Go Fast Bits Castrol Oil Supercheap Auto Haltech ECU Bridgestone Tyres DW Fuel Systems


No announcement yet.

★ Nath's '91 1JZ Soarer ★

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • ★ Nath's '91 1JZ Soarer ★

    The car now (September '17)


    Some of you might remember the thread of my S14 that was on here before the big data loss, all of that thread is gone, which sucks as it was 2 years worth of updates! Wah.

    Here she is:

    IMG_7122 by Nathan Haddad, on Flickr

    In the meantime, I've sold the S14 to my brother, who continues to take great care of it.

    I was on the hunt for a new project/money-pit and I landed on a Toyota Soarer. I had enjoyed Soarers for a fair while, but there were so many trash examples in Australia that I never really saw their full potential. On the hunt for my new project, I stumbled across some great threads on Lexus SC builds in the US, and from that moment, I was hooked! I spent probably 3 months trawling Gumtree, Facebook, etc for a car with only 2 criteria: No sunroof (I like headroom), and a 1JZ engine. While the 1UZ V8 is a great engine, I can't live without boost, and it's far easier to get power out of a 1J.

    Anyway, on NYE 2016, I was browsing Gumtree and stumbled across a White 1991 1JZ Soarer on Gumtree. It had no sunroof, was semi-local, needed a fair bit of TLC, and had the same owner for 10+ years. Perfect!

    The next day, I messaged the seller and he was happy for me to come and have a look. That afternoon I came home in the car, after picking it up for $2.5k, not too shabby! So it was a new year, with a new project.

    The car was pretty neglected, as it was the sellers' wife's car who rarely drove it, in the last couple years it had only been driven about 4 times . They had owned it for over 10 years, and it was a car they really loved, but couldn't afford the time/money it would take to get it back to its former glory.

    This was the status of the car when I bought it:

    The good:
    • New alternator (rebuilt)
    • Re-capped ECU
    • Reconditioned stock twin-turbo's
    • TRUST dump-back exhaust
    • GReddy turbo timer/boost meter
    • Sony XPLOD rear speakers (lol)
    The bad:
    • Interior was pretty AIDS
    • Lexus badges (it's a Toyota m8)
    • Iron-man themed engine bay plastics, complete with fake AN braided hoses (clip on), etc..
    • An old car PC setup but missing the PC, so it was just a rats nest of wiring, switches, etc..
    • Boot struts blown
    • Front shocks completely blown
    • Lenso 7.5 wide wheels with trash China tyres
    • Faded/yellowed front lights
    • Cracked tail light
    • All brake rotors were toast
    • Red brake calipers with a Lexus logo (lol)
    • Huge vacuum leak
    • Peeling window tint
    • Horn worked when it wanted to
    • Front-bar turning lights both not working
    • Blown front speakers
    • In need of a service (plugs, fluids, filters, etc)
    • Semi-blocked catalytic converter
    • Exhaust leaks
    • Paint/exterior in poor condition (but straight)

    There was probably a few more things wrong than what I listed, but you get the picture. Like any good project, there was more bad than good!

    Dash pic:

    This was the first picture I took of it, on the way home:

    and here is the S14 meeting its new housemate:

    Last edited by ndh795; 08-09-2017, 01:45 PM.

  • #2
    The next day (and for the next week), it was time to get cracking. As well as a vacuum/interior clean-out, the engine bay was the first item on the list. Here is the DIY Iron Man themed engine bay that was unfortunately done by the previous owners' son.

    Ripped all that out and sanded it back, then hit it all with some black, was looking better but still needed a couple things changed (breather filter etc):

    Also changed the air filter:

    Chucked some new wipers on:

    Now it was time to tackle the rats nest of wiring that was in the car. At some point it had a car PC installed, the screen and all the wiring was still there, but the PC was removed. It also had am aftermarket sub-woofer and amplifier but I wasn't interested in keeping those!

