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Toy Motor
14-03-07, 19:07
Hi everyone,

I'm new here so please be gentle!!

My name is Bob Cunningham. I used to work for Toyota as a durability test driver and as part of my job I got to work on the Supra from 1991 to 1993 just prior to it’s release. Absolutely loved it and owned one for 8 years - brilliantly engineered with only a few achilles heels which I won't go into as everyone is no doubt aware of them given the expertise on display on this great site. God knows how I didn't find this place sooner - it's certainly a goldmine of information!!

Anyways, I Left Toyota in 1995 and now work at an aluminium fabricators as a general manager (yes, much more boring but I'm getting old!).

Technically I've driven in excess of a million miles in a Supra if you count the accelerated durability testing ha ha :) I learned a good deal about that side of things through my ownership and also learned a great deal of engine stuff through talking to engineers when I got the chance.

One of my friends, Gary, recently bought one and he’s looking to go single turbo in the near future. However, Gary is so non-techie (mechanically and computer wise!) that I was looking for some advice and so signed up the this forum to help Gary out.

Modifications were never really my strong point as everything was, obviously, focussed around stock setups. So here I am to meet you guys and hopefully learn about modding these wonderful cars and also to refresh my memory on maintenance and troubleshooting. Maybe I can even help out being ex-Toyota? Who knows!

Bob.

APRIL FOOLS!!!

SupraStar 3000
14-03-07, 19:10
Hiya Bob.
Welcome home :)

Ian R
14-03-07, 19:10
:welcome: aboard

Graham S
14-03-07, 19:12
Hello and Welcome...

So i'm sure we'd all like to know what were they like before they were released and how much changed through the durability tests etc??

You'll definatley find all you need here..

Rich
14-03-07, 19:13
Hi Bob and welcome:)

I am sure you will be a great assett to the forum.:thumbs:

Fifty
14-03-07, 19:14
:welcome:

:respekt:

1 miilion miles eh

some of the b@ggers on here dont go further than the end of the street lol

Rich

tDR
14-03-07, 19:14
Hi Bob - welcome to the club! :thumbs:

Great to have you on board and it'll be nice to learn some golden nuggets of information from you on the Supra - what Toyota were thinking throughout the development - myths on it being a detuned 450bhp engine etc etc.

Cheers,

Brian.

michael
14-03-07, 19:16
Nice to see you here squire, would be interesting to hear any tales you might be able to share with us :)

Ian R
14-03-07, 19:21
Nice to see you here squire, would be interesting to hear any tales you might be able to share with us :)

and answer that question :d


Which was best j-spec or uk ??

Havard
14-03-07, 19:22
Welcome Bob. ;)

I wondered who had done the million miles that mine has obviously done!!:D

H

colsoop
14-03-07, 19:23
Hi and welcome.

Can i ask you why the Supra was so over engineered ?

michael
14-03-07, 19:24
Can i ask you why the Supra was so over engineered ?

Shh, they'll want bits back if they hear you :D

go4longer
14-03-07, 19:26
hi bob welcome

RICHARDA
14-03-07, 19:33
Hi.:)

JustGav
14-03-07, 19:39
Bob? Short for Kate? *grin*

Welcome aboard dude, just jesting...

Rayman
14-03-07, 19:41
Welcome Bob, not fancy coming back to the dark side yourself in supra ownership?

Nicholas
14-03-07, 19:43
Welcome Bob :d

Toy Motor
14-03-07, 19:46
Whoa! Busy place this, I didn't expect anyone to get back so quick!

Thank you all for making me feel so welcome :)

The model certainly evolved throughout the durability testing and a good deal of thanks has to go to the Soarer in that respect - we used them as discreet test mules mainly in the early stages of development for parts and concept testing including the 2JZ-GE and 2JZ-GTE powerplants and suspension / brake configuration work.

