Project Stormbringer


Active member

That's alot of work. Must be a fantastic feeling getting it running again.

I can't believe you found those OEM parts. You can't find an OEM reman rack for alot of newer cars, never mind an 80s one.

As far as pulling that rack; sometimes it's easier to remove one (or both) of the outer tie rods vs pulling a bunch of other stuff out.
For future reference.


It's coming together. It's also falling apart. :p

For whatever reason the oil pump on my last test fire overpressurized and blew out the seals on my oil warmer, so once again a step backwards while I have to sort that out. There's also a slow drip from I think the gearbox pinion seal that I'm not too happy about. I haven't really driven her in a while now and I don't feel comfortable dropping coin on tires when I have these stupid little gremlins still cropping up.

I also ditched that obnoxiously loud Walbro with a Denso pump. Not the Supra TT pump as that's basically impossible to find genuine units anymore, so I went for the next best thing: The ST205 stock pump. Which the p/n aliases to a few curiosities including the supercharged Previa...and the V12 Century. o_O I'm not planning to do any crazy power builds so this should be more than adequate. Also it seems to have cleared up the rich exhaust smell that was annoying me, so small blessings I guess.


Now my replacement intercooler - which I had to grab because the original one was hemorrhaging into the intake causing visible vapor out the tailpipe - is now doing the exact same thing. Drained and removed it, idle tested and nothing of note either out the exhaust or out of the turbo running that way. Plus there is significant coolant residue at the throttle body, but none behind it so I suspect the IAT gasket is still intact. So I need Yet Another ST205 Intercooler™. FML.


Okay, so...

It's been a while. Again. In that time Life has gotten in the way of the funner parts of life, but that's finally settling back down again with a new job and all the fun associated with that. Where we last left off: Intercooler was pissing coolant into the intake at an alarming rate well above the zero it ought to be. So I snapped up a nicer condition intercooler and...the fucking thing also leaked internally. Is this a known problem as these things age or is this just my usual luck at work?

Deciding I don't want to throw yet another pile of money at an unknown condition ST205 intercooler, I tried a much cheaper hail Mary...

A cheapo 12V hot water pump, one of my spare batteries (off frame), and a bottle of sodium silicate radiator sealer. We all know this shit from Cash for Clunkers. i.e. "Liquid glass" that was used to seize otherwise functioning engines. So anyway, fill up the system with water and some of this stuff, cram it into the oven and bake at like 200F for an hour. After letting it cool until it could be handled I opened up the radiator cap and was greeted by a fair bit of pressure built up. Hopefully that's a good sign, but we're not quite ready for testing this just yet. Because!...

The engine was leaking coolant now. Intermittently. But there were drips coming off the front diff housing, as well as the crank pulley. I tore into the timing belt area because I had a suspicion and lo and behold, I was right:
(Note: That's not shitty green coolant. It's actually Asian red with UV dye)

There was pitting around the o-ring sealing area on the block for the water pump. Someone tried to RTV it but frankly, this is not the way. With help I got all that scraped out and bought some engine block high temperature epoxy and used that to fill in the pitting, which can be seen above. After that came the FUn of reassembling the timing belt with the engine in the car...and getting that tensioner on without pulling the engine mount or power steering. The other drips were because of a couple clamps I left loose and a hose to the throttle body that developed a pinhole. Serves me right for using old hardware.

On to happier things; I sprung for some nice new wheels, as I was getting tired of haggard rims in a size that's becoming vanishingly hard to find good tires in. So I got me some Sparco Terras in 16":

Since I'm using a rental garage for this work I had to cart over the wheels myself. Amusingly enough, with the rear seats folded up the 2dr RAV4 can actually fit a full set of Alltrac wheels:

But now at long last her turbo'd elder sister finally runs without any leaks that I can find anywhere. She idles at a rumbly 650rpm, but isn't trying to stall or anything and very consistently holds that idle so I can only guess that's fairly normal. Finally though I can get this beast registered and where she belongs: Terrorizing the tarmac

"She may not look like much, but she's got it where it counts" :)


So I am 50 miles into the break in. But there are a few running quirks that made me suspicious, so I pulled the ECU and cracked it open to have a look:


Sure enough, these 30 year old capacitors have become incontinent. No telling if that explains the odd nearly-stalling idle or the mysterious won't-start-when-it's-below-freezing issues I've uncovered, but it seems like a good place to start with remedying those gremlins. This work is defo beyond me though so this will have to be shipped off for professional repair


While I could go with an aftermarket the tune of at least a grand for the hardware and dogs-only-know how the hell of finding a tuner certified in whatever platform in my area to dial it in safely... I am not in the market to drop $2-5000 when I could spend a tiny fraction of that cost and have this box serviced by lscowboyls.

Which I did.

Especially considering this engine is stock, and neither is this a track car either. So why go swatting flies with a MOAB when a properly designed fly swatter will due me just fine and save me more money than I originally paid for the car in the first place? :D

That said, she purrs like a kitten now. Dead stable 650 idle, no rumble-bumble like a badly tuned V8. Haven't put kms on yet as I need to renew the tags and then wash the beast through smog


Engine breaking in was completed a couple weeks ago. When I went through emissions she actually fast-passed, which I didn't expect to have happen given the age of the cat and all. Apparently in my state they don't even pop the hood to do a visual inspection anymore either. Fuel economy seems to be right around 25mpg for mixed driving, which isn't far off from the numbers I was getting on the Gen1 engine. All in all I am happy with my work.

I guess the next big thing is getting the body fixed up, but that's going to be A While™ until that can be afforded. So until then it's seat time and smiles per gallon for me!


Active member
Good job finding a good ECU repair guy. I might have tried the same but I went with an engine swap. Talk about MOAB!


Plus side is I won’t be rolling a gremlin prone Gen2 anymore. And I bought an MR2 to keep me patient during the swap process.

But great work keeping this warrior on the road!