mickburkesnr

Paddy The Corolla - 1998 1.3 E11 3-Door

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Here's your 500 mile(ish) update.

Exhaust is blowing something chronic. I'm putting it up on some ramps at the weekend and going to adjust the exhaust properly. I've a proper MIG welder now so I'm going to do the modifications to it myself. I'm contemplating welding the middle box to the back box, but not to the catalytic convertor, even though thats where most of the blow is coming from. The back box has made a nice curved hole in the bumper as well which is handy for when I go to cut a better hole for it.

The car doesn't seem as nippy as it did before, even after a good long jaunt down to London and back at the weekend. It seems a bit gutless, and it reminds me of how my Peugeot 107 was when I used a 3rd party catalytic convertor. It feels restricted, more than it should. So I'm going to look at getting a more free flowing catalytic convertor for it.

In terms of fuel economy, I remember on a full tank it would do 320 miles. So far it hasn't managed to get to 300 miles, let alone what it did do. I could deal with a lack of power from the cone air filter if it returned better economy, but it just isn't happening. So I'm going to reinstall the original air filter system and use a K&N panel filter. That should remedy some of the short commings the car has at the moment.

The knock is driving me mad, and I'm 99% sure it's the exhaust pipe that I haven't screwed in properly. So when the car is on the ramp at the weekend I'm going to tighten that back.

General driving has been a breeze really. Very enjoyable, firm suspension, so yeah I'm happy with all of that.

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Ooff! ..... And there's me ..... with a tube of 'flexible vinyl cement' to resolve my ills...

lol

2sav

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I'm tempted to suggest fixing the blowing exhaust first, before thinking of changing the catalytic converter.  I know in the past of a vehicle, decades ago, which was well down on power until the blowing exhaust was fixed.  Something to do with back-pressures.

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10 hours ago, tooSavvy said:

Ooff! ..... And there's me ..... with a tube of 'flexible vinyl cement' to resolve my ills...

lol

2sav

Well I used some GunGum when I was putting it together, so I'm going to clean all that rubbish off anyway. I might weld it, although I've never done it before so who knows. I have an inch to take off the back pipe leading to the back box as it's slightly too long (causing it to be lower than it should) so I'd have to weld that when I cut it anyway.

10 hours ago, Notoyboy said:

I'm tempted to suggest fixing the blowing exhaust first, before thinking of changing the catalytic converter.  I know in the past of a vehicle, decades ago, which was well down on power until the blowing exhaust was fixed.  Something to do with back-pressures.

I was thinking that after writing what I said. It's just the way the engine responds to me at the moment is identical to how the 107 behaved. But like you said I'd be better off fixing the blow before looking at the cat.

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Spent the weekend under the car. Didn't do half as much as what I thought I could achieve on Saturday, but that's because of the heat. But I dropped the exhaust down off the car, the blow was coming from the joint between the catalytic convertor and the middle box. So that's been gun gummed up although I'll have to smother it with sealant soon as the gungum will harden and break off.

I cut a 1" piece out of the exhaust pipe leading to the back box, which has allowed the pipe to move up in to the tunnel under the car so there's no risk of it catching. Impatience got the better of me (I'm blaming the heat) and I realised that the 0.8mm flux welding wire I bought to weld the exhaust together wouldn't fit through the welder I bought. Turned out that the tip needed changing, I didn't know, so I attacked the exhaust pipe with the arc welder I bought a few years ago.

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Safe to say that I used too thick of a welding rod and too high an amperage, so I blew through the metal. I had a piece I cut off it a few weeks ago that I cut up and patched the holes with the MIG welder when I made a Sunday morning dash to Halfords to buy some 0.6mm welding wire. Until I started welding I didn't know the wire wasn't meant for a gasless MIG welder, so the welding is shocking. But, cruicially, I didn't burn through the metal. So in the space of a weekend my welding already improved in that respect! But safe to say after that debacle I didn't bother welding the pipes together.

