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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
New owner of an 85.6 MK3. W/178k
Goals for the car are to be a clean,forgiving spirited weekend driver with decent handling
Timing belt was and clutch was done at about 150k
More of a restoration than a true build.
Known issues are
-leaking oil from motor top side and maybe timing cover.
-radio/3rd brake and dome lights don't work
-bushings,shocks and motor mounts shot
-sloppy shifter

Plans are
1) replace as many gaskets as possible.
- already bought full gasket kit by STONE
** motor has 178k on it, I'm unsure if headgasket has been addressed. I'm currently not experiencing HG issues. While I'm replacing VC and IMG would it be wise to retorque head by using torque wrench set to 55ft.lbs and reverse 1/4 turn, then re torque to 65, then 69ft.lbs in order per FSM? OR f*ck it and get the head resurfaced and replace w/metal HG and ARP studs? OR leave it tf alone because its not broken yet?**

-refresh ignition system. Have read persuading threads on copper vs iridium/platinum plugs. Which will benefit the 7mge more? Any particular brand wire set i should use?

-Are there any particular motor/trans mount to stay away from ?


2) Fluid maintenance.
- is there a specific oil i should use? Keep conventional or switch to synthetic this late in the game ? (I use liquimoly in the 2zz in my matrix and have no complaints )
-is there a preffered gear oil used for the w58? (I'm running redline gl4 mt90 75w90 in my c60 trans with no complaints)
-is there a preffered gear oil to use with the open diff?

3) replace suspension/components.
- i am interested in running maybe fortuneauto coilovers but unsure if I want to also replace w/adjustable control arms. On the fence with going this route or running koni yellows w/eibach springs with stock control arms and replace front and rear bushings/ball joints to keep alignment within spec (hopefully)

4) -replace shifter bushings/shifter with new bushings, short shifter? Either a weighted knob or oe non-beatup shift knob
-replace steering wheel w/ either period correct aftermarket wheel w/quick release OR not beat up OE wheel.

5) maintain stock stereo, but extend harness to under seat to install aftermarket stereo w/Bluetooth. I like the way the OG stereo looks. For now I wedge a Bluetooth speaker under the headrest. "works"

6) HELLA halogen light upgrade and yellow fog lights
-side molding, I have all of mine, but on driver side vinyl overlay starting to peel up. What do I do?!

7)wheels. Preferably some 17in period correct "lightweight" wheels. Maybe SSR mesh or comp-c, 5zigen fns, or any other wheel that will compliment the stance, which will NOT be slammed
8) some type of front lip and rear deck lid style spoiler and roof wing

Any constructive advise is much appreciated and welcomed.
I just got done rebuilding my 2zz in my matrix xrs and just have that to vinyl wrap before I'm done with it for a while, I plan on diving into the supra by next week.
Onto some photos

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Congrats! That's a nice and clean car! I wish my 87 7MGE looks that clean, lol.
My take is that if your engine is running good and not showing any signs of a BHG, leave it alone and focus on fixing/replacing the worn out stuff and leaks.
For motor oil, I read somewhere that it's like religion for some folks. Me, I just run 15W40 or 20W50 conventional oil (I'm in SoCal). On the rear end, I use Royal Purple 75W90 but I have an LSD so not sure what's best for open diff.
For ignition wires, I think the Toyota OEM ones are hard to beat. And I just run copper plugs.
And on wheels, make sure you're aware of what sizes and offsets works for you, there's a lot of info over at the "Wheel Fitment Database" in MKIII Technical. (My 7MGE has 18x9 ET32 wheels and 265/35R18 tires.)
Do a search on the other stuff you had in mind, lots of info in the forums.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Congrats! That's a nice and clean car! I wish my 87 7MGE looks that clean, lol.
My take is that if your engine is running good and not showing any signs of a BHG, leave it alone and focus on fixing/replacing the worn out stuff and leaks.
For motor oil, I read somewhere that it's like religion for some folks. Me, I just run 15W40 or 20W50 conventional oil (I'm in SoCal). On the rear end, I use Royal Purple 75W90 but I have an LSD so not sure what's best for open diff.
For ignition wires, I think the Toyota OEM ones are hard to beat. And I just run copper plugs.
And on wheels, make sure you're aware of what sizes and offsets works for you, there's a lot of info over at the "Wheel Fitment Database" in MKIII Technical. (My 7MGE has 18x9 ET32 wheels and 265/35R18 tires.)
Do a search on the other stuff you had in mind, lots of info in the forums.
Much appreciated reply! Nice, so I'm headed in the right direction, gonna cop some oe copper plugs,wires and air filter, I was lurking through the wheel fitment thread and shooting for 17x9 +3x offset. As aggressive as I can without rolling fenders. You're in SoCal, I'm in the Bay Area so that weight is gonna work for me. A bunch of videos/threads I found had LSD also.
 

