Project Ookii Ao: Road to 500whp

suprarx7nut

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#1
[video]https://youtu.be/Tr16beD7sj4[/video]

The Problem: For the last 8 years I've taken my 90 Targa MK3 from a perfectly stock, high mileage N/A car to a mildly upgraded turbo beast. From the start, my build was done with a certain power level in mind - 300-340whp. This is about where the 7MGTE ECU starts to say enough is enough. Fuel cut violently thwarts any attempt to suck in more air through the intake by shutting off fuel supply. If you don't know what fuel cut is or when it can happen, this event would probably make you think you just ran over a cinder block or hit a small deer. It's not a subtle experience. You can get around fuel cut, but it introduces a few new parts and potential complications for a daily driver. To go much beyond the limitations of fuel cut I would also need to consider a new transmission as the W58 has been known to grenade itself much above 350whp. My factory intercooler and piping was another limitation, as was the 50-trim CT-26 turbo. What I had created was an excellent, reliable 300whp MK3. I could keep up with most "sporty" cars on the road and could embarrass 99% of cars of a similar age... but I was up against a wall. A significant upgrade would require a lot of perfectly good parts to be removed and replaced with more expensive parts. In addition, I never liked the idea of high powered Targa chassis MK3s. The targa is nice, but it's flimsy and adds weight to the chassis. It was great for my 300whp plan, but wouldn't satisfy my ultimate MK3 goal. I wanted something newer or more powerful. I debated starting on a different chassis altogether and even went as far as putting dozens of hours of research into the BMW E39 M5 and lining up test drives. Before I worked up the courage to jump into the M5 I found a for sale post on Supramania.

The Solution: A 91 Turbo Hardtop MK3. It was the right year (91 or 92), the right engine (7MGTE), the right transmission (R154), and from a good region of the U.S. for old cars (California). It wasn't perfect, with faded paint, non-operable registration, and a drop-in JDM motor that smoked, but the price was right. One minor problem though - I live in Phoenix, about 850 miles away and this car was going to sell fast. I debated for a day or two while chatting with the seller and planned out what would need to happen if I decided to go through with the sale. It was early Friday evening and both my wife and I had work obligations Monday morning. To make the drive a viable option, we would have to cover 1700 miles in the next 48 hours. We would also have to abandon any pre-existing weekend plans. Google said the drive would take a little over 12 hours - and I'm sure that's true if you can somehow fuel up while moving and have Jimmy Johns deliver to a moving spot along the interstate. Leaving realistic time to stop to eat, gas up and sleep, we weren't left with much free time. I decided to go ahead with the purchase at about 7pm Friday. We (my wife, our dog and I) were on the road shortly after.

The Pickup: Of the 850 miles ahead, nearly all of them were in California. I learned two things during this trip about California: The roads are all terribly maintained and they have trailer speed limits. I would pick up a u-haul trailer mid-day Saturday as close to the pick-up point as I could. Timing dictated that I would have to pick up the trailer with a few hundred miles left before I really wanted to. As 12:30pm Saturday afternoon rolled around I had a very unsettling realization... I hadn't picked up cash yet. Not counting on a stranger to accept and IOU for a few thousand dollars I frantically searched for a bank near our location that was open until 1pm Saturday. There was one within striking distance, but we would only arrive 10 minutes before closing with good traffic. Thankfully we made it in time and walked out of the bank with a thick wad of hundreds soon to be traded for a 25 year old piece of Japanese metal. Close to the destination we drove through orchards of peaches, apples, plums, nectarines and other fruit. Roadside fruit stands were too much temptation and we made a rare side-stop to pick up a bag of amazing California peaches. Well worth the 30 minute delay. Arriving at the seller's house revealed the prize. It was exactly as advertised and after a quick 5 minute drive around the block I knew all I needed to in order to sign the title. Along with the car I picked up a couple boxes of parts including forged pistons, rods, lightweight flywheel, ARP hardware, etc... The next challenge was loading up the car onto the u-haul trailer. Anyone who's used a U-haul auto-transport may know that they aren't made for sports cars. They are made for your average clearance vehicle. Certainly not a lowered, long nose beast like the MK3 Supra. It took some awkward maneuvering and a few different attempts to finally get the car loaded up without major damage.



