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Old 02-05-2009, 04:34 AM   #1
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Upstate South Carolina
Posts: 2
CraiginCentral is on a distinguished road
Default Can my 1982 Supra be saved?

Hello, I am glad to have found this forum of fellow Supra owners. I am hoping to find some advice and suggestions from some of you friendly and knowledgeable enthusiasts. I almost donít know where to begin.
I have a 1982 Toyota Celica Supra, L-Model. (Thatís the automatic.) It is white with the black hatchback. I bought it in 1983, almost new, with 8,000 miles on it, and it has been my ďbabyĒ ever since. I have always done my best to take care of it. But that has not been easy.
The car now has 171,000 miles. While I live in the South now, I was in PA when I bought it, and it has some persistent rust areas. I have never had the luxury of being able to keep it in a garage. The plastic in the interior is cracking in some places. But worst of all, it is leaking oil, and, I believe, burning oil as well. The gas mileage has dropped dramatically: from 300 miles on a tank for most of its life to just about 200 miles.
A lot of the oil leakage was appearing in the spark plug wells, and I have replaced the cam cover gaskets twice. (I understand this was a common problem with this car.) But now my mechanic tells me that the worst of the leakage is coming from where the drive shaft exits the engine. And I suppose all of the smoke and foul smell indicates that the piston rings are bad.
I also had the transmission rebuilt not too many miles ago, at a cost of $1,600.
I mentioned the rust. Iíve had body guys try to fix up the corrosion spots a couple of times, but it tends to keep coming back. Perhaps the worst and most common rust problem these cars had was the trailing edge of the hatchback. After trying to get this patched a couple times, I bought another whole Supra (1985, see below) and switched that hatchback over to my car. It was a southern car and it didnít seem to have the rust problem.
Last year my mechanic spent some time with the car, but his final verdict was that I had 3 options:
  • I could either do a full restoration, including, of course, the engine rebuild, as well as the body, interior, etc. He said heís seen restorations cost from $16k on up! Not a possibility for me. OR Ö
  • Sell it to somebody who wants to restore it. OR Ö
  • Just keep driving it as-is until it falls apart.
The Other Car. In 1996, when the rusted out hatchback was getting really bad, I had found a dealer who could get me a new, unpainted hatchback for $625. I would have to pay to have it painted and pay to have my glass taken out and installed in the new one. Then I found and bought an entire 1985 red Supra, P-Model, for $500 and put that hatchback on my car. The 1985 has the same body and same 5M-GE engine as the 1982. The í85 was evidently hit on the passenger side and has a dented right-front quarter panel. The rest of the body appears to be in fine shape. It is a sun-roof style. At the time I bought it I was told that the engine was shot; threw a rod or something. The interior, including the seats, is trashed for some reason. In addition to the hatchback, I have used one of the fog lights, something from the heater, a power window motor, and the turn signal assembly from the steering wheel column. It has all 4 of the very nice P-Model alloy wheels intact.
So now I have this terrible dilemma of what to do with these 2 once-wonderful pieces of machinery. I wish there was someone in my area who could take both of these cars, rebuild my engine, get whatís good from each, and give me back one good car. (At a price that I could afford.) Otherwise, do you think I should sell the red car to someone who wants to fix it up or use it to fix up their car, and drive my white one Ďtil it drops? Should I sell the red one out in parts, the transmission here, the wheels there, etc.? The problem with that is that I canít vouch for the working condition of any of the major mechanical parts; the transmission, differential, brakes, etc. Or should I finally bite the bullet and sell both of them together to someone who would fix up the í82? This option might let ďmy babyĒ go out with a little more dignity than me just running it into the ground.
Please let me know if you have any helpful suggestions or contacts.
P.S. Am I allowed to post this in both the general section and the 1982-1985 section?
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Old 02-06-2009, 07:38 AM   #2
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: santa cruz ca
Posts: 30
supkar is on a distinguished road

Frankly, they both sound like parts cars. You try to restore something that decayed and quickly get to the point of diminishing returns. If you want a real MKII, go West, young man. Arizona, Ca. ----someplace dry. Then drive it home and put your best parts from your cars on it. Sell the remaining parts and pay for your trip and the car you bought , eventually.
I have an MKII for sale , at the moment. Super-deep-red, 5 speed--very pretty. Email if you want to see a pic. That is, if you're willing to travel.
You East coast guys always suffer from rust issues. Only cars that are garaged survive.
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