The first Supra bodied test mules were heavily disguised but already highly evolved from all the parts testing we'd already done. That rumour about the power output has an element of truth - Toyota badly wanted to blow the opposition away with the release of the mkiv and early 2JZ-GTE's fitted into the Soarer test mules had in excess of 400ps. In the end, they detuned it a little mainly because of the Japanese manufacturers 'gentlemans agreement' that came about meaning a power cap of 280ps. We quoted that figure but really we had to fudge it a little - the production powerplants were producing in excess of 320ps!

As far as this whole j spec / uk spec thing I've been reading about on here - they were different cars for different markets. The domestic model didn't need to do high speed stops (well, above 112mph anyways) so the emphasis was on low to medium speed response and driveability. The export market car (which the UK and US got) had an emphasis on medium to high speed GT style driveability - hence the different cams and smaller steel based turbines.

Personally I always enjoyed driving the domestic model more - it felt so much more 'alive' on winding roads.

As for the over engineered bit - that's partly down to the originally planned higher power output plus Toyota back then always erred on the side of caution to ensure reliability and the safeguarding of their reputation which was in it's infancy at the time, especially following the whole mk3 head gasket debacle.

Bob.

Bobbeh
14-03-07, 19:51
Welcome Bob :)

SupraStar 3000
14-03-07, 19:52
interesting stuff Bob.

You'll be treated like a god around these parts with knowlege like that ;)

AshBhp
14-03-07, 19:53
Welcome. :)

Stonkin
14-03-07, 19:56
Welcome Bob. Your obviously a fountain of knowledge with regard to supras. Hope you enjoy your stay :)

Christian

JustGav
14-03-07, 20:01
I think this man may need to write a tech article and the origins of some of the Supra's history...

edge
14-03-07, 20:03
:welcome: a new guru :notworthy:

RedM
14-03-07, 20:06
Welcome Bob.

I imagine we'll all be sitting around waiting for more Supra tales and inside info.

Hope you enjoy it here.

G-NEMIE
14-03-07, 22:12
:respekt: :respekt: :respekt: :respekt: :respekt:

Welcome Bob

Trig
14-03-07, 22:20
:welcome:

MKIVDreamer
14-03-07, 22:26
Wow! and Welcome! :D

terribleturner
14-03-07, 22:55
Welcome Bob, it feels like we have like a Toyota celebrity on board now :D

markymark
14-03-07, 23:40
:hello: & :welcome: Nice read thanks

AntD
14-03-07, 23:54
Hi and welcome aboard...interesting stuff:)

Tom
15-03-07, 00:13
Welcome Bob, it feels like we have like a Toyota celebrity on board now :D

:rlol: it does!

Welcome Bob, you'll be loved here! :hi:

Burna
15-03-07, 07:56
I can picture it now... JAE, a slow burning camp fire, a group of members huddled around in a circle, all listening to wonderful tales from the exciting days of when the Supra was born.

Welcome home Bob :)

spidermonkey
15-03-07, 08:30
Nice to meet you :d

ice_kul
15-03-07, 08:37
Hi everyone,

I'm new here so please be gentle!!

My name is Bob Cunningham. I used to work for Toyota as a durability test driver and as part of my job I got to work on the Supra from 1991 to 1993 just prior to itís release. Absolutely loved it and owned one for 8 years - brilliantly engineered with only a few achilles heels which I won't go into as everyone is no doubt aware of them given the expertise on display on this great site. God knows how I didn't find this place sooner - it's certainly a goldmine of information!!

Anyways, I Left Toyota in 1995 and now work at an aluminium fabricators as a general manager (yes, much more boring but I'm getting old!).

Technically I've driven in excess of a million miles in a Supra if you count the accelerated durability testing ha ha :) I learned a good deal about that side of things through my ownership and also learned a great deal of engine stuff through talking to engineers when I got the chance.

One of my friends, Gary, recently bought one and heís looking to go single turbo in the near future. However, Gary is so non-techie (mechanically and computer wise!) that I was looking for some advice and so signed up the this forum to help Gary out.

Modifications were never really my strong point as everything was, obviously, focussed around stock setups. So here I am to meet you guys and hopefully learn about modding these wonderful cars and also to refresh my memory on maintenance and troubleshooting. Maybe I can even help out being ex-Toyota? Who knows!

