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Thread: Daily driver tidyup: (another) '87 AW11 MR2 Super Charger

  1. #1
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    Daily driver tidyup: (another) '87 AW11 MR2 Super Charger

    After selling my white T-top MR2 SC, I lasted all of two weeks before giving in to temptation and commenced searching for another AW11 to trundle around in for everyday duties.

    If anyone's keeping count, this is AW11 number five for me ops:

    Test drove a couple of examples up here in Auckland and was severely disappointed by a) price, b) various mechanical faults, and c) an endemic reluctance on the part of each seller to negotiate a) based on b). Gave Ewan @ hayatonka a call as well, but a search of the auctions and yards in Japan yielded no results within budget, apart from a couple examples with major rust that would never have passed compliance here in NZ without $$$$ worth of repairs :?

    Then just as I was about to give up, I received a phone call from a good friend in Wellington saying that one of his mates was selling a tidy hardtop manual AW11 SC, in more or less standard condition, and was I interested at all?



    After a bit of back and forth negotiating (and agonizing over the fact it was midnight blue with blue interior, my least favourite colour combination of the lot) - during which the price sharpened considerably after Ben, the seller, sold the BBS rims separately - I finally caved in and said yes.

    So during the third weekend of June I flew down to Wellington, picked up the car, and covered the 650km trip back home in some of the most horrendous torrential rain ever, on the sketchiest of sketchy tyres, but without incident. And more importantly, drip free, thanks to the hardtop roof :P As it happened, the very next weekend a snowstorm closed the Desert Road, so timing was impeccable.

    Here it is sitting in my driveway, on the crappy balloon tyres and mega fugly wheels that replaced the BBSes ops:





    The good: 5-speed. Super charger of course. Hardtop. Wind-up windows and lightweight glass (rare). Adjustable damper shocks. Rear swaybar!

    The bad: Most infuriatingly it doesn't seem to have a LSD, unless it's a Torsen of some sort. Already miss the TRD one from old whitey

    The ugly: Smurfy blue interior. No sideskirts. Those wheels, yuck.

    Within a day of getting the car home I'd already found two tiny spots of rust, naturally at the bottom of the A-pillars, but the rest of the car remains thankfully free of tinworm... the direct result of being located in inland Otago for the last few years before the previous owner bought it. Upon advice from my panelbeater and a few friends I fishoiled the most troublesome spots for peace of mind, and then set about making a list of things that needed doing. you really didn't think I would just drive the car as-is, did you?

    The exterior does need a few touch-ups here and there, but unlike my TX3 which ended up being a budget blowout restoration of stupid proportions, I reckon I can get away with painting the worst affected areas and cut'n'polishing the rest. It won't be the mintest AW11 out there by a long shot, but it'll certainly be one that an "enthusiast" would still be proud to own.

    Thanks to the strong NZ dollar it was a good time as any to pick up a Twos R Us engine cover gas prop kit; I've been wanting one for a long time, but I'd never kept an AW11 long enough to really justify the effort. The key blank was a last minute "add to cart" decision



    and I finally found a use for the vintage deep-dish Momo wheel in my parts pile. Excuse the electric blue interior...



    The fugly wheels have got to go, and the balloon tyres are not conducive to epic twisty touge runs, so I ordered a set of 14" RE001s (the only ones in the country, apparently) and found some suitably retro wheels to whack them onto.



    Eventually the AW11 will wear some 15" Buddyclub P1s in bronze, but the Speedlines will do for now.

    The other week I happened to stumble across a pleasant chap not far from my house who was wrecking an AW11 in midnight blue. Now half the exterior panels from his wreck reside in my garage

    Including a pair of sideskirts, which my panelbeater will find a way to retrofit to the car and hopefully prevent any future rust issues. One distinct advantage of having an AW11 without skirts from factory is that you can check the condition of the sills and be satisfied they haven't completely rotted away...

    then someone tipped me off to the presence of a complete '89 AW11 at Pick a Part Avondale, so I made haste down there to see what I could scavenge. Arrived about 20 minutes too late to score the LED rear spoiler according to the nice lady at the counter, but did manage to grab a whole swag of other small bits, including the swanky updated mirrors that only came on that year.





    opinions are divided over whether chunky is better than swanky, but they take literally minutes to swap so it's not the end of the world.

    A hot date with the panel shop and paint booth is fast approaching, so I guess the next update will occur after this takes place, or once the tyres arrive and I can finally fit the Speedline telephone dials, or if I do something incredibly impulsive and click buy now on that Cusco LSD that keeps taunting me on Yahoo Japan... :roll:

    but as this is my daily driver I can't really justify having it off the road for too long, nor do I really want to do anything outrageous like fit monstrous swaybars, or gigantic blower pulley kits, or anything that would impinge on reliability. Yes it is a LOT slower than the white AW11 was, but I suppose I should exercise a shred of self-control now and again, am I right?

    lololololol.


  2. #2
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    Re: Daily driver tidyup: (another) '87 AW11 MR2 Super Charge

    I love these cars. I beat most of gt2 in one. The sc models aren't very popular here and I've never owned any Mr2.

