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mharvey's NA-T Journey


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Hi all, I’m a few months into Supra ownership and wanted to document my journey here. There’s quite a bit to catch up on so bare with me.


Prior to the Supra I owned a Clio 172 Cup and a Mazda MX5, sadly they both had to go to make way for the Supra but considering I’ve wanted one since I was a kid this was a no brainer.






Part 1 – Buying a Supra


So with the help of one of my best friends (and fellow Supra owner) Rob (rob_sri) the hunt was on! (You’ll notice how much Rob has helped throughout this thread)

Forums and other websites were searched and wanted threads were updated.


I wanted a Manual N/A Supra with the view to turbo it in the not too distant future. It had to be stock body. Ideally I wanted Red but was willing to compromise on colour for the right car.


Soon Rob told me a friend of his was selling a car that ticked all the boxes (except for colour, it was black) and as a result put me in touch with Rich (rich.2211).

I went to view the car and instantly fell in love, I forgot about the colour, the car was a credit to Rich.

Unfortunately the car was over budget and I was still waiting for my MX5 to sell, I hoped to sell it in time but as soon as Rich advertised the car it was game over.

Luckily there were no hard feelings either side and Rich has become a great friend and you’ll see his contribution to this project later in the thread.


The search continued for a month or two, Rob ferrying me back and forth when one showed potential in Wales but this turned out to be a bit of a Shed and the price didn’t reflect that.



All of a sudden I found one North of Edinburgh (a long trip from the Midlands but it ticked ALL the boxes)

Rob kindly agreed to drive me up there (company car Auris Hybrid) but as it would be a long day I booked an overnight stay and we planned to set off at 7am.


I was so excited I couldn’t sleep so when my phone went at 01:30am I was awake and read a message telling me it had sold earlier that evening. (The seller had promised to keep it for a day knowing the journey I had planned).


I was gutted however at 01:32 Rob received a message from a fellow forum member with another Red one! Was this fate? We messaged the seller immediately and ended up going to Manchester instead the next morning.


The car wasn’t perfect but the seller was willing to negotiate and after a bit of bartering I was finally a Supra owner :D


This was when I picked it up (alongside Rob's Milkfloat)




The next day I gave the car a quick once over, removed some stickers (big rear supra window sticker) and removed the rear fog (relocated to light unit).




Pictured with Rob's Supra and my friend Keiran's 350z.




Then I took it to my friend Luke's (owns the Red 200x at the front) for a full detail, Rob joined us so we could raise his suspension too.












Not the best pictures but they give you an idea of the huge improvement!


I also took it to the ClioSport West Midlands Rolling road day, mainly to see some friends I’ve made through the forum over the years but while I was there it would have been rude not to chuck it on the rollers.

It made book figures and the lads at the RR commented on it being a strong engine.




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Part 2 – Tidying her up – First few weeks


Started on a few bits to tidy it up, firstly removed the seats and centre console to give it a thorough clean, the carpet will soon be dyed black.

You can also see the carbon wrapped armrest/glovebox that I promptly removed.




I assumed the wrap was hiding something but was pleasantly surprised




I also fitted my iPod compatible stereo and cable to glovebox




Clear side repeaters




I also had to fit a new exhaust as the old one was far, far too loud for me. It since transpires that the previous owner cut ALL the baffles out.

This was where I contacted Rich as his Supra sounded perfect for me, he pointed me in the right direction and I bought the same exhaust.




It cost me £100 brand new, I may change it out for one of the better known systems one day but right now it suits me.


So I fitted the exhaust and at the same time I decided to do the plugs (complete PITA on a NA) and service the car in preparation for a long trip in the car. (I hate the red hoses etc and they will be replaced at some stage).


I try to do as much as I can myself. This unfortunately means lying on my back on a cold, damp driveway.






I did make one mistake when ordering the parts, notice the sparkplugs, can tell I’m used to 4 cylinder cars ;)




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Part 2 (B) – Tidying her up – First few weeks


Fitted some 6k HID's to both dipped and highbeam, will relocate the sidelights to the front bumper when I have facelift indicators.




I then decided to do a DIY job on the rear boot rust.

DIY painting may sound ridiculous on a car like a Supra but it's only temporary as I plan to fit a carbon boot in the near future.




Removed the spoiler and boot




Angle Grinded, Sanded and slight filler, then paint.




Finished result, by no means perfect but it will do for now and will hopefully keep the rust at bay.




Both sides were like this and have both been repaired the same as a temporary measure.


Finally for this chapter I fitted new wipers and had the aircon regassed in preparation for the upcoming roadtrip.




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Part 3 – Roadtrip


So I had a roadtrip planned with a few friends, not the first time I’ve been on one with them but the Supra was going to be very different to the Clio I took in the past.


First thing was we decided to meet up a few days beforehand, discuss the final details etc, what better place to do this than a track.


We met at Curborough, (a local sprint track, Rob regularly organises day’s here).

