Monday, August 31, 2009

New Tyres... :-D

Time for new Tyres...
Well... finally decided to purchase a new set of tyres for the MR2... The current set were on the MR2 since 2002 and they were starting to show their ages... as whenever it rained, it was like driving on butter...

The Old tyres were Eagles F1, and they were pretty good when they were new, but after 7 years on the car, they were getting a bit dangerously britle. They only had done about 9000Kms on them. They weren't crash hot in the wet either, even when they were new.

So far, the tyres I had on the Mr2 were....

Pirelli P0 - Great tyre... but not that great in wet, but better than most. Very grippy tho in the dry. Rating - Dry 9/10 and Wet 7.5/10

Dunlop W10 - Great tyre too... awsome on the dry, but terrible in the wet. Rating - Dry 8/10 and Wet 4/10

Goodyear Eagles F1 - Great tyre... Awsome when new, but they don't age that well... but in new tyres, Rating - Dry 8/10 and Wet 6/10

Yokohama S.Drive - Now out of all the tyres, I'm really impressed with these... They grip in the wet, just as well in the dry... of very close. Rating - Dry 9/10 and Wet 8.5/10.

So, yeah, if you want a good tyre, get the Yokohamma S.drive... they certainly are very impressive... We tried to break the tyres loose in a milt wet road, and we couldn't... not with the 20v Blacktop.... Maybe with a turbo tho I could... :D !!!!!!! (Maybe one day)

Info for the Yoki tyres... http://www.yokohama.com.au/ourtyres/tyre.aspx?tyreid=206

These tyres come highly recommended...

Stay tuned for further updates... ;-)

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Some more work - Speedo & Spark Leads...

Well... Finally got some time to work on the MR2 again... Several things have been done other than the cleanout and sync on throttle bodies... They are spot on now.... anyway....

Speedo...
A few weeks ago, I decided to remove the speedo as there was a little dust in the cluster... I used a smooth brush to clean out the dust, and just as I was thinking of not putting too much pressure on the speedo, I accidentally hit it... and BAM... the speedo sit below 0!!!! Arrrgh!

Anyway... after some assistance from member on the MR2OC club, I've removed the speedo from the cluster, and sure enough, there is an adjustment lever on the back to adjust the 0 level.



If you enlarge (Double click on the picture) you will see the lever circled in White, and you can adjust the 0 level using this lever. It's actually very simple. As a precaution, I did double check the accuracy of the speedo, by getting my wife to drive along side me and communicate the speed via Mobile. (Please do this on an issolated track, if you do something like this)

Spark Leads...
Also got my hands on a set of New NGK spark leads... Checked the resistance of the standard leads and they were around the 6-7KOhms (Still within specs of the manual tho)... The NGK leads were around the 1-2 KOhms... with respect to performance... again a huge difference, and I could feel the difference just driving around. I don't think it produces more power, but it does rev higher much easier. Worth the investement.

Engine health in General...
The engine is still running a bit on the rich side, but it's not as bad as it was originally. In original trim, I think it might have gotten about high 15 or low 16sec 1/4, whereas now, it might be in the low 15s. I'll be doing some dyno testing very soon, so stay tuned on this...

T3 Velocity Stacks...
I also had the opportunity to purchase a set of T3 Velocity stacks. They certainly are very nicely constructed. Please note tho, these T3 Velocity stacks will NOT FIT IN THE Blacktop AIRBOX. You need to either source a new Airbox or Run with open stacks. Hence, I have not fitted them yet. I'm currently in the process of sourcing a custom Fiberglass airbox, so I'm waiting for this to arrive, and we'll perform a before (Stock blacktop airbox) and after (T3 + custom airbox setup) and show the difference in performance. I'm actually tempted to do the Stock BT Airbox, T3 Open Stack with filter and T3 Stack + Airbox... Alas, the $$$ is a bit to hard to justify, as even just the filter will set me back about US$100. Anyway... Pics of the T3 velocity stacks as I have received them below...











Measurement of one of the velocity stacks...



I'm actually quiet comfortable with the engine running a bit rich, because the standard black top Velocity stacks are considerably smaller in diameter than the T3, so basically once the T3 are installed, it will inject more air, so that it will be running just right. But this will be in a different post.... hopefully soon, so stay tuned on results...

