Super Supra

My 1990 Toyota Supra

           I purchased the MK3 Supra right after I sold my one of a kind 99' Subaru Legacy GT. One of the only ones around with an aftermarket turbo and top mount intercooler mounted to the weak EJ25 engine. Owning this AWD car was a lot of fun, but after a few years I began to have a new dream. Rear wheel drive power is what I now had setmy mind on.

           After selling the car in September, and a few months of researching differnt vehicles, I came across my ideal platform in the Supra. A solid chassis, a clear upgrade path, and it came stock with all of the essentials. LSD, Rear Wheel Drive, Manual Transmission, 6 Inline Cylendars and a Turbocharger came standard on my model, not to mention a removable hardtop for fun in the sun. I could have gone with a MKIV but I would have had far less money to spend to bring it to where I wanted, and I did not want a car with payments. I have always liked the idea of owning a Nissan 240sx, but the raw power capability is just not in the same league as a turbo inline six is. The MK3 was it.

           I've spent almost 2 years now bringing it from a clean, fun but slightly troubled car to what I have envisiond to be my reliable high performance and payment-free summer fun for years to come. I want to learn how to drive in this car, and I figure i'll lighten it up gradually in the years to come.

           This site chronicles the extensive work that myself and my buddy John Murray of Murdawg Custom have put into this vehicle.

A retorque of my head bolts turn into a 2 year long project

I sent the car down with my John in early July, 2005 to get a months worth of work done to it. I didn't at that time have a good concept of how long automotive projects can take.


John got the car down to PA, and eventually found out that you couldn't turn the engine over with a 4 foot breaker bar without having three people hold down the engine. The engine had about 12,000 on it after a previous owner rebuild when the crank walked pretty badly because someone used either the incorrect thrust washer, or more likely did not set it correctly. Its deteroration sent copper throughout the whole agine and created an engine "brake" as murdawg called it. The car was fast, skipped a bit at idle, but was overall a great running car. I had only drove it for a summer and a half since I bought it in December of 2004.


I wen't down for four weeks around October-November 06'. I was homeless and unemployed after my seasonal job had ended. I worked in the shop as a dirty mechanic and tore apart my car like I never had before. I labeled everything, and made sure I knew how it would go back together. The block was scheduled to arrive, and we were able to build the short block - rotating assembly, coated everything with trans fluid and sealed it up.

A Week Stay Turns Into a Month

In October 07' I planned a roadtrip off the basis of an engagement party in New Jersey. I figured since my buddys shop was only 7 hours west of there, I should head out that way and work on the car a bit. Since I can work remotely with my job, and my boss supported my trip to finish my car, I was able to head out for a month and work on my car in the evenings, or work my normal job late to make up for taking opportune times to get the help I needed for the next phase of the build.

Week One: Built the engine, and Installed it into the car. We had to get the engine in before we would consider patining the car.


Week Two: Prep and Paint the car. One coat of exoxy primer, two coats of base, and two coats of clear. And John can hammer on clearcoat without running it, even in the mediocre lighting he has in his paint booth. Spraying clear on white is hard enough, and he did a phenenomonal job with it.


Week Three: Sanded, Cut, Buffed and Polished the car to get the clear as flat as possible. I learned how to use a foam polisher effectively, that less is more with chemical, and the resulting heat flows the clear to quickly polish the finish.

News: Latest Update: April 2008

The car is 97% done. We need to finish wiring the gauges, a few other wiring and loose ends, and get it fired up.

We understand the break in procedure, we'll be ripping it up and down the gears running Brad Penn Break-In Oil, what I understand to be some of the best out there.


Build Photos

Click on the links to the right or the photos below to get into stage of the build.

Below you'll find a list of Modifications.


Building the Short Block


Torqueing down the main caps

Engine Assembly and Installation


installing the 7m-gte

Preperation and Paint Work


good taping takes awhile


prep before paint

Final Photos


I just love this angle


toyota super white III



My goal was to build a faster revving engine that could spool the turbo quicker. I'll begin to achieve that with a balancd motor, lightweight flywheel and electric fans.


Engine Work

Crankshaft Align Honed

Balanced to .5 grams

Sent away turbo to Ron's Turbo Service in Salt Lake City, UT to be fully rebuilt


Dual FAL Electric Fans


Stainless Downpipe


Chassis Stiffening

Interior bar that connects the two subframe rails together with a turnbuckle

Front and Rear strut tower bars


Stock Changes

New Targa Seals, Front, Back and Center

Stainless Braided Brake Lines

Vented Rotors and Ceramic Pads



The Supra will be on the road in May 2008



What I learned: Don't mess around with the head, just buy a certified rebuilt. Setting valve tolerances is costly when you have to pay an exorbinant amount of spacers. New Buckets are 175$, need a new set?

I also got scammed after sending a guy I met on the forums 175$ for his, and he never shipped it, nor returned my money - even after steady communication for 4 months about it.

If somethings worth doing, its worth doing right. Take your time with Paint and prep work.