1986.5 Supra Restoration Project

zhenya2002

Member
Authorized Seller
Joined
Jun 23, 2018
Messages
38
Likes
10
#1
Hi everyone, I'm new to the forum and to the Supra life in general. About a week ago I picked up a barn find in the form of a 1986 Mark 3 Supra hard top NA 5 speed. From what I can tell, it's been sitting for the past 16 years. I picked it up to turn it into a restoration project, and a learning experience for me.






Obviously the car is in a really bad shape. All the fluids have most likely separated, and I'm really hoping the engine hasn't seized. Let's see what happens!
 

plaaya69

87T Supra
Authorized Seller
Contributor
Joined
Nov 18, 2006
Messages
1,445
Likes
108
Location
Lake County, IL
#2
Welcome. Nice barn find. Looks like you will be busy for awhile but having people on here that can help you with any questions along the way will keep your project rolling along smoothly.

Any plans on the motor or hp goals?
 

GC89

BoostRodeo
Authorized Seller
Contributor
Joined
Jun 13, 2007
Messages
1,037
Likes
22
Location
Spokane, WA
#3
Boy she looks rough! 86 HT would make a good track car being the lightest MKIII configuration. Non ABS/ non power seat car I assume?

What are your goals/plans for it?
 

zhenya2002

Member
Authorized Seller
Joined
Jun 23, 2018
Messages
38
Likes
10
#4
Thank you everyone for the warm welcome!
From what I can tell, the car was imported from Canada at some point because of the Canadian emission stickers on the underside of the hood.
Not sure about ABS, but it does have power seats on the drivers side, and they still work! Along with the pop up headlights and power windows. Gotta love the Japanese quality.

The goal for the car is to first to get it up and running. Make sure all the basics work (haven't messed with the brakes or clutch at all). First step is to get the engine started. If mechanically it's not a complete wreck, I'd like to learn how to do body work and slowly repair all the dents, get a new windshield, and maybe even paint it down the line. As far as motor, going to keep it the way it is for now. There's more than enough other stuff to do.
Here she is arriving at her new home:
 

zhenya2002

Member
Authorized Seller
Joined
Jun 23, 2018
Messages
38
Likes
10
#5
First trip to the part store involved new oil, oil filter, fuel filter, battery, spark plugs, and a bunch of other small things. Installed the battery, and nothing happened..... Turns out the wire that powers the car electronics (not the one going to the alternator) fell off of its connector. We changed the connector, and amazingly the lights inside came on!! Tried to crank the car and only got one click. The starter has completely seized.

Parts store trip #2 was for a new starter, which was surprisingly cheap. Thanks to the research I did on this forum, I knew to get the top starter bolt out using a swivel head and a bunch of extensions, but it was still a pain. After that, the car actually cranked!! Very promising signs of life.

But now we're seeing that the car is not getting any fuel. We opened the cold start injector and the line leaning to the fuel pressure regulator, and both are bone dry. Let's investigate! The fuel pump relay that's in the engine bay on the passenger side was making weird noises, but when we bypassed it we could see power going to the pump by opening the hatch in the trunk and using a volt meter. Well if we're getting power that far, I wonder if the fuel pump itself is bad. The plan was always to drop the tank and have a look, we just didn't expect to do it so soon.
Disconnecting the hard lines wasn't too bad, but when we got everything loose we noticed fuel leaking out, and not through any of the lines. Obviously this made a giant mess in the garage, but eventually we got the tank out. Found the hole!

The inside was not in any better shape:


But I have a feeling we've discovered the culprit causing our fuel lacking issue:

That used to be the fuel pump.

I looked around auto parts and called a Toyota dealer, and most of these parts are discontinued. After doing more research, I found that these pumps operate at 9 volts during cruise and idle, and then go up to 12v when under heavy load. This is controlled by the fuel pump relay (which will need to be replaced). If we wanted to go to an upgraded fuel pump, they all work on 12v at all times, so this is where I need some sage advice from you guys.

Where can I get a replacement fuel tank assembly, including the tank, the mount for the fuel pump, a new pump, and a new relay. Also, would it be better to replace all of these parts, or try to upgrade to an aftermarket pump and eliminate the relay that's in the hood?
 

plaaya69

87T Supra
Authorized Seller
Contributor
Joined
Nov 18, 2006
Messages
1,445
Likes
108
Location
Lake County, IL
#6
EWWW gross, that fuel pump/hanger is a super bad one. I would just start with just the basics and I would not worrie about the 12v fuel pump mod until you are ready to put a upgraded turbo on it. Just as a stock daily driver the 9v/12v fuel pump system works great and makes the fuel pump last longer in 9v mode. I would also not change the fuel pump relay unless it tested bad.

