BOSO(ish) GX71 Toyota Cressida

May 24, 2010

A couple of months gone and not much done.

Filed under: Uncategorized —— bosogx71 @ 11:26 am

As the title suggests the Cressy hasn’t changed much from my last post.

I have however fixed a couple of things that were wrong with the car.

When I swapped the quad headlights into the car I just used the standard sealed beams that came with the lights. They were totally pathetic and useless. Squinting was required to drive at night. So the solution, a brand new set of total replacement semi-sealed beams (the glass bit) and new Artic Blue bulbs.

The difference was staggering. Now the reflection off the road signs is almost dazzeling. High beam shines very far into the distance. And driving at night is no longer as scary. So my advice to anyone doing this headlight conversion to their cars. Spend the money and fit the aftermarket semi sealedbeams to your car at the same time.

They don’t come cheap tho. I spent nearly $300 by the time I bought 4 lights, 2 pairs of bulbs (one pair high beam only, the other pair high & low beam) and required roll of wire, heat shrink, etc to make them work. I also took the precaution to wire in 2 relays into the cars headlight wiring so as to not burn out the standard wiring with the extra current draw of the new grunty bulbs.

The 2nd thing I fixed was a bit of a random one.

The tail lights stopped working. The Brake, Hazard, Indicators, High Stop, reverse lights would all work. But when you turned on the headlights there would be no tail lights unless I drove round with my foot on the brake.

I checked all the fuses and every thing seemed ok. I swapped bulbs around with no joy. I even bought a test light and still couldn’t find the source of the problem.

Eventually after many weeks of frustration I stumbled apon a bit of info on the net about Toyota Camry’s and Supra’s having what they call a Lamp Failure Sensor wired into the tail lights.

It’s a box about the size of a pack of cigaretts that has a plug going into one end. On my cressida this was mounted under the driver’s side tail light. Inside it has a small circuit board that measures current and through some white man magic should you have a bulb out it will turn on a light on the dashboard to let you know that you have a lamp out.

The problem is is those little magic boxes are prone to shitting out causing your tail lights to do the weird things I’ve mentioned.

The link to where I found this information is here!

The info on the link applies to a supra and the wiring code colours etc on my Cressida WERE DIFFERENT but it gives you a good starting point.

If this saves someone else the weeks of frustration I had then I’m glad. I’m lucky I could find the problem and rewire the car myself to fix the problem. I hate to think how much it would have cost to get a sparky to fix it at $45 an hour charge out rate???

March 28, 2010

End Of March, Easter next w/end……

Filed under: Uncategorized —— bosogx71 @ 12:42 am

Well hello all.

This project is starting to take shape. I’ve given the car a general clean up and swapped the 14″ ROH mags and front suspension out of my old tt140 Corona. (It had GX71 Cressida front struts and cobra springs fitted to it.)

The rear springs between an irs Cressida and Live axle tt140 are totally different. and the shocks I had in the Corona (Hilux shocks from memory, so a bit shorter than std Corona ones)  are way too short.

Been doing a bit of measuring tho. I compared the shocks out of the back of Megan’s Suzuki Escudo. They’re a bit shorter then std Cressida ones and should work nicely. For the rear springs I’ve seen Falcon Futura rear springs used in Cressida’s. They’re a nice upgrade and are a bit stiffer than standard ones so I’ll source a pair of them for mine.

The front is where things will be a bit different. I’ve seen in the past AE86 race cars fitted with S13 coilovers and brakes in the front. So I did a bit of Google-ing and came up with this link.

The site basically explains the swap into an AE86. The conversion uses a mix of MX63 / AE86 / S13 / etc parts. Seeing as the AE86 and Cressida are similar I reckon this should work. The guys complain that the s13 spring rates are too stiff. But in a heavier car like my Cressida should be ok. I’ll let you know in a few weeks.

This afternoon and into this evening I carried out a jap spec quad headlight conversion. In Japan a GX71 is called a Cresta or Chaser depending on the trim and engine fitted. Both models have much better looking headlights and grill, the sexiest of all being the quad square lights fitted to the Cresta.

