Projects & Trip Reports > Projects and Build-Ups

The Rebirth

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A brief history of my 1987 MR2:

* Purchased: January 31st, 1999 for $350 with a blown 4A-GE engine. It was previously registered to a Palmdale, CA address.
* Fall of 1999: Converted to 165 HP JDM AE92-type Supercharged 4A-GZE
* Fall 2000: Rebuilt engine with larger SC14 Supercharger, amongst other things (16 PSI boost, est. 250 HP)
* Winter 2002: Rebuilt Intercooler-less with Water/Alcohol Injection, amongst other things (17.5-18 PSI boost, est. 280 HP)
* January 2003: AE92 4A-GZE Engine retired
* Spring 2004: 20-valve quad throttle body NA engine built & installed (briefly discussed below)
* October 2004: Entire car retired. I built and daily drove my Tacoma 4-cylinder 3RZ-FE powered 1981 4WD Hilux Rock Crawler from July 2004 until May 2010.
* Exiled for 6-years: Improperly/Carelessly stored/abandoned car for 6 years in the Sierra Nevada foothills. Outside, uncovered, in cold snowy winters and 100+ F direct summer heat.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.

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:

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:

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!

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 :(


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