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Author Topic: JDM ST185H Spec-A build thread, code name ''College Runner'' LOADS of pictures  (Read 2851 times)


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Alright, well here's my build thread so far on my ST185H, its currently not meant to be insanely fast but rather handle at insane speed  ;)
Its been my daily for 3years now and it couldn't have been better, started at -35Celsius with no issues each day all winter. My goal with this was to have a ton of fun while I commute on the forest roads to go to college and back everyday. And so far, its been a total blast.

This will be a long read but I hope you'll enjoy it!

 I finally gathered enough parts to call this a ''project''...
First of Im Charles,20, from Montreal, Canada. Im currently in my second out of 8 years of mechanical/robotic automate engineering program in college/university. I curently work as a junior hydraulic engineer in a local hydraulic parts machine shop. Before the GT-Four I owned a U12 Bluebird sss, but it was beaten up by rust and destroyed bushings so I sold it... I thought alot about what my next car would be, and I just always wanted a ST185 , from video game and classic rally on the tv... So I bought one. The car is a 1991 Toyota Celica Gt-Four A, it's my daily and only car. Jdm model fully loaded aside from the sunroof (which is good in my case because I wouldn't clear the roof otherwise). Its been a year now and I just spent some little to no time upgrading it. And with the budget I had I didn't wanted to go all out then find out im broke after the project, so I went the craigslist/kijiji way haha

Some picture of the car:

After his first ride:

First winter :

And presently :


So here's the thing I did so far to the car (I won't count maintenance parts, too much to put in  :lol:  )

- C-One coilovers
- complete 3'' turbo back exhaust
- HDI electronic boost controller
- Running 14psi on the stock 132K miles CT26  :| 

So as you can see I mostly spent my time maintaining the car, reason is I want a good platform to start with.

So to start with I decided to go with a complete head refresh, stem ,spring, retainer.

-Cometic metal head gasket

So here's the parts that will be going on the car:

-Big front mount Intercooler by Yonaka:

-Refurbished an tig welded throttle body

-Steel, tubular manifold (notice the flange)

-IHI VF23 turbo from a 22b STI .

-And somewhere in there I have a spare fuel rail with 550cc injectors.

That covers pretty much the engine  :)

Now handling wise;

Like I said I already have the coilovers covered  :) 

-Xiimotorsport Read diff kit

-Complete rear bushing kit (except the 4 spherical ones)

-Complete rear OEM bolt and nuts

So that will be pretty much it for this summer this is going to be a pretty weird setup but it will definitely be different  :)

Alright, update!

Head is almost out,
Turbo is out,
Exhaust is out,
Subframe is out

Here's some pic of the process  :)

Now the fun part, the subframe assembly, suprisingly, everything went alright, nothing was seized up to a point where we needed to get the torch, so here's the pictures:

And the car waiting for tomorow:

Only big problem we had was the rear right knuckle who snapped, the bushing was still in but it could have been extremely unsafe... Luckily the car held up fine  :)


Alright more pics for today, head is finally out and we continued with the bushing work  :)

Then I removed the surrounding parts

And the rear bushings again

Yeah so I got a little lazy on the picture, I was in a rush so no time !

Head is now fresh and nice, all cleaned up and back on the block  :)

Poor picture quality, I think there was some finger prints on the lens of my phone...  :x

Anyway, rear subframe assembly is almost done everything went well:

And the celica on high heels waiting for his subframe and electronic/vacuum  :)

So more progress, again me and my bad luck, the intake camshaft cracked in half, no idea why it just cracked, anyway luckily I had a good friend with a spare so the head is now complete, timing belt is almost done and the fitment looks pretty good to me  :)

First Startup! Crappy mic, of course!

Finally, car is running super smooth, AFR looks good @ 10psi on stock 440cc's  14.7 when cruising, 10.5-11ish on full boost a tad lean but could be worst . Idle is super stable @850 rpm

I had to re-solder my O2 sensor which had a bad connetion and I had to fix a leaky vacuum line on the fuel rail...

I am super happy with the current result, now I am attacking the software of the car  :wink:

Still some little polishing needed  :lol:

Alright very small update, as you probably saw, my valve cover was still bare-grey horible looking...