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Your oil leak sounds familiar to one I just fixed on mine which was from the exhaust cam seal. During that fix here are some things I ran into along the way:
  • Have a general hose set ready. PCV, coolant, vacuum, intake, etc. You'll probably crack some or find ones in a state you don't want to reuse to it'll save you time to just pre-order a kit. It's way easier to work with hoses that move/bend as well. I used a silicone hose kit from ebay and most of the hoses fit well enough, had to modify a couple of them to get the right length. The only ones that just did not fit at all were some of the intake charge hoses.
  • Allow extra time to scrub and clean all the various parts as you remove them. It's a lot easier to work with clean parts and it's a good feeling afterwards seeing a cleaner engine bay.
  • Spend extra time in the plug valley between the valve covers. I spent a long time in there picking out parts of the old middle gasket, wiping up oil, and getting down into each spark plug hole to clean it up before removing the plugs. Also, pick up a valve cover hex bolt/grommet set from Driftmotion to replace the OE ones. Just go light on the torque, it's only specced for like 2 ft/lbs.
  • Prepare for electrical plugs/wires to break. You can get new plugs and reuse the same pins if the wires look ok. Driftmotion has some replacements and the forums have a lot of info as well to find replacements. For myself I ended up having to patch up a broken wire on the circular water temp A/C sensor on the thermostat housing (bottom one) after bending the wire a different way when reinstalling the P/S reservoir bracket and had to replace the ECU water temp sensor because the plastic plug on that sensor had deteriorated to the point of falling off.
  • Related to electrical, hopefully you have better luck but the plastic cover for the wiring harness that goes over the front of the head fall apart on me as soon as I started moving it around. Pieces of it fell all over the front of my engine and down inside the lower timing cover so keep that in mind. That turned my "replace cam seal" job into a full timing belt job which honestly was probably a good thing overall, I fixed a lot of stuff and feel much better about the engine now. I'd poke/probe the other exposed bits of the wiring harness and get some wireloom and electrical tape ready to patch up other spots that are falling apart from heat/age. I replaced that front harness cover with some wireloom wrapped in elec tap and have it just resting on top of the valve covers now.
 

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4) -replace shifter bushings/shifter with new bushings, short shifter? Either a weighted knob or oe non-beatup shift knob
If you decide to go with a short shifter, I'd recommend one from CUBE Speed. It's expensive but good quality and works as it should. Installed one on my 7MGE and so far, I'm really satisfied with it.

I was lurking through the wheel fitment thread and shooting for 17x9 +3x offset. As aggressive as I can without rolling fenders.
My turbo Supra is running 17's without rolled fenders: Fronts are 17x9 +38 with 235/45R17. Rears are 17x10 +35 with 275/40R17. The car has Eibach springs so it sits lower and looks somewhat aggressive IMO. But occasionally gets a mild rub on front fender liners going thru a big dip on the road (I'm sure the problem is my front struts going soft).
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
@dathanks for the advice, new bolts and grommets ordered. I have some random leftover tubing im hoping will work for some of these vacuum lines. Does the timing belt have to come off to change cam seals?

@oldi think I saw a video from the cube guys about that shifter. I want to make the shifting more crisp without having to jbweld the shift socket. Maybe could get away with 17x9+40 for fronts and maybe be ok, ill keep that in mind when time comes for wheels
 

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Does the timing belt have to come off to change cam seals?
For just changing the cam seals you don't need to take the timing belt off completely, just the upper half. You need to remove the cam gears and rear upper timing cover so you'll need to pull in the idler pulley to release tension to remove the belt from the cam gears first. You can prop a flat head screw driver against the gear spoke and one of the 10mm rear upper timing cover bolts to loosen/tighten the cam gear bolt (I used a really long screw driver and propped it on top of the radiator support). Not sure what records you have on timing belt or water pump changes but you might want to consider doing a timing belt service to reset the clock for all the seals on the front of the engine together. Front main seal, oil pump seal, idler pulley, water pump/gasket, and timing belt. I have about 10k less miles on mine at 163k with the last timing belt service done at 86k back in 2002-ish and the old seals were all fairly hard when I pulled them out.

