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Buying My First Toyota, Looking For Some Advice...


MattTodd
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Hi all.

Here we go then, I passed my test last year, and I've been driving an 02 Corsa for work, and my gf's 1.4TDCI Zetec fiesta. I'm now in the situation where I can buy my own car. What I want is a 6th generation celica, probably the 1.8, my insurance is going to be high as it is. There are 2 near me, going for about £2,500 ish.

First off, what should I be paying?

Second, When I go to check the car out, what should I be looking for, is there a set list or anything that someone could point me to?

Third, is there any young drivers on here, and if so, where do you get yourselves insured?

Insurance is quite an issue for me at the moment, just the price. This will be my first insurance where I'm the main driver, so I appreciate its always going to be hellish for at least the first year. I'm one of two people my age I know who hasnt had a crash since I passed my test, so I have a completely clean licence and no accident history if that is a requirement for some companies. I've got a quote for about £1,800 at the minute. That should reduce a lot after the first year though.

The other question I have is... hehe, There seems to be a lot of advice for performance on here, which is good, but I'm not planning to have a huge tinker, but what I do want to do, is install the mother of all entertainment systems. I'm a IT systems engineer, and I build machines, so me and my brother have pretty much designed a machine to install in the boot of the car, with wireless to connect to my home computer for swapping music onto the car system, which could be coupled with a touch screen LCD in the front of the car. What I'd need to know would be how I could power it. I'm no electrician, and I'm unsure how I'd manage this.

Thanks in advance for your help, and I cant wait to post piccies of my car when I get it :-)

Matt

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Seems a bit steep for insurance. I'm 22, only one years no-claims, n I'm paying £580 on the 2.0GT (with direct line, buying online). I was looking at a GT MR2 last year n was being quoted around £900. That TPFT though.

You get some good discounts online, try churchill, directline, tesco's....

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First of all, welcome to the club.

I'm young-ish (22) with a 1.8 Celica ST, insured with elephant just now for around the £700 mark.

Depending on the condition of the car, I'd pay anything up to £3.5k - £4k for a good one.

Most people here will tell you that Celica's are pretty much bomb proof, and they're right, I've not had any problems at all with mine yet. The only thing I would recommend is depending on the milage of the ones you're looking at, make sure that the clutch and timing belt have been replaced / aren't about to go. Apart from that they're solid.

Happy hunting!

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Oil consumption. The 1.8 engine is known to have a problem with this. But I don't know how you'd assess it when inspecting a car. Just grill the owner and see what their response is. Ask how often the Oil has been changed, what Oil they used, and most importantly how often it needed topping up.

Don't expect too much in the way of performance from the ST though, especially if you are going to weigh it down with loads of ice. I'm not sure if there is much difference in terms of insurance cost between the ST and GT.

The prices of the cars you are looking at seem very good, but condition and is everything. Mileage influences the value, but a looked after high mileage car would be a better buy than a neglected low mileage one. An excellent condition car would fetch up to £4.5k, and dog would be £2k.

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I'm youngish (22 again - lots that age here!) and I got the 1.8. Insurance is just under £600 TPFT with Directline. When I checked the price for the 2.0GT they wanted around £1200, a lot of places just refused to insure it. Prices will vary with your age, your ncb, your location and your history. As mikeb says the 1.8 isn't really a performance car, but it will blow the corsa and the fiesta away! I can only really compare it to what I have driven, but it is faster than:

1.6 Focus

1.9 DTurbo 306

2.0 Subaru Imprezza Sport (Estate)

Infact the only car I have driven which is faster is my Mums BMW 328. I have never driven a 2.0GT gen 6 so can't say how they compare, but a lot of people on celicaclub who have driven both actually recommend the 1.8 over the UK 2.0 as it is easy to find the power (the 2.0 needs lots of revs - so quite often the 2.0 has unusable power) The 2.0 would be quicker in a drag race although the 1.8 would probably start off faster.

