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This was a good read. I'm amazed that you've put up with this as many times as you did. I'm not talking about with the same shop, but just having to rebuild that many times.; the numbers in itself as you see.
 

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Discussion Starter · #42 ·
Ken,

Threads like these is what keeps Supraforums alive! Amazing on your car it seems the least desirable color is often driven the most coming from a Ren Red owner. so unfortunate that you had to deal with issues upon issues, but now you get to enjoy the fruits of your labor. I've been inactive for a while but would log in once in a while to see what's going on. I'm glad you updated us with your car. enjoy her in good health, life is short, and add more boost! I'm hoping to come to SIV since I've been battling it out with my car but the bugs are getting sorted, little victories at a time. Hope to see you this year


Tuan
Tuan,

It was actually reading through your most recent update that inspired me to finish this thread. The issues you have had to overcome, successfully I might add, got me all charged up and here we are.

Renny Red might not be everyone's favorite, but it is one of mine. I hope we, finally, get to meet at SIV. I'll reserve the rest of my comments for your build thread, because it is a monster of a thread and I want to do it justice.

I'd have no problem taking my Supra to SP for work. In fact, I have done that for several items (TRD Diff install, PRO EFI install/E85 Fuel System). My problem is that SP is 6 hours away so I end up doing most of my work myself. Nothing wrong with paying someone else, though, especially now that I have a family, I'd much rather be with them than wrenching in the garage. It's all about priorities.

Steve
Steve,

As always, I appreciate your comments. I have thick skin so the "checkbook mechanic" comments never bothered me. I only mentioned it because I received PMs from some guys who were a bit bashful about paying someone else to work on their car and wanted my thoughts on the issue. Like you said, it's a matter of priority..... and expertise. I'm fortunate to be able to pay a company like SP Engineering, but I recognize everyone is not in the same position. Either approach will work as long as the required level of expertise is in play and you get the right results.

This was a good read. I'm amazed that you've put up with this as many times as you did. I'm not talking about with the same shop, but just having to rebuild that many times.; the numbers in itself as you see.
Jaime,

I'm amazed as well, but I've never been one to give up, even when the prospect of throwing good money after bad is staring me in the face. At the time, and in consultation with others, I felt my decisions to proceed with new motors were well justified, although this was not borne out by the results. In the end, I was able to recoup a bit over half of my total cost incurred (not fun), but I can never recoup the lost time or make the emotional damage I sustained during the lost years go away completely. That said, the more I drive her, the more these issues recede to the background and become a dim memory. If all goes as planned, eventually, they fade to black.


Ken.
 

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I fully agree. The guys tuning it were just chasing the AF average of all six cylinders which likely lead to other issues such as hot spots if the motor was ran for a while. If they had been there in person for the teardown and saw the temp differences across the pistons they should have realized there was a mechanical issue, not a tune problem. Unfortunate.
Could this be diagnosed by individual egt probes in the exhaust manifold? I have an MS3-Pro ecu, and it has this capability, which always seemed neat to me, to be able to tune individual cylinder fuel tables, but man... it's gotta be a ton of work for what likely amounts to the last tenths of the performance envelope that remains?

I'm amazed as well, but I've never been one to give up, even when the prospect of throwing good money after bad is staring me in the face.

Ken.
Ken, isn't this what owning a Supra is all about, largely? :p

You're right though, I definitely feel your pain. This car, and my last Supra, put me in a financial bind in ways I'm somewhat embarrassed to admit. Weird as this might sound, my Miatas have made me a better driver, but the Supras have made me a better mechanic.

That said, "mechanic" isn't a very appropriate term for me. I will freely accept that it's not a job that I'd be likely to succeed in. I can turn wrenches and do the basics when it comes to fabrication, but I am still very much a novice. The only reason I've done things the way I did was because I've kinda painted myself into a corner. My friends have always been pretty cool when things were good, but anymore I'm the only one who turns the wrenches on my car.

