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Discussion Starter #1
I bought this 1987 T-top in 2000 for $2500. It was a survivor car - untouched and probably parked winters. It had about 113,000 miles on it or thereabouts. I drove it for about 4 years and started to notice increasing amounts of oil useage and um, contrails...

I started to look at rebuilding and found that it would be cheaper to buy a JDM engine from ebay than to go through the lengthly and uncertain process of a real rebuild. I'd had mixed results with non-american, non-V8 machine shop work in the past, plus not having all the tools and resources I used to have as a tool and die maker.

So, around 2004/5, I bought a 4age 20-valve BlackTop based on MR2oc forums' build threads. It took about a year, working with a mashup of various posts and approaches, but the result was what the car should have been in the first place (IMHO). Revvy and great sounding at speed. (OK, more revvy) I also rebuilt the suspension and brakes.


I kept messing about with the suspension over the years of autocross and track days, getting the alignment, ride height, and grip worked out. That process is an ouroboros of modification, break something, fix it, another mod, break something else, fix, mod, etc.

It's been feeling a little tired recently, and I've been looking to get a little more pep back into it. It took 2 years of dithering - rebuild, 4agte, 2zz, 2ar, 3sgte, Beams blacktop, k20, round and round.

So without going into all the considerations (so many posts on the forums about which engine; Much emotion! Wow!), I finally got on the mk1.5 train. Due to market forces ;-), I wound up getting a "gen5" 3sgte, based on TCS's assurance they could make the gen5 ECU work.

Aquiring an engine and transmission through the internet requires a certain dedication to communication. It seems that most used engine sellers are taciturn folks - maybe they think messages cost by the word? Anyway, eventually, I bought a gen5 3sgte from Alberta, Canada, and an s54 LSD from Savanna, Ga.

I extracted the existing wiring harnesses from the car, new engine, plus the ECU and sent them to Justin at TSC. Justin was very helpful over the phone in helping me get the whole process started. I set up a todo spreadshheet and scoured the forums to see what others had done. Not too many Gen5s in AW11s...

Timing belt kit, flywheel/clutch/pressure plate,(the Caldinas were all automatics I think), NA axles, fuel pump, gasket and seals. Lots 'o parts...
I've collected a few more tools since 2004, so I felt more confident I could make the engine mounts myself; so far, so good. The mount description by MR220v is an invaluble starting point for those inclined to roll your own no-cut style.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Even before ordering the engine and trans, I relocated the battery to the frunk.
I'm not sure there's any particular advantage in my case, but I wanted to have the maximum room in the engine bay.
The Odyssey 680mt has just enough poop to work for the BT. I may have to get something stouter for the new engine.

I used 00ga wire; a bit of overkill. I put extra insulation at rub points. I had a giant audio fuse I bought years ago when I first was thinking about relocating the battery. Since I wound up with a very light Odyssey in the engine compartment, I never used it. I also had a kill switch from way, way back, so I threw that in too.


Next task - out with the old.

I tagged all the wires and hoses.

My 20v to cat to 4agze muffler exhaust, complete with original and wideband O2 bungs.
just visible below the right hand hanger is a welded in bypass. I like to hear a little noise on the track ;-)
 

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Discussion Starter #3
While waiting for the engine and transmission to arrive, I removed the gas tank to
replace the fuel pump. It's literally wedged in the tunnel with rubber strips. There's a
hinged brace at towards the rear. I'm sure there were design considerations for that
setup, but maybe they just let the apprentice work on it by himself...

I bought an AEM 320lpm pump that was advertised for the AW11. In a continuing theme, I
found that it could be made to work, but was definitely not exact fit. Kinda like the
"OEM" radiator hoses that were an inch short.

Removal and replacement of the tank was a very physical task! I felt like I was
wrestling an alligator, upside down under the car, trying to get the very stiff filler
hose in place simultaneously with getting the front in place. My vocabulary was used
extensively...
 

