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Esso Master List

4513 Views 21 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  Esso
This is a guide to everything 9th gen Corolla(+variants). I will be sharing all of the cheat codes that I have learned on this platform and chassis in one place.

Topics that we will cover will include anything that involves this chassis from maintenance, advice, skill share, paint, performance, handling, and most importantly my major.. continuous improvement.

Something I think is important to share before we begin the list. Some people will arrive to this post and immediately dislike the content I have. Some will discover new things and enjoy some parts of this post. But in the end, everyone is on a scale numerically, from 0-10. 0 being uninterested and 10 being very interested. So, when you are viewing this content, keep in mind that we all are going to have different aspirations on this idea of “scale”. You could be someone who enjoys OEM ideas, parts, schedules, intervals, practice. This will NOT be that OE post.

What is my background and what is the perception?

1yr AutoTech studies. My car aspirations stem from hate, lack thereof improvement, and value. Toyota dealer service crashed my car into their lift, yes, I won’t name names tho. After several years of maintaining 05 Corolla LE Auto, I found a lack of technicians ability to improve my car. So I began making real impactful changes to improve this chassis. Lastly, owning a vehicle involves value. I focused on physical/monetary value and value over time. What does that mean? Means I am cautious of how i spend money on a vehicle over years/decades rather than lose in short term.

We’re going to break up this list into several posts and I will list several threads I’ve made to enhance and highlight certain subjects. Below is what it is,

The List
¥ Exterior Paint + Spray Can Painting + Paint Refining + Clear Coating
See Project Black Sand
¥ Custom Projector Retrofit Headlights
See Project Midnight Ascend
¥ Custom LED Projector Fog lights
See Project Fog of War
¥ Stainless Steel Brake Hose Replacement
See Esso’s SS Brake Line Conversion Imp/Exp

¥ Maintenance: Coolant Flush + Tips
See #2
¥ HID High Intensity Discharge lighting + Diagnostics and Tool of the post: Multimeter.
See #3

Soon to be listed (Continuous Improvement)
¥ Composite Parts
¥ Aerodynamics

¥ Brakes
¥ Handling
¥ Persona
¥ Suspension
¥ Wheel & Tire
¥ Lighting
¥ Common Issues - Subtleties

.......


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Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
It is the end of 2020. Happy New Years and stay safe out there. Today, I am like many on here cleaning shop as the new year arises. Some of you may wonder what you will be doing in the following days. Maybe it is to improve...

Good luck.

Post #2 Coolant flush + Tips
Coolant on our platform lasts well over 100k. It is good practice to change it a little more frequently than prescribed. I maintain my coolant by topping off with Distilled Water only when low. Others do so with 50/50 premixed coolant.
I went ahead to drain the coolant into a leftover empty bottle.



This is about 80k of use. Still very transparent and no mixing of oil in the bottle. It’s clean.
I did not drain any more from the block and got about one full gallon bottle of coolant. Then, I added fresh distilled water to the rest of the system. Currently still in the car.

One TIP of bleeding the air out of the system is to fill the radiator cap full and run the engine. Over time you will occasionally have to fill it up. Once you’ve gotten up to operating temp with the cap open the whole time you can kill the engine and add more water. At this time the water will cool and contract. Just add until it doesn’t contract anymore. Fill the Reservoir up and run the distilled for a few days. Top off if needed. In my case, nah it’s correct the first time.

Meanwhile, I have purchased a new thermostat and gasket from the local Toyota. Also, we will do injector o rings and gasket, clean the intake manifold, intake runners, and throttle body. All can be done in one session. Some of you are probably like, ohh I see what you did there! Haha




As you guys can see, we’re getting ready for what’s out there in the abyss.


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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
High Intensity Discharge
HID lighting and a key tool to success.

I’ve been playing with aftermarket lights. As some of you know I work at one of the top distributors for Aftermarket Lights. It is rare to see our generation with HIDs but that’s just because there’s no good headlights out on the market for us in the first place. However, I’ve seen some of you on the streets with HIDs in a reflector headlight. Blinding to say the least.

This post we will talk a little about how you can diagnose HID issues so that some of you can take full ownership of such a fantastic lighting system.

Many things can happen to an HID because there are many components to it.
Relay, Ballast, Igniter, and bulb.
The relay diverts a signal to supply 12v battery power to a device or ballast. Ballast regulates power to the igniter which lites bulb.

