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Old 12-03-2016, 10:40 PM   #1
scratchpaddy
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Esta's Adventures

So, this is my new '09 Yaris. Esta is its name. Only 174,000 miles.



I'll make this my project thread of sorts, to keep track of what I do and where I take it. I'm not going to do much beyond keep it clean and maintain it. This is pretty much how it's going to look as long as I own it, unless Discount Tire breaks my hubcaps again.



Speaking of Discount, I took advantage of a Black Friday thing they were doing and got $100 off a set of Michelin Defenders. I was going to get them anyway, since the car had three worn and one bald tire, but if they want to give me $100 that's fine. I got the tires put on BEFORE the hubcaps, which came today. I also cleaned it up this week. Clay bar, polish, and wax.



There are lots of little rock chips in the bumper, the clearcoat on the roof is done for, and the clear on the hood is starting to peel as well. It's an Arizona car from day 1. Also, somebody fried a set of jumper cables over the driver's headlight and bumper. Click for full size to see the damage better. They melted that lens but good.



I haven't taken it more than a mile from my apartment since bringing it home two weeks ago. I mostly use my bike to get around, but I drive up to Oregon twice a year to visit family, and I'll be leaving again in about two weeks. I'm eager to get out there again, especially now with this car, twice as powerful as my old one. I'm sure the cruise control will come in handy, too...

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Old 12-04-2016, 09:37 AM   #2
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She's gorgeous, even with the small flaws. I love the color and the hubcaps look great!
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Old 12-04-2016, 12:16 PM   #3
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Thanks Cap'n! It's pretty bland compared to many of the rides on here, but that's the way I like my own cars. I do really like the color. I was hoping for yellow, but I'm happy with this. I see so many of the more gray-ish Bayou Blue cars that I wasn't even aware it came in a brigher shade (Blazing Blue) until I found this one on Craigslist.
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Old 12-04-2016, 04:13 PM   #4
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That big seam in the pavement marking a state line?


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Old 12-04-2016, 05:24 PM   #5
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It's just the intersection of Highways 50 and 376, near the center of Nevada. There's very little in Nevada away from its border with California. The GPS coordinates of that line in the pavement are 3924'15.0"N 11656'18.9"W.
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Old 12-04-2016, 09:41 PM   #6
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i thought you were using one of my pics since i was just there on 8/3

fyi its the same intersection used for one of the rollover stunt scenes in the classic 1971 movie vanishing point



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Old 12-04-2016, 09:43 PM   #7
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your car looks sweet and very clean/ bright

i especially like the 2 door model
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Old 12-04-2016, 11:09 PM   #8
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Ha ha, that's awesome. I didn't know it was in a movie. I love driving through Austin, with the twisties on the downhill side headed towards that intersection.

How the heck did you get to the middle of Nevada with such a clean car?? Mine was all covered in bugs and dust by then.



Looks like we missed each other by a month. Last time I was there was 9/4.
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Old 12-05-2016, 12:08 AM   #9
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Man, she cleans up nice! Not a fan of hubcaps, but I don't immediately hate those. Kudos.
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Old 12-05-2016, 01:09 PM   #10
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Looks super clean!
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Old 12-06-2016, 05:48 PM   #11
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Thanks, 39!
Quote:
Originally Posted by ern-diz View Post
I don't immediately hate those.
I get the impression that's the highest praise anyone will get from you about hubcaps. I used to hate hubcaps so much. My second car came to me with awful chrome things even cheesier than what came on my Yaris. I still worked for a body shop at the time, so I chucked the hubcaps, sanded the steelies down, and had the boss paint them with some leftover silver mixed for another job. That was the car I drove for three years before a drunk took it out.



I thought about leaving the hubcaps off of Esta, like you suggested in another thread, but black steelies just look incomplete to me. I couldn't warm to the look.
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Old 12-06-2016, 06:22 PM   #12
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Look how much bigger the Yaris looks compared to my Metro.



It's actually not much bigger. It's only 1 inch longer, 4 inches wider, and 5 inches taller (and 500 lb heavier. ) I think what makes the Yaris look so much larger is that the windowsills are 5 inches higher. The seats feel much taller, too. I'm guessing the difference is also 5 inches to compensate for the higher windows and dashboard.

There's one more thing I need to fix on this car before it's all good to go. Somehow, the previous owner manged to rip one of the hatch struts right off the car. It only broke the strut socket on the body side, but the hatch side ripped the anchor off of the hatch. They tore the spot welds right out.



They were kind enough to leave the broken strut, anchor still attached, in the spare tire well. Without it, I'd need a whole new hatch. It's not something you can buy separately from the hatch shell.



I took it around to all the body shops within a mile of my apartment, which is actually a lot of body shops. Two of them quoted around $350. One wanted over $500. One refused to quote it without replacing the whole hatch ($$$$). One of them quoted $218, which is only twice as much as I hoped it would be.

