1986.5 Supra Restoration Project

quickstudy

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stock radiator is all you will need. It will take reasonable power upgrades. If not the radiator, look at ignition timing, and finally consider blown head gasket, even if it new. a slight dent installing a metal head gasket can let combustion gas get in the coolant, leading to exhaust gas in the radiator an coolant overflowing slowly.

I think this is my favorite supra thread. crazy to even try to fix this car, blows my mind you got it running at all.
 
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zhenya2002

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Could definitely be the coolant cap plug on the coolant rail next to the manifold. I wouldn't assume your radiator is fine just because water flows through. My original radiator before replacing with the mishimoto radiator, reacted this way. Turns out it was partially blocked.

As far as your rust issue in the coolant system, run oxalic acid through the system, it'll clean it out. Just make sure to flush it thoroughly afterwards.
I went to examine the car today and look for that coolant cap plug. Found it, reached in with my hand to see if there was anything obvious, and the whole thing crumbled and fell off in my hand. The rubber hose and the hard line under it both just rotted off....

We found the problem!! Now I need to figure out if I can just close it up somehow, or if I need to get a whole new hard line. There's not much space back there to see where the lines go.

stock radiator is all you will need. It will take reasonable power upgrades. If not the radiator, look at ignition timing, and finally consider blown head gasket, even if it new. a slight dent installing a metal head gasket can let combustion gas get in the coolant, leading to exhaust gas in the radiator an coolant overflowing slowly.

I think this is my favorite supra thread. crazy to even try to fix this car, blows my mind you got it running at all.
Checked the oil just to be safe, and there's no trace of coolant in it. Even though it's still the original head gasket, it's fine for now.

Thank you for the comment. It's definitely been a fun journey getting this thing up and running. Normally I would try to preserve something as cool as a supra, but because pretty much everything is broken, it gives me the freedom to do whatever I want.
 

JustAnotherVictim

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If I'm not mistaken there's a block drain plug down there somewhere as well. Might as well check that too if you gotta get in there..
 

Asterix

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I'll do my best explaining. It was always a tight fit compared to the Koyo rads. My fan always sat really close to the radiator core, but never close enough to impact it. It worked fine for me for 7 years until I started losing coolant from a spot I couldnt find. One day I noticed that it was leaking from the core itself and fan and core had matching damage. My hypothesis is that when the engine revs increased, the fan would flex outward bringing it closer to the radiator, so perhaps it was just a matter of time before they would contact each other. Mishimoto refused to warranty it, so I went back to a stock replacement after that.
Since I just had my 7M-GE apart replacing the timing belt, I measured 1.5" from fan to radiator fins. The fan is much closer to the shroud right at the top, at 3/4". My fan will definitely hit the shroud long before hitting the radiator. Interesting your fan was so much closer than that.

I thought I'd post measurements in case anyone is interested.
 

JDMMA70

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Since I just had my 7M-GE apart replacing the timing belt, I measured 1.5" from fan to radiator fins. The fan is much closer to the shroud right at the top, at 3/4". My fan will definitely hit the shroud long before hitting the radiator. Interesting your fan was so much closer than that.

I thought I'd post measurements in case anyone is interested.
Trust me I was scratching my head the whole time lol.

20190118_215027a.jpg
 

zhenya2002

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Turns out that the rubber line holding the drain plug on had completely rotted out and the coolant leaked until the cat overheated. The good news is that we were able to fix it with some spare hose we had in the garage and a few coronas. Did a couple of short test drives today and she seems ok. Staying at operating temp. Gotta love a free fix!
 

zhenya2002

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Time for a very long awaited update.

In the past couple of months we finally addressed the big rust issue in the trunk. A lot of parts needed to be cut out, so this turned into the best opportunity to learn how to weld.



Please don't hate too much on my work, because this isn't a part of the car that needs to be pretty, and because it was my first try. One of the hardest parts was the different thickness of the metal on the car due to the rust. Some parts welded fine others I burned right through the metal.

But either way, here is the final product:


I also got a rust free trunk lid at the same time, so we'll see if the water issues will finally go away.

This was the step I was waiting to do besides starting serious upgrades on the car. The first one will be cooling. It was overheating on and off before, but on the drive home the other day it was really bad. My guess is the radiator clog got even worse. Will check for BHG just to be safe, but I don't think that's it. Oh and my fan shroud is broken

So keeping that in mind, I'm thinking of going with a performance radiator, new electric fans and new shroud. I saw all of it for sale on driftmotion. The big thing to figure out will be wiring. Fuses, relays, power source, and sensor that tells the fans when to turn on. Time for some research!!
 

