BigMike's Forum

Projects & Trip Reports => Projects and Build-Ups => Topic started by: BigMike on May 27, 2010, 10:25:00 AM

Title: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on May 27, 2010, 10:25:00 AM
A brief history of my 1987 MR2:
Quick picture history of the different builds of my AE92 1.6-liter 4A-GZE, which I still have to this day, retired and resting in my garage. Click each image for a larger view:

"Stage 1" (more info ( Circa late 1999 to mid 2000. Ranged from 165 HP (stock rating, 8-9 psi) to an estimated 225 HP at 13 psi.
( (
Relocating top-mount AE92
intercooler to custom side vent
( (
First version, larger crank
pulley for more boost
( (
Second version added cold side
insulation, performance cams
( (
Final version moved air filter to
trunk where I added another vent

"Stage 2" (more info ( Circa late 2000 to most of 2001. Pulled 16 PSI, estimated to be near 250 HP.
( (
19% larger SC, 25% larger 2.5"
piping, Supra TT IC, high flow
NA intake manifold
( (
( (
Added intercooler fan
& cold side insulation
( (
After engine caught on fire.
It's a long story :P

"Stage 2.5" (more info ( Circa late 2002 to early 2003. Boost went up to almost 18 PSI without the intercooler, estimated to be near 280 HP.
( (
Removed IC, built a two-stage
water/alcohol injection system,
custom boost control valve
( (
( (
( (

Welcome to The Rebirth of my beloved 1987 MR2

Chassis Mileage Update: 313,047 miles (as of March 27, 2016)

Dyno'd April 1, 2016: 200 HP & 173 TQ at the wheels
Update: After dynoing I discovered my water injection was not working for the entire tuning session.
I am planning some additional upgrades and then will return to the dyno hopefully sometime this fall 2016.

Thread Navigation:

Page 1 (this page): Rescued car from exile, cleaned out car, found a Supercharged donor car, S/C conversion underway.
Page 2 ( Drove car home, replaced P/R wheel bearing, mounted compact CNC battery.
Page 3 ( Mounted IC, had to replace fuel sender, began cleaning ventilation ducting, replaced tail lenses.
Page 4 ( Took it to the State Referee & passed inspection, smogged & updated licensing.
Page 5 ( Talked about different camshaft options.
Page 6 ( Mounted IC fan, had to replace gas tank.
Page 7 ( Replaced fuel pump, repaired broken sway bar mount, fixed gas leak.
Page 8 ( Alternator woes
Page 9 ( Replaced alternator brushes, verified tachometer is off 10%.
Page 10 ( Reconnected SC lamp, installed intercooler foam.
Page 11 ( Video of SC lamp & pic of incorrect tachometer reading, Picked up 6 Speed Transaxle!!
Page 12 ( Videos of clutch slipping, removed old clutch, beginning 6-speed conversion
Page 13 ( Replaced driver's rear spindle
Page 14 ( Custom motor mount update, Start of 6-speed Conversion
Page 15 ( Installed new clutch, had to reinstall 5-speed, then finished & installed 6-speed, installed car alarm, some outdoor pics, repaired a second sway bar mount issue.
Page 16 ( More 5 vs 6 speed RPM differences, moved front lic plate, fixed speedo cable, Switched to 1985/6 Flat Nose bumper, gutted front bumper, started PANDA conversion, fixed sway bar mounts, DIY front Camber for -2.5 degrees, dynoed, 150.4 WHP, discussed power loss formulas
Page 17 ( Many nice pictures, flat tire, installed speaker system, trimmed and mounted front plate directly to bumper, finally plugged hole in trunk, new shifter boot, replaced front Tokico shocks, new Rota Grid wheels
Page 18 ( Interior LED light upgrades, replaced rear Tokico struts, Working on making a smaller SC pulley, Replaced rear plastic trim, Installed mud flaps, Re-installed driving lights, New air filter, Got locked out of my trunk, Got a new Catalytic Converter
Page 19 ( Cell phone mount, Started on new Intake Redesign project, Upgraded to shift bearings
Page 20 ( New Engine Mounts, More shift bearings, Welded Steering Column, New Windshield, Built Water Injection Adapter
Page 21 ( Finished New Custom Intake System: Idle Control Circuit, Air Bypass Valve Reconnected, Power Brake Booster Reconnected, PCV Line with Filter Reconnected, New oversized Brake Master Cylinder
Page 22 ( Simple video showing 10psi from the new intake alone, replaced plugged charcoal canister, working on a fuel vapor leak, reinstalled MSD Knock Alert, replaced broken phone mount, blew headgasket rebuilt top end, pics of new clutch kit
Page 23 ( Rear urethane bushings, Smaller S/C pulley, Built New Exhaust, Installed Exhaust Throttle Plate
Page 24 ( Mounted exhaust MAP sensor, installed front urethane bushings, New RE-11A tires, alignment, wired up Exhaust Throttle Servo
Page 25 ( Installed Propeller!, Discussed Program Revisions, Few outdoor pics, Car turned 300k, Suspension almost fell off, Smogged!
Page 26 ( Replaced Battery, Installed Wide Band O2 Gauge, Officially Began Preparing for my First Track Event, Began Water Injection Project, Lightened Front Hood, Changed Wheel Bearing, Fixed Axle Seal Leak, Redline MT-90, New Brake Pads & Fluid, Machined Rotors, New Clutch Slave Cyl
Page 27 ( New Wide Band O2 Sensor, Finished Water Injection!, Data Logging!, washed filter, mounted dash mat, mounted LCD panel & switches
Page 28 ( Changed to smaller H2O Injector, Changed oil, built heat shield, washed car, new stickers, first batch of methanol, replaced Iridium plugs
Page 29 ( Added exhaust resonator, fixed oil leak, removed hot water to throttle body, replaced all four rotors, overhauled distributor, upgraded water injector solenoid
Page 30 ( ST185 Front Brake Upgrade, WebCam grind 294s, Greddy e-Manage Blue engine management, teaser pics of Reverse Hood Scoop and Air Splitter, e-Manage Installation and operation

Well guys, the time has come. The time to get my pride and joy back on the road.

I know you guys already know the history of my car, so I won't bore the thread with too many details except to show what the car looked like before it was put down. This is back on May 15th, 2004. More pictures of the ITB setup can be found here (
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on May 27, 2010, 10:31:56 AM
A couple months later, in early July of 2004, I began building my truck.

If you'd like to see the build thread for my 3RZ-powered and at a time TRD Supercharged 1981 Hilux Rock Crawler, then click here (

Below are two pictures with my MR2 of how this truck started its relationship with me:
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on May 27, 2010, 10:46:56 AM
Once I got my truck running circa October 2004, it was time to retire the MR2. The MR2 had been my daily driver since June of 1999.

The car lived in our backyard uncovered for about a year and a half. In Dec of 2005, my family bought a new house and we needed to move everything out. Fortunately Bevin was nice enough to allow me to store the 2 at his place until the right time came to resurrect it.

Here are pictures of the car being pulled from its back-yard grave in December 2005:
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on May 27, 2010, 10:51:34 AM
The car was moved to Bevin's house up in Coarsegold and placed outside his shop.

Here is where it sat for the next 4-1/2 years. The blue tarp only lasted about 1 year and quickly disintegrated into powder. I never got a new tarp and the car sat most of this time uncovered :( I do regret this very much.

edit April 2016: Found a sweet pic of my car up at Bevin's place via Google Earth!
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on May 27, 2010, 11:00:04 AM
Fassssst forward to November 26, 2009. Knowing that I would be resurrecting the car in 2010, I decided it would be pointless to have it sit out another rainy/snowy winter and asked Bevin if I could move it into his garage until summer 2010. He agreed so I went on up to have a look-see at my baby. It had been a good 2 years since I last made eye contact with her even :(

The car actually cleaned up pretty well and was in decent condition, considering the fact it had sat outside mostly uncovered for almost 6 years.

But check out these pictures. The foothill wildlife used my car for a love hotel or something :(
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on May 27, 2010, 11:07:39 AM
On January 17th, 2010, during my winter vacation, I pulled out the 20VPWR engine and brought it down the hill to sell parts off of. The car has sat in Bevin's cosey shop this spring patiently waiting for meh. :)

So fast forward to the present, and just last night I went up to Bevin's house and picked her up!!!

Here she is loaded on the trailer and on it's way down to the shop. She is currently here at Marlin Crawler and this is gonna be one awesome holiday weekend 8)
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on May 28, 2010, 10:28:30 AM
While this has been going on, I have been working on getting a Supercharged doner car. I found a couple good candidates on Craigslist. The best one I found was a 1988 SC for $1500 OBO from San Diego back in Feb. I actually made concrete plans to pick it up right around Valentines day, but I couldn't get the funds I needed and had to cancel on the guy 1 day before I said I would come to pick it up. The guy was rather upset, understandably so.

Fast forward to this month. Knowing that my summer time would be limited, I needed to get a SC doner car ASAP. So I had been searching Craigslist form the end of April. I found a great car, a white 1988 Supercharged MR2 in LA for $1000. It was perfect because this was a white car with a blue interior. NICE. But the guy was a COMPLETE SQUIRREL. He would only reply to 1 out of 4 emails and then just completely stopped communicating with me altogether. I don't know what his deal was because I had the money and told him I could come down at any time. Time was limited, so I just decided to email the guy in San Diego to see if he still had it. I know we parted on bad terms, so I wrote the email accordingly, and to my surprise he instantly replied saying that he was not upset with me because I was honest about not having the money, and get this, he still had the car!!!

I was like wooooooooohooooooooooooooooooooo! It turns out that he took his Craigslist ad down after I hosed him in Feb. because he was thinking about keeping the car, but then he decided to sell it after all.

Here is the TomTom at about 6am showing the 5-1/2 hour drive ahead of me. My wife went down there with me. We went down to SD, picked up the car, ate lunch (found an amazing Mexican restaurant BTW), went to a couple outlet stores, and got back home before midnight. It was a LONG day.

Hmmmmmmmmmm what is that in my mirror? 8)
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on May 28, 2010, 10:36:26 AM
So here it is! My new 1988 Supercharged MR2!!

The story is that some old lady daily drove it and took it to the dealer for repairs. Her bill was over $4,000 in engine repairs so she just abandoned the car at the dealership. Then this guy came along and bought it from the dealer and then decided to sell it. He said it has been on non Op for many years and just needs to be smogged and registered.

The engine runs GREAT! And it is VERY CLEAN. It almost looks like the cylinder head was replaced? Once I start digging around I'll check some obvious things like valve clearance and the timing belt, and such, to get a better idea of the condition of the engine.

The car is a complete tool. It is badly abused. The windshield is cracked in such a way that it looks like someone drove through a wire gate. Countless dents and rust all over the place. BUT, I got two spare doors that are in great condition, two spare T-Tops (so 4 total) and extra trunk with spoiler, very clean carpet, the seats are in great condition, and I even have the original "MR2" floormats that are in GREAT shape!

I've driven the car around my house and it drives GREAT. The tires are dry rotted and the suspension is shot, but it pulls very hard and actually very smooth. I don't remember my JDM SC being this smooth. There is no peak in the powerband, it just feels like whenever you want power you just roll your foot and the power is linear. This will change of course once the pulleys get changed :) and later once the SC14 & MicroSquirt go in 8)

There are spider webs all over the place and the engine has a bunch of pine needles all over it also. The car has definitely sat for a very long time.
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: Sirdeuce on May 28, 2010, 06:42:01 PM
Hmmmmm, LeMons candidate for later? What cha doin with those wheels? I could use the ground effects. More brown seats. Need shiftrer cables in my car. is the throttle cable the same as an NA? Questions, questions, questions.......
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: Blane525 on May 31, 2010, 12:06:08 AM
the car looks so clean need to really consider this thing for the  lemons nice! 8) congrads on the find!!! how long will this motor last any one want to place your bet?? 4months 2days three hours 28minutes 15seconds. wow just kidding but you will have to put a hamster under the gas pedal when he screams you let up!! HAHAHAHAHAHAHA.
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: Blane525 on May 31, 2010, 11:02:10 PM
Hay Big Mike sound  like your in some tall cotton with 2 being revived wow how cool would it be to get the MG out from under all that holds it down! :-[  By  the way maybe you could use some photo wizard to help :o me see the real potential  8) and clean up the pick I.E. scrub the pick clean of the roof rack... thank in advance ;)
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on June 01, 2010, 01:24:12 PM
Bill: Shift cables are yours :) I'm gonna run the wheels for a while, until I get some 15s

Bevin: okay, I'll photoshop your car soon hahaha give me a couple of days maybe :)


I am way behind on updates and when I think about doing a nice, well thought-out update I get overwhelmed and just stop doing updates altogether (trust me, I've been down this road many times before on the Marlin forum with my Hilux truck).

So I am just gonna very quickly run through what's been going on. (I'm also gonna start using 640x480 images to make it easier to view this thread)

May 27th (last Thursday)

First image is the car at the shop, time to get busy!
2nd image is all the crap left over in the engine bay
3rd & 4th images are examples of what Bevin's pets did to my wiring looms LOL WOW
5th image is the wires I removed
6th image is cleared trunk
7th image is cleared engine bay
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on June 01, 2010, 01:29:07 PM
May 28th (Friday)

I was going to clean it out and then paint it all black, just like what I did with my Hilux, but after cleaning it up, it looked good enough and so I left it white. I looks really, really great. Most of the nasty oil and dirt was in there from when my car caught on fire back in January 17th, 2002 :o So that was 8 years of dirt and road grime accumulation, now all gone :D

1st image what it looked like
2nd image me scrubbing away
3rd image how nasty it was
4th image how it turned out
5th shot of cleaned front firewall
6th shot of cleaned rear firewall

Is that nice or WHAT! :D
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on June 01, 2010, 01:40:04 PM
Now with the 87 all cleaned up, it was time to get the SC engine ready.

May 29 (Sat. night)

1st image is the fully operational 1988 car ready to go under the knife, 9:39pm
2nd image is the SC engine beginning to get dismantled, 10:01pm
3rd image is the car on the rack
4th image are both cars together in the shop
5th image is the mighty 4A-GZE removed!!!, 12:57am

So it took me about 3 hours including stopping to eat some canned vegetables while watching an episode of Initial D on my laptop :) The E51 transaxle is a royal PITA to remove compared to the C5x series transaxles. I spent a lot of time having to take apart some of the rear suspension in order to extract the drive axles. This step isn't necessary with the C-series trans.

6th image is a close up of the SC12 supercharger. It's currently operating at 8 PSI boost (stock pulleys).
7th image is the modified C56 AE89 transaxle (with close-range 3rd & 4th gearing) mounted to the engine. I also installed my lighweight TODA chromoly flywheel as well, 2:40am
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on June 01, 2010, 01:44:31 PM
1st image are all the pine needles. Man, I must have spent a good 30 - 45 mins just cleaning out needles and stuff. The needles were so long such that compressed air wouldn't blow them out. So I had to use very small needle nosed pliers and painstakingly remove them one by one!! :o, 2:53am

2nd image is the nice firewall insulation removed. It was tough removing it with that stupid battery tray in the way. I nearly tore the thing in two and almost bought the farm, but I got it out in one piece, 4:12am

3rd image the cars trade places 8) ohhh man that was a great feeling pushing my car onto the lift!, 4:43am

4th image nice insulation installed in my car!, 5:49am

5th image the 4A-GZE has a NEW HOME!!! :D, 6:29am
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on June 01, 2010, 02:09:55 PM
Now I am starting to get into the nity grity stuff. A lot of slow tedious work with slow progress...

1st image is my trunk starting to come together, 11:37am

2nd image is the donor interior. It had really, really nice carpet and seats. I am so impressed I transferred a ton of stuff over!, 11:56am

3rd image is the donor interior getting stripped, 12:15pm

4th image is my interior getting stripped. Oh wait, it's already stripped! ack, what a ton of crap!, 12:48pm

5th image is the goof ball behind the madness

6th image is a crap load of, um, crap, 12:52pm
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on June 01, 2010, 02:14:58 PM
1st image is my trunk, wooo! check that out, just like it was the day I bought in January 1999!, 2:36pm (Sunday)

2nd image is the interior plastic parts being installed. I had removed all of these parts trying to make my car lighter back in the day. Kids. Sheesh. These are from the T-Top car so they do fit just a bit off (plus they are black). If I come across a blue non T-Top model in the wrecking yard then I'll get these placed with the proper piece, 3:25pm

3rd image is CARPET!! yeah! Haven't had carpet in my car since sometime in 2002!! :o :o, 3:25pm

4th image is my interior about 90% together! WOW what a difference already!, 3:56pm

5th image is the current state of the engine. Got the Intercooler installed but not hard-mounted yet, 6:47pm

6th image is a shot of the interior from the passengers door. Still missing a couple panels at the time of this picture, 6:50pm (Sunday)

And that is it from my all-nighter Saturday/Sunday work. I went home, ate a small dinner, and got some much needed sleep.
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on June 01, 2010, 02:29:16 PM
I slept in a bit Monday morning and got to the shop at 9am.

I did a TON of small completely time consuming things and ended up not taking many pictures as a result. I actually got pretty frustrated with the continuous issues with the car that had been neglected for so long.

Far too many small things were fixed that I don't think I could remember even. At this point the entire weekend was really feeling like a long blur. After getting home last night and looking over the pictures, I can't believe how much I did in so little time. It was a lot of work but it was nice cramming it all into a small time frame so that it took a while until I began to get frustrated and tired.

It was also nice that this was a three day weekend where I could work a full Sunday and a full Monday. Another reason why I got so much done.

1st image is the only pic I have of installing the A/C condenser from the donor car. I had removed my stock condenser probably back in 2000 when I installed the JDM Supercharger (wow has it been that long ago?) and disabled my A/C. I wanted to get better air flow through the radiator. Well, I am gonna have A/C now baby!! sweeeeet!, 11:53am (Monday)

2nd image is the larger S/C brake booster (top-left) compared to the N/A brake booster. Wow it's a lot larger and WOW the brakes have AMAZING POWER. There is still some air in the lines but the brakes are AWESOME, better than they were before which was already amazing. The 4-wheel vented rotor setup really comes to life with this larger booster, that is for sure, 2:04pm

3rd image is the larger S/C booster installed, 2:12pm

4th image is the first Intercooler hard mount bracket I've installed. I only need 1 more bracket and I think I'll call it good. It's already quite rigid so really 1 more should do the trick. Like an idiot I let the hood release cable get too close to the weld and I melted it :( I was really upset, huge mistake but at least I've got another cable on the donor car that I still need to swap in, 4:04pm

After this I left the shop, went home, took a shower, and went to dinner with my mother and father. It was my mother's birthday so I took some time to hang out with the family.

I almost had the car running before I had to leave for dinner. I connected everything, drained the old gas, put in new gas, and gave it a crank, but nothing. We checked spark, yup that's good. Checked fuel pressure, no good.

So after dinner I began trouble shooting the fuel pump and found out that the pump had been sitting so long that it just needed a good kick start using a direct connection to the battery to get it up and running. It's a nice Supra Turbo fuel pump so I am glad it's still good. I didn't want to have to drop two tanks to swap the donor pump into my car. Really glad that worked out.

So then with fuel pressure, I reconnected everything and BAZINGA! It fired right up!!! Ahhhh what a relief!
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on June 01, 2010, 02:43:11 PM
I drove the car up and down Maple a dozen times around 2am this morning. Despite the garbage tires WOW it drives GREAT. As mentioned, the brakes are amazing with that booster. Also, I can tell I haven't been driving a sports car for a long time because it feels really, really fast until I look down and see I'm only doing 50 MPH.

The engine in its current state is rated for 145 HP at 8 PSI boost. The car should be somewhere around 2300 pounds now. After I get the car registered and on the road for a while, I will be installing a 6-speed transaxle, a new clutch, and my smaller SC pulley + larger crank pulley. I am expecting to have about 12 or 13 PSI of boost, and with some other minor mods I am hoping to have 200 horsepower. This is my goal and I *will* be satisfied to have a nice, comfortable, reliable, quick sports car. I have really changed in my ways and this is going to become a nice clean ride in no time.

So what's next?

I am going to the DMV today to get a moving permit and will start daily driving it. I'm gonna pick up some used tires from Bryan and get them installed on the SC wheels. I need to finish with mounting the intercooler. I need to fix a couple small things. I need to get a small compact sealed battery. Then I will be ready for the ref.

So I made an appointment for this Thursday at 12:50pm at the referee and we will see how it goes :D

That's it for now,
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on June 01, 2010, 03:42:26 PM
Here is a quick video of the engine running. The brake lights were on because I still needed to adjust the brake pedal since I changed brake boosters.

And here is a short video of starting it up and driving it down the road. Don't worry about the tachometer, it is bouncing around and is out of calibration because I still have the JDM twin coil DIS circuit board inside the instrument cluster. I am going to install the proper tach circuit board before I take the car to the ref.

I probably only took the revs to about 4500 or 5000 RPM.
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: Sirdeuce on June 01, 2010, 07:36:44 PM
Wow! How weird it must be to be driving with your head below the bumpers of the trucks you're used to driving.
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: Blane525 on June 01, 2010, 08:04:07 PM
Did your butt leave skid markes down the road? OOaaaa that"s right your just above the ground fling LOW :o. Need to sell the 525 and get a s2000 complete... :-\ ;)
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on June 02, 2010, 12:27:20 AM
Wow! How weird it must be to be driving with your head below the bumpers of the trucks you're used to driving.
It's about time, right?

I drove the car home today and the strangest thing happened: When you input throttle, the car responds instantaneously. It's really quite bizarre. Also, there is about 99% less body roll compared to my truck, hmmmm strange...

Need to sell the 525 and get a s2000 complete... :-\ ;)
Woah. That is a hardcore statement right there. What is the 525 worth? $4k or $5k?

Updates for this evening.

I went over to the DMV and with my fingers crossed I discovered that I put the car on non-op back in 2005. THANK GOODNESS for that. Total fees including current registration is only $193 :D :D

So I have an appointment scheduled for 12:50p on Thursday, but.........

....tonight all I got done was I fixed the tachometer and the front right tire with a nail in it. That's it. The tire was so extremely frustrating. I can't remember the last time I struggled so much trying to remount a tire. I am wondering if the triangle wheels are meant to be mounted from the inside rim maybe? I'm not sure but it was a serious PITA to remount. So, because of that, I've pretty much decided to just leave the triangle wheels on the car.

After the DMV I went to Bryan's house and picked up 4 used tires. But when I got back to the shop, under closer investigation (sunlight sure helps) I concluded that there is nothing wrong with the tires I already have on the car right now.

But there is some horrible noise that I can't figure out. I really thought all 4 tires were bad from sitting out in the sun for so long. It was either that or maybe all 4 of my wheel bearings were simultaneously shot. Well, it turns out that only ONE wheel bearing is out, and it's the passenger's rear.

I drove the car home regardless, I just took it easy and only did about 40-50 MPH. The tires are badly flat-spotted but by the time I got home they seemed to be smoothing out *just a bit*. I put in a full tank of gas, and daa daa daa, the fuel gauge only went up to 1/4 gauge and stopped. So great, what else needs some TLC with this poor car :(

I have also decided to reschedule my referee appointment to next Monday. With the wheel bearing out, I know that is going to be an annoying job, and I still need to get the intercooler hard mounted, get a battery installed, run the car on my friends smog machine to see if it will even pass the emissions test, and I want to get a couple of tanks through the system and some time behind the wheel to make sure everything is golden.

So that's where I'm at now. Here are some pics from tonight.

1st pic is the instrument cluster removed
2nd pic is my NA (left) compared to the SC (right). I am not going to use the SC cluster.
3rd pic is the nifty SC light in the factory setup. I've already emulated this light on my NA dash so I don't need this. Also, this tach won't fit in the NA cluster so I can't use it anyway. Curiously, it appears that the SC light signal is a grounding signal where I wired my SC light to be a positive signal with the Levin engine. So I will have to switch that around before the light works (never ending to-do list)
4th pic are the tach brains: Domestic single coil 4A-GZE (left) and JDM twin coil 4A-GZE (right)
5th pic is the nail from HELL
6th pic: SHE IS FINALLY HOME!!!!!!! Power is GREAT on the street and VERY SMOOTH. It just sucks that the wheel bearing drones everything out. I couldn't get comfortable with the car because I was so worried about that stupid bearing. It will be replaced tomorrow for sure so I'm not too worried about it.

Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on June 02, 2010, 12:30:22 AM
Oh, another interesting thing comparing the NA tach to the SC tach is that the SC's orangeline starts at 7,000 RPM whereas my NA's orangeline starts at 7,250 RPM. The redlines are the same but the orangeline comes in sooner on the SC. Clearly Toyota wanted to encourage short shifting which is understand with all the available torque on hand.

Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: Blane525 on June 02, 2010, 07:35:45 PM
Big mike that is a huge job you just did so that will get you off the hook on the 3394 jpeg yaaa i knew you would need some.. cant stay up all night without a pick me up!!!! AND that is a very nice palate tack in that tire have to be very careful taking the palates apart.. by the way if you think that the flatspots on the tires will be the only damage you have a big suprise instore for you at about 75/80 mph .. bee careful or  :'(
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: Sirdeuce on June 02, 2010, 08:19:28 PM
You have the spare parts for the bearing y'know. The RPM  on the tach is idicative of the powerband and the gearing. The tires need to geet hot a few times, but maybe even then, nyah. If you need to get spares you can go to Kevin's. I took spares over there. All corners are available for bearings.
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on June 03, 2010, 01:23:13 PM
Updates from June 2nd

I picked up some tires from Bryan but then decided to use the ones I had after discovering that my problem was a passengers side rear wheel bearing.

1st image is a box of gewdies :) A MK Powered ES17-12 360-CCA sealed battery and wheel bearing with new seals. The battery only weighs 13 pounds and measures 7" x 3" x 6.5" so it's quite small, just what I was looking for. The Odyssey batteries are nice, but this MK Powered battery was less than $50 so I couldn't resist.

2nd image is the passengers strut removed

3rd image is removing the junk bearing

4th image is how badly pitted the bearing was

5th image is where I intend to mount the battery, nice and low. I just decided to mount a small battery in the engine compartment and not have to worry about long heavy gauge wires running all the way to the front trunk where I had previously mounted a full-size battery

6th image is the bracket and side stop that I built to lock the battery in place. I cut up some old radiator hose and will zip tie the rubber to the bracket to cushion an hold the battery better. This mount actually turned out better than I had originally planned. I like how simple and lightweight it is, and because the battery is light, it doesn't require much at all to hold on and keep it in place.

7th image is the wider Supercharged wheels installed. I am done playing around with tires and am going to take the car to Costco sometime next week to just get a new set of tires installed and balanced for me. I am tired of wasting so much of my valuable time trying to do this myself. I have not washed the car yet.

What's Next...

* Wire in the battery, Fuel grade selector switch, and Supercharger indicator lamp.
* Clean out all the mouse poo from the blower fan and vents and get the A/C charged.
* Finish mounting the Intercooler
* Figure out what to do with my engine hood
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: Sirdeuce on June 03, 2010, 07:17:50 PM
I found a mod for the ABV. Just a little reroute of vacuum lines. They say it's a necessity if you plan to run higher than stock boost. Cap off the vacuum port on the TB and 'T' into a manifold vacuum source. It'll blow off on closed throttle ops, but pressurizes the the signal side of the ABV.
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on June 04, 2010, 10:15:33 AM
I found a mod for the ABV. Just a little reroute of vacuum lines. They say it's a necessity if you plan to run higher than stock boost. Cap off the vacuum port on the TB and 'T' into a manifold vacuum source. It'll blow off on closed throttle ops, but pressurizes the the signal side of the ABV.

Yup, that is the required mod in order to run higher boost :)
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on June 04, 2010, 10:36:42 AM
June 3rd Updates

Got the battery and intercooler mounted and done. The car is pretty much ready for the referee now :D

Today was the easiest and smoothest work day so far. Everything I built fit the first time and a lot of planning came together all at the same time and it was really easy getting stuff done today.

1st picture is the ground strap. No modification required.

2nd picture is the battery bracket with rubber padding

3rd picture is the battery mounted. Please note the hot wire: this is the stock wire! So also no modification needed here either! This battery relocation was a 100% plug-n-play in terms of wiring :)

4th & 5th pics show how I insulated the hot wire

6th pic you can see the battery below the charcoal canister. It tucked away quite nicely
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on June 04, 2010, 10:39:52 AM
And lastly, here is the final intercooler mount. So the intercooler has 3 out of 4 mounting points used, and it's quite rigid. I don't think there will be any problem getting this past the referee.

This is just some simple metric threaded rod that I welded to the frame down below. It provides height adjustment for the intercooler.

I also spent some time trouble shooting my fuel gauge. I tore the inst. cluster apart again and replaced the fuel gauge with the one from my red car, and no dice. So it must be the sending unit in the tank. I'll have to get that fixed soon.

I also hooked up the Supercharger boost indicator lamp but for some reason it is not working. I need to look at the wiring diagram again to see what the difference is between this ECU and the AE92 ECU; Toyota changed something.

Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: Sirdeuce on June 04, 2010, 03:48:56 PM
Want me to bring the sending unit from this spare tank I have? Is there space to mount a fan under that intercooler?
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on June 04, 2010, 04:12:04 PM

That's okay, I need to save the fuel pump from the donor car anyway, so I gotta drop its tank regardless.

What are you doing this Sunday? I need to get rid of my donor car. I was thinking that instead of trailing it up to your house and all around the world, would you be interested in coming down to the shop on Sunday and you can take whatever your heart so desires from the car?

I was thinking I could invite Kevin to come over as well to get any needed parts for the LeMons car.

As for getting air to the IC, yes, there is plenty of room for a fan there. My original idea was to duct a nice under-car air scoop direct to the IC but the heaters hoses, shift linkage, clutch lines, fuel filter, and charcoal canister are right in the way and I think this will be difficult.

For the hood, I've decided to use my 1987 NA hood. It is steel which means I can easily modify it: cut, weld, etcetera. Also, it will bolt right to the body; the SC hood latch is in the wrong spot so I'd have to relocate my hood latch to accommodate.

I understand what Toyota was thinking by forcing the engine bay air through the IC via the 1 vent in the fiberglass SC hood, but it gets so damn hot in there I don't like the idea. I know I can ceramic coat the exhaust and such, but the engine will always be producing waste heat energy.

So right now I am thinking about leaving the small vent on the passengers side of my NA hood to vent hot air, and then cut out a square the same size as the IC and put some sort of louvering or something above the IC. I'll attach a fan to the bottom of the IC to help at lower speeds, and I'm thinking that since I have TWO side intake vents on the car (remember I have one installed on the drivers side), maybe my engine compartment temps could be kept low?
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: Sirdeuce on June 04, 2010, 04:56:43 PM
You could put a divider to isolate the IC from the engine heat. Oh yeah, you have the vent on the driver side. Use that vent as an exhaust.  I have some material you might be interested in for the divider.
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on June 04, 2010, 11:04:48 PM
You could put a divider to isolate the IC from the engine heat.
Hmmm a divider is a really great idea!

Oh yeah, you have the vent on the driver side. Use that vent as an exhaust.  I have some material you might be interested in for the divider.
It's gonna remain as an intake

June 4th Update

Today I got my A/C system charged and it works!! I dropped the car off at Marlin & Tony's Automotive and they said that after they converted it to R134a and charged it, it didn't work for about 5 or 10 mins, so they just let it idle and blow and then suddenly it began getting cold. They told me that the expansion valve was most likely stuck and then it freed itself. SWEET. So now the car has AIR CONDITIONING!!! The A/C in this car has not worked since 1999!!!!! 11 years ago! DANG!

And I was feeling so great about the car, everything was going great, got the battery and IC mounted, and it seemed to be 100% ready for the referee this Monday.

And then the car began loosing power. I first noticed it last night driving home from Denny's. The car didn't want to rev over about 4,000 RPM. It sometimes would and sometimes wouldn't. It was a complete loss of power, felt like the rev limiter, but at 3,750 RPM less.

So I figured it had to be the fuel filter, who knows how old it was and there was probably some gunk in the tank. And when I removed the lower line from the fuel filter, a TON of orange nasty dirty and crap came hauling out of the filter. So with the line removed, I hot wired the fuel pump (EXTREMELY easy to do with a MK1 MR2) and there was hardly any flow at all. It was just sort of dribbling out of the fuel line.

So now it looks like the pump is junk, and I know there is junk in the tank, and also the fuel sender isn't working, so I just decided to swap tanks.

1st pic - Here is the donor car back on the rack.

2nd pic - the SC tank removed
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on June 04, 2010, 11:12:19 PM
Next I threw my car up on the rack and yanked the tank

Check out the sweet nest Bevin's family of squirrels built atop my gas tank. There was an insignia that they scratched with their little cute nails that they made four liters of babies there. Ahhhh I thought that was so nice, thanks for all the critters Bevin :)
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on June 04, 2010, 11:16:48 PM
I R&R'd the gas tank in like 30 mins, I was like Speedy Gonzales in there, it was a sa-weet job, easy to do.

Then I decided to pull out the sending unit to see why it stopped working,




it seems that just a lil bit of moisture got in there, what do you guys think? It should still be working, right?
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on June 04, 2010, 11:21:30 PM
HOLY CRAP the ENTIRE tank is lined with RUST, it is HORRIBLE. And I've already put about 100 miles on the engine, GOOD THING FOR FUEL FILTERS!! DANG!

So after that was all done, I got some gas and went out for a drive. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh it runs so nice. This car is a complete delight to drive. The power band is as smooth as glass and the engine doesn't care what gear it's in.

Also, I am really starting to get my feel for the car back in my blood. Since I've been driving it, I was still really nervous (it has been sitting for 6 yrs!). The wheel bearing noise didn't help the situation lol But I was thinking, man, is this really what I want to be daily driving? I seriously asked myself that a couple of times. Something didn't feel just at home yet. I was thinking about how rough and stripped down the car was and how I used to enjoy that so much. That complete lack of refinement. How in the world did I live with that and would I be able to enjoy the car again like I did before?

But after getting all these little bugs ironed out and now that the car is running so great I am really beginning to settle in and fall in love with her again. I am so happy I got this car running again, words cannot express the joy and pride I have for this car right now.

Also, the car feels so bloody quick (quick, not fast) I wonder how did I drive the car around at 16+ PSI boost with stupid water injection... and completely smog illegal? As it is already just at 8 PSI, I feel the car is completely unusable in the city. Anything I do with my right foot basically is a $300 speeding ticket.

So tomorrow I am going to take it out of the city to calm my nerves. Bill, I am thinking about running up to your place after church. Will you be home around 1-2 pm? I gotta be in Madera by 4pm so I can't stay too long, I just want to get out on the open road and just make sure the car is reliable, even in the hills. The tires I am using aren't that bad... the front-right is the worst but I think it's okay. I should get new tires next week and finally get them balanced!

So next week I could have a fully registered and licensed Supercharged MR2 with new & balanced tires. MMMMMmmmmmmmmmmmmm


Check it out: My fuel gauge works!!
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on June 04, 2010, 11:40:30 PM
You know, another thing is very strange about this car. Even with these crappy tires, when I make a corner and try to turn in sharper and sharper, I can't get the tires to squeal. Even this morning getting on the freeway at Fowler and HWY180, I was doing 45 or 50 in 3rd gear around a 180-degree on-ramp and I didn't get any complaints from the tires.

It's really weird, the more steering input I provide, the more the car responds by turning sharper and sharper.

Hahahaha LOL!!

I'm telling you what, the difference between the MR2's suspension and both the Infiniti and the Saturn's suspension, isn't even night and day, it is like, I don't know, it's unreal. The Saturn even has new tires and it squeeeeeels like crazy around that on-ramp at about 40 MPH and the Infiniti begins to push at 30-35 MPH.

Hopefully by now you guys can understand how far removed and dislocated I have become from a car like this. This has been looooooooooooooong over due for me and I am very grateful to Bevin for allowing me to store the car at his place so that I can enjoy it fully today.

Now it's time to attack some hills!

Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on June 06, 2010, 09:30:38 PM
June 6th Updates

I'll keep this short.

Today my goals were to clean out all the mouse poo from the climate system and replace the Diagnostics connector that somehow got ripped off from the engine harness from the previous owner.

1st pic: Here is the blower fan sitting next to a crap load of crap

2nd pic: I remember storing the car with the climate control set to the recirculate position. But since I got the car running, the system was stuck in that recirculate position for some reason. When I switched for outside air vent, nothing would happen, no sound, nothing. So when I tore everything apart, this is what I found. CRAZY MICE!

3rd pic: The air vent for the recirculate feature has a nice plastic grill to keep little critters out. Well, look what those greedy little guys did! Om nom nom nom nom nom nom

4th pic: The passengers side all toe up. I removed most of the ducting and washed it out with water. Surprisingly there wasn't much poo in there, but it was urine residue left in the pipes, most likely from some chicks the mice brought over to my car and they got drunk and hammered and had to pee like a race mice.

5th pic: The wires all repaired. I hit the switch and TA-DA! The vent now works :D

6th pic: Bill was nice enough to remove the rear brake light assemblies from the donor car which I quickly swapped onto mine. It's difficult to really tell from the picture, but my lenses were cracking and fading and the donor car's were in far greater condition.
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on June 06, 2010, 09:35:01 PM
Then I tackled the last remaining item on the list before I can take the car in to the referee: The diagnostics connector.

1st pic: How it looked then

2nd pic: How it looks now. Jus' look at that professional job!

3rd pic: Lunch with Bill & Kevin was both a blast as well as delicious :P
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on June 06, 2010, 09:38:47 PM
So now the car is 100% ready, I drove it out to Madera Rachos Sabbath afternoon & it cruises effortlessly, and the A/C blows super cold and smells completely fresh :-)

16 hours from now I will know if I pass or fail, stay tuned!

Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: Blane525 on June 06, 2010, 10:59:26 PM
Holly crap batman thought you where going to have them test smog first! but then again it wont be ness. cause it runs so fine...  ;D need to concentrateon a doner car now! the more that i look at that fix it again tony sideways looks very interesting :-\  good luck hope that they all have the runs and let it slide!
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on June 06, 2010, 11:33:38 PM
Yeah, I just ran out of time on the pre-smog idea.

Just get your MGB going!!! Even if you throw in some 150 HP engine just to get it running, it would be a blast! Slap the Mog-da engine in there!! WORD!
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: Sirdeuce on June 07, 2010, 09:08:35 AM
Don't even need a 150HP mill. A little 80 pony pepper grinder will do. just get it on the road. drive it now, mod it later.
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: Blane525 on June 07, 2010, 11:46:19 PM
AAAAUGH now the pressure don't you know ... i don't like to try it under powered i already know that it sucks having a 100hp P.O.J. this will be my promise the stout gets moved outside and i get the 3.4 done in the runner so that i have my 4x back. then an 8) all out motor search will begin. signed BEVIN LANE. I promise :)
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on June 12, 2010, 09:22:13 PM
Sorry for the lack of updates. It can only mean one thing: I've been having too much fun driving my MR2!!!!

June 7 Updates

Ok, today I had an appointment with the state referee @ 12:50pm. I left work and showed up about 15 mins early (on purpose). It turned out they were on lunch break so I had to wait for them to get back. They got back around 12:55 and didn't come out to start the paper work with me until it was already about 1:10pm.

1st pic: Me sitting in my car waiting for that roll up door to open

2nd pic: My car under inspection
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: Sirdeuce on June 12, 2010, 09:24:47 PM
So, 2010 tags?!
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on June 12, 2010, 09:32:22 PM
So I waited across the parking lot for about 20 mins and then I heard my car start up and the reverse lights turned on. They backed the car up onto the smog dyno and I was thinking, "Great! They are gonna smog it now, boy I hope it passes!!".

But the car kept moving. They backed onto the smog dyno and then continued off of it and proceeded to reverse out of the garage and back into the parking stall.

I was thinking, "OHH NOES! It failed the visual inspection OH MAN! :("

So they wave me to come over, and it turns out that they "ran out of time" because they couldn't find the computer!! I was like, ".... Ummmmm WHAT?"

Here was the dialog:

Smog ref Rick: "We looked all over the interior and couldn't find the ECU."
Me: "The computer is located in the trunk."
Rick: "Well the trunk doesn't open, so go fix that and then reschedule an appointment to come back"
Me: "Ohh, sorry, I forgot to mention that the trunk cable has frozen from sitting so long, so you have to use the key"
Smog assistant: "I used the key for the trunk and it didn't open"
Rick: "Ok, like I said, please fix the trunk and then come back"
Me: "It's not broken, here watch" and I proceeded to use the key to open the trunk, and then pulled back the carpet to expose the ECU.
Smog assistant: "See Rick! I told you the ECU was in the trunk!"
Rick: "Oh, well great, now we found it let me write down the ECU numbers. Is this the original ECU?"

So that was the story. He apologized for the fact that they only have a "40 min window" to inspect each car and that they ran out of time so I have to reschedule.

He also said, quote,
"It looks like you know what you are doing, and if everything else looks as good as what I've seen so far, I'll pass you in about 15 more mins"

I was very pleased to hear this, but too bad I had to reschedule... So I called the referee program and rescheduled for 3:40pm Wednesday (June 9th).

Here is the picture of the first smog inspection result:
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on June 12, 2010, 09:42:53 PM
June 9th Update: Referee Visit #2

So I get off work around 3:20p and head back to the referee. When I got there everything was shut down and all the student workers had gone home (since this is at the City College Auto Mechanic campus).

They came out and Rick told me that he ran the numbers on the ECU and it matched the 1988 4A-GZE (I was thinking, "well no duh").

So they drove the car back into the shop and I proceeded to walk to the far side of the parking lot once again. It seemed to take forever (really only took about 15 or 20 mins) and they fired it up and backed it out and waved me over. While I was walking over, I was thinking..... Ok, 2 possibilities: Pass or no pass. I was really nervous, I almost didn't want to ask, and before I could inquire, he said, "Ok! Everything looks great! Thank you for giving us an easy job!"


He said that it was nice that I had every required sensor and component in exactly the location where they are supposed to be, and that everything looked great. We talked for a while and he told me that some people will show up with wires not even loomed with butt-connectors and bad grounds and that sometimes it can be a real rats nest of a mess. He was glad that I had done a complete job so that he just had to run down the check list to finish it.

Also, another thing is that they no longer smog the car. He said that on engine conversions, all they do is a comprehensive visual test and then the car is released to go to a normal smog shop for that. When they did my truck, they also smogged it, but not anymore.

Additionally, there is NO CHARGE. I was thinking this is strange. I guess it just comes out of our tax dollars. They should at least charge $5 or something? Anyway, I was really glad that was over.

1st pic: Passed the visual check.

2nd pic: $0.00 total charge.

3rd pic: The new state approved sticker! :)
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on June 12, 2010, 09:46:00 PM
After that I headed straight to our friendly smog guy, Bee, who is also a long time customer of ours. He is an awesome guy and I HIGHLY recommend you taking your car to him to get it smogged. He is the coolest guy, and started his own smog garage and really needs the business. He is an honest, hard working Hmong guy with a family and a Land Cruiser and we take all of our trucks there for smog. You couldn't ask for a nicer guy. I can't say enough great things about him.

1st & 2nd pics: My baby on the smog dyno at Bee's
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on June 12, 2010, 09:54:56 PM
When he first started, I showed him the Referee sticker and he said,

"Hey, this sticker doesn't show that the engine is Supercharged and I can't smog it"

I WAS LIKE, WHAT??!!?!?!? なに?なんでこれ!きみはほんとうじょうだんでしょ!!!!!おまえ!!!くそくそくそ!

So I told him that if you look at the "Comments" line it does indeed show "4A-GZE" and he said, "Oh really, hmmmmmm................" and he pulled out this H-U-G-E C.A.R.B. rule book and started looking all through it for a good 5 mins and then said, "Ok, as long as the sticker includes the engine identification it is okay".    WHEW.

So he proceeded with the smog test, and the first run it failed so bad the computer wouldn't accept the test. He asked me how old the cat was and I said I have now idea and I probably need to buy a new one. しまった! He said, "Well, let's try it again" and he revved it at about 4,000 RPM for a good 3 mins and then restarted the test. This time the computer monitor responded really quick through each test and it PASSED!!

I know that the Cat has to warm up to work, but it was strange because the car was idling for at least 10 mins while he was checking the engine timing and testing the pressure of the fuel and EVAP system. So I figured it was good and warm, but I guess at an idle there isn't enough unburned fuel to warm the cat up. Man I am glad I didn't need to buy a new cat.

And get this, this is the CLEANEST car I have ever owned. Just look at the numbers:
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: Sirdeuce on June 12, 2010, 10:02:25 PM
 Nice to be LEGAL again! Time to mod it! Need to start thread on the smog program. Talk about our nightmares.
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on June 12, 2010, 10:02:34 PM
Unfortunately at this time AAA had closed so I couldn't get it registered until the next day

June 10th

Went to the DMV (at AAA) after work to finish the job.

The lady said, "Okay, it will be $193"

(I had already checked a couple weeks ago if the car was on non-OP, which it was. To tell you the truth I do not remember non-OPing it. I had feared it would be like $600 had I not non-OPed it, so I was happy to pay $193. )

I asked, "does this includes the cost of the vanity plate?"
lady: "Yes"
me: "Okay, then I'd like to release interest in the custom plates and just assign whatever random plate" (obviously "20V PWR" no longer has any meaning to this car)

I was thinking that this would save me the $30 or $40 of the vanity charge. So I filled out a couple forms and surrendered my rear plate (I told her I lost the front plate during the 6 years of storage).

Then she says, "Ok, that will be $67 please"

WOOOOOOOHOOOOOOOOOO!!! So apparently they were charging me the $30 or $40 charge for all the back years I had the car on non-OP, so once I release the plates that charge disappeared. SA-WEET.

So there it is: My new plates with my nice new "2011" sticker :D :D

To tell you the truth, I think I will keep it this way. It goes very well with my sleeper look.
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on June 12, 2010, 10:06:13 PM
Nice to be LEGAL again! Time to mod it! Need to start thread on the smog program. Talk about our nightmares.

hahaha I already did over on the Marlin forum. Clicky for a good time: How to Pass Smog (

So that is it, the car is state approved, smogged, insured, and registered. :D What a relief.
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: Sirdeuce on June 12, 2010, 10:08:54 PM
Fantastic! Might bring back the HI PSI later?
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on June 12, 2010, 11:29:47 PM
It is a possibility...

I was thinking about a "6SPD GZE" because one normally wouldn't find a close ratio gear box behind a wide torque banded supercharged engine, so this would point to the fact that I prefer windy roads instead of straight roads.
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: Sirdeuce on June 13, 2010, 09:39:54 PM
There is a reason for wide gears and wide powerbands, as is narrow gears and narrow powerbands.
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BryanH on June 14, 2010, 12:50:20 AM
Nice. :)  That's quick progress to get the car back on the road and registered after it's been sitting for so long.

However, if you want to see a clean MR2, I have some numbers for you. :D


All the tree huggers love my MR2 Turbo.  ;)  Too bad they don't sell ULEV stickers.  I'd totally buy some and stick them on the windows. 

For reference, my 2004 Honda put out almost identical numbers on the smog dyno.
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on June 14, 2010, 02:53:12 AM
That is super clean, those NOx are amazing. Looks like they made it more strict for the MK2 also.

blane525's 2003 2.7-liter Tacoma 4cyl in his 1984 Hilux truck smogged nearly that well. That's really great
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: Sirdeuce on June 14, 2010, 02:00:27 PM
A tribute to a well maintained vehicle Bryan! My FX ran about that clean and got between 35mpg and 45mpg, depending on  how hard it was pushed. And they say older cars are just not up to snuff.
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on June 14, 2010, 03:06:12 PM
And they say older cars are just not up to snuff.
I thought they say old men are not up to snuff?
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: Sirdeuce on June 14, 2010, 04:08:16 PM
Respect your elders.................... BOY!
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: Sirdeuce on June 15, 2010, 06:41:35 AM
Ok, not as close as I remember on the smog test to Bryans as I thought. Scanner ain't workin' so'o I cain't shows ya the achull thang, but......... Consider this is using a set of WEB Cams 294 grind. 244* duration(only 4* more than stock) with a higher lift of 8.15mm. And not timed properly.
HC was measured at 1002 RPM at 27 PPM, and at 2474 RPM at 34 PPM.
CO was measured at 1002 RPM at 0.01%, and at 2474 RPM at 0.01%
NO wasn't measured as we are in the backwoods and not required to do so, YET! But judging by the HC being a little rich I don't think that would be an issue. So Mike, think you might want to run a set of these cams? Might run a little cleaner if timed right too. I did try the 'hypermiling' thing on 1 tank and got 48.sumpin mpg. You don't want to drive that way! Believe me!
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: Sirdeuce on June 15, 2010, 06:50:42 AM
Found the test from when I got the car. It was in the same pile. just for S&G the results, completely stock, are......
HC at 1759 RPM 58 PPM and at 2019 RPM 39 PPM
CO at 1759 RPM 0.01% and at 2019 RPM 0.09%
NO at 1759 RPM 21 PPM and at 2019 RPM 18 PPM
So the WEB cams actually ran CLEANER!! Whoda thunk? Maybe try a set of 256* duration cams next.
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on June 15, 2010, 07:39:05 AM
So Mike, think you might want to run a set of these cams?

Do you have another set that you are not currently using? If so would you be interested in selling them to me? I'd like to also buy back my SC TRD header. I'm gonna start modifying things starting in mid or late July.

Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: Sirdeuce on June 15, 2010, 10:04:55 AM
Go get the set from Kevin, bring ti up here and I'll help you with the shimming. We can put the headers on too. I guess we'll just have to get by with the 264* came in the Poupe. (sigh)
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: Sirdeuce on June 15, 2010, 10:11:34 AM
Maybe you want to play with the 264* cams?
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on June 15, 2010, 10:25:53 AM
Maybe you want to play with the 264* cams?
Tell me what you think about this. If I get my VVT cam gear to work on the intake side, then would it be better to use a shorter duration cam (something like the 294) but with a bigger lift, like 8.5mm? Because the VVT can control the rough idle and valve over lapping issues at lower RPM while taking advantage of the free flow at higher RPMs.