Hope that helps :thumbsup:

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Infact the only car I have driven which is faster is my Mums BMW 328. I have never driven a 2.0GT gen 6 so can't say how they compare, but a lot of people on celicaclub who have driven both actually recommend the 1.8 over the UK 2.0 as it is easy to find the power (the 2.0 needs lots of revs - so quite often the 2.0 has unusable power) The 2.0 would be quicker in a drag race although the 1.8 would probably start off faster.

Hope that helps :thumbsup:

I reckon it'd be fun (some month when I can actually afford it) to go on a TOC track day, and test out this theory of yours sotal :D

Seriously, would be good, get a mixture of generations and models from the 1.8ST to the GT4, and put up a list o lap times.

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hey it's not my theory!! :P (I just like the sound of it :D )

But yeah I guess it would be fun - can I bring my bike as well so I don't feel too bad if I lose with the car!! Atleast we would know then for sure. It would also be good to see the differences between uk/jap and 3s-fe/3s-ge

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ahh, that was an "also we could test part"! :P

The main test was a Uk 1.8 7A-FE against a UK 2.0 3S-GE

The 2.0 should have bags more power, but the 1.8 gets it's power quicker so should be quicker off the mark and better between changes on roads which need rapid slowing down/ speeding up

but thank you for answering my also part :thumbsup:

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ahh, that was an "also we could test part"! :P

The main test was a Uk 1.8 7A-FE against a UK 2.0 3S-GE

The 2.0 should have bags more power, but the 1.8 gets it's power quicker so should be quicker off the mark and better between changes on roads which need rapid slowing down/ speeding up

but thank you for answering my also part :thumbsup:

No chance sotal! :lol:

Really, none at all. :)

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I want to see some proof!

The guys (and possibly girls) over at celicaclub seem to have been testing this but I can't find anything definite. I had thought about swapping the 1.8 for a 2.0 after a couple of years wouldn't mind a late gen 6 possibly 98 2.0GT - but I was put off by reading that they're not much different.

Even Parkers says "the 2 litre isn't much quicker than the 1.8" (not that, that means a lot!!)

I'm going to keep an eye out at the local garage to see when they next get a GT in and see if I Can take it for a test drive - I won't be able to see the full potential, but I should be able to feel if it instantly feels mch quicker.

*edit*

HAS ANYONE ON HERE DRIVEN BOTH A UK ST CELICA AND A UK GT CELICA

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I've been looking for power and torque curves for both engines, but with no success on either. :( Without those it's difficult to make meaningful comparisons, I mean, do we even know if the gear ratio's are the same?

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My experience was initially slight disapointment with the power, but then loving it more n more just getting used to the way you drive it. Say for example, at 30mph, if you put your foot down in third gear, you don't get a real shove out of it (its not bad but its perhaps not what you expect), and I guess some people don't like that. But that doesn't mean its not responive, put it in second and it'll make a gorgous noise n take off. The gear ratio's seem pretty long to me, certainly compared to my old car. 2nd gear will take you to 60mph. Infact it'll have a recommended top speed for each gear in the manual if you wanna compare that.

edit:

7A-FE

1 -34mph

2 -56mph

3 -81mph

4 -109mph

3S-GE

1 -36mph

2 -62mph

3 -95mph

4 -124mph

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2nd gear will take you to about 60 in the 1.8 as well :D Does that mean anything??

I've got the handbook at home and it does list speeds to go up to in each gear and they are pretty high. You could get away with only using the first 3 gears.

Does anyone fancy swapping there gt with my st for a week ;)

I suppose it's hard to imagine the difference without graphs etc, but if you imagine the cc difference being 200cc, and imagine the difference between a 1.1 and a 1.3 Metro - you couldn't tell the difference!! But I suppose again it's different types of engine and what they are designed for.

