After I wrote a rather tongue in cheek letter to Toyota about the death of my Toyota Avante, I was pleasantly shocked that Toyota SA actually responded, and placed my letter on their official Facebook page. I was overwhelmed by advice and peoples desire to keep my poor car alive.
And so the story begins. I’ll be documenting the resurrection of my first car. With no budget, at home in the garage with my father mainly doing the work, because; he is kind, and a perfectionist with a vast knowledge of all things mechanical.
My car was built in 1987, in South Africa. She currently has 314638Km on the clock. She has had a rough life in my hands, that I will not deny. She has already had her whole front rebuilt after a tragic accident, where a golf decided that stopping in the middle of a road for no apparent reason was a good idea.
After her first rebuild, she has taken me all over the place. It was during one of those drives along the M5 that I drove over some debris from road works that punctured a whole through her radiator. With my temp gauge not working I was oblivious to the car over heating until she started making a horrible clicking noise and loosing power.
I was 5Km away from home at the time and decide to ease her the rest of the way, thinking that maybe one of the spark plug leads had come loose again. Sadly, as soon as I got to a red robot, the car died.
There was no cloud of steam or anything, just a solid heat wave. There was not a drop of water left in her.
The head gasket was changed. A day later, there was water in her oil. Thinking that we just did a bad job replacing it we tried again. Denial was eventually overcome by the third head gasket change.
We’ve since managed to get a second 4A engine for her, but in all honesty, we’re not even sure it’s in good working order. So this might all be a lot of fun, full of frustration.
It was decided that we’d replace just the head of the engine, that hopefully being the cause of the problem. So this week, off came the head. It’ll be getting pressure tested and then we’ll go from there, and see what else needs to be done.