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Discussion Starter #181
Been working on lowering the S2000 driver seat. I'm kinda stuck on the foam rebuilding part of things, so I ordered some different spray adhesive and an electric carving knife that I can use and not have the wife yell at me when she catches me cutting foam with the turkey cutting knife...

But here's the progress so far:

Cut brackets and drilled spot welds off that hold back of S2000 seat pan into brackets. This is a big draw of the S2000 seats, with almost nothing underneath the pan, so you can drop it low with very little to deal with jutting into the pan:



Took a SWAG on how much I could cut the seat pan where it would interfere with the floor pan of the MR2. This is the only section that hangs down low in the back:



Can see thickness I cut out here (it's about 1" or so):



Put some brackets on that dropped the seat pan just above the slider release mechanism:



I checked the drop, and while it was good, it wasn't quite as far as I wanted it to go and it looked like minor hammer beating of the pan would only buy me ~1/4" more. I had lowered the pan about 3/4", but wanted another 3/4" or so. I ended up making new brackets that dropped the pan bolts below the slider mechanisms. For some reason I didn't get a good shot of the new brackets (was in a rush to finish up I think), but here it is with a total of a ~1.5" drop in the back and ~1" up front:



You can see I drilled a new hole and welded a new M10 nut up about 1" above the two front nuts that bolt the seat brackets to the seat pan.

Here's a better shot of the front nuts that are added to drop the front 1", and I also had to create a large clearance hump for the slider release mechanism. I cut and bent up a strip, then couldn't get it quite stable with a couple of tack welds, so I put another piece of 22 ga 304 stainless sheet to help stabilize it. The stainless sheet was honest too thin to reliably MIG weld, so it looks pretty rough. I also beat in some areas that need clearance for the slider release mechanism to rotate - again, mildly rough. But no one can see it, so the pan is done and mounted!

Time to attack the seat foam. I cut out the rough 1" section I took off the pan:



Also took off the outer bolster foam since it was completely wrecked. The S2000 seat pan has a metal rod that bends up and supports the bolster, but it will destroy the foam if a fatty keeps sliding across the small bolster and it's only reacting against this ~8 mm steel rod. It tends to cut/degrade the foam right around the rod, so it came out super easy, and this way I can cut out the degraded foam and rebuild it closer to stock strength and shape. A replacement bottom seat foam is over $300+shipping from Honda, so unfortunately, that's not in the budget, although it would save time.




I tried to glue the bolster back together, and it just didn't go as smoothly as I thought it would, so I'm going to try some new adhesive and see if it goes better.



I've thought about leather colors, and I think I am leaning towards the BMW Modena color. I think it'd pop with the MR2 Turquoise Pearl Metallic, and it won't clash with the carpet color. I want a vibrant but classy color. BMW Cinnamon looks good with darker stuff around it, but I just can't see it working great with the light carpet.


Here's some Modena examples I really like:










I think I'd also get some Lloyd's floor mats in a close match to Modena to tie the interior together a bit more. I have some MR2 Heaven reproduction mats, and I'm honestly not very pleased with them for floor mats. They move all over the place, and they're shockingly thin and cheap feeling. Like Wal-Mart $14.99 universal floor mat cheap feeling. I think that thin feeling is fine for the trunk mat, but I'm definitely disappointed in the floor mats. So this looks like a good chance to change them to something that's going to match the interior better and bring it all together.


Let me know what you guys think. Color changing the interior leather a decent amount (seats + leather door panels) feels like a big leap for me, and I usually don't do stuff this drastic to interiors so I do have some doubts. It feels like it'll turn out well, but I'd really hate to be disappointed in it. I guess I can always dye the leather back if it's really horrid...
 

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Discussion Starter #182
Well, no one here called me a dumbass for the color choice... or said much of anything - so I went ahead and bought a full leather repair kit with BMW Modena dye from Leather World Technologies. They get good reviews, so I'll see how it goes...

I did some more work to the S2000 driver's seat in the meantime... doing some custom mods to hopefully make things last a bit longer this time around. There's a 6 mm diameter steel rod that supports the outer lower bolster, but it beats the foam pad up quick if someone puts their weight on it, almost cutting through/breaking down the foam. So I added a central 1/4" stainless rod going down to the seat pan, and also put a 1/8" x 3/4" stainless flat bar connecting the back part of this to hopefully give the foam more area to rest against. I ground it flush after some spot welds:



Here's the seat pan rear mounts, below the slider mechanism:



Covered bits of the seat pan that interface with the foam with felt to help give the foam something soft to move against. Mostly the front seat pan bolts and the bolster steel rod support. Also put some 1/8" neoprene on the lower part of the seat pan (it's more dense/stiffer than regular seat foam for its thickness):





Glued in some new foam, supported with duct tape to help it all maintain its shape and make it more rigid:




Put some small bits of neoprene to support areas that were a bit more nackered, glued them in, and then taped over to help support it all even more:




Wrapped the bolster in firm 1/8" neoprene foam to give it a smooth/uniform appearance and further protect the foam underneath. Pulling the bolster leather over should smooth out everything and make it taut:





About ready to go back together, I just need to put in seat heater elements (I can wire later when I get time), and then I'm going to start the dying process. The driver's seat has the most wear and nicks on it, so I figure I'll start with it, because why not...
 