The 7A-FE apparantley is Toyota's Economy head, but with performance injectors stuck on or something?? It's not the same as the 7A-FE used in the Carina

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If u'd like an example for comparison sotal, I could do you a video. I mean, I wouldn't drive dangerously on public road, or speed, but I could pretty easily demonstrate the 0-60 where its safe and within the limits of the road, n demonstrate the how it differs in different parts of the rev range. Just need to stress that I wouldn't do anything dangerous/illegal/nutteresque.

Or actually get 5-10 ppl from here, n all go on a trackday event, compile a big celica laptime list with loadsa different models and generations. I could try n organise somthing like that if there'd be enough interest, never been on a trackday. I've been looking around at bookatrack.com n it seems to be £150-£200, which is a little steep for me, but I could stretch to it.

And I don't really agree with the parkers review. They recommend the fiat coupe, yuk :wacko:

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I like the idea of a track day - but it just worries me to use my everyday vehicle on the track!

A video may offer some comparison - I could follow a similar method in my car, but we may have to keep them off here as driving videos come to close to driving nuts etc. If you want to though PM me and I'll arrange some server space to put the vids :thumbsup:

i guess the hardest part will be verifying the speed/revs whilst also filming the outside to give a feeling of the speed??

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If you just want 0-60 times and 1/4 mile, you can use a g-tech to get them. You should be able to pick one up for ~£30 on ebay. I already have one, but I am yet to get around to playing with it properly.

Curborough used to have an open track evening one night during the week, where you could just turn up in a road car pay a set price and have a few runs round the sprint circuit.

Of course all this comparison business is down to driver ability, and consistent results are hard to achieve. Power curves from toyota would be much more useful IMO. I don't know if they ever published them though.

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Wow, loads of replies. Thanks a lot guys.

In regards to insurance, that was a great help, I tried elephant, and a quote for me, TPFT and my gf as an extra driver was £986!! Thats the lowest quote I've had ever lol. So thanks so much for that, gonna keep looking now, screw tesco, they quoted me £2086. grrr. lol. I keep seeing celicas when I'm out now, am totally hooked. I've got loads of ideas for what I want to do with it, but I'll concentrate on getting the car first. :P Gonna get a quote for the 2.0GT. I checked, and both the cars I looked at are actually the 2.0 model, so if I can get a reasonable insurance quote, I may go for that. I'd be interested to hear from any owners who have a 2.0 model.

Cheers,

Matt

EDIT ---

Ok, I've got a quote for a 2.0GT for £1371 for me. I think thats about as low as I'll get, because it is my first insurance on my own. Is the 2.0GT going to be a much better car for the extra insurance money. If its going to be noticeably quicker, and nippy to drive, I dont mind paying it, I suppose its only 300 quid, and my premium should reduce next year anyway. what do you guys think?

Matt

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Is the 2.0GT going to be a much better car for the extra insurance money.  If its going to be noticeably quicker, and nippy to drive, I dont mind paying it

Thats the million dollar question!!!

I can't find anyone who has actually driven both!

Mikeb - is that g-tech thing actually any good?? I have got a data logger with my GPS system which will log position and speed every second, but it can be up to 1 sec out at either end - so isn't brilliant for 0-60 runs. I'll give it a try though. If I do 10 of them then get an average it should be fairly accurate. As you say some proper Toyota stuff would be interesting :yes:

Edit

7AFE power Curve

From googling it I have found out the following:

at 3000 RPM

7A-FE - 60hp/117lb-ft

3S-GE - 60hp/105lb-ft

at 4000 RPM

7A-FE - 80hp/115lb-ft

3S-GE - 75hp/100lb-ft

at 5000 RPM

7A-FE - 105hp/110lb-ft

3S-GE - 110hp/115lb-ft

at 6000 RPM

7A-FE - 100hp/100lb-ft

3S-GE - 130hp/110lb-ft

The source for the 7a-fe engine was the link above which is from a Corolla Site. The source for the 3S-GE is: http://www.turboforum.net/dyno/ Marcel Brandon from an MR2.

