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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I bought my '93T MR2 approximately 12 years ago with 125k miles on it. It has been my daily driver since then and has been a great car. I am getting ready to do a bit of a refresh and some upgrades with the car now at just under 200k miles. The car currently rides on stock suspension with ROTA D2 wheels (front: 205/40/17x7.5) and (rear: 245/40/17x8.5), 94+ tail lights, old school GReddy TD06 & downpipe, ATS racing external wastegate kit vented to atmosphere, APEXi intake, OBX b-pipe, stock muffler, KO Racing hotpipe, custom intercooler pipes, eBay sidemount intercooler, and MBC set @ 15psi.

The suspension makes some clunking noises now and then and the TD06 needs a rebuild as the lines are leaking a lot of oil and the turbo has major shaft play. This thread will document much of what is going into this project. My goals for this car are to max out the stock fuel system before MAYBE shooting for 325-350rwhp.

Here are two pictures of the car in its current form:
20200216_160815.jpg 20200216_160800.jpg

The following list is comprised of the actual parts going into this project. I will include part numbers and supporting pictures. I am still debating if I want to stay with stock muffler or go with a 3" aftermarket exhaust (Note: front ball joints were done about a year ago)

KO Racing 3" intake (ceramic coated black)
KO Racing T3/T4 turbo (billet 48 trim / .48 turbine A/R) custom fabricated
  • Compressor housing (polished)
  • Turbine housing (ceramic coated black)
  • KO Racing downpipe (v-band)
  • Precision 40mm black wastegate (v-band)
  • Wastegate dump tube rerouted to downpipe
20200218_163256.jpg 20200218_163302.jpg
"New" valve cover (powder coated black) w/ valve cover socket head bolt kit
"New" 9-bolt exhaust manifold (ceramic coated black) my current one has two cracks on the runners

20200212_215215.jpg 20200214_144221.jpg 20200212_215259.jpg

Distributor cap - OEM: 19101-88364
Distributor o-ring - OEM: 90099-14090
NGK spark plugs BKR7E - 4644
Spark plug wires - OEM: 90919-21536
Rotor - OEM: 19102-74040
Exhaust manifold gasket - OEM: 17173-88381
Turbo to exhaust manifold gasket - OEM: 17278-88381
Valve Cover Gasket (outer) - OEM: 11213-88381
Valve Cover Gasket (inner) - OEM: 11214-88381
Engine oil filler cap - OEM: 12180-55010

20200221_151337.jpg 20200212_223100.jpg 20200212_222832.jpg

Celica GTS clutch/brake pedal covers - OEM: 31321-53010
Eibach Pro-Kit - 8215.140
KONI yellow strut inserts (front) - 8641-1220
KONI yellow strut inserts (rear) - 8641-1221
KYB strut boot/bump stops - SB103
Ball Joint: Rear (2) - OEM: 43330-39275
Upper Mount: Front (2) - OEM: 48609-17030
Upper Mount: Rear (2) - OEM: 48750-17040
Cover Under Engine - OEM: 51442-17010
Steering rack bushing - OEM: 45522-12040
TRU Sway bar end links (front)
TRU Sway bar end links (rear)
TRU Inner tie rod ends (front)
TRU Outer tie rod ends (front)
TRU Steering rack bellows



Since all parts are in except for the intake, turbo kit, and manifold (which should be here in the next week or so) I am hoping to start either this week or next week. This will be a fun project to be completed by my brother and I! Thanks for looking and of course any input or advice is encouraged and appreciated. I'm excited to see what this is all like when it's done and I hope you all enjoy the project as well!
 

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I just bought an OEM rotor as well. Do you have a bit of black/white corrosion on the tip of it? Thinking about getting a warranty replacement but not sure if it's normal or if all of them are going to have it. Might just have to polish it off and live with it.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I just bought an OEM rotor as well. Do you have a bit of black/white corrosion on the tip of it? Thinking about getting a warranty replacement but not sure if it's normal or if all of them are going to have it. Might just have to polish it off and live with it.
20200224_030705.jpg 20200224_030645.jpg

These are pics of the brand new one. It is normal, don't polish it off.
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Front suspension is done! Mounts, struts, springs, and sway bar end links are installed! Took about 3.5hrs with only a few minor snags. Below are just a few pics of the install process. I'm not going to document the whole install as there are other (frankly, better) step-by-steps already out there.

First pic is of the factory strut assembly removed with brake line bracket cut. Apparently, Toyota didn't care to make the brake line removable without disconnecting and re-bleeding the whole system. Also, a shot of the assembly on the spring compressor with OEM 10-piece strut boot).

20200225_164348.jpg 20200225_164803.jpg

Front mount (old @ 200k mi) vs (new) :

20200225_172535.jpg

First pic is the removal of the gland nut on the factory strut. This thing was on pretty tight so we just notched it and impacted it off. Was not about to try wrenching this thing off. Koni insert installed (2nd pic)

20200225_181929.jpg 20200225_170812.jpg

After installing the completed driver's side assembly first, we noticed on the passenger side strut that the KYB bump stop was not pushed down far enough to expose the notch in the top of the insert. We had to take it back out and fix the mounting orientation.

20200225_183925.jpg

Completed strut with fancy (whole) boot and bump stop (tool cart for effect):

20200225_183926.jpg

So far the car feels really good, however, it's obviously not an ideal assessment as it is only half of the suspension complete. I am thinking of only doing the Eibach springs in the front and not the rear.
 

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I like that you are using as many OEM parts as possible since its getting harder and harder to find them. Looks good!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I like that you are using as many OEM parts as possible since its getting harder and harder to find them. Looks good!
Thanks! I'm big on using OEM parts if they are available and at least "reasonably" priced. Additionally, I prefer to use OEM for any moving parts if possible.
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
Rear suspension is done! It took about 3 hours to do the strut inserts, TRU sway bar endlinks, Eibach springs, and OEM mounts & ball joints. Everything went pretty smoothly except for the ball joints which took finding a proper ball joint puller (Toyota PN-09628-62011-01)
Also installed the under engine panel I was missing (51442-17010).

20200301_132712.jpg 20200301_133704.jpg 20200301_141304.jpg 20200301_135328.jpg 20200301_143455.jpg 20200301_155220.jpg 20200301_150248.jpg

Here is a before and after shot of rear height. You can see a slight difference but it's likely that everything still needs to settle.

20200301_131101a.jpg 20200301_131101b.jpg

Hopefully I can get in some driving to test out this new setup but so far it feels great! Next will be inner/outer tie-rods and still waiting on the delivery of the turbo kit.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
The remaining upgrade parts have finally arrived and everything looks beautiful! I'm not sure when I'll be able to do everything, however, I can't wait to get these parts installed. I will post another update after everything is in.


20200321_123129.jpg 20200321_123130.jpg 20200321_123131.jpg
20200321_123121.jpg 20200321_123122.jpg 20200321_123123.jpg
20200321_123124.jpg 20200321_123126.jpg 20200321_123127.jpg 20200321_123132.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
Today we were able to replace both e-brake cables as well as complete the (manual) steering rack refresh (inner/outer tie rods, rack bushing, and boots). I had a considerable amount of play in the rack due to the worn out bushing. All in all this took about 3.5hrs.

Drivers side e-brake cable was worn but the passenger side cable was completely broken. This is the first time I've had a fully functioning e-brake in years. It really feels nice!

E-brake broken side before/after:
EBrake00.jpg EBrake01.jpg


Steering rack before/after:
Rack01.jpg Rack02.jpg

The rack bushing was a PITA to remove as it was difficult to get the three tabs to unseat within the rack. Had to mangle it a bit but was able to get it out eventually.

RackBushing01.jpg RackBushing02.jpg RackBushing03.jpg

Picture of where the three tabs on the bushing lock in within the rack:
RackBushing04.jpg

New rack bushing installed:
RackBushing07.jpg


I'm still awaiting an alignment, however, I've owned this car for 12 years and it's insane how much better/different it feels with this refresh. The ball/socket on the new outer tie rods were immovable by hand whereas the OEM ones could be moved with one finger. The steering is so much tighter and more responsive than it was before. Additionally, all vibration and play in the rack has been removed with the new rack bushing. The steering rack refresh is easily the most noticeable improvement we've made to this car thus far. All that's left to do are the performance upgrades!
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
We were able to get the alignment done today and also installed the MR2Heaven "Arm Rest Reinforcement Kit". My elbow was starting to wear through the driver's side door arm rest. I was skeptical about this product but the arm rest is solid as a rock now. The piece was a little pricey for what it is, however, it was worth it to save my door panel (JB weld was included with piece).

