How much effort and cost goes into making an st185 fast?

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How much effort and cost goes into making an st185 fast?

Postby ellover009 » Tue May 14, 2013 12:51 am

Hello fellow members.

I've been eyeing the st185 for a while, I read a little on it and was wondering if they can be made fast at a reasonable cost? It almost seems like due to the weight of the vehicle, and aging technology makes it almost impossible to match up to the potential performance of a wrx or something similar without really destroying your wallet.

Has anyone driven an wrx, forester xt before? how does the handling characteristics compare?
Anyone replaced their st185 for something else and why?
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Re: How much effort and cost goes into making an st185 fast?

Postby warracer » Tue May 14, 2013 1:48 am

Ive driven a brand new 2012 WRX a friend of mine bought it after he got his new job. Speed wise its not bad, but all the electronic assist really ruins the experience for me. Also, I was extremely surprised how bad the under-steer was in some corners. But, the electric assist still saves you from the ditch....

All in all, WRX's are really not my cup of tea. I rather drive my slower, but much more fun gt-four... :evil:

That said, evo's are something else, but that's another story :lol:
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ST185H A-Spec:
-IHI VF28 -BC Racing coilover
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-ARP head stud -St205 rear end
-Cometic Metal HG -Supra TT Fuel Pump
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Re: How much effort and cost goes into making an st185 fast?

Postby ellover009 » Tue May 14, 2013 2:45 am

I know what you mean about the evos. Top of the line ones are insane with all their awd gizmos, differential, yaw control. That car can make an amateur look like a pro, providing you can get over the learning curve on the settings.

What would be interesting if Nissan made an entry level gtr like car. Something with 300hp and much lighter than the gtr with awd.
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Re: How much effort and cost goes into making an st185 fast?

Postby l0ch0w » Tue May 14, 2013 2:53 am

Its called the infinity g37x...
Andrew

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Frankenstein engine, lots of mods :P
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Re: How much effort and cost goes into making an st185 fast?

Postby warracer » Tue May 14, 2013 3:44 am

l0ch0w wrote:Its called the infinity g37x...


Great car , only thing missing is the driver pedal
____________
ST185H A-Spec:
-IHI VF28 -BC Racing coilover
-Yonaka FMIC -Swift Spring
-ARP head stud -St205 rear end
-Cometic Metal HG -Supra TT Fuel Pump
-3'' SS straight pipe -Poly bushing
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Re: How much effort and cost goes into making an st185 fast?

Postby DeeCee » Tue May 14, 2013 5:10 am

The GT fours have never been a cheap car to make fast. Its an old platform for a start with dwindling aftermarket parts support. Find a car with a decent parts bin, proven results and a roadmap to get those results.
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Re: How much effort and cost goes into making an st185 fast?

Postby DeeCee » Tue May 14, 2013 6:46 am

ellover asked via PM about the Celica and I thought it would be more beneficial if I put it here for all to read rather than for one person - here goes... *waits for flames

Hi,

please note I am in New Zealand, so some of my references may be reflective of where I live.

Currently I'm on a 6 year journey/build with my ST185. Over this time, I've had the opportunity to explore the options available for the ST185 and the possibilities.

1) engine - you can buy various bolt on bits like fuel rails, injectors, cams, pistons, rods, valves - essentially the main engine components. These parts cost a slight premium in comparison to other vehicles, but they are available.
Need to drop engine out from under the car with gearbox attached (generally the easiest way to do engine stuff). Some people are familiar with the 3sgte, but others aren't and won't touch a st185.

Power output is middle ground from stock engine. There are limits to what stock engine can take before it blows piston rings or breaks the headgasket. Build it stronger and the potential is there for cylinder wall cracking. Oil reticulation is not the best on st185/gen2 engine. st205/gen3 engine has better oil reticulation. st215/245 fixed block cracking with more webbing on the block in weak areas.

2) turbo/exhaust - you need an adaptor to utilise the stock exhaust manifold with an aftermarket turbo. There are cheap ones, and expensive ones, but its additional cost to retro-fit other turbos. No turbo just bolts on. You can buy modified toyota turbos, but its a half measure in a sense as there are restrictions in the OEM turbo design (mainly exhaust housing size). Along with the aftermarket turbo, are ancillaries like oil and water feed lines which need to be custom made to suit (unless you buy an all in one kit which has these already). Alternatively you can buy cheap chinese manufactured ex manifolds, but they tend to crack and fail.

