MR2 Turbo - MR2 Owners Club Message Board
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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old September 4th, 2019, 15:19 Thread Starter
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MR2 Turbo - a build thread.

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.





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




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





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

Last edited by xxxboosted2xxx; September 7th, 2019 at 07:24.
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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old September 4th, 2019, 15:23 Thread Starter
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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
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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old September 7th, 2019, 07:24 Thread Starter
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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













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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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old September 8th, 2019, 12:05 Thread Starter
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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
[ ] Solder iron
[ ] Jack stands
[ ] Put together a tool kit under seat
[ ] Jack
[ ] Oil drain pan
[ ] Transmission fluid
[ ] Transmission plug washers
[ ] Mount X Brace
[ ] Mount boost controller
[ ] Radio (double DIN, touchscreen, ipod)
[ ] Fix tachometer
[ ] Trunk carpet
[ ] 93+ shifter
[ ] Shift knob
[ ] Shift boot
[ ] 93+ wheels
[ ] Install SS brake lines
[ ] Brake fluid
[ ] Ipod for car
[ ] Ipod cable
[ ] GPS for car
[ ] Engine lid rain deflector
[ ] Adjust Ebrake
[ ] Rock blocker on fogs
[ ] 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
[ ] LED gauge lights
[ ] LED HVAC lights
[ ] LED dome lights
[ ] H4 headlight conversion
[ ] 93+ lip
[ ] Downpipe
[ ] New struts and springs
[ ] 94+ taillights
[ ] Reupholster seats
[ ] Tint windows
[ ] Brake pads








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.
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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old September 8th, 2019, 17:07
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I don't know if you know this but that is a gen3 engine (with your high post count I figured you do).

Also don't paint your interior parts with gloss black instead use SEM landau black, perfect match to the factory color.
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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old September 8th, 2019, 20:18 Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J.harris View Post
I don't know if you know this but that is a gen3 engine (with your high post count I figured you do).

Also don't paint your interior parts with gloss black instead use SEM landau black, perfect match to the factory color.

Yes, I am aware of the engine in it.

So one of the previous owners painted some of the trim pieces, Id prefer the stock look
But I figured that I'd go a piano black like you see in many newer cars (including my other car).
But if you know this paint will match the factory stuff - im in!

Im also in the process of tracking down stock pieces. Ultimately that's what I want, just factory stuff.



From that list, not much will change the look of the car from a stock MR2 of some year, radio aside and the exhaust etc
I dont plan to do anything wild at all
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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old September 8th, 2019, 23:32
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Congradulations on the new toy and hope it all works out for you. That's quite a list but as you stated many of the items cost next to nothing to do. Good to have a plan and try and knock off what you can. Bit of a worry that brake pads are at end of the list. Take it suspension, bushes & tyres are all in good shape?

As a matter on interest I never saw TRC on a gen 3 model. Wonder if this is an addition from a gen 2.?
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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old September 9th, 2019, 04:28 Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by benckj View Post
Congradulations on the new toy and hope it all works out for you. That's quite a list but as you stated many of the items cost next to nothing to do. Good to have a plan and try and knock off what you can. Bit of a worry that brake pads are at end of the list. Take it suspension, bushes & tyres are all in good shape?

As a matter on interest I never saw TRC on a gen 3 model. Wonder if this is an addition from a gen 2.?
The list is not in order of priority, just thoughts as they came to me.

TRC was on many Gen3 models, from what I gather. Many people take it off when doing swap because without the TRC ecu it doesnt work, and when it does work it's not a great system, from what Ive read.
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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old September 13th, 2019, 22:19 Thread Starter
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Ordered the 93+ shifter
a stock shift knob for the 93+
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.
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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old September 14th, 2019, 22:38
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Originally Posted by xxxboosted2xxx View Post
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
Not to burst your JDM bubble but they're just a 93+ part, USDM cars got them with the suspension redesign too. Still cool pieces none the less.

What was the wiring harness for again? Radio? If it doesn't work out with the subie one I should be able to help you track down what you need.
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post #11 of 19 (permalink) Old September 15th, 2019, 06:52 Thread Starter
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Not to burst your JDM bubble but they're just a 93+ part, USDM cars got them with the suspension redesign too. Still cool pieces none the less.