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wont call you a dumbass for the color choice, because I feel its way better than the OEM s2k seat color.
 

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Discussion Starter #184
Been repairing the driver's seat, taking my time and abiding by the mantra that 99% of a job like this is in the prep.

Here's the seat after I really cleaned off the worn driver's bolster and hit it with some grey scotchbrite to clean up some of the wear/cuts in the stock leather dye and one hole by the seam. It looks worse than in person being up close, but if gives you an idea of what I'm working with:



Small crack on top headrest area:



Minor creasing here on the shoulder bolster area:





I put some adhesive on the hole by the bolster seam, and then started with leather filler. I didn't want to fill in every little crease in the leather with this work, as the leather has some age on it, and I feel like that's a bigger risk of more cracking in the future. Light filling in of the larger creases will help support the leather, and hopefully extend its life. I ended up making 3 passes with the filler with sanding and buffing between each pass. Overall it ended up being very smooth to the feel and really erasing a lot of the bigger creases. You can see the outside bolster, little spot on the inside bolster, shoulder area, and headrest:




Then I did some testing of the Modena dye on the rear section which is vinyl. I figure best to learn here before moving to the front. I used the supplied sponge, but I don't like how streaky and light the coats are. I made 4 passes with a heat gun in between to help really dry the dye and get a good bond, but it's still splotchy in some areas. I got a small airbrush kit, so I'm going to get that setup to spray some dye and see how that goes.

But this gives you an idea of the color change:



Difference back to front:




The Modena dye looks orange-ish compared to the stock Honda retirement beige, but I can already start seeing the rich color come together. I think once it's finally done completely it'll look really sweet and bring it all together with a nice bold color.

I'm hoping to install some seat heaters and finish up the dye job by the end of this weekend, but the crack filler on the bottom seat might push me over that time limit since it takes quite a bit of time to do multiple passes.
 

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Discussion Starter #185
Did a few more coats on the back, and started hitting the sides and top a bit. Think I'll do one more coat on the rear and sides and call that good, then maybe hit the front a bit tonight if I get some time.

Looking nice and rich. Having it all be one color makes me more confident I made the right call for the look I was going for. Looks much classier and sportier than the Honda retirement beige!

 

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I, personally, like that color.
My friend had a Mcoupe with that same color seat and it's a great color. Not one I'd originally have thought of, but when you see it in person it makes sense, just looks great

Love the work youre doing, keep us updated
 

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Discussion Starter #187
Haven't updated this in a while. Been trudging along with the seat dye and rebuliding some foam in the S2000 seat. It was A LOT of work, and I've again shown myself I'm not a trim guy, but I think it turned out pretty good overall.

Seat all dyed up, bolsters rebuilt (to the best of my ability), and lower seat pan dropped down about 1.5-1.7" in the rear, about 1" up front. You can see the rear gap between the lower and upper seat parts, but it's not really noticeable when installed in the car.



Installed seat heaters on the driver's seat. Needed a place out of the way to mount the switch. I bent up this 16 ga 6061 aluminum bracket to mount it between the seat and the center console:





Painted up, and mounted to the seat rails on some existing holes that I had to drill/tap and helicoil down to M6 (they were like .020" too large to effectively tap to 1/4"-28, so while some threads were barely cut, they had no strength). The helicoil'd M6 holes are super strong.



Installed an M6 rivnut that I shortened down in the mini lathe in an existing hole in the seat pan to mount the seat heater relay:



Everything installed. The seat rail sits about 1/4" off the seat carpet where the switch wiring passes under it. Things were too tight to fish it between the seat and seat pan, and the lower rails don't move relative to the carpet, so this should be good.



Installed!



You can see the difference in color from passenger to driver's seat (nevermind that half the interior is still taken apart, been doing wiring/cleaning up various things in the car).


Seat heater switch is easily accessible, very hidden - exactly what I was going for:




Lloyd's carpet mat samples:



I kinda like the one second from top on the left row (brown-ish/tan). It's really thick (their 1/2" thick Luxe mat line), but I am not 100% opposed to it. This is a street very light track car, so a little GT cruiser fits with my vision of the car. The color is a little more bland than I was looking for tho'.. At least in the size of a sample. I know it gets bolder the bigger something is... Just need to think on it. What's everybody else's opinions?