For parts just make a list of parts you need and post up in the wanted to buy section. Also keep a eye out on ebaymotors for parts (overpriced most of the time), craigslist and local junkyards. I also like to use this site for OEM parts:

https://www.toyotapartsdeal.com/Pag...Submodel=&Filter=()&Keywords=fuel+pump+hanger


This is a non turbo Supra correct?
 
Likes: Reppel84

JDMMA70

Active Member
Authorized Seller
Joined
Dec 4, 2006
Messages
2,667
Likes
21
Location
Houston
#7
remove the pump and soak the hanger in a mixture of hot water and oxalic acid for a few hours. Then have the hanger coated or zinc plated. A replacement tank should be easy to source or you could repair that one. The 12V mod is not 100% necessary, it is dependent on what your goal is. If its 100% stock restoration then you can leave it as it.
 

3p141592654

90T
Authorized Seller
Contributor
Joined
Oct 11, 2005
Messages
4,097
Likes
69
Location
Thousand Oaks, CA
#8
Rockauto.com still carries a lot of parts (aftermarket). I would check there first when the dealer comes up dry.

Still, at least 50% and probably more Toyota parts are discontinued these days. So plan on using Ebay and the classified section on this site to find things you need.
 
Likes: Kraken477

zhenya2002

Member
Authorized Seller
Joined
Jun 23, 2018
Messages
38
Likes
10
#9
The pump hanger is looking better, but rust has eaten through a lot of it. I'd like to get the whole assembly together from somewhere if possible, but will settle for just the tank. The junkyards around here don't have anything I can use, so I'll be looking around this forum and the sites you guys mentioned. Thanks for pointing me in the right direction!

Yes, it is indeed a non turbo.
 

te72

Classifieds Moderator
Staff member
Authorized Seller
Joined
Mar 26, 2006
Messages
6,614
Likes
5
Location
WHYoming
#10
I don't say this very often, given the lengths I went to with my car, but... you're braver than I am.

Seems like you have the drive to make this all work in the long run though, that will help a lot! When I ran across a gross fuel tank in my 87, I ended up replacing it with an ATL fuel cell. Not the approach I recommend for most people, as it is a lot of work, and a fair amount of custom fabrication is involved. If you're just looking for a stock rebuild, you should be able to find a decent tank in the classified section eventually.

Question then... have you ever driven a Supra? I ask, because if you haven't, and this is the car you chose to start with, I absolutely admire the dedication. I only went as far as I did because I knew how good these cars can be when things are right with them... it's a funny sort of addiction! :p
 

zhenya2002

Member
Authorized Seller
Joined
Jun 23, 2018
Messages
38
Likes
10
#11
I don't say this very often, given the lengths I went to with my car, but... you're braver than I am.

Seems like you have the drive to make this all work in the long run though, that will help a lot! When I ran across a gross fuel tank in my 87, I ended up replacing it with an ATL fuel cell. Not the approach I recommend for most people, as it is a lot of work, and a fair amount of custom fabrication is involved. If you're just looking for a stock rebuild, you should be able to find a decent tank in the classified section eventually.

Question then... have you ever driven a Supra? I ask, because if you haven't, and this is the car you chose to start with, I absolutely admire the dedication. I only went as far as I did because I knew how good these cars can be when things are right with them... it's a funny sort of addiction! :p
Haha thank you! I knew from the beginning it was going to be a long term project. Which is fine, because I can't spend a bunch of money on it all at once. I found a fuel tank on a car in a salvage yard, and I'm going to go get it Saturday. Along with any other parts I can get off of the wrecked car.

