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Thread: I keep going back in time! Finally found a mkiii--meet crimson tide

  1. #1
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    Default I keep going back in time! Finally found a mkiii--meet crimson tide

    So, I had been looking for a clean MKIII turbo 5MT, off and on, for quite some time. For the most part, I failed miserably. There were a few cars to which I was initially attracted but, upon closer review, it became clear those cars were not for me. I mean no disrespect to the MKIII community at-large, and would not generalize about an entire generation of Supra owners. Even so, it has more than a few owners and cars that make you shake your head in wonderment at the state of disrepair and the woeful lack of maintenance of vehicles that deserve much better. Just as I thought this was not meant to be, I took a second look at a for sale ad I had skimmed over many times before, but had never reviewed in detail because of the owner’s asking price.

    The car was a 1987, a pre-89 car in community parlance. Although, like many others, I prefer the look of the 89+ cars, this car had everything else I could have possibly imagined. The seller had owned the car for 20-years; had all service records; loads of OEM and aftermarket spare parts; and, the car had 8.5/10 paint; 9/10 leather interior; and, virtually every HKS product made for the USDM MA70. Now, you guys and gals know I’m a real sucker for HKS parts, maybe even more so when it comes to period-correct HKS goodies.

    The owner had put 15,000 miles over the last 15 years on all the mods installed and 45,000 of the total of 78,000 miles on the car, taking care to meticulously dyno tune the car at every stage of modification. During his 20-years of ownership, there was not the slightest hiccup of a problem and the car performed exceedingly well as one would expect from the TLC the car received over the years.
    After communicating with the owner, reviewing his responses to my pre-purchase due diligence questionnaire, Roger Reyes (REYESSUPRA) and I drove 6-hours each way to the seller’s home in AZ for an up close and personal inspection of the car. I failed to mention earlier the color of the car was my favorite for MKIIIs, dark blue metallic (8E3), so I was prepared to make a deal if the inspection went well.

    The inspection went very well, so I went home, prepared an offer to purchase (contingent upon a successful compression/leak down test) and waited for the owner’s response. The next day, the owner sent word that my offer was accepted and he agreed to my request to take the car to Saad Racing (yeah, that Saad) for the C/LD test. Before I heard the C/LD test results from the owner, I received several texts from Saad, with the compression results and pics of all six spark plugs.
    As (bad) luck would have it, the #6 plug had water on it and the radiator was acting weird. Yeah, you guessed it….the dreaded MKIII blown head gasket (BHG). With the BHG in the mix, the seller and I worked hard on a revised deal. Unfortunately, we were not able to consummate a deal after an extensive effort. I told my wife I had never worked so hard to purchase a car and that, if I was going to buy a MKIII, the car would have to “find” me. I had no further appetite for a diligent search for a car (actually up for sale) that might not even exist (one that met my criteria).

    Several months passed and I was on Supra Mania where I had done a lot of my MKIII research. I had purchased a new MKIII back in 1990, but had not owned one since 1995. As consequence, my knowledge of these cars, never great to begin with, needed a serious reboot. Anyway, as I was browsing SM, I noticed the following post (copied and pasted):

    --Posted May 4, 2016 at 2:02 p.m., on Supra Mania
    Quote Originally Posted by bhmsupra View Post
    1991 Supra Turbo - $11,500 Firm
    Manual Transmission
    48k Original Miles
    Factory Hard Top/ Moon Roof
    This not a Targa Top car
    All mods done by a professional Tuner. HKS MHG (done properly) and every other bearing and gasket during the MHG install was replaced with genuine Toyota parts, stage 2.5 ACT XTSS Clutch, turbo rebuilt last month, Apexi Intake, Downpipe (jet hot ceramic coated). Hi-Flo Cat and exhaust All Tanabe, Eighbach Springs, Tokiko Blue Shocks, SS Turbo Inlet, Koyo Racing Radiator, StopTech Rotors on all 4, SS Brake Lines Front and Back, 5Zigen Wheels (factory wheels also included), all new fluids, oem plugs and
    & wires. All upper and lower gaskets are OEM. Tires are Falken and 80% to 90% good. Interior is 100% original. Original Radio and FloorMats also original. Car also has a JZA70 Front Lip with working OEM air ducts, very rare.
    EVERY BUTTON, SWITCH and KNOB on this car works. Paint is original and several trophies have been won over the last few years. Paint is 95% interior is 99%.
    Issues With Car - ZERO! She runs like a new car, period.
    I will post pictures later.
    PM me if interested.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: I keep going back in time! Finally found a mkiii--meet crimson tide

