View Full Version : 85 Toyota Supra in ITS?

04-19-2004, 11:52 AM
As you can see from my username, I was planning on running a 95 240sx in ITS. However, I happened to find a 85 Supra in pretty good condition at an abandoned car auction. I figure it's my first racecar and I will probably trash it at some point, and right now the 240 is very reliable transportation to and from work.

I can't seem to find anyone racing these cars in ITS and would appreciate any insight you guys may have.

Do they have any potential, does anyone have experience with developing them for ITS? Any major reasons why no one is running them now?

Basically, I really enjoy racing and the engineering behind making a racecar, so I am sure I will have fun doing it, but I don't want to dig myself into a huge hole with a car that may not have much potential. Thanks for the help.


04-19-2004, 02:18 PM
I'm trying but the damn thing won't cooperate. Keep blowing motors, not the cars fault it is the junk yard rejects I get that the yard refuses to honor the warrenty on. So I am buiilding a fresh engine.

Anyway, Kirk Racing http://www.kirkracing.com/ has a bolt/weld in cage that is of good quality for the 85. They don't show it on the web site but give them a call to order it. It comes in two versions, sun roof and non-sunroof. Learn from my mistake, order the non-sunroof version and take the sunroof out of the car. You bolt the cage togeather except for the door and dash bars which are weld ins. They should have the Nascar door bars available now and I suggest you go with them.

They do have potential. I have read reports from several guys in OZ that race them with good result and there have been a few in Briton that have raced them. I have only heard of one guy in the northeast some where who is running one in SCCA besides me. They are good and relatively cheap cars now, I really hope more will start to turn up.

There is a web site dedicated to the MK II Supra at http://www.celicasupra.com/ . There is a lot of knowledge on the forums and the guys/gals are willing to help a a new owner out.

Where are you?

[This message has been edited by jhooten (edited April 19, 2004).]

04-19-2004, 03:04 PM
And if you want to see pics of my car on the track, go to the pics forum and look for a thread Race day (almost).

04-19-2004, 03:05 PM
Thanks for the response! I am in Indianapolis. I am just getting started on the car. I picked it up from the auction for $300 and drove it home with no problems. It isn't in perfect shape, it has some rust on the body, and a few dents, but the engine and trans seem ok.

Any specific engine problems to look out for? Also, any suspension suggestions besides the ones on the celicasupra site or are those the only ones?

I will give kirk racing a call b/c the cage is my next step. I was looking at fabricating my own, but I don't have a tubing bender yet.

Where are you located? Here is my email address if you want to share info back and forth more directly.

[email protected]


04-19-2004, 04:20 PM
I'm in Central Texas.

The 5MGE is known for low oil pressure at idle. The lifters (actually lash adjusters) are hydrolic and the low oil pressure will cause the valve train to tick like crazy. The gasket around the shock towers is a thin metal one and is prone to leak. Try to retorque the bolts before you replace it, that may stop the leak and save you some time and effort. If it has more than 100k miles check the timming belt. These are non-interference engines but why let a $25 belt ruin your school. If the belt needs replacement a lot of those in the know reccomend that you go ahead and change all the seals under the timming belt cover while you have it off.

BLEED THE BRAKES AND THE CLUTCH! When I did mine the fluid looked more like mud than brake fluid.

Change the fluid in the diff. When you refill the diff go to the Chevy house and buy some Limited Slip Friction modifier. It comes in about a 2 oz. bottle. Add that to the diff fluid to keep the LSD working correctly.

The parking brakes are drums inside the rotors. Remove the whole system. All it takes is for the lever to get pulled up a few notches and your rear brakes will heat up and fade away.

The stock suspension will get you through your schools. There are a few suspension upgrade kits available. I have heard the Eibach Pro kit is good place to start. One of the good things about the suspension design is the more you lower it the more negative camber you get. This is good because the camber is not adjustable on the car at all. Minimun ride height it 5". My car is a 8" ready to race less driver. My plan is to drop it 1.5 to 2" more to lower the CG and give me a bit more neg camber.

