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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone.

I am new to this forum and figured I would say hello. I recently purchased a 1998 Celica Convertible, but it is not my first. 20 years ago I owned a 1990 Celica Convertible. I did everything on that car from rebuilding the engine, installing a new top, and upgrading the suspension. I was very sad that I sold it, but I did enjoy the Miata I bought to replace it. The truth was that it was never the one I wanted. I always wanted a 6th gen convertible. I just really liked the lines of the vehicle more than the 5th gen, and I am happy to say that I after 20 years I finally get to own the car I always wanted.

Info: 1998 Celica Convertible, 180,000 miles, 5 Speed, Leather Interior. Everything works well, but I know I will find some issues with it.

To start off, I want to baseline everything and was hoping you all can give me an idea if the work I plan to do is good or if there is anything else I should add:
  • Oil change and filter
  • Air filter
  • Spark plugs, spark plug wires, rotor, and cap
  • Throttle body cleaning
  • Coolant flush
  • Transmission fluid change
  • Timing belt, Water pump, tensioners, pulleys
Should I also change the crankshaft seal, camshaft seal, and oil pump? Anything else?

Thanks all.
 

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If you're changing the TB / WP and associated tensioners and pulleys, do the crank- / cam seals as well. You're literally already there. And don't forget the tstat. I'd also recommend the VCG. I replaced my oil pump when I did my TB since everything was already out. Oil pumps RARELY fail, but I wanted peace of mind (and mine only had 140K when I did it; at 165K now).

Mine also recently got the oil cooler lines replaced as well. If you've got a good chunk of the engine's top and bottom accessible, that would be a "why not".

If you're doing a tranny fluid change, I would suggest lumping it up with the oil pump service since the car'll be going to be up and you'll be under anyway to take off the oil pan . The tranny fluid exchange is just one step more. Would also suggest replacing the tranny filter.

Also, you shouldn't have a distributor system - at least my 98 GT Vert doesn't. It's just the leads to the sparkies (from the igniters).

Inspect the water and air hoses. At the age of our cars, things become brittle and need to be replaced.

Once you finish up under the hood, consider lubing up the gears on the conv. top motor. Fun fact: if you need new motors, you can always use Mitsubishi Eclipse convertible top motors since ASC did the conversion for both cars and used several interchangeable parts. They're becoming hard to find so I'd hit up local yards and pull as many as you can just for future security.

Headlight assys are also high demand. Get spares because the tabs that hold them on are a skip and a prayer away from breaking.

Internal trim like the map lights are also going to be a pain. The metal contacts tend to just...snap. I hooked mine up to an LED light bar inside to get more light rather than the tiny lights that exist.

The front suspension tends to wear out faster on the verts. Mine creaks and I think it's due to the bushings in the control arms and whatnot. Those'll be fun.

Oh, the vapor canister on mine died. That was a fun $800 expense. If your state does emissions testing, that will need to be replaced because it's part of the emissions system and will throw codes.

I think there are other things, but those were the big things for me. I did all of them except for the vapor canister, VCG, and oil cooler (the shop did the canister and oil cooler and did the VCG for an extra $30).

If you don't already have it, get the FSM for the car. It's incredibly helpful.

OH, one last thing - if your car is doing fine right now, get the ECU rebuilt before the capacitors leak. Toyota / Lexus of the era used quaternary ammonium salt capacitors which were great at the time but eventually leak. When they do, the board does and since ECUs for our cars are pretty much unobtanium, $200 repair will be easier to stomach than an $800 ECU.

Welcome back to the 6GC vert family!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
If you're changing the TB / WP and associated tensioners and pulleys, do the crank- / cam seals as well. You're literally already there. And don't forget the tstat. I'd also recommend the VCG. I replaced my oil pump when I did my TB since everything was already out. Oil pumps RARELY fail, but I wanted peace of mind (and mine only had 140K when I did it; at 165K now).

