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Discussion Starter #1
Hello all,

Great site - I've been through a number of threads already and the FAQ. My 17yo son and I just dragged an 88 5 speed Targa NA home from Seattle two weeks ago to see if we can resurrect it. Original owner says it was diagnosed with a cracked head 18 years ago and sat ever since. It's had mice, some water damage (hood looks like it was open to the weather - argh), but has only 120k miles and is unmolested right down to the original stereo.

I'm a senior guy on other make forums and a serial car project guy, so I'm hoping to connect with some like minded folks here to get efficient guidance on the inevitable friction points. I always thought the Mark III was the best looking version, and my wife and I had one new some decades ago. By way of introduction, I'm a former product planner for GM, and for Lexus and a full immersion car nut. All my classic cars are 'built, not bought' and a couple have that discreet sticker on them because I prefer people to know that versus think I just write checks when I pull up in the Quattro, VW, etc.

So the project. We already pulled an engine and trans at a U-Pull before it got crushed in case we need it. Has a great looking head and its had a very recent head gasket. Unfortunately, the #3 connecting rod cap came off and that's why the car is in the junkyard. Block looks like its got some hammer blows inside but that appears to be just cosmetic. It also had an LSD which is now in our garage as well since ours is a non LSD.

This weekend we will be pulling the original engine out of the car and stripping the head to see what we have. I've had the piston tops covered in oil and soaking for a couple weeks in case the rings are siezed and there is any chance of saving the block when we open it. Not going to try to hand turn it until the head is off. View of cams through oil filler is scary - blisters of white stuff, etc. So it may be they just parked it with coolant in the cylinders which would be too bad. I'd love to keep it the original engine if possible. That white stuff may just crumble and wipe off, or it could be serious corrosion. We're mere hours away from knowing (!)

Our goal is to just bring it to its original state and it will be my son's driver. Because of the corrosion in the engine bay from weathering, we are likely to need some odd parts that are normally lifetime and I may need some help on sources or area parts cars (we are near Coeur d'Alene, ID). Some of the components on the inner fender are badly rusted. The alternator is literally siezed - rusted in place.

So that's us, and I'm looking forward to the journey here. Thanks for reading.

Doug
 

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Welcome to the forums and welcome back to the world of supras. Post up some pictures of the car if you get a chance, we'd all love to see it.

I'm over in Seattle, quite a large number of Supras in the PNW. PNW Supra Nationals is a 3 day even this July up in BC this year, we encourage all the supra owners in the NW to come. Always a good time!

I too am concerned that there likely has been coolant or water sitting in the cylinders, I'd be surprised if the block isnt pitted on the walls and deck. Hope that isnt the case, but generally is with the history you have explained.

Thanks for saving another one, hope to see it running in the future.


Nick
 

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Good luck with the project, are your plans to leave it na with a stock rebuild or to do any enhancements? I'm local in Spokane and have had one of my two MKIII's for going on 14 years. I have a few parts stashed and will keep an eye on your project to see if I can help you out with anything.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Hey, Supra Nationals - we're vacationing on Vancouver Island that weekend. Heck of a coincidence - maybe that makes a nice target to have ours fully functioning though I am so anal generally I take an orphaned car like this and have it back on the road in less. Probably just jinxed the project...

Thanks for checking in. Stock is the goal for now, though I will confess that stripping our LS400 that has been in the family since new and putting that beautiful and smooth powertrain in the Supra did occur to me. Briefly. I want my son to have a fun to drive GT experience with a stock and reliable NA car here. It's red, and that alone will cause him enough trouble, I suspect. In going through some of the threads here I am honestly amazed at how many of you have beefed these cars up and to what levels.