The conversion has made the Cressida look much tougher in my opinion.

Already every small change and modification is starting to bring this Cressy alive! Any how keep watching this space.

Here’s a few pics of how she’s looking so far, I reckon the baby blue paint and powdercoated mags work well, needs a shitload of lowering tho……

March 9, 2010

Engine Update!

Filed under: Uncategorized —— bosogx71 @ 9:47 pm

Ok this mornin I’ve been trolling through heaps of crap on the net about engine setups. Some people really have some strange opinions out there. The forums on the subject are quite laughable.

Any how I’ve found out that the 1GFE uses siamese intake runners. ie 3 intake runners 6 ports (each intake runner serves2 valves). This picture explains it a bit better, the whole picture thousand words thing…

So therefore my idea of individual throttle bodies won’t work with the revvy lil 2 litre. Damn you Toyota engineers!!!!

Oh well the 2JZ was always goin to be the better engine. It makes more power and torque stock than the 1GFE would have when modified. Also they’re more popular to modify so parts should be easier to source. The only bugger is everything is a lot more expensive than the 1GFE build would have been.

An underhood scene similar to the pic below is what I’ll be shooting for. That 2JZ looks so phucken sweet. I’ll bet it goes really sweet too.

Megan is goin to kill me when she realises how much all this goin to cost. Anyone got any really good suggestions on metheods of hiding vast expendature from ones fiancee???

I’ve Narrowed The Choices Down To 2 Contenders……

Filed under: Uncategorized —— bosogx71 @ 7:31 am

The two engines that have made it to the finals are

Drum Roll Please……………………………………


This is the n/a version of Toyota’s awesome 3.0 litre 6 cylinder. The turbo variant is famous for handling rather large power outpust on basically stock internals.

Wikipedia lists the power output at 220hp at 5800 – 600rpm, not to shabby!

Due to budget restrictions (ie i’m pretty much broke) the late model VVT-i version is too expensive. A local wrecker has quoted me $600 for an entire engine and loom plus any other engine related bits I wanna remove from the donor myself.

I’ve priced up a bellhousing, flywheel, w58 on TradeMe $2025 plus shipping. I’ll still need a clutch (amongst many other things) ontop of that.


Now I realise that many of you are probably scoffing at my idea of modifying a 1GFE. But Wikipedia lists the output as 160hp at 6200rpm which is still an improvement over the 105hp that the cressida comes with stock.

Cost does have to come into this build. I can get an entire 1GFE and loom from a local wrecker for $500.

When you line this cost up against a 2JZ build and realise that I won’t need to source aftermarket bellhousing, front sump (the std 1GEU sump should fit), Engine crossmember, engine mounts the savings should be quite substantial.

Not to mention istead of spending $950 to source the much sought after W58 I can spend around $300 and use a W50 (cressida standard fitment 5 speed) and run a standard 1G bellhousing. I think I may even have one of those in my assortment of treasures under my flat.

Whether I run with either engine I plan to adapt 1.5 sets of throttlebodies off Toyota Silvertop 20valve.

I realise that for the cost of doing an I.T.B. conversion (independent throttle bodies) I could simply buy an aftermarket turbo kit for either engine. The power gains from fitting ITB’s won’t be as substantial as the turbo conversion either.

These negatives asside there are a couple of reasons for me going down this route.

* The scream of trumpets on a high strung n/a engine is totally intoxicating

* n/a will reduce insurance costs

* I’ve had turbo cars in the past and had more fun ringing the neck of n/a weapon’s

* I’ve never seen any n/a 6 cylinder cars. After several hours searching I’ve found less than a handful of pics on the net

So there we have it a rough engine plan.

Time to start saving my pennies!!!!

March 6, 2010

Engine Options?

Filed under: Uncategorized —— bosogx71 @ 10:33 am

Ok the Cressy is gunna need more power, anyone can tell that. So lets make a breif list of engine options.