Exhaust is 'fun' area. Full systems are becoming more available, but when I started you could only get cat back systems and had to get mid section built locally. You may still need custom down pipe to match to rest of system if using aftermarket turbo. No 'plug and play'

3) intercooler/radiator - st185 came with air to air as standard and water to air on Carlos Sainz / RC version. A2A top mount is shit, so you'll want to go FMIC. W2A is hard to come by. You can buy cheap chinese kits for FMIC, but most people upgrade with custom work to get the desired cooling solution. You can buy aftermarket radiator which has thicker core, but a lot of people swear by a replacement/re-cored OEM unit for cooling duties.

4) gearbox/drivetrain - 2nd and 3rd syncros die, shifter bushes die (20+ year old car of course). Major cost to repair syncros (its generally not a cheap fix to repair any gearbox IMO). Straight cut rally gears are available at a price. No front LSD (and IMO, none will be built due to lack of room in housing and potential of manufacturer to sell a lot :shoots: ). Rear TORSEN diff, or open diff. Hard to find aftermarket LSD to replace, sometimes hard to find OEM LSD to replace.

5) suspension/chassis - aftermarket coilovers available from Tein, BC, D2 etc. Selected bushes/factory replacement links are available from Superpro, Nolethane and for unique bushes like subframe are available from Poland for poly or Austria for aluminium. xii motorsports in Canada is started to develop subframe bushing kits to support North America an the world. Strut tower braces and under body braces are available as are upgraded rear swaybars from Whiteline.

6) Wheels/Bearings/CVs - wheels are 5x100, so select Subaru or Volkswagon wheels with correct offset will fit. Wheel bearings and CVs are standard toyota fare and available from anyone that stocks parts for a camry or corolla. Inner CV's are more select and may require who driveshaft changes as they don't list seperate parts for inner CVs more often than not.

7) Brakes - nothing bolts on from any other cars except the st205 brakes/discs at the rear (note hub spigot is different size between models st185=54mm vs st205=55mm. Modification is required to retro fit st205 brakes at the front. Only select companies have off the shelf brake kits and they are not cheap.

8) Interior/Electrics - various subframes to retro fit aftermarket seats are available. No other toyota seats are drop in replacements. Electrics are electrics in a 20 year old car. It isn't going to be overly complicated, but there may be degradation due to copper oxidation

-------------

Everything I have mentioned comes at a price. It is not common to find a bunch of this stuff on ebay for second hand as the car was not a common car and was introduced as a premium car. While some parts are shared, other parts are only for the st185. Even Mr2 has specific MR2 components which cannot be transferred between cars. Trawling forums is the easiest way to cheaply modify your car, but you may have to play waiting game.

The car really isn't plug and play like Nissan, Subaru or Mitsubishi. You have to be willing to take on a st185 and have a penchant for an older and heavy car. Essentially you are taking on a less supported performance car and your wallet will have to make sacrifices. A lot of st205 stuff can't be transferred, though some bits and bobs can.

My observations, but then again, I'm so far in on the build, that I can't pull out without losing a fair amount of my shirt. In terms of an easy modifying platform, give it a miss. If you like the nostalgia and like to have a clean original car and can afford the coin on upkeep and mods.. i'll leave you to make that decision.

All the best, Dave
GT Four Adovansu "I want to enjoy the powerful and nimble agility behavior."

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Re: How much effort and cost goes into making an st185 fast?

Postby 4rsnduction » Tue May 14, 2013 7:55 am

Buy a VW golf R or a sirocco R
Fast as all f***, 4wd, 7speed DGS gearbox, full leather interior.
Its pretty much a car for the man who wants a mature and sensible looking car (features, leather, style) but still wants all the raw power and performance (220kw-240kw and 32kg+ of torque)
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Re: How much effort and cost goes into making an st185 fast?

Postby ellover009 » Tue May 14, 2013 8:56 am

Thanks for the honest write up Dave, lots of useful information. I guess these cars are a work of love.

4rsnduction thanks for the suggestions but I was looking for something older and cheaper than what you recommended. Of the cars you listed only the golf r is sold stateside, unfortunately we don't get as many cool cars as you guys get up there in Australia including.
Sirocco r or even base model. Ford Falcon, wrx sti automatic, st205, Holden Commodore (pontiac g9 was only sold for a few years stateside), R32-33-34 skyline, touareg v8 diesel.

