Progress for real!

I have a car show with the “Utah Japanese Classic Car” club this Sunday, so I’m working to get it drivable by Saturday!

I finally got rid of my 77 Corolla shell and that means I can now officially work on my Celica! (We cried when they crushed the Corolla. It’s like putting a beloved family pet to sleep. We both knew and it was coming and we both still shed a couple tears.)

I was able to get the Celica to run off a bottle by forcing it into the carburetor. The mechanical fuel pump stopped working after a couple minutes (I think it’s because there’s no insulator spacer…)

The in tank fuel pump didn’t pump or even make noise. I checked and I had power in the back which meant a bad pump. I pulled it out and it was crusty looking, but didn’t look super bad. Tried applying 12 Volts directly to the pump and still no go. I called around and O’Reilly happened to have one in stock for $63 a couple miles away. When I convert it to EFI I’ll still need the in tank pump so it wasn’t going to be a waste.

I tore my old pump apart just for fun and it wasn’t rusty at all inside as I’d feared. That means there isn’t likely to be any water in the tank.

A trip to the auto store and $113 later I had a new pump, strainer, fuel line, can of sea foam, ground strap, and some cork gasket material. (I need to make a gasket for the spark plug tubes in the 18RG. They fill up with oil from just a little idling.)

I thought my water pump was leaking, but it doesn’t appear so any more.

It runs decent (but not great) on the weber 32/36 and homemade intake. The accelerator pump doesn’t work very well. There’s a check ball in it that is sticky. I had the carburetor apart several weeks ago and used two cans of brake cleaner to clean out every passage in the carburetor, but I couldn’t find a way to get the accelerator check valve completely out. I’m hoping once I get it driving with the sea foam in it, it will clear up. That will making starting it a lot easier.

Still to do this week:
Install fender mirrors (they are power mirrors, but I won’t be hooking up the wires just yet. I’ll tell you why in another blog post…)

Get it registered (Easy to do in Utah, it’ll be registered as a vintage and that means no safety or emissions inspections!)

Change tires over to good set

Clean up interior

Spray paint rear drivers quarter panel.

Stay tuned for another post tomorrow!


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