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dherr (Forum Supporter)
dherr (Forum Supporter) Dork
4/22/20 8:56 p.m.

Thanks, that was my final consensus when I looked for either one and the MR2 was the obvious choice for this current project. So worked on it tonight, need to get the engine out so I can get the harnesses sent out to Wiregap to build a plug and play harness to make installing the 1MZ-FE a snap. So I read online that the engine and transaxle can be pulled in 45 minutes, took a bit longer but it is pretty easy. Sitting in the engine bay on a dolly, will lift the body up tomorrow morning and slide out the engine/transaxle. Looked closely at the firewall, plenty of room to mount an accusump on either side of the engine and that is the side where the oil filter is, so the lines can be fairly short.

dherr (Forum Supporter)
dherr (Forum Supporter) Dork
4/23/20 8:11 a.m.

So it is supposed to rain this afternoon, so figured I would get up early and lift the body and roll out the engine/transaxle. I had to use the engine lift to get the body high enough, will be much easier when I reinstall the 1MZ-FE as I'll have the overhead lift when the TR4A is out of the way. Will be cleaning everything up that I am reusing, so transaxle, repaint engine bay and mount everything I need including new radiator hoses, etc. so it can be re-installed when I get the wiring harness back from Wiregap. I may just keep the new struts for now and replace with Koni inserts later on, as that will let me rebuild all the suspension pieces. The car came with new ball joints and sway bar links, and a complete set of prothane bushings, so I'll sandblast all the pieces and paint and reassemble the suspension and brakes while I wait on the wiring harness. The Transmission is an E51, so the early heavy duty transmission. 

dherr (Forum Supporter)
dherr (Forum Supporter) Dork
4/24/20 7:57 a.m.

Separated and cleaned up the transmission with wheel cleaner yesterday, looking much better. PA salt corrodes aluminum and I don't understand why it was not cleaned up before being installed, but perhaps the PO was just doing a test fit of the engine and transmission as when I pulled it, I noticed the water pump and a few other things really needed to be on the engine before it could be run. I'll probably steal the fuel rails from the 3VZ-FE as they apparently swap on a 1MZ-FE and solve the problem of having a returnless system on the newer engine.

Started playing with wiring harnesses and have decided to send it off to Wiregap, just too much work to figure it out and I want this to work properly and look factory. So stripped the 1MZ of the harnesses and sending off the ECU and an AW11 engine harness to marry into one plug and play harness for the V6. Takes three weeks to get it back, so that gives me plenty of time to get the engine bay and rear suspension ready to assemble it all back together. Got to figure out radiator hoses, transmission shifter linkages and a few other things so the transmission will probably go back in the car so I can mock up it all up.

TVR Scott (Forum Supporter)
TVR Scott (Forum Supporter) Dork
4/24/20 8:41 a.m.

You're going to have this one done in no time!  I hope you have your next project lined up...

GIRTHQUAKE
GIRTHQUAKE Dork
4/24/20 9:16 a.m.

I need to get back on working on my MR2.

I know you have neither of these, but finding an E153 that's not from a turbo SW20 is a little difficult- do you know if a 1MZ-FE can bolt straight to the N/A stock 5-speed, the C52 transmission? I *think* it can.

dherr (Forum Supporter)
dherr (Forum Supporter) Dork
4/24/20 9:24 a.m.

No, but you can bolt it to an S54. Dano has one for sale cheap listed under the Parts for Sale. Paul Woods (Woodsports) recommends these with the 1MZ-FE, just need some NA axles from a MK2. The gearing is not ideal, but it does work.

GIRTHQUAKE
GIRTHQUAKE Dork
4/24/20 9:48 a.m.

Okay, and I know the S54 also is a bolt-in for the AW11 also.

with how many cars the S54 came in, it's gotta have a donor with good gears.

dherr (Forum Supporter)
dherr (Forum Supporter) Dork
4/27/20 3:04 p.m.

Weekend was spent working on our NA Miata, but I did get some time on Sunday to work on the MR2. With the harnesses sent to Wiregap, I pulled all the crap off the firewall that I don't need, including the cruise control, coil igniter from the 4 cylinder and some other junk not needed. Some degreaser and a power wash later and I have this clean canvas to work with.

I'll pull back the rest of the wiring harnesses and hoses and paint it all up and can then start with the new stuff. I am ordering a radiator and all new hoses, clutch hose, slave and will get the shifter linkage and the rest of the pieces all ready to go so the V6 can be mounted on the transmisison and re-installed once the harnesses come back later in May.

dherr (Forum Supporter)
dherr (Forum Supporter) Dork
4/30/20 5:55 p.m.