The only thing I don't understand yet is the affect boost will have. Obviously too much valve over lap is bad with boost, so that's why I think if the duration of the cam was kept to a minimum you could minimize the overlap.

Comparing some cams:

Grind        Duration        Lift
294220.322" or 8.18mm
264218.375" or 9.52mm
101250.350" or 9.89mm

WOW That 264 is exactly what I am talking about: shorter duration + taller lift. BUT, what will I need to do in order to run that large of a lift?
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: Sirdeuce on June 15, 2010, 10:38:33 AM
The cams I have available are a 7.9mm, 8.1mm, 8.35mm lifts. Kevin has the 7.9mm and 8.1mm. Put thr 8.1 as your intake, and the 8'35 as the exhaust. Pulley, exhaust. Get in sit down, shut up, yeeehaww
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on June 15, 2010, 10:40:06 AM
Here is a great read (I'll read through it when I get time later)

Quote from: scomatic
Modification of an engine’s valve timing is best approached with a degree of caution. For otherwise stock engines, the mildest cams should perform well. Performance will improve with improved induction, i.e., carburetion or a more efficient injection (ported/polished throttle body) and exhaust system (headers). Modest performance increases can always be achieved by fine turning with adjustable timing gears to advance or retard the valve opening and closing.

In discussing and comparing camshaft designs, there are three important parameters to keep in mind. First is the lift, or how far the valve comes off the seat. Unfortunately we seem to forget from time to time that there is theoretical valve lift and net valve lift, and because the 4A-G is an over head cam design there is little difference between the two. The camshaft acts directly on the valves through the shim and bucket (lifter, follower).

The second important parameter, is the duration. This is the length of time, measured in crank degrees, that the valve is open. There are usually two methods of stating this measurement. Advertised duration is normally what you see when looking at a catalog and the second method is usually stated at some point in the valve lift height. (None of the major suppliers for the 4A-G do this for reasons unknown). Thus directly comparing one camshafts duration against another would only be useful for comparing camshafts from the same manufacturer.

The last parameter to keep in mind is where to set the camshaft. It can be set by the beginning of the valve opening or closing or at maximum lift, lobe center. The lobe center is usually between the opening and closing angle, but not necessarily so, especially if the opening and closing ramps are not symmetrical to each other.

Depending on how fast the valve is lifted, the high lift cams (generally recommended for 9mm and up) require under bucket shims to keep metal pieces in their proper spot. If cylinder filling capacity is the same between a seemingly long duration cam and a high lift cam, a fat, flat top cam lobe, not having very much lift may try an aggressive (square shape), valve opening and closing. This is to try and gain the advantage of increased flow by allowing the valve to open sooner and close later, which can result in tremendous stress on the cam and lifters. On the other hand, a pointy Hi-lift cam may have reduced stresses to the lifter but may increase stress to the valve spring to the point of binding the spring. As a practical matter there is a point at which increasing lift has little benefit in increasing efficiency and is obviously depended upon operating RPM. Therefore the design of each valve train component is dependent on a cam feature. The valve spring is affected by the lobe height, and the lifter & shim is affected by the cam ramp and/or flank.

The area on the cam lobe that determines the rate the valves open and close is the ramp. The ramp is that part of the lobe that takes up or allows the re-establishment of clearance in the valve train. Ramp designs have a great effect on throttle response, low speed torque, and valve train reliability. This is the hardest to measure and usually not published. The Ramp design separates manufacturer's designs from another. Moreover, the duration and lift are usually advertised numbers and are not necessary a good way to compare one design to another. The .9835” diameter of the shim will only allow so much aggressively quick opening before the cam lobe catches the edge of the shim or is popped out of the lifter like a tidily wink. An under bucket shim configuration will allow added safety by protecting the shim and allowing greater contact area, e.g., ~ 1.102” dia. of the lifter (bucket). Though it is more time consuming in setting and maintaining the proper valve lash, clearance.

Note, when measuring a cam profile the area of contact between the cam lobe and the lifter, i.e., the width of the shim, has a profound affect on the rate of change (crank degrees per inches (mm) of valve Lift) the valve and valve train will under go. So if your are calculating loads and acceleration of the valve train, it is best to measure crank degree change per lift with a wide flat surface, simulating the lifter, rather than using just the point of the dial indicator. This would give you a better indication of the cam’s actual duration.

The larger the duration and lift a camshaft has, the more it becomes necessary to have a better induction and an exhaust system. Since the engine is an air/fuel pump and the more air/fuel you can pump into it on any given stroke the more potential power you can gain. Higher lift allows for potentially more air to flow, while increasing the duration allows the air/fuel to rush in longer. Notice that I have used the words “potentially”. This is because efficiency depends on what is before and after the valve, not to mention the valves themselves. The more radical cams require higher compression pistons and greater valve spring clearances and/or spring rates for higher lift, and preventing valve float. A camshaft is part of the induction system and it must be tuned with all the other components within that system to work to its full potential.

The cam designer wants to design a cam that will open the valve as quickly as possible and hold it open as long as needed for cylinder filling and close the valve at the correct time and in the process keep all of the metal pieces intact. Cam grinders and racing engine builders are seeking a rectangular valve lift profile. This is an ideal that cannot be approached, but if it could the valve would remain closed until you wanted it open and then it would be fully opened instantaneously. It would be held there for complete cylinder filling, and then it would be closed instantaneously. The height, lift, of the valve opening would be the height that the flow bench or trial and error showed would produce the desired maximum amount of filling.

In reality, the cam must be designed to open valves before the piston starts a stroke and it also must close the valves after the completion of the stroke. The intake charge can be visualized as being “parked” in the port waiting for the valve to open. As the valve opens further, the velocity of the intake charge grows. Opening the intake valve before the piston ever reaches TDC (top dead center) the cam designer is already taking advantage of the situation and allowing the intake system to build up a maximum amount of velocity or inertia to aid in cylinder filling. As the piston goes over TDC and starts downward, the velocity of the air/fuel mixture increases as the intake valve reaches maximum lift. Even after the piston reaches BDC (bottom dead center) and starts back up on the compression stroke the intake valve is still open, allowing more air/fuel to enter. The compression stroke does not develop enough pressure against the incoming mixture flow to interfere with this flow until the piston is part of the way up the stroke. It is said that the intake charge has inertia.

On the exhaust side, the valve is opened long before the end of the power stroke. In theory it would be nice to keep the intake and exhaust valve closed until the piston reaches the very end of the power stroke to take advantage of all of the pressure created by the combustion. In practice, the bit of burning gases that are left is not worth fooling with since the peak cylinder pressure is over before the halfway point of the stroke (discounting emissions). By opening the exhaust valve early, the velocity in the exhaust port can begin to exit and thus the piston on the next upward stroke will not have to fight to get the exhaust gases past the valve and into the port. The exhaust valve is left slightly open as the piston is once again brought up to top dead center. This is done to help scavenge as much of the residual gas as possible still in the combustion chamber.

In a typical turbo set-up, they will run relatively short duration (less over lap) cams. Otherwise they will blow all the intake charge into the exhaust side, or worse, reversing (reversion) the exhaust gas into the intake. The pressure, intake or exhaust, will find the easiest path to flow, and if it is easier to go straight through the cylinder, equalizing the difference in pressure and decreasing the amount of work the turbine can do, it will. You will not only lose the air/fuel charge that could have gone into the cylinder but decrease the efficiency of the exhaust turbine as well. The typical GSR turbo-charge Honda is running lobe centers (max lift) between 112 and 108 degrees, with 235° VTEC duration above 4,000 RPM.

On the other hand a 4A-GZE runs a positive displacement “air pump” that is dependent upon the motors RPM and not the hot exhaust gases that a turbo motor would depend upon. So increasing the duration and lift for that engine could have some benefits. It just thinks it is below sea level any way. (running at higher atmospheric pressures)

An interesting aspect of cam duration is the use of a dual pattern or different duration cams for the exhaust and intake. When used correctly, a different exhaust duration from the intake can broaden the torque range, but generally speaking they will not deliver as much peak torque as can be found with matched cams in a narrower RPM range. This is not all bad because it is still torque that wins races. Typically you will see the exhaust cam one step lower in duration than the intake to broaden the torque range, but I have not seen anything that says you can not do it the other way around.

Trying to select a cam duration to use for racing (or street) is going to be a compromise. With this in mind, the camshaft requirements for a road race, street or drags would be considerably different than for a super speedway event using a Formula Atlantic prepared engine where the RPM band is very narrow and/or has the use of a close ratio gear box.

One of the factors that must be weighed is the need for some balancing between intake and exhaust flow. This is governed by flow capabilities of the head and intake manifold in addition to, as said before, on the existing induction and exhaust system and on where you want the torque and horse power to be, and how flat or how limited the useful RPM range can be. Now this depends on the weight of the vehicle, momentum changes (acceleration and deceleration), gear ratios, track conditions, etc.

Generally speaking a short duration cam will produce more torque at lower RPM range. There are two reasons for this. The engine builds up more cylinder pressure and the cylinder pressure is put to work for a longer period of time. And as the duration increases the torque will move up the RPM range. Remember your engine and ignition system must be up to the task. As you can see by the following table listing numerous camshafts, a turner can choose from many different configurations, and a competitive racing program will have tested most of them.

One of the many tricks that early hot rodders used to do (and still do) was to grind camshafts to the lift and duration desired. Reground stock cams have a reduced base circle which changes the valve train geometry, requiring many special mechanical modifications to make it work properly. (See Photo)

Because the 4AG has a cam lobe on either side of a cam bearing journal, it makes it critical that adequate clearance is given between the lifter (bucket) & shim and the bearing journal surface. The reduction of the cam lobe base circle, without extensive head modifications, requires the use of thicker shims. This will increase valve train reciprocating mass and inertia (adding stress and increasing the potential for major failure). Too thick a shim necessitates radiusing the edge to clear the cam bearing journal, increasing the possibility that the cam lobe will grab the shim and flip it out. An alternative would be to narrow the cam shaft bearing, but this would cause greater wear on the bearing caps and/or increase oil loss (lower oil pressure). Another alternative would be to reduce the bearing journal diameter, but that would require welding up the bearing caps and reboring them. For your information the size of the first cam bearing journal/oil seal surface should be (1.3768” ~ 1.3791” (34.97 ~ 35.03mm) dia. The journal diameters between the lobes should be 1.0610” ~ 1.0616” (26.949 ~ 26.965mm) dia.).

Therefore it is strongly urged that reground cams (Bull Frog, PAECO, etc.) not be used. Use only cams ground from new billet stock, e.g., HKS, TRD, TODA POWER, TOYOTA, etc. My suggestion is that if TRD, i.e., Formula Atlantic engine supplier, or one of the others that have extensive 4A-G racing experience do not do it, then you should be really skeptical that someone else would or does anything different. Regrinding a camshaft only removes material that the 4A-G needs to maintain the base circle the same size as the bearing journal.

With that said, it is also recommend that you follow all the recommendations the manufacturer of the cams has to offer. They have done the testing and spent the money. Typically they will also recommend changing the valve springs. The stock valve springs should not only be replaced, but also upgraded to ensure that the valves can follow the new and sometimes more radical cam lobe profile. The stock valve springs are only capable of ».318” (< 8.0mm) lift. With the stock installation height of 1.366” (34.7mm), they bind at 1.048” (26.6mm) compression and they will float some where above 8,000rpm. Nevertheless one should always check valve spring squareness, free height and installation height spring force. One should never take a chance on valve springs that do not look similar to the stock Toyota parts, or to well-established racers like TRD’s or Toda’s parts, in the number of coils, the width and height of the spring, and thickness of each coil. High performance alloy steels, heat treating, stress relieving and the most efficient coil spring design are pretty common to the industry (especially those that know 4AG).

(See Photo)

Also note that stronger springs mean greater friction and greater wear on the cam lobes and shims. It is one of those compromises that trade valve float for life. Use the best oil and filter (frequently) you can buy to make your investment last longer.

When installing the camshaft, start by following the manufacturing recommendation. For folks with a little more ambition the cam can be tuned. You will need a degree wheel and a dial indicator and knowledge of the Top Dead Center (TDC) and Bottom Dead Center (BDC) of the engine. This will establish the base line from which tests can be made and the cams advanced, retarded, separation increased or decreased as desired.

Using adjustable cam sprockets can optimize the performance of any cam. This allows for “degreeing” in the proper cam timing for the particular engine and intended use. This procedure is best carried out on a dynamometer so that quantifiable results can be measured. The advancing or retardation of cam timing will affect the peak power of the engine by moving the power band up or down the curve. There are many adjustable cam sprockets to choose from, each differing in design from all aluminum to using steel (less thermal expansion), but the most convenient to use are the ones with precision markings to allow for track turning and returning to the original settings.

In general, advancing both camshafts increases bottom-end power and retarding both cams will increase top-end by giving higher peak RPM power. On twin-cam engines, changing the lobe center separation between exhaust and intake will change the valve overlap. This can be used to improve top-end or bottom-end, but this depends on the critical placement of the intake closing and exhaust opening events. The placement of both events has a significant effect on power, i.e., exhaust valve opening determines the beginning of the exhaust cycle and cylinder blow down, and the placement of the intake closing event fixes the balance between cylinder filling and intake reversion. It must be emphasized that this is only a generalization and that you must perform dyno/track testing to fully realize the benefits. In the absence of a dyno, timed acceleration tests can be performed. These acceleration tests can also be performed using a precision accelerometer.

Tuning the cam to the specific engine operations, i.e., acceleration from a stop, between two RPM ranges, etc. will maximize what is important to you. Peak horsepower is only impressive on a dyno. By its self, it will not improve track times. Note, when adjusting the cam sprocket, make sure the ignition timing is corrected between each cam adjustment. The exhaust cam drives the distributor and any change to the exhaust cam will change the ignition timing. After changing the cam timing and correcting the ignition timing, the fuel calibration must also be checked. Cam timing has a profound effect on the air/fuel mixture and if not optimized for each cam timing setting you will not know if the effect of the change in cam timing is positive or negative.

The following list is typical literature power band information for the 4AG naturally aspirated configuration. The information is general and provides a good idea of what you can expect from the cams. The actual performance of any given cam in your engine depend on several variables including type of induction system, carburetion or fuel injection, exhaust system, valve spring rates, compression ratio and the normal environmental factors such as fuel, ambient temperature and humidity etc.

The 4AG intake and exhaust cams are interchangeable, providing that the exhaust cam has the distributor gear (not necessary for digital spark advance systems). Remember, too much cam will make the engine run worse, not better. The power will come on higher in the RPMs. Idle will be poor and emissions will be bad (if you cared).

View of shims wiped by an 8.3mm lift HKS cam shows it is using all the available area. The Ramp design is critical, so that the shim edge does not catch the cam lobe. Also notice the under cut in the bearing saddle. Extra thick shims will interfere with the cam-bearing journal. Therefore it is critical the base circle of the camshaft not be less than the diameter of the cam bearing.
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on June 15, 2010, 10:40:12 AM
4A-GE 16V Camshaft Comparisons:

Intake opening
Exhaust opening

Stock 4AG(Z)EU used on 90~91 Hi-comp. AE92 and supercharged AW11. P/N Intake 13501-16030. Ex. 13502-16020, Good turbo cam. Keeps exhaust pressures high without blowing back though intake manifold.

9°BTDC (Stock -max lift @ 111°)
51°BBDC (Stock -max lift @ 111°)
Stock 4AGEU used on AE86 and AW11. P/N Intake 13501-16010. Ex. 13502-16010. Some have found good power setting the maximum lobe lift for the exhaust at 100°BTDC and intake at 100°ATDC. For more bottom end power retard the exhaust 4° and advance the intake 3°. For more top end, advance intake 4°and exhaust 3° from stock settings.

.322” (8.2mm)
Web – p/n 45-082, Grind number 294; Duration @ .050” lift is 218°. Increases overall power. Ground on new billet cams. Works with factory injection or carburetors.

HKS - p/n 2202-RT030, Can be used on 4AGZE

.350” (8.9mm)
Web – p/n 45-092, Grind number 101; Duration @ .050” lift is 228°. Increases mid and upper RPM power. Ground on new billet cams. May cause fair idle on fuel injected engines.

TRD - no longer available. Good bottom-end power and plenty of mid-range for passing.

Toda - p/n 02.TD.CS4AG0S1

HKS - p/n 2202-RT031, Can be used on 4AGZE

Toda - p/n 02.TD.CS4AGBF2, Recommended to use Toda’s valve train kit, i.e., under bucket shims

Toda - p/n 02.TD.CS4AGCJ1, Recommended to use Toda’s valve train kit, i.e., under bucket shims

.398” (10.1mm)
Web – p/n 45-131 (Hard-weld), Grind number 286; Duration @ .050” lift is 226°. Designed for off-road and stadium racing. Requires under bucket shims.

TRD - no longer available. Increased performance, needs headers, more performance with higher compression. Mfg. recommends setting the cam at max lift for the intake at 106° ATDC and exhaust at 116°BTDC.

Toda - p/n 02.TD.CS4AGCJ2

HKS - p/n 2202-RT032, Can be used on 4AGZE

Toda - p/n 02.TD.CS4AGCJ3, Recommended to use Toda’s valve train kit, i.e., under bucket shims

Toda - p/n 02.TD.CS4AGAI1, Recommended to use Toda’s valve train kit, i.e., under bucket shims

TRD - p/n intake, 13501-AE871, ex. 13502-AE871. Increased performance, needs headers, more performance with higher compression, approaching limits of stock EFI, works best with side drafts. Ex. max lift set at 98° BTDC. In. max lift set at 100° ATDC. Will work with new (suggested) factor valve springs.

Toda - p/n 02.TD.CS4AG0C2

Toda - p/n 02.TD.CS4AG0A2

HKS - p/n 2202-RT033, Using both intake and exhaust on a stock Supercharged 4AGEZ has less bottom end below 3,000, strong mid to high end power.

Toda - p/n 02.TD.CS4AG0P1, Recommended to use Toda’s valve train kit, i.e., under bucket shims

Toda - p/n 02.TD.CS4AG0B2, Recommended to use Toda’s valve train kit, i.e., under bucket shims

Toda - p/n 02.TD.CS4AGAI2, Recommended to use Toda’s valve train kit, i.e., under bucket shims

Toda - p/n 02.TD.CS4AG0P4, Must use Toda’s valve train kit, i.e., under bucket shims

TRD - p/n ex. 13502-AE831. N2 and Rally cam has good bottom-end torque and strong mid-range, revs to 7,500 RPM. (requires race engine prep. and mod.s) Ex. max lift set at 100° BTDC

Toda - p/n 02.TD.CS4AGCJ4, Must use Toda’s valve train kit, i.e., under bucket shims

.384” (9.8mm)
Web – p/n 45-021 (Hard-weld), Grind number 119; Duration @ .050” lift is 240°. Good overall power for off-road racing. Requires under bucket shims.

Toda - p/n 02.TD.CS4AG0J4, Must use Toda’s valve train kit, i.e., under bucket shims

.395” (10mm)
Web – p/n 45-071 (Hard-weld), Grind number 110; Duration @ .050” lift is 256°. Strong mid and upper end power for off-road racing and pro-rally. Requires under bucket shims.

TRD - p/n intake, 13501-AE861, ex. 13502-AE861. Very strong power increase from 4,000 to 7,000 +RPM, less bottom end (does not idle very well). Used as an exhaust cam with 304° intake in TRD rally car (max lift @ 98° BTDC). Will work with new (suggested) factor valve springs.

Toda - p/n 02.TD.CS4AG0C3

HKS - p/n 2202-RT034, Can be used on 4AGZE

Toda - p/n 02.TD.CS4AG0P2

Toda - p/n 02.TD.CS4AG0B3, Recommended to use Toda’s valve train kit, i.e., under bucket shims

Toda - p/n 02.TD.CS4AG0I1, Must use Toda’s valve train kit, i.e., under bucket shims

TRD - p/n ex. 13502-AE821. Rally cam has less bottom-end torque more HP on top, revs to 8,000 RPM. (requires race engine prep. and mod.s) Max lift set at 100° BTDC

HKS - p/n 2202-RT035, Can be used on 4AGZE

TRD - p/n ex. 13502-AE951. Used on the late model AE92 Hi-comp. Head with slightly different porting configuration. Intake max. lift set at 102° BTDC.

TRD - p/n ex. 13502-AE811. Japanese N2 racing cam. has less bottom-end torque more HP on top, revs to 8,000 ~ 10,000 RPM. (requires race engine prep. and other mod.s). Max lift set at 102° BTDC, exhaust and 98° ATDC, intake.

TRD - p/n intake 13501-AE851, ex. 13502-AE851. Japanese Group A racing cam, very strong power increase from 4,500 to 7000 RPMs. (requires race engine prep. and mod.s) Max lift set at 100° BTDC, exhaust and 100° ATDC, intake. Will work with new (suggested) factor valve springs.

Toda - p/n 02.TD.CS4AG0C4

HKS - p/n 2202-RT036, Can be used on 4AGZE

Toda - p/n 02.TD.CS4AG0P3

Toda - p/n 02.TD.CS4AG0B4, Recommended to use Toda’s valve train kit, i.e., under bucket shims

TRD - p/n intake 13501-AE801, ex. 13502-AE801. Japanese N2 & Formula Atlantic racing cam. has less bottom-end torque more HP on top, revs to 8,000 ~ 10,000 RPM. (requires race engine prep. and other mod.s). Max lift set at 102° BTDC, exhaust and 98° ATDC, intake.

HKS - p/n 2202-RT037, Can be used on 4AGZE

Toda - p/n 02.TD.CS4AG0C1, Must use Toda’s valve train kit, i.e., under bucket shims

TRD - p/n exhaust 13502-AE881

TRD - p/n intake 13501-AE951, ex. 13502-AE901. Used on the late model AE92 Hi-comp. Head with slightly different porting configuration. Intake max. lift set at 102° ATDC.

Toda - p/n 02.TD.CS4AG0T1, Must use Toda’s valve train kit, i.e., under bucket shims

TRD - p/n intake 13501-AE901. Used on the late model AE92 Hi-comp. Head with slightly different porting configuration. Intake max. lift set at 102° ATDC.

TRD - p/n intake 13501-AE811

Toda - p/n 02.TD.CS4AG0A4, Must use Toda’s valve train kit, i.e., under bucket shims

TRD - p/n intake 13501-AE881

4A-GE 20 valve Camshaft Comparisons:

Intake opening
Exhaust opening

Toda - VVT intake. AE101 4AG 20valve

Toda - VVT intake. AE101 4AG 20valve

Toda -exhaust. AE101 4AG 20valve

* Note Toda has 20 different profiles for the 4AG 20 valve.

10.8mm (Fr, Rr)
10.2mm (Ctr)
TRD - p/n Intake 13501-AE001, AE101 4AG 20valve

TRD - p/n Ex. 13502-AE001, AE101 4AG 20valve

Listing of part numbers illustrate factory differences. Part numbers may vary depending on original country of sale and are subject to change without notice and may no longer be available. Check with your supplier.

Crank angle reference with #1 piston; BTDC = Before Top Dead Center, ATDC = After Top Dead Center, BBDC = Before Bottom Dead Center

Duration, lift and opening and closing angles are approximate. Different manufactures measure and report cam shaft profiles differently and are sometimes over stated and optimistic. Spec. comparisons could be misleading and better suited for comparison between the products within one manufacture.

Requires race engine prep. and mod.s refers to ports enlarged & polished, 32mm intake valves & 27.5mm exhaust valves, under bucket shims, machined spring seats for greater installed height, at least 12: 1 compression and small combustion chamber.

Note each tooth of the camshaft sprocket equals 20° of crankshaft rotation. (36 teeth on cam, 18 teeth on crank)

HKS Cams are ground to exact specifications from new billets of high nickel iron alloy that equal or exceed the OEM units.

Toda is the oldest supplier of 4AG racing cams in Japan and currently uses Toyota factory blanks as a basis for their billets.

TRD camshafts are precision-ground from new billet stock.

Web-Cams camshafts are precision ground onto new cast alloy stock, double heated for long life with some profiles having a welded hard-face overlay (Hard-welded) for increased durability on their higher lift models.

Toyota shock shims are available from 2.5 ~ 3.3mm thickness.

Typical profile of a camshaft with its features defined.


TRD - Corolla, Levin, Sprinter, Trueno special Edition Bible, TRD Toyota Racing Development Japan, published 1996.

Toysport, Joji Luz, Gardena California

Club 4 AG Technical Bulletin Board respondents, Bill S. and Psycho

AKH Trading U.S.A., TODA Racing, Irvine California

High Performance Honda Builder’s Handbook, by Joe Pettitt, 1996, Cartech publications, Brooklands Books LTD.

Web Cams catalog and article titled In search of the “perfect” Camshaft, Cam-Tech. by Bruce Simurda, with assistance from Web-Cam, Riverside California
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Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on June 15, 2010, 10:41:24 AM
The cams I have available are a 7.9mm, 8.1mm, 8.35mm lifts. Kevin has the 7.9mm and 8.1mm. Put thr 8.1 as your intake, and the 8'35 as the exhaust. Pulley, exhaust. Get in sit down, shut up, yeeehaww

Yeah, this sounds really, really great Bill. I really like the unequal cams, I like the higher exhaust lift. What are the difference in durations of these cams? I would like to go this route in late July when I start adding some power to the engine.

Thanks man,
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: Sirdeuce on June 15, 2010, 10:49:15 AM
As for the adjustable timing gear, split the overlap. More at idle, or low/no boost, and increase at higher RPM's. Keep the cams the same duration. If you want to play with the overlap to see what you want before you get the pulley built you could use a set of my cams. I'll pull the AEM's off the FX, they're easy enough to read. I have a degree wheel you could use to get your baseline cam timing. If you need, I can walk you through the use of the degree wheel.
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: Sirdeuce on June 15, 2010, 10:57:47 AM
Sorry, those lifts went with the previous stated 264* cams. I have a set for my engine running 264* with an 8.7mm lift for my exhaust, and a 9.0mm for the intake. I'm a little reserved about the exhaust as the 8.35mm would give a slightly better torque curve. I could go with a 256* 8.7mm lift on the exhaust, but I would lose a bit of HP in the process.
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on June 15, 2010, 11:10:49 AM
I'd take a wider torque band for playing in the hills anyday
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: Sirdeuce on June 15, 2010, 11:15:09 AM
Running the 294's intake advanced 6* exhaust retarded 4*, I lost top end, but gained enough on the bottom that the longer inclines didn't require a 2 gear downshift, only one. Still pulls to the rev limiter, but not the same zip as before.
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on June 15, 2010, 11:25:34 AM
What do you think about the HKS 272 duration with 8.35mm lift?

HKS - p/n 2202-RT033, Using both intake and exhaust on a stock Supercharged 4AGEZ has less bottom end below 3,000, strong mid to high end power.
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: Sirdeuce on June 15, 2010, 11:45:01 AM
On a USDM GZ I would stay 265* or less. Split the duration between 256* in and 264* ex. Same or lower lift on the intake than exhaust. Pull great through the limiter without going beyond the capabilities of the stock fuel control. Up the boost too. I new a guy that ran WEB cams 294 grind on a JDM GZE, he seemed to like it enough.
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on June 15, 2010, 01:09:57 PM
You know...

I just got back from driving to AAA to get an international drivers license, and spending time with the car how it is now, I am really torn: To modify or not. I think I will leave the car completely stock until next spring. Unlike in the past, I've learned a lot about "responsibilities". I need to save money for fall tuition and I also need to have time (and money) to work on the LeMons car. I would be happy keeping my car stock and building the LeMons car and racing that this winter :)

Even though I already have the pulleys, we've got cams and smog legal exhaust header... I know how the modification path goes, even with free parts it won't be free. I'll start pushing the limits of other things that I'll need to address.

So I think I will build the 6 speed and get that installed with a new clutch and call it good. At least for a while.

The car is really fun to drive right now, I really like it this way :) I need to shift my focus to the LeMons car, that is what I should be working on when I get back from Japan :D
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: Sirdeuce on June 15, 2010, 01:45:33 PM
Sounds like a plan to me. But, do you think you could find a little time in there to make an adapter for an M62 S/C? Hmmmmm? I like the way you said ain't nuthin free too.
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on July 08, 2010, 10:32:04 AM
Short Update on the car

Friday, July 2nd, 2010

Knowing that I need to cool the IC, especially before I up the boost, I installed a cooling fan.

I put a good deal of thought into this and then decided to just do it and if I don't like it, I can easily find a N/A engine lid to start over with

Here is what I did

1st pic: The outline
2nd pic: The cut (used a Plasma cutter)
3rd pic: Centered PERFECTLY above the IC
4th pic: Installed
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on July 08, 2010, 10:42:54 AM
So some comments on this...

At first I was this was a bit over the top. When I looked at the car I didn't like the fan exposed there, but since it has greatly grown on me and I now really like it there. It is proof that the car has "something" lurking under the hood ;)

Why did I do this?

I first decided to mount the fan on the underside of the IC and use it as a pusher. But with the fan mounted directly onto the IC, the air would cavitate and actually blow out backwards out of the fan. Also the fan was quite and didn't sound right. The SECOND you move the fan about an inch away from the IC it would suddenly change in sound and REALYL start moving some air. You could feel it well pushing through the IC.

Then I thought, well, I need to cut the hood above the IC anyway, and I wasn't sure what the best way to luver it or make it look nice (since I am not much of a body or bondo guy), and so I positioned the fan to the hood.

Benefits of mounting on the hood:
There is about 2-inch gap between the fan and the IC, so air REALLY moves
I don't have to worry about how to modify the hood since it will be cut just for the fan
The fan is round and the IC is rectangular, so with the fan mounted to the hood I can simply put rubber stripping around the perimeter of the IC that will seal with the hood, and the fan will suck air out from the entire space. This isn't possible is the round fan is mounted directly to the IC. A lot of cooling space would be lost.

So those are the main reasons why I choose to do it this way. I guess I could paint the fan white, but really I don't mind it on the hood at all. Also, I will be installing a car alarm soon, so if someone tampers with it the alarm would go off. I guess someone could take a long screw driver and jack up my IC, or they could cut the fan wires... But seriously, I am not worried about that. Ohh well, if someone does that then I probably I had it coming to me anyway

The fan is a 12" fan that is rated for 1,200 CFM at 12 volts. At 14 volts is spins even faster (logically).
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on July 08, 2010, 10:47:29 AM
Update from last night, July 7th

I installed a stock side vent fan to the driver's side vent and wired it up in parallel with the IC hood fan. I provided a dedicated hot source using the factory cooling fan circuit with a larger fuse (30 amp instead of 20 amp) and routed 1 ground wire into the cab where I installed a rheostat to control the speed of both fans.

So when the key is in the ON position, there is power to the fans. The rheostat doubles as a open circuit switch in the "low" position, so there is my "off" switch. As soon as the rheostat is rotated, both fans gradually receive more and more amps and their RPM increase. One problem however is that the rheostat I am using isn't really rated for this much amperage and it gets REALLY hot unless it's in the fully on position. So basically, it's pretty much an on/off switch at the moment. I need to replace it with a higher amperage rheostat

So now I have a side fan blowing cold air beneath the IC and a top fan pulling that cold air through the IC. All I need to do now is install a rubber seal between the IC and the hood and it will be done. :D
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on July 08, 2010, 10:49:45 AM
Oh, also if you look closely at the NA hood, there is a rise near each side. So what I did was cut the hood so that the fan sits flush to the lower elevation of the center section of the hood, and as the hood rises, it rises around the perimeter of the fan. So it is a really nice flush mount on about 60% of the fan and a sunken mount for the rest of the perimeter of the fan. It fits really great, I think it looks great, but I do need to repaint the hood where I cut it LOL

The fan cost just over $50 including shipping from race-mart. Here is the product link of the fan I used:

The stock MR2 IC measures about 12-inches by 10-inches when you include the side tanks. So the 12" fan was a good choice. A 14" fan by the same company is like 2" taller and would be absolutely hideous
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on July 08, 2010, 10:57:01 AM
Hey, I have a question, does anyone know the Toyota Part Number for the Camber Crash Bolts?

The MKII MR2 Autocross FAQ ( lists the following:

Toyota P/NSize (mm)     Degrees of Change
Big size     90105-15004       13.9+/- 0.25
Middle90105-1500513.3+/- 0.50
Small90105-1500612.8?+/- 0.75

If these are the right bolts, which length does the MK1 need? Thanks
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on July 08, 2010, 07:09:32 PM
Spoke to Bryan earlier today, and I believe those sizes are bolt diameter, not bolt length. I am not sure if the MK2 bolts will fit the MK1, but I ordered 4 bolts and 4 nuts anyway. I'll report back with how that goes-
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on July 25, 2010, 02:44:03 PM
The bolts are for a MK2 and NOT for a MK1.

I am not sure what I will do. I've been reading some forums and ppl are using other crash bolts that have a lobe (like a camshaft) but I am not sure what I will do. I am just about ready to just oval the holes on the struts to get more camber adjustment...
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: Sirdeuce on July 25, 2010, 05:08:27 PM
try looking at the AE82 and AE92 Corollas. The rear is adjustable with the described bolts. I had a complete set not too long ago. I believe you would have to use a sleve to downsize your bushing's hole though. You could devise a way to adapt the camber adjusters from an MR2. Or even make an adapter yourself. I believe the lower control arms are forged. Maybe develope a way to mount a Heim joint in place of the bushed end. We DO have spares you coould try cutting and welding. Western Speed and Fuel has a wide variety of Heim joints available. Cut the end off a tie rod manufactured at Marlin's and trim it to slide over the cut end of a control arm, and weld it in place. Voila, 15 degrees of camber adjustment! Might even be able to modify the front arms too.
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on July 29, 2010, 11:00:41 AM
Not sure what I am going to do about my alignment yet. Kevin already gave me the go-ahead to bring my car in, but I need to get these parts in before I get it aligned...

So regarding my power problems, it got so bad that I could only do about 45 MPH on the freeway outside of Los Banos. I've driven it three times to San Jose like this and last weekend while over there I went to ( (the premier source for used Toyota 4WD Truck Parts) and I picked up two 3.4-liter V6 Tacoma/4Runner fuel pumps.... FOR FREE :D It's nice having connections ;)

So last night I decided to drop the tank and replace the pump. When I disconnected the fuel filter line, WOW a ton of junk poured out of the filter. So now I needed a new filter. I had Bevin, bless his dear heart, drive ALL OVER TOWN at 7pm looking for a fuel filter and finally found one (he went to like 4 or 5 auto parts stores before he found one). Here is what the tank from the red S/C donor car looked like inside:
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on July 29, 2010, 11:18:00 AM
So........ another rusted gas tank. The pump, it's bracket, the sending unit... They weren't as bad as my original tank, but they were pretty bad.

So I didn't know what to do, it was already 7 or 8pm and my car was up on the lift. I could have thrown everything back in and then go to a wrecking yard.. that was pretty much my best option, but I decided to call Bill and to my surprise he had a clean tank up at his place. So I locked up the shop, hoped in our 2WD 1-TON 1986 22R-E powered Hilux pickup and drove up to Bill's place in Tollhouse.

I haven't been to Bill's place in a LONG time, and even then I don't remember what I was driving. But let me tell you what, Bill, you are absolutely BLESSED to be able to drive that road every day. I REALLY want to ride with you, you must be like Takumi on Akina pass by now. I drove out HWY168 to Sample Road, Sample Road to Tollhouse Road (at Humphrey Station), then Tollhouse to Burrough Valley Road, then Burrough Valley road to Cassandra Road, then up the hill just a bit to his house. It was over 20 miles of pure bliss on those roads. I was in the 1-TON and could only manage about 40 MPH around those corners before the tires started barking at me. Bill keeps asking me to come visit him and I keep giving him excuses, but man with a road like that I might just start hanging out up there with him from now on LOL

The tank looked great and I chatted with Bill for a while up there at his place. He has two MK1s in a large garage out back, an early 1970s Celica, an early 1980s Celica, a 1983 Hilux, a FX16 out front; it's basically a Toyota dream-land up at his place. He has a ton of sweet & rare parts. We all need to go up to his place for a BBQ or something, that would be really cool.

So drove back to the shop and resumed work around 10pm or so. It took a LONG time to do all the tedious work of fitting the 3.4 pump to the MR2 bracket (I used Bill's bracket he gave me with the tank which was a great thing because my bracket was flaking rust all over the place.)

Here is what the two pumps looked like both attached to the MR2 pump bracket.

The top pump is my old S/C pump that is GARBAGE. When you put power to it it sounds like a fork in a sick garbage disposal. The bearings are junk, it's full of rust, whatever, that thing has had it.

The bottom pump is from a 3.4 Toyota Tacoma V6. I figure that Toyota offers the TRD with a 7th injector kit that does not violate the vehicle's warranty, so a pump that can feed 7 injectors into a 3.4-liter engine surely has more than enough balls to feed my Supercharged 1.6-liter with only 4 injectors. Check out how much smaller the newer pump is. For sure it is newer technology, probably draws less amperage, generates less heat, it's all a win win win deal. I cut a longer piece of hose (used high quality made in USA Goodyear fuel house) and the smaller pump fit in the MR2 bracket kind of loose with the stock spread hose clamps. So I replaced the spreading clamps with screw clamps and applied pressure down onto the pump (forcing it into the tray) while screwing the clamps tight. I though about wrapping wire around the pump, but it turned out to be pretty rigid. The only other issue was that the Tacoma screen is much longer than than the MR2 screen, and it was a bit tricky getting the pump into the tank, but it seemed to fit in with very little resistance. I think it will be okay

The 2nd pic is all the crap I had on the ground working with the pump conversion. Sodering, hose clamps, pliers... It doesn't look that bad in the picture, but it sure felt like I was knee deep in a ton of crap everywhere
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on July 29, 2010, 11:25:34 AM
And here is a cool pic of the hood up showing the 12" IC fan and the HUGE Toyota sign above the car (I should have turned it on!)


The results?

WOW    WOWIE WOW WOWIE!! This engine has SERIOUSLY COME ALIVE GUYS!! Also, I tightened up my S/C pulley a bit more and now it hits a full 8 PSI all the time (before it would only reach about 7 or maybe 7.5 at best). And it pulls HARD all the way to redline now whereas before it would go seriously flat around 6,000 RPM.

Well, I think I am finally getting into the car now. I told Bill that I want to pickup my TRD S/C Header and his HKS cams, then I need to go up to Bevin's to pickup my larger crank pulley and smaller S/C pulley. I think I want to do this before school starts. I think I've spent enough time driving the car around with a 6,000 RPM power limiter and I am finally to the point where I want to see what this baby can do!!
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: Sirdeuce on July 29, 2010, 08:16:22 PM
Give me a day's notice and I'll get all that stuff dug up. Do we need to hire a surgeon to remove your smile?
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on July 30, 2010, 08:40:54 AM

Update on this. After finishing up that night, I stopped to get some gas and noticed fuel was dumping right onto the ground. I was really shocked because I don't make mistakes like that. I looked under the car and it wasn't too close to the engine, and it was already about 2am, so I just decided to continue home. The next day after work (yesterday) I jacked the car up to see which hose clamp I forgot to tighten and it took me nearly 2 hours to figure out that the main filler neck hose that enters the gas tank had a very small split along its top side that was not visible unless you bent the hose. It took for ever to figure out where the leak was coming from.

So I went to AutoZone, Kragens, and Pepboys, nothing. I did have a spare hose from my original tank but it was extremely hard and I couldn't install it, so I heated it up and it immediately ruptured. So I had no choice but to abandon the car at the shop. Man, I can't remember the last time I had to leave my vehicle at the shop because I couldn't fix it :(

So this morning I called every Toyota dealership I can think of and no one stocks it. Call Napa, they only have a 1.5" or 1.75" 45-degree angle bend fuel hose which won't work. I call Decker (aka Smith's Auto) and they have a 90-degree 1.75" fuel hose and it's pretty much my last resort. So they are sending that over right now and I will just have to add some rubber or something and just try to make it work. MAN what an ordeal!

I also called TAP (Toyota Auto Parts) and they don't have one, and I could go to the wrecking yard on my lunch break.....
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on August 06, 2010, 01:04:49 PM
While working on this fuel problem, I left the shop and noticed a horrible clunking sound coming from the front end. I first noticed it after leaving a gas station, and it was very intermittent, only occurring under just the right conditions. So on a Friday before leaving for San Jose to visit Misato, I decided I better check it out first, and here is what I found on the front drivers side:


And here is the welded & fixed job:


This LITERALLY took me 4 mins to repair. From start to finish including welding and painting and installing. I installed it while the paint was totally wet even. This had to have been the quickest repair I've ever done.

This is now the 2nd time this has happened to me. The front passengers side violently broke while taking a hard right hand corner at about 35 or 40 MPH a good 7 or 8 years ago. That repair is still going strong :)
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on August 06, 2010, 03:48:40 PM
Bill just found some camber bolts for the MR2:

So I ordered 4 bolts total :) Kevin, I will let you know once I get them so I can get the alignment done :D
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on August 10, 2010, 03:11:25 PM
Here is the conclusion to the fuel problem-

Pic of the stock hose split at the top. It took me about 30 mins to figure out where the gas was leaking from because the split was only noticeable when you pull down on the hose


Took the hose off, now I just need a replacement


But that was the problem, no one had one. So I had to leave my car at the shop overnight. It sucked because it's been a VERY LONG TIME since I've had to abandon a vehicle of mine at the shop because I was literally unable to repair it.


So the next day I got a USA-made Gates 90-degree hose with about 8-inches of hose on each side of the bend. The ID was a 2-3/4" when I really needed a 2-5/8" or about. So the hose was a bit oversized compared to the stock part, and you know what, WOW it fit 100 times better than the stock part! MAN it was SO EASY to install because it is so flexible and it's larger ID slipped right over the lines. Also, the rubber was nice and malleable and it easily compressed under the hose clamps and has not leaked a single drop. One of the coolest repairs I've ever done using non-Toyota parts. :D
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on August 12, 2010, 01:25:23 PM
Hey Bill,

Here is what I'm talking about with my exhaust.

Don't mind the dual tip setup, that's not what I'm talking about.

I'm talking about just moving the tip to the drivers side for less backpressure & less weight
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: Sirdeuce on August 12, 2010, 10:29:27 PM
Works for me! Just need to make sure the smog Nazi's are good with it. HEIL hydrocarbons.
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: STUPID FAST on September 07, 2010, 12:33:58 PM
ive been telling you to do duals like that mike. thats how im going to do mines.
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on September 14, 2010, 01:12:55 PM
I love the dual square intercooled Borla tips:

BUT THEY ARE FREAK'N EXPENSIVE AS HELL! Anyone know of a tip similar to this?

( ( (
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on September 20, 2010, 02:13:47 PM
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on September 22, 2010, 10:46:37 PM
I'm thinking about using a NACA duct for the intake at the drivers rear tunk side


Here it is for just $15.99 ::

This is great for aerodynamics but according to Wikipedia (, not great for building up pressure:
"This type of flush inlet generally cannot achieve the larger ram pressures and flow volumes of an external design"

So I am not sure what I am going to do at this point. The original plan is to build a fully sealed air box in the trunk that will house a cone filter. The filter will get all of its air from a side vent, and I wanted to have an external scoop with a good 1-inch protrusion from body in order to capture a lot of air and build pressure in the air box (more power at high speeds)
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: Sirdeuce on September 23, 2010, 08:30:41 AM
What material was that NACA duct constructed from? As for pressure buildup, a 1" riser won't do enough to consider a pressure rise.
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on September 23, 2010, 02:47:17 PM
ABS plastic. Then I'll do a 1-foot riser :D
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on September 30, 2010, 10:18:38 AM
After my statistics test this morning, I stopped off at Big-K's work on my way to Little Leaf Tea to study for my 2pm Physics test.

Kevin and I did a bit of chit and a bit of chat, and when I got back into my car and drove away here is what I found:

Mercedes of Fresno damaged my charging system LOL
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: Sirdeuce on September 30, 2010, 11:04:05 AM
Rhurho Raggy! You got a spare alternator?
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on September 30, 2010, 04:14:30 PM
Just got home from my 2nd exam (I've got a short break until my night class)

You are spot on, I've read numerous sites that claim these three lamps indicate a bad voltage regulator.

It's gonna take me a good week to get it replaced...

EDIT: Actually, looks like I can get a used one for $35-$45 on
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on September 30, 2010, 04:56:22 PM
ahhhhhhhhhhhhhAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH I just fixed it

You know, I fixed it because I am a Freak'n GENIUS

But I'm sure it's due to be replaced so I'll look into getting another one, and then hang on to this one as a back up :)
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on September 30, 2010, 05:02:41 PM
I also forgot to post these pictures...

When I went up to Bevin's house to clean up his MGB (, I took some pics of HIPSI Stage 2.5 (

Without further ado:
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: Sirdeuce on September 30, 2010, 07:39:43 PM
I have spares here Mikey. If you are a little more adventureous you could rebuild it yourself! See if STARR Rebuilders is still alive, they usually have the parts necesary to get the job done.
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on September 30, 2010, 09:45:27 PM
I think the SC alternator puts out more (like your mother) so I'd like to replace apples with apples

Yup, Starr Rebuilders is still there, North-East of Maple and Belmont Aves. They want to charge me like $240 to up the amperage on my stock 3RZ-FE alternator on my Hilux by about 40 amps. DANG.
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BryanH on September 30, 2010, 09:57:09 PM
IIRC the GZE has an external voltage regulator where the GE has it inside the alternator.  Or is it vice versa?

Sow how did you fix your charging issue Mike?
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on October 01, 2010, 11:12:11 AM
IIRC the GZE has an external voltage regulator where the GE has it inside the alternator.  Or is it vice versa?
Hmmmmmm Interesting.

Well, if it's external then there is nothing wrong with the regulator because...

Sow how did you fix your charging issue Mike?

I figured either the regulator is bad or the brushes are wore out. A quick way to check if it's the brushes is to lightly smack the alternator with a hammer while the engine is idling, which I did, and after about the 50th smack (it did take a while), the engine suddenly took a huge load and the alternator began whirling. All is good for now, but it's only a matter of time until this happens again. I need to replace the Alternator for sure, and will hold onto this one as a spare.

Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BryanH on October 01, 2010, 08:39:23 PM
Well I'll be a son of a gun.  If I had known that little trick, I might have made it home from Oregon on my original alternator instead of having to jerry-rig some Camry alternator to fit.
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on October 06, 2010, 01:04:07 PM
Ok guys,

I discovered today that my 4A-GZE has a rev-limiter set at 8,300 RPM. Seriously. I don't understand it any more than you do.

I first noticed that something was different when I got on the freeway this morning. I accidentally shifted late into 3rd at what I thought was a 8,000 RPM shift. Then, once up to speed on the freeway, I engaged the clutch and revved the engine straight to 8,000 RPM and I couldn't believe it!

If you tap the throttle in neutral, it will rev to 8,500 RPM.
If you hold the pedal down in neutral, it's hard to see where it bounces, but it's somewhere around 8,500 RPM.

So just now, on my lunch break, I got on the freeway and took 2nd gear all the way full throttle, and it hits the rev limiter at 8,300 RPM. It hits pretty hard, so it is not the valves floating. It is definitely an electronic limiter.

I don't understand this engine. It makes very little power below about 3,500 RPM and then it comes alive like a rocket right at 4k and pulls extremely hard all the way to 8,300 RPM. Even at the top end, it does NOT feel like it's running out of lungs; it pulls hard all the way to 8,300 RPM. I had Chee riding along with me and he couldn't believe it either.

So Bill, what do you think, have you heard of some GZE computer mod for this? The computer looks completely stock but I've not opened it up yet.

Also, it is possible that my tachometer is off. It does idle at a perfect 800 RPM. I didn't check my MPH speed at 8,300 RPM in 2nd gear, but I will the next time I try it. If I am doing like 60+ in 2nd gear, then I know for sure I am revving well over 7,500 RPM.

Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on October 06, 2010, 07:02:10 PM
Ok, I took a video of it on my way home from work. Nevermind the alternator issue, which came back after going up to Bill's house yesterday. I am going to get a used one tomorrow and hopefully get it replaced this weekend or early next week.

So you'll notice that I shifted out of 2nd gear before 60 MPH, which clearly indicates that perhaps my tach IS off, BUT, when I throw the numbers into my calculator, it says I should be doing 63.9 MPH in 2nd gear at 7,600 RPM, and also my old CarTest program says I should top off 65.1 MPH :o but clearly I am no where NEAR that...

...soooo Perhaps the Tach IS correct and it's just that I've got some WEIRD final drive ratio in the Corolla transaxle I am using.

The next step is to hook up a timing gun and see if 4,000 tachometer RPM is 4,000 timing gun RPM. That will be the definitive answer.

For now, check out the video:
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BryanH on October 06, 2010, 10:42:41 PM
That's crazysauce.  Are you running a C52 of some sort?  IIRC the E51 has longer gearing so it should give >60mph in 2nd gear with stock-diameter rear tires.  The C52 tops out right at 60mph at the normal 7600rpm limiter.
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on October 06, 2010, 11:25:15 PM
I'm running a modified C56 from a AE89 (closer 3rd & 4th gears, everything else the same)

Also, I've researched all possible C-series final drive ratios. They are:
3.526   3.722   3.941   4.058   4.312   4.529

Only the 3.722 and the 4.31 were offered in the US, for the 93-97 7A-FE Corolla and AW11/AE89 respectively.

