kanaric
kanaric HalfDork
2/23/14 7:38 a.m.

Checking out one of these cars, it has had a "Gen3" swap which I assume is a later period "jdm y0" engine. Car in images is ridiculously clean and not riced, however. The downside is the interior is berkeleyed up, however the outside looks immaculate.

This is an early (91) hardtop car and is my least favorite MR2 but my least favorite MR2 is well above most cars in my opinion and at the price it is I must at least see it. People have been going insane with clean AW11 prices around where I live lately, should of bought when they were $1800, so seeing one of these cars so low tempts me.

I haven't seen anything on any forum in terms of warnings on these cars or problem areas, anyone here know of any?

dansxr2
dansxr2 Dork
2/23/14 8:55 a.m.

Rust on the rear rockers, cooling system issues, are the main issues. Then from there they really are pretty durable. The Gen 3 engines are 245Hp vs 200 for a Gen 2 3S-GTE. The Gen IV is 260Hp with a unique turbo made into the exhaust manifold. www.MR2OC.com is your friend for everything.

Swank Force One
Swank Force One MegaDork
2/23/14 9:19 a.m.

Gen 3 is much winsauce. You want that E36 M3.

Just check for rust. Beyond that, it's normal stuff. Does it brake and turn well? Good power? Doesn't feel lumpy?

The Gen3 swap should make it a MUCH better car than it was from factory. The factory turbo ECU/control system is horrifically bad.

smog7
smog7 Dork
2/23/14 9:39 a.m.

Mr2 with gen 3 is awesomeness.

Caleb
Caleb Reader
2/23/14 8:15 p.m.

A gen3 with boltons and a boost controller will crack 300whp pretty easy and the only thing i can think of that can be hard to find at times are the lsd axels.

also the ash try lids they are always broken

bmw88rider
bmw88rider Reader
2/23/14 9:18 p.m.

Only thing I have to add is shaft play on the turbo and the hardtop means it was a SW21 and not an SW20. In reality, that is a plus and not a minus. It means that the roof won't leak.

Not really a big deal really if the swap was done right.

LSD axles are a PITA to find in the US because they never existed here. Interior parts are getting harder to find. Twosrus.com still has some of the more common ones.

The AC probably already failed by now. They all do so if you are interested in that it can get pricy to fix.

If the tach doesn't work, It's probably just the capacitor needing replaced.

Other than that. Not really much bad to say. My Factory SW20 just turned 90K miles today :)

carbon
carbon HalfDork
2/23/14 9:50 p.m.

Sounds like you found the ideal car. Hardtop is lighter, almost definitely safer in an accident, wont leak. Interiors are for sissies anyway, gut that bich, throw in some comfy race seats, happily ever after.

kanaric
kanaric HalfDork
2/24/14 2:19 a.m.

I'm checking out another car today and if it doesn't check out i'm buying this car tonight. Car seemed perfect but I found a Celica Alltrac, a car i just randomly looked for today, for less than the price of this MR2 in even better condition than the MR2. Same body condition, in images, but interior is perfect. Says the downsides is the shocks are shot and the AC is not working, i'll see for myself. Either way i'm probably a MR2 or Alltrac owner by the 25th.

Is there any reason why I should avoid a ST185? I've read maintenance can be super expensive and the clutch is a 16 hour job but that's all.

only thing i can think of that can be hard to find at times are the lsd axels.

Car is unfortunately not a LSD trans car, it has the stock 91 turbo trans. So if I want a LSD either I need a new trans or crack it open and install so I would keep it in stock power in all likelihood for a while until I can do that.

On the upside I don't have to find these apparently rare lsd axles.

I am seriously torn between these two cars... money is probably going to be the answer for me unless there is something bad about a ST185.

Mr2 is $6500 Alltrac is $4000.

The factory turbo ECU/control system is horrifically bad.

After the initial sorting out of the car i'm planning on a megasquirtpnp system + ebcs. I've been wanting to try that out and it's a big reason why i've been looking at Toyotas lately.

kanaric
kanaric HalfDork
2/24/14 3:36 a.m.

carfax brought up a red flag with the celica. It has the same mileage it had in 1998 and owner didn't mention that it was in storage. I has a clean title, however. I'm going to have to ask him about that before driving 200 miles... Cali inspection in 2007 on there lists the same mileage there as well. Do they check for broken odo?

dansxr2
dansxr2 Dork
2/24/14 8:21 a.m.

my swapped MR2 is production number #0000075. The speedometer stopped working and its either a faulty cable or the speedometer gear drive has broke on our way to the Challenge. I just ordered new cables for mine, so I'll let ya know what find in the next day or two. Seems to be common on mr2's, as mine just turned 204,xxx. Buy one, you'll love it!!!!

Tyler H
Tyler H SuperDork
2/24/14 10:23 a.m.