It's no criticism of anyone I know, it's just that... it's my car. I'm the one that has to live with it. It has to live up to MY standards, not those of anyone else. If I could afford to have a car built by someone else though? We in the Supra world are unusually blessed the variety of solid options, considering the relative rarity of these cars. :)
 

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Could this be diagnosed by individual egt probes in the exhaust manifold?
Yes, and it would have prevented the engine from letting go. But they should have seen there was a fueling issue just by looking at the pistons and spark plugs after it went, and tried to diagnose the issue there instead of chasing a table on the tune.
I have an MS3-Pro ecu, and it has this capability, which always seemed neat to me, to be able to tune individual cylinder fuel tables, but man... it's gotta be a ton of work for what likely amounts to the last tenths of the performance envelope that remains?
That's the whole point of buying a standalone with these extra IO ports. If you're shooting for a huge HP you'll want the engine components completely balanced, bearings spec'd, injectors flow tested, etc. and tuned on an engine dyno with all of these sensors attached so you can see what each cylinder is doing. It's not really about chasing a little HP, it's more about catching a problem before you blow up thousands of dollars.
What is often overlooked, or taken for granted, is that the O2 sensor is averaging all of the cylinders. Even on a four cylinder engine there will be a fuel trim difference for one or two cylinders. As you go higher dynamic compression you need to ensure the load per cylinder is as close as possible, or you will start spinning bearings.
Not saying you need this done for a 500 HP JZ. But, if it's something like a JGTC engine (think NASCAR) with restriction plates, then you will be technically limited to '500' and thus try to push the compression and advance the timing to get the highest dynamic compression possible with what limited airflow you have. The same can be said for the 2000 HP meth guys. That's a lot of pressure, and an I6 engine's components (crank, cams) are long, and they will bend and flex. This is especially important for racing series where they are limited in the number of engines they can use per season.
All that being said, it's still a good idea to buy a new ECU now. These cars are old, and the ECUs go bad, so it's not a bad idea to get one even if you are on a stock engine and won't use it to its full capabilities. Electronics from the 80s and 90s fail after a while.
 

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Yes, and it would have prevented the engine from letting go. But they should have seen there was a fueling issue just by looking at the pistons and spark plugs after it went, and tried to diagnose the issue there instead of chasing a table on the tune.
The old "tuning by spark plug" method. Never a bad approach, although perhaps a dying skill set. I have a book somewhere on the shelf that shows (in black and white, hah) how to read spark plugs and understand the operating conditions that tend to lead to a particular outcome. Definitely a book where the words mean more than the pictures haha.

That's the whole point of buying a standalone with these extra IO ports. If you're shooting for a huge HP you'll want the engine components completely balanced, bearings spec'd, injectors flow tested, etc. and tuned on an engine dyno with all of these sensors attached so you can see what each cylinder is doing. It's not really about chasing a little HP, it's more about catching a problem before you blow up thousands of dollars.
What is often overlooked, or taken for granted, is that the O2 sensor is averaging all of the cylinders. Even on a four cylinder engine there will be a fuel trim difference for one or two cylinders. As you go higher dynamic compression you need to ensure the load per cylinder is as close as possible, or you will start spinning bearings.
Not saying you need this done for a 500 HP JZ. But, if it's something like a JGTC engine (think NASCAR) with restriction plates, then you will be technically limited to '500' and thus try to push the compression and advance the timing to get the highest dynamic compression possible with what limited airflow you have. The same can be said for the 2000 HP meth guys. That's a lot of pressure, and an I6 engine's components (crank, cams) are long, and they will bend and flex. This is especially important for racing series where they are limited in the number of engines they can use per season.
All that being said, it's still a good idea to buy a new ECU now. These cars are old, and the ECUs go bad, so it's not a bad idea to get one even if you are on a stock engine and won't use it to its full capabilities. Electronics from the 80s and 90s fail after a while.
That approach certainly makes sense for someone going all out, but as you also point out, is a bit extreme for most people. I mean, just the pyrometers alone add up if you have to buy six of them...