Hopefully, in the next post, I'll be able to post up installation pictures, along with comparison pictures of the standard and T3 velocity stacks, and dyno results for all to see... So stay tuned...

Friday, June 26, 2009

Finally... Another update... after a few KMs...

Well... been driving the MR2 a few time, and have noticed a few things...

1) Engine is running rich - under medium and high RPMs, you can feel the engine a bit sluggish, and at TOP RPMs, it feels like it is being sufficated. This has also been confirmed by Sean.

2) A fair amount of backfire when running at various High RPMs levels - When starting to hammer the mr2 around corners/track, and when you are sitting at coninuous high RPMs, the engine starts to backfire a bit.

3) Between 1100 - 2000RPMs vibration - The engine vibrates rather vigurously between 1100-2000RPMs, under load or not, which can be readily seen when lifting the bonnect. I think this was why we hated the Urethane bushing, probably.

4) Fuel consumption is high - I've had the opportunity to drive the MR2 through several cycles / Fuel tanks. Typically, I get about 300-340Kms per tank. Taking everything into account, I'm getting about 10-11Ltr/100Km. To provide you an example, my wife's Forester gets about 10.5-11Ltr/100Km, which is a Flat 4, 2.5Ltr AWD, 1.4Ton car!!!!!! That means that either the Mr2 is extremely thirsty, or I have a very economical Forester!!!! I think the initial is true... and the forester is tuned on the rich side, due to it's bad head design.

So... what do all these points outline... the 20v BT Engine is not running at it's Optimum, and is running extremely rich!!!!! :-(


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Anyway... it was recommended by Warren, my mechanic, to check the synchronizing the Throttle body, and possibly clean them out. Was Warren right... Definitly. Warren lent me his throttle body sync tool. So... what did I do...


Well, first off, you have to remove all the induction boxes and Velocity stacks (V-Stacks)...

Then before I started the cleaning, I measured how much air each throttle body was sucking in... it wasn't even registering!!!!!!!! Eeeeek... So I decided to clean them out, and sure enough, I was getting a reading... 2Kg/cm^2... Of course, each throttle body had a different reading, so I used a adjustment screw to adjust the idle induction, and then start measuring at each RPM point... sure enough, once the idle was adjust, the rest was in sync too... thank goodness. By the way, the blacktop Manuals, which are readily available on the internet, outlines the procedure to perform this, so I won't be repeating it here again...


Anyway... took the MR2 for a test drive, and was there a difference... You bet... the difference was enormous... but it still did not cure some of the problems... it still had the virbration, not as sever, but it was still there, and fuel consumption has improved a little, but not much.

So... I've checked the timing, it was spot on 10Deg BDC

I've checked Ignition Leads, and it was OK.

I've checked TPS, and although a bit suspect, it still had measurements within check, although some of the pins didn't read anything!!!! I need to come back to this again.

Spark Plugs... Now, let me tell you something... Use Plantinum or Iridium plugs... DO NOT USE COPPER Plugs... This has also made a huge difference, from a lot of backfire, etc, to a nice clean burn without backfire, and less noise. The engine feels a lot smoother with Iridium plugs, but those nigly problems are still there.

So the search continues. Alas, I have no pics and other updates, as I'm starting to fix up some stuff on the inside... But hopefully, I will put some more updates soon.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Engine Mounts + OverFlow bottle.... + Eng Cert.

Well... After clocking about 250Km on the new engine, I'm rather impressed with it... But the engine mounts are just nagging me way too much. I always end up being a nervous reck by the time I arrive at the destination.

Similar to when I used to have 2x JL 10" Sub in my supra... they didn't last very long, as I'm very sensitive to vibrations, especially when they are not harmonic. IE: Constant drone from Airplane engine is OK, but variable vibration from Subs or engine, just drives me nuts. None the less... a ticking clock or a dripping tap gets me annoyed!!!!! Mistery to me.

Anyway... I found out that the engine mounts for the MR2 are still available from Toyota, as Gary Yates @ Grand Toyota has found and supplied me with a set... Thanks Gary.