    A short time later, I PMed the seller. The seller responded to me the next day and the rest, as they say, is history. That same day, I sent the seller, Patrick Nail, my pre-purchase due diligence questionnaire of about 65-questions. I also sent Patrick an extensive list of photographs I wanted him to take and send to me.
    All you really need to know about Patrick Nail is that he, along with James Cusack, the seller of my MKIV hardtop, is one of two best sellers with whom I have had the pleasure of doing business with. Honest, forthcoming, responsive, knowledgeable, special relationship with his car, professional. You name it. He had it. I’ll be the first to admit I may not be the easiest prospective buyer to deal with. It’s not that I take a disagreeable, or adversarial, approach to a potential deal. It’s because of my information requests which, admittedly, are extensive and many do not want to respond to my requests if they doubt a sale will result from their efforts (in more than a few cases, it was also because the seller did not possess the information requested).

    With Patrick, I had no such frustrations. His response to my pre-purchase due diligence questionnaire was a full seven (7) pages long, with EVERY question answered, including another 20 or so follow-up questions I submitted after reading through his initial response. I was, and continue to be, impressed by his professionalism, attention to detail and responsiveness.

    When we finally met, it was easy to understand why. Patrick handles a $350 million annual capital improvement budget, across three states, for a large Fortune 500 company. Knowing a bit about capital projects myself, attention to detail, meeting deadlines, staying within budget and the ability to problem solve on the run all make for a good capital projects manager. Having worked for the company for 24 years, with the last 10 years as described above, I think it’s safe to say, Patrick truly knows what he’s doing and has been very successful while doing it.

    As the 10-year owner of the car, Patrick was completely knowledgeable about the car and, as said, was able to answer the 85 questions I had about the vehicle. More importantly, as a result of an incipient BHG condition, he had had a motor-out rebuild, proper machine work and an HKS metal head gasket installed as part of the BHG repair. Patrick’s responses to the questionnaire eventually, became Exhibit “1” to the Bill of Sale. In addition, at my request, Patrick sent me approximately 135 pics of the interior, exterior (also undercarriage) and engine compartment of the car, including pics at the angle I requested.

    Following are some of the representative pics sent to me that show in detail why this car turned out to be THE ONE;














  3. #3
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    Default Re: I keep going back in time! Finally found a mkiii--meet crimson tide















    Here are few pics of the engine compartment:





    In addition to a pic of the engine from another angle, this pic shows some of the oxidation on the front driver’s fender (more on this later):



    This pic shows a baseball bat being used as a hood prop. NIB OEM hood props were installed on the car as part of the deal I made with Patrick:










    Before we get to some pics of the exterior of the car, you might be interested in knowing how the car was set up, and what kind of mods Patrick carried out, during his 10-years of ownership. Following is a list of the mods installed on the car. This list was also included in the Bill of Sale:
    1. A complete set (including spare) of 1991 Toyota Supra Turbo Factory, OEM wheels;
    2. Four (4) 5Zigen Pro Racer GN Wheels, with center caps, sized 18 x 8.5 +35, front; 18 x 9.5 + 42, rear, mounted on Falken FK 452 tires, sized 235/40Z R18 84Y, front; and, 265/35Z R18 95Y, rear;
    3. New OEM Hardware on Exhaust Manifold and Tanabe Downpipe connections;
    4. Slotted StopTech Brake Rotors, front and rear;
    5. Porterfield RS Brake Pads, front and rear;
    6. Drift Motion Stainless Steel Brake Lines, front and rear;
    7. Beech Performance Master Cylinder Brace;
    8. JDM JZA70 Amber Fog Lights;
    9. JDM Smoked Blinker Covers;
    10. Eibach Pro Coil Springs, front and rear;
    11. Tokico Blue, TEMS-Compatible Shocks, front and rear;
    12. Suspension Techniques Anti-Roll Bars, front and rear;
    13. BIC Adjustable End Links, front and rear;
    14. Hux Racing-installed Manual Boost Controller;
    15. Upgraded Work Turbo, 46-Trim CT26 Turbocharger, including Garrett Compressor Wheel and Ceramic Coated Turbine Housing;
    16. 935 Motorsports Stainless Steel Turbo Inlet;
    17. Apexi Cold Air Intake;
    18. Koyo Racing Aluminum Radiator
    19. OEM JDM JZA70, Two-hole Lip Spoiler;
    20. ACT XTSS Clutch with Fidanza Lightweight Flywheel;
    21. Drift Motion Stainless Steel Clutch Line;
    22. Arizona Performance Oil Pump Supply Kit;
    23. Arizona Performance Turbo Feed/Drain Stainless Kit, with -4 Feed and -10 Drain
    24. HKS 1.2 mm Bead-Type Metal Head Gasket;
    25. Tanabe Downpipe (Jet-Hot Coated), with Beech Performance 3-inch Bend;
    26. Tanabe High-Flow Catalytic Convertor;
    27. Tanabe Stainless Steel Touring Medallion Exhaust; and,
    28. New Hood Struts and New Hatch Struts (with hood struts to be installed prior to sale)

