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Tom Suddard
Tom Suddard GRM+ Memberand Associate Editor
12/25/15 10:36 p.m.

So, uh, I won an MR2 on eBay. A very special MR2, in fact. One I've wanted for a decade or so.

JG's car! He blew the headgasket years ago, and it's been sitting in his garage ever since. Now, it's mine.

Onto the pics!

AW11 MR2

AW11 MR2

AW11 MR2

AW11 MR2

AW11 MR2

AW11 MR2

Tom Suddard
Tom Suddard GRM+ Memberand Associate Editor
12/25/15 10:38 p.m.

What did I get? Here's a quick list:

Three sets of wheels/tires.
Duplicates of pretty much every plastic part on the car.
A supercharged JDM 4A-GZE and transmission.
Four large boxes of random MR2 crap that I haven't opened yet.
Extra rear glass.
New accessories (A/C compressor, etc.) that I'm assuming are for the new engine.
Whatever weird CD JG listens to still in the radio.

What's my plan? First things first: Get it driving again. A timing belt and a gasket set are already on their way, and the head is coming off in a day or two.

Tom Suddard
Tom Suddard GRM+ Memberand Associate Editor
12/25/15 10:42 p.m.

More pictures will come soon. Christmas has been in the way, and I've barely had time to look the thing over.

clutchsmoke
clutchsmoke SuperDork
12/25/15 10:44 p.m.

You got a steal! He should have given you a sweet deal before bothering with eBay

Tom Suddard
Tom Suddard GRM+ Memberand Associate Editor
12/25/15 11:09 p.m.

Hah, the thing is neither of us really knew what the whole mess was worth. He ended up giving me a bit of a friends and family discount, but we figured we'd let eBay sort out the actual value. I didn't think it would stay in my price range, but it did!

JohnRW1621
JohnRW1621 MegaDork
12/26/15 5:05 a.m.

If I remember correctly from my MR2SC days, the AC compressor on the SC is different from the non SC and therefore somewhat rare.
I think the SC alternator may be unique too.

More that I remember about SC vs NA.
The SC uses different rear axles; stronger, thicker. These axles were a popular and desirable upgrade for anyone who added more power like a turbo. As such, demand exceeded supply of these axles in 2004. I am not sure if that has improved but they were NLA as new back then.

The SC engine required a SC ECU and these were rare too. Megasquirt may solve that issue now.

Woody
Woody GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
12/26/15 8:00 a.m.

Cool! How well does an early MR2 that has spent most of its life in Florida resist rust? I haven't seen a solid one up here in years.

Tom Suddard
Tom Suddard GRM+ Memberand Associate Editor
12/26/15 8:56 a.m.

It's got a little surface rust on the underside of the trunk, and one tiny spot next to one of the front fender bolts. POR-15 should permanently fix it.

Tom Suddard
Tom Suddard GRM+ Memberand Associate Editor
12/26/15 8:57 a.m.
JohnRW1621 wrote: If I remember correctly from my MR2SC days, the AC compressor on the SC is different from the non SC and therefore somewhat rare. I think the SC alternator may be unique too. More that I remember about SC vs NA. The SC uses different rear axles; stronger, thicker. These axles were a popular and desirable upgrade for anyone who added more power like a turbo. As such, demand exceeded supply of these axles in 2004. I am not sure if that has improved but they were NLA as new back then. The SC engine required a SC ECU and these were rare too. Megasquirt may solve that issue now.

Thanks! I have everything except those axles, so I'll have to do some digging.

evildky
evildky SuperDork
12/26/15 9:52 a.m.

How about a hint on the plan for the project after it's running and driving?

JohnRW1621
JohnRW1621 MegaDork
12/26/15 10:09 a.m.

'85 rear struts had a rear sway bar.
For' 86 no rear sway bar was offered and the tabs are gone for mounting one.
In '89 a rear sway bar resurfaced but was only offered on the SC of' 89.

The car does benefit from a rear bar but they are rare.

Tom Suddard
Tom Suddard GRM+ Memberand Associate Editor
12/26/15 10:19 a.m.

Rare? My car has a shiny bright blue one!

As far as plan? I'm not sure yet, but I think it's going to be a toy for Nicole and I to autocross and do track days in.

oldeskewltoy
oldeskewltoy UltraDork
12/26/15 1:55 p.m.
Tom Suddard wrote: and the head is coming off in a day or two.

need a worked head.... ????

maybe we can work something out..........

axles for the E5 trans are made from unobtanium

JamesMcD
JamesMcD Dork
12/26/15 4:15 p.m.

I will definitely be following this since I just purchased an 85 mr2 myself.

unevolved
unevolved SuperDork
12/27/15 10:28 a.m.

Subscribed!

ssswitch
ssswitch HalfDork
12/27/15 12:40 p.m.

Wow, that's clean. I bet the rear quarters are even still made out of metal and not newspaper.

Harvey
Harvey Dork
12/27/15 2:20 p.m.

Clean ones do not exist up here in New England. They just rust everywhere.

pinchvalve
pinchvalve MegaDork
12/27/15 8:35 p.m.
JohnRW1621 wrote: '85 rear struts had a rear sway bar. For' 86 no rear sway bar was offered and the tabs are gone for mounting one. In '89 a rear sway bar resurfaced but was only offered on the SC of' 89. The car does benefit from a rear bar but they are rare.

Actually, the tabs were there early in '96 because they ran out their supply of leftover struts. There is no firm date when the tabs disappeared, they just did when they ran out of older struts.

I had an OEM rear bar in the garage for a while, but I think I gave it to the neighborhood scrap metal truck...

mblommel
mblommel HalfDork
12/28/15 7:39 a.m.

FWIW my '87 had tabs on both rear strut housings when I got it, so I think it was more hit and miss.

Tom Suddard
Tom Suddard GRM+ Memberand Associate Editor
12/30/15 8:05 a.m.

Work has begun!

Untitled

Untitled

It was dark and miserable under the hood, so I had to hang an extra shop light. That ate up most of the free hour we had to work on this car, especially because I had to go and buy a new ballast for the used fixture.

Let there be light! Untitled Untitled

Unfortunately, this project is moving more slowly than I expected. Nicole really wants to learn how to work on cars, and for some reason, she isn't as much of a fan of working until 3 a.m. as I am.

On the bright side, the oil looked like, well, oil. It gave me hope that the rod bearings haven't been sitting in antifreeze for 10 years.

The new gasket and head bolts get here Saturday afternoon, so we're aiming to have the head off by then.

oldeskewltoy
oldeskewltoy UltraDork
12/30/15 11:30 a.m.

cam covers can be a real berkely to get off... trick is to pry off the small washer/seals under the acorn cam nuts before you try to remove the covers...

you will need a 10mm 12 point socket for the head bolts.... and don't lose the washers! EDIT washers under head bolts... the cam cover washers... you are throwing them away

kellym
kellym New Reader
12/30/15 12:27 p.m.

What's with the truck plate from Missoula?

Tom Suddard
Tom Suddard GRM+ Memberand Associate Editor
2/12/16 1:27 p.m.

Progress!

Ouch (I fixed it with a helicoil). Untitled IMG_4791

Making Progress. IMG_4795 IMG_4808

Success! IMG_4940

Cleaning time! IMG_4864 IMG_4944 IMG_4946 IMG_4955 IMG_4956

Scraped the old gasket off. IMG_4941 IMG_4958

Success! (Yes, everything was flat and I used fresh bolts) IMG_4959

Where it's at right now: IMG_5220

Tom Suddard
Tom Suddard GRM+ Memberand Associate Editor
2/12/16 1:45 p.m.

Oh, and I ordered a new water pump. Somehow, that slipped my mind–I tried to turn the stock one and it was almost completely frozen.

oldeskewltoy
oldeskewltoy UltraDork
2/12/16 2:09 p.m.

Toyota head gasket??? Many of the aftermarket types fail....

also... what's with the shave cream??

Also... that crank bolt is the earliest version

That bolt has a torque of 87 ft/#s, the later types are higher

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