Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Year Update: Engine's Up!

Yay! Finally i got my stock engine back up and running! I asked the workshop to reinstall my stock engine back as i am afraid that crucial stuff might be missing, stuff that i might have to reuse when converting to 4A-GE later. If the engine's running, at least i know all the important stuff are there. Besides, it's either pay a towing service to move the car to the engine workshop or pay the body workshop extra to put the engine in and be able to drive it myself there.. I am getting the said advantage by doing the latter.

Not much is left to do as far as the bodywork goes. I guess i have to get back to Jakarta again in a week or two once they finish to move The Dog to the engine swap workshop. If you need any Charmant stuff (or any car stuff actually), let me know and i'll see what i can do to get it for you in Jakarta.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Ghetto Wing Mirror Fix Up

My left-side wing mirror was in a very bad shape when i bought The Dog. The spring inside the housing had lost its anchoring tab so the mirror wouldn't stay in position. That and the mirror glass itself was broken. Perhaps the previous owner fell in love so much with The Dog and decided to test its strength by hitting a pole with the mirror.

When i was in Kumala Motor, i gave the mirror to the seller and asked if he has a new one. It took him a while to check his stock but finally he came up with this..
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That is part number 87940-12500, a Toyota original wing mirror for KE70 or TE71 and i can assure you, it's NOT CHEAP. Those f*ckers in Kumala charged me 100 bucks for it. After i wiped my mouth from coughing blood from paying so much for a wing mirror, i took it to The Dog and you know what? It didn't fit! The triangular shape that attached to the door is a bit too large. Didn't i compare it first with my old mirror before i bought it? I did and have noticed that possible problem. That's why i made an agreement with Kumala to return the mirror if it doesn't fit. I sure am glad i did that!

So now i am back to square one after i returned the mirror and got a refund: a busted Charmant wing mirror on my hands. I need to get it fixed before i leave Jakarta for work again!

On my way to Kumala on Dec 26th 2009, i saw these ghetto kiosks of wing mirror sellers on Sawah Besar area. I thought perhaps these guys could help me fix it. So the next day i decided to try my luck, visit one of them and after some discussion and negotiation, I agreed to trade 6 dollars for their service. Yes, 6 dollars!

Basically there are two problems with my mirror: shattered mirror glass and broken anchoring tab for the spring. The broken glass was easy to fix. First they cut a new mirror to size.
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and glue it in place..
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That's a glue stick for glue guns, heated with a lighter and spread over the mounting plate like making a PB&J.

The second problem was a bit tricky.. The anchoring tab for the spring is broken so the mirror cover would flop around under movement. Here's my awful illustration of the spring.
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When you're done laughing at my illustration, here's what they do to fix it.. First they take a motorcycle chain link and fold it to make an L-shape. The first hole is for bolting to the mirror housing and the second hole is for the anchoring tab.
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Next they drilled a hole for the bolt to hold the new tab.
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Finally, they bolt the chain link in place and there you go.. A new anchoring tab for the spring!
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It took them around 2 hours to fix it. The hardest part was determining how to make the new anchoring hole and putting it all back together. Finally, i end up with this..
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LOL, they've just saved me US$94 and all done from this crappy.. uuummm.. wonderful kiosk..
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Now, let's hope the mirror stays intact before i can find a scrapped Charmant with better left wing mirror.

Helping a Long Distance Friend part 2

A good friend/fellow Charmant owner of mine, Yohann Quaziz, contacted me again recently. If you followed my blog, you might remember i helped Yohann to get a pedalbox for his Charmant around five months ago. Time passed and Yohann has finished the engine swap on his ride, having so much fun with it apparently..

This was the first start of his carb'd 4A-GE.

This is him making me cry with envy..

All those envy-generating, pocket-burning drifts finally caught to his white stallion. Just a few days ago, he asked me to get new tie-rods and rear axle oil seals. I was suprised that even for such simple parts like oil seals, he has to import them! Wow, talking about high maintenance cost!

Anyway, Yohann contacted me at the right time. I was back in Jakarta for Christmas holiday and went for some shopping for The Dog. I bought the stuff for him together with mine. Here's what i got him..
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Inner and outer tie-rods and also two sets of rear axle oil seals. Here's one of the many reasons i love Charmant..
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See that part number remarks? Charmant shares many common parts with its cousin KE70 or better known Toyota Corolla DX. I don't have to worry about running out of suspension and linkage parts since KE70s are quite famous here, hence spare parts are abundant. Not as cheap as newer cars but at least they can still be had.

