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Super Moderator
Supra
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3,640 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I figured this was a good time to point out the things Toyota engineers have repeated well, and not so well. Got my Echo hatch, and began to think on ways it improved on the 20 year old Supra design, and ways they have f'ed up. Heres a list so far:

1: hydraulic clutch. Brilliant from the day someone thought of it. Toyota used to have 2 reservoirs, but now draws fluid from one reservior for both systems. Saves filling and checking 2 things, but if that clutch master goes, so do the brakes in short order. Bleeding also means both systems have to be done together. Opinion: Neutral More work when it comes, less to review along the way, less in the engine bay to get in the way.

2: paint. Given the 2 stone chips that completely missed the hood deflector thing, either redesign the deflector or toughen the paint. I didn't even hear the stone(s) that did it, so they clearly didn't hit hard. Opinion, worse than before. My supra's paint takes a fair blow to chip, and it's 17 years old.

3: oil dipstick. In 20 years, Toyota dipsticks have to be the worst to read. The hash marks are barely able to hold oil, and the tube tends to get a fair bit introduced making reading near impossible. I've been hearing this compaint for 20 years or more (working in gas stations as a kid in the 80's, I saw quite a few). Still suck. To add to it, the dipstick is now plastic instead of metal. Yellow of all colours. Made it even worse. Trick to reading the old ones was to drill holes at key points in the range and see how many filed with oil. Plastic at least makes that easier to do.

4: plastic intake manifolds. Great for keeping heat out of the air (low thermal transfer rates). Poor for upgrading. Port and polish...I think not. Turbo, high boost temps may melt the plastic. Opinion: neutral. Perhaps saved 15 lbs and made for cooler intake air, but nothing you can do is going to allow proper mods here.

5: storage compartments. I've never seen so many in a car before. Driver's door map, under steering, both sides of the stereo surround, above the stereo and ac consoles, 2 glove boxes, between the bucket seats, storage tray under the passenger seat, both seat back pockets, a tray for the back seats and 4 cup holders, plus the hatch. Supra, glove box, centre console, coin tray/single cup holder, kinda map pockets and seatback mesh pockets.


Any others you've noticed?
 

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Country Hick
2001 Nissan Pulsar
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1,339 Posts
Another thing i have noticed, even on the older ones, is that Toyota has an undeniable reputation for bolting cars together like no other car company in the world. However - as soon as u wanna work on the thing, the engineering of them is just stupid.

For example - It took me 2 hours the other day to change my belts. This was because one of the tensioning pulley bolts had to be accessed from the bottom, and the other from the top. Why cant they just be consistant like the Nissans and the Subi's?

The other big beef i have with toyota is wtf is it with discontinuing parts after 5 years? With my Fiance's 88' Pintara, I can go to any Nissan dealer in the country and pick up anything from a defog switch to a passenger kick panel. With my 95 'rolla tho, I have to go to a wrecker for most of the parts. The only thing i was able to actually pick up from Toyota that i needed were Oil Seals on the axles. All of the interior panels I have had to replace over the years i have had to find a wrecker.
 

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ECHO....Echo....echo....
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1,022 Posts
What has Toyota learned? Unfortunately, I think Toyota's learned how stop over-engineering their vehicles. They've learned how to cut costs by making cars that last JUST long enough instead of forever.
 

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Super Moderator
Supra
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3,640 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Stops parts at 5 years? Must be a local thing. I can still get every part for the 17 year old supra except the floor mats...By regulation, they must support mechanical parts on a car for 10 years here.

Mine got clear coat, then and now. Not that it's terribly tough. The total paint is thinner than either layer on the Supra.
 

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Resident asshole
Corolla
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9,552 Posts
oil dipstick. In 20 years, Toyota dipsticks have to be the worst to read.
I dont have any problems reading it, if you want to see a shitty dipstick, try an older audi.

2: paint. Given the 2 stone chips that completely missed the hood deflector thing
Happens to other cars aswell.

4: plastic intake manifolds.
As do most cars nowadays, and no you WONT be able to melt that with high boost, if it did melt, you're engine would blow up before that.
 

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camrys blow off too!
06 subaru wrx wagon
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554 Posts
another 1.50 about paint. how new is it? its been my experience that paint gets a bit harder with age. either way toyota has a 5year corrosion warrenty on it.
 

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Super Moderator
Supra
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3,640 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
I always found the VW/Audi to be fine. Most long time Supra owners complain about the dipstick. Perhaps it's an M engine thing, but I never remember an easy to read one from the general population that came through the station.