It's as if my trans has the 4.529 ratio, which came in the C160 from the AE111 (I've read it is interchangeable but seriously what are the odds I have that LOL)
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on October 07, 2010, 10:02:47 PM
I drove home tonight, first time in the dark with the bad alternator. I ran my small driving lights (H3 bulb) and turned them off at red lights to save power. MAN how stupid this is. What else could I do, I didn't get out of my exam until 9pm.

It got so bad that when I got off the freeway at Fowler and 180 when I induced the Supercharger clutch, the entire car began surging. I was trying to get home as fast as possible... So the last 2 miles or so I drove closely behind some white suv with only my parking lights on. Yes I know this is completely illegal and dangerous but I made it home safely. I didn't want to have to push the car all the way home 0_o

Pic 1. Check out how low the voltage was! And this is my super small CNC machine battery!! LOL It has a reserve of about 10 mins. Look at my speed, I'm doing about 56 MPH on Fowler Ave here

Pic 2. This is how dark it was while following the suv :o
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on October 07, 2010, 10:27:23 PM
Ah, I forgot to discuss what I'm doing about this alternator.

It's been fine since it stopped working after Bill's house because I've only been driving during the day and I've got a nice battery tender here at home I just plug into the car to revive the battery.

Also, regarding the minuscule reserve time of my little battery, remember that was with my parking and driving lights on. I've been driving it all around town in daylight without any trouble at all. It's just sucked driving it at night.

So I called 4 or 5 wrecking yards today and I can get two SC-specific alternators for $45 and the other for $55, plus shipping on either one. Then I called up Starr rebuilders and they want $45 just to install some brushes that only cost a couple bucks. So tomorrow (Friday) I am gonna pick up some new brushes, then after work get them installed :D

Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: Sirdeuce on October 08, 2010, 09:38:27 AM
Bring them up to my place and I can do that for you.
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on October 08, 2010, 11:24:06 AM
Nah, I know how busy you are, I don't want to interrupt your tight schedule
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: Sirdeuce on October 08, 2010, 02:13:37 PM
Is that your way of saying, get busy on the Poupe'??
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on October 08, 2010, 09:29:07 PM
^^ nice one

Tonight I got my car back on its alternating lifestyle

Pic 1: Had a tough time extracting the alternator. I had to remove the A/C compressor to access the lower bolt, and then the Toyota technician who rebuilt the engine before I got a hold of it, thought it would be a clever idea to insert this bolt towards the front of the engine. Therefore, to remove the bolt, I had to also remove the oil filter. Gosh. What an unnecessary and messy step.

Pic 2: Here is the alternator on the bench with its pants pulled down. You can clearly see that there is no voltage regulator here! wow! (empty area between 5:30 and 9 o'clock of the alternator).

Pic 3: The good news: The brushes were nearly dead. They were still in usable condition, but one was sticking and preventing it from contacting the commutator. This was a very fortunate discovery because it made for a very cheap repair (under $5). The two middle brushes are the worn ones. You can see that the one brush was worn more than the other.

Pic 4 & 5: Here is the alternator after I cleaned it up in the solvent tank.

Pic 6: The Toyota Part Number for a 1988 Supercharged 4A-GZE Alternator, if anyone is interested.

Pic 7: Everything cleaned and going back together. You can see the brushes assembled in what looks like a small rectangular brown box behind and just to the right of the alternator.

Pic 8: Installed, yea!
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on October 08, 2010, 09:31:40 PM
I fired up the engine and it immediately began whistling :D Whew! What a cheap fix! I really lucked out ;)

Then I verified if my engine really can rev up to 8,300 RPM.

Drum roll please!

Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on October 08, 2010, 09:56:04 PM
So as you can see at about 3,000 tachometer RPM, the engine is only at 2,690 RPM (10.3% error), and at about 4,000 tachometer RPM, the engine is only at 3,570 RPM (10.75% error)

Let's do some simple algebra

The trend lines show the equation RPM = 1000x+200 for the tachometer (virtual), and RPM = 880x+1810 for the timing gun (actual).

Plugging in 7,600 RPM into the timing gun equation (what my actual redline should be), and we get 7.4 for x. Plug this value into the tachometer equation, and we get [evil voice]dun dun dun[/evil voice], 8,322 RPM, which, you guessed it, is about where my tachometer redlines (as shown on the previous page).

Well, the lack of an explanation as to why my car is so quick still remains. I need to pull some valve covers and see what cams I've got in this bad mo-chine.
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: Sirdeuce on October 08, 2010, 10:22:46 PM
I've saved a LOT of money buying small parts at STARR rebuilders! Mostly had to fix starters. The little 'L' shaped contacts were about 3 bucks apiece and the plunger was 9. $120 for a rebuilt starter or $15 and a little more labor than just changing the starter. Alternators are a little more labor intensive than a starter, eh Mike? But well worth the time and effort. A used starter from a wrecker might be cheap, but how long 'til the same problem raises it's ugly head? Anyway, good to see you're back on the road!Have a good weekend and drive safe!
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on October 08, 2010, 10:27:54 PM
Thanks man! I actually got my brushes (MADE IN JAPAN BABY!!!) from Decker (I refuse to call them "Smith's Auto"). They were like $4.80-something. Starr said they would replace the brushes for $45 (labor incld), so I figured I'd do it instead.

Yeah, a bit more involved than with a starter. When I installed my 3RZ, one of the last things I did before the engine went into the chassis was to inspect the starter brushes and replace if necessary. The stock ones were really wore out and it was a good thing I checked them. So after doing this, I think for sure I will always also check Alternator brushes before installing an unknown engine -- simple and cheap insurance. Had I checked em back in May I wouldn't have had this problem ;)

As for my tachometer being off, the only guess I have is that I must have messed it up while using it with my twin coil AE92 setup. Bill, do you have a spare tachometer brain laying around I could buy from ya? Check your couch cousins!
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: Sirdeuce on October 08, 2010, 11:31:46 PM
Is it the same as an N/A tach brain?
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: Sirdeuce on October 08, 2010, 11:36:08 PM
Is there a tach trim on the back of the tach? The tach in my '81 Celica was able to be adjusted with a turn of a screw. I'll look at the units I have here tomorrow when there is light and get back to you on that one.
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on October 09, 2010, 06:36:50 AM
Is it the same as an N/A tach brain?
Yes, which is what I am using.

Is there a tach trim on the back of the tach?
Negative Ghost Rider.
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on October 13, 2010, 11:41:58 AM
I did the ABV mod yesterday afternoon to prevent boost in excess of 8 psi from being bleeded back in front of the blower. I haven't changed my pulleys yet, just wanted to disable this peak boost limiter.

Today I noticed I got about 8.1 or maybe 8.2 psi, so I've gained about the width of the needle on my boost gauge in boost :)

Of course I feel like it has 100 more hp so don't bother asking ;)


I want to throw in my SC header, larger crank pulley & smaller SC pulley either next weekend (the 30/31st) or the following (Nov 6/7). In order to run the larger crank pulley, I need to get a smaller idler pulley. In the past I used a timing belt tensioner pulley.

Do you have a good spare timing belt tensioner pulley? I'd like to buy one from you. Plz let me know, yo!
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: Sirdeuce on October 13, 2010, 02:12:23 PM
I'll look. Should I look for the other set of web cam 294 grind too? I know 1 is in the FX16. Get me a set of mounts and I might be able to do a set of upgraded mounts too.
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on October 13, 2010, 07:30:39 PM
I'm interested in...

I have at my disposal 3 cams of a 264 duration and lifts of 7.9mm, 8.1mm, and 8.35mm.

Sell me a 264/8.1mm for my intake and a 264/8.35mm for my exhaust!
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on October 13, 2010, 07:38:00 PM
Do you have a HKS 256 / 8.35mm exhaust cam?
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on October 13, 2010, 07:51:25 PM
Or, if I want a wider torque band, I'd like to run a 264 / 8.1mm intake and a webcam 294 (shorter duration) on the exhaust.

But I am willing to compromise bottom end since I'm forced induction to begin with. I know torque wins races, but I want to build a peakier GZE than what most people build.

Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: Sirdeuce on October 13, 2010, 10:41:19 PM
Talk about it when you come up for the other pieces. But the 264's with higher boost and exhaust might require the use of larger injectors! Do you still have the 430cc injectors from your last SC? If not, I may have a set around here somewhere. Dig up your old AFC too.
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on October 13, 2010, 11:41:21 PM
Yes, I have my Supra Injectors on my HIPSI engine at up Bevin's.

Hmmmmmm my old AFC...... I'll have to think what I did with it.... I haven't seen that thing in quite a while... Maybe I sold it to someone ?

Tonight I got my Physics homework finished so I rewarded myself by doing some work on the 2

I *finally* got my SC positive pressure indicator light wired up. It is finally working. I'll have to get a pic of it while driving. At the same time, I cleaned up some electrical tape that was making a portion of my tachometer a bit dim (had tape on the backside of the tach face plate). Now numbers 5 and 6 are just as bright as the rest.

Then I wanted to mount my A-pillar gauge pod and get my boost gauge mounted up there, but I don't have long enough screws here at the house. So I'll have to continue to live with the gauge taped to the dash for now. I did however temporarily wire in the boost gauge lamp so at least now I can see what is going on in the dark.

Then I fixed my headlight switch. Something was really wrong with it, I haven't been able to put the switch in the far clockwise position which keeps the headlights up & turned off. So while I had the dash apart, I inspected the switch and discovered that it had simply come loose from the plastic dash bezel. So I got that all tightened up and now I can leave my headlights up without them being turned on.

I then *finally* got my new foam installed on the intercooler. For a while I had been using some 1/2" thick weather stripping that was double and even triple stacked to fill the gap between the hood and the IC. I finally was able to find a 12" x 12" x 2" piece of foam from Grainger Supply. They only had it in white. So I did some measuring and started cutting. I should of taken a pic before I cut it up. It was just one large solid chunk of foam. I cut out the center section of it, then trimmed it down to about an 1.25-inch think, centered it on the IC, and then loosely strapped it down with zip ties. It actually turned out better than I had thought it would. I wish I had a 14" x 14", that would have been a bit better, but I could only find a 12" x 12" piece of foam. The zip ties are very loose and are only there to prevent the foam from being sucked up and ripped into pieces by the IC fan. As the hood is lowered, the foam and zip ties neatly compress and fill the gap nicely. There is one area which I should have made a bit thicker, so I'll probably throw some extra pieces beneath the foam in those areas to make up for it. I really wanted this to be a complete 1-piece foam border as apposed to the 10-something different pieces of weather stripping that kept falling off of each other. It turned out pretty clean in my opinion.

That's it for today. It was really nice doing some work to the car like this. It's been a while since I've done anything it seems.

Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: Sirdeuce on October 14, 2010, 09:09:49 AM
If you no longer have your AFC I have 2 of them. They don't work on the US AFM model ECU, so I still have them in the boxes.
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on October 14, 2010, 09:51:17 AM
They don't work on the US AFM model ECU
What, then why are we talking about them? lol
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: STUPID FAST on October 14, 2010, 10:20:10 AM
mike i wanna test out a drag race when i get my 2zz in with your sc mr2. i wanna see how fast the 2zz really is compared to a sc
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on October 14, 2010, 10:21:03 AM
I'll be up to 12 or 13 psi by then, so it will be an interesting race
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: STUPID FAST on October 14, 2010, 12:37:18 PM
dude i got punked by a integra gsr, i wanted no part of that race, i really need that 2zz in it to show these honda guys wassup
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: Sirdeuce on October 14, 2010, 01:11:07 PM
Sounds like typical ricer strategy. Take out the one you know you can beat. Let's see, I have a car that has 185 hp stock. It weighs around 2600 lbs. I'll modify it  and go hunt cars that weigh about the same and after mods might put out 150 hp. HEY! I can't lose! The same people slink off into the shadows when they get beat. Real losers in my book. Oh yeah, these guys also brag about how they beat some one that wasn't even aware they were in a competition. Yeah, I lost a race to a guy in a stock 1990 Nissan hardbody. He wasted my Mazda. He'll let you know the details about how the Mazdaspeed tuned cars are sooooo slow. Chee, did you even try to race this GSR?
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: STUPID FAST on October 14, 2010, 02:33:57 PM
no the guy and 2 of his buddies in the car revved and asked me to race, i told him my car is all stock. sure enough he peels out of the hole when the light tunes green, typical rice move if you asked me, they slowed down after going into 2nd gear and just started messing around with the throttle next to me to see if i was gonna go for it, i know my car is slower and will get whooped so i just minded my own business and just kept driving back to work. pisses me off how cocky some people are, im sure if i had the 2zz in it that guy would of got his ass handed to him. 
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: Sirdeuce on October 14, 2010, 02:45:06 PM
Yeah, it's always a lot better to wait for your own mods to play. I'd rather see them on the hill than on the street. Most of those guys couldn't negotiate a corner to save their ass.
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: STUPID FAST on October 14, 2010, 02:56:08 PM
hahahaha! true
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on October 14, 2010, 04:54:47 PM
dude i got punked by a integra gsr, i wanted no part of that race, i really need that 2zz in it to show these honda guys wassup
What color & wheels did it have? I'd love to open up a can of GZE on them.

Oh yeah, these guys also brag about how they beat some one that wasn't even aware they were in a competition.
That is the worst! I get this a lot from vehicles in general when I torque-accelerate quickly up to 5th gear yet (all short shifts under nearly full boost) while only doing about 50 MPH. Then, the car/van/truck will accelerate hard to block me from passing only to slam on their brakes for the upcoming red light. So they get to the red light first after wasting their gas and their brakes, and then I s.. l.. o.. w.. l.. y.. roll up with a deep geezer stare right at them. Ha! I love it, and it happens a lot to me because I love powering through the gears quickly like that at almost every green light.
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on October 14, 2010, 05:10:45 PM
Ok, seriously, I am going to up my power output either Oct 24 or 31. Here is the 1-day plan:

Install 165mm crank pulley (14% larger)
Install 120mm Supercharger clutch (4% smaller)     Boost should increase to about 12 psi
Install TRD header and my 2.25" exhaust I used on my ITB engine, arranged in a free flow design with exhaust output moved to the drivers side.
Install either stock big-port cams, or Web cams, or Bill's HKS 264 cams.
Install a cone filter to help out a bit with the restrictive intake system.

Then I won't touch anything until sometime next spring (SC14 + MegaSquirt dyno tuned)

Bill, I am worried about using your 8.35 lift cams. I think I'll need better valve springs. I have HSK springs on my HIPSI engine but they have been sitting for 6 years, some in the compressed position. Do you think they are still good?
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on October 14, 2010, 05:37:33 PM
Boost should increase to about 12 psi

Actually... The Cusco pulley is 170mm, and coupled with the stock 125mm SC clutch gets 14 psi. This is a 1.36:1 ratio.
My setup, smaller crank pulley but smaller clutch is actually a higher ratio, 165/120 = 1.375. So I might just get upwards to around 14 psi after all.
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on October 14, 2010, 10:48:23 PM
I *finally* got my SC positive pressure indicator light wired up. It is finally working. I'll have to get a pic of it while driving.

Here is the pic along with a short video of it in action. This is at about 4 to 5 psi boost, and remember the tach reads 10% higher than actual rpm.
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: Sirdeuce on October 14, 2010, 11:15:30 PM
Ok, I went to Kevins today and found a spacesaver spare with decent tread. It's yours if you want it. I left the A/C - heater ducting and the doors for you to cut up. As for the cams, The springs may or may not be good after that long, best thing is to check them before using them. On the other hand, I have a set of TODA springs sitting around. Another option is running the 8.1mm intake and the 7.9mm exhaust. It'll be an initiation to bigger cams. 7.9mm is larger than the stock 7.35mm lift and 264 duration, should be an eye opener!!
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on October 23, 2010, 12:25:03 AM
While driving to Man Jose today I realized something I've not done to the car to aid with cornering: lower my front air pressure :idea:

I don't know why I completely forgot about this. I've got 32 psi at all four corners. NO WONDER it understeers on up-hill on-ramps.

Bryan, what is the lowest safe front tire pressure you've ran? 27 psi? 26 psi?
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on October 25, 2010, 03:20:35 PM

I just took my car to the San Jose Goodyear Auto Center and got my 1st free tire rebalance and rotation. NICE :clap2: That saved me a crap load of time (this is the first time I've ever purchased tires that included free balancing/rotation).

I then left and adjusted my tire pressure to 32 psi in the rear and 27 psi in the front (they had all 4 tires at 40 psi). What do you guys think?
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: Sirdeuce on October 25, 2010, 05:48:40 PM
40 freakin' psi!! Be like driving on glass! Great for mileage though. Don't they even check the recommendad pressures? Even if your sticker is gone from the doorsill they could reference the computer for that info. Same thing happens when you go to Jiffy lube, they 'adjust' your tire pressure as a 'courtesy'. Even so, the pressure used on one vehicle is different from another. Why do they go y the max pressure on the tire? I thought these guys were proffesional installers. Just goes to show.
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: Sirdeuce on October 25, 2010, 05:51:47 PM
Goodyear to boot! The tire guys!
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on October 25, 2010, 10:22:08 PM
I'll need to check my tires to verify, but searching around the WWW shows my max safe tire pressure is 51 psi :o
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on October 27, 2010, 06:36:17 AM

This morning I took the Fowler on-ramp with the new tire pressure and WOW what a difference. The tires still squeal of course, but not as much as before and also the talk at a much lower note. Front traction feels WAAAAY better and I can turn in sharper whereas before it would push when I gave more input. Now I can feel the rear end having to do some work.

NICE :thumbs: :burnout:
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: Sirdeuce on October 27, 2010, 09:17:50 AM
That 51psi is the max safe pressure for the tires, right? Not the MR2.
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on October 27, 2010, 01:17:33 PM
^ correct. So if I wanted to get better gas mileage, I could run the max tire pressure at all 4 corners. But of course the car would ride like crap and wouldn't be able to turn any corners :yupyup:
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: Sirdeuce on October 27, 2010, 02:43:13 PM
Right! sacrifice mileage for safety and fun factor, or save gas. You forgot the reduction in braking at overinflated pressures.
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BryanH on October 30, 2010, 04:30:48 PM
Bryan, what is the lowest safe front tire pressure you've ran? 27 psi? 26 psi?
Hmm, I can't remember that far back... :)  I think I usually had a 2psi difference front to rear, fronts were anywhere from 28-32 psi IIRC.
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on October 30, 2010, 07:47:02 PM
Hmm, I can't remember that far back... :)  I think I usually had a 2psi difference front to rear, fronts were anywhere from 28-32 psi IIRC.
Okay, thank you for the feedback, sounds good. :thumbs: I have mine set at 32 in the rear and 27 up front at the moment :gap:

This is a developing story that reached its first high point today. When I did the 4A-GZE swap back in May I didn't have much $$ and needed to get the car running ASAP. So I was forced to run my old badly worn-out 4-pluck Exedy clutch that has been growling at me ever since. It is embarrassing, but if anyone asks I just say this is what all high performance ceramic clutches sound like :cheese:

The original plan was to get a 6-speed built sometime in July when I got back from Japan, but it didn't happen. So I've been saving $$ ever since and finally bought one from Southwest Foreign Auto Parts out of Pacoima (LA). I had a customer (who lives in Bakersfield & commutes to LA for work) pick it up and bring it to his house in Bakersfield.

Today I went to Bakersfield to pick it up. I called Big-K to see if he wanted to take a road trip so I wouldn't be bored out of my mind, and he and his wife Vern-o took me in their Corolla to pick up the 6spd.

The trans I got is a C60 from a 2005 Toyota Corolla XRS with only 64,000 miles on it. (Interesting, the XRS was only offered for two years and came with the 2ZZ-GE) I got a GREAT DEAL on it because it has a cracked case (see 2nd pic below). I only need the 3rd housing (tail housing) in order to convert a C5X into a 6spd, so this is PERFECT. Tomorrow I will extract the 6-speed gear set and get it ready to go into a C52 shell.

Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: Sirdeuce on October 31, 2010, 12:26:18 AM
Will that clutch fit the Poupe'?
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on October 31, 2010, 08:52:53 PM
Will that clutch fit the Poupe'?

For sure it will. It will be the same spline count. It has the dumb rubber bushings, not metal springs.
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: Sirdeuce on October 31, 2010, 08:56:02 PM
If you don't use it, bring it for the poupe'
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: STUPID FAST on November 03, 2010, 02:02:08 PM
Hmm, I can't remember that far back... :)  I think I usually had a 2psi difference front to rear, fronts were anywhere from 28-32 psi IIRC.
Okay, thank you for the feedback, sounds good. :thumbs: I have mine set at 32 in the rear and 27 up front at the moment :gap:

This is a developing story that reached its first high point today. When I did the 4A-GZE swap back in May I didn't have much $$ and needed to get the car running ASAP. So I was forced to run my old badly worn-out 4-pluck Exedy clutch that has been growling at me ever since. It is embarrassing, but if anyone asks I just say this is what all high performance ceramic clutches sound like :cheese:

The original plan was to get a 6-speed built sometime in July when I got back from Japan, but it didn't happen. So I've been saving $$ ever since and finally bought one from Southwest Foreign Auto Parts out of Pacoima (LA). I had a customer (who lives in Bakersfield & commutes to LA for work) pick it up and bring it to his house in Bakersfield.

Today I went to Bakersfield to pick it up. I called Big-K to see if he wanted to take a road trip so I wouldn't be bored out of my mind, and he and his wife Vern-o took me in their Corolla to pick up the 6spd.

The trans I got is a C60 from a 2005 Toyota Corolla XRS with only 64,000 miles on it. (Interesting, the XRS was only offered for two years and came with the 2ZZ-GE) I got a GREAT DEAL on it because it has a cracked case (see 2nd pic below). I only need the 3rd housing (tail housing) in order to convert a C5X into a 6spd, so this is PERFECT. Tomorrow I will extract the 6-speed gear set and get it ready to go into a C52 shell.


im straight up jealous of you mike, thats the tranny i needed! 
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on November 04, 2010, 08:38:06 AM
Update regarding my clutch situation...

I spoke to our clutch guy, who is at the SEMA show right now, and he said he only has ASCO (Korean) clutches for the MR2 and he is not sure if he has a high performance one or not. He told me to wait until about mid next week to call him back when he is at his office.... but, I wanted to get the trans installed this weekend, but I don't have a clutch kit yet, so I'm gonna have to wait until next weekend. But, it looks like even if this guy has a clutch kit, I won't get it by next weekend, so....

...I looked around on eBay and wow there are some pretty cheap clutch kits. This can only mean they are garbage but I wanted to get your opinion.

This "Stage 2" kit looks pretty good:

eBay item # 160466986394

Features:    This is a versatile set up for the street and on the track.
It provides a smooth engagement yet it can holds 50%+ more power over stock clutches.
The Carbonized kevlar friction material is used on all Stage 2 clutch kit to have higher burst strength and heat tolerance.
The heavy-duty sprung center with heat treated springs and retainer rivets to increase strengh and reliability.
The F1 Racing pressure plate features special single diaphragm design to increase clamp load.
F1 Racing pressure plate provides smooth and precise feel with easy modulation.

They claim it's rated for 205 HP or 196 ft/lbs TQ, and it sells for $125

Or I could get a "Stage 3" kit:

eBay item # 150458838646

Features:    Designed for those who seek the ultimate in clutch performance and reliability.
The 6-puck copper ceramic (also known as MIBA) disc features 12 high-coefficient friction pads that are resistant to slippage and ensures long lasting life.
The heavy-duty sprung center unit boasts heat treated springs and retainer rivets for the maximum power and durability.
The F1 Racing pressure plate features special single diaphragm design to increase clamp load.
F1 Racing pressure plate provides smooth and precise feel with easy modulation.

They claim it's rated for 315 HP or 287 ft/lbs TQ, and it sells for $139

I really like using plucked clutches because I think I will need to stay with that style since I'm planning on running about 250 crank horsepower by next summer. I also like the 6 pluck design (instead of my current 4 pluck) because it should last longer and be a bit less aggressive.

I LOVE my Exedy 4-pluck clutch kit and it has lasted much longer than it should have, but it is also a HIGH QUALITY clutch from a KNOWN and RESPECTED clutch manufacture. These eBay clutches are just some cheap kits that the guy is bulk selling. Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

So my thoughts are that I am on a budget, but I need a clutch kit that can hold up to a SC14. $139 seems like a good deal to me for a 6-pluck clutch. I'm sure the release bearing is non-Toyota, so I'll get a Toyota bearing locally.

So what do you guys think? Bill, is my TRD disk a 6-pluck or an 8-pluck?
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on November 04, 2010, 08:47:43 AM
There are some nice ACT, Exedy, and Clutch Master kits and they are all over $380+ which I can NOT afford.

So I think I'm gonna try this F1 Racing Stage 3 clutch kit and see how it goes. I am gonna search around Google to see what people have to say about it before I order it.

Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: Sirdeuce on November 04, 2010, 09:49:16 AM
For 139 bucks, what the hell. maybe you can find it to be a good set. the TRDdisc is aan 8 'pad' disc, not quite a puck type. You said the thing slipped from the start. I looked at it and it looks thinner than a standard disc. I wonder if it would have hooked up better with a deeper offset on the flywheel? A standard, organic type clutch is @0.325" thick  , the TRD disc is 0.315". Hmm, not really that much difference. Still, check the step on the flywheel.
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on November 04, 2010, 11:17:55 AM
Okay, I just found out they have a Stage 4 kit also (not listed on eBay) for $169

The difference is a better pressure plate:


They rate the pressure plate at 1300 lbs :eyebrow:

They say it can handle 321 HP and 298 TQ

I like the Nachi bearing in the picture :thumbs:
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on November 08, 2010, 02:08:40 PM
Okay, I just ordered the Stage 4 kit for.................... only $127.77 :gap:

I found out the pressure plate is made in China but the disk is made in America. So I'll just have to wait to see what the pressure plate looks like. I mean I know I'm getting what I'm paying for..... I just don't have the resources for a quality clutch kit right now :down:
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on November 17, 2010, 05:22:47 PM
My clutch kit came in last week. I'll be taking pics of it this weekend when I hopefully (finally) get it installed.

As for now, here is a picture I need to post on another site, so I'm uploading it here:
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: Sirdeuce on November 17, 2010, 05:42:34 PM
Almost looks like things could be mooved to the C-52 shaft. The actuator in the red oblong looks like it would line up close enough, and the roll pin seems to be drilled at the same angle. The reverse and forward gear actuators look like they have the same centers. Almost seems like you could swap all the pieces to the MR2 shaft. I would like to see it personally though.
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on November 17, 2010, 06:24:38 PM
Yup, that is exactly what I am proposing on another forum ;)
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on December 18, 2010, 05:34:34 PM

I just went out (yes in the rain) and took a bunch of videos of my car cycling through 5 gears, three 0-60 sprints, and a 0-95 MPH. I also did some half-power quick shifts 1st through 4th, shifting at 4,000 rpm and another shifting at 5,000 rpm.

All-in-all I got almost 7 mins of footage.

I couldn't floor it in 1st gear due to the rain, but it should give a good approximation once I swap in the 6spd.

Here are a couple samples. This first one is going about 3/4-throttle shifting early at 5,000 each time. Also, remember my Tachometer is off by 10%. So 5,000 here is really only about 4,500 RPM at the engine. (I didn't have time to change the tach brain so I'll just make sure to take similar videos with the 6spd before I fix the tachometer.)

Also right when I engage 5th gear and lay into the boost the clutch slips :ha_ha: Poooooor thing, but I can't complain, I've had that thing since 2001 or 2002!

Secondly, here is a 0-60 MPH run. I estimate from the moment I begin to slip the clutch, 0-60 in 8.9 seconds. Remember I couldn't floor it in 1st, but still the car isn't lightening fast at only 145 HP :thumbs: But it sure is a blast to drive!! :yesnod:

When I slip the clutch you can hear the rivots-to-flywheel griding sound :ack:

Both of these were done on Temperance Ave between Central and American Aves. Nice flat road with orange groves on both side to minimize exposure, and no side streets.

I am off to the shop now to pull out the C56 and get everything prepared for the C60 swap tomorrow!!! Many pictures to follow!!


EDIT: WOW Stupid Photobucket screwed up the video-to-audio timing. It's probably because I transcoded it using a variable bit rate. STUPID. Okay, I will get those fixed later, I wanna go work on my car!! :wave:
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on December 18, 2010, 10:38:10 PM
Ok guys,

Just got back home :thumbs: Got the C56 pulled and the clutch/flywheel. It was a very easy job. I remember it being a bit more work but this was really easy. I know stabbing the new trans will be tough but I'm a lot stronger now than I was 10 years ago

On to some pics!

1st pic: Start of the project
2nd: Everything up top removed/unbolted
3rd: Everything down below removed/unbolted
4th: C56 on the floor :greengrin:
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on December 18, 2010, 10:42:37 PM
The trans is oily do to the mid-engine shifter modification requirement (since this came out of a FWD AE89 Corolla) that wasn't done properly. I've had an extremely slow seepage leak for many moons. :puke3:

1st pic: This is how I supported the engine. Very simple and I didn't have to worry about the dang cherry picker being in my way.
2nd: Look ma, no transaxle!
3rd: The 9 year old Exedy clutch and 11 year old TODA chromoly flywheel  :eyebrow:
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on December 18, 2010, 10:49:02 PM
Finally, here are some shots of the sweeeeeeet clutch setup I've been strangling to death :thud:

1st pic: Check out the gouge marks on the pressure plate!!!!!!! :ack:
2nd: The pressure plate. NICE!! 8)
3rd: The flywheel. I knew it would be okay because the Chromoly steel is very good. You can't even feel the grooves. This will come right out when it gets resurfaced tomorrow morning :yesnod:
4th: Rivet Action :willynilly:

And that's it for tonight! Tomorrow I will get to the shop early and finish tearing down the C60 (I'm about 25% into it). Then I'll build the custom C56/C60 Hybrid, install resurfaced flywheel with new clutch, and get it back on the road for some comparison videos!! :greengrin: I Can't wait! :applaus: 6 SPEED TIME TOMORROW!!! :driving: X6!!!
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on December 18, 2010, 10:53:12 PM
I forgot to comment that I believe this says a LOT for paying more for high quality parts. This is a genuine, made in Japan Exedy clutch kit and it has endured the tests of time all the way to the very end. Seriously, I am so impressed that this clutch is still alive. It is a true testimony to the Exedy clutch name.

Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on December 20, 2010, 09:48:18 AM
I got home around 2am this morning. Had to abandon the car at the shop.






Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BryanH on December 20, 2010, 03:59:05 PM
Ruh-roh...   :nerv:
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: kdogae86 on December 20, 2010, 06:50:52 PM
new transmission time?
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on December 20, 2010, 11:31:50 PM
Hey guys

I just got home now with my MR2 but it is still transmitting its torque through a C56 5-speed.

The story is very long and I am too tired to go into it right now.

The new clutch kit works great! The pedal is very heavy, I can tell this is a heavy duty pressure plate as advertised :yesnod: Also I put in all 4 urethane motor mounts Bill made and WOW what a difference. The car is way more solid and of course it has more vibrations. But my wheel bearing is so bad that I can't tell really which is which so I am gonna wait till I get that bearing replaced before I make a final decision on the mounts. At this time I feel that they are a bit too stiff and that I should only run the rear + passengers side mount only, more on this later.

Right now the dilemma is that I need to figure out what axles work with this transmission. I've got some research to do.

Bill, thank you VERY MUCH for your help. You saved me at LEAST a solid hour. I know you're probably say you didn't do anything, but I owe ya big time :bowdown: I had a lot of fun chatting with ya also :thumbs:

Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: Sirdeuce on December 21, 2010, 01:06:50 AM
Want me to get the hub off the white car? Or do you jus want to replace the bearing?
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on December 21, 2010, 01:43:13 AM
Want me to get the hub off the white car? Or do you jus want to replace the bearing?

WOAH DUDE, I DIDN'T EVEN THINK ABOUT THIS!!!! This will take care of that stripped bolt AND the bearing! DUH!!!!!!!!!

PLEASE, yes do rip it off for me, which means I'll need to come up with a hub eventually for the Poupe since it'll need N/A spindles.

Wow GREAT idea!
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on December 21, 2010, 07:49:08 PM

Could you show me an example of the synthetic hose you were talking about (on eBay?) to go between my AFM and TB?

Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: Sirdeuce on December 21, 2010, 08:11:17 PM
When I mentioned that I didn't have the whole picture. Bur look at the intercooler piping connectors. You might have to do some cuttuing and or fabbing.
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: Sirdeuce on December 21, 2010, 11:59:43 PM
Like to tinker? Like to play with ideas? Like to fab pieces for your car? How 'bout custom, one off composite tubing for the intake system. Good for vacuum and pressure. Ohhh, pretty colors too! (
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: Sirdeuce on December 22, 2010, 12:06:31 AM
We can make forms for anything! Imagine having the only carbon fiber piping around! How about making it in a blue fiberglass? It's a cool idea!
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: Sirdeuce on December 22, 2010, 02:51:05 PM
I can have the hub ready for you when you get here tonight to pull my truck out of the mud. Sorry, but until I get my transportation freed up I can't go anywhere. The slide has on drive blocked and the truck is blocking the other. I'm stuck here at home whether I like it or not.
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on January 06, 2011, 10:28:29 PM
Got my driver's rear spindle replaced (it had a stripped out thread) and I'm happy to report the replacement unit has a good wheel bearing :) So took care of two issues at once :thumbs: Thanks Bill! :wave:

Pic 1: Here I am pulling stuff apart.
2: Got the replacement mostly stripped down except for the backing plate. The bearing feels good.
3: Marked my camber setting. There is quite a lot of available camber in this location. I'd say my rear is at about 75% of max camber. More on this later.
4: The replacement spindle's bearing felt good, but its grease looked pretty dry and old. So I packed a TON of grease in there and added even more in hopes the axle will push the grease into the bearing races.
5: I can't believe how easy this is. Only 8 bolts and it's out.
6: I sanded down the seal surface on my old axle since I'm reusing the old seal. I know, I know, when I had everything apart I was thinking why I hadn't just ordered new parts. Well it's the way I roll and at least I can have money for other things :yesnod:
7: Bill's spindle installed! Here is the spacer used in order to convert the rear spindle for front vented rotors. It installed behind the rotor, so therefore I haven't seen/touched this part in at least 8 years!
8: These brake pads are equally as old, 8+ years! I was REALLY surprised to see how much pad is remaining! WOW. They are performance metallic pads from... da da da.... AUTOZONE! :thumbs: Man I love em!
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on January 06, 2011, 10:41:34 PM
And that is it (I didn't take any finished pictures). I checked the camber bolts and they were only torqued to about 60 or 65 ft-lbs!! I don't know what the proper setting should be, so I just torqued 'em all the way up to 100. I felt like I could have gone 110 or even 120 but I figured that was plenty (I've heard stories of ppl loosing camber while racing so I wanted to torque them well).

3: Marked my camber setting. There is quite a lot of available camber in this location. I'd say my rear is at about 75% of max camber. More on this later.
So I got a straight tie-rod from Bill's white donor car which I can easily install on the passengers side -- I only need just the tube section! This will replace my bent piece and then I will get my car aligned. I can't wait!  :banana:
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: Sirdeuce on January 07, 2011, 02:54:22 PM
Glad things worked out! It is nice having spares around!
What is that dancing around?? A......... Yellow...........D? Oh a banana! I need to remember to put my glasses on when looking at those damn things
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on January 07, 2011, 11:40:10 PM
That is our Banana Drop Light  :banana: :bananasplit: :bananaguitar: :bananajumprope: :bananabeer: :bananapc:

The wheel bearing made it to San Jose without any trouble. It even enjoyed doing 100 MPH for a few seconds  :driving: :burnout:
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on January 30, 2011, 09:11:23 PM
My car is now equipped with 6 speeds :thumbs: :thumbs: :thumbs: :thumbs: :thumbs: :thumbs: :thumbs: :thumbs: :thumbs: :thumbs: :thumbs: :thumbs: :thumbs: :thumbs:

I need to post a huge write up on the conversion and also take some more videos!

It is WAAAAY quiet on the freeway and the close ratio is REALLY FUN to quickly shift through all gears while boosting!
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: Sirdeuce on January 31, 2011, 08:13:39 AM
At loooooonngg last! Are your concerns of the shifting roughness for naught? How do you think the performance has improved?
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on January 31, 2011, 09:23:12 AM
Man I LOVE this trans! This morning was the first time I really opened it up and ran full throttle with it. The RPM drop is much less between gears so I'm staying in my power band without having to shift at redline.

Also, on the freeway onramp at north-bound Fowler Ave to west-bound HWY180, it is much easier to break the rear end loose now that the RPMs are a bit higher in 3rd gear. It is PERFECT and the power shift to 4th gear at the end of the on ramp is waaaaaaay better! I need more seat time but I'm 90% convinced the car pulls harder now (theoretically it will pull harder but for a shorter time interval).

I took my TomTom with me to verify the speedometer (because the gear on the carrier changed and is designed for a car with larger tires -- but I am using the MR2 sender) and before my speedo was about 3 MPH too fast and now it is about 1 MPH too fast. So the conversion also helped correct my speedo :)

But the speedo correction makes my gear-to-speed comparison pictures not look as good. For instance, with the C56, at 70 MPH in 5th gear was 4,100 RPM (remember my tach reads 10% too high!!) and now with the C60, 70 MPH in 6th gear is now 3,800 RPM. So it seems to only be about a 300 RPM difference but really what I thought was 70 MPH with the 5spd was really more like 66 or 67 MPH. So my guess is that 6th gear is about 500 RPM lower.
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on January 31, 2011, 07:22:39 PM
I got reverse working today -- I had to modify the side-to-side select lever at the transaxle to reduce the throw of the shifter.

Then on my way home I went out to Jensen Ave near Temperance and really opened her up. WOW this car is SO VIOLENT! It pulls MUCH harder than the 5 speed, and I am NOT imagining things. Bill, your motor mounts are in for a real beating! (I've got news to discuss regarding the mounts BTW) The shine of my headlights rise up so much when each gear is engaged, it is CRAZY. Also I have NO CLUE how to drive this thing! hahaha it's like I'm learning how to use a stick shift all over. The RPM drop between each gear is so small that I am not getting the clutch disengaged in time while going WOT and end up jerking the car on each gear shift LOL

Also it is difficult to speed shift it, combination of sharp reconditioned syncros that need to break in and also I'm using generic 75-90 mineral oil to flush it out for a thousand miles or so. Then I'll throw my Amsoil in there and then I have no doubt it will shift better.

I LOVE THIS TRANSAXLE! WHY OR WHY Didn't Toyota equip the MR2 with a 6spd TO BEGIN WITH is waaaaay BEYOND ME!!!!!
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: Sirdeuce on January 31, 2011, 07:39:34 PM
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on February 01, 2011, 08:59:27 AM
I am in NO WAY COMPLAINING! I love these mounts and am VERY impressed with them! Especially the front (exhaust-side) mount. But it looks like the rear (intake-side) mount can't handle the brutal torque of the World's Greatest Supercharged Engine

Pics 1-4 are of the rear mount

Pic 5 is the front mount. It is doing well but it looks like you added a 2nd layer to make it thicker and that layer has detached.

Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: Sirdeuce on February 01, 2011, 09:41:03 AM
Maybe the combination of the soft stock rubber and the hard rubber. I'll try to make one without the stock rubber in place. When do you think you would want it?  And I'll try to do a front mout too. Do you think the mounts would be adequate for a stock to mild setup? Or would it be necessary to remove the rubber for that also? Maybe go to urethane instead of a hard rubber?
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on February 01, 2011, 09:56:09 AM
I am in NO WAY COMPLAINING! I love these mounts and am VERY impressed with them!

The mounts are great, honestly, I can tell you paid attention to detail with them. My clutch is super grabby and it chatters when you try to slip it -- like when you saw my tire rocking when I left your house -- and I know that engine must be rocking. So I'm sure if I had the rear mount fixed it would be much better.

I like how you used a softer compound (softer than shore 90) but then added a lot more material. I think that is the proper way to do it! :bowdown:
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: Sirdeuce on February 01, 2011, 11:37:34 AM
I just think they can be improved upon. Looking at the failure in the pic, I see the bottom went out. If I'm seeing the rotation right, th torque pushes down on the rear mount.  I'm thinking that cutting the rubber out of the bottom and pouring in the area solid will help it stay together better. Maybe cast in a piece of metal to better distribute the force? Not too difficult to do.
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: Sirdeuce on February 25, 2011, 07:37:34 PM
Ever install that guage cluster Mike?
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on February 25, 2011, 09:00:36 PM
Negative. I haven't done jack squat. I even bought some Denso IK22 Iridium plugs and they have been making a great desk piece for the past two week!

If I can't even install spark plugs........... :screwy: :conf: :conf: :conf: :conf: :conf: :conf:
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on June 25, 2011, 06:11:15 PM
Got some free time today (I KNOW IT'S CRAZY HUH?!?!?!) so I thought I'd get this thread up to speed :burnout:

Dec 19, 2010 - Building the C60 6-speed

The 6-speed conversion was a bit of a bear to perform, mostly because I lost a few parts and also messed up the order of components. I probably put the thing together 3 or 4 times -- complete with silicone and all, each time having to tear it back apart to fix things. I took 94 pictures during the build so we've got lots to use for future builds.

This conversion should NEVER have been as hard as it was for me. It was just a steeper than normal learning curve for me. Now that I've done it, for sure we can get more going without much less effort.

I won't be able to remember all the details (it's been 6 months), so I'll just start posting some pics and see where this post goes :thumbs:

Pic 1: Here is the 6 speed ready to get raped
2: Here is 5th and 6th gear. This gear was a complete PITA to remove!! I broke the teeth of our puller even! So we had to heat it up after which it came right off.
3: Splitting down...
4: This is my C56 housing with a massive magnet JB Welded in place. This is a trick that we do to our Marlin Crawler transmissions to keep metal out of the gear oil. I installed this magnet, another one in the tail housing, and then added a 3rd magnet by using a magnetic fill plug.
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on June 25, 2011, 06:16:57 PM
Once everything was torn down it was time to figure out how this is gonna work in the MK1.

First issue: Shift Rail. My dad and I created a hybrid C52/C60 shift rail ............... and then I found out that the stock shift rail in the Celica will work without any modifications! :smack: But at least I didn't have to buy anything and I got it working.

Basically, what we did was use the 6spd internal section with the 5spd external shift arm/lever section.

Pic 1: The top rail is the C60, the lower is the C52 rail. You can see the 6spd rail has additional splines and has different cotter pin provisions.

2: Cutting a c-clip groove

3: Looking good!

4: This is the FWD 6spd external shift arm/lever that won't be used anymore.

5: DONE!

6: Here is the new rail assembled with the 6spd parts. The C52 end cap shown would later NOT be used (it's not compatible with the new reverse gear position).
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on June 25, 2011, 06:23:23 PM
There were also a few parts like this that needed to be changed in the 5 speed housing. The 6 spd uses the larger inner diameter bearing (the one with more rollers).

Everything starting to come together... The 6spd final drive is used of course, and is NOT compatible with 5spd variants. This is because the 6spd carrier is MASSIVELY HUGE compared to the 5spd components. The bolt pattern diameter of the 6spd ring gear is much larger.

It was extremely important to keep parts in order. I had so many clips from tearing down both trans it was confusing. Next time I will keep better track of it all.

We also noticed that the 5th-6th gear hub had a crack in it. YIKES! :yikes: It should be okay though since it's transfer torque straight to the shift hub (no lateral loads), but it won't last forever. We checked what this costs from the dealer and it's about $100!! THAT'S OUR PRICE EVEN!! Retail is probably like $300 or something :o :o

Got 5th and 6th gears installed....

....and it's done!!
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on June 25, 2011, 06:35:08 PM
Check out all them shift forks!!! :woohoo: :woohoo: :woohoo:

The fork closest the camera is 5th & 6th, and the fork furthest the camera is reverse.

Also replaced all seals with new Toyota parts 8) 8)

Meanwhile, I took care of the clutch.

Here is my new Made In USA 6-pluck ceramic disc compared to the old Exedy disc.

The pads are the same size, I just have 6 of em now. So it should last a bit longer, which is a plus.

Here are the covers. The new cover is a HD version, I believe 1,600 ft-pound load. Not sure what the old Exedy was rated at.

Pressing the pins out of my TODA Chromoly flywheel.

Getting the flywheel resurfaced. We went with a 23-thousandths grind this time. We usually do a .026" step to get some life out of the clutch, but I was concerned with performance under speed shifts so I elected a more conservative grind. At least this leaves room for adjustment in the future, pending future disc wear.

And finally, pressing the pins back in! Nice and shiny surface :cool2:

Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on June 25, 2011, 06:47:19 PM
One thing I've learned from my father and my Uncle Paul is to date things. Some people think it's silly but in times like these IT IS SO COOL MAN!!!

Here are previous recordings on the flywheel :hyper:

This April 23, 2000 date was when I first installed the Exedy 4-pluck clutch. Had 207,446 on the odometer.

Fast forward to April 17, 2004 and this is when I was installing my 20-valve side draft codename "White" engine ( I kept the same Exedy clutch in because it still had some life left.

Fast forward again to the present, December 19, 2010. I've got 247,048 miles on the clock. So I was able to squeeze 40,000 MILES OUT OF THE 4-PLUCK EXEDY CLUTCH!!!!! That BLEW MY MIND, I figured it had 15k or 20k tops :thud:

The new USA clutch installed to the my new 4A-GZE  :guns:

And finally, a Special Tribute to absolutely the best clutch I have ever owned: the 4-pluck Exedy clutch. :_order:
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on June 25, 2011, 07:03:07 PM
Dec 20, 2010 - Had to reinstall the old C56 5spd...

So amongst all this work, I finally got the 6 speed together but still needed to complete the shifter setup. I had the rail done but ran into snags with how the new reverse position will fan out.

So I got the whole trans done and then realized my stock N/A MK1 axles don't fit. I don't know why I was so surprised by this -- I had read that I needed to get N/A MK2 axles but for some reason I tore my whole car apart and HAD to get the job finished during that weekend.

So I thought........ Hmmmmmmm I HAVE to have the car out of the shop come normal business hours Mon morning. So let's see if I can run the C5x diff components so I can run the MK1 N/A axles.

So apart comes the C60/56...

Here are the two diff assemblies, C60 on the left and the C56 on the right. It may be difficult to tell from the photos, but the C60 completely dwarfs the C56 setup. I was hoping I could simply transfer the C60 ring gear to the C56 carrier, so I could use the C56 output and use my MK1 axles. Well, that was a no go.

So here is my current C56 that I had JUST removed less than 24 hours ago...

...and now it's back in my car. :down: So I got the car back together with the new clutch but with the same 5spd trans. I had no choice, I had to get the car out of the shop.
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on June 25, 2011, 07:20:08 PM
Christmas & New Years was right around the corner so I didn't return to this project for a few weeks. During that time I was able to find some N/A MK2 axles locally. Here they are, 1 long side and 1 short side. ummm, errr well that is what they "said" they were :hammerhead: I ended up with two short side axles, but they were a bit different: One was about an inch longer, and the other had a smaller nut thread. The splines were the same, but I still had to source a proper long side axle.

So on with finishing up the trans!

Jan 16, 2011 - Finishing up the 6 speed

I was looking over the trans and realized that I had a shift rail in wrong and the trans would get locked into two gears at once. Ho Hum. Yeah.... It's been that kind of a job. So back apart it comes....

...I lost count on how many times I had to break the silicone seal and rip into the trans. It was really bad. And each time I had to remove that cracked 5th-6th gear hub, which was really troublesome because come to find out the dealer has a national backorder on that ~$100 hub. So if I jacked that hub then I'd really be SOL for a while....

Here is a good closeup shot of the C60 diff

Then, lastly, I put everything back together with cleaned sealing surfaces and fresh silicone and what did I find sitting on the bench.......................

.....................the dang stock internal magnet. SHEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEESH. :thud: So I had to tear it apart YET AGAIN  :censored:
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on June 25, 2011, 07:52:46 PM
So now that I _finally_ have the trans back together for the last time  :crossed: :crossed: :crossed: it was time to complete the shifter setup.
 I spent a long time playing with different parts between the two trans before figuring out the right combo.
 It turned out that the nice groove my father cut was unneeded and was interfering with the 5spd components. So I angled the grove out a bit and then filled it with weld, then turned it down smooth in the lathe.
 I then learned that the external MR2 shift lever was too long and wouldn't allow enough movement to engage the new reverse position. So I had to cut the section off that holds the boot to the lever. So now the boot is just sitting there and water can get it. Oh well, not much I can do about it now.
Finally, I had to retain the 6 speed shifter housing due a required double-spring mechanism that adds an extra level of safety against 1st-to-reverse gear misshift. :driving:

Here is a 28mm freeze plug used to plug up the hole originally used for FWD shifting operation.

Finally, here is the C56/C60 hybrid 100% FINISHED AND READY FOR INSTALL!!!!!!! WHEW!!
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on June 25, 2011, 07:54:36 PM
Check this out!!!!!!!!!!!

Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on June 26, 2011, 10:38:02 AM
It took me about a week to get the proper long side non-Turbo MK2 axle, and by Jan 30th everything was ready to go!!

Jan 30, 2011 - 6 speed Installed

Here is the C56/60 with all my original MR2 components attached.

Here is my short throw mod I did many, many moons ago.

And there she is!!! Installed _finally_ :thumbs: :thumbs: The only clues that it's not the C56 is the different tail housing and the shifter end cap. Everything else is pure 5-speed as far as anyone is concerned.

Here are some comparisons pics of my 1987 non-Supercharged MK1 axles to the 1991 non-Turbo MK2 axles I sourced.
The C60 uses a coarser spline axles compared to the C50/52/56. Sorry I don't remember what the spline counts were.
On the spindle side, the splines are identical! I was able to keep my non-S/C spindles :thumbs:

Here is the long side axle installed (behind the O2 sensor). As you can see, the MK1 6-stud flange stub axle is a thing of the past. The N/A MK2 axles are a 1-piece design.