I've analysed them, with regards to why so many people who changed to Urethan mounts tore them out from the chassis... and I've come to an interesting conclusion... Because the Drive shaft attachement is off-set from the center and does not line up with the engine mounts, this will give the engine a twisting motion inside the engine bay... When I analysed the front engine mounts, I realised that they are very easy to twist as can be seen in the picture... The side mounts to give much support other than holding the engine in place. With the urethan mounts they don't allow for the twisting... hence, they tear out the engine bolts that hold them in place, due to it's twisting motion.... anyway... check out the pics... one of them, I have the center easly twisted with my thumb....



Also had a chance to re-fit the overflow coolant bottle... I reused the 20v unit for now, but I'm still not quiet happy with it.


Anyway... tomorrow she's going it to get her checked out... Warren at Precision Auto shop... So stay tuned on the outcome of this...

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Another test drive & Fitting Trim Pieces

Well... Last night, Sean came over, as he was eager to take the MR2 for a test drive... So we both went out and gave it a bit more stick... Both Sean and myself liked the feeling of the engine, although it is in an untuned state.

It is interesting. It definitly isn't a speed machine, but comparing the Supra and the Mr2. Although both these cars can't really be compared, it will give you an idea of what it is like. The Supra, in stock trim performed low 15sec on 1/4 miles (15.0 - 15.3). The MR2 is definitly much faster than the Supra on standard boost & trim. But keep in mind, it is in an untuned state at this stage. I think in a tuned state, it will definitly be going from mid to high 14sec on the 1/4mile... which is good enough for me... :D

The back end feels wobbly... Due to requiring wheel alignment

The engine has a flat spot... around the 2000-2500RPMs... needs a tune

The engine has a hickup... on steady rev, you can occasionally feel a miss-fire... Maybe new plugs will do the trick.

The intake has bad air-pickup (Warm air) and the filter might be a bit restrictive... this will be changed soon.

Sooooo... these are just a few things that need to be investigated... In the mean time, I decided to fit the new trim pieces which I purchased from Toyota... some pics below...




I promised MPOT that I will be bringing the car to the office, so he can have a look, so hopefully, I'll be able to do that this week... ;-)

More updates to follow soon... :D

Monday, February 2, 2009

WhoooooHoooo... She's been completed... Sorta!

WhoooHooooo!!!!!!... Got the MR2 on the road, and today was the first test drive....

But first off... a couple of pics...

Pretty much a 2.5" system, mandrel bent, from extractors onwards... All stainless steel, with a Highflow, 2.5" CAT (Need to keep it legal), and a straight through custom Muffler... I'll let the pics tell the rest... ;-)





OK... Probably by now you want to have some driving impressions... Ok, before I start, first off, she is untuned, and she needs a wheel alignment, as she feels a bit wobbly...

So... How does it compare to my old 16v? It is tremendously different, like chalk and cheese... If you don't give it full stick, she pretty much feels & sounds like the old 16v... but wait until you put your full down... there is a bit of a lag, and then all of a sudden you hear the note change (VVT kicks in) and she starts pulling... I've tried a couple of hard runs from 4000-6000RPMs... and they will come and go in a blink of an eye. Below 4000RPMs she feels a bit more potent than the 16v, but pretty much same characteristics... but wait until you hit the 3000-3500RPMs and then stomp your foot... it thinks for a minute, and then starts pulling hard, all the way to 7500RPMs... I wasn't daring to pull higher.

But taking into consideration that she isn't tuned yet, and in dire need for a wheel alignment (we tried to fit the 20v Drive shaft... :-\), she feels nice and smooth.

There was one moment from the workshop driving to office... she started blowing real smoke... gray smoke, to the point that the car behind me reversed... Initially, I went into panic mode, as I thought she was on fire or something... but then I started checking, and it was coming out the exhaust, so I'm suspecting she was blowing out all the cobwebs from the long standing, and of course the new exhaust.... That was a fright!!!! :-( Mental note: Get a fire estinguisher.

OK... Next thing on the agenda... finish off some of the nigly bits, such as intake system, and clean up some of the cabling (Make it look stock... ;-)... More on that to follow....

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Transport to Exhaust Shop...

