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Cars > alwaysakid’s Garage > Blog > 2001 Toyota Celica (GT - great tourer)

 

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alwaysakid

M –60
Burnsville, Minnesota
United States

 
 

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Where The Spark Plugs Belong

By alwaysakid

Filed under: 2001 Toyota Celica (GT - great tourer)

My son says I'm "such an old school hotrodder."
I was changing the spark plugs in my Toyota Celica, and since he's a mechanic, I had to call him about it.
"What's up with this car?" I demanded to know. "The spark plugs are, like, six inches down inside the engine! They're supposed to be sticking out the side of the engine block, where you can see them without having to pull parts off!"
He laughed at me.
OK, it's been a while since I changed the spark plugs on a car. Now that they only need changing every 100,000 miles, you don't do this job very often.
I'm not sure why they put these covers on top of the engines nowadays, although I have seen them on some fancy customs, so maybe the car makers are just trying to make their cars look fancier. And I don't know what those long, plastic tubes were that sat on top of the spark plugs. But I'm sure they were necessary because the thick spark plug wires have been replaced with small, telephone wires that come out of a plastic strip on top of the engine manifold (at least I think that's the manifold because it used to be the manifold was always on top of the engine, but that was also when the spark plugs stuck out of the sides of the engine).
All this leaves me wondering, why doesn't all that plastic on the engine melt?
Well, I got the new spark plugs installed and put everything back together and the car started and ran fine. But it always has run fine. Maybe its all the plastic that makes this car run so good.
Hmmm, I think I'll go bolt a Tupperware container on top of the flathead-six in my Studebaker and see if that enhances it any.

Snowed In

By alwaysakid

Filed under: 2001 Toyota Celica (GT - great tourer)

The last big blizzard in Minneapolis (about 2 months ago) I got stranded in downtown Minneapolis, but this time I got stranded at home, thanks in part to my employer.
I was at work Sunday, Feb. 20, and people were struggling to make it in to work. Enough so that I was worried if I could make it home again. But I didn't want to get stranded downtown again, and I knew it would cause a hardship if I was unable to make it in to work Monday. So, I went to my immediate supervisor and said, "If the company wants to put me up in a hotel I'll stay so you can be assured I'll be here at work Monday. But if not, and I don't make it home tonight, then I won't be able to make back it in to work either." He went to his boss, who said "no" even though one other employee was already staying at the hotel.
I was cool with that. I'd rather get snowed in at home anyway. So I headed home, and I was doing OK, even in my little two-wheel-drive Celica with the roads full of snow. I passed a lot of other vehicles that were stuck or had slid off the roadway, but I had no problems.
That was, until I got to my neighborhood. Then I turned down the street that led to the street I live on and it was full of way more snow than the others (apparently the plows had been out on the major arteries although it didn't look like it). I tried following a pair of ruts from a previous vehicle, but they turned off. It was downhill from there, so I thought maybe if I got enough momentum I could slide into my driveway. That worked until the car got high-centered from snow built up in front and under it.
I decided the easiest thing to do was to walk home and get the snow-blower to cut a path for my car. The snowblower broke before I got it out of the driveway.
So my wife and I returned to the car with a couple shovels and started digging. An hour later the Celica still wouldn't budge, so I returned to the garage and got a hydraulic jack to lift the car so I could shovel the snow out from under it. That did the trick. At least it enabled me to get it into the driveway and out of harm's way, barely.
It was 2 a.m. and I finally got to bed.
When I got up in the morning, I discovered the snowplow had gone down the street and burried the rear end of the car. Back to shoveling again.
That pretty much sealed the deal. I called work and told them I was unable to get in.
I finally got it freed again and the driveway shoveled (because the snowblower was still broken) but by then it was mid afternoon, way too late to go to work.
This is the first "snow day" I've had off from work as far back as I can remember. The news reports said it was the worst February snow storm on record. We got about 18 inches in a 24-hour period, and a couple more inches after that.
But it's behind me now. Only 27 days until the official start of spring.

Road Trip

By alwaysakid

Filed under: 2001 Toyota Celica (GT - great tourer)

I just finished a trip to Spokane, WA and back in the Celica. I've always liked this car as I commute in it back and forth to work, but now I've found it's true purpose. It carries those letters "GT" on it for good reason.
When I got the car, I thought it would be a sporty, economical car. It is that, but it is more of a grand-touring automobile. I got 38 miles per gallon on much of the trip, and that's using 10-percent ethanol fuel. How can a car with such good acceleration get such good gas mileage?
But there's more. When I hit the Rocky Mountains, the fun really began. I've had some economical cars before, but they always lost speed going over the mountain passes. Not this one. I set the cruise-control on 80 MPH (for you law-enforcement people, I'm sure my speedometer reads higher than reality) and she never skipped a beat all the way up and over the mountain.
As other cars slowed for the curves and then struggled to regain their speed, I just zipped by, gripping the road effortlessly around any curve I-90 threw at us.
It was a blast!
Of course I did have to slow down when it snowed going over Bozeman Pass, and again for some snow squalls for a while, but for the most part it was nice cruising.
And then there are the seats. They don't look fancy. They're stock, Toyota issue. But I never got the back and neck aches I've gotten in so many other cars on long trips.
Usually we take the Mazda on long trips just because we can fit more stuff in it. But never again. I'll leave my clean underware behind if I have to, but the Celica is now THE car for travelling.
By the way, we saw some other cars on the trip that looked a lot cooler than My Celica. Check them out in the photo album in my garage. But I'm sure they all burned far more gas than me in each mile.
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Cars > alwaysakid’s Garage > Blog > 2001 Toyota Celica (GT - great tourer)

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