While attending the Vegas99 "Supras Invade Las Vegas III" event on September 20, 1999 Senior Technical Editor, Robert Choo, discovered how far some enthusiasts are willing to go to make the show. Out of the five Supras in our "Supra Stars" section this particular example owned by Bryce Danna is one that almost didn't make it. As Bryce explained, "The car was finished less than a week before the Supra meet and the drive served as a break in period."
Bryce purchased his 1997 Supra in '98 with 127,000 miles on it. Immediately after purchasing the vehicle he discovered the factory transmission and rear-end were not up to par. This gave him the opportunity to replace the battered transmission and differential with low-mileage '98 Supra components he found at a local salvage yard. By the way, all of the labor involved in this project was handled by Bryce with the exception of machining the block and building up the short block.
As Bryce grew tired of rolling with a stock Supra the common style of, "build it while you drive it" was not enough to make him happy. Instead, he unleashed a grip of goodies on the car all in one shot. Byrce removed the engine and rushed it to Xcessive Performance in Houston, Texas. Once at Xcessive the block was punched out one millimeter over stock and loaded with JE 8.7:1 pistons lavished in Hasting rings and hooked to the crank via Crower rods. To reinforce the main journals Bryce relied on a UPRD main bearing girdle.
With the block under construction at Xcessive and the Supra dismantled in Bryce's garage, he decided to send the cylinder head out to West Coast Cylinder Heads in Reseda, California. Extensive chamber reshaping was to be done which began with a port and polished job and finished with a Swain coating. The head was then loaded with West Coast valve springs, HKS camshafts, AEM sprockets and a set of ARP head studs were used to secure the head to the block. West Coast Cylinder Heads was also responsible for honing out the intake manifold to match the intake ports with the cylinder head ports.
The force-induction system is an all-HKS affair. Bryce utilized an off-the-shelf T51-R HKS turbo, GT wastegate, turbo header and a custom 3.5-inch downpipe to boost the Supra to 30-plus psi. Dropping the air charge temperature is achieved by a massive HKS air-to-air intercooler. To minimize exhaust backpressure the Supra relies on a GReddy Power Extreme exhaust system.
Fuel injection these days can be a little mind boggling but this Supra fights the trend running the G-Force programmed ECU. The chip is programmed to RPS spec. The buffed out ECU commands a reworked fuel system. An HKS VPC (Vein Pressure Converter) that converts the engine to speed/density operation is joined by a Fields SFC fuel computer that allows the user to tune fuel flow within designated engine speeds. With the increase in fuel delivery handled on the software side an increase in fuel output from the factory pump was needed on the hardware side. The Toyota now runs two in-tank fuel pumps complete with their own -6 fuel line running to a Powerhouse fuel rail loaded with 82 lbs/hr injectors. Fuel pressure fine-tuning is in the hands of a billet aluminum Paxton fuel pressure regulator.
Suspension enhancements were concentrated mainly to take the abuse of high speeds. The Supra rides on Eibach Pro Kit springs that drop the Toyota 1.250 inches from stock ride height. Additional chassis stiffening is obtained by front strut tower bar from GReddy joined by a rear Cusco. Rolling on 18s is a must for Supra owners and Bryce chose 18-inch Volk Winning wheels wrapped by Bridgestone Pole Positions. The front runs 245/35s and the rear runs much fatter 285/30s. Nestled behind the Volk rims are Rod Millen cross-drilled rotors with TRD HPZ performance pads.
The interior consists of a variety of necessary cockpit controls and gauges. For one, this car pumps out gobs of horsepower on pump gas and it's absolutely necessary to make sure fuel pressure and air/fuel ratio don't fall off pace. Also of prime importance is boost control. If manifold pressure were to overwhelm its control devices that all-important air/fuel could go critical. To determine this scenario Bryce relies on dash-mounted boost, fuel pressure and exhaust gas temperature gauges by GReddy. Pinning the driver and passenger to the Supra are Sparco Super Sports seats and a pair of Schroth four-point harnesses.
Having the fuel and timing controls within reach of the driver makes on-the-fly tuning a snap. Not only are the piggyback computers all within reach, the EGT is mounted on the left hand side above the VPC and ITC which makes it great for monitoring on-the-fly tuning. The PRofec A boost controller and the Fields SFC are easily reached on the right side of the driver's seat. Bryce realized the importance of having all the tuning tools within reach the day the vehicle fired back up from the dead. With only a week before the Las Vegas Supra meet Bryce decided to make the trek from Kingwood, Texas out to Las Vegas, Nevada. This journey not only served as a break in period for the engine, this also allowed on-the-fly tuning to be performed.
Throughout this whole hysteria of making the Supra meet, Bryce stated if there was a lesson learned it would be, "leave it to the professionals!" "A few days before the meet, I installed the Powerhouse head gasket upside down and dumped about a gallon of coolant into the crankcase on initial start up so I had to tear it back down and clean it up." Well, all the madness was well worth it, at the Supra meet Bryce's Supra generated a whopping 674 horsepower to the wheels in pump gas trim-you go boy!