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Fladiver64
Fladiver64 New Reader
10/24/18 9:42 p.m.

Well it is real now, we went and picked up two cars tonight and the boys are excited to get going. We have a team of 4 teenagers, my sons Brandon and Zack, with two other friends Cole and Sammy joining the team.  There are of course other Dads involved to keep everyone supervised ( not sure who will supervise Dads).

So the base car is a 1991 MR2, shell with interior and a parts engine sitting in the bay not attached to anything, but it was a convenient place to get all of the parts home. Car shell was $400 and we got the engine transmission as well as a couple of exhaust systems, an extra intake, flywheel, and box of " these go with the car" parts for an additional $400. The plan is to not use any of these parts in the build and we split the value of the car and parts for the gastropods class budget rules of no recoup.

The second car is a 1999 Toyota Solara 5 speed 168K miles. Was running when tire blew out and broke the front strut as well as tearing out a significant portion of the wire harness. The PO made an attempt at patching the wire harness, but it is pretty ugly. I just cant get away from bad wire harnesses, lol. Car fits the story so I am reasonably sure we can ge this running again and the price was right at $300.

First picture is Zack and Cole with the Solara, second is both cars are on the trailer. We have commitments over the next couple of weeks so it will be a bit of time before we get started. First plan is getting the Solara running before we take the engine out. 

I am also open ot any suggestions/help if anyone has done this swap as we are making it up as we go along.

Fladiver64
Fladiver64 New Reader
10/24/18 9:44 p.m.

Forgot Pictures

MrJoshua
MrJoshua UltimaDork
10/24/18 9:49 p.m.

Congrats! smiley Looks like a fun build. One of the best looking cars toyota ever made. 

Robbie
Robbie UltimaDork
10/24/18 9:51 p.m.

Awesome!!

Pete Gossett
Pete Gossett MegaDork
10/25/18 5:37 a.m.
MrJoshua said:

Congrats! smiley Looks like a fun build. One of the best looking cars toyota ever made. 

Be fair, the MR2 isn’t bad looking either. 

¯\_(ツ)_/¯
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ UberDork
10/25/18 6:22 a.m.

You didn't get enough MR2 swapping goodness in the parking lot this year?  cheeky

This will be fun, and should be a relatively straightforward swap.  I had a 1MZ SW20 and it was one of the best driving cars I've ever owned- the engine felt like it was made for that chassis, very well matched.  When I drove an N/A 911 later on I just went "this is like my V6 MR2, but expensive and unreliable." 

Mine did eventually blow up due to oiling issues, though, so if you're doing any more than just the challenge I'd look at oil accumulators or a different pan.

Robbie
Robbie UltimaDork
10/25/18 8:37 a.m.
Billy_Bottle_Caps
Billy_Bottle_Caps Dork
10/25/18 12:23 p.m.

Looking forward to this build

Fladiver64
Fladiver64 New Reader
10/25/18 3:00 p.m.

Ok I could use some feedback from those that have gone before. One of the challenges of team builds with teenagers is they are not good at standing around, very short attention spans. So I need to have tasks ready to go so that some of use are working on a wiring harness they can have something else to do.

One item on our list is rebuilding the front and rear suspensions as the rubber bushings are at best 50% there. My assumption would be to replace everything with poly bushings, looks like we have bilstein struts already installed, then refresh the stock brakes. By the time the get everything apart, clean things up, maybe spray a little paint and put back together, should keep them busy for a couple of work days. Anything in that process that you see an issue with or are there things we should be looking for? Last where have you found the best place for poly bushings?

Thanks in advance

 

Fladiver64
Fladiver64 New Reader
10/25/18 3:26 p.m.

In reply to ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ :

I think I'm going to build a custom baffled pan. Once we get the motor in I can see what king of clearances we have to work with.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ UberDork
10/25/18 3:42 p.m.

In reply to Fladiver64 :

Here's the full poly bushing kit for $85.

Make sure all the rubber lines (brakes/clutch/coolant/fuel) are OK, if not I'd start replacing those for safety.

Andy Neuman
Andy Neuman Dork
10/25/18 5:40 p.m.

Looks like a fun project. I look forward to seeing updates. 

Fladiver64
Fladiver64 New Reader
11/5/18 1:17 p.m.

