Project AutoX

A70nut

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I'm starting this build thread so that I as well as others can track the progress of the car, plus i can go back one day and have something I can read through of all the car has gone through. To start though there must be an introduction, this car has already had a build thread done on it by my dad, but I was about 7 at the time. He originally put this car together when supramania was towards the end of its prime. Something always gravitated me towards this car though so as I got older naturally I started tinkering with it and learning by hands on experience, and by reading forums put up by everyone here on supramania.


That's the original build thread and here is how the car looked when it was originally put together in 2006-2007.



The car was a basically stock bpu 7mgte making around 250whp and 250 ftlbs. The sunglasses and shoes I'm wearing (far left) also do a very good job of dating the build time.

As I got older and go to driving age I began to tinker with it. I helped him install a Lexus AFM and Rc550s. The boost was turned up and it was a really strong running car for being bpu. Sadly though, that 7m was assembled using the old production smaller arp headstud washer, and as a result the washer dug into the head and the head gasket blew while racing a friend. So to sitting the car went until something was to be done with it.
 
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A70nut

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While the car was sitting I was searching Facebook and found a perfect project supra. It was a 90 targa factory 7mge auto that had been swapped to a 1jz r154 using a front clip (which I found out later) and the price for it was good because the engine had a host of electrical problems keeping it from running good and the body had some damage.




This car had been in the Mississippi area seemingly all of its life and it was swapped around 2001-2003 using a front clip making it likely one of the first 1jz swaps in the country. Got the car back home and started digging into it, the hydrofan lines were leaking profusely so a 2jz waterpump was installed and I slowly got it running good enough to drive it, but time after electrical gremlins plagued it, and the sentimental value of the white one drew me to put the 1jz in it.
 

A70nut

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I pulled the blown 7mgte and the 1jz drivetrains in one evening and downloaded the 1jz swap bible to do the wiring harness and went to work.


The beauty of the car it was previously in being swapped with a front clip is that I currently have all jza70 parts on the car which made the swap very factory and straight forward for a 17 year old doing his first engine swap with information off the internet. The biggest challenge I faced was wiring the body plugs to fit the interior of the car. This was the biggest wiring job I had done to date, but the 1jz swap bible made it very straight forward. I then proceeded to move to the part of the harness that was giving me my biggest problem, the extension. The extension was 15+ years old at the point I was doing it so all of the solder joints had started to break down and cause intermittent issues. I fixed all of this and then was able to throw the drivetrain in the car.

 
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A70nut

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After the car had been running for a bit and I got all the little kinks worked it was running good. But then came the infamous twin turbo smoke. They smoked for a good bit and then the rear turbo started to whine when the car got warm and was idling. So I saved up and decided it was time to go single turbo. I ordered the driftmotion billet 6262 turbo kit and enjoyed the last few weeks of having non turbo like throttle response and instant torque. The single turbo kit soon arrived and I got to work.


The main reason I went with the driftmotion turbo kit is that it made the swap very straight forward and it came with all of the parts you need to do the job, which was a big help for someone like me who had never done a single turbo conversion on a JZ. I wanted to pull the turbos in the car despite how much I had read about nightmares people were having, so at it i went.


Getting off the oil and coolant lines wasnt very hard and I opted to separate the front turbo and take it off first to make getting the back off a bit easier.



The trickiest part for me personally of getting the turbo setup apart was getting the y pipe out, I ended up using a stud puller and pulling the studs I could and then cutting the others as they were seized in the exhaust housings. About 5 hours of work later, they were both out and I was ready to install! I cleaned the head up and opted to reused the stock exhaust manifold gaskets, I then went about blocking off the spare coolant and oil feeds and installing the supplied drain onto the pan. Bolted everything together and in the span of a few days I now had a running single turbo 1jz!


The kit doesnt come with a very big wastegate spring and with the 550s I ran out of the ability to turn up the boost at around 14psi, but it was running great so I was happy with it!
 