Today, those parts will be sent to the post office to be packed and shipped. I expect it takes about 2-3 weeks from today for Yohann to receive the parts. Shipping cost should be cheaper than the pedal box i sent him last time. All of those fit inside a shoe box! Here you go..
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Monday, December 28, 2009

Christmas Shopping: Ripped Off!

I went for some Christmas shopping for The Dog in Jakarta last week. Most of the stuff i bought were either for the body work or so that the mechanic can fit the stock engine back. I learned something interesting after the shopping.. There's a thing about having an old car, you may not be able to get all the parts you need from just one seller. You need to go to maybe 4-5 sellers before you complete your shopping list. When you do, make sure you get their name cards. You'll be grateful later. You'll avoid getting ripped off. This is about doing the basic thing before you spend your hard-earned cash on anything: price comparison.

Before last Christmas, i only knew one spare parts seller to supply my Charmant's needs which is Serimpi Motor. He was the seller that supplied me the head lamps, side lamps, etc. Since Charmants are so rare, i thought this seller was maybe like the one and only guy who sells Charmant parts. I was wrong.. I heard about another seller, Kumala Motor from a forum. This is a famous seller among retro car owners. Just like GI Joe, "When all else fails, he doesn't", Kumala Motor is the place to go when you've run out of places trying to get your hen's teeth part. So i decided to pay the seller a visit.. Kumala Motor is located in Krekot Jaya, quite a distance from home but for the sake of seeing in person this well-known seller, i went anyway.

Kumala is famous for selling very rare parts but also for the hefty price tag. Expect to see lineups of rare part hunters there too. After an hour drive, i finally get to see Kumala Motor. It didn't look like i what i had in mind. Maybe it was because i went there on Boxing Day, there weren't so many people shopping but the place was so small and cramped, you start to imagine how to fit many people inside on a busy day.
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Just like Rosso and his bumblebee, one of my engine mounting rubbers was split in half and the other will also need replacing soon. Hence, a pair of engine mounting rubbers is on the shopping list. The clutch release fork on my gearbox was also busted. Here are the stuff i bought.
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Above you can see the new clutch fork paired with the busted one. It was actually only the "tounge spring" thingy that was busted but since i will be using the gearbox for the engine conversion, i replaced it anyway. Next comes the engine mounting rubber. You can see the old one which was split in half. Oh and i couldn't get a pair, since Kumala only has one in stock.
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Actually i bought more stuff in Kumala but that's for other post.

With me getting only one mounting rubber when two was needed, i headed on to other location called Pasar Mobil Kemayoran hoping to complete my list. I was a bit skeptical though, if the well-known Kumala was out of stock for engine mounts, i won't expect others to have it. But i was wrong, as i ended up getting these..
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Other than the left engine mounting rubber, i got also a transmission mount. What bothers me is that i got the last engine mount for only a fifth of the price i paid Kumala! Granted Kumala did supply me original Japanese part and the last one was Thailand-made imitation, but here's another proof that i got ripped off by Kumala: the exact same clutch release fork was sold at around 20% cheaper! So i guess i was in some way lucky that Kumala ran out of engine mounts because if not, i might still got ripped off by it. So where did i get the last engine mounting rubber? Here you go.
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Again, a small shop but it's a good option if you're looking for Charmant parts.

Other than those parts above, i got me some body parts. The first one was door weatherstrip for this part of the door:
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I was told i need about 3 meters of weatherstrip for each door and as there was four doors, i got me 12 meters of it plus an extra 3 meters in case they f*ck up.
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Here's how the weatherstrip looks like.
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My battery turned out dead after nearly a year of no charging so i also bought brand new battery. I got the maintenance-free dry type and paid a good price since i also traded my old battery for it.
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Lastly, i paid for these also.
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A key set and engine hood support rubbers. Unfortunately, i can only use two from the three locks i got. Only the door locks fit. The one for the trunk didn't fit so i will have to use my old one which key was already different from the ignition key when i bought The Dog. This way, i'll have three keys for The Dog: ignition, door and trunk.

