Toyota Celica Supra Forum banner

1 - 14 of 14 Posts

·
Founding Member
Joined
·
6,227 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Some time back I got into restoring a vintage Corvette and found that Corvettes are incredibly well documented. The National Corvette Restorers Society (NCRS) has produced for every generation, a Technical Information Manual and Judging Guide, generally 100 to 250 pages describing all the various parts in exquisite detail and differences between year models. These books provide the information for restorers to identify the correct original parts when shopping on the internet or at swap meets and to reproduce the original appearance of parts when refurbishing. Buyers benefit from being able to inspect Corvettes that are being offered for sale and determine just how original the car is. And of course you can spend the bucks and have your Corvette subjected to 20 man-hours of inspection in hopes of achieving an NCRS "Top Flight" certification.

While I don't think that the Toyota Supra will ever be the subject of NCRS level inspection and certification, I think it would be great to have a Restoration Guidebook. I think it is something we could do as an internet community. What it would take is basically for Supra owners to volunteer to look at their own car and write up what they see. We split up the duties, everyone pick a dozen or so parts, look at them and write a very brief description. You wouldn't need to have an all original or pristine Supra to participate. Mine is not anywhere near original, but I've owned it long enough to be pretty certain which parts are and are not original plus its in good enough shape that I can still tell whether a part was originally plated or painted and/or what color it was. Probably everyone still has quite a few original parts remaining and could participate.

We would also need a much smaller team of editors to take the various descriptions submitted, figure out the commonalities and differences between years and merge them into a concise paragraph. This team may also need to do a little research to break the ties in cases of conflicting information. I'm not real clear on the technical how-to of multiple authors collaborating on a document, but we'll figure that out later. We could publish it online. Again, that's a technical how-to that we could discuss and figure out later. Is it free, or I kind of expect we have to charge for it and where would the money go? Again something else to discuss.

For those of you who may be thinking "Huh?, What's that old geezer talking about?" I've done some forum research and written a description of our Throttle Position Sensor in the style of the NCRS guidebook. Note this is a little from memory and some of the old posts were a bit vague so it may need further editing, i.e. don't take it as a finished product just yet. It's just to give you an idea of the kind of information and level of detail that would be compiled.

ENGINE BAY

4) INTAKE MANIFOLD
i. Throttle Position Sensor (TPS)

There are three different styles of throttle position sensors (TPS) used over the years. 82 & 83 automatic transmission use a multi-position switch type, described as a square black plastic box with a short pigtail wire attached. 82 & 83 manual transmission also use a multi-position switch type described as a square black plastic box without the pigtail harness, rather the engine harness plugs directly into an integral 3-pin male AMP connector on the TPS. In 84, both manual and automatic cars used the second style. '85 and '86 TPS units are a potentiometer type, shaped like a round black plastic drum with a polished stainless steel drumhead and an integral 4-pin male AMP connector. On 82 to 84 originals, the plastic is smooth and there is a foil decal with light blue lettering indicating the Nippondenso part number. Aftermarket replacements are sometimes seen with textured rather than smooth plastic. 85 and 86 the decal has black lettering. TPS are attached to the throttle body with dichromate plated Philips head screws. Yellow or white paint marks across the screw head and mounting tabs indicate factory adjustment. If the paint marks appear damaged or missing, the TPS may have been replaced. Secondary adjustment of the original factory installed TPS is rarely necessary.

I've also gone through my NCRS Guidebooks and our own TSRM and created an outline for the project, basically what would become the Table of Contents. Its way too long to post here, but basically the book would be organized into chapters for Interior, Exterior, Engine Bay and Undercarriage. Unlike the TSRM, part descriptions would be grouped geographically where they are on the car rather than by system and subsystem because its a guidebook for a visual inspection. Each chapter would contain typically one sentence to a paragraph describing each visible part. It would not cover internal parts, rather only parts that can be visually inspected without anything more than a flashlight and mirror.

I wish I'd thought of this ten years ago as obviously now our forum participation rate is a fraction of its former glory. But I figured I'd post the suggestion to gauge interest and see if its viable. Do we still have enough active members willing to participate to make something like this happen? I fully expect it would take more than a year, maybe even a couple of years. We all have lives and families. Basically just throwing the idea out for discussion. If enough people think its doable, then I can post a follow up looking for volunteers.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
888 Posts
Phil,

I actually think that this is a great idea. As you say, although these cars will probably never be as collectible as muscle cars, it's nice to know what is original. After at least 32 years, a lot of parts have been replaced or refinished.

High Resolution pics from camera phones make documenting details a lot easier. The trick is confirming the originality of a part. As you also mention, there are enough model year or running changes to make what appears to a simple task a lot more complicated.

There are enough original cars around that can give information and I am always amazed at the ability of so many members to photo document a repair or restoration project.

It's unfortunate that the KING of Supra details, Professor Chris Eng no longer appears to be around. However, I think enough others have stepped up to the plate to take this on as a group.

Dale
 

·
Whistles
Joined
·
1,047 Posts
All for it.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,000 Posts
I'll pitch in, Phil.

