1993 MR2 Turbo project car.

Started by BryanH, August 16, 2010, 02:42:16 PM

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the systems use the same parts. I know the actuators are the same in the Corollas, MR2s, Supras. Could give it a try! What's the worst thing that could happen? Burn the car to the ground? Most likely blow a fuse. My money is on the thing working. Probably the only difference is in the way it mounts to the car. I'll have it in town with me tomorrow either way.
"I slept with faith and found a corpse in my arms on wakening; I drank and danced all night with doubt and found her a virgin in the morning."


Quote from: BigMike on August 17, 2010, 10:52:37 PM
So this is an actual limp mode of the ECU then? Is the waste gate variable or does it have a secondary emergency waste gate for this reason? The waste gate is vacuum controlled, right?
Heck if I know... what I do know is Toyota built a lot of safety margin into the stock system.  There are a lot of extra sensors for all kinds of things.  If just one of them isn't perfectly happy the car won't boost past 6psi.  I thought it was broken when I first bought it because it was doing just that.  Turned out it was because the ambient temperature was below 40 degrees or something (bought it in Idaho in December).  Once I got to the Tahoe area the outside temp warmed up and the car came alive.

QuoteThis is because no MK2 handles like the dream MK1!
Darn tootin'!  The MK1 is definitely dreaming to keep up!

QuoteDid you ever consider swapping bars with the NA car?
I almost did just that at Nationals one year (I had the Turbo shipped, and drove my NA all the way out there).  If I ever start using the car at national level events again, I'm giving serious thought to the idea of trying an even stiffer front bar on the Turbo.  Thing is I don't want it to push too much on the power, 'cause then I won't be able to get on the gas.  The NA doesn't have that problem because A) it doesn't have power, and B) it has an open diff so it'll push anyway.  It can be a tricky thing trying to balance certain cars within the Stock class rule set. 

QuoteCould you post the Summit catalog link to the tip please :)
I can't tell if you're serious...
But this looks close: http://www.summitracing.com/parts/GIB-500392/?rtype=10
I'm pretty sure mine has those ID and OD measurements, and it was the shortest one I could find.  The photo on that page looks longer than what I have though.  I could measure mine if you're really interested. :)

But I really think you should get this.  Nothing says performance like a few of these!

QuoteThose areas where you lost & regained power is due to ignition trouble. Please explain the different colored lines. Is the engine for the most part 100% stock still?
Each line is a different pull.  We did 3 pulls I think, the first one didn't work right (they said the clutch slipped but it was practically new).  I don't remember how long it had been since I replaced ignition parts but with this car (and this car only) I replace plugs, cap, rotor, and wires every year.  Once they get 18 months old the car won't reach maximum stock boost.  It's crazy.

The dyno shop was supposed to hook up a boost sensor so I could get a readout of that, too, but it didn't work for some reason.  I wanted to know how accurate (or not!) my Autometer boost gauge is.  It shows 1psi with the engine off...  and shows 16hg/in of vacuum at idle when most stock 3SGTEs run closer to 20in/hg (or whatever the unit of measurement is).

It really is a sight to behold. :)

QuoteMan that is a great tire combo you've got. It looks really great in that action shot

The wide rubber is awesome.  Only problem is it's too much stagger for the spring rates I'm stuck with.  The joys of Stock class tuning.  Step 1: stuff as much tire as possible under the car.  Step 2: do crazy stuff with shocks or alignment to get the car balanced.

Quote from: BryanH on August 16, 2010, 02:42:16 PM
I've just realized I don't think I've ever inspected the air filter on this car...
Have you done this yet?

Yeah I did a while back. Air filter clean now.

QuoteThat's awesome man! Who was driving? :P

I don't know, some skinny dude I heard. :)

QuoteHonestly just sell the car to me so you won't have to worry about it anymore!

Yeah I think I'll get a 458 Italia to replace it.  So you'll buy my car for $300k then yeah?

Quote from: BryanH on August 16, 2010, 02:42:16 PM
In other news, I really need to find a better gear oil for this transmission. Redline MT90 isn't working so well for it. I've used that in my other MR2s with great results. Either my Turbo's transaxle is screwed up, or it needs a different viscosity.
Hmmmmm interesting. What is the status with this?

Nothing yet.  As I recall Toyota specifies different gear oil standards for this car depending on which documentation you look at, so it's confusing.  I think it's either GL-4 or GL-5.  75w-90 weight I believe.  I think a lot of the synthetic MTF lubricants have something in them that isn't kind to the (brass?) synchros we have in oldish Toyotas.  Have to do more research on that.  I've been thinking about checking out Royal Purple stuff, as it's available locally and supposedly pretty good. ?


