1986.5 Supra Restoration Project

zhenya2002

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Sorry no updates for a bit, but we've made some progress. Got some new tires for the car finally and an alignment! They were just some basic ones called Ohtsu but we actually have four matching wheels on the car now!! They're just the original supra wheels so I didn't want to spend too much money. Eventually there will be new wheels and actual performance tires, but not today. When I asked the tire shop guy how bad the alignment was, he just laughed. Driving back was so much different! Even though the rest of the suspension is still shot, but it drives so much better! It's crazy how much difference new tires and wheels pointing in the same direction do. I'm excited to fix the rest of it.

Oh and also, it looks like we got new tires just in time. I think this was recent because of the new steering, but damn.
 

zhenya2002

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Ok I didn't want to ruin the mood on my last post, but when we got back from the tire/alignment shop last time, there was a giant puddle of coolant in the driveway and it was gushing like crazy. At that point it's been a long day and we had to get other things done, so we left it alone for a while.

Today we finally had some time to investigate. Turns out, this was the culprit:


This tiny piece of hose was behind and under the thermostat housing, making it a GIANT pain to replace. But we finally got it and drove the car. Everything is dry and looking good....besides all the other things completely broken of course.
 

Piratetip

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Yep.
I fought with that one not too long ago.
Also replaced the thermostat and thermostat housing to cylinder head gasket, and water pump and a pile of other things coolant related.
Not a drop since!

Once you have a couple coolant leaks from crappy hoses and old stuff you start to go overboard and replace everything.
 

zhenya2002

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Yep.
I fought with that one not too long ago.
Also replaced the thermostat and thermostat housing to cylinder head gasket, and water pump and a pile of other things coolant related.
Not a drop since!

Once you have a couple coolant leaks from crappy hoses and old stuff you start to go overboard and replace everything.
We had done most of the other things you just mentioned, but didn't even know this hose existed until it burst.

We've all had to deal with Bypass Hose #6. It's annoying.
Don't tell me there are 5 more of these!!! lol

This year I decided to take advantage of black Friday and upgrade the head unit in my daily to something newer. The current unit is a Pioneer double DIN, very nice, but I got it in 2012 before Android Auto was a thing. As a result of that, the Supra got some nice handmedowns! The stereo in the car was not working at all, wouldn't even turn on. It was getting power, but the unit itself was dead.

Well it turns out all I needed was the wire harness for a late 80s Toyota, and everything else was simple! The head unit even reused the original mounting brackets. It's kind of annoying, but it fit into this car even more perfectly than my daily. Anyway, the only thing left to figure out was where to put my bypass switch. There is a black spot to the left of the hazard switch that fit the bill perfectly. It was actually very easy to wire up, but now I have full functionality with DVD play and everything!





Turns out both of the front door speakers were completely dead, one rear speaker was ok, and one was blown but still making some noise. The problem is that in this model all the speakers were 4" size, so you can't go crazy. We just got a set of Pioneer speakers to match the head unit. Nothing crazy, just something relatively good. As of this writing, the back speakers are in and they sound great! The doors will have to wait for another day.
 

zhenya2002

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No big updates for you guys lately, but a couple of months ago I took the Supra to a nice part of town next to a golf course to take some nice pictures. The kind of places where people drive Porsches and Bentleys, and I was getting a lot of looks in the Supra lol. Here are some of my favorites from the shoot:















Happy New Year everyone!!!
 

Piratetip

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LoL!

That is pretty funny.
Also 1 sawblade :D and that sun damage is intense!

I say leave the exterior mad max style.
Never have to worry about door dings or shopping cart hits.
 
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zhenya2002

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lol thanks everyone!! The whole point is to start with something so bad I won't have to worry about messing it up. We had talked about leaving the exterior like that, but I want to learn how to do body work and paint, so eventually it'll happen.

