New owner, what to check and watch out for? [Archive] - Toyota CelicaSupra Forums

: New owner, what to check and watch out for?

12-27-2007, 02:40 PM
Just bought a 79 Celica Supra. Original owner with 100k+ miles on it. Has had new clutch, pressure plate & drive line. Newly rebuilt 5sp trans done.

Going to use this as a daily driver and weekend cruiser. What should I check (as in whats a common item to be bad by now) and what would you all suggest as "must have" updates to this old car? As far as I can tell it's completely stock other than the above repairs.

12-27-2007, 04:10 PM
The iron block and aluminum head have different expansion & contraction rates - this can cause head gasket issues with higher mileage engines.

I would highly recommend having the head bolts retorqued. You don't want a blown head gasket (BHG) :(

If your drivetrain is in good shape, the other typical maintenance items/repairs would be suspension related:
- brake pads & rotors - I always check these on any vehicle I buy - when I hit the brakes, I want 100% confidence that it will stop :)
- suspension bushings - these are rubber - after 28 years, they don't do much. The car will handle much better with the bushings replaced. Poly bushings are available from both SuperPro and Energy Suspension. Check the vendor section here - both RabidChimp and RaptorRacing should be able to get these for you.

As far as upgrades go, that's all up to your style and budget. There isn't a huge variety of options for these cars, but there are a few things:
- wider wheels/tires (a budget upgrade is MkII rims - they look fairly good on the MkI) - a few manufacturers still make wheels that will fit, but you can also find a nice selection of used stuff on the internet if you are willing to do a little searching
- sway bars - available from Whiteline (use the vendors again) or Addco
- upgraded springs - from Dobinson ( vendors)
- aftermarket shocks - still available from a few places - try your local parts store

This is a short list of easily purchased items, for a complete list of performance mods and upgrades (including some horsepower related ones) - click here:

As far as cosmetics go, very little is available from Toyota. If you have specific interior or trim pieces, post on this forum - someone might have what you need.

12-28-2007, 09:38 AM
Front brake pads are interchangeable with 78 to 81 celica (avoid Raybestos Prostop!)
The lower ball joints must be greased before winter season.
If timing chain makes noise, the tensioner plunger must be removed and cleaned or replaced.
The idler arm bushings need to be checked if steering makes noise.
Using bigger tires will upset the camber setting (non adjustable on this car)
The upper strut mounts may need to be changed (I believe the 82-85 celica is using the same)
The plastic gear in the wiper motor may crack- it used from 79 to 85 supra (gear only, the motor assembly is different!)
The three main reasons of the head gasket failure on 4ME engines:
- use of acidic cooling system cleaning chemicals in late 80s -they initiate corrosion of aluminum head near the gasket surface
- the product of corrosion deposits itself in the radiator starting the moderate overheating (gage reads 3/4 scale)
- the head gasket finally blows. The machine shop resurfaces the head on the belt sander instead of the mill, which make head looks pretty, but it is not flat anymore.
The replacement head gasket must be OEM type graphite composite, not the newer felpro with rubber type coating.

12-28-2007, 06:31 PM
-Change Tranny Fluid
-Change Diff. Fluid
-Coolant Flush
-Oil Change