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Camreee
'99 Auto V6
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342 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Figured I should probably make a thread for my car.
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Here's what I've done to it and a few pictures.

Engine


1MZFE with OBX Headers, OBX Y-Pipe, generic 2 chamber rumble muffler and a DIY Short Ram Intake.

Operating oil capacity of 8 quarts using a 2 Quart Accusump and 1 quart overfilled to prevent cold starts and oil starvation under hard cornering and braking. When the oil pressure in the oil filter sandwich adapter drops below 10 psi due to the oil in the pan being forced away from the oil pump under hard cornering, up to 2 quarts of clean warm oil will be forced into the engine through a 1/2 Inch steel braided hose.

The transmission is the A541E 4 speed automatic, I run an extra 2 quarts trans fluid, a larger trans cooler, and an inline magnetic filter, still original and still going strong. I can't say enough about how great the gearing is, the diff not so much.

For cooling; the hood insulation has been removed, along with wrapping the front headers and Y-Pipe in high temp insulating wrap sprayed with insulating enamel paint. The solara strut bar forces the hood to have a larger than normal gap allowing extra airflow through the windshield cowl, and the large stock intake has been removed to allow more airflow.

The engine knock sensor has been relocated to prevent bogus knock pings, and the valve covers were recently replaced and resealed along with intake gaskets. There was a large amount of built up coke inside both valve covers and the plenum, which was cleaned out with wire-brushes and acetone. The engine really pulls when operating at high rpms where the smaller diameter tires and great gearing call home when you give it proper airflow.

Front Suspension

*Ebay coilover #600Lb/Inch springs and adequate shocks for most situations. I added some better built ebay pillow ball mounts and Koyo thrust needle bearings and washers to prevent memory steer, and allow normal steering by preventing spring bind when operating under high load.

*A first gen solara strut bar connects the coilover strut tower nuts, The hood gap isn't terrible but isn't tiny, it also causes the hood to be secured very tightly when closed.

*Whiteline 24mm Front Sway Bar and Polyurethane Bushings, I torqued the brackets super tightly using upgraded bolts to 60 ft/lbs to prevent any movement of the brackets or bushings under hard cornering.

*Godspeed 1" Diameter adjustable sway bar links, preloaded to zero.

*Energy Suspension Polyurethane bushing inserts have replaced all rubber bushings in the the front suspension control arms, except for the subframe. The motor mounts have some ghetto DIY polyurethane inserts. The ball joints are Moog Problem Solver as well as both tie rods.

*With 2 moog camber bolts, camber plates set to add more caster, and the lowered ride height - the front camber sits at -3.6 degrees.

Front Brakes & Tires

Wheels are white gloss 16x6.5x40 mounted with Falken Azenis 615K+ in 215/45/16, a small upgrade of half inch tire section but massive upgrade in seemingly infinite grip and sidewall stiffness, along with providing increased wheel torque by using 10% shorter tires.

For brakes I use the dual calipers from an ES300 with SS lines and EBC Yellowstuff Track pads. The pads are about 30% larger than the stock v6 camry pads a and have the ability to stop the car on a dime combined with decent tires.

Rear Suspension

*Ebay coilovers with #400Lb/Inch springs and pillowball mounts.

*A Y-Brace pulled from a junkyard ES300 is mounted to connect the rear strut towers using flange bolts threaded through drilled and tapped holes and secured with nuts and large washers.

*Whiteline Rear Sway Bar and Polyurethane Bushings, I torqued the brackets super tightly using upgraded bolts to 60 ft/lbs to prevent any movement of the brackets or bushings under hard cornering.

*Godspeed 1" Diameter adjustable sway bar links, preloaded to zero.

*Moog camber bolts providing -2 degrees of rear camber.

*Whiteline torque strut rod polyurethane bushing inserts and PSB polyurethane lateral arm inserts.