A70nut

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I drove the car like this for about a year and then the age of the engine started to show itself. I got a coolant leak from the driver side heater core hose where it goes into the head and the harness had started to break down in all the places where it was exposed to heat, and the clutch had decided it didnt want to handle the power anymore, so I decided it was time to pull the engine and do a slight refresh. Of course a slight refresh snowballed and before I knew it I was tearing into the head and pulling everything out of the engine bay to paint it.


The engine bay was showing its age so I decided I would paint it myself. So I went about stripping everything that I easily could and sanding the engine bay.


 
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A70nut

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Went to my local shermin William's auto refinishes store and got a few cans color matched by paint code to the car for the factory appearance. It was a bit expensive but well worth it. My only regret now that I've lived with the paint is that I wish I hadn't done a single stage, the built in hardener and the fact that it has no clear makes it very very susceptible to nicks and chips and also means that it gets little rust particles in the paint that are almost bedded in once they get in there. Nevertheless it turned out pretty good for a back yard repaint.


Meanwhile while all this was happening I was servicing the engine on the side. Every oil seal on the engine was leaking along with the coolant hoses so I ordered all new toyota seals top to bottom and pulled the pan to reseal it. Part of the resealing was doing the near 30 year old valvestem seals, and while they were out I came across a deal on a set of brand new 272 bc cams with springs and retainers included for the price of just the cams, so I jumped on the deal and now had a set of cams to install to the engine! I recieved the cams a couple weeks later and went to work on replacing the springs and retainers and installing the cams.


With the reading I had been doing I knew that I was not going to keep the shim over bucket setup and it just so happens I work at a toyota dealership so I scoured the blown up engines around the shop stealing shimless buckets from them. Most of the buckets I stole were from 2azs', or 2uzs'. By the time all was said and done I only had to order about 5 buckets and I had a head put together to reliably handle some high rpm!

 

A70nut

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While I was doing all of the head work and paint I was also researching clutches as a knew a new toyota setup wasnt going to cut it. After extensive research I ended up narrowing my options down to a clutch masters or a southbend full face single disc setup. I was hesitant on going with a southbend because there isnt a ton of feedback on them, but they were still in the running because for a full face they seemed to offer much more torque holding ability than even the fx400. After talking to someone local who was running a single disc southbend on a mark 4 making around 800whp and feeling the softness of the pedal (because I definitely didn't want any crank walk issues associated with heavier ACT clutches) I was sold on a southbend. I soon ordered a southbend stage 3 full face clutch and waited for it to arrive.

While driving with the old clutch setup slipping it had done a number on the factory pressure plate and I wanted to have a fresh start for the new clutch setup.


After a bit of research on here I decided quickly that I did not want to have a lightweight flywheel because I wanted the engine to maintain stock driveability, so I started looking for a stock flywheel. Sadly driftmotion has the flywheel unavailable and their chromoly option has a hefty price tag, so I waited and hunted Facebook looking for a good used condition factory flywheel, and my persistence paid off as I ended up scoring a new in box factory toyota flywheel for a steal. The clutch setup was finally coming together!
 

A70nut

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While I was waiting on the clutch setup to arrive I reassembled the engine bay now that the paint had had some time to cure.


I also took this time to reseal the oil pan after I had thrown them in the parts washer at work for a while. I was very happy with how clean the bottom end of the engine was, it looked almost brand new!




I also recieved a huge part of the puzzle I had been waiting on. I had ordered a tweakd harness because I didnt want to have any more harness issues when it went back together. I threw that and the new ma70 HPS heater core hoses on the engine along with a new timing belt and all the new seals and was now just waiting on the clutch!
 

A70nut

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The clutch soon arrived a when I opened the box I was immediately impressed by the quality! Southbend uses a factory aisin pressure plate along with an exedy clutch disc and koyo bearings! If someone hopped in the car they would think it has a stock clutch in it, let alone one that is good for between 500-600 ft/lbs of torque. The clutch was a bit pricey but the product was well worth it once recieved.


The engine and trans were now ready to go back in the car! I installed them and about a week later I was ready for the first start. The first start went flawless and I broke the cams in without any issue. I turned it off after breaking in and let it cool down so I could drain the oil and check it. The oil came out good and the filter looked good when I cut it apart, now it was ready to start driving!



