Author Topic: The Rebirth  (Read 132343 times)

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Offline BigMike

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Re: The Rebirth
« Reply #240 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
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     My 1987 Supercharged 4A-powered 6-speed MR2

Offline BigMike

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Re: The Rebirth
« Reply #241 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
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     My 1987 Supercharged 4A-powered 6-speed MR2

Offline BigMike

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Re: The Rebirth
« Reply #242 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)
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     My 1987 Supercharged 4A-powered 6-speed MR2

Offline BigMike

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Re: The Rebirth
« Reply #243 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
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     My 1987 Supercharged 4A-powered 6-speed MR2

Offline BigMike

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Re: The Rebirth
« Reply #244 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 :)
« Last Edit: October 12, 2012, 01:22:06 PM by BigMike »
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     My 1987 Supercharged 4A-powered 6-speed MR2

Offline BigMike

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Re: The Rebirth
« Reply #245 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...
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     My 1987 Supercharged 4A-powered 6-speed MR2

Offline BigMike

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Re: The Rebirth
« Reply #246 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.
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     My 1987 Supercharged 4A-powered 6-speed MR2

Offline BigMike

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Re: The Rebirth
« Reply #247 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), 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:
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     My 1987 Supercharged 4A-powered 6-speed MR2

Offline BigMike

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Re: The Rebirth
« Reply #248 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)
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     My 1987 Supercharged 4A-powered 6-speed MR2

Offline BigMike

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Re: The Rebirth
« Reply #249 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
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     My 1987 Supercharged 4A-powered 6-speed MR2

Offline BigMike

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Re: The Rebirth
« Reply #250 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!
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     My 1987 Supercharged 4A-powered 6-speed MR2

Offline BigMike

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Re: The Rebirth
« Reply #251 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.
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     My 1987 Supercharged 4A-powered 6-speed MR2

Offline BigMike

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Re: The Rebirth
« Reply #252 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, http://www.rotawheels.com/wheels.php, 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.
« Last Edit: July 21, 2016, 03:24:12 PM by BigMike »
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     My 1987 Supercharged 4A-powered 6-speed MR2

Offline BigMike

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Re: The Rebirth
« Reply #253 on: October 12, 2012, 03:29:09 PM »
Additional items that I've done but don't have pictures of...
  • Replaced dome light assembly and installed super bright LED bulb
  • Installed foot-area LED lighting connected to the door ajar circuit. It's really nice!
  • Replaced my broken rear view mirror
  • Fixed and replaced my radio/climate control bezel
  • Added additional chassis and engine grounds to the battery
  • Removed power antenna since I am using my iPhone now and don't want the extra weight (still need to plug off the hole)
  • Removed all the remaining passenger side air vent-to-trunk filter/air ducting plastic crap
  • Tightened up my steering rack
  • Installed SUPER LOUD Hella Supertone horns. Finally I've got some incredible horns!
  • Replaced rusted windshield wiper arms with nice clean black OEM Japanese ones

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!

Regards,
BigMike
« Last Edit: October 12, 2012, 03:36:56 PM by BigMike »
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Offline BigMike

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Re: The Rebirth
« Reply #254 on: October 13, 2012, 04:01:12 PM »
Got some more pics of the new shoes copied over from my phone :snapshot:
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     My 1987 Supercharged 4A-powered 6-speed MR2