Suggestions on getting my Supra going after sitting dormant for 7 years...

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  1. #1 Member amscamryse's Avatar
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    Apr 2006
    Upstate NY

    Suggestions on getting my Supra going after sitting dormant for 7 years...

    Hi, some of you may remember me.
    My name is Bryan, and I am a terrible Supra owner who has let my poor car sit (in a garage) since 2010. Time really does go by fast

    I am trying to compile a list of things to do before its road worthy, but I wanted input from experts in case there is something I am overlooking or additional things that should be done at the same time as others.

    So far I have come up with:

    -Get ancient gas out of tank (anyone have a good method to do this?? lol)
    -Change all fluids (Oil, transmission, brake fluid etc)
    -Timing belt service (Is there a lower temp thermostat I can use?)
    -Tires (bought them in 2006, so they should be replaced due to age)

    I remember the car was leaking lots of oil from everywhere when I parked it, so I was thinking of getting one of the full gasket kits I found on ebay.
    1983 Celica Supra - Terra Cotta

  2. #2 Member Khlause's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Gasoline / tank problem.

    Solution: Dont worry too much about old gasoline unless its "NEW old gasoline", meaning the old stuff from 6 to 7 years ago had little to no booze in it. Meaning it can sit around for years and should be good enough to fire up the car. However does not harm things if you drain the tank out, but if its been sitting for that long I would simply pour in some fuel additive (octane booster) because its not the gasoline that goes bad; its the additives that go away on you.

    If it were a car that simply sat around for 2 years, then I would promote you to drain the tank and have it cleaned out or clean it your self because it would be full of rust no thanks to the high booze content that soaks up lots of water and promotes rust and thus ruined fuel pumps.

    You should consider the following regardless.

    1. Disconnect the fuel line; get your self a 5 gallon gas can and simply use the fuel pump to empty the tank and then re-fill with good fuel. This will show you a few things. First being if your fuel pump is working, and second if your fuel filter is clogged.

    2. After you remove all the old fuel, replace the fuel filter because may as well get it over with, this will make your fuel pump last longer.

    Lubricants such as motor oil, transmission oil or ATF (transmission depending) should be changed because they do soak up a little water over time. Your best bet is to drain and fill with fresh oil of the correct weight.

    Manual Transmission; if you have a manual transmission simply drain and fill the W58 Transmission with the correct gear oil. Maximum capacity is reached when oil back flows from the fill port when the car is flat and level.

    *Automatic Transmission. If you have an auto trans, buy 2 gallons of synthetic trans fluid rated for Toyota trans. Drain the entire contents of the pan, and then fill the pan till its full; then pull the trans cooler supply line and attach a hose / aim it into a 5 gallon bucket. Then start the car, and cycle all the gears (your car must be on stands with the wheels not touching the ground) This will pump the fluid from the converter out into the bucket; you can put the car in drive and watch the fluid till it turns RED or what ever color the new fluid is. Please note that a drain and fill with fresh fluid very well could put a lot of bubbles into the fluid, this will look like many bad things are coming from the coolant line, but its typically so. The A43 Automatic does not have a typical filter, its a screen that prevents large things from entering the valve body, you typically do not need to change this as it almost never gets dirty; and frankly its a waste of time and money. The A43 transmission requires that you check the fill level with the engine running; so after you are done with your fill and purge, then final check the level with the engine running.

    P type cars have LSD differentials, be sure to use gear lube that is for an LSD.

    Brake fluid / clutch master and slave.
    Buy a turkey baster, remove as much of the old fluid from the reservoir as you can, then fill with new fluid. The braking system will need to be bleed, so you will need a friend to help you. Start at the back corner that is far from the T in the rear line as you possibly can. Cant remember if that is back passenger or back drivers side, you will need to look. Bleed the brakes out of that one side till you have pumped at least 2 cups of fluid (yes this is more than the lines hold, but you are trying to work all old fluid and possibly water from the rear system. Move to the other side, check the Reservoir level and fill if needed, and then bleed another 1/2 cup of fluid.
    Move up front, start at the passenger side and bleed at least 1 cup from the system, then check the Reservoir and do the same on the front drivers side.

    Use the same procedure on the clutch master / slave as your brake system if you have a manual transmission.

    As for your tires, pull them and check for cracks, if they have cracks consider replacing soon as you get your car road worthy. If you plan to drive in a spirited nature and your tires appear to be in good shape; consider replacing them any way because modern tires are better, and the rubber compound changes a little as it ages; it typically does not grip as good, so new tires are a good investment.

    If your car is leaking bad, then its time for a gasket kit / main / camshaft seals. Main seals and camshaft seals; I would consider ordering them from the dealer; the quality of Toyota genuine parts is hard to beat in the after market; as for regular flat gaskets, most after market gaskets are just fine.

    If you are doing a gaskets and seals, then consider buying the new timing belt; you can also get thermostats at the dealer or auto part stores, I run 180F thermostats in my cars because I don't give a damn about the fuel economy on the 5M, they are decent on gas so long as you don't go much over 65mph.

    Best of luck.