Here is the long side axle installed into the spindle. To remove the axles I pulled the two lower control arm bolts off and rotated the spindle away and to the side. Removing the 1-piece axles is a bit more work but nothing to write home about.
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on June 26, 2011, 11:14:24 AM
I ran into issues with this plug. I'm not sure what it is for. I know that it limits the shift rod's movement, but I didn't spend anytime figuring out why that was needed. The bolt on 6speed is a different diameter, so I couldn't use it; The bolt on the 5speed is waaay too long so I had to modify it. In the end I just cut the crap out of the bolt, completely nullifying it's purpose. All it's doing right now is just preventing oil from leaking.

And finally, here is a 5th to 6th gear RPM comparison at 70 MPH. Keep in mind that my tach reads 10% too high. At 70 MPH it looks to be about a 200-300 RPM difference. It's a ratio, so the faster you go the more pronounced the difference becomes. At 80 MPH it's closer to a 400 RPM difference. For now I only have a 70 MPH picture in 6th gear.

C56 5th gear at 70 MPH ~ 3,690 RPM (10% corrected)
C60 6th gear at 70 MPH ~ 3,510 RPM (10% corrected)
Difference ~ 180 RPM (about 4-5% lower)

You might be thinking this isn't much but I am amazed at how much of a difference it has made! The car is MUCH quieter on the freeway and it is making 2 to 3 more miles per gallon on the open road. In my opinion that is significant! Additionally, my engine life will be prolonged do to lower revs and less wear & tear. I HIGHLY recommend ALL MK1s to IMMEDIATELY swap in a 6th speed. Gears 1-5 are close to each other, 3rd & 4th being gears being the closest. It is LOADs of fun to drive with the Supercharger wide power band. :shifting: :shifting: :shifting:

I'll post up some more speed comparisons once I get my speedometer fixed (the cable bit the dust 2 weeks ago).

I forgot that the speedometer sending unit and its mating ring gear at the transaxle output on the C60 is DIFFERENT than the C56. The Corolla has larger stock tires than the MR2. So it is possible that the C56 was reading too low and the C60 is reading to high. Please see reply #225 ( for more discussion on this.
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on June 26, 2011, 11:26:37 AM
When I pulled the car out of the shop for the first time with the 6 speed, I cycled through all 7 gears and realized I had no reverse. :yikes: I knew this wasn't the trans fault because reverse engages just fine on the bench. Well, it was very late and I still needed to clean everything up, get home, get some sleep, etc, so I just went home with no reverse.

Jan 31, 2011 - Fixed Reverse Issue

It only took a few seconds to figure out what was going on. Because reverse gear is in a position foreign to the car, the shift cables were not able to reach it. They would sort-of engage it, but as soon as I'd let the clutch out it would pop into neutral. So I had to make the side-to-side shift pattern shorter in order to reach the new (far left) reverse position.

Here is the side-to-side MR2 lever ready to be modified. A rough estimate with a dial caliper looks like stock is 2.5" long. I took a wild guess, removed 1/2" of material, and welded it back up. It turned out great...
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on June 26, 2011, 11:37:57 AM
It turned out great... turned out great until I got in the car and tried to engage reverse. :rofl2: SAME PROBLEM! It was only a bit better :smack: but would still pop into neutral :tease:

So I was looking it over, and as far as I could tell the 1/2" was sufficient, but the cable just wasn't able to extend far enough. So I decided to move the cable stud closer to the cable mount. So I cut and angled it a bit. It's probably under 2" now but not by much.

...and that was the final touch! Reverse works perfect every time now! :best: :burnout:

So there you have it. My 6 speed conversion, from purchase of used trans to completion, took 93 days :rofl: Now you know why I haven't updated this thread in a while! :yesnod:

I still need to make some 6spd videos, I'll post em up once I do :thumbs:
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on June 26, 2011, 11:58:07 AM
Feb 17, 2011 - Synthetic Amsoil & Fixed Oil Leak

I ran the trans on some cheap mineral oil so I can flush out any debris before switching over to full synthetic. I dropped my balls and dished out some $bucks$ for some high quality oil. No more royal purple for me, it's time to really start taking care of my car! :circle:

This is my preferred method of filling up a MR2 transaxle. I simply remove the fill and shift limit plugs, and start adding oil through the shifter housing until it starts puking out the fill. Much easier than messing around with the hard to access fill plug.

After a few days I noticed I had an oil leak. This is not a fault of the conversion, but rather the modification to the C56 FWD housing to accept a mid-ship mounted shifter setup. Bill and I both knew of the issue but I figured I could use the housing anyway. Since then, Bill has gotten his tool fixed. It wasn't that big of a deal, I just had to repack it with some better sealant (used Toyota Ultra Black Silicone) and the leak has since stopped :thumbs:
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: Sirdeuce on June 26, 2011, 02:43:01 PM
He said I got my TOOL fixed! Haahahhahahhaa
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on June 26, 2011, 04:58:15 PM
March 27, 2011 - Installed Car Alarm

I got a sa-weeet car alarm that has a built in 4,000 foot pager: If my alarm goes off, then the remote will blink and start beeping.

I've also wired it up so that if anyone disconnects the alarm while it is armed it will disable the vehicle. So the only way to get the car to run is by disarming the system or take the time to trace all the wires to reverse engineer what I did. You'd be better off just towing the car away so I feel pretty good about it :thumbs:

The last picture shows how clean of a job I did. It's neatly wired and turned out great :thumbs:

So I've now got the following list of anti-theft:
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on June 26, 2011, 05:05:38 PM
Cool pics with my truck :thumbs:

and another after a fresh wash :thumbs: Long live the 80s!!!
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on June 26, 2011, 05:13:17 PM
May 12, 2011 - Annihilated Sway Bar Mount

With all the extreme driving I do :driving: I was able to destroy my front passenger's side sway bar mount. I blame it on two things: 1. San Jose roads SUCK ASS (the car is there nearly every weekend) and 2. I had the sway bar on the strongest setting. Not much else to discuss really, I just need to get it fixed.

The car still corners fairly well, but the front it is very loose when you load and unload it. Also driving down the highway the car drifts all over the road.
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on September 26, 2011, 09:36:01 PM
Hey guys,

I forgot the mention that my speedometer sending unit and its mating ring gear at the transaxle output changed with the transaxle. So it is possible that the C56 was reading too low and the C60 is reading to high. Good point right? What I should have done is used my phone's GPS, which I didn't do at the time so honestly I don't think this picture can be used to accurately compare the two transaxles. I firmly believe I have gotten a 400 to 500 RPM drop as the math suggests, not the wimpy 200-300 RPM drop shown in the attached image...

Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on December 10, 2011, 06:27:52 PM
July 7, 2011 - Repositioned front License plate, fixed broken speedometer cable

The pics do the talking! The license plate bracket was $9 from AutoZone
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on December 10, 2011, 06:39:55 PM
August 21, 2011 - Replaced front bumper & went PANDA!

First off, HUGE thanks to Bill for making this possible (Bill pulled front & rear white bumpers for me from the wrecking yard!!) This is a flat nosed 1985-86 style front bumper, which I prefer and have always wanted to convert to.

Pic 1: New bumper
2: The damaged bumper from the Hwy180 accident of fall of 1999
3: Broke a bolt and just decided to weld the hood latch to the radiator support. Stupid, I've always regretted not fixing this the proper way.
4: Old bumper removed
5: Inner bumper REMOVED and DISCARDED! Woohoooo no more of that. I don't know the weight by memory, but it was around 20-30 pounds!
6: Looks pretty mean, huge air intakes for it's jet engine hahaha
7: Got the old radiator support removed. Interesting look at what its going to be like when I tilt the radiator forward for the reverse hood scoop mod still in the works.
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on December 10, 2011, 06:44:43 PM
August 21, 2011 - Replaced front bumper & went PANDA! (continued)

Installing the front blinker lights...

The blinker lights installed into the inner bumper, which I removed, so I had to figure out how to get em mounted.

Pic 1: The 1985-86 flat nose bumper has material to position the blinker assembly
2: The 1987 slant nose bumper does not
3: Hole drilled in each side of each blinker housing
4: Similar hole drilled into the bumper
5 & 6: Light housing installed with simple zipties! Light weight and plenty strong
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on December 10, 2011, 06:49:11 PM
August 21, 2011 - Replaced front bumper & went PANDA! (continued)

FINALLY! The last cosmetic remnants from 1999 are gone! :D :D

Check out the last pic here: My MR2 has now gone PANDA!!!!!!!! I installed black front valance, black side skirts, and a black spoiler, all curtsey of BryanH! Thanks man!! :beerchug: I have put them to great use!!!! :yesnod:
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on December 10, 2011, 07:02:07 PM
Oct 30, 2011 - Fixed Sway Bar Mount

After driving the car for FIVE AND A HALF MONTHS without a front sway bar, I FINALLY got time to get it fixed :_order:

Pic 1: A lot of metal got ripped out, so I had to replace a lot back in there. It was pretty rough

2: It looks like crap but is actually a very stout repair. I added a TON of metal and welded the snot out of everything. I am not so good at upside down welding but it turned out better than expected for meh. :gap:

3: All done! Looks pretty good if I don't say so myself

4: I also found a few cracks on the driver's side mount!! :ack: :o so I did some grinding & welding to make sure it holds up for many years to come

Also, I changed the setting on the front bar from hardest to softest (it is a 3-way adjustable ST bar). It feels really great right now and I don't think I'll be changing it for a while.
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on December 10, 2011, 07:10:31 PM
November 20, 2011 - Increased front camber to -2.5 degrees

I modified the strut towers of my front suspension to gain a ton of more negative camber. Please see the full story here: Simple DIY Extra Camber (

Here are some pics that should illustrate what was done in a nut shell:
( (
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on December 10, 2011, 07:20:23 PM
UN-FREAK'N-BELIEVABLE DIFFERENCE with -2.5 degrees camber compared to -1.3 degrees. W-O-W. Please read my DIY thread ( for my full reaction to this. Truly a great modification, wish I had done this many, many years ago!
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on December 10, 2011, 07:27:54 PM
Here come some misc Panda pics :smokin:

Aerial shots are from my wife's 14th floor office. The MR2 looks great even from above!!
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on December 10, 2011, 08:19:28 PM
December 7, 2011...


Pic 1: My baby loaded on Precision Automotive's Dyno Dynamics dynometer!!!!

2: Configuring the system

3: WOOOOOT!!!!!!!!!!!
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on December 10, 2011, 08:54:18 PM
Dyno Details:

We did three pulls all in 4th gear (1.166:1 gear ratio)

He printed out copies with better Y-axis resolution, and I entered the data into Excel for better viewability on a computer.

The first run was with the Supercharger on, everything all stock/normal at 8 PSI boost. This resulted in 143.4 HP ~ 7,375 rpm and 115.9 lbs-ft TQ ~ 3,700 rpm

Next we ran it with the same but with the Supercharger switched off. This resulted in 68.9 HP ~ 6,125 rpm and 65.5 lb-ft TQ ~ 3,125 rpm

Then we removed the stock Toyota air filter and did one last pull at 8 PSI boost. This resulted in 150.4 HP ~ 7,400 rpm and 117.5 lb-ft TQ ~ 3,750 rpm

It's was AWESOME to see the difference with & without the Supercharger and at no surprise it was also very cool to see the advantages of a less restrictive intake.

The Supercharger adds 75 to 80 Horsepower, but keep in mind that with the Supercharge clutch pulley switched off, not only is the engine operating under a vacuum, but it's got the additional restriction of two huge rotors right in the air stream. But, it's great to know that when I play with older Hondas that I now know how much power I am competing with :rofl: Go! Go! 68 Horsepower!! :rofl2:

8 PSI8 PSI no air filter      0 PSI with air filter
Wheel Horsepower   143.4 HP      150.4 HP68.9 HP
Wheel Torque115.9 TQ117.5 TQ65.5 TQ
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on December 10, 2011, 09:09:04 PM
This is power at the Dyno rollers. Even when you take away the 1.166 4th gear multiplication, this engine is still putting 148.6 128.99 HP to the ground.

* Edit: Correction: It is estimated to be 128.9 HP to the ground not 148.6. Please see reply #239 below for updated numbers *

THIS MAKES NO SENSE!! This engine is rated for 145 HP at 6,400 rpm and 140 TQ at 4,000 rpm. HOW IN THE WORLD is it producing so much power ...... and at a 15% higher rpm?!

Consider what the engine is producing at the crank to put 148.6 HP (correction for 4th gear) to the ground:
15% power loss: 170.89 crank HP
20% power loss: 178.32 crank HP
25% power loss: 185.75 crank HP
30% power loss: 193.18 crank HP

Honestly, this is crazy. What am I missing here? How can this engine be making 170-180 HP? It must have higher compression pistons, a modified ECM, aftermarket camshafts, adjustable cam gears.... All I've done is I've fitted my lightweight flywheel, that's it, that is the only aftermarket mod to date.

I am going to pull the cam cover when I get back home next week and I will report back!
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: Sirdeuce on December 10, 2011, 09:38:46 PM
Headers?? 264 cams?? Bigger crank pulley? Larger throttle plate?
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on December 11, 2011, 10:39:20 AM
Headers?? 264 cams?? Bigger crank pulley? Larger throttle plate?
Stock manifold, I've been wanting to check my cams for a long time -- now I'm really motivated, stock crank pulley & boost, have not checked the TB.

Hey Bill,

I have been trying to think back when I had the 294 cams. I remember it had a smooth idle, but the vacuum was down to I think 19 or 18 in-Hg. Right now, my car has a great idle, makes 30 MPG, and has 20-22 in-Hg vacuum.

Everything points to big cams: I'm making more power higher in the rpm band, and I'm making less bottom end power...

Peak HP rpm     RPM % difference    Peak TQ rpm     RPM % difference
Rated:   6,4004,000

If anything, the torque number seems within range at 117.5 lb-ft at the ground, which would be...

4th gear correction: 100.77 TQ to the ground.

Possible TQ losses:
15% power loss: 116 crank TQ
20% power loss: 121 crank TQ
25% power loss: 126 crank TQ
30% power loss: 131 crank TQ

Right -- less torque than stock & more HP at a more narrow and higher power band points to aftermarket cams.
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on December 11, 2011, 11:02:53 AM
This is power at the Dyno rollers. Even when you take away the 1.166 4th gear multiplication, this engine is still putting 148.6 HP to the ground.
Whoops, I messed up with this calculation. I calculated as a percent difference rather than a difference of ratios. Here are the proper assumption numbers:

4th gear correction: 128.99 HP to the ground.

Possible HP losses (4th gear correction included):
15% power loss: 148 crank HP
20% power loss: 156 crank HP
25% power loss: 161 crank HP
30% power loss: 169 crank HP

That looks a lot better. Now I am looking at probably 155 - 165 crank HP, which seems far more believable.
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on October 12, 2012, 12:38:19 PM
It's been nearly a year since my last post -- I've been busy ENJOYING MY FAVORITE CAR!! :driving: :driving: :driving: :bowdown:

First two pics are near Kerman a few days after the Panda work (black spoiler & black side skirts. Still need to get black mud flaps)

3rd pic: Outside Chipotle, near San Jose Airport

4th pic: At Marlin Crawler with my truck

5th pic: At a Central Valley 4WD Club Meeting in Tulare

6th pic: At a really nice Hawaiian cafe in Santa Cruz
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on October 12, 2012, 12:47:48 PM
1st pic: At the Starbucks at the west end of Los Banos

2nd pic: Sea Cliff State Beach near Soquel, CA

3rd pic: Outside Uncle Harry's at Fresno State University

4th pic: Camping at the Four Wheel Drive Club of Fresno's annual 4x4 Poker Run in Blue Canyon (Between Shaver Lake & Tollhouse)

5th pic: At my wife's parking garage in San Jose
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on October 12, 2012, 12:51:57 PM
I've also been very busy enjoying Mountain Biking!

1st pic: Got my new used Yakima Q-system roof rack installed!

2nd pic: Rd145 single track

3rd pic: Outside a Starbucks in Sunnyside

4th pic: Outside Uncle Harry's near Fresno State University

5th pic: This is outside a Chilli's in Monterey during the Sea Otter Classic Bike Race event at Leguna Seca Speedway (yes my car has been to the speedway! well, it was parked there :D)
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on October 12, 2012, 12:56:27 PM
1st pic: In Gilroy after riding at the Almedan Quicksilver State Park in Los Gatos

2nd pic: Back in Sunnyside with my friend's Road Bike

3rd pic: Back at Uncle Harry's on our way to the Blue Oak Trail at Millerton Lake

4th pic: Picked up my friend's bike in Clovis on our way to the Rd145 Single Track

5th pic: Up at Shaver Lake off of Dinky Creek Road after finishing 2nd place in the Expert Category at the 1st annual SAR Bike Race
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on October 12, 2012, 01:00:47 PM
Not much happened during the spring and summer months as I was busy traveling and mountain biking as you can see :D

March 1, 2012: Bolt in tire

Picked up a nice addition to my left rear tire. Got it patched at work :)
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on October 12, 2012, 01:08:45 PM
Also, the summer months are prime Four Wheeling months so I've been very busy gone on many weekends with my Truck four wheeling trails across this great state of ours

September 9, 2012: Front left Tokico finally died

When I bought my car on January 31st of 1999 for just $350, it had Tokico Illumina's pre-installed. I remember Bryan telling me how I bought a used set of Illuminas for $350 and got a car included for free :yupyup: Well, nearly 14 years later (6 years of which the car never moved) the front left finally blew out

The car was absolutely horrible to drive! It was really atrocious! It would bounce like crazy and was a complete mess...
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on October 12, 2012, 01:21:49 PM
September 26, 2012: Installed a cheap and simple speaker system for my iPhone

I've been using headphones (yes I know it's illegal) to listen to the King James Bible, music, talk radio, and football games on my iPhone while driving to and from San Jose every weekend.

I've been wanting to connect my iPhone to some speakers but I've been very busy... I finally got it done!

What I've got is an 88watt speaker driver and a 10" compact subwoofer with a built in amp. Then I am using a 3.5mm head phone jack split into two RCA connections for both amps.
The 88watt speaker driver runs my four interior factory speakers (split by right and left channel, but without a deck there is no ability to fade from front/rear), and the subwoofer is self-powered.

The total cost for all of this was under $100! The woofer was $90 on Amazon with free shipping and the 88w amp I got for free from my friend Brandon (it's verrrry old, I think made in 2001).

The system works GREAT! I have a simple male 3.5mm headphone cable that runs out from my center console and simply plugs into my iPhone - or any other device with a standard headphone output jack. The bass on the subwoofer is adjustable and the system really kicks!! It's the best system I've ever had in my car and it was super cheap!!

Now driving long distances is great! I can listen to music and anything else without needing head phones. It's been just great.

Also, the headphone cable neatly tucks away from view when the car is parked, and everything is hidden and out of view -- the stock radio bay is empty with partially chewed up speaker wire remains from the squirrels and mice during the car's six year unprotected Coarsegold foothill hiatus.

Only a $90 system :thumbs: Unfortunately the woofer is a bit too tall to fit below the seat. I could have gotten an 8" unit for $10 less, but I thought for $10 I might as well get the larger unit.
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on October 12, 2012, 01:35:48 PM
September 27, 2012: *Finally* mounted my front license plate

If you notice from the pictures posted above, my front license plate has been resting atop my dash. The reason for this is threefold: 1) I've never liked the stock mounting location because it's a huge air restriction on the radiator/cooling, 2) I removed the front bumper inner support which is where I previously had the plate mounted (see reply #226 (;topicseen#msg2769)), and 3) I have gotten a fix-it ticket for not having a front plate before (on my 1981 Rock Crawler) so by having it on my dash - I know it's not proper - but at least I'm showing good faith in having it present at all times.

Without a way to mount the plate with the new front bumper, I've been scratching my head on what to do. Then while at Uncle Harry's one day I saw a Red Celica GTS who trimmed out the number section of his front plate and hard-mounted it to his front bumper! I thought WOW what a great idea! It was just a matter of time until I got this done to my MR2 :thumbs:

I realize a license plate is Government property, and that this might also not be legal, but the same holds true: I am showing good faith in having a front license plate. Look around at the new Mercedes, Porsches, even Corvettes that do not even have a mounting provision from the factory! At least now my car is identifiable from the front which is the whole purpose of having a front mounted license plate in the first place! :thumbs:

Check it out! This entire process took less than 10 mins from start to finish. I used our Iron Worker to get straight cuts, cleaned it up on our belt sander, drilled two small holes in my front bumper skin, and with a pair of nuts on the inside of the skin, mounted the number section of the plate to the front bumper.

I REALLY like how it turned out! It's got a European look to it that I really like! Best of all it doesn't block the air flow to my radiator! :best:
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on October 12, 2012, 01:53:02 PM
September 28, 2012: Fixed hole in trunk

Back in the spring of 2000 I cut the side of my truck to get a better source of air for my trunk mounted air filter setup I used beginning with Stages #1. Here is a very old picture of where I had my air filter setup:

I eventually cut a hole in the trunk and tac-welded into place an air vent/scoop extracted from an old Dodge van at a wrecking yard. Unfortunately I never finished welding it (it was only tac-welded) and the little vents fell out one by one until there were only two remaining.

I've been wanting to do this for a long time! Glad I got it done! Now when I get my car repainted, all the body guy has to do is slap on some bondo and smooth it out. :thumbs: I also cleaned up some of the old welds on the driver's side vent install and repainted it white (it was previously primered grey)
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on October 12, 2012, 01:58:30 PM
September 28, 2012: New Shifter Boot

Been needing this since I bought the car! Only cost $15 :greengrin: Now I need to see about getting my old TRD shifter knob reconditioned
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on October 12, 2012, 02:59:41 PM
September 28, 2012: Replaced front struts!

It took a few weeks to get some new Tokico Illumina struts shipped to meh.

Removing the old struts was a snap since they were blown out. It turns out BOTH front struts were blown out.... and blown out for some time I imagine!

The struts are supposed to be pressurized. The old struts not only had no pressure left, but they had a dead spot/range of about 2 inches! :o :o

So you can only imagine at how amazed I was when I drove the car home that day! WOW!! Not only is the ride a millions times better, but the shocks pressure have given about 3/4-inch lift in the front and where my front air damn used to hit the road while leaving work it now clears.

With the new ride height, you can clearly tell that the rear struts are gone too (I'm not surprised). The rear has been riding pretty stiff for a long time, so I'm now convinced that the progressive rate of the rear ST springs is not being used without the aid from the struts, and therefore has a higher than normal spring rate. Also, there is limited shock stroke remaining before the bump stops hit, so its double trouble. So the rears are next! ...and I am going to trim the bump stops down in half :thumbs:

The 3rd pic shows the old strut on the left in a compressed position, which isn't possible since the shock is supposed to be pressurized ;) Both sides were like this and both sides had flat spots. Can't wait to get the rear done next!

Also, you can see the front license plate here in the day time and at a distance. I think it looks good!
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on October 12, 2012, 03:08:05 PM
For my birthday I drove my MR2 down to Irvine to be with my wife who is on a six month work extension (my car gets around!). With the Supercharger switched off and kept off, I am getting 32 miles per gallon in 6th gear cruising at 70 mph. It drops to 30 mpg if I run 80 mph.

1st pic: Here is my car parked at my wife's hotel in Irvine, near the John Wayne / Orange County Airport

2nd pic: Here is my car parked for lunch near Beverly Hills

This marks the last trip with my Supercharged Tear Drop wheels and General Altimax HP tires! The tires were entirely worn out and I had already planned to run them for this one last trip .... because I already had some new parts waiting for me back at home ;)  ;)  ;)  ;) The tires have lasted my aggressive driving since 4th of July weekend 2010!!

It's not the best angle, but you can see in the 1st pic how the front fender has much more room above the tire compared to the back fender. It's not noticeable by the passerby, but when you stop and consider the ride height, it comes out.
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on October 12, 2012, 03:18:02 PM
And finally, drum roll please!!

October 9, 2012: Rota Grid Race + Bridgestone Potenza RE-11

As shown in the opening post of this thread I have a soft spot for 6-spoke black wheels on white MR2s. I ran them on my MR2 for a few years and loved them! Now I've finally brought them back!

I haven't weighed them yet, but they are MUUUUCH lighter than the stock SC tear drop wheels. They are 15" tall by 6.5" wide, and are wrapped by 205/50R15 Bridgestone Potenza RE-11s (the former tear drops were 14x6, with 195/60R14 tires). This setup is marginally larger (by a few percent) but not enough to make much of an RPM difference. This is the same setup I ran in the past, however I had 225mm wide tires at the rear back then. I want to keep the tires square at 205mm so I can rotate them and get more life.

...and just like my old Bridgestone SO3 Pole Positions, MAAAN THESE RE-11's KICK IT!! HOLY CRAP they are sooooooooo much better than the Altimax's! Of course they are double the price and won't last nearly as long BUT WOW who cares!!! hahaha They all just went on my Goodyear credit card which I'll just slowly pay off and not incur any interest :)

Here is a picture from the 9th and also some close up shots from earlier today. At first I didn't like the flat black - my previous black wheels were gloss - but I really like them! My car is becoming more and more awesome every day!

Edit 7/21/2016:
Decided to add some additional info here

My car's original Triangle Rims:15.5 lbs   14" x 5.5"  +35 to +38mm offset variants
The SC Teardrop Rims I've been running:    18 lbs14" x 6"+39mm offset
Rota Grids I got as listed on the receipt:13.5 lbs15" x 6.5"+38mm offset

Interestingly enough, on Rota's website,, they do NOT make a 15" x 6.5" Grid. They only make a 15" x 7" with either +0mm, +20mm, +35mm, or +40mm offset. According to this Honda thread ( the 7" wide wheel actually only measures 6.5".

The next time I have the wheels off my car I'm going to take some measurements and update this post.
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on October 12, 2012, 03:29:09 PM
Additional items that I've done but don't have pictures of...

Next on the list:

Earlier this summer my windshield developed a small crack that has grown nearly the full length on the passenger's side. So I need to get the windshield replaced (it's the factory 1987 glass as far aas I can tell / it's made in Japan by Toyota).

Replace rear struts

Build and install Roll Center Adjusters at all four corners. Going to make 15mm pieces, run 15mm spacers in the rear, and double stack to get 30mm for the front corners.

Passenger's rear brake low-pad-level indicator has started rubbing over the last 2 weeks so I'm due for some new pads soon

Install T10 wedge LED lights in my Instrument Cluster (I've been slowly converting many lights over to LED)

...and of course I've got a long list of small things to do / improve. Getting the little things done has been great -- feels really good having small annoyances repaired / gone!

More to come soon!

Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on October 13, 2012, 04:01:12 PM
Got some more pics of the new shoes copied over from my phone :snapshot:
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on October 13, 2012, 04:13:12 PM
Here are some Interior pics from last night.

New super bright dome light, using a "31mm Festoon 12 LEDs SMD LED Bulb" from Amazon, (

And the foot area LEDs are some old LED pods I've had in my garage for a few years. They are just a plastic pod with 6 or 8 individual LEDs on them. Zip tied the passenger's and used heavy duty double sided sticky tape and mounted the driver's side to the bottom of the air duct. The light shines from above your feet and to the base of each seat.

It's really cool, like you are greeted each time you open the door :thumbs: Also, my car alarm keep the dome lights one until the key is switched to the ON position. So even though you jump in and close the door, the lights are still on to help situate and get your key in the ignition
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: Sirdeuce on October 15, 2012, 09:50:42 AM
You going to use that guage cluster with the blue glow lights??
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on October 15, 2012, 10:04:07 AM
You going to use that guage cluster with the blue glow lights??
Negative. It is BAD TO THE BONE, but I don't like the silver face :( It doesn't match anything in my car. I have it in a safe place, resting in my garage out of harms way :greengrin:
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on December 17, 2012, 09:05:26 AM
I've been getting a lot done to my car recently. Where should I start? :yupyup:
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: Sirdeuce on December 17, 2012, 07:29:31 PM
Headers installed yet?!
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BryanH on December 24, 2012, 10:58:51 PM
Those wheels are AWESOME!   :coffee:   The real deal? :)
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on November 24, 2013, 11:44:43 AM
Thanks Bryan, unfortunately they are not. They are Rota Grids, 15" x 6.5" with +38mm offset. I have a lot to update to this thread, but for now here comes a blurry but nice pic
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on February 09, 2014, 06:57:08 PM
Ohhhhhh man I've got a lot of updates coming your way!!

Oct 23, 2012: LED Instrument Lights

The picture isn't the greatest, but I installed LED lights in my instrument cluster which was a GREAT upgrade. They are not brighter than the lights in our Infiniti and it's very easy to read at night. They are standard, clear/white LED bulbs, socket size 194. I went with the German brand AGT which had very convincing marketing on Amazon. Here is the exact product link I ordered (no telling how long this link will work): (
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on February 09, 2014, 07:05:12 PM
Oct 24, 2012: Replaced rear Tokico struts

Because I (was forced) to replace my front struts, and then realizing that in fact they needed to be replaced all along, I decided I would do the same to the rear. And WOW yes they needed it too!

Not only did I replace the struts with new ones, but I also trimmed the rubber strut/shaft bump stop which made a H-U-G-E difference. Before when I would hit a dip on the freeway, the rear end would bottom out and buck the car forward and up. I even memorized key dips along my weekly Fresno-to-San Jose commute and would slow down before hitting them.

Now with the increased travel the progressive rate springs are able to move into the increased rate range and WOW the ride is 100 times better, absolutely no comparison. Replacing all four struts have really made a night and day difference and the car ride so much better.

The old rear struts were ....not that bad, they did have "some" pressure in them, but nothing like their new replacements. I could depress the old struts by hand, but the new ones required nearly half my entire body weight leaning into them. As a result my rear has probably come up a quarter or half an inch; I regret not getting before-after measurements.
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on February 09, 2014, 07:17:47 PM
Nov 11, 2012: Began work on modifying my old JDM S/C pulley

This is going to be a work-in-progress. Background: There is a rare, very hard to find Japanese factory-Denso S/C pulley that fits the SC12 and is very small at only a 106mm diameter. Compare this to the USDM SC12 pulley of 125mm (17.9% smaller) and also to the AE92/AE101 JDM SC12 pulley of 120mm (13.2% smaller).

I have found a Japanese website of a guy installing this awesome 106mm pulley onto his Supercharged MR2, (

For some reason the Japanese encoding doesn't come out on my laptop but it does on my wife's computer. She read all of the Japanese for me and they guy is very secretive about where he got this gem, even so much as to blot out the Toyota Part Number :tantrum: :

Here is the new 106mm pulley installed onto his SC12:

There are two things of interest that I see here.
1) The clutch magnet is the same as my JDM magnet from my AE92/AE101 engine (it just has the larger 120mm pulley) but different than the USDM magnet. The JDM magnet has a much smaller diameter, and...
2) There is a ton of meat on my JDM Ae92/AE101 SC12 pulley such that I will actually be able to machine it down to the same 106mm diameter!

There isn't much to show, but what I did was made base measurements to confirm that this indeed is true. I will be converting my JDM Denso 120mm pulley to the "secret" 106mm Denso pulley. A few pics...
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on February 09, 2014, 07:26:06 PM
I verified the dimensions in Solidworks.

On the left is my old original JDM AE92/AE101 SC12 120mm pulley and at right is how I'll trim it down to it's new 106mm diameter. :beerchug:
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on February 09, 2014, 07:37:38 PM
Now you might be wondering why this when I already own a billet aluminum 160mm crank pulley. The answer is two-fold:
1) Because I have matured a lot, I am keeping everything smog-legal and/or "readily able to revert to a smog-legal state". The larger crank pulley will remove the stock timing mark which is just another thing I don't want the smog technician to have to worry about (smog legal or not), and...

2) Larger crank pulley also increases the RPM of the water pump = loss of top end power. Using a smaller SC pulley -- so long as belt slippage can be controlled -- is a win-win solution.

Dec 14, 2012: Replaced rear plastic trim, installed rear Mud Flaps, re-installed Driving Lights, Installed new "HKS" (Hong Kong Special) air filter

My rear C-piller (?) trim has been cracked I believe since I bought the car. It's always annoyed me. The 6-year outdoor storage didn't help them either. Wanting to replace them, I first tried ordering them new from Toyota. Yeah, right. Even at our cost, the center trim piece was over $200 :o :o HOLY CRAP. So I kept my eyes open at the wrecking yards and finally found a nice piece!

The plastic anchors either crumbled when I removed my old parts or they were absent all together. So I went ahead and just ground down my paint and welded the nuts to the body. This way they won't break the plastic section of the trim if I ever need to remove them.

I had a heck of a time trying to find black mud flaps. I ended up with blue ones from a 1985 and just spray painted them black. The paint will eventually flake off, but I assume I will get the entire car repainted sometime down the road and at that time I'll have the flaps properly painted too.

The HKS-knock off filter simply replaced the stock air box, temporarily for now, but as you will soon find out, I got this filter because of some nice future plans :thumbs:
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on February 09, 2014, 07:39:26 PM
Dec 12, 2012: Random outdoor photo

Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on February 09, 2014, 07:52:23 PM
Feb 10, 2013: I got locked out of my trunk!!

As explained in great detail on the MR2 Owner's Club (see two posts about it here (, I had to brute-force my way into my trunk. Please check that thread for all the dirty details, but basically what happened is that 1) my trunk cable has not worked since a family of "Dirty Mike and the Boys" squirrels (reference ( made love repeatedly in my trunk during it's 6-year outside storage, and 2) my lock cylinder finally gave way to the Dodo and broke.

What's the importance of this you might ask? Well during extended storage, such as parked at a friend's house for the weekend, I have a kill switch (one of many) somewhere in my trunk that disables the fuel pump. Unfortunately I was denied trunk access with the switch inside flipped. Worse yet, this happened while I was in San Jose and needed to get back to Fresno for work. So what I did was I diverted power from my Cigarette lighter straight to my fuel pump from within the cab, and after blowing a few fuses along the way, made it home safely.

Ahhhh so much fun :wave:

Update: For information on how to get into your locked-out AW11 truck, please see my replies #16 & #17 here:
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on February 09, 2014, 08:03:27 PM
April 26, 2013: Installed new Catalytic converter

It was time to smog the car and I took it in with high confidence -- as it had sailed through it's initial referee smog test -- and found out my cat was junk! :headscratch: How in the world did I go from a near perfect smog inspection to a badly failed inspection in just one year? Come to find out my original cat had entirely blown its guts out during the past year, something my smog tech said isn't so uncommon for when cats. sit around for a long time without use.

Backing up just a bit, after failing smog it was time to go back to the drawing board to figure out why.
First I checked my plugs. They look great! All evenly colored and pretty clean.
Then I inspected the cat, or, lack thereof. :shocking: All of the catalyst was gone! :o
Out with the old, in with the new! Surprisingly enough, the new cat wasn't too expensive. I think it was right around $80. I think it's because this is OBD-I :dunno:

...And finally back on the smog dyno and passing with FLYING colors :driving:
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on February 09, 2014, 08:10:34 PM
April 28, 2013: Finally a cell phone mount!

Not much to say other than I now have a sweet place to mount my iPhone :cheese: The mount can be bent in any direction and rotates 360-degrees. When bent back into the dash mat, it tucks away neatly becoming nearly non-existent. I ensured I could still read the clock while seated. Overall I am VERY satisfied with this. This is the mount I got: (

Essentially what I did was I removed the window suction mount section and just hard-mounted it to my dash. I figured that since I use a dash mat, if for any reason it didn't work out or I no longer liked it, the dash mat would just coverup the drilled holes. :idea:

UPDATE: Eventually the mount broke at the pivot point, so I purchased another one and am going to build-up the plastic pivot area with JB Weld Kwik Plastic, ( I've already purchased both but have not reinstalled the new mount yet. Hopefully I'll get to it soon because I really miss it!
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on February 09, 2014, 08:29:54 PM
Not much happened during the late spring & summer. Got really busy with work and went on a ton of wheeling trips / events. I did however slowing piece together and design my future & final intake design/plan, with construction taking place....

October 4, 2013: Started on my new awesome intake redesign project!

If you recall, back on Dec 10, 2011 (, I dynoed my car with the stock air box and netted 143.4 WHP, and then again with the stock air filter removed and netted 150.4 WHP. A clean 7 horsepower increase from simply removing the stock air filter. CLEARLY the intake system is a big restriction, which to the 4A-GZE crowd, is no kept secret: There are a combined SEVEN-AND-A-HALF 90-degree corners between the air filter and the Supercharger itself. We all understand the design challenges Toyota had and their necessity for a reliable design, but seriously there is a lot of room for improvement here.

My ultimate goal is to replace all components before the final two 90-degree corners in front of the Supercharger with the equivalent of two-and-a-half 90-degree corners. This is a reduction of five 90-degree corners. Additionally, I will use a larger throttle body, cold air intake filter placement, and have a provision for the return of my homemade water/alcohol system to this car.

Above all else, the new intake is to be simply and readily able to revert back to it's 100% stock configuration with as little amount of work as possible.

Typing this from Feb, 2014, I can proudly say that all of my plans both made it to fruition and blew away my expectations :best:

On to some pictures from Day #1 of my new Intake system!

1: What my engine compartment currently looks like
2: Look at the intake routing on the right side of this picture. Good lord :ack:
3: Stock intake routing removed, not to be used again until smog time  :adoration:
4: Throttle body removed
5: Throttle body down-pipe and air by-pass valve (ABV) removed

The large inlet at center will be the only remaining stock intake parts before the Supercharger. Technically, I could have moved the Starter to my exhaust side of the engine -- as my C-series transaxle has the provision -- removing 1 additional 90-degree corner, but honestly for the sake of needing to restore stock parts for smog every-other-year, this is a very fair compromise:  All I'll have to do is just replace the components of steps 3-5 and bam I'm back to 100% smog legal.
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on February 09, 2014, 08:38:38 PM
(October 4, 2013 continued)

Next I need to lengthen both my Throttle Positioning Switch (TPS) and Idle Air Control solenoid (IAC) wiring for where I want to reposition the throttle body at. I noticed that all I needed to do is just pull back the engine wiring loom to get much more free wire length. Sorry if this doesn't make sense right now. Basically I need the TPS and IAC harnesses to both reach over to where I plan to place the new-design throttle body and also reach back over and reconnect to the stock-position throttle body for smog time.

1: Removed the fuel rail and lifted up the engine loom and am slowly pulling back and back both TPS and IAC harnesses further upstream along the loom.
2: Might be hard to see, but look at the two long freshly electrical tapped wiring harnesses at center-left. These are the TPS and IAC plugs. You can see where they now exist the loom before the plastic loom bracket before the intake manifold. Now I have extra long TPS and IAC plugs that I can out stretch and reach nearly anywhere in the engine bay.
3: When I pulled up the fuel rail to get to the engine loom, look what I found!! I had a leaking injector that I never knew about!
4: New Japanese-made injector seals installed :smokin:
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on February 09, 2014, 08:46:42 PM
(October 4, 2013 continued)

Next comes the main entry: a 5mm larger 3S-GTE throttle body :booya: This takes me from 50mm to 55mm. I thought about using a 60mm (7M-GTE or even a Camry V6) but feared too drastic a change will go off the stock ECU tables. At any rate, the new intake as a whole is going to be wildly more efficient than the stock setup ... and I get to keep it all MR2 parts :gap:

1: I had to build new male-inlet and male-outlet parts for the 3S-GTE throttle body. Yes I could have used a normally aspirated 4A-GE throttle body -- also 55mm -- but the 3S-GTE variant uses the same ICV system as my 4A-GZE and getting the idle right is a critical piece of the puzzle that I didn't want to take any chances with.
2: X-X marks the spot!
3: Let the games begin!
4: I ended up making a second inlet section because the first prototype was deemed insufficient for flexibility/ease of tig welding.

And that is it for Day #1!
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on February 09, 2014, 08:53:49 PM
October 6, 2013: New Intake System Day #2

Basically this was an evening spent planning out the routing. Not much actual work was done...

1: Air flow meter and my 'H'ong 'K'ong 'S'pecial (Chinese HKS knock-off) air filter getting ready for mock-up
2: The new future home for all things COLD AIR! (Note this is a side vent I installed as a young wee little lad (back in 1999) on my driver's side of my car).
3: What it will look like from the inside.
4: It's difficult to see due to the flash, but take a look here for the Air filter pipe - to AFM - to 3S-GTE throttle body. This will be a direct, straight-through, cold, efficient, low-resistance air intake design. :boobs:
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on February 09, 2014, 08:57:33 PM
October 9, 2013: Inlet and oulet male Throttle Body adapters finished

I'll just let the pictures speak for themselves :yesnod:

Now I've converted a 3S-GTE throttle body to be installed inline, hose-to-hose.
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on February 09, 2014, 09:13:12 PM
October 11, 2013: New Intake System Day #3

Knowing that this would be a big project, I planned to do it in stages. I got the car running today but it was missing a lot of features: Limited power brakes, no ABV, no crank-case vent (PCV), and of course no water-injection.

1: I got a new Toyota 3S-GTE throttle body -to- intake manifold metal gasket which made for an easy installation on the back side of the TB (no messy silicone).
2: I ordered some SWEEEET parts from ( but failed to get a 30-ish degree silicone hose. I found I was able to use the stock intake part (that originally connected to the inlet of the AFM) -- which was 1/4-inch too large of a diameter -- by using electrical tape to take up the slack. (More to come on this later as I soon discovered this was a horrible idea!) I did order the correct hose but it wouldn't be till the next week to receive it. So I made do with what I had so I could get the car back on the road.
3: Starting to come together! This is a one-foot long 2.5" stainless steel extra thick (0.08") 135-degree exhaust pipe (product link ( for $14.99. I got the extra thick version because I will be doing some welding to it later to hook-up water-injection, ABV, and power brakes (to be continued).
4: Connecting the AFM inline with the 3S-GTE throttle body. Hose entering AFM is a 3" to 2.75" reducer and hose entering TB is a 2.75" to 2.5" reducer. Downstream from the TB, all lines are 2.5" all the way to the Supercharger inlet.  :smokin:
5: Modified the stock 3S-GTE throttle cable bracket to do away with some funky huge rubber dampener or something .... something that I didn't even have when I received this TB from a fellow on the MR2 OC classified section. So I just modified it to be directly compatible with my AW11 throttle cable.
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on February 09, 2014, 09:45:07 PM
(October 11, 2013 continued)

I've decided to start using slightly larger images :thumbs:

1: The 4A-GZE TPS (left) is 90-degrees off from the 3S-GTE TPS, so you have to switch the associated bracket (two pieces vertically at right) at the throttle body for compatibility.

2: You can see the lengthened wiring harnesses of the AFM and ICV (yellow-ish plastic component on the side of the TB) connected. Also at right is a hose connected to the side of the TB. This is the Idle Control circuit of the 3S-GTE but I didn't have time to connect it so I am using this for my power brake booster signal line. Therefore I will only have power brakes whenever the engine is not idling.

UPDATE: This was rather annoying let me tell you. At a stop light the brake pedal would get firm, then would get soft; You'd go to grab some brakes and one moment the pedal would drop, the next it would be firm. I eventually learned to live with it but couldn't wait to get that fixed).


4 & 5: Intercooler installed!! Look how neat it all tucks up under the IC. Sure, I suppose it restricts some air flow, but there is a good four to six inch vertical distance of open space beneath the IC ... plus I have a fan atop my hood to pull air through the IC ... not concerned about this, not one bit. The performance gain from all this is paramount.
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on February 09, 2014, 09:45:45 PM
(October 11, 2013 continued)

1: With the flash turned on you can see the intake pipe running all the way under the IC and to the side wall of the engine compartment where the air filter is. That is a sexy straight shot of cold air.

2: I forgot to reconnect the hot water supply to the TB, so off came the IC and on went the hot water pipes. The brass check valve is used to limit how hot the TB gets. I just don't see a need for it all to be cooking away...

3: All done and ready to drive home!

4: Before & After comparison. There is still much to be done. I really dislike those silly small valve cover cone air filters, but until I get this completed it will remain, expected to puke oil everywhere and be stinky.

I really like how it all turned out. I have all my old intake parts except for an extra TPS (I had to use my old TPS on the new TB), so I need to get another stock TPS and reinstall/readjust it to my stock TB. That way swapping parts out for when its time to smog the car will only take an hour or so and can be accomplished in my drive way. :bowdown:
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on February 09, 2014, 09:57:02 PM
(October 11, 2013 continued)

While I was finishing the above up, I also did a few other things.

I mounted the air filter so that it won't be flying around everywhere and made sure the mount would not affect the ease of removing the air filter media for quick washes in the kitchen sink. Yes I am aware that the air filter will get dirty quick here, which is why I went with yellow (other options were green & red): Yellow will get dirty easy alerting me that it's time to clean it.

1. Simple hook.

2. Simple, loosely-fitted Zip Tie allows for movement when the engine torques forward-to-back.

3. All I have to do to access and clean the filter media is remove the two air vent screws and then unscrew that red knob at center. The outer screen comes out and the filter media falls into my hands.
I also removed a rubber grommet that plugged off the cab from this section of the body hoping to get more sweet intake vibes into the cab :yesnod:

4. Really happy with how this turned out

EDIT: I forgot to discuss the intake hose used at the air filter (shown in the first image below). All I know is I got this from a friend a few years ago from a Chevy 3.4-liter 6-cylinder engine conversion he did to his Toyota Hilux truck. I believe it has a 3" opening on each end. I don't have any other info on it. I was just lucky I had it laying around and it fit perfectly.
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on February 09, 2014, 10:06:43 PM
(October 11, 2013 continued)

I also fixed some sloppy shifter issue I had off of a tip from my co-worker, Chee. I replaced my factory rubber shift bushings with Roller Blade bearings. I found out this is no kept secret either: See ( plus countless other Google searches on the topic.

I had some old ABEC 5 bearings laying around and promptly converted them. WOW or WOW what a DIFFERENCE. Buttery smooth shifting now and much tighter feel. However part of the improvement was due to one old bushing of mine being absolutely wasted!! (this is the bushing that controls forward-reward shift handle movement -- I've been slamming a lot of gears!)

1: Standard Roller Blade bearing at left, factory AW11 shift bushing at right. This is the bushing that isolates the shift cable from the transmission. There are two of them: One for forward-reward shift handle movement and the other for side-to-side handle movement. So you'll need two roller blade bearings.

2: Add washers to compensate for thickness. This allowed me to raise the bearing up (raise the cable mount location up) resulting in a bit less bind on the shift cable.

3: Old bushings. Look at the wasted one at left. No wonder I would sometimes miss 3rd gear! ha ha

4: INSTALLED! Such a nice upgrade. If you haven't done this yet then get it done already! WOW
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on February 09, 2014, 10:17:25 PM
October 14, 2013: What happened to all my boost?

You've surly noticed I've yet to describe how amazing the new intake setup is. The very next day I traveled to San Jose. I was understandably timid when I drove it home the night before, so I didn't really open it up until my road trip. Well, the thing is .... hahaha I actually lost boost. It was entirely impossible. How could this be? Peak boost had somehow dropped to ~5 psi (previously was ~8.5), and would drop to 3 and even 2 psi near redline. Something was messed up. Then half way to San Jose while passing through Los Banos it started squealing, literally, a high shrieking pitch coming from the engine. I pulled over and started removing parts here and there to see what was going on. I thought maybe I had left a shop rag in the intercooler (to prevent dirt from falling in while it was apart) but after looking into it with a flashlight I couldn't see anything. I put things back together, found I was able to get a couple extra turns tighter on a few hose clamps (**KEY POINT**) and fired it back up. Noise went away. Strange.

I kept the S/C switched off up Pacheco Pass and made it through the mountains and into Gilroy. Before highway 101 it started squealing again. Pulled over, found I could get a few more turns tighter on a couple hose clamps (**KEY POINT**), sound went away, kept driving.

I made it through the weekend and even back to Fresno without trouble, but still had a massive boost drop.

As mentioned above,
2: ...failed to get a 30-ish degree silicone hose ... found I was able to use the stock intake part ... by using electrical tape to take up the slack. (More to come on this later as I soon discovered this was a horrible idea!)


...well, back at the shop I opened up more parts ... and check this out :cheese: :cheese: :cheese:

1: Hmmmmmm? What is that???


Yeah, do ya think I had a boost drop for some reason?? HAHAHAHAHAHAH :thud: :thud: :thud:

This is the nice 135-degree stainless steel exhaust pipe section. So this is on the backside of the oversized/incorrect/stock intake hose I was temporarily using.

3: GET OUTTA HERE UNRELIABLE ELECTRICAL TAPE!! What a stupid idea that was :rofl2: :dunce:

Thank goodness that didn't fall off and get sucked into the Supercharger. Can you imagine sticky electrical tape mess everywhere, and even crammed into the intercooler.... wow... yeeeeeeah. :ack:
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on February 09, 2014, 10:24:48 PM
(October 14, 2013 continued)

But wait, there's more! :rofl: :rofl:

1. Check this out, this is at the front end of the oversized/incorrect/stock intake hose I was temporarily using. So both electrical tape "fixing the slack" parts failed.

Then, in the end I discovered that the high quality T-Bolt clamps I am using (product link ( had more than enough force to clamp down over the oversized 2.75" stock intake piece such that they fully enclosed around each 2.5" pipe. I never ever needed to attempt to take up any slack in the first place! :_order:

2. Here we are with everything all back together :best:
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on February 09, 2014, 10:37:25 PM
(October 14, 2013 continued)

And now I will tell you what difference this new intake has made....

All I need to say is this. The current history of boost on this engine:

Yes, I'm hitting near 10 psi with all stock USDM pulleys. Stock 1988 crank pulley and stock 1988 SC12 pulley with stock 1988 SC12 Supercharger.

H-U-G-E DIFFERENCE on the mid to top end. The power band kick at 3,500-ish RPM comes in much stronger now and the thing pulls stronger and stronger until you have to shift. There seems to be no top end. Power just builds all the way to redline. The first thing I noticed right away is that the rev limiter came so much quicker that I kept missing my shifts. I kept hitting rev limit.

