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Ser15t - Rebecca's Phase 1 Sera


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#1 Graham

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Posted 24 April 2015 - 03:10 PM

We bought this car in October 2001, kind of as an engagement present as I proposed on the same weekend when we travelled 1,000 odd kms to Brisbane to buy a Sera.
We went to "Car Imports Australia" on the Gold Coast to buy a little Yellow Sera with 4EFTE engine conversion.
Everything was organised, but when we got there, they had changed their minds and were keeping the Yellow Sera as their project vehicle. :(

So we looked at a Silver one and my (soon to be) wife, Rebecca, fell in love and bought it on the spot, without even starting the engine !

We did get them to include the retrimmed interior from their yellow car, tinted windows, an alarm system and delivery as part of the price though.
So about 2 weeks later it rocks up to our house on a truck and looked like this:
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We paid $15,000 for it, having 68,000kms on the clock and being 11 years old, it was in great condition. We said that we would keep it forever.

#2 Graham

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Posted 24 April 2015 - 03:11 PM

So we enjoyed the Sera for a few years and didn't change much.
But, not being able to leave anything alone, it received an aftermarket exhaust, starting with a "cat back" 2" pipe & canon muffler, then adding Pacemaker extractors for a Paseo.
A little while after I found a nice Momo steering wheel and a hub from a Land Cruiser!
Next was a JVC stereo headunit when the original SLSS unit failed.

We met Gemma, probably on this forum, and joined up with Sydney Cruising car club. We had some fun together with the odd car show, like Powercruise, and just going on drives as a group.


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Don't mind the "1" in front of the dyno number - factory 5EFHE with exhaust = 50kW at the wheels.
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Also organised a couple of Sera reunions :)
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#3 Graham

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Posted 24 April 2015 - 03:11 PM

Then late in 2008, Scuzzy on the forum pointed out a car at an auction. It was a Phase 3 Sera with enough front end damage to write it off. But it did have a 4EFTE engine, so I bought it, transferred the engine, exhaust and boot struts onto our Sera, along with new strut end caps from Toyota, the last ones around apparently!
 

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But the turbo was blown and needed replacing. Found a second hand turbo for $75 plus a day's effort from me and the job was done.
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Then we converted to a front mount intercooler.
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That was my dream made real, the Serist now drove up hills effortlessly and was fun to drive with a little bit of spirit.

#4 Graham

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Posted 24 April 2015 - 03:11 PM

But Rebecca's dream was a little bit different.

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One day, who knows...

#5 Graham

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Posted 24 April 2015 - 03:12 PM

Before attempting to realise the next dream, I improved handling a little with a KMac rear sway bar.

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#6 Graham

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Posted 24 April 2015 - 03:12 PM

and went to a few more car shows, sometimes with other Seras too.

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All Japan Day 2011
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ToyotaFest 2011
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ToyotaFest 2012
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Shannons Classic Car Show, Sydney 2013 with Toymods car club
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#7 Graham

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Posted 24 April 2015 - 03:12 PM

Unfortunately, buying vehicles or engines in unknown condition is a risk. The oil pump pulley failed on this 4EFTE, leaving me stranded 20km from home.
So I called a tow truck, got it home and bought some tools, timing belt, oil pump and got to work. I think it took me a month or 2, but I did get it back up and running and much cheaper than going to a workshop.

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#8 Graham

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Posted 24 April 2015 - 03:13 PM

And with it running again, I took it to more car shows. This was at a Downshift meet in Fairfield, alongside Davor & his partner's Sera which Davor has done most of the work on.

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#9 Graham

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Posted 24 April 2015 - 03:13 PM

Now that it's winter, 2015, there's a lot of car "meets" but no shows. I'm enjoying my other car which is a Subaru Forester with 2.5 Turbo engine.
It's running the family around (us plus 2 kids) and the Sera has had very light duties for the past 7 years.

The odometer is around 125,000kms now and the Sera is off getting some work done to freshen it up, including new window tint and head & tail light restoration.
The workshop reports that aside from 2 spots of rust on the bottom of the passenger door, some mild/medium rust on the bolts holding the lowest section of the roof T bar and a garden in the drivers front fender, the car is very clean all over, especially considering it's age.

Here's what it looks like this week:

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This freshen up will be finished in a few days and once I have photos of it back together, I'll post them up too.
Rebecca misses not having her Sera in the garage this week and is keen to get it back.

#10 miffy

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Posted 27 April 2015 - 08:13 PM

Fantastic photos and I love your story :wizard:



#11 Graham

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Posted 28 April 2015 - 12:35 PM

Thanks Miffy !

Well, we got a call first thing this morning, car was supposed to be ready Sunday, then today, but...
This morning when they went to do the doors, they've finally pulled off the rubber strips at the bottom to find some rust that needs attention.
Went and had a look, it's not too bad, but leaving it alone is a bad idea. Also found that the side impact protection beams added to Aussie cars, isn't rust protected! The beam is a bit rusty in both doors, but the door skin is only stained from the rust, as far as I can tell with the inspection camera (Samsung phone).

So whole passenger door is getting a minor rust touch up on Wednesday, then car might be finished on Thursday, fingers crossed!

The headlight cleanup included a light polish and a clear plastic film applied. They look frigging amazing! 25% of the price of new ones and I'm just so impressed! Can't wait to show them off.

#12 Noely

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Posted 29 April 2015 - 06:53 AM

Incredible work Graham!!! Hats off to you and your wife an amazing project! CANT WAIT to see what it looks like when the restoration is complete GREAT WORK!  :thumbsup:  :thumbsup:  :thumbsup:


     93' TOYOTA SERA

  Phase III -Light silver opal

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#13 Graham

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Posted 30 April 2015 - 01:01 PM

Thanks, Noel.
You need to share photos of your Sera, I think you're doing lots of work to it too, and I love seeing cars progressing through changes.


Unfortunately our Sera is delayed further.
The panel beater isn't available until Friday, so car return date is now looking like Wednesday, 1.5 weeks behind schedule.
We just want our baby home :)

I got to work inside the doors tonight. Here's a photo of some of the rust on the intrusion bars:
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It's worse where the bars are welded together - the welding rod material seems to have rusted first, despite being painted, and it's just spread from there.
I've wire brushed it to remove all flakes & bubbles, then used Ranex RustBuster to convert the oxidised surface into a stable substance and once dry the insides will get a coat of paint.

Product used: http://www.bondall.c...Rustbuster.html

I tried to order new locks for the roof panels, but Toyota have no stock left and they are out of production. :(
I also enquired about the door trims that run alongside the window edge. They do have stock of these in Japan, but they're $100 each side!
Since the roof panel locks aren't available, I've decided to buy these trims while I can!

Then I remembered Amayama, so I'm trying to get locks from them, fingers crossed as ours have very limited life left in them.

#14 AndrewC

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Posted 30 April 2015 - 02:38 PM

If the clip sections are plastic, maybe they could be 3d printed


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#15 Graham

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Posted 09 May 2015 - 02:41 PM

And finally, it's all back together.

Here's how it looks now.

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Headlights cleaned up well, but the trims under the side windows didn't cooperate and one is now hanging a bit.
I've got them on order with Toyota already, so should be fixed in 2 weeks.



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