No, I've never driven a Supra. I've always wanted to take on a project like this, find an awesome old Japanese car and bring it back to life. It just happened a lot sooner than expected when I saw this car sitting there rusting away. For the price we agreed on, I couldn't say no. And of course another part of it is the learning experience of doing all of this myself. I don't want to give it to a shop along with a bunch of money so they can have all the fun.
 

zhenya2002

Member
Authorized Seller
Joined
Jun 23, 2018
Messages
38
Likes
10
#12
Small update: got a fuel tank from a junk yard and put that in. It wasn't too difficult overall. Unfortunately I have to leave on a work trip. so didn't have the time to try and crank it. Have a couple of small things to put back on before that happens anyway. Oh and should probably get fuel....
 

zhenya2002

Member
Authorized Seller
Joined
Jun 23, 2018
Messages
38
Likes
10
#13
IT LIVES!!!! Sort of.....
Everything is connected, and we were able to get it to start with starter fluid, but not by itself. But then using a bag of ice on the cold start sensor, it started by itself for the first time in 16 years!!! And then died immediately after that.

This is where I need your help. What would cause it to die like that? My guess is vacuum leaks. Half of the lines are not connected because they rotted away, but I don't even know where to start, and which ones are essential.

 

JDMMA70

Active Member
Authorized Seller
Joined
Dec 4, 2006
Messages
2,667
Likes
21
Location
Houston
#14
replace all of them, there arent that many.

As far as the car not wanting to run, check the afm (dont clean it just check it), check for codes and get back to us.
 

seoul4korea

Member
Authorized Seller
Joined
Nov 6, 2008
Messages
687
Likes
15
Location
San Diego, CA
#15
Maf based motor so they don't like air leaks, I would replace every hose possible. If you have any questions I've done a fair amount of work on my over the past 10 years. Here's a link to my build I made for it:
https://www.supraforums.com/forum/showthread.php?1090609-Me-love-you-long-time-build

Also if you can find a supra at the junk yard it might be easier to just grab some of the panels and replace them if yours are dented up. You have a lot of work ahead of you! Can you do a walk around video of the car? (Inside and out).
 

zhenya2002

Member
Authorized Seller
Joined
Jun 23, 2018
Messages
38
Likes
10
#16
Thanks for the advice guys! We've been going through and replacing lines slowly, and big progress happened today. We replaced the TPS sensor, and the car was actually responding to the gas pedal!! It still stalls while trying to idle on its own, but that's a problem for later this afternoon. Right now I'm just happy that one of the pedals work.


The next steps are to try and figure out why it doesn't idle properly, and why the clutch pedal doesn't come up off the floor. My guess is that the clutch master cylinder is shot. We'll try to bleed it to see if it helps, but will probably end up replacing it.

Also, we tried reading the codes from the check engine last night, and the Bosch reader unit we got from a part store didn't even go back earlier than 1989 for Toyotas, and that was a Cressida. So unfortunately no code reading as of yet.

PS I'll try to do a walk around video but my garage is super messy so I'm too ashamed to show all of it lol.
 

JDMMA70

Active Member
Authorized Seller
Joined
Dec 4, 2006
Messages
2,667
Likes
21
Location
Houston
#17
no need for a reader. Just take a paper clip and jump terminals E1 and Te1 in the diagnostic box. The CEL will flash and just county them. Something along the lines of "blink blink" would be 2 and then "blink long pause" would be 1 meaning Code 21. So try that and report back.
 

zhenya2002

Member
Authorized Seller
Joined
Jun 23, 2018
Messages
38
Likes
10
#19
Thanks for the info guys! Haven't had a chance to do that yet, but there has been major progress.
Also, over 1000 views! Good to know what people are paying attention to my humble project.
Anyway, now that the gas pedal is more or less functioning, we focused on the clutch. We replaced the clutch master cylinder, slave cylinder, and the clutch line. They were all completely shot.




After replacing all of it and bleeding the system, the clutch pedal finally came off the floor by itself! That's major progress. We ran the car through the gears and they all seem to be working correctly. And at this point, we couldn't help ourselves but to take it for a drive around the block. It was only about a minute drive, but we discovered that the gears are shifting smoothly, and the engine sounds healthy. The brakes are completely nonexistent and will be out next project. The brake master cylinder is probably gone. But that's a task for another day. Right now it just feels good to put the car on the ground and actually be able to move it under its own power. This makes it much easier to do other things in the future. It was a really good day and we watched some Top Gear to celebrate.
 