Usually when something goes wrong, one of these components could be causing the problem. Let’s say one side does not work. I recommend checking the wiring for working voltage. The main issue you may run into is that if you don’t have a good ground, you could be getting less than 12v before getting into the ballast. I made an extra accessory ground from the battery to the main frame beam behind the crash beam on both driver and passenger sides. There’s a standard 10mm nut in the beam that you can ground to. Alternatively, you can use the ground point under the battery tray on the driver side and the passenger ground above the washer fluid reservoir. Check your relay harness getting 12v when you activate the low beams at the power connector to ballast. Once you established this, you can rule out wiring and focus on ballast, ignitor, and bulb. These items can be swapped to the working side to narrow your search for the culprit of a non-working side. Typically, it’s the ignitor first, ballast second, bulb last. Questions? Send a message.

The tool we are presenting is the multimeter.
A multimeter is great to check for continuity, voltage, and resistance for most of your electrical needs. Must have! I use for example:
Check if I have a broken electrical part. Voltage a battery has currently. Continuity along a length of wire. And much more...


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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thermostat, Fuel Injector o-ring+seal, Intake manifold gasket replacement. PCV valve also.

Cleaning intake manifold, intake runners, throttle body.

All front end work, at the right time, at the right place, at the right order. So I went ahead to disassemble the intake while the engine was hot from this morning to get coolant.

Notice the oil seeping down from the mating surface. I’m guessing it’s mainly the PCV residual. I will explore a catch can later on on this engine to see if I can capture some of that. The runners are pretty dirty. But it isn’t as bad as the first time I’ve cleaned them. Valves are good. Pics here.
Cylinder 4:

Cylinder 3:


Cylinder 2:

Cylinder 1:


After I drained the coolant once more and removed the thermostat housing and found that it wasn’t original but did indeed work. Shows wear here.

Compared with OE:


Then did the injector o-rings and seals. Was a mess! I used a vac to suck up all the grit. But tomorrow I’ll do more cleaning cause this weekend I got more time than usual for the holidays. Here’s the injectors and seals done.





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2005 Corolla CE
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That thermostat was factory. Toyota consolidated their thermostat design after a later update and made it backwards compatible to tons of models. That Kuzeh thermostat was the OE design before the update.
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
Part two: the cleaning




I went ahead and reassembled everything. Car runs but a gremlin appeared. Injector o-ring leaking on cylinder one. Depressurized the system and cleaned up the mess. Had an assistant to pressurize the rail and found this out. Pulled the rail off and only cylinder one injector was wet and got up close and personal with it. It freakin hissed at me! That was rude. But anywho. It’s a Sunday so the dealer won’t be open. Imma finish up tomorrow after work. Car runs great actually aside from the leak.

The o ring on that particular injector was a lot tighter than the rest. I’m thinking the guys may have swapped or dropped a different o ring in the bin. It was a packet of 10 that was split at one point cause I bought 4.

Edit:
For those who are interested, yes the new oring is in. Amazing how one oring could be off slightly to pose a problem. I’ve been riding dirty! You know cause of work and such. I’ll continue on more content once work has settled down. Training a new employee eats up the time I have to write posts for y’all. More in the works...

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Junkyard galore.

Today I disassembled and bought the front engine compartment relay and fuse box. Scouted a couple original relays to get them all as a set. Going to harvest the fog light wiring within the box that my car doesn’t have and the factory connectors.

Great tip for those who are looking for good factory relays or fuses. Pretty much set if anything goes. Could use on other vehicles that frequent my garage.

Going to have fun de pinning all of these to put in my parts bin! I may make a junction box later to store all of my lighting gear just to simplify all of the aftermarket wiring by grouping.




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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Done! Extracted all of the terminals. I’ll leave a note of how the box comes apart for those who need a little of guidance.

Guide:
Detach bottom of fuse box
To remove bottom half of the fuse box you need to remove the two 10mm bolt and nut from the chassis. Around the fuse box there are clips you unhook. Use a L shape pick or small flat head to guide the hooks off. Then you can remove the bottom portion to gain access to the wire behind in the box.

Detach Accessory, Battery, Head
They are clipped into the fuse box so just depress the clip and pull. Then, pull the group of wires up and the harness is off. The side harness comes completely apart from the fuse box but the rest is one complete harness. I decided to cut the harness going in the cabin as I won’t be needing all of that. That does mean I cut the length of wire going to the passenger fog light.

Depinning
The large 8 gauge main power and ground white wires are bolted into the fuse box. One 8mm, two 10mm. The alternator 100a fuse is bolted to these if you want to remove it.
All of the other pins in the box can be removed with a straight pick. The “B” looking terminals are removed by pulling the plastic tab in the socket hole. The non-flat side; pull away from the terminal. The fuse terminals are removed the same way but the release plastic tabs are towards the center between each fuse pin.

The following is my box haul:


Top left are the fog lights wiring that I tagged and marked for install later.


