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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My son was killed by a nasty form of liver cancer. I've been tasked with selling his 1987 Supra with a Lexus 400 V8 he swapped in the car. I've no idea what it is worth. Any help from forum members would be appreciated.
 

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First off, my sincerest condolences. I can't even imagine what you have been through.

If you have some more information about the vehicle and perhaps some photos, we here at the forums are excellent at giving you a ball park estimate. Of course the old saying goes "the car is only worth what someone is willing to pay" and in this case it sounds like a really cool build. As much info as you have would be helpful in this situation.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I can provide photos as soon as I figure out how to post them. I must confess I've found the site a bit confusing to use. Mostly because I'm an old fart with little computer skills. The car was a rolling chassis when my son purchased it. No engine or trans. I believe it had the turbo charged 6 in it when new. My son, Mark, installed a 1UZ Lexus 400 V8 in it with an A340E auto trans with a lockup converter. He rewired most of the car with new aftermarket gauges and controlled the engine and trans with a Mega Squirt computer system. I've driven the car one time and found it to be a solid bit of work. The car has new tires, a new interior, nice mags and lots of spare parts including a builder 1UZ engine. He also purchased all the components needed to install air-condition in the car. That's the good news.

The bad news is that several months before he passed something got down the intake and did a number on the number one cylinder. I rolled the dice on a repair and pulled the left cylinder head. It was damaged beyond easy repair. I took a head from the builder engine, which is dismantled, cleaned it up and installed it on the engine. Engine started and ran just fine, but it had a knocking sound that I hoped was a wrist pin knock. The second time I started it the oil pressure went to zero and I suspect the rod bearing has spun on that journal. So the engine runs, but it will need serious work to be drivable. If I would of had the equipment and the desire to pull the engine I could make it drivable to show the cars performance and worth. My 74 year old body isn't up to the task. He drove the car to work and back for a year before this happened. The car is worth saving, but it will take a good mechanic with some skill to make it happen. The body is straight and I believe it to be rust free. It's a New Mexico desert survivor and should be rust free. I can double check that for a prospective buyer. It needs paint. The roof panel is faded with the clear coat going on it. The rest of the paint is what you would expect for a car that age.

So, it would be a good body for someone to put it back stock if they had a rust bucket car with a stock drive line. Or can the 1UZ V8 and put an LS Chevy in it. Or just go with the 1UZ. I managed to get some pics attached. I have more if anyone shows an interest. I've no idea why they were inserted twice??Thank you for any help you and others might provide.
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Wheel Tire Automotive tire Locking hubs Tread
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
One more bit of info. I forgot to mention the car had a standard shift trans when new. He decided on the A340E during the build. A friend of his helped him rebuild the trans. The friend owns a Transmission repair shop. Trans should be like new. There was a mix of 340 parts to configure it to fit the Supra.
 

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As PX4Ports said, my sincerest condolences for your loss. These are always the toughest new member/introduction threads to read in forums.

MK3 Values:
Valuations on heavily modified cars can get a bit tough and/or the pool of potential buyers will be much smaller.

A lot of the high value MK3 Supras I’ve seen are usually lower mileage, factory examples with even “OEM+” 1JZ/2JZ examples always selling below the project cost (with original car price) itself.

Mechanicals:
Since the car is not in a sustainable running condition, this car will narrow the potential buyers to mechanically inclined and committed project triage types (inheriting a non-running car gets dicey unfortunately). Any additional engine related problems (leaking, compression, etc.) would be moot at this point, but other potential issues (rear diff, axles, hubs, bushings, suspension, etc.) may also play a factor. If your son went through with a full engine swap, I’d assume he has modified the suspension and related components. Any details here will help as well.

