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1985 Toyota Celica Supra P-Type
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So after stalking the forum for weeks while waiting to get this car I found a whole lot of awesome people and posts. I decided to take on this project (especially after the wife agreed!). Car has been sitting for a while... and went from the garage, to the outside with a cover and then to sitting with no cover. Car was just wasting away and I saw that the interior was still intact with no cracks in the dash. So I took the leap. As soon as it got in my drive way I inspected underneath more, and to my surprise it was nearly rust free. A bit over on the rear quarter and obviously the hatch. I knew I would be dealing with rust and I am eager to finally learn how to mig weld. I want to keep this thread open for my records and maybe I can try and contribute to this awesome community in the process. See pics below!

Pics of how I found it... sad :(

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Pulling it out, getting some air in the tires and prepping for tow.


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While I was waiting for the tow I hooked up a good battery up to it.... It cranked! Not only that but compression sounds good! I was very much more relieved and super excited at that point.
I did notice that the red light was on at the volt meter (I'm guessing alternator). I didn't try and start/run it since the spark plug wires were chewed and who knows what else.... but at least its not seized :)
 

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1985 Toyota Celica Supra P-Type
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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Pics of the interior and on its way home

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Awesome tow driver.... He was going to call it quits since its a tight squeeze up my driveway, but a few scrapes (already resealing this year) and it was in!


The weekend was spent getting the car to be able to safely work in. Between the mold and rodents I got to wear a respirator the whole time. Lots of practice doing that for the last two years lol
First thing was to get the ozone generator and a chlorine bomb overnight and for the next half day.

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While it was doing its thing I worked on inspecting the engine and wiring. Found what looks like a ground near the trans chewed through, along with 2 white wires (maybe aftermarket?). I traced the white to a wire loom that looked like it didn't belong leading to the positive battery terminal. Anyways cleaning between the motor was....fun.
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I started getting new COLOR CODED terminals on along with a decent battery. Read on here how reversing leads is common (?). Just incase the wife takes it out I guess.
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At this point I used up 2 cans of rust penetrate on every single nut or bolt I could possibly see (along with the fuel tank drain and bolts... removing soon). So I started cleaning the outside. This was very visually satisfying to watch lol. I know it doesn't look much different, but it made a big difference in person.

Wheel comparison. No serious curb rash or other damage. Restoring these is going to be really easy!

Before cleaning
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After. Obviously I didn't bother with polish and all that jazz.
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1985 Toyota Celica Supra P-Type
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114 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Next day came the respirator...ugh.

Started by cleaning my way inside to remove the seats. Next came the carpet which immediately went into the trash. Unfortunately I found were the critter condo was located... the right rear seat back was down, so they nested in there and tore holes on the seat back and bottom. Trash it went :(

I almost forgot how nice it was to work on 80s/90s vehicles.... trim is so much more straight forward than new vehicles. All those years working on brand new cars paid off since I did not break or crack any center pieces.

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Rain was coming in so I buttoned up everything and put the ozone generator back in along with another chlorine bomb. I have a bunch of stuff on order and some that has already come in.


  • NGK plugs and wires
  • fuel filter
  • walbro pump
  • air filter
  • oil and filter
  • hood struts
  • wiper adaptors (youtube mod I saw)
  • battery tie down
  • fuel tank seal
  • Car cover, till I have the interior apart and hatch opens so I can see where water is getting in. I am sure the cracked windshield is one of the culprits.
  • assortment of keys... searched the hell out of this forum and found no direct replacement. Cut three different keys and will take the to the bench grinder for fitment. I do not like having only one key. Maybe I will get lucky and find a hide away somewhere lol.


Goal for this weekend is to get the fuel tank out and go from there. Obviously a cleaning along with reseal is in order. Doubt I will have time to do the pump and blow out lines... we shall see. Blow out the lines, maybe replacing. Wife will be working on the seats and get them apart for a deep restoration cleaning.
 

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1985 Toyota Celica Supra P-Type
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Checked on the interior after work today... mildew smell is 90% gone. If you haven't tried an ozone generator, trust me it works wonders. My old shop had a detail section that swore by it. Some of the used/wholesale cars that passed through there were in same/worse shape than even this (terrifying how people drive around in that). I think I will just air it out everyday at this point and do one more chlorine bomb. If the scent is gone after a week or so I am done with that part.