Edit: Just saw you mentioned timing belt was done at 150k. Wonder if they didn't replace the cam seals during that service. As you're looking for the source of the leak, the thing that confirmed for me that it was the exhaust cam seal was with the front upper timing cover off, cam gears exposed, I could see oil dripping down from behind the rear upper timing cover down onto the top of the water pump and pooling up before dripping down the side of the block underneath the head coolant housing. Prior to this I thought it was leaking from the CPS because the CPS is right above that area. CPS is right behind the coolant housing on the head behind a black cover with 3 bolts, can check for leaks coming out from the bottom of that cover too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
For just changing the cam seals you don't need to take the timing belt off completely, just the upper half. You need to remove the cam gears and rear upper timing cover so you'll need to pull in the idler pulley to release tension to remove the belt from the cam gears first. You can prop a flat head screw driver against the gear spoke and one of the 10mm rear upper timing cover bolts to loosen/tighten the cam gear bolt (I used a really long screw driver and propped it on top of the radiator support). Not sure what records you have on timing belt or water pump changes but you might want to consider doing a timing belt service to reset the clock for all the seals on the front of the engine together. Front main seal, oil pump seal, idler pulley, water pump/gasket, and timing belt. I have about 10k less miles on mine at 163k with the last timing belt service done at 86k back in 2002-ish and the old seals were all fairly hard when I pulled them out.

Edit: Just saw you mentioned timing belt was done at 150k. Wonder if they didn't replace the cam seals during that service. As you're looking for the source of the leak, the thing that confirmed for me that it was the exhaust cam seal was with the front upper timing cover off, cam gears exposed, I could see oil dripping down from behind the rear upper timing cover down onto the top of the water pump and pooling up before dripping down the side of the block underneath the head coolant housing. Prior to this I thought it was leaking from the CPS because the CPS is right above that area. CPS is right behind the coolant housing on the head behind a black cover with 3 bolts, can check for leaks coming out from the bottom of that cover too.
I'm not 100% sure if they changed the cam seals, I just know I'm leaking from the valve covers for sure, into the spark plug channel and oil is dripping onto my exhaust manifold. I'll definitely be posting up photos when I start tearing into it, just expecting absolutely everything to go wrong. And contemplating what I've gotten myself into lol coming from the quirks and "fun" stuff from e36 and e46 chassis
 

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Coming from the E36/46 world, I'm sure the Supra will be somewhat familiar in the types of maintenance, but you'll probably find that things make a lot more sense in many cases. Material choice, for one...

About the only thing I can really help ya with that hasn't been addressed already is the suspension. Probably my favorite thing about my car is how sharp the handling is for such an old car. I replaced every bushing on the car in 2015. Subframe bushings from RonnieK, the front lower control arm bushings from Energy Suspension, and the rest of the control arms were replaced with Beech control arms, which you may or may not be able to get from Driftmotion these days. I went with the poly ends on mine, I think rod ends were also an option originally.

There is also a company in New Zealand, Agile Performance, that offers an adjustable front LCA, they're the only ones I'm aware of. They also offer other parts for suspension components, and I'm sure the exchange rate is pretty favorable at the moment.

The only "bushing" I don't think I replaced (though, honestly, I might have?) was the spherical bearing in one of the rear control arms. It's been a few years now, and my memory isn't quite as sharp as it once was. Either way, replace all the bushings, handling will be pretty good. Coilovers, wheels and tires, bushings, alignment, and if you have any reason to think you'll have the thing on a race track, brakes. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Coming from the E36/46 world, I'm sure the Supra will be somewhat familiar in the types of maintenance, but you'll probably find that things make a lot more sense in many cases. Material choice, for one...

About the only thing I can really help ya with that hasn't been addressed already is the suspension. Probably my favorite thing about my car is how sharp the handling is for such an old car. I replaced every bushing on the car in 2015. Subframe bushings from RonnieK, the front lower control arm bushings from Energy Suspension, and the rest of the control arms were replaced with Beech control arms, which you may or may not be able to get from Driftmotion these days. I went with the poly ends on mine, I think rod ends were also an option originally.

