PDA

View Full Version : Buyers guide MK3 ??



johnny8
13-02-2014, 20:16
Hi all.

Looking at buying a MK3 (2003 2nd Gen) at the weekend to go with my MK1.

I know most of the issues to look for on a MK1 but I need some advice as to issues to
look for on a (other than pre-cat issues on early models) MK3 please?

Thanks in advance.

cdwood2010
13-02-2014, 20:34
Jeff bought one, pretty sure he will have done his homework On the pitfalls!

C.

Jiff Lemon
13-02-2014, 22:54
Jeff bought one, pretty sure he will have done his homework On the pitfalls!

C.

You've two models to play with; The pre facelift (PFL) and the facelift (FL). The facelift has fogs in the front, different headlamps, tail lamps, side vents and rear bumper. They also got a 6 speed box. They gained additional underbracing as the years rolled on too. Avoid imported ones - Uk spec is much better.

The biggest problem is the 1zz engine. It's shite. The early ones suffer from premature failure of the oil control rings. Thats something your not going to spot on a test drive unless you do about 100 miles!

Depending on what year it is your buying (even 2003 have been known to fail) it's fairly safe to assume the engine is a ticking time bomb.

The good news is, that makes them ripe for an engine swap!

Hoods - Check em! obviously, VERY expensive to replace, so make sure there's no rips and that it folds nicely.

Check the rear bins and footwells behind the seats for damp - not a huge problem, but they can flood due to blocked drains.

Obviously check for rust/Accident damage/Repaired right offs etc.

If you've got a code reader, check for codes - Lambda sensors are a common failure.

Goody stuff to watch out for.
Hardtops. They fetch about 300 and then you find out you need to spend about the same for a fitting kit! If the cars got one already, thats a BIG bonus. Equally bonus points are still to be had if you've the fitting kit, but NO hardtop; The fitting kit is just two hook brackets at the tops on the B pillars and some chrome catches on the rear deck.

AlunJ
14-02-2014, 00:20
Depending on what year it is your buying (even 2003 have been known to fail) it's fairly safe to assume the engine is a ticking time bomb.


At least some of the earlier post-facelift models suffered from the bore-ovalling issue too. I've worked on a couple of very low millage '04's (one of which had spent less than 3 years on the road from new) where the subsequent oil-consumption induced engine failure could only be described as catastrophic. The early 1zz is the only engine I've personally see spin a conrod (the rod, not the bearing) 180 degrees end over end.

edit: to be fair I've never had to do any internal repairs on a post-04 1zz. I'd be tempted to hit up toyota with the VIN number and get 'em to confirm whether it has the late or early spec piston setup that's the cause of that particular issue. I've just had a gander at the EPC and it suggests that from may 2005 they were only using the later spec piston assembly (part 13101-22032) in the 1zz. Some models had it as a listed part for earlier build dates, but it looks like thats a listing as a substitution for the original 13101-22031 piston set.

Paul Woods
14-02-2014, 07:51
Added to all of the above, check the steering for a notchy feel or not returning to centre after cornering, the universal joint is prone to failure, 200 item from Toyota, but the joint can be reconned for 50.

Check rear subframe, they rot like you would not believe, i've seen one snapped clean in half.

Rear brakes are a problem, the usual calipers/cables..... be aware if it needs cables it's a fuel tank out job, unlike Mk1 and Mk2 which can be done in situ.

Fizzy
14-02-2014, 13:36
Bought one myself a while ago. Got quite a few suggestions after a year or two of ownership... :icon_mrgreen:

One thing to check is the coolant overflow bottle - level can vary quite a bit depending on temp (above max and below min etc) but if you can't see anything in the bottle after a run there may be a problem....bit of an art to checking oil level as the dip stick is long and curves around the back of the engine. Turning it 180 degrees to "coat" it before removing helps.

Oil usage is the main issue with the engines - only the last year or so (06?) have four oil holes in the pistons to resolve the clogging issues - 03+ cars had the same two holes as the early ones just slightly bigger/offset. (or is it 4 and 8? Anyhow last engines have twice as many :) ) Regular oil changes are a must.