From my understanding of this swap on pre-facelift MK3s, some modification (slight hammering) to the firewall is required to have adequate clearance for the 1UZ. I think other items need to be rerouted, swapped for different model equivalents (I.e. brake booster, abs, etc.), bent, or refabricated to allow proper fitment of the engine and peripheral engine components. Hopefully someone can confirm this for me, but if confirmed, irreversible/body compromising modifications is a crapshoot for buyer interest. If the buyer desires a 1UZ swapped MK3 (very likely given the work done), these points shouldn’t detract anything if work was done properly.

Exterior:
The roof clear coat issue (depending on severity), may have an impact as well. Given the age of the car and being a non-museum piece, some clear coat issues should be almost expected. If those TRD livery stripes are just decals (likely), I don’t see that hurting the buyer pool or pricing. It can be simply removed if the buyer so pleases.

The car being a desert car is great for preventing rust, but has the downside of potentially drying out rubber/plastic seals and weatherstripping. Rust being the larger of the two problems, definitely a big value add for your son’s car to prospective buyers wanting a great blank canvas. Aside from damage, rust is my main filtering factor for buying cars for long term ownership.

Damage excluded, anybody who has an issue with exterior wear and tear (dings/paint less dent removal types, clear coat scratches, rock chips, etc.) from normal driving is likely rationalizing a lowball.

Interior:
From my understanding, a lot of the interior pieces in the MK3 are discontinued and getting harder to find in good condition, so condition/modification of interior plays a measurable factor to value. And like any car, interior color will play into buyer interest. Based on the pictures above, that interior looks solid. If I’m not mistaken, those seats look to be redone by interior innovations. Black/grey is a conservative color for buyer interest, and looks to be well preserved/cared for. I’m not an expert of this platform (even the one I own), but this interior and dash look to be reasonably factory (except the shifter and wheel). Like the exterior, the interior on your son’s car will likely help the value.

TLDR/summary:
A no rust, clean interior MK3 should be very desirable. With the engine in its current condition, it becomes a really nice “complete rolling chassis” or minus motor chassis. This would be perfect for someone who wants to just swap in a used 1UZ (I think they’re still affordable), or someone who wanted to build a 1UZ for forced induction and needed to upgrade internals anyways. Based on what I’ve seen in the marketplace recently(the realistic ads), rough shape mk3 projects go for 2-6k, acceptable driver grade mk3s go for 12k+, Oem+ examples fetch 15k+, so I’d guess (get more than my opinion), it’s somewhere in the 6-9k range, maybe 10k for the perfect buyer as-is. If it was running, I’d say closer to 13-15k. If my estimate is well off other opinions, I’ll will gladly modify my numbers here. This is my best guess to be as unbiased and accurate as possible.

If I didn’t have 1 minor project car (maintenance and refresh), 1 major project car (rolling chassis) waiting for work, and contemplating fully building my Supra (project 3), I would personally love to buy this. I simply just don’t have the space (indoors) for it. This car deserves a good home; too bad you can’t keep it. I may talk with some friends to brainstorm…

MODS: Anyway to bypass the 30day/30post for this guy, assuming he can verify ownership/non-scammer stuff?

Stan J, once again, I’m terribly sorry to hear about your loss. Best of luck with the sale.
 

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My condolences go out to you and your family for the loss of your son.

I would say anywhere from $4-6k for this car, depending on your local market.
Major detractions are the paint, rod knocked motor, and overall heavily modified status of the car.
Upsides to the price include the rust-free chassis, nice wheels, and rebuilt transmission.
If the swap was very well done, it may be worth bumping up the price to $7-8k.

My info is based on the market in the northwest US.
Although I haven't seen any UZ-swaps listed, the only mk3s I've seen sell for $8-9k+ are either:
  • Very clean and close to stock (this is usually where an auto trans would be)
  • Built turbo 7M (the original motor) w/ 5-speed
  • JZ swapped (later model turbo 6 motor) w/ 5-speed
I assume you're selling in New Mexico?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thank you and the others that have offered their condolences. Mark was a well liked Guy and a terrific Dad to his son Ethan.