For what it's worth. I've used Royal Purple in my MR2, Speed3, 4x4 truck. I did notice an increase in mileage, but only on the highway. Close to 1 1/2 mpg. I tore the MR2's engine down for an 'oh what the hell rebuild' and it was pretty clean inside. That engine was a JDM Watanabe engine that I put a good hard 50,000 miles on. Carbon buildup was nonexistant on the ringlands and minimal in the chambers.
The interior of the block was pretty clean too. On the truck I noticed a 5-10 degree temp drop on those long uphill drives, like the 4 lane that goes up to shaver. I like Royal Purple! Can't wait to see the inside of the MZR engine. Did the conversion at 15,000+/- miles. My son uses it in his engine and gearboxes, but I can't speak for him.
"I slept with faith and found a corpse in my arms on wakening; I drank and danced all night with doubt and found her a virgin in the morning."


Quote from: BigMike on August 17, 2010, 10:56:57 PM
What does the car weigh?

In race trim with the 5lb exhaust, lightweight wheels (8lb front, 9lb rear), and the fuel light on, it weighs 2,755lbs without driver.  My NA is 2,530lbs with the same wheels/exhaust/fuel on the same scale. 

QuoteDoes the IC fan push or pull through it?

It must pull air through.  The IC is mounted vertically just inside of the passenger side vent, and the fan is mounted on the engine side of the IC.

Quotes the tension controlled by an adjustable pulley or by rotating the alternator? The later is harder to perform minute adjustments.

Looks like the alternator rotates to tension the belt.  The good part is there's a bolt for rotating the alternator in a controlled way, rather than loosening the top bolt and having to hold the alternator in place to guess at a new position.

QuoteSo is there an exhaust leak? Are you continually replacing exhaust o-ring gaskets?

I'm told there is an exhaust leak there yeah. I haven't replaced any gaskets. 

QuoteYour graph shows boost coming in at about 3,200 RPM. Do you have a boost gauge installed? Remember it could be caused by a whole slew of conditions: temperature of the engine, moisture in the air, quality of your fuel, back pressure in your exhaust, plugged cat, cracked turbo, cracked turbo manifold, low engine compression, burnt or sticking exhaust valves, misfire and other ignition issues, etcetera. This is the CT26 Turbo, yes? Is it a ball bearing Turbo? Twin Entry?

I do have a boost gauge on the A-pillar, but like I mentioned before I don't know how accurate it is (it was already on the car - I don't even know where it takes its reading from).  The weather during the dyno day was pretty ideal.  A little bit of humidity in the air but nice 55-65 degree temps overall.   The cats are not plugged, I know this for sure.  The engine is a Toyota factory motor with about 20-25k on it, it should still be really healthy.  My guess is some sensor somewhere or a boost leak near the manifold but who knows.

It's a CT26 twin-entry turbo.  Not ball bearing.  I'd much rather have a CT20b or CT27...

I was going to work on the car this morning but couldn't get to sleep until 4:30am and slept till noon. Too hot now. :\


Spent nearly 4 hours under the car today. Haven't touched the alternator yet. *sigh*

One exhaust bolt was cross-threaded and a big pain to get out.  It'll probably never go back in right.  The flex-pipe that runs under the oil pan, up over the rear suspension subframe, and turns 90 degrees before finally ending with the second cat is impossible to remove. I've tried every angle imaginable, with the back end so high in the air the front air dam is on the ground. Nothing works. Looks like removing the rear sway bar would help, but appearance is that I'd need a tool that may not exist (a wrench that's no more than a couple mm thick).


Anyone seen an exhaust stud/nut setup like this?  I haven't.  To remove them I only had to loosen the nut.  I hope re-installing them doesn't require a specialty tool to go over the strange "star pattern" head.  What an oddball way to do it. 

After removing them I'm still not sure what the problem is with the exhaust leak. The two pipes seemed joined together pretty well to me and I don't see any black marks around the flanges.   One of the bolts was really hard to remove though, initially it was OK but it went through a phase of being really difficult - had to break out the big bar and thought I might shear the bolt. 


Alternator is in! Charging problem solved. It wasn't as difficult as I thought it would be, the hardest part is just getting access to it. Ended up having just enough room to wiggle it out with the exhaust shoved to one side.

I figured out how to add more tension to the belt.  Dummy.  There's a long bolt that connects the top alternator bolt to a bracket.  The more I tightened the long bolt, the more it moved the top bolt until it was in the right spot.

So the speedometer and intercooler fan still don't work. :\ The speedometer is not critical for now but the IC fan needs to work if I'm to autox this weekend. Noticed one of the fan relays in the front fuse block gets really hot after the car's only been on a minute. I'm going to replace it if I can find one but I don't know it that will solve the problem, for two reasons:

1) My NA MR2 has the same relay (same p/n and everything) but doesn't have an intercooler fan, of course.
2) I have no way of knowing whether the fault that caused the relay to go bad is fixed now, or if there is a short or something in the electrical system now that will keep blowing things up.