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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
Wow been a while since I’ve gotten an update. I’m still trying to get a large large window to work on re-clearing the entire unibody of the corolla. I’d suspect at least a hard month or two of prepping. Works been crazy, y’all ordering all those headlight taillights! Keepin me, busy!
Since I’m trying to optimize the amount of time on the rolls royc, I thought I’d show you guys what’s on the menu. My Acura TL needs control arm bushings, motor mounts, sway bar links, AC stator, and oil pan gasket. Just finished tuning the hand brake as PO never adjusted them to function. Here’s why I don’t like driving the TL:


Center completely separated from the cup. Causing extra tire wear and braking is garbage. All motor mounts are torn as well. Updates soon...

Update:
Got parts to fix Acura so I can daily. Make time to work on the rolla. Ganna keep it short but here’s a non-Toyota related picture:


Update: Here are the shot bushings versus the newly pressed bush.

Took a while to make progress. Ended up needing to custom make a ball joint separator. I didn’t notice but all of the linkages to the knuckle are very beefy and press fit. The ball joints used are pressed into the seats and the lower ball joint has a lip on it which requires a special tool to remove. I’ve made that tool with a close enough spec Pittman arm puller and cut it to fit this setup. Putting the ball joint shaft back into its seats was another challenge as it’s all very tight fit and the threads are too short to put a bit on to pull it through the Ctrl arm seat. More updates to come..




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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Personal Oil Change Post
1zz-fe auto
Family owned since new
Began with conventional. Took over vehicle at around 77k. Ran Mobil 1 and Mobil 1 filters for about up to 120k. Ran Royal Purple and Bosch 3325 up to 175k. Now Liqui Moly. (Brief history)

Content:
183-187k Liqui Moly AA, Bosch 3325
(I’ll include a filter media photo when I get the chance after each change. BRB)

Current Oil
187k Liqui Moly Molygen 5w-30, Bosch 3325
Green goo



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Personal Oil Change Post
1zz-fe auto
Family owned since new
Began with conventional. Took over vehicle at around 77k. Ran Mobil 1 and Mobil 1 filters for about up to 120k. Ran Royal Purple and Bosch 3325 up to 175k. Now Liqui Moly. (Brief history)

Content:
183-187k Liqui Moly AA, Bosch 3325
(I’ll include a filter media photo when I get the chance after each change. BRB)

Current Oil
187k Liqui Moly Molygen 5w-30, Bosch 3325
Green goo



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Nice! You’re very kind on your Corolla lol. Only my Benz gets Liqui Moly. I just run Kirkland in my Corolla with the 3311 filter. Is the 3325 an upsize filter?
 
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Nice! You’re very kind on your Corolla lol. Only my Benz gets Liqui Moly. I just run Kirkland in my Corolla with the 3311 filter. Is the 3325 an upsize filter?
Lol I’m trying to destroy this one so I can have a reason to do a full rebuild! Redline every weekday but this thing just doesn’t give a crap! Such a rude engine lol I just really like good oil. I’ve always switched from Mobil 1 to Royal a lot and I’ve always felt something good about Royal. Then, I started to look into other brands. I like them for the near end of life oil “feel” and how well it actuates VVt.

Yeah, I use Liqui on the Germans too with original genuine filters. My cousin used to work at a BMW dealer with close connect with Benz and I sometimes run thru some parts from him. But I don’t work euro as much as the Japs.

Yep, 3311 is spec’d for the 1zz. The 3325 is the same thing but taller. The 1zz runs very clean. Hardly anything in the used oil but I’ll cut them open and show some photos of the motors current progress.

Kirkland works great. I’m just playing with different things. All funded by small auto work so it literally costs next to nothing for me lol. Most of my friends always ask “ohh I saw Kirkland or Amazon” they are perfectly fine. Tis the great thing about the side hustle lol


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Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
DIY Rubber Bushing Substitute
3M Windo Weld

There are plenty of available parts for our cars. One that we shouldn’t slack on are the rubber motor mounts. OEM is best but if your in a bind on cash and have some time to WELD one up, here is that post.

I was told that one the parts I wanted for my TL was doubled in price. Maybe because Acura didn’t want to sell it for whatever reason. It’s a small mount that hardly holds onto the upper transmission. So I just decided to fill it with windo Weld. Since I have the old broken mounts I cleaned them up and got all of them ready for a fill.

This procedure was definitely not Corolla mounts but it will work the same. My mounts are still going good so maybe I’ll update if I decide to harden the mounts later in time.

