Low Mileage Toyota MR2 MK2.

Low Mileage Toyota MR2 MK2.

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Matt-5av3z

Original Poster:

31 posts

50 months

Tuesday 27th August
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Hi all,

A couple of weeks ago, I sold my two toys, an Impreza RB5 and a Clio 200 Cup.









Naturally, I was feeling a little low and the thought of staring into an empty garage made me ever so slightly depressed.

I wasn't supposed to be buying another car, but I needed something to fill the void and give me something to tinker with.

Before the other cars were even collected by the new owner, I began to search the usual classifieds. I don't really buy cars like most others do and what I mean by this, is that I don't ever have a model of car in mind that I want, or even 2 or 3. If i see something I like the look of and the advert and initial phone call give me good vibes and the price is right, then I am open to having a look at anything. This is not ideal for researching problems, common faults etc, but it's always seemed to work for me in the past and both the Clio and Impreza were bought like this. Thanks to the internet and forums etc, you can put together a check list in about half an hour if you work fast enough.

Anyhow, Sunday night and I notice an advert for a MK2 MR2 2.0 GTI 16v that is local. I call the seller for a chat to be told that there is someone there as we speak looking at the car and the phone has been ringing off the hook for the past few hours. A return phone call an hour later and I'm told that the viewer couldn't quite reach the asking price, but has left an offer and I am more than welcome to come and have a look at the car.

Checklist to hand I get there within the hour and I could not believe what greeted me...








It turns out that this car had basically spent the last 15 years and 4,000 miles stored in a garage and used very sparingly. It has only covered 40,000 miles from new.

I was really taken a back by the condition. There was not a mark/ stone chip on it anywhere, sills were utterly perfect and look like they had just left the factory (not been repaired) and the interior was basically as new, it has all the original window stickers and after a test drive, the mechanics were nothing but perfect.

It is clear the owner loved this car and after half an hour of haggling, with him unsure that he even wanted to sell, a deal was done and it was mine. A deposit was left and the car was collected on Tuesday and since then it has sat in my garage, not driven....

While the car is in exceptional condition, over the next few months I intend to take it to the next level and turn this car into one of the best examples of a MK2 MR2 out there.

In no particular order here are my aesthetic plans...

1. Remove various parts to access hard to reach places where dirt has gathered and clean, same goes for door shuts and hinges etc.
2. Tart up various trim pieces, such as black ones that might have discoloured over time.
3. Give the paint a new lease of life with the dual action polisher.
4. Give the engine/ engine bay a good going over and see what I can do about cleaning that.

and mechanically....

1. A major service with cambelt and all fluids/filters.
2. Check all the suspension bushes/components.

Other than the service, my plans above will cost me nothing other than my time, I have x amounts of cleaning products that i've built up over the years so won't need to worry about them. I'm sure other odd jobs will appear along the way and i'll try and document them here.
I may also...and i am unsure about this...look for some period correct JDM alloys, Work, Enkei etc and have them refurbished. But this would be it in terms of "modz".

I have decided to make this post so I have a place where my efforts are recorded and maybe help or show others what can be done with a bit of effort. I am not overly mechanically minded and it might encourage others to get stuck in.


Regards.

Matt.

soad

30,312 posts

121 months

Tuesday 27th August
quotequote all
Hmm, don’t see many now. If at all. And they used to be nearly everywhere not that long ago.

RB5, that’s a rather special motor. cloud9

Rich135

568 posts

187 months

Wednesday 28th August
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That looks really lovely, well done on finding it!

I have just bought a mk1 with 48,000 miles on it, and I'm the 3rd owner. It's a joy to have a car that is still the way it left the factory and you just need to do minor cleaning without getting a welding torch out.

Please do details your DA Polishing, as I want to do the bodywork on mine but haven't used a mechanical polisher before, just done it by hand. I would like to copy your results!

Cheers

Rich

BrettMRC

1,032 posts

105 months

Wednesday 28th August
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Nice find OP!

Fantastic car, but be warned they can be an utter arse to work on!

Watching with interest. smile

J4CKO

27,995 posts

145 months

Wednesday 28th August
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These were always a look, most look a bit over messed with or tired but that looks like new.

Elesmart

341 posts

111 months

Wednesday 28th August
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Absolutely fantastic. A great find and I hope that you enjoy it.

Top tip - The sills have some foamy sound deadening which, at this age, can begin to rot the sills from the inside out if they're left.

From the interior, move the seats forwards and pop off the interior panels which cover the seat belts / rear speakers and reach down, inside the sills. You will most probably find some very hard foam. Remove this immediately (it simply pulls out with no tools required) as they are great at holding in condensation and causing rot.

ETA - That's a Rev 2, UK car and has the staggered 15 inch wheels. Always stay staggered on these motors, it's very important for the handling characteristics.

BrettMRC

1,032 posts

105 months

Wednesday 28th August
quotequote all
Elesmart said:
ETA - That's a Rev 2, UK car and has the staggered 15 inch wheels. Always stay staggered on these motors, it's very important for the handling characteristics.
That's a polite way of putting it! hehe

The Rev1 was a ditchfinder!

Heaveho

1,994 posts

119 months

Wednesday 28th August
quotequote all
Elesmart said:
Absolutely fantastic. A great find and I hope that you enjoy it.

Top tip - The sills have some foamy sound deadening which, at this age, can begin to rot the sills from the inside out if they're left.

From the interior, move the seats forwards and pop off the interior panels which cover the seat belts / rear speakers and reach down, inside the sills. You will most probably find some very hard foam. Remove this immediately (it simply pulls out with no tools required) as they are great at holding in condensation and causing rot.

ETA - That's a Rev 2, UK car and has the staggered 15 inch wheels. Always stay staggered on these motors, it's very important for the handling characteristics.
That is very good advice, that foam kills the sills on these.

