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Old 06-23-2013, 08:30 PM   #1
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Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: GA, USA
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Default Mkiv Supra TT Lifecycle / Progression

Here are some of the steps I've gone through and/or learned the hard way as to the 'right' path that grew my driver skills as I owned, drove, and upgraded my Supra.
  • I've come to think that anyone should start with the right Supra. For example, I figure if you want to go fast, forget the n/a Supra - you need a real TT. As we've discussed in several other threads, upgrading the n/a into a *full* tt spec simply costs too get a TT right in the beginning if performance is what you have in mind.
  • On the other hand, if you just want to look good, get an n/a - spend your time waxing it and cruising for dates - it's still a VERY cool looking ride!
  • As I'll get into a bit more below, think about mileage, condition, whether it's already been modded, etc. and don't settle for less than what you want.
Note: From this point forward, I'm going to focus on the TT, since that's all I've owned and worked with. Somehow, I kind of got lucky and ended up with an Mkiv TT long before anyone knew how upgradeable and over-engineered it is.
  • Be willing to spend some long, hard time searching for the exact condition of Supra you want. This is a VERY rare car, so you'll often have to put your best offer on the table within hours of it being posted for sale (contingent upon getting it checked out, of course). Be sure it hasn't been modified, and the 2jz-gte compression/leakdown tests are performed..
  • Whether you're starting with a relatively low mileage Supra or one with 200K+miles, I've found that proper maintenance is the foundation of everything you'll want to do with your Supra.
    • Don't skimp on tires - they're the only thing connecting your car to the pavement. Use oem-spec rubber or better (i.e. Z-rated), in the correct sizes. Lower-performance tires will reduce the usability of your horsepower *and* will also reduce the effectiveness of the Mkiv TT's excellent braking system.
    • Use oem-spec fluids or better. Synthetic 10W-30 motor oil, for example. Toyota 'red' coolant. etc.
    • If >50K miles, replace the oem plugs. Use platinum or iridium plugs - copper plugs must be changed every 5K miles or so.
    • Change the timing belt a 60K intervals, per the owner's manual
  • Although the Mkiv TT is an incredible vehicle, there are a few of quite minor, but irritating items that 'wear out'...things not mentioned in the owner's manual:
    • Rear hatch bumpers ('93.5-'95) (annoying rattle) - (easy) 'yota issued replacement bumpers in '96 that fixed the problem, but no recall was issued.
    • Coilpacks above 75K miles (weaker spark) - just get a new set (easy)
    • Oem blow-off valve above 75K miles (leaks boost) - replace with aftermarket BOV that vents to intake
    • Coilpack plastic clips above 75K miles (crumble), can cause ignition misses - replace oem plastic clips (easy & cheap)
    • PCV hoses above coilpacks, past 75K miles - (easy and cheap) replace with new oem pcv hoses
      (they get rock hard, which makes changing sparkplugs / compression test very difficult)
    • Heater hose (coolant) joint above #6 coilpack/sparkplug (pops apart). (cheap) replace with double-barbed brass fitting (5/8" iirc) and two hose clamps
      This item may have to do with how frequently the owner(s) changed/flushed the coolant
    • Harmonic dampener above 125K miles (splits at rubber dampening layer & falls apart) - replace with new oem or aftermarket dampener
    • Rear oem shocks (leak) - *very* simple to replace d-i-y, thankfully.
    • Interior:
      • Console lid hinge(s) a bit flimsy - don't sit on the console! Quite easy to permanently fix with a zip-tie.
      • Targa roof rattles in some Supras (higher mileage). To fix, simply remove the targa roof, completely disassemble it, tighten all bolts (use Loctite), reassemble, and reinstall.
      • Dash trim above odometer and passenger air bag lifts in one spot (both locations) - slight cosmetic imperfections.
    • Note: Other than the harmonic dampener and the coilpacks, these are all pretty cheap to fix...and even those two are only in the hundreds (i.e not thousands). With the coilpacks, the parts are a little more expensive, but you can replace them yourself really easily. A new oem harmonic dampener isn't that expensive, but it's not a trivial job (eg. radiator must be removed).
    • Many of these items relate to the tremendous heat produced by the 2jz-gte (and the turbos, of course). Depending on how hard the Mkiv TT has been driven, most plastic and rubber components anywhere near the exhaust side or center cavity of the engine eventually give up the ghost. Horsepower is a dual-edged sword.
...continued below...
Phil '94 Supra Turbo, 6spd, 'APU'+
Displacement is no replacement for boost.
Life begins at 30psi.

NB: Please consider posting any help requests in a new thread instead of asking me for help privately. About 99.9+% of the time, private help requests end up covering great information that could be very valuable to other forum members. If you have a good reason for needing the help request to be private, I'll consider it. If not, then why not give everyone else the opportunity to pitch in too, and/or learn from the information? Remember, there's no such thing as a dumb question. We're all here to help within this family of Supra owners.

Last edited by pwpanas; 10-12-2014 at 01:15 PM.
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