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Tech Support - January 2009

Where We Cure All Your Tech Problems

Day Photography
Jan 5, 2009
130_0901_01_z+tech_support+suspension_upgrades Photo 1/1   |   Tech Support - January 2009

Here's where we act like we know something technical about cars. Feel free to ask us about your technical troubles. Write us at or Super Street c/o Tech Support, 6420 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90048. Feel free to include a picture of your project or tech problem.

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Question Of The Month
QHey guys. I have a couple questions that all revolve around the same subject, and I have not been able to get help with this. So I figured I'd ask the professionals at Super Street. I recently bought an '87 Toyota Supra with the 7M-GTE. The motor was junk and I wanted to do the 1JZ swap. I know this swap is pretty common amongst MK3 owners but here's my question. First, rear sump and front sump oil pans. What is the difference? Which would I need for my '87 Supra? Second, do I need to buy a mount kit for it or can I use the stock mounts and just relocate them? Third and last, will the 7M transmission mount up to the 1JZ block? Thanks for reading my question, and I hope you guys can help me out.
David Nisperos
Via the Internet

A The '86-'88 A70 MK3 Supra has a rear sump, and you will have to use a rear sump JZ setup. A rear sump engine, has the oil pan and oil pickup to the rear of the crossmember. If by chance, you don't find a rear sump JZ for your swap, you will have to find a rear sump pan and pickup, they are interchangeable. To get a 1JZ or 2JZ swap in the a '86-'88 Supra, you will need a '89-'92 crossmember and 1JZ engine brackets from a JDM JZA70, or you can use your factory '86-'88 crossmember along with a set of aftermarket engine brackets like ones from BIC Performance. In addition, you'll need a set of '89-'98 Supra engine mounts. The mounts are the insulated pieces that go on top of the brackets. They are two different pieces. Since your Supra is a turbo, your car came with a R154 transmission opposed to the weaker W58 transmission. Either transmission will bolt to a JZ series block, but you will need a bellhousing from a JDM JZA70. Do the swap, you'll make Charles drool!

Q I have a '92 DA Integra with a JDM B16A with a Skunk2 ECU. The problem is, when I try to start my car the check engine light pops on, and if the light shuts off it will start. If not, the engine won't send spark to the plugs. I took a shot in the pride and took it to three different shops and no one could give me a straight answer on what is plaguing my baby. A hommie said check the fuel or main relays but the fuel pump engages, I've checked numerous Honda and Acura forums and once again no straight answers. Any help you guys can give me would be great. And keep up the f-ing kick-ass mag.
Jon Erickson
Boise, ID

A More than likely, it is the main relay. After a long time, the soldered contacts inside breakdown. And so on hot days, the main relay will not turn on the fuel pump. And just the opposite, when it's cool out, it will turn on the fuel pump. So testing it, wouldn't really work. Sixty bucks will get you a new main relay at the dealer. If you don't need it yet, you soon will. This is a extremely common problem among aging Hondas. The ghetto-fix, would be taking apart your main relay and re-soldering any of the contacts that are dried and cracked.

Q In your article titled "'07 Subaru STI - Super Lap Dance", you mention using a carbing rear crossbar and rear strut bar. I have a '06 STI and I can't seem to find a dealer in the US that offers these products. Can you give me any possible dealers I can contact concerning these parts?
Charles Philastre
H-Town, TX

A Carbing is so bling. Like most JDM manufacturers that have already established overseas channels, TEIN USA is now bringing us hot brands such as Carbing. Give the distributor TEIN a call or check for a list of US wholesalers.

Q Hello. I have a question concerning my 2001 Nissan Altima GXE. I have recently installed Stillen headers/downpipe, an Injen short ram intake and a HKS Hi Power exhaust on my car. I have no illusions of taking any Time Attack/Super Lap titles with it, just want to make it a bit more fun to drive - we all know how much fun the stock KA24DE is right? The "service engine soon" light came on immediately after the install. I had it checked at a local auto parts store and the error codes were PO420 (catalytic efficiency) and PO135 (oxygen heater). The wrench at the Nissan dealership said that the O2 error was the one to be concerned about. He said it had the potential to fry my OE ECU board. So, my question is, should I find a shop that can reflash the factory ECU? Or is an aftermarket EMS (the HKS F-Con iS) the way to go? Thanks for your time.
Clemente Melendez
Augusta, GA

A After installing a header, exhaust, or test pipe on cars, oxygen sensors tend to give off readings that the ECU doesn't really like. If your oxygen sensor is good, you can do a couple of things. One solution is using an O2 simulator in between your header and oxygen sensor. The part is about $40 and works most of the time. An alternative is to reflash the ECU like you said, so the ECU doesn't look for readings from particular sensors. Using a EMS system on a car with little to few modifications isn't really beneficial.

Q It's the first time in five years that I have ever sent you guys an email, so let's hope the question gets answered. I have a 2007 Scion tC, and I'm looking for a balanced car in terms of power and suspension. I just recently installed TEIN H-tech springs, which gave it a mild drop. But to compliment the springs, I have been thinking about investing in sport sway bars made by Hotchkis. I'm not looking for an autocross car, just something that would handle better than stock. Should I install both the front and rear sway bar? According to a few sources, adding a rear sway bar will be better than adding both. Their reasoning behind that is because adding the front sway bar will stiffen the front, which will induce understeer during cornering. Will this understeer be visible during normal driving or under extreme circumstances? Any help would be appreciated before I make my decision on purchasing the entire kit or just the rear sway bar.
Naod Markos
Sumter, SC

A True, on a FWD car, adding a larger front sway bar will increase understeer, although it will stiffen up the front. By nature, most all FWD cars will understeer. Adding a rear sway bar will tighten up the rear and cause it to come around more in turns, reducing understeer. Adding a front sway bar will sometimes bring some of the understeer back, but not a great amount. It really depends on how neutral you want the car to feel. Some drivers want a bit of understeer to be safe. The differences between the two setups will increase in feel as the driving gets more intense. We'd suggest buying the rear one first, and trying that out. If it's too aggressive buy the front one later.

Q Hello, I am a 17-year-old girl who likes cars as much as the boys do. I love your magazine, and I learn something from every issue. Whether it's how to spot awesome cars or how to tune up various cars (mine is a '91 Chevrolet Camaro, I know, not an import but it's a beast none the least). Anyway, I've got this neighbor who has a beautiful '94 Toyota Celica with over 220k miles. He's had to work on the engine several times for things like a messed up fuel pump, a worn out timing belt and CV axles. He's thinking of scrapping the Celica but is reluctant to do so. My question is this, even if the car is this old, with this many miles on it, would a 'brand-spanking-new' or fairly new engine be a good choice for the sake of keeping the car? Or would it be better to scrap a car that old?
Lea Moses
Via the Internet

A Geez a '94 old? Heck no. Drop a 3S-GTE (Toyota's 4-cyclinder turbo) in the car and come to the darkside of car tuning. A used 3S-GTE would cost you about $3k before labor. And if you're getting the car for free, it's a no-brainer. Feel free to send in pics of your car and yourself next year, when you come of age.

By Day Photography
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