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    Default Re: I keep going back in time! Finally found a mkiii--meet crimson tide

    Patrick Nail purchased this car with 37k miles on the odometer. So, in ten-years of ownership, he put approximately 12k miles on the car. As you can tell from the pics and details above, it was not difficult to demonstrate that this was a 49.5k mile car up for sale. Even so, during our many text and email conversations, and as demonstrated by some of the photographs below, Patrick disclosed that the car’s paint contained more than a little oxidation. Having purchased the vehicle that way, he could only speculate that the car’s east coast upbringing was a considerable factor. As a result, there are some before and after pics of the car with Patrick, being a hobbyist detailer, working hard to show off the car to best effect:














    OXIDATION:








    Now, I have no experience in dealing with oxidation, as I have never had it on any vehicle I have ever owned. To complicate matters further, my lack of experience was compounded by the fact we were dealing with 25-year old single-stage paint. No clear coat meant overly aggressive oxidation removal efforts could prove to be fatal to the paint and my wallet.

    I mentioned earlier that Patrick occasionally detailed cars, as much for therapy and relaxation as anything. Patrick told me he would take a stab at the oxidation but would be very careful in doing so. One bright, sunny Saturday, Patrick spent the better part of eight hours working on the car’s paint and sent me the following pics to show the progress made. He also removed the tail light tint at my request to reveal tail light lenses in perfect condition:











    With the car delivered and originally purchased in Massachusetts, IIRC, and because of the presence of oxidation and my questions, Patrick sent undercarriage photographs to demonstrate the car suffered from no rust issues whatsoever. A few of the representative pics are below:










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    Default Re: I keep going back in time! Finally found a mkiii--meet crimson tide

    COMPRESSION/LEAK DOWN TEST:
    Before making plans to fly to Alabama to personally inspect the car, Patrick and I agreed that he would have a compression/leak down test conducted. If the test went well, we agreed I would send him a deposit on the car. Things had moved along quite nicely so Patrick traveled to the local Toyota dealer to have the test done. Unbelievably, the dealer wanted $525 to do the compression test but insisted the car was “too old” to do a leak down test—despite the motor having only 49k miles.

    The shop that had done all the work on Patrick’s car, Hux Racing, was a 200-mile round-trip from Patrick’s home so we decided to go to a highly recommended local shop for the C/LD test. Patrick videotaped the process and, what do you know? Déjŕ vu all over again.……or so Patrick thought. Compression readings were as follows: #1 88 psi; #2 92 psi; #3 95 psi; #4 95 psi; #5 92 psi; and, #6 92 psi. Patrick was floored, as you might imagine, and took his boat out on the lake to collect his thoughts (and not commit suicide, I was hoping ).

    The next day, I told Patrick I thought the tech’s gauge was faulty and that I was mildly encouraged the readings were pretty consistent despite being horribly low. MKIII 7M-GTE compression readings should be above 142 but, like the MKIV, a reading above 128 psi is within spec as long as the difference between cylinders does not exceed 14 psi.

    There was nothing to do but to return to Hux Racing where, whatever the results turned out to be, we knew they would be accurate, even if they were not what we wanted. Eric Hux was confident the results would be perfect given his work on the motor, prior tests and the car’s 300 whp dyno reading at 9.5 psi. Sure enough, the results came back as follows: #1 171 psi; #2 170 psi; #3 172 psi; #4 171 psi; #5 172 psi and #6 173 psi. Leak down hovered between 6-7 percent. YES!! Time to go to Alabama.