OK we have a build day set for this weekend, start tear down and see if we can ge the V6 in the solara running.  There are some issues with the wire harness (I just cant get away from this), what I would like ot do is make the wire harness stand alone on the solara before we pull it all. I have seen info on people that sell converted harnesses but not much on making one yourself. I do have a book from toyota that is not as helpful as I had hoped. I any one has some direction I would gladly accept the help.

Goals for Sunday 

1. Remove interior, we are saving this as we need to reinstall it fot the Gastropod class, but I am concerned it will get thrasshed in the time we are building the car. I understand a good part has to come out to get to the gas tank anyways so I figured remove and preserve.

2. Front suspension coming apart, inspect as to what needs to be replaced/rebuilt, Make a parts list.

3. Remove radiatior and AC Condenser, we are going to try and use the Solara one, looks ike it will fit and it is in better condition.

Probably be lucky to get all that done, I am going to be working on the Solara wiring to get that running before pulling the engine.

 

mr2s2000elise
mr2s2000elise Reader
11/5/18 1:35 p.m.

Definitely following! Excellent project. 

 

As a long time MR2 owner (93T and 94), wish you were closer, would love to see it being done. 

Fladiver64
Fladiver64 New Reader
11/5/18 2:56 p.m.
mr2s2000elise said:

Definitely following! Excellent project. 

 

As a long time MR2 owner (93T and 94), wish you were closer, would love to see it being done. 

Well chime in when you see something, I grew up not far south of you in Newbury Park, when that was mostly farmland. I remember having sheep walking through our backyard on a regular basis.

mr2s2000elise
mr2s2000elise Reader
11/5/18 2:58 p.m.
Fladiver64 said:
mr2s2000elise said:

Definitely following! Excellent project. 

 

As a long time MR2 owner (93T and 94), wish you were closer, would love to see it being done. 

Well chime in when you see something, I grew up not far south of you in Newbury Park, when that was mostly farmland. I remember having sheep walking through our backyard on a regular basis.

Will do sir! We still DO have a farm in Moorpark/Newbury Park - off Tierra Rejada :)

Fladiver64
Fladiver64 New Reader
11/8/18 8:31 p.m.

 What is the problem with a car like an MR2 when you are 6'6", yes it is way to close to the ground to work on without putting a chiropractor on retainer. So I came up with the idea of putting it on a cart, I had some steel castors in the shop rated for 1200 lbs each, so 4 of those should support an MR2 rather nicely, since this is a tool and should not count for challenge money, I ordered up so some 2x2 11 ga steel. Today one of our team members came over and we built the cart.

First up on jack stands to see how high we want this and to take some measurements.

Next we start cutting and laying out steel, I did notice in taking the pictures it looks like I don't work.

Frame is designed to be bolted together so that if we are not using it, we can store it against a wall or under a car. Bolts are 5/8" grade 8 so should be overkill enough.

There is a 1" square tube welded to the top of the 2" tubing, this braces the car at the pinch welds so that it can't slide off the cart and supports the car under the entire pinch weld area rather than just to two jacking points.

Last up on the cart, access to all 4 wheels, rolls easily to maneuver around, and most of it is now at a comfortable working height. We call it a great success! Sunday starts working on car.

Stampie
Stampie UberDork
11/8/18 8:36 p.m.

This should be a fun build. It's great to see a new generation get interested in cars. 

Fladiver64
Fladiver64 New Reader
11/11/18 7:10 p.m.

First build day with the boys. Started out with finish grinding welds and painting new cart. New skills for all of them, so took awhile but in the end looks good and works great. Picture is Brandon, Cole and Sammy prepping for paint and the finished product with car on top.

They also pulled the interior out, for two reasons, one we are trying to keep it in as good a condition as possible since Gastropods requires a complete interior, and second we have some rust issues to deal with. Turns out drivers floor is worse that we thought but nothing that can't be fixed with some sheet metal and a welder. They learned a lot about taking apart old cars, frozen rusted bolts, but did a great job taking pictures, and cataloging the hardware so we can put it back together later.

 

jfryjfry
jfryjfry HalfDork
11/11/18 10:31 p.m.