So, after the post-Christmas shopping i did, i now have three seller options if i need to get Charmant parts. I just have to call, asked for the price and went to the seller with best price. I guess i have to consider the rip-off by Kumala as my learning cost. In time, i will know which seller has the best price for any particular part i need.

Update 27 December 2009

These pics were taken when i was in Jakarta for Xmas holiday. At first, I expected to have The Dog ready for engine swap for Xmas so that when i am back for the holiday, i would be able to move it to the engine workshop. That's not the case, sadly. As you can see from the pics, it was not quite ready for pickup. I am going to fit the stock engine first just so i am sure nothing is missing. I could skip fitting the stock engine and have The Dog towed but i am worried that some important parts might be missing. Having it fitted and running will ensure that i still have all the crucial parts, possibly needed for the engine swap. By the way, i am trying a different image hosting server, what do you think?

You may notice that i didn't fit the carpet in. I prefer not to have it as i want to be able to know as soon as possible if rust is starting to eat the floor again. I will have some rubber mats just to place my feet but that's it.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Locking The Diff: Differentials on A60, KE70 and AE86

First off, i'd like to say thanks to Stanley for writing about The Dog again on his blog. It sure gave me the confidence boost i need to dig deeper into my pocket and buy more useless stuff for The Dog. So thanks again to you Stanley. Your blog too is my regular stop in this otherwise crap slash pornstar infested internet jungle. Stanley and his Charmant is like me and The Dog fast-forwarded a year. Expect me to write about interesting stuff (including engine problems.. lol) similar to Stanley's current posts after a year or so. You can read more about Stanley and the white Charmer on

Okay back to business. What's that? Locking The Diff? So you're being cheap and decided to just weld your diff, eh Edgar?
"10-way" Limited Slip Differential.. lol

Noooo.. i don't want to stuff axle splines regularly by doing so especially knowing how difficult it is getting Charmant rear axles (though i might consider going that way if i got a spare with me).
Stuffed Axle Splines (courtesy of Jack aka Mouwt)

I am talking about settling once and for all the question haunting my sleep these last few weeks: Which differential type is my A60 Charmant using? Can i use the diff from (insert any Toyota RWD car here)?

Some of you may know that Charmant, KE70 and AE86 share many similar parts especially when it comes to suspension and power-train. It may come to mind that perhaps their rear diffs are also interchangeable. Knowing this could be useful if you're getting an LSD for your Charmant. Aftermarket LSD manufacturers like KAAZ support popular cars only like AE86 for obvious business reason. Good luck finding an LSD designed for your Charmant. Knowing so, the next logical step would of course ask: can i fit AE86's LSD on my Charmant? This post is written to help you answer that question.

Here are some pieces of the puzzle i get by Googling..

1. JDM AE86 uses T-series differential unless you have Australian AE86 that use S-series. Info taken from here. There you'll find also that T-series have 6.7" crown diameter and won't fit to a 6.4" S-series diff housing. An S-series can be identified by 1 long stud at the bottom.

2. KE70 uses 6.0" U-series unless yours is Australian which should come with Borg-Warner diff (what's with these Australian Toyotas?!). Info taken from here. You'll read there also that a T-series has 10 stud bolts holding the diff gears in while S-series has 8 bolts. That's one way to differentiate one from another.

3. 4A-C powered Charmant uses S-series diff. I got this info from a dude replying to a thread i started in You may need to register first before you can read it here.

Of course, if you're like me, you won't just swallow everything the internet shove into your mouth. They came out with Wikipedia, for f*ck's sake! Here's another solid piece of the puzzle, a picture of a 4A-C equipped Charmant rear diff housing (i must stress the 4A-C here since some Charmants are powered by 4K engine).
That's The Dog's diff housing in case you're wondering where i got that pic. You can't see all the stud bolts but, trust me, there are 8-stud bolts in total with one longer stud bolt at the bottom. See point 1 and 2 above and you'll see that it has all the signs of an S-series diff. With 8 stud bolts, that's certainly not a T-series diff used in AE86. So the answer to whether or not you can use AE86's LSD in a Charmant is now clear: NO you can't. What's that? More proof? Okay.. continue reading. Oh boy, you guys owe me a beer for what i am about to share with you. LOL.