Coil packs can break down on the engine. Rough idling etc. Other difficult things to check are the filters that are in place to keep the oil clean for the vvti engagement - can get clogged and stop vvti engaging. Heard of the actual vvti motor/stepper failing too.

Precat wear is often reported - but again tricky to check without taking O2 sensors or manifold off.

The gearbox can be a bit whiney - think the output shaft bearing (?) can wear.

If it has a TTE exhaust option fitted, check the clamps on the side of the box - they tend to rust. The cat heatshield bolts can rust through and allow it to rattle. Later cars had an additional two bolts to try and prevent this (or at least delay it).

Can get odd tapping behind dash/centre console - usually the cable for the passenger airbag rattling. Mine does it every now and again.

Earlier cars have some twist/scuttle shake - later cars were improved with some chassis stiffening. Nothing aftermarket braces can't fix though. Roof clamps can rattle even when fully adjusted - there was a Toyota "pad set" to try and rectify this. People have resorted to cable ties....

Battery is a bit weedy and probably needs replacing if it's a couple of years old.

Speakers aren't up to much and it only has front ones..... :)

Clutches tend to squeak/creak - most cases it's the clutch fork pivot in the gearbox. Mine does it - not gotten around to sorting it out yet..

6 Speed box has reverse next to 1st - and a beeper to let you know when you're in reverse. It's NOT a reversing sensor.... :rofl:

Check front fog lights if fitted - they can rust and degrade, and get damaged by stone chips etc. Plastic cover over headlights tends to yellow over time. Seals can break down on rear lights leading to a lot of condensation in them.

Usual roof checks as for any convertible - and check the side drain holes aren't clogged since it will make water run into the storage areas.

Stock wheels seem to flake pretty quickly - so may need refurbishing.

.
.
.
After all that though, great fun to drive and really come into their own when you can get the roof down - and engine isn't quite as gutless as people seem to make out. Also surprised I can fit in one (just!!! :) ).

johnny8
14-02-2014, 20:29
Wow, thanks.

A lot to think about before I have a look tomorrow.

Once again, thanks all :icon_biggrin:

johnny8
14-02-2014, 20:33
Or?

Might spend the cash on my MK1???

:idea:

snowtigger
14-02-2014, 22:18
2gr I'll fetch my coat

johnny8
14-02-2014, 22:29
Mmm! What to do???

Fizzy
14-02-2014, 23:45
Well - I think the basic thing to consider is that the mk3 is basically a convertible mk1 - so if you want a convertible, get a mk3 otherwise stick with the mk1 and do that up.

Easy. :eusa_shifty:

johnny8
15-02-2014, 10:57
Had a look this morning.

Nice car, nice drive but doesn't really float my boat.

Did this 2 years ago with another MK3 but ended up using the money on my MK1.

So, I thinks it's the same again.

2.5k to spend, just what to spend it on to improve the 1!?

snowtigger
15-02-2014, 11:42
I wouldn't like to say.

me it would be suspension refurb and upgrade, maybe new sound system.

Jiff Lemon
15-02-2014, 16:01
Had a look this morning.

Nice car, nice drive but doesn't really float my boat.

Did this 2 years ago with another MK3 but ended up using the money on my MK1.

So, I thinks it's the same again.

2.5k to spend, just what to spend it on to improve the 1!?

How long did you drive it for? Gotta say, I love ours. Its so much like a mk1 its scary! and the slipper diff makes for "fun".

Still, 2.5k? I'd start with Body - if its not perfect, make it so. Rustproof it, protect it. Decent suspension will cost you around 500. Some nice wheels and tyres if you've not already got.

johnny8
15-02-2014, 20:33
How long did you drive it for? Gotta say, I love ours. Its so much like a mk1 its scary! and the slipper diff makes for "fun".

Still, 2.5k? I'd start with Body - if its not perfect, make it so. Rustproof it, protect it. Decent suspension will cost you around 500. Some nice wheels and tyres if you've not already got.

Only for 15 mins.

Still tempted to have another look tomorrow and ask for a longer drive.
A little put off buying one as there seems to be quite a few issues to watch for.
It's got full history and is in excellent condition.