If'm sure I'll think of more later.

Good luck and let us know how the build up is progressing.

06-10-2004, 11:43 AM

I have finally began tearing the interior out of the car and working on the roll cage preperation. I have found some rust in some strange areas and would like to know if you had any similar rust problems.

The area right in front of and behind the rear wheels, one spot in the rear wheel well 3 inches in front of the shock tower, two spots under the rear seat and of course the lip under the rear hatch.

The rust looks like it can be cut out and a patch welded in, but I just wanted to get your opinion and if you noticed any weak spots in those areas espically after racing and loading the chassis.

Also, I was wondering what you did with the sunroof, I was planning on welding in a plate to cover the hole but would like to find a roof with close to the same contour if it's possible.

Thanks, for the help.


06-10-2004, 02:48 PM
I got luckey with mine I guess. I was undercoated and I have not found a rusted out area. It seems it is a rare bird. It had been hit in the front and the body work was not the best but it is functional.

Rust in those areas is not uncommon. Check out the resoration forum at http://www.celicasupra.com/phpBB2/
and ask the guys there that question. There are some who drag race, autoX, and even a few drifters on the board who may have some first hand experiance racing after repairs.

With the mods we are allowed you really don't load up that much more that you would in a little spirited driving on a winding mountain road. You should be ok as long as the repairs are made properly.

The sunroof route I took may not be the best but it worked for me. I removed all the tracks, frame, motors, and hardware. Then welded the outer panel in place and filled the gaps with 3M body filler. A little elbow grease, some sand paper, and few cans of paint and it looks like a hardtop under casual examination.

06-15-2004, 03:01 PM
I have been asking a question about cruise control in the Rules & Regs forum and I was curious if you knew wether there was a Supra between 82-86 that didn't have cruise control as standard equipment? I would like to get rid of the control module, but I want to make sure it's legal to do so. The only evidence I found was on the celicasupra website on an old window sticker from 83 that didn't list cruise control as standard equipment. Also, have you found any documentation on a minimum head thickness for the 5M-GE, or have you had a chane to do much engine work yet?

Thanks, Russell

06-15-2004, 10:20 PM
I have only an 85 factory repair manual. It does not list the head gasket thickness in the engine spec section. There is no manual sterring box shown in the manual. I am afraid this would lead the tech inspector to conclude that power steering was the only option.

Let me add my $.02 on the power steering. Leave it. Having thrown my belt on more than one occasion I can tell you that the steering will wear you down in a hurry if the pump is not going. Granted this is a power rack and you are both steering the car and pushing the fluid through the system. The power steering in our cars is speed sensitve and is controlled by engine vacume. Going down the straights and through the high speed parts the pump is "turned down" given some power back when needed the most and road feel is increased. At lower speed the pump is putting out the flow needed to make the steering effort less and responce better. It works well from the factory and doesn't need much tinkering.

There is a manual rack from another car that is almost a bolt in replacement but would not be "legal". And it is a slower rate making you turn the wheel more for the same amout of change at the wheels.

As for the cruise control ask your region tech inspector how they view it. Some see it as a safety issued and require it to be disabled but don't allow it to be removed. Some allow it to be removed. Which ever ask them to give you the responce in writting.

Just in case you don't have the TSRM there is an on-line copy at: http://www.cygnusx1.net/supra/library/TSRM...MKII/index.html (http://www.cygnusx1.net/supra/library/TSRM_MKII/index.html)
Which may help your research.

BTW,I got a call today. MY ENGINE IS FINALLY DONE. And in answer to a thread a few months ago IT prep on a 5MGE is $2400. Going to Houston and pick it up Friday. Hope it quits raining this week end so I can stuff it back in.

[This message has been edited by jhooten (edited June 15, 2004).]

