With our new block, a few...
With our new block, a few small things had to be fabricated, like a fitting for the oil pressure sender (as seen here), which we couldn't get through the dealer that week.
Several other little missing parts added to this money pit, but a couple really raised our blood pressure. First, the little wheel to the throttle linkage was nowhere to be found. At first we thought, "No big deal." Then, Toyota told us it only sells the entire throttle body assembly together for $1,200. Thanks to its extensive experience with Supras, UPFD in Westminster, Calif., came through for us with a factory throttle linkage that fit our polished throttle body. Then there was UPS' loss of our '98 headlights that we got from Champion Toyota a while back. We had sent them to Umnitza to get a set of its new "Angel Eyes" installed. But on their way to Kansas City, Miss., they got lost in Nebraska. Thankfully, we insured them and were covered. Another set was sent to Umnitza and was returned with the rings installed. All we had to do was connect the gray wire to the turn signal's lead wire.
With Umnitza's product in there we were even more excited to combine them with a set of 6000K xenons from HID Outlet, which match them perfectly. HID Outlet carries a plethora of applications for a variety of import cars. The HID kit for Supras uses the industry-leading Phillips Ultinon ballasts and come wired in a way that makes it virtually impossible to get wrong. The install takes about two hours if you're careful, and the lighting performance makes this upgrade definitely worth it.
Since our new compressor housing...
Since our new compressor housing didn't come with the 90-degree aluminum bend that Sound Performance usually uses on its Supras, we decided to use a 90-degree silicone bend instead. House of Power ended up doing a one-time fabrication of the pressure pipe to the intercooler pipe, meaning we can now swap in any similarly sized turbo without necessitating that 90-degree elbow. in any similarly sized turbo without necessitating that 90-degree elbow.
Fast-forward to late 2007 and the car has been looking and running strong. We did find a couple of nuisances, however. The first was how tall our Sparco Siena seats turned out with the supplied brackets, which we couldn't even tilt fully forward because they'd come in contact with the roof. There was also barely enough room for our legs under the steering wheel.
This time we contacted Corbeau and got a pair of its CR1 high-density injection-molded, fully adjustable seats. They weigh 26 pounds on their own and 35 pounds with brackets, saving nearly 5 pounds per side over our previous setup. They're perfect, both in fit and in color, and only took about two hours to install. They're also fairly comfortable and at $349 per seat (plus brackets), extremely affordable. The CR1s come in your choice of blue, black, red, yellow, and gray and can be ordered with optional Microsuede or leather. Corbeau also offers a wider version of the seat.
The other issue was what could be a waning Third gear synchro, which wasn't an issue back in 2005 with the last motor. At first it was bad but as we put more miles on it, it's been getting a little better. Normal driving is ok, but speedier upshifts need a rev match for the time being.
Initial testing revealed a...
Initial testing revealed a fluttering sound coming from the Turbonetics blow-off valve, which was obviously inadequately small (rated at 500bhp) and leaking boost no matter how tight we set the spring. We tried Turbonetics' Godzilla unit with a 38mm flange opening that's 27 percent larger in diameter. Figuring out Pr2 gives us an exact 60 percent improvement in flow, or 800 bhp, which Turbonetics also rates it at. The Godzilla blow-off valve vents at the front before the intercooler. We were pleased to see our AEM logs revealed a 300 to 400 rpm improvement in boost response during road testing. Thanks go to Imagine Auto for welding the Godzilla flange for us.
Next came the fun part: tuning. Since the car's original AEM engine management system software was lost due to a laptop crash it was time for a fresh start. Having tuned my T66-turbocharged BMW M3 with the help of evosport tuning guru Gary Karamikian we had a good idea of how we'd start with this one. Still, in order to save time we looked at an experienced owner's base map to get an idea of what these cars like for ignition and what kind of engine noise the knock sensors pick up.
When it came to mechanical engine noise, our knock sensors told us we've got a loud car. Whereas anything over 0.5 volts would raise red flags on my previous BMW, at idle the Supra sees over that and creeps up to a whopping 4 volts at anything past 7,200 rpm-no matter how much timing we threw at it. Some other Supra maps we looked at were similar with engine noise while others were a little quieter with knock sensor activity.