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Thread: AWD RA29 from Texas

  1. #1
    Forum Member 1st year Apprentice
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    Default AWD RA29 from Texas

    Hi everybody!
    Name's Daniel.
    A few years ago I managed to score a dingy blue RA29 and had hoped to restore it, possibly resto-mod.
    I decided I hated Carburettors, so up next was AE86 crossmember, R&P, coilovers, and a blacktop BEAMS.

    WHile trying to figure out what to do with the rear axle, and not really liking my options, I happened across a R33GTR front and rear subs for a decent amount. I decided to buy it, and figure the rest as I went.



    I started up the rear subframe first, and found an easy way to locate and mount thanks to those rubber isolators. At the time, the only GTR subframe swap I knew of was SHEEPERS over on 1stgencelica.com (seems he's on here as well). Drill 4 holes, cut that panhard bar sheetmetal off, BFH the driveshaft tunnel a little, insert some metal tube, and all's well.



    It's not fully mounted yet. I wanted to get the front crossmember finished so I could measure off of it to set the rear at what would be stock skyline dimensions.
    For the front crossmember, all 8 holes pretty much line up with the frame rails.

    first issue to deal with: seems Skyline framerails run parallel, and Celica framerails widen toward the front, so the forward crossmember mount points will be on the insides of framerails, rearward mount points on outsides. Marked and drilled. used sleeves so I wouldn't crush the framerails.
    Second issue to deal with: R33 GTR uses an upper A arm, or wishbone, or whatever, and not Mcpherson strut for front suspension. I didn't want to solve the XYZ out of thin air, so I ordered some GTR strut towers from Japan, and a NISMO strut tower brace, and used them to shortcut most of the maths.



    I have two 1/4 inch L brackets that tie the framerails to the strut tower bottoms at the same points where thicker metal C-channels are used for supporting the upper A-arms.
    I started this GTR swapping one year and one month ago, and only last week did I find out about Jaffa's TA22 GTR. I'd take a 1UZ over an RB26 any day ( I could get 10 or more 1uz for one rb26 in the States).
    I joined this site so I would have access to Jaffa's build thread, and while it seems most of his early photos have expired, most of what he's written is very familiar territory, or inspiring.
    Cheers!

  2. #2
    Toymods Club Member Conversion King big_zop's Avatar
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    Default Re: AWD RA29 from Texas

    I like where this is going, subscribing for updates.

    ps - I might have missed it, but is your plan to install the 1UZ with the GTR AWD system as per Jaffa's car or going for a different engine? He does seem to get on here recently so may still be able to help you out with photos, info.

  3. #3
    Forum Member 1st year Apprentice
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    Default Re: AWD RA29 from Texas

    I think I'll stick with the RB so far, as Jaffa's oil pan front diff stuff seems outside my level of comfort.

  4. #4
    Junior Member Backyard Mechanic Bazooka's Avatar
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    Default Re: AWD RA29 from Texas

    I'll second the "like where this is going"
    Where in Texas are you? I'll actually be over there next month.

  5. #5
    Junior Member Automotive Encyclopaedia
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    Default Re: AWD RA29 from Texas

    The GTR strut towers and brace fit in the 29 bay? Looking forward to seeing how this goes.

  6. #6
    Forum Member 1st year Apprentice
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    Default Re: AWD RA29 from Texas

    Bazooka, aren't you on the 1stgen forums? I'm in Arlington, which is slightly southeast of DALLAS. If you felt like stopping by, I wouldn't be adverse to cracking open the garage and talking cars and stuff.
    masterofsinanju, is that some Remo Williams stuff?
    Also, the strut towers were modified to fit the 29 bay. The tops were cut and bent up to fit on the fender support(I think that's what those parts are called)? and the bottoms don't make contact with the framerails, and there's about a 7 to 10 degree difference in alignment between the two.

  7. #7
    Junior Member Backyard Mechanic Bazooka's Avatar
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    Default Re: AWD RA29 from Texas

    Yeah mate that's me. I'll send you a PM

  8. #8
    Forum Member 1st year Apprentice
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    Default Re: AWD RA29 from Texas

    I've been a lazy bum for quite a bit.
    all I've done is squared and mounted the rear subframe.
    #1, make studs:

    #2, insert and weld studs into previously installed tubes

    #3, weld em up:

    #3.5, shoulda checked your positions before welding them tubes in place. had to cut and reweld some stuff, but got it all taken care of.
    #4 fits perfectly now, and is removeable for service.

    ...........
    That diff is stupid-heavy. Test-fit to see if I need to bash the floorpan anymore for fitment.

    Also, scored a great deal on some spare wheels/tyres, and another super deal on some GTR coils.
    -------------------------------
    At my current pace, it will be a few months for me to fab up new rear strut towers, make a brace for the flimsy original celica front framerails, and then install the bits to make her a roller!

  9. #9
    Junior Member Grease Monkey Jaffa's Avatar
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    Default Re: AWD RA29 from Texas

    Progress is progress,... so keen to see how this progresses.
    Instead of cutting more floor pan consider cutting / relieving the top of the diff cradle, I took this route, not saying is right for your conversion but it was for mine. Actually if I ever did it again I'd build a cradle from scratch out of CRM tube.
    The mounting spindles for the cradle are a pain to locate correctly due to the location that the fall on the floor pan , I remember having the same problem as you,.. a couple of attempts to get them square and right.

  10. #10
    Forum Member 1st year Apprentice
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    Default Re: AWD RA29 from Texas

    Agreed!
    If I were to do it again, I'd take a few nicks out of the top of the diff cradle so it wouldn't foul up the rear seat pans. And some slightly more creative stuff with those tubes I stuffed the cradle studs in so I could leave the rear frame rails intact.
    With the exception of being a little too overconfident with those dumb tubes, it was a rather simple process thanks to having a rotisserie!
    Jaffa! I do have to say your build is what caused me to join this forum, and I'm sad to see most of your images no longer show up from the earlier parts of your build thread. I'm shying away from the crazy stuff you did to get that 1uz/front diff combo, but wonder if it would actually be cheaper than a stock RB26 all put together. 1uz go for $300 all day down here, but an RB26 starts at $3.5k for a grody block. Don't suppose you have a spare?
    Keep up the good work yourself!

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