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I'm making this thread as a place to document the modifications I plan to do with this car. I want to enhance its off road capabilities as a function of trying to go camping and gold prospecting more than I do. There's only so far you can go in a lowered Celica.

I bought her with a month of rego left, and my plan is to drive her around in that time, get to know her, then park her up for a few months while I do some work on her before registering her and replacing the Celica as my daily driver.



I've already done a few bits and pieces. First was a good wash and vacuum that really made her shine. Then I Changed the oil and swapped in the TRD aluminium oil cap that has carried over from my last two cars as a sort of totem. I replaced the thermostat which was immediately apparent was failed open on the drive home. Dropped the rear diff oil and excitedly had a peek inside, hoping to find a Torsen. No Torsen was to be found. That's something I'll try to pick up in the future.

I swapped out the dash and climate lights, including the soldered ones in the power window switch and AC button. Tutorial with pics is here. I also soldered in a 12v to 2x USB adapter to the cigarette lighter wires. This lets me run two phone chargers behind the dash; one out near the passenger's kneecap for my partner to use, and one to where I mount my phone on the dashboard. I really don't like having wires hanging all over the place and getting in the way. (at the moment it's poking out of the broken air vent, but I'll find a more permanent solution once I decide the best place to mount my phone holder.)




I'll have to have a go at removing the green film that keeps the demister and diff lock buttons green despite having a white LED in them.

I took the rear seats out. As hoped, this seriously increases the amount of usable cargo space. I plan to fit some rubber boot liner on the floor, and possibly add tie down points where the rear seats were bolted and and at the child restraint points. That will let me strap stuff down so it doesn't move around back there.



I have big things planned, including a paint job and lots of suspension upgrades. They'll probably come slowly as funds allow, but I'm so glad to once again have a car that I'm excited to work on. My current Celica was a hand me down that I'm very grateful to have been given, but that I've never really felt any great fondness for. I can already feel that this is the beginning of a beautiful relationship.
 

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Hello my friend.

I am taking my rav off the road latelly as well. I gotta tell you, I've got little 4wd experience but I couldn't believe the places I manage to go throught with my little one. On one trip I was following a lifted 4.2 turbo diesel Nissan safari on 33's tyres and yes, I chose diferent paths sometimes (because looked like he was intentionaly trying to destroy his vehicle), and we both got there at the end. Did not get stuck once. With some little mod's the rav can be quite capable.

All I can say is, if you cv's are clicking, dont push it. I broke my front left in dozen pieces.

Check out my album to see my mods.

Cheers
 

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Check out my album to see my mods.
Those are some great mods. I plan to add a snorkel myself. Did you use one for a Prado 90?

I also like your sump guard. It's something I plan to do as well, and your photos help me have some idea of how to do it.

That's a great looking little 3 door you have :)

Do you have any rubbing on those 225/75-16 tyres? (I know about removing the bump)

Do you happen to have a link to the steel rims?
 

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Those are some great mods. I plan to add a snorkel myself. Did you use one for a Prado 90?

Yep. Prado 90 diesel (petrol Prado the snorkel is on the other side).
Snorkel instalation here.


I also like your sump guard. It's something I plan to do as well, and your photos help me have some idea of how to do it.

Skid plate instalation here. I would do a little diferent now, closing those gaps I have on each side because there was mud and snow building up in there, too close to the acessories belt.

That's a great looking little 3 door you have :)

Thanks :)


Do you have any rubbing on those 225/75-16 tyres? (I know about removing the bump)

Very little rubbing, only when in full lock and driving, and I still have the plastic bumps. You wouldn't even notice.


Do you happen to have a link to the steel rims?

Hmm, not the same wheels but I got it from this seller in NZ, real bargain, like $120 NZD all four wheels.

But you should find in Australia easy enough I guess.
 

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Minor update.
Finally had a little time and some exciting packages are arriving. I started removing the interior in preparation. If you look closely you'll see a box of butyl sound dampening. I'm also pleased to say that a set of Rainbow Dream Line component speakers are currently en route from Germany. I've been lusting after a set of these (actually, Sound Line, but they went and discontinued those) for at least three years, so I'm pretty stoked.

I'd love to find somewhere other than under the seat to install my little Alpine amp, but... there's really nowhere else.




Had to sit on a stack of phone books (remember those?) to drive her back into the tiny carport at the end of the day.
 

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The 3 door model has tiny 4" speakers (or thereabouts) instead of the 6" speakers of the 4 door model. Which means I had to take the door cards off and drill out the blocked off holes of the speaker grills. I didn't take any photos of this process, but there's a YouTuber who documents the process.

Since I had the cards off anyway, I decided I'd replace the old and tatty fabric. I chose to go with some khaki coloured canvass from an old swag. I just pulled off the old stuff, used sandpaper to clean off the remnants of foam, used the old fabric as a template, and stuck the new ones on with spray adhesive and the handle of a teaspoon to push it into the edges.




 

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That's cool man. It is funny we have the same ideas. Have a look at this thread, I have done something similar on my rav a little awhile ago. Amp under right seat, sub under left seat. And I tell you, with two 6.5" on the doors + the sub, the rear ones are good enough, it is damn loud. I still have two extra cables that come from the sub, that I can install two more speakers.

Well done.