Alignment results:
Alignment01.jpg Alignment02.png


Door panel before and after:
20200326_162504.jpg 20200326_165146.jpg
20200326_165154.jpg 20200326_171457.jpg

I haven't had a chance to really drive the car much since the suspension, tie rods, and alignment but so far it feels great!
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
Installed some gauge cluster aluminum bezel rings from MR2 Heaven and changed some LEDs in the cluster/key ring as well. Unfortunately, only 2 of the 5 bezel rings snapped in tightly while the other 3 would fall right out. Ultimately, I had to glue them in for them to fit correctly.

I originally had some HAMIST 194 20-smd 12v LED bulbs (white) from amazon but they made the cluster look purpleish. I replaced them with some "cool white" 6500k LEDs from SuperBrightLEDs.com and also installed a red LED in the key ring. Links for the bulbs I used are below the pictures. I used to be very skeptical about the aluminum bezels, however, I am very happy with how they turned out especially with the old school EMS Powered digital boost gauge.

Before/After bezels:

01.jpg 02.jpg

LEDs on:

013.jpg 014.jpg



https://www.superbrightleds.com/moreinfo/miniature-and-subminiature-bulbs/74-led-bulb-1-smd-led-miniature-wedge-retrofit-car/227/1065/
 

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Discussion Starter #18
It has finally begun...here is the removal of all of the old parts:

Filthy engine bay with closeups of TD06 with minor (major) oil leakage:
20200328_111223.jpg 20200328_112307.jpg 20200328_113526.jpg

Turbo & manifold removal:
20200328_121034.jpg 20200328_122457.jpg

We were lucky enough that only one stud broke when taking off the manifold (note shiny new stud):
20200328_125751.jpg

Oil pan removed to reapply seal (RTV):
20200328_144740.jpg

Intercooler removed to install SPAL fan w/ shroud:
20200328_161058.jpg

KO T3/T4 .48 trim billet -vs- GReddy TDO6-20g comparison:
20200328_170256.jpg

KO downpipe -vs- GReddy downpipe:
20200328_170440.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #19 (Edited)
The kit is in! The removal of everything in the post above took about 8hrs and the installation of everything in this post (turbo, manifold, intake, SPAL fan, valve cover) was approximately another 8.5hrs including cleanup. In addition to the performance parts listed, we changed the distributor o-ring, resealed the oil pan, and replaced the valve cover gaskets with the new powder coated valve cover. Even though we knew the old GReddy-20g was blown and its oil feed line was busted, there was so much oil around that we decided to sure up any possible culprits.

Anti-seize was applied to all studs and bolts on this install. Aside from the one broken manifold stud and us forgetting to put the oil drain line on the turbo before mounting it 🤦 there was not a single hiccup in this installation. Since we forgot to install the drain line before mounting the turbo, the front motor mount had to be removed to get clearance to tighten the fitting on the turbo side. Progress pics below and before and after shots in the next post!


Turbo and manifold in + wastegate installed and fresh SPAL fan mounted on intercooler:
20200328_175735.jpg 20200328_200529.jpg 20200329_121229.jpg

Oil drain line and downpipe:

20200328_183947.jpg 20200328_184016.jpg

KO hotpipe and intake elbow installed:
20200329_155420.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I couldn't be happier with how it all turned out. This turbo spools a good 450-500rpm sooner than the previous GReddy-20g! By replacing that terribly cracked OEM intake hose with the KO intake kit, my idling issues have been fixed (from 1200rpm to 750-850rpm) Also, my previous setup had the wastegate vented to atmosphere and I must say, now having it rerouted to the downpipe is so much nicer. Finally, the noise from the intake side of this kit is like nothing I've heard before...just awesome!

Here are the before/after pictures of the engine and turbo:

20200329_172500.jpg 20200329_172501.jpg

20200329_172502.jpg 20200329_172503.jpg

LMK if anyone has any questions and thanks for reading!
 
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