MR2 Turbo - a build thread.

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by HMP, Sep 4, 2019.

  1. HMP

    HMP Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    So this will start as a history of me and MR2 cars
    And then we'll move on to the 'build' in a few days.

    So on September 21, 2001 I bought a 1993 Turbo MR2 from a local consignment dealer. It was a second owner car, first was a Marine stationed in Germany and it came with all the paperwork of his purchase and services while in Europe. Pretty cool.

    [​IMG]



    Here it is pretty stock - here it is with the first set of non-stock wheels, Motegi MR12 (thought it was neat that the name was similar to the car name lol, but I loved the design)

    Im in the middle, black shorts and black tee


    Here it is just after that picture, on the dyno.

    Put down 160/160, stock (again, minus the 17" wheels). Stock crank hp/tq is 200/200

    [​IMG]


    Overtime I added other things - different radio (Pioneer), APEXi intake, APEXi blow-off valve, CRW downpipe and 3" exhaust, no cats.
    Two more sets of wheels - Lexus IS300 wheels and Kosei K1
    Bumped up psi from 7-8 to 15psi, fuel cut defender, turbo timer etc
    Nothing wild, but it should have been closer to 200/200 at the wheels.

    Had the car 9 years, sold it in 2010
    When I sold it it looked much like this, but different wheels

    [​IMG]



    I can look back and say that I liked the car for the time. For the time (time being my age as well as the 'tuner' scene of the era (mid 00s) it was a 'cool' car. Not my style now with the fiberglass front end (authentic BOMEX bumper, had to wait a month for it to be shipped from Japan), non-traditional paint scheme etc. But I loved that car.


    I sold it because I wasnt driving it much due to my job and it was needing stuff, I just didnt have the money at the time to do it back right. I needed to pay for college, so that money went to pay for going back to school. For that reason, it was wise to sell.
    That said, I miss it. I had SO many great times in that car. Took a bunch of road trips, dates, random drives with friends, pulls down the dragstrips (Farmington and Rockingham, mostly), or just a nice country backroad drive.





    ----------------------------------------

    One day I was at Farmington and a guy approached, talked to me about my MR2, asked if I was interested in buying another. I was not. It was cheap - 200 bucks. An auto second gen, same color as mine but auto. Also, not turbo. And it had no transmission.

    A year later me and a friend did buy that car, an for 20 bucks more the guy towed it to my friends house who had some spare garage space.
    We parted that car out and paid our bills.
    Me and my buddy worked for the same photography company and had gotten laid off, we needed cash so we sold those parts.

    ----------------------------------------
    Back in October I started looking at cars again. I wanted to buy a second car, a 'fun' car. I wanted something you didnt see everyday. I wanted something RWD (or AWD would be ok), manual transmission, and something with character.

    I kept thinking about E91 BMW 3-series wagons.
    And MR2 turbos.



    Hopped back onto MR2OC.com and lurked around a while. Made a post on a for sale thread here in NC and then got a random PM - a guy selling a turbo car.
    We exchanged some emails and then it was down 80 miles or so to test drive.

    The car has good bones, but some work to be done. Not a bad price for what it is and what needs to be done, so I said, "I'll take it...as soon as that title comes in"

    We kept in touch the last few weeks and I got a text last night - title is in.
    Now what really sucked about that text was that I left work a little early yesterday because I wasnt feeling well. So, of course, I get the 'go ahead' on the day when I feel like garbage, and then have 3 late nights in a row coming up.

    This Saturday I'll go pick up my 2nd MR2 Turbo. Third MKII MR2, but second turbo model.

    This time things will be different.
    My tastes have changed.
    I have a career which affords me SOME additional money that i can put into a project.
    I have a lot of garage space and tools to devote to tinkering.
    And, honestly, as Ive gotten older I appreciate tinkering on a car or motorcycle more. Appreciating garage time.



    This wont be an exciting thread by any means. No crazy engine swaps planned, no basketball-sized turbos going on, nothing wild or exciting. But I am excited because it's MY 'build' thread.

    Follow along, if you wish, as I get the car and start fixing things and upgrading and updating.
    Im ready, hope you enjoy this journey with me too
     
  2. HMP

    HMP Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    It's Thursday now.
    In my garage Ive already gotten some capacitors from a member to fix the tachometer
    Ive already gotten 20 bright white LED bulbs to replace the stock bulbs in the gauge cluster (it'll be out, why not go ahead and upgrade?!)
    And Ive ordered a wiring harness so I can put an aftermarket stereo in easily.

    I also found an old/new (ordered in 2006! Never installed) set of RockBlocker guards for the foglights, though I may or may not use them as they are yellow tinted. I dont know yet if I'll still find that attractive on the car or not. But I have them in the garage, found them a few nights ago.