Big rule of mine: always put nuts and bolts back where they came from so you know where they are when you need them

 

and I wouldn’t do poly suspension bushings except for those parts that only move in one plane.  Or firm rubber or heim joints as they won’t bind like poly will (when parts move through multiple planes)

Fladiver64
Fladiver64 New Reader
11/20/18 10:19 p.m.

Build day number 2, just three of us today. Sammy and Brandon did most of the work. Got the front suspension taken apart. Only broke one bolt that Brandon said would not come out, turns out righty  tighty left lousy doesn't work when the bolt is facing away from you.  Lessons we learn.

Took the radiator and ac condenser out as well, radiator is rusted a bit but I think we are going to use the radiator out of out donor car anyway.

GIRTHQUAKE
GIRTHQUAKE Reader
11/20/18 11:54 p.m.

Check the yards for replacement aluminum rads- plenty of european cars have ones that fit. There's a lot that can fit in the space, and they can be cleaned easily with some stronger acids at the Homeless Despot or whatever's closer. Just don't do CLR, that crap eats aluminum.

... or forget everything I said and just nab an iron/copper rad from something else that had a 1mz-fe cheeky

Fladiver64
Fladiver64 New Reader
11/21/18 7:49 a.m.

In reply to GIRTHQUAKE :

Our donor solara appears to have a good radiator, so that's what we will try first. Then I'll go hunting yards.

Fladiver64
Fladiver64 New Reader
12/15/18 7:35 p.m.

Well another day of work, we got plenty accomplished. Engine and trans out of the MR2, discovered that the PO had put a brand new clutch and pressure plate in that looks like it has never run. Which is a good thing because the flywheel didn't look so good and the clutch bolts where only hand tight. Not an issue since we are not using this engine, but I think the clutch is the same. 

The big project though was getting the fuel tank out of the MR2, what a pain that was. I lost count of the number of 10mm bolts that we snapped off due to corrosion. We are going to be a fun day in the future getting all of the broken bolts out of the threaded inserts in the body. About 3 gallons of varnish in the fuel tank so that will need to be cleaned. Our plan is to use the fuel pump out of the donor Solara as well as the balance of the fuel system so we don't have to modify the fuel rails. 

We started on pulling the v6 out of the Solara but ran out of time, we decided to get back at it tomorrow morning. The goal is the engine out, trans separated and both cleaned up. Then see how the engine and trans go together so we can plan what's next.

A couple of good scores this week, found a washer and dry on side of the road (trash day) looks like a good source for some sheet metal.  We also got some 15 year old black epoxy paint that was thought to be bad. We stirred both parts, mixed one to one, and painted a test panel today and the epoxy set up. So looks like we have some free undercoating.

I will post some pictures after tomorrows work day.

Fladiver64
Fladiver64 New Reader
12/16/18 7:29 p.m.

Finished another build day with the boys feels more like an un-build day. We now have two almost completely torn apart cars. We go the V6 and trans out of the Solara and looked over the parts we have. So far I think we are doing Ok. Looks like the Solara has a recent timing belt change as the cover says next belt due at 200K miles and the belt looks like a fairly new Toyota part, inside the timing cover looks dry of oil and water pump looks newer than rest of the parts so we are just going to leave everything as is.

Does look like we need new valve cover gaskets, but pulling the valve cover, didn't see any sludge buildup and cams look good. I think we got lucky with this part.

One thing that did come up is I thought the Solara clutch and the MR2 Clutch were the same size, looks like the Solara clutch is about 1/4" larger in diameter. So I am thinking of using a Solara pressure plate and Flywheel with an MR2 clutch disk, so the pressure plate lines up with the flywheel and the clutch disk matches the splines on the transmission. This looks like the Solara pressure plate is only about 1/8" larger in diameter so not sure why this would not work up let me know what you all think. We also found a brand new clutch in the MR2 so we would like to use it if possible.

Some pictures of the gang working

How many teenagers does it take to assemble an engine stand with one bolt? We are still waiting for the answer to that question as they needed help.

See this one comes out the bottom.

 

Fuel tank out, that was harder than the engine

They are still boys with a camera, we are having fun!

This one comes out the top, two days of hard work, could have been done in half the time without all the "help" but not near as much fun as getting to work with your kids.

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