Now the drive home - at a California-mandated 55mph. This limitation was not something Google counted on. Our ETA back in Phoenix climbed as we crawled home at a whopping 60mph. Early on in the return trip I saw flashing red and blue in my rear-view. Shit. What now? Am I really going to get a ticket for going 5 over? The officer came up to the passenger side window, cautiously, and told us we'd been called in by someone who saw a large trail of sparks and thought the 911 operator should get an officer on the case. The rear of the car had dropped a few inches after loading up the car and the trailer chains were now creating a nice light show behind us on the freeweay. Oops.

1am rolled around and we decided it was time to find a hotel and resume the drive in the morning. Now, I've road-tripped a LOT in the last couple years. The Land Cruiser which was now carrying the 91 Supra has seen a little over 45,000 miles in 2.5 years... and I rarely use it to commute. Over the last dozen overnight stays I've always relied on late night calls to the graveyard shift desk clerk at a variety of hotel chains to help secure a room after most patrons have fallen asleep. Until this night it had never been an issue. On this night, however, nobody had vacant rooms, certainly none that would accept a dog. We passed Sacramento and hoped that in the few cities nearby we'd find a roadside motel. 10 calls to hotels... nothing. 10 more calls.... "Sorry, all booked". 10 more calls... "All Booked, sorry!" It was now 3am. 2 hours after I was ready to stop driving. I had never called more than two hotels to find a room. What the hell? We finally got in touch with a no-name "inn" that had a phone line answered by a tired and/or drunk individual who spoke English... mostly. He seemed to answer that they did have a room, but wasn't clear. He was located 45 minutes off our planned route and an hour away from our current location. Ugh. We called a few other places and got the usual, "no rooms" answer so redialed our fuzzy, non-english, inn-keeper to verify room availability. It was a significant detour, after-all, so arriving to a closed up, no-vacancy motel would have been crushing. Someone answered, said something that wasn't "Hello" and hung up. Great. Our best chance at some sleep on a real bed just disappeared into the ether. After a few minutes we called again and got a regular answer from the tired and/or drunk inn-keeper. As far as we could tell, he did have a room. Onto the detour we went...

The last day of driving was thankfully uneventful and just filled with typical California traffic and terrible roads. Crossing the border back into Arizona felt like driving on glass. The transition in road quality was abrupt. A few miles into AZ the road was German-autobahn quality and road crews were busy working to repave roads that at their worst were still better than the majority of California's roads.



We arrived home at about 11pm Sunday night and unloaded the car. With the new car tucked into its garage space the first chapter in this journey was now over. Now it was time to plan the project and make some shopping lists...
 

suprarx7nut

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#3
Week 2: Parts

[video]https://youtu.be/waAYZHwa8O8[/video]

Highlights from the video:
Pistons: Probe 20 over
Rods: Eagle H beam
Turbo: Undecided, bolt on would be nice, if not then maybe a GTX3076R or similar
Flywheel: Fidanza
Valve Springs: Comp Cams
Exhaust: Undecided, HKS Super Drager maybe?
Intercooler: Custom set-up likely I don't like many off the shelf options and universal is ugly
Head Gasket: HKS Stopper
ECU: Undecided, AEM or ECU Masters?
Clutch: Undecided. Twin plate would be great, but may not be in the budget
Driveshaft: DSS Aluminum or perhaps carbon

Next week: Stealth Voltmeter Install

I would attach a picture, but the forum software won't allow me to, so the video link will have to do for now!
 