This makes complete sense. Go back and take a look at my dyno sheet from Reply #235 ( (shown below). This is at 8.5 psi. Blue line is with factory air box & filter, Red line is with the stock air filter removed from the stock air box (ie. slightly less restrictive). Just by removing only the stock filter my top end was shifted from about 6,800 rpm to about 7,300 rpm. I have not dynoed the new intake yet, but there is no doubt in my mind that power is now developed continuously all the way to peak 7,500 rpm. Whoever said the 4A-GZE shouldn't be revved to redline obviously had a restrictive intake holding them back!

Stock intake system with ABV-mod running 8.5 psi

Keep in mind that I've already built a 17 psi SC14-powered 4A-GZE engine (details ( so I know what these old Roots blowers sound like when you spin em up. Also I am still running stock pulleys here. So the sound is definitely not as prominent as what it could be, but I can now hear the SC really whine and it sounds wonderful! Finally starting to bring back some old memories!! It is a combination of faint SC whine + deep N/A-type intake sound from the long, straight intake setup. You get the low bellowing, throaty sound first and then you hear the SC whine come in around 3k rpm and it's just awesome. Once I change my SC pulley and up the boost, it's gonna get even better. I have to admit, having the air filter inches away from my window, I find myself driving around with my driver's side window rolled all the way down :best:

It really sounds funny when going WOT with the S/C switched off. You get the deep bellowing intake sound but then as the Supercharger picks up speed naturally from the incoming airflow, you can hear it chopping the air and making a reverb sound. Sounds crazy and you just know that it is restricting a ton of airflow. (remember ABV is not reconnected yet)

I need to get some video of how great it sounds with the SC turned on. I will see if I can get around to this soon.

Fuel Mileage:
My MPG has gone up now from 28-30 MPG to 32-34 MPG. It increased even despite having to breathe through the S/C (again ABV isn't reconnected yet). Definitely requires less throttle to maintain 70 MPH cruising on the freeway. Also I can go up the west side of highway 152's Pacheco Pass out of Los Banos, CA without using the S/C. My speed does drop on the last steep section to about 60 MPH, but before I would drop well below 60 and just hit the switch for the Supercharger. Of course I don't want to do 60 mph on the freeway, but the fact is that there is an undeniable improvement illustrating just how restrictive the stock 4A-GZE intake system truly is. Open that thing up and it will open up your world!!

Issues / TO-DO:
As mentioned in previous posts, here is a list of things not currently done:
- Fix power brakes
- Reconnect Air Bypass Valve (ABV) for improved economy and performance while driving around with the S/C switched off
- Reconnect the crank-case vent (PCV) so it doesn't stink, won't drip oil everywhere, and most of all will have that leaking air correctly metered
- Install provision to get my old water-injection system hooked back up

For now this thing is GREAT! I just wanna drive it everywhere!

I've got more updates and will try to post them up soon-

Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: Sirdeuce on February 10, 2014, 09:41:43 AM
A problem with the short shift mod. When you move the shift cable end up the stick you also increase the angle of the cable. The cable sheath is just plastic and will break at the mounting boss. You need to move the cable mount up to get a lesser angle. Driving with a uncooperative shifter is a real pain!
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on February 11, 2014, 01:41:49 PM
October 20, 2013: New Engine mounts, Inspecting water leak issue, More shift improvements, and Welded steering shaft

Got a lot of things done today that have been bugging me for a while.

First I installed some sweet new engine mounts! These are not inserts but rather replacements. They are made by SpeedSource and I got them from here ( HUGE difference. I am very satisfied with them. Removing the old mounts wasn't too bad. I should have done this a long time ago.

Sirdeuce had originally made some custom-poured mounts and generously let me use them ... and it looks like I beat the snot outta em ;)

1 & 2: Condition of Sirdeuce's mounts that he let me use. When i installed them they were great but they didn't last.

3: The instructions were clear and easy to follow. the stock mount is held into the mount bracket via a steel ring. This steel ring needs to be sliced in order to tap it out with a hammer. I just took a hacksaw apart, inserted the blade through the mount, reattached the blade, and then made a cut. A few taps with the hammer and the stock parts came out.

4: New mount installed! The kit came with enough parts to replace the front and rear engine mounts, which are the important ones that bear the torque loading of the engine.
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on February 11, 2014, 01:42:42 PM
October 20, 2013 (continued)

Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on February 11, 2014, 01:45:46 PM
October 20, 2013 (continued)

Next I traced down a slow water leak to my heater core steel lines that run alongside the fuel tank. In years past I've never used and antifreeze because 1) it rarely gets below freezing here, and 2) I prefer the higher boiling point of plain water. But obviously this was a bad idea because there was nothing controlling corrosion and it took their toll on these lines. I was fortunate that Sirdeuce had an extra set of lines up at his place so I was able to get it back together and have a nice working heater once again :)
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on February 11, 2014, 01:54:14 PM
October 20, 2013 (continued)

I replaced the square shift block with a bearing. I got the bearing from here ( The concept is great and at least someone did the research on finding this bearing, but $14 is outrageously expensive for this, what, $2 bearing, and they even ground off the part number.

I have a ton of bearing cross-reference books at my disposal but have not looked it up yet. Measurements are 14mm OD, 9.8mm height, and, and, and holy cow I forgot to measure the ID. Well I gave my old square piece to Bill so I'll have to get back to the ID measurement if I'm ever working on this section of the car again.

What this bearing helps is the side-to-side movement when moving from 2nd-to-3rd and 4th-to-5th, and vice versa. I figured since I've already replaced the other parts with bearings why not just complete the job. Yes, I can definitely notice it is easier moving around through the different shift gates! The entire shifting of the car has improved so, so much from all these changes. Really happy on how it's all turned out.

1. My old stock square piece wasn't too badly worn out. You can see where they ground off the bearing's P/N. That move along is making me want to cross-reference the bearing, just out of spite!

2. This is how the stock part rested into the shift shoe.

3. This is how the new bearing rests. There is a very slight air gap on either side so that the bearing is allowed to rotate freely in both in-and-out directions of the shift shaft.
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on February 11, 2014, 02:08:18 PM
October 20, 2013 (continued)

I finally tracked down my loose steering issue! So my car has almost 300,000 miles on it and I've had free play in the steering wheel that has been getting progressively worse. While driving, you could wiggle the wheel about half an inch in either direction and you'd still be driving straight.

At first I thought it was my steering rack, so I tightened it up which made no difference. Then I figured it was a bad tie rod end or something else inside the rack, so I just found a nice remanuf. unit out of the wrecking yard that felt better than mine and swapped it in (I can't find my pictures for when I did all this :headscratch: ) Still no change. Then I was laying under the dash doing some wiring and I noticed that there is a massive amount of play at the steering shaft itself!

Upon investigation I found out that the rubber dampener that connects the steering wheel shaft to the u-joint at the top of the rack & pinion had completely worn out and the components were going metal-to-metal. I thought about how I could remedy this and just decided, what the hell, I'm sick and tired of this, let's just weld it sold! I made sure that the slip joint was positioned in a way that the u-joint can still be removed, and then put a few tacks on it. Let it cool and then added some paint. DONE!

I understand the safety of what the slip joint is for, but the u-joint turns and goes straight down. In order for the slip joint to have any impact to my safety, the object I run into head-first will have to travel all the way past my front axle, past the steering rack, and up into the dash itself before I'd be at risk of being impaled by the steering wheel. Look, if I take a front end collision that goes past both my legs, I don't think I'll care too much about the steering wheel hitting my body. I'll probably be dead when that happens. I've been driving this same car for 15 years without injury. I am certainly not panicking about this at all.

The results?? WOW just WOW!! The car is SO RESPONSIVE NOW! I never thought this was possible! I mean it's a MR2; I already drives on rails. It has just become so responsive now. I'm not used to this at all! Even 15 yrs of driving... I think that rubber dampener has been bad for a while and just recent has gotten really bad!
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on February 11, 2014, 02:14:18 PM
December 26, 2013: New Windshield!

I think just over 1 year ago sometime in October, 2012, I came out from work and a very small crack had started to form at the top of the passenger's side of my windshield. Over the year it had slowly increased in size but never outstretched to my field of vision ... so I just ignored it for a long time. Knowing that I need to take care of it before I get pulled over for a fix-it ticket, I started looking around for a used windshield. Then on Christmas day my dad surprised me in saying that he would like to replace my windshield for me for Christmas! WAY cool dad, thanks!! :beerchug:

The cost was I think $165 and included free installation. The guy did an "ok" job. He cracked my passenger's side A-piller trim (hey it's super old what can I say), and he left 1 screw out on the driver's side A-piller area. But all-in-all he did a good job and it was very nice to finally have a sparkly clear new windshield!
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on February 11, 2014, 02:16:15 PM
And that's it for the updates for now. I still have more exciting things to post up :yesnod: :yesnod: So stay tuned!!

In closing, here is my car on New Year's Day at CCORC's "Buck Naked Ride (" at Hensley Lake, CA

Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on February 11, 2014, 02:27:24 PM
A problem with the short shift mod. When you move the shift cable end up the stick you also increase the angle of the cable. The cable sheath is just plastic and will break at the mounting boss. You need to move the cable mount up to get a lesser angle. Driving with a uncooperative shifter is a real pain!

So the slightly-thinner bearings work out great to help combat this since you can alter their placement, high or low up on each shift fork/lever :yesnod:

Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: Sirdeuce on February 11, 2014, 06:40:49 PM
No, I'm talking about the other end, the shift handle. When you pull back for 2,4,6 gears the cable angle increases to a point where it stresses the cable sheath. Moving the shift cable end high on the shifter lever causes this little bit of stress.
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on February 12, 2014, 07:12:07 AM
No, I'm talking about the other end, the shift handle. When you pull back for 2,4,6 gears the cable angle increases to a point where it stresses the cable sheath. Moving the shift cable end high on the shifter lever causes this little bit of stress.
Ahhhhh gotcha. If we raise the cable sheath mounting point a bit, can we clearance away some plastic from the center console to offer a bit more room between it and the cable?

(or maybe it's interfering with the shift boot mount)

Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: Sirdeuce on February 12, 2014, 10:14:33 AM
You got it! Or if there is a way to bend the mounting tab, possibly ding the center channel for a cable canal to prevent binding. Just need to reduce the stress on the cable sheath. I learned the hard way.
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on February 12, 2014, 01:08:21 PM
My center console is already unbolted (it actually has not been bolted down since I rebuild the car now almost 4 (!) years ago). I'll pull it up and look about altering the angle of the top cable. :thumbs:

Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: Sirdeuce on February 12, 2014, 06:13:49 PM
If you do break the cable I have 2 sets sitting here.
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on February 12, 2014, 09:30:36 PM
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on February 14, 2014, 04:12:37 PM
January 31st, 2014: Finishing up the intake (day 1 of 5)

Finally planned to be in town for the weekend and it's time to get this intake done!! :_order:

On the TODO list:
1. Build and integrate a new Water-Injection nozzle. I have been refusing to up my boost until I get the H2O system back in service.
2. Properly finish the Idle Control Valve circuit of the 3S-GTE throttle body.
3. Get the Air Bypass Valve reconnected so I can increase my off-boost fuel economy.
4. Properly reconnect my Power Brake Booster.
5. Reconnect the valve cover PCV hose. With it disconnected, it 1) leaks oil everywhere, 2) it is seriously stinky, and most importantly 3) the ECU has already metered this air so it must be re-instated back into the intake for proper fuel mixture.

Let's go!

1. Get'n things ready
2-6. Building another water injection nozzle adapter, following the same design from my old SC14 engine. The idea is that I will weld a nut onto my intake (going to go before the S/C) that is large enough for the diameter of the water injection nozzle to pass through. Then I will make an adapter that both A. the nozzle threads into and B. itself threads into the large nut. Now I can remove the nozzle at any time for servicing, or I could just a bolt into the nut to block it off if it's not needed.

2: The water nozzle I have will pass through a 16mm nut. So I started with this bar stock of aluminum, turned it down in our lathe and tapped it for 16x1.50 metric outer thread.

3: Back on the lathe I bored into the bar stock and tapped it for my water-inj nozzle (standard 1/8" NPT).

4: Cut it off and tapped the other side also to 1/8" NPT for a flared end to connect the system to and I'm done! Here is the system put together.

5: System exploded. The nut will be welded to my intake pipe and then another nut will be used as a jam to tighten it in place.

6: Close up showing inner and outer threads
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on February 14, 2014, 04:30:58 PM
January 31st, 2014: Finishing up the intake (day 1 of 5) -- continued

TODO list:
1. Build and integrate a new Water-Injection nozzle. DONE
2. Properly finish the Idle Control Valve circuit of the 3S-GTE throttle body. (IN PROGRESS)
3. Get the Air Bypass Valve reconnected.
4. Properly reconnect my Power Brake Booster.
5. Reconnect the valve cover PCV hose.

Now that the water-injection is mostly done, it was time to finish the idle control circut.

When I first put the new intake together last Oct and fired it up, the car was back firing and missing and wouldn't idle and it was horrible. Everything seemed right so I had to sit down and really ponder what was going on.

The issue I had was that the Idle Control Circuit for the 3S-GTE operates directly through the crank case valve cover PCV vent .... but with the 4A-GZE, the PCV is connected in front of the throttle body! Furthermore, the 3S-GTE's idle circuit must disable itself once the intake is under boost less you risk blasting all the engine's seals out. Neither of these apply to the 4A-GZE so I had to come up with a new circuit design on the 3S-GTE throttle body to both get the idle circuit to work and also to isolate it from the PCV.

There were a few way I could have done it, involving running numerous hoses all over the dang place. Then I thought, "Dude, why not just drill straight into the throttle body and make my own idle circuit air supply?"


1: This is the 3S-GTE throttle body with the idle circuit control valve assembly removed. The yellow/rusty area at right is where the hot water supply heats the throttle body, and the dark, large hole at lower-center connects to the intake side of the throttle body. So that is where the engine will breathe while at an idle. The computer operates a valve above that port to maintain base idle.

Now look above and slightly to the left of that port. This is what I drilled into the throttle body. This connects straight in front of the throttle plate. So when the valve above opens, the engine can draw air from in front of the throttle plate, like any normal idle circuit does. ps. Yes I bought a new o-ring so don't worry about that :)

2: Here is the idle circuit control valve assembly at left, Throttle body at right. you can see how it all connects. From this angle, the inlet of the TB is at top.

3: Here is looking down into the 3S-GTE's PCV port -- the actual port that connects to the valve cover of the 3S-GTE -- with the idle control valve fully opened. The opening at left of the idle control valve is the new hole I drilled, and the opening at right is the original hole. So the 3S-GTE's idle draws from the PCV valve connected to it's valve cover. Well I need to isolate these two.....

4: here is a simple 14mm freeze plug installed to block off the 3S-GTE valve cover port! DONE. Now when the idle control valve opens, it will naturally draw air from in front of the throttle plate and the idle will be set. :booya:

5: Looking at the front side of the throttle plate, straight up is the port I drilled. (Looking at this picture I think I forgot to smooth out that ridge from the drill. I'll have to double-check this the next time I'm in there).

6: And finally the throttle body all back together with a new o-ring, coating of silicone around the new port I created for an air tight seal, ready to be installed!
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on February 14, 2014, 04:38:14 PM
January 31st, 2014: Finishing up the intake (day 1 of 5) -- continued

TODO list:
1. Build and integrate a new Water-Injection nozzle. DONE
2. Properly finish the Idle Control Valve circuit of the 3S-GTE throttle body. DONE
3. Get the Air Bypass Valve reconnected. (IN PROGRESS)
4. Properly reconnect my Power Brake Booster.
5. Reconnect the valve cover PCV hose.

Now it's time to get the ABV reconnected. When I built my SC14 setup on my Stage 2.0 engine back in 2000, I completely did away with the ABV. The engine still ran okay with the Supercharger switched off, breathing through the Supercharger rotors and the intercooler and all intake piping. Back in October when I began this Intake project, knowing that I'd only be able to work on it in stages and based on my prior history with removing the ABV, I got the car running without it. This of course did not affect peak power with the Supercharger turned on, BUT, it had a huge affect on the power of the engine with the Supercharger switched off (understandably so, that is a lot of restriction).

Nonetheless, my highway (S/C switched off) fuel mileage still increased over the stock uber restrictive Toyota intake system despite having to breathe through the S/C's rotors and intercooler.

Getting the ABV back in place means a lot since I drive on average over 45 miles a day. My stock fuel mileage with the S/C turned off at 70-75 MPH was ~28 MPG. With the new intake installed, since October I've been averaging around 30-32 MPG. Nice little increase! Now I'm hoping that with the ABV restored I can get ~35 MPG! :crossed:

1: I marked the ABV and took a series of pictures of the angle of it's outlet pipe. This pipe needs to be rotated about 180-degrees to fit with my new intake. So I'll need to refer to my images to rotate the pipe back to its original position when I replace all the stock intake pipes for smog day.

2: Here is the inlet pipe that attaches to the top of the intake manifold. This is going to be the new home of the ABV!

The idea here is that I need to keep everything removable for quick/easy restoring to all stock components for our biennial smog inspection.

The best, most direct and most efficient placement for the ABV is actually right on the side face of the intake manifold itself, shown at bottom between the four-bolt-pattern of the stock Throttle body down pipe / J-pipe. If I installed the ABV to this side face, then I could eliminate two 90-degree corners associated with doing this to the inlet pipe, providing a direct exit from the ABV straight to the intake runners. Of course I considered this, but the stock J-pipe bolts here so any modifications would questionably interfere with the stock intake components. Also, I would have to remove & replace the intake manifold biennially which would be magnitudes more work than simply removing & replacing the above inlet pipe.

So for the sake of the greater good of the People's Republik of Commiefornia and their corrupt C.A.R.B. program, I have made a second sacrifice in efficiency bringing the total count of unnecessary 90-degree intake corners to 3.

3: I got the inlet pipe removed and had to call it a day. Here is how I left the car that night. Almost half way done!
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on February 14, 2014, 04:46:42 PM
February 3rd, 2014: Finishing up the intake (day 2 of 5)

TODO list:
1. Build and integrate a new Water-Injection nozzle. DONE
2. Properly finish the Idle Control Valve circuit of the 3S-GTE throttle body. DONE
3. Get the Air Bypass Valve reconnected. (IN PROGRESS)
4. Properly reconnect my Power Brake Booster.
5. Reconnect the valve cover PCV hose.

Today I got the inlet pipe that attaches to the intake manifold prepared for the Air Bypass Valve (ABV).

1: This is where the ABV is gonna go! I cut out this piece of 1/4" aluminum to tig weld to the inlet pipe so I can have more meat to tap some threads with.

2: This is what it will look like once installed. The port at right is for the cold start injector. I am going to bore the hole for the ABV as far to the left as possible to minimize air flow interference with the injector.

3: Got it all cleaned up and ready to tig!

4: While doing this, I also prepared my intake pipe for where I plan to connect the brake booster hose, H2O injection adapter, and the placement to connect to the front end of the the ABV. I positioned the brake connection in such a way that the original AW11 brake hose (shown in the picture) will be able to reach down and connect without any extensions necessary. Again, keeping this a fully "bolt-on" intake system.
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on February 14, 2014, 04:52:07 PM
February 5th, 2014: Finishing up the intake (day 3 of 5)

TODO list:
1. Build and integrate a new Water-Injection nozzle. DONE
2. Properly finish the Idle Control Valve circuit of the 3S-GTE throttle body. DONE
3. Get the Air Bypass Valve reconnected. (IN PROGRESS)
4. Properly reconnect my Power Brake Booster. (IN PROGRESS)
5. Reconnect the valve cover PCV hose.

Today I got the intake pipe prepared for the ABV, brake booster, and water-injection adapter.

Not much to discuss. The stainless extra thick steel was a PAIN IN THE BUTT to drill through. Especially since the pipe is curved, and for the ABV it was like a 1-1/4" diameter hole. In the end I just used a die grinder with a carbide cutting bit to finish up the holes.

1. Holes finally cut!
First hole at left: ABV
2nd hole: Brake booster line
3rd hole: Water-Injection adapter where the 16mm nut will be welded at.

2. Stock ABV pictured at left, misc tools used for most of the work.

3. I made a small adapter for the brake booster and also for the ABV. The ABV connection, shown at foreground, was tapered and rounded where it joins the intake pipe so I could reposition at the precise angle that will connect to my ABV. The bolts,washers, and nuts shown are just there to hold everything firmly in place while they all get tig welded to place.

4. Hoping everything will be back together in just a few more days!
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on February 14, 2014, 04:53:18 PM
February 7th, 2014: Finishing up the intake (day 4 of 5)

TODO list:
1. Build and integrate a new Water-Injection nozzle. DONE
2. Properly finish the Idle Control Valve circuit of the 3S-GTE throttle body. DONE
3. Get the Air Bypass Valve reconnected. (IN PROGRESS)
4. Properly reconnect my Power Brake Booster. (IN PROGRESS)
5. Reconnect the valve cover PCV hose.

Today I got everything tig welded (HUGE THANKS to Rocky!!) and preparing for the first test fitment.

1. The new look of my intake pipe. As mentioned, I got the extra thick version of this pipe (0.08") for this very reason.

2. This is where the ABV will connect and where the engine will get most of its air while it's not boosting.

3. Close-up of the brake booster hook-up and the nut for my H2O injection. I cut down a 16x1.50mm bolt to just throw in there for now until I have my water-injection system ready to go. I still need to find a nice water reservoir (probably going to go with this $14 4-quart tank: (

4. Here it is with the intake inlet pipe tig welded up also.

5. After test fitting the ABV, I will need to cut this down a bit for clearance.
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on February 14, 2014, 05:51:25 PM
February 8th, 2014: Intake is finally 100% completed!!!

TODO list:
1. Build and integrate a new Water-Injection nozzle. DONE
2. Properly finish the Idle Control Valve circuit of the 3S-GTE throttle body. DONE
3. Get the Air Bypass Valve reconnected. DONE
4. Properly reconnect my Power Brake Booster. DONE
5. Reconnect the valve cover PCV hose. DONE

I finally got the new intake -- a project that started last October -- finished!!

I did so much work and was so focused to get it all done in this final day that I forgot to take a ton of pictures!! :rivers:

So sorry but we'll just have to jump right in.

1: Here is a picture of the ABV completely installed! The keen eye will note from my previous posts that yes indeed I am running the ABV backwards. Air flow used to exit out that small port but now it enters from there. Well hell, the original ABV was in fact in front of the intercooler but now I've positioned it after the intercooler and most everything else :booya:

You can also see the power brake boost hose connected -- without any modifications to the original stock hose -- as well as a bolt installed into the "future home of my water-injection" 16mm nut.

So what happens here is that air goes through the Throttle body, makes a slight ~20-degree bend, then makes a ~90-degree bend plus whatever-else-is-inside-the-ABV and then is dumped right into the side of the intake manifold's inlet pipe. SA-WEEEEEEEEEEEEET :burnout:

I drilled and tapped holes for long studs so removing the ABV for smog day won't have any effect on the durability of the aluminum threads, and I made the main hole into the inlet pipe oversized, rounding out the corner as much as possible for the most efficient normally aspirated air flow I could get out of this setup. Because I used long studs (loctited in place) instead of removable bolts, I'll have to come up with another stock inlet pipe for smog day. Ohhhh Bill!!!! :phone: So I'll just R&R that inlet pipe and it's back to stock. I'll be able to reuse my ABV valve for both stock and custom intake setups.

2: Picture from above. Daddy likes it!
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on February 14, 2014, 06:37:03 PM
February 8th, 2014: Intake completed! (continued)

Next I did something I am particularity proud of. I developed a new vacuum system that will give me peak power both off boost (peak power at zero boost) as well as on boost :booya:

Here is the problem.

The ABV is normally closed. It needs a vacuum supply to become "open".

If I switch the Supercharger off (override the clutch pulley) and go full throttle, then vacuum drops to zero and the ABV closes (remember there is no vacuum at WOT). Well, then what the hell am I doing all this work for in the first place? hahaha Just kidding, of course there is a good reason because I'll have plenty of vacuum 99.99% of the time cruising on the highway in the flat lands, and the ABV will be fully opened all the time yielding maximum fuel economy (from my observations, the vacuum never drops below 12 inches while simply cruising at highway speed).

But, my weekend commute consists of two steep grades (up both sides of Pacheco Pass) and if I can put my foot to the floor without needing the Supercharger, then that is just going to be that much less gasoline consumed week-in week-out. So I have a real need for maximum zero-boost, zero-vacuum power.

So here is what I did.

I built a dual channel ABV vacuum system that operates in a parallel configuration, consisting of a normally-open electronic solenoid and a one-way check valve.

Configuration 1: Supercharger Switched Off. In this configuration, the electronic solenoid is energized (so that it is closed off), and the engine vacuum sucks through the one-way check valve opening it up and activating the ABV which is behind the check valve. Because I am using a one-way check valve, if the vacuum source is suddenly removed, ie. when I am passing someone, vacuum is trapped at the ABV and the ABV remains fully open. Now I can operate the engine at maximum economy.

Configuration 2: Supercharger Switched On. In this configuration, the electronic solenoid is de-energized (so that it opens), and the engine vacuum sucks through it to activate the ABV (and probably also sucks through the one-way check valve which is present at all times). The moment vacuum is lost, ie. when you slightly roll into the throttle for boost, the vacuum is released from the ABV closing it, and you get full boost sent to the engine (it simply by-passes the one-way check valve through the opened solenoid instead). Now the ABV and boost operate as if they were 100% stock: ABV closes under boost and opens under vacuum to allow boost recirculation, reduce heat build-up, and minimize parasitic losses from the Supercharger.

Additional design implementations include:
A. I have included the "New ABV Mod Design" (see this link ( (a new method of forcing the ABV shut under boost that takes a pressure source immediately from the outlet of the S/C rather than the traditional method of reading boost late downstream from the intake manifold, thus reducing pressure signal lag to the ABV for a more responsive and more positive ABV closure).
B. The electronic solenoid draws power from terminal 87A of the relay that is used to disable the S/C clutch! All-in-one setup. This terminal is HOT whenever the clutch is switched off, and COLD whenever the clutch is switched on.
Both were natural implementations and came together so well. Didn't have to add any bulky relays, it's all controlled from the same, single switch, and I get the benefits of the New ABV Mod without even modifying the stock S/C outlet pipe!

Time for some pictures!
1: Spent some head-scratching moments figuring it all out. I originally thought I'd have to operate two solenoids and an additional switch which would have been so annoying and also excessive.

2: Here it is installed. Check out where I am getting my vacuum from ... the original outlet port of the ABV! You can also see it in the 2nd picture from the previous post above. I just drilled and tapped a 1" pipe plug that is inverted and installed with a hose clamp into the factory ABV outlet port. When I revert the intake back to stock, this pipe plug simply comes out and all the stock parts go back in. No drilling into the stock S/C outlet manifold (like they did in the above link) and nothing to try to hide from the smog technician when he smogs my car.

3: This is the relay I installed to override the S/C clutch. This is how I've been doing it since 1999 (with my old GZE). All I've done is I've interrupted the ground circuit to the pulley so that whenever the ECU tries to turn the SC on, it fails. The +12v power supply is always present and this is the power that I have at relay terminal 87A, but is absent from 87A terminal the moment the relay turns on. So with the flip of my one original SC clutch switch that I am already so accustomed to, the relay turns on, solenoid turns off, vacuum bypasses the one-way check valve, and everything operates as Toyota intended.

Side rant: I probably installed that relay the very same week I got the car running back in 2010. I've always overridden the S/C clutch on all of my 4A-GZE engines. At highway speeds the SC is constantly cycling, for instance when you go up and over an overpass, or you just need to accelerate slightly for a lane change. My 300 mile weekend commute consists of about a 5% Supercharger duty cycle. Unless I'm really, I mean really in a hurry, I never have the SC turned on. Why build up all that heat, why loose all that gas mileage, why wear out the SC, belt, bearings, et cetera. Now if I'm up playing in the hills oh yes, that switch is flipped on and it stays on buddy :driving: :burnout:

4: Here is the solenoid wired into the relay and plugged in. ABV system is now 100% done and ready to rock'n'roll!
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on February 14, 2014, 06:57:00 PM
Ok, I have to run right now, still have more to update but might not get around to it until Sunday :crossed:


I just wanna go out and drive my car!!!! :driving: :driving: :driving:
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on February 16, 2014, 12:10:50 PM
Ok I'm back, let's get this all updated-

Now that the ABV is done I next set out to reconnect the PCV hose. The 4A-GZE is unique in that the crank case vent is connected in front of the throttle body but after the air flow meter (AFM). In difference, the 4A-GE connects directly to the intake manifold.

So the cylinder pressure that is able to slip past each piston and slightly pressurize the crank case is air that has already been accounted for -- it has already been metered by the AFM. So to simply dump this air out of the valve cover into the atmosphere (with those little cone filters), means that the ECU has accounted for air that is no longer there and you'll have a slightly rich mixture, even at an idle. Worse gas mileage, the catalytic converter will run hotter, pollute more, and be generally stinky (the engine bay really reeks of oil fumes).

We don't want any of that so let's get this hooked up. But where :headscratch: I could drill into the throttle body inlet adapter pipe I made back in October, or pierce a hole in the 2-3/4" to 2-1/2" reducer silicone hose and use something like this (, but I didn't like these options.

Then I started looking at the AFM itself and realized it has nice & thick aluminum that should hold a pipe fitting. But I didn't like the pipe fitting extending into the air flow, causing an additional restriction. Then I thought of a SA-WEEET way to hook it up without causing any interference to the air flow!!

Picture 1: Here is the new hole I drilled and tapped into the AFM! I used a 1/8" fitting that had the same ID as a 1/4" fitting, which is nearly the same size as the PCV port on the valve cover.

2: This is right above the factory-set side port adjuster at the exit of the AFM and won't have any restriction to the air flow!!

3: It turned out better than I had expected!
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on February 16, 2014, 12:15:17 PM
While I was working with the AFM I noticed there was a horrible ridge at the bottom of the exit port. This was a good quarter-inch high! It might be hard to see in the pictures, but it really seemed excessive. In comparison, this area of the intake port was very smooth so I quickly pulled out the grinder and cut it down. It was tough trying not to get any aluminum shavings anywhere. I could have done a better job but I just wanted to get out and drive this thing so I made quick work outta that-
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on February 16, 2014, 12:22:52 PM
....And finally, drum roll please! It's done!

Here is my new PCV setup with oil separator installed and ready to rock'n'roll!

I looked at a lot of different fancy oil separators and even got some huge chrome TRD separator for free from Chee (but it was massive and weighed like 10 pounds). I don't like any of them.

Then I figured, well why not just use an ordinary air line filter? I mean after all oil is a liquid and these things are only about $15 each. Here is the one I went with: Ingersoll Rand F35121-400-VS 1/4-Inch Air Line Filter ( :thumbs:
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on February 16, 2014, 12:26:07 PM
The intercooler sits nicely above the AFM and does not touch the hose. It turned out really nice. When it's time to smog I'll just reconnect the factory ABV line and throw a cap over the pipe fitting at the AFM -- done. Besides, it's hidden under the IC so the smog guy won't even know about it. :thumbs:
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on February 16, 2014, 01:05:11 PM
Finally, the last update and then I'm all caught up, is that I installed an upgraded brake master cylinder from Marlin Crawler, (

This is a 3rd gen V6 Hilux unit (1989-1995 Toyota pickups) with a 1" bore diameter.

My old master cylinder was leaking profusely and was no longer yielding a consistent pedal (sometimes the pedal would just drop all the way to the floor without providing any brakes at all!).

Well, let me just tell you, this new master cylinder has IMPROVED MY BRAKES TEN FOLD. It has the same bolt pattern, and only required slight alteration to the bends of the brake lines and slight grinding/clearancing of the vacuum hose lock tab.

Back at the turn of the century I swapped my rear brakes out for front brake components: Front calipers and vented rotors installed at back. This made my brake pedal slightly harder but I never really cared too much about it, or I was too naive to appreciate how much braking power I had lost.

Fast forward to May 2010 when I swapped in my SC car's dual-diaphragm brake booster (see reply #17 ( I of course can't say if the dual-diaphragm booster improved my brakes because it had been 6 years since I last drove the car. :ack:

So with larger rear calipers, larger brake booster, and now larger brake master cylinder, the combo yields OUT STANDING RESULTS. The braking effort has been cut by about two thirds.

SERIOUSLY GREAT BRAKES now. I tested the balance out in the rain last week and got the front right tire to lock up three times in a row. HA! Before I could never get these meaty Potenza's to lock up -- or I was just too scared to try because it practically would require both feet on the pedal. I have locked up my rear tires entering a few corners too hot, so I know the larger rear calipers resulted in a brake balance shift to the rear. Now it looks like I have a slight front balance. I'll need to adjust my driving style for this as I prefer and have trained my driving style to enjoy a slightly greater rear brake balance (more unsafe but I believe faster through the corner -- but what do I know :P Gotta get Bryan's expert opinion on this :wave:).

Last year I bought a brand new 2013 Yaris SE with upgraded suspension, larger sway bars, and rear disc brakes, and that car has AMAZING brakes. The MR2 is not as good as the Yaris, ABS system aside, but to put things into perspective, if the Yaris has Level 10 brakes, then the MR2 before was at about Level 2 and now the MR2 is at about Level 8.

I just can't say enough how much improved my brakes are. :circle:
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on February 16, 2014, 04:05:45 PM
Update on everything:

I am now all caught up with changes to my car :thumbs: So far I've got about 250 miles on all this new stuff and I JUST LOVE IT.

Notes and Thoughts.

ABV Reconnected:
After having driven from early Oct through late Jan with the ABV removed, now with it back the power transition between off boost and boost is extremely smooth. I now really feel that the ABV should always be included and if I ever bring my old Stage 2.5 engine ( back to life then I will incorporate it back into the system. I especially notice the reduced drag from the Supercharger: With the SC energized (ie. the ECU wants it ON), if I am off-throttle decelerating from a high RPM (full vacuum) and cycle the switch on the SC clutch (manually engaging and disengaging the SC), there is M-U-C-H less kick from the SC. Before, when the SC would engage, it would jerk the car from the sudden engine load. Now that the ABV is open and allows the generated SC pressure to cycle back through to it's inlet, there is far less of a draw in terms of parasitic loss. So overall everything is just a lot smoother and the negative nuances of the SC are muted greatly.

The "All New ABV Mod (":
To be honest I can't tell a difference ... but so much has been changed here it's not surprising. When you stab the pedal the boost hits fast and hard just like before. Of course the car responds much quicker with the less restrictive setup, but does the boost build faster? I'm not sure if I can tell a difference.

The Ingersoll Rand Air Line Filter:
--Update #1: I love this little thing! It is mostly made of cast aluminum and plastic and is lightweight yet feels extremely durable. You could throw it over hand into a wall and I'm sure it would survive. No worries at all regarding engine vibrations (also I've mounted it with a rubber insulator). The only thing that is questionable is that it filters too well -- it gets about 15% full of just water every morning from idling to warm up for about ~10 mins. It's winter so there is more moisture in the air ... I'm sure this won't be a problem come summer ... But I'm emptying it out weekly which will is gonna get old quick. The issue is that this thing has a filtration level down to 5 microns! Gotta see what can be done about this...
--Update #2: Found out the filter is interchangeable ranging from 0.3 microns :o up to 40-microns! :booya:
--Update #3: I just did my first highway drive with the filter and after 150 miles it's reservoir was about 5% filled with slightly creamy oil, maybe 80% oil / 20% water. So it actually seems to be working well at normal use with the 5-micron filter. ...It's just the cold idle at 5am everyday that is causing an annoyance. I'll probably try a 10-micron filter (half as sensitive) and see how that goes.

The Sound:
Man this intake sounds so great. The slightest cracking of the throttle results in a loud, high pitch intake sound that echos off all the buildings at our apartments. If you hold the boost in the 1-3 PSI range than you get to enjoy this high pitch sound continuously. It is really fun and I think it sounds great. It reverberates well out of the driver's side vent :burnout:

Peak off-boost power:
I was able to maintain at least 65 MPH in 6th gear without having to floor it on every section of west-bound Pacheco Pass except for the last steep part before the summit -- This requires 2 PSI boost to maintain 70 MPH in 6th gear. Before the ABV I would have to downshift to 5th multiple times to maintain the speed limit. Really impressed with how much power I picked up from bypassing direct to the intake manifold inlet.

Fuel Mileage:
I averaged 33 MPG including Pacheco Pass, stop and go traffic in the construction area of highway 152 east of Gilroy, and heavy head winds on highway 101 towards San Jose. I was also going a bit faster than normal, averaging closer to 75 MPH instead of 70 MPH as I normally do .... I was just too hyper from all this power increase :cheese: Passing without boost is much easier and power pick-up is more responsive. On the stock setup I couldn't even dream of 33 MPG. Before the ABV was reconnected 33 would be the max, as if I was drafting behind a truck doing 70 MPH. So the 33 MPG -- with all the above considered -- is probably going to be the practical MPG result. I'll need some more miles to know for sure, but 35 MPG might be possible if I actually try to hyper-mile it a bit...
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on February 16, 2014, 04:15:55 PM
So what's next?

Now that I've got the foundation set for a great water-injection-ready intake, it is time to up the boost! I am going to pull out my old JDM pulley and get to work on it.

I need to drop my gas tank and investigate a fuel vent line rupture that has been stinking up my cab with gas fumes for the past month.

My brake pads are about 13 years old and are getting really thin. Now with the improved system it's about bloody time I get some new pads and get the rotors turned. I've been thinking about these pads, Made in Japan: ( What do you guys think of these? I heard about them from here, (

They are pricey though, but, I haven't had to purchase any pads in almost a decade and a half so I just figure the $ I've saved could just be used for some really nice quality pads -- something I've never had before. Made in Japan is just icing on the cake.



EDIT: Ok, I looked up the pads I need, p/n F182, and they are gonna be $200 per pair, so $400 for the car. Holy smokes that is a lot of $. :conf:
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on February 25, 2014, 01:02:07 PM
Hey guys,

I bought a little suction-cup camera mount and made this really quick video. I plan to start making some videos of driving up in the hills soon :driving:

For now I just wanted to share a little teaser on how the intake sounds. Just for reference, this is a stock SC12 with stock USDM pulleys and of course the ABV mod so that I can exceed 8psi. After I preformed the ABV mod, I had 8.5 psi -- which is the boost I dynoed the car with back on page 16 ( After the new Intake, you can see from the below video that my boost climbs to a solid 10psi in 3rd and 4th gears (see the 33-39 seconds mark of the video). So that is 10psi with my new intake and all remaining stock parts beginning with the stock SC12 inlet pipe. Don't forget this is with my C60 6-speed transaxle.

Also from the 45-second mark I'm showing the cool whistling sound I get around 2-3 PSI boost. The whistle is a bit louder under a steady load -- Ie. going up a long climb in 6th gear while holding steady at 3 PSI... and you get to play with the pitch by altering the throttle angle. I love it!

I just used my point-and-shoot Cannon PowerShot SX260 HS camera. The quality is better on my computer (1920x1080 at 30fps) but lost quality with Photobucket. I plan to make more videos and will begin using YouTube for them :driving:


EDIT: I finally uploaded the video to a new YouTube account!
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on February 26, 2014, 06:32:41 PM
Got a few updates here-

Feb 23, 2014: Discovered I had a plugged up Charcoal Canister

About a month ago I was sitting at my desk and I heard a small explosion sound from the parking lot and my car alarm immediately went off. I ran out front and couldn't find anything wrong. It was the sound of a thick rubber balloon exploding; something with pressure exploding. I opened my hood, everything seemed find, checked my fire extinguisher, it was fine, ... carried on about my day.

Since that day I have had gasoline fumes in my cab. It was a very strange issue. I would only smell the fumes if it was warm outside. The moment you got out of the car the smell was gone. Even in the engine compartment, I couldn't smell anything. All of my fuel lines, from what I could tell, looked fine. And beings this occurred during winter time, it would only get warm enough for this to occur about maybe once a week. So yes, it was a priority, but because of how intermittent & temperamental it was, I kept pushing it off. Finally I decided to drop the tank and see what happened under there.

So down came the tank and I couldn't find anything wrong. I even hooked up a smoke machine and pressurized my entire fuel system and found zero leaks. It was crazy. Then I started reading around on forums and found this thread: I smell gas... ( It was suggested that the Charcoal canister is plugged. Out came my canister and sure enough, it's plugged. I slapped in one we had laying around and so far so good. We even had a warm day two days ago and the smell has not come back yet.

How did it get plugged up? Well, it's sat around for 6 years outside in the foothills so moisture could have gotten in and damaged it. Also, I really top off my tank, no, I mean I really top if off. I know it's bad, I know fuel can bleed into the canister, and that I shouldn't do it. So I'll stop doing it from now on :)

1: Lowered the tank to have a look-see
2: Everything looked good above the tank. Strange how the smell is only noticed inside the cabin and not in the engine compartment. That is why I figured it was something directly atop the tank but it wasn't so.
3: Out came the smoker machine and zero leaks were discovered.
4: So I tested the Charcoal canister (by following these instructions ( and discovered it to be completely plugged up!
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on February 26, 2014, 06:55:57 PM
Feb 23, 2014 (continued): Re-installed MSD Knock Alert

I had a long list of things to do but hunting down that fuel vapor issue took waaaay longer than expected and I was only able to tackle one other item on my list: Re-install my ol' MSD Knock Alert device.

I probably bought this thing back in 2002 and only used it for a few months. It's just been sitting around in my garage ever since. Because I am planning on increasing my boost and I have destroyed pistons before (, I've already planned for much insurance before boost'n it up. This has been in queue along with the Water-Injection hook-up (see reply #299 ( Glad they are both now done before I start playing with more boost!

1. Found the only suitable place to install the system's standalone Knock Sensor, and here I am cleaning out the threads with a 8x1.25mm tap. It's not as high up on the block as I'd like, but it should be okay. There was another bolt hole on the exhaust side of the engine above the oil filter, but the sensor and plug is nearly touching the exhaust manifold and I don't want to take chances in ruining them. FYI this is right between the starter (at left) and S/C (at right) on the intake side of the engine block.

2. MSD uses a GM knock sensor which as you may know uses an American Pipe thread pitch. This won't fit on my Japanese engine block. Therefore, more than a decade ago I machined down and re-tapped a metric pitch directly onto the GM sensor converting it for I believe a 12x1.50mm hole. So what I did here was I welded a 12x1.50mm nut atop a 8x1.25mm bolt and simply threaded the bolt into the block. Done.

3. Now I can mount the GM Knock Sensor to the available 8mm engine block bolt hole :thumbs:

4. Here is the control unit mounted in the cab. I have future plans for the radio bay so I didn't want to mount it there, and I don't want to be too flashy by mounting it right up in the instrumentation area. I decided to mount it here which may only be a temporary place for now. I only had to drill one small hole to mount it here, so if I later decide to move it, I won't regret having done this.

5. I understand that mounting it up high is a good thing because you need to see it in your peripheral to know that you are detonating, but there is a built-in speaker (little hole in the flat white plastic area) which has a clear unobstructed area in this position to project to.

Updated notes after having driven with the device installed for a few days:
After driving around a bit I've been able to tune it in using it's built in sensitivity dial and everything looks to be working great so far. No unusual spikes. The LEDs light from from Green, to Orange, to Red. You don't want Red. Red means "get off the gas you a-hole". It's currently configured to activate the first green light by about 4,000 rpm, and then hits the orange lights by redline. So it's set to never see any red lights. So if red lights suddenly appear, then I know for sure something is wrong -- like I've got bad gas, or a spark plug wire just bought the farm, or an electrode broke off from a spark plug, or, what happened to me in the past, the Intercooler is suddenly no longer able to maintain safe intake temps.  :nerv:

One thing that DOES SUCK is that with my awesome sounding intake, I CAN'T HEAR THE DANG THING  :snare: So come to find out this probably isn't the best location. I'm thinking about moving it up high to my visor next to my Radar dector, which would be perfect for my peripheral vision, and I can mount it upside down so the speaker is not obstructed and ought to blast right into my face ... but I don't want to draw attention to my radar detector so I am considering disassembling the plastic housings to dye them black. I do like the idea of it way up high by my visor. It will give me more of that Nightrider feel :burnout:
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on February 26, 2014, 07:21:33 PM
Feb 25, 2014: I finally replaced my broken phone mount!

Yes, I know, it's a silly thing to work on, but let me tell you. Because I drive 5 hours to the Bay Area and back (most) every weekend, being able to watch Movies and TV shows has been a true godsend. TV shows are great because each episode is ~25 mins which happens to be almost the same durations that I like to mentally break my commute into: ~30mins from Fresno to hwy152, ~30mins from there to Los Banos, ~40mins from there to Gilroy, and finally ~30mins from there to San Jose. Movies are good because an hour and a half movie gets me from Fresno almost to highway 101. Then I just enjoy silence for the remaining half hour to my apartment.

All in all it just helps me unwind. It seems I work non-stop over here and driving to and from SJ every week has really become my sanctuary of downtime with my car that I've found mentally nourishing.

If you recall from reply #270 ( I broke my phone mount. I don't even remember when this happened. Probably last June or July. So I am very happy to finally have this back! Tomorrow night will be my first road trip back to SJ with a working phone mount. Can't wait!

Here is a picture I took from my drive home last night. This is what it looks like to be in command of one bad-to-the-bone MR2 :yupyup:
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on February 26, 2014, 07:22:17 PM
That's it for now. I've begun work on making my old 120mm JDM SC12 pulley smaller (shooting for 106mm, which will take my pulley ratio from the stock USDM 1.16:1 up to 1.37:1) and hopefully will have it done within the next couple of weeks!!

Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on March 10, 2014, 01:19:55 PM
My brake pads are about 13 years old and are getting really thin. Now with the improved system it's about bloody time I get some new pads and get the rotors turned.
After reading a number of reviews on MR2OC, such as this one (, I've decided to go with Porterfield R4-S Street/Autocross pads. They are priced within my budget also. See

I don't have any concrete plans for when I'll be getting the pads and turning my rotors, but at least for now I've decided on what pads to go with.


Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on October 13, 2014, 10:41:33 AM
It's about time I posted some updates. :gap:

Sometime in late spring I noticed I was slowly loosing water. I didn't think much of it at first, figured it had always been low and I was just lazy with my service intervals. Then I was driving at night on the 101 entering south San Jose while playing with a fixed up Miata and pile of crap Boxer (sorry, ever since Toyota tried to "go after" the Boxer with the MR-S I lost all respect for this model Porsche). I got off the freeway and while idling at the first long red light I started smelling antifreeze. I looked at my temp and it was normal, 40% gauge. I drove another mile and got to my wife's work, and when I turned the car off I instantly heard the overflow reservoir bubbling over. Picked up my wife and began heading to our apartment and my temps start climbing. I thought more airflow would help so I got on the freeway but they kept going up, and about 80% gauge I decided to call it, shut off the engine and coasted to a stop on the side of highway 87.

It turns out I was nearly 2 liters of water low, and the insuring return drive to Fresno took 1 liter of water.

June 23, 2014

So I pulled my plus to see which cylinder was getting washed out with water and surprisingly they all looked great. The strange thing was that the idle was perfect, start-up and run-off were good, power felt as great as ever, and in the city I would not loose any water. But once I got out on the highway it would start drinking water and the temps would start climbing. I narrowed it down to water-refill-intervals of every 120 highway miles. So it was some sort of slow leak. I checked all my hoses and lines, never found any visible leaks.

Here is a pic of my plugs, June 23. Plugs are Denso Iridium IK22 and have right around 60,000 miles on them. Summer time is very busy with events here at work so I knew I wouldn't have much time to investigate into this for a while so I continued driving and refilling water on long road trips for a few months...
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on October 16, 2014, 11:05:57 AM
I continued to drive the car week-in week-out, taking my usual trips to San Jose and carrying extra water for refills. Twice per week I would make stops in Madera, Los Banos, and Casa de Fruita to refill my engine's water. As stated earlier, the car was still running great, smooth idle, fired right up every morning, and I was still making my usual 30-32 MPG.

So I was still thinking that it must be a hose leaking or something that I hadn't discovered ... so I just kept driving it through the busy summer months.

Then sometime around late August I finally had some time to work on the car so I ran a compression check and here are the results:
Cylinder 1: 156 PSI
Cylinder 2: 146 PSI
Cylinder 3:   93 PSI
Cylinder 4: 107 PSI

So, yup, it's confirmed, got a blown head gasket. It was just crazy that this didn't seem to have any impact on the engine's driveability or performance, just loosing a lot of water. So after our large annual Marlin Crawler Round-Up event, I scheduled about a month to work on my baby! :hyper:

Sept 5, 2014: Pulled engine

I know it's only a head gasket, but I had other leaks and things I've been wanting to take care of so I just decided it would be best to pull out the engine. I'm really glad I did this because it gave me a lot of time and freedom for other projects to get completed :eyebrow: More on this later :eyebrow:

On to some pictures!

Picture 1 Drove it straight to the shop, running great. I even did a full 9.5 PSI redline 1st & 2nd gear pulls getting onto the freeway and man it just rips it. Love this engine.... hard to believe that it's not running at full potential.

Pic 4 You can see some of my intake setup here. It has been working GREAT and gained me nearly 5 MPG straight-up with the single mod alone. See posts on pages 19 (started new intake) & 21 (finished it) for more pics/details.

Pic 5 is my upper oil cooler line. I knew that something was leaking from that side of the engine and was just blaming it on the distributor. It was a very slow leak that I could wipe with a rag and it would be 4 or 5 days until it would start leaving small oil drops on my driveway. Another reason why it was great I removed the entire engine. I am done with these silly factory lines with the large, non-flexible shielding. I will replace both oil cooler lines with standard 3/8" hose once this goes back together.