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I bought this 1987 T-top in 2000 for $2500. It was a survivor car - untouched and probably parked winters. It had about 113,000 miles on it or thereabouts. I drove it for about 4 years and started to notice increasing amounts of oil useage and um, contrails...

I started to look at rebuilding and found that it would be cheaper to buy a JDM engine from ebay than to go through the lengthly and uncertain process of a real rebuild. I'd had mixed results with non-american, non-V8 machine shop work in the past, plus not having all the tools and resources I used to have as a tool and die maker.

So, around 2004/5, I bought a 4age 20-valve BlackTop based on MR2oc forums' build threads. It took about a year, working with a mashup of various posts and approaches, but the result was what the car should have been in the first place (IMHO). Revvy and great sounding at speed. (OK, more revvy) I also rebuilt the suspension and brakes.


I kept messing about with the suspension over the years of autocross and track days, getting the alignment, ride height, and grip worked out. That process is an ouroboros of modification, break something, fix it, another mod, break something else, fix, mod, etc.

It's been feeling a little tired recently, and I've been looking to get a little more pep back into it. It took 2 years of dithering - rebuild, 4agte, 2zz, 2ar, 3sgte, Beams blacktop, k20, round and round.

So without going into all the considerations (so many posts on the forums about which engine; Much emotion! Wow!), I finally got on the mk1.5 train. Due to market forces ;-), I wound up getting a "gen5" 3sgte, based on TCS's assurance they could make the gen5 ECU work.

Aquiring an engine and transmission through the internet requires a certain dedication to communication. It seems that most used engine sellers are taciturn folks - maybe they think messages cost by the word? Anyway, eventually, I bought a gen5 3sgte from Alberta, Canada, and an s54 LSD from Savanna, Ga.

I extracted the existing wiring harnesses from the car, new engine, plus the ECU and sent them to Justin at TSC. Justin was very helpful over the phone in helping me get the whole process started. I set up a todo spreadshheet and scoured the forums to see what others had done. Not too many Gen5s in AW11s...

Timing belt kit, flywheel/clutch/pressure plate,(the Caldinas were all automatics I think), NA axles, fuel pump, gasket and seals. Lots 'o parts...
I've collected a few more tools since 2004, so I felt more confident I could make the engine mounts myself; so far, so good. The mount description by MR220v is an invaluble starting point for those inclined to roll your own no-cut style.
Oooo Gen5, nice! How does TCS get past the ecu immobilizer?

How do you like your quick Jacks? I was debating on getting those or waiting and looking into a 2 post maxjax.

Sent from my SM-G900W8 using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Justin did not reveal his secret; he just said that he could :)
The harness came in a wiregap box...

The quick jack lifts work perfectly for me aside from the actual engine removal part that needed about a foot more height.
I can use a creeper to get anywhere under the car. The best part is being able to move them completely out of the way when I'm not working on the car.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
The next steps were cleaning the engine compartment and prepping the engine.
The engine compartment was pretty dirty and the front bulkhead had some heat shielding
to remove. The accusump had to move also.

Cleaning is pretty tedious, so I alternated with removing the wiring from the old
engine, which was surprisingly tricky - lots of stuff had to come off to get at
everything.

I photographed the 3sgte as I removed its wiring as well - that was helpful later!

I started ordering parts too. I got (used) a light flywheel, clutch disc and pressure
plate from MR2enthusiasts, arp bolts from twosRus, steel for the motor mounts, valve
cover bolts, a starter motor, lots of bolts and nuts, etc.

I knew I was going to need some heat shielding, and started researching. The good stuff
is expensive! Overall, I think it cost close to $300 for all the shielding.

One of the most annoying aspects of this project was all the leaking coolant and oil
from supposedly drained items :p Of course it gotta drip in your face...

Another fun part - stuff that should fit but doesn't quite. The flywheel required about
a .015 oval on each hole to line up properly. WTF?

I made a new alternator bracket out of a couple of short ones, and ordered a shorter
belt. Much later, I put in an idler.