I really wish we had a 15 year law to import cars not sold in USA like Canada. Unfortunately it's 25years. Older Skylines are nice.
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Re: How much effort and cost goes into making an st185 fast?

Postby celica_gtx » Tue May 14, 2013 4:30 pm

"Speed cost money..how fast do u wanna go?"
transformation has BEGUN!!!
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87 Turbo 4runner-DD/ Expedition build
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Re: How much effort and cost goes into making an st185 fast?

Postby underscore » Tue May 14, 2013 4:34 pm

I think DeeCee pretty much nailed it, give or take minor things.

DeeCee wrote:1) There are limits to what stock engine can take before it blows piston rings or breaks the headgasket. Build it stronger and the potential is there for cylinder wall cracking. Oil reticulation is not the best on st185/gen2 engine. st205/gen3 engine has better oil reticulation. st215/245 fixed block cracking with more webbing on the block in weak areas.


There are also the 2.2/2.3L stroker builds from the 98+ 5S block that seem to hold up well to high power levels (1000AWHP+)

DeeCee wrote:4) Rear TORSEN diff, or open diff. Hard to find aftermarket LSD to replace, sometimes hard to find OEM LSD to replace.


The aftermarket LSD isn't hard to find, I know they are currently available, however there isn't a terribly wide selection.

DeeCee wrote:6) Wheels/Bearings/CVs - wheels are 5x100, so select Subaru or Volkswagon wheels with correct offset will fit. Wheel bearings and CVs are standard toyota fare and available from anyone that stocks parts for a camry or corolla. Inner CV's are more select and may require who driveshaft changes as they don't list seperate parts for inner CVs more often than not.


The car can be converted to 5x114.3 without requiring custom parts, but it takes a fair bit of shopping around, there's no bolt on kit.

DeeCee wrote:7) Brakes - nothing bolts on from any other cars except the st205 brakes/discs at the rear (note hub spigot is different size between models st185=54mm vs st205=55mm. Modification is required to retro fit st205 brakes at the front. Only select companies have off the shelf brake kits and they are not cheap.


There are a few pricey aftermarket kits for both front and rear, there are also several ways to upgrade the fronts using adapters ie the Porsche/Brembo setup. Again it takes a bit of shopping, but will bolt right on. I believe there is a way to do the BBK and a 5x114.3 conversion together as well.
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Re: How much effort and cost goes into making an st185 fast?

Postby DeeCee » Wed May 15, 2013 5:21 am

Cost to benefit should be considered. As I said, it costs money to make a ST185 fast, whereas there are more options available to other platforms at better cost than extensively modifying the ST185 platform.

2.2 block is extensively modifying, 5x114 conversion is extensively modifying, i still don't see anyone discussing retrofitting st205 rear calipers on the 5x114 hub due to lack of disc availability - I'm not going to modify a consumable just to make it work.. (and 5x114 + st205 caliper = easy: supra 5x114 disc, st205 caliper with machining of the caliper mounting points. Just need to get adapter ring made up to centre disc if camry hub spigot is smaller than disc centre hole)

If you are going to spend $10 -20k on modifying a car, you may as well do it to a better platform with a larger aftermarket parts bin.

In reality we are just sadists for taking on these cars as projects.
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Re: How much effort and cost goes into making an st185 fast?

Postby underscore » Wed May 15, 2013 1:39 pm

If you're building the internals already, I don't see much of a difference in going with a 5S block vs a 3S block at that point. 5x114.3 isn't too extensive but it is a fairly significant change, unless someone has parts hookups it likely won't be an inexpensive mod.
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Re: How much effort and cost goes into making an st185 fast?

Postby kilt88 » Wed May 15, 2013 4:43 pm

I'll bite...

How about you first tell us your idea of "fast".
Josh
from 185 Performance, many moons ago
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Re: How much effort and cost goes into making an st185 fast?

Postby toayoztan » Wed May 15, 2013 6:26 pm

FAST
RELIABLE
CHEAP

You only get 2.

I know this is a cliche, but this holds very true for the Alltrac. It's not an inexpensive car to modify.

If you get into seriously building up the car for power or restoration, you WILL reflect on how much you've spent and wonder why you didn't just buy a brand new car.

But of course, like you've taken notice, this is a car we own because we love 'em.

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