I'm a big fan of JGTC, it was neat to see the powerbands on those cars. Yeah, they only made 300 or 500 hp, but torque for days... talk about well tuned.

On the subject of stock ecu setups, with Toyota coming out with reproduction parts, it would be interesting to see if they'd ever make new ecu's...
 

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Great read and awesome detail.

I looked at the manifold and downpipe/midpipe pics and seems like the downpipe narrows to 3" and the midpipe is 3"? The will be a restriction even at your power levels.
 

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Discussion Starter · #47 ·
Great read and awesome detail.

I looked at the manifold and downpipe/midpipe pics and seems like the downpipe narrows to 3" and the midpipe is 3"? The will be a restriction even at your power levels.
Thanks, Krister. Much appreciated. That downpipe isn't the one actually on the car, but I didn't realize it until after I posted the thread. Before I purchased and had the Precision 6766h turbo installed (3.5-inch outlet), my original APU turbo was a triple ball-bearing Comp turbo, the specs of which escape me at the moment.

Anyway, because the wastegate recirculaion tube was more acute than I wanted, I took the opportunity to correct this issue and size the the downpipe/mid pipe combo based upon the turbo outlet (3.5-inches graduating to 4-inch piping) and the 95 mm exhaust inlet (4-inch piping narrowing to 3.75 inches). Because of all the pics and data I had to collect for this thread, I couldn't find any pics of my current set-up after I discovered my mistake while participating in another thread.


Ken.
 

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Sir Ken,

Talk about some hang time during a build ordeal and then some. Let's chalk up another praise for basic instincts, you were right as per the old gut. I recalled a conversation with you and I had on going the Syvecs route back then and I silently question why the diversion from Vpro, as you're a JDM purist. Found my answer. Eau Rouge has certainly challenged you, as you have in that drivers seat, so I'm happy to have read your end goal being achieved. Building them are fun right ? LOL. She looks beautiful as ever and sports some cool soft and hardware. I hope to lay eyes on her soon as I have on the 2 other chariots.

Hope things are well otherwise and do enjoy in good health sir. Row those gears brethren
- Rik
 

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Great read thank you for that! Your red car has always been my "favorite supra"
 

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Discussion Starter · #50 · (Edited)
Sir Ken,

Talk about some hang time during a build ordeal and then some. Let's chalk up another praise for basic instincts, you were right as per the old gut. I recalled a conversation with you and I had on going the Syvecs route back then and I silently question why the diversion from Vpro, as you're a JDM purist. Found my answer. Eau Rouge has certainly challenged you, as you have in that drivers seat, so I'm happy to have read your end goal being achieved. Building them are fun right ? LOL. She looks beautiful as ever and sports some cool soft and hardware. I hope to lay eyes on her soon as I have on the 2 other chariots.

Hope things are well otherwise and do enjoy in good health sir. Row those gears brethren
- Rik
Rik,

Always good to hear from the "Black Mamba". Yes, for a set and forget guy like me, I never expected to give up the V Pro. Because of the problems encountered, the fact I wanted to go E-85 and SPE's expertise with Syvecs, it was a fairly straightforward decision that, fortunately, bore the results I was hoping for all along.

I still have my V Pro, though, so it could go into something else if time, opportunity and circumstances coalesce and make me an offer I can't refuse. Doing my best to row those gears. Just got back, as a matter of fact, from skimming more rubber off my rear tires. Thanks, as always, for the kind words.

Great read thank you for that! Your red car has always been my "favorite supra"
pkop,

Thanks for the compliments. You're not alone in Eau Rouge being the "favorite supra" of the ones I own. Swing lo and Suprafied joust from time to time as to who is first in line if she's ever sold.


Ken.
 

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Discussion Starter · #51 ·
Any idea why the rail was not sitting flat? I ask because I've had difficulties installing fuel rails flat in the past, and have taken many attempts to make the injectors line up properly. With each attempt I followed that up with pressurizing the system to look for leaks until there were no leaks at the lower injector bosses.
Dave,

Always great to hear from you, brother. Hope we can get together soon (pic taking and SIV).