As for the dash, it's completely toast. Touching any part of it makes things crumble. I think the current plan is to make a new one out of fiberglass.
 

zhenya2002

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On Friday we went to a junk yard nearby to look at what was still on the Supra they had there. Turns out they actually had two! Unfortunately because of time constraints we couldn't get everything we wanted, but we did get a new tail light failure module (the yellow box everyone hates apparently), and new side mirrors. Both of mine had broken housings and the mirrors themselves too. As a bonus, the passenger side mirror housing was even the same maroon color as my supra!

The tail lights actually work correctly now, which is nice because running lights did not function at all.

They actually had a hood, trunk lid, and dash that were in much better condition than mine. I'm seriously considering going back for them in a couple of weeks depending on finances.

 

plaaya69

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It is always a nice surprise to find Supra's in the junkyard but also sad at times too since it is one less Supra on the road. If your replacement yellow box fails and do not want to cut your wiring up to bypass it, you might like the assembly that yotaconnectors makes. It looks to be out of stock but last time I was that site it was $8 plus shipping when I bought mine.

 
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sinistar_xx

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Just caught up and read through the entire thread, and what a cool project. Great work on figuring out all the issues and glad you got to keep the car.

And as for the hassles with the VIN, the first thing that occurred to me was the fact that you mentioned it was imported from Canada, so it would be interesting to know exactly when it came to the US. But that would probably explain some of the mystery as to why US DMV and Toyota databases don't have much or anything on it. Seems like the US owner(s) weren't on the up and up.
 

zhenya2002

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It is always a nice surprise to find Supra's in the junkyard but also sad at times too since it is one less Supra on the road. If your replacement yellow box fails and do not want to cut your wiring up to bypass it, you might like the assembly that yotaconnectors makes. It looks to be out of stock but last time I was that site it was $8 plus shipping when I bought mine.

Thanks for the tip! I'm looking at the site and it's out of stock, but looks as simple as getting a connector and connecting a few wires, plus insulating everything with electrical tape. If it fails again I might liberate my old connector and make one of those myself.

Just caught up and read through the entire thread, and what a cool project. Great work on figuring out all the issues and glad you got to keep the car.

And as for the hassles with the VIN, the first thing that occurred to me was the fact that you mentioned it was imported from Canada, so it would be interesting to know exactly when it came to the US. But that would probably explain some of the mystery as to why US DMV and Toyota databases don't have much or anything on it. Seems like the US owner(s) weren't on the up and up.
Thanks man!! There's definitely an interesting history to this car, but at this point I have a title, it's registered and insured, so I won't spend more time trying to figure it out.

No big update today, but we did finally put some windshield washer fluid in it just out of curiosity, and that whole mechanism still works!! The cap on the tank crumbled when I was trying to take it off, but there's a screen inside so nothing went into the tank itself. Old school Toyota engineering continues to impress.

Next time I have some money to spend I'll be looking for a new hood, trunk lid, and a new trunk floor that I can weld in to finally get rid of the rusty sections. After that, it will be on to suspension, and dash probably. The nice think about everything being broken is that I have many options to choose from lol.
 

zhenya2002

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I hope everyone is staying safe out there.

Not much has happened in the last couple of months, but hopefully there will be progress soon. For now, I was getting tired of not having any idea how much gas is in the tank (the in dash gauge is obviously broken), so on Cinco de Mayo we decided to do something about it.

Everyone, I give you our full JDM fuel gauge installation!


Yes it's in the trunk, yes that's zip tie and duct tape, and yes it's completely ridiculous. But hey, it works!! This is a temporary solution until we start fixing the dashboard and all the gauges in the front. The upside of this solution is we didn't have to cut into any existing wiring, which I always try to do whenever possible.

Hopefully tomorrow is a junkyard trip where we should find some good parts.

By the way, does anyone know if the fenders from an 87 or 88 Supra will match up to my 86.5. If the ones at the junkyard aren't too damaged, I might grab those instead of trying to straighten out mine.
 

