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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Quick story:

Been a Toyota enthusiast (fan boy) since I knew what cars were. Thought the MKIV Supra was ultra badass waaaay before F&F became a thing. But I've always wanted a MKIII for that classic 80s look. Had a MK1 way back in the day. Anyways my buddy has had this thing, it was in the garage of a house he bought and sort of just "came with the place". Well things are finally lining up so I'm taking it off his hands.

Picking this up Saturday for $1500:







Here's what I "know"

  • I think it's an '87
  • Factory turbo
  • 5 speed was swapped in but it's all there
  • "ran when parked" - judging by the plates, that was during the Bush administration....
  • Supposedly has a metal head gasket
  • 3" full exhaust
  • some gauges
  • engine turns over by the starter (but needs a battery)

I'll keep everyone posted. Anything anyone sees, or any pointers, would be appreciated! I'll be tearing in to it and getting it running as priority one (and delousing the interior) before anything more involved. Goals are to clean it up and make it a solid reliable driver that I alternate DD duties between it and my 4Runner.

Would love tips on anything to look for. I'm no newb to this stuff or Toyotas, but this specific model is new to me. I have, of course, read the FAQ.

Thanks everyone!
 
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Welcome! There seem to be a lot of neat builds popping up.

BHGs are a constant worry with the 7M, but you're probably aware of that if you read through the FAQ. Clean it up, change out all the fluids and see where you're at!

I always enjoyed buying cars that sat for long periods. It's kinda like a poker hand. You know some things for sure and you how likely a few of the risks are, but you don't really know the whole situation until it plays out.

Good luck!
 

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Quick story:

Been a Toyota enthusiast (fan boy) since I knew what cars were. Thought the MKIV Supra was ultra badass waaaay before F&F became a thing. But I've always wanted a MKIII for that classic 80s look. Had a MK1 way back in the day. Anyways my buddy has had this thing, it was in the garage of a house he bought and sort of just "came with the place". Well things are finally lining up so I'm taking it off his hands.

Picking this up Saturday for $1500:







Here's what I "know"


  • I think it's an '87
    Factory turbo
    5 speed was swapped in but it's all there
    "ran when parked" - judging by the plates, that was during the Bush administration....
    Supposedly has a metal head gasket
    3" full exhaust
    some gauges
    engine turns over by the starter (but needs a battery)

I'll keep everyone posted. Anything anyone sees, or any pointers, would be appreciated! I'll be tearing in to it and getting it running as priority one (and delousing the interior) before anything more involved. Goals are to clean it up and make it a solid reliable driver that I alternate DD duties between it and my 4Runner.

Would love tips on anything to look for. I'm no newb to this stuff or Toyotas, but this specific model is new to me. I have, of course, read the FAQ.

Thanks everyone!
That would be the first thing I'd do!!!! Replace the head gasket yourself so you know your not driving a half BS'ed head gasket job. Gives you the piece of mind and helps you learn a lot about your motor.
 

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welcome and nice find for $1500....can't go wrong at that price at all !!!

glad it was not in wisconsin, I would be explaining to my wife (after i bought it) why there is now a 3rd supra out back haha
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
Thanks for the replies so far everyone!

So the current (until Saturday) owner is a close friend of mine, he bought this house, you see, one of those houses you buy that needs a bunch of work before a bank will loan on it etc. In the garage lived this Supra. He bought this house a few years back now, probably 2012-13 IIRC.. anyways comfortably ensconced in the garage was yon beastie I'm about to take off his hands.

According to conversations with the previous owner, and from what we can tell looking at it, etc., it was running when parked, has exhaust work and some other goodies etc. Supposedly the "alternator was getting hot" whatever that means.

I hold no illusions as to the current status of this ride. I'm no stranger to tearing apart engines etc, just got done (10k miles ago) rebuilding a 22RE in my 4Runner, had a few lessons learned from that project...

