The Best Year VR4 is not the 99...

Hear me out:) If you join any 3000gt Facebook group you are going to see posts praising the 99 3000gt. People make WTB ads for them all the time. When someone has one for sale they ask an arm and a leg. It doesn't matter if it has a salvage title, people will still ask $20k. To me the 99 VR-4 is overrated.

Before I say anything "BAD" about it I'm going to start with the good. Cosmetically the car is very sexy. The front end received a new bumper with a large mouth area. It just screams "Install a large front mount intercooler in me." The headlights and turn signals were changed and are bubbled in 99. To some degree this reminds us of the Mercury Cougar headlights. But I think they are an upgrade over flat color matched headlights and amber turn signals of the past. The sail panels changed. The two piece sail panels that featured a fake glass pane saying "TWIN TURBO" were replaced with one big large painted plastic piece. It's less clutter and one less thing that will fade. The rear center garnish went from being a flat painted piece to a ribbed black plastic insert. This cleaned up the rear end. In addition the 91-98 3000gt would have a raised decal on the old garnish saying "3000GT". This was just one more spot for wax to build up around. And then there is my favorite thing about the 99; the wing. The active aero spoiler that would always get stuck up/down was replaced by a much taller wing. It completes the look and makes the car look like it's going 50mph when parked.

The other thing the 99 could have going for it is the interior. The 99 may or may not have the nice all black interior. This is where the dash and door panels are black vs the charcoal color found in older 3s. (On the other hand; the 99 could also have a black dash but ugly/dirty tan interior. This is where the door panels, the seats, the A pillars, B pillars etc.. is all tan.)

And finally the last thing the 99 would have going for it; is the ECU. It's going to be flashable meaning you could tune fuel/timing etc.. yourself if you bought a Tatrix cable and used the right software. However even if your car isn't a 99 you could still swap ECU's to achieve this. There are other options like piggy back systems, Greddy Emanage, or AEM EMS if you wanted to alternatives to flashing the factory ECU.

Right now you are probably saying "I thought this was a 99 vr4 hate page? Now I'm confused..." Well the reason I made this page is to tell you that the 99 vr4 shouldn't be the car you want. In many ways it is not very desireable. To me the perfect vr4 would be a 94-95 VR4 with the the 99 body conversion. And here's why:

Hopefully that makes you understand why I personally like the 94-95 3s the best. If you buy one the 99 conversion can cost anywhere from ~$1000 to ~$3000 to do depending on how you go about doing it. I show various methods below. You could buy a 96-98 vr4 as well and do the 99 conversion. But then you'd be in ODBII territory. You also wouldn't be able to get the large glass sunroof option. So if you are set on some kind of sunroof your only option is the headspace eating electric one. Plus if you end up with a 97-98 vr4 you would have the hoop wing. If you plan on getting the combat wing you'd have left over holes in your quarter panels which are cost effective to plug and paint.

Below is the 99 conversion list with Part#'s. When I did my car I bought everything new except for the 99 wing. I also purchased the mounting brackets to bolt it on just like oem. I've seen several people skip this step to save a few bucks. It works and can look fine from the outside doing it this way, but you end up having to get creative when mounting stuff. You have to use washers in spots and aftermarket bolts. To me it's just not as clean. In the list below where I say "LEFT" I'm referring to the US Driver's side. "RIGHT" refers to the US Passenger side.

