The Fruition of Obsession -- 310,000 mile makeover --

suprarx7nut

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Nov 10, 2006
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Long overdue Update:

The car passed emissions with flying colors with a new catalytic converter. The old one was clearly not working well. Since then I've learned that metallic core cats generally have very little catalyst material compared to a regular cat and commonly fail early.

Lessons Learned:
-Without EGR a 7M can easily pass emissions if the cat is good using a JDM ECU
-Metallic Core cats (aka high flow) actually make a noticeable difference in power
-Metallic core cats fail early for lots of people

Other Updates:
-Water Pump started weeping and dripping. Replaced that this week.
-Got new hatch weatherstrip
-Got new windshield trim. Holy crap the old stuff looks terrible compared to brand new trim.
-Got a new radiator shroud
 
Oct 11, 2005
3,805
8
38
Thousand Oaks, CA
I've got new windshield trim sitting in my garage. Do you have any pointers on removing the old stuff, best order, tricks to release clips, etc. I can't make much sense of the TSRM drawings.
 

suprarx7nut

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3p141592654;2047639 said:
I've got new windshield trim sitting in my garage. Do you have any pointers on removing the old stuff, best order, tricks to release clips, etc. I can't make much sense of the TSRM drawings.

I haven't installed them yet, but I'm going to try tonight so I can let you know.
 

suprarx7nut

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Nov 10, 2006
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Oct 11, 2005
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38
Thousand Oaks, CA
I ordered clips as well, but the ones attached to the car are buried in the urethane and will be a lot of work to replace. I figure its better if they don't get damaged.
 

suprarx7nut

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3p141592654;2047655 said:
I ordered clips as well, but the ones attached to the car are buried in the urethane and will be a lot of work to replace. I figure its better if they don't get damaged.

Well I wrangled the trim pieces off last week and failed to get the new ones to stay well. I took a bunch of video so I'll post that up when I get the time to upload it and maybe edit it.

I had zero "fasteners". My trim was held in solely by the windshield adhesive and the trim clips which barely grab onto the glass. The idea is that the clips grab onto both the "fasteners" which are glued in place in the windshield adhesive and onto the windshield glass itself. Somewhere along the way, each of my "fasteners" were completely removed and not replaced (damn anonymous windshield replacement tech...) and instead the trim was essentially glued in place.

I couldn't get any of my trim out according to the TSRM method. 0 for 11. I only managed to bang up the old trim.

Not fun. The new trim looks amazing though. It'll be worth the hassle when I'm done. I have $30 worth of OEM "fasteners" on their way and I'll just have to struggle through that hassle to get it installed properly.
 
Oct 11, 2005
3,805
8
38
Thousand Oaks, CA
That sucks. My glass is original, so at least I won't be dealing with missing parts. Based on your experience, what is the best order for trim removal (sides, top, corners??).
 

suprarx7nut

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3p141592654;2048023 said:
That sucks. My glass is original, so at least I won't be dealing with missing parts. Based on your experience, what is the best order for trim removal (sides, top, corners??).

Sides first. Start at the bottom on one side and work your way up. With the TSRM you can see where each clip should be. When you get to the top corners be mindful of the interlocking pieces. The middle/upper slides into the corner piece, which is a part of the side piece. You may need to leave the side trim attached while you work the first upper clip out.

If you're definitely not re-using the old stuff it's not too hard to remove it because you can just rip the hell out of it.

The TSRM seems to assume you're going to break the fastener so I'm not sure how easy it is to remove the trim and keep those intact. The big benefit of having the fasteners still in place is that it should cut down on the adhesive otherwise securing the clips in the trim. It also keeps that area clear of adhesive, making it easier to put in a replacement fastener. I, on the other hand, will have to carefully remove adhesive where the fastener should have been. Ugh.
 
Oct 11, 2005
3,805
8
38
Thousand Oaks, CA
Thanks, that is helpful to know. Looks like I better make sure I have all the trim fasteners on hand before starting, plus some urethane.

Urethane is misery to remove. All effective chemicals will wreck the paint. I think a knife will be your best bet, but maybe a dremel with a stone could work. One slip though and it could get really ugly.
 

suprarx7nut

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Long, long, long overdue. After pics from the last 9 months.

