Created in 1985, the 5M-GE...
Created in 1985, the 5M-GE in-line six is ready to celebrate its Sweet 16th birthday. The power-producing potential of this gutsy powerplant laid the groundwork for future Supras. Matusevich has stroked his engine to 3.0 liters with custom Advanced Engine Management (AEM) rods that swing from an OE crankshaft.
In the suspension department, Matusevich took the "one stop and shop" route. His port of call was Toyota Racing Development (TRD). The Supra flexes TRD shocks at the corners and progressive rate lowering coils that drop the car 1.5 inches. TRD sway bars are on call at both ends with the fronts checking in at 1 1/8-inch and the rears measuring .75-inch in diameter. Contact with the tarmac is maintained by Mickey Thompson gumballs, mounted on Weld Racing Draglite aluminum. A Powerglide slushbox outfitted with a secret-spec, 3000 rpm stall speed torque converter helps handle gear selection.
Matusevich credits tuning and, more precisely, extensive sessions in the dyno cell at R&D Dyno for the power and durability of his powerplant. "This car has made more than 90 pulls on the Dynojet," said Matusevich. "Some may say that this is way too much, but then again, they don't have engines that have lived on the race circuit for more than three years without being taken apart." The 5M-GE really lays down the law for an old timer.
"This car was a true street car when it won the 1999 IDRC Finals at Pomona, by blasting a 9.99 at 139 mph," said Matusevich. "However, for safety and competitve reasons, it had to be taken to the next level and put on a diet, which consisted of a 400-pound liposuction treatment. That really woke up the car; it got real loose on the track, hence the wall incident a Texas. Since then, some chassis mods have kept it running straight." The Toyota's best e.t. to date is a 9.77 at 133 mph. Matusevich said that this was an incomplete effort, as the tires broke loose during the run. The car's slower-than-usual trap speeds back up this statement, so there could well be some untapped potential still in the Supra.
Matusevich has taken his two-valve, in-line six further than most would deem possible. So what's next? Matusevich hopes class rule changes do not affect his car in the off-season. Matusevich also has a running mate; Joel Tanzman, who was victorious at the IDRC Rocky Mountain Nationals, runs the same style Supra. Look out for this old-school "one-two" punch in 2001.
Engine Management Tech
21st Century Power From A Mid-'80s Powerplant
"While building this car, manufacturers of performance parts came and went. As the time to turn the key grew near, I knew I needed a top-flight ignition and fuel management system. I needed a system built to handle my precise and specific application, a single-digit streetable Supra. My search came to a screeching halt when I was introduced to the TEC-II system from Electromotive. It had everything I wanted, from the accurate-to-a-1/4-degree, crank-fired ignition to innovative programmable fuel injection to a tech support staff that spoke my language. With laptop access, at-the-track changes were a snap. The TEC-II got me to the track and in the 9s."-Russ Matusevich
The Electromotive TEC-II is a fully integrated engine management system, which means that all essential engine functions are controlled by a single, centralized ECU. In fact, the TEC-II is so thoroughly integrated that the ignition coils are mounted right onto the ECU housing, eliminating the need for remote-mounted coils and coil drivers. In comparison with the various "piggy back" computers currently available, Electromotive's system represents a major step forward in terms of adjustability. The reason for this is simple: a piggy-back computer can only provide a limited range of adjustment over a vehicle's stock fuel and spark parameters. The TEC-II, on the other hand, allows the user to custom-tune any fuel and spark parameter throughout the operational range of an engine, completely eliminating any reliance on the original factory settings.
The stock pistons have been...
The stock pistons have been swapped in favor of Arias 8.0:1 compression units. The engine runs plumbing from a mid-'80s HKS upgrade package. The current turbo is a secret-spec T-Series unit from Innovative Turbo Systems. Maximum boost pressure is 26 psi. On top of the 26 psi of boost pressure, Matusevich can squeeze an extra 110 hp out of the Supra at the touch of the button.
When it blasted a 9.99 at...
When it blasted a 9.99 at 139 mph and won the 1999 IDRC Finals at Pomona, Matusevich said the Supra was a true street car.