1 of 5
1 of 5
This 1985 Toyota MR2 was purchased on craigslist for $500 with 140,000 miles. It had no exhaust, extensive rust, peeling silver paint, and it barely ran. Upon bringing it home I pulled an exhaust from a parts car and did a full tune up. She ran quite well. 6 months into ownership, I was driving on the highway when I suddenly lost power. I limped it to an open parking lot to try and diagnose the issue. Upon pulling spark plug wires, I found cylinders 3 and 4 were both dead. They were both getting spark, and I assumed two injectors would not fail at once. I came to the conclusion that the head gasket must have failed and been the cause of a compression leak. I limped the car home about 15 miles only driving on two cylinders because I had no money to tow the car. Summer 2016 I did my very first headgasket job. I had no idea what I was doing and it took me way to many hours. I did not have the head planed and for that reason decided to use a thick (OEM spec) head gasket. The car has been running to this day with no issues. The car was repainted by myself with cheap tractor paint just to keep it from looking like absolute crap. The car can go down a couple of different paths. The next things on my list to do are to decrease what weight I can. This means stripping the frunk and trunk of anything and everything. The interior speakers will be removed. The entire AC system will be scraped as well. I plan to build a fiberglass sunroof panel to replace the very heavy stock glass sunroof. I also plan to have a custom exhaust fabricated that runs from the headers to straight out the back as the stock muffler is just so dang heavy. During this time I would love to overhaul the suspension. New shocks and lower & stiffer springs along with polyurethane bushings all around will transform the cars handling. Next will be a brake overhaul which will just consist of new vented rotors, upgraded pads, and a full fluid flush. Stainless steel brake lines may be in my future as well. The AW11 is actually known for having breaks that stop very well unless your pushing power that is magnitudes over stock. The last thing to be changed will be power. The 4AGE is so well tuned by Toyota from factory that headers and intakes don't really do much. The first things to go on the car would be an aluminum pulley set to reduce parasitic loss. I would love to do a flywheel but that will get done when the clutch starts to go. Then, I need to decided what route I want to go from there. I have four options. 1. Use a TRD headgasket and cams to pull more power out of the 16v 4AGE, I won't be seeing huge gains but this is the easiest route. 2. Swap in the 20v 4AGE. This is a huge increase in power and it sounds fantastic. This is an expensive route but very common and well documented. 3. Turbo the 4AGE 16v engine. This can produce 20v power numbers without an engine swap. The stock ecu can handle 6psi and with a Megasquirt I could be running around 8psi reliably. This seems more probable than the 20v route although it could be more problematic. 4. The best option is to swap in the 3SGTE from the SW20. It makes 220bhp stock with much more potential. This requires some fabrication but it is a well documented swap and truly turns the AW11 into a monster. This is called a MK1.5 MR2 and they can punch up and take on cars that are worth 10 times their value on the track. This would be my ultimate goal.
See whose at the top of the Wheelwell MR2 Leaderboard