Rear Brakes & Tires

Wheels are white gloss 16x6.5x40 mounted with Falken Azenis 615K+ in 215/45/16

Brakes use the stock gen 4 v6 camry calipers with SS lines mounted to gen 3 v6 camry caliper brackets over the gen 3s larger rear rotors. Pads are Hawk HPS, wear is seemingly as infinite as is brake dust.

Interior

Es300 8 way power seat with memory settings, oem steering wheel with an airbag, and dashboard.

Exterior & Lighting

All lights have been replaced with Osram Zevo LEDs. New depo headlights and side markers were recently added, night road vision and safety is exponentially better than stock, The LED headlights are something I regret not getting much earlier.

I polished it a few months back with a rotary and the paint really started to shine. Adding
in some gloss white wheels makes the car really pop day and night, but the brake dust never ends with these aggressive pads.
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Today I Sanded and degreased all the engine bay grounds and in cabin grounds, Removed my hood insulation as well.

I also decided to screw with the ACIS screw now that I have better airflow, a clean intake, and saw how it actually worked when the plenum was off.

I first zip tied it all the way closed so the airflow always had to take the longest route but that just sucked all around with no real peak and terrible bottom end. I cut that off and turned the screw until the spring could not compress anymore, at the moment it's never able to close more than halfway so airflow will always be shared between all cylinders at least somewhat.

I don't think my vsv is working correctly or else it should have opened all the way when I went WOT according to toyota docs.

Im going to remove the spring and turn it further tomorrow to see what happens since I gained a ton of power above 3k just by blocking the ecu from closing it as much as I could with 5-6mm of room left without the spring.

I wouldn't be surprised if the engine is making 20-25 more hp than it was 2 days ago after cleaning the intake, relocating knock sensors, and forcing acis to a better spot for my powerband.

It's not very torquey at all under 2500rpm anymore, but the powerband is a mountain after 3k and with everything setup for high rpms its an absolute rocket on the highway, also eardrum splittingly loud in a good way, and growly when just cruising around, with tons and tons of burbles and crackles from the exhaust everytime I lift off the throttle or let it engine brake. Super happy with how everything has turned out motor wise so far.

In the fall I plan on buying a junkyard low mileage 1mzfe to rebuild with upgraded parts, and turbocharge it, its quick but its too slow.
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1999 Solara SLE, V6, 353,000 miles
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170 Posts
Looking good! Next time for the plenum build up try LA Totally Awesome. Its 7 bucks a gallon, no wire brush needed. Just soak over night. Melts this stuff away. Other stuff that will also melt it away is PERMATEX 22732 Spray Nine Grez-Off, but quite a bit more expensive. Totally awesome is my go to stuff for just about any clean up. Makes acetone look like water.
 
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Registered
1999 Solara SLE, V6, 353,000 miles
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170 Posts
Where/how did you relocate your engine knock sensors?
 

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Camreee
'99 Auto V6
Joined
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342 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Where/how did you relocate your engine knock sensors?
Stock knock sensor and pigtail were left plugged in and capped off.

I bought some sketchy looking but extremely well reviewed Toyota branded Denso marked 'clock sensors' for $30 off Amazon to use, came with a new pigtail as well.

I drilled a hole using a 27/64ths bit into radiator side engine torque mount bracket lift hook hole and then tapped it with a 1/2" x 13 TPI plug tap.

Cleanen and deburred the hole then screwed in a new knock sensor with a crescent wrench until it was flush.

I cut one of the pigtails off the new harness and spliced it to the other one to get it long enough to reach the new location from the stock min harness plug.

It still detects knocking, but it's pulling timing much less frequently under full throttle; and I don't lose a ton of power after a few pulls anymore.
 

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I bought some sketchy looking but extremely well reviewed Toyota branded Denso marked 'clock sensors' for $30 off Amazon to use, came with a new pigtail as well.
found them
 

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Camreee
'99 Auto V6
Joined
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342 Posts
Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
found them
That's the one :D

Also worth noting that although I used a 13 tpi tap if you want to have it threaded in properly you want as close to 20.3 threads per inch you can find a tap for in half inch. Ideally M12x1.25.