Pic 7 check out all the debris from my clutch! Will discuss more about my old clutch kit later.

Pic 8 Day #1 comes to a close and my precious engine is at rest awaiting surgery :bandit:
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on October 20, 2014, 06:03:37 PM
Sept 7, 2014: Disassembled Engine

Not too much to discuss other than that at this time it wasn't clear where the head gasket leak was. Usually you can pull a head and instantly see the leaking area, but only a few areas had very faint signs of leaks ... or not. But for now it wasn't so clear. More to come on this shortly...
On to some random pics!!

Pics 1 & 2: I cut out these inner supports on my driver's side vent but not the passenger's (stock) side. Finally got it done.
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on October 20, 2014, 06:05:23 PM

The pics of the headgasket thicknesses are comparing the stock (used) HG of 1.5mm ? to Bill's TRD MLS HG that I intend to install of 1mm. So half a milimeter thinner HG. Bill thinks this will raise my compression by as much as two tenths! :booya:

The pic of my 6-speed transaxle is it after running through our hot tank. I covered up all holes and it turned our REALLY clean.

Last pics are of the cylinder head taken apart and awaiting a Marlin valve job!
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on October 20, 2014, 06:09:30 PM
Sept 8, 2014: Opened up Exhaust Ports and ground valves

Marlin did some port work and opened up the exhaust side. I told him not to both with the intake since it's under pressure, ...and that I have some very special plans to address any lack of back pressure :eyebrow: Much more to come with this later :eyebrow:

Pic of where my car is to sit for a few weeks!

Pic of an exhaust port: Before & After

Last pic is looking down into the exhaust port. It's hard to see but it has opened up quite a bit. Again, not too worried about back pressure. More to come on this later!
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on October 21, 2014, 06:25:25 PM
Sept 26, 2014: Cleaned block deck and pistons, resurfaced flywheel

I took a one week trip to Florida and made use of the downtime to get the head surfaced. I then cleaned the deck of the block and also the pistons. Got the flywheel resurfaced also, this time I did a 0.025" step instead of a 0.023" step. More on this later-

On to some pics

Check out how clean I got the pistons. I used a semi-soft wire wheel and they turned out nice. After cleaning them you could read the 1/2mm oversized markings, so sure enough, this engine has been rebuilt as told by the guy I got it from.

Then, look what I found! AH HA! We thought it might be leaking from the back corner behind cylinder #4 and SURE ENOUGH look at this!! This block has been welded!! WOW! Someone spent some serious time with this. Pretty hard to believe they would weld it (why not just get another block?). So now without a doubt we know why I was loosing water as this is right between cylinder 4 and the block's water jacket.

Finally, got my TODA Chromoly flywheel resurfaced yet again!
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on October 24, 2014, 03:23:46 PM
Sept 28, 2014: Cylinder Head & Cams Installed

I didn't want to take the entire block apart to deck the block so I spent a good 4 hours straight hand decking the block. It was a lot of work! In the end I admit I should have just taken it all apart but it turned out good and I'm moving forward! I really had to sand it down to get past the welds, and of course the welds being annealed, took a long time to flatten down.

ARP head studs installed, TRD Head Gasket (P/N 00643-11115-000) installed (THANK YOU BILL!), Stock 7.5mm lift cams installed for now with aspirations to get some Webcam 294s in (wanted to start with stock cams so I can get a baseline and everything tuned and dialed in first), spent some time doing some final valve adjusting, and lastly I got the CULPRIT THAT DESTROYED MY STAGE 2.5 ENGINE GROUND DOWN AND CLEARANCED :maddest: Stupid ARP studs. Had to learn the hard way with these things but glad to have them in this engine.
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on October 24, 2014, 03:37:09 PM
Sept 29, 2014: Assembled Intake Side of Engine

The next day I got the intake, fuel rail assembly, and EGR components all back together. Not much to discuss, everything went together quite nicely. I replaced the two manifold inlet pipe (No. 2 air duct) 6mm bolts with 6mm studs so that the entire inlet pipe is connected by all studs. This is important for me since every 2 years I'll need to install my stock inlet to reconfigure my car to a less efficient & higher pollution configuration that is approved by the State of California in order to pass smog. SO STUPID. Stock configuration makes 27 MPG, my new efficient intake is netting 32 MPG ... but it is considered a smog illegal modification. :thud: Go figure!!

I also replaced the used metal gaskets of the two aluminum water port pieces with Toyota Black silicone. Not gonna take any chances.

Bill, thank you for these nicer valve covers. They look great!
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on October 26, 2014, 08:13:17 PM
Oct 1, 2014: Flywheel & New Clutch Installed, Cut down JDM S/C Pulley

Decided I'd weigh my flywheel. Compare this to when I bought it ( Back in 1999? it weighed 9.5 pounds. So with all the resurfacing over the years it has become nearly half a pound lighter! :o

Installed the previous clutch 12/19/2010 (back on page 15 ( with 247,048 miles on the clock. Got nearly 4 years and
50,166 miles out of that ceramic clutch kit with my car's mileage now at 297,214. I am pretty amazed at this, remember this is NOT a Supercharger clutch kit. This is a 212mm clutch kit designed for a 112 HP 4A-GE. :thumbs:

I was of course so satisfied with this clutch I had to get the exact same thing. Here is the old one next to the new one. Six ceramic plucks without urethane bushings.

Check out how much my SC engine abused the old clutch disc. Wow!

You can see this was replaced not a moment too soon. Starting to wear into a few rivets, this one being the worst (and the one to the right hardly touched).

Decided to compare thicknesses of worn out to new disc. Interesting that 50k miles only consumed 0.69mm on each side. I was thinking it would be much more.

New disc with resurfaced (0.025") TODA Chromoly flywheel ready to go!
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on October 27, 2014, 08:33:13 AM
Oct 1, 2014 (continued):

Lastly, I pulled my old JDM pulley off my SC14 (it is 5mm smaller than it's USDM counterpart) and machined it down on our lathe. Then when I realized I couldn't get a nice belt groove cut with the tools we have, I had our CNC shop do the finishing work to it. Here is the result.

It's interesting because everyone says the USDM pulley is 125mm. This is wrong. Here I am measuring it. Sure, the total outer diameter is 125mm, but this is not where the belt rides. I haven't measured the depth to the belt grove ribs, but if it is 2.5mm, then the USDM pulley is really 120mm OD and the JDM is possibly 115mm OD. This was sad news because I've built a spreadsheet of pulley and RPM ratios as based on the incorrect 125mm OD. So now my theoretical boost gains are going to be a bit less than I was hoping for.

Nevertheless we were able to get the JDM pulley turned down to about 110mm without going into the wall surrounding the magnet .... aka it's possible we could have gone another mm or two, but only going down to the 109.80mm ensures that no strength was lost in the process. My original rough measurements showed we could do 106mm but it wasn't to be. What I REALLY would like to do is find the part number that this Japanese guy has blocked out on his page here (, which I believe is a stock Toyota 106mm pulley without any modification and compatible with the AE92/AE101 4A-GZE magnet parts.

In the end the size difference from 125mm OD to 109.8mm belt groove OD is massive. I'm hoping boost will go from my current stock ~9.5 to 12 PSI.

Lastly, I got my C60 speed hybrid bolted back up to my engine!

Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on October 27, 2014, 01:13:05 PM
Oct 5, 2014: Replaced two CV Boots

I'm glad I pulled the engine instead of simply installing a new HG and here is another reason why. When I bought these axles used from the wrecking yard back on page 15, reply 213 (, I installed them as-is and after about 6 months both axles began throwing axle grease all over the place. So I finally got some new boots and got this taken care of.

The boots were pretty expensive, $14 each my cost. Remanufactured axle shafts go for $45 each my cost. So should I pay $30 for new boots + time to install, or another $15 for nicer, cleaner, freshly rebuilt shafts? I took the easy + expensive road and sought to buy the reman shafts and it turns out they are discontinued. Fortunately however, I only had 2 bad boots, both on the transaxle end of each shaft. So the finally price was just under $30 and I am okay with that. Finally no more grease everywhere.

The seal dust shields are both a bit beaten up from living in the wrecking yard but I decided to leave em alone. They seem okay enough for me :gap:
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on October 27, 2014, 01:35:53 PM
Oct 6, 2014: Replaced stock rear suspension bushings

Ohhhh man this is something I've wanted to do for YEARS and only now am getting around to it. I've owned this 1987 MR2 since Jan 31, 1999, and with all the autocrossing and mountain road driving I've done over the years I've never replaced the stock bushings that now have 297k miles on them. So as you can imagine with almost 15 years of anticipation, this was a real special treat.

Not a whole lot to say. I bought them from Tows R Us: ( I got the entire kit minus the steering rack and sway bar bushings which I've replaced in the past. I don't remember the price, but I think it was around $80 to do everything else, both front & back. For now I am only replacing the rear bushings. It was an extremely simple job. It took me about 20 mins to do the first side and then about 5 mins to do the other. Once you figure out what you need to do it is so easy it's stupid.

Good bye old stock Toyota bushings of nearly 300,000 miles! Thank you for all that you've done for my car and all the places you've taken me to :wave: :wave:
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on October 28, 2014, 12:09:57 PM
Oct 7, 2014: Few remaining things...

The machine shop over-clamped my S/C pulley during machining and damaged the bearing, so I had to both pick up a new bearing and hone out the pulley to relieve pressure on the bearing. It sucked but it's okay, gonna have more boost and a larger smile :greengrin:

Got new o-rings installed in my leaky distributor and decided to get a new cap & rotor at the same time. My old parts were okay but I figured why not.

Lastly, I addressed my leaking shift shaft seal. This is a C56 FWD transaxle center section that Bill helped me convert to RWD for use in a MR2, but we didn't get the straightest hole drilled and as you can see from the first pic, the seal wasn't concentric with the shift shaft. So I cut up some bits of aluminum from a soda can to offset a new seal and then gooped it up again. Now when you apply sideways pressure on the shaft the seal retains its contact which I'm hoping will entirely resolve this uber annoying leak all down the side of my transaxle (that sprayed everything else down from it and generally made a huge mess under there).

Finally, the engine getting a few more nights rest before D-Day!!
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on October 28, 2014, 01:52:32 PM
Oct 8, 2014: Strengthened front engine mount, installed wide band O2 sensor

I've already had the rear bolt of my front engine mount pull out back in the early 2000s and I've always been leery of it breaking again, so I had one of our fabricators slap on some scrap metal we had to get it much more reliable.

And I drilled a hole in my TRD downpipe and got the bung welded in for my new Innovate Motorsports 3844 MTX-L wide band kit. Yes I'm finally stepping up and building things like I should have been doing all these years!! :thud:
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on October 29, 2014, 10:27:15 AM
Oct 10, 2014: Installed modified JDM SC pulley and got the engine in!

Last on the list was to get my good ol' trusty JDM pulley back onto a native SC12 unit.  Almost fourteen years ago I modified this pulley to fit to a SC14 -- where it has lived ever since -- but I haven't decided if I should slap in my SC14 yet so for now I'm keeping with the SC12. Fortunately the modifications required to fit on the SC14 did not render it incompatible with the SC12 :thumbs: See this page ( for more info on when I did this.

Here are the parts I extracted from my SC14. I made these adapters when I was 20 yrs old! Whew has it really been that long ago... :down:

Finally my 109.8mm pulley installed! If you scroll back up you'll see I left the front fascia on the pulley hoping to be able to run the stock 4-bolt dust cover. But because the pulley was machined down so much, the wall thickness would be too thin and I was worried about it flying off so I cut about 80% of it down leaving just a slight lip to keep dirt out. Looking at the very small stock Toyota version (, it doesn't have a dust cover either and neither does my A/C clutch. So I figure this should be okay...

Also you might notice I've also grabbed the S/C tensioner pulley from my Stage 2 & 2.5 engine (it's merely a timing belt tensioner). This isn't needed "at the moment" but I have plans to run my old aluminum 165mm crank pulley so I figured I'd slap this on ahead of time. I am planning on turning my 165mm crank pulley down to 155 so it can clear the stock timing pointer/indicator as to still be smoggable. Of course my intake & TRD header are smog illegal, which I plan on changing every 2 yrs to pass smog, but the current thought is to not have to also be messing around with the crank pulley on/off/on/off... and to just fit one that doesn't interfere with stock parts.
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on October 29, 2014, 10:34:42 AM
Oct 10, 2014: (continued)

Engine going back in! :woohoo:

Some new things I've never done before (and I've R&R'd a good number of MR2 engines since 1999) are I detached the side vent temp sensor and bracket, alternator, and S/C clutch pulley harness and moved them away from the sides of the engine. It made it a LOT easier to install the engine without having to worry about the smaller things getting snagged.

Additional items I should have removed are the distributor cap & rotor (but leave dissy in since timing was already set) and the TRD header which is a one-piece under-the-engine unit as apposed to the stock manifold which is a removable two piece design. It was a pain in the butt trying to position the engine on pieces of wood to clear the legs of the cherry picker that had to run under the engine ... while being required to not contact or apply weight to the header. But I've had a hard time installing the TRD header in the car in the past -- that dumb EGR pipe not aligning -- but this was a simple task so long as you loosen the EGR at the intake manifold. I probably never did this when I was a wee lad :yupyup:
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on October 29, 2014, 10:49:38 AM
Oct 10, 2014: (continued)

One thing I've ALWAYS disliked are the stock oil cooler lines. They are a pain in the butt for the following reasons: 1) They have large heat and debris shields that greatly limit their flexibility, and 2) any oil leakage and/or dirt is collected and becomes a huge mess, my hands are always covered on dark, dark grime from these dumb lines. So I FINALLY got rid of them and did a nice job routing new standard oil cooler lines carefully positioning them up and away from danger with plenty of flexibility for engine movement.

The fourth picture shows how tucked up the lower line is. I mounted it to the A/C bracket using the double hose + zip tie technique I use on my Rock Crawler. A second mount was done at the oil cooler itself (visible in the 2nd pic). I think it turned out really nice but I don't like these crappy, standard hose clamps and plan to replace them with heavier duty parts soon.

Finally, as I was installing my MK2 5S-FE axles, my passenger's side wasn't going in. It turns out that the red caps I inserted to keep water out during the trans cleaning pushed the spring off the seal. I must have spent a solid 30 mins trying to fish and finagle it before giving up the pulling out the seal. I know it's not good to R&R a seal like this but I had no choice. Pulled the seal out as gingerly as possible, put the spring back in place, and pushed the seal back in. I suspect it will start leaking. Time will tell.

Final shot of where the exhaust is at. So far everything is going well!
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on October 29, 2014, 06:15:29 PM
Oct 10, 2014: Few small things

Just a few small things... Noticed that my Intercooler thread-all has been rubbing into my intake pipe, so I insulated it with a rubber hose, and the wires at me ECU were a mess so I spent some time cleaning it up.

Also when I removed the engine there were a few circuits I've added over the last 4 yrs that didn't have any plugs / were non-detachable, so I inserted a few factory Toyota 1-wire plugs in a few spots to make it more user-friendly.
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on October 29, 2014, 06:37:24 PM
Oct 12, 2014: Built Exhaust and Drove my Baby Home!

Today was a good day.

Got everything up top done and fired up the engine with the open header and after getting the timing dialed in MAN she sounds GREAT! Nice and smooth idle, snappy throttle response, ohhh man oh man how much I've missed being without this car these past two months!

With the engine running, it was time to build the exhaust. I was originally only going to trace it out and then have our fabricator finish it, but it came out so nice on my own I just decided to do the welding and get it all done!! :flamer: I'm not the best welder by any stretch of the imagination but enjoy the pride & reward that comes from doing it yourself so here we go:

I ordered these parts from the same place I got my intake pipes from, ( Stainless steel standard wall thickness 2.5" exhaust from the TRD header back. The TRD Header only has a 2.125" ID and I'm jumping up to a 2.5" ID, so my original plan was to run 2.25" pipe through a gutted cat and then into a 2.5" U-bend. But after messing around with the gutted cat for a while it just wasn't worth the effort and I decided to go 2.5" straight-away. Why such large pipe and opened up exhaust ports? Keep reading...

As for the gutted cat... Why this? Well, I am SICK AND TIRED of having to replace Cats every 4 years just to pass smog. SCREW THEM. They keep making it harder and harder to smog these older cars WHEN will they just give us a break for once. The last time I smogged my car it cost around $200 for a new cat. So, I figured I would run an old, junk cat when I'm not at the smog shop so I can protect and preserve my $200 investment of a new cat. But then, of course, this TRD header is not smog legal so why am I even bothering as I'll be replacing it all for smog checks anyway. ARRRRRRRRG so aggravating. From all the "illegal" things I've done my fuel mileage is up 18.5% (32 MPG vs 27). So I am polluting LESS with my illegal parts. And then look at my 1981 Hilux. I had to jump through ENDLESS hurdles to replace a 35 year old carbureted engine with an OBD-II EFI engine that makes 62% better fuel mileage (21 MPG vs. 13) AND pay them a boat load of money for my effort to CLEAN the air??? The C.A.R.B. program can honestly suck my balls. If they REALLY cared about POLLUTION then they wouldn't need a visual inspection if it burns clean. For these reasons I am done with this crap. :rant:

Sorry, where was I :cheese:

Got a 2.5" stainless straight pipe welded to a 2.5" stainless 2-bolt flange and began seeing where the U-bend will be located...
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on October 29, 2014, 06:44:00 PM
Oct 12, 2014: Built Exhaust and Drove my Baby Home! (continued)

...and here is the secret weapon: Air impact-operated pipe expander! This tool is a real jewel and I could not have finished this job by myself without it.

So check out this muffler. I got this muffle from Amazon for $49, complete no-name brand: (

I have long desired to have the nice sound of a Nissan 350Z or VW VR6 Jetta but alas I don't have a V6.
I have long desired to have the nice sound of a Subaru Boxxer but alas I don't have an apposed 4cyl.

So by now you should understand why I got this muffler. I am looking for that nice, beautiful, subtle/gentle popping/reverb sound and I'm thinking this muffler should do the trick by reintroducing frequencies back into the same muffling chamber thereby canceling out matching tones.

On to some pics... Check out how nice that tool is. I was able to position the parts precisely where I wanted them, tac weld them in place, drop the exhaust, and then finish weld on the ground. I inserted cardboard around the muffler to dictate spacing. I didn't blow out a single weld as the expansion allowed for double-walled and tight fitting joints. I wish I had this tool when I built the exhaust for my truck!!

Also built the two hangers using some scrap round bar stock we had laying around. This was a good experience and I had a lot of fun!
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: Sirdeuce on October 29, 2014, 06:51:19 PM
I don't see a Cadillac converter.
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on October 29, 2014, 06:55:23 PM
Oct 12, 2014: Built Exhaust and Drove my Baby Home! (continued)

Now for something really cool!! :best:

This is my solution to A) too large of exhaust ports and B) too large exhaust system: Fully variable exhaust back pressure system!! :booya:
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on October 29, 2014, 06:58:59 PM
I don't see a Cadillac converter.
Read my lil rant above. Just got tired of playing games with the state of California. Any MPG I can gain during my 14k mile annual usage goes a very long ways with today's gas prices. They need to understand that some car designs, like the MR2's stock intake tract, can be vastly improved against their regulations. I still have my entire stock exhaust (and intake) system and can install them with simple hand tools in my home driveway :thumbs:

Check out this video of the difference this exhaust valve makes:

If your viewing this with any sort of speaker bass then you will notice the different right away.

The goal here is to have a car with great top end AND great bottom end, and the fact that the exhaust will be mostly closed during constant speed freeway cruising, I'm hoping it will be quieter than the stock exhaust and have great driveability.

I travel a combined 5 hrs every weekend in this car so having good performance and fuel mileage without an ear bleeding drone would be a great accomplishment!

EDIT: I finally uploaded the video to a new YouTube account!
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on October 29, 2014, 07:09:30 PM
Oct 12, 2014: Built Exhaust and Drove my Baby Home! (concluded)

Lastly, I ran into a problem. Because the muffler has offset inputs and outputs I needed to make a double-bend to reach the exhaust tip, one down and also out the back, that I had not considered, and I only purchased a 90-degree single bend pipe. So I ended up lowering the exhaust system by putting spacers between the hanger mounts and the frame and then notched the body where the exhaust pipe exists. Look at the pictures and you'll see what I'm talking about. I didn't "really" want the exhaust to sit this low, as I'm not trying to attract attention here, but In the end I thought it turned out GREAT!

I didn't take (and still haven't taken) any pictures from the back with the car on the ground, so I'll try to do this sooner rather than later. :circle:

And that was it!! DROVE MY BABY HOME!! Beings it has a new clutch, amongst other things, I really babied it and had a smooth uneventful drive all the way home. MAN it felt great having my car back  :therethere:

That's it for now, still have much more to come!
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: yoshimitsuspeed on October 31, 2014, 01:18:59 AM
Nice build and nice fab work.
I have had a few people come to me trying to make a smaller SC pulley like the speedchaser ones. I usually talk them out of it because that along with an oversized pulley pushes the SC so far outside it's ideal range that I consider it to be not worth the cost. I can see how in your situation not being able to run a big crank pulley means any gains you can get from the SC pulley could be very valuable.
Your design gave me a thought.
I have started working with a Chinese manufacturer who appears to do very solid work. I am continuing to send them more challenging and more precise projects to see if they are as good as they claim.
Since if I remember right there is actually a good bit of room between the pulley and the drive plate it may be possible to make a pulley from the ground up that was a little smaller and therefore allowed the diameter to be a couple mm smaller as well.
Getting one made may still be several hundred but a run of four or so could bring that down to maybe a couple hundred ea.
At least this allows you to run the stock stator and drive plate making the cost look a lot better. Plus making a smaller stator would require some electrical engineering to do right. I think even then it would likely be weaker. Plus you would have to run a smaller drive plate reduces clamping force which makes it much more likely to slip.
Still a bit pricey but I thought I'd mention it. Not sure how far you would want to try to take the idea.
I am not fond of SC14 conversions because just like the SC12 they are only rated to a 1.8:1 PR and even at that are in the 50s to low 60s adiabatic efficiency. The SC14 does improve the efficiency a tiny bit on the horizontal/flow axis but by so little it would be hard to justify.
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on October 31, 2014, 10:54:41 AM
Nice build and nice fab work.
Thanks for the nice comments よしくん

So I originally was considering purchasing a poly-vee cutter for our lathe from ( as a very close friend of ours is a Tool Flo dealer. The cutter is just over $100 but it doesn't fit any of our tool holders so I'd have to also purchase about a $300 holder (sucks!). My idea was to offer a service to the GZE community as follows: Send me your USDM pulley and I'll cut it down to ____  mm, hoping that I could get 10 or 15mm out of it .... but unfortunately the USDM magnet is just too large and there is hardly any room at all to shave material down. The JDM pulley just so happens to use a very small magnet and there is an extensive amount of material that can be turned down on the stock JDM pulley -- we got 10mm out of it without sacrificing any strength. While I could still offer my services for those who have imported the Levin engine, that is such a small market I decided to not invest in the tools and just have our machine shop turn mine down.

When I removed my original pulley and started looking at it, I was pretty bummed. I was hoping to only charge $30? $40? $50? for the service, send me your pulley, I'll return it X amount smaller. Oh well...

As for the SC RPM heat issue, from reply #299 ( I am working on another homemade Water/Alcohol injection system. Earlier this week I received a new 5 quart container, purchased from here ( for $16, and now that E85 is easy to get, I'm planning to pump 0.75 gallons E85 and then top off the remaining 2 quarts with water. Should be about a 50/50 mix. In the past I had to drive across town, purchase a 5 gallon drum of Methanol, store it in my garage, make a mess while trying to pour it into a container in my car.  .....having the E85 right at the pump seems like a great solution.

I am fully aware that these old units are not as efficient as modern day SC tech. Bill (Sirdeuce) has both a M62 and M90 that we can play with and the city we live in is home to the 85% efficient Whipple S/C (link ( But I don't know... Just something about keeping Toyota parts excites me. With my Rock Crawler, many people like to swap out Toyota axles for full size American axles (D60 is very common) but I really dislike this because it's no longer Toyota, amongst other reasons. I have pride in Toyota, that's why all my cars are Toyota :gap: So for me I find joy in using old, outdated tech. Otherwise I would have just swapped in a Honda K20 and gotten on with my life but then my car wouldn't have a Toyota heart.

Another thing I'll mention ahead of progress to this post is that I am going to re-install my Davies Craig Electric Waterpump (link (, so running a larger crank pulley doesn't have the big draw back of overrevving the water pump. Combined with the programmable Parallax Propeller board (link ( that I am currently installing, I will fit an alarm buzzer and blinking red LED to monitor my engine temps should they ever go over, what 50% or 55% gauge? (My car never runs over 45% gauge, so even if I set the alarm to 60% gauge ... if it's ever at 60% temp then something is definitely wrong and I'll be alerted straight away). When I used the e-water pump with my sidedraft N/A engine (link ( it worked great and should it ever stop working out on the highway, I carried the waterpump pulley and original belt in the frunk for a simple roadside swap back to mechanical driven cooling. So just yesterday I told our machinist to hold off on milling down my 165mm crank pulley. I think I am going to keep it large and somehow install a new timing pointer near the stock pointer location so the smog guy will still be able to check my timing. While R&R the crank pulley every 2 yrs for smog is not difficult, the pointer is awfully difficult as you know it is mounted to the timing belt tensioner and I have to remove my A/C bracket to get the front plastic cover off (or not install the bolts on that side of the engine).

Ahhhhhh decisions decisions. My water/E85 injection will also be controlled by my Propeller board. I plan to program a progressive (temp based) duty cycle so it can be reliable and also long lasting for long road trips (rather than using my old on/off boost switch that would cycle through my 5 qt container too quickly). Hopefully I can go a few gas tank fill-ups between water inj tank refills. Also, I'll be using the Propeller in lieu of a Grunt Box, and am going to experiment (the Propeller will also be datalogging from my wide band O2) between using the cold start injector or water/alc injector to cope with the low RPM lean-out condition.

Ahhh so much to do! Can't wait to get this all done!! First things first, I need to start with the Propeller somewhere, and the most clear choice is with the exhaust system. So on to the next update!
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on October 31, 2014, 10:55:06 AM
Oct 19, 2014: Installed 2-bar MAP sensor to exhaust system

I drove the car on the new rebuilt engine to San Jose and it did great. Made 28 MPG combined city/highway + goofing around with the new setup. I am happy to report that peak boost is now up from 10 PSI to 11.25 PSI from the new 8.5% smaller S/C pulley. I still have my 165mm crank pulley to install, which is 13.8% larger, so following this ratio this would put me at 13.53 PSI. Of course the losses grow with RPM so if I can make 13 PSI with the larger crank pulley then I'll be a happy camper :)

Ran some compression numbers and here are the results:
Cyl    Before...      After...
1156 PSI166 PSI


Throttle response is definitely am improvement and the boost builds much, much faster than before. Revving the engine in neutral, I used to get about 3 PSI, now it hits 8 or 9 PSI from just whacking the throttle! The intake is also much louder which I love but the exhaust is just too loud, which I am aware of, which is why I gotta get this exhaust throttle hooked up and operational!

So here come some pics!

First, I knew that the TRD 2.125" pipe dumping into a 2.5" pipe is no good but I just wanted to get the car back on the road. So I took it back apart and got this taken care of. I simply ground the outlet of the TRD pipe with a smooth radius so that it matches the 2.5" exhaust gasket I'm using (link (

I also don't like the TRD spring-loaded flex ball-joint because as Bill points out it can expand and loose exhaust pressure at high RPM and also the male end has to taper down to a smaller ID in order to not pop out of the ball-joint. So I am thinking about getting a steel flex joint similar to this one ( and replacing the dumb TRD joint. Especially if the TRD ball-joint does in fact let exhaust gases out, then it will throw off my pressure readings!!
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on October 31, 2014, 11:13:33 AM
Oct 19, 2014: Installed 2-bar MAP sensor to exhaust system (continued)

Lastly, here is the 2-bar MAP sensor's new home! I originally got a new style GM 2-bar MAP sensor (P/N 12569241) from NAPA, my cost was just over $60!! Then Chee (stupidfast) told me about this eBay auction, (, which is the old style GM sensor for half the price. It's an unknown brand (made in China for sure) so it is a gamble and returns will be far more difficult to deal with should it stop working. But I decided to give it a shot-

I didn't get any pictures of installing the line, but basically I took a 1/4" OD hydraulic line, bent it as needed with a brake line bender, drilled a hole in my TRD pipe, ground away the ceramic coating, and welded it in. Brazing would have been better but all our brazing equipment was put away and I already had the welder out so I just welded it. I then used a 8mm silicone hose I got from SiliconeIntakes (link ( (I probably should have gotten a 6mm hose), which has a max temp rating of 350 degrees F (177 C). The idea of using the brake line is to get the hose mounted to the exhaust a certain distance away, allowing the brake line to cool between the hose and the exhaust pipe.

Second pic shows a close up of the sensor mounted and wired. Black is a simple ground, green is the signal Vdd output, and red is a 5 volt input. So, where to get 5 volts? I already have L7805CV voltage clamps (link (, but Bill gave me a GREAT idea and that is to use the 5 Vdd coming from my ECU that powers circuits like the throttle position sensor. Knowing this is a nice, heavy wire, Toyota designed it to support some amperage so running a simple MAP sensor won't be any problem.

The last picture shows the red wire coming up to the ECU. It is connected to the wire discussed above, yellow, from the right ECU plug. I checked the wiring diagram and verified 5 Vdd and hooked it up. Turned key to ON position, checked voltage output from the MAP sensor, was a prefect 2.5 volts (or zero back pressure as the engine was off and pipes cooled down), done!
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on October 31, 2014, 11:27:23 AM

So I extended and ran the green wire up into my cab where I've been monitoring it using my hand held volt meter. The refresh rate of the volt meter of course is too slow but to just get a basic idea, as I've not hooked up the microcontroller yet, I can see what the exhaust is doing.

So far the data has been sporadic at best. (Is the TRD ball-valve to blame? Or just the slow refresh rate of my digital meter?) As this is a 2-bar MAP sensor with a 0-5 v range, 2.5 volts is 1-bar (or 0 PSI gauge pressure) and 5 volts is 2-bar (or 14.69 PSI gauge pressure). At an idle I've seen both 2.5 volts and over 3 volts. Then I've seen as high as 3.9 volts (8.23 PSI) at near redline, full boost, and also 4.2 volts (9.9 PSI!!) just cruising at 40 MPH. How can back pressure be higher at simple cruising speeds? :headscratch: I know there will be many variables including heat that is affecting the pressure reading, so I am already writing code for the Propeller that will use delayed and averaged throttle angle adjustments.

One thing I'd like to add is that I do have experience in this field. For my circuits lab in college, my semester project was this very device on a Yamaha YZF600R. I had one partner and we used a Parallax BASIC Stamp (link (, which is less sophisticated than the Propeller, and it worked great. We simply attached a spare SR20DE throttle body I had directly to the end of the bike's tail pipe, and used an automotive MAP sensor to operate the throttle body with a standard R/C servo (the servo approach which I plan to use again). It was great, the bike was extremely quiet at cruising speeds and then as you went full throttle it would start off quiet and then progressively get louder and louder all the way to redline. I still have my old program, it's in a different language, P-BASIC, but many parts of it I've already carried over into the language of the Propeller which is called Spin. :yesnod:

I don't want to make too many assumptions until I get some real numbers. The first thing I need to do is get the Propeller installed to read the exhaust pressure voltage, throttle TPS voltage, and engine RPM. Then I will have enough data to know if this is going to work on an actual car exhaust or not.

Why 2-bar? It was only a guess. Does exhaust back pressure in an exhaust of this size exceed 14.69 PSI? Do I need a 3-bar? I won't know until I start logging data. As these are 0-5 volt sensors, the higher the range the sensor has, the less resolution I'll have to work with. So hopefully I don't need a 3 or 4 bar sensor, or whatever. I'll be able to be more precise with a 2-bar so I went with it first. To get a baseline, one thought is to install my stock exhaust and do full RPM runs while collecting data. Then, reinstall my new exhaust and adjust the exhaust throttle so that it runs the same back pressure (or ideally higher) as the stock system when I'm just normally cruising around. I haven't done this yet, but, because I'll have to smog my car by next Feb, I'll get the chance soon enough. ;)

In case you are wondering why I am basing the exhaust throttle off of exhaust back pressure rather than throtle body throttle angle via the already existing TPS, consider what would happen with a low back pressure exhaust system and cam timing with increased valve overlapping (for top end power) when you roll into the throttle in 6th gear at 2,500 RPM. Without back pressure, incoming intake charge will easily escape out with outgoing exhaust charge resulting in a loss of bottom end torque. Hence why big exhausts and big cams loose bottom end and have poor idle characteristics. So if I based the exhaust throttle on my intake throttle, then the exhaust throttle would respond at low RPMs when I don't want it to. So rather I need to base it on the back-pressure itself.

Alternatively, it can be based off of a look-up table which I have also begun programming. I'll need to get some data collected first, but I plan to have two circuits just like the ECU, open and closed loops. If you are really on it, racing around in the hills, I'll be going from full throttle, then zero throttle for gear shift, and back to full throttle ... so the exhaust back pressure is going to be all over the place. Therefore I am planing to use timers and other metrics, such as engine RPM and engine load, to determine if I am going to read from the exhaust MAP sensor or switch to a pre-defined table of values. :thumbs: :thumbs: :thumbs:

Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: yoshimitsuspeed on October 31, 2014, 05:49:03 PM
The Eaton M series are a tiny bit more efficient but not all that much. Not enough to be worth switching to in my book.

It has always pissed me off that Whipple claims 85% efficiency but any map you find for their product shows not much better than the 60s.
I feel like the twinscrew manufacturers twist numbers a lot more to make them look more competitive with turbos when they are not. They are slightly better than roots but I have yet to see one that is significantly better.
After extensive discussion with Sprintex I did learn that they act as a big heat sink which means that while they are absorbing the heat they are making they can have outlet temps lower than their rated efficiency would expect but once they are heat soaked they will crank out very hot air and can quickly get dangerously hot. This means that for high pressure ratios they can work okay on drag cars or dyno queens where they have time to cool down after a short pull but are not nearly as well suited to extended use unless the pressure is kept much lower.

Whatever the case if you are keeping the pressure ratio low like you are then it's not a bad choice. You will have more outlet heat than a turbo would but at 10 PSI it's not hard to get rid of most of it. water/meth injection will also definitely help.

I'm not sure what your budget or goals are. Most people aren't interested in going into the motor but in a case like yours where making power at limited boost is concerned one of the biggest things you can do is increase the compression.
I have not studied the effects of compression on emissions but I would think as long as you kept it low enough to maintain stock cams and ignition timing you should be able to pass. Bigger cams would help making more power per PSI and allow you to run even more compression but I don't know how much cam you could run before being noticed or failing the sniffer.
I am used to tuning on 91 at 6k feet so I usually figure it's not much harder than tuning near sea level most places that get 93 octane but I'm guessing you only have 91 and at sea level that still limits things a bit.
Still though even on 91 I bet you could run around 10/1 at 10 PSI.
That's all hypothetical but I'd be confident enough to try it on a motor of mine with stock 16v cams. I'd just want good detonation monitoring.
If you are doing water/meth injection then you could set it up pretty near the limits of detonation without it. Just good enough to pass emissions and not blow up if it ran dry or failed.
Now I'm interested to know more about the effect of emissions on compression.
All the good articles I found in a quick search was on diesel though.

Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: STUPID FAST on December 11, 2014, 04:51:47 PM
all this work for just to run 14's lol
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: Sirdeuce on January 28, 2015, 06:33:44 PM
Not the 1/4 mile time that is important, or how fast you go. It's what you actually do to get there!
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on February 18, 2015, 11:36:41 AM
Just realized I really need to get this thread updated :hammerhead: Been busy over here :wave: Just got my car smogged last week so it's currently 100% stock... for... another... two days :gap:
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on February 28, 2015, 05:41:46 PM

I have finally made a new YouTube page just for my MR2! Check it out here: ( (Google/YT have really upped the requirements for a custom channel URL so for now this ugly link will have to do)

Let's see... Well, a LOT has happened since October 19th :gap:

Oct 20, 2014: Improved flow through exhaust throttle

The next day I pulled the throttle off and ground it down to open it up / improve flow.

Oct 21, 2014: Fixed water & oil leaks, New Front Bushings

The day after that I fixed a water leak (had a bad radiator petcook), finally got the new front bushings installed, and addressed an oil leak.

The oil leak has been quite annoying. It resulted from when I plugged off the driver's side axle seal to clean the transmission when it was out of the car. I happened to pop the spring off the backside of the seal and couldn't get it reinstalled from the outside-in. So I had to remove the seal, place the spring back in it's grove in the back of the seal, and then reinstall the seal. And yes, I know it's risky to R&R seals but at the time I just wanted to get my car running and there was always a chance I'd get it back together okay.

So fast forward to Oct 21 and I bought a new axle seal from the dealer, drained the transaxle, removed the old seal (which I'd installed new during the 6-speed conversion), and when I went to install the new seal, RETARDED me bought an original seal for a 1987 MR2 -- WELL IDIOT I don't have the original transaxle anymore now do I :smack:

So, I reinstalled FOR A SECOND TIME the leaking seal and added silicone around it's OD got good measure. I am 99.9% sure it's gonna leak and I'll have to drain the whole thing all over again :slap:

The bushings installed great. I spent extra time really cleaning up the bushing mounts on the chassis, being sure to remove all traces of the 27-year old original bushings. Also cleaned up the threads on the control rods and added a lot of anti-seize to prevent rust and make for painless alignment adjustments. I'll need to get everything realigned before I come to a full conclusion but I want to wait until I get new tires....
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on February 28, 2015, 06:33:09 PM
Oct 22, 2014: New shoes and re-aligned!

Moving right along the very next day I got new tires installed :booya:

I've always been a Bridgestone guy (Japanese-company and made in Japan!) and my outgoing Potenza RE-11 have been the best tires I've ever used. I installed my old tires two years prior, back at reply #252 (, when I had 268,400 miles. So I managed two years 3 days and 29,236 miles on these tires which included driving for multiple months with known bad rear alignment and no rotating

30k miles from "200" treadwear and "AA" traction-rated soft tires with all the crazy driving I do? I'm happy with that!! That's 60-cents per day to have arguably the best DOT tires in my tire size. So worth it!

Also got the alignment done (of course) and yeah the rear was waaaaay outta whack. I need to find the paperwork but the new alignment was really strange in the front. I requested to have a negative 2.0 for both front ends and this is what the report listed:
Before: -1.9 / -2.1 (left/right)
After: -1.5 / -2.0

(at least I think this is what it was, I gotta find my paperwork to be sure, but I remember it was similar to this)

I looked at it for a moment and said, ummmm Why is the driver's front only -1.5? And he said that was the max he could get. Clearly the before reading showed more than this so what was he talking about? Well, I'm maybe too nice of a guy and I gave him a dirty/strange look and then just said Ok thanks and left. I guess I should have demanded they put the car back on the rack? and then what, they might screw it up even more because I'm being "picky" ? Anyway, I'm still happy, it's more camber than what the stock suspension could muster! (see my thread Simple DIY Extra Camber ( for how I modified my front suspension for more negative camber)

Ohh, I almost forgot, Bridgestone updated the RE-11s to a new "RE-11A" model. According to Tirerack's description (,
Quote from: Tirerack
"Sharing the tread design of the popular Potenza RE-11, the Potenza RE-11A adds an exclusive tread compound that combines silica with a new long-link carbon black to increase road contact and abrasion resistance while promoting tread rubber flexibility across a range of cool to hot temperatures."

I can't say I notice a difference with the updated "A" compound because...
1) The tires are new, larger diameter, and nice and soft.
2) I also installed new bushings so its very different now.

Which brings me to the new bushings. Now that I've got 100% new bushings all around, here is my review of them: They are softer, car feels less responsive, and I've gained body roll. I felt it straight away even before changing tires. And this makes sense. I mean the old bushings were SO LONG GONE and had become very hard and from the constant tightening and tightening and tightening for all the alignments I've had over the years, it was to the point that it was nearly like metal-on-metal. I think it was just all the hype that you read about, all the marketing and improvements new bushings are supposed to make. I think this is comparing good useable stock bushings, not highly worn out and brick-hard bushings.

Nevertheless, the car rides much smoother, less vibrations in the steering wheel, and it rides over off-kiltered dips in the road much better. I can tell the car feels more firmly connected to the ground, it just has a slight delay in feedback that I didn't have before.

Last image: 300k here we come!! :party:
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on February 28, 2015, 08:25:24 PM
Oct 27, 2014: Mounted Servo to exhaust!

It took 15 days after building the exhaust to get the servo hooked up. It's not powered or being controlled yet, just installed. The original, rather large DC motor that came with the throttle has a planetary reduction drive which makes it near impossible to move on its own. Therefore all this time I've just had the exhaust set at the full open throttle position, and I'm going to do the same with the servo, however the servo is much easier to move to it remains to be seen if the throttle will behave and stay where I set it between now and whenever I can it connected to the micro controller.

On to some pics!

Pic 1: Here is the servo on my old, trusty Axial AX10 Rock Crawler. This is a very nice servo with a crap load of torque for a 1/10th size R/C servo. 333 oz-in torque to be exact and uses titanium gears (specs ( This servo is most likely overkill for this but I figure I hardly ever use the Axial for R/C Competition anymore (I did for a while, which is why I built it -- see a sweeeet video of it in action when I first built it here ( so what good is it doing sitting around in my garage when it could be powering a SWEEEEET 4A-GZE EXHAUST SYSTEM :beerchug:

Pic 2: These are my pair of NTE962 6-volt Voltage Regulators I ran during competition, capable of 2-amps continuous / 4.4-amps peak draw (which is plenty) (data sheet ( I used this to power the servo on my Axial, which is how I was getting over 300 oz-in of torque from it. Well, guess what? I need these guys anyway because I can't run the servo on my car's 12 volt system so it's perfect!

Pic 3: Here I am tearing my ol' friend's steering system apart

Pic 4: Mounted to the throttle plate! (I can't tell you how many times I've removed this throttle in just these few weeks! :ack: )
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on February 28, 2015, 08:34:05 PM
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on February 28, 2015, 08:49:37 PM
Oct 29: Fixed my infernal S/C switching relay issue!

So ever since I got the car running May 2010, I've burned up three or four of these awesome compact-type automotive relays. (Been finding them in late model Toyota's in the wrecking yards.)

Then one day about a month ago I was driving to work and went to make a lane change on the free way and somehow I was boosting 2 or 3 PSI despite the Supercharger being turned off. I was like...... Waaaaiiiiiiiiiitttt a second here. I remember cycling the S/C on and then back off, gave it some gas, and nothing, just 0 PSI like it should be under normally aspirated power.

So little by little I was able to narrow it down that it wasn't a short anywhere in my wiring by rather FOR SOME CRAZY REASON back in 2010 I installed the relay through the backend of the S/C pulley, through the grounded side of the pulley. So when the relay was switched off, power was still going to the S/C relay and partially charging it's magnetic field :willynilly: which was smoking my lil relays and murdering them!

It took a lot of head scratching and a huge mess of wiring to finally figure this out!! Now I have the relay on the proper hot side of the S/C pulley so that once the relay is switched off, no matter what, when the ECU wants the S/C switched on IT IS PLAINLY S.O.L. Ahhhhhh FINALLY.

Pic 1: A lot of work to eventually find the issue!
Pic 2: The relay now on the proper (hot) side of the S/C magnetic clutch pulley :smokin:

And lastly, dun dun dun, the Throttle came off yet again and, drum roll please, THE PROPELLER HAS MADE IT'S FIRST APPEARANCE!!!!! :boobs: .....however I ran out of time and had to put the throttle all back together and drive home :tease: But it's getting closer to having my own on board programmable micro controller! I can almost feel it!
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on February 28, 2015, 09:08:29 PM
Dec 5, 2014: Got the first line of code operating the servo!

I was gone to Japan for half of November and as such didn't do any work to my car :gap: But when I returned I was very eager to get this Propeller hooked up and here it is in operation for the first time!!

I found the positional limits of the servo's sweep range of fully closed to fully open throttle and wrote a simple test program. Let me see if I kept it, hang on...

...ok I found it!! Check it out:

Code: [Select]
int main()                                    // main function
  servo_angle(16, 720);         // Exhaust fully closed
  servo_angle(16, 1535);        // Exhaust Fully Open
  servo_angle(16, 720);         // Exhaust fully closed

And that's that! Now I just need to get it all wired in and I can begin dialing it in with feedback from the MAP sensor! :party:
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on February 28, 2015, 09:27:30 PM
Dec 6, 2014: Propeller Installed!!

The next day I got the Propeller installed!!! WOOOOOHOOOOOOOOOOOO :woohoo:

Pic 1: Wiring up new 5vdc circuits (see pic 3 description), preparing to route signal wires to the cabin

Pic 2: Got a second MAP sensor installed near my intake which I'll use to read intake pressure (it's proper use :yupyup: ) to control my Water/Alcohol injection system, full programmability via the Propeller board. :booya:

Pic 3: Got a bit to explain here. According to what's printed on the Propeller itself, it requires 6 to 9 volts to operate. Knowing that I already had 6 volt clamps (previously robbed from my R/C Crawler) and that the MAP sensors run on 5vdc, I decided to pick up some 5 volt clamps, finding them on Amazon (product link (, and move the 6 volt clamps to the cab for the Propeller. Done.

Note: Later I would find that this online product guide ( claims 4 to 16 volts is acceptable. This would have been much easier as I could just tie it into my car's main power system. But why then is the circuit board printed differently... Well probably best to be safe than sorry so I'm leaving it the way it is.

Pic 4: Whenever you see me whip out my old grocery bags of wires from engine conversions past you know it's gonna be a fun time up in here!
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on February 28, 2015, 09:33:41 PM
Dec 6, 2014 (continued)

Pic 1: Pulled Intercooler, cleaned up some wiring and routed the two MAP sensor signal wires and the servo serial wire through engine bay.

Pic 2: Circuits making their way to the interior.

Pic 3: Connecting Propeller power to ACC power -- while the sensors and servo are configured to ON power.

Pic 4: First time in my life I've ever had a laptop plugged into and communicating with my MR2! Such a great moment in our near-16 year history together :love:
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on February 28, 2015, 09:50:06 PM
Dec 7, 2014: Exhaust Program Demo plus first revision

The keen eye will note from my previous post that I've got a fancy 4x20 blue LCD screen (using a LCD117 ( connected :bling: So here is live footage from the very next morning of operation!!
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on February 28, 2015, 10:41:15 PM
Dec 7, 2014 and later, Holidays, New Year...: Exhaust Valve Revisions and Tuning

Been busy with holidays and needed time anyhow to get things all dialed in. For starters, those el-cheap-o eBay China special MAP sensors are A COMPLETE PILE OF CRAP. No wonder they were only half price and no wonder I was getting sporadic reading as reported back at reply #349 (, THEY ARE JUNK. Fortunately I had a real genuine GM sensor, the new type ACDelco P/N 12615136, that I had bought prior to the eBay sensors and hadn't returned to the dealer yet. So on it went.

Because I'm posting this now 2 months old, it's sort of foggy as to when I made the change, but I have to report that the exhaust back pressure monitoring is not the way to go and I plugged off the line at the exhaust and moved the MAP sensor to the intake.

Looking back I can't say for sure what the exact issue was, but between unknown factors of how hot the exhaust is (in real time) and loosing pressure through that dang TRD balljoint, I could never get a steady, reliable, and meaningful reading from the exhaust itself to base calculations off of. I decided to switch to the real MAP, the actual Manifold Pressure instead and man oh man has it been wonderful. :thumbs:

I've since done 12 revisions to my program and it is pretty much all dialed in now. The difference this has made has BEEN AWESOME! The car is much quieter while cruising on the freeway but also comes FULLY alive whenever you put your foot in it!

The biggest thing I've had to troubleshoot and work with is what happens between full and no throttle. As I'm now basing exhaust throttle adjustments on intake pressure, these things change quite rapidly with a mechanically driven Supercharger :yesnod:

Switching over to MAP readings actually hasn't been as shortcoming or as negative as anticipated. Because I'm not likely to run full throttle at lower RPMs (as I'd rather downshift than kill my engine), concern about low RPM backpressure is kept in check.

One last thing to note is that after some testing I've found that my peak boost is somewhere around 11.75 PSI. Earlier on reply #347 ( I claimed peak boost was "11.25 PSI" but it's certainly closer to 12 PSI now with proof from a digital MAP sensor. There is a bit more to discuss regarding peak boost and I'll mention it below...