Yes, it resides in New Mexico. Albuquerque to be exact. 1B9_A80 offered some items I need to check and provide photos for proof. Namely to see if the firewall or other body parts had to been worked for clearance to fit the 1UZ V8. I don't think that's the case, but I need to confirm. Mark told me that this swap is pretty common in Australia. The research I did to find out what was entailed in swapping the damaged cylinder head made me think the 1UZ is a popular hot rod motor down under. I sweated bricks on getting the cams timed to each other, then to both banks, and finally to the crank. The 1UZ isn't our grandads Chevy small block when it comes to major engine work. I'd jump on a 5K offer like a Hen on a June Bug. I think that's the upper end off what it might sell for especially in New Mexico. I will post more pics on issues 1B9_A80 thought of, make sure it's rust free, and provide pics of the new instrument cluster Mark put in it. I will also attempt a video of it running. I think I can get away with starting it briefly to do so. My hot rod 1964 Dodge I had when a teenager spun a rod bearing racing a '62 Chevy (It was a 110,000 mile motor). I drove it home with no problem. So I think I can provide proof that it runs. Thanks again for your response. More pics to come soon.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
As PX4Ports said, my sincerest condolences for your loss. These are always the toughest new member/introduction threads to read in forums.

MK3 Values:
Valuations on heavily modified cars can get a bit tough and/or the pool of potential buyers will be much smaller.

A lot of the high value MK3 Supras I’ve seen are usually lower mileage, factory examples with even “OEM+” 1JZ/2JZ examples always selling below the project cost (with original car price) itself.

Mechanicals:
Since the car is not in a sustainable running condition, this car will narrow the potential buyers to mechanically inclined and committed project triage types (inheriting a non-running car gets dicey unfortunately). Any additional engine related problems (leaking, compression, etc.) would be moot at this point, but other potential issues (rear diff, axles, hubs, bushings, suspension, etc.) may also play a factor. If your son went through with a full engine swap, I’d assume he has modified the suspension and related components. Any details here will help as well.

From my understanding of this swap on pre-facelift MK3s, some modification (slight hammering) to the firewall is required to have adequate clearance for the 1UZ. I think other items need to be rerouted, swapped for different model equivalents (I.e. brake booster, abs, etc.), bent, or refabricated to allow proper fitment of the engine and peripheral engine components. Hopefully someone can confirm this for me, but if confirmed, irreversible/body compromising modifications is a crapshoot for buyer interest. If the buyer desires a 1UZ swapped MK3 (very likely given the work done), these points shouldn’t detract anything if work was done properly.

Exterior:
The roof clear coat issue (depending on severity), may have an impact as well. Given the age of the car and being a non-museum piece, some clear coat issues should be almost expected. If those TRD livery stripes are just decals (likely), I don’t see that hurting the buyer pool or pricing. It can be simply removed if the buyer so pleases.

The car being a desert car is great for preventing rust, but has the downside of potentially drying out rubber/plastic seals and weatherstripping. Rust being the larger of the two problems, definitely a big value add for your son’s car to prospective buyers wanting a great blank canvas. Aside from damage, rust is my main filtering factor for buying cars for long term ownership.

Damage excluded, anybody who has an issue with exterior wear and tear (dings/paint less dent removal types, clear coat scratches, rock chips, etc.) from normal driving is likely rationalizing a lowball.

Interior:
From my understanding, a lot of the interior pieces in the MK3 are discontinued and getting harder to find in good condition, so condition/modification of interior plays a measurable factor to value. And like any car, interior color will play into buyer interest. Based on the pictures above, that interior looks solid. If I’m not mistaken, those seats look to be redone by interior innovations. Black/grey is a conservative color for buyer interest, and looks to be well preserved/cared for. I’m not an expert of this platform (even the one I own), but this interior and dash look to be reasonably factory (except the shifter and wheel). Like the exterior, the interior on your son’s car will likely help the value.

