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SitRep: Too many cars

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  • SitRep: Too many cars

    Not that anyone really cares, but figured I'd share some of my most recent automotive stupidity.

    I picked up a 91 MR2 a couple months ago that was an abandoned project at a buddy's shop. It's a base base model NA -- manual steering (ugh), crank windows, but the elusive hardtop. I thought the motor was seized as I was told it had been run out of oil, but it was a full-tilt turbo drivetrain build and a hardtop (and Cheap!!) so I figured I'd take a chance. I have about $15k of receipts that came with it: built bottom end, built head (including shimless buckets, +1mm valves, kelford cams, etc) and everything had 2200 miles on it. The owner had run it out of oil and dropped it off at the shop but didn't really have the money to investigate. That was like 2013?. It sat forever.

    Anyway, dragged the car home, with a stop at the splash and dash to get off 6 years of outdoor funk.

    Also, the car came equipped with four mouse-nests so that was fun to clean up.

    After I got it home, I threw a new battery in it and dropped the oil just to see. Not seeing any sparkle, I threw fresh oil in it using whatever random **** I had sitting on the shelf, and wouldn't you know it fired right up! What luck!

    After 150 miles of driving -- running out 6 year old gas -- I dropped the oil and (womp womp) super sparkle. No knock but I figured it was cheaper to fix pre-knock, so out the motor came.

    The oil consumption came from not-great rings used with the JE pistons so the machine shop put in new rings, new bearings, cleaned everything up, and that's basically where I'm at now.

    The car came with an unsprung ACT 6-puck clutch (for sale!) so I bought a new South Bend stage 2 to replace that. And the car also came with a Cusco RS 1- /2-way which was a bit aggressive for what I wanted, so I bought a zero-mile toyota vlsd that I found and put that back (cusco for sale!).

    With all that build, the car still had stock ecu and stock injectors so I picked up a set of Precision 880s from a friend and bought a Racer-X top feed fuel rail, as well.

    AND this little guy:

    In the midst of all this I actually sold the b13 i picked up a few months ago to an SR20Forum OG from Miami. Couldn't believe someone from that far would pay to ship a sentra but nice ones are obv getting hard to find.

    We bought a new house last year so that sort of killed the track day budget so the 240 mostly just sat. I'm buying a Link ecu for it, as well, in the next few weeks and finally ditching the PowerFC which I love so dearly. Knock control sounds pretty novel, though.

    Still have the miata (vvt swap, xidas, ms3, etc), still have the stx-prepped BRZ. Just bought a 99 rav4 daily driver (lol) and selling my 2010 mazda3 tomorrow and that means we'll be down to 6 cars, which seems reasonable? I dunno, it's all stupid but it keeps me busy.

  • #2
    You've got quite the collection! I haven't had the pleasure of experiencing an mr2, though I might finally get to this coming autocross season as I made a friend who runs one in ASP. interested to hear your thoughts on the link ECU. Been debating replacing my nismotronic for more expandability and modern capability.

    Sent from my Pixel 2 using Tapatalk


    • #3
      I don't loooove mr2s, but I've wanted one for a while before I'm priced out of the market, and this was such a good deal that i'm getting way more car than I would ever shell out for.

      I bought a set of r32 wheels for it, gts-t/gtr combo with some cute little 205/225s which will be lulzy with the like 400whp this car might make.

      Plan is to do a 235/255 setup on it, though I'm undecided on what the plan for suspension is. Mr2s are really stupid in that they can't fit a tall tire in front at all, and when you coilover you lose inner wheel clearance because the stock spring perch is above the tire with not much room to spare.

      The other stupid part is that the chassis is different between a manual and power steering car which means you can't just bolt in a power rack without some fab. The ratio on the manual rack is like driving a bus, so I will address that in some way at some point.


      • #4
        You'll have to let me know how you like the Link. My car came with an MS PNP2. I'm not totally pleased with it, but it works for 99% of what I want to do with the car, so it'll likely stay.

        Also - what Southbend clutch did you get? The Stage 2 daily or endurance? I've been debating between them. Not sure what to go with, as I'm not sure I believe their torque capacity specs 100%. I figure I can see ~350-400 rwhp, maybe 325-340 rwtq on the EFR 6758 if I get enough charge cooling. But I think I'd honestly be pushing it pretty hard on the stock 2G 3S bottom end, so it'll likely live most its life in the low 300 rwhp range at like 14 psi.

        I tapped out what I believe are 550cc injectors in the stock rail at about 15 psi on a GReddy TD06. I think it's got the "big" turbine wheel and an external gate, but the duty cycle went to 100% around 6800 RPM. It certainly felt around that power level, but some guys on were saying there's no way I was making that much power at that low of a boost. An SR20 would, so I don't see why a 3S-GTE wouldn't (I have gen 3 GTE cams and an ATS manifold, so it should flow about as well as an SR with really mild cams and stock manifolds).

        I've got to do the clutch once I get the EFR all installed in the car. I'm debating dropping the engine still, but might just try to pull the trans and keep the engine in the car.
        '18 Chevrolet Volt - Electric fun hatch for DD duty!

        DefSport Koni Sleeve and Spring Perch Buy!!!


        • #5
          Because the 3s is a tractor motor :-X. Stock 3s cams are like 8mm lift, my kelford 262s are 10.5mm lift and you have to clearance the head for them.

