New Project Rebuild "MY Eleanor" - MR2 Owners Club Message Board
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post #1 of 169 (permalink) Old February 27th, 2018, 16:17 Thread Starter
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Cool New Project Rebuild "MY Eleanor"

Ok so to start off I have been a part originally of the MR2OC since 2001 when I got my second MR2. My first one I got in 1995 approx and it was a black, beat to hell 85 MK1 with a sun roof. I loved that car completely restored it and upgraded the crap out of it as back then they still made TRD parts for it. (pic of black one below.) I loved that car (really fell in love with the MR2 when I first drove my girlfriend's mom's MR2 for the first time back in high school.) I look back and I think I spent more time there to drive mom's car then to hang out with my girlfriend at the time LOL . Back to MR2s...

My black 85 was my baby had it for about 3 years. Long story short it blew a hole 3 inch hole in the motor and needed a new one. Had shop put in new motor and the mechanic gave it back to me missing an o-ring on one of the fuel injectors so it leaked gas onto the manifold on the way home from the shop and burned to the ground . Shop said not their problem. Won lawsuit, owner filed bankruptcy and got away without paying One MR2 Down and gone.

The blue one in the pick below was my 87 T-top and it needed some Tlc and got it and went to work on the motor and suspension and other goodies. Never got around to finishing the body. Got to a point where due to kids had to sell the toys and get a reliable vehicle. So sold the 87' MR2 (and a GST Eclipse I had at the same time) and got a little brand new truck (pic after build included for fun)

I have been customizing cars since I was 14 and had my own shop in Tempe Az until I got into an accident at the dunes that put in bed for a year. I had to sell shop to pay medical bills and that was the end of me working on cars for others. I never forgot my MR2 and always wanted a MK2 turbo t-top. I had a chance to get a turbo GTI VW (pic included for fun) and I really liked it. Still not an MR2 though. I got rid of the VW and for the last 10+ years I have had this itch growing to the point I could not sleep at night. So I have been looking at MR2 and watching sales for the last 3 years and found one that needs some TLC and work. So I got it this past Sunday. (the red one last pic)

I am looking forward to never getting rid of this car and rebuilding it. I feel MR2's are my Eleanor as I have never been able to keep one. 3rd times the charm right?!

So after that long story short that got long again this is my thread of my rebuild project. There are a lot of little things that need to be fixed and I will post a list of what it has and what needs to be done hopefully this weekend.

So please join me in my rebuild and if any one finds or has parts for sale that I list I need please let me know I would greatly appreciate it.
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File Type: jpg colorado.JPG (154.2 KB, 33 views)
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File Type: jpg 91 MR2 OWNER PIC.jpg (94.2 KB, 77 views)
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post #2 of 169 (permalink) Old February 28th, 2018, 12:16 Thread Starter
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Here is the good and bad of the car.

The Good what it currently has..
Arp head studs
Cometic head gaskets
Blitz full exhaust (might sell and instal cat-back system)
Walbro fuel pump
Hks fcd (mounted not hooked up)
New water pump
Excedy clutch
The wheels are 18x7.5 front 18x9.5 rear MRR GT1 Wheels
Drilled and slotted rotors
Tein coilovers
border body kit
HID head lights
AEM wideband and AEM boost gauge
only one Bride seat the other is an off brand but still a bucket (These are getting sold need to be reupholstered)
Am/Fm Cd unit with fold up screen (might sell)
10inch sub havent looked what kind (might sell)
sub amp (might sell as well)
Carbon Fiber Engine Lid
Painted this past Oct. 2017

Here is what needs to be fixed that I know of so far.
Upper intercooler tube to the manifold has a hole
Turbo gasket to the downpipe
O2 sensor
Catalytic converter install for emissions
Mirror (just ordered)
Tweeter door Covers (Just ordered)
Door hinge Latch (Just ordered)
Trunk carpet
Frunk plastic
Passenger window does not work not sure if switch or motor.
Driver window is very slow up and down (will replace motor)
Power antena
Spare Tire setup
HKS FCD connected
Ac Control unit (stock on heat will see if I can fix before replacing)
Ac condensor and pipe are out of car when he installed in radiator. will reinstall and setup ac again I live in az will will have to be done before summer LOL.
Shift knob needs leather (current metal to hot in summer to touch)
Shift Knob boot and center bezel
New Seats coming
Steering column has uper plastic but not botom
Front tires
Seat belt stock (has 4 point harnes not sure I will keep those)

That is all I know so far. There are some toggle switches in the car that I do not know what they are for but I will find out.
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File Type: jpg mr2 1.jpeg.jpg (46.5 KB, 58 views)

Last edited by SicG_DOM; March 5th, 2018 at 17:31.
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post #3 of 169 (permalink) Old February 28th, 2018, 15:34 Thread Starter
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Ok so I am starting this weekend. And I would love some feedback as I am torn between saving some money to be able to complete everything or spend the little extra now and complete later.

