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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hello all,
Though I've owned my current MR2 since November of '07 and spent countless hours and over $15,000 on repairs and modifications, I've not spent nearly enough time restoring it. Thanks to my current job as a Toyota parts "professional", I can "afford" to buy all the parts needed to restore my car!

I have decided to put body work and paint last on the list as it will be the most expensive and I want it done absolutely 100% right, so don't expect to see the rust on the quarter panels disappear anytime soon. I'll be replacing broken, cracked, worn out, and otherwise junky parts on the car with new or excellent condition new parts, cleaning everything thoroughly, replacing rubber weatherstripping, and doing my best to eliminate NVH (noise, vibration, harshness) issues created by my loud honkin' exhaust system!

Some of these may not be in chronological order, as I'll be posting pictures of work done prior to starting this thread, but I should be able to recall details if anyone has any questions.

Hope you enjoy this thread!

Here's pics of the car when it started (I had already swapped the stock steering wheel with my MOMO Monte Carlo 320mm wheel). Thankfully the car was mostly complete with the exception of carpet. There was plenty of rust to be dealt with, but luckily not as bad as most New England cars, as this one came from Virginia and was nicely undercoated. The interior was nice with no cracks on the dash, and nothing broken save for the ashtray hinge. Even the trunk release worked! However the brakes and suspension were rubbish, the oil cooler lines leaked like a sieve, and well the paint and vintage graphics were painful to the eyes.




 

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Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
Then I did a whole lotta stuff... (keeping this simple) full brake and suspension system overhaul, new carpet, OEM reproduction floor mats, wheels/tires, and a lot of cleaning and detailing (I use Meguiars Deep Crystal 3 step system to clean, polish, and wax the paint; it's extremely tedious but it works wonders for faded pink paint!). I also touched up the a-pillar trim and wiper arms with semi-gloss black paint.




 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Then in August '08 my original engine kicked the bucket. I decided to replace the engine with an AE92 MAP/DLI 4AGZE. About 8 months later I had the swap completed. It turned out to be a dud engine. Waited another year before I could afford another 4AGZE. That also turned out to be a dud. I had enough with that, so I got a shiny new credit card and bought me an AE111 blacktop 20v 4AGE! In the meantime I had replaced my hood and trunklid with carbon fiber bits from RaceOn USA (read: junk) and KD Garage (read: rare), and traded my HKS N/A exhaust for a Supercharged engine lid.

2 years and many headaches later, I ended up with this:




 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Now that I've briefly covered the history of the car, on to the current work!

Starting with the broken ashtray, I replaced it with a brand new piece:


Then, I tackled the sloppy steering rack. Unfortunately I didn't take pictures of the carnage to the original rack and pinion, but there was significant wear causing two places where it would bind and make terrible noises! I replaced the rack with a Quaife QSR and every single other part that was available new from Toyota. I also thoroughly cleaned the inside and outside of the steering gear housing and re-painted it:


 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Then I replaced the cracked, pitted, severely scratched tail lights with brand new OEM lenses and gaskets from KBOX:


While at work I noticed we had a "noise kit". I checked the part number; turns out it cost over $80 for this little guy:


I decided I could do better and instead ordered foam and felt-backed tape from Findtape.com, and Dyna-mat-like sound deadening material (not quite as good though ;) )
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
I replaced the top c-pillar trim which had broken off on the highway (JDM ECU limits me to 111mph... it broke off around that speed):




I picked up a used set of Ground Control coilovers with Koni dampers from Josh A. (tarmactrr), and replaced my Tokico HP struts and ST springs:




Keep posted; more to come soon!!
 

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awesome man, love these threads!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
Just picked up a new gas cap, PCV valve and grommet, hood prop rod, grommet, and clamp. Hopefully the gas cap will save me a teensie weensie bit of gas compared to the worn-out original. The PCV valve won't be on there for too long because I plan on hooking my oil catch tank back up, but for now I figured it was best to replace the original one. I'll post pics later today!

I also replaced the window weatherstripping, and wow what a difference it makes! It took some time to make sure each side was perfectly in the metal channels, but now there is greatly reduced wind noise, no more leaks, and the windows don't rattle when I go over bumps! I'll be doing the door hinges and door weatherstripping later today.

Next on the to-do list is new wiper arms ($160 for the pair; ouch!), and if I can convince my insurance company, I hope to get the last OEM Toyota windshield in the country. I don't know how they're gonna take to paying for a $930 windshield... lol

Also being made for me right now in New Zealand, is this little guy:

Turbo inlet plenum for my eventual 7AGTE 20v build :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
Busy weekend, busy week. Unfortunately not busy with MR2 activity. Although I did go from averaging 29mpg to 31.2mpg after replacing the gas cap! Best mod, ever.