Alright some very small update, since semester started I have very little time to put on my car... Anyway I added a few goodies:

Superb Apexi radiator cap (haha had this laying around)
Toyota ''Teq'' Shift knob
all joke aside, that shift knob is awesome

Also, since the overhaul I had fun with the car at a local club ride.

Not so many picture but here's what it looked like at the end (215km of twistys/tight road goodness)

Itinerary https://maps.google.ca/maps/ms?msid=214726962582688171288.0004e8003ce8e40278859&msa=0&ll=46.023265%2C-74.063194&spn=0.010325%2C0.026157

(you can see me celica in the far back)

All the suspension work finally paid off. The car felt perfectly balanced and little to no body roll. The turbo reacted quickly and acceleration where sharp, I coudln't ask for more, heck I could keep up with my friend BNR32... But I do need better tire, so thats my next upgrade for next summer, good set of wheels and proper tire.
And I will fix the intercooler mounts soon, just not alot of time right now, but hey it works !

Quick update, finally had time to properly fix and secure my intercooler.   :D
You can also see how my exhaust got taken care, 100% straight pipe , no cat/resonator/muffler 3'' from the turbo to the back of the car  :)

New parts in the basement

Alright, more stuff  :) 

So I was lucky enough to score a ST205 WRC 97' for 300$. At this price I was sure that it would be rusty and in bad shape. But oh boy was I surprised, turns out it comes from a 38'000km car. All the bolts are new, bushings are mint and diff is in perfect shape aswell...

Rear ST205 conversion anyone?  :D 

And the diff:

OEM diff plate, almost brand new is somebody needs it, PM me :)

Suspension Links:

And the subframe after removing the dust :


Alright, I got some updates for this project.

Lately Ive been working alot and sourcing parts but I got some time to work on the car. As you may know I bought a complete ST205 wrc rear subframe assembly, well I forgot that the rear calipers wouldn't clear the 15inch wheels....
Being broke I bought what I think to be the bes option for my situation, I got a set of Subaru Forester S wheels, they were the only 16inch 5x100 wheels I could source locally. I got the full set for 60$

When I got them they were rough, clear was peeled and corrosion everywhere...

Then I started restoring them, I sanded down the clear and removed the corrosion

Then I used a Zinc chromate primer

First coat of paint

[imghttp://s10.postimg.org/8c7w5721l/DSC_0631.jpg[/img]http://And the finished product :

After this I was finally ready to install the 205 brakes, I decided to swap the complete hub assembly since one of my hub was welded...


The springs you see came off the 205 subframe, I don't know how I got a subframe this clean...


And finally the finished product  :) 

Alright new update again, I bought some Project Mu Sport Pads for the front (B-Force) . Considering that I ran Wagner at the track its a pretty good update  :lol: .

Also my left caliper was seized so I had it rebuilt.

And the overall front setup

Thats it for now  :)

And for now the car just works perfectly, so I took a brake to save up for more ''ambitious'' upgrade coming in a relatively near future!


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Damn that's a ton of stuff! Thank you for posting!
I think I'll steal the wrinkle finish idea cuz I think it looks epic!
Founder of "Official 5th Gen Celica" on Facebook
92 Celica GT 2gr
99 F150 4.6/t56
71 Cutlass 350olds/tr6060
75 Trans Am 455pont/t56
67 Chevelle 5.0/t56
66 C20 LB 478 v6/s6 650
36 Chevy Master Coupe
71 Triumph Stag
91 300zx TT
92 Subaru SVX
92 Stealth RT/TT
88 Corolla GT-S
92 Typhoon


  • Administrator
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The wrinkle finish is legit on the valve cover
Founder of "Official 5th Gen Celica" on Facebook
92 Celica GT 2gr
99 F150 4.6/t56
71 Cutlass 350olds/tr6060
75 Trans Am 455pont/t56
67 Chevelle 5.0/t56
66 C20 LB 478 v6/s6 650
36 Chevy Master Coupe
71 Triumph Stag
91 300zx TT
92 Subaru SVX
92 Stealth RT/TT
88 Corolla GT-S
92 Typhoon


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