So I'm excited to learn that casting #10 is considered a good head casting as that's what we pulled off the spare engine. GC89, we got it from the U-Pull in Mead out near you a couple weeks ago. I hope they don't crush that thing because as I mentioned our car has terrible engine bay weathering and I will need to go pull a lot of random things out of that thing that normally are lifetime electronics. It's pretty beat up and has been disassembled. Was hoping for a nose badge but even that's gone. Burgundy cloth interior in nice shape but some bonehead put the seats on the ground and they've been weathering.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
OK, first question of note. I need to drain the fuel tank. I put SeaFoam in it when we put it on the trailer a few weeks ago, and that means it sloshed around in there as we towed and now has been sitting for a bit. Is that a drain fitting I see on the bottom of the tank? I read ONE thread addressing it and it says yes but there is a seal I will destroy removing it. If that's a drain and the seal's available, I'm good. Anyone?

Today we are headed out to the shop to see if we can wrestle the engine out. I bought some Kroil after 20 years of PB Blaster and hit bolts a few days ago. Things look good - not too many corroded fasteners. Thanks.

Thanks in advance.
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
OK, so we have not been able to get the last section of the exhaust to come off the header. It's about 3 feet long. Has anyone been able to pull their engine WITH this section in place? We'll have much better access to get these bolts off with the engine out but I'm eyeing whether I can pull the engine with that piece of pipe sticking out the back. Thoughts?

Edit: We got the exhaust off (except the section note in question above), driveshaft out, all engine connections off, wiring harness pulled through firewall, and motor mounts disconnected. So we're down to the problem exhaust. I've gotten all the bell housing bolts off (top driver's side was rough..) and am planning to drop the trans to give room to roll the block to get the engine out with that exhaust bit on if I don't get any feedback. Tank drain looked good - the SeaFoam seems to have dissolved stuff with all the tow slosh and now sitting.

Any tricks on the shifter disconnect - does the console have to come out or is there a release for the boot edges I can access? Thanks.
 

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You have to remove the center section of the console (with the black rubber coating). The shift boot is attached to that. From there your can remove the inner boot and shift lever. When pulling the motor it makes a big difference if you jack the rear of the car up as high you can and a leveler is extremely helpful especially with the exhaust situation you have.

If you you jack it up and have a leveler to tilt the engine I think you could pull it with both the trans and exhaust midsection attached. I have never removed the header.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks. We have the car about 2 feet off the ground. We'll give it a shot as is and we can certainly raise it higher in the rear if need be.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
So, victory. We left the car as is, and were able to get it out of the chassis with the 3 foot chunk of exhaust in place. Rather than the leveler, we used a bolt through the chain to hold a loop in it to change the angle of the engine. On the 2nd try we found the right links and the engine tilted up at the right angle.

So the head is off and #1 cylinder walls show light corrosion I think our hone will clean up. The plan is to pull the pistons, and crank. Hone/deglaze and then assemble with new rings and new bearings. Can anyone recommend who to get the rings and bearings (mains and rod caps) from? I am not looking for step up parts, just run of the mill quality here. So essentially looking for a full head gasket kit with camshaft bearings, and crank bearings and if there is anything common to this block you recommend doing during a light rebuild. An example might be to change the oil pressure relief spring, or to lap the oil pump cover to get a final clearance of XX, etc. We are also looking for a clutch friction plate, and associated throwout bearings, etc.

For the head, I think I will just clean and run it - looks recently serviced and I have a receipt to that effect I found in the car. Any need for motor mounts?
 

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Hey mine been sitting for 10 years actually just came back to the forums yesterday to decide what to do with my car. Will be following your progress I want to sell or fix the car this month. I want to put a 30 plan together . Good luck and thanks for posting
 

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Discussion Starter #12
OK, I"m back. Heh... I have a couple threads here on the engine and such but I think I'll stick with this intro thread now. So, I've got the engine back in the house to get it room temp to check the bearing clearances. Got discouraged in the spring when I pushed the piston pins out and discovered I marred the piston bores on two. I ordered new pistons and pins online, didn't like the fit and neither did a machine shop I took them to. He said fix the mars. I finally did that over the weekend, which got me going on the whole project again.