    It felt a bit strange removing USB cables and a hub, as well as computer cabling (Ethernet and display cables) from a car lol

    The boot struts were also replaced:

    I also removed the old spare tyre (was a snow tyre), drained some water from the boot, and re-installed some interior plastics that came as spares with the car. I also gave it its first wash

    That was pretty much all that happened in the first week of ownership, it still didn't feel like my car, and had a lot of work still to go before being registered in NSW, but we were getting there!


    • #3
      After all that, I decided to focus on something a bit more mechanical. I had amassed a pile of parts after only a week:
      • Nulon Oil & oil filter
      • Fuel filter
      • Air filter (pictured but already installed)
      • 6x NGK spark plugs
      • Serpentine belt and pulley
      • Cam cover gaskets & washer seals
      • PCV valve and tube
      • DBA T3 front rotors
      • DBA T2 rear rotors
      • Nulon brake fluid
      • VHT brake paint
      • Bendix heavy duty pads F&R
      • Meguiars light restore kit

      Old oil filter, was at least 2 years old:

      Old serpentine belt, definitely due for a change. And the pulley wasn't great either:


      Changing rocker gaskets and PCV:

      As you can see, a lot of the stuff I replaced was old and well due for a change.
      All cleaned up:

      Fuel filter:

      Along with the above, I also deleted the cat temp sensor, and checked and topped up the coolant (red and clean).
      I found a nice selection of Redback spiders under the car, as well as a lot of Redback eggs. I degreased the entire underside (front) and removed all the spiders (many alive) and eggs.

      I then got in contact with Brett from GFB (he stars on the MCMTV2 videos) about finding a replacement BOV as the GFB one on there was very old, and also red, that I had painted black but that was only temporary.

      I bought the one he recommended, and installed it along with some new vacuum hose.

      While installing the BOV I found that two of the factory couplers on the hot-side intercooler piping had imploded and become a restriction. I replaced these with some regular black silicone couplers.

      I also changed the intake Y-pipe so that I could finally get rid of the breather filter, had a new hose from Toyota for that too:

      Restored the headlights and high-beams using the Meguiars kit:

      Bought and installed a new ash tray, as the old car PC setup had run switches in the ash tray, leaving it full of glue and holes:

      Then I sourced some series 3 tail lights from a guy on Facebook, and bought some brand new looms for them from Toyota. I also bought all new bulbs, and snipped the purple wire in the lamp failure module so that there is no error on the dash:

      Now it was brake time. New rotors, pads, HEL braided lines, new fluid, new copper washers, and everything cleaned and greased.



      • #4
        New (dont worry, calipers get painted later on in the thread!):

        A nice package from MCA suspension arrived, after finding out that the old front shocks were held up with wood and plastic wedged in the springs, I decided it was a good idea to replace all four struts. I went with the comfort spring rates (18kg/7kg) as well as their stealth option, which makes the coilovers all black:

        I even fitted the TEMS covers over the strut tops, for extra stealth:


        • #5
          At this point, the car had not driven since getting home from the initial purchase, so I was now getting very close to being able to register it in NSW.

          I organised insurance, fixed a huge vacuum leak, adjusted the handbrake drums, and replaced a number plate light globe, and then headed to my mate's work (cheers Joelos!) to get a blue slip.

          With the blue slip done, I headed to the RMS and got some number plates:

          Then, on the same day, I had a 100 CPSI metal-core Magnaflow catalytic converter welded in. The old one was cracked due to being blocked and was getting extremely hot. The welds that the exhaust place did weren't great, but it doesn't leak lol:

          I really enjoyed the drive home. At this stage, the car had been off the road for about a month, and now it was registered and driving! I swung past BP and put a fresh tank of 98 in, and could finally hit boost!

          A few days later I headed out to my tinter to have the windows tinted. The Soarer had some terrible window tint, especially the back window, which was bubbling and peeling.

          Went for 15% on the rear and rear quarter windows, and 35% on the front two windows. It was a huge improvement, and made the car bearable in the summer (AC doesn't work *yet*).