My MK1 has had new suspension, ball joints and around 4.5k on other work including body, so not a lot to do really to get it 100%. And only 75k on the clock.

snowtigger
15-02-2014, 21:32
Have you thought about a six speed box ?

cdwood2010
15-02-2014, 21:46
Drive more than one. A few Cars in and you will be expert.

C.

johnny8
15-02-2014, 22:13
Yeh.

Have driven 3 over the last 2 years or and this one stands out as a nice little motor.

It has a lot of extras and is a rare Green colour if you like that sort of thing!?

johnny8
15-02-2014, 22:15
Have you thought about a six speed box ?

Yep, saw the recent offer from Mr Woods for the plug and play boxes and nearly went for it.

Lee H
15-02-2014, 23:07
I much prefer my mk3 over my mk1. Just as much fun minus all the rot and rust. Wish I'd made the move sooner.

Just needs more power.

johnny8
16-02-2014, 16:29
Had another look today and took it for a test drive for around 45 mins and went and bought it.

Managed to get some money off as the rear brakes need sorting.

2693

Fizzy
16-02-2014, 17:23
Very nice - rare colour too. Seems to be quite hard to find facelift models in anything other than silver, black or maple grey.

johnny8
16-02-2014, 17:54
Thanks.
Was a really good drive and has lots of history including a recent new clutch from Mr T which swayed me into buying IT.

snowtigger
16-02-2014, 23:40
I do like an 06 in grey with red leather oh god I feel a summer car buy just round the corner.

nope only kidding the size of me and paul in a mk3 would be like noddy and big ears.

Jiff Lemon
17-02-2014, 00:45
excellent news! Welcome aboard the MK3 club. Looks a good, fantastic colour too.

EVERY car has a list of potential things that can go wrong. Heck, think about a Mk1's list and you'd probably never want to buy one!

Get it wrapped up for winter, ice is never fun! And more pics! :photos::thumbsup:

johnny8
18-02-2014, 17:41
Will get some pics sorted as soon as it is delivered. Hopefully 18.00 Tuesday 18th :smile:

Got the garage to agree to pay for and fit new discs, pads and a new caliper before they deliver.

Jiff Lemon
18-02-2014, 19:18
Well???????? :blabla:

johnny8
18-02-2014, 22:18
Well???????? :blabla:

Been out playing for an hour or 2 :icon_biggrin:

Photo's tomorrow.

Jiff Lemon
18-02-2014, 22:34
^^^ I approve of this post!

johnny8
19-02-2014, 10:27
4 wheel alignment this morning.

Photo's later.

johnny8
21-02-2014, 20:13
Been having some fun the lqst few days as suddenly a caliper on the rear failed and had to take back to the garage I bought it from.
Got the car back today and all seems well at last :icon_biggrin:.

Photo's tomorrow!

andyroo104
23-02-2014, 14:10
Love the colour,my previous mk3 was the same.
2705

johnny8
26-02-2014, 21:14
Here we go at last a photo, nice weather today, so top down :icon_biggrin:

2709

Jiff Lemon
26-02-2014, 23:25
Sort your "ears" out!!! and whilst you've got some dry weather, get the hood clean and conditioned. Autoglym vinyl and rubber care is the kiddy for that job. 1st coat liberally with a foam pan scourer thing, 2nd coat to soak in.

Fizzy
27-02-2014, 00:26
Looks like a very nice and shiny, clean example. :)

Check to see if the strap is attached through the channel running across the underside of the roof above the rear window just behind the doors. It tucks the corners in when you fold it down so it's flush with the car, preventing the spoiler or "ears out" effect. :)

On mine one of the tags attached to the roof to which the strap clips into has torn a bit so it no longer pulls it tight enough. :( Requires a bit of manual tucking to look neat.

Still, been driving around the last few months with the hardtop on anyway. :)

johnny8
27-02-2014, 21:34
Okay thanks. Thought it looked a bit odd!!

Jiff Lemon
27-02-2014, 22:44
good guide here (http://www.midshiprunabout.org/mk3/mk3-maintainance/how-to-fix-ears-or-installing-a-top-strap/)

johnny8
28-02-2014, 18:55
Thanks. Now I understand :smile: