About to buy a 1991 Turbo! I was excited, but I came across a major catch.

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112K miles, body was in great shape, some electrical issues, but everything was looking great and I thought I made a good deal yesterday. I was set to pick it up today.

I decided to check the VIN again today, and according to the VIN, this car was an automatic. However, it has a manual. I don't think the VIN can be wrong, so I'm assuming the previous owner swapped it.

Should I back out? The car seemed to run fine, no engine issues, even the headgasket. The transmission was a little notchy. Should I try to jack the car up to see what the transmission is?
 

Enraged

A HG job took HOW long??
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#2
No I wouldn't back out, swaps are common. The R154 (the 5 speed manual in a turbo supra) is quite notchy, so that is normal. If it was smooth, it might have been a W58 swap, which is the trans from a non-turbo, and which can't handle large horsepower generally.

Also, a MKIII isn't going to be worth any more money if it's a "numbers matching" car, so i'd enjoy driving the manual.
 
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The vin is most likely correct, Is there a reason why you would want to swap it back? If its notchy its most likely the R154 transmission.
No, I wanted the stick in the first place. I'm just worried about the quality of the swap and any electrical issues. The reverse lights and speedometer didn't work, which I've heard are related to a transmission wiring issue.
 
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No I wouldn't back out, swaps are common. The R154 (the 5 speed manual in a turbo supra) is quite notchy, so that is normal. If it was smooth, it might have been a W58 swap, which is the trans from a non-turbo, and which can't handle large horsepower generally.

Also, a MKIII isn't going to be worth any more money if it's a "numbers matching" car, so i'd enjoy driving the manual.
Anything electrical that I should watch out for specifically?
 

JDMMA70

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No, I wanted the stick in the first place. I'm just worried about the quality of the swap and any electrical issues. The reverse lights and speedometer didn't work, which I've heard are related to a transmission wiring issue.
The harness might still be the automatic harness which doesn't have the plugs for the reverse indicator. As far as the speedometer goes, that's mechanical, Id slide under the car and see if its even screwed in. If it is then Id inspect to see if the gear is actually functioning, it might have snapped due to old age.
 

Enraged

A HG job took HOW long??
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Speedo is mechanical, likely a broken speedo cable. They can be broken from improper installation, as well as being cooked by the exhaust over time. Easily fixed, it is a 2 part cable, one short and one long. The short one is different with auto/manual. Driftmotion sells them: http://www.driftmotion.com/Speedometer-Cable-for-MK3-Supra-p/dm2325.htm

Fixing the reverse lights shouldn't be too difficult. Read up on manual swaps, you'll find how to fix it.
 

GC89

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I definitely would not let it stop me, I would 100% confirm that there is an R series in there but I think the notchy comment gives me 80% confidence that there is.
 
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I definitely would not let it stop me, I would 100% confirm that there is an R series in there but I think the notchy comment gives me 80% confidence that there is.
It was in fact the r154. I used a bumper magnet to identify the cast iron piece in the center that's aluminum on the w58. Tomorrow I will be the proud owner of a Toyota Supra.
 

plaaya69

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Welcome.

Maybe when they did the manual swap they never got the right lower speedo cable for the manual transmission. I would also assume that you are still running a automatic transmission engine harness so maybe the two wires were never connected or converted from the manual transmission reverse switch to the engine wiring harness. I had to do this when I converted to manual as well as bypass the neutral starter switch on the automatic engine wiring harness.
 

suprarx7nut

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#13
Nice, Post pics! I did a manual swap on one of my mk3's years ago. I went with a W58 out of a junkyard, complete with the used OEM clutch. It was installed on a stock 88 turbo. It held fantastic and shifted buttery smooth until I sold the car.

Either way, the manual swap on these is pretty easy and you can verify the general quality of the install by doing a basic check of the slave cylinder, master cylinder and pedal arrangement. The wiring and/OR ecu also could be changed so just give it all a once-over. Relatively low risk stuff, all said.

Congrats!
 

seoul4korea

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I've always liked the white package supra's. The other way to tell with the tranny is the size alone, the R154 is huge compared to the W58. Also the fins in the middle are different (The count)