Started on Dec. 14 by FoundSoul

1986 Toyota MR2 Turbo


Bought ‘nearly new’ in August 2003 with only 34,700 original miles this car is sort of my baby… well, that was before I had a baby, and now we’ve got three! So anyways… It’s now got about 60,000 miles on it now and is still in excellent condition, and still looks pretty much just like the above pic taken when I first got it. Just with some snazzy decals on the quarter windows… This is basically the car that led me to start - I had bought this shortly after I got married and started making plans to turbocharge it. I dug deep into Corky Bell’s book ‘Maximum Boost’ and worked out my plans for all of the turbo bits, but then decided to get control of the engine management first. I started with a piggyback system, and after a lot of effort, and many, many calls/emails to tech support I threw in the towel on the piggyback unit. I was able to get it controlling timing, but not fuel on the MKI MR2, the ECU would flip out when I tried to ‘trick’ it with the piggyback by manipulating the AFM signal a no amount of effort was helping me to resolve that…. So I started digging again. I found this ‘MegaSquirt’ product, that primarily was distributed by the creators Bowling and Grippo as a CPU, PCB and MAP sensor, and then they’d give you a list of components from about 4-5 different sources, you’d have to have a case machined (or self machine/hack it), etc. I read on this for 2-3 months non stop, and pretty soon I knew exactly what my plan was for converting to MegaSquirt EFI. At that time there was one guy that was kitting up MegaSquirt ‘kits’ that included everything from a single source. I decided to go that route, ordered up my kit, kept reading greatly anticipating it’s arrival, and then….. nothing. I emailed him. No response. Emailed again. No response. This pattern continued for a full month when finally! My MegaSquirt-I PCB 2.2 kit arrived! I got an email the same day, or maybe it was the day before, when it shipped. Prior to that, zero communication. I was fairly well settled in an IT job I’d been in for nearly 8 years at that point, but remember thinking to myself “Gosh, I could do better than that, and people would really like it!”. And that thought, due to that experience with that vendor, gave birth to I ran the numbers, and saw that maybe I could make a decent hobby out of it. Never expected it to replace my IT income. Within a year I quit my job and took a paycut initially, and went full time. Now, nearly 7 years later, we’ve got a staff of twelve. Including a new Electronic Engineer I just hired yesterday (12-15-11) that many of you GRMers know well. I’ll wait until he’s notified his current employer before sharing a name. As for that MR2… it’s still my baby. Sadly I’m torn between keeping it pristine as it is now, and putting more miles on it enjoying it. So far it’s been a bit of a balance, driving it a few times a year and keeping it stored, though lately I’ve been feeling the urge to just get it out and enjoy it and not worry about putting a few more miles on it There’s more power to come soon, just need to adjust the wastegate and up the boost a little. 12lbs? 15lbs? The little T25 turbo will run out of breathe at some point, and then I just might need to install the disco potato that’s sitting on the shelf… but that’s got a string of projects ahead of it that are required in order to fit the bigger turbo. Tranny swap to E58 which moves the starter from the exhaust to the intake side (and is a much stronger trans with LSD), custom axles required to do that (or some major mix-n-match effort with stock parts if I can find the right frankenstien combo. Apparently it exists, but isn’t well documented last I looked), etc. The motor should hold 20psi or more easily…. just need more turbo to get it there.

Join Free Join our community to easily find more reader's rides.
David S.
July 2, 2013, 5:50 p.m.

This car rules.

Add your comment
See more
Our Preferred Partners