Project MKIV Supra: Part 9 – The 2JZ’s running! Plus more fuel, new suspension, tires, dyno runs, and more!


So with our cam sensor noise cancellation changed from a factory-set value of “10” to “140”, we now had 8000 RPM, which is what Chad had commanded the AEM Infinity to do.  And boy, did the revs get there in a hurry.  But, by the second pull, the alternator started going out on us.  Okay, fine—the car’s got 112k miles on the chassis.

So I quickly got the alternator rebuilt and reinstalled, and while I was at it I also decided to clean up the engine bay a bit, starting with cutting a few unused, dangling connectors that were part of the factory twin turbo setup.

I cleaned up the remainder of the section with lots of black electrical tape and several zip ties, closed the hood with a grin of satisfaction, and attempted to fire up the car, and I had nothing.  The engine would turn over but wouldn't fire.  I had no fuel, and not even a 12-volt signal to the EMS!  Had I shorted something?  Now what!  I hate electrical problems!

So there I was, not knowing if I’d shorted the wrong wire or perhaps even fried the ECU, or if it was going to be something electrical to the point that I'd have hire MKC to build this car a brand new, full engine wiring harness (which probably wouldn’t be started until January).  Either way, I had it towed to MKC for the winter.

Except for the disappointment of not being able to bring Project Supra’s readers some good news with nice power figures, I suppose I wasn’t too upset at the situation.  After all, I also had a lot of catching up to do with Project E46 M3 at the same time, now that it was running well (and still is!).

But then on a Thursday afternoon in October, I got a text from MKC's Chad Charlton, who said they’d gone ahead and put some more time on the car anyway, and found the problem was simply a crapped out fuel sensor (we later found the IAT sensor gone too).  Maybe it was just a weird coincidence that this had to happen the day I cut the wires and reinstalled the alternator, but I didn’t care—we had ignition!  My gleeful screams of joy also jumped up an octave when I learned that we were going to be blessed with 70F weather that weekend, too.  This type of luck never fell on me (in fact, I remember years ago leaving a dyno session on really bald R-compound tires when it suddenly started snowing and I almost didn't make it home!).

It’s interesting how the pain from all of the blood, sweats, tears and hard lost money that a power-addict endures can suddenly vanish when things work well again.  Project cars can be a jacked up relationship.  Today you could have told me I was picking up a new car in the morning and I would have been equally as excited.


So with car running well again, it was time to get this buggy some new shoes.
Until now the power has been transferred to the asphalt through old-school Toyo RA1 R-compound tires, but ever since I got a chance to experience BFG’s newer Rival tire on track, I wanted nothing else.  In fact, I have a set on Project E46 M3 as we speak.  The outgoing tire was a 305/35-18 and the new one going on is a 295/35-18, only because the next size available from BFG was 315/30-18 (and I didn't want rubbing issues).  If you go on TireRack’s site you won’t see the 295, but we can assure you it exists (and it's on the car).

The Rival is really a street-legal racing tire.  In fact it was born when a street-tire racing class needed a tire that, at minimum, had a UTQG rating over 200.  The Rival meets that, and it’s already exceeded all expectations on our E46 BMW M3, netting up to 1.21 G's on the skidpad with a stock suspension.


The tell-tale mark of a Rival tire is the saw tooth outer tread block, which extends part way down the profile of the tire for added grip at high cornering speeds.  This allows better cornering and wear when camber adjustments are limited or simply not available.
A lot of detail has gone into this street-legal racing tire.  The outer blocks are even angled just the right amount so that the blocks “square” themselves up when the G forces are high.

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