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Graham's Sera(s) - SER15T, aka Serist


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#1 Graham

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Posted 27 February 2012 - 06:28 PM

Hi, I'm going to post up a bit of a history / blog of this 1990 Sera that is actually owned by my wife, Rebecca.

So here it begins with the boring history part:

The Toyota Sera was Rebecca's dream car ever since she saw it at motor shows and magazines in 1990-91.
Along came 2001 and we had been living together for a while and bought a house together in April. With the DINK (double income no kids) working to our advantage, we travelled to Qld in August to have a look at a nice Yellow Turbo Sera that was being advertised by a car yard called Car Imports Australia (CIA).

We had looked at local Seras in Sydney, but really, the compliancing process being performed in this state was just pathetic. IMO, the quality of many local Seras was a 4 out of 10, or worse. While the Qld Sera's easily got an 8 out of 10 score, mainly because the original components were in better condition and the installation of side intrusion bars and rear seat belts was performed far more professionally.

So we talked to Jamie at CIA and unfortunately, he wouldn't sell us his custom yellow Turbo (4EFTE) Sera as he had more plans for it. We were very sad.
But he had a nice Silver Sera that he showed to us and it ticked all of our boxes (except my performance one) and my wife bought it on the spot - no test drive, no mechanical inspection, nothing. But she did negotiate to have the interior (custom trimmed seats and new custom carpets) from the Yellow Sera put in her Silver one!
We put a deposit, signed the contracts and drove home, with a marriage proposal on the side of a mountain / hill near the NSW border.

So back at home in September, while I was being interviewed by an insurance investigator about my brand new Hyundai having been stolen & torched, our Sera was delivered from the back of a truck. Must have looked a little suss !

Click the thumbnail for more pics.

It was then our daily drive, starting with ~63000kms on the odometer and doing a complete circle of the M2 to North Sydney to Parramatta and back to the hills each day, being driven hard by me most of the time.

We enjoyed the car and did minor mods
1) custom plates that read "Serist" although I already knew I'd like it to be 1.5 turbo.
2) a Liverpool Exhaust 2" cat-back and (for some stupid reason only known to them) cannon muffler for $700.
3) HID headlights (after replacing the factory H3C bulb about 10 times at $20 each. Finally fixed!
3b) LED parker lights to compliment the white/blue HIDs
4) some 4EFE race extractors from ebay, sadly they wouldn't fit around the A/C, so sold them on and bought some Pacemaker headers.
5) Momo steering wheel
6) Christmas 2008, I slipped going round a corner in the wet and ran into a gutter, so a set of 17" Lenso S7 Modify wheels went on.



I joined a car club called SydneyCruising because the club president also had a Sera (Hi Gem!) and we got to cruise around Sydney and did quite a few laps of Eastern Creek Raceway during a few Power Cruise car shows.



Then in 2011 I joined AU Starlet Club because I've been wanting a turbo conversion since October 2001 and now the engine has a couple of oil leaks that need attention, so instead of throwing more money at patching the 5E, it's time for a rebuild or 4EFTE swap.

Also went to Toyota Fest and All Japan Day at the end of 2011.


And finally, now that I've been here almost 6 months, I've just bought another Sera. This one already has a 4EFTE in it, but sadly is a write off from a frontal impact.


Now the plan is to swap the 4EFTE in to the good car with future posts hopefully being a build thread.

I'll update this one with pics soon too. Done.

Edited by Graham, 27 February 2012 - 11:35 PM.


#2 Graham

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Posted 27 February 2012 - 06:28 PM

reserved for more pics and the 'story' wink.gif

#3 fearlesss

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Posted 27 February 2012 - 06:44 PM

It's like a romantic Novel/Car magazine write up ! Tis a Lovely story. Always liked these cars, they are just so rare though these days.

#4 Graham

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Posted 27 February 2012 - 11:39 PM

I tell you, there has to be some type of romantic involvement to keep a car this long.

We have no intention to ever sell it.
Once the engine is done, we'll look at doing paint, maybenext year ! smile.gif

p.s. if anyone needs parts from the wrecked Sera, let me know.
Scuzzy has already put his name down for any engine mounts that survived, I've got the engine, but those gorgeous wheels might be perfect on a Starlet.
smile.gif

Edited by Graham, 27 February 2012 - 11:40 PM.


#5 The Prodigy

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Posted 28 February 2012 - 01:53 AM

Can't wait to see those pics of the conversion!

