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Old 08-06-2013, 06:53 PM   #1
Jaster83
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Default Trying to decide on a specific year MKIII, any help is appreciated.

Edit: Realized what a wall of text this is. So if you read nothing else, for now I really just want to know if I need to be looking for a 90-92 Supra because of the beefier blocks if I'm looking to make 500 whp as reliably as possible, or is that goal not large enough for it to matter? That's really the question I need answered right now so I can get on with narrowing down my search for a car to start building. Thanks for your time.


Extra stuff:
So I fell in love with an 87 Supra that turns out would be a bad investment, so I walked away from it, but now I have Supra fever. I've been doing about an hour to two hours of research on different forums every day for the past week or so, and have some general questions that I haven't seen addressed.

This would be my daily driver in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area (stop and go traffic with summer heat over over 100 degrees for a couple months straight) but I also travel to my parents' houses in Kansas, and East Texas, and I'd want it to be reliable, but fun.

I'd want it to be 400-500 whp, Targa Top, 5 Speed, 7M-GTE (not a GE -> GTE), and remain reliable as a daily driver. Is that an achievable goal, and if so, could anyone give me a rough ballpark figure in dollars what they think it would take? (Not as a definitive number, just so I know how big to get my bank roll before starting.)

The #1 goal is reliable daily driver. If that means I have to lower my HP goals, or spend more money, then that's what I have to do. My motto when doing anything is spend the money on the right things and get it done right, the first time. That way you don't have to spend more money when you don't have any budgeted. I know that means spending more in the beginning so I don't blow up my car and have to go back to driving my crap Saturn for a month or longer while I wait on money, parts, and labor to be done.

I know the blocks got a little beefier in 90 compared to the 87-89 ones, should this be on my mind at all when shopping for a car to build, or is it basically only a concern when you want to get crazy numbers (I consider crazy to be 600+ whp)? If reliability isn't affected at all between the two pushing a max of 500 whp, are there other factors, such as cost and availability of parts, weight, or things non-engine specific that changed between model years that would make me happier with an 86.5-89 or a 90-92.5 (such as a better a/c on the later model, better interior controls, things like that.)

Some other things running through my head are...

From what I've gathered the spec torque for the head bolts is low, and no matter if I buy an unmodded or modded car, I need to make sure these are torqued to around 80 ft/lbs before I even start modding anything, would that be a reasonable thing to do?

I'm contemplating buying a car with a claimed BHG problem to save on the initial investment of the car because I think I want to put in a MHG anyway just for reliability's sake, and while it's opened up go ahead and replace the valve stem seals (per cre's advice to someone else) as well as anything else that would be prudent. (I know it's pointless to ask before the machining what thickness MHG to get because that's dependent on how much material was removed from the head and block so I get the proper compression ratio, so i won't ask that =D) With the head off should I go ahead and replace the cams with some performance ones, or would that negatively impact reliability? (I do like that loping sound... something about it... mmm) But my goal is reliability, and if I buy a car with a known or suspected BHG (their reason for selling) what would I want to check to make sure no permanent damage has been done to the motor?

If I know for sure I want to do a cold air intake, high flow cat, and possibly exhaust manifold (dependent on price and expected returns) about how much boost are we talking to hit my 500 whp max, and would it go beyond what the stock turbo could handle?

I know I need to budget for larger injectors and some form of fuel controller. Can I reach my goal with the Lexus AFM and 550cc injectors, will that be reliable, or should I go ahead and spend the extra $ on something like an AFC Neo with aftermarket injectors for added reliability and flexibility?

Stock intercooler, just add hard pipes, or do I need an aftermarket job?

Sorry for hitting with so many questions, but there's just a ton of information to absorb for someone who is new to engine modification, turbo cars, and generally any work done on the engine itself. I do not have the tools or resources to do any of this myself, I'd have to farm it out to someone in the DFW area, and I want to make sure I at least know the theory so when I'm shopping around for a performance shop to do the custom work I can tell if they're competent enough for me to give them exorbitant amounts of my hard-earned money.

This is not going to be some Civic with some aftermarket coilovers, a coffee can muffler, a bolted on wing, some rims, and a bunch of AEM/HKS/Greddy stickers on the windows. I want this car to fit with my (and Teddy's) philosophy of speaking softly and carrying a big stick. (But it will probably get lowered and have some nice rims, eventually.)

If I've said anything that makes me sound like a moron, or is just not realistic, please, let me know. (Politely is best, but impolitely is better than allowing me to continue in my ignorant ways.)

