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Project Toyota Supra Mark IV: Part 11 – New gauges and panels

We start the quest of updating the Supra's interior to newer, cooler standards.

by Pablo Mazlumian

When we hit our 800 WHP goal in Part 10, we were excited, and driving the car has since been a blast.  But we’re now at the point where we’re asking ourselves, “well, now what?”  There’s no real sense in cracking the 1000 WHP mark if we don’t plan to drive or race the car at that power level (but we have been enjoying every bit of those 800 ponies very much, thank you).  To be able to use 1000 WHP successfully, we’d need taller drag radial-like tires.  And then, if we’re starting to put that power down without wheelspin (1000 WHP Supras tend to make over 800 LB-FT of torque), we can start to say “bye bye” to our current clutch, driveshaft or half shafts.  Nah, thanks anyway.

Thus, we’re moving into the next stage of our Project Supra’s build-up.  The first stage had everything to do with performance, and we covered everything from the engine build-up to some of the suspension components in parts 1-10.  And, while we’ll keep revisiting the engine and suspension with minor tweaks here and there, our next phase will involve updating the car’s aesthetics, both inside and out, to not make it look and feel like the 20-year-old car it actually is.

This month we’ll be starting with the factory instrument cluster, and this is where a well-known gentleman in the Supra community by the name of Stu Hagen comes in.  If you’ve ever come across his website at www.97supraturbo.com, Mr. Hagen has a plethora of technical information on the MKIV Supra, whether it’s regarding factory or aftermarket components.   You can also see how he managed to hit over 650whp with the factory twin turbos!

If you’d like to check out some of Stu Hagen’s work, you can also check out his Facebook page.

 


This is the Supra’s factory instrument cluster that we’ll be updating.  As you can see (shoot, maybe not--it's there, I promise), it’s fairly old-school.  And this is on the brightest setting!  Compare this to...

...a picture of customized Stu Hagen gauges taken with the exact same camera settings and lighting, and on the dimmest setting!

We’ll also be changing some instrument panels we ordered from AutoNation Toyota Gulf Freeway in Houston, Texas.

Having ordered from AutoNation Toyota Gulf Freeway for several years, it's for us to report the fact that these guys know their stuff when it comes to Supras, especially for a "factory" Toyota dealer.  TRD parts can be ordered through them, as well as any part available for the MKIV Supra, which includes even a stock shortblock, and at prices most of us won't be able to beat. 

I've also had the Supra's six-speed GETRAG transmission rebuilt through them before.  I've been working with Thomas Sowell at AutoNation since 2004 with this particular car, and he's always been great to deal with.  So thank you, Mr. Sowell! (hey man, I'll be ordering some more stuff in the very near future..)

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Comments
BillyJ
BillyJlink
Tuesday, July 21, 2015 8:17 AM
Big improvement! I would have made the tach and speedo start straight up and down, otherwise it looks great.
Leon
Leonlink
Tuesday, July 21, 2015 9:18 AM
The gauges read farther now, but can the needles actually sweep that far? If they can then that's pretty sweet.
Bryan
Bryanlink
Tuesday, July 21, 2015 9:19 PM
Gauge faces are exceptionally more modern and very sharp, however you guys gotta take out the plastic gauge panel cover and give it a light wetsand/cut/polish procedure to really clean it up. You can see the years of light scratching especially clearly when fully lit. Just using some Meguiars PlastX on a microfiber and some elbow grease would make a world of difference, or you could go full OCD and wetsand with 2000-3000 grit, compound with Megs M105 and then polish to perfection with M205 using some of their microfiber pads. Just a suggestion to show off all that fancy gauge work!
Pablo Mazlumian
Pablo Mazlumianlink
Tuesday, July 21, 2015 9:27 PM
Hi guys, thanks for reading!
@stuntman: I agree that would have been a really cool feature. I think that was possible with the tach but not with the speedo for some reason, at least in my case. I would have to ask Mr. Hagen.

@Leon: Yes they sweep all the way over! I've seen it done. I've since changed the gauges slightly (arrived today) and slightly changed both tach and speedo, which now reads to 200 MPH.

@Bryan, thanks for the tip! Of course it's something that shows a lot worse in photos but I will definitely try your suggestion soon! After all, I still have easy access to removing it since I'm still "in there" doing some other clean-up work behind the panels at the moment.
warmmilk
warmmilklink
Friday, July 24, 2015 1:12 PM
so not to be all hater and all... but do you plan on doing anything about that front bumper?
Pablo Mazlumian
Pablo Mazlumianlink
Saturday, July 25, 2015 10:51 PM
ah man, no love for the Stillen front bumper! Actually I have another body kit on the way, which should arrive end of summer and I hope to have it on by year's end!
warmmilk
warmmilklink
Monday, July 27, 2015 6:29 PM
haha, it was ok for its time... but now it just looks dated. is the new kit a secret?
Pablo Mazlumian
Pablo Mazlumianlink
Monday, September 28, 2015 7:58 AM
@warmmilk: I agree. TwinZ
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