I picked up a Toyota MR2 mkII project car - I think I'll name it Dan Gurney

Discussion in 'Wheels, Wings, Mud, and Water' started by w1jim, Dec 16, 2012.

  1. w1jim

    w1jim I can fix it but good... Subscriber

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    Don't ask me why, but I decided I wanted to pick up a sporty car project. Actually, I think it was a result of not being able to find anything to spend my stereo slush fund on.

    Back in 1987 I had a brand new (first generation) Toyota MR2 that I really enjoyed and decided I'd like another one. Unfortunately the first gen cars are somewhat pricey and finding a rust free example is a real challenge in New England.

    I found this second generation 1991 in the local Craigslist, got a great deal and trailered it home yesterday.
    First project was to clean out the garage and get it inside before the snow starts falling (today).

    Car has only 116K miles, is rust free (!) and the interior is quite nice.

    Here's what I need to do:

    The car was lowered the ghetto way - by chopping the springs. I'll be getting new springs and shocks. Probably Eibach springs and KYB adjustable shocks.

    Car came with Honda Prelude (?) wheels - I'll pick up some 15" wheels and tires from Tirerack.

    Needs a replacement headlamp frame assembly for the left side - motor works, just that the P/O stuck a right side unit in there just to drive it around with a repair plate.

    Car was in a front end accident at some point.
    The P/O fixed it with a cheap ass aftermarket fiberglass nose. I'm searching yards for a replacement nose in the proper color. It also needs the cross brace behind the bumper and the mounting points were crushed back about 3/4". I'll probably need to build a spacer to bring the mounting surface forward.

    Paint - I think I can buff it out enough to make it look OK but a paint job is probably in it's future.

    I'll just use it as a fun car - run the occasional autocross and take it up to the track once in a while.

    And the hood, that'll need painting - but it was autographed - is that Dan Gurney's signature? His shop is called AAR (All American Racers) and ran Toyotas (before they made them in the USA - go figure). Or maybe it's someone else's signature, hard to tell.


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    Last edited: Dec 16, 2012
  2. CougarXR7

    CougarXR7 Sultan of Swing

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    I've always wanted one of those. That's back when Toyota built cars that weren't boring to drive.
     
  3. x_25

    x_25 Big Vandies!! Mwahahah...

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    Cool, looks like fun Jim. Some day I will get a toy car, but with school and work I just don't have time right now. I would either get a fifth or sixth gen civic and go to town on it, an MR2, a Del Sol or a 3000GT.
     
  4. KicknSupra

    KicknSupra Active Member

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    nice ride :D
     
  5. qpagoda

    qpagoda Super Member

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    I love those MR2's. Been wanting one since I saw one in 1985. Back in August I found an '87 model around Memphis. Best $1500 I ever spent. It needed some work, but that's mostly done now. It looks a bit rough but drives great and gets much better gas mileage than my truck. That's how I sold the wife on the deal.
     
  6. Cruzah

    Cruzah Super Member

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    Nice Car...Major Congrads to Ya.
    (I want a old Toyota Celica Gt Myself to play with one day)
     
  7. kx250rider

    kx250rider REAL TVs have TUBES!

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    I'd like to find one and put the 2.2 turbo-Diesel out of a Toyota Estima (Previa van) in it... That would be a bolt-in swap if the MR2 is a manual trans! A 60-mpg little rocketship.

    Charles
     
  8. 68custom

    68custom Addicted Member

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    Nice car! I love MR-2s and hope to find a clean first gen with the factory blower someday.
     
  9. CarnahanBB

    CarnahanBB Super Member

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    I learned to drive a stick on my dad's 1992 MR2 turbo. That was one hell of a fun car to drive. It had a few issues here and there (A/C went out, engine had a hesitation from time to time, etc). All things considered it was a fantastic car though. I would love to own one at some point.
     
  10. Jeffery

    Jeffery High Powered Mutant Subscriber

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    A little trivia-

    Dan Gurney was the first driver to spray champagne on the crowd after a victory, he is the man!

    Oh, and winning the '67 Belgian Grand Prix in an American car was also pretty cool :D

    Speed TV had a little special on the All American Eagle, great little piece if you can catch it.
     
  11. w1jim

    w1jim I can fix it but good... Subscriber

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    Got the car up on jack stands and pulled off the right side struts.
    The mounts (on the top) look fine but the springs were cut drastically so I've ordered new Eibach progressive rate springs and KYB AGX adjustable shocks.