The data isn't perfect as I think the 3S-GE is from a tuned up car but I'm not definite! but it does show the general trend I was talking about with the 1.8 having more power and torque up to about 4500rpm (which imo is quite high for most cars)! It's only then that the 2.0GT comes to life and even then never reaches the same torque level as the 1.8's peak point.

So to summarise if you were driving in twisties were it is hard to keep above 4500RPM then the 1.8 would be quicker. The 1.8 would also be quicker off the mark at the traffic lights :P

I'll go and hide now :ph34r:

Please post with anything to contradict the above info :thumbsup:

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Sorry to the OP for taking this thread sooo far off topic, but this is quite interesting stuff.

Firstly the G-tech. Initially I was very sceptical about it's accuracy. But after a quick play with it so far, I am initially impressed. I am an electronics engineer and know quite a bit about how these units work, I have used accelerometers before for automotive applications including measuring G forces in automotive crash testing and also for car datalogging. With this background, I was initially dubious of the G-techs potential.

It was ages ago now, and all I did was 0-60 times, and I was consistently getting about 8.1 seconds. The book figure for the early gen 5 (like mine) is 7.9, and I had a full tank of fuel and junk in the boot (and it was a damp road!). Interestingly, the book figure for the late gen 5 is 8.4, half a second slower and the only difference is it had a cat fitted.

Excellent find on the power curve. However I am a bit suspicous of the power and torque figures for the 3s-ge engine. Firstly I would like to point out the there is a significant difference between the rev 2 (gen 5) and rev 3 (gen 6) 3s-ge. AFAIK it is mainly down to the gen 6 having more racey cam profiles (and possibly slightly revised combustion chambers?). This gives it more power (173hp vs 158hp) but slightly higher in the rev range (7k rpm v 6.6k rpm). The tradeoff is that the gen 6 has slightly worse low down performance, and the gen 5 engine is somewhere inbetween the 7a-fe and the rev 3 3s-ge in terms of power/torque curve. As an example, mine pulls quite well from 30 mph in 5th gear.

Anyhow those figures for the 3s-ge don't paint the full picture. They show the 3s-ge right in it's weak spot - the ACIS changeover point. What about below 3000 rpm, this is where the main low down useful torque is obtained. I don't know about your driving style, but for me, I usually change up around 2.5k to 3k rpm.

To get a better feel for them, I have plotted your figures into a graph and added the one extra known point (assuming rev 3 engine) of 173 hp @ 7k rpm:

power_graph.jpg

This graph is quite interesting, you can see that the 7a-fe toque curve is quite flat, and is decreasing from the earliest data we have (3k rpm). By 5k rpm it is dropping off rapidly, faster than revs are rising, so that is where peak power occurs. On the other hand the 3s-ge torque curve is an 'S' shaped wavey line. This is caused almost entirely by the 'active' effect of the ACIS mechanism. Effectively, it gives two different engine characteristics, one below 4k rpm, the other above. The longer induction length is more conducive to low end performance, but it runs out of steam at 4k, so it switches over to the shorter induction length which gives a boost in torque at the higher rpm, where the higher air flow keeps air speeds up.

Looking at the power curves gives an interesting viewpoint. I have added the peak power figure for the 3s-ge engine (@7k rpm), but it doesn't fit in with the other power figures stated for the 3s-ge. The curve is all wrong, look at the power curve for the 7a-fe, it should be a smooth curve like that (ignoring perculiarities around the ACIS changeover, which is complete by 4.5k rpm). Extrapolating your figures for the 3s-ge I would expect peak power to be about 135 hp @ 6250 rpm. Since making that guestimate I have looked up the 3s-ge engine data, and the rev 1 3s-ge made 135 bhp @ 6k rpm in its USA variant (only 9.2:1 CR and crippled with a cat, I believe). This makes sense as the rev1 had TVIS instead of ACIS, and due to its lower rpm capability, the rev1's changover point is 4k rpm which fits the graph. The rev2 and rev3 engines have higher changeover points. So I think your figures are for a rev1 USA 3s-ge (even the UK rev1 had 147 hp). And I guess it would be fair to say that ACIS is better than the TVIS system that it superceded.

