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Audio options for the Crown are limited. Being JDM, the factory stereo only receives 70-90 Mhz FM radio. It also has a 6-disc CD changer and a cassette deck and I can't remember the last time I used either of those. Audio Upgrade Options Options for upgrades as far as I can tell: A radio band expander to increase the range of FM frequency the radio can receive. A BeatSonic unit to allow continued use of the on-screen air con controls and an aftermarket head unit to replace the CD disc changer. Manually figuring out how to keep the air con controls and wire in another head unit (I've read about a 'resistor mod' online). Using the factory TV receiver to allow an external AV-in source. Long-term, I'll look to upgrade to an aftermarket head unit using a BeatSonic device and harness as this is as close to plug and play as possible with a JZS171. For now though, the simplest method to have music in the car is to use the factory TV tuner AV-in. Equipment Needed The factory TV tuner in the JZS171 wagon lives in the boot on the driver's side, underneath the carpet and storage trays. You will need to remove 2 * 10mm nuts to get the tray out and access the tuner. The blue connector on the tuner is an AV input. I'm not certain what the factory wire is connected to here - I assume its providing an input for a DVD player or similar? This socket will give us a way to feed both audio and video to the factory car stereo. To make use of the AV-in, we need a 'VTR cable'. This is simply a cable with the correct 6-pin blue socket at one end and 3 RCA inputs (red/white/yellow) at the other. There are a 2 different types of VTR cable available for the Toyota Crown. They are both 6-pin blue connectors but one is square (like the picture above) and the other is flat. The square is typically needed for series 2 model Crown and the flat is series 1. I pretty much only listen to music via my phone or the internet these days so I decided to add a bluetooth receiver to this setup so that I could pair my phone to the receiver and stream music to the car stereo. The receiver I used is a basic bluetooth receiver purchased from eBay and has 2 RCA (left and right) outputs. It operates at 12 volts. Installation Locate the TV tuner in the boot under the driver's side storage tray. 2 * 10mm nuts secure the tray. Unplug the blue connector from the TV tuner. Plug in the VTR cable into the now empty blue socket, on the TV tuner. Connect the BT receiver's red and white phono male plugs to the corresponding female plugs on the VTR cable. Connect the ground wire (black) of the BT receiver to a metal ground point in the boot. Adding a ring connector to the wire and fastening under an existing nut/bolt in the boot is the most straightforward option. I choose the nut that secures the TV tuner unit to the boot floor. Connect the live wire (red) of the BT receiver to a 12v source, preferably switched so as not to drain the car battery battery when not in use. I have made use of an existing 10amp fused connection I created when installing rear fog lights. I needed to run a new wire to the front of the car, along the driver's side interior trim to the fuse. This connection is fed from a 12v source that is live only after the ignition is switched to key position 1 (ACC). The interior trim comes away easily as is clipped in along the door edges. Setting up the Stereo To have the VTR cable's inputs played through the car's stereo, you must enable the 'VIDEO' function within the radio player. This option is not present on the touchscreen until a device is connected to the TV tuner blue socket. Once powered, the BT receiver should be visible to mobile phones for pairing. I found that it wouldn't pair correctly unless the engine was running - I guess there wasn't quite enough voltage with just the ignition in position 1? I've setup my phone to auto-switch to Android Auto when the Crown's BT receiver is detected. This means my music will start playing where it last left off and the phone will go into driving mode for maps etc. Of course, with the VTR cable, you can go ahead and connect any device that outputs audio or video to the Crown's speakers or screen; games console, UK TV tuner, DVD player, etc