          • #6
            I didn't get to enjoy the car for very long though, after about a week of driving around it had become apparent that the car needed the following:
            • Rear wheel bearings
            • Calipers rebuilt and painted (working fine but still flaky red, and also very old so I didn't trust them)
            • Rebuilt power steering pump
            • New power steering lines
            After working on the car for a month or so I needed a break, so I took the car to a brake specialist I had dealt with before and he carried out the above work, as well as new PS and brake fluid. This took approximately a month, so I had really enjoyed the car for about a week in 2 months at this stage!

            I sourced the rear wheel bearings and oil seals (genuine) and had the shop do the rest.

            Picking her up after the long wait:

            Rebuilt PS pump and new lines:

            While the car was gone, I decided to dig in to the suspension. Having installed coilovers, I was on the hunt for more improvements. I sourced some new front upper and lower control arms. Anyone who is familiar with this era of Toyota knows that the ball joints (when old) can fail and cause an accident, and I wasn't going to take that chance.

            Plus, the bushes were OK but at the end of the day they're 26 years old, so a replacement was due. I bought Hardrace front upper control arms, which are camber adjustble and also use rubber bushes (instead of rose joints like most aftermarket arms). I then sourced some JZA80 Supra lower control arms, brand new from Toyota. These upper and lower arms weren't cheap, but when you can't press in a new ball joint, they're the only way to go!

            Had a great time installing the front arms, as pictured:

            Note the freshly rebuilt and painted calipers (all 4):

            I also sourced some Whiteline steering rack bushes, as they are a common wear item, and bought some oil to change the differential oil.

            The diff oil was due for a change:

            Now with most of the front suspension refreshed (sway bar bushes and links, tie rods remained at this stage) it was a good idea to refresh the rear a little bit. When the car was at the brake shop the mechanic advised me that the rear upper control arm bushes were shot. The rear ball joint also cannot be pressed out and replaced, but the bushes could. I decided that it would be better to just buy a new arm like I did with the fronts. I sourced a pair of new rear upper control arms for a series 3 Soarer, direct from Toyota.


            • #7
              maaaaaaaaan, welcome back!! been wondering if you were gonna be coming back on the forums!!

              are you guys still doing the YT channel??

              also, maaaaaaad sourer!! looks like a load of work has gone into it so far!! whats on the card for it?


              • #8
                Freaking epic stuff man, keep up the updates, very interested to see where this goes.
                Daily: '00 Daihatsu Cuore "Kelly" - Build Thread -
                Project / Weekender: '05 Subaru Liberty 3.0R-B Wagon - Build Thread -
                Motorcycle: '14 Triumph Street Triple 660 - Build Thread -


                • #9
                  After all that maintenance, it was time for some fun. Fairly early on in my ownership I had bought some wheels from Japan, test fitted them, and then put them away until I had finished refreshing the suspension, doing the rear wheel bearings, rebuilding the brakes, etc.

                  The wheels are CST Zero One Hyper, in 18x9.5 +23:

                  Front test fit (wheel is slightly turned, but they did poke a lot):


                  After installing the new front arms, and being able to easily add camber with the Hardrace uppers, I tried on the fronts again, much better!

                  Back to the present, I put them in the car, which is a feat in itself, given that Soarer's have no folding rear seat, and a tiny boot (thanks to the fuel tank being in the boot), and headed down to my local Bridgestone to have some tyres fitted. I went with Bridgestone RE003 tyres as I drive twisty roads very often and with all the suspension improvements it would be a shame to get some China tyres! I chose to go with 265/35's in the rear, and 245/40's up front. The wheels are a square setup, but I thought I would have issues with tyre clearance in the front. In hindsight, I should have gone for a 265/35 in the front as well, with a couple degrees of camber they would fit perfectly, with the 245, the tyre is a little bit sunk.