Preparation:
1) Clean the entire part with light degreaser.
2) Trim the parts that are dry rotted or areas you would like to delete in the original design. I Trimmed the old peeling rubber bits.
3) Sand down the aluminum parts or any metal parts that are receiving the urethane for best adhesion.
4) Mask off and block off areas that you do not want the urethane to go. The 3M stuff is very tacky and will hold to vertical surfaces very well so you don’t have to worry too much.
5) Clean the part and let dry right before application.
6) Product Application: The funnel that comes with the 3M tube is very narrow when uncut. If you have a large area to cover you can fill holes without the funnel. When using the funnel, be sure to cut the proper size needed for expending the product. The smaller the hole the harder it will be to push the product out. (Electric Caulk Gun would be helpful for detailed dispensary)
7) Finish the application and smooth the surface. I used a glove to shape the mounts.


Additional Notes: The mount with the pink mark on top i made a shoulder underneath so that the urethane can adhere under and bond around.

As for the broken one on the left I drilled and tapped a M10 bolt and completely filled the hydraulic chamber with urethane and the bolt I installed will better hold the aluminum engine mounting bracket. This mount takes the most abuse and torques upwards under engine load.



This is them filled and drying...


A single caulking tube of this stuff fills a lot of things. Even the hydraulic chamber which I poured urethane into. These “remanufactured” mounts will serve as backups for later. Will only be using the small one up top.

This could be done on Corolla mounts as well if your looking to stiffening up stock mounts. I have motor mount inserts installed which work fantastic and likely similar to making your own. Other uses I would say rear axle bushing if yours are shot these could give them a second life. Otherwise, cheap DIY if your looking for hard as heck mounts.


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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Ceramic Coat

I’ll be featuring a friend’s Lexus today with the request of coating his IS 350. I also coated my TL as well.

Steps taken before ceramic coat:
Wash, Clay, Wash, compound heavy fade areas, polish the remaining, and panel whip.

The ceramic our local detailer recommended was Gtecniq.
Crystal Serum Light 50ml
EXO v4 50ml
Crystal Liquid C2v3

This product is easy to apply. It is caustic, care in application is important. Each car took about 20-25ml of ceramic coat. A little goes a long way. I got used to the product and I would say I could save much more ceramic with subsequent cars in the future.

Time: approximately 2 hours each layer of ceramic solo.
Paint correction procedure will obviously take longer depending on the condition of the paint.

Results: Uhh see for yourself.







Both cars had fade. I spent 6 days on the TL so it’s in very good condition before ceramic. The Lexus was done in a day with help.

The coating is uber hydrophobic. As smooth as glass. I’ll be updating the progress of the coating. Rated to last 4-5 years with maintenance.


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マズダスピード3
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Ceramic Coat

I’ll be featuring a friend’s Lexus today with the request of coating his IS 350. I also coated my TL as well.

Steps taken before ceramic coat:
Wash, Clay, Wash, compound heavy fade areas, polish the remaining, and panel whip.

The ceramic our local detailer recommended was Gtecniq.
Crystal Serum Light 50ml
EXO v4 50ml
Crystal Liquid C2v3

This product is easy to apply. It is caustic, care in application is important. Each car took about 20-25ml of ceramic coat. A little goes a long way. I got used to the product and I would say I could save much more ceramic with subsequent cars in the future.

Time: approximately 2 hours each layer of ceramic solo.
Paint correction procedure will obviously take longer depending on the condition of the paint.

Results: Uhh see for yourself.







Both cars had fade. I spent 6 days on the TL so it’s in very good condition before ceramic. The Lexus was done in a day with help.

The coating is uber hydrophobic. As smooth as glass. I’ll be updating the progress of the coating. Rated to last 4-5 years with maintenance.


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Damn!
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
This is Damn Pt 2. Lol

We got rain and ice in SoCal in the valley. This usually does not happen. It was dirty ice.



Got the chance to check out the hydrophobic properties of ceramic. It literally flies off the panels. Takes the grit with it!



Water beading is insane. Still budgeting for a leaf blower to dry off the car. Touchless wash going to be quick and easy.


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This is Damn Pt 2. Lol

We got rain and ice in SoCal in the valley. This usually does not happen. It was dirty ice.



Got the chance to check out the hydrophobic properties of ceramic. It literally flies off the panels. Takes the grit with it!



Water beading is insane. Still budgeting for a leaf blower to dry off the car. Touchless wash going to be quick and easy.


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Looks like Nu finish! Hahaha
 
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Discussion Starter · #20 · (Edited)
It has been a while. But since we’re inline with the topic of ceramic coat. I did the corolla as well. There is not much to document but here are some shots of the corolla. I cut the orange peel off the paint before the coating. Water doesn’t want to be on the car at all!
Edit: forgot to mention that I coated everything even the windows. Almost all the vertical panels are spotless, no water hangs around like theses flat panels. I did polish all of the windows too with CeriGlass from CarPro before.



I have another carbonated series coming soon… will post when it’s done. Waiting for some parts to come in. It’s going to have a unique type of carbon with leather.


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