Toyota Crown JZS171 Bluetooth Receiver for Streaming Music

Audio options for the Crown are limited. Being JDM, the factory stereo only receives 70-90 Mhz FM radio. It also has a 6-disc CD changer and a cassette deck and I can't remember the last time I used either of those. Audio Upgrade Options Options for upgrades as far as
It's relatively straightforward to keep a neat, factory-looking fog light on the Crown S170-series as the rear light cluster bulbs (all 4) are the same dual-filament T20 type. As standard, the rear lights operate as follows: All 4 on each side light up together when the sidelights or headlights are switch on. The top 2 bulbs on each side light up the 2nd filament when the brake pedal is pressed. The bottom row of bulbs on each side do not have an active switch for the 2nd filament - assume these are reserved for the rear fog option with the factory-extra "Winter Comfort" pack. I have used the outer lower bulbs as fog lights. The 2nd filament is the fog, whilst the primary filament is the rear running light. (I wanted to use the inner-most bulbs but that would mean more work running wires through more interior trim pieces and that is too much like hard work right now) The hardest part about the whole process was removing and replacing the light clusters from the car body as the space is VERY tight to get your hands in. You need slender fingers, a small 10mm socket and ideally a 10mm spanner with a flexible ratchet head just to make things a little easier. You will drop the nuts when doing this but they typically tend to fall through to the boot floor so can be retrieved without too much issue. Wiring the Bulbs Remove the light cluster from the car body: 1x 10mm nut securing the lower trim piece below the light cluster. The trim clicks into place with a fastener on one side but may need hep by wedging with a plastic tool (so you don't scratch the bodywork). You must remove this piece before you can remove the light cluster fully. 3x 10mm nuts holding the unit to the car. 2 are easy to get to but the 3rd is practically inaccessible. Loosen it with a small 10mm spanner and then undo it with your fingertips (I have delicate IT geek fingers and could only just get a touch on it). You may be able to fish it out by hand but if you drop it, it should be retrievable from the boot floor. Once removed, disassemble the light cluster so you can get to the lower bulb and the look connecting to it. Strip back the sheath on the wire of the lower bulb holder and save for later. This was white on the passenger side and black on the driver's side for some reason - not sure if relevant. With the wires uncovered I found that the 2nd filament wire (GREEN + WHITE stripe) was not connected to any source. The wire was taped up in the loom. This was the same on both sides of the car. Really handy though as Toyota have left me a wire to connect my fog light live wire to! For reference, the wire colours are as follows: Solid GREEN = live for running lights - the primary filament GREEN with WHITE STRIPE = live for 2nd filament WHITE with BLACK STRIPE = earth I removed the black tape and crimped a spade connector to the GREEN + WHITE STRIPE wire - this will be the live for the fog light fog. The bulb is already earthed so no need to wire anything for that. It's a good idea at this point before refitting the light cluster to replace all the bulbs as they're tricky to get to when it's all back in the car. I also didn't refit anything until the complete circuit was made up and tested, just in case there were issues that needed troubleshooting. Wiring the Switch To pass an MOT in the UK, the switch for the fog lights has to be mounted on the dashboard where the driver can reach and see it during driving and it must be illuminated to show the fog lights are on (or have a bulb in the dash cluster). 3-pin illuminated rocker switches are dirt-cheap and don't take up much space so ideal for quick MOT fixes. These switches need a positive voltage source and an earth. The 3rd pin is the source for the fog light bulb. For the positive, I used a multi-meter to probe the wires from the ignition barrel to find a 12v source that was live only once the ignition was on - this was so I could ensure I wasn't going to connect to a permanent live feed and risk creating a drain on the battery. I got lucky here as my Crown has an aftermarket remote engine start module which has been spliced into the ignition circuit using a harness to interrupt the factory wiring. I've used this to link into so I don't damage any Toyota factory wiring. The wire I used was blue in this instance but the pin is the far left in the ignition barrel connector. This wire supplies 12v on the first click when you turn the key (position ACC). For good measure, this positive source also has an inline 10amp fuse in place. For the earth, I've run a wire from a mounting nut/bolt under the dash that is part of the metal bodywork. There are no switch blanks in the crown to modify to fit the small rocker switch unfortunately so I have installed it directly into the dash on the same piece of trim that the wing mirror controls and ignition key are located. Incidentally, this is the exact location of the rear fog light switch from the "winter comfort" factory option and as such, the dash piece has the moulding on the rear for the fitting of the Toyota switch. I've drilled out this hole and used a dremel to further widen to fit the circular shape of the rocker switch. You can see in this picture how the rocker switch (the 3 pins) fits snugly into the existing hole where Toyota switch would go (if it had been spec'd from new). All that's left is to run a single long wire from under the dash, along the driver's side floor (tucking under trim pieces), through and behind the rear seats to the rear light cluster. Here I split the wire off and ran it along the rear of the boot space to the passenger-side light cluster so both bulbs could be activated from the same switch/wire. Terminated with spade connectors they were tucked under trim and connected to the refitted light clusters/bulbs. The 3 wires can be fed up through the dash to the opening near the ignition and connected to the rocker switch. The live for the fog light bulb is the middle pin. When the switch is thrown, the 2nd filament in the lower outer bulbs of the rear light cluster is switched on and the rocker switch in the dash has an LED to show the circuit is active.