  3. #3
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    Re: Daily driver tidyup: (another) '87 AW11 MR2 Super Charge

    Yes! So excite that the supercharged AW11 is going to be in Forza 4 as well.

    the styling is definitely love or hate, I'm not sure how popular they actually are in the USA but there's certainly a huge cult following in Japan and here in NZ as well (both supercharged and N/A models).

    Possibly the one drawback of the SC model in the States was that they were all T-top, no exception? T-tops have their uses, but over time they just become giant sieves.

    if I ever decide to convert the interior in mine from blue to black (I have some of the parts already, except the dash, which will be a **** to swap anyway) I happen to have the perfect seats for it as well.

    But admittedly, it is quite a lot of effort for a daily driver.


  4. #4
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    Re: Daily driver tidyup: (another) '87 AW11 MR2 Super Charge

    Quote Originally Posted by Orion
    Yes
    like the seats design
    i have the same seats in my other ride
    but hasnt that desing
    pretty cool

  5. #5
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    Re: Daily driver tidyup: (another) '87 AW11 MR2 Super Charge

    cheers

    I've only ever seen a handful of matching pairs with that particular camouflage pattern. Must have been a limited run back in the 1980s.

    Anyway, some new wheels:



    four 15x7+35 Buddyclub P1s are nowe mine. Plus some Falken Azeni semi slicks which may or may not be super hard and useless for anything except skids. and there I was hoping not to spend any cash before payday!

    tyres will find their way onto my track car, and the rims have wobbles which need to be repaired (as the seller reckons they need quite a few wheel weights each to balance properly) and refurbished then repainted in a nice shade of bronze or gunmetal.

    However, white doesn't actually look too bad on a blue AW11, as this video demonstrates:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jk-mUvV2Ruw

    But if I can find a bronze as close to the colour on my old AW11, then I'll be happy!


  6. #6
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    Re: Daily driver tidyup: (another) '87 AW11 MR2 Super Charge

    More AW11 love! :mrgreen:

    I'm working on bringing mine back up to daily driver status. It's an '89 T-top N/A. Ice blue on blue interior, so, I kind of have a soft spot for blue interior. ops:

    Good work on yours! I reeeally need to start building the 4agze that's sitting, unloved in my shop, next to the completely gutted '85 shell.

  7. #7
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    Re: Daily driver tidyup: (another) '87 AW11 MR2 Super Charge

    Great to see another AW11 around, especially a hardtop S/C
    We only got the S/C in T-Top form here in the US, but a swap is a simple bolt on affair.
    Sorry you got stuck with the disgusting blue interior. :td:

    My husband & I are on our 3rd AW11 - we got a white 87 hardtop which had the nauseating blue interior as well.
    Thankfully our '89 had the black interior which we swapped over to the white hardtop so a nice pleasing black interior resides there now
    We're also putting the S/C motor in the 87 -- had it in the 89 (our 1st motor swap)
    We lost the 89 to rust + chassis damage.

    I'd pick up a larger crank pulley at the very least, a good JDM brand that has the rubber damper like either the HKS or the large 175mm Cusco pulley.
    I have the Cusco pulley on our S/C motor & can't imagine the motor without it.

    Looks like you have a good solid chassis to start with :tu:

  8. #8
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    Re: Daily driver tidyup: (another) '87 AW11 MR2 Super Charge

    always liked these.... when u do find one on the east coast worth owning people want a rediculous amount for them

  9. #9
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    Re: Daily driver tidyup: (another) '87 AW11 MR2 Super Charge

    A pulley upgrade would be nice, although more of a 'want' than a 'need'

    with that said though - my white SC had a HKS pulley and matching extractors, ran 10psi and posted a very healthy 140ish PS at the rear wheels through a pokey restrictive exhaust!

    Jury is still out on the blue interior. Some days it's annoying, other days i hardly notice...

    anyway, an update of sorts... finally picked up my Buddyclubs the other weekend when a friend and I cruised down to Palmerston North to grab his KP starlet project car. The wheels started off in Wellington at literally the other end of the island, and due to a comedy of errors I was unable to get them any further than Palmy after a month of trying. Frustration!

    Spun them up on the wheel balancing machine after getting the semis removed and sure enough two were completely bent out of shape, one was marginal, and the last one appeared fine. My usual repairer Arrow Wheels were too busy to look at them so I went to a place called WRS in Penrose (recommended by Irving at Frank Allen GI), who straightened the rims within three days and then dunked 'em in the acid bath for the rest of the week to have all the disgusting old white paint stripped off.

    Stopped by yesterday to see how they were getting on, and one wheel was pretty much done. Result:



    need to decide what shade of bronze to paint these bad boys

  10. #10
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    Re: Daily driver tidyup: (another) '87 AW11 MR2 Super Charge

    Nothing better than a blue interior, you nuts! :mrgreen:

    Car looks good though, Im going to look at an 86 n/a tomorrow myself..

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