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2001 Toyota MR2 Spyder
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Discussion Starter #1
Hey everyone!

I'm Ryan and I'm new to the forum here. I just picked up my first Spyder yesterday and I couldn't be more excited. It's a yellow 2001 with only 40k miles on it (it had 39.8k on it when I bought it, but picked it up 3.5 hours away in Michigan). I paid $7500 for it. Paint is in pretty dang good condition considering its' age, stock wheels have no curb rash, leather interior and top in good condition. It also came with the classic luggage rack and 4 new snow tires. I'm not entirely sure if I overpaid or not, but I'm happy with this.

I live just outside of Milwaukee, Wisconsin and also drive a 2014 Toyota Corolla. This had some mods for a bit (lowered, wheels) but as a daily on Wisconsin roads, I got fed up. The Spyder will be a summer-only car!

Tonight I'm planning on giving her a full bath - inside and out. Registered and insured later this week, then daily driven for the rest of these beautiful summer days. I promised my wife that the mods won't start until next year, so for now it's learning everything I can about these cars, developing a vision for the car (I'm more of a fan of OEM/OEM+) and building out a manageable list for the future.

I'm looking forward to learning more about these cars from everyone in this forum!
 

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Welcome. I paid a lot more for my gray 05 with 40,000 miles so your price is perfect because you are happy and I was happy paying what I paid. My 03 went from stock to crazy an about four years so have fun.
 

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Nice to meet you, and props on the great deal you got. In CA, people would asking ~10-12k for a car with that few miles (~40k) on it coming with accessories as well. I paid $5000 for my 2003 a year and a half ago with 109k miles (now 111k), though I'd say I got a good deal right as the prices started going up.

What'll be the summer plans? I'm not too familiar with the area out there to know if there's any good roads or tracks. Best of luck, to me anything 100k is pretty rare to find.
 

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2001 Toyota MR2 Spyder
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Discussion Starter #4
Welcome. I paid a lot more for my gray 05 with 40,000 miles so your price is perfect because you are happy and I was happy paying what I paid. My 03 went from stock to crazy an about four years so have fun.
This makes me feel a bit better! I'm really excited. I got to drive it back from Michigan (3.5 hours) and it did so well. I'm also looking forward to modding it, but for now it's just enjoying it as is.
 

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2001 Toyota MR2 Spyder
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Nice to meet you, and props on the great deal you got. In CA, people would asking ~10-12k for a car with that few miles (~40k) on it coming with accessories as well. I paid $5000 for my 2003 a year and a half ago with 109k miles (now 111k), though I'd say I got a good deal right as the prices started going up.

What'll be the summer plans? I'm not too familiar with the area out there to know if there's any good roads or tracks. Best of luck, to me anything 100k is pretty rare to find.
Thank you! Trust me, there are a few up here in the Midwest that are high priced like this. I would have proudly paid $5k for an 03 with 109k on it. Especially if cosmetically it was in good condition.

For now, the summer plans are to just drive it and enjoy it. We have a lot of fun winding back roads here in Wisconsin. We also have a few tracks, but I'm not planning on tracking it anytime soon. Miller Park (where the Brewers play) has autocross days every Sunday during the summer. That sounds super fun to do someday.

I feel good about the deal overall. Thanks for shedding some light on the pricing information! Looking forward to being able to share photos as a member.
 

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For now, the summer plans are to just drive it and enjoy it. We have a lot of fun winding back roads here in Wisconsin. We also have a few tracks, but I'm not planning on tracking it anytime soon. Miller Park (where the Brewers play) has autocross days every Sunday during the summer. That sounds super fun to do someday.

I feel good about the deal overall. Thanks for shedding some light on the pricing information! Looking forward to being able to share photos as a member.
We think alike, yeah the car had come in good conidition and completely stock which had allowed me to make the right modifications, which have all been suspension related. I don't know what you have planned for your car, but

Hopefully you're able to record some of the driving you do when you go out! I'd be interested in checking out what your stomping grounds look like.
 

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2001 Toyota MR2 Spyder
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Discussion Starter #7
We think alike, yeah the car had come in good conidition and completely stock which had allowed me to make the right modifications, which have all been suspension related. I don't know what you have planned for your car, but

Hopefully you're able to record some of the driving you do when you go out! I'd be interested in checking out what your stomping grounds look like.
I have a few mods in mind. I'll definitely make these a bit more public as my research comes to an end.

Videos are a great idea! I have a newer GoPro that I could definitely mount and drive with. I'll have to make a note to record this fall. The fall colors out here are incredible.
 

