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Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter)
Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
4/23/21 9:30 a.m.

In reply to pres589 (djronnebaum) :

The old chain bicycle locks had plastic on them. No clue if they're still available though. 

maschinenbau GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
4/23/21 9:44 a.m.
pres589 (djronnebaum) said:

This is all awesome.  A possible suggestion for you to consider or ignore; some kind of clear tubing to run over the tailgate chains so they don't bang around and chip paint in the process.  No idea what kind to suggest.

Way ahead of you :) I found some clear 1" ID heat shrink, which is why I haven't closed the chain links yet. 

CTeo New Reader
4/23/21 10:48 a.m.

Before you totally bury the ECU, I'd recommend popping it open and checking out the capacitors. I'm not sure if the 2jz ecu's have this issue but both of my 90's Lexus 1uz ECU's were plagued with leaking capacitors that cause tons of undiagnosable phantom issues. I know there's a few people who rebuild them, one in Atlanta I can try and get you in touch with that rebuilt mine with proper caps for around $150. Or if you're comfortable soldering and testing contacts you can order the proper caps and try to DIY. 

Any plans to do a standalone? Perhaps rusEFI when the time comes to add your triple 1j turbos?

maschinenbau GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
4/23/21 11:47 a.m.

In reply to CTeo :

Thanks, I hadn't thought about the cap problem in these ecu's. If I still have running problems, I'll look into that. Long term plans involve Microsquirt. This panel isn't too terribly difficult to get to. I'm just itching to drive it and keep the scope narrow for now.

maschinenbau GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
4/25/21 11:23 a.m.

Holy berkeley I just drove it around the block!!! And promptly ran out of gas, as is my way with first drives of projects.

gumby GRM+ Memberand Dork
4/25/21 11:27 a.m.

Heck yeah! Congrats

Dusterbd13-michael (Forum Supporter)
Dusterbd13-michael (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
4/25/21 11:33 a.m.


4/25/21 12:01 p.m.

Few more adjectives to describe the event would be welcome.

nocones GRM+ Memberand UberDork
4/25/21 12:15 p.m.


wheelsmithy (Joe-with-an-L)
wheelsmithy (Joe-with-an-L) GRM+ Memberand UberDork
4/25/21 12:30 p.m.


Norma66-Brent Reader
4/25/21 1:02 p.m.

Congrats man that has to feel good!

Mr_Asa GRM+ Memberand UberDork
4/25/21 1:50 p.m.


How did it feel? Performance good? Or was it a slow cruise to make sure everything was bolted together?

JoeTR6 Dork
4/25/21 2:11 p.m.

E36 M3 hot!

Rigante New Reader
4/25/21 2:23 p.m.

well done, need videos

maschinenbau GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
4/25/21 2:56 p.m.

It was just a quick ride down the block just to prove it could move. I needed that so bad. Takeaways:

  • Brakes need bled. I haven't properly bled them with a helper yet.
  • Steering isn't straight at all, but surprisingly light for being unpowered. Too much toe in. All can be fixed easily.
  • Front suspension is way softer than expected. This may be a problem for bottoming out the coilovers. I think it needs more spring rate.
  • Pedals are WEIRD. And my left foot has to be barefoot or else the shoe catches catches the brakes while clutching. This will be hard to fix. 
  • LOUD. OH GOD ITS LOUD WITH OPEN HEADERS. But it shoots flames.
  • Gas tank tilts the wrong way due to stance, so the pump was running dry with only a gallon or 2.
  • Fuel gauge only reads full. Not sure what I did wrong there.
  • Needs taillights, signals, license plate bracket, etc before the next outing 
  • Saw a neighbor's jaw hit the ground as I passed by. Not sure if impressed, confused, angry, or all of those at once.
Robbie (Forum Supporter)
Robbie (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
4/25/21 9:39 p.m.


BlueInGreen - Jon
BlueInGreen - Jon UltraDork
4/25/21 9:57 p.m.

