well featured for it's time, just to list some of them it included

    COOL FEATURES
    - Power seats for front and rear passengers. Yes, rear seats recline and are powered
    - Built in fridge in the rear parcel shelf
    - factory air suspension utilising TEMS (Toyota Electronic Modulated Suspension), 3 way adjustment (speed sensitive)
    - Climate control air conditioning with controls for front and rear
    - Dual Radio option (meaning you have 2 radios with rear passengers getting their own controls)
    - NTSC Television (CRT touch screen, yes, touch screen). It does work in AU but barely picks up one station
    - Compass
    - Rear air conditioning/vents with the front vents having a swing option.
    - Folding mirrors
    - Traction control (yes, 1989 this car had traction control)
    - Drivers SRS airbag (One of the first Toyota models to feature a drivers airbag)
    - 1UZ Aluminium V8. (The engine obviously developed for Lexus LS400 but found it's way into this car as well, apparently some 1988 models were rumoured to also have a v8 fitted)
    - electric tilt and telescopic wheel which comes out to greet you every time you stick the key in
    - Digital Dash similar to that of star wars, very 80s like

    on top of that, include all standard power and comfort options you can think of (windows, seats, mirrors, lights, steering etc).

    DETAILS
    Make: Toyota
    Model: Crown
    Year: 1989
    Chassis: UZS131
    Engine: 1UZ-FE - 3968cc, 32 valve, 8 cylinder
    Transmission: 4AT
    Mileage: 97000, (Purchased @ 95400KM)
    Colour: Two tone (pearl white/pearl silver)
    Origin: Japan


    *** More to follow ***
    Last edited by Joy; 02-02-15 at 03:28 AM.
  2. #2
    Member Joy's Avatar
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    BACKGROUND
    I saw this listed online and in the ad it looked mint. Problem was, it was in QLD, I was in NSW. Quite some time ago I organised a flight to QLD and a hire car (Holden Barina, surprisingly perky and easy to drive. Definitely wouldn't buy one though. Cheap plastic interior AHOY.) but it all could've gone pear shaped. I don't have a full license in this country, only abroad, but because of this I cannot hire a car with most companies. Thrifty wasted my time, Budget wouldn't talk to me, Hertz offered me a car for 340inc a day (I told them to go fuck themselves, I'd rather fly back). Red spot luckily had a car and were fairly priced (for a person on a "restricted license").

    Driving to the sellers residence I noticed he had a large amount of Mazda's (Mazda and import freak). Had at least 8 MX-5s and a variety of other cars. I milled around a bit testing the electronics which all seemed fine. Surprisingly, everything worked, rear reclining seats, both radios, both climate controls, TV (sorta) and the fridge (yes it has one of these too). One of the key features was the air suspension. This car has factory air suspension and there was a leak in one of the bags, in the rear. I suspected it was the right rear but surprisingly it held up (I would need to get this sorted).

    A test drive was needed and I was disappointed. Long brake pedal, car pulled to one side, power was off, very weak. There was also a vibration on the left front. Having a car up on a hoist confirmed there were several issues which I identified during the drive. Alloy wheels were severly buckled, this explained the vibration but also gave me an idea to why perhaps one of the bags was leaking and the previous owner. When I raised this with the previous owner, he explained someone else drove the car, and that they weren't the best of drivers, which also explained one of the dings at the back (it's in the undertray but not major).

    Other areas also identified the brakes and steering as issues. It also would need a good service as it didn't do a large amount of KMs and mainly sat. Using this I was able to talk the seller down from 8000 to 4000. Ideally I wanted to spend 3 given the work that was required but, I'm happy as the car was in reasonably good condition and the seller was for the most part fairly honest. It was quite an ordeal going back and forth, new city which is unfamiliar to me. Basically flew up on Thursday night, crashed at a friends, test drove on the Friday after doing checks, and bought it then drove down on Saturday. The car itself could last, but needed a bit of nursing. I didn't go full pelt on any of the highways. 11 hour drive though (which I split into multiple sittings).


    CHAPTERS
    1// Brakes
    Modification and improvements on brake are important part of the car.

    2// Wheels
    Matching wheels of the period to the car.

    3// Suspension
    Resolving the air suspension issues.

    4// Interior
    Repair and refurbishment of interior trim.

    5// Engine
    Servicing of all major components as well as the addition of a supercharger. Ideally I would like to have ~320HP.

    6// Tyres
    Pretty self explanatory really but extremely vital.