Asterix

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As I just just got new front fenders, I believe they are all the same. However, later ones and maybe Turbo models had thin trim around the wheel well edge that not all models got. The trim is easy to remove if you don't want it.
 

trofimovich

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She is very fried, like in an oven.)
Good luck in your recovery!
ps The points of attachment of the front wings to the body are the same for dorestyling and post-styling, wide and narrow.
 
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zhenya2002

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Thank you for all the advice everyone! haha yes, she has had a rough life.
The trip was fairly productive though. Got a hood with almost no rust on it, a passenger side fender, and a dash with only one crack in it, about 3 inches long. Compared to my current situation, these are vast improvements.
The interesting thing is that they're all different colours, so the car will definitely stand out. Pictures to follow when we put it on the car.
 

zhenya2002

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Time for good news/bad news! The good news is that we cleaned up and painted the underside of the new hood and put it on the car. So in total amount of rust on the supra, we are going in the right direction. The bad news is that the junkyard we got it from is one of these where they don't let you pull your own parts, and whoever pulled the hood out didn't realize that the struts are screwed in, not just popped into the ball socket. So they yanked really hard to pull it out and bent the hood in the process. And naturally we didn't notice this until a week later when we went to install it. So as a result, one side is lower than it should be and I'm annoyed, but overall it could be much worse.

 
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trofimovich

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Put a wooden piece under the hood and press down a little as you close it.
By a little you can fix it as it should.
Or put a wooden block on the rack glass, and on the other side support the hood at the gas lift attachment point. By slightly closing the hood, you can also adjust the hood to a good geometry.
 
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debrucer

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Time for good news/bad news! The good news is that we cleaned up and painted the underside of the new hood and put it on the car. So in total amount of rust on the supra, we are going in the right direction. The bad news is that the junkyard we got it from is one of these where they don't let you pull your own parts, and whoever pulled the hood out didn't realize that the struts are screwed in, not just popped into the ball socket. So they yanked really hard to pull it out and bent the hood in the process. And naturally we didn't notice this until a week later when we went to install it. So as a result, one side is lower than it should be and I'm annoyed, but overall it could be much worse.

I'm curious about junk yards in Russia. Is there a network of junk yards that speak to each other and trade parts like there is in America?

What is the general condition of cars when they come in? Are they partially trashed by the yards with holes punched in gas tanks to drain the fluids? How about keys? Can you buy keys and lock sets (i.e., so you have matching sets and spares)? When a car arrives is it immediately devoured by waiting customers?

I have been to the junk yards here in Southern California about eight times in the past 7 to 10 years. Only one Supra in all that time and it still had some good stuff on it, but it was quickly gone. I'm still signed up for alerts from one company and I have a junk yard tool kit ready to throw in the car... I get notices on some cars I've requested,... I wait for a Supra.

It's kewl that you're doing this. Have fun!
 

trofimovich

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I'm curious about junk yards in Russia.
There is everything as elsewhere. There are not many Mk3 disassemblies, you can buy from Vladivostok and bring it to anywhere in the country.
The carrier companies work the courier can deliver to your home.
No problem.
 
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zhenya2002

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It's another day for ghetto fixes to broken Supra problems. The task we took on today is the tach, which is part of my wonderful non working cluster.
I would like to point out, this is a very temporary solution until we have a proper interior with a dash that's a solid piece.
One of the things I've been trying to do is not destroy the wiring that's in the car right now with things we are adding. So to get the tach wired up, we hooked into the cigarette lighter for power, and for the ground and ignition signal, hooked up to the back of the cluster. Pretty proud of that. And for the gauge light, we hooked it up to the fog light button.


Before everyone starts judging, the reason we taped the gauge is because I didn't want to put holes in the plastic steering column cover. It's one of the very few things that's in good shape. So without further ado, here you go:



And the light in this gauge is pretty damn bright.



This is a really cheap gauge, so the needle moves in a jumpy, weird way. But it works and gives me a good idea where we're at. I'm pretty sure the test drive last night was the first time this car has been anywhere near the redline in many years. Gotta say, it sounds angry. I really like it.
 
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