We spend a day last summer (2015) working on this ride to see if we could get it to boot up. Top end was full of oil leak, to the tune of filling cylinders when we pulled plugs, plus bad gas, but at the time was turning over by the starter. At this point, I'm just curious if we can get it running without a major overhaul. That's my goal. Replace a few gaskets, some rubber lines etc., new gas, see if she'll start. From there hoping to get it ripping and do some burnouts/just drive it. I'm 50/50 right now if I'll have to tear the engine apart. If I do, so be it, but I'll more than likely do a full rebuild if I get there, based on past learning experiences....

So for a bit of fun, 10 or so years back, I owned an MKI Supra, 1981, swapped a 5M-GE out of an '83 in it. For a college ride, I thought it was so cool. Really thought, it was a hacked POS. But it was a rare Supra. If it had a 5 speed I might still have it. Poison and White Snake cranked at full volume from the stock speakers was priceless. I also delivered pizza out of this pile.

I sold it back in '05 to a fellow enthusiast on another message board. If you're still out there and have my old car.... I hope it lives on!

Anyways here are some pics of that pile:







 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Supra made it home! Loading it on my trailer was a bit of an adventure, it's not really designed for low cars. But we made it work.

Loaded and ready to roll


My buddy Jimmy, who I bought it from, helping me give it a scrub


In the garage! It doesn't look so bad from out here...


Front angle


Engine






Interior a little filthy/moldy


125k miles apparently


rough


bonus!


I have just some basic cleanup to do


Losing some clear coat


Well there it is in a nutshell. Needs some work. Paint isn't great. Interior is rough.

On the current to do is as follows, based on discussions with Jimmy on what he knows from the P.O., what they assessed it needs to get back to running, what they worked on, etc.:


So I'm going to start there. Also now its in a garage and get the interior dried out and cleaned up. From there, we'll see what there is to see.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Well, cleaned out the interior, and did some further assessment.

I haven't really gotten into the car yet, but next week I'm going be on vacation and am planning to spend some time on it, *hoping* to get it running :D.

Took a full inventory of what I've got, and ordered some goodies. Mostly just basic tune-up stuff, filters, spark plugs etc., but also got a clutch slave and master cylinder ordered.

For now here's some pics.

Passenger door, missing the mirror.


Nope, here it is, and a new one. Color matched?


Dash is sad. Will be a large annoying project but depending on how everything goes, I'll probably put a new dash on my to-get list.


For now it looks like the P.O. had a "solution" in place for the dash issue... I'll go with it for now!


Cleaned all the crap out of the back, pulled back the carpet, took out the spare. Yep... water.


Rust is present but not terrible.


Inside rear quarters, slight rust but again not bad. Spare tire well is the worst.

Driver's side


Passenger


From what I can tell, the tail lights have been leaking. Not sure if that's the only place, but for sure will need some new tail light seals. They have moss growing in them.... Right now I've got a fan blowing and the heat on in the garage, interior is pretty much dried out. There's some mold to contend with... Interior has suffered from the damp. Will need a pretty hard overhaul to be "nice". We'll see what I end up doing, for now just going to focus on getting it running before I put effort elsewhere.

All this junk was in the trunk.






Not sure why there's a pillar guage pod when there's already one installed in the car, but I've got a spare now I guess.


Auto swap was pretty thorough, interesting.
Old shifter bezel


Swapped the speedo as well, and put an oil pressure gauge where the stock boost gauge is. Makes sense, as there's an Autometer boost gauge installed.


Also confirmed the tranny before I ordered new slave cylinder, yep, it's an R154! Thanks PO for going the extra mile and not swapping in a W58!!


Pile of new goodies starting to grow. Going to give the Wal-Mart $50 battery a whirl.


Finally, went to check the oil, and discovered something annoying. I can't pull the dipstick without undoing some intake pipes, what's up with that? Some weird quirk on mine, or all they all like this? Any thoughts, or input?


Thanks everyone!
 

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Good for you man!