Toyota Crown JZS171 Rear Fog Light Installation

It's relatively straightforward to keep a neat, factory-looking fog light on the Crown S170-series as the rear light cluster bulbs (all 4) are the same dual-filament T20 type. As standard, the rear lights operate as follows: All 4 on each side light up together when the sidelights or headlights are
Whilst pulling everything off the top of the engine to get to the spark plugs for a compression test, I found oil residue on top of the cam cover and around the edges, particularly at the rear of engine. This is a common area for the 3SGTE to leak as over time, the cam cover and it's gasket can loosen up and the angle of the engine encourages oil to leak from the rear edge. Inspection & Removal It was easy to see once I started removing the cam cover why there was an oil leak. The retaining screws were less than hand tight. One screw is particularly tricky to get to at the rear and this was barely done up! You can see from the below picture that the oil leak was also affecting cylinder #1. An oily HT plug and pooling oil around the spark plug indicated a failing inner cam cover gasket. After disconnecting the breather pipes from the cover, removing the throttle body/inlet manifold support bracket and then negotiating the wiring loom at the cam gear end of the engine, the cover was finally off. Cleanup Before repainting, the cam cover first needed to have the various layers of gasket sealer removed from the mating edge. This was done using a blade edge from a Stanley knife and a screw driver blade for the hard to reach areas. Next came a thorough wire wheel brush (fitted to a power drill) over the top side of the cover to remove the worst of the crusty dirt, followed by a clean with POR-15 Cleaner & Degreaser. Once happy all dirt and grease was removed I used POR-15 Metal Prep on the top side for a final clean and to etch ready for painting. For the paint I went with high-temp but wanted something shiny so opted for VHT's Anodized Purple. Purchased along with the silver base coat from www.frost.co.uk. A couple of coats later and I ended up with this: It's not perfect but then it's going to spend it's life sat under an intercooler so a semi-ok finish is fine for this application. I also did not bake the cover once painted. My hope is that I can take care of this when using the car again! Refitting As with most things, refitting was the opposite of removal but with a few new parts and fixings used to smarten the job up. New rubber gaskets (both inner & outer) were fitted to the cam cover (baught from TCB Parts), along with a bead of gasket sealant (similar to the classic Toyota Black) which was then left for 10 mins before fitting the cover to the engine to allow the sealant to go off slightly. This stops it oozing everywhere and makes a better seal. Also replaced during the refit were the retaining screws. I binned the posi-drive headed screws and opted for a set of stainless steel allen-head bolts with new washers (purchased through an eBay shop). These allowed me to ensure the cam cover was correctly tightened down to the head. In doing so I did have to loosen and move the throttle body assembly out of the way in order to get everything done up to torque. One final piece when replacing everything was cleaning and painting the throttle inlet support bracket and the throttle cable bracket. May as well tidy as you go on jobs like these! Spark Plug Replacement With the cam cover refreshed, the oil leak fixed and the top of the engine back together, the final thing to do was swap out the spark plugs for new items. The old plugs were well used but came out easily. Cylinder 1's plug had been sat in oil but on closer inspection, this hadn't made it any further down the thread to the piston chamber. I replaced all 4 with new platinum NGK BKR6EP-8. These and all the gaskets for the cover came from www.tcbparts.co.uk. With these small service jobs completed, a little piece of mind is given that the GT4 will survive a drive or two! More Celica GT4 resto jobs to come - the list is long!