This has been done several times. Simply remove the old 1GEU SOHC anchor, and replace it with a Twincam, 12 Valve variant 1GGTE out of an early supra (Or 1GGZE out of an early Crown).

This engine swap is basically a bolt in fit and is a common swap into old cressida’s. I’ll have to swap the sump off the stocker onto the new engine. The twin turbos are junk too. a custom single turbo conversion would have to be the way to go. These engines are getting old now tho. Finding a good one that doesn’t need a total rebuild might be easier said than done.

Pros: Simple converrsion for easy power increase

Cons: Old engine now. parts are getting harder to find these days.


I’d have to source an engine crossmember and mounts out of a MX73 to carry out this conversion but it’d be basically a bolt in fit. The old 7MGTE donk being 3 litre has heaps of torque and there are several examples out there making 500hp easily with relatively minor mods.

Pros: Basically bolt in, Heaps of Torque.

Cons: Old engine. These things blow head gaskets and will require better head studs etc to make reliable power.


Now we’re starting to get serious. 2.5 litre, 24 valves, 2 turbos what more could a fella need? I know 3.0 litres ie the 2JZGTE! There are VVTi and non VVTi versions of both of these engines. They’re quite pricey tho. There’s currently a 1JZGTE and w55 on TradeMe. It’s ex Japan and the current bid is $2500 and it hasn’t met reserve yet! As for a 2JZGTE how deep are your pockets???

That’s a lil pricey for me at this stage considerin I’d still need intercooler etc ontop of that. I’m lookin down the thick end of 4-5 grand by the time I modify it a little. Dough!


Toyota’s all alloy V8 is a brilliant engine. This conversion is going to require me to fabricate engine mounts etc. I’m not a certified welder and I’m pretty sure the cert guy will insist they’re done by someone suitibly qualified.

(Other than the engine mounts) Fabrication won’t really be a problem. But I’m not really a “bent 8” kinda guy, and if my heart’s not really into it then what’s the point???

Pro’s: Torque, n/a power!

Cons: Don’t like bent 8’s, Fabrication required, Will need aftermarket bellhousing.


What about the n/a version of Toyota’s flagship donk? It still makes good power. Also bein n/a means no turbo lag.

I’ve just been lookin on TradeMe. There are a couple listed at around the $400 mark. Sweet, that’s a lot of donk for the money.

However I’m still going to have to pay through the nose for a JZ series bellhousing. The R154 supra box is bloody huge and goin to require a lot of tunnel mods to fit so not really a goer.

The W series box will have to do. it’s still capable of hangling 300 ish horses. The problem is JZ bellhousings for W5x box’s are rarer than petrified rocking horse shit. So it’s supply and demand. Aftermarket ones go for around $650 for just the bellhousing!

Aparently if I use the MX83 Cressida engine crossmember the JZX81 engine mounts fit! Huh, what can I say, you’ve gotta love Toyota’s interchangable parts!!!! :)

Pro’s: Similar power as 7MGTE but n/a, modern engine, Cheap (kind of)

Cons: sourcing a W5x belhousing for the JZ. Need a front sump off a 1JZGE (so does everyone else so $$$)


Hardly a popular conversion but the 1GFE out of the IS300 Altezza in theory should blot straight in (much like the 1GGTE). I know it’s down on power compared to some of the previous options, but they are ubber cheap. The late model ones have VVTi making 160hp. Interesting….

Pros: bolt in fit, ubber cheap, modern engine. can use cheaper 1G belhousing. Also if I’m luck ignorant WOF guy probably won’t even notice the conversion.

Cons: not much more power than stocker. not popular to modify so not many aftermarket parts available.

Individual Throttle Bodies

I was always thinking that ITB’s would be the way to go for either of the mentioned n/a engine options.

Now before you scream “just turbo it and be done with it” I’ve had experience fitting 4AGE 20v spec ITB’s to an old 3TEU I built. It went surprisingly well for an old pushrod engine still running a basically stock efi computer. Hopefully I could get similar results doin this conversion to a 2JZGE or even the 1GFE.

