Mods and Con­se­quences

The sleek MkIII Supra is al­ready a great cruiser, but you can make it far more ac­com­plished

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - News -

Toy­ota Supra

When it comes to cars as ap­pli­ances, Toy­ota has ar­guably scored more bullseyes than any other car­maker – yet this nor­mally con­ser­va­tive com­pany has also pro­duced some of the most en­tic­ingly af­ford­able per­for­mance cars too, such as the MR2, Cel­ica and Supra. The last-named has tra­di­tion­ally been Toy­ota’s high­est­per­for­mance model – but there is still plenty you can do to im­prove it.

The third-gen­er­a­tion Supra, co­de­named MA70, ar­rived here in Jan­uary 1987. More of a grand tourer than a sports car, it came with lots of kit and a nor­mally as­pi­rated straight-six. This en­gine would power all UK-mar­ket MA70 Supras, with a tur­bocharged ver­sion be­ing in­tro­duced at the same time that the model was facelifted in Jan­uary 1989. A cat­alytic con­verter was fit­ted to the Turbo as stan­dard, and by the end of the year, nor­mally as­pi­rated edi­tions also fea­tured one.

All of­fi­cially sup­plied UK Supras were fit­ted with the dou­ble over­head-cam 2954cc en­gine with elec­tronic fuel in­jec­tion – there were twin-turbo 2.0- and 2.5-litre en­gines for other markets. With cool­ing al­ready mar­ginal, even be­fore em­bark­ing on power in­creases, it’s key that the cool­ing sys­tem is in fine fet­tle – and ide­ally up­graded. Ex­pect to fit a good re­place­ment ra­di­a­tor, a de­cent head gas­ket (Ad­jusa or Toy­ota), new head bolts (ARP), plus new coolant hoses (there are lots of small ones in ad­di­tion to the main vis­i­ble ones) with ei­ther sil­i­cone or fac­tory re­place­ments.

If you’re in­creas­ing the en­gine power, a big­ger alu­minium ra­di­a­tor to­gether with a multi-layer metal head gas­ket and up­rated head studs (sup­plied by ARP) should be used. How­ever, a higher de­gree of cor­rec­tive work will be needed to pre­pare the en­gine mat­ing sur­faces for this to seal suc­cess­fully, so you’ll need to fac­tor in the costs of lap­ping the head by a rep­utable ma­chine shop and also po­ten­tially the same to any block sur­face dam­age.

Supra buy­ers could choose be­tween five-speed man­ual or four-speed elec­tron­i­cally con­trolled au­to­matic gear­boxes, the lat­ter prov­ing very pop­u­lar. The Turbo’s R154 gear­box is de­sir­able due to its strength, while the nor­mally as­pi­rated car’s W58 unit isn’t quite as tough – although it’s still pretty strong.

‘If you’re in­creas­ing the en­gine power, a big­ger, alu­minium ra­di­a­tor, multi-layer head gas­ket and up­rated head studs should be used’

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.