MR2 Owners Club Forum banner

1 - 20 of 98 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
162 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Like most things in my life I made an impulse decision and picked up a 1991 Turbo MR2. It is a bit rough, lots of rattles and clunks, but it made the 350 mile trip from California to Arizona, so it can't be that bad... right? Well I can stick my finger through a hole in one of the silicone hoses for the intercooler, so there is that. The AFM is literally just zip tied to the strut brace. The battery died on the way home and I had to call roadside assistance to get a jump. The shifter, when in gear, has about 1" of play in all directions... oh and no e-brake. So not too bad for a 28 year old car. Luckily I have a spare battery that I threw in so that is at least good to go.

My other MR2 is waiting for a 2GR transplant that is indefinitely on hold until the new E153 comes in from Japan. So until then, I'll probably steal some parts from that build to put on the turbo MR2 and backfill them as needed.

My overall goal with this car is reliability, comfort, and performance, in that order.

So for the good: The engine feels and looks decent. I know with a hole in the charge pipes it can't feel that good... but it actually did. I didn't push it hard, but it felt okay. The transmission has no grinds even with a sloppy shifter, and the clutch felt pretty tight. No slipping but I didn't push it hard. It is a non-LSD transmission, but I'm not too worried about that at this point.

I have a slew of parts on order or ready to throw on, but as this is going to be my daily I'll be doing just one problem area at a time, starting with the most urgent things (IC Piping) and slowing moving to more comfort and visual things. Below is my current priority list, each line is what I will replace independently. Really don't want to fall down the scope creep hole and have this car torn down it tiny bits in a month:

  1. HPS Black Silicone Intercooler Turbo Hose Kit - Seemed like the best looking and most complete kit out there. A bit pricey but seemed worth it. I want to retain the stock look so that means keeping the OEM hard pipes.
  2. Apexi Intake - Need to keep the AFM for now, and the OEM filter box is missing. Really just need it to stop bouncing around. I wanted to stick with the OEM box as I believe that is the best option, but I wanted to source something pretty quick and the one I saw on eBay was $300. When I go MSPNP I'll be removing the AFM and I can reassess options (thinking the RacerX box)
  3. MRHeaven shifter cables, C's short shifter rep w/ Lever Seat Cup bushing and OEM Style Shift Knob - Everything about the current shifting situation is a mess. Let's just replace it all....
  4. Fortune Coil Overs - Just going to use the set I have for the other MR2. Right now I'm not sure what suspension this thing has but it is lowered and looks... bad. The ride was soooo bouncy too. All wrong.
  5. Suspension overhaul - I can just feel all the play with worn suspension components. Going to swap in the bushings, ball joints, tie rods, and the geometry kit from Wilhelm
  6. Throttle Cable - Felt like it might be binding - it is cheap and not terrible to replace. Throttle feel is important to me so might as well go new
  7. Brakes - Again stealing some parts from the other MR2 build... Full BBK from Wilhelm with all the goodies. Need to fix the broken e-brake but not sure where exactly it is broke right yet. The brakes work okay now, which is why this is so far down the list.
  8. Cluster - The PO swapped in a ****** digital boost gauge that doesn't work (not that the OEM one is worth anything). I have 2 turbo clusters, but they are both electric speedo, so will either need to convert to electric or repair the cluster that is in there. Eventually I'll go with an aux boost gauge somewhere, not sure yet.
  9. Remove HIDs, Sound System, Keyless entry. - The wiring is a rats nest. I think that is why the previous battery died. Going to un-molest this harness and repair it as needed.
  10. Repair front lip and fogs - The front bumper is a bit of a mess. The lip is half falling off and the fogs are crooked and just look... bad. Going to see what I can do to fix that.
That is basically it for now. I'm sure as I open her up I will find more things. But I'm pretty sure I know the urgent problems. I'll pull from the other MR2 as needed to get the current one working perfectly. I always say I'll add photos and don't, but I definitely will this time... by the end of the day.

