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Restoring The Cressida

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  • Restoring The Cressida

    Hi all, 10 months ago I bought myself a 1988 MX73 Toyota Cressida.
    I got it for a steal at $1900, with lest than 170,000Ks on the clock and 10 months of rego!

    It was so cheap because of some accident damage that the owner didn't deem worth the money to fix.

    The paint work is in fairly good nick for the age, some rusted chips here and there but not much more. It even came with a grandpa-spec 50 years member NRMA brass emblem in the grille!

    The interior is flawless, apart from a few bits of trim around the door locks being snapped off and a seatbelt buckle being cracked so it doesn't hold it self up when you unclip.

    The engine has been cared for very well for it's life, 2.8L straight6 5Mge, it feels like it's still got all 120Kw of it's factory power. It's super economical for it's age and hasn't had a single breakdown in the 10 months I've owned it.
    Attached Files
    Last edited by tomojo999; 05-07-2013, 12:20 PM.
    Current car: MY05 Subaru Liberty Wagon 3.0R-B

  • #2
    Oh interesting! I'm a bit jealous actually subbing now
    2010 Mazda 3
    1979 Mazda Rx7 - check it out!


    • #3
      Upon purchase the rear right left light was cracked and looked atrocious, I bought a cheap replica and it's almost perfect except for the black lines in it.

      The bonnet had some stone chips that rusted in the front of it, I've had them fixed up

      The dash lights are now red instead of green [Before/After]

      I cracked out the soldering iron and replaced the useless boot light with some LEDs so I can actually see what's in there. [Before/After]

      While I had the soldering Iron out I installed a new sony multimedia entertainment unit. Bluetooth connectivity, iPod combatible, plays CDs and DVDs reversing camera and a 7.5" touch screen

      This unit was a B***H to install as I had to modify the facia around the ac controls and the head unit to make the screen fit. It tilts back to expose the CD/DVD slot and couldn't move before I spent 5 hours filing the facia down. I did an awesome job of it though, you can't even tell it's been modified.

      I replaced the interior dome light with one of these bulbs:

      Repaired the accident damage, luckily it was all superficial. Only cost ~$1000 including the new panel. (not OEM, toyota wanted in excess of $1500 for the panel when I called them)

      Got a remake of the plates to make it look better(and pass rego, the old ones had all the yellow peeled off).

      Last but not least I hit a milestone
      Attached Files
      Last edited by tomojo999; 05-07-2013, 12:18 PM.
      Current car: MY05 Subaru Liberty Wagon 3.0R-B


      • #4
        In the time I've owned it I have made a substantial list of things that need to be done to have the car be in 100% perfect condition

        I have been cataloguing 'issues' with the car that are as a result of age and poor maintenance. These are the things I'll be fixing and covering in this thread to restore the cressida to it's heyday glory!
        • Front Windscreen leaks water.
        • Like, a lot of damn water
        • A-pilars and front of roor aroud the windscreen are rusted, cusing more leakage
        • The rear windscreen needs resealing, as it leaks water into the boot, causing rust in the spare tyre well.
        • The boot lid is FULL OF RUST!, so is a lot of the surrounding areas of the rear of the car, this needs attention before it spreads to more areas
        • The brake booster has a vaccum issue causing awful pedal feel and loss of brake pressure
        • Suspension on all 4 coreners is shot, so are the bushings for everything
        • motor mounts are dead, so much engine movement
        • Potential problem in the power steering, not crucial, but needs sorting out
        • The front end is wonky, lights are cracked, things don't line up; it's hardly noticeable but I want this to be perfect
        • Someone in the passed has absolutley F####D the wiring under the dash installing some type of security system that doesn't even work I have no idea what goes where when I'm doing electrical work
        • The engine temp gauge on the instrument cluster is stuck in the middle and doesn't actually give me a temp reading, his is worrying because spirited driving makes this baby quite hot
        • The front lip is scuffed a lot
        • Some side mouldings from the acident damage just aren't sitting right
        • The clear coat on the boot lit is peeling
        • Exhasut gaskets are on their way out
        • Oil is coming from the engine cylinder head
        • The A/C clutch gone and sounds like a train when it's on
        • Some chrome parts of the car are becoming not-so-chrome
        • The fuel delivery system is wearing out and can't keep up at high RPM anymore
        • The intake sounds atrocious
        • It needs window tint
        Last edited by tomojo999; 29-06-2013, 03:16 PM. Reason: Typo
        Current car: MY05 Subaru Liberty Wagon 3.0R-B


        • #5
          its a good car considering its 25 years old
          my parents had one when I was young and I have fond memories of borrowing the car to go out with my mates.

