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View Full Version : Secret Project: Dragon running rust bucket 84 Celica Supra



Lonestag
04-23-2012, 06:44 AM
So I've been keeping this car under wraps since I got it, no particular reason why.

Late fall 2010 I bought a 1984 Celica Supra I saw on the local craigslist. I paid $900 for it, which in retrospect was WAY too much. It ran well more or less but the body was a wreck. I didn't see any major rust other then on the quarters hidden by the giant aftermarket rear bumper cover.

The interior was trashed and had multiple mouse nests. The front and rear had been hit and the rear bumper had been replaced with a giant aftermarket plastic disaster (wasn't even made for a supra). And just to add that extra bit of class, the rear window had been replaced with a cheap plastic panel which was completely cracked and nearly opaque.


I really didn't do much with it for the first year I had it. I moved it around a couple of times, kept the battery charged and started it occasionaly, but I just didn't want to take it on the road in such rough shape.

That brings us to this spring.

I realized about a month and a half ago that there was absolutly no chance the vert would be ready for the run this year. I thought of bringing down my Tercel or Ashly's Paseo, but I really wanted to show up in a celica.

So with about forty days to go until the dragon, I started resurrecting this charity case I dragged home.

http://i177.photobucket.com/albums/w237/as256/2012%20Dragon%20Supra/SANY1124.jpg
http://i177.photobucket.com/albums/w237/as256/2012%20Dragon%20Supra/SANY1129.jpg
http://i177.photobucket.com/albums/w237/as256/2012%20Dragon%20Supra/SANY1134.jpg
http://i177.photobucket.com/albums/w237/as256/2012%20Dragon%20Supra/SANY1138.jpg
http://i177.photobucket.com/albums/w237/as256/2012%20Dragon%20Supra/SANY1149.jpg
http://i177.photobucket.com/albums/w237/as256/2012%20Dragon%20Supra/SANY1150.jpg

I found a lot more rust then I had thought I would. Most of it was just surface rust but the gate was completely rotted out.

I didn't have to time to track down another gate so I just decided to clean it up as much as I could and get on with it.

For the interior, I ground out as much rust as I could, put a little rust converter on the areas that were too pitted to complete clean and sprayed on some good heavy primer. I finished up with cheap black sprey paint.

The gate ended up with a third of a gallon of filler in it. I have some good metal inbued filler that does really well against rust, but the gate was so far gone that I decieded to just use some cheap stuff that I got from work.

My company sells body shop supplies wholesale among other things and I get to buy at 10% over cost so I was able to use proffesional quality supplies without wrecking my budget.

http://i177.photobucket.com/albums/w237/as256/2012%20Dragon%20Supra/SANY1180.jpg
http://i177.photobucket.com/albums/w237/as256/2012%20Dragon%20Supra/SANY1193.jpg
http://i177.photobucket.com/albums/w237/as256/2012%20Dragon%20Supra/SANY1198.jpg
http://i177.photobucket.com/albums/w237/as256/2012%20Dragon%20Supra/SANY1199.jpg
http://i177.photobucket.com/albums/w237/as256/2012%20Dragon%20Supra/SANY1200.jpg
http://i177.photobucket.com/albums/w237/as256/2012%20Dragon%20Supra/SANY1202.jpg

The front bumper cover was ok, but the inner support structure that holds it and all the lights and grill in place was a rusted twisted hulk. I bent and hammered until I could get most of everything bolted in.

I had found some new seats, a rear bumper assembly, a rear window, a header panel and a grill, so I was covered for parts.


http://i177.photobucket.com/albums/w237/as256/2012%20Dragon%20Supra/SANY1252.jpg
http://i177.photobucket.com/albums/w237/as256/2012%20Dragon%20Supra/SANY1255.jpg
http://i177.photobucket.com/albums/w237/as256/2012%20Dragon%20Supra/SANY1256.jpg
http://i177.photobucket.com/albums/w237/as256/2012%20Dragon%20Supra/SANY1259.jpg
http://i177.photobucket.com/albums/w237/as256/2012%20Dragon%20Supra/SANY1262.jpg
http://i177.photobucket.com/albums/w237/as256/2012%20Dragon%20Supra/SANY1276.jpg
http://i177.photobucket.com/albums/w237/as256/2012%20Dragon%20Supra/SANY1277.jpg
http://i177.photobucket.com/albums/w237/as256/2012%20Dragon%20Supra/SANY1281.jpg

Then, on the monday before the dragon, my house's meter box shorted out. It took all the electriciy I had left to run the fridge (not hot water even) and I couldn't even throw the breaker to the garage without the whole circuit going down. This made it very difficult to get any work done after dark.

http://i177.photobucket.com/albums/w237/as256/2012%20Dragon%20Supra/SANY1285.jpg

It's not that it was impossible to get any work done, I had finished up everything that required power tools already anyway. It did, however, keep me from having it road worthy until the day before the dragon.