 

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That's awesome. Did you notice much difference before/after the sound dampening installation? Also, what brand is that sub and have you been happy with it? I kinda want to keep as much under-seat storage as possible for tools and whatnot, but a little low profile sub would be nice.
 

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I had the car for little time before I done that job, and I have it for a couple of years now, so I cannot really remember how was it before. But my rav is noisy. The road noise, especially now with the mud tyres, is quite loud. It never bothered me because I'm always listening to music but yes, it is not the quietest. Also, I have the impression after I installed to skid plate the engine sounds louder. Something that definitely works well is heat insulation. It does not feel so hot in my car as it feel in other vehicles.

If it was today, I would maybe done with a diferent product, a diferent foam, I dont know. The glue on that one I used is not so good, in a few places is not even touching the steel body anymore. Maybe if I had used something proper as those alphastic sheets would have been better, I dont know... Also I did not want to make the car too heavy, as those sheets are heavy. If you make too thick, you will have a hard time putting the panels back on, the clips wont be long enough anymore. Maybe if I drive another rav not insulated I would be able to tell the diference.

I have been happy with my sub, I love the sound system. It is loud and clear. If it was now though, I wouldn't install the equalizer and I would use I better head unit (with a decent build in equalizer). The sub it is a cheap brand, 8" if I am not wrong, I'll have a look at it and post again. It comes with a build in amp, that's why i've got another two speakers outputs. I was going to install two 6x9 in the boot door but I couldn't be bothered, maybe one day.
 

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Yeah, I'm definitely planning to do a bunch of offroading in it, and worried about water getting at the amp. I just can't really see an alternative. I don't really see myself fording anything terribly deep though.
 

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I did a couple of river crossings already, with water up on the doors and nothing went in. Just once I got stuck in the river for maybe one minute rocking backwards and fowards, the current was a bit strong, then I saw a little bit going in. I put some extra ruber strip around the doors as well. The only problem with that is I have to do some serious slamming to close them... lol I really dont like river crossings, I only do it if I really have to.

The sub is called Volt Up 8". It was discontinued I think. It has 175w for the sub + 2x60w for the speakers (which I am not using) (RMS Watts). If you need the dimmensions I can measure.
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
That's good to know. I'm not going to go crazy with the offroading as I definitely want to take it slow and learn what I and the car can manage.
I think I'll see how things sound with the new speakers before I decide whether I want to put a sub in as well. I've already spent way more than I can justify on the speakers alone ($300AU).

I decided to go all the way and add canvas panels to the lower half of the doors as well. This wasn't quite as simple as the upper parts, since I had to very carefully slice along the vinyl with a razor blade so I could tuck the canvas under it and get a good line. But I'm very pleased with how it turned out. I'll be curious to see how well the spray adhesive stands up over time.



 

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Well, I finished installing the stereo but I forgot to take photos. The new Rainbow splits sound fantastic. Since I only intend to have speakers in the front, and since they're quite power hungry, I'm running them bridged on my little 4ch Alpine amp, being fed from the Alpine head unit. I also found and bought a circuit breaker instead of a fuse for the amp power wire, which I though was pretty cool.

Here's a pic of the refurbished door cards reinstalled.



I went shopping yesterday and came home with supplies. There's a Viper alarm which will also give me remote central locking, and I'm tossing up whether to add on the remote windows up/down module because in summer I'll often leave the windows down and more than once I've sprung up as I hear rain starting and had to rush outside to close them. I'm feeling pretty intimidated about the installation, but I'm getting pretty good at soldering and I think as long as I take it slow and think through what I'm doing I should be fine.

The other thing I finally got around to picking up was some rubber matting. This time I remembered to take photos. Behold!





Tomorrow I'll probably start on the alarm installation. It won't be too long before I'm done with the interior and can move on to the paint, engine and suspension.

Edit: Not pictured: the passenger mirror wasn't working so I picked up a replacement. But for some reason the triangle on the replacement was a different size. I managed to pull it apart and swap on the triangle from the old mirror, but I gotta tell you the three screws (six total) with blue loctite were a real bastard to get undone. Now it's installed and working perfectly. Another small job knocked over!
 

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Cheers. At the moment I'm bogged down in the alarm installation. That's mostly finished, but I've been taking my time to make sure I get everything right and practice my soldering. I've also decided to add on an Invisishield (ultrasonic motion detector) module and a window module. The window module will automatically close the windows when the alarm is armed, and let me vent, open or close the windows from the remote. It will also close the windows if the alarm (including from the motion sensor) is triggered. Plus I'll be doing something sneaky with the factory immobiliser. It may be tempting to just call it a day on the alarm and put the dash back together, but there's no time limit on this project, so while I have everything apart I might as well do everything right and make it how I want it.
 

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That's right.

In my car back home I had a gprs tracker that I could remotely track and turn off the ignition with a text message, as long as there is phone reception. It was a very complete system with motion sensors and everything. It is also an idea.
 

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Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
I've been putting this one off because it's fiddly, but I finally got around to replacing the clock. I used a plain LED circuit board clock form eBay, opened the original clock, gutted it, and installed the new one. It won't dim with the lights, but I still think it's an improvement over the ugly stock green one.
This one also provides cabin temperature and battery voltage.
It looks more white in person than in the photo.
 
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