Thursday, June 13, 2013

The adventures of the world's comfiest cruiser

Ahh newer car ownership, it's fun isn't it? Especially when that newer car swears at you in Japanese, is 22 years old and loves the game 'How many mechanics does it take to change an oil filter'?

My new toy looks like this!
(The answer to that question is one but you'll still pay about $80 in labor to get the damn thing out...)

Yep, in an amazing turn of events I swapped the noise and petrol fumes of a well traveled Mazda Rotary to the sound of two turbos slurping away happily while a family of four sits comfortably inside and listens to the fuel pump.
I bought a Toyota Soarer that's actually a Lexus SC300, but not here. Yes it's an imported Japanese Toyota here in Australia that would be a Lexus if we lived in America but came with Lexus badges anyway to really confuse everyone.
And if you think that's confusing, try finding a mechanic who doesn't screw up their face in utter bewilderment when you bring it in for something. I have found out the slightly expensive way that you need arms like chopsticks to get at the oil filter, the strength of Hulk to get it out and mobility like an octopus to replace an o ring leaking behind it.

My car hasn't done this yet
 My foray into luxury barge ownership came with a semi-decent list of things to attend to before anyone deemed it 'Roadworthy' and included sourcing a cover for the Cam Gears in case anyone was stupid enough to punch one while it was spinning.

Luckily Father in Law Baz and his extensive toolkit was a big help and between the two of us we managed to get most of that list out of the way - leaving the big messy jobs for those who enjoy pain in the ass work and the money that comes with it.
(Seriously, if your Soarer bushes need replacing - especially the rear ones - hire someone who has replaced them before...)

If you're planning to get one yourself, give it a really good going over as they're not cheap to patch up if you don't know what you're doing (or live near Baz).

Now don't get me wrong, I am definitely not sinking the boots into this beast as when it's up and running it's brilliant. It's smooth, it wants me to put the foot down and driving it feels like the world's fastest leather recliner. The 1JZ-GTE is a fun block of twin turboed fury and finally I have a car that A) My wife can drive (she hates manuals) and B) My son's kid seat fits in the back of. No more hugging the steering wheel with your knees because someone is sitting behind you for me, no siree!
Plus they're absolute bargains at the moment (again, check for how much work needs doing first of course..)

This isn't me, I couldn't handle looking this sharp
So without any further ado, I present the GBU (The Good, The Bad, The Ugly) of my portable pimp mansion.


- Comfiest drivers seat ever with enough settings to confuse a late model VCR. Makes cruising so incredibly comfortable. The only thing it doesn't do is massage you while driving. It's probably safer that way..

- Doesn't feel very quick because it's so refined on the inside. But it's quick and it loves hauling ass.

- Turns heads like nothing I've ever driven before. Amazing.


- For reasons known only to the previous owner, it's been fitted with a Bosch 044 fuel pump which is both ultra reliable and FREAKING LOUD! Seriously, you can hear this thing sucking up the juice before the engine even roars to life! It's in tank mounted but still makes its noisy presence felt on every drive.

- Can be thirsty. Resisting the temptation to boost is incredibly difficult.

- Very few mechanics have dealt with them before.

- Took me forever to fix the stereo once I took the 800kgs of amps, subs and other stuff the previous owner had shoehorned into the boot.

- Boot struts having the year off.

- The digital warnings...are mostly in Japanese. It bongs at you when there's something wrong and flashes up some characters. I'm getting very good at reading 'tail light out'


- Oh god, why it is only the stuff that's ridiculously hard to reach the things that need replacing the most?

- Power steering leaks on a lot of them. And many of them smoke. And then there's the turbos and their longevity...

Still, I'm loving my Golden Child Twin Turbo'd import monster. Oh what a feeling...


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