July 09, 2020, 11:23:09 AM

Author Topic: Mr2 Gen3 swap + mini-build I did for my brother 2 years ago  (Read 17399 times)

Offline halfspec

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I figured there was enough mr2 nuts here to warrant this mini build.

Like a lot of fellas here my rx7 swap thread has moved along at a snails pace for 3 years finishing up the
"last 10%" after making a lot of progress during the first 2 years. Also like a lot of the guys here I have my reasons. This is one of those reasons.

This is the documentation of a gen3 swap in my former 92 Toyota Mr2 Turbo which I sold to my brother when I started my rx7 build. I did this mini-build over a month of time while my rx7 was in the paint shop for its first (failed) attempt at getting painted. This build was a result of ~2 years of trouble from the original powerplant after selling it to my younger brother. When I sold it to Robert we did a pretty extensive overhaul on the engine replacing the clutch, ignition components, and slapped on a brand new ATS Racing CT27 turbo. With gen3 electronics already installed from when I owned the car, it was full speed density and with the new upgrades the car seemed rock solid and I felt very good handing it off to my brother.

Problems emerge. The first issue my brother had is that we could never control the CT27. For those that don't know, the CT27 is a heavily modified original turbo. It's gotten really positive reviews as it could support up to 300RWHP and it wasn't just a run of the mill wheel upgrade. However, we just couldn't keep it under control and it overboosted constantly on the stock internal wastegate even though we had a beefy downpipe to help with backpressure. It would overboost with and without a boost controller in series. We tinkered with the wastegate actuator and even replaced it with a known actuator to make sure we were getting full wastegate door movement. We even went through forum diagnostics with a very long thread if you're interested:

1yr ongoing CT27 boost creep problem. Wastegate rod/gate inspected *pics*
http://www.mr2oc.com/showthread.php?t=408503

In the end, we ended up selling the CT27 to a new owner with the understanding that we couldn't control the little pest. Afterwards we picked up a used full Greddy TD06 based turbo kit also from ATS racing that came with a tuned gen2 ECU and fuel upgrades. The turbo was used and leaking oil so the first thing we did was send the turbo to ATS racing and had them rebuild it. It came back, we got everything installed, and holy hell did that thing haul ASS. We never dyno'd it but it was a big step up from the CT27 AND we could control it as the kit came with a very large TIAL external wastegate with a screamer pipe. Hell of a kit... but it didn't last forever.

More problems emerge. More threads:

1992 3SGTE Turbo Fails TN emissions test for high HC and high CO. Numbers inside
http://www.mr2oc.com/showthread.php?t=429971

Fast forward 7 or 8 months and my brother is having an impossible time passing emissions, which is getting him pulled over almost weekly as the car is a DD and TN won't let you renew your tag without a clean emissions report. His O2 sensor keeps on fouling and he's running pig rich. We tried figuring it out for a month or 2 (mostly remote for me) until necessity required we do something drastic. We decided on a gen3 swap. I convinced my brother that the cost could almost be fully recovered, assuming nothing was drastically wrong with the engine, if he sold the turbo kit and parted out his old engine and goodies so he agreed. We found out later that the turbo had started leaking again and was dripping oil into the exhaust which was fouling the O2 and making it look like the car was running rich. Probably something I could have diagnosed in an afternoon in person, but I'm 5 hours south of my bro, so it didn't happen.

So that's where the story starts.


40k Engine overnighted from Japan  :yay:


Doesn't look too bad. I opted to just get a pullout instead of the more popular option of just getting a rear clip. It was a cost decision and since my bro's car was originally a turbo I didn't see the point. As always though there were a few hidden costs / time sinks hidden away with this decision.



We decided to stick with the stock gen3 CT20B which can get ~300RWP on a gen3 engine with boost.



Breaking things down to see what I was up against


The engine had seen quite a bit of bumpage during its trip to me. Ouch! These timing covers are rare/pricy so I had to improvise when I found out this one had been broken. Kitty Hair!


Ooooooh. Intake looks ported


New parts for rebuild


Picking up my brothers mr2 from Nashville. At this point the car would hardly run. Save you breath on my trailering prowess! I've since been told many times that I shouldn't have put so much weight at the front of the trailer. At the time I was only worried about trying to get most of the weight over the trailer axles. I made the trip without a problem.


Safe and sound the next day. Boy was it a pain getting that car off the trailer and into the driveway the night before though. I remember it PISSING rain and the car wouldn't run for shit! I had to push  the car with my wife up the driveway because we couldn't get it to drive the 12ft without stalling.


Pulling the valve cover and cams then getting busy with the new engine to replace the valve stems.