With these becoming more rare and harder to find parts, I really want to bring this one back to life and keep it running for another 28 year at least.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,952 Posts
I would have probably parted that car out from your description of the condition.

For the shifter situation you're probably better off buying a 93 shifter, spherical bearings, and a new fork bushing. All the replica shifters and even the TRD shifter are said to be worse than the 93.

The boost gauge may be one that EMS used to sell, they're perfectly fine no reason to throw it out.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
162 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Wow aren't you fun.

Anyways. I have the 93 shifter in the other MR2 but I have actually heard good things about the Cs so we will see. Worse case I'll swap it over. Looking at the design though I'd imagine you are not exactly correct, and prefer to "be right" rather than admit there are multiple decent options.

Regarding the boost gauge, it might work and need to be calibrated... it is reading 14.6 with the key off so I suppose it is reading atmosphere. I found the install guide for the EMS one and I'm not 100% sure it is the same. However it does not match the style of the cluster and projects a blue light that I dislike. I'll probably calibrate it and then if it works sell the cluster to someone who enjoys that.

I swapped out the IC silicone today, not thrilled with the IC setup after digging in there, but will be sufficient for now. The intake comes tomorrow so I can unzip tie the AFM. Drove it around the block a few times and although the suspension is shot, it pulls hard and feels good. You'd be crazy to part this out... people are crazy.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,952 Posts
From you description you made it sound like you just bought a busted MR2, the pictures show much differently.

You'd think that someone who has been in the MR2 game for almost 12 years would know what they're talking about. I'm not trying to prove that I'm right and I will admit that I'm wrong when I'm wrong, I'm sharing my experience and what I've learned. No need to get hostile.

If it is the EMS boost gauge it drops right into the factory cluster and is easily removable for a omori, you don't have to find another cluster.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
162 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
The parts I described as broken... are broken and need fixing. I am not sure why someone would tell someone else to part their car out based on the description I posted. Honestly what was the real benefit of your post? To bring me down? I appreciate your knowledge, and if I was asking for input or advice I'm sure you would be someone I'd love to hear from.

Anyways, you said the TRD and other shifters are said to be worse. Care to elaborate or provide some substance to your claim? I did quite a bit of research and it seemed like the C's replica shifter from Super Klasse had good reviews. As for the cluster the omori does look decent and OEM-ish.

In the end I'm just excited for my new MR2, post about it, and the first response is you negging me... It's the internet though, so I should have expected it ;)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,659 Posts
The loose shifter could be something as simple as the bolts that hold the shifter plate down coming loose. As for aftermarket, I've been using a cheap eBay shifter like this one for years and love it:

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
162 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
The loose shifter could be something as simple as the bolts that hold the shifter plate down coming loose. As for aftermarket, I've been using a cheap eBay shifter like this one for years and love it:
That would be great as I could just keep the shifter assembly for future use if I ever need it. I took next week off work to just play around with the MR2, so I'll dig in there at some point. I'm going to be swapping in the Fortune coilovers today hopefully, the struts are totally gone on the car so that is the next big issue since I fixed the IC piping yesterday. The intake comes today I think too, so hopefully I can bolt that down.

I've been driving her around town and besides the rattling from the suspension it drives really great. I think I might have a small vacuum leak somewhere though so I'm going to add replacing the vacuum lines and doing a really good check. I'll probably be removing the EGR as well, although it is a CA car so I'll have to wire in a 10k resistor to keep the ECU happy.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,952 Posts
I have no intention of bringing you down, turbo MR2 parts can be valuable and sometimes worth more individually (look up the value of turbo CV axles).

As for the shifter debate, I've had the original 91 and now currently a 93 so I can't give an opinion on others. I have read many times over on the forums about shifters, generally the 93+ is what everyone goes with, I even read an article about a MR2 today where the owner specifically swapped out a TRD for 93.