    ALABAMA TRIP:
    Patrick picked me up at Birmingham International Airport and we drove to his parent’s home in Chelsea where the car was stored. Patrick left me to my devices for an hour or so while I inspected the car. Even though I knew the car as well as one could know a car from distance, I took my time inspecting the car and taking a bunch of cell phone pics, a few of which are shown below:













    In anticipation of making a deal, I had contacted several vehicle transporters and settled on Exotic Car Transport of Orlando, FL. The folks there were easy to work with and were responsive to my various inquiries. Exotic Car agreed to put me on its schedule and, if I made a deal for the car, I was to call Exotic Car and it would activate the work order previously developed. I had flown to Alabama on June 28th, made the deal with Patrick and flown back to Cali on June 29th. Exotic Car Transport picked up my car on July 1st, as shown below:








  6. #6
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    Default Re: I keep going back in time! Finally found a mkiii--meet crimson tide

    CALIFORNIA ARRIVAL:
    Exotic Car Transport arrived at my house at 3:00 p.m., on July 5th, exactly as was previously indicated to me. Here are a few pics of the big day:










    RESTORATION
    My attendance at SIV2016 had been a question mark for life reasons, but I knew that, if I was going to attend, I would do my best to get this car ready. Failing that, I would just bring one of my other cars and be happy with that. I sold my 1990 MKIII turbo in 1995, about a year after I purchased Blackie, so I have never attended a Vegas Supra meet in a MKIII. If all goes well, I intend to remedy that this year.



    DING REMOVAL:
    In order to do that, I had to get to work but fast. Those of you familiar with my “not a build” build will recognize my ding repair guy, Sean Elfsten, in the pics below:











    When I told Sean I was going to have more paint correction done on the car, he told me that, likely as not, I would call him back out because not all of the dings would be readily apparent underneath the oxidation. Also, determining the depth of the dings was more difficult than what I could have anticipated. Sure enough, after three days and 31 hours of paint correction (more on this later), I spotted a few more dings that had been imperceptible during our first run at the car.

    Later on, I had Sean come out for a third time to remove two or three dings that we, somehow, missed in the first two rounds. Given the size and depth of the dings, I don’t know how we missed them during the first two rounds, but we did. This last round dented my confidence a bit (pun intended) on my ability to spot dings no one else had noticed before. Must be old age, I guess.

    WHEELS/TIRES:
    Those of you that are observant will have noticed the center caps missing from the car in earlier pics. Patrick assured me he had all the center caps and would install them before I took delivery of the car (no center caps on wheels is a pet peeve of mine). Years ago, Patrick had purchased new tires for the car. Unfortunately, on the day he took possession, with the wheels mounted, all four wheels fell from the back of truck face down on the pavement. The pic below is representative of what all four wheels looked like when I took possession of the car:



    Initially, I was all fired up to get new wheels for the car and chatted extensively with RikTT about this. Unfortunately, although there are MKIII wheel/tire fitment threads on SF and SM, they pale in comparison to the MKIV threads on SF started by RikTT (2009) and Steve Jarvis (2001), with expert co-management by SF member, RADRIDE. I spoke with a number of MKIII wheel experts, but received my best, and most reliable, information from BorHor and Nick Stonawski. I looked at several Work wheels and came close to pulling the trigger on a couple of sets.

    After more thought, and because I was planning on installing a BBK, I decided to stick with the 5Zigens that came with the car and have them refinished. Down the road, this may change, but the 5Zigen wheels have grown on me. I like the fact that they are period correct for this car and they are fairly uncommon as wheels go.

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    Default Re: I keep going back in time! Finally found a mkiii--meet crimson tide

    PAINT CORRECTION:
    While Patrick had done a good job of oxidation removal, it became apparent to me that more work was required in order to get the car’s paint in a condition I could be proud of. My garage has plenty of florescent lighting and I call it “The Graveyard”, because that’s where dings, scratches and the like go to die. That Graveyard moniker would be tested like never before because of my lack of experience in dealing with oxidation.

    Enter Roger Reyes (REYESSUPRA). Roger introduced me to a friend (Helvidio Toj) who was responsible for all paint correction at a SoCali Mercedes Benz dealership for more than 20 years. After a short discussion, I agreed to use Helvidio and we set a date for him to come to my home.