Still wondering the best way to go about getting the hatch open. I am almost sure it is rusted shut. Key does turn the cylinder (and I am not risking my only key breaking!). I think I see a access panel inside.... hate to crawl in there but it seems like its the only way :(

I am on the lookout for a rear hatch. I will not be restoring the one I have... I think its absolutely done for just by looking at the outside of it. I am in lower NY if anyone has a lead :)

I will post some stuff up this weekend hopefully.
 

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Engine bay progress highly visible 👍
Keep it up, I'm sure you'll get it nice and clean for the summer.
Have you seen the link for the clean hatch in your other thread?
 

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1985 Toyota Celica Supra P-Type
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Engine bay progress highly visible 👍
Keep it up, I'm sure you'll get it nice and clean for the summer.
Have you seen the link for the clean hatch in your other thread?

I did see that and thank you again for the lead! I sent a PM to the OP... no response yet. I mean I was even looking for a manual trans as well! For the price of all of that I wouldn't mind driving all the way from NY to pick it up lol. I am sure it is gone by now since that post is from August of last year :(
 

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Nice find! Looks like it could be a rough diamond. Hopefully not too much rust underneath, but some of the East Coast cars I see on Reddit are just astonishing to see how bad you all have rust issues out there. Good posts
 

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Never heard about an ozone generator... A friend of mine has inherited a small car from her dad (who was, well, kinda permanently peeing) and the car still got some smell in it after extensive cleaning. Might give it a try.

And good work on the car so far from your side (y)Keep it up and keep us posted.

How did you remove the seats?
 

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1985 Toyota Celica Supra P-Type
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Nice find! Looks like it could be a rough diamond. Hopefully not too much rust underneath, but some of the East Coast cars I see on Reddit are just astonishing to see how bad you all have rust issues out there. Good posts
Yes rust is a way of life here. Labor times for shops are actually higher for warranty work for any areas above the rust belt. Still doesn't make it worth imo lol
 

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1985 Toyota Celica Supra P-Type
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Never heard about an ozone generator... A friend of mine has inherited a small car from her dad (who was, well, kinda permanently peeing) and the car still got some smell in it after extensive cleaning. Might give it a try.

And good work on the car so far from your side (y)Keep it up and keep us posted.

How did you remove the seats?

Well ty for the kind words! Yea ozone generators are very aggressive. Make sure that no pets or kids are around them. It leaves a strong smell but dissipates after a week or so and leaves a car completely neutral of any odor. I use it when I buy a used car from a dealer cause the detail shop usually goes overboard with scents. After it's all said and done, choose your favorite air freshener and that is all your going to smell :)


As far as the seats, fronts have four bolts, 14mm I think. Rear seat bottom has two tabs on the bottom, just peel back the very edge of the seat towards the front. Pull the tab and lift the seat up. Rear seat backs, just get the rear hatch carpet up and you will see the screws and hinges.
 

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1985 Toyota Celica Supra P-Type
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
So today I only had a few hours after work to spend time on the car. Lots of parts filling up the gutted interior. Got new NGK plugs and wires on. So glad I have experience working with rusty cars as all the plugs required a delicate hand to remove. I poured just a little mystery oil down in the cylinder as well. All of them were shot and obviously past pics indicated chewed wires. I am going to re-route the wires since it doesn't look so clean (everything was mismatched as far as routing) but they are all in the right hole lol.

Hit every nut and bolt with another can of rust penetrate. Got a little curious and decided to play with the electronics on the stalk. I am absolutely blown away but every single light still works. Hi/low/flash to pass/turns/brake/running/fog/license... even the head lights popped up without any problem as well! Super excited that I will likely not be sinking money into any of that stuff!!

Even though it was past 9pm I was still a bit more curious. I drained the gas tank... ewwwwwwww. Brownish-blackish and that smell was awful 😷 . So glad I will be dropping the tank tomorrow. Not sure if I will get it all done, been watching a few youtube videos on cleaners and processes (sticking cleaners in with chains to shake around). If anyone has some opinions on an efficient and thorough way to clean a tank I am all ears.

