Into cars? That means you can envision your dream car from the paint color, to the wheels, even to the type of lug nuts. Piece by piece, you fixate on each section of the car, from the high-performance engine to the Sparco sport seats to the sound system complete with DVD monitor to the wide-body sheetmetal. Then you wake up.
For sunny San Diego, Calif. resident Keith Ta, just such a car is sitting in his garage when he wakes up. And Keith will be the first to tell you his dream car did not come on a silver platter; it took two long years to get his Supra to its current condition. He says it will probably take another six months before he is completely satisfied.
After some bad experiences with several different motorsports shops, he decided the only way he was going finish his car was to perform most of the work himself and find reputable shops to fill in the gaps where he didn't feel qualified. Keith stripped the entire engine compartment of the Supra so he could start work on the powerplant while the car's sheetmetal was being massaged. The bottom-end of the 2JZ was sent to Under Pressure in Westminster, Calif. for extreme fortification.
Keith knew he wanted big horsepower and big horsepower requires stronger internals. Taking a ground-up approach, the bottom-end was stripped bare before any engine conditioning would commence. The block was bored out from the factory 86mm to 87mm to accept 8.5:1 low-compression JE pistons. Although the factory rods are capable of handling increased power, Keith didn't want to take any chances; he went with tried-and-true Crower con-rods. The piston-and-rod combo swings happily to 8,000 rpm on a balanced knife-edged factory crankshaft. Under Pressure balanced-and-blueprinted the bottom-end and assembled it to the company's precise specifications with new bearings and seals. As the block was being prepped for high-horsepower duty, the head was sent to Benson's Automotive Machine in Santa Ana, Calif. for porting and polishing. A race port was performed on the 2JZ head and it was stuffed with all the high-end hardware. Ferrea 2mm oversized stainless-steel intake and exhaust valves are held tight with Ferrea double valve springs and titanium retainers. Ensuring none of the highly compressed mixture escapes, a full radius three-angle valve job was performed on the head. ARP hardware and a steel head gasket from HKS seal the two halves tightly together. A pair of HKS 272-degree high-lift cams were installed and are ready to be synchronized to perfect harmony by HKS adjustable cam sprockets.
With the heart of the powerplant all sorted out, it was time to build up the lungs. The heavy exhaust breaths of the 2JZ are channeled through a custom stainless-steel exhaust manifold feeding two Innovative T-66 ball-bearing turbos. Avoiding any possible boost spikes, the turbos are regulated by a pair of Tial 46mm wastegates and an A'PEXi AVC-R electronic boost controller. Pressurized air from the turbos is pushed through 2.5-inch aluminum I/C piping to a massive front-mount air-to-air Spearco cooler. Twin HKS racing blow-off valves release unwanted pressure, ensuring quick spool-up between shifts. The 4-inch I/C inlet force-feeds a trick custom Under Pressure sheetmetal intake. To guarantee the Supra doesn't starve, a new -10 fuel line was added, along with an Essex in-line pump. The pump fills the rail with high-octane juice at all times and is regulated by an Essex regulator. A set of six 96 lb/hr injectors can squirt enough fuel to support a 1,000 hp.
Knowing the best engine in the world is useless without a capable engine management system, Keith decided to incorporate a Haltech E6S stand-alone. Under Pressure was responsible for the installation of the Haltech, along with MSD DIS 4 ignition amplifiers. Keith topped it off with a 150-shot direct-port nitrous system for added measure. The Supra was strapped to SHO Performance's Dynojet in Newport Beach to determine the bottom line. The 2JZ pumped out 737 hp and 580 lbs-ft at 18 psi. Ahh, 737 at the wheels; the stuff of dreams.
Making sure the suspension system was up to the task of handling the extra horsepower, Under Pressure coil-overs were added at the corners. Stopping power has also been increased with Stillen AP 6-piston binders and 14.2-inch rotors at the front of the Toyota. Rolling stock was upgraded to 19x9.5 Fikse FM10s up front and 19x12.5s out back. Providing the extra-wide footprints are Pirelli P-Zero 275/30 in the front and 335/25 in the back.
As the engine and turbo system were coming together, the Supra's body panels were being massaged by San Diego Collision Specialists (SDCS). Keith ordered the SDCS crew to shave the moldings, antenna, rear wiper opening and emblems and add a custom one-off wide-body creation, perfectly enhancing the smooth body lines of the Supra. With the body modifications complete, the Supra was sprayed with a custom steel gray hue that drives home the Supra's menacing look.
Being somewhat of a sound junkie, Keith handled the installation of the sound system and interior upgrades. Keith added a pair of Sparco Torinos reclining bucket seats for further race appeal. Tunes are supplied by a Alpine head unit with TV and DVD outputs, combined with MB Quarts mids and highs in the front and rear. He also plans on installing Eclipse sub woofers and Macintosh amps in the near future.
Keith admits his dream car has taken longer than expected but it was definitely worth the wait. Maybe now he can get a good night sleep; his dream is already a reality.