Here is a list of revisions I've done so far:
  Initial Release

v1.1 (Dec 6, 2014)
  Bug Fixes:
   Throttle % vaules were displaying outside of 0-100%
  New Features:
   High Boost mode using a less restrictive Line EQ to prevent throttle
          from slamming shut between shifts
   Display Boost in PSI
   Display Peak Boost and reset on each gear change
   Minimum throttle is now 10% at < 0.8 volts (observed warm idle vdd)
   Maximum throttle now occurs at > 4.5 volts (11.75 PSI)

v1.11 (Dec 7, 2014)
  New Feature:
   Now displaying Absolute Throttle Angle
   Now displaying Throttle Angle along with Peak Boost per shift

v1.12 (Dec 7, 2014)
   Main Line EQ reverted back to 720 baseline to have an Absolute Throttle Angle value
   Minimum throttle is now 20%
   High Boost Line EQ now comes in at 2.25v
   Rewrote psipeak section

v1.13 (Dec 7, 2014)
  Bug Fix:
   High Boost mode was not using it's conservative Line EQ under vacuum (the exact reason why it's needed!)
   Changed "highboost" to "boost": Highboost mode is now simply Boost mode
   Cleaned up some code
   Lowered Boost mode to 10 iterations

v1.14 (Dec 8, 2014)
   Drastically reworked and optimized LCD Display code
   Got rid of Text Refresh code since LCD code is improved
   New Integer Math to display numbers to two decimal points
   Moved Boost Mode up above servoabsolute to get accurate throttle angle reading
   Changed Boost mode from 2.55 to 2.5
   Added asterix to Throttle reading when in Boost Mode
   Changed Initial to count down rather than count up
   Added Initial checking to prevent Boost and Peak displays from activating during cranking
   Changed Initial vdd detection level from 2 to 1.25

v1.15 (Dec 10, 2014)
   Removed unused "angle" variable and related functions
   Returned to 0.5v|720 Line EQ
   Cleaned up more comments
   Raised Boost mode from 15 to 20 iterations
   Added code for a 25% minimum mode while not idling
      There are now three modes: Idle (20%), Cruise (25%), and 25%+

v1.155 (Dec 11, 2014)
  Bug Fixes:
   Corrected possible IF statement error concerning 25% throttle cruising mode
   Replaced all <= and >= with <,> and moved numbers up/down in an attempt to correct possible IF statement errors
   Boost Mode Asterix was set to come on at the old 15 rather than the new 20
   Added an extra space to the Peak display to prevent lingering '0' from appearing
   Reduced main loop pause from 150 to 100 to try to combat quick changes in vdd (55ms is about as fast as it can go)
   Also increased LCD pauses from 5ms to 10ms to be nice to LCD. Overall refresh is still improved
   Removed Terminal debugging code. Just pull from previous versions if needed
   Changed PSI conversion from 14.69 to 14.6959 due to accuracy concerns

v1.156 (Dec 14, 2014)
  Bug Fix:
   Added extra blank space to the end of MAP display
   Reduced refresh rate from 100 to 125ms
   Increased Idle to 25% and Cruise to 30% throttle

v1.157 (Dec 15, 2014)
  Bug Fix:
   Changed subsequent servo IF statements to ELSE IF since servo only needs to be set once
   Added ignition in ACC position triggering for Initial mode (when vdd=0)
   Attempting to widen the range of 30% by shifting the trigger for 25%|924 to be 1.1v|843
   Experimenting with 35% Cruise instead of 30%

v1.158 (Dec 24, 2014)
  Bug Fix:
   35% Cruise displayed 34.1 instead of 35%. Now it's gonna be 35.1% I think
   Idle circuit is now 27.5% instead of 25% and also now activates below 1.0v (instead of 1.1v)

v1.159 (Dec 28, 2014)
   Sending initial 100% Servo command before the 4sec LCD delay so I don't have to wait for it anymore
   servo float variable is now an integer before being sent to the servo
     Now we can do anything we like with servo, so adjusted to get just the right thr% display for idle/cruise modes
   Lowered idle mode activation to below 0.9v (instead of 1.0v)

Basically with all the driving I do I get a lot of time to test out and consider how to improve the code. I'll make notes on my cell phone and when I get back home I'll pull out the laptop and USB cable and update code.

Here is an explanation of the display:
Throttle -- This is the actual % open of the exhaust throttle.
MAP -- This is the actual voltage reading from the MAP sensor now installed to the intake system
PSI -- This is the voltage signal converted to pounds per square inch. Negative means it's operating under vacuum.
Peak -- This is the highest registered PSI in between boost and no-boost conditions (ie. a gear change).

And here come some shots of various displays throughout my progression:

Pic 1: One of the earliest pics I took. This is from code version 1.1 with alllll the digits showing and overall had a clunky and slow refresh rate.

Pic 2: This is after version 1.11 where I added the Throttle Angle that was occuring at the time of (that particular) peak boost. You can see that after a while I would get random characters on the first row overwritten by numbers. It took me a while to figure this one out

Pic 3: Same sort of text getting messed up on the first row of characters. Peak boost here is nearly what I have the throttle set for for 100%, or 11.75 PSI. So at 11.6 PSI the throttle is only opened 99.71% of the way.

Pic 4: This is at version 1.14 where I "Drastically reworked and optimized LCD Display code". This was the first milestone release, fixing multiple rendering bugs including the number overlay error mentioned in pics 2 & 3 allowing for a more responsive refresh rate.
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on February 28, 2015, 10:53:04 PM
Here is video from the above pic of revision 1.14 in action. This is essentially how the display looks today:
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on February 28, 2015, 11:07:33 PM
And lastly, here is a collection of pictures I've taken from unusually high peak boost levels. They are very rare to find, only happening these 8 times over the past 3 months. I am convinced these spikes are occurring when the throttle is at 50% closed (from revision 1.14 and onwards under "Boost Mode" the throttle may only revert to a minimum of 50% closed until a certain number of readings from the MAP sensor are obtained) and the engine is told to go full power.

I believe that for a slight moment back pressure in the exhaust builds up enough to slow air exiting the chambers allowing the boost to spike.

And the only way to know this and to fully understand what is happening is to not take 1 single reading of peak, as we don't know when and for how long peak was observed, but rather to view the entire boost duration as a curve. And this my friends is what I intend to do tomorrow, the first day of March 2015, as I begin DATA LOGGING!! WOO HOO CAN'T WAIT but I am super tired and must get to sleep. I do have a few more updates such as reverting my more efficient and less polluting intake to the less efficient and more polluting intake and smogging my car but I'll have to post about that another time.

As always thanks for reading and catch ya later!

Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on February 28, 2015, 11:13:49 PM
Before I call it a day I'd like to share my latest Propeller version, v1.159, that has been serving my MR2 for two solid months!

Quote from: BigMike's Exhaust Program
// Exhaust Program v1.159 (Dec 28, 2014)

// Connect Yellow Servo lead to Servo connection P12
// Connect Black/Yellow MAP wire to A/D3
// Connect LCD to P2

#include "simpletools.h"
#include "adcDCpropab.h"
#include "servo.h"

const int ON  = 22;
const int CLR = 12;

int main()
  serial *lcd = serial_open(2, 2, 0, 9600);
  adc_init(21, 20, 19, 18);

  float vdd, servo, servoprev = 0, servoabsolute, psi, psipeak = 0;
  int initial = 30, boost = 0, i = 0, n, d, throttlepeak = 0;

  servo_angle(12, 1535);                           // Set servo to full throttle
  pause(2000);                                     // Four seconds for safe LCD start-up
  servo_angle(12, 1535);                           // Ensure Servo got the signal through the ignition cycling...
  servo_angle(12, 1535);
  dprint(lcd, "?y0?x00Thr:");
  dprint(lcd, "?y1?x00MAP:");
  dprint(lcd, "?y2?x00PSI:");
  dprint(lcd, "?y3?x00Peak:");
    vdd = adc_volts(3);

    servo = (203.75 * vdd + 618);                  // Line EQ of 0.5v|720 to 4.5v|1535
    if (servo > 1535)
      servo = 1535;
    else if ((servo < 1005.3) && (servo > 802))
      servo = 1005.3;                              // Cruise: Fixed 35% open (for values between 27.5-35%)
    else if (servo < 803)
      servo = 944.5;                               // Idle: Fixed 27.5% open (for vdd values under 1.0)

    if (vdd == 0)                                  // Reset Initial mode if the Key goes to ACC
      initial = 30;
    if (initial > 0) {                             // Initial Controls before engine is running. Modify iterations at top of file.
      servo = 1535;                                // Wide open throttle for start-up.
      if (vdd < 1.25)                              // vdd only drops this low once the engine is running & idling
        initial = initial - 1;                     // Engine has just started up! Delay some iterations to hold the thorttle open

    psi = ((vdd - 2.5) * 14.6959) / (5 - 2.5);     // Convert MAP Voltage to PSI.

    // Boost Mode (limit min throttle between boosted gear shifts)
    if ((vdd > 2.5) && (initial == 0))
      boost = 20;                                  // Number of iterations to remain in "Boost Mode"
    if (boost > 0) {
      if (servo < 1128)
        servo = 1128;                              // Minimum 50% closed
      if (boost == 20) {
        dprint(lcd, "?y0?x05*");                   // Add asterix when Boost Mode is enabled
      boost = boost - 1;
      if (boost == 0) {
        dprint(lcd, "?y0?x05 ");                   // Remove asterix
    servoabsolute = ((servo - 720) * 100) / (1535 - 720);

    // Throttle Display
    n = (int) servoabsolute;
    if (n > 99)
      dprint(lcd, "?y0?x06%d  ", n);
    else if ((n < 100) && (n > 9)) {
      d = (int) (servoabsolute * 10) - (n * 10);
      dprint(lcd, "?y0?x06%d.%d", n, d);
    else {
      d = (int) ((servoabsolute + 0.05) * 10) - (n * 10);
      dprint(lcd, "?y0?x06%d.%d ", n, d);

    // MAP Display
    n = (int) vdd;
    d = (int) ((vdd + 0.005) * 100) - (n * 100);
    dprint(lcd, "?y1?x06%d.%d ", n, d);

    // PSI Display
    n = (int) psi;
    if (psi < 0)
      d = abs((int) ((psi - 0.005) * 100) - (n * 100));
      d = (int) ((psi + 0.005) * 100) - (n * 100);
    if (n > 9)
      dprint(lcd, "?y2?x06%d.%d ", n, d);
    else if ((n < 10) && (n > -1))
      dprint(lcd, "?y2?x05 %d.%d  ", n, d);
    else if ((n < 0) && (n > -10))
      dprint(lcd, "?y2?x05 %d.%d  ", n, d);
      dprint(lcd, "?y2?x06%d.%d", n, d);

    // Peak Display
    if ((psi > 0) && (psi > psipeak) && (initial == 0)) { // Using Initial from above prevents possible peak reading during cranking
      psipeak = psi;
      throttlepeak = (int) ((servo - 720) * (100))/(1535 - 720);
      n = (int) psi;
      d = (int) ((psi + 0.005) * 100) - (n * 100);
      if (n < 10)
        dprint(lcd, "?y3?x06%d.%d @ %d  ", n, d, throttlepeak);
        dprint(lcd, "?y3?x06%d.%d @ %d", n, d, throttlepeak);
    if ((psi < 0) && (psipeak > 0))
      psipeak = 0;                                 // Reset Peak on gear change

    servo = (int) servo;                           // Convert to whole number before sending to servo
    if (servo != servoprev)
      servo_angle(12, servo);                      // Send angle to servo only if new
    servoprev = servo;

Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on March 01, 2015, 12:46:52 AM
Hey guys, I'm still awake, figured I would share some recent shots of my MR2 since it's been a while. I've just been busying driving and enjoying this fine piece of machinery! Also been enjoying some really thick fog
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on March 05, 2015, 09:27:59 PM
Alright guys here come some updates!

And this my friends is what I intend to do tomorrow, the first day of March 2015, as I begin DATA LOGGING!! WOO HOO CAN'T WAIT
Ok so before I continue with this I forgot I skipped some updates!

Dec 29, 2014: My baby turned 300,000!

On Friday Dec 26 I was driving to San Jose when my mileage was within 200 miles of turning over 300k, shown in the first pic below. Knowing that round trip is more than this, I prepared to capture this golden moment on video when my baby had her 300k birthday!

Here is a very short (7 sec) clip of my testing out my camera to see how well it would record during the trip to SJ:

Skipping ahead to the following Monday, Dec 29, and I was on Highway 101 heading toward Gilroy when.... I...... ummm.... FORGOT ALL ABOUT IT!!! :smack: :smack: :smack:

The entire weekend had passed and I hadn't even so much as looked at my car -- I forgot all about the glorious moment.

Fortunately for some reason while approaching the Morgan Hill area I happened to look down and realize that the moment had past and in a panic I ripped open my computer bag, pulled out my camera case, pulled out the camera, and was able to capture a few good pics of the aftermath.

Thank you SO MUCH Toyota for this AMAZING car that has given me SO MUCH JOY over my last 16 years of life. I wish I could personally thank all the employees who made this possible. This truly is one awesome car! Many more thousands to come, thank you my dearly beloved 1987 AW11 MR2! :bowdown:
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on March 05, 2015, 09:45:05 PM
Jan 17, 2015: Suspension almost fell apart! :shocking:

Christmas, New Years was pretty busy, then we were working on hiring a few new employees and gearing up for the busy spring season and I generally didn't have anytime for the car. Was just driving to and from SJ each weekend. I can't say when but I started hearing some sort of clunk coming from the engine. I first thought it was a loose engine mount so I double checked them and they were all fine. Then the noise would go away for a while and then I'd hear it a few times and then nothing for a few days. Was it something rolling around in my trunk? Some hose slapping the firewall? Really strange...

Then I began noticing that my car was pulling to the right under acceleration and to the left while coasting. I wrote it off as low air pressure (which I checked visually) or just the road was crowned and for some reason I just hadn't noticed it before. Then it started getting pretty bad, so bad that I'd have to apply opposite steering in between full boosted shifts to maintain a straight line.

Something was clearly messed up.

So I returned to San Jose late Friday night Jan the 16th and went to bed. I waited for daylight the next morning and promptly went out to have a look at the suspension. I actually first propped open the hood to get more light shining down and when I leaned into the body to hold the hood up and prop it, my eye caught something moving from beneath the intake manifold and beneath the engine. I looked and didn't see anything moving, and then retraced my steps, leaned into the car and THERE IT WAS the FREAK'N AXLE SHAFT WAS MOVING FORWARD AND REARWARD about an inch.

I :headscratch: for a moment and was like.... WAIT A MINUTE... CONTROL ROD! Jumped down to my knees and IMMEDIATELY saw this. Whatcha guys think? Pretty sweet eh? :hyper: :thud:
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on March 05, 2015, 09:55:43 PM

Thank you my guardian Angel for watching over this one. Ohhh man one of the most scariest things that nearly happened to me with this car. That could have been a complete mess while totally stranding me out on highway 152 somewhere, or up in Pachaco pass, could have happened during a hard left corner, could have lost it, who knows. Very fortunate I caught this.

The only explanation is that 2 months prior on Oct 22 the guy who did my alignment did not properly torque the control rod nut. Wow.

Over the next few weeks this stupid nut would keep coming loose. I'd tighten it and a few days later I'd notice the car pulling to the right again under acceleration, and sure enough the nut was backing off. So I eventually just double nutted it (and the other side for good measure). I'm not even gonna play any games here.
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on March 05, 2015, 10:11:13 PM
Feb 6, 2015: Preparing Exhaust for Smog

As ranted at reply #339 ( I explained my reasons for forgoing smog equipment. I am all for obeying the law but when the law cares more about controlling the populace rather than emissions causing my fuel mileage to drop 5 MPG where I drive more than 350 miles per week in a state with the most expensive gasoline in the country due to poor government and voter decisions I say they can all suck my balls.

Feb 14, 2015 is my next smog day so it's time to get crack'n.

As mentioned before, I designed my intake to be readily restored back to stock using only basic hand tools. Unfortunately however, TRD did not make their Toyota-approved exhaust header smog legal so by using it I've effectively made my bi-annual smog inspections much harder. It's an official Toyota MR2 part that I cannot legally use on my Toyota MR2. Thanks California voters. :rolleyes:

So step one: Out with the efficient exhaust. I'll let the pics do most of the talking.

Pic 1: How my lovely 4A-GZE is doing

Pic 2: I noticed like a retad I installed one expansion spring backwards. Why did I do this? Was I experimenting when I was building the exhaust and just forgot to fix it?? So strange and it will get replaced correctly.

Pic 3: How my exhaust setup looks

Pic 4: Throttle Servo is doing GREAT! No discoloration, standing up to the heat and road grime just fine! It's even rained a few days and caused no issues.

Pic 5: TRD Header including it's lengthy downpipe arrangement weighs 14.8 lbs

Pic 6: Stock S/C manifold - only itself - weighs 16.8

I didn't get any pictures but I weighed both systems:
Entire stock exhaust system from cylinder head to tip: 55.9 lbs
Entire BigMike exhaust system from cylinder head to tip: 36.3 lbs :booya:

Noise difference:
WHEW stock system is much quieter at full throttle :yupyup: But idling actually it's only slightly more quiet. Cruising it is certainly more quiet but not as much of a difference as I was expecting. Still though, it's nice being quiet. But to trade for the power? Ahhhh how about No. :yupyup:

Power difference:
DEFINITELY less power at the top end. It doesn't pull as hard above 6,500 rpm. Just feels a bit flat up there. It is still registering 11.75 psi boost on my gauge, but the very high top end is certainly dull.
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on March 05, 2015, 10:32:42 PM
Feb 8, 2015: Preparing Intake for Smog

This was the much easier part of the job so I didn't take that many pics. I did take extra time going back to my old pics to make sure all stock parts were accounted for.

As designed, the process was super easy. I spent more time ensuring all vacuum lines were correct than the actual physical labor of switching out the parts.

Pic 1: IC removed, showing my straight shot intake through the 3S-GTE turbo throttle body.

Pic 2: The awesome 120-degree stainless pipe simply connected to the stock S/C inlet manifold.

Pic 3: One piece air filter assembly extraction.
Pic 4: Everything all back together and my car now 100% smog legal and inefficient :hammerhead:
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on March 05, 2015, 10:37:54 PM

:shocking: So check this out guys!! :shocking:

Going off my boost gauge, peak boost dropped from 11.75 PSI to just 9.5 PSI! I didn't change anything but the intake leading up to the stock S/C inlet manifold. Same crank and S/C pulley (don't need to change those for smog) and was making the same 11.75 PSI after reverting to stock exhaust two days prior.

Only non-stock mod here is my smaller 110mm S/C pulley (~10mm smaller than stock, more info at reply #330 ( and of course the ABV mod for > 8psi boost.

So there you have it. Toyota designed an uber restrictive intake system, which is precisely why I built my own. I do have a big advantage with the stock battery gone. But yeah, 2-1/4 PSI in boost gain purely from my own custom intake is just awesome :smokin:

Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on March 05, 2015, 10:47:10 PM
Feb 11, 2015: Smogged and registered :thumbs:

And finally the moment you've been waiting for, my baby is good for yet another two more years


She passed with flying colors on the high speed but barely sneaked by on the low speed test. Hydrocarbons were pretty high. I'm betting that with both cams slightly retarded by the thinner MLS head gasket it's allowing more unburned fuel to get out than normal. Passing is passing and I'm freak'n glad that is over with.

After smogging the car I immediately left for San Jose. Upon returning back to Fresno, combined city+highway fuel mileage to and from the bay area? 23.3 MPG. With this sort of city+hwy use with my improved intake/exhaust I'm certain to make at least 28 MPG. Will be very interesting to see what happens after I put my parts back on and make another trip across state. :_order:
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on April 19, 2015, 11:46:12 AM
Feb 19 & 21, 2015: Efficient mode in two nights

Got everything back to normal in two shots. Did the intake on the 19th (took about 2 hrs) and then the Exhaust on the 22nd (took about 3 hrs).

Spent extra time with the intake marking things and carefully organizing and stowing parts in my garage. Also got some fiberglass-less pipe insulation ( and wrapped up all piping before the S/C.

The hardest part with the intake is that I have to transfer my TPS and ABV back and forth, taking time to align each one. Of course the TPS must be carefully set, but the way my custom intake uses the ABV backwards, it also must be aligned and carefully lowered simultaneously with the intake manifold inlet. Also I'm using Hi Tack gasket sealer at the manifold inlet so it takes time to clean it up and reseal. I'll definitely find some spares before 2017.

Also found a few issues with the exhaust: EGR bolt threads at the header needed to be cleaned out, modified how I'm mounting my AFM to make it easier to access the EGR valve itself, and I made some changes to my exhaust hanger brackets.

It was nice swaping parts around, less efficient and more polluting smog legal parts VS my more efficient and less polluting custom parts. I got to get things more organized; I'm better prepared for my next smog day.
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on April 19, 2015, 12:12:07 PM
Feb 22, 2015: Replaced Battery, *finally* installed Wide Band O2 gauge!

After almost 5 years my small CNC battery bought the farm. It's been through a lot. Originally installed June 3, 2010 (reply 26 (, it has suffered life without an alternator (reply 119 ( and has been fully drained dead a few times by leaving my spare keys in the car at work powering the subwoofer allllll day long. I remember a few ppl teasing my at work when I first installed it. When they saw me replacing it they asked if it was the 4th or 5th replacement and I was like, wat, I've had the same since 2010! Great lil battery.

It finally died out after I reverted back to my custom intake. I noticed it was really laboring when cranking. Was it just getting old? Then one day it didn't have enough juice to even start-up. My mother brought some jumper cables over and I got it running, and even after trickle charging the rest of the day the battery was still dead after work. I got a new one installed and WOW what a difference! Cranks like crazy now.

Side note: About a week later found out that I had re-plumbed the vacuum lines to my ABV incorrectly and it was closed 100% of the time. (Remember that real trick but also semi-complicated dual-channel check-valve and electronic solenoid vacuum arrangement I designed? See reply 306 ( With that connected wrong, the engine was forced to breath through the stationary S/C and the full IC tract during cranking. This didn't help the old battery and was surely a supporting factor to it's demise, but the battery was on it's last life anyhow so I'm really glad I got it replaced.

Pics installing the battery. Out with the old, in with the new! It is the same battery as before, a MK Power ES17-12. I have to just slightly open up the terminals to fit 6mm Toyota bolts.

Later this same day I _finally_ hooked up my Wide Band O2 gauge!! If you recall from early last October, when I built my new exhaust I also installed my new wide band O2 sensor (reply 334 ( It's been sitting in the exhaust system for almost 5 months, not connected to anything. Was very nice finally getting the gauge portion of the kit installed!

I decided to leave the narrow band O2 gauge installed so that I can compare it with a Wide Band sensor, and my initial thought is that these Wide Bands are really finicky. They are all over the place. Bouncing around and moving A LOT, much more than my narrow gauge. However when you get into an open loop it finally stabilizes and gives nice, good readings. This gauge has a digital output which I plan to get connected to my Propeller to start datalogging. More to come on that later, and also more to come about this gauge's finicky display.
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on April 19, 2015, 12:42:33 PM
Feb 28, 2015: Wide Band Error

.......aaaaaaaand no more than a week went by and my Wide Band stopped working. Error code 8 = Bad O2 sensor.

.......aaaaaaaand then I read the installation guide and it states that the sensor must be calibrated with the gauge BEFORE installing the sensor for the first time.

So that's it. I'm screwed. Also more than 3 months had passed which was the return policy on Amazon I think so tough luck on me. I should have read things more carefully back in October.

And now I think I know why the gauge was so finicky!
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on April 19, 2015, 01:43:40 PM
March 1st, 2015


It is now March and TIME FOR THUNDERHILL!!! I am registered for my FIRST track day event this March 22nd!! I will be participating with NorCal Racing,

T-MINUS 22 DAYS AND COUNTING, and as Keisuke Takahashi would be translated to say, IT'S TIME TO KICK OUT THE JAMS!

Over the past few weeks I have been assembling the following Track Day TODO list. A few things have been accomplished up to this point (and are crossed out) but I haven't been really 'pushing' it yet. But now it's March and I want to get going with this stuff so that I'm not doing everything at the last minute.

BigMike's First Track Day TODO List:

The list has been compiled over the span of about a month, so some things might not make sense and there may be duplicates as I kept writing down things that came to mind while making my weekend commutes.

I've also whittled the list down in terms of importance.

This is the "WHAT HAS TO BE DONE" list:

If I can remember correctly those lists are correct. So as you can image I have a LOT of updates to post which is going to take some time! So that's what I'll be posting next :thumbs:
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on April 19, 2015, 02:08:48 PM
March 1, 2015 (continued): Project "Complete Water Injection" Day 1

I figured that since I've already done work on the water injection  -- incorporating a mount-point in my new intake as well as built a double-sided threaded injector insert -- that I should star with that. I know this will be the most aggressive and therefore the most amount of continued S/C use I've ever done so I really, really want this working before the big day.

As I have a lot of updates, I'm gonna try to limit the chatter and let the pics do the work.

First step was to get the reservoir mounted. If you recall I already got a water injection tank, originally mentioned at reply 304 ( I originally got a 5-quart tank which turned out to be just too tall. So I got a second 4-quart (1 gallon) tank as well which is much more versatile. Will 4-quarts be enough for a 20-25 minute track session? I have no idea. I was supposed to return the 5-qt tank but as you can imagine I was just so busy ... I still have it. $14. Need to see if they'll take it back.

First thing was to see where to install the tank. I want to keep the tank towards the center of the car and also as low as possible.

Engine Bay
I really like the engine bay idea but it gets bloody hot in there and cold water has better performance (requires more heat energy to change it's liquid state to a gas).

Rear Trunk
The trunk mount is maybe best because it's isolated and easy to work on, but I don't like the weight so far back of this already rear-axle-heavy car.

The interior seems nice too because the weight is centralized in the car and I could add water without having to stop...... But, as the cap has a small vent to cope with pressure changes (a nice feature I'd like to keep), I'll have alcohol vapors in the cab which would be horrible. I wonder also if this would be considered an "open container"? :rofl3: "I got a DUI from my Water/Alcohol Injection System." Nevertheless, the seats don't go all the way back with the tank there, so... yeah...

Other places
The tank mounted nicely in a few other places, but it left no of very limited means of refilling, either by partial or complete blockage to the cap. One such place was below my air filter in the cavity in front of the driver's rear tire. There is a TON of space in there, but I'd have to use a cap with a small diameter filler neck/hose (which would take a long time to refill) and I won't be able to easily inspect the water level (since it'd be mostly hidden).

In front of the cab
Placing the tank in front of the cab is good for weight distribution but not good for delay of water supply, or any other sort of pumping/starving concerns. Ideally I'd think it should be kept close to the intake.
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on April 19, 2015, 02:26:31 PM
March 1, 2015 (continued): Project "Complete Water Injection" Day 1 (continued)

So I did something I didn't want to do and that was mount the tank in the trunk. Reasons for this include: Very short distance to intake (other side of the firewall), and I figure I can mount the pump under the trunk so that the tank can sit as low as possible in the trunk.

I did decide to just remove the interior back carpet and insulation (shown removed above), which amounted to almost 17 lbs saved (but yes this water injection is gonna add 20+ lbs).

With the tank firmly mounted as low as possible in the trunk, it was time to get the solenoid mounted. This is 1/4" nylon high pressure line and some random 1/4" solenoid I purchased from Amazon (link ( (more info posted below).
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on April 19, 2015, 02:59:42 PM
March 1, 2015 (continued): Project "Complete Water Injection" Day 1 (continued)

I then moved my attention to testing out the pump, solenoid, and injector. I don't know why but I took like a 45-degree picture, so the picture posted has been rotated and trimmed to get the water tank and injector in view.

Also here is a close-up of the injector. In the past I had only used a low pressure injection system with barbed fittings, but now I'm using high pressure with push / quick disconnect fittings. So I was still trying to gather up parts which is why there are a bunch of different adapters on my injector. I was just trying to test things out at this point.

Here is the setup I'm using:

Water Pump: SHURflow 60 psi pump, p/n 8009-541-236 - $70 on Amazon (link ( This is a tried a true pump for the DIY market: People are using them all over the place. They have a built-in and adjustable pressure switch which is handy when used with an accumulator (described below). There is also a 100 PSI version available but at the time I didn't know about it and bought this one. No regrets, it works great.

Solenoid: Generic made-in-China 1/4" electronic solenoid - $12 on Amazon (link ( The solenoid is used to prevent water from siphoning into the engine under vacuum. There are many better solenoids but for now I'm gonna give this one a shot. Need to make sure even just the basics are working before I can start fine tuning things. In the past I have used low pressure check-valves for this same reason, but I plan to have a constant pressure acting on the solenoid (described below) so for this DIY I need it to be electric.
UPDATE: This solenoid turned out to be a real PILE OF CRAP! Please see reply #426 ( and DON'T BUY THIS $12 Amazon one. I urge you to drop $$ on a good quality solenoid as described in reply 426.

Accumulator: SHURflow Accumulator, p/n 181-201 - $40 on Amazon (link ( The accumulator is used to maintain a minimum set pressure at the front of the solenoid so that the moment the solenoid opens there is always an instant high pressure supply for the injector. Higher pressure = finer mist coming out of injector = more energy (heat) required to change from liquid to vapor.

What is the Accumulator for?
The way it works is that it has an internal bladder that is pressurized (I'm using my bicycle shock pump). This bladder applies pressure to the water so that as the water level drops it drops under a constant pressure. The pump's on-board pressure switch turns on at a low PSI and turns off at a high PSI. On the model I'm using, the low PSI is factory-set to 60 PSI, and the high PSI is adjustable. I've turned the adjuster screw two turns clock-wise to bump it's high PSI range up a bit (however at this time I've not confirmed what this is yet -- maybe 70 or 75 PSI) (I do have plans to install a pressure gauge as listed above). So with the accumulator, you pump it up to the same PSI as the pump's low switch point, which is 60 PSI, so that no matter what we always have at least a minimum of 60 PSI acting at the solenoid.

What is the purpose of the Accumulator?
The purpose is that the pump won't have to constantly cycle every time the solenoid is opened. The pump has an internal check valve so it can turn on and hold pressure against a closed solenoid. But the moment the solenoid is opened, the pressure rapidly drops causing the pump to kick on. Think of the accumulator as a Pressure Reserve. Because I am planning to use a programmable microcontroller to operate my water injection (with infinite trigger points) (planning to program a 10-point linear duty cycle), I plan to cycle the injector A LOT. Without the accumulator, the pump would be cycling like crazy shortening it's life span and increasing the current load on my electrical system. The accumulator is a great device to have!

The Nozzle: I'm currently using a stainless-steel 15 GPH @ 100 PSI full cone misting nozzle from McMaster Car, p/n 3178K47 (About $11, click here ( This Nozzle is manufactured In The USA by Hago and is labeled M15. Click here ( for a Hago Nozzle Datasheet. I have also ordered p/n's 3178K46 and 3178K45 which are the 10 GPH and and 5 GPH flow rate nozzles. The way I've designed this provides for easy in-the-field swapping. All I need is a pair of pliers. I'll need to experiment with it to see what flow rate works best. I'm pretty sure the 15 GPH that I have is too big but it's the only nozzle I have at the moment so it will be tested first.

The Line: Polyethylene Plastic Tubing, 1/4" OD x 11/64" ID x 100 feet - $8 on Amazon (link ( Rated to 150 PSI and 140 degrees F. Should be plenty good!

The Fittings: I'm using a whole bunch of different fittings all found on Amazon. Search for "push to connect" and look for manufactures Legris and MettleAir. If you have any specific questions let me know. I just researched the specs for inlet and outlet port fittings and then searched for these accordingly on Amazon. For example here ( is a 90-degree 3/8" NPT x 1/4" push-to-connect fitting for use at the water pump, and here ( is a straight 1/4" NPT x 1/4" push-to-connect fitting used at the solenoid.

Sealing: I originally used teflon tape (I already had some, but here ( is a link for reference), but I found that I had to tighten the fittings so much that I was afraid I was going to break something (as the pump and accumulator both has plastic housings) (maybe I wasn't using enough tape? I went around and around 2 or 3 times...). So I did the last few remaining fittings using my favorite gasket sealer, Permatex High Tack (p/n 80062 - $7 - link ( Not even a drop and I didn't have to excessively tighten the fittings. If I ever need to take any of the teflon fittings off then I'll be reassembling with High Tack.

Last note: One issue I had is that the accumulator for some reason uses huge 1/2" NPT ports and I could not find 1/2" NPT x 1/4" push-to-connect fittings. So I had to first get a pair of 1/2" NPT to 3/8" NPT bushings, and then I could use some 3/8" NPT x 1/4" push-to-connect fittings I had already ordered. We happened to have these bushings laying around at the shop, but for an Amazon example, see this link (

And that's about it. You'll need to come up with your own means of triggering the solenoid. In the past I used an adjustable pressure switch, but I don't have any ordering or product links to help you. Search around for one and you should find it. For me it will be done digitally :smokin: :smokin: :smokin:

And that was it for the first day. Got the tank mounted and got the pump and solenoid tested and some wiring figured out.
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on April 19, 2015, 03:53:37 PM
March 3, 2015: Cut out Hood Supports in preparation of Reverse Hood Scoop

As I was building the water inj kit I realized I both had ordered some wrong fittings and needed additional fittings. (Placement of parts was changing as the kit was coming together and straight push-to-fit ended up needing to be 90-degree fittings, etc, you'll get to experience this too maybe haha.)

So I had some time to kill & decided to cut out the support of my front hood. The primary reason for this was because they need to be removed for the reverse hood scoop install. Yes I documented the weight savings, but this will soon be nullified as the reverse hood scoop will certainly add weight to the hood.

Hood weight before: 32.8 lbs
Hood weight after: 30.3 lbs
Difference: 2.5 lbs
Reverse hood scoop: Will add MUCH more weight than what was removed!

One thing I messed up on was I cut out the hole/mount that is used for the hood rod. DOH!! So I slotted part of the hood near where the original hole was so that the hood rod has some place to sort-of stay. It works just fine, but if there was a sudden gust of wind, the hood could potentially blow back, cause the rod to become free, and then slam shut. (IE. the hook portion of the rod is no longer hooked to anything.)
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on April 19, 2015, 05:00:53 PM
March 6, 2015: Did a lot of stuff

This was a good day.

Replaced Driver's Rear Wheel Bearing

Old bearing had been progressively getting worse and worse. This was something I definitely needed to get done before Thunderhill.

Pic 3: Nasty old grease

Pic 5 & 6: Pitting in both inner and outer races

Pic 8: Make sure you roughen up sealing surfaces before installing a new seal!
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on April 19, 2015, 05:27:20 PM
March 6, 2015: Did a lot of stuff (continued)

This was a good day.

Finally replaced my leaking axle seal

This is the low mileage seal that I caused to start leaking back in October (see reply 337 ( Been trying to patch it up ever since with no success.

Pic 2: Nice shot of the 6-speed tailhousing

Pic 4: New seal installed!

Pic 5 & 6: Again, be sure to roughen-up sealing surfaces before using them with new seals -- otherwise the new seal won't be able to break-in using a finely polished sealing surface. Note the criss-cross patterns.

Pic 7: Gonna switch to MT90. It's been a good 11 or 12 yrs since I've used it.

UPDATE on MT90: It DEFINITELY shifts better than Amsoil. I was quite impressed. It does feel thinner. The Amsoil lasted 60,000-something miles. I hope this Redline isn't too thin because I put this transaxle through more torque than it was originally used to. The only time I've blown up a transaxle was a C56 (destroyed 3rd gear with my old SC14-powered GZE) and it was using... dun dun dun... MT90. Either way the Amsoil had been through a lot so I'm glad to get some fresh oil in there.
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on April 19, 2015, 05:49:42 PM
March 6, 2015: Did a lot of stuff (continued)

This was a good day.

Machined Rotors, New Brake Pads, Flushed Entire Brake System

Got all four rotors machined. I got these rotors back in 2000 or 2001 from a Group Buy on the old MR2 forum (before it split). I don't recall what brand they are.

Thicknesses after machining (suggested minimum is 21mm):
- Driver side: 21.71mm
- Pass side: 21.81mm
- Driver's side: 21.58mm
- Pass side: 21.27mm

So they are within spec and good to go. The passenger's side rear is down so much because about a yr ago I left to SJ and noticed I had a grinding brake. I couldn't do much, it was late, I really needed to get home, so I just drove figuring I could take it easy. I did try, Hypermiled as best as I could, but when I got back to Fresno to put on an old stock spare pad that Bill had brought for me, the damage was done: A huge groove in the outer face. I told our machine shop that I don't mind the grove still there so long as the rotor was true, but I guess they just decided to machine it all the way down. I'm happier this way, it's the right way to do the job.

The moment I got out on the road WOW what a difference having true/machined rotors. I've been living with this faint modulation for ever and WOW it's so nice now.

First impression of the Porterfields: I haven't done any racing yet, but the pedal feels softer. They feel mushy. But have a great progressive feel to them. My old pads, which were generic semi-metallic "Performance" lifetime guarantee pads from AutoZone (bought them when I got the rotors and probably still a teenager), had a much smaller range. They were either off, or sort of on or WOAH LET'S STOP. These Porterfields have a very liner transition through the force of the pedal. I have to add more pedal force to get the same stopping feel as before. Granted they will probably feel different once they're up to operating temp, but so far I'm really liking them. I'm thinking that having a wider operating pressure range will help with pedal modulation, easier to control, harder to accidentally lock up a tire.

The old fluid was such a mess. I've been sure to use synthetic fluid over the years, I think it's been a mix or Chevron and Pennzoil. As I was bleeding the system I got so many different opacities coming out and a TON, I mean a TON of debris. Small black dust all washed together with the fluid. Our gravity bleeder was really dirty afterwards.

The bottle was 500 ml and it was just the right amount. In fact I had a lil bit left over and I think I could have done better. While bleeding, one line was already flushed but I couldn't tell and continued bleeding. So I wasted some fresh oil at some point(s) during the process.


Brake Pads: "Porterfield R4S HP Street and Autocross Brake Pads - Front [R4S]" - $75/axle. I bought two sets because I'm running front calipers in the back. Made in USA!
See Thank you Twos R Us for helping me car stay in top shape!

Fluid: "Motul RBF600 DOT 4 Brake Fluid 500 ml (1.05 US pint)" - $19. See
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on April 19, 2015, 06:07:27 PM
March 6, 2015: Did a lot of stuff (continued)

This was a good day.

And last but not least...

Installed Warrantied Clutch Master Cylinder

I don't know if I documented it, but my factory clutch master cylinder has been leaking for at least a year. I've just been soaking it up with rags and it's been a huge mess. It's really dumb that I didn't get it changed a looong time ago. One issue I faced is that Toyota discontinued it, and our dealer could only find one on the other side of the country and wanted upwards to $300 for it. I was like WAAAAAAT. So I went with a remanufactured unit from NAPA. Installed it a few months ago, and the dang thing either works or it doesn't work. I killed the engine a few times because the clutch would disengage at a pending green light while I still had the pedal to the floor. It was stupid. So I got it warrantied and replaced. This 2nd one is waaaaaay better. That other one was clearly a defect. Too bad I couldn't get a nice aluminum Made In Japan unit. Oh well.
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on April 19, 2015, 06:10:18 PM
And that's it for March 6! Got a lot of critical stuff done! Here is the updated list:

Updated "WHAT HAS TO BE DONE" list: (T-MINUS 16 DAYS)

Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on April 19, 2015, 06:37:14 PM
March 8, 2015: Project "Complete Water Injection" Day 2

Resumed work on the Water Injection 2 days later.

Pic 1 - Working on where to mount the pump...

Pic 2 - This looks like a nice place, but I gotta get rid of the defunct exhaust MAP pressure line first.

Pic 3 through 6 - Got the line removed!

Pic 7 - All back together
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on April 19, 2015, 06:58:59 PM
March 8, 2015: Project "Complete Water Injection" Day 2 (continued)

Got the pump mounted! I am planning to monitor the temps near the exhaust carefully, and if needed I'll build a small heat shield. My plastic R/C Servo has been holding up fine so I don't anticipate that big a deal.

Pics 1 and 2 showing the pump's new home

Pic 3 - The four bolts below the tank are the pump bolts. Also the new Accumulator, mounted!
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on April 19, 2015, 07:44:15 PM
March 8, 2015: Project "Complete Water Injection" Day 2 (continued)

Lastly, it was time for some wiring. Here is what I did:

I routed one main power line through a 10 amp fuse, a 10amp mini toggle switch, and back to the water pump. The ground for the pump is a constant ground.
This same power line then runs to the electric solenoid. The ground for this solenoid then runs back up to the cab and to my Propeller microcontroller's breadboard.

And that's it! When the switch is flipped, it powers the water pump. The pump then pressurizes the accumulator and once it's predefined pressure is met, it turns off (still need to get a gauge on there to see what it's doing). Now the system is in a steady-state. All that is remaining is for the Propeller to activate a PCB relay to ground the solenoid and the injector will spray. As the injector is spraying, thanks to the accumulator, the pressure will drop slowly. Once it has dropped enough the pump will cycle on for a few moments and then cycle off. This occurs independently of the injector operation.

Here are some pics. It was some work!

Pic 2 - Decided to draw power from my amp which made for a convenient installation. The amp pwr is fused (a very big fuse) as is the new water injection pwr (10 amp).

Pic 3 - Here is the awesome mini toggle switch. I love these little guys. Been using them on other projects and they are very reliable. They are A/C rated and using simple math we can convert this as follows:
Power = Voltage * Amperage (Thanks to Hooks law!)
125 volts * 10 amps = 1,250 watts (power)

Now convert this over to D/C (assuming 14 volts while the engine is running) and we get...
1,250 watts / 14 volts = 89.3 Amps

So these lil switches pack a serious punch. The pump is rated at 4.5 amps and the solenoid at 1.4 amps. So this is really kids play. Moreover the pump will cycle off, providing relief to the circuit.

Pic 4 - I love it when all my wires come out from storage! Means someone fun is happening!

Pic 5 - Big mess of tools

Pic 6 & 7 - I pulled the entire carpet up and did extensive re-wiring and cleaned everything up! It all came out great!

Pic 8 - The new group of switches!!
White operates my IC Fan
Yellow is the main pwr for the entire Water Injection System
Green is my S/C clutch pulley

The idea will be to flip the Yellow switch forward and just leave it there, all the time. I suppose it could be turned off at night in case some stray water leak forms. But technically, if the system has no leaks, this yellow switch could be turned on and left on (simply enables a steady-state).

So, whatcha guys think about all this so far? :thumbs: :thumbs: I'm getting so close to testing this out I can almost FEEL IT!!

The switches will still need to be mounted to comply with NC Racing's Safety Policy, but now I'm one step closer :best:
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on April 19, 2015, 08:01:45 PM
March 9, 2015: Water Injection Plumbing!

Next on the list was to get the Water Injection System plumed up.

Pics 1 through 3 - Got the trunk plumed. I didn't get any pics from underneath but here is the basic layout. The tank has a barbed drain. I cannot connect a nylon line nor a push-fitting to this. So I took some Chemical-resistant 1/4" clear PVC tubing that I had leftover from a different project (McMaster Car - p/n 5231K161 - link ( and used zip-ties to attach the hose to both the barbed tank output and over the top of a blue nylon high pressure line. Remember this is just the line that feeds the pump, so it only has to operate at the weight of the water. You can see the clear line connecting to a blue line that dives under the trunk to the pump, then another blue line comes up and runs to the inlet to the accumulator.

Water Tank --> Pump --> Accumulator --> Electric Solenoid --> Injector nozzle

UPDATE: The next day I noticed a very slow seepage leak at the clear line to blue line zip-tie connection and switched it to a small Toyota spring-clamp for full pressure around the OD of the clear line. Hasn't leaked since.

Pic 4 through 6 - This is how I mounted the electric solenoid. I used High Tack to glue a cut-off section of rubber hose atop the solenoid and then zip-tied it using one long zip-tie (exactly how I mounted my PCV oil separator).

In the last pic you can see the feed line to the solenoid coming from behind the coolant overflow tank. (Never mind the light blue 5mm line at right, that is for my boost gauge.) I had a hole drilled behind there from yesteryear when I used to mount a smaller overflow tank in the trunk (that was a long time ago :yupyup:).

Allll mosttttt done!!!
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on April 19, 2015, 08:24:22 PM
March 11, 2015: Finished Water Injection!!

Back at reply 381 ( I showed a picture of my injector with a union, a coupler, an adapter, and finally a push-fitting. Later I said I was waiting on parts to come in. The last piece of the puzzle finally came in and that is an 1/8" NTP to 1/4" push-to-fit fitting for my injector (see this link ( on Amazon).

Pic 1 - Shows the old parts and the new very small 1/8" push-fitting installed. Not the lack of a hexagonal wrench provision. I had to be delicate with it while tightening. High Tack was used.

Pic 2 - Ready to install!!

Pic 3 - She's home!! That bolt hole has been waiting for this exact moment since Feb 7 of last year!! (see reply 304 ( :o

Pic 4 - Plumbed up and ready to go! I ran slightly extra length of tubing for flexibility.

UPDATE: I later switched to a 90-degree 1/4" x 1/4" push-fitting (see this link ( on Amazon), shortening the distance for a cleaner install and better pressure response.


Why did I choose a year ago to install the injector here?
On my previous 4A-GZE, I ran injectors post-intercooler as well as pre-Supercharger. I really prefer the pre-S/C because you can not only keep the S/C rotor temp under control, but I believe it improves efficiency of the S/C as the denser air is more difficult to leak around the rotors.

What about water and worse alcohol stuck in the IC?
I understand the concern, however keep in mind my S/C mounts flat. Compared to a front-engine front-mount IC, I can see the concern as gravity can pull the liquid down trapping it in the IC. For my setup I'm less concerned, and believe me, the S/C gets so hot that this will be vapor here, not a solid stream of liquid.

What about flooding things out?
Because I'm planning to use a programmable duty cycle, things will very much be kept in check.
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on April 19, 2015, 08:52:21 PM
Got some media for you people!

Here is footage of the rapid pressure response of the system. This is with a long 10+ foot blue line in order to get the injector in the field of view while I manually cycle the electric solenoid from the cab ... so the response will be even better in actual use. Another thing to note other than the instant pressure is that the pump did not cycle during this entire video! This was all done from the pressure reserve of the accumulator. Now you can see why the accumulator is such a great idea. Otherwise we'd have massive drops in pressure and the pump would be cycling on/off like crazy.

Here is footage of the system powering up. I drained the pressure to show a true system power-up. The first time the switch is flipped the pump primes the accumulator and then resets to a steady-state, with the solenoid awaiting command.
I tried to show the PSI at the accumulator but the camera didn't want to focus. The pressure is set to 60 PSI and has climbed once primed.

And finally, here is a stress-test of the system, showing continuous nozzle spray to demonstration how the pump cycles.

Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on April 19, 2015, 09:18:55 PM
March 11, 2015: Finished Water Injection!! (continued)

The day was not over! Here I am getting the Propeller set-up.

Pic 1 - More wiring! :yumyum:

Pic 2 - All done!!

Pic 3 - Close up of the PCB Relay. This was the only relay I had with me and it was not fitting my breadboard so well. I really wanted to test the system so I laid two wires across it (yellow, red) to strap it down and keep it in place. I have many more relays at home so I'll be changing this real quick like. Also this is only a 2 AMP relay, and while the solenoid is rated at only 1.4 AMPs, I prefer to use a 5 AMP or even a 10 AMP which I know I have at home. The reason is because I plan to cycle this relay A LOT so a more robust design is preferred. And because race car.

Breadboard Explained, clockwise starting with pin P2:
P2: Serial signal for LCD Display.
P15: Switch to activate or deactivate relay.
P12 (single yellow wire at left): This is for my Exhaust Throttle Servo.
Green/red wire coming straight down and behind yellow Servo wire: This is the wire from the Water Injection Solenoid.
White wire coming down from the top: This is the ground wire that the relay uses to Activate the Water Injection Solenoid.
Black/yellow wire at the top-right corner: Incoming signal wire from my GM 2-bar MAP sensor.

The transistor is a TIP120, a 1k ohm relay at P15 to prevent shorting the microcontroller, and the lone diode across the collector and emitter is used to control feedback from the relay.
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on April 19, 2015, 09:27:49 PM
March 11, 2015: Finished Water Injection!! (continued)

What you thought this day was done?

Got a new Wide Band O2 sensor installed. When depressingly shopping for a second sensor, I found one on Amazon for like eleventy bazillion dollars. Ohh man this sucks: $61 on Amazon, Well... I was reading some reviews on there a a few people commented how this is a standard Bosch 17014 sensor! I was like SA-WEEEEEET!! Called up Napa the day before and got one ordered. Came out to be a hair over $30 as I recall. You know, throwing away $30 is never fun, but at least it wasn't double that. Lesson learned.

Final picture shows the new sensor calibrated and passed the systems check. Good lean reading with the engine off, should be ready to go!
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on April 19, 2015, 09:51:05 PM
March 11, 2015: Finished Water Injection!! (concluded)

Annnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnd finally! Reflashed EEPROM and drove home!!

My Change Log says it all:
v3.0 (Mar 11, 2015)
   Added simple ON/OFF @ 8psi code for... WATER INJECTION!

With each new feature I've moved up a major version number and my car is now operating under branch 3.x!! 2.x was a very steady branch but only lasted from March 1st until just now (10 day life cycle).


I got Datalogging working back on March 1st and that is what Branch 2.x powered!! :smack:

Ok I've been posting updates all freak'n day so I'll need to talk about Datalogging another time. Datalogging has been working GREAT! Ok, ....let me show two screen shots that I know I already have prepared, stand by...

Ok check this out-

First here is the full Change Log for Branch 2.x:
v2.0 (Mar 1, 2015)
   Reduced Initial Mode from 30 to 25 iterations
   Increased Boost Mode from 20 to 25 iterations

v2.1 (Mar 2, 2015)
   Added Error handling for mount and debug code for MicroSD write success
   Added 'I' to show when in Initial mode and also 'E' to show if MicroSD mount error
   Still not reliable. It has only saved to SD a few times so far... Still nothing from an actual drive

v2.2 (Mar 5, 2015)
   Only writing to SD once per so many iterations for stability
   Replaced 'I' with remaining (strlen) countdown to know when it's safe to power down
   Discovered disc mount error handling (erc) is 0 when no error or some INT if error
   Displays error number if mount error
   Discovered I've sometimes been flashing to RAM instead of EEPROM >_<
   Exhaust Throttle Data logging!
   Line break between New Drives

And that's it! Only took two revisions to get a stable solution. That sums up how the Data logging experience started. v2.2 was great, very stable, and it added Exhaust Throttle Data logging (which, I'll be honest, is pointless since it's a function of the same blue line, but I do love me some data :love:). The change to hold data in memory and only write to the card every so many iterations was the real trick.