I drove the car looking like this for about 8 months, it ran great! But I kept having a reoccurring issue. I kept blowing the exhaust gasket for the turbo to manifold. Part of the problem was the quality of the gasket itself, the other problem was that the manifold was very very warped on the flange, so off the manifold came to get resurfaced.



Once back from the machine shop I was going to make sure that it wasnt going to have anymore issues. I ordered a vibrant solid divided t4 gasket and a set of stage 8 locking bolts because the bolts also kept vibrating loose.


With the new gasket and bolts installed it finally worked! And I continued to drive it until winter came.
 

A70nut

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During all of this time I had no clue how much power the car was making, and a local shop was having a dyno day so I took the car and they put it on the dyno. Looking back now. I'd say with the lack of fan and how hot the shop was inside it probably was very heat soaked and killed a bunch of power, but the results were not very impressive to say the least.



The car made a disappointing 300whp on the first run and 298whp on the second run. Here I was making bpu 1jz power on an engine with a single turbo, big injectors, and cams. Something had to change.

I live in Lexington, Kentucky, which up until recently was the only USA hub for Haltech. They're about 10 minutes from my house, after seeing what my neighbors car did on an elite 2500 and wanting to support a local company, on black friday of 2018 I pulled the trigger. I ordered an elite 2000 and a haltech WB1 wideband.

 

A70nut

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After the car had been sitting for a while I was finally ready to wire it. I already had a jza70 ecu pinout printed and the ecu comes with a pinout so I decided to try and make a cheat sheet to make it easier when the wiring came down to it. The biggest confusion was to convert toyota wiring language to haltech wiring language. After asking my neighbor many questions since he builds harnesses for haltech I was ready to wire it! The wiring went pretty smooth thanks to the simplicity of pinning out deutsche connectors and I was finally ready to plug it in and load a basemap! I used the 2jzgte non vvti base map as there isnt a 1jz basemap and once the basemap and the pinout was loaded into the ecu it was ready to try and start. While I was wiring it I also converted it to an aluminum koyo rad and dual 12" spal fans. After testing the fans I turned the key and it ran! Obviously not the best since it was a basemap, but I was able to limp it to my neighbors shop for some fabrication work.



It was decided that with the thickness of the radiator and fans that the only way to run the piping was to go through the stock battery tray area. Which I wasn't the biggest fan of but it is what it is. Because the battery had to be moved, it was either run it to the back of the car or move it to the other side of the engine bay, which I chose for simplicity and keeping the factory interior.


After about a week it was ready and ready to get tuned!
 

A70nut

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I setup a tune date and drove the car around on the base map for a bit to make sure the setup was ready for the dyno. Then dyno day finally came. The only issue that occurred that was on the first pull the car attempted to overboost as I have never hooked up a mac 3 port boost controller and had it hooked up wrong. Had that fixed and by the end of the day it was making 430whp. I later recirculated the wastegate and got it retuned and it made 420whp.



This was how the setup looked for a while. Then one day I was beating on the car on some back roads and it started smelling weird, so I pulled over and it turns out the car had caught fire. Dumbly I had used the factory valve cover vent hose on the passenger side and while beating on it the car got hot enough to melt the rubber hose and the rubber hose and oil had caused a flash fire under the hood. Luckily it had stopped by the time I had pulled over so I didnt need to use the fire extinguisher. I limped the car home and decided it was time to do it right and prevent anymore problems.



I repainted the valve covers, installed heat reflective tape on it to prevent oil from coking on the inside and tapped both sides for 10an fittings to run to a catch can on the driver side of the car. I also wrapped the downpipe and installed a thermal zero turbo blanket. Heat was going to be controlled and I finally had a good catchcan setup!
 
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Justin727

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Great build so far!

Maybe I missed it but what turbo did you end up changing to? Did you stick with the DM 6262 and switch covers or turbo all together?
 

A70nut

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As of this point I had been driving it for a while and decided I wanted to delete the rear wiper, so a zspec kit was ordered and I pulled the wiper motor out. Puts a lot less weight on the hatch struts and it allowed me to fix rust spots that had started to form on the hole in the hatch from the o ring being worn out from age.