I have to get a cat put in to pass emissions. Most of the Cats I was quoted is over 460 for cat over 200 for install/fab.

Options 1. I can have it installed to current Blitz exhaust for the 460 + 250 or
Option 2. I can get a new cat back which would be adding another 780. This is from one local performance shop by me.

I think my blitz is to loud but may quite a little with the cat. I would like it to have a nice pur and not sound like a honda lawn mower with a glass pack.

Option 3. Any suggestions on cats and cat-back recommendations that would keep me under $800 total that are decent. I see a lot of systems on ebay and other places that do not have any names on them and I am uncertain on them which would take me from a 4.5 to a 3 inch exhaust.

I can always get a better exhaust later down the road just want to quite the car a little and pass emissions for now.
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post #4 of 169 (permalink) Old March 1st, 2018, 13:17 Thread Starter
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Ok so parts ordered so far and tools that are needed.

Nylon retainer fasteners
Fuel Injection Line Style Hose Clamps Assortment Kit (Most of the hoses are zip tied not claimped.LOL)
Berk Tech upper intercooler pipe
Front power mirros with signals
Interior Tool and repair kit
Tweeter door Covers
Door hinge Latch

Going for tires and cat this weekend.
I decided I will keep current exhaust for now just be adding the cat to it to save money. The exhaust will have to have fasteners welded onto the pipe to mount to car as it seems some spots are zip tied also

Found some of the body kit is zip tied also but it's really just putting the correct mounting clips and screws so that is not bad LOL.

All the little details is what I love about redoing a project like this. I Have an old 73' Harley Ironhead that i have been rebuilding that will be done this summer also that has had its little things also but that is another project thread on another forum.

Last edited by SicG_DOM; March 1st, 2018 at 13:19.
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post #5 of 169 (permalink) Old March 2nd, 2018, 09:42 Thread Starter
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I have trying to think of a name for her. So looking at the car for a while the other night and it's a pretty red. So I thought Red Rocket but then all I can think of was the South Park episode in the first 3 seasons somewhere where they are playing with the dog saying red rocket. that one right down the toilet. So then I am going through the car and man its ugly inside and nice outside then it hits me. Deadpool. Not pretty to look at inside but damn sexy on the outside.
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post #6 of 169 (permalink) Old March 2nd, 2018, 10:23
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Those are some interesting paint jobs for sure. Two things that stick out right away to me are the power windows and exhaust.

The power windows problems are usually caused by the door harness, more specifically the part that is in the rubber accordion part. The wires get wet from rain and they get weak and break from the door being opened and closed many times. I would at least hook wires up directly to the window motor before I replace the motor or switch.

The exhaust is more difficult and really depends on what you want from the car. Skip the ebay 3" exhaust, they don't fit and aren't high quality. The HKS hi power is a quiet single exit exhaust. A lot of people like the berk exhaust, I can't attest to the quality. Greddy SP/TRD is a nice stock replacement. TCS made a greddy sp replica at one point which was good quality, you could even order a cat for it. I wouldn't modify the nur spec, it's always going to be loud, I had one and I finally got tired of how loud it was.

What turbo is in the car? If it's a stock turbo I would just find a stock downpipe to install to pass emissions, it's not like the CT26 is fast anyway, you're not going to notice the 10 less hp.
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post #7 of 169 (permalink) Old March 2nd, 2018, 11:02 Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by J.harris View Post
Those are some interesting paint jobs for sure. Two things that stick out right away to me are the power windows and exhaust.

The power windows problems are usually caused by the door harness, more specifically the part that is in the rubber accordion part. The wires get wet from rain and they get weak and break from the door being opened and closed many times. I would at least hook wires up directly to the window motor before I replace the motor or switch.

The exhaust is more difficult and really depends on what you want from the car. Skip the ebay 3" exhaust, they don't fit and aren't high quality. The HKS hi power is a quiet single exit exhaust. A lot of people like the berk exhaust, I can't attest to the quality. Greddy SP/TRD is a nice stock replacement. TCS made a greddy sp replica at one point which was good quality, you could even order a cat for it. I wouldn't modify the nur spec, it's always going to be loud, I had one and I finally got tired of how loud it was.