zhenya2002

Member
Authorized Seller
Joined
Jun 23, 2018
Messages
38
Likes
10
#22
haha well at this point I have Supramania still. Since the last update, we replaced the brake master cylinder and bled the crap out of the system. The back calipers don't have any flow so I'm guessing the lines are clogged. I took a short drive and the brakes actually work now! Well... at least the pedal doesn't go all the way to the floor without doing anything. I will call that a success. Realistically it needs new lines. But this project is going to be put on hold for a bit because I have to work on my daily, and do some projects around the house while traveling very frequently for work. Not to worry, it will not be sitting too long!
 

zhenya2002

Member
Authorized Seller
Joined
Jun 23, 2018
Messages
38
Likes
10
#25
Well, I'm an idiot. On the bright side, this resulted in the best kind of thing: a free fix!! We've been working on the car only a little in the last couple of months. We flushed the coolant system a few times, each time the water was very rusty brown, sometimes with chunks. The old thermostat rusted into tiny pieces. So we got a new thermostat and new coolant temp sensors. It's been entertaining, to say the least.

The bigger problem has been the car refusing to idle at all. It would die immediately after I let off the gas. Made driving it annoying. I spent a lot of time trying to find vacuum leaks and a new IAC, which is impossible to find. But then, we were cleaning a few other things around the engine bay and found a hole in the intake plastic right next to where it connects to the throttle body. Using some creative engineering (duct tape and hose clamps) we sealed up the hole. Then when we went to move the car, we realized that it wasn't dying like usual. Idles really well now actually. It's a small victory but I will gladly take it!!
 

JDMMA70

Active Member
Authorized Seller
Joined
Dec 4, 2006
Messages
2,667
Likes
21
Location
Houston
#27
For your cooling system go to your local hardware store and pick up a container of wood bleach. It should say Oxalic Acid on the container. Mix a few tea spoons with some warm distilled water. Pour this in your radiator along with distilled water. Get the engine hot and allow it to run in the system for about and hour or so. Take before and after pictures because its going to blow your mind I promise. After an hour flush out the system really well with water, you're going to need a garden hose to flush out the entire system but flush it out for at least half an hour to an hour.
 

zhenya2002

Member
Authorized Seller
Joined
Jun 23, 2018
Messages
38
Likes
10
#28
Now that the Supra is idling ok, one of the things I want to look at is the tach, so I know what I can do with the engine. Where does the tach get its info from? Mine doesn't move at all.
 

zhenya2002

Member
Authorized Seller
Joined
Jun 23, 2018
Messages
38
Likes
10
#31
The tach signal comes from the coil IG- line. You can see it here. the black wire.

http://www.cygnusx1.net/Supra/Library/TEWD/MK3/manual.aspx?S=Main&P=040

Do your other gauges work (temp, fuel, etc) because you might have a blown fuse or other issue with the gauge circuit.
Thanks for the info! This gives me a place to start investigating. Is if the same for non turbo as well? On the diagram it says GTE. The only gauge that works is speedometer, and even that's looking shifty. I'm sure there's lots of weirdness going on.

Glad to see you're putting love into this car! Once finished with this one be on the look out for a Turbo model to do next
haha thank you! I wish I could give it more time, but as always, there are lots of things going on. My daily is a racecar too. This is a learning project. I'm not even thinking about what the next project will be.
 

3p141592654

90T
Authorized Seller
Contributor
Joined
Oct 11, 2005
Messages
4,097
Likes
69
Location
Thousand Oaks, CA
#32
If you move to the next page it has the wiring for the GE tach. In both cases it hooks to the IG- pin of the ignitor.
Since all you gauges are dead, I think the problem is likely in the gauge fuse or wiring. I would start with that. Its called the combination meter in Toyota speak.

http://www.cygnusx1.net/Supra/Library/TEWD/MK3/manual.aspx?S=Main&P=136
 

zhenya2002

Member
Authorized Seller
Joined
Jun 23, 2018
Messages
38
Likes
10
#33
Thanks for the information! That will definitely help when we get back into working on wiring. For now though, there are easier things to do. Up until now we haven't messed with the rear brakes, which were not working at all. We removed the lines, which were blocked up with rust and cleared them out. Then bled the whole system, and took it for a test drive. Also, we added a bottle of engine flush to the oil to start cleaning things out now the the car idles smoothly.


The brakes work so well now! Well they probably need new pads, but one thing at a time.
We have also discovered that the steering rack boots are badly leaking power steering fluid. I'd love to just replace the boots, but something tells me the whole rack is going bad.

