Here is part two of the Supra build OHSNAP written by the owner Alex. In Part One, Alex told us about the car before this one and the journey that was him getting this Supra. Now he will tell us of the fun that is and was building the one of a kind car. This is the good stuff.
MK2 The Real OHSNAP (AKA AIR)
And so October 2012 saw me buying my second Supra, this time a rare Aerotop (targa top convertible). Unfortunately Supra Aerotops were only ever released as auto cars and most came as the non turbo SZ (Base Model) which mine was. This meant it had no extra features such as ABS, Traction control, Big Brakes, Limited Slip Differential and Fold in mirrors but it did however come with Factory 17″ wheels, MVP Lip, TRD Wing, Series 2 Taillights and Indicators, Factory Leather seats and Painted Dash. The plan was to eventually have a twin turbo manual Aerotop which is a very sought after combination
I did another Nirimba Tafe Skid pan day virtually as it was, as I couldn’t help myself. I found the open differential really held it back along with the automatic gearbox, however it got quite the attention when the roof came off.
Virtually the day after the Skid pan day we started the conversion and of course faced my first problem. The tail shaft was different between the Non turbo and the Turbo which in simple terms means the differential would not fit without changing the gearbox, and so without reading a single manual or guide on how to remove it, i went about removing the gearbox in my friends driveway. After 4 nights of working on the car til midnight, I was told I would have to finish the conversion at my own house. this resulted in a very scary flat tow. at this stage I also bought a set of Uk Spec Glass Headlights. Looked mint.
Next task was installation of the manual pedal, which involved relocation the sub cable (as is ran through the hole where the the master cylinder should sit). Then came the installation of the clutch. We opted to use the clutch supplied for the manual conversion. This went in without any issues and bolted up correctly. Benching the gearbox up into place proved to be a challenging but interesting experience. We then mounted the tail shaft and put the exhaust back on. The clutch line was the next issue, whilst installing the line into the master cylinder, it stripped the thread on the cylinder forcing the order of a brand new Toyota Master cylinder. This took another week to arrive. Once it arrived it was installed along with the slave cylinder and starter motor. We added oil to the gearbox and differential.
We then attempted to start the car. This proved to be unsuccessful due to the ECU (computer) thinking the car was not in park or neutral. After many hours of reading, we discovered this issue, and bypassed the switch. The car then started but misfired and showed a hunting idle.
After many phone calls, it was determined the MAP (manifold air pressure) sensor was unplugged and once that problem was rectified the car ran well. The car was then taken for a test drive which as usual did not go well. The car developed a vibration which got worse over time. The test drive was terminated and car returned home. After a quick examination, it was found that one of the pressure plate bolts that were reused had snapped under tension and so a used Clutch (a Twin Plate ORC 659) was purchased. After 2 weeks it arrived.
At this stage a Non-VVTI Twin turbo motor was found and purchased. It was transported home in the trusty Lancer, yes 97 Lancer CE after removing the inner door trim and passenger seat. It was initially stripped down to examine condition.
We once again pulled out the gearbox, and installed the new clutch with its push to pull converter (the Turbo Supra gearbox is a pushes onto the clutch to disengage, whilst the clutch was a pull to disengage so a adaptor plate and slave were supplied). Unfortunately this clutch was unsuccessful. It would not disengage no matter how well the fluid was bled. After 5-6 attempts of checking the clutch plates for warpage and extending the rod of the slave cylinder the decision was made to ditch the clutch. We were now confident it was an installation error and decided to install the clutch when the engine transplant was undertaken. The old clutch was put back into drive the car down to the workshop for its engine transplant an oversized hole was drilled and tapped for the snapped bolt.
At this stage, I gathered all the OEM parts for the conversion. I ordered everything from a water pump to sway bar links, all to make the conversion go smoothly. I booked in a date and drove the car down. After about a week of the car being at the workshop I made a delivery of a dump pipe, A full super rare TRD dash, twin turbo radiator, standard twin turbo air box, standard side mount intercooler and new plates. At this stage it was found that the clutch was faulty and it was recommended we get a new clutch. I then purchased a RPS Twin Plate full Carbon Clutch at the time for $2640. This worked first go.
I picked up the car and instantly fell in love. It was my dream. Was beautiful to drive. Unfortunately it was short lived. I went for a drive with a few friends down the national park which resulted in being drug searched, defect searched and harassed by 6 police officers on the accusation of street racing which unfortunately resulted in random RBT’s, and police vehicles going out of the way to “look” at the car. This behavior continued for the next year and so I assume the plates were black listed. This was just the start of my bad luck.
I then made the decision to upgrade the braking system to the factory twin turbo brakes with DBA 4000 T3 Rotors and Braided lines. This was by far the best modification that was done to the car.
I made the silly decision to drive up to Armidale with some friends for a college party. We decided to go on Thunderbolt Ridge Road which is a road similar to the national park, but has a 100km/hr speed limit. Whilst overtaking a car on one of the short straight sections, I came over a small crest to find a fox in the middle of the lane. With almost no time to react, I hit the fox snapping off the MVP front lip and taking out the radiator support and radiator. At the time we did not realise the severity of the crash and continued to drive, which resulted in the engine overheating leaving us stranded. We were able to hitch a ride to Armidale having to fly back to Sydney a few days later. Two days later I decided to hire a trailer to tow the supra back to Sydney. I picked up the trailer and drove up in my mums Ute. We picked up the car and got it back to Sydney in a very slow and scary way (cooking the brakes, virtually running out of petrol, driving past the car 6 times).
After examining the damage we sourced a brand new alloy radiator to replace the cracked plastic one. This fitted like a charm after a little encouragement from a crowbar. After replacing the water pump and re bleeding the system we took the car for a drive, resulting in almost instant overheating and warping of the brand new alloy radiator. We decided to do a compression test to which we found a blown head gasket. We then Started the search for another engine.
We were able to source a second hand engine almost immediately and I paid the engine off over several weeks. We then picked it up and I got all my friends around to install the new engine. Over 4 days we removed the old motor and attached all the accessories (bar the water pump) to the bare motor I had purchased and installed it. We then bled the system, added engine oil, and started the car. It worked first go, but the threads for the steering rack pressure feeds were damaged beyond repair. A new one was sourced for cheap. The car immediately tried to overheat again but was stopped in time. Eventually narrowed down to a blocked thermostat and water pump. New items were installed along with XR6 Thermo fans to prevent overheating.
The car was entered into a Private track day at Wakefield on the 6th of October in which it was kicked off the track due to oil leaks from the turbo oil return lines after 8 laps. At this stage, I had put a deposit down on a Front mount intercooler and Massive Turbo Kit. We returned to Sydney with no issues at this stage I started a club called the Sydney Supra Club, we gained popularity and excitement grew for our first dyno day scheduled for the 13th of October 2013.
We removed the standard twin turbo manifold in my neighbors driveway and fitted the Front mount intercooler along with the turbo kit. On first start up the car got extremely hot and appeared to destroy another head gasket. We then decided it would be best to tow the car to the workshop. Dannie and myself worked on the car for 4 days to find there were no head gasket issues and finished the single conversion. We found we had a very high idle which was due to a vacuum leak and the car was leaning out under boost due to the fuel pump having over 200,000kms on it. These issues were fixed and the car made 211.7kw on about 10psi. At this stage we went back to a stock viscos Fan as we were having issues with the XR6 fans melting wiring.
We then found that the turbo had melted the 100 cell cat we had placed in the exhaust system and so that was high flowed and the waste gate spring upgraded to a 19psi spring. Car is booked in for the next 3 days for more boost with Croydon.