Been playing in the engine compartment the last few days. While I wait on the harness to be completed, there is a lot of work to find and solve all the issues that need to be resolved before that large hole is stuffed full of 4 cam V6. So system by system, I need to figure out and pre-run all the pieces to have them installed and ready to go when I put the engine and transmission back in for good. First steps are to re-install the transmission and figure out the shift linkage. Apparently the NA cars have longer shifter cables than the SC cars and since I am using the SC transmission, the cables are placed at an awkward angle. So it looks like I'll need to take an NA bracket and create a bracket that mounts to the transmission and allows me to place the cables in alignment with the transmission at the right angle to not bind the cables and keep them away from the exhaust manifold. Looks like I'll be welding tomorrow smiley

lxnm
lxnm New Reader
5/1/20 9:01 a.m.

This feels familiar, but it sure seems nice to have all that room to get around the transmission while modifying the brackets.  

dherr (Forum Supporter)
dherr (Forum Supporter) Dork
5/3/20 7:36 p.m.

Definitely nice to have the space. Son came over today and asked me why I was standing in the trunk smiley Did not understand it is a mid-engined car......

So used the CAD method to build a bracket for the shifter cables to clear the slave cylinder and hold the cables at the proper angle. Shifts now properly even without the cables being clipped to the transmission. I am replacing the rubber bushings with  bearing bushings, should them tomorrow and can completely test the shifting as also ordered two of the retaining clips that are missing. I need to clearance it a little for the starter to fit, but overall happy and will sandblast and paint. I have the fittings and stainless steel hose as well as a new clutch slave and can then strip this all back down and paint the engine compartment. I need to pull the gas tank to replace the fuel pump and fuel filter, I understand that is a pain in the rear, but maybe easier since I have the engine and transmission out.

Stripped the front trunk to see what the radiator and clutch/brake masters look like. Absolutely crazy how clean this car is for 34 years old! Looks barely 5 years old. I'll be ordering radiator hoses and a new radiator, but other than that, it really looks good. Brakes are fully functional now, so I'll just bleed the system to flush the brakes, will be replacing the rotors, pads and lines with stainless steel lines, but looks like the master cylinder and clutch masters are in good condition.

dherr (Forum Supporter)
dherr (Forum Supporter) Dork
5/4/20 12:49 p.m.

Installed the bearings that replace the shifter cable rubber bushings at the transmission and installed the missing cable clips. Now it shifts into all 5 gears and reverse, nice and tight. So mission accomplished. Ordered a fuel pump, next steps are to pull the gas tank and replace the pump and then strip everything and paint the engine compartment. 

wheelsmithy (Joe-with-an-L)
wheelsmithy (Joe-with-an-L) UltraDork
5/6/20 5:33 p.m.

I do not envy you pulling that tank. I guess it's not so bad when the drivetrain's out, but still.

If I may trouble you for a favor, when you have a chance, could you grab me some measurements from your front suspension? I'm looking for the length of the lower control arm (not radius rod), and at what angle it rests. Approximate is good, doesn't need to be at ride height, etc. I apologize for the muddying of your thread. This car will be awesome.

 

dherr (Forum Supporter)
dherr (Forum Supporter) Dork
5/7/20 7:22 a.m.

In reply to wheelsmithy (Joe-with-an-L) :

Actually removing the tank took about 45 minutes, much easier with the engine out, can't imagine trying to do it with everything in the way. Tank looks great on the outside, but had about 4 gallons of 5 year old gas in it and rust on the top of the tank, fuel level sensor rusted out, etc.... Cleaned everything up and got a good sensor from a 2nd tank I have as as spare. Not sure which tank I'll put back in, the one that is the spare has some rust on the outside, but inside seems much cleaner. Either way, it will get treated with a tank sealer kit, ordered one yesterday.

Stripping the firewall of the rest of the stuff, so I can paint the engine compartment,  probably work on the suspension next. I'll take those measurements for you over lunch.

dherr (Forum Supporter)
dherr (Forum Supporter) Dork
5/7/20 7:25 a.m.

I also made the decision that this will become my daily once it is done. I don't need a practical car and with two miatas, two triumphs and the MR2, something has to give, so I'll be selling the NC soon, made a post on the for sale forum if anyone is interested. 

wheelsmithy (Joe-with-an-L)
wheelsmithy (Joe-with-an-L) UltraDork
5/7/20 8:11 a.m.

I'm not sure if you will need it, but I've read about a junkyard big brake combo you might be interested in. It goes like this:

Aw11 front rotors go to the rear, SW20 rear calipers bolt up.

Sr 185 front rotors get redrilled to 4X100mm, and front ST 185 calipers bolt up. 

16" wheels are "likely" necessary. 

Also, rear pads should be 20% more aggressive than front, even with the stock AW11 setup. 

