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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Best bang for the buck first mods?

Disclaimer: I had a 86 Celica for 15 years so I'm not new to Toyota but this is my first Supra, so if I say anything stupid don't kill me right away.

To get an idea where I'm going with this is on Subaru's you can buy a $85 bigger rear sway bar and dramaticlly change the handling because the stock one is so small. That's what direction I'm aiming at with the thread.

I'm picking up a 87 NA Supra with 120,000 miles on it. Once all the mechanical incidentals are taken car of I would like to do some minor mods to it. I have a Subaru that is my main car and gets the bulk of my mod fundage. I wanted the Supra for a second car because I have always liked them and it's a deal I can't pass up. The Supra will be daily driven, "spirited" driving on twisty valley roads, and auto-x and track days when the Subaru is on the lift. I might drag it just to see what it does. I don't have particlular goals I am trying to hit like 1G on the skid pad or 300hp at the wheels I just want to improve the car to make it more fun to drive. I am into a balance of both handling and power. I have already seen that most people immediatly point toward intakes and exhaust on the power side so I am reasearching those so we don't have to discuss them. Another thing is I have heard the MKIII is a bit on the heavy side so will have to shell out a lot of money to get the car to be a capable handler?

So in short what are the weak points I should address to make my MKIII a well balanced, fun to drive daily driver.
 

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Dr Wheelspin Rh.D.
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You'll be hard pressed to get 300hp out of the N/A motor. It would be much easier to transplant the turbo motor in and do just a few minor mods. To get an idea of how many mods you would have to do to an N/A click here

For handling you'll want front and rear sway bars, they both need replacing to make the car stable. Springs and struts would be next, there's a lot of choices and they're all personal preference. I like linear springs so I've tried Tokico springs and ST springs, both handled nice. The Tokico HP struts were cheap, non-TEMS, and handled bumps pretty well. I wouldn't say you'll have to shell out a ton of money, just don't expect it to handle like a graceful light car. The suspension design is top notch, it's just a damn heavy car. Being competitive with it will be hard and require a lot of skill, but just for fun driving it's a blast to drive.
 

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KermitTheFrayer said:
Intake, exhaust, down pipe, MBC, ghetto waste gate shimmy.

And welcome, I'm pretty new myself how long have you been gonzo?

I have been Kermit since I was 12.
He is N/A. First, I would get everything mechanically sound, then do intake, exhaust, and some suspension work.
 

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wastegate hose is pulled
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They handle good in stock form, not nimble like say, a WRX, but stable and stuck to the road like a good GT car should be. No need to change the rear sway bar so that you can steer with the gas pedal, the balance is pretty good stock.

Springs, shocks and sway bars are all good upgrades to make it handle really well and be a bit more nimble at some ride quality expense. Stripping off some unnessicary junk to make the car lighter is also a good idea. The front seats, for example, can serve double duty as ship anchors.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
KermitTheFrayer said:
Intake, exhaust, down pipe, MBC, ghetto waste gate shimmy.

And welcome, I'm pretty new myself how long have you been gonzo?

I have been Kermit since I was 12.
It's NA so no turbo toys. I'm just wondering if there are any ECU tricks or if cams make a world of a difference, things like that.

I have been Gonzo since I was 5. I just got the 15 dvd set it's cool to watch all the old shows again.

Bishop- my goal isn't 300hp I was just saying I don't have any particular goals like 300hp. I'm just looking to improve any weaknesses the 7M has like if it has very mild cams, poor flowing heads, restrictive intake or exhaust, so on and so forth.

Yeah i didn't know how well balanced and designed the stock suspension so i didn't know how far i would have to go to get it tuned better.

Also it has the sport/comfort suspension option on it. It just looks like motors on top of the strut towers to adjust dampening. Any comments on improving that or will it be tossed if the struts are upgraded?
 

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wastegate hose is pulled
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Only shock choice that retains the "T.E.M.S." is Tokico Illumina II. I'm happy having ditched mine,

The engine is pretty well designed and it is tough to squeeze more than a few extra ponies out of the N/A.
 

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Destroyer of Turbos
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there are guys that go all out (rebore the block, bigger pistons, etc etc) on NA and can make some respectable numbers so im not really sure why everyone immediatly says NA is weak go Turbo etc etc. I'll admit there aren't many cheap hop ups for the NA motor but you can create a pretty nice motor out of the 7M-GE... for cheap.... turbo might be the best bet.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I figured the TEMS systems was more of a perk than a true performance option. I have the EDFC on my Teins on my Subaru and it's more of a convienence on the steet but on track days it's awesome be able to adjust dampening on the fly.

I think engine wise I will just look for better throttle response and smooth power band so if an intake and free flowing exhaust will give me that then that question is answered.

Oh the WRX's are not that nimble. ;) They have a big understeer issue in stock form but it's easiy remedied. I drive an older 2000 RS but it has a JDM Ver Sti in it so it surprises a lot of people.

