Been off doing other things recently but a few bits have been done inbetween, been chatting with @burty a fair bit and he's going to be getting a few bits from me for his SR (you can check his thread HERE)
@Pikey009 brought my SR back on 30/09/20, who has been kindly looking after it and maintaining it for me for a good long while. It was great to see him again and to say thanks I gave him a cusco rear strut brace and the round TRD gear knob that was in the SR when I bought it from him, seemed only right to hand back to him for his GT as I wasn't using it (you can check out his GT HERE)
On the same day I collected my gearbox cases from the powder coaters, and to be honest I'm not particularly happy with how its turned out. I opted for RAL 7013 brown grey which is supposed to look like this:
But what I have ended up with is something that more resembles a fuckin WW2 U.S. army Willie's Jeep!!
I wasn't happy but I was told 'that's the colour you chose', even though it wasn't the same as the sample card (admittedly it wasn't far off), and I wasn't particularly happy with the price either. I was quoted £80 for the job, and that was BEFORE I suggested that I would mask it all up to bring the price down a touch, but somehow it climbed up to £100?
So I weighed up my options, do I either say I want it done again and wait another 3 weeks for it to be done, or pay someone else to have it done again elsewhere and wait however long, or do I just take it as is?
So I chose to just take it as is, he did knock the price back down the £80 but to be honest I don't think I will going back there again. After showing Jase when he came down he reminded me that at the end of the day it's just a gearbox, its protected by the powder coat and it wasn't worst colour in the world. And after a little bit of deliberating with Burty it won't really be seen anyway, and the bits you can see might even blend in quite well once everything is done (I.E. after powder coating the block etc.). To be fair in certain light it does look how its supposed to, but what you lot think of it?
On the 6/10/20 I got back to getting on with the gearbox by measuring the preload of the LSD which came to 0.6-0.7nm on a 2.25mm 'D' shim, so I have ordered a 2.15mm 'B' shim to hopefully get that down to about 0.10-0.15nm, as per the guidelines for the 'aftermarket LSD', although a little bit less than it suggests but the manual im using is for a MR-2 C60 gearbox as no one seems to have a gearbox workshop manual for Starlets and I cannot find any Starlet specific specifications anywhere online, plus I am using a type of LSD that hadnt even been created at the time it was written so its a bit of a stab in the dark.
Spoken to 2 companies that fit quaife LSD's which both said they just 'eyeball it' or 'go by feel', even spoke to quaife directly and they said they 'dont tend to get involved with fitment, best thing to do is go with the manufacture specifications' (which no one has), but the general vibe I'm getting is the easier it is to turn the better. 🤷🏼♂️
While I wait for the new shim to arrive I thought I would tackle a little gremlin of mine. My C's short shifter.
Jase didnt like the short shifter, so he went about fitting a standard shifter unit while he was looking after it, but for me I love how much of a difference it makes. Would've loved a TRD one though, less agressive and slightly longer on the shifts compared to the C's but more appealing I think.
The issue I had ages ago when I first fitted it was that the stick was quite a reach forward for 1st gear and it would twat the cup holders if they were out. I kind of sorted that by cutting out a pie cut, bending the shifter arm back and MIG welded it into place which helped but certainly didnt sort the problem completely, as it would still just tap the cup holders in 1st, 3rd & 5th, and I still had to stretch forward a little to get it in 1st.
I had long forgotten about it but now I have the car back again it stands out to me like bird shit on the windscreen. So to resolve this issue once and for all I dissasembled the shifter unit completely, removed all the plastic parts, stuck it in a vice and heated it red hot with a MAP gas blow torch and bent it with a tube over the shaft (lol, shaft) into something that looks more like the original shifter with the 'S' bend in it, until the previous weld snapped... So I took it away to be welded back on via a TIG welder (because you could tell the old weld had melted onto the metal rather than into it) and tried heating & bending again with much better success! I also bent it back in such a way that it actually has a little bit of a lean towards the driver, and I trimmed away some of the plastic that was rubbing slightly on the rods/cables
Reassembled & regreased the shifter unit and it feels lovely. No more leaning into 1st or tapping the cupholders, it actually clears it by a fair bit, and I can change gears quite comfortably. To finish it off I replaced the non genuine TRD gear gaiter with a black leather one which I now think suits it much better. Looking at the TRD gaiter, it just had a bit too much going on with the TRD gear knob.
(the gear stick is in neutral position in the 3 pictures below)
(The picture below shows the gear stick in 3rd gear with the cup holder fully extended)
Only niggle with the whole thing was that one of the threads decided to strip itself on one of the bolts that hold the shifter unit, but it seems just fine with the 3 remaining bolts in place. I may fit a helicoil if I find the time and/or I have any problems with it.
I still trying my hardest to find a 5EFHE for a reasonable price, but I am really struggling. Seriously someone has one just sitting there in a shed or in a dark corner of a garage. Or even just a set of 5efhe rods sitting in a box under a workbench, at least then all I need to do is find a 5efe block and crank which should be easier.
I bet there's someone on here that knows someone who knows a guy that has one!? Anyone!?!? 😭😭🙏🏻🙏🏻
Thats all for now but it wont be long until another update arrives when my shim arrives and I carry on with the gearbox!
Was working away til 3:30am on the gearbox piecing it all together, hit a few snags along with the way assembling and double/triple checking everything is operating as it should, a lot of jiggling and re fitting, hence why I was working on it soo late. My back, legs and feet are hurting again though 😒 I think in all my over excitement to get it done I over do it.
The LSD has been reshimed with a 'B' 2.15mm shim and has about the preload I was looking for so that's awesome
Replaced as many bolts as I could with stainless steel bolts depending on my ability to get hold of them, just waiting for a few stainless bolts for the end casing, a stainless oil level plug, and a stainless magnetic oil drain plug.
Only got a few little bits and pieces I need to fit and and the C52/C56 hybrid LSD gearbox will be all done ready to be mated to an engine I am yet to find and build!
After this is all done I will be revisiting the cylinder head as I want to check the valve guides, grind down the inlet valve guides to match the porting in the runner, get the thing powder coated which will mean it will require another skimming (as this should've been done AFTER, not before powder coating as it can warp the head during the process, don't know why I did it this way, bloody dount!), buy new valves and have a 3 angle valve job and then finally re-shim the valve clearances.
Not too sure what I'm going to do next, going to keep looking for the components to build a 5efhe (may have found some rods and pistons🤞🏻), still need a 5e block and crank shaft.
Also saw these on Facebook the other day, and Im quite liking the colour, so I'm thinking of getting mine redone in this colour, what you guys think?
Continuing a little bit with the gearbox today. I am still waiting on some stainless bolts and the stainless magnetic plug but should be here tomorrow. Until then I just went ahead and cleaned up some of the excess silicone, fitted some external bits that bolt onto the box, and popped into the drive shaft seals etc.: