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Old 06-07-2008, 05:20 PM   #11 (permalink)
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If you don't know where to start with DIYer maintenance, I'd get a Chilton or Hayne's manual for your specific car ... should be $15 or so.

I assume you've upped your tire pressures to the max (or close to it)?? That's a freebie.

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Old 06-07-2008, 10:12 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
I'm not much of a gear head (I mean, I can change my oil, replace my starter) so do you have any sites or resources that will tell me how to adjust these kinds of things?
I suggest getting the toyota factory service manual, either PDF or paper. It might cost $60 in paper, but it will have the correct and specific information on what every little goober in the engine compartment does, and why. Read it from page 1 to page 450 (yes they are big) and you will understand how the car works.
If you can change a starter motor, the chilton/haynes will not give you much more than you already know.

You might as well also start learning one of the MIT mottos:
"Before I came here I could not spell Engineer. Now I are one."

From the toyta site:
Question
Whom can I contact to order an Owner’s Manual, Repair Manual or Wiring Diagram for my vehicle?
Answer
Toyota service publications, including Owner's Manuals, Repair Manuals, and Wiring Diagrams may be purchased from our Material Distribution Center or your local Toyota dealership .
Online access to Toyota reference materials may also be obtained through a subscription to our Technical Information System (TIS).
To contact our Material Distribution Center, please call 800-622-2033 or 310-761-9400 between 7 AM and 5 PM Pacific Time, Monday - Friday.

Last edited by ttoyoda; 06-07-2008 at 10:16 PM.. Reason: added content on toyota phone number
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Old 06-07-2008, 11:24 PM   #13 (permalink)
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manual or automatic? 45mpg with a manual corolla is easy as pie. Automatic not as easy. Whats your daily drive like? Lots of city?
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Old 06-12-2008, 12:52 PM   #14 (permalink)
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So, back to one of the original questions, where do you guys (people that have done very nice professional looking mods). I am looking for materials like Coroplast (sp?), fiberglass materials, bracing (1/8" or 1/4" aluminum). Anybody that has a good location for materials in upsatate NY (near albany) would be appreciated too
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Old 06-12-2008, 12:57 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lovemysan View Post
manual or automatic? 45mpg with a manual corolla is easy as pie. Automatic not as easy. Whats your daily drive like? Lots of city?
It's an automatic. My daily drive is typically just city, but occasionally I do go to see my father who lives about 40 miles or so away.
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Old 06-12-2008, 12:58 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Coroplast is avaliable at sign shops or plastic material houses. Fiberglassing materials are avaliable at home improvment stores, autobody supply shops and even local autoparts stores. Extruded aluminum is avaliable at local hardware stores, home improvment stores, metal supply houses. I sometimes use www.mcmaster.com for some elusive materials.
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Old 06-18-2008, 06:32 PM   #17 (permalink)
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I just went to AIN Plastics today looking for some coroplast, but the lady at the store recommended expanded PVC or Polycarbonate. PolyCarb is more expensive and more durable, but I have to spend a minimum of $75 anyways (store policy) which will give me enough of both, and I'm not really worried about scratches or dents.

The PVC is very flexible and it doesn't snap when folded to extremes. When heated, it seems to crease instead of curve. I'm not really concerned about this, it's flexible enough to curve when not heated. I'll just have to make sure to force it into place with a strong frame.

Does anyone here have any tips regarding these materials?
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Old 06-18-2008, 06:36 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Yikes, $75 is pretty steep. I only paid $30 for my 4'x8' sheet of coroplast. No need to get anything more durable, this stuff won't just fall apart or crack. I'd try to find another place that sells it.
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Old 06-18-2008, 06:54 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Well, yeah, the PVC is $30 for a 4x8 sheet too, but I'm probably going to use it for more than just the underbelly cover (wheel well covers, air dams, boat tails, etc). I'll make use of the other 2 sheets I have to buy.

I don't think coroplast would hold up for most of these jobs, and I might as well use the same material throughout to keep the look consistent.
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Old 06-20-2008, 06:46 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Trial 1

I had some time yesterday, so I went ahead and bought the expanded PVC and began to mod my car. So far I have done an air dam to cover the extraneous grille on the bottom of the front bumper as well as a belly cover that covers about 2/3 of the bottom of the car. I attached it with screws and zip ties and I'm pretty pleased. Especially because the stuff was unaffected by a rather brutal rainstorm last night.

Haven't done any tests, but I have noticed that it's quieter on the highway. Also, the coolant temperature has gone up from 180f avg to about 200f avg. Sometimes it gets up to 207f. I live in a very VERY flat town, so I'm not too concerned about the engine temp (should I be?). Also, this is when it is 85-90f degrees outside, so I don't expect the car to be hit with much worse. If this is a major problem, I will just move the license plate over and cut a hole for intake (my radiator is in the center).


There is a little bit of duct tape dangling down in the front, I was trying to make a better seal against the body of the car, but the gap was too large and the tape wouldn't stick. Also, there is a black pen line running across the front. I feel kind of stupid, but I was making a rough estimate mark for cutting and I didn't even realize I was drawing on the outside of the car.


It's a pretty smooth surface. I had to cut away near the front wheels to make room for the tires to turn, but I didn't cut enough so it still scrapes. I'll go at it with a saw tomorrow.


It's not exactly seamless. It was very hard to bend the material in three dimensions. I might go back over it with a heat gun and see if I can warp it to a better fit.


I had to cut a hole for the catalytic converter, but the tailpipe itself is still a little too close to the plastic and it causes it to warp slightly. I will be lengthening this hole along the tailpipe in the future. I just have to find something to secure the edges of the hole to the frame.

Although it's not very easy to put these changes on and take them off, I plan on doing an A-B-A test as soon as my new scan-gauge is properly calibrated.

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