Bob.

Welcome to the gang :)

juanchan
15-03-07, 11:45
Welcome to the forum!

Sounds like you had a dream job back in the early 90's :cool:

Looking forward to more gems of info!

silvershark44
15-03-07, 12:03
I can picture it now... JAE, a slow burning camp fire, a group of members huddled around in a circle, all listening to wonderful tales from the exciting days of when the Supra was born.

Welcome home Bob :)

lol


Yes very interesting bob, welcome, tell us more!!!!!
:)

SupraStar 3000
15-03-07, 12:07
I can picture it now... JAE, a slow burning camp fire, a group of members huddled around in a circle, all listening to wonderful tales from the exciting days of when the Supra was born.

Welcome home Bob :)

:rlol: ... and Tom with his megaphone telling all the girls and boys to gather around the fire for Jackanory time.

turbonut
15-03-07, 12:22
Hey! awesome! Instant guru status for this chap please mr Moderator :ecstatic: :respekt: :more:

I'm sure you'll enjoy it here ;)

Lx

baz
15-03-07, 13:05
hello and welcome.

JamesRZ
15-03-07, 13:17
Welcome to the club

Ian C
15-03-07, 16:16
Heh I don't normally venture in here much, I meet most of the new people in tech eventually ;) But when TDR posted in the mods section about you, Bob, I felt I must venture forth! Hello my dear chap and welcome to the club :cool:

I feel threatened now lol :p

You mention a few achillies heels, can we swap notes? I'll start with - intercoolers fall apart after 10+ years (how did you do an accelerated test on the durability of those, out of interest)

Obviously you did a good job though as there aren't many design flaws I can think of! I have visions of you going round a test track to the tune of Benny Hill :)

-Ian

Toy Motor
15-03-07, 19:17
Heh I don't normally venture in here much, I meet most of the new people in tech eventually ;) But when TDR posted in the mods section about you, Bob, I felt I must venture forth! Hello my dear chap and welcome to the club :cool:

I feel threatened now lol :p

You mention a few achillies heels, can we swap notes? I'll start with - intercoolers fall apart after 10+ years (how did you do an accelerated test on the durability of those, out of interest)

Obviously you did a good job though as there aren't many design flaws I can think of! I have visions of you going round a test track to the tune of Benny Hill :)

-Ian

Thanks for the welcome Ian - I'm honoured! I've been reading some of your excellent tech posts and tech articles. That's quite a car you've built yourself there! In fact, it's very much along the lines of what we'd like to achieve with Gary's car :)

On the Intercoolers - the original units used in the test mules were actually somewhat thicker and had metal end tanks. When we decided to de-tune the car shortly before production and the corporate bean counters got a whiff of it (always hated those guys - they always managed to turn a pure diamond into a slightly yellow diamond!!), a new and lower priced supplier was sourced to supply the thinner, plastic end tank'd units that the production cars got. We couldn't really justify the previous unit's cost vs. intake charge temperature when running the engines at 320ps tune :(

We knew the longevity wouldn't be the same but still the production units proved adequate and certainly weren't marginal by any means. There were no final production failures on that front that I'm aware of - perhaps it's more of an age thing given the metal material used on the core.

Other achilles heels I'm aware of are probably best discussed in a new tech thread? There's the stuff like the heater matrix, front crank seal, the rear subframe mount weakness where it attaches to the floorpan, the early oil pressure senders, the domestic model brake caliper castings, the LSD's and driveshafts as a result of the rear subframe mount weakness, boot rubbers hardening over time causing that annoying noise etc etc.

Some of these things we experienced in durability testing, some of it I experienced throughout my ownership.

As I've said though, probably best not getting into that in here! Some of the stuff would probably just scare people so don't wanna get too into it and have people worrying as a result... lets just say the MKIV Supra is one of THE most durable and well engineered cars to come out of Japan, and that's saying something!

Bob.