Pic 1: This is what my data looks like in Excel! This is a drive from work to home, playing a bit on the freeway and also on Jensen Ave (my proving ground). The blue is MAP pressure readings (data logs automatically to PSI) and the red is Exhaust Throttle Angle percentage. There is so much to discuss here and how the programming works but for now just ignore all the behind the scenes stuff. So far the longest continuous drive that I've done with data logging was about 3.5 hrs that recorded 69,545 data points haha And this only required 781 KB of disk space (I'm using a 32 GB MicroSD Card) hahaha It's reallly awesome and the scalability seems unlimited for what I need it for.

So left axis is Exhaust Throttle Angle Percentage (displayed via red line), and right axis is Manifold Pressure (boost as well as vacuum) in pounds per square inch (via blue line).

Pic 2: Here is a close up of a 2nd through 4th gear full throttle pull. The data is WAY cool but it will be SO MUCH MORE COOL once I get RPM and MPH data logged. I don't have this yet so you kinda have to use your imagination at this point.

The goal of course is to tune AFRs on my own and build my own DIY Grunt Box (as mentioned in reply # 378 ( I'll need RPM for this and then I can play with all sorts of variables, that is gonna be awesome. Much more to post about that hopefully before July 27th (more on this date later).

Anyway, I know it's difficult to see, but you can see my boost peaking at around 10.8 PSI in 2nd gear, and then peaking at around 11.2 in 3rd gear, and then peaking at around 11.9 in 4th gear. SO AWESOME to see if all laid out like this!

At first I thought it might be belt slip but after a lot more data I'm convinced it's the air becoming hotter and hotter the faster you go, something this WATER INJECTION is going to solve straight away!!
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on April 19, 2015, 10:19:27 PM
Ok so continuing with March 11, I drove the car home and went out to Jensen Ave for some Water Injection testing.

I am very pleased to report that it works GREAT!! Even with only a single 8 PSI trigger as shown in the v3.0 release notes, it works great. Also, with this new Wide Band O2 sensor, WOW it's so much better now! It is VERY steady and reacts VERY quickly to throttle angle changes. The old sensor was totally junk!! Now I'm so pumped to start learning AFR monitoring!! AFR Datalogging is on the list but it not done yet.

So, how great is the new Water Injection? Let me tell you this: I didn't have my thermal temp gun on me at the time, but from touch alone I could tell that the air ENTERING the IC was COOLER than the air EXITING the IC. Did you get that?? The Intercooler is now an Interheater!

Well, I already experienced this a long time ago which is why when I built Stage 2.5 of my previous SC14-powered engine more than 10 yrs ago, I deleted the IC completely!! See details about this here: I got rid of the Intercooler all together and boost went up almost 2 PSI. It was really nice and very responsive, but the issue was that.... Once I ran out of water... I had to turn the S/C clutch pulley off less incur SERIOUS engine damage. Well, when I was like 21, that was fun, but now this is my reliable daily driver slash weekend warrior and I am a much more mature builder. I will be keeping both the IC and the Water Injection and the two will compliment each other. The loss in temperature is a small price to pay for the reliability and dependability of having an IC in the first place. It's still beneficial regardless.

How about power? With only pure water (no meth yet) I DEFINITELY can tell a difference, ESPECIALLY in the taller gears. The system becomes more and more beneficial the harder the S/C works, which is precisely when I'm demanding more and more from the engine!

One nice thing once I get RPM and MPH data logging going, is that I should be able to do pulls with the Water Injection switched on and off and compare times. For instance, how much faster is the car from 30 to 50 MPH in 3rd gear? At least then I'll have concrete proof without the expense and inconvenience of a dyno (of course that is the preferred method, I need to get this baby dynoed again!).

Also, another reason why I had Data logging on my mind, was this!! Here is a data log from a 3rd and 4th gear Pull WITH water injection. Compare this to the above where we only saw a peak of 11.17 in 3rd and a peak of 11.85 in 4th:
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on April 19, 2015, 10:36:54 PM
So check that out!! I am making MORE BOOST = S/C efficiency has increased and because it's a fact that the intake temps are cooler, DENSER AIR. Both are factors to making MOAR POWER. :booya:

Gained about 1-1/4 pound boost in 3rd and about 1 pound boost in 4th. It's nice to see a smaller gain in 4th which proves the temperature is being kept in check.

Speaking of Intake Temps, Yes, I have GM Air Intake Temp Sensors in my possession, a pair of the fast changing type, however they are not installed yet. Of course I should be commenting that THIS will be the REAL test of the water injection and I plan to be data logging air temps within the next month hopefully.

So, alright, I've really became scatter brained over here. Plus as I've been posting allllll day I am just really tired :P

I'm gonna call it a night. Before I do, here is a Change Log of what's been happening with this new Version 3.x branch:

v3.0 (Mar 11, 2015)
   Added simple ON/OFF @ 8psi code for... WATER INJECTION!

v3.1 (Mar 15, 2015)
   H-U-G-E rewrite for MULTICORE! Now using 6 cog functions
   Implemented Water Injection DUTY CYCLE!
   Cleaned up and optimized entire program
   Moved LCD output to P13, faaaaar better location, cleaner breadboard, now next to servo output
   Renamed servoabsolute to servopercent
   Moved PSI up a line and replaced "MAP:" with "Data:"
   New Systems Monitor for successful initalization: "W" for Water Inj, "M" for Disc Mount, # for Disc Mount Error
  Bug Fixes:
   Fixed decimal bug where PSI & Peak were writing ".0n" as ".n"
   Fixed missing negative sign when -1 < PSI > 0
   Fixed decimal value of 100 from outputting as ".100" to now ".99"

Only two versions so far (as far as you know) as I've still got many more updates to post from March. Version 3.1 was a MASSIVE version because it is my first program with the amazing world of MULTI-CORE COGS, the true specialty of the Propeller! Now I can have independent timers running simultaneously without interfering with one another (imagine the entire system having to pause while it instructs the nozzle to spray for 800 milliseconds; This was absolutely critical for Water Injection to work the way I'm envisioning it).

And also here is the painfully simple water injection duty cycle cog that I've programmed:

Code: [Select]
// ##########[ WATER INJECTION ROUTINE ]##########
void waterinj_cog(void *par)
    inj_trigger = (int) psi;
    if ((inj_trigger > 0) && (inj_trigger < 10) && (initial == 0)) {
      high(15);                                    // Turn on injector
      high(26);                                    // Onboard LEDs
      pause(inj_trigger * 100);
      low(15);                                     // Turn off injector
      pause(1000 - (inj_trigger * 100));
    else if ((inj_trigger > 9) && (initial == 0)) {
      pause(20);                                   // Curtesy pause
    else {
      low(15);                                     // Better make sure it's not spray'n!
      pause(125);                                  // Awaiting boost...

Duty Cycle Explanation:

The trigger for the water injection is equal to the integer value of the boost. So if the boost is 2.56 PSI, then the int value would be 2.
If the trigger is greater than 0 (means we are boosting), but also less than 10, then do the following:
-- Turn the Water Injector On
-- Pause for Boost Integer Value * 100 milliseconds
-- Turn the Water Injector Off
-- Pause for 1,000 milliseconds minus the Boost Integer Value * 100 milliseconds.
If the trigger is greater than 9, then do the following:
-- Turn the Water Injector On (CONSTANT) until the boost drops below 10 PSI.

That's it! So consider the example above. If we are boosting at 2.56 PSI, then the system will enable the injector/nozzle for 0.2 seconds and then disable it for 0.8 seconds. And repeat forever until the Boost goes above 2.99 PSI or below 2.0 PSI.

Another example is that when we are boosting above 10, let's say 11.70 PSI, then the system will enable the injector and just leave it on (as it's synonymous with enabling the injector for 1 second and disabling it for 0 seconds, or a 100% duty cycle).

This is why I've been calling it a ten-point linear duty cycle. The break down is as follows:
ON 0.1s OFF 0.9s
ON 0.2s OFF 0.8s
ON 0.3s OFF 0.7s
ON 0.4s OFF 0.6s
ON 0.5s OFF 0.5s
ON 0.6s OFF 0.4s
ON 0.7s OFF 0.3s
ON 0.8s OFF 0.2s
ON 0.9s OFF 0.1s

I love this thing. Once I add air temp to the mix I can start fine tuning this based on temperature. Maybe I need more water at a lower PSI level, or maybe I'm using too much water at a lower PSI level. The goal will be to find a curve that keeps the S/C outlet Air Temp as steady or as constant as possible. That would be great for performance and for the conservation of remaining water supply.

Ok! I'm making so many typing mistakes and am just really tired! Gonna call it a day! Good night 4A lovers world wide and until next time, HAPPY BOOST'N!

Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on April 24, 2015, 03:32:00 PM
March 16, 2015: Cleaned Air Filter, *finally* mounted Dash Mat

A few days later I cleaned my air filter (haven't done it in about 6 months) and finally mounted my dash mat. This may sound trivial to, well, everyone, but this is the same dash mat that was in the car when I bought it Jan 31, 1999, and it was half-falling off just the same. In allllllll these years and experiences with the car I've never redone the velcro pads. There was a time about 3 yrs ago where I purchased a new dash mat on eBay, but the dumb thing wasn't cut for the glove box opening and it didn't wrap around the side air vents so I never installed it (still just sitting around in my garage).

So when you've owned a car this long and you've hardly spent any time on the interior, it really felt great :thumbs: I included a pic from a few weeks ago of what it used to look like for reference. Sorry the new, mounted pic is blurry, it was dark and I only had my cell phn camera at the time.

Oh, also, while cleaning the filter, it started breaking apart. Looks like it's time to get a new filter element. It is pretty thick so I know I can still use it, but I will be ordering a new element soon.
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on April 24, 2015, 03:34:17 PM
Updated "WHAT HAS TO BE DONE" list: (T-MINUS 6 DAYS)

Only 6 days left :ack:
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on April 24, 2015, 03:41:34 PM
March 17, 2015: Mounted LCD Panel!

This was fun.

Got the LCD Panel mounted. Originally installed Dec 6, it was extremely nice getting it mounted. Moreover, I have never had the radio bay cleaned up like this since the first couple of years when I had a pioneer radio deck that got stolen, and when I say stolen I mean they used a 10-foot long pry bar and busted up tons of plastic and bent metal brackets all up those sum bitches. So I've just never cared to reinstall a radio deck because, well, screw them. But of course with a track day I can't have "any loose items" as mentioned so this had to be done.

SO happy with how it came out! Pics! :snapshot:
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on April 24, 2015, 03:45:44 PM
March 17, 2015: Mounted LCD Panel! (continued)

The plate came out really nice. There are a few scratches on it but I think it just ads character :gap: I simply drilled out the upper radio deck sheet metal screw holes and inserted long 6mm bolts from the backside. The bolts are tightened down with nuts, and then the aluminum plate goes over the bolt and another pair of nuts tightens it down. So it goes bolt head -> MR2 radio bracket -> nut -> sheet metal plate -> nut. So simple, and only requires removing two nuts to gain access to do wiring, service on the Propeller.

Next was to mount the LCD panel. I decided to mount it in the upper left hand corner for scalability, leaving space to install four of these panels if needed. And that was it! :booya:
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on April 24, 2015, 03:53:10 PM
March 18, 2015: Mounted Fan, Water Injection, & S/C switches and added switch to turn off my speakers

This was also really fun.

Moving right along I got all my loose switches mounted and also installed a switch to turn off my speakers.

When I was younger I made some sort of snap-in plate that could be easily removed to service switch/wires, but it was loose, dumb, and would sometimes pop out of place if you jammed a switch without care. So I knew I wanted to do something far more professional of a job and this is what resulted. Now when I flip switches I don't have to hold the switch body with two fingers while flipping the switch with my thumb.

SO NICE NOW, everything is coming together so well, really getting excited and more and more proud of this car! Also it's so nice and quiet with the speakers switched off -- before, despite using a ground-loop isolator, when no music was playing from my cell phone there would be a constant high frequency buzz. The car is somehow becoming so much more enjoyable to drive :greengrin:

White switch: Intercooler fan
Yellow switch: Enable/disable water injection
Green switch: Enable/disable Supercharger
Chrome switch: Enable/disable speakers

Also, I didn't get a pic of it, but if you look to the top-right of the LCD panel in the next-to-last picture, you can see I drilled a hole. This is for a blue LED light that I installed to indicate when the Water Injection Solenoid is open. Everything is working just great!
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on April 24, 2015, 04:00:49 PM
Updated "WHAT HAS TO BE DONE" list: (T-MINUS 4 DAYS)

Ok, looking very good. I'm finally beginning to both relax and feel like I can be ready for Thunderhill this Sunday!! There is one issue, which is that I have not done a spirited mountain run in a loooong time. I need to do a shake down run -- make sure the new brake pads feel good, all the recent work is reliable, even to ensure this water-injection system is gonna work well when driven hard. Hoping to have time to head up through Wonder Valley or somewhere Friday afternoon... Man, just thinking about having time to test everything out is making me very :hyper:
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on April 24, 2015, 05:50:48 PM
Oh, I forgot to include how I did change out the above orange 2 amp 5 vdc relay with a more heavy duty 10 amp 5 vdc relay that also fits my breadboard soooo much better. It has a nice, positive insertion/snap into the breadboard and is very solid. Requires a lot of work to wiggle it off so I am very happy with it.

Sorry for the blurry picture, it's the only one I have.

The way it's working is that it is a DPDT relay (double-pole double-throw) meaning it has two isolated circuits. One circuit grounds the water injection solenoid while the other circuit grounds the blue LED I've installed into the face plate (that I don't have a picture of). And that's it. Pretty simple.

Pic of old 2 amp 5 vdc relay (from reply #394) that I had to "strap" down using extra wires due to how lose it fit:

Also note how I moved the LCD wire from P2 now next to the yellow Servo wire at P13. SO MUCH better. Cleaner, neater, and stronger as the two provide support for one another. (This was listed in the v3.1 Release Notes shown in reply #398 ( The red and gray wires that are twisted together and leave the picture to the left are the new wires for the injection solenoid LED indicator lamp.
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on April 26, 2015, 05:37:33 PM
March 19, 2015: Stepped down to 10 GPH nozzle, Shortened line to nozzle

According to this page (, approximate nozzle flow rates are as follows:

I've been testing a 15 GPH nozzle I had from when I Supercharged my Hilux, and a few days ago I received new 5 & 10 GPH nozzles from McMaster Car. So I figured I would switch over to the 10 GPH nozzle, or the M10 / 3178K76 nozzle.

Also, I have not tested how long I can drive aggressively on my 1 gallon water tank. Will it last for a full 20-25 minute track session? Concerns I have are... 1) I do not have any system of monitoring my water level, 2) I have yet to connect an indicator lamp for when the pump cycles, 3) If I run out of water the pump will just run forever, and 4) Even if I go up in the foothills for some spirited driving, there is no way I'll be using nearly as much WOT as on a track.

So I figured dropping down 1 injector size would be a good idea. If I run through the entire tank on my first session then I could always switch to the even smaller (5 GPH) nozzle easily before the next session.

Also, I finally got a 90-degree elbow and shortened up the distance between solenoid and injector. After doing this I realized..... why didn't I just get a 1/4" x 90-degree FITTING? Well, I already purchased it so as redundant as it is it's going into service. Also shown are these neat little red safety clips to prevent the push fit from being pushed apart, but unfortunately they don't work on all the fittings (McMaster Car P/N 51055K413).
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on April 26, 2015, 05:39:13 PM
March 19, 2015 (continued): Something special came in the mail!

Uhhh ohhh!! What could these be??

Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on April 26, 2015, 06:08:54 PM
March 20, 2015, The final day: Changed Oil, Washed Car, plus other BONUS things!

Finished off the last two items: Changed oil & washed car! The list now looks like this:

Completed "WHAT HAS TO BE DONE" list: (T-MINUS 2 DAYS)

I also did the following extra stuff:
- Inspected spark plugs (they have almost 70k miles on them and I plan to replace them soon). Gaps: Cylinder 1: 0.045", 2: 0.045", 3: 0.045", 4: 0.048". Cyl 4 was strange, so I closed it down to .045".
- Measured Tire Tread Depths: Driver's Front: 6.38mm, Rear: 5.56mm, Passenger's Front: 6.38mm, Rear: 5.45mm. Decided to not rotate them (assuming the fronts will take more wear on the track).
- FINALLY replaced my original faded Marlin Crawler Turtle Stickers, which were installed back in the summer of 1999!!
- Installed a cool "I Love My MR2" sticker but way it was packaged confused me and I thought it was white. I need to order a white one now and replace this one soon.
- I built and installed a nifty Heat Shield. Ever since removing the rear carpet I had no idea how hot it gets back there. This shield is VERY nice. I got this header ceramic coated before installing it but if you ask me they did a crappy job and the coating has long since flaked off. That header gets pretty dang hot. Either that or it's running so rich that my EGTs are too high ... but I'm making good gas mileage so it's probably not that.
- Added a remote way to access the memory card of my Propeller. This way I can cycle it out easily in between sessions to label each data logging without needing to remove the new front aluminum face/cover.
- Ran Compression: Cylinder 1: 180 PSI, 2: 181 PSI, 3: 177 PSI, 4: 170 PSI. Hmmm a bit low on cylinder 4. Interesting...
- And finally, METHANOL!!!!
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on April 26, 2015, 06:09:38 PM
March 20, 2015 (continued)

Regarding the methanol, I did some research. I was originally going to go with Denatured Alcohol, which is 90+% ethanol and can be found conveniently at hardware stores, but I found that it doesn't have as good of benefits as does Methanol so I looked elsewhere. In the past I had purchased a 5-gallon bucket of Methanol but the problem was that I use it so slowly that the alcohol would go flat before I could even use it all. So looking around I found that I could use HEET, a gasline antifreeze, which is 100% methanol and can be found at any auto parts store. So I did some different shopping around and took some notes:

HEET, Amazon, one 12oz bottle - $4.70 - price per 1/2 gallon: $25.07
HEET, NAPA, one 12oz bottle - $2.49 -  price per 1/2 gallon: $13.28
House Brand, NAPA, one 12oz bottle - $2.22 - price per 1/2 gallon: $11.84
Case of Polar, Amazon, twenty-four 10oz bottles - $27.95 - price per 1/2 gallon: $7.45

So while $7.45 per use seems like a lot (50/50 mix), the Denatured Alcohol approach is over $15 per half-gallon. So this approach is more than 50% cheaper and it's of a better, preferred methanol alcohol.

Broken down per bottle, it's $1.24, and if I use six, then it's a 46.9% methanol and 53.1% water (by volume). I'm happy with this.

Here I am entering five (because I was only down to about 60% water). I did have a bottle of HEET in my garage that was a few yrs old, but I figured what the hell so threw it in.
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: Sirdeuce on May 05, 2015, 06:53:10 PM
E-85 $3.00 per GALLON, that's uh $1.50 1/2 gallon.
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on May 07, 2015, 03:15:16 PM
E-85 $3.00 per GALLON, that's uh $1.50 1/2 gallon.
Wouldn't the plus ~15% gasoline cause issues with my ECU and AFR?
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: Sirdeuce on May 10, 2015, 10:49:41 PM
I think the bigger concern would be mixing with water, as the gasoline may try to separate from the mix. The ethanol would mix with the water quite well. As for messing your AFR with the minimal gasoline you'll be injecting? I would think not. Never know 'til you try though.
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on May 11, 2015, 03:21:08 PM
"100 pounds boost"

Never know 'til you try though.

Let's give it a go!
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: Sirdeuce on May 12, 2015, 07:49:32 PM
100lbs boost? Look into diesel tractor pulling. the rigs there use stooped boost levels.
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on August 04, 2015, 10:28:15 AM
Oh man, I just realized I haven't updated this thread in so long :down:

Been super busy with work events, wheeling, working on my truck, and also my wife and I have gotten an apartment in Clovis so we've been busy moving all our stuff back from San Jose! Whew it's been one heck of a busy summer to say the least!

I still need to post about my track day at Thunderhill :smack:
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: Sirdeuce on August 04, 2015, 03:57:58 PM
YAY! No more long distance relationship!
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on September 08, 2015, 02:17:43 PM
I heard there have been a lot of juicy updates! But I don't see any! Come awn! Where are all the updates?? :eye: :eye: :dunno:
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on November 29, 2015, 08:50:55 PM
Ok guys, gonna try to get some updates posted finally :wave:

The track event was A-M-A-Z-I-N-G. I should have posted a full trip report afterwards but I became very busy with wheeling events in my Hilux as well as other work on my car which is why I haven't made much time for posting here. So for now I'd like to move this thread along as I have a TON of updates to post.

I will create a separate thread for the Thunderhill track event and update this post with a link to it once I do. I did write a comment about it on a different site so I'll quote it here:
Quote from: BigMike
Because I had zero track experience I was supposed to sign-up for a required Driver's School but the school was full. I really wanted to attend since a fellow MR2 friend had invited me & was already registered, plus traveling there with a friend is nice since it's a 9 hour round-trip drive to the track (yes we drove our MR2s!).

So I decided to register as a normal driver and sent them an email about my situation. They thanked me for the email but said the driver's school is mandatory. Unfortunately the next available school wouldn't be for another month and worse yet it is on a Monday. So after a few more emails they offered a full-day on-board Instructor for an extra $100 as the only way they'd let me on the track. I promptly agreed to this and WOW what a GREAT decision that was!

The gentleman in my car is Andrew, the NCRC Driving Instructor assigned to me and he was AMAZING. Great coach, very polite, very calm, very well spoken, easy to listen to and understand. He gave me the option to have him drive my car first which I thought was a great idea and WOW right from the first corner I was AMAZED at how fast we were going!

Having Andrew drive my car for the first gave me the opportunity to jump straight-in with both feet at full speed. After three laps it was my time to drive and after having experienced the expected pace I entered the track at full speed from the very first corner and never looked back.

This was such a great experience and I HIGHLY recommend anyone thinking about tracking their car to have an on-board instructor for your first session. I was on the track with other novice drivers & I could see that very few were taking the proper driving line Andrew was teaching me. Without Andrew I would have just followed any random car & would have started my track experience with bad habits.

Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on November 29, 2015, 09:07:17 PM
Ok so I will update this once I post a separate thread about my Thunderhill experience. As for now I've got so many updates I'd like to get this thread moving, so here goes:

April 8, 2015: Installed new plugs

Outgoing plugs were IK22 Iridums installed sometime in 2011 (I can't seem to find where I documented this?). At reply #321 ( I mentioned them having about 60k miles as of June 2014. According to my Gas Cuddy app, my car was at 296,258 miles June 24, 2014. April 6 of this year it was at 305,139 miles. So my old Iridiums probably had 65 to 70k miles on em. Not bad

Factory gap was 0.030" and I believe I left em this way. The last pic is blurry but you can still see how worn out the ground electrode was
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on November 29, 2015, 09:16:51 PM
April 9, 2015: Added a resonator, Found an oil leak, Removed hot water supply to TB

At the track I ended up melting the plastic coupler between my Exhaust Throttle and the servo so I ended up just removing the throttle plate all together. On the long trip home I noticed the exhaust was quite louder. Was this from only the removed throttle? Or is my muffler being blown out?

At any rate I decided to install a second resonator. I went with a Vibrant 1141 2.5" Ultra Quiet Resonator ( and am very happy with the results. It definitely quieted it down.

I also discovered that I did not tighten the high pressure hose to my factory oil cooler and it was squirting onto the top of the oil filter.

I placed it where the stock CAT goes. Fit in there nicely. It is a straight through design and is very heavy. It definitely has a lot of material packed in it.

My ugly welds turned out pretty good :thumbs:

This is the hose clamp that was loose

And finally I removed the hot water supply to the throttle body. I don't live in Alaska.
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on November 29, 2015, 09:24:57 PM
April 17, 2015: Installed new Brake Rotors

At Thunderhill I COOKED my brakes. I mean I warped all four of em. The rotors I had were from a group buy I'd guess in 2000 or 2001. I do not recall what brand they were and they have no markings on them. They have been resurfaced a few times so not only was the track abusive to them but they were also nearing the end of their lifespan.

The new rotors I got are sourced from Marlin Crawler (see -- custom made by a vendor of Marlin's). The new rotors are 0.51 mm /  0.020" thicker. I'm not blaming the thickness; I know I got my brakes waaaay hot at the track! (Much more on this coming soon ;) ;))

Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on November 29, 2015, 09:28:28 PM
April 17, 2015 (continued)

I also fixed an issue where my front to rear brake conversion mounted the caliper too high causing the pad to miss the rotor and create a squeaking noise that I've been putting up with since the dawn of man. I finally ground down the spindle bolt hole.

Pic 2: Brake pads missing the outer edge of rotor

Pic 3: Much better!

Pic 4: New (vented front) rotors re-mounted out back
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on November 29, 2015, 09:35:49 PM
April 22 & 24, 2015: Fixed an oil leak from hell!!

Somewhere after the track event and only one month later my engine developed an oil leak from hell!! It was so bad that any RPM over about 4,000 would cause a TON of white smoke to bellow out from the engine lid.

Loooooooooong story and a lot of head scratching short, I discovered that my oil separator (installed @ reply #310 ( had mostly clogged up causing higher than normal crank case pressure. Combined with the boost and/or high pressures due to high RPM and oil was BLOWING straight past my Distributor seal.

MAN this was a mess and took me longer than I would have liked to fix. I had oil spray EVERYWHERE and it was so bad that dust was collecting on the top of my engine lid, trunk lid, spoiler, and entire back of the car with a bunch of small oil droplets all over. So gross

So I bought the Distributor Rebuild Kit from Twos R Us (link and here is the install:

Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on November 29, 2015, 09:38:38 PM
April 22 & 24, 2015 (continued)

Oil was just pouring out of the poor distributor and it had gotten all over my poor alternator. Sheeeesh.

Locked it up in the vice

Drilled out the pin (was tricky, started with a small drill and tried my best to keep it straight)

Punched out the remains of the pin

Marked the alignment so I don't screw up the timing

And apart it all came
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on November 29, 2015, 09:46:41 PM
April 22 & 24, 2015 (continued)

The old seal was R-O-C-K H-A-R-D! Wow it needed to be replaced a long time ago. I am fortunate that it was bad, otherwise I might have blown a crank seal like a rear main and man that would have sucked to replace.

Pic 1: Note the grove in the shaft the hardened seal had cut.

Pic 2: There is no snap ring or index on where the bearing should be pressed on, so I found a drill bit that would correctly fit between the bearing and distributor gear (happened to be a 1/4") so I could get it back together the same.

Pic 3: Outgoing KOYO (thank you so much bearing!) and incoming AMCAN......?

Pic 4: Used our lathe to get the grove roughened up with some sand paper. I didn't want to take too much off but did need a rough surface to break in the new seal

Pic 5: Pressing the new bearing on using the same drill bit as reference

Pic 6: I installed the new seal at a height slightly deeper than before so as to not contact the deep grove on the shaft

Pic 7: Reassembled!

Pic 8: New cotter pin hammered in and ready to go!!
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on November 29, 2015, 09:56:10 PM
April 22 & 24, 2015 (continued)

And here it is all back together.

In the meantime I also encountered an issue with the el cheapo water injector I installed JUST BARELY ONE MONTH AGO!! :maddest:

This pile of crap injector was leaking and I nearly tossed a rod because of it. Water had leaked into the S/C and I went to start it up one day and it fired up and then idled really rough and then just HALTED instantly. WOW it sounded horrible. I cranked it once and it DIDN'T LIKE IT. Stopped the started in it's tracks. Ended up having to pull all plugs and disable the OCR (turn off fuel pump) to crank and spit out all the water from the intake and cylinders. It took a looooong time of just cranking and cranking afterwards until it would start. I think the intercooler was full of water.... :dunno:

Anyway, SCREW you Chinese injector. I went ahead of bought this bad mama jama that I should have done in the first place: "Mini Lightweight 300 PSI Solenoid" ( I was actually so upset that I posted the following review on Amazon:


Quote from: BigMike
I purchased this solenoid Dec 29th, 2014, and installed it March 10, 2015. I'm using this on a DIY 50/50 water methanol injection system on my Supercharged MR2. I'm using a 60 PSI Shurflo pump with filter and a Shurflo Accumulator to maintain a constant pressure at the solenoid. After only 2 weeks of use the solenoid leaks, something I found out that almost destroyed my engine. I had to remove my spark plugs and crank the engine to clear the water out of the cylinders. When the front side of the solenoid is pressurized it has a small but steady stream of water just dripping out non-stop. I'd like to return this Chinese pile of crap but I purchased it more than 3 months ago so I'm SOL. It claims to be "Heavy Duty" but you can just tell it was cheaply manufactured down to the Chinese crappy wires that came with those Chinese crappy twisty ties (if you've bought made in China parts then you know what I'm talking about). I am going to do what I should have done and that is to get a high performance solenoid from Alcohol Injection Systems (search for "Mini Lightweight 300 PSI Solenoid" on Google). It's $70 but I don't want to take any more chances in damaging my engine. I do not recommend this solenoid for water injection.

So out it goes and in goes the AWESOME Alcohol Injection Systems 300 PSI injector. Far smaller, far lighter, less amperage requirement, MUCH BETTER!!

edit: I forgot to include the first image :P
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on November 29, 2015, 09:58:31 PM
May 18, 2015: Datalogging AFR

Finally got my AFR gauge connected to my Propeller Microcontroller. It was so easy as the Innovate MTX-L has a simple 5vdc digital output. Just connected one wire and I was done

Now I am data logging AFR and manifold pressure.

And.... um well I quickly found out that I am in the 13.x:1 AFR range under full boost :yikes: :yikes: :yikes: Ohhh man it's not good. So I'll need to sort this out, and like always, more to come on this ;) ;) ;)
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on November 29, 2015, 10:40:39 PM
Between May and Sept I didn't have time to do much of anything with the MR2. It even was parked for a few weeks at a time during the summer while I was out doing this:
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on November 29, 2015, 10:42:44 PM
And some of this:
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on November 29, 2015, 10:43:46 PM
And some of this :cheese:
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on November 29, 2015, 10:45:09 PM
Went on a lot of wheeling trips for work and did a ton of marketing.

During this time however I knew I could not go on much longer without getting back on a race track.

So Mike and I talked about it and decided to schedule our next track event for LAGUNA SECA DEC 13, 2015!!!!!!!

Ohhh man this thread is about to get REAL SERIOUS REAL QUICK LET ME TELL YOU!!!
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: Sirdeuce on November 30, 2015, 08:48:28 AM
Laguna Seca for you! I'm heading to Maui!!
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on November 30, 2015, 07:44:30 PM
Laguna Seca for you! I'm heading to Maui!!
They don't have any paved tracks on Maui!
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: Sirdeuce on November 30, 2015, 10:50:24 PM
Oh well
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on December 01, 2015, 06:54:08 AM
Oh well
Go to "Maui Motor Speedway" :driving:
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: Sirdeuce on December 01, 2015, 07:59:42 PM
Dirt oval
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on December 01, 2015, 10:38:11 PM
Laguna Seca for you! I'm heading to Maui!!
They don't have any paved tracks on Maui!

The long summer gave me plenty of time to think about the car. By early Sept. Mike and I had set the date for Laguna Seca to be December 13. I knew I was still busy for a bit longer with weekend work events and wanted to have time to improve the car.

The two biggest issues I had at Thunderhill was:
1. Brakes.
2. Front traction.

Brakes. Oh my brakes. At Thunderhill I felt like I had either too much horsepower or too much weight for the brakes. They would stop me well enough, but I was nervous to really squeeze them hard. I kept trying to accelerate for longer a duration before braking at each corner but I found myself timid or not able to trust the brakes.

Nevertheless, I did hammer them a few times and wow those Porterfield pads are NO JOKE. With the tires and brakes warmed up WOW the car can stop. But sure enough it wasn't long until I was getting a ton of modulation from the brake pedal and returning to the pits each time I could feel the brakes had warped. It wasn't until the next day driving to work that I really realized just how bad they were.

So as shown on the previous page I did indeed replace all four rotors. I had to. The car would chatter like crazy every time I slowed down from any speed. But it got me thinking about my brake setup....

Back in 1999 or 2000 when I was 19 or 20 I installed front brake components at the rear. I've always known that as a result I have a greater rear brake balance but it didn't take much pondering to understand just how out of balance they were.

Consider the following.

Stock 1987 front caliper bore diameter: 50.8 mm
Stock 1987 rear caliper bore diameter: 36.5 mm
Front to rear ratio: 1.39:1

Now consider the surface areas:
Front stock caliper: 2026.8 mm^2
Rear stock caliper: 1046.3 mm^2
This is a stock front to rear pressure ratio of 1.94:1

By running front calipers in the rear I've effectively increase my rear brake balance by 48.5% (all things equal; yes I know there is a progressive rate factory proportioning valve). This is crazy. So I started looking into a larger front brake setup.

Doing some research there are a few ways to do this, but I don't have a big budget and prefer to use easy to service/replace OEM components so I went for the ST185 Celica Turbo Alltrac single piston front brakes.

Sept 4, 2015: Front Brake Upgrade

ST185 front calipers are a single 57 mm diameter caliper, which is a surface area increase over stock 87-89 fronts of 25.9%. There is a twin piston ST165 caliper, twin piston providing a better spread of the forces across the pad and better pad wear and performance, but with each piston being 38mm, it's increase over stock is only 11.9%. Calculating the piston surface area ratio of ST165 front to AW11b fronts-installed-to-rear, it is only a 6.2% improvement over front AW11b caliper + front AW11b caliper.

For these reasons I went with the ST185 and WOW am I ever glad I did this. The car has noticeable more front brake dive and stopping power and brake response has definitely increased. Temperature readings of front and rear still show the rear rotors having a slightly higher reading, but at this time it's unknown how much of this is from the larger rear brake bias or warmer ambient air due to close proximity to the engine.

Sorry for rambling, here comes the pics!!

Side by side comparison. ST185 rotor dimension is 278 mm compared to stock AW11b which is 258 mm. This is a diameter increase of 7.8%. Torque or in this case braking force is measured by the force acting on each brake pad by the caliper times the distance from the center of the rotor (radius). And we've got two rotors and four brake pads. So any increase in rotor diameter is a nice compounded benefit!

Various thicknesses. Keep in mind that the AW11b front rotors shown are used and therefore worn from stock. I love the extra thickness, the extra meat. It's gonna take a lot more heat to warp these puppies and I'm reducing the amount of brake force to my rear rotors so it's a big win-win.
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on December 01, 2015, 10:44:54 PM
Sept 4, 2015: Front Brake Upgrade (continued)

All that extra meat comes with a big downside. Ugggg. Rotational mass and unsprung weight. I know, two piece rotors could be just as light as stock such as a Wilwood setup, but again, $$. At any rate they can always be upgraded later.

Oh I forgot, I was also looking at the Lotus Elise/Exige's brake rotor size and they run 288 mm front discs. So not only is my MR2 heavier but it has 11.6% smaller front brakes? Yeah screw that! This front brake upgrade was loooooong overdue!
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on December 01, 2015, 10:53:01 PM
Sept 4, 2015: Front Brake Upgrade (continued)

The keen observer might be wondering about the 5-lug pattern of the Celica rotors. But the thing that makes this job easy is that both the AW11 and the Celica use the same hub dimension. So all you have to do is center the disc using the hub/rotor ID, align one lug hole, and then mark and drill three new holes.

What I did was I found a large socket that would just perfectly fit in the rotor ID. For me it happened to be a 39mm impact SnapOn socket. With both rotors concentric, tighten down a bolt to hold them in place, mark the pattern, and drill away. The 4-bolt piece you see here is a machined out center from my old rear non-vented rotors that I use as a wheel space. But the same would apply if you took a stock rotor and mounted it upside down.

I didn't do so well with the first rotor as one hole broke into one of the Celica's pattern, but in the end it doesn't matter. The hub is what centers the rotor and the force across the surfaces of both faces is what the torque is passing through, NOT the studs.
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on December 01, 2015, 11:05:55 PM
Sept 4, 2015: Front Brake Upgrade (continued)

Here is the second attempt and this time I did a better job :yupyup:

Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on December 01, 2015, 11:09:56 PM
Sept 4, 2015: Front Brake Upgrade (continued)

The ST185 calipers line up and bolt directly to the AW11 front spindle. It could be used as-is but the pads overlap the rotor a bit. Grind the caliper bolt holes as needed to get the rotor to contact all of the pads

Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on December 01, 2015, 11:15:14 PM
258mm vs 278mm Comparison!


As mentioned above this made a HUGE improvement to my brake system. I can't wait to test em out on the track!

Here is a break down of my brake system:
Booster: 1988-89 Supercharged Dual-Diaphragm type
Master Cylinder: 1989-1995.5 1" Hilux (product link from Marlin Crawler (
Front Caliper: ST185 Celica, 57 mm piston
Front Rotor: ST185 Celica 278mm diameter, sourced through Marlin Crawler
Front Pads: Porterfield R4-S Street/Autocross (product link from TwoRUs (
Rear Caliper: 1987-89 AW11b MR2 front, 50.8 mm piston
Rear Rotor: 1987-89 AW11b MR2 front, vented, 258 mm diameter, sourced through Marlin Crawler
Rear Pads: Porterfield R4-S Street/Autocross front pads (product link from TwoRUs (

There is another option here and that would be to use a SW20b rear caliper. It has a piston bore diameter of 43mm which would bring the front-to-rear brake bias ratio of only 9.3% different than stock. So if I somehow manage to warp another set of rear rotors at Laguna, then I'll be switching the SW20b rear calipers. I'll still use AW11b front rotors in the rear.

And that's it for the front brake swap!
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on December 02, 2015, 08:20:47 AM
Last night I found a nice Brake Bias Calculator and looked over some numbers...

Source: (using published data I've collected online, mm converted to inches)

                              Stock                 Front + Front    ST185 + AW11  ST185 + SW20b r
Caliper dia:21.437222.2440922.244091.69291
Rotor dia:10.157510.393710.157510.157510.944910.157510.944910.1575
Pad height:1.871.861.871.872.131.872.131.86
% FRONT BIAS   64.6%50.0%58.8%66.5%

So at Thunderhill I had 14.6% more rear brake bias than stock and for Laguna this increase will be cut by nearly 2/3rds. If I go with the SW20b rear caliper then I'll actually have more front balance than stock. Interesting...

In terms of just driving around out foothill/mtn roads, I've always preferred a rear brake bias. I'd rather have the rear lock up before the fronts. I hardly have any track experience but beings that one should get all her braking done before each corner, I guess all we'd care about is maximum braking performance in a straight line. Hmmmm.... just the things I think about throughout the day :blah:

Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on December 09, 2015, 10:19:12 PM
Sept 6, 2015: A return to the WebCam world

After having the ability to Datalog Air/Fuel ratio, I was messing around a lot with my cam timing using stock gears that I had slotted. The slots provided cam advance for both cams to about 10-12 degrees each. I was messing around with them so much and comparing AFR that one day Bill reminded me how he still had my old set of WebCam grind 294s laying around. At this time I wasn't exactly looking for more power but I figured Why Not? H-U-G-E T-H-A-N-K- Y-O-U T-O B-I-L-L!!!!!!! :bowdown: :bowdown: :bowdown: :bowdown: I would be lost without this amazing friend and engine/performance mentor :yesnod:

Removing stock GZE cams:

I then checked my cylinder head torque on the ARP studs. Spec is for 60 lb-ft and none moved save the last two at the end of the block. They took almost an eighth of a turn each to get back to 60. Glad I checked them.

Then the new cams went in. I was having such a good time that I forgot to take even ONE pic of the cams!! :ack: I did take before and after valve adjustment measurements:

Cylinder, Exhaust, Intake, in thousandths of an inch:
-- In Ex In
1a 09 11
1b 08 12
2a 08 11
2b 09 11
3a 08 10
3b 06 11
4a 06 11
4b 07 12

A few intakes are on the limit of being tight but they are intake so I wasn't so concerned.

And finally here are some nice shots of her all back together!



The Mighty 4A-GZE


This is now my second time installing grind 294 cams into a 4A-GZE!

Bonus pic: Approaching 310k miles! :cool:

Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on December 09, 2015, 10:22:27 PM
Sept 7, 2015: Finally, proper tuning.

The very next day was a milestone day for my car because this happened:





Muchhhh more to come! :best:
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on March 13, 2016, 05:19:25 PM
It's been a while so here comes some much needed updates!!

First, how about some teaser pics of what's to come?





Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on March 13, 2016, 05:24:29 PM
And how about some of this?




Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on March 13, 2016, 05:40:52 PM
Greddy e-Manage Blue

Ok guys, let me tell you something, the e-Manage IS THE REAL DEAL.

With the USDM GZE, we can add fuel, add ignition timing, and remove ignition timing. We can modify the AFM voltage (however it's not recommended as this will also alter timing), and we can enter flow rates for oversized injectors and the e-Manage Blue (EMB) will automatically calculate the % difference for an adjusted AFM output signal (so the ECU sees the proper AFM signal as if we had stock injectors, yet we can add fuel on top since we've got larger injectors). This is everything needed to get the GZE running great on high boost and provides many tools for a great dyno tune.

A LOT has happened with my learning and progression of the EMB since September 7 so this is difficult to even start these next replies.

So I'm going to break this up into sections so I can organize all the progress with this major step in my car's development.

1. Configuring the e-Manage
2. Get the software up and running
3. Adding Fuel Injector control to the e-Manage
4. Adding Ignition Timing control to the e-Manage
5. Adding one accessory to the e-Manage
6. Datalogging from the e-Manage

and finally,
7. How I have been tuning my Supercharged MR2 with the e-Manage
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on March 13, 2016, 09:29:42 PM
1. Configuring the e-Manage

The instructions that comes with the e-Manage left a lot to be desired. Some diagrams are very hard to read, others have missing data all together. One thing to note straightaway is that I am using the e-Manage Blue, which is an obsolete version now superseded by the e-Manage Ultimate. I don't have any experience with the Ultimate, but here are differences between the two from what I've gathered from research:

Advantages of the e-Manage Ultimate:
e-Manage Ultimatee-Manage Blue (what I've got)
Fully control injectors, both scaling and pulsewidthCan only add fuel
Two step RPM launch controlNo launch control
Can replace AFM with a single MAP sensorCannot work without factory airflow meter
Full ignition timing control via aftermarket crank sensorsCan retard timing on most, but only advance timing on some
Multiple inputs for optional devices (AFR, MAP, EGR, Knock)   Only one input for one optional device
Data logging without laptopRequires constant cable connection to datalog, and can only datalog for about five minutes at a time
Supported, free updates, tons of community helpNo longer supported, hard to find help
Can be purchased newYou'll most likely find it used with an unknown prior configuration
Modern software with good export capabilitySoftware was last updated in 2006. Only exports to a proprietary Greddy format (more on this later)
Uses a standard USB cableDoes not use a standard USB cable (more on this below)

Advantages of the e-Manage Blue:
e-Manage Bluee-Manage Ultimate
Costs lessCosts more
Compatible with the Greddy Profec E01 (! (Example video (       Not compatible

What they both can do:
e-Manage Ultimatee-Manage Blue
Extend Rev limitCan do this with additional external control module
Adjust AFM voltage      Adjust AFM voltage

I got my e-Manage Blue from Bill, and I LOVE IT. The best thing is that on the US 4A-GZE, the Blue can both retard AND advance ignition timing! Apparently this isn't the case for most engines so we are fortunate to have full ignition timing control.

Before I go ANY further, I must tell you that you will want to be able to connect a Laptop/computer to your e-Manage the moment you get it installed. The reason is because as the Blue unit is discontinued, it's highly unlikely you'll find a unit with out any modifications pre-programmed to it. What if it is set for 50% more airflow at an idle? It might not even start up despite being wired correctly. And now I must share with you a very annoying feature of the eM Blue: The "USB" port is NOT a Universal Serial Bus. It is a SERIAL port using a USB connection!!!! What's worse is that Greddy is using some old or proprietary protocol in an attempt to control the market on laptop integration. Greddy will have you buy their "official" "Support Tool" which includes their "special" cable (see first pic of reply #445 above ( -- mine came with the cable missing). BUT, there are ways around this which I will share now.

For starters, you could just buy any ordinary serial cable, such as this $3 one on Amazon (, cut one end off and soder on a USB male cable end from some old USB cable you have laying around......and then connect that to your 1990s laptop. But, at this point, I really hope you are not using a 1990s laptop or any other laptop that has a serial port! So unless you are reading this via your Windows 98 SE operating system, you could try making one yourself using a RS232 to TTL converter following the directions of this nice website ( This is the cheapest (modern) option but I chose to get a premade USB to fake-USB cable from eBay, and this is what I did for $50: If for any reason you cannot find it on eBay or the link is dead, then here is the guy who makes them,, send him a message if you can't find it in his listings.


I highly recommend you get this cable right away because here is what happened to me: I was like 'No Big Deal' I'll just pick up a serial-to-USB conversion cable from Radio $hack (it was $39!!), installed the e-Manage, then realized there is some fancy protocol that prevents most all modern serial-to-USB cables from working, and returned the pile of crap cable. I then drove around for about two weeks with the e-Manage disconnected while researching what to do before I actually got a cable that worked!!

So I had the e-Manage installed yet I couldn't use it. Don't let this happen to you! Yes, there are some rotary dials on the front panel to alter AFM voltages at a few set RPM points, me, if you are not datalogging (much, much more on this later!) then I wouldn't even bother using an e-Manage. Seriously.

So without anymore sidetracking, let's get on with the install for the USDM (1988-1989 airflow meter and distributor 8.0:1 compression) 4A-GZE:

Installing was pretty straight-forward. I have uploaded the Installation Manual to my server here: (PDF, 2.36MB)

Here we go! Let's do this in 3 Easy Steps

Step 1:

First open the PDF to pages 15 & 16. Unscrew the e-Manage and pull out the circuit board. Set the jumpers to the following:

JP1 1-2
JP2 1-2
JP3 1-2
JP4 empty
JP5 empty
JP6 empty
JP7 1-2


If you don't want to lose the jumpers at 4, 5, and 6 you can just hang them on one post off to the side so that they aren't touching any other post, like this:


Step 2:

Next rotate the board around to the end with the blue dials and flip to page 14. Configure the dials as follows (via info from page 27):

1: Position "2"
2: Position "4"
3: Position "A"
4: Not used, so point it straight up.
5: Not used, so point it straight up.


Then put the circuit board back inside the housing.

Step 3:

Next go to page 9. The top diagram is what our USDM 4A-GZE will use since we have a "flap type" air flow meter.


It is painfully easy. You only need to splice one wire, the AFM signal wire, and then connect power, ground, and RPM. The only thing to be careful with here is with the Airflow splice: The Green wire goes to the ECU, and the White wire goes to the Engine. Don't get that backwards!

Now, something VERY important here is that Greddy leftout the wiring for the Throttle! It is a Gray wire and will be needed if you want to base any adjustments by Throttle Percent, which does make sense as our positive-displacement boost is linear with throttle position.....but more on this later.

Flip to page 27 for our ECU pin layout, T-5, and you can see Th is listed for Throttle, which I'd recommend connecting. Colored for reference:


and here is a pin-out for reference just in case it's needed:


So that's it, 4 connections and 1 splice and you're up and running! Turn your key to the on position and you should get a blinking orange light at the e-Manage. At this point, as mentioned above, it would be great to connect the e-Manage to your computer before firing up your engine for the first time. So go ahead and plug your special designed-for-the-e-Manage-serial-to-USB cable to your computer now and launch the following software: (5.53MB)

I've included the final update to the e-Manage Blue Software which will take the software from v1.40 up to v1.49, the final Greddy 2006 update which is required in order to run a MAP sensor without having to use some rainbow table to manually convert between AFM and MAP voltages (run "e-manage149 - update.exe" after installing the program).

If needed, here is the older PL2303 v3.3.2.105 Prolific cable driver that is old enough to work with the e-Manage Blue. This driver works with the cable via the eBay link above: (2.15 MB)

I've also included install instructions in the Prolific archive file (see step 1 below).

2. Get the software up and running

1. Get the Greddy Software installed and configured to use the same Com port as your cable, then close the program (see my install notes in the file '! Install - PL2303 v3.3.2.105 Old and compatible.txt').
2. Turn your ignition to the ON position to power up the e-Manage.
3. Plug the cable into your laptop, and finally
4. Launch the Greddy Software (again)

Okay now we'll move on to the actual software. Plenty more to come hopefully soon. I need to get out to my car to get various software screen shots to explain the next steps!

Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: Colston on March 15, 2016, 02:32:18 PM
Did you blow by an S2K in your video? and what is where your dash should be?
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on March 16, 2016, 07:06:07 AM
Did you blow by an S2K in your video? and what is where your dash should be?
Hey Colston,

Yes that was a S2000 but it was a designated passing zone so he was letting us pass. That said, slower cars (like S2K) are required to allow faster ones (like GZE AW11) to pass ;)
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on March 16, 2016, 10:02:08 PM
and what is where your dash should be?

Whoops, forgot to ask about this. What do you mean?
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: Sirdeuce on March 16, 2016, 10:55:09 PM
Dashmat. It's what's where the dash should be.
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on March 17, 2016, 12:21:56 PM
I already straightened and fixed that thing (see reply #399 ( and now it's back hanging off the dash. It is so wore out that it has permanently deformed into the falling-off-the-dash position. I once ordered a new blue dash mat from eBay and I received it and the stupid thing 1) wasn't cut for the glove box (so the entire mat would be ripped up every time the glove box is accessed) and 2) it did not come up and over the sides of the instrument panel nor the bottom leading edges of both side vents. It was a real pile of crap.

Need to look around for a better one eventually...

Ok I finally got screen shots of the e-Manage software in action but I am going to have a busy next 8 days preparing for our next track event (March 26 @ Springs of Willow Raceway, Palmdale, CA) so might be a bit until I get post up some more.

Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: Sirdeuce on April 26, 2016, 07:59:49 PM
Title: Re: The Rebirth
Post by: BigMike on November 18, 2016, 03:54:32 PM
Man I need to get this thread updated...  :willynilly: