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Yeah spring has finally arrived!! Washed the undercarriage to get rid of that nasty winter salt. Cleaned the engine & re-adjusted the grill blocks to address the warmer weather. Surprised how well the headlights are holding up. Still look like new since treating them last summer.
 

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Changed oil today. Out with the 0W-20 & in with 0W-30 for the summer. Even with the thinner 0W-20 the car didn't burn a drop of oil. Used the slightly larger Camry oil filter for the first time too. Also removed most all of the grill blocks as temps are over 80 degrees now (finally)
 

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Replaced the intake manifold gasket. Not terribly difficult, but was worried about flying debris in the air entering the head. (Those little boomerang things from maple trees were blowing in the wind) I covered the opening with a towel just to be on the safe side. To be honest, the old black gasket didn't look too bad.

There is a definite inprovement in idle quality. Low end torque also seems to be improved as well. The car is easier to launch from a standstill & throttle response seems peppier.

Thanks again to hardtopte72 for the excellent thread on replacing the gasket. I would never have considered tackling this on my own otherwise.
 

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First brake fluid flush today @ 97,000 miles, (I know, I know) Was hesitant to try this on my own, but no real issues. (but took awhile longer than expected) Brakes work the same as before, but the clutch seems to be a bit more linear.

What would happen if air had gotten in the system?
 

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It would be very squishy pedal action. You would push it down and it'd go slowly and take a while to come back on it's own, if at all.
Thanks, didn't seem squishy the few miles driven so far, so hopefully OK.

Also, the rubber covers for the bleed valve were missing or disintegrated. I am assuming they are important? Are they universal, or should I get them from the dealer?

Thanks again!!
 

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Got the tires back to black again.

Had been using a Turtle Wax product that made the tires stay shiny for 2-3 months. Worked great at first, but after a few treatments, the tires started turning a greenish yellow color. Turns out it is difficult to get that stuff off the tires. Ended up using Goo Off & a grout brush, but still a royal PITA. Was tempted to try paint thinner, but afraid it might damage the rubber.

[URL=http://s1371.photobucket.com/user/digitalrules1/media/31bc48aa-ec89-40dc-a08b-50c6e0871964_zps2d4aa18b.jpg.html][/URL]
 

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Washed & waxed the car yesterday. Will hit 100,000 miles this week & the car still runs like new.

Really pleased with how well the silver paint is holding up for being outside 10 years. Only the rear spoiler & front grill are noticeably faded. Any suggestions for what black paint to use on the front grill?

Thanks!!
 

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they overtightened the crap out of the drain plug. I needed to use a breaker bar on it [/url]
How about the oil filter? They are usually put on way too tight as well. I have had to use a screwdriver more than once when changing oil after a professional mechanic worked on it.

Oh & don't forget about lug nuts. Many garages overtighten the shit out out of those too. That's the one thing I hate most about yearly safety inspections.
 

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Blocked 1 row of the lower grill to aid in faster warm-ups. Will block the 2nd row once average daily temps drop below 50° F.

Finally replaced the dry rotted/missing rubber caps over the blake bleed valves. The original ones disintegrated when replacing the brake fluid over the summer.
 

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Thanks gold94corolla, the thermostat seems to be functioning normally. With no blocking the engine warms up fine, but just not quite as fast.

Trying to keep avg MPG's from dropping below low 40's this winter. 300 miles on this tank & averaging ~ 43.4 so far.
 

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^what did you use for your headlights??
First used the Sylvania restoration kit (online only) & looked great for 1 year. Used "Quix" from Walmart for a touch up after that & worked great. Maintain them monthly with Maguires Cleaner Wax to keep them looking new.

None of the sealers seem to last, so I just hit them once a month with Maguires to keep the oxidation from reappearing. Keeping this baby till the wheels fall off so gotta keep her looking good!!
 
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