Celica GT4 Spark Plug & Cam Cover Replacement

Whilst pulling everything off the top of the engine to get to the spark plugs for a compression test, I found oil residue on top of the cam cover and around the edges, particularly at the rear of engine. This is a common area for the 3SGTE to leak as
I touched on it in my previous post but my new Celica GT4 was in need of a service when I picked her up. Even though I have tonnes of receipts and documents in the car's history folder, for my own piece of mind I wanted to ensure I did all I could to prolong my driving enjoyment. First up is performing a compression test to check the health of the pistons and rings to ease my mind that there's some life left in the engine! Compression Test With the TMIC removed, access to the top of the engine is possible. Each cylinder was tested in turn by removing a single spark plug and screwing in the tester in it's place. I then removed the EFI relay from the main fuse box (located next to the battery) to allow me to turn over the car without it firing up. The ignition was cranked for 3-5 seconds and then the results of the tester gauge checked. The gauge is then reset, the tester removed and spark plug replaced. The whole process is then repeated again for the remaining 3 cylinders. What we're looking for ideally is all 4 results to be within ~10% of each other. As you can see from these images, the results are hovering around 170-180 PSI. In this case, I'm happy given the age of the car and mileage of the engine (Odo is reading 127000 miles but I am yet to discover if that is a mix of KM's and Mile's - the history may tell me if its been played with). What is also evident from the pictures is the oil marks on the top of the cam cover. That's the next job, source and fix the oil blow/leak! Next up: Replace the spark plugs with NGK BKR6EP-8. Remove, clean, paint and replace the cam cover using all-new gaskets and retaining bolts. Fixing the oil leak from the rear of the engine in the process.

Celica GT4 Compression Test

I touched on it in my previous post but my new Celica GT4 was in need of a service when I picked her up. Even though I have tonnes of receipts and documents in the car's history folder, for my own piece of mind I wanted to ensure I did
I’ve been super quiet on the blog for quite a while now. During the time away, I’ve owned a Honda Integra Type R (DC2) and then a SEAT Leon FR. The DC2 had to make way for the diesel Leon as I took a job with a 120 mile round-trip and I sure as hell wasn’t going to pile all those miles onto a lovely clean ITR! As it stands, I think the ITR maybe my favourite car I’ve owned so far in terms of £-for-£ enjoyment. My only gripe with it was that it never went wrong and so I never got a chance to do much spannering! This is perhaps why I never got around to writing about it… Anyway, onward again to diesel ownership. Eventually got bored of the Leon, despite it being new and very perky. Also returned a decent MPG for the long commute. I just couldn’t bond with it in the way I have with previous cars. Decided to change for a cheaper, diesel run around and so picked up an Nissan Almera SXE which fits the bill nicely. This allowed me to add a second car to the fleet, a 1990 Toyota Celica GT4 ST185. Getting Started As you can see, I have my work cut out to bring this Japanese classic back to some form of dignity. I’ve no idea what previous owners were thinking with the new stickers or the wheel choice but I have aimed to undo these mistakes and make good any previous bodges. So far, the list of rectifications include: Remove all non-original stickers (this is pretty much all of them!). Changed out the wheels for something a little less ‘barry’ and more Japanese styled. A set of Enkei RP01’s. Removed the screw-type manual boost controller and set the car back to standard boost levels. Removed what I assume was a fuel cut defender which was wired into the MAP sensor. Swapped the Bailey’s BOV for an HKS SSQV. As a result the car now is running standard power levels and so hopefully with no weird over boost potential issues…..and it looks better! Still a loooong way to go though! Being almost 30 years old, the GT4 has it’s fair share of age-related issues that need sorting out and most of those I will get to in time. When I picked it up it had a valid MOT (not entirely sure how to be honest) and so I wanted to drive it for a couple months over the summer before garaging. This meant I concentrated on making sure the engine was as sound as it could be after all the abuse it’s likely had. Engine refresh jobs have so far included: New oil and filter change with new drain plug. New spark plugs after a compression test (results came out fairly close together across all cylinders so OK for now). Fixed oil leak from rear of cam cover by removing/cleaning/replacing with new gaskets and fixing bolts. Unfortunately I didn’t get around to a fuel filter change and coolant flush.  Mainly because after inspecting the various components I’m certain that once I start fiddling with them they will either fall apart or seize up.  For example, the radiator is fairly corroded and therefore a new one is definitely needed.  They’ll be the first jobs to get done when I’m getting it ready to get back out on the road. Future Plans Now that the MOT has expired and won’t be able to pass the test without a number of jobs completing, the GT4 is confined to the garage where I can start work on the number of restoration jobs I’d like to tackle. When planning the jobs I have decided that wherever possible, I will try not to have more than 1 or 2 different jobs on the go at the same time.  The idea being to minimise the length of time the car is off the road in between tasks, as well as ensuring I don’t forget where bits go when I put it back together! Essentially, the aim isn’t to have a restoration project where it sits in the garage for 3 years whilst I do every job I can think of. Famous last words….