The 7.5A "Alt sencing" [sic] fuse looks twisted but not broken. Will replace it anyway.

Cars are dumb.


The replacement "Fan No.1" relay doesn't get hot but didn't solve the problem either. IC fan still won't turn on. [You can force it on by unplugging the engine bay temp sensor, so it's very easy to check without getting the engine hot].

Looks like my worst fears may have been realized and there's electrical system trouble somewhere. I will probably have to take it to a shop and pay through the nose to fix it. :|


I think (though I really don't know that much) the MK2 MR2 electronics are still pretty simple, especially compared to today's stuff. It doesn't seem much different than my 80s cars in the wiring department, at least.

Little known fact: a 3SGTE will run just fine with a blown ECU fuse. Who knew? Not me. I didn't think to check that one. Replaced it, and now the IC fan works, no more lights on the dash. I forgot to test the speedometer. But since it's electronic, I suspect it works now.

Only thing is, now the AC doesn't work. Hmmmm. Wondered if my alternator install could have something to do with this. I don't know if they're on the same belt. The belt tension was correct yesterday when I installed the alternator, and I don't hear any squealing at all.

Is it normal for some cylindrical relays in fuse blocks to run hot? After fixing the ECU fuse I ran the car for a few minutes this morning. The "Fan No.1" relay I mentioned before was pretty warm (the one next to it wasn't). The EFI relay in the rear fuse block was also hot.


Quote from: BryanH on August 20, 2010, 02:49:48 PM
I figured out how to add more tension to the belt.  Dummy.  There's a long bolt that connects the top alternator bolt to a bracket.  The more I tightened the long bolt, the more it moved the top bolt until it was in the right spot.
Visual aid:

I'm jealous of how much room cartoon guy has to work around the alternator.


On the exhaust studs; The 'star' pattern is know as a male "Torx". Need a torx socket to install and remove. This is a better way remove and install the studs as you don't destroy the threads in the process! Stud removers either stress the threads or chew them up a bit, Vise grips and pliers just destroy the stud altogether. The studs are in fact stock Toyota and available at the parts counter. If not available for the 3SG series engines, look at the various V6's. Remember to chase the threads and use locktight when you reinstall them.
"I slept with faith and found a corpse in my arms on wakening; I drank and danced all night with doubt and found her a virgin in the morning."


Oh yeah, sorry I didn't get the relay to Mike Some things in the stars prevented the two of us meeting.
"I slept with faith and found a corpse in my arms on wakening; I drank and danced all night with doubt and found her a virgin in the morning."


No worries.  I'm not sure I want to try a relay that might be a bit different, to be honest.  The car has had this problem for a few years now, it's just getting worse and it's to the point now that I need to manually raise/lower the lights to make sure they end up in the right place (otherwise they'll do a funky dance and stop in random locations since one motor is faster than the other).  Fun to watch but probably not good for the motor/linkage.

So on the exhaust studs, if the threads are flattened out are the threads on the exhaust flange messed up too?  It's the pre-cat I'm talking about, which was just replaced in 2007 and wasn't cheap.  Or easy to get to (except for the bottom where the flex pipe connects).

Two of the studs went back in just fine using the nuts to tighten.  The other one, with the messed up threads, stopped partway in and the nut started turning on the stud. 


I ran the car with AC on for a bit today. I don't think the compressor is turning on.  Could be low on refrigerant, or maybe something electronic is not right. 

Checked the compressor inlet/outlet tubes while it was running and they were both the same temp. Sight glass showed nothing.

Seems strange that much freon would leak out in a year if nothing was leaking before. On the other hand if something electronic is not signaling the compressor to kick on, I'd be seeing the same nothingness in the sight glass, no?

Is R12 still readily available?  It was a couple years ago.  I'd rather not convert to R134A due to the expense and less effective cooling.  You know me, I can't take the heat. 

Once I get the AC working and the brakes bled I think I'm done for a while.  Need to find a helping hand with the brakes - I'm not driving it to a shop using the handbrake to stop. :)


The stud that the nut turned on may have damaged threads. The picture looks as though some material came out with the stud. I gather you didn't chase the threads before reinstalling them. If one or more pulls out later, I have the Heli coil set that fits those studs. Now, I have to ask how accessable the flange is. The more open it is the less time it will take. Just putting the offer on the table.
As for the R-12, you can still get it. Do you own your house? I hope so, you'll need to sell it to get the R-12. R-134 properly converted will get nearly as cold as the R-12. With the proper oriface tube and I believe the pressure needs to increase a bit. The oriface is definately a different size though. The seals in the R-12 system seem to do OK with the conditioner they use in the conversion oil mix. I know our Speed3 blows cold enough to bring the temp down to 60 degrees on a 100+ degree day. It runs the R-134.
"I slept with faith and found a corpse in my arms on wakening; I drank and danced all night with doubt and found her a virgin in the morning."