I only did one gentle lap as I wasn’t at all familiar with the car but it was a great day.




A few of the cars are present from earlier in the thread, in addition we have an R34 Skyline and an RX7.

Also you’re not seeing double, there are 2 Red Supra’s, this was the first time I met Josh (Josh42) another forum member who has since given me great advice and become a good friend.



The road trip was to take place over 4 days, through Wales. Taking in roads such as the Evo Triangle and Black Mountains as well as some nice relaxing time spent up at places like Blue Lake (nr Fairbourne)


It was absolutely amazing, the best 4 days I've had, great laughs had, the Supra received so much attention and the roads were epic.


The Supra was stickered up to match the rest of the cars






SummerSprint had the key ingredients for any brilliant roadtrip:


Lots of driving




Relaxing and swimming




And of course harmless pranks




I did however miss my Clio round the Black Mountains, I’d been before and found that the chuckable nature of the Clio offered so much enjoyment and this was missing in the Supra…then I realised the Supra had a party trick, one that the Clio couldn’t dream of doing and this proved to be a lot of fun




Then on the day before last disaster struck! I hit a very greasy bit of road on a slight bend. This combined with the almost none existent tyre tread (see picture above) and no doubt a level of driver error meant I lost the back which I tried to correct resulting in the car snapping the opposite way sending me into a 180.


I was very lucky that firstly, I collided with a wall on the one side of the road rather than the steep drop on the other side. Secondly due to the low speed the car survived with very minimal damage.

I was however gutted and if it wasn’t for the amazing group of friends with me I would have headed home there and then.

The guys looked over the car with me and we concluded that the only real damage was the wing, bumper and headlight .

So 5 minutes was spent applying cable ties and we set off again. Miraculously it drove as straight as an arrow.


The maxxis stickers on the wing, well the lads applied those and then told me that it was barely noticeable, it made me laugh and cheered me up.

5 minutes afterwards they were back to normal and proceeded to bully me for the remainder of the trip (wouldn’t have had it any other way)




The trip still didn’t disappoint and on the way home Rob was behind me and his passenger took some great photo’s.






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Part 4 – Repairs


So the first repair to make after the roadtrip was the Clutch, I had a suspicion it had been slipping since I bought the car and when I fitted new tyres and had some grip at the back this became more noticeable.


Back to the driveway mechanics and again Rob was on hand to help




However following this I had a few issues and after a lot of head scratching I decided to replace the Master and slave cylinders which I ordered from Steve Manley.




Luckily this seems to have fixed the problem although I haven’t driven it much since so we’ll see.


Next job was to sort the front end, I sourced a wing, headlights and the assembly bar behind the bumper (crash bar etc was undamaged)


However I took into account the front end, temporary boot repair, faded side pods, faded door handles and fact the front had been resprayed in the wrong shade.


In the end the only logical choice was to go for a full exterior respray in the same colour.


At this stage I drafted in Rob and Rich as I had a very small time window (two hours at night and four hours the next morning) to get the car apart.








I really can't thank Rob and Rich enough, they went above and beyond and I couldn't have done it without them.

I bought them KFC though, not just to say thanks but to try and bribe them into helping with the reassembly too ;)

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Part 4 (B) – Repairs


Since the car has been at the bodshop they’ve slowly been uncovering more issues, the badly sprayed front end…well under that there’s a ton of filler. They rang me to inform me that someone had ‘performed a waltz’ on the bonnet.




I asked around regarding a bonnet and finally found one at a good price in Bristol, I’d need to rent a van (easy) and take the day off work (not so easy at the moment).

Super Rob to the rescue AGAIN haha, I think he’s expecting half the money if I sell, don’t think he’s realised this ones a keeper!


So the van was hired




The bonnet collected and taken straight to the paintshop, they’re happy with the new one.




I was let down by the guy taking the windows out and most people refused to touch them (presumably cost and availability of glass compared to other jobs)


Finally got that sorted which meant the bodyshop called me again with MORE bad news. Once the rear window and seal was out it became apparent that the boot was absolutely rotten.




It was past saving (gone in 3 places) and any replacement boot was likely to have the same issue, if not it would crop up at some point.


I decided to do things properly and not worry about the again. A carbon boot (Seibon) has been purchased. I do plan to paint this which may split opinions but I have some great ideas in store for it!




So that’s about it with the bodywork, the boot is being delivered asap and they can start to prime and paint soon. All dents and dinks have been sorted.




During the stripping session we encountered multiple fixings that either span, snapped or were just tired looking so another call to Steve Manley and an even lighter wallet resulted in these




I have also opted to have all the sideskirts, pods and lower trim fully colour coded, an extra cost but I think it will be well worth it and I’d only regret not doing it otherwise.

This also made me think about what I was going to do at the front end, I have decided to go for a HKS Kansai style lip and will most probably have this hydrodipped in a Carbon Fibre effect.

I have ordered the lip and will make my mind up on the finish soon.


