Step 2) strip my car for necessary parts
It turns out the donor car and mine both have grey interiors, and both are in excellent shape so I've got two entirely equal ones to work with. I may have to store all of the spare parts (a big space hog) simply because I know after some point I'll never be able to get any of them anywhere else, ever again.
Today I pulled the engine out of mine (with about a week's worth of prep, loosening or breaking off, or cutting off with a cutting wheel, all of the fasteners holding the suspension on, and front subframe). The donor car came apart nicely. My rusty black one, not so much. The LH driveshaft was a real bugger, but the cutting wheel solved that problem.
My strategy is to leave my black car as assembled as possible (as a guide for assembly later).
Next step: strip down the engine to rebuild it, and send the E53 manual transmission for rebuild to Monkeywrench Racing, in Detroit, who specializes in Lotus (Lotus used the E153 transmission for their Toyota engined, turbo 4 cyl. cars, and it is very similar to the E53, except for gear and FD ratios).
Other jobs for me to accomplish, while the body is being painted, and engine and MT are being rebuilt:
- convert from R12 freon ('93 was the last year at Toyota for it) to R134a (the O-rings which are R134a compliant are all 1mm larger outer diameter). Unfortunately, along with the coolant change for '94, Toyota also changed from the 3VZ to the 1MZ engine, so there are several changes in the AC system I'm working out.
- I already got a full set of hard lines from a '95 from a scrap yard, in case there is any shape difference in the joints, due to the O-ring size difference, though it is entirely possible the O-ring change was merely to increase squish of them, for sealing against the slipperier R134a molecule, and maybe the hard line joints are unchanged. I'll find out soon, and be prepared in either case.
- rebuild the HVAC assembly, with a new, +12% larger evaporator (to deal with any possible performance tradeoffs from the coolant change), and replace all foam rubber seals throughout.
- rebuild the power steering pump, and hydraulic fan motor, and figure out how to re-do all of their flex hoses (none of which are available from Toyota, it seems).
- rebuild my SE steering rack (which has a quicker ratio than the LE or XLE Camrys). This will be tough because it will require fabricating some special tools.
- rebuild my brake, fuel and clutch lines (the donor came with good parts, but the brake lines are different - remember I don't want its ABS), and my clutch lines are shot). What I can't get from Toyota as new parts I'll make myself.
- rebuild the radiator and condenser and fan assembly (with new rad, new cond., new hoses and new foam seals).
- have the headers and heat shields ceramic coated, inside and out.
- add heat insulation to the cowl, to prevent heat soak in the summer time (in the summer the vents always blow hot air after a stop, even if the air was cool until the first long stop, because the upper part of the cowl is just bare metal, so the engine's heat gets to the air in the cowl plenum. A simple layer of insulation should make a world of difference.
- although ALL of the other suspension parts are available through Toyota (necessary to get the "like new" ride and handling, unlike "random tune" aftermarket dampers, springs and mounts), the rear struts seem to be NLA. So, I'm still working on that part. My rusty ones only have 20k miles so I may repaint and reuse those.
- the "SE" badge on the trunk lid is all worn out, it is NLA, so I'm looking to get it re-chromed somehow.
More updates to come.
Ultimate target: one brand new, 1993 SE Camry. I'm well past 1/2 way there.