I doubt I'll need to take it out anytime soon so I didn't care too much after searching 6 hardware stores for a 12x1.25 tap and just said screw it.

I ended up redoing the wiring properly today with shielded wires and proper connections instead of the hack job I threw together when putting valve covers back on.

I figured I'd screw in the other one and the threads are pretty screwed as expected, but even with trashed threads due to the taper it still screws down really tight, and flush with the surface. I had to do a little filing of the mount bracket when I originally installed them due to the location of the hole being so close to the motor mount bracket.

I think the unshielded pigtail crappy splice was affecting the signal it was producing, because with new 14 gauge shielded wire, shielded crimp connectors, shielding from new harness, and a lot of high temp electrical tape it seems to make even more power at 5000 rpm+ than with the ghetto unshielded flimsy wire. I'm guessing that was picking up signals somewhere along the line without added shielding.

I really want some dyno charts of this car but don't want to spend the money on it until I have a good reason to.
 

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Camreee
'99 Auto V6
Joined
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342 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
I picked up an Earthquake xt 1200lbs rated cordless impact wrench to remove some hub bolts from a 95 es300 to replace mine with. Thing is beefy af.

I replaced the oem gasket with better flange gaskets where the OBX y-pipe connects to the oem downpipe and coated the seams of all exhaust connections with thermosteel so I don't have to deal with this again, stuffs legit. Only exhaust fix I've tried that doesn't fall apart after a week or over a pothole.

I also replaced my beat up conical intake, I was going to get the same one, but for $5 more I could purchase this absolutely preposterous monster intake that will not do anything except look hilarious. So I did. Lot less engine noise coming out of the intake as well as hopefully much cleaner air going in.

The car is much much quieter, and sounds much better without a deafening exhaust leak out of the downpipe connection. It's so quiet now that I can hear my interior rattles now with the windows open, and with them closed I can't even hear the engine over the tires. Still sounds great and extremely loud when revved, but exhaust leaks sound like crap even if they're deafening.

Here's a picture of that filter lol, it barely fits in my engine bay, who knows if it does anything at all, but for $5 more i'm willing to find out, at the very least it's extra media to clog up.

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Speaking of clean air, I changed my oil and it was pretty gross, I should have replaced the air filter sooner once it lost filtration media. With the accusump emptied into the oil pan I ended up draining over 8 quarts of oil out of the engine.. my drain pan is only 7 quarts so you can imagine how that went... when I dropped the plugin hot oil, then grabbed the new plug to stop the pan from overflowing and proceeded to drop it in hot oil as well :D

Filled it up with 8 quarts castrol gtx high mileage synthetic blend , the dipstick reads 1/3 inch above top mark with the oil line and tank filled. I'll need to drain the oil in stages or get a much bigger drain pan in the future, also 8 qts of oil is twice the price of 5 qts which is kind of annoying so I'll have to just stock up on 5 qt jugs.

Tomorrow I'll be throwing the es300 hubs in my car with the impact and 4lb sledge and a vise and going to find a dirt road to sit on and beat the living crap out of some bolts.
 

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Camreee
'99 Auto V6
Joined
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342 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Decided to get a better muffler that didn't have holes drilled through it instead of getting those hub bolts out today :sneaky:

Sprung for a super high end $37 rumble muffler. It's quiet but rumbly at idle and cruising, and sufficiently loud everywhere else.

Cut the exhaust pipe off where it became straight, attached a 2 1/4 ID to 2 1/2 OD adapter for the muffler and bolted it on with two U clamps. Hung two exhaust straps over the front and back of the muffler and called it a day.

Sufficiently quiet idling through neighborhoods, plus it takes care of those rattles nicely by rumbling the whole car instead.

I'll end up getting a 2.5 downpipe, but even with the stock downpipe it makes my ears tingle. Judge for yourself.

NSFW language.