    Im making deals with various forum members on some random interior bits that will be needed too
     
  3. Ikarus1

    Ikarus1 Avtomat Krishna-kov

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    the 3SGTE was a great engine. The EPA killed off most of the truly great Japanese engines of the 90s.

    The Turbo AWD Celica was my favorite car wrapped around that engine, but Mister Two wasn't half bad. IIRC, it won a 'bang for the buck' in Motor Trend around 1991......and it was!
     
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2019
  4. HMP

    HMP Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    A 2l motor making 200 hp and 200tq in 1991...Yeah, that was a good package!

    The Gen3, which is swapped into the car Im buying, makes 245 stock (not sure of tq numbers off top of my head).
     
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  5. Ikarus1

    Ikarus1 Avtomat Krishna-kov

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    I have a 90s 2.0L 4G63 that makes 195hp and 210ft-lb stock ;)

    And then there's the EVO :D
     
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2019
  6. HMP

    HMP Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    no crank walk? lol
     
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  7. Ikarus1

    Ikarus1 Avtomat Krishna-kov

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    Maybe in gen2s, at high boost. that thrust bearing mystery :)
     
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  8. DrDover

    DrDover Banned Camp Refugee Charter Life Member

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    Love that gen MR2... Trying to talk a buddy into selling me his 300zx TT... Love the jap. pocket rockets from this era...
     
  9. NCFubar

    NCFubar Well-Known Member

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    An old friend had a supercharged Gen 1. While it was not as much horsepower as the turbo Gen 2 it was a little handful. It was so light and the suspension was so tight and agile it was a real blast to drive ... when she’d let me drive it. With today’s suspension and engine technology I’d hate to think what a Gen 2 build with a decent budget would do.
     
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2019
  10. HMP

    HMP Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    I always loved thebody of the Z32 300 (90-95?), but did NOT like teh interior.
    When I bought my red MR2 above, it was between the turbo 4 or the NA 6 of a black on tan 300zx, which was my dream car at the time.
    I went with the MR2 for some reason, I really cant say why, maybe it was just a better/classic interior, and Im glad that I did.
     
  11. HMP

    HMP Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    'Decent budget' is subjective
    But Im hoping that for 5k all in (including a grand in paint and the purchase of car, hopefully less ha) I will be pushing close to 300whp. Goal, truly, is 275 at the wheels, but if I can inch closer to that 3 mark, cool. It shouldnt be hard. I'll add a downpipe, an aftermarket intercooler and will be creeping up on it with the gen3 engine and 15psi. The gen3 came with a slightly better turbo than the US market got, had ceramic turbine.

    Mods will be minimal overall.
    I'd like it to be slightly lower, maybe half an inch or 3/4, just slightly stiffer than a stock 91 suspension, but nothing wild.
    Im looking into other OEM wheels. Either the stock 15", 16" from the 300ZX of the same years, GTR wheels, S2k etc
    I dont want wild, but a subtle upgrade over the stock 1991 14" wheels
    1993 factory lip on the front
    tiny the windows
    maybe a 1994+ spoiler on the back to replace the 91-93 version
     
  12. HMP

    HMP Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    So today I go down to pick it up, here are some pics the current owner (for about 5 more hours) sent me

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]






    Last night I had a dream that I got it and it was FAR worse than it was, but I know that's not true. I think it's because Ive hyped it up in my mind over the past three weeks since seeing it.





    Thursday I ordered a stereo for it, have wiring harness for stereo too
    Picked up a adjustable temp soldering iron for various projects on it, including fixing the tach and soldering the wiring harness, also got a huge set of heat shrink tubing. Amazon rules. It'll be here today and I might even install it tonight.



    NC DMV is difficult to deal with, at least in terms of trying to legally buy a car from a private seller on a weekend and having to get it home. They leave you with little options.
    But, thankfully, I work in a building with LEO. So yesterday I called a deputy down and asked him some questions and he clarified some things that I'd heard before - Bill of Sale, along with the title and proof of insurance, will allow me a short bit (few days) of driving to get it home and the driving to get title swapped on Monday etc
     
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  13. HMP

    HMP Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    She's home.

    Within an hour of being home (I wanted to eat an early dinner and change clothes) I started pulling the dash apart to put the stereo in - harness was NOT the correct one. Crap.
    Drove to the local auto store, they had the same one I had.
    No one around here has what I need, back to the drawing board.

    But while some dash panels are off, Im cleaning everything well. Also cleaned out the glove box and sprayed it down with cleaner, getting it as clean as possible. Same for door pockets etc
     
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  14. HMP

    HMP Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    So here is my 'to-do' list that Ive been putting together over the past three weeks since seeing/driving the car the first time.
    Some things will cost nothing to fix, or very very little (few bucks), but will take time.
    ie
    - stainless steel brake lines, previous owner has them just didnt install
    - fix mirrors: a common on early 90s Toyota cars was that the clip that holds the spring in the mirror pops off. It makes the mirrors fold in when under very hard acceleration, and then forward under very hard braking. Again, wont cost anything, but will take time
    -mounting the boost controller - I just need to get a small clamp and it'll be done. 2 bucks max.
    -struts and springs: new parts came with the car, will just take a weekend to put them on.
    Many things are more time than money.