At the time I didn't want to pull the head, so I used a trick I picked up during my years of tinkering. The short story is that you get a air hose adapter threaded like a spark plug and compress a single cylinder. The internal pressure allows you to remove the stem keepers and springs to get to the valve seals. Bonus = You get sound effects if you've got bad compression (luckily we didn't).


Removing the buckets


Removing the valve stem keepers. Damn I love that tool!


One quick push and the keepers are magnetically captured.


Piece of cake! Only 15 more to go!


Spring removal


Seal removal


Bam! Back together with new valve stem seals




Removing the old oil pump and cleaning up the sealing surfaces


New oil pump and water pump!

Continued in next post...





Offline halfspec

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Re: Mr2 Gen3 swap + mini-build I did for my brother 2 years ago
« Reply #1 on: June 26, 2014, 03:11:15 PM »

Well damn! Pulled the oil pan and got a chocolate milkshake suprise


The oil was suspiciously milky / frothy which in my experience can mean an oil / coolant mix.


Worried I had a head gasket problem I pulled the head


Old head off


Back from being resurfaced


ARP Pr0n!


New MLS head gasket. Never found any obvious issues with the old HG.In hindsight the oil appearance could have simply been from water in the oil due to Mississippi humidity and condensation.


Cleaning up the oil pan mating surface




Bolted up. It may be beat and ugly but it was oil tight.


Beadblasted parts getting ready to get boxed up and sent out to Ronin Speedworks / 65Imp


Aaaand they're back :D


As an afterthought I POR15'd the intake manifold. I should have powdercoated it too, but I got too anxious and sent everything off before I thought about it.


Oh well. Turned out nice and POR15 is tough as nails.


Rear main replaced


Head back on with quite a few replacement studs


Timing stuff going back on


About to pull the tensionor grenade pin


Verifying timing after tensionor release


More timing verification


Buttoned up with the repaired and dinoc'd timing cover


Getting the turbo bolted up along with a new HFH and HFHOE (hose from hell and hose from hell on earth).


Offline halfspec

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Re: Mr2 Gen3 swap + mini-build I did for my brother 2 years ago
« Reply #2 on: June 26, 2014, 03:11:22 PM »

Rebuilding a fuel line to accommodate the engine swap


Oh yeah. There was wiring. I didn't take a lot of pictures of the process, but it WAS A PROCESS. The engine shipping took its toll primarily on the wiring. There were quite a few broken connectors, snagged wires, etc. Bad enough that I went though the entire harness and fixed everything that was broken. On top of that I resleeved the whole thing.
That's not where the problems ended though. Despite saying the engine came with ALL its sensors, one particularly rare / pricey sensor was missing. The MAP sensor. Gen3 MAP sensors are like unicorns and there is no shortage of little greedy mr2 parts resellers so any that hit the market instantly get purchased by said greedy bastards and resold at 2-3x the price. So, with the prospect of buying a $300 MAP sensor I searched and searched and came across a gen3 harness COMPLETE WITH A GEN3 MAP sensor for $250. I bought the harness, grabbed the MAP Sensor and resold the harness for $200. $50 Gen3 MAP sensor YO!

While I'm talking about wiring, I'll go ahead and list 4 other problems that came up during the swap.
#1 I didn't get a clip so I didn't get the gen 3 body harness wiring that ties the engine harness to the driver's kick panel. The gen2 body harness isn't directly compatible with the Gen3 harness so I had to dive into scattered bits and pieces of half-assed documentation and diagrams in Japanese coming from people who'd done it before. I managed, but it was no walk in the park.
#2 A consequence of #1 is that I didn't have the wiring necessary to "play the drums" (process to clear the ever so popular Airbag warning light). Of course, when I got the car back together I had an airbag warning light on the cluster, so I had to painstakingly devise a new way to clear the code...
#3 This one was the most bizarre. I had a MIL light and a error code that was no-where to be found in mr2 code documentation. Instead it was a code for a ST205 Celica Altrac. Guess who got an altrac ECU with his mr2 gen3 engine? This guy! The code was due to the fact that the altrac ECU couldn't sense that it's water to air intercooler water pump wasn't running. Well the mr2 doesn't have a water to air intercooler water pump, so I had to get resourceful. You'd think it would be as easy as tying a ECU input pin to ground or 12V but no, it was a good bit more complicated than that. I'd have to dig back to figure out exactly how I fooled the ECU into thinking it was attached.
4. The mr2 has an electromagnetic power steering assist. The Altrac doesn't. So I had to figure out how to get an output to the PS controller from the ECU. A relay plus some wiring voodoo fixed that up.

For points 3 and 4, why didn't I just try and get a Gen3 mr2 ECU? Money. They're pricy bastards too. Plus, the problems intrigued me ;)

So yeah, nothing insane, but took a couple of days to get the wiring sorted properly.


