Buying car insurance for your sports car can be very expensive—if you can find a company that will insure your sports car in the first place. Sports cars have a high likelihood of being stolen, and replacement parts in cases of accidents or theft can be hard to find and are costly. Because of that, even if you have the money to buy a sports car and pay for coverage, many insurance companies may not agree to cover your high-end sports car at all. There are things, however, which you can do so that your premium would not cost a fortune if you do find a company to insure your sports car.
When you find car insurance online is a very good start since you have myriad choices and you can easily get information about each company and what their quotes are. Some companies even offer a lower sports car insurance premium just because you went the online route of purchasing coverage. If you can combine your home insurance with your car insurance it may also help in even lowering your premium.
If you have an impressive driving record, with no speeding tickets or any road accidents you’ve gotten into while driving, you’ll have a higher chance of getting a low premium. Maintain that driving record, however, even as you drive your sports car. Park it in the most secure of locations and ensure it has all safety and security features it can be equipped with, starting with a very annoying car alarm and steering wheel lock—all precautionary measures for when anyone gets spoken to by the devil to steal your car where you left it. Make your insurance company aware of these precautions you’ve made as a lot of insurers grant discounts to safety-conscious car owners.
Apart from maintaining a good driving record, you must also have proof that you can deliver on your payments to your insurer—because just owning a rare and expensive sports car does not automatically reflect financial responsibility. You can convince your insurer to cover your sports car if you have a good credit history, and they may even give you a discount for it.
Finally, being realistic, you may not really find an insurance company that will insure your sports car especially if it’s exotic and rare. If that’s the case, it would be best to buy a car that is lower-risk so you can have it insured and less of a burden will be on your mind when you drive.
Since the engine of this mk3 Supra was out of the car for the rebuild to accommodate new .40 over Wiseco pistons, this was the perfect opportunity to colour match the engine bay with the exterior of the car. When the car was originally painted with this beautiful candy apple metallic red, it still had the engine in it, which made it for a difficult task to try to spray the engine bay. Not without some difficulty, all of the exterior elements, as well as the non-easily-removable components, were masked out to protect them from overspray. After treating the paint with the scuffing procedure, a primer was applied (Pic. 1). Then the red base and clear coat were sprayed on (Pic. 2). Additional subframe elements were also cleaned and painted black. The rad support was left to be painted after the engine was back in the car.
Now came the time for “Project Red” to get a clutch upgrade as well. Having had less than optimum success with stock-type clutch upgrades, with full-face kevlar discs not being strong enough and metallic puck type disc not being street-friendly with harsh engagement, we opted to go this time with multi-plate clutch setup from OS Giken, one of the original aftermarket performance clutch manufacturers in Japan. OS Giken multi-plate clutches provide the comfort of the stock clutches pedal feel and the strength of a race ready twin plate. This kit includes a lightweight flywheel and pressure plate combination that is patented in Japan and it comes with the very unique OS style twin clutch disk system (Pic 1, Pic 2, Pic 3). It replaces a pull-style clutch release mechanism with a push-style setup. The OS Giken clutch setup seems to be the clutch of choice for many high horsepower 2JZ powered mkIV Supras as well as the 7MGTE powered MkIII Supras. It seems like we can’t go wrong with our choice - the future will soon tell.
With Supras growing in desirability for collectors, more owners find themselves searching for car insurance company reviews to get collector’s policies for these beautiful performance sports cars. There are numerous advantages to these policies including:
Specialized roadside assistance programs.
Agreed value coverage.
Flexible coverage for both show activity and leisure driving.
Recognition of value appreciation.
Greater understanding of modifications.
Supra owners would be best served by consulting one of the three top classic insurance brokers:
Hagerty Insurance Agency - Hagerty has been insuring classics since 1991 and has a reputation for low premiums and flexible usage. They insure a wide range of vehicles and offer agreed value coverage with allowances for leisure driving.
Grundy Worldwide Insurance Agency - With more than 60 years in the business, Grundy also offers agreed value coverage, unlimited hobby use, spare parts and trip interruption coverage, and 30 day coverage on new collector acquisitions.