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Congrats and welcome aboard. That price sounds about right for that mileage, especially with very good paint....the rack & 2nd set of wheels are just even more of a bonus.
 

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2001 Toyota MR2 Spyder
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Discussion Starter #9
Congrats and welcome aboard. That price sounds about right for that mileage, especially with very good paint....the rack & 2nd set of wheels are just even more of a bonus.
Thank you very much! Overall I'm really happy with it. Gave it a bath today and got it out for a evening cruise.
 

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Hey everyone!

I'm Ryan and I'm new to the forum here. I just picked up my first Spyder yesterday and I couldn't be more excited. It's a yellow 2001 with only 40k miles on it (it had 39.8k on it when I bought it, but picked it up 3.5 hours away in Michigan). I paid $7500 for it.

Hello millersmr2,

Welcome to the MR2/S club and this forum. In my opinion you stole it! I paid more for my 01 MR2/S from Toyota and it was delivered with a bad engine.....they knew! (have service docs), but did not disclose and I purchased in winter during a snow storm so no long test drive.

My only recommendation is to gut the pre-cats ASAP to possibly avoid engine damage. My engine had just under 59k miles when purchased, but was already consuming oil at 1qt/400miles and causing P0300 random misfire codes I finally got it home.

These cars are SUPER reliable other than this issue that to my knowledge only affects MR2/S 1zz engines. Other 1zz's are fine and last LONG!

Cheers,
Mr. P
 

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Hello millersmr2,

Welcome to the MR2/S club and this forum. In my opinion you stole it! I paid more for my 01 MR2/S from Toyota and it was delivered with a bad engine.....they knew! (have service docs), but did not disclose and I purchased in winter during a snow storm so no long test drive.

My only recommendation is to gut the pre-cats ASAP to possibly avoid engine damage. My engine had just under 59k miles when purchased, but was already consuming oil at 1qt/400miles and causing P0300 random misfire codes I finally got it home.

These cars are SUPER reliable other than this issue that to my knowledge only affects MR2/S 1zz engines. Other 1zz's are fine and last LONG!

Cheers,
Mr. P
 

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2001 Toyota MR2 Spyder
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Discussion Starter #12
Hello millersmr2,

Welcome to the MR2/S club and this forum. In my opinion you stole it! I paid more for my 01 MR2/S from Toyota and it was delivered with a bad engine.....they knew! (have service docs), but did not disclose and I purchased in winter during a snow storm so no long test drive.

My only recommendation is to gut the pre-cats ASAP to possibly avoid engine damage. My engine had just under 59k miles when purchased, but was already consuming oil at 1qt/400miles and causing P0300 random misfire codes I finally got it home.

These cars are SUPER reliable other than this issue that to my knowledge only affects MR2/S 1zz engines. Other 1zz's are fine and last LONG!

Cheers,
Mr. P
Hello Mr. P!

Thanks for the welcoming! Overall I feel very good about the purchase.

In my early research, I’m seeing this pre-cat recommendation a lot. How difficult of a task is this?
 

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2001 Toyota MR2 Spyder
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I can finally share pictures on the forum! Here she is after the first wash.

The plug in the front bumper is for activating the taillights when towing. What sucks about the tow package is that the previous owner had to cut holes in the grill for them. Good news is that I’ve already located and purchased a new grill! I’ll be removing the tow package and installing the new grill soon.
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I agree with Mr. P in that you stole this machine, and second Hardmode's thoughts that this would fetch north of $10k here in the West. I paid more for our '00 with 75k miles on it nine months ago, yet don't feel like I overpaid because it's stupid-amounts of fun! You definitely should feel great about your purchase.

That's a beauty, too: I've always thought the yellow option was the color that showed off the lines of this car the best.

As for pre-cats, check them yourself or have a shop do it. If they look good (ours did), I'd say leave them be and just keep track of your oil consumption - if any. If they look no-bueno, yank 'em.

From a fellow freshman: welcome to Spyderchat!

ps - tell people that the plug in the grill is where you recharge the AA batteries which the car runs on.
 
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Welcome to Spyderdom. Enjoy!
 

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Hello Mr. P!

Thanks for the welcoming! Overall I feel very good about the purchase.

In my early research, I’m seeing this pre-cat recommendation a lot. How difficult of a task is this?
Hello millersmr2,

Noticed the pics you sent.......they are beautiful!.....confirms my statement.....you stole it!