Well... as per my last update, she was ready to go to the exhaust shop, so here she is on the RAC truck to be transported to the shop.


Realistically, I had 3 choices... 1) Get the RAC truck, cost was AUS$60, 2) Hire a trailer for $75 for minimum of 4hrs or 3) drive it there without exhaust... (And hope not to get caught.)

I thought I'd choose the #1 option as it was the safest, the legal and the easiest.

Anyway... Spoke to Norm, and he will be fitting a stainless steel, 2.5", mandrel bent, custom muffler, 2.5" cat system from the extractors onwards... can's wait to see the end results!!!! ;-) It's now been 2 days, and I'm getting impatient... But none the less, I'm refraining from calling, as good craftsmanship takes time, and I don't want to put the pressure on him... but I'm still curious... :D

None the less, been contemplating about HPC couting or exhaust wraps for the exhaust system... I would prefer the HPC couting... but at this point in time, have no contacts or pricing regarding this. Any ideas, please let me know...

Hopefully, the next update will be on the exhaust system...

Monday, January 26, 2009

Car is finally ready... Only exhaust required...

Well... it's been a while since I did an update to this blog... probably because for the last few weeks, it was touch and go, with holiday and family do's, house renovations, and planning what is going into the house, and getting sick, etc, etc, etc. Anyway... managed to squeeze in the completion of the car, and I'm glad to say, it's booked into the exhaust shop tomorrow...

Anyway... Finally put all the panels on again (IE: Boot, Engine Lid, etc), but I refrained from putting the C-Pillar trim on, although very tempting... But none-the-less, I didn't spend AUD$700 for somebody to break them... Now more than likely, it won't be on purpose, but either way, I won't take chances... Heck... it might even happen to me!!!! ;-)


Here is are a coule of pictures of the engine installed & running.... Completed purging the air from the cooling system yesterday, as I had the engine running for about 30-40mins, reving a few times to about 4000Rpms... it's sweet. Double checked the coolant this avo, and no more air.






As you can see... I sawed away part of the engine cover latch, and simply connected up a POD filter for now. If I had my way, it would be individual Air-Stacks... but then I can't get it engineered... So need to figure out how to make it legal, so I can get it engineered... Further updates on this later... ;-)




As you can see... not much of an exhaust system.... Simply used the exhaust B-Pipe, with the O2 sensor, so that I can get it started and running for a while to bleed the air out of the cooling system, so that I can drive it home after the exhaust shop, and so the exhaust shop can fit the O2 Sensor in the right place... Nice pic of the Whiteline sway Bars too.... ;-)

Don't worry... the cable it not going to be attached there... it's only temporary, until I get the exhaust fitted... ;-)


Hopefully tomorrow, I'll be able to take pics of the MR2 on the RAC Flatbed truck, on it's way to the exhaust shop... Further updates will follow...

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Not this week-end... But my old Supra... ;-)

Well... Didn't get around to doing any work on the MR2... The Boss (Wife) demanded that I finish off some renovations that I have started a while back (a year or so ago), so I was busy preparing that last week-end. But next week-end, I will definitly be finishing the MR2 off, so that she is ready for the exhaust...



But in the mean time... A bit of history on my previous car... (By Popular request) I used to own a Toyota Supra 89 Turbo, while my wife was happy owning the current MR2. The Supra was fast, and had awsome acceleration, with quater miles of low 13 and high 12sec, but it just didn't handle... My wife and myself we used to occasionally race, and I would leave her in the dust... but sure enough, on the next corner, she was up behind me... :-)

When I was looking for a car, I was looking at all sorts, such as the Nissan GTR (Too Pricey), GTsT (Too common), RX7 (Too abused), MR2 SW20 (not enough and too pricey)... but none got my appeal. Then, one day when I got home, my wife pointed out this Toyota Supra, Australian delivered, 1 Lady Owner, Low Kms, and a good price (Affordable)... My initial thought was... Yep, probably full of dents and a rust bucket... but decided to check it out anyway... It was a fair drive away, about 1hr up in the hills, so we took my wife's MR2 for a spin up the hills.