TLDR/summary:
A no rust, clean interior MK3 should be very desirable. With the engine in its current condition, it becomes a really nice “complete rolling chassis” or minus motor chassis. This would be perfect for someone who wants to just swap in a used 1UZ (I think they’re still affordable), or someone who wanted to build a 1UZ for forced induction and needed to upgrade internals anyways. Based on what I’ve seen in the marketplace recently(the realistic ads), rough shape mk3 projects go for 2-6k, acceptable driver grade mk3s go for 12k+, Oem+ examples fetch 15k+, so I’d guess (get more than my opinion), it’s somewhere in the 6-9k range, maybe 10k for the perfect buyer as-is. If it was running, I’d say closer to 13-15k. If my estimate is well off other opinions, I’ll will gladly modify my numbers here. This is my best guess to be as unbiased and accurate as possible.

If I didn’t have 1 minor project car (maintenance and refresh), 1 major project car (rolling chassis) waiting for work, and contemplating fully building my Supra (project 3), I would personally love to buy this. I simply just don’t have the space (indoors) for it. This car deserves a good home; too bad you can’t keep it. I may talk with some friends to brainstorm…

MODS: Anyway to bypass the 30day/30post for this guy, assuming he can verify ownership/non-scammer stuff?

Stan J, once again, I’m terribly sorry to hear about your loss. Best of luck with the sale.

Check out my reply to OMICA. I covered some of the issues you brought up in my reply to him. More pics to come. He has about the same take on the value of the car.
 

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Check out my reply to OMICA. I covered some of the issues you brought up in my reply to him. More pics to come. He has about the same take on the value of the car.
Back when I was looking for a Mk3, I used this thread as reference in the 1UZ/3UZ swap. He mentions firewall pushing and some rerouting, but maybe there’s alternative approaches the avoid his problems. Visual confirmation would be best here, but again, I’d assume the buyer of this car would likely keep the 1UZ setup, which would make this not a big deal in my opinion if work was done well.

The value estimates I made are probably a bit high due to my location (Southern California), so that might play against you based on market size. Probably a much smaller pool of interested buyers in New Mexico and the “all-in” price for an out of state buyer with shipping might price the car out against closer comparable Supras. Here’s some Craigslist ads for price references:

As far as rod knock motors, while not advised, they can generally be driven on for short periods of time without catastrophic damage. I’ve driven a car much longer than I’d like to admit with rod knock, mainly because the motor was going to swapped out anyways, and for curiosity sake lol. Since the 1UZ motors are averaging about $1-1.5k currently, it might be more economic to just buy a replacement instead of a bottom end job. Really depends on the future buyers goals (forced induction or keep it factory power).

Any modifications that can be identified would help. And if you can’t identify them, I’m confident a MK3 specialist here can figure it out with detailed pictures.

These videos and article inspired me to heavily consider MK3 Supras and specifically the 1UZ/3UZ swap:
(Ignore the music.)
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I have some more pics and a video. The pics include a look at the instrument cluster installation my son came up with. Other pics show the firewall just behind the cylinder heads and down along the sides of the engine. I see no indications that any of the body panels required any mods to make room for the engine. The short video shows that the engine runs and you can clearly hear the knock for what I believe to be a failed rod bearing. The engine had not been run in over a month. As you can see it started easily and sounds good except for the knock. It had 75 PSI of oil pressure. I did not run it any longer than what you see on the video. The last time it was run the oil pressure went from 75 to 40 then to zero.. I'm assuming that as the rod bearing spins around it somehow changes the clearances which causes the crazy fluctuations in oil pressure. Stay tuned for the video. I've not figured how to get the video uploaded yet!
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I put the video up on Youtube. It should be available for viewing later today (11/27/2021) at this link.
I forgot to add in my previous post that I couldn't find any indication of rust on the body. The only place I didn't look was the foot wells under the carpet. It would take time and tools to get the carpet up. The only reason there would be rust there is if the car got caught out in the raim with the Targa top off.
 
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