If you’re following us on Facebook you would have received day by day updates on the build of this flash Toyota Supra. The major work done on this was not so much a complete ground up project build but rather a turbo conversion. The task many feel is a fairly straight forward conversion but the hurdles we were faced with proved otherwise. The story that follows is the trials and tribulations that are the single turbo conversion to the Supra.
Dane had sourced his own turbo, exhaust manifold, intercooler and wastegate of unknown origin and condition and asked if we could fit it and the remaining components. Fitting secondhand parts, sourced by the client with many required parts missing is a daunting job at best of times and we often prefer to start from scratch ourselves with us sourcing parts and wherever possible avoiding secondhand parts.
Naturally us requesting this makes it sound like a profit making venture, which whilst we are in business to make money were also in business to build clean, reliable street cars and this is made harder with secondhand parts when we can’t vouch for the quality.
That said, we can’t complain as Dane has been a dream client to deal with. The intercooler kit he supplied came with steel piping which is counter productive. Steel retains heat rather then dissipating it like alloy. Had he used the steel piping they would glow hot and melt everything surrounding it. Fortunately Dane trusted our judgment and the steel piping was done away with and a set of alloy piping was sourced. With the correct piping ready to go, we got started on the job.
The first task was to remove the twin turbo system set up on the Supra. This is no small task with the twin scrolls and the ridiculous stock exhaust set up making removal some what frustrating. After a day or so straight of removing stripped bolts and rounded nuts we got them off. Then the headlights and front bar was removed and the real fun began.
When building these cars you quickly learn a few key rules. The first of which is never fully bolt something up tight until you are finished. The turbo supplied by Dane came on and off the car at least forty times throughout the fabrication. There were countless issues with it that required sample fitting and removal and tweaking and then re-fitting.
We experienced many issues with the oil drain set up. The rear housing on the turbo is so large it blocks direct access to the oil drain. Many, many options were tried and tested with no solution in sight. We were very seriously looking at telling Dane he needed a different turbo which we knew would blow the budget. Fortunately the solution was finally found with oil drain fitting angled at 5 degrees solving that issue.
We faced many similar issues with the oil drain return to sump fitting and the coolant fittings. Surprisingly the oil supply line was no trouble at all.
Then the discovery was made that the valve seat supplied with the wastegate was not correct and the age of the wastegate was on par with the dinosaurs, so sourcing the correct valve was not proving fruitful. A new Turbosmart waste gate was supplied by dane and we fitted it up no worries.
With all that set up the true challenges now began. The interccoler we had was not a kit, it was an intercooler on its own and had no brackets to mount it and the piping system was not designed for a single turbo. Days were spent fabricating brackets, modifying the bonnet release system, modifying the power steering cooler to fit, relocating the radiator overflow tank and making the turbo to intercooler alloy pioing work.
Wanting to avoid the Bunnings bookshelf bracket look, we sourced our own steel and fabricated some very flash brackets that were sure you will agree look as OEM as possible.
The true joy from this project was actually the challenge that was making the air filter and intake system look the part. When these challenges first present themselves they are almost so daunting that the only option readily available is to say it can’t be done. With the best team on hand we quickly find solutions to these problems but this intake system sprouted so many problems we were becoming disheartened very quickly.
The issues that arose were, the air flow meter had to be retained, the engine breather had to go back into the intake, a catch can could not be used, the system required two, forty five degree bends to allow the air filter to mount, the alloy piping could not rub or it would eventually rub through, the cold air intake had to be retained and the pod filter could not flop around. All of this had to be done is a very limited space
The love of building cars comes down to these exact issues. Finding a solution to a problem or a series of problems that seem almost impossible. We have to take our hat off to our mechanic Jon, who has come up with most of the solutions. Silicon bends, two pieces of alloy piping, discrete brackety and that amazing looking airflow meter pipe, most of which were his solutions.
We also owe Scott from Unique customs a shout out for his help with the TIG welding.
The wideband gauges and wiring was all put in and then the project came to a grinding hault. Unfortunately at this stage the project has blown Danes budget and we wont be seeing it complete just yet. All that’s remaining is the exhaust system but when funding becomes an issue there is not much anyone can do. We would love to see it finished in the near future.