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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone!

First a short intro, if you don't care goto to ***here***

I'm an ex BMW guy, having worked my way through several 5 series ending with an E34 M5. Each one saw its share of track schools, the first one being at Mt Tremblant in the rain, in an '89 525 - a 3800 lb car with 168 hp and all season tires but with a 5 spd and M5 suspension. I learned more in those 3 days than I have in all the previous years of driving.

The M5 made me learn something else though - street car and race car don't mix. My engine was modified to hell and back short of FI. The engine was never dynoed (forgot to ask the builder before he put it in the car) but the guys who designed the cam and piston profiles say they get between 370 and 390 hp on my setup. I've hit 285 on the highway (with the car simply running out of gearing) and it did great on the racetrack, walking 996 Carrera4Ss. But then I got a ride in an instructor's supercharged E36 M3 and while straightline speed was the same, the lines he could take through some corners would make my car plow off the turn like a bulldozer. I did all my track days at big HP tracks like Tremblant and MoSport but at MoSport, turn 5 has many lines through it and the one he took my car was simply incapable of unless I wanted to drift 5b. It really got me thinking. I put over 20,000 in my car including the engine mods, suspension, racing buckets etc but it was still never going to keep up with this almost stock M3 with a supercharger around a racetrack. I have also completely outgrown street racing garbage and almost never go more than 20 over the limit (kmh). So having a car with this much power on the street made no sense anymore - 6 throttle bodies make the first mm of throttle an on/off switch and an 8 lb flywheel and kevlar clutch added up to make stop and go traffic a nightmare. It was great for the track and great for the street but perfect for neither.

So the M5 was sold, after I told everyone it would never happen. It did. My current ride is an '05 4Runner V8 I picked up last Christmas and I absolutely love it. I can't say enough about how nice this truck is and unlike every other new car I've seen including my dad's Honda Odyssey, it didn't have a single minor defect from the factory. I moved from Toronto to Vancouver and the roads here are amazing. There's plenty for the 4Runner's amazing offroading capability to tackle but every now and then driving through stanley park I'll take a racing line through the big uphill hairpin and I can't resist anymore, I need a track toy. Plus my fiance also really wants to learn how to drive fast.

I have always loved the Mk4 Supra. As far as I'm concerned it is one of the best looking bodies ever made, up there with the 993, 550 Maranello, XJ220, gen 1 Viper etc. Chris (aka slow) gave me Steve I's contact and it turned out that I could get one in Japan for far less than I ever though possible. Unfortunately with all my other bills, I cannot spend much on a track car, I'd rather just rent some compact and swap the tires left to right before returning it. I also found out from the ministry of transportation that if I declare it as salvage or parts car upon shipping it here, then the 15 year import rule does not apply.

***here***

Heretofore, I have only been considering an older 3 series for a track car, or perhaps a 944 turbo. But for the price of a JDM Supra, having around 300hp/torque out of the box and having the Supra body is an almost impossible proposition to resist. So my plea to you guys is to tell me everything you see pertinent in convincing me that I should, or should not, get a Mk4 Supra TT as a dedicated track car. With an appropriate track car diet, can it be made what someone would call light in the GT world? Although, I don't really see it as being all that heavy to begin with. People rave about the E46 M3 and its track performance, and it weighs almost 3800 lbs and only has 333 hp and 262 ft lbs of torque. The C5 Vette is the current king of GT racing and while being all balsawood/fiberglass and aluminium, it weighs over 3200 lbs.

I've tried to read what I could find on here but I have the attention span of a cockroach. The boiling powersteering fluid is really strange to me, I have never heard of a car having that problem. Brake fluid - sure, tranny fluid - on tow trucks yeah... but PS fluid?

Any thoughts/suggestions/philosophies are welcome! Hit me...
 

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I edited your post title to reflect what you really want, big D.

You and I have talked extensively on this subject. If you want to talk more we should sit down in person or on track or something and I can show you (and explain) the downsides of the car.

The upsides are clear in my mind. For <$2k you can have a well setup track car which can compete nicely on many tracks (with the correct driver).
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks man, I'd love to talk more when you have time but you rarely do. Plus I'd like to get as many opinions as possible.

It's puzzling to me why such a seemingly well designed car would be so unpopular with the track day crowd. It's wide, short coupled, rear wheel drive and it's got the power and torque required. It can't be that poorly balanced. I mean, people race 911's and those are about as stable as riding a shopping cart backwards down the Laguna corkscrew jackass style (the best explanation given to me by an owner of a 993 TT that has raced professionally since 1957 is that the 911 is track driven by people who have spent their life racing perfectly balanced cars like the 944 and now want more of a challenge - and I guess the only reason they factory race them is to sell the road ones).

As I told Chris eventually I'd be interested in going to a single GT35R or similar but to begin with, all I would do is strip it to hell and back, maybe find a CF hood and focus on the suspension. I would maybe also do the BPU's (and being a JDM also upgrade the fuel system). Other than that, maybe a set of Fikse FM's and R compounds. I just don't want any issues like boiling fluids.
 

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D -- Sorry I'm strapped these days and FWIW it's reasonable to want more opinions. I'd do the same if I were in your shoes.

Check KBlake's thread from yesterday in this forum. The PS cooler is easy and solves that problem. If you really do end up with one of these suckers you can just bring it down to Garage Slow for the work. :)

FWIW I don't think the car is unpopular -- I think it's that the drag racing crowd is so much more popular that the car has a reputation for drags and people seek it out for that reason.

I honestly see very few Japanese "supercars" on the track. Maybe the NSX is the only one I see more than the Supra.

ttyl.
 