Even accepting this data as the poorest rev1 3s-ge, just look at the power curve compared to the 7a-fe! At the bottom end the 3s-ge is levelling out but the 7a-fe is still falling with constant rate, which would back up my claim of better low end torque in the 3s-ge. The 7a-fe has slightly higher power figures around 4k rpm, but this is the rev1 3s-ge weak spot, just look what happens by 5k rpm. The 7a-fe is suffocating on its cams, but the 3s-ge is just coming alive.

It would be very interesting to have a full range of figures below 3k rpm for this comparison. I believe the 3s-ge torque curve will remain flatter lower down, but the 7a-fe will drop off more rapidly (I could be totally wrong here).

Even bearing in mind that your data is comparing the 1985 rev 1 3s-ge to the 7a-fe (not sure on the revision history for the 7a-fe?), the 3s-ge outperforms it everywhere, as you would expect. I imagine the rev2 engine would shift the 3s-ge upwards, and the rev3 upwards even further. I doubt that there is much weight difference between the two engines either, both are 4 pot cast iron lumps of a similar capacity.

This post has worked out a lot longer than I expected, and I probably haven't explained it as well as is possible. Feel free to ask for clarification on any of my waffle. :lol:

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Sorry to the OP for taking this thread sooo far off topic, but this is quite interesting stuff.

Firstly the G-tech. Initially I was very sceptical about it's accuracy. But after a quick play with it so far, I am initially impressed. I am an electronics engineer and know quite a bit about how these units work, I have used accelerometers before for automotive applications including measuring G forces in automotive crash testing and also for car datalogging. With this background, I was initially dubious of the G-techs potential.

It was ages ago now, and all I did was 0-60 times, and I was consistently getting about 8.1 seconds. The book figure for the early gen 5 (like mine) is 7.9, and I had a full tank of fuel and junk in the boot (and it was a damp road!). Interestingly, the book figure for the late gen 5 is 8.4, half a second slower and the only difference is it had a cat fitted.

Excellent find on the power curve. However I am a bit suspicous of the power and torque figures for the 3s-ge engine. Firstly I would like to point out the there is a significant difference between the rev 2 (gen 5) and rev 3 (gen 6) 3s-ge. AFAIK it is mainly down to the gen 6 having more racey cam profiles (and possibly slightly revised combustion chambers?). This gives it more power (173hp vs 158hp) but slightly higher in the rev range (7k rpm v 6.6k rpm). The tradeoff is that the gen 6 has slightly worse low down performance, and the gen 5 engine is somewhere inbetween the 7a-fe and the rev 3 3s-ge in terms of power/torque curve. As an example, mine pulls quite well from 30 mph in 5th gear.

Anyhow those figures for the 3s-ge don't paint the full picture. They show the 3s-ge right in it's weak spot - the ACIS changeover point. What about below 3000 rpm, this is where the main low down useful torque is obtained. I don't know about your driving style, but for me, I usually change up around 2.5k to 3k rpm.

To get a better feel for them, I have plotted your figures into a graph and added the one extra known point (assuming rev 3 engine) of 173 hp @ 7k rpm:

power_graph.jpg

This graph is quite interesting, you can see that the 7a-fe toque curve is quite flat, and is decreasing from the earliest data we have (3k rpm). By 5k rpm it is dropping off rapidly, faster than revs are rising, so that is where peak power occurs. On the other hand the 3s-ge torque curve is an 'S' shaped wavey line. This is caused almost entirely by the 'active' effect of the ACIS mechanism. Effectively, it gives two different engine characteristics, one below 4k rpm, the other above. The longer induction length is more conducive to low end performance, but it runs out of steam at 4k, so it switches over to the shorter induction length which gives a boost in torque at the higher rpm, where the higher air flow keeps air speeds up.

