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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,

I have been looking at either a FD or MR2 for the past few years, and just found a clean MR2 locally that I couldn't pass up.

I just put a deposit down on a 1992 MR2 Turbo with 99k miles. The car looked nearly 100% factory with just a TRD strut brace. Black factory leather interior.

I was looking for a series 3 engine, but I will live to love the series 2.

Hopefully the deal goes through, and I can start contributing to the board.

Here are a few shots of the car at the lot.

Wheel Tire Car Vehicle Cloud

Tire Wheel Car Land vehicle Vehicle


I hope to have the car home in the next few days.

John
 

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Looks nice. Those are 90s 300ZX rims. Looks like some kind of aftermarket exhaust. The "TWIN CAM 16 TURBO" side moldings are a JDM thing, or maybe just a re-production decals. Paint looks too good to be original. The mudguards are a (now valuable) genuine Toyota accessory you could order back when the cars were new.

The rear tires also look a bit larger in diameter than stock. The OEM tires are 205/60-14, which is 23.7" tall. 93+ cars used a 225/50-15 (23.9").

What was their asking price?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I am back. Just picked the car up and drove it 45 minutes home and the car ran flawlessly.

Smooth shifting, engine seemed to be smooth, temp gauge never went past half.

The speedometer appears to be off by about 15 mph, but it works.

All of you experts out there, please let me know what I have going on here.

The first picture looks like a Apexi intake (the intake and turbo noise is pretty loud in the cockpit), looks like a manual boost controller (bleeder type) mounted above the MAF housing.

Motor vehicle Automotive tire Automotive fuel system Automotive exterior Automotive wheel system


The second picture looks like I have some aftermarket intercooler piping. I assume this is a second gen motor since it still has the MAF (not MAP)? Also love the Greddy BOV sound.

Motor vehicle Automotive design Automotive exterior Automotive tire Vehicle


The third picture looks like a stock painted exhaust. The down-pipe looks factory OEM as well.

Tire Automotive parking light Wheel Vehicle Automotive lighting


The fourth picture - I know you probably can't ID the turbo from this picture, but the aluminum makes it seem newish. Maybe an upgrade?
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Automotive design Steering wheel Motor vehicle Automotive tire Steering part


Fifth picture - The aluminum of the intercooler looks too fresh to be factory. Definitely appears to be upgraded.

Automotive parking light Grille Automotive lighting Automotive tire Hood


Sixth picture - I'm guessing this boost gauge isn't factory. It seems to be reading correctly as I was getting about 7-8 psi max at WOT.

Speedometer Odometer Car Tachometer Gauge


Vehicle Steering part Motor vehicle Car seat cover Car


Seventh picture - After looking at about 5 different SW20s, the interior of this one is definitely what sold it for me. The interior is so clean it's hard to believe that this was a 31-year-old car.... I assume that the black leather means its GT spec?

If anyone can clue me on what I have, please let me know as I would greatly appreciate any input.

Thanks.
 

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Manual boost controller ✔
Aftermarket IC ✔
Aftermarket boost gauge (omori?) ✔
Stock CT turbo, but so clean probably rebuilt.
Aftermarket muffler
Leather looks too good to be original, probably recovered.\
Appears to be a TRD (or Tanabe) sway bar in the rear, with urethane bushings.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Probably the wrong place to post this but, i went to test out the manual boost controller and noted it was all the way closed for which i assume is max boost. I followed the lines on the controller down and saw they were not hooked up between the compressor housing and wastegate. They were hooked up between the wastegate and t-vsv. So it looks like they used the boost controller to manipulate the t-vsv instead of the wastegate....

Kind of a weird thing to do. Not sure why... is this a normal thing?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
FYI check your timing when you buy a car right away, don't assume the last guy knew what we was doing.

I have been spending the last 2 months going over every inch of the car getting it to run like a top.

Replaced the alternator. Replaced the shifter with a reproduction C's from a ****** ebay shifter.

The boost controller was hooked up incorrectly so I had to redo it to make it work.

The previous owner had the fuel cut controller set to unlimited, so I changed setting to a 17 psi cut.

So this morning I decide it's time to verify the timing and the base timing is damn near 22 degrees (was counterclockwise of the 20 degree mark)

Rotated the distributor until I hit 10 with TE-1 and E-1 jumped. Idle timing is now 15 degrees instead of 25 degrees. Idle isn't hanging up as much now.

Luckily at 15 psi, I was only doing baby pulls in 2nd gear with fresh 93 octane (no long 3rd and 4th gear pulls).

Car seems fine, but damn those knock sensors must have been doing a good job keeping the motor together.