Let me barf some knowledge on the thread. :)

Gen3s were rated for 245ps, which should have been ~235hp. The '97 3rd Gen that I imported made 292rwhp, stock. Little bit of underrating of power going on during the Japanese HP wars of the 90's.

There were hard top turbos -- Vin should tell you. SW21=na, SW22=turbo. If you want a unicorn, there were hardtop turbos without foglights and with roll-up windows. Legend has it that a few SCCAers were successful in ordering them.

The AC fails on 91-92 cars due to an issue with the AC amplifier, which should have been done under a recall. Other than that, the AC is normal. I just rebuilt my entire AC system and converted to R-134a to work with my V6 swap. Ice cold air now.

LSD axles did exist here, just not until 1993. There are ABS and non-ABS flavors of each axle (NA, turbo and turbo+LSD.) There was no factory LSD option for the S54 transmissions in the NA. I had the JDM LSD E153 from the halfcut in my Gen3 and now have a USDM open diff E153 in the V6 car. I can't really tell much of a difference in terms of putting the power down, but the stock LSD is viscous, so it may not be great anyway. These cars really plant on the rear wheels on corner exit, so they have a lot of grip either way. The E153s LOVE Redline shockproof lightweight gear oil.

The engine control for all of the stock US 3sgte uses the the flappy-AFM and isn't great. The Gen3 has a proper MAP sensor and is much better.

The ST185 is a neat car, but the MR2 is a better car in my opinion. No brainer when you throw in the Gen3.

LSD axles aren't as rare as they are overpriced. The turbo axles are flanged/bolted to the inner stub axles. All of the rear spindles and wheel bearings are the same, so you could mix/match the hub to fit a different axle. Plenty of GRM-friendly options for LSD axles.

kanaric
kanaric HalfDork
2/24/14 7:54 p.m.
Tyler H wrote: Let me barf some knowledge on the thread. :) Gen3s were rated for 245ps, which should have been ~235hp. The '97 3rd Gen that I imported made 292rwhp, stock. Little bit of underrating of power going on during the Japanese HP wars of the 90's. There were hard top turbos -- Vin should tell you. SW21=na, SW22=turbo. If you want a unicorn, there were hardtop turbos without foglights and with roll-up windows. Legend has it that a few SCCAers were successful in ordering them. The AC fails on 91-92 cars due to an issue with the AC amplifier, which should have been done under a recall. Other than that, the AC is normal. I just rebuilt my entire AC system and converted to R-134a to work with my V6 swap. Ice cold air now. LSD axles did exist here, just not until 1993. There are ABS and non-ABS flavors of each axle (NA, turbo and turbo+LSD.) There was no factory LSD option for the S54 transmissions in the NA. I had the JDM LSD E153 from the halfcut in my Gen3 and now have a USDM open diff E153 in the V6 car. I can't really tell much of a difference in terms of putting the power down, but the stock LSD is viscous, so it may not be great anyway. These cars really plant on the rear wheels on corner exit, so they have a lot of grip either way. The E153s LOVE Redline shockproof lightweight gear oil. The engine control for all of the stock US 3sgte uses the the flappy-AFM and isn't great. The Gen3 has a proper MAP sensor and is much better. The ST185 is a neat car, but the MR2 is a better car in my opinion. No brainer when you throw in the Gen3. LSD axles aren't as rare as they are overpriced. The turbo axles are flanged/bolted to the inner stub axles. All of the rear spindles and wheel bearings are the same, so you could mix/match the hub to fit a different axle. Plenty of GRM-friendly options for LSD axles.

thanks for all the info.

For a gen3 car is there any "easymode" engine management? I'm guessing MSPNP for the 93-95 cars will not work on this.

M3Loco
M3Loco Reader
2/24/14 8:39 p.m.
dansxr2 wrote: my swapped MR2 is production number #0000075. The speedometer stopped working and its either a faulty cable or the speedometer gear drive has broke on our way to the Challenge. I just ordered new cables for mine, so I'll let ya know what find in the next day or two. Seems to be common on mr2's, as mine just turned 204,xxx. Buy one, you'll love it!!!!

SORRY TO JUMP IN..

Same here... I tested my cable by removing it from the drive and spinning it with a drill. It worked there, so my guess that mine is the drive. Any idea what's involved in removing the gear and replacing it? Mr2oc has a lot of info.. maybe too much for me..

Good Luck!

kanaric
kanaric HalfDork
2/24/14 9:34 p.m.

damn someone bought it before me

dansxr2
dansxr2 Dork
2/24/14 10:19 p.m.

In reply to M3Loco:

Installed my rear cable earlier and I was lucky... My speedometer was inoperative due to a broken rear cable.  photo 20140224_163836_zpsbpuc6dtt.jpg

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