"Also on the topic of smooth shifting, the TRD Quickshifter that was installed by a previous owner had to go. I replaced it with an OEM shifter from a ’93 and up MR2. This one has a similar short throw but is much less notchy because of where the shifter cable attaches to it. Brass bushings from Speedsource also help to keep the cables moving smoothly."


What's really weird is I've never heard of a C's shifter for the MR2, I could be wrong about this but I don't think they ever made one for the SW20 I'd love to see some original advertisement. Hux racing and racerx have done some really cool shifters lately, check them out!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
162 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
I know you are referencing the original C's, but this is the one I got from Super Klasse:

These are the videos that I found during research that seemed to go indepth and provide a good review, although not sure how biased the first one is as I think he got it specifically for a review:

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
119 Posts
Having had the 91 stock shifter, 93 stock shifter, and now the C's reproduction one. the C's is by far the best. Honestly besides changing the knob, I didnt feel hardly any difference between the 91 and the 93. One thing I did notice is that the little ball cup thing that the shifter slots into is slightly different sized for the C's and OEM. My oem one is nearly perfect and still has a hair of slop compared to the delrin or whatever one that is made by superklasse. I will say though its been one of my favorite things ive done to the car.

Looks like your car is an excellent base to start with. your description didnt fit the pictures, especially when looking at some of the super clapped out cars you see around.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
162 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Thanks for the input. That does make me feel a bit better about grabbing the C's shifter. Maybe I did go a bit overboard on the description. I am a very detail oriented person so I focus on every issue and might make it seem worse than it is... however... take a look at this intercooler coupler haha:
68633
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
59 Posts
The Super Klasse C's replica is one of the best mods I've done, get it. Here's how I have my intake secured. Good luck with the improvements. 20191204_113832.jpg
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
119 Posts
ok so the outside of the car looks great.... haha. In all honesty still doesnt look too terrible once you replace some of those consumable things. as for the AFM whats your plan for securing it? I did something similar to T3HKMAN but put a standoff underneath it instead of hanging the afm. I can get a pic later.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
162 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
So oddly enough it has an Apexi intake on it already, however I guess at some point the brackets went missing? I ordered another Apexi intake so I'll just be swapping that over and adding the brackets and water/heat shield:

I'm throwing on the coilovers today... when I had the car up the other day I could move the strut assembly up and down with almost no effort and could hear the exact banging noise I hear driving around.

I have to spend some effort on my Fiat today getting it ready to put up for sale, so probably won't get much more than the coilovers installed. But will post some more updates later.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
162 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
Yesterday I got the Fortune coilovers on. A few things to note:

1. The factory height is crazy high... had to go significantly lower. For what it's worth I am not a slammed car kinda guy. I think I have about an inch gap between the top of the wheel and bottom of the fender.
2. The MR2Heaven sway bar links work great on both the front and rear, those were a life saver.
3. Per the instructions, make sure you hammer down the locking nut, don't use the wrenches
4. The swift springs were 6" not 7" like the fortune ones, so make sure you pre-load appropriate (5 3/4")
6. The top bolt is elongated, and if it is not on the furthest out position the wheel hits the coilover at the locking collar. Even with it pulled out the fitment is tight. I'll be using very slight spacers with extended studs so it shouldn't be an issue.


I still need to let the suspension settle and then I'll redo the adjustments and get an alignment. The car sits much higher than with the previous suspension so I can tell the camber has improved. No more rattling and bouncy feeling when driving which is great. The swift springs feel very nice but after some more driving I'll have a better impression.

Today I'll be installing the Apexi intake that came yesterday and the MR2 Heaven silicone intake elbow, so should have an entirely new intake assembly. I went ahead and ordered MR2Heaven's intercooler kit but it won't come until next week. I wanted to eliminate the BOV on there and have less fail points so I decided to just grab their kit. The setup on there now works totally fine though.