No idea why the rail was not sitting flat. I do know that, when I picked up the car from SPE in 2011, we did NOT have a fuel rail/fuel leak issue. I'm just glad the issue was identified and resolved. I never had an issue with an HKS rail before, but I guess there's always the first time.


Ken.
Dave,

Here's some additional info from [email protected] that may help you and everybody else going forward. The HKS fuel rail is made for Denso-style, old school, JDM injectors. The ID injectors are Bosch-based and create installation difficulties when trying to install them on an HKS or HKS-style fuel rail. I don't believe it's the case anymore but, back in the day, and before the emergence of Injector Dynamics, many aftermarket fuel rails were HKS replicas, maybe even the one with which you experienced some challenges.

Anyway, that skinny, Bosch-based, taller, ID injector will create issues (leaks; direction of spray pattern) if not handled correctly. SPE trimmed the base aluminum rings to ensure they sat flat and lined up properly. This is, likely, not a problem for most with the quality Radium stuff available, Injector Dynamics becoming a major player and fuel rail manufacturers following the Bosch/ID path, but something to be aware of to avoid the problems I experienced.

This still doesn't explain how six BNIB, 1,000 cc, Denso injectors were bent by Evasive, but I think that part of it will always remain a mystery for obvious reasons.


Ken.
 

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Dave,

Here's some additional info from [email protected] that may help you and everybody else going forward. The HKS fuel rail is made for Denso-style, old school, JDM injectors. The ID injectors are Bosch-based and create installation difficulties when trying to install them on an HKS or HKS-style fuel rail. I don't believe it's the case anymore but, back in the day, and before the emergence of Injector Dynamics, many aftermarket fuel rails were HKS replicas, maybe even the one with which you experienced some challenges.

Anyway, that skinny, Bosch-based, taller, ID injector will create issues (leaks; direction of spray pattern) if not handled correctly. SPE trimmed the base aluminum rings to ensure they sat flat and lined up properly. This is, likely, not a problem for most with the quality Radium stuff available, Injector Dynamics becoming a major player and fuel rail manufacturers following the Bosch/ID path, but something to be aware of to avoid the problems I experienced.

This still doesn't explain how six BNIB, 1,000 cc, Denso injectors were bent by Evasive, but I think that part of it will always remain a mystery for obvious reasons.


Ken.
Ken, thanks for responding to the fuel rail question. I hadn't thought of that, it does make sense as to why I was having issues with injector/rail installations in the past. I always blamed the installer of said fuel rails for not knowing what he was doing.... i.e. me!
 

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Ken!

I thought this would be a fitting place to post this, just doing my nightly youtube supra content perusing and came across this!
Really cool, after all this time, to see you out and about mixing it up with the community and enjoying Eau Rouge! An inspiration to me in my later years for sure!



-Rich
 

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Discussion Starter · #54 ·
Oh, wow! Those who know me know I'm camera-shy but the guy was already filming when I was talking to a very knowledgeable young 9-year old about my cars. Anyway, @tony562 arranges these monthly Supra meets at Bob's Big Boy restaurant in Downey, CA., and I try to attend (and get others to attend) as best I can to support a real nice, monthly Supra event. It's a 111-mile round-trip from my home so it gives me a chance to put some miles on my cars as well.

I've gotten to meet a lot of young Supra owners, most of whom are slowly, but surely, building their cars. These guys are true aficionados and many of the MKIIIs, and a couple MKIVs, are older than their owners. Also, a number of the regular attendees are second, and even third, generation owners. I get a kick hanging out with them, offering up some solicited advice where warranted and talking all things Supra. I didn't expect, nor want, to be on camera but I'll make that sacrifice if I have to to hang out with the Socal Supras crew.


Ken.
 

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Sounds like a cool little meet they have going there! I'd like to organize something of the sorts out here in New Mexico where the Supra folk are plenty, but events/meets are rather thin. Looks like a good time!