I'm fairly familiar with the Corvette process as I used to be a Vette owner, and had buddies who were up to their necks in that stuff.

- Jim
 

·
Founding Member
Joined
·
6,227 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Yeah, I was thinking about the Professor and wondering what ever happened to him. There was a discussion some time ago about the facebook effect. I'm not on facebook, but I wonder if a lot of our old guard might be sort of passively on facebook. Maybe somebody could post about this idea there and draw some of them back, at least briefly? I know we'd gotten into telling every newbie to search because it seemed like every question possible had already been asked and answered a million times, but this really is something NEW and maybe some of folks like Chris could be lured back for long enough to participate?
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
10,280 Posts
I think Chris just got out of Supras in general. Last I heard he had the mk1 still, but that was many years ago. He might be on FB, but he won't be on the Supra groups there.
 

·
Founding Member
Joined
·
6,227 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
So far though, the response has been underwhelming. I don't know if this could be done with only five or six people. There's five year models x P & L types & different trim levels and some minor variations by port of entry for the US not even including the ones sold in foreign countries. If 20-30 people would help, we could probably get'r done in a year or two. Did anyone ever post a link to this on facebook?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
810 Posts
Maybe I can help, I have a very stock 83 mkII, except for the stereo. Other than that it is very close to 100%. What are you looking for.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
8,129 Posts
I think it would be a lot easier to just have like a big photo journal vs a large volume of text. Biggest problem I see with this is that for the most part many of these things aren't reproducible and there is no factory support. So that leaves the most original car as suitable and they are already original. For Corvettes you can buy every sticker ever made and parts are made in reproduction. Plus there is extensive factory documentation available.
 

·
Founding Member
Joined
·
6,227 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
I think it would be a lot easier to just have like a big photo journal vs a large volume of text. Biggest problem I see with this is that for the most part many of these things aren't reproducible and there is no factory support. So that leaves the most original car as suitable and they are already original. For Corvettes you can buy every sticker ever made and parts are made in reproduction. Plus there is extensive factory documentation available.
For the Corvettes the judges know how to spot reproductions and you lose ALL the originality points for that part. They also know the differences between original and "service replacement" parts sold by GM. It would be like us replacing our heater valve. The originals were dichromate cad plated while the Toyota replacement had sort of a greenish-grey finish. Plus, while there's no aftermarket support NOW, there has been in the past. I've seen at least three different manufacturers of replacement brake master cylinders over the years. I think a lot of owners who bought their Supra well after the warranty was expired would be surprised at how many aftermarket parts they have. I just hope we can actually find somebody with each year model who still has their original fuel filter.

But another interesting thing in the Corvette world is that resourceful people in an effort to "follow the book" have come up with ingenious ways to restore the original parts. Quite a few have made little side-businesses out of restoring a single part. People ship their parts to one guy from all of the world because he's made up a series of special tools and jigs or whatever that makes it possible. I doubt we've got the numbers to create a cottage industry around mk2 parts, but I never underestimate people's ingenuity to get things done if they want it badly enough.

The more photos the better, but there needs to be a minimum amount of text description with each to explain what's in the photo. NCRS has been adding photographs to each new edition of their books and recently started publishing in color. But quite a lot of parts are not in locations that are easily photographed. You can use a mirror and flashlight to inspect it, but you'll never get a detailed enough picture from the perfect angle with the perfect lighting to show what you need to show. And for many parts, you would need multiple shots from different angles to show critical details. I don't figure we can ask people to remove parts just to take pictures of them but I thought it shouldn't be too much to write a paragraph description.

As a web document, lots of photos might not be as much a problem, but for NCRS publishing a paper book, it was more efficient to write descriptions for most parts. We'd just have to evaluate each to determine whether a picture was worth a thousand words or if a paragraph would do.
 

·
Founding Member
Joined
·
6,227 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
Maybe I can help, I have a very stock 83 mkII, except for the stereo. Other than that it is very close to 100%. What are you looking for.
This is ideal. The basic idea is volunteers each choose a few parts that they know to be original to their car to photograph and/or write descriptions. The we compile them all into an e-book of some sort. Stay tuned as we're still trying to figure out the logistics and whether its even possible.
 

·
Founding Member
Joined
·
6,227 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
Sorry there's been no movement on this. Maybe after a few of us old-timers retire and have more free time. But in related news, we just "Top Flighted" a 72 Corvette this past week at the NCRS Texas Regional. Not that we'll likely ever have this level of Supra obsessive-compulsive disorder, but for those who aren't familiar with this extreme of the car hobby.....

Five teams inspected the car, two judges on each team, sometimes a third, basically an apprentice learning how. Each team spent about an hour with mirrors and flashlights pouring over every minuscule detail. Plus a master judge over just the 1970-1972 models spot checked and signed off. Altogether somewhere between 10 and 12 man-hours of inspection and testing.

Team 1 – Operations Testing (done outdoors before moving into the convention center)
Team 2 – Interior
Team 3 – Exterior
Team 4 – Engine Bay
Team 5 – Undercarriage

“Top Flight” means it’s basically within 94% of being just exactly the way it came from the factory.

 
1 - 14 of 14 Posts
Top