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Discussion Starter #1
Hello everyone!
First i would like to welcome everyone on the forums and thank everyone for clicking on my first post. There will be much more to come!
XXX LONG READ WARNING , PLEASE READ CAREFULLY XXX

As you can see, i am new to the forums, i have been reading for a pretty long time, ever since i started looking for a Supra (about 6 months ago), and this friday i finally found one. She isnt EXCATLY what i was looking for, but the closest i've seen so far. Its rediculosly hard to find a Supra in good condition in my area.. :( After about 8 Supra's ive seen and didnt like, i decided on buying this one as soon as i saw it. The body of the car is in unbelivable shape, absolutely no rust anywhere, no big dents/scratches, very clean inside and out. Just some tears on the drivers seat. Its a Black on grey leather 89 Turbo Targa Automatic with 245km (about 152miles). I bought it from a master automechanic with his own shop and 40 years of experience. He owned the car for about 2 years. I got it for 3900 CDN (about 2800 US). I thought it was a really good deal. I will take pics of the car as soon as it stops raining here (its been raining since friday).

Now to the problems:
When i test drove the car it drove absoutely flawless. There were NO weird sounds from anywhere, really nice shocks, turbo spooled smoothly, no leaks under the car. I checked for common BHG symptoms (coolant in the oil, white smoke, etc) couldnt find any. The guy assured me that the car is very solid and has no mechanical problems at all, not even minor ones.
After he finished with all the paperwork, (2 days after i left the deposit) i picked the car up and drove it home(about 1 hour drive). It drove very nice, just like the test drive.
The nest day (saturday) i drove her to work and noticed the slight "waterfall" sound behind the dash during acceleration. I didnt pay attention to that first, untill saturday night when i got home, searched for "waterfall" and turned out its a common BHG symtom :mad: . I also read that the cause of this is not always BHG, so i started looking for other symtoms. On sunday (yesterday) i noticed the coolant "puking" out of overflow bottle onto the IC, and LOTS of white smoke on startup. Good part is that it doesnt overheat (the engine temp needle is always about 2/5th from the bottom mark to the red mark. I decided to take the car to my mechanic today. I got back about an hour ago, he told me that he dealt with Supras before, but never had any BHG issues. In fact he has no idea that BHG is a pain in the ass of any MK3 owner, and told me that BHG's dont happen if u dont over-abuse the car (which i am not planning on doing). I told him that according to what i read on these forums, my symtoms indicate a BHG. And this is how explained my problems:
1) Every car in this area (its cold outside right now) has white smoke on startup and i am not special. (which i kinda have to agree with). He said that if there was a bhg , then the car would produce smoke all the time , not just startup.
2) The coolant puking out of the bottle simply means that there is too much of it (the previous owner overfilled it) and i should just let some of it out and i wouldnt have this prob anymore.
3) The waterfall behind the dash is either the AC freon, some heater liquid (dont remember how he called it) or simply water trapped inside the engine somewhere flowing from one place to another due to g-force during acceleration.
He told me that i shouldnt worry about HG unless i abuse the car, and my problems have nothing to do with the HG. He also said that if i want him to replace it, he can do it , if "i got nowhere else to spend 12 hundreed bucks". In other words he is sure that its not a HG issue. This mechanic is a really good guy with very good reputation and he (most of the time) knows what hes talking about. But his opinion on my problem doesnt satisfy me. Thats why im looking for other opinions here :) . What do you guys think? is there a chance that his explanations are true, or do i have a BHG?
The only other problem that i noticed with the car is that whenever i switch to any drive gear from parking, the tranny engages pretty rough , especially when its cold. When i switch to D from P after a cold night, its engages really bad, almost as if Suzuki Swift (non-gt) hit me in the back:) but when the car warms up nicely its barely noticeable. I also told my mechanic about this , and he said it was a more serious problem than waterfall, and he suggested to change tranny fluid tomorrow and go from there. Thats what im gonna do.

The problem with the BHG is that im almost out of money right now , i spend most of my savings on the car , i have about 1000$ left. Do you guys think that i should dump it on professional BHG repair if i got one, or would i be able to fix it myself to save money for future repairs if needed? (and im pretty sure they'll be needed :( ) I am 19 years old , and this is my first car. I dont have any experience with engines yet, but the winter is comming soon (ill have LOTS of time) and more importantly i have a lot of desire to learn and fix this car up. I looked at the cylinder heads removal instructions at TSRM and i dont even know what some of the items they are talking about are and how they look(such as cruise control vacum hose, No.3 PCV hose, PCV pipe, BVSV hose, EGR hoses, VSV hoses and the list goes on an on....) How difficult do u guys think it would be for somebody like me to perform BHG repair? (providing that i have lots of time and desire and all the tools needed)

Sorry about the long read. Any thoughts will be greatly appreciated! Thanks in advance!