          I got the South Bend Stage 2 Endurance. Says 465? ft/lb though I don't really believe that. I had the same clutch in my 240 and the only reason i ditched it was because it welded itself to the flywheel on a hoosier launch, which I will not be doing with the mr2. Drove greatttt otherwise. I have a kevlar in the 240 and I am not a fan but I'll drive it til it dies then figure it out. Actually my miata has a SB clutch, too: stage 2 daily. I like their stuff a lot because the pedal pressure doesn't feel like a dumptruck like the ACT.

          Turbo kit on the car is a KO Racing "Street Brawler" kit with a billet wheel Precision 5431. Almost guaranteed more lag than I want but since it came with it I'm not inclined to spend more money. I figure the car should do about 375whp pretty easily. Kris at KO is going to tune the car for me (and sold me the link). (And will sell me another link for the 240).

          Excited for the Link having seen a few of them that my buddy tuned on the dyno -- lots of options, seems very friendly to use and I am planning on buying a couple of these gauges:

          I don't want to run tablet dashes because I don't love the look, so the 52mm can gauge should be perfect.

          My miata has ms3pro pnp thing because it's more or less the easy button for miata but i still don't love MS.

          Oh the car also has a fujitsubo exhaust on it which I love the look AND the sound of. Good score on that.

          Suspension wise I'm torn between Wilhelm shiz and DIY some 8611s, or just being some $850 tein flexes since it's a street car and I don't care that much anyway. I put flexes on the brz last winter when i sent my MCS off for rebuild and i was really impressed for the money. Seems like the easy button.


          • #6
            Gen 3 cams arenít horrible for a stock cam. I think theyíre in the high 240, low 250 degrees total duration and around 9 mm lift on intake, 8.5 mm on exhaust. But they are definitely still a stock cam, but gives great street manners.

            if I smoked my 3S and wanted to continue the turbo 4 theme Iíd probably get a Beams 3S-GE and toss some pistons and rods in it. Then itíll breathe like a more modern engine.

            I second the Tein Flexes. Tough to beat the price really, and performance is perfectly reasonable for a street/track car.
            '18 Chevrolet Volt - Electric fun hatch for DD duty!

            DefSport Koni Sleeve and Spring Perch Buy!!!


            • #7
              Getting there.


              • #8
                What'd you do on the bores? Did running it dry smoke the rings and score the bores? Or did you just rehone a bit and toss in new rings on the pistons? Do a backyard dingleberry hone, or get a machinist to do it?
                '18 Chevrolet Volt - Electric fun hatch for DD duty!

                DefSport Koni Sleeve and Spring Perch Buy!!!


                • #9
                  Pulled the head off after we pulled the motor and everything looked good, but took both bottom end and head to the machine shop that Kris @ KO uses to get it all checked out, and new rings new and new bearings installed. I used the stuff that Kris uses on his builds (machine shop is by his shop so he dropped off parts at the machine shop after it got a clean bill of health). The only thing that the machine shop did was polish the crank and reassemble with the new parts.

                  I went to KO yesterday and Kris lapped the head and the block, new cometic HG, bolted the head on, checked the lash on the buckets (the head has 1zz shimless buckets) swapped a few buckets in, got the timing setup installed and then degreed the cams (motor has Fidanza cam gears).

                  Brought it home last night and started reinstalling oil cooler (replaced with a good used one instead of running the one with metal flake), got the oil baffle/pickup/pan on, and a few other things. Should have it back together within a week or so.

                  tl;dr is that I got super lucky with everything, though this 'cheap' rebuild has been more $$ than I first thought.

                  And I ordered the PnP link for my S13 yesterday, too :-X


                  • #10
                    And more or less done:

                    Need to get the passenger stub shaft machined to fit the stock LSD (cusco lsd took open diff stubs) and a few small other things but 95% there. Hoping to reinstall this weekend. Pulled the motor out on December 23 so this has been a pretty quick turnaround.


                    • #11
                      Nice when things are quick and simple. I'm 3 weeks in on having pulled my engine and dropped off at the machine shop. Parts keep trickling in but man I want that engine back.

                      Sent from my Pixel 2 using Tapatalk


                      • #12
                        Long day in the garage but it runs and drives. Did the first heat cycle and oil change and drove it around the block. New diff and clutch are A++++. Car is much friendlier.

                        Lots of tinker projects tomorrow in the interior, and maybe a wideband install while I'm there.


                        • #13
                          So you went with the new Southbend Stage 2 Endurance with the ceramic lining on one side? I think the p/n ends in OCE vs. the earlier OFE which denotes Feramic and can weld to the flywheel.
                          '18 Chevrolet Volt - Electric fun hatch for DD duty!

                          DefSport Koni Sleeve and Spring Perch Buy!!!


                          • #14
                            Yup, I got the OCE one.

                            Great pedal feel. Hopefully it holds up to the power once the Link is in the and boost is turned up.


                            • #15
                              So engagement isn't too abrupt? You still on OE flywheel or a lighter weight one?

                              I got a Comp clutch one I think... been sitting on the shelf so long I can't even remember what brand I decided to go with... hah. Hopefully will dive into the trans before weather gets nice here.

                              I got my EFR downpipe fabbed, and I've taught myself that I really really hate stainless exhaust work. I think this is my fifth go at it or so, and it's just not fun for me. I'd much rather be fabbing up some brackets or do-dads out of aluminum.
                              '18 Chevrolet Volt - Electric fun hatch for DD duty!

                              DefSport Koni Sleeve and Spring Perch Buy!!!