Celica GT4 ST185

I’ve been super quiet on the blog for quite a while now. During the time away, I’ve owned a Honda Integra Type R (DC2) and then a SEAT Leon FR. The DC2 had to make way for the diesel Leon as I took a job with a 120
Going back around 6 or 7 years ago, when I first entered the world of Japanese cars.  I discovered a thirst for finding out the most obscure and interesting bits of info on the tuning and styling of the Toyota Starlet Turbo.  I wasn’t alone, of course. I got my hands on a copy of one the Japan-only Hyper-Rev issues featuring the Starlet (vol.44) and pored over it’s pages.  Some of the kit in that book I had never seen in the UK, and possibly never will! Wanting to share my experience with other like-minded enthusiasts, I spent one (very) long Friday lunch break scanning in the entire magazine – I’ve split the document and hosted again for you to download and enjoy. I would recommend right-clicking and selecting ‘Save As’, rather than attempting to open within your browser – the files are a little on the large side (between 18-20MB) due to the full colour scans. HyperRev vol.44 Starlet - Part 1 HyperRev vol.44 Starlet - Part 2 HyperRev vol.44 Starlet - Part 3

Toyota Starlet HyperRev magazine

Going back around 6 or 7 years ago, when I first entered the world of Japanese cars.  I discovered a thirst for finding out the most obscure and interesting bits of info on the tuning and styling of the Toyota Starlet Turbo.  I wasn’t alone, of course. I got
Shortly before I had really got anywhere with the Gold 280ZX (tidied up some electrical faults) I found out the barn I was using to store everything in was going to be re-purposed as a horse and tack shed/stable…….bummer.  Goldmember moved to a 3 sided shed and went under a tarp, at this point I took the decision that if I wasn’t going to be able to work on the car easily then I should can it there and then and revisit this project some other day. A further influence in this decision was that I was also driving around in a Peugeot 306 DTurbo and that wasn’t exactly thrilling – I wanted something fun to drive again!  Also, the 306 failed it’s MOT…… So the Gold ZX went up for sale: I didn’t get a lot of interest from the various Datsun clubs or classic car classifieds on-line so it went up on Ebay, fetching my reserve price.  The buyer wasn’t able to come and collect the car in person as he lived in Bulgaria!  His cousin collected and drove it to London where they were going to trailer it back to deepest Bulgaria.  I also managed to flog him a few spares from the blue 280 at the same time so the boot was full with various bits of rust and other goodies. As it was driven away I was reminded about how great that L28 straight-six sounds so quickly grabbed a video of it leaving! Going back to the mountain of ZX parts I had acquired from breaking the blue 280, I had a lot more luck selling on some of the larger items. The engine fetched £150 and went off to Sean on the Z Club. He came over to the UK from France in a large van and did a tour of England, collecting and dropping off various Datsun parts both big and small. The gearbox I have sold twice yet still have it in a shed! I can’t seem to get rid of the damned thing….. Other large bits like wings and bumpers have also gone on their way, leaving me with a very large box of interior and engine ancillary parts – anybody want anything?! I should probably re-launch my efforts and do a 280-themed autojumble 😉 Oh yeah, so after the sale of goldmember, I had money to put down on another car. Any guesses what I went for?! It was definitely going to be Japanese…..