Still waiting on the shfiter to come in, but until then I have plenty of other work. There is a HUGE difference already in how the car feels. I no longer have the feeling of impending doom.. Other than the shifter, there is nothing urgent. More pictures later, want to get out and start working ASAP.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
162 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
More updates and more walls of text. I'll do a big picture dump but I'm exhausted right now.

I started removing the sound system and viper alarm from the car. The PO must have gone with the all the bells and whistles because I pulled out like 3 different modules and a ton of bits and pieces for the alarm system. By the end I had a large trash bag of wires and tons of **** removed from the car.

I'm not sure if the guy that installed the alarm system was a genius or an idiot, because it was a rats nest... and of course they used those little things you just clip onto the wires. So I had to do a bunch of repairs to make sure I didn't get any electrical gremlins later on.

I ended up pulling the dash to properly repair some of the wires since they were so hacked up. So basically the entire interior was out today. There were self tapping screws everywhere.... I started to feel like the PO had just started using them for fun... some of the interior panels had 5-6 holes in them...

I swapped out some of the panels for nice ones I had gathered for my other build where they were really bad.

I also installed the Apexi intake. I was sad to see that the OEM intake has two sections before the AFM and the MR2 Heaven intake tube I got only replaces 1 part. Not sure why they don't offer a complete replacement. Anyways the intake is put together and bolted down tight. No wobbling or banging around.

I managed to get the dash back in and test that the MR2 starts, find which it did. I still need to rewire the fog lights and remove the HIDs but that will be another day. They are completely disconnected. They had wired in an after market switch for the fogs, but I had the OEM switch from my other harness so I put that in and wired it into the stock harness. Not sure if wiring is all there up front.. the PO had run completely new wiring for them and it is so bad. Can't wait to remove it.

The seats are still out and some interior pieces are missing. I'm going to get everything back to normal with a clean wiring harness before I start to add and modify things. I have a set of speakers and a small underseat sub I will put in eventually, but bigger priorities right now.

Oh I also put on an OEM Toyota steering wheel to replace the Momo... can't deal with that.

Since I was under the dash I also started to swap out the throttle cable. I have it pulled off all the way to where it is bolted to the firewall in the engine bay, and the new one is attached to the pedal but will need to be routed.

Overall a super productive day. It started to rain and I'm doing this outside since the other MR2 is taking up the garage, so I had to cut the day short. Plans for the next few days:

1. Run the throttle cable
2. Remove the HIDs
3. Remove the aftermarket fog wiring
4. Repair the OEM wire harness
5. Reinstall the interior
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
119 Posts
Happy to see you making progress. as with most new projects, step 1 is always reversing the damage the previous owner did. you should post a few interior pictures.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
162 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
It is really sad to see how bad some of these cars have gotten. 28 years of being mucked with, so it isn't really a shocker. This poor thing made it through "The Fast and the Furious" era haha.

Here are some photos:

Behind the drivers seat. There was an amplifier here that was... of course... screwed in with self tapping screws.
68653


The sub was here. Unfortunately some permanent damage here since they cut out the metal. I'll most likely clean up the cut a bit, and put a rubber seal on around the edge to make it look more stock. I think I can cut the carpet a bit to the new cut and make it nice and flush. They glued those two wood block in there so it will be fun getting those out.
68654


More screws and half-ass work. I will actually be putting new speakers in back here, so I'll need to clean it up a bit and make a proper mount.
68655


Removing a lot of crap. The boost gauge in the cluster was a pain and again it was tapped into a bunch of wires. I swapped in an OEM cluster from an Non-Turbo. I don't know if the alternator gauge will work. I didn't look when I started the car.
68656


You can see the ignition connector down here with a bunch of splices.
68657


Close up of the clusterfuck
68658


The wife was home yesterday and wanted to do some things so I didn't get out to work on the car. I'll probably get out there a bit today though.
 
1 - 20 of 98 Posts
Top