Piratetip

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It looks alright for a first crack at this type work.

I have 1 thing I have no interest in:
-Body work.
Anything else, no problem.
But for whatever reason I despise body work.

Cudos to you for tackling it!

1 suggestion from me - get the heat and feed speed dialed in.
I know MIG can be a PITA for sheet metal, but your welds look a bit on the cold side, maybe not a lot of penetration?
Again I know the fine balance with MIG between not blowing a hole and not getting good penetration.

Flux core wire or CO2 shielding?
 

zhenya2002

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It looks alright for a first crack at this type work.

I have 1 thing I have no interest in:
-Body work.
Anything else, no problem.
But for whatever reason I despise body work.

Cudos to you for tackling it!

1 suggestion from me - get the heat and feed speed dialed in.
I know MIG can be a PITA for sheet metal, but your welds look a bit on the cold side, maybe not a lot of penetration?
Again I know the fine balance with MIG between not blowing a hole and not getting good penetration.

Flux core wire or CO2 shielding?
Thanks! It was definitely a learning experience. Using Argon/CO2 shielding gas. I did have it turned down lower than recommended because I kept burning holes in the metal. And the thickness kept changing every few inches because of rust. But oh well, lessons were learned.
 
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debrucer

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Thanks! It was definitely a learning experience. Using Argon/CO2 shielding gas. I did have it turned down lower than recommended because I kept burning holes in the metal. And the thickness kept changing every few inches because of rust. But oh well, lessons were learned.
I'm not usually one to cut corners, but I burned a hole in the floor on the passenger side and it got so bad that at one point I was considering a Gorilla Glue patch. I didn't and I bought the appropriate patch panels to replace it... but as with my car in general, it's not done yet. Good work! Getting her done!
 

Clip

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Welds definitely look too cold, you should get a good bacon frying/buzzing sound (usually about the time everything becomes too hot and burns through :)) no worries though, mine looked the exact same way at the start of my first project and by the end they were serviceable. This is the way to learn!

What diameter wire are you using? That makes all the difference. I found my 220v MIG setup did really well with .023 on sheet, but haven't used it much. I noted you said thickness changed due to rust. Ideally you'd cut back to solid base metal and have the metal prepped very, very clean. Certain SMAW/stick electrodes are tolerant of poor surface prep but MIG and TIG hate everything but bright shiny metal. Even mill scale can be too much.

One thing I cheated with was buying a cheap copper welding spoon for when I burned through. Hold that thing on the backside of the weld and fill it in. Also, flap discs are your friend. I've been playing with welders for several years now and still rely on them to forgive my sins. The muffler I patched up with TIG a few weeks ago? Still looks like hell. Trying the next with oxy-fuel this weekend.
 

Piratetip

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Yup just more practice, get some hours behind the mask.
Makes a big difference.

I like TIG, gives me the time to get everything working exactly as I want it.
Being able to read the puddle and get a feel for what settings / pedal / filler rod timing ect..
Can take the time to get a good pace developed, then start to move quicker after that.

I've never liked MIG much, it forces you to move fast.
Not a lot of time to get the settings right unless you practice on some extra sheet on the bench.
Makes working on thin materials very tricky, thick metals aren't too bad though.

The heatsink/copper backing plate is a good idea for thin metals.

With tig I was messing around one day and managed to do the razor blade welding trick.
Kind of neat.
Maybe someday I'll be able to weld 2 aluminum soda cans together...lol ( I doubt it)
 
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Hey.Friend

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You've go such a cool story with this car. Honestly you're doing everything I have always wanted to learn how to do and that's what makes your car awesome. Keep it up!
 

zhenya2002

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Thank you guys!! Lots of lessons were definitely learned about welding from this experience. Next time it will go much better.

You've go such a cool story with this car. Honestly you're doing everything I have always wanted to learn how to do and that's what makes your car awesome. Keep it up!
Thank you man!! The reason I got this car is to learn everything without worrying about messing up something nice, and so far it's going as expected.

In the meantime, we got a few driver side fender and attached it, so while the car is getting more colorful, it's also becoming less dented. The last damaged area (besides that hood problem) are the rear quarterpanels which will have to be banged out.

Also, I ordered a new radiator and fan shroud, which will hopefully put an end to the overheating issues for a while.