I knew it started and ran fine, I knew the transmission would grab fairly well. I changed the oil and the plugs and filled up all the fluids.

The power steering was out (just the pump I think) but that wasn't a big deal.

The brakes were also not 100%, I blead them, inspected them several times but for some reason, there was still a good bit of drop in the pedal before it cought.

Thursday morning, I drove it to work and back, lots of strange rattles and shudders, but nothing that alarmed me.

So friday came, I got home from work, packed the car, took a deep breath and hit the road.

The first thing we found out is the cig lighter wasn't getting any power, we had to use our phones to navigate, but that was no biggie.

The trip went real smooth until it got dark and I realized that I didn't have dash lights or rear running lights. I stopped at the next truck stop and grabbed a pack of fuses. Sure enough, the under-hood fuse for the tail lights would pop as soon as I turned on the lights.

Luckily, the short was in the wiring to the aftermarket CD player, the rocket scientist that had done the the wiring had left a hot wire bare and it was grounding out on the frame. It could have taken me hours to find it, but I could see and hear the spark arking when I hit the light switch.

I also did not realize that I was actually going to cross the dragon on my way in. I hit it around two thirty saterday morning, not a soul out there. It was a lot of fun but I'll admit I was a little nervouse, considering that the trip was only the third time I had driven the car.

But she powered right through the dragon and we pulled in to Fontana Village at about three AM, what a relief.

http://i177.photobucket.com/albums/w237/as256/2012%20Dragon%20Supra/SANY1356.jpg

Running the dragon the next day was great. I couldn't keep up with The Captian's Dynamic Duo by any means, but the 5MGE sure had a lot more guts then the vert's 3SFE. The car also handled really well for it's age, still nice, smooth and responsive.

The oil preasure stayed high, the coolant temp stayed low and the engine didn't bog or whine at all. The trip back up went just as smoothly, the cruise control even works which gives it a leg up on the tercel for interstate cruising.



http://i177.photobucket.com/albums/w237/as256/2012%20Dragon%20Supra/SANY1373.jpg

I don't know what I'll end up doing with the car yet. For now, I think I'll just keep going after the rust. I'll probably also start cleaning up the breakes and suspension.

Either way, I feel a lot more confident about my purchase now. If a car can drive five hundred miles, cross the Dragon three times, and then drive another five hundred miles all in one weekend, it's probably ok for grocery duty.

Luni
04-23-2012, 04:01 PM
You forgot to mention that car loves the mustard :p

4thgenceli
04-23-2012, 04:07 PM
No it loves having a mustard sandwich with mayo bread.

Sent from my DROID BIONIC using Tapatalk 2

85gtsblackman
04-24-2012, 07:36 AM
the brakes can be 1 of 2 things on in my case with old toyotas, the rubber brake hoses wear from the inside out or just soft. also my master had a slow leak into the booster which i never knew till one day i didnt have power brakes.

replace the hoses with new ones or ss lines, master couldnt hurt. if it hasnt crapped out yet it will soon.

oh p.s try gravity bleading as well

Lonestag
09-10-2012, 03:17 AM
So after ramaining reliable for serveral months and even serving as a daily for a while, I finally decided what my long term plan for her would be.

I was going to straighten the body and drop a nice near stock 7MGE in and have her serve as a grand tourer that did occaisonal track duty.




But then this guy rolled into my garage.

http://i177.photobucket.com/albums/w237/as256/2012%20Dragon%20Supra/IMAG0115.jpg



And I was all like.

http://i177.photobucket.com/albums/w237/as256/2012%20Dragon%20Supra/IMAG0112.jpg No Shit!?!





Got it on craigslist for $350 with the engine stand.

Guy had got it from his bosse's kid who changed cars before he put the motor in. Thought he was going to do somthing with it and never did, then he got drunk and laid down his bike (in his garage) and decided he wanted the $$ for repairs.

I had really wanted an engine stand anyway, and I figured for the price, the engine would be worth it even if it turned out to be a core.


I do admit i'm a little intimidated to learn a whole new engine architechrure though!

bloodMoney
09-10-2012, 03:19 AM
You're going have fun with that thing Eli :)

CollapsedNut
09-10-2012, 03:31 AM
That's gonna make a fun car. Did it have a harness and ECU?

Lonestag
09-10-2012, 04:56 AM
No, it didn't. But hopefully they are out there considering this motor actually gets some aftermarket love.

david in germany
09-10-2012, 05:34 AM
I like this build!


Posted from Imperial walker 17a via planetary datcom server

The Captain
09-10-2012, 01:15 PM
Nice!

4thgenceli
09-10-2012, 03:52 PM
Oh shit.

T-spoon
09-10-2012, 04:11 PM
Ecu should be fairly easy to find. Harness may be slightly harder, but at worst you can buy a new one. Any idea where it came from? Is it a JDM import or out of a Lexus?

underscore
09-10-2012, 06:11 PM
2JZ no shit...

Hookecho
09-10-2012, 08:50 PM
Hell on wheels..

Lonestag
09-10-2012, 09:45 PM
Hell on wheels..

No big deal!





Now go grow a Fu Manchu mustach, thats how it works I think...

bloodMoney
09-11-2012, 03:41 AM
Now you're going to have an even harder time keeping it between the lines Eli....

The Captain
09-11-2012, 05:40 PM
^ouch WIN!

underscore
09-11-2012, 06:01 PM
Now you're going to have an even harder time keeping it between the lines Eli....

The lines are only a suggestion anyways...

Facime
09-11-2012, 06:56 PM
Love me some Mk2 goodness. My only gripe on the mk2 is the front suspension leaves you with pretty limited choices for low budget upgrades. There is one locally for sale with a 7M swap thats been tempting me for a while.

Lonestag
09-11-2012, 09:34 PM
I've seen a lot of innovation over at celicasupra.com as far as suspension goes.
You are right, barely anything off the shelf to go on the car.

Anyone have any sugguestions for identifying my 2jz? I'm guessing it is an early model out of a supra, but thats just guessing from looking at a few pics online.

T-spoon
09-12-2012, 03:36 PM
After actually looking at the pics for a second.. it does appear to be an early (pre-vvt) model. It's got a front sump pan on it, but that doesn't necessarily help identify it because it looks like the upper pan has been off and resealed at some point, so the engine itself could have started with any of the possible pans. However, if that's the original pan it probably came out of a Lexus, not a supra, because Supras use mid-sump - which btw, means you may need to get a mid-sump setup. I'm not certain about that on the MKII, but it's true for the MKIII so it seems likely. There should be some way of identifying by the markings, but I don't know what that would be.

T-spoon
09-12-2012, 03:44 PM
Also, if you want to make it TT, I do have all of the stock turbos/manifold etc. as well as the fuel rail, injectors and ECU from an Aristo (trans too, but you'd want to stick with 5spd anyway I'd imagine)

Lonestag
09-12-2012, 05:48 PM
Also, if you want to make it TT, I do have all of the stock turbos/manifold etc. as well as the fuel rail, injectors and ECU from an Aristo (trans too, but you'd want to stick with 5spd anyway I'd imagine)

OMG why would you even offer? I mean now i'm going to be forced into an epic internal debate on the merits of NA VS TT and my leval of commitment to the project.

Next time keep your sweet performance parts to yourself.

T-spoon
09-12-2012, 10:24 PM
OMG why would you even offer? I mean now i'm going to be forced into an epic internal debate on the merits of NA VS TT and my leval of commitment to the project.

Next time keep your sweet performance parts to yourself.

Merits of keeping it NA? Cheaper, as long as you don't mod it.. that's about it :hehe:

Facime
09-13-2012, 12:57 AM
when discussing Supras, actually for roads like the dragon (and we have lots of those kinda roads here where Im at as well), I prefer the linear power band of N/A. Unless you use a pretty small turbo for almost no lag the constant in and out of boost gives merit to running N/A.

T-spoon
09-13-2012, 03:42 AM
when discussing Supras, actually for roads like the dragon (and we have lots of those kinda roads here where Im at as well), I prefer the linear power band of N/A. Unless you use a pretty small turbo for almost no lag the constant in and out of boost gives merit to running N/A.

The stock 2j twins are essentially lag-less

Murgatroy
09-13-2012, 06:37 PM
The lines are only a suggestion anyways...

Not on the Dragon.

The lines are the difference between a good run and manslaughter charges.

david in germany
09-13-2012, 08:11 PM
OMG why would you even offer? I mean now i'm going to be forced into an epic internal debate on the merits of NA VS TT and my leval of commitment to the project.

Next time keep your sweet performance parts to yourself.

Stay NA without some type of traction control that car would be a bitch control when you build BOOOST! Either way it will be a beast though. :)


Posted from Imperial walker 17a via planetary datcom server

Lonestag
09-13-2012, 08:33 PM
Not on the Dragon.

The lines are the difference between a good run and manslaughter charges.

This is the truth. Since I was the perpretrator, I felt unfit to reinforce this point at the time.

But my WV back road bad habits are just that, bad habits.

