Supercharged Supra

PARTS FOR SALE: Send an email to [email protected] for availability.

SC400TT

Moderator
John,

As ususal, your attention to the small details is not only mind-bogggling, but also most understood and appreciated ;). Nice work on the re-wiring, the new battery case, and the rails.

Brake fluid to clean the plastic...Great idea, and I will most definitely keep that one filed away for the future. The only "rubberized" pieces we SC guys seem to deal with are the upper center console trim, and the two cupholders. Besides that, all the rest of the plastic is finished in a matte, slightly orange peel state. It is easy to re-paint the non-rubberized pieces and match the stock look spot on with high quality plastic paint. I used the SEM plastic paint to re-paint my AC control, ash tray and the custom plate for my new Pioneer touch screen stereo head unit, and they definitely look stock. Be sure to paint with light sweeping strokes of the paint can, and allow each coat to dry thoroughly before adding the next quote. SEM also makes a nice matte clear as well. Most good plastic paint lines also make a good plastic "prep" that also acts as a good paint bonding material to plastic. I would definitely use that material.

Sorry to hear about your recent heart attack...If you mentioned it earlier in this thread, I missed it. I am glad to hear about your recovery, and may you fully recover and not experience another one.

Take care John.:cool:

Ryan
 

cribbj

"Supra" Moderator
Staff member
Thanks Ryan, that means a lot coming from another AR hotrodder.

The brake fluid trick continues to amaze me. In less than 2 hours I was able to clean all of the dash panels, the shifter console, ashtray and both of the switch panels for the doors. And that 2 hours also included dismounting all the electrical pods, modules and the A/C eyeballs. The hardest to figure out how to dismount was the cigarette lighter, and I must have spent 15-20 minutes just on that......go figure.



I found that using an old, nearly worn out Scotchbrite pad, soaked in brake fluid really accelerated the removal of the rubberised coating, and as a bonus, it prepared the surface for painting.

Edit: Another bonus I've found with using this brake fluid is the cleanup. I just hit the pieces with Simple Green, sponge them down really good, and that seems to emulsify the brake fluid, and reduces it where the whole mess just washes right off. Same with cleanup of my hands.

I've tried the DupliColor Bumper coating and their Vinyl and Fabric paint now, and both look good, but don't have any "fill" qualities for the deep fingernail scratches, like in the door switch panels. (The 1st owner of this Supra was an exotic dancer from California who moved to Houston and married a rich oil man. No, her name wasn't Anna Nicole Smith, but she must have taken lessons from her! And more to the point, she must have had talons instead of fingernails with the scratches she left.) So I'm thinking I need something like a "high build" primer to fill these in; that or really get after them with some sandpaper. Any suggestions?

Here's the driver side switch panel with one coat of the bumper paint, and with the scratches still pretty evident:

 
Last edited:
I would sand the panel around the worst areas going to a higher grit till smooth rather than high filling it so that you don't fill in the AUTO wording.
 

SC400TT

Moderator
John, I would not sand it as it will be uneven, and you will see it after paint. They make a plastic fill that you can use to fill and then sand down to the same level surface. Just go to a specialty auto paint distributor, and they should have it there.

Ryan
 

cribbj

"Supra" Moderator
Staff member
I found an automotive paint store open on Saturday (a minor miracle in itself) and was able to get their recommendations, and pick up some SEM paint. Wow, what a difference that stuff makes! Prior to using it, I had tried some Rustoleum for plastic, and the DupliColor for plastic and bumpers.

The Rustoleum was the worst paint I'd ever seen come out of a rattle can, in fact, I renamed it "splatter" can because that's all the stuff would do. Maybe I had a bad nozzle, because Rustoleum normally has a pretty good reputation with their other paint.

The DupliColor wasn't bad, but once I tried the SEM paint, it was just head & shoulders better than the other two. Of course 3 cans of the SEM was $45, vs $20 for 3 cans of the DupliColor and $15 for 3 cans of Rustoleum. Great example of the time & money saved by buying & using a quality product - it was faster and cheaper to do the job once with a $15 can of SEM than have to do it 3-4 times with a $5 can of Rustoleum, and then have to resand the piece each time......

The plastic filler wasn't available in small quantities at the paint store, so I picked up some Bondo for scratch filling. Now I wish I hadn't - that stuff was supposed to cure to a sandable surface in 4-6 minutes, but it's been 4 hours, and it's still tacky. That door panel is the last piece to be painted; all the rest are finished and are curing overnight, so I'll reassemble the dash tomorrow and take a few more pics.
 
Last edited:

stevechumo

Active Member
Any latest pics? I may recoat my car's interior later on. As for Bondo that take more more time to dry, it could be the hardener is not enough. It normally cures within 30-60 minutes.
 

cribbj

"Supra" Moderator
Staff member
Tried taking some flash pics, but the dark colored panels are fooling my digicam, and I'm not smart enough to override the settings. I'll try to get some pics in strong daylight today, before I put the panels back in. They came out really well; the SEM paint is very forgiving and made me look like a much better painter than I am.

Edit: Not so thrilled with the clear coating on the main panel (the $200 one) and the ashtray. Under strong light, I'm seeing some subtle color differences here & there - almost like shadows, so I think I'll scuff them up, put another layer of the black over the clear, and call it good. I don't know if a color coat should be applied over a clear, so I'll practice on a junk piece first.

I'm really PO'd about this Bondo; it's still tacky after letting it sit overnight. I even hit it with a hair dryer last night to help it cure, but it's not working. This wasn't the conventional stuff in a can with separate hardener, it came in a single tube, and when it came out it looked more like liquid glue. I had misgivings about it then, but decided to press on anyway. Big mistake. I'm going to try sanding it, and if that doesn't work, I'll try to get the stuff off completely.