Ironically, at this point, the supra is the most reliable car in my household. My daily is having electrical issues and another car has a dying battery, while the supra fires right up every time.
 

Piratetip

Far From Maddening Crowds
Staff member
Super Moderator
Authorized Seller
Joined
Dec 30, 2005
Messages
1,620
Likes
142
Location
MKE, WI
#34
We have also discovered that the steering rack boots are badly leaking power steering fluid. I'd love to just replace the boots, but something tells me the whole rack is going bad.
Yeah no fluid should come from the rack boots.
If they are leaking the pressure seals inside the R&P are shot.

Do yourself a favor and do NOT buy a cardone rebuilt rack, get a rebuild from the dealer.
 
Likes: Z06gette

seoul4korea

Member
Authorized Seller
Joined
Nov 6, 2008
Messages
687
Likes
15
Location
San Diego, CA
#36
I just saw a past post, the Merc brakes are cheapppp. I did mine for less than what it cost to do OEM brakes. If you do a quick search you can find them pretty easily.
 

zhenya2002

Member
Authorized Seller
Joined
Jun 23, 2018
Messages
38
Likes
10
#37
Thanks everyone for the info and encouragement! Haven't had too much time to work on the car because of the holidays.

I'm going to hold off on the steering rack for now, but it will need to be replaced.
The brakes are good with all four wheels actually doing some breaking. In the future I'm really going to look into the Merc upgrade, but not right now.

The next thing we're going to tackle is changing transmission and diff fluids, and take out the dash cluster and see why the dash is not working. Any advice on those topics would be appreciated as always.

Also, where does the speedometer get its information from? That's the only gauge that works, but it was showing 80 mph while I was doing 40 at most. So there is signal getting through, but not correct.

Final thing: is there another car that has a turn signal switch I can get from? The one in the car now is broken so the turn signal stalk is just hanging there. Junkyards don't want to see electrical parts like that and I looked it up from Oreily and they don't have anything available.
 

plaaya69

87T Supra
Authorized Seller
Contributor
Joined
Nov 18, 2006
Messages
1,445
Likes
108
Location
Lake County, IL
#38
On your instrument cluster not working I would check all your fuses first. Next I would check to make sure your body plugs behind the cluster and under the dash are all plugged in. If only your water temp and oil pressure gauges are not working then you should double check all the plugs by the ECU behind the glove box.


The speedometer uses a mechanical driven 2 piece cable which attaches from the rear of the instrument cluster to the rear of the transmission.


On the headlight switch you will not find new replacements and are probably better off finding a used on on ebay or carpart (which searches junkyards across the world):

http://www.car-part.com/cgi-bin/search.cgi
 

zhenya2002

Member
Authorized Seller
Joined
Jun 23, 2018
Messages
38
Likes
10
#39
Happy New Year everyone!!

Small update today. Didn't do any of the investigative things like check engine or dash, but we did change the transmission and diff fluids. They looked... chocolaty. Decades of rust and gunk flowed out. Filled both up with new stuff, which always feels good.



Also, I tried getting a turn signal switch from a junk yard in NC but the guy called me back the day after I paid for it to let me know that the car was scrapped before he got to it, so no turn signal for me. Not a great way to start the year...
 

zhenya2002

Member
Authorized Seller
Joined
Jun 23, 2018
Messages
38
Likes
10
#40
Bad news everyone. I don't think I'll be able to continue with this project. When I bought this car, the owner didn't have a title but the car did have a plate on it. After doing research, I found a way to get the title from the DMV as long as the car was previously registered. The lack of title was also a contributing factor in the low price.

The car had made enough progress over the last few months that I knew I wanted to get it registered and driving on the road. Having gotten all the paperwork together, I went to the DMV (and waited hours, as you do), to start the process for my title. Turns out the car was never actually registered in Florida, and there is no record of this VIN number in their database. The plate on the car was never associated with the Supra. At this point, there is pretty much nothing I can do outside of getting a lawyer and trying to go through a court case. This car is simply not worth the thousands of dollars that would cost.

At this point all I can do is sell it as a parts car to someone. The engine only has 91,000 miles on it, and the interior is in good condition except for the dash. It's a bad situation because I saw so much potential in this car, and was looking forward to learning a lot from it, and having pride in the finished product. I guess it was never meant to be. And on top of all that, my daily driver is having issues as well. It's been a frustrating day...