It was dark out so pics to follow on progress. Hoping tomorrow will be smooth with the tank and new filter and pump.... prepare for the worst, hope for the best.

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1985 Toyota Celica Supra P-Type
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Oh and I forgot to mention.... no more falling hood prop! I installed brand new hood struts and it is awesome!

#easilyamused
 

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I used to work in municipal water before moving to transportation and was there when we were converting the treatment plants over from chlorination to ozone. The old chlorine shock treatment just killed organisms and left their dead carcasses. That's the funky taste in your tap water at certain times of the year when they say "the lake turns over". Its dead, not going to hurt you (maybe good for a calorie or two and some protein) but unpleasant for sure. The benefit of water treatment with ozone gas is that it breaks complex organic molecules down into simpler molecules. No dead algae carcasses left intact, thus less aftertaste in the tap water (maybe a few vitamins and minerals).

However, ozone gas can also break down plastic, rubber, leather, etc. I don't know how long you'd have to leave the little machine running to do noticeable damage tho. The water treatment process is on an industrial scale in pressurized vessels. I would be curious tho if as you start putting things back together and trying to make everything look good again, if you see any damage that you didn't notice before the treatment. Of course, the alternative was to wear a hazmat suit and sterilize every part manually. You'd still be suiting up this time next year.
 
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I used to work in municipal water before moving to transportation and was there when we were converting the treatment plants over from chlorination to ozone. The old chlorine shock treatment just killed organisms and left their dead carcasses. That's the funky taste in your tap water at certain times of the year when they say "the lake turns over". Its dead, not going to hurt you (maybe good for a calorie or two and some protein) but unpleasant for sure. The benefit of water treatment with ozone gas is that it breaks complex organic molecules down into simpler molecules. No dead algae carcasses left intact, thus less aftertaste in the tap water (maybe a few vitamins and minerals).

However, ozone gas can also break down plastic, rubber, leather, etc. I don't know how long you'd have to leave the little machine running to do noticeable damage tho. The water treatment process is on an industrial scale in pressurized vessels. I would be curious tho if as you start putting things back together and trying to make everything look good again, if you see any damage that you didn't notice before the treatment. Of course, the alternative was to wear a hazmat suit and sterilize every part manually. You'd still be suiting up this time next year.

That is some very incredible knowledge you just dropped... and makes me want to change my brita filter for some reason lol.

I will definitely look into it a bit more and keep that in mind regarding if or how much it degraded the plastics/vinyl. I mean it was on there for nearly 80+ hours and when I ripped out the center trim and door trim I didn't crack or break anything. In the future of my posts I will definitely post up if I find abnormal/brittle trim. Unfortunately I won't have a "control" for a basis of comparison.

Even with that generator, I am still in a full on respirator until the entire interior is taken out. Once it is all steam cleaned, disinfected and then finally cleaned with vinyl restoration then I will be a bit more inclined to "dress down". I am young enough, but the crap you breath in the Army and in shops is not cool.
 

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I wouldn't expect it to make things more brittle. I'd think more surface. Like maybe weatherstrip might shed rubber dust or crumbs or things that previously were shiny might not be so shiny anymore, things like that. But having sat outside for many years, it may be impossible to say if the ozone had any ill effects. I've heard of used car dealers using those machines to get rid of cigarette and pet odor in cars, and that would probably be a better before/after test case starting with a car that looked great but just smelled bad. I've just always wondered if one were to really look, if you could see any degradation after using an ozone machine.
 

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1985 Toyota Celica Supra P-Type
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
So this weekend was supposed to be fuel tank day... well getting the hatch open made the list a little longer. Good news is the hatch is open! Found a giant critter condo in the driver rear quarter panel... ugh.
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After getting rid of the nest I hit it with all the cleaners.... all. the. cleaners. I think the last nest I could find will be in the dash near the evap. I peeked in at it doesn't look like theres one there but dash is coming out regardless.

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I was honestly expecting a whole lot worse in the wheel well. I thought for sure the spare was going to be sitting on the gas tank. Looks like an easy enough patch. I hit the rest of the spots with a screw driver and it seems solid.