MattsCar

Original Poster:

31 posts

50 months

Wednesday 28th August
quotequote all
Thanks for all the kind words.

Soad- the RB5 was a special car indeed, a little sad it is gone, but the special price I sold it for made saying bye a little easier!

Rich135- Your car sounds like something to treasure and yes, it's nice having something to tinker with that doesn't require major work/ headaches but gives you the satisfaction of still doing little jobs. I have started using the dual action polisher on the rear bumper today with very good results, I will post before and after photos when i do a more obvious panel like the roof which catches the light better.

BrettMRC- eek! I actually dismantled the rear light clusters/ panel today and was commenting on how logical it was to remove...did I speak too soon?

J4CKO- yep, even 10 years ago, alot of them appeared tired!

Elesmart + Heaveho- The seller actually mentioned these! They are still there....but, the car has always been a toy/garaged/never taken out in the rain thing and were left in for the sake of originality! Will have a butchers anyway to see what the fuss is all about.

This was a 15 minute job I did the day after getting it home...unbolted, wire brushed to get rid of the corrosion, spray painted and then bolted back on. So simple but makes all the difference.

Before



After


Elesmart

341 posts

111 months

Thursday 29th August
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Looking good Matt. Keep us updated on how you get on. They're very addictive cars.

Funnily enough, I keep looking at getting rid of my MR2 and buying a Clio 200 as I think they're real bargains at the moment. Good road test reviews, but owners reviews appear to show a number of niggles. The gearbox is a bit of a worry for me.

You will have to let me know how the 2 compare. I've written and re-written the for sale ad so many times for the MR2 and, as of yet, I haven't been able to click that 'submit' button to actually put it on sale......

MattsCar

Original Poster:

31 posts

50 months

Thursday 29th August
quotequote all
I can tell you about my experience with the Clio in isolation, having not really driven the MR2.

I can easily say, on any road with a number of turns/corners, point to point, the Clio would annhilate any MR2, no matter the revision, or engine type. In fact, most cars would struggle to keep up. You'll sometimes see articles in magazines claiming they are giant killers and this is very much true.

However, I simply did not find the car as much fun to drive as I thought i would. The reason is very simple. unless pushed to the absoloute limit, which you should not be doing on public roads, it simply felt that the car was on rails and there was no real involvement with you and the chassis. It was very much see a corner, point, turn, go round it very quickly and exit out the otherside with zero drama or communication with the car. At first you are in awe of this ability, but after a while it just becomes second nature and is all a bit boring.

I never tracked the car, but I am sure that this is where the car deserves to be and driving flat out, on the limit, would show the car under a very different light and bring a new dimension to driver involvement that simply cannot be experienced safely on the roads.

TwigtheWonderkid

29,619 posts

95 months

Thursday 29th August
quotequote all
Matt-5av3z said:
I may also...and i am unsure about this...look for some period correct JDM alloys, Work, Enkei etc and have them refurbished. But this would be it in terms of "modz".
Please don't do that. Keep it absolutely bog standard.

Dave Hedgehog

11,082 posts

149 months

Thursday 29th August
quotequote all
TwigtheWonderkid said:
Please don't do that. Keep it absolutely bog standard.
this, its a lovely example

Rich135

568 posts

187 months

Thursday 29th August
quotequote all
TwigtheWonderkid said:
Matt-5av3z said:
I may also...and i am unsure about this...look for some period correct JDM alloys, Work, Enkei etc and have them refurbished. But this would be it in terms of "modz".
Please don't do that. Keep it absolutely bog standard.
I think as long as you keep the original alloys as well, there's no harm in having a nice classy set of aftermarkets as well. I have both and will just use the originals in the good weather.

Well done on getting the first bit reconditioned Matt, it look so much better!

Rich

stew-STR160

7,463 posts

183 months

Thursday 29th August
quotequote all
I had one of those. Great cars. Quite nippy, and handle nicely.
Got hit by a Romanian 44tonner truck and written off...

WJNB

1,967 posts

106 months

Thursday 29th August
quotequote all
Very very smart indeed, so rare to find one that has not been tarted & farted about with. AND the red paintwork seems not to have gone pink.
Don't mess with it or if you need to mess with something buy another car.

TwigtheWonderkid

29,619 posts

95 months

Thursday 29th August
quotequote all
Rich135 said:
no harm in having a nice classy set of aftermarkets
Rich
Not convinced such a thing exists. Maybe Minilites on some cars, but every non standard wheel I've ever seen on any MR2, Mk1 - 3, has been crap.

Muzzer79

2,841 posts

132 months

Thursday 29th August
quotequote all
My first 'proper' car was a 1990 Toyota MR2 Turbo. Imported from Japan

That was red too and as a 21 year old boy, it was fantastic.

Pop-up headlights never lose their appeal biggrin

Any interior pics?

Uggers

1,118 posts

156 months

Thursday 29th August
quotequote all
Now that's a find!

A lot of people say the Rev3+ were the better cars, perhaps in Turbo guise, but as an N/A the Rev2's felt like they had a bit more urge and they have the same suspension setup as the Rev3's. In the dry the traction and grip is huge, but even with revised suspension in the wet they can catch you out. Mine certainly did, but it did have twice the power and torque of the 2.0 n/a.

They also had slightly more money spent on them for example deeper pile carpets and owners were more likely to tick a few more of the options.

Not many left in that condition, enjoy!

Shaoxter

3,374 posts

69 months

Thursday 29th August
quotequote all
Great find! Unfortunately most of them seem to be rotten away/in a ditch by now.

If you don't mind me asking, how much did you pay for it? Keep thinking of selling mine but it's just such hilarious fun!