Now that we've somewhat established that Charmants don't use T-series diff (will dig deeper about this later), how can we be sure that it's S-series instead of U-series as used by its cousin, the KE70? Besides, the link on point 2 above mentioned that U-series also have 8 stud bolts. The answer to that lies on a page of Charmant parts catalog i have below.
Above you can see that MTM (manual transmission) A60 Charmants use 6.38" diff. If you won't argue that some people prefer to round the number up to 6.4", then you'll see from point 1 that it's the same crown diameter as an S-series. Yet another supporting evidence that Charmants use that particular diff type. So Edgar, you're saying that since it's 6.4" then it must be S-series? Well that certainly is an arguable logic, i admit. But here's what i got to support my claim. Other than this of what i believe a complete list of Toyota axle code (which tells you that YES since it's 6.38" then it must be an S-series), below is a page of Corolla catalog i have also.
Inside the red square, you'll read that all CE70 Corolla (diesel engine powered Corolla) axle codes always start with S, meaning they all use S-series diff (AXC stands for Axle Code while FGR is Final Gear Ratio). Bonus info, blue square indicates that KE70s in general countries use U-series diff, a supporting fact to point 2 above.

Now that we know CE70 Corollas use S-series diff, here's another page to show you how an S-series look.
The picture above shows you the S-series diff as used by CE70. Notice the shape of the differential housing marked in blue circle and compare it with this other shot of my rear axle.
Looking pretty similar don't they? You can also now see the other stud bolts which is 8 in total and indicates it's not a T-series diff. So am i saying that a U-series don't look like that? As a matter of fact, i am because this is how a U-series looks like..
Notice the difference? I'll leave it up to you to find it..

Now i think we already have enough evidence to support the following claim:
  1. A60 Charmant use S-series diff.
  2. KE70 in general use U-series diff. Look at catalog page above and you'll also know that some KE70 use S-series diff.
  3. AE86 use T-series diff.
Since a T-series diff won't fit to an S-series, a claim i am not eager to find out myself, then those aftermarket LSDs for AE86 are useless for Charmants. Then how do i get an LSD for my Charmant? Here's some solution for you..

1. Get a T-series complete rear axle which comes with LSD from the factory and fit it to your Charmant. A T-series should be an easy conversion from the stock S-series. Does such thing exist? Yes it does, for example see below.

2. Get a standard non-LSD T-series rear axle from, let's say, a Corona T130 and get an aftermarket LSD for AE86 from KAAZ. Gather the two pieces and stuff it under your Charmant. Careful though.. KAAZ makes two types of LSD for the AE86 and they are not interchangeable. See below product info taken from KAAZ website.
Image and video hosting by TinyPicModel DAT1630 is for early or "zenki" AE86 while DAT1610 is for the later or "kouki". The thing that separates them is the axle thickness. 85-87 models (kouki) have 1–1.5mm thicker axles than earlier (zenki) T series axles. A Corona T130's T-series diff is similar to the early AE86 so you should get DAT1630 for it. Aftermarket LSDs are expensive so be careful guys..

3. Get a rare TRD LSD for an S or U-series diff housing. TRD once released LSDs for S-series and U-series diff. I personally got an offer once for a TRD LSD for KE70, so i am convinced that these babies do exist. I am not sure if a U-series LSD will fit to an S-series housing but i am inclined to think so since U-series' 6.0" crown diameter is smaller than 6.38" on S-series. If it in fact doesn't fit, then you need to get a complete U-series rear axle to house that TRD LSD. I believe U-series axle is also an easy swap to an S-series. (edit 15-Feb-19: just found out that you can't fit an S-series LSD to a U-series rear axle. it's not a problem of whether the casing fits but it's about the ring gear diameter itself being different. an LSD must be fitted with its designated ring gear diameter)

Which solution is best? That depends on two things: availability and your cash. In my case, all three solutions are applicable as they are all available so my best solution would be the one that burns the smallest hole in my pocket. I am still weighing these options for now.

Hope this helps guys..

*update 14-Jan-10*
Managed to take a shot of a KE70 differential. I'll leave it up to you to judge whether this is U-series or not. I am sure that it's not S-series (no longer stud bolt) nor T-series (only 8 stud bolts) but whether it's U-series, i can't tell. It looks a bit different from the U-series pic on the catalog. Borg Warner perhaps? Anybody?