06-16-2004, 01:07 AM
That's awesome that you are getting your engine back this weekend, but $2400 is a lot more than I was hoping to hear. I guess that cost would invovle a complete blueprinting and head milling and new bearings and seals and port matching and ..... well, is there a shop in houston that specializes in IT prep. Do you know what kind of gains you will get from the engine work and if you don't mind sharing, what all was done?

Thanks for all the help by the way, my car is almost completely stripped on the interior and I am going to pull the engine and trans tomorrow, I have everything disconnected, I just need to get the hoist out of the corner and finish pulling the engine out. The rust doesn't look too bad, I think I am just going to weld in some plates. I have been taking pictures of the whole process if you would like to see any of them, they will get a lot more interesting when the roll cage starts to go in, hopefully in the next few weeks.

Also, I found a company who will do ECU reprogramming for the supra, they claim 16hp and 20ftlb. www.elprototypes.com (http://www.elprototypes.com) they just have a number on the website but the guys there are very helpful. I looked for the pictures of your car on the website but I couldn't find any, let me know if they are still up there. Oh, and I found a company who would help with the suspension, www.sellisengineering.com (http://www.sellisengineering.com) the guy there seemed to be familiar with the car and has some good products.

Thanks again for the help and hopefully the weather will stay nice for your engine install.


06-16-2004, 09:20 AM
Remeber that I took him a pile of blowed up junk.

Check the block for cracks and what not then boil it.
Deck the block.
Bore it to get rid of all the scratches and make the holes round again.
Line hone,balance, blue print.
New bearings for the oilpump shaft.
New oversize pistons to fit.
Premiun quality gaskets, rings, and bearings.
And assemble the short block.

Unwarp/mill heads.
replace valve guides/seals.
restore valve seats and faces to factory spec.
new cam bearings
restore cam to factory specs.
port and polish, no wait, I mean port match.
New lash adjusters.
New valve springs
adjust lash adjuster pressure regulator.
Assemble head.

mate head to block
set timming
prime engine oil system
And paint it old school chevy orange.

replaced heat cracked flywheel

And I'm sure I have forgotten some things.

The post with the pics is:

06-25-2004, 10:41 AM
Thanks again for the engine info and all the help. I found a good local machine shop who seems to really know race engines. Have you had a chance to get your engine back in the car and start it up? Also, on your first race prepared engine, was it one thing in particular that made it blow up?

I finally have the engine and trans out, and removed the A/C system, at least all the components under the hood. I am beginning to wonder about the weight of the car, have you had your car on scales yet? Is it pretty easy to make the 2890lb race weight, or even get to a point where you can use ballast?

I am trying to start deciding on roll cage attachment points and was curious about where the rear bars attached for the kirk roll cage. Ideally I would want to put them right on top of the spring perch and use the 100in^2 plate to tie in the shock towers, but that cross brace is right on top of the springs and the shock towers don't look like the best place to attach either. Any suggestions?

Thanks again for the help, and I hope that new engine is running strong.


06-25-2004, 12:58 PM
I don't have a garage and it has been raining for the past 40 days and 40 nights. But there is only a 60% chance for Saturday and 40% for sunday. I only have a week and a day until the next race. Some thing has to give soon. I guess I'll have to stop on the way home today and buy a big tarp and hang it between the trees to work under.

The rear tubes attach to the top of the wheel wells. And I have not been on the scale yet. Hope to next weekend at least to see where I am at.

[This message has been edited by jhooten (edited June 25, 2004).]

07-02-2004, 11:33 AM

Just wanted to check on the engine install and if it was running yet? Sounds like you will be racing this weekend so good luck. I am now facing the always interesting question of "what exactly does the Air Conditioning System consist of?" I talked to a tech inspector and it sounded like he changed his mind twice in the conversation about everything but the heater core and hoses to well if a non-A/C car had it then it should stay. I think he ended up saying it's not a safety issue and 20lbs isn't a competitive advantage in his mind so..... I think I am going to send him a list of possible things that can be removed and have him initial the things that are ok.