There is also a company in New Zealand, Agile Performance, that offers an adjustable front LCA, they're the only ones I'm aware of. They also offer other parts for suspension components, and I'm sure the exchange rate is pretty favorable at the moment.

The only "bushing" I don't think I replaced (though, honestly, I might have?) was the spherical bearing in one of the rear control arms. It's been a few years now, and my memory isn't quite as sharp as it once was. Either way, replace all the bushings, handling will be pretty good. Coilovers, wheels and tires, bushings, alignment, and if you have any reason to think you'll have the thing on a race track, brakes. :)
Lol no plastic coolant lines, DISA or booboo oil catch self-deteriorating parts lol looks like I'm headed in the right direction, have the energy suspension bushings for front and rear coming. Im hoping an mk3 with lsd comes through the junkyard. Plans to pull that subframe(hopefully not cracked) w/diff and axles and replace those bushings and just swap.
I saw the control arms on driftmotion for a small fortune, funny. There's a RonnieK on toyotanation who was heavily involved in 2zzge stuff, re-pins ECUs and stuff
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Bunch of parts came in today. Probably gonna start tomorrow, the plugs i bought are Denso 4507 gap set at .040 my manual/threads on supraforums say .44
Do I leave these as is or re gap to .44
Motor is 7mge
 

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Piratetip is your guy for an LSD diff, he won't steer you wrong.

Yes the Beech control arms are a small fortune, but for what I use the car for, the flexibility to setup the suspension how I like / need it is greatly appreciated by my tires. Having -3.5° of camber up front sounds like it'd be horrible for tire wear, but when you're autocrossing and your tire temps are even all the way across the tire... that's pretty great. Plus if I wanted to slam the car and still have good alignment, I could make it happen. For a car that's mainly a cruiser though... not really something I'd recommend. :)

If the subframe is cracked, an angle grinder and welder are your friends. However that's really something you see more often on cars that have been launched with REALLY sticky tires and a fair bit of power. I wouldn't be too worried about it.

On the spark plugs, do you mean to say that the plugs you received have a gap of 0.044? Because 0.44" is quite a huge gap haha. When you're talking thousandths, numbers and decimal places do matter, not trying to pick on ya. :) If they're 0.040 or 0.044, either way you'll be fine. Plug gap isn't really a concern until you start increasing boost levels on the turbo cars, as long as you're close on an NA you'll be fine.
 
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Bunch of parts came in today. Probably gonna start tomorrow, the plugs i bought are Denso 4507 gap set at .040 my manual/threads on supraforums say .44
Do I leave these as is or re gap to .44
Motor is 7mge
I just put in some new Denso's from Driftmotion in my turbo and adjusted the gaps per the TSRM. First time I've done that actually, usually I just pop them straight in, but I thought I'd measure them this time and they did all start off a little bigger than TSRM spec. Easy enough to adjust. I used one of those tools with the wire loops in it to check gap and a combination tab thingy to do the adjustment with.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Piratetip is your guy for an LSD diff, he won't steer you wrong.

Yes the Beech control arms are a small fortune, but for what I use the car for, the flexibility to setup the suspension how I like / need it is greatly appreciated by my tires. Having -3.5° of camber up front sounds like it'd be horrible for tire wear, but when you're autocrossing and your tire temps are even all the way across the tire... that's pretty great. Plus if I wanted to slam the car and still have good alignment, I could make it happen. For a car that's mainly a cruiser though... not really something I'd recommend. :)

If the subframe is cracked, an angle grinder and welder are your friends. However that's really something you see more often on cars that have been launched with REALLY sticky tires and a fair bit of power. I wouldn't be too worried about it.

On the spark plugs, do you mean to say that the plugs you received have a gap of 0.044? Because 0.44" is quite a huge gap haha. When you're talking thousandths, numbers and decimal places do matter, not trying to pick on ya. :) If they're 0.040 or 0.044, either way you'll be fine. Plug gap isn't really a concern until you start increasing boost levels on the turbo cars, as long as you're close on an NA you'll be fine.
Lol you sound like my old high school chemistry teacher. Haha but much appreciated, ill be plugging these in Sunday. Agreed with the control arms, this is slow car lol ironically my matrix is my autox car
 
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