I wonder how a 1GFE would go running ITB’s ??? being a revvy lil 2.0l engine maybe this engine could be the black sheep of the modification scene???? But then again maybe not.


1GGTE and 7MGTE are old technology. I’ve been there and done that with old toyota engines. This time round I’d like a bit more technology than was offered in 1980.

A 1JZGTE or 2JZGTE would be the dream setup. But I simply cant afford to sink 4 to 6 grand under the hood simple as that. So scrub them off the list also.

The n/a 2JZGE would be a good comprimise. If I can fabricate a manifold and fit some ITB’s it’d be sick! Also the 2JZGE would make as much power as the 7MGTE conversion without all the hassels of an old engine and Turbo. If I can I’ll try to track down a VVTi version of the 2JZ as there are more Arristo’s about these days so they should be getting cheaper in theory.

The bargin basement 1GFE Altezza donk can’t be ignored though.

In terms of simplicity and price it certainly meets those requirements. It still has VVTi and is a nice modern engine. As with the 2JZGE conversion ITB’s would be the way to go. I realise that IS300 Altezza’s are slow but they are a heavy car, I wonder how an Altezza would compare to my Cressy?

A 1GFE conversion with ITB’s would certainly be different no doubt about that!!!

“MMMM, Much to ponder I have” (said in your best Yoda impression)

Design Brief. & Lots of compromising

Filed under: Uncategorized —— bosogx71 @ 12:58 am

Okay, So the design brief for this project is pretty much as follows:

~ Boso(ish) Style

I’ve grown to love the JDM Old school drift style that we’re starting to see more and more of. Something like the sexy chaser below I found at this blog

Now I know this has been done by people before. But I’ve been a toyota nut long before drifting took off over here and so I guess this is a natural progression for me.

~ Must be totally road legal and driveable

My fiancee will need to be able to drive this car otherwise she ain’t goin to go for the idea. So all mods have to be done within limits. The LTSA rules will have to be followed (ish)  to ensure this thing doesn’t attract pink stickers every time I go out for a cruise.

Also this thing needs to be comfortable enough for long drives down the coast to visit the olds. So that means no bone shaking stiff as phuck suspension setups that will require me to wear a kidney belt when driving.

~ Occasional Track Work, Yes Please

I want to be able to do the occasional drift session/track day in this car. I know this contradicts the previous paragraph. Maybe I am trying to have my cake and eat it too (mmmm cake). But why start a project like this if it’s not goin to be enjoyed? In order to still fit inside the previous requirement there will still be a back seat and carpet. No cage.

~ More Power

This is a given but I’ll mention it anyway.

Previous car builds I’ve had some mild street engines and some pretty wild engines on the street.

The latter although a lot of fun really won’t be that practical for this build. The mild is just plain boring.

I reckon I’ll make this engine as hot as my Fiancee will let me. She’ll be a great reality check for me really. Cos if it’s un-driveable she’ll soon let me know. (This may result in me sleeping on the couch for the odd night when I get this wrong. we’ll see I guess.)

Well, Hello I guess

Filed under: Uncategorized —— bosogx71 @ 12:08 am

Hey there all.

First a bit about me I’m a mad keen, old school. Toyota fan. I’ve owned heaps of old Toyota’s over the years mainly KE-30 and KE-70 Corolla’s, KP-60 Starlet’s and a few Celica’s of various chassis numbers.

This build, however, will be the first Cressida I’ve built.

Okay First things first. Find a suitable chasis to begin the whole shooting match.

After a few months trolling through rubbish on TradeMe. I finally stumbled on this minter owned by a local lad (who turns out to be an awesome guy, Aaron you totally rock!).

She’s a very straight GX71 Cressida currently fitted with a stocker’s 1GE SOHC and auto.

It’s such a releif to find a tidy, straight old Toyota with little of no rust for reasonable money. And In Nelson too so didn’t require an epic road trip to get.

Sweet, now to start the research then planning then dreaming & reality check. More planning and research.

Watch this space

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