American Collectors Insurance - American has been in the business for 30 years and will write policies on cars as new as 1992. They include a quarterly 2% increase for value appreciation up to 8% total with no added cost. Original vehicles have a zero deductible with 5,000 pleasure miles included.
Working with a company that specializes in collectible and classic insurance will help the Supra owner avoid some of the preconceptions they may encounter from other companies, especially if their Supra has been modified in any way. Regardless of the company, however, remember the things insurance companies like:
Security devices. Every insurance agent will react well to a car that is securely stored and outfitted with technology to track and locate the vehicle in the event of a theft.
Limited driving. Even with flexible usage allowances, cars that are driven in a limited manner under verifiable conditions carry the perception of lower risk.
Club or group membership. Drivers who illustrate their love of and respect for their cars by membership in a driver’s club or organization convey the sense that their car will be loving maintained and protected.
Essentially there are two genres of insurance coverage the Supra owner is apt to encounter:
“agreed value” or “like for like” - This coverage takes into account the replacement value of the car in the event of a total loss.
“modifications not covered” - This one is clear. If the Supra has been heavily modified, the coverage will not extend to those modifications.
Of course, the optimal coverage is the agreed value. For drivers of modified Supras, your best bet is to be totally forthcoming about all modifications and to supply extensive documentation to make your case for insurance coverage. Thankfully, however, specialty insurance firms like Hagerty, Grundy, and American will understand what you’re driving and will make sure you have coverage that is both affordable and comprehensive.
One of the most recent upgrades on “Project Black” is the installation of a “Jim King” short shifter. It is a unit closely resembling JDM C’s Short Shifter. Made of stainless steel it is a very good quality piece. With the raised pivot point it shortens the shift throw without shortening the shifter height. The unit is actually height-adjustable and it comes pre-set for a slightly lower height than stock, but it can be easily returned to stock-like height yet providing shorter throws. Installation was very simple, the unit is a direct bolt-on, re-using most of the original rubber insulator and dust-shield pieces (Picture 1)(Picture 2). Even the factory Toyota OEM or TRD shifter knob thread on without problems. As far as the driving impressions the short shifter offers smooth, short shifts, although the feeling is more “crisp” than the original “longer throw” shifter. In our opinion: a very positive upgrade.
Since the most recent engine meltdown on “Project Red” we had decided to perform some upgrading. Blown Cometic MLS head gasket and signs of slight piston melting led us to believe that even though the car had an upgraded Fluidyne aluminum radiator and the air/fuel ratios were monitored with a PLX Wideband Sensor and kept within safe limits, there were still issues with temperatures in the engine. Examination of the block and the head gasket placement again raised questions such as: “Why are the holes misaligned?” (see picture #1). If there are two open coolant passages in the 7M head, why is there only one corresponding passage open in the block? Well, in an attempt to improve the flow of coolant in the water jackets through the block and the head we decided to create additional openings in the block through to existing water jackets (See picture #2). Since the exhaust side of the block has two openings, why not give it two on the intake side as well? (See picture #3). Will it improve the cooling of the 7MGTE? We certainly hope so. Stay tuned for more info on the Supra “Project Red” engine build…
Here is a visual comparison of mk3 Supra pistons: from left to right: JE piston, Wiseco piston, Toyota OEM piston. Other than the presence of teflon protective coating, there seem to be very few visual differences in construction of JE and Wiseco pistons. One notable difference seems to be the location of piston ring seats. The construction of both pistons seems to be similar although JE piston is lighter than Wiseco piston. Toyota OEM piston visually differs from both JE and Wiseco in both skirt length and internal construction, as well as the location of piston ring seats. Toyota piston is also the heaviest. Recommended minimum piston to cylinder wall clearance for JE: 0.004″. Recommended minimum piston to cylinder wall clearance for Wiseco: 0.0025″. More pictures: Pic#1, Pic#2, Pic#3.