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iSketch Master!
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short answer, do it! :D You can get the car to be pretty light considering its starting weight. I believe some people have gotten the car to a little lower then 3k lbs. Someone correct me if im wrong though.

If you get a JDM car, im assuming you would get a hardtop. You can swap out some USDM 550cc injectors and USDM turbos and I think your power goals would be more than accomplished with the supporting "BPU" mods.

Now i agree with quick saying that most people think Supras are drag/dyno queens and dont know their way around a real track. Or the fact that it is a somewhat expensive car, and not very cheap to mod either. Well, past BPU levels. So i'd say its more of a miscomception than anything else.

I dont see you boiling anything other than the aformentioned PS fluid. But thats easily solved by a $50 cooler. Seems like most of what im saying quick might have mentioned to you already, but another opinion what you wanted. :bigthumb:

ALex
 

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Alx2785 said:
You can swap out some USDM 550cc injectors
Do you need a different fuel rail for this or is it just an injector change? Would you need a SuperAFC or somethin like that too?
 

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iSketch Master!
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Id assume you would need all the USDM parts there. the rail, injectors, and fuel pump as well. I dont believe you NEED some fuel management to do the swap. But yes its something you SHOULD do. Im assuming you are asking me this because its things I should have said as its not just as easy as swappin out injectors. ;) Which you know already, correct? :)

Alex
 

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I've never understood why mkivs aren't more popular as track day cars than they are. I've got 40+ events on mine, and the only repairs it has required are two wheel bearings. With an oil and PS fluid cooler, mine has been bulletproof. They don't need a bunch of upgrades out of the box to survive or stop on track unlike most cars. They aren't light nimble tossable cars, and the steering feel isn't a strong point, but they handle well and are easy to drive for a 400hp+ RWD car. They are neutral, repsonsive to throttle input and don't do anything without a lot of warning (at BPU power levels anyway). They are also pretty damn fast at BPU power levels. I very rarely got passed by anything with license plates in mine driving at events in Northern California in advanced groups.

The PS boiling is the result of a heavy car with large front tires. It's an issue with other "bigger" track cars as well. Fortunately it's an easy cheap fix.

C5s are also good track cars, but require better brakes and more oiling system help to work on track. They have oil pressure issues that may or may not cause a very unhappy motor with a lot of track use (two friends of mine have lost motors in them on track because of it). They're a hard car to beat for the money now that they're getting cheap though.

I don't know as much about E46 M3s, but I do know that they suffer from the same issue of the trailing arm mount ripping from the chassis that has plagued 3 series cars for awhile that see track use. It can be fixed, but it isn't cheap and you have to find a race oriented shop that knows how to reinforce them. I'd stay away from a 944 Turbo if regular track use is a consideration. They have a reputation for being expensive cars to maintain with track use.
 

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Hi,
In the UK we've got a lot of JDM Supra's so if you want to know what you can and can't fit etc...have a search of the UK forum www.mkivsupra.net.

The injectors fit the same rails but instead of fitting USDM 550's you'd fit Hi-Impedence 650cc injectors from Power Enterprise.

The big thing with JDM supra's is that they come with small (NA) brakes usually...you'll have to hunt one out that comes with the US/UK spec 326mm 4Pot brakes....or add "big brake" setup to your getting it on track costs.

The JDM Supra's are actually lighter as standard. As they have less kit.
 

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I would think NA Supras would make good practice cars, not fast, but a bit easier on the wallet for maintenance. I'll find out soon enough. :)
 

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FLZ_Boy said:
I would think NA Supras would make good practice cars, not fast, but a bit easier on the wallet for maintenance. I'll find out soon enough. :)
Lighter too :)

Buy an NA, part it out, drop in an NA-T setup, go racing.

Fast, cheap, and you don't feel bad about gutting a TT :lol:
 

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Over 10 years on SF....
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Most people find it easier to make gobs of power on a huge turbo with a bad powerband then spend the time and money to fine tune a track car. Generally people who buy Supra's know what kind of power they can make, and have that in mind when modding their car. Personally w/ my JZA70 I want all around performance over a huge dyno number.
 

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I spent 3 years NA (with TT brakes, eibach/tokico, 245/275 and then TT sway bars) before going NAT. A great platform and loads of fun to drive, but short on power especially the long uphill at Road America.

I'm now on my 2nd year with the turbo. This year at 355rwhp. 8 or 9 events (HPDE) in 2006

I'ts a long road to turn an NA into a track car as once you go with big power you will need the tt drive train

Jon
 

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JKAG said:
I spent 3 years NA (with TT brakes, eibach/tokico, 245/275 and then TT sway bars) before going NAT. A great platform and loads of fun to drive, but short on power especially the long uphill at Road America.

I'm now on my 2nd year with the turbo. This year at 355rwhp. 8 or 9 events (HPDE) in 2006

I'ts a long road to turn an NA into a track car as once you go with big power you will need the tt drive train

Jon
Did you have to use an oil cooler and PS cooler for your NA?
 

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Its hard to know. I did not have an oil temp gauge until I went NAT.

My turbo is set up for thermal efficiency (a PTE 61 in its efficient zone at 8-15PSI with a relatively rich 12.3:1 AFR) and with an oil cooler I still see high oil temps at 12 PSI. I'd definitely recommend an oil cooler with any turbo.

As far as PS, well there might have been a liitle fluid around the reserviour, but I didn't really notice it untill after the turbo and the oil temps caused me to pay close attention to cooling. It is a rellatively cheap and easy thing to put in.

Don't forget brake ducts to help keep the brake fluid cool also. This is definitely an issue in an NA even with TT brakes
 
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