Denis.
 
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Before contemplating anything, call around and find a garage with a combustion leak tester, for your cooling system. Go have it tested and it will tell you if you have a bad head gasket or not.

Then either rejoice, or read the BHG thread in the technical forum and go from there.

Best Luck.
 

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damn shawndude!!! you beat me to posting here :D well... sounds like a nice car man... my advice would be to check the canadian forum for anyone around toronto (i know i've come across quite a few mkiii guys around there on the forums, who know what their doing) and see if you can get some help replacing the headgasket from them... call it a meet or offer free pizza or something...

(that is, if it is a BHG) ... if not... congrats, but you should still get a mgh with arp's before you build it up (if that's what your planning to do) i'm sure you know that heheh... welcome to the boards... well... .to posting on the boards...
 

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The waterfall sound means you have air in your cooling system. Park the car on a steep incline facing uphill, and take off the radiator cap (when it's cool enough). Idle the car, and keep filling the radiator until it stops going down. also, make sure the heater is on, so coolant will circulate in the heater core. Put the radiator cap back on, and make sure the overflow bottle is full.

If in a few days you get the waterfall gurgling sound, then you know you have a leak (bhg, loose hose, etc).

I would also replace your radiator cap since you were spitting out coolant without it overheating
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for fast replies!
How much would a combustion leak test cost on averege? How effective is it? I heard that block test, for example, doesnt always tell you for sure if you have BHG or not.

Acroth:
If i do have a BHG , im planning on going with OEM gasket replacement for now, because im short on funds, and MHG requires a lot more prep work and therefore $$$.


ma71supraturbo:
I've read your posts on the waterfall issue before, and i tried to follow the procedure you described. What happened was - as soon as i got my car's nose up and opened the rad cap and started the engine with the heater on full blast, the coolant started puking out of the rad, all over the intercooler and other parts... soon most of the area around the cap was covered in green liquid, and i decided to stop it. Since the waterfall was not present during my testdrive, i think the guy burped the cooling system prior to selling the car, and it returned...
The coolant was spitting out of overflow bottle, not the radiator, so i dont think there is anything wrong with the rad cap. Correct me if i am wrong.

Please keep the replies comming! Thanks again!
 

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if the coolant is getting to the overflow bottle, then the radiator cap is letting it happen. This is because the pressure is too high (or the cap is malfunctioning).

Do you notice any fluid on the ground when you park?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Yes, when i park the coolant dripps from the intercooler onto the ground. The rubber pipe that lets the excess coolant escape the overflow bottle is right over the IC , so all the extra coolant goes there.. If after a drive i open up the hood, the overflow bottle is always full, and IC is covered in coolant, but as soon as i turn the engine off the coolant level in the overflow bottle starts dropping very slowly. By the time engine cools down completely the coolant lvl in the bottle is still way above "full" mark, about an inch from the top of the bottle, maybe even less.
Thanks! Denis.
 
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The only BHG signs that I had was the "waterfall" sound that wouldn't go away and disappearing coolant. Other than that it wasn't bad. I never had heavy smoke or overheating problems and the repair shop said I had one of the nastiest BHG that they've seen in a while. The only sure way is to get that test done.
 

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Well all the guys here are giving you great answers so I will also chime in with some other info. PM me and I'll give ya some info on the Toronto Supra Club. We meet every month... all year long... with a large number of events planned throughout the year. Would be glad to have ya join us and help out with any probs you have! :) And congrats on the car!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Went to mechanic again..

Went to my mechanic ,did the rust protection and talked about my BHG nightmares today.
I told him about everything i read on the forums concerning BHG, but he doesnt seem to care. He doesnt belive in forums. He said that if i had a minor blow in the HG, then it would develop into a bigger blow over a few days , and since im not overheating and the oil is not milky i dont have anything to worry about. In other words he thinks that once the HG starts going, it will go all the way very soon.
Do you guys agree with that?
He also said that he would never replace the HG on any car without machinning the heads, especially when they are aluminum. So he said that if i dont overheat, it is not going to be more expensive to fix the BHG (if i have one) no matter how long i drive with it, because overheating is what causes the dammage to heads and other parts.

Also nobody said anything about my tranny problem- what could be causing the rough engagement when i switch from D to any drive gear? I will change tranny fluid tomorrow and see if it changes anything.

Thanks!
 