What turbo is in the car? If it's a stock turbo I would just find a stock downpipe to install to pass emissions, it's not like the CT26 is fast anyway, you're not going to notice the 10 less hp.
Thanks for the info I am taking to emission tomorrow so I can register it in my name. The old owner says it wont pass but the MVD will give me a 30 day registration if it fails to get it fixed. After registration going to get the front tires replaced then to shop to get it up on a lift and take at look at what to do with the exhaust. At that point I will see what turbo it has and if the downpipe is stock. I will also be getting the ac condenser and piping put back in the car this week. Once that is done then I will be working on the interior issue and the windows.

I will check the windows like you said thanks for that info that really helps.

I am looking for a good price on the HKS exhaust too. I will research the other mentions thank you for that info also. As much as I would like to get this all done quick I am going to take my time and do it right. I still have a car as an everyday driver that is only 4 years old so having the MR2 down for a little is fine with me.

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post #8 of 169 (permalink) Old March 2nd, 2018, 12:01
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I will also be getting the ac condenser and piping put back in the car this week.
Why was it removed when they installed the radiator? The condenser doesn't have to be removed to replace the radiator. If there is an aftermarket radiator in the car I would imagine they had to remove the condenser to make it fit. Best thing you could do if that were to case would be to find a used stock turbo radiator and fans.

You may know this already but the cars older than 94 used R12 refrigerant. You can use R134a in a R12 system but the cooling performance won't be as good. Since the system has been open for so long you should replace the receiver dryer and expansion valve. The mineral oil in the system needs to be removed, measured, and replaced with Ester oil, not PAG. PAG oil is not compatible with mineral oil from an R12 system.
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post #9 of 169 (permalink) Old March 2nd, 2018, 12:23 Thread Starter
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I have been looking at the different exhaust and I think I am going to go with the HKS hi power exhaust found it for $491 shipped to me but I am going to wait to order it until after I get under the car and see how the current one is put on. I will be putting up the Blitz full exhaust up for sale once I swap them out. It is a good exhaust just to loud for my liking.
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post #10 of 169 (permalink) Old March 2nd, 2018, 15:12 Thread Starter
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Found this online just shopping around. I do not like the style so would not put it in my car but do love the gear tree it has.
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post #11 of 169 (permalink) Old March 4th, 2018, 08:44 Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by J.harris View Post
Why was it removed when they installed the radiator? The condenser doesn't have to be removed to replace the radiator. If there is an aftermarket radiator in the car I would imagine they had to remove the condenser to make it fit. Best thing you could do if that were to case would be to find a used stock turbo radiator and fans.

You may know this already but the cars older than 94 used R12 refrigerant. You can use R134a in a R12 system but the cooling performance won't be as good. Since the system has been open for so long you should replace the receiver dryer and expansion valve. The mineral oil in the system needs to be removed, measured, and replaced with Ester oil, not PAG. PAG oil is not compatible with mineral oil from an R12 system.
I am not sure why it was removed. While overlooking the car I am not sure why a lot of things were done on it. Being in AZ and that it has t-top with no covers yet I want to get that working very soon. I may have a mechanic put that in since I have to finish the harley I have before I start to much time into the MR2.
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post #12 of 169 (permalink) Old March 4th, 2018, 09:16 Thread Starter
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Found a few more things to fix/replace. Here is the list again with added items. If anyone has any of the part that I did not put ordered next to please let me know.

Upper intercooler tube to the manifold has a hole (ordered)
Turbo gasket to the downpipe
O2 sensor
Catalytic converter install for emissions
Mirror (installed but not fond of the way they sit. May try to rebuild the stock ones.)
Tweeter door Covers (Just ordered)
Door hinge Latch (Just ordered)
Trunk carpet
Frunk plastic
Passenger window does not work not sure if switch or motor.
Driver window is very slow up and down (will replace motor)
Power antena
Spare Tire setup
HKS FCD connected
Ac Control unit (stuck on heat will see if I can fix before replacing)
Ac condensor and pipe are out of car when he installed in radiator. will reinstall and setup ac again I live in az will will have to be done before summer LOL.
Shift knob needs leather (current metal to hot in summer to touch)
Shift Knob boot and center bezel
New Seats coming
Steering column has uper plastic but not botom
Front tires (Done)
Seat belt stock (has 4 point harness not sure I will keep those)

newly found issues
Door handle backing passenger side.
side interior plastic behind drivers seat.
T-top covers
The air scoop has 2 cracks in it.
Head light outer covers
back left Tein coilover has broken dampener setting knob broken (will send that into tein for rebuild/repair)
After market cd play ate my cd yesterday lol.
Wheel well plastics
A-pillar gauges have to mounted correctly and placed a little higher.

I will update what repairs I have done this week.