  3. #3 Member sowsley's Avatar
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    Jun 2007
    San Francisco
    After you get it running, clean up the engine a bit and find out exactly what gaskets are leaking and address those, especially the rear cam seals. The front ones you will do when you replace the timing belt. I can't imagine why manual transmission or diff oil would need to be replaced. I'd definitely replace the tires after I got it running right. If you are using stock wheels, I've been very happy with the BFG's that are available, no matter what some people say. I remember a lot of posts previously saying that the original fuel filters are oversized and more than adequate for the life of the car, but they aren't that difficult to change.
    Bad decisions make the BEST stories.

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  4. #4
    Founding Member pdupler's Avatar
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    Mar 2003
    Fort Worth, TX
    I don't know about where you are, but we've had ethanol in the fuel here since like 1995 or so. If I remember right, you can take the fuel sender unit out through an access plate in the hatch area and get a look inside the tank before you decide to drop it.

    I'm not an advocate of replacing tires just for the sake of age any more than changing you mattress just because its 8 years old. Two things destroy rubber, ultraviolet light and ozone. If the car were sitting outside for seven years like most cars do, then yes, replace the tires, but since yours have been in a dark, closed garage all these years, the rubber is still OK. BUT, if the car has been sitting on those tires, they will be flat-spotted and you may find them intolerable to drive on. You can pump them up to around 40-42 psi and drive around for a little while like that to see if they'll round themselves back out. I've had some success doing that.
    Phil D.
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  5. #5 Member BillyM's Avatar
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    Mar 2003
    Charlotte, NC
    DRAIN THE FUEL! (Tried to start a mk2 once with decade-old fuel, gummed up the intake valves, dropped two rockers, made a damned mess of things. DRAIN THE FUEL!)

    Also, flush the brake lines and see what you get, if rusty gross stuff you may find brake calipers that want to lock up on you as soon as you get onto the binders, use a pry-bar to force the calipers forward and brake pedal to push it back a number of times to free it up and see if it wants to bind, then go from there... for the gasket set, hold off on the eBay kit and just see where it leaks from first.

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  6. #6 Member gamble's Avatar
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    Feb 2004
    Austin, TX
    Amen to the brakes. Honestly swap to stainless brake lines while you're at it if you can't remember the last time you changed the lines out. Old rubber brake lines love to swell up over time.

  7. #7 Member ddd228's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    N. Seattle.
    You gas tank has a handy drain plug. A 3/8" drive ratchet will do it.
    It will come out like a fire hose! It may be a brown color.Recycle that bad gasoline.Lawn mower or a motorcycle shop. Yes,the gasoline in the line should be flushed out.
    Remove 2 bolts from the drivers side engine mount and jack up the engine for better fuel filter access. You may get bloody doing that evil thing.
    Fresh oil is a good idea.Brake fluid absorbs moisture:bad.
    Dave in Seattle. I keep LATE hours.Hidden Content
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  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Boston, MA
    Mine sat for twice as long, and I had to thoroughly clean the entire fuel system. This included the rail, the injectors, replacing pump and filter, etc, so be wary. Aside from that, it just needed fresh brake fluid and tires to be safe for the road. I would recommend at least checking the rest of the fluids, too, not forgetting the clutch.

  9. #9
    Whistles racerxj220's Avatar
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    Aug 2006
    Clean the injectors anyway.

  10. #10 Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    England, UK
    Late to the thread as usual, but I'll add a few extra points that haven't been covered - hopefully you haven't already found some of these out the hard way!

    Of critical importance if you haven't touched the car in those 7 years, make sure the engine turns over by hand before you hit it with the starter motor! If necessary, remove all six spark plugs and drop a small amount of oil into each cylinder, wait a while, then turn the engine over making sure it completes a few rotations without resistance. Also remove the top timing cover and check the cambelt isn't cracking or frayed before you start it; the belt disintegrating won't destroy the valves, but it'll still leave a lot of mess to clean up. The oil-in-the-cylinders trick is also a good idea before placing a car in long-term storage (with the plugs replaced). Might as well replace the plugs while you're at it, you can get a good indication of the condition of the engine when you garaged it from the deposits on the electrodes.

    Nobody's mentioned the coolant - the maximum rated life of water-based coolant is 5 years, after which the corrosion inhibitors are exhausted and water can begin to do its nasty business inside the engine. Drain the old coolant, refill with water and radiator flush, then drain and refill with new coolant. I recommend Evans coolant since you'll never have to think about changing it again. You'll probably also need a new water pump, and check your hoses while you're at it - if they've gone rigid, they're much more prone to cracking when they come under pressure. I think all the hoses are standard, so you can get the same diameter hose and cut to length.

    Also worthy of note - when I changed Dragon's coolant a couple of years ago, the radiator failed soon afterwards - a weak spot had rusted through, so run it up to temperature a few times keeping a close eye on the rad.

    Mine sat in a garage for 5 years and I didn't need to change the fuel, but maybe our fuel doesn't have so many additives? It's certainly worth doing though - drain through the plug in the tank, put a couple of gallons of fresh fuel in, bridge the bypass connector and run the fuel pump for a while to circulate it then drain that out. The fuel filter on the engine block is difficult to get at from the top of the engine bay, but is much more accessible from underneath. If you can get it to start, some injector cleaner additive ought to clean the rest of the components.
    Rob - 100% British
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