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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I hadn't intended to buy a MkIII Supra when i ran across this ad. I had actually been on the hunt for several months to buy a Turbo ii FC RX7. I had several close calls to buying one, but the stars never aligned and my frustration started to grow. The market for old JDM cars in 2021 is exploding. I'd half joked with my car friends that it was a wise 'investment' to buy as many examples of the classic JDM tuner cars we all grew up with and loved in the early days of Fast and the Furious, circa 2001ish. Rx7's (FB, FC, FD), 300ZX, 3000GT, MR2, GSX eclipse, Supra mk3 and mk4 (yeah right). I've watched as the clean examples dwindle from rust, poor ownership, and time. It's interesting when you don't notice anyone driving these cars anymore that they start to fade from memory. I don't play pokemon, but maybe collect-them-all is just in my nature, or until i run out of garage space, funds and patience with the wife.

The car had sat for 8 years, untouched, when the prior owner had someone try to steal the car. They jimmied the door handle, smashed the ignition, but weren't successful in stealing the car. The owner then parked it under a car cover where i found it when i rolled up.

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Nearly forgotten, I'd say, buried behind gravel and other things. Note that these pictures were AFTER it was pressure washed, and it was obvious the paint was going to need a lot more attention.

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A branch from a wind storm had dropped on the car, smashing out the window and denting a few places.

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You can see the years of growth on the cars body. There's a few flaws for sure, but I could see the value underneath it all. This had been the owners highschool car, and i could tell he had a soft spot for it. He had a black 89 Turbo that he wrecked, and swapped into this 1990 auto body. He was a very meticulous person so I felt pretty confident that even after sitting for nearly a decade i could get this back on the road. A deal was struck and i returned to rescue it from the jungle.

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The drivers front wheel was totally frozen, and it took some dragging and rigging to get it unstuck enough to roll up on a trailer.

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
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Made it home safely, pushed it off the trailer and went to hit the brakes. Pedal straight to the floor. Panic set in but the ebrake held enough to prevent it going through the house.

We set off to start cleaning the paint up as best we can, and evict all the wildlife that had made it home. There were so many slugs to deal with. Scrubbing the paint with dawn dish soap was slow and meticulous. About an hours time on the fenders and hood yielded OK results. This will require some professional help for sure.

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Here is the ugly. A quarter window will be needed, and some body work on the few dents that it took. I'm not sure if i want to have the car repainted just yet, or if this can all be touched up. The rest of the car is starting to clean up OK, compared to how it had started.

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Interior is in really great shape, just a little musty. We shampooed all the carpets.

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The dangling ignition was the spare igntion cylinder he had saved from his 89 that i plugged in, in place of the broken one. The theft attempt also took out the gauge cluster plastic.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The owner had said it "ran when parked". Normally that's 100% code for being trashed. I had a feeling he genuinely meant it.

One of the obstacles was the battery. He had relocated a Braille battery to the trunk, under the hardboard cover, and the trunk release did not open the hatch. It feels like cable was stretched too far ( a common problem I've come to find out). I spent a few minutes with the key, delicately as i didn't want to break my only copy, and finally got the hatch open. I threw a spare battery on the car and everything came to life. I pulled the drain plug on the gas tank and was a little surprised it didn't smell or look pissy and horrible. I thought, what the hell, let's just SEE what happens. So i buttoned back up the fuel drain, checked the oil and coolant. All looked good.

I plugged in that spare ignition cylinder he had from the old car, turned the key, and it fired over on the third crank. I couldn't believe it. It found idle immediately and smoothed out. Unreal. Feeling pretty good about myself it shut it down as I want to change all the fluids.
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A lot of aluminum corrosion, a little rust on hose clamps and a few bolts, but overall just needs some cleaning and scrubbing.

OK some details i neglected from the start (copy/pasta from ad):
1990 swapped 7MGTE
newer head gasket (2 or 3mm, he can't recall)
ARP head studs
CT26 turbo with 46 Trim
Greddy Profec A boost controller w/over-take boost
VW blow off valve (recirculating)
Ported turbo elbow mated to custom 3" exhaust to muffler (Flowmaster(?))
Exhaust header, turbo, and downpipe thermal wrapped
MSD 8.5mm spark plug wires Iridium spark plugs, 1 heat range colder
Hard-pipe intake
K&N intake filter
Thicker core radiator w/high pressure cap fitted to twin electric cooling fans and controller (mounted to side of fuse box)
Strut tower brace ST Anti-Sway bar set (F&R)
JDM adjustable height, adjustable bound/rebound suspension. Looks to be Apexi??
Removed EGR & fuel vapor catch can
Removed A/C compressor, condenser and lines in engine bay
Battery relocated to trunk
Kenwood Excelon Single-DIN Receiver w/CD player, folding and removable faceplate (operated via switch next to ignition)
Infinity speakers x4 Infinity Kappa 255a 5-channel amplifier, 50w x 4 + 200w x1 Re-purposed spare tire well as the "box" for a pair of Polk dX10 10" subwoofers in an isobaric push-pull arrangement
17" BBS wheels 245 (F), 275 (R)/40/17 tires
 

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I hadn't intended to buy a MkIII Supra when i ran across this ad. I had actually been on the hunt for several months to buy a Turbo ii FC RX7. I had several close calls to buying one, but the stars never aligned and my frustration started to grow.
This was the EXACT way I started out. When I found my Supra I was in search of a turbo FC but could only find convertibles. Even funnier is that mine was sitting in a field for several years WAY out in the middle of nowhere too.