    7// Exterior
    Finishing details on the outside which may include panel work and paint.

    8// Transmission & Differential
    Adding an LSD

    GOAL
    Initially the goal was to turn it into an M5/500E competitor as the 1UZ block is a strong block capable of strong numbers providing you gave it some blow. Sadly, it wouldn't work out. I really wanted to take it to Bullet and give them the keys but because of all the technology and electronics and being such a cramped car, there's no way to viably mount a supercharger in here without losing quite a few cool toys.
    Last edited by Joy; 07-08-14 at 05:19 AM.
  3. #3
    Member Joy's Avatar
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    1// BRAKES: Part 1
    The most important issue regarding this car and a critical factor to get it ready for the road is the brakes. When I bought the car, the brakes were in poor condition. It wouldn't pass a roadworthy and the pedal was long. Not only were the pads in poor condition, one of them was completely perished. So I needed discs/rotor, pads and thought I may as well get the system flushed as well. Noting the size of the hub and the disc/rotor we looked for any local options. Sadly, there were NONE! There are some which are very close, ie some Lexus options however they are not an exact match.

    This was quite strange for Toyota as historically many cars from this make share parts. Considering how unique this car is, it may not be a surprise after all. Brake discs/rotors were definitely required so luckily I managed to source from aftermarket discs made by Brembo. These are genuine. Sadly Brembo only make fronts, not rears. They came from the UK and were quite affordable especially when compared to OEM Japanese solution.


    ^ A comparison between the BREMBO front disc to a stock disc (Here's one we prepared earlier @ 90,000KMs)


    ^ Even if we were to machine them (the OEMs) we had no room the play with meaning the disc could warp, or perhaps crack under heavy braking, a big no-no.


    ^ The other side for comparison. You can see how pitted the older disc is.


    ^ Prepping before hand.


    ^ Moment of truth, a perfect fit. Beautiful

    Rears are the biggest issue. Currently, I can either order an OEM set from Japan or machine a set (quite difficult). Cost wise, the OEM set for rears are MUCH cheaper (but still expensive, 500+ex for the pair landed, remember, this is ex GST). My preference is to machine the rear discs but given the unique hub, this may be quite a challenge.

    Stay tuned, more to come!

    A big mention to

    SHOP: ABS Auto Liverpool
    OWNER: Nick Glasgall
    LOCATION: Liverpool

    Quite simply, one of the BEST workshops you can go to. While they specialise in brakes they do other things as well. Very professional and offer great peace of mind. Can't recommend them highly enough. Nick is a bit different, he's customer orientated. He will actually sit you down, and explain what you require and why. A lot different to many other mechanics. Not only does it give you peace of mind, it gives you a better understanding of what you require.
    Last edited by Joy; 02-02-15 at 03:32 AM.
  4. #4
    Moderator whiteballz's Avatar
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    Awesome to see someone so obviously putting their heart into their car.

    Keep it up.
  5. #5
    Member Paulieee_R's Avatar
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    Awesome read! Awesome car! I didn't know they came in a V8! That's sweeeeeeet!
  6. #6
    Member dopey's Avatar
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    Cool ride, the feature list sounds quite similar to my 1986 Mazda Luce Royal Classic (they were market competitors after all) although Mazda didn't quite have the CRT TV or TRC thing happening in 86.

    80's JDM luxury barges have amazing features for their time. Good news for you is that the 1UZ should have mostly the same bits as a LS400/Celsior, which means a Toyota dealer will order in anything you want.
  7. #7
    Member Gorilla's Avatar
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    Whoa, makes me want it!!!!
  8. #8
    Member aly in underland's Avatar
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    More Crowns on JDMST, yeah!

    Am glad to see you're putting effort into keeping it alive - these things have pretty much been forgotten about in Japan, good to see one being taken care of and kept on the road.

    Regarding that TV tuner - if it's a separate unit like that on the UZS171, you can modify the wiring that comes out of the tuner to splice an audio/video input to plug in a DVB tuner/DVD player/iDevice, whilst still keeping the tuner powered up so it doesn't return an error. Is the tuner boot-mounted? I can check the colours of the wires, Toyota shouldn't have changed much in a decade.
    Will translate stuff in Japanese!
  9. #9
    Member dopey's Avatar
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    By the way, if you're going to offload those wheels at some point could you please let me know?
  10. #10
    Member Gab's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gorilla View Post
    Whoa, makes me want it!!!!
    Lol so true :p
    Sold! Just take my money lol
    Can't wait to see the progress
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