Last edited:

JDMMA70

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#4
Nice your bottom end will almost be identical to mine. I enjoy your videos its nice to see explanations laid out in such a professional manner.
 

suprarx7nut

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#6
Part 3:

Progress is starting slow for a few reasons: 1. Work. 2. I'm prepping the 90 targa car for sale. 3. I'm prepping a few items for sale via my site.

Once I sell the 90 things will really pick up speed though.

For this video I installed a volt meter in the headlight washer area. It's a part I designed and had 3-D printed in black plastic. I've installed one in both my cars and really like it. It provides a great reference reading that's far more accurate than the stock needle gauge in an NA and provides a reading where there isn't one in a turbo.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h6zLd5ZkwAA

 

JDMMA70

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#7
Looks nice, cant wait to see what other parts you come up with. Your dash isnt cracked is it?
 

suprarx7nut

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#8
Looks nice, cant wait to see what other parts you come up with. Your dash isnt cracked is it?
No major cracks on the dash, but there is wear on the A-Pillar where it meets the dash. I haven't checked the top vent area where I know there can be cracks. I need to give the car a thorough detail and inventory all the little problems so I haven't inspected it too closely yet.

Progress is slow right now as I prep the Black 90 Targa for sale. I hope to tackle a lot of that this weekend and dive into Ookii Ao a little more after that.

On the exhaust, does anyone know what kind of restriction the Tanabe Touring would be when aiming for 500whp? I'm looking at either that or the HKS Super Drager for off-the-shelf options. If either of those will be a problem for 500whp then I'll probably be left with a custom set-up.
 

JDMMA70

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#9
The only restriction I know of if you want to call it that. Is the Tanabe Super Hyper Medallion (old model) snaked down to 2.5" inside the muffler the rest of the piping was 3.25". I don't know if they improved or changed that on the new Touring. The Super Drager I know is a full 3.5" all the way. The only downside is they aren't stainless. That was sort of a deal breaker for me when I was looking to buy one. Ideally I wanted the GReddy SP but GReddy and their infinite wisdom decided to discontinue that excellent system. Alas I have seen both the Tanabe and the HKS support over 600hp.
 

suprarx7nut

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#10
The only restriction I know of if you want to call it that. Is the Tanabe Super Hyper Medallion (old model) snaked down to 2.5" inside the muffler the rest of the piping was 3.25". I don't know if they improved or changed that on the new Touring. The Super Drager I know is a full 3.5" all the way. The only downside is they aren't stainless. That was sort of a deal breaker for me when I was looking to buy one. Ideally I wanted the GReddy SP but GReddy and their infinite wisdom decided to discontinue that excellent system. Alas I have seen both the Tanabe and the HKS support over 600hp.
Good info, thanks. The stainless issue is important. I also remember seeing the weight listed for the HKS Drager being more than I thought it would be. The Tanabe is 45 lbs in shipping according to Amazon, while the HKS is 60 in product weight.
 

supranaut

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#12

suprarx7nut

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#13
When I had the car, I was pretty dead set on the Raptor Racing exhaust because it used a twin tip Magnaflow muffler that looked stock-ish. I don't have any idea about horsepower capabilities, though.

http://raptorracing.com/toyota/mkii...-and-bov/raptor-racing-3.0-mk3-catback-system
Hey, hey! good to see you checking in. Not much progress yet, unfortunately. Still haven't sold my other mk3 so the new 91 is just sitting for now.

I like this exhaust too but the tips seem to be to long for my sleeper look...they seem to stick too far out when mounted.
I've actually got the Raptor Racing catback and downpipe on my 90 GTE. It's awesome. If anything, it's a little too quiet at WOT and too loud at idle. The muffler looks stock-ish, but you can tell it's not a Toyota exhaust. George's quality on the system is top notch. The downpipe is a work of art and since I've got the ceramic coating on it, it still looks new. Too bad he doesn't make the DDP's anymore.

