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irish44j
irish44j New Reader
3/28/09 6:01 p.m.

Looking for something cheap to serve as a track/autocross car (primarily autocross) - just something fun, not necessarily anything that will kill the competition. I've always liked the early 90s MR2s in terms of looks and heard various things about them, but have no real knowledge. So what do I need to know about them? I would buy the non-turbo (want to keep it simple, reliable) and IIRC that has basically a Camry engine in it?

what should I look out for, what should I know, etc etc ? Thanks.

Jhoppa
Jhoppa
3/28/09 7:00 p.m.

1) Research the class you would be interested in competing.

2) Buy the car which has been winning. Make sure to account for all the parts needed to make competitive in stock class or SP, or prepared, etc...

3) Spend all your money on a winning car....

4) Spend some money and attend a driving school, or go drive a shifter kart or TAG kart to work on being smooth for a weekend.

I have seen folks spend tons of money on a car which is not competitive and then get burned out quick. Research, research, research... This will save a lot of heartache and give you satisfaction in the end.

I owned a MR2 and loved it, but not sure what class it competes in or how it does against some of the other cars in class.

moxnix
moxnix New Reader
3/28/09 7:38 p.m.

Second Gen MR2's do very well in ES. There are some years that are thought to be better because of wheel size availability? but locally any second gen can do well.

Tyler H
Tyler H Dork
3/28/09 7:56 p.m.

You can't go wrong if you buy it right. Some people still think these cars are worth a fortune.

A 91-92 MR2 NA, depending on condition, is worth $2-4k. If you don't mind putting a clutch or timing belt on one, you can buy a nice inop for ~$1500. Konis, strut tops, ball joints, steering rack bushings, tie rod ends and some r-comps (~$1200) upgrades and you have a nationally-competitive E-stock car.

93+ cars do better in E-stock because they came with 15" wheels and longer rear control arms. A hard top car is a rare commodity, but I've seen them cheap.

These cars are somewhat rare, but good deals are out there. They imported about 300k of them over a 5-year production run. They are reliable, well-built and don't rust.

RobL
RobL Reader
3/28/09 8:03 p.m.

The '93s had slightly stiffer shocks too.

Tyler H
Tyler H Dork
3/28/09 8:05 p.m.

Never heard anything about the shocks, but they are about ~.5" lower and have 5 more hp, due to the introduction of a knock sensor on the 5sfe.

irish44j
irish44j New Reader
3/29/09 9:10 a.m.
Jhoppa wrote: 1) Research the class you would be interested in competing. 2) Buy the car which has been winning. Make sure to account for all the parts needed to make competitive in stock class or SP, or prepared, etc... 3) Spend all your money on a winning car.... 4) Spend some money and attend a driving school, or go drive a shifter kart or TAG kart to work on being smooth for a weekend. I have seen folks spend tons of money on a car which is not competitive and then get burned out quick. Research, research, research... This will save a lot of heartache and give you satisfaction in the end. I owned a MR2 and loved it, but not sure what class it competes in or how it does against some of the other cars in class.

I've been autocrossing for almost 20 years in things ranging from old Triumphs to Nissan Maximas to Subaru to Lancias. Appreciate the advice but my question was really just asking about MR2s, not about autocrossing I do agree with your points though. Right now I'm less concerned with winning and just want to have fun on the cheap.

irish44j
irish44j New Reader
3/29/09 9:12 a.m.

thanks for the info gents...not rushing into this, I'm just thinking out loud since my 09 wrx already blew up a motor so thanks to warranty issues it probably won't be the autocross/track car I had hoped it would be ....

Tyler H
Tyler H Dork
3/29/09 10:23 a.m.

That's a sad commentary on subaru's quality these days. Get an mr2 if you spot one. Just like anything else, it pays to be patient and get an unmolested one.

They are very simple cars, so as long as you get a solid one, you're good to go.

RobL
RobL Reader
3/29/09 6:29 p.m.
RobL wrote: The '93s had slightly stiffer shocks too.

Slightly stiffer SPRINGS. right area, wrong component.

93celicaGT2
93celicaGT2 Dork
3/30/09 6:58 a.m.
Tyler H wrote: Never heard anything about the shocks, but they are about ~.5" lower and have 5 more hp, due to the introduction of a knock sensor on the 5sfe.

5 more hp, similar amount more torque, smoother powerband, due to knock sensor (kinda) as you said, plus slightly more agressive cams, and better tuning. (Different ECU)

If you get 93 or newer, you get sequential firing injectors, rather than batch.

John Brown
John Brown SuperDork
3/30/09 7:10 a.m.

I have said it before, my FAVORITE winter car was my 1992 MR2.

racerdave600
racerdave600 Reader
3/30/09 9:10 a.m.

I've owned numerous versions of it, and if you buy correctly, it will be a great car. The biggest challenge will be fixing what other people have done to it, as most now have been horribly abused. The non-turbos actually drive better stock than the turbo cars due to less weight in the rear, but once modified, that all goes out the window anyway.

When buying one, just look for normal used car stuff and you should be fine, there are no secret handshakes with it, its standard Toyota assembled in a more sporting manner.

I loved all of mine and sold a nice '91 NA hardtop a couple of years back for $3,500 if that helps. They should still be priced similarly.

irish44j
irish44j New Reader
3/30/09 6:55 p.m.

thanks for the info again guys. I'm looking at a 91 N/A this week....almost 300k miles, but documented alot of new parts. will obviously check out engine, timing belt, etc. We'll see.

Out of curiosity, how much are new engines for these things (or new/used engines?)

93celicaGT2
93celicaGT2 Dork
3/31/09 9:42 a.m.
irish44j wrote: thanks for the info again guys. I'm looking at a 91 N/A this week....almost 300k miles, but documented alot of new parts. will obviously check out engine, timing belt, etc. We'll see. Out of curiosity, how much are new engines for these things (or new/used engines?)

Motor will probably be fine. If it hasn't blown up yet, it won't.

Typically, if the car has been maintained, and it doesn't spin a rod bearing at 200-230k miles, it'll run forever. There was a Celica at the Dragon meet last year that had 378k miles on original motor. The previous year, it had 357k miles, on an unopened motor. Last year, he replaced the gaskets, and do a quick freshening, and THEN it started knocking and finally died. I firmly believe that if he didn't touch it, it'd still be running today.

But, IF it does go, you can grab another motor out of any celica, camry, whatever, for whatever they charge at the local self service yard.

I can get bottom ends for $75 all day long. I wouldn't bother buying a used head. Just get the current one rebuilt if it needs it. It WILL probably need valve seals. While you're in there, do a valve job, port and polish, and stuff some 2jzge valves in it.

Don't worry about the motor itself. If the electronics are all in order, the car is straight with no rust, just grab it.

jrw1621
jrw1621 HalfDork
3/31/09 10:13 a.m.

You can not go wrong with a good MR2. Your biggest issue will be finding a good one. Many have been riced-out over the past years or wrecked my inexperienced drivers.

The epicenter of all things MR2 is the MR2 Oweners Club www.mr2oc.com You will have to register to get to the forums but it is safe and well worth it.

If you are considering a 2000+ MR2 Spyder the best site is www.spyderchat.com.

-John
Former owner of an '88 MR2 SC

lmnr
lmnr
5/11/11 7:25 p.m.

Anyone give me any thoughts on this? and helpful tips if possible based on this? http://atlanta.craigslist.org/eat/cto/2373597542.html

sanman
sanman Reader
5/11/11 7:36 p.m.
lmnr wrote: Anyone give me any thoughts on this? and helpful tips if possible based on this? http://atlanta.craigslist.org/eat/cto/2373597542.html

I'd save your money for something nicer. That car is ragged and $2k is too much for it. I've seen pristine N/A cars with less than 100k go for 5k. A clean example over 100k should be ~3-3.5k

lmnr
lmnr New Reader
5/11/11 7:38 p.m.

In reply to sanman: so i could find one with 100-130k with 3.5k? now whats the typical wear and tear that a mr2 could have?

Matt B
Matt B HalfDork
5/11/11 7:46 p.m.
lmnr wrote: Anyone give me any thoughts on this? and helpful tips if possible based on this? http://atlanta.craigslist.org/eat/cto/2373597542.html

Based on the weird door paint and the rear quarter "repair" I'd say it probably took a pretty good hit. For a street car, I'd rather start with a clean chassis for just a little bit more money. Pretty rough all around.

On the other hand, for $1500 it would make a fun rallycross tool if the engine was solid.

lmnr
lmnr New Reader
5/11/11 7:50 p.m.

In reply to Matt B: the guy apparently said that the engine was swapped and only has 140k something but i have a budget of like 3.5k and with the rest maybe i could fix that or id be way too much?

sanman
sanman Reader
5/11/11 7:56 p.m.
lmnr wrote: In reply to sanman: so i could find one with 100-130k with 3.5k? now whats the typical wear and tear that a mr2 could have?

Pristine car

cheap decent car

avg car

lmnr
lmnr New Reader
5/11/11 8:17 p.m.

In reply to sanman: i see i found a good one but its a 87 supra ive heard of supras also being good cars to get if you know what you are doing to it but idk if its too much or even worth it.

http://atlanta.craigslist.org/atl/cto/2334780959.html

corytate
corytate Reader
5/11/11 8:35 p.m.

iirc 1st gens have the 4age and the second gens have the 5sfe from pretty much every car toyota put out around that time
both will stand up to abuse, I would personally choose a 4a over the 5s anyday of the week.

lmnr
lmnr New Reader
5/11/11 8:46 p.m.

In reply to corytate: sorry to ask but you refer to 4a as in?

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