The end result was a hatch that looks better, is lighter, doesn't leak, and is way easier to clean!

While this was happening I also came upon something that was too hard to pass up. I found a steering wheel off of a Turbo S supra from Australia according to the previous owner, that was taken off the car in the early 90s and put into storage for over 20 years. After talking to the owner I bought it and had it shipped. When it arrived I opened the box to find a flawless steering wheel that looked and felt like it came out of a practically brand new car. Once I had it installed the interior was finally in good shape all around!

 
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A70nut

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When the car was tuned I had a set of enkei pf01s wrapped in 255/35R18 re71s that i had picked up for cheap. But my buddy introduced me to autocross Spring of this year and I decided since that's the closest form of motorsport we have around here to racing I wanted to become a participant. With that being said I knew that wheel setup wasnt going to be aggressive enough. So I sold the pf01s and ordered a set of work emotion T5Rs' in 18x9.5+38. I was going out on a bit of a limb ordering a setup that aggressive squared because even though I researched there hasnt really been anyone running that aggressive of a wheel up front on a stock body mk3. But nevertheless I made the plunge and also ordered a set of Bridgestone potenza s007as' in 275/35r18. I initially considered going with re71s, but I decided 240 treadwear of the s007a was enough to be quick but learn how to drive the car without tires making all my mistakes. A couple weeks later everything was in and I mounted the tires after work and I was ready to test fit!



The tire and wheel combo resulted in a perfect wheel fitment while being very aggressive for a stock body car. While also allowing the tires to be rotated. I know people are after the staggered wheel look. But once you have driven an mk3 with a meaty squared setup it's hard to argue it because the chassis becomes much more balanced. The weight is definitely still there, but having the same tire on all 4 corners allows you to drive the car much more precise.
 

A70nut

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I was finally ready to try an autocross event! Thanks to all the modifications done to the car I was placed into the street modified class (anything goes as long as you have a dot tire). Safe to say for driving a stock weight big turbo car I was severely outclassed. By the time the turbo was beginning to spool I was in the next corner and I was trying to work with tire pressures to help it grip up. It took multiple events before the car and I started to click and I started doing decent relatively. I was running tape numbers so I figured if I was going to be going slow. Then i should at least look good doing it, so I ordered some magnetic numbers. I also felt the car was heat soaking between runs so I installed a headlight washer switch to the car and have that controlling rotational idle which allows me to cool the car down while idling between runs.



I got the car dialed in as good as i could on tire pressures deciding 30psi was the best as below was slick and above was slick. 30psi also gives me perfect tire roll over, with noticeable wear going right to the edge of the outer tread blocks. One thing was still hurting me though, body roll. I decided to order some suspension technique sway bars. They came powder coated charcoal grey with high quality hardware and grease. I installed these with all new moog end links all around and was ready to go!



The result was instantly felt. Even driving the car on the street it is much more darty as the motion of turning goes into turning right away instead of going into body roll, then turning. It completely changed the feel of the car and I highly recommend them.
 

A70nut

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During this time I also had the privilege of being invited to a car show I've been going to since I was a kit, the keeneland concourse. I went with my grandfather as a kid and have dreamed of getting the supra into the show and this year was finally my year! So after cleaning the car pretty thoroughly for a week straight I went and displayed a 30 year old Toyota put together by teenage hands at the highest prestige carshow that happens in Kentucky.





As you can probably guess. There was no way this 75% original paint driver was going to win compared to show builds, but it was awesome to be there and I had fun nonetheless! Plus i loved hearing all the comments from everyone walking by the car.
 

A70nut

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By the end of the season I was consistently running around 4 seconds behind the fastest guys (keep in mind these include turbo miatas with 275 Hoosiers on them) and 2 things had become very apparent. I needed a turbo with less lag, and I needed a differential that would drive both wheels coming out of a corner. I was basically driving all of the courses out of boost and when I'd go to leave a corner I couldn't get into power because the differential would open up and just spin one wheel.