Thanks for all the help so far, this board is great.
 

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wastegate hose is pulled
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Oh the WRX's are not that nimble.
Compared to my Supra, my WRX is a slotcar. :D I think you'll understand when you get your Supra. It isn't an understeer / oversteer thing, it is just that the Supra is a big heavy car compared to a Subaru.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Yeah I was noticing that BHG was an issue also. Any recommendations on which MHG to get? I have only seen HKS's so far, any others?

And how much of a pita is it to do if I have the service manuals? I did all the mechanical on my engine swap on my Subaru so I can handle my own with a wrench.
 

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no more supras
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i would think lapping would be the hardest thing to do, or at least most time consuming. not that i've done it myself as i'm not mechanically inclined.

however much you lap, do some math and figure out the best fitting MHG to give you stock, or since you're NA, even a little higher compression. most people here who do MHG before the BHG usually stick to 1.2 HKS or 1.5 greddy. i got a 2.0
 

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CT12 Destroyer
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Welcome bro. Your 2.5 looks sick :)

First mod on my list would be MHG, Intake, Test pipe if allowed in your state and Full catback.

Then you can go on from there
 

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Dr Wheelspin Rh.D.
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The best bang for your buck with an N/A are intake, cat-back, header, increasing the timing and running 91-93 octane, electric fan, aluminum flywheel, aluminum driveshaft and lightweight wheels. Fooling with the ECU might net you a little power but would require a considerable effort on your part since nobody that I know of makes a chip. Working with the head and cams is pretty minimal gains unless you go all out with $. It's best to stop after a few bolt-ons, b/c after that point you could have gone turbo and been so much faster. Especially if you like handling curvy roads the amount of power an N/A can produce with a few bolt-ons is plenty to have fun. Best to concentrate money on suspension.

Compared to EDFC, the TEMS is complete garbage. Yes you can feel a difference but it's not hugely drastic. I've got Tein Flex on my Supra and full firm to full soft is a HUGE difference.

Unless you increase the compression in your N/A you will be perfectly fine with a new OEM HG ($50) with ARP head bolts ($90). No need to spend all the money and time on MHG.
 

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Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
MHG - If there is no warpage couldn't I just go with a 1.0mm gasket and not have to do any lapping? Plus I have bad experiences with multi layer gaskets, I think the more layers the more suspect they become.

Intake - Do the AFM's play well with oiled filters or should I go with somthing like the Blitz SUS?

Supra Junky 101 - thanks for the compliment. Where you at in NH. I have a brother in West Leb and get up there quite a bit. The Subaru loves the logging trails up there.

Bishop - electric fan? I am going to assume you mean the radiator fans. Are the stock ones controlled by the ECU based on coolant temp or are they manual? I haven't had a lot of time to poke under the hood yet so educate me. :D I'm replacing the radiator, end tank cracked, so I'll have them out anyways.

Exhaust - I'd like to have something dual tip and looks just a tad more aggressive than stock with a deep sound. It has a pace setter cat-back now it sounds like shat. Any recommendations there.

So where are th best places to find the mods I'm looking for? I've been on MVP's site, where else can I go?
 

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I have an 88 n.a. and picked up my intake at 935motorsports for about 80.00. I bought an hks adapter cause I've had the cheap 6.00 ebay specials and they suck! I also did a cold air setup at the same time. Pick up a F. Strut Bar too seen as how they are cheap and yes it does make a difference. Anyways here is a link to my intake set up: http://photos.yahoo.com/chase93toy
 
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MHG: If you're goinbg to replace the HG, then do it right, or don't bother. Just slapping in a MHG is a sure way to get a blown head gasket, no matter what else you do.

Yes, a 1.0mm gasket will help performance by bumping up compression a bit. Everything helps. There aren't any "simple" ecu tricks to use, although loosening up the AFM flapper door has been reported to free up a bit of power. My fear with that is always that it will also lean out the mixture. Detonation is NOT your friend.

For handling: Tokico struts seem to be a good first step. There are other kinds available, as well. There are a number of on-line retailers who specialize in the Supra, our hosts here being one of them. Swaybars are either Whiteline or Suspension Techniques. The ST seem to be a bit cheaper on average, and many people also seem to like them better.

As far as power goes, the NA is still fun to drive, but it's just too heavy to really accellerate. If you get the shifting just right, you can get some decent pickup out of it, still. Fortunately, swapping in a turbo engine isn't difficult. -- You can also put the factory turbo onto the NA block, but be warned, that's far from the only difference between the two. It's a completely different electronics setup, and there are internal differences, too. (For starters, the compression ratio is much higher on the NA than the turbo) -- That's not to say that it can't be done, it can and has. In that case the higher compression ratio limits max boost, but in the range of boost that it'll accept, it makes more power than the turbo motor at the same boost pressure. (Mine is just too high mileage for me to want to do this.)

Best of luck!
 
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