Moving on....



Resleeved harness can be seen through the intake manifold :)


Turbo on and heatshields installed


Fuel injectors installed


I found out that the pretty CNC'd TB inlet I had powerdercoated wasn't going to work as the bolt pattern was different between Gen2 and Gen3 TBs. Back to the unpainted Gen3 TB Inlet :(


Cleaning off an inch of gunked oil from the engine subframe


Same treatment for the new trans


Prepping to drop the old engine


Lifting it HIGH



So here's one thing I'm proud of. The problem with lifting a car this high is that most hobby level cranes don't have booms long, strong, or high enough to do it. At least if you want to lift from the engine bay. My solution was to put big bolts through the rear frame rails and lift from there. I can't even begin to tell you how many times I've seen folks using questionable methods to lift their mr2's high enough to drop an engine out. Seriously, just look around on the mr2 forums and you'll see setups that should have killed their owners 2x over.


This is why you can't lift from underneath. Because you have to remove the engine subframe (great jack point) to drop the engine. Nothing underneath can support the car's weight so you either need a car lift or you have to crane it from above (or do stupid shit like I mentioned in the pic above).


Almost out


It's FREEEE!


Cleaning the engine bay while I have the chance


Welding an ear back onto Robert's SMIC that broke off somewhere along the way.


Reinstalling the SMIC




Out with the old and in with the NEW


Fancy bracket for coil and fuel pump resistor


New wiring and ALTRAC ECU.

Offline halfspec

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Re: Mr2 Gen3 swap + mini-build I did for my brother 2 years ago
« Reply #3 on: June 26, 2014, 03:11:32 PM »


Installed.



Running... The cheap exhaust was something he had bolted on with a CAT welded in to try and pass emissions. He had a nice big stainless dual system at home :D

Quite a bit tamer than a v8 rx7 eh? I got Robert setup with a little ricy TurboXS BOV that I had in my younger years. It's just a spring type BOV but it served me well and I had a blast with it in my early 20s. Also got set with an intake that deleted his newly acquired AFM that came in after the move to the TD06 turbo kit plus a tuned Gen2 ECU. GEN2 ECU's use a MAP and a AFM. Gen3s are purely speed density so we booted the AFM and vented the BOV ;)


There was quite a bit that happened behind the scenes (namely getting the LSD axle hybrids built) before this pic was taken but here's me filling the trans.


Finally, here's a pic of the build's greatest blunder. Never paint parts in a garage occupied by a car even if you cover it up. In my case, I didn't cover enough and got some very fine POR15 overspray on my brother's paint. Luckily he was pretty well waxed so after 2 days with a clay bar and a day of polishing I was able to get her back where she started. The pic above was taken before polishing.


That's pretty much it. I don't think I actually have a picture of the car before I handed it off to Robert. I remember I was on a pretty crazy deadline and I was tying up some of the funner wiring issues at the very end (the altrac issues). I also converted his interior over to blue LED backlighting, fixed some loose panels, and detailed everything. It left in great shape and hasn't  had a hiccup for the 3 years he's been driving it.

Good times. Now you'd think if I can do that in a month, why the hell isn't my rx7 done after 5 years!?!? Haha


Lane

Offline mefarri

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Re: Mr2 Gen3 swap + mini-build I did for my brother 2 years ago
« Reply #4 on: June 26, 2014, 03:59:43 PM »
Reminds me of mine.   :)
"I'm not sure what your intent was because I don't speak "dumbshit", but next time, start your own thread. "

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"Otherwise it looks like something I can build over a weekend, if I spent the first day watching TV."

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Offline halfspec

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Re: Mr2 Gen3 swap + mini-build I did for my brother 2 years ago
« Reply #5 on: June 26, 2014, 04:42:43 PM »
Reminds me of mine.   :)

Reminds me of mine too. Oh wait!  :yay:

Oh yeah, I forgot to mention. After selling off the turbo kit (I rebuilt the turbo myself the second time around), and parting out everything on the old engine I think my brother actually broke even. There may have been a couple hundred dollar difference but I think it was pretty damn even.

Lane


Offline jparker7

Re: Mr2 Gen3 swap + mini-build I did for my brother 2 years ago
« Reply #7 on: June 26, 2014, 08:46:59 PM »
Ive always like Mr2s but they look like they are a bitch to work on.

Offline gc3

Re: Mr2 Gen3 swap + mini-build I did for my brother 2 years ago
« Reply #8 on: June 26, 2014, 09:26:31 PM »
i'm glad I have a lift to work on my aw11...
too bad my roommate left his miata on it and then left on a business trip...

