Should I pull the trigger?

Feuerstoss

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Well, I haven't been on this forum for years; super lurker status here. However, I have some questions as I may be in the position to (finally) get my hands on an MA71 pretty soon.

I'm currently driving a '99 BMW E38 7-series, but I've got plenty of Toyota experience under my belt. Cut my teeth on a Celica GT-Four years ago; wish I hadn't ever sold that beast but that's life. :3d_frown: While I love the 7'er, it's eating me alive in repair costs and i think I'd rather have something I'm more comfortable with working on myself.

I came across an MA71 for a rock bottom price. Looks to be an '89(no airbag), 5MT, Targa, N/A, burgundy cloth interior. Looks well-used but serviceable. I'm looking for more of an interesting daily at this point so not having the 7MGTE under the hood is a bit of a plus. 165K, and the seller points out that it needs an AFM as sometimes it'll just rev out of control every now and then. It's a little disconcerting but I'll have the funds to take care of that.

Either way, should I consider pulling the trigger on this one? I know that since it's N/A it might not be the ideal MK3 to many, but I'm still kinda interested as I've always wanted one of these. I kinda know what to look out for on these cars and minor to moderate repairs don't seem out of my grasp. Any feedback?
 

Nick M

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It is very unlikely the vane airflow meter has an intermitent short circuit on the wiper. 5MT?
 

Feuerstoss

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Yep, 5-speed. I was also under the impression that the AFMs on these cars were pretty robust; I'm assuming it's a similar design to my old Alltrac and I've never heard of those failing. I don't really have the patience to track down strange surging issues so thanks for the heads up. I did recently test-drive another Alltrac with some bad throttle cable issues and it seemed to surge pretty badly; are those a common fault on the Supras?
 

Nick M

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It is identical to the All-Trac including the electronics. The only common fault on the Supra is the kids that own old cars thinking something lasts forever, or the car doesn't need it. That and headbolt torque should be higher than 58 lb/ft as listed in the book. I have never seen a faulty cable. I have seen cables messed with and hooked up wrong, but that wasn't the cable's fault.

And the throttle cable would be first guess with your symptom.
 

supraguy@aol

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I would love to have an NA for daily driving.
If I didn't have the MR2, I'd have probably gotten one.

Ps- MA71 is the designation for the turbo chassis. Sounds like you're looking at an MA70.
 

te72

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I've had an 88 NA and an 84 NA, both made excellent daily drivers. The ONLY thing that the NA's gave up in terms of what I like in a daily driver is the ability to hit freeway speed limits on short on ramps. There are a few here that you don't have much of a ramp to get up to speed, and that only gets worse if you're behind someone even slower than you... nothing a few hundred horse didn't fix, but again, NA's make good DD's. Just make sure you take care of the maintenance, and you'll have a good car.
 

supraguy@aol

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I'm pretty sure my N/A is an MA71..
It's not.
Check the firewall tag(Chassis code). Some cars have different designations on the door tag or dash tag, but an "MA71" there would indicate a turbo car, and is part of the VIN, not the chassis code.
 

Turbo Habanero

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Chassis is MA70 for all 7M models

VIN #'s changed

JT2MA71 = TURBO
JT2MA70 = N/A

If you have one that is different yours was swapped
 

Feuerstoss

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Okay... hopefully nobody minds the bump. I've unfortunately haven't gotten back on this, but have some more questions.

I went up a couple of days ago and looked at the MK3 in question, and was more or less quite disappointed. The body is in good shape but that's about all there is.

Judging by the sticker on the timing belt cover, the T-belt and water pump were last done in -1996-, at 115K. Considering the speedometer didn't work and the car was at 165K, there's no telling what the engine really had on it. The 'running away' bit was actually a very erratic, loping idle, and it would hesitate like it would hit fuel cut if revved above 3K or so. On top of that I immediately noticed coolant forcing its way out of the radiator, and judging by the shape of the car I'm 99% sure it's well on its way to BHGville. The coolant looked okay(no milkshake that I could tell) and the oil was dirty but not rusty.

The seller was wanting $2600. Frankly, for a car that's going to need a head gasket, I think that's too much. The engine has indeterminate mileage and it's obvious it's going to need major work. All that said, what would be a reasonable price to pay? I'm having the crazy idea of making an offer of $500-750 or so, towing it down here, selling what I have now and using the proceeds to go to my local mechanic and have a new engine put in. I doubt the seller would go for that, but the car's been sitting for at least seven months(temp tags on it, expired last September) and he's had a very hard time selling it considering it's been sitting that long. So, any advice on this?
 

Maple191

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Chassis is MA70 for all 7M models

VIN #'s changed

JT2MA71 = TURBO
JT2MA70 = N/A

If you have one that is different yours was swapped
Actually due to the fact too many MA70's aka N/A chassies were made toyota threw alot of turbo engines in them as well as MA71's
The original desing was to have the MA70 strictly for N/A and MA71 for Turbo but that went out the window.
 

te72

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General rule of thumb in my book, a Mk3 body and interior in good shape is worth about $1000-1500 ($2000 max for a later car, depending). You can always walk away, you'll find another one, and the owner will eventually do something with it...
 

Feuerstoss

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General rule of thumb in my book, a Mk3 body and interior in good shape is worth about $1000-1500 ($2000 max for a later car, depending). You can always walk away, you'll find another one, and the owner will eventually do something with it...
That's what I'm thinking. Once I sell what I've got right now, I'll have enough for a decent Turbo/5MT/Targa. I've got options if I look out of state, so I think I'l just keep looking. :)