 

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Camreee
'99 Auto V6
Joined
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342 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Got around to removing those 25 year old es300 hub bolts. Now I've got 50,000 mile (and 25 years old) rear hubs, wheel bearings, knuckles, caliper brackets, parking brakes, and both front and rear lateral arms along with a rust free MCV10 subframe with great bushings already installed.

I think the longer and thicker lateral control arms for the MCV10 are probably an upgrade over the shorter and skinnier links in the XV20 so I'm going to try and fit in the MCV10 subframe. I'll be dropping mine anyway, I'm just not sure if I'll need to relocate the charcoal canister and if the sway bar will clear the lateral arms at a wider angle, also not entirely certain the mounting matches up.

If everything works out with the MCV10 subframe I'll use everything from that with my new torque strut rods and install polyurethane inserts into everything. If not I'll just press out the bushings from them both and press the MCV10 ones into my current subframe; keeping the polyurethane XV20 arms, and using all the hub stuff from the MCV10.

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This thing did the job in less time than it took me to collect my tools and load everything in the trunk.

20V Max Lithium 1/2 in. Cordless Xtreme Torque Impact Wrench Kit



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Videos have NSFW language.


 

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142 Posts
You mentioned finding out how the ACIS worked when you took it apart - I've always been confused when people say it's opened or closed - I saw a photo of the flapper valve when it was removed from the upper intake, but wasn't sure if the default position was with the valve parallel with the frame it sits in. I've always wondered how it actually worked since I saw a photo of a 1MZ intake sawed in half and thought 'there's no way the ACIS could have that much of an effect in such a small space.
1593006021280.png

I've currently got a vacuum hose hooked up from the ACIS to port E (the one that goes to the P port on the EGR modulator) on the throttle body which makes it open earlier when the throttle is opened regardless of current vehicle speed (it's pretty cool seeing the arm actuate when you push down on the throttle), as the default behaviour keeps it open until 3900/4000 RPM/>50% throttle sensor signal. Toyota says that it's to promote low end torque but skeptics say that it is actually done to reduce power and fuel consumption.
 

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Camreee
'99 Auto V6
Joined
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342 Posts
Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
You mentioned finding out how the ACIS worked when you took it apart - I've always been confused when people say it's opened or closed - I saw a photo of the flapper valve when it was removed from the upper intake, but wasn't sure if the default position was with the valve parallel with the frame it sits in. I've always wondered how it actually worked since I saw a photo of a 1MZ intake sawed in half and thought 'there's no way the ACIS could have that much of an effect in such a small space.
View attachment 303000

I've currently got a vacuum hose hooked up from the ACIS to port E (the one that goes to the P port on the EGR modulator) on the throttle body which makes it open earlier when the throttle is opened regardless of current vehicle speed (it's pretty cool seeing the arm actuate when you push down on the throttle), as the default behaviour keeps it open until 3900/4000 RPM/>50% throttle sensor signal. Toyota says that it's to promote low end torque but skeptics say that it is actually done to reduce power and fuel consumption.
The reason you're confused is because both the 3vz and 1mz have ACIS, but with opposite idle positions, two different engines with a system with the same name used for all Toyota engines, but operating slightly differently on all of them.

For the 1MZ, ACIS is fully open with no vacuum, over 3900rpm, and/or over 30% TPS.

When no vacuum is being applied and it's open; the acis butterfly valve sits on a horizontal plane between the upper and lower intake runners and enabled the engine pull air from anywhere in the intake chamber.

When vacuum is applied it starts to pull the butterfly valve closed to seal off the upper and lower intake runners. (there is an o-ring around the butterfly plate acis insert for this). This only allows the engine to pull air seperately from each primary, and now longer runner.

I think it's a really cool design and the idea behind it, and simple enough that it still works. I don't think it was done for any emissions reason, just to add power down low without adding to emissions. It's literally free power. Keep in mind it fully opens at 30% throttle regardless of rpm.