                  The last picture of the Lenso aids, these were heavier than the CST's yet they were 2 inches narrower, not to mention 100% uglier:

                  I fitted the wheels and tyres (coilovers still set at default MCA height):

                  In order to go any lower, I'd have to roll all four guards and remove the front liners, so I removed the liners and clips. When I removed the driver's side liner, I saw that the loom had been damaged (from old owner riding around on blown struts), so I tucked it up a bit higher and electrical taped the damaged sections.

                  The next morning, I got up at 5am and headed out west for Nelson from Sydney Guard Rolling to work his magic. After about 3 hours, the guards were rolled all 'round, and I could now lower the car. So I headed home, lowered all four coilovers, and then drove to the tyre shop for an alignment. This was a big day, but the result was worth it:

                  Sold the Lenso wheels:

                  Nothing happened for a couple of weeks after that, this was just under 3 months into ownership, and I was stoked on the progress, so I just enjoyed the car:

                  Then I bought some GKtech open-ended wheel nuts, and some metal hub-centric rings:

                  Old nuts:

                  Old Hubcentric ring:


                  Chased some charging issues:

                  Took off the front Lexus badge (lol)

                  'Massaged' the rear guards a bit more, as there's a secondary lip that normal guard rolling won't reach, I bashed that thing FLAT, no more rear rubbing, and you can't tell it's been hammered at all:

                  I got sick of the standard 380mm bus steering wheel that was peeling, so I bought a Genuine Nardi 350mm deep wheel and HKB cruise control boss kit. The boss kit is particularly neat as it retains cruise control (as the name suggests)

                  Next up, I bought and installed the following:
                  • New turning light bulbs (hadn't worked since I bought the car)
                  • OEM glass high beams - my car had plastic ones
                  • Whiteline front and rear sway bars
                  • Whiteline front and rear sway bar bushes
                  • Whiteline front (included in kit) and rear (W23185) sway bar links

                  Also pictured are SuperPro end links (which I changed to Whiteline ones as I didn't like the adjustable style), oil and oil filter (did another change), some 6.5 inch front speaker adapters (keep reading to see these used), a new passenger window reg (passenger window goes up but not down, and falls down occasionally), an auto trans filter (later), a new washer pump and grommet (later installed), and some capacitors (to stop hyperblink with the S3 tails).

                  The bars in their packaging. They made a huge difference to the handling of the car, it handles amazingly now (in addition to the tyres, coils, and other suspension bits), and has surprised quite a few people on the twisties:

                  Plastic high beam on left, new glass high beam on right:

                  I got both turning lights working by cleaning all the corrosion off the sockets, and re-bending the contacts. I also did the same with the horn as it had been working intermittently since I had bought the car. All good now. Around the same time I had a new timing capacitor soldered onto the flasher unit, this was done to stop the 'hyperblink' that comes with installing series 3 tail lights on a series 1 car.

                  Random pic:

                  Soarer life was going pretty well at this stage, lots of progress made, but a lot to go, as with any project. Unfortunately both of my new (at this stage they had less than 3000km on them) front coilovers blew seals, one was so bad that it was leaving a puddle on the floor as I was working on the car! I immediately got in contact with MCA and they were very good about it, they provided a new set of four under warranty, and paid shipping on the old set back to them. Apparently they had an issue with a batch of seals that affected quite a few customers. At the time of writing I have had no issues with the new set, and they ride amazingly!

                  I changed the cabin filters (which were absolutely filthy) with some new OEM items:

                  Also gave the transmission a flush with some Nulon fluid (meets the required toyota spec). Seems to shift a bit smoother. The old stuff was dirty but not bad, definitely a good time to change it though.

                  Last edited by ndh795; 15-07-2017, 01:04 PM.