I don't know if you have been through the underside of the dash but it would be a lot less of a birds nest if the ducting and A/C system were not under there. Also, the best place for a roll cage dash bar is right through the center of all that stuff. Anyway, Good luck on the race and I can't wait to hear a good story about the 85 supra!


07-02-2004, 01:16 PM
Guys, don't have the GCR handy, but I am pretty sure that it says the core must stay (whether it is arguably part of the a/c system or not).


07-02-2004, 01:56 PM
The sentence in the previous post wasn't that clear, but I didn't mean to say that the heater core or hoses could be removed as they are clearly stated in the GCR as

GCR 17.1.4.D.3.g "...Heater core and hoses shall not be removed."

07-05-2004, 05:15 PM
I'm going to repeat this part in the SWDiv forum but to answer your question, I would personally like to say thanks to all the ITS drivers that decided to stay home and spend time with friends and family for the Forth of July weekend. Because all but two of you stayed home (or perhaps went to Hallet instead of TWS) not only did I finally finish two races to finish my novice permit book, I brough home two Bronze medals.

I worked out in the heat and humidity every evening this week to get it installed and running. Finally getting it to fire on all 6 at about 8:30 pm on friday evening. It was one the trailor and all the other "stuff" loaded in the truck at 10:30. Showered and in bed at 11:15. Up and off to the track at 5:00 am. Made it through P&Q. Changed oil and filter, checked everthing again, put in fresh gas, asked for some devine assistance, and went out for the race. The race chair, bless her heart, gave us a 45 mile race instead of the usual 30 mile regional race. Everybody on track (SP, ITS, ITA, ITB, ITE) except for one ITE Miata finished ahead of me BUT, I finished and finished third in class.

At this point I must admit the heat and humidity got me. Had they not have had AC in the drivers lounge and a few caring folks that brought me water I may have left for the hospital instead of the house. Now I know better, super hydrate before you get in the car.

Sunday we did not have a P&Q session and Our race was a 30 mile just before lunch. Because of the small size of the two regional only run groups we were combined for Sunday. All the IT classes and the SM/SRX7s at once. The SM/SRX7 guys are animals. They bang into each other for fun. And don't care how much they tear up your car of theirs. Anywho, the results were about the same as saturday.

Now for the car. It was sounding like it had a broken header. It doesn't have a header yet. So I have some work to do with the exhaust system. But I knew that. I hope that is what was causing it to act like it was low on horse power. When you loose the drag race down the front straight to a Miata or any ITB car you got to be loosing HP some where. And the suspension on my car is shit. Going through the "button hook" I was getting so much body lean I could look out the passenger side window and see pavement. The "esses" were also a ride worhty of the carnival. AND I definaly need more negative camber up front. The left front Kumho is chewed up good on the outside edge and a wee bit of roll over onto the sidewall. Since this was a backwards race turn 1, 1A, and 2 become one really fast long sweeping right hander leading out onto the front straight. Full throttle through 3rd/4th gears all the way through the turn.

Now onto the AC question. I have removed all of it from the engine compartment. Everything in the passenger compartment stayed. That is the way rules were explained to me. The core and all the ducts are still in place. The compressor, condenser, condenser fan (had they still been working I would have moved tham to the rad. and sued them instead of the fan and clutch), and hoses are gone.

Now I got to find someone with some suspension knowledge to look at the tires and give me some ideas where to go.

AND send in my novice book and get a regional competition liscense. http://Forum.ImprovedTouring.com/it/smile.gif

07-05-2004, 10:31 PM
welcome to the madness jhooten!

on the AC thing....if the part you want to remove is used in the role of air distribution, it needs to stay. If it ONLY is used in the cooling of the air, it can go. But the removal of every duct and flapper valve because it is "air conditioning" doesn't fly.

Jake Gulick
CarriageHouse Motorsports
ITA 57 RX-7
New England Region
[email protected]

07-05-2004, 10:32 PM
ooops..double post...

Jake Gulick
CarriageHouse Motorsports
ITA 57 RX-7
New England Region
[email protected]

[This message has been edited by lateapex911 (edited July 05, 2004).]

