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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Wanted to get some more insight before going over there and looking at it. I'm aware of the head gasket problems. According to the listing, it said that the previous owner had the engine freshly overhauled (I'll have to get more details about that when I meet the guy). It's currently at sitting at 138'000km (that's about when the gaskets go I believe) with Cusco coilovers. Almost everything else seems to be stock.

Also aware of common rusting areas on mudflaps, windshield, rear bumper and spare tire well, so I'll be looking for that when I go look at it. (it isn't the Targa version)

According to Hagerty a #3.5 car (what it looks to be) would go for around 9-12k USD?
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That looks to be in very, very nice condition. European models like that one are especially difficult to find in such shape.

Given the look of the engine bay, it looks like the car has been nicely maintained. If the engine was overhauled there's no way they didn't replace the headgasket, it's just a matter of which headgasket was used and what machine work/prep work was done at the same time.

IF the rust inspection goes well, 9-12k USD seems to be a fair going rate these days for that nice of a MK3.
 
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Discussion Starter #3
That looks to be in very, very nice condition. European models like that one are especially difficult to find in such shape.

Given the look of the engine bay, it looks like the car has been nicely maintained. If the engine was overhauled there's no way they didn't replace the headgasket, it's just a matter of which headgasket was used and what machine work/prep work was done at the same time.

IF the rust inspection goes well, 9-12k USD seems to be a fair going rate these days for that nice of a MK3.
Thanks for the reply. From the pics rust may not seem to be a problem (there goes one less bargaining chip), also I forgot to mention that the listing said that it requires a "little bit" of things/servicing to pass the next inspection which will be soon... not sure if I should be skeptical...

It's listed for 14k, so I'm not sure how much I could bring it down with my non-existent charm. We've set up the meet on Sunday (1 whole week of waiting and hoping nobody will swoop down and buy it), so I'll update this thread when I see/drive the car for myself and report back.
 

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I'd say that's a fair deal, bought my 87 targa in similar condition for 12k. Mine had about 15k more miles on it but wasn't a euro model.
 

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Looks pretty good, but a few things I'll nitpick on:
Cigarette burn/puncture on the driver side rear seat.

Potential rust on the driver side inside of the quarter panel where 2 different sheet metal parts join. Just behind where the quarter window trim ends.

Tail lights/ license plate piece seem a bit off. I haven't seen a Euro model in probably 10 years but I recall the center section being wider to accommodate the long-ass plates the Europeans have. See below as reference.
255668


Wheels are on wrong sides. I.E. left side wheels on right side. Does it really matter? No. But it bothers my OCD.

Rear targa plastics in a hard top.

Aftermarket button/switch installed on the left side switch panel on a blanking plate. Aftermarket wiring should always raise some red flags that should be investigated.

IACV to accordion pipe hose has one clamp 2/3rds of the way up the hose when it should be where the clamp is on the hose to accordion fitting. Clamp on the hose to accordion fitting should be on the accordion hose keeping the steel nipple in the accordion hose, in the accordion hose. Big issue? No, but again my OCD.

No parking brake lever boot.

Engine bay pic is schooched off to the passenger side, omitting the inner fender sheet metal. That little spot is a prime candidate for rust forming from exposure to battery acid. Also make sure to check under and around the battery for rust and/or acid staining.

Folding Euro mirrors are garbage. First thing you'll want to do is remove them and send them to me for proper disposal.

Tee in blow off/ recirc valve vacuum line. I don't recall any OEM application of a tee in this line. Warrants further investigation.

Appears to be a couple missing nuts on the front of the upper radiator support, believe to be A/C system mounting points. Look for the circle of worn off paint directly below your little green hitchhiker on the right side, next to the coolant overflow bottle mount, and on the left side at the oval hole next to the headlight motor. Upper condenser mounts if my memory serves me correctly.

Car needs gas. Getting a little low.

I'll stop nitpicking for now. All that aside, it looks to be a very clean car and in excellent shape. All of the exterior trim still appears to have the black overmold still present and in good condition, interior looks to be in fantastic condition, body looks straight with some dents here and there but nothing to egregious, engine bay looks fairly clean with less corrosion and rust than usual for a high humidity environment, and the taillights don't appear to have fogged up in the rain.