    The first day, Helvidio spent 10 full hours on the car. The second day, he spent 12 hours on the car, and the third day, he spent another 11 grueling hours on the car, all in 100+ degree heat (I kept him refreshed with food, liquids and fans to the best of my ability, but it was hard labor, no doubt). Later, I had him detail the interior of the car and do some minor clean-up work in the engine compartment. Following are some pics of the 31-hour paint correction process and detailing of the car’s interior:















    This is not a great pic, but is the first thorough cleaning of the car after Helvidio had worked his magic. I hope to have better, more representative pics, in the near future:




    WHEELS/TIRES—PART II:
    After making the decision to retain the 5Zigen Pro Racer GN wheels, I knew I needed to have them refinished as part of this project. The key was deciding on what color which, ultimately, turned out to be Hyper Black. Interestingly, when the wheels were removed from the car, the stickers on the inside indicated the color was Hyper Black and the offsets, both front and rear, were +38 (rather than the +35 and +42 Patrick had relayed to me in his response to my questionnaire). The new Hyper Black color has more gun metal in it than the 5Zigen Hyper Black, but the colors can look virtually the same at certain angles in certain pics.

    Shortly after I purchased my brand new 1990 MKIII turbo 5MT targa, I purchased a set of OZ Racing wheels, with new tires. The OEM sawblades and Goodyear Gator Backs that came off the car had only a tad more than 2900 miles on them when they were removed. I made one half-hearted attempt to sell them, to no avail, and they have sat in my garages for the last 25-years. Once I removed the 5Zigens for refinishing, I needed another set of wheels and tires so I could move the car around as needed.

    I decided to mount the sawblade/Goodyear combo once again but, first, I needed to see if the tires would hold air. I pumped them up to 40 psi and waited two weeks to see if they would retain air. The tires passed this test with flying colors, so on the car they went:






  8. #8
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    Default Re: I keep going back in time! Finally found a mkiii--meet crimson tide

    When the wheels were removed for refinishing, I noticed the year of manufacture for the Falken FK 452 tires was 2007. I decided to replace the Falkens with a set of my favorite high performance street tires, the Michelin Pilot Super Sport. I wanted a beefier tire look than the Falkens provided, so I went up one size in front, from 235 mm to 245 mm, and two sizes in the rear, from 265 mm to 285 mm. I was mildly concerned about tire bulge, but I didn’t want to have to buy another set of tires when I finally purchased another set of wheels in my preferred sizes of 18 x 9 and 18 x 10.

    My concern about tire bulge was allayed somewhat when RADRIDE posted on SF an explanation about why JDM wheels are, typically, wider than their American-made counterparts. You can find that explanation in posts numbered 144-147 in this thread: http://www.supraforums.com/forum/sho...ion-888s/page6





    I received my newly-refinished wheels already mounted on their new tires, so I was excited to get them back on the car. I was pleased to get the meaty look I was seeking, and this is how the car looked with the new combo with Eibach/Tokico suspension the car came with:











    While, I had some mild engine management/fueling/boost control plans for the future (period-correct HKS VPC, Apexi S-AFC, Fields Harness, RC 550 injectors, MKIV Supra fuel pump, HKS EVC I and, maybe, an HKS Scramble Boost Controller), the car drives so well as is, I am in no hurry. Besides, it’s not like I had a lot of time to get things done.


    SUSPENSION/BRAKES:
    Even before I sent the wheels off for refinishing and ordered new tires, I had ordered the Arizona Performance BBK for the MKIII and the Tein Street Flex coilover suspension for the MA70.







    The AZP BBK is anchored by the Wilwood Aero 6 6-piston caliper, with 14.25-inch slotted rotors up front, and the Wilwood FSLI 4 4-piston caliper out back, along with a 12.88-inch slotted rotor. Like all manufacturers, Wilwood has its sacred production protocols which are almost impossible to break. That said, Andy Zimmerle, of Arizona Performance, and Miguel Jimenez, of Wilwood and SIV fame, worked extremely hard to get me what I wanted. The first part of my order consisted of gloss black powder coating on the rear FLSI caliper. While gloss black powder coating was standard for the Aero 6 caliper up front, it was a custom order for the FLSI caliper out back. It gets worse.

    I wanted the Wilwood script on the logos to match perfectly the exterior color of the car (Super Red; 3E5). After receiving detailed descriptions from Andy about the colors normally offered by Wilwood for its various kits, and how the production line would be impacted by my order, Miguel (Wilwood employee) was able to gain approval of my “custom” order and bird dog the order internally from start to finish.