#6 fearlesss

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Posted 28 February 2012 - 09:59 AM

There was one that was in an accident up here in QLD a few months ago ( the windows were smashed ) however I think that member sold it sad.gif
Just put up a for sale ad wink.gif



#7 jaggerd

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Posted 28 February 2012 - 02:38 PM

How much for the engine, or just the bottom end?

#8 Graham

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Posted 28 February 2012 - 08:51 PM

Which engine? To be honest, I'm not yet sure if I'll be swapping the 4E into the Sera or making a 5EFTE.
I'll talk to our favourite mechanic at the end of this week and we'll start planning properly, then I'll know what's available.

#9 Graham

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 11:15 PM

Woohoo, car finally arrived at Pauls today - engine has been pushed back and broke drivers side engine mount.
But at least the engine is an EP82 and has the right ECU. I'm at least 50% of the way there.

I'm taking the day off work and will get stuck into it tomorrow and see if the manifolds and turbo have been hurt at all, as well as removing all useful spares that I can spin a spanner / screwdriver at. smile.gif

#10 Graham

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Posted 02 March 2012 - 09:05 PM

Update: It's got an aftermarket dump pipe which has been gently pressed by the radiator. Turbo appears to be tucked safely out of the way.

Unfortunately, it wouldn't start, the starter motor could be Fd or binding or something, and priorities didn't allow any engine removal. Next week.
Instead I cleaned out some of the junk, grabbed the tail lights and headunit to play with over the weekend.
The rear "Sera" garnish from between the brake lights already has a CF Light mod done to it - exactly why I'd grabbed it so I could safely experiment. Job done.

Interestingly to me, Chassis # is 15268, from memory the last Sera is believed to be around 16500, so this one is from the last couple of years of production, probably '94.
I'm sad about this car being written off now. At least I'm getting good parts off it. Gas struts (doors and boot) are on my to do list, they're a lot better than the struts on our '90 model.

Does anyone want to by a fancy auto gear knob?

It's got a button on top for overdrive (or maybe you can use it for hi/low boost) and the top half slides downwards to allow it to be moved out of park or into reverse.

Other fancy bits are a Momo Race steering wheel (Possibly for Anthony)

And sadly, a broken engine mount on the drivers side:


More news next week. smile.gif

#11 jaggerd

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Posted 05 March 2012 - 02:04 PM

I thought you had a 5e in your Sera, or did i miss read the OP?

#12 Scuzzy

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Posted 05 March 2012 - 02:42 PM

His Sera has the 5E-FHE, but he bought a written off wreck in which a 4E-FTE will be transplanted in.
Why hello there

#13 jaggerd

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Posted 05 March 2012 - 07:55 PM

QUOTE (Scuzzy @ 5 Mar 2012, 02:42 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
His Sera has the 5E-FHE, but he bought a written off wreck in which a 4E-FTE will be transplanted in.
Oh ok, so the bottom end from the 5e can be attached to a 4efte topend, which is what i would like to try.


#14 Scuzzy

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Posted 05 March 2012 - 09:01 PM

Correct, the head is the same, just different cams.
Why hello there

#15 Graham

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Posted 05 March 2012 - 09:03 PM

Yep, you can hybrid the two together to get a 5E-FTE.
basically from the bottom up you go 4EFTE sump onto 5E block and crank, 5EFHE rods (or 5E-FE for low boost <12psi), then 4EFTE pistons (approx 8.5CR), thicker head gasket (now 8.2CR), whichever head you want, 4EFTE valve springs, 5EFHE Cam (or 4EFTE), and then a 4EFTE rocker cover for the breather hole.
Finish off with 4EFTE injectors, manifolds, ECU, oil relocator and I think you're about there.

Someone called Ivan has done a very detailed write-up, Scuzzy pointed it out to me when I first joined up here, probably in my intro thread or in reply to one of my early posts.

But I'm just going for a 4EFTE swap at the moment. I'd like to keep the 5E-FHE and build it up, but will see how I go for funds and space.

Cheers!

#16 Doom

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Posted 06 March 2012 - 04:28 PM

I love "flygti"!!!!
It's what got me into hatches.

Wonder if it's still around

Im not so worried about having Asperger's Syndrome. I didn't seem to bother Einstein, Galileo or Newton

#17 santosh123

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Posted 06 March 2012 - 06:54 PM

QUOTE (Graham @ 27 Feb 2012, 06:28 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Hi, I'm going to post up a bit of a history / blog of this 1990 Sera that is actually owned by my wife, Rebecca.