I would go through all rubber and gaskets, not sure if you mentioned a piggy-back but that BOV vent to air will cause stalling on the stock ECU. If your motor is in good condition try to doeverything else 1st, but also keep in mind to eliminate stuff like egr if you do not have to pass emissions. These are pretty stout and even in bad shape will run and laid down power, so if you do takeoff the head, I would says to get the flatness checked on the block, and get the head done with new valve seals, ARP head studs, and cometic MLS HG gasket, they are more forgiving if the block was not machine.

Save up for a Oil cooled turbo along with everything from the exhaust manifold back - Downpipe, exhaust, all of that. This will allow future turbo upgrades in a snap. Take a look at my threads and feel free to reach out. I took the approach of system by system and eliminated waste and made improvements where i could i.e. Aluminum Radiator as an example.

#getsomedampridinthere
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Good for you man!

I would go through all rubber and gaskets, not sure if you mentioned a piggy-back but that BOV vent to air will cause stalling on the stock ECU. If your motor is in good condition try to doeverything else 1st, but also keep in mind to eliminate stuff like egr if you do not have to pass emissions. These are pretty stout and even in bad shape will run and laid down power, so if you do takeoff the head, I would says to get the flatness checked on the block, and get the head done with new valve seals, ARP head studs, and cometic MLS HG gasket, they are more forgiving if the block was not machine.

Save up for a Oil cooled turbo along with everything from the exhaust manifold back - Downpipe, exhaust, all of that. This will allow future turbo upgrades in a snap. Take a look at my threads and feel free to reach out. I took the approach of system by system and eliminated waste and made improvements where i could i.e. Aluminum Radiator as an example.

#getsomedampridinthere
Awesome, thanks for the info on the BOV!! Did some reading/research, looks like the factory BPV is still in place, all hooked up and everything, and the is BOV just dumping to air. Think I'll ditch the stock piece and vent the Greddy back into the intake.

Did an EGR delete and "test pipe" install on my 4Runner and been happy with the results so far. Will have to look into doing the same here. Looks like the P.O. gifted me a full 3" exhaust from downpipe back so I got that going for me already, which is nice.

Good tips as well, thank you!
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Did some of the Lord's Work tonight.

Gee, let's start with some basics. Pull the 3-grande pipe, the coil packs, take a look-sie.







The valve cover screws (SCREWS???? TOYOTA COME ON) were less than finger tight. I took a turkey baster (yep, turkey baster) and sucked a bunch out of the galley between the cams. There's still more in there. For now it will have to stay, I don't have the huge allen head socket I'll need to pull that busted gasket out.



Did find this, studs are ARP. Someone has been here. Level of concern is growing though, looks like lots of corners cut, ARP studs or no.

Also this, someone bypassed this thing. Looks like a temperature related fuel pressure regulator? Any insight on what this does? Related to cold start?

 

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Last image is a bypass of the heater control unit - so looks like coolant is flowing all the time to the heater core.

I can't see but what do your cams look like up close? The bearing surfaces and cam lobes.
Make sure to follow the unbolting process for the cams or they can pop and or get stuck.

At this point I would tear off the head and start cleaning everything up. On ward!
 

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The valve cover screws (SCREWS???? TOYOTA COME ON) were less than finger tight. I took a turkey baster (yep, turkey baster) and sucked a bunch out of the galley between the cams. There's still more in there. For now it will have to stay, I don't have the huge allen head socket I'll need to pull that busted gasket out.
I would start with just the valve cover gaskets, that's probably what's leaking. I think that metal piece is just to hold the spark plug wires in place, not really a gasket, not sure, but maybe you could find a bolt that size and double-nut it to get it out. Would be cheaper than the tool probably. Or maybe it's just a 17mm drain plug socket?
 

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Grats on the purchase.

Those toyota valve cover bolts are a joke, mine kept leaking no matter what I did until I replaced them with proper bolts. I think I used a bit of RTV Black on them aswell. Haven't leaked since.