          I look forward to seeing you restore it to it's former glory!
          1990 na6 MX5


          • #6
            Picked up a Donor car!
            It's in awful condition and cost only $160.
            Had to tow it from Woollongong back to Newcastle
            Pics to follow, they're uploading now!
            Current car: MY05 Subaru Liberty Wagon 3.0R-B


            • #7
              Aww yeah! I thought I was excited already and then I read you picked up a donor car. Subbing.
              F150 Build Up Thread
              Camry Build Up Thread

              Originally posted by chrinsx
              Or you could just leave the country with your car and move to Japan. That's another solution.
              Originally posted by DacerX
              i have no doubts to believe that all of this is true since its on the internet.


              • #8
                very nice, own a car of the same age and i know the feeling of rust.


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Scotty88 View Post
                  very nice, own a car of the same age and i know the feeling of rust.
                  Current car: MY05 Subaru Liberty Wagon 3.0R-B


                  • #10
                    I don't know why, but I've always loved these cars. So plain looking, but at the same time look...right. Good luck on the resto, looks like you got a decent car for the price you paid, obviously it needs work and you got quite a list started, but man $1900 isn't much. Going to follow this one along as well.


                    • #11
                      Nice car! Toyota's golden age

                      BTW I think the new replica taillight looks better than the oem.

                      Best luck on your resto, I'm going to follow it!


                      • #12
                        I just can't get enough of Cressida's! Such mad cars.
                        MY R31 SKYLINE WAGON:


                        • #13
                          The Donor Car Has Landed!

                          After a long and arduous journey the donor made it home safe. For anyone who lives on the east coast, you will know just how shocking the rain has been on late.
                          We left Newcastle at 2pm with 4 guys, a ford courier and an un-braked car trailer. The shocking weather conditions meant we had to take it extra slow to Woollongong, and we got there just after 8pm. The car was parked on a steep hill facing upwards with no battery in it, loading the trailer and securing the car onto it took the better part of an hour and a half, and by the end of it we were all drenched to our bones from the rain. After a quick subway feed we headed back up the Princes Highway at 9:30 pm. The relentless rain and subsequent traction loss on the steep ascents from all the water on the road set us so far back that by the time we stopped in Chatswood it was almost midnight.

                          Redbull stop, She's still there on the trailer.

                          The remaining 150km we didn't go above 80, with areas like the mooney-mooney bridge slowing us down to almost walking pace to avoid losing it in the wet. It was after 3am by the time the car was on the ground again and we were all in bed. The next day I was able to find out just how bad it was.

                          2 words: RUST and MOULD.

                          It absolutely stinks on the inside, I'd have preferred standard human slime to this:

                          The Engine Is nice and strong and quiet still, but it is in a state of poor service history and a BHG. The parts I need to take from it are there, but the engine as a unit is not good. If funds premit, I may send it to be rebuilt, then have it overbored and have the block shaved then bring it back and put it in to upgrade the good car.

                          I'm going to Melbourne tomorrow and leaving the donor car behind for a week, but once I'm back I'll be able to give a full look over and plan out what I can take from it and what steps to take next.


                          Originally posted by Bmwmotorsportboy View Post
                          BTW I think the new replica taillight looks better than the oem.
                          I have to say I agree with you there, unfortunately the bulb housings are cheap too and do an awful job of lighting up the whole thing. That and they don't keep the water out..
                          Current car: MY05 Subaru Liberty Wagon 3.0R-B


                          • #14
                            Looks mad so far man, love the cluster lighting change.
                            Camry CS-X 2.2L 5sp. Manual. Total goon mobile. Total work in progress.


                            • #15
                              How much do you think youl be able to pull from the donor car? Looks like a lot of automotive archaeology will have to be conducted on it

                              Also, if you need Any ECUs/Transmission ECUs hit me up and/or follow the link in my sig. Looks like I've got 3 ECUs and 2 TCUs for MX73's

                              1994 Nissan Skyline R33 GTSt - Sold
                              1989 Nissan Skyline R31 GXE - Sold
                              1988 Nissan Skyline R31 TI - Sold
                              2007 Black Aurion ZR6 - Written off
                              2008 Toyota Aurion ZR6 "The StormTrooper"

                              MASSIVE Toyota ECU Clearance - Enquire within

                              Subaru Liberty/Legacy sedan and wagon tailights for sale - Enquire within