BoxheadTim PowerDork
April 5, 2014 8:44 p.m.

Well, this has a bit of the horse being behind the cart feel to it, given that I just made a deal on a rather nice, low-ish mileage MR2.

Anyway, the car is too nice for a lot of mods, so I'll mostly be restricting myself to bolt ons. My plan is:

  • Handling. It's a 93, so it's got suspension that can legally drink beer. At least new shocks are in order and possibly some bushings as well. Possibly some strut braces
  • The usual brake program - braided lines, Hawk or Porterfield pads
  • If anything, any powertrain mods would be to improve reliability on 100F+ track days. So I'm thinking upgraded stock location intercooler, ceramic coated downpipe (possibly with an exhaust to match) and a better intake. Oh, and possibly an uprated radiators + fans
  • Better seats - I already have a set of Recaro SPGs, all I have to figure out how to mount them as low as possible
  • Bigger wheels, the tire choice for the OEM tires seems to be a bit on the dire side, so I'm thinking a set of nice 16" or 17" with sticky-ish tires

Anything else I should address with a car like this? It's going to be street driven with some HPDE/PDX and possibly time trials down the line.

carbon HalfDork
April 5, 2014 8:50 p.m.

Sounds like youre on the right track man. Congrats! Awesome cars.

bmw88rider Reader
April 5, 2014 9:03 p.m.

Don't forget the Hose from Hell and the hose from hell jr. Torsion rod bushings to get the caster set. Other than that...Enjoy. I just have koni's and the stock springs on mine but I also drive it every day.

I just did the total suspension rebuild over the last 2 weekends. Really easy honestly. You can do it all in a weekend if you keep moving at it. I kind of dinked around and did most of it in a little over a day.

Oh and the gland nut is a 1.5" wrench. You can get it from Armstrong.

kanaric HalfDork
April 6, 2014 2:11 a.m.

people ask too much for them. I tried my hardest to buy one before I went R32 Skyline but I could buy and import a car and all fees paid cheaper than people want a SW20 turbo with rust on it and 150k miles. Almost got one but some guy offered more than I offered and the cars paint was E36 M3. Sold for like $7000+. Car I bought instead had half the miles, pristine paint, no mods, at $6000 after all fees to import to the US

I want one but I think i'm going to wait for 2018 when I could get all kinds of FD Rx7s, Supra, and SW20 for pennies. Not playing these peoples games anymore asking ridiculous prices for cars that cost 1/2 that north of the border. In 2 years you will be able to get one of these in perfect condition with low miles for like $4000 just wrong hand drive. I'm not playing with the American used car market anymore when it comes to imports marques for cars this old.

Example of how stupid E36 M3 is here in the US a Supra here is like $30,000. There it's $8000 at most, you can get one at $8000 plus all fees shipped to Canada right now. In 2018 it will probably be $10k to the US due to demand, since skylines just went up only like $1000 after US legality.

bmw88rider Reader
April 6, 2014 5:53 a.m.

I got mine for $6800 for a 71K miles very clean stock example. Only thing I had to do is a tune up and I rebuild the suspension on it because I wanted it to be like new again not because it was really bad.

Yes there are a lot of stupidly priced ones out there but they are getting a little thin on the streets too.

Will SuperDork
April 6, 2014 7:00 a.m.
bmw88rider wrote: Oh and the gland nut is a 1.5" wrench. You can get it from Armstrong.


If you get the Koni inserts, you can't reuse the factory gland nut. The Konis come with a round nut that requires a gland nut wrench:

Jerry Dork
April 6, 2014 7:44 a.m.

For my MK1 I followed a friend to for a Corbeau seat and the bracket. The bracket cost more than the seat. Even my 27 year old car had the perfectly made bracket to fit.

Dr. Hess MegaDork
April 6, 2014 8:07 a.m.

I made this to do Koni strut cartridges on the AW11. Also worked great on the ones I put on the AE92. I can't see a SW20 Koni set being different.

Tyler H SuperDork
April 6, 2014 10:38 a.m.

If you don't want to chew them up with a pipe wrench or fire up the welder, you can order a pin spanner to fit Koni gland nuts from McMaster for ~$12.

