Jerry New Reader
Dec. 13, 2012 5:54 p.m.

(New subscriber as of late summer, joined the forums last week.)

I bought this MR2 one year ago, December 4th 2011 to be exact. Craigslist find, the ad said $2880, I texted to see 1) if it was a 5sp, 2) if he'd take $2k. His reply - yes it is a 5sp, and price is negotiable. The next day I bought it.

Needed some TLC, nothing unexpected from a 25 year old car. One huge bonus - Carfax says it's whole life was spent in Florida...NO OHIO RUST! (The seller had flown to FL to buy it 6 months prior for his daughter but she ended up not taking it.) I had time over the winter to do a little paint work, which was mostly front end and around the rear trunk. Also went over the whole car with a can of Scrubbing Bubbles to get all the greasy hand prints off!

First rallycross of the year! I had some work done prior: new lower ball joints, alignment and steering column replaced to get the "street legal go-kart" feel back. Muddy track = slow slippery fun day.

Time to get serious. Gutted 1/2 the interior and installed a decent seat and 5-point harness.

Having fun on the track, added a K&N intake for a little more air (hopefully).

And with some gifted rally tires and VW rims, the final event of the year December 1rst. Just made me more eager for 2013!

irish44j UltraDork
Dec. 13, 2012 6:18 p.m.

I think we have like 5 rallycross builds on the front page here right now. Excellent, smithers

JohnRW1621 PowerDork
Dec. 13, 2012 6:49 p.m.

Too cool. Being a white car, it just begs for a rally influenced paint job.

Inspiration:

Jerry New Reader
Dec. 13, 2012 7:00 p.m.

I could get behind either of those! And the light pods of course.

Jerry New Reader
Dec. 24, 2012 12:59 p.m.

Here's the KBD 4-2-1 header coming down to a flex piece then the muffler. Straight and free-flowing! And the $20 Vibrant Performance muffler I bought from a fellow rallycrosser makes it complete. (And sound nice.)

92CelicaHalfTrac MegaDork
Dec. 24, 2012 1:04 p.m.
JohnRW1621 wrote: Too cool. Being a white car, it just begs for a rally influenced paint job. Inspiration:

Close... but no cigar.

One of these would be correct:

Knurled SuperDork
Dec. 24, 2012 7:17 p.m.

But the Lancias were lightweight, small-displacment mid engined RWD cars, whereas the Celicas were... the opposite.

Gotta be careful, Jerry. First you get the rally tires, then you get the header, soon you're tracking down an ex-Formula Atlantic engine. It's madness, I tell you, madness!

Jerry New Reader
Dec. 25, 2012 9:12 p.m.

"ex-Formula Atlantic engine" you say? (Scribble scribble...Google... type... type...type...)

EvanB PowerDork
Dec. 25, 2012 9:22 p.m.
Knurled wrote: Gotta be careful, Jerry. First you get the rally tires, then you get the header, soon you're tracking down an ex-Formula Atlantic engine. It's madness, I tell you, madness!

Then he'll have to buy a new tachometer as well or he will think the new engine is less powerful.

Knurled SuperDork
Dec. 25, 2012 11:18 p.m.
EvanB wrote: Then he'll have to buy a new tachometer as well or he will think the new engine is less powerful.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

I used to be VERY interested in 4AGE engines due to them being essentially a "Research & Duplicate" of the Ford BDA engine. An excellent engine to imitate. Yes, you CAN make 240hp with them. The maintenance issues that go along with that, however, aren't trifling. Plus, peaky engines are frustrating. I used to have peaky engines, a powerband that does little under 5500 sucks to drive on course.

If your car were mine, I'd leave it alone until the engine became an issue, then either put a 7A bottom end under that head (instant extra .2l) or look into the possibility of a 2ZZ-GE engine. The 180hp monster motor from the Celica GT-S and Lotus Elise. Next time the Matrix team comes down to Ohio, ask them how they like theirs.

Last year at Nationals there was someone who had an AW11 with the 3S-GTE from an MR2 Turbo swapped in. I was bricking when I saw it in the inspection line. Then it broke an axle on something like its first run....

loudes13 New Reader
Dec. 26, 2012 7:09 a.m.

pluses

small light cheap to own and mod engine is in the right place

minus

not much low end torque narrow powerband low ground cleartance

I ice raced mine a long time ago. Recently I was looking for a cheap MR2 because my 13" studded tires would fit. I found a cheap e36 bmw instead. I'm picking it up today!

92CelicaHalfTrac MegaDork
Dec. 26, 2012 8:00 a.m.
Knurled wrote:
EvanB wrote: Then he'll have to buy a new tachometer as well or he will think the new engine is less powerful.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

I used to be VERY interested in 4AGE engines due to them being essentially a "Research & Duplicate" of the Ford BDA engine. An excellent engine to imitate. Yes, you CAN make 240hp with them. The maintenance issues that go along with that, however, aren't trifling. Plus, peaky engines are frustrating. I used to have peaky engines, a powerband that does little under 5500 sucks to drive on course.

If your car were mine, I'd leave it alone until the engine became an issue, then either put a 7A bottom end under that head (instant extra .2l) or look into the possibility of a 2ZZ-GE engine. The 180hp monster motor from the Celica GT-S and Lotus Elise. Next time the Matrix team comes down to Ohio, ask them how they like theirs.

Last year at Nationals there was someone who had an AW11 with the 3S-GTE from an MR2 Turbo swapped in. I was bricking when I saw it in the inspection line. Then it broke an axle on something like its first run....

Wonder what axles it was running... the axles that typically go into the E153 trans are pretty much unbreakable.

Knurled UltraDork
Dec. 26, 2012 11:20 a.m.
92CelicaHalfTrac wrote: Wonder what axles it was running... the axles that typically go into the E153 trans are pretty much unbreakable.

It was an inner or outer CV joint, I forget which. Either one will lead to a lack of unassisted forward motion.

Matt B Dork
Dec. 26, 2012 11:27 a.m.

I love seeing MR2s rallycross. Many kudos.

The Formula Atlantic motors are cool bits of kit, but if you can afford the buy-in and regular maintenance (read: constant rebuilds) that they require then you can probably also afford a Formula Atlantic chassis to go with it.

Fortunately if you want more power then you have a decent selection of swap choices, which most have been documented fairly well (4AGZE, 20v 4AGE, 3SGTE, BEAMS 3SGE, 1MZ (V6), 2GR (V6), plus the 2ZZ-GE mentioned earlier). Or you could do what oldskewltoy does and build badass 16v 4AGEs through the normal methods (head work, cams, pistons), but the $/hp ratio is a bit less attractive. After reading his posts I can see some advantages though.

Jerry New Reader
Dec. 26, 2012 5:46 p.m.

Thanks for the likes, suggestions, help, condolences, etc...

Being only a year in, and seriously lacking in the wrenching skills, I don't see any swap's in the near future, especially one that requires regular upkeep it seems. That said, I hope to keep this baby for many years and could see a mild swap someday. I've read a bit on 20V and a few other ideas, so never say never.

I've always rooted for the underdog and gone "my own way", so naturally I rallycross an MR2 and did some autocross with a 1rst gen Scion xB. I could have bought a Subaru but that would have been too ordinary.

noddaz HalfDork
Dec. 26, 2012 6:26 p.m.

Hey, watch the VW wheels on your MR2... More specifically, watch the lug taper, lug seat or whatever it is called. Some wheels have ball seats and others have cone seats. Hate to have you blasting around and pull a wheel off... That could be enough to ruin your day.

Jerry Reader
March 14, 2013 6:02 p.m.

Fun with Blaze Orange Plastidip over the weekend.

irish44j UltraDork
March 14, 2013 6:10 p.m.

nice....

March 14, 2013 6:57 p.m.

Did someone say my name.......

You have an N/A 4AGE... 100-105 whp when new, so somewhere a bit over 90whp now. Add the KBD (what diameter are the primaries?) And you should be back to about 100-105 whp

With careful porting/headwork and cam choice, you can get a 20-25 whp bump, and still operate it on all the same electronics/sensors.

Jerry Reader
March 14, 2013 7:54 p.m.

I did give it a dyno pull after the exhaust. My garage guy wanted to see how it was doing, and tweak a little if possible. We did get it back to about 110hp if I remember, after a mechanical fuel pressure regulator to get A/F ratio in check.

I took a video of the very first run, watch me visibly wince when it got up to 7200RPM, my chest hurt! Youtube symphony!

Brett_Murphy SuperDork
March 14, 2013 7:59 p.m.

Jerry, you need to speak with a guy that runs an MR2 in rallycross around here.

He has a turbocharged 2nd gen engine in his.

irish44j UltraDork
March 14, 2013 8:40 p.m.

we have an AW12 running here, but he has a Camry V6 swap :)

Jerry Reader
March 15, 2013 6:53 a.m.

In reply to Brett_Murphy:

Sweet! (I'd also like to ask him how he mounted those 4 lights...)

pinchvalve UltimaDork
March 15, 2013 7:44 a.m.

Me likey!

friedgreencorrado PowerDork
March 15, 2013 3:40 p.m.

I'm still chuckling about an MR2 being in MR.

Cool car, how long before we get onboards?

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