Looking at the power curves gives an interesting viewpoint. I have added the peak power figure for the 3s-ge engine (@7k rpm), but it doesn't fit in with the other power figures stated for the 3s-ge. The curve is all wrong, look at the power curve for the 7a-fe, it should be a smooth curve like that (ignoring perculiarities around the ACIS changeover, which is complete by 4.5k rpm). Extrapolating your figures for the 3s-ge I would expect peak power to be about 135 hp @ 6250 rpm. Since making that guestimate I have looked up the 3s-ge engine data, and the rev 1 3s-ge made 135 bhp @ 6k rpm in its USA variant (only 9.2:1 CR and crippled with a cat, I believe). This makes sense as the rev1 had TVIS instead of ACIS, and due to its lower rpm capability, the rev1's changover point is 4k rpm which fits the graph. The rev2 and rev3 engines have higher changeover points. So I think your figures are for a rev1 USA 3s-ge (even the UK rev1 had 147 hp). And I guess it would be fair to say that ACIS is better than the TVIS system that it superceded.

Even accepting this data as the poorest rev1 3s-ge, just look at the power curve compared to the 7a-fe! At the bottom end the 3s-ge is levelling out but the 7a-fe is still falling with constant rate, which would back up my claim of better low end torque in the 3s-ge. The 7a-fe has slightly higher power figures around 4k rpm, but this is the rev1 3s-ge weak spot, just look what happens by 5k rpm. The 7a-fe is suffocating on its cams, but the 3s-ge is just coming alive.

It would be very interesting to have a full range of figures below 3k rpm for this comparison. I believe the 3s-ge torque curve will remain flatter lower down, but the 7a-fe will drop off more rapidly (I could be totally wrong here).

Even bearing in mind that your data is comparing the 1985 rev 1 3s-ge to the 7a-fe (not sure on the revision history for the 7a-fe?), the 3s-ge outperforms it everywhere, as you would expect. I imagine the rev2 engine would shift the 3s-ge upwards, and the rev3 upwards even further. I doubt that there is much weight difference between the two engines either, both are 4 pot cast iron lumps of a similar capacity.

This post has worked out a lot longer than I expected, and I probably haven't explained it as well as is possible. Feel free to ask for clarification on any of my waffle.  :lol:

So in relation to my question is it worth it, thats a yes then?

lol!

Matt

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I'll get a vid done for sotal this eve (I think I've worked out how to mount the camera) then perhaps he can judge it better. Its by no means gives an accurate picture, like mikeb says, you need some proper figures and graphs, but at least its somthing.

Are those figures for marcel brandons 3S-GE any good? It says the max HP he reaches is 138bhp. He's totally rebuilt the engine. If he's only getting 138bhp max, and he's loosing power after 5350rpm, then we're not looking at the same thing as the stock 3S-GE engine in my celica GT?

Still, all I could find 3S-GE wise, was what looks like a highly tuned black top beams engine that had been transplanted into one of those caterham type cars. Not to helpfull, though interesting, I think this 3S-GE is v. v. different: Here and here

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Still, all I could find 3S-GE wise, was what looks like a highly tuned black top beams engine that had been transplanted into one of those caterham type cars. Not to helpfull, though interesting, I think this 3S-GE is v. v. different: Here and here

I found that one too, but like you say it's hardly a fair comparison as that engine is quite modded and started out as a beams with 11.5:1 CR, but it just shows what the 3s-ge is capable of! Having said that, all the plots I could find on his website seem to be simulation results from a program called "Engine Analyser Pro", rather than real dyno results.

I suspect that the difference between the 3s-ge and 7a-fe is not just out and out speed, but flexibility is probably more important (to me at least). Maybe me and Sotal could meet up sometime and do some comparison runs with this g-tech thingy. <_<

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