    And then some, like Jack/jack stands, soldering iron, oil drain pan etc will be things that I need that will be used for years; good things to have in the garage

    Other things, like paint, well, that'll be a lot more


    [ ] Paint
    [x] Solder iron
    [ ] Jack stands
    [ ] Put together a tool kit under seat
    [ ] Jack
    [ ] Oil drain pan
    [ ] Transmission fluid
    [ ] Transmission plug washers
    [x] Mount X Brace - PO did this before my purchase
    [ ] Mount boost controller
    [x] Radio (double DIN, touchscreen, ipod) - own, need to install
    [ ] Fix tachometer
    [ ] Trunk carpet
    [x] 93+ shifter - purchased, being shipped now
    [x] Shift knob - purchased, being shipped now
    [ ] Shift boot
    [ ] 93+ wheels
    [ ] Install SS brake lines - own, need to install
    [ ] Brake fluid
    [ ] Ipod for car
    [ ] Ipod cable
    [ ] GPS for car
    [ ] Engine lid rain deflector
    [ ] Adjust Ebrake
    [ ] Rock blocker on fogs - own, need to install
    [ ] Fix intake
    [ ] Shifter surround
    [ ] Paint interior bits gloss black or all new pieces
    [ ] Clean seats
    [ ] Clean carpets
    [ ] Change subwoofer
    [ ] Clean dash and doors
    [ ] Fix mirrors
    [ ] Replace drivers side mirror glass
    [ ] LED gauge lights - own, need to install
    [ ] LED HVAC lights - own, need to install
    [ ] LED dome lights
    [ ] H4 headlight conversion
    [ ] 93+ lip
    [ ] Downpipe
    [ ] New struts and springs - own, need to install
    [ ] 94+ taillights
    [ ] Reupholster seats
    [ ] Tint windows
    [ ] Brake pads
    [ ] Battery tender plug to keep on the battery
    [x] Ashtray - purchased, being shipped now
    [ ] Different Toyota steering wheel (Matrix, Corolla S, MR-S etc), something newer








    Previous owner installed the X brace already
    Ive already bought the soldering iron and the stereo
    Ive bought the LEDs that will be needed for the gauges and HVAC etc, will just need to get in there and start on it
    The cleaning has begun, but, dang, it's so hot out today - about 90*F. Im dripping sweat on all the stuff Im trying to clean lol

    But that's where Im starting from.
    It's a long list, and it'll get longer as time goes. I'll need to get little trim pieces or gaskets etc, but it wont be too bad at all.



    Have 'updated' my list with some things checked off or modified






    edit/add - the car came with many parts - a full set of aftermarket 15" wheels with tires, a full sized spare missing tire, struts, springs, clear corner lights, a new head gasket, stock airbox, extra set of wires and distributor, oil filter, brake lines, a Toyota blank key etc

    Pics to come over the week as I document things and change/clean things
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2019 at 1:21 AM
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  15. foopid stucker

    foopid stucker Active Member

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    I still have a sweet spot for the MR2. I don't think I could get in and out too easily now..
     
  16. HMP

    HMP Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    brother it's a lot lower of a car than I remember from a decade ago lol
    the knees feel it more


    I got my first 2 on a whim.
    I was wanting a 'cool' car, had been working and saving and such. And I decided to go to the bank to see if they'd loan me money. I was 19 at the time.
    Well ,I didnt know how it went, so when I say, "I'd like a used car loan" they ask, "On what vehicle?"
    I'd happened to have noticed this sitting at a consignment lot near my home where my first car (and I still had it at that time) was purchased, but knew nothing of it. Looked cool though.

    At the same time there was a 90s 300ZX for sale at another lot. Non-turbo, cloth seats, but I LOVE the body on those.

    So I just said, "an MR2"
    So then I went to test drive and get information and later that day I drove it home and began my love of the second gen MR2
     
  17. HMP

    HMP Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    Ordered the 93+ shifter (it's, essentially, a short throw shifter from the factory)
    a stock shift knob for the 93+ (yeah, they actually had different knobs for 91/92 vs 93+, longer threading, if I understand correctly)
    unbroken ashtray (mine is missing the flip-open lid
    and a little JDM part - it's strut tower spacers to raise the rear bar for a little extra clearance for intercooler piping...probably wont ever need it, but for 25 bucks, toss it in on the order and have something a little different than most 2s

    Also, earlier this week I ordered a wiring harness for a subaru. Looking at pictures and seeing the pin number, I think I MIGHT be able to make it work. Or maybe Im out 10 bucks.