I won't say it's worth the $14k without a thorough inspection, but I certainly wouldn't rule it out with the pictures provided.
 

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Nice car! I didn't see it mentioned but with the aftermarket steering wheel, how is the cruise control wired and turned on and off, etc. ?
 

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Did the Euro cars not get the 6.5" front speakers and 5-spoke wheels we got in the US? Those are the only two things that immediately caught my attention. That, and the belt trim and tail lights appear wrong for a 91, BUT I don't know the Euro cars very well at all, so if that is proper spec, no worries.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Update:
So I just came back from looking at the car, meeting the guy and of course drove it and mange to bring the price down to 11.5k (we haven't shook on it yet, said I will give him a call during the week).

My main concerns are that the owner isn't sure what has been done to the engine by the previous owners, so a new HG may be needed. The body itself looks to be in good shape not much rust. The biting point of the clutch seems a bit low (dunno if that's normally so). The electrics are another point of concern as none of the blinkers seem to be working as well as the right rear light. Is wiring on the Supra a concern or do I just need new bulbs?

There was white smoke when idling and when it drove out of the driveway. Should I be worried? Today was a 0°C day.

The car did die twice during the test drive, because the battery is dead and we had to jump start it with a passerby the first time, but the owner will include a new one. Included is also the original steering wheel and new levers (blinkers).

The car was bought by the guy with the goal of selling so it has been sitting there and rarely driven for the past year. The guy only drove it for ~500km the past year.

It drove really well with the Cusco suspension and I didn't hear any knocks.

Sorry if this is a little all over the place... trying hard to remember everything. Like I said the price now is 11.5k, it needs more work than I thought. So the question now is if it's worth biting the bullet on this car.
 

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Did the Euro cars not get the 6.5" front speakers and 5-spoke wheels we got in the US?
I am pretty sure all 91 models got the 5 spokes and the 6.5" speakers. Not 100% sure on the speakers though, maybe 98% sure. I'd pull one of the speaker covers off and see if there is a 6.5" speaker hiding out back there.

That, and the belt trim and tail lights appear wrong for a 91, BUT I don't know the Euro cars very well at all, so if that is proper spec, no worries.
Tail lights and trim are correct for the euro model (trim is 89+trim) but the center license plate trim is a bit off for a euro model.

My main concerns are that the owner isn't sure what has been done to the engine by the previous owners, so a new HG may be needed.
If the current owner is willing, remove one of the cam covers (a fair bit of work on an oem engine setup), get a torque wrench set to 60ft-lbs and turn one of the head bolts. If it clicks without turning there is a chance the HG was done. If it turns that means even if it was done it wasn't done properly and you'll be doing it again. If you open it up and find ARP studs or bolts there's a pretty good chance it was done properly too, but I'd still want to verify.

The biting point of the clutch seems a bit low (dunno if that's normally so).
This can be adjusted with the pedal push rod. It may indicate a worn clutch but it's most likely just mis-adjusted or the clutch needs to be bled.

The electrics are another point of concern as none of the blinkers seem to be working as well as the right rear light. Is wiring on the Supra a concern or do I just need new bulbs?
Could be a light failure sensor box, but I'd check the bulbs before you consider anything else. The light failure sensor box can cause the tail lights to not work and can be a pain to deal with. It is possible to bypass though.

There was white smoke when idling and when it drove out of the driveway. Should I be worried? Today was a 0°C day.
If it was white smoke it would be coolant. How much smoke was there? Leave a cloud behind you as you drove that lingered for a while?
It might also just be condensation from being cold and humid. If it clears up when the car warms up this is likely the case.

The car did die twice during the test drive, because the battery is dead and we had to jump start it with a passerby the first time, but the owner will include a new one.
Check to make sure the alternator is properly charging the battery.

Like I said the price now is 11.5k, it needs more work than I thought. So the question now is if it's worth biting the bullet on this car
I wouldn't spend that without working tail lights and blinkers. I would also be hesitant to buy it without a compression test and leak down test performed, especially if there is any indication of burning coolant.