    After ordering the AZP BBK, I received the kit four weeks from the day I ordered it. To make matters even better, Andy Zimmerle had recently accepted a position with the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena. With family still in Arizona, Andy spent his weekends traveling back and forth between Pasadena and Mesa, Arizona. So, how cool is it to have a NASA engineer offer to personally deliver the brakes to my home on his way to Pasadena from Mesa? Very cool, indeed! Considering how heavy the boxes were, Andy saved me a considerable shipping expense as a result, dropping off the two very heavy boxes late one Sunday evening.
    Last edited by KenHenderson; July 17th, 2017 at 01:05 AM.

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    Default Re: I keep going back in time! Finally found a mkiii--meet crimson tide

    Naturally, the next day, I had to take a quick peek at what I had purchased and this is what I saw:



    At this point, I needed to decide who I would commission to install the coilover suspension and the BBK. I considered several well-known SoCali shops during this process though, unfortunately, MKIII expertise is no longer as prevalent as it once was for obvious reasons. After due consideration, I selected Kaizen Motorsports of La Habra, California after having detailed discussions regarding my desires and standards with its owner, Jose Valle, and two customers well known on SF, Mike Davis (MDSUPERSTAR) and Brent Huckaby (Rocketman R1000).

    Truth be told, I had no concerns whatsoever about Jose’s experience, knowledge or expertise. His work and passion for our cars speaks for itself. My primary concern was the time it would take to complete the tasks I discussed with him (installation of BBK and coilovers), so Jose and I spent the better part of a Sunday afternoon discussing my need for a quick turnaround and reconciling our thoughts on this process. As with any well-laid plans, there is always a monkey in the wrench, but the delay encountered was handled in the best way possible.

    Jose put the car on a lift out of harm’s way (and for inspection) as soon as I dropped her off:



    During inspection, Jose discovered the ball joints were worn and should be replaced as part of the installation of the Tein coilovers. He sent me a couple vids of the creaky ball joints to confirm his finding. With the car not yet hitting 50,000 miles, we were both surprised by this. I came to understand that the causes for this can be age-related and mileage-related, one that he had seen before with cars that sat for inordinate periods of time (but, usually, with many more miles than this car).

    Patrick Nail had put 12,000 miles in ten years on the car, so my best guess is that the car sat for longer than desired under the prior ownership. Interestingly, Jose’s analogy for this was “like standing on your feet all day” for days on end. Despite the low miles, the car is, in fact, 25-years old, so new OEM ball joints were ordered, received three days later and promptly installed along with the Tein suspension.







    So, removing the OEM TEMS in the MKIII is no walk in the park. All of the forward panels in the rear hatch area are removed as part of this process. With these panels discontinued and no longer available, a mistake with one of them could not be undone. To this important task, Jose assigned his top assistant, who happens to be a neo-natal ICU nurse in real life.

    Yes, you read that right. Jose’s girlfriend, a lady by the name of Leilani Tuano, is an incredibly intelligent and talented individual. Don’t believe me? Well, if her chosen profession is not evidence enough, check out the mil-spec harness in Mike Davis’ Casino Royale Supra. Yup, that is the handiwork of Leilani, as learned from the master himself. The night I picked up the car, Jose, Leilani and I had a long conversation about all things Supra and how Leilani came to do some of the best work ever on our beloved cars.

    In response to my questions, she told me that, in a former life, the plumbing had gone bad in her home. With limited resources, Leilani wound up diagnosing and fixing the problem herself. The same thing happened with the front porch and the landscaping she designed and installed. All that, plus her neo-natal ICU nursing education, has produced one of the unlikeliest success stories in the Supra aftermarket. Here’s pic of Leilani doing work in the rear hatch area of my car, some depicting the panels removed and another of the harness now installed in Mike Davis’ car:







    A moth that may have come down the assembly line:






    Leilani’s incredible harnesses:



    Patrick Nail had fairly recently upgraded the OEM brakes with StopTech slotted rotors, stainless steel brake lines and Porterfield R4 pads. While the car stopped well for a MKIII, Patrick mentioned, and I noticed right away, that multiple high speed braking events taxed the brakes beyond my comfort level. All my cars have Brembo, StopTech or Wilwood (Celica Supra) BBKs. I am used to excellent, repeatable stopping power from high speeds so, what seemed like excellent braking when I bought my new MKIII turbo in 1990 doesn’t seem so top shelf in 2016. Time for a BBK upgrade, front and rear.