Posting this retro-actively, because I forgot I did it a while back... replacing my window, frunk and trunk weatherstripping. Got all new weatherstripping from Toyota and KBox, and a good used set of door hinges:


New frunk weatherstripping installed (use a heavy duty cleaner like Simple Green to get any built-up grime off the area where the weatherstripping goes):


New window weatherstripping (old vs. new):



Forms a nice, tight seal now:
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
http://www.procarparts.com/index.ph...=55&sort=2d&filter_id=1493&alpha_filter_id=84

Originally the car came with a silver one; I'm debating getting rid of it when I replace my gauge cluster. The speedometer is ticking like crazy, though I'm not sure if it's the gauge or the cable. Eventually I'm getting a Stack ST8100 multi-function cluster :evillaugh Buuuut that's $2000 away.... and entirely unnecessary right now
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
I replaced my leaking oil cap, gas cap, and (most likely) clogged PCV valve:


 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Replaced my bent hood prop rod, and worn-out grommet and clamp:




The prop rod now clamps down with a satisfying "click"... It's the little things...

My rear bumper cover was held on with just 4 mis-matched bolts, so I got a set of 10 new bolts, chased the threads, and installed those. I broke one bolt off so I'll have to try and drill it out later. Eventually I'll sandblast and paint the brackets for the F&R bumper covers...



Tap and die set and anti-sieze are your best friend!
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Very costly, but I replaced my wiper arms. My driver's side was so worn out it wouldn't hold to the windshield anymore, and it would skip over the rain rather than drag it off. The pass. side had a bolt break off on it and would deflect, causing the wiper blade to get caught under the fender/a-pillar trim at times. $160 later, I can see!



I cracked my windshield by trying to wedge a large box into the passenger seat... D'oh!
I needed a new one anyway, so that will be next on the list. I'm gonna see if I can get my insurance to cover an OEM one... there's one left in the country and I want it! lol
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I started taking my doors off to replace the hinges, door checks and weatherstripping. I bought a used set of hinges and replaced the passenger side. The driver's side were still a little too worn for my liking so I bought brand new hinges and am in the process of painting them now. I also replaced a broken plastic stopper for the window and lubricated the handles and lock cylinder.

Putting it all back together, the passenger door is like brand new! No more sagging, no more squeaking handles, and no more need to body-check the door to get it open! It pops smoothly and closes without having to slam. I can't wait to get the driver's side finished!

I also changed my mind on rebuilding the front brakes and bought a Wilwood big brake kit from FastBrakes: I custom-ordered 11" two-piece rotors and DynaPro dust-boot calipers. I didn't like the idea of using calipers without dust boots on a daily-driven car.

And since I'm too tall to fit comfortably with the stock seat, I bought a Recaro Profi SPG fixed bucket that I'll be mounting to the floor with a Wedge Engineering bracket. I'll post pics later this week when it's all done!
 

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may I ask how much you've spent so far minus the engine swap. I am currently getting ready to do pretty much what you just went through... I hope I can get it looking that good when I'm done.

Is thw Quafie steering rack awesome or kinda scary?
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 · (Edited)
Umm, a lot... Not counting engine swap(s) probably $13-14k including the car over the course of 4 years (I just spent $3k on a bucket seat, front brake kit, and turbo inlet plenum, though).

The Quaife rack is great with all-season tires, kinda challenging on the street with grippy summer tires. I also might have a bump-steer issue with my ride height being low and no roll-center adjusters yet. So that could be contributing to the tendency for it to pull around every deviation in the road. I won't know until I get the RCA's and a fresh corner-balance and alignment.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
More new stuff! Pics from replacing the weatherstripping/hinges:

Beginning with removing the door:


Try to keep your fender liner installed if you roll your fenders, otherwise this can happen (it also showers your windshield with sand and road debris)


Panel off, old weatherstripping removed:


Had to pull all of these clips out:


Found a broken stopper, which I replaced from a spare door I had. Kind of a pain because I had to reach my hand behind the glass to hold the backing plate for the bolt in place, and it was a tight squeeze:
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
All better:


New door checks and weatherstripping installed, and cleaned 25 years of dirt off the inner frame:



At some point I'm going to cut out a new template to replace the plastic sheet over the door and re-adhere it with similar adhesive, just to keep dust/water out. I'm guessing it's to keep the door card from getting soggy, lol.

New hinges for the driver's side, before I painted them (definitely should've primered them before painting, red over black took almost a whole can of touch-up paint):


New headlight buckets and trim, to replace the rusty/corroded ones held together with hope and zip-ties (install pics to come soon):
 
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