Also ordered a ton of stuff, notable stuff is all the Wilwood stuff for Alex W's brake kit front and rear (stock calipers were spray painted red - yuck, I really don't want to try to strip it... it looks super thick), and some 17x8.5 +30 and 17x9.5 +38 Enkei RPF1's. Also a big Vibrant intercooler to test out a theory... but that will probably wait until summer or later to be enacted.
 

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In the picture with your seat installed, the color contrast between your new seat color and the teal looks spot on. Nice progress.
 

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Discussion Starter #189
I haven't updated this thread in a while, but I've been plugging away at the MR2 when I get time.

I dyed the other S2000 seat BMW Modena. Looks good - but definitely need to do the leather door panels at some point in the future. They don't clash with the lighter carpet as much as I thought they might. I need to get some new floor mats though - really not a fan of the MR2 Heaven mats - they're cheap, thin, and move around a ton.



On other interior news, I have an annoying rattle in the firewall area that goes away when I removed the upper plastic trim piece by the rear window and the console storage bin. Not sure what is causing it, but I think it was the upper trim piece. I think I might cover the bottom in thick felt then reinstall and see if that fixes it.

Tried to thread a big piece of aluminum tube to M55 x 2 mm internal thread to use on some M55 threaded sleeves for Koni 861x I made. It was a total failure, with the mini-lathe just not having enough stiffness to really do a thread that large accurately. It was a good learning opportunity, and I thought it might not work out, but now I know!



Made a MAP sensor orifice that's ~1 mm/.040" in diameter to help damp out MAP sensor pulsations. It definitely made things a little better, but I think I could go even smaller. Maybe something to do in the future.... This allowed me to turn down the filtering (i.e. running average of sensor data, more filtering = more weight to past average) on the MAP sensor, which makes it more accurate during big changes. I might try a 0.020-0.025" orifice and see how it reacts.




I've tuned the AEM Infinity up to ~18 psi on the EFR, and it's definitely strong. The 3S does like to knock at even conservative timing values in the midrange - and I think it might be timing scatter. I'm running ~7-10 deg in the 3-4k RPM range at 10-15 psi and it's still knocking sometimes there. I've thought about maybe tossing a hall crank sensor on with a 12 tooth crank wheel. No way I'd pay the $300+ I've seen "kits" go for. I'd just get some universal trigger wheel and make it work and fab up the little hall sensor bracket at that point.


I plan on some big changes to suspension/brakes in the near future... so I think I'm going to let the engine keep doing its thing. It drives great now compared to when I was running the MS PNP2, and I love being able to change the boost on the fly.
 

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Regarding your crank sensor - I believe a later Toyota may have the right parts to do a crank sensor addition to the engine. It's funny how this is such a big issue across a number of 90s engines in the transition to more modern EFI.
 

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Discussion Starter #191
Aye - a 4th gen 3S-GTE has a crank sensor... I just wonder if it's worth it to keep going down the Gen 2 3S rabbit hole with more and more money spent on a stock 2L longblock... It's got a bunch of bolt-ons and nice turbo... but I do question if trying to shoehorn a single turbo on a 2GR is maybe a little smarter in the long run. It's not something I want to do soon though...

I could easily see doing the OEM new oil pump + crank drive gear + OEM sensor etc. running into the $300+ range... which is where it starts to not make any sense.

But I hear you that the parts are there. Nissan SR20DETs had a CAS run off the exhaust cam which works fine because the chain drive setup... cam belt drive was never something I liked for reasons like this.
 

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Just read through your entire post. Very refreshing and encouraging especially with my new interest in reviving my MR2. Certainly an inspiration. I am the one who touched based with you on the AEM forum.
Will update you of my findings with the AEM ECU install. Thanks for sharing
 

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Discussion Starter #193
Glad you enjoyed the read - let me know if the calibration worked at all for you. I still need to clean up my notes and post them as a guide so maybe others put AEM Infinity's on their car.

I will say it's been really nice having a reliable EMS on the car. I look back and realized I was struggling a huge amount with the Megasquirt PNP2 on a regular basis. At least you can see the readings so you can troubleshoot much quicker than a stock tuned ECU with no real diagnostic info sent back to you other than vague trouble codes if you're lucky - horrible way to run a really modded car (I know, I did the tune stock ECU thing a lot on Nissans back ~15-18 years ago - good solution back then, not one now IMO).