Will wait till the roads dry up to see how it feels with retarded timing.
 

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Good job checking and verification of essential equipment and settings on your new car. It’s amazing what some owners do with a little info and mods. I’m glad your taking the time to understand what has been changed and then adjusting accordingly.
Although you are concentrating on the mods have you gone through some basic maintenance items such as oil & filters, plugs & dist and tyres & brakes?

jimb
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Plugs looked fine, engine oil is a bit overfilled but looks pretty clean.

Went out and took the car yesterday for a spin and felt like I lost power below 5,000, but the car seemed to be smoother through the rev range..

The car appears to have the factory ECU in it, and with a 10 BTDC base timing it feels slower. Not sure why the previous owner had it up to 22 BTDC base timing, but it did feel faster there.
 

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Seats look like they are recovered, factory seats were perforated.
But, man, looks like a clean car! Looks great.
You nailed everything you asked about, gauge looks like an omori, TRD rear brace (or replica, either way, cool)

Good on you for going over the car, as you and others have stated, sometimes previous owners do weird stuff
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Its the strangest damn thing. After moving the base timing from 22ish back to 10 BTDC, the car seems to have lost 20-30 horsepower below 5k. I used to roast the tires in first and screech them in 2nd. Now its smooth but down on power.

I looked up the factory timing curve online, and adding 12 degrees to it (when the base was at 22) would make the commanded timing extremely aggressive. I can't imagine how the car wasn't previously knocking all over the place, which makes me believe something may be up.

To double check on the white timing mark on the crank pulley, I pulled the wheel off and it was indeed on the notched part of the pulley/balancer. So I know the timing cover marks on the timing belt cover are in the correct spot, and the white mark on the balancer was in the correct spot. After removing the jumper from E1 and TE1, idle timing was at 15 BTDC so I know I was setting timing correctly. I know I was on spark plug wire #1. My timing gun has no adjustment.

The only thing I can think of is that someone replaced the timing belt and misaligned the intake and exhaust cam relative to crank and somehow is reducing the dynamic compression enough to take the aggressive timing or the ECU is not adding the timing it should at WOT. Maybe this explains why the previous owner was soo aggressive on base timing...

Maybe my next step will to shoot the balancer while someone steps on the throttle to manually see the computer add timing above idle speed.

I'm just ranting now, but the car is running great otherwise.
 

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It does seem rather odd that PO would advance the base timing so much. This would add power but make running upper RPM limits very risky. The knock sensor is not that great and although it will pull timing back it does not catch all detonation. If the PO ran 100+ octane fuel and had max boost reduced he may have gotten away with it. Best thing is to pull valve cover and confirm intake/exhaust settings to make sure they have not been tweaked. You may have more mysteries yet to be reveled.

jimb
 

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Haven't there been instances of the inner and outer metal ring portions of old harmonic balancers (crankshaft pulley) moving in relation to each other? In other words, you need to double check that the TDC mark on the outer ring still corresponds to TDC of the crankshaft/pistons when it's at the "0" mark on the lower timing cover.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Haven't there been instances of the inner and outer metal ring portions of old harmonic balancers (crankshaft pulley) moving in relation to each other? In other words, you need to double check that the TDC mark on the outer ring still corresponds to TDC of the crankshaft/pistons when it's at the "0" mark on the lower timing cover.
Good call, I will check to make sure the outer balancer isn't separating. It did look like it was all smooth watching it spin from the top of the motor. Anyone know what the timing mark looks like on the inner part of the pulley/balancer?
 

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I was thinking the same thing when I mentioned checking cam alignment under valve cover. From my understanding if the harmonic balancer separates its fairly obvious when looking at pulley. May need to pull RH rear wheel to see though.

You can see the cam positions under timing cover if you have a dental mirror and flashlight. Can remove a couple of the cover bolts and pry open enough to get mirror in position. Its tricky, but can be done on intake side. Not sure if exhaust can be seen.

If you are not sure about when cam belt was replaced it may be worth digging into front end all the same to verify condition, marks and if parts have been changed. With an engine like this and unknown mods anything is possible. Pulling cover is not straight forward and often it will be broken when attempting removal.
 

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Yes, the top timing cover is a PITA to actually remove. You'd think it would just slide up and out once the 4 or 5 perimeter bolts are removed, however there's one last bolt in the middle though a support "post" that's part of the plastic molding. Getting that post clear of the pulleys requires unbolting the RH engine mount from the engine and moving it out of the way. Actually removing that mount is even more fun, but it's not necessary to remove the upper cover.
 
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