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Well try replacing your thermostat. i had a problem with my overflow bottle overflowing after i ran it. lots of BHG syptoms, but it just turned out to be a thermostat.
Your mechanic doesnt belive in forums? yea, i can see that. if you take one persons advice, they could be wrong, then your outa lucky. the way i see the forums, is a group of people, that when we are put together, can provide the right answer 99 percent of the time, kinda like a poll the audiance on who wants to be a millionare. if you are going to do the HG pony up, and get the mhg, your car is just going to blow another stock one. sure it is white smoke? smell it, is it sweet? then its antifreze, if it smells like oil, uh well then it is oil. some people have minor BHG syptoms that stay the same, run like that for months. other will drive on the freeway, and all of a sudden the engine goes rough, and they have to get towed. just get a bunch of answers, and draw your own conclusion. never have i asked a question, and not gotten the right answer
Edit: take that back, i had an oil leak on the side of my engine, couldent figure it out for the life of me, Turbo oil drain pipe, that sucked......
 

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even if you dont have a bhg, you should still save up, get the block machined, and have it prepped for a mhg and arp bolts, that way you wont have to worry about a bhg for a very long time
 

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First of all, it's refreshing to see a post from a 19-year old that is completely comprehensible and void of terms like "dawg," peace-out," etc. Second, don't assume the waterfall sound is a BHG. Both my Supra and my truck have that waterfall sound because the cooling systems were not properly flushed. Keep an eye on things such as a froth in the oil or an oil-slick look to the coolant and watch the temp gauge. You could also pull the plugs and see how they look, but that can be hard to judge at times. When my Supra blew the HG, I had water sitting on top of the pistons. You could look with a flashlight through the sparkplug hole for any sign of coolant leakage.

Welcome to the world of Supras. They are wonderfully fun cars. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Dont know how "Sweet" exhaust smells like :(

Ckanderson:
I totally agree with you on forums part.
As for the thermostat, i never experienced a single overheating problem yet - the needle never went past the half mark, always stays at about 35% from the "cold" mark, never jumps or anything. Do you still think thermostat could be causing the overflow bottle problem?
As for the smell of the exhaust gasses, i got no clue what oil or coolant in the exhaust smells like. I dont know whats "sweet" either :( This is my first car, remember? The only thing i can say is that my buddy from work said that exhaust smells like the cats arent functioning and he is surprised how the car passed emissions.

And now to the mhg part:
I am not planning on running high boost on this engine. For now i want to concentrate on reliability. However i am planning on swaping to a JDM engine with a 5 speed tranny , because i dont think that there is any potential in a 155k miles engine with auto tranny. My goal for now is to get it fixed inexpensively, so that it gets me to april-may reliably (that when the swap is planned).
So i dont really see the need in installing the mhg on my "beater" engine. However i will do it to the JDM 7m for sure.

Denis.
 

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If you plan on swapping engines in 6 months, then my advice is not to bother with this one. If you start overheating -- then you have some cause for concern, but it sounds like you're just getting the gurgling/wooshing of some air in the lines.
 

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Well, my thermostat caused those problems, so, im just saying.
To let you know, a JDM engine is no differant than a us spec. Cept, it doesnt have EGR. OK, sweet smelling, hmmm, uh you know what burning oil smells like? if it doesnt smell like that, its coolent. you will KNOW when you smell it, it doesnt smell bad, per say, if you have ever tasted antifreze, it smells close to how it tastes. If you havent tasted it, DONT! its toxic. but i was board one day, and uh, NM.
Some people say, i dont plan on running high boost, heck, even i said that, i had my car for less then a week at stock boost. yea, once you get used to the stock power, moding is the only way to go... hell im at 13 psi, and around 280 hp at the wheels, and the car feels slow!
BTW what type of rust protection did you do, Supra's really dont have a problem with that..........................
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I want a JDM engine not because its a JDM, but because its ?supposed? to have low miles. Also my main concern is the tranny - from what i know auto tranny will not hold the amounts of boost that i have in my plans, so r154 is a must. And looking on ebay, a JDM engine with tranny doesnt cost much more than the tranny itself with the parts needed for the swap. So ill just swap both.

However i AM worrying about this engine, because if it falls apart in a month or less, then i am not going to have a car untill may, which would suck.
One guy PM'ed me and recommended to take the vlave covers off, and to torque the stock head bolts to 70. I thnk its a good idea, and thats what im going to do probably.

And the rust protection that i did was just to the bottom of the car - my mechanic lifted it up and sprayed everything with his magical liquid that supposedly prevents rust from developing. The stuff was black , and it was about 1mm thick. Once it dried up it was VERY hard - i couldnt even put a scratch on it with a key. It is supposed seal off the oxygen, preventing it from comming into contact with the metal, therefore preventing the oxidation of metal (rust).

Denis.
 
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