I'll do a comparison of the downpipes before I sell if I can find some time. I've never seen a BIC downpipe (what's on the Ookii Ao car now), but it'll have to be really nice to beat out the Raptor Racing Downpipe.
 

suprarx7nut

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#14
Part 4: Baselining

My 90 has been sold, which has freed up funds for this project. I ended up getting $8k for the 90 gte swapped targa chassis. I left all the goodies on the car as the new buyer negotiated inclusion of everything, including the 5zigen wheels.

In this installment, I go over some of the basics of buying a new Supra - or really, most any used car. I changed out the motor oil, trans oil, diff oil, coolant and inspected the car's underside to hunt down any looming failures. Thankfully there were no big surprises other than my gear oil pumps (yes, plural) failing. After giving my garage floor a bath of oil and coolant and getting a workout pumping gear oil into the diff, the car is one step closer to being truly road worthy.

Things not shown in the video include:
- A battery test and charge using a CTEK 25000 charger http://amzn.to/2iYfW7o
- New Tires (perhaps to be featured in a future video if it seems worthwhile)
- Hood Strut replacement http://amzn.to/2iY3bts
- Exterior and Interior clean

Upcoming:

I just bought a radar detector and have an upcoming 1000 mile road trip from AZ to CO coming up. I'm moving and have to get the car to my new place in CO. I can either pay a trailer company $400-600 to trailer it and potentially rip the bumper off, wear out the starter and battery playing musical cars on the trailer or I could turn it into an adventure with a buddy and do a solo rally. So I decided I'd be better served by making an experience out of it and bought a Valentine 1 and started planning the trip. I'll document that as it's own video. Should be fun.

I bought a set of tires (BFG Sport Comp 2) that might get their own video.

I'll be buying an exhaust ASAP once I'm moved and in a new home. I didn't want to buy the exhaust prior to moving and just have another large piece of metal to transport cross country.

Turbo. So the car smokes at start up and a little under load. I'm guessing it will fail CO emissions. If that happens my first recourse might be to buy my future turbo (perhaps the bolt on 6262). If the turbo isn't the cause of smoking then it'll probably just need a rebuild and I may have to dive into that sooner than expected.

Thanks for reading/watching and let me know what else you'd like to see covered!

[video=youtube;rzvqozHbA-w]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rzvqozHbA-w[/video]
 

suprarx7nut

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#18
PART 5: Road Trip

I moved from AZ to CO. The car had to make the trip somehow. I could have trailered it or had a professional trailer it, but that's not cheap. I decided to let the car get itself across state lines. The trip was smooth and comfortable - just like a Supra should be. 900 miles of straight driving with only 24 minutes of combined stop time. 2 Gas stops. That's it.

[video=youtube;n76WCtb1fJs]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n76WCtb1fJs[/video]

The car passed emissions with "Fast Pass" status, meaning it wasn't even close to failing. That came a big surprise since it was smoking considerably just a few months ago. Driving it occasionaly seemed to clear up the smoke and I reinstalled the factory exhaust (including downpipe) so that helped.

Exhaust is the first major upgrade I'm planning. It's needed for my ultimate goal of 500 whp and beneficial immediately with the stock motor. I'm leaning heavily towards Tanabe's Medallion Touring. Good sound, relatively low cost. After that I'm really not sure what will follow in regards to upgrades. The majority of the rest of the plan will be best rolled out as a package all at once with the engine out.

I've got my first baby due any day now so updates will probably remain sparse. I suspect this project won't be a priority in life ;). My garage has gotten some attention recently and I plan to install a 4 post lift this summer/fall. That should make the man cave, or "garage-mahal" more enjoyable. Not to mention, more practical.
 

Supra28

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#19
Another YouTube subscriber here! Love watching your videos and seeing updates on this car! That's cool you're moving to CO, I'm right next door in KS. There's a Supra meet coming up in Kansas City around the 7th of July I think. I'll most likely be there, not in a Supra though but it'd be cool to see your car there!
 

suprarx7nut

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#20
Part 6! Super simple and basic. Life's been busy as we added a family member this spring so my progress is slowing more and more.