Of course I had to paint the valve cover! It's required. Red. I did want to see what the
inside looked like too. In the process, with my usual dexterity, I flipped a ss screw
into the engine. Down the hole, down the tube. Into the bottom end. More fricatives.

The timing belt kit from TCS came in and also the wiring loom.
 

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Cool, quite a different combination. I have a rev 5 -SW20 with several mods. Took me awhile to understand your engine with alternator on other side, strange flywheel, etc. Think you will have a good combination of power and drivability once complete.

Hope you did the HFH & HFHOE before inserting engine into new cubby hole. Might look at getting a decent DP as this will make the most of your new platform. Dropping the stock CAT & manifold will subtract at least 20kg from your waist line.

Look forward to following your progress. Keep the pics flowing.

jim
 

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Discussion Starter #8
That is a good question - The HFH, et al. I can't seem to find it?
Here is an image of where I think it should be (thumbnail)

I can reach the rubber hose shown quite handily.

All the rest of the stuff on the exhaust side of the engine are steel pipes.
 

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HFH connects the oil cooler to hardliners and HFHOE between cooler and block. If either fail all your coolant will be dumped and it’s near impossible to replace on the road.

Jim
 

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Discussion Starter #10
OK, that's why. I have Canton oil filter relocator "plate" that connects to a remote oil filter and cooler.
 

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HFH connects the oil cooler to hardliners and HFHOE between cooler and block. If either fail all your coolant will be dumped and it’s near impossible to replace on the road.

Jim
GEN5s don't have an oil cooler Jim. So the HFH and HFHOE don't exist. Just the lower one into the block which looks easy to get at.

If you want to run a cooler then it could either connect to the blanking plate where the GEN1-4 cooler is or off the lower section where the filter is.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
As to the downpipe, I pondered a while before sticking with the original. I may change my mind and go for the performance boost later. I definitely would like to lose a little weight. I figured keep it simple to start, and really, unlike most people, twice as much power is probably enough for me ;-)
 

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... The flywheel required about a .015 oval on each hole to line up properly. WTF?
WTF, indeed. If your flywheel has been misdrilled, there is no reason to believe that it is centered. An unbalanced flywheel can do all kinds of damage, including breaking loose and flying out of the car.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
WTF, indeed. If your flywheel has been misdrilled, there is no reason to believe that it is centered. An unbalanced flywheel can do all kinds of damage, including breaking loose and flying out of the car.
So true! Much checking was done before I assembled that piece. The center hole fit just as it should - a wring fit as we called it back in the day. Just between a slip fit and a press fit. The balance checked out as well.
Lots 'O kinetic energy ready to do good or ill ;-)
 

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GEN5s don't have an oil cooler Jim. So the HFH and HFHOE don't exist. Just the lower one into the block which looks easy to get at.

If you want to run a cooler then it could either connect to the blanking plate where the GEN1-4 cooler is or off the lower section where the filter is.
Guess I'm confused between the gen 5 and rev 5 then.
 

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Interesting swap build progress and great pics along the way too.
I’m looking forward to your progress and first start-up and drive ability as I’m also under taking a gen4 3SGTE/s54 swap into my 88 mk1 mr2 hardtop burnt orange nice factory color
Dropping the original 4age/c52 as we speak and replacing modifying many parts, patience is key.
I’m debating about relocating the odyssey battery to either the trunk or frunk can’t decide yet.
 

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It seems to be one of those hybrid disks - it fit the spines and the flywheel/pressure plate.
It came along with the flywheel, and seemed to be in very good condition.
OK. It was used from MR2enthusiasts? Mind if I ask how much it was? I would be nervous about a used disk
 

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Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
OK. It was used from MR2enthusiasts? Mind if I ask how much it was? I would be nervous about a used disk
Yeah, I probably should be a little nervous about it too. ;-) flywheel, pressure plate, and disk for $195 from MR2enthusisasts.
I've had pretty good luck with parts that have survived past infant mortality and are not yet thoroughly trashed.
We'll see...
 

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