    And, I found a guy who lives about a mile from where I picked up the car who it appears has my body parts - and maybe wheels.
    Unfortunately that's 40 miles from here - time for another trip.

    Oh, and I lost the key! Fortunately the Toyota dealer confirmed they can cut me a replacement from the VIN. I think I'll get two.
     
  12. w1jim

    w1jim I can fix it but good... Subscriber

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    Suspension!

    Making progress - got the new suspension in today.

    Because the springs that came with the car were cut I didn't need to use my "Death-Wish" brand spring compressors for disassembly - and since the new Eibach "Pro-Kit" springs are stiffer and lower I could use my rumored super human strength to compress them while reassembling.
    I used some Rustoleum hammertone grey paint on the stut housings to spiff it up a little for the alignment guy. Also replaced the front sway bar links.

    I picked up the struts, links and miscellaneous parts from Rockauto.com - by far the cheapest prices. Also bought some new cadnium plated metric hardware from McMaster Carr.
    I used some KYB AGX adjustable gas pressure shocks - I think I'll start on full soft and play with it from there.

    I had a terrific episode of AutoKarma when a local (40 miles away) guy offered me a free nose for the car. He had a very nice one that had a tree fall on it several years ago crushing the roof. That ain't gonna' buff out!

    I went up there last week and we pulled the nose and inner bumper pieces that I needed. A bunch of rusted bolts snapped but I've managed to get those out at home with a variety of methods involving PB Blaster, a propane torch, drilling, vise grips, a vise and hemoglobin.

    Next step is to go through the front end wiring. Some of the small lights aren't functioning. May be crushed wiring or simply fuses.
    Once that's all straightened out I'll reassemble the nose and start thinking paint.
    Hardly high end but I'll probably sand it down and bring it to Maaco for a $500 spray.

    And I'm still trying to determine what wheels to get for it. Stock in 91-92 were 14", then they lowered the car slightly and went with 15" standard.
    I'd like to go with 16" but unfortunately there are almost no appropriate tires available in that size so I'll probably go with 15" wheels. The 15's would use 50 series rear and 55 series front. Larger diameter wheels would require a lower aspect ratio tire which would mean a harsher ride and more bent rims.

    Currently I'm leaning towards getting these:

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  13. All-Trac

    All-Trac Active Member

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    Nice project you got going there. I always have wanted an MKII turbo with a bad engine so I can stick my old stock Celica turbo engine in there since I upgraded it with a modded JDM one.
     
  14. Mowgli

    Mowgli Runs with scissors Subscriber

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    Will it be ready for Feb 23 to bring yer Mac speakers for show & tell?

    Nice hovercraft project :thmbsp:

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  15. w1jim

    w1jim I can fix it but good... Subscriber

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    They didn't call it the Eagle for nothin'.
    Might have the MR2 ready for the GTG but it certainly isn't optimized for hauling gear or hitting the yardsales.
    Maybe I could outfit it with one of those McIntosh car stereos from back when Clarion owned them.
    There was one of those on CL for the longest time.
     
  16. All-Trac

    All-Trac Active Member

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    One thing I like about the Celica All-Trac is the rear seats fold down and with the hatchback it becomes the All-Truck
     
  17. w1jim

    w1jim I can fix it but good... Subscriber

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    That's what my Audi A4 1.8t Avant is for - a capable hauler.
    I've upgraded the F&R sway bars - I've used it as the pace car for the SCCA races at NHMS quite a few times.
     
  18. RossW

    RossW AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    You ever make it over to the MR2OC forums? I used to hang out there quite a bit back when I was daily driving my 87 MR2. I still have the car but it has been sitting in my parents' garage for years (it would get trashed here in Boston). Some day I'll have off-street parking for it...
     
  19. xxhanhxx

    xxhanhxx Active Member

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    Definitely a fun car. 116K is really low mileage. Does it have PS? BTW those look like Acura Legend rims.
     
  20. w1jim

    w1jim I can fix it but good... Subscriber

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    Ross - yes, hanging out on mr2oc.com way to much. I connected with a guy there who gave me a free nose for my car.

    Yes, the wheels I have today are thrashed Honda wheels. I ordered new wheels and tires the other day but just found out that they're out of stock and will be delayed another 7-10 days.
    Usually I get my wheels and tires from Tirerack but unfortunately they don't have anything appropriate for me there.
    And yes - I believe all of the 2nd generation MR2's have powersteering, unlike the first gen cars which did not.
     

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