So here it begins with the boring history part:

The Toyota Sera was Rebecca's dream car ever since she saw it at motor shows and magazines in 1990-91.
Along came 2001 and we had been living together for a while and bought a house together in April. With the DINK (double income no kids) working to our advantage, we travelled to Qld in August to have a look at a nice Yellow Turbo Sera that was being advertised by a car yard called Car Imports Australia (CIA).

We had looked at local Seras in Sydney, but really, the compliancing process being performed in this state was just pathetic. IMO, the quality of many local Seras was a 4 out of 10, or worse. While the Qld Sera's easily got an 8 out of 10 score, mainly because the original components were in better condition and the installation of side intrusion bars and rear seat belts was performed far more professionally.

So we talked to Jamie at CIA and unfortunately, he wouldn't sell us his custom yellow Turbo (4EFTE) Sera as he had more plans for it. We were very sad.
But he had a nice Silver Sera that he showed to us and it ticked all of our boxes (except my performance one) and my wife bought it on the spot - no test drive, no mechanical inspection, nothing. But she did negotiate to have the interior (custom trimmed seats and new custom carpets) from the Yellow Sera put in her Silver one!
We put a deposit, signed the contracts and drove home, with a marriage proposal on the side of a mountain / hill near the NSW border.

So back at home in September, while I was being interviewed by an insurance investigator about my brand new Hyundai having been stolen & torched, our Sera was delivered from the back of a truck. Must have looked a little suss !

Click the thumbnail for more pics.

It was then our daily drive, starting with ~63000kms on the odometer and doing a complete circle of the M2 to North Sydney to Parramatta and back to the hills each day, being driven hard by me most of the time.

We enjoyed the car and did minor mods
1) custom plates that read "Serist" although I already knew I'd like it to be 1.5 turbo.
2) a Liverpool Exhaust 2" cat-back and (for some stupid reason only known to them) cannon muffler for $700.
3) HID headlights (after replacing the factory H3C bulb about 10 times at $20 each. Finally fixed!
3b) LED parker lights to compliment the white/blue HIDs
4) some 4EFE race extractors from ebay, sadly they wouldn't fit around the A/C, so sold them on and bought some Pacemaker headers.
5) Momo steering wheel
6) Christmas 2008, I slipped going round a corner in the wet and ran into a gutter, so a set of 17" Lenso S7 Modify wheels went on.



I joined a car club called SydneyCruising because the club president also had a Sera (Hi Gem!) and we got to cruise around Sydney and did quite a few laps of Eastern Creek Raceway during a few Power Cruise car shows.



Then in 2011 I joined AU Starlet Club because I've been wanting a turbo conversion since October 2001 and now the engine has a couple of oil leaks that need attention, so instead of throwing more money at patching the 5E, it's time for a rebuild or 4EFTE swap.

Also went to Toyota Fest and All Japan Day at the end of 2011.


And finally, now that I've been here almost 6 months, I've just bought another Sera. This one already has a 4EFTE in it, but sadly is a write off from a frontal impact.


Now the plan is to swap the 4EFTE in to the good car with future posts hopefully being a build thread.

I'll update this one with pics soon too. Done.
mate can you giv me your number i think you sold the car too paul and i want to buy that sera ??


#18 Graham

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Posted 06 March 2012 - 08:43 PM

Hi,

Paul is pulling the engine out for me and it's going into my Sera.

I'm also using some parts for my car, but the rest of it can be available if you need bits.

I'll send you my number.

Cheers, Graham.

#19 TOMsGPTurbo

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Posted 05 May 2012 - 05:18 PM

Hey Graham, nice Sera!
I swear I saw the crashed car on gumtree as an EOI

#20 Graham

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Posted 31 May 2012 - 01:19 AM

I think I have to subscribe to my own topics - I swear I haven't read your post til now wink.gif

The car was written off at the end of Jan I think and went on auction in Feb, I bought in March.
The previous owner may have tried to flog it off before his insurance wrote it off ????


My engine swap may be happening this weekend, and to avoid the embarassment of driving without a bonnet, I'm looking at front mount intercoolers.
The sera bonnet won't close on top of a top mount intercooler. Without a front mount, I can probably add spacers (washers) and maybe longer bolts to the hinge to lift the bonnet higher.
Definitely only a short term solution though - the wife is too fussy to get away with that one.

So, I have a question for anyone familiar with my Sera's nose or intercoolers in general.

Would an ebay intercooler like this one: http://cgi.ebay.com....em=110321649310
a) be of reasonable quality
cool.gif what shape is easiest to fit? long and short, square, ??

Cheers!




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