McMaster PN 5480A13

bmw88rider Reader
April 6, 2014 11:42 a.m.

That is the one I was referring to. I got mine from armstrong and I think it was $8-10. I posted too quick. Works great.

Dr. Hess MegaDork
April 6, 2014 3:14 p.m.

Where do you connect the torque wrench?

Knurled PowerDork
April 6, 2014 3:21 p.m.
kanaric wrote: people ask too much for them. I tried my hardest to buy one before I went R32 Skyline

Canadian-like typing detected

Car I bought instead had half the miles, pristine paint, no mods, at $6000 after all fees to import to the US

...wait, what?

Okay, I must have been living under a rock for a while, or something.

BoxheadTim PowerDork
April 9, 2014 8:43 p.m.

Finally got around to pulling the pitchers off the phone (which explains their not-so-stellar quality):

It'll spend some quality time at my mechanic's place as it'll need some R&R - the car has been in storage from 2005 until earlier this year, the timing belt is slightly overdue - well, it's the original so it's 21 years old, the car has 62k miles on it an no record of a belt change. It's also got a bunch of oil leaks and between the leaks, the fact that the oil cooler/warmer is also leaking oil and some of the other work required, we're currently serious considering to make life easier and drop out the engine. Anyway, I should have a full report on what they think needs doing early next week.

carbon HalfDork
April 9, 2014 8:46 p.m.

That looks like a nice berking car man!

Tyler H SuperDork
April 9, 2014 8:51 p.m.

Ah....steel mist gray. The best color.

Do yourself a favor: drop the engine and go through it. It only takes about 2 hours to drop the whole drivetrain onto a rubbermaid tote lid. Bolt your hoist to the tow hooks and slide it out the side.

Your back will thank you and you'll do better work.

BoxheadTim PowerDork
April 9, 2014 9:00 p.m.

In reply to carbon:

It is. It's almost too nice to take to the track, so I'll probably invest in some paint protection film to keep it as nice as it is.

In reply to Tyler H:

Pulling the engine is beginning to look more and more likely, but I'll see what my mechanic has to say once they have the car up on a lift. I currently don't have the time to do it myself if I want to drive the car this year as the DIY list on our house is getting a little out of control.

And yes, I agree on the color. I've looked at a bunch of red and white ones, even a really nice one owner white one (but with twice the mileage) and when I saw this one I started drooling like an old incontinent boxer.

April 9, 2014 10:17 p.m.

I drove one as a daily for 7 years back in the 90's...awesome cars. I dropped the engine for the hose from hell change and a couple of leaks...6 months later it was back in the car with's a slippery slope! .

Love the color!

Jay UltraDork
April 9, 2014 11:34 p.m.

Looks like a really nice example! I was looking at those but I bought my FTO instead (decided I wanted 4 seats.) They're so cheap here in the land of Japanese imports but turbos are rare. Great choice of colour too.

docwyte HalfDork
April 11, 2014 4:35 p.m.

I've always wanted one of those. Your car looks amazing! Love the color, can't believe it's been sitting around for almost 10 years.

bgkast Dork
April 11, 2014 4:47 p.m.

Very nice! I'll have to check it out, an MR2 was the other option for me before I found your miata!

BoxheadTim PowerDork
April 11, 2014 6:04 p.m.

Actually it's not with me yet as it's sitting at my mechanic's shop at the moment. But if they're around Saturday we can make a detour if you want to have a look at it...

BoxheadTim PowerDork
April 11, 2014 6:06 p.m.
docwyte wrote: I've always wanted one of those. Your car looks amazing! Love the color, can't believe it's been sitting around for almost 10 years.

The scary part is that I got to drive it over to the mechanic on 10+ year old tires...

Aspen Reader
April 12, 2014 7:37 a.m.

Nice, much jealousy, beautiful colour. I had a black '91 and regret having sold it even though that was 17 years ago. Does it have the factory LSD?

Mr_Clutch42 Reader
April 12, 2014 7:57 a.m.

In reply to Aspen: Go buy another one.

docwyte HalfDork
April 12, 2014 9:47 a.m.

Yipe! I probably would've flat bedded it over there, if the timing belt broke or skipped you wouldn't have been a happy guy...

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