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I am loving the lights! I also cleaned up 2 of the 5 grounds (battery to fender and head to cowl). I still have to figure out the other 3. I know one is near the block and trans on the bottom driver side. I doubt thats my issue with the vehicle not starting, but its a fundamental that I can't overlook.


I have been soaking EVERYTHING in evaporust. I plan on buying a zinc hardware kit, but for now I rather keep the stuff that comes off. In went the hatch latch assy...

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I checked on it after 24 hours.... pretty much rust free. Im going to let it soak a bit more and then clean and lube everything, pics to follow.


We are baby sitting a dog that got hit by a car and broke her leg (She is doing amazing)... but she pee'd in the house so I took a break and had to break out the carpet cleaner vacuum. Once I was done I got "lazy" and instead of putting it back I thought I would get a quick shot at the seats. This is only a 1st pass. I plan on completely disassembling the seats and going piece by piece (rust removal for spring/frame, paint, a real shampooing and then dye. This is the before and after. The after pics are still a bit wet so that is the reason for the slight discoloration.

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Again only one pass and not as thorough as i would like, but some progress is better than none.


The rest of the day it rained/snowed on and off so I was limited. I decided to mask up and start wire wheeling the interior. I haven't finished yet, front is done just the back and hatch area left. I plan on POR 15'ing so I wanted to wire off all the rust I could. I started by vacuuming, then degreaser everything, then drill with brush to really get into it. Started wire wheeling and snow came in so I called it quits. I will be finishing off the rest maybe during the week after work and hopefully laying the paint down next weekend.

Still need to get the rest of the interior out... and figure out my no start issue.

I brought the radio in as an indoor nightly project. the top is a bit rusted up. I have it partly apart and I am hoping a bit of compressed air and electronic cleaner will make it work again. It lights up, but there is no sound/display changes. I have to find a cassette to test with lol.
 

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I plan on buying a zinc hardware kit, but for now I rather keep the stuff that comes off.
Are you referring to a zinc "plating" kit? I have the Caswell Copy Cad setup and variable power supply that I got from Amazon. I got started when I was doing a Corvette. Judges deduct points for not having the original bolts with the correct finish and head markings. At the time, I could have taken a 5-gallon bucket of bolts in to a plating shop and had them all done in zinc for $50 in one batch, but I was afraid that if they all went in one bucket, that I'd never be able to figure out which went back where. So I ordered the kit from Caswell and did them one or two ziplock bags at a time in order to keep them organized and labeled. Also did bigger items like brackets and even the headlight vacuum motors. There are some other finishes found on Corvettes like black oxide and manganese phosphate that I learned to do as well. It was kind of fun, like playing with a junior chemistry set. Took a lot of time, but it sure makes a huge difference in the visual appeal of the finished restoration.
 
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Are you referring to a zinc "plating" kit? I have the Caswell Copy Cad setup and variable power supply that I got from Amazon. I got started when I was doing a Corvette. Judges deduct points for not having the original bolts with the correct finish and head markings. At the time, I could have taken a 5-gallon bucket of bolts in to a plating shop and had them all done in zinc for $50 in one batch, but I was afraid that if they all went in one bucket, that I'd never be able to figure out which went back where. So I ordered the kit from Caswell and did them one or two ziplock bags at a time in order to keep them organized and labeled. Also did bigger items like brackets and even the headlight vacuum motors. There are some other finishes found on Corvettes like black oxide and manganese phosphate that I learned to do as well. It was kind of fun, like playing with a junior chemistry set. Took a lot of time, but it sure makes a huge difference in the visual appeal of the finished restoration.

I was going to just buy a kit of toyota nuts and bolts that were zinc coated. I wasn't really thinking of judges and stuff.... but in the spirit of wanting to restore this to original this is actually really good to know! I do not know of any place nearby that will do a coating, and I too do not like having a mixed bucket of stuff. I mean there aren't that many variations but I know I will get down to the last and not have the correct size lol.

I was thinking about powder coating... but I didn't know of other at home kits. I just do not want to reuse rusty hardware. I am thankful that it is coming out with out snapping, let alone reusing. Very interesting and I will be looking into this. Thank you for this!
 
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