Looks like it's going to be an awesome project. Definitely looking forward to seeing more as you fix it and make it yours.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
This was the EXACT way I started out. When I found my Supra I was in search of a turbo FC but could only find convertibles. Even funnier is that mine was sitting in a field for several years WAY out in the middle of nowhere too.

Looks like it's going to be an awesome project. Definitely looking forward to seeing more as you fix it and make it yours.
YUP! I've been looking every day for months now, and all that pops up are convertibles. I'll keep looking, but for now I have a fairly clean FB, and now the supra to tie me over for a while.
 

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congrats on the new project.

funny that ive recently been looking for an fc again to park next to both my fd's... and guess what?

i saw my old mklll parked in a field...
 

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Wow, sleepy eyes! Those definitely take me back. Smashed quarter window too. I think I got mine from a junk yard as I bought mine like that, same side. Ex-gf and a brick did in the person I bought it from. Your car cleaned up with a lot of elbow grease though. Why'd the owner stop driving it and park it for 10 years? Was it because of the attempted robbery/ignition getting messed up? Nice to see a hardtop.
 

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YUP! I've been looking every day for months now, and all that pops up are convertibles. I'll keep looking, but for now I have a fairly clean FB, and now the supra to tie me over for a while.
Ah, didn't even notice the FB in the garage. Awesome. That RX7 is on my bucket list. Feel free to work in more shots of it when possible when sharing updates on the Supra. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Wow, sleepy eyes! Those definitely take me back. Smashed quarter window too. I think I got mine from a junk yard as I bought mine like that, same side. Ex-gf and a brick did in the person I bought it from. Your car cleaned up with a lot of elbow grease though. Why'd the owner stop driving it and park it for 10 years? Was it because of the attempted robbery/ignition getting messed up? Nice to see a hardtop.
Yeah, the sleepy eye mod I want to undo. This car actually has a lot of "period" mods. Someone cut all the hood support webbing out. Hood pins. Battery relocation to the trunk. Cut radiator support grills from bumper. 10" subs in the tire well. Profect boost controller. ... I'm not crazy about the hood pins either, but will likely need a whole new hood at this point, sadly.

I was told the theft came at a bad time for him, he took the insurance money and paid off some bills and never got around to fixing the car. Then life happened and it sat at his parents house all those years.

Ah, didn't even notice the FB in the garage. Awesome. That RX7 is on my bucket list. Feel free to work in more shots of it when possible when sharing updates on the Supra. ;)
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Took it out friday for a nice drive. Slow but fun.

Wow! What a great find, and with all of those goodies! Looks like a great place to start.
Thanks, really excited for this one. Hope to get it back on the road ASAP.
 

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What a fantastic find - great work on the restoration so far!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Some more progress.

Deka battery installed - I need to figure out how i want to keep it tied down. The prior owner said he just used silicone on the trunk floor. Not a terrible idea really, since getting any kind of mounting bracket back there would require dropping the gas tank.

Gauge cluster glass damaged from the attempted theft:

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I found a guy on Facebook that sold me a replacement glass, but sadly it was in such rough shape I can't use it. Several cracks, and every tab is broken. Guess the hunt continues

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I called the local powder coater and they're at least 4 weeks out. I decided I don't want the car on jack stands during prime driving weather, so I'll push refinishing the BBS wheels into winter when I'm not driving it.

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Old "Supra" tires not super safe to drive on. New rubber installed.

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Firestone Indy 500.

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Oil changed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I'm not a completely OCD person, but we've been tackling as many easy to clean up bolts, and corroded parts as possible. It doesn't have to be a show car but some of these just really bother me.

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Master cylinder replaced, all the lines bled. No more pedal to the floor.

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Radiator brackets and hood latch painted. Still trying to scrub all the corrosion off the aluminum components. Lots more work to do here, but it's slowly getting better.

On another exciting front, i took the car for its first drive in nearly a decade. I couldn't believe how well it drove. The clutch was a little dusty sounding, and the brakes had to shed off all those years of rust. But it drove amazing. Took it for a few laps around the block, trying to burn off all this old gas, so i can get fresh 91 in it and do a pull.

I started smelling smoke so we returned home. Some leaves and wildlife that had made its way by the turbo and manifold were threatening to catch fire. We finished cleaning out that area and took a victory picture. Super happy with how this car is turning out.

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Still not fully cleaned up but now that it moves under its own power it will be easier to work on outside.
 

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Get some fuel conditioner in there asap to prevent crud from building up on the valves/valve stems. A max dose of Sea Foam Fuel Conditioner/cleaner would be my recommendation. The old fuel burns poorly and if it grundges up the valve stems (#1 concern) it can damage the valves/guides, seals, etc. I'm a champ of resurrecting old cars and if I'd have seen this thread when it started I'd have posted this immediately. Don't run old gas through a fuel injection system without this help as it could cause huge issues, vs $20 worth of prevention.

Great project, great thread, nice find! And it looks like your son is interested.
 

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In case a wire wheel isn't accessible, I have found that Bar Keepers Friend is a very good solution for removing aluminum oxidation.
 

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In case a wire wheel isn't accessible, I have found that Bar Keepers Friend is a very good solution for removing aluminum oxidation.
Another thing that seemed to help me, but YMMV, was Comet + A Red Scotchbrite pad. But a wire wheel works great too.
 

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Kuhmo Ecsta Supra tires... haven't seen those in a day or two haha. Nice find!

Personally I drained all the old gas out of mine, I had no reason to think the fuel in there was worthy of going through my engine, so... drain and maybe mix in with some lawn mower fuel, or find some way to legally dispose of it?
 
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