Bad habits get people killed on blind turns.
On the dragon, there is enough adrenaline and speed involved that every corner is blind.

underscore
09-13-2012, 09:16 PM
Not on the Dragon.

The lines are the difference between a good run and manslaughter charges.

I'm sensing that I *really* need to drive this road...

Lonestag
09-13-2012, 09:59 PM
It's a nice road, I could drive very similar ones in WV, even more technical in a lot of cases.

The appeal of 20 odd C-tech memembers gathered into one gooey amalgamated mass of awesomeness? Now thats worth my eight hour drive.

MrWOT
09-14-2012, 01:09 AM
In that car I'd take n/a with cams over turbo any day. Traction will be a valuable commodity as is

Lonestag
09-14-2012, 02:17 AM
Yeah,
Also, it's not like she is going to sip gas as it is. The turbofanatic response to that is that a properly tuned turbo set up is as or more efficent then NA, but I doubt that would be the case here.

Good news, some one sells the braket to get the 2J to bolt in. Yay!

T-spoon
09-14-2012, 02:52 AM
It's a nice road, I could drive very similar ones in WV, even more technical in a lot of cases.

Gully(Golly? Never seen it written down, just heard it spoken) mountain between Beckley/Lansing and Charleston is an interesting drive. I'd love to do that with my current cars if it were free of traffic.. sadly.. I don't think it's ever free of traffic :hehe:

Hookecho
09-14-2012, 08:47 PM
What good is mayo and mustard without the meat?

Lonestag
09-15-2012, 12:40 AM
ohhhh, there was meat.

MCcelica
09-18-2012, 06:48 AM
Gully(Golly? Never seen it written down, just heard it spoken) mountain between Beckley/Lansing and Charleston is an interesting drive. I'd love to do that with my current cars if it were free of traffic.. sadly.. I don't think it's ever free of traffic :hehe:

Oddly enough I know exactly where you're talking about...

Lonestag
09-18-2012, 07:39 PM
Yeah, my favorite road that I have found thus far is the one that runs from Senaca rocks into Virginia. Reminds me of the skyway at the dragon, but more curves and more vertical.

Some update on this project when I get home.

Lonestag
09-27-2012, 12:14 AM
So just a couple of pics of her at the drag strip and in a ditch I decided she should be in.

Don't worry, she's fine, i've already got her a new gate to make up for it.

http://i177.photobucket.com/albums/w237/as256/IMAG0119_zpscd43672f.jpg
http://i177.photobucket.com/albums/w237/as256/IMAG0061_zps5332a7c3.jpg
http://i177.photobucket.com/albums/w237/as256/IMAG0058_zpsa9855725.jpg

I did somthing I thought I would never do and fell asleep after driving all night. I wasn't even going fast enough for the officer to write me up (under 25mph I think).

As you may notice, Ashley is dead in the passenger seat. It's ok though, she got better.

Murgatroy
09-27-2012, 01:59 AM
http://i177.photobucket.com/albums/w237/as256/IMAG0061_zps5332a7c3.jpg
http://i177.photobucket.com/albums/w237/as256/IMAG0058_zpsa9855725.jpg



And this is what happens if you can't tell the mustard and mayo apart...

CollapsedNut
09-27-2012, 02:21 AM
Hell thats how people park around here when they want to work on the underside of their car.

Glad Ashley was resurrected and you are ok.

Lonestag
09-27-2012, 02:54 AM
Yeah, she was hopping on the back bumper for me when the police arrived. What a trooper.

CollapsedNut
09-28-2012, 02:57 AM
Need that locking rear diff yo

Lonestag
09-28-2012, 03:51 AM
You know, thats what I said.

I lay down even tracks in dirt, thought that was indicative of a limited slip, but she didn't want to spin both wheels to climb out of that ditch. Now i'm confused.

Facime
09-28-2012, 07:10 AM
limited slip is limited...not a locker. path of least resistance.

I want to beat you, but I know you already beat yourself up for the mistake. Could have been so much worse. wake up call? (bet you wish you had one of those right before that corner, lol)

Lonestag
09-28-2012, 02:59 PM
Yeah, I'm really good at beating myself up.

I'm also good at pointing out my own mistakes. I've driven thousands of late night miles, this was my first incident, still, yeah, I should have known better, pulled over when I knew I was losing my grip on alertness.

T-spoon
09-28-2012, 09:44 PM
Also glad it went into the ditch/hillside and not across the road into the trees! Glad everyone is ok and the car is relatively alright

Lonestag
09-29-2012, 01:44 AM
yeah, only thing that happened to the car was a little dent in the fender and it knocked some of the old bondo loose. As I said, by the time I went in the ditch I was barely moving.