Sunday, 30 September 2018

An '80s-specific-automotive-related-shenanigan distraction.

...taking the blame as I casually slip away from two flawless years of a three-posts-a-month system that'd been so damn simple for me to follow. One post on the 10th, one on the 20th , one on the 30th, give or take a few days; it worked well... or.. well, it worked; aware that in this depressing post-forum landscape where the only outlet left for car ramblings is Facebook - an absolute train wreck - if keeping my mind and fingers on life support is the only point to any of this, then it's doing its job.

Who'd have thought there was something even easier than three posts a month? One!? One post?! What a concept!

Yep. Right. So that's a thing now...

...

So what the hell was it that consumed my September then anyway? Well let's jump back to an Instagram post from February last year...
"JZA80sHERO... again!? Remembering looks can be *very* deceiving; here's two flattering photos of a oh-so-very-tired Supra I picked up on the weekend: a 1996 6N0 Moonstone Grey, JZA80 Toyota Supra SZ. "Uhhh, why...?" you ask? A rough non-turbo auto Supra? Well likely going hand-in-hand with being *far* from babied; this Supra is ab-so-lutely untouched... no intake, no exhaust; standard springs, shocks, mats, Japanese-frequency radio, to the damn headlight globes - all as Toyota left them almost 21years ago. To anyone who's ever had to rebuild/restore an older car; having something to use/reference with every damn clip and screw in the right place... it's golden; and will go a long way to getting the Abflug '93 RZ back on the road. Those factory-option RZ 4/2piston big brakes and 17's sure didn't hurt either...! #allgoodfun #jza80shero #recyclingjokes #fortheenvironment #toyota #teq #トヨタ #toyotasupra #supra #suprasz #toyotasuprasz #thetenminutecad #mkiv #mkivsupra #mk4supra #supranation #supraregistry #supraculture #jza80 #2jz #2jzge #2jzgte #twinturbo #suprarz #supraturbo #abflug #japanesenostalgiccar #1996"

Remember this?

A former yard ornament that I'd nabbed as a nuts-and-bolts-and-clips-and- parts car for the Abflug Supra. A pleasant surprise that drove so well that it effectively took over from the 4Runner as my main runaround almost instantly...

...then becoming one of the few cars I dragged with me on a move up north a year ago.

With paint and trims so flogged from a decade parked in the elements, I'd never have to worry about leaving it in the sun. Or driving it in the rain. Or off-road. Or the slow-motion-demo-derby that IS a shopping centre car-park.
That this care-free luxury happened to be wrapped around a chassis that allows my late-90s Gran Turismo imagination to run bloody wild? Yep, I've certainly hurled a few kilometres onto this thing!

The only trouble being what that pesky strip of numbers along the lower edge of the tachometer were already hinting at. Ten thousand otherwise-enjoyable kilometres of Supra'ing in, if the SZ's basic 2JZ-GE was to stick around, then the A340E automatic just has to go - regardless of my intentions for the car only 18 months earlier! I can't help myself; "no, it's a parts car.." means nothing once I get attached; the wallet is pinned open and I'm bled dry. Automobile ownership and me: I'm a willing victim. 

A complete manual conversion was sourced (painfully..) from a local dismantler and wrestled in over a couple weekends.
I wanted to retain the original 113,914km (70,783mi) on the odometer through the change...

1996- ('1997') face-lift automatic and manual clusters opened up; moving the manual tachometer into the automatic assembly seemed to be the simplest way to do the change..

Faces wiped down, lenses polished and all back together. Perfect.

Toyota made adding the manual pedals in a Right Hand Drive chassis similarly uneventful...

...the small pieces of insulation covering the clutch pedal assembly mount positions simply pull away, revealing a plug for the clutch master rod and three marks that need to be drilled. I've already fitted the smaller manual-specific brake pedal here, itself a 10 minute job...

*grumbles* ...well, other than being contorted head-first into the footwell to do so!

Clutch master bolts in with the clutch pedal assembly, then the hard-line is wrangled into position using clips also conveniently fitted from the factory...

Back together; one, two, three - yep, we're in business!

Not so simple is the tunnel area, where Toyota have had to use a completely flat tunnel insert piece to clear the A340's compact shifter assembly. Annoyingly the opening doesn't line up with the shifter position on the standard SZ W58 (5speed), while the whole piece doesn't come close to clearing the RZ/SZ-R's mammoth V160/V161 (6speed) Getrag. It's not a massive job to change this insert piece, but to do it properly requires spot-welding the new piece in place (although many DO just use sealant...). I'll leave that job for another day...

A manual tunnel cut. Since the main thing I'm wanting to do is insulate the shifter opening, there's a simpler solution that'll work for now...

Arts & Crafts: the shifter insulation mounting area trimmed from the cut. Scuffed up for a lick of paint, then slipped over some existing bolts to locate...

Removing the trans had revealed a bit of a mess down the back of the motor the cam covers had made - classic 2JZ-GE fun. Good timing while I'm grabbing the manual bits and bobs anyway; some new seals it is, along with new plugs, distributor o-rings (also leaking, also classic 2JZ-GE fun..) and a rear main seal while I was at it...

Used flywheel machined locally..

The 4A-G's flattered it gets part description priority on these ones!

That's more like it! The little TRD Duracon knob is actually one I ran in my AW11 years ago.

The 2JZ-GE's crossover intake makes this job MUCH more difficult than it needs to be; an absolute pain in the arse compared to the 2JZ-GTE...

...petrified distributor o-rings leaking oil on the alternator are another joy exclusive to peasant 2JZ-GE life. 

...but eventually we're done. Everything back as Toyota left it 22 years earlier, with the exception being the newly-added clutch hydraulics along the firewall to right Toyota's wrongs...

All there, all done; you'd be none the wiser! 
While still underwhelming from a JZA80-Supra-according-to-the-internet point of view, it's certainly a more sprightly machine that it has ever been. The reduced drivetrain losses, minor weight reduction and extra gearing of the manual trans just help you make the most of the 2JZ-GE's 165kW/284Nm figures. A worthwhile change.




So.. who wants a Supra automatic 'box? Free to a good home. C'mon... anyone? ...anyone?






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