It drove around the block.

It shoots flames.

Fricken awesome! Seeing this made my day.

singleslammer PowerDork
4/25/21 10:09 p.m.

This is great, so happy you have it moving under its own power. 

bgkast GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
4/26/21 10:12 a.m.

Man it looks great!

rustomatic Reader
4/26/21 4:12 p.m.

Excellent progress, Dude!  Be seeing this at C&O soon, I expect . . .

maschinenbau GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
5/2/21 8:15 p.m.

Something I forgot to show last week - I took CTeo's advice and inspected the ECU for any bad capacitors. Some Supra/Lexus forum searches guided my attention to the big brown cylindrical caps, which often fail by oozing capacitor goo all over the board. Mine look fine, so I buttoned it back up. 

Since last weekend's sketchy stroll down the block, I got the brakes bled a little better. I also took the pedals out and hacked them up, again. Before below. Notice the bend above the brake pedal. My shoes catches that corner when clutching. 


I also built some sneaky brake light switch brackets. They don't go near the pedal, but instead pick up on the booster push rod after the Rube Goldberg under-dash bellcrank mechanism.

I also drilled a new hole in the clutch pedal to bring it closer to the driver, relative to the brake pedal. This should keep any mistake-brake events to a minimum, as long as I'm barefoot or careful about shoe selection. It feels a little better now.

In preparation for the next drive, I made this temporary control panel so I could ditch the bulky Lexus gauge cluster. I wired the oil pressure switch to an LED. I won't have any other gauges until I design/buy the dashboard trim and spend the big $$ on proper gauges. That's a rabbit hole I'm just starting to explore. For now, an idiot light should be enough.

Back to brakes and lights and whatnot - there is a distinct lack of tail lights here, which I want before driving on the street. But at least I put some clear 1" heat shrink on the tailgate chain to keep it from clanking around. Also I can't figure out how to close that big chain link. I need some kind of giant pliers.

Here are the tail lights. The license plate mounts to one of them. The glass lenses say "STOP" on them which I find redundant but charming. I'm not sure about the aesthetics of the license plate position, but I can always remove the bracket and put it somewhere else.

It's nice having a pattern to trace.

Somehow these took a full Sunday in the garage, and they still need a few coats of primer and sanding before I'll be happy enough to paint.

I just placed a large order for stainless pipes, a muffler, hangers, and flanges to build an exhaust. More in-depth discussion in this thread. The exhaust project will be my reward project for doing the rest of the project. Somehow in my brain that makes sense.

nocones GRM+ Memberand UberDork
5/3/21 12:14 p.m.

In reply to maschinenbau :

Those brake light mounts are marvelous.  You should be proud of them. 

4 simple pictures that show how you with a welder and angle grinder you can turn something into anything you want.   I love the progression from the 3rd to 4th picture.  

Also you must never get rid of the Lexus key.  It's hilarious.   

This thing is really turning out nice.  We need to create  a GRM version of the Riddler and give it to you.  

maschinenbau GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
5/3/21 12:54 p.m.

In reply to nocones :

Thank you! I love the Lexus key too, and I'm going through great lengths to keep that tumbler switch. As a former parking valet, I'm eagerly looking forward to date nights at restaurants with no self-parking devil

maschinenbau GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
5/5/21 8:58 p.m.

I like the lights. I'm glad I tortured myself with the die grinder all day Sunday. The wires are completely hidden inside the tube of the bracket and inside the sheetmetal of the bed. Rivnuts and 1/4-20 flat heads complete the look.

Also this stuff showed up. Haven't welded stainless in a while.

I signed up for a local car show this Saturday. I decided that will be the hot rod's true maiden voyage, even though it's still not finished enough to properly show. It's barely finished enough to drive on the street, but at least it's only 3 miles away in case anything goes wrong. 

Recon1342 Dork
5/5/21 10:03 p.m.

In reply to maschinenbau :

Looking forward to the AAR on the car show...

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