Part#DescriptionPriceCharlies Notes
MR439752FACE KITFR BUMPER$388.84This is the bumper cover itself. It comes Painted Factory Red whether you like it or not.
MB640487PLATEFR BUMPER SIDELH$18.99This is an L shaped bracket that go between where the bumper cover meets the Left fender. Some people don't use them. Some people cut their 91-98 brackets down to fit.
MB640488PLATEFR BUMPER SIDERH$18.99Same part as above but for right side.
MB935107PLATEFR BUMPERCTR UPR$34.00The top middle section of your bumper has 2 metal brackets that sandwich together around the plastic lip. One goes under the lip, one goes outside the lip and has a rubber seal attached to it. This is the outside metal bracket. You can buy new or re-use your stuff from your 91-98 bumper.
MB935109PLATEFR BUMPERUPR$16.16This is the underside piece. Again you can re-use your existing 91-98 bracket.
MB935458PROTECTORFR BUMPER$6.19This is the rubber seal that attaches to the outside piece. This fills the tiny gap between the bumper and front edge of hood.
MR384003PLATEFR BUMPER SIDEUP$22.92Just like the strip of plates that sandwiches the center section of the bumper, there are 2 metal plates that sandwich each side of the bumper below the headlight area. This is the upper plate on the right side. Some people skip out on these. I think it' purpose is to help prevent the sides of the bumper from sagging.
MR384004PLATEFL BUMPER SIDEUP$22.92Same part as above but for Left side.
MR384005PLATEFR BUMPER CORNER$15.30This is the lower plate that helps sandwich the side. This is the Right side.
MR384006PLATEFL BUMPER CORNER$15.30Same part as above but for Left side.
MR384023BRACKETFR BUMPER SIDE$8.62This is a vertical strip of metal that attaches to the back Right corners of the 99 bumper cover. The top uses a plastic grommet to snap into one of the L shaped brackets. The bottom uses ones of the splash shield bolts to secure itself. The purpose of this bracket is to provide 2 plastic threaded inserts for your fender liners to screw into. These are needed if you plan on keeping your fender liners and you don't want them flopping all over the place.
MR384024BRACKETFL BUMPER SIDE$8.62Same part as above but for the Left side
MR439755GARNISH KITFR BUMPER H$42.21This is the Right splitter/fin insert that can bolt into the 99 bumper. I don't run these because of my intercooler piping. Comes with 4 bolts and 4 metal nut clips to mount.
MR439756GARNISH KITFL BUMPER H$42.21Same part as above but for Left side
MR447764PLATEFR BUMPERCTR LWR$88.94This mounts inside the lower part of the 99 bumper below the big opening. It provides a spot for your lower splash shield to attach to. It also provides 4 holes for your plastic radiator shroud to attach to. I run this in my bumper but I've cut the top portion off. I don't run the radiator shroud because of my intercooler. But I need this so that I can run the lower splash shields.
MU440019NUTSPRINGM6$0.75These are metal clips that slide over each hole on the bottom edge of the 99 bumper cover. The back side of the slip has a 10mm nut welded on. These are used to secure the splash shields. I forget exactly how many are used. I'd buy at least 12. If you aren't running underside splash shields they aren't needed.
MB935456COVERENG ROOM UNDERCT$54.40The underside splash shields for the 99 bumper have 4 parts to them. There is a center section, 2 side pieces, and a front air dam lip. This is the center section.
MR396921W/o active type, Side Left$35.65This is the Left splash shield.
MR396922W/o active type, Side Right$35.65This is the Right splash shield.
MR447825Extension Dam$25.53This is the lip that sticks down under the bumper. If you are running splash shields you need this part. The Left and Right side splash shields make up part of the lip. This is connects them. So if you don't have this you will be missing the center section of the lip and it will look goofy. I suppose you could cut the lip off the Left/Right side if you didn't want to use the factory lip or wanted to use some aftermarket lip. I bought a few extra of these incase I ever scrape bad.
MR325569Wheelhouse, Front Left$23.32This is the front left fender liner. The front fender liners have 2 parts to them. one part goes in front of the wheel, the other goes above the wheel and around the back side. This is the piece that goes in front of the wheel. You can technically run your old 91-98 ones. The 99 ones are slightly different because they only have 2 holes in them that secure to the bumper brackets MR384023/MR384024. The older liners have 3 holes. So if you use them you'll just have an empty center hole that isn't used.
MR325570Wheelhouse, Front Right$23.32Same part as above but for Right side.
---- ---- ---- ------------------------
MR439757Left Headlight Assembly$570This is the left 99 specific bubbled headlight. Comes with Bulbs
MR439758Left Headlight Assembly$570Same Part as above but for Right side.
MR439759Left Turn Signal$96.99This is the left 99 specific turn signal. It includes bulb and socket. it also comes with a plastic square snap that inserts into your fender to provide threads for a mounting screw.
MR439760Right Turn Signal$96.99Same Part as above but for Right side.
---- ---- ---- ------------------------
MR439754Rear Center Garnish$132.00This is the black ribbed garnish that goes between the tail lights on a 99 vr4. It comes with new reverse bulbs and sockets.
MR416795Chrome Mitsubishi Emlem$23.75This is the oem emblem that attaches to the rear garnish. The ribs on the garnish actually flatten out in the center for this emblem so it looks kind of stupid if you don't run it. You can buy 2 and run one up front as well. You may be able to find aftermarket ones cheaper on eBay too.
---- ---- ---- ------------------------
MR792073Left Sail Panel White$149.65The 99 sail panels are available in 4 different colors (Red, White, green Black). So order the color that matches your car the best.
MR792079Right Sail Panel White$149.65
MR792074Left Sail Panel Black$149.65
MR792080Right Sail Panel Black$149.65
MR792078Left Sail Panel Green$149.65
MR792084Right Sail Panel Green$149.65
MR792075Left Sail Panel Red$149.65
MR792081Right Sail Panel Red$149.65
---- ---- ---- ------------------------
MR39693699 OEM Wing$1163.33This is the OEM 99 wing. it includes both side pieces, the aluminum center section and gaskets. I'm told it is sold out everywhere. It mounts with 3 bolts on each side and 1 plastic clip on each side. Most people just remove the plastic clip and utilize the bolt holes. I OEM ones are the best because the center section is hollow aluminum and it won't flex. There are plenty of aftermarket ones available but some are better than others. I believe Retrospec and C7Carbon make the best aftermarket ones. I've purchased used oem ones for around $400-$500 but that was before they were sold out. Now you are lucky to find a used oem wing at all for sale. If you do it's usually for around the brand new price.