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Big Stick Supra

Evan Griffey
Aug 2, 2002 SHARE

"Walk tall and carry a big stick," a statement made famous in a movie entitled "Walking Tall" which chronicled the exploits of Bufford T. Pusser, a hard-ass, club-wielding sheriff who beat back corruption and bureaucracy in the deep South during the 1960s. On the streets of the 21st Century "Walk tall and carry a big stick," means that if you have the looks of a performance icon, you damn well better have the thrust of a performance icon. With a hard-hitting, wide-body treatment and exotic Veilside wheels, this SP Engineering-built Supra walks taller than most, but it carries a stick the size of a Sequoia, namely 700 drive-wheel hp. The Big Stick Supra is primed to beat back the bullies anywhere, any time. Amazingly, this power generation, which equates to about 805 hp at the flywheel, is realized with stock internals on 100-octane Unocal pump gas.

How'd They Do That?
This car is going where no other has gone. "The car is running 2.0 bar of boost and although this is considered excessive for a stock motor, it's holding up well. We can't really recommended it for daily use and we cannot determine how much more the stock engine will take. Until the motor blows/breaks, we'll keep boosting away! This project is a great tuning experiment and we hope to find the absolute limit of the stock 2JZ-GTE. The few problems we have encountered concerns the crank seal of all things. It seems that cars with more than 650 whp leak from this particular part. We are still looking for the fix on this one," SP's Alex Shen said.

We also quizzed Shen about the virtues of single and twin turbo applications. "Both twin and single turbo kits are able to produce similar amounts of horsepower for street applications. For street use, the twin turbos provide a better response (500-800 rpm sooner than a single kit) and therefore provides a wider power band. The single kits provide a slower response, but when you drop the hammer, they provide neck-snapping action."

Power Play
The power of the Supra's Big Stick comes from its turbo system, which features twin HKS GT2835 ball-bearing turbos, an HKS Racing blow-off valve and a GReddy front-mounted air-to-air intercooler. Boost is regulated by an HKS EVC Pro controller and contained by an HKS metal head gasket.

The effectiveness of the turbos is maximized in a number of ways. First, an HKS Vein Pressure Converter has been employed to replace the restrictive factory mass air set-up. Second, a pair of HKS 264 cams were employed to free the flow through the head. Third, a custom downpipe and trick HKS titanium exhaust system keep the hot gases moving once they have boosted the turbine wheel. And last but not least, the combination has been tuned to maximum optimization. Playing a supporting roll on the 2JZ-GTE are adjustable HKS cam gears and a GReddy underdrive pulley kit.

At 2 Bar of boost (29.4 psi) it's obvious the engine is ingesting a high volume of air. SP Engineering has constructed a stout fuel system to meet the demands unleashed by a herd of 800 stampeding horses. It's an all-HKS show featuring a high-flow in-tank pump, custom fuel rail, 680cc squirters and an adjustable fuel pressure regulator. The VPC is tag-teamed with a Graphic Control Computer (GCC) to precisely ration the fuel as the twin GT2835s come on line. As mentioned earlier, the VPC improves flow by replacing the restrictive OE air meter. The VPC also coverts the metering to speed density and allows the enthusiast to tune the fuel curve. The VPC has a 16-bit central processing unit that reads its own intake air temperature and absolute pressure signals and relays the proper information to the car's ECU. The GCC enhances the effectiveness of the VPC by providing a more precise range of tuning increments.

Pavement Pounding
With the engine straining on the edge of physics, it's a foregone conclusion that a good deal of that stress is transferred to the driveline. To keep the flow of power steady, the Supra's six-speed gearbox has been fortified with an HKS triple-disc clutch. Engaged, the hard-biting clutch spins an ACPT carbon fiber driveshaft. In the cockpit, a C's short throw shifter is on-call to help quicken gear transitions.

Body Shaping
The Big Stick Supra has raw power, but when it comes to styling, this ain't no sleeper. The Supra's muscular silhouette is accented by a custom-fabricated sheetmetal wide-body treatment, a cool C-West carbon fiber wing, a Bomex front bumper and a Veilside hood.

Hard Rolling
The aura of the Supra's buffed-out body is further brightened by 18-inch Veilside aluminum and Pirelli P-Zero rubber. The Supra flexes massive 18x11 wheels in front (no mistake!) and 18x13s in the rear. These are wrapped by 285/35s and 335/30s respectively. With the power of the inline six and the girth of the rolling stock, keeping the Supra suspended is no easy feat. A Tein Type HA suspension system consisting of four dampers, main springs, helper springs, lower spring seats, seat locks, spacer spring seats and all pertinent hardware is the weapon of choice. The dampers are 16-position adjustable and fully rebuildable. A TRD strut tower brace in front and a Cusco brace join the Tein underpinnings in the rear. Bring the gargantuan rolling stock to a halt is another tall order. An order filled out expeditiously by race-bred Brembo brakes.

Cockpit Control
There is so much going on in the Supra's cockpit that even an F-16 pilot would be overwhelmed. Knowledge is power; you need to keep a close eye on the engine when you're pushing big power like the Big Stick. From a snug-fitting Bride bucket seat, the driver, gripping a Momo Millennium steering wheel, is faced with a myriad of readouts. There are five GReddy electronic warning gauges at work; a 3 Bar boost gauge, EGT, fuel pressure, air/fuel ratio and temperature gauge. A trick TRD tach is joined by a SP Engineering intercooler temperature gauge that monitors temps before and after the chiller. The dials are set in a custom, carbon-fiber dash trim package.

Conclusion
The Big Stick Supra makes a brash, blunt and bombastic statement on the power and style potential of the JZA80. It's cars like the Mk IVs featured in this section that lend further credence to us picking the Supra as the best used performance car bargain in the February edition. If this "Supra Stars" issue goes over as well as the first, look for another Supra issue at the end of the 2001 run. Next time, we plan to feature more street/strip examples and more in-depth tech. If the planets align, there may be a JZA80 in our stable of project cars.

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By Evan Griffey
271 Articles

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