In order to clean-up and protect the main engine harness we used a plastic loom retrofitted from a 1991 7MGE equipped Toyota Cressida, which mounts pretty much without any modifications. It keeps the wiring harness away from heat and adds a “cleaned-up” look. Also, on a subject of heat and appearance, a factory rubber lower radiator hose was replaced with a silicone unit from OBX. It’s a direct substitute for a factory original black hose, no modifications necessary. The fit is tight, and it requires strong hose clamps to prevent any coolant leaks. Otherwise - improved appearance and heat protection provided by a brand new piece.
Dealing with increased power output from the 7MGTE meant upgrading the clutch system to better transfer the power to the ground. An ACT pressure plate provides 30% increase in clamping power. Combined with better friction clutch disk it improves clutch grip and holding capacity while providing perfectly streetable slip without chatter, with near stock pedal feel. To allow more power from the engine to go directly to the wheels the stock, heavy flywheel was replaced with XTD Prolite chromoly lightweight flywheel. Made from high-carbon steel, its surface allows the use of any type of friction disk, from carbon-kevlar, ceramic copper, to sintered iron. Much lighter than stock (12 lbs), it allows for better engine response and faster acceleration.
Everybody knows that oil change in a mkIII Supra is not the cleanest procedure. Factory location of the oil filter over front subframe makes it difficult to access plus oil spills are hard to contain and clean up. Here’s where Greddy Oil Filter Relocation Kit comes in. Moving the filter to a more easily accessible location not only allows for better access and spill-free oil changes, but also makes it possible to use a larger (longer) oil filter (from Toyota pick-up trucks). Larger filter means larger filtering area - cleaner oil. Higher oil capacity means more oil in the system - which also translates into cooler and cleaner oil. All in all - it’s a win-win situation.
Next step in this upgrade was the use of Mine’s tuned 7MGTE ECU. Although this Japanese tuner is best know for their tuning of Skylines GT-R, they have also been providing ECU tuning for other major JDM makes. Some of their technology is based on the VX-ROM boards added to factory ECUs thus allowing for improvements of the original ECU programming. Changes to this particular unit as well as most of other 7MGTE Mine’s tuned computers include removed rev limiter, removed boost cut, removed speed limiter, improved fuel and ignition maps as well as added fuel maps above factory boost levels. The overall effect is a more responsive, faster and higher revving engine, safe fueling as well as more room for additional mods.
An oil catch can on a race car is supposed to aid in removing oil vapors from air being recirculated from the crankcase back into the intake manifold. However, has anyone ever noticed that unlike the vapor filtration system located inside the valve covers and consisting of multiple baffles with “strainer” holes, oil catch cans usually are hollow inside, thus allowing for fairly unrestricted air flow. “Strainer” baffles are meant to create a resistance to flowing air thus allowing for oil to deposit on the baffles and flow down to the bottom of the engine. The same philosophy was applied to the Greddy catch can on “Project Black” and the oil catch can strainer baffle was born. The baffle is positioned in such a way that it divides the inside of the catch can in two chambers forcing the air to flow through the strainer.
Unfortunately after using Autometer gauges for awhile we have determined that their readability at night is less then optimal. To improve gauge readouts we decided to switch to Stewart-Warner gauge set. Although the overall size remained at 52mm (2-1/16″) the new design of the Stewart-Warner gauge trim ring allows for larger display area. New “lighting technology” is also supposed to improve night-time readouts. This gauge set includes Coolant Temperature Gauge and Boost Gauge.
Power steering reservoir on turbo mkIIIs is located in an unfortunate spot where not only is it exposed to hot air blown through the radiator, but also it is blocking the same air flow from moving though around the turbo and thus helping to cool it. Unlike previous years, Supra model years 1991 and 1992 had an improved “power steering cooler”, upgraded with cooling fins vs. just a bent pipe running in the nose of the car. Apparently there must have been an issue with power steering fluid temperature that prompted this fix. In an attempt to remedy this problem on “Project Black”, a power steering fluid reservoir was replaced with a plastic unit from another Toyota car and moved away from the original location. The new placement allows for better cooling for both the power steering fluid and the turbocharger.