I'm a Datsun Breaker...

Shortly before I had really got anywhere with the Gold 280ZX (tidied up some electrical faults) I found out the barn I was using to store everything in was going to be re-purposed as a horse and tack shed/stable…….bummer.  Goldmember moved to a 3 sided shed and went
I realised after posting the pictures of the CORN’S Roadster that I haven’t updated this blog for just over a year! Plenty has happened in that time too, the Datsun’s have gone, I managed to sell on a ropey Peugeot diesel for more than I paid for it, I flirted with a Honda, and even bought a new commuter wagon. But more about all that later! For now here’s evidence that I finally managed to get all the useful parts off the blue doner Datsun before sending it off for scrap. I did try to rescue the glass (especially the windscreen) but it cracked when I was cutting it out. More posts to follow to detail what I’ve been up to in the past year…..

280ZX Doner Shell Scrapped

I realised after posting the pictures of the CORN’S Roadster that I haven’t updated this blog for just over a year! Plenty has happened in that time too, the Datsun’s have gone, I managed to sell on a ropey Peugeot diesel for more than I paid for
I stumbled across a couple of pictures of my old Eunos Roadster (owned in 2008 I think) on an old hard drive recently. This prompted me to wonder what she looked like now as I know the owner that had her a little while after me was big into JDM modding. Having found some pictures, I can say there’s quite a difference! CORN’s Roadster during my ownership CORN’s as she was when sold in 2011 All the modifications were done during the ownership of ‘madaboutmx5s’ from mx5nutz.co.uk. I have to say that I’m not on board with all of them as I prefer the function over form approach when modifying cars but there’s no denying that it is definitely one of a kind! Having said that, I do like the Watanabe wheels and the Feed style side steps. Not convinced by the rear lights and bumpers though. I have a copy of the MX5/Eunos Hyper-Rev issue somewhere and can safely say the CORN’s Roadster wouldn’t look out of place in its pages. A great piece of JDM car history!

Then & Now: Car Make CORN'S Roadster

I stumbled across a couple of pictures of my old Eunos Roadster (owned in 2008 I think) on an old hard drive recently. This prompted me to wonder what she looked like now as I know the owner that had her a little while after me was big into JDM
Stripping the doner ZX of parts has taken longer than hoped, but all the good spring weather has helped me to finally get it finished.  The blue Datsun now looks really sorry for itself sat on axle stands and stripped of parts.  It’ll be going to the scrapyard very soon. The good news is that I now have A LOT of spare parts to either keep for use on the gold ZX or sell on to make back some cash for the project.  The main parts of interest are of course, the 5 speed gearbox and associated bits and pieces like the pedal box and diff. 5 speed gearbox, rear 3.9 diff and halfshafts, prop shaft, manual pedal box. This is only a small selection of the parts I have stripped off. There’s also a lot of glass, interior, and engine bay parts all boxed up in various corners of the workshop. Next step then is to find the Datsun a decent home for a while so that I can begin work on the gearbox swap whilst at the same time, start making a list of all the other jobs that I want to do. Things that spring to mind immediately are rust proofing the underside, replacing/repairing rust patches, repaint the bodywork, modify the suspension, change the wheels, etc, etc. This could take a few years……!

280ZX Part Out

Stripping the doner ZX of parts has taken longer than hoped, but all the good spring weather has helped me to finally get it finished.  The blue Datsun now looks really sorry for itself sat on axle stands and stripped of parts.  It’ll be going to the scrapyard very