Magilla Gorilla: What’s a little rain?

Comparison of shape/design.


With the weather we’ve been having lately, it has been hard to find time to get some work in on the JZX. It has been windy and cold with rain showers about eight times a day. The nice days coincide with my work schedule with sun shining, blue skies, and birds singing while I am occupied until it fades away. This weekend I said hell with it and planned to get after it regardless of the weather. For the most part, I successfully called nature’s bluff and avoided most of the wet stuff…

Friday afternoon was beautiful and kicked off my weekend with a trip to the Toyota parts counter and UpGarage. I’ve had a persistent oil leak from the passenger side valve cover that a new gasket and multiple configurations of RTV haven’t solved. I am the hunt for a new cover after learning others have had the same troubles. I ordered a new gasket and o-ring washers to prepare.

Camber adjustment from the top side...


...and camber adjustment from the bottom side (stock setting shown).

At UpGarage, I picked up the JIC front upper control arms I ordered. These will allow you to dial in 10mm more camber on the adjustment plate and has three positions as you can see in the picture – 0, 5, and 10mm. My main motivation for buying them was to replace a blown upper ball joint on the driver side. One new arm from Toyota: 12,900yen. This set: 19,900yen. It was the logical thing to do.

Driver side upper arm in.

Saturday I awoke resolved to bear the elements and get the arms on my car. Cloudy skies, lots of wind, and a very choppy sea had me worried it was going to let loose. In a classic case of do it once and learn, I got the arms installed – driver side 1.5 hours; passenger side 20 minutes. An overlooked bonus of the new arms is they use stiff bushings for the two chassis mounting points. The stock arms’ bushings were really pliable and had a lot of “play.”

My gasket and o-rings were now waiting for me at Toyota so I used the opportunity as a test drive. The car felt fantastic. In combination with the new inner tie rod on the passenger side (it was blown as well), the front end felt great. High speed wobble, clunking, and general sloppiness were gone! Talk about a good feeling…ever closer to being ready to slide!

Gasket and bolt o-ring washers.

After a quick stop at Toyota, I found a nice parking place in a park. I felt there was more progress left in the day, so I set about installing my Defi gauge set. Yes, in a public park. Why? Should I find that I need a fitting, or break something, or lose something; I would would be a short walk to the parts store to get whatever I may need to finish the install. Bolting on parts is straight forward, but with things like gauges, you can find yourself on multiple trips to locate the correct adapter or hose.

Gauges in!

Luckily, I had everything required and it was the easiest install ever. Thank you, Defi Link Controller. The four wires from the bay – boost, water temp, oil pressure, and oil temp – all plug into the controller. One wire from that plugs into the first gauge, then you daisy chain from there. Easy peasy lemon squeezy. Unfortunately, during the install, my luck had run out and nature started doing its thing. I hopped back and forth between wiring on the inside and hooking up stuff on the outside between bouts of rain.

Here’s a video of them doing their dance:

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