As you can see in the videos the driftmotion 6262 wasn't cutting it, even after swapping a 3.91 rear end into it. I also found that while it had held up for 2 years and the kit was well priced that the turbo had never had the powerband I would have desired. The way it produced power almost made the car feel like a fast non turbo car with low torque. I knew something had to change.
 

A70nut

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I had decided that I wanted to go to a smaller turbo not only to increase autocross performance but also to increase driveability on the street. With the 272 cams and the really laggy 6262 the car was a slug around town and I found myself heavy in the throttle to keep up with traffic more often than not. After a couple weeks of research I had it narrowed down to the gtx3071, gtx3076 and gtx3576 gen 2. After doing some reading and thinking I decided that with spool vs compressor flow that the gtx3076r gen 2 was going to be my best option, but the price tag was hefty and I was going to have to set the car up for a watercooled turbo which meant more costs on top of it. Also with the fact that the ball bearing turbos aren't serviceable I started looking at other 3076 options, mainly BorgWarner. Borg warner isnt a very common turbo to be run on a jz so I struggled to find information, but it seemed that the subaru and evo guys were very happy with the performance of the borg Warner's they were running, that along with the journal bearing oil cooled option and the fact that the price was $1,000 + cheaper I decided I wanted to go with the borg warner.

I narrowed it down to the s250 series sxe line with my two choices being the s251 and the s257, with the compressor pounds per minute flow I almost instantly pushed out the 51mm version as I want a turbo that can still make decent power so I decided on the S257 Sx-E. Now I know that the borg warner turbos dont come as fancily packaged as the garrett turbos from the factory, but for what you get for a $650 super core, the technology is hard to beat. With the SXE line you get primarily a lot of the same features that you would get with an EFR series borg Warner aside from the integrated BPV and the dual ball bearing chra. You still get the speed sensor port, the wheel and compressor housing technology, and the quality. When I got the turbo I was impressed with the quality.


The turbo came packaged very nicely in spray molded foam with a very nice vibrant t4 exhaust gasket. I decided to keep spool and still be able to make power that I would go with the .83 t4 twin scroll 3" v band exhaust housing from AGP. I also had my neighbor weld on a vibrant 2.5" 90 degree elbow so that I could prevent having to use a 90° silicone coupler as I dont like the thought of running one.
 
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Piratetip

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Good choice!

I am looking forward to how this performs for your goals.

I have looked into the EFR turbos as a replacement and it looks like the one you chose is very very close to what I also spec'd out.
My preferred choice would be the EFR 7670 B2 Frame 0.92 T4 Twin Scroll. (PN 179390)
Compressor inducer - 57mm / exducer - 76mm
Turbine inducer - 70mm

Though the S257 Sx-E is much much less $$.
Curious how this performs for you :D
 

A70nut

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Good choice!

I am looking forward to how this performs for your goals.

I have looked into the EFR turbos as a replacement and it looks like the one you chose is very very close to what I also spec'd out.
My preferred choice would be the EFR 7670 B2 Frame 0.92 T4 Twin Scroll. (PN 179390)
Compressor inducer - 57mm / exducer - 76mm
Turbine inducer - 70mm

Though the S257 Sx-E is much much less $$.
Curious how this performs for you :D
This is the non efr version exactly of what you have been looking at. Having the turbo on the car has completely transformed it. It went from making full boost around 4500 to making full boost between 3500 and 3800 depending on gear and it is starting to have a noticeable pull around 2500rpm. I also never really have to go full throttle because of how efficient the turbo is. It hits super hard and the torque is insane. I would HIGHLY recommend it!
 

XofXtimeX

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This is the non efr version exactly of what you have been looking at. Having the turbo on the car has completely transformed it. It went from making full boost around 4500 to making full boost between 3500 and 3800 depending on gear and it is starting to have a noticeable pull around 2500rpm. I also never really have to go full throttle because of how efficient the turbo is. It hits super hard and the torque is insane. I would HIGHLY recommend it!
Really fantastic build progression, man! I'd love to see some video of this turbo in action. I've been really curious about this unit, especially after seeing the power Doug Clemens made. Great pick!

-Nick