Mine also recently got the oil cooler lines replaced as well. If you've got a good chunk of the engine's top and bottom accessible, that would be a "why not".

If you're doing a tranny fluid change, I would suggest lumping it up with the oil pump service since the car'll be going to be up and you'll be under anyway to take off the oil pan . The tranny fluid exchange is just one step more. Would also suggest replacing the tranny filter.

Also, you shouldn't have a distributor system - at least my 98 GT Vert doesn't. It's just the leads to the sparkies (from the igniters).

Inspect the water and air hoses. At the age of our cars, things become brittle and need to be replaced.

Once you finish up under the hood, consider lubing up the gears on the conv. top motor. Fun fact: if you need new motors, you can always use Mitsubishi Eclipse convertible top motors since ASC did the conversion for both cars and used several interchangeable parts. They're becoming hard to find so I'd hit up local yards and pull as many as you can just for future security.

Headlight assys are also high demand. Get spares because the tabs that hold them on are a skip and a prayer away from breaking.

Internal trim like the map lights are also going to be a pain. The metal contacts tend to just...snap. I hooked mine up to an LED light bar inside to get more light rather than the tiny lights that exist.

The front suspension tends to wear out faster on the verts. Mine creaks and I think it's due to the bushings in the control arms and whatnot. Those'll be fun.

Oh, the vapor canister on mine died. That was a fun $800 expense. If your state does emissions testing, that will need to be replaced because it's part of the emissions system and will throw codes.

I think there are other things, but those were the big things for me. I did all of them except for the vapor canister, VCG, and oil cooler (the shop did the canister and oil cooler and did the VCG for an extra $30).

If you don't already have it, get the FSM for the car. It's incredibly helpful.

OH, one last thing - if your car is doing fine right now, get the ECU rebuilt before the capacitors leak. Toyota / Lexus of the era used quaternary ammonium salt capacitors which were great at the time but eventually leak. When they do, the board does and since ECUs for our cars are pretty much unobtanium, $200 repair will be easier to stomach than an $800 ECU.

Welcome back to the 6GC vert family!
Thanks for the reply and all of the info. I didn't know that the 5SFE engine changed from rotor and cap in the 6th celica. I thought all 5SFE motors were the same. And I didn't realize that ASC interchanged parts. That will likely be a big save on at least the top motors. Good to know. But I guess I won't be able to rely entirely on my knowledge from my 5th gen so some more reading will be happening as soon as I get the FSM.

I will take care of the cam and crank seals and the oil pump. And yes, I will be getting an FSM. I plan to do most of the work myself so that will be fun. But the smile I had driving that car last night will just get bigger with the work I put into it.
 

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They really are fantastic little cars. Quite rev-happy too. Absolute dog at anything <3k RPMs but at ~3.4-4k, they pick up. Easy on the wallet for maintenance as well. And most of the things are relatively easy to get to. Plus, gas mileage is ~30-ish MPG. And, this is personal opinion, one of the last "practical" convertibles. They really have all gone away. I would actually consider converting mine to full electric if that option exists down the road.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
They really are fantastic little cars. Quite rev-happy too. Absolute dog at anything <3k RPMs but at ~3.4-4k, they pick up. Easy on the wallet for maintenance as well. And most of the things are relatively easy to get to. Plus, gas mileage is ~30-ish MPG. And, this is personal opinion, one of the last "practical" convertibles. They really have all gone away. I would actually consider converting mine to full electric if that option exists down the road.
I agree. I truly enjoy the car and it is just a great convertible and I am looking forward to driving it. I plan on driving it until the car dies and then consider electrifying it, but that is another story.
 

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Honestly, these would be FANTASTIC electrified vehicles. They're already quite low to the ground. I saw someone who electrified a Celica but only got a ~25 mile range out of it. It would have to be ~200 mile range, at a minimum, to be a worthy electrification conversion.
 
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