Thank you for even reading that wall of text, even if you don't respond =)

Last edited by Jaster83; 08-07-2013 at 07:38 AM.
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Old 08-06-2013, 07:18 PM   #2
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Also, because I'd be paying a shop to do this, how would you recommend grouping the work to be done, if I can't do it all at once?
Something like...

So, all the mods I think I'd need:

MHG
Valves
Cams (maybe)
Do these three immediately upon purchase of the vehicle.
Then later, and not particularly in any order group the mods as...

ECM
Injectors

Cold Air Intake
Intake Manifold (necessary, or no?)
Turbo (maybe I can get away with stock?)
Intercooler/Pipes (maybe I can get away with just hard pipes?)

Exhaust Manifold (necessary, or no?)
High-flow Cat
cat-back

Is a grouping like this (maybe in a different order, though) the most efficient way to lower labor costs? Or do I need to do both intake and exhaust manifolds when they're doing the MHG?
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Old 08-07-2013, 05:29 AM   #3
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Wow that was a lot of reading I just did! Haha, but anyways it seems like you know what you want, a very fast and reliable supra! So if you were to upgrade a 7mgte here is a basic outline of stages to do http://www.suprastore.com/stivimk3tu7m.html
This is what I'm trying to follow right now, but keep in mind that you should always have extra cash for there are always maintenance issues that may come along with this car and any other turbo cars you plan on modding.
Something you can try also is to swap to a 1jz engine for it is known to be more reliable than the 7mgte (because of the 7mgte's BHG phenomenon) but yeah, and the 1jz twin turbo puts out around 280hp vs the 7mgte's 230. And then a lot of people would swap the 1jz's twins into a single turbo, and of course the bigger the turbo, the more power! Anyways I hope this helps you out it anyway!
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Old 08-07-2013, 05:50 PM   #4
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That's an interesting website, thanks for the link.

And yeah, I plan on having to do regular maintenance, but I don't want to have a problem with a BHG or major debilitating engine troubles after I throw a lot of money at a car, so if I have to over engineer and detune the car to keep it reliable, that's what I want to do.
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Old 08-09-2013, 04:28 AM   #5
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The revisions were '86.5-'88, '89-'92 (up to '93 in some regions). There were some changes made from '89 to '90 and then '91 and '92 had some addition changes. The vast majority of changes made between '89 and '92 were minor and not worth nit picking over. My personal preference would be a pristine '91 or '92 but I'd take a pristine '89 over '92 which needed a lot of work.

I hope you realize just how long it may take for such a build to actually be ready for daily service... Buy a second car (or hang on to whatever you're currently rolling around in).

No, the CT-26 will not get you to that power level, not even a heavily upgraded one. So yes, add a new exhaust manifold and exhaust and turbo to your shopping list. A better fuel pump would be on the top of my list.
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Old 08-09-2013, 06:35 AM   #6
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Yeah, I decided after about two hours of research that if I'm going to be getting any turbo car that I'd need a backup, even if I'm not modding. Since I am modding, I definitely need a backup while it's in the shop.

The major limiting factor right now isn't time, it's money. I plan on doing the work in chunks like I described earlier. The goal is to have the engine/drivetrain stuff done by this time next year. Spending about $2000 every 3 months or so. Problem is I'm starting from $0 due to an expensive Catholic Wedding service, a couple of AR-15's, and a new 2013 Subaru purchase.

I forgot to include a fuel pump. I'm assuming that I should do that when I upgrade the injectors/ecu because of the higher demand on the pump?

Last edited by Jaster83; 08-09-2013 at 06:38 AM.
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Old 08-11-2013, 07:45 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Jaster83 View Post
I'm assuming that I should do that when I upgrade the injectors/ecu because of the higher demand on the pump?
That and you'd be the ultimate sucker to trust what's probably a 21+ year old, stock fuel pump.
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Old 08-12-2013, 01:38 AM   #8
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Have you considered in your budget things like suspension and brakes?
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Old 08-13-2013, 06:06 AM   #9
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Have you considered in your budget things like suspension and brakes?
Good point. I hadn't read through the OP's list but if these aren't at the VERY TOP of the list they should be. Don't add more power until you're certain you and the car can control it.
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Old 08-13-2013, 11:09 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 907mge View Post
Have you considered in your budget things like suspension and brakes?
Hm... yes, I am planning on doing aftermarket stuff, in my mind I'm figuring around $2000, hopefully that gets me the suspension I want + rims, but honestly I haven't priced it. I'll go do that now =)
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