I've been poring over MR2 stuff, and can't currently use much of it with my build. Apologies if I'm oversharing.

dherr (Forum Supporter)
dherr (Forum Supporter) Dork
5/7/20 9:04 a.m.

Please share, much appreciated. Much of the AW11 stuff are broken links, especially for non-stock stuff, so finding what radiator hose fits with the 1MZ-FE V6, what swaps for brakes, suspension, etc... are all needed. I currently have new rotors for the 89 supercharged, with the spacer brackets, so will start there with some good pads and then see what is needed. I had heard that about the front brakes, so will need to see what is available. The car came with 16x9 rotas, so should have plenty of room for bigger brakes if necessary. I am hopeful that my weight balance will be about the same as the supercharged AW11, since I am using the E51 transmission (heavy) but the light 1MZ-FE.

dherr (Forum Supporter)
dherr (Forum Supporter) Dork
5/7/20 11:41 a.m.

So by my measurements, it looks like the lower control arm (strut to the body shell, parallel with the steering tie rods) is just about 11.75" inches. It sits at 67 degrees of angle at full droop with no weight on the front suspension according to the level app on my phone.

Let me know if you need anything else, I'll be stripping this all down to sandblast, paint and install the prothane bushings, springs and strut inserts soon, so can take any measurements or pictures you need.

 

wheelsmithy (Joe-with-an-L)
wheelsmithy (Joe-with-an-L) UltraDork
5/7/20 12:48 p.m.

In reply to dherr (Forum Supporter) :

Thank You, very helpful. And, actually, before you strip it all down, near ride height would be most helpful. Approximate is fine by all means. Looks like you are stock on the front suspension (ie, no lowered ball joints, etc.only maybe lowering springs). 

Again, thanks, What you got me already plus some trig gets me closer to target. 

Another thing I read regarding MR2 (and, by extension, X1/9) suspension theory called for light spring rates in front to help weight transfer under braking. I got it from an article, I believe, written by the "father" of the car. I'll post suggested spring rates and a link, if I can find it again.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled program.

Dusterbd13-michael
Dusterbd13-michael MegaDork
5/7/20 1:14 p.m.
dherr (Forum Supporter) said:

Installed the bearings that replace the shifter cable rubber bushings at the transmission and installed the missing cable clips. Now it shifts into all 5 gears and reverse, nice and tight. So mission accomplished. Ordered a fuel pump, next steps are to pull the gas tank and replace the pump and then strip everything and paint the engine compartment. 

Can you tell us some specifics about this? Wondering if its its something that can be applied to other cable shift transmissions. 

dherr (Forum Supporter)
dherr (Forum Supporter) Dork
5/7/20 3:18 p.m.

In reply to Dusterbd13-michael :

Absolutely. In looking at the linkage, once I had everything solid mounted for the cable mounting, the old rubber bushings seemed like they had to add slop to the mechanism. Found this kit on Ebay, but other sellers have them, his description is "This kit will replace your stock worn out cable shift linkage bushings or upgraded bronze or aluminum bushings 
with a superior bearing thereby offering smoother and more precise shifting. Yes, you will most likely notice a difference even over metal bushings." Definitely felt much better precise verse what was there before. Bearing fits precisely in the cable end.

dherr (Forum Supporter)
dherr (Forum Supporter) Dork
5/7/20 3:27 p.m.

In reply to wheelsmithy (Joe-with-an-L) :

I'll set the suspension on stands to put it at ride height and measure the angle again. Won't be true ride height since the engine and transmission are now back out of it, but close. Suspension wise, will have 1 inch lowering springs, hopefully Koni shock inserts, prothane bushings and new everything (tie rods, ball joints, etc...) Open to suggestions on upgrades, I hear so many suggestions, run sway bars, no sway bars, spring rates for a car that weighs about what a supercharged MR2 would weigh, so about 2400 pounds total with the V6 and E51 trans.

Dusterbd13-michael
Dusterbd13-michael MegaDork
5/7/20 3:27 p.m.

So, bearings go in the eyelets where bushings used to go on the trans end, washers acr as spacers? 

The project im doing has umhw bushings,  but i like the bearing idea if i can make it work....

dherr (Forum Supporter)
dherr (Forum Supporter) Dork
5/7/20 3:33 p.m.

Yes, that is correct, so basically a solid connection on the transmission linkages, but since it rolls, less friction from a solid brass bushing, but feels as solid. Came from a UK vendor, very high quality but probably can be made up if you can source a bearing that fits in your cable eyelets.

dherr (Forum Supporter)
dherr (Forum Supporter) Dork
5/7/20 5:32 p.m.

In reply to wheelsmithy (Joe-with-an-L) :

So near ride height on jack stands, loaded front and rear suspension (as much as I can without a driver and engine/transmission weight). Measured 74 degrees at ride height. and confirmed 67 at full droop.

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