Going to go pick up $100 in metal for the next suspension project tomorrow. :p
 

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I am using the Caldina electronics with the 36-2 wheel and Cam sensor. Had a challenge to get it started as per the instruction. Used the Universal 36-2 Cam crank settings in the wizard and sink to 10 BTDC. Car never started. With the sync at 10 deg btdc I had a TrigOffset of 145 degrees. Did some trouble shooting especially paying attention to the to the Cam and Crank sensors to verify they were providing falling edge signals. Cam sensor had to be reversed was off but still did not start.
At the set timing I was getting spark on all cylinders and all sparkplugs were wet at the tip which suggested that the injectors were opening. As such there was a strong suspicion that we had the wrong Offset angle.
Got a diagram of the 36-2 wheel and noticed that before TDC was 215 degrees and after was 145 degrees. The 145 corresponded with what I was seeing on my timing trigger offset.
I was not certain of the Cam position as I am using after market cams (GSC S2 position looks similar to the stock caldina st215 intake cam ) which happen to have a hole that was able to have the cam positioning installed.
But then I had the setting for sequential and not wasted spark, as such I added 360 degrees to the trigger offset and voila, It started up.
So with the AEM Infinity on the Caldina ST215 with all of its electronics the settings are:
Crank and Cam falling edge polarity
Cam crank settings in the wizard Universal 36-2 mag crank & mag cam
Sync the motor to the AEM at 10 deg btdc, I got an ofset of 145 degrees (may be different with stock caldina cams)
With sequential COP add 360 degrees. (might try batch sometime in the future to see where the settings are)
This places my offset at 505 degrees. Not sure where it will be with the stock ST215 cam with the stock pick up location
For a while now I have been searching for the typical values for the Caldina using the stock electronics and was not successful.
I used the EMS-4 for a while and was not able to get in running as sequential even with a renoun tuner.

Hope my findings held AEM infinity ST215 3SGTE installers.
Need to neat up wires and get some time to return to continue the process.
 

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Discussion Starter #195
Posted a guide on how to wire up an AEM Infinity 506 to a 3S-GTE harness. It also has some notes on my install (like my bulkhead wiring connector, traction control voltage divider etc.). I figure it should calm people down if they're nervous about wiring up a standalone in this car. All in all - it was an easy install, with a 26.5 trigger offset using G1 as the cam sync.


Got a 9" IC fan shroud from MR2 Heaven, and the nutserts weren't installed/crimped at all! Just sitting in there loose. So annoying... so I did it myself rather than complain to the vendor who will probably say you can hope and pray the nutsert doesn't spin (they all did). Thankfully I found it out before installation. Also put in a seal for the fan:









Made some pinch weld interfaces for jack stands. My car had moderately beat up pinch welds, but I straightened them out and now have these plus some magnetic ones I bought.




Started working on double height adjustable Koni 8611's. I made these housings a while ago, and sold a bunch to Nissan guys, but they never really took off as much as I thought they would...

Bought a set of cheap coilovers that are also M55x2 threaded to gut them for their bits:







Had to chase the threads due to weld distortion in the housings after welding... so I made a thread chaser out of the old shock bodies and welded a 1" aluminum hex onto the gland nut to zip them in and out to chase them a bunch of times. A tap would be better, but they're like $100+. Ain't nobody got cash for that...






Made some front sway bar endlinks out of 5/8" aluminum hex (6061-T651):



Few weld shots:





Rear sway bar attachment - I put them way down so I was not welding over the threads.... was scarred from having to try to correct the thread profile on the front brackets.



Rears came out great with no real thread distortion that I could measure or notice. The fronts needed some thread chasing with the housings and I also ran them across the mini lathe a few dozen times chasing things... They're still not perfect, but close enough. I view them as like 4.5" long M55 distorted thread lock nuts... emphasis on the distorted.


Front stuff going together:



Bolted up, checking travel -




The nice thing on these housings is I can dial in the housing so it makes bumpstop contact precisely when I want it to, to maximize travel. I'm going to run a stiffer bumpstop up front since things seem more travel limited there. The soft Koni bumpstop will be in the rear.
 

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Discussion Starter #196
BTW - I am glad I have a 200 amp TIG machine, as most of those welds were at 190 A and foot to the floor most the weld. The few that are more shaky I had guessed something like 165-175 A would be enough and I was having to wait a bit on the puddle. Plus I am just a weekend hack and definitely not the best welder. I'll say I've welded more mild steel on the MR2 in the last year than I've welded since I got my TIG machine back 7 years ago! It's good to get some practice on it.
 

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Any recommendation on how to straighten the pinch welds? Only one seems to be a little bent up on this one, just don't want to screw it up further.
 

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Discussion Starter #199
Hot.

Come play at the ridge soon!
I’d love to. Pretty busy at home with toddlers. Maybe later this summer I’ll take her out for a shake down. Otherwise next year looks prime.

Any recommendation on how to straighten the pinch welds? Only one seems to be a little bent up on this one, just don't want to screw it up further.
I used vise grips and gentle persuasion to straighten them out.
 
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