Enjoy and subscribe!

[video=youtube;eQt6lpMxnno]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eQt6lpMxnno[/video]
 

Piratetip

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#21
Haha nice.

Man if I had time to make a little video for every fix I have done...
Could write a video equivalent of a novel.
 

suprarx7nut

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#22
Haha nice.

Man if I had time to make a little video for every fix I have done...
Could write a video equivalent of a novel.
Yeah, filming is the easy part. It's the editing that I can never get to. I've probably got dozens of hours of footage I'll never edit to make a worthwhile video. I've got AC service footage, T-belt, Intake refurb, valve shim adjustment, etc... What has been really nice though, is that on multiple occasions I've gone back to review video to find where I put that damn bolt or gasket or small part.

Anyways, UPDATE!
[video=youtube;YYeoaWjX96A]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YYeoaWjX96A[/video]

You have to know where you are to know where you're going. The car had its BIC downpipe removed for emissions recently and I kept it in its stock form until I could dyno it. Results were about what I expected, but there were a few surprises.

Power: 179 whp @ 5411 rpm
Torque: 207 ft-lbs @ 3400 rpm
AFRs: 13:1 @ 3500 rpm
10.0:1 @ 5411 rpm
Boost: 6 psi falling to 4.5 psi

The boost dropoff wasn't something I expected. I can feel the car doesn't have the top end that my last mk3 had, but I've never stared at the boost gauge during a redline pull to actually see boost dropping so significantly. Simply adding an electronic boost controller might steady boost at the manifold. The CT26 should be more than capable - even in stock form - to hold boost pressures up to 12+psi up to redline.

AFRs were surprisingly lean near peak boost, but I'm skeptical of the accuracy of the clip-on-muffler AFR sensor used during the runs. I'll get a real wideband plumbed in at some point - hopefully before the next dyno.

Next Steps:

  • Exhaust is already installed. 3in turbo back. BIC divorced, recirc'd downpipe; 3" hi-flow, metallic cat; Tanabe Hyper Medallion Touring - Video coming up next
  • Engine Build?
  • Standalone?
  • Interior Touch-up?
  • Body Work/Paint?

I feel like the engine build is probably the most universally useful. I've got some leaks still and the current engine is a big question mark as I haven't had it open. I've got some parts on hand, but will need more, certainly. My current Probe pistons I'm debating selling to fund some higher CP pistons to boost my mid-range torque. I want to have the most linear power band possible and I think bumping pistons to 9:1 or higher would go along ways in doing that. I've got a lift in the garage now so doing a winter build seems almost like a requirement, haha.

What do you guys think? What's the next step towards a 500 whp build?!
 

xCxHxRxIxSx

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#23
Nice build thread! I like the videos too. I'd say the next step in your quest for 500hp would be to build the engine with forged internals, oiling etc. you need a solid foundation to build from and have confidence in. Best of luck!
 

suprarx7nut

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#25
Hey I love that volt meter and was wondering if you had some to sale? Also where is it reading from under dash harness? Plug in or spliced?
For sale here: http://yotamd.com/products/index.html

I think I have all the parts in stock, but I can verify if lead time is important to you.

You can wire it up any way you like, but I provide some quick'n'easy T-taps to clamp onto the cigarette lighter power wires. If it's just a reference that method has worked well for me. If you're more concerned about accuracy you could route it however you like with a more secure crimp connection.
 

supposedbigfoot

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#26
For sale here: http://yotamd.com/products/index.html

I think I have all the parts in stock, but I can verify if lead time is important to you.