                  • #10
                    Now this brings us to the most recent (last week or so) update. the existing head unit in the car worked perfectly, but it was from 2003, which was before AUX was a standard . So I was very sick of listening to FM radio for 6 months of ownership. I bought a Pioneer X4950BT head unit and had a go at fitting it myself. I normally avoid electrical like the plague as I've never learned much of it, but I took my time and got it done (with no twisting and taping), and it works beaut! I hooked up the microphone for handsfree, and am enjoying missing out on whatever KIIS1065 is playing LOL. Ignore the big hole, it was there from the old car PC screen and I haven't got around to filling it up yet, looks like a good place for some future gauges though

                    The next day I installed some Rockford Fosgate P165SI component speakers and tweeters, the factory speakers had been replaced with some Alpine 4 inch speakers at some stage in the past, but they were blown and sounded terrible. The tweeter (I assume is the factory one) had literally snapped in half on one side, and the other side was about to do the same!

                    Thankfully I could mount the tweeter in the factory location, and behind the factory grille

                    I used the PVC speaker adapters to mount the speaker in the door, they worked quite well but left a gap, so the next day I Dynamatted behind and all around both front speakers. Sounded a lot better than the 4 inch ones before the Dynamat, and after the Dynamat they sound twice as good!

                    I'm not sure how evident it is in the pictures, but I lowered the car more when I had to replace the coilover set, it sits really nice now.
                    Last edited by ndh795; 15-07-2017, 01:15 PM.


                    • #11
                      And that's it! We're up to date now.

                      What's next:
                      • New dump-back exhaust (waiting on parts)
                        • The TRUST system has four mufflers, and all four of them leak. There are multiple holes in the piping as well. It's a very old system and it's time for it to go!
                        • I bought some 14236 2.5" Magnaflow mufflers, a 3" into twin 2.5" Magnaflow y-pipe, and some 4" exhaust tips from Summit Racing in the US. I'll have a shop weld it all up. It'll be 3 inch front pipe, into twin 2.5" with just the 100 cell cat I had installed earlier, and the two rear mufflers, should have a good note but not too loud.
                      • New immobiliser
                      • New passenger window regulator (have part)
                      • Fit mint condition door trims
                        • Picked these up from a wrecker earlier this week, anyone who knows Soarers knows how brittle the factory door trims are, my current ones are both fairly bad (especially the drivers side) so I bought a VGC pair in the same colour. I have ordered some new clips/screws/etc from Toyota too.
                      • Fit mint condition headlights
                        • Picked these up from the same wrecker, the current headlights are in pretty bad condition (internally) so I'll get them professionally refurbished at a later date.
                      • Fit non-woodgrain interior trims
                        • From the same wrecker again, just some non-woodgrain trims as the woodgrain is faded and I don't really like the look

                      I have also bought parts (thanks tax return) to do the 200,000km service a bit early:
                      • Silicon upper & lower radiator hoses
                      • GameOn Welded crank trigger wheel/timing gear
                      • Golebys Billet timing belt tensioner bracket w/bearing
                      • Bosch 100-amp alternator oval? plug
                      • Golebys Crank position sensor
                      • Golebys Cam position sensor (x2)
                      • Genuine Cam seal x2
                      • Genuine Crank seal (front)
                      • Genuine Engine mount pair
                      • Genuine Rear main seal
                      • Genuine Auto gearbox mount
                      • Genuine Water pump assembly
                      • Genuine Thermostat seal
                      • Genuine Thermostat housing
                      • Genuine Thermostat
                      • Pitwork timing belt
                      • Genuine Timing belt tensioner
                      • Genuine harmonic balancer
                      • Genuine Crank pulley bolt
                      • Genuine Woodruff key (x2)
                      Last edited by ndh795; 15-07-2017, 01:29 PM.


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by kin37ik View Post
                        maaaaaaaaan, welcome back!! been wondering if you were gonna be coming back on the forums!!

                        are you guys still doing the YT channel??

                        also, maaaaaaad sourer!! looks like a load of work has gone into it so far!! whats on the card for it?