And yes, the youtube generation is at every small/big meet out there these days so it's hard to avoid especially if they walk right up, camera rolling, and start blasting away with questions. I haven't had any sort of run in like that but I share the same sentiments when it comes to being on camera somewhat randomly!

-Rich
 

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@KenHenderson - I am happy for you having come through this with a positive result. The read was pretty difficult based on feelings of sympathy for your personal losses, and "build/shop commiseration" with you. For several years, I knew you had multiple waves of setback with this project, but it seems the storm has passed. Your takeaways bullets remind me of some from Ray Dalio's "Principles" book - seek out truth, drive to objectivity, avoid relationships interfering with warning signs. Maybe a good audiobook candidate for you to listen to while sweating it out in the coming SoCal Summer sunny days while washing the fleet.

The car still looks a pearl, Renaissance Red when done right still is a favorite. The little touches from years ago still feel just right, like the painted moldings and lip, powdercoated wheels, black/tan interior combination. I am happy for you, and look forward to seeing the car again and walking the details with you. I hope you are enjoying driving the car, and wearing out the tires in enjoyment instead of time taking the lead.

I flagged a couple of the moments/phases I could most empathize most with.

The Cursed Belief Phase(s)
"Ever since I made the decision to go APU, I felt this car was cursed."
"I struggled mightily with whether to finish this project and, for years, I left it alone and did nothing."
"...this is a build thread, not a shop review, and it is important to keep that in mind when perusing this thread in its entirety."

The In-Process Moments of Satisfaction (& Realization of Slippery Slope)
"[with the motor out] my detailer and I spent seven hours cleaning the car from top to bottom, front to back and everywhere in between. My detailer has a very effective pressure washer; otherwise, we might still be there cleaning the car"
Regarding the transmission while out " Some degreasing, cleaning solvents and my detailer’s faithful pressure washer and she cleaned up pretty nicely..."
"With the general success of our clean-up.... cleaning and polishing, it had to include everything and coatings too."

The Unexpected Dips, Head Shakes and "What Else" Moments
"BANG, BANG and BANG again!"
"To make matters worse... no clue why it was happening."
"At the meeting with Evasive, the owner did not show..."
"...Discovered a fuel leak, that all six injectors were bent, that the fuel rail was not sitting flat... the Race Logic was not tapped into the fuel injectors; only the power source.
Tire split while sitting

The Overdue Relief
"On a whim, I googled E-85 stations near me and, amazingly, several cropped up within 10-miles of where I live. I had long given up hope of ever having E-85 readily available to me..."
"At $2.95/gal., I feel like I’ve died and gone to gasoline heaven."
"With a few more adjustments here and there, the car wound up making 619 whp on its 91-octane tune"
"...at the same boost level as my 91-octane tune, the car made 730 whp"
 

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Ken!

thanks for the honesty and transparency on this thread. It is great to see both successes and lessons learned to help both new and old supra folks alike!

It is always great to see you post on here. :D
 

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Ken, thanks for posting. Those of us whom had our cars for extended periods of time can relate to some/a lot of your story. It has taken me many years to check my own hubris.

One thing you said many years ago on here that resonates with me to this day is the value in our cars is driving them. I hope you enjoy this car with many years to come in good health.
 

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Discussion Starter · #59 ·
@KenHenderson - I am happy for you having come through this with a positive result. The read was pretty difficult based on feelings of sympathy for your personal losses, and "build/shop commiseration" with you. For several years, I knew you had multiple waves of setback with this project, but it seems the storm has passed. Your takeaways bullets remind me of some from Ray Dalio's "Principles" book - seek out truth, drive to objectivity, avoid relationships interfering with warning signs. Maybe a good audiobook candidate for you to listen to while sweating it out in the coming SoCal Summer sunny days while washing the fleet.

The car still looks a pearl, Renaissance Red when done right still is a favorite. The little touches from years ago still feel just right, like the painted moldings and lip, powdercoated wheels, black/tan interior combination. I am happy for you, and look forward to seeing the car again and walking the details with you. I hope you are enjoying driving the car, and wearing out the tires in enjoyment instead of time taking the lead.