Offline mefarri

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Re: Mr2 Gen3 swap + mini-build I did for my brother 2 years ago
« Reply #9 on: June 26, 2014, 10:41:26 PM »
They're not bad at all honestly.  The sw20 is the best one, with the AW11 being second.  The spyder is too oversteer happy.  Snap oversteer like a other fucker.  I've owned all 3.   :D 
"I'm not sure what your intent was because I don't speak "dumbshit", but next time, start your own thread. "

-Jimlab

"Otherwise it looks like something I can build over a weekend, if I spent the first day watching TV."

-Blake motherfucking McBride

Offline halfspec

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Re: Mr2 Gen3 swap + mini-build I did for my brother 2 years ago
« Reply #10 on: June 27, 2014, 09:53:55 AM »
I always wanted a clean SC'd AW11 but they're almost unobtainable these days. I've seen a handful of gorgeous Mk1's over the last 15 years but they don't pop up for sale often. On the other hand there are no shortages of $500 mk1 shitboxes. Its a dying breed  :(


Ive always like Mr2s but they look like they are a bitch to work on.

My younger self didn't have any problems working on it. Throwing 10 more years on top may complicate things a little though haha!

I loved this car and find myself trying to figure out exactly how it gave me so much joy quite often these days. I mean it wasn't a saint. I daily drove it for 7 years so I saw my fair share of problems. I remember several overnighters I had to pull because a repair went bad and back then I was always working on it out of town at my folks house because I was living in an apartment through school. I'd have to double down and do whatever it took so I could get back home and make my classes.

I think that's what it was though. I daily drove it and driving a car daily will make you love it  :bacon:

Lane

Offline Mik3ymomo

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Re: Mr2 Gen3 swap + mini-build I did for my brother 2 years ago
« Reply #11 on: June 27, 2014, 11:58:06 AM »
My favorite part of reading your builds is the ability to overcome the problems, there are always problems in a build and I find they set me back weeks or months. You seem mostly unstoppable lol. You also leave nothing to chance like with the milky oil.

All that in a month was amazing. Was this when you were between jobs?
Btw I spy a shift knob trend...



93 CYM Base Single Turbo
94 Chaste White Base 22k Original miles Stock
94 Chaste White PEP 29k Miles (sold)
94 Chaste White PEP LS3 T56 Swap (Sold)
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Offline gc3

Re: Mr2 Gen3 swap + mini-build I did for my brother 2 years ago
« Reply #12 on: June 27, 2014, 01:37:05 PM »
I always wanted a clean SC'd AW11 but they're almost unobtainable these days. I've seen a handful of gorgeous Mk1's over the last 15 years but they don't pop up for sale often. On the other hand there are no shortages of $500 mk1 shitboxes. Its a dying breed  :(
I got lucky and picked up a low mile (62k) bone stock one recently for a daily driver for super cheap.
it's definitely not gorgeous, but definitely high up on the fun/$ ratio.

Offline halfspec

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Re: Mr2 Gen3 swap + mini-build I did for my brother 2 years ago
« Reply #13 on: June 27, 2014, 02:30:08 PM »
My favorite part of reading your builds is the ability to overcome the problems, there are always problems in a build and I find they set me back weeks or months. You seem mostly unstoppable lol. You also leave nothing to chance like with the milky oil.


Thanks Mike! Yes, there are times when I appear to be unstoppable, but I've gotten a lot more laid back and patent in recent years. Its a double edged sword unfortunately. Being quick/unstoppable can get you into trouble just as quickly. Being laid back/patient can make you apathetic.

All that in a month was amazing. Was this when you were between jobs?

Actually no. This was done one month between pages 12 and 18 of my build thread (a 7 month period). I was working full time, and did all the work alone. I just worked on the car during the nights and weekends :)

Btw I spy a shift knob trend...

Shoot man! I loved that little skunk knob! If they threaded them with something I could use and I could get one with a 6 speed shift pattern I'd still have one!  :D

Lane


Offline mattster03

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Re: Mr2 Gen3 swap + mini-build I did for my brother 2 years ago
« Reply #14 on: June 27, 2014, 02:41:29 PM »
Man... I am a sucker for MR2s...
Current Car: 1993 Mazda RX7 Touring, LS1/T56, Stock Stock Stock

1993 Mazda RX7 R1, LS1/T56, EPS 230/238, TSP Ported heads
10.826 @ 128 , 1.53 60' - SOLD

Feature Article - http://www.importmeet.com/blog/2012/03/29/best-of-both-worlds-v8rx7guys-ls1-swapped-1993-mazda-rx-7/
Swap Info - http://www.cardomain.com/ride/2801662

1986 Mazda RX7 GXL, LT1/T56 "Retired"
Swap Info - http://www.cardomain.com/ride/641869