The manifold may not melt into slag per say, but I haven't seen the stamp of what it is made of yet. ABS and PVC (what it most closely resembles) will soften enough to deform under pressure, and are common/cheap thermoplastics on cars. Repetitive heat cycling under pressure will cause a tear or blowout long before a properly tuned engine stops.

2 days off the lot new...chipped easier than anything I've owned, adn both colour and clear layers are thinner together than either layer on the Supra. As I said, didn't see or hear anything, and there's a chip.
 

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5M-GE
Joined
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2,901 Posts
bgrieger said:
The manifold may not melt into slag per say, but I haven't seen the stamp of what it is made of yet. ABS and PVC (what it most closely resembles) will soften enough to deform under pressure, and are common/cheap thermoplastics on cars. Repetitive heat cycling under pressure will cause a tear or blowout long before a properly tuned engine stops.
The non-supercharged Series II GM 3800 V6 from about '95-'00 had plastic upper intake issues... apparently it wasn't able to sustain an engine misfire. I don't see how that couldn't happen on any other plastic-intaked car. :dunno:
 

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Did somebody say "Nachos"
1992 Toyota Camry
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550 Posts
#4 Plastic intake runners - I don't think you could do much to improve the interior finish of the inside of one of these things.
"The intake manifold allows for smooth and even distribution of a fuel/air mixture to the engine. The correct design of an intake manifold is essential to the smooth running of an engine. Plastic helps make the task of designing the intake manifold easier by giving design engineers greater freedom to design and position the intake manifold. Plastic intake manifolds are made almost exclusively out of injection molded nylons using lost-core and sonic welding techniques. Nylon allows for a smooth, even surface, while reducing noise, vibration and harshness levels (NVH) and weight, and giving designers more flexibility when trying to maximize a car's performance."
Taken from http://www.plastics-car.com/applications/engine.html

It's the designers of the intake ports on the aluminum heads that need to take the time and match the shapes of the intake runners openings and smooth out the ports to the valves in production.

I agree that turbo'd cars might be asking for trouble using the plastic stuff though.

You bring up good points and observations too. Good work !

I hope you enjoy your Echo HB.
 

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my name isn't really Bob
Solara
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1,887 Posts
Winshield Wipers

in my parents old gen 3 camry the winshiled wipers would miss an triangular palm size aread at the bottom center of the winshield. with my solara that area is more than half as small, and on then gen 5 camry its hardly noticeble at all. just somthing interesting i noticed
 

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Sweet n' Lowdown
2006 Scion tC
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16,189 Posts
Fresco Bob said:
Winshield Wipers

in my parents old gen 3 camry the winshiled wipers would miss an triangular palm size aread at the bottom center of the winshield.
I fixed that on my gen3 with blades that were both about an inch and a half or so longer.
 

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ooSnip3r Halo2!
89 Corolla GTS
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187 Posts
I kinda liked how toyota "overbuilt" there cars....it meant that idiots like me could take his 89 4wd corolla out into the forest service roads in the middle of the winter and drive the shit outta it and I knew It would still bring me home....I like that...wouldnt do that with any other car. nope.

Wish they didnt rust so easily and had more go juice (HP) :lol:
 

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Banned
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4,345 Posts
How to build a good starter. Went through 2 on my old '93 rolla, and 1 on this '93 ES. (admittantly it's the same thing) A friend's AWD celica's went out a few weeks back, and he had to replace his girl's '99 Camry's a few days ago.
 

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Country Hick
2001 Nissan Pulsar
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1,339 Posts
^^ Thats not just Toyota starter motors - that is starter motors in general.
 

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Not so Noob now!
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557 Posts
1974 Corona $50. Drove it like no other car I've owned. Looked like Poo. Would have made an excellent derby car. Even took it off roading (not intentionaly) off a 6' embankment. Worked great till the day I sold it for $50.
 

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Registered
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49 Posts
BenG said "I swear, my car's engine must be made of organic metal or something.
It seems to heal itself overnight. I thrash my car all day long, engine runs rough by the end of the day, but the next morning, it feels like I got a new engine!"

I feel the same way. In '96 I had a '90 X-tra Cab V6 4WD pickup. Practically unstoppable, even with the cheesy mud/snow tires I had on it. So confidence inspiring that I went UPSTREAM with it. Only after it fell into a sippy hole about 3 feet deep did it stop. Interior soaked, and old Kenwood Car Phone brain killed,but even after sucking up a little water and steaming out the exhaust, it ran okay
Next day, it started right up and ran like nothing had happened. Cleaned it up, and it was perfect again.

Only a Toyota. Swear Man!!!
That's why I always say that a Toyota is about the only thing you can trust to get you there AND back every time. Turns transportation into a non-issue.

Sly
 
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