Our "Supra Star's" section gets off on the right foot with Craig Paisley's extreme Supra. The car, which debuted at the 1998 SEMA show, was a bit overshadowed by Abel Ibarra's RX-7 and Stephan Papadakis's tube-frame Honda. The fact that it was tucked away in a dark corner while the others were in prime spots was also a factor. Since then the Toyota has come out swinging and established itself as a big time contender in the Outlaw Class ranks.
When eyeing the Supra's tech sheet we were surprised to see the 2JZ-GTE inline six runs factory stock internals. Furthermore the valves and combustion chambers are also stock as the only additions in the valvetrain are HKS bumpsticks (264 degree) and adjustable cam gears for fine-tuning. Craig Paisley, Paisley Automotive and Paisley Racing plan to take the stock engine to the outer limits of performance. Paisley Automotive is the shop where all the design and wrenching is executed while Paisley Racing is in charge of the day-to-day responsibilities of campaigning the car on a nationwide basis. The project's mission statement is to use aftermarket components to prove that world-record performance can be extracted from a stock-based powerplant. "When you go to the race track and you see these fully-built engines grenade after 10 passes," says Craig, "it sends the wrong kind of message to those in the wings who may want to jump in and join our sport. We built on a factory platform to prove to the world that as long as you use the right parts and they are all working correctly together even a stock engine will live long and prosper. The big problem is tuning. With proper tuning we are proving this by running the entire season with a stock motor (that had more than 50,000 miles on when we hit the strip) without ever taking it apart." To keep costs reasonable the factory intake was retained but ExtrudeHoned for added flow.
In the spirit of its mission the 2JZ-GTE runs its stock Toyota ECU. The ECU was Techtom programmed by Paisley Automotive and works in conjunction with a HKS Vein Pressure Converter (VPC) and Graphic Control Computer (GCC). The VPC converts the OE mass air system to speed/ density creating two distinct benefits. First the speed density system offers better flow characteristics than the metering assembly used on a mass air set-up because the sensor is deleted from the equation. Second, the unit offers tuneability. The GCC and VPC offer a more precise tuning of fueling events which is much needed when you're looking to run deep into the eights. The hard parts of the fuel system consist of a Weldon pump and regulator, modified HKS fuel rail and 720cc injectors.
One of the keys to the Supra's performance puzzle is boost. In order to make reliable power and net prime-time e.t.s having a quick spooling turbo with efficient compressor and turbine wheels is critical. The earlier you can realize maximum boost pressure the longer you have full-power being applied to the tarmac. At the same boost level a more efficient compressor wheel creates more power than a less efficient wheel because the efficient wheel does not heat air as much when it compresses it. On the turbine side efficiency means moving air through the housing with as little back-up to the exhaust valves as possible. The Paisley Supra is pressurized by twin HKS GT3037 turbos with Paisley-spec housings and other "tricks" performed to both the hot and cold side of the turbo. "When we sell twin-turbo kits we incorporate some of our tweaks to get the most out of the kit," says Craig. A HKS stainless-steel manifold positions the turbos and maximum boost is regulated to 26 psi via twin HKS wastegates and twin HKS boost controllers. Since Paisley Automotive has such a close working relationship with HKS the Supra was used as a R&D testbed and the two units, an EVC IV and EVC EZ, were comparison tested. The charge air is chilled in a massive air-to-air front-mount intercooler. For added pep a modest 30-horse, single-fogger NOS nitrous system has been plumbed in to mist extra power on the top end. The ignition has been fortified for forced induction and nitrous with a HKS Twin Power Ignition Ampifier and HKS plugs.
Working with a stock-based engine it is critical that one makes as much use of the power being generated as possible. To properly harness and transfer the Supra's power to the pavement the Paisley crew decided to go take the next step. "C&F Racecars in Pleasant Valley, New York are the premier chassis builders in the Tri-State area and they delivered us a car that has performed flawlessly from Day One," says Craig. "The car drives straight and handles great. We delivered the car to C&F with the intention of going back half. Once the Supra was back at our shop we were looking at it and decided that the big rotors had to go in order to fit the skinny front tires I wanted to use. We decided to run the cage to the top of the framerail and make mounting pads for aftermarket struts on the cage. The original steering rack was replaced with a Wilwood unit and custom fully-adjustable control arms were mounted in place of the factory-issue units." The chassis, which is certified to 7.5 seconds, runs high-performance suspension components to bring it all together. Up front, Strange adjustable shocks and springs are on call while the rear features Koni coilovers and a four-link suspension that locates a prepped Ford 9-inch rearend. A custom C&F fabricated two-inch sway bar keeps the car pointed down the strip. A pair of 14.5x33 Goodyear slicks are wrapped around Weld Racing 15x14 AlumaStar alloys to provide the final link in the traction chain. To look the part, the body has been accented with a Bee Racing rear wing and Wings West front lip spoiler.
A GM Powerglide automatic transmission puts the power to the ground. The gearbox was strengthened for strip duty by Select Performance and torques a Mark Williams driveshaft which spins 35-spline Strange axles. How do you meld a GM transmission to a Toyota powerplant? "We fabricated a custom adapter plate to join the engine and trans and we built a custom flywheel that allows us to use GM-spec torque converters," says Craig. "Paisley Racing offers all these parts for public consumption and there are a number of GM-shifted Supra out there and most of them use our products."
We hope to see the resurrection of the Toyota Supra to continue in Y2K with more JZA80 Supras tearing up the strips from coast to coast.