When it's closed for low rpm torque it basically forces an air pressure wave hitting the closed intake valves to bounce back up the runners and and bounce back down the runners as the intake valves open back up, increasing the air pressure of the intake charge compared to letting the wave dissipated by the opposite bank taking it's turn when it's all mixed air.

There is no right or wrong way to set it up, just whatever suits your driving style. I think I'll end up zip tying it permanently open again, I really only lost torque under 2k.
 

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Yeah wasn't sure how to go about it, the 3VZ tuning guide mentions that it's BS and that "anyone supporting it has never dynoed back to back. it is left open to DECREASE power & DECREASE fuel consumption!!!" I'm not sure how true that is but I might try setting the ACIS back to vanilla and see how it goes.

Although that being said, if you only really lose torque under 2k that's not too bad, considering the engine reaches peak torque at 2500.
 

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Camreee
'99 Auto V6
Joined
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342 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
Yeah wasn't sure how to go about it, the 3VZ tuning guide mentions that it's BS and that "anyone supporting it has never dynoed back to back. it is left open to DECREASE power & DECREASE fuel consumption!!!" I'm not sure how true that is but I might try setting the ACIS back to vanilla and see how it goes.

Although that being said, if you only really lose torque under 2k that's not too bad, considering the engine reaches peak torque at 2500.
I'm one of those people sometimes too :LOL:

I think there are some things toyota sneakily did to reduce emissions that ended up reducing power - like tuning the knock sensors, and EGR to force the engine to run cooler than is necessary to reduce hotspotting for emissions purposes. I don't believe that was not intentional. They spent years and hundreds of millions in development dollars on this engine, at the time it was one of the most expensive ever developed. Toyota knew what they were doing, even if they didn't explicitly say why they were doing it - US emissions regulations.

Which would indicate that if toyota didn't completely screw up on accident and fail to test the most expensive engine they had ever developed; then they were using the super sensitive knock sensors intentionally to trigger lots of EGR when the cylinders got hot enough to produce any predetonation whatsoever (indicating the cylinders were getting hot enough to increase NOx emissions significantly). In this scenario EGR still cuts out at around 4k but the knock sensors sensitivity is static and keeps pulling timing. If that was really the case, then the 10-20 hp people gain by relocating knock sensors was traded off by toyota on purpose for the sole purpose of emissions.

You would have a hard time convincing me that ACIS was one of those sneaky things.

I think it was 100% designed to boost torque in the range most people drive their car.

I don't have a dyno chart or anything to back this up right now, but if I recall correctly torque reaches within 10% of peak at around 3000rpm and peaks around 4000. That would match up with what acis is set to for the stock engine.
 

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Huh, found this dyno graph from someone who actually compared normal ACIS with ACIS always on with a 1992 3VZ-FE (OG thread here). Mind you this is for an MR2:
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Looks like it actually does increase torque significantly at the 2750 RPM mark, while keeping the ACIS always open increases power slightly at the 4250 mark. Lower end torque with ACIS mod seems to suffer but is somewhat more consistent, but at 4250 RPM the torque is higher than the vanilla ACIS setup. You mentioned that you lost torque under 2k and on my drive I noticed that I tended to accelerate such that the engine was rarely ever under 2k rpm so I think that's also why.

I recently upgraded the Y-pipe but had the ACIS mod this whole time I've been having fun with better exhaust flow, I'm going to try going back to the factory ACIS setup and see how different it'll be.

edit: 3 hour drive later and...I think I'm keeping the ACIS mod on. Honestly the factory behaviour just felt sluggish for me. Felt too slow to accelerate from red lights, and found myself with a depleted uranium foot to accelerate from either start or while cruising. Whatever torque bump the graph above showed at ~2700 RPM, I didn't seem to feel it when comparing to the ACIS hooked up to throtle body. I did notice that the engine sounded a bit quieter, the engine only roared once the ACIS closed as expected. Maybe one of these days I'll dyno my camry to really see what's going on...
 