As far as the dipstick goes, you might find that your intake piping has been slightly relocated because of that Blitz BOV pipe that's been installed. You might be able to either re-arrange or trim some of the pieces to get the dipstick to clear?
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I would start with just the valve cover gaskets, that's probably what's leaking. I think that metal piece is just to hold the spark plug wires in place, not really a gasket, not sure, but maybe you could find a bolt that size and double-nut it to get it out. Would be cheaper than the tool probably. Or maybe it's just a 17mm drain plug socket?
Grats on the purchase.

Those toyota valve cover bolts are a joke, mine kept leaking no matter what I did until I replaced them with proper bolts. I think I used a bit of RTV Black on them aswell. Haven't leaked since.

As far as the dipstick goes, you might find that your intake piping has been slightly relocated because of that Blitz BOV pipe that's been installed. You might be able to either re-arrange or trim some of the pieces to get the dipstick to clear?
Hey, thanks!! Got my hands on some M6-1.0x25mm bolts from my local Ace. Only problem is I can't count, so I got 6 instead of 12. Good news is they are only 3/4 of a mile from my house, so I'll get that resolved shortly.

I acquired a pile of paperwork and the title from my buddy today. It's about a 1" thick stack, uncompressed. I had to go through it all and add it up. There were some interesting gems in there.

At this point in the evening I don't feel like messing with photobucket and uploading pics, so here are the highlights:

Parts installed (!):

  • Tokico Illumina II Struts (front and rear)
  • Powerslot Brake rotors (front and rear, kinda rusty at this point...)
  • Walbro 255lph HP Fuel Pump
  • Greddy BOV (already knew that)
  • SPEC Aluminum flywheel
  • SPEC Stage 2 Clutch - ST632, 460 ft/lb rated
  • Autometer Nexus 30 PSI boost gauge (knew this too)
  • HKS 1.2mm HG, PN 11116-153195
  • ARP head bolt kit (not studs....??)

Some other items of note...

  • Found a $2200 invoice for body work
  • Found an invoice from a shop who installed the headgasket.... yep not a word on surfacing block or head..!
  • Found an appraisal from the State of Nevada DMV in 2005..... came in at $1300!!!!
  • If I'm reading this right, the PO scored an R154 for..... $499 in 2006!

I added everything up. Lots of stuff covering the tranny swap.

$8798.45. In 2006.

So adjusted for inflation that would be about $10,533.39 in today's dollars.

But I'm definitely in for some work ahead of me.

SO, what did today do for me? Well if I was on the fence about pulling the head, that's over. She's coming off.

But I want to see if I can get it running/driving as is without a full tear down, if for nothing else to see if it will actually run, and what else might really be wrong with it. Hard to fathom why someone would spend so much money on a car just to leave it in the garage of a house they sold, if it was "running just fine when we parked it". So I'm hoping to get it booted up with just a quick clean-up and once over, see if she boosts, see if it runs correctly, etc. Really doubt it at this point but would like to know what there is to know. Likely based on data and your feedback (thanks everyone), its probably a headgasket issue 2.0.

So, we'll see.

And headbolts from ARP?? Not actual studs? Does it actually matter? I think if I pull the head I will just put an OEM HG back in there. Thoughts on that?

Thanks all,
 
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And headbolts from ARP?? Not actual studs? Does it actually matter? I think if I pull the head I will just put an OEM HG back in there. Thoughts on that?

Thanks all,
Honestly if it doesn't have any problems running with the MHG I would leave it in. You can always watch for dropping coolant levels or bubbles in the coolant to make sure it's not leaking. As far as the bolts go, I wouldn't be too worried...studs are preferable but bolts will still work fine as long as they were torqued correctly. If you do decide to go back to the OEM HG keep in mind it isn't going to hold up much past 400 crank hp, even if it's been retorqued. I've seen guys go higher than that without issue but it's still a bit risky imo.

I've run the stock retorqued HG with bolt-ons and 11-12psi for about 4 years without issue, but I'm still on the stock CT and I take it pretty easy on my car so..


Considering all the parts that came with the car I'd say you got one hell of a deal :D
 
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