So, now I"ll hang the connecting rods and pistons so I can plastigage the new rod bearings. If they fit as well as the main bearings from this kit, then I'll go right into honing the cylinders and then begin building!
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Ah, finally getting some time for this tomorrow. Grabbing the rods now to put in the house so the metal is all up to room temp tomorrow...
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Well, we have liftoff. The clearance of the new bearings was perfect on the crankshaft, and on the big ends of the connecting rods it was .021-.022 right at the loose end of the Toyota spec for all six, but well below the .028 max. So, I should have no issues with oil flow, or oil pressure. That shiny piston in the background was a set I ordered from Asia which turned out to be too loose on the wrist pins which also came with it. A machine shop checked the fit and said - 'nope, use the original Toyota pistons as they were a great fit and better built.

Now, I'll pull the crankshaft back out and those funky oil gallery plugs. I suspect those were used to bore the oil galleries and if I'm right there will be some unspeakable crud in there that's a backwater of the oil galleries as it's a dead end. I'll clean that, then recleann the whole block and start bolting it together. New rings, head had valve job, new main, conn rod bearings, head gasket, water pump, timing kit, etc. And the block is a nice gloss black for a good clean underhood start.

I should also update that our son bought my 1990 Audi 90 Quattro 20V Sedan and has his hands full re-doing the brakes. So this will be a solo Dad project now. So I get to pick the color, and the stereo, plus the wheel debate ends with the stock wheels staying as they are one of the iconic wheels of the day, IMO.
IMG_7935.jpeg



254637
s
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Rented a ridge reamer at NAPA tonight to clean up the tops of the cylinders. Just a touch needed. I'm traveling for a couple days so I won't get to it before the weekend. In other news the body is out in the side yard and the top of a tree snapped off and fell within inches - a side branch on it actually whacked the roof, marred the paint, and tore the cover. Fell like a pile driver and would have punched right through any glass, or would have deeply dented metal if it were a direct hit. We had a windstorm. Dodged a bullet!
 

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Discussion Starter #17
OK, ridge reamer worked a treat. Once I cleaned the remaining carbon off with cleaner, it was only #1 that had a tiny ridge about a quarter away around - barely discernible. Reamer barely touched and its smooth and the cylinders are ready to hone tomorrow.

I also polished the crank today with 1000 grit and the clever shoelace method. The journal surfaces looked very, very good but had some water staining marks from when it sat for all those years and a whitish deposit I could not get off. The marks polished right off and the bearings have an obvious better finish now - glossy and uniform edge to edge. What looks good to the eye also maintains a better oil film the smoother it is.

Here, the surfaces at the top of the picture have been polished, and the lower three are just as I found them.

255066
 

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Looking good. Nice use of the shoelace for crank polish :D

Other than the staining, the crank looks pretty good.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Thanks - that staining was on the 3 in the photo still untouched. The polish left them nice and bright. Just got the block back from the machine shop yesterday to get their opinion on Cylinder 5. The hone left some evidence of the water/rust in the form of pits here and there in the cylinder wall in small groups. He felt it, said the hone had done its job knocking any high spots the rings might have hooked off, and asked what rings Im using. He liked that answer and said the block is in better shape than many boat engines he gets in that are running fine but need other attention. So, back to assembly!!
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Well, another victory today. I spent a bit more time on the head gasket surface of the block in the front hallway with sandpaper glued to a slab of marble. I filled a couple pits on the block with epoxy so this last touch trued them. Then brought the head in the house to warm up and cleaned enough of the head surface to check for warpage. I borrowed a 24" flatness bar from a machine shop and am happy to report head and block are flat. So, I'll continue with the process. I also rechecked the "Toyota HG vs others" threads and am going to use the one that came with my bargain kit online. Totally stock rebuild. Today felt nice to have this step complete because anything could have turned up - warped head, warped block. I'd like to figure out a way to check the valve sealing as the head came off a U-pull engine that had suffered a con rod failure. There's no mark on the piston (we kept it as a paperweight), and the valves also don't show evidence, so I think I'm fine. This is a non-interference engine, so that paid dividends here - thanks, Toyota!

Anyhow, onward and upward.
 
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