Wish you the best enjoyment. Although I do not personally like the luggage rack, I get it and you will soon. There is almost ZERO space for any baggage or storage.

As for pre-cats: It is your vehicle. Do your own research and decide on your own what is best. In my opinion, if you wait until the car is burning oil, it is too late and most likely there is bore and/or ring damage and would require rebuild.

I went the 2zz route (pics available in my showcase) It is a different animal.

Some pics below when diagnosing 1zz as received.


Cheers,
Mr P.
 

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2001 Toyota MR2 Spyder
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Discussion Starter #17
Hello millersmr2,

Noticed the pics you sent.......they are beautiful!.....confirms my statement.....you stole it!

Wish you the best enjoyment. Although I do not personally like the luggage rack, I get it and you will soon. There is almost ZERO space for any baggage or storage.

As for pre-cats: It is your vehicle. Do your own research and decide on your own what is best. In my opinion, if you wait until the car is burning oil, it is too late and most likely there is bore and/or ring damage and would require rebuild.

I went the 2zz route (pics available in my showcase) It is a different animal.

Some pics below when diagnosing 1zz as received.


Cheers,
Mr P.
I'm definitely going to gut the pre cats. Just need to get around to ordering the gaskets!
 

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2001 Toyota MR2 Spyder
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Discussion Starter #18
What's up those of you that follow/are interested. I've had my MR2 for a little over a month now and have done a few things that I wanted to share.

Upgraded to LED Bulbs: Maybe I'm spoiled, but after driving my 2014 Corolla for as long as I have, the stock halogen bulbs just don't do it for me anymore. I picked up some Beam Tech LED bulbs off of amazon and the install went well. I also upgraded the daytime running lights to match. Simple update, but makes a world of difference on the roads. They're aimed just right as I don't get anyone flashing their brights at me.

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Removed the Luggage Rack: At first I was hesitant since it had been on for over 15 years, but the paint is actually pretty okay. There are a few lines from the vertical mounts, but I think with a good buff and polish, they can be removed/the paint restored. I just love the simplicity of the rear without it. BTW, I'm selling the luggage rack for $250 USD in the US - let me know if you're interested.

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Removed the Tow Package: So a previous owner installed a tow package in the front so that he could trailer it behind an RV. The owner I bought the car from decided to leave it on, but I wasn't happy with it. The grill was hacked to fit the support beams, and overall it just didn't look great. I was able to locate a stock grill for somewhere around $75. Removing the tow package was a pain. They're obviously built sturdy to support the vehicle. There was only one nut that was being hella stubborn. I ended up rounding it pretty bad, but was able to get it off with one of those fancy rounded bolt sockets. After seeing the front now, I'm really glad I removed it.

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Overall, I'm loving this thing more and more every day. Once a month we have a small show called Cars and Coffee and the she made her first appearance. It was a lot of fun and I was able to talk to a handful of people about it. There were also 3 Lotuses there. I sat and talked to one of the owners for quite some time. Their cars are definitely cooler, yet they still have an appreciation for this car. Here's a photo my buddy took (yes....a C8 corvette ended up parking next to me).

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Finally, my BC Racing BR Series coilovers just came in the mail, so I will be installing those sometime this weekend. I've read a few threads on here about them, but if you have any advice for me and the install, don't hesitate to comment. After these are installed, I'll be chillin' on the mods for a bit. I promised my wife no major mods this year and ended up selling a bunch of my old film photography equipment to fund the coilovers early. Unless a deal that I can't pass up comes, I'm planning on buying wheels next spring.

More to come soon enough!

Ryan
 

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You've really got a beautiful car. I paid double what you did for an '05 with 42k miles on it. I've been happy with mine every day, and it's been absolutely reliable for the 70k+ miles I've put on it.

I'm interested to see what that tow package looks like... any chance you can lay the parts out and post a couple of pics? I think if I was towing the car, I'd put it on a trailer - but I'm curious about what you have there.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
You've really got a beautiful car. I paid double what you did for an '05 with 42k miles on it. I've been happy with mine every day, and it's been absolutely reliable for the 70k+ miles I've put on it.

I'm interested to see what that tow package looks like... any chance you can lay the parts out and post a couple of pics? I think if I was towing the car, I'd put it on a trailer - but I'm curious about what you have there.
Thank you! Overall, I'm happy for it. I'm glad to hear yours has been as reliable as it has!

Below are some pictures of the tow package. Fairly simple design. The plug for the brake lights was mounted on the underside of the top part of the front bumper grill.

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