I can see an emergency order to Curt Aigner for a new switch panel looming on Monday....... $30 for this little chunk of plastic, but still better than if I'd screwed up one of the other panels like the one with the radio cutout and HVAC controls. That little puppy has a list price over $200 and still costs $150 with our Toyota parts discount.

Edit: the Bondo sanded OK - it was just the surface that was tacky; underneath it was solid. This piece is now primered and looks fine.
 
Last edited:

SC400TT

Moderator
You can't beat SEM, John. It is expensive, but it is the best. I always try to use the quality stuff, as you confimred that it almost always saves time and money because you do not nhave to "redo" the work again...

Ryan
 

cribbj

"Supra" Moderator
Staff member
We had a couple of days of rain here, so I didn't get any good pics of the panels before I put them back in, but here's some shots of them after installation:

The driver's door switch panel that had all the scratches:



The main ($200) panel that I was worried about screwing up:



The shifter/console panel:



They all came out really well - the SEM paint was the key.

While I was at it, I decided to replace all the A/C buttons on the dash. These are a well known issue with Supras as they get yellowed and funky looking with age. Here's the A/C panel with the old buttons:



And the new buttons:

 

Cobber

New Member
Nice job as always John I just hope it's not in the vintage show and shine when its all finished......

It's going to be an awesome ride when it's all together thanks for keeping us posted.
 

cribbj

"Supra" Moderator
Staff member
Not yet, but the 2 rebuilt Gilmer pulleys just arrived from NZ (2nd time rebuilds 'cause the 1st set were damaged in shipping), so once I have those installed, and I can get a Gilmer made up for the supercharger, it'll be ready to go.
 

cribbj

"Supra" Moderator
Staff member
In my seemingly neverending quest to do things at least three times on this car, I just finished up the battery relocation project.

Here's the way things have gone throughout this project (I think some of you have been down this path too?)

1) First, I pay to have work done

2) Then, I redo the work I paid for so it's halfway safe & acceptable quality

3) Then I redo my own work to get it the way I really wanted it to begin with

I think I'm at the third stage now with this battery relocation.

Here are the battery cables that I paid to have "soldered":



Pretty ugly, eh? Obviously they're not well soldered, and I'm guessing that the shop probably tried to use a soldering iron, or didn't have a large enough torch, didn't prepare the cables well, used the wrong size lugs, etc. You name it, they screwed it up. To make matters worse, when they failed at the soldering, they tried to smash the connector in a vise to finish it off, then covered their tracks with heat shrink. If the positive cable hadn't been done so poorly, and hadn't had that little dogleg in it, I probably wouldn't have noticed. But as soon as the heat shrink came off, I knew I had problems.

These are the ends I cut off, and on the right is an end that I soldered, using a proper sized torch, and the right size lugs with their own solder & flux pellets. I also cleaned the cables thoroughly before soldering, and melted some rosin flux on them to be sure I'd get a good joint. Soldering big cable terminals isn't exactly a snap to do, but it sure ain't rocket science either:



So here's the finished product, properly soldered, with heavy duty heat shrink tubing, and terminated on the batteries. That dohickey with the round knob on the negative side is a battery disconnect switch:



Here's the hatch access:



And covered (that coiled cable with the Weatherpack connector is a quick connect setup for a battery charger. I wound up putting that in plastic loom, which really improved its looks.):



Next stop, back to the upholstery shop for some new hatch carpet
 

cribbj

"Supra" Moderator
Staff member
So after finishing up the battery project, getting the interior all put back together and firing the beast up, I decided to take it out and blow the cobwebs out a little (the car hasn't been driven since August).

Got it all nicely warmed up, did 2 fairly high boost 40-80 mph blasts and then heard a little "tap-tap-tap" coming from the engine. It's not audible when the engine is lightly loaded, but comes in when accelerating, even under light acceleration. Nursed it home and got the stethoscope out and it sounds like a rod. I knew the short block was living on borrowed time ever since the breakin went wrong 7 years ago, so I can't say I'm surprised, but I didn't expect it to be a rod that finally retired it.

The silver lining in this cloud is that this will give me the motivation I needed to get the 1UZ finished!
 

hungryforinfo

New Member
I know the feeling with paying and getting poor quality work,and redoing it yourself. Those cables look disgraceful!

I just finished my sequential twin turbo and your tap tap tap, sounds a lot like mine! Im going to leave mine, maybe, and let it develop..... BOOM :cool:
 

Zuffen

Super Moderator
Staff member
I feel for you John.

I'm sick of paying to have people give me something that no better than I can do.

I've re-made so much of my vehicle after the experts have well and truely stuffed it up.

Unfortunately it goes way beyond cars. Try and have some work doen on your house. I do all my own work now so it's at a standard that I'm happy with rather than a standard some tradesman thinks I'll accept.
 

hungryforinfo

New Member
I feel for you John.

I'm sick of paying to have people give me something that no better than I can do.

I've re-made so much of my vehicle after the experts have well and truely stuffed it up.

Unfortunately it goes way beyond cars. Try and have some work doen on your house. I do all my own work now so it's at a standard that I'm happy with rather than a standard some tradesman thinks I'll accept.
This is so true with everything, but it pisses me off!! I got an exhaust made, then had to build my own, got a fuel tank made, and built my own, got a paint job done, and re-did it! I am not even super fussy, work quality seems to be the minimum effort you can put in and still get paid! I know there is still good quality tradesmen out there, but they are a dying breed.
 
Top