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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Title says it all: I have an '82 Supra. It currently doesn't pass smog due to what seems to be engine issues. I have never worked on a car, but I'm willing to get quite dirty to get it to work and work right.

I figure I should post my progress somewhere, and I think here is the best place for them, not only for you all to comment on what I should do, but for me to keep myself on track as well.

As of 29/4/2022, here are the things that need to be done:
  • Heater hose from the top, back of the engine popped and needs to be replaced. Done on 22/4/2022.
  • Coolant flush. Drain the mineral waterthat is currently in the system and put some proper stuff in there.
    • 29/4/2022: Got some Toyota Red and distilled water, and the car is now parked inside on a flat area. Will have to ask my neighbors if they have a jack and jack stands I can use.
    • 30/4/2022: Neighbor did have a jack and jack stands. Messed up a bit on the coolant burping process, and overflowed the overflow tank. The car still overheats (the bar on the digital dash went over the middle mark), so I'll be getting a new thermostat. The car, with the new coolant, is still throwing clouds of smoke even when warmed up, so I think the head gasket is kaput.
  • Check to see if the car still overheats.
    • If so, check thermostat. Replace it if necessary.
  • Diagnose the engine and its issues: Compression check, dry then wet. Maybe a leak down as well. Cyl. 4 has compression so low it isn't burning the fuel right, and Cyl 3 & 6 also has a bit of low compression, according to previous owner's service check.
  • The fix:
    • If piston rings aren't the issue, the head is most likely coming off and the head gasket should be replaced. Valves should be checked, and the valve seals should be replaced. Reseal cam tower.
    • If piston rings are an issue, or the head is cracked: uh oh...
  • Smog check
    • If the car still does not pass smog, check timing and the vacuum advance distributors. Something to do with the diaphragm?

  • When everything goes well, all coolant/heater hoses should be replaced. Same goes for all vacuum lines.
  • The alternator should be upgraded. As of now, I need to jump the car to get it to start.

  • Miscellaneous things that should be fixed (after the car passes Smog):
    • Throttle pedal feels super wooden and feels like a lot of friction is holding the pedal in wherever it is.
    • Heater fan doesn't work unless it's on high, and when it is on it makes a very loud noise. Probably something about the fan.
    • Hood struts are bad and should be replaced. Done on 20/4/2022.
    • Hazards don't activate. (Switch doesn't work)
    • Seat belts don't retract easily.
    • Driver seat (cloth) should be cleaned and the rip on the side should be fixed.
    • Passenger side window does not work.
    • Steering wheel leather is all cracked and should be replaced.
    • Left rear turning lights have a crack in it.
    • Map light doesn't work.

  • What I want to do to the car, after all the fix:
    • The ceiling light (I have no idea what it's actually called) is quite dim -- probably an old-car thing and how it should be, but I want it to be brighter.
    • Speakers probably should be replaced with newer ones. I will still use the stock head unit but the speakers in the car might be shot. Something, something, install subwoofer? (I don't think my car has it. Might just be an idiot tho.)
    • The pin stripe should either be removed or fixed.
    • Clean the car thoroughly.
    • Buy a dash cover, as well as floor mats.
    • Get an audio jack to cassette converter to play some tunes.
So, yeah... that's my list.


29/4/2022: Here is my current worry: Engine is making noises that I deem a red flag. Not sure what it is, but it makes my heart sink.
 

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MC any decent part store will have a thermostat gasket.
 

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That's an extensive list, but very do-able. Most of us have done all that and more...patience, effort and money.

I have no experience with Cali smog, but that in itself might be a deal breaker, especially if the engine has a knock GLWT
 

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Toy part # 16341-43010 or 16341-43011
 

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MC here's a part listing from an online Toyota Parts Dept for reference:

 

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The thermostat you listed above is for a Euro model I believe
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Alright... changed the coolant. Almost. I overflowed the overflow tank and had a spill, so I think the car is still not totally air-free yet. Will be getting a new thermostat just in case. Also, unlike before when the engine was running on water and it started to run cleaner when warm, with the coolant the engine never ran clean -- so that's probably burnt coolant and that means a bad head gasket.