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Camreee
'99 Auto V6
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342 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
You can always keep messing with it and see if you find a better sweet spot for it, it's going to being to be unique for every engine/person. You could try and limit it to being like 20%/30%/40% etc shut at maximum with just a ziptie, and let the vsv pull it to your limit set by the ziptie.

I want to dyno mine too, but the couple shops around want you to buy a $1000 tune and piggyback to get on it, so I figure I'll wait until I do something drastic to the engine. I already have so many projects going and I need to commit to finishing all the work before I start something crazy.
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Today I installed took apart both the junkyard MCV10 rear suspension and my MCV20 rear, and played Frankenstein.


After ripping everything apart from the MCV10 rear I used the knuckles/hubs/bearings/caliper brackets,sway bar subframe mount thingys, and ended up keeping my subframe bushings installed for now because they are pretty solid and I might decide to relocate the charcoal canister and use the MCV10 subframe.

I used my old toe lateral links with decent polyurethane inserts because by the time I had the whole suspension out it was getting late; replaced the front lateral links with new dual heim joint links; new torque strut rods with new polyurethane inserts and installed new toyota bolts for them all.

I also used a LOT of 1/8th inch steel washers I got from the junkyard to make the IRS a touch wider.

Autocrossing it again saturday/sunday so trying to cram some work in. Tomorrow I'm going to refresh the front steering, tweak camber, and ghetto corner balance and then get it aligned friday.
 

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Camreee
'99 Auto V6
Joined
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342 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
Refreshed the front suspension with moog problem solver parts, and re-lubed the control arm and sway bar bushings and the coilovers.

Torqued all bolts to spec and all camber bolts to max negative camber.

Once I get it aligned I'm going to autocross it on the weekend and see how it drives with a refreshed suspension and a bit more camber.
 

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Camreee
'99 Auto V6
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342 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
I went and got it aligned, went to the closest Firestone instead of my regular one because it was screwed u and I didn't have time to straighten. They would only align toe to factory spec but that's probably for the best; Zero front toe should have less tramlining from studded tires tracks and highway twitchyness.

I think I pretty much maxed out camber at the knuckles, as even with finessing the knuckles and bolts to their limit last might I hardly gained anymore. If I still need more rear camber after autocrossing tomorrow I might make rear strut mount bolt through camber shims (including correcting right side) when I'm no longer tired of messing with the suspension and steering.

Driving home from the alignment shop on a curvy road I can already tell what a difference the refresh has had, and the new (used) rear 95 es300 hub and bearing assemblies are in awesome shape which is a relief because although I did some basic testing I wasn't sure if it had internal wear that would show up under load.

I have tried to figure out why the rear right always has less camber and I can't. I thought it was just the camber bolts being off, but I verified they are all oriented correctly for max negative camber. I can only imagine something is damaged body side or I've warped the coilover.

Everything is brand new or in good shape, all the bolts, IRS arms, bushings, hubs/bearings, checked top mounts for warping, ride height is the same as the left. If anyone has any idea I'm interested.

The car drives and corners incredibly well, is likely in the 5.5-6 second 0-60 range with a launch (one of these days I'll go to the drag strip, missed the first night so I'm hoping to make it to the next public night in mid July), not forced induction fast but it's leaps and bounds over stock even still NA, and has seemingly endless grip even with skinny tires.

Now that's I'm done (for now) with my suspension, steering, basic bolt ons, and motor maintenance; I'm going to focus on proper weight reduction.

I still haven't gotten around to deleting my sunroof because I'm having a super hard time finding aluminum or higher gauge steel sheeting sold in the quantity I need, but it's ready to be taken out and covere which will save something like 40#. I still have a power driver's seat I really need to swap for a bucket seat which should save something like another 40-50#. There is also a bunch sheet metal and window crap in the doors that needs to be cut out and grinded down except for the crash bars.
 

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Camreee
'99 Auto V6
Joined
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342 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
Autocrossed the camry 13 runs total over the weekend, here is my fastest autocross run from today. Last year when I brought it out even with the same stiffness springs and the whiteline rear sway bar it was body rolling like these cars do stock around street corners, whereas today I could go full send and not worry about breaking a bunch of suspension parts and killing tires. I've put a ton of work into this car and glad to see it can hold up some some hardcore abuse. I mean..I knew that, but I didn't know that.