Here are the mirrors that I am not fond of how they sit. They sit to high on an angle. I will either rebuild the stock ones or fab a new mounting plate for the ones I bought. I do like the style and the mirror just not position.
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post #13 of 169 (permalink) Old March 5th, 2018, 07:37
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A pillar gauge pods are gaudy, I can see it blocks your tweeter cover from being installed. Aftermarket tweeters are hardly ever installed correctly, this one is no exception. Get a set of stock 93+ tweeters and tweeter covers for the car, they'll fit nicely and will be pointed in your ear's general direction.

I'd ditch the air scoop if it were me, they aren't functional and unless you're really into it they look ugly.

About the 4 point harness, they are dangerous to use without a roll cage, and a roll cage is dangerous to use without a helmet. I would remove the harness and use the factory seat belt for safety. In the event of a roll over the 4 point harness won't let you body move to the side as the roof caves in so a roll cage is necessary to hold the roof up. In the event of a crash in a car with a roll cage it is likely that your head will hit the bar so you would need a helmet to protect your head.

As you can see harnesses in general should be reserved to race cars only, they are not practical for street cars.
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post #14 of 169 (permalink) Old March 5th, 2018, 09:36 Thread Starter
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A pillar gauge pods are gaudy, I can see it blocks your tweeter cover from being installed. Aftermarket tweeters are hardly ever installed correctly, this one is no exception. Get a set of stock 93+ tweeters and tweeter covers for the car, they'll fit nicely and will be pointed in your ear's general direction.

I'd ditch the air scoop if it were me, they aren't functional and unless you're really into it they look ugly.

About the 4 point harness, they are dangerous to use without a roll cage, and a roll cage is dangerous to use without a helmet. I would remove the harness and use the factory seat belt for safety. In the event of a roll over the 4 point harness won't let you body move to the side as the roof caves in so a roll cage is necessary to hold the roof up. In the event of a crash in a car with a roll cage it is likely that your head will hit the bar so you would need a helmet to protect your head.

As you can see harnesses in general should be reserved to race cars only, they are not practical for street cars.
I agree, I don't mind the pillar for now may remove it when I figure out a new place for the boost and air/fuel gauges. I already ordered the tweeter covers from Devil that is parting out a car on here. The air scoop I am not a fan of and will remove it and replace the cover with stock one. The scoop has scratched the back pillar severely and will have to buff that out once I get the new cover.

I definitely do not want the 4 point harnesses looking for new stock seat belts. I do not think they were put in correctly also. Most of what I have found have been blue and my interior is black.

I will be selling a lot of the things I do not want on the car.
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post #15 of 169 (permalink) Old March 5th, 2018, 16:06 Thread Starter
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Just barely makes up the driveway curb.

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post #16 of 169 (permalink) Old March 5th, 2018, 20:08
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This will get old quickly, driving low cars is so stressful.
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post #17 of 169 (permalink) Old March 5th, 2018, 21:54 Thread Starter
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This will get old quickly, driving low cars is so stressful.
Yeah I am thinking of raising it 1/4 to 1/2 inch. But I am use to it from my pickup and my VW GTI that I had before.

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post #18 of 169 (permalink) Old March 6th, 2018, 09:50 Thread Starter
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Ok so I am going to keep the berk exhaust and just put the cat on that for now. May change to HKS later when I can spend the money on it. I really want to get a lot of the little things done first. Some have recommended a silencer for the berk to tone it down a little. What do any of you think and who uses the silencer on their exhaust.

I am ordering some new stuff next week that I need to replace. And got some new stuff already coming this week.

Got this already
These will replace all the zip ties on the hoses on the engine.



This will be here in the next week or so.


Berk Upper intercooler pipe



This I am ordering next week.


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post #19 of 169 (permalink) Old March 6th, 2018, 13:32 Thread Starter
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In one of my post somewhere I cannot find it someone talked about the turbo on the car and asked what is in it. I am new to the MK2 and need to learn. I snapped this pic of the turbo. Is this the stock US turbo or JDM stock turbo. I know the engine is replaced but does not have the cam cover on it and I have not poked around the motor to look for which gen engine I have in the car. Also how can I tell which gen I have in the car. Thanks for your feedback.

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post #20 of 169 (permalink) Old March 7th, 2018, 08:04
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That's a gen2 turbo, it's clean though. It's possible that it has been upgraded, ATS sells a ct27 that starts off as a ct26 and is modified. If you post a picture of the whole engine I can tell you what generation engine it is.

Why would you replace a bride seat with a chinese ebay junk seat? Why not take that money and have it reupholstered? That steering wheel is terrible, at least keep the stock one so you can put it back on later. You'll be losing cruise control and the air bag so be ready to pull the airbag light out of the cluster.

Those mirrors are interesting as well, I didn't know stuff like that was still made for the MR2.
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