Looking at getting an MK3 Supra

LeonJames

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#1
What’s up guys,new to reddit. I’m gonna be a first time driver soon and have been looking at an MK3 Supra. https://solitaire.onl/ 9apps.ooo/ https://bluestacks.vip/ Thinking of getting an ‘87-‘88 NA model, automatic(live in a city so wouldn’t get the joy out of a manual, I know) been looking at forums on google but most of them are 10-20 years old so I want to get an idea of what pros and cons you’d encounter nowadays and advice on what I should look out for and what mods I should get done when I get one...thanks
 
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Piratetip

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#2
Reddit? This isn't reddit.

Look for owners of MKIII's that can tell you exactly what IS and IS NOT wrong with the vehicle.
Essentially an owner that actually took care of the vehicle.
If they say the vehicle has no problems they are lying, even the best taken care of MKIII has some kind of minor issue.

Not someone that says: "YO bud, I like tried getting this engine swap but its just missing a couple pieces, pretty easy to fix I just never got around to it."

If you are targeting an automatic non turbo model, you might be able to find one that is bone stock. Not modified.
I would go that route if possible.

-Mods:
None, keep it all stock initially.
Repair everything OEM with OEM quality parts, get all the systems working as they were when new.
Once you get that done, decide what its lacking after daily driving for some time.
Get a feel for what its lacking performance wise for its intended use (suspension, brakes, differential, trans, engine power, output ect....)

Thats my advice.
 
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suprarx7nut

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#3
I love these cars to death, but they an awful, terrible, horrible first car if you want to drive your car as of 2019.

These are full-on, 100% project cars as of 2019. They are not 10-20 years old. They are 33-28 years old. They are a "luxury sports" car from that time period.

If you're looking for a way to spend time in the garage and can afford to spend more time underneath it, than driving it, it's a great car. If you want to drive your car to work, to the mall, to high school, this is not a good car.
 

zachm611

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#4
I love these cars to death, but they an awful, terrible, horrible first car if you want to drive your car as of 2019.

These are full-on, 100% project cars as of 2019. They are not 10-20 years old. They are 33-28 years old. They are a "luxury sports" car from that time period.

If you're looking for a way to spend time in the garage and can afford to spend more time underneath it, than driving it, it's a great car. If you want to drive your car to work, to the mall, to high school, this is not a good car.
You took the words right out of my mouth or off my fingertips... Either way I love my mk3 to death but I have a couple daily drivers incase of the inevitable repairs and or mods being done on it. Maybe talk to your dad about getting a reliable daily and the Supra as a weekend father son bonding car, they're great to learn on as you'll most likely be replacing parts often. But if you are set on one and have deep enough pockets why not go for it lol.
 

supraguy@aol

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#5
Werd. You must ALWAYS have a daily car in addition to supra. I chose a truck, so that I could haul parts for the supra, and not worry about the interior.
 
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Piratetip

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#6
Agreed.
I have another reliable daily driver as well.
Supra is fun as hell but not to be used as an everyday vehicle. (Though I am trying to...)
 

Kine

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#7
Highly recommend making sure this isn't the only car you depend on, especially for a first car. Mine is actually a daily driven car but I've also owned it for almost 20 years and have a maintenance routine and sort of 6th sense built around keeping it reliable. That said, I love my mk3 and have passed over many opportunities to sell it and don't regret those decisions one bit, especially now with the car really starting to show its status as a classic JDM sports car (big Japanese population in Hawaii and it gets a lot of attention out here, there's probably like...4 or 5 running on the island haha).

If you have your heart set, love that 80's look, and want to take on the ownership responsibilities of having an old sports car then:
  • Make sure you check for rust in the rear hatch and around the fenders (there's an excellent buys guide posted going over where to look for rust). Remove the spare tire and look at the spare tire itself and the well it sits in. Remove the tail light access panels, the gray tail light bulb holder, and reach inside and around to check for water in the plastic tail light housing and down inside against the body of the car.
  • Get the car off the ground and check things out underneath. While it's up check the suspension by grabbing the tires and feeling for play. Check the ground for signs of leaks!
  • Put some weight on the suspension at all four corners and listen for squeaks.
  • Look at the condition of the oil, coolant, and power steering
  • If you can work it out with the current owner, see if you can be present when they start the car up for the first time that day while the engine is cold and after it's sat for an entire night. Look at the tail pipe for smoke and get a good whiff. Smell any burnt oil? Does it smell a little sweet? These are ways to check for signs of head gasket leakage without the ability to monitor coolant or oil usage over time.
  • Open the hood and check out those hoses! That's some old ass rubber if it's all original and you WILL be replacing pieces in the near future and they WILL start to leak.
  • While not the greatest, if you see a lot of oil around the cam covers on top of the engine don't be too alarmed. The stock screws for those covers suck and it's not uncommon to see the cam cover area covered with a coat of oil.
  • While the engine on it should idle above 1k on start up then settle down to 600-800 RPM at warm idle. It should feel very smooth sitting in the car with not much engine vibration and not a whole lot of noise. You'll probably hear rapid ticking sounds and that should be ok and is likely the valve clearances being too large from being worn over time. Hold the shifter and feel the engine, it should be very smooth with even pulses coming from the engine and not much, if any, stuttering or lugging.
  • If it has a working stock oil pressure gauge it should sit a little below or around the 40 mark when cruising at 3k RPM. At idle the needle will sit very low between 0 and the first tick.
  • Push ALL of the buttons inside the car
  • Open the doors and give them a firm push to close them from outside the car with the windows all the way up and all the way down. Listen for excessive rattles and sound.
  • If it's a targa, roll up the windows, get a hose, and drench the roof for a minute or two. Sit inside the car, close the door, and check the two front corners of the targa for leaks.
  • Check all of the lights inside and out
  • Check if all three A/C fan speeds work

If you think you've found a good one, and there's no recent records of good maintenance done recently, I'd encourage at least planning to do a good refresh of the head with a new gasket set. I replaced most of the gaskets (including head gasket) on mine back in 2002 after purchasing it and attribute it's daily driver status throughout all these years to the work I did then.

Good luck!
 

topguncam3888

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#8
The MKIII is not really a good first car. They're expensive to maintain and because of age, not very reliable as daily drivers.

Get a 90s or 2000s Corolla. You'll save money and have more fun honestly.
 

Old Radar

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#9
There's a lot of good advice in these posts, Leon. I hope you seriously consider them before taking the leap. Good luck.