Measurements from the wheel well arch:

Before:
Front - 27"

After:
Front - 25 3/8"
Rear - 26"

Looks like I never measured the rear with the stock setup, sorry! After driving a few thousand miles with the lowered setup I can't say I've really noticed much of a difference when driving around town in regards to it being too low. I used to scrape my old neighborhood speed bumps, but only if I hit them at the wrong angles. Easily avoided once you know to avoid big humps in the center of the car.

http://yotamd.com/toyota/mk3_supra/shocks_springs7.html

mk3_ruby_may_2014.jpg

mk3_ruby_2015_1.jpg

mk3_ruby_2015_2.jpg

mk3_ruby_2015_3.jpg
 

suprarx7nut

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Nov 10, 2006
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Trim. Windshield trim still doesn't have the new clips, but it does stay in place. Just doesn't look as flush as it could with all the new clips.

New trim looks amazing and this picture doesn't really do it justice. It makes the A-pillar (which used to be some of the best trim on the car) look awful.

mk3_trim_windshield_comparison.jpg


Edit: Weird, the forum auto-sized the pic down. Here's a link to full resolution: http://yotamd.com/images/mk3_trim_windshield_comparison.jpg
 

suprarx7nut

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Update.

I got the windshield replaced shortly after I got the new trim installed. The professional installer got it to look WAY nicer than I could. Having a clean slate with a new windshield and using adhesive makes it way easier apparently. He used all the correct clips and such. The previous installer from Safelite didn't use any clips, which is why he just tried to glue the whole goddamn thing down.

I did some work on the driver's window investigating the partially rolled down window rattle most mk3 owners have. It turns out there's just not much you can really do. You can adjust the felt pads and it really helps to clean those, but they aren't meant to clamp the window so it still flops around. I'm sure new regulators/tracks would help, but mine don't seem to have excessive play. I think the mk3 window design just isn't conducive to a quiet, rattle free window when it's not up or down all the way. I taped up the window corner with some electrical tape that might help eliminate the common wind noise issue. I'll report back after I drive some.

The paint continues to worsen. The clear is just done. It'll need paint in the future, but then again... what mk3 doesn't nowadays?

I'm going to order up some new floor mats and rear carpet.

My brakes need some attention as well. I've got some slight vibration that's annoying. If I can get the brake job completed without buying all new rotors I'll probably throw in a small sub under the passenger seat.

Long Term

I don't know how much longer I'll keep the mk3. I still think it's about the best budget "fast" car and being able to register it as a classic this year has huge benefits (No emissions in AZ!). That being said I think I want 4 doors and something a little more refined. After 8 years I also just want to change it up a bit. We'll see. It all depends what I can get for a 26 year old Toyota, haha.
 

GC89

1J-THIS
Jun 13, 2007
938
3
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Spokane, WA
I would urge you to at least drive several other cars before making that decision. I recently picked up an evo as a daily and while I wouldn't so much call it 'refined' it has 4 doors and is 20 years newer technologically. It is quite fun to drive and I'm very happy with it as a daily however one thing that really stuck with me was at one point on the test drive the salesman commented, "Fast as S#!T is it? they are quite a car" and my response was "its not too bad and the ride isnt as rough as I expected based on online comments............"

He looked over at me surprised and I replied, "I have a Supra at home" and his expression changed a bit.

I have to say it was very validating realizing that despite the Evo being a performance icon and also having driven some other very capable cars in the same week (STI, BMW, 335xi, S63 AMG, Audi S4, FR-S) I had the unshakable sentiment of "The Supra is a lot more car" in the back of my mind.

The STI & Evo both feel very function over form and cheap for lack of a better word. They were designed as an economy car with a great powertrain and do it well. While the euro's I drove had that much higher end feel and would be great as daily drivers I also couldn't picture them as being my "IT" car.

Expensive to mod, difficult to work on and at the end of the day they are common. When they get high in mileage and parts start wearing out would I restore/rebuild them? Probably not, I would be entering the game of switching cars every x amount of years. This is a good model for some people but there always someone with more money who that higher performance model.