    Patrick and Andy Zimmerle, of Arizona Performance, had had prior discussions regarding the AZP 6-pot/4-pot BBK and had concluded there would be no clearance issues with the 18-inch 5Zigen Pro Racer GN wheels on the car. Their determination, I believe, came from a Wilwood 6-pot caliper clearing another 5Zigen wheel on Andy’s personal car with no issues. After looking at the wheels once they were removed for refinishing, I agreed with their conclusion, as did Roger Reyes. Events would prove us wrong, however.

    I received a text and pics from Jose, informing me of a clearance problem in the front. It wasn’t a major, build-stopping problem, but any clearance issue is significant no matter how you cut it. Here’s one of the pics Jose sent me showing what we were up against:



    When I saw pics of the Wilwood calipers on Andy’s car, I immediately noticed the 6-pot caliper on his car was dimensionally smaller than the calipers on my car. Time marches on, however, and the Aero 6 6-pot caliper is Wilwood’s latest and greatest. The Aero 6 also makes improvements to previous 6-pot caliper offerings from Wilwood. As a consequence, apparently, the caliper’s physical dimensions were increased.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: I keep going back in time! Finally found a mkiii--meet crimson tide

    Another factor contributing to the clearance issue was wheel taper. At the inside edge of the wheel, visually, it does not appear clearance would be an issue and that is, in fact, the case. This is like counting your blessings too soon, however, because the wheel tapers inward, creating a clearance problem I did not anticipate. Jose and Andy consulted with one another throughout this process. As a result, a neat, tidy and structurally-sound solution was devised as shown by the pics below:







    Now, it must be said that the wheel taper presented challenges to machining the bracket that Jose overcame by spending all day, and most of the evening, installing and removing brake components to ensure proper clearance and removal of as little material as absolutely necessary to accomplish our goal (with Andy’s engineering input), while accounting for the wheel taper that created the problem in the first place. This was really a top notch example of perseverance, craftsmanship and a perfectionist’s attention to detail that, ultimately, led me to Kaizen Motorports in the first place.

    More challenges awaited us in connection with installation of the rear brakes, but we knew about these things in advance as part of AZP’s detailed instructions. Usually, when a Wilwood BBK is installed on a MKIII, the OEM dust shields are removed entirely, or bent out the way. At my request, Jose modified the shields fairly extensively, but not so much that their basic function could not be realized:



    The semi-circular portion of the hub to the immediate right of the bracket is removed as part of the installation:





    Almost there:




    Done:


    I picked up the car from Kaizen Motorsports on September 7, 2016. While there, I asked Jose if he had any recommendations for a performance alignment/corner balancing job, since West End Alignment and Evasive Motorsports, my usual go-to shops were booked solid to forever, it seemed. Jose mentioned a company by the name of Chewerks in the City of Industry.

    As luck would have it, I knew the owner, Robert Choo, former editor-in-chief of Turbo magazine and himself an acclaimed suspension guru and race car builder. I called Robert the next day and made an appointment for September 12, 2016. In addition to the alignment and corner balancing, I also wanted to tweak the ride height, but not so much that rolling/trimming the fenders/panels would be necessary.

    As most of you know, OEM alignment specs are virtually impossible to meet once a MKIII has been lowered. This did not concern me though, because I was not after OEM specs. After discussing with Robert my primary use of the car, we settled on specifications that will enable the car to turn and rotate better without ruining tires in the process. Here is Robert doing his thing:











    After Robert Choo worked his magic, these were the results accomplished with the car’s new suspension set-up. I am very pleased with how everything turned out and how my goals were met without the need for body massaging.


    ALIGNMENT/CORNER BALANCE RESULTS:








    A FEW FINISHED PICS

    If you’ve read this far, and even if you haven’t, you already know that Henderson can’t take pics. Keeping in mind that this is a build thread, as opposed to a beauty thread in the Members Rides section, you would still be right. That said, here are a few pics of the finished product. I plan to get a real photographer to take some good pics in the future but, for now, I hope this thread, and the pics contained in it, will work for you until the better pics come along:











    Last edited by KenHenderson; September 16th, 2016 at 01:17 PM.

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