Speed Hero and the AE95 Obsession

HEY, update august 7th, 2009: I noticed this post is getting a lot of traffic. Leave some comments about why you read it!!!

It all began last winter, when I was on my usual browse of online classifieds for wacky fun cars for cheap.

AWD Corolla wagon, $200 hit by truck

Basically was all the ad said. I called James (Abominus) freaking out that I had to see it. We went down to Hamilton to see the car.

James has been a great friend and sponsor over the last few years, and this was no exception. We rounded the corner in the Go-train station parking lot to a back alley drive way to find this:

As soon as James saw it, he blurted out a very angry  “NO”, but we decided to knock on the door anways.

Greeted by a member from a band called “The good ideas”, we negociated that he needed a digitial camera, and I needed a car. So $25 cash plus the digital camera was offered. Since he did not have change, he gave us two of his bands CD’s, and we threw in some rechargable batteries. Needless to say, that CD owns and I still listen to it.

after cleaning out the piles of old CD’s, tapes and 40 once bottles, we drove it home, with his plates and insurance. Problem free drive. Good times.

It wasn’t as rough as it first appeared after cleaning it up. The undercarridge was rust free, as was most of the body except the rear corner. The car drive straight, and ran string, so it was totally bonus.

After a bunch of fun, smashing of curbs, and small jumps, the motor eventually pooped a cylinder, but low and behold a drive to the junkyard was about to cure that problem….

James was poking around an AE92, and popped the hood, only to find a silvertop 20v sitting in the bay. $150 later, we limped the wagon home on 3 cylinders with the newly acquired motor in the hatch.

James being the gracious sponsor he is, rented an engine hoist, and we got cracking pulling the motor out. Little did I know that this was the end of this car, as I had no idea how to properly swap an engine in an apartment building garage in 2 days with only a canadian tire socket set.

Did I mention the ae92 at the junkyard also had a Levin wheel?

In any case, I learned the hardway, that transverse motors go in from the bottom, not the top, esspecially on a 4WD transverse setup…..

R.I.P. Grey wagon.

Skip to this winter. Browsing classifieds again, I come across a car I’ve seen some where before……… http://www.outbackimports.ca/wagons.html was an official importer of AE95’s from Japan into Canada, and I had seen a nice red Carib on their site that had sold.

AWD RHD Corolla wagon, needs work $1000

That’s how the classified ad read, so Phil, my boss at adrenaline motorsports, and myself went up to Northern Ontario to see it.

It was a great deal, Jenny, the seller, bought it from Outback imports a few years ago, and drove it back from the Yukon to where she was living now. Since her local Toyota dealer refused to work on it, she had to sell it.

After replacing the signal clicker box and removing the tint, the Carib passed safety and E-test. I grabbed some photos the one day, while another car was being moved around.

The thing was Mint, no rust, hydraulically lifting suspension from factory, full glass sunroof. The works! Needless to say, I was a bit Jealous of Phil, since I had found the car.

A month and a bit later, Phil surprised me, telling me we were going to Toronto to pick up my new car. James and I hopped in the truck, and went with Phil into the big city.

We arrived to find the seller of the new car ready and waiting. As soon as we put the ramps down for the trailer, he drove it onto the trailer, and washed his hands of it. Although a nice old polish guy, his constant shrugging was mumbling “IS GOOD CAR” was convincing enough to Phil to pay the $200 for it.

Like I always say about AE95’s, “people drive them like trucks”. This was no exception, it was filled with garbage, the rear hatch was smashed in, and the fuel line ran on the ‘Outside’ of the car as you can see in the second photo.

We trailered it back late at night, and got it into the shop the next day. The floor was rotted out,t he e-brake mounts were rotted out (new e-brake cables though). For some reason there was an ASSLOAD of hardlines running to the rear of the car. Turns out who ever replaced them the first time, left the old ones in beside the new ones. This helped speed up the rotting of the new ones.

After about a week of rebuilding the entire brake system, removing as much rust as possible, and crafting an entire new hatch from a hood we found behind a body shop, as some partial body panels from parts we cut from the car and Tin sheeting lent from Brent, we got the car driving, straight, stopping fast, and running well!

All that’s left is the Zebra stripes, finding a free Radiator (and fender).

This is it so far, with the new hatch, and backward WRX scoop on the hood. (it really works, it pulls the coolant smoke right out and warms the window when driving it hard. 😀

God I love building cheap cars. project so far, $260.

*UPDATE*

Zed-Bras

Zooozle
Zooozle

*****MORE UPDATE*******


6 thoughts on “Speed Hero and the AE95 Obsession

  1. great read there mate any updated im in australia and the ae95’s here dont really rust as much

    mine is lowered on kings and kyb shockers has a full exhaust and is just about to have the engine worked a little should be a nice cruiser its metallic blue and runs perfectly

    regards from OZ

    Harry

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