RobSheffield
15-03-07, 19:21
the rear subframe mount weakness where it attaches to the floorpan.....the LSD's and driveshafts as a result of the rear subframe mount weakness

Could be interesting for the 'wobbly back end' problems folk are experiencing.

Ian C
26-03-07, 10:38
Speaking of which, if Bob doesn't mind, I'll start a thread in tech about that as it's been on my mind - I've no idea what that problem is so I'm interested to hear about it :)

-Ian

GeordieSteve
26-03-07, 11:20
*doffs hat*
Welcome, I'm sure your going to make this place a whole lot more interesting than it already is

Gaz Walker
26-03-07, 11:34
Missed this before, welcome to the site Bob, your expertise will be much sought after :)

Gaz.

Thorin
26-03-07, 11:42
I missed this thread before too. Welcome Bob, pleasure to have you aboard, I hope you'll stick around and I'm sure you'll have plenty of good advice for us all :)

lust2luv
26-03-07, 11:44
interesting stuff Bob.

You'll be treated like a god around these parts with knowlege like that ;)

God might be going a little far; a king perhaps; maybe you can rule our forum Toymotor?!

:welcome: anyway.

:looney:

Marco
26-03-07, 11:49
Hi Bob :)

Got any pics of the early version of the mk4?

mikeyb10supra
26-03-07, 12:36
Hi Bob and welcome:)

I am sure you will be a great assett to the forum.:thumbs:

:iagree: welcome on board mate

TLicense
26-03-07, 12:54
Welcome to the community Bob. I think any inputs you have here will be very well received.

Snooze
26-03-07, 13:08
Ha! I declare shenanigans.

You may have deceieved this gullible lot, but I for one won't believe you were really a Supra test driver until I've seen a Hovis shot.

:p ;) :tongue:

SupraAyf
26-03-07, 15:20
Welcome Bob;)

Toy Motor
26-03-07, 16:31
Again, thanks for the warm welcome guys!

Ian - I've replied to your thread about it in tech.

Bob.

Digsy
26-03-07, 17:28
Hi Bob.

Nice to see you on the board :). I'm a powertrain Engineer by profession myself, and during my many musings about durability and how much modification the Supra base engine can take I've often mentioned that although the stock 2JZ does seem to be able to take an almost bottomless pit of extra power, you can't really be sure of what will break first unless you have access to one of the original development team members. Now it looks like we have exactly that :)

In my experience, engine development usually ends with one last annoying niggle getting sorted out, which then becomes the engine's Achilles' heel. Its not too clear where this is on the Supra with regards to modifying for power - there actually doesn't seem to be one. I've also said that (in line with the persistent rumours) you dont go out to design a 400 or 500 hp bottom end unless you are planning to manufacture one, or in the 2JZ's case, unless you were originally planning to release one. If the 2JZ was orginally planned to be 400hp+ then that would make a lot of sense, but even so the stock base engine does seem to be good for at least 200hp above even that. I don't hold with the view point that Toyota built extra headroom into the base engine to pander to the Japanese tuning scene. I'd be happy to be proved wrong if you know otherwise!

I now you said you were a durability test driver and not an engine development guy, but do you happen to know what kind of durability tests the engine itself was subjected to? I'd also be interested in specific system tests like high and low speed valvetrain, or abuse tests (low oil, etc).

How many road miles were the tests designed to mimic? The many occurances of TVD failure at 100,000 miles ish should have been within the scope of your testing. Its probably the most common age-related engine component failure on the stock engine. Any ideas why it wasn't caught during development?

Toy Motor
26-03-07, 20:05
Hi Digsy,

Nice to meet someone else so involved in such work! Who are you working for?