We got to the place, and knocked on the door, and a guy answered, and indicated that the Supra wasn't here yet, as the lady was coming back from work... she was only a few minutes away, so we decided to wait. Sure enough, she showed up, and as it was driving up the hill... My mind was going... "That's it... that one is going to be mine" (The car... not the lady ;-) Of course, I had her checked out by Jan & Alex, 2 close friends of mine who I trusted... they gave me the OK, so I bought it.... :D This car was as stock as a rock... nothing modified, with exception to coolant.

So once bought and ownership took over, it didn't take long to start modification... Of course, the first thing that happened was suspension... King Springs and Tokico adjustable shocks

Then followed by a 3" exhaust all the way from Turbo Elbow back, with a new High flow 3" CAT. And then, of course, the rest...

Anyway... Some pics... Supra as she was...




The engine has been rebuild, and some modification performed to her was Inspected, cleaned up block, and O-ring, New Head, Shot Pinged Conrods, Lightened Pistons, Chrome Molly Piston Rings, Balance Crank, 1.8T Clamping clutch, High flow Turbo (T04 trim) and clipped exhaust wheel and Intercooler. Some pics below... At the time of rebuilding this engine, I didn't have much mechanical know how, although I did understand what was being performed. The engine rebuild was performed by Alex, with advise from Jan & Sean.










Once the engine was completed, I put the engine on the dyno, just out of curiosity, and it produced 292RWHP at 14PSI Boost, and 210RWHP at standard Boost of 8PSI... and that was still on my old intercooler setup. But as you all know, the old intercooler is not very good, as at about 5800RPMs, I could see boost dropping off quick, and it was like hitting a brick wall... No it was fuel cut... it was the intercooler, so I decided to install a new intercooler.

At this point in time, with the old intercooler, I thought it was pretty WILD... Then came the intercooler upgrade...




Of course, with the Intercooler upgrade... it went from WILD to SYCHO... it was just a chalk and cheese difference, and it was sooooo responsive after that. Boost was pretty much instant, on tap, and it lasted all the way to redline, of 6800rpms... full boost was available at pretty much 2500RPMs, and lasted all the way. This was a Spearco Intercooler, and are probably the best you could get... More info at http://www.racetep.com/tneticatoaic.htm.

After that, I decided to leave the engine as is for a while, and focus on Stereo... Of course, most of my items were purchased overseas, as I couldnt' justify the price inflation here in Australia... Basically, the system consisted all of Alpine gear... Alphine Head unit, Amp, Front Split (1" tweeters & 6" Mids) and rear end Splits (1" Tweeters, 3" mids and 8" subs)... It sounded pretty awsome, and cost me about AUS$2500 all up. I got a quote from one of the shop, and they quoted the system about $4500, excluding installation cost.









At this point in time, things started getting a bit difficult, and the cost of maintaining and running the supra got a bit heavy... Also, the next set of modification would have been just to expensive so I decided to sell her, and buy a more sedate 4 door car for my wife, and take over the MR2 as my hobby car. The MR2 was cheaper to run, maintain and modify compared to the next stage of the supra.

To give you an idea... Supra used to consume 70Ltr of fuel over 400Kms, compared to 40Ltr for 550Kms in the MR2... To get a replacement engine for the Supra, I was looking at AUS$4500, compared to AUS$1200 for the MR2... To get a replacement gearbox for the Supra, I was looking at AUS$1500, compared to AUS$300 for the MR2... Please keep in mind that this was back in 1999/2000... I'm sure that you can get it way cheaper now. If I had the Supra now, I wouldn't have sold it, but alas, that is not the case. The Supra was not going to be a good daily driver...

Besides... the Supra was fast, but couldn't handle... the MR2 could handle, but wasn't fast... and in a state in which 110Km/hr is the max speed limit... the MR2 was a more sensible choice...

Hence, where I am tody... What better choice of having an MR2 with a BT engine... once she's finished of course... :D

The MR2 AW11 is a great car to own... It's cheap maintenance, and it's handling characteristics, begging you to push it harder and harder as you get close to it's limits. It's economical, and due to it's lightness, is easy on fuel, and on the tyres. But don't get me wrong... I do miss the Supra, due to it's cheer brute force in acceleration...