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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,
For better or worse, I have purchased my first Supra. (I'm 55 years old). A buddy and I drove from Louisiana up to Michigan this past weekend to get her.

The Bad:
RUST! And a good bit of it! What did I expect buying a car from up north??
Not running....supposedly just the igniter.

The Good:
Got it cheap!
Original 5MGE engine is supposedly freshly rebuilt. (Saw some Permatex that may confirm that)
New-ish BF Goodrich Radial T/A tires.
Car seems to be mostly original and complete.

I'm in for a LOT of work, but up for the challenge! Gonna need a donor car for some good metal to repair the rust.

Please wish me luck (or condolences)!!


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Wow! Welcome to club! Those seats are in good shape!

Look in restoration section here, there are people making panels from scratch!
 

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I'll start with wishing you good luck (condolences may follow later if needed) :D

Looking at all that FeO2, I junked my first Supra for way less than that sort of rust (and still miss her despite my second one being nearly completely rust free now)
 

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I once helped one of our members take a Florida rust-bucket with under 40K miles to transfer all of the low-mileage bits to a 270K mile slice of Texas toast and then got it repainted. I still see badly sun-baked mk2s on the local craigslist once in a while and unless you have a donor with all the plastic, rubber and vinyl bits, they're not worth messing with. It'd be easier to just buy one of those sun-baked southern mk2s and transfer all the northern bits to it than to cut and weld every little spot of rust. You gotta buy a donor car anyway.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I once helped one of our members take a Florida rust-bucket with under 40K miles to transfer all of the low-mileage bits to a 270K mile slice of Texas toast and then got it repainted. I still see badly sun-baked mk2s on the local craigslist once in a while and unless you have a donor with all the plastic, rubber and vinyl bits, they're not worth messing with. It'd be easier to just buy one of those sun-baked southern mk2s and transfer all the northern bits to it than to cut and weld every little spot of rust. You gotta buy a donor car anyway.
Thanks for the honesty! I know I'm in for a lot of work one way or the other. But I'm not scared. If I can get the car 70% better than it is now, it's a victory in my eyes. Some may disagree. I understand, we all have varying degrees of what is and isn't possible. I appreciate the input from everyone, and please keep it coming! I plan on documenting this debacle for y'all to see and maybe think....."This poor bastard"!!!

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I have lots of respect for people who save cars (or things) of which many people think they are not worth saving. And always remember: A nice car is one that you like!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I have lots of respect for people who save cars (or things) of which many people think they are not worth saving. And always remember: A nice car is one that you like!
Thanks for the words of encouragement, Zoe! I usually see all my restoration projects with rose colored glasses (or just blind)! Hoping i can save this car!

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Thanks for the words of encouragement, Zoe! I usually see all my restoration projects with rose colored glasses (or just blind)! Hoping i can save this car!

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None of us do Supras because there's any money in it. In my experience and talking to lots of other people at local car shows, unless you can do absolutely everything yourself, including paint, upholstery, machine work, etc., there's just no way to come out ahead on any car worth under $25,000 because that's about the minimum spend after paying professionals for the special skill/equipment sets and doing the more general tasks yourself at the hobby level. Almost always better to buy a car that someone else has already restored provided they didn't cut too many corners.

The only way I could see that you could maybe come out in the black is on some special editions of common cars, like maybe a Shelby Mustang. It costs just about the same to restore a Shelby GT350H as it does to restore a 65 C-code coupe because its all the same processes, 98% the same parts, except one is going to be worth $25K while the other is going to be worth $150K or more. The only challenge with the Shelby is getting the seller to part with it cheap enough for you to make money, but at least its theoretically possible. The base coupe you're going to lose money even if you get the car for free.

Our Supras are like that, still in the sub-$30K value category for a "restored" example. But our challenge is finding one that is intact enough to even be worth attempting. Unlike that Mustang or Shelby, we can't go to a catalog web page and click a cartload of parts. If your candidate Supra is missing a part or has broken parts, good luck finding replacements regardless of cost. For us, that's the key is making sure everything is there, intact and functional before you buy. At least sheet metal is a "generic" part. It can be shaped and welded. If you can do that "yourself" and not have to pay $85/hour or more to the professional, then you can shave thousands off your restoration.

You are still going to lose money if you do it right, but I like to think of it this way. If you bought a boat and went fishing every weekend or joined a country club and played golf, you could spend even a whole lot more money and have absolutely nothing to show for it on Monday morning. :geek: Just enjoy your hobby and don't worry about cost unless its truly going to put a crimp on your lifestyle, your marriage or retirement.
 
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Appreciate your insight, pdupler! I feel a little better about my purchase now. And you're correct, with most restorations of anything, you're usually lucky if you break even. I've just always loved these cars, and glad to finally own one, even if it needs a lot of love. Looking forward to getting started on it!

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With the enthusiasm and humour you seems to have, I have no doubt it will look very nice in no time !
Good luck in your project!

(Most Canadian car are even worst than that to start with a restoration)
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
With the enthusiasm and humour you seems to have, I have no doubt it will look very nice in no time !
Good luck in your project!

(Most Canadian car are even worst than that to start with a restoration)
Thanks! I appreciate the kind words! It will be a lot of work, but looking forward to it.

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Appreciate the heads up, 82supra. But I have an '83. Arent they different?

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I believe they are different. I was just going by the photo. Check the part number on the ignitor before purchase. BTW, a spare is always handy, especially in a pinch. Plus they're getting harder to find.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I believe they are different. I was just going by the photo. Check the part number on the ignitor before purchase. BTW, a spare is always handy, especially in a pinch. Plus they're getting harder to find.
I've been posting in Tech Talk area lately, but just a quick update.....Installed igniter and coil I bought on Ebay for $35 and now getting good spark. But car still won't run. Suspecting fuel issues. Got a test gauge set coming, gonna check fuel pressure and go from there!

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There's inverse relationship between pressure & flow-volume. You need both. Measure pressure in rail, and also how much petrol pump can supply per unit time. Usually 10-15s test and compare volume collected to numbers in manual.

I've got spare fuel filter if you need it. But have never found filter to be issue, except in carburetor motorcycles.
 
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