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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi!
So the past week I accidentally discovered how cheap mk3s are, and since I have been kind of getting bored of my 1.8T vRS and always wanted an 80s japanese sports car/gt, I decided its time to save up and get a supra. So as anyone would do, I typed the engine into google paired with "common issues" and got thrown into the deep water, rod-knock, head bolts, bearing failures, bad oil system etc. Had a short ptsd episode, its like buying the 1.8T all over again. (another oil sensitive, tight tolerances engine).

So after 2 days of trying to find up to date, relevant information, Im starting to give up, and Im hoping someone can help me out here.
Already read FAQ and technical, and cant find what Im looking for, tried searching the entire forum as well, and nothing relevant.

Im looking for a list of known critical faults, that need immidiate fixing after purchase, and peoples experience on what parts are the best, and whats the most effective way of fixing said faults.

What I know so far:
Head bolts need re-tourquing or replacing with arp ones+metal gasket
Dont run the engine low on oil (i daily a 1.8t, paranoid oil level checking is part of my daily routine)
Anything else?
 

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Disclaimer: my observations below aren't typical. It's a safe bet most of these have been 'enjoyed' by someone who will have modded them to tap-into the vast reserves of available power that 7M-GTE's are known for, if they're allowed to breathe properly. Mine was a one-owner, all-original / stock and only had 57K kms on the clock when I bought it last month.


As a recent fellow noob, I also attempted to do my own due diligence and the main things to look into are the head gasket, updated torquing specs of the head bolts and something about shimming the oil pump to avoid a common low oil pressure fault.

One would assume (dangerous) that in the 3 decades since these cars were new, that if they're on the road and drive normally, that anyone who has owned these cars this long would have sorted-out these common issues. Or else they'd have blown-up long ago. That's my logic.

In going-over the entire car and noticing the maintenance status of the car overall, including all new brakes at all 4 corners and the fact that the car starts, runs and drives like it just rolled out of the showroom, I'm completely at ease, although I'm also a compulsive gauge-watcher.

Sure. Mk3s are 30+ years old. Absolutely every gasket and o-ring will be brittle and needs replacing.
Interesting. In the month leading-up to my putting the car away for winter storage, I drove the hell out of it for around 1000kms as my daily, in an attempt to root-out any issues or maintenance items. Everything works, except I can't seem to figure out how to get the foglights to light-up. The car (no mods) starts, runs, drives, shifts and sounds like a Camry with 50-60K kms on the odometer.

After a month, I had to replace the brake master cylinder - that's the closest thing I've had to an 'issue'. I could lend my 30 year old Supra to my 70 yr old mother for a week and not give it a second thought.

So my two bits: If you found one that appears to be original and intact, it's a Toyota. Make sure maintenance is up to date and... it's a Toyota. They're hard to kill if you take care of them.

HOWEVER: If it's been handed-down from one tuner to the next to the next etc..... YMMV
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Sure. Mk3s are 30+ years old. Absolutely every gasket and o-ring will be brittle and needs replacing.
Yeah I mean ticking time bomb kinda stuff, a leaky gasket isnt gonna cause a catastrophic engine failure and can wait a bit.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Disclaimer: my observations below aren't typical. It's a safe bet most of these have been 'enjoyed' by someone who will have modded them to tap-into the vast reserves of available power that 7M-GTE's are known for, if they're allowed to breathe properly. Mine was a one-owner, all-original / stock and only had 57K kms on the clock when I bought it last month.


As a recent fellow noob, I also attempted to do my own due diligence and the main things to look into are the head gasket, updated torquing specs of the head bolts and something about shimming the oil pump to avoid a common low oil pressure fault.

One would assume (dangerous) that in the 3 decades since these cars were new, that if they're on the road and drive normally, that anyone who has owned these cars this long would have sorted-out these common issues. Or else they'd have blown-up long ago. That's my logic.

In going-over the entire car and noticing the maintenance status of the car overall, including all new brakes at all 4 corners and the fact that the car starts, runs and drives like it just rolled out of the showroom, I'm completely at ease, although I'm also a compulsive gauge-watcher.



Interesting. In the month leading-up to my putting the car away for winter storage, I drove the hell out of it for around 1000kms as my daily, in an attempt to root-out any issues or maintenance items. Everything works, except I can't seem to figure out how to get the foglights to light-up. The car (no mods) starts, runs, drives, shifts and sounds like a Camry with 50-60K kms on the odometer.

After a month, I had to replace the brake master cylinder - that's the closest thing I've had to an 'issue'. I could lend my 30 year old Supra to my 70 yr old mother for a week and not give it a second thought.

So my two bits: If you found one that appears to be original and intact, it's a Toyota. Make sure maintenance is up to date and... it's a Toyota. They're hard to kill if you take care of them.

HOWEVER: If it's been handed-down from one tuner to the next to the next etc..... YMMV
Oh okay, so I shouldnt be too worried then? Most that Ive found in my budget all seemed to be looked after, with lowish miles, rust fixed and resprayed. Biggest mod they have is an airfilter. Is the weak oil pump issue relevant on a stock car? Or only when tuned?
Thanks for the info btw really helpful 👍
 

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..... Is the weak oil pump issue relevant on a stock car? Or only when tuned?......
I wondered that exact question myself. On this forum, the emphasis is on getting MORE out of the engine. My admittedly unqualified conclusion was that if mine's just going to be a boring cruiser and never spin-up to even 4000 rpm, I'm unlikely to see failing gaskets or any failures related to insufficient oil pressure (although I have been watching gauges like a hawk).

Caveat: I could be completely full of crap... this is the internet, after all.
 
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