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20Nov2015 Purchased this vehicle in August 2010 and at first thought it was a great deal! However, on the drive home three of the motor mounts snapped off and the engine ended up resting on the exhaust on top of the cross member. Once I had repaired the mounts I started looking around the car and like a ball of unraveling string it just kept coming apart. At first it was just the motor mounts, then it was the random electrical work hidden in the engine bay and dashboard that caught my eye. Once I started digging into those issues I found that several of the sensor wires had melted because they'd been run directly underneath the turbo behind the downpipe and above the b-pipe. The engine harness looked as though it had been through a chainsaw masacre... So, I stripped out all of the wiring harnesses in the rear of the car and repaired them by shrink wrap and solder where possible. Literally days of work. After repairing and reinstalling all of the wiring in the rear of the car I reassembled the engine, re-ran the sensors and moved into the passenger compartment. The wiring here was also a rats nest. So, naturually, I yanked it all out, repaired it, re-wrapped it, re-installed it. YAY! Move to the frunk... Not too shabby but the rad fans were as F'd up as a football bat. Something extra special was done here. The temp switch in the radiator had failed and caused the fans to stop working. So someone decided to bypass the automatic control of the fans and just hardwire them to run when the car is on by tapping directly off the battery. No fuses or anything and just a relay to flip em on and off controlled by a switch in the cab. After figuring out what had been done, I undid it and repaired it properly.So at this point I'm thinking things are great! Car should be drivable. Go to change the oil, filter, plugs, wires and look! Cylinder one has a puddle of coolant standing in it. Craaaaaaap. Rip the engine apart to find out that the block had been bored then had stock sized pistons installed. They had slapped around the cylinder so much that all four pistons were broken, chipped, or cracked in some form. AWESOME!!!! Then we inspected the head and found that it had been damaged by over-zealous porting. It was 'ported' so much that a water jacket had been knicked over cylinder one and was leaking a steady drip into the cylinder. On top of that the transmission had been grenaded and rewelded together. So... with the entire engine / drivetrain nearly worthless I ripped out the aftermarket ECU that I had repaired, cleaned the engine bay out and prepared her for a new engine. Lesson learned. Don't let the shiny thing distract you while inspecting a car for purchase. Fast forward 5 years, 2 used engines, a deployment, 2 years of TDY's / training and here I am. Recently purchased all the bits and bobs necessary to do a Gen 4 conversion with the upgraded CT15 from Prime. It'll probably be a few more months till I get it running again due to work, weather, and project goals. I hope to be on the road by April '16 again. ------------------------------------------------------------------- 7July2016 So, it took a little while longer than anticipated. The engine I purchased from Nagano on eBay had a few internal issues. I suspect that either the mechanic in Japan that had been servicing the vehicle was sabatoging the original owner to generate income or he was a horrible shade tree mechanic. The engine had tools left inside the intake runners for cyl 4, glass beads in the bottom end from being bead blasted, and a few other minor issues. Good thing I inspected it before installing it or it would've gone grenade on me. So, I tore the engine down to nothing, h ad the whole thing cleaned, inspected, and painted. Installed Wiseco pistons and Eagle rods. Sent the turbo off to Prime MR2 (Awesome shop btw) for a rebuild and stage 1 upgrade. Waited a couple months for work to slow down enough that I could play with the car again then installed all these shiny new bits. Got it all put together in early May with a few minor touches to fix and had to go away for a month again! ARGH. Return in June and finish the assembly... YAY! I finally get to drive my car again after nearly 3 solid years of down time. A Gen 4 3S-GTE is a blast to drive! It effortlessly gets the car up to speed even during the break-in period. Can't wait till I can beat on it again!
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