LBC Build Log - Apex

One issue we ran into was finding a splined steering shaft that matched the eclipse (maybe 14mm but measured .555). Moot issue because our fuel tank interfered with the stock steering location. We needed to lengthen the intermediate shaft coming out of the firewall so we machined a slip joint that was .555 on one side and 3/4 DD on the other. This way we could also purchase standard size u-joints to match up with the rack and 3/4 DD shaft we got.


Cut off the existing u joint and welded on the slip joint. The DD side just gets set screws.


Needed additional support so adding steering rod end. You can see slip joint at firewall that along with the short shaft drops down below fuel tank.
 
any regrets in doing this build (would you have chosen something else)? this seems far more involved than building one of the regular RCR cars, but maybe I'm wrong.
 
Building this car is much more difficult than building other RCR kits because there are no directions on how to proceed and there are so few being built. It involves a lot of trial and error and buying a lot of parts that you later find do not fit as they interfere with critical parts later. I haven't decided if you save any money as you source parts individually instead of a group buy like RCR can. In the end, I think it will be a good car.
 

Fran Hall RCR

Moderator
GT40s Sponsor
The kits supplied were all Beta build prototypes essentially....

The Apex had not achieved production status and the project is with a new owner , they have plans to develop it further .
 
any regrets in doing this build (would you have chosen something else)? this seems far more involved than building one of the regular RCR cars, but maybe I'm wrong.
Honestly I'm just trying to stay positive about the build and just trying to move forward and onto the next thing to eventually complete the car. Obviously this isn't what I expected when I jumped in (most builds aren't) but I look at that as partially my mistake because I didn't wait to see what the build would require - I just anticipated the product would be like their other cars and went off the earlier discussion about the Apex on the forum.

I think in a lot of builds you would go back and do things differently given the chance, not necessarily regret. I already have a list of those here. It's part of the process. But to answer your question, going back to the beginning, there's no question I would pick another car. I think it could be easy to stick to a budget with the SLC and still have an awesome car.
 
I've been doing research on the Celica front headlights. From what I read there are really three options. I have not found any aftermarket light assemblies that are worth getting. All seem to be low output low quality (poor projectors and the covers peal/yellow in 6 months).

1st option standard OEM halogen lights and upgrading to Osram Rallye 65 watt (H7) bulbs. Slightly shorter life bulb but provide 2100 lumen for @ $35 pair. I've heard you can also find decent OEM replacement assemblies at slightly lower cost (as opposed to genuine toyota). These have 10 year limited warranty @ $175
2004 Toyota Celica Headlight Halogen Pair AM-15014302 at AM Autoparts

2nd option is an HID upgrade to the 1st option (halogen assembly).
H7 Morimoto Elite HID Conversion Kit | The Retrofit Source
This can involve not opening the assembly and just adding ballasts and bulbs (good idea to plug two holes on shield which cause glare with HID -use metal tape or similar). Can also open assembly and change to a clearer lens (tsx) which improves results. Or go all out diy and retrofit in a 2.5 HID projector in place of the 2.5 hal projector (sc430, s2k) which isn't easy in the celica assembly but possible.

3rd option is to find OEM HID headlights. These were option only after 03 and are a little pricey as a result but luckily are good quality (wide/bright). Essentially are same as SC430 projectors and can also benefit from a clearer lens if you don't mind opening it up. One pair on ebay now for like 950 but I think I've put together new for around 750 (529 assemblies, 100 ballasts, 130 best bulbs).

HEADLAMP COMPONENTS for 2005 Toyota Celica
Amazon.com: OSRAM D2S CBI Cool Blue Intense Xenon HID Headlight Bulbs 5000K (Two Bulbs): Automotive

Amazon.com: DDLT002 D2S D2R HID Xenon OEM Ballast w/Ignitor for Lexus Toyota Mazda D2: Automotive
Revisiting this post...just bought some headlamps on ebay. Kind of an impulse buy but hey. After looking recently I could find new HID assemblies for $590. But then you'd also have to buy all the light sockets and bulbs and covers and ballast etc. which add up. These are a set of used JDM lamps with all for $499. New aftermarket lamps (spec-d etc) would look more used then these within a month with their cheap plastic...so for a $200 premium I'm hoping this is a better deal (and I don't regret buying it after getting them in hand like most of my past used purchases on ebay).



 
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Will be using redhorse performance fittings for pretty much the entire system. They're very good quality for the price and I've had good results with them. Streetsideauto.com has pretty good prices on them. Using RH's series 205 E85 braided stainless.

 
Got my flex fuel sensor. You can usually use an OEM sensor instead of the aftermarket ECU part. Here the GM sensor is 1/3 the price of the Haltech one and it's the identical sensor. Also I prefer this style of SAE fuel line quick disconnect (over the plastic insert style). I don't usually buy Russell but the disconnect is a good part. I bought the Russell nut and sleeve, because matching brands is usually a good idea however this is why I don't buy Russell. Very poor finished part.


 
Lapse of judgment. Needed $99 for free shipping at Summit and they don't carry RH...lol. Truthfully I wasn't thinking RH would have that style of quick release fitting and didn't see it until later. I considered sending it back but said f it.
 
I think I may have screwed the pooch. Can someone with knowledge of the light brake inspection (California) chime in regards to DOT lights. These JDM OEM lights I bought are basically the same exact light as the US OEM lights however I don't think they will have DOT stamping. I'm guessing this as stupid as it sounds will be a problem.

EDIT: Well what's funny is the headlamp came with a broken mounting tab (I have the worst ebay luck), this time it works out because these JDM lights are going back to Japan. So I guess I'm buying US OEM halogen lights instead of the HID. I can't stomach 900 for those things.
 
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There was a lightweight panel in the tunnel of the eclipse they call a reinforcement panel. Was going to toss it but I think it will come in useful as a heat shield for the coolant lines in the tunnel....only problem, they interfere with the coolant lines in the tunnel. So cut out the center brace and the portion of the panel that went around it. Now can run the stainless tubes level front to back.

 
Also I bought this style of weld-in twin tube beta clamp's for the 1-1/2 stainless tubes in the tunnel. Little concerned about the plastic, believe it's probably polypropylene. Curious if anyone has used them and know if they will hold up to coolant line temperatures?

 
Also I bought this style of weld-in twin tube beta clamp's for the 1-1/2 stainless tubes in the tunnel. Little concerned about the plastic, believe it's probably polypropylene. Curious if anyone has used them and know if they will hold up to coolant line temperatures?

I have the exact same things holding my water pipes. So far, so good. Although I've only had the car on the dyno as the "hot" test. No street miles yet.
 

Scott

Lifetime Supporter
Hard to know if you aren't sure of the material... best way is to test it. My wife loves it when I use kitchen appliances for experiments. A 15 PSI pressure cooker with get to 250 F which is about the right temp. I'd drop it in and cook it for a couple of hours and see what happens. I'd be more worried about a plastic smell than it melting. If you don't have one you can get a new one from Amazon for $49
 
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