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General Information

White on Blue
MT Liftback


7MGE; W58; Base Diff
Aftermarket head unit
Stock manifold, mid Y pipe and MF 2.5" Cat, LET-T16 cat back
Wheel and Tire
OEM Sawblades, KYB Excel G shocks FR & RR


· Registered
387 Posts
Reconditioning a 1989 NA 5spd Liftback. Mostly original @ 68k mi. White on dark blue fabric. 86.5-87 Spoiler with rectangular brake light.

  1. Drive vehicle for a few days to identify issues. Knocking noises coming from underneath when going over bumps. Exhaust drone in cabin bad. Bumping noises coming from rear during drive.
  2. Engine started and ran strong every time. Hard to evaluate sound due to loud exhaust.
  3. Power wash under vehicle to remove dirt. Wash dust off of body and clean brake dust off of wheels.
  4. Inspect body & paint for rust/moisture problems. Body and paint in very good shape, no rust, no signs of body repair and all body VIN tags in place.
  5. Fuel odors in the garage after drives. Replaced old fuel cap with new OEM cap, eliminated fuel smells.
  6. After warming up the upper radiator hose was soft. Replaced old radiator cap with new OEM cap. After driving the upper hose stayed pressurized.
  7. Light cleaning and inspection of interior and repair some minor broken pieces. Apply leather and plastic conditioners.
  8. Aftermarket head unit not fully compatible with power antenna. Install switch in dash blank for manual antenna motor control to prevent antenna operation every time head unit powers up.
  9. Rattling front bumper support links; replace bite clips
  10. During drives shifting was not smooth and differential whine was present all the time. Drained and replaced fluid in differential with Valvoline GL5. Drained transmission, old oil smelled like GL5 (heavy S odor). Refilled with GL4 (less S content and no friction modifiers). Bled old dark brake fluid out of clutch hydraulic system and replaced with new brake fluid. Checked clutch free play. Shifting was greatly improved and differential whine only present on hard accels and decels, no longer noisy during cruise and light speed changes.
  11. Replace hatch rubber stops (Drift Motion kit); original rubber was hard and worn down creating the noise issues.
  12. Came with a 2.5" straight exhaust with OBX header. Custom job was not very good. Muffler not mounted correctly, lots of noise and interference with frame. O2 sensor too far back and behind a leaky connection to the header. Car ran rich. Stinky, no catalyst. Missing low to mid range torque. Cut the complete system out and go back to stock manifold, stock mid pipe (or 304SS fabricated copy), MF 2.5" catalyst and HKS LET-T16 cat back.
  13. Re-locate oil dipstick tube (rotate back to stock location to clear OEM manifold)
  14. Came with stock intake up to AFM but had a K&N cold air filter installed. Removed K&N in favor of used stock air cleaner box. Concerned about fine dust found in intake system. Looking for better filtration to keep grit out of motor. K&N flows good but not an efficient filter.
  15. Drain coolant from radiator & block and check cooling system for contaminants. Remove thermostat and check. Verify jiggle valve placed in 12oclock position and opening temperature correct.
  16. Remove TB and air inlet pipe to access and inspect cam covers, spark plug cables, spark plugs and cam cover #3 seal. Removed all spark plugs (Bosch), OEM cables, OEM distributor cap, rotor, OEM coil, and all 3 cam covers. Found oil leaking from cam cover #3 seals into spark plug holes. Replaced air intake tube gasket, cam cover gaskets and cam cover #3.
  17. Borescope inspection performed on all cylinders. OK
  18. All vacuum and coolant hoses found in good condition, no dry rot or damage.
  19. Check cam lobes and all valve clearances. OK
  20. Remove upper timing belt cover. Dust seal was missing, replaced with new one. Check timing belt and tensioner. Timing belt in good shape but too loose. Re-tensioned the timing belt to spec. Timing belt was replaced at 53k miles will leave in for now.
  21. Clean and recondition all removed engine components
  22. Perform cold compression and bleed down tests. Compression good on all cylinders. Bleed down highest on cyl 5, but within 15%; some air escaping through exhaust.
  23. Oil seeping from head gasket near #1 on exhaust side. Exhaust side head bolt between #1 and #2 was not at proper torque. Loosened 1/4 turn and re-torqued all head bolts in 3 passes stepping up to 75 ft-lbs.
  24. Perform cold compression test and bleed down tests. Results similar to first check.
  25. Check engine wiring harness and connectors. OK
  26. Install NGK Iridium plugs, NGK ignition cables, NGK coil.
  27. Install new distributor cap & rotor.
  28. Install all new exhaust manifold studs. Had to Helicoil one stud location due to stripped Al threads.
  29. Install reconditioned, coated manifold and heat shields with new hardware
  30. Replaced upper hoses, wiring and components
  31. Fill cooling system. Noted copper radiator still in place, filling with a conventional low silicate coolant
  32. Check all brake calipers and pistons for free movement. Clean and lube caliper pins.
  33. Remove and rebuild all struts with KYB shocks and mounts. Monroe inserts removed, they did not perform well during the drives.
  34. Clean and recoat underbody frame spot areas with light surface rust. Apply rust reformer and top coat with black frame paint.
  35. Reinstall struts
  36. Enjoy
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· Registered
387 Posts
Engine Inspection Report

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