You can wire it up any way you like, but I provide some quick'n'easy T-taps to clamp onto the cigarette lighter power wires. If it's just a reference that method has worked well for me. If you're more concerned about accuracy you could route it however you like with a more secure crimp connection.
Thanks just put a order in and no lead time is not important as long as its reasonable.
 

suprarx7nut

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#30
[video=youtube;kjVemFRyVS8]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kjVemFRyVS8[/video]

Part 8! Exterior Overview. I'm going to try to get the exterior completed first. Here's my rationale:

1. Exterior in perfect or near perfect shape adds more sell-able value to the car in case I don't finish this project. Sad thought, but pragmatic. Engine build is fun, but expensive and hard to recoup later on, unless it's in an excellent chassis.
2. I need to do some work on my wife's car, body-wise, so I'll be practicing painting skills and techniques this winter/spring regardless. Might as well go all in with the paint work this season.
3. A pristine exterior is extremely satisfying for me. In my 10+ years of various mk3 ownership I've never had an 8/10 or 9/10 exterior. The car spends a lot of time on top of the lift in my garage, hovering over my daily Land Cruiser and having some good eye candy in the garage is worth something.

I installed the exhaust, but I've got lights coming for the lift that will better show it off so that video is on hold.

For exterior mods, I'm planning a Kaminari carbon wing, a 2 hole front lip ducted to provide brake cooling and possibly spec B side skirts and rear addons. I also plan on the turbo A vent in the new bumper. More air flow, why not? The carbon wing would remain unpainted.

The front lip is something I really want from an aesthetic and performance standpoint, but goddamn if I don't already scrape the factory lip every single time I pull out of my driveway - even at a 45 degree angle. I'm not sure what to do there. I discovered "air cup" lift systems recently and am debating that as a solution. I hate the idea of adding a tank and compressor, but maybe that's what's needed to have a mildly lowered mk3 with my driveway.

I'll be trying my hand at some PDR soon. I have a few dents on the fenders and elsewhere that would be great to fix without a repaint.

I need to setup a paint booth in my garage and that's likely one of the next steps. I'll be using the 4 post lift uprights as the starting frame for the booth, and adding some wings to pull the walls a bit beyond the footprint of the lift. That should provide the needed space to walk around the car. I tested out a quick spray of clear on a project for my wife. I used a TINY amount of clear and without the doors open in my garage it was a cloud of noxious fumes in no time. It was a great example of the importance of a good booth. Of course, I was protected with sealed goggles and a respirator, but I still worry about fumes getting into the house and creating an explosive atmosphere since I've got the compressor and a gas heater in the garage.
 

suprarx7nut

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#31
[video=youtube_share;oZ3wEwV5xMw]

Update! So this video is actually from 2017. It shows the process of chasing down my leaking 7M prior to the Dyno I showed in episode 5. UV dye was very handy. I still haven't gotten into the rest of the engine, but the front is at least clean now!

Upcoming: Interior revamp including alcantara wheel, boots and console cover. Exhaust - Tanabe and BIC is already installed, just haven't uploaded videos yet. Exterior paint prep - I need to do some welding and a lot of tear down.
 

3p141592654

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#32
That was nicely done. I like your attention to detail, especially the things that are always a fight like getting the seals out which magically get skipped over in so many videos.

I wished you had pulled apart the oil pump drive retainer. Would have been nice to see what shape it is in given some of the issues people have reported.
 

suprarx7nut

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#33
That was nicely done. I like your attention to detail, especially the things that are always a fight like getting the seals out which magically get skipped over in so many videos.

I wished you had pulled apart the oil pump drive retainer. Would have been nice to see what shape it is in given some of the issues people have reported.

Thanks! I certainly like the details and often get bogged down in them which makes everything take longer than needed. Hopefully though, the end result is better than average!

Yeah, I will pay extra attention to that next year when I dive into the engine build. I like the needle bearing idea from sixpack on SF, but I honestly don't understand the mechanics of that assembly well enough yet. I need to play around with it with parts in my hand to really grasp it. I'll make it better one way or another as I know it's a prime point of failure.

I'm even tempted to design some new gears altogether and see what it'd cost to machine from grade 5 Ti.