07-06-2004, 09:20 PM

Does that mean the evaporator can go then? And do most folks block off the heater core or leave it functional for the defroster?

07-06-2004, 11:33 PM
If the car was available with a heating system that came without the evaporater, you are totally safe removing it. If it is part of the internal HVAC sysem, and can't be removed without leaving a gaping hole, then it is a gray area at best.

Most guys??? Well, most guys kid themselves that the weight is going to add a second a lap, or that it is a "safety" issue and chuck the core altogether! OK, maybe not "most"!...but there does seem to be a strong resentment to keeping it...

Personally, I kept it, and it is part of the cooling system. I think of it as a radiator in a spot where I don't mind the weight. I have the heat on all the time, and the fan is always running. Theoretically, I can run a smaller radiator up front. Ok, thats silly....I would never remove it or block it though...every time it rains, the number one reason guys have problems is visibilty. I've never had a issue......

Jake Gulick
CarriageHouse Motorsports
ITA 57 RX-7
New England Region
[email protected]

07-07-2004, 10:55 AM
I think the evaporator or the internal coils that cool the air can safely be removed as a part of the air conditioning system. If you want to keep the connection between the blower and the heater/rest of the hvac system, I would think you could just remove all the internals from the evaporator housing and just put the plastic box back in.

jhooten, did you get a chance to put the car on the scales yet? I have been chiseling the sound deadening off the interior for about a week now, and I really hope it is going to be worth it. I would guess about 35-50lbs of that stuff has come up so far.

07-07-2004, 06:03 PM
With my overweight self and safety gear in the drivers seat and 3/8 tank of gas the total was 2985 (spec weight 2890). lf 846, rf 841, lr 717, rr 581. So If I loose 60 and run the tank dry I should be right at spec weight. Just got to figure out how to (legally) move some of the rear weigh to the right and the front weight back a bit.

08-01-2004, 08:55 PM

I am getting really tired of removing the sound deadening material from the interior of the car. Did you remove all the black stuff stuck to the sheet metal, and do you have any tricks for removing it all?

Also, have you raced lately and checked out the motor and springs? And have you had any tuning done with the ecu? Sorry, I am full of questions again, but thanks for the help!


08-03-2004, 10:23 AM
Mine came up fairly easy with an air chisel. Took about 3 hours but it is all gone.

Last race was july 4th weekend. Have been going to go test and tune at the drag strip and put in a few runs to see how the engine does but is has rained every friday for the last month. This weekend is 'sposed to be clear and HOT. The computer network upgrade at work is scheduled for this weekend, 12 hours a day thursday - monday. So this weekend is out too. The AutoX guys should have an event soon. That is another oportunity to check it out.

If you have a source of dry ice, spread it out on the stuff, wait a few minutes, and hit it with a hammer.

I just have to find about 100# of LEGAL wieght to loose from the front of the car. And no the driver is not far enough foward.

08-03-2004, 11:54 AM
"I am getting really tired of removing the sound deadening material from the interior of the car. Did you remove all the black stuff stuck to the sheet metal, and do you have any tricks for removing it all? "

two words....dry ice...freeze it, tap it with hammer...pick up the frozen pieces..


08-03-2004, 03:39 PM
Thanks for the info guys, I have heard of the dry ice method before, but didn't think it would work very well with this type of material. I have gotten most of it off the floorboard, but the sections behind the dash remain. I will try the dry ice if I can find a local place that sells it, but the air chisel sounds like it would work really well and especially with the dry ice.

Jerry - did you consider the trim pieces that go under the steering column/ directly above the petals and the piece under the glove box as part of the dash board? They seem exceedingly heavy and reinforced with metal for their purpose. Also the part of the console that holds the radio seems to be separate from the dash board but I wanted to get another opinion before I scrap these parts. Thanks


08-03-2004, 04:48 PM
Still in. All I did was notch out to clear the roll bar.