Other annoying thing is that, with the 1" removed, the back box now sits more or less where the original back box does, meaning I have a hole in the bumper where I thought it would sit. It doesn't anymore, so I'm going to have to think of a way to improve the look of it.

Tonight's job, through to Friday, will be consisting of laying a floor in the boot. I don't have a spare wheel and I wanted to utilise the space better as well as make the boot floor flat - as the original spare tyre cover was completely knackered. Might also fit the mud flaps this week. The Speakers came last week as well, but are sat in their boxes in the boot waiting for a weekend where I'm going to be drilling holes in the stock Speakers brackets to fit the Pioneer Speakers I bought. Won't be this weekend, might be able to do it next weekend but I'm not sure yet. I don't have a photo of it at the moment (phone died as the charger gave up the ghost on Saturday night) but I painted the trim around the drivers window in a gloss black paint. It looks alot smarter now so I'll do the passenger side this week too, as well as touch up the grey parts of the body that I painted in primer ready for a top coat.

One issue I have at the moment is that on cold start up it squeals a little like it's the belt again. I may not have tightened it, but as it's squealing the belst are more or less trash now, so I'll have to tend to that at some point due to the wife moaning at me about it every morning I bring her to work.

Speaking of the wife, I was at the pub with a few friends the other week and I was talking about the number plate I bought with "My Wife Hates This Car" on it. As with all pubs that have your friends there, it sounds like a good idea when someone says that you should do something on YouTube about the car (a la HubNut). Long story short, that's what I'm going to do shortly. More for the next project car, but this will be included in it too. I don't have a lot else to say on it at the moment although I've got the website set up. But, separately, I bought a new lens for my film camera and took a few photos of the Corolla for the website. It's 35 years past it's expiry, hence all the grain, but it makes Paddy look all arty without the need for an Instagram filter! Although it's a bit depressing that the second photo/bluer photo was taken last week in the lovely British summer.

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The idea now is that while I film the work on the car(s) I can take photos of it as well. But that's far and away in the future.

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This is roughly a 2,000 mile update.

So the major point is that I tracked down what the knocking sound was - turned out the nut for the front right shock absorber wasn't tight enough. Tightened it down and it's been a dream ever since. I drove to Hereford about two/three weeks ago for a wedding and I was late, and it gave me the opportunity to tackle the single lane country roads early on a Saturday morning. The car is even more stable and planted than I first thought and it's a dream to drive now really.

Power is suspect still, this is down to the cone. I've decided to get rid of it in 4,000 miles time when I do it's service (every 6,000 miles on this thing!). I'm going to get the K&N flat panel air filter and see what happens.

In the boot I've started putting in a new "floor" to make the most of the wheel well space.

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So the idea is to build a box type of thing in the wheel well and for there to be a hatch on it, so I can keep the air compressor and tyre gunk in there as well as a few essentials. That's as far as I've gotten with it due to other commitments now but I'll knock it out over the coming weeks when I get chance.

I got hold of a black vinyl sun strip for the car too, which was a lot thicker than normal. I went for a plain black strip just to see what i'd be like. So far it's been good, keeping the sun out of my eyes just above the mirror.

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I made a mistake with the application of the vinyl which left a noticable mark. No worries though, as I ordered a sticker by mistake (it was the wrong size) but it was big enough to cover the defect.

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Finally added the obligatory "Made in Japan" stickers on the sides of the car:

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I've purchased some Speakers to replace the standard ones in the Corolla.

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Nothing fancy, although I wanted to get Pioneer Speakers to match the head unit. They're 3 way Speakers, so will be a little better than what is there already. They're mounted differently though so I will have to mess about fabricating brackets etc. It'll be the next proper job I do on the car actually.

And, other than checking the engine for Oil, I've no complaints - other than the power. Fuel economy wise it's back up to 320 miles on the full tank which is the same as what it was before. Hence why the cone is doesn't nothing. Although I will say the high pitch whine I got when doing 60mph has gone. All that means is I'm going to tape up every joint so there are no air leaks!

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