What was the wiring harness for again? Radio? If it doesn't work out with the subie one I should be able to help you track down what you need.
I dont remember this part from my 93 I used to have, but it's been a decade so who knows

Yes, the wiring deals with radio.
It's a 91Turbo and I am having a hard time finding a 14pin harness for this thing so I can hook up the stereo I bought
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post #12 of 19 (permalink) Old September 15th, 2019, 09:37
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Congrats! I've owned my '92 turbo for 15+ years and it still puts a smile on my face every time I drive it. Biggest difference I've noticed over the years is that every year I get more "thumbs up" from fellow motorists. It's a hit, too, at Cars and Coffee. Definitely attaining classic car/cult car status.
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post #13 of 19 (permalink) Old September 15th, 2019, 09:52
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You might like this post from a thread about 91 premium radio adapters.

https://www.mr2oc.com/14-audio-secur...ml#post4801300

Looks like an autoleads PC9-406 is what you would want if you can't make your adapter work.
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post #14 of 19 (permalink) Old September 16th, 2019, 21:24 Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J.harris View Post
Not to burst your JDM bubble but they're just a 93+ part, USDM cars got them with the suspension redesign too. Still cool pieces none the less.

What was the wiring harness for again? Radio? If it doesn't work out with the subie one I should be able to help you track down what you need.
Quote:
Originally Posted by J.harris View Post
You might like this post from a thread about 91 premium radio adapters.

https://www.mr2oc.com/14-audio-secur...ml#post4801300

Looks like an autoleads PC9-406 is what you would want if you can't make your adapter work.
Im having a hard time FINDING the Autoleads adapter unfortunately.
I scoured a lot and nothing came up
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post #15 of 19 (permalink) Old September 17th, 2019, 10:23
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Looks like they all come from the UK, just means shipping will take longer.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Autoleads-P...-/170972637075
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post #16 of 19 (permalink) Old September 17th, 2019, 20:05 Thread Starter
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Looks like they all come from the UK, just means shipping will take longer.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Autoleads-P...-/170972637075
Ive tried, I cant get ahold of the guy
If you go to the shipping area, he only ships to European countries
and, for some reason, I cant contct the guy. Like, when I go to 'contact seller' it leads me to a page and says not found or something.

I want it, cant get it (from him, it seems)

Any Euro members who could buy and ship to me?
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post #17 of 19 (permalink) Old September 25th, 2019, 20:04 Thread Starter
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mirrors have been fixed...sort of. The drivers side was cracked already and when popping the glass out it cracked a lot more. Bummer.
BUT they dont flop around anymore!



And today was parts day!
93 shifter, 93 shift knob, ashtray, strut tower pieces, AlexW rainguard eliminator plates, and a harness I'll TRY to make work.



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post #18 of 19 (permalink) Old September 27th, 2019, 21:05 Thread Starter
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Shift boot came in today, I'll adhere it to the trim piece tomorrow when I start wrenching again. Just a cheap ebay piece, black with black stitching. Until I know if I get a red-stitch steering wheel I dont want to spring for a nice Redline boot, this will do for a bit

HOPING to go to a junkyard about 30 minutes away to look for a newer Toyota steering wheel, they have a few possible donor cars (3 Matrix, a couple Corolla S)

I hate I cant post more pics, but the very little Ive done doesnt really deserve pics - just fixing wobbly mirrors and cleaning really
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post #19 of 19 (permalink) Old September 28th, 2019, 17:06 Thread Starter
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Finished buttoning up the door panels today, so the mirror fix is completely done now.
Put a battery tender adapter on the battery, got the charger on it now (battery is weak if not driven often/daily)
Inflated the spare tire and put it back in.
Ripped out the wiring a previous owner put in for a small light inside
Took apart the shifter to replace with the 93 model, but stopped when I realized I had no grease here at the house, so I need to get that in the morning and then put it all back together.

Started adhering the new shiftboot to the plastic trim piece, one side left now (pie was taken at the beginning)

93+ lever on the left, stock 91/92 on the right









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