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Super Excited to have purchased a 1992 MR2 as my first project! Its been sitting 10 years. Any suggestions?


Clem_
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Hi folks! As the title states I've just come into ownership of 1992 MR2, 3SGE, automatic, originally imported from Japan. I was originally looking for a mx5 or mr2 manual but I couldn't say no to the price - €1700 after negotiations. 

Anyway, a little about the car. Its been sitting for 10+ years, with the last tax in 2010. After it was imported, a replacement engine was put in. Theres 200k km's on the clock - presumably the "new" engine has many less kms.  It drives but is misfiring (2 cylinders) and idling rough. As well as this, the car reeks of petrol fumes in the cabin when running: old petrol, bad fuel lines, worn rubber parts? Lastly, theres rust on the door sills. I haven't gotten a proper look underneath as I'm waiting for it to be delivered to my new place. Tyres are understandably dry rotted and the windscreen is cracked with gaffer tape across the top seal. Interior is mint. Body work is good. The black paint is a bit bleached by the sun. Import papers are there. 3 keys and immobilizer. I'm a bit confused as I haven't been able to open the drivers door with any of the keys and for now am locking the car through the passenger door. 

I was looking for a project so this suits me. I'll be working on it over many months in my workshop. I was wondering if any experienced owners could point out some typical jobs that would need attention on a car like this apart from the usual stuff. In my mind the list of things to do, roughly in order of importance:

  1. Sort out the misfiring - the shady guy who sold it to me told me its only coil packs, hopefully hes right.
  2. Full service: spark plugs. engine and transmission Oil, all the filters, brake rebuild, brake lines.
  3. Sort out the fumes if still present after service - Fuel lines, not sure exactly what else other than clean petrol.
  4. Sort out the rust - A friend of mine has suggested someone for welding. 
  5. Suspension - I'm thinking coilovers, not necessarily to lower the car since its low enough stock imo, but to improve the drive.
  6. Tyres and windscreen.

The above are the main goals to get her healthy. After this I would like to think about a manual swap, though I know this would be a big project. Cosmetics will fall in the above list somewhere too - respray, new wheels (or refinish the stock ones). 

Having said all that, what are your thoughts on what I should be looking out for? I'm certain I haven't considered some important things. Should I change gaskets? Any thoughts on the fuel smell? Thank all! 

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My thoughts are, you need your head examined 🤪. Seriously Clement you have a big project in front of you, and it’s gonna take up a lot of your time and money to get a car that’s been sitting for 10yrs up to scratch and safe on the road. Has it been stored indoors ??. There will be hidden issues that will manifest as the work progresses. But I wish you the best of luck and hope that you will document the restoration with pictures and information as you go along 👍

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1 hour ago, Bernard Foy said:

My thoughts are, you need your head examined 🤪. Seriously Clement you have a big project in front of you, and it’s gonna take up a lot of your time and money to get a car that’s been sitting for 10yrs up to scratch and safe on the road. Has it been stored indoors ??. There will be hidden issues that will manifest as the work progresses. But I wish you the best of luck and hope that you will document the restoration with pictures and information as you go along 👍

I don't think I'm disillusioned by how much work it'll take but it's a project and I love the car! If it takes 10 years that's no problem! Im not sure where the car was stored but it does drive at least, albeit it remains to be seen how well.

The sills are rusted which is to be expected but the chassis doesn't seem to have much rust overall. 

 

Thanks for the good wishes and I'll certainly update my progress on the forum! 

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