HOWEVER given the condition of the interior and exterior you'd be very hard pressed to find another MK3 in this condition. A lot of what you're concerned with can be fixed, but a lot of the exterior and interior trim can not be fixed or replaced.

The question here really is, what are you looking to get from it, and what are you willing to put into it?
 

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Discussion Starter #13
The question here really is, what are you looking to get from it, and what are you willing to put into it?
The current goal is to bring it to complete working order without any problems with maybe a max budget of 13k? Is it possible to fix all of the current problems with that budget?

After buying the car it'll need a service, so all fluids needs to be changed (hopefully that will be the end of the clutch problems), cam covers need to be opened up to check the HG (again, hopeful that it has been replaced with a metal one), electrical work... is going to be a pain but probably won't cost much in terms of parts. In terms of battery I think it just needs a new one and that will be provided by the seller.

Compression and leak test may only be possible after buying it, not really sure what to do about that. May be able to set up a second meet but with a mechanic this time, not sure yet.

I may still be able to bring the price down to a flat 10k if that would make the car worth it at that price point.

This is all coming from a very optimistic person...
 

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Would not buy without a compression/leak down test by my mechanic. Doing so prevented me from plopping down serious money on my dream MKIII Supra in my favorite MKIII Supra color and with all 7 stages of the HKS MKIII program. The car owner had taken excellent care of the car, with voluminous records of his 45k miles of ownership.

He was incredibly surprised about the test results. We could not agree on a new purchase price so I walked. Remember, a compression/leak down test is actually doing the current owner a favor even if he doesn't realize it as such.


Ken.
 

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The current goal is to bring it to complete working order without any problems with maybe a max budget of 13k? Is it possible to fix all of the current problems with that budget?
Without a compression test and leak down test there's no reasonable way to guess that accurately.

Compression and leak test may only be possible after buying it, not really sure what to do about that.
A compression test and leak down test are pretty standard for a used vehicle sale, and any seller refusing to do one should be considered questionable. Some may ask that a potential buyer pays this, and it would be completely up to you as to whether this car is worth it to you or not.

I may still be able to bring the price down to a flat 10k if that would make the car worth it at that price point.
10k might be worth it, pending the results of a leak down and compression test. If the pistons are shot and need to be replaced with new oversized pistons you'll pretty quickly exceed your target of 13k.

If you haven't picked up where I am going with this yet:
Would not buy without a compression/leak down test by my mechanic.
That's pretty much it.

The car appears to be in amazing condition, but given your budget and intent with it the motor conditions would dictate whether it's the right buy for you or not.

Push for a leak down and compression test.
 

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Personally... I have a hard time recommending these cars if you have specific budget in mind. Very rarely have I ever seen someone with one of these cars ever STOP spending money on them, we all end up becoming Supra-holics and will do shameful things in order to maintain our cars haha.

At what point do you consider the money you've spent on a project car a waste or bad value? I hit that point a while ago, but... here I am, still planning out the next phases of the car, knowing full well I will never financially recover from this car. Doesn't really matter though, it makes me happy when it's not driving me nuts. :p
 

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yeah, specific budget, I rescued the car daughter couldn't afford to fix.... I have yet to find out what that budget is
A lot, and then some, if my experience is anything to go by.

Out of curiosity, did your daughter also post on here a while back? I seem to recall a young lady buying a Mk3 Supra because her dad had one. I'm probably thinking about someone else, I think she was in California.
 

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A lot, and then some, if my experience is anything to go by.

Out of curiosity, did your daughter also post on here a while back? I seem to recall a young lady buying a Mk3 Supra because her dad had one. I'm probably thinking about someone else, I think she was in California.
She might have posted on here but it would have been 2010 or 2011, and she is the first supra owner in the family. She had an 88, an 89, and then got a bargain on the 1991 in 2012. She rebuilt either the 88 or the 89, and racing a friend the positrak rear end caught during a powerslide and she flew it into a garage. she still has motor and trans, but the 2 bodies were destroyed while in storage, and I bought her surviving supra in 2014
 

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Not who I was thinking of then, no worries!

Kids, eh? :p
 
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