I flagged a couple of the moments/phases I could most empathize most with.

The Cursed Belief Phase(s)
"Ever since I made the decision to go APU, I felt this car was cursed."
"I struggled mightily with whether to finish this project and, for years, I left it alone and did nothing."
"...this is a build thread, not a shop review, and it is important to keep that in mind when perusing this thread in its entirety."

The In-Process Moments of Satisfaction (& Realization of Slippery Slope)
"[with the motor out] my detailer and I spent seven hours cleaning the car from top to bottom, front to back and everywhere in between. My detailer has a very effective pressure washer; otherwise, we might still be there cleaning the car"
Regarding the transmission while out " Some degreasing, cleaning solvents and my detailer’s faithful pressure washer and she cleaned up pretty nicely..."
"With the general success of our clean-up.... cleaning and polishing, it had to include everything and coatings too."

The Unexpected Dips, Head Shakes and "What Else" Moments
"BANG, BANG and BANG again!"
"To make matters worse... no clue why it was happening."
"At the meeting with Evasive, the owner did not show..."
"...Discovered a fuel leak, that all six injectors were bent, that the fuel rail was not sitting flat... the Race Logic was not tapped into the fuel injectors; only the power source.
Tire split while sitting

The Overdue Relief
"On a whim, I googled E-85 stations near me and, amazingly, several cropped up within 10-miles of where I live. I had long given up hope of ever having E-85 readily available to me..."
"At $2.95/gal., I feel like I’ve died and gone to gasoline heaven."
"With a few more adjustments here and there, the car wound up making 619 whp on its 91-octane tune"
"...at the same boost level as my 91-octane tune, the car made 730 whp"
Mike,

Thanks for taking the time to read through all the drama. I know that, on some level, you can identify with some of it. The reference to Dalio's "Principles" is spot-on, as I certainly let prior relationships muddy my brain and look past the red flags (particularly in hindsight, of course).

In the end, and even though I had serious doubts along the way, I'm happy to say "The Overdue Relief" made the journey worth it, and then some. As an aside, I almost had a good E-85 mileage reading until someone inadvertently hit the trip odometer reset button. Once I get something I feel is reliable, I'll let you know what the results are. Hope to see you soon, my friend.


Ken.
 

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Discussion Starter · #60 ·
Ken!

thanks for the honesty and transparency on this thread. It is great to see both successes and lessons learned to help both new and old supra folks alike!

It is always great to see you post on here. :D
figgie,

It's always good to hear from you, an OG authority of the highest order. Thank you for your comments about honesty and transparency. I figured the true value of this thread to other forum members would occur if they had a true understanding of what I experienced, the reasons pertaining thereto, and how we were able to overcome the challenges presented and adversity encountered.

I know personally it is difficult to admit to God and country the fact that you blew up not one motor, but three (!). But, glossing over the gory details wouldn't have helped anyone and, in the end, would not have assuaged my ego as some thought it might. Thanks again for your kind words.


Ken, thanks for posting. Those of us whom had our cars for extended periods of time can relate to some/a lot of your story. It has taken me many years to check my own hubris.

One thing you said many years ago on here that resonates with me to this day is the value in our cars is driving them. I hope you enjoy this car with many years to come in good health.
Hey, buddy,

Good to hear from you as well. Whenever I have thought of members I wished would post more, you have always been on that list. I always had the impression you drove your car as God intended and your posts were informed by your personal experiences rather than the internet group think you can find most anywhere, including SF.

I'm still of the same opinion. For me, the only real return on the investments I've made in all my cars is to drive them. Letting them sit in the garage or going through periodic cleanings, can only provide me so much pleasure. The real, unmatched pleasure, for me, comes from driving God's chariot. I'm addicted. I admit it but, if one has to have an addiction that actually makes one's life better, you would be hard pressed to find one better than driving a MKIV Supra.


Ken.
 
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