It seems like such a small job, but it's in a tough spot. There's no way to get behind it for spot welding. It's right next to the glass, too, which they all want to remove to avoid heat damage. I've got a friend with a MIG welder, but the metal is so thin here. I don't want to ruin everything. I'll take it to the $218 place once the replacement struts get here. It's an AutoNation facility. I've seen their dealers all over the place, but didn't know they had separate body shops until now.
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Old 12-06-2016, 08:03 PM   #13
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it looks great without the license plate

keep it off as long as possible
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Old 12-06-2016, 08:18 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scratchpaddy View Post
I get the impression that's the highest praise anyone will get from you about hubcaps.
Bingo

Quote:
Originally Posted by scratchpaddy View Post
I used to hate hubcaps so much. My second car came to me with awful chrome things even cheesier than what came on my Yaris. I still worked for a body shop at the time, so I chucked the hubcaps, sanded the steelies down, and had the boss paint them with some leftover silver mixed for another job.
I vote for this for Esta!

That paint job with some silver chrome trim rings and (if you can find) some Toyota center caps would be the business
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Old 12-07-2016, 05:26 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by justanotherdrunk View Post
it looks great without the license plate

keep it off as long as possible
It looks suspicious. I'll get it plated the moment I get the title in the mail from the dealer.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ern-diz View Post
That paint job with some silver chrome trim rings and (if you can find) some Toyota center caps would be the business
You mean, like an old Corolla?



On my Chevy, I thought about leaving the wheels black and getting chrome center caps for the "police car" look, but I could only find 5-lug caps. I like silver steelies, but I don't have free access to leftover automotive paint and a professional to apply it anymore. I guess I could do a rattle-can job, but the hubcaps were clean, easy, and $27.

I checked the spark plugs today. I'm in love with this engine bay. Everything's so easy to get to. I was worried I'd lose much of the easy serviceability of the Metro when going to a newer car, but maybe not. Toyota clearly had the mechanic in mind when they laid everything out. The manifolds are backwards, though. Intake in front? Who does that?? It makes too much sense!

Anyway, the spark plugs looked really good. Somebody used anti-seize, so they came out easily, and the gaps were right on, about .043" on all four. The belt and radiator hoses also looked good. I love working in an engine bay where everything is so shiny, new, and clean.

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Old 12-13-2016, 08:51 PM   #16
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Look! No hands!



The body shop did a really good job. No one would ever know. They said they just happened to be working on a Prius with the same code today, so they didn't even have to mix up an extra batch of paint.



I replaced both struts as well, since one was broken during whatever catastrophe broke the anchor, and the other was old. I bought the pair for $20 from Amazon, much better than the $130 Toyota wants for each one.

Partsam Qty (2) Hatchback Gas Charged Lift Support Struts For 2007-2011 Toyota Yaris

One of them alone wasn't quite enough to hold the hatch up, but together, they're super strong. I'm hoping they'll settle down soon. The brand on the struts says MaxPOW. That's a good name. Pop the hatch, POW! Right on the chin.
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Old 12-15-2016, 10:45 PM   #17
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Today, I finished up all the things I needed to do to the car before heading north.



The windshield wipers were three years old, and beginning to fall apart. The rear was original to the car, I'm pretty sure, and the flappy part of the rubber was gone. The engine air filter was gross. The cabin air filter was only a little dirty, but it was installed upside-down. I replaced all those things.

A previous owner was also a fan of Dex-Cool.



That's what all the distilled water in the first picture was for. I drained it, re-filled with distilled water, warmed it up to let the thermostat open, then drained it again. Repeat three times. By the last drain, there was almost no detectable green in the water.

I filled it up again with Valvoline's generic "Toyota Pink". I have this no-spill funnel that makes it easy to get all the bubbles out without making a mess. Fill it up, turn the car on, and wait for the bubbles to stop.



I went ahead and changed the oil, too, since I'm not sure how long it's been. The oil was definitely dirty, but not horrible. I got a kick out of how tiny these oil filters are.



Finally, I replaced the transmission gear oil with Redline MT-90. My socket selection only goes up to 19mm, so I had to run to Hazard Fraught tools to get a 24mm. I have a little pump thing, just like a hand soap dispenser, that I use to pump the oil up from the bottom. It's more tedious than using a funnel and hose from the top, but I like being able to stop right when I need to.



Excuse the mud. The whole underside of the car is caked in it. I wonder where it's been?

I love how I didn't need a jack for any of this. I didn't have to take half the engine bay apart to get to the oil filter or something. Toyota did a great job laying out this engine bay.
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Old 12-15-2016, 10:56 PM   #18
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I've got my new instrument cluster ready.



It's a $27 China tablet, running the Torque app. I think it's made for children, with that beefy silicone bumper case. Sadly, the baby blue & pink models were sold out.

I used velcro to attach it to the center console on my Geo, but on this car, it stays wedged in that spot no problem. I think I'll replace the "speed" tile with an altimeter. The real speedometer is good enough.

The refresh speed is way fast on this car. On the Geo, the tiles would update about once per second. Hooked up to the Yaris, everything updates fluidly, with no perceptible gap between updates. They're like real gages. I love it.
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