                        Thanks! Yeah we're actually filming some stuff now to make a little comeback, life was in the way for a while

                        Yeah lots of work so far (I hope you see the extra stuff I posted after your reply, I went for a drive lol)

                        Originally posted by applegeek897 View Post
                        Freaking epic stuff man, keep up the updates, very interested to see where this goes.
                        Cheers! I hope you see the extra stuff I posted after your reply


                        • #13
                          I picked up some new door trims in very good condition from a wrecker to replace my current driver and passenger ones. The ones I had were cracked in various places, and generally in bad condition.

                          Here's the condition of one of the old ones:

                          Here's the new trims as I got them:

                          I cleaned them and then reinforced them with Sikaflex 252 in all the problem spots, looks messy in the photos (it is) but you can't see it when they're installed on the doors:

                          I also grabbed some assorted genuine clips and screws for the door trims, I got these to replace any broken/missing ones, as I had a few door rattles from broken/missing stuff:

                          I also replaced all the door and dash wood-grain trim with regular plastic trim. I prefer the look:

                          Interesting to note the wood-grain is actual wood!

                          I also picked up some great condition headlights from the same wrecker as the door trims. Unfortunately while glass high beams were offered (which I have installed), no Soarer headlights ever came in glass. One of my old headlights was particularly bad, with the chrome flaking off inside it. The other one was OK. I will get these properly restored inside and out at a later date. I polished and sealed (with some UV sealant) the new lights:

                          Passenger wasn't as bad:

                          Had a box rock up from Summit Racing in the US with my new exhaust parts in it:

                          Magnaflow mufflers x2, Magnaflow Y-pipe, Summit 4" tips:

                          These will be installed soon!

                          Since buying the car I've had an 'alternator not charging' code flashing up in Japanese every now and then. It never seemed to affect the car, and would always go away fairly quickly. One night driving back from work, the code stayed on the whole drive. I then went to drive the car again that night, and I got an ABS code, and all my lights were very dim. I limped the car home and it wouldn't start. The alternator had finally packed it in.

                          Luckily I had a new 100 AMP Bosch alternator ready to go in, I knew the alternator would go at some point!

                          Pulled the old one out, which was apparently rebuilt by the previous owner, obviously something wasn't done right:

                          Plug was pretty yuck:

                          New vs old, notice the new one has a round-oval plug adapter harness:

                          New installed:

                          Also chucked in a silicone top hose while I was there, doesn't sag like the rubber one:

                          Bought a new Century battery as the old one was cooked from all the alternator charging issues, plus someone had overfilled it in the past. The Soarer battery is huge, its a Landcruiser sized battery from factory!

                          Success! a 0.15v drop from alternator to battery is acceptable to me, the new alternator had a higher charge but most importantly it was much steadier than the old one. I've had no issues since installing the new alternator and battery

                          Last edited by ndh795; 30-07-2017, 04:52 PM.


                          • #14
                            Damn what an awesome thread, off to a flying start though I lost track of the dates haha. I've also been a big fan of these cars so it's good to see someone on here giving one so much love, I haven't seen it prior. Those control arms and sway bars are taaasty. And that exhaust... ooft. Any more plans for the exterior? Later model front bumper for example?

                            Also: just re-signed up for this forum after a year's hiatus, I was on here and saw your old thread, but my account got deleted. I've just rapidly gone through the miserable 15-post process in order to post this one reply haha, hope you're happy.


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by P2FFT View Post
                              Damn what an awesome thread, off to a flying start though I lost track of the dates haha. I've also been a big fan of these cars so it's good to see someone on here giving one so much love, I haven't seen it prior. Those control arms and sway bars are taaasty. And that exhaust... ooft. Any more plans for the exterior? Later model front bumper for example?

                              Also: just re-signed up for this forum after a year's hiatus, I was on here and saw your old thread, but my account got deleted. I've just rapidly gone through the miserable 15-post process in order to post this one reply haha, hope you're happy.
                              Haha thanks! Appreciate your efforts lol.

                              Yes I have massive plans for this car, as far as the exterior goes; I'll be doing a respray in the factory colour (current paint is fairly AIDS), a S3 front bar with poly lip, poly side skirts, and poly rear bar. I have a couple of other exterior things planned too