I really enjoy the MKIII's styling and interior and while technology and comfort options have come a long way in 20 years it still provides that high end car vibe with some 80's nostalgia. It feels planted, solid, and responsive and powertrain wise can compete with nearly anything out there in reason when properly built. Plus I can count on 1 hand the # of well kept/restored examples in my area. Having a fast BMW, AUDI or BENZ checks the comfort/solid feel and can be made very fast, but there will always be someone with pulls up next to you in an M6 or R8 and blows your doors off because $. Now lap some guy in his new vette stringray Porsche or R8 in your 20+ year old Supra................pretty awesome and if you arent quite as fast so what still a cool car that those guys dont see much.


I guess in the end define what you really want in a car or cars first.


Edit: Sorry for the novel - I just went through a similar phase of thinking and thought it might help.
 

suprarx7nut

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GC89: thanks for the comments. I've held onto the Supra (and still might forever, haha) for this long because it IS a lot of car for the $$. I still think it's about the best bang for $ out there. I wouldn't be looking at an STI or EVO though. I'm eyeing the E39 M5s, ideally supercharged. 400-550 hp in an undeniably more refined cabin. Of course, the entrance fee for those in decent shape is $20-30k. Oh, and did I mention I don't want to finance the Supra replacement? So it may be a while yet. I don't know. It really boils down to how the Supra sells (or doesn't). I wouldn't settle for any less than I want for it because even for all its small annoyances it's a damn clean mk3. And like you said, there aren't many around. If I can't muster any more than 8k or something out of a sale then I couldn't sell it. I'd just continue to enjoy it while I save my pennies.

The Supra also has an appeal to me because it's not typically a "nice" car. It's not uniformly recognized. It's unique. When people see and recognize it I get a lot of compliments. Gas Stations, strip malls, stoplights, whatever. Whether it's a ten year old kid or a 65 year old it's always awesome to hear "I like your car!" from a stranger. Even better when I say "Thanks, it's got 340,000 miles!" in response and they think I'm kidding. And I built the damn thing myself. Ugh. It'll be a hard day if I do ever sell it... Which is why I'll need a clean M5 in the driveway or something to soothe my woes, haha.

Really, the only reason I'd sell it is to move up. If I can't make that happen then she'll remain mine. I've driven e39s and ridden in M5s, but not recently. I need to get out and test drive a few now. Maybe it won't be what I remember and this internal struggle will be all for naught.

In the meantime I'm still keeping her up to snuff and fixing things as if I'm keeper her for good so I'm prepared either way.
 

emiliorescigno

Supramania Contributor
Sep 17, 2006
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Woodbury, MN
Are you worried you'd regret your decision to sell your Supra? I feel like I'm in the same position as you in many ways.

I really want to move to something smaller, lighter, more nimble as my main "fun" car. I'm stuck though - I would want to pay cash for this new one (like you do), and that's going to take quite a long time to get unless I sell the Supra. On the flip side, I can't help but feel I would completely regret selling my Supra, and I'd never let myself live it down. I'd end up being one of those people you meet when they're middle aged: "I used to have one of xxx, I loved that car, and wish I had never sold it."

As a result, I feel a bit trapped by my car. It's really nice, it's what I thought I always wanted, and it gets all the awesome, off the beaten path attention that you described in your post. But it is also preventing me from getting a "real" sports car, by holding this fear of regret over me, and that fact makes me hate it a little.
 

suprarx7nut

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I'm not too afraid of regretting it, but that's a possibility. I've done a lot of little stuff to the chassis (lighting, wiring, alarm, etc...) that would be a pain to do again to another mk3, but nothing too huge.

I love that I know the car so well. I know where everything goes, what can go wrong, how to fix most things that might come up, etc... Losing that familiarity would be annoying and exciting.

I know I have a lot invested in the car that others won't value. That's the killer in my eyes. To me, the car's worth $15k. Can I get that if I sell it? Absolutely not. At the end of the day when I list it up for sale it'll have extremely high miles in an NA chassis and that's the first thing people will see. I think that's what will make it tough to sell for what I think is reasonable, and what may lead to me holding onto it.

I'm out of garage space though. Keeping the Supra and another new car isn't a financial problem so much as a logistical one, haha. I can't bear to leave any decent car out in the Phoenix summer uncovered so I may need a new house to support my car habit.