I didn't get involved with the engine stuff myself, I think most of the long term testing and the 'abuse' stuff was done on a dyno cell, although we did get to test the oil sump baffling thing which stops oil starvation on hard turning. I do recall spending a couple of days with another guy, Stuart, going round and round as fast as possible, thinking about it still makes me woozy today lol but at least I was the one driving, he had a laptop to control as well and back then they were as big as a chest freezer hahaha! We did actually break one doing that - the pickup didn't pick up the oil, and suddenly the engine went tight, lost power, and wouldn't restart after we stopped it, nasty. :(

I had to click on the TVD link before I knew what you meant! That's a cool feature of the site by the way! Yes the pulley fell apart, they normally did at about that mileage, probably a few thousand either side, although it depended on if it was an auto or a manual and the way people drove the manual (one day spent deliberately changing down so it hit the rev limiter, honestly, if you had much mechanical sympathy before this job you wouldn't afterwards!). They are just a bit that wears out, 100k miles between component swaps was OK to the bean counters - well out of warranty and they figure a sodding great squeal would get people to the garage before it fell off!

As for the strength of the engine, I don't know. I think we fixed all the dodgy bits with parts that were such a leap up from the ones that were the weakest link (goodbye!) that it accidently ended up really strong. I know I threw a conrod once on the downshifting / overrevving stuff, the rod bolt snapped. But I really can't help with that. It's a great engine!

Bob.

Pixelfill
26-03-07, 21:03
Hi Bob,

welcome to the club, I expect there will be plenty of other stories around the camp fire.

Hope that you and Gary are going to stick around for a long while.

Ed, is there a way to stalk members so you don't miss any of their posts.

Mike

Kranz
27-03-07, 11:20
Hi bob,

Thought I'd jump in on this thread ;)

Much like Digsy I'm an ex-powertrain development/durability/calibration engineer.

Good to have you on board bud :thumbs:

Steve

Digsy
27-03-07, 11:57
Hi Digsy,

Nice to meet someone else so involved in such work! Who are you working for?

I didn't get involved with the engine stuff myself, I think most of the long term testing and the 'abuse' stuff was done on a dyno cell, although we did get to test the oil sump baffling thing which stops oil starvation on hard turning. I do recall spending a couple of days with another guy, Stuart, going round and round as fast as possible, thinking about it still makes me woozy today lol but at least I was the one driving, he had a laptop to control as well and back then they were as big as a chest freezer hahaha! We did actually break one doing that - the pickup didn't pick up the oil, and suddenly the engine went tight, lost power, and wouldn't restart after we stopped it, nasty. :(

I had to click on the TVD link before I knew what you meant! That's a cool feature of the site by the way! Yes the pulley fell apart, they normally did at about that mileage, probably a few thousand either side, although it depended on if it was an auto or a manual and the way people drove the manual (one day spent deliberately changing down so it hit the rev limiter, honestly, if you had much mechanical sympathy before this job you wouldn't afterwards!). They are just a bit that wears out, 100k miles between component swaps was OK to the bean counters - well out of warranty and they figure a sodding great squeal would get people to the garage before it fell off!

As for the strength of the engine, I don't know. I think we fixed all the dodgy bits with parts that were such a leap up from the ones that were the weakest link (goodbye!) that it accidently ended up really strong. I know I threw a conrod once on the downshifting / overrevving stuff, the rod bolt snapped. But I really can't help with that. It's a great engine!

Bob.

I've worked for Lotus Engineering for 14 years. Powertrain design mainly, plus a little bit of Project Engineering and Development.

I've done sump surge testing, too. I actually threw up after a few months of it, pulling up to 0.9g all summer while looking down at my laptop. I don't even get motion sickness :)
You actually failed an engine doing that? Wow - either that was one extreme test or someone got the design badly wrong (or forgot to fill it up with oil :) ) I was pecking around the edges of oil aeration for weeks and weeks on the same poor old test car. We had to stop every few laps to let the system re-prime and stop clattering, but the engine never died on us. And the 2JZ doesn't even have hydraulic tappets!

So how did you end up working on Toyota's flagship product? We really get any work from them, although we do use the 2ZZ in our products. I would have thought they kept the sexy stuff in-house.

Bob
27-03-07, 12:00
Welcome aboard, Bob :)

tDR
01-04-07, 11:28
APRIL FOOLS!!!