Bit of a bummer, but things are progressing... I think.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I figure I should post it here too: Any recommendations on where to get these gaskets? Mainly the head gasket, since that's the main issue here, but getting the rest is good as well. There are a few "bundles" like these two:


But I'm not sure if this is the best way to go at it. Is it? Would love to hear what you guys have used before (especially ones that work well!)
 

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should confirm bad headgasket before tearing into it:

1. compression-test, dry and wet
2. leakdown test
3. combustion-gas in coolant test
4. milkshake under oil-filler cap?
5. milkshake in oil?

Replacing headgasket is big job if you've never done it before. Might as well:

1. replace timing-belt and tension-pulley bearing if needed
2. rebuild head while off. Very easy to get fully-radiused valve-seats cut while you're there
3. D-port intake-tract and manifold-runners like later cars for more power
4. use MLS headgasket like Cometic or HKS. Buys some peace-of-mind in knowing you'll never have blown headgasket ever again. Heck, even run-of-mill Corollas use MLS gaskets from factory since early '90s.
 

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IF the coolant looks normal you can test with PH paper if acidic then likely a BHG from exhaust gases leaking into coolant system...
 
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Danny you can use the 7M MLS gasket for the 5MGE??


Cometic Toyota Supra 87-92 86mm .070 inch MLS Head Gasket 7MGTE Motor
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
School's been busy, but some parts arrived and some didn't.

I got a new battery. Old one didn't seem to keep charge, as I had to jump the car to start it. New battery will perhaps be a temporary measure towards that, in case it's the alternator that's shot.

I also got a new thermostat to replace the old one that might be bad. The gasket for it that I bought separately seemed to be out of stock though.

Can I just buy a high-temp gasket material and use that instead? I don't imagine Toyota was super weird with their gasket materials, but... just in case.

I'll be doing a few compression tests, but before that I believe I have to turn off the car's fuel injection (so I can crank the car), else it becomes a mess. How do I do that, by any chance?
 

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Unplug EFI fuse to turn off injectors and sparks. Be sure to hold throttle 100% open.

Draining battery can be also caused by wiring short. If you don't want to test to confirm yes/no, just replace with bta d-new wiring harness from authorised dealer. Replace body and engine harnesses since short can be anywhere. Bad alternator not charging battery is usually indicated by charge-lamp lighting on dash (battery symbol). Should measure battery-voltage weekly and get smart multi-stage charger.

Also DO NOT drive car until you confirmed headgasket is Ok. Or if it's bad, replace before driving again. May need to replace pistons & rings, or even engine-block if driven too far with BHG.
 

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Also blown headgasket is just symptom of problem, not problem in and of itself. So you want to determine why it blew. Then fix and remedy real problem and cause. If you just replace headgasket, problem is still there and will blow it again. Could be any number of things:

  • mis-adjusted timing (too much advance)
  • wrong spark-plug heat-range
  • bad FPR resulting in lean fueling (AFR)
  • failing fuel pump, resulting in lean AFR
  • clogged injector(s) resulting in lean AFR
  • failing AFM, resulting in lean AFR
  • head warped from overheating
  • insufficient head-bolt torque, although not very common on 5M-GE as 7M series
  • too much carbon build-up in cylinders causing increased compression along with heat retention
  • incorrect cam-timing causing increased dynamic compression and causing knock/detonation
  • etc...


... yeah, I've blown up lots of engines!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
The thermostat gasket arrived today, so I guess there's that. I'm not sure what orientation I have to put it in (if it matters -- the black stuff on it is only on there on one side), or if I need some sort of sealant or simply something else to replace my thermostat, but... it's here, I guess.

I'll try to put it on during the weekend. :)
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
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It's replaced! Hooray!

Now... I've heard that the thermostat doesn't work well if the engine doesn't have any coolant in it. Of course, it doesn't right now, as I've drained the coolant to cleanly replace the thermostat. I'm thinking of removing the heater hose coming out the top of the engine and at least priming the system from there. Any better ideas?

Also... I still have to see if my neighbor has a compression tester, as well as getting an air compressor. So, there's more to come. :)
 
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