I need to go pull a solara manual driver's seat before the next event, inertia is still a thing and gen 4 camry seats should not be a thing. I'm told I'm cornering flatter than most sports cars there yet I'm flopping around like a dead fish in this seat, it makes everything so much harder to do smoothly even with the seat belt tensioner locked tightly.


Total cost so far in mods and parts not including the car has been around $3500 without even adding power yet, but total cost of gas I've burnt in it so far is around 4 times that, here's to making it to 5.



Toyota might have put 100 bolts in the stupidest f*****g locations around this car and detuned the engine to garbage, but the physical oem part quality was second to none.

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Camreee
'99 Auto V6
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342 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
Installed 2001 ES300 beige leather 8 way power seats. Leather is mostly intact and all the controls work. They are way firmer than my old seats and much more comfortable, Love the ability to adjust lumbar support, butt height and knee height separately, and that they don't have that stupid gen 4 seat back wobble.

I used skeedkars tutorial and it made it a 1 hour job to swap them and splice the right wires to the harness.

 

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Camreee
'99 Auto V6
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342 Posts
Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
I went back to the junkyard and got the other es300 8 way power passenger seat for free since they sell them in sets, $32 total for both leather 8 way power seats.. heavy as heck - but they're sooo comfy though compared to the camrys.

If I want lighter seats for weight reasons I'll have to just swap them to bucket seats for autocross events; because im not going back to uncomfortable seats after sitting in these couches. They make even my uncomfortable ride quality very bearable, no more wincing when I see im about to drive over a sunken manhole cover and have no room to go around it.

My car doesn't have a passenger power harness - but i'll just route power from the drivers harness or cigarette lighter wire powering my dashcam and run a ground wire to the passenger airbag sensor ground point.

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I also wanted to stack another es300 brace on top of the one I already have and bolt them together, however upon removing the rear seat I found an extremely pleasant surprise.

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Now this is a real brace..

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I had no idea that the gen 3 es300s had such a beefy brace compared to the flimsy thing I pulled out of a gen 2 es300. This thing is exponentially stiffer in every direction I tried to bend it, and the steel used is way lower gauge than my old one. This is not lightweight 28 gauge sheet metal like the other one. I could literally fold the other one in half.

It looks like 12 or 14 gauge plate steel sent that was through a brake press mold instead of rolled steel sheet. It also has additional thick steel brackets to spread the load over the sheet metal using on all attachment points. This thing thing weights much more and has extremely little flex, I could barely line up bolts that I drilled 2mm off the hole because it was so stiff I couldn't press it down.

All bolts and nuts have washers or flanges to help spread the load on the sheet metal, I used the bottom two and top two stock reinforced mounting points, 2nd two from top are reinforced but custom location, and 3rd two from top are extra bolts added by me into reinforced pillars. Can't say I enjoyed threading nuts onto the bottom bolts from underneath the car, charcoal canister and gas tank were a pita to reach my arm around and fit the nuts and bolt through.

Along with being thicker, its also wider in every aspect, and a more open angle for more rigidity. It also mounts to much stronger locations than the old one did. When I shake grab it with both hands it the entire car shakes and it doesn't even wiggle.

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EDIT: Holy crap. Now this is a real brace, This thing makes a huge difference in chassis flex, the rear suspension is much more "planted" when changing directions. The rear end is finally acting like I want it to with no more creaking as the body tries to do different things on each side.

I also figured out what to do with trunk bracing; I'm going to extend the tow mount holes in the underbody rails up to the trunk and then re-tap them and make a steel x beam brace to bolt across the trunk, eventually... it's at a point where nothing I do is going to make it a noticeably better handling car other than putting wider rubber on it, and I can't even legally use the grip I have with skinny ones.. so not in a rush.
 

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