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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey gang,
After 2 years of looking, I've finally located an '04 Spyder with a Honda K20A2, and it's been turbocharged. It's a California car and body appears to be in good shape. I have no hands on experience with Honda engines, so I'm particularly looking for advice there. There's 80k on motor, 180k on car (kind of high).

Is 17k a fair price?

What questions should I ask the Seller? Greatly appreciate comments, suggestions, and advice, thanks.

Here's what I know about the car:
Honda K20A2 (from Acura Type S)
  • arp head studs
  • cosmic head gasket
  • blueprint dual valve springs
Turbo kit
  • Full race v1 manifold
  • Garrett gt3076
  • Air to water intercooler setup
  • Kpro v4 ECU
  • Boost Gauge
Transmission
  • gear x 1-4 (note: what does this mean?)
  • competition twin disk clutch
  • 06 si lsd
  • Shifter, Mr2 spider, with innovative conversion
  • Trans is a k20a2 6spd trans with twin disc clutch.
Fuel setup
  • 10 feed 8 return running (not sure what this means)
  • (2) aem inline 350 LPH (not sure what this means)
  • Victory motor sport 2000cc injectors
Suspension
  • Front is tien super low drop springs
  • Rear is 7k coilover with spring
Brakes
- slotted rotors, otherwise stock
Dyno'd at 501 HP (this must be at the flywheel or could it be WHP?)
 

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Moroccan Gold Imports
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I can help with some of it. Cannot be 500whp with that turbo on a stock bottom end on pump fuel. Who tuned it and for what fuels? How much boost has he/she been running?

10/8 are the size of the fuel lines in "AN" measurement. The aem's are 350 liter per hour fuel pumps.

How many miles are on the engine/turbo setup?
 

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From your questions it sound like you have limited experience with vehicle modifications, and you're thinking of jumping in at the deep end. All fine and good. But there is a lot of learning to be done to operate and maintain a heavily modified vehicle like this and learning will cost you time and money - in massive quantities. Learning don't come cheap. Your new car might end up spending a lot of time parked in your driveway or garage or on jackstands or at the shop while you sort out the details of components you are not familiar with and possibly nobody else is familiar with. People bring all kinds of mystery builds into my shop - it's like opening a murder/mystery novel right in the middle without any clue about the characters or their motivations. Maybe you can rely on the seller for ongoing support? Maybe not.

Are you planning to try to register this vehicle legally for road use? If yes, you should look into how to go about that in your state.

Finally, is 17k a good price for this car? At this price, it seems like the seller is looking to get back all or most of what they put into it. Nobody should support them in that delusion. Least of all you. If they want to re-coup their investment they need to part it out.
 

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I’m sure the seller has way more than $17k in the car, but that said, I’d be really worried about smogging a car like that in CA if you have to do that.

the GearX stuff is likely either synchros or new gears themselves, for gears 1-4.
IMO, a high HP turbo car with a ton of aftermarket stuff probably isn’t a great idea unless you just really want to learn to mod a car heavily and keep it running.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I can help with some of it. Cannot be 500whp with that turbo on a stock bottom end on pump fuel. Who tuned it and for what fuels? How much boost has he/she been running?

10/8 are the size of the fuel lines in "AN" measurement. The aem's are 350 liter per hour fuel pumps.

How many miles are on the engine/turbo setup?
So that 501hp must be at the flywheel, that's what I suspected. Car has been running 93 octane. All I know now is boost has a high and low setting. I'll find out more about boost levels. Good question for the seller.

Does the 350 liter per hour sound right for this application?

Engine/turbo setup has 80k miles. Engine has stock internals.

Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I’m sure the seller has way more than $17k in the car, but that said, I’d be really worried about smogging a car like that in CA if you have to do that.

the GearX stuff is likely either synchros or new gears themselves, for gears 1-4.
IMO, a high HP turbo car with a ton of aftermarket stuff probably isn’t a great idea unless you just really want to learn to mod a car heavily and keep it running.
Fortunately, my state does not require emissions testing. I've had a mostly stock 03 Spyder for about 4 years. Now I do want to learn about modding a car, especiallly with a Honda engine.

Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
From your questions it sound like you have limited experience with vehicle modifications, and you're thinking of jumping in at the deep end. All fine and good. But there is a lot of learning to be done to operate and maintain a heavily modified vehicle like this and learning will cost you time and money - in massive quantities. Learning don't come cheap. Your new car might end up spending a lot of time parked in your driveway or garage or on jackstands or at the shop while you sort out the details of components you are not familiar with and possibly nobody else is familiar with. People bring all kinds of mystery builds into my shop - it's like opening a murder/mystery novel right in the middle without any clue about the characters or their motivations. Maybe you can rely on the seller for ongoing support? Maybe not.

Are you planning to try to register this vehicle legally for road use? If yes, you should look into how to go about that in your state.

Finally, is 17k a good price for this car? At this price, it seems like the seller is looking to get back all or most of what they put into it. Nobody should support them in that delusion. Least of all you. If they want to re-coup their investment they need to part it out.
Yeah, limited experience with MR2 Spyder engine mods. I've rebuilt several Chevy 350s and supercharged a 302 Ford, but no experience with Honda engines. No emissions testing in my state so not an issue there. Seller seems like a good guy, so maybe a bit of phone support for a month or so.

If I could get the car for 15k would that be reasonable?

I appreciate your perspective and realize there is some risk involved but I' d like to learn. I suppose I could update my stock Spyder to a 2ZZ but that doesn't get me too excited.

I really appreciate your comments and perspective.
 

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I’d probably be more in the $12-13k range thinking they car probably needed a solid $2k and lots of elbow grease just to fix lingering issues.

Honestly, the mod list reads like someone cutting corners left and right which is concerning at first glance.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
So that 501hp must be at the flywheel, that's what I suspected. Car has been running 93 octane. All I know now is boost has a high and low setting. I'll find out more about boost levels. Good question for the seller.

Does the 350 liter per hour sound right for this application?

Engine/turbo setup has 80k miles. Engine has stock internals.

Thanks
Boost has 2 settings, high is 18 lbs, low is 8 lbs. Seller says he mostly runs it on low setting, but who knows. A professional tuner tuned it.

What do you think is a fair price for the car?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Yeah, limited experience with MR2 Spyder engine mods. I've rebuilt several Chevy 350s and supercharged a 302 Ford, but no experience with Honda engines. No emissions testing in my state so not an issue there. Seller seems like a good guy, so maybe a bit of phone support for a month or so.

If I could get the car for 15k would that be reasonable?

I appreciate your perspective and realize there is some risk involved but I' d like to learn. I suppose I could update my stock Spyder to a 2ZZ but that doesn't get me too excited.

I really appreciate your comments and perspective.
Since the car has quite a few miles on it in this configuration, what are the most likely problems I might run into?
 

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Literally 3x the power of a stock Spyder, once full boost kicks in?? I think this would be a very challenging car to drive quickly in anything other than a straight line. If you're still interested after what Frank said, then consider this too. You definitely want to see it in person and test drive it before making a decision.

If the car is in Calif now, then you have some leverage as a buyer unconcerned with smog regulations. This car is 100% not legally smoggable in CA.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Literally 3x the power of a stock Spyder, once full boost kicks in?? I think this would be a very challenging car to drive quickly in anything other than a straight line. If you're still interested after what Frank said, then consider this too. You definitely want to see it in person and test drive it before making a decision.

If the car is in Calif now, then you have some leverage as a buyer unconcerned with smog regulations. This car is 100% not legally smoggable in CA.
I've got quite a few hours behind the wheel of a 911 turbo. I'd get the feel of the MR2 before pushing it too hard. Your points are well-taken though. Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I can help with some of it. Cannot be 500whp with that turbo on a stock bottom end on pump fuel. Who tuned it and for what fuels? How much boost has he/she been running?

10/8 are the size of the fuel lines in "AN" measurement. The aem's are 350 liter per hour fuel pumps.

How many miles are on the engine/turbo setup?
About 20k since the turbo was added, but more than that on the engine. Professionally tuned, runs on E85.
 

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I've got quite a few hours behind the wheel of a 911 turbo. I'd get the feel of the MR2 before pushing it too hard. Your points are well-taken though. Thanks
I think you’ll be surprised with how a 500 HP 2L with aftermarket tuning feels if your benchmark is a 911 Turbo. It’s probably going to seem particularly less... polished.

Honestly, on the “common issues,” I’d expect anything in the whole powertrain and/or wiring.

Is there a reason you wouldn’t want to just build a 3rd gen MR-2 yourself? The mod list just doesn’t really speak to me from a quality perspective...
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I think you’ll be surprised with how a 500 HP 2L with aftermarket tuning feels if your benchmark is a 911 Turbo. It’s probably going to seem particularly less... polished.

Honestly, on the “common issues,” I’d expect anything in the whole powertrain and/or wiring.

Is there a reason you wouldn’t want to just build a 3rd gen MR-2 yourself? The mod list just doesn’t really speak to me from a quality perspective...
Most of my heavy tools are up north. No easy way to get them to SC. Easier to buy something and fix as necessary, seller seems like he knows what he's doing.
I figured Spyder would be more 'raw'. Not an issue.
 

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I would take professionally tuned with a grain of salt, I've seen the work of a couple and it was pretty mediocre. The problem with tuners is that the good ones cost money and no one wants to pay the money to have a map dialed properly. Unless you can drive the car and validate that it drives how you want, I would pass. I would also never buy another person's project without giving it a thorough look see.
 

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I would take professionally tuned with a grain of salt, I've seen the work of a couple and it was pretty mediocre. The problem with tuners is that the good ones cost money and no one wants to pay the money to have a map dialed properly. Unless you can drive the car and validate that it drives how you want, I would pass. I would also never buy another person's project without giving it a thorough look see.
+1

it’s not down to the tuner skill, it’s down to someone only paying for a quick 1 hr street tune and maybe 3-6 pulls on a dyno to do WOT.

It generally takes at least a few hours to do WOT and transients to that well, then about 20-60 hrs to really nail down transients and partial throttle everywhere.
 

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For reference, I was able to do a Q&A with the team that tuned the Coyote engine for Ford. WOT tuning took them a month, part throttle and transients was about 6 months, and cold start/warm up was about a year. To be fair, they had to tune it for perfect starting in all conditions.
 

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And emissions, which is a whole order of magnitude more complex.
I generally put in about 60-80 hrs of tuning on a setup until I feel it’s 95%+ good. That last 5% I sometimes chalk up to measurement uncertainty on sensors, so to iron it out can chase your tail.

The OEM guys all have lab level stuff, which makes that a non-issue.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
So that 501hp must be at the flywheel, that's what I suspected. Car has been running 93 octane. All I know now is boost has a high and low setting. I'll find out more about boost levels. Good question for the seller.

Does the 350 liter per hour sound right for this application?

Engine/turbo setup has 80k miles. Engine has stock internals.

Thanks
Some updates: Saw dyno sheets, 501 HP is at rear wheels on E85. Dyno run was at 18 lbs boost.
 
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