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Part 5 – Part accumulation for Rebuild


So while the Supra is at the bodyshop I had to find a way to pass the time, what better way to do that than to empty my bank account and accumulate nice, shiny, new parts to fit to my (soon to be) nice, shiny, new body.


First one was a big purchase, Alloys. I wanted something shiny, something clean but as this would never be a show car I don’t want to worry about damaging wheels that cost more than the car.

After a lot of deliberation I chose XXR 521’s, I went for 18x8.5 on the front and 18x10 on the rear. They are ET25 so should be an aggressive fit with the arches rolled.




Obviously I couldn’t just buy alloy wheels so I went on to buy some new Neo Chrome wheel nuts (in Steel of course)




For my tyre of choice I decided on Federal 595-rsr’s, I got them for a bargain price especially in the 265 rears. I ran these tyres on my Clio and a friend runs them on his 600hp Evo 5.

While I’m aware they’re very different cars I think they will work really well on the Supra, especially with the impending turbo conversion.




Trouble is I now had nice new wheels nut there was no way they were going to sit right with the current stock suspension. Having spent time in Rob’s car which is fitted with BC coilovers and speaking to Rich who had them on an old Supra I decided to go down the same route




With some new droplinks, they could no doubt do with being refreshed but it also means I can also just cut the old ones off saving a lot of time and effort




One thing I have wanted to do for a while was to facelift the car, now the budget was wearing thin but it seemed criminal to put old parts back on the car after paint, knowing they would be back off in the near future. So again I bit the bullet


Facelift Rear lights




Facelift front indicators and corresponding looms






I also decided that at the front I’d facelift the headlights (spray the inserts black) and relocate the sidelights to the indicators. I also bought silvervision bulbs for the indicator part itself



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Part 6 – Part accumulation for Turbo conversion


Now that the exterior was all sorted I could concentrate on accumulating parts for the transformation under the bay


I’ve decided to go with the XS power kit to begin with, I did my research and it gets very mixed reviews but I have 2 friends that have successfully used this kit and as a result I decided it was worth the risk.


With the correct supporting mods I hopefully won’t have any issues.


Worst case I ruin a GE engine so it's no huge deal, if I had a GTE worth 10 times as much I may explore other alternatives but for an NA-T I think this will be perfect :)








I also managed to get an XS power front facing inlet manifold, the reason being it would allow me to run better intercooler pipework and would eliminate the heat soak issue of the standard inlet. Since it’s arrived I’m not sure it’s design is very efficient but I may just use the face and redesign the rest at some point.




I have also since purchased a front mount intercooler that has 3 inch inlet/outlet so I’m slowly getting there




The final piece for the engine bay for now is an APR cooling plate, Rich managed to get me one at a fantastic price so I couldn’t actually refuse, I think they make a massive difference




That's me up to date for now, going forward I'll post as and when progress happens :)

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Nice work fella, coming along nicely...except that arch, doh!


Nice read, good luck with the project :)


Excellent write up. What a great looking car. Good luck with the project and great work so far. Enjoy.


Really enjoyed reading this, good work :)


Thanks for the kind words guys, and for taking the time to read it :D


Nice write up Matt! Thanks for the mentions! This car is going to be a stunner when it's out of paint [emoji16][emoji16]


A mention is the least I could do, owe you big time. Well you'll be one of the first to see it as you're helping me put it back together ;)


Keep up the great work.

Very well written thread indeed, lovely to read!


Nice Sunday read! Good luck with the build dude.


Thanks guys, glad you enjoyed it :)


Awesome write up Matt, really enjoyed reading it and looking forward to seeing it progress (both in person and on here :D)


I know the windows were a sack ache but it really is the difference between a quick tidy up and a proper job.


Yeah don't worry, you'll definitely see it progress it in person (like Rob you have no choice, you now have to help rebuild) ;) As mentioned in the thread you've been a huge help mate!


It was a lot more difficult than it needed to be but they're out now and as you say it'll be done right once and for all :)


Nice build. I have a xs power intake to go on too. I pretty much want it so spark plug changes are easier and get rid of half a mile of intercooler piping :D


Thanks mate, I read through your NA-T build the other day actually but forgot to comment :s Great work so far :)

Spark plugs is another reason I decided it was a good idea. You'll probably beat me to fitting it so I'll keep an eye out for your thoughts :)


great write up mate, keep the updates coming :)


Thanks very much :) There'll be a few updates over the next couple of weeks as I start to piece together my big Supra jigsaw haha.

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Great thread :thumbs:


Nice write up, looking forward to updates


That was a cool read, and nice progress you've made so far. Where abouts in West Mids are you from?


Thanks all for reading, glad you enjoyed it.


Mike I'm from Wolverhampton. Didn't